The Treasury is too gloomy

The UK economy has done well in creating many new jobs, generating considerable additional tax revenues for public services, continuing to grow and attracting large new investments from leading companies around the world since the referendum. This has happened despite a series of tax attacks on it by successive Chancellors out to damage the housing and car markets amongst others and against the background of a substantial monetary tightening engineered by the Bank of England. It has been possible thanks to past reforms and thanks to the growth of a large cadre of entrepreneurs prepared to venture their  time and their money, and to many people willing to work in new areas and jobs. It has happened with the Treasury and Bank forecasting a recession in 2016-17 that did not happen, and constantly telling us of unlikely  negative effects of our chosen policy of Brexit.

This week again the big difference between the Chancellor and the government was visibly on view. This is  not a new problem.. He was elected along with all Conservative MPs on a Manifesto which said we would get on and implement Brexit. The Manifesto saw the benefits of taking control of our laws, our money and our borders. It looked forward to spending plans that spend the EU contributions on our priorities, and to trade and migration policies that make sense for the UK and are fair to all parts of the world. The Chancellor thought otherwise and has spent his time in office trying to delay or derail Brexit by recreating as much of our current arrangements within the EU as possible.

The government line on timing was that we will leave on 29 March 2019. Under pressure from the Treasury and others the PM then allowed the government to say that if they reached an Agreement late with the EU, any individual clause or requirement of the Agreement that could not  be put in place by 29 March 2019 could slip to a later specified date. She proposed a variable implementation period.  This was still not sufficient for the Chancellor who led the charge to demand a 2 year delay in our exit from  the EU. The EU  pushed this back to 21 months and demanded a high price for this concession. It meant that a Chancellor who is famous for seeking to block any good idea to spend a bit more on a domestic public service that needs it, was happily flagging through a huge new set of payments to the EU in order to stay in it for a bit longer. The absence of  effective  Treasury resistance  to the financial demands of the EU is one of the worst features of their behaviour. One of the main reasons I and others voted to leave the EU is we want to spend the money we send them here at home on a mixture of increased spending and tax cuts to promote faster growth and a stronger economy and society.

Six  members of the government and two Conservative Vice Chairmen resigned over Chequers because they rightly saw it granting too many concessions to the EU undermining what people expect from Brexit. Looking at the arguments within government that have spilled over into the press the differences between the Chancellor’s views and where most of the rest of the party is are larger than the disagreements between those who resigned and the compromise position he helped force on the government at Chequers. As this week has made clear the Chancellor is fundamentally against the whole idea of Brexit, wrongly seeing it as damaging to the economy, a  central policy put to the people in the Conservative Manifesto of 2017 and a core policy of the government. He should back it and be sensibly optimistic about the economy he helps guide, or pursue his disagreements from the backbenches. He should also reverse the damage his and his predecessor’s higher taxes have done in the next budget.

 

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178 Comments

  1. Nig l
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    As there has been neither word nor deed from Theresa May, she agrees and he is carrying out her wishes. De facto, you are calling for her to go as well. Good.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      It has always been thus, at the start she said she would not be providing a running commentary but she didn’t mention that she would not only allow Remoaners to do that completely unopposed but she would even make sure they were fed with plenty of material to use against Brexit.

      This morning somebody on the Sky press review stated as a proven fact that a “no deal” exit from the EU would be “catastrophic”, last night somebody else said it is time to drop the silly idea that no deal would be better than a bad deal, so what did the duty officers of Dominic Raab’s Rapid Rebuttal Unit say in response?

      Nothing, there has never been any kind of rebuttal unit, rapid or otherwise:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/08/23/the-government-taxed-more-than-it-spent-in-july/#comment-956424

      and while his department has a media office and even a twitter account:

      https://twitter.com/DExEUgov

      on the rare occasions that it makes any use of it the output is feeble.

    • Hope
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      If there was a proper right to recall we would rid the nation of Hammond which the traitor May neither has backbone or desire to do.

      From the start May would publicly rebuke Johnson for stating govt policy to leave the EU but do absolutely nothing when Hammond made remarks against govt policy to remain. Hammond made an awful budget and tried to slam the sl f employed, he is responsible for the highest taxation in fifty years and higher than the last Labour govt! No end in sight for balancing the deficit which was govt policy to balance by 2015, then kicked down the road and now no end date. He deliberately damaged the economy by his remarks about cars etc, also about stamp duty. He has been a disaster in any other business he would be sacked on this let alone undermining the businesses main policy i.e. Leave the EU. Please tell us what he has achieved for the country in his role as chancellor? Has he rebuked the twelve who actively threat to collapse the govt? But he has publicly slated Johnson for stating govt policy to leave the EU.

      Get rid of May and as sure as night follows day the incompetent insidious Hammond and side kick Carney will be gone.

      • Hope
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        May stated collective responsibility is back after chequers. Why is Hammond not sacked after he contravened Raab govt line?

        • Adam
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          There are many loyal Conservative voters contributing views to this site. Most appear to want both PM May & Chancellor Hammond to be replaced with Brexiteers forthwith.

          Do any of you want either of them to stay, & if so, WHY?

          (Several of the Remainer’s postings are intentionally destructive or without rationale, & can be ignored).

    • Peter
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Good – but neither of them will go of their own volition.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        Nor do much that is sensible of their own volition. Unless they do actually cancel HS2 it seems that May is prepared to look at the bonkers project.

        Peter Oborne asks if:=

        “Mrs May, who inherited the disastrous project, has the political courage to dump HS2 at this late stage.
        My sources tell me that Downing Street is ready to look at it again.
        It is not too late. Not a yard of track has been built. Yet enormous sums of taxpayers’ money have been spent already.

        Les us hope she does the sooner the better as millions is being wasted daily and many others being evicted (without proper and prompt compensation it seems too).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • NickC
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Nig 1, Removing the Chancellor doesn’t have the same baggage attached as a full on leadership election. But it would send a message.

      However, we have been here before. At each new concession to the EU, at each new promise of an even deeper relationship with the EU, there are rumours and plots, and rumours of plots, but nothing actually happens. Except the Brexit party becomes weaker, and more outmanouevred by the PM, and Remain wins again.

      It really does look like the Conservative party is not going to come to its senses in time. We are going to have to batten (Batten?) down the hatches and prepare for 13 years of Venezuelan misrule.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        Comparing Venezuela to the future UK even with Corbyn just says so much more about you than anything else

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          They have similar economic policies.
          At the start of Venezuela’s take over by the Marxists every celebrity socialist in the UK was telling us how wonderful it was and that we should copy their example.
          Cornyn was a big fan.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          hans

          IRONY KLAXON

          Comparing an extreme socialist with a country run by an extreme socialist and expecting a different result

          Unbelievable, go have a lie down and a rethink my old mate. BDS is addling your thinking

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    As you say, the Chancellor is fundamentally against the whole idea of Brexit, wrongly seeing it as damaging to the economy, a central policy put to the people in the Conservative Manifesto of 2017 and a core policy of the government.

    In fact a clean Brexit will be a huge boost to jobs, wages and the economy if we get a proper government with Vision.

    In short chuck Checkers, chuck the tax to death misery that is Hammond and Chuck the visionless Socialist, PC dope and massive electoral liability Appeaser May.

    Get a proper pro Brexit leader who can deliver an uplifting clean Brexit and a lower tax, pro growth, smaller state, job creating positive vision. The party conference with May, Hunt, Grieg Clark, Hammond and the likes is going to go down like a bucket of vomit.

