Tax independence

The Conservative Manifesto, echoing Vote Leave, promises to take back control of our money and our laws. Some are writing in to claim we will have to live with tax harmonisation or a level playing field with the EU after we have left thanks to the wIthdrawal Agreement.

I do not see it like that. It is most important we are free to set our own taxes. Today in the EU we have got away with setting a lower Corporation Tax rate than many other states, though there have been adverse judgements on other Corporation tax matters making us do as the ECJ decides. We are free to set our own Income tax rates, but are subject to strict controls on VAT which is partly an EU tax.

The government has made clear it will change the list of items subject to VAT once out. We need to assert our own authority over all taxes. The Bill to implement the Withdrawal Agreement contains a sovereignty clause. Once the Implementation period is over EU tax and other laws will no longer apply unless we choose to enact similar measures.

I do not think we will still have to raise or keep up taxes that we want to lower or abolish once out. Debate on the bill will be an important opportunity to clarify this matter. The likely decision to press on and take VAT off some items will be important proof that we have indeed taken back control of our taxes.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Tax independence is certainly required how, can a country even claim be independent while letting others fix your tax rates? Or indeed control you fishing waters, your product standards, your ability to be competitive, your employment laws, you trade agreements …..

    You say “unless we choose to enact similar measures” the “we” alas being Parliament and the Lords. With MPs who are elected on one basis then often (even usually) do the complete opposite (many of these types will still be there post the election) and the unelected very pro remain Lords. Indeed very many of them appointed for being big government, left wing and very pro EU. From the currently hugely over tax and over regulated position if it very clear what the country and the economy desperately needs. For one perhaps it can be delivered.

    Allister Heath is surely correct today in the Telegraph – it would be a moral abomination for Corbyn’s Labour to win this election.

    An economic and political disaster too for almost everyone in the country.

    • Hope
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Slightly off topic but tangential, Andrew Neil programme points out on TV today net immigration at 212,000! About 50,000 from EU who pay more tax than benefits, immigrants from the rest of the world receive more benefits than pay tax.

      JR, your govt promised to reduce to tens of thousands for years- 3 manifesto pledges which you want/ expect us to believe, according to the figures today the 150,000 from the rest of the world is within your govt ability to control and stop as they are a financial deficit to the UK. Why has the govt stopped this financial haemorrhage and demand on our services which would reduce our tax bill or spend money on our citizens?

      I view the tax issue as what can the govt first stop spending before it asks or spends more. Overseas aid severely cut, Bonfire of quangos, immigration costing the U.K. a fortune as well as putting our services under such severe strain i.e. NHS has worse waiting times in history etc. Your govt needs to explain its deliberate failure and lies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        This “more tax than benefits” is a rather misleading way of looking at it. We have to pay on average far more tax than benefits to cover the costs of government, defence, policing, roads, the criminal justice system, overseas aid, health care schools, roads, social services, the green crap subsidies, the endless government waste …..

        If someone pays “the same tax as they get in benefits” they are paying zero net tax and others are picking up the bill for all the above and more.

        • Hope
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          LL, understood. But I understand this is from the Tory’s own assessment! Why would they allow immigration at a financial detriment and public service detriment against three manifesto pledges to cut to tens of thousands?

          The current lies by them is a point based system when they are able to stop it now to 50,000 per year! On the face of the facts they are being dishonest because last year they could have cut to tens of thousands. they choose not to and lie to the public.

          Are they allowing immigration from the rest of the world via the EU, in Merkels every country sharing invitation? We are not in shengan but Italy and Greece are currently receiving about 1,000 a day at the moment!

  2. Mark B
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We need to assert our own authority over all taxes.

    Should that read; ” . . . shall assert . . . ”

    The Bill to implement the Withdrawal Agreement contains a sovereignty clause.

    Would that be the same type of clause, William Hague espoused about EU Legislation which, proved to be utterly worthless ?

    Once the Implementation period is over EU tax and other laws will no longer apply unless we choose to enact similar measures.

    The Implementation period will be extended again and again. We will be locked tied to the EU period. They will make sure if that. The one thing the EU (Germany and France) do not want is an economic competitor.

    The WA is a trap. It is a trap to destroy BREXIT and keep us as closely aligned to the EU so that we will be able to slip back in at a later date.

    Mark my words.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed, unless the value of other trade deals more than outweighs leaving the EU to WTO status, at which point we declare and end to the implementation period and leave as we should have done 2 years ago.

