The EU is more preoccupied with migration than with Brexit

So as I and my allies predicted, the EU has turned down the Chequers proposals. We tried hard to persuade the PM to move on from Chequers. We did not want her  rebuffed for proposing the impossible. How do her advisers who disagreed with us and told her to throw all her political weight behind Chequers explain what they have done? What do those Cabinet Ministers who went along with it have to say now about the delays and loss of negotiating  capital it has caused? Can they now see they set her up to fail? Will she now listen to pro Brexit advisers who want what is best for our country based  on organising an early exit?


The Prime Minister got just ten minutes to state her case to the assembled heads of state and government after dinner on Wednesday at Salzburg. The long dinner conversation was about borders and security. The working session yesterday was also about security and borders, in preparation for decisions on these matters at the October Council. The 27 did have a lunch time conversation about Brexit in the absence of the UK.

This tells us something very important about the EU. They are very worried about the political movements in member states demanding a change of policy on migrants and borders. Maybe they  do not see Brexit as sufficiently important to allocate proper time at member state level to discussing it, preferring to let their representatives from the Commission handle these matters. Maybe they were so annoyed at Chequers that largely ignoring it seemed the best response to them .

Given the position of the UK Prime Minister and the clear position of the EU on the integrity of the single market and its wide ranging associated policies, there is no deal in sight. They need to take that into account at the October Council. As someone who thinks leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement works well for the UK, the same cannot be said for the EU. Their one sided Withdrawal Agreement is a very good deal for them, which they can lose through the casual approach of the Council allied to the formal and legalistic approach of Mr Barnier.

Could the two sides get an agreement?  Only if both change their approaches substantially. The UK has to give up the ideas in Chequers that we stay in the single market for goods whilst leaving the rest of it and leaving the customs union. The EU wishes to preserve the integrity of their bureaucratic single market, and not have a country half in it. We need to abandon the idea that we will collect their customs dues for them. The EU has to give up the idea that it can split the UK by treating Northern Ireland differently to the rest. Then there is a simple question for both parties. Do they want a comprehensive free trade agreement like the Canada one or not? If they both do,  it could be agreed in time for exit on 29 March 2019, based on the Canada draft with some added advantages that come from starting from a tariff free position on all items.

My view is as there is no legal obligation to pay a Withdrawal sum there is no need to sign the Withdrawal Agreement, and no need to pay for a Free Trade Agreement. Doubtless some  in the government would be willing to compromise on this approach in order to get something agreed. In order to get any compromise  through the UK Parliament, it has to be visibly better than simply leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement. £39bn is a huge sum of money that could do a lot of good at home. Trade under WTO rules with the rest of the world works fine for us, so we can manage on March 30th with no Withdrawal Agreement and no so called transition or further delay. The sooner the UK sets out its tariff schedule for March 30 next year the better. The tariffs do not have to be as high as some EU ones are. EU tariffs  are high on food and 10% on cars. Much of our export activity including all services  will be tariff free even on EU tariff schedules.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Indeed., Canada ++ or no deal at all and negotiate later. With a policy of pro business, low taxes, light regulation and free trade with the world. Virtually the complete opposite of the May, Hammond agenda.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      With an agenda of handing more power over to individuals in all aspects of their lives, and away from various arms of the state, again unlike may and Hammond.

      • Hope
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        JR, Oh please, this charade is to garner support for May prior to conference to gain support Chequers sell out. What have the EU been doing since they were briefed ahead of th cabinet and parliament? May has thhas audacity to speak about respect! For whom, the 17.4 million voters, David Davis and his team, ERG, leave ministers, ambush and deceit of Chequers plan!

        Is this the Cameron I will not pay £1.7 billion demand to the EU moment to rally the troops around an underhand lying PM? Too late the trust is gone. May must go you would have to be completely bonkers to believe a word she says. As for the Irish border, she changed tax because she was caught out by the DUP!

        BJ last week claimed leave ministers were taken in, no they were not, they we utterly stupid enjoying the kudos and benefits of office. His claim makes no sense. Just as this makes no sense. Robins would have agreed a position before this summit as is always the case. Raab do No his spokesperson role to rally support for this vile sly woman. This is theatrics before another capitulation.

        • Hope
          Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          And May is still harping on about her backstop in the withdrawal agreement to keep the UK in the EU as a colony- misnomer because the agreement actually keeps the UK in the EU for another two years without a veto or voice not withdraw. Like Hague’s referendum lock was acrually a block to have a referendum and the so called current parliamentary lock actually a similar farce.

          Get rid of her JR. in any event is she not expected to resign after failing in her treachery to get Chequers agreed? May’s behaviour to secretly write it, deliver it and force it upon the cabinet and people of this country in her arrogant statements, has the bare faced cheek to talk about respect. Loathsome woman.

    • Bob
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Tusk sent an Instagram pic of him serving some cake to Mrs May with the caption “sorry, no cherries”.

      I wish we had Mr Trump instead of Mrs May.

      • Martin
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        The far left coup in the US finally seems to be coming to a head. If he’s ousted the Tories can offer him a safe seat on the spot this side of the pond and make him leader as soon as he’s elected. Magic!

    • Peter
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Events seem to have been very helpful to the cause of Leave on WTO terms. I do believe that the EU had more time for that than the UK anyway.

      If May is all about saving face and doing things her own way, she might now have to come good on the original ‘No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal’ slogan.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      No special trade deal is one case, but no deal about anything at all is another case.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      May could still, even now, turn it round. She could Chuck Chequers (and then chuck nearly all her other daft policies economic, taxation, over regulation, gender pay drivel, the expensive energy agenda housing, the no change NHS, the no deterrent criminal justice system, chuck Philip Hammond and Carney, get a sensible quality only immigration policy ……).

      She does not seem to realise the huge anger of the country and of amost all the Tory Party members.

      Perhaps she will finally get the message at the Tory Conference – but given her head in the sand, robotic performance so far it look very unlikely.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        No chance. Wrong personality type, wrong instinct, loser.

      • Martin
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        May literally doesn’t give two hoots for the Tory grass roots or any of the 17.4 million majority votes to leave the EU, the decision the government pledged to act on immediately (and didn’t). Since then she has quite unbelievably ignored the referendum decision 100% and proceeded on the basis of keeping the UK in the EU in everything but name as a vassal state and hypocritically lied through her teeth about her intentions at every turn. The threat to leave without a “deal” is the latest laughable May piffle, which is why the EU don’t even give it the time of day. They know May will capitulate to their every demand as she always does, and then throw in the kitchen sink as well as usual.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Ll. Even today after being completely humiliated by the EU and her own MPs she insists hers is the only game in town.
      She has been given 4 weeks to agree a position. Just watch the EEA suddenly become the magic bullet.
      She will have then succeeded in keeping us in the EU (BRINO) whilst claiming she has met all the conditions for leaving.
      I think the men in white coats should be sent for after all she believes she is the only one marching in step and the rest of the company is out of step.

  2. Helena
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Of course the EU is more concerned with migration – that affects all 27 members. Brexit mainly affects a country that has chosen to leave the EU – why should the EU care, it is concerned only with its own members? The EU’s main concern with Brexit is to protect Ireland, because Ireland, unlike the UK, is a member of the club. You, Mr Redwood, have had 20 years to provide a workable plan for dealing with Ireland. You have failed to do so. Only last week you and your ERG chums promised us a full alternative plan – only to shelve it amid squabbling. Mrs May is working hard on behalf of the country. You are providing nothing constructive.

    Reply Last week we republished our very workable plan for the Irish border!

    • Helena
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      The “technology will do it!” plan. Even though there is not a single border in the whole world where “technology will do it!” – except INSIDE the EU. Your plan was not workable, it was a fairy story

      • stred
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Helena. Please read this and stop repeating that the Commission was not planning an electronic high speed border with EXTERNAL countries including the Irish border.

        The BBC today on their Jackanory style chit chat poltics programme for the under 30s, claimed that the electronic border equipment for Holyhead-Dublin had been stopped because of Brexit. In fact it was stopped by Vardakar in order to make Brexit difficult and held up by Hammond with the same result.

        • Stred
          Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          The Holyhead item may have been on the news after the chit chat.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        It works all over the world and has done for decades.
        TIR for example.
        Millions of containers moving all over the world in and out of nations.
        Felixstowe takes less than one minute to clear a container in or out.
        No delays.
        Plainly you have never exported nor imported helena

      • L Jones
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        You don’t get out much, do you, Helena?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Helena – Do keep up, the alternative plan on the Irish border was published in full last week !

