The Bank of England forecasts a modestly faster rate of growth for 2021-22

The latest Inflation Report from the Bank expects Uk growth to improve in the second half of its three year forecast period from now, reaching a bit above 2% after a period at lower levels. The Bank thinks supply and demand is currently in balance in the Uk economy, that it will slow a bit this year leading to a small amount of surplus capacity, followed by a tightening.

As the Governor himself has explained in a past lecture, this concept of domestic capacity has its limitations as a way of estimating what will happen next to prices. Given the open nature of the UK economy, capable of importing goods and services from around the world that are in short supply at home, a lack of capacity does not automatically translate into higher prices. Given the enthusiasm of UK companies to welcome employees from overseas there is also a countervailing pressure on wages as the local jobs market tightens up through substantial job creation. Despite this the Bank thinks it will need to toughen monetary policy as they approach the second half of the forecast period, which will in itself slow things a bit.

The Bank’s figures show that the UK this decade has grown faster than the Eurozone, and the Bank sees the sharp slowdown in Eurozone growth in the second half of last year as a factor slowing our economy. They recognise that the bigger slowdown in residential property prices in London resulted from being “disproportionately affected by regulatory and tax changes” often commented on here. The by to let and Stamp Duty tax changes hit turnover and prices of the expensive London properties. They see a modest slowdown in the world economy as a whole, and do not see any major inflationary threat in global markets.

They mention Brexit frequently, saying they might respond either way depending on when and how it occurs. There is no sign of a recession in either their world or their UK forecast, though they acknowledge the recessions now stalking some of the continental countries. It would be good to have more analysis of why this is happening in the Euro area and what knock on effects it will have on our exporters. They remind us that the European single currency area accounts for 38% of our current exports. Presumably the slowdown or recessions in continental countries could mean some favourable downward pressure on our import prices, where we import many more goods and food than we export to them.

The UK economy has held up well at a time of negative growth in Italy and Germany and slowdown in France. This has happened against a background of UK policies that have led to a large reduction in new car sales, and a slowdown in housing transactions. Buy to let investment by individuals has been reduced substantially by tax rises, and new car sales hit by policies against diesels along with higher VED particularly for dearer cars.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The latest Inflation Report from the Bank expects Uk growth to improve . . .

    Well that’s the UK economy buggered then ! 😉


    There has never been a better time to Leave the EU. Given the problems on the continent and the EURO the UK post BREXIT is in a strong negotiating position. Post BREXIT we should sign the FTA with Israel and negotiate with our main trading partners, the USA, China, S.Korea and all the Commonwealth countries and make the EU wait. All the time we reassert ourselves on the international stage in our own right.

    No to the Withdrawal Agreement !

    • Caterpillar
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      I agree it is a good time to leave, but the PM is running the clock down. When asked if UK were ready to leave on WTO terms she did the robotic making preparations but focussing on an agreement. In no way whatsoever has she supported being ready, made it clear that all was ready (including alternative tariffs). Mrs May is the prime reason for their being uncertainty, and she is the prime reason it will continue, she is the prime reason UK will not control laws and borders, she is the prime reason that democracy is damaged if not lost.

    • NigelE
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      And No, and No and again NO!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Maybe read this before you say NO again…

        This is where the EU is heading which is just as important as to where the EU is now!!!

        • NigelE
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          My ‘No’s were in agreement with Mark B, emphasising No to the WA. The order of replies did not make this clear.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            Ah… I’m sorry I misunderstood 🙁

    • Merlin
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      What’s with all the scepticism about global institutions?

      It seems bizarre to me the contempt shown by people on this site towards the IMF, the World Bank, or the O.E.C.D or all the other disinterested bodies which supply information.

      Personally I don’t know what their predictions are, but they would be my first port of call for information rather than Patrick ‘Brexit’ Minford or Gina ‘Remainer’ Miller, who clearly both have agendas.

      Disinterested experts are great and worth listening to.

      • A.F.Fanculo
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I would never regard Christine Lagarde of IMF as being disinterested in any predictions re UK finances. She is French through and through.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        In this particular case it is not about a global institution, with or without a complement of disinterested experts, it is about the UK national central bank which is wholly owned by the UK Treasury, which in turn is under the control of yet another Chancellor whose primary loyalty is to the EU.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I dislike them because they are not elected by us the people.
        There is a growing number of these people who weild power over us.
        Yet we have no way of getting rid of them if we want to.

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


          “I dislike them because they are not elected by us the people.”

          Unlike our own head of state, house of lords, civil servants, judiciary….oh no, hang on a minute…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            No I agree.
            Ì would like the House of Lords reformed
            Civil servants cannot be elected but there is an argument for electing judges.
            You could have an elected head of state but it won’t save money and you could end up with the likes of a Macron or a Trump

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            “you could end up with the likes of a Macron or a Trump”

            Who are elected and can be thrown out.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Which is a marvellous argument for leaving the EU
            Try throwing out any EU Commission or Council members

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Because they are all self serving ‘globalists with an axe to grind.

      • mickc
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Disinterested experts are indeed worth listening to….and are extremely difficult to find. None of the bodies you mention are disinterested, usually being led by “the good and the great” whose prosperity depends on pleasing the rich and powerful. The institutions follow their example.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        The people who pay attention to the prognostications of these bodies are the same sort of people who put money on horse racing tips in the backs of newspapers

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      @ Mark B

      What an interesting selection of FTA partners. What benefits do you expect from an FTA with Israel and China? There is an EU FTA with Korea so that should not mean a change in UK benefits and of course the US FTA is pretty controversial there, apart from the balance of benefits favouring the US over the UK (otherwise there would be no ratification in Congress)

      • libertarian
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink


        You actually wrote “What benefit do you expect with China” The worlds second biggest market behind the US and catching rapidly. A market of 1.4 billion people. Israel one the worlds leading technology innovation nations . I guess we should stick with the EU and mighty Belgium for trade and er absolutely no one for technology innovation as the EU are trying to ban it, as usual

        Oh my word , keep drinking the Kool Aid Rien

      • Mark B
        Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink


        libertairan has kindly answered it for me so pardon me if I now longer reply.

        But I would like to ask you the same question of those countries that are in the EU.

        So what benefits do you expect from Malta ? Or Estonia even ? And what about Poland whose entire economy would collapse if it were not for the money the UK, Germany and others give it via their contributions ?

    • Peter
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Withdrawal Agreement must be voted down again. May is not to be trusted anyway.

      It might come down to a long game but the government can only delay for so long.

      Don’t buy into the Ollie Robbins script.

  2. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    However no mention by either you or them of the ever increasing pile of public and private debt that has created this ‘prosperity’.

