A WTO exit Cabinet

We are told today the Cabinet meets to review and progress preparations for the UK to leave the EU next March without signing a Withdrawal Agreement. Many Ministers and officials have been working on this contingency plan ever since we voted to leave the EU. Preparations should by now be well advanced. Today the Cabinet needs to set out a programme for telling us all of their success in ensuring things work smoothly on March 30th next year, and in giving helpful guidance about how trade will be progressed and transport will continue to move.

Ministers should be  confident that the arrangements they are putting in place will work, and sensibly reassuring that in many cases things will continue just as they are the day before we leave. The Transport Secretary has set out in detail that the planes will continue to fly after March 29th, and that everyone who wishes can book their business trip or their holiday with confidence for next year after exit. Air Services Agreements are being put in place.

Work is well advanced at Calais to handle customs and any additional checks required without undue delays for trucks. Calais wishes to keep the  business and is well aware of the competitive threat from Belgian and Dutch ports if they were not capable of handling lorries with good transit times. The Republic of Ireland is  very keen Calais gets its act together, as substantial volumes of Irish goods use the roads of the UK as a land bridge to get things to and from the continent more quickly than going by a longer sea ferry route. They wish to see rapid transit times at Calais as well as us. French exporters to the UK also have a strong interest in Calais working smoothly and efficiently. We need to  be told of the various Ro Ro and container options and arrangements so trade continues to flow.

The NHS needs to continue importing pharmaceuticals from the continent under existing contracts. These drugs are all licenced and approved, and already need to come to the UK with proper reporting of how and where they were made, what the tests results were and how they conform with the standards required.  The Health Secretary needs to confirm he has ensured this will continue in good time. There should not  be a need for additional stockpiles if he has done his job properly for the NHS.

I know of no supermarket that thinks it will  be short of food in April. Ministers should spell out what if any additional checks are needed and how they have put in capacity to ensure these take place without delaying imports.

Ministers are employed by us to  make these things work. Instead of fuelling fears that things might go wrong, as some seem to do, we want to hear well based reassurance from them that they are doing their jobs properly and have plans in place to make things work. I have still not heard a scare story I believe, and do not think the EU will be able to mount some kind of self harming blockade of their trade with us after we leave. I find myself in the position of having more confidence in our Ministers’ abilities to make it work than they sometimes express in themselves. I have this confidence because most of what happens to ensure imports and exports work is nothing whatsoever to do with governments. It rests on a willing buyer and a willing seller, who will still  be there in abundance the day  we leave the EU. The day after we have left the same rules and regulations apply in the UK as the day  before we leave. There can be a gentle transition on that day as a result.

It is apparently a shock to some in government that the UK can once again run her own affairs. That is what we pay the government salaries to do, so let’s hear how they are doing it .I repeated my request yesterday to the Prime Minister that we should publish our tariff schedule now, and should remove all tariffs form imported components to be used by UK  based manufacturers. That would  be a good boost to UK manufacturing.



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  1. Mick
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    After watching the debate and listening to mps yesterday I have a feeling Mrs May will get the backing of Parliament to get her deal through, she should stick to her guns we only have one shot of getting out of the dreaded Eu

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      May’s deal isn’t getting out of the EU- it is being locked into the Customs Union and parts of the Single Market forever without any means of leaving. As such I’d rather stay in with A50 still an option than take her deal. We have another means of getting out – if the Remainiacs subvert Brexit and withdraw A50 – at that point a true pro-Brexit political party will arise (possibly from a split Conservative party) and can win a commons majority of seats – remember on a constituency basis Leave won in a landslide. We need to take the long view – the ratchet effect is in our favour, we just need to leave once.

      • Andy
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        The long view is that old people who voted Leave in big numbers are dying out pretty damn quickly – and young people, who overwhelmingly want to Remain, are not.

        Even a Brexiteer should be able to do the maths.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Odd how polls show no movement since the referendum.
          People get older and wiser.

        • L Jones
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          And many of us are young. So how does that square with your very warped, envious and bitter view of the world? How uncomfortable to live with such spiteful and bitter ideas churning around in your head – to be more concerned with your own bank balance and lifestyle rather than the good of your country.

          Poor Andy – but no doubt the Baby Boomer who wouldn’t subsidise your lifestyle will leave you something in their will. That thought must bring you such consolation.

        • matthu
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          The rational view is that as people get older, so they turn away from th doctrine being offered by the EU and favour Brexit.

          (This is the trend that was not picked up by polls prior to the 2016 referendum.)

          Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          Like most of so called ‘Modernist’ thinking its entirely flawed. Labour thought that eventually Conservatism would die, because the youth would always vote Labour. It proved to be wildly off the mark. The minute people’s status changes they usually change politics. If Britain is a success in coming out of the EU, there will be little appetite to go back, why would they? The EU will crumble & die because its structured on an old Russian model (Politburo) & there is not another trading bloc like it anywhere in the world. That basically means it will go the way of the BETAMAX cassette.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink


          Once the UK has left the EU then political parties would be free to stand on a manifesto of rejoining / holding a referendum to rejoin the EU. At this stage the UK hasn’t left so it is far to early to consider the long view.

        • James
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

          Luckily people get wiser as they get older. The move
          towards Empire together with the transfer of
          France’s nuclear arsenal to Brussels’ i.e. Germany’s
          control and the need for empires to expand or die
          is becoming more obvious.

          The only directions for expansion are East or South.

          So it will be take on the Russians or merge with
          Islam. Either way European civilisation is

          The EU must be dismantled and an association of
          free nation states established.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


          Stop being a total numpty

          1) Some old people voted remain

          2) Remain voters of all ages have died too

          3) Generation Z isn’t particularly Europhile

          4) The polls show no movement in intentions

          5) Young people tend not to vote at all

          6) Older people tend to always vote

          7) Once we leave young people will experience the benefits for the first time

      • Helen Smith
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        An alternative, if her ‘deal’ gets through is elect a pro Brexit government that will just rip the WA up.

      • Hope
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Boles has written a dull article why he wants EFTA etc. His so called five myths are nothing of the sort. The article contradicts itself on all five points. All he is saying is that it is not quite as bad as being a full me,bet, but what it does not state categorically is that by joining thus farce the U.K. Would not have left the EU and it betrays the the 17.4 million people who voted leave and it betrays electoral democracy. This was the highest turn out for any election. Boles you lost your plan is not a very good con get over it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          It was a referendum, nothing to do with electoral democracy.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Yet if you transferred the voting in the referendum into a constituency based election, Leave would have a 200 seat majority in the House of Commons.

        • Stred
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          This must be the Boles who was caught emailing MPs during the leadership election and had to go away with his tail between his legs.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Boles now writing he will resign the whip and vote for anything other than leave on WTO terms. Carswell is right if that is his view he should call a by election as his constituents voted 61-39 in favour of leaving.

        Boles exemplifies why there should be a right to recall. He has duped the electorate by standing on a manifesto to leave the single market and customs union. His warped view of EFTA etc was not in the Tory manifesto, it was not an option to leave and it is not leaving the EU. It was a year ago! Moreover, as he has now written this why is he not deselected by his association?

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      My reading of the debate is that she will table her WA with such extra “assurances” as she can get from the EU, subject to motions tabled by the opposition. They were challenged to table a no Brexit motion. Failing that the UK exits on WTO terms (which is what the referendum vote actually implied). In short she seeks to make the votes a choice between her deal, no deal and no Brexit.

      • Peter
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Difficult to know what will happen. Lots of plotting and politicking and May plays her cards close to her chest.

        Talk of WTO preparations in the cabinet – but that means nothing. Red lines can be crossed, U turns can be made, delays and cancellations can be implemented, governments can be brought down.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Dear oldtimer–Couldn’t agree more that Referendum vote of course meant World Trade terms–All the squawking about “no deal” is subsequent tendentious malicious baloney (which unfortunately has succeeded).

    • jerry
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      @Mick; May’s WA is not getting out of the EU, quite the opposite (if the EU so chooses…)!

      If there is no stomach for either the WA nor a WTO Brexit in parliament then we should simply cancel our A50 letter, Brexit will live to fight another day as the A50 process remains available should a very clear mandate exit again. Damaging to our democracy but the less of several evils that would do far greater damage.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Or better still we could have another GE and get to vote for MP’s that actually want to govern this great country.

      • Richard W
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        There was already a majority for a no deal exit when Parliament voted that we leave on March 29th regardless of whether an additional agreement is reached.

        Does reversing Article 50 not require agreement from the EU27 governments?

      • Peter
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        BBC claims a Remain parliament will be offered a vote on how to proceed.

        That is certainly one way to avoid leaving.

        It also shifts the blame from May alone onto parliament as a whole.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        “Damaging to our democracy but the less of several evils … ”

        I agree. It’s not as if democracy’s important or anything. A possible and short-lived bit of extra queuing at Calais would be far worse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      May’s deal is totally unacceptable, even were the back stop to be removed. It would be idiotic to approve such a deal and pay money over for nothing. It would destroy the UK negotiating position. The DuP and the sound wing of the Tories will hopefully ensure that the appalling T May does not manage to stitch up the UK in this way for many years to come.

      • Man of Kent
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Sadly Boris disagrees, the removal of the backstop would be quite good enough for him to back the ‘deal ‘. (D Tel last week and this ).
        He must have buckled under the weight of the Remain line in his own family .
        Pity since I have always thought him to be our best bet for a Leave PM.