      As to why should the EU care about Brexit – because they have a £95 billion trade (in goods) surplus with the UK. Next question ?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Suppose GBP drops to .90 EUR (from around 1.125 now) as a result of certainty that there will be no deal. Suppose I said. Then that 95 bn becomes a bit more: 118.75. Now assume also that the UK unilaterally scraps tariffs (otherwise the bill would go up even more) but that at the new privce levels, a portion of those goods were replaced by non-EU imports or home production (that would take a while). The most likely would be that many goods would continue to sell, but often in cheaper versions (a Merc E class instead of an S for instance) The EUR value of UK imports would probably decline but the commodities (petrochemicals, refined products, bulk cereals , ores) coming in though EU ports but from non-EU sources would keep their world market prices, the goods coming in from China through EU ports would be adjusted somewhat but not much (already at world prices) and the BMWs etc operate in markets with monopolistic competition. They will set their UK prices higher as soon as the inflationary spiral allows and keep tyheir market share. The end result would be pretty much the same volume of imports and possibly some lower item prices. But a greater trade deficit. Thats is the sort of thing serious pe0ple have been modeling (on both sides, UK and EU) and the results of what I have seen are not pretty. So that GBP 95 bn of trade you refer to is a pretty hollow threat: “give me your wallet or I’ll kill myself”

        • Edward2
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          You start with a doubtful prediction and then spin out from there with further predictions to get to a conclusion you wanted to get to in the first place.

          Whist in the EU the pound has rien and fallen against the euro and the dollar from near parity to over 1.60
          Yet we carried on trading.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink


          Thanks mate, cheered me up no end. Gave me a good laugh on a wet Saturday afternoon. Suppose this, imagine that, what if, etc etc. Typical economist modelling, start with a conclusion then make the “facts” fit the model.

          BMW et al will put up their ( already expensive ) prices and keep their market share….. Really Rien, will they really? You claim this has been thought through by serious people.

          At the moment food prices are held artificially high by the EU, food prices will drop, we will be able to source a range of goods from outside the 27 opening up competition and setting some tough problems for German and French car makers in the process. The EU is already losing market share, you think they can carry on doing that indefinitely?

          Here we go again Rien but it needs saying, you seem to fundamentally not understand markets. People buy stuff they like and can afford. People make stuff and sell it to people who like it and can afford it. Foreign currency fluctuates on a daily basis. Its why we have a FX futures market for instance . However your assertion that German car makers have a monopoly insensitive to price is laughable. The biggest , most valuable UK imports from EU are electro/mechanical machinery and cars. You seem to be arguing that the value of these imports will go up in cost to the UK, which is an odd argument as this would make the EU even more dependent on selling us stuff .

    • L Jones
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Helena – once again, your comment has insult woven into it. It’s not even that it’s rubbish – at least tosh is a basis for argument – but can’t you try to produce the tosh without the insult?
      Perhaps such writing goes down well on Facebook or in the Grauniad, but it’s not appropriate here on a personal site.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Apparently the EU now acknowledges technological checks away from the border will work just fine and proposes a few EU inspectors to work alongside U.K. inspectors in certain U.K. ports, presumably such as Belfast and Liverpool. This seems entirely reasonable to me & we should just agree it and move on. Canada ++ should be in sight.

    • acorn
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Worry not Helena. The Northern Ireland land border will be in the Irish Sea. Only it won’t be called a border and it won’t be in the Sea. Customs checks will become regulatory compliance checks – or compliance regulatory checks; they will just look like customs checks.

      There is an ferry load of meaningful vote fudge coming and the ERG will be stuck fast in it.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink


        Google TIR, CHIEF & CDS

    • John Finn
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Only last week you and your ERG chums promised us a full alternative plan – only to shelve it amid squabbling. Mrs May is working hard on behalf of the country. You are providing nothing constructive.

      I have a printed copy of the ERG Report on the table in front of me.

      • hefner
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Is it the full alternative plan or only the document related to the NI/Eire border? If it is the former, you must be one of the selected few. Good for you.

    • matthu
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I don’t suppose Brexit affects Germany. Or France. Or Italy. Or Spain. Or Ireland.

      I don’t suppose the € 39 billion affects any of the other 27 members.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Why should the UK ‘have a workable plan for Ireland’? What has RoI ever done for the UK within the EU?Why has varadkar been happy to claim there was ‘a danger of a hard border’ when in fact the UK has said it will not operate one – I suggest because Varadkar ahs been told that acting as Brussles poodle he will be treated ‘favourably in the next EU budgetary arrangements – except that is a promise not worth the breath it was uttered in.

    • allinall
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Somebody said it yesterday- route the goods through Dublin or a Southern Irish port and after the EU checks made the goods can then be delivered up over the border into need for customs checks in Belfast or Larne or on the British mainland no border down the Irish Sea and no problem about these goods re-entering again South Ireland again and the EU

      • Stred
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 4:50 am | Permalink

        Most already go Holyhead Dublin. It is a shorter route. They had the customs systems ready until the idiots put s hold on it in order to put a spanner in the works.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Of course migration is a far larger problem. The doubling of the African population within decades will take care of that. Also, the EU27 is not responsible for keeping the Tory party together (if it ever were) and Mrs May talking about EU red lines as if they are merely “some concerns” she would like to hear about is hardly respectful.
    There are two options available:
    Norway option for 21 months to allow for a Canada deal to be hammered out.
    The UK opting for moderate self-harm (- 4% of GDP) and leaving in March 2019
    A canada deal by March 2019 is simply not possible, as has been made clear time and again.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Norway option wouldn’t allow for migration control.
      May has had 26 months to think this one through and come to the sensible conclusion of Canada ++. She even had Davis to guide her. Even without him, for a geography graduate, finding Canada shouldn’t have been so difficult!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Also hardly respectful is Tusk trolling May on Instagram by publishing a photo of a cake with the caption “no cherries”.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger:
        Still, it shows he has mellowed. Last characterisation I heard him make about Brexit was “salt and vinegar” on the table.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Indeed. It shows the EU to be an intransigent behemoth not fit for the 21st Century. Rude and bullying. Thank goodness we’re leaving!

      • hefner
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        What happens to the self-proclaimed wonderful sense of humor of the English? Is that something we only accept when we are the originators?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


          The correct response should have been “call that a cake Donald?”

      • allinall
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Just a bit of Boris style humour

    • Jagman84
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      The EU will not talk about trade until after the UK has left, so ‘not possible’ is fairly accurate. The EU27 may have a different view as we move into 2019.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        @Jagman84: If the UK would have quickly negotiated and agreed the withdrawal agreement, we would now be much further in negotiating the economic relationship. After all the UK already knew years ago when it decided to plan for a referendum about the possible problems for the no-border in N. Ireland and as a responsible country it would have talked with all communities in N. Ireland and study on possible solutions.

        • Stred
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

          Withdrawal agreement as in give us 100bn upfront and we will take the favourable trade balance.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            @Stred: Withdrawal agreement as in “you’ve made financial commitments to hundreds (if not thousands) of contractors, consultants, enteprises, projects, which run until the end of the current 7-year planning period, i.e. till the end of 2020.
            Grabbing your remaining money from the cash register (largest part of the 39bn) and running with it, is what is called a disorderly withdrawal. That is what the withdrawal agreeent aims to prevent. That is what would demonstrate the UK being a reliable partner. Is the UK going to be reliable???

    • Richard1
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      If we cut all tariffs and go to free trade, save £10bn pa, get released from all the nonsense regulation on everything from GM crops to shale gas to anti-Dyson vacuum cleaner regs, get out of the CAP and CFP and start showing progress in striking free trade deals around the world based on simple open markets and mutual recognition of standards, I hardly think we will be looking at -4%! Add in some sensible tax policies and the U.K. will be booming.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1: And don’t forget yout tax-free tampons! 🙂
        I wish you all the best, and long may you prosper.
        Unlike some in the UK, we haven’t binned the experts yet.

    • Ken moore
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      The only credible option is the Norway option and staying in the EEA. That would allow time to transition to something better. It’s time for the right wing to wake up to this fact. Mr Redwood still hasnt explained how EU type approvals, approval of aircraft parts and chemicals etc. Etc. Will wprk when thw Uk becomes a ‘third country’east to gloss over the details..

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Somebody else who hasn’t noticed that Norway is not in a customs union with the EU and there are customs checks at the border between Norway and Sweden. And presumably at the border between Norway and Finland as well, but it was the Norway-Sweden “light touch” customs border that the Irish government expressly rejected as a model for the Irish border. How that can make the “Norway option” the only credible option is beyond me.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        @Ken moore: I agree with you. After a transition ( a kind of brexit dealy) I expect the UK to go for a Canada FTA deal, because it doesn’t want the free flow of people.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      The UK opting for moderate self-harm (- 4% of GDP) and leaving in March 2019

      As an occasional visitor to this site, I have noted your comments from time to time.

