Trade deals are being arranged for our exit, and drugs companies still will be supplying us from the EU

I recently asked Parliamentary Questions regarding the trade deals that will be novated to the UK once we leave the EU. I also enquired about whether any companies based in the EU have indicated a wish to cancel contracts to supply the NHS with medicines in the event of us leaving on WTO terms. I am pleased to see that trade agreements have been signed with 32 countries.

It is also unsurprising to see that no companies within the EU have indicated they no longer wish to supply medicines to the UK in such an event.

Department for International Trade provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (270691):

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the number of EU free trade agreements which will have novated to the UK when the UK leaves the EU. (270691)

Tabled on: 28 June 2019

George Hollingbery:

In the event of the UK leaving the EU with a negotiated agreement, the UK and EU have currently agreed that existing international agreements would apply as they do today for the duration of the implementation period.

Nevertheless, we have been working with our trading partners to have bilateral agreements ready in place for when we need them, whether that is after an Implementation Period or for a potential No Deal.

We are making progress and have signed or agreed in principle agreements with 32 countries. Total trade in 2018 between the UK and these countries accounted for 63% of the UK’s trade with all the countries with which the UK is seeking continuity in the event of a potential No Deal.1 That has moved from 28% since March. A regularly updated list of agreements signed is available on GOV.UK.

1 The figures quoted above are based on total goods and services trade (imports and exports) with the UK, according to the most recent data (ONS, 2018).[1] They cover 65 countries that are party to 35 agreements. These are the countries covered by existing EU agreements in force in 2018. As above, this excludes Turkey, Andorra, San Marino which are part of customs unions with the EU and Japan, as the Economic Partnership Agreement only came into force on 1st February 2019

The answer was submitted on 04 Jul 2019 at 10:30.

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (270230):

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any companies based in the EU have indicated a wish to cancel contracts to supply the NHS with drugs in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. (270230)

Tabled on: 27 June 2019

Stephen Hammond:

The Department has been in contact with NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU), who puts in place competitively tendered arrangements (Framework Agreements) through which National Health Service hospital trusts can purchase certain medicines.

Neither the Department nor CMU are aware of any contract cancellations related to a ‘no deal’ European Union exit.

The answer was submitted on 05 Jul 2019 at 10:00.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Reassuring answers which, thankfully, and as expected, lay the myth to aspects of ‘Project Fear’ which is given too much prevalence on the UK MSM.

    Over here in Australia, I use Google to conduct many of my searches for Brexit news. I had always assumed, perhaps naively, that I would simply be presented with an even-handed selection of relevant items from which I could make my choice as to which to read further. I find, however, that, when putting ‘Brexit’ into Google, I am initially presented with numerous prominent articles from The Guardian, the BBC and others, all of which seem to have an anti-Brexit slant. It is only with further, more specific, searches that articles can be found which may be less pro-EU oriented.

    Last night on ‘Sky News on WIN’, the one Australian channel which does not continually serve up left-wing bias ‘a la’ BBC etc., ‘The Bolt Report’ revealed that Google and Facebook both used algorithms which produced results slewed to the left.

    Ever since the referendum, The Guardian in the UK has seemed to churn out at least half a dozen articles each day, all, unsurprisingly, either ridiculing Brexiteers or highlighting the impending ‘disaster’ of leaving. Such is their prerogative based on their own editorial bias – although I have always regarded their repetitive, anti-Brexit, pro EU, propaganda as verging on treason. The one-sided BBC, which should, in law, be impartial, has been discussed at length on this site on many occasions already. Is it not, however, reasonable to expect a major search-engine like Google, and the likes of Facebook, to ensure that pro and anti articles are given equal prominence? Is there an indication here that the EU is, somehow, influencing Google to ensure that anti-EU articles and propaganda are found only by a more specified search? What has led to this situation? Who is pulling their strings?

    More and more, the world becomes reliant on these internet giants. It is imperative that biased political manoeuvring is prevented. Failure to do so results in absolute power to influence being in the hands of just a few. Human nature will not change and those few, inevitably, will wield that power to their own advantage unless they are stopped.

    • old salt
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I hear one Nick Clegg is in a position of influence.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Well done, Sir John. Pitty the likes of Auntie will not pick up on this.

    Even so I still believe that there will be some initial disruption which, the usual suspects, will pick up on and over play. But long term I am confident that we will grow as a nation and that those, especially those here, will come to see that we were right all along.

    • Hope
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Who will restrain Mayhab and Hammond in their last few days in office?

      Our alleged trade secretary Fox appears to be an unmitigated disaster who likes swanning about with the trimmings of office without achieving anything. Can we assume this Mayhab supporting dope will go ASAP to make way for an energetic,dynamic person who has a track record in achieving in the business world?

      Will Cabinet Secretary Sedwill be investigated, censored or warned about leaks under his watch? Two serious breaches, does he exercise any discipline/control? It appears someone is determined to undermine the UK relationship with the US in favour of the EU. Trump will be aware of this.

      We read minister Duncan/FCO signed the UK military up to EU policy when we are leaving? Is there a determination to tie the hands of the new PM?

      Will the new leader give local associations more power to oust their EU fanatic rogue MPs who keep threatening disloyalty to party/govt. and refuse to accept the will of the people?

      Why is Gauke, Clarke and Rudd still in office after their serious breach of collective resonsibility and failure to vote with govt whip?

  3. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Just why would any company want to stop trading with us.
    If the EU tried to ban them it would be an act of war.

    • John Scot
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Ian, what mr Redwood is doing is the classic magician’s art of of deflection. He’s telling you that traders will carry on importing goods to the UK. Of course they will. No one doubts it. What Mr Redwood is hiding is the real issue – which is that our exporters will no longer be able to sell frictionlessly into the EU single market because the UK is no longer in the EU. It will mean costly checks, tariffs and huge damage to our economy, as we lose the 40plus years of EU free trade and instead become just another third country. That is what is being concealed from you. Wise up!

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        So let me get this right, goods coming into Britain will be frictionless but goods to the EU will have insurmountable barriers.
        Don’t you perhaps think that if this was the case, stopping the empty lorries from boarding at Dover until they have been thoroughly searched, or delaying the import of fresh produce from the EU until properly searched would perhaps change their minds.

        Delaying lorries from Ireland using the land bridge would destroy the Eire economy.

        We have the same tools at our disposal as they do and we import stacks more than we export.

