It’s the economy

After the bogus forecasts that the economy would plunge immediately after the referendum vote, with major job losses and house price falls, we are now told from the same sources there will be a Remain bonus if we give up on Brexit! There’s not a hint of apology for the wildly pessimistic and wrong forecasts of the short term after the vote. There is no intellectual curiosity as to why they got it so wrong. There was no post vote recession.

Brexit is an important political change. It is mainly about our democracy and how we chose to govern ourselves. It is not going to have a visible impact on the world economy. Our future economic prospects rest much more on what our economic and monetary policy is from here.

My view is we will be better off out of the EU. That does require the election of a government that handles the economy well and promotes growth sensibly. We need to ease the fiscal squeeze as the government is indicating it will do, and we need to ease the money squeeze as well.

The forecasts that think we will grow less quickly out of the EU have been deliberately misrepresented as meaning there will be a post Brexit fall in the economy. That is not what the long term forecasts say. They think there will be a bit slower growth over a 15 year period because they think trade will be impaired with the EU.  I doubt anyone’s ability to predict accurately how big the UK economy will be in 15 years time. The things you need to guess to put into the models will be mainly about technology, future government policies, future interest rates , tax rates  and the like. The state of EU trade would not be the main variable affecting the outcome. That trade anyway can be conducted successfully under WTO rules with or without a Free Trade Agreement. With the right policies in fifteen years time we will have shown faster growth than if we had stayed in.



  1. Pominoz
    November 6, 2019

    Sir John,

    I have just watched, on Aussie TV, last nights BBC News giving air to Jo Swinson’s claim about a £50 billion ‘Remain dividend’, and adding that the figures are supported by ‘expert’ research. That same ‘expert’ research, now proven inaccurate, detailed in your first paragraph.

    Whilst the BBC is allowed to continue to air all anti-Brexit propaganda without challenge, a ‘proper’ Brexit, and the opportunity to implement sensible economic policy, will remain extremely difficult. The BBC has a legal obligation to be balanced in its views. It has remained unchallenged for far too long. Action is an immediate requirement of the new Parliament.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      November 6, 2019

      Pre-referendum the informed commentators took Cameron at his word.

      That was, that he would activate Article Fifty immediately following any Leave result.

      We have seen the effects of actually doing that on the markets, however, and their response indicates the likely effect of such a precipitous move.

      The forecasts were generally diligent and not bogus.

      Cameron did not do that upon which they were based. That is quite a different matter.

      1. NickC
        November 6, 2019

        Martin, Stop being so worried all the time, and start trusting your fellow countrymen more than politicians like Cameron. We can do it! Unless you can cite the reasons why we cannot be independent (which you’ve failed to do so far), then there is every reason to suppose we can be as successful out of the EU as other anglosphere nations are.

      2. Anonymous
        November 6, 2019

        Even so doom did not happen when Art 50 eventually was activated.

      3. libertarian
        November 6, 2019


        Oh my word

        Remind us what happened when A50 WAS triggered . Good grief , please put away your red tinted glasses and use you thinking matter . Party politics has addled your brain

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          November 7, 2019

          Like toddlers, many europhobes can only deal in absolutes.

          No one said that anything would happen for certain, just that the *probability* of various untoward developments would be *increased*.

          The market responses, e.g. in currencies, demonstrated that they agreed.

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 6, 2019

      Who is going to challenge it? We have had six decades of those who control the Tory party feeding us brazen lies about the effects of the EEC/EC/EU project on the UK economy; even when we had voted to leave the Tory government under Theresa May would not admit that her party had been telling lies all that time, and instead came up with some more dire predictions which the opposition could then keep citing, “on the government’s own figures …”.

      1. Richard
        November 6, 2019
    3. James1
      November 6, 2019

      The Biased Broadcasting Corporation should be turned into a subscription service forthwith. If their output is as good as they think it is they will have nothing to worry about. There is of course every likelihood that they will have a great deal to worry about. Either way we should not be forced to pay for their output or the output of any other broadcaster. We should be free to choose.

      1. John Hatfield
        November 6, 2019

        We’ll need Nigel to do that. The BBC is part of the Establishment, just like the Tory Party.

    4. Fedupsoutherner
      November 6, 2019

      Pominoz That’s what many of us would like to see. We have given up watching all TV debates on the BBC unless its with Andrew Neil and are fed up with so called comedy programmes putting an anti slant on Brexit. And to think, we have to pay for this junk. Yes, it’s about time parliament put the BBC in its place. But then half the MP’s agree with the BBC. They all have the same mindset having been brainwashed at school and in Uni. They are incapable of thinking outside the box.

    5. Prigger
      November 6, 2019

      We have been given new definitions, we have not been given new definitions in writing, of our Law.
      It may not be necessary to put it in writing. Is it?
      Given that ignorance of the law is no excuse so honourably and learnedly enunciated by lawyers, judges, barristers, solicitors and their gang, we are but free spirits without
      tangible existence in so far that our Body is perceived by the judgmental gang.
      We will haunt them soon we hope and drag them to Hell.

    6. Richard
      November 6, 2019

      Objectively, UK GDP growth rates:
      • Before EEC 25 years (1948-1972) : 3.3% ave GDP growth p.a.
      • Before Single Market 25 years (1968-1992) : 2.5% ave GDP growth p.a.
      • Since Single Market 25 years (1993-2017) : 2.2% ave GDP growth p.a. (UK GDP data begins in 1948.)

      EU over-regulation & harmful policies will be big factors in these long-term trends.

      Economic forecasts are very dependent on the underlying assumptions, eg

    7. Graham Wheatley
      November 6, 2019


      Whoever is the new Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, should make it a priority to revoke the Brussels Fraudcasting Corporation’s broadcasting licence.

      Were I to be that person, I would do so in a nano-second.

  2. bill brown
    November 6, 2019

    Sir JR,
    This is as far as I am concerned one of the most politically biased contributions you have written for along time.
    You talk about Remainers now saying that there will be a remain bonus if we give up on Brexit, but you are not giving us any sources. To say there has been no effect is also not factual , we have grown much less tan Germany over the past three to four years, whilst we grew faster before.
    I have no problem with arguments but they have to be sourced or factually based.

