There is no cliff edge

I have heard all too many interviews by a few senior business people and their lobby group representatives telling us leaving without a deal will be “disastrous, catastrophic, falling off a cliff”. They should know better. If they wish to be credible witnesses they should cast aside wild and emotional language, and spell out exactly what they fear will happen that they think will be damaging. All too few interviewers challenge them to be precise.

I have tried to see why they hold their general view. They nearly always say the same things, that leaving without a deal will get in the way of their complex supply chains, making it more difficult to import their components. I find this difficult to believe.

They nearly all confess that their current supply chains include a minority of components that come from outside the EU. If being outside the single market and customs union so disrupted trade with the rest of the world they would not have part of their just in time dependent on non EU supplies. If they can manage 10 components from outside the EU today they could manage 100 from outside the EU tomorrow. The WTO has worked hard on facilitation of trade to remove non tariff barriers.

The EU does impose some tariffs on some components that come in from outside the EU. The UK could offer tariff free components of all kinds once we have left and we can set our own tariff schedule. I suggest big manufacturers join me in pressing for this.

They suggest that there will be delays at the ports, especially at Dover- Calais, and these will disrupt Just In Time systems. I do not accept there need be additional delays, but if there was a regular increased time to transit the ports, you would just ask your supplier to allow for the longer journey time so the supplies still reached you when you wanted them. As they fit in Chinese supplies maybe taking 40 days to arrive by sea into current complex supply chains it shows that longer journey times are not deal breakers.

The main reason I do not expect new delays on imports is that the crucial importing port will be under UK control. There is no need for us to impose new processes and delays at the ports. We can adapt or continue the current system of checks away from the ports for any purposes we need. On the Dover-Calais route if more spot checks are needed on trucks then do them on the ferry or on the nearby train carrying the load through the Tunnel. There is plenty of competition to Dover-Calais Ro-Ro from containers, so in the unlikely event of difficulties at Calais there would other choices.

They sometimes say they will need more complete complex customs paperwork. This they say is an added cost, but not of course a delay as it is done usually before the lorry departs from the exporting factory. There will be little if any additional electronic paperwork in practise. All EU trade requires them to fill in a long and complex Intrastat declaration which overlaps with customs information. Most industrial and retail purchasers these days require extensive product information, with specification, cost, test results etc. A computer programme can send the bits of this the authorities need at the UK/EU electronic borders.

I suggest to the media they will be more convincing if they stick to the facts. What exactly are they worried about, and why don’t we just fix it in the four months that remains before we leave.


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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    While I agree with your argument, I would put it to you that in the ‘public perception’ leaving without any deal is already known as a ‘crash-out’ or ”falling off a cliff’; the argument is already lost because Mrs. May wanted it so. I recently heard Dr. Fox use the exact terms.

    It is too late to make the case for no deal (WTO terms), what is needed is for all Brexiteers to get behind one sensible deal, such as Canada ++ (or anything credible) and show that the May deal is rubbish, and we CAN do better. When will you all do that?

    • jerry
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; Indeed, and your prove your own point! The WTO is a set of international default trading agreements, thus if no other agreement is reached by March 29th they will become the agreement (‘deal’) on which the UK & EU27 will trade from 23:01 hours GMT on that date. Also the problem is not the Brexit message but the MSM reporting of it – but then neither Trump nor Macron won their respective elections because of MSM support…

      Might I just add, on a general point, our host told us yesterday that his moderation time is short, that we need to be brief, yet at least 18 people posted pointless replies to that message.

    • piglet
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood

      My instinct tells me that you are right. But if the PM were to announce that a satisfactory deal has not been possible and that it is in the best interests of the UK to leave cleanly without a Withdrawal Agreement and without any transition period, and the government will work to mitigate any problems that arise, then I think there will be a huge public sigh of relief. The public are sick of the way May’s “negotiation” has dominated the body politic over the last two years and just want the process to be over. Of course, this will not happen under May, which is why she must be replaced by someone who actually believes in Brexit as soon as possible.

    • acorn
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      The UK has to have left the EU before any Canada++ trade deal negotiation can start. That is a given in the EU rules, there was never an option for the UK to change the sequence from day one. A CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) type agreement, is not a substitute for a “May deal is rubbish” Art 50 Withdrawal Agreement. But; the “future relationship” part of the Withdrawal Agreement can hint at it.

    • Hope
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Gauke used the language on TV yesterday and went further to say that if May’s deal is not agreed Brexit would be suspended or deferred.

      Is this possible JR. and it is touted by an article in the times May would go for a second vote after trying to frighten everyone with Treasury intervention. Again, any truth in the latter speculation?

      Finally, I am shocked that an MP, irrespective of the issue, would want someone like May as PM after her disgraceful underhand and deceitful conduct. Whatever happens, how do you think the Tory party will ever be trusted with anything again?

      • Hope
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        May says, again, her deal or no Brexit. What does she mean when she also confirms the UK will leave on 29/03/2019.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Tories will only be trusted perversely if they go for WTO. Either her deal or no Brexit will wipe them out.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          T May’s threat is like – “if you shoot me in one foot, I’ll shoot myself in the other”.
          That’s the level we’re dealing with.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      The media are owned by the Establishment, Russ. The Establishment does not want to leave the EU because its big-business friends are able lobby the EU Commission in Brussels. Big-business is also quite happy to have the taxpayer its trade tariffs. Silly comment.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Big-business is also quite happy to have the taxpayer paying its trade tariffs.

    • GilesB
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Peter, the EU will not agree any deal better than May’s deal unless No Deal is a credible alternative. That’s why we need to keep pushing it, because to quote ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’, and May’s appalling appeasement is a terrible deal – the worst of all possible scenarios – worse than just staying in

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      “This is not a bad deal. It is an atrocious deal.”

      Martin Howe QC is a leading barrister in EU law

  2. Richard1
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    A question also is how it is JIT supply systems work around the world between countries which don’t have customs unions. Also why it is that countries which have free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, haven’t converted these FTAs to customs unions if it’s so essential for JIT. Mr Meyer of Siemens was not asked to address these questions when he appeared with you on Any Questions the other day. Trouble is they don’t need to. The assertion of catastrophe is enough for it to be treated as fact.

    • Nick O.
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Quite right, I am sorry to say.
      It appals me how the doom mongers have been allowed to seize hold of the language of the argument. It really is like something out of George Orwell: control the language itself, and further discussion becomes impossible or pointless.
      I have found myself shouting at the radio or television when another so-called interviewer has allowed, yet again, some Remainer to get away with using the language of ‘the cliff edge’, and state that leaving would be ‘a catastrophe’. I think that the Beeb, apart from Andrew Neil, are the worst examples in this respect.
      Anyways, perhaps the EU will do us a favour today by thinking they have Mrs May on the ropes and therefore over-playing their hand again. But if she comes back from the meeting smiling and she and the EU announce some amazing ‘solution’ to the present impasse, stand by for another act of duplicity on her part.

  3. Steve
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    May ‘rushing’ off to Brussels. Why the rush, what event is so imminent that she needs to rush to get her betrayal endorsed as fast as possible ?

    She is so sly, and jolly well makes me cross.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      She is surely just wasting her time even further. The deal she proposes is surely already a dead parrot, it surely cannot get through Parliament. If it does the Tories are surely done for anyway. Surely even Theresa May can be made to see this? Or is she really so totally deluded?