    Reply Debt levels are fine. There is nothing wrong with borrowing to buy a house or expand a business.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      JR your party promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015. It’s now 2019 and you are still spending more than the government takes in taxes. At some point gilt buyers will want a higher coupon or will stop buying them due to the risk of a default. The fact that the Bank of England is still on ZIRP ten years later indicates the economy is still holed below the waterline.

      Reply There is no risk of default as HMG gas full tax powers and the ability to create money. Debt levels at around 65% of GDP are fine

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Absolutely you can repay your lenders back in worthless confetti. With a cavalier approach like that you may be cornered like Volcker was in the 80s to promise repayment in a hard currency, in his case the Swiss franc

      • Everhopeful
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Remember Mr Micawber though.

        At a personal level he was right and surely the idea that debt = misery must persist today?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        This tune has changed I think.


      • Andy
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        It is because people like you do not pay enough tax for the services you receive from the state.

        If we axed state pensions for all but the neediest we could eliminate the deficit pretty quickly – and then give huge tax cuts to most workers.

        This would enable those workers to save more of their own money for their own pensions – and to spend some to boost the economy.

        Handing over half of all our income tax to stuff for old people is the problem – not the solution. We should invest in the young and workers instead.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Alright then as long as I can have my NI contributions back with interest. Actually it’s something I would be quite interested in as I do not believe the state will actually cough up when I hit 67.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          I’m in favour of much higher taxes for the very rich people like you andy, to help pay for those in need.
          It is what the EU want too.

          • dame rita webb
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            I would prefer the immediate sequestration of his houses in France to relieve the suffering of those refugees stranded in Calais

          • Andy
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            National governments deal with income tax and corporation tax – not the EU. And I am happy to pay more. We are fortune we should do our bit for those who are not.

            As for seeking a ‘refund’ of your NI – you have probably already taken out more than you ever put in. Which is the problem.

          • NickC
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            Andy, So your sole reason for staying in the EU is . . . . because you are rich?

        • libertarian
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


          If we were allowed to keep and invest our own money for pensions we would be far far better off when we retired

          You have clearly never run a business or operated a payroll as you seem blissfully ignorant of both ENI and workplace pensions

        • Penny
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          You really hate older people, don’t you? I particularly enjoyed Dame Rita’s reply to you about return of her NI contributions.

          • Simon Coleman
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            If you hadn’t all voted for Brexit, leaving the younger generation with the fallout from a colossal gamble, you’d have a better press in general. If Brexit was a good idea, we’d be seeing clear evidence of a better future by now. It’s just weeks away. Where’s the evidence? The economy is grinding to a halt, Fox has failed to roll over many of those trade deals, there’s no clear immigration policy, and billions are being expended on No deal planning. You can’t just blame May – that’s the easy option.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

            EU supporters like you are suddenly obsessed with trade and the happiness of multi national businesses.
            But voting to leave the EU was about becoming a free nation once more.
            Independent and able to control our own laws money and borders.
            The economy isnt “grinding to a halt”
            Every doomsday prediction about the economy made by remainers has been shown to be false.

        • L Jones
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Andy – your ignorance is quite astounding.* Do you not know that the elderly (who you hate so much) actually DID pay into pension pots?
          Do you really think that no-one ever paid tax or NI contributions before YOU came on the scene, pompously pontificating and preaching to everyone here?
          I would call many here your elders and betters. Don’t preach to them – they know far more than you do with your narrow view of the world.

          * Do keep in mind the old adage: it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool….. etc. I’m sure you know the rest, as you think you know everything else.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          OK. Put it in your election manifesto and stand on the policy.

          My own belief it that we should either cancel all state pensions or none (I prefer none.) Leaving the less well off with pensions would be a big step towards socialism and the disincentives it brings.

          By far the biggest problem we have is with public sector employee pensions – getting lottery sized lump sums and yearly payouts for only 30 years service aged fifty (the employees themselves did NOT pay for this.) The private sector has already taken the hit, so should they.

        • Told em Oldham
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          You are right Andy.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          Andy, I have paid a lot of tax and NI over the last 48 years. That money has been Jesse to provide state pensions. Now it is my turn to receive. If you want to CHEAT me out of my state pension, I am afraid I am going to have to tell you that you can **** OFF.

          I still pay tax.

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

            used, not Jesse. Predictive text!

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood,

        The notion that government debt in domestic currency is risk free has been abandoned by the rating agencies and the IMF some two decades ago. Of course a government cannot print its way out of a debt crisis (a situation where credit markets refuse to absorb fresh debt or large secondary supply with a minimum of liquidity) unless it adopts axchange controls. Issuing in the home currency is easier of course and almost risk free for a country with a large current account surplus like Japan. But not for a country with a 5% CA deficit like the UK.

        Reply There are only problems if we borrow in foreign currencies. You were talking about gilts in sterling

        • libertarian
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


          Please do stop banging on about ratings agencies , they are a busted flush. They talk self interested piffle

        • zorro
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          The UK effectively owns a lot of its debt having issued nearly £500 billion through QE. The Japanese state debt is a lot more than ours, and our current account is generally going in the right direction. Look at our long term growth trends compared to the EU countries. Looking at it objectively and compared to other similarish countries, we are in a reasonable position. Potentially a lot better if we achieve an effective Brexit free from SM/CU.


        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Rely to reply Redwood

          You know full well that the UK faces limitations to issuing too much GBP debt (gilts or otherwise backed by the central government). If not, asking the BoE might help

          • NickC
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            Rien, The issue was risk, not the amount. Stop changing to a new subject to avoid admitting your error in the first.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      It is not borrowing that matters (if it is used or invested sensibly), it is borrowing to do rather stupid thing with the money. The latter is alas the main activity of the May/Hammond Government.

  3. Ian wragg
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Carney has no more idea how the economy will perform than I have.
    Just speculation and guesswork.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed, but it certainly will perform far, far better if Carney is replaced by a Chancellor who actually delivered lowers simpler taxes, cheaper on demand energy, cuts out the massive waste and incompetence in government (starting with HS2, Hinckley C and green crap subsidies) and one who does not mis-micro manage the banks and endless talk the UK down. One far less likely to give us a Corbyn disaster than Hammond (and the dire dopey Appeaser May). Some real Conservatives perhaps for a change?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        Sorry Hammond (and Carney) are replaced ….

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          @ Lifelogic

          Try and watch the result..

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but where is any rational in deterring people from moving with absurdly high (up to 15%) tax on house purchases? Where is the logic on deterring new properties being available to let (by taxing unfairly profits that are not real)? Both kill job mobility and increase housing costs hugely.