    Reply Lib DEm main claim yesterday was the bogus £50bn figure. UK currently growing faster than Germany

    1. Lifelogic
      November 6, 2019

      Currently growing faster than Germany! This despite the incompetence and dithering of the appalling, remainder Theresa May and her tax to death Chancellor Hammond plus the lack of any majority to do anything under Boris. We need a real Brexit and some sensible policies for a change, far less government, far lower simpler taxes, a bonfire of red tape, cheap reliable energy, easy hire and fire.

      Release the economy from suffocating government and the other regulatory parasites and litigation culture and watch it grow.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 6, 2019

        Release many from the £50K+ student debt burden for worthless degrees too by not funding them. And get some real fair competition in banking as well most are taking the mick currently with fees, margins and terms.

      2. margaret howard
        November 7, 2019


        “Currently growing faster than Germany!”

        GDP includes house and land price inflation. Because we have a rapidly growing population and a constrained housing supply the value of housing and land has increased much more in the UK than in the rest of Europe and certainly Germany.

        If you look at traditional measure of economic performance eg balance of payments as a %of GDP we are one of the worst performers in Europe. Last year we were 26th out of 28 ie lower than Greece

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 6, 2019

      If you really want facts, bill brown, there are some in this chart:

      showing that the most recent peak in the growth rate of the UK economy was in 2014, a year before we even had a Tory government capable of passing an Act for an EU referendum, and there is no sign that the pre-existing downwards slope in the growth rate was significantly affected by the referendum vote.

      And we have had continued growth, and nothing like the 4.2% contraction of GDP that we saw in 2009, which is what George Osborne warned would happen.

    3. zorro
      November 6, 2019

      Read Jo Swinson’s lips!


    4. libertarian
      November 6, 2019

      Billy Hans

      Do you NEVER do any research before posting? Do you never follow any of the news and media? The LidDems spent all day yesterday on media promising a bogus ” remain bonus” Good grief do try to keep up

  3. Iain Gill
    November 6, 2019

    No it’s not just the economy, other things are equally important to the voters, although we have a political and jouralistic class that will never admit it. Chief among these is levels of immigration, allowing native workers to be massively undercut and displaced, changing communities radically and quickly, active discrimination against white working class Brits.

    1. Marra
      November 6, 2019

      I went to Nigel’s election rally in Workington this morning. Despite it being called at short notice the room was full. Unfortunately for the Tories, despite what the MSM would like you to believe, the lumpen proletariat of West Cumbria are not flocking to Boris. The only middle class people there were from the media and a small group of remainers from more well heeled towns like Keswick and Cockermouth. Stand firm

      1. tim
        November 6, 2019

        Marra- too right- I could not even get in to see Nigel at ASHFIELD, sold out immediately. Walking around town I could hear people talk “there is no democracy, we need Nigel Farage”. Tories should step down here and allow Brexit party to destroy Labour!

        1. Marra
          November 6, 2019

          Bad news for both Lab and Con was the number of C1 and C2 voters there, even worse for Comrade Corbyn was the number of DE, who typically are supposed to be the least politically engaged. As Mrs May will tell you, do not believe the opinion polls

        2. Anonymous
          November 6, 2019

          Ditto. I think the right wing press are thinking wishfully and trying to influence us.

          “We ask our readers to hold their noses and vote Tory.”

          Not again, surely ???

      2. Peter
        November 6, 2019

        Thanks for the updates.

        I did see photos of Farage boxing in full country squire clothing – yellow corduroys and tweeds. I don’t think he bothers with image consultants or the identikit politician look.

        I did once see him at the big rally in Parliament Square. Kate Hoey and Mr. Francois also spoke.

        It’s early days. We’ll see how things develop.

  4. Shirley
    November 6, 2019

    It wasn’t the economy that drove the vote to Leave. It was sovereignty and self government. If the government is unable or unwilling to successfully govern a sovereign nation we can replace them.

    I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that Boris will keep us under EU control. All the signs are there, or should I say all the signs that he intends to make the UK a fully sovereign self governing nation are NOT there.

    There are too many unanswered questions as to why has has done some things, and not others. The fatal blow is taking no deal off the table. That gives the EU total control to dictate terms. His intentions are perfectly clear, despite all his fake promises and lies, which has become the norm in Parliament today. The deceit may be acceptable to those sitting in Parliament, but it will never be acceptable to the people of the UK.

    One day … I hope … we will have a truly democratic government. That day will never happen while LibLabCon dominate the political agenda.

    1. Mike Stallard
      November 6, 2019

      So who do you trust?
      Boris is certainly not perfect. But you only have to spend one minute on Labour List to see the vast differences between Labour and Conservative.
      By dismissing Boris, you really are throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    2. Turboterrier
      November 6, 2019


      I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that Boris will keep us under EU control.
      The fatal blow is taking no deal off the table. That gives the EU total control to dictate terms. His intentions are perfectly clear, despite all his fake promises and lies, which has become the norm in Parliament today.

      You have the same mindset of thousands if not more. We are being sold a pig in a poke. If things carry on Farage will be vindicated , but then it will be far too late to save this country

    3. glen cullen
      November 6, 2019

      ”One day … I hope … we will have a truly democratic government. That day will never happen while LibLabCon dominate the political agenda.”

      100% agree with the above quote

      However we haven’t had a truly democractic government for the past 3.5yrs as the referendum result still hasn’t been completed……3.5yrs

  5. Ian Wragg
    November 6, 2019

    But we’re not leaving the EU in any sensible measure with the Boris WA. Barnier said yesterday that we would have to accept EU rules on employment, taxation, environmental policy conclude an FTA which would take at least 3years.
    Who are you kidding.

    1. Ian Wragg
      November 6, 2019

      The WA is an association agreement similar to what accession countries sign before joining.
      We are not fooled.