    • Alison
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      @Mick – Mrs May’s deal is worse than remaining a member: it hands power over us to the EU, and does so UNTIL the EU says, ok, serfs, we won’t bleed you dry with fines any more, you go your own way, we’ve already decimated your goods economy (with our subtly adjusted regulations which favour EU27 suppliers), we’ve already broken your union.
      Oh, and we’ve already got your defence forces committed to do what we say, and your defence industry is crippled because it can’t compete with the low-wage ship builders etc in the EU27.
      Mick, I hope you’ve seen that the withdrawal agreement commits the UK to pay specified and unspecified amounts – including amounts that Mrs May hasn’t told the UK that her government has signed the UK up to pay .. eg a mere €0.8 bn hidden in DFID accounts. But where is the mention of UK getting our share of assets back?

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I do hope the government isn’t seeking to embroil us in a war in Ukraine as a distraction from it’s Brexit troubles.This from Russian FM,Sergei Lavrov, this morning:-

        “Kiev is preparing yet another provocation at our borders,with the help of it’s western supporters.We would not start a war,but our response will be most convincing.”

        • Alison
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          @Mitchel – exactly what I thought when I heard Mrs May in Parliament on Monday – we’re being groomed to think that way

    • Merlin
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I think a decision needs to be made between May’s deal and No deal.

      It needs to be put against Remain in a referendum and then we will see for once and all.

      My suspicion is the Brexiteers are afraid of a second referendum because they know they will lose when they have to show their hand and present an actual alternative, rather than the first referendum where it was Remain against everything else, and even then Remain nearly won.

      • mancunius
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        It was Remain against Leave. Remain lost.
        Leave is leaving. Not EEA/Efta, not the quisling WA, not shadowing the EU. Leave is dissociation, pure, simple, and complete.
        You leave your job – you don’t come back and sit in the office and help make the tea and do some photocopying
        You ‘everything else’ has been manufactured since we voted to leave – and it is a transparent Remain ploy. It won’t succeed. We’ve seen through it.

        • Merlin
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          Remain didn’t lose.

          I repeat Remain nearly beat all the other alternatives put together.

          Come up with an alternative that has 48% of the British population please.

          The Brexiteers just want to know it out because they can’t come up with anything better.

  2. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Sadly, Dr Redwood, Mrs May is sticking to her Project Fear in order to frighten Parliament into voting for her surrender. thus, instead of ensuring customs can cope we hear of emergency plans to turn Kent into a lorry park. Ditto medicines.
    As for the confidence one can place in ministers I fear you will be disappointed hugely. Why any think UK can just walk into EFTA and the EEA without having to negotiate all the same issues all over again with EU defies credulity. Do they not realise that to join the EEA, UK would need the agreement of the EU which owns it and runs it?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Peter. Do you really believe it is only people running UK businesses that want to keep trading? Don’t you think that French, Dutch, Spanish, Italians etc want to keep sending us their goods? Perhaps you think that they are wealthy enough to say “oh, I don’t think I’ll sell to the UK, I’ll manage”. Let’s get real. If you think Paris has got trouble now with the yellow vests you ain’t seen anything yet. The EU will face rebellion everywhere if they make trouble for exporters both ways.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Peter D Gardner

      As Kent has been a lorry park for the last 20 years and no one gave a flying **** about it I’m sure we will cope in future

  3. Mark B
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    All this should have been COMPLETED long ago. If the UK government had done so then we would not be in the mess where we are now of having the leader of the opposition threatening the government with a no confidence vote. A vote I might add, given the performance of this PM and government, it may very well win. And exactly where will that lead us ?

    Appalling !

    • eeyore
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      The cost of preparations has been estimated at £1bn, so WTO leaves us at least £38bn better off than Mrs May’s WA.

    • NickC
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, It is true that government (Ministers and civil service) have been appallingly incompetent and/or determinedly Remain. And unfortunately Theresa May will probably get her DWA (nee Chequers) deal through Parliament. Most MPs are too stupid to realise that will cause havoc, crises, and costs for decades.

  4. oldtimer
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Scare stories must rank as the principal tool of persuasion by the political class. “Crashing out of the EU” is but the latest example. Previously we had the Millennium Bug, when it was said planes would fall out of the sky and other innumerable, unspeakable disasters would ensue. Then there was BSE which, it was claimed, would make us all mad. It was certainly bad news for all the cattle that were summarily slaughtered. Before that chickens and their eggs caused troubles for a certain minister. Today climate change is a perennial favourite for those who seek to control human behaviour; indeed it has been a remarkably successful and hugely expensive scare story. Scare stories are manna for the media – it sells. And the formal adoption of “the precautionary principle” (it is in the Lisbon treaty) offers limitless opportunities for the political class and single issue lobby groups to stop stuff they do not like. That is a compelling reason for Brexit and to escape the power of the EU to stifle innovation and new competition on which the UK will depend in the future.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed you great unwashed must pay more & more taxes to us and suffer more and more regulations and red tape so we “experts” can prevent this disaster or protect ion for that disaster.

      The real disaster is over high taxes and endless government waste. The real disaster in relation to energy is the expensive energy green crap agenda and the absurd government war on the tree and plant food Co2.

      Scared to Death: by Christopher Booker, Richard North is a good book on this.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I see our very own Ministry of Truth(aka The Institute of Statecraft with it’s Integrity Initiative-you have to laugh!) is attracting the attention and,indeed,ire of Labour as more and more of it’s operations are being exposed as a result of a hack-with more to come.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      But how the hell, Old Timer, do we escape the power of the British Establishment?

      • D Kendrick
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        Electoral Reform old bean.
        All Parliamentary legislation for the year must pass a vote of public assent(an annual referendum) before it can be sent on for Royal Assent.
        All treaties must be sunset claused meaning precious NATO, UN membership, EU membership come under public veto(Rome had a maximum 5 year term)
        The amount of PR and campaign money required to influence an ever increasingly angry public fed up with being treated as a gimme vote will ensure a finger is raised in the ballot box every year for something. It is a lot better than blood on the streets.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      “Crashing out of the EU” is now considered too mild for they media. The now say Armageddon, the Abyss, going straight off the cliff edge

  5. Newmania
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    This is insanity. There are three options , disaster, the May deal or another referendum which I daresay remain would win easily. Theresa May is running down the clock so she can say she delivered Brexit by terrifying people at the prospect of of economic melt down.
    The country is being pulled through bush screaming in protest and detesting every step of it.
    I rack my brains and I simply cannot imagine how it could be any worse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      We will be far better off with a WTO exit and EU/UK co-operation deals in our mutual interests as may be needed. Melt down, disaster, dragged through a bush ….. what complete and utter drivel. Do you perhaps not have all that much brain to rack? Try reading some sensible pro real Brexit economists rather than the government/EU “group think” dopes.

      Same applies to the climate alarmism absurd exaggerations, read some sensible sound physicists.

      • hefner
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Could you please provide a list of these sound, sensible and real scientists, if possible atmospheric physicists, dynamicists, chemists, biologists, and oceanographers.
        Thanks in advance.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      You never seem to specify why there will be this ‘nebulous’ disaster that you routinely predict. Is it lack of imagination or lack of evidence?

      • Newmania
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        None of you will ever accept any prediction you do not like is trustworthy so if the treasury , backed by independent analysis point to a disastrous economic drag you will just say they are traitors.

        Whats the point

        • Richard1
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          They are just assertions they are not supported by explanations as to why these dire forecasts might be true. The Treasury, very suspiciously, has refused to release it’s models for independent scrutiny.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink


          Give us an example, what form will this disaster take? And indicate the reason why this disaster will happen

        • Chewy
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          Try reading the Aesop fable the Boy who cried Wolf

        • Jagman84
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          The ‘experts’ paraded by Remoaners, have a track record of being utterly wrong on countless issues. Secondly they have a vested interest in keeping this as-is. Either due to laziness or by outside inducements. Certain individuals and organisations have shovelled substantial funds into overturning the democratic will. Voting will become pointless and mob rule will ensue. For that reason alone, they must be resisted.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          The Treasury looked over 15 years into the future and even basing their guess on some very negative happenings could only come up with slightly less growth than we might of had.

      • Merlin
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        He isn’t saying it, because he can’t.

        Nobody knows the consequences of No Deal which is why it will never happen, despite the ‘experts’ on this site merrily pronouncing it will all be fine and parroting WTO monotonously.

        Thank goodness for parliament. That’s all I can say.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


          As there are approx 100 countries currently having “no deal” with the EU including their two biggest markets I think we do know what it looks like thanks.

        • mancunius
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:25 am | Permalink

          Parliament has no power to cancel the Withdrawal Bill it enacted and ratified last year. Only the government can do that.
          And it won’t. You only think it will.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      You should spell out why you think WTO exit is disaster rather than just assert it. So far no-one has come up with anything sensible.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      A declaration of war would be much, much worse!

    • Elvis junior
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      You left out the sensible WTO deal option.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      What will you and your ilk do if leave wins a subsequent vote?

      Are we asked again or do your kind just take over?

      Asked, answered. We seek control of our laws, everything else follows from there. We can not control our laws when they are being produced to pass QMV of 28 countries.

      Are you in thrall to the EU or just pessimistic about your own country and its (diverse) people?

      • Merlin
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        No. One fair vote would be enough. Rather than

        Remain 48%
        Everything else 52%

        Come up with an alternative – and put it to a vote.

        Or are you scared?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink


          Whah whah, he was offside, the ref was biased, they cheated. The perennial chant of the losers.

