Well done Chris Grayling. Calais trade will be fine after Brexit

The Transport Secretary went to Calais this week and nailed the Project Fear lie that Calais would mount an economic blockade or go slow on UK traded goods if we just leave on 29 March next year. The Mayor of Calais made clear they value the UK business, and will ensure the port runs smoothly after Brexit.They realise the Dutch and Belgian ports would love to lift the trade off them. It was good to see a Minister rebutting a Project Fear nonsense.

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46 Comments

  1. Lifelogic.
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    “It was good to see a Minister rebutting a Project Fear nonsense.”

    Indeed but a rather rare event indeed with remainers May and Hammond in charge and nearly the whole of the senior civil service and the appalling BBC suffering from pro EU group think.

  2. Patience for now
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Mayor Khan is said to have gone or going to Brussels, officially. Does he need authorisation…permission from the British Brexit negotiators? If not why not?

    There are MEPs, MPs and, Mayor Khan one assumes has spoken with them. Did they not spell it out for him this side of the Channel?Why do they attend Brussels meetings? What was and is their role? Who is paying for Mayor Khan’s trip? Which EU officials are going to speak out of turn with him? Should I go too? By myself uninvited?Anything for a day off work. Let’s hope he does not get delayed in London traffic.A strike perhaps.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Patience for now

      Yes, not only Khan but Sturgeon keeps poking her nose in. Who do they think they are? It has the makings of a good TV quiz!! Everyone wants a finger in the pie just stirring up the mud.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        You may have noticed that a significant proportion of the Remain vote consisted of Scottish nationalists, Irish nationalists and London immigrants, all of them reluctant to accept the sovereignty of the UK parliament.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        fedupsoutherner

        “Who do they think they are?”

        Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland and Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London represent staunch Remainers and have a duty to help resolve this disastrous, unrepresentative Brexit debacle.

        • Original Richard
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, you are absolutely right when you describe the Brexit debacle as “disastrous and unrepresentative”

          The current position is unrepresentative because both sides made it clear that leaving meant leaving the SM/CU/ECJ and all the EU’s institutions and not only did leave win clearly in terms of the votes cast but in Parliamentary constituency terms the result was 64:36 in favour of leave.

          It is disastrous because a remainer was put in charge of the negotiations and furthermore, remainers in the country, such as Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan, have been collaborating with and supporting the EU rather than supporting their own country and hence undermining the country in these negotiations.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

            Original Richard. Well said.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I’m sorry Margaret. I thought they represented all if their electorate. Not just those that voted to remain. Sturgeon is only in charge on a devolved Parliament. They are not a true government. They are part of the UK and come under its jurisdiction over Brexit. Get over yourself.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry, Mayor Khan doesn’t appear to be running the show in London, his key advisors are making big decisions without him even knowing about it.

      I thought the big balloons were funny, in a Splitting Image, German float insult sort of way, until someone pointed out they could be filled with dangerous substances then that isn’t so funny, so I hope there were some serious overseeing going on before this blimp was allowed to float over peoples heads.

  3. billR
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Calais Trade will be fine after brexit, it will be still there, the only thing is the JIT conveyor system as we know it will be disrupted because of the customs checks that will inevitably need to to be made. And despite what Chris Grayling says, neither he, nor the mayor of Calais, will have any say over how these French customs officials work.. nor about their work timetables, shift rota experience, numbers on duty or their day to day humour? get it?

    So trade for SME’s will gradually shift to cargo travel by container that will mean a shift in tonnage to Felixstowe, which is at capacity at the moment, to Antwerp Rotterdam..JIT as we know it will not be there anymore..despite what Chris Grayling says

    Reply JIT will be fine. It currently copes with traffic jams, French strikes etc

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      BillR Dyson isn’t worried going to Singapore

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Mr Dyson goes where it isn profitable..

    • WeToldYou_No_EU
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      This article is stating facts, about events concerning Calais trade, after a possible No Deal.

      It quotes information, from people, in a position to understand what is going on.

      People, who are trying to help each other, and not create artificial or imaginary problems.

      Can you please confirm the basis for your concerns about the French Customs officials?

      Sources, would be greatly appreciated.
      Perhaps you can point us all in the direction of articles in the French Press, on that?

