Spending and investing – what about transport?

The government has been playing catch up on transport capacity. A successful growing economy since 2010 needs more road and rail capacity than we enjoy. The outgoing Labour government at the end of the last decade slashed what remained of the roads budget as part of its efforts to cut excessive borrowing, after a long period when in office it had done little by way of new road construction. The present government has committed to the very expensive HS2 rail project which will bring extra capacity on the north south route, and to cheaper capacity expansion through digital signalling. It has started to raise the amount of road investment, but it remains low by pre 1997 standards and in relation to need. There is a missing two decades of investment to make good.

Now is a good time to spend on additional road capacity. Borrowing rates are very low, and motoring contributes far more in taxes than is spent on road provision. The Transport department has announced an intention to create a local strategic network of A roads to take more through traffic locally. This will require a substantial increase in the financial provision to pay for the schemes needed. In the short term a programme of improving junctions could increase safety and reduce congestion. It is also going to take road widening and  by pass provision to complete the job.

The national route network also needs extra cash. Successive governments have failed to complete the south coast highway or  the A 303 to the west country. There is a shortage of capacity on the Southampton to Birmingham haul road, the A 34, and on the main routes to the east cost ports. There are similar shortcomings in the north. Some extra investment  should be spent on augmenting local and national road improvement.

 

 

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176 Comments

  1. 37/6
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Still the same old crap since the switch to digital signalling. In fact worse. There seems to be no common sense in play when trains are late. A class 1 must now follow a class 2 all the way instead of the class 2 being put in a loop. It’s as though the computer is more concerned with keeping trains in order than on time.

    • Hope
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      May has confirmed that she and Olly Robbins are the negotiators, per document in Guido, yet Raab in parliament this afternoon saying he will negotiate with a Barnier! Does Raab know he has been officially sidelined or is he prepared to lie/mislead parliament? Why is Raab even seeing a Barnier?

      Also the European Community Act after the U.K. Leaves the EU and will now continue until 2020! This also means ECJ ruling over us! So to be clear we technically leave in March next year, but EU LAW WILL APPLY, ECJ will arbitrate, EU in charge of territorial waters and fishing stock, billions handed over and will continue for years thereafter and free movement continues! The white paper also states non regression clause over employment, environment energy etc remaining under EU control without a voice or veto! JR tell us this is not a sell out by underhand dishonest May. I suggest this bill is voted down and thrown out when it comes back.

      Guido also helpfully highlights how May promised Dexu will be led by a leaver minister who will negotiate with the EU and this promise was never delivered and is now fully withdrawn to her and Robbins!

      Thankfully May will rid your party to the worldliness for generations. I wonder why extreme political parties are forming around the world?

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        As someone once said : “#Lock her up!”

      • Timaction
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        At his has all been planned and choreographed with impeccable timing over 2 years. Like a game of chess! I’m afraid we’re getting to the stage of extreme anger being led by a traitor! I’ve seen Guido’s release. Have these Brexiter Ministers no pride? MP’s no gumption about Mays obvious intentions?
        We all know what she’s doing. The only good thing is she is destroying the legacies. Who could ever trust them again?

      • alan jutson
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        Said on this site last week that Raab should have resigned his position when his new Department was Plundered by May of staff who then transferred them to work under Oily Robbins.
        If ever their was writing in large capitals on the wall, it was then.

        So now we have two Remainer people, negotiating trade deals for the whole of the UK, (even for those Companies who do not export anything) when neither have any commercial experience whatsoever.

        Difficult to make it up, only in the UK.

        Nice touch to do it when Parliament breaks up !!!!.

      • Ron Olden
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS

        Whatever the pros and cons of Mrs May’s approach. this, according to Labour and various other hangers on, and hecklers from the sidelines (including me), is the most important negotiation for the UK since the war.

        It’s blindingly obvious that Mrs May has to be at the Centre of it and in charge. The outcome affects the entirety of Government. The EU has to know that they are talking to the top person capable of making the decisions.

        You can’t expect Dominic Raab to be able to negotiate on behalf of the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence, Home Office, DEFRA, Foreign Office, Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland etc etc etc and then come back and tell them what he’s decided and Parliament what to do.

        The problem with the EU’s side is that we are talking to the office boys. All the serious discussions have been between Mrs May in negotiation with people like Angela Merkel anyway.

        Mrs May (and Britain) will survive or fall depending on the outcome of these negotiations. And so it should be.

        ‘Brexit Secretary’ has not been a particularly senior role in Cabinet anyway, and at this crucial final stage of the negotiations it’s not much more that the role of a second fiddle at best.

        Dominic Raab shouldn’t feel slighted for that.

        Mrs May should be judged on how it all ends, and he must play his role as Senior Assistant or Deputy to her.

        That’s a pretty senior and daunting role on its own.

        • Timaction
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          BRINO. She,s batting for the EU!!!! Traitor!

      • Chris
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Hope, perhaps we can take some comfort from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s reported comment to Olly robbins today:

        “I attribute no blame to you at all, Mr Robbins,” said Mr Rees-Mogg quietly, “because you are answerable to the Prime Minister.”

        As another commenter (G Waltham) wrote on another thread:
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/07/24/single-word-says-much-olly-robbins-brexiteers-bete-noire/

        “And thus the stiletto slipped in. I think that was the moment the clock finally started ticking on May’s future”.

        • Stred
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          Mr Robbins said that he did not recognise the deceit concerning the Department for Exiting being kept in the dark over him writing s completely different white paper and collaborating with EU officials to produce May’s Brino. He said he had been working with Davis and Baker. This is a lie if there ever was one. etc ed

  2. alan jutson
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Enjoying your latest series of additional spending choices JR.

    NHS, Education, Defence, Now roads, Police next ?

    All very desirable, and in an ideal World where money was no object it would be very nice, would also be nice if people started to recognise why all these departments and organisations needed some considerable upgrading.

    The population has grown by a massive amount in the last couple of decades, and so we need much more additional capacity in all of the areas you outline.
    Poor value spending, poor design, poor forecasting, and waste and delay on a massive scale have also made a contribution.
    Perhaps given the fact that the Government is now collecting more tax than it has for half a century, we should evaluate many of the decisions politicians have taken and examine to see if those who are supposed to be in charge and the system they choose to operate are actually fit for purpose before we go much further.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The government is alas collecting far too much tax (damaging the real economy hugely) but delivering very little indeed in real services and infrastructur. Much of what is delivered is toally idiotic or misguided, HS2. Hinckley C, the intermittent “renewable” subsidies, biofuels, police who do not investigate crime, electic car subsidies for premature technology. The appalling NHS, millions of worthless university degrees and Student debt.

      • bigneil
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        The govt HAS to collect more tax, simple maths. The population is growing ridiculously fast. Growing by people who want – and get for free – by coming here – for doing nothing. Someone HAS to pay for them.

      • NickC
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, You have listed a series of white elephants funded by us but decided by MPs and government. Politically it would be difficult to make significant changes to the NHS and universities, but the rest of your list is easy to change.

        For transport, apart from the catch-up spend outlined by JR, we should ditch HS2 and instead use the same money to fund undergrounds in some of our larger cities outside London – Birmingham and Manchester for a start. That would not only relieve road congestion, but free-up rail trunk route slots for intercity.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        L/L Yes, just seen that the government is giving out a further £557m in subsidies for offshore wind. Is there anything else they would like to waste our money on? This will obviously be paid for through our bills which continue to rise. Will it make a difference to so called global warming? I doubt it. What’s happened to fracking? Seems to be forgotten and will that get subsidies. Don’t hold your breathe on it. Also it’s been announced that the trains are running with too many passengers who are apparently treated like animals in a cattle truck. Who would have thought it? And the government wants to get us all off the road and is taxing us to the hilt for having the audacity to use diesel cars. Until the infrastructure is in place and the distance you are able to travel in these cars is better we don’t have a lot of choice. Public transport just isn’t fit for purpose. We are between the rocks and sharp place.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 3:05 am | Permalink

          Will it make a difference to so called global warming? Of course not the by the time you taking into account the cost of backup (to cover for the intermittent nature of the wind power), the energy used in the manufacture, installation and maintenance (all those ships) there is almost zero net saving in CO2 output. So how can they work? Even if you do believe the CO2 “pollution/devil gas” exaggerations/religion they cannot work. They are totally irrelevant in the scheme of things.