        Grow a pair

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        JS, if you have any concept whatsoever about international trade, however minor, then you will be aware that what you have written is complete nonsense

      • NickC
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        John Scott, You have completely misunderstood the point JR is making. We are endlessly told by Remains such as yourself that we won’t be able to get food and medicines from the EU – that is, no, or disrupted, imports from the EU. His answers put an end to that particular Remain fib.

        As for your supposed “frictionless” trade – that doesn’t exist, particularly for services, within the EU at the moment. Outside the EU the UK will be no worse off than the USA or China, both of which successfully sell more than twice as much each to the EU than the UK does.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        “He’s telling you that traders will carry on importing goods to the UK. Of course they will. No one doubts it.”

        But they do doubt it; and extraordinarily when they warn that as a result we might run out of insulin that idea is not quashed by the diabetic in Downing Street, who one might have thought would have a strong personal interest in the matter:

        “There are 0.4 million type 1 diabetics in the UK and she is content to see them worried sick that they may no longer be able to get the insulin upon which they depend, yet she calls herself a Christian. And that is one reason, among others, why I call her a hypocrite.”

        And nor is it dismissed out of hand by her minister of health, who talks about stockpiles and special delivery arrangements blah blah blah.

        • hefner
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          One in 10 over the age of 40 has diabetes in the UK. One in 20 of all prescriptions by GP is diabetes-related. 10% of present NHS budget ( £14bn) is on diabetes treatments (Journal of Diabetic Medicine, Diabettech 28/07/2018). 99.7% of insulin prescribed in the UK is imported from the EU, in fact Germany, France and Denmark.
          It would indeed be possible to switch to other providers, e.g. Eli Lilly US, but that would require a new set of contracts, plus the adequate logistics to deal with these essential imports.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:07 am | Permalink

            So Hefner, do you predict Germany France and Denmark companies will refuse to continue to sell insulin to the UK once we leave the EU?
            Is that actually what you are claiming?

          • Original Richard
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:20 am | Permalink

            The UK exports £12bn/year of pharmaceutical products to the EU and this trade does not exist simply becaue they like us.

            Are the EU intending to be that nasty that they really want to make it difficult for pharmaceutical products to be traded between the UK and the EU ?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Two good responses to your comment here, hefner; I wonder whether you will react to them. I will add a third response: do you think that Theresa May will order UK customs officers to unnecessarily delay incoming shipments of medicines? But presumably having her own essential supply of insulin – four injections a day – flown into the country in diplomatic bags?

          • hefner
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            GiGoEd, did I? I was just pointing out some story published in The Lancet. Would you think they do not know know anything about health?

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink


            Oh my goodness you really actually have no idea do you?

            So those companies will cut their revenues by £14 billion to make some EU politicians happy…… smh

            Germans sell us a lot of cars too, of course they will also stop selling VW’s Audi’s, BMW’s and Mercs

            That’ll teach us to be a self governing country

      • Mike Ferro
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        No, what Mr redwood is doing is rebutting the project fear nonsense that we will all suddenly have no more medicines available from the EU.
        What we will sell to them and the terms under which we do it are a separate issue.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The WA was/is not a trade deal. It did not even mention financial services. It constrained UK to be bound by any EU international agreements during the transition, thus continuing to stop UK negotiating its own deals. What Sir John appears to indicate is that life will go on whilst progress is made, this seems to be in stark contrast to the WA.

      • John McHugh
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        What a load of pony.
        If the two parties do not agree to same arrangements with GATT XXIV on WTO terms with a view to a future FTA then it is quite clear they have never wanted to have us leave on friendly terms. In which case we revert to WTO and the Eu trade deals we have turned over and introduce the tariffs laid out in early March. Those tariffs will be introduced and we will carry on creating bi-lateral trade deals with countries around the world that suit Uk requirements rather than the other 27 int he Eu.

        ps. you do know we have no seat at the Eu trade deal negotiating table as we are not in the Eurozone? We rely on the likes of Germany and France to negotiate on our behalf. Now do you think they put their interests above ours?

      • Woody
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Very one sided critique .. again. What about the effect on the eu trade, they export far more to the uk than the uk does to the eu. Our trade with the non eu world is already well in excess of that with teh eu and 90 % of future world demand will come from outside the eu. What we MAY lose in tariffs will be compensated and more by the eu export tariffs to the uk … plus we wont have to hand over 80% of our tariff take to the eurocracy. Common sense will prevail, even among the eurocrats, when their business kick off at the potential loss of our business.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        So the importers will carry on regardless but exporters will be disrupted.

        No wonder you are fearful of life outside the EU.

        • AlmostDead
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

          As far as I can see there will be no issues with imports, as this is completely within our control. The problem is with exports to the EU as we will face full 3rd country controls for the first time in decades. This will create a situation where its easier (less friction) to import from the EU then to export to it. I leave it to you to work out how our trade in-balance will evolve over the coming years.

          • Woody
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Great, we will get all the tariff payments from increased imports from eu. win win.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        In 2016 the UK’s net contribution was about £8.6 billion. Customs duties after collection costs were €3.2 billion, VAT €3.3 billion.
        Customs duties and VAT contributions are in addition to our membership fees – so £5bn pa can be added to the net membership fee.
        All this money to fund a trade deficit.
        People like John Scot consider the EU to be a free trade union for members like the UK when we have to pay €19 billion a year to be in it. That’s twice or more what we would pay on tariff for the amount we import annually.

      • CJ
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Why don’t you look up the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (and its livestock-produce equivalent the SPS agreement)?

        Basically if goods meet standards and production controls are proven, it would be illegal to discriminate against us.

        The excuse that we weren’t part of the EU’s political union on 1st November won’t wash with the WTO. As a WTO member, the EU has to obey WTO rules, which specify No Unnecessary Barriers to Trade – or sanctions including compensation will be forthcoming.

        Basically, a Customs Union cannot be used to discriminate; in event of a clash between GATT privileges on CUs and liberalising free trade provisions like TBT and SPS (‘Annex 1A’), the latter will prevail.

        I think you owe Mr Redwood a bit more respect.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Ian….maybe so, but I hope the concern encourages British based pharma to work towards replacing EU sales to the NHS.