    Why attack the gig economy? Where is the logic in such high (and not even indexed against inflation capital gain taxes, such high inheritance taxes (plus now the probate tax on top). Where is the logic in having employment law that are so restrictive and damaging to businesses and such daft expensive “renewable” energy policies.

    Given that we have this tax to death Chancellor, the very real threat of Venezuela Corbyn, the highest and most complex and idiotic taxes for forty years, a mad energy policy, project fear from Carney/Hammond and many others and a dire socialist PM we are doing rather well.

    Inheritance tax in the UK 40% over £325k in the US the threshold nearly 30 times this level. Why bother being prudent in the UK the damaging tax system tell you not to?

    • Nigl
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Douglas Carswell in an article for CapX has set out how Brexit has shown how badly this country is managed by both its politicians and civil servants.

      No leadership, vision, drive, energy from the top enabling mediocrity to flourish.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I say let them continue to tax us, lie to us and screw up the economy for a year or two more. A perfect storm for the Brexit party to enter the arena with a big bang.

    • Andy
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Not true. The top rate of stamp duty is 12% – not 15%. And then it is only charged at that rate on the part of the purchase above £1.5m.

      In other words it affects very few people – all of them rich. Probably none of them you.

      I live in very affluent part of the country – and even here there are only a few dozen homes for sale above that price. We are indeed looking to buy one – and the stamp duty will not put us off. Brexit will though.

      As I always say, people who complain most about tax tend to actually pay very little of it. Either because they are too poor to pay much or they are so rich they use morally questionable tactics to avoid it.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I live a quite standard part of the country and there are loads of homes over one million.
        But I am glad there are really rich people like you andy, who pay loads of tax.
        That is exactly how it should be in a decent society..

        However it is very dull hearing you moan about it.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Wrong as usual Andy

        Right Move lists 104 houses in that price range for sale where you live

        Nope I pay far more tax than you, I do not operate any tax avoidance schemes and I complain about the rate of tax all the time

        If you ever get around to owning a business you would know what a drain business taxes are.

        Laughably you think owning a house in Buckinghamshire will be affected by Brexit . The stamp duty you will pay is £97,300 so Andy tell us how exactly Brexit will make you personally £100,000 worse off . I can’t wait to hear this

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again 12% plus 3% second home surcharge!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          And I did say up to 15%!

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink


        You do not pay any tax from your Jobseeker’s Allowance so don’t lecture the rest of us on the subject of taxation!

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        “I live in very affluent part of the country”

        That explains why you’ll never understand Brexit and why it caught you by surprise.

        To you migrants (on a vast scale) are probably customers or servants. To others they are competitors.

      • Richard1
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        You are wrong. Stamp duty on a second (or subsequent) home or a buy to let home above £1.5m is 15%. You need to start checking facts before you post.

        • Richard
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          True then for 99.99% of people who don’t own second houses over 1.5m then.

          • Richard
            Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            A quarter of adults aged 18-24 have moved back in with parents to escape the high rents of your second homes. You should be taxed more not less.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            Even higher taxes…that is what you mean.
            Which the state will waste.
            We have had State and Councils trying to build houses.
            It was a failure for both them.and their customers
            We need lower taxes for home hunters which leaves people left with more money to spend.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Great post lifelogic

  5. Dominic
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Supply and demand are always in balance across all products and services at any point in time. The price will change in response to changes in demand and supply but the idea that a market cannot be in balance at all times is preposterous, fallacious and wrong

    I have never met a businessman who read Keynes and indeed the crap pumped out by taxpayer funded public organisations like the European Central Bank of England

    People should always remind themselves that their material prosperity does not derive from the bilge dreamt up and pumped out by government organisations

    We have fallen into the trap into believing that what is published by government is a statement of truth and fact.

    These reports are tomorrow’s chip paper and we are asked to finance the wages of the people that contrive this nonsense

    The UK used to be one of the most powerful industrial nation on earth. We don’t need public sector servants and their useless presence to achieve this status once more.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      @ Dominic

      “The UK used to be one of the most powerful industrial nation on earth. We don’t need public sector servants and their useless presence to achieve this status once more.”

      That was before WWI. Read the post WWII econo,mic history of the UK and start in 1940. A few lessons there..

      • libertarian
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink


        Er wrong according to the UN the UK is the second most powerful nation on Earth . We are at the forefront of NEW and FUTURE technology as well as the global player in Financial Services . You talk twaddle

        Its typical of the EU and its fan base , you all have no awareness of the modern world, where its heading and the new technology and infrastructure and systems that make it up. The EU is living in the past smokestack and steel era, its dying rapidly . We’re leaving just in time

        • Chris
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes, libertarian, you are right. The customs union concept is completely out of date, and does not belong to this century. The EU is based on an out of date centralised model reminiscent of the Soviet Union (Gorbachev quote). Why on earth is May trying to bind us to the EU dinosaur? We need to break free and regain our entrepreneurial spirit and sense of responsibility instead of being moulded into fodder for the reportedly corrupt and unaccountable eurocrats/political elite to enable them to generate wealth for themselves and for big business. They will drag us down and we shall drown with them unless we break free now. We have our chance. Take it, Brexiter MPs.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            @ Chris

            Impressive ignorance?

      • Cerberus
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Plenty of lessons on asset stripping starting from our entry into the Common Market

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed we just need them to get out of the way and stop holding us back..

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


      “The UK used to be one of the most powerful industrial nation on earth.”

      That’s in the days of empire when we had the raw materials and wealth of a quarter of the globe at our disposal (rob).

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Totally wrong margaret

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    So what about the Ollie Robbins comments overheard in the Brussels bar? Sounds true to me, given what we know of the dire Theresa May.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Stephen Barclay refuses to confirm or deny on this so we can be quite sure this is what he and May are intending to do.

      Take my appalling (not Brexit) deal or I will cancel the leave date!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Stephen Barclay is only the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and as such he may not be privy to Therolly’s real plans. David Davis was kept out of the loop, and Dominic Raab was kept out of the loop, so why should it be any different with this third chap, who may be a mere cipher?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. May did not deny it either she gave a weak non denial denial.

      • dame rita webb
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Why is somebody who is only 43 the lead negotiator? You would not appoint an ambassador to a senior posting as young as that. No wonder we are being given the run around

        • a-tracy
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          The man is not fit for the job if he feels talking of confidential matters in a public bar is ambassadorial. In years gone by would he have got away with the betrayal of trust and confidence?

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      The existing WA, where we become a vassal state run by the EU with no representation or veto, and without an exit clause is so bad that we should never sign it whatever happens next.