      • Hope
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        I know it is electioneering time but JR is stretching the imagination with this blog. I really do not understand why he writes taking back control of our money and laws! Vassalage to start with, not taking back anything and having no say whatsoever. Then ECJ applies to any dispute and will apply to EU citizens, and their unborn children, living in this country.

        Name another country where their laws do not apply to immigrants or they are allowed to refer to their own court as a higher court? You cannot even tell us how much the UK will pay the EU to leave or for what period of time. That is not taking back control of our laws and money that is paying a ransom for however long the blackmailer wants. Johnson signed up to this!

        Tell us how much and how long the UK will pay welfare benefits to EU children who have never set foot in this country? Cameron promised to stop it. It continues. Now explain why your govt took away child benefit to U.K. Citizens who have children in this country and who paid tax and NI into the pot!

        Tell us how many and for how long EU citizens family members can come here and be entitled to the same welfare benefits as the “host” nation?

        Will EU students stop having free university tuition in the U.K. and have to start pay tuition fees from 31/01/2020? Or will they continue to get free university tuition at the expense of U.K. Taxpayers when its students get a life time of debt under the Tory govt?

        I am not sure if this blog is,humour, flannel or a fairy story. It certainly is not accurate or representative of the facts.

        • Hope
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          There is No implementation as there is nothing to implement.

          Article 50 required the parties to discuss its future relationship not a non existent WA. The EU constructed a WA. The UK should have walked away unless its future relationship was discussed during this period under the treaty during the last three and half years!

          Or to put it into Johnson’s words more either and delay and he is willing to pay a Kings ransom at our expense to do so.

          • glen cullen
            Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            100% agree and everyone has fell for the WA and further political agreement i.e the new, new as in invented, implementation periond

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I fear you are right.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Good morning,

      All good points. I would like to hear from Sir John his argument as to why the EU are happy for the UK to leave the EU and make a success of Brexit when this would undermine the political project by emboldening other countries to also leave, and hurt them economically by unleashing a competitor that threatens to undermine their protectionist trade bloc.

      Isn’t it a fact that the EU love the WA precisely because it precludes all of the above? And isn’t it a fact that doing any kind of deal with the EU that is to the advantage of the UK BEFORE we leave is impossible because there is no conceivable deal that achieves this without undermining the EU ‘s political project?

      • L Jones
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Simeon – it seems glaringly obvious that any kind of ”deal” that brings a smile to the faces of our ”EU friends” is a deal that is favourable to them, and NOT to us.
        But then, it is suggested that they were the ones who actually wrote the thing, so they would smile, wouldn’t they?

    • margaret
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Of course you are right Mark and this is being deliberately sold so that we are in and out. The fear and manipulation though derives from other than the house and electorate I intuit.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      I agree with you. The implementation period has been dreamed up by an administration frightened of Brussels. Over the past 3 years, they have pursued a path of fear, rather than address the challenges just leaving presents.
      Right now, a Tory Brexit looks worse than Remain. If only the Tories could adopt the Redwood Plan in their manifesto, but it seems clear they are not going to do that.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        ‘ If only the Tories could adopt the Redwood Plan’.
        or better still, a Farage one.

    • Pominoz
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      You could be right. However, you are perhaps a ‘glass half empty’ person. I am probably the opposite and remain hopeful that Boris will, once he has his working majority, deliver the Brexit that ‘real’ leavers believe is the only acceptable version – WTO

      • Thomas
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink


        Johnson had the opportunity to leave on WTO terms on 31st October but chose not to and then deceitfully laid the blame for that on Parliament.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          The Benn Act forced him not to leave on WTO terms conveniently.

          • Thomas
            Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            He could have avoided the Benn Act becoming law by filibustering in the House of Lords or not asking the Queen for Royal Assent but, as I said , it suited him to say Parliament had stopped us leaving.

            Reply Extending the debate did not work owing to the requirements of the Irish legislation that Remain MPs had secured.

        • glen cullen
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          is the Benn act still in force in a new government ?

      • agricola
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        I will be the first to applaud him should it happen.

      • JoolsB
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        I’m with you Mark in that I hope Boris is going to go for WTO once he hopefully gets a majority but can’t say so beforehand for all the scaremongering to alienate the voters that will go on. However he will still be surrounded by many remain Tory MPs who have all agreed to back the WA but not necessarily no deal.

        • Lester Beedell
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


      • Simeon
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        As I have said previously, politicians saying one thing and doing another is a problem, not a solution.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink


        I am only, glass half empty, when it comes to politics, political parties and some politicians. Even our kind host titled one of his books, aim squarely at the aforementioned, “We don’t believe you !”

