My Urgent Question on the EU Customs Union and Draft Withdrawal Agreement, 22 October 2018

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Will the Government make a statement on the additional costs of staying in the EU customs union after 2020 and provide an updated estimate of the total costs of the current draft of the withdrawal agreement?

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen):
Every arm of Government is working at pace to firm up and put in place all necessary arrangements to ensure that we are ready to leave and chart our own course as global Britain. The Government will continue to update Parliament on the progress of the negotiations, and the Prime Minister will update the House shortly in this regard in a post-Council statement.

In respect of the customs union, common rules will remain in place throughout the implementation period to give businesses and citizens critical certainty. This will mean that businesses can trade on the same terms as now until the end of 2020. As the Prime Minister has said, a further idea has emerged—and it is an idea at this stage—to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months, and it would only be a matter of months. But as the Prime Minister has made clear, this is not expected to be used, because we are working to ensure that we have a future relationship in place by the end of December 2020.

As the House will appreciate, the length and cost of any extension to the implementation period are subject to negotiations. Throughout the implementation period, we will continue to build our new relationship, one which will see the UK leave the single market and the customs union to forge our own path and pursue an independent trade policy while protecting jobs and supporting growth.

During the progression of our exit negotiations, we reached a financial settlement with the EU that did two things—honoured our commitments made during our membership and ensured the fairest possible deal for UK taxpayers. In December, we estimated the size of the settlement to be between £35 billion to £39 billion, using reasonable assumptions and publicly available data. In April, the National Audit Office confirmed that this was reasonable.

The Government are committed to upholding our parliamentary democracy through honouring the result of the referendum and remaining fully transparent with Parliament on the deal that is reached, in advance of the meaningful vote.

John Redwood: The Treasury should do some calculations, because it would be an act of great rashness to agree to extend our period when we would be in another seven-year financial period for the EU, with all the consequences that might bring. It could cost £15 billion or more for a year and we would probably have to accept liabilities that might extend for the whole seven-year financing period. Why wouldn’t the EU front-load its expenses when we were still in the thing, and why wouldn’t it expect us to meet the forward commitments, as it says it wants us to do as and when we leave under the existing seven-year period?
We are desperately in need of more money for our schools, our hospitals, universal credit and for our defence—[Interruption.] We desperately need money so that we can honour our tax-cutting pledges which we all made in our 2017 manifesto—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker: Order. I apologise for interrupting the right hon. Gentleman, whose flow is difficult to stop—and I would not want it to be stopped.

The right hon. Gentleman must be heard. Mr Matheson, you are normally a most cerebral individual. Take a tablet.

John Redwood: Our economy is being deliberately slowed by a fiscal and monetary squeeze that we need to lift. We need tax cuts to raise people’s take-home pay so that they have more spending power. All this is possible if we do not give £39 billion to the EU, and all this will be even more possible if we do not pledge another £15 billion or £20 billion for some time never, if we are now going to give in yet again.

When will the Government stand up to the EU, when will the Government say that they want a free trade agreement and they do not see the need to pay for it, and when will the Government rule out signing a withdrawal agreement that is a surrender document that we cannot afford?

John Glen: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for a number of Budget representations on that point. What I can confirm is that, when the sum of £35 billion to £39 billion was agreed, it was agreed on three principles: the UK would not make its payments sooner than it would otherwise have done; it would be based on the actual rather than the forecast; and it would mean that we would include all benefits as a member state. I recognise the wide range of concerns in the House, including those raised by my right hon. Friend, but we are at a delicate stage of the negotiations and the Prime Minister will be speaking to the House shortly.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

169 Comments

  1. Caterpillar
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Good question, no answer.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      My thought too.

      My conclusion: prepare for more salami slicing of our hard earned taxes

      • oldtimer
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        That should read more salami slicing of our hard earned income.

        • Hope
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Having read Lee Reynolds article in Conservative Home about the backstop and BA it is difficult to reconcile the Govt’ backstop position unless it is deliberately deceiving people to remain in the EU.

          Pleas read and tell us of Mr Reynolds is wrong or May is deliberately deceiving the public.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            Well May (and her government) are clearly deliberately trying to deceive the public (yet again).

            Will she be allowed to succeed in this is surely the question.

          • NickC
            Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            Hope, A good read. Thank you.

          • Hope
            Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            JR if I understood May correctly yesterday she said 95 percent of the Withdrawal Agreement made. She will not say how much of the future relationship is agreed. She stated at Lancaster it would be in place by March 2019. If it is not what is the transition, or implementation for?mas it is doing neither. It is a straightforward never ending punishment to give our taxes to the EU as a vassal state.

            She als,stated e £39 billion was legal obligations, not true. She Ford £20 billion tomstart with so was she honoring the obligations at the outset? Plus of course U.K. Assets. We need to the bill it appears she is lying again.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          There seems to be no border preparations either. It’s as though there has never been any intention to leave the EU.

          (About 20 different captcha clicks. No exaggeration. If you’re losing traffic it’s because of this.)

    • Nig l
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      We will transparently not be transparent.

      • NickC
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Nig 1, Yes, an implementation period for the implementation period hides the fact that we don’t need or want the first implementation period. Vote Leave, get Theresa May’s Chequers revolving-door Remain. What about just closing Westminster and Whitehall instead so we continue to pay the EU, as Mrs May intends, but don’t have to pay our own useless government as well?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Agreed, what a waste of time these Parliamentary debates are…

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Glenn was dull and could not answer many questions. Hammond should have been there.

      The hard reality is three choices: stuck in an Irish backstop, the U.K. in whole or part cannot get out of, no deal or repudiate the backstop. These are the factual choices.

      The December capitualtion by May is clear. It is difficult to understand why the ministers and MPs failed to read it. May stated she wanted the EU/UK customs union area made legal. No we do not that means stuck in the EU forever! In addition, May confirmed the Withdrawal Agreement will have the same legal standing as a treaty.

      May will delay for time to keep the U.K. in a perpetual backstop by legalizing it. There has never been a need for a transition or implemention or what it really is a punishment extension as a vassal state. As for a backstop to backstop nonsense it advances absolutely nothing, changes nothing and creates uncertainty not certainty because a political declaration can be change infinitum and is not legally enforceable.

      JR May is going for perpetual backstop and customs union to keep U.K. as a vassal state until we change our minds. This is blindingly obvious.

      Bill Cash did not get a very good reply to his question from May. Her alleged parliament block is nothing of the sort, it is like The Hague referendum in country accession to EU it is a block rather than a lock!

      The scare stories ramping up again, the govt supporting these scares rather than allay concern by saying what it has prepared over the last 2 1/2 years! What does this tell you?

      • Peter
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        We do not yet know how the internal fight in the Conservative party will be resolved.

        Meanwhile, it is useful to ask leading questions about Withdrawal Act and Customs Union in the full knowledge that answer will be evasive. It keeps the Brexiteer viewpoint prominent in public debate while Remainers go into full Project Fear mode.

