We will be full members of WTO on 30 March and trading under their rules

There is some nonsense about the WTO going around. Its a rehashed Project Fear story which makes no sense.The UK is a member of the WTO and will be a full member trading under the WTO rules when we leave the EU.
Recent WTO papers point out the EU is not compliant, having failed to file an up to date schedule at the WTO We nonetheless are still able to trade as part of the EU. It will be easier for the UK to file a compliant schedule for next April than the EU. Not having a compliant schedule has also not prevented the EU ratifying new Free Trade Agreements.


  1. Lifelogic.
    October 27, 2018

    Doubtless it will get lots of coverage on the BBC like all the rest of project fear. But this May/Hammond government is surely orchestrating it. They even retained the project fear Carney costing circa £880K PA it seems. Not much sign of state sector ‘austerity’ there. Many could do the job far better for 1/10 of that sum.

    Dominique Grieve is surely right over Lord Hain, ‘We can’t operate a democratic free society when peers or MPs decide to take the law into their own hands’. Rather a shame this generally sound person is so deluded over the virtues of EU. But then most lawyers do seem to be. It is a massive parasitic job creation scheme for so many of them I suppose as is the ECHR.

    1. Richard1
      October 28, 2018

      Speaking of the BBC there is a good article in the Times yesterday on the ridiculous and hysterical coverage of Brexit Britain in the US’s guardian-style newspaper the New York Times, which is of course edited by the ex-BBC DG, the left-wing Mark Thomson. The NYT has front page coverage of how families are stocking up on tinned food and other essentials ahead of Brexit, and has had relentlessly negative coverage of the UK especially since the referendum (& since Mr Thomson became editor) as it doesn’t like the Tories either. It’s worth noting as it shows how a plethora of fake news from hysterical remainers is informing public attitudes, including abroad. We see some of it from those remain hysterics who post here from time to time.

      It should embolden the govt to ignore all the nonsense about the EU launching blockades and punishment trade wars and just get on with agreeing a comprehensive FTA, or else prepare for WTO terms. After all the US, where the New York Times is based, trades with the EU under WTO terms, but people don’t need to stockpile tinned food there & I am not aware of other desperate shortages.

    2. Richard
      October 28, 2018

      As exPM of Australia, Tony Abbott put it:
      “A negotiation that you’re not prepared to walk away from is not a negotiation — it’s surrender. It’s all give and no get. …
      Freed from EU rules, Britain would automatically revert to world trade, using rules agreed by the World Trade Organization. It works pretty well for Australia. So why on earth would it not work just as well for the world’s fifth-largest economy?” https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/tony-abbott-how-to-save-brexit/

      EFT’s clearly written explanation of why a World Trade Deal works fine for the UK: https://brexitcentral.com/world-trade-deal-brexit-wto-terms-highly-advantageous/

      Agreeing Canada+++ after leaving also works fine for the UK with either
      (i) a zero-for-zero EU-UK interim FTA (in the freezer since June 2017) https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/783900/Britain-secret-Brexit-10-year-tariff-free-trade-deal-negotiations or (ii) £13Bn pa extra for the UK Treasury.

  2. Lifelogic
    October 27, 2018

    What about this, as reported in the Telegraph?

    Dan Hannan MEP, a leading Brexiteer, claimed he had seen “an extract” of closely guarded draft Brexit withdrawal agreement, which is under negotiation by London and Brussels.
    “Britain has decided to enfranchise all EU nationals (at least in England and Northern Ireland – it is devolved in Scotland and Wales). What an odd decision,” he wrote in leaked messages to a Conservative MEP

    1. Steve
      October 27, 2018


      “……closely guarded draft Brexit withdrawal agreement, which is under negotiation by London and Brussels.”

      There should be no such thing. Theresa May’s every word should be available for public scrutiny. Licence to do as she pleases gives her the self appointed dispensation to sell out the country, we would be none the wiser until it’s too late and she’s done alright for herself.

      “Britain has decided to enfranchise all EU nationals”

      When it says ‘Britain’ who does he mean?. I certainly didn’t vote for that.

    2. Mike Stallard
      October 27, 2018

      I think this is a rehash of the lady who – gasp – came down from – another gasp – London to explain the system of Residence. By the end of 2020 all EU nationals who live here will have to register, as we had to in Spain. I do not know if they will have the vote though – that wasn’t in the documents.
      Myself, I think that proves that the government wants us to have a”transition period” until the end of 2020.

    3. Denis Cooper
      October 27, 2018

      Hush, you are not allowed to know what is being negotiated on your behalf. You will find out in due course when the final deal is presented to Parliament on a “take it or leave it” basis, with the warning that the sky will fall in if it is not accepted. Which is how EU treaties have always been pushed through Parliament; and it is worth asking why some people who were there at the time of Amsterdam and Nice and Lisbon and who happily accepted that process for successive integrating treaties are now strongly objecting to it for our withdrawal treaty and demanding not only a “meaningful” vote in Parliament but a referendum.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 27, 2018

        Indeed May is going to destroy the Tories for several terms again just like the dreadful John Major did, if she is not stopped.

    4. Andy
      October 27, 2018

      If true, this is great news.

      It gives the opposition parties a huge head start over the Tory pensioners at every election for generations.

      The way EU citizens have been treated by this abysmal, hate-filled, incompetent government is one of the most shameful episodes in recent years.

      People here legally who has done nothing wrong instantly relagated to second class citizens by the frothing, ranting loons.

      They will pretty much all vote against you.

      Still, it comes from Daniel Hannan so I would doubt its accuracy.

      1. Edward2
        October 27, 2018

        Not a hint of a comment from you criticising the EU for their complete refusal to say what their post brexit policy will be towards UK citizens currently living and working in Europe.
        Blinded by your bias andy.