          Everything else = Just leave, and just leave won

          You’ve now lost three straight times under different circumstances

          Accept the result

        • mancunius
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

          What version of Remain did you vote for?

          Brussels abrogating the taxation rights of national governments?

          The UK being forced to join the euro or pay for its demise?

          The EU regulating more and more and devolving less and less?

          The EU Army (the one that Remain fought its campaign claiming didn’t and would never exist)?

          The EU that intends to surgically destroy the centuries-old union within the UK?

          The EU demanding ever higher contributions from member countries to shore up its failed economic policies and stratospheric unemployment?

          You voted for all that. Own it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Why would Remain be on the ballot ? That option has already been eliminated.

      • Gary Carpenter
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        This whole debacle led by and allowed to happen by the conservative party has been an affront to democracy, the electorate voted out not any half in half out deal.

        It’s looking like MP’s are going to support whatever will keep them in their jobs even though that will only last until the next GE, lemmings over a cliff spring to mind.

      • Merlin
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Wow, This is getting repetitive.

        Remain got 48%. Everything else got 52%.

        The Brexiteers need to decide on alternative, then put it up against Remain, or it isn’t democratic.

        You’re not allowed to remove the most popular option and vote among the others.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm | Permalink


          Which Remain are you touting

          1) Remain in EEA

          2) Remain in a Federal Europe

          3) Remain in EU and adopt Euro

          4) Remain in Federal Europe and adopt Euro

          5) Remain and form part of an EU military

          6) Remain in an enlarged EU to include Turkey , Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania etc

          7) All of the above

          • Edward2
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            Remain extremists want all that is on your list and more.
            Yet they never come out and say it.

        • mancunius
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink

          Yes, but your argument is spurious however often you repeat it.
          The alternative we chose when we voted is to leave and trade freely with the rest of the world.

          The EU is surplus to requirements.

        • Al
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          “You’re not allowed to remove the most popular option and vote among the others.” – Merlin

          I find this comment ironic given that Caroline Lucas and others suggesting a second referendum have suggested that Leave should be left off the ballot despite gaining 52%. They have stated it should be between May’s Deal (remain) and Remain.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        May’s deal is remain really anyway.

    • BCL
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I see no need for a second referendum. The first gave us a definitive answer. A second which asked us to choose between Mrs May’s deal and no deal would be reasonable I suppose. In any event, I suspect that if remain were an option, the behaviour of the EU might ensure another leave victory. None of us enjoys seeing Mrs May humiliated by foreign bureaucrats, whatever we may think of her or her deal. She is, after all, our PM and deserves respect and courtesy from the EU.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink



        T. May represents our Nation and for that fact alone the EU should be respectful!

        The EU’s non-elected minion’s humiliation of T. May is disrespecting the United Kingdom and its people. No foreign “elected” senior official would dare to display such discourteous behaviour without realising the severe repercussions that could ensue?

        However, the EU are beyond caring!

        • Steve
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          BCL and Dennis Zoff

          Exactly right, both of you.

          Personally I think Mrs May would have been wholly justified to have given one or two a hard slap around the face at Salzburg – right in front of the world’s press cameras.

          The late Mrs T might have been tempted I suspect. Or maybe given Junker a good hand bagging.

          If only !

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      The people I speak to are wondering why we haven’t already left with no deal. This should have been planned for from June 2016 and we should have regarded it with suspicion but surprise if we managed to drag any agreement from the EU by them coming and asking nicely.
      A totally different approach was required.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      @Newmania: How about letting the current chaos run its course and, if the UK-EU agreement very likely won’t make it through your parliament, then to extend (or temporarily abolish) article 50.
      The UK really needs a national and cross parties discussion, possibly a government of national unity, in order to really determine what it wants. It is now consists of multiple minorities which don’t even listen to one another. A second referendum wouldn’t change that.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink


        The problem Peter is that we have a complete disconnect between the people and most of our politicians at the moment so all we would get is even more confusing arguments from the same lot who want to keep us in the EU..

        If Mrs May simply walked away went for WTO rules and lowered taxation she would gain a massive majority at any further election, but she like many more appear wedded to the EU which we all know, including yourself, means less National government, when the people want the opposite.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          @Alan Jutson: You hope that your course would afterwards provide a massive majority. That itself though is a minority opinion. How are you going to convince the majority?

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink


            The EU are doing that for us, thanks very much, with a deliberate policy of trying to punish us, and use us as an example of how they would treat others who may try to leave.

            Mrs May thinks EU politicians are our friends, the population thinks she is crackers.
            If this is the action of friends, who does she think are our enemies.

            Once again the population are ahead of the politicians.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            @Alan Jutson: You are confusing your “punishment” argument with the selfharm the UK seems to have chosen when leaving the EU . . .
            oops, sorry! you haven’t even managed to chose anything! Enjoy your chaos, but here’s a word of caution: Although most continental viewers would agree that “Brexit” easily trumps “House of Cards” it appears that the script has become a bit repetitive. Can you do anything to liven it up a bit please?!

      • oldwulf
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Mr Van Leeuwen. The people had their democratic vote. The government took 9 months to send the Article 50 letter, presumably to ensure it had the time to get its act together. The two main parties published their manifestos prior to the General Election and Parliament has put the legislation in place. The UK is leaving on 29 March 2019.

        What the UK now “really needs” is, of course, a matter of opinion.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          @oldwulf: Just after that election, this side was convinced that the UK was united. I never really saw that, already at that time.
          Few people would say that there is much unity now.
          Without more unity, it would be impossible for the EU27 to discern what the UK wants and negotiate on the details and consequences thereof.

          • oldwulf
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            Mr Van Leeuwen. I believe that the people of the UK have already decided what they want. However, it seems that the UK establishment is in in denial, which I think has given rise to the “lack of unity” to which you refer. If it is indeed “impossible for the EU27 to discern what the UK wants to negotiate …..” then I can understand why the EU27 would merely stop negotiating and leave the UK to get on with implementing what the people voted for.
            what the democratic majority voted for.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            @oldwulf: If what you guess is true (UK people united in their wish to leave the EU) it will still be a matter of uniting on what kind of Brexit. Success!

      • Newmania
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        My own feeling is that the constitution we have adjusted over centuries is just not adequate and now needs quite radical reform

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          @Newmania: Maybe a constitution under which it takes many many more votes to get 1 UKIP representative in parliament than number of votes required for each Tory MP isn’t quite fair and can be addreseed as wel in such a reform. Maybe a constitutional overhaul is best achieved once outside the EU.

          • Stred
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            If we do go over the cliff I won’t miss Dutch flowers. But Old Amsterdam cheese would be a fond memory.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            @Stred: Old Amsterdam will only get a little older when crossing the border with the UK.
            However, how much will there be left? The EU-Japan JEFTA, nicknamed the “cars for cheeses FTA”, was ratified on 12-12-2018 by the EP and covers a third of the world income. When tariffs on cheese go fron 30% to 0%, we’ll have to keep our Japanese customers happy as well, so maybe we first need to buy a few more cows 🙂

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 20, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            I thought I read that the Japanese are lactose intolerant and don’t tend to eat much cheese, also believing eating cheese makes you smelly, if that’s true you’ve just been played, cars for cheese.

            How much Asian cuisine do you eat that contains cheese?

        • Steve
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink


          So, gone from wanting a second referendum because you lost the first, to suggesting the constitution is changed to please the minority.

          You lost fair and square, you’re in a minority, you have no right to impede the majority wish. Like all remoaners you need to get over it and accept the majority vote. That’s how it works.

          If the constitution ever does change to the detriment of democracy, you’d have to be very careful what you wish for instead.

      • NickC
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        PvL, We had a Referendum to determine what the UK really wants. We decided to Leave. Importantly the EU has now demonstrated how nasty it really is to a new generation in Britain.

        • Andy
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          In our country we do not decide things by advisory referenda.

          Parliament decides after a general election.

          Mrs May sought a mandate for a hard Brexit.

          The people said no. She lost her majority. What part of democracy do you not understand?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            Over 80% voted for parties that promised to respect the result of the referendum
            Parties that promised to remain got nowhere.
            Parliament has had votes on leaving
            Article 50 for example was passed with a huge majority.
            It is you that doesn’t understand democracy.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


          Indeed the petition for leaving on WTO has now gone passed a quarter of a million signatures


        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: Interesting: what has the EU done against the new generation in Britain?

          • Al
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            For one immediate example, you may be aware of Article11 and Article13, which are alienating young people across Europe, not just in the UK?

      • rose
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        There was an excellent cross party rally in London the other night. Look up the video of it under Leave Means Leave Rally London.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          @rose: I’m short of time, so close before Christmas. If you see cross party convergence, that of course would be hopeful.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            @Rose: I still had a look at some of it and, still this is a, not even very large at all, minority!
            t’s almost like saying: Farage and Rees-Mogg together make a majority!

          • rose
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            Labour, Conservative, DUP, former UKIP, big business, small business – how much wider to you want to go? The SNP, Plaid, and Greens are very small but even in their constituencies people are requesting No Deal.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Easy. It wants a deal with the EU which passes through scrutiny and Parliament. In the absence of that, we’ll take no deal. Very straightforward.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          @Sir Joe Soap: That remains one of the several minority opinions

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        A government of national unity would be all Remainers and so wouldn’t result in national unity at all, quite the reverse.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          @Roy Grainger: Only remainers would certainly not constitute national unity. Then you’d better have general elections and remove enough remainers.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I don’t hear anyone screaming in protest. Most people are just getting on with things in life.

