Jeremy Hunt damages the UK’s negotiating position

I thought Jeremy Hunt was a good Health Secretary. He was very positive about the NHS, but insistent on improved transparency and higher standards. He did much to encourage good outcomes by his approach to reporting “never” events and revealing what had been going wrong in some hospitals in earlier years. He did not make mistakes with what he said.

It was therefore a double disappointment to hear some of Mr Hunt’s recent comments as Foreign Secretary. They seemed designed to undermine the UK’s negotiations, which require us to prepare thoroughly to leave without a deal if necessary and to show the UK will do just fine with No Deal. Instead Mr Hunt said that leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement and Future Partnership Agreement “would be a mistake.. and would inevitably change British attitudes towards Europe”. Some of his language was open to interpretation that he thought there were worrying downsides to just leaving.

Let me have another go at explaining the background to Mr Hunt. The UK has had a very troubled relationship with the EU throughout its membership. Pro EU Prime Ministers have ended up in strong dispute with the body. Margaret Thatcher rightly thought we got a rotten deal on financial contributions, and successfully cut them after a bruising set of encounters. She subsequently realised our membership was a bad idea for the UK and came round the view we should leave. John Major had a particularly punishing  exchange with them over the way they damaged our beef industry, which he lost. He also had a running argument with them over the Euro and possible UK membership and only made Maastricht possible by getting us an opt out from its main point, the single currency. Tony Blair sought to reform the Common Agricultural Policy. He made major concessions on our financial contributions, only to be double crossed by the EU who failed to deliver the promised agricultural reform. Gordon Brown reluctantly signed the Lisbon Treaty but denied the press access to the signing ceremony  as we were told in Parliament nothing significant had  happened! It is difficult from this history to share Mr Hunt’s strange belief that we have great relations with the EU that will be irretrievably damaged by a no Deal Brexit.

The UK has a long history of refusing to join major parts of the EU scheme. Originally opted out of the social chapter by a Conservative government, Labour joined that but rightly kept us opted out of the Euro and Schengen, the common borders policy. This reluctant European approach has always caused friction with the EU and has led to policy and legal devices to drag us more under its control despite our refusal to join up to the more obviously centralising policies.

Mr Hunt also seems unaware of the large economic upside we will enjoy if we just leave in March 2019 without the impediment of a Withdrawal Agreement delaying us. The UK economy can receive a major boost from spending the £39bn we would otherwise send to the EU on our public spending priorities and tax cuts here in the UK. We will also be able to draw up a tariff schedule more suited to UK needs and strengths, and sign trade agreements with many countries around the world. If we insist on just leaving, the EU is very likely to seek tariff free trade with us. It is only because they think the UK will give more ground in this negotiation that they are hanging tough on the trade issue.

Many pro Brexit MPs agree that leaving and trading under WTO arrangements is a good option with plenty of economic upside for the UK. The government still believes there is a better deal available than this. If they want to get such a deal they need to show the EU we are serious about leaving without one, and explain the many benefits of so doing in public. Pro Brexit MPs are not going to vote through the legislaiton necessary to slow down our exit and pay the EU more money for no good reason.

Future relations with the EU will  not be mainly determined by how we leave. They will in the future, as in the past, be determined by the interests of the EU and whether they coincide with the interests of the UK. The interests of the two have rarely coincided all the time we have been in the EU, as the UK has persistently refused to accept the clear direction of travel towards full economic, monetary and political union. Removing this major cause of friction should improve relations once we are out. The longer we stay half in and negotiating, the worse relations will get.



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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Why is it that the man in the street can see this but our ministers can’t? Could it be a case of vested interest for many of them? Many people who wish to remain go on about reforming the EU but its obvious to the biggest idiot the EU isn’t interested in reform. Everyone has to conform to their ways or be
    punished. There are so many countries a round the world who manage their own affairs perfectly well so why can’t we be one of them? Why do people feel we need Germany of all countries telling us what to do? We existed perfectly well before the EU and we will again. As you rightly point out the French, Dutch, Spanish, Italians etc won’t be able to afford to stop trade with us. Why would they want to? Many would go bust overnight. Please let’s just get this over with and show the world we are big enough and successful enough to run with the big boys and leave the dictatorial EU behind. Let’s show the other members it can be done successfully and enable others to take those steps to freedom. This country fought too damn hard for its freedom. Now let’s get it back.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Dear fedup–So-called “Representative Democracy” has failed. There was once no alternative, but it beats me why we carry on with it. What on earth makes MP’s know what they are doing or have good judgement just because they have been elected? They get elected for kissing babies or for having nice legs and other inconsequentials. Personally I have trouble paying much attention to what they say. Hunt’s recent effort was just criminal. We should move towards the Swiss way of doing things–more referenda.

    • Andy
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Actually I would expect the volume of trade with the EU to fall because if we remove tariffs on food, for example, much EU produce will rapidly be replaced by none EU sourced produce. The problem is that fool Mrs May, who is a dishonest and dishonourable woman, has messed up the negotiation completely. The only way out is to leave with no agreement whatsoever.

      Mrs May HAS TO GO AND GO NOW.

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Andy, I have noticed when food shopping that there is much more world food than there used to be. Presumably that is the supermarkets trialing their RoW food supply chains. It is now quite straightforward to avoid buying EU food, and I do. Talking to other Leave voters they’re also refusing to buy EU produce and products too. We can vote with our wallets.

      • L Jones
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy! I knew we’d agree eventually! As Tad says, spot on!

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          I believe that there is more than one Andy. Unless it is just one with schizophrenia 🙁

          • Edward2
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            They need to describe themselves as remainer Andy and leaver Andy so we can quickly tell them apart

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, spot on for once.

      • Bob
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink


        “Mrs May HAS TO GO AND GO NOW.”

        The Tories will keep Mrs May in place until she has done the dirty deed and she becomes an electoral liability, then they will put up a new leader who will promise to undo what she has done (which of course will not be possible).

        Having taken one for the team, Mrs May will subsequently find herself in great demand on the lucrative after dinner speaking circuit with some non-executive directorships thrown in for good measure.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Spot on!


    • Newmania
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      The Leave side based their offer on the prediction that the rules based EU would implode and that the UK would deal directly with National power brokers ,simultaneously benefitting from the EU despite its collapse. File under typical.
      Wrong again . The EU is proceeding by its legal structures, rigid as they are. Any mixed agreement would have to be agreed by the Parliament and National capitals ,with even sub state entities a potential spanner.
      Having returned from two weeks camping (and packing folding chairs into a top box ), it is apparent to me that the rigidity of structures is an underappreciated factor in our public and private lives. No country wished to go to war far less cause the global Armageddon of the First World War, and yet it happened. Few in the country wish to be poor ,weak and failed and yet we are doing this to ourselves.

      I have personally reached a point where laughter or insanity are the options , or to put it another way. Rees Mogg or Corbyn

      • Edward2
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Who “based their offer on the EU imploding” ?
        You start off with an incorrect statement then build your post (more of a rant) around it.

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          I fully expected the EU negotiators to concede nothing to us (as they have) to discourage other members to follow our lead. Therefore, a complete split, that many now wish for, would be inevitable. If the second referendum brigade wish to have one on a proposed trade deal with the EU, then they will be disappointed. The EU will not discuss trade with us until we have exited.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            The EU negotiators have no discretion to concede anything. Whether or not to discourage other members is irrelevant. Their mandate is ver simple and very rigid. Agee with the UK a withdrawal deal (done but there seems to be amnesia in the UK about that) in principle, possibly with some minor points yet to de decided. Second, explosre the contours of a deal for the future relationship provided those deals do not break the boundaries of the EU’s (or rather those whonegotiate on behalf of the EU and its members) powers to negotiate. These coundaries were set by
            the Council (ie the member states collectively) and can only be changed by unanimous decision, which is unlkley to happen.

            The UK negotiators know this very well but rather than to return home with the message: “it will be a Canada or Norway or failing that, no deal” they pretended that there is indeed scope for a different negotiated result. Any one familiar with the EU knows that it would be impossible within such a short timeframe. For reasons only related to UK internal politics this message has never reached the public in a convincing way. Obviously people who voted Leave for other than simply nationalistic reasons find this difficult to digest (the hard core leavers do not mind). Those who voted remain may have overestimated the rationality of their compatriots. Neither side would have been pleased to hear that there was no room for negotiations. So what happens: the government of the day (after squandering a majority by an unnecessary election) is maybe playing for time (pointless, no one wants the UK to participate in EU elections and have mr Farage back on the payroll) or maybe manoevring (that would overestimate the guts ability) towards a “no exit” deal for an indefinite period.

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Newmania, Like Remain-Andy you tell us what we believe instead of asking us what we believe. That’s how you get it wrong so often. VoteLeave based their offer on taking back control of our laws, courts, borders, fish, money and future. Being an independent nation again is not insanity, it’s the sanest thing a nation can possibly do, for without it our nation ceases to exist.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t just in Britain where disatisfaction with the EU is now mainstream.

        Perhaps if those rules hadn’t been so rigid…

      • libertarian
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Newmania, Tablazero, Andy etc

        Deltapoll Sunday

        1.9 million leave voters have changed their minds and want to Remain

        2.4 million Remain voters have changed their mind and want to leave

        That means slightly more people want to Leave than voted to Leave in the referendum.

        Hint I dont think your ranting, obnoxious, whiny posts are winning people over.

    • Anthony Harrison
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      People have been going on about “reforming the EU from within” for decades, often as an argument for our remaining. It’s never happened. It’s a politically driven grand project, the instigators and fans of which are not remotely interested in reform.

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Anthony Harrison, You are right. Not “reform” as we would understand it in the UK. What Remains dare not admit is that the EU definition of “reform” is “more Europe”. Our definition is a common market, with no centralisation and without any of the paraphernalia of a state.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      The man in the street could also see that the Millenium Dome, HS2, the ERM, 90% of red tape, imported biofuels, the M4 bus lane, climate alarmism, a no deterrent criminal justice system, taxes at their current absurd levels and all sorts of other things were/are totally bonkers.