    • JimS
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      “we should evaluate many of the decisions politicians have taken and examine to see if those who are supposed to be in charge and the system they choose to operate are actually fit for purpose before we go much further”

      I don’t think our acts of parliament are ‘fit for purpose’. An act that is amended should be cancelled and replaced by a complete act, we are living in the post-word processor age not hand writing on vellum. It is nearly impossible for the ordinary citizen to work their way through legislation online and I doubt if our MPs find it any easier, as can be seen when they try to make new ‘knee-jerk’ law to cover matters already covered.

    • Hope
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Well said Alan. The Tory fiscal incompetence rolls on. Good to see and read in MP slides for the white paper capitualtion that May will want to continue overseas aid and European Development Fund to help infrastructure projects across the EU when we leave! Although she has disguised th EDF part. Confirmation JR please will EDF still be given after we leave?

      We are still paying for empty fire brigade HQ around the country at about £500 million a year under PFI. All police stations gone or going while new central ones are under PFI they cannot afford!

      We read tomorrow the EU Withdraw bill will go to parliament where give away May has included the EU can basically take any amount at what interval it chooses to reach the estimated sum they demand through the transition period! JR, will it be definitely linked to any trade deal or separately as Barnier claims it ought to be? It has all the hallmarks of another May’s dishonest underhand KitKat policy.

      I hope it is voted down.

      Tax take at its highest for forty years, £1 billion each week in interest on debt, public services at their worst , mass immigration at historic high levels and May wants to give away £100 billion to the EU with add ons, yet she wants us to sell our homes for her dementia tax!

      Crime soaring with murders virtually each day, knife and gun crime at its highest, May stops the police using stop and search and cuts their number by 20,000! No deterrent by prisons, Gauke going to allow a serial rapist out, wanting prisoners to have mobiles in cells, stop sentences lower than a year, and the dismal London Mayor Khan steps in to prevent it!

      • NickC
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Hope, I suspect that government doesn’t hear what the people say, but instead listens to vested interests and lobby groups.

        • getahead
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Like the CBI.

    • eeyore
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Perhaps JR is planning a parallel series of posts on saving money and spending less. Or perhaps that old black magic called Growth will pick up the bills.

      Talking about growth, the Treasury predicts the National Debt will grow from its present c.90% of GDP to c.250% by 2050. Current debt interest is c.£50bn, By then it will be at least £180bn and possibly the biggest item in the Budget.

      It will not, of course, be the evil Brexiteering pensioners who pay, but our pet Remainer Andy’s generation. I hope their forced investment in the past will give them much quiet satisfaction.

      Reply, Yes my plans do not include the need for extra borrowing as I will explain again in future posts

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Perhaps we should start to look at what Russia is doing-you know you were told it was a basketcase(more lies!) because it followed classic macroeconomic parameters and didn’t ape the west in currency debasement and public sector profligacy rendering it beholden to the interests of international finance.Well,in fact,it is now being applauded by the IMF(Bloomberg 9/7/18-Mark Whitehouse-“By several key measures it has the world’s best economic management says the IMF’s former top man in the country”).

        Instead of splurging the $40bn+ windfall from oil prices in excess of budget this year (which is surely what we would do),they are taking it to reserves and funding the planned increase in spending(healcare,education,infrastructure) by a two point increase in VAT- despite having debt:GDP ratio barely in double figures.With twin surpluses,large reserves of gold and forex(they’ve recently ditched virtually all of their US treasury holdings-c$90bn),they will be facing the next downturn-and it’s coming!-from a position of immense stength.What protection are we building for the next downturn?

    • Adam
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Reducing excessive population growth would be more efficient than overspending on building capacity to chase it.

      HS2 is a further recklessly wasteful way of proceeding.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        ‘Excessive population growth’ no doubt means strictly controlled immigration.

        Let’s look at the figures. The UK population of 1940 was about 50m, now its 66m, an increase of just 16m. or roughly 200 000 a year.

        Much of this must be accounted for by people living longer and more children surviving childhood.

        The rest is just the usual Daily Mail style propaganda.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          1939 it was 46 million.
          Supermarket data and water company and energy companies data point towards a current population of over 70 million.
          Since 2000 the biggest increase in the population in our history.
          A new city the size of Southampton is needed every year.
          Which we are not building.

        • Dennis
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          M. Howard- “Let’s look at the figures. The UK population of 1940 was about 50m, now its 66m, an increase of just 16m. or roughly 200 000 a year.

          That’s a 32% increase – that’s massive.

          200,000 a year – that’s massive.

          Even 50 million of rich consumers is a gross overpopulation for the UK considering predent world resources/environment – 66 million is insane.

          Switzerland has 8 m, Denmark 4 m, Sweden 9 m 5 million, Iceland 320,000 etc., etc. and these countries have a good standard of living so why does the UK need 66 million and rising with its attendant problems?

          Will M. Howard pay for the extra energy needs and all the rest?

        • libertarian
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard

          The actual population in 1940 was 47 million

          The actual population in the UK now is 66.5 million

          Thats an increase of 19.5 million Thats the same number as the entire population of Romania, its the same number almost as Sweden , Norway and Denmark combined . Its 2 million more than the entire population of Holland

        • alan jutson
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Margaret,

          Why did you take the start year as 1940, just wondered.

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

          Margaret your calculation does not take into account the recent surge in population growth. That is what is hurting the country.

        • Adam
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Those who add ‘no doubt’ often have doubt. Your first sentence errs.

          Properly-controlled immigration avoids excess.

          Domestic populations are capable of maintaining stability without having to increase every year.

        • Original Richard
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Margaret,

          I’m afraid no-one believes the population is only 66m.

          Estimates by the supermarkets, other retail suppliers and services put the figure at at least 77m to 80m.

          The government has no idea how many people live in the UK and nor do they know how fast it is increasing from immigration, as no precise record is kept of people entering and leaving the country.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          And some more random figures 29% of births in the UK last year were to mothers NOT born in the UK

    • bigneil
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      The tv program last night on Law and Disorder 2018 said how many officers the force had been reduced by and how many more were expected to go with further budget cuts. At the same time there is ALWAYS money to pay for the lives of thousands from the 3rd world where crime is the norm. Why not let the taxpayer pay for the arrivals comfortable lives while they come to commit crime. They have no conscience, neither it seems do our govt who is allowing this to happen. Just wait till the Schengen wall goes as May finally signs us up. As the song goes “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It seems as if no thought at all was given to planning extra infrastructure BEFORE allowing the population to increase so rapidly. Everyone is playing catch-up now, when it’s too late.

      NHS crisis + transport crisis + education crisis + housing crisis + policing crisis + water crisis = POPULATION CRISIS

      This is most definitely the elephant in the room.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Travelled down the A34 recently, it needs to be 3 lanes instead of the existing two, simple fact on traffic flow, volume, and safety grounds.

    Also travelled on A303 when going down to Devon just a couple of weeks ago, with the usual hold ups at the usual places.
    Why is the Government choosing to spend an absolute fortune in wanting to put the road in a tunnel adjacent to Stonehenge.
    Why not a simple shallow cutting, with built up banking on either side to obscure the road from Stonehenge, or Stonehenge from the road, then it could be widened in due course at far less expense than the politicians choice, should it ever need it in the future.

    The new road just opened in Winnersh running from Lower Early Way – King Street Lane has a four way traffic light system in operation at the King Street Lane junction which is now causing more traffic jams and delay in this area, than there were before the new road was ever built.

    Why is it planners/politicians never seem to grasp the bloody obvious.

    Reply I proposed a roundabout at each end of the Winnersh by pass and am asking* the Council to improve that light controlled junction.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Reply-Reply

      Thanks JR.
      But I am forced to ask:
      The Winnersh Cross Roads Four way traffic light system has been a disaster for many years, and everyone local knows about it, so why do the local Council replicate it just 200 metres down the same road for a new junction.

