A many deals but no Withdrawal Agreement Brexit can make us better off

The government should announce a boost to the UK economy in the event of us leaving the EU soon without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. The public wants some sensible optimism about our economic prospects based on the opportunities Brexit presents. The aim of policy should be to ensure a growth rate a little higher in our first year as an independent country than the present estimated growth rate assuming we stay under EU rules and making EU payments for another year. The present government has been persistently gloomy about Brexit for no good reason, and got all its post Brexit vote forecasts wrong by being too downbeat. There are already deals on customs co-operation, transport and government procurement available for an early exit.

A number of leadership candidates have been kind enough to ask for my thoughts on the economic impact of Brexit and the current state of the UK economy. In the interests of fairness I thought it best to set them out on this public forum for those who are in practice interested.

The policy of a combined fiscal and monetary squeeze which the authorities have followed since the spring of 2017 has had the predictable effect of slowing the UK more than is desirable. Two interest rate rises, the ending of Quantitative Easing, the withdrawal of special facilities to encourage bank lending, advice against car loans and top end mortgages, the overshoot in deficit reduction last year through much higher tax revenues, the continued impact of the last Chancellor’s decision to slash buy to let investment through tax changes and increased Stamp Duty, and the decision to cut new car sales by a large hike in Vehicle Excise Duty have had a marked effect on the housing and car markets and more generally on demand and output.

The Treasury seem to think leaving soon would be an adverse shock to the UK economy. I think this is wrong. The Treasury has a habit of wildly inaccurate forecasts over the EU. They got the impact of the Exchange Rate Mechanism hopelessly wrong by failing to see the recession it would cause, and got the likely impact of voting to leave in the first place wrong by forecasting a recession with big job losses which did not happen. However, given that is the Treasury view, it means there is an even better case for taking some reflationary action in an exit budget. You should spend £20bn extra in 2019-20 on a mixture of higher public spending to improve public services, and tax cuts to promote business investment and growth. This would use up the £12bn saved on no more net contributions to the EU and offset some £8bn of unplanned additional fiscal tightening from increased tax revenues. The aim is not to borrow more but to reduce borrowing further as economic growth picks up and as tax revenues expand in response to lower tax rates which maximise revenue.

This would produce a 1% gain to UK output and incomes, all things being equal. It would offset any reduction in exports from moving to tariffs on product sold to the EU, which on a net basis should be considerably less than 1% of GDP. Any loss of exports to the EU from tariffs and other frictions would be also partially set off by the likelihood of substituting more home production, by cheaper imports from non EU replacing some of the large import bill we experience from the EU and by additional exports to non EU. If we assume we cut our external tariff to the rest of the world in ways which encourage more trade and reciprocation as we sign new trade deals the outcome will be better. A fiscal boost now of 1% of GDP should mean after all positive and negative effects of leaving our GDP will perform better in 2019-20 than if we stayed in. There would be a clear favourable confidence effect once we were out, with businesses able to make decisions knowing exactly what our trading and other arrangements are. We may well be able to agree trade talks with the EU to start on exit, which would allow them and us to avoid new tariffs and trade barriers under Article 24 of the GATT.

The government should reverse the damaging increases in vehicle Excise Duty and create a more favourable tax regime especially for clean and low emission vehicles. It should remove all VAT from green products to encourage everything from better heating controls to insulation. It should remove VAT from domestic heating fuel to tackle fuel poverty and cut inflation further. The UK has not been able to do this as members of the EU. It should take the rate of Stamp Duty down to the levels that applied prior to the 2016 budget, as the government has experienced disappointing receipts from the higher rates. They have hit turnover and therefore tax revenues by being too high. The government should review buy to let investment taxes to allow more investment in the sector. It should make a further reduction to business rates especially for shops given the problems on the High Street.

Spending priorities should include more money for schools, the police and social care. As I know from my experiences in the Wokingham and West Berkshire Council areas, the lowest financed parts of the country like ours are struggling with low budgets for these crucial services. We also need an accelerated programme of transport investment. The government has recently announced substantial extra sums for the NHS which is welcome but now needs careful direction to ensure the money is spent on the service improvements and the extra medical staff we need.

Many Leave voters see Brexit as a great opportunity. With the right budget the UK economy could perform better. Now is the time to stop the monetary and fiscal squeeze, to back private sector growth with the right tax cuts, and to back public sector service improvements and investment growth where it is needed. The sooner we have a stimulus budget based on the Brexit bonus the better. World economies are slowing. Now is a good time to give things a boost.


  1. Ross Towes
    May 29, 2019

    ‘You have recently announced substantial extra sums for the NHS…’ A clue as to which leadership contender asked for this advice…?

    1. formula57
      May 29, 2019

      Not Mr. Hammond surely! Save us!

      1. Les
        May 29, 2019

        Your first question of yesterday for putative leaders: “How…” Must it remain a sly, cunning, secret, political manouevering until Oct.31? to keep Bercow and his remainers at bay. Or, is there an open, direct means? Small hope in this deceitful corrupt world!
        A bigger question is: Can UK government govern well by itself….? It seems to me that the moral and spiritual decline is so advanced (not even bringing in PC unmentionable immigrant influences) that there is ‘poor chance’.
        The British should not expect miracles of an independent Britain!!!

        1. L Jones
          May 29, 2019

          And why not? ”Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
          Or what’s a heaven for?”

          Except that it’s not an idle dream. ”A poor chance” of our regaining our sovereignty, I presume you mean? Why do you people have no faith in your own country and think it’s clever to talk it down, suggesting we need to be shackled to your EU?

          We are mostly NOT downhearted or cowed, as you obviously are – but rather furiously angry. There are plenty of better governors out here than the ones we have at the moment. They take a bit of finding – but I think we’re on the way now.

    2. bigneil
      May 29, 2019

      Recently on BBC news. People need access to green spaces for health reasons and millions in the UK can’t get access to nearby green areas. So with massive house building everywhere to cope with millions more new arrivals – there is going to be less and less green spaces – ending up with less healthy people.

      1. Dog owner
        May 29, 2019

        Dogs are getting crowded out too. Nowhere to take an average sized dog, off the leash, for “a run” as they need. Disabled and OAP owners should not need to get a taxi three times per day to get to a place to run their companions.
        The Greens will advance from this point alone as they have no other sensible jewel in their organic crowns. But it’s a big jewel for all that.It will be decisive. No-one bullies my pet alsation while I have a local vote

      2. margaret howard
        May 29, 2019


        The BBC published figures released by the ONS on the latest UK Environmental Accounts.

        The article was headlined:

        “The great myth of urban Britain”

        It went on to ask:

        “What proportion of Britain do you reckon is built on? By that I mean covered by buildings, roads, car parks, railways, paths and so on – what people might call “concreted over”. Go on – have a guess.”

        Their conclusion?

        … 2.27%.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        In fact woodland is now calculated to cover 12.7% of the UK, the highest proportion since 1924 when records began.


        And rather than ‘new arrivals’ being responsible for all that extra house building I’m sure a large proportion is caused by more people than ever before in our history preferring to live alone rather than sharing with family as was the custom not so very long ago.