      • L Jones
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Mrs May is deluded. But I do think she is out of her depth, and has been since day one. She leaps this way, and that, depending on who’s pulling her strings. And does a really bad job in trying to sound ”strong and in charge” as she’s leaping. It has never fooled anyone and makes her look weak and silly.

        Unfortunately, there weren’t ever enough Brexiteers who realised soon enough that they should join in with the string-pulling.

        When will someone take her aside and whisper ”Look, Tezza, the game’s up. Come on. Time to go.” And lead her gently away…..

      • Steve
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


        “Could she have been told she’s through to the next round in the job interviews at the EU ?”

        Watch that space dude, watch that space.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Just plainly stupid. St Hugh’s should be ashamed of itself.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        I’m afraid it is worse than we originally thought – It is now clear that it was her original intention to deceive us and tie us to the EU without representation … She now feels proud to have pushed her vision through and as we will still be a vassal state to the EU, should corbyn get in because everyone deserts the tories, she will not mind a toss, because she has already put the boot in much further than corbyn might …

        The lady deserves to be treated as a traitor…

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      What is so imminent is the vote in parliament on the withdrawal agreement, which she knows full well will fail. She’s going to Brussels to cobble fake concessions in the hope of selling it to parliament as major movement in the EU.
      Forlorn hope I think.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        The ‘deal’ is deliberately bad. This so that once she has gained some confessions she can look like she has achieved some great victory over the EU. Remember, John Major used the same trick with the Maastricht Treaty.

        The ‘deal’ / Agreement will be watered down, ‘slightly’ but it will still not be BREXIT.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        She goes to Brussels to give more away and to dot the ‘I’s … while her friends in the media and establishment tell everyone how wonderful the plan is, and that this is our best shot.

        I’m afraid that the odds are that she will get this through parliament.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      She has to ‘rush off’ or be ‘working hard’ to show how ‘dutiful’ she is and keen to get a ‘better Brexit’. The trouble is that though she expends energy on this, she achieves nothing of value. She just makes things worse. Her Heath Robinson contraption of a deal is looking at a strategic inernational relationship issue and fixing it with a pulley, bits of string, and a few plasters with her pedalling the contraption to provide the energy.

      When will this farcical situation end of this serial incompetent being allowed to carry on?


      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        She just looks so uncomfortable.

        Negotiating isn’t something she has a knack for. It’s just obvious that somehow she’s been put there to fail.

        The female Eddie the Eagle.

    • bigneil
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Could she have been told she’s through to the next round in the job interviews at the EU ?

      • vera
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        I doubt the EU will want her, they hate the British.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Bigneil. We need Sugar to tell her she’s fired.

    • acorn
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      An extraordinary summit to “finalise and formalise” the Brexit deal that has been struck with the British prime minister, 09:30 Sunday 25th November. May has to conclude the “future relationship” part of the Art 50 Withdrawal Agreement.

      • mancunius
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes, the ‘future relationship’. That should be a triumph of EU weasel-worded drafting.

    • rose
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      She is pretending to improve the irrelevant 7 page document attached to the main document. No-one should be taken in by this: it is just an insincere declaration of intent, not a treaty in the making.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is just a meaningless fake appendage. There to distract from her appalling surrender. Rather like her Brexit Secretaries.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      It was the Remainers who demanded a meaningful vote from what I remember.

      That’s ironic. I’m sure she’d be sitting there, quill in hand, preparing to sign away our future.

      Never has the EU found a difficult woman to be to easy.

    • vera
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Steve, how British, ‘it makes me jolly cross’. May the Destroyer makes me incandescent with fury, the woman is a complete disgrace and demeans her office and our country. How long must we put up with this contemptible, mendacious, duplicitous woman? I’m hoping Mrs Foster will bring her down. I’m even beginning to believe a spell of Corbyn in power is far preferable that having this despicable woman in No.10.

      • margaret howard
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Calm down!

  4. Newmania
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    When we leave the single market money held in the UK will be worthless as security in the EU and visa versa . Only A rated security can Re insure itself ( a vast cost anyway) so what about anyone else .
    There you go ; simple question
    Fix that

    Reply What nonsense

    • Richard1
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Responses such as this, which are not even remotely rational, to the cliff edge question is reassuring – either the cliff isn’t there or we will look back and see it was 6 inches high.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Hahahahaha – er any evidence for this? Does that apply to all other third countries outside the EU. What utter nonsense!


    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      What planet are you on Newmania?

    • libertarian
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink


      Lol… You’re a self proclaimed “financial expert in insurance markets” Lol rolling on the floor here , total and utter drivel

      Stop making yourself look daft

    • formula57
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I for one might have wished to stay in the Evil Empire had it been explained that fixing impairments (if any) to cross-border security interests in money would be an insurmountable obstacle to those who created them! How will we survive now?

    • Newmania
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Really ?
      You had better tell Lloyds of London to stop bothering with their hugely expensive fronting operation in the EU then …
      It really really is not nonsense , surely you are aware of the problems losing passporting creates ?

      • L Jones
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Newmania has been too immersed in social media. There seem to be few here who think that he/she has any convincing argument – if argument there be.

        Or is it just sour grapes?

    • sm
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Newmania could enlighten us all with his forecasts for the current financial crises in Italy and Greece, on the need (as expressed by the French Finance Minister) for fiscal union in order to properly underpin the Euro, and on which countries will actually fund the proposed EU army, etc…..

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

        No, sm, Newmania won’t do that. You can ask till you’re blue in the face, but a remainder/remoaner/whatever will never answer questions on their much-admired EU and its rather questionable policies.
        Nor will they say what it is they admire about this ‘organisation’ and its so-called unelected ‘leaders’.
        Still – keep asking, eh? One day we may learn what makes these people tick.

  5. Duyfken
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I presume also that EU countries trade with many manufacturers and the like in the rest of the world, and that those customers rely on just-in-time delivery. Why should the EU, or rather suppliers in the EU, wish to impose delays on their UK customers?

    • Nick O.
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      “Why should the EU, or rather suppliers in the EU, wish to impose delays on their UK customers?”
      They don’t.
      But if the threat that they *might* can be made sufficiently credible, with just enough people in the UK, then maybe, just maybe, we (the UK) will think again and not leave after all.
      That’s the tactic, I think.

  6. Kendo
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Longer journeys are not deal breakers but they cause extra costs. After Brexit UK exports will cost more and be less competitive. You dont understand business at all

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Leaving the EU will not make the distance from Dover to Calais any longer!

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Longer in time over the same distance can also increase costs.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink


      UK exports could be cheaper due to lower exchange rate, or cheaper if UK went to tariff free for global (and risk diversified) supply chains for goods. Whilst tourism might be a service susceptible to exchange rates, other services in which the UK excels compete on a competence base not on a cost base – this is of course in national interests as well as firms and is why the UK could compete in these areas when the GBP was higher. Indeed the risk of low exchange rates is that it promotes cost not competence based strategies which are less beneficial in the long run. I think your argument might have some short run validity in an uncertain environment as planning is incomplete, the uncertainty could have been cleared up a long time ago by committing to a clean Brexit.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Longer journeys are not deal breakers but they cause extra costs. After Brexit UK exports will cost more and be less competitive. You dont understand business at all

      If we leave the EU the distance to export markets will be the same. We are leaving the EU, not leaving Europe and being towed out into the Atlantic. The costs of something moving a longer distance are, in any case, nominal. Sea freight from China is dirt cheap and adds almost nothing to the unit cost of anything – cheap or expensive.