      Like wise I am seeing more and more Road furniture (inspection chambers, manholes, drain covers, and the like) collapsing after they have been repositioned during road re-surfacing, the substrate on which they are bedded in on seems to be collapsing, WHY ?
      Like wise many roads that have been resurfaced in the past couple of years are showing large chunks of tarmac missing, exposing the original (still sound) surface underneath, is this due to poor preparation, poor materials, poor labour, poor supervision.
      Are roads works covered by any sort of guarantee ?
      If not why not !

      Not just local but all over the country I see such problems.

    • NickC
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson, Planners have swallowed the green myth that building new roads, and improving old roads, is the sole reason that traffic increases. As though no other factors were involved. One example: they’ve gone in for deliberate “pavement bulging” to restrict traffic flow. All whilst ignoring the massive sudden increase in population due to immigration.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Why is it planners/politicians never seem to grasp the bloody obvious.

      Well often the MPs do grasp the bleeding obvious, but they are not really trying for something that works. They all have their own vested interests be they political, promotion or something else.

      Not even MPs can be thick enough to think importing wood to burn at Drax is a good plan, or HS2 or all the green crap lunacies. What MPs thought aircraft carriers without support ships or aircraft was a great plan. They have a plan call smart motorways that way they can pretend they are doing something without building any new lane capacity. A Gatwick extra runway and fast link to Heathrow is far more sensible than a new one a Heathrow and far quicker too. But Heathrow they go for.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    All these improvements are vital and I know where we can get out hands on an extra £39b quite easily. If we think nothing of handing over this cash to the EU then why not spend it here? Let the EU raise their own money and let’s spend ours at home for a change.
    The tax payer is burdened enough already what with vanity projects, subsidies for just about everything and looking after any waif and stray.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      ” If we think nothing of handing over this cash to the EU then why not spend it here?”
      ==

      Cost of UK EU membership per person per day – 37p.

      Benefit of UK EU membership per person per day – £3.35.

      Peston 26/10/14

      • Edward2
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        We pay over 10 billion a year to the EU
        In return we get an 80 billion trade deficit.

        • hefner
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Why don’t you ever ask the questions about what type of policies during these last 40 years have generated this situation?
          Obviously the EU is the background, but have you ever considered the policies of successive UK governments for which you might have happily voted?
          Have you ever considered the state of our roads and motorways? The M23 and bits of the M20 and of the M4 are already going slow or are going to be go-slow for the coming two years thanks to their transformation to “smart” motorways, with a very well-known construction company reducing the width of the lanes over tens and tens of miles with actual work seemingly happening over a very few hundreds of yards.
          A question for an MP: how much is this construction company charging for the tens of thousands of cones and “temporary” metallic road sides over the twenty to thirty months the works are going to take?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            I think you have now moved onto a different argument Hefner.
            Margaret was telling us how cheap the EU is when looked at per person per day.
            I was giving a different perspective based on our large annual costs and the huge trading deficit we have with the EU.

          • Stred
            Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            And average speed cameras. Hardly any work done on the M23 after 2 months
            .

      • Dennis
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        M. Howard – good figures but you give no details how this works.

        Please do so. JR as usual makes no comment so he doesn’t confirm.

        • hefner
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Do you really need JR’s confirmation? Can’t you do a bit of research yourself?

      • NickC
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Your figures seem highly unlikely. If you multiply up your supposed benefit of £3-35 as an annual total, it comes to over £80bn. Since we only sell about £214bn to the EU, which would typically make only a 10% profit (£21.4bn), your figure is around 4 times too much.

        As for costs, even a direct cash cost is more than 50p per inhabitant per day. When all the other costs are factored in (fish, double rules for our other exports, excessive regulation like GDPR, match spending, fines, inappropriate legislation, politically motivated legislation, subsidy of competitors, mercantilism via the Euro, lost opportunity costs, etc) we lose out big time.

        Unless you think paying the USA in order to trade with it is a good idea?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Margaret. That wouldn’t be left wing BBC biased Peston would it? I really don’t care about your breakdown. This country needs the money now and after leaving the EU can do better outside trading with many other nations freely around the world and taking charge of their own future. I do not wish to have the EU telling me what I can and cannot do for any longer. You might be happy with that but many of us are not. Anyone would think we had never been a sovereign nation before. Get a grip.

        • hefner
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          Didn’t Peston leave the BBC months ago? Would he suddenly be more trustworthy if he was working for your favourite program? Can’t you ever imagine that some people take pride in their work and not in following whatever ideology is the flavour of the day?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            That would be good in an ideal world hefner, but the bias of many lefty liberal London media stars is so obvious it is becoming comical.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        If that were true it would mean that the UK is a net beneficiary of the EU and everyone including the EU themselves admit we aren’t

        The European Commission’s own figures suggest that the benefits of the single market are equivalent to £37billion & Britain’s contributions to the EU Budget and single market regulations cost £41billion last year.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          you mentions a whole lot but rally have no ideas on the costs or benefits of what is offered noting new from you I gather?

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

        Gosh that is why we are all so well off!

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Plus let’s not forget the £20b annually by the end of this parliament our socialist PM and her socialist Government are borrowing to meet their ridiculous arbitrary foreign aid budget. Very unpopular with the majority of the public but hey, it makes them feel good. Bet they’re not so generous with their own money!!

    • charlesD
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherener..We heard Dominic Raab sounding off yesterday saying something along the same lines..so I suppose that is why government has pushed him aside- probably somebody in Brussels lifted the phone to May and now she has to take personal charge herself- if this is the case then 39 Bill’n will be the least of our problem- depends on whether we want a deal or not- if we want a deal then the divorce business has to be agreed to first and and signed off including for the 39 Bill’n owing..if we don’t want a deal then the divorce business will still have to be signed off with the 39 Bill’n owing, if it is not it will remain outstanding into the future for future generations to deal with and probably with compound interest as an extra

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Charles D. There is no legal requirement to pay a so called divorce bill so that the EU can fund all the other broke countries it has invited in. Can we please look after ourselves for a change?

        • hefner
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Interestingly a lot of the easternmost countries (the broke countries) entered the EU thanks to the heavy support of the UK who wanted to dilute the weight of the original Six.

  5. Mark B
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I think the transport budget has seen quite enough money. This due to the HS2 waste and now the proposed Heathrow expansion.

    If money needs to be spent it should be on existing roads which are in needs of repair.

    Borrowing may be historically low, but as with any loan interest on it may rise or fall.

    Widening roads and reducing congestion elsewhere will only push the problem further downstream.

    What we do not want is the privatisation of existing roads. Yes the government will get some cash to waste elsewhere and still maintain its current, and very high, tax take.

    But if Government really want to reduce wear and tear plus spend less, it could always go down the route of ending MASS IMMIGRATION. Just a suggestion.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      The elephant in the room again, Mark B.

  6. Richard1
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The A14 which links Felixstowe to the Country is woefully inadequate and needs rapid improvement. If Continuity Remain are right and there might be an EU trade embargo on the UK with a blockade of foods and medicines (yes, this appears to be what they are now Implying), we really need to make sure non-EU trade flows smoothly with much increased volume.

  7. Stred
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The A303 and A 3 5 are a disgrace. Osborne supported the Stonehenge tunnel, which will cost a fortune and need permanent lighting. A dual carriageway in a cutting with tree screen would be far less expensive and quicker, even allowing for an archaeological dig while cutting the top.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      To what extent were those road improvement paid for by the EU and thus by one of the main contributors to their lavish budget?

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        My apologies. The above should have been a reply to happy Andy below talking about the wonderful roads of France.

        In reply to Stred, I’m old enough to remember the M30 Winchester bypass when the then (Conservative) government refused to spend an extra misereable £90m to tunnel through the archaeological remains of a prehistoric settlement and ruin a beautiful hill on the south side of the city.