        1. Edward2
          May 30, 2019

          A more useful statistic would be what percentage of land which could be economically built on is left.

          Mountains and hills, flooding areas, national parks, ancient moors and heathlands, sites of historical or environmental importance, land used to grow crops and graze animals and much more are included in this dubious statistic.

    3. Alan Warhurst
      May 29, 2019

      I think that should Mr Johnson win the leadership contest, Mr Redwood would hopefully be the new Chancellor.

      1. margaret howard
        May 29, 2019

        Alan Warhurst

        A newspaper headline across the front pages of one of our national newspapers some years ago comes to mind:

        “If ****** wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights.”

      2. L Jones
        May 29, 2019

        Mr Johnson is another one (like Ms McVey) who should explain to us why he thought that Mrs May’s surrender treaty was suddenly good enough to vote for. If he didn’t think it was good, why did he vote for it?

        How is someone who changes their mind with the wind (or for political point scoring) to be trusted?

  2. Richard1
    May 29, 2019

    Cancelling HS2 frees up another £10bn or so pa, some of which should go into better thought through infrastructure investment.

    The idea of free ports is an excellent one which should be implemented quickly.

    A question though: there is a hung parliament and some Tories might be very unreconciled to WTO Brexit. How will there be a majority for any of these policies?

    1. Oggy
      May 29, 2019

      Not forgetting Bercow who will do anything to stop a WTO Brexit.

      Even after 2 drubbings in the last 2 weeks – the writing is on the wall for many MP’s but still they carry on in the same old way.

      1. Timaction
        May 29, 2019

        Indeed. The arrogance is unbelievable. They are in denial that their time is up unless they start to deliver what the people want. The list is obvious. Stop mass immigration to improve health and public service provision. Deliver WTO Brexit. Stop HS2. Stop 0.7% Foreign Aid and divert to home public services. Urgent reform of the Lords and significant reductions ion numbers and non political appointments. Reduce number of MP’s and change fptp to proportional representation. Get rid of political correctness, reform of ALL selection processes in Civil Serpents, health and public sectors to reflect a meritocracy NOT GENDER OR RACE, religion or sexual preferences. Next………..just all common sense that is lost on the current bubble dwellers!

        1. Bob
          May 29, 2019

          That’s UKIP’s manifesto, yay!

    2. bigneil
      May 29, 2019

      They need HS2 to be able to get all the flood of immigrants ( May signed the UN Migration thingy ) “oop North ” and out of the way of the posh and rich.

      1. graham1946
        May 29, 2019

        Unfortunately, HS2 will not go far north enough. The Scots are always saying they believe in unlimited immigration and want more, but no-one wants to go there, so they don’t suffer the same problems we get from it down south. Today, they and the Welsh are shown as spending between 36 and 43 percent more on Care than in England. Nice to be able to dole out cash and send the bill down south. Who speaks for England? Certainly not Westminster.

        1. Steve
          May 29, 2019


          “Today, they [scots] and the Welsh are shown as spending between 36 and 43 percent more on Care than in England. Nice to be able to dole out cash and send the bill down south.”

          Exactly, Graham.

          Those type of policies, i.e free university, free prescriptions – but not for us, are undeniably racist against the English.

          Personally I’d love to see the racist SNP get independence, it’d be entertaining to watch them whinge and moan about suddenly having to pay for things. They’d be bankrupt in no time, which will be their problem not ours.

          1. APL
            May 30, 2019

            Steve: “Those type of policies, i.e free university, free prescriptions – but not for us, are undeniably racist against the English.”

            Not racist, but perhaps sectarian. And the Scottish claim to be rabidly anti sectarian.

  3. oldtimer
    May 29, 2019

    This is a sensible programme. It also has the huge benefit of redirecting the focus of debate towards immediate economic policy post Brexit which has been a blank canvas.
    It provides a platform on which other spending policies can be challenged by a new broom, such as HS2 and the aid budget. McVey has already proposed redirection of some of the latter to education and the police.

    1. NickC
      May 29, 2019

      Oldtimer, I echo your commendation of JR’s program. But as you say there is plenty more to go at. HS2, Huawei, and DfID must go. There must be a trade policy not just for global trade but also domestic trade. We must stop assuming that Jonny Foreigner is there to help us out, hold our hand, and subsidise us, as Remains do about the EU. Most foreign nations are a lot more nationalist than we are, so we get taken advantage of too frequently (as happened in the EU).

  4. Nigl
    May 29, 2019

    A very impressive job application, congratulations. You’ve got it!

  5. Dominic
    May 29, 2019

    Far too much emphasis on State spending and the economy. What is needed at its core is a cultural revolution. The promotion of the ideals of the private and the individual. Confront collectivist tosh and equate it with imprisonment of the mind, the body and the spirit. Unleash the ideas of individualism and freedom

    Reform and undermine Labour’s client state using all means including financial incentives
    Slash direct taxes
    Bury all forms of liberal left legislation including quotas on race, gender and sexuality
    Merit and value should be the arbiter not physical identity

    In effect neo-Thatcherism and an all encompassing assault on Labour and their extremism including the destruction of the idea of social class

  6. Nicholas Murphy
    May 29, 2019

    We need you – or someone like you – as Chancellor!

  7. Dave Andrews
    May 29, 2019

    You present the EU tribute we currently pay as all available for us to spend. Are there not functions the EU perform that we will have to pay for ourselves? Do we have an obligation to help those businesses that might be damaged because of their dependency on EU trade, who won’t so easily be able to adapt to the new trade barriers?

    Reply I am seeking to spend the net figure on other things. The gross figure means we can carry on spending the same on things the Eu spends at no extra tax cost.

  8. Richard1
    May 29, 2019

    There is an air of unrealism about the Tory leadership contest already. For a start some of the candidates are simply absurd – Kit Malthouse has allowed his name to go forward. I might write to Eddie Jones and advise that I am also available for selection for the England Rugby squad in the World Cup this autumn.

    We continue to hear about Donald Tusk’s supposed offer of a Canada+ FTA. Not from Donald tusk however. Like every other EU leader he says there will be no more negotiation.
    Brexit might have been holed below the water line due to Tory MPs allowing Mrs May to remain in office for as long as they did. It seems we will be heading for a new referendum with WTO Brexit vs Remain.

    1. Richard1
      May 29, 2019

      James Cleverly as well someone just said?! Have these people no sense of self-awareness?

    2. sm
      May 29, 2019

      Richard1 – do a background check on Kit Malthouse. He’s a Chartered Accountant, a businessman, was a London Deputy Mayor for 3 yrs, has years of grassroots experience as a councillor and a London Assembly member, and can be both charming and tough.

      1. Richard1
        May 29, 2019

        I’m sure he is very worthy and perfectly sensible but it is a nonsense for him to suggest himself as PM.

  9. J Bush
    May 29, 2019

    Hammond and May are on a punishment errand. The former is a declared rampant remainer who also appears determined to destroy the economy and even the country, than allow the democratic result of the referendum to be fulfilled.

