Better off out

I have always believed and argued that we can be better off economically once we leave the EU. As long as we have the right budget and follow pro growth policies on exit, the UK economy can speed up a bit from its current levels.

Whenever I argue this case the Remain establishment point to past official forecasts saying we will grow more slowly when we leave and ask who am I to gainsay such work. Let me remind you that I have disagreed with official forecasts on three main occasions in the past, and in each case have been right.

The first was the UK joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The official forecasts said it would deliver lower inflation and steady growth. They dared call it a “golden scenario”! I said it would be destabilising, causing boom and bust.  So it proved, bringing about a nasty recession.

The second was the banking crash. I with many others including the Opposition parties in Parliament warned against the excessive debts built up in both the private and public sectors in the UK under Labour from 2005-7. I went on to warn against the actions of government and Central Bank to tighten conditions too drastically in 2008-9 which were bound to undermine the banks and cause a recession. The official forecasts denied there would be a recession until its onset and said the banks had to be taught a lesson. We ended up with a big recession.

The third was during the UK referendum when the government  issued official short term forecasts for the impact of a vote to leave. These said that in the two years after a Leave vote there would be a recession.unemployment would go up sharply and house prices would tumble. I said none of these things would happen. None of them did happen. Employment continued to grow, house prices showed small gains and the economy continued to grow.

Tomorrow I will examine why and how I think we can speed up our growth a bit once we leave the EU. We will have the policy flexibility to promote growth by monetary and fiscal action.

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121 Comments

  1. Ahhh!
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    “The Ministry of Finance (Estonia)is considering lowering the excise duty on diesel fuel, citing the results of a survey carried out among road transport companies according to which a lower duty would help improve carriers’ competitive ability.”

    Foot on our accelerator for the green agenda in the UK!!!!

    There are others gong to do the same to us too by the looks of it
    https://news.err.ee/1006793/finance-ministry-considering-lower-duty-on-diesel

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I have said here that the rush to ban fossil fuel cars, and cars only, is to reduce competition for said fuel and lower the price for big business. I based that view on the fact that governments want to ban fossil powered cars and not commercial vehicles which I found odd.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      There will not be scope here for that, I doubt.

      John suggests that the global credit crisis was somehow the fault of the UK’s Labour government, when he knows fully that it was caused by the export of the contingent negative equity of the US’s poor.

      The detonation was Bush’s reversal of his decision to grant amnesty to clandestine immigrants, which burst the previous housing bubble, and devalued all those exported mortgages at a stroke.

      Reply The debts and financial instruments which went wrong in UK banks had nothing to do with the USA and were regulated here.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Thank you John.

        At the time, loss of confidence in banks generally was because no one knew the extent of their exposure to these mortgages.

        And confidence is everything.

      • NickC
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You’ve left out the effect of the CRA, thereby showing you know nothing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Hopefully, post the election the Conservatives will drop all the very expensive and misguided green crap agenda!

    • nshgp
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Greeta is great. We should follow her example.

      So all BBC employee’s, as a condition of their employment, and all XR protesters, Green MPs etc. should be added to the no fly list. It’s cheap, it’s what they want. Ideally when they are overseas.

      We can experiment on them first, just to see how it works out.

      Lots of other experiments available too

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Make them all sale across the atlantic in yachts too (and Emma Thompson) but without having a crew flown out for them. That green Brighton MP should do it too when she visits her son perhaps. So what if it takes a couple of weeks each way and the racing Yacht uses masses of energy to manufacture and maintain as does the crew.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Or sail perhaps.

    • Christine
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      They want a level playing field – then we should introduce a foreign vehicle road tax in GB like Switzerland has. Why should Irish trucks use our roads for free? They pay nothing for their pollution and road wear and tear. Trucks from the European mainland undercut our drivers. I get sick of our Government always targeting British motorists whilst giving foreign vehicles a free ride.

  2. Oh dear
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    “Child Poverty will surge to a 60 year high under Tories” –an influential think tank

    We can’t have a sensible discussion on anything in the UK

    We have “experts” in many fields who are absolutely bonkers. One the other day who predicted just a few months ago we would be in a 1930s economy soon. They interview and interview her and no-one on the media seems to think someone should look after her, make sure she gets home and can access her flat or house and know how to switch the central heating on.

    • APL
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Oh dear: “We have “experts” in many fields who are absolutely bonkers. ”

      Like every socialist operation the BBC has taken a word and completely inverted its meaning, thus ‘expert’ now means nothing more than ignorant partisan advocate for this or that cause.

      Ten years and the Tory party has done nothing about the BBC.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 27, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        They are not “conservatives” anymore as their actions have shown repeatedly over many years. Please how many examples of Soubery, Grieve , Rudd, Cameron, Osborne, Morgan etc etc do you need! They are Liberals!