  8. Peter D Gardner
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    HS2 demonstrates the problem of allocating governments the money to invest in infrastructure. The business case was never convincing yet the project went ahead. The Government quickly reduced the air port capacity increase to a 2-horse race between Gatwick and Heathrow. It lacked the imagination to consider UK as a whole or to consider seriously truly innovative solutions like Boris Island. Given that it was struggling to justify HS2 anyway, was having difficulty formulating anything coherent and practical out of its Northern Powerhouse idea, would it not have enhanced both by adding international air access capacity to the midlands and northern points of the HS2 route and thrown in a fast trans-Pennine road or rail link instead of either Heathrow or Gatwick?

    Compare with the 19th century when it was private enterprise that spotted the opportunities, built the roads and railways. Industry, tourism, leisure followed where they went.

    It seems to me that Government should be the last place to go looking for worthwhile opportunities. We go there first now because a) the Government has all the money and b) it has complete control of development. There is no freedom for organic enterprise led growth.

    The best thing to do with any Brexit dividend – if UK ever gets that far – is to use it to lower taxes. Don’t, whatever you do, increase public expenditure, which is way too high at present, or embark on some grand government project. Governments often try but always fail to pick winners.

    Give the savings from Brexit back to the people and their industries.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Now we have the latest betrayal with Mays withdrawal bill. No condition of a trade deal and payments made at the EU,s demand. Does she really believe that will get through parliament.
    The woman’s a disgrace. Time she was consigned to history.

    • Chris
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Those MPs intent on us staying in the EU will back Theresa May’s plan to the hilt as they will see it as not really leaving, and as an ideal platform to open negotiations to return into the EU. Do not underestimate their determination (nor their funding). They scent victory, and in some ways they already have victory as the Chequers Plan is what has been put to the EU by May, and apparently accepted by all MPs as they have not taken the necessary action to “tear it up and start again”, and they continue to sing May’s praises.

      We will NOT leave until May is replaced by a true Brexiter MP who is intent on honouring the referendum and upholding democracy.

    • NickC
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Indeed. Stewart Jackson has raised the issue that previous attempts by DExEU and its Ministers to provide solutions, including preparation for the WTO deal, were rebuffed by No.10 over many months. Now Mrs “two-face” May has the gall to call for WTO preparations to be stepped up. And still the Conservative party won’t get rid of her. If Mrs May thinks Olly Robbins WP is the last word she is delusional – it will create constitutional chaos for decades to come.

    • Hope
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      And the European Community Act will now be reintroduced until 2020 and ECJ to apply! Freedom of movement also continues until 2020 with all who come here having a right to settle!

  10. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Building more roads may not relieve inner city congestion, where the road network already saturates the available space.
    I suggest the measure to relieve congestion is to make the driving test much harder so less people pass and get a licence, and also retest those whose driving skills appear to have lapsed.
    A national telephone number to report bad driving would be helpful, as police can’t be everywhere. Sufficient reports and the bad driver has his abilities examined.
    As well as reducing congestion, these measures would also serve to make the roads safer.

  11. Andy
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Bonjour from sunny France! I am on holiday – enjoying the mountain air and moving freely and easily around Europe while I still can. And, because the EU scrapped roaming charges, I can stay in touch with all of you too! Bonus.

    The roads here – like the railways – are phenomenal. The French motorway network is extensive – though large parts of it are toll roads. Not that it matters because the A roads are mostly really good and many of B roads are dual carriageway too. Outside of cities, traffic jams are rare – services are many.

    France invests in its infrastructure in the way the UK does not. And it’s not alone. Swathes of Europe – particularly Western Europe but increasingly Southern and Eastern Europe too – puts us to shame with its infrastructure.

    I’ve mentioned before the Millau Viaduct. A staggering (British designed) engineering achievement to provide a motorway bypass for a town with a population a fifth the size of Gloucester. In the UK we’d have been whining about traffic jams for decades and building nothing. Here they build an engineering marvel.

    And UK politicians are entirely to blame. They are happy for you to sit in traffic jams or for you to have to spend train journeys in cattle class with your nose in someone’s armpit because they do not want to upset their rich friends. If taxes go up you pay a small bit more. What we really need is for the wealthiest individuals and a companies to pay their share.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Ah the roaming charges myth.
      The EU was involved but the impetus came from the European mobile phone companies who got together and negotiated an agreement.

      France is several times bigger than the UK and has a similar population.
      Roads outside main cities are indeed nice and quiet but jams in major cities like Paris Lyon Bordeaux and along the Riviera Corniche the roads are as jammed if not worse than anything in the UK.

      Do you think your beloved EU will ban you from travelling to Europe?
      Even I don’t think they will turn Europe into a closed border USSR style superstate.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      It sounds so good Andy I don’t know why you don’t stay.

    • Prigger
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Good that you holidaying in sunny France. It’s raining cats and dogs here in the UK and is so cold your eye-water freezes in their sockets. Holiday money wisely spent. Do you have a professional financial advisor?

    • Remoaner
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Please Mister, please bring us some food on your return. Most of us haven’t eaten since the Referendum

    • graham1946
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      France is also 3 times the size of the UK with a similar population.

      We’ve paid for a lot of the infrastructure in Spain and the east.

      When we stop paying the EU (a big ‘if’ I grant you with May and co determined to keep doling out our cash to them), maybe we can do a bit of work here. Every penny we give the EU is borrowed so your kids and theirs can pay it all back when we pensioners are gone. Something for you to look forward to.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Hop over the border to Switzerland. The roads are better, the trains are more reliable, the services are better, by and large the food is better, and the taxes are much lower. It runs a balanced budget and It is of course not in the EU.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        This will also give you a chance to note that passing out of the customs union and single market doesn’t require any sort of ‘hard’ border. Could be a useful day’s outing for you.

        • Andy
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          I am staying right by the Swiss border. I come here regularly and I can confirm some of the back roads have few or no border checks – although there is still physical infrastructure at all of the ones I’ve ever crossed.

          However if you go to the main border crossings and hope for friction free I’m afraid you’re in for a shock. There was a 2 mile queue going from France into Switzerland near Geneva on Sunday evening
          – though it was freer (though not free) flowing the other way.

          Switzerland, of course is – as you say – not in the EU or in the EEA. However, Switzerland is in Schengen, it accepts free movement, it contributes to the EU budget. Through a series of hundreds of deals it is basically in the single market. It follows the rulings of the EFTA court, which basically follows the ECJ. The Swiss ‘deal’ is worse than EU membership in every way – and the Swiss know it and many want to change it. So you got that one all wrong. Would you like another go?

          • Richard1
            Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            Sure. I suspect I’ve crossed that border at least as many times as you, probably more. As you say there are old unmanned border posts by the rural crossings – you don’t even have to slow down, still less stop. In probably 50+ crossings over the last 15 years I have never been delayed more than 5-10mins at the main Geneva crossing you refer to. So you obviously had an exceptional day. The Dartford crossing is almost always slower.

            On your other point you are quite wrong. Indeed the Swiss do have a degree of alignment and do pay a bit of money to EU funds. But they are much freer than we are (eg they have an independent trade policy) – and most polling in Switzerland shows c. 80-90% opposition to joining the EU. Why? Because they have a centuries old tradition of self governing democracy, and are very prosperous as a result. Norway, which has an inferior arrangement to Switzerland, also has a huge majority against EU membership. Why do you think that is? Have another go yourself if you like.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            Sounds like they need more staff.

          • rose
            Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

            Switzerland is not in the Customs Union. Their treacherous political class drew the line there. Nor is Norway.

          • Andy
            Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            Switzerland is in SCHENGEN. It accepts free movement. It pays into the EU budget. It effectively accepts ECJ rulings.

            Norway is in a similar position in many ways. Both have situations inferior to EU membership – and neither is remotely what the Leave liars claimed Brexit would mean. Yet this is what you seem to want.

            Perhaps you need to have a chat with some of your equally confused fellow Brexiteers – as none of you can make up your minds what you want.

            Embarrassing.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Let’s just look at a few details about EU/Swiss relationship:

        The relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby the Swiss Confederation has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union’s single market, without joining as a member state.