      Our exports are already a lot cheaper since the referendum – as the pound fell against the dollar and euro. I used to run an import business at Heathrow – we were contracted to a large American freight forwarder to handle all their exports into the UK. Oddly enough, we did a lot of ‘just in time’ freight. Odd, considering the USA is not in the EU. However did we do it.

    • vera
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      No necessarily. Transports to and from EU countries are usually done by road. Transports from further away are usually done by sea, which is far cheaper than road because the vessels are huge and carry enormous amounts of freight and the costs are shared. And I worked in freight for over 30 years.

  7. Stred
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The business ministry and treasury have been asking big business to help their cliff edge/ disaster campaign as part of the reverse plan. Facts do not matter. It’s propaganda.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    The Guardian helpfully provided the entirety of the ERG presentation on this subject. Those commenting included reps of the port of Bristol, a steel fabricator, a trader in a wide range of goods and a representative from Dutch customs as well as Peter Lilley and David Davis. It was abundantly clear that the claims of chaos in the event of no deal are wildly overblown.

    Although the media was present, including Laura Kuensberg of the BBC, it got not a single mention on her TV report. All she was interested in was why J R-M had failed to deliver on 48 no confidence letters. The man from Holland was explicit that systems are already in place to deal with a no deal outcome. It was also said that some 20-25% of just in time products for the UK motor industry come from sources outside the EU. Claims of chaos ahead in the event of no deal are nonsense.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    It is amusing that everyone is now a supply chain just-in-time expert having never before even heard the terms. I worked in an industry with complex and long supply chains. JIT was a one-off way to unlock capital from being used to hold inventory and inevitably introduced manufacturing risk due to supply chain disruption through weather or strikes or unexpected supplier manufacturing shutdown – Brexit is just one more risk to handle. I assume manufacturers are currently increasing inventories to mitigate and potential disruption. If they aren’t then it is their own fault.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Yep, buffer or suffer.

  10. Nigl
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Because it suits May and the rest of the sell out team to have us believe it.

  11. Colin Hide
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Wise words as usual.

    On the plus side there was almost a positive BREXIT piece on The One Show on Monday.

    It focused on the Port of Immingham.

    The BBC reporter couldn’t quiet bring themselves to say everything would be ok – but they came pretty close!

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Exactly, no cliff edge just opportunity. Especially if we do ever get a sensible PM and chancellor who cuts taxes from their current absurd levels, has a bonfire of red tape, cuts green crap energy prices, sorts out the bloated, wasteful but generally inept state sector and actually show some positive ‘we can do it’ Brexit vision.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I do enjoy your angry positivity, LL! It is SO good to hear someone being angry without being apologetic, for a change. Keep it up! We do need more like you.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      green crap energy

      There is nothing ‘crap’ about green energy. It is common sense to use green energy.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        It can be in some specific circumstances, but generally it is very expensive and unreliable and needs large subsidy.

  13. Mark B
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    If this was such a problem, then why did they not explain this to the government two years ago ?

    How is it, that China, South Korea and Japan, who are not part of the EU, the EEA and the CU can get their goods halfway around the world ? Yes there might be tariffs to pay but, that has nothing to do with interupting supply chains.

    What sort of ‘deal’ does industry want ? If it is to remain in the CU, then they should explain the reasons why membership of that is somehow beneficial to them. Same to with the Single Market.

    There is no such thing as a ‘deal’ with the EU. All we are required to do under the Lisbon Treaty, is to negotiate an Withdrawal Agreement. We are not obliged to to sign it.

    This is about governance. Once out of the EU only then can we have trade talks with them. At that point business interests take on more importance.

    What business wants, or more to the point Big corporate business, is a protected market. A market where they can sell their over priced goods with little fear from competition. That is no market, that is a protection racket.

  14. BCL
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I believe you are probably right. I’d certainly trust you over the EU funded CBI or Mrs May or the pro-EU civil service. However, even if you are mistaken in everything you assert, I STILL WANT OUT and I mean really out not the current mostly still in deal we are being offered. If we really do face a “cliff edge” or a “crash out”, so be it. We’ll recover and we’ll be better off I believe than we would have been in ten years time if we’d stayed in the collapsing sclerotic EU

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    It’s naive of anyone to expect the establishment, including business leaders, to be honest about BREXIT. They can get away with their lies and falsehoods because the media is on their side and fails to challenge untrue assertions.
    Already the media is gearing us up to accept May’s deal, by enthusing over deadlines, without picking the thing to pieces as they should be – They emphasise leaders working together, or possible delays/problems from the EU side, or how May is under pressure, but never do they suggest that the PM has deceived us.
    With agreement swelling for this ‘deal’, I fear that Parliament will pass it, and we will be left high and dry If Parliament should reject the deal, then what happens next? JR What are the chances o0f getting a WTO exit???

    • Stred
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Starmer has a motion to vote down WTO. He and other dim MPs are convinced that we cannot trade with the EU as we do with the Rest of the World. Or, more likely they need to justify voting down leaving and upholding their promise. He’s a lawyer.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Yes – It’s amazing how easily allegedly intelligent people have fallen for this con that we will fall off a cliff with a WTO exit…

        It’s beginning to look like we will be getting the Brexit mess we deserve, based on the ignorance and deceit now so prevelent in our society.

  16. hans christian ivers
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink


    Interesting perspective but not really very relevant anymore. A majority of the population is behind some sort of deal with the EU and therefore backing MS May (The Times today).

    Wat is much more important is how we develop the new relationship with the countries in the Continent we ae part of after Brexit. This is a very important debate both in terms of our future security but also in terms of our biggest trading partner and therefore our future prosperity and therefore how we deal with all our own domestic challenges, which are significant.

  17. David in Kent
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Exactly so. In my professional life I was involved in moving medical goods and time-limited frozen samples around the world, it was no easier or quicker moving packages into Belgium under EU rules than into the US under WTO. As we in Britain will have total control, subject to WTO rules, over the handling of inbound goods I can see no earthly reason why there should be hold-ups in Calais.
    Exporting is another matter and I would not be at all surprised if in April next year Calais docks are closed by a fisherman’s strike and Eurotunnel is down for ‘maintenance’. We do have to expect and allow for that which is just meant to make teach us a lesson and will not last long.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    For “cliff edge” read “cost more in administration and processes and eat into my profits and bonus”

    At the risk of going off topic the same argument can be used against the “skills shortage” wails. There are two million disabled workers who would like to be given the opportunity and trained to work already so we don’t need free movement.

  19. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The only cliff edge is the one being approached by Mrs May and the chain gang following her. When they go over the edge and it leads to inevitable death of the Cameron’s de-toxified ‘conservative’ part, that’s probably something real conservatives can look forward too.

  20. libertarian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    All of this clap trap spouted by these people is just playing on headlines and ignorance

    They are great memes to push their case, its all fake .

    The problem is that we have to counter with sometimes complex and always long winded factual explanations. People dont have the attention span .

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Afraid the so called “establishment” simply do not want any change at all JR, they just want us to continue as now, and retain full membership of the EU, hence all of these fear stories.