  4. Nigl
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    So the phrase ‘no deal’ is a lie. More Project Fear.

    PS looking forward to Andy explaining the wondrous future benefits of the EU so we can balance them against what he says we will lose. Don’t forget Andy to include a transfer Union to move money from strong economies to bail out the weak and of course their own tax raising powers.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Always said “No Deal” was the wrong terminology to use for us leaving without a so called withdrawal agreement.

      Looks like you have proven that case JR.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I don’t think that Andy has heard that the Brexit Bus prosecution against Boris Johnson has already been to court and thrown out.

      Andy just wants arbitrary imprisonment for people who disagree with him.

      Ode to Joy. If the EU is not a country why does it need a national anthem ? And if it IS a country (especially one in denial of itself) it will need an army and a police and a secret service all capable of doing as Andy wishes.

      These are the true instincts behind the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        I don’t want to imprison anyone. But if you don’t want to do the time, don’t commit the crime.

        Treating your country with criminal gross negligence – as the Brexiteers have – will not end well for them.

        It will take many years but some will invariably end up in prison. You do not behave in the way they have without there being consequences.

        • NickC
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Andy, Normally in the struggles for national independence it is the traitors who end up in jail. And of course the elites tend to change sides quickly leaving their gullible gofers such as you rather exposed.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


          Why dont you tell us exactly who will be charged and what crime they will be charged with

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        The politicians who should be worried about a future prosecution should be those who supported a treaty with the EU where we accepted 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 – the one described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff as reducing the UK to EU colony status.

    • Ian!
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I am never quite sure whether that is the pseudonym for Grieve, Hammond etc. Or is it a collective noun, I hate the UK to its very roots

  5. Big Dave
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    But that can’t all be true John? Labour halfwits are regularly on TV telling us we will have no medicine, planes won’t fly, lorries will be backed up in Kent, war will break out in Ireland, there will be plagues of locusts etc.

    Surely they know best?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      Not just the Labour halfwits but the many Conservative MP traitors, all Libdims, SNP, Philip Hammond and the Plaid Cymru plus the weight of the BBC in full pro EU propaganda mode.

      Jumping of a cliff edge, an economic disaster, an gross act of self harm ….

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        Bill Cash’s comments on Sir Kim Darroch were not at all “deeply unworthy” as Alan Duncan suggested they were spot on.

        Kim judgement is clearly faulty and his position is totally untenable. Surely even Sir Kim can see this now. He should act in the interests of the UK so must resign this position immediately.

        • NickC
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic, I am ashamed of people like Sir Kim Darroch. Primarily because they have no shame themselves. He has obviously been captured by the more extreme Democrat politicians.

          Worse, since Remains insist we cannot be an independent nation, the USA is one of a few possible states which could rule us. I demand a second referendum to choose our foreign rulers!!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          First of all Sky News speculated that the leak was intended as an act of revenge by some wicked “eurosceptic” who was dissatisfied with the lack of progress in negotiating that vital trade deal with the US that we will so desperately need after a no-deal Brexit to make up for the disastrous loss of trade with the EU. That seemed an unlikely explanation from the moment it was floated. Now Sky News suggests that the leak has scuppered any prospect of that “great” trade deal promised by Trump that we will so desperately need after a no-deal Brexit to make up for the disastrous loss of trade with the EU, but it seems without realising that this would point the finger in the other direction and in particular towards Downing Street. Bear in mind here that the Prime Minister herself is the minister in charge of the civil service, and she has never shown any concern over other leaks which have tended to undermine the case for Brexit.

    • Woody
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Its not labour remoaners who are promoting project fear, it’s the likes of Hammond, Clarke, Grieve, most civil serpents and of course May, although no one listens to her any more. Labour are tearing themselves apart all by themselves … who on earth in their hierarchy thinks that taking a strong must remain stance is likely to bring any support from outside islington is beyond me .. and beyond traditional labour supporters. The eu is not in any way trying to look after the many, but clearly only the few … starting with germany and france and of course the more than equal fat cats in positions of power.

      • NickC
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Woody, The extreme statist pressure group “38 Degrees” is using social media to campaign against the safe option of “No deal” (actually falsely named – it is the WTO deal). The issue is – who is funding them?

        • hefner
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          With your little overheated brain, you see conspiracies everywhere. 38degrees was founded well before Brexit, on 26 May 2009 in memory of Anita Roddick (Anita who?, I hear you say: well look on the internet). Campaigns can be initiated by members, and are paid by member donations and subscriptions. At present, their major campaigns are about Grenfell, Brexit, winter crisis in NHS, make Amazon pay their taxes, restoring trust in the UK immigration system. As you might be able to see, some campaigns can be thought to be left-wing inspired, some not so much.

          Always happy to help.

          • NickC
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            Hefner, I was initially a supporter of 38 Degrees, until it rapidly became obvious to me it had been captured by the extreme statists (the extreme left, in your understanding). I don’t know of a single 38 Degrees campaign that doesn’t fit that description, except perhaps taxing corporatists. Always happy to help.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink


            The entire original board including Gordon Roddick ( Gordon who ?? look on companies house) all resigned by 2016. A totally new board was elected after that.

            Glad to help, ( ps at least NickC has a brain )

    • Barbara Castle
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Remainers are blessed with powers of prophecy. We simply don’t understand.

  6. agricola
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this reassuring update. No doubt the usual suspect contributors to your diary will relate a totally different interpretation of events, just to keep us amused with their mental dexterity. I blame NASA for improving communications from the dark side of the moon.

  7. Helena
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    What a mysterious post. Of course no company has cancelled a contract. The issue is whether the products will comply with applicable technical standards. It seems you do not understand the difference between contract law and public regulation.

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Helena, Why do you think that already approved medicines will suddenly become unsafe and fail to comply with UK technical standards? Magic? Is this some special Remain process?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      If they met the “standard” today, then they will meet the same “standard” tomorrow…

      If the “standards” within the EU change then those selling to the EU will update their product to meet any new requirement.

    • John McHugh
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      It appears that when we leave we will continue as before with GATT XXIV on WTO terms. Your fixation with wanting anarchy is quite something.
      Why do you want to destroy democracy?

    • Phil O'Sophical
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      It seems you do not understand what has been legislated. The body of Community Law will be lifted across to UK law on Day One – for future amendment where appropriate, but not yet amended – so there should be no change in standards.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      what are you talking about? why would EU medicines which are now imported into the UK no longer comply with UK technical standards?! it really is getting ridiculous. perhaps there are good arguments for reversing brexit and remaining in the EU, in which case please make them. but a shortage of medicines (or food) is clearly not one of them.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      i notice you’ve avoided the bit about trade deals! I think you have been someone assuring us no such deals would be novated to the UK – perhaps a little acknowledgement and apology would now be in order?