      2. Richard1
        October 27, 2018

        The govt should have given a unilateral right to remain to all EU citizens in the country at June 16 as urged by most leading Brexiteers including Dan Hannan. They have in fact more or less dome that. But the EU haven’t reciprocated so presumably you think them all evil and hate filled etc?

      3. Steve
        October 27, 2018


        “head start over the Tory pensioners”

        Here we go again !

      4. Anonymous
        October 27, 2018

        About time you sided with your country, Andy.

        I do not know one Canuck or Aussie who would be happy if their government allowed just about anyone who rocked up could call their country their own. They’d be angry too. I expect the Irish would as well if they were to have internationalism foisted upon them on a scale as large as England has seen.

        It’s not just old English people.

      5. Roy Grainger
        October 27, 2018

        Speaking of frothing ranting loons Andy, some of the violent and offensive placards held up by your bigoted chums on the Losers March were truly repellent, you should be ashamed of yourself, how did you explain them to your children ?

        1. L Jones
          October 27, 2018

          I don’t think it’s worth trying to take issue with Andy for any of the insults he throws around (along with his teddy bear) – he probably just types them out, presses ‘send’, then switches off his computer and sits with his fingers in his ears.

          Poor Andy. He’ll be old himself one day.

        2. margaret howard
          October 27, 2018


          Can you give us an example of the ‘offensive placards’ you found truly repellent? I asked my son who was on the march along with his wife and young son and he saw nothing untoward, just good tempered, well educated people. A huge crowd but not a single unpleasant incident.

          Would hate to think what an equivalent Brexiteer march would have been like.

          1. Adam
            October 28, 2018

            margaret howard:

            Lord Andy Adonis posed next to a boy who was holding a banner displaying swear words, as if in approval. Perhaps Roy envisioned Andy as the boy too, or saw similar instances.

            Remainers marched claiming people should change their minds about how they voted. The main recipients of their banners were the losing Remainers who may now change their minds & favour Leave. The decisive majority of Leavers is unchanged in contentment.

      6. Tabulazero
        October 29, 2018

        Daniel Hannan of “no one is talking of taking out the UK from the Single-Market” fame ?

        Not exactly a reliable source.

    5. Richard1
      October 27, 2018

      But if you read to the bottom it seems only to apply to local elections, where EU citizens have the vote now.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 27, 2018

        Arguably those who have already qualified to vote in local elections should be allowed to retain that right. I would prefer it if only UK citizens were allowed to vote in any UK elections and referendums, however I would not retrospectively remove voting rights from EU and Commonwealth citizens who already enjoy them. It is not as if it is terribly hard to get UK citizenship, with all the rights and duties of citizens.

        1. Rien Huizer
          October 28, 2018

          @ Denis Cooper,

          Your retired chums in Spain and Perigord are allowed to vote in local elections (assuming they have registered as residents ), why not their counyterparts in the UK? Assuming there is as little change as possible.

          1. Denis Cooper
            October 28, 2018

            I don’t care what the Spanish do about it in their country.

  3. Tabulazero
    October 27, 2018

    The nonsense is to say that leaving the EU would be easy and painless because the U.K. holds all the cards.

    You oversold Brexit to the public and you conveniently sidestep that what is under question is not the UK’s membership of WTO but the terms and conditions under which it will trade as a member. Most of the UK’s peers trade on better terms than WTO.

    A while back when 6 developing countries agreed to roll their trade terms with the U.K. because the latter are mostly beneficial to them, you asked for an apology.

    Will you now offer one after 20 countries including Russia have rejected the UK’s terms and stand at the ready to extract their pound of flesh ?

    So much for global Britain (minus Northern Ireland)…

    Reply Sorting out tariff quotas affects the EU as well as us and will doubtless be done

    1. Woody
      October 27, 2018

      The fact is that there is resistance to a joint UK-EU proposal to the World Trade Organization on trade after Brexit which has triggered a break down in unity, with London and Brussels divided on a way forward. The 20 non eu nations want to deal with the uk and the eu separately it seems, no problem for the one, the uk, but the 27 to agree ?

    2. Tabulazero
      October 27, 2018

      But under which timeframe ? And while this negotiation takes place no progress will be made in renegotiating the 60 odd agreements the UK currently enjoy at the WTO through it membership of the EU. We are talking years before the actual FTA negotiation can start.

      Furthermore, the UK may import goods on its proposed temporary schedule but other WTO members, starting with the EU ,will be obliged to treat UK exports as coming from a third country and apply to them trade terms that are much less favorable. That will put British trade at a disadvantage.

      I reiterate my question that you have left unanswered: Will you apologise to the public for having grossly underestimated the complexity that leaving the EU entails ?

      I am inclined to leave you the benefit of the doubt: you simply did not know rather than that you knew and willingly obfuscated the truth.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 27, 2018

        “… other WTO members, starting with the EU, will be obliged to treat UK exports as coming from a third country and apply to them trade terms that are much less favorable.”

        Why should they be so “obliged”? Who or what do you think is going to impose that silly requirement upon them, with the likely consequence that their exports to the UK would also be treated less favourably? You should realise that the world is not completely full of idiots who will automatically do whatever Remoaners like you might want them to do in order to hurt the UK, and as stated below “many WTO members continue to trade under outdated agreements while they agree their new text”.

        1. Tabulazero
          October 27, 2018

          WTO rules, Denis.

          1. Denis Cooper
            October 28, 2018

            Which “WTO rules” might they be, Tabulazero?

            Come on, give us chapter and verse of those “WTO rules” which require other WTO members to behave idiotically.

          2. Tabulazero
            October 29, 2018

            When it comes to sheer unadulterated idiocy thinking the unravelling 40 years of close economic cooperation is going to be easy and painless wins the prize.