      May I ask, why do you care?

      If Holland had voted in a referendum to leave the EU – I would be ambivalent about it. I like the Dutch – I am sure that, in or out of the EU, we could carry on trading and visiting each other’s countries in a friendly and neighbourly way. Why are you so pro EU?

      Incidentally, if we leave without a deal, our GDP will increase. We will be thrown back on our own devices and a massive surge in UK manufacturing will take place. If we can no longer buy products from … BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Ford, Vauxhall, Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Volvo, Seat, Fiat, Bosch, Siemens, AEG, Neff, Philipps etc. etc. – we will see a massive increase in manufacturing at Toyota, Honda, Nissan (and the BMW mini plant at Cowley) and we’ll have to buy Hotpoint washing machines instead of Bosch.

      If we go to WTO tariffs – given we buy a lot more from the EU than you buy from us – we’ll make money there too.

      Leave without a deal is win-win as far as I am concerned – for us.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        @Stred: Withdrawal agreement as in “you’ve made financial commitments to hundreds (if not thousands) of contractors, consultants, enteprises, projects, which run until the end of the current 7-year planning period, i.e. till the end of 2020.
        Grabbing your remaining money from the cash register (largest part of the 39bn) and running with it, is what is called a disorderly withdrawal. That is what the withdrawal agreeent aims to prevent. That is what would demonstrate the UK being a reliable partner. Is the UK going to be reliable???

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson:
        Like you I’m an occasional visitor, but taking the effort to respond to reactions to me, means that on some days I have to write often. Over half of my family is British and I’ve always taken a keen interest in the EU, and yes, the Netherlands by and large is pro EU.

        Trade there will always be and I don’t particularly fear a no-deal Brexit. Believing the IMF calculations it would mean -1% GDP for the Netherlands and -4% GDP for the UK. Our current y-o-y GDP growth stands at 3.1% and the UK’s at 1.3% (source tradingeconomics website).

        If all your dreams for the car manufacture and economy in general will come true, I’ll wait and see. Nothing wrong with Toyota’s, I have one myself and have always gone for Japanese cars.

        So let’s hope (against my better judgment) that a “glorious”, “global”, Great Britain will soon emerge after the slight setback due to Brexit.
        Your last sentence – a win-win . . . “for us” – is an interesting sentence.

    • John Finn
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      The UK opting for moderate self-harm (- 4% of GDP) and leaving in March 2019

      Explain this -4% GDP to me. Provide exact details. I think it’s BS.

      • acorn
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Probably from a UBS Bank “doppelganger” type economic model. It looks at the pre-referendum trend in the UK and corrects it for OECD trends since the referendum. Circa -2.2% drop when I last looked. If you take it back to the UK GDP trend line pre 2008 crash, the UK is circa 12 – 14% below that trend line.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          As are most nations with a banking sector hit by the 2008 crash

          • hefner
            Posted September 22, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Edward2 but the drop following the 2008 crash was not the original point.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        @John Finn: I just copied the recently published IMF forecast for a no-deal Brexit, details easily found by yourself on internet. Als see my reaction to Mike Wilson above

        • libertarian
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          I’m a gemini any news on the rest of my year from the IMF ?

    • John Hatfield
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      “Norway option for 21 months.” Temporary measures have a habit of becoming permanent.
      The Norway option was not on the Referendum ballot sheet. No thanks.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        @John Hatfield: Becoming poorer wasn’t on the ballot paper either. 🙂

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    There is a worrying right wing emergence on the Continent. Something which has not happened in the UK, thankfully.

    Newmania and Andy have no respect for the tolerance and openness to different cultures of the the British people. Only in Britain could a fusion of foreign foods end up vying with the top spot for our national dish.

    It’s not on the Continent that Asian and African music is combining with Western to top the charts. That is actually happening in Britain and America.

    • Andy
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      It is happening despite the rise of the Tory right and UKIP – not because it it. And it shows why right-wing haters will never win.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        But UKIPs popularity fell at the last election and under the current leadership of May and Hammond et al the Conservative party has quite plainly moved to the left rather than to the right as you claim andy.

        • JoolsB
          Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          UKIP’s fall at the last election was of their own making. They didn’t put up candidates against Brexit supporting MPs. Now the two main parties are left of centre – Socialist (Conservative) or Marxist (Labour) there is a need for a right wing party (UKIP). If May gets away with her treachery and delivers a soft Brexit or Brino, the party calling themselves Conservative will be finished and the true Conservative party (UKIP) will hopefully take their place. Maybe our host and the handful of true Conservatives in the ‘conservative’ party will join then.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink


        “In spite of the Tory right and UKIP – not because of it”

        The old people you constantly disparage are those who embraced foreign cuisine from early on and bought and created music which fused different cultures through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties.

    • Coastliner
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Britain is slightly behind the curve due to the incessant brainwashing throughout academia, the 24/7 multi culti propaganda in all aspects of the media from “news” to advertising and soaps etc… The “right wing” emerging on the continent is a leftist smear – most of the parties labelled thus are classical liberals – anyone intelligent who looks at their policies and does not parrott the “right wing” mantra can see this clearly. Some here may live in a leftist / cultural marxist bubble and continue to think that things will not change but they should be assured that their influence is dying – that includes Britain. Societal tension is bubbling under the surface in Britain as more and more leftist madness is heaped upon the populace – it can be felt in the atmosphere. Only the deluded or downright stupid are unaware of this.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed, the only European countries which do not now have anti-migration nationalist parties are the U.K., Switzerland and Norway. Anyone spot what they have in common?

    • hefner
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Anonymous, interesting comment on music specially considering that World Music (as known by these English words) from North and tropical Africa musicians were originally recorded in French studios in the 70-80s before the World Music Network started in England in 1994. I’ll give you that “Roots” had been started in the USA at the end of the 50s.
      So once again so much for the ethnocentric view of (part of) the British people.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I’m talking specifically about the fusion between musical cultures rather than archiving World music as a scientific curiousity, like a superior being looking through a microscope rather than absorbing the DNA into himself as we have done.

        On that matter the much maligned Brexit voting working classes have done far more in the way of producing mixed race children than the Remain voting middle classes.

        • hefner
          Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Clearly you do not have a clue about what is in the catalog of the World Music Network. A bit of research would open up your horizon.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 22, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            I do know that French pop music is totally crap.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink


            The World Music Month was started in October 1987. It is a music festival held at the Town & Country Club in London

  5. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Maybe they do not see Brexit as sufficiently important to allocate proper time at member state level to discussing it, preferring to let their representatives from the Commission handle these matters.

    The EU 27 rarely agrees on anything with a compromise cobbled together at the last minute. I think it is more likely that the leaders are not discussing the UK leaving as they will not agree a position. They know that the only way to stay united is to keep it with Michel Barnier otherwise we can divide and conquer. This is very sensible.

    Contrast the UK’s approach where we are very much divided and conquered. Will those desperate to remain not acknowledge the damage they are doing to our long term outlook by sabotaging our position?

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Great post John. Now let’s just get on with it and stop pretending everything’s fine. This doesn’t bode well for the Tory conference. May needs to man up now and accept we must make plans to just leave. As you rightly say, we have wasted a lot of time and nobody can say the UK didn’t try to come to some arrangement that would work for both sides. They have slung it back in our faces. Now its time to say goodbye.

    • Adam
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      The Conservative Conference presents Mrs May facing an awkward audience, with risks of unexpected reactions.

      Merlyn Rees as a former Home Secretary faced a police conference audience who were subtly hostile to his plans. He was shocked at their lack of reaction throughout his speech, which occurred in their complete silence & without a single clap of applause at the end. It was a powerfully-negative atmosphere.

      Mixed opinions among Conservatives make such pre-coordinated acts unlikely, yet what happens next & from where is an unknown matter for history, as Mrs May shall be at the centre of finding out.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        The police conference attendees were just plain rude and are always hostile to Conservative Home Secretaries.

        Unfortunately May won’t get the same response even though she would deserve it.

    • BenM
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Chequers was never going to work not even as a starting point because there are too many UK red lines in place and also the EU has their own four pillars. It was not going to work because it is not acceptable to anyone apart from mrs may herself..the only wonder is that this charade has gone on for as long as it has.

  7. Peter Wood
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Junker: “…We are ready for no deal Brexit,…. don’t worry, be happy”

    Mrs. May: “Let me be clear, we are preparing for no deal..”