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      They should name these ‘experts’ and the field(s) in which said ‘experts’ are in.

      • Al
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        And, of course, who is paying said experts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      The relative definition of poverty (as a percentage of median income) is clearly an absurd measure, invented for political reasons – so that the numbers in “poverty” can never be dealt with or eliminated. We should only concern ourselves with absolute poverty. Have they a roof over their heads and can they afford to eat, shoes/some clothes and get to and from school. They get free health care and schooling anyway.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        I was one of four children with a father earning probably not much more than an average wage. Thinking back we were probably worse off then than the currently defined poverty level by some margin. No central heating until I was about 12 and then only installed downstairs. No phone or TV at one stage. Did not go overseas until I was 16. Never bothered me or my siblings in the slightest.

        • Oh dear
          Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I myself had much the same life that you describe Lifelogic

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          I had a similar upbringing. First holiday to Cornwall travelling from Sussex. My father bought an ex army fly tent. We travelled in a Reliant Robin and my father put in bench seats for us four children. I was 7 and the youngest was only 6 months and in nappies. No tumble dryers etc. It was a treat to have an icecream once a week. It was a treat to have an apple. My parents didn’t have a telephone until I was 17. I can only remember them going out once in the evening without us. We had a paraffin heater in the bathroom, a coal fire in the lounge and a coke fuelled boiler in the kitchen for hot water. No central heating ever. My mother didn’t have a new coat for over 9 years. Times were hard but the rent was always paid and food was always on the table. Treats were last of all and a holiday abroad was out of the question. My parent died having never been abroad. When I read about poverty today I have to laugh.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted November 27, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          18th C Oxford college rooms had a single 2 bar electric fire to heat them in the late seventies. What would these students say today?

      • Fred H
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        LL – – thats a pretty unsympathetic view of the plight of many (hundreds of) thousands of children (and parents) in this country.
        Can I point you to an article in Sunday Times Magazine, this last week, seeking understanding, and hopefully donation to deprived areas of Britain this Christmas?
        If you can read it and not be moved you are a thick-skinned hard person.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Oh dear

      “We can’t have a sensible discussion on anything in the UK”

      That is so true! We are infested with too much left wing socialists type think…

      AND what’s worse – the Tories pass all the odd things into law!

      When you see what is being passed into legislation with regards to minority influence on the mainstream populace (transgender) into schools etc, global warming taxes …

      We really do need to drain the swamp and have some balanced conversations!

      And JR must feel like the man who said the earth is round, while Nigel Farage says the EU is authoritarian – both are outnumbered by the naysayers.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Because of the numerically illiterate way child poverty is measured if you expelled the top 10% earners from the country overnight and did nothing else child poverty would substantially fall the next day. So, that’s one Corbyn policy that would work.

      • agricola
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Never mind 10%, as 5% of top earners pay 50% plus of the income tax take, logically 10% pay even more of it. For the sake of arguement lets put it at 75% of the income tax take. Then as emmigrants they would not be paying the exchequer VAT, IHT, or Stamp Duty. I would suggest you wait until your magic money trees are mature and baring fruit before spouting nonesense.

    • Christine
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      This Think Tank can’t possibly have lived in the UK 60 years ago if they think people are worse off now. We’ve become one of the fattest populations in the world. I’d like to see a study showing the reasons people are using food banks. Have they lost their benefits due to sanctions? Are they spending money on other non-essential things? If there are genuine reasons people need more help then we should look to change the system but if it’s to pay for Sky TV or foreign holidays then these luxuries must be worked for.

      • Al
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, thanks to the problems with the way Universal Credit has been implemented, those I know using foodbanks here tend to be the lower-income self-employed tiding over a bad month (e.g. summer seasonal workers and farm workers).

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      which ‘influential’ think tank? surely it should say ‘left-wing’ think tank. of course child poverty isn’t at a 60-year high. results like these are a result of ‘poverty’ being defined as falling below [60]% of average earnings. I suppose in the Swiss canton of Zug anyone with less than c. CHF 1m pa is in ‘poverty’.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Agree richard1. I was reading an article the other day where the mother was saying they were poor and she had to use food banks. To put it bluntly and factually she was enormous.. The food banks must be giving out vast quantities of food.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        It was the ‘Resolution Foundation’. In my opinion all ‘Think Tanks’ should be abolished. They are highly paid, and just used to stir up trouble and dissent among the population.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I’m wondering if “Child” Poverty includes those 6ft tall, fully bearded “12” yr olds that came from Calais and were put into our schools with GENUINE 12 yr olds.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to bang on again about Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals …but take a peek.
      The Left has chillingly followed the rules to the letter.
      The one in question here is probably number 4
      “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Oh and the Tories fall for it every time.
        We can all go hang as long as they can appease the left.