      The public judges things from the viewpoint of the public interest, rather than the interest of politicians and bureaucrats.

    • Andy
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Germany does not tell us what to do. Nobody wants to stop trading. Our country is still ours – despite the attempts of Brexiteers to denigrate it.

      It really is not the fault of anyone who voted Remain that Brexit backers do not understand what the EU is and what it does.

      Your collective decision to reject facts, to refuse to listen and to dismiss expertise has created this monumental – but entirely predictable – mess.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Leaving is easy.
        It is trying to stay in that is causing the mess.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, trying to stay in while pretending not to.

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Andy, But the EU does tell us what to do – see Declaration 17 – and every Regulation, Directive, Decision and Declaration – in all their minute and tedious detail. Our top tier of government is in Brussels. Our country is not ours – the EU has stolen it from us, little by little.

        Remain’s collective decision to reject facts, to refuse to listen and to dismiss expertise has created this monumental – but entirely predictable – mess, as your PM Theresa May implements the revolving-door Remain you want. We could be a free independent nation in the world. But you are too frightened.

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          It wasn’t so much stolen as handed to them.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        No, it’s putting wet europhile politicians of your ilk in charge of negotiations that has created this monumental mess.

        A mess out of which, as usual, the British people will emerge intact. And thrive.

        Your faux-outrage would make a cat laugh.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        You put a fundamentalist vegan in charge of the barbecue and then blame us for everyone coming down with food poisoning.

        If you knew you were going to kick and scream against Brexit then you shouldn’t have given us the vote in the first place.

      • getahead
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        “Your collective decision to reject facts, to refuse to listen and to dismiss expertise has created this monumental – but entirely predictable – mess.”

        No Andy, Mrs May has done that.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        The great thing about Andy & the ultra Remainers is not only do they know what they were voting for, they know what Brexiteers weren’t voting for, what nobody voted for, & that we all didn’t know what we were voting for. Pretty insightful for people who think the UK is about to run out of cheese.

        • Andy
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think we will run out of cheese. Some cheeses will probably become more expensive – but I can afford it. Many people who voted for Brexit can’t.

          And I know what most of you were voting for. Well, actually, I know what most of you were voting against. Foreigners.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink


            As always WRONG on all counts

            This is your problem. You think you KNOW , but you’re wrong so you keep fighting the wrong argument. Its why you keep losing.

            Oh and no good flashing your wad at me kid, I’ve got far more than you’ll ever have.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink


        You know nothing about Germany. The German people are sick and tired of:

        a. Merkel insanity – (also, she does want to tell us what to do!)
        b. Nefarious self-serving politics keeping Merkel in power
        c. Migrant insanity
        d. EU insanity

        None of which is covered in the German press or indeed in the UK. Your precious little EU is slowly falling apart!

        Stick to what you know best…..erm?

        • hefner
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha ha, it would be amusing if not so deluded: indeed a number of German people are not that happy with Mrs Merkel, but still the last elections put her party ahead. Indeed the discussions to get a coalition Government were confused, complicated and long but nothing really out of the ordinary for the last 30-40 years, and the people involved finally agreed on a programme, with less support than in previous versions of Mrs Merkel’s governments, I give you that.
          As for your ranting, only an insane/uninformed person could say that no mention of the problems appear in the German press (by the way, much more diverse than the British one regarding its main titles).
          As for the bees in your bonnet, the Spring-summer 2015 huge immigration (around a million people) was very tough to absorb, but looking at the German population at work, it has increased by roughly 700,000 between 2014-15 and 2016-17, a much better rate than the UK one given that the migration in the UK had been three to four times smaller.
          And you know what, the Germans appear to have been rather good at keeping /attracting/ retaining the most qualified /educated among the Middle East migrants.
          So, sticking to what you know?

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    A truly valuable post, thank you.

    I do hope you will be a leading figure in the ‘Alternative to Chequers’ plan and that it will be adopted at the CPC. That would then put the UK in the best position to either negotiate a sensible FTA or simply leave if the EU continue their current policy.

    • Hope
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      It needs to go back to the position that we leave on WTO terms unless something better is offered. At the moment the Withdrawal Agreement offers the U.K. nothing only subjugation on worse terms than present!, the Chequers plan wants the UK to be a colony or vassal state to the EU that pays billions, gives away our territorial waters and fishing stocks and is no more competitive than the EU and has no voice or veto placing inventors and entrepreneurs at a severe disadvantage to all 27 EU countries! Therefore any trade deal with the world being on EU terms not our own!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        This was part of a comment I made on the eve of the referendum:

        “I’m not too worried about the economics because I know something most people don’t know, that according to the EU Commission itself the treasured Single Market has only added about 2% to GDP across the EU, probably less than that for us, and going back to 1956 before we joined the Common Market the UK economy has grown naturally by an average of 2.5% a year so even if we did lose all that 2% or less, which we certainly would not, we would in any case make it up in less than one average year.”

        And lo and behold by strange good fortune we have as the EU’s appointed negotiator the man who issued a report saying that the Single Market had added so little, and yet our government makes nothing of it.

  3. Nig l
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I thought his comments unprofessional and again making it clear that he and TM basicallywant no change. Imagine the faux outcry if Boris had voiced his thoughts in the other direction.

    You mention the policy and legal shenanigans, that is why the so called parliamentary lock is nonsense. TM is either naive or misleading, taking us again for mugs. She should be reminded that any lock can be unpicked.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed his comments were hugely damaging to the negotiation, very stupid and show how wrong headed he is (Typical Oxford PPE think).

      But he was certainly never a good health secretary at all. The NHS is a dire, thousands of pointless deaths causing, state monopoly. It can never work as currrently funded and structured and yet he did nothing about this at all. He was very good at endlessly apologising for the disaster it was and still is I suppose.

      Perhaps under Socialist May and Tax to death Hammond (with a 12% Tax on private health insurance) then there was no political will for change in the dire NHS model so he could do nothing. But then anyone sensible and with any honour would not have taken the job on that basis.

      • bigneil
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Regarding the NHS – what happened to the “Charging the foreigners” ?
        I assume the message to the world is still the same – -head for the UK – free unlimited healthcare AND they pay for translators while those who pay for it have to wait.

      • Anthony Harrison
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Exactly so: Health Secretaries are always appointed with “sorting out the NHS” as a headline-grabbing part of their brief, but this is like being appointed to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow: it ain’t going to happen. The NHS is a bloated unaffordable behemoth which has to be replaced – that’s HAS to be replaced, no choice AFAICS – with a rational, democratic, affordable, efficient system, by politicians with vision and courage. No sign of them on the horizon.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Not quite the same as “gold at the end of the rainbow”. This as 1. there is no gold and 2. you can never get to the end of a rainbow as it moves away from you at the same speed you approach it.

          The problems of the NHS are actually quite easy to solve.

          But no politicians ever dare to try. So the thousands of deaths continue, perhaps about the same as one or two Grenfell disasters each week.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      For some of these remainers to suddenly become born-again Brexiteers is a bit like Stalin trying to kid us he was a man of peace. Hunt is another ‘bend with the prevailing wind’ politician, not a conviction politician, and we trust such people at our peril. Unsurprisingly, I put Theresa May in the same category.


  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, nobody in their right mind wants to stay in the EU. If they think they understand the EU, then they do not. You do: so well written!

    “Mr Hunt also seems unaware of the large economic upside we will enjoy if we just leave in March 2019 without the impediment of a Withdrawal Agreement delaying us.”
    Wrong. Wrong Wrong.

    We have to stay in the Common Market (EEA) and leave the EU’s Single Market (EU/EEA).
    How do we achieve that impossible task?
    Take a closer look at Efta. But do it now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      May is ensuring that the masssive up side of Brexit will be killed dead by her vassal state Checkers deal. She is a complete and utter idiot, an economic illiterate, a dishonest behind her ministers back fraud and a massive electoral liability too that will lead to Corbyn/SNP. She must be removed. Why has it not happened yet?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        And what is that upside?

        • Matthew MacKenzie
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Blue passports-type nostalgia apparently. Plus a heady feeling of getting one over condescending, metropolitan-liberal types in some quarters.

          When the economic realities really kick in it will still somehow all be the fault of the EU. Despite the best efforts of Mr Redwood and chums to give Brexit some coherent economic arguments it is primarily an psycho-emotional phenomenon. Too sad Barbara Tuchman is no longer with us to add an extra chapter to “The March of Folly”.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Calm down. What we need is a sensible FTA. Failing that the choice is Remain or WTO. Mrs May’s confused vassal state proposal is the worst of all worlds.

      • Oxiana321
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        The Chequers deal may seem (deliberately) confused, but there is nothing remotely confused about the PM’s logic and where the Remainers in Govt want this to end up. It is assumed that the awful state of affairs under the ‘vassal state’ option will force the British people to capitulate and return to the fold of the future Federal State of Europe (but on much worse terms). This has surely been the objective from the first few weeks after the Referendum, once the Civil Servants had worked up a plan.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Another rehash of the same old ignorant twaddle …

    • libertarian
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Mike S

      Please explain what the Common Market is, if we’ve left the single market ?

    • getahead
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Mike, let’s look at it and other possibilities AFTER we have left the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      The problem with your idea Mike, is that the EU don’t want to agree to such an arrangement.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink


      It’s EU-LITE. It will be presented to parliament at the last minute with warnings of dire consequences of they do not support it. In short, TINA.

      This is how this government, and indeed governments of the past have behaved. I see no reason for change.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Certainly the outcome of some public vote would not be a good reason for our leaders to change their ideas … after all they know best.

  5. Tabulazero
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The large economic upside… the UK is leaving a trade block with an average gdp per capita of $30k and the plan is to make up for that by trading with the Commonwealth which has an average gdp per capita of $3k. Laughable.

    What is the UK exactly going to sell them ? The average British car out of Sunderland has a retail price of $20k. Not many people in the Commonwealth can afford one.

    Have the Brexiters realised that the population of Australia and New Zealand is smaller than the population of Poland alone ?

    There is not a lot of people with the cash in their pocket to buy British manufactured goods outside the EU.