      1. Alan Jutson
        November 6, 2019


        If Boris insists on his deal he will be found wanting of very many votes in the general election.

        Rest assured the W/A will be slowly torn apart over the next 6 weeks of campaigning.
        I will not be voting for anyone who will be supporting it, so I hope JR remains true to form and will vote against it !

      2. Sharon Jagger
        November 6, 2019

        This situation is beginning to look a little bit like 1975 all over again!

        “Membership of the EEC will not affect our sovereignty”

        And now,

        “We will be leaving the EU and taking back control.”

        I agree with Shirley, there are steps that Boris has not taken to ensure we will properly leave. And the transition is going to be a minefield of membership with no say…..and as Ian Wragg rightly says we will be subjected to following the EU on taxation etc.

        That’s taking back control? Really?

        Like increasing numbers of people….I really do not trust Boris or the majority of the Conservative party – at all!

      3. Simeon
        November 6, 2019

        I agree with you and with Shirley above. I have difficult believing that our kind host isn’t also in agreement with us. We await the Conservative party manifesto, not because we expect it to describe good policy on Brexit or indeed anything else, but to see whether our host can subscribe to it.

        For what it’s worth, my guess is that Sir John will be permitted scope to disagree with the Brexit policy, because his presence in the Tory party burnishes their Brexit credentials. As the old expression goes, better to have him in the tent rather than outside it.

        I hope our kind host will permit my speculation on his position, which is no doubt a difficult one. As I have said before, I disagree with Sir John’s continuing loyalty to his party, but I hope I do so respectfully, recognising the possibility that the obvious course is not necessarily the right one.

        1. Fred H
          November 6, 2019

          In order for Sir John to commit to the manifesto he will likely have to abandon some beliefs and preferred policies he wishes. Might be interesting reading and comments.

      4. miami.mode
        November 6, 2019

        Agreed Ian. People are now waking up to the fact that the Withdrawal Agreement ties our hands moving forward and that there is no guarantee that we will agree on a trade deal or not, but nevertheless will always be tied to the conditions of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      5. old salt
        November 6, 2019

        “The WA is an association agreement similar to what accession countries sign before joining.
        We are not fooled.”

        I seem to remember Dan Hannan saying many many years ago on TV we would be offered an Association Agreement.

    2. Ian@Barkham
      November 6, 2019

      Not forgetting any disputes with the EU negotiators can only be through their own political controlled Court the ECJ – so no impartiality is possible

  6. agricola
    November 6, 2019

    If these so called experts are so clever why have they got it so wrong historically. I would maintain that it is because the main purpose of their forcasts has been to get a political result. The greatest threat to the UK economy is not our relationship with the EU but the threat of a marxist labour government in number 10.

    1. formula57
      November 6, 2019

      Agreed. And another great threat comes from quisling never leavers who will manoeuvre to obtain close ties to the Evil Empire, all the better to facilitate their eventual goal of rejoining.

      I think they will fail, not because of lack of success within the U.K, but because the Evil Empire will itself perish in substance if not in form before they can realize their aim.

      1. agricola
        November 6, 2019

        Very true, if the EU continues on it’s present path I think it is a construct of limited life.

  7. Mark B
    November 6, 2019

    Good morning.

    One thing the doom-mongers are silent on, is the number of recessions the UK has been in since joining the EEC/EC/EU. They are also silent on the depression, for that is what it is, that is happening in the EU and that Germany is now entering recession itself. They are also silent on the fact that, countries like Switzerland and Norway are also doing well despite not being in the EU.

    I do however feel that there will be some economic impact but how deep and how long is impossible to guess. Unlike say Poland, the UK is not dependent on the EU financially. We would save / gain money not lose it.

    1. Simeon
      November 6, 2019

      Good morning.

      Careful there. You just said that Norway is not in the EU, which is technically and undoubtedly true. But it is intimately linked to the EU, such that were the UK to adopt Norway’s relationship with the EU, we Leavers would be justifiably outraged. Norway doing relatively well is in spite of, or possibly even because of their relationship with the EU. (Though just because Norway may benefit economically from its arrangement with the EU does not mean that the UK would similarly benefit ftom the same arrangement. The UK and Norway are two very different cases.)

      Switzerland is a different order of case altogether, though it too accepts a degree of EU interference, and is certainly resisting EU attempts to interfere more.

      1. Simeon
        November 6, 2019

        Just noticed from your comment further down that a Norway-style arrangement was your preferred option. I honestly don’t know how realistic something like that would be, though I know enough that it couldn’t be a simple cut and paste job given the great differences between us and Norway. I also believe that something more anbitious would be possible given our greater size and diplomatic presence.

    2. Mr Datum
      November 6, 2019

      Logic is not in them, the Remain particulates.
      So we must speak in short sharp words no frilling.
      Or we cannot be heard

  8. Lorne
    November 6, 2019

    I export fish landed in the UK to the EU. I am interested to hear you say that EU trade “can be conducted successfully under WTO rules with or without a Free Trade Agreement”. Because my highly-paid advisers tell me that under WTO rules I will have to pay high tariffs to the EU and in addition that I will have to wait to have my goods inspected to check compliance with EU health standards. Could you please explain to me why you have a different view of what “WTO rules” means?

    Reply Food is the one area which will be affected by high tariffs. This should create plenty of opportunity to sell more at home which would be protected against EU competition by tariffs

    1. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      Because my highly-paid advisers tell me that under WTO rules I will have to pay high tariffs to the EU . . .

      If I were you my friend I would get new ‘advisors’ as tariffs are paid by the consumer not the seller. Yes it would mean you product will be more expensive in the EU Market but, if there is good demand for a good product people will pay the extra cost. If not, as our kind host says, you will have to look for other markets.

      1. Ben Jones
        November 7, 2019

        Tariffs are paid by the seller

      2. Here and Now
        November 7, 2019

        Mr Redwood, why do you chose to allow posts like this through moderation? You and I know perfectly well that tariffs are paid by the seller (to the taxing government). So why do you allow a total untruth to reach the public domain?