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Tomorrow you need to at least pass comment in passing on the WA clauses which could or will prohibit that growth. Otherwise of you’re making the assumption we’ll be free of any restrictions, explain how the level playing field and tac harmonisation provisions might be circumvented.
    Thanks.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Yes, that would be interesting. I trust such an explanation will not rely on what is in the PD, which of course isn’t legally binding, in contrast to the WA which very much is. And I’m also assuming that there isn’t a reliance on leaving without a trade agreement in just over a year’s time; even if BJ fancied it (which I don’t believe for a moment), you can guarantee there would be a majority against that NO DEAL!!! scenario in the Commons. As always, our relationship with the EU determines what is possible in our donestic politics.

    • BJC
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      How quickly we forget that by their actions, most parliamentarians are proven committed Remainers and judging by their continued shenanigans, we can expect more of the same in the next Parliament. Consequently, I doubt Sir John would wish to provide them with ammunition at this stage by disclosing how Mr Johnson’s dire EU treaty might be circumvented. As this treaty binds us inexorably to the existing treaties and will be interpreted by the ECJ, I doubt there’s much room for manoeuvre, anyway. I’d rather trust Sir John’s “corporate memory” and judgment and Leave under temporary WTO arrangements whilst an FTA is quickly agreed.

  4. Trumpeteer
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Corbyn just puts the word Trump in all his speeches .It is a genuine obsession.

    Trump is having another rally, this time in Sunrise, Broward County,Florida, seating capacity 19,000.I think it is at the BBT&T Center
    UK time midnight tonight. 26th November 2019 Their time 7pm . He tells lots of jokes.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    We need to repeat again the WA is not Brexit.
    It ties us to the EU indefinitely.
    Why do you support it.

    • Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Right, Mr Wragg. If we are not to be politically aligned to the EU (BJ’s ”free trade deal without political alignment”) then why should the signing of a treaty of this complexity be even contemplated? It’s certainly not ALL about trade – any fool can read it and gather there’s something else going on.
      I used to think the point of ”negotiations” and the offer of a bribe of £39 billion was all to do with trade. Silly me.

    • Chris
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, Ian. The answer maybe lies in Party before country for many of those ERG members. I do not include Sir John.

  6. Shirley
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    You have to wonder why ‘experts’ are consistently wrong. Maybe they have an agenda of their own, or have been paid, in one form or another, to produce the desired result rather than a genuine forecast. Climate change is the best example of all, and I suspect this is to force people and their countries to accept worldwide government. Why are so many politicians so accepting of being ruled by the crazy UN, which seems to be acquiring additional power at the same speed as the EU?

    • Chris
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Those questions are extremely significant, Shirley. The climate change “agenda” is, I believe, one very big scam, and I believe that President Trump will be exposing many key wrongdoings of a global political “elite” who have until 2016 held the levers of power. I think many accepted orthodoxies are going to be overturned as the extent to which the populus has apparently been spoonfed propaganda by a “compliant” media over the years will be revealed. The next few years are going to be very interesting indeed as the balance of power shifts back to the people. That is why the powers that be hate and mock populism so. It is a very grave threat to them.

  7. Polly Smith
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    This might be of interest if we were actually planning to leave the EU. But Boris’s deal, exactly like Mrs May’s, locks us long term into regulatory alignment with the EU, subjects us to the jurisdiction of the ECJ and involves paying billions for the priviledge, not to mention inevitably handing over our fish. No one has been clearer on its iniquituies than John Redwood (and Martin Howe). Yet Boris tells us that every single Conservative candidate has pledge to support his “deal” (= surrender). An explanation seems due, Mr Redwood

    • Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      On the website standup4brexit.com (as I said yesterday) Sir John and many other MPs pledged in June 2019:

      ”…. to commit to leaving the EU on 31st October and abandoning Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as dead….”

      Obviously, they were overtaken by events so far as the date was concerned, but it’d be helpful if these MPs (perhaps Sir John himself) would justify supporting BJ’s new ”deal” – which, we all know by now, is a thinly disguised ”Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement” which was not dead at all, but only sleeping.

      And certainly NOT ”abandoned”.

  8. agricola
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    WA2 being a series of clauses restricting what we do and cannot do on leaving the EU will in fact limit our progress. They the EU do not want us as a free radical out there competing with them.

    Should Boris, on getting a majority, fall into the bear trap of WA2 it will be a grave mistake both economically and politically. It will be Scott man hauling and using horses when logic told him at the time to use dogs. For those too young to remember, Admundson got to the pole first and Scott died on the way back.

    A majority should result in dumping WA2 and just leaving on WTO terms offering an FTA and the mutual benefit of Art 24 of GATT. I do not want you or I to be writing in years to come that WA2 was yet another grave mistake of government as was the ERM. I can understand the logic of what Boris is doing to achieve a majority, but once accomplished he should move the goalposts. If not he is in trouble.