            You see, Denis, even smart people do stupid things from time to time so anything is possible and relying on what you think other people’s best interest is has proven to be a very bad idea. Wasn’t it in the German car manufacturers’ interest to give the UK its Brexit cake with cherries on top ?

            That said, I must confess that seeing the wheels come off your little Brexit project is thoroughly enjoyable.

            Not going according to plan, hey ?

            Poor disappointed Denis with his triple-locked pension.

            Reply Leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement will be a good outcome for the UK

          3. Denis Cooper
            October 30, 2018

            Which “WTO rules”, Tabulazero?

            I shall keep asking and you will have to say, or we can reasonably think that you are just making it all up as you go along.

          4. Tabulazero
            October 30, 2018

            Comes March 2019, the UK will revert to Most-favoured-nation a system which in theory prevents WTO members to discriminate against each other

            In practice, what you fail to grasp is that the UK currently enjoys better terms than trading under the MFN system for many of its exports thanks to all the trade agreement the EU has signed over the years at the WTO. Some of those agreement address tariffs but many deal with non-tariff based barrier to trade.

            Comes March 2019, the UK will have to revert to MFN which is far less favourable than the terms of trade it enjoys with non-EU countries under the EU’s umbrella. This will likely put British trade at a disadvantage.

            The UK will have to renegotiate those agreements on its own behalf which is likely to take itself a number of years, will likely only start once an agreement on the UK’s schedule is reached (which also could take years) and is unlikely to be better than what it negotiated as part of a 500mm trading block.

            The problem is not the schedules. It’s the trade agreements.

          5. Tabulazero
            October 30, 2018

            The current sorry state of Dr Liam Fox’s trade negotiations show that the cunning plan to just “copy & paste” the schedule and agreement the UK currently enjoy will not fly with the rest of the WTO.

            The UK will therefore need to have meaningful trade negotiation with WTO members which a) will try to push their advantage and b) will likely take a lot of time.

            There will not be a free pass for Brexit Britain at the WTO.

      2. Richard1
        October 27, 2018

        What was underestimated was the desire of the EU to punish the UK as an example to other potential leavers. A wholly negative and dysfunctional approach which is itself a huge vindication of the vote to leave. There is no reason at all for Brexit to be complicated. The UK and the EU could have agreed a comprehensive FTA months ago.

        1. Tabulazero
          October 27, 2018

          What an utter English centric view of Brexit. You are not that important.

          The EU is not there to batter the UK but yes leaving the EU has obvious legal and political consequences… which Vote Leave refuses to face.

          The EU will simply not let Brexit Britain have its cake and eat it at its expenses.

          It’s not the EU’s job to make Brexit a success. It is the UK’s. Man up.

          1. Edward2
            October 27, 2018

            However there is a mutuality.
            We are all connected and a totally negative attitude by the EU will not benefit anyone.

          2. L Jones
            October 27, 2018

            Tabulazero – you obviously admire the EU tremendously. That’s your prerogative. But perhaps you could spend a little time explaining to us what great and glorious future would await us should someone find a way of reversing Brexit. Tell us how pleased your EU masters would be and exactly how they would welcome us back into the fold, and what riches would await us if we chose to ‘remain’.

            Shouldn’t take you long.

          3. margaret howard
            October 27, 2018


            It was the constant demand by various British politicians to get special opt outs and treatment above those of other member nations that created feelings of resentment.

            Many members are secretly thrilled that Brexit will remove this perticular thorn from their side.

          4. NickC
            October 28, 2018

            Margaret Howard, So “treatment above those of other member nations” involves being given special opt-outs? You’re saying that being less in the EU is advantageous? Welcome to the Leave camp.

      3. John Hatfield
        October 27, 2018

        Tabulazero, you may wish to remain in the EU. But the truth is that EU membership has done nothing to enhance the UK’s prosperity.
        You say that negotiations may be prolonged. I suspect you might exaggerate as the UK is already a WTO member. Trade will not suddenly come to a stop.
        And in any case, trade is secondary to Britain regaining her sovereignty.
        Try not to be so hysterical. Britain is better off free of the parasite.

      4. Roy Grainger
        October 27, 2018

        Tabulazero – As you voted Remain why do you want John to apologise to you ?

      5. NickC
        October 28, 2018

        Tabulazero, The “60 odd agreements” are only minor modifiers of either some tariff levels or are concerned with mutual recognition. Even without those we would still be trading under the WTO system of rules. The majority of the “60 odd” are with minor economies, some very small like the Faroe Islands, Lebanon, etc. Canada isn’t operational, and Japan isn’t even listed.

        1. Tabulazero
          October 30, 2018

          Mutual recognition is not a trivial matter. If your goods are not compliant, good luck selling them.

    3. acorn
      October 27, 2018

      The WTO objectors are waiting to see what the deal will be between the UK and the EU, before they make a move. The EU will want to dump as much of its TRQ tonnage on the UK as it can. The objectors lose the flexibility to switch exports between British and EU ports increasing costs.

      The UK can still trade on its EU cut and paste schedules it lodged with the WTO three months back. The EU is still negotiating TRQ with Croatia’s importers, four years after it joined the EU.

      1. Tabulazero
        October 27, 2018

        While the UK can dictate its schedule and set its own tariff, it cannot dictate what other countries will do when it comes to British exports.

        1. NickC
          October 28, 2018

          Tabulazero, The UK does not need to, nor could it ever at any time, “dictate” to other independent nations. But then those independent nations must treat UK exports the same way they treat exports from any other nation under the WTO MFN system.