    Looks to me like they’re on the same page at last and both sides now have our new trading arrangements sorted. Stop wasting time with Barnier and decide where the £39 Billion can be most productive.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      We could use her now:

      “There was no option but to stake out a radically different position from the direction in which most of the Community seemed intent on going, to raise the flag of national sovereignty, free trade and free enterprise – and fight. Isolated I might be in the European Community – but taking the wider perspective, the federalists were the real isolationists, clinging grimly to a half-Europe when Europe as a whole was being liberated; toying with protectionism when truly global markets were emerging; obsessed with schemes of centralization when the greatest attempt at centralization – the Soviet Union – was on the point of collapse. If there was ever an idea whose time had come and gone it was surely that of the artificial mega-state.” Margaret Thatcher

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    I am no great fan of Gove after all he lumbered us with May and even idiotically proposed VAT on school fees. But thank goodness for Portillo in correcting the smug, lefty, wrong headed, BBC comedian wrongly attacking Gove on “This Week” last night with his misleading partial quote.

    Gove actually said:- “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts with organisations from acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.”

    He was exactly right, surely we are sick of experts who get it consistently wrong?

    • Henry Spark
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      The “experts” in question said that leaving the EU would harm inward investment, crash the pound and that the stories about the EU giving us a great deal because they need us more than we need them were rubbish. I’d say those experts have been proved right!

      • Edward2
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        But inward investment is doing well and the pound hasn’t actually crashed.
        Those experts you have faith in predicted for immediately after the vote day a recession, a stock market crash, no growth, half a million more unemployed and a house price crash.
        None of that happened.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Not really. They forecast a recession and an increase of 800k in unemployment – the opposite has happened. it is not true that inward investment has collapsed, and the pound started falling in mid-15 , having been widely regarded as being far too high.

        I agree however that it was very naive to suppose there would be an easy negotiation & I also agree that some £ weakness and some element of slower than possible growth is due to Brexit uncertainty.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink


      He was exactly right, surely we are sick of experts who get it consistently wrong?

      We are not just sick of these so called experts they are the leeches draining away the very life blood of our nation.

      As with a lot of the country’s real problem areas they keep coming up with the “one size fits all or broad brush strokes cover it” As any one with half penneth of common sense would have realised a long time ago as with all communities and nations not every ones priorities are the same.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Sick of unfunny, “BBC think”, lefty comedians who try to distort people’s words in this pathetic way too.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Unless May is removed pronto you are finished as a serious political party.
    From day one she has been scheming to keep us in the Customs Union and single market.
    Perhaps she should consult Merkel again for an update. After all she wrote the Chequers paper.

  10. eeyore
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The collapse of Mrs May’s fantasy is widely reported as “crashing “ out without a deal. That verb is now automatic and has the status of a cliche. It alarms the timorous and ignorant, among whom teenagers, BBC executives and Guardian readers number disproportionately.

    Out of kindness to them, can I suggest we talk instead about “sailing” or “soaring” out with No Deal?

    • David Price
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Passage, immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins!
      Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
      Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
      Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
      Have we not grovel’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
      Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?
      Sail forth—steer for the deep waters only,
      Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
      For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
      And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

      O my brave soul!
      O farther farther sail!
      O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
      O farther, farther, farther sail!

      — from ‘Passage to India’ by Walt Whitman.

  11. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The EU27 are also not responsible for the UK government clinging on to the DUP, making practical de-dramatised solutions for the no-border much harder. The UK is the breaking party and would better become more pragmatic and less ideological in this matter. Nothing in the Irish sea, just a few more checks at Belfast.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      It is in the EU treaty that the withdrawal agreement and A50 are mentioned, not in the UK’s constitution. So far as most people in UK are concerned, we should just leave now. No agreement, no money. Stop your cars, wine, cheese, and goods coming in here. We have alternative suppliers.

      Then perhaps your people will talk.

      • John C.
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Interesting that in a recent survey, 7 of the 10 most reliable makes of cars were Japanese/Korean. They are also good value. It’s time for us to give Eur0-cars the boot.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: Actually, you as the UK were part and parcel of designing this article 50, plus co-writers, signers and ratifiers of the Lisbon Treaty.
        If you want to stop trade with the EU27, so be it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Any “practical” solution in NI MUST include the DUP’s agreement. If you don’t understand that about NI you don’t understand anything.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: The DUP in a less powerful position than now (after all it is only ONE of the political groups and only represents 28% of the N.I. voters) will more easily have to agree. Currently it can play the tail wagging the dog.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I agree it should certainly be possible to come up with a sensible fudge on this issue. Assuming there is a comprehensive FTA on the table.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1: With all the time wasted until now, it could only be the promise of a comprehensive FTA, of which the details have to be worked on as soon as the withdrawal agreement is agreed. I image that such a promise could be made legally binding in its general scope, although I’m the opposite of an expert on such matters.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Whilst it is true that the UK are the leaving party, it is up to the EU to decide how it subsequently needs to secure its borders.

      It will be interesting to see in the next few days/weeks whether Weak & Wobbly concedes more to the EU (which is what the EU expects) or has the “De Gaulle” [sic] to stand up to her “no deal” rhetoric… any one willing to start a book on this.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: In continetal articles I’ve read thoughts about checking lorries (by both UK and EU functionaries) at paces where they stand still (in ports, on ferries, away from the border). This would be easy and relatively unobtrusive and involving no transport time loss.
        It would require de-dramatising and realising that already now, N.I. has some special regulations and arrangements, different from the rest of the UK – and which didn’t make “constitutional” alarm bells ring.

    • Wessexboy
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Northern Ireland has been part of the UK for longer than Eire has been in the EU Peter. We have had a friction-less border for much of that time, apart from some issues with those who were prepared to kill over their dislike of the fact.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        @Wessexboy: I doubt this can be used as an argument, we will have to deal with the current situation.
        Maybe we should never have sent William of Orange to Britain, but that to doesn’t help us find a solution for the current situation.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      The amount of trade across the Border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is so small that, in the absence of a sensible free trade deal by 29th March, the simplest thing is to keep the border as wide open as it is now. If the EU is worried about imports from NI it can create its own ‘hard border’, but any such would be the
      EU’s sole responsibility and it will therefore be to blame for any troubles that might arise.
      In any case there are some 200 plus roads crossing the border and the rest is little more than a few strands of wire to keep in livestock. A ‘hard’ border might be difficult to police as it always has been since the original partition.

      • Nigel Seymour
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        My understanding is that trade from NI to ROI is 3.8b euro and NI to GB is 15.7b euro? Suggest you come to your own conclusions…
        It’s the EU that are making this political.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        @Mockbeggar: Only very recently the UK (Mr Raab) has been willing to provide details on the transport flows across the various borders, which will be needed to de-dramatise and find pragmatic solutions.
        Ultimately, it is the UK which decided to call a referendum, and is implementing a Brexit. It has had years to prepare for the no-border, and as a very responsible country, it will (or should) of course have prepared a satisfying solution for ALL parties.
        . . . or do I give the UK too much credit here?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Many of us English too will stand by NI and defend their right to decide their nationality.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Do you mean (“nationality”) the issue of Irish Nationhood?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Dave, yes quite right. I remember the time I had a holiday in ROI and it was so bad with such open hatred for the fact we were English we vowed never to return. The difference over the border in NI was enormous. Friendly and with much cheaper goods to buy.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Dave Andrews

        “Many of us English too will stand by NI and defend their right to decide their nationality”

        You mean the (Scottish) Ulstermen we forcibly settled there to keep Ireland down?

  12. Iain Gill
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    To be fair the British people are more pre occupied with migration than brexit, they think immigration into the UK is far too high and are tired of a political class which ignores them on that.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Iain Gill


      • John C.
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Totally correct. Brexit is in some ways a diversion while the race is being replaced. In some parts, this process is complete. Quite honestly, our trading relationship with Europe is small beer compared with this, and in the long run we’ll see it. By then, it will be too late, if it isn’t already.

  13. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Another indictment of May. But she is not some innocent pawn. She has been the driving force of the Chequers attempted betrayal.

    Why will you not call a spade a spade?

    • Timaction
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Our host is in the minority within his own party who support Ms May and the loathed EU. Just as they are no longer Conservative in any policy or actions. They are liberal lefties, preoccupied with political correctness and minority issues whilst supporting mass migration and claiming the opposite!
      We can see the current Tory party through its tax and waste policies. Foreign Aid higher than the Police budget for England and Wales. They don’t care about our safety and do nothing to counter serious crime!

    • bigneil
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      A Tory PM betrayal, just like DC and his ” If it is a Leave vote i’ll trigger Art 50 ” – only to resign and walk away.

  14. DUNCAN
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    What we are seeing is not real. What we are seeing is a contrivance and a ploy designed and constructed by May, her advisers and EU officials.

    It is inconceivable that May would’ve travelled to this meeting without knowing its outcome.

    May is not a victim in all of this. She is part of the plan.