      If a Parliament cannot bind a subsequent Parliament how is it possible for a Parliament to sign a treaty from which there is no exit ?

      Is such a treaty clause valid in international law and if not, is this not the reason why the Lisbon Treaty contained Article 50 ?

      If the EU say there is no (technological) solution to the Irish border, then how can Mrs. May and the EU maintain that use of the backstop would only be temporary ?

  7. margaret
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    “Given the open nature of the UK economy etc” Is this 100 % true? Is trade now and in the future open ?

  8. Javelin
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Do you really think The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Governor of the BofE have behaved themselves during Brexit?

    Both have acted selfishly and shown themselves to be stooges.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, in view of reports such as this:

    “Brexit PLOT: Top UK official ‘RULES OUT’ no deal –
    MPs must pick LONG delay or May’s terms”

    I would like to drag out of the files the first few lines of a letter published in our local newspaper last May:

    “I was staggered to read this in a Sunday newspaper, referring to Theresa May’s preferred plan for a crazy “customs partnership” with the EU:

    “Mrs May’s No 10 Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins, has told her that the ‘partnership’ is the only idea which will allow the UK to cut new trade deals while avoiding the need for a hard border in Ireland …”

    I suggest Mrs May should get herself a new Brexit adviser who will not talk such nonsense.”

    Unfortunately she did not, and nor did MPs act to have him removed.

    Is it perhaps time to start a High Court action to test whether Theresa May could use royal prerogative to supplicate the EU for an extension of the two year period that is mentioned in Article 50, or she would need prior authorisation through an Act of Parliament?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Now this has been expanded on Sky News to include an apparent admission that the so-called ‘backstop’ has never really been intended as an insurance policy or safety net, as repeatedly claimed by Theresa May, but rather it would serve as a bridge to a future relationship through which the UK would be kept under swathes of EU rules in perpetuity, just as the CBI wants and as Theresa May wants to provide to them and other business lobby groups, and presumably also Tory party corporate donors.

      Of course Stephen Barclay comes on and denies all this; maybe he is sincere about that, but maybe like his two predecessors he has been kept out of the loop.

    • eeyore
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Denis – aren’t the mechanisms clear, either extension by SI plus statute for supply, or revocation by statute? Is there any other way? The Prerogative power to dispense with an Act of Parliament was abolished in the Bill of Rights 1688.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        My question is whether Theresa May would need authorisation through an Act of Parliament before she could go grovelling to the EU for an Article 50 extension, as she would no doubt be very willing to do.

        This article:

        seems to suggest that she would not need fresh primary legislation.

        • NickC
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          Denis Cooper, I would have thought that Gina Miller has something to say about this. Extending Art50 alters what Parliament has voted for (to leave on 29 March 2019) and therefore amends our future rights and obligations (from what was voted for). I would thus expect that Parliament must at least vote to allow an extension. I do not think the government can just use prerogative.

  10. Richard1
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    More examples of EU regulations we could do without as pointed out by Sir Jim Radcliffe, the chemicals entrepreneur. EU Green crap regs have halved Europe’s share of the $4tr chemicals to 15%, and there is virtually no new investment in the chemicals sector in Europe vs $200bn pa in the US. The US of course also shows the fastest reductions in CO2 emisssions – Green crap has meant Germany has shown virtually no reduction at all.

  11. James bertram
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Carney – slightly off topic:
    This morning’s newspapers:

    May brought forward her parliamentary address from Wednesday to Tuesday in order that the Robbins / Carney stories could break in the media today, to create a furore in the Commons today, and thus increase tension and fear on all sides, with MPs voting on Thursday – i.e. Vote for my deal, or suffer the consequences.

    None of this is a coincidence:
    a) May bringing forward her speech by a day;
    b) Robbins ‘overheard’ conversation (clearly intended to be reported). It’s a threat to Brexiteers – vote for May’s deal, or article 50 will be extended for a long time. Too, it’s a pitch to the DUP and Labour – trust May with the backstop, the intention has always been to join the EU in a Customs Union. [And you will know it is a trap if May refuses to sack Robbins.]
    c) Carney’s sudden leaning towards the WTO (along with mainstream news interviews with Julian Braithwaite and another WTO man). This is a threat to Remainers – vote for May’s deal, or you get a WTO exit.

    May is a total disgrace.

    • L Jones
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s even more disgraceful that we are all thought to be too stupid to see what their game is.
      Talk about transparent. Do they think they are being clever in their attempts at manipulation?

    • NickC
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      James Bertram, Very well analysed.

  12. Richard1
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So mr robbins has ‘revealed’ that mrs Mays threat of walking away with no deal is a bluff. I think we knew that, but his confirmation of course removes any negotiating leverage with the EU at all. This guy really needs to be removed from the negotiating room (as in fact does mrs may).

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      @ Richard1

      Reports of unprofessional behavior by top civil servants tend to exist for a purpose…So far Mr Robbins has done a good job (from a UK interest perspective) under difficult circumstances. I hope he is not going to get a remain result or a long extension. The UK must leave, for the EU’s sake.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Olly doesn’t want the UK to leave the EU

      • Richard1
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        He has not done a good job, although it is ministers who must take responsibility. All he seems to have achieved is an agreement to hand over £39bn, which no-one has been able to explain is actually owed under the terms of the treaties, in exchange for a further 21-45 months of non-voting EU membership. He has secured no commitments at all regarding the future trading relationship, although if the backstop goes through the UK will be indefinitely tied to the customs union and the constitutional status of Northern Ireland will be changed to an effective province of the EU without the consent of its people, contrary to the Good Friday Agreement. This is not a good result, it is inferior both to WTO Brexit and to Remain.

        If the EU is to continue its wild ride to political union I agree the UK must leave as there is no support for that here, except from a very small minority.

        How much wiser it would have been for the EU to cut a sensible deal with Cameron with the UK in a free trade arrangement with the EU but outside the political integration process!

      • NickC
        Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        Rien, The EU can indeed shred itself without the UK. With a broken ideology, corruption, failing banks, dodgy sovereign debt and massive NPLs, we are better off out.

    • William
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      It is puzzling why he has been kept where he is.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps he knows where the bodies are buried……

  13. Stred
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Anyone starting a business while employed pays PAYE NI and tax, then if profit is £47k they pay 9% class 4 NI for no extra benefit plus 40% tax and, if the PAYE job pay plus the private earnings is over £100k, they lose £11k allowance, taking total tax well over 50%. Why bother?

    • Al
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Stred, some years ago before I started my business I became a board member for a non-profit, while also working under PAYE. To comply with the rules governing the position I took a salary of a nominal £10 a month (which I redonated to the cause). The tax bill I received was 400% of that – per month. I had to quit as the ongoing cost was ridiculous. I keep a payslip from that role as a reminder of just how messed up the British tax system is and why I have no faith in it.