      • Maybot
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Calling for a second referendum before enacting the result of the first is undemocratic and nowhere in your reckoning do you consider the reality which is this:

        – A second referendum win for Remain AND a Corbyn government

        Because that’s what you’ll be getting.

        I wager you this. The turnout for the second referendum will be a lot smaller than the first but as long as it delivers the ‘right’ result you’ll be OK with it.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I recently heard huge sink holes will open up beneath all Primary Schools and all Nursing Homes swallowing our nearest and dearest immediately after a no deal is announced. Obviously I understand this to be true because all the other bits of unremitting negativity are so believable.

    • Woody
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      So you’re another remainer who won’t see that the rest of the world trades very effective uses WTO rules, as we currently do with non eu nations for around 56% of our current business … and that 56% has been rising for a number of years and will continue to as 90% of future world trade will be from non eu nations. I don’t see any screaming except from the remain backing establishment, unemployment down, investment up, manufacturing up, exports up… all post the promised disaster of voting to leave.

    • Steve
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink


      Mrs May is not running down the clock for the purposes you allege, if she were then she would not be having the Cabinet recheck plans for no deal exit, which the outcome preferred by the majority of voters.

      Terrifying people of an alleged economic meltdown is a tactic used by fifth columnists who refuse to accept democratic vote, i.e the left wing, the corrupt, the able bodied but work shy who think that to have their living funded by those who do contribute is a human right, and of course the infiltrated left wing media.

      “The country is being pulled through bush screaming in protest”

      – I imagine Mr Bush himself wouldn’t be too happy about it either.

      “I rack my brains and I simply cannot imagine how it could be any worse.”

      – Indeed, it is a complete waste of time looking for something which isn’t there.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      ”… remain would win easily.” And there are those of here who think that is tosh. But still, eumaniacs believe that we should keep having referendums until you get the result you want. People know what they voted for and still believe in our country, but in your EU dreamworld that’s not good enough, is it? We leavers treat Project Fear in all its forms with contempt – you remainders are easily panicked, it seems.

      It is truly astounding that you staunch remainders still think that the sun shines out of the EU. After all its posturings and aggressive demands you still think it is a fit ‘organisation’ to be running OUR country. You doubt that we can be independent of it without disaster. Why?

      Perhaps you can explain now in a couple of well chosen sentences why you believe this expansionist and communistic regime, with all its sinister plans for its own future existence, is one which we’d do well to remain shackled to, and why we simply cannot get on in the big wide world (as we always did) without its control.

    • Hope
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      No, remain or leave was the question. Not what you cite. We have on a daily basis all the specious issues that we did not vote for all with a view to change the result. Remain lost and the UK should leave. The is no hard or soft Brexit, there is no rich or poor Brexit. It was a clean break leave. Cameron made it clear several times to try and scare us by saying if we leave that would be it, he said similar things in, parliament about two days before the vote. We accepted his scare stories, his apocalyptic economic dire warnings and voted leave. No point May and Hammond rehearsing all the old scary rants and using public institutions and foreign leaders to scare us. We accepted what they said, ignored it and voted leave.

      • Chris
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        As has been said so many times before, Hope, they are sore losers and do not know how to accept democracy. They only know one type of situation: the one where they always win, by fair means or foul, apparently. Into Marxist territory though with that attitude.

    • Stred
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Maybe your meds will be stuck in the EU for ever and you will be forced to jump in the Ouse.

    • Terence Hughes
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Not in east Anglian division. Leave is stronger than ever

    • libertarian
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink


      The petition for a no deal WTO exit has now surpassed 200,000 signatures. You would never win a second referendum

    • TL
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I think it could be far worse.

      We could have voted 52% Remain and now be hearing the likes of you telling us how decisive the vote and it can’t be best of two.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink


      Utter nonsense.

      For once, take it from an erudite professional that has 30+ years experience of multi-billion international trading at the highest level…UK resorting to WTO terms would be the greatest escape to a bountiful future, whereas remaining in a crumbling EU edifice has nothing to offer the UK but impending failure!

      …..and Newmania, I am happy to debate with you directly, against your erroneous assertions, all of which are based on a fundamental lack of understanding or real trading knowledge. Additionally, over the many months of your commenting here, you have never once produced a shred of evidence to support your scurrilous scaremongering!

    • roger
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      We will then need another referendum because the majority that will have voted remain quite obviously will have misunderstood the question and the implications of their action.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    In May 2015, the Conservative Party manifesto commited them to an EU referendum. It finally took place in June 2016. It is now Dec 2019 nearly four years later yet and yet preparations for a WTO exit has been absolutely pathetic. The civil service and the Government under Cameron and May especially under tax to death economic illiterate and project fear pusher Hammond has been grossly negligent. Will anyone be fired or disciplined for this gross dereliction of duty, one assumes not.

    So the ONS has finally ruled that the government should account properly for the circa 50% of student loans and interest that will never be repaid. Of course the rest also has to be repaid by the higher earning ex-students who are also tax payers with interest so that too is a burden on tax payers taking the effective tax rate up to 53% for some. An especially large burden for many, as many of these degrees have little or no real value anyway.

    What next the state pension liabilities properly accounted for?

    • Hope
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      LL, I think you need to be accurate and point out English students, Scottish students do not pay tuition fees, Welsh and Irish capped at a low rate and EU students, our competitors FFS, get free tuition at some of our top universities. It is the English once again burdened more than any other host nation state and England that has NO representation of its own to the UK Westminster parliament. England is the only country Not to have its own parliament or assembly. Cameron promised on the steps to Downing Street that only a Tory party would deliver on EVEL. Of course he lied. A trait that runs through the Tory party. Perhaps it is a desired character trait of all Tory leader candidates?

    • Stred
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Its 2018.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Good point, I was in two minds between “nearly 2019” and Dec 2018!

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      But,Lifelogic,we have to indulge in wholesale false accounting-capitalisation of government expenditure,extend and pretend debt etc-to maintain the pretense that the country isn’t actually bust.

      Besides,it only adds another £12bn to last year’s £40bn deficit-a mere bagatelle!

    • acorn
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Worry not Ll, the state pension liabilities are 100% covered by the Magic Money Tree (MMT). Unfortunately, private pension liabilities are not. Most of the latter will end up in the state funded Pension Protection Fund; particularly, private sector defined benefit schemes of companies that will go bust.

      Worry not about the Student Loan debt, nothing has changed in the real world of fiat currency issuing and accounting. The ONS, so called, “national accounts”, are a work of fiction, designed to bamboozle the proletariat for the benefit of the Westminster Elite.

      The Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) gets nearer to private sector accounting truth. In the last set of WGA 2016/17, the total Treasury “Units of Account” issued into the private sector, and not yet recovered by taxation, is £2,948.1 billion. This they call “taxpayers equity”. Except the taxpayers are saving those Treasury “Units of Account” and are reluctant to pay them back in taxes.

  7. Embarristering
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    JR I saw your interview on Sky News pitted against two journalists. One as journalist-proper named Kay Burley and the other I forget his name, genuinely, but he is often interviewed as if he were a somebody. He advised Blair. Does he too, one could ask, fear a sovereign British Court and pump the daft idea of the EU, oh…. and a foreign court? I know there are people well up in the Labour Party who may wish to use a perfect British court to level charges against one or, two individuals, but if this is a concern..being one a million chance..well it’s better odds for some than not buying a judicial lottery ticket as it were, at all..

  8. Embarristering
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Sorry, it wasn’t Kay Burley. It was a man journalist. I must be getting old. I usually spot her straightway

    • Stred
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      He must be a top trannie

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    As you say “Ministers are employed by us to make these things work. Instead of fuelling fears that things might go wrong, as some seem to do.”

    Actually most ministers seem to push this doom and gloom under T May and especially with the appalling P Hammond controlling and misdirecting taxpayers funds. Endless talk of cliff edges, a no deal disaster, crashing out and similar. We have the highest taxes for 40 years yet our pathetic state sector can deliver hardly anything of any real value or that is sensible or efficiently. Nearly four years of gross negligence by them in totally failing to prepare for no deal. Still fear not most businesses will be fine they are used to dealing with government getting in the way and their general gross incompetence.

  10. DUNCAN
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    May’s government and their advisers have spent the last 2 years bombarding the British public with anti-UK, pro-EU propaganda. On this basis alone she has nailed her colours to the mast. If she’s being dragged kicking and screaming to the EU exit then what does that say about her intentions?

    Our esteemed host appears to be an inveterate optimist and I admire that but surely he can see that May’s direction of travel is not towards EU exit but a state of affairs that leaves us stranded

    What is beyond question is of course the power of the free market and the energy it can unleash if allowed to do so. Buyers and sellers will always find a way and the UK is a trading nation. Thatcher’s reforms during the 1980’s helped to inculcate a culture of enterprise that will benefit the UK as we move forward.

    The UK could be an economic titan if only politicians would just get out of the way. The constant presence of politics is a stain in civil society

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that it’s probably too late now to start countering the government propaganda campaign against leaving on WTO terms, they have a head start of over three years.

  12. David in Kent
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately several of those responsible ministers whom you urge to publish their plans for a smooth Brexit are scared that if they do, MPs will realise they can safely vote for ‘No Deal’.

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Is this why Mr Rees-Mogg offered the PM his public support?
    Oh…this sounds like a lovely,lovely Christmas present. Leaving with no deal? ( That is what Mr R means??). WoooHooo! Maybe we have a future after all??

    PS I reckon Embarristering is spot on!!