    The Tories with a proper pro Brexit Conservative in charge will beat Corbyn easily. May and Hammond will surely lead to Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP, they essentially just Corbyn light with their tax and regulate to death economic anyway.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Exactly, so what are you all waiting for John? The longer you hang onto these two useless socialist duplicitous appeasing capitulating remainers, the more chance there is that we will get a Corbyn Government next time around, God help us.

      We need Boris or JRM as PM (with our host as Chancellor maybe) if we are to have a chance of getting the Brexit we all voted for not to mention a true Tory Government.

      • Hope
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Boles and comhave stated they would block ck no deal and force May back to negotiate. It looks like a general election is required to get rid of Boles, Morgan, Soubry, Clarke, Grieve, Hammond, Allen, sandbach etc. They stood to be elected on a false manifesto pledge. They knew they would not follow the manifesto. Oust them.

      • acorn
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        What makes you think JR will do any different to Hammond, if he was Chancellor? Like all new Secretaries of State, they get told how the world actually works; they then get asked which bits of the PM’s manifesto they think they will change.

        • acorn
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          BTW. The number of EU nationals claiming benefits in the UK had been falling since November 2014 – from 331,849 in November 2015 to 329,720 in November 2016.

          Meanwhile, the number of non-UK nationals from outside the EU claiming benefits was steadily rising – from 526,870 in November 2013 to 546,950 in November 2016.

          Moreover, by November 2017 the numbers of EU nationals claiming welfare payments other than housing benefit were negligible. For example, just over 7,500 EU nationals were claiming the disability benefits Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The number of UK nationals claiming these benefits was around 475,000.

          Hypocrites The Sunday Express screamed before the EU referendum:

          In a huge blow to the Remain campaign… in 2013/14 welfare to jobless EU migrants cost the taxpayer £886million.

          The colossal bill for the taxpayer only included the amount claimed in jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit and sickness pay in and excludes tens of millions more going out of Britain in child benefits.

          This “colossal bill” was actually just 0.5% of the DWP’s total welfare budget.

          But now, the likes of Liam Fox are arguing Brexit will allow us to trade freely with the rest of the world. So, will the government try and stop people from outside the EU claiming benefits? Or was the argument around EU immigrant ‘scroungers’ purely propaganda?

          These figures suggest the latter. It shows not only the unpleasant nature of the Brexit campaign but also the hypocrisy of some of its protagonists.

          • getahead
            Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            So what does the EU do for you acorn?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

            The number has not really been falling has it acorn.
            From 331,849 to 329,720 is a tiny difference.
            And £886 million plus child benefits per annum is hardly a tiny sum.
            However I don’t recall the “scroungers” argument you raise as being a part if the referendum debate.
            I must have missed it.
            Are you floating this straw man as a new attempt to paint all leave voters as being anti immigrant?

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 3:04 am | Permalink

            No EU national should get any benefits whatsoever. They did not have to apply to come here unlike the non EU immigrants.

            If they come and can’t afford to live here then they are not really contributing are they?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            “But now, the likes of Liam Fox are arguing Brexit will allow us to trade freely with the rest of the world. So, will the government try and stop people from outside the EU claiming benefits?”

            Total non sequitur.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          acorn

          Oh and who informs the the civil service mandarins how the the real world works… seeing as none of them have any experience of it?

      • Timaction
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Indeed. May and Hammond must go or we get BRINO from these treacherous people!

        • Hope
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Immigrants cost us £4. Billion in tax credits and housing benefit.

          Osborn proven completely wrong two years on from fake Treasury reports. Incompetent Morgan would believe anything. The contrived exchange and another desperate dishonest prediction by remainers. If Megan had a brain, she would have corrected Hammond from the dopey Osborne figures. Sadly her crude propaganda shows how unfit she is for office and lacks the intellect to hold any public office.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            And the benefits to British nationals they’ve displaced.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Who is ‘we’? How do you know what kind of Brexit all the other people voted for? There are various types on offer. Brexit doesn’t belong to anyone – it’s a process that requires negotiations. The government has a duty to protect existing prosperity and jobs that currently depend on EU membership – and that duty comes before anything else. And as for your hero, Boris Johnson – he was a remainer until about a week before the referendum! The reason you’ve got May is because there are no remotely credible Brexit leaders.

        • getahead
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          What part of “leave” do you not understand Simon? It should have been clear to you that the EU does not want to negotiate. Therefore, instead of pleading with them we should have left cleanly to trade under WTO rules, a lot less expensive than EU membership, informing the EU we were open for an FTA if they wanted one.

        • Hope
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Stupid comment. We voted leave. That means leave in its entirety all derivatives have been created by remainers, just like hard and soft Brexit. No such exists. Leave means leave. Not half in or keep parts of i as May said that would not really be leaving.

          She is the biggest liar of PM in living memory. She must go or the people must start to act to make her leave to enforce our democratic right to leave so elections have a meaning.

    • James McGee
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Yes, I think you are quite right. Why doesn’t Mr Hammond try capitalism for a change.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        I do not think they cover rational economics or capitalism on the Oxford PPE course or indeed in the Treasury. Either that or nearly all the people who aspire to read PPE are too thick, innumerate and left wing to understand any real economics.

        May did Geography so there is not much hope there either. She after all is so dim that she chose to go into an general election with a “vote for me and I will kick my supporters in the teeth Manifesto”.

        Fortunately she was only against the appalling Corbyn – and so just scraped back in with the help of the DUP.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Economic freedom is as important as political freedom.

        The more governments interferes with the economy the less free we all are.

      • Adam
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Philip Hammond bears the lugubrious expression & demeanour of an undertaker, treating Brexit as if it was an exit via Dignitas.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Exactly and his policies are idiotic too.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I find it interesting that so many that argue for remaining (like the Chancellor) confine their argument exclusively to the purported economic benefits of staying in the Club. They rarely if ever discuss the thorny question of who ultimately pulls the levers of power in this country. Their silence on this matter makes me think they have no answer that is defensible. But it also makes me wonder why people are prepared to sacrifice such freedoms at all costs. I have always suspected this has to do with avoiding a repeat of WWI and WWII and that the only way to avoid such loss of life is to bind European nations together and ensure thereafter that a balance of power is maintained across the continent. Germany has always been seen as a threat to this balance, particularly after reunification, but I would hazard a guess there are those who also believe that Britain is seen as a threat and our withdrawal and success outside the EU could pose an existential threat to the balance that elites wish to maintain.
      Does this theory sound outlandish?? I recall Lord Heseltine let slip a question a few months ago about who will provide the counterbalance to Germany if and when we leave. I thought that was a telling remark…..

      • CharlesE
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Oxiana321..only thing is our withdrawal will not be a success, because so long as we remain in the shadow of this huge economic bloc we will play according to their rules..and geographically speaking there is no getting away from that.. Same thing happened when we had the Empire, others were obliged to go by our rules.

        • Oxiana321
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          CE, you are sounding very defeatist. There is no obligation to dance to anyone’s tune and by invoking the Empire you remind us all of a time (not so long ago) when Britain certainly had the confidence to make its own decisions and succeed in the World.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Trying to reinvent the wheel by November is simply not going to work however you word it.

    We have agreed to leave the EU and that is what we have to do on 30/3/19.
    The political parties in their manifestos agreed to leave the Single market (EU/EEA).

    In 1975 referendum we agreed to stay in the Common Market (EEC/now EEA). And that is exactly what we need to do. The only option is to join Efta.