      • old salt
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Hope-
        It certainly looks increasingly like we are not leaving and at what ongoing cost. Possibly with none of our MEP’s to get in their way of the EU implementing their ‘5 Presidents Report’.
        Project Fear is very much alive and kicking. I fear waking each morning to hear of what disaster is going to befall next all working up to another referendum when the polls show favourably.
        From:
        No more delays – just get on with it.
        By JOHNREDWOOD | Published: OCTOBER 18, 2018
        Bob
        Posted October 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink
        The UKIP leader Gerard Batten was right all along, we should have by-passed Article 50 and simply repealed the European Communities Act 1972

  2. Duncan
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I admire your dedication to exposing this PM and her allies both back in the UK and abroad and her attempts to undermine the will of the people expressed through a free and democratic vote in 2015 but, without political action to remove her it is all hot air and ultimately pointless

    I appreciate you need the numbers to depose May and elect a candidate with the values, character and presence to appeal to Eurosceptic Labour voters but replacing her must be the absolute priority to prevent damage to the UK, its sovereign status and our independence.

    The humiliation of Italy and the abuse of its government continues unabated. It seems the humiliation of the UK is close at hand due in no small part to the connivance of both UK and EU politicos

    Tory Eurosceptics must act before its too late

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Duncan, I agree. The people will be with you JR. Remainers in your party will face a stark choice back May and bring an end to your party or get rid of her.

      • Chris
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        I agree, Hope and Duncan. It is long past time to act, and any further delay will seal the fate of Brexit, the country, and the Cons Party. A triple whammy, and all because the PM was able to dupe voters into supporting her at the last election, but most importantly to dupe her own Leaver MPs and effect covert anti Brexit and anti democratic operations right under their noses. What a legacy.

    • Alison
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I agree.
      On Italy, the EU is in a very tight spot.

    • Peter
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I know May’s continued leadership is infuriating. I am not sure where we go next though. There is the parliamtary arithmetic, as you point out.

      Mr. Redwood offers a well reasoned alternative view to the PM. As does Mr. Rees Mogg. However, as one response to his ‘ Moggcast ‘ on ‘Conservative Home’ points out he is :-

      ‘…restrained, reasonable, calm and confident.
      A man keeping his head when all about him are losing theirs .. and blaming him.
      That’s good .. but is it the right tone for this moment ? I think no.

      The worry is that we lack a more energetic, active voice to drive the development of Brexit negotiations rather than simply comment on them.

      Just an observation on my part. I have no solution and I certainly do not know how this will all end.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Duncan

      “The humiliation of Italy and the abuse of its government continues unabated”
      ==

      Humiliation? Abuse?

      Italy received a letter stating that its budget proposals were an “unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules”

      The first time in its long history that such an action has had to be taken. But club rules have to be observed by every member or injustices will rankle.

      Our government’s interference in the affairs of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are a good deal more humiliating and wide ranging.

      Reply We govern as a United Kingdom and Scottish voters have recently had a free vote as to whether they like that or not!

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        You are forgetful. Soon after the Growth and Stability pact was introduced, France, Germany and Portugal broke the fiscal deficit limit (3% of GDP). Portugal was heavily fined. France and Germany got off Scot free. At the risk of boring you, all Member States are equal but some are more equal than others.

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:12 am | Permalink

          Germany ‘got off’ because it had to deal with the sudden fall of the Berlin wall when 16m East Germans were liberated from Soviet occupation and huge sums had to be found to stop the country from collapse.

          Very selective memory!

          • Know-Dice
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

            But why was that all on Germany’s shoulders?

            Surely your beloved EU should have stepped up to the plate?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        The breach of rules is hardly unprecedented. The lack of precedent comes from the fact action is being taken as the rule breaker is not France or Germany

  3. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I might write a letter and ask our Donald , who is doing so very very well in the mid-term Elections in the U>S>A against mob behaviour from the Democratic Party, if he’ll grant me a one-off honorary vote in the elections. I get picked on in social media…. a bit.. and I don’t even have a vote. It must be something I wrote. Bad dudes!
    Mr Speaker might not get one

  4. MickN
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    O/T I read yesterday that the Met. police have put a number of between 130,000 and 170,000 for the Loser’s March in the capital last weekend. This “huge march” of the remoaners represents just about 10% of the size of the majority for leaving the Eu at the referendum, a number that they are always saying is so small that they have to rally against it. Even their inflated figure of 700,000 if true is less than half of that majority. This needs pointing out to the Blairs, Campbells, Sourbrys, Heseltines etc etc etc

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t matter how many were on the march. The only significant question is how many of the people on the march voted Leave ? If, as I expect, the answer is “none” the march is a total irrelevance and should be ignored.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      The march and the so called numbers were a way of trying to establish some legitimacy for the cause. If it really went to a second referendum I would really would want to see the question being asked, as I fear it might be a loaded one.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        To be meaningful, it would have to be a 4 way choice:
        – Remain in the EU
        – Join the EEA
        – Chequers based agreement (not yet fully defined)
        – No deal exit (totally misrepresented)

        A ballot paper wouldn’t say that Remaining would involve adopting the Euro and being absorbed into a Federal European SuperState. And it wouldn’t ask voters to read the Five Presidents Report.

        You bet it would be a bent referendum. This matter has to be sorted out at a General Election. Unless it’s Brexiteers vs the rest, we won’t prevail.

  5. Ron Olden
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    John Glen is FACTUALLY WRONG is saying:-

    ”During the progression of our exit negotiations, we reached a financial settlement with the EU”—

    We have NOT reached a financial settlement with them. The agreement in which the reference to the settlement is made says:-

    ”Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint
    commitments set out below in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal
    Agreement in full detail”.

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf

    • Dennis
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Ron Olden -excellent link -1st time I have seen this.

  6. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    PPS I didn’t do it on purpose

  7. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Off-topic: Our Willem Alexander (like his mum, and grandmother committed Europeans) apparently managed to have Queen Elizabeth respond in public about the brexit developments:
    “As we look toward a new partnership with Europe, it is our shared values and commitment to each other, that are out greatest asset, and demonstrate that even through change, our enduring alliance remains strong, and as innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future,”

    • Stred
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Now amended to – even though no change…

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        @Stred: There is bound to be some change on 29-3-2019.
        Some call it “FREEDOM”!!! 🙂

        • NickC
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          PvL, It is only FREEDOM if we actually Leave on 29 Mar 2019. For the benefit of the various uneducated Remains on here who do not seem to understand the simple English word Leave: applied to the UK’s part in the EU, it means we abrogate the current EU multilateral treaties, and do not sign up to new bi-lateral treaties with the EU any more extensive than our treaties with other nations. The EU must be a third country for Leave to happen.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Straight out of the EU “Play book”…

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Ours too, apparently 889th in line for UK throne. Time for an EU Referendum in Netherlands? Unfortunately a Leave vote would just result in more referenda until a Remain vote. The ploy the EU politburo continues with UK.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick: Maybe the first William (1688) has done enough damage, I wouldn’t wish for a second one in Britain. Although he could of course address the Orangemen in N.Ireland and press upon them that times have changed.

        Don’t go for referendums, just elect politicians which you can trust to work 24/7 on the complex issues and then decide on your behalf.

        • John Needham
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Elect politicians you can trust ???
          Rarer than hens teeth and chocolate tea pots.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I just hope that means Holland exiting the EU as well. I’m sure our respective governments can then agree a mutually beneficial trading arrangement, free of EU rules and interference.
      In my experience the Dutch and the English get on rather well.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        @Dave Andrews: I cannot read your queen’s quoted words as any encouragement to the Netherlands to exit as well.
        Leaving the EU would be unwise: a much larger proportion of our economy depends on exports and ¾ of that export is to (the rest of) the EU. The single market is very important for us, and we’re not to have it damaged in any Brexit deal. Such a Brexit deal would not make it through our parliament.
        We have helped to make these EU rules, why dump them? Are we better of with unsafe or poisonous toys for our children (just to give you one exampe)?

