Getting growth back worldwide

Whilst the UK has been preoccupied by Brexit a far more important struggle for our prosperity has been going on globally about growth in the world economy. Markets have been signalling that Central banks are tightening money too much, and governments are still too wedded to austerity outside the USA.

The Euro economy has suffered most, with German national income and output falling in the third quarter of 2018 and still weak in the fourth quarter. Car output in particular has been hit by the Chinese slowdown, by regulatory change from the EU and by the pace of technical and regulatory change workdwide. The UK economy has performed better despite both a monetary and fiscal tightening last year of some severity.

The world’s two giant economies, USA and China, have both followed tight money policies which have slowed them down. Interest rate sensitive areas like homes and cars have seen sales hit by dearer and scarcer credit.The Chinese stock market fell to half its elevated high of 2016, and Wall Street had a sharp sell off in November and December. It now looks as if both these leading economies will abate the severity a bit, which is necessary to sustain growth. China has announced lower reserve ratio requirements for banks, and the Fed has backed off full support for a more aggressve set of rate rises in 2019.

The Eurozone will have to announce no rate rises for the foreseeable future and no move to Quantitative tightening if it wants to avoid recession. It may end up allowing a little bit of fiscal relaxation as France struggles to respond to the gilet jaunes and as Italy’s government insists on just a little less austerity. The problem is that without proper transfers within the Eurozone from taxpayers in rich countries to the poor in lower income countries they do need to keep up a stricter discipline. This bites more on the poorer areas in the zone, causing political tension and fuelling populist movements.With the AFD doing better in polls, the German government will need to get even tougher about budget controls on weaker Eurozone members, and reaffirm a no new grants or bail outs policy.

There is no great inflation problem the Central banks need to pre empt or control. There is a shortage of demand and slow real wage growth which sensible economic policies need to combat. The UK economy needs the £ 39 bn to spend over the next two years on a mixture of public service improvements and real wage boosting tax cuts.

There does need to be a better policy response in the UK to the collapse of car sales. The UK has made the general global situation worse at home by its big hike in Vehicle Excise duties and the uncertainty over future tax and regulatory policy towards diesels. With so much change in the air over future engine styles, autonomous vehicles and extent of urban controls over cars the traditional car makers are struggling. On both sides of the Atlantic monetary policy is also affecting the price and availability of car purchase loans.

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200 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning,
    Sir John, you have touched on probably THE most critical issue of the Eurozone/EU. For many years the Eurozone nations, France, Spain in particular, have been asking for the national debts of Eurozone nations to be pooled, and managed by one finance commissioner. Every time it is proposed, most recently by Macron last year, the Germans refuse it point blank. It is easy to see why; pooling of national debt would aid all Eurozone nations EXCEPT Germany. It is one of the glaring ironies of the Eurozone and duplicity of Germany; if a project is bad for Germany, no matter how good it is for the rest of the EU, it doesn’t go forward. Europeans, WAKE-UP!

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; The same can be said for any of the EU27 (well at least those within the Euro area), all have the power of veto, stop singling out Germany!

      Clearly the problem is the fact that the EU is not a fully federated political entity and thus pooling of national debt/credit, it has been pointed out for years, and even more so since the eurozone crisis (hence the calls for “More Europe” from the USA, the IMF, etc), not just more recently from Macron. BUT let’s also be clear, before June 2016, the UK was the main objector in obtaining such a goal. The UK is thus just as much to blame as Germany is, WAKE-UP!

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        The answer to all the EU’s problems… more EU !

      • Dominic Johnson
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        @jerry
        I’m confused, I thought the EU was a trade agreement?
        Why would it include debt pooling?

        • bigneil
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          It started as a trade agreement Dominic. It will only be complete when the country of Germany becomes the continent of GEUrmany. Hopefully it never will.

        • Hope
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          JR, has Colin Lee the clerk of bills acted properly or not with Grieve. If so why do we read he was sworn to secrecy? Both need to be arrested and investigated.

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Hope

            This anti Brexit mantra by the Speaker, politicians, and others behind the scenes, is now taking on a rather sinister turn against our so called democratic system.

            It would seem we can no longer can rely upon all politicians to act in an honourable manner.

            Rest assured I am sure the people will take revenge as best they can, by using the ballot box if this subversive type of action continues.
            Others may unfortunately get rather more angry and frustrated with rather more direct results.

          • Hope
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            I suggest MPs call an urgent question and ask for parliamentary and police investigation to ascertain the full facts.

          • Timaction
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            How about May and Robbins with her alternative white paper behind David Davis’s back? How dishonest is that? Then her ambush at Chequers with banning of mobiles and threats of removal of Ministerial cars? Questions in the house to May and an enquiry to see when she went to EU and other Countries leaders before her own Cabinet!

          • jerry
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; “I suggest MPs call an urgent question”

            Good luck with that one…

      • matthu
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        from the USA?

        It is not clear who you meant was calling for more EU (I presume you meant more EU and not more Europe?).

        Would that be from the Democrats?
        From the Republicans?
        From the bankers?

        Or were you referring to Trump asking the EU to stump up more contributions to NATO?

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        And another JR casuistry should be pointed out:

        “With the AFD doing better in polls”

        In the most recent German elections the AfD come third – behind the GREENS!

        Reply IN the opinion polls AFD and Greens doing well at expense of traditional parties. In whatever figures you are pointing to you imply the Social Democrats are now in fourth.

        • L Jones
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          So you think, Ms Howard, that by using what you consider a clever word (”casuistry”) you might disguise your implied insult of our host?
          We are not deceived.
          If you remainders can’t win your point by simple argument and presentation of facts WITHOUT an insult, then you are not worth the screen you are typed on.

    • Peter
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I am more concerned with the Grieve amendment. This would apparently allow a minority of 300 MPs from five parties to remove the WTO option from Brexit.

      I cannot see how this can be justified. If it came to pass, the government should (if necessary) call an election so that voters have a chance to remove the troublesome MPs who are intent on thwarting Brexit.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Mr Gopichand Hinduja explains it simply for us:”whichever country makes it easy to do business and cuts corporate taxes, their economy will grow. A good example is the US”.

  2. Mark B
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    JoolsB

    I left a message to your post from yesterday.

    The problem is that without proper transfers within the Eurozone from taxpayers in rich countries to the poor in lower income countries they do need to keep up a stricter discipline.

    Correct. This is the central problem of the Eurozone. Solution ? Full economic, monetary and political union. TINA.

    Some control over money in the UK economy and in various sectors was necessary. This to prevent them from forming too bigger bubbles leading to the eventual bust. A slowing down allowing wages to catch up and freeing money to spend elsewhere was necessary.

    What is happening in Germany and China is significant, but for different reasons. China is a whole new post. Germany though is closer to home and is more relevant to us. If Germany cannot meet the bills, either some are going to have to pay more or, other accept less. I see that the EU is brining in rules that punish member countries if they do not back certain policies. I think Germany and others are going down this route in order to reduce the bill. A very cynical move.

  3. acorn
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    And all because Conservative neoliberals love austerity.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Macron and Merkel are certainly not Conservative neo liberals.
      If only they were.