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      That is still having to play by EU rules, Mike. As you well know! We voted to leave the EU, not pretend to do so. I am sure that Mrs May enjoys your support.

    • BOF
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Joining Efta is definitely NOT what we need to do. Pay to trade, accept free movement of people and legislation from Brussels. No thank you.

    • martinC
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard..Am afraid Mike that we don’t have options in any of this, very soon we’ll be standing outside the bloc, cap in hand, wondering what will they will offer.

    • NickC
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard, You have no guarantee that the EFTA would let us back in. Then you have no guarantee that the EU would offer us membership of the EEA at all or, if offered, that it would not have unacceptable strings attached. Yours are just pipe-dreams. And that’s before examining the fact that being in the EEA means our economy and trade policy will be run by the EU. That’s (one of) the things I voted against. I know no Leave voter who wants to tie us back into the EU either.

  4. David Amann
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Here are my 5 common sense actions to save Brexit and win the 2022 general election:

    1. Graham Brady taps Theresa May on the shoulder in September and demands she resign.
    2. Quick leadership election pre conference and elect a leaver with vision.
    3. New leader cans Donkey Hammond and appoints John as Chancellor
    4. New leader meets with Barnier and requests A Canada ++ free trade agreement with mutual recognition of regulations and max fac border controls in Ireland.

    5. If EU reject free trade offer revert to WTO terms and invest £39b in UK
    Result an independent country and a landslide Conservative victory in 2022

    • oldtimer
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      An FTA agreement or reversion to WTO terms appear to be the most likely choice of outcomes. The Chequers Agreement or supine acceptance of the EU’s terms are unlikely to be approved by Parliament and would be rejected by the public. In a radio interview, post his resignation, David David said that DEXEU was well advanced in preparing the draft of a FTA. The attempts by May, Hammond and others to frustrate Brexit are a national disgrace.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        And did David Davis give an estimate of the economic value of his mooted free trade agreement? Because despite all the hype that surrounds them as a general rule they are now worth very little, there having been so much trade liberalisation already that we are now into diminishing returns.

        Supposing we took the place of Canada in the EU-Canada deal, CETA, which is what people keep talking about, then that might be better for us than the WTO baseline by a one-off 0.4% of our GDP:

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/08/15/the-reasons-the-pm-gives-to-surrender-our-powers-of-self-government-again-over-the-supply-of-goods/#comment-954826

        “For the UK and other EU countries, on the EU’s numbers the collective GDP enhancement might be only 0.03%, while on the UK government’s numbers it would be a 0.07% gain in our GDP; on the other side – which is where we would be after leaving the EU – according to the EU Canada is estimated to see increases ranging from 0.18% to 0.36%, while a Canadian source says that it may be worth a one-off 0.4% boost to Canada’s GDP.”

        My advice is that the UK government should publicly declare that for the present it is not seeking any special or preferential trade deal with the EU, and instead it wishes to focus solely on sorting out the legal and practical details of a smooth and orderly default to basic WTO terms.

        The political problem here is that just as the government still refuses to accept that the EU Single Market has had little overall impact on the UK economy so too it wishes to perpetuate the fantasy that new trade deals around the world would be the key to greater prosperity, when in reality almost all of our economic growth is internally generated.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Her actions behind the scenes with Ollie, Merkle the EU will go down in history as the Prime Minister who sold out her Country and the Tory Party will pay the price at the ballet box!

      • NickC
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Oldtimer, Actually I can see the Robbins’ revolving-door Remain getting through Parliament on the votes of Remain Tories, Remain Labour and some Remain SNP and LibDems. I suspect only about 100 Brexit MPs will oppose it. Yes, the Labour party will overtly save Mrs May because they will calculate that the ensuing civil war within the Tory party will see Labour comfortably in power for the next 25 years, or even finish the Tory party off completely. Just as Robbins wants of course.

        • Manesh
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Let’s hope the Labour and Conservative parties can survive the civil war in the real world.

    • Steve
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      To David Amann

      I agree with your points. However –

      Point 5; if EU rejects then just tell them to sling their hook. It is also too late for the conservatives. People are resigned to their government thwarting brexit, revenge is now firmly in voter’s minds.

      Point 4; we should not be requesting anything of Barnier, we should be telling him how it works if the EU wishes to trade with us, otherwise skedaddle as we don’t owe his ungrateful lot anything.

      Point 1: May’s mere resignation is now not enough, people will only be satisfied if she leaves number ten thoroughly humiliated and draped in scandal.

    • Shire Tory
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Mr Amann, in 2017 the Conservatives offered the British people a hard Brexit. The British people said no. Don’t you respect democracy?

      • Manesh
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Don’t you understand democracy?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        The two parties that offered a manifest promise to remain in the EU in that election did badly.
        The two main parties had manifesto promises to leave.
        They got over 80% of the vote.

        Hard brexit means actually leaving the EU

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        shire Tory

        So the Lib Dems are running the country then? I thought the Tories won the election

    • Billy Elliot
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Invest 39bn?
      To be precises invests it during coming decades to 2064 is what you mean, right? That is the schedule for paying our OBLIGATION to EU. But as such we don’t have no 39bn to invest.

      And if we don’t take care of our OBLIGATION of 39bn to EU there will be no trade deals with anyone.

      Who makes trade deals with Pinocchios?

    • SecretPeople
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Can’t disagree with any of that!

    • Gordon Nottingham
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      David, I like your comment, but how can we ensure this happens?

  5. Richard1
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The Chancellor’s latest projection that the economy will be 7% smaller than it otherwise would be in 15 years time if we go for the WTO option is indeed absurd. Imagine if in 1979 someone had made a confident projection of the size of the economy in 1994! Of course it would have been nonsense as there are so many variables. We have not seen the full details of the assumptions the Treasury made, but Patrick Minford et al have reverse engineered them – and they seem to be absurd. The Treasury assumes EU tariffs on U.K. goods, but not vice versa, and no new free trade arrangements. Not surprisingly this results in output in the model of lower overall trade. Rubbish in rubbish out. MPs should demand to see the detail so the Treasury’s model can be properly scrutinised.

    But the problem starts at the top. Mrs May is PM and she needs to take responsibility for the tone of the Govt and it’s various pronouncements. Tory MPs need to decide whether they want a serious crack at a comprehensive FTA with the EU, Canada style, setting aside the bogus issue of the Irish border, in which case they need to ditch Mrs May, pretty much now. If not, then it’s put up with BRINO and the £39bn leaving present, and hope it can be sorted out afterwards, as Michael Gove appears to believe.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I should think Michel Barnier is laughing up his sleeve at us; in his 2012 report he claimed that creation of the EU Single Market had been worth a little over 2% added to the collective GDP of the EU member states, so it will amuse him when Philip Hammond inflates that to 8% of our GDP.

      And especially as Michel Barnier is probably aware that whatever benefits the Single Market may have provided to the EU as a whole are unlikely to have been distributed uniformly across the member states, and there are good reasons to think that the UK has been one of the countries which has benefited least from it, maybe more like 1% gross rather than 2%:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/08/02/what-happened-to-the-record-temperature/#comment-951993

      “And that, of course, is only an estimate of the gross benefits of the Single Market, without any attempt to take into account its costs.”

      “… this means that the benefits are less than a third of the costs.”

      But for Theresa May to publicly put that to Michel Barnier would be tantamount to an admission that for over two decades she has been lying about it to the British public in general, and her own constituents in particular.

