The economics of leaving on March 29, 2019 with no Withdrawal Agreement

The economic gains and problems with 29 March 2019 departure from the EU

Fiscal stimulus
Positive second round effects of affordable tax cuts
Advantages from extra public spending
Lower tariffs on non EU trade
Confidence boost from ending Brexit uncertainty
Substitution effect for home production as a result of tariffs on EU sales into UK

Friction at borders?
Non co-operation by some continental authorities?
Loss of confidence?

Why several scare stories are untrue

• Planes will fly
• EU companies will still be exporting food and medicines to the UK
• UK port authorities do not need to create new checks and delays
• Where paperwork is incomplete trade will continue – as with the EU’s failure to lodge a compliant schedule with the WTO

Fiscal stimulus

• Spend most of the £39bn cost of the Withdrawal Agreement in the first two years
• This will provide a 1.8% stimulus to GDP, or 0.9% a year

Second round effect of tax cuts

• Take VED back to pre 2017 levels and drop special diesel taxes. This should lead to a 15% gain in car sales and domestic output.
• Take Stamp Duties where currently higher back to pre 2016 levels. This should provide a stimulus to transactions in the housing market.
• Cut Income Tax to 18%, providing a general boost to take home pay and consumption.
• Estimated second round effects 0.2% of GDP

Public service improvement

• Extra recruitment into NHS, education and police
• Additional investment money into transport

Estimated little additional boost above fiscal stimulus counted above


If we adopted the EU tariff schedule for all EU as well as non EU items we would collect an additional £13bn of annual revenue. This should be given back as tax cuts for the consumers.

Better to cut the average EU tariff when imposing it as our tariff on the whole world.

1. Remove all tariffs from intermediate goods needed for UK manufacturing
2. Remove all tariffs that collect little revenue, or are at low rates
3. Cut or remove all food tariffs on food items we cannot grow for ourselves
4. Reduce food tariffs on non EU food that we can grow to a more realistic level when imposing it globally

Confidence effects

Business claims the uncertainty over what our future trading arrangements and tariffs will look like is holding back investment.

Early resolution should bring forward delayed investment. The extent of this has been exaggerated, but let us estimate a modest 0.2% gain to GDP from this source.

Trade friction on imports

• Imports are two thirds of our EU trade
• Trucks arrive at Dover full of goods – about half of these make the return crossing to Calais empty
• There is no need to place new inspections or complex customs arrangements on our borders in our ports, as we control these entrances to the UK.
• In the first instance, the UK can continue importing EU products as today, with an inspection regime at the factory or packing house of the originator, and inspection at the customer facility on arrival
• If the UK does want more port inspection in due course, this can be introduced with sufficient capacity to avoid long extra delays
• Cross channel traffic by ferry or tunnel could have new inspections in transit on board the train or ferry
• Exporters to the UK are not threatening to cancel supply on 30 March
• Most have contractual obligations to continue supplying after 29 March which are legally enforceable. It is difficult to see why this should cause extra costs to the UK.

JIT Delays

• JIT systems regularly deal with delays or long journey times
• Were transit times to go up the supplier would just be told to send it earlier
• There need to be no extra delays at UK ports importing the goods
• JIT is more susceptible to disruption through strikes / bad weather / crashes on main motorways / disruption to ferries or trains. This hits trade from within the EU as well as from outside whether we are members of the EU or not.

Export friction or loss

• The base case is continental customers will want UK exports on 30 March as on 29 March, and many are contracted to carry on buying them
• Tariffs will make mainly UK food and cars dearer, but they will make EU cars and food dearer into the UK
• Over half our EU trade will be tariff free on the EU’s schedule
• The high food tariff and car tariff is likely to reduce imports more than exports given the large imbalance in trade in these two categories
• It will lead to more domestic production for the home market
• On a worse case there could be loss of 0.6% per annum of GDP from less exports, partially compensated by a gain of say 0.3% of GDP from more home substitution for imports


• The pound fell against the dollar and the Euro in the eighteen months before the referendum, and was marked down on the result
• Its future from here will be more determined by relative money policy and interest rates than by Brexit news. It has been relatively stable in the last few weeks when the odds of no Withdrawal Agreement have risen.
• The UK still has a competitive advantage from the lower values of the pound since 2015.
• The balance of payments will get a good boost from ending EU contributions which will help the pound.

Summary of Effects

Annual as a percentage of GDP, years 1 and 2 after Brexit on 29 March 2019

Fiscal stimulus +0.9
Secondary benefits of tax cuts +0.2
Confidence effects from ending uncertainty +0.2%
Worst case export loss -0.6%
Import substitution offset +0.3%

Total net gains +1.0% per annum

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  1. Philip Stephens
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Redwood for Chancellor!

    • sm
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Philip – yes please!

      • Hope
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        It is not incompetence. It was a deliberate deceit to collude with the EU to remain in servitude until we change our minds undertaken by May. Legal advice now shows N.Ireland would in effect be ruled by another county. May stated repeatedly no PM could countenance this. She repeatedly lied as she knew from her legal advice her plan would do exactly this but the detail disguised and hidden from the untrained legal eye. Farage is correct May is the most dishonest PM in living memory. No where to hide for the ministers who support her. Whatever happens tomorrow she cannot stay in post.

        • ian wragg
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Correct, now the ECJ has ruled that we can revoke Article 50, wait for the clamour for that.
          She is a traitor and must go.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          As May has repeatedly and clearly said the vote will take place tomorrow my assumption is that it won’t.

    • eeyore
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Hear hear! And JRM at the FO. And Boris in No 10, whipping up confidence and happiness. And Olly Robbins in Tristan da Cunha on a lifetime posting.

      • Hope
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        May has failed to get a trade deal as she promised. She is now claiming her servitude plan is the deal! Better the UK negotiate a trade deal from outside the EU without a gun to its head.

        • hefner
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          How misinformed can one be? There had never been a prospect for a trade deal before 29/03/2019. Are you following? Yes, you two, at the bottom of the class!

          • Ken
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 4:29 am | Permalink

            As misinformed as David Davis and Liam Fox? Both promised we would have a great trade deal already

          • Timaction
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            ……………..But it could have been prepared for signing the next day!

        • Caterpillar
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink


          • Hope
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Hefner, Davis claimed a trade deal would be ready to sign a nano second after we left. Which part did you not understand in basic reading? I take your comment to mean you are special needs and exempt from class placement.

      • zorro
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Send Robbins to St Helena with a pack-a-mac!!


      • Turboterrier.
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        He would be better off for everybody who cares about this country working permanently in his green house without all the retirement perks

      • Hope
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        In con home today: Last week, 25 Conservative MPs voted to give themselves and others the power to stop Brexit. After first voting to hold a referendum, and then standing on an election manifesto to deliver on the result of that referendum, these MPs have concluded that their collective wisdom is far superior than that of the 17.4 million who voted leave, or the 13 million who voted for the Conservative Party on the understanding that Brexit would be delivered. Labour MPs who voted for the same motion have also reneged on their manifesto pledge to take Britain out of the EU.

        Who could disagree with this? So Letwin Griwve and other sneed to be named and ousted by the associations. They falsely stood to be on a manifesto they now reject after a year in office. Let us not forget the distater called poll tax created by Letwin. How did that end?

        Reply I think Sir Oliver will not be standing again for election.

        • Hope
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          He should be allowed to last another four years. He he needs to be ousted now. He was the one who claimed that upholding the will of the vote more important than any issue before parliament! Good grief are there any standards left in the rotten cess pit?