    2. Lorne
      November 6, 2019

      I see! So tariffs are good for trade! That is certainly a novel view. What other types of barrier to trade do you think are good for trade? Genuinely interested

      Reply No, that is not my view. We will have lower tariffs with the rest of the world once out which will be good for overseas trade.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        November 6, 2019

        Reply to reply. Is that with Boris s deal or only if we actually leave. This whole Brexit thing is a farce and only the BP can deliver.

    3. Garland
      November 6, 2019

      So your message to exporters is “never mind the EU market of 400 million, never mind the world market of several billion, you’re better off staying at home and selling to local people”. Is this what is meant by Global Britain?

      Reply NO that is not my message to exporters. Out of the EU we should have more opportunity to export overall, with more FTAs to help a bit.

      1. libertarian
        November 7, 2019


        Only 8% of UK business exports anywhere

        of the 5.8 million UK businesses 99.7% are SME’s

        How you think a hairdressers shop, a plumber, cafe , an estate agent an MOT garage, a cinema, theatre, accountant, restaurant etc etc is going to export I’d be fascinated to know

        Those of US that DO export , do so to markets where its conducive to sell our products and services to buyers. EU and other trade blocks affect price and impose various non tariff regulatory barriers ( see Germany for details ) all that does is make the exporter price accordingly or if not viable choose alternative markets

        When you get a job you may find out some of this stuff

    4. Ian@Barkham
      November 6, 2019


      You don’t say what type of fish you export. I am one of those people that love fresh fish, but I live in Berkshire and here it is a rare commodity. To satisfy the need I have to order by mail order from Newlyn. Which is always fantastic, but a clunky way of doing it.

    5. sm
      November 6, 2019

      Lorne – genuine question: out here in S Africa, the only cold-water fish/shellfish available to purchase comes from Norway; is there anything preventing the export of salmon, trout, cod and shellfish from the UK to The Cape should the EU market be closed?

    6. beresford
      November 6, 2019

      Do your highly-paid advisers understand that it is the consuming country that pays tariffs?

    7. Hope
      November 6, 2019

      For the first time U.K. Is a net importer of fish! 95 percent of cod caught in our waters by foreign boats! Johnson’s servitude plan does not give back our territorial waters in its entirety they are up for discussion in a non discriminatory way, our waters our fish having rules set by the EU after we leave! UK hopes to get a fairer share!

      1. Fred H
        November 6, 2019

        Little HOPE – –
        In the 2016 referendum campaign, the fishing industry became a symbol of the Leave campaign, which claimed it would be a clear beneficiary of its “take back control” message. The EU common fisheries policy was held up as an example of European bureaucrats dictating to the UK fishing industry what it could and could not do in the country’s coastal waters. But marine experts point out that fish do not respect national boundaries, and therefore the industry needs coordinated international management.
        “Species like cod are ‘shared stocks’,” said Phil Taylor of Open Seas, which works on protecting and recovering the marine ecosystem.
        The popular meal was described by Winston Churchill as “the good companions”.
        “After we leave the EU we will have greater control of how fishing takes place at sea. But the buck will then land squarely at the feet of UK and Scottish ministers. We may have greater control, but we will also have greater responsibility and accountability.
        “It will be completely within the gift of our ministers – whether they take a short-term, smash and grab approach to fish stocks or manage these fisheries more fairly to protect the environment and yield the best long-term profit from the system. We require an urgent transition towards more sustainable seafood.”

  9. Dominic
    November 6, 2019

    You are a serious minded politician and most fair-minded people would afford you that description but to underpin an economic argument using a 15 year timescale is bordering on the ludicrous. I suspect you know this also.

    Let me give you a real world example of the naivety of your position. In 2005 all was well with the world economy. In October 2008 the global financial system collapsed and social chaos was averted by massive State intervention by governments across the globe. That happened in the space of three years, yes, three years.

    I won’t refer to oft quoted JM Keynes’s reference to the long term as I have always found Keynes a sop and a gift to the political power and I despise political authority but in this case I shall hold my nose and quote him:

    ”But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again.”

    Words on a webpage are meaningless and anyway to make reference to a FTA with any free nation knowing full well we cannot as we are aligned with the EU is bordering on hyperbole

    1. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      . . . we are aligned with the EU . . .

      Correct. That is what happens when you are members of the Single Market, you become aligned. But what if I was to tell you that many of those rules on the Single Market derived from non-EU bodies and, being members in our own right, such as with the WTO, means we get to make the rules ? This is how Norway and other countries do their business. They set the rules at international level knowing that when it gets down to the EU level they get a second chance via the EEA. This is why people like Mike Stallard and I prefered the Norway style rather than outright Leave. But both he and I accept it is too late for that and now we are faced with something far, far worse.

      1. NickC
        November 6, 2019

        Mark B, WTO “rules” are not EU “rules”. The EU’s rules are dirigiste, and multiplying all the time. The WTO’s rules are a framework (mainly GATT and GATS) which is fixed, where the rules are limited and rarely get changed (even by Norway), and are not “rules” in the same sense as the EU’s rules.

        There is a vast difference between, say, the ISO metric thread form for screws, and the EU Regulation for a knitted wool coated pottery sheep ornament (R1462-2006). Remains deliberately or ignorantly confuse the two types.

        The vast majority of the EEA “rules” are EU rules and not the type of rules which are amendable by Norway at the international level. I doubt that Norway could actually amend many of the international “rules” used by the EU/EEA anyway. So you have been misled.

      2. Fred H
        November 6, 2019

        What exactly has Norway changed in the whole time?

    2. Simeon
      November 6, 2019

      Good points, though I’m sure you’d recognise that in 2005 all only APPEARED to be well with the global economy. Nevertheless, your larger point stands.

      The most salient point is the last you make. It is as clear as day that, whatever they are calling it, or not calling it, the common aim of the EU and BJ is a comprehensive FTA which, as you know (and Trump indicated), necessarily limits our ability to trade with the rest of the world to our advantage. Preserving the status quo as far as possible whilst trying to convince our electorate that Brexit has been delivered, and with it a profound change to our politics (though not our economics!), is the Tory project. At present, if the polls are even remotely accurate, far, far too many people are buying this deception.