      And they wonder why the third sector and volunteering groups have trouble finding people.

  14. Adam
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Carney makes wild guesses & frequently guesses wildly wrong, even though he has some control of the instruments affecting the outcome of what he attempts to predict. He is well-qualified in waffle & worthlessness.

  15. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    And none of hit of course has anything to d with the slow down due to Brexit as the confidence has gone out of the economy? resulting in negative growth of 0.4% in December in the UK

    Reply No, the slowdown is not to do with Brexit as I have explained since June 2016

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Sir JR

      Keeping explaining the same thing when the assumptions are wrong does not make it more corrct over time

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        It is just you opunion hans.

        Why has Germany recently had reduced growth?
        Is this all due to Brexit too?

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink


          Yes, they have had lower growth the past six months not the last 3 years and it is not just my opinion.

          Sometimes you really need to be better informed

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Failing to answer why germany recently has had near zero growth.
            Was that due to brexit too.?

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        You need to practice what you preach.
        I’d trust Mr Redwood’s analysis over your ‘fairy stories’ every time.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink


          Just look at the facts or is that too much to ask?

    • NickC
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      Hans, Different economies slow down and speed up all the time (one of the reasons the Euro was a foolish move). A Quarter’s set of results is not useful on its own. What’s instructive is that the UK’s growth over the last decade has outstripped the EZ’s.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 14, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink


        This is true but we were just talking about the effects of Brexit at this stage

        • NickC
          Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          Hans, The last decade covers a time when most of the EU used the Euro where we had already Brexited out of EMU. Not too good for one of your pet projects, is it? Brexiting out of the EU is likely to be just as good.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink


      Oh, whoops

      Just days after the European Commission slashed the Eurozone’s growth forecasts for 2019, the Eurozone’s economic prospects took another blow with the latest industrial production data showing even sharper declines than predicted. Eurostat’s December data found a 0.9% month-on-month decline in industrial output for the Eurozone. Economists had only predicted a 0.4% fall…

      This translates to a whopping 4.2% year-on-year decline, significantly worse than the 3.2% predicted

  16. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Interesting that the BoE now admits that; ” the sharp slowdown in Eurozone growth in the second half of last year as a factor slowing our economy”

    This emphasises why we should not tie ourselves to the EU in any shape or form, because never mind what tricks the EU play, or how they try to punish the UK, doing business with the EU is a very risky business.

  17. Ian wragg
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    So now it’s out in the open.
    May wants the Backstop to ensure we never leave the EU. She wants to confer Colonial status on this once great country ruled entirely by Brussels without an escape route.
    The woman’s a disgrace and charlatan. Any MP voting for the WA must be charged with treason.

    • Davek
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Ian thinking Mrs may wants the backstop in place just to defy the ERG..if she’s running down the clock, she’s running it down on the ERG..because for her it’s become personal now to bring the Tory sceptics to heel or else she’ll tip them over the edge..and none of this has anything to do with the EU.. so the chips will fall where they may.. but as far as she is concerned she cannot lose

  18. Bob
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I read on that Olly Robbins in Brussels was heard telling two colleagues in a hotel bar about his plans to force Mrs May’s deal through by

    “letting it go down to the wire and using the threat of a “long” extension to bully MPs into voting for the deal”

    I wonder if Mrs May is in on the plan?

    • eeyore
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      When an experienced senior official talks loudly in a public place where journalists gather, we need not doubt he meant to be overheard. We can also be confident his boss meant him to be overheard.

      A more interesting question is, who is the intended audience: the British public, MPs, or the EU Commission? Whoever it might be, the country is now on notice that its own leaders plan to swindle it if they can, and it will be expected to pay a very large bill for the privilege.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink


    • Chris
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Bob, of course she is in on the plan. It is all carefully planned/orchestrated. She is deliberately, in my mind, sowing confusion, and also exerting her powers over her colleagues by alarming them and then hopefully forcing them into accepting a traitorous deal.

      If Tory MPs actually sign up for the WA and it goes through I fear all hell will be let loose. Can they not get it into their heads the enormity of the treachery/betrayal which is being effected on the UK people? I cannot believe that they are unaware of the huge anger that is out there in the country. I think the answer is that they have become arrogant with power and simply do not care. They believe that hey have the power to effect the betrayal and that no one can stop them.

      That “security” that they feel may however be shortlived. Anything could happen, but I am desperately hoping that the principled and honest MPs who exist takethe radical action to stop this betrayal going through.

  19. Jumeirah
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Never mind all that! The fundamental issue facing us today in Europe is that democracy and with it sovereignty died years ago by stealth brought about by Civil Servants in the EU who have ‘brilliantly’ empowered themselves by building a political power base that is so strong and unassailable that it has effectively negated National Governments within its sphere of control AND very efficiently also made sure that Governments outside the member States ie not fully embedded ALSO tow the line. They do this very simply by showing Civil Servants in those Countries who are on the fringes of ‘The Club’ that ‘we Civil Servants are in control and that National Governments do our bidding’. Many will say ‘bowlarks’ that’s nonsense’ but it’s not is it – not really. There is no doubt about it that that special breed of individuals over there have pulled a flanker and won that game hands down. With this in mind one wonders why it was that a delegation from here including a Minister of the Crown went to see Martin Selmayr reputedly to be the most powerful Civil Servant in the world on a ‘ where do we go from here mission’? Do they believe he is the mover and shaker rather than the EU appointed Chief Negotiator. Do our senior Civil Servants still believe that they are placed to ‘advise’ Ministers or ‘Govern’ ? What does Oilly believe I wonder? We’ll never know will we?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      The absolute truth.

  20. Shieldsman
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Like the BBC the Bank Governor always tends to blame brexit in isolation from the World economy.
    Back to the Irish Border backstop, have Marcel Barnier and his team overplayed their hand?
    The withdrawal agreement negotiations with Barnier dealing the hand were supposed to lead into the real negotiations on our trade and future relationship. This all to take place at the end of the 2 year Article 50 notification period. There was NO requirement in Article 50 to conclude a leaving package – a DEAL in the two year time scale. The requirement of the EU is to write and present a Withdrawal Agreement to the Country leaving.
    The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
    Instead the withdrawal agreement preempts these negotiations, the backstop locking the United Kingdom into a Customs Union with the EU.
    “As Sabine Weyand – Mr Barnier’s German deputy – recently told reporters, the Withdrawal Agreement hands the EU sufficient leverage to ensure the UK remains in permanent high alignment with it.”