      Certainly not heard of your concerns, from anyone else…

      If there is indeed any hint of likely problems ahead, a rebuttal will undoubtedly come from the French side. They cannot afford to deliberately hinder the trade flow between the UK and France.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Correct me if I’m wrong…

      But the essence of JIT is that goods arrive at the factory gate at the correct date & time.

      So, transit time doesn’t matter as long as you know what it is going to be and take it in to account.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Bingo, exactly my argument, if it is going to take 4 hours longer you allow an extra 4 hours, I mean, honestly, either Remoaners are thick or they truly believe that we are.

        • Borando
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          The whole point is that outside the EU we have absolutely no idea how long it will take. EU means frictionless trade. Brexit means the complete unknown, our exporters will be powerless

        • Andy
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

          We truly believe that you are. You are correct that, eventually, business just plans for those extra 4 hours – or whatever it is.

          Where you are wrong is in the impact of those four hours. Time is money – in this case your money. You, literally, voted to make things more expensive. To me that is a monumentally thick thing to do.

          Reply It takes days for components to arrive

          • L Jones
            Posted October 28, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            Actually, Andy, we think you may be afraid it’ll be YOUR money – because that seems to be more important to you than anything else.

    • ProjectFearMonger#6
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      BullR
      ………….
      I share your (admittedly, unfounded) worry over the working practices of Customs Officers in Calais France, and how, in a No Deal situation, we cannot guarantee their behaviour.

      The very idea of that should make all the Leavers think again.

      This theory ties in nicely with my own thoughts. I am also greatly concerned about the working practices of the Zoo keepers , at the Zoo in Dunkirk.

      We cannot guarantee that, in the event of a No Deal, the UK attendance at the Zoo will drop so low, that the Zoo keepers do not get paid, and walk out, leaving the Zoo unmanned.

      This would inadvertently allow the release of hundreds of animals, bringing the roads around Dunkirk, and trade, to a standstill.

      Can you imagine the effect of those wild cats, beavers, tortoises, flamingos, porcupines, peacocks, ponies, brown bears and who knows what else, all on the loose. That alone is a good reason to stop Brexit.
      But, added to your own thoughts about Customs problems, we have a really strong case.

      It is our duty to the public, to air our concerns now, to avoid any possible disruption, arising from a No Deal..
      Where we have a really strong case, such as now, we must be heard, before it is too late.

      Brexit is madness, if only Brexiters had our ability to foresee the problems ahead.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      As I have suggested here today:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/27/we-will-be-full-members-of-wto-on-30-march-and-trading-under-their-rules/#comment-969317

      France, and all the other EU member states, and the EU itself, should be publicly reminded that on October 5th 2015 they solemnly committed themselves to the facilitation of trade; and why the hell did they do that if they didn’t actually mean it and instead they will seek to unnecessarily obstruct the existing trade with the UK, just because the UK is duly availing itself of a withdrawal clause which they had all wanted to see inserted into the EU treaties?

      And this is what the EU itself had to say when that new WTO agreement came into force on February 22nd 2017:

      http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1626

      “EU welcomes entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement”

      “The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – the most significant multilateral trade deal concluded since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995 – enters into force today.”

      “This agreement aims to simplify and clarify international import and export procedures, customs formalities and transit requirements. It will make trade-related administration easier and less costly, thus helping to provide an important and much needed boost to global economic growth. EU customs authorities will play a leading role in the implementation of the agreement, acting both as an example to follow and as an engine for further progress in trade facilitation within the EU and at international level.”

      “Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Better border procedures and faster, smoother trade flows will revitalise global trade to the benefit of citizens and businesses in all parts of the world. Small companies, that have a hard time navigating daily bureaucracy and complicated rules, will be major winners.””

      Either they meant it and so they should be held to it, or they never meant any of it; then the question is why on earth we should wish to merge our country with theirs in a pan-European federation, which is what the EU is really all about.

      • Lamont
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Are Brexiters really so dim they think the UK can leave the EU but see our trade unaffected?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 28, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Are all Remoaners incapable of making any sensible comment on the WTO obligations of the EU and its other member states?

    • Richard1
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      There are JIT supply arrangements all over the world not just in the EU.