    3. Denis Cooper
      November 6, 2019

      Not only does he know it, he actually says it …

  10. Nig l
    November 6, 2019

    Agree totally but the Remainers, especially the Lib Dims and indeed the Brexit Party for the opposite reason are trying to make it a ‘second referendum’ and that will be driving my, and other people’s I know, choice.

    Boris’ deal,is to all intents and purpose, open ended locking us in to forever discussions with zero leverage.

    Put a ‘sunset/no deal’ date in your manifesto and you could be in business.

  11. Alan Jutson
    November 6, 2019

    Surely to get a remain bonus the Eu has to be doing well doesn’t it !

    At the moment we are doing rather better than the EU and the price of membership is due to rise !

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 6, 2019

      Don’t worry Alan they will get any shortfall from the idiots at Westminster using our money. We won’t be allowed to aspire to much if France and Germany get their way. They must wondering why they went to all that expense and trouble with a war when with a few nods here and there they can crush us.

  12. Lifelogic
    November 6, 2019

    Exactly. We will certainly grow more quickly outside the EU “if” we get sensible government that makes use of the new freedom and goes for large tax cuts, tax simplification, red tape cuts, cuts in the size of the state, easy hire and fire, freedom and choice and cheap reliable energy.

    Why on earth does remoaner Hammond (the Chancellor who gave us the highest, most complex and most idiotic taxes for 40 years) want to stay in the Conservative Party? He is a no nation, tax borrow and piss down the drain Libdem – at best. Also someone who voted for the appalling surender bill, which to me was pure treachery against the nation.

    Why on earth has government allowed councils to ban certain vehicles? This is surely something that needs to be controlled at national level not having different policies in each town.

    1. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      I believe your poster Tory Boy has done an Elvis and has left the building. 🙂

      Some people are just so inconsiderate.

  13. Old Albion
    November 6, 2019

    The Lib anti-Democrats carry project fear onward.
    I credit Jo Swinson for her honest stance in saying she would, given the opportunity, stop Brexit. However, as she will discover in December such treachery will be punished at the ballot box.

    1. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      I would like to believe it but, somehow I’d doubt it. Political parties do an awful lot of private polling and I am sure in key areas (University Towns) Remain is still very much a vote winner.

  14. oldtimer
    November 6, 2019

    The assertions about the future economy are indeed based on “guesses” as you say. These guesses or assumptions are meaningless because they are vulnerable to numerous unknowns as anyone who has been responsible for forecasts of much shorter periods of one to three or five years will know. If you apply discounted cash flow guesses to your numbers you will quickly realise it is all pointless anyway beyond some five years out.

  15. ian terry
    November 6, 2019

    Sir John

    They think there will be a bit slower growth over a 15 year period because they think trade will be impaired with the EU. I doubt anyone’s ability to predict accurately how big the UK economy will be in 15 years time.

    That is always on the assumption that the EU will be there in its present format. I think you could get very interesting odds on the EU’s survival. There are still early indicators that all is not well over the channel between some of its members and those hoping to aspire to becoming full members. It is an major accident waiting to happen. The real concern is that the proposed Withdrawal Treaty does not hold the UK financially committed should and when it collapses.

  16. glen cullen
    November 6, 2019

    Talking about the economy the UK is going to be £39bn poorer on the 31st Jan 2020 and people are going to ask why

    1. Slackwater
      November 6, 2019

      Great to see Macron doing that deal for 15 billion with Xi least somebody in government is doing something useful

  17. Kevin
    November 6, 2019

    What about the cost of remaining for three and a half years after we voted to Leave? Based on past posts that you have written, that cost would appear to be over £35 billion. Obviously, this cost continues to rise for each year that we continue to Remain. You have also anticipated that the UK’s financial obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement would be much higher than £39 billion, and you recently informed us that, under Boris’ Deal, the WA remains unchanged. You are right that leaving the EU is mainly about our democracy, but the people voted to cancel our financial commitments to the EU.

  18. George Brooks
    November 6, 2019

    As we head into the pantomime season one has to ask ”is there spell that has been cast over Whitehall”?

    August 2016 Mrs May arrived in No 10 and we would be clear of the EU in a little over two years. By the end of the first quarter of 2017 we had had a court case, a screwed up election and David Davis removed from his task as chief negotiator.

    For the next 16 months we slid down the slippery slope as the PM lost control of parliament and tried to force us to accept her WA. Boris Johnson having been dealt a rotten hand came riding into Downing St promising that we would leave the EU on 31st October.

    Relief all round as we, at last, had someone with a clear plan to ”get Brexit done”. It was not his fault that he did not succeed and he tried hard to clear the decks with an election.

    Then this ‘spell’ starts to take effect and a ‘tweaked WA’ is put forward as THE solution to Brexit, not to be missed. It nearly made it through the House and thank heaven it didn’t.
    Now we are in election mode with last summer’s Brexit saviour telling us his deal is the greatest achievement since sliced bread and will get ‘Brexit done’.

    The spell has been cast yet again. That BJ deal puts us in a far worse place than staying a member of the EU as we currently are and while that threat exists the Conservative party is between a rock and a hard place.

    If it links up with the Brexit party it will lose a lot of remainer votes and if it doesn’t, it will lose a lot of leavers. At the same time one should not ignore a very strong statement from Farage. ”Put country before party.”

    MPs of all persuasions have damaged this country greatly in the last 3 years and have shown time and again that they won’t keep to their word. We need some honesty if democracy is to survive.

    In the commercial world that BJ deal would never get onto the boardroom table. So stop taking the electorate for fools and put forward a workable plan that honours the referendum and gets us clear of the ECJ and the financial constraints of the EU

  19. ian
    November 6, 2019

    What the robber barons want is what the robber barons get, an agreement with the EU to protect their assets in Europe with your money.

  20. Denis Cooper
    November 6, 2019

    But in my view it is not about the economy, it is about our national political destiny.