      • getahead
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        I read somewhere that the UK is the largest net loser from the Single Market. Trade in the Single Market costs the UK a deficit of just under £100bn per year The UK is the biggest net loser from trade in the Single Market, out of the 28 member states.

  6. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Well, as usual John, you are speaking to the converted. As we have said on this site for long enough, get rid of Hammond and May and get this government into a position where the people would want to vote for it. I dare say the latest tax on plastics will result in higher prices in the shops (why is the poor old housewife having to pay for this) and this will be blamed on Brexit by the BBC and the likes when in fact it’s Hammond and his stupid policies that are to blame. He really is a traitor to his own country along with the PM. All the time the two are in charge we are on a good hiding to nothing. It’s such a shame when this country is full of entrepreneurs who could make it prosperous again when we are in charge of our own destiny. Pray to God it’s not too far away.

  7. Shire Tory
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minsiter is wrong. The Chancellor is wrong. The entire Cabinet, which supports the Chequers deal, is wrong. Or so says John Redwood. To borrow from Mrs Merton, can I ask you Mr Redwood, are there any circumstances in which you might consider showing some loyalty to your party’s leadership?

    • L Jones
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you should look back at what Dr Redwood has said through the past year or so. Not so long ago his loyalty and support for Mrs May were clear – as circumstances have changed and she has shown herself to be no upholder of Conservative values and the wishes of the people, he seems to have shifted his stance. Good.

      What on earth is the point of showing unquestioning allegiance to a party leader if you can see that leader isn’t leading you to a good place? Better to show loyalty to one’s country. Dr Redwood is demonstrating to us that it is the country that is more important in his eyes, than some chosen ”leader” with quite obvious feet of clay.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        @L Jones. Totally agree with your comments. As for Shire Tory perhaps Dr Redwood feels it is important to uphold democracy and can see that leaving the EU would be good for us and that Hammond’s taxes are driving the UK into the ground slowly. I appreciate we have MP’s such as John.

      • vera
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May showed by her Chequers deal how duplicitous and treacherous she has been – creating a Brexit group and then working around it. The Chequers deal wasn’t concocted overnight – there is probably a few weeks work there which she and her side-kick Olly colluded on without the Brexit group’s knowledge. Such behaviour deserves complete loss of support and loyalty. She deserves to be dragged from office and replaced by a Leave supporter. The sooner the better

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Maybe when she starts showing some loyalty to the 17.4 million people who voted Brexit, eh John?? John is speaking on behalf of them and democracy, someone has to because as sure as hell, May and Hammond have no intention of respecting our wishes. They do not deserve loyalty and thank goodness we have MPs like John, rare I know, who are willing to put the people before the party.

    • agricola
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I am sure he would were this dishonest rabble of remainers to respect the democratic decision of the people following the result of the 2016 referendum. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor, and any in the cabinet who have supported the Chequers deal are a malignant cancer in the body of democratic politics.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Sarcasm is no substitute for facts.

    • Steve
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Shire Tory

      It’s not so much that they’re wrong, but that most of what they tell us is baloney to conceal agenda that would otherwise ensure their removal from power. Such is the despotic nature of the current regime. Lying through their teeth and conning the electorate has become the norm.

      I suspect Mr Redwood is ‘old school’ and has a strong sense of duty to his office and country. Fortunately he’s still around to give us a platform and is prepared to listen to public opinion.

      Where is May’s publicly accessible forum ?

      Having lived in his constituency for many years I can say that John Redwood is a person of the values we assume to be sadly absent from society these days, even though we might not necessarily agree with him he is always a gentleman and certainly no fool.

      It is a shame others don’t honour the same principles, and if there were more like him in government we wouldn’t be facing the current crisis.

      What you appear to suggest is that he should sacrifice his principles for loyalty to corrupt leadership.

      All credit to the man for standing out from the crowd, I say.

    • York Shire Tory
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Shire Tory
      Loyalty paid to a Loyal-Wrong is waste

    • All Shires
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Shire Tory~~~ wrong, wrong, wrong… you chant and chant and chant as dirge mockery awakes a dust not dust with first water. Brexit is necessary in the Absolute or you’ll all get floody wet with a chant way above your hearing heads. Mark my words.

    • NickC
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Shire Tory, Loyalty works both ways.

    • mancunius
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      The question is rather, are there any circumstances that you would be prepared to support the 2017 Conservative Manifesto, and demand that the PM and Chancellor do so themselves?
      ‘A man cannot serve two masters.’ Wise words. Yet many in the Tory Party are doing just that.

    • vera
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May doesn’t deserve loyalty after her double dealing with Olly whathisface.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      shire Tory

      How about if the Tory government actually implemented the manifesto they stood on, maybe they would get loyalty

  8. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    From his first budget it was obvious he was clueless in the job.

    The shame is more ministers did not resign after Chequers, half hearted isn’t in it.

    The Treasury and the HoL are the Establishment.

    The answer is to vote down Hammond’s budget and force him out.

  9. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Good to see MrRobert Azevedo CEO of the World Trade Organisation recently speaking out against those Remainers who suggest WTO rules are no substitute for a so called miserable agreement with the EU.

    He advised that 98% of all international Commercial World trade is conducted under WTO rules, and that 164 Countries were WTO members including the EU.

    Sort of puts the fear question being raised by those who do want to leave into context.

    The huge mistake May has made is to outline a WTO deal as no deal, as if nothing would be in place if we did not agree her surrender document, thus adding fuel to the fear mongers arguments.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Oops

      Sort of puts the fear question being raised by those who do NOT want to leave into context.

    • NickC
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson, Theresa May has made no mistake. She is a Remain and a liar to her own Ministers, and to the country.

  10. Richard1
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    According to the journalist Peter Oborne the Govt are considering scrapping the disasterous HS2 Project, likely to be a £100bn white elephant. A vanity project the chief advocates of which were Lord Adonis and George Osborne. This would be an excellent decision and a real boost to Mrs May’s leadership – save the £100bn and spend a fraction of it on such things as improvements to the rest of the network, improvements to roads, much better broadband, maybe a Japan style hyper-link between Leeds and Manchester. Show some leadership and imagination Mrs May – imagine what it would do for the Conservatives’ electoral prospects!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Good, if they do cancel HS2 (rather belatetly) that would perhaps be only the second sensible think the May government has done. The other being an opt out organ donation register.

      Very good of the Pope to appologise to “God” about the way the Catholic Church dealt with their very many sex abusers paedophiles. Not much chance of comeback likely from God after all.

      Perhaps the Pope could apologise to the victims now and try to prevent any more of it.

    • Gordon Nottingham
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      How can we publicise the scraping of the HS2 project?

      • Richard1
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        We should urge our host to support the cause of scrapping it and do likewise with our own MPs.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Richard1,

      It may be being poorly implemented and controlled, or at least reported as such, but it remains one of the few sensible projects the Govt has. More capacity, running fast trains on different lines to those locally stopping (a separation needed more widely) and a demonstration that the UK can deliver* large, national brand delivering projects. An Ireland-Scotland bridge and eventually a Thames Estuary airport and we might start looking like a forward moving country. Old lines with a few new signals, squeezing another runway into the middle of the capital, such sticking plaster solutions might align with the Govt’s ambition of a sticking plaster deal with the EU, but does not align with a future foccussed, world leading independent country. It is silly to think that we can remain a world financial centre, have a space industry etc., but not be able to put together funding for and deliver key basic infrastructure.