    The establishment, and I am afraid the Majority of Mp’s have set out to disrupt all things Brexit, even to the point of turning up in Brussels to see Mr Barnier, and offering him advice as to how to best frustrate the UK in every way possible.

    Most of the media seem to have swallowed the fear bait, but I am afraid whilst you may have put your case forward many times here and in your interviews, and put it forward well, too few others have taken up the challenge.

    The Brexit supporting MP’s have not as yet acted in unison and made any impact, and until you all do, I fear we will actually end up worse than when we started, and the UK public will be denied democracy by the conspiracy of your opponents.

    In short a Conservative Prime Minister is once again lying the Public about the contents of a so called EU agreement, just like before with Mr Heath in 1972.

    History looks like it is about to repeat itself, and we will all eventually pay the price.

  22. rick hamilton
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    In my experience of importing manufactured goods from outside the EU by container, customs clearance is very simple for known importers and suppliers and is almost always done before the vessel discharges. The ‘paperwork’ is done on line and the only actual piece of paper required is the Bill of Lading (title to the goods) which gives the description, weight and country of origin. The container is ‘said to contain’ those goods which is almost always sufficient as they are customs cleared, weighed and sealed at the port of origin. Containers are occasionally x-rayed if there is any doubt but very rarely opened for physical inspection. How do they know the goods comply with EU standards? They don’t – and it doesn’t matter, as that’s a problem for the importer when he tries to sell them. HMRC only want to know how much duty and VAT to charge.

    Having traded for decades with more than 60 countries – most of them outside the EU – I can say with confidence that businesses can and do adjust to whatever the tariff, regulatory or political circumstances are at the time. When things change, business changes. Companies adjust to national priorities, not the other way round.

    All this whining about the disaster of WTO terms is just propaganda from people who should know better, as JR rightly reminds us.

  23. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Lord Lilley made similar points R4 8.10 yesterday and was very impressive against Humphries and A.N.Other, both were suitably demolished. PL at the end admonished Humphies for not submitting Remainers to such scrutiny and rigour and left him rather dumbfounded.

    • Andy
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Remainers do not need to be subjected to scrutiny. We are not remaining.

      Brexiteers do need to be subjected to scrutiny as we are Brexiting.

      To a man (or should that be to an angry old white man) they are all found wanting.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        So now you say discriminatory speech against old people and white people.
        I’m shocked

        • Zorro
          Posted November 22, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          To paparphrase someone…. ‘The call of racism is the last refuge of the modern day scoundrel’…..


  24. Know-Dice
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I think Mrs May is the walking epitome of Albert Einstein’s famous line:

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    All I can say is “Good luck with your day trip to Brussels Mrs May”….don’t expect to pull a rabbit out of this hat…of course you WILL come back wearing the “Empress’s new clothes”…but don’t expect us to believe you…

  25. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Why not give it a try?

  26. Mick
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    There is only a cliff edge because of the constant chipping away at our democracy and way of life by the dreaded Eu, coal industry gone, car industry gone, steel industry gone, fishing industry gone, if we stay in our armed forces gone, then our total freedom gone, then you would hear the snowflakes and remoaners complaining because they are getting conscripted into a Eu army, I’m not prepared to let that happen to my country and maybe millions more are of the same mind ,so just get on with it and get us out, that’s what we voted for and if that means no deal so be it , we are British we will survive on our own

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink


      ” coal industry gone, car industry gone, steel industry gone, fishing industry gone, if we stay in our armed forces gone, then our total freedom gone”

      That’s because we flogged them to the highest bidder – nothing to do with our EU membership.

      And when fishing quotas were offered to all countries our fishermen chose to sell their shares for a quick profit. Countries like Spain snapped them up.

      As for our armed forces, anything would be an improvement on the current situation where we send them into illegal US wars like Iraq and Afghanistan – little better than mercenaries – just to hang on to the (non-existent) ‘special relationship’.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Mick – yes.

    • zorro
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      As much as it is tempting to see the snowflakes being conscripted and seeking a ‘safe space’ 🤣


  27. DUNCAN
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    When will someone put Damian Collins out to pasture? This guy’s a bottom feeder of the most offensive kind as he’s continually doing the bidding of May and her Europhile lackeys

    Now Collins wants to see a GE or a second referendum should May’s surrender-capitulation-suicide agreement fall in Parliament.

    What’s his game? Is he trying to flush out Brexit Tory MPs or taint them with blame in the event of the agreement being rejected?

    Well, 18m voters want the agreement to be voted down.

  28. Peter
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately media spin has been so successful in promoting the idea of a ‘cliff edge’ and ‘crashing out’ that it is never discussed at length. Failure to prepare for WTO is used by the culprits’ allies as another reason not to proceed with it.

    Currently May seems to be in the ascendancy. No 48 letters. No pizza 5 resignations. No serious discussion of WTO.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Peter – Agree with that. So much talk of ‘catastrophic ‘ which is never explained and never asked to be explained by any interviewer.

      In PMQs today TM ‘explains’ that the £39bn is for previously committed legal obligations, not for anything after Brexit which contradicts JR’s many statements that the UK need pay nothing, no legal obligations.

      Who is right?

      • Dennis
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        And these financial obligations are never spelt out and no one asks for them to be explained! It would appear that the Brexit brigade really want to remain in the EU as they are hopeless in their PR – never enlightening the Remainers nonsense, at least on TV and radio – I don’t read newspapers, no time for that.

        Even Farage, after more than 2 years, still does not understand the bus poster and as Boris has not enlightened the public I doubt he knows either

      • vera
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May has already shown she is prepared to lie to get her way. She hasn’t said that about the £39billion before so I guess it’s just another lie. After all when she tells lies, tries to sell to us that black is white even when it is spelled out in front of us that this is not so, she will not bother telling a small lie about the £39billion, why would she? Destroyer May has destroyed her own credibility, she is finished whatever happens. She’s well on the way to destroying the Tory party, who would believe a Tory PM again? And she has the destruction of UK in her sights. It is just so incredible we have this evil woman as our PM. This is the unintended consequence of Gove’s stabbing Boris. Whatever Boris’s failings he would have made a far better PM than this evil woman, and I am sure we would not be in this chaotic position now.

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The only cliff edge is for the Conservative Party. We were fooled into voting May for Brexit, and we were robbed. 17,4 million never to vote Conservative again.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative party will have to do something pretty damn special in the next couple of months to change the minds of millions. T May has so discredited the party that it is quite unbelievable that her colleagues will still support her. Surely they must see by now that she is doing their livelihood no good? Surely they can’t ALL be in thrall to the execrable EU? Surely they haven’t ALL failed to read this ‘agreement’?

      What price loyalty to one’s country?

      • Mark B
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        Once her ‘usefulness’ (sic) is no longer needed and she is seen no more than a liability, she will either be asked to resign or, pushed out.

  30. ChrisS
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I agree with you but, Remainer forces in Parliament, business and the media have ensured that we lost the argument over “No Deal”, the very title of which is a misrepresentation of the facts.

    I think that this has been understood in Brussels for some months and it made our negotiating position considerably weaker. There is no doubt that Remainer establishment have undermined Brexit and brought us to the position where the only deal available is an extremely poor one. The duplicitous behaviour of Mrs May and Robbins has made things considerably worse.

    Without a Brexit-orientated PM and Cabinet, renegotiation is going to be impossible.
    Brexiteers therefore have some hard decisions to make. Failure to back the deal could well cost us Brexit and the establishment will have won.