          May has now pulled the plug on her own vote! Come on, what does she have to do to get sacked! May is a national embarrassment.

          Do not let her do it. Make the vote happen like JRM says.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          I would have thought he should never have been allowed to stand in the first place. Certainly not after stuffing government papers in a public rubbish bin.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Best Chancellor we never had. Never say never.

    • majorfrustration
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      gets my vote

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I feel must criticize our kind host.

    Whilst it is right that he rebuffs the negative ‘predictions’ and stories from those who wish to Remain in or, tied to the EU, he ignores the one true benefit of Leaving – Self Government.

    Self Government means creating our own laws. It means signing our own treaties. It means sitting at the top international tables in our own right whilst the rEU27 have to sit outside and wait to see what the EU Commission has negotiated for them. It means that we will finally hold those who do the above accountable for what they do and do not do. Those that are capable will stay in position or rise according to their ability. Whereas those who are not will fall by the wayside. This way, and over time, we shall both get better MP’s and Civil Serpents leading to better government and a happier and more prosperous nation.

    It is time to Leave Little EU, and join the Big Wide World !

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Well said.

      May, Hammond and Clarke do not want to leave and we are in this position because it was planned collusion with the EU not negotiation. No right minded person could agree to this deal. What did the UK get out of it?

      • John Hatfield
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Well the taxpayer gets to pay a lot of money for it!

    • Adam
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Mark B:

      Your criticism is misplaced. Self-govt is not ignored & is widely covered on this site as the highest criterion. Today’s post is focused on Economics, as its heading states, but is not at the expense of any other advantage of being free from EU diktats.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Fair point. But it is still worth repeating. 🙂

  3. Prigger
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Remainer MPs know.
    They know that if we Leave without a deal on 29th March in just a few months time and their voters are not starving to death in the months or years to the next General Election, these MPs will lose their jobs in Parliament.
    This is the reason they fear, are hysterical about, a No-Deal Brexit. Unemployment for them!And for the most part, they will be unemployable!Losers!

  4. Mick
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    A very good breakdown analysis Mr Redwood, put it in a leaflet so the government can spnd £9million on giving the true facts and deliver it to everyone, because the way it looks is we could be going for another referendum, we will need all the ammunition in our chest to fight off all the project fear from the turn coat mps/Eu/some big business , if it does happen the gloves should be off because it will be the new Battle of Britain

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Th should not be another referendum because remainers failed to act on the first. Why would anyone believe they would act on a second or third. This is an EU tactic to keep making us vote until our will is eroded. No. We take a stand . No more deliver on what you were told after you asked us. If not move aside and stand down.

  5. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you for such a concise list of the facts and the great opportunities.
    Can we now have May out and a replacement who believes in the UK.
    At the same time Hammond must obviously go.
    Please put your name in the hat for Chancellor.

  6. Ron Olden
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I can’t see how spending £39 Billion here rather than giving it to someone else (i.e. the EU) to spend, makes any ‘fiscal’ difference.

    This money starts off as sterling which comes out of the UK Taxpayers’ pocket, is borrowed from other holders of sterling, or is printed by the Bank of England.
    It gets back into circulation in the UK.

    Giving it to the EU might well pass most of the benefits of spending it to the EU, but it doesn’t make any difference to UK’s output, any more than me giving part of my income to a foreign based charity makes any difference to my own output.

    According to John Redwood’s novel theory, scrapping the Overseas Aid Budget and spending it here would also provide a ‘fiscal stimulus’, as, it appears, would people bringing the foreign investments back here.

    According to this philosophy, stopping people travelling abroad or buying things from abroad and scrapping the parts of the defence budget spent abroad would also do the same thing.

    As for some of these other things that John Redwood wants to waste money on, we might just as well hand the money over the EU in any case or just throw it in the English Channel.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      By your logic Ron, if you gave me all your money you would not be worse of because I would spend your money instead.
      Not sure that really works for you.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Reads like the old economics washing line – everyone can make a living doing each other’s laundry.

      • ian wragg
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Remainers don’t do economics.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Ron. Your post makes no sense at all. I have never read such rot. What ever you’re on, I want none of it.

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    friction at the border? how is macron in any position to make french farmers see their produce rot in calais rather than be on sale in the uk? not if he does not want to see their tractors heading towards the elysee .similarly with a cooling economy, german car makers are not in a position to see sales nosedive in the uk. mrs may can never see that we hold the trump cards.

    • Gary C
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      @ Dame Rita Webb

      Indeed, Many of us have been saying this for years.

      Unfortunately many are unable to think for themselves and see beyond the scare stories, TM and Co know this so continue to parrot the same lies which are lapped up by the easily led.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      ……….Mrs May can never see we hold the trump cards…………. really? I think she can see very well but bats for the other side with Olly and the Civil Serpents!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I had a full colour brochure flyer dropped in my letterbox last week from a German car main dealer offering discounts off their new cars, which equated to about 10% – more for anyone who can negotiate no doubt – excludes this Government need less to say.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      I’m so irritated by the hostility of the EU — for which read ‘France and Germany’ — to our push for independence that I am determined not to buy goods from either ever again. If everyone boycotted BMW etc we’d see German industry demanding a proper Brexit deal.

      Australian and Italian wine*, Japanese cars, English cheeses….

      *Barolo. Some sacrifices are too great to make.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        @ Julian Flood

        Australian and Italian wine*, Japanese cars, English cheeses….

        Nice that you mentioned English cheese but what about English wine that has come on in leaps and bounds. Japanese and and other models fine as long as they are manufactured within the UK. Instead of joining the doom and gloom brigade JLR should see this opportunity as a fantastic moment to grow their home market sales

      • Gary C
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        @ Julian Flood

        Same here, only this morning we walked away from Irish beef.

        Hopefully many others will do the same.

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink


        In fact I have not bought any French agricultural products since 1990 when French farmers set fire to one truckload of live British sheep, killing 219 of them as well as poisoning, slitting throats and dousing others with insecticide.

        I will now extend it to Irish products and I certainly wouldn’t buy a Germa car after the diesel testing emissions fraud.

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Of course Mrs. May knows we hold the trump cards with a £90bn/year trading deficit with the EU but she is a remainer determined to keep us in the SM/CU/ECJ.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Your analysis and proposals requires someone in charge who shares your beliefs and confidence. Is there that someone lurking in the wings who is in with a chance to replace May?

    It is difficult to see how the win-lose WA can be converted to a win-win outcome. That will require, I believe, a new PM and one ready to explore that possibility with EU. That said, the WA is so bad I prefer a no deal exit. A free port programme should be considered as an addition to your proposals.

    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    There are many concerns but at the top of that list is that the British people have the direct democratic mechanisms in place to hold to account those who pass laws against us and expect us to adhere to such law without us having the ability to remove those lawmakers

    At present we have laws, passed both by this grotesque PM and the rabble opposite, which are unashamedly oppressive in nature. Our freedom of expression and right to free-speech is slowly being dismantled to crush our opposition to the torrent of liberal left indoctrination

    The economics of leaving are secondary compared to the British people’s capacity and ability to impose their will upon those who inhabit a once great British symbol of democracy.

    I want to see sovereign control back in the UK. To achieve this offence to the office of PM must be deposed to save Brexit and to stall her sinister liberal left crusade

    • majorfrustration
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      What is it about sovereignty that so frightens the Remainers

      • cosmic
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        One of their arguments is that the UK government is completely incompetent, and being governed by it alone is a frightening thought After the performance of the last couple of years, and especially the present nonsense, they may have a point.

