The chilling silence about our money

One of the oddest things about this out of touch Parliament is the refusal of most MPs to talk about how we should spend the windfall from leaving the EU without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. Worse still the Opposition parties rush to tell us we must go on paying large sums to the EU come what may, and even some in the government seem to be dreaming up ways to go on funding the EU after we have left. Given how central to the Leave case saving the money was, this is denying us our democratic decision. There is no legal basis to justify payments to the EU after we have left. The origins of the large £39bn Treasury forecast, itself an underestimate, comes from Mrs May’s wish to delay  our exit for 21-45 months  which of course would lead to big additional payments, and her wish to dilute Brexit so we could remain entangled with new financial commitments thereafter.

Margaret Thatcher recognised that the UK had a bad deal on financial contributions, and got a substantial improvement to our deal as PM. Mr Blair gave away some of that improvement on the promise of a thorough reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which never happened. Many UK taxpayers and fed up with having to pay more tax to send to rich countries on the continent. These contributions give us no benefit at home, and add to the deficit on the balance of payments.

At a time when the world economy is slowing, and when Mr Draghi of the European Central Bank recommends some government reflation from tax cuts or spending rises, the UK needs a growth budget. Using the substantial money we save from October 31 if we just leave could give us the boost we need. We can spend all of the net contribution we save, whilst paying the same level of farm grants and other sums that the EU sends us from the high gross contributions we make to the EU.

The deliberate misinformation about EU grants throughout the referendum campaign sought to persuade voters that we would lose these payments when we left. They should have pointed out that as we sent them the money in the first place to pay these grants, we can simply pay them direct. More importantly, we save all the money we send and do not get back  as well. We can boost the UK economy by 1% of GDP out of the savings and the tax overshoot this government has gone in for.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The EU has never represented value for the UK. Whilst honouring any legal liability incurred during our time in the EU, nothing else should be paid. Trade deals do not need to be bought. What is more, it is imperative that we get out as soon as possible.

    The reason why the UK must leave the EU no later than 31st October, and without any continuing tie-in, is clearly detailed in a frightening article on the website by Bob Lyddon entitled ‘Why the Eurozone’s fate makes an immediate Brexit vital’.

    The impending catastrophe for the EU, which looks like making to 2oo8 Financial Crisis seem a minor blip is, apparently, being deliberately hidden by actions of the ECB and certain Eurozone National central banks. It all looks, to me, remarkably like a grown-up version of the sub-prime mortgages issue – i.e. applying a value to something which may well be worthless. When the proverbial hits the fan, the cost to the UK could be in excess of €200 billion, or possibly even double that, unless we have formally, and cleanly, departed.

    No doubt you will be aware of this article, Sir John – hopefully you will ensure Boris and Jeremy also read it. The implosion of the EU is fast approaching. No wonder they are doing everything possible to get their hands on the UK’s money.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      ”… ensure Boris and Jeremy also read it.”
      But do these ”busy” people ever read anything, or do they just rely on their civil servants to give them brief, strictly censored and self-interested resumes? How many of them personally read Mrs May’s WA from beginning to end?

      Sir J’s last paragraph especially should be shouted from the rooftops so that even the remainers can hear it through the cotton wool stuffed in their ears.

      Not much is ever made of why this payment of £39 billion should be linked to trade deals. Isn’t it illegal to pay for trade? Isn’t that called ”bribery”?

      • Dennisa
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        “this payment of £39 billion”…is chump change compared to the billions May has committed us to via Lord Deben’s Climate Change Committee. These MP’s have spent 3 years trying to sabotage Brexit, yet this went through on the nod, agreed by all, no dissent.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz: The prophets of EU doom Have crowded this website for at least a decade now. So far it has proven little more than wishful thinking.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        PvL, “Crowded”?? You sure about that? I have rarely seen prophets of EU doom on this site, and on the very few occasions I have, I have always said that the the EU and the Euro would survive. As they will. But your idea that everything is going swimmingly for your totalitarian ideology is for the birds, too.

      • Kristian
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Not just a decade, Peter. Go back to the 1950s and you will find the Brits mocked the EU and said it would never prosper. So they didn’t join and instead had to limp in later, and face up to rules that they could have changed for the better if only they’d been smart enough to join on day one – eg the CAP. Same again today. The bonehead Brexiters are taking the UK out, so the Uk will have no voice and when the UK comes to rejoin, as it inevitably will when the over 65s driving Brexit have died off, it’ll be faced by changes it could have veto-d if only it hadn’t walked away from the table. I think the EU will lose from not having an engaged Uk in the debates, but the EU will lose nothing from the exit of a government led by Johnson with ReesMogg, Francois, Farage etc as the puppetmasters. The Uk will lose a lot. It might learn one day, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • NickC
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Kristian, So we could have changed EU rules for the better, could we? Since most of the current EU rules have come about since the UK joined, I very much doubt that. Still it’s nice to see an EU ideologue like yourself acknowledging that EU rules are less than perfect.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          One vote in 28 round that table
          Nine pay in the rest take out.
          All have a vote.
          The ability of the UK to gain reform of the EU can be seen over decades to be impossible especially when the real power lies in the hands of the Commission.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


        “Prophets of EU doom….”

        Pominoz has now added ‘Management Consultant” Bob Lyddon’s ‘Why the Eurozone’s fate…” article to the general doom mongering.

        Yet none of them can tell us why the EU has become the world’s most successful trading bloc and the euro replaced the £ as the world’s reserve currency after the US$.

        Meanwhile after our own attempts at forming trading blocs like EFTA and the commonwealth were overtaken we begged to join the EU despite de Gaulle’s repeated ‘NONs’.

        And the pound is dropping like a stone against the euro.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          The pound has dropped like a stone so that we can gain new export markets in third countries and facilitate some import substitution of imports from the EU. In the long run, the pound has been oversold and will recover, provided only that we maintain a responsible fiscal policy.

      • Andy
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Before running off at the mouth I suggest you go and actually read the report. After all you as a Dutch taxpayer are on the hook for this mess big time. The UK is not part of the EuroZone, thank God, and I see no reason why the UK should be involved in bailing out the EuroZone in any shape or form.

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Yes Pominoz, but it’s not just Boris and Jeremy who should read Bob Lyddon’s paper, ALL MPs should read it and it needs to be disseminated to mainstream and social media:

      • Andy
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        I was going to read it. But then I saw the forward was by comedy MP Steve Baker – a man who has yet to be right on anything.

        Genuinely – your life would be better if you listened to sensible grown ups rather than lightweight toddler headbangers.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Or Facebook like you. It makes me laugh when we haven’t had a chance to prove the remainders wrong yet because you lot have ensured we haven’t left and yet most of the poppycock I see are the doom and gloom forecasts you all prophesized if we voted to leave that haven’t actually occurred.

        • NickC
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Our lives would be better if we listened to sensible grown ups rather than lightweight toddler headbangers. Which is why we ignore your rants, and attend to the erudite Steve Baker instead.

        • acorn
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          Be fair Andy, Baker is about 0.1% more accurate than Daniel Hannan, who is yet to get any fact correct.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            This from acorn the person who tried to tell us South Koreans are French …. laughable

          • Edward2
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Well thats not correct acorn.
            Hannan rubbished your remain fans predictions of doom if we dared to vote to leave.
            There are many other examples.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink


          “I’m not reading that, looking at facts, or understanding international trade” because it proves everything I say is wrong .

          • meltemian
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            In a nutshell!

    • Hope
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      How about the shocking the silence of passing the trillion pound SI on Monday to the disturbing ClimatemChange Act for green nonsense without scrutiny or a vote. Economic incompetence does not begin to describe what Mayhab and your govt did last Monday.

      Daniel Hannan pointed out in his article this week how 40 Muslim men were arrested in West Yorkshire for sexual child abuse to white girls without hardly a mention in the press and certainly not on TV yet all were clambering to report a squabble between Johnson and his girlfriend! I,thought a Javid was doing something about this epidemic of abuse on young vulnerable white girls?

      • Hope
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        JR, I trust you will be advocating that all remain cabinet ministers who have gone along with the financial travesty, whether they applied to become PM or not, are not allowed any way near cabinet ever again. Including Fox, Leadsome, Mordaunt, Javid and Hunt?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          I tend to agree how any real Conservative can have continued serve under disingenuous T May and the highest taxes for 50 years Hammond while voting three times for putrid W/A handcuffs (and were part of the 200 who voted they still had confidence in the absolutely appalling T Theresa too.

      • Atlas
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        I agree about the Climate Change Act SI not being scrutinized – it is an outrage! Poor science (it should be scrutinized by people who do not have a financial interest in it), resulting in pipedream alternative sources of energy which cannot provide the amount needed. These pipedreams come with a large price tag.

        To describe May’s Premiership over the last 3 years as a disaster, is now appearing to be an underestimate by a country mile.

        • NickC
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Atlas, Indeed it is difficult to imagine how much more damage Mrs May can do. But I’m sure she’ll think of something.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, hopefully the appalling mess she is leaving can be corrected.

        • Andy
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Climate science is basically settled. The world is getting hotter and the evidence strongly suggests thamankind is significantly to blame.

          Now, is it possible that the vast majority of scientists are wrong – and that you and the climate change sceptics are right? Of course.

          But – and here’s the point – what if you are not?

          If the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong then all that happens is that we decarbonise a bit quicker than we will have to anyway.

          If you are wrong, then our grandchildren and their grandchildren are totally screwed – because there is no spare planet.