        • mancunius
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Of course, Holland desperately needed an unelected bureacracy based in a foreign country to help them wean themselves 0ff ‘poisonous toys’.

          They couldn’t possibly have managed that on their own.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            @Mancunius

            Re Holland exiting the EU. (1) only if Germany does so as well plus the Nordics, Austria and Belgium. (2) The Netherlands is among the countries that have used the opportunities provided by the EU very well. Very few people would like to exit as you may have heard. Being the equivalent of the Pearl River Delta in Europe, it is completely integrated with its neighbors. Plus, most people in Holland travel frequently acroos the borders that you cherish so much. Just imagine driving a coupr of KMs and having to deal with a border!

            Select your information a little more better pse. Breitbast? Facebook ads for a specific audience?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            @mancunius: Actually, I don’t think that the European Parliament were unelected, nor the council of ministers, the two bodies that e.g. negotiated and decided on the REACH directive. Ignorance about the EU in the UK is really unbelievable. So let’s heed on the continent against substandard UK post-Brexit products, because they want to decide everything by themselves on their little island.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            macunius,

            You do sometimes write a lot of nonsense

          • NickC
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Mancunius, You’ve got the lot fizzing there! Well done. Of course the people of Holland did vote 61.6% against the EU constitution, but got steamrollered into it by the likes of PvL, RH, and HCI. Still, there are none so blind as those that will not see, even when an ignored referendum is staring them in the face.

        • Richard1
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          A good argument and a silly one. Indeed the Netherlands are much more integrated into the EU than the UK, and are in the euro, so withdrawal from the EU makes much less sense than it might do for the UK. But it’s a pity you use the sort of argument employed by the likes of Nick Clegg and other alarmist remainers: there are many countries around the world which prevent poisonous and unsafe toys being sold to children, without those countries being in the EU. Norway Switzerland Canada, Australia, NZ, Singapore, the US are immediate examples. I am sure in reality the majority of countries do. If this sort of thing is the remain argument it has no validity.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

            @Richard1: the toys were just one small example, and I’m not so sure about all standards in every country you cite (on faith).
            But most countries already follow the stricter EU standards in order to be able to export to the EU. The argument is broader: We have a system in which we agree and enforce standards among (soon) 27 countries. Once the UK diverges, it will face more problems with us. And prior to that there will have to be inspections. As there will be no common referee anymore (the ECJ) our counter measures will likely be harsher.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            Standards in Europe are little different to standards in other major developed nations.
            Companies who sell into world markets adjust the specifications of their products so they can be sold in those markets and they have been doing this for decades.
            There are very few inspections of goods taking place in a physical sense.
            Goods are declared compliant by certification prior to leaving their place of origin.
            There are random customs checks by X ray for example but that is to check for contraband or misdescription of cargo.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      internationalists

      Tells you a lot that word 😉

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: Indeed! So supposedly the UK actually is aware of what the international world is thinking about this Bexit. In my ears, that message from the rest of the world is overwhelmingly clear!
        I won’t spell it out to you.

        What I see as the best escape, given the current UK circumstances, would be to follow a Norway model for some years to give you time and peace to
        1) reconcile the many warring factions
        2) negotiate a CAnada-like deal with the EU27.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          PvL:

          ” In my ears, that message from the rest of the world is overwhelmingly clear!”

          That’s good to know that we are on the same page and both hear that the rest of the world are saying “Get on with it”… 🙂

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            @Know-Dice: Indeed, get on with it. Regrettably you’re deaf for the other message, i.e. that Brexit is a historical blunder by the UK.

          • NickC
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            PvL, I think you need to make your own mind up whether the UK leaving the EU is “a historical blunder by the UK” or is desirable because a majority of British people now see that “the UK is a mis-fit in the EU”. And considering the Dutch people voted against the EU constitution, whether Holland is a mis-fit in the EU?

        • Richard1
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          Most of the rest of the world are aware that Brexit is a local matter which is likely to have little impact either way – whether the UK makes a success of it or not depends on the policies adopted afterwards. Many countries are of course keen to strike FTAs with the UK, which hopefully they will be able to do. Of course there are some – the US foreign policy establishment eg – who regret the loss of UK influence in the EU.

          It is the case that there are loud advocates of UK membership of the EU, such as President Obama or the CEOs of some international companies such as auto manufacturers. But I am not aware that any of these people would be advocates for their own countries entering political unions with their neighbours. Are there Japanese CEOs advocating political union with China? Are there US Democrats advocating subjugation of the US Supreme Court to a new court comprising judges from`Mexico and Canada?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            @Richard1: I’m not suggesting all kinds of political unions, and we agree that currently the UK is a mis-fit in the EU.

            Disputed rulings by a (common) FIFA referee aren’t taken to a Supreme court either. But soccer does require a rule book and an agreed referee. So does playing (selling) in the single market.

          • NickC
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            Richard 1, I think PvL can’t, or won’t, see that the point you are making about Japanese or US advocates of the UK being a subservient part of the EU empire is one of their hypocrisy not one of “all kinds of political unions”.

  8. Mark B
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Let us hope this little missive does not get held up in moderation – all day !

    When will the Government stand up to the EU . . .

    It is not the EU the government needs to stand up against, it is big business fronted by the CBI. The enemy is within the gates. The EU is just telling us how it is and the government is trying to negotiate Continuity-Remain for the sake of big business. Hence regulatory Alignment, SM and CU.

    As I keep saying. The government is not negotiating BREXIT, but EU-LITE.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Correct!Big Business-and particularly Big Finance-has always been the driver of globalisation and any and every step(like the EU) along the way.From the western perspective that’s really what the Cold War was about-it might have been framed in terms of political ideology but it was about establishing one,monopolistic system across the globe.

      James Paul Warburg of the famous banking family(father founded the Federal Reserve,great uncle funded the bolshevik coup) in testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee after WWII:”We shall have world government whether or not we like it.The only question is whether world government will be achieved by conquest or consent.”

      Fortunately,due to the efforts of China and Russia,we appear to be entering the age of the “post-west”world,where politics control the money rather than,as in the west, money controlling the politics although the transition may be full of danger.

      • sm
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Mitchel, are you aware of the World Federalist Movement? If you want to send an unpleasant (in my view) shiver down your spine, try googling it.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Exactly Mark. Few people seem to grasp this point – that it is big-business, (aka the Establishment) that is controlling May and Hammond and hence the Brexit non-negotiations.

  9. oldwulf
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    ‘We are at a delicate stage of the negotiations …”
    Why are the negotiations “delicate” ?
    Either the EU is prepared to offer an improvement over “no deal” or it isn’t.
    Is the UK looking for a deal which is significantly better for the UK than “no deal” ?
    Is the EU looking for a deal which is significantly worse for the UK than “no deal” ?
    It is difficult for an amateur such as me, to keep up with all of the detail.
    It is now over two years since the referendum and we are still five months away from the date we leave. I would have thought it is now time to walk away and to put the “no deal” plans into action.