      • acorn
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        So why are they following the EU stability and growth pact, which is about as neoliberal as you can get?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Is it?
          It is just a policy trying to improve the economic performance and growth of the Eurozone nations.
          You label everything you disagree with as neo liberal.

        • David Price
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          The EU stability and growth pact, that sounds familiar. Aren’t those the rules Germany and France flout yet somehow are allowed to evade fines and punishments, unlike the retribution they demand of of other such as Greece.

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            Half truths again. Germany ‘flouted’ those rules because the Berlin wall came down and she had to suddenly find the enormous sums needed to come to the aid of 20m of her fellow Germans who had suffered decades of Soviet rule and neglect.
            Not self interest or chicanery.

          • libertarian
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            MH

            So in a rules based system the rules can be flouted…. OK Margaret thanks for clearing that up

          • Know-Dice
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            Why did Germany have to fund reunification on its own?

            Surely in a socialist arrangement like the EU, everyone should have “chipped in”?

          • David Price
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            @ m howard – stop lying, the Berlin Wall did not come down in 2003, nor did France have to contend with 20m less well off new countrymen.

            https://www.ft.com/content/dfb8adf7-7ca4-384c-a737-f28c0dc46924

    • Adam
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      acorn:

      Your ‘And all because ….’ line evokes the image of Theresa May dreaming of a mystery man in black defying all odds to deliver her a solution on a plate.
      Next, when she wakes up, she’ll realise she turned it into a chocolate teapot meltdown.

      And all because the lady loves Milk Tray.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Austerity = living within one’s means. Most housewives across the land manage to understand the concept.

      • Derek
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Austerity = living within one’s means. Most housewives across the land manage to understand the concept.

        ………
        can housewives print money?

  4. oldtimer
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Globally the very high levels of government, business and consumer debt leaves precious little room for manoeuvre, it seems to me, on the QT and interest rate fronts. As you point out, tax and regulatory assaults can and do destroy businesses and even whole industries with surprising speed. Just talk of banning diesels in ten or twenty years time has caused a collapse in sales of diesels, threatening JLR’s £ multi billion investment in Telford, contributing to job losses and even raising questions about the future viability of the business. These issues also affect the industry elsewhere around the world, reliant as it is on consumer access to finance for this discretionary purchase. There will be more factory closures and job losses to come.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      “tax and regulatory assaults can and do destroy businesses and even whole industries with surprising speed” – indeed or rather more likely you just render them unable to compete in that tax and regulatory regime and they move to a more competitive regime.

  5. acorn
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Almost NO replacement trade deals will be ready when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, Liam Fox’s trade department admits. Please tell libertarian.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      How can any deals be “ready”?
      The EU forbids any deal be negotiated nor signed until we leave.
      We can have talks about future potential for deals.
      Many nations have spoken out and said they are happy to continue trading with us on similar terms to ones that we have currently.
      Surely you know all this acorn?

      • acorn
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Every country that has been aproached says they want to know what the deal will be between the UK and EU particularly compensation for having to split TRQ.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          There is a list of nations who have indicated they want to carry on a trading relationship similar to the one they currently have, but I realise this upsets your pro EU view acorn.

        • Adam
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          acorn: Liam Fox responded well about preparedness on BBC’s Marr prog, Sun 20 Jan.

        • zorro
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Why bother asking, when the answer to your own question is blindingly obvious!!

          Of course, if we had approached this differently and been clear on how we would leave, things might be slightly different….

          zorro

    • libertarian
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      acorn

      Why dont you tell me or are you still trying to find South Korea on a map of France?

      Unlike you i have experience of business, therefore I know that after March this year even without wine labelling deals etc etc I will still sell my products to Spain, Canada, Brazil and Japan and I will still buy stuff from Germany, Australia and the USA

      By the way the fact that you STILL dont want to accept that it is an EU rule that we can’t sign anything until we’ve left it makes you look and sound very silly

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Then as we approached March 29th those trading partners would have to choose what to do. They could be a bit silly and say that any existing trade deal with the UK as a member state of the EU would no longer apply, so either all trade with the UK would cease forthwith or it could be allowed to continue but only under the terms of the WTO treaties, that is assuming that each of the trading partners is a WTO member and a party to those existing treaties which have already been negotiated and agreed and are already in force. Or alternatively they could be more sensible and agree that an exchange of diplomatic letters with the UK would be deemed sufficient to continue bilateral trade on the terms of the EU deal, with or without stated exceptions, but on a provisional basis, for some specified or unspecified period until a new trade treaty with the UK had been negotiated and agreed and ratified and come into force.

      There would be nothing out of the way with the latter course of action; some of the EU’s trade deals have operated on a provisional basis for years before they finally came into full force. For example, the deal with South Korea:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/12/26/the-bbc-today-programme-recycles-the-trade-deal-scare/#comment-909559

      “But it also has another interesting feature, namely that it was signed on October 6th 2010 but because of Italy delaying ratification it only came into full legal force five years later on December 13th 2015.

      However in the meantime there was provisional application of most it from July 1st 2011:

      http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/documents-publications/treaties-agreements/agreement/?id=2010036

      “Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part”

      “Provisional application as from 1 July 2011 with the exception of Articles 10.54 to 10.61 and Articles 4(3), 5(2), 6(1), 6(2), 6(4), 6(5), 8, 9, and 10 of the Protocol on Cultural Co-operation.”

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      A decent prime minister would have told the EU that we would sign trade deals, as we saw fit, during the negotiations. The EU’s rule smacks of being an onerous contract term – one that makes sense for nations staying in but which doesn’t make any sense for nations exercising their Article 50 rights.

    • David Price
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      So what was that deal George Brandis (Australia) and Liam Fox (UK) signed the other day?

  6. Mick
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Not really off topic because every thing is centred around Brexit
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1074822/Brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-uk-eu-brexit-deal-second-referendum
    Do these people really want to take the British people on, if you love the Eu more than your own then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Europe, but be warned keep on this road to keep us in the Eu and you will feel the anger in the true patriots of this country , you are only a few but we are many

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      What about the latest from JRM in todays Mail. He thinks it’s better to support May than have no deal. Doesn’t he know that the Backstop gives Ireland a permanent veto over Britain leaving the Customs Union and could run on for ever without any mechanism for us to withdraw.
      I don’t think he is that stupid.
      Under no metric does Mays WA let us leave the EU.

      • Martin R
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        I always knew there was no hope for the Conservatives, but this is staggering. If JRM’s brain (of all people) can so quickly turn to mush when the going gets a little bit rough then that belief is confirmed yet for the umpteenth time. But I’m still staggered. No wonder the brexiteers have made no impact on these proceedings. None. Has no one in this country got any steel any more?

        • Stred
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Jacob and Boris must realise that the combined quislings of their own party and Labour plus the SNP will stop Brexit. They don’t want to have to leave the Conservative Party and start another. If they do, this party will be ready and have huge support from the majority of Conservative members and voters.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        I’ll wager that this week will see the Backstop issues eased.

      • zorro
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        After all he has said, I fail to understand why he bothered to say that…. Why? What good does it do? Has he not thought it through JR?

        zorro

      • John Hatfield
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        What the Mail says these days cannot be trusted as it is now a fully-blown anti-Brexit paper. Regarding JRM I believe it may have been economical with the truth.