          1. Tabulazero
            October 30, 2018

            Yes but what you fail to grasp is that the UK currently enjoys better terms than trading under the MFN system for many of its exports thanks to all the trade agreement the EU has signed over the years at the WTO.

            Comes March 2019, the UK will have to revert to MFN which is far less favourable than the terms of trade it enjoys with non-EU countries under the EU’s umbrella.

            The UK will have to renegotiate those agreements on its own behalf which is likely to take itself a number of years, will likely only start once an agreement on the UK’s schedule is reached (which also could take years) and is unlikely to be better than what it negotiated as part of a 500mm trading block.

            The problem is not the schedules. It’s the trade agreements.

    4. Denis Cooper
      October 27, 2018

      Yep, I was interested to read here:


      “As previously reported by IEG Policy, up to 20 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US have raised objections to the proposals presented by the UK and EU, 15 criticising the EU’s draft and 19 objecting to the UK’s.”

      And here:


      “However, the process will not necessarily interfere with the implementation of Brexit, since many WTO members continue to trade under outdated agreements while they agree their new text.”

      “The EU is still in a negotiation to expand its membership deal to include Croatia, even though the country joined the bloc five years ago, and will have to carry out a similar process to take Britain off its books.”

      As I mentioned long ago, on March 13th 2017:


      “It’s not widely known that the EU’s WTO schedules are technically invalid.


      “Now comes the surprise. We don’t know what most of the EU’s current commitments in the WTO are. The UK would be negotiating a share of key quantities that are unknown.

      The only confirmed commitments on tariffs, quotas, and farm subsidies are from before 2004 when the EU had 15 member states. The EU has expanded three times since then, but in 12 years it has been unable to agree with the WTO membership on revised commitments.”

      But nobody is sufficiently bothered about that to bring trade to a halt.”

      When I recalled that on March 3rd 2018 and commented:


      “Somehow the technical invalidity of the EU’s schedules at the WTO does not seem to have brought trade to a halt during the past fifteen years or so.”

      acorn kindly provided an update:

      “… on October 17, 2017, the EU circulated revised goods “schedules” for all its 28 members … For the first time since the WTO was set up in 1995, the EU will then be up-to-date with its goods schedules (but not services), until the UK leaves.”

      to which I responded:

      “Presumably it was possible for world trade in goods to resume on January 17th 2018 after 23 years during which the EU schedules were invalid, but trade in services remains paralysed … ”

      If Tabulazero spent less time on repetitious invective and more time on what other people are saying then he might occasionally learn something useful.

    5. Andy
      October 27, 2018

      Mr Redwood is right. WTO deals will be done.

      What he does not tell you is when.

      10 years? 20?

      We will be paying for his folly for decades. And when I say ‘we’ I mean people like me and my children – because many of the angry pensioners won’t be around to pay their own bill. As usual.

      Reply No, it will not take anything like that time.We can send in our schedule and trade under it from next March

      1. Edward2
        October 27, 2018

        WTO rules apply to international trade for all countries who
        Tariffs are added by the EU and have been for years.
        Any deals can be done quickly.
        As a business person andy are you going to refuse to agreea deal with me if I offer you better than WTO tariffs?

      2. Richard1
        October 27, 2018

        The Canada -US deal which covers 96% of trade between them and has hugely exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of the Australians took 14 months from start to finish. And the only reason it took that long is the US wanted a carve out for sugar beet.

        1. Richard1
          October 27, 2018

          Sorry I meant the australia-US deal

          1. formula57
            October 27, 2018

            The Australia-US trade deal is not well-regarded by a good number of analysts. Over its first decade to 2012 it is calculated that it diverted trade away from the lowest cost sources such that the two countries have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the agreement. (Google gives ample sources.)

            Further, a 2010 review by the Australian Productivity Commission of Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements (excluding the Aus.-US one as data was lacking) found scant evidence of gains from preferential trade deals beyond benefits to a few privileged sectors that had won concessions under the arrangements.

      3. John Hatfield
        October 27, 2018

        We will paying even more for even longer if we remain in the EU. The EU has ripped off the British taxpayer for years.

        1. margaret howard
          October 28, 2018

          The EU turned Britain from the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s 5th greatest economy (since Brexit, alas already dropped into 7th place)


          1. Edward2
            October 28, 2018

            You dont really believe that do you margaret?
            It was three terms of good Conservative government led by the greatest PM since Churchill.
            The EU just got in the way.

      4. Steve
        October 27, 2018


        “Mr Redwood is right. WTO deals will be done.
        What he does not tell you is when.
        10 years? 20? ”

        What’s the matter ? are you afraid of becoming a pensioner by then ?

        John Redwood cannot tell you when WTO deals will be done, he is good but does not have paranormal ability or the crystal ball that goes with it.

        The meek shall inherit the earth….”yes but when” LMAO

        1. Roy Grainger
          October 27, 2018

          The thought that in the unlikely event John is wrong and poor old Andy DOES end up paying for it all for a few decades raises a smile doesn’t it ? A win/win situation.

        2. margaret howard
          October 28, 2018


          “It was three terms of good Conservative government led by the greatest PM since Churchill.”

          Who was of course an ardent EU supporter.

          1975 Thatcher referendum speech:

          * The Community gives us peace and security in a free society denied to the past two generations

          * gives us access to secure sources of food supplies. This is vital to us, a country which has to import half of what we need

          * does more trade and gives more aid than any group in the world

          * The Community gives us the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth in Europe. The Commonwealth want us to stay in and has said so. The Community wants us.”

          All the time wearing a specially knitted jumper displaying the flags of all EU countries.

          Reply Mrs T changed her mind when it became clear it was not just a trade arrangement and favoured our exit. Churchill made clear he wanted a union of the English speaking peoples for the UK, not the European union he backed for the continent. Why do you have to misrepresent like this?