          I don’t expect my house to burn down. But I have insurance in case it does.

          Refusing to act on climate change is the same as refusing to insure your house against burning down – when there is already a fire raging in the living room.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

            It isn’t “decarbonise” Andy.
            You mean reduce CO2.
            Carbon is a very different thing.

          • NickC
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            Andy, No science is “settled”. What you’ve just demonstrated by making such a claim, is your ignorance and closed minded arrogance. Science always asks questions because science is never settled.

            “The vast majority of climate scientists” is an argument from authority, not science. Anyway how do you know what the vast majority of scientists think? Not the 97% bunk again, surely? Do you even know where that figure came from?

            Do you know why the climate models always give wrong predictions? No, of course you don’t. You know nothing about either science or technology. All you’re good for is spouting propaganda.

          • tim
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            whay planet are you on? When a volcano erupts it spews out more Co2 in one minute than mankind has produced in the last 500 years. Climate change brigade is about robbing the poor, and making themselves very rich.

      • Chris
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        I agree, Hope, it is an outrage re The Climate Change Act. I hope that the next PM will take the necessary action to undo this. The House of Lords has even criticised the lack of scrutiny and the conduct of Government on this.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      The point is that they should be paying us for the adverse balance of trade, as the Swiss pay the EU in order to sell to them.

  2. Mark B
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    And the Remainers accuse us Leavers of not knowing what we voted for. And not only that, it seems MP’s do not know what they are voting for with our money.

    Someone needs to remind all MP’s that the Magic Money Tree does not exists. Much like their Climate Change.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      As you point out, Remainers say Leavers didn’t know what they were voting for – -but – -what were Remainers voting for? Inevitably the Daily Contribution to the EU rulers luxury lives would increase and increase no matter what we said. Also, NO control over who came here – a CERTAIN recipe for our destruction. Literally millions per year arriving wanting, and getting, housed, free cash, free NHS with translators, free schooling ( after the school food has been changed to suit them ) etc.

    • acorn
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      The magic money tree (mmt) does exist and it grows in the arboretum known as the National Loans Fund, one of the UK Treasury’s four prime “units of account”(currency accounts).

      If Boris makes Sajid Javid his chancellor, Saj already knows where the mmt lives; as do all currency market traders. Saj knows that the so called national debt is in fact the private sectors national savings.

      Sadly, he will have to continue to play the neo-liberal austerity scam on the 99% as usual. The latter must never be allowed to know or understand, how this macroeconomic system kills household prosperity.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink


        Taxes kill household prosperity

      • Edward2
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        The amount saved by the private sector is far smaller than the mational debt.

        • acorn
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

          Prove it. Show us where all the Treasury’s “units of account”are and who is holding them out of circulation (ie saving them).

          • Edward2
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            Look it up yourself.
            You keep claiming it is correct.
            Everything on a balance sheet balances that is where you get confused acorn.

          • acorn
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            The UK Treasury does not have a balance sheet which is why we have a budget deficit; an unbalance sheet.

            Go and do a A level in macroeconomics, then come back and try and take me on.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 1, 2019 at 2:41 am | Permalink

            Not impressed by your sarcasm acorn
            Answer the challenge.
            Personal savings are not as big as the overall deficit.
            You follow Mitchell and his magic money tree economic theory.
            That’s fine.
            But not everyone believes his theories.

    • Andy
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      You clearly did not know what you were voting for. Because Mrs May’s deal is Brexit – and none of you like it, despite the fact that you all voted for it.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        But the Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal Andy.
        Have a read and learn.
        Negotiations towards a deal only begin after we leave.

      • NickC
        Posted June 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Andy, What is the point of you repeating the lie that Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement is Brexit? You know we don’t believe you – we’ve read it. You are not going to persuade us – we’ve read it. You don’t even just waste our time because we are reassured that Remain has nothing rational to say, which is helpful knowledge for us.

  3. formula57
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    May’s treasonous dithering has cost us three extra contribution (near £40 billion).

    Meanwhile, there is not enough money to fight knife crime, properly fund the courts system thereby jeopardizing justice, and plenty of other ills. The Parliament of Quislings needs to get its priorities sorted right.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Parliament’s quisling’s priorities are simple – -themselves and their bank accounts.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Mrs May looked most uncomfortable at the G20 this morning-her facial contortions in overdrive.Perhaps she had just read the FT interview with President Putin:

      “Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished.”

  4. Emily Jones
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Utter nonsense. The £39 bn which we owe will be paid over several decades. There is no £39 bn sitting in a box that suddenly be spent if we renege on our commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement. You suggestions that there is some free pot of “windfall” money is childish. Do you think your readers are stupid?

    Reply Most of the £39bn falls due in the next two years

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      It’s not only £39 billion, There is an unqualified amount due in the next 20 plus years which if the WA gets passed is subject to EU demands without recourse to Parliament.
      I see May is saying Parliament must have a say on final deal. I thought they had one when they voted on the withdrawal bill which gives WTO as the default position.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Some are stupid, Ms Jones. Hoist with your own petard?

    • Al
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      As the UK would no longer be paying a portion of VAT receipts to the EU, that does suggest one immediate windfall without any change in legislation.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        And 80% of import tariffs from outside the EU – another £4Billion

    • margaret
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      E Jones: I don’t know how the payments are spread and if that lack of information makes me stupid , give me the dunces cap. If we are to stop paying that money , even if it was spread over the next few years , it is still money not paid to the EU which will not enter a circular movement and be subject to taxes and false claims that it is the EU is giving us monies.
      The argument that the EU donates this charitable money to the UK , solely out of the goodness of their hearts is a false argument and doesn’t start at the beginning of the cycle. It is half an argument , therefore a false premise.
      There again you may be suggesting that John is giving us fake information ; a problem we are trying to eliminate.

    • Hope
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Emily you are quite correct it is not £39 billion. That fictitious figure came from the Remain duplicitous a Treasury led by Hammond to quell anger among the masses and MPs. The EU agreed principles where it will determine how much and when and challenge or dispute goes to the ECJ! That is what idiot Mayhab agreed. She has lost the plot. Many legal commentators are clear the amount would be much much higher and for many years to come. Remember May’s dishonest Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties. Worse PM and most dishonest in history, that is her legacy. What idiot would vote for that? Remain Tory cabinet including Fox and Mordaunt! None of the current cabinet should ever be a minister again and hopefully booted out by the electorate or their association.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Eeyore Hammond says he has 28 billion in reserve in case Brexit goes wrong, quite apart from the 39 billion. Then there is the 13 billion we pay to the EU every year regardless.

      We are not reneging on our commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement, as that has been killed off by Parliament 3 times, so it doesn’t exist. No-one has listed out why we owe 39 billion anyway – perhaps you can help? As I remember it started out at 100 billion but was ‘negotiated’ down by our glorious Brexit team of Robbins and May, who had no authority to commit to any such thing.

      • Richard
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t see one financial point that the EU gave way on. They started by asking for c. EUR 100Bn and ended up with circa EUR 100Bn = £90Bn.

    • agricola
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      We all glibly talk about this £39 billion as if it had the certainty of the price of a loaf of bread. Answer the following:-
      Who came up with the figure.
      Lets all see an itemised bill. This is the absolute minimum I would ask of anyone presenging me with any bill.
      Given that Art 50 demands no payment for leaving, what is it all about
      I can appreciate that if the UK/EU have ongoing projects then they require funding after Brexit, but not to the tune of £39 billion.
      I can accept that after we leave the EU we should pay the then pension liabilities of our citizens who have worked within the EU. However their incomes should be assessed under UK tax rules which means they should pay tax on it.

      Can our host itemise this £39 billion.

      Reply See the Treasury document which sets it out

      • jane4brexit
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        I understand that under the WA we are paying a far greater %age of the EU pensions bills, into the future, than applies were we to pay the pensions of UK MEPs and staff only. I read in a comment we are consenting to around 25% whereas UK staff are nearer 7% of MEPs and staff, perhaps you could confirm the figures Sir John?

        It has also been stated by the EU that the EU, not member states are responsible for pensions and our HofL’s and more have said the same .

        We the UK have contributed to these pensions already as deductions from the MEPs and staff salaries which were then put into an EU Pension Fund and being net contributors, have paid more than most countries. The deductions have varied over time but have been at least as high as 13.75% on occasion. Initially all staff had to pay these deductions, taken from salaries paid for by EU taxpayers, but later MEPs could instead opt for ‘non contributory payments’ although soon all pension payments will be on this ‘non contributory’ basis, also funded by EU taxpayers.

        It would seem that no one in our government has asked for a return of part of this Pension Fund, even were the UK to take on payment of our own UK staff’s pension payments or more if the 25% figure is correct ie: to agree to take on payments which the EU, not the UK are liable for.

        Any additional amounts paid towards MEP and staff pensions therefore in effect means we are paying at least three times in total 1. Salary deductions and non contributory amounts, 2. Amounts included in the £39b payments and 3. Ongoing amounts that we are told will continue until the 2060’s.

        Meanwhile British taxpayers male and female are losing years of pension, they thought they were to be paid, and some women as much as 6 years+ without even notice.

        (I have links to articles by Gerard Batten of UKIP re this, he is one of the few to ask questions about it in the EU parliament, but I cannot post themfrom this device so will add them soon.)