    • acorn
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      agricola, I am putting your last paragraph up for LOL of the month among my group of EU number crunchers. I am assuming you are taking the piss

      • NickC
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, Thank you for alerting me to the fact that Agricola’s last paragraph is the most pertinent, prescient, and knowledgeable paragraph in his excellent comment.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        What a incisive and factually based post acorn.
        Remainers of the left displaying their intellectual superiority yet again.
        LOL indeed.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      If BJ moved the goalposts, then democracy would be in trouble*. Politicians saying one thing and doing another is a problem, not a solution.

      * Obviously democracy is already in trouble, to put it mildly.

    • Pominoz
      Posted November 27, 2019 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      agricola,

      I have been asserting the sentiments of your last paragraph for the past couple of weeks. Boris cannot show his true hand until after he gains his majority. Then he really must tell the EU to get stuffed and leave on WTO terms, gaining the whip-hand in future negotiations.

      I see that Barnier is insisting that the UK will have to accept free movement of people if an FTA is wanted. What utter tosh. Also he is saying it will be so much easier to agree a deal with Labour, the LibDems and SNP – probably because they would roll over and accept servitude.

      Surely this is Barnier trying to influence the forthcoming election. He should butt out.

  9. margaret
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    These experiences of being downed when I felt strongly that I was right against many others who took different views have also been my lot.I said the NHS would become more and more difficult to manage without a progressive hierarchical structure of British people who knew the system and kept the NHS national . This has happened .

    Unfortunately in my private and professional life which I will not elucidate ,I can many times say ‘I told you so’ and to the detriment of both others and myself .When others venture down the path they have set for themselves only then do they believe that I was right … but they would never admit it …..

    Even though we may be better off, we still have to rely on others who will also play the game with enthusiasm and not put as many spanners in the works to prove you wrong . Ego’s play a great part. Some would rather live in chaos and poverty than admit that they were wrong.

  10. Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Europe will still be there for the rest of this century. It is a vast market and it is on our doorstep.
    Britain has always been a trading nations. It is what we do.
    The problem is that that foreign country – the EU – has a bloc mentality and it is run completely along Soviet lines by an unelected Commission who micromanage it.
    We will have to have some relationship with it.
    The question is this: how can we continue trading with the EU after we have left it? Is anyone considering that (Apart from Sir Ivan Rogers that is.)
    Japan and Korea are both thriving countries economically, but they are not in the CPR.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed you are surely right in all you say here.

    Meanwhile the Conservative Manifesto has two environmental lunacies in it:-
    Reach net zero by 2050 and Ban gas boilers in new homes from next year.
    Both are severely anti-growth policies and idiotic environmentally and economically.

    Corbyn yesterday. “I cannot believe any landlord will object to an annual inspections” of their let homes. Doubtless the landlords will have to pay for these and they can be fined up to £100K if the government inspectors so decide. I cannot imagine any landlord at all would not object greatly to this semi nationalisation of the industry. It would be a very expensive disaster. In some cases you would have tenants deliberately damaging the properties to get at the landlords. This is not at all uncommon.

    So is Corbyn A. Very stupid indeed or B. A blatant liar? The best protection for tenants is plenty of supply so they can move if they do not like their current home. Corbyn’s policy would kill the supply dead.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Given the above foolish environmental promises, the further 3% on stamp duty for some, the cancelled CT tax reduction, the lack of any promises to cut taxation levels from their current absurd level and bonkers complexity, or to have a bonfire of red tape – plus the failure to kick Carney out and lots of other left wing lunacies – then do Boris and Javid actually believe in pro growth policies?

      Hopefully they will win and perhaps we will discover that they actually do. But why on earth did they let the 10 traitors back into the party – some actually standing for re-election?

    • Al
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      **Corbyn yesterday. “I cannot believe any landlord will object to an annual inspections” of their let homes.**

      I suspect many tenants might object to the intrusion, loss of privacy, etc. especially if this comes on top of the letting agents’ checks and anything else the landlord is already performing!

  12. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    We won’t be better off out, it will turn out just about the same. What would make us better off by a country mile would be to slim down the bloated state and reduce the oppressive tax take.
    How about the government promotes workplace private health schemes by actually giving a tax incentive, rather than taxing it as a benefit? It is a benefit – to the country by reducing NHS demands!
    But that would appear to create a two-tier health system, and politics of envy takes precedence. Anything that appears it might undermine the NHS is avoided like the plague.