    • sm
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Helena, if I wish to sell you electric appliance plugs, and your country uses round pins, then I will comply with your applicable technical standards, just as if you run a kosher or halal restaurant, I will not try to sell you pork meat but will offer you products you find acceptable.

      If you don’t want to do business with me anyway, I will search for and find other markets.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


      Worst post by you in a crowded market. WE ARE ALREADY COMPLIANT , we have been for many years. As any exported will tell you maintaining compliance with local regulations in markets we sell to is a basic

      Give me strength

  8. Shirley
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    It is always wise to expect the unexpected. The EU will try to find a way to damage the UK, as they have been since ‘negotiations’ started.

    I suspect the diplomatic row with the USA is the machinations of the Remain contingent, who is trying to destroy our relationship with the USA. Trump is too wise to fall for that one, and he (and we) will be glad when inept May is finally gone.

    Give May two choices and she will always choose the wrong one (for the UK) in her efforts to appease the EU.

    • AlmostDead
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      “Trump is too wise to fall for that one”….thats funny 🙂

  9. Emily Jones
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    So, to sum up your findings, we are leaving the EU and losing all the advantages of its external trade deals, but we might be able to cobble together the continuation of some of them, probably on adjusted (worse) terms. So Brexit gives us precisely zero improvement, it delivers only loss of the deals we haven’t managed to roll over (Japan, Canada, Korea, the EU itself, etc). Taking back control? Bunkum, self-harm more like

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Emily Jones, What advantages? You’ve left out that, independent of the EU, we will regain democratic control of our own government. Isn’t that more important to you? Obviously not. You’d sell out your own nation for merely the claim (no more) of slightly better trade. But is being ruled by the EU proven to be better for trade overall? That seems unlikely – historically nations desire independence precisely because being in control of your own economy is the route to a safer and more prosperous future.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink


        “You’ve left out that, independent of the EU, we will regain democratic control of our own government”

        Nothing to do with the EU that at this moment 99.7% of us have no say in who our new prime minister will be. No input until 2022!

        Not surprised that both Scotland and Ireland will want to leave this undemocratic cesspool.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink


          This will come as a shock but you will have NO input into the PM in 2022 or any other time either. Its how our parliamentary democracy has worked for 100 years, amazing you’ve never noticed before . Oh and by the way your hero Harold Wilson ( who ratified membership of EEC) handed over to Jim Callaghan with absolutely no one at all involved.

          Er Scotland and the Scottish Parliament has EXACTLY the same procedure . Blimey Margaret your posts are getting worse by the day

          • Newmania
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

            You say that ( and in fact we have never had a Presidential system) but the 100 years in which we have had a mass democracy is not that long.
            Successive reform widened the Franchise in the 19th century but the big numbers moved only at the beginning of the 20th hence the rise of organised Labour
            The end of the Unions outside the Public sector is very recent, the collapse of Marxism as an intellectual framework etc is again recent in historical terms notwithstanding its last spasm

            So it is only in recent history the reasons for a two Party system have eroded to nothing, leaving a multi Party country stuck in a system that brutally punished a split constituency
            ( In fact panic on this score was what drove Cameron to placate the far right with a referendum in the first place )
            What we have now is a perfect storm , both the old Parties have been overrun by extremists , neither really have wide support and in this context the irreversible direction of the country is being set

            Formally it is the same as before , but in fact it is not , in fact it is an extraordinary rupture with the past
            No doubt you think this is a good thing but my own feeling is that we are far form the end of this period of re-setting and I doubt the old and reactionary will much like the consequences of what they have done

          • libertarian
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


            To paraphrase your long post . Libertarian is correct but in the years before he was correct we had a far far far worse system .

            I,like many others believe that our system needs to be changed what I object to is idiot remainers posting stupid posts about small percentages electing an PM as if its some startlingly new revelation . The one big difference is that we can get rid of any PM by simply voting against their party. Heres the thing you dont like though, your favoured party, candidate, policy doesn’t get elected because you keep getting beaten and thats the problem. There is no form of democratic voting that your side would win

            By the way did you see that your glorious new EU President wasn’t even on the ballot paper that MEP’s were given to vote on.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      To sum up, the overall economic impact of leaving the EU will marginal, as marginal as the overall economic impact of being in the EU, and the slight economic impact of leaving the EU will probably be slightly positive rather than slightly negative. What you forget is that any change in our external trade, whether positive or negative, and whether with the rest of the EU or with the rest of the wider world, is heavily diluted by the much greater part of our economy which is internal and which is not directly dependent upon our external trade. You may want our entire country to be run for the benefit or merely the convenience of the 6% or so of UK businesses which export about 12% of UK GDP to the rest of the EU, as it has been for the past forty-six years, but that is not how it is going to be in the future so you might as well start getting used to that imminent reality.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

        Totally agree that trade deals are over-rated and not necessary. WTO trade is “good” enough. Lets drop tariffs to zero on everything. Let business compete with the world. If our businesses can’t compete, so be it.

    • John McHugh
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Emily. Do try and keep up.
      Japan and Korea have not been fully ratified.
      Try to read the article instead of what you want to be the truth.
      We voted to leave the Eu. We cannot move on from this impasse until the Eu referendum has been respected. Democracy must be upheld. Try to grow up and move on.
      Why you want to be Blair’s foot soldiers is beyond me. I would never wish to have him as my hero.

      • CJ
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        There is an earlier Commons Library paper, “UK replacement of the EU’s external agreements after Brexit…”

        Its briefing to MPs noted “all partner countries are committed to ensuring there is no disruption to our trading relationship”

        Why should there be any disruption? Trade is mutually beneficial and all of our major partners must observe the spirit as well as the letter of the WTO Agreements stabilising and freeing up the trading system.

        The Japanese government even begged the EU to expedite agreement of the EU-Japan FTA so that it would include the UK pre-Brexit. Therefore it is inconceivable that the Japanese – a major trading partner – would want to lose trade with us after Brexit.

        There is a strong case for across the board use of GATT Article XXIV and the wider WTO Waiver, which covers trade in services (GATS) and the intellectual property dimension of trade (TRIPS).