  4. James K-L
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    My ‘favourite’ Project Fear lie is: longer customs checks will result in queues of traffic 27 miles long.

    If checks are going to take longer, you just open up more customs posts!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Chris Grayling may have belatedly got some reassurance from the Mayor of Calais, but the Deputy Mayor said otherwise back in March:

      http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2018/03/26/from-the-horse-s-mouth-freight-leaders-issue-warning-about-h

      “The deputy mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, estimates queues at the port could reach up to 15 miles. The disruption at Dover and Folkstone could lead to queues twice that length, or all the way to London.”

      So I wonder why it has taken seven months for any government minister or civil servant to contradict that, and to me the answer is obvious: because just as David Cameron prevented any preparations for the possibility of Brexit, so Theresa May has been preventing any effective rebuttals of anti-Brexit propaganda.

  5. Mark B
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    So the media is spreading fake news then ? Shame on them.

  6. Gary C
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you, the crushing of project fear needs to be shouted from the rooftops and those responsible ridiculed in public.

    Including the recent report by Dr Florian Freund which is laughable but will be believed by some.
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1037004/Brexit-news-update-Brexit-Project-Fear-Julian-Jessop-food-report

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    “They sell more to us than we them.”

    True. But the retaliation if they blockade our goods is empty UK shelves for a while. The People need to be prepared for hardship.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Lol, we control the customs of imports, and by substitution we can eat ourselves what we cannot export or import, job done.

  8. Ron Olden
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region, said ensuring “fluidity” of trade was essential.

    Another official said closing Calais would be an “economic suicide mission”.

    Mr Bertrand said closing the port of Calais or the Channel Tunnel to cross-channel traffic in the event of a no-deal Brexit “was not envisaged”.

    “Who could believe such a thing? We have to do everything to guarantee fluidity,” he wrote.

    And Jean-Paul Mulot, who represents Hauts-de-France, France’s northern-most region, in the UK said that it was in France’s interest to minimise delays if the event of a no-deal.

    But we knew all this anyway. And it’s the same with the Irish Border.

    The fact that Remainers keep telling us things doesn’t mean they are true.

  9. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Both the Mayor of Calais and Chris Grayling are correct, but neither actually control what happens on the ground.

  10. Newmania
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The Mayor of Calais eh , well its great relief that he is charge of the French border …. oh sorry he isn`t

  11. a-tracy
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    How come we have two budgets a year now? It’s like a double dip, is British governmental financial planning and forecasting so poor now we could end up with quarterly budgets? Are we matching European Countries or do they just stick with one budget per year?

  12. ian
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    The tide has turned in Whitehall and arm forces by them throwing the EU toys out of the bathtub, sitting up here in the crows nest, i can feel that the wind is changing direction and out to blue waters.

  13. Andy
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    It comes to something when you have to rely on the incompetent Chris Grayling to try to prove a point.

    Again, nobody who backed Remain has claimed there will be a blockade. It was a Brexiteer who first mentioned it and repeating it – again – is fake news. And we know why you are doing it.

    You are doing it because when trade slows after Brexit – which it will – you will paint it as a good news story. Mere disruption to trade will be a success for you. “Look, it’s not a blockade!” – you’ll all say as your Brexit disrupts, but does not halt, trade.

    We see through it. And so will the judge at the inevitable public inquiry.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Pedantic nonsense as usual andy.
      Blockade is not the point.
      You have been talking about delays.
      This what Grayling has been debunking.

      • Andy
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        It is not pedantic for the workers who will be losing their jobs as a result of your Brexit.

        It is not pedantic for the consumers who will pay more as a result of your Brexit.

        It is not pedantic for the businesses which face more bureaucracy, cost and delay as a result of your Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          What jobs?
          Currently unemployment is at record low.
          Still no apology from project fear Remainers like you who predicted half a million jobs would be lost in the immediate aftermath of a vote to leave.

          What extra cost of goods?
          With freedom to reduce EU tariffs costs can fall.
          Currently the Bus disaster which is CAP is said to add £20 a week to the average household’s food bill.