        • Stred
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          Yet most Conservative MPs think that the agreement is a good one and want to pass it with help from Labour MPs who are as incompetent.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Like others on this site, Emily, you are hereby challenged to justify your statement that we ‘owe’ the £39bn. Not one of you has yet bothered to answer this challenge. That tells us a great deal about yours and similar claims

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Not sure where you get this information. Furthermore nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and it hasn’t been, or we’d have left.

  5. J Bush
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Which begs the question, just what are the vested interests of these ‘politicians’ who are almost frantic to keep funding the EU after we have left?

    I remain of the opinion that those who wish to keep funding the EU, are entitled to do so, but they must use their own money, not other peoples money.

    • Al
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      “Which begs the question, just what are the vested interests of these ‘politicians’ who are almost frantic to keep funding the EU after we have left?”

      I would suggest “They work for you” website as a good place to start, and the register of business interests a second. My own MP’s website omitted both the acceptance of a paid position from Theresa May, and detailed successful business interests while playing down the fact they were all in Europe. And then MPs wonder why trust is eroding.

  6. agricola
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    The Boris bus advert and its nonsense outcome possibly puts many off discusing the financial bonus from departing the EU.

    Many UK beneficiaries from what the EU returns of what we have paid them could be paid direct. The whole should be subject to review once we have left. I suggest it form part of the new Chancellors first budget.

    The final aim should be to make the UK an attractive place in which to invest, manufacture and create wealth. Wealth , that with an intelligent none punative tax system benefits all.

  7. Dominic
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    It isn’t a windfall though is it. The nation’s in debt to the tune of £2 trillion once unfunded, off the scale, public pensions are thrown in to the mix.

    Any ‘savings’ made from our leaving of the EU should be used to repay debt not finance more politically advantageous spending that makes great headlines. May’s idiotic climate change commitments is a classic example of political grandstanding.

    I thought you were a small state advocate? Sound money principles. Tax cuts to encourage hard work, more savings, self-reliance but it seems you’re more concerned with political spending. And that ain’t great for the fiscal sanctity of this nation

    On a brighter note, we now no longer have to suffer the arrogance and ignorance of Clarke now he’s disappearing into well deserved obscurity. This politician’s imposed so much damage on this nation following his coup against Thatcher. Good riddance and don’t come back

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      No obscurity for Clarke. He and Heseltine will be wheeled out by the BBC at regular opportunities to tell us that we’re all going to hell in a handcart.

      Incidentally, the deficit will be reduced more by economic expansion than by reduced expenditure.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “…. Clarke now he’s disappearing into well deserved obscurity.” Wishful thinking, may I suggest – a pound to a penny his treachery is rewarded by lifelong membership to that Undemocratic Palatial Retirement Home at Westminster where beer money is paid for just turning up!

      The most effective step to putting the man into obscurity would be to abolish the Palatial Retirement Home, which would remove many more of similar ilk, who are already ensconced at the taxpayer’s expense! Bring it on!

  8. Brexit
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    “Chilling silence” indeed.

    The potential budgetary upside of Brexit is barely mentioned, even by pro-Brexit MPs. As someone who stood out in presenting budget ideas even before the Referendum, you are an excellent candidate for Chancellor when and if we get a Leave majority Cabinet.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      And so say many of us!

    • Simeon
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Whether Johnson or Hunt wins, there are many sycophants and hangers on to be satisfied. Our host might support Johnson, but he’s not one of his groupies. He therefore has no chance of a serious job in any Conservative administration. Anything approaching serious thinking on almost any matter is marginalised in the Conservative party.

    • Andy
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      There is no upside. You are telling Melton Mowbray’s. (Porkie Pies – currently protected by the EU).

      I am still waiting for ‘Facts4EU’ to publish that list of your 179 independent states which successfully trade with the EU with no single market or customs union membership.

      Made up some countries yet?

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Andy, There are 196 states on the globe, including Taiwan. Of those, 28 are in the EU, and a further 3 are substantially controlled by the EU. That makes 165 states independent of the EU. The majority of the planet thus trades with the EU without being members of the single market and customs union.

        The upsides to being independent include being able to democratically control our complete government; controlling our own laws, borders, money, fiscal policy, trade policy, defence policy, security policy, etc, etc. As if you didn’t know.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


        YOUVE WON

        Dumbest post ever made .

        Just about all countries trade with the EU from outside the single market and customs union

        From the worlds biggest markets USA and China to the smallest Tuvalu


        • hans christian ivers
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink


          totally unnecessary remark you have won

          • NickC
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Hans, Totally unnecessary remark: “totally unnecessary remark you have won”. What was it for?

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        What about Kia cars from South Korea, what about the oranges I bought today from Chile, or the Apples from South Africa, or the Flowers from Kenya, or almost everything from China .. let’s not forget Australia or the USA indeed .. all managing to trade competitively and therefore profitably in europe. Plenty of other non eu nations trade with us, and if the eu stopped its protectionist anti third world policies there would be much more trade with the real, richer world, where 90% of future demand will come from … source ..the eu.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Exactly, and indeed and there is even a large magnification effect on this. If we do not give this money away we become more competitive and productive. Our businesses can out compete others and sell more, invest more and grow creating more jobs and a larger tax base. As it is, this money goes to make our competitiors more competitive and out compete us.

    Thinking more about Hunt’s rather silly gimmick (over student loan write offs for entrepreneur’s student loans) – what would be for more sensible is if people with satisfactory A levels, ability and a good business plan could get a 50K soft loan to start a business directly after school. Thus not wasting money on these largely worthless degrees (in say gender studies from say the University of West Bognor or similar). Perhaps combined with some mentoring or on line or night school business or skills training.

    At least 50% of the degrees funded (largely by other tax payers) are virtually worthless. The government is selling students a pig in a poke and putting them in £50K of debt for it. Even more daft that giving some people other people’s taxes to encourage them to put largely pointless PV panels on their roofs, buy expensive electric cars or put up silly tiny wind turbines up on non windy Notting Hill.

    We could also get this large magnification effect by cutting taxes, having a bonfire and red tape and cutting the endless waste and daft projects like HS2 and the green crap at home.

  10. ian
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Never happen, they love giving away money overseas.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      True – and what happens – their population goes up – then they need yet more money.

  11. Horatio McSherry
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    It seems as if Parliament is already trying to enact Osbourne’s punishment budget. The reported £1tn climate bill rammed through with not debate or vote (how?!) by May; and Grieve (how does he still have the whip?) and Becket’s amendments to the finance bill to punish pensioners and the less well off when we leave the EU.

    We don’t need an election, we just need to clear out Parliament and be left to our own devices, as technology now lets us do.

    • stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The reported £1tn is likely to be far higher and will mostly fall on the house owner, industry and electricity customer. The late Prof MacKay, who was acknowledged as an expert and the creator of a simplified method of analysing the feasibility of sustainable energy, gave an interview before he died. In this he said that, much though he liked wind turbines, we may as well build enough nuclear stations and run them all the time. This was because carbon capture doesn’t work yet and is very expensive and therefore we need nukes for backup.

      The cost of Hinkley Point C is said to be £20bn= 20,000,000,000.
      This will deliver 7% of electricity. For heating by heat pumps and electric transport this will double the load and so 3.5% will be supplied and the UK will need 28 Hinkleys to provide electicity for zero carbon dioxide, ignoring all the other carbon sources like servicing windfarms, which need 100% backup and will be built anyway.

      This means that 28x 20,000,000,000= £560,000,000,000 will be needed and shared by the 25,000,000 households will cost each £22,400.

      But in addition households will have to be insulated with thick insulation over walls roofs and floors, fitted with air heat exchangers, lobbies and heat pumps. This is likely to cost another £30,ooo per unit . Industry would need to do the same giving a total cost of £1.5tn. Add the cost of rebuilding the grid, say 0.2tn and the cost would be a 1.5+0.56+0.2=£2.26tn.

      But,assuming that the Extinction lobby get their way and no nukes are built, estimates of the number of offshore wind turbines, which last 20 years, work for less than 50% of capacity and need pumped water storage, is such that for transport alone the whole of the UK waters would have to be covered and Dinorwick type reservoirs would cover the mountains. Solar in the UK would not be able to power transport or heating for 9 months of the year. The cost would be more like £7tn. Batteries would be much more expensive. However, we need not worry too much about this feat of engineering, because there simply isn’t enough space.

      If some of the numerate contributors to this site could correct the above figures
      or add to them, please do so.

  12. Shirley
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    A sovereign country can spend it’s money to benefit it’s own people and country. A member of the EU cannot spend it’s own money in the way it wishes and must somehow financially support dozens of other countries while neglecting it’s own.

    We want a sovereign democratic country, with a government that is elected by the people, for the people. We do not want our politicians to delegate that responsibility to a foreign power, without our approval, and that approval has never been given by the electorate. That is the destruction of democracy.

    We can elect our politicians, for now, and we can un-elect them. How long with that last? Will they find a way of returning us to a limited choice of pro-EU or another pro-EU politician and party? Thank goodness for all the anti-EU parties that have sprung up in recent years. We are sick and tired of being manipulated by undemocratic parties and politicians.

    • Andy
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Eh? You do realise that spending decisions are made in Westminster, right?

      If your hospitals, schools, roads etc are rubbish – and they are – then that is the fault of MPs.

      And particularly the Tories who have been in power for almost a decade.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Eh? You do realise that spending decisions are made by the EU, right? The EU decides how and where it spends the cash it forces out of its satrapies, as well as determining how those subject states can spend much of their own money.