        In real life I am quite the opposite – believe me !


        • Hope
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          In fairness to Mark JR wrote something like we do not believe you, meaning politicos. That is why I am surprised by so many of his fanciful blogs of late which have no bearing to the story govt record or policies! But for an unknown reason now expects us to believe Johnson who repeatedly lied and failed?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      The premise of the piece is wrong.

      The UK has sovereign control of the vast majority of its law as it is, including that relating to most taxation.

      As for the rest – mainly to secure a level playing field for a single market – what matters is whether it is good law, not whether our fellow Europeans had a hand in its drafting.

      Some of the foundations of our English property law are Roman, for instance.

      The Leave obsessives discuss sovereignty much as Victorian old maids once did chastity.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        So, Martin in Cardiff, if the UK has sovereign control of taxation why are we taxed by the EU for estimated uncollected tax revenues from UK prostitution and drug sales that no tax is collected on. The papers yesterday are now are saying are going up much higher than the £12.27bn that we were told the EU were taxing us on in 2014 – although news services have gone very quiet about this false tax since 2014, how much has it cost us each year since they invented it.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Martin is supporting a party that wish to nationalise swathes of British industry , Martin is also a devout EU follower, the EU forbids nationalisation…. Dont be like Martin

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          No, the European Union does not prevent nationalisation.

          The Italians have a mix of nationalised and privatised rail companies for instance, as do many countries in it.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink


      That is the way I see it as well.

      If we are so sure the EU will let us do all the things Boris and JR suggests then why not simply agree to move on from the WA with the second stage of talks with the caveat agreed and written into the WA, that “UNTIL ALL IS AGREED, NOTHING IS AGREED”

      Surely this is then reasonable for both sides, and talks can continue with good faith on both sides. After all we surely do not want to sign up to the WA and pay huge sums of money, to then find the final details details are a complete stitch up, do we !

      The original schedule of talks we were told at the outset would be based on the the very simple statement, nothing is agreed until all is agreed.

      That very important phrase seems to have conveniently been lost in the desperation of any deal is better than no deal, again a change from the original words of no deal is better than a bad deal.

      • L Jones
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        ”… a change from the original words…” like:
        Four legs good, two legs bad…..
        Four legs good – two legs BETTER!

        And BJ seems to promise leading us to the sunlit uplands, when all the time he’s allowing us to be herded into the EU’s gaping maw.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Mark B, but BJ supporters just blather on as if they can’t see this. The magic mantra ”get Brexit done” seems to have utterly bamboozled far too many of them. Many of us know it, but lack any kind of mechanism to make a difference (as Dominc here below says).
      There won’t even be any satisfaction in the end of saying ”I told you so” because we shall all be sinking together.

    • Nick
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Mark B – please stop telling the truth. It has become painful to read just how mendacious, destructive, duplicitious, arogant and damaging our political class is in their pursuit of a career after office.

      What bothers is that no one apart from the informed fellows – and I do count Sir John here – talks about the trap, the slavery agreement that chains us to the EU – the hated WA is.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Javid says he will “cut taxes in every budget” but will this be the usual a cut here (starting in three years time) and put up taxes trice as much on something else starting yesterday. In the Major, Brown, Darling, Osborne, Hammond way.

    Or will he actually cut the overall tax burden as a % of GDP? It needs to head to about 25% maximum not 45%. It would then of course be a far larger GDP and a larger GDP per cap. Freedom to spend/invest our own money – we do it far, far better than politicians and bureaucrats do as we know what we want and we demand value. The former do neither.

    • agricola
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      At present they speak in bribery mode. I have not heard any of them espouse any sort of overall plan as to where we might be heading. No vision of the extent of government, the cost and therefore the tax take. It is all sticking plasters on sores, or a box of chocolates to ease the pain. We are being played for fools.

      No one politician is honest about climate change. They are so wedded to political correctness they can’t acknowledge the very real problems it is responsible for. All we get is the usual crap mantra that “lessons have been learnt”. No they have not. All we have are a majority of professional and for sale politicians who rarely produce an original thought between them. They merely legitamise their group think.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        It is largely the professional and for sale politicians plus the vested interests lobbying that is pushing all the renewable and biofuel nonsense. Which is clearly economic and environmental nonsense even if you believe in the C02 axaggerated alarmism. This as it saves almost no C02 in world terms anyway. It just exports jobs and industries.