    I have never trusted this liberal left imposter. Like most Tories I speak to, she is viewed with contempt for her liberal left sensibilities and her willingness to capitulate to any protest for an easy life

    She’s a liability. We need her gone and we need a leader who is a patriot, a believer in individual freedom and a Eurosceptic

    • L Jones
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I think you’re right, Duncan. Smoke and mirrors, wheels within wheels. Who do we believe?

    • Peter
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The view that the outcome is already decided but a little charade must be enacted first? So disagreement with a magic breakthrough at the last moment?

      I don’t think Mrs. May is clever enough to put on that sort of performance myself.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      History may show that you are right and that it has all been contrived, but for the present I would stick with the idea of incompetence and self-delusion. I have twice attempted to post comments about a recent article in CityAM where a chap was gloating that over the past two years UK companies involved in goods exports to the EU have been constantly pressuring the government and had got their way, but for some reason JR will not publish it.

    • McBryde
      Posted September 22, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      It’s looked like that to me from the start of May’s session. And during the subsequent charade, as far as I’m concerned, it’s more and more clear that this is, indeed, what is happening.

      I’m surprised more on this blog haven’t also come to this conclusion. It’s a stitch up. .. just watch it unfold
      Surely you see, John.

  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    It is hard to say definitively but it looks like I was wrong in assuming Olly Robbins had cleared the Chequers agreement in general terms with the EU negotiators before having May force it on the cabinet. If so he’s more incompetent than I imagined and should be replaced.

    As I thought right at the beginning the UK position has been compromised by us having no skilled negotiators. It is a specialist skill which exists mostly in the private sector and in the big trade unions and obviously not in the government and the civil service who support them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Historically somebody in Olly Robbins’ present position would have been lucky to escape execution, but in these kinder times dismissal would be enough.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      I am sorry Roy G, DUNCAN is right. We have to stop seeing this as being the actions of an incompetent PM and Civil Service. This process is being stage-managed.

  16. Nig l
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Mrs May made herself a laughing stock and therefore by definition the U.K. actually made worse by her faux outrage at the end.

    I guess that the EU knew politically that she could not get ‘Chequers’ through our parliament so was not prepared to waste any time on it, may have calculated she would offer more concessions and , and if true to form on their contempt for democracy, think they can push us to a second referendum.

    It is said Blair, Major, Clegg have had private meetings with them, what poison did they spread?

    All I know is that the Cabinet Brexiteers who are sitting on their hands, McVey, Mordaunt, Gove etc putting themselves above the needs of the country, are letting us all down.

    Many of your prescient contributors have been saying, for months, that May is a disaster, and loyally you have been hoping sound advice would right the day.

    Yesterday with her credibility further shot to bits, if that is possible, demonstrated that she must be ‘put out of her, and our misery’

    Standing down citing medical pressures etc would preserve her dignity but as a ‘bloody difficult woman’ which wrongly she is proud of, it needs a political ‘ides of month’ moment.

    Just do it. NOW, please.

  17. Edward2
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    We have spent the last two years arguing amongst ourselves about what is the best deal with the EU.
    When all the time the EU has no intention of doing any deal with us.
    I doubt they will even allow the UK a Canada type deal.
    The PM’s humiliation over the Chequers proposal was all sp predictable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      A deal like CETA, with the UK playing the part of Canada, would:

      a) Do nothing to solve the fabricated problem of the Irish land border;

      b) Be only marginally better for the UK than falling back on WTO terms;

      c) Put the UK in the weak position of a supplicant during the negotiation.

      “… I find that Canada exports about 3% of its GDP to the EU, while the UK exports about 12% of its GDP to the EU; therefore on a simple pro rata basis if CETA boosts Canada’s exports to the EU by the equivalent of 0.18% to 0.36 % of its GDP, as the EU Commission projects, then for the UK the same kind of special trade deal with the EU might be worth 0.7% to 1.4% of UK GDP.”

      It has to be borne in mind that the long term trend growth rate of the UK economy is close to 2.5% a year, so even that upper limit of a 1.4% gain from a special trade deal would be equivalent to natural growth over less than seven months.

    • Andy
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      The EU has said we can have a Canada deal – but Canada means either a hard border with Ireland or a border down the Irish Sea. It means significant frictions and extra bureaucracy for multinational manufacturers and a worse deal for services. In other words Canada breaks up the United Kingdom and makes us poorer.

      The EU has also said we can have a Norway type deal. This is out of the EU – but with frictionless trade because we would be in the single market. However it also means paying into the EU budget, having to accept EU rules without having a say in how they are made and having to accept free movement.

      We could crash our entirely – not pay the money with owe and try to trade on WTO rules. It would be economic and political carnage. The rules underpinning our society would be swept away. There would be civil unrest and some of the people who think it’s a good idea would probably end up being lynched.

      Or we could stay in the EU and try to forget the Brexit fiasco ever happened. This, quite clearly, is the option which is in the best interest of our country and our children. But – Basil Fawlty and Victor Meldrew style – the raging old men who holding our country hostage refuse to give up.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        When did the EU offer Canada and Norway deals?
        I seem to have missed the annoncements.

  18. Old Albion
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    What all this boils down to is, the EU wants to make life difficult for the (dis)UK when we eventually leave.
    What they fear most is other countries seeing us thrive outside of their bureaucratic all controlling semi-communist state. Others will want to leave. And there are several countries wavering right now, watching what happens to the (dis)UK.
    After yesterdays humiliation, it’s time for Mrs May to tell the EU. ‘We’re leaving in March 2019, there will be no £39b divorce payment. If you wish to organise some offer on trade, go ahead. But we’re leaving either way’

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      This has been the case since 24/6/16 – yes how time flies busy doing nothing! Many of us forecast that the EU politburo would not treat us as a friend just a threat, which made any Commission to UK discussions futile.

    • NHSGP
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      EU wants the UK to bail it out of its pension mess. It spent, and didn’t invest the contributions

      Solution. At a press conference stand up and say the EU wants a 40 bn bailout for its failure to follow its own rules. Point out that Junker as part of pensions regulations signs off on his predictions of interest rates in 150 years time. The UK will not sack nurses to pay for EU incompetence. Address that directly at citizens of EU states and say you would recommend that they tell their politicians not to bail Eurocrats out.

      On free movement.

      Do the same. Go direct to people, not Eurocrats. Point out the costs and say that the EU rules means the UK gets £13.11 a week in tax, but is forced under EU rules to fund £54,000 of state services [min wage earner, wife and two kids]. State the UK won’t do this any more. Suggest people get in contact with their own politicians and demand they do the same for their migrants. Going forward the UK will only accept migrants who aren’t a burden on others.

      State where there is agreement, eg. Crime, banking.

      State the UK will only play tit for tat.

      e.g If Airbus says it will move out of the UK, the UK will help. It will immediately ban the movement of wings and engines. By the time airbus gets geared up, it will be bankrupt.

      Tit for tat. Telling it as it is.

      That’s Junker’s nightmare.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink


    • TedC
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      We have been told numerous times by them that we cannot ever be as well off outside as we are no surprises fact it is up to us now to decide about how much we want to diverge away from them..they are the ones standing still..

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    People on both sides of the channel are fed up with this “Mrs Bean” approach to negotiating. How much more humiliation can this woman take?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Tired of May’s dancing and constant gurning demeaning the office of the Prime Minister. Why are the Conservatives soo bad at picking leaders ?
      Just give me a PM that doesn’t make me feel embarrassed for my country. She is not PM material she needs to go for hers and our sakes.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. In fact the last time they chose a good leader was 1975 – 43 years ago and then they were stupid enough to get rid of her. Rubbish leaders ever since.

  20. Mark B
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    This tells us something very important about the EU. They are very worried about the political movements in member states demanding a change of policy on migrants and borders.

    CMD must laughing his backside off on that one 🙂

    The EU did not wish to talk about BREXIT because it is nothing that they can do anything about. They, the EU 27, have told the Commission what their respective positions are, and will leave them to get on with it. They are not leaving, we are !

    If indeed the PM’s and Ollie Robins proposal has been rejected, then she has nowhere to go. Her creditability to Soft Remainers is gone along with that of Leavers. She has tried to please everybody by telling them what they want to hear, only to fail and please no one. WHAT A COMPLETE FAILURE !

    Messed up on the unnecessary GE and now on her and the Civil Service plan to Remain in the EU.

    The worse case scenario as far as I can see is an eleventh hour deal. One cobbled together by Germany and France to their benefit. You have been warned.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      And Mrs Bean will be on our TV screens with her awkward smile telling us it is a victory for her perseverance.

    • Peter
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      A Withdrawal Agreement would be necessary before any eleventh hour deal could be signed.