  13. Dominic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    We need public sector reform (involves conflict) not Keynesian trickery (the civil service method). Act to unleash the potency of the wealth creating sector. Your ideas do not achieve that, they merely maintain the status quo and should Marxist Labour ever gain power you have assisted them by maintaining the infrastructure that would allow them to take full control

    Fiscal and monetary policy is tinkering at the edges. Only real reform to reconstruct the State will undermine the left and stymie their parasitic strategies

    Uber was banned yesterday from London. Why? Labour and the unions working together to damage the interests of the consumer and the private sector. This is a taster of what will happen should these grotesques ever gain real power.

    We are almost back to 1979 in political terms. We need a conviction leader to confront the left and their allies. At present we have a liberal left progressive called Boris Johnson who almost does the left’s job for them. He doesn’t have the belief or courage to confront those who have taken control of our lives.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The Corbyn/Mc Donnall economic policy for the country would clearly not be affordable and a total disaster for the economy – as surely all sensible economists would agree.

    The climate alarmism agenda on the other hand is certainly seen (at the very least) as a severe exaggeration by nearly all sensible & honest scientists (the ones who can speak freely without fear for their research grants or jobs that is). Many sensible scientists see it is a blatant fraud against the tax payer.

    So the BBC reports the former as if it were a viable plan, on a level with the other parties rather more sensible plans. But on the climate they report only the totally misguided, bogus science, alarmist agenda with no sound voice of reason from the climate realists at all. Totally one sided propaganda on this issue from the BBC.

  15. Mark B
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have always believed and argued that we can be better off economically once we leave the EU.

    I did not vote Leave to make myself richer or poorer, I voted Leave because I wanted to live in an independent country, free to make its own laws etc. I said before the Referendum that BREXIT would have an economic impact on me, and so it has. But I would still vote to Leave because I have principles.

    The fact that the Tory negotiated WA and PD does not mean the UK will be free to take a different course in taxation, foreign policy, regulation, law and environment to that of the EU means we have not left. We will still be paying into their budget but, we will not be entitled to any rebate or grants.

    We are a nation of lions led by feeble donkeys.

  16. BCL
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I am fed up with remainers saying that leaving is a leap into the unknown and remaining offers certainty. It doesn’t. The future is uncertain in either case. I think there’s serious risk of the EU collapsing financially and not being part of such a collapse would be very much to our benefit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Far better to be out and not picking up their bills and their absurd red tape.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Heseltine talking complete and utter rubbish on Good Morning Britain – surely we have had more than enough of this misguided man. He has done so much harm to the UK. He is still a member of the party, but is calling for people to vote Libdem to over turn the peoples clear vote to leave with out even asking them.

    If enough people do this it could easily give us Corbyn/SNP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Asked where democracy exists Heseltine says “in Parliament”. So forget the people Parliament knows best people like Ken Clarke and himself who have been consistently wrong on the EU, the ERM, the EURO and very much else all their lives!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Democracy does not really exist at all now in most of the EU countries and Parliament would have soon become an expensive but powerless talking shop had/if we stay in any longer. You could vote for MP and MEP but neither had any real power to do what you wanted anyway. Unelected EU bureaucrats and a few French and German ministers had nearly all the power.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Brexit will lead to a permanent period of decline Heseltine says. It is the EU regions that are in relative economic decline look at the figures. They have been for rather a long time too. That is what big government, over taxation, expensive energy, restrictive employment laws, a misguided single currency and endless misguided red tape does.

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Seems like virtually all government forecasts are wrong, indeed even published results often need a need a large degree of correction after being initially posted.

    Given the above, is there any point in continuing to use the same methods, with the same input criteria ?

  19. nshgp
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The problem is that you have agreed to pay 1,500 bn just for one element of Boris’s deal.
    The right to remain means we cannot apply the no recourse to public funds test that politicians have repeatedly failed to implement.
    Instead you listen to the CBI that says, it’s bad for the economy. In reality that ‘bad for the economy’ means its bad for their business model.
    That model is lost of cheap labour, supressing wages, and forcing other people to fund the incomer’s services so they can profit.
    On the news today, we had Hestletine whinging about how its bad, when he means he loses his subsidies.
    Boris’s deal, advocated by the Tories, is a very bad deal for the public since you are going to force us to fund 30 bn a year in susbsidies for low paid migrants, for the next 50 plus years.

  20. Christine
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    They want a level playing field – then we should introduce a foreign vehicle road tax in GB like Switzerland has. Why should Irish trucks use our roads for free? They pay nothing for their pollution and road wear and tear. Trucks from the European mainland undercut our drivers. I get sick of our Government always targeting British motorists whilst giving foreign vehicles a free ride.

    • Andy
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      We can do that already. Some EU countries do a Czechia for example.