  10. Know-Dice
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Today the NAO supported by the BBC say that our borders will be less secure on the 30th March 2019 than 29th March 2019.

    So our borders that are relatively open today will be less secure with the same checks after we leave the EU on 29th March 2019.

    It seems to me that ANY additional checks we put in place will make our borders more secure in the future.

    Once again “Backside covering” and “Empire building”…

    It’s up to HMRC & The Border Force in this country as to how difficult they want to make things. Of course the French will be obstructive, but they DO have as much to lose with transit delays as we do…

    • Steve
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Know-Dice

      “Today the NAO supported by the BBC say that our borders will be less secure on the 30th March 2019 than 29th March 2019.”

      Well the NAO would do their bit for project fear, as does the BBC. They are after all both left wing infested civil service organisations.

  11. Cerberus
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    More project fear from the National Audit Office and Border agency. All nonsense as there are no real border checks at the moment. We need a clear out of the civil service if Brexit ever happens. Expect mass civil disobedience or unrest if democracy is denied.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      BBC TV interviewed Tony Smith, a former Director General of the UK Border Force, and on the whole what he said was quite reasonable.

      In particular he pointed out that it would be down to our government to decide what happened on this side, that is to say whether to start treating imports from the EU in the same way as we now treat imports from the rest of the world or instead carry on treating imports from the EU in much the same way as we treat them now, at least for the time being.

      It is a silly idea that until precisely 11.00 pm on March 29th 2019 we can just routinely wave through goods from the rest of the EU but from that instant we must start treating them as we treat goods from the rest of the world, why should we do that? I repeat my warning, that if any pro-EU parrot flies in and squawks “WTO rules” then I will demand to know chapter and verse.

      The problem, he suggested, could come from the other side, where our government has no legal authority to direct operations, and can we persuade the French not to unnecessarily block the passage of traffic in and out of Calais?

      More to the point, will this government even point out that if there were problems then they would be caused by other governments? No, because the Department for Exiting the European Union doesn’t do rebuttals, does it, rapid or other; even back in the days of David Davis it normally let all kinds of false anti-Brexit propaganda go unanswered and if it made any response it would be such a feeble response that it added to rather than countered the stream of black propaganda.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Gulag?

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Stalag?!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Here’s a carefully crafted lie, maybe David Lidington helped with the wording:

      https://www.ft.com/content/f853b544-d6cb-11e8-a854-33d6f82e62f8

      “If Britain left the EU under World Trade Organization rules, the UK and EU would be in different customs jurisdictions and would be expected to carry out checks on trade across the English Channel.”

      So who would “expect” that? The false implication is that the WTO would expect it, in conformity with its WTO rules, when that is simply not the case:

      https://tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/does-the-wto-require-countries-to-control-their-borders/

      “First, a fact:

      There is no rule in the WTO requiring its member governments to secure their borders.

      After Brexit, the UK could drop all border controls for traded goods and services and it would be perfectly within its WTO rights.”

      And so could France, as far as the WTO was concerned, but not as far as the EU was concerned.

      Anyway I should think Theresa May and Dominic Raab and all the rest of that crew and their pro-EU officials will be mightily pleased with the lunchtime TV coverage they have got for this repeated load of rubbish, and why should any of them feel the slightest twinge of conscience that they are deliberately deceiving the plebs?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        @ Denis Cooper,

        What do you think would happen (under WTO MFN rules) if the UK had preferential access after an abrupt British exit next year? Basically the same rules that apply to the border with Kaliningrad Oblast.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Have you read the rest of the blog article?

          If you really think that the WTO, or somebody else, would demand that the EU must treat the UK, until that moment an EU member state and still in full alignment with all relevant EU law, in exactly the same way as it treats Russia, then you’ve lost all grip on reality.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Cerberus

      “Expect mass civil disobedience or unrest if democracy is denied.”
      ==

      Ditto if 16m Remainers have their votes ignored against 17m Brexiteers.

      The future of our young people is too important to be thrown away to appease a mostly right wing, elderly section of the electorate.

      EXIT BREXIT!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Margaret. Why don’t you go and live in a country that has no democracy? China perhaps?

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          Move from the country with the second largest unelected legislating body in the world to the only country which has a larger one. Interesting suggestion.

          Given that, for most of the electorate, casting a vote in a UK election is about as useful as casting a vote in a Chinese election due to the FPTP system rendering most votes irrelevant (68% of all votes in the 2017 General Election counted for nothing in determining who got elected), again an interesting suggestion.

          One wonders if Margaret would notice much difference!

      • NickC
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Does it matter whether it was 16m or 8m? We had a referendum, and the rules which were accepted by both sides, were that the winning side needed 50% + 1 vote to win. Actually the Leave win was by a substantial 1.25m votes. That is the nature of all referendums – it is a democratic choice between alternatives. We either Remain in the EU, or Leave the EU. We cannot do both. For a “compromise” means we remain under EU control.

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:17 am | Permalink

          In the 1979 Scotish referendum the result was 52 in favour of devolution and 48% against. Yet it lost because it was less than 40% of the electorate.

          Why is it different for Brexit?
          ==

          I’m sure our local golf club wouldn’t elect a new chairman under those conditions.

          EXIT BREXIT!

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          NickC

          If, you were as informed and enlightened as you pretend to be, you would not write so much nonsense in between.

  12. ChrisS
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    There can be little doubt that the EU will charge us the maximum possible amount for any extension of the so-called transition period. They will certainly attempt to bind us into paying for anything agreed in the 7 year budget plan if we are still a member when this is implemented. That would be ridiculous.

    Of more concern than just money is the latest turn of events in Paris. Macron, like Varadkar, is proving to be no friend of Britain, quite the reverse. His threats to close the border at Calais to British goods are illegal but since when has any French Government worried about such niceties as the law when it comes to self-interest ?

    • Henry Spark
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Macron’s point is that if the UK leaves without a deal, there will need to be checks at Calais on all British goods because the Uk will have chosen to become a third country, and will no longer be following the EU’s rules. This is what “leaving the EU” means. You are fooling yourself if you think things are not going to change, and for the worse

      • NickC
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Henry Spark, I doubt very much that all American goods, or Chinese, Indian, Mexican or Australian, goods are checked at Calais. So why would “all British goods” be checked? Or are you saying the EU will flout its own rules as well as flouting WTO rules, just to be spiteful, like you?

        • Henry Spark
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Nick, they are not all checked. But they are not all checked because the countries you list have customs facilitation deals with the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, as John Redwood recommends, then for sure all the UK’s goods need to be checked, because there is no deal at all in place. WTO rules would force the EU to treat the UK in the same way it treats the few other states with which it has no deals. This is why all serious commentators know no deal is NOT an option

          • NickC
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Henry Spark, As has been explained to you many times, by JR and others, the term “no-deal” is a misnomer. The UK does not need a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, particularly where it segues into control of us by the EU (which would be contrary to the Leave vote anyway).

            Assuming we actually Leave (which is pretty unlikely now) the UK always intended to take part in the agreements promoted by international bodies and treaties (NATO, UN, WTO, Commonwealth, IMF, ICAO, etc, etc) directly, rather than via the EU. Think of the “no-deal” option being more like the freedom New Zealand has, or Japan, or India, etc.