  14. Richard1
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Ministers should also say what will happen to the business of those people conducting financial services exports under the financial passport to EU customers. This seems to me to be one tangible risk which we haven’t heard an answer to.

  15. ColinD.
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I understood it was Mrs May who did not encourage timely WTO planning. I fear today’s Cabinet discussion is just window dressing without any genuine substance. I do not trust Mrs May.

    • NickC
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      ColinD, Unfortunately you are right that Mrs May has failed to do her job properly. She has purposefully arranged for the UK to have a deep and special relationship with the EU, rather than leave.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The whole “negotiation” has been undermined by these preparations not having being made immediately article 50 was triggered. I don’t share your confidence in Ministers’ abilities – most seem very lightweight whilst far better MPs languish on the backbenches.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    So the FCA have finally noticed that bank overdrafts are a “dysfunctional” market. Banking in the UK in general is in fact dysfunctional and a rip off. Banks paying 0.3% or less on deposits and charging circa 68% on overdrafts often using unclear daily rip off charge so as not to quote the actual rate.

    Banks will be banned from charging higher fees for unarranged overdrafts, Britain’s financial watchdog proposed on Tuesday as it sought to fix a “dysfunctional” market. They suggest.

    So good credit risk customers will be ripped off just as much as to low risk ones then. Are they a bit thick at the FCA?

    • Steve
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink


      The best way to beat the banks is to not get into debt in the first place.

      Easier said than done I agree, but personal finance management is something that should become compulsory in the School’s Curriculum. The smart way to give future generations an improved wellbeing and standard of living is to start by teaching them how to stay out of debt.

      Debt is one of the major causes of family break ups and the wellbeing of children adversely affected.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      “high risk” I meant.

  18. agricola
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I question whether government is taking the reqired steps to carry out a WTO exit on 29th March 2019.
    How much of it is gesture politics to concentrate the minds of the EU. The EU will be the major losers in our exit to WTO rules.
    I still await your thoughts on the position of financial services under WTO rules, and the usefulness of the WTO’s Article 24. Two subjects on which your silence is becoming indicative.
    The great positive in reverting to WTO rules on 29th March is that the duplicity of parliamentarians is reduced to noises off, they having already voted for Article 50 during one of their more honest moments of respect for the result of the 2016 referendum. If this contribution comes over as cynical then I am.

  19. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Although I am much in favour of a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU, I almost wish for a no-deal exit, just to see the faces of the doom-mongers as their prophesies fail to materialise.
    I imagine government ministers are under great stress to ensure preparations are in place in their departments for a no-deal. Parliament will come down like a ton of bricks on any minister caught short. The excuse “I didn’t make preparations because we were hoping for a transition deal” won’t wash.

    • Andy
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      We have a free trade deal with the EU – Margaret Thatcher’s single market. You chose to leave it.

      You clearly do not want a free trade deal when you and the other quittlings want out of the best trade deal in the world.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Andy, how many times does it have to be said. We do not have a free trade deal. It costs us billions.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 19, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Not only that, other nations that trade happily into Europe pay nothing to trade like the UK does.

  20. Javelin
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    There are lots of legal timings under EU law that need to be publicised within one, two or three months. The various UK ministries would need to publish these.

    For example under the fishing treaty the EU needs to list all the EU community vessels allowed to fish in EU waters. So one would expect a list of all the UK fishing vessels is presented to the EU that will not be allowed to fish in the EU. Not sure of the exact timings.

    “The Commission shall update every three months the Community IUU vessel list and shall provide for a system to automatically notify updates to Member States, regional fisheries management organisations and any member of the civil society that should so request. Furthermore, the Commission shall transmit the list to the FAO and to regional fisheries management organisations for the purposes of enhancing cooperation between the Community and these organisations aimed at preventing, deterring and eliminating IUU fishing.”

    The Gov need to publish their “run book” so we can see all these legal rules are being followed as we leave the EU. When the vote is cast in Dec this run book needs to be available.

  21. George Brooks
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Many of our MPs are too young, too inexperienced and in many cases too ‘wet’ to stand up for this country. Nothing the PM has said in the last two weeks has changed anything in the WA. Assurances and ‘warm words’ are not worth the paper they are written on and the PM should be ashamed of her weasel words that she has been uttering in the HoC.

    As ‘Oldtimer’ has said scare stories are manna for the media. Add that to many Remainer MPs who thought they could easily reverse the 2016 result and you have the perfect mess which they have created. The PM stupidly tried to appease both sides and fallen down in between and is digging the hole she is in even deeper.

    Bin the WA, come out on the 29th March and within a short period the EU will be talking to us sensibly as they needs us along side as a friendly cooperative neighbour.

    By the way we cannot have a second vote as the BBC news department would have to be closed down for the duration of the campaign as the don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘balance’

  22. Adam
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Being prepared is one of the most basic requirements of maintaining life. The ‘transition’ period of 2 years was there specifically for preparation. Govt was aware well of its Leave intent long before deciding to trigger Article 50, so should have used the time more effectively to be ready early. That would also have nullified the nonsensical scare stories that are still occurring daily.

  23. Lorna
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I think we are ignoring the fact that although most of the country hate the WA it is Still on the table !! May deliberately has not had a vote so it is alive
    By killing off the second referendum option with support of JRM and DUP that leaves two,options standing !
    No Deal or Mays WA
    No guesses as to how Parliament will vote at the last minute
    Once again May has used subterfuge and obfuscation to solve a major constitutional issue and impose her will on the Country
    How can we be so naïve to,trust her ?
    She has only one intent ! To Win!It is all,about Theresa May!

  24. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right JR, but I fear Government Ministers and the Civil service will not be anywhere near ready for anything.

    HMRC appearing before the Select committee last week spilt the beans, they said they have been told not to prepare anything.

    The Government looking in from the outside, looks like it is attempting to self harm, and some Ministers look like they are enjoying it rather too much.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Remember who holds the purse strings, and he seems to have a tight grip !

    • Steve
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      “I hope you are right JR, but I fear Government Ministers and the Civil service will not be anywhere near ready for anything”

      It isn’t of major significance, we’re British and we’ll cope with a no deal scenario. Besides you can expect the civil service to shove as many spanners in the works as they can, it is what they will resort to when their propaganda has failed, and will be their undoing.

      Fear not, no deal WTO is the right way to go. We don’t need the EU.

    • davies
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – customs in NI was one of the issues they were prevented from fixing back in March.

  25. Alison
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    THank you, Dr Redwood.
    I find extremely disturbing that our prime minister defends the draft withdrawal agreement with reference to a set of economic scenarios/forecast from the Treasury which have been ridiculed by economists all over the world. There is something extremely wrong with democracy here.

  26. KAR
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I am wondering what impact “The Republic of Ireland is very keen Calais gets its act together, as substantial volumes of Irish goods use the roads of the UK as a land bridge to get things to and from the continent more quickly than going by a longer sea ferry route.” has on the UK environment, with all these lorries travelling on UK roads on their way to/from our ports. What is the impact to air quality, extra wear and tear and congestion on the roads? Perhaps Leo Varadkar should be told all his lorries can no longer travel on UK roads, and must use the longer sea ferry route.

    • Steve
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink


      Irrelevant. Ireland is part of the EU, and as we will be leaving on no deal Ireland can ‘do one’

      We will be trading globally and won’t need the likes of Ireland, which, it must be said hides behind the EU’s coat tails and wasn’t exactly our ally during the brexit process.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      We should be glad to welcome RoI lorries plying their trade with the UK. However, thoroughfare (RoI and EU) is another matter and a bargaining chip in negotiations.

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        I would be troubled if the CTA agreement was curtailed with the RoI. It has prevailed for nearly a century and is no business of Juncker and co. The EU may play dirty but we should keep our word on this, as it is a matter of keeping our word, in the eyes of nations wanting new trade deals with the UK.

    • davies
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they should be made to apply for a £7 entry visa then taxed for using the roads

    • Stred
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      What is the impact on the cattle that are transported to distant continental primitive slaughter houses, often in temperatures over 30C. There should be a law to make regulated slaughter compulsory within 100 miles. Why can’t the Irish export carcasses or cut meat?

      • Chris
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        Agree, Stred. It is quite barbaric (live exports for meat).

    • rose
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Other countries charge our lorry drivers for using their roads but as with everything else, we don’t.

    • anon
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Just bring a sensible pence per mile charge or similar for non uk registered vehicles to cover road costs, pollution and other costs.

      I’m sure its done on the continent. And Eire would no doubt be able to use sea transit to avoid localised road pollutiion. Win Win.

  27. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I was filled with pride in British naval shipbuilding excellence last weekend, when I drove down to Portsmouth with a couple of friends to see our new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Her sheer size is impressive and I gather she was being fitted out with a Phalanx close-in weapon system, the first of several.

    The subject of discussion on the drive back centred on the Minister for Defence Procurement Stewart Andrew’s decision, announced last week during all the government bru-ha over Brexit, to put out to international tender a large contract for future solid support ships. The Minister announced that he would not classify these ships as “warships” in accordance with EU Defence and Security Directive 2009/81/EC, transposed into UK law by Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.13

    In spite of the recent announcement by Babcock of the closure of Appledore shipyard due to lack of work and shortages of work in the Scottish yards, this decision will mean that state subsidised shipyards in Korea, Japan, Spain will be able to bid for this work.