        Seriously, I see a comfort blanket being taken away as the reason for much of it. What got us into this in the first place was a curious mixture of arrogance, with the government airily assuming it knew best and was entitled to hoodwink us, coupled with a knowledge of its own incompetence, and inability to sort out the problems the UK faced.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Having to do their jobs.

    • nothappy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Yes DUNCAN they are all against us

      • M Davis
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Especially the BBC and the rest of the Media!

  10. O' Really
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    .The Remainer MPs will be looking for a job outside Parliament when we Leave and the threats to all of us starving to death are realised by people that despite being dead…. they will still vote against the Remainer MPs

  11. Bob Dixon
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Your shopping list arrives just in time (JIT) for tomorrow’s chaos in The House of Commons.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      I think it has just been postponed.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    It seems that the NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month – and has been told by the government to phase out the machines entirely by 31 March 2020.

    Typical top down government minister knows best lunacy from foolish ministers. Telling people at the coal face how to work without knowing anything at all about the coal face themselves. There may well be very good reasons to retain a fax machine for some NHS units, nursing homes and surgeries. Rather safer from data theft and often rather faster than scanning, attacking to an emailing than downloading & printing it out.

    I still have my fax and still use it occasionally when it is sometimes it is sometime the best tool to get the job done.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      My guess is that NHS people have been caught writing on wax with pointed stylii then trying to transmit it to you by fax.

      Sometimes you have to jolt people out of inefficient habits at work.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      The BMJ reported a couple of weeks ago that the NHS wastes around £2.5 billion a year from the effects of bullying and its ‘up yours’ management style. Rather than becoming Chancellor JR might like to use his business skills to reform this organisation from the top down and bring its self serving management to heel

    • Andy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Is your fax machine next to your Betamax?

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    There seem to be many vacancies in government currently; mass resignations of both brexiteers and remainers have thinned the ranks of available talent. One May loyalist who has caught my eye is the …
    member for Rochester and Chatham, Kelly Tolhurst – currently still Minister for Small Business. The lady has experience as a whip and is clearly worthy of a promotion into John Redwood’s cabinet after the coming leadership battle.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      @ Sakara Gold

      One May loyalist who has caught my eye is the …
      member for Rochester and Chatham, Kelly Tolhurst

      Fine but will she 150% commit to the brave new world we are heading for?
      I for one have had more than enough off “I voted remain but” from politicians still hedging their bets or not coming off of the fence. I she voted leave brilliant bring her on down.

    • Steve
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink


      “One May loyalist who has caught my eye is the …
      member for Rochester and Chatham, Kelly Tolhurst – currently still Minister for Small Business. The lady has experience as a whip and is clearly worthy of a promotion…”

      May loyalist ? Nope, contaminated – no good, sorry.

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Lie with dogs and you get fleas. A no from me as well. No fence sitters either, thanks.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      There are far too many Ministries for Silly Walks for my liking. Time for some serious pruning.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Indeed all good point JR, but of course a sensible non socialist, non remainer PM, a sensible Chancellor who did give us the highest taxes for forty years and spend his time running down economic confidence, firing Carney and thus making Corbyn far less likely would give a further economic boost at least as large probably larger still on top of this 1%.

  15. Maybot
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    No-one has explained satisfactorily to me why trade must come with political ties.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      The referendum result was actually a vote for No Deal. Mr Cameron had tried to do a deal and failed.

      What we did not expect was for the Tory government to say “Ah. You’ve voted Leave so this gives us good grounds to go back to the EU and negotiate a deal.”

      And then after ever hurdle, “Ah. This gives us good grounds to go back to the EU and do a deal.”

      The Leave result has been a complete revelation in so many ways.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        The Leave result has been a complete revelation in so many ways.

        Amen to that !

    • Steve
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      The two have always been linked. Also not many countries are self reliant, which suits commerce / big business etc.

      Personally I think we need to be more self sufficient, if we were then our bargaining position would be much stronger and with less likelihood of being held over a barrel by the french led EU.

      Oh dear silly me, I criticised the french again.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Go back to the Marshall Plan and the real reason for the Cold War-nothing,absolutely nothing,to do with the (non-existent) Soviet threat.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        And,indeed,why the Cold War never ended/has resumed.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      There isn’t. The reason they want to talk about trade is so that they can put the FEAR of God in you if you want to leave. Peter Shore summed it up brilliantly in 1975 at the Oxford Union Address – See YouTube

  16. Coin Hide
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Lets do it.

  17. FranzB
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Don’t know what you’re going to do if it doesn’t work out the way you would like? what you describe here are scenarios, in fact several scenarios, just like the BoE Carney scenarios.
    The plain fact of the matter is that nobody knows, It might very well be a bit of your scenarios mixed with a bit of Carney’s scenarios? If it were all so easy- I don’t know why government and parliament can’t see a way out by this time?

  18. Steve
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Good article, though you’d have to see it all through before the next general election.

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Nice summary JR – That really should be on the BBC – but of course, they akways fail to discuss reality

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s an aside but I was cheered to read that Doctor Who has lost a third of its viewers since it went PC. I hope one day to see the Conservative Party being brave enough to sell the cursed thing off.

      • cosmic
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        I was shocked to find the Beeb was so stuck in last century gender activism as to have a woman Doctor Who. They are well behind the times in sticking to a dated and frankly, offensive, gender stereotype. Surely it could have been a trans or gender fluid Doctor Who. They have to set an example for the kiddies watching.

        It’s well past time the BBC was broken up and sold off and the Telly Tax scrapped.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        TBH – most of us are sick to death of PC on the BBC – as for leading the way, it can only get worse, but I do agree the BBC is past it’s best before date and should be wound up.

        Dr Who becomes more pathetic with every glimpse I see of it – Highly unoriginal and completely lacking a real story – just bang bang special effects.

  20. David in Kent
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Please circulate this budget plan to all MPs ahead of the vote tomorrow so that they are fully informed of of the benign impact of ‘crashing out’ of the EU on WTO terms when accompanied by a sensible programme of support for the economy.
    A nice re-analysis of the BoE figures based on GDP per head by the IEUWEB for 7 Dec shows that much of the negative impact the Bank anticipates is due to their assumption of falling population.

  21. Nick O.
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you for posting this, all very clear and sensible.
    I disagree however on one main point, the benefit of the increased confidence on ending the uncertainty, which you put at 0.2% of GDP.
    I think your figure is much too low, and the benefit, from improved confidence – and the fact that we will be running our own affairs again – will be much greater than this.
    The risk, perhaps, is that such will be the inflow of investment from abroad, we will find the effects too inflationary, if anything, and will have to cut back on the proposed fiscal stimulus quite quickly.

  22. eeyore
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Completely OT, if JR will permit: the ECJ (a highly politicised court) rules that countries may unilaterally withdraw an A50 letter. This is a game changer. I hope that when Mrs May goes to Brussels this week she will ask what inducements are on offer for Britain to do this.

    I should expect at minimum a lump sum payment of £39bn to stay, without any need to account for it in detail. Sauce for the goose, after all …

    I hope too that other dissatisfied EU countries will immediately slap in their own A50 letters, demand their own concessions, screw the whey-faced fools in Brussels into the deck and then withdraw the letters. We and they could repeat the process as often as we pleased.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink


      Although the otehre EU members have seen what a mess we have made of this situation, that they have no plans of following our example

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Looks very sensible and quite simple, no wonder Our Prime Minister has not taken it up, its no where near complicated enough.

    Its a plan with sensible action points, which takes us to a better place, which includes self Government.