        That is what the £20bn per year EU demand is for, and the £39bn invented bribe. And the EU went in for austerity in southern EU in a way no UK government could get away with.

        • Andy
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          The UK budget in 2019 is £817.5bn.

          The UK’s net contribution to the EU is £13.2bn.

          £4.3bn of that is returned for the UK government to manage.

          Additional money also comes back through various projects.

          The UK’s average net contribution to the EU over the last few years has been less than £8bn.

          Or, in other words, less than 1% of the UK government budget.

          £438bn of UK spending goes on your pensions, the NHS and social services and welfare.

          You think axing the £8bn EU contribution will make a difference to your taxes. Bless.

          I want to slash your taxes. And I want to do it by axing your pensions and making you pay for your own NHS treatment and social care.


          • NickC
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Such a slashing of taxes will make your generation, and younger, pay for their own health care. And schools. Perhaps you never went to state schools, or used the NHS, the roads, etc? Maybe you didn’t think beyond the end of your nose, being blinded by your emotional neediness for the EU? Pensioners are the people who worked their socks off to provide you with your cushy lifestyle. It’s time they had their money back off you.

            As for the EU only controlling 1% of UK spending, I have a bridge that I can sell you. One of the main reasons that it is so difficult to Leave (apart from the main culprits being sore loser Remains like you) is that the EU’s laws control almost every aspect of our lives. So, in fact, the EU does decide much of what we spend our money on.

        • BritInDeutschland
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          If you believe that you are even more obtuse than I thought. The UK contribution to the EU budget is less than 1% of the total UK budget. So tell me precisely, who decides how the remaining 99% are affected? Juncker, Draghi, another of the Five Presidents? Answer on a confetti as large as your brain.

          • NickC
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            BritIn Deutschland, Believe what? That the EU spends the money it collects from us? That the EU determines how its satrapies can spend much of their own money? Of course I do, because that’s the truth.

            Your claim that the EU budget is “only” 1% of the UK budget is very far from the truth. As the top tier of government, the EU determines many of the policies that its satrapies must pursue – the CAP, the CFP, the CCP, to name only a few. By this means the EU directs on what policy avenues and therefore how money should be spent. Other methods include the SGP, for example.

            The EU is a rotten ideology that captures the emotional who have a need to “belong”, like yourself. Just as dim idealists in previous generations were entranced by fascism or communism, so today the weak of mind succumb to EU ideology.

          • Robert mcdonald
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            But that 1% you mock is still c20 Billion a year. It can buy a lot of better things than the whims of the eurocrats.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        That isn’t correct Andy.
        The UK has to send its budget and its spending plans to the EU for scrutiny and acceptance.
        The EU sets an overall deficit and borrowing limit for member states.

      • Chris
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Have you forgotten Andy that we are a member of the EU?

  13. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Talking about money and farms, I see that Ireland exports €1bn per year beef to the UK. If the EU refuses to go zero tariff when we leave, presumably that beef then becomes uncompetitive (as well as beef from the EU elsewhere). If UK farm subsidies are rolled back for beef farming as well, that will increase the price. They keep banging on that we eat too much meat anyway (as well as eating too much generally). The green lobby should be cock-a-hoop
    I feel sorry for the Irish, but it seems the EU just don’t care.
    Food in the UK is too cheap; housing and tax is too expensive.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      It seems that the Irish are even more mixed up than the English …

      “Ireland prepares to join EU battle group next year”

      “Ireland’s parliament passed Thursday a motion allowing troops from the neutral country to join EU defence forces in a German-led battle group with Austrian, Czech, Croatian and Dutch personal next year. Sinn Fein’s Aengus O’Snodaigh opposed the motion, saying that “battle groups are not peacekeepers. The words ‘battle groups’ mean that they are trained to go into battle”. No EU battle group has yet been in action.”

      • Mark B
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Obviously Sinn Fein don’t see the irony of their words


    • Stred
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Irish cows should be pleased. A UK limit of 100 miles maximum to the abbatoir should stop the cruel transport of cattle from Eire to Spain via the UK. They would still go by a long sea journey but would probably be dead on arrival.

      • Chris
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        It is a ghastly trade, Stred.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Housing isn’t expensive Dave – ask the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have arrived here and had their housing bills – and the rest – paid for by the UK working taxpayer. Lots of working class can’t get on the housing ladder – but see their taxes going to put non-working, non-contributing, new arrivals in housing for nothing. We are being made to pay for our own annihalation. 300’000 new houses per year wanted – it won’t be US that’s going in them – but WE will be paying for them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      I had some data on our exports and imports of beef but it only ran to 2015; I have just looked up some more up to date information, for January – May 2018, and it would seem useful to record here some illustrative data to confirm the claim that our imports of beef from the rest of the EU greatly exceed our exports.

      So who would be hit hardest if tariffs were imposed in both directions?

      Over that period we exported 41,920 tonnes of fresh/frozen beef to the rest of the EU, of which 16,604 tonnes went to Ireland, but we imported more than twice as much, 106,262 tonnes, from the rest of the EU, of which 80,415 tonnes came from Ireland – and that is FIVE TIMES as much as we sent to them.

      Given that our exports to the rest of the EU were valued at £163 million pro rate that would give a value of £313 for Irish exports to the UK over those months, which would scale up to £751 for the whole of 2018, and that would convert to €839 million which is a bit lower than the rounded €1 billion quoted.

      Our politicians should be pointing this out, but are not doing so.

      Personally I have stopped buying anything which I can see has been imported from the Irish Republic; while they insist on being so bloody awkward about the border I do not want any of their products, and is it not now long overdue for some of our politicians to take a lead in organising a consumer boycott?

    • Martinz
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes but with the new EU/Mercosur trade deal just signed the importance of Irelands beef exports to Europe is going to be seriously diminished to the extent that Irish beef farmers are going to have to reinvent themselves and fast.

      Mercosur group consists of four South American countries Argentine, Brazil, Uruguay and paraguay- brazil and Argentine together have a cattle population of 300 million, Ireland has a cattle population of 10 million, but in any case looks like Europe is going to be swomped with cheap South American beef?

  14. George Dunnett
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I’ve stopped shouting at the radio now, not good for blood pressure you know!!

    Besides the EU grant issue which isn’t an EU grant at all but an EU tax payer’s payment. I get very heated when the likes of Rory Stewart et al say they voted for Brexit three times. Referring of course to the WA.


    • L Jones
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Many of them think what their civil servants tell them to think.
      And some of them know well that the WA isn’t Brexit, but continue to try to pull the wool over people’s eyes for their own ends, I suppose. They’re the ones who have their own personal agenda. We know that they know it’s not for the country’s good.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      The real concern is that also Boris thinks that, with a few tweaks, it represents Brexit. No-one is challenging him on this!

    • Chris
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      GD, they know it isn’t Brexit but they apparently think if they repeat the lie often enough people will believe it. Yet another Remainer myth.

  15. oldtimer
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Misinformation to support the remain agenda is the defining characteristic of the current MPs. It is my misfortune to be represented by Dominic Grieve. The sooner I get the opportunity to vote in someone else the better.

    • Pominoz
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink


      So you are in the same electorate as Andy. poor you.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Pominoz, Hmmm, Andy’s location seems to wander as much as his legend does. My rule is: if you invert what a Remain states, the inversion is more likely to be true than the original.

  16. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    If only the media could be truthful and point out these things – a little truth would change everything and might even open the eyes of those indoctrinated by those from the leave side spreading false data …

    The EU will continue to make things difficult, but it seems to me that all the new PM has to do is to distract Parliament from Brexit, somehow – perhaps with some superficial argument over the Barnett formula. Why not several distractions? Then while they are focused elsewhere simply do not raise the subject of Brexit, do not even talk to the EU, and simply allow the October date to pass.

  17. MickN
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I am even more worried about the trillion pounds “legacy” that May seems to have saddled us with. I can only hope that the reason Parliament (both houses) are not making an issue of it is in the hope a future PM will see it for the folly that it is and repeal this ridiculous law

    • J Bush
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Agreed. However, if they don’t, they will come to rue that decision.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I’m not that concerned about the £39 billion as such, which will fade into the background as the annual payments gradually diminish. One day far in the future we will make a tiny final payment, in the same way that we finished repaying our allies for their war loans at the end of 2006:

    “The payments of $83.25m (£42.5m) to the US and US$22.7m (£11.6m) to Canada are the last of 50 instalments since 1950.”

    I am more concerned that Theresa May allowed it to become one of the first issues which must be settled in negotiations rather than one of the last, in a proper “final tidying up of the remaining loose ends” position in the sequence, and also that she has allowed claims that this would repay “debts” that we “owe” the EU to go unchallenged.

    And I am far far more concerned that Theresa May has imposed a chilling silence about the instruction from the EU Commission to the Irish customs authorities to prevent any discussion with UK authorities about alternative arrangements for the border:

    “So the EU Commission, which professes deep concern about the Belfast Agreement and about the future of north-south cooperation and therefore peace on the island of Ireland, has ordered Irish customs not to talk anybody in the UK about anything, including about possible alternative arrangements for the land border.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      It seems that Graham Brady is unaware of the instruction issued by the European Commission to all the customs authorities across the EU:

      “Graham Brady: The prime minister must seriously explore how alternative arrangements can unlock the Irish border issue”

      She won’t be able to do that with the Irish, and nor with the French either:

      “Not only have the Irish authorities refused to talk with this Commission, which admittedly is not an official government body, they are also holding back from discussions with the UK government and even with the French, who will come into it because so much Irish trade passes over the Great Britain “landbridge” across to Dover and Calais.