    Recognize that and everything the Exchequer has done becomes clear. That same principle can be applied across the board of all those who don’t want the people to be free of the EU’s clutches.

  10. Lifelogic
    May 29, 2019

    Exactly right. The Chancellor’s attacks on landlords, tenants, pension pot holders, people who move home, his IHT threshold ratting, his OTT misguided bank regulations and his highest and most complex taxes for 70 years are hugely damaging. He is an economic illiterate (PPE yet again)

    Yes we need some positive vision. Firing Hammond and reversing his damaging, tax, borrow and endless waste (and expensive energy) economic policies should be the first thing the new PM does.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      I recently wanted to borrow more against the security of some of my investment properties to use the money build another couple of houses and to expand another trading company. The misguided and irrational OTT bank lending restrictions made this quite difficult and expensive. So jobs were killed, the houses built more slowly and the economy and tax receipts damaged. Well done Hammond.

      Then we have the idiotic lunacy of them proposed new tenancy rights that will kill the market and bank lending against such properties still further. Damaging landlords, tenants, property supply, jobs, business and the economy – James Brokenshire and Kit Malthouse it seems are culpable here.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      Just listened to Paul Mason on Iain Dale’s book podcast. I concluded that the man is really very confused or ………… Perhaps the result of reading books like Capital by T Piketty and similar, rather likely to have that effect on some people.

      Nothing the Lefty said seemed to make any real sense at all. Why on earth was he ever employed by BBC Newsnight as business editor? I think he was a trombone player and read music and politics.

      So Boris is being accused of getting a numbers wrong and has to appear in Court. Some good publicity for him I suppose that he will make the most of. Where will this remainer lunacy end? It would be hard to find a politician who has not got something wrong or indeed blatantly lied Corbyn, May, Mc Donnall, Osborne, Cast Iron and Hammond would surely be endless in court for misleading the public if this takes of. Even in her resignation speech May falsely claimed to be reducing government debt.

      1. Richard1
        May 29, 2019

        Mason is indeed not a proper economist but is on the far left. Perhaps he is prominent amongst Corbyn’s gang of ……………… semi-marxists as he’s the only one who even understands the meaning of words like debt, deficit, market value, cash, bond etc. Certainly the likes of McDonnell and long Bailey don’t based on their public utterances.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      Gove’s wife says of him that:- He can’t load a dishwasher and took his driving test seven times…

      It doesn’t inspire much confidence (did he pass in the end, or just give up I wonder) – “can’t” not “doesn’t” is somewhat worrying. Perhaps Greta Thunberg could give him advice on it.

  11. Alan Jutson
    May 29, 2019

    Rather than just simply ask your advice John, perhaps they should really think hard about who their Chancellor may be.

    I see Mr Hunt got himself all confused yesterday about leaving on WTO rules, and even on not fixing a leaving date.
    You would have thought that someone who has been in the cabinet for many years would have already seen the chaos that no plan and wooly thinking creates, when clarity is the key.

  12. steadyeddie
    May 29, 2019

    ‘world economies are slowing’….what an excellent time to withdraw from the largest single market and rely on USA protectionist or China slowing economy. Of course we could rely on fast growing economies the fastest of which last year was…Libya! There are good reasons for leaving the EU, economic growth is not one of them.

    1. Cornishstu
      May 29, 2019

      Being free of the EU gives us more flexibility to act in our best interest whereas in our hands are tied to what is best for the majority of EU.

    2. Woody
      May 29, 2019

      Can’t see the logic in that answer. Leaving a sclerotic bureaucracy like the eu will allow the uk to move with flexibility to meet the changing world trade challenges. Please note how badly german and french and italy economies are doing and how relatively well the uk is doing outside the euro. Even the eu recognises that 90% of future world demand will come from outside the eu .. so where is the best place to be to maximize benefits .. its clearly outside the eu. The days of big is beautiful in business is 70’s music, smaller allows flexibility, innovation and adaptability and is what we need .. we cannot be that in the eurocracy.

    3. Fred H
      May 29, 2019

      steady on Eddie…..There are good reasons for leaving the EU. I don’t think the remoaners will want you saying that, mate. Not flavour of the month anymore!

  13. John Sheridan
    May 29, 2019

    There should be a great deal more optimism from the Government about our Brexit future. The Government should be spelling out what it will do with the returned powers and how it will benefit the UK.

    Sadly Project Fear will continue unless the next PM is a true Brexiteer. I no longer count Gove as a Brexiteer.

  14. Bryan Harris
    May 29, 2019

    Tax cuts in the short term yes – but what the tax system badly needs is a rebirth – The current tax bible is over-large, complex and introduces errors and problems.

    To say the current system is unfit for purpose is an understatement – it inhibits and penalises. We need something better for this new age. It requires upwards of 50,000 people to make it work. A total rewrite.

    So please do keep this on the agenda.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      Indeed just the absurd complexity is a extra tax in itself, but one that raises no tax. Just creates endless parasitic and non productive jobs. It seems to nearly double every year.

      Now it is digital and not on paper there is little to limit its exponential growth.

  15. Peter
    May 29, 2019

    “A question though: there is a hung parliament and some Tories might be very unreconciled to WTO Brexit. How will there be a majority for any of these policies?”

    At the moment it seems as though Continuity Remain have simply regrouped and will push ‘more of the same’ with a leader that they hope will be less toxic with the public.

    Bercow will help try to block WTO Brexit. Calls for another rigged referendum will increase, though Conservatives and many in Labour will wish to avoid a General Election.

    Attacks on both The Brexit Party will ramp up in the hope of fatal damage.

    It seems like it will be a long war.

    1. Peter
      May 29, 2019

      Attacks on both The Brexit Party and Nigel Farage will ramp up.

    2. Doug Powell
      May 29, 2019

      Yes, another RIGGED referendum! The Elite thought they had the fix in last time. Remember how the server for on-line voting allegedly went down 2 hours before the close of voting – then the on-line voting was kept open for 48 HOURS! It is estimated that in that time 2 million extra people voted and the breakdown was 70/30 in favour of Remain*!

      * If of interest check out Mitch Feierstein ‘Brexit Special’ 25 June 2016

  16. JoolsB
    May 29, 2019

    For the sake of the party but much more importantly for the sake of the country, my biggest hope is that either Boris, Raab or McVey become PM and they choose a Conservative cabinet (difficult I know with so few Conservatives in the current party) and that John Redwood is made Chancellor.

  17. Peter
    May 29, 2019

    Interesting to hear Sir John Redwood advocating Keynesian pump priming.

    Reply I have been arguing for several years against the austerity policy

    1. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      The problem is private sector austerity (taxed, inconveniences and regulated almost to death) combined with endless public sector waste, misdirection, daft grand vanity projects, inefficiency and general incompetence.

      State sector remuneration (with pensions included) are still nearly 50% up on private sector ones.

  18. formula57
    May 29, 2019

    … the opportunities Brexit presents” have lain ignored by this Government. The failure long ago to appoint a Minister, well-resourced and determined, to identify and exploit the myriad opportunities is another damning legacy of the dreadful May tenure.