    Reply We have a trade surplus with non EU and a large deficit with the EU. No-one is proposing stopping trade with the EU anyway.

    • eeyore
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      I’ve waited a very long time, with genuine eagerness, to hear about the benefits of continuing membership. All I get, though, is fears and sneers such as Tabulazero offers. The impression is of timorous people more easily overawed than inspired, among whom I should not like to number myself.

      Let him, or any other Europhile who posts here, tell us what exciting and productive new developments the EU will give us if we remain. We know the downsides – abandonment of ancient liberties, a severe democratic deficit, a sclerotic and corrupt administration, cruel trade restrictions with developing markets. Give us the positives please.

      Tabulazero scoffs at the Commonwealth with its pitiful GDP per head. Were he to think things through he would realise that this is a vast market with limitless potential. The EU, on the other hand, is developed and saturated to stagnancy. Were I in business I’d know where my eye would fall.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink


        “Were he to think things through”

        Tabulazero simply has no idea what is really going on in the Brussel’s bubble.

        Indeed, for many Remain individuals, they simply cannot show any tangible benefits provided by the EU or understand the EU’s menacing inner workings….nor its insidious political end goal? Remainers/Remoaners are oblivious to the overwhelming facts that discredit EU membership, which in itself makes them hazardous to the democratic will of the people!

      • hefner
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        eeyore, What about writing a Reading Note Card on Philip Murphy’s “The Empire’s New Clothes”. The guy might know a few things given he is Diector of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Professor of British and Commonwealth History at the U. of London, co-editor of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.
        But maybe like Michael Gove are you tired of experts?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Exactly. If we go broke the hardest hit will be France and Germany. We don’t do trade equally across the whole EU.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        And we’ll stop paying the EU for our deficit, even if we need to use it to encourage other countries to generate a trade surplus for us. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Actually, that will be Ireland.

    • Nig l
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Yes very strange that to justify the status quo statements are made that without it, trade will evaporate. People without private enterprise experience have absolutely no sense of how innovative business is to overcome any obstacle placed in the way of its trading.

      • Andy
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Stranger is the fact that you think putting your Brexit obstacles in the way of trading is anything but bonkers.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          What obstacles?
          Leave has called for free trade wherever possible.

          • Andy
            Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            No you haven’t. Leave requires huge amount of extra red tape because you want politicians in Westminster to micro-manage the economy.

            I am quite happy for us to share product regulations with 30 other countries. A lightbulb is a lightbulb. Providing it’s safe and efficient there is no requirement to come up with those rules by ourselves. Same for washing machines. Or lawnmowers. Or cars. Or planes. Providing they are safe and effecient why does it matter where the regulations are made?

            Mr Redwood wants them all made in Westminster. He thinks MPs who have demonstrably failed to run our health service, our schools, our roads, our railways, our borders, our police – should regulate our products too – creating more bureaucracy in the process. What a ludicrous waste of our time and our money.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            I dont want politicians in Westminster to micro manage the economy.
            Stop making things up Andy.

            Goods are made to the requirements of the markets they go to.
            They are not standard in every EU nation at the moment.
            Look at plumbing and lighting industries.
            Very different in different European nations.
            Yet world trading companies satisfy their customers different standards in every market they sell into right now.
            I don’t think you have ever run a trading company.

        • NickC
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Andy, We will be taking away the EU obstacles to trading with the RoW and even ourselves – over 87% of UK GDP.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Despite the fact that year after year we run a large trade deficit with them any obstacles to trade would be put in place by your friends in the EU, not by us. I suppose you might even think “Hang on, why are my friends in the EU doing these stupid things which will damage our beloved Union?” But then again you might not think that, it might just be a case of your country (the EU) right or wrong.

    • Kenneth
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, you seem to be suggesting that there will be some kind of trade blockade with the eu.

      We are leaving the eu, not going to war!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        No one would want to go to war with a total idiot and socialist like May as PM.

        If the EU want to play hardball it clearly harms them far more than us. We can always switch our exports just to replace imported goods or to other export markets. They, after all, export far more to us than the reverse.

      • Andy
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Given the attitude of the EU towards the UK I’m not so sure about that.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          Just a tiny little bit of give on their part would have headed Brexit off at the pass.

          The EU does not give a toss about the average EU citizen. It is becoming a tyranny.

          • Jagman84
            Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            The EU has moved on from having member states to holding economic hostages. The EU commission works for it’s own political ends. We are better off out of it.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            The do not seem to care about the interests of the citizens of the other 27 “regions” much either.

    • David Price
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Cash in the pocket? According to the OECD the average household net adjusted disposable income per capita per year is

      – OECD Average USD 30,563
      – Poland is USD 18 906
      – Australia is USD 33,417.
      – NZ is USD 30, 563

      (UK is USD 28,408)

      On this comparison Australia and New Zealand appear far more attractive markets for high value goods and services than Poland. I personally prefer trade with friendly countries and a big plus is we don’t have to pay them or discard our laws or sovereignty.

      • David Price
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        typo correction – NZ is USD 24,366 but this doesn’t change the position.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        New Zealand has a population of 4mm. Poland had 39mm. Market size does matter.

        Also, how long does it take you to go to Warsaw vs. Auckland ?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          China and India and USA send Europe loads of goods.
          You plainly do not work in a business that trades and exports.

        • David Price
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Market size is not the same as population size. The market size for one class of products is not necessarily the same as for another in the same country. One factor is the number of people who can actually afford your product or service and disposable income is more appropriate than GDP, hence my comment.

          What’s distance got to do with TV programmes or software or high cost electronics or fashion that could find a buyers market in Australia but not Poland?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Most of the British branded stuff My wife and I bought while living in Australia was not even made in the UK (look at that iconinc British Dyson: made in Malaysia) . Aussies prefer Toyotas to Landrovers and Merc to Jags..Nothing to do with trade deals. Once again: what could the UK be selling to a country like Austrealia that has free trade deals with Thailand, Korea etc for goods and many services. The benefit would be for Australia: mobility, agriculture etc. Pretty similar to an FTA with the US (and those are even more template-driven than the EU’s FTAs): the benefit would be on the other side. That is why mr Fox and co are doing their best for FTAs.

        • NickC
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Sales matter not population, but if you’re in a population size pissing contest then EU pop = 440m vs RoW pop 7bn or 16 times bigger.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink


          Nope , customers matter. If you have a billion people that dont want your product you have no market.

          Oh and as you probably dont know 80% of the UKs economy is in services. Geography doesn’t matter

          I do wish remainers had ever run a business

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        And what would the UK be selling to ANZ? Dyson hoovers made in Malaysia?

        • David Price
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          You mean apart from Type 26 Frigates?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            they would be built in Oz, mate.

          • David Price
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            Built by ASC which becomes a subsidiary of BAE for the duration of the project.

            You did not stipulate what kind of contract had to be involved, VW sells cars in the US, built in the US, are you suggesting that VW has not sold these cars?.

            UK commerce involves many examples of design and licencing. Eg Arm is was one of the most prolific CPUs in the world, designed in Cambridge and licenced for fabrication everywhere.

        • NickC
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Selling Dyson vacs, yes: “Almost 75% of growth comes from growing far east markets as Dyson sales hit £3.5bn” 2017 sales figures. Your sneers are misplaced.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            My point to you and David Price was that these are not UK exports. They will generate relatively few jobs in the UK. ARM chips are made in ao Taiwan by TSMC. Of course T26s were designed in the UK but the design team consisted of around 80 people. We are looking for new sources of employment in case the Japanese car makers and BMW decide to make their EU-destined cars elsewhere. As you may have seen, the motor industry will be covered by the upcoming EU-Japan FTA and if the UK moves to WTO terms, car imports from Thailand (source of 60% of Australian cars now) will also become feasible. Imo it is quite prossible that 90% of the UK car industry (leaving only F1 work, and a few high end specialists there) and the bulk of the component industry will have disappeared by 2025.
            So it is not the point that BAE will be selling a (heavily modified) design plus services to the RAN, it is about where the manufacturing jobs are. Shareholders are not going to feed idle Britons.

          • David Price
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            @Huizer, you clearly have no idea. What did you do, look it up in Wikipedia? Arm licences many companies to use it’s designs and they are made all over the world, not just Taiwan but even in your precious Netherlands (NXP) and France (STM). You did not stipulate manufacturing you simply said what would the UK sell. Well the UK has a high services element in our economic mix. The fabless semiconductor companies licencing their design is one example. BAE project and design and technology services is another. Software development is another (I was involved in mobile telephony systems sold to Australia and Taiwan and Japan and China and many other countries).

            For someone who clearly can’t be bothered to do basic research you value your opinion far too highly. To save our host his valuable time I have self censored the rest of my comment regarding where you can shove your opinions.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink


          New Zealand’s top 5 goods imports from the UK are:

          machinery and mechanical parts
          electrical machinery and goods
          print products, such as books
          pharmaceutical products

          When you add in services such as
          Software and digital, TV and film, Music, Financial services the picture is even better.

          Products are made and sourced from all over the globe, thats WHY the EU is pointless . The manufacturing of lots of products has been offshored for most of our time as members of the EU.

          Your rant about jobs is just nonsense. There are 829,000 unfilled jobs in the UK right now

      • Newmania
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Slightly more attractive than Poland , well whoopee do, and what barriers do you think currently exist to our trade with Australia , what protections against their exports do you propose we swap for greater access.

        Umm errrm ..dunnoi…just simewtrhing to say .,…am I close ?

        • David Price
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          EU tariffs on wines, foodstuffs including beef and dairy, for example.

          I find the OTT hysterics from yourself, zero and huizer quite illuminating. Clearly a comment is close to target when you euphilics start having the vapours, was it the factual element that triggered you all or my observation that these were friendly countries.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            This can go on forever. You have not come up with a single example where the UK will benefit from swapping trade with the EU for, say Australia. Ads farm imports could displace say, French and Irish (wine and beef) they could. They would do the same or worse to UK grown stuff. But again, what will replace existing British export jobs, especially those that were created by foreign owned firms locating in the UK for access to the EU? Will Australian firms invest in UK production? Will they buy more services? I know exactly what Australia wants from an FTA with an industrial/services country: the sort of mobility currently afforded to EU citizens and free trade in farm products (including gemetically modified and hormone treated). Otherwise, they would not be interested.Their deals with Korea and Japan are far more attractive than any UK deal could be. And given history, England is not necessarily as popular there as the English seem to think, even among the “Anglo-Irish” .