    Whats not to like.

  24. George Brooks
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Heaven forbid Ron Olden, which planet do you live on? The EU is going bust and we would not see a penny of that £39bn and the get dragged down with them

    Thank you JR for an excellent run down of post March 29

  25. hans christian ivers
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink


    This is about as naïve an economic forecast I have seen for a very long time, it is about as bad as some of the forecasts you accuse the remainers for.

    Let us just take out for of your predictions.

    1) We have already committed to pay the EU the £ 39 billion and nobody will trust us in the future if we now turn around o this
    2) Tax cuts, the latest tax cuts in the US has led to an increased deficit of 50% , leading to a US$ 1 trilling government deficit.
    3) We have not has any major advantages on our exports with a falling pound , our exports have grown as they have grown on average over the past two years for all European nations with the increased growth in the World.
    4) The increased production for import-substitution has to be competitive to give further growth.
    5) Imports will become more expensive and consumers will spend less, therefore less growth.

    So, the prediction of further growth in the order of !% a year, is just another dream and not realistic

    • Edward2
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      1 Wrong We have said we will pay if a deal is done.
      2 USA deficit is short term increase. Long term the excellent growth and reduced unemployment will bring that down
      3 Wrong again. Remainers like you predicted recession, huge increases in unemployment, no growth and greatly reduced exports
      None of those things have happed
      Quite the reverse.
      4 Import substitution is quite easily achieveable.
      There are many companies in thecUK able to produce goods and services given a chance to compete.
      5 If imports get more expensive others will undercut and move in thus providing opportunities for UK companies.
      Very few products have no alternatives.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Edward 2
        I am afraid your economic predictions will not survive over time,
        1) The US deficit is predicted to continue to grow also over the medium-term
        2)I am not a Remainer and I di not make those sort of predictions
        3) Import substitution of what
        4)the companies have had a chance to compete, so, why, I they not already doing it,
        5)The opportunities for undercutting already exists, so, that will not change anything.
        6) I agree most products do have alternatives

        • Edward2
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          1 I said long term so you misquote mr.
          2 import substitutions are created by fresh opportunitie
          3companies have not yet had a chance to compete. You talked about increases in costs of imports, this has not yet happened.
          4 as above
          5 as above
          6 well I am shocked.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


      Oh my word , do you not actually think anything through?

      1) No we haven’t

      2) This is the UK not the USA, completely different economies at different rates of taxation, also the USA doesn’t collect tax and give it to someone else

      3) wrong

      4) What?

      5) Drivel , protectionist markets are always more expensive

      By the way did you see the post from your fan boy Andy yesterday, didn’t notice your normal nanny telling off over what he put, do you are with him?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink


        If, you wish to have a debate on the economy then bring up the arguments instead of just giving non-meaning comments.

        thank you

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      A detailed plan is far, far better than drifting with world events. Nobody can forecast, with full accuracy, the future economic performance of the UK but our host has a track record up with the very best. You only have a history of snide remarks and bring nothing to the debate.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Jagman 84

        I brought things to the debate but you decided not to participate, that is your problem

        • NickC
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          Hans, As usual you only brought your assertions to the debate.

    • MickN
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      In answer to your point number 1 – Mrs May did say that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” and so did some in the EU, so we have not committed to pay anything. Do keep up, although it was Mrs May and she is apt to say one thing and do the complete opposite.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink


      The EU always knew that the Withdrawal Agreement would only come into effect after being approved by the EU 27 & the UK Parliament, so no commitment on the £39 Billion until both parties ratify….

    • Mark
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      1) I remind you that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So no commitment to £39bn. That’s a useful stimulus.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        £ 39 billion over two years is less than we pay to NI and much less thna the defence budget over two years, no it is not a lot of money

        • Edward2
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Well if it is not a lot of money then I vote to keep it here in the UK and spend it on our priorities.

        • NickC
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Hans, If it’s not a lot of money, then you and your Remain chums can finance it.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


            You are jumping the gun again my dear chap and I am not part of that camp either

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      UK growth rates between (i) 1968-92 and (ii) 1993-2017 (i.e. the two 25 year periods before and after the introduction of the EU single market), were
      1968-1992: 72% (2.2% per annum)
      1993-2017 51% (1.7% per annum)
      So, the prediction of further growth in the order of !% a year, is most likely correct.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        John Hatfield

        I am sorry but you have totally missed the point all industrialised countries have had much lower growth after 1970 and the post-war and that has had very little to do with the Eu as it goes for all industrialised countries (according to the World Bank), so your theory does not hang together with reality

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      The £39bn is in the withdrawal agreement which hasn’t been approved by Parliament. Do keep up !

    • Steve
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink


      But you forget one major fact; we’re British, and will graft our way out of any crisis.

      We have a spirit not many other countries can boast. We are, as Churchill described; the ‘Island Race’

      We don’t need a deal with the EU and certainly didn’t vote for one either.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        so are lots of people in the Eu the island race

      • hefner
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Have you ever considered how many non-British islanders but Commonwealth-belonging people were killed in both WWI and II? Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe just maybe the most dynamic British people are those going working abroad and not those essentially stuck in the mud here (or in Parliament for that matter)?

  26. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you on behalf of all us silver surfers for using the bold print. Very much appreciated

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      No doubt this is an acknowledgement that Brexiteers are mainly oldies whose interest in this country are in a nostalgic past.

      The future however does not belong to them but to the young.


      • Maybot
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Be sure you can handle Remain and Corbyn because that’s what you’ll be getting.

        If we not-so oldies can’t be trusted to vote then we won’t.

        We’ll leave it up to the young.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Err…we live in a democracy where anyone over 18 can vote.
        You need to come to terms with the results of voting.

      • Steve
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:06 am | Permalink

        margaret howard

        So by your thinking then, handing the young a vassal state subservient rule taker somehow qualifies as giving them a good future.

        More to the point you will have robbed them of their identity.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink


          I am sorry but this is really nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            Not nonsense at all if we sign this dreadful WA
            We lose even more national sovereignty and power to the EU

          • NickC
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

            Hans, Asserting the EU does not rule us was obviously false even two decades ago. Bequeathing a vassal state to the young does not give them a good future. Serfdom may be “safe” but it isn’t liberty.

  27. Al
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    To the editor: please check if you have an unclosed bold tag in this post, as the entire page is in bold beneath it. (The broken tag is at the end of “The economic gains and problems with 29 March 2019 departure from the EU” where the final closing strong tag is actually another opening strong tag.)

  28. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    My instincts are for a zero-tariff arrangement, as that is the way to go for international trade and is cheaper for the consumer. I could live with 10% on new Mercedes though, just buy a Jag instead.

    • Stred
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      We have an opportunity to become self sufficient in cars. At present, Germany sells 7 times as many to us as we sell to them. France, Belgium and Spain also have large imbalances. If we put zero tariff on components but 25% on cars, we will be able to increase sales of JLR, Mini and Japanese at the expense of Continental. We agree a zero tariff with Trump and get Nissan components from their factory in the US. Same with other Japanese. Korean makes can be assembled in redundant lines owned by Peugeot. We then export more Jags and other high end cars to the US. We can still buy Volkswagens and BMWs made in the US and they can build some at Mini if they wish.

  29. Richard1
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The car industry says factories to close within days of a no Deal brexit, production to be moved to Slovakia and not come back. Loss of £100m per day to the UK economy (up from £10m a few weeks ago). This due to unexplained expected delays in JIT systems (beyond those they cope with already such as traffic and strikes). Will this terrify MPs enough to vote for Mrs May’s deal?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      If the UK economy tanks, expect the EU economy to follow. Germany is not in great health at the moment and cannot afford the ever larger payments the EU demands in order to buy people’s favour. Its a doomed project.