    • graham1946
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Maybe you haven’t been around these parts long, but our esteemed contributor Dennis Cooper has shown several times that the increase in trade/wealth by being in the EU is very marginal, if any thing at all. Perhaps you have information/figures that refute his research?

      • graham1946
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Since writing this Denis’s own post has arrived and. makes it clearer.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


        “, but our esteemed contributor Dennis Cooper has shown several times that the increase in trade/wealth by being in the EU is very marginal, if any thing at all”

        I vividly remember watching the first moon landing 50 years ago when the BBC had a member of the ‘Flat Earth Society’ in the studio insisting that the photo of the round earth was an illusion and he was definitely right about the earth being flat.

        • graham1946
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          So you’ve got better figures, Margaret? Perhaps you did not read Denis’s post – he has produced chapter and verse on it previously Never one to offer a fact, are you, just like Andy. Your posts get more irrational the closer we get to Brexit. Looking forward to the next laugh.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear, Margaret, is comparing our host’s post with flat earthers the very best you can come up with?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:10 am | Permalink

          How is that relevant margaret?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          Well, margaret, you could write to Michel Barnier and ask him for his estimate of the economic benefits of the EU Single Market.

          Or you could read one of my earlier comments about his 2012 report on that matter, when he was the responsible EU Commissioner.

          For example:

          Which concluded:

          “But whether it is 1% or 2% of GDP this is a very small mess of pottage; some may be dipping into it more than others, but overall we are not getting much out of it.”

          An interesting point there for acorn, as well:

          “Interestingly those meagre improvements in GDP and employment correspond to a much larger increase, as a fraction of GDP more or less a doubling, in the volume of intra-EU trade in goods – in other words, a lot more stuff is being shipped around within the EU but that has not actually made the inhabitants significantly more prosperous.”

          I must draw that to his attention …

    • Original Richard
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      EJ, A majority did not vote to leave the EU to “take advantage of external trade deals” but to regain our freedom and democracy by retaining our ability to to elect and remove those who decide our laws, taxes and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign, immigration etc.).

      But on the subject of “advantages” we have been fleeced :
      Loss of our fishing grounds.
      Our tax money used to subsidise the movement of many of our factories to other parts of the EU, and even to a country that is not in the EU.
      Huge immigration from the rest of the EU reducing wages and causing shortages of housing, schooling, healthcare et.
      A trade “deal” with the EU which is so disadvantageous that we import £100bn/YEAR more from the EU than we export to them.

      I can’t wait to leave.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Emily Jones

      Might help if you kept up with actual events

      Global demand for British goods and services at an all-time high as exports soar to record £647.1 billion #GBmfg🇬🇧

  10. Dominic
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Pro-EU propaganda, lies and untruths are now so vehement, prevalent and forthright that they’ve lost their impact. Such a strategy failed to secure a victory for Remain in 2016 and they’ll fail to prevent our leaving.

    ‘Propaganda is a monologue that is not looking for an answer, but an echo’. W H Auden. That echo is growing ever fainter

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Dominic, Shush, don’t tell them they’re failing.

  11. Leominster
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t get it. You want us to leave the ghastly EU. Yet here you are celebrating our government running round the world trying to encourage countries to give us the exact same deal they already have with the EU. What’s the point of leaving the EU then?

    • Sharon Jsgger
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink


      The point of leaving the EU is to become an independent country again. We will make our own rules and laws to suit our country. We’ll make our own decisions on many things, rather than be instructed by the EU.

      It’s not all about trade, there are far more things that make us a country.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


        “It’s not all about trade, there are far more things that make us a country”

        Instead of becoming an ‘independent country again’ the Brexit vote has split the country with the very real possibility that the overwhelming Remain voters in Scotland and Ireland will leave the union and leave us a rump England. About as important in world affairs as Liechtenstein.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          Yet again you repeat this nonsense yet fail to realise polls show no majority in either country.
          And with 85% of the population and tax revenues being in England it would be a very big rump if left alone (with Wales).

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink


      In the EU = ruled by the EU.

      Trade deals with other nations = not ruled by them (or by the EU).

      Spot the difference.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        FTAs are not a panacea, and in general only provide a very moderate increase in trade. Instead we should drop all tariffs to zero and compete with the world on basic WTO rules. That may mean some inefficient companies or industries can no longer compete. But it makes no sense to prop up these businesses just because they are British.

        • NickC
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Almostdead, Get the terminology right please. As registered at the WTO the tariff trade deals are RTAs not FTAs. Moreover, there are only “basic WTO rules” anyway (well for 98% of global trade) – until the next WTO treaty round of course.

          All the other rules are made unilaterally, bilaterally, or multilaterally, between nations. And it makes perfect sense for the UK government to unilaterally provide a degree of protection for British producers, unlike for categories of product where we do not supply ourselves (eg bananas).

          • AlmostDead
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            Why protect “British producers” of products that are not competitive? This is a distortion of trade. These producers should be adjusting their business model to account for competition from outside the UK. If competitors from outside the UK can deliver products at a better price or at better quality so be it. These products still would need to meet our standards so I don’t see the problem.

    • John McHugh
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      These deals are for a smooth transition, which is what everyone wants. Once we have left these deals can be ripped up in due course and new bi-lateral trade deals to suit both countries rather than the fictitous 28 it previously served.

      Do try and think before you post. It makes you look naive.

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      What’s the point of leaving the EU then? per Leominster.

      Well if you haven’t read the various articles by Sir John explaining the benefits of leaving and the majority of comments on this site, I fear you will never be able to understand.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Because, Leominster – though it may not have occurred to you yet – Brexit isn’t only about trade.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Leominster, er, brain into gear. Isn’t it obvious? Please, I can’t cope with more like Andy, Newmania, MH etc. Too much pessimism.

    • hefner
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Leominster, Don’t you know, to have sovereignty spread on their toasts in the morning.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Excellent specifics that should cut off some of the distortions we get from remoaners..

    If we were to publicise these facts, say on the front page on The Times, then all hell would break loose as remainers would go into overdrive to cover them up, negate them or invent ever more treacherous distortions.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink


    How do ‘mutual recognition agreements’ differ from trade agreements?

    • bigneil
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I assume on a similar basis to the firm I worked for, who over the years had Foremen, Team Leaders and Shift Supervisors. All did the same job basically – just a way round redundancy laws.