    • Chris
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      A stark warning in a Spectator article about the shenanigans of Grieve et al and the proposed amendment. It could destabilise British government for many years and destroy the last remnants of trust in MPs and Parliament through its destruction of the “majoritarian” principle:
      https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/grieves-brexit-amendment-could-destabilise-british-government-for-years-to-come/
      “How can backbenchers take back control of Brexit? The latest plan is by Dominic Grieve who would (according to leaks) amend it to the Prime Minister’s new mystery Brexit plan which is being put to a vote on 29 January. As you might expect from Grieve, a QC, it’s well put-together. It identifies a weak point in Britain’s constitutional architecture, and proposes to take a shot. If he hits his target, it might not just take down Brexit but a whole lot more besides………

      All this will have far greater impact on how we are governed than, for example, House of Lords reform. Yet is being done on a whim, and by MPs who are in a fury. This may be regretted not just by parliament but the country – I can see it being the start of calls for a codified Constitution. The British system has rested, for generations, on trust. And in the belief that QCs like Grieve would, no matter how angry they are, still not bend the rules in a way that allows a minority of MPs to call the shots in parliament….”

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Mick

      “Do these people really want to take the British people on”

      Which ones?

      The 17m who voted leave or the 16m who voted remain?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        How big a majority is sufficient for you margaret?
        I reckon a million is a decent extra number.
        Would you have been of the same opinion if remain had won with a few thousand votes?
        I doubt it.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Edward2 I keep asking Margaret the same question but she never answers. I wonder why.

        • L Jones
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          Well said, Edward. Why is it that remainders are always going on about numbers? What figure do they think represents a ‘majority’? They become more than tiresome.
          It’s not as if the ”losers” are going to be disenfranchised or deported or executed. They lost a vote. They should get a grip and try to understand what ”democracy” means.

      • libertarian
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        hmm

        in 1975 17.3 million voted to take us in

        in 2016 17.4 million voted to take us out

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          libertarian

          British population:

          1975 56m

          2016 66m

  7. Stephen Priest
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Sadly, democracy is dying the the UK.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      We’re all crying out for a new party of centre right to rid ourselves of the current crop of useless legacies who, with a few exceptions, undermine the English and our wishes at every turn. Listening to the recent debates how out of touch the majority are!

      • Chris
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I see that a new party is to be launched (just applied to Electoral Commission) called The Brexit Party. It will be cross party and involve key politicians and businessmen. Farage has said he will support it but it is not he who is launching it.
        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6612015/Nigel-Farage-adopts-brand-new-pro-Brexit-party.html

        • Stred
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          It should be called Conservative Independence and there needs to be a a Labour Independence too. In safe seats they should not compete. This would put to skids under the Shysters. Websites and a crowd funding sites are needed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Being killed (rather than dying) by the EU, the BBC and all the various quislings.

      • Stred
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        They can’t kill an Internet website party yet. Money for a good design and usability is needed. 75% of voters are waiting for an honest party to emerge.

    • Martin R
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Democracy finally died in 2005 when the left took control of the Tory Party with the election of David Cameron as leader. With only two political parties being able to form a government in the UK thanks to First Past The Post the electorate were from 2005 on denied any chance of ever voting in a conservative government. Since then the left has ruthlessly tightened its grip on the Tory Party. Now judging by the Commons vote less than a third of Tory MP’s are even remotely conservative and believe in home rule. Socialism doesn’t work, obviously cannot work, and has been decisively proven not to work throughout history. Yet now socialism is all that is on offer in this country after decades of democracy. The Tory left have foisted the most staggeringly clueless yet unrepentant PM on the UK at this decisive point in history and there is nothing that can be done to remove the woman before it is too late to prevent her betraying the referendum. And waiting in the wings until the Tories get their comeuppance for her betrayal is a lunatic who puts even May’s stupidity in the shade.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Well the left have been in control of the Tory Party with “prices and income control enthusiast”, Ted Heath who took us into the “Common Market” without even asking permission of the voters. They have been in control ever since. Mrs Thatcher tried her best but was ultimately defeated and evicted by the pro EU lefties and appalling dopes like John ERM Major who buried the party. May is keen to copy him it seems.

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          “Ted Heath who took us into the “Common Market” without even asking permission of the voters”

          1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum

          British voters have backed the UK’s continued membership of the European Economic Community by a large majority in the country’s first nationwide referendum.
          Just over 67% of voters supported the Labour government’s campaign to stay in the EEC, or Common Market, despite several cabinet ministers having come out in favour of British withdrawal.

          news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/6/newsid_2499000/2499297.stm

          • zorro
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Can you read, or are you deliberately obtuse/dim?

            He did take us into the “Common Market” without asking the permission of the voters, as we entered it in 1973.

            For clarity, 1973 is two years before 1975….

            zorro

          • libertarian
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            MH

            Heath took us in in 1973 WITHOUT ASKING , LL is totally correct

            by 1974/5 We had become the “sick man of Europe” whilst IN the EC, The referendum complete with a total stack of lies, voting for over 18’s only took place in 1975

            You’re welcome

          • John Hatfield
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            A document (FCO30/1048) which remained locked away for 30 years, advised the British Government to COVER-UP the realities of EU membership so that by the time the public realised what was happening it would be too late. Document FCO30/1048 was locked away under Official Secrets Act rules for almost five decades. The classified paper, dated April 1971, suggested the Government should keep the British public in the dark about what EEC membership means – predicting that it would take 30 years for voters to realise what was happening by which time it would be too late to leave.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            It was Harold Wilson who later granted the referendum only later but the establishment pretended it was just about free trade. Heath, as I said, took us in without and consent of the voters. Various PMs since have tightened the noose with various treaties, again without any consent.

          • Jagman84
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            “The UK’s continued membership of the European Economic Community.” The key word is ‘continued’. The initial entry into the Common Market was without the consent of the British electorate. The loss of sovereignty it engendered was known by Heath but denied in public. The 1975 referendum was won by a ’70’s version of Project Fear.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            Indeed that is what the BBC reported at the time.
            The Government and the PM in particular kept the reality of the future ambitions from us.
            We voted for a Common Market.
            What was hidden was the slow descent towards a United States of Europe.
            No loss of sovereignty is what Ted Heath said.

          • Timaction
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            Google 30/1048 from the FCO in 1971. Read and weep!

      • libertarian
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Martin R

        This excuse of FPTP voting is no longer good enough. Its the fact we need a party that we can actually vote for. The voters tend to either be supporters of one party or the other OR most floating voters vote to stop the one they dont like . If you want change vote for something different

        • Martin R
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Almost four million voted for UKIP and look how much good it did them. Think about it, well nigh four million votes got UKIP absolutely nowhere. People aren’t stupid and the writing is on the wall that FPTP makes it impossible for anyone to do anything to prevent the headlong dash to the bottom that is the goal of politics in the UK.

        • forthurst
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          No. Voters tend to be against one party or another. Very few people apart from Dominic actually like a party even if they don’t like its leadership or policies. If you imagine that we are short of alternative parties to the liblabcon, I suggest you browse the Electoral Commission website. Mostly they fall at the very high first hurdle, the FPTP electoral system.