        The European Union is Switzerland’s largest trading partner, and Switzerland is the EU’s third largest trading partner. Switzerland accounts for 5.2% of the EU’s imports; mainly chemicals, medicinal products, machinery, instruments and time pieces. In terms of services, the EU’s exports to Switzerland amounted to €67.0 billion in 2008 while imports from Switzerland stood at €47.2 billion

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          What you should be pointing out is Switzerland has 5x the exports to the EU than the U.K. though it is outside both the single market and customs union. Yet there is no call at all in Switzerland to join the EU – in fact a huge majority against.

          • Richard1
            Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            5x per capita

      • acorn
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        It has more bilateral agreements with the EU that you can shake a stick at. They took 10 years to negotiate and they haven’t finished yet. And, their is free movement of persons between the EU and Switzerland, with some residency restrictions similar to those imposed by EU member States.

        The EU has said it will never entertain a similar agreement again.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Andy is in a country 3 times the physical size of the UK with a population that is the same size…..hmmm

      Oh by the way Andy did you pop into Sandgatte on your way over? See all the people queuing to leave France and come to the UK?

      Also are you claiming that you didnt have to show your passport when leaving and entering France?

      Your rant also has nothing dto do with being in or out of the EU . I like France , I own a business there and my eldest son lives there full time. The French railways are in meltdown, they are a total shambles.

      • Andy
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Your eldest son exercises his right to free movement? And you voted to take it away. Gosh – I can imagine what he thinks of you.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Both the EU and the UK have said they do not want to restrict the rights of citizens to work and live in either Europe or the UK.

        • NickC
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Andy, Gosh – you actually want to take away the right of citizens to decide who, and how many, come their country? And you really voted that way? Gosh.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian

        So it is a bit like the UK railways total meltdown thanking you for sharing that with us, much appreaciated

      • hefner
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        BTW Libby, have you seen the Eurotunnel parking in Folkestone full, on Monday 23 with shuttles every 30mn, of Brits going to continental Europe? And could it be that people queuing in the other direction, coming to Britain, wanted to benefit from a £ at €1.11 when it was at around €1.3-1.4 some 25 months ago? (We all know here this has nothing to do with the result of the referendum).
        And how much have your exports increased thanks to this fall in the value of the currency?

    • Travel Advisor
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Try not to break down on a Sunday. It takes a full minute longer to find anyone at all to come to your aid in France.
      Do go to Greece . Before returning home. The climate is wonderful. A breath of fresh air!!!!

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        You mean they allow workers to have a day off rather than man the supermarket tills here? Do you work on a Sunday?

        And is that the same Greece brexiteers claim to have been bankrupted by the EU?

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Enjoy your holiday Andy. I have just returned from Germany and the same conditions you describe apply there as well.

      Meanwhile we spend our time avoiding potholes and getting stuck in endless traffic jams. Our council have sold off any spare land to developers so parking has become a nightmare in our small town.

      Yet Brexiteers still maintain that we will thrive once we have exited.
      The mainly foreign owned media have cynically succeeded in leading people astray.
      How sad!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        By your logic Margaret we obviously havn’t done very well being a member of the EU with all our potholes…so not a really good reason to stay…

      • Edward2
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        The media are almost all in favour of remaining.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        @Margaret. I am still laughing over your entry. You go on about how bad England is but all these problems have become worse since we have been members of your beloved EU. Perhaps if we could spend some money at home rather than propping up other countries things might be better. Don’t moan about it all while funding other people roads etc. Are you remainers for real?

      • libertarian
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Margaret howard

        You live in a fantasy world

        “For all the old cliches about Teutonic efficiency, much of Germany’s transport infrastructure is in a terrible state of disrepair, and many major works have been badly botched. A chronic lack of investment is to blame”

        Full report here

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/11/why-german-trains-dont-run-on-time-any-more

        Dont even mention the new Berlin airport…. lol

      • getahead
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, I think you have just proved the point that the EU does nothing for Britain. Once we have left at least we can spend the money the EU steals from us on ourselves. On our roads even.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 26, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          “The ‘Sick man of Europe’ was on the verge of collapse before it joined the European community. Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. You obviously can’t remember the food, fuel and power shortages of the Heath government or the steadily growing balance of payments deficit. The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure.
          Comment Daily Mail 15/5/2016

          You must admit it has improved a bit since then.

          Reply The 3 day week and the IMF crisis happened after we joined the EEC!

    • NickC
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Andy, Thank you for telling me about all the wonderful things paid for directly or indirectly by my taxes which your friends siphon off to the EU: that includes subsidising the French state’s subsidies to its farmers to free up French money spent on infrastructure; and “EIB announces a loan of EUR 50 million to Eiffage for part financing construction of the Millau Viaduct …”; and “The EIB has vigorously stepped up its support for Trans-European Networks (TENS) … It is involved in all major infrastructure projects in Europe, including … PPPs …”. Gloating about what amounts to corruption and theft is part of the reason we voted to Leave.

      • Andy
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        The EIB also is involved in Crossrail and Manchester’ Metrolink. No doubt it would have been involved in HS2 – except. Oops.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Except we are net contributors so it is our own money coming back – minus a cut.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        NIckC,

        You really have no clue what you are talking about but it is all quite fun with all the surperlatives you use to desctribe the EU, please keep going

    • Ex-NHS medic
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Stay there please.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      “What we really need is for the wealthiest individuals and companies to pay their share.” – Andy

      Such as those people who can afford to boast about holidaying in France presumably!

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        No, not those who ‘boast about holidaying’ in France but those that can afford to buy multi million pound villas there. Or yachts.

        Bought with untaxed income?

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          @Margaret. Do you mean all those millionaires that provide thousands of jobs in the UK?

    • L Jones
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      If you’re on holiday, Andy, perhaps you should just put down your tablet, phone, or whatever, and simply enjoy being away from all you so obviously hate about your own country.
      Perhaps you could even be persuaded to stay there? At least then your disloyalty to your own country would not be quite so reprehensible.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      You fail to mention France’s larger geographical size, and it’s significantly smaller population. Britain by contrast, is creaking under the weight of immigration and the quality of life for its inhabitants is diminishing.

      As a footnote, it is interesting how many UK politicians have second homes in France and elsewhere, well away from the pressure cooker the UK has become. They do the damage, then walk away, whilst the rest of us have to put up with their incompetence.

    • Stred
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Brussels calling Brussels calling. More twaddle from the new Haw Haw.
      The Millau bridge is not s bye pass but the completing of the motorway across the Massif Central, and the engineer was French. Foster partnership won the design for styling it and worked with the original engineering. The French motorways are much better but still jammed at peak times. I drove to Bordeaux and had to use the old National and D roads. The much better motorways in much og the EU with little traffic atr paid for by the UK taxpayer among others. We get congestion with an extra 17m population and zilch from the EU.

      • Stred
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        And I was charged £20 for data connectivity last time and could not access the Internet. Use WiFi or be ripped off.

        • L Jones
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          I recognise your frustration, Stred. It is a positive pleasure to drive in France, and to arrive at one’s destination relaxed and happy.

          As you say – this is, by and large, courtesy of us, the UK, at the expense of our own tax-payers. The French are great folk, yes, and no wonder! They don’t generally have the frustrations involved of travelling from A to B!

    • Original Richard
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Andy,

      I completely agree with you.

      Everything is better in France (which makes me wonder why all those illegal immigrants around Calais keep trying to break into the UK though).

      After four decades of EU membership our governments of both main colours, together with our civil servants, have brought us to a position where we pay £20bn/year gross for membership (£15bn/year loss of control and £10bn/year net) and we have an £80bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

      No-one would vote for such a rotten trade deal today, let alone one which is coupled with the loss of our sovereignty and our fishing grounds and this is why a change is necessary.

  12. Nick
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Having seen last night’s Channel 5 documentary on Lawless Britain, I’m firmly of the view that the Police should be at the top of the list for any additional resources. The Conservatives could, potentially, lose the next election to a Marxist fighting on a law and order manifesto. And, Mr Redwood, investment should be paid for out of revenue – not borrowings. Take the money out of the tribute to Brussels and from DfID’s bloated budget.