    6. hans christian ivers
      October 27, 2018


      You did not answer the questions raised by Tabulazero?

      1. NickC
        October 28, 2018

        Hans, You never seem able to defend your EU ideology.

    7. Lifelogic
      October 27, 2018

      No one suggested that the EU could not be difficult if they wanted to be. But that is certainly not in the interests of the 27 an agreement could indeed be easy and pain less if the EU behaved in their interest.

      The point surely is that they EU could be even more difficult and far more damaging were we to remain in the anti-democratic EU and under the ECJ. We could, and often would be, endlessly outvoted and ruled against. Democracy would die and the economy would be far more damaged that way.

      1. Tabulazero
        October 27, 2018

        This has not much to do with the EU. The EU is one of the many members of the WTO. It’s about the state of the negotiation between the UK and other WTO members.

        John Redwood had assured on this blog us that the talks would be fine and that renegotiating the schedule and various trade facilitation deals would be a walk in the park.

        It turns out he has severely underestimated the difficulty of the talks.

        Is it really taking control of anything if Moldavia can make your life difficult ?

    8. David Price
      October 27, 2018

      What is under question is who negotiates for the UK. My choice was and is for the UK to negotiate for the UK, not be forced to take the table scraps from EU negotiations where the majority of agreements don’t even cover services.

      Some countries wanting different terms from both the UK and EU doesn’t change the fact that others are willing to continue the present terms.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    October 27, 2018

    There’s a lot of nonsense going around about a range of things John mostly put about by the BBC and civil service and not rebutted enough by ministers. It all reads like a tale from the Brothers Grimm. Stuff and nonsense.

    1. Steve
      October 27, 2018


      The entire civil service including the BBC will need a thorough purging to return them to the politically neutral status they’re supposed to be, before English-hating Blair took the phrase ‘get your man in there’ to a whole new level.

      It will not be rebutted by ministers because they’re accustomed to institutions such as the BBC, DVLA, Local Councils etc pinching our money and enforcing EU laws, which costs us more money.

      I think the BBC is so infected as to require total scrapping.

      The DVLA needs it’s assumed right to know people’s personal business curtailed. It also needs to be stopped from grassing people up where an alleged contravention is not a criminal matter. It should not have exemptions to data protection.

      Local councils?….no Political Correctness, no hypocrisy, no collusion with businesses or land developers, confiscate their big fat pensions and take their roadside toys away. Any of them who hold marxist beliefs or contempt for enshrined English rights should be sacked and jailed on the same day.

      “Marxism….the enemy within”. Lady Margaret Thatcher, and she was right.

      Oh and HMRC ? well since they are taking other people’s money without necessarily having the owner’s consent, they should be made to ask nicely and say please. Threats against people who struggle with debt should be illegal.

      The whole lot is rotten and corrupt.

      1. Timaction
        October 27, 2018

        Spot on!!!

      2. margaret howard
        October 27, 2018


        “I think the BBC is so infected as to require total scrapping.”

        I suppose you would prefer something like Fox News instead?

        1. Edward2
          October 28, 2018

          Correct Margaret.
          Fox can be as biased as it likes because it is a commercial company.
          Funded by advertising revenues which are dependent on viewing figures.

        2. Steve
          October 28, 2018


          “I suppose you would prefer something like Fox News instead?”

          No. The BBC needs scrapping off, and another ‘British’ national broadcaster creating to replace it, who’s staff are not politically biased.

          Banning union membership in such institutions would also help preserve neutrality.

    2. Andy
      October 27, 2018

      Awww diddums. Your Brexit is going horribly (but predictably) wrong but it is everyone else’s fault because they just don’t understand!

      It is the nasty EU’s fault. Or the BBCs. Or the high court judges. Or the civil service. Or the Remoaner MPs. Or Labour’s. Or the Governor of the Bank of England. Or Tony Blair’s. Or Sir John Major’s. Or Emmanuel Macron’s. Or Angela Merkel’s. Or the Irish blokes. Or experts. The experts are always wrong. What do they know?

      I mean, seriously. Grow up. The fault for all this lies with those of you who voted for it.

      1. David Price
        October 27, 2018

        If our politicians and civil servants had been effective in fighting for our interests while in the EU it is likely the referendum result would have been different as we would have got tangible value from our contribution and membership.

        As it is you and your heroes failed utterly and the result was a majority voted to leave. So the outcome was the fault of complacent euphilics such as yourself who couldn’t give a damn about their fellow citizens and continue to reject the democratic decision by sabotaging whatever you can.

      2. Roy Grainger
        October 27, 2018

        Andy. You lost. Stop moaning.

    3. Turboterrier.
      October 27, 2018


      not rebutted enough by ministers.

      The leaver ministers are perceived to be woefully short on bottle when it comes to fighting our corner. Too many I think have hidden survival agendas and seem totally controlled by their civil servants when it comes to fighting back over the rubbish that spews out from ever nook and cranny from the remainer’s, media and the BBC .
      If David Davis had really taken them on he would have maybe lasted longer but again the people he was negotiating with saw him as a push over as he failed to control the daily deluge of crap that surrounds his department. Sadly it would see that Dominic Rabb has failed to install a tighter mandate to stop these things as soon as they hit the streets.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 27, 2018

        When the Department for Exiting the European Union were set up I noticed that it had a chap called Olly Robbins as the Permanent Secretary. I thought little of that at the time but in retrospect I’m pretty sure he was put there by Theresa May to keep David Davis under control, with one important aspect being to make sure there were no effective rebuttals of the constant stream of the anti-Brexit propaganda.