  21. Fred H
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Sir John, You are older, wiser, more experienced than probably all the so-called experts we hear from daily in the media. That in itself doesn’t matter. Media has morphed in to the place idiots ply their trade. Fools hang on to every word and expect it to be and become true – the stuff of cults. What does trouble me is that over the years I fear you are not listened to, nor sought for opinion? This might match the general slide we witness in the party veering away from common sense and prudent policies. It is not too late. Should you lose your seat, or your party fail to win a majority, the time would be right for you to declare your conclusion that the party is now of declining importance. Make a stand – others have, sadly mostly simply anti-Boris. Personalities before party! Your party has slid into weak, subservient groups who seem incapable of arresting the gloom. Stand and be counted.

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    “White Wednesday”
    Thank goodness for it. The roots of our ( almost) liberation.
    And thank goodness for sensible, eurosceptic tories.

  23. Irene
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Putting Brexit aside – if that is possible – , can you find time to write a detailed blog giving your own views on what at the moment is called ‘social care’. What are the problems you see with social care? How would you like to see social care funded? Where do you see the line needing to be drawn between NHS care and social care? Will vulnerable people who need care be ‘better off’ after the GE? Etc etc etc. Your thoughts and opinions and plans on this important matter are what I’m looking for. (If you’ve already covered it somewhere or other, I apologise for my question. Just point me in the right direction.)

  24. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    You write and presumably therefore believe we will leave the EU. But when and how? Does Boris’ ‘deal’ get us out free and clear which will enable us to run our own affairs as we think fit? The truth seems to be that it does not.

    But then we are electioneering aren’t we?

  25. glen cullen
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Last sentence ‘once we leave the EU’

    I’d like to know the actually date that we are free of the ECJ, free to stop free movement of people, free to act on our own trade deals, free to control our own waters, free to set our own tax policy…..and free of sending money to the EU ?

    Dec 2020 ? 2 years ? 5 years ? 10 years ?

    • Andy
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      The brilliant thing is on the day all those things happen you will notice precisely no difference. None. Nada. Nil.

      What will happen is that our country will just get slowly and progressively worse.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        We’ve succeeded as a nation for quite a few centuries.
        We’ve only been in the EU for a few decades.
        You have little faith in the excellence ambition and drive of the people in the UK.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        or maybe better

      • NickC
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So you think. However since you don’t provide evidence, or rational argument, but only Remain bellows and bile, we don’t believe you.

  26. Edwardm
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It’s more than annoying having one’s arguments dismissed by the other side who mix up what they wish for with the way the world actually works.
    I find it concerning that there is a large body of people who wish to create and keeping using wrong and discredited forecasts to argue their case, and refuse to acknowledge right on the other side. One wonders whether these people can ever make good business decisions.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    To repeat the same old story yet again – how many times does this have to be said, and proved? – for the UK the overall economic impact of our EU membership has never been more than marginal, but more likely marginally negative than marginally positive. That is why neither our original accession to the EEC in 1973, nor the later creation of the EU Single Market in 1993, had any significant effect on the long term chart of our economic growth, and nor indeed has the 2016 vote to leave the EU had any significant effect.

    • acorn
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Denis, have you ever had one of those cars where one tyre goes flat much quicker than the other three. You continually have to keep pumping it up with an EU made pump.

      The garage says there is nothing wrong with the EU made tyre, the problem is with the porosity of the UK wheel, and additionally, the poor seal the UK valve has with the UK wheel.

      Take away the EU tyre pump and what are you left with? (BTW. The tyre pumps are majority made in the EU.)

      • NickC
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, What a tortured analogy! Denis Cooper is looking at the figures for the whole UK economy, not part of it. If you think that being a province of a bureaucratically run EU empire makes us prosperous I have a tyre pump to sell you.

        Btw my footpump was made in the UK, and my electric pump was made in China. So you’re wrong on that too.

        • acorn
          Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          Obviously the analogy was a bit too subtle for you.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 27, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        acorn, can you never stick to the point, even if you don’t like it?

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The chances of us truly Leaving the EU are effectively zero. We should have left 31/10/19 employing the tactics the Remain camp used. I am even disappointed with NF, who has deprived me of a vote. Any common sense in our governance has long since departed, the binary choice was Libdem or BP.

  29. Richard1
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    it is remarkable how people who have been proven so wrong so often in the past continue to be treated with reverence and to command the airwaves. one such is the leftwing economist mr blanchflower, who has written with other leftwing economists, a letter in support of Labour’s insane marxist programme for national bankruptcy. we should recall that prof blanchflower forecast 5m unemployed due to the coalition policy of reducing Labour’s deficit. In fact of course we’ve seen record low unemployment and record high employment. and no recession.

    Let us hope these ‘experts’ are similarly wrong on brexit. the onus after the election on the new Tory Govt , if we get it, to prove them so will be a positive force.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    “These said that in the two years after a Leave vote there would be a recession.”

    That was assuming that we’d have left the EU which we haven’t, getting on for four years later.

    Reply Not true . It was the forecast of the impact of a No vote. Everyone knew it would take at least 2 years before we were out.