    • NHSGP
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      They have resources. Thousands of police were on the streets a couple of weeks ago.

      Not a single one however would deal with organised crime within 20 meters of parliament.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The Tories have tossed away their USP for just about everything, law & order, defence, low taxation, the economy. If it were not for Corbyn and his useless crew, the Tories would not win a prize in a one ticket raffle. They need desperately to keep him there, so Mrs. May should be a bit nicer to him.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Nick

      The Police dont need resources they need effective leadership. They no longer investigate real crimes like burglary ( crime number claim off your insurance) . They are politically correct, virtue signally failures. Interested only in hurty words on social media. They are for the few not the many

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Nick,

      More than twenty-five years ago, I recognised that the so-called party of law and order were failing to give the people the protection against the criminal fraternity they demanded, so I began to lobby parliament to try to put that right. I met lots of MPs (the ones who were prepared to listen) and it soon became clear that parliament was out of step with those who elected them. In short, not only did MPs not have a clue what it was like outside the Westminster bubble, they were wholly indifferent to the nation’s plight.

      It was fairly easy to see which way the nation was headed if these things persisted, but I was said to be an alarmist. They couldn’t even recognise the political dividend a real clamp-down on criminals would bring, let alone the financial savings.

      There are some good people at Westminster, but I gave up with the rest long ago. They are so pathetic, it defies words. Perhaps we need to let the cancer that is crime, pervade all levels of society, including their own, before they take action. But I warn them, it will be a hell of a lot more expensive to eradicate it when that point is inevitably reached.

      We simply cannot let the lunatics or the indifferent who see being an MP as an easy route to money, run the asylum any longer.

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

  13. Oggy
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    JR – ‘motoring contributes far more in taxes than is spent on road provision’

    Spoken as a true politician, the motorist regarded as just another cash cow.
    More roads = more cars= more pollution ( and more revenue)

    More housing needed to cope with mass immigration.

    Whatever happened to England’s green and pleasant land ?

    • Adam
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Population growth concreted England’s green & pleasant land into a corner.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Oggy

      England s Green and Pleasant land is still green and pleasant less than 10% of England is built on.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      It’s getting concreted over Oggy, just ask the joint leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas!

      She and her party seem to be of the view that the immigration and the free movement of people she is so desperate to encourage, has no down-side and extra numbers will not cause more land to be lost to roads and housing. Thus it will have no effect upon, or adverse effects to Britain’s environment.

      And no doubt she has names for all the fairies who live at the bottom of her garden.

      Tad

  14. Christine
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Impose an English road tax on foreign vehicles like they do in Switzerland. The Irish Brexit debate has highlighted how their trucks use English roads to transfer the majority of their exports to mainland Europe. If we can’t continue to fly over their country then why should they use our roads for free? Our Government really needs to start fighting back against these nasty, aggressive foreign countries who have demonstrated again and again their dislike for our country.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Well said Christine! It seems that they only ‘like’ us when we are prepared to act as doormat for the EU.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      ‘again and again their dislike for our country’

      – Most foreigners I know love the English (I have worked in Spain and the USA and lived and travelled elsewhere). Only a small minority don’t, but then you get the same difficult people in all countries.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      They also come in with full tanks of fuel, spending nothing here. We should levy a tax for each foreign vehicle equivalent to a full tank.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      So, that’s just non EU Switzerland. Meaning that all the other EU countries allow our lorries to travel free?

      • David Ashton
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Margaret, Germany applies tolls to all foreign trucks, charging by the mile. I believe the rate of charge is also based on emissions and number of axels.

    • NickC
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Christine, Absolutely right, foreign trucks (and that includes trucks to/from Eire) must pay their full share of government taxation for roads.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Christine! It seems madness that all and sundry from everywhere can bring their huge vehicles onto roads paid for with OUR taxes and not have to stump up a penny.
      I don’t know what we can do about their terrible driving though – except perhaps charge them more if theirs is a left-hand drive vehicle!

    • Michael
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      No Christine..you Brits are your own worst enemy..thing is you have not thought this brexit thing through carefully as you should. You say that Irish trucks should be charged additional taxes for travelling through English roads..so then will this mean that English trucks travelling on french belgian and dutch roads to germany and further afield..will they be also charged the same additional rates..will british trucks travelling through ireland also be charged extra? You talk about nasty agressive foreign countries..goodness me what do you think this is the time of the napoleonic wars?

      • NickC
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Michael, Up until 2014 foreign trucks (inc from Eire) operated in the UK for free. We were taken for mugs. As usual. EU states have for years charged levies and tolls on British trucks, so the UK government introduced a HGV Road User Levy, to even the playing field. It will be important when (if!) we leave that the government ups the levy to ensure foreign trucks pay their full whack.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Michael

        Er are you sure? From UK govt website

        “UK truck drivers working in Europe currently pay tolls and levies when delivering goods abroad. But foreign trucks operating in the UK have not been required to make a similar payment.”

        You’re not really up to speed are you Michael

        • Michael
          Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          It’s hard to be up to speed here in this small island place I live in the west of ireland where i get mondays newspaper on wednesday..so lighten up..make allowances😂

      • Stred
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        British trucks pay very high tolls on the continent.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        That’s ”aggressive” then?
        Let me speak for ”us Brits”…..

        Perhaps you should move yourself into the 21st century, Michael. You must be aware (or perhaps not, being a Flat Earthling) that there is a lot more room in ‘Yoorop’ (and Ireland too) and therefore these trucks can travel easily from A to B ‘over there’ without making too much difference to the transport system.
        We (ie in your reviled UK), on the other hand, have a small country (like Switzerland) and we should protect our resources including our roads, if you will, by extra charges if necessary.

        But yes – we have thought through ”this Brexit thing”. Obviously more than you Remainders have (as you are obviously an out-of-town Remainder). We have not been terrified by Project Fear, that daft stuff, neither have we been bamboozled by T May’s ridiculous rhetoric.

        Maybe you should read a little improving literature. Don’t be too selective – you may learn a lot. Just because you are uneducated thus far doesn’t mean you can’t begin to put that right.

  15. DUNCAN
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Oh John, what has happened to you?

    A big state agenda, liberal left and oh so far away from your constituents stance on most things

    It’s so very sad to see the Tory party capitulate to this unmentionable PM and her anti-Tory agenda

    Heart-breaking to see the Tory party in its final death throes

  16. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    ‘help to create a casino-style economy and how much of their wealth is legitimate’

    – Instead, we should focus on trying to re-balance our economy more, focusing more on high tech and digital industries (just as they do in USA and Germany).

    With high tech / digital, you get:

    – high quality exports
    – high productivity (it’s been proven that people work harder when they feel they are involved in making something as opposed to just watching numbers flicker up and down a computer screen).
    – balance our economy so we’re not so dependent on boom-bust financial sector (important as that is).
    – make use of our great places of high tech / digital research and development: for example: Oxford and Cambridge Universities
    – you can base more high quality services around your high tech / digital hardware (IBM is a perfect example of this).
    – high tech / digital goes very well with our creative / entertainment industries

  17. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Lastly, I think too much attention is being spent on how to ‘save money’ – important as that is of course. I think the real question is how do we creatively plan for transport to help grow our economy.

    In other words, it’s too much what accountants think (important as that is), instead of taking a more entrepreneurial / creative / holistic approach about how transport can grow our economy.

    Important but subtle difference or emphasis.

  18. NHSGP
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Can you post some accounts for government investing?

    e.g. Trillions invested by people for their old age with the state. Assets zero, debts 8.6 trillion.

    Would you invest your personal money with an investment manager with that record?

    Why do you insist others do, and if they don’t pay in you will use violence to get the money?

    The state has a dire record of investment.

    So far its borrow, spend, and tax as the only investment plan that MPs can think up

  19. Squint
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Hunt speaking on the road to the EU High Command in Germany said we faced escaping from the EU dictatorship by accident.
    There were tears in his eyes. I had tears in my eyes when I once bought wrong-sized underclothes too by accident.