    Independent research, conducted by Defence Analysis Ltd, shows that £7.5bn worth of contracts for fleet auxiliary ships, minesweepers, survey ships and landing docks could potentially be put out to international competition by 2030 under the current plans. There is, however a derogation available to the Minister under Article 346 of the Treaty in that these warships will certainly be fitted out with defensive weapons such as Phalanx and so can be excluded from the EU requirement as they will not be “commercial” ships but bona-fide warships

    In any case, as we approach Brexit why is this Minister hiding behind an obscure EU directive to deny British shipyards naval work of this nature? Representations must be made to Gavin Williamson immediately to review this decision.

    • Steve
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink


      Good points, I agree with your sentiment entirely.

      There is no excuse why these contracts could not go to UK yards. There is Clyde, Tyne, and H&W. If these contracts must go overseas then the preferred choice should be the US perhaps with an agreeable involvement of UK yards.

  28. oldwulf
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This morning I listened to your interview on Talk Radio. I felt that the interviewer (Julia Hartley-Brewer) asked you intelligent questions and that you gave calm, reasoned, common sense and very credible responses in support of leaving with no deal. Thank you.

    I suspect that you have conducted a similar interview on a BBC radio station but unfortunately, I missed it.

    Reply Only on Radio Berkshire. National Radio 4 does not want me doing this I fear.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it’s rare you get to hear one of the “extremists” these days.

  29. Bernard Gallivan
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    JR’s comments are right on the money. All that he says would be possible if the will was there. It is true it should have happened 2.5 years ago but there is still time, just. But, is the will really there?

  30. Stred
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Steve Baker said that at Dover we need an extra 5? booths for French customs where the lorries come in. Have they been ordered? If not, as with HMRC being told to halt the electronic customs that they were planning, it seems that Mr Hammond and Mrs May prefer to spend the money on the EU move to federal control and are a nuisance.

    Reply I am told 10 are being put in place to ensure rapid transit

    • Stred
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


    • Richard1
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      I am pleased to report that eurotunnel has sold me 2 return crossings for after 29 March. They must be expecting to be allowed to convey UK citizens and vehicles to and from the continent.

  31. Steve
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood

    The BBC is intensifying it’s propagandist attempts to make us believe we need another referendum, Blair is poking his unwanted nose in further and really does need to keep quiet.
    – I am beginning to wonder what it is he personally fears about the ECJ not having jurisdiction over the UK. Food for thought.

    Never the less Theresa May’s instruction to cabinet concerning no deal scenario, and your latest writing are like a breath of fresh air.

  32. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Another excellent piece that needs to be shared widely.

    There’s an great short article form Austin Mitchell that attacks some of the scare stores – well worth a read: https://brexitcentral.com/remainers-shocking-litany-lies/
    I love this quote:
    “Our leaders love the EU because it gives them a bigger stage to strut on, an excuse for their failures and the illusion that they’re still important – the only satisfaction left to them, after screwing up Britain.”

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      @ Bryan Harris

      Your “our leaders quote” is brilliant and so true.

      It is more than equal to the statement made by Pat Haggerty of Texas Instruments Incorporated in 1965:-

      There is probably no greater waste in industry today than that of willing employees prevented by insensitive leadership from applying their energies and ambitions in the companies for which they work.

      Change a few words and it just about sums up British politics especially our party at the moment.

      So sorry to be unable to highlight the main text in bold. I blame my PC !!!

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

        Nice – Thanks @Turboterrier

        There is probably no greater waste in industry today than that of willing employees prevented by insensitive leadership from applying their energies and ambitions in the companies for which they work.

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      True and no doubt Mr. Macron’s recent problems are due to him strutting on the EU (and World) stage rather than looking after his domestic issues.

      Our leaders also wish to use the EU as an excuse to introduce new legislation, in particular increases in taxation, that they wouldn’t dare to enact otherwise.

      For instance, if we remained in the EU we could expect to get caught up in the standardisation of VAT and hence have 20% VAT applied to food.

      Also, do not forget that for our civil servants, jollies to Brussels must be a wonderful perk and was probably the main reason for the building of the Eurostar and for HS2.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        @Original Richard

        Yes – There are many things the EU is lining up that I want no part of – Time to be ourselves, and make our leaders truly accountable

  33. Stred
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Apparently, the UK and EU have signed a Common Travel Convention and this allows customs to be cleared and paid remotely. This seems sensible. And May and Hammond are complaining that ministries like Transport haven’t spent enough of the money on preparing for WTO that they belatedly made available. Who’s kidding who?

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      The government doesn’t want us to know what preparations are made for No Deal as it spikes their Project Fear stories.

    • acorn
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Common TRANSIT Convention. The UK is already in it and would be dropped out of it on a no-deal Brexit. It means you don’t have to get your wallet out every time you cross a border. You pay up at your destination.

      This is a bigger advantage for the EU than the UK, that’s why we got it. There will be more of these deals if the EU wants them for its own convenience. The EU will announce some short-term “bilaterals Wednesday. These to allow financial derivatives clearing and probably “one stop only in the EU” airline deals; that is, no cabotage.

      • acorn
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        BTW I understand the UK drops out of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on a no-deal Brexit because the UK is currently in it via an EU agreement. GPA membership is separate from ordinary WTO membership. The UK government will have to dangle some juicy contracts and buy its way back into the big spending GPA circus.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink



        The EU confirmed CTC is deal or no deal either way.

        Hold on you are now claiming that the EU doesn’t hold all the cards as there are some things that are convenient to them… No sh.t Sherlock

  34. Chris
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I think your description of what is now going on does not match with what May and her team are saying and doing. I want to trust you, but fear that you and other Brexiter MPs are continuing to be misled.

  35. Norman
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Watching yesterday’s debate in Parliament, the greatest immediate threat to our country, both in terms of freedom and the economy, is nothing to do with Brexit. I will say no more!

  36. DUNCAN
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe what we’re being told.

    We’ve been fed a diet of lies by this grotesque liar of a PM and her Europhile lackeys scattered across the EU’s client state (UK) now we’re meant to believe she’s suddenly embracing a complete exit from the EU and all that this entails

    What tosh. What nonsense. What an unprincipled rabble the Tories have become bar a few decent souls

  37. Paul Cohen
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    It was apparent from the beginning that successful negotiations with the EU would be difficult. We had seen several national votes overturned by EU interference and had been warned by Varoukis of the likely mantraps that would be used against us together with the ongoing battles by Greece and Italy to combat EU demands. It makes the clamour by some for continued membership of the EU inexplicable. Who would want to be a part of this political edifice as a locked in follower?

    Having reached the point of a “No Deal with the EU”, we need to shift our energies to the WTO option. in a definite manner, clearing any problems we incur on the way. But for goodness sake do it before we all go mad!

    Saw article where we forgave Germany (D Hurd) their reparations debt of £120 trillion in 1997. Not much reciprocation or gratitude there then!

    The BBC news programmes mandate is to broadcast unbiased content, but instead seem to be more and more blatant in doing the opposite – and we are paying for the privilege
    of access to this! The DG has been criticised for many months over this imbalance and if he won’t fix it should GO.

  38. Old person
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It always seems that the people have more common sense.

    For everyones information the Government petitions website currently has

    petition 229963 – Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019

    that has gone from 20,000 to over 200,000 signatures in under 4 days and is currently number 3 in the open petitions list.

  39. hans christian ivers
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink


    Thank you for a good overall perspective and insight on some of the issues we are facing.

    Interesting but most like not the outcome which we will eventually end up with .

    • mancunius
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      On the contrary, most do like it. Very much 🙂

  40. Bob
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s actions have not been in keeping with her aims as laid out in her Lancaster House speech. Do you think she is incompetent or duplicitous?

    Her choice of a largely Remain supporting Cabinet could offer a clue!

  41. James Matthews
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Some of you may wish to sign this government petition to leave the EU without a deal on 29th March without a deal: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229963
    and circulate it widely. More than 100,ooo signatures in the last three days, but a couple of extra noughts would be welcome.

  42. Den
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    So what is the Prime Minister’s reply to your valid Tariff question, JR?
    No reply must mean that she does not have the answers, which shows a despicable lack of competence in the Department concerned. These should have been assessed and agreed months ago.
    There is a huge problem with existing Government. namely, the unelected professional Civil Servants who have never had a job outside of their Whitehall Empire and therefore have no affinity with the Private Sector and not a clue on how “The Market” works. How could they know!
    It must be down to the Minster of that Department to teach them unless he/she too is one of those “Professional Politicians” who have never had a “Proper Job” in their lives and are ignorant of good business practises. Like, preparation.
    Mrs May’s disasters have been caused by such persons neither having the knowledge nor the experience to carry out the decisions of the British people. Consequently, they have been completely outmanoeuvred and outgunned by the Brussels ‘A’ Team.
    It is too clear for us Leavers. Either the Government changes or the Government is changed. It can be the only way forward for us.

  43. Dioclese
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    And yet only yesterday the Daily Mail was advising people not to book holidays for after 29th March in case the planes weren’t flying.

    Another example of Project Hysteria in full flight (pun intended)

    • mancunius
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      Apparently that was following a leak by a Remainer-propagandist civil servant in the Cabinet Office. They are – says the government – trying to identify the leaker.
      (Bit like looking for a haystack in a needle, really… )

  44. Tabulazero
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    And here is the EU’s answer to a managed no-deal Brexit:

    Aviation: The EU will allow airliners from the U.K. to fly over the EU, land in the EU and fly back to the U.K, and make refueling stops in the EU. Maintenance and certification activities will be excluded.