          • Edward2
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            Ah Rien, I see you are trying to set up your old argument about “swopping trade with the EU with….”
            It is a ridiculous straw man argument.
            Why swop?
            Trade between Europe and the UK will continue very much as it does today.
            It is not an “either or” situation.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink


            Oh my word

            What is the matter with you people. You are so clueless about business and trade

            Buyers and sellers trade not countries. Who said we had to stop selling to Poland in order to sell to Australia.?

            Sure Australians want a fairer visa system… so what, happy for them to have it , we need a fair visa system for everyone , from anywhere.

        • NickC
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Newmania, How pathetic can you get in your determination to see us become merely an offshore area of the EU empire? We don’t want your rotten Brussels political mafia.

          • Newmania
            Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            What “we” is this ; UKIP voters ?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Care to tell us how much of the non-EU export the UK currently enjoy is actually covered by the FTA the EU has negotiated on Europe’s behalf and that the UK will loose comes next March ?

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero, You just sneered at the size of New Zealand, yet one of the EU’s vaunted trade deals is with the Pitcairn Islands. Get a grip. This is about becoming an independent nation again. I am overjoyed at that prospect, aren’t you?

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Can you quantify the degree of independence the UK will gain?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Even supposing all this were true, frankly we wouldn’t want to have all this trade, work all these hours, then give the proceeds back to the EU via taxes to waste.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink


      Thank you for once again showing clearly that remainers dont have the first clue about business or trade

      On leaving the EU we will negotiate FTA’s with

      USA Pop 326 million
      India Pop 1.3 BILLION
      China pop 1.4 BILLION

      Australia, New Zealand Canada are all high value markets

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes… good luck getting fair terms with the UK’s 60mm population vs. a rather protectionist US with its 320mm population or China’s 1bn population.

        On which side do you think the balance of power is tilted here ?

        The UK will be lucky if it get to keep the same terms as the one it benefited while it was still a member of a 500mm trading block.

        It is unlikely to be the case with the US having already rejected the UK’s schedule at the WTO.

        You really think the US, China or India are going to pass on this golden opportunity to extract their pound of flesh ?

        On what ground ? So as not to disappoint all the retired people who voted Leave ?


        • Andy
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Well said.

          The price of the US trade deal will be Frankenstein foods and selling off parts of the NHS to American businesses. This is what Dr Fox wants. Brexiteers, presumably, will be happy to feed their grandchildren chlorine washed chicken and hormones injected beef. After all American diets have left US citizens so healthy. And should those some Brexiteers need NHS care themselves it’s good to know that those providing their treatment will think about the cost first. Still Brexiteers will understand this when their own treatment is delayed or reduced.

          The price of the trade deal with India is more Indians being allowed in. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t on Nigel Farage’s poster.

          Reply UK consumers do not have to buy products they do not like!

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink


            Why not repeat the comment whenever you feel the need to reply to someone here. This sums it up! Of course, my interest is largely academic so I do not share your anger but despite your apparent self-interest here you managed to put your case convinvingly.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink


            You utter buffoon , the USA is the EU’s biggest trading partner under WTO rules

        • Edward2
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 2:26 am | Permalink

          We already trade with America and have done for decades.
          On a recent visit to America I saw lots of UK cars and high end fashion good on sale..

          China is one of the fastest growing markets for similar products that the UK makes.
          Plainly you are not trading in these markets tab.

        • NickC
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Tabulazero, No the USA has not “already rejected the UK’s schedule at the WTO”. The USA cannot “reject” any nations schedule. The USA has objected only, and to only a few agricultural lines. That is a normal feature in negotiations within the WTO system.

    • Newmania
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Why, as if I didn`t know, do you do you keep pretending that a trade deficit is a bad thing ? In a fully employed economy it is an unadulterated good thing .In any case our comparative advantage is in financial and other services .The accounting of the flow is a nebulous matter
      Funnily enough , it was these vital industries that you were always happy to sacrifice for the sake of the more visible manufacturing sectors .( swap pass-porting for motor you blithely suggested …( despair )

      • libertarian
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


        As you dont know anything about business and trade I suggest you do some googling about manufacturing in the UK before posting anymore fake news

  6. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I agree, I thought Mr Hunt made a very grave mistake in making the comment he did, just like all the other MP’s who suggest we must get a deal with the EU at any cost, rather than simply leaving on WTO terms.

    I have to say I really do believe we now seem to have so many MP’s who are so lacking in commercial experience it is quite frightening for our future, in or out.
    No wonder the EU has gained so much control, Politicians of all member Countries seem absolutely blind as to where they are heading.
    No wonder Elections are getting unusual results, the people can see what is going on.

  7. Stred
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Why do you think May appointed him?. We now have a full set of welching arrogant shysters in the Foreign Office. It considers itself as part of the EU and will apologize for leaving to its colleagues in Brussels and Copenhagen.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Here’s the tactic. Put Brexiteers into the cabinet initially and tell them they have complete autonomy and authority, in order to placate the leave-voting public. Then, when it is felt a sufficiently long period has elapsed and the people have forgotten, gradually emasculate those Brexiteer cabinet ministers and constantly undermine them to the point where they feel they can no longer perform their duties, so they resign as a matter of honour.

      Stage two is to get a select few influential remainers to come over as Brexiteers by saying all the right things to kid the public. They are then put into those vacant cabinet positions to show that Brexit negotiations are (laughably) ‘in safe hands’ (and yes, I am unconvinced by Raab because he was prepared to take thirty pieces of silver to go along with being May’s puppet in what is a diminished role).

      Let us be clear, these are not true Brexiteers, they are born-again Brexiteers who must not be judged by their words, but by their deeds. The acid test will be how servile they are when the remainers start clamouring for an extension to Article 50 because ‘they need more time’.

      It’s called a CON upon an unsuspecting public!


      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Who knows, you may ahve somegenuinely patriotic people here who are prepared to defy the Faragista mob. Be glad!

  8. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink


    I see not reason to repeat the arguments why, the WTO solution you keep talking about is not the best economic solution for the UK.

    It is not a strong and viable solution and not in the best interest of UK business, this, is, why, Mr.Hunt is articulating the wishes of the government in the way he is.

    • David Price
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      But it is better than the situation we are in now with the EU.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      “wishes of the government” which sadly are out of line with those of the people. How about a second referendum, choice between this dog’s breakfast and WTO? I think your solution will fail.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        We will just have to wait and see

    • Ian wragg
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      The people voted OUT. The government should be implementing that not trying to thwart every move.
      Good job Farage is back to the table.

    • BOF
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      h c i Mr Hunt contradicts himself so no one should believe that he has any idea what he is talking about .

    • libertarian
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink


      98% of world trade is conducted under WTO rules

      Economic fail 2/10 Must try harder

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink


        Try to stay objective in your discussions it would come across much better

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      In what way is not a strong and viable solution? I will repeat to you what Labour’s Emily Thornberry said back in January about our trade with US, which is not only strong and viable but unlike our trade with the rest of the EU is actually profitable overall for us rather than for them:

      “… we have been trading perfectly successfully with the United States for a very long time, they are our biggest trading partner outside the EU without a trading deal anyway.”

      And I will repeat yet again that according to a report published by the EU’s chief negotiator in his previous incarnation as EU Commissioner the creation of the EU Single Market has added a paltry 2% to the collective GDP of the member states, and then according to a German study the gross benefit for the UK has been only half of that average, which is not so surprising if you look at this:


      And that’s before we even start to talk about the costs of the Single Market.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Nobody suggests WTO is the ‘best’ solution, but it is one we can live with. The best solution would be an FTA (Canada plus) but the EU, in its childish wish to damage the UK does not seem willing and is more than happy to impoverish its citizens for its dogma.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Yes but the ERG will never admit it.

      Boris Johnson expletive perfectly capture that.

  9. Kenneth
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    What incensed me particularly was Jeremy Hunt’s tweet:
    “Britain would survive and prosper without a deal”


    This defeatism is what is feeding the remainers and giving the wrong signals to the eu.

    Mr Hunt needs to make up his mind and correct his contradictory sentence.

    Is he a “prosperer” or a survivor?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      They really are the worst bunch of negotiators you could ever hope to work for you.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      He is an optimist

  10. ChrisS
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I could not disagree with a word in today’s topic.

    There are far too many disingenuous Remainers that tell all and sundry that Margaret Thatcher would never have left the EU because of the single market.
    Given the direction of travel under John Major and Blair, she would have been determined to take us out.

    It is certain that she would never have signed the Lisbon Treaty or given away a large chunk of her hard-won rebate as Blair did.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      If she came back at this stage she would be telling the EU to walk and doing a super deal with Trump, whom she would have courted instead of dissed like the present disastrous leader.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        Yes with Trump being one of the most reliable and trustworthy leaders around, thank you for that great contribution

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      As she showed in her masterly dissection of the EU in her 2002 essays ‘Europe – Dreams and Nightmares’, and ‘Britain and Europe – Time to Renegotiate’.

      She made it clear in the latter that we should join NAFTA, and abandon de facto all the EU’s political structures, and ended with the words: ‘We trade globally, and we must think globally – not confined within the bounds of a narrow Europe’.

      We can only imagine what she would have had to say about the further erosion of UK sovereignty in the Treaty of Lisbon and in the slyly altered EU Council voting rules.

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You leave your home because of a job move, you rent out your house to chosen tenants, at an agreed rate for a 12 month contract, renewable each year by agreement.