  21. formula57
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    So “… the Bank expects Uk growth to improve in the second half of its three year forecast period from now, reaching a bit above 2% …”! The Bank seems to have overlooked its role in Project Fear. Is this a policy change?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      @ formula57. No it is not. You should read the assumptions and footnotes.

    • NickC
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      Formula57, Yes it is. You should read other commenters here who point out that Robbin’s and Carney’s remarks all serve the purpose of frightening MPs into voting for Theresa May’s WA.

  22. agricola
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I would not trust the BOE to know what is happening tomorrow. What chance do this bunch of Mystic Megs have of knowing what the situation will be in two years time.

  23. Dominic
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Guido’s never far from the truth – It’s very simple Mr Redwood. You either bring down this government or we can wave goodbye to the UK –

    The Tories need a Eurosceptic leader – Priti Patel is my choice for a principled, pro-UK real Tory as opposed to the charlatans that infect the party at present –

    —-Olly Robbins has ended up in a significant amount of hot water after a sensational scoop from ITV’s Angus Walker in Brussels, who overheard Theresa May’s chief negotiator talking loudly to two colleagues in a Brussels hotel bar on Monday night. His remarks more or less confirmed all of Brexiteers’ worst fears that the wool is being pulled very firmly over their eyes…

    Robbins’ revealed his plan to force the deal through by letting it go down to the wire and using the threat of a “long” extension to bully MPs into voting for the deal, saying “… Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March… Extension is possible but if they don’t vote for the deal then the extension is a long one…” The Government’s long-held position has been firmly against any extension of Article 50. Now Robbins wants to weaponise that possibility to blackmail MPs. Forget the EU, it is clearer than ever that the UK’s own chief negotiator is not negotiating in good faith…

    Robbins also boasted about the true nature of the backstop, revealing that it was not intended to be a “safety net” as it has been sold publicly but actually a “bridge” to the future relationship – exactly as his opposite number Sabine Weyand told EU ambassadors the day after the deal was agreed. Robbins told his companions: “The big clash all along is the ‘safety net’… We agreed a bridge but it came out as a ‘safety net’.” This blows another massive hole in May’s key commitments – this time on leaving the customs union. Robbins is answerable directly to the Prime Minister. How can she continue to stand up at the Despatch Box telling MPs one thing while allowing her chief negotiator to run round Brussels saying the complete opposite?————————

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      @ Dominic

      Regardless of whether the story has foundation beyound maybe some carelessness, there is no way the EU will agree to a long open ended extension. That requires a unanimous decision and that will not be forthcoming. No one wants a fresh crop of UK MEPs. Mr Robbins’ job would be a lot easier if the EU wanted to keep the UK “in”. It definitely does not.

      • Chris
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Thank God it doesn’t want to keep the UK in, RH.

        • Stred
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          The EU wants its WA, that it wrote with …………Robbins, and massive amounts of British taxpayer’s money and defence spending but minus British MEPs.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Rien, we can only hope you are correct when you say the EU doesn’t want us. Not half as much as we don’t want them! Bring it on. We can’t get out quick enough

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink


          You can be sure. No sane negotiator would like to do business with such an unreliable party. I would be interested to hear from you in say a couple of years (assuming a no deal/hostile exit as specified in the BoE November report.

      • NickC
        Posted February 14, 2019 at 1:04 am | Permalink

        Rien Huizer said: “So far Mr Robbins has done a good job (from a UK interest perspective) …” and “Mr Robbins’ job would be a lot easier if the EU wanted to keep the UK “in””.

        Please make up your mind.

        1. The “UK interest perspective” is to Leave (you know that democracy thingy that the EU so dislikes) – so Robbins has not done a good job for the UK.

        2. And Robbins’ job would only be “easier if the EU wanted to keep the UK in” if Robbins also wanted to keep the UK in. As he does, in fact. But see 1. above.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink


          As you saw, I do not share your point of view about UK interest. You may want to leave, there was arefendum, etc. But that does not make it in the UK’s interest, imo.

          I guess that “negotiating” (ie processing an application for something that is not on offer) would have been easier if the EU had more to offer. But it does not.

          • NickC
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            Rien, It’s not a question of your “point of view”, or even mine. The Referendum declares it is in the UK’s interests to Leave – that’s what democracy is, a judgement by the majority (of those bothered to vote).

            And don’t blame me for the stupidity of Theresa May and other Remains. I have consistently said the way to Leave is to give the EU 12 months diplomatic notice and walk away.

            We don’t want a trading agreement or a grand withdrawal agreement. All that’s required is a few technical agreements most of which are subject to international treaties and bodies anyway.

  24. formula57
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    O/T and on Brexit (for which apologies) – I see the Brexit Secretary (Ceremonial only) contradicts the quisling-like O. Robbins to say Government policy is not to force M.P.s into a choice between an ineffectively revised May Withdrawal Agreement and Article 50 time extension.

    This follows the ITV revelation (found @ that includes the additional, highly inflammatory point: –

    “What is also striking is how Robbins confirmed that the original plan was for the backstop, which would keep the UK in the customs union, was designed not as a “safety net” for the island of Ireland but as “a bridge” to the long-term trading relationship – which is something the prime minister has always denied.”

    Did the Bank factor these matters into its present forecast?

  25. Iain Moore
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Sorry off message but I find it pretty outrageous the boasts we are hearing from Olly Robbins in a Brussels bar, the reported boast was bad enough but I gather he went onto boast that the backstop was not designed as a safetynet but a bridge to our future EU relationship . So the backstop was not designed to put us in a temporary state of vassalage, but be the permanent relationship that eh and May wanted. Now either May sacks Robbins and distances herself from this, or you have got to sack May, for she has been taking you all for fools.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Well, she could sack him and distance herself from his comments in public, while in private she could continue to collude with Leo Varadkar to achieve their shared objective – which is to keep as much of the UK as possible under as much EU law as possible for as long as possible.

      For Theresa May, that is what the CBI and other big business lobby groups have been demanding; they like her deal as pretty much the best outcome they could expect under the circumstances, and she wants to give it to them.

      For Leo Varadkar, on November 21st 2o18 he told Irish MPs:

      “Obviously, the best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the European Union at all, but the UK has ruled that out. An alternative solution would be for the UK to stay in the Single Market and the customs union … “

      So while they have different reasons they have pretty much the same end objective, and for Theresa May the mountain that Leo Varadkar has built out of a molehill on the Irish border provides a good pretext for doing what she wants to do in order to placate the CBI and other such groups, and possibly Tory donors as well.

      As I said the other day, when I describe her as a liar, cheat, hypocrite and traitor I have good reasons for the choice of all four of those pejorative terms.