  20. Tom Rogers
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Again, I disagree with Mr Redwood. This whole car obsession is one of the most damaging things that the Conservatives brought on this country. Labour, to their credit, in particular John Prescott, tried to undo some of it when in office, but came under pressure from the Tory press with their moronic screams of ‘More roads! More roads! More cars!’ It’s a salutatory point: the political Right can be as damaging to our lives as the Left.

    The worst thing we can do is undertake comprehensive road-building. Building roads encourages more cars. It just feeds the Monster and is part of this stupid assumption that we should be aiming for relentless economic growth, with more people, more roads, more cars, more houses, more retail parks. Why? This country could manage perfectly fine with half as many people – and most of us would be a lot happier.

    Quite apart from that, the south-east already has a more-than-adequate road network, as well as some of the best public transport on the planet. Elsewhere, the problem is more to do with repairing existing roads and improving public transport. I would suggest a moratorium on road-building , with any money available for roads to be used for repairs only. Furthermore, I would like to see an announcement that only roads that can be kept up-to-date with repairs are allowed to remain open. Close the rest and turn them into re-wilded green spaces as part of a national network of woods and forests, which we need to revive. In fact, I would support a revolutionary Beeching-style cut back of roads as part of a national re-orientation away from private car ownership.

    I would argue that, in view of digital technology, mass car ownership is becoming out-of-date and the policy assumptions that rest on it are fallacious. Why do I need to travel 20 miles to a hot, stuffy office with mostly unpleasant, obnoxious people when I can work from home? People with skills and qualifications want to work for themselves, don’t they? Or at least work under their own steam and be their own master. Do you know anybody different? People who work in industry normally live quite near their place of employment.

    The corollary is that a great deal can be done to improve public transport, especially in the north of England. We must remember that public transport is integrated with walking/cycling, so when the government encourages people to walk and use bicycles over longer distances, people need to have confidence that they can take the bus or train too.

    Walking is very important. I would hazard that most car journeys are unnecessary and could be replaced simply by walking or cycling. For instance, if I’m going to the supermarket, I can use my bike or I can walk. Why not have your own trolley for the purpose? Why is a car necessary? Of course, if you’re disabled or elderly, that may be a different matter, but for most of us, cars are simply unnecessary.

    The Netherlands has cycle lanes everywhere. Why don’t we? One objection I have heard is that older people won’t use them, but would these older people be physically fitter now had they been encouraged to cycle around in the past?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Like a lot of green minded people Tom, you want to impose your strange views on us.
      Fortunately we all have a vote and the vast majority in this country don’t agree with you.
      PS I note you only want to ban cars.
      Lorries and vans that deliver most of the goods to the shops you walk or cycle to I presume are still OK?
      Will taxis be allowed in your fantasy world?
      Then you mix in your policy to allow roads to go to ruin.

      Your views are dangerous.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2

        Where did I say that I want to ban cars? Did you actually read my post, or did you skim through it and pick up the gist of it and conclude (wrongly) that I am some sort of eco-fanatic?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          I read it and that is the conclusion I came to.
          You said you wanted to replace car journeys with walking and cycling.
          You said you wanted to stop all new roads and the repair of existing roads.
          Eco fanatic?
          Yes that’s what I think you are.

          • Tom Rogers
            Posted July 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2

            That comment is a bit closer to what I actually said (perhaps you took the trouble to actually read my comment this time), but you’re still not quite there. I am not interested in bossing anybody around. It is simply the case that policies will encourage people in one direction or the other; Mr Redwood does concede the need for a transport policy, but nobody is telling anybody what they should or shouldn’t do in the sense you seem to think of it.

            I do resent having labels attached to me, especially when they are inaccurate. It’s dishonest and rude and you wouldn’t like it if I did that in return. Being concerned about the environmental ramifications of cars, and wishing to take steps to dissuade their use, does not make me an ecofanatic.

            I hope this further rebuttal of mine is published, failing which I shall complain.

            Thank you.

  21. Remington Norman
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The government is spending upwards of £40 billion on HS2 and giving £39 billion to the EU for nothing in return. Yet, our prisons are in crisis, our road network over-crowded, defence cut to the core, passengers forced to queue for hours at airport border controls, internet speeds abysmal even in prosperous areas, roads full of potholes, crime increasing and detection rates falling and libraries closing – should I go on?

    If government wishes to restore some credibility, it should start by fixing some of these quotidien problems, instead of wasting billions on the EU and vanity projects.

  22. Tax-payer
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The house had a debate on Syria today and over a billion pounds aid by the UK taxpayer ongoing.
    In retrospect William Haigh when he had a job, and when the trouble in the UN recognised sovereign country of Syria amounted to no more than three hundred demonstrators in two cities in Syria with five people being clobbered to death by over enthusiastic civilian policemen, that his decision to provide arms to a guerrilla outfit wishing to overthrow the regime could have also included supplies of a billion pounds worth of tents, medical supplies, food and first class tickets out of the country.

  23. Party Goer
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    BBC Parliament 24th July 2018 Mr Raab answering questions in the House on Brexit.
    The questions from Remoaners startlingly amounted to in essence whether we should leave the EU.

    Not once did he reply to all questions, irrespective of raised possible problems, “Because the British people voted to Leave full stop. There was nothing on the ballot paper stating “Plus a deal”. ”

    If he had said it to them and had a recurring answer to their questions recorded on a device then he could have gone home, had a cup of tea and sunbathed for the time from now until 29th March 2019 which is Party-time with drinks, cocktail sausages and forced eating of our mothers-in-law gorgeous brick-hard scones

  24. Annette
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to be off-topic, John, but it’s just betrayal after betrayal.
    Your Government has absolutely NO intention of implementing the referendum result, let alone respect it as the statement regarding the ‘remain’ White Paper is keeping ‘elements’ of the ECA Act after we have *cough* ‘left’.
    When are those of you who support leaving the EU going to stand up for the 17.4m people & just as importantly, democracy? Or are you all going to go down with the stinking ship that is laughingly called the Conservative party?

    • Chris
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      …and now the sidelining of Dominic Raab. What an extraordinarily foolish move by May. Who on earth is pulling her strings? If Raab has any dignity and pride he would stop pretending that he has any significant role, admit that he has been duped, and resign straight away. In that way he might redeem himself, but he will have to work hard at that after his defence today of the White Paper, with all the spin that it represents Brexit. It does nothing of the sort.

      I hope that Tory Brexiter MPs will now act. Surely it is crystal clear to them that May is not going to deliver Brexit, but keep us attached to the EU as a vassal state. History will not judge you kindly and the electorate will deliver their/its verdict in no uncertain terms.

  25. Alison
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    off topic, apologies. I see Mrs May has just issued a statement saying that she will be taking control of the negotiations with the EU. I have been having nightmares about this for weeks. I watched her performance at the Liaison Committee last week – woeful, incorrect answers (confusing € with £), answers not at her fingertips, and she was rattled most of the time.

    To have this person in charge of negotiations, in particular as the days and hours approach the deadline, is simply UNTHINKABLE. She is not capable of representing our country in these negotiations, let alone with strength or determination. On top of that, she wants to remain in the EU.

    The Conservative Party must urgently, urgently replace Mrs. May. Many of those (us) commenting on our host’s wonderful blog have been pleading for this for a long time. Apart from Dominic Grieve, Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, anybody else would be better.

    (Our host would be best)

    • Chris
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      She of course would not actually be in charge but the Remainer mandarins, headed by Robbins, I suspect. How triumphant he looks and what a coup he has apparently pulled off. Tory MPs have to act against what I see as treachery to the electorate, and actually treachery against Brexiter MPs in and outside Cabinet. I ask again: Why are you letting her do this? You seem to have been bullied by Remainers and mandarins, but bear in mind bullies are usually cowards and if you stand up to them, as President Trump does, the tables will be turned and there will be hope for Brexit.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the “Remainer mandarins headed by Robbins” in charge but Mr. Barnier himself.

    • NickC
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Alison, Certainly Theresa may is not as competent as David Davis in committee or the House. On top of that she is Remain through and through.