    You eventually return just after a new 12 month agreement has been reached, only to to find a few weeks later they are slowly wrecking your property, you seek eviction, so they in turn do not pay any more rent.
    Whilst you are waiting the court appearance you agree that they can stay until they find alternative accommodation, but you will pay them, so you can also have immediate access to your own property, before the Court judgement takes place, so you can also inhabit your own property, in a share like agreement.
    They agree, providing they retain control of entry and exit with the keys to the front door, and also control of and the use of the kitchen.
    They then refuse to move on as time goes by, because the new agreement you made supersedes the old one of eviction.

    Does this sound rather like Mrs May’s agreement.?

  12. Edmund
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    The much-needed replacement for the current PM will appoint his or her own Foreign Secretary, better suited than Jeremy Hunt.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Hopefully, he will clear out the whole of this useless Cabinet. It has to be the worst government we have had since Major or Heath.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Since Ethelred the Unready!

  13. Richard1
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The BMA say there will be a large number of deaths if we leave under the WTO route – difficult to understand as there are many countries around the world which trade with the EU more or less on WTO rules but where there aren’t thousands of extra deaths as a result. But even the govt says the M20 must be turned into a lorry Park as the EU will quasi-embargo UK exports and take such hostile measures as banning UK drivers without EU licenses! What sort of an organisation do these people think the EU is and why is even the govt promulgating this nonsense?!

  14. margaret
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think that the NHS was managed in a way it should be , but Mr Hunt will only see what is presented to him and that is who shouts the loudest, who has the most influence and can make up a good case . It is like a court where evidence is left out, petty evidence is incorporated for the sake of those who want to win a case and either don’t want to go one way or are too obtuse to see the underlying important principles and connections. Are these negotiations any different?

  15. oldtimer
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Mr Hunt has offered lip service to Brexit but is a Remainer at heart. His comments should not therefore come as a surprise. Indeed, set against the deceits and conceits that are proclaimed by No 10, they are comparatively modest betrayals of the referendum result.

  16. Steve
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning JR.

    Another well written item which has caught my interest.

    Jeremy Hunt voted to remain, it is therefore no surprise to me he would have tendency to assist project fear. May has a remain ally in Mr Hunt as Foreign Secretary. I find his appointment to be inappropriate for the needs of the country but does shed light upon May’s sneaky agenda to keep us under the rule of the EU.

    Obviously, May prefers a Foreign Secretary who is aligned to her ideological purposes rather than loyalty to the nation. Perhaps Mr Hunt would have no problem polishing the same turd Boris walked away from.

    Of course Mr Hunt damages our negotiating position, that’s why May gave him the job.

    These people are in the sh** and they know it.

    I believe you are correct in surmising our nation has had rotten deals from the EU, so anyone who thinks we’ll get a good one on the way out is either naive, uninformed or perhaps on side with the remain lobby.

    The Brussels unelected organised crime syndicate will somehow do us like a kipper, just for old time’s sake. After all they are extremely miffed we’re leaving. They’ll lose the UK cash cow and lose their island for dumping non EU migrants who should have been turned back by a number of EU countries, particularly France.

    There’s also the fact that some european industries stand to lose serious money. That is Merkel’s problem not ours.

    I sense a shift in public opinion that we should now forget about any exit deal, and instead concentrate resources on leaving with no deal. We don’t need the EU, and we owe the ungrateful jackals nothing.

    Analysis of the EU’s anatomy delivers strong resemblance to the former Yugoslavia, which was also made up of many nations each with aspirations of regaining their sovereignty and freedom from foreign rule. Yugoslavia incidentally, ‘fragmented’ back to it’s original components.

    Hard brexit is the sensible option. Moreover if other counties under EU jackboots see that old England has given it two fingers, the nation-swallowing franco german pariah is certain to start breaking up, just as Yugoslavia did.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      That anti EU sentiment is mainstream across the EU is a sign of failure. The EU cares not about ordinary people. If you live somewhere posh like – say – Lewes or Beaconsfield then you’re unlikely to understand it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Not a great analogy if you don’t mind me saying -the component parts of Yugoslavia had rarely been independent before the formation of that state!And,as with other parts of Eastern Europe,some are simply not viable as independent states-a point that has been made by analysts as varied as Marx & Engels,J M Keynes,Bismarck and A J P Taylor over the past c150 years!

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Steve, (Bannon?)

      Yugoslavia’s history is interesting and I recommend that you study it, before using a false analog to to write about the EU.

  17. NigelE
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, I note that our host is listed as a supporter on the Leave Means Leave web site, amongst many Leave notables (but not Boris … hmm). I look forward to the programme of publicity and protest promised for the near future, and hope this will be intense enough to counter Mrs May’s underhand intentions to sell us a fake Brexit, and the efforts of the BBC, Sky, C4 etc to belittle leaving the EU.

    I have even surprised myself by breaking a habit of a lifetime and making a donation to a political group. I urge others to show support and perhaps make a donation.

    • Sally
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I agree entirely with your comments. I’ve just joined Leave Means Leave too.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      A businessman (wont’ name the company, although it is in the news) is donating one million pounds to get Brexit reversed. Doubt whether the electoral Commission will investigate. Meanwhile a national newspaper (again no names) had an opinion poll done and has concluded there is no change to the Leavers views, despite the lies of the Remainers who cobbled together one from old out of date and iffy info to try to say they were wanting to stay.

    • Andy
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Save your money. You’ll need it when your Brexit makes you poorer.

      • Edmund
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the tip, Andy. In response to NigelE’s & Sally’s comments I & another have just signed up to register support for Leave Means Leave & donated.

        Your advice is a confirmatory signal to others who know the opposite is right.

      • Keith Chegwin II
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Many value freedom more than wealth unlike fools like you.

        • Andy
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          The freedom to live, work and study bureaucracy free in more than 30 countries. The freedom to have my human rights, my rights as a worker and as a consumer written and enshrined in law. Freedoms which you are taking away in return for making us all poorer. I am not the fool.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            It is not bureacracy free andy
            Try buying a property in the EU and then try getting all your residence papers and then buy a car and get all your papers sorted and then get a job and get all your papers sotrted and your tax return and health cover sorted.

            Human rights are enshrined in the UK and have been for centuries.

          • NickC
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Your “freedom” to impose yourself on another country has been stolen by the EU from the citizens of that country – they have lost the right to decide who comes to their country.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Yet you previously predicted poorer by now.
        Project Fear never happened.
        It is always doom tomorrow with you Andy.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink


          Sounds like you live somewhere outside the UK in EU land. Why?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            I live in the UK.

      • NickC
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No, Leave will make us richer. There are huge opportunities in the wide world. Even our forebears in the C16th realised this. They would have gone nowhere if they’d been as afraid as you are.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted August 23, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink


          We have traded and had opportunities to trade with the World for the past 45 years as well, we are just not as good at it as some Eu members

      • NigelE
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        We’ll see, Andy.
        Let’s see how it looks in one, five and ten year’s time.

  18. Tabulazero
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    As the UK leave the EU in March, it will loose as well 60 odd FTAs with non-EU countries tthe EU has negotiated.

    The UK really would like those FTAs to continue as they are but even the most rabid Brexiter must understand that the clout the UK used to wield as part of a 500mm market is not exactly the same as a stand alone 60mm market.

    Why shouldn’t third party countries not take advantage of the fact that “you are not part of the EU anymore”.

    The USA, Canada and New Zealand have already rejected the schedule the UK has filed at the WTO. Care to comment on that Mr Redwood ?

    Reply Not true. These agreements will novate.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      No good having clout to make agreements which are against our interest. The EU threatens to put tariffs on the USA sales of pleasure craft. So as net importers we pay more import duty for US made craft or import over priced French craft. Same with ag. products.
      It’s insane.

    • David Price
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      The EU does not have “60 odd” FTAs.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Most of those FTAs and MRAs are minor and non-controversial. Does it really matter that we won’t have an FTA with the Pitcairn Islands initially? Of course not. And since it takes two to agree, size is not the issue you imagine it to be.

      The USA, Canada and New Zealand have not rejected the goods schedule the UK has filed at the WTO. They have objected to it (a crucial difference), and only for some agricultural produce. The only problem is it gives them less flexibility in their exporting. It is a typical negotiating problem, with the advantage that they, unlike the EU, are operating in good faith.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Your sources, please ?

      No they will not. All the EU has accepted is to kindly ask its partners to novate the agreements. It is the various third country’s decision to accept or not. It is neither the UK nor the EU’s decision.

      Reply It is a joint UK/other country decision which will be to novate

    • libertarian
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


      Oh dear oh dear oh dear, when will you public sector types ever learn about business and trade. Trade is about buyers and sellers not governments, not geography .

      Here are two examples of why the rest of the world and the remaining 27 will want to to deal with us as we lead the world in the design, manufacture and operation of cancer scanners. You think German or Australian health organisations won’t buy the scanners because the population is “only” 66 million. Hysterical

      We are also world leaders in FinTech, same as above , in fact the UK already has its first “unicorn” business, a startup valued at $1 billion

      Oh and the USA and China and others will still buy Scotch Whiskey despite the population of Scotland being only 5.2 million. In fact they bought £4 billion worth last year

      You really are clueless

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink


        No manners

        • Edward2
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Tab is clueless
          What he says shows no practical business nor exporting experience.
          Lib is correct.
          It needs saying.

        • NickC
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink


          No truth

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 23, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


            With all your fake news very impressive

        • David Price
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink


  19. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    It is incomprehensible how we have ended up with May, Hammond and Hunt running Brexit. As to Mr Hunt’s performance running the NHS I think many would argue with your view, but it is somewhat like Brexit, too many emotions, too much politics and not enough logic.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      A Sedgwick, Vote Conservative, get Remain. Unless the Tory party can sort itself out sharpish, that is.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Er,it was entirely predictable I would say.

  20. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Hunt has always reminded me of a Kermit having gone through political correctness lessons…. but never mind.

    A shame you have to represent the will of the people here against your own government. this is just another episode in the incompetence of May’s tenure.

    Clearly we now need an enormous last minute effort to ditch this remainer government and its silly Chequers agreement. Luckily we now have Leave means Leave to compete with your party in government’s line of Leave means Remain.