    Let us recall that it was the Tory party which started on the massive exaggerations about the economic benefits of joining the EEC or Common Market – which oddly enough did not then show up in any significant way on the UK economic growth curve – and then persisted with massive exaggerations about the potential economic benefits of the creation of the EU Single Market – which similarly did not show up on the GDP curve – and told us before the EU referendum that merely voting to leave the EU would have an immediate cataclysmic effect on the economy – which did not happen – and then after those predictions had proved wrong produced and leaked a new edition of the same dire predictions about leaving on WTO terms, or even properly leaving at all …

    As for the so-called “Remain Bonus” promised by the so-called “Liberal Democrats”, yesterday I pointed out that it was of the order of 0.5% of GDP:

    And actually that is also more or less what they are saying:

    “The party said the £50bn figure … is based on the UK economy being 1.9% larger in 2024-25. It reflects the extra tax income over the next five years and is based on a 0.4% average annual boost to GDP if the UK stays in the EU.”

    “BBC Reality Check correspondent Chris Morris said the vast majority of forecasts do expect the economy would be bigger if the UK were to stay in the EU. But he said the size of that “bonus” cannot be predicted with any certainty, and £50bn was not a hugely significant amount in terms of overall government expenditure.”

    And it should also be said that the vast majority of forecasts not only exaggerate the gross economic benefits of EU membership but do not take into account the concomitant costs; and it is not only extreme right-wing economic libertarians who fret about the high costs of regulation within the EU, but the EU Commission itself:

    “In 2004, Peter Mandelson, then European Trade Commissioner, estimated that EU
    directives and regulations cost 4% of EU GDP per annum.”

    “The Mandelson estimate may be compared with another Commission estimate which put just the administrative burden of both EU and member state regulation combined at about 3.7% of GDP for the EU as a whole. Administrative burdens are only a part of the total cost of regulations to business which is much greater. To reconcile the two figures, we need to gross the administrative burdens up to the total cost and add EU member state regulation. Doing that with reasonable estimates puts the Mandelson figure adjusted for EU and national regulation at 6.7% … the EU administrative burdens estimate adjusted to include substantive compliance costs of regulation at 12.3% of EU GDP … “

  21. Chris
    November 6, 2019

    I have just seen this article analysing the Boris deal. Munish Sharma has considerable financial expertise and experience with EU financial structures and operations. He makes it clear in his introduction that he is not a lawyer. He also welcomes feedback. It is obvious though that there are major areas of concern with the Boris deal (I think many of us know that already, but it is good to have further in depth analysis to add to the evidence presented by Benjamin Wrench (Brussels barrister), Bruges Group website, Facts4eu website, Martin Howe. With regards to Howe, although he says he believes the deal was just tolerable he highlights many areas of serious concern, and if Boris wins a majority then there is no longer the excuse that he was under so much pressure from Remainers that he would not be able to get a true Brexit past them.
    Analysis of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration: Is this really leading us to Brexit or just back to a more integrated EU?

    B. Key areas of concern:
    The transition period;
    Recovery of EU investments, particularly from the European Investment Bank
    The UK bill
    Governance and legal issues
    The future relationship/political declaration
    Citizens’ rights and immigration

  22. Gareth Warren
    November 6, 2019

    Surely this remain bonus would rely on the wise governance of Junkers and the rest, wise being a complete guess since no audience was passed…

    Here I would make the most important question as to the remain bonus as “why do they predict sending £20 billion a year to a foreign entity and accepting thousands of regulations each year a benefit – isn’t this socialism?”.

    If they can convince me that more government and less choice is a good thing then my vote will not go to the libdems but labour since if spending more increases prosprity they will surely bring in heaven on earth. Here though I believe if I spend more my bank balance will go down and I will be poorer – a novel economic theory for modern times.

    1. Gareth Warren
      November 6, 2019

      Oops – meant audit rather then audience.

      But I am yet to hear why more government makes me more prosperous from remainers.

  23. Original Richard
    November 6, 2019

    I would rather our economic, trade, taxation, energy, environmental, foreign, military, immigration, policing and infrastructure building policies etc. were decided by people we elect and can remove than by either unelected and un-removable EU bureaucrats or through QMV decisions made by 27 (soon to be 34 or more) EU countries.

  24. Everhopeful
    November 6, 2019

    When he was Foreign Secretary didn’t Boris announce that UK trade with the EU had declined ( rapidly?) over such and such a period?
    How much do we really need the EU?
    We are serious markets for each other yes…but increasingly the EU is only about politics and may be heading for disaster.
    All empires fail eventually.
    We need to be out.

    1. steve
      November 6, 2019


      “How much do we really need the EU?”

      We don’t need it at all. The inverse is true – it needs us.

  25. Christine Marland
    November 6, 2019

    It would be excellent if ERG and you get no deal possibility on Con manifesto this week.

    1. Fred H
      November 6, 2019

      ERG snarling has become a whimpering paper tiger.

  26. Dominic
    November 6, 2019

    ‘across many appalling example it defies reason and belief the Tories’

  27. bigneil(newercomp)
    November 6, 2019

    Where is this Remain “bonus” supposed to be coming from? The first thing the EU would do on us Remaining, would be to hike the daily contribution from the UK.

  28. beresford
    November 6, 2019

    Why is all the discussion about the economy and trade? What about the political project?
    – the EU intends to dissolve entities like England and Scotland into districts of a single state of Europe. Why are Remain politicians allowed to get away with saying that it is ‘in our national interest’ to no longer be a nation?
    – there is apparently a sign above the door of the EU Parliament condemning nationalism. Why are the British nationalist parties (SNP, Plaid, Sinn Fein) never asked how they can endorse this?

    1. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      Even Sinn Fein are on message with the EU. For me that is how rotten politics has become.

    2. Slackwater
      November 6, 2019

      Sinn fein is just a mirror image of Farage and the ERG..’ourselves’ or ourselves alone. Do you not know yet?