  31. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Well we have not had the right budget as far back as I can remember – certainly not from Chancellors Major, Clarke, Brown, Darling, Osborne or Hammond they have all been inept tax borrow and piss down the drain chancellors. With red tape, expensive energy, restrictive planning rules, daft employment laws, endlessly increased tax complexity, silly tax gimmicks all piled on top. This to suffocate the productive.

    The increasing litigation culture yet another burdon.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Also the lack of any competitive banking circa 0.5% if you lend to them and about ten to fifty+ times this if you want to borrow it from them. Get some real competition going and stop tying them up in misdirected red tape too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Burden

  32. bill brown
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    We are so dependent on the rest of the World that it will be interesting to hear what you are proposing to increase our growth , in a world that is significantly slowing down.

    I believe you predictions of faster growth are as unsure of the forecasts that you have been criticising for being too pessimistic in the past.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Are we really dependent on the rest of the world?
      The majority of our GDP is created inside our national boundaries.

      • bill brown
        Posted November 27, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        the majority of our exports are services and they are often dependent on growth in the World

        • Edward2
          Posted November 27, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          That applies to every nation on the planet.
          Growth levels affect levels of trade generally.

        • NickC
          Posted November 27, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Bill Brown, False. The majority of UK exports are in GOODS. Figures from the Pink Book 2019 (2018 data):
          Total Goods exports = £344.8bn
          Total Services exports = £297.4bn

  33. Dominic
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    3.5 million (yes, million) people have registered to vote since this GE was called. What we are seeing is a scam of unbelievable proportions being organised and conducted by a party that’s become a stain on our nation and our democracy

    Either the Tories do something about this or we will end up with a Marxist government

    • Norman
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the BBC News on-line, as I do, you will see that they are actively encouraging the young to register, and as its all within the context of their lefty agenda on all fronts, its pretty obvious what the aim is.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:06 am | Permalink

        The last thing you right-wing retirees want is a high turnout among the young. Even when it’s they who have the most to win or lose from this election. The first question they’ll ask themselves is – ‘what have the Tories done for us?’ And that’s something you people should be worried about.

        Reply The question they are more likely to ask is what will the different parties do for them next? The Conservative offers include fuller employment, more chance of a better paid job, keeping more of the money you earn, more help with buying your first home. Labour and their possible allies amongst the other parties offer the terrifying prospect of a big build of debt to be followed by higher taxes and rising unemployment, as they have done in power before (2008-2010, 1974-1979,1968-70).

  34. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Brexit gives you the freedom to promote growth, but you have to be willing to use that freedom!

    So far, possibly to appeal the the “middle ground” (who apparently want to punish anyone richer than them) or to the EU apparatus (with whom we still have to negotiate a free trade agreement), I have yet to see any substantial Conservative policies to get the state out of our way so that we can innovate, grow the spirit of enterprise and profit from our endeavours.

  35. kzb
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Could you give us your opinions on freeports tomorrow?

    There is some debate going on about whether the EU actually inhibited us from continuing with these or not. Remainers say that we didn’t renew the legislation in 2012 because the Treasury said all they do is divert jobs from one place to another, with no overall benefit to the UK.

    However the EU does seem very negative about them. What is your experience of the EU influence on this issue? Thanks.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    There is no way of knowing whether we would be better off economically if we leave or remain in the EU.

    But at least if we leave we retain the ability to elect and remove those who decide our taxation, spending, fiscal, employment, immigration and trade policies.

    If we remain in the EU we lose all influence over these matters plus in addition over all other major policy issues such as environment, foreign, military, energy, fishing and immigration etc..

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Exactly !

      The Europhiles have constantly over many decades sought to keep debate about the EEC/EC/EU over economics, it isn’t about economics, it is about governance.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Somewhat off topic, here is the Irish Times view on the UK election manifestos:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/irish-times-view-on-british-election-manifestos-1.4094342

    and as far as the Tory manifesto is concerned they still cannot grasp that Ireland and the EU have a legitimate interest in the standards of the goods which they import from the UK but once we have left the EU and its Single Market they have no legitimate interest in what is permitted to circulate within the UK, any more than they should seek to control what may circulate in any other “third country” such as the USA.

    Hence:

    “The UK must decide what kind of future relationship it wants with the EU. It can remain aligned to the EU, following most of the rules and regulations set in Brussels – the direction in which Labour wants to head. This would allow its businesses to retain relatively free access to EU markets but would scupper plans to do wide-ranging trade deals with third countries and limit freedom to set its own rules in other areas. Or it can, as the Conservatives say they want, diverge from EU rules – and accept that this will lead to greater trade barriers with the EU.”