          • libertarian
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            Martin/Forthurst

            You need to explain why getting the most number of votes in a constituency stops someone else getting elected.

            If the right person/cause stands then they win

            If we adopted a US style system where ever vote counted 4 million still would get you anything

            We had a referendum on PR , it wasn’t accepted by voters

          • forthurst
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            I’m sorry to have to inform you, libertarian, but you are completely clueless; in order to clue up, I suggest a brief sojourn on the Electoral Reform Society website.

      • matthu
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        How many party leaders promised referendums without having any intention of having to deliver them?

        • John Hatfield
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          And how many party leaders, having held a referendum, failed to honour the result?

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Indeed, plus in the UK we have all the usual obstacles to business efficiency – the very high and complex taxes, the very restrictive employment laws, expensive green crap energy, restrictive planning and misdirected red tape everywhere, a second rate health service with large rationing & delays preventing people getting back to work promptly.

    Plus we have a lack of real competition in banking, the idiotic taxes on house moving and renting. May and Hammond preside over a tax borrow and piss down the drain government. Their only positive is that they are not quite as bad as Corbyn/SNP,

    • Martin R
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Not quite as bad but still a train crash. And then there’s HS2, Hinkley Point C, smart meters, foreign aid, annual tribute to the EUSSR, mass immigration, etc., where do you stop?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed plus burning wood at Drax and all the other expensive & totally misguided green crap.

        • The Prangwizard
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Gove is plannjng to stop us burning wood in our domestic stoves. I presume he will therefor close Drax. Greens are mad.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            Indeed they would rather chop millions of trees down and burn them than burn coal. Coal, which is essentially just old and already fallen down trees!

            They are indeed mad and totally scientifically illiterate.

          • Stred
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            They have their eyes on eyes on gas boilers too, in fact anything that burns.

        • Martin R
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          I see round our way large trees being felled in towns and woods as I have never seen before. I wonder where they’ll end up, and why the sudden enthusiasm for forestry?

        • Chris
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Lifelogic, right down to Gove’s green obsession with the evils of scented candles. Right in the middle of Brexit and he is talking about scented candles. Del Boy’s famous description of Rodney, you plonker, wouldn’t go amiss here.

          • zorro
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            I worry about Mr Gove, particularly with that rather odd looking light brown bag I see him walking around with at Westminster.

            zorro

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            Gove is the reason we suffer under T May. He is a serial traitor to the Brexit cause. A shame as he has some virtues.

          • Stred
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            Gove is an interesting case.

  9. Javelin
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    If Brexit is denied fear not the lead in bullets but the lead in voting booth pencils. .

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      @Javelin; Funny how on the one hand many contributors to this site hate the thought of a second referendum or GE but then claim that if Brexit doesn’t happen (as they personally wish it to) the people will take their revenge of the politicos via the ballot box.

      If they are so sure what the ‘people’ want why run scared of a second referendum or GE?!…

      Reply Because in a democracy we need to implement the first referendum, endorsed by a subsequent General Election!

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        “If they are so sure what the ‘people’ want why run scared of a second referendum or GE?!…”

        Because we have not implemented the first. We were warned that we would be forced to vote again and again until we delivered the right result. We were also warned that we would be slandered and we have been.

        You get Remain + Corbyn. Because if you force a second referendum we quit voting.

        Brexit really has shown up the utter contempt there is for ordinary English people. It’s not gone down well, I can tell you.

        • Adam
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Anonymous:

          Many Brexit internet communications comprise false words, images & ‘news’, yet much of it is accepted at face value. One, claiming JRM tweeted favouring a 2nd Referendum + an image, was exposed as false.

          Now, one headed ‘A stern warning to remainers and losers!’ claims a list of 26 obligations remaining in the UK would commit us to, owing to our previously having accepted the Lisbon Treaty. It is a harsh list which possibly no sensible Remainer would be willing to accept. Whether it is true or not stays vague, but such messages do hit & affect the attitudes of large numbers of those who receive them.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            remaining in the EU, perhaps?

        • jerry
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; “Because we have not implemented the first.”

          On that logic Euro-fanatics would point out that the UK has not fully implemented the first (1975) referendum either, after all the Treaty of Rome hid nothing when it talked of its eventual aims – would you have preferred to wait until the EU had become fully federated, or should the country be able to hold referenda or elections as it feels fit?!

          Far to many Brexiteers on this site seem to love Democracy, just so long as it is on their own terms only…

          • Steve
            Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            “……so long as it is on their own terms only…”

            No that would be your remoaners, not us.

          • jerry
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            @Steve; Try actually reading what I say rather than just keep repeating extreme UKIP clap-trap, it is you who wants to ignore the democratic will of the people, your way or else…

            I want a WTO exit, I don’t see any point in leaving unless we can plough our own furrow from day one, but I’m not prepared to risk democracy to get it, doing so would set a dangerous precedence.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            “Treaty of Rome hid nothing when it talked of its eventual aims”

            I don’t recall expansion into the former USSR being mentioned in that.

            The EU is NOTHING like the Common Market we joined.

          • jerry
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “I don’t recall expansion into the former USSR being mentioned in [the Treaty of Rome].”

            Why shouldn’t the Ukraine etc. join the EU if it so wishes?

      • Martin R
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        What is the point of another referendum when the government can’t even be bothered to take any notice of the preceding one? What is the likelihood they would listen to the electorate if for a second time the electorate’s choice ran counter to the politicians’? The answer is patently that they still wouldn’t listen.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Reply Because in a democracy we need to implement the first referendum, endorsed by a subsequent General Election!

        Reply to reply: Who says?

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Margaret

          “General Election”

          We had that at the last General election when both Conservatives and Labour stood on a manifesto in which both Party’s supported the referendum result and promised to implement Brexit.

          Please do not say you do not remember.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          Why respect the second referendum?
          What is special about number two?
          My favourite is lucky number seven.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      If Brexit is denied, the voting booth is dead. Expect direct action.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Easiest approach is for UK Parliament to propose to dissolve itself.

        Referendum on whether a completely new system of direct democracy instituted either for the UK or separately for England Scotland Wales and NI with separate taxation and representation. Parallel referendum on whether each territory or the whole remains or leaves.

        Royal Commission to establish a new system in a transition period during which we remain EU members prior to a completely new settlement.

        Otherwise, unrest due to democratic deficit.

        • eeyore
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Parliament does not have the power to dissolve itself. Only the Queen can dissolve Parliament. She can act only on the advice of her Ministers. Parliament is not constitutionally competent to advise her.

          More generally, solutions to our current little difficulty that involve ripping up and throwing out a thousand years of constitutional evolution are not likely to be helpful or practical.

          Nonetheless, there is some danger of Parliament escaping the Executive’s control for the first time since 1641. It took two civil wars and, 40 years later, invasion and a coup d’etat to rebalance the state. Messrs Grieve, Benn and their supporters are blundering about in very deep waters indeed.

      • Steve
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Dave Andrews

        Yes, indeed. The likelihood is sectarianism, R vs L. It won’t be nice.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        I’d support that. It will be the only way.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Is May deliberately trying to cause a GE hoping that Labour will get in, then blame everything on them?