      *There should be/have been a push to deliver at least Old Oak to Curzon street by the time of the Commonwealth Games – it is an opportunity.

      (I do agree though the North needs to be looked at in terms of better links between smaller locations so that a skilled workforce above critical mass is accessible to inward investment, don’t think Leeds Manchester would deliver this but other links are needed).

      • Richard1
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m all in favour of big infrastructure projects which radically transform quality of life, speed of communications etc. But I’ve seen no analysis which comes close to explaining why a somewhat quicker new train from London to Birmingham is worth £100bn of taxpayers’ money (+ ripping up some of the limited beautiful countryside we have in England). The thing will be obsolete by the time it’s open. An exciting train project might be a 200mph+ hyperlink between Leeds and Manchester. HS2 is a politicians’ vanity project in which people like Osborne and Adonis have had civil servants back-solve into economic justification. A clue as to its uselessness is there’s no private capital interested in it.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          The 56 billion with risk allowance is the whole project not just birmingham london. The alleged leaked report on overrun is one department’s report and denied by Transport. The criticisms, if valid, flow from aligned vision and control issues (politics and project management are bound to cross) but this is a construction project not an R and D project so should be simple to sort out. The other call for additional expenditure is associated with improving other parts of the transport network in regions such as you have mentioned to leverage further benefit from HS2.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        HS2 is an EU project to link us to Brussels. It has no economic justification whatsoever.

  11. Ian wragg
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    It’s wrong that just one person can thwart the wishes of 17.4 million voters.
    The man together with his boss should be booed of the stage at conference.
    The country is being made a laughing stock by these idiots.

  12. Peter Martin
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    We often hear calls that Government should decrease their deficit from those on the right of the political spectrum , but increase their deficit from more ‘progressive’ liberals and socialists.

    Both are problematic. The Government’s deficit has to equal everyone else’s surplus. In other words the Government can only reduce its deficit if everyone else saves less and can only increase its deficit if everyone else saves more.

    Of course, one way to make everyone save less is to make them poorer and this will ultimately happen if the Govt squeezes hard enough. But suppose the Govt wants wants to increase its own deficit. ie it wants everyone else to save more. If Govt succeeds it isn’t creating any more spending in the economy. Its possible extra spending is matched by others’ extra saving.

    And supposing the Govt wants everyone else to save less. ie It wants to decrease its own deficit. The way to do that isn’t necessarily to tighten monetary and fiscal policy. That could make everyone else more cautious and want to save more.

    To summarise: Looser fiscal and monetary policies, to stimulate a flagging economy, don’t necessarily result in an increased Govt deficit. Conversely tighter monetary and fiscal policies, to control inflation, don’t necessarily result in a reduced Govt deficit.

  13. Newmania
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The Bank of England cancelled interest rate normalisation due to signs showing the country was slipping towards recession. The Governor was clear.Plans to bring UK debt under control were also abandoned.
    The Conservative manifesto was rejected despite facing a comedy Communist with a history of Bennite Euroscepticism. It explicitly promised an orderly Brexit, a deep relationship and a flourishing economy. That rules out No Deal, if you want to play this childish game
    At some point choices will have to be made. One of them is that we either cut all ties to the EU risking Irish Peace jobs security and solvency and the UK itself or we will continue to pay contributions. Switzerland pays a full whack, so does Norway. We will not stop paying or we will face even worse consequences.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Neither Switzerland nor Norway pay a ‘full whack’. Both pay less than the U.K. per capita and both make contributions to E Europe structural funds not to the general budget. No one is proposing cutting all ties to the EU, just having a sensible free trade deal, numerous other cooperative arrangements, but not being part of the political integration process (such as ‘regulatory alignment’).

    • Edward2
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      Over 80% of voters voted for two parties with manifeso committments t leave the EU
      The two other parties promising to remain did badly.

      Why don’t you ask the EU to agree with your vision for a deal.
      So far they have rejected everything the UK has put forward.

  14. William Long
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Is there anything practical you can do to hasten him, and preferably her as well, on his way? Would a vote, carried, to reduce his salary have the desired effect?

  15. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The market does not belive in Hammond’s prediction of a potential catastrophic post Brexit crash in our economy. The FTSE 250 is a good measure of the UK domestic economy and it has just pulled back slightly from an all-time high. This is normal “noise”.

    https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/indices/summary/summary-indices-chart.html?index=MCX

    Barring a global market crash this autumn (possible – but on my reading of the world economy, unlikely) the market is saying no problem.

  16. David D
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    How can a Prime Minister, a Chancellor, and most cabinet members, serve in a government that claims to be implementing Brexit when none of them actually believe in it? Surely they should resign if they had any claim to honour? Of course in reality they are there to frustrate the wishes of the people not implement them.

  17. Caterpillar
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Over two years has passed since the referendum, a period which should have been fully invested into preparing for clean Brexit (aka Brexit, the democratic result). Using tactics of delay (unnecessary GE, tittle tattle of leadership challenges), narrative manipulation and false/genuine incompetence the Remainers (Hammond, May, HoL, Carney…) have put the country in a position where it is impossible to be fully prepared for a clean Brexit by 31/3/19. It is clear that the democratic result will not be implemented, the UK will either have not left or be in a bad position designed such that rejoining the EU looks favourable.

    The Treasury will continue to do its best to enact its Remainer forecasts and ensure the future is EU entangled.

  18. David Murfin
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    ” He should also reverse the damage his and his predecessor’s higher taxes have done in the next budget.”
    He should go, and someone else should do that – preferably someone who believes that it is a good idea to leave the EU.

  19. Tad Davison
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Once in a while there comes a time for a responsible leader to reflect upon past events and which direction they want the party to go in future. They then listen to the party membership, they listen to the electorate at large, and weed-out all the rubbish from the front benches who are impediments to progress in order to make that happen.

    Hammond is useless, that is a given, but when the leader is equally useless, and has the majority of the party membership not to mention the voters up in arms at their dithering, do they no carry the ultimate responsibility for the policy mistakes of their appointees?

    Put garbage in, and we can only ever expect to get garbage out. Hammond is a case in point. I am sure there are better people Theresa May could have chosen.

    Tad Davison

  20. Mark B
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    A very critical piece from our kind host on the Chancellor and the government today. In fact, our kind host has had little good to say about the aforementioned, including the Treasury, for sometime now. Me thinks he is a bit miffed like the rest of us.

  21. Andy
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    By gloomy you mean realistic.

    It is the Chancellor’s job to look after nation’s finances. It is not his job to endulge the fact rejecting fantasy unicorn wing of his party.

    The six members of the government who resigned are no loss. Two highly incompetent Cabinet ministers. Steve Baker – who launched an extraordinary and dangerous attack on the civil service – and three others of such note that they are surely non-entities even in their own households.

    Going back to 2015 – when we had a decent Conservative PM and A Tory government with several competent ministers – Mr Hammond was considered something of a Eurosceptic.

    He was certainly not (and is not) the EU lover that the angry pensioners now like to pretend. Instead, faced with the actual evidence in the run up to the referendum he concluded that, for all its faults, being in the EU is better for the UK than any form of Brexit.

    Events have proven Mr Hammond largely right and the angry pensioners completely wrong.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      “Mr Hammond was considered something of a Eurosceptic.”

      Really? Who by? Let’s see some evidence to support your fantasies.