      And the reason was explained by a French witness, Bertrand Rager, at 10:49:17:

      “There has been an instruction from the European Commission to all EU customs authorities not to talk to the other side. And I received the same reply as you got in Ireland from the French customs two days ago; I said ‘I am going to London, do you have any ideas you would like to be exposed?’ ‘We are to remain silent.’”

  19. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    As odd is how any politically astute person can foresee Hunt as PM or achieving anything more than May. As quirky as Boris may be, he is the only hope of survival for the CP. This contest is a massive indictment on the ineptitude of the parliamentary party in general and the 1822 (not a typo) in particular. You collectively got it wrong in 2016, when Cameron ran away, in not holding a contest and now when a swift decision is needed the flaffing about is a complete and damaging farce. Hunt should man up and withdraw.

    • Simeon
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I think Hunt withdrawing could he inspired. Who knows, it might also inspire Johnson to withdraw, and for the Conservative party itself to withdraw and disband. The newly politically homeless can then make their home in existing parties to their liking – or set up new parties if they wish. A few Conservatives might join the Brexit party – if the Brexit party will have them – who will then be free to stand alone as the one genuine Brexit option at the resulting GE. Now that’s a credible Brexit plan with a realistic chance of success.

  20. Stred
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    We also have an opportunity to boost home car production by raising the tariff on completion items and keeping parts at zero. Our factories are as efficient and the cars are as reliable. Why do we need to buy Citroens, Peugeots and BMWs when the same companies are making Vauxhalls and Minis here.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Even if UK manufacturing buys in parts zero tariff, there is still the tariff wall to face when exporting finished cars to the EU. UK manufacturing is foreign owned, by companies with no care for the UK. The factories may be efficient, but what workforce they employ comes with a high cost of living premium.
      Redundancies are expected – any word from the National Union of Robots?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget that the tariffs cut both ways, and about three times as many cars are being imported from the rest of the EU as we export to them.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Dave Andrews, PSA has already halved the workforce at Ellesmere Port, whilst we remain in the EU. So their (misnamed) “no deal” threat is a bit hollow. EU car companies do care about the UK – because we buy so much of their stuff. Judicious use of built car tariffs as Stred suggests, and loss of market, will concentrate minds. And, even if we don’t have an indigenous industry, we can always buy American, Japanese, Korean, Singaporean, and Chinese, if the EU wants to cut off its own nose.

    • Andy
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Because your tariffs would be reciprocated – so completed British built cars would be uncompetitive overseas.

      And the UK by itself is not a big enough market to justify making most models in for just this market.

      You simply end up with next to no car manufacturing here at all.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I will just refer you back to the reply I made three weeks ago:

        Which started:

        “Do you never learn anything?”

        and went on to point out:

        “In 2016 around 85% of the cars sold in the UK were imported”

        So there would be plenty of scope for import substitution.

      • Al
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        “And the UK by itself is not a big enough market to justify making most models in for just this market.”

        Then be glad that we already have continuity deals signed with New Zealand, Australia, the US, and other similar markets which purchase car models in the same types as the UK, made in the UK. You’ll be glad to know that “automotive goods” are specifically covered as one of the areas of particular interest.

      • NickC
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The EU cannot simply “reciprocate” our tariffs, because under WTO rules they must give equal treatment. The USA is already upset about the EU’s 10% car tariff whilst the USA only has 2.5%. The EU is behaving so badly other countries notice. It’s a pity you won’t.

      • Stred
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Trumps has offered a quick zero tariff deal. JLR and other luxury cars would increase sales in the. US. Honda could also do better if continental sales here reduced. We make about as many as we import.

  21. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Interesting perspective but rather one-sided argument that does not look at the advantages of being part of the EU and the consequences if we leave without a more comprehensive deal that the one you mentioned yesterday. (But I suppose this is the same as when you mention the use of Section 24 in the GATT agreement as past of a UK solution to continued trading with the EU.)

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      There is absolutely no benefits for the general public being in the EU.
      It is soley beneficial to legislators and big business.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Please list “the advantages of being part of the EU”?

      I have asked this question many times and still waiting for the answer.

      • Kristian
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        frictionless trade, freedom of movement, power as a bloc to do great deals with the rest of the world, leader in climate action, gold standard consumer protection, the world’s most powerful standards-setter (many countries simply adopt EU rules so as to be abel to trade with the EU), seat at all the top tables, etc

        • Original Richard
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          I don’t want frictionless trade when it results in our paying a fee and accepting rules made by people we do not elect and cannot remove to produce trading deficit of £100bn/year.

          I don’t want freedom of movement when it is so one sided and it results in massive immigration resulting in intolerable pressure on our housing, health care, infrastructure and environment etc. all caused because we have no idea of population size and cannot therefore plan accordingly.

          Trade deals are far more easily negotiated when you don’t have to cater for 28 different nations all with their own interests. It also means that our NHS will not be traded away in return for cheaper tariffs on German cars and French food.

          Is the EU a leader in climate action when our government has just donated £1tn for the UK to become carbon neutral by 2050?

          As a member of the EU we don’t have a seat at the “top table” as the EU’s represents us (badly in many cases). Once we leave the EU we will finally be able again to regain our “top table” place.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        J Bush

        A free labour market in Europe, which has enabled me and my family to come to the UK and work and given HMRC hundred of thousands of pounds in extra revenue from the work we have done whilst being here and I know hundreds of other Europeans who have done the same.

        Does that answer your question

        • L Jones
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          And if you’d been worth having, you’d still have been able to come, no doubt.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            L Jones,

            I answered a question your remark unnecessary

        • NickC
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Hans, The EU has stolen my right to control who comes here and how many. Even our own rotten politicians such as May and Blair recognise that – because they tried to cover up the extent of immigration for fear of our reaction. So you see, maybe we don’t want you. Have you thought of that?

    • sm
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Hans – the UK has deals and diplomatic treaties of all kinds with most of the world’s nations, which is sensible and healthy. None of us wish to live a version of North Korea.

      But none of these agreements come with an obligation to be politically and legally subservient to our partner/s, as happens when we are a member of the EU. All we Leavers want is the same kind of relationship with our European friends and cousins that we have with other nations.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Ian wagg

        I actually find it very useful not having to travel around Europe with a passport

        • Al
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          That is the only advantage I have heard from Remain, but on a value for money grounds, it doesn’t really justify the huge expense of the EU machinery, or its intrusion into every other area of life.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          You don’t fly around Europe then hans?
          Try it without a passport and see how far you get.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            My son does. The only time he has to show his passport is when he lands at Heathrow.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            That’s very odd because every major airline requires sight of your passport at check in.
            Or you have to fill in the details of your passport prior to flying.
            No passport no flight.
            Some ferries and trains seem to be less strict I will agree but not flights.

        • NickC
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          Hans, I’ve never been able to travel around the EU without a passport.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink


            I do all the time

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          Did you get Ian’s name wrong accidentally or are you being your usual rude self?

        • Stred
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          Even Denmark requires a passport and they all scan them. Duty free also ask for passports to check whether eligible. Brits are refused.

          • hans chistian ivers
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink


            Denmark does not require a passport at the border in Scandinavia or with Germany

    • agricola
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      All Art 24 of GATT does is achieve continued stability in trade while an FTA is negotiated. It should please everyone, unless as I suspect, the EU are more interested in their own political agenda than the interests of European industry and the 500,000,000 they are supposed to represent.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink


        EU have already said no and the 24 does therefore not apply here as said before

        • agricola
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          They are always saying no. Wait till reality sets in and push comes to shove. When EU industrialists realise just how intrasigent the EU have been, all hell may well break loose. Still it is only money, irrelevant to diehard socialists particularly when it is someone elses.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Why did the EU say no, Mr Ivers?

    • L Jones
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Would you mind listing a few of the main advantages of being part of the EU, from your perspective, Mr Ivers? Are the ”consequences” that you speak of the punishments that your EU overlords will impose upon us when we eventually escape?
      We’d hate Sir John’s argument to seem one-sided if we have someone here who can give us a positive slant on your EU.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I came here with my family more than 20 years ago to work in an open labour market and have since deposited hundreds of thousands of pounds with HMRC just like a lot of my countrymen from Scandinavia, so it works well both ways.

        • NickC
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Hans, No doubt a British worker doing the same job would have paid the same taxes to HMRC as you boast about. The real question is why you came at all. You obviously don’t like it here – you keep trying to make Britain more like the continent. Something we don’t want to happen.

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Can you explain to a Leaver (described as ignorant by Remainers) exactly what the real benefits of Remaining in the EU are compared to Leaving.

    • DaveK
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Physician heal thyself!

      “Advantages of being part of the EU and the consequences if we leave without a more comprehensive deal that the one you mentioned yesterday”.

      Please specify advantages that cannot be done by other means by an independent country.
      Consequences of a Trade Deal we haven’t even discussed yet and according to EU rules are not allowed to until we have left and become a third country? I don’t take as evidence a remain MP quoting “A business in my constituency etc”.

      “(But I suppose this is the same as when you mention the use of Section 24 in the GATT agreement as past (sic) of a UK solution to continued trading with the EU.)”.