    It has to be said that this lack of understanding on their part is similar to that of most UK politicians, who are incapable of thinking outside the “Single Market” box.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      If you sell into any country you have to comply with its rules. This applies to the UK selling into the EU and vice versa. So long as the seller complies there is no problem. The problem with complying with ALL EU legislation is that applies whether or not you sell to the EU or not. We also have very little input over how these rules are made.

    • steve
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Dennis Cooper

      “The UK must decide what kind of future relationship it wants with the EU.”

      Well I’ve made my decision. I don’t want any relationship whatsoever with the ungrateful bstds.

      Kick france, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, and Luxembourg out and I might reconsider.

  38. formula57
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    “As long as we have the right budget and follow pro growth policies on exit…” – indeed so. And we will get those when? After a billboard campaign displaying the message “What price Redwood?” or will the new government not need that encouragement?

  39. Richard Evans
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the heading and there are so many reasons to prove it. The corrupt EU is disintegrating before our eyes and still people want to remain as part of it.

    There are so many comments on the JR site from readers who make reference to Daily “News” of an article here and article there, a comment from an expert, I heard on the BBC this morning………
    Remember people – The NEWS is what a certain group of people want YOU to KNOW.
    Research into WHO OWNS the Media. How many platforms are Pro EU and push the narrative. How many platforms are Pro BREXIT.
    Do you really think Boris is going to give us a TOTALLY clean exit and freedom from the EU? Think again.

  40. NickC
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Without freedom there can be no prosperity. With freedom there can be no guarantee of prosperity.

    • Andy
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Good job you live in a free country then.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        We will do soon.

      • NickC
        Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Do you never learn? Declaration 17 (Lisbon) states that EU law has primacy over UK law. So we do not live in a free country – we are merely a vassal of your bureaucratic EU empire.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      You’ve hit the nail on its head

      For the past 3.5yrs its all been about FREEDOM

  41. outsider
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Monetary and fiscal policies (interest rates, deficits or surpluses) are vital tools for offsetting economic fluctuations, curbing booms and reflating out of a recession. But they are pretty irrelevant for economic growth.
    Currently we have about the lowest unemployment rate for more than half a century, although real wage growth is being held back by mass immigration. We are running an overall trade deficit of 4.5 to 5 per cent of GDP. We already consume far more than we produce and balance of payments deficits have become self-feeding. Short-term interest rates are still low in historic terms and negative in real terms.
    Monetary and fiscal policies are clearly not the tools needed to take advantage of the opportunities opened by Brexit to raise growth in output per head, though changes to the structure of the tax and financial systems do have a part to play.

  42. George Brooks
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Of course we will be very much better off when we are clear of the EU and our rate of growth will accelerate.

    You don’t need an army of civil servants led by a group of ‘pontificating MPs supposedly agreeing a ”Trade agreement” you make what the customer wants and sell it to him. You don’t have to be aligned to their rules you just comply with that country’s requirements. The EU calls them directorates but it does not mean that all you products have to be made to the same pattern.

    All the fear, doom and gloom is peddled by those with little or no commercial experience. They are mainly those MPs who chose politics as an occupation and think they have read enough books to know how to run the country. It is a bit like Unilever asking staff members of the post department to run the group

  43. Billy Elliott
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Once we leave EU. Based on what I have seen so far it will take a long time. And even then it might be some sort light version. It may also be that the Brexit saga started by Conservatives will be finished by labour.

    • NickC
      Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Billy E, Yes, we could get a Corbyn (probably McDonnell) lead Labour/SNP/LibDem coalition which would finish off Leave for now. But when things continue as before under your EU, or more likely get worse, do you seriously think the 17.4m will just applaud and move on? And others will join them.

  44. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood refers to issuing warnings about the build up of private debt and state debt in 2005 to 2007. How d debt levels now compare?

    Reply Bank balance sheets are far stronger with cash and reserves more than doubled relative to loans.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 30, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      This achieved largely by hugely over charging their customers with massive margins between interest they pay on deposits virtually nothing) and interest and fees they charge about 10 to 100 times this. Where is the competition authority and some real competition in banking?

      Most people in banking I know seem to think that if Corbyn gets in there will be financial controls preventing money being moved overseas – best get it out now if you can I suppose just in case.

  45. Trumpeteer
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Trump’s rally in Florida today
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMzHSrimbGQ

  46. Simon Coleman
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    More amazing predictions from Prophet Redwoodamus. How do you always get it right? The pre-referendum forecasts assumed that we’d have left well before now. As it is, we’ve been enjoying the continued benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union…so the economy has been stable despite the huge fall in business investment – caused by Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Wrong.
      The predictions of doom by Project Fear 1.0 were about the effects of us daring to vote to leave.
      For immediately after the referendum.
      None of it came true.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:59 am | Permalink

        Inflation jumped and personal debt increased…and business investment has been hit hard for 3 years. All facts.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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