      • hefner
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        BBC 12/05/2013
        Spectator 14/07/2014

        • Andy
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Thank you. He probably won’t believe it though because it is not Breitbart.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            He plainly isnt eurosceptic today, and it is today we are having to deal with.

        • Hope
          Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          That is not evidence. Poor research/ comment Hef.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          This is what you think of as references … I can assure you that I never thought of him as being even a “eurosceptic” …

    • L Jones
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      How many more times, Andy? We Brexiteers are NOT all ”pensioners”. Some of us are probably even younger than you!! And a darn sight better read too, I’d guess, definitely more courteous, and able to argue a point with resorting to what you intend to be an insult.
      (Perhaps you’d like to explain why you believe the word ”pensioner” is actually derogatory.)

    • Edward2
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      What events are you talking about Andy?

  22. agricola
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The success our economy has enjoyed since the referendum has been despite the actions of government not because of it. I would suggest that without the impact of a remain government our success would have been greater. Growing success on the run up to Brexit was not on their agenda, they preferred the opposite because it suited the lie they were selling. The Chancellor, the Prime Minister, and all the acquiescent turd polishers of Chequers are surplus to requirements. They are damaging the future of the country and the future existence of the Conservative party. I hope the party conference gives them food for thought , like resignation. If it is the usual kiss my backside managed affaire they are dead in the water with the electorate.

  23. Edwardm
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Well said.

  24. BOF
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you John for saying so clearly and starkly what most understand to be true of the Chancellor’s aims and his actions to support those aims.

    Your post also highlights the deep divide in the party and the fact that so many Conservative MP’s are failing to support their own Manifesto. For that matter the same can be said of Labour!

    • Timaction
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      They are trying and failing to dupe the public but we know it and don’t trust them one jot.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    “The UK economy has done well in creating many new jobs”

    The UK economy always does well in creating many new jobs, it is a dynamic economy with a high rate of job “churn”, and at any time the most important question is whether it is creating new jobs faster than it is destroying old jobs.

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/02/overseas-firms-back-city-by-signing-for-new-offices/#comment-882347

    That is why claims that leaving the EU in one way or another could lead to the loss of so many thousand jobs in this or that sector must always be seen in the context of that high natural “churn” in the jobs market:

    “Prior to the financial crisis, the UK saw on average 4 million jobs created and 3.7 million jobs lost each year … almost exactly the same scale as the estimated 3-4 million jobs that are associated with exports to EU actors.”

    • acorn
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      “Rising employment overshadowed by unprecedented wage stagnation” (OECD Employment Outlook).

      “Wage growth remains remarkably more sluggish than before the financial crisis. At the end of 2017, nominal wage growth in the OECD area was only half of what it was ten years earlier: in Q2 2007, when the average of unemployment rates of OECD countries was about the same as now, the average nominal wage growth was 5.8% vs 3.2% in Q4 2017.”

      “More worryingly, wage stagnation affects low-paid workers much more than those at the top: real labour incomes of the top 1% of earners have increased much faster than those of median full-time workers in recent years, reinforcing a long-standing trend.”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        We’re talking about job creation and destruction, acorn.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        acorn

        If you had ever run a business you would know why

        Wages are growing at 2.7% , most new employment is with small businesses , the reason that workers ( in big demand) aren’t seeing better wage increases is because a) The government bought in yet another pension scheme, the workplace pension Employers mandatory contribution 2% ( so wages could have risen by 4.7% ) b) The EU bought in the right to flexible working & parental leave , which means that employers need to employ more people to do the same job, it one reason why productivity is so low c)the government introduced new taxes and significantly raised business rates d) GDPR fiasco has generated lots of unnecessary costs to small business and lost them access to new customers

        The government are also talking about more new taxes , so earnings buy you less and costs businesses more. When will people learn that the government are nearly always the source of the problem

        Oh and who cares what the 1% earn , I’m in the 1% i haven’t had a pay rise of any kind for 8 years

  26. ukretired123
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    John Redmond is like a breath of fresh air in these chaotic times and similar in conviction to Frank Field on Labour.
    Hammond is always ” Mr Unconvinced” just like John Major dull, grey and with no vision or imagination destined for civil service but certainly not entrepreneurship.
    He is gripped by fear whereas he should be seeing opportunities galore in Brexit.
    He is stuck in the past and reminds me how old managers reacted to computers coming in years ago. Everyone hates change. Some go down with their ship still clutching a rail as in a white knuckle ride gripped by fear instead of letting go of old ideas discredited by facts like UK growth.
    Hammond and Poser Carney have been disastrous for the markets and Sterling and have created problems to suit their personal egos and PR and need replacing as they cannot change – just like the EU elite tribe, Junker and Barnier, stuck with’Grand Canyon’ patterns of thinking worn down over 50years.
    We need to think like changing our insurance supplier as our loyalty to EU is not mirrored back and change for the better by switching to a better Free Trade deal or go with WTO. Walk the Brexit Talk is how you get results now.
    Thanks for listening.

  27. Den
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I recall Gordon Brown selling off OUR gold at rock-bottom prices having first alerted the market of his intentions. What? It was to demonstrate “Open Government” he claimed. LOL. How naive could he be?
    However, it appears the Treasury agreed with this move as they did sell the gold but elected to do it at Auction rather than the standard method – after the daily “Fix” price was set. This meant the sell price was even more depressed than it otherwise would have been. It can be compared to the “Warehouse Clearance” sales of today but on an elevated and massive scale.

    Why would they do that? My conclusion is that they favoured the banks more than the people. At an ultra-low price of gold, the banks could then operate a lucrative “Carry Trade” and speculate on the price of gold rising post Brown’s sell-off. Which it did, of course.
    That dire event, which cost the British Tax payers £7 Billions and still counting, was almost two decades ago. However, now, the Treasury is keen to sell the Country rather than OUR gold. Worse! – We will not get paid anything for it. Instead we shall pay them to run our affairs and set our Laws. How can any British citizen want that for their country? Freedom is priceless.
    What is the matter with these people? Do they have no sense of patriotism left in their bodies?
    Treasury Mandarins take note: Perpetually running GB down does nothing but harm to the people you are supposed to be working for. Or is it the case you, like the EU Commission, think yourselves above the rest of us?

  28. Alan Joyce
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Not only is the Chancellor far too gloomy he also has all the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.

  29. David Cooper
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    This deserves a far wider audience, so I have posted a link to it in ConHome’s daily newslinks. If only our esteemed author could be serving the country from No 11 under a Boris premiership and with JRM at DExEU.

  30. Tabulazero
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The UK is doing well because its main export markets (the EU and the US) are doing well and the reality of Brexit has yet to impact it.

    The UK is however not doing as well as it should given the strength of the global economy and foreign direct investment has decelerated sharply from pre-referendum levels.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      “foreign direct investment has decelerated sharply from pre-referendum levels”

      Let’s see some evidence to support that claim, which is the opposite to this:

      https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/uk-inward-investment-is-at-a-record-high-so-why-has-almost-no-one-reported-it/

      “UK investment is at a record high.”

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      From 2000 to present you could draw a straight, downward sloping line through the value of sterling. This coincides with the adoption of socialism by Gordon Brown and its continuation since. You could not tell when the referendum was held by it.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero

      UK exports to the rest of the world have outstripped UK exports to EU countries for the 9th year running.

      By the way we dont export anything to the EU, we export to individual countries and markets some of whom are members of the EU project

      The UK’s largest single trading partner is the United States of America, accounting for £182.6 billion in total trade of goods and services in 2017. Followed by Germany with a trading relationship of £134.9 billion.