  21. William Long
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    It looks as if the officials in the FO have wasted no time in getting their teeth into Mr Hunt and he has swallowed their views hook, line and sinker, if of course, he did not hold them already, which may have been why he was appointed. They must be so pleased to have him after Boris who is, if nothing else, his own man.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So we are going to hear next week about the proposals for a no deal, I wonder what sort of mess Mrs May will make of that.

    How sad that I do not even trust our Prime Minister to say no properly, I hope I am made to eat my words, but her Political history suggests I will not need to worry about that.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      The no deal arrangements to be announced by May will be simply Project Fear with the same aim.

      It is odd that the only people who are pushing for a new referendum on the basis that “we didn’t know what we were voting for” are people who voted Remain and who therefore knew exactly what they were voting for. Farage is right to highlight this point.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson, Indeed. The Remain Conservatives are fools. The Leave vote cannot be undone. We can see the Robbins (Chequers) WP is a revolving-door Remain. The worse the Remain outcome, the worse the consequent constitutional turmoil will be, never mind the worse the outcome will be for the Tory party.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    JR: “The longer we stay half in and negotiating, the worse relations will get.”
    That seems to be the governments tactic to do what it really wants, which is to ignore the referendum result and keep us in the EU.

  24. Kevin
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Re the expression, “a no deal Brexit” –

    Wikipedia has an article titled, “United Kingdom renegotiation of European Union membership, 2015–16“, which begins as follows:
    “[This] was a package of changes to the United Kingdom’s terms of membership to the European Union (EU) and changes to EU rules which was first proposed by…David Cameron in January 2013…. The package was…approved by EU leaders of all 27 other countries at the European Council session in Brussels on 18–19 February 2016…. The changes were intended to take effect following a vote for ‘Remain’ in the UK’s in-out referendum, at which point suitable legislation would be presented by the European Commission. Due to the Leave result of the referendum, the changes were never implemented“.

    In other words, the people have already had a vote on a proposed deal with the EU, and they voted to leave without one.

    • Keith Chegwin II
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Cameron also attempted a re-negotiation on the terms of our EU membership before the referendum. They think we are stupid.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        No, not stupid. Incompetent.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Kevin, Exactly right.

  25. Ian wragg
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Of course it has damaged our negotiating position as it was intended.
    Every utterance from cabinet members is to sell the scandalous Chequers paper.
    Hunt is a wet Remainiac and is following May and Robbins script.

  26. Norman
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Speaking from the side-lines, one can always judge a good post by the knee-jerk chorus of the scoffers, naysayers, heretics and false prophets.
    Jeremy Hunt’s characteristically transparency showed a Government set on seeing out its doom-laden course.
    Who would have thought our beloved country would be reduced to this? The only solace is to remember that ‘God chastises those whom he loves’ (which really applies to individuals, but could also be applied to families or nations that once, albeit imperfectly, had been faithful to His cause).

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    “Jeremy Hunt damages the UK’s negotiating position“

    Indeed he has and very significantly. This is surely very serious negligence that could cost thousands of people their jobs. May is clearly either deceiving her Brexit ministers or they are totally idiotic to remain in office, supporting her blatant treachery. Which is it?

  28. Colin Hide
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Perfect sense.

    I hope he reads it.

  29. DUNCAN
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    There’s no honour and morality left in British politics. Doing the right and proper thing as been replaced by absolute political considerations. May is acting to form. She is a pure political animal and she’ll sacrifice every rule in the moral handbook to extol and advertise her liberal left, Europhile virtue. If that means bypassing democracy then so be it.

    I sometimes have to pinch myself when I see that this politician is a leader of our party. How is it possible that someone like this could ever become a Tory leader? She’s further left than many in Marxist Labour

    If May stays as Tory leader, the UK stays in the EU. All else is fluff

  30. Peter
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    We are in a phoney war stage with Brexit.

    The real battles will begin in September and October.

  31. George Brooks
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    An excellent article giving a very clear picture of our relationship with the EU of the years. Thank you very much.

    It has been very obvious for months that what ever we suggest the EU will turn it down out of hand or ignore it. We should have packed up our papers and walked away from the table 7 or 8 months ago.

    The PM destroyed the negotiating team then gagged Raab and stupidly put herself in the front position from which you can never win. It all points to the so called political elite getting ready to overturn the referendum result. As Farage has pointed out both major parties are ignoring their manifesto pledges and destroying democracy in this country.

    This is all the result of being an MP becoming an occupation. Many are quite bright academically but have absolutely no experience of the real world. Forty to fifty years ago most MPs had had successful careers in industry and/or commerce whether it was in management or trade unions and brought a lot of practical experience with them.

    We have not only lost this experience but many MPs will tow the line so as to keep their job, knowing that they could not achieve the same income in the general market place. This also applies to many of the ex-lawyers who are MPs. Very good at creating an argument but not any good at negotiating.

    I shudder to think what the so called ‘briefing papers’ will contain when they are published in a few days time. Most likely a complete re-launch of ‘Project Fear’.

  32. hefner
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Late last night I finished Tim Shipman’s second opus “Fall Out” covering 2017. For me it is very difficult not to agree with the final paragraphs:
    “Whatever else Theresa May did wrong, the Prime Minister along with Nick Timothy, Fiona Hill, David Davis, Oliver Robbins, Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson were prepared to put themselves in the arena. … it is hard to see how anyone could have negotiated their way without error through the turbulent fall out from Brexit. We should be grateful someone was willing to try.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      But not grateful to Tim Shipman and the Times for constantly trying to disrupt and if possible halt the process of withdrawal.

      • hefner
        Posted August 24, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        You may be right, but at least Shipman is shedding light on all the shenanigans that happened on both sides (Labour and Conservative). What I find really interesting is how the day-to-day reporting in newspapers (all types) appears at times so different from what is reported in Shipman’s books.
        After reading these books (Fall Out, and the previous one, All Out War, on the referendum campaign) one can simply despair and wonder for example what the use of JR’s blog really is. Is it simply another patch of wool being pulled over (some very willing) voters’ eyes?

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      About as logical as claiming that ‘both the Christians and the lions were prepared to put themselves in the arena’!

  33. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hunt’s comments typify the paucity of leadership we have in this country right now. Too much emoting and not enough level-headed, hard-nosed logic (and patriotism to boot).

  34. BOF
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    You could not have put it more clearly John, but Jeremy Hunt contradicted himself so comprehensively that it seems doubtful he will even comprehend what you have written, which is so patently obvious to the ordinary man in the street like myself.

    This Cabinet is so enmeshed in the Chequers Betrayal White Paper that every one of them will have to go at the time of Mrs May departure.

  35. TimetoChangeMayGoNow
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately some MPs have no business ‘nous’ whatsoever…and certainly no experience of serious, high stakes negotiation.

    Heaven help us, should our Country be in serious danger, requiring high level diplomacy and the need to take a firm stand. If good, global, strategic knowledge is required as well, (along with basic geography knowledge), we will be sunk.

    Mr Hunt is my MP.
    I have written to him, this week, pointing out the need to prepare to exit with a no Deal.
    I expect no more than the standard letter, containing a Remainer’s reply, from my Remainer MP.

  36. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    A worker in for instance a Renault plant wants to build cars for the UK market, feed his family and pay his taxes. I want to purchase a Renault car from a UK dealership who make their profit,employ people who feed their family and pay their taxes.
    A willing seller, and a willing buyer.
    In the middle of this easy transaction and causing chaos
    are politicians and unelected meddlers all of whom I am beginning to loath with a passion.
    Never in over 50 years of voting have I felt such animosity towards the so called political elite and I am not alone in this.
    MPs must deliver the result of the Referendum ,not try to bamboozle us with smoke and mirrors.

  37. sm
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    John, your succinct third paragraph says it all.

    How anyone can look at the looming economic (not to mention political management) problems of some of the major EU countries and still think it is a good idea to be inextricably linked with them is beyond me.

    No doubt Omniscient Andy and his Band of Brothers will enlighten us…..

  38. Alan Joyce
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The Foreign Secretary is like so many Remainers. He, like they, see only downsides in Brexit.

    They see anything that Europe does as unquestioningly and irrefutably good and anything the UK attempts as inferior. Despite saying that the UK must remain tied to the EU, they fail to set out a vision for Britain’s place in it. They have nothing to say about what would happen to the UK’s financial contributions when more accessionary countries, e.g. Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, join the EU. Nor do they mention how the UK would cope with yet more immigration from these countries when they do eventually join. On the topic of immigration how long would it take for them to give in to EU pressure and accept the forced re-distribution of immigrants from Mediterranean countries?

    As a result of Brexit they say there will be huge lorry queues at Dover and, of course, none at Calais. They say that all the UK’s exports to the EU will wither yet, miraculously, imply that the £90billion annual trade surplus the EU enjoys will continue. They do not set out why the UK must be a member of a political union to trade.

    They infer that EU planes will continue to land at UK airports but, of course, ours will circle over Europe until they fall from the skies. And, as medicines will be unavailable in the UK if it leaves the EU then we will all get sick and die.

    We remember their pre-referendum warnings of apocalypse including the preposterous suggestion that Brexit could start WW3!

    Some of our senior politicians have nothing good whatsoever to say about the UK. Like their elite, liberal establishment counterparts, they are ashamed of being British. They like and enjoy power without responsibility, preferring instead to delegate decision-making to a supra-national body that is convenient to blame when something goes wrong.

    In a post-Brexit Britain, hopefully completely free from the European Union, I do not wish to see the likes of Mr. Hunt or his ilk anywhere near the levers of power. In failing to articulate the case for a fully independent and sovereign United Kingdom, as the referendum result demanded, they have shown themselves unfit to govern our great Country.

  39. Martin
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    ‘.. worrying sides to just leaving ..’ This view by Hunt is mild compared to the latest from Lord Kerslake, ex head of the Civil Service (who has been advising the Labour Party). He believes that a No-Deal Brexit would be so grave that the UK would have to review its decision to leave the EU [Press Association report of 18 August, online at The Guardian].