    Financial services: The EU would allow the U.K.’s derivatives clearinghouses to continue serving banks in the bloc — under a so-called equivalence arrangement — for 12 months after Brexit in the case of no deal. Ability to seek new business will be heavily curtailed.

    Customs: The EU will levy duties and taxes on U.K. goods and is stepping up arrangements to carry out customs checks at entry points from the U.K. Hard border in Ireland.

    Road transport: Permits will still be given to U.K. truck drivers but these would be far more restricted than is currently the case under EU membership. No more cabotage rights.

    Climate policy: EU climate change legislation won’t apply to the U.K. The Commission will take steps to ensure its emissions trading system isn’t affected.

    Rights of citizens: The EU will say it is taking a “generous” approach to British citizens living in one of its 27 countries at the moment of Brexit and will enable them to obtain long-term residency status if they fulfill the necessary conditions.

    Livestock and animal products: The EU hopes to allow the import of live animals and animal products from the U.K. as long as the country meets sanitary standards. Disruption will be expected, however, because new checks will have to take place on entry into the EU.

    Personal data: If the U.K. leaves the EU with no deal, the country will be governed by the rules covering international transfers, which makes it far more difficult to exchange personal data.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Tab. And your point is??

  45. Bob Wade
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    If Mrs May is thinking along the lines of no deal, and I hope she is. She would do well to reshuffle her cabinet and get rid of those remainers who clearly don’t believe in it.

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    In the event of a No Deal Brexit, no one needs to do anything on March 30th.

    Things can, and likely will, remain exactly the same unless and until both the EU and/or we decide our separate interests require us to diverge from the present arrangements.

    All the existing laws deriving from being in the EU which have any practical effect will still be in place in the UK. Change will take place gradually in the years to come. Many will be involve bilateral agreements between us and the EU.

    As and when we can, we can keep ourselves aligned to our mutual advantage, no doubt we’ll seek to do so.

    Following March 29th Parliament only has four days sitting before it rises for Easter and comes back on St George’s Day. By which time the country will have had its’ holidays, the sun will have started to shine, it will be apparent that no disasters have happened, and Remainers will history.

    We thcn get down the serious negotiations with the EU about the future.

    To facilitate goodwill at the sensitive time of the Brexit date itself, it might be good idea if the UK promised to carry on paying our NET Budget contribution until the end of July, but WITHOUT postponing the departure date.

    Even the hardest Brexiters will surely see that as small price to pay for ensuring that the Treaty lapses and we are legally OUT.

    Apart from anything else it might reassure a few panicky types in the Commons, and, when March 29th passes, uneventfully will leave the Remainers an even bigger laughing stock than they already are.

  47. Rob Cale
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Leaving the EU isn’t getting a fresh deal with the EU. Leave means totally leaving. WTO is fine for the rest of the world and will be fine for us. Those who oppose the people’s will need to be faced down , Blair, Soros, Cable and the BBC, have inflated the case for remain, a compliant mainstream media has magnified their falsehoods a thousand times. When we do leave and Project Fear is shown to be a lie, lets round on these people and tear them apart in what honest media is left.

  48. Ian
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Dr.John Well said indeed. Just a breath of fresh air again, we must hope that your common sence will be picked up by those in the Cabinet aswell as our PM.
    We will hope that all the scare mongers will over time just except the common sence which John gives us in his address above.

  49. Chris
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    If this report in D Express is true, then it seems as May has not been straight with Brexiter MPs, managing to outmanoeuvre them yet again, and just when she has secured a confidence vote from Rees-Mogg et al:

    “May to offer these THREE options – and REFERENDUM is an option

    THERESA May will offer her cabinet three options for how to deal with Brexit today. The Prime Minister will tell ministers they can either opt for a second referendum, a softer deal with the EU or a no-deal exit, as the chances of her pulling off a successful deal are rapidly dwindling…..”

  50. davies
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Hans Maessen reported that the NI border issue is fictituous, i’m surprised a BBC outlet was allowed to report this.


    I did see another clip by the same person alleging that HMRC were told to stop working on this issue in March this year.

    On one hand we are told that full preparations are being made for a no deal WTO BREXIT on the other hand we hear that work has been stopped from dealing with hot potatoes like the NI border.

    What is the real position? Are there 2 competing agendas here? One to prepare, another to put a spanner in the works?

  51. John O'Leary
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    <i?"I have this confidence because most of what happens to ensure imports and exports work is nothing whatsoever to do with governments."

    So who do the customs officials and veterinary, phytosanitary inspections work for. Is it the buyer or the seller?

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      The people of the UK? A great pity that the majority of the MPs at Westminster have failed to remember that they are meant to do the same.

  52. mancunius
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m just wondering if the reason May is now talking about an exit on 29 March without the WA is to try to coax the EU into providing some form of words on the back stop that will be given credence by the more vacillating MPs, so as to get the (utterly appalling) WA through Parliament. She still thinks – or at least claims she thinks – the EU-crafted WA can be salvaged with a duplicitous phrase. May has shown herself to be neither sensible nor principled enough to know the difference between legal reality and fantasy.

  53. NickC
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    JR, Well said. All power to your elbow.

  54. rose
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Leave without a Deal Petition now at 223,300. More than a thousand an hour and building up all over the British Isles – SNP seats, Sinner seats, Plaid…even Lady Hermon’s!

  55. Cupid
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m not joking.

  56. PaulDirac
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    The language used by the Remainders is emotive e.g. “Knife edge”, “Catastrophe” but devoid of any actual content. This is symptomatic of Radio 4 interviews in which people NEVER get asked the question of “How exactly will this be a “favorite expression”.
    The campaign is well funded, by (probably EU), Blair and others, we must now all try to debunk this language and try to get a rational discussion of the WTO exit.

    Had the government acted in a smart way, they would have declared preparations for a WTO exit from the get-go, but why complain – sense at last.

  57. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Some Labour MP on the box just said ‘parliament will stop no deal, we’ll find a way to stop it. 80% to 90% of MPs will not allow it to happen. If necessary Tory Remainer MPs will vote in a vote of no confidence to bring down the government.’

    Is he right?

  58. Prigger
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    All this brexit stuff has diverted attention of any movement in political circles in making any attempt dealing with the well-known and widespread problem of corruption in Local Authorities poilitically and in the realm of business/contract allocation. It’s hard to listen to MPs on either side of the Brexit -debate when nothing is ever said or done about it and surprisingly arrests and charges never are applied to anyone. It’s as if the participant collective entities are miraculously devoid of even one bad apple. Impossible given the likely percentage there would be rather than should be.

  59. Andy
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The health secretary has, apparently, warned in private that the disruption your Brexit will cause to supply chains will likely lead to some deaths.

    Obviously he can’t say this in public because the Europhobes will have a meltdown. But it seems a pretty likely scenario – when you consider the scale of your Brexit disruption.

    As you have a few more months to think about it, would you all like to consider – in advance – what you would like to say to family and friends of Brexit victims? Remembering, of course, that it could be someone you know and love. A husband. A wife. A mother. A father. A son. A daughter.

    We will find out. Woe betide Brexiteers if it is someone close to me.

    A competent and decent government made up of a party of sensible and decent people would not be playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. Alas the angry pensiones are neither competent nor decent. They are a cancer on our society.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Now why would there be such disruption? Are you expecting 1) EU suppliers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices to refuse to sell to the UK, 2) EU govts or the EU to force some sort of blockade, or 3) the UK govt for some unknown reason to prevent supplies reaching us?

      We are almost at the point where we need WTO Brexit just to show this sort of thing for the rubbish it is. The boost to confidence would be enormous.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Project Fear gets more hysterical as the March deadline approaches.
      We’ve had no planes, no water, no food, no medicines and now we are all going to die.
      Hilarious hyperbole.

    • rose
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      How many lives has the EU cost? No borders crime, food poisoning, air pollution, homelessness, general overcrowding and traffic congestion leading to accidents…and then there will be the army and the single foreign policy.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink


      Why exactly would a trade agreement cause deaths in the NHS ?

      Anyway I thought you were highly in favour of people dying.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Andy, let’s hope its not your mother that you love so much.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      The NHS is a basket case already. Nothing to do with us leaving the EU. This ‘envy of no-one’ organisation killed my Uncle through wilful neglect, over 10 years ago. Mid- Staffs was the fault of hateful and evil-minded people just like you. That’s the real cancer in our society.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      John, these drug import fears of your governments Health Minister leaked out from a ‘private conversation’ with whom?

      Who is the current Health Minister? Do we have a right to know which drugs s/he is talking about, what company and Country currently supply us these life-saving drugs and what other worldwide suppliers of this drug are there? We’ve been told your Government is buying warehouses full of fridges to stockpile drugs, is this true – what drugs are they for? If the government hasn’t sorted this out in the last two years then the public who take these drugs need to be able to get their own drugs privately if necessary, we need to feel confident that alternatives have been sourced and your silly Health Minister in ‘Private’ conversations admits they can’t sort it out they need removing immediately and put you or Boris in charge to sort this out quickly if Leavers are going to be blamed for supply chain problems.

      Perhaps its a time for a BIG shake-up in NHS drug purchases and its time the British Public started asking and demanding answers to these questions I pose instead of just abrogating all responsibility to reckless purchase people in Nice or the NHS who just want to spread fear to people like Andy who can’t cope with any change.