    The vast opportunities Brexit presents will almost certainly never be realized. The danger exists too that some that are identified will be neglected for fear of offending the Evil Empire: such is the quisling mindset of those in power.

  19. Know-Dice
    May 29, 2019

    Sir John,

    How do you get this message across and educate not only those in the conservative party, but the the likes of Emily Thornberry, Anna Soubry etc. who always seem to manage to pop-up on the BBC, SKY etc with the unchallenged strap line “No Deal would be a catastrophe”

    Journalists also need to be educated to ensure they challenge this message.

    “Clean Brexit” works for me…

  20. jerry
    May 29, 2019

    Sir John, there is a lot that could be done with VAT (purchase taxes) once out of the EU, not just revert changes that that recent previous Tory govts made in the first place, how about using VAT to back UK made products?

    “The government should review buy to let investment taxes to allow more investment in the sector.”

    BTL is the problem, not the cure!

    1. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      BTL is not a problem at all, some people need to rent and do not want to buy for all sorts of reasons. A good supply of properties to rent is vital for the economy.

      1. jerry
        May 29, 2019

        @LL; “BTL is not a problem at all”

        Says the Landlord…

        “some people need to rent and do not want to buy for all sorts of reasons.”

        That has always been the case, before the current obsession with BTL. You make it sound as if no one ever rented (private or social) housing until the advent of BTL.

        “A good supply of properties to rent is vital for the economy.”

        You mean like the good supply of council house’s that existed before 1980?… Not for profit rents would create more disposable income meaning higher retail sales etc, or allow people to save either for their deposit to obtain a mortgage which ion turn helps the building industry and economic cycle.

        Stop taking such a parochial view!

        1. Lifelogic
          May 29, 2019

          Council houses are rented below market rents and are thus paid for partly by other tax payers. Of course people want housing partly paid for by others and at below market rents but it puts other providers out of business and we cannot all live of the backs of others.

          1. jerry
            May 29, 2019

            @LL; I said not for profit, anyway what is the “market rate”, what you and your industry thinks it should be?…

            Yours is a very parochial view, full of self interest.

          2. Lifelogic
            May 30, 2019

            Supply and demand determines rents. What is needed is more homes to rent or to buy or fewer people!

          3. APL
            May 30, 2019

            I don’t often agree ( in part ) with jerry, but we don’t need more houses*, we need less immigration. Better education**, less government meddling.

            And perhaps, some grants to improve the housing stock we’ve already got.

            *If housing prices are too high ( they are ) it’s because of the government policy of suppressing wages ( by way of immigration ) and inflating the housing market ( artifically low interest rates ).

            **If we can’t find the ‘best & brightest’ in the UK, that is an indictment of the Government run education sector.

          4. jerry
            May 31, 2019

            @LL; Yes and if the private sector limits the overwhelming supply of a non-discretionary product that means higher prices if not rained in or regulated, nice work if you can get it!

            As I say, who decides the market price, the customer or the provider, usually the customer, but when supply is like buying fresh bread in the old GDR (but without price control) the providers can think of a number and double it.

          5. jerry
            May 31, 2019

            @APL; If we have ‘to many people’, its the result of the post war baby boom, baby-boomers then having their own children and now their own children children are needing homes, the immigrant factor is the full-stop at the end of the sentence by comparison.

            Basically we did not build enough houses from the mid 1970s on, not helped by economic polices that has seen wholesale shifts in were people work and thus need to live. Thus the boil has been allowed to get bigger and bigger, now the problem has now come to a head. Unfortunately some people are trying look at others to blame, rather than their own past political choices.

    2. a-tracy
      May 29, 2019

      I agree with Jerry about this.

    3. Jagman84
      May 29, 2019

      “BTL is the problem, not the cure!”

      Governments (of all colours) raiding the private pension system was the original problem. BTL was an entirely sensible reaction to that unwarranted attack. Many individuals this sector are there by necessity, rather than by choice.

  21. Ian wragg
    May 29, 2019

    You miss the point John. Brexit must be seen to damage the UK. Hammond in concert with the EU has deliberately damaged the economy so Brexit can be blamed.
    Now we have Bercow saying he is going to stop a no deal exit and the majority of the candidates willing to support Mays atrocious WA.
    Have they learnt nothing from the recent election result.

  22. Newmania
    May 29, 2019

    £12billion is not of rebate but not net of payments to the UK. If all this is now availed for additional spending can you itemise the loss of funds to those who have previously been in receipt of grants .I think farming in particular will be interested in your plans to cease all payments.
    You correctly state that the treasury has, in the past, been insufficiently gloomy, for example about the risks of ERM. Why do you know suppose they are wildly wrong in the other direction?
    To call the current interest rates a squeeze is an ‘interesting’ view shared by no-one on the Monetary Policy Committee. By what means do you intend to force them to act against their judgement for a short term assistance to your political project?
    You claim taxes can be reduced and spending increased without additional borrowing …..Maybe so maybe not , but your claim that the £8billion of EU money will make up for the loss of revenue due to the growth slowdown has now support in any serious company whatsoever

    1. Richard1
      May 29, 2019

      No you’ve misunderstood, as so many do. The gross figure is c £19bn pa. The net figure (I.e. after the UK farmers get their £4bn, the univs get their research grants etc) is c.£12bn. The £12bn is what goes over to the EU to pay for such essential public goods as pave de saumon + pouilly fume lunches & dinners for the Brussels pharoes and wind farms to make the weather a little cooler in 100 years time. A confusion Easily made though.

      1. margaret howard
        May 29, 2019


        But do they get £300 a day attendance allowance like our unelected House of Lords does?

        I also believe that they enjoy the benefit of untold perks like subsidised dining clubs, one of the best wine cellars in London and facilities not even the richest businesses could dream of offering their directors.

        1. Edward2
          May 30, 2019

          MEPs get a €96,240 annual salary plus €4320 per month for office costs plus they can charge staff costs of up to €21379 per year plus a daily expense allowance of €306, plus travel allowance of €4264 per year.
          Source Molly Scott Cato’s website who is an MEP
          Council and Commission members are treated better than this obviously.

          1. margaret howard
            May 30, 2019

            How does that compare with our MPs? And have they been caught ‘flipping’ properties or claiming for their moats or duck houses?

          2. Fred H
            May 30, 2019

            Edward ….you wonder how they manage!

          3. Edward2
            May 30, 2019

            EU politicians are better paid than UK MPs as the figures this MEP quotes on her website shows.

            You asked “do they get £300 a day attendance allowance”
            The answer is yes they do.
            They get €306 per day plus travel expenses on top.

  23. Stephen
    May 29, 2019

    Kit Malthouse claimed on LBC that you are the only MP who actually wants No Deal. Do you agree?

    Reply That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Kit should also remember I would offer a Free Trade Agreement.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 29, 2019

      There will be some agreements – as mutual interests will ensure this happens. The best way to get to this position is to leave as soon as possible and certainly no later than 31st Oct. The only way not to destroy the Conservative Party is turn it into a real Brexit Party.