      Foreign Direct investment in the UK is at a record high

      Digital tech alone generated £7 billion of inward investment in 2017

      How many more times do you need to be told trade is an activity that takes place between buyer and sellers not politicians and bureaucracies

      hans

      I have to keep telling you all this because remainers keep spouting this guff

  31. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    JR

    Wi the anticipated major changes in the UK demographics over the next 20 years and therefore the need for increased social and NHS spending, this is not the time for tax cuts with a debt level at nearly 90% of GDP and significant interest payments on the existing budget deficit already

    • libertarian
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      hans

      tax cuts generate more tax revenues on the whole

  32. Duyfken
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    It is noticeable and refreshing that JR is now openly critical of the aims and activities of May, Hammond & co, albeit identified impersonally in terms of their office: “Chancellor” etc. Previously his barbs have been couched in nebulous terms, using such phraseology as “some may think …” or “it is said …” and other passive voice constructions. It seems the gloves are now off and how welcome that is – with bare hands it is easier to go for the jugular!

  33. Bob
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    “the Chancellor is fundamentally against the whole idea of Brexit”

    Which is exactly why he was chosen for high office in the “Brexit” govt.

    Are you beginning to see the writing on the wall Mr Redwood?

  34. VotedOut
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “a Chancellor who is famous for seeking to block any good idea to spend a bit more on a domestic public service that needs it…”

    I am sure there are ever increasing numbers of crime victims who think spending more fighting the alarming crime wave would be a “good idea”.

    Or shall we all just carry on ignoring all the murders, burglaries, muggings, acid attacks – and focus on nicking drivers doing 1mph above the speed limit?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      We want our own Trump.

      The establishment has abandoned us and we are on our own.

  35. easytosay
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s all too late now..the dye has been cast..how it’s going to turn out is anybody’s guess

    There’s widespread gloom across the land, not only in the treasury.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid that Jacob Rees-Mogg has slipped up and left himself exposed to unreasonable criticism from the Irish Foreign Minister and other EU loyalists both in the Republic and over here:

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2018/0825/987529-coveney-rees-mogg-criticism/

    “Tánaiste Simon Coveney has labelled UK Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as
    “ill-informed” for suggesting people crossing the Northern Ireland border could be “inspected” after Brexit in the same way as “we had during the Troubles”.”

    Maybe he forgot that the Irish government has long ago adopted the absurd, extreme and intransigent position of ruling out the use of cameras at the border, or anything else that would imply a border on the island of Ireland:

    To recall what the Irish Europe Minister said last November, 3 minutes in here:

    https://news.sky.com/video/is-the-norway-sweden-border-a-solution-for-ireland-11141058

    “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

    When she said “… that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland … ” that is exactly what she meant, she was not asking for help or advice on how to set up some completely unobtrusive, efficient, hi-tech and high-speed system of checks on a border which the Irish government wishes to pretend does not exist, even though it clearly does exist both on the maps and on the roads.

    Boris Johnson made the same kind of mistake with his comparison with the system for the congestion charge in London.

    Which is why the correct response from the UK government would have been to say “OK, in that case we pledge that we will make no changes at all on our side of the border, and the Irish government and the EU can do what they please on their side”.

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      The Irish gentleman in question wishes not to have a physical border in the island of Ireland. However, as he refuses the sensible means to make it no onerous than as at present, is that an admission that he still covets the territory of Northern Ireland, in breach of signed agreements to the contrary? The existing border is a VAT and currency border, so little would be changed.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Guido Fawkes 16/05/2018 :

      “Irish Border Camera Problem Solved :

      A lot of Remainers are agitating around the issue of cameras on the Irish border. Karen Bradley, one of the Remainers on the Brexit sub-committee, has insisted this morning that there will be no new Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. Remainers don’t seem to realise that there already are high definition cameras at the Irish border with a high speed data link to police computers, which can easily be retasked to connect with customs and excise computers. The video above [showing ANPR cameras] was taken at the border on the A1 motorway, the main route between Dublin and Belfast along which the vast majority of intra-Ireland trade happens.”

    • notachance
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Denis..and then we’ll have the return of large scale smuggling..so more and more customs officials..both sides..will be needed..then we’ll need more and more police..and Army..just like JRM has suggested..great..this is Ireland we’re talking about

    • Andy
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Under WTO rules – which you all claim to want – you are required to have a hard border. The only way around this would be for the UK to scrap tariffs and regulations on EU products. But then, as we’ll be under WTO rules, we’d have to apply that to everyone else too – unless we had done a specific trade deal with the EU.

      It is unfortunate that you are all so angry, unknowledgable and are in thrall to a small but very vocal cohort of charlatans in Parliament who masquerade as Conservatives but actually aren’t.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        WTO website talks about a controlled border.
        Very different to your vision of a hard border Andy.
        The last round of WTO trade talks were about freeing up trade.

        I found little problems exporting to non EU nations nor delays getting purchases delivered from non EU nations.
        In terms of paperwork there was little extra required compared to dealing with EU nations.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Basically the IRA is going to deny us home rule.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        “Under WTO rules … you are required to have a hard border.”

        Liar.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        The WTO is the successor to GATT founded in 1948 . In 1923 the UK and Irish introduced the CTA a loosely controlled border between the Republic & NI. It worked well under GATT all long before either country joined the EU

        Trouble with you “young kids” you dont know your history

  37. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Has Mrs May and Hammond actually looked at the manifesto they were elected on recently? Thought not.

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

      Who do you think had written the manifesto? Who contributed to its writing? Over how many weeks? Who signed it off?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Hefner. Does it matter who wrote it or signed it off? She was elected on this manifesto and agreed to lead the Tory party. What is wrong with you?

        • hefner
          Posted August 28, 2018 at 5:57 am | Permalink

          Two chapters, 17 ‘Manifesto destiny’ and 18 ‘Nothing have changed’, of Tim Shipman’s “Fall Out”, the book on the 2017 events, describe the twists and turns of the writing and publication (remember ‘the dementia tax’?) of the Conservative manifesto. Given the original almost presidential style of Theresa May’s campaign, your comment looked rather funny/uninformed.

  38. margaret
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    The (Remainers? ed) are in the way.The (opponents ed) are leaving their sticky barriers everywhere.They are trying to steam roller Brexiteers . Germany is doing well in this country in the food industry; we wouldn’t want it any different and Germany surely wouldn’t ,but they are in surplus with the EU . It is working for them; not us.Does the chancellor really understand this implicit trade war, does he want to lay down and die? does he want to say sorry EU you are by far superior to us and we will do what you say and spoil our Country by destroying everything we have accomplished. We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare , but we didn’t realise there were so many hard- backed senseless tortoises lining up for defence of the oppositions power.

  39. vera
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Even if what Hammond bleats is true I would still vote for our independence, to take back our sovereignty, to make our own laws, control our borders and spend our own money, to do otherwise is akin to bribery.

  40. robert lewy
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Can I be devil’s advocate whilst Remaining a firm Leaver?

    I am trying to imagine why the Chancellor is so determined to come across
    as an anti-Brexit (campaigner ed)

    Could it be that he shares a belief with TM that the EU will never agree to a deal
    which the UK Parliament will accept. If this is the case , WTO becomes inevitable.