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      “The car industry says factories to close within days of a no Deal brexit, production to be moved to Slovakia and not come back.”

      We shouldn’t yield to these threats, but respond by telling the owners ‘fine, you are welcome to leave the country minus assets, and you will be replaced’

      Call their bluff.

  30. Newmania
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Incidentally we are already sliding into a Brexit related recession of course and we are alreay way over 80% of GDP in debt due to Brexit related excess spending.
    This is yet more waste you are asking our children and young people to pay for
    As I have said I have never objected to you refusing to publish my posts taking this site to primarily a Pro Brexit site rather than wishing to present a range of views. I do harrumph to myself when I see frequent exciting speculations as to my sexuality personal financial circumstances and similar web-loon nonsense published in large and tediously unedited quantities.
    Poor show ….

    • Edward2
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Presumably you think Germany is sliding into an EU related recession.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink


      Deluded, you have many many posts here most days. If you dont like people being rude to you suggest you clean up your act and stop being rude to others.

      Mind I can’t say I’ve seen any of the references or slurs you claim, maybe like most things you post you made them up.

      Anyhow, I see Deutsche Bank shares have hit an all time low and Danish Company ISS are making 100,000 ( yes 100k) workers redundant. Apparently there was also a bit of trouble in France, Belgium and Holland of the weekend too. Obviously things going really well in the EU

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink


        you should have more respect for yourself than writing this sort of nonsense

        • Edward2
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Why is it nonsense.
          I see a list of facts at the end and encouragement for one of the most impolite posters on here to improve.

        • NickC
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Libertarian is quite correct. You should have more respect for yourself than writing this sort of nonsense.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


            You must have better things to do then this?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Try answering the points made instead of your perpetual sarcasm as that would be a big improvement hans

    • Richard1
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I have never seen such speculations regarding you, on the contrary we are frequently treated to your views on Brexit, and occasionally on other topics?

      It is difficult to disagree with the ineptitude of the current govt, which includes continued wasteful spending in numerous areas. but why is this to do with brexit? the projections of Remain during the referendum were for immediate recession, which we haven’t seen. the main threat in the UK at the moment by far – as anyone in the business or investment world will actually acknowledge in private fora – is the threat of Corbyn and a cod marxist government.

    • sm
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      How excessively noble of you, Newmania, not to object to JR sometimes refusing to publish your frequently abusive and often hysterical posts – Galahad, Perceval and Lohengrin will doubtless welcome you to their hallowed halls.

      Since you appear to be unable to understand that JR is under no obligation to publish ANYONE’S comments, it becomes clear why you are also incapable of understanding the views of Leavers; and please note I did not say ‘agreeing with’.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Has Mark Carney provided an economic forecast of Remain with a Corbyn government ?

      That’s what you’ll be getting if you push for a second referendum.

  31. Julian Flood
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, Mr Redwood, I have misjudged you all these years. I thought you were a routine Conservative. I didn’t realise you were a conservative.

    (Insert smily here)

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      John has always been what I call a true Conservative. It’s a shame he was passed over for the position of PM. The party has missed out on a gem.

  32. jerry
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Not sure you are correct on JIT, unless planned for how can a supplier send a shipment early, after all they are almost certainly also using JIT in their own manufacturing processes! That said, the problems with JIT would be short term as production schedules adjust.

    Tax cuts need careful consideration, any Brexit dividend of that sort must benefit all, including those who do not pay non income, otherwise Brexit will quickly get labelled as merely for the rich by your detractors…

    Might I suggest thought be given to VAT & fuel duty adjustments as well as the VED cut you mention, also how about abolishing the surcharge (tax) on insurance polices?

    • acorn
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      In every JIT supply chain, there is always someone who holds stock (inventory), and they charge the supply chain for that facility. Steel Stockholders for instance.

      JR is promoting policies which are alien to his laissez-faire, neoliberal Conservative Party. His policy points would increase the budget deficit for a start. His party wants a budget surplus by 2025.

      Outside of the EU, the UK, with a “no deal” Brexit, will be trying to survive in a 21st-century macroeconomic world, with a 19th-century management system in Westminster.

      It would take only 28 heads of EU Sovereign States, to change the EU into a basic customs and technical / safety standards union. The EU does not need a common currency. The EU does not need a parliament. The EU does not need five Presidents; just one Secretary General.

  33. James Matthews
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I’m convinced. Now please ensure that May’s pre-emptive surrender is voted down.

    • Al
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      That may be difficult as she has, it seems, ‘bottled it’ with regard to tomorrow’s vote.

      I am getting very tired of seeing our current Prime Minister’s name in the papers coupled with ‘humiliating’ in the same headline.

  34. jerry
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    John, I think you need to close the HTML bold tag on your heading for this article, both your home page and this article + replies are in bold type!

  35. Pete Else
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    All of this is true and yet it doesn’t weigh anything in the minds of the Remainers. Remainers like May and her cohorts that have planned to obstruct and frustrate the will of the people. In this they are ably assisted by the main stream media, the entire civil service and, of course, the bankers. It was plainly obvious that this sellout was coming. Now I suspect that all the confident talk of the plan being voted down by parliament isn’t quite accurate and we could see this “Vichy” deal getting through. I think that we could well see the Remainer majority in parliament vote for it if they think they can get away with it without being lynched by the furious people. Sadly I think that they would because the general population are so brain addled by all the BS (intentionally so) that they actually think we sign up for this disastrous sellout or the whole world ends. We are in line to be the next Greece.

  36. bigneil
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    £Billions more could be saved if the govt stopped throwing cash away every year on so-called “Foreign Aid” which clearly does NOTHING except vanish into corrupt people’s pockets.

    • Andy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      If you widened your research beyond the Daily Express you’d actually find our foreign aid does immense good. Saving the lives of sick children. Helping to feed the starving. Assisting in disaster zones.

      Remember, you are just a natural disaster away from needing aid yourself. God help you if you are ever unfortunate enough to need it – and you end up finding yourself with people who have the same attitude as you.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        And the Indian space programme
        All vital stuff.

      • NickC
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Most government aid is not for disaster relief. And if we need aid ourselves there won’t be any since the government has already spent our money on bolstering third world dictators’ Swiss bank accounts. You need to read beyond the Grauniad because there is a wealth of information about how bad government aid really is.

  37. Toffeeboy
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    We have been a massive recipient of FDI, largely due to our membership of the single market. I’m afraid pulling out of it risks not only a dramatic reduction in future FDI flows, but a reversal of past ones. You only need to listen to what the Japanese government and various CEO’s are telling you. Of course you will probably say this is just part of project fear, but let’s just say for a moment you’re wrong and they are right and leaving the single market causes job destruction on a big scale. Will you hold you hands up and apologise to your easily-led disciples for getting it wrong. Of course you won’t.

    Reply High flows of FDI offset large balance of trade deficits. Were the trade balance to improve and new FDI reduce I don to see that cutting the number of jobs.