    • John McHugh
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      They are the mini-deals that politicians talk about. on going agreements to create a smooth transition e.g. aviation, customs and borders. We have hundreds of these types of agreements with the USA et al outside the Eu protection racket.

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris, MRAs (registered at the WTO) are agreements between states to recognise each others conformity to accepted or agreed standards. MRAs are used to promote international trade by reducing that NTB (Non Tariff Barrier). MRAs do not address tariffs.

      A trade agreement (registered as an RTA – Regional Trade Agreement – at the WTO) usually covers tariff reductions and may include or be associated with an MRA. There are many more acronyms, TRQ being one. An example of a Tariff Rate Quota is the allowance into the EU of a tonnage (over 228kT) of NZ lamb at zero tariff, where lamb above that tonnage is subject to tariffs.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the explanations: NickC, John McHugh, bigneil

      …Most useful

  14. Richard1
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    One or two who have posted here in this issue over the last couple of years have been very adamant no trade deals would be novated and that no countries had shown any interest in doing so. ‘Helena’ if I remember rightly. Could they kindly post a short acknowledgement and apology?

    • graham1946
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Mostly, those people have absolutely no knowledge of what they try to put across, other than they get from Twitter from similar know nothings. They certainly show daily that they do not do any research and just regurgitate any old nonsense they think fits their view.

  15. Jiminyjim
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the BBC can explain why their programme last night stated almost the exact opposite to this. Or, more importantly Sir John, why parliament has been prepared to sit back and watch them put out their biased drivel and continue to ‘tax’ us for the privilege.

  16. Cis
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    28% of trade covered by agreements signed or agreed in principle in March, 63% covered now.
    Why am I not surprised that this hasn’t been reported the MSM?
    Well done, all those civil servants who continue to work for a true Brexit!

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Cis, Well done indeed. But only partly. It means if we had left on 29 March 2019 (officially – court case pending), we would have been much less prepared than we are now. It confirms that our civil service were not doing their proper job before March. I wonder why?

  17. acorn
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    If you use the ONS interactive trade graphic at , you can work out how much these deals are worth in reality. Don’t get too excited, they are nowhere near the UK population’s imported protein requirement so far.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The interactive graphic does not actually enable us to “work out how much these deals are worth in reality”, not if “in reality” means net economic benefit. Exchanging goods and services around the world may generate net economic benefit, but that cannot be equated to the volumes of international trade.

      • acorn
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        OK Denis. I will tell ONS that calculating real GDP and BoP on “current price” and “chained volume measure”, is a load of crap.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Or you could tell them that if they want to inform us about the degree to which our real GDP is enhanced through our international trade – both ways – then they should include that in the interactive graphic.

        • graham1946
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          GDP doesn’t tell us much – it just says how fast the wheels are spinning, but not if we are actually going anywhere. Import 200,000 more people and GDP goes up for instance, but no knowing if they are productive.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


          Good idea, its a load of crap

          • hefner
            Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            So I must assume that the great libertarian is full of useful ideas how to define better indicators than those proposed by the ONS. Are you advocating GDP per capita on purchasing-power parity? If so, that’s a good move and would show the UK at its right place among countries.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink


            According to you all money comes from government , so GDP figures are ALL meaningless.

          • hefner
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            According to me? and to think that you have in the past pretended to teach business!

          • libertarian
            Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink


            Teaching business is about the reality of doing business not about sad act theories . As you’ve never run a business in your life it might pay you to get out of your school classroom and experience real business.

            Always happy to educate you in reality

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          I will just draw your attention to this, about the economic impact of the EU Single Market:

          “Interestingly those meagre improvements in GDP and employment correspond to a much larger increase, as a fraction of GDP more or less a doubling, in the volume of intra-EU trade in goods – in other words, a lot more stuff is being shipped around within the EU but that has not actually made the inhabitants significantly more prosperous.”

          The same can apply on a global basis; it is quite possible to have an increase in trade flows without any or all of the trading economies parties deriving any significant overall benefit, indeed in some cases increased trade may even lead to impoverishment.

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, Don’t get too excited, we will be able to eat more of our own fish to reduce our protein imports. Assuming, of course, our Remain establishment doesn’t sell out our fish to the EU. Again.

      • acorn
        Posted July 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        The UK doesn’t eat the fish caught in its own waters, it sells them to the continentals and imports into the UK the fish the continentals catch in their own waters.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          So what is the net effect on our GDP of those transactions?

          • hefner
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            It obviously increases GDP the same way an oil spill and its cleaning increase it.

  18. Turboterrier
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    Thank you for your post and the excellent attention to the detail. Very reassuring to all of those with on going medical conditions. I hope you are given the opportunity to discuss today’s post with mjor media outlets. I will not be holding my breath.

  19. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Well, it appears that the Remainer’s much-vaunted cliff edge is but a gentle slope to pastures green and new!

    I’m looking forward to the renewal of many things here in the United Kingdom following the replacement of May’s Managerial ‘Miserablism’ (a brilliant word to describe her government’s tenure in office) with Boris’s ‘Booming’ Britain.

    Whilst we may encounter difficulties along the way, problems that are inherent in any venture that is worthwhile, I am now confident they will be overcome.

    Congratulations on the no-small part you have played in delivering Brexit. Obviously, there is more to be done but I am sure you will continue to provide staunch support to a new administration as it finally implements the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce, Indeed there will be problems to overcome if we really do leave the EU. However since all the problems are man-made, it follows that man can solve them too, as you indicate. Meanwhile, of course, Remains will highlight every real – and many imaginary – problems, with the fake logic that every problem “proves” we should run off and clutch Nanny EU’s apron strings.

  20. Kevin
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    This is the sort of information I would have hoped to have
    obtained from the televised leadership debate. It was not clear to
    me that any candidate had a grasp of the detail that needs to be
    managed in order to accomplish the desired goal. That leads
    you to doubt that the goal is in fact desired.

  21. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Bravo – I will direct the quakers to your Q&A. The rest know the answers and remain intent on spreading lies and inciting panic. They are still losers.

  22. Nicky Roberts
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John, We hear today that Dominic Grieve has cobbled together a plan to deny the Prim Minister any hand in leaving the EU without a deal. When Conservative MPs plot like this with the assistance of John Bercow never mind its motivation it makes Brexiteers uneasy. I read your description of the complications of attempts by MPs to do this, but of course there may be obscure loop holes they have discovered and are exploiting. Apparently Grieve would withdraw the whip from Boris Johnson? How would he be able to do this? I would appreciate your views on their latest efforts to prevent us leaving the EU. Many thanks.