      Bad attempt at a smear. Is it the case that there is a WTO regulation that if both parties are negotiating a Free Trade Arrangement then Section 24 allows for the countries to retain a trade status quo until the arrangement is finalised or for up to 10 years?

      Sir John and any other Leave representative has never said that the EU will or has agreed to this, they just point out the possibility. If the public were actually properly informed of this and then learn that the EU refused to agree then they would see that as my Mum used to say “They are cutting their noses off to spite their face”.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Please mention the advantages.
      Political Union – great if you’re a politician
      Monetary Union – great if you’re an FX trader
      More regulation – great if you’re a regulator
      What’s in this for the man or woman in the street in Peterborough, Carlisle, Norwich etc?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        Look above

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          You know we’d be happy for you to work here, your skills needed, just as you could in non-EU countries. You contribute to our system, you benefit from it. How many Europeans work in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, where their skills are also needed? However were you to come here and use the system set up by our antecedents without working, or worse, you wouldn’t and shouldn’t be welcomed.
          Please understand we are NOT anti-European, nor anti-immigration. We just want folk who are fair with us here, and don’t take the Micky. Understood?

        • L Jones
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Your listed ”advantages” seem to be all personal ones, Mr Ivers.
          Well – good for you (though you’d surely have been able to come and work here anyway – people weren’t excluded from our country pre-EU). But perhaps you could look further than your bank balance and the ”freedom of movement” that doesn’t just mean you can move around Europe without a passport.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            L. Jones

            I just did above HMRC I gave an answer to a simple question

      • Chris
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Zero, SJS, and if the UN Agendas 21 and 2030, (using “sustainability” as the mask for a radical transformation of society) currently being forced on us through the supranational political bloc of the EU, we will all be pushing our bikes up the hills in the years to come, while the wealthy elite will be the only ones who can afford electric cars. This Agenda 2030 is what this wretched Climate Change Act that May is pushing is linked to. May seems determined to “enslave” us one way or another. I firmly believe that President Trump will turn out to be our saviour, and will rescue us from the grim future planned for us by the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Hans, The disadvantages of being governed from Brussels by the EU empire far outweigh any supposed advantage of the EU (that we cannot achieve for ourselves). What were those advantages again?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        Look up empire again and then we can have another talk

        • David Price
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 4:45 am | Permalink

          From the horses mouth ..
          “.. Europe has to become an empire again ..”
          9th November 2018 – M. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, to the French-German Business Forum

        • Andy
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          Barosso when EU Commission President said ‘We are building an Empire’. That is how they think. You really need to grow up Hans and actually start to look at the EU in the clear light of day.

  22. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    A headline in the Daily Telegraph “These Green Targets Waved Through by MPs Make the Cost of No Deal Look Like Small Change” emphases the cavalier way Parliament nodded through the ‘zero carbon’ legislation in 90 minutes without proper debate. The mooted cost of £1 trillion is little more than a guess but whatever the true figure is likely to bankrupt the country as surely as Corbyn, if more slowly.

    Teresa May says she was inspired by melting glaciers in the Alps. That retreat started well before industrialisation and has little or nothing to do with CO2. Meanwhile glaciers which have long been declining are now advancing again in Norway, Iceland, Alaska, the Rockies, New Zealand and Antarctica. To paraphrase Bill Clinton “it’s the sun, stupid”

  23. JoolsB
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Politicians of all colours love to chuck our money around and not just to the EU. What about the massive foreign aid budget? Highly unpopular in the country at large but hey it makes the politicians feel good even though a good proportion of it goes to dubious recipients and countries that can afford space programmes. Meanwhile we hear this morning that the D-Day monument at Normandy is still incomplete some 70 years after the D-Day landing for lack of funds. Our clueless politicians make me feel ashamed on their behalf as clearly they don’t.

    Back to the EU, hopefully Boris won’t hand over a penny of the £39 billion and spend it on the deserving in this country for a change instead and by the deserving, I mean those who go out to work every day who are clobbered with Hammond’s taxes and the elderly who have spent all their lives working and now their benefits are being stripped away one by one and they are forced to hand over their homes should they ever need care.

  24. Pete S
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    No mentioned are the EU’s future plans. 1) Remove all rebates, so our contributions would increase significantly. 2) The retained import duty reduces from 20% to 10%; again our contributions increase significantly. The EU also want to increase countries national contribution. Clearly the EU is on a mission to increase it’s income.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      It needs to pay for the new members on the pipeline. Ukraine, Albania and Bosnia to name a few.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Mark B

        Haven’t you forgotten Turkey? Farage didn’t – he is obviously a superior scaremonger!

        • Edward2
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Once you and the EU told us the EU army was a fantasy, now we see it won’t be long before it is a reality.
          Turkey will become a member of the EU
          It wont be long before that is a reality too.

          • Mitchel
            Posted June 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            I doubt whether Turkey will ever join the EU;it is becoming ever more enmeshed with Putin and Xi in their initiatives(observer status at the SCO for instance).However,I’m sure it will leave it’s membership application on file(likewise it’s NATO membership) for reasons of leverage.

  25. Newmania
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Leave promised that not a soul would lose a penny of EU grants but that promise soon faded into an “intention” and then disappeared like the Cheshire cat’s smile. Quite how any adult could accept a promise of money in lieu of ‘ money’ escapes me but thats your Brexit Voter for you. Challenged..special ….. thick.
    The £39billion Leaving notionally costs – has no reality .We cannot withhold money owed. We did not pay full whack when we joined, we owe ongoing budgetary commitments when we leave its that simple .The question of whether a thief/country can be legally forced to act in any particular way is entirely different and irrelevant.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, It is a fact that, apart from one year, the UK has paid in cash far more than we have got back. On top of that the EU stole our fish. Your Remain campaign claimed that we get back nearly £10 for every £1 we put in. That makes the EU a Ponzi scheme. Quite how any adult could accept a promise of money in lieu of ‘money’ escapes me but that’s your continuity Remain whinger for you – challenged . . . special . . . . thick. And you have never justified why the UK should be ruled by foreign princes any way.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


        ” And you have never justified why the UK should be ruled by foreign princes any way”

        Like the House of Saxe Coburg Gotha (now renamed Windsor) ?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          Heads of State with no powers to make laws.
          Big difference.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


        We are already rules by foreign German prices, you just did not know?

        • Stred
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          Especially when buying solar panels.

        • NickC
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          Hans, That was my point.

  26. Nicky Roberts
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John, the threats from Dominic Grieve and Margaret Beckett are concerning. What they are intending to do, to wreck expenditure from various government departments in order to make a possible “no deal” Brexit more chaotic than it needs be, should be called out by your party in the House of Commons. Can I ask you to consider making a speech about their proposed act of vandalism and warn all other MPs who are often living in their own little dream world what this will entail. The idea of denying the public their rightful benefits etc to make a vile political point is beyond the pale. Please make the ramifications of this invidious idea apparent to everyone in the House and the general public at large. So far I have seen absolutely no negative reaction about this from your party which I find very strange to say the least.

  27. Nicky Roberts
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    PS Sir John, I would very much like your take on the law passed unchallenged and without scrutiny as far as I can make out re the proposal to be carbon neutral by 2050. Surely when this amount of money is to be sought and handed out by our government there should have been some sort of debate. Or will it be possible for our next Prime Minister to row back on this. I am unsure.

  28. agricola
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Having witnessed the hen house “debate” of the democratic opening shouting match I can fully understand the decision of Boris to involve himself to the very minimum in TV debating. It’s only advantage is to TV companies who sell advertising time or to the BBC who persue their Guardianista political agenda.

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Always wondered.
    WHAT exactly do we pay for?
    Usually when one parts with money there is a reason …like eating,clothing,keeping warm.
    We get nothing from the EU except interference and unacceptable edicts.
    And VAT!

    • sm
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Well, subsidising the unreformed CAP, shifting the EU Parliament – hook, line and sinker – from one city to another once a month, Lord and Lady Kinnock’s expenses and pension, ‘und so weiter, und so weiter’…

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      We don’t pay for anything. We are taxed. Only it is not called a tax but a contribution.

  30. Shieldsman
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Yesterday you said: ” If the new Prime Minister wishes just to leave he need not ask for a further delay to our exit after 31 October, so we will just leave”.
    Everyone has ignored the fact that paragraph 3 has a restriction on applying for and granting AN (one) extension. There is a time specific window.
    This is all explained in Article 50 TEU Part I and Part II (23.5.19) by Stanley Brodie QC
    ‘unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.’
    The only period stated in paragraph 3 is the two year period ending on 29th March.
    An extension granted, takes the UK beyond the set time limit of two years for concluding an agreement. It follows that a further extension cannot be made within and be contiguous (continuing) with the two year period. Paragraph 3 does not mention a second or more extensions.
    The extension granted on 21st March took the exit date to 12th April, 14 days beyond the two year period (the time window )  for granting an extension.
    On 10 April 2019, the European Council agreed to a further extension to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by both Parties.
    The European Council (Article 50) reiterated that there could be no reopening of the agreement. (Making the extension pointless)
    Note as explained an extension moves you out of and beyond the two year period (ending 29th March), so that the time window of “this period” has expired for requesting an extension.

    This second extension did not comply with the wording of article 50.
    In his conclusions Stanley Brodie says – Whichever way one looks at it, the Agreement was either unlawful or made for an unlawful purpose or ultra vires .
    This begs the question when DID we or DO we leave the EU with No Deal.

    Reply Indeed, but I still hear no progress on a court case about this, as government and most in Parliament do not accept your argument.