    A future government made up of proper Conservatives can go back and insist on some changes if it does work out extremely badly. If so, there would then be public support to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement.

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      PS : Mrs May must be considerably bolstered by having arch-Remainer Amber Rudd back in Cabinet replacing Brexiteer Esther McVey.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Chris’s. Amber Rudd being lined up for the new PM job? Perish the thought.

      • Stred
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        Roland ButterUp Rudd has joined his sister Amber in lobbying for a People’s Vote. The one before didn’t count because it was won by old bigots, who are not eligible as people.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    All part of the propaganda war which those who oppose Brexit have been fighting since the referendum result was announced. We now find ourselves in a position where our government, which has no confidence in this country’s future outside the EU, has agreed to accept vassal state status and then effectively tells those of us who do believe in independence and self-governance that if we don’t like their capitulation we can stay in the EU. Only the DUP seem to have the courage of their convictions.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      As I’ve said, and I truly believe- any MP who still styles themselves as a ‘remainer’ has no honour.
      The country’s vote was for leave. Therefore they should ALL style themselves ‘leavers’ and be working for that end.
      I cannot believe we have so many dishonourable people in Parliament.

  32. Alastair Harris
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    There is clearly a lot of shorthand used as a stick to stop brexit. Not lazy analysis. Just project fear propaganda which has been convincingly debunked. But there is no real analysis of what might happen if the toxic deal is successful. The idea that the people of this country will just roll over and accept vassaldom. Accept our political leaders ignoring democracy. This is laughable. We have a proud tradition of standing up for rights, often st great personal cost. Just remember the deprivations that some women accepted to get the vote. We are naturally a law abiding lot, but there is a tipping point. And it has to be said. Large scale civil disruption will come at a price!

  33. Bob
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    “I suggest to the media they will be more convincing if they stick to the facts.”

    Indeed. The BBC seem to be incapable of challenging even the most ludicrous Remainer scare stories or to be critical of the EU in any way.

    The prediction by Nigel Farage that the EU were forming their own military was dismissed live on TV by Nick Clegg, but now that Nigel has been proved to be correct, the BBC is silent on the issue.

    • Chris
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I would say that Nigel has been proved correct on all the key issues.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Censorship by omission.

      A bit like here sometimes😘

  34. isp001
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Find me some companies publicly stating that they have not prepared properly for no-deal…..and I can find you some companies that will be the target of shareholder lawsuits or activist campaigns for management incompetence.

    As you say, would be nice if interviewers actually pushed on this point.

  35. ian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Why the people have to pay out billions and giveaway their country so they sit around doing nothing, they live off the backs of the people as it is, refusing to do some paperwork and thinking to help the people out.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The country voted to leave because a majority in the UK felt it was better in the long run to be able to elect and remove those who govern us and a short term economic downturn and some possible initial muddle was worth it in order to be a free and sovereign country.

    The strong remain forces in the UK who hold the power in government/Parliament, the media and corporate business, may well manage to highjack the clear people’s referendum result to leave (64:36 by constituencies) so that we become a vassal state/colony of the EU or even cancel Brexit altogether (“in the national interest”).

    But then they need to realise that this will not bring long-term stability to the country as disadvantageous and unwanted directives, laws and regulations pour in from the EU over which we have no control as the EU expands its territory and authority.

  37. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Because they have a hidden agenda and want to stay in the EU they will say anything to scare the public. Staying in will benefit only a minority of businesses but it’s always the ones with union representation or big money behind them that get their way. It’s the smaller businesses that lose out. Mrs May has stated categorically that we will not leave without a deal. In other words, we’re not leaving.

    • John C.
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      What’s “hidden” about it? It’s very clear and has been for a couple of years that they are determined to keep us under the orders of the EU.

    • James
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Can anyone comment on how exactly the £39 billion figure is arrived at?

  38. henryS
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It’s bad enough leaving but if we leave without a withdrawal agreement, ‘the crash’, we will bring the house down. ‘JIT’- as manufacturers and business people know it will be gone, and the problems won’t be in Dover but in Calais. it will mean a shift from R0-Ro to container traffic ie. via Felixstowe to Rotterdam/Antwerp. So instead of 24 hrs JIT we will have say 4 -7 days JIT. The government, any government, can huff and can puff about any of this but it is the pissed off customs and other officials at the front line in the various ports that will dictate JIT times

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Dr Redwood addresses these concerns in his original post.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink


      I suggest you find out what JIT actually is and how it works. I also would suggest you come up with a reason to explain how companies NOT in the EU 27 manage JIT . In fact Japan invented JIT and as far as I can tell they’ve never been a member of the EU

      Oh and I’m a businessman , I export and import and its just as easy if not easier to do it with non EU countries . Global frictionless trade has been a thing for quite a while thanks to technology

  39. LED
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    May is looking in Junckers eyes and asking, have I done good? I can read her mind, can you?

    • Stred
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      I see the Mail is calling MPs who want to uphold the manifesto and refetendum ‘saboteurs’. It appears that Sir Clegg’s insurgent gang have won.

  40. Edwardm
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Agree. Companies survive by being agile and adapting to changes in the trading market. I do not understand why some (but not all) companies are pathologically attached to the EU – a form of Stockholm Syndrome which also applies to Remoaners – and are averse to the opportunities that await outside the EU regulatory system. They should instead be pushing for leaner and better regulation outside the EU, and good deals with the rest of the world.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Whilst we are still in the Single Market, companies trading in the EU get their tariffs paid by the taxpayer. They also benefit from cheap Eastern European labour.
      They can also lobby the Brussels commissariat to steer the direction of regulation in favour of themselves to detriment of those companies who trade outside the EU.

  41. William Long
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I am afraid the media will always be reluctant to spoil a good story with the truth and big business loves the regulatory protective set up the EU provides. More difficult to understand is why the Government does nothing to counter, that is if they really, as they say, want us to leave.

    • John C.
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      It’s not difficult : they don’t.

  42. rose
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    All of this is very true. It is also the case that the people in the West Midlands are amply suited to making these components and willing.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes! We are!

  43. Kenneth
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The remain propaganda is characterised by it use of the abstract.

    Delays at ports: Why? How?

    Hard NI border: Why? How?

    JIT disruption: Why? How?

    The propagandists dare not get into any detail for if they did, their messages would unravel.

    Yesterday’s ERG press conference did get into some fine detail and debunked the myths. Sadly, the BBC did not report it.

    From the BBC’s point of view – and the PM’s – facts would spoil the message.

    • Andy
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary. The BBC had live coverage of the car crash ERG news conference.

      We all got to watch the goons in action.

  44. NigL
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    It would now seem HMG has decided that No Deal will not be an option, threatening a potential second referendum presumably to blackmail MPs into accepting any deal.

    What happened to ‘no deal is better than a bad one’? Another of Mays untruths?

    • Chris
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      She seems to have racked them up at an incredible speed. That is one thing that she has “excelled” in. She has taken the reputation for honesty and integrity in government to new depths. I did not think anyone could have been worse than Blair et al, but I have been proved wrong.

      What is also beyond belief is that she does not seem to think it matters to lie and deceive e.g. the covert operations against both Davis and Raab, the untruthful statements on Brexit given to reassure wavering Brexiter MPs/a hugely worried public.