    • Bob
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      “she has been taking you all for fools.”

      Mrs May has been “managing” the ERG.

  26. MickN
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who thinks that an Oily Robbins conversation in a bar “overheard” and reported by journalists is akin to a Minister walking into number 10 with bullet points for a sensitive meeting displayed for the press to photograph? Pathetic !!

    • MickN
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I should have said there is history here. We all remember Ken Clark being “overheard” saying what a strong and obstinate woman Mrs Maybe is. “Bloody minded” I think was the term used. I don’t ever remember good old Ken being accidentally overheard before or since. The Conservative party who I have had my vote for most of my life are going to pay a heavy price for treating their natural supporters as gullible fools.

      • MickN
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        You can bet your mortgage that he was very careful not to have his private discussion with Speaker Bercow “accidentally overheard” last week.

  27. Nigl
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Off topic but it seems Ollie Robbins has let the cat out of the bag. We are being conned/misled once again by Theresa May.

    What are you going to do about it?

  28. agricola
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The stockpiling scenario being generated at the moment will be self defeating. Many years ago before I set up my own business in the 70s a panic buying and stocking situation developed in UK industry for reasons that have escaped me. The company I worked for had 18 months requirement of raw material and cardboard boxes on order for delivery in two months. They 7could at the time have made more profit selling the copper wire we had than processing it. The bubble of course burst and the forward order book for many suppliers became empty. This will happen following all the panic stocking for Brexit , as the merchants of doom all end up with egg on their collective faces, assuming all the eggs arn’t in wharehouses or the chickens are not on strkke for over exploitation.

  29. John Miller
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It must be a bit galling to keep finding out via, for example, that what the Prime Minister tells you in Parliament is always the exact opposite of what she is doing.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, she is an habitual liar. How long can this go on? Even Blair did’t lie constantly in order to completely deceive Parliament for so long.

    Everything the woman says is designed to make you believe that her negotiations are in one direction when she is pursuing a different course.

    How long could the Chairman survive constantly telling the Board that he is negotiating for your company to acquire X plc, when in fact she is negotiating to sell your company to X?

    I don’t see how Parliament or Government can function with a Prime Minister constantly trying to wrong foot it.

    Once the general public realise that TM has lied, pathologically, to everyone the Tories are sunk, permanently, without trace. You will all be looking at the LibDems enviously, wishing your Party was as big and influential.

  30. Den
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I pay no attention to these BoE forecasts. They have been proven so wrong in the past they have lost their credibility. Most people will remember the dire, doom and gloom predictions Carney provided if we even dare vote to leave the EU. They were all wrong. Such scare tactics have exposed the BoE desire to keep the people in this country under their control via Brussels and the ECB (and probably Goldman Sachs, who have great influence in Brussels). And that is exactly why we voted to Leave the EU. We the people wanted to take back control.
    How our PM allows a foreigner to remain Governor of OUR Central Bank is worrying, for it would never be acceptable to any other Nation around the World. Similarly foreign countries and companies controlling our Utilities and power generation. The whole demonstrates that our Governments have been lackadaisical when it came to National Security, which is a principle duty of Government. They need a right kicking when the time comes for they have become more dictatorial and less democratic over the past decades and we must demonstrate our displeasure, before they become even worse.

  31. Javelin
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Now that soverigntity is being returned to the UK I expected the people to retain soverigntity on the issue of soverigntity and Parliament to be given soverigntity between general elections.

    I did not expect Olly Robbins to be allowed to make a power grab and take soverigntity for himself and the civil service.

    Can you please table an amendment in the next Brexit bill that Olly Robbins receives instructions which are scrutinised by a committee and that he follows them.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      @ Javelin

      Very amusing. Robbins receives instructions and is scrutinized by a committee of Parliamentarians calle “government”. Apologies. It was Karl Marx who described government under capitalism as a committee (to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie).

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Like the Commission then.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed,as Marx pointed out in 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon :”all the revolutions which have occurred up to now protected the state machine,whereas it must be broken,smashed.It is essential for every real people’s revolution not to transfer the bureaucratic military machine from one hand to another but to smash it.”A lesson well learnt by Lenin.

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and look what it led to in Russia! It has an economy smaller than Italy.

          • Mitchel
            Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            Dear Margaret do not confuse GDP with real wealth.Has it not crossed your mind to question how Russia exerts such power if it is as “poor” as you have been led to believe.

      • Den
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        You do not actually believe that do you? Oily Robbins may or may not actually receive instructions. Past Brexit Secretaries would be able to tell us more but he has his own agenda and Mrs May is going along with it. Hopelessly out of her depth, our Cabinet Leader has to rely on the good old ‘ politically experienced’ Civil Service (on a higher pay level than OUR PM), to tell her what to do. No matter they chose to ignore that “Brexit means Brexit”, they all wish us to stay under the control of their own kind who are controlling Brussels.
        The EU, like the UK, is effectively run by Civil Servant Mandarins who do not want ordinary folk having a say in their own futures because ordinary folk are not clever enough to think for themselves and therefore cannot possibly know what is best for them or their families.
        Once we have actually ‘left’ aka ‘Departed permanently’, from Brussels I trust a new Government will seriously address the abnormal power that is now wielded by the unelected Chiefs of Whitehall and Westminster.
        The real Top trade negoitor is professional, Crawford Falconer, who has made a career of it yet he is excluded in favour of a comparative amateur? Why?
        The whole thing stinks of corruptive influences at play and we stand to lose democracy in this country because of it..

  32. ian
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I had looked into my crystal ball today. I see central banks around the world cutting interest rates and accommodating high street banks to lend more money right across the board coupled with govs borrowing more money for a time till growth picks up and cutting taxes for businesses, over the next few years you will see the highest rate of growth this century

    Germany will make the EU relax other European borrowing and leading standards with its own to boost its own growth.

    In the UK, everything up, houses, rent, electric, gas, rates, fuel, need i say more apart from stock markets up around the world.

    • Den
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Did you ball tell you that interest rates (Yields) are already rock bottom, in negative territory for some and that Italy and German are in recession? Instead of ‘printing’ money via QE, Governments should have cut taxes across the board to provide both businesses and workers more take home pay. Low interest rates caused by QE were expected to raise inflation thus devaluing those Government debts but is has not worked. Such low rates create massive over borrowings -its so cheap! So much so that total Global debt has hit $250 Trillions, some 4 times total global GDP. That is going to be seriously difficult to service and is all but impossible to pay back. Do not be surprised to see Nations go to the wall in times ahead and eventually, hyper inflation!

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Just look at what a silly “London First” person is saying on page 21 here:

    “Theresa May’s primary goal must be to avoid leaving the EU with no deal.”