        Like most sensible physicists and scientists not in the alarmist crony industry, I am with Piers Corbyn on this one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          Anyone who thinks they can predict the climate in 100 years is a fool or a liar.

          They cannot even do it for next year. Or for the suns activity next year. If they think it is man made then perhaps they can tell us the world population for the next hundred years and what energy systems they will be using + the suns activity, any volcanic activity with dates, the energy mix in use, when fusion with be cracked …… If they do not know this then how on earth are they coming up with their mad “predictions”? Totally irrational lunacy.

      • miami.mode
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps, agricola, they should pass a law that all manifestos have “caveat emptor” as the signing-off phrase.

    • eeyore
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Every Budget should contain a statement of overall tax as a percentage of GDP. This will show everyone whether the state is growing or shrinking.

      For the same reason every Budget should give the date of Tax Freedom Day. We who pay have a right to know these things, and to know too that government takes them seriously.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Perhaps everything you buy should show what it would have cost without tax. Petrol 30p a litre plus £100 tax. Wage £15 per hour less £7 in tax and NI x2 so just £8 net (less cost of getting) to work too perhaps.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Or even how many minutes you could have earned enough to buy something (with and without tax on median wage). Petrol – circa a minute per litre without taxes and NI and about 10 mins with tax, NI, vat and duty. So 10% for you and 90% for the government to waste.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          100 pence tax I meant not £100!

          • Fred H
            Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            some of us with a grasp of mathematics guessed – – others? well I don’t know.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink


      They will cut taxes here, but fail to mention that :

      a) they will raise more taxes there.

      b) the budget deficit keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    1 No the VAT issue won’t be defining; the EU won’t give a damn about 15% off tampons or cornish pasties.

    2 Corporation tax rates will matter to the EU. The matter clearly won’t be tested at this 19% rate cf Ireland’s 12.5% – 6.25% rates, but at sub-12.5% it would be tested. Stamp duty at lower rates on equity transactions would be likely to be tested. The absence of an FTT would be likely to be tested.

    The WA is irrelevant as it is through an FTA that these measures will be applied- it isn’t talked about yet, let alone signed, so best wait until the fat lady sings to make your bold statements here.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Also, have we really “taken back control” of our borders when we are obliged to set one up in the Irish Sea, in place of the ACTUAL international border in Ireland? Strikes me we’re acting scared of our own shadow. I can’t see the French in the case of a Frexit agreeing to set up a border some way into France from Biarritz because of some Basque flag waving, can you?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I would like to bring your attention to a post I made on this site to Hefner. It has a link, approved by our kind host, to a PDF document from the EU Commissioner and what she intends to do with regards EU Corporate taxes. The future, particularly for high tech’ companies in the Republic of Ireland does not bode well. 😉

    • acorn
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      VAT of 20 percent is applied to less than half of the UK potential consumer spending. The VAT registration level in the UK is miles higher than any other OECD country and can disguise the taxable income of small business. Of the circa £137 billion collected last year £3 billion went to the EU budget. The reduced (tampon) rate yields about £1.6 billion.

      If you want a modern example of a simple but effective tax regime, study Estonia. It has topped the International Tax Competitiveness Index 2019.

      PS. As it reads like JR has accepted the Withdrawal Agreement version May+1; my work here is done.

      Reply I have not changed my views on the WA

  5. GilesB
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Will we be free once we have left, and before the end of the implementation period, to introduce new taxes/fees/charges.

    I am thinking specifically of a charge on foreign lorries using the UK land bridge between Eire and the continent. A vignette, similar to that applied by Austria and Switzerland, at say £100 per axle would seem reasonable given the much longer distances involved

  6. Shirley
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I admire your sincerity and attempts to guide the party in the correct direction. Unfortunately, I think your efforts will be in vain. Promises to the electorate (from all parties) mean nothing. They have got away with their lies and deceit for far too long but the LibLabCon cartel still survives due to FPTP. Promises are just to gain votes, and then be discarded, with maybe one or two promises being carried through to imply they are ‘trying’.

    As a starter … how many times have the Conservatives promised to cut immigration?

    • Fred H
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Shirley ….correct. I also fear Sir John has been swimming against a strong tide.

      • Hope
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Figures out today Shirley net immigration at 212,000 of which 150,000 outside EU and receive more in benefits than pay tax! Against Tory govt promises. This is not an accident or out of their control!