    • Steve
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


      “What happened to ‘no deal is better than a bad one’? Another of Mays untruths?”

      No need to beat about the bush………the woman is a filthy liar.

      • Chris
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        What you have said is true, and what an incredible state of affairs. Added to that, her fellow MPs look on and do not denounce these lies and actively support her/vote for her. Look at the Cabinet for starters. To me it is a desperately serious situation where the PM of this country lies repeatedly on air, in writing, and so on, plus mounts covert operations on two successive Cabinet ministers specifically in order to undermine them and our Brexit deal. I can call it nothing other than treachery to our country and the electorate.

  45. Local Lad
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Another “slogan” which needs to be repudiated is that which Mrs May uses frequently – “saving jobs”. We must counter this with “creating jobs” as a result of our increased trading with the big world outside the EU.

    • zorro
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      We saved jobs by voting leave and creating jobs! The figures don’t lie unlike the remainer fantasy threats before the vote….


  46. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    May presses on obsessively with her death wish plan to surrender to a foreign power, within a day or so of one of its proponents expressing his desire for the creation of a European Empire. If May gets her traitors wish and parliament lets her we will become its slave state.

    It’s not surprising she is being allowed to get away with it as we as a nation seem to have accepted subservience and dependence as a way of life. All anyone seems to want to think and talk about, politicians, the media, business and people in general is the importation of goods – for our comfort and convenience. Rarely a word about making things and selling them. If we don’t stop May and her odious plan and also start making more than we buy we deserve to be slaves, and a laughing stock of the world, to be kicked around by the EU empire.

  47. Atlas
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Well, given what you say John, let us hope that MPs can resist Government spin and Whips pressure and vote down May’s ‘deal’…

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Atlas. With the amount of dishonest politicians in parliament at the moment I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they all voted for any deal.

  48. ian wragg
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Discussion of the cliff edge is academic John because the majority in Westminster are going to vote for Vassal statehood which May is proposing.
    Today she says she won’t get us locked into a Customs Union but the now 20 page outline on future relationship says otherwise.
    The whole FTA is going to be based on us remaining in the CU and Common i.e. EU rule book including annual payments for the pleasure.
    Little has been said about what remaining in a CU with Brussels entails when they can negotiate an FTA with a third country, we are obliged to import their goods tariff free, but there is no obligation for them to allow us free access to their markets as we are not in the EU.
    When you do vote for the May agreement, you become totally exposed as the Quislings you are and hopefully at the next election something like UKIP on steroids will annihilate your party.

  49. Robert Cale
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Those of us old enough to remember a time when we weren’t ensnared by Europe recall close to full employment, a stronger international influence, and a more confident society that wasn’t the sick man of Europe looking to the continent in envy. After the national asset stripping of the EU it may well take us a generation to get back to where we were but the talk of a cliff-edge crash is dishonest propaganda.

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Instead of waxing nostalgic I recommend that you view a few films/tv programmes from pre EU membership days. It might remind you what the decades of the 50’/60s/70s/ were REALLY like.

      No comparison to today’s happy, free, well fed citizens.

      • L Jones
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Oh, really, Margaret. You have a strange idea of history. Some people here actually LIVED through days. Perhaps you thought they were all dead and gone? No. I know quite a few who will find your comments risible.

        Have you noticed that the media can always find films/tv programmes to suit their agenda? Not QUITE what those days were ”REALLY like”. Do a bit more research (not on Facebook) and learn a bit more. You may even be pleasantly surprised. (Unless you don’t find your argument’s being defeated ”pleasant”.)

      • zorro
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        yawn 😴


      • Richard1
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Margaret Thatcher for transforming the UK economy.

        • margaret howard
          Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          Yes, through EU membership. She was a passionate supporter during the 1975 referendum going as far as wearing a special jumper showing all EU member flags.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink


            She was a supporter of the Common Market a club of 6 countries who formed a trading pact. We were nearly all fans of that at the time

            Its what happened after that which we all object too

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Fine but that is due to improvement in technology over the decades (despite the lunacy of the EU). Nothing to with the benefits (if any) conferred by the EU.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Simple human progress
        Happened in non eu nations too.
        Through peace to prosperity.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        margaret howard

        That would be the 50’s of “We’ve never had it so good”

        You need to go read some history books

        Oh by the way the 50, 60 70 were when the UK and the US were inventing and developing the technology that you all now take for granted

  50. Bob
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Tory Remainers are trying to ride two horses by saying that if Mrs May’s surrender treaty isn’t ratified by Parliament then Brexit may not happen at all, and on the other hand that it will result it a no deal Brexit.

    Surely, No Deal is the default position on 29/3/2019?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      All she can do is request and extension. If the rEU27 agree then come the EU parlimentary elections UKIP will wipe the Tories out. That will cost the Tories a lot of money and would lead to further pressure on the PM to resign.

    • old salt
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Very briefly – I heard the default position is the status quo! Please tell me I am wrong.
      On the other hand it is beginning to sound like we would be better off IN rather than under pay and obey.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Clearly any MP suggesting otherwise is antidemocratic and deserves to be ousted from their seat forthwith.

    • Steve
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


      “Surely, No Deal is the default position on 29/3/2019?”

      Indeed so, regardless of what the quislings in government claim.

      • mancunius
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        I surmise that if we head for a no-deal May and her cohort will treat it as some unfair and unforseen event foisted on them by ‘extremist Leave bigots’…
        And that it’s so unfair, as the country is so utterly unprepared… 🙂

        Their aim will be to create the maximum chaos by conspiring with the EU to make as much disruption as possible, and blame Leavers for it.

        Reason no. 56,927 why May cannot be safely left in office a moment longer.
        The DUP’s letterboxes must be full by now with pleas for them to pull the plug, as Tory brexiters evidently do not have the will to do so.

  51. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Just on supply chains, BMW manufactures outside the EU in the USA, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Japan and Mexico.

    And UK is supposed to present a particular difficulty!!!

  52. Chris
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The Remainers have already won the propaganda war as there was no rebuttal unit in place to dismiss the Project Fear claims. A few odd claims from Tory Brexiters after the Referendum, all apparently operating within different little groups, were totally ineffective simply because they could not apparently get themselves organised into a proper and effective rebuttal unit. The government should have provided the rebuttals, but as May was intent on us not effectively leaving presumably that is why she didn’t set up a rebuttal unit.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Chris – totally agree.

    • John C.
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      All the problems which are swirling around us can be traced back to the fact that May is a Remainer, and is, to put it kindly, unenthusiastic about leaving.

  53. Christopher
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    May’s deal is ‘no Brexit’

  54. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    If it’s true that there are only around 20 letters sent to the ERG then that would mean your fellow MP’s have been lying to you and others about their intentions. Yours is a truly split party with no moral substance and in effect stabbing each other in the backs. How low can they all get?

    • Chris
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      The public has not missed anything, and I believe their revenge at the ballot box will be lethal to the Tories.

    • ferdinand
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Intentions can always lead to action

    • James
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      I trust we have enough men and women in Parliament who have the brains to recognise the profound dangers within the drafted withdrawal agreement. I also trust that enough of them will have the guts to stand up for our freedom and sovereignty. Freedom and sovereignty cannot be “pooled”. Either we are free and sovereign or we are not.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink


        Sadly we dont

  55. AdamG
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I do enjoy reading your views and you make a very convincing case for a no-deal exit in March 2019.
    I would be interested in knowing, and perhaps you have already posted this, on how you see the UK dealing with exit in terms of the non-trade agreements with the EU (such as police cooperation etc.)? Do you see it necessary for an agreement to be negotiated in the next few months or is there a fallback plan that would kick-in without such signed agreement?