      If Chequers was already so unpopular, an eleventh hour deal would need to be a considerable improvement. As Boris remarks on the subject of ‘polishing’ imply, that would be an impossible task.

      May has ruled out a further referendum ‘people’s vote’.

      May has ruled out any further delay.

      She could backtrack on either of these, of course, with some loss of face.

      I don’t know what will happen next. Though I am naturally suspicious of Machiavellian manoeuvres now, in the light of how Chequers was produced.

      Interesting times.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      What is good for Germany and France can also be good for the UK. Why not?

      • David Price
        Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        That hasn’t been the case for the last 40 years.

  21. Andy
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Remember the summer of 2014? We had a decent country. We had a decent Tory led government. The economy was getting better. We were concerned about making our schools and hospitals better. Europe was a non-issue. The generations did not hate each other. Regions did not hate each other. We had a sensible prime minister and, even if you did not agree with him, a sensible leader of the opposition.

    And now? Look at the complete and utter mess made by Tory right / UKIP combined and Corbynite Labour. Save your wrath for the architects of this disaster – including all of the ERG.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    She cannot say she was not warned.

    Expect more capitulation from her, cobbled together with more vague and meaningless words, which will mean even less support at home from marginal Brexiteers for the next phase.

    She needs to go if she will not withdraw all offers from the table made so far, and goes for WTO terms, outlining all tariffs in advance, and then let the EU come to us.

    Joint arrangements on many things can continue with simple co-operation agreements.

    It really is not difficult.

    The Conservative Party Conference will be interesting, standing ovation, only if she does the above and puts the bulldog spirit back into Great Britain.

  23. ChrisS
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    What a disaster for the PM and her supporters of the Chequers proposal !

    There should be no surprise this morning, Barnier has been saying for weeks that it will not work despite the political capital expended upon it here. The only surprise was the vehement comments expressed by the other leaders.

    Clearly they have no intention of bolstering Mrs May’s position at home, quite the opposite, she has been led up the creek without a paddle in a canoe full of holes and sinking fast.

    Where do we go from here ? Any shred of credibility Mrs May has left would disappear if she caved in and abandoned Chequers. I can see no option for Mrs May other than to leave the Chequers deal on the table and increase preparations for leaving on WTO terms and without any £39bn payment.

    We can only hope that voters on all sides of the argument will be angry at the way we and our Prime Minister have been treated and will support leaving without a deal.

  24. agricola
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The so called negotiation has been a complete farce. In a commercial situation the negotiators, May /Robbins, would loose their jobs and be quickly replaced by those who knew what they were doing. However this is UK government, a never ending soap on how not to do things, staring “B” movie actors of limited talent. I despair for the UK in the face of their incompetence. They are not fit to run UK Ltd when the dust settles. It should be made abundantly clear at the party conference that they have lost the confidence of Leave and the majority of conservatives in the country at large. As to the other incumbents at Chequers who fertilized this farce, there is no etc ed

  25. Adam
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is beyond naivety. Even someone who is, but then ignores repeated sensible guidance from colleagues who cherish our freedom, is unfit to lead our nation.

  26. Richard1
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Unless this is all some clever ploy by Mrs May to allow the EU to humiliate her in order to show she had tried everything and can now justify no Deal or a simple FTA to the Country, the Saltzburg debacle shows her to be completely inadequate for her task, and to have been appallingly badly advised by our supposedly Rolls Royce civil service.

    Clearly the UK now needs to propose a Canada++ deal in short order or simply leave with no Deal.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The stupidity of most of the UK media reaction would beggar belief if we were not so used to it. Back in May when I advised Theresa May in a letter in the Maidenhead Advertiser to “get herself a new Brexit adviser who will not talk such nonsense” I also pointed out that the EU had already made it known that it disliked his idea:

    “At present the UK collects the EU’s customs dues on imports into the UK – we are allowed to keep 20% to cover our collection costs – which makes sense while we are in the EU. But Mr Robbins wants us to carry on doing it forever, almost as though we were not leaving the EU. It truly is a crazy scheme, as the EU itself has already said.”

    That letter also outlined an alternative idea, despite Theresa May’s incessant false claim that nobody has come up with any alternative:

    “Just make a declaration along these lines:

    “For our part we will do nothing new at the Irish border for the foreseeable future. The present free flow of goods and people can continue exactly as now … “”

  28. Caterpillar
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    All well and good, sadly irrelevant. The PM has indicated that the UK will come forward with more proposals. The irrational group think, group escalation of commitment needs to stop. Again, two thirds of constituencies and over half the votes were to leave the EU. The democratic responsibility to enact this falls on the Govt, the civil service should operationalise and other MPs and Lords should ensure the result is implemented efficiently and effectively (LOL). As the uncertainty is dragged on by ‘negotiations’ against the referendum result the UK continues to be weakened. There is of course insufficient time for optimal preparation now, but the longer the PM and minions continue with this undemocratic sham, the worse it is for all of the UK. It is tragic that those seeking political capital, remainers, and wreckers are prepared to do so much harm to democracy and lifes.

  29. Norman
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I do not agree the PM was humiliated. She stuck to her guns rather bravely, and I think it was the funerial-suited leaders of the 27 who lost face. This was a further revelation to the population of the UK that Brexit is the right course! What happens now is the key thing, and I guess the PM will continue to try to get a deal, but will garner much support from talking tough – and, who knows, may be ‘reluctantly’ shoved towards a ‘no deal’.
    This is an historic moment, with all the old fault-lines of our distinctive history in evidence. Once again, its going to be a close-call as to our survival. Our dwindling surplus in that most precious commodity- freedom – is at stake.

  30. backofanenvelope
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    This is good news. The rulers of the EU can’t spend time on discussing BREXIT because their voters are worried about migration and borders. I voted LEAVE because I am worried about the same things. Something we all agree about at last!

  31. allinall
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Even at these informal gatherings they work according to an agenda.. migration was at the top of the list this week..they gave it the time..who can be surprised? and as far as brexit goes the message is clear- agree the withdrawal by October Council meeting in four weeks time they say or there will be no further movement on anything- problem for us is that we are still not clear about what we want. It’s very simple to say go according to WTO but what will that actually mean for business’s and JIT. because if we don’t agree a settlement then JIT will be first out for a start, and after that there will come the delays..none of it can be good.

    • David Price
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Why would JIT be “the first out” and for whom?

  32. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The whole of this ‘negotiation’ has been a farce, if not a cynical charade. The main reson being that the PM and senior civil servants ‘advising’ her have no eenthusiasm for Brexit. To think a change is likely without a change of PM is stretching credulity. Your upcoming conference is going to sign your paty’s death warrant or some possibility of future survival.

  33. Noname
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that they want to knock her off her perch. They want a Boris, M Gove or JRM at the helm so that next time they can give them a really good kicking

    • hefner
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Even if the “ERG and friends” could secure enough Conservative MPs’ votes to replace TM, do you think any of the three you quote would have the gut to take the PM position before 29/03/2019? I doubt it as it is so much more secure right now to be howling from the side and be waiting till the rotten fruit falls. After that it will be easier for whoever at the right of the CP takes over to tell the populace that the situation might be dire but not their fault.

  34. oldtimer
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The verbal signals that no deal is the most likely outcome are clear. Tusk also said in his press conference that “a declaration” on a future trade deal was all that was on offer.

    There are two conclusiions to be drawn on the current status of the May/Robbins negotiating strategy. Either they have completely misread what the EU is willing to agree to or, as DUNCAN suggested in his post, it is a contrived outcome in which May/Robbins and the EU are complicit to pressurise the UK to cave in to a rotten deal or to backtrack on Brexit altogether. Given May’s duplicitous actions leading up to Chequers, DUNCAN’s suggestion must be considered entirely feasible.

    You and your colleagues who support Brexit need to factor this possibility into account. While she remains PM, May still holds important cards that she can play; the questions for Conservative MP leavers to have answers for are how they can frustrate any potential moves she and her collaborators may have such as calling an election or caving in an conceding every EU demand. Aside from that the issue becomes who will replace her and when. It is difficult to see how any Cabinet minister who supported Chequers can be considered a suitable candidate for the position of PM.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The EU’s answer to BREXIT – Vote Again until you get the result WE want – staying in the EU.

  36. TomTomTom
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I have a question that maybe someone can answer.

    In the event of a “No-Deal” and reversion to WTO, which is looking far more likely, what happens to the Irish border?

    Reply The solution to it ERG recommended last week!

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Blimey …

    “Brexit – time to mind our own business?”

    “Sir, – I was amused to read about “perfidious Albion” (Opinion & Analysis, September 20th), when we have the Irish Government scheming to keep a part of the United Kingdom under EU economic control, ostensibly to act as a kind of buffer zone to protect the Irish market and the wider EU Single Market from unwanted goods such as US-style “chlorinated chicken”.