  23. ELMES Joy
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The referendum was non political, a ‘one man one vote’ situation (sorry if not pc, but you know what I mean). Labour are trying to herd their supporters into a block vote of Remain, as they always did with the unions. They risk losing a majority of their supporters over this. What idiocy. Do they not realise that theirs and the Tory remainers duplicity are tearing this country apart ?
    I have yet to hear a remainer give any valid reason for staying. They say that we did not know what we were voting for when we voted for leave. Do they know what the EU has in store or whether they are able to influence it, answer that one ! After more than three years, there should be enough discussion and information out there to make even the most ignorant people aware . Their country is at stake and they repeat scare stories etc . The BBC has a lot to answer for and will get its ‘reward’ hopefully soon.
    Thank you again for my ‘letting off steam’ outlet, much appreciated.

  24. William Long
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As ever, good news is no news!

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    No prehistoric man ever got into his pelt-laden curricle vowing to impose trading charges, political indoctrination and laws on the prehistoric men over the sea to whom he wished to sell his goods.
    When eventually that happened it was called The Roman Empire!
    As in coming, seeing ( and liking the slaves, hunting dogs and gold) and conquering.

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The lies of europhiles are why we endured ( still enduring) 40 odd years of servitude.
    All those “ Silly Billies” claiming that it was a sovereignty-draining exercise when really it was all about innocent, fluffy pink bunny old trade!
    There should have been firm rebuttal then and hopefully there is a bit now… be it ever so polite and measured.
    The lefty Remainers lies will continue to get more outlandish because they are facing the failure of their Project ( and all that comes with it).
    They will do anything to try to save it.
    The grown ups need to treat them very firmly.

  27. Newmania
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    After the last two years I would not believe you if you said it was Tuesday without independent corroboration, and I see ample scope for misrepresentation here, nonetheless , on the face of it, this is better news.
    So why did you want us to leave in March when the UK was far from completing the process?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      We’ll take that as an apology, then. Albeit a graceless one

    • John McHugh
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Maybe because if we had stuck to leaving on 29th March we would just agree to go via GATT XXIV on WTO as the Eu would blink first (95 billion reasons at a time they can ill-afford this loss)
      Alas the collusion between May and the Eu was there for all to see and furthermore, backed up by siding with the wannabe 5 minutes of fame Rory Stewart, an avid Remainer, in the leadership contest.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


      Or why was the UK so slow in preparing before March?

    • NickC
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, I think you already know the answers to your questions. And if you don’t, we do. The UK should have left in March because the TEU Art50 process is specified as a maximum of two years normally; and that date was repeatedly emphasised by the UK government and PM. The process of novating trade agreements was not complete (after nearly 3 years!) because the UK government and PM had not expedited it, due to their policy of Remain.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        “The process of novating trade agreements was not complete (after nearly 3 years!) because the UK government and PM had not expedited it, due to their policy of Remain.” Thats not entirely true. Canada didn’t novate CETA because they believe they can get what they want from the newly published UK tariffs schedule.

        • NickC
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Almostdead, I said: “The process . . .”, because I was criticising the incomplete process undertaken by the government, not listing each possible trade deal outcome.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the novation of EU trade deals, because in reality they add little economic value to the default scenario of trading on basic WTO terms.

    So it really would not matter very much if we continued to trade with Canada on the basis of the existing WTO treaties rather with a special trade treaty like CETA:

    “… the EU may see increases in real GDP of 0.02–0.03% in the long-term from CETA, whereas Canada may see increases of 0.18–0.36% … ”

    Or like TTIP, referring back to April 2015:

    “I mention this figure of £10 billion because at an election meeting here last week a question was asked about potential risks to the NHS from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, between the EU and the US … and the Conservative candidate, one Theresa May, extolled its virtues and said that it would provide a £10 billion boost to our economy.

    That would, of course, be a one-off rise in GDP, and as that one-off rise of £10 billion or 0.6% would be spread over a number of years it would pale into insignificance compared to the £100 billion or £200 billion added through natural growth.”

    The same is true of the EU Single Market; its economic impact has always been vastly overstated by the eurofederalists, and there are even questions about whether the small overall economic impact – maybe 1% or 2% of GDP – is positive or negative.

    • AlmostDead
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Trade deals add little to the bottom line. Instead the government should cut corporate tax to zero, drop all tariffs to zero and allow trade to be driven by market demand without interference. The Department of International Trade is wasting its time cobbling together “free” trade deals that only provide minimal impact.

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    “I will fix NHS pension cap chaos” says Boris Johnson. Why one earth do we have to wait for Boris? Why does halfwit Hammond not clear up the mess he created now and preferably today. Doubtless people are at risk of dying or suffering form needlessly delayed operations and procedures. Plus it is damaging the economy and the tax take. It is not just in the NHS either. He could also then address his moronic stamp duty rules and idiotic landlord and tenant muggings before he departs. He might then be hated slightly less by real Conservatives and people who understand the economic damage he has done with his highest and most idiotic taxes for 50 years.

  30. Eh?
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    “BBC Online HPV vaccine for boys ‘will prevent thousands of cancers’
    …Boys aged 12 and 13 will be offered the vaccine in secondary schools from the start of the next school term – in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.”
    The NHS has such a sterling historical and current ongoing skill, nay art, in injecting fluids into people hasn’t it, which is said to be for their benefit only to cry ‘whoops’ that was ‘bad science’.’Ever so sorry, no one is to blame.’
    Luckily senior male citizens will still have it him to provide for a natural sci-fi disaster that in ten years, twenty, thirty years hence will balance out the entire male population under the age of 25, 35 and 45 rendered sterile
    Monopolies and other evil ideologies are never a good idea. They internally self-justify their own decisions, police their own research and applications.They look to the general: General Ludd.

    • hefner
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Just what this blog needs: an anti-vaxxer. Welcome to the club.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I watched yesterday’s Commons debate on the Northern Ireland situation with mounting anger and contempt directed not only against some of the MPs in the chamber but against the liar, cheat, hypocrite and traitor in No 10 Downing Street who has deliberately allowed this to fester to serve her vile strategy of slow motion surrender to the EU.