    In other words, we should either stay in the EU, despite the people having voted to leave, or we should supinely accept any rubbish leaving deal that the EU cares to offer.

    I wonder how many businesses would ever negotiate on that basis.

  34. 'None of the above'.
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    I enjoy reading your diary, it is a rare island of calm and common sense in a confused and very disturbed sea. It is that sea which has recently demotivated me as a voter and I am seriously considering not voting in future elections. If anyone is thinking of reminding me of the millions of people who sacrificed their lives for my right to vote, they may like to ask themselves why Parliament is not setting a proper example by demonstrating such huge disrespect for that sacrifice.
    Democracy is in the Hospice but I fear that it will not be a painless death.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      You must keep on voting!!! Blair, Clegg, Branson et al would love you to stop doing so. Go to the polling station even if it is just to spoil your ballot with a comment about the unsuitable choice of candidates

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Go and vote for anyone NOT in one of the 3 main parties. This shows them how fed up we all are with their lies and manipulation of democracy. Disgusted and angry doesn’t come close.

  35. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The report refers to this

    for the posible comsequences of brexit implied in BoE economic analysis. No adjustment to that to be found in this report. In other world, in the (highly unlikely) event of a non-disruptive brexit (ie a form that includes a transition period and excludes medium trade hostility between UK and EU) it is likely that there will be some economic growth and some increase in inflationary pressure due to supply conditions. See the BoE scenarios (especially the ones at the end of the November report, for alternative forecasts consistent with various forms of “no deal” or “WTO”.

  36. mancunius
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    JR, on a matter of fact, I would be interested to know if the PM can apply to the EU to extend Art. 50 without consulting Parliament (i.e. via the crown prerogative).

    I’ve noted that although the date of leaving is written into the Withdrawal Act 2018, it can also be changed by a ministerial order [‘a Minister of the Crown by regulations’, see Section 20 subsection (4)] which would appear to enable the government to bypass parliamentary debate.

    Reply No, it requires Parliament to approve an SI under affirmative resolution as well of course as the consent of the EU

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      So what are the odds that Theresa May could get enough cross-party support to get such an SI passed to postpone the date of leaving, perhaps indefinitely? Pretty high,
      I should think, even the SNP would drop their virtually automatic and near universal opposition to any proposal made by a Tory government to support that one. I think the more important question is whether Theresa May could use prerogative powers to send off a pathetic plea for an Article 50 extension, on the international plane, without needing prior authorisation through an new Act of Parliament. Because she is not to be trusted an inch, if she could do it off her own bat then she probably would.

    • dittoagain
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Not just the EU but by the EU27 through the EU Council and approved by EU parliamentry vote. It’s very unlikely that they will agree to such an extension unless it has a clear purpose- Verhofstadt will block any request for extension

    • L Jones
      Posted February 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Those words again – ”the consent of the EU”. How sinister they sound.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 13, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Ljones, yes, wouldn’t it be nice to put two fingers up to the EU?

  37. Ian
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank God for Brexit Express.

    Come what MAY, Nigel will see us out for good .

    Bring on the next Election, he deserves to wipe the floor with the other three main parties, with a huge landslide, which will clear the decks. of the dissgrace that is the both houses of our sorry Parliament.
    Bring it on let us be free again, and free from All these Old PMs , they are the reason we are here.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Ian hear, hear.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    An interesting little contribution from the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan:

    He says the EU has shown no goodwill towards the UK, we cannot possibly trust them over the ‘backstop’, and we should face down their threats now rather than later.

    I agree with all of what he says, except that in my view this reality became clear long ago, and it was about fifteen months ago that we should have done what he suggests.

    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    Then there was plenty of time to sort out all the loose ends, legal and practical, that would be left hanging if we left the EU without any new special or preferential trade treaty with them and instead defaulted to the existing WTO treaties.

    Now thanks to Theresa May and her evil genius Olly Robbins (deliberately?) wasting month after month there is very little time to do that before March 29th.

  39. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I do not get any benefits and I have had my child benefit stopped for earning too much. My husband, like all other NHS medics, does loads of unpaid over time so I am entitled to a pay out

    • graham1946
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      As an NHS medic, I’d say your husband is far more valuable to the country than … Andy.

  40. Stuart K
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    A very good blog. Once again you cut through the noise of all the hysteria about Brexit and produced a sober, informative analysis.

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 13, 2019 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    If cross party support gives us May’s deal, or an even worse BRINO, the DUP and a few good men and true from the ranks of the Tory MPs will bring the government down and the Tory Party will split.
    A poll on Newsnight a minute ago said 57% of Tory Party members want no deal.

  42. ian
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Den, I understand what you are saying, but the elite world does not work like that, they make money out of boom and bust and central banks doing their bidding and each bank follows the first banks move until they cause a recession worldwide which fits with their globalization, without climate change globalization would not have been possible, they say there are saving the world from pollution by shutting down western countries factories, in fact they double the output of pollution with globalization, the story they put out of lifting third world people out of poverty and getting your gov to give them countries more of your money is about selling them more goods through debt which give them more control over their governments and banks and leaving their profits from that offshore and untaxed.

    They control your gov through the banking system and debt if the UK had no debt they wouldn’t have any control over your gov and they get your gov and politician to borrow more money and loosen leading standards out fear of losing the next election because the ecomnoy fail on there watch, the recession that they caused through the banking system.

    They don’t want the UK to leave the EU and have got people under their influence speaking out against it, it easier for them to control one institution called the EU to get what they want out of policymaking and further their causes of controlling the world, they have people speaking about one world this and one world that, even pope is onboard with one world religion.

    TB and GB in the labour party sold labour to the bankers and was public noted in the news, that why gel is leading labour now because they sold them out and still control the politician on the labour backbenchers and are thinking of forming a new party.

    Wars in the middle east were and are about the banking system because they do not conform and do not believe in debt and interest and also made a ready-made market for people into Europe where they have the infrastructure which you pay for out of your taxes and also paid for the war to get them to come, more people in Europe means more profits without having to put there hands in their pockets to build infrastructure, you pay for all of that, the elite talk of have 100 million people living in the UK, all good for them not so good for you and your politician support the ideal in all parties, that is elites goal.

    The bankers and elite first took over the UK banking system as far back as Waterloo war with Napoleon through debt and buying all the UK gov bond on the cheap the after the victory, the UK was told that it had lost the battle and everybody sold off the UK bonds to next to nothing and the bankers bought all they could, the following day news came that in fact, they had won the battle and bond shot up in price and from that day the bankers never look back, overnight they became the richest people in the world and still are.


  • 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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