    • agricola
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      This is what politicians do, the May no doubt with the Robbins at her side to undermine Dominic Raab. Frankly they mostly disgust me. It is now down to the good elements to prepare the ground for her destruction at the party conference unless it is to be another choreographed event where no one gets to speak the truth. I predict that getting Brexit wrong will be the end of the conservative party. We have had enough of political duplicity.

  26. rose
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I saw the infamous Mr Robbins was to be interviewed by the Brexit Select Committee today at 2pm. I duly tuned in to the Parliament channel but it wasn’t there, and it wasn’t on the internet either. Are you able to give us a transcript ?

    • graham1946
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Jacob Rees-Mogg congratulated him on getting Raab’s powers into his department and asked where he got his powers from. Robbins said from the PM and the S.o.S. Mogg also asked when the Chequers fudge was written and he said ‘2 weeks before’. If so why were the Cabinet not given the text, other than of course May wanted to bounce them into it? It gets stinkier every day. Robbins was basically tied up in knots, but the meaning was clear – he and the PM did it all and told the Cabinet and particularly David Davis afterwards. Some Cabinet government!

    • Chris
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Some videoclips on Peter Bone’s twitter, plus more on Guido, rose.

      • rose
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Chris. If this were the equivalent in America, we would have been shown it by the broadcasters.

        I eventually saw it all on an obscure web site which I tried to post here. the sinister ventriloquist was far worse than I had imagined. “What the Prime Minister meant to say, and has meant all along…” etc

        Peter Bone did very well indeed, as did Craig MacKinlay, Sammy Wilson, Richard Graham, and Jacob Reees Mogg. Benn came across as fatuous and out of his depth. He should never have been chairman. I thought Dominic Raab did well in the odious circumstances and somehow managed to turn them to his advantage. Interesting that the ventriloquist never took his eyes of Raab whenever he, the ventriloquist, was answering. It made him look all the more shifty when he was failing to answer directly. Actually, I don’t think he answered directly once. The contrast between the two of them was extraordinary.

        • rose
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          PS I have left out John Whittingdale who also did very well.

  27. Raymond Greenwood
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    From planning to construction typically takes 7-15 years so cresting extra highway capacity requires time and the support of successive governments.
    Traffic growth in recent recent years continues to be caused by population growth., which is itself caused by large scale immigration. A move towards a more sustainable demographic would help reduce the increasing pressure on the road and other infrastructure.
    Specifically on optimising highway use I favour (in principal) road pricing.

  28. margaret
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Over the last few days all I can see is spend money we haven’t got.Without the EU responsibilities we do not have more money . We owe less.

  29. Dennis
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Over the years that this blog has been going comments often ask pertinent questions which demand only a yes or no answer but JR, by mostly not answering, seems to imply that he doesn’t know the answer which is rather worrying or the answer will gainsay what he professes.

    Which is it?

  30. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just heard on the six oclock news that Cuadrilla is to be given permission to frack. Hurray for common sense. Let’s hope is successful and provides for many full time well paid jobs and boosts our economy. Bring it on!

  31. Mark
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    The news that May and Robbins have now completely hijacked the “negotiations” with the EU is a Remain coup that must not be allowed to stand. It is time to depose May. Please play your part in doing so.

  32. DaveM
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    OT – May. Raab. Robbins. Etc. Are you actually going to allow this destruction of your party, my country and democracy to happen on your watch? I hope you and your fellow backbenchers can sleep at night.

  33. DUNCAN
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    The lies and treachery of May and Robbins will surely now mean we will have a Marxist Labour government following the next GE.

    The British people will NOT be treated with contempt by this despicable leader that you elected John.

    The Tories will be severely punished for May’s abuse of the trust we afforded her and indeed my party and you and your leader have let us down in a manner that will take years to repair

    May is a stain on the reputation of my party, my country and British democracy

    More spending on transport? Your actions will surely mean national bankruptcy if Labour achieve power though I suspect that’s probably the Tory plan

    I suppose anything to stop Boris from becoming leader

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    You have quite a list of things that you want to spend more money on: Health, education, defence and transport. And you will fund these things – how? Taxation? Deficit financing? Both of these over my dead body. Let’s look at all of these in brief, to identify alternatives.

    To give better service in health requires between 10% and 20% more capacity overall, but the waiting lists won’t disappear unless demand management is introduced, which means charges. The days have gone when ‘the poor’ can bugger up an entire market. The urgent thing is get expenditure on geriatric medicine under control, spending by both the medical and pharmaceutical professions. At the moment old lives are being artificially extended far beyond their natural term. Young adults need to receive their inheritance during their fertile years, not when they are middle aged.

    Defence expenditure should be targeted at (1) the defence of these islands and (2) NATO, if it continues. Gradually, Russia will become less of a threat and the nascent European Federal Superstate will become more of a threat. And we have no need to fight wars on Moslem soil – just keep the Moslems out of the UK.

    I see that Chris Grayling is thinking in terms of reintegrating track and trains. Good, let’s have private sector corridor or area companies that are allowed to offer whatever services they wish to offer, with no support from taxpayers, and competition coming from other transport modes. These companies must finance their own capital expenditure. If we must subsidise public transport, subsidise a limited number of selected bus services.

    Education – do we need better building, better technology or better teachers? Discuss.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Change of subject – how do Brexiteers ensure that Mrs May’s wretched White Paper never forms the basis for an agreement with the EU, still less if it’s diluted? We need to do our best in this parliament to prevent it, but we may need to see to it that politicians elected at the next General Election are in tune with the 52% who voted Leave.

    Step 1 is to produce a Brexiteers’ manifesto based on a No Deal Brexit and selected other policies. It should urgently be drafted by Brexiteers – Conservatives, DUP, Kate Hoey and Co and UKIP. Then see who would be willing to fight under a Brexiteer banner.

    • Argonaut
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Maybe MPs might organise in Parliament. It’s up to them. Mrs May can hardly believe even a titchy-witchy failure will win her an election since she only just scraped through the last time without making cross (X) the people who voted Leave. But she leads with her heart obviously, so she will be chucked out of power. It seems inevitable.

  36. Ron Olden
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Is there anything that John Redwood and other politicians don’t want the state to spend more money on?

    How are we supposed to pay for this. Print near infinite sums of money endlessly?

    A sum equivalent to the entire Maximum prospective net Brexit Dividend and the entire Overseas Aid Budget, has already, in the past few weeks, been committed to the NHS, and on pay rises in the Public Sector.

    The way things are going we’re going rival North Korea as the most Statist Socialist country in the world.

    We already have the highest tax burden since 1969, and are still borrowing large sums of money on top.

  37. Jack snell
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Sea transport, merchant ships, that is what we should be concerned with. It has been said by others but unless we have british flag, british owned ships trading with new partners overseas then we will not be truely independentmof of the Eu

    Back in the 1960’s there were hundreds of uk owned ships on the seas operating as a virtual conveyor belt to new zealand, australia, south africa and all places east of Suez and west of Panama.so if we are really going to go a different way and to trade with these countries again we are going to have to get real and start to invest in this shipping import export business..if we don’t then I know that all of this brexit stuff is all talj and just pie in the sky and is only an effort to get a better trade deal with EU. So which is it? Are we going for real change and a break with the EU or are we just pretending to the them and ourselves in order to get their attention for negotiation reasons because i can tell you with them bluff is not going to work and if that is what we are at we are only fooling ourselve and wasting time. Anybody want to challenge this?

  38. Thames Trader
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I respectfully suggest to JR that a re-think is needed about commenting on his articles. Few of the comments here are about todays article – roads. Most of them are just using the site as a soapbox and are a distraction with no value if the aim really is to debate a particular topic. Comments should be restricted to the topic of the day.

  39. Ken Moore
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    A successful growing economy since 2010 needs more road and rail capacity than we enjoy.

    Only a fantasist could describe the spending of borrowed money as ‘a successful growing economy’ using debt to disguise the lack of useful economic activity.
    JR’s views are those through the foggy lens of a man that takes the party whip so take what he says with a large bag of Saxa.

  • 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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