  29. BillM
    November 6, 2019

    The problem with being a member of the EU is that we are controlled by their Laws, Rules and Regulations. Many of which do not suit the British business model but we, nevertheless, must suffer them.
    The original concept we voted to stay with in 1975, was the European Economic Community(EEC). We were lied to by the PM at the time who categorically denied that we would lose our National Sovereignty then or in the future.
    Had it remained the ‘EEC’ would have been bad enough because of its declared ‘open season’ in our fishing grounds which destroyed 30,000 jobs in that industry alone. Similarly in agriculture and in manufacturing, jobs have been lost because of our inability to protect our own workers from unfair cheap competition. Brussels sets the rules.
    However, as predicted at the time by both Enoch Powell (Con) AND Tony Benn (Lab) among others, the EEC in 1991, morphed into a full blown Political Organisation we now know as the EU. Since then it has surreptitiously taken more power away from National Governments to provide even more power and control to the unelected EU Commission.
    Statistically, Britain has not gained from EU membership. We are their 2nd largest contributor and their best individual customer carrying an annual trade deficit of some £80 Billions per year. Furthermore, I doubt there are many who know the true cost of the UK belonging to the EU because of the other “Projects” and over the counter payments that run with it.
    SJ has produced data proving that despite paying them around £500 Billions in contributions, the UK has actually lost ground since joining the EEC. For that reason alone it MUST be declared a bad investment and we close it down just as any sensible businessman would do.
    That there are now those who push falsified claims upon us trying to scare us into submission, proves that some within the British community do actually benefit from EU funds.
    Sadly, they are but a very small minority and must be disregarded so that the whole Country can benefit from being free of ALL Brussels Laws and controls and we, the British, can, at last, do our ‘own thing’ again. Make it happen.

    1. old salt
      November 6, 2019

      Excellent article summarizing how we have been led slowly slowly down the EU route to subjugation with the connivance of a majority of MP’s under the influence

      One partial saviour was not joining the Euro but not before the lasting damage caused by the ERM fiasco now some several decades ago.

  30. Elli Ron
    November 6, 2019

    “No-Brexit bonus” is a joke, we will be paying the EU at least 10bn NET per annum, there goes all the “Bonus.
    There will be other costs to remaining, probably some direct taxation by the EU, fishing, more anti-business regulations, there is no end to the EU’s inventiveness.
    I just wander, are there any simple souls out there which would believe this guff.

    1. old salt
      November 6, 2019

      Did I not hear we are losing our rebate thereby upping our contribution considerably or was that fake news?

  31. ian
    November 6, 2019

    There might be quite a few Tory activists in the BP with over 20 standing down before the start of the election but that’s politic for you If the BP can come up with 29 to 30 seats in this election, that will make them kingmaker with the DUP for no-deal Brexit if BJ wants to stay in power.

    1. tim
      November 6, 2019

      Ian -I think more than 100, my friend tried to get a bet on more than 10 BP mps, they will only give him -evens, . a week ago it was 0ne pound to win 66 pounds

  32. Mike Wilson
    November 6, 2019

    Early days but it looks to me as though your lot are misjudging things badly. Maybe it’s because it is all you have thought about for the last 3.5 years but I sense the country is so fed up with Brexit that it is a big mistake to make it the focal point of your campaign. When I hear Boris going on about getting Brexit done’ I think ‘bored to tears, past caring’. When I hear or YB going on about eliminating food banks and homelessness I think ‘too right, matey’.

    Some serious polling has revealed in three seats with a big Leave vote in the referendum, Labour are hanging on to 35% of the intended vote, the Tories have 25% and the Brexit Party has 20%. The Tories and Brexit Party are going to cancel each other out.

    Notwithstanding a Corbvn led government will be a disaster for the country, the Tory Party is facilitating precisely that by regarding Brexit as the main attraction and by not doing a deal with Farage.

    You only have a few short weeks to change tack. If you have the ear of Boris Johnson you should tell him to do a deal with Farage and find something else to talk about and don’t just bash Labour.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 6, 2019

      Mike I couldn’t agree more. Why are we focusing on Brexit when we know it’s not really going to happen?

      1. Fred H
        November 6, 2019

        Fedup – – I for one will NOT give up on it.

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          November 6, 2019

          Boris is not going to really leave and no other party other than the BxP is going to do it. We are not allowed to decide our own destiny. Our politicians won’t let us.

    2. Mark B
      November 6, 2019

      You are making errors everybody else is making. You assume that a vote for the BXP is one less for the Tories. How do you know ? The BXP just like UKIP before it took votes from Labour.

  33. ian
    November 6, 2019

    If the UK stays in the EU past the start of 2021 UK contribution will go up to 1.1 GDP which over 22 billion pounds a year with less money coming back from the EU, the total contribution would be over 15 billion pounds at a rough guess.

  34. tim
    November 6, 2019

    Cant you just ger Boris to read this blog, and learn something, would he understand?

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    November 6, 2019

    The trouble with economists is that they know only how to extrapolate. It is true that our volume of exports to the EU will be protected only by a temporary drop in sterling.

    But capitalism is dynamic and the economists’ analysis ignores the scope for import substitution and seizing new export opportunities. And don’t forget – Rest of World GDP is growing nine times faster than Eurozone GDP.

    1. hefner
      November 6, 2019

      Last available figures for annual GDP are for 2018:
      China 6%
      Indonesia 5.02%
      India 5%
      That’s the three at the top, USA has 2%, the UK 1.3%, the Euro area 1.10% .
      So where does your factor nine come from? And furthermore a growth rate by itself does not say much. If my 2017 trade with Dummyland was £1 and in 2018 is £10, and trades with China, Indonesia, India and the USA kept the same, what would be the growth rate for your RoW GDP?

      Think about it next time a GDP growth rate is brandished by a politician (some of them should know better) without any reference to the actual terms of exchange in $, £ ou €.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        November 7, 2019

        I take your point. High growth in a small economy can be less in absolute terms than low growth in a large economy. But the Rest of World’s economy is greater in aggregate than the EU’s economy, so if the former is growing nine times faster than the latter, that matters.