            Most nations on the planet are not in the EU. No nation needs the EU to survive perfectly well. The EU adds very little value, yet costs a lot in cash terms, in loss of freedom and loss self-determination. The EU is also a dangerous ideology intent on promoting its own power rather than the well-being of it constituent nations – whether Greece, Italy or the UK.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        98% of goods entering the UK & I think other EU countries under WTO rules are not subject to inspection at borders. This argument is bogus.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure that it would be ‘self-interest’ bearing in mind that most of the traffic is bringing continental goods for sale in the UK and a significant part of it is empty HGVs returning to their home bases on the continent (having avoided paying any tax on their use of our roads and motorways or buying any fuel here).

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I am glad that you mentioned the urgent need for increased defence spending in your question. We are now so incapable of organising our own defence that the US Navy has this month deployed the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman to Portsmouth and is now undertaking a carrier group exercise in the N Sea, in response to the frequent passage of Russian warships there and through the “English” Channel.

    Clearly, the MoD and the Admiralty urgently need to re-think RN deployments overseas and concentrate a deterrent naval force in home waters.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    If Hammond can find £39 billion to divorce the EU and £15 billion (?) extra to extend the transition a few months why can’t he find £2 billion to fund Universal Credit properly ? He better have a good answer because he’s going to be asked this question every time he does an interview.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Maybe we’ll find out next week in the budget. Maybe our EU loving Socialist Chancellor aided and abetted by his Socialist leader have got tax rises in mind so they can hand over even more vast sums of our hard earned money to their beloved EU masters. Of course it will be our fault for voting Brexit.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Excellent points and no substantive answer from the economic secretary. He was another “reluctant remainer”. It seems he still is.

  16. MPC
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Ironically our only hope is that we are to have a ‘meaningful vote’ on ‘the deal’ and that Mrs May did not get a thumping majority at the last Election after which Chequers would have been railroaded through.

    It’s not just the amount of the ‘divorce bill’ and that it has no legal basis that makes people angry whether they are ‘Tory pensioners ‘ or not. Things are relatively quiet in terms of new EU Directives/laws but I fully expect them to ramp up quickly to the UK’s detriment if a deal is signed and bound up in a new Treaty, the nightmare scenario.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Your talents and those of others are wasted on the backbenches. Mrs May has had two chances (before and after the election) and failed. Will your party replace her before it is too late?

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      It seems not Brian. Our deluded and useless PM is allowed to get away with betraying 17.4 people and they haven’t made any effort to get rid of her at all. John and his fellow Brexiteers are outnumbered as the majority of MPs/traitors are determined to thwart the will of the people and it seems they have decided there is nothing they can do about it.

      In the end May will take the Tory party down but more importantly the country but not before she had made us a laughing stock and cost us billions in the process.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        “In the end May will take the Tory party down but more importantly the country but not before she had made us a laughing stock and cost us billions in the process.”

        I fear you are right unless she is stopped. She is wrong on almost every single issue and deceitful with it. She is even more of an electoral liability than Major became. At least people realised he was just a silly & out of his depth dope. Albeit a hugely damaging one for the country.

  18. Javelin
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Its worth seaching youtube for “Blackadder goes forth over the top”.

    The last scene of the last episode should give a sombre reminder to Conservative MPs of their own mood at the next General Election.

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Important meeting with the 1922 committee today, I hope you will all do your duty.

    Its now or never really, otherwise do not carry on moaning about how useless we are doing at negotiations.

    We did our bit out here and voted by a majority to LEAVE, now up to the politicians to make sure it happens.

    • Oxiana321
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Exactly ! There comes a time when heads have to stick up above the parapet. The message any sizeable revolt sends is as important as the numbers.

  20. Kevin
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The following quote is from a BBC News Web site article, titled, “Why Andrea Leadsom stepped aside for Theresa May”, dated 11th July 2016:
    “She [Mrs. Leadsom] said she’d concluded that in the interests of strong leadership, with Theresa May having so much support from MPs and the economy needing certainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, it was better to have a rapid transition than a protracted leadership race.”

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Just shows how wrong Andrea Leadsom was. Gove’s role shouldn’t be forgotten.

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yes minister replies to excellent questions but who is John Glen, I have never heard of him.

    For the umpteenth time it is time to get rid of her and most of her cabinet.

    Time is running out for action before she blunders us into catastrophe.

    • mancunius
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      John Glen = Junior Treasury gofer. His wikipedia entry tells us that he was Head Boy at his private school, and that since he left Oxford he has worked for the Conservative Party, (except for brief stints in management consultancy and the oil industry). He was allocated the safe seat of Salisbury in the 2010 General Election.

      Not wishing to make any ‘indelicate’ comparisons, but by the time he had reached the same age (mid-forties) his namesake, the US pilot John Glenn had earned 6 DFCs and 18 medals as a fighter pilot, orbited the globe three times, and won the NASA medal.
      But then, Glenn never worked as a secretary to the UK Treasury, which is the very pinnacle of human achievement.

  22. am
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Good question, no answer, indeed.

    May will hide the costs, try to bounce the whole nation into a bad deal -unnecessary costs and procedures hidden- then reveal all when it is too late to stop it and just bluster it out.

    She is the most incredible PM in living memory and makes Tony Blair look straight.

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Am, Yes, I fear you are correct. I now rank Theresa May as both the worst Prime Minister and the most deceitful since I began taking notice with MacMillan. I would put Ted Heath second, then Tony Blair at third, Gordon Brown fourth and Harold Wilson at fifth. So the Tories are the clear winners!

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        NickC

        there is no so-called Eu ideology except in your head for fake news purposes

        • NickC
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Hans, The EU is not based on a country. The EU has no patria, and no demos. Therefore the EU is an ideology – it is an invented political concept just as Fascism and Communism were.

  23. DaveF
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Looks like my Right Honourable Friend persists with looking for a Free Trade Agreement with them without having to pay..he somehow believes the EU will entertain the idea that the EU and the UK are equals..but more than that.. that we can all push ahead with future trade deals with them without first finalising a Withdrawal Agreement..only in the land of nod and bunkum could such nonsense be dreamt up.

    Reply Canada is a much smaller economy than the UK and got a FTA for nothing with the EU! You don’t have to pay to trade.

    • Helena
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Our economy is largely service based. The Canada deal does not cover services. It is useless to the UK.

      • mancunius
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Yet the EU has never implemented the single EU market in services. That too has proved useless to the UK.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Neither does the single market

      • Andy
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        A FTA is not a single market. Goods may largely be tariff free but they are still subject to bureaucracy and delay. Unlike a single market where goods are the same so need no checks.

        Mr Redwood and others promised leave meant less red tape. They lied.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          You have never sent goods out of the UK for sale or imported goods andy.
          Many have done so and we quickly realise that you don’t know what you are talking about.
          Few goods are checked today in the EU or rest of the world at port of entry for compliance.
          That is done away from ports of exit and entry.
          Goods move quickly in and out of countries without delays.
          My experience is that the EU has similar bureacracy to other nations in the world.

        • NickC
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Andy, The sort of excessive red tape that we, and I suppose JR, have in mind is REGULATION (EC) No 1462/2006, which starts: “An article, in the form of a sheep, measuring approximately 10 cm in height. A knitted fabric, representing the fleece, covers most of the ceramic body leaving part of the head and four hoofs visible. The fabric is glued on the ceramic body“. And it spirals downwards from there. Matchsticks are provided of course.