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      reply to you reply:

      You haven’t answered Toffeeboy’s question of whether you will apologise (or resign your seat) if you are wrong.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Toffee boy

      Job destruction on a big scale you say? Hmm well currently we have 810,000 unfilled full time jobs and our analysis shows we are on course to create another 1.2 million new jobs in the next 2 years , so to be honest I dont think jobs are the problem.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        Mac jobs?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink


        No, real pay is the problem for most people employed

    • Richard1
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I found the intervention of the Japanese govt curious. after all, no Japanese politician would advocate the sort of political union and associated policies as they seem to advocate for the UK. Unlimited immigration from 27 nearby countries for example?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      @ Toffeboy,

      There is no point in arguing with this post, (a) because the premises are partially right, partially wrong (imo and that of many better qualified commentators than our eminent host (who has been doing his best, no doubt) and (b) the conclusions are not connected to the alleged facts by economic logic. It is simply a list of assumed (but not necessarily additive effects) effects leaving out the various feedback effects and the various policy responses.

      @ Mr Redwood

      You have been very busy during a weekend when you and your colleagues were looking at an enjoying game of dydfunctional politics. Fortunately the game is not yet over. Who knows how long this soap is going to run..

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct control.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      We are still the biggest recipient of FDI in the EU. The voices you hear are those of lazy managers who want to ignore a referendum and preserve the status quo.

  38. Edwardm
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, let’s do it.
    WTO is fine, and business and trade are adaptable.
    Leave is about being real and positive.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    With the ECJ decision it seems that we may need to ask the Supreme Court to establish our constitutional requirements for revoking the Article 50 TEU notice.

    In his Opinion the Advocate General at the ECJ said:

    “If … prior parliamentary authorisation is required for the notification of the intention to withdraw, it is logical that the revocation of that notification also requires parliamentary approval.”

    But that specific view has not been expressed in the judgment of the full court:

    “Article 50 TEU must be interpreted as meaning that, where a Member State has notified the European Council, in accordance with that article, of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, that article allows that Member State …. to revoke that notification unilaterally … after the Member State concerned has taken the revocation decision in accordance with its constitutional requirements … ”

    It needed a full Act to authorise the Prime Minister to put in the notice:

    but I expect that she would deem a Commons vote on a motion proposed by Hilary Benn to be sufficient legal authorisation for her to do what she has always really wanted to do, and dash off the letter cancelling our withdrawal notice.

    I note that this case and the judgment is yet another example of why we should leave the EU and the jurisdiction of its federal supreme court, which as here routinely makes up EU law to promote “ever closer union” in the absence of clear law in the treaties or secondary legal acts based on the treaties:

    “62 As regards the context of Article 50 TEU … those treaties have as their purpose the creation of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe … ”

    “67 Such a result would be inconsistent with … the Treaties’ purpose of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe … ”

    But I don’t suppose many Remoaners will be looking at it like that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      61 not 62.

  40. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I hope you will be considered for chancellor with a change of cabinet. What’s not to like about your post today John? I see some still have nothing good to say about you and your suggestions for our economy. I think blinkered is the word I need.

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose it will be published but here’s a letter I’ve just sent to the Telegraph:


    I am grateful to the judges on the EU’s supreme court for clarifying that we are free to revoke our notice of withdrawal because the EU treaties “have as their purpose the creation of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”.

    Paragraphs 61 and 67 in the judgment both helpfully refer to that inexorable, endless process of “ever closer union” which only a small fanatical minority in this country actually want, and surely that should itself be enough to convince the great majority that we must complete the process of withdrawal.

    Yours etc”

  42. Know-Dice
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Question – What “leverage” does Mrs May have with the EU unless she loses the vote on Tuesday (if that goes ahead)?

    If the vote doesn’t go ahead, is this then the time for the 48 letters?

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:44 am | Permalink


      I wondered the same too, and concluded;

      Mrs May doesn’t have any clout, other than with her shoe lickers in the Cabinet.

      48 letters;

      Judging by the discontent in the commons today you be forgiven for thinking more than 48 must have gone in. Pure speculation (i.e wise mistrust) of course, but you have to wonder if Graham Brady accidentally left his shredder behind the letterbox.

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The PM and cabinet are ignoring advice (regarding her “Deal” ) from the former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove and Major General Julian Thompson.

    This article is worth as read and as with the last article link I posted concerning this well hidden story…it does NOT come from the Daily Mail.

    • hefner
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the link.

  44. Den
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    A more practical approach written in plain English unlike that of the Treasury and their friends in the BoE with their latest recycled and very ambiguous scare story.
    The ex-Chief Economist for the Treasury, Professor Minford has explained that the T forecasts are based on a flawed model which uses more ‘anticipated’ data rather than real time data. It is an outdated economic model which apparently can be “Adjusted” to gain the ‘right’ results. Hmm.
    It is worthless to Government and an insult to the people and to British business for it does not even recognise the entrepreneurial talent we have in this country.
    So why does our Government comply with these Treasury and BoE forecasts already proven to be wrong? I conclude they cannot be in favour of a FREE Britain and will latch on to any statistics that work in their favour. This current Government is no longer FOR Britain but for the EU and must be removed to ensure Parliament complies with the Referendum result.

  45. HollyH
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    The Pound is still falling..the value of equities down as this a correction or is it the start of something else?

    • Al
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      I suspect it is the sign of loss of faith in the government. Markets like stability and May prolonging the uncertainty is not providing that. If a decision had been made, people could act on it.

      Dithering around Christmas, the prime retail season, is not a sign of great leadership or awareness of the economy.

  46. Bob
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    The UN Migration Pact would be a disaster for Britain.
    You need to stop Mrs May in her tracks.
    United States, China, Australia Austria, Hungary, Poland, Chile, Italy have refused to sign and the Belgian govt has collapsed due to the fallout over this tyrannical attempt at world domination.

  47. Fed up
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    1 pm news. The vote is postponed! What next?

    • Steve
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      What next ?

      How about;

      TM – “unable to get the backstop out of the WA, but when they stopped laughing at me they promised it would be temporary and we believe them cos they said they’re our friends.”

      Followed by;

      “fiddle sticks….better have a second referendum to get the answer the CBI wants”


      “dash it all – let’s just cancel the bloody thing, ignore all those angry people outside it’s their stupid fault for voting leave in the first place”

  48. Original Richard
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    It was never about the economy.

    A majority voted to leave despite the predictions of economic downturn because they valued self-determination, freedom and democracy and the ability to know, elect and remove those who make our laws as more important than the economy.

    Had the referendum result gone the other way then it would have been the last meaningful vote the people and the country would ever have had.

  49. ian
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s all very well but it, not revolutionary, it’s more of the same old same old, new tax system total difference to anyone else’s in the world, reason, never be able to rejoin the EU again, I have one in mind. Roll out the super lorry bot highway on the HS2 route and as many lorries off the roads as possible run by electric overhead power all equipment and vehicles made in the UK, a new industry, gov funded new electric car plants for electric cars and hybrid cars, a lot of small electric companies in the UK who cannot get funding.
    I take the worst 10 councils and health trusts in England and send in a forensic team accountants to analyze them and fix them for the people and every school should have an accountant to raise money and to do their budgets so the head and teachers carry on with their jobs without these worries, funded by the gov and not out of the school budget.

    Waste of time anyway, gov called off the vote and EU is saying, you can stay and have your rebate back and won.t have to join the Euro as before which is this ref was all about by the elite and big businesses in the first place, you wouldn’t think that that EU threating the UK with having to join the euro in 2022 would all this trouble would you but that what this been about when Mr Cameron went to EU in 2015, now going to try to make that nothing has happened and we all back 3 years and forget about it.

  50. Martin
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The Briefings for Brexit web site has an article – published three days ago – entitled
    ‘No Deal is no nightmare – facts about EU trade after Brexit’

    Executive summary:

    Leaving the EU under WTO rules is repeatedly described, whether through ignorance or deceit, as ‘crashing out’ or ‘going over a cliff’. This report shows that the reality of a WTO exit is nothing like this.