    Reply If we make clear we are leaving anyway there could be mutual co operation on these issues

  56. Andy
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The media has done lots of reporting from borders.

    They have reported from Norway / Sweden – where they found bureaucracy and delays.

    They have reported from Switzerland / Germany – where they found bureaucracy and delays.

    They have repeated from US / Canada – where they found bureaucracy and delay.

    Now, some of the paperwork they found is simple and takes a few minutes to complete. Some of the delays are short – 10 minutes or less.

    But the point is that these are things businesses here do not have to deal with now when dealing with the EU – and extra bits at bureaucracy and delay add cost. The question is not if it will add costs the question is how much.

    It is fundamentally dishonest of Tory Brexiteers to dispute this economic certainty.

    The ERG would have more credibility if you engaged with actual facts.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      So 10 minutes or less…is your claim.
      On a journey across hundreds of miles of Europe.
      Just stopping for a coffee and a comfort break could delay you more.
      Just an accident or broken down vehicle could delay your more.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink


      Hey guess what YOURE WRONG

      For instance apart from proscribed agricultural goods etc the process for shipping goods from Canada to USA is remarkably similar to INTRASTAT

      Goods normally cross the border using the “Formal Customs Procedure” via a customs broker and bonded warehouse

      “Informal Entry procedure ” is for low value goods and requires no customs brokerage

      This childish belief that you just load up a lorry and drive to France or Belgium and they just wave you through is typical of the kind of drivel we have to put up with. There is LOTS of paperwork to fill in to ship goods to the EU. Just like anywhere else in the world. Technology replaced the reasons behind the Single Market being needed

  57. LED
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry Brexiteers, apparently Mrs May is in Brussels now, responding to her critics by fighting to the death for last minute concessions, giving her all to get the best deal possible for the UK.

    It could be quite comical. I imagine her knocking on Juncker’s door, marching in, the two of them sitting opposite each other looking grim and determined, then after a few seconds bursting into laughter. They then get out a pack of cards and play knock out whist for the next 10 hours, while emptying several bottles of plonk. She emerges in the early hours bleary eyed and exhausted, heads to the waiting microphones and announces a microscopic and meaningless pre-arranged ‘concession’ that she has pluckily managed to win against all the odds from the big Brussels bullies. E.g:

    ‘We have it in writing that if the UK ever request to exit from the backstop, the EU will give it serious consideration’.

    The sycophantic press go into overdrive – Hurray for Theresa! – and the whips are charged up for a renewed round of bribery and intimidation.

    Alan Bennet could write it up beautifully.

    Well, it would be comical, if it weren’t all so tragic.

  58. mancunius
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I see that today May is claiming that if Parliament does not vote her Brussels agreement through, there would be no brexit at all.
    Difficult to see how she can arrange for there to be no brexit, except by extending Art. 50 and holding a second referendum.
    I’ve suspected for a while that this is her true intention, despite her assurances.

  59. Everhopeful
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Successive PMs rushing off to Brussels to sign secretl stuff, binding us ever closer to the EU. “ Democracy” ( whatever that is) could never be allowed get in the way.

  60. Andrew Cullen
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    It is essential for the future of Britain that Tory MPs deliver on their BREXIT policy statements during the Referendum, because to remain in the EU – as would happen if the current draft Withdrawal Agreement is passed – will mean the final demise of the country as it slides into permanent vassal status and supinely is picked to the bone with EU tax increases.

    That means, PM May must go. She has proven a craven negotiator. Also, a blatant denier of the great opportunities that arise from regaining our sovereignty and so controls over all areas of government policy, not just trade.

    It seems that the “Leave” Tory MPs have neither the courage nor the unity to face down the PM now. Time is running out, so if they will not fire her then the bill must be voted down in the Chamber. That is numerically possible if Labour MPs also voted against.

    Either way, it surely is urgent that there is a concerted campaign of pro-BREXIT education and pursuasion to be conducted against the MSN by well-briefed Leave MPs. Messrs Redwood and Lilley plus other heavy hitters – “cometh the hour, cometh…”

    Please get to it. 17.4 million voters’ trust is at stake.

  61. ferdinand
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Having been involved in several takeovers, the kind of reactions of today’s Remain businessmen is similar to those whose companies were being taken over. The principle quality of most of the boards was fear and lethargy. Anything that upsets the routine was anathema to them; their comfort was paramount. Noticeably one or two belonged to the CBI

  62. Iain Moore
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I heard that there were provisions in the WTO terms that allowed for a 10 year transition to equalise tariffs. If correct its a cliff edge of 10 years , so not the shock remainers like to claim.

  63. ian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Leaving on 29th of March 2019 without a deal is ok, the reason is that neither side can afford to do anything in case of lost GDP and jobs, tariffs might come in but not right away, anything that upsets trade when the UK leave will not be allowed to happen, what might happen is a court case on the money they say we own them. The fear of going into recession is to great hear and in Europe. GDP in Europe 0.2.

  64. Mike Neumann
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    WTO rules is not a step into the unknown. The UK already trades with over 100 countries around the world under WTO. It would be a step into the familiar. If the UK does not impose tariffs on imports then there is every chance that it will benefit outside of the EU, and that’s before considering the rather considerable saving of Euro 39 bln.

    • Helena
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Simply untrue. The Uk does not trade with one single country under WTO. No country trades under WTO, because it is such a lousy status. All countries do separate deals – the EU does 100s of them, but the Uk loses them all on Brexit day, and has not negotiated one single new deal yet. And there are just 4 months to go. You Brexiters have been let down by your donkey leaders

      • Stred
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Which university are you in?

      • Edward2
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        That is so wrong it is ridiculous helrna.
        Do some research.
        Stop making things up.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


        Oh dear , you just dont know anything do you


        With regard to tariffs, the UK trades with 24 countries and territories under WTO rules alone.

        Heres a list of them

        Hong Kong
        New Zealand
        Saudi Arabia

        As you dont have a clue what you voted for you should know that the EU also trades under WTO with 24 countries too

        You also won’t know that when the UK leaves the EU

        These will be the 3 biggest export markets for the EU

        1) USA – No trade deal trades under WTO

        2) UK – So far no trade deal

        3) China – No trade deal trades under WTO

  65. margaret
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Taking into account logistics it may be considered that there could be ‘I told you so groups’ who would deliberately put spanners in several works.

  66. Bob
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Ken Clarke and Iain Duncan-Smith are backing Mrs May’s surrender treaty.
    Tories eh!

  67. DougM
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Even if we throw open the port of Dover and make it a free port.. ie. no checks or no oversight whatsoever.. even then, there is no guarantee that we won’t face serious and worsening delays happening from the EU side that will in a short time snarl everything up, both sides of the channel.. JIT will certainly not be there, goods will arrive when they arrive, so how is the government going to control that..the truth is we have absolutely no idea as to how things will be if we leave in a disorderly manner and it’s reckless to be advocating that there will be no Cliff edge

    • libertarian
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


      Less than 6% of Freight traffic goes through Dover/Calais . You also dont know what a JIT system is

      Its laughable how all the Remainers have suddenly become Supply Chain Logistics experts. In fact you are all just gullible believers in what “your betters” tell you

  68. Steve
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Just watch….she’ll come back from HQ with a big smirk on her face, and everything from the kitchen sink to British territorial waters will have been given away.