    2. Emily Jones
      May 29, 2019

      You can offer a Free Trade Agreement as much as you want – the EU has made it 100 per cent clear it will not even begin talks on a Free Trade Agreement until the UK has signed off the agreements on Ireland, citizen rights and money contained in the Withdrawal Agreement. It is sad to see that right wing Tories like Mr Malthouse feel the need expressly to disassociate themselves from John Redwood – but if you are going to carry on misrepresenting the reality of the very weak position that UK now finds itself in, you can expect others to make very clear that they are not going to let the UK fall off the cliff in the way that you (and only) you want. You are truly out on your own!

      1. Jagman84
        May 29, 2019

        I am sure that we can leave the misrepresentation of facts to you. You do it so well and so often…

        1. margaret howard
          May 29, 2019


          Could you start by giving us the ‘true facts’?

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        May 29, 2019

        What you write above Emily has little basis in fact.

    3. a-tracy
      May 29, 2019

      That ‘lie’ has just put me off Kit Malthouse whoever he was!

  24. John S
    May 29, 2019

    Do schools need more money? I believe present funds should be more wisely spent. Get the basics right, viz. the 3 Rs.

  25. Julie Dyson
    May 29, 2019

    Sound, sensible, common sense policies. I’m frankly surprised they even had to ask you… but I’m glad they did.

    That loud roar you can hear is our populace cheering these proposals. More optimism, less defeatism — that’s precisely what the next PM needs to exude from every pore. A successful clean Brexit is the only way to bring our divided country back together. Nothing else can.

  26. ChasE
    May 29, 2019

    we have all the jargon here in buckets- would that it could all come through

    alternatively I wonder that one so knowledgeable is not putting his own name forward?

  27. Andy
    May 29, 2019

    No Brexit makes us better off. That is totally clear.

    The leadership candidates who allow you to pretend otherwise should be disqualified.

    1. Edward2
      May 29, 2019

      Well that’s a little bit more democratic of you Andy.
      Just disqualification not trial and prison as you often demand of those who have a different opinion to you.

      1. hans christian ivers
        May 29, 2019

        Edward 2

        Is this your contribution to the hypothesis of Sir JR which does not stack up using Paragraph 24 of the GATT?

        1. Edward2
          May 29, 2019

          Yet another sarcastic post from hans.
          Hey hans how about you post something positive and useful.
          Andy wanted anyone who disagrees with him disqualified.
          Tell me hans as a Eurooean pro EU Democrat, is that OK with you?

    2. Jagman84
      May 29, 2019

      No Brexit will result in the UK becoming part of a Federal European State, in a few years time. The choice of PM will then be irrelevant, as will our MPs. Arguing about being richer or poorer is pointless in comparison. It is why I voted to leave the EU while you continue to bury your head in the sand.

  28. Ian
    May 29, 2019

    Agreeing with you Sir John is easy. There is of course a however, unless Project Fear is maintained with the aid of fiscal methods to hold back the country the desire of 80% in the HoC to remain won’t be achieved.

    These Remainers are frightened that should decision making, laws and taxes return to these shores they will have to work for their crust.

    It is easy to rationalise that the cost to the UK by what some call indecision that is in reality keep the pressure on so as cause remain has far outstripped any small shock that would have come from just getting on with it.

    A Clean-Break was always the easiest and cheapest way for the UK and the EU to go their separate ways yet remain friends.

  29. formula57
    May 29, 2019

    My initial thought was how commendable of them that “leadership candidates have been kind enough to ask for my thoughts “ but then it occurred to me it means they cannot be regular readers here. Not good, not good at all!

    1. Fred H
      May 29, 2019

      formula57….they are ready to state ‘I consulted the wisest, best qualified for advice’. A great response to maybe a difficult question one day.

  30. Lifelogic
    May 29, 2019

    It seems as expected the dire Speaker Bercow is determined to stay on so as to continue to prevent the people getting the Brexit they democratically voted for. One vote against the 17.4 million. Can anything be done about this troublesome man? Let us hope we do not get one of the several remoaner candidates for PM who clearly are encouraging this “war on the voters” Bercow agenda.

  31. margaret
    May 29, 2019

    No time to read the complete analysis here yet … have to work … but I also believe that mortgage applications are up considerably .

  32. Anonymous
    May 29, 2019

    Whether it works or not. We have a vote last week based on all the new facts that Andy tells us about.

    The people voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. 43% (Con, UKIP, TBP – many more if some Lab is included) And the 63% that were happy to stay at home with Art 50 in play and a leaving date set, their votes defaulted to Leave and they well knew it.

    So forget WA – just get us out.

    That’s democracy.

    1. Anonymous
      May 29, 2019

      In order to address a problem one has to admit to having a problem.

      Parliament is in denial that Brexit won last week.

  33. James Bertram
    May 29, 2019

    ‘A number of leadership candidates have been kind enough to ask for my thoughts on the economic impact of Brexit and the current state of the UK economy’.
    It’s also a fair assumption that they regard you as the next Brexit Chancellor. (It would be a travesty if they continued with hopeless Hammond, or yet again appointed another chancellor for political reasons rather than ability.)
    Good luck.

  34. HJ
    May 29, 2019

    “It should remove all VAT from green products to encourage everything from better heating controls to insulation. It should remove VAT from domestic heating fuel …”

    John, do you not see that the latter would reduce the incentive to buy the former? If you make domestic fuel cheaper, the incentive to invest in energy-saving measures is reduced.
    What is more, the biggest users of domestic fuel are those with the biggest properties, i.e. generally those who are best off, so they would be the biggest gainers from removing VAT.

    1. Julie Dyson
      May 29, 2019

      I couldn’t disagree more. Fuel poverty is a very serious problem in this country, especially now the caps are gone, and removing VAT on domestic fuel would be a step in the right direction for hundreds of thousands of households during the winter months. Those of us with more surplus income would of course also be a bit better off, but we wouldn’t really notice the difference. The poorest and most vulnerable, however, would definitely have their lives made that little bit better.

      The absolute necessities of life should not be taxed in any way, shape or form. That, in my view, is the fundamental principal of a fairly governed society.

  35. Mark B
    May 29, 2019

    Good morning- again.

    This is what I want to hear from the candidates. Less tub thumping and more positive detail. There is only one Sir Winston Churchill, so spare us the poor imitations.

    BREXIT Is an oppotunity. It is not just an oppotunity for the UK but the test of the world. Only through trade can we solve the problems of poverty and MASS migration.

    1. Doug Powell
      May 29, 2019

      Correct! Brexit is an opportunity – a bloody good one! Unfortunately, the undecided and the remainers can’t, or won’t see it until we are actually out!

      The MAY DELAY – 3 long years of it – has allowed the Remoaners an inordinate amount of time to pile fake news upon fake news! The only way to refute that is to be OUT so that everyone can see and experience Brexit in operation!

      So, the message to leadership hopefuls is to get out asap! And stop this bollocks about the first step being to unite the country! That has to come after Brexit, then the remoaners have to ask themselves if they wish to be part of a united country, or not? Some never will, but many will accept Brexit once it is part of their everyday lives!