  24. am
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    What is the process of impeachment of a British PM. There seems to a process in the USA for impeachment of a President. She has gone from a red, white and blue Brexit to this current situation.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      @ Denis Cooper,

      What do you think would happen (under WTO MFN rules) if the UK had preferential access after an abrupt British exit next year? Basically the same rules that apply to the border with Kaliningrad Oblast.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        I’ve already replied to this pro-EU squawk above, but as it is repeated here I demand to see chapter and verse of those WTO rules which supposedly would compel members to behave in a way which was not only objectively stupid but unnecessarily disrupted trade between them. The WTO exists to promote and facilitate world trade, not frustrate it. So, come on, chapter and verse.

        • NickC
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper, I am less tolerant than you are of Remain attempts to find difficulties which don’t exist, or attempts to turn difficulties which do exist into insurmountable barriers. All whilst apparently being blind to the fact that the rest of the world is not in the EU, yet manages to trade with it. Frankly they are pathetic. And by now, boring. Doesn’t Remain have anyone of better calibre?

  25. Adam
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “when we were still in the thing” is an appropriate way of referring to the EU. In early years ahead after leaving, we shall look back with a sigh of relief at how bad things were before we left it.

    Happier UK citizens seeing our own money spent wisely may reflect with comments like: “That £50bn investment on UK health, education & roads makes our lives better now. The EU just wasted our money when we were still in THE THING!”.

  26. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Apparently May is considering a “long running, multiyear transition period”. This deception by May, effected through her relentless step by step wearing down of Brexit has got to be brought to a halt, and the only way is by her being replaced by a committed Brexiteer.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/24/brexit-live-theresa-may-considering-long-running-transition/

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Chris, I agree with you entirely. Even though it is likely that the Remain and “here-for-the-beer” Tory MPs would vote Theresa May back in, the upset of the vote at this critical juncture would take the wind out of her sails. And if it is the only thing that real Leave Tory MPs can do, then it must be done. At least it is a better option than just letting her sell out the UK again whilst sitting on the sidelines.

  27. Know-Dice
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at the upcoming 1922 meeting…

    Mr Redwood you need to ensure that any “fence sitters” come down squarely on your side.

    95% of nothing is nothing… and for sure May’s deal is worse than “No Deal”…

  28. Stred
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Commercial radio is still repeating adverts for the NHS, telling us that it is looking after us and to get a flu jab because complications can be nasty. The problem is that doctors and pharmacists haven’t got any. There is a shortage, according to my Boots pharmacist, and we will have to wait until next month at least. The jab for over 65s has a T in the name. The same shortage happened last year. It would be so helpful if some of the £50bn could be spent on vaccine to do what the adverts advise.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JR, given that our Prime Minister Theresa May has been allowing another Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar of the Irish Republic, to largely control the course of our withdrawal from the EU I would strongly recommend this article on Conservativehome today:

    https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2018/10/lee-reynolds-what-the-belfast-agreement-does-and-doesnt-say-about-the-uk-ireland-land-border-and-much-else.html

    “Lee Reynolds: What the Belfast Agreement does and doesn’t say about the UK-Ireland land border – and much else”

    And also when you and other Tory backbenchers see Theresa May later today please could you or somebody else pose that question which did not get asked on Monday, whether the term “no deal” means no deal on anything at all, or just no special trade deal?

    Because it is now nearly a year since I first pointed out that the new Irish government had adopted an absurd extreme and intransigent position over the land border to try to force the UK to stay under the rules of both the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market, and suggested the correct UK government response, on November 26th 2017:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/11/26/the-irish-border-with-northern-ireland/#comment-903216

    “On the TV this morning it was stated that the UK government is “desperate” to move on to trade talks, but this would be vetoed by the Irish government unless the UK government committed to keeping the UK in both the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    And perhaps some thoughtful Tory MP could also ask Theresa May what kind of future “deep and special” trade deal with the EU could conceivably pass muster with the Irish government and so make her supposedly temporary “Irish backstop” redundant, other than a “deep and special” trade deal which did what the Irish government will no doubt still want and therefore kept us under the rules of the EU Single Market and EU Customs Union in perpetuity?

    Which is, of course, what Theresa May also wants, Lancaster House speech in the bin.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      The ballot paper in the 2016 referendum didn’t mention a ‘deep and special relationship’. The Conservative manifesto of 2017 did mention it, but that manifesto almost cost us the election, and has effectively been binned.

  30. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Sensible comments from yourself John as usual. Shame nobody seems to be listening. I am truly disgusted with the way May has led these negotiations over Brexit. In fact I am disgusted with the Tory party in general overturning what was a democratic referendum. They will suffer at the next election. Just who the hell do they think they all are? Whatever they think I don’t think we think the same of them! I never thought I would see a party stoop so low and get the country into such a mess as this when it was completely unnecessary. Our politicians seem hell bent on making us stay under the thumb of Germany and trashing our economy. Its a shame they don’t have the conviction of the people who do their best to make this country great again. It’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    why you propping up a failing pm?

    may must go

    say so loudly and clearly

    everyone in the real world is…

  32. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    What May has done has to be looked at in the harsh daylight. This excerpt from an article on Conservative Woman about who or what is driving Theresa May is to the point, and alarming when you see exactly what May has done and what she is apparently going to inflict on us (with apparently most of her MPs complicit):
    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/just-what-or-who-is-driving-theresa-may/

    “In summary, having let herself be totally outmanoeuvred on the Northern Ireland backstop – with the connivance, on this and much else, of a Civil Service opposed to Brexit in principle and resolved to dilute it to insignificance, or thwart it altogether – she now proposes a £57billion-costing, non-voting vassal-state transition until 2022, before a permanent Customs Union, adherence to EU Internal Market rules, inability to strike external trade deals, continuing subservience to the European Court of Justice, and possibly also even surrendering domestic control over tax policy.

    And that’s disregarding her signing away UK defence and military autonomy to the incipient European Defence Union on the sly. So there’s no lack of knowledge or detail about what May is doing…..”

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I suspect the Establishment is keen on a defence relationship with the EU in order to veto/disrupt any attempt by the EU to develop a common defence architecture with Russia.

      The longer the trade spat with the US goes on the more US troops in Europe will look like an army of occupation-apart from possibly where Poland is concerned and Poland for the past three hundred years has never knowingly been on the right side of history.

      • NickC
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Mitchel, It’s very difficult to be “on the right side of history” when your country is invaded by Nazi Germany from the West and Communist Russia from the East at the same time.

  33. mickc
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Regrettably, no one in the Tory party has the guts to get rid of May; she has the measure of them all. BRINO is what we are getting.

  34. WeToldYou_No_EU
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Barnier admitted on French Radio that planes would continue to fly across the EU and the UK in the event of a No Deal.
    A specific Agreement would be drawn up to avoid problems.

    Theresa May’s planning for No Deal should…long before now…have identified all the necessary Agreements…they should be ready to go.

    But where are they?

    May’s preparation for No Deal seems to consist solely of going into Overdrive with Project Fear!
    Our own Government should be making contingency plans and reassuring us…not trying to scare us with false information.

    Please, get rid of May today!