      • Steve
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        bigneil

        Yes I suppose that would have some logic, but seriously if there was a GE tomorrow Labour wouldn’t win. In fact, no party would win.

  10. agricola
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I only comment in respect of car manufacturing in the UK. It would be of great benefit were the lawyers and other ill informed mouths in the H o C to remain shut. Commenting and deciding UK policy on technical matters is way outside their collective ability. When they feel compelled to open their mouths it has proved highly damaging to the economy. No doubt JLR have decided in part to move production to Slovakia because they face less ignorance.

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      @agricola; But the most damaging anti car manufacturing issues and problems comes via the EC and EU parliament, not lawyers and the HoC’s, the reason why JLR moved (some) production to Slovakia is because the EU provided funding for a new factory, just like they did when Ford moved Transit and small van production to Turkey.

      Best you take you own advice to MPs and lawyers!…

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Usual half-truths from you, Jerry. JLR were given EU-permissible funding by the Slovaks (not the EU), so as to offset the extra cost of a factory in Slovakia, rather than the original plan to site it in Mexico. It is the old tech so it is not putting UK production jobs at risk. The new EV’s can then be made at the Solihull facility.

        • jerry
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          @Jagman84; Pro EU nonsense from you as usual.

          JLR could have built their new factory in the UK and financed it via the banks in the usual ways. Moving to EVs in the UK is irrelivant to the debate.

          • Stred
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            The anti diesel and petrol nonsense comes from the UN primarily. The EU is a stage. Shortened lifespan will not be measurable. It’s the Green agenda. Having few votes doesn’t figure.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      JR has advocated a tariff policy post-Brexit of zero tariff on ‘components’; when we joined the EU, the removal of tariffs on cars proved the coup de grace for the remnants of the English car industry and the corresponding component industry largely followed. However, most manufacturing is of components and not of finished goods and there are other products which are still made in this country and components for them likewise. It would be unwise to advocate a policy without being fully aware of all the implications of them.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Did JLR receive EU funds for their Slovakia expansion? And if so, what was the UK government’s share?

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        None directly from the EU but the Slovakian Government required EU permission for the deal to proceed. £110.6 million in total, according to press releases. If UK Gov. money was involved then it is likely to be via our EU contributions.

    • matthu
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Or more subsidy?

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      No. It is moving out old technology to Slovakia, to allow space for the new Plug-in Electric range of vehicles. You cannot make such momentous changes whilst still producing the existing models. The £110 million from the EU (or UK taxpayers) is compensation for the extra expense incurred for not moving production to Mexico, which was the original plan.

      • Steve
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Jagman

        “No. It is moving out old technology to Slovakia, to allow space for the new Plug-in Electric range of vehicles”

        This assumes people have the money to buy new cars, and want to buy green crap that needs lengthy recharging.

        Fortunately I own a real Jaguar, and it’s British.

      • jerry
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        @Jagman84; “You cannot make such momentous changes whilst still producing the existing models”

        Of course you can, BMC did it all the time during the 1950 and even more so in the 1960s as they switched from RWD technology to FWD [1], an as momentous change back then as switching to EV are today. It is also quite possible to built totally different designs of cars on the same production line if this is engineered into the line from the start or during a scheduled shut-down for maintenance/upgrade work.

        Or you build new CABs, as JLR could have done here in the UK, and just as The Rover Car Company did in the early 1960s to accommodate their new P6 model, then technically revolutionary in the way it was manufactured.

        Modern cars might well be more technical than their forebears but the principles of manufacture are the same, sub-assemblies from other production lines and facilities coming together for final assembly.

        [1] with Vauxhall and Ford both following suit in the late 1970s and early ’80s respectfully.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Just an edit on the source of funding. It is from the Slovakian Government but with EU permission.

  11. agricola
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I only comment in respect of car manufacturing in the UK. It would be of great benefit were the lawyers and other ill informed mouths in the H o C to remain shut. Commenting and deciding UK policy on technical matters is way outside their collective ability. When they feel compelled to open their mouths it has proved highly damaging to the economy. No doubt JLR have decided in part to move production to Slovakia because they face less ignorance.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Andy may be mad and filled with hate but it’s his view that holds sway in Parliament.

    A clue: We are still in the EU.

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      @Anonymous; Nonsense on stilts. Unless the UK was to break its legal duties under both national and international law we would still be in the EU anyway, the delay in triggering our A50 letter was not because of parliament but because first Cameron resigned and then because of a judicial review.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        “the delay in triggering our A50 letter was not because of parliament but because first Cameron resigned and then because of a judicial review.”

        Which found:

        Article 50(1), a Member State may withdraw without any other conditions “in accordance with its own constitutional arrangements”.

        Since the United Kingdom is singularly fortunate in this situation that there is no written constitution, the UK is clearly free to act in any way it sees fit and proper. It is important to stress that there is no need for any agreement at all with the EU. (The UK is also fortunate not to have the euro as a withdrawal for the eurozone states is much more complicated).

        Alas both David Cameron and Gina Miller are Remainers as are most MPs.

        • jerry
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; Regarding A50.1, yes it is up to the individual member state how they decide to leave the EU, as their constitutional arrangements require [1], but having done so to actually withdraw from the EU they still have to abide by Treaty and international law (as set out in A50.2 to A50.4) to which they have signed up to.

          [1] for example, constitutionally the UK just needed a simple 50.1% majority, another country might need a 2/3rd majority

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    But this is the consensus of most of the Western world – WE all remember that great boast by Gordon Brown that boom and bust was over….
    This is a policy – never discussed openly, but implemented by stealth, with direction from the EU. A policy that deliberately restricts growth, keeps wages low, ensure more people are on the breadline, and imposes a lack of innovation through starvation of cash for companies to expand….
    Like everything else coming from the EU it is a more socialism, and this is being pursued by a Tory government in this country – Time for a real right of centre party to govern us.

    • Steve
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “This is a policy – never discussed openly, but implemented by stealth, with direction from the EU”

      Indeed. And it was devised by the BENELUX and the French while staying as guests in England during the war. Stab in the back or what ?

      Our liberating them from tyranny doesn’t come into it.

      • jerry
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        @Steve; Your reference to the Benelux countries is off by two decades, the plan you cite was first made in 1921, not during the 1940s.

        It was one Winston Churchill who, in 1943, spoke about post war Europe, musing about the creation of a Council of Europe, and indeed it was Winston Churchill who helped create the ECHR.

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris; “A policy that deliberately restricts growth, keeps wages low, ensure more people are on the breadline, and imposes a lack of innovation through starvation of cash for companies to expand….”

      That’s a rather nice critique of the more hard nosed capitalist world, not of Socialism or the EU as Bryan would like us believe, the UK’s, and (western) Europe’s, best post WW2 period was under consensus politics, based on small “s” socialist or at least social democratic principles, only coming to an end when the cheap Arab oil supply stopped flowing in 1974.

      “Time for a real right of centre party to govern us.”

      Assuming they (ever) got elected, all the signs from the last seven [1] general elections in a row suggest anything but.

      [1] and perhaps even further back, Thatcher not being as radical as some now want

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Needless to say Bonnie Greer on the papers (another strongly lefty outpost of the BBC) was in full support of Dianne Abbott. This despite not having seen the QT programme. The attitude seemed to be that the BBC should “educate” or “control” the audience!