  36. Gordon Pugh
    May 29, 2019

    So your plan is to tax less and spend more, while ripping up the trade deals we have with the EU and, through the EU, also those we have with the rest of the world. Quite simply absurd. You are not a serious man, sir.

    Reply What a silly misinterpretation of what I am arguing for. Wrong on every count

  37. Barbara Castle
    May 29, 2019

    “A number of leadership candidates have been kind enough to ask for my thoughts on the economic impact of Brexit and the current state of the UK economy”.

    Better late than never, I suppose, but I’m afraid this really doesn’t inspire confidence in the potential leaders. They’ve had 3 long years in which to educate themselves about the potential impacts (good and bad) of the varying proposals for Brexit, and it’s surely an integral part of their job to know the current state of the UK economy?

    Sadly, all this does is highlight to me the appallingly low level of professionalism demonstrated by our Parliamentarians, and why they resort to disrespectful and glib mantras designed solely to close down good debate.

    It’s time there was a moral obligation on MPs to show some respect to their electorate, and, at the very least, have them undertake training in the core principles of management.
    To assume knowledge is bestowed with the title is utterly ridiculous, and an inherent danger when dealing with the self-interested.

  38. William Long
    May 29, 2019

    With a manifesto like this, it seems a very interesting comment on your view of the appetite of the parliamentary Conservative party for the course you are suggesting, that you do not appear to be standing for the leadership yourself. Age is no barrier as we have seen with Mr Corbyn!
    The Country needs you, or someone of your views and experience of the real world, very badly indeed.

  39. javelin
    May 29, 2019

    Looking at the demographics of the EU elections results I would argue that there is no longer a working class/middle class (left/right) divide in the country anymore.

    Brexit appears to have won in the rump, centre ground of the UK.
    Labour seems to have won in immigrant areas
    Liberals seems to have won in upper middle class areas of London, the home counties and Oxbrridge.
    Plaid in Welsh Speaking Wales
    Scots in Scotland.
    Conservatives out the picture.

    The Brexit Party are not far right or far left but occupy a very large part of the centre ground. They are in s political heaven. Blair and Cameron could only dream of being in this position.

    Nobody has yet realised what is in plain sight.

  40. Caterpillar
    May 29, 2019

    Stopping Heathrow 3 and committing to and accelerating HS2 as a first indicator of turning towards the growth opportunities in the UK is a must. Other changes to get economic opportunity to the Brexit supporting areas (i.e. outside London) require more fundamental chnages.

  41. Fred H
    May 29, 2019

    There was a timely article in the Sunday Times ‘SME Export Track’. It produced a league table of the 100 Small/ Medium businesses who had the fastest growing sales overseas. It also showed where they did their main business. Not surprisingly currently with the EU it was 85, USA 68, Asia 40, Australia 29, Middle East 12, Africa 7 and S.America 4. Naturally some did major business in more than one region. This shows that enterprising businesses are already exploiting markets where EU imposed constraints are missing.

  42. Iain Moore
    May 29, 2019

    Stimulus? What would it achieve? Yes get some growth, but what growth? We have a trade deficit problem , I fear all a stimulus would do would be to increase it. If we have spare cash I believe we use it to put rocket boosters behind an industrial policy.

  43. NickW
    May 29, 2019

    It is reported that Speaker Bercow, in a public speech in the U.S.A, stated that he would do everything in his power as Speaker to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

    Given that Bercow has thrown his impartiality to the winds, can he prevented from sitting on any “No Deal” Debate? We cannot have this tin pot Napoleon ruling the Country from the Speaker’s chair.

  44. agricola
    May 29, 2019

    You have crossed many Ts and dotted Is in this post giving detail on how to go about Brexit with vigour after the political baggage is done and dusted. It is just the sort of message the country needs in the face of all the naysayers who get attention beyond their tallents.

  45. NickW
    May 29, 2019

    Professor Patrick Minford has written an essay on WTO trading which dispels the myths of a No Deal apocalypse.

    His essay can be found on “Brexit Central” which is an excellent (Internet) source of Brexit related information.

  46. rose
    May 29, 2019

    Thank goodness they are asking for your advice. Let’s hope the winning one makes it permanent.

  47. TV in the attic
    May 29, 2019

    Oh Goodie! The Magnificent A Many leadership candidates are going to take over whole debating nights on Sky News. We await with glee. How interesting to hear the same old three-year long dirge. What better time in essence to sell your TV though it’ll be a buyers market.

  48. Lynn Atkinson
    May 29, 2019

    Would you tell us which candidates asked your advice on economic matters please? It is important for establishing a shortlist of those who have demonstrated a modicum of judgement. I’m afraid most looked at Mrs May and thought anybody could be PM if she could. In my day we looked at Powell and decided no to propose ourselves for the candidates list, but to find the most able individual with our politics.

  49. Prigger
    May 29, 2019

    Self-reduced now small potatoes in Parliament.
    Things are not looking bright. At one time centuries ago, a safety valve though flawed could bribe a Mr Speaker in an emergency. Things have improved honesty-wise but lacks any safety valve whatsoever.
    Odds on there will be a General Election. Perhaps the resulting regime can abolish the Office of Mr Speaker and update to a fixed term Chairman as a oncer.

  50. ukretired123
    May 29, 2019

    There are 4 kinds of people:
    1. Those who make things happen – contributor / achievers ideally
    2.Those who sit and watch them –
    3. Those who wondered what happened
    4. Those who put spanners in the works etc.
    The key is not to be in the 3rd nor 4th row.

    Brexit has shown up some of these when under the cosh!
    Now we have a perfect storm crisis the fair weather managers have to show up and leave Hammond & May actors in the dust.

    You need someone who has been held back for a long time with real world talent to be PM because they will bolt forward given this golden opportunity. That’s best recruitment practice. Likewise Britain will respond to any new stimulus just like when Mrs T set us free.

    Steve Baker also springs to mind, Esther McVey also.
    With Sir John Redwood directing economic progress as the “Safe pair of hands”.

    1. Fred H
      May 29, 2019

      ukretired…..you misssed the worst kind:
      5. Those who PRETEND make things happen – contributor / achievers

      1. ukretired123
        May 29, 2019

        They are in No.4 Those who Spanners in the works etc . Not contributing but destructive just like so-called ” Executive tap-dancers” I referred to in a previous post.

  51. ukretired123
    May 29, 2019

    I meant to say definitely NOT the fair weather managers need to show up! Apologies!

  52. glen cullen
    May 29, 2019

    ‘’The best option is for a deal if not its no-deal’’

    ‘’No-deal is okay but I’d rather have a deal’’

    ‘’We should to achieve a deal while the default is no-deal’’

    ‘’We need a new deal but keep no-deal as an option’’

    There are no quotes above that satisfy the term ‘leadership’

    We need a decisive PM with a clear message and a single clear aim

    These candidates need to study and learn from the Brexit Party

    For example

    ‘’We will leave under WTO terms on the 31st October and all our efforts will be made to make this transition successful during the next 5 months’’

  53. Oh Danny Boy
    May 29, 2019

    Q: Which of the Tory candidates is prepared to do anything to reduce our current inflow of approx 750 people every 24 hours.