    • SecretPeople
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I don’t even see that the Conservatives are promising much. It is disturbingly unclear how we make the leap from the WA trap to a FTA and so far Boris has avoided scrutiny. Every promised sunlit upland has a dependency on the phrase ‘once we are out’ – but how do we get out (out meaning free of ECJ influence, crippling payments and rule-taking)? Barnier makes clear that we will stuck in purgatory for years to come and no one in Downing Street challenges this.

      Yesterday a constituent of Sir John’s wrote a comment giving testament to what a “superb” MP he is. I would vote for him myself, but living in the North I will be voting for TBP.

      • MickN
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        I would readily and enthusiastically vote for Sir John were I in his constituency. Unfortunately I am in Surrey Heath and I can’t vote for Gove. I will be staying at home on the 12th for the first time in any election since 1974

        • Fred H
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Mick N – – Wot! – no Brexit candidate?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      . . . how many times have the Conservatives promised to cut immigration?

      Not as many times as they promised that we would be Leaving the EU on [insert date here].

    • Chris
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      You are absolutely right, Shirley. I agree Sir John’s sentiments are honourable but I think those of Boris et al are not,as demonstrated by the vassal state WA/PD deal, and the appalling treatment of the DUP. The promises made by Boris are meaningless. They just trip off the tongue. Furthermore, he does not tackle the other issues that really matter to people resulting in more of the same of this awful left of centre PC, globalist (benefiting the large corporate entities, not ordinary people), climate change dominated agenda.

      The sustainability” that the EU is pushing is in line with the UN 2030 agenda, and it is frightening. This is not common sense sustainability but a political agenda drawn up to bankrupt/impoverish ordinary people (and reduce their number apparently) by crippling green taxes, to remove diet and lifestyle choices, to erode national identities and structures that hold society together, while at the same time centralising vast power and wealth to an unaccountable political elite.

      Dissent will not be tolerated, first through PC, and later through internet regulation which will stamp out alternative opinions and escalation of so called hate crime legislation. Fear and uncertainty and confusion (as a means of control) will be further generated by setting one group against the other creating “victims”, with gender identities pushed, radical feminism, the young versus the old agenda, the destruction of the family unit, and so on.

      The UN, or similar structure, fits the One World Government agenda perfectly, devising the future direction of world politics in a socialist/Marxist format. The central unit e.g. an entity like the UN would hand down future agendas to be put into law by the supra national blocs, such as the EU. The political core would effectively be unaccountable, and it would generate huge wealth through taxes for agendas such as the Green Agenda. I believe that the Climate Change fear and doom project is actually a scam, devised to control people and to generate enormous wealth for the political/business elite. I also believe there is endemic corruption within the movement and that this will all be exposed. Again I think that President Trump will be critical in this operation.

      It is beyond fortunate for the future of the globe that President Trump has arrived on the scene and is fighting against this Marxist agenda of world domination which includes the destruction of the nation state. That is exactly why he has met such ferocious opposition from the powers that be, the deep state, who have held the reins of power behind the scenes for decades. (They never thought Hillary would lose). Trump is a “revolutionary” President, and probably the greatest America has ever had. I thank God that he is on our side.

  7. agricola
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    You may, with all sincerity, believe what you write,but I do not interperet the WA, the implemtation period or the Political Declaration that way. I trust neither EU bureaucrats nor UK politicians. Your piece today reads like a preparation for accepting Boris’s WA , identical twin of May’s WA, when you know it is not Brexit. The WA is only changed in respect of Ireland and NI. It remains a legitimisation of and umbelical to all the restrictive practices.of the EU, it is not Brexit. If you think it is you will reap the whirlwind. Assuming you get a majority you will have all the power you need to take us out cleanly. Failure to do so will confirm you have no intention of doing so, a win for vested interests over democracy. You will be judged on results not promises.


    • glen cullen
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I fully agree with your comments…..wise words indeed

    • Chris
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Exactly, Agricola.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Agricola. It’s very troubling. I believe in our host’s honour more than that of any other politician. But…. I keep checking this website to see if it’s been removed since its wording and pledges are at odds with all we know about BJ’s ”new WA”. The promise of the date may have been thwarted, but the rest surely must be current, or else why wouldn’t MPs withdraw their support from this site at such an important time? Or don’t they mind being seen to break a pledge?

      ”Between July 2018 and March 2019 we asked MPs to StandUp4Brexit by rejecting Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and delivering the Brexit that was promised at Lancaster House and in the Conservative manifesto. That means leaving the Single Market, Customs Union and ECJ overrule….. and abandoning Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as dead.”