  15. DaveM
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Why are the whips allowing Grieve to run Parliament?

    • Chris
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      ….because they all mostly Remainers and are determined to subvert the will of the people and stop Brexit, at all costs. Integrity, honour, honesty just do not enter the equation.

    • Ian
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Because like May,
      They are doing exactly what The Deep State wants.

      If we want change as we do, then if this party is not changed very soon , by renewing all those at the top, for real BREXITEERS.
      Nothing will change.
      Simple See, even a meerkat could do it

    • Steve
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Dave M

      ” Why are the whips allowing Grieve to run Parliament? ”

      Well someone’s got to be in charge of the coup.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Not an economist but where is the long term value in an economy based on too much debt,too few working to keep many,too many cars on the road, no shops, no services, a moribund housing market, huge,expensive empty new houses littering what was the countryside, printed money and no incentive to save?
    Pure misery.

  17. Dominic
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    What we need is not more growth but an existential crisis that forces the hand of those in power, both elected and unelected power. A crisis both here in the UK and across the Eurozone. Maybe an Italian debt default that would splinter the balance sheet of the Bundesbank and the ECB.

    Such a crisis would help to expose all those with concealed intentions and assist in destroying the current impasse which is bordering on the carcinogenic

    Most are exhausted by the Machiavellian posturing of those who choose to ignore democracy. Let’s have it out in the open.

    I say to the Italians. Assert your sovereignty and defy German authority over your government and your nation. Default on your debts and embrace strict financial discipline, take responsibility for your own actions and live within your means. It is the only way to regain your dignity

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      A silver lining for Italy is that they still have amongst the largest per capita gold reserves in the world.

  18. Javelin
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I read in the Daily Mail today that somebody has called Dominic Grieve’s ammendment “constitutional arson”, so to paraphrase Michael Gove’s from his excellent speech to the House, “MPs need to wake up and smell the petrol”.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Javelin

      They also need to wake up and realise they voted by a majority for a WTO deal by a large majority to use as our backstop 2 years ago if the EU did not offer us a good deal.

      They have now quite rightly rejected the EU deal put before them as very, very poor, so unless the EU change their minds, WTO it should be.

      They also had 9 months to think about the contents and ramifications of Article 50 before they voted for that as well, and it quite clearly says 2 years, so why complain when there is only a few weeks left !

      I simply do not understand what the problem is.
      Did they not realise what they were voting for 2 years ago !

      • Edward2
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        They just don’t like the result.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Edward

          “They just don’t like the result”

          May be so.

          But then why did so many campaign in favour of the result at the last election.

          And why did they not vote against it when it went though Parliament.

          Did they not understand what they were standing or voting for ?

  19. Jagman84
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    You know that the reality is not so. If any of the lower tier nations object to a proposal, their objection is noted and things continue unabated. That’s why the other leaders suck up to Mrs Merkel and hope she will be sympathetic to their needs. This is why Brexit has been such a culture shock to them. Some one has dared to face up to the school bully, albeit with May desperately trying to backtrack at every opportunity.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      That comment was a reply to Jerry’s reply to Peter Wood, BTW. Captcha had a bit of a glitch and put it as a stand-alone comment….

      • jerry
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        @Jagman84; What ever, nice rant…but the actually rules and how the EU works are some what different. You also appear to forget Thatcher’s handbagging of the EEC over our budget contributions and later Thatcher/Major blocking of the Schengen Agreement and Maastricht Treaty until the UK obtained our opt-outs.

        • Jagman84
          Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Not a rant. We have/had a bit of clout. The smaller nations do not. That’s why many of them are unhappy about us exiting. How come then that Merkel and Macron can team up and dictate the future path of the EU? The rules are bent to suit the big players.

          • jerry
            Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            @Jagman84; But they can’t if they can not get it through the EC27/8, there are many things either/both France & Germany want but can not proceed because of objections from other member govts.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Jagman

      ” This is why Brexit has been such a culture shock to them.”

      Indeed it has to the few who are bothered. But not for the reasons you give. They just think we are mad.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Poor old Diane Abbott, if you do not want to be booed or interrupted why not trying saying something sensible and coherent for once? She claims the BBC biased against Labour! What planet is she on?

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, I reference; http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/01/20/getting-growth-back-worldwide/#comment-989824

      I though you said the other day you delete comments that are direct personal abuse towards others?

      Would you publish such a comment had it been directed towards one of your fellow ERG members, I suspect not…

      • Steve
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        “I though you [JR] said the other day you delete comments that are direct personal abuse towards others?”

        Yes he does. I can confirm this as I’ve tried it myself a few times, and he deleted mine.

        His site, his rules Jerry, and free to use by the way.

        • jerry
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          @Steve; “His site, his rules”

          Indeed, he can set what ever rules he likes, he can also set as many inconstancies to those rules as he likes too…

          “and free to use by the way.”

          As are many other (right wing) political sites, your point being what?

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Getting growth back in the UK:-

    Fire Hammond and undo all his & Osborne’s many tax increases. Get a policy and leadership that looks likely to avoid a Corbyn/SNP disaster and slash red tape.

  22. Javelin
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Follow the Money.

    Let me bring you down to earth so your blood pressure returns to normal levels.

    Despite The Remainers on Andrew Marr’s standing in a circle and fantasising furiously the reality can be seen in the political betting markets.

    The first Remainer in the list is Hammond who is down in 20th place on 50/1.

    That is the real chance of the Remainers getting their way because that is the chance of the Conservatives winning an election with a remain policy. Nobody in the Conservatives or civil service want Corbyn in Number 10.

    Michael Gove
    5/1
    Boris Johnson
    11/2
    Sajid Javid
    13/2
    Dominic Raab
    8/1
    Jeremy Hunt
    12/1
    Amber Rudd
    16/1
    David Davis
    20/1
    David Lidington
    20/1
    Jacob Rees-Mogg
    22/1
    Penny Mordaunt
    22/1
    Andrea Leadsom
    28/1
    Tom Tugendhat
    28/1
    Priti Patel
    33/1
    Esther McVey
    40/1
    Gavin Williamson
    40/1
    James Cleverly
    40/1
    Matthew Hancock
    40/1
    Rory Stewart
    40/1
    Geoffrey Cox
    50/1
    Philip Hammond
    50/1
    Ruth Davidson
    50/1

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Minor correction: the first Remainer in the list, and an extreme one too, is Amber Rudd.

      • Captain Peacock
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Majority of 324 she’s toast at next election but I suppose another one that will end up in House of Lords.

    • jerry
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      @Javelin; What the Conservative party or the civil service want is irrelevant, it will be the electorate who decide if Corbyn becomes PM, unless you are suggesting very undemocratic hands at play. Also who might replace TM, should she decide to resign, well we all saw how well the Brexiteers did in 2016 -what bookmakers think is for mugs!

      Agreed about how awful the Andrew Marr was this morning, unbalanced caused by silly PC tokenism I suspect.

      • Steve
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        “……unless you are suggesting very undemocratic hands at play”

        Well, yes. Look at the current shenanigans. Fair to say democracy has gone down the toilet.