  31. glen cullen
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Now that Boris is stating that the chances of a ‘no-deal’ is a million-to-one we will be sending £39bn++++ to the EU

    Thought Boris was a leaver ???

  32. Thomas Weston
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    And, Sir John, the money we send to the EU is used to provide infrastructure and subsidies to EU27 countries which then compete with our producers or offer them incentives to relocate.

  33. Londonbob
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I would still prioritise bringing down the national debt, we are still yet to post a fiscal surplus and, whilst the debt to GDP ratio has stabilised, we are still a long way from a more desirable thirty to forty percent of GDP level.

  34. BOF
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I am not surprised at the silence. Any discussion of these sums of money will highlight both the positive aspects of not making these payments and the negatives of making them, as you have many times been at pains to do. No remainer likes to get into these discussions.

    Also, I have for years wanted to know how much money is collected each year on behalf of the EU from duties on imports from non EU countries as well as from VAT, some of which also goes to the EU. I never hear or see any information on this and would like to know if figures are available as they must be substantial amounts of money.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      For the latest year available, the total Customs Duties raised in the UK is 3.4 billion pounds and 80 percent of this is remitted to the EU.

      You can see the figures for the last 18 years at search for UK HMRC Customs Duty Receipts from 2001 t0 2018. The total over the period is 49 billion pounds of which 39 billion has been sent to Brussels in addition to our membership fee. VAT is in addition. I don’t have that figure handy but it totals I think 120 billion per year. It is said that the UK pays around 15-20 percent of the total VAT which the EU raises.
      Hope of interest.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Ask Mr Ivers or Andy or Newmania – they’ll explain to you why it is a Good Thing.
        (Better they should have it than our own pensioners get their hands on any, eh, Andy?)

        • hans chistian ivers
          Posted June 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          L. Jones

          We are all British so spare us the side remarks

  35. Brigham
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    If Johnson wins and becomes PM, he should appoint Nigel Farage as Brexit Negotiator. Those of us that look at the so called EU parliament, know that he knows how to deal with them.

  36. Hugh
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, if part of the £39bn is normal membership, can you see how much we have paid already for Q2 2019?

  37. Dominic
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The real question is how much influence will the so called ‘progressive’ May have when she leaves No.10? If it can be detected that she’s still asserting control from the back-benches then I believe we will see a constitutional crisis of some form

    All Brexit and indeed moral voters want this anti-Tory, pro-Labour stooge completely neutered from any role

    John, you’re tinkering at the edges with this article today. We want to see total and absolute reform of the British state. Yes, it’s a tall order but pro-EU and pro-Labour influence must be absolutely purged or else they will continue to assert influence and block Brexit and the prevent the necessary dilution of the hideously termed progressive cause

  38. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Further to my earlier post, I see there is also an article in the Times “Net-Zero Carbon Target is Reckless and Unrealistic”

    One quote “That may please our international competitors but is unlikely to be a domestic vote-winner”

    Wake up Conservative leaders including both remaining Primer Minister aspirants, before you drive us into the hands of the Brexit Party and by extension pave the way for a Corbyn government.

  39. Robert Valence
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    “Many UK taxpayers and (sic!) fed up with having to pay more tax to send to rich countries on the continent. These contributions give us no benefit at home, and add to the deficit on the balance of payments.”
    Not only that, Sir John, we’re financing this profligacy by borrowing – and leaving a poisoned chalice for our descendants. Of course, I forgot there that as a matter of policy there aren’t so many descendants which lays the basis for the faulted policy of importing any Tom, Dick or (Harry ed) who demands it.
    Another major failing then is that 21C Britain has dropped religion – or at least Christianity – and that also means dropping a moral basis and substituting money or environmentalism as gods…….

  40. Ian
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The EU Project has only ever been good value to the un-elected EU Commission. Successive UK parliamentarians have stood by this project as they had in turn expected to transit to this untenable group as a method of a fat cat unearned pension

  41. Andy
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you should spend your imaginary windfall on unicorns and fairies.

    Me and my children will be paying your Brexit bill until the 2060s.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Gosh, do you still believe in your EU unicorns and fairies? How sweet! Me and my children won’t be paying your Remain bill, you’ll have to pay that yourself.

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted June 29, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


        Why, don’t you read what Andy actually wrote and then comment on it

  42. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The biggest surprise from the last threer years has (apart from how little many MPs wish to serve their country) is how much extra we pay the EU.

    The net £13 billion I knew about.

    The £2.7 net for import tariffs I did not, nor do I have a clue what the VAT amount is, I find this bizarre that it was not even talked about.

    The next figure is how much our fishing waters are worth, I know the Falklands charges around £400 million for its smaller waters so a conservative figure is £3 to 5 billion for the UK.

    Here we also will clearly benefit from cheaper imports and better access for exports, it is hard to put a value on these but I honestly believe the net benefits will be in the 10’s or 100’s of billions in the next decade.

    I just wonder what other payments we were not told about, the case for leaving is far stronger today then 2016.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      My research tells me that we send a fifth of VAT collected to the EU, and the amount collected is around £100 billion.

      Surely this cannot be true that we send another £20 billion to the EU?

      • graham1946
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        I would say that’s about right. What a great bargain we get?????

  43. Simon
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    This is an analysis which is childishly simple and hence completely wrong.

    There will be no windfall when we leave. The idea that the UK will be better off in any sense post Brexit is a complete myth. The costs / losses will vastly out weigh the small net sums saved.

    This type of “policy” advocated by Sir JR is designed to appeal to the very basest instincts of the most simple minded voters.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Simple minded Remainers swallow all the BS put out by the Remain MSM without bothering to do any research. Where are your figures?

      • L Jones
        Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Try Facebook, Graham. That’ll tell you all you need to know, I’m reliably informed.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Simon, Why do you believe being governed by the EU makes us better off than if we governed ourselves? Indeed why do you want the UK to be governed by a foreign power at all?

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I know we will be better off due to the principle that we will be spending less money on government, I guess the VAT figure must be just part of the bill. I will predict the EU will not cut any spending after we leave, they will replace our money with borrowing and increase budgets.
      But the rest of the money not leaving these shores alone will make us more prosperous.

      The future trade deals will really put the great back into Great Britain.

  44. kzb
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Why does no-one ever mention the so-called divorce bill in relation to Scotland leaving the UK? Would they be allowed to just walk away and not take their share of the debt with them?

  45. Martin
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    “whilst paying the same level of farm grants ” – there you go again – a rebranded CAP !

    The only point of Brexit I could ever see was dumping the farm subsidies. The cost of living and inflation would fall and the benefits/OAP bill would hence stop rising.

    Is a rebranded CAP just your remainer side coming through?

  46. EastDevon Tory
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me just how ignorant the makority of UK politicos are about matters EU. For example, how often do you hear the fac5t that even outside of the euro the UK is still subject to the EU Stability & Growth Pact:
    Of course the Chancellor and his Treasury Ministers will be well aware of this but reluctant to making any public admission.
    One can see why Corbyn supports BREXIT, however why would his Shadow Chancellor who must know he will never get a ‘borrow and spend.spend’ passed? Perhaps McDonnell is just showing his ignorance!

    • Hans Billund
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Eurozone. Irrelevant to uk. U r an idiot

      • mancunius
        Posted June 29, 2019 at 1:21 am | Permalink

        As Bob Lyddon points out in his article today in Global Britain, the UK’s maximum possible liability now of €207 billion could well be escalated to €441 billion or even more than that, if our exit is drawn out into the period of the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
        You have clearly not understood the enforced involvement of the UK in the eurozone’s travails.

        But then, you didn’t come here for the truth – rational discussion is our political tradition, but clearly not yours.

      • Al
        Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        “Eurozone. Irrelevant to uk. U r an idiot”

        Hans Billund, if you check the pact at the link EastDevon Tory provided, you will see that countries in the EU outside the Eurozone still have to submit “Convergence programmes”.

        The UK had a decision taken against it by the EU Council for exceeding its allowed debt in 2008, and failing to bring it into compliance with the requirements by 2010. It was finally closed off in Dec 2017.

  47. mancunius
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, you are quite right to point out the almost conspiratorial parliamentary consensus on giving the taxpayer’s money away wholesale.
    This can only be solved by a complete purging of both Houses, following a General Election that demands the people bestir themselves and understand how Con/Lab and LibDem MPs and peers have horsetraded our democratic freedoms for a mess of personal pottage and political advantage entirely for themselves, their families and their own financial interests.

  48. outsider
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    The idea of a quick fiscal benefit from leaving the EU was always the most spurious part of the case and I have yet to speak to any leave voter who took it seriously. Your posited £39 billion fiscal windfall from leaving without a comprehensive withdrawal agreement looks equally over-egged, unless the UK acts in bad faith. Most of us would not want that and it might make the Commission vindictive rather than mutually c0-operative.
    We know that, whatever the circumstances, the UK will give some guarantees for EU27 citizens here, unilaterally if necessary.
    To achieve an honourable clean break, the UK should likewise offer our full net contribution for 2020, the final year of the multi-annual budgetary framework that we agreed, and not welsh on it. This would be about £9 billion.
    We should also honour our share of underfunded pension rights already accrued by EU staff and MEPs. This is estimated at 10 billion euros to be paid over many years during which the figures are likely to rise substantially. If we commuted this into a higher single payment of £10 billion, added to our national debt, we should have done a very good deal for future UK taxpayers.
    We should also rescue our negotiators’ mishandling of the repayment of our 16 per cent share in the European Investment Bank so that we can realise something nearer to its £9 billion book value. I suggest that we should barter it in exchange for any other EU budget overruns, deficits on eurozone support schemes and 15 year access payments for databases etc which the EU intends to bill us for at amounts decided by itself.
    Brexit will also bring set-up costs on things such as more border controls (formal or informal), trade representation and regulatory bodies now embedded in the EU.
    Fiscal benefits will come eventually, not immediately.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 29, 2019 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      Fiscal benefits can come immediately, by the simple and effective, historically tried and trusted, blindingly obvious method: lowering taxes.