        More than two years ago on October 11th 2016, not even three months after that department was set up, JR published an article headed:

        “Don’t the Treasury know the referendum debate is over?”

        and I posted a comment in which I asked:


        “Has Theresa May issued an instruction to David Davis and Liam Fox that they may not rebut any of these false claims which are being made to try to keep us in the EU’s Single Market and customs union, including the ones devised for George Osborne as part of his Project Fear before the referendum, and now one suspects being reissued on behalf of his successor Philip Hammond?”

        This is a rather unusual case where the government is deliberately waging a sustained propaganda campaign against its own official policy.

  5. Mark B
    October 27, 2018

    Can we please see something rather concrete on this rather than a backbenchers reassurances ?

    It is not membership of the WTO or not that worries me, it is the loss to all those agreements the EU has signed for and on our behalf. Will all these be rolled-over once we leave – albeit in name only ?

    Reply That is the plan. The EU of course does not have FTAs with the big countries like the USA, China and India

    1. Andy
      October 27, 2018

      You miss one small point: if you actually read some of them you will discover that the United Kingdom is a party to most of the agreements in her own right because they are ‘mixed agreements’- that is to say they cover details which the EU had no authority over. If you were country x, given such an agreement, and given that 15+% of what you thought you had signed up to was about to disappear, wouldn’t you be keen to roll the agreement over ? Of course you would.

  6. Steve
    October 27, 2018

    “We will be full members of WTO on 30 March and trading under their rules”

    Theresa May treacherously enshrined EU law into UK law. Would that conflict in any way with WTO ?

    1. Sonia
      October 28, 2018

      We are getting out of the EU because it stops us making our own laws. But John Redwood wants us to kowtow to the WTO. NO! We make laws in London. I want nothing to do with this shadowy WTO. I never voted for it. It seems to me that wanting to be in the WTO is inconsistent with the referendum. We voted to take control not give it to the WTO

      1. NickC
        October 28, 2018

        Sonia, We are already in the WTO. The Referendum wasn’t about leaving or remaining in the WTO, it was about leaving the EU. You will have to start a campaign and probably a political party if you want the UK to leave the WTO. You should not worry, the WTO, like all the other treaty organisations we are in (and unlike the EU) does not pretend to be, or act as, or make new laws as, our top tier of government. Which the EU does.

  7. Alan Jutson
    October 27, 2018

    Perhaps the Government should make a simple, but authoritative statement.

    There is no such thing as a no deal, because WTO terms are our default position on leaving without an agreement with the EU.
    Then outline those terms.

    Such a statement should have been made as soon as we put in Article 50, then everyone would have been aware, and it may just have concentrated a few minds and saved a huge amount of fear speculation.

  8. Ron Olden
    October 27, 2018

    Britain is a full member of the WTO, but our terms are bound up with those of the European Union, and we need to have an independent membership document that sets out the terms of our trade after leaving the EU in March 2019.

    The EU, however, is still in a negotiation to expand its membership deal to include Croatia, even though the country joined five years ago, so will have to carry out a similar process to take Britain off its books.

    Liam Fox has tried to use a rapid “rectification” for a seamless transition for the UK, essentially transferring the EU text into a new WTO agreement covering the United Kingdom and splitting the (mostly agricultural) import quotas proportionately between the UK and the EU

    But some countries have expressed reservations about the proposal.

    Seven agricultural suppliers – including the United States, Canada and Australia – had said a year ago that the proposed terms of the divorce would rob them of flexibility to switch exports between Britain and the rest of the EU.

    The UK’s proposal to split its import quotas from those of the EU after Brexit has now drawn an official objection from Russia which might force the UK to undergo the full procedure for changing its rates, rather than the simplified “rectification” procedure we have so far pursued.

    But that applies to the remaining EU itself as well.

    An objection from a single trading partner means that the WTO can’t certify UK the proposal until the problem is resolve.

    Russia says that the EU’s current tariff list hasn’t been ratified by all WTO members since Croatia’s accession to the bloc in 2013, therefore it can’t form the basis of a UK proposal for its post-Brexit schedule.

    This issue however is easy for the UK to resolve bilaterally with the countries with whom we have excellent relations anyway. And we might also find it easier to resolve it with Russia than the EU does.

    It doesn’t matter very much anyway, because maybe we won’t want to impose any quotas at all.

    Why, for example would we want to continue with the EU import quota on rice from Thailand?

    But with the EU being so protectionist itself, especially in relation to agriculture, it’s not so easy for the EU itself to sort out.

    And even if the UK fails to reach an agreement before it leaves the EU or the transition period we will however operate on “uncertified schedules”, which make no practical difference except in the event of Trade Disputes.

    The remaining EU is far more likely to get involved in Trade disputes than we are.

  9. Alison
    October 27, 2018

    Project Fear is moving up gears. I suspect it has a few more gears to go. The Independent’s front cover yesterday had this headline: “Young people to lose up to £108,000 in earnings if there is a no-deal Brexit, new research warns”. By an “Oxford economist” (Thomas Peto) Endorsed by John Major.
    That ‘new’ research uses the Treasury’s projections earlier this year about what the article (and I assume the Treasury also) calls “the damage from Brexit”.
    Funny how wages have been going up since 2016. I also assume upward pressure on rents will ease or reverse.

  10. Duncan
    October 27, 2018

    UK status on April Fool’s Day 2019?

    May still in charge I see. She’s the one with the real power to define what Brexit means. I know what she’ll do. She’ll betray the UK and considering she’s still leader suggests Tory MPs have stepped back from deposing her which doesn’t bode well for British democracy.