    There is a myth that our present trade with the EU is ‘frictionless’, while trade on WTO terms is beset with ‘frictions’. We show why this is a false dichotomy, and why in practice intra-EU trading arrangements are not very different from those on WTO terms.

    We already have virtually frictionless trade with the rest of the world through electronic customs declarations, goods pre-clearance and trusted trader schemes, all operated under the EU’s Union Customs Code. This would in future apply to our trade with the EU.

  51. Steve
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Aha !

    In facing the reality that she’d lose the vote, she’s stopped the vote.

    “Oh I’ll change the rules if you won’t let me win, why should I lose it’s not fair”.

    In the name of God, when are you lot going to kick this repulsive egotistic childish prima donna out !

    Shame on the lot of you !

  52. Mark
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I note that while the bookies now make it a 62% chance that the UK will not exit the EU on 29th March in the light of the ECJ judgement permitting unilateral revocation of Article 50 notice, the pound has fallen by over a cent. The markets do not like the prospect of the UK remaining.

    We can of course expect that May will recommend staying in the light of the comprehensive rejection of her capitulation. She has already threatened as much.

  53. ian
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Yep that right, you been through all this trouble for nothing, all because of Mr Cameron was not able to negotiate a deal for the elite and big businesses back in 2015 on the EU threat of having to join the EURO.

    All that shouting and bad feeling because of that one thing, just show you what these people can do to you any time they like with gov and media backing to get their way and is nothing you can do about it.

  54. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Just heard along with everyone else that the vote is going be delayed. Feelings? Exasperation. She’s been saying it will go ahead, saying again and again. Is there nothing that this dreadful woman will not debase?

    As I have written before she is the person and personality behind all the Conservative party’s and government woes. She leads to disaster and humiliation every day.

    And although our host is terrified of personalising anything surely it is beyond toleration to pretend it is only the policies which need to change. It smacks of weakness and the placing of party before country to refuse to call for May’s immediate removal. There are times when feelings of moral and intellectual superiority need to be jettisoned.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I won’t get away with this, but I have to say I think she is probably mentally unbalanced.

  55. ian
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Well got something out of it John, you won’t have to join the Euro now as planned and the UK will be getting back it the full rebate that Mrs Thatcher won but they haven’t said anything about the UK planned increase of 5.5 billion pounds in 2021 or freedom of movement and if the UK can trade with more country than the EU and invest in new businesses.

  56. oldtimer
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The Slovakia factory was planned years ago to add capacity and to take advantage of lower pay costs. It was not planned with Brexit in mind. It will provide JLR with the advantage of a production facility inside the EU in the post Brexit era. The JLR factory really under pressure is Castle Bromwich. This is not because of Brexit but because Jaguar’s car range is not selling well. Jaguar’s SUVs are another matter but they are built elsewhere – In Solihull and Austria.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Lower pay costs can be a mirage. They’ll have problems exporting their so-called British cars back here with 10% duties. Castle Bromwich meanwhile could prosper with UK buyers.

  57. Original Richard
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    As I have just read elsewhere :

    “The only thing economical about these [Treasury] forecasts is the truth.”

  58. Oldwulf
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully a major national newspaper will run with this and maybe invite a detailed response from the Treasury.

  59. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Good to see Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar effectively acting as a spokesman for the EU and all the other EU member states, breezily pontificating about the impossibility of any further negotiations, as it may perhaps remind some people that:

    a) He is speaking for a country with a population and an economy an order of magnitude smaller than the UK, and

    b) The ‘Irish backstop’ relates to goods worth about 0.1% of UK GDP exported across the Irish land border, and yet

    Theresa May has willingly allowed this minor local problem to become the minute tail wagging the whole of the UK dog.

    And that’s at least in part because it provides her with a convenient pretext for doing what successive Tory governments have been doing for decades, don’t ask me why – giving in to the most vociferous of the approximately 6% of UK businesses which in total export about 12% of UK GDP to the EU, while largely ignoring the needs of the rest.

  60. John Hatfield
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    After Grieve’s amendment in Parliament, Lucy Allan said,
    ‘This vote took Brexit from the people and handed it to a Remain Parliament.’

    We are not going to get what was promised before the referendum or what was written on the ballot sheet, “Leave”. This rotten parliament is going to keep us in the EU. At least Hammond and his cronies will be pleased.

  61. Oldwulf
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    So ….. it looks as though Mrs May might seek to postpone tomorrow’s vote. We are told that we might go back to the EU to seek “concessions”. Do we really want “concessions”. We voted “Leave” and if the EU wants £39bn from us then it is reasonable to ask them what extra they are prepared to offer which is worth paying £39bn for.

  62. Simon Platt
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    “Business claims the uncertainty over what our future trading arrangements and tariffs will look like is holding back investment.”

    I realise that anecdotes are not data, but I’m not going to let that stop me.

    Talking to a neighbour this morning who works on an assembly line at a major manufacturing business locally, making trucks – significant investments for their truck-driving customers. He’s glad to have started his annual leave, because they’re rushed of their feet. It’s ascribed to Brexit – he thought, purchases being brought forward because of possible tariffs on EU imports.

    Of course the tariff angle doesn’t make sense – although I suppose customers might be bringing investment forwards because they’re concerned that lead times might increase after March.

  63. MickN
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    If Mrs May thinks that opposition to her sell out is JUST about tweaking the so called backstop on Northern Ireland it just goes to show how little she understands.

  64. PaulDirac
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    You should have addressed the Irish border question directly; not doing so makes it appear insoluble, when in fact the answer is trivial:
    After Brexit we the UK will make our own arrangements at the Irish border, these will include the principle that there will not be a hard border.
    If the EU or the Republic does not like this they can institute any border arrangements there on their side of the border.

  65. L Jones
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Well said. It makes good reading. But how sad that all this wasn’t shouted from the rooftops at the very beginning of the uphill struggle…
    Except that we didn’t actually KNOW it was going to be an uphill struggle. We sat back and assumed our Government and PM were honourable and all for the good of the UK once the EU had been effectively voted out. In hindsight, we should have been shouting the good news from day one, not just now at what seems to be ‘the end of all things’.

    We’ve been taken for gullible mugs. And we were.

  66. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Vote off!

    Conservative MPs please get your letters in to get rid of this disastrous PM – she is making this country a laughing stock.

  67. Horner
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May, the leader who runs away at the sound of gunfire. JOHN REDWOOD, SEND MR BRADY YOUR LETTER!!

  68. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    It is explained here:

    “The backstop is a guarantee mechanism that would keep the Irish border open.”

    Which it would do by keeping the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU, rather than by the much more limited but nonetheless sufficient option of imposing UK legal controls on the goods which could carried across the border into the Republic.

  69. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Listen to what the Japanese government says ? What are you on about ? So USA we ignore but Japan we listen to ?

  70. Andy
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    How about a pre-Christmas update about how ‘taking back control’ is going so far?

    • Maybot
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      You’ll get Corbyn, you naughty boy !

    • Edward2
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      Its 2 years from article 50 andy
      So end of uMarch 2019

  71. VotedOut
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


    But, can the PM and this government please stop this ridiculous embarrassment for a ‘negotiation’ and just do what:
    A.. was voted for over 2.5 years ago
    B.. what was promised
    C.. stop trying to rewrite events

    This is beyond tiresome. We will be just fine outside the EU without any “deal”.