    She won’t care less either…….she’s lined up for a top number with the EU.

  69. Steve
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink


    “If it’s true that there are only around 20 letters sent to the ERG”

    It’s the 1922 committee, not the ERG.

    However something stinks about the number of these letters. Then again anything about government which is ‘secret’ usually is secret because it stinks.

  70. ian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Looks like the EU is going to have more trouble with 27 than had with MAY GOV surrender.

    • mancunius
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Ian, when did the EU ever have any real trouble in pushing through treaties? Any objectors will be bought off with bribes and quid pro quos (that we shall be paying for) or they will be assured that a bit of cunning and manipulative drafting will be enlisted to ensure their demands will be eventually satisfied.

      It’s not as if any of the 27 are going to make the mistake of consulting their own peoples in a ballot… That ‘mistake’ was made for the last time in June 2016.

      • margaret howard
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink


        “Any objectors will be bought off with bribes and quid pro quos”

        Like our own dear MPs in fact. If bribes don’t work the whips will threaten any recalcitrant member with career collapse, not being kicked upstairs to while away their last years in affluent retirement and a title for the good lady back home. If these aren’t enough I believe there are little black books listing all past misdemeaners.

        Don’t you just love democracy!

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Ha,ha Margaret. You don’t want to recognize democracy because you want to over turn the democratic referendum results.

  71. George
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    May told Corbyn in PMQs there’s a risk of “No Brexit” but 10 mins later tells Esther McVey we “will leave EU on 29 March 2019” — “come what may”.

    Those two statements are contradictory. She does not even recognise when she is contradicting herself.

    I do hope she has not LIED to Parliament. There would be and should be consequences.

  72. Dennis
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Damian Hinds, et al, say that in negotiations one does not get all that one wants. Has anyone said what the EU did not get what it wants? Does anyone know please?

  73. Andrew Cullen
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I have posted only twice to this site, the latest today with a reasoned, short and relevant comment. Both times I see that my contribution evaporates.

    So is there any transparency on this website as to what is accepted and what is not ?

    I would appreciate to understand the criteria.

    Absent some transparency, I conclude that there is none.

    I thought that the tradition of the Conservative Party was to be a “broach church” ?

    Not a term that is determinant, but nonetheles one that is a baseline for inclusion.

  74. Simon
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    More unwarranted optimism completely unsupported by any proper facts. Absolute nonsense like the entire Facts not Friction document. We are quite shortly going to find out who is right and who has been persistently lying.

  75. ian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Look like both sides want to cancel Brexit now and go back to the status quo. Both sides are bottling it.

  76. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    The point T May doesn’t get is that either a WTO arrangement or not leaving for now is better than her deal.

    Infact a WTO deal is the only way now for the Tories to avoid oblivion.

    Not leaving for now gives ERG the chance to form a new party with UKIP sensible, wipe the Tories out and show May how it should have been done.

    • Monza 71
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      While I support the objectives of the ERG, forming a new party with Nigel Farage (because, let’s face it, Nigel IS UKIP) will put Corbyn, McDonnell and their Momentum pals into Downing Street for a decade or more.

      By the time this rag-bag bunch of communist fellow travellers have finished worked their Marxist Magic on our economy, we would be in a similar situation to Venezuela.

      That is most definitely not the answer.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Monza Any party could do a lot worse than have Farage with them. He is the only person in the whole of this mess to tell it as it is. Nothing Farage has said has been a lie, unlike alot of other politicians. I’d rather trust him than Corbyn who cannot give us a clear idea of where the Labour party stands over this mess.

  77. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if May has considered she may be writing the epitaph of the Conservative Party. I would say a lot of the 17.4 million will never vote for, nor trust, the Tories again. I don’t care how much of a Tory Europhile you are, is it worth destroying the party for.

  78. ian
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    They both have cold feet on the Economy and stock market jitters.

  79. Mick
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
    Enough is enough let’s just bloody well leave I’m probably not the only one getting pretty pi££Ed off with all this BS , 17.4 million people mainly north of the Watford gap knew what is best for our country and not a handful of toffs down in London along with all the southern snowflakes , stitch us up and all Tory /labour/liberal/green/ Plaid Cymru remoaners mps will be picking up there p45s come the next GE

  80. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    What is lacking are declarations from the European Commission and the French Government and French Trade Unions that they won’t act out of malice, cutting off their noses to spite their faces. They are perfectly capable of attempting to punish the UK for exiting the EU, even if it results in retaliation.

    We need to make it a condition of paying that £39 billion bung that the EU treats us decently. Examples of not treating us decently would be:
    – Imposing non-tariff barriers (delays etc) on our exports to the EU
    – Kicking us off the Galileo project
    – Trying to charge us for joint security when we are the main providers of security

    Any resulting economic damage to the UK would be evaluated by us alone, without negotiation with the EU and without recourse to arbitration. The amount(s) of damage would be deducted from the bung, which would be paid in annual instalments in arrears.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      Membership of the Galileo project is a trap set recently by Mr. Barnier when he said the UK could receive the PRS (encrypted) signal but that “UK-based firms would be excluded from building modules for the secure signal”.

      In a recent (21/09/2018) BBC R4 Hardtalk interview the CEO of the UK Space Agency, Mr. Graham Turnock, said that we “must have deep industrial participation in order to enable us to verify the security capabilities of the system”

      That is to be able to guarantee continued access to the signal or to be able to verify its authenticity.

  81. Communists everywher
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Well it turned out to be easier leaving the Soviet Union for most than leaving the EU.

  82. David Taylor
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr redwood ,
    I am pleased that you point out the needless hyperbole advanced by various sources in regard to the supposed dangers of leaving the EU .
    The EUs own regulation say it trades with non EU states under WTO rules .
    best regards
    David Taylor

  83. ian
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel is pulling the plug, she not going to risk a vote in parliament if she thinks it cannot be won the first time around for a surrender to her, a vote against the deal would mean a no deal Brexit or a second vote and won’t risk second with the British people on the ground it went wrong last time, so back to status quo with joining the euro after 2021 with harmonising VAT at new upper level and company tax at new upper level say 22% VAT and 24% for companies and other things in the 28 EU members tax codes.

  84. ian
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Also, Mrs May and her Gov say they won’t have any no deal Brexit.

  85. Chris S
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    For once Corbyn is right : 26 pages of waffle.

    Can there be anyone left in the UK who doesn’t believe we are being led all the way up the garden path in return for at least £39bn ?

    The likelihood is that it will be closer to £69bn when May extends the Transition by two years and they refuse to continue our rebate.

    Incompetent, naive, stupid, duplicitous and treacherous are all terms that spring to mind in describing the Prime Minister’s conduct over these so-called negotiations.

    This will be a disaster because at immense cost we will simply have to accept whatever crumbs the EU choose to give us. Without holding back the money or the freedom to walk away, we will have no ammuntion left in our armoury.

    How could this bloody woman have brought us to this position ????

  86. GregH
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Why do you say there is no cliff edge..what the PM has announced in the House this afternoon is is the Vassal state

  • 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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