    Who needs Remain-Fear propaganda when we have spineless Tory party MPs to damage the interests of our nation’s push for freedom, sovereignty and independence

    The real threat to Brexit isn’t the dopey Remain groupies but Tory MPs

    It is my belief that in March 2019 the UK will not be a sovereign, independent nation on a par with the USA, China, Cuba, Iran, Australia, Tonga etc etc and you can thank May and all Tory MPs for allowing this to happen

    Will we still be subject to ECJ rulings? If the answer on the 1 April 2019 (April Fool’s Day) is yes then we’re still connected to the EU.

    I can only trust that moral Tory MPs who are true adherents to sovereign democracy are biding their time before they strike against the Labour cuckoo in the Tory nest

  11. Peter D Gardner
    October 27, 2018

    Surely Dr Redwood, you don’t expect Remainers to Google anything as boring as “The World Trade Organisation” or even if they did, to go a level deeper and read about its formation and history. No wonder you get so angry! As i do myself. Project Fear depends on and feeds off the ignorance of people.

  12. Bob
    October 27, 2018

    The fact that the govt make no attempt to debunk Project Fear stories speaks for itself.

    When Mr Trump retweeted a video clip about someone being thrown from a rooftop by people with Protected Characteristics Mrs May instantaneously took to Twitter to berate him.

    Strange behaviour for a British Prime Minister, but quite normal for an EU apparatchik.

  13. Denis Cooper
    October 27, 2018

    The WTO must think that the UK is a full WTO member, otherwise it would not have put the UK on the list of members which have ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement which entered into force on February 22nd 2017:


    “To date, 139 WTO Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol. This Protocol of Amendment, which was officially opened for acceptance on 27 November 2014, will insert the Agreement on Trade Facilitation into the WTO Agreement.

    In this page you can find the list of WTO Members that have presented the instrument of ratification to date.”

    And not only do I see “United Kingdom” on that list but I also see “France”; so perhaps it would worth publicly reminding the French government that France has committed itself to the facilitation of trade, including trade with its fellow WTO member on the other side of the English Channel, not to the deliberate obstruction of that trade.

    But of course our Prime Minister would never dream of doing such a thing, she would rather we all lived in fear of an economic blockade if we leave the EU without having signed whatever instrument of surrender she may agree.

    Which reminds me: the UK government going off and agreeing a new EU treaty in secret and then telling Parliament that it cannot alter as much as a comma is one of the things which the Tory party has pretended to find objectionable in the past, but that is exactly what Theresa May and Dominic Raab are proposing to do.

  14. John Barleycorn
    October 27, 2018

    It would be nice to be able to find the true WTO statement. The closet I could find was this:
    As Mr Redwood say, that won’t affect us trading under WTO after Brexit, although it will mean more trade disputes. Also interesting that the UK isn’t including the EU in it’s proposed schedules, suggesting great confidence that a deal will be done before March. If not, then they’ll have to be added.
    Good demonstration of how bureaucratic the WTO is, and the restrictions it will place on our decisions post EU. Farm support gets a specific mention.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 27, 2018

      Thanks, that’s useful.

      I notice:

      “… They also questioned whether a renegotiation can be undertaken based on an “uncertified” schedule for the 28 EU members. The EU replied that having an uncertified schedule did not prevent it from engaging in Article XXVIII negotiations …”

      And nor has that irregularity prevented the EU members from trading with the other WTO members over past twenty-odd years, perhaps with some occasional grumbles.

  15. Chris
    October 27, 2018

    Theresa May pleads with Juncker to save her Chequers Plan? This is reported in the D Express this morning. If true, how pathetic, and what more evidence do the Brexiter MPs need to show them that May apparently is a Brussels tool, has no regard for upholding democracy and honouring the Leave vote, and is actively working against them in concert with the EU?
    REVEALED: Theresa May begged Jean-Claude Juncker to help her save her DOOMED Chequers plan
    “THERESA May begged Jean-Claude Juncker to help her save her controversial Chequers plan after it came under attack by Brexiteers. ….”

    1. Steve
      October 27, 2018


      “Theresa May pleads with Juncker”
      “Theresa May begged Jean-Claude Juncker”

      Disgraceful if true.

      The ungrateful, puffed up little twit needs a slap, in front of the cameras.

  16. Chris
    October 27, 2018

    On a more general matter of bias against Brexit/Brexiters, these resignations appear to be excellent news with regard to the Election Commission.
    Election watchdog head QUITS after claims commission is biased against Brexit
    •Claire Bassett has resigned as chief executive of the elections watchdog
    •Three commissioners who publicly opposed leaving the EU will also go
    •The commission has faced accusations of unfairness from Brexiteers

  17. ian
    October 27, 2018

    I am tipping Mr Dononic Raab to be next leader of the UK after Brexit, young energetic, believe in Brexit and changed, and competent in nearly all departments, a match for French leader and the EU to deal with.

    1. Rien Huizer
      October 28, 2018

      He would be a nice fit in the EU Council too. Very competent young man and utterly devoid of ideological baggage. A pragmatist. If he pulls off the deal that is so widely criticized here, he will be very successful and maybe rid the Conservative Party of UKIP infections or worse. A potential modernizer.

      1. NickC
        October 28, 2018

        Rien Huizer, With the added advantage that Mr Raab need not be elected in the EU.

  18. Up leveller!
    October 27, 2018

    It is like Olde England (1960s ) in the House of Lords. You have Free Speech.
    Well, not you but a non-elected you.You as you would be.You if you were nearly good enough and not the common you you are. But that’s just YOU. Common!

  19. Dennis
    October 27, 2018

    “…..under the WTO rules when we leave the EU.”

    Yes but when will that be?

  20. Billyg
    October 27, 2018

    We won’t trade under anything with the EU unless we conclude the withdrawal agreement in a timely and satisfactory way..

    Reply Wrong. We can trade with them with no Withdrawal Agreement

    1. John Hatfield
      October 27, 2018

      Let us hope and pray, John.