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      International aviation is handled by the ICAO under the Chicago Convention, not by the EU. The EU cannot stop planes flying. It is yet another example of claptrap Remain fear-mongering.

  35. Kenneth
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I think the Audit Office was wrong to conclude the £35 billion payment to the eu was reasonable.

    I presume it is basing its advice on the possibility of a third party state requesting a judgement from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the chance of the judgement going against the UK.

    However, the UK has a clause written into its declaration to the ICJ which states:

    “2. The Government of the United Kingdom also reserves the right at any time, by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and with effect as from the moment of such notification, either to add to, amend or withdraw any of the foregoing reservations, or any that may hereafter be added.”

    As such, we can immediately add a clause to prevent the ICJ from making judgements on any Brexit settlement.

    Surely this advice from the audit office would have been better than to agree to lose £35 billion of taxpayer money.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    “As the Prime Minister has said, a further idea has emerged—and it is an idea at this stage—to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months, and it would only be a matter of months.”

    That’s not what the Telegraph is reporting this morning:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/24/brexit-live-theresa-may-considering-long-running-transition/

    “Theresa May considering ‘long-running’ transition, leaked papers show”

    Just to recap, at the start I pointed out that transitional provisions are a commonplace feature of international treaties – for example, under their 1957 Treaty of Rome the six countries gave themselves twelve years to fully establish their common market in stages – and I was not disturbed by the prospect that some complex legal and practical changes entailed in our withdrawal from the EU could take a few years to complete after we had left, and it would not necessarily be the same period for each of the changes.

    Which is also what Theresa May said in her now-binned Lancaster House speech:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-governments-negotiating-objectives-for-exiting-the-eu-pm-speech

    “But there is one further objective we are setting. For as I have said before – it is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff-edge for business or a threat to stability, as we change from our existing relationship to a new partnership with the EU.

    By this, I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status, in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory. That would not be good for Britain, but nor do I believe it would be good for the EU.

    Instead, I want us to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the 2-year Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards, we believe a phased process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us will be in our mutual self-interest. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements.”

    In fact that is exactly what this lying cheat now means, she wants the oxymoronic “status quo” or “standstill” transition period during which nothing will change as first proposed by Labour, now taken up by her with the added bonus that it will keep us where she wants us, under the thumb of her beloved EU, for ever and a day.

    • WeToldYou_No_EU
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      “By this, I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status, in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory”.

      On Planet May…she has honoured that ‘pledge’.

      We will not be stuck forever, in some kind of political ‘PURGATORY’…we will be stuck forever in the political HELL of the EU.

  37. Frances Cotton
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I can only approve of all you are doing to try and stop us remaining in the eu. Please keep on for as long as it takes. We are behind you all the way.

  38. ian
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    It starting to come out now what Mrs May agreed to last year in the withdrawal agreement with the EU, Mrs May so far has been unable to get anything into the agreement for the UK but is still trying with a customs union type of deal, the withdrawal agreement talks only started a few months ago but you now find that the drafting of the agreement was last year with gov agreeing to it, the last few months have been about Mrs May trying to get something added on to the bill for the UK, what happen to nothing agreed to everything is agreed.

    Well, the bill has to go before parliament at some stage and will most likely be pasted by remainers and the money handed over to the EU as they want, then starts the process on trade talks with options being, WTO, FTA or rejoining the EU in some way which is the favoured option by Mrs May and remainers with extensions and no end date, with the WTO option you have 21 months grace to do the paperwork and leave, FTA you have 21 months to talk them into one if you can or a ply for extensions and pay more money, get ready for MPs and media BS running into the next election where both parties will offer the voters a customs union with the EU with money to be paid to them each year with the same rules as now on trading with other countries, the whole process thing has been a waste of time and money.

  39. formula57
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    O/T – May’s instincts for doing wrong exhibited afresh today with the news she is offering the retiring Cabinet Secretary a life peerage.

    Did she not notice the perfidy of the ex-civil servants amongst current life peers? Their stance against accepting the will of the people over Brexit has been a disgrace. The worry is perhaps she did notice.

  40. Nigel Seymour
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    J, Why doesn’t the Gov reduce VAT on car repairs? That’s really simple isn’t it?
    It would help many drivers with their running costs and garage owners having to continually inflate their costs? The UK driver is taken for granted and is a massive gov cash cow. The latest fuel price duty statement is complete shite in order to try and make motorists think we are better off!!!!!

  41. mancunius
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “we reached a financial settlement with the EU” – The hell we did!
    As for negotiations reaching a ‘delicate stage’ – sounds as if this is the right moment to pull the rug from under the effete, complaisant, remainerist Treasury’s feet.

    1. Repudiate the backstop, as it was patently wheedled through under false pretences.
    2. Go for a NoDeal WTO exit with a Canada+ FTA for further negotation. and – and if May will not do that, force her resignation.

  42. ian
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Con party voters promising revenge on their party, look like a rerun of 1997 where con party votes sat at home cutting their nose off to spite their face, the usual clueless voters.

    • mancunius
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      A party whose MPs, for the sake of their own personal gain, promise a foreign power to enslave their taxpayers, would be simply not worth voting for.

      A government that perverts the result of a referendum would be worth voting out of office, so that party can rid itself of its illusions of ‘having got away with it’.

      I only wish that opposition parties were beggared and impoverished – possibly even ritually sacrificed, why not – as a result of losing an election. It might make them a little more fastidious in their choice of policy.

  43. ian
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    You won’t see much of what being debated on this blog today in the media, the majority of the media are with the remainers even if they say they are not, the full extent of what in the withdrawal agreement will be kept hidden from the public view and when you think that is the only means the public and voters have of knowing what goes on in their own country it bigger stit up than you think by the media and MPs.
    This plan has been thought out over many years, that is to seal people faith by referendum with the EU with no way out, even leave MPs fell for it or new about it, the reason there is no way out for you is that you only vote for remain MPs and parties, in other words, you have sealed your own faith by listening to the media and voting as you usually do for a remaining party.

    Now at the next election, all they need is for you to sit at home and not vote or to vote for the usual parties who will be recommending rejoining the EU in some way which will cost billions extra every year than you pay now, without you knowing until after the vote and as usual you go along with it because you trust MPs and the media to tell you the truth.

    I mean do you really think this referendum plan came out of the blue to commit the UK and its people to a slaves state of the EU forever.

  44. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Interview with Tim Montgomerie about Theresa May:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofun4hzznL4
    “Theresa May has betrayed us” Tim Montgomerie interview
    Politics UK

  45. Dennis
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Off topic – I see the Chinese have built the longest bridge in the world over water and probably within budget and on time for £15bn whereas HS2 to save 15 minutes will cost 50bn plus.

    I have said before if HS2 is going to be built let the Chinese do it.

    Reply Yes, but you need a special permit to use the bridge with no public transport allowed

    • Chris
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Dennis, re second para: ….and let them use their sub standard steel for it? Many rumours abound regarding China selling sub standard steel deliberately to the US military.
      P Trump has put a stop to it.

    • hefner
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: what’s that to do with Dennis’s comment? Tired after the 1922 meeting with some barks but no bite?

      • rose
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply to Reply

        It’s not very good value if the public can’t easily use it.