    • NickC
      Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Outsider said: “it might make the Commission vindictive rather than mutually c0-operative”. Oh ha ha ha ha ha ha !! Joke of the week!

  49. agricola
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Stayed awake through Politics Live today, thanks to a brilliant chairing carried out by Adam Fleming. It was informative and at times humourous. Guests were allowed to develope their contributions minus the usual high pitched hectoring and interuption from the chair. Quite refreshing to discover that watching a political programme can be informative and enjoyable. Will the BBC learn from this.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Agricola “Will the BBC learn from this?” No.

  50. ian
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Income tax is down as temporary tax at the treasury, brought in after the second world war to pay for it, it about time that the pledges to be only temporary be honoured by gov and the treasury.

    Any money companies pay to workers in regard to income tax is company money and should be treated as such, NI is a people tax but can also be paid by the company on their behalf, NI which companies pay the treasury is employment tax on companies paid by companies for each worker they take on and then company tax itself which about 19% at the moment.

    I feel bringing all of those taxes together to be paid by the company would be much better for the company, gov and the people, it would be a usual boost to growth and GDP and giving a company the advantage of being able to use all the money with the help of an accountant till their tax is due at the end of their tax year which would be great help to them and bring down there borrowing costs.

    No taxes on hiring staff, so the company can take on as many workers as they want with just the wages to pay which helps them and the workers out when a recession comes along and if they are hiring staff they are growing their business, the company hasn’t got lay off as many workers in a recession and makes it much easier to give the company a tax cut as well if needed, easier to give staff a pay rise with all money going to the staff instead of taxes as well which eat in to the company profits, for workers paying 40% and 45% income tax and NI, a one per cent rise on the new system would be like a two per cent rise on the old system saving the company one per cent on all its top staff.

    There are so many advantages to this system i cannot list them all. it makes the tax system easier to use and understand as there is only company gross tax and indirect taxes plus VAT to do but there again i would change VAT to a sales tax to help out even more.

    I think doing away with company tax on the old system would take 5 years instead of bringing it down to 12.5% for life and company working with the treasury to bringing costs down for gov work would be possible because they would understand that keeping costs down means less tax to pay and the company could also ask staff to help out in the community now and again for a bonus which helps the gov and would end up saving them more tax.

    If you want your country to be well run, get rid of bad politicians and drain the swamp, listening to them on tax cuts is a joke, vote for me i will cut your tax when did that ever happen in the last 30 years without them putting taxes up somewhere else.

    I have listen to both sides, leave and remain, remain have no money and want taxes up, half of the leave want to pay 39 billion along with remain and keep sending money to them for this and that which rises no money really only 4 or 5 billion for leaving and talk of tax cuts which can only come from borrowing lots more money.

    If you’re not going take full advantage of the billion for leaving EU and the tariffs on offer 6 billion and change your tax and pension system and the way you repay your debts to bring the cost down and interest charged, the whole idea of Brexit will be lost, that what Brexit is all about, raising money and making changes, not keep the system we have because they not smart and borrow all the money instead of raising 50 billion pounds.

  51. kzb
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    graham1496: we don’t pay all the VAT collected to the EU I am sure that is a myth. We pay a small percentage of the VAT collected.
    It’s not completely clear to me if the 80% of customs duties collected and sent to the EU is included in the headline budget contribution or not. Different sources say different things.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t say we paid it all – I said I don’t have the figure but that overall we pay about 15-20 percent of all EU VAT received by Brussels. I could find out the actual figure, but so could you. The 80 per cent of Customs Duties is definitely not in the headline figure, it is hidden – only our net membership fee is shown, which is why I always say our membership contribution is about 13 billion a year as against the 9-10 billion the MSM would have you believe we pay. Those figures are net by the way, after our rebate. Hope this clears it up for you.

  52. margaret howard
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


    ” We can boost the UK economy by 1% of GDP out of the savings and the tax overshoot this government has gone in for.”

    How does that compare to the money we shall lose by leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc?

    Have your priorities changed as well? I thought you Brexiteers simply wanted your freedom back regardless of the sacrifices it will entail.

    Reply I have set out an economic forecast here for you in a previous blog. I have always said with the right post Brexit policies we will be better off.

    • NickC
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard, No one can “prove” the future; neither you nor me. So it comes down to judgement. Have Remain predictions come true so far? No. Do we believe Remain predictions about our Leave future? No. Have people throughout history yearned to be free? Yes. Do we judge that we will be better off out? Yes. Does freedom and independence come at a price? Yes. Is that price worth paying? Yes.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      ” I have always said with the right post Brexit policies we will be better off.”

      But what are they?

  53. ukretired123
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Remainers In Denial (RIDs) aplenty here!
    EC =Echo Chamber, European Commission

    Both need to go on the classic course:
    “Finance for Non-Financial Management”
    That is also assuming they have been in business which many think they have by reading a book.

  54. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    We send a quid to Brussels. There, it’s sprayed blue and yellow, and cut in half. One half gets sent to British people as an EU grant. There, a money-laundering scheme!

  55. BillM
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt that if EU were a Private Enterprise it would be insolvent and its Directors before the Courts, accused of fraudulent activity, given the fact that the EU accounts have not been signed off by an Independent Auditor in 22 years. Does the EU not have a Serious Fraud Office to monitor their shady dealings?
    Furthermore, does no Member of the 27 Commissioners not have a problem with this?

  56. Zerren Yeoville
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    “Mr Blair gave away some of that improvement on the promise of a thorough reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which never happened.”

    I believe someone has estimated that the cost to the UK of Mr Blair’s entirely unreciprocated generosity with OUR money is in the region of £40billion – money which the EU has taken from us to which it is not morally entitled as it has completely failed to honour its side of the bargain – and which more than covers the £39billion they are demanding for the Treaty of Versailles v2.0 (otherwise known as the Withdrawal Agreement).

    As usual, the EU takes our ‘quids’ but denies us any ‘pro quo.’

  57. glen cullen
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    EU now have FTAs with Canada, Japan and now South America (Argentina. Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay)

    So why are we paying £39bn+ and its not even a FTA

    • Lucas
      Posted June 29, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      we are obliged to pay 39Bn as per the WA but this is no guarantee that we will get a FTA with them. Onĺy thing that was promised was a transition period to allow for talks but It could turn out that we do not want a FTA with them. Certainly if we do not live up to our commitments as per the WA then we will not move to a transition period

  58. Yorkie
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Met Office:
    :Forecast for Saturday Yorkshire and Humber
    Many places will be hot and sunny, with the warmest air moving to the east, leaving the far west less warm. Heavy showers are likely in parts of Scotland later.”
    Well it is Up North

  59. Original Richard
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Brexit is not about money it’s about democracy and sovereignty.

    Firstly the world is watching to see if we really do live in a democracy or whether our pro-EU Parliament will thwart the decision made by the people in both a referendum and then by a GE to leave the EU.

    Secondly they are watching if a pro-EU parliament will succeed in conning their electorate and signing a treaty with the EU which leaves the UK as a colony of the EU where we accept EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign, immigration etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit.

  60. Javelin
    Posted June 29, 2019 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    I think they want to spend it on getting rid of petrol cars and paying taxes of cheap labour from abroad. I

    think they call it green open- borders.

    The rest of us know it as virtue-signalling globalists who deflect accepting their moral destruction of society by turning us into tree hugging cave men.

  61. Fred H
    Posted June 29, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    off topic- sort of…
    George Osborne is considering a return to politics. The former Chancellor is considering the idea of standing in the marginal Kensington constituency in the next election. It must be as an Ind, surely Central Office/ the local association would never be so idiotic to want a total money grabbing failure as their MP?

  62. Martin Conboy
    Posted June 29, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    On the subject of Britain’s money there is a very disturbing report published today on the Global Britain website by Bob Lyddon. The point he makes is that the Withdrawal Agreement keeps Britain as a non-voting shareholder in the European Central Bank and the European Investment Bank for at least 20 years. The Europeans desperately need to turn the eurozone into a fiscal transfer system with the rich countries paying for the poor ones in order to rescue the Euro. If they use the ECB and/or EIB to do this, then our contingent liability rises to some €441 billion, possibly more, and as non-voting shareholders there is precisely nothing we could do about it.
    To me the risk is that the EU will agree to remove the backstop and Boris then signs us up to the Withdrawal Agreement, and we find out just how rotten a deal it really is in 2020, just in time for the next election.
    Any thoughts?

  63. Fred H
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    better news is….
    Olly Robbins, 44, has committed to a brief handover before he moves on, with reports he may take up a lucrative job in the City. (oh dear…is the £ falling already?)
    His departure is the latest in a wave of top civil servants who have announced they will resign rather than take on the challenge of delivering Brexit within 100 days under the new leader.
    – – -top civil servants to resign. Hooray.

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    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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