  60. W.Eiard
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    How could it be that relatively few people 100,000 in weeks”signed up” to Sky News’ “Make Debates Happen” via Twitter and HM Government, when a petition to Leave the EU without a Deal has much greater figures in a matter of a couple of days? The former was advertised on Sky News several times a day with teary journalists urging the populace on. The latter not advertised at all really. It would be uplifting to think that Brexit is within the UK soul. Realistically though, someone is meddling with soicial media or other entities elsewhere.

  61. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    The BBC just allowed someone on the news to say that Brexit would be a shot of adrenalin for the UK economy. Some half-witted economist? No! A man in charge of a company based in the is country for the last 57 years who is in the process of building their biggest factory ever to bring manufacturing back to the UK.

    The presenter started off with usual ‘catastrophe’ remark – and the guest shot him down and told him not to use such language.

  62. KatC
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s all BS, there will be no going to WTO Rules. The powers that be will conspire to see to it, I have absolutely no doubt

  63. DUNCAN
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Brexit will be sacrificed in some shape or form. Tory politics will take precedence over the sovereignty, independence and integrity of democracy of the United Kingdom

    Do not underestimate the valueless, unprincipled nature of the modern Tory party and I’m a Tory voter and have been all my life.

  64. Peter Martin
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Maybe just slightly off topic:

    Suppose we’d said before the 2016 referendum, which we weren’t going to call a Peoples’ Vote, that, if the vote was to leave, we were going to have another referendum in 2019 which we were going to call a Peoples’ vote. The first referendum was to be regarded as advisory, unless the result was to stay, in which case it would be binding. The second referendum was to be binding for a generation.

    In the meantime, if the first vote was to leave, we were going to negotiate the best exit deal we possibly could with the EU, but if it wasn’t good enough then of course everyone would know that by the time the second referendum was to be held. Therefore everyone could make an informed decision as to whether to stay, leave with the deal, or leave with no deal.

    This would rightly have been regarded as completely absurd and no way to treat the EU or the UK electorate.

    But as far as I can make out this is what most remainers have been wanting all along!

  65. a-tracy
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Just watching channel 4 news and the cargo customs company who can’t cope with any more business after Brexit, we need to offer this work opportunity out to competitors quickly, find people who can train people quickly and set it up. I’d also like the government to investigate what exactly in this day and age was all that paper in a brown file required for on a single van going to Switzerland? Why aren’t things digital and necessity is the mother of all invention and it’s time these old antiquated ways of doing things changed. What does Australia, Canada, Switzerland do?

    I’m sick of seeing one sided news. I’m not the sort of person that likes being cornered, Armageddon!! This is one man we are a nation of 66m people is there no-one in this Country at all with an alternative view on this?

    Turned over.

  66. Ian Pennell
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Call me pessimistic, I just don’t see how a Managed “No Deal” Brexit can be mooted as a serious plan at present. The lovely Right Hon Nick Boles, a Remainer Tory MP has just declared that he would resign the Conservative Whip and vote against Theresa May in a “Vote of Confidence” tabled by Labour if she even dares to actively consider WTO Brexit terms! There’s also Anna Soubry who is in agreement with Nick Boles. All told there are up to 20 Remainer so- called Tory MPs who may be willing to support Labour in a “Vote of No Confidence” and resign the Conservatice Whip if WTO “No Deal” is discussed as a serious option.

    But what are the ERG led by Jacob Rees Mogg going to do if Theresa May presses ahead with her ghastly “Deal” with the hated backstop- or if Theresa May and a Remain Majority in Parliament “Pivot” their way towards an EFTA/ Norway-type Deal (really “Remain” except by name)? WHAT will you do as the Remainers get Theresa May over a barrel and say “Give us what we want or else..!”?? I’d much rather it was the ERG and the DUP threatening to kick out Theresa May this way if she carries on with her “Deal” or gets “slewed” by Remainers into a “Remain in all but Name”!

    Call the Remainers’ bluff, face them down: Tell them it is YOU Brexit- supporting Conservatives who are prepared to do CATHARSIS on this Government if they, under pressure from Remainers, weasel towards “Norway Minus” or a second Referendum.

    The Tories are level- pegging in the polls; if you bring down the Government and get a Brexiteer in charge of the Conservatives (through a show of hands- you wont have time for a leadership election) and campaign vigorously on a WTO “No Deal” Platform with popular pro-growth policies to help Britain through the short- term issues (funded by ending EU payments, cutting Foreign Aid and a bit more borrowing) in the resulting Election – you will win- particularly as you could point out that it is Labour and the SNP who are intent on betraying Leave voters.

    Are you frightened of Jeremy Corbyn winning an Election??: If the Tories have a Brexiteer in charge, run a good campaign and offer pro- growth popular policies YOU WILL WIN; even if you don’t win Jeremy Corbyn is not going to get close to a Majority:A strong pro-Brexit Conservative opposition (with 280 to 300 MPs) with help from the DUP will still be able to block some of Labour’s worst policies (like muzzling the Press): Through re-grouping and campaigning on a platform of tax-cuts and a Proper Brexit you would win by- elections and by say 2022 be in a position to table a Vote of No Confidence in Jeremy Corbyn. You then win the 2022 General Election and set about pulling Britain out of EFTA or the Customs Union (or whatever Labour get Britain in) and leave the EU altogether.

    It’ll be much worse for the Conservatives if Theresa May stays in office, allowing Remainers in Parliament to dictate the direction of travel. Come the 2022 General Election (earlier if Jeremy Corbyn forces a Vote of No Confidence) the Tories would be looking at a 1997- style defeat and could stay out of power for a decade or longer. So take courage, and tell your Brexiteer colleagues to do likewise and take action!

    I was dissapointed in Jacob Rees Mogg declaring his support for Theresa May last night -having demanded she resign just six days ago. For the long-term good of the Conservative Party- and for Brexit you- at a minimum- need to face the Remainers in Parliament down.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019

    Ian Pennell

  67. Heap
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve solved the problem of landfill.
    Up North, all the slag, that is all the non-coal excavations including sedimentary rock, plant and tree fossils, small parts of machines, insulated cabling, old bits and pieces of this and that, were made into a Slag Heap conveniently situated just a few hundred metres ( yards )from pit-villages. How high they were! Well, avoiding and taking care not to do an Aberfan, they can be located outside each village and contain its own waste material. It’s okay. We and the government Up North got used to it. After it rises half a mile high or so, it can be, like old slag heaps, covered over with top soil, grass seed, and then sheep put on them to graze providing organic material to add to the cycle of life and regrowth. Methane gas, now has to be pumped away from landfill sites. The advantage of the “slag” heap is that the gas escapes naturally and slowly. People will get used to it. We did. We had to.
    If the pilot scheme for these plastic and waste slag heaps is in Westminster, it will not be too long before even more jolly good ideas will come up in MPs minds. The second pilot scheme quickly following the first, could be in Ms Soubry’s and Ms Rudd’s electoral areas…

  68. Chewy
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I believe we may just have a chance of getting out. The deal should be rejected in January.
    I think our secret ally could be Jeremy Corbyn. He’s under a lot of pressure to go for the no confidence vote but will resist doggedly as he wants a realistic chance of winning it and certainly doesn’t want to be pushed towards the Remainers ideal of a second referendum.
    Nick Boles and Anna Soubry by raising the prospect that they wouldn’t support the government in a confidence vote should it peruse a No Deal agenda can only help. If enough come on board it gives him a good prospect of winning a NC vote as the “cliff edge/ crashing out” approach. Of course all other routes need to be shut down. In the worse case scenario he gets his election but I’d still reckon he’s unlikely to win unless May’s Deal is in the manifesto; I reckon after the last fiasco that also is unlikely to happen. Bonus is we’d also get shot of a few Remainer die hards.

  69. Simon Coleman
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Ministers are listening to the bosses of ports, airports, agriculture, the City, scientific research etc etc. That’s exactly what they should be doing. If you’re saying that all these people are part of a project to lie to the public, then why aren’t you asking for a full enquiry? That’s a very serious accusation you’re making.

    And doesn’t it bother you that Brexit has created executive and parliamentary paralysis? Where is the domestic programme? You keep suggesting that you’re a patriotic person who cares more about the country than ‘dishonest’ remainers. Well it’s you Brexit fanatics who have created this mess and made the nation a joke abroad. When are you going to admit some responsibility for all this instead of hiding behind May’s incompetence?

    • sm
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Simon, I think the EU should be considering its own very serious problems, don’t you? Political and financial incompetence is causing massive unrest, which is starting to seep into public demonstrations of hostility.

      You may recall that one of the basic justifications of the pan-European project was to stop populist uprisings of the kind that eventually led to WW2. It was said that such uprisings are the outcome of nationalism, and therefore the creation of a Federal Union would therefore prevent more strife.

      It would be my contention that it is the pro-‘ever-closer Union’ fanatics that have created one heck of a mess and are gradually turning Europe into a looming tragedy.

  70. Adam
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I’m still waiting on a refund of my tv licence fees over the years.

  71. D Kendrick
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    “The NHS needs to continue importing pharmaceuticals from the continent under existing contracts. ”

    John Redwood, those contracts are with big Pharma, Johson & Jonson , GLaxo SmithKline . Pfizter etc, they buy in from third party suppliers worldwide and airship drugs into the country. Now woundcare – most of the worlds, bandages, hydrocholoids gels and silver alginates are made in the UK at Winsford Cheshire by Advanced Medical Solutions Ltd, there are over 300 Pharmaceutical companies registered in the UK capable of suppling the NHS with of coure the remaining UK ICI company AstraZenica of Holmes Chapel, in fact the UK imports to itself having made the product and rebadged it under a big Pharma name.

  • 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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