        • jerry
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          @Steve; “democracy has gone down the toilet.”

          Indeed it has within your beloved UKIP…

          The ‘current shenanigans’ actually proves democracy is alive here in the UK.

          The problems you complain about go back to the lack of democracy by some Brexiteers in the wake of the first referendum, when they resisted the request by others for govt to hold a second referendum asking the How and When questions, meaning that the final decisions on How and When must now lie with parliament alone.

  23. Original Richard
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    How is it possible that although the country voted to leave, leave by constituency won 64:36, we had a GE where both parties had manifestos which included respecting the referendum result, that we still have a Parliament where the majority of MPs wish to thwart Brexit?

    Why are so many MPs unrepresentative of their constituencies ?

    Are they not explaining to their electorates their position on Brexit when they are candidates ?

    • matthu
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      EU had never been much of an issue at any previous election because (as had been explained to me by an Oxford scholar prior to the referendum) “the people aren’t interested in EU politics.”

      • Stred
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        I’ve given up on them. Perhaps they’ve always been 75% dunces with a few clever ones to pull the country though. Now the media seems to be dimmer than the MPs and Lords.

  24. Iain Gill
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Watching the various politics shows on TV the last few days it’s staggering to me the obvious lack of basic science education amongst the politicians and journalists, the stuff they spout about things like climate change with this in mind are ridiculous.

    We as a country need to do a lot better than this.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      They know less about economics, witness the number of stories saying a WTO exit would increase our food prices when the opposite is true (assuming we set zero tariffs on all food imports).

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        The whole domestic abuse issue has also become unrealistically anti men. The whole political class seems to be hell bent on destroying men. Where are the politicians prepared to speak out for realism?

        Fathers4justice are largely correct, but nobody in politics is prepared to fight their corner.

        The family courts are a disgrace.

        The rules on division of wealth are hopelessly anti men.

        Females can force men into parenthood, by lying that they are on birth control when they are not, for no sanction, and do very well out of that financially.

        No the wonder make suicide is so high.

        Once again the whole political agenda is dominated by nutty people completely out of touch with the real world.

  25. mika
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I thought that all this rubbish had died out when Mrs Thatcher came in and threw it all in the bin.

    Growth comes from trade, not from ever increasing consumer and government borrowing which requires us to pay yet more interest on it.

    John Redwood would be better occupied complaining about trade tariffs and other obstacles to trade, and in thinking up some supply side reforms, rather than endlessly telling us about his outdated pre Thatcherite schemes to spend and borrow more money.

    Reply Schemes to spend the money we currently send to the EU here at home!

    • Edward2
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Mika
      We live in a mixed economy where actions by government affect the private sector.
      So yes we need action to encourage free fair trade but we also need positive action by the government on taxation and spending

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      @ Mika,

      Not only from trade of course but it helps. Growth comes from factor in creases and better employment of those factors (TFP).

    • matthu
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Growth, as we know, can also come from immigration…

      • bigneil
        Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Another 16 ( maybe more ) turned up today for a life on the taxpayer. No doubt they have already phoned their relatives back home to get ready to move here under the Right to a Family Life. How much are these lot going to cost us? Far easier to be kept than work and contribute. So much for the most dangerous, busiest radar checked channel claim. Seems the world can just turn up at will.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        @ Matthu

        Immigration (if done properly) can be a very important factor increase: an increase in human capital not available in the domestic market. However, the Uk is clearly a country wahre a significant minority is hostile to immigration and a country that does not behave like a proper immigration country. Brexiteers ideologues often refer to the Australian model. However, Australia is an immigration country and her ambition is to continue to be so. The annual intake is many times that of the UK despite a much smaller (38%) population than the UK. This despite the very considerable advantages the UK has on the international labour market: language, a wide range of professions (as well as unskilled) where shortages exist and an elite (both “white” and “subcontinental”) keen on expansing the labour force, not necessarily by importing Europeans. However, ethnic prejudice and poorly managed racial integration distract from that. Who would like to live next door to people who openly threaten immigrants, even refugees. There is a disconnect between culture and desirable policy.

  26. Den
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    “The UK economy has performed better despite both a monetary and fiscal tightening last year of some severity”.
    JR. You should add to that sentence, “Despite Brexit” and “Despite the scare mongering by the BoE and the Treasury and the Remainer ‘experts’ “.

    The creators of these phony fear factors must be brought to heel and answer for their failures.
    They, literally, have become “Unbelievable”.

  27. agricola
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I feel I can comment on the way in which the EU conducts itself financially. The Euro places 19 EU nations between two systems that are known to work. The Euro is a common currency minus the mechanisims that allow it to work. Mechanisims that we have in the UK and the Americans have in the USA. The other system allows sovereign countries to operate using their own currencies.
    The only known beneficiary of the Euro is the German economy. Due to a low value World dealing currency and an efficient, enovative, and hard working workforce. It will be a hard sell to Germans to persuade them to be the wealth generating center of what they may see as a rather feckless surround of countries only too willing to live off German endeavour in many cases, but unwilling to become clones of Germany.
    In addition to the reluctance of Germans there is the reluctance of nation states to surrender those last mechanisims of financial control they have at present.
    The Euro is just one symptom of how a largely failed undemocratic bunch of has beens managed to screw up what could have been the greatest example of inter nation relationships in the aftermath of WW2. These idiots all wanted to be top banana when bananas should have been off the menu.

  28. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The next EU Parliament elections later in the year will be interesting, it is possible that more than 30% of the seats will go to parties you could loosely describe as “populist”. With such a high percentage they will want representation in the Commission and committees and have the capacity to be disruptive and awkward in many areas including economic policy. Events in France and elsewhere suggest a future representation of >50% is by no means impossible.

  29. hans christian ivers
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    There are no indications that the better performance of the AFD in the German opinion polls will have implications on the fiscal policies in the weaker economies of the EU , due to German government pressure.

    AFD scandals are dragging them down as well.

    This is simply just not correct at this stage.

  30. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I broadly agree with your outlook for the world economy. The US is running into capacity problems, aggravated by the expectation that nationalist trade policy will be with us until the end of Mr Trump’s term and possibly longer should he be reelected on the existing platform. Xi’s policy is also nationalist and possiby better for China than Trump’s is for the US. China needs to consolodate its institutions after decades of largely anarchic growth, is running out of new entrants to the industrial labour market and at a stage in the general Asian development model where the status of foreign businesses gets reassessed. No doubt Chinese businessmen (state or private) will want to reduce the considerable foreign share of various piers (cars especially) once they are technivcally capable of pushing the foreigners out.

    Re the EU: the Northern point of view is that the southern sates need to reform their internal markets for capital, land (and issues like zoning) in order to encourage further foreign (EU or otherwise) investment. No need to be more specific but it is very hard to acquire assets of zombie debtors of Italian banks for foreign private equity firms. Also, EUR countries need to be able to default on their government debts. Of course the old situation of floating exchange rates was easier for politicians because they did not have to reduce nominal wages.
    The EU’s main problen is not low growth but lack of natural population growth. We will need a few million immigrants (qualified ones) to keep output growing. Productivity alone will not suffice in an economy moving towards US levels of non-blue collar work. And without growth, democracies struggle against competing regimes.