    A: Not one of them.

    In the three years the elite have stalled our departure another 3/4 to 1 million people will have been added to our population from overseas. Yet you’ll hear next to nothing about it. How much longer can this go on for?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 29, 2019

      All the time we have farm land to build on it won’t be a problem. It would seem feeding ourselves is less important than building new housed for a bigger population.

  54. Atlas
    May 29, 2019

    Sir J.,

    What you suggest is commendable – now all we need is a new PM that does not have the backbone of a Jellyfish to implement them.

  55. Roy Grainger
    May 29, 2019

    There is more chance of the BP putting those in their manifesto than the Conservative party.

  56. Sharon Jagger
    May 29, 2019

    The most frustrating thing about the whole Brexit thing…there’s no higher authority to go to to do anything to stop all these traitors and second raters trying to tie us into subservience with a foreign entity.

    The only one higher authority, is of course HM the Queen, but she has never become involved in politics and is highly unlikely to now.

    1. Turboterrier
      May 29, 2019

      Sharon Jagger

      It’s about time HM did step in and dissolve parliament as the present members bar a 100 odd is and are totally unfit for office. She could not make a bigger mess of running the country as this lot. They have forgotten who they are supposed to serve unlike HM the Queen

      1. Mark B
        May 29, 2019

        I recently saw an interview of, Sir David Starkey. He mentioned that HMQ’s father and grand father were both very active in politics. There was a situation, I think it involved, Lloyd George where the King had to intervene between the various parties for the good of the nation. Sadly this Monach sees her role as more ceremonial.

  57. ian
    May 29, 2019

    Gross taxation for companies and businesses and no employment taxes for people who work for someone else, just their net income becomes their gross income and a tax-free pay rise going forward.

    Going forward for businesses, take on as many workers as you like tax-free, just the pay to be paid to the worker, that because you are now paying gross tax on your turnover, business becomes a lot simpler and easy to understand, one might say more clear cut.

    With a new system like this, you can find a lot of advances going forward for gov, business and people, it only for working people who work for someone, not self-employed.

  58. Sue Doughty
    May 29, 2019

    EU senior elite said on Radio 4 this morning that if the UK leaves with no deal they would immediately start negotiations with the UK.
    No it isn’t No Deal, not for long. All services would continue as normal, already in place. We stop paying and they start panicking.

    1. Fred H
      May 29, 2019

      Sue…..exactly. Do the remainer dullards REALLY think the major European industries will just stop making things for UK, Germany will cut car production by 20%, Holland will not grow/sell flowers to UK, Italy will lower white goods production etc It would really be catastrophic in EU, while we would complain ‘bugger I cant have a new car for a few months, that new fridge will have to wait, Elton John will have to have his daily flowers flown in from Madiera’. Tragedy!

    2. Ken Smigg
      May 29, 2019

      Lie. The EU said the exact opposite. No deal, no trade, bye bye UK

  59. ian
    May 29, 2019

    If you intend to give 12 billion in tax cuts next year and you are running a gross tax system, that money goes to all companies and businesses, it would be like a 23 per cent cut in corporate tax which is at 19 per cent at the moment, the businesses can choose how they to spend that money.

    Tax-free pay rise for workers, take on more workers tax-free, pay down debt, buy new equipment, go to shareowners or a bit of this and bit of that and an another 12 billion in tax cuts come in next year after, that would be like cutting corporate tax in half in two years, not that you pay corporate tax now because you pay gross tax.

    Like a snowball, it grows bigger as it goes along and of cos, it’s in the interest of companies to see that the people gov is not overcharged on work by them because it means the less tax the gov needs to charge them, in other words, a new partnership.

    I can think of lots of things to do with a new policy like this, opens up a whole new world.

    1. graham1946
      May 29, 2019

      Rose tinted spectacles Ian. Big business has been sitting on record cash piles in the last few years with little inclination towards giving pay rises, much of it going abroad to foreign shareholders. We are still at the level we were with wages in 2008. Big bonuses to the bosses yes. Still getting big rip offs from the energy companies to the extent that 500,000 accounts have been switched this year from the big six to smaller firms. Out of the millions of accounts the big six still have they don’t much care. The vaunted maximum charge became the normal charge. Better to give tax cuts to the workers who will be able to afford what business makes or supplies if that is what they want. Trickle down economics does not work.

      1. libertarian
        May 29, 2019


        Wages ROSE this year by 3.3% the biggest rise since 2008, and by the way the COST of employment has also been steadily rising too. Average UK salary is £28677 actual payroll cost is £33,718

        Bosses bonuses have been hit by the large tax hike on dividends

        Theres no such think as Trickle Down Economics, its a term invented by

        No much of a post really G

        1. graham1946
          May 29, 2019


          Wages Rose 3.3% this year the biggest rise since 2008..

          I agree. That is what I said – we are still at 2008 levels taking into account inflation etc. Surely you don’t need me to show you that.

          Bosses have had massive bonuses since 2008 and the tax situation followed much later and is not retrospective. Ask the builder CEO who trousered 75 million for one year of doing nothing much.

          Payroll cost is not responsibility of the employed but of government. Whether Trickle Down economics exists or not, it doesn’t work, so why do you query what I said?
          Not your best post Lib to complain about my post whilst in essence agreeing with it and providing the proof.

      2. a-tracy
        May 30, 2019


        the NMW pushes up pay differentials, the nmw in 2008 was £5.73 it is now £7.83 > 25 years and £7.38 21-25 years, on top of this employers have had an extra 3% employers national insurance in the form of nest pensions for individuals in addition to the 13.8% over the lel. In October 2016 the nlw was pushed up by 6.9% then 4% then 4.4% inflation isn’t running at those rates.

  60. High Court Fudge
    May 29, 2019

    Boris is being taken to Court over a sign on a bus.
    Our courts are hearing the case, they gesticulate.

    Most people respect Law and Order despite many millions being criminalised in their own eyes from anything from dropping one piece of litter £100 immediate fine to paedophilia £100 fine minus £1 for good behaviour, and a further £20 off as it their first offence.

    People, in general , have little respect for our Courts as there is a missing link between Law and Order ( police) and The Law. That missing link is clothed in a variety of guises. It is not fit for purpose on a many count.
    Reduce the pay of barristers, solicitors, judges by 50% and lay 50% of them off as China can violate intellectual rights for a tenth of their worth. Also Chinese judges understand plain English and are much more British at heart.

    1. Fred H
      May 29, 2019

      what about Blair’s ‘things can only get better’ ? – they certainly didn’t – markets crashed, hundreds of thousands of ill equipped students have £10,000s of debts, we killed thousands due to his lies of ‘The Iraqi leader has 20 missiles which could reach British military bases in Cyprus, as well as Israel and Nato members Greece and Turkey. ‘

      1. Doug Powell
        May 29, 2019

        This Boris caper is just a political stunt! If this barrister had a burning desire to bring Boris to book over his alleged porkie pie, he would certainly have done it before a 3 year wait!