    I fear that the PM’s main objective is to stay in office rather that actually do anything while in it.

    Where are our new trade tariffs?

  72. mancunius
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I have to laugh at the remainer strategies. Now the crucial vote that tells May her deal is a disaster is put off, which guarantees that the EU will not re-negotiate.
    Put off until when exactly? The vote was to immediately follow the conclusion of the WA. It has been concluded. The EU will not re-negotiate, the most they can do is try to lie about the contents, and issue bogus assurances about its intended interpretation.
    Is May not forced to give the HoC a date for its ‘meaningful vote’?
    The EU will only negotiate FTA terms if we announce we are going straight to WTO terms on 29 March 2019, and then do so with energy and determination. Both have been lamentably lacking so far in this government.

  73. Ian Pennell
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    You will now know that the Prime Minister has pulled the vote in the House of Commons on her “Deal”; she knows it won’t pass and she would be history. I wonder if she fears a Brexiteer taking her job after her “Deal” is voted down, that this and brings about the “No Deal Brexit” which she does not want to happen?? The £39 billion (plus annual contributions to the EU) would indeed be handy to have.

    It looks like Theresa May is going to do everything possible to cling on to power for as long as possible, despite the fact that her Government has been found in contempt of Parliament, despite the chaos surrounding Brexit and despite the complete lack of respect and authority that Theresa May now has.

    Sir, it is time for a collective push by your good self and your Conservative colleagues to get rid of Theresa May- fast. She- along with her front bench- are becoming an electoral liability for the Conservative Party and this is a threat to Brexit (which Labour seek to annul in all but name); the longer this sorry running-sore goes on (without a real change of course) the worse will be the Conservatives’ defeat at the next General Election. Get those letters in to the Right Hon. Graham Brady and get a Brexiteer in charge- with a complete clear-out of the Cabinet.

    Lets have someone in charge who believes in Brexit, brings the DUP back on-side and who takes no nonsense from Michael Barnier. Let’s have someone in charge who is willing to de-select the stubborn “Conservative” Remainers and go to the country (navigating the provision of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 to do so) if a majority of MPs continue to frustrate the result of the 2016 Referendum result: Such an election, with Conservatives campaigning on a firmly popular pro-growth, WTO Brexit platform to get back a Brexit- supporting Conservative Majority to achieve this aim would succeed.

    Firstly, we need to get rid of Theresa May, she is disastrous to both Brexit and Conservative Party fortunes. I, for one, cannot bear the thought of Jeremy Corbyn getting into power and effectively cancelling Brexit whilst wrecking this country all because Conservative MPs lacked the courage to quickly depose someone who has proved incompetent, weak and cowardly and who threatens to mess up the result of the largest democratic vote in this nation’s history! NOW is the time for Decisive Action.

    Ian Pennell

  74. James K-L
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    An excellent plan, but could be even better by making it more appealing to labour leave voters. Many working class people voted for Brexit and you can build on this to gain their support.

    You neglect to mention the downside of additional tariffs for our exports to the EU. In most cases producers will be able to absorb them, but some industries will be hit hard including lamb, cars and seafood. Instead of cutting income tax, use the money to cut tax to support these and other goods industries. For example abolish business rates on buildings used for manufacturing, red diesel tax and green electricity fees. The government should pay the costs of farm animal regulations, rather than farmers.

    Remove the ability for multi-national corporations to dodge corporation tax by parking their intellectual property in low tax EU countries. Use this to reduce corporation tax rates creating a level playing field and turbo charging investment

  75. Tom
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Why am I reading that May is delaying in the face of losing to renegotiate with the EU who are ‘willing when she said a few weeks ago this was the best deal possible. Is this not clear evidence she is working for the EU side? How else can it be interpreted?

  76. Tom
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Ok listen.
    TM is working for the EU side so it’s up to Mps to use leverage against her or she will always try to get them the best deal.

  77. matthu
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Martin Howe QC explain again:

    As the vote on Theresa May’s deal grows near, some people seem to be looking desperately for means of escape from the backstop Protocol — or worse still, are persuading themselves that means of escape exist which will prove to be a mirage.

  78. HollyH
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    We may as well push ahead for leaving with no deal because the EU is not going to bend in any meaningful way. This is as long as they see the ERG and DUP conspiring in the background to defeat any chance UK might have to agree something then there’s no chance only a waste of time. Therefore they are preparing for the worst as they see it, it’s all about the legacy now and the blame game, about who’s going to be caught on the wrong side of history?

  79. Dennis
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t understand this £39bn lark. Some say it is a leaving fee (not detailed) while others say it is for financial commitments the UK has already incurred (also not detailed and no one is asking).

    If financial dosh is owed for pensions etc. (not part of the £39bn) this is agreed by at least Andrew Marr and Boris (on A. Marr show last Sunday) and May.

    So many say we don’t owe anything and others say we do – talking about two different things? Can anyone untangle these two loads of money for me – thanks.

  80. Halfway
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I read that NI is costing the English tax payer about 20 billion per year in block grant and other things. All this for a population of less than 2 million. Makes me wonder

  81. hefner
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    A Day in Parliament worth of a banana republic (obviously without bananas nor republic).

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      nor the sunshine!

  82. Steve
    Posted December 10, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    It’d be nice to read what John Redwood has to say about May’s rather childish stunt.

    After all he censures factual comments made by others concerning Theresa May. Seems only fair he should get off the fence, one side or the other.

    Things have gone beyond philosophy now Mr Redwood. MP’s must either remove Theresa May and ensure a no deal brexit is delivered, or face the consequences.

    You need to decide who you’re frightened of the most; your boss, or a very angry electorate.

  83. Norman
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    An impressive performance by the PM today – amazing stamina (nearly 3 hrs grilling), and I think she dealt with all the questions in a most dignified manner.
    As for the opposition – especially the SNP – what a pit of vipers! No concern to get it right for the country – they just want to benefit from any fallout, for their own political advantage. I hope the voters punish them accordingly.
    The EU is a monolithic concept – by definition, it cannot be circumvented, and does not ‘do’ compromise. The PM has done her best to deliver the impossible. Unfortunately, the inherent compromises on a number of aspects of sovereignty – not least, national security issues, which hardly anyone is talking about – means that a ‘no deal’ is becoming the preferable ‘default’ – which I note the PM is not ruling out. But with a bunch of MPs as nasty as this, a GE is also looking ever more likely, before we get there. Will the people get it right this time?

  84. Andrew Bates
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    That 39 Bn quid is taxpayer money.

    Leave it in their pockets and let them save/invest or spend it as they see fit.

    That’s all the ‘stimulus’ we need – being left alone to get on with it.

  85. I AM British
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    There are government grants for migrants here to return to their home countries. This should be rolled out to we British who would on balance prefer to live in say the USA rather than the EUS as the latter is downtown Maidenhead, Berkshire (aptly named) for Mrs May and Remoaners
    I myself fancy truck driving on USA Highways. The cab is as big as a Council Flat in Islington and you can sleep there and the salary is greater than a British MP, and no Remoaners for thousands of miles especially LibDems

  86. An English Man
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes in favour, but we should still do our on accountancy and see what we owe the EU as promised money for the current period. We look after “them that are us” NI, Gib or anywhere.

    To do so make us trusted partners

  87. BW
    Posted December 12, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    A very carefully chosen list of things that won’t go wrong, and frankly few people with any experience think will go wrong. Sadly, it excludes a lot of things that those of us who have spent many years exporting to the EU and elsewhere actually do worry about. Well done.

  • 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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