    • Andy
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      If Kerslake thinks that then one is forced to question how he ever became ‘head of the Civil Service’. He is most certainly not fit to sit in the House of Lords. I trust no more senior civil servants will ever be ennobled.

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      …and curiously, Kerslake believes Parliament ‘would have to consider whether Brexit should go ahead’ and the ‘European Commission would insist on some re-examination of the original decision to leave’. And all the EU would need to ‘pause Article 50’ [not allowed in the Treaty of Lisbon] and to ‘insist’ [equally not allowed] would be to continue to refuse a sensible deal.

      He can’t quite grasp this sovereignty thingy, can he. Nor has he read Article 50.
      Message to Lord Kerslake somewhere in Outer Space – the EU is not in a position to demand anything at all. We leave on 29 March 2019, and that is final, and cannot be abrogated in law, however much the EU were to change its own laws to try to make it look feasible.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Kerslake and the Guardian eh?

      A fine pair of independent thinkers. Doesn’t need to be in a newspaper to know what he thinks. He is typical of the civil service with their ideas that they have the right to run the country and the great unwashed should not have their views tolerated.

  40. L Jones
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    ”… explain in public”. Yes! All we seem to get are slanted media ‘stories’ and clickbait articles, no matter where we look in MSM.

    Why doesn’t the Government take time to win hearts and minds if it’s that convinced its own route is the right one for the UK? Or is its lack of public engagement a sign that it knows we’re all on to it and its cheating ways, and its efforts to keep us ”in” by any means, fair or foul?

  41. getahead
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    “Mr Hunt’s strange belief that we have great relations with the EU that will be irretrievably damaged by a no Deal Brexit.”
    John, you are being too kind. You know that this is unlikely to be Mr Hunt’s belief but simple government propaganda.
    As I have been saying all along, the government is doing as it is told by the Establishment and the few businesses that benefit from EU membership and the taxpayers £10 billion a year.

  42. Edwardm
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Your history is a useful reminder. What I find strange is that anyone wants to remain part of the EU which is over-centralising and with which we have never had a comfy existence.
    And people like John Major just won’t learn from their experience. Why stand as an MP just to accept EU dictats?

    Having not delivered the CAP reforms promised to Tony Blair for the rebate he gave up, the EU surely owes us a re-imbursement, and not the other way around. Jeremy Hunt is pathetic and as wrong as Mrs May to want a withdrawal agreement costing £39bn as the starting point.

    • Andy
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Too many UK Governments have trusted vague undertakings made by the EU. They shouldn’t. And even written agreements can, it seems, be set aside if needs be – see the Greek bailout fiasco where the UK was dragged in.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    According to the BBC News at 1 pm today the government will shortly be issuing explanatory notices giving advice to businesses, citizens and public bodies on how to cope if the UK does leave the EU without a deal. Because they want us to think it will be an emergency, JR, if we crash out of the EU with no deal and just on WTO terms, and the reason they think they can get away with that nonsense is because there has been too much talk about just walking away with no deal at all of any kind rather than just accepting that once we have left the EU and its Single Market in an orderly fashion our future trade relationship with the EU and its member states will no longer be privileged beyond the terms of the WTO treaties. Which will in reality be of no more than marginal economic significance, probably slightly negative initially and then more positive later as we adjust our regulations and trade policy to suit ourselves rather than the EU.

    • margaret
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Denis I would like to give a link now and again , but don’t know how to do it.At some sites all you do is type the link and it changes automatically to blue , but not here?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        I just copy and paste the link as I would anything else.

    • Geoff not Hoon
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      I also heard the news that on Thursday we will hear of the effects of a no deal. I only hope it is not more scare mongering followed by a call for a second referendum. To coin a phrase from one of Yanis Varoufakis books we will be in danger of the government overthrowing the people. I hope I’m wrong.

  44. Nigel Seymour
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It was a most extraordinary clip when Hunt confused his wife with a Japanese or a Chinese…So, does he actually know he is the UK Foreign Secretary? This is the problem that the voting public have with politics, – either inadequate or completely out of touch…
    Hunt has now put himself in the hypocrite category as he can’t decide leave or remain is best!
    Perhaps he should get his Japanese or Chinese wife to clarify his position with Olly Robbins and then we will all be clearer on Brexit – although it’s shaping up that there will be no Brexit at all…

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      “does he actually know he is the UK Foreign Secretary?”

      Apparently not. He must be one of the few foreign ministers who poses the question ‘Do you know who I am??!’ not in a rhetorical huff but in puzzled tone of genuine enquiry.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        ha can only be an improvement on the disaster called Boris, wo does not even know how to behave when he is abroad. Eg. Mynamar, Rangoon)

        • mancunius
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          One might turn your words round, and call Hunt an also-ran goon. He provides enough bumbling gaffes in a single speech to make Boris look like a model of statesmanship.

          Boris speaks for Britain. Hunt speaks only for May: he is a puppet minister,plainly hasn’t the slightest idea why he is saying the FCO-dictated words that come out of his mouth. His eyes flicker with the fixated terror of one completely out of his depth, who cannot get his brain to wake up and function.

          And that ghastly smirk! Really, Hans, you should find a more charismatic role model.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            you stick with Boris good luck

  45. Remington Norman
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    John, the point is not that you are correct – you are – but that senior politicians in government (including Theresa May) don’t appear to understand these basics. Either they are wilful or stupid. Either way, unless you and your Leave colleagues publicise this forcefully, both in and out of Westminster, we will be inexorably driven down the BRINO/Remain route.

    Lord Kerr, interviewed on the BBC this morning, indicated that a second referendum would ask the binary question: accept Chequers or Remain – ie no leave option. This is not beyond contemplation and would be a comprehensive disregard of the 2016 vote.

    It is about time that Leave forces combined to make public protest. What is troubling is that you have neither the focus nor the resources.

    • Keith Chegwin II
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      If those are the options then prepare for mass civil disobedience or worse. Why should taxpayers fund a state when they have no democratic voice?

  46. acorn
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    There is a misunderstanding of Art 50 as to “Why does the Withdrawal Agreement not incorporate details on the future UK/EU relationship? ” The two separate and sequential agreements.

    The EU Commission took the view early on that a withdrawal agreement can only deal with separation issues and cannot include an agreement on a future relationship, because such an agreement would require a different legal basis and can only be negotiated with a country that is not a Member State. So this means it can only be negotiated once the UK has left the EU.

    However, the EU has accepted that discussions on an ‘overall understanding’ of that future relationship can take place before the UK leaves. The terms of a withdrawal agreement are expected to be accompanied in late 2018 by a Political Declaration setting out the key objectives for the future relationship, which the UK Parliament will be asked to approve at the same time as it will be voting on a finalised withdrawal agreement.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The EU “took a view” on that for purely tactical negotiating reasons, and very successful they were too. There is no legal reason at all that talks on the future relationship should have run in parallel with leaving arrangements -DD wanted this but was overruled by the naive (let’s be charitable) May.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        You mean, “… should not have run in parallel …”

      • mancunius
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        No, let’s not be charitable: the concession was such an obvious, major catastrophe that it cannot have been made accidentally.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      If Article 50 permits the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement between one member state and the other member states and the EU as a whole, as it does, then it will also permit the negotiation of a trade agreement to apply after the withdrawing member has finally left. Believe me, if they had seen it as being to their advantage to have parallel rather than sequential negotiations they would have found that Article 50 did permit parallel negotiations notwithstanding anything else in the treaties. And that is what our government should have said and should have carried on saying, making it clear to the world at large that it was the EU holding up a settlement.

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh no – you don’t get away with that.
      The EU Commission has and had no powers at all to ride roughshod over the clear instruction in Art. 50:
      “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.
      The Commission (not the European Council or the Union) invented what it thought was a cunning wheeze to thwart the negotiations, by insisting on ignoring the future relationship and pretending that it could only be considered after Britain had left the EU. This is of course nonsense, and a clear breach of the Treaty of Lisbon. There was nothing preventing such a future relationship from being designed while the UK was still inside the EU during the two-year Art. 50 period since that is expressly required in the Treaty.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, You Remains keep telling us we are totally sovereign. Of course the reality is we have lost extensive sovereignty, but not all. Part of the sovereignty we have left encompasses the right to abrogate treaties. That is confirmed in Vienna. We don’t therefore need the EU’s permission to leave. Our decision to leave is a fact, not a negotiated issue.

      It follows that our future relationship is the only discussion that can be had. Want EU planes to fly to, and over, the UK? That can only be an issue when we are independent. Want money from us because you think only the EU Brussels mafia is important? Go whistle. EU fraud, corruption and theft is an issue for our future relationship.

  47. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Am I to take it from the first paragraph that Mr Hunt bears no responsibility for the thousands of avoidable deaths in the NHS during his tenure. As far as I know no-one else has been found in any way accountable. Many people think there is a case of corporate manslaughter to answer.

  48. Billy Elliot
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Negotiating position? What negotiating position? There is no such. From EU perspective there is no such. EU dictates UK obeyes – or suffers. That’s the reality.

    ” If we insist on just leaving, the EU is very likely to seek tariff free trade with us. ” Rubbish. They don’t need UK.

    “Many pro Brexit MPs agree that leaving and trading under WTO arrangements is a good option with plenty of economic upside for the UK.” Complete BS (sorry for the french).

    Tory party’s “UK is as powerful as USA, China or EU is a unicorn. This country will be destroyed by these ideological idiots.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      The EU runs a massive trade surplus with UK so explain again why they don’t need us ?

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Massive and massive. 7.2% vs 44 % and that 7.2% is diveded with six countries roughly speaking. They have good deals. EU has 32 trade deals with USA forexample and UK trades under this umbrella so this WTO thing ain’t so honky ddory either

    • Petr
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Tories have lied lied and lied again

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Please explain in chapter and verse why the EU ‘needing’ or ‘not needing’ the UK is of relevance?
      The EU Commission desk-wallahs in Brussels have no money or goods – they can neither buy nor sell, nor trade.
      EU citizens and businesses have the money and goods, and do not want to lose a mature market of 65 million people to free trade with other nations.
      Any attempts by the EU to bully its own citizens into restricting their wealth and trading choices will be ineffective.