    Perhaps you will permit me, an ordinary British citizen, to bluntly tell your readers what my persistently pro-EU and mealy-mouthed government is still reluctant to say: that once the United Kingdom has left the EU it will be none of the EU’s business what goods are permitted in Northern Ireland, or any other part of the United Kingdom and its internal market.

    The legitimate interests of the EU and its Irish satrapy do not extend beyond the nature of the goods circulating in its own EU Single Market, and it is gross impudence on the part of the EU to presume that it should be able to continue to control goods permitted in the United Kingdom once we have freed ourselves from the EU, any more than the EU can expect to control goods permitted in the United States or other “third countries”. – Yours, etc,


    Maidenhead ,


    United Kingdom.”

  38. Bob
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    “One half of our political class has run trips to Brussels urging EU to offer a terrible deal, the other has negotiated with excruciating naivity, offering up concessions for nothing in return. Now let Brexiteers run Brexit: prepare for WTO and no divorce bill to focus EU minds.”

    Patrick Flynn

  39. NHSGP
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    1. EU Lists what they want. UK does the same
    2. EU Lists what they don’t want. UK Does the same.

    Now put the lists side by side.

    Where they agree. A deal is done. Where there is a mismatch, there is no deal.

    It’s very simple.

  40. Dannny7
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Did Liam Fox reply to the letter you referred to in your post of 7 September? Given the incompetence of the Government and civil service, we are surely now be in the position when you and the other grown-ups in the party need to shadow the officials’ jobs and flesh out the details (as promised by ERG) In all the key areas. This would include a tariff schedule – although in my opinion it should be a list with a lot of zeros in it.

    Reply I am still waiting for the reply, and have also told No 10 they need to set out our customs schedule soon.

  41. wab
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    £39 billion is not a huge sum of money. How much GDP have we already lost because of the idiocy of Brexit? And far worse to come.

    But good to see that Redwood is on the side of the EU for once. The Chequers plan was dumb.

    What a shambles Brexit has turned out to be. The history books will not be kind to the current generation of UK politicians. (Especially the fantasist and/or treasonous Brexiters.) I think every single MP should have their pension removed. That is how much damage they have done.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink


      “How much GDP have we already lost ” Er none GDP is higher now than it was in 2010

      • hefner
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Libby you cannot have it both ways: weren’t you the other day one among others pointing out that GDP had gone up but not GDP per person? And if it weren’t you, it certainly was your brother.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


          Nope wasn’t me, and I dont have a brother. Sorry to disappoint you, now back to the question. We haven’t lost GDP due to Brexit according to the official figures.

          Weren’t you one of the ones saying there is no money other than what the government creates so under your MMT who cares about GDP anyway ?

  42. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    What a shambles we are having to endure – far too many fumbles and miscalculations to be a viable PM.

    Perhaps now we will see some competence from this administration with others having more worldly experience having their voices heard.

  43. Oggy
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    So the EU finally buried the Chequers proposals – no surprise there.
    But I got the impression from Mrs May’s response afterwards that she seemed to want to continue to push the Chequers deal forwards ?? – talk about flogging a dead horse.
    I hope Oily Robbins now gets his ‘come uppance’.

    As you would expect from the ‘democratic’ EUSSR another of their ideas was to tell the UK to have another referendum to get the ‘right’ result, and just a week after Blair, Major and Clegg went to see them, so we now know what their conversations were about.

    When is the UK establishment going to realise ‘WE WANT OUT’ of this vile club.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Let’s keep asking Remainders WHY they still believe we should wish to remain hand in hand with the disrespectful and sneering EU spokespeople. Let’s keep asking till we get an answer – unless they have none. You’d think they’d be only too pleased to take every opportunity to win hearts and minds. (You first, Andy?)

      Go on, Remainders! Tell us what is SO good about it, in view of its representatives’ attitude to the UK. I’m sure Dr Redwood would be pleased to give you a bit of blog space for such unusual posts.

  44. JM
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    This is the culmination of the most inept negotiation ever. When text books come to written on how to negotiate, the UK’s negotiation of its withdrawal from the EU will be first and foremost amongst the examples of how not to do it. Positions have been squandered. Negotiating capital has been wasted. We have allowed ourselves to be forced to negotiate against ourselves.

    The only way forward now is for the Prime Minister to tell the EU that the end of the road has been reached and we leave in March without making any payment or other contributions. If they want to put a proposal to us, we will consider it. Meanwhile we will focus all our energies on making a success of our future outside the EU and that we will do whatever it takes to achieve that end.

    As for Ireland, they can put a border up if they want to. We will continue to use the present excise and VAT arrangements to levy any tariffs that may be payable.

    Either the Prime Minister has been very badly advised or she has no judgement or intellectual capital whatsoever. I suspect that it is a combination of the two.

  45. Christine
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The migration problem is all a pretext for setting up an EU boarder force that has authority over the national state. When Merkel invited these people in I doubt she expected so many to take up her offer but she did it for a reason and it wasn’t compassion. The same thing applies for the EU army and the EU police. As the move towards a Federal States of Europe approaches, they know there will be civil unrest across the EU member states. They need to be able to squash it without relying on sympathetic fellow citizens. The EU is fast moving towards being like the old USSR. The former Eastern bloc countries can see it, which is why they are being bribed with vast sums of our money. The EU Commission only has a small window of time to complete their plan. Brexit is a distraction.

  46. Freeborn John
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    May is unbelieavably niave and a completely incompetent negotiator. It was obvious from the very beginning that the EU was giving her the runaround and she would get nothing of value chasing a will of the wisp deal. There is no legally binding trade deal on offer and never has been. It would be madness to pay over £1000 per UK voter to annex Northern Ireland to the EU and give EU27 citizens more rights in the UK than British citizens. The transition period will simply delay leaving the EU without a deal for a year or so with less UK leverage to negate as the UK will have pocketed the £39billion. It merely extends business uncertainty by another 18 months. She would have been far better concentrating all efforts from day 1 on getting properly prepared by March 2019 to put EU trade on the same basis as current non-EU trade. Hammond and the others in Cabinet that are paralysed by fear of change have at every stage deliberately collapsed the UK negotiating hand and played into the hands of those in EU who are obviously negotiating in bad faith. And conservative backbenchers who let her remain in office when she is obviously incompetent have a share of the blame too. Uk voters will largely blame the EU for bad faith but this is still the most incompetent government we have had since George III.

  47. hefner
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Anyone interested in investing in warehouses in Milton Keynes?

    • libertarian
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


      No thanks, waste of money. These days companies use JIT technology , dont need warehouses for stockpiling .

      • hefner
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Says the all knowing CEO who must not have read the various reports on the question. Good good.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


          Loads of reports claiming demand for W/H space is climbing. Makes you wonder why theres still so many empty warehouses on the market really doesn’t it. Anyway I prefer to invest in new start ups, just launched another online based business , dont need warehouse space for what we sell…. drop shipping dont you know.

  48. Chris
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Theresa May’s apparent humiliation in Salzburg is just eh pathway to more concessions by May. She had apparently offered another yesterday on N Ireland. Brexiter MPs should not be complacent. May seems determined to hang on to Chequers, even if it means Chequers minus, minus, with even more given away. She seems utterly determined not to effect Brexit, but instead to negotiate and push through her EU vassal model. When will the Brexiter MPs learn and realise that the only way out of this is action by them?

  49. English Pensioner
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It’s time for May to say something like “We clearly can’t reach any agreement, so it’s pointless holding any more discussions with you, and so we will be leaving without an agreement as planned”. I’m sure that at the last moment, they will suddenly appreciate that they are the ones with the problem, not us, and will come forward pleading for a deal.

  50. margaret
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Vince Cable seems to think that £ 39 billion is nothing.

  51. formula57
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The Evil Empire is a hostile power and the failure to recognize that, by both the UK government and many within the Empire itself, has helped create this futile situation. Brexit is beyond their comprehension so they do their best to pretend it does not exist, certainly not in ways that affect their own plans.

    As for “Will she now listen to pro Brexit advisers who want what is best for our country based on organising an early exit?”, no, she will not.

  52. Student
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    And yet TM and her government insist Chequers is still “credible”.

    Time for a no confidence vote and for a new leader to be chosen from the party membership.

  53. Shieldsman
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Mail quotes Leo Varadkar, Irish PM:

    ‘Time is running short. There’s proposals for another summit in October and then in

    ‘Ireland is a country that obviously wants to avoid a no deal scenario, we want to avoid a no deal Brexit, (but) we are preparing for that, we are hiring extra staff and officials, putting in IT systems, we’re ready for that eventuality should it occur.’