    Finally, the car industry needs to restructure. That was necessary some fifteen years ago but since then China took up the slack. China’s rapid capacity increase combined with a (far from saturated though) slower growing market raises the prospect of decent quality Chinese cars taking over the finges of established manufacturers’ markets. Diesel is part of the problem and should be part of the solution: clean diesel is possible and far cleaner/affordable than the alternatives. The problem should have been defined as how to get rid of sub-Euro 6 vehicles, not to discourage new production. I gusee that is what the German government is moving towards, by stealth though.

    Finally, what is happening in the world economy cannot be improved upon by government action or further monetary stimulus. To assert that ths is possible runs against everything we have learned about macroeconomic management over the past 40 years. Tax cuts are vote butting and monetary stimulus is helping politicians who cannot help themselves. The real economy wants nothing more or less than monetary stability, small government and prudent spending on the few essentials the taxpayer is prepared to pay for without too much coercion. Opportunistic tax cuts and monetary manipulation cause turbulence, not growth.

  31. Andy
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    There are two fundamental rules of economics.

    1) What goes up must come down.

    2) Trade barriers make people poorer.

    These lead to the first rule of politics.

    1) Politicans who make people poorer will fail.

    Brexit erects trade barriers and makes us poorer.

    See points above.

    Fortuitously Brexit will also coincide with a wider global turndown.

    Brexiteers for you WINTER IS COMING.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      1 Not necessarily
      2 If they protect against unfair dumping…no they don’t, they can protect jobs.
      3 So if the 1 and 2 are wrong this us therefore wrong.
      4 Brexit doesn’t need to erect trade barriers therefore it doesn’t need to make anyone poorer.

      Your post is a classic strawman Andy.
      You create a false statement then develop from that a false set of conclusions.

      PS
      Your two statements are not ” fundamental rules of economics”

    • zorro
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      The EU is putting up the trade barriers. We have offered free trade. Their choice.

      zorro

    • libertarian
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      AT LAST … You got something right Trade Barriers make us all poorer

      You utter utter fool the EU customs union and single market is the worlds biggest protected market hidden behind trade barriers

      At last you are finally starting to see the absolute folly of the EU

    • Cerbey
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      The Winter has already reached the EU, including Germany. Haven’t you got some young children you can try your scare stories on, the adults aren’t buying them.

    • Russ
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Andy, politicians who surrender our precious democracy, laws and freedoms to foreign powers will fail.

    • Steve
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      “Brexiteers for you WINTER IS COMING.”

      Bring it.

    • Al
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      “2) Trade Barriers make people poorer”
      Yes, and so do trade barriers masquerading as bureacracy. The paperwork to trade with the EU is currently prohibitive for small businesses. No one has yet answered why smaller firms should vote for the EU and their bureacracy when they are locked out of any benefits because of the costs.

      (The Making Tax Digital initiative will force a lot more micro-firms out of business altogether in the UK – mainly the ones where the owners’ alternative is going on benefit – but that’s a UK issue/incompetance).

  32. Karl
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    It’ll all come right when Trump departs the scene

    • Edward2
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Do you reckon?
      He seems set for another term.

    • Stred
      Posted January 20, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Martin. Sorry about your grandad.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/brexit-may-wants-irish-treaty-to-break-backstop-deadlock-1.3764268

    “British prime minister Theresa May plans to seek a bilateral treaty with the Irish Government to remove the contentious backstop arrangement from Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union, a newspaper reported.

    The Sunday Times said aides to Mrs May thought a deal with Ireland would remove the opposition to her Brexit plan from the Democratic Unionist Party that supports Mrs May’s minority government and from pro-Brexit rebels in her Conservative Party.

    However, the Irish edition of the same newspaper quoted a senior Irish Government source as saying the bilateral treaty proposal was “not something we would entertain” and a second senior political source as saying it would not work with the European Commission.”

    Of course not; certainly the EU itself would have to be an additional party agreeing any such treaty, and maybe each of the other EU member states as well.

  34. Phil
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    68 days to go then we can start our new trade deals with countries overseas.

  35. Andy
    Posted January 20, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone noticed that the Fantastic Mr Fox is losing his cool a bit?

    We remember he said there would be 40 trade deals ready to go at midnight on March 29.

    We know that he said the deal with the EU would be the easiest in history.

    Mr Fox is not seeming so confident now. And rightly so.

    The inevitable public inquiry into Brexit will be speaking to Mr Fox.

    Mr Fox will not enjoy it. I will.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      No deal can be negotiated nor signed until we have left the EU
      “ready to go”….yes they are.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Andy

      Step away from you xbox and have a look at the world. Stop tweeting gammon and read the twitter feed of DoIT it lists all the dozens of deals ready to go as soon as we leave, it tells you up to date news on negotiations

      Oh and did you see University of Sheffield students poll 56% favour leaving with no deal

      Did you see Sky News poll of polls ? 54% favour leaving the EU

      Read the students for leave website yet?

      Its all looking pretty good as generation Z comes on stream

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        University of Sheffield?

        Sky News?

        Students for leave website?

        Is that the best you can do?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          I think it remarkable.
          Sheffield is a Labour stronghold with some Green Lib Dem leanings.
          To get that poll outcome is amazing
          And Sky News are a centre left pro brexit media outfit under their new editorial team.
          Yet they got a result that wasn’t what they were expecting.

          • jerry
            Posted January 22, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Did you mean anti Brexit by any chance? Otherwise, if they are pro Brexit why would they be surprised by 54% being favour leaving the EU!

  36. Ronald Olden
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    A year or two ago Michael O’Leary the boss of Ryanair was telling us that Brexit would mean higher air fares. He even tried to incite his competitors to join him in stopping flying the planes in and out of the UK unless the we changed our minds about Leaving the EU.

    I myself posted at the the time that Ryanair should have its’ licence to operate in the UK revoked for trying to do something like that.

    As it happened however, grown up people in Ryanair intervened and said it was not Ryanair policy to do so, and everyone else ignored O’Leary anyway.

    O’Leary has now issued his second Ryanair profit warning in the past few months and says that although customers were already enjoying “record lower air fares” he might have to cut his even further.

    Remind me not to take Mr O’Leary’s Brexit advice or invest in any company he’s involved in.

    I remember investing in fellow Remainiac Alan Sugar’s Amstrad, which marketed an ’emailing telephone machine’ because Alan thought that PCs wouldn’t catch on.

    That didn’t turn out too great either.

  37. Steve
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    @ Jerry

    “Try actually reading what I say rather than just keep repeating extreme UKIP clap-trap”

    Perhaps you should read what is posted here, you might then realise there is no UKIP extremism coming from any of us.

    In fact, there doesn’t seem to be many UKIP people on here.

    • jerry
      Posted January 22, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Steve; “[there is no] extremism coming from any of us”

      Really! So no one is using immigration as an reason for Brexit or other nationalistic sentiments for example?

      “In fact, there doesn’t seem to be many UKIP people on here.”

      People do not need to be members of UKIP to repeat that parties past and present clap-trap.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Don’t assume that transfer payments will make their way to the poor in poor countries. One definition of Foreign Aid is that it a means of passing money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. I’m not sure that transfer payments within the EU would be much different.

  • 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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