          What extra bureaucracy on business?
          It is the EU that has added thousands of extra regulations directives and laws onto business increasing their costs.
          The imposition of REACH and VATMOSS and GDPR have recently added thousands of pounds of extra work onto small businesses costs.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 28, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            Typo delete “Bus”

  14. Duncan
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, Macron declared that any EU members that refuse to accept economic and illegal migrants will be punished financially and economically.

    This is Macron, the President of France dictating and threatening other ‘sovereign’ nation states that took the disastrous decision to join this democratically and morally bankrupt political entity

    Macron is suffering from delusions of grandeur. He appears to think he’s the President of all nations that are EU members.

    Someone put this idiot in his place, pronto

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, Sky News is running a feature which appears in a condensed form here:

    https://news.sky.com/story/fears-that-brexit-could-open-old-wounds-in-northern-ireland-11536794

    “Fears that Brexit could open old wounds in Northern Ireland”

    which somehow misses the point that the UK has already enshrined in law that it will not erect customs houses or create other controls on the border, while for the other side the previously planned “worst case” scenario was described here yesterday:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/newton-emerson-leo-varadkar-continues-to-show-a-tin-ear-to-the-north-1.3674167

    “… a dozen official crossings with Customs posts set 10 to 20 miles back, plus cameras and Customs officers with mobile equipment to enforce the remaining 200 crossings … ”

    It would have been far better if the UK government had formally, and very loudly, declared a year ago that it intended to make no changes whatsoever on our side of the border, and would be willing to save the Irish authorities the trouble of reinstating routine checks on goods on their side by passing a new UK law to control what goods could legally be carried across the border from Northern Ireland into the Republic.

    But that would have deprived Theresa May of a pretext to keep us under the rules of both the EU Single Market and the EU Customs Union, just as the Irish government has always wanted:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/23/accepting-eu-ways-brings-down-conservative-leaders/#comment-968559

    It would be much simpler if representatives of the Irish government were given an office in Number 10, then they could transmit their orders directly.

  16. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    We still need to make payment of that £39 billion bung dependent on being treated nicely by the EU on exit. In particular, we need to avoid unnecessary non-tariff barriers. We could pay the exit bung in annual instalments in arrears. In any year that the EU imposed unnecessary delays on UK exports, we would deduct the cost of those delays (in our judgement) from the payment due.

    • rose
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      We don’t need to make the ransom payment at all, deal or no deal.

      No-one else pays the EU for trade deals, nor do they accept Free Movement.

  17. Original Richard
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    The MSM, led by the BBC, are producing daily scare stories of how bad life will be if we leave the EU with “no deal” (viz WTO deal). This is to convince us that a bad deal (remaining in the SM/CU/ECJ and other EU institutions without representation) is better than “no deal”.

    It would be useful if Mr. Redwood could please post a piece describing from what we will be escaping by leaving the EU.

    Such as :

    Accepting our laws, taxes, foreign, trade, energy and welfare policies will be decided by people we do not elect and cannot remove.

    Paying a £20bn/year (£15bn loss of control, £10bn net) membership fee to improve other countries’ infrastructure whilst ours collapses through continuing high levels of immigration as the EU expands further eastwards and intends taking a stream of migrants from the ME and Africa.

    Accepting the Euro and a trading arrangement which leads us to have an £80bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

    Accepting the CAP which means that we subsidise other countries’ farmers whilst paying higher prices for food than we could through high import duties.

    Accepting our military will be absorbed into and under the control of people we do not elect and cannot remove. Given that Germany still has conscription in can be assumed that this will eventually be made mandatory throughout the EU.

  18. Augustyn
    Posted October 28, 2018 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    There is a very good reason why France has no major ocean ports and it’s exporters have to route their trade through Northern European ports in other countries e.g. Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg. Of course it relates to industrial action in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s resulting in closure of port facilities and no investment in French ocean going ports. I hope that the Mayor of Calais confidence in the port remaining open is well founded. However, history might suggest a completely different outcome.

  19. Original Richard
    Posted October 28, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Mr. Grayling should also be tackling and rebutting the nonsense that planes will not fly from and to the UK after Brexit.

    Again, today, on BBC Sunday Politics South East the BBC were pushing that no planes would be flying in and out of Gatwick with calamitous economic consequences for the South East as thousands of people would be losing their jobs.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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