    If he is ready for a ‘No Deal’ situation why should we bend over backwards to satisfy Barnier. Varadkar should put his no Border solution on the table.
    It is Barnier and the EU that wants an EU Border between two non-Shengen Countries. Eire has always had the best of both Worlds, under the Common Travel Area. An EU border could jeopardize that.

    • mancunius
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      The point about the CTA is that it makes a mockery of the EU’s attempts to pretend that the border is some insuperable obstacle. There is free movement across it. Only goods are supervised, by cross-border co-operation.
      The EU has ordered that this co-operation must stop. The RoI government weirdly agrees, though the EU is acting against its own interests.
      Let them sort it out between them. Meanwhile, we do absolutely nothing about it, and let them sweat.

    • David Price
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Varadkar’s problem won’t be the border, it will be the loss of sales in the UK.

      • Stred
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        The UK should offer zero tariffs if the EU matches this on 1.4.19. Otherwise, 40% on Irish cheddar and 10% on cars. They will go for zero. By the way, forget the 39bn.

        • David Price
          Posted September 22, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t offer the EU a trade agreement, we should concentrate our efforts on friendly countries who wish to trade.

          The EU should go to the back of the queue with 40% on cheese and 10% on cars and 10% on roasted coffee, 10% on rice, pork, tulips …

  54. Graham Ide
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    May I ask Mr Redwood fo his plans or ideas for leaving the EU? He has been very vocal that we should leave, he has gainsayed every idea, plan and proposition come up with by both sides and yet has not given any ideas of his own to the process. How do you solve the Irish Border issue> How do you solve the increased costs to business in customs duty if there is no trade deal? What about the increase in costs for the many customs entries that will inevitably occur? Increased border checks with the few customs officers left? Interested to get Mr Redwoods thoughts

    Reply All published at great length. The ERG published a full document on the Irish border issue last week. I prefer leaving with n o Withdrawal Agreement – simple and quick.

    • Chris
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Mr Redwood: but you and your fellow Tory Brexiter MPs keep saying that you will support the PM e.g. Owen Paterson one of the latest to do so on television. If you support the PM, then you are supporting Chequers, as she has made quite clear that She is sticking to Chequers, and that she is not offering a different model, (but might make further concessions).

      The position that you and fellow tory Brexiters seem to be occupying is not consistent with saying that you will fight to honour democracy and effect Brexit. You cannot have it both ways: you are either for May, which means Chequers, or you are for Brexit and democracy. I do not think you realise how utterly weak and inconsistent (duplicitous is a term applied by many) you appear to so many Leave voters.

  55. Harry
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Great but where are we going to get this 39billion? Through more taxation? Or through extra borrowing😂 get’s me everytime!

  56. VotedOut
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I saw my Prime Minister abused and humiliated on the international stage. Regardless of your politics, that is totally unacceptable.

    The UK voters, in their wisdom want no part of this EU cabal. That has not changed.

    We now have the French President openly wishing and working towards inflicting hardship on everyone in the UK. Calling people liars and suggesting we should dump our democracy.

    We need to leave. I call on all MP’s to rally behind a WTO-Brexit.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear. I second that.

  57. Tony Sharp
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    As usual one endorses what you have to say John – with a tiny exception.
    There is NO possibility of a Canada-CETA deal being agreed with the EU in anything less than the seven years it took to ‘propose’ it – I stress ‘propose’ because it has NOT been agreed and so far only nine EU members have endorsed it – it is years from implementation, if in fact it ever will be.

    So all that talk of CET +++ can mean is yet more strung out negotiations and ‘transition’ periods. This is what the EU means when it says there is no ‘off the shelf’ solution for the UK.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      No, it could be done much faster but the problem with Canada is the Irish border and the conflict with the Good Friday Agreement it would create. EU is OK with acana provided the Irish issue is resiled. The plusses are another matter. That depends on the nature of each individual plus. The EU does not have social members with full members’ privileges.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Making the border in Ireland a big issue is designed to thwart any proposal for sny deal.

  58. John Probert
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I think what happened to the PM in Salzburg was strategy by the EU
    We should prepare to leave with no deal

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      If that is what the UK wants, why not go ahed and do it? Where are those preparations?

  59. Rien Huizer
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    It is getting difficult to bet on brexit outcomes. The worst case scenario: exit without a withdrawal agreement, no transition and no prospect for an FTA of sorts, is still possible and everything else is hidden behind thick layers of smoke. The Part conference may bring some clarity as to the government’s internal credibility (or even the continuation of this government). Only a fool would make a deal with someone in Mrs May’s current position, so the (official) EU response is unsurprising however UK preparations for alternatives (except Mr Fox riding his hobbyhorse again, probably in the full knowledge that making treaties (not “agreements” but ratified treaties) is impossible, especially the kind that offer some benefits to the non-US partner). No one is going to help the UK save herself. The damage the UK’s stumbling into a version of separation that virtually no one wants , could do to the UK is far greater than the damage some EU countries (Ireland excepted, but rest assured that Ireland will be compensated) would suffer. Preparations that The Netherlands made already a year ago are stll lacking in Britain.

    And yes, migration was a much more interesting topic under the circumstances. And maybe something was achieved, even little things that politicians could take home, in the way of intra-EU politics.

  60. JoolsB
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately for our great country, the useless remainer May is still PM and her tough words of “we’re ready to walk away” mean absolutely nothing because she doesn’t mean it. No doubt she is still clinging to her stubborn belief that she can get the EU to accept her Chequers proposals and no doubt Ollie Robbins at this very moment is drafting the many compromises he knows she will willingly accept to get her disastrous and treacherous Chequers through. She has no intention of walking away. To do that would take a strong Prime Minister and May is weak to the core.

    The fact this woman is still cowing to the EU and humiliating us is a disgrace. She is not up to the job but still she refuses to move aside and not one Brexiteer Tory MP has made any attempt to give her the shove she needs. A big mistake for which the Tory party and more importantly the country will pay a heavy price.

    Please John, get together with your fellow Brexiteers and do us all a favour. Get rid of her before she humiliates us any further and ends up shackling us to the EU we are all desperate to leave.

  61. Maggie Lizzie Snook
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Well, we are in a mess, aren’t we.

    So what are you people going to do about what happens next..

    Remember, we do not want to give Corbyn or his sidekick a chance to gloat..

    The Prime Minister’s office needs some serious intervention .

  62. Nigel Seymour
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Just watched TM statement on Sky – GET IN THERE GAL AND KICK EU F******** ARSE – LETS GET IT ON!!!!

  63. oldtimer
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I have just watched May’s statement. In the cicumstances she finds herself in, my initial reaction is that this is the right statement for her to make. Chequers is a non starter. Her fall back position could be a free trade agreement but she is unable to make it herself. Whether there is time for one is another matter.

  64. Edwardm
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The EU wastes no opportunity to show how much it detests the UK, recently in so resolutely rejecting the Chequers sell-out. As fortunate as this is for many of us, it just shows how poor Mrs May’s judgement is on top of all her other serious failings, not least being her willingness to sell-out her country in her pathological desire to suck up to the EU. Though we are not yet at the end game and the EU can still pull surprises that Mrs May might accept, Salzburg is a useful reminder to waverers of the nature of the EU.

    More than ever we need a straight-thinker like yourself, JR, or JRM leading our government, not sidelined on the back benches. I can feel your frustration – we are all frustrated.

  65. Grant
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    So out we’re going next March..out to WTO rules..I hope Liam fox has brushed up on the old files in time to lose now..better start a ship building programme for container ships, tankers and bulk carriers.. Chequers was never going to be acceptable..too much like cherry picking with the SM.. and the DUP were never going to agree to anything anyway on the Irish Border..and to think of all the promises we were from IDS..about the Bavarian car workers..”do you seriously think” etc..M Gove about the French wine producers ..and we have to be practical positive outward looking😆 all gone now in a puff of smoke just like JR’s 39 billion spending miricle

  66. mancunius
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Re tariff schedule – we should go for UTF.
    Kick-start our trade future.

  67. iain
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I for one am feeling relieved that leaving without a deal is now almost certain. We have stood alone before eg 1940 and can do so again.

    • hefner
      Posted September 22, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      “British forces” even in 1940 included if not the the full Commonwealth at least the Australian, Canadian and New Zealander forces.

      • iain
        Posted September 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        I was talking about Europe.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink


        Exactly, isn’t that rather the point, we once again could start trading properly with the Commonwealth, etc ?

  68. Helen Smith
    Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Fully out on March 30th next year, all our fishing waters back, £39bn to spend in this country on the NHS, Social Care, mending potholes, schools etc. Love it.

  • 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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