    Could it therefore be that the Government based on its advice are preparing for the post BREXIT situation? They will be able to continue the dialogue with the EU and demonstrate that they have done everything in their power, short of suspending democracy to dissuade the British public from leaving the EU. They could also be able to remind the EU that it was their failure to be more flexible that brought us to this place. This mollification could achieve a more co-operative response towards agreeing future arrangements.

    Nonsense perhaps. but I am groping to make sense of this fiasco!

    Reply Dream on. That is not why the Chancellor is doing it,

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      The EU refuse to discuss trade with us until we have left, so WTO is not a fear, it will be the reality. We already trade world-wide under the system with a healthy surplus so I cannot see what the fear is. Unless the fear mongers are working for the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary there is much for Brexiteers to fear. And we must let you all experience the full impact of your vote. Most of you will be far more adversely affected than most of us. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Over 90% of world trade carries on using WTO rules.
          Year in, year out, for decades.
          Even the EU uses WTO rules.

          Tell us your fears Andy.
          Let us calm you and make you less angry.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Well of course. Beaconsfield is never affected by anything (other than rising house values, cheap house cleaners and cheap nannies.) Naturally you like the EU.

  41. Steve
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    @BOF
    “… so many Conservative MP’s are failing to support their own Manifesto.”

    The party is destroying itself there’s no doubt, or more precisely May is destroying it.

    I have a feeling there will be a ‘night of the long knives’ before things improve.

  42. John Dodds
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    “The Remains of the Day” seems an appropriate name for our so called Prime Minister and her supporters.What a dreadful lying,duplicitous creature has evolved since her appointment.What can the 17.4 million voters do to stop this clique from ignoring their votes.Why aren’t the 17.4 million voters demanding that their parliamentary representatives do what they were elected to do and ensure they get what was voted for?At least some of her former Ministers had the the courage and honesty to challenge her actions but it seems as though others are more interested in their salaries rather than their responsibilities to the voters.It is so disappointing to see the display of inaction to correct what is happening.I pray that something positive happens soon to give us what was voted for.
    The Conservative Party

  43. Qubus
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    One of the troubles is that both the Chancellor and the PM are scientifically, and probably mathematically, illiterate, along with 80% of the Treasury.

    • hefner
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever applied for a position in the Treasury?

      • Qubus
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        No, but Ihave relatives and friends who have applied successfully.

        • Qubus
          Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          Mostly classists from Oxbridge.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        Have you ever run a business?

        • hefner
          Posted August 28, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          If being responsible for eight staff and for managing the inputs and outputs (budget, food providers, specialized activities) of an enterprise caring for about 50 people in terms of lodging, food and activities for ten years in the summer months can be considered a “business”, the answer is yes.
          Obviously it is not as gratifying as being the CEO of an exporting business with dealings all over the world and millions of pounds of cash flow.
          But in case of an accident (we were spelunking as part of the activities), I might have been penally responsible, something rarely happening within a Plc.

  44. Qubus
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Becoming an MP is one of the few influencial jobs that I can think of that these days that requires no formal qualifications. Just a high opinion of oneself and being reasonably articulate.

    • hefner
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      One still has to be voted in.

    • Steve
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Qubus

      ….and allegedly a PM for the bargain price of £145,000 pa plus another £65,000 pa and a pension soon as she leaves office.

      How comforting to know that the PM, who has defended the national interest so well, will be taken care of after her departure.

    • Prigger
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      @Qubus
      I thought I…was hyper-critical 🙂
      To me, the criticisms in essence as opposed to detail are right and wrong simultaneously
      I get this when I view BBC Parliament. Some of the most eloquent, well-educated and accomplished MPs give speeches which would speed them successfully through Law School and High Business too. Yet the same can and is succinctly expressed in any street by Mr and Mrs Normal Citizen but with logical , correctness.
      For years I have been trying to figure out why, taking into account self-advertisement etc but no, that is not the total answer.
      I’m working on it…the expansion of the universe of discourse and the empty spaces of dark matter, as it were.

      • Prigger
        Posted August 27, 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink

        In connection, JR, perhaps you know,… I find your blogs instantly understood except for necessary terms relating to legalistic or economic matters, I do easily look them up on the internet.Your writing is compact though appears not to some and is a straight narrative without voids. English, in fact.

  45. Original Richard
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    “As this week has made clear the Chancellor is fundamentally against the whole idea of Brexit, wrongly seeing it as damaging to the economy, a central policy put to the people in the Conservative Manifesto of 2017 and a core policy of the government.”

    Correct.

    If leavers have a Conservative or Labour MP, particularly one who is known to be a remainer in a leave voting constituency, then they should be emailing their MP to say that they expect them to respect democracy, the referendum result and the Party’s manifesto and act as the constituency’s representative and vote in Parliament in such a way as to ensure Brexit takes place.

    To do otherwise would be, as Mr. Benn said previously about our entry into the Common Market :

    “A coup d’etat by a political class who didn’t believe in popular sovereignty. The power was seized by Parliamentarians, they seized power that didn’t belong to them and used it to take away the rights from those they represented.”

  46. mickc
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    No matter what anyone says….we’re keeping Chequers….as Nixon didn’t quite say, but May intends…

  47. Richard
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Here is Professor David Blake analysing the Treasury’s model: https://capx.co/remainer-scaremongering-is-built-on-dodgy-economics/

  48. Bill Smith
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Let’s face it, the Manifesto was a vote-hoovering punt that, temporarily, succeeded. Given the Chancellor’s words, acts and omissions, it is now pristine clear that he is trying to piledrive the elements of re-entry into the EU, that the prime minister must personally avoid because of the apparent deceit that was allowed into the Manifesto. Her silence on the Chancellor’s words is very telling…indeed, her silence could be said to be supportive.

  49. margaret howard
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “The Treasure is too gloomy…”

    Is it?

    “In today’s ‘Times’ I saw in the Business Section that UK productivity was “17% below G7 nations”, the comment being made that “the UK is failing to close the gap on its peers, especially France, Germany and the United States.”

    This, it has to be admitted, is one of the great dangers of Brexit: that we are a lazy nation, yet will have to work a great deal harder when we leave the EU. Somehow there seems to be no urgency in this country, Lax Britannica indeed.

    Copeland 7 April 2017

    Reply We have much higher employment rates than the US or many EU countries and lower unemployment than much of the Eurozone. They leave the unemployed out of the productivity figures.

    “British workers were a third less productive than their German and French counterparts last year with a record low”

    Life in Lax Britannica today. Report in the “Financial Times”, 29th September, 2015

    • hefner
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Indeed France and Germany compute productivity based on people in work, as do the UK and the USA. So it does not account to the very different levels of unemployment in these countries. A fair point. Still the UK productivity is some tens of points below that in the USA, France and Germany.

      A rather more interesting explanation (at least it makes more sense to me) of the difference and how it can be reduced close to zero is given by Jeremy Smith, 24/04/2015 http://www.primeeconomics.org “Productivity in UK and France – Different paths, same destination”.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 27, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      productivity is a difficult thing to measure nationwide.
      Suddenly it has become the new trendy statistic.
      There is no correlation with laziness as you unfairly suggest.
      Is a self service restaurant with just a few staff better than a fine dining restaurant with dozens of staff?
      If you ran a farm and had a queue of min wage staff outside would you instead invest in a big machine to pick your crops?
      Crucially unemployed are not included in productivity figures.
      Did you know that Margaret?

      • hefner
        Posted August 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Feasibility studies of defining the UK productivity were initiated in 2005. Actual numbers were published from 2007 (ONS).

  • 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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