  36. Derek Henry
    November 6, 2019

    Exactly John,

    Well said.

  37. Denis Cooper
    November 6, 2019

    There’s an interesting article here:

    “Why the Brexit Party maintains that Boris Johnson’s deal is not Brexit”

    This is an election campaign, but in my view there is still far too much hyperbole on both sides of this argument; personally I accept that this would be a kind of Brexit, but a poor Brexit which would need to be corrected in the future rather than a “great” Brexit as Boris Johnson pretends.

    Interestingly this author contends that there is really only one substantive change from Theresa May’s deal, which was already bad – leading some Tory MPs to refuse to vote for it, right to the bitter end – and that one significant change, to the Irish protocol, actually makes this deal even worse than hers:

    “Indeed, Northern Ireland, from at least a regulatory and trading perspective, would be left behind in the EU. The new Northern Ireland protocol would theoretically bring Northern Ireland into the UK’s new customs area but, in all practical aspects, leaves it within the EU’s Customs Union. The net effect would be that Northern Ireland would be subject to swathes of EU laws, including full regulatory alignment and with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as its supreme court. There would be a border down the Irish Sea. This is envisaged to be a permanent arrangement, terminable only by a democratic vote, to be taken at four year intervals in Stormont or by some other method. Whilst this might be democratic, the divisions and acrimony these ongoing votes are likely to cause would be awful for the people of Northern Ireland. The UK would not be leaving the EU whole and intact.”

    1. Grant
      November 6, 2019 seriously don’t think that UK will stay whole and intact for evermore- for sure Scotland will break away and NI will gravitate to the EU- nothing more certain. If middle England is hellbent on dragging the smaller bits out of the EU then there will be consequences. Don’t forget the Scottish people didn’t have a referendum in 1707 and neither did the Irish in 1800 so the whole thing has always been hanging on a thread

      The one out of step in all of this is England and English Nationalism?

      1. Fred H
        November 7, 2019

        Grant – -If the Scots are to vote for Independence, who is to build walls and set up border posts? They will be forced to adopt the Euro while England sticks to the Pound. So we will have trading difficulties and currency conversion to deal with. I foresee a significant drop in trade between the countries. As a result Scotland will lose the tens of thousands on Civil Service jobs, gradually lose shipbuilding and defence work and jobs. A dire outlook for Scotland. Possibly a fresh boost for England free of the Barnett formula bias.

      2. Denis Cooper
        November 7, 2019

        Nothing lasts forever, but I don’t see the imminent breakup of the UK as inevitable and I don’t want it broken up by Boris Johnson.

  38. The Prangwizard
    November 6, 2019

    After sovereignty and self government I would add that self reliance should be the over-riding principle under which as a nation and as individuals we should plan act and behave in the future.

  39. Graham Wheatley
    November 6, 2019

    If we had had a ‘leaver’ (rather than ‘remainer’ May) in charge from the outset, then we would already have left the EU under a majority Conservative Government, and by now be basking in the economic sunshine of WTO.

    The EU would also by now have seen the UK prospering outside, and as a consequence they would have been forced into agreeing a mutually beneficial FTA.

    It may well also have been the case that at least two other states would have held exit referenda and also be on their way out!

    The bonus would have been not having been forced to listen to the continued rantings of Scots Natsi Ian Blackford or Illiberal anti-democrat Jo Swinson (“Whingeing here!”).

  40. Fred H
    November 6, 2019

    off topic.
    BBC news website –
    Former Commons Speaker John Bercow has called Brexit “the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period”. Giving his opinion to the Foreign Press Association in London, he told journalists he no longer had to “remain impartial” after stepping down from the chair after 10 years. Mr Bercow was accused by some Brexit-backing MPs of siding with Remainers during his time as Speaker. But he told the event he believed he was “always fair” to MPs on all sides.

    I may have to visit A&E my sides feel burst open with laughing.

  41. John Hatfield
    November 6, 2019

    Even though the May/Johnson Withdrawal Agreement is not really leaving, the Establishment won’t give up until we are once more fully signed up.

  42. Chris
    November 6, 2019

    An interesting revelation from the EU commission about Boris and his Deal: I think many of us suspected this anyway.

    From Independent today:

    “EU says it did not amend Theresa May’s Brexit deal for Boris Johnson and only ‘clarified’ it. Spokesperson denies withdrawal agreement was reopened.

    Brussels has poured cold water on Boris Johnson’s claim to have negotiated an entirely new Brexit deal with the EU, and insisted that it never reopened the withdrawal agreement for him.

    A spokesperson for the European Commission raised eyebrows on Wednesday by insisting that the EU had merely made “clarifications” to Theresa May’s Brexit deal and that it had not been “amended” in any meaningful way.

    The sensational claim is at odds with Downing Street’s presentation of negotiations: the prime minister hopes to get his agreement through parliament on the basis that it is not the same as his predecessor’s, which was rejected three times by MPs.

    “I’m not aware that we have amended the withdrawal agreement,” a European Commission spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “We have certainly made clarifications, but not amended.”….

  43. steve
    November 6, 2019


    “There’s not a hint of apology for the wildly pessimistic and wrong forecasts of the short term after the vote.”

    I’m not surprised. It seems the norm lately for people to be forced to apologise for no wrong doing, while those who should apologise don’t.

    Everything’s screwed up. I’m seriously beginning to think the country’s finally had it.

    Best advice I can give to anyone is reduce your dependency on credit as much as you can, learn how to mend and make do, perhaps grow your own veggies, break from consumerism, ……and fasten the hatches cos there’s one hell of a storm on the way.

    That’s my policy, and I won’t be voting either, I’ve simply had enough of the way this country has been misgoverned, had enough of the lies and treachery and I don’t want to know anymore, I’m done with it.

  44. Prigger
    November 7, 2019

    I went by Hovercraft to France. I didn’t realise it was only used as a discreet method of wafting French air away from England

    Reply If you keep submitting so many items I will delete all

  45. Ben Jones
    November 7, 2019

    Tariffs are paid by the selker

Comments are closed.