    2. NickC
      October 28, 2018

      Billyg, The EU, the EU27 and the UK are all in the WTO. We would all continue to trade using the WTO system. As Denis Cooper would say . . . show us where the WTO says we may not trade with the EU after leaving without a withdrawal agreement – the rules, chapter and verse.

    October 27, 2018

    Personnel in OUR MSM need a thorough British interrogation. They miss the obvious when a 20 year old spots it.Bigly

  22. Denis Cooper
    October 27, 2018

    On March 30th 2019 goods being sent from the UK to the EU will still conform to EU rules in the same way and to the same extent as they did on March 29th 2019.

    So whatever the inflexible niceties of EU law there will be no practical reason why they should immediately be subject to any greater checks at the border, and arguably the EU and its other member states would be acting against Article 7.4 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement if they did impose objectively unnecessary checks:


    “4 Risk Management

    4.1 Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

    4.2 Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

    4.3 Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments. A Member also may select, on a random basis, consignments for such controls as part of its risk management.

    4.4 Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance record of traders, and type of means of transport.”

    And that would remain the case for some considerable time until UK law had gradually started to significantly diverge from EU law, even if there was no oxymoronic “standstill” transition period during which nothing changed.

    Likewise the UK would have no new practical reason to start checking imports from the EU which it has just been waving through without any routine checks for many years now, and we too would arguably be in breach of that WTO article if we did so; it is conceivable that eventually the UK might grow concerned that certain EU goods standards were too low, rather than the other way round, but that is unlikely to occur for many years and I suggest we should only cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 27, 2018

      Yes, of course.

      Until the UK actively diverges, it is churlish for the EU to suggest that there should be any more restriction on goods entering their market, as the same rules will apply. It’s a ploy, which those “clever” negotiators of ours have fallen for, hook line and sinker.

      In future, it might be that we wish to restrict the sale of some particularly polluting or undesirable EU made products in the UK, or the EU might wish to restrict sale of our product there by changing their rules on what is or isn’t acceptable in our/their market. Neither should the EU have to change what they manufacture for their own or other markets because of us, nor should we because of them.

      An intermediary solution would be that no changes in acceptance criteria for imports are made over which the other side doesn’t have a veto – if the EU decides to relax a particular food hygiene procedure, we have the right to veto that change on goods bound for the UK, as they do for goods bound there if we choose to amend rules. Of course in the long run, we’ll need to establish a full trade deal which covers these things, but the simple veto solution applying to imports – in both directions- would do the job.

      Far too much fuss is being made about this.

  23. Sakara Gold
    October 27, 2018

    I expect we will be able to trade with Italy after they also leave the EU – their recent budget proposal looks perfectly sensible to me, after years and years of austerity. This from a recent Telegraph;-

    “The plan includes lower taxes and higher welfare spending. Combined with pension reforms, it will push the budget deficit to 2.4pc of GDP next year”

    Hammond could get a lot of votes for the party if he can find some money and be nice to our single mums having trouble with Universal Credit for our budget.

  24. Rien Huizer
    October 27, 2018

    On March 29 the UK will be in a pransition period. So no probmen then. If not, who knows what will happen.

    1. John Hatfield
      October 27, 2018


    2. NickC
      October 28, 2018

      Rien Huizer, Do EU states trade with Mexico, India, New Zealand, etc, currently? If yes, that is how we will trade with the EU states on 30 March 2019 if we are not in a transition period.

  25. Jonp
    October 27, 2018

    Let’s look at it from June 2019 and work backwards

    By june 2019 we will have already left with no withdrawal agreement..Eu governments will by then have instructed their Customs and other agencies to not deal with UK trade until the whole thing goes to WTO rules for review..it will take years. But of course this will have nothing to do with compliant schedules according to WTO – it will be according to EU rules..you see..politics will override..can’t see it any other way

    In the meantime we have no Merchant navy anymore, nothing worth talking about anyhow, but we are going to have to see if we can pick up the threads again on trade patterns that were abandoned in the 1960’S 1970’s..so to build ships..redo ports for container trade and bulk trade with ships coming from worldwide places..expand the Felixstowe and other container ports for increased container trade with the continent for when WTO has sorted things out.. great and

  26. Iain Gill
    October 27, 2018

    May resigned yet?

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    October 28, 2018

    Many of your bloggers seem to worry about what precisely WTO rules means. They are all being too complicated. All we need to say is:

    (1) From March 30th 2019 we want UK-EU trade to be as tariff free as possible, but if EU-27 impose swingeing tariffs on us we will reciprocate.

    (2) We will pay the £39 billion exit bung in annual instalments in arrears. If the EU or any of its Member States imposes delays or any other non-tariff barriers to UK exports, we will quantify the financial cost to British businesses and deduct that loss from the payment due. That applies to France, M Macron. We will pay interest at 3% on the outstanding balance – cheap at the price.

    (3) We are negotiating trade deals with non-EU countries NOW and will implement them as soon as possible after 29th March 2019.

    (4) We will seize control of our fishing waters on 30th March 2019 and from that date onwards, licences for EU-27 boats to fish in our waters will be granted only to individually named boats.

    (5) We will progressively implement our own agriculture policy from 30th March 2019. This will result in 70% of produce being produced in the UK, with the remaining 30% being imported from the cheapest safe source of supply. If the EU-27 care to negotiate a transitional arrangement with the UK, we are willing to engage, provided that British beef exports to the EU-27 are included in the transition.

    (6) There will be no Withdrawal Agreement and no Backstop Agreements.

    (7) We will not accept any international arbitration. UK and EU-27 must settle any disputes themselves.

    In short, Mrs May and Mister Raab, stop grovelling and get up off your knees.

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