      • mancunius
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Dennis suggested the Chinese bridge was a technological and budgetary feat: JR pointed out in reply that its strength and usefulness must be in some doubt, as it could not be generally used.
        Not difficult for an unprejudiced mind to understand – a basic hurdle you seem not to have surmounted.

        • hefner
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          Isn’t it just a case that you consider your prejudices better than mine?

          • mancunius
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Oh indeed no, your prejudices are patently superior to everyone else’s! :-)))

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I have an unrelated point.

    Being charitable to Remainers and ‘Pro Dealers’ I can understand that they might have a theoretical point about exports into the EU being interfered with. But I’m still not convinced.

    But I don’t understand these endless scare stories that we might run of medicines. Who would be stopping them being imported?

    These people seem to assume that we’re going to impose customs restrictions at 11pm on March 29th things we need to buy urgently.

    Why would we do that?

    • Steve
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Ron Olden

      “But I don’t understand these endless scare stories that we might run of medicines. Who would be stopping them being imported?”

      The scare stories are put out by Project Fear, remainers, BBC, big business, the CBI etc.

      As for who would impede imports, well that one’s obvious; the French. They don’t play by EU rules, because the EU is essentially ‘French’.

      They do as they like and don’t get fined.

      Expect trouble from the French.

  47. Edwardm
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for trying to raise prudent points with our government, but it has no shame. It is negotiating a ruinous agreement with no limits on time and disadvantageous restrictions or monetary costs. It will happily handover £35B for nothing and use weasel words to gloss over other unjustified payments.
    This is what we get when most MPs loyalty is to a foreign power and not to their own country.

  48. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Well done. It needed to be said.

  49. James
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Looks as though we are going to be stuck with Mrs Weak and Wobbly for the foreseeable future. Hopefully just the immediate future. No point in complaints or recriminations. The voters will put things right when the time comes, and the 17.4 million will not forget any betrayals and incompetencies.

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Related topic.

    After the 1975 Referendum, which resulted in a 2:1 majority for Yes (Remain), Enoch Powell wrote an article in the Telegraph entitled “So is Britain now obsolete?” His peroration answered the question:

    Not quite yet. The Referendum is not a “verdict” after which the prisoner is hanged forthwith. It is no more than provisional, as all electoral decisions are provisional. It is as little final as the outcome of a General Election can commit us irrevocably to Mr Heath’s form of socialism, for instance, or to Mr Benn’s form of capitalism. This will be so, as long as one Parliament can alter or undo whatever that or any other Parliament has done. Hence those golden words in the Government’s Referendum pamphlet: “Our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.

    They are a declaration that we are a nation State still and not part of the Community, whose nature and purpose is to supersede the nation State. That is why the Continent does not believe those words. That is why the advocates of British membership rage or scoff when they are quoted. That is why they will be needed when the British in the coming months come to realise what YES was intended by others to mean.”

  51. Steve
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    A government too cowardly to stand up for Britain, and a Con Merchant PM preoccupied with making misogyny a crime, but no mention of misandry.

    Yes…. ‘disliking’ will be a criminal offence.

    Never mind the country’s sovereignty is at stake, we have laws to eradicate ‘dislike’.

    To think we pay 650 goons damn good money to come up with this crap.

    Good isn’t it ?

  52. Den
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Given the outrage felt by the majority of British people who voted to Leave the EU and what should be common knowledge amongst Cabinet Ministers and their Staff that the public no longer trust such politicians, I would have thought it wisely to actually answer the very valid question asked by JR.
    Instead, we had more and more waffle and a very long boring walk around Whitehall without any relevant number being given. And these wretched people wonder why they they are so distrusted? Do they so look down on us, the Electorate, that we are just an annoyance to them and we should never be allowed to vote in a Referendum or a GE? They forget we a better educated that those of a century ago. That is the perception on the receiving end.
    It seems to me that this ‘Glen’ has been house-trained by the Sir Humphreys in his Department and has become yet another zombie controlled by the Civil Service. Not only have these Zombie Masters taken control of Downing Street they have spread their infection across the whole of Whitehall. That is especially dangerous for OUR democracy.
    The cure for such a virulent virus is to eliminate ALL infected sources. We desperately need a huge quarantine programme for the existing Cabinet and all of the hierarchy within their Departments. They ALL must be replaced to Save this Country for they have become as traitors, poisonous to a democratic United Kingdom.

  53. John Hatfield
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Late in the day, but I would urge everyone to read this article by Michael St. George in Conservative Woman.

    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/just-what-or-who-is-driving-theresa-may/

  54. ian
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    A nice win for Mr Gove in the European Parliament on a single-use plastic ban starting 2021

  55. ian
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for the budget as Phil start looking for the extra billion for the EU.

  56. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    It really baffles me why anyone here actually thinks we are leaving the EU. We really aren’t. We are going in name only and our future status / relationship will be much worse. You couldn’t make this stuff up. We’re not actually leaving – but the uncertainty is harming our economy. Our economy in the future will be hamstrung by our 90% in, 10% out position.

    When Leave won the referendum – and Cameron resigned – that was the time for a Brexiter to take over. But they all ran and hid – and let May take it unopposed.

    And, of course, a good percentage of the 17.4 million will NEVER vote Tory again. So, a further ‘benefit’ of this farce – Labour governments for the foreseeable future.

    • rose
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      They didn’t all run and hide: that is remain propaganda. They had to get support from MPs before they could stand before the membership. The majority of Conservative MPs decided to put in Mrs May unopposed. They weren’t going to let in a Brexiteer. The Membership were not allowed to vote in case they did, which it looked as if they might. The word on the internet was “Anyone but May.”

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      Agreed. It is too late now. The Tories have rallied behind Mrs May repeatedly since it became clear she is dedicated to UK remaining under the EU’s supra-national government. The entire party is now tainted with the betrayal by Mrs May, Philip Hammond and their Remainer colleagues and by the inability of the Brexiteers as a group to organise effective opposition (not as individuals).

  57. MikeP
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, these are all very noble thoughts and I commend you for your efforts to date. But if my “Twittersphere” of like-minded Brexiteers is anything to go by tonight, the Tory party is incapable of seeing Brexit through as described by the winning Referendum campaign (control over our laws, borders, money, no SM, CU or ECJ) and is already doomed at the next General Election. What we’re hearing of the sham 1922 meeting tonight gives me grave concern – you and your cohort are seemingly powerless to get Olly Robbins and Theresa May to change tack. It’s desperately sad, worrying and people in the country are absolutely seething with anger!

  58. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    UK has a water tight legal case to demand its capital plus earnings in the European Investment Bank to be repaid in full on 29 March 2019. We hear not a word of that from Mrs May, nor from Philip Hammond. I imagine they are happy to leave it there to save the hassle of buying it back when UK slides into the newly completed economic and monetary union of the EU in 2025. Or is their aim not to rejoin until the EU founds the Federal State of Europe in about 2030?

  59. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s chequers deal is not Brexit in any way. It is an Accession agreement.

  60. Stred
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    JR. How can you continue to stand as a Conservative MP, when it is now a party of quislings?

  61. Nick
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Good question, and no answer, or at least nothing that told us any more than we know already.
    Keep at it, and keep at them, Mr Redwood!

  62. mancunius
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has warned the Cabinet that ministers will not be able to change the customs backstop once the UK is signed up to it.

    Surely this must bring about a revolt?

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page