    And I recalled her willingness to allow Sinn Fein to keep us in the EU forever:

    “JoolsB, did you notice how she argued in Parliament, here:

    that we could not leave the EU without a deal because at present one part of the UK has no devolved government to make the necessary preparations?

    “… I am conscious of my duties as Prime Minister to all parts of our United Kingdom and of the damage to that Union that leaving without a deal could do when one part of it is without devolved government and unable, therefore, to prepare properly … ”

    No, she didn’t mean England.”

    As rose added to that, back in March:

    “She means Northern Ireland. She is exploiting that part of our country and its tragedies in the same way that the EU and Southern Ireland are.”

    There were however some excellent contributions from DUP members, including this from their parliamentary leader Nigel Dodds:

    “Somebody has said that this would be a smugglers charter — as if we do not have differential rates of VAT now. We have differential rates of excise duty and different immigration systems. This House may be surprised to know that, believe it or not, the Garda Siochana — the Irish police force — and the PSNI, the Northern Ireland police force, do stop cars and public transport either side of the border and check the occupants’ passports. They do carry out checks on the island of Ireland and have done so for many years. We recently passed laws in relation to countering terrorism that gave them more powers at the border. We have traffic cameras on the border. When travelling from Belfast to Dublin, there are police cameras and security cameras. So the idea that somehow the world is going to end in these circumstances is complete and utter nonsense.”

    All of which seems to have passed by this Irish business lobby group:

    “… the above system would require possible checks on farms and in businesses from officials of the other jurisdiction. Given the sensitivities in border communities, it cannot be assumed that such measures would be welcome.”

    Apparently the UK can comfortably have juxtaposed border controls with France, and we can even have customs officers from other countries – and not just other EU countries – here working with our customs officers on joint investigations and operations, and vice versa – this is from 2006:

    “British customs officers have been working with their German counterparts on the Swiss-German border stopping trucks and scanning 30,000 mobile phones into the Revenue’s Nemesis database.”

    But apparently we could never do anything like that with the Irish Republic in case it gave extreme Irish nationalists an excuse to step up their ongoing terrorist activities.

    • BrianW
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Boo Hoo Denis you’re such a cry baby- where do you get the time for all of this?

      I heard that 1000 German customs officers are going to Ireland to help the Irish with policing the SM- might be something in it? ask Dodds

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink


      • NickC
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        BrianW, Hmmmm, you don’t like the facts being exposed, do you? Then according to you, we should live in ignorance and just do what you Remains tell us. Hahahaha . . . . .

  32. Jiminyjim
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Come on, Andy and Margaret H, you’ve gone very quiet!

    • Fred H
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Jiminy…..maybe they are working on recruiting informers?

      The number of Stasi informers in 1989 had been estimated at 174,000. The complete report, by historian Helmut Mueller-Enberg, is to be published. The Stasi relied heavily on ordinary people to report activity that deviated from the official political ideology in the country.

      Beware using your real name here, they are onto us!

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink


      Andy’s “contribution” was delayed because his mother ordered him to clean his bedroom.

  33. Bill
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    More Remainer ‘Project Fear’ claims shot to pieces. Why do they persist in this farce?
    We have nothing to gain by being a member of the EU but everything to bag, once we leave. Freedom is priceless.

  34. Whichever
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it great to hear all the good news- now we only have to wait until 1st November to see if it all rings through?

  35. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    May’s parting gift to the British people – a diplomatic row with our closest and most trusted ally, the United States of America.

    Surely, when Mr. Darroch wrote about ineptitude and dysfunctionality he was talking about the British Prime Minister and her Government but somehow the transatlantic wires got crossed? What we have witnessed in the last three years of the May administration would confirm this obviously.

  36. BR
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    And we see reports that Ireland have finally published their no-deal plans which admits that a border is needed in terms of checks, but that they will conduct them away from the border.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      That sounds Irish right enough, border checks needed, done away from the border. What they really mean is the the backstop is a con and May fell for it and the EU have made hay out of nonsense.

  37. Andy
    Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Why would drug companies stop selling to us? The only people I have seen suggesting such things are Brexiteers – and it is clear why they are doing it.

    Brexiteers are putting forward all these scare stories so that when they don’t happen they can later claim Brexit has been a success. It won’t be a success, of course. It will just not be as bad as Brexiteers are now briefing that others say it will be.

    I doubt anyone will stop trading with us after Brexit. But the fact is that your Brexit will make trade harder and more bureaucratic. This will make it slower and more expensive for consumers. And this harms our economy.

    It also breaks your promises. In 2016 your promised Brexit would mean less paperwork. We now know beyond doubt that your Brexit will create significantly more paperwork. On that you all lied. Look at the Irish border for example. What we have now seems to work pretty well. But you can only make Brexit work there by spending what will end up being billions on a bunch of pointless unworkable technology which can only possibly have the effect of making trade harder and more expensive. What a completely and utterly pointless waste of time and money.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      You now have a different opinion to most remain project fear advocates andy.
      Most claim trade with the EU will cease.
      Most say recession, no insulin, queues at Dover, cliff edge, catastrophe, disaster, and more.
      Now all you are left predicting is a bit more paperwork.
      It is all done by computers now.
      Have you ever exported or imported anything?
      Obviously not.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink


      WOW Andy does a reverse ferret !

      Ah its the paperwork. Andy my multimillionaire international businessman friend I dont know how you’ve been doing this business ( i know you dont have a business really) There is no paperwork , for many years international trade around the globe has been transacted by computer. You stop filling in a couple of fields and fill in a couple of different ones… thats it .

      By the way your queues at Dover stuff , have you been talking to the Highways Agency? They coned off miles of M20 lanes 3 months ago ( Operation Block) just in case there are queues at Dover after Brexit. Yet they couldn’t give a stuff for the previous 25 years of Operation Stack and did nothing about it. Anyone would think that it was the public sector deliberately trying to make a problem.

      Anyhow just because I’m kind and helpful ( hello Hans have you come to praise my contribution here?) If you are driving to your palace in France dont ever go via Dover . Go on Le Shuttle , there aren’t queues too often unless train breaks as all the berths are pre allocated and youre checked in via ANPR ( thats technology Andy , the kind of stuff we’ve been using for a few years now)

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  • […] What would he know, he’s only an elected MP … ! Do read the whole article, it’s not paywalled. For more on the nitty-gritty described by Mr Heaton-Harris, have a look at what the unsurpassed Sir John Redwood writes in his Diary entry today. […]

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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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