      The ideological idiots… hm, now which camp are they to be found in? Yours, I guess.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        No they will not and won’t loose that market of 65 million. But it goes on their terms. And takes time. Japan EU deal took few years to negotiate.
        No worries we will get trade deal but when and what kind is another thing.

        • mancunius
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Markets do not ‘wait’ for lazy EU bureaucrats to crawl to their desks. Once Germany has lost its UK market, it will take it years to get it back, if it ever does.

          And we have a trade surprlus with the EU.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Why would “Germany lose its UK market” Do you think those who can afford one (maybe with some import duty on top) will not buy a BMW or Merc? Jumping out of a customs union has price effects but may not affect sales of products without ready substitutes.

    • NickC
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Billy Elliot, So the WTO is BS? Did you know that 98% of global trade takes place under the WTO system. Apparently not. Try again.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        NickC only 11 countries such as Holy See trade solemnly on WTO. EU has 32 deals with USA. We trade under them. WTO is not BS but the idea UK would win by trading on those terms is.

  49. LenD
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    We didn’t have to wait until Jeremy Hunt to damage the UK negotiation position, the party leadership did that a long time ago when they sent in D Davis as our chief negotiator and appointed Boris to Foreign Secretary..Boris of ‘go whistle’ or IDS and his claim that the german car workers would fall over themselvès protesting to Angela Merkel that we be allowed a special sweet deal because of the car industry. Then who can forget the contributions of dear Michael Gove..well none of this of what was promised, inferred, is going to happen because the EU side also look at the Uk press and TV and have decided they have had enough of D Hannan and Farage sniping at very soon out we will go and the sooner the better they say. Negotiations? what negotiations? we did not vote for negotiations..we voted to leave..get it!

    • mancunius
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the usual suspect with the usual nonsense. Ignore.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        This is pretty accurate actually, from an EU point of view of course..

  50. Pat it
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest that this is further evidence for the folly of reshuffles. It must take some time to master a brief, and every time there is a reshuffle every minister has to master a new one. In the meantime ministers have to depend on their civil servants. This results in civil servants effectively running departments.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      They never ‘master a brief’. They go along making up silly rules and being a nuisance until it is time to move them on to make a mess elsewhere. They are all total amateurs – none of them has a clue about their departments, they are appointed on the basis of favours done or how loyal they will be to a PM however useless they turn out to be.

      Witness the Cabinet we have – NHS at an all time low, crime at an all time high, infrastructure falling apart, education cannot hang on to teachers, NHS ditto with doctors and nurses. Housing in crisis after 8 years, national debt higher in 8 years than in 13 of profligate Labour. The list is endless

  51. margaret
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    John , you probably won’t take heed of what I say , but the constant attacks on people I find offensive. I may not agree with what our Prime Minister says or does , but to attack her with words like’ idiot ‘ ‘fool’ etc is not acceptable.Just because she is in a powerful position does not excuse the personal abuse which is written .

    • Prigger
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May’s language I understand completely…she’s not that good! I am lucky. It is words and meanings most foul and are of the whore house, translated into OUR-speak!

  52. Steve
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    As my posts don’t clear moderation, I will not be voting conservative, ever again.

    Whats the matter JR, frightened of mistress May ?

    • Mark B
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink


      Do as I do. Wear it as a badge of honour and keep posting. Satisfy yourself that you know you have hit the nail on the head.

    • Edmund
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Might some of your posts have been immoderate Steve? The reaction you describe seems irrationally excessive.

  53. Prigger
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The Leave vote has had a good by-product already.
    It has winkled out those MPs who did not accept democracy, do not accept democracy, and will not accept democracy.
    They have been slipped an extra few bob.
    It will not make them feel better about themselves.

  54. Andy
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    It clearly is now not going to take us long to either kill off Brexit or undo it. It was always a lousy idea but the extent of the Tory Brexit car crash is now nothing short of a national humiliation. Suez on steroids. Global laughing stock.

    The angry hard right pensioners are flattered in the polls because their opponent is an angry hard left pensioner. A decent Labour leader would be 30 points ahead and the Tories would be facing electoral wipe out in 2022.

    Mr Corbyn is old – he may lead Labour at the next election but he won’t at the one after that. Anger among the young with the angry hard right pensioners may have to wait to 2027 – but it’s coming. We’ll undo Brexit by 2030 and, as a bonus, will make sure you all get paid your pensions in Euros. Our little thank you for your treachery.

    • Eh?
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Do you consciously realise you have postponed your proclaimed defeat of Brexit from 30th March 2019 to 2030?? Ten years!!

    • Edward2
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 2:29 am | Permalink

      Dave Spart lives !

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        A hybrid of Dave Spart and Harry Enfield’s 1980’s LOADSAMONEY character it strikes me!

    • graham1946
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      If the EU is still around in 2017. We will make such a success of leaving (if we actually do, which granted with this crew seems unlikely), that others will want to leave as well. Only the freeloaders and the frightened, like you, Andy, will want to cling to Nannie’s apron strings.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Typo – should be 2027.

  55. GreesT
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree.. we will do absolutely fine with no deal..we will save 39 billion and be free to trade with whoever we want without ECJ looking over our shoulder. We don’t need to be confined to WTO rules either..we are taking back control..especially of our fisheries or laws and our borders😅

  56. Prigger
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Seriously. I think we Brexiteers should calm down.

    # We won the Referendum
    # Remainer attacks are daily and by the hour from MPs and their Fake News
    # Napoleon said the best defence is attack. He lost too.

  57. Dennis
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    “He made major concessions on our financial contributions, only to be double crossed by the EU who failed to deliver the promised agricultural reform. ”

    How can a double cross occur? If no agricultural reform occurred then no financial contributions concessions. Is this how UK negotiators perform if this really happened? If so no wonder Brexit is nowhere.

    Reply The UK made the financial concessions on a promise which was then broken

    • Dennis
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Were the financial concessions made or not then?

      • Dennis
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Yes the concessions were ‘made’ but were they actually paid?

        • graham1946
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          It was a reduction in our rebate which we had negotiated and had for years, which he gave away, which they actioned and we have been paying ever since, getting nothing in return because the EU welched on their side of it and nothing was done. A proper UK government would have deducted the money from our regular payments and invited them to sue.

  58. Dennis
    Posted August 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh, no one has mentioned reading this –

    And read the research link there.

  59. Peter D Gardner
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    When the referendum was won I argued that UK shod just leave with nothing more than abr=are bones deals, eg, air traffic control, mutual recognition of therapeutic goods etc. simply because the most important thing was to res=establish self government and independence in UK without being distracted by acrimonious negotiations and Remoaner attempts to undermine them. I argued that only after UK had become independent would there be sufficient clarity and objectivity to assess whether UK should after five or so years as an independent country seek a further entanglement with whatever the EU would become by then.
    How I wish we did not have the wholly unrealistic ambition of a comprehensive and deep special partnership with the EU, an ambition that would challenge the most perceptive, intelligent, statesmanlike and bold prime ministers but inevitably, under Mrs May, end up as a quagmire of detail and secondary issues with no clear vision or objectives.
    Mrs May must be replaced. Everything she touches turns to mud. It would be better if we just sent the government on holiday until after 29 March. Please just get her out.

  60. Prigger
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    She’s wrong.

  61. Prigger
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Yorkshire: An’if yer WRONG us, dunt wi revenge?

    Do ask Mrs May to leave the stage at her earliest convenience to be replaced by bloke wi foreign name, Boris, who can speak English.

    • Prigger
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      The ORIGINAL Shakespeare The Merchant Of Venice Act 3, scene 1, 58–68
      “And if you wrong us, SHALL we not revenge?
      Yorkshire is for that ” An’if yer WRONG us, shant wi revenge?”


  62. Gawd!
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Ask hospital staff the price of a packet of elastoplasts, feminine hygiene products, soap, toothpaste, face cream, , towels,aspirin, cough syrup, toilet rolls and every product which supermarkets and hospitals stock in common. Make sure you have a camp bed with you while waiting for their answers!. Then ask them also for the price of lager and cigarettes and make a quick trip home.

    • Gawd!
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:32 am | Permalink

      Oh and what happens to a meal brought to a patients bedside if the patient is sound asleep?

  63. Dennis Zoff
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Dear John,

    unless I have been asleep during my travels, has anyone the slightest idea why we are paying £39 Billion.

    PM details are somewhat slim/none existent/evasive:

    a. Some say we legally owe it?
    b. Others suggest it is a goodwill/goodbye gesture?
    c. While others suggest it is simply a bribe?

    As an insider, do you have any ideas?

    Reply I am against paying it, and it is not a legal requirement

    • graham1946
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink


      Item d. – Because May’s idea of negotiating is to give away all her ammo up front in the hope they will be reasonable.

  64. Caterpillar
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Negotiating has weakened the UK position. Two years of an uncertain environment for businesses, and it is still going on. The result can only be businesses planning to escape the uncertainty. Certainty should have been the situation from the day after the vote, a clean Brexit and a certain environment. Ex PM Cameron immediately ramped up the uncertainty by standing down and not doing what he promised, the uncertainty continues. The Lords, Commons, Govt and Civil Servants have all seemed to generate on going uncertainty, yes Mr Hunt may have misspoke, but this is the least of our worries. There should be no more time wasted, 100% of resources should be committed to a clean Brexit, the democratic result. What has happened to date is dire, but sunk costs nevertheless, the UK needs to stop behaving like an addicted gambler taking one last punt, it needs turnaround, walk away and clean up its act.

  65. John Dodds
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I am pleased to see that so many can see the deceitful promotion of another Remainer to the post previously held by a Leaver.The truly dishonest Mrs Mao must have thought that this further deception would go unnoticed.Mr Hunt only recently decided to announce that he had had second thoughts on Remaining and had now changed his mind.Just in time to be appointed Foreign Secretary to try and tip the balance in Mao’s favour.What a dreadfully dishonest person Mrs Mao is!

  • 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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