        As you rightly say, a much greater service to justice would be for Blair to be arraigned in The Hague to answer for his part in the events that happened Iraq!

        1. graham1946
          May 29, 2019

          The ‘burning desire’ may have something to do with 200,000 pounds raised for the case by crown funding. In my experience, Barristers have no passion except for money and will argue any case right or wrong for a good payout.

  61. Mick
    May 29, 2019

    Off topic but not by much
    I see some muppet remoaners backed by crowdfunding are taking Boris Johnson to court over the figure on the side of the red leave bus, do these remoaner take the public for idiots this is just another ploy by the remoaners to discredit Mr Johnson so he isn’t made the PM so by not having a Brexiteer whos also for no deal to be the new PM, these remoaners are only sowing the seed of bitterness between remoaners and leavers so they want to be very careful what they wish for

  62. glen cullen
    May 29, 2019

    Article 50(3)TEU EUCO XT 20006/19 section (11)

    ‘’Such an extension excludes any re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the United Kingdom should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement.’’

    Therefore no candidate can claim that they can achieve a new/amended WA deal

    Any attempt to do so would void the EU extension period

    Have the candidates read this extension document ?

    1. Know-Dice
      May 29, 2019

      Good – It’s a “Clean Brexit” then…

    2. Henry Carter
      May 29, 2019

      Ah glen, you are bringing in reality, detail and the law. These are matters which all true Brexiters ignore. In the true Brexit world, it is only a matter of time before those German carmakers ride to the UK’s rescue and force the EU to let the UK leave the club but continue to enjoy all the benefits of membership. They need us more than we need them, doncha know!

      1. Edward2
        May 29, 2019

        Strange club where there are 28 members, 9 pay in but the rest take money out, whilst all get a vote.

        1. Fred H
          May 30, 2019

          reminds me of Eurovision Song Contest ( I never watch/listen to it). Why pay for it, and get abused?

    3. formula57
      May 29, 2019

      @ glen cullen – so what?

      Were we not told a very long time ago now that “must” is not a word to be used to princes?

  63. Audun Sigurdsson
    May 29, 2019

    The East Germans did not have 580 pages agreement with the EU when they climbed over the Berlin Wall.
    The USSR did not have 580 pages agreement with the EU when it disintegrated.

    The UK will cope well without one.

    1. Caterpillar
      May 29, 2019

      Just over 6 pages in English, and the UK gave up all claims for reparations. The magnanimity of the UK in 1990 has not been reflected by the EU in 2019.

  64. Mr Thomas B Hall
    May 29, 2019

    The government should review buy to let investment taxes to allow more investment in the sector. It should make a further reduction to business rates especially for shops given the problems on the High Street.

    Sorry Sir John, but no. Brexit is the number one issue- but rentier/landlording is the second. We have far to much BTL, and encourage far too much “investment” in acquiring rental streams which do nothing for the productive economy.

    We need to cut taxes on production (Income Tax and VAT) , and replace them with more progressive taxes on the holding/usage of natural monopolies like land.

    If we want to actually grow as a country, we need to come up with policies that provide the incentives to improve the country, rather than incentives to seek rents from other citizens. Take a leaf from Singapore- it’s worked rather well for them!

  65. Iain Gill
    May 29, 2019

    Conservative party needs to go back to its “immigration down to the tens of thousands” promise, and this time mean it and actually pull the levers of power to deliver it. Indeed it should probably go further, reducing net immigration to zero would be an election winning promise.

    Any attempt to misdirect voters from such whopping failures to deliver the repeated election promises will just spell disaster.

  66. John Hatfield
    May 29, 2019

    Now is a good time to give things a boost. Dump Hammond.

  67. a-tracy
    May 29, 2019

    I want to ask the candidates:

    1. The EU have said they will not negotiate the WA at all. What do you want to change in the WA?
    2. What will you do if elected for EU citizens that have made their home in the UK, will you give them citizenship? What would your cut off date be and how quickly will you sort this out?
    3. What will you do about open work visas for agreed freedom of movement travelling workers as a reciprocal agreement within the EU i.e. actors, dancers, musicians?
    4. Who will you put in charge of talks with the EU, will you chase the EU’s tail in Europe or will you stand your ground?
    5. Will you point out the benefits to the EU of keeping friendly relationships as we did with Ireland when they got their Independence. Even recently we went rushing to sign an agreement with Ireland guaranteeing future free movement – how could we do this when they’re in the EU and the EU doesn’t allow side agreements?

  68. hans christian ivers
    May 29, 2019

    Sir JR

    A very interesting scenario on how to increase growth by !% with the various some very sensible initiatives you are proposing.

    However, there is one major flaw in the argument, GATT paragraph 24 requires a trade agreement with the EU to be enforceable and the Eu has made it very clear that there will be no trade agreement, without a withdrawal agreement, so Paragraph 24 cannot apply.

    In addition Paragraph 24 only covers goods and not services and does not cover regulations and standards and was never meant to cover the scale of the EU-UK trading relationship.

    So all in all an interesting working hypothesis which is not very realistic, without some sort of withdrawal agreement and has never be tested with this sort of scale of trading relationship either

    Reply EU has said no such thing. If we just leave I think they will want trade talks, which is all we need to avoid tariffs.

    1. hans christian ivers
      May 30, 2019

      Sir Jr,

      I am sorry they actually have without an agreement on the withdrawal

  69. Dominic
    May 29, 2019



    It is time for all politicians to expose this State backed attack on Brexit

  70. Simon Coleman
    May 29, 2019

    You want major spending increases while cutting taxes. So where’s the money going to come from?

    Reply Not sending cash to the EU

    1. Fred H
      May 30, 2019

      less Foreign Aid to countries who are in the Space arena, buy arms, ignore corruption, ignore human rights. Thats just a start.

  71. Simon
    May 29, 2019

    Sir John,
    Please publish links to the text of these purported “deals” already concluded or any evidence they actually exit .

    1. Edward2
      May 29, 2019

      Try Google.

  72. The Prangwizard
    May 29, 2019

    More money spent on schools has not produced better educated pupils. The child centred method has failed yet continues to soak up money. If we returned to teacher led education there would be enormous efficiency improvements, children would learn more and quicker and money spent on such as teaching assistants would no longer need to be wasted on them.

  73. Lindsay McDougall
    May 29, 2019

    When we actually get to a fiscal year in which our net contribution to the EU is substantially reduced is the time to tax less or spend more. We have already determined that we will soon spend a lot more on the NHS fairly soon, so there is little fiscal wriggle room left. When State debt is reducing significantly as a % of GDP, we might let up a little.

  74. BillM
    May 30, 2019

    Sorry to point out the blooming obvious but this country does not really have a Government. Its leader is due to leave in few days time so they are on a run-down period. Furthermore, we could never expect them to do the right thing when they were active and it is clear they have no intention of doing anything new now.
    We need a new Brexiteer PM and a Cabinet to match the aspirations of the British people. else we shall have nothing but even more aggro.

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