    • Timaction
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


    • cornishstu
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      I concur, the conservative party is on probation. I had my local conservative Mp canvassing for support last Friday, she is pro leave on WTO terms. When questioned on the Boris deal I am afraid she failed to convince, I think that we will be sold out and stitched up and once again it will be party before country. I will be happy to be proved wrong.

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    When will the implementation period end.
    Barnier says freedom of movement must continue and fishing access resolved before the extension deadline in July. Are you telling me that we won’t capitulate just so Boris can claim a victory.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Sabine Wetland the other day…….any agreement must keep the UK in the EU regulatory sphere due to the proximity of the island.
      That’s their opening gambit.

      • Andy
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        It’s their finishing one too. And your party will be accepting it.

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

        Their opening gambit and BJ’s desired outcome, i.e. getting Brexit done quickly so he can, as you say, claim victory.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        When the EU harmonises Corporation tax, VAT and introduces a transaction tax during the transition period we of course have to implement. Then we can’t repeal them as we are not allowed to compete with them.
        All in the 5 presidents report.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      When will the implementation period end? – the 12th of never – and that’s a long long time.

  9. Dominc
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Johnson’s spending pledges in effect translate into increases in overall rates of both direct and indirect taxes. To suggest otherwise is beyond debate

    It is unfortunate that there are British and indeed foreign politicians who appear to believe that they possess the divine ability to deceive the electorate and then believe that the electorate is simply unable through lack of intellect or awareness to see this sleight of hand. Like god’s omnipotence, we see EVERYTHING even if the fine detail sometimes eludes us.

    The collective perception of the electorate is something that contemporary politicians have worked hard to manipulate since 1997.

    Taxes will rise. The UK’s sovereign control over tax rates is limited no matter what our kind host asserts. The European mindset is top down with a boot. This approach has been adopted since Thatcher was deposed.

    We know we are being deceived by all three main parties on various issues relating to the WA. Unfortunately, the electorate quite simply doesn’t possess the mechanism or indeed the political power to do anything about it.

    We therefore place out trust in those people that populate Westminster to act in the best interests of the nation and its people. Unfortunately, they have shown they are contemptuous of our voice, our function, our presence and indeed the very mechanism we have been afforded to assert out control over them.

    Their plan now? Buy and bribe voters using their own money and then take away their freedoms using laws that would not look out of place in the medieval era.

    They take our income and then then they pass laws to take our voice. What a tragedy the UK’s become and all three parties are complicit

    • L Jones
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, Dominc. Well said. As was this – it could have been written for this election and BJ’s WA:

      ”The nation is being invited to confirm the surrender, and the permanent surrender, of its most precious possession: its political independence and parliamentary self-government, and the right to live under laws and to pay taxes authorized only by Parliament and to be governed by policies for which the executive is fully accountable through Parliament to the electorate.”

      (Sorry, Sir John – can’t resist quoting such wise and prescient words from EP 1975!)

  10. James Bertram
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you know, and we all know, that the simple solution is not to sign that wretched Withdrawal Agreement in the first place.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Exactly ….millions thinking the same thing.

    • Hope
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Christie you are so right. There is no treaty requirement to have a WA. That was included to stim U.K. Negotiations like the fabricated NI issue.

      What JR says about the law is utter rubbish couched in vague get out language. The UK will not and cannot be in charge of its laws if the WA is passed. ECJ will still be the Supreme Court, it will still decide EU citizen, or thier unborn children, disputes who live in the U.K. That is not UK courts or laws but ECJ. It is difficult to know why JR would deliberately write this knowing what he says about the law is totally wrong. Perhaps the tooth fairy will help the UK during any dispute?

      JR also knows that during the vassalage period, no concrete time limit, there is no taking back of laws, borders or money! Not even a say how our country is treated. No control over territorial wars to protect or catch fish! Johnson originally said go whistle for any leave payment now he is eager to pay!

      Reply The government has promised the Implementation period when the UK remains under the EU will end in December 2020.

      • Hope
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Sorry, typo, James.

        • Hope
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          JR, Mayhab stated 108 times to leave by 29/03/2019, the UK would not take part in EU elections, nothing agreed until everything agreed- still no trade deal, Johnson die in a ditch rather than extend or do or die was going to leave by 31/10/2019! Promises from your govt normally means lies or broken promises.

          JR, be realistic no one could trust your govt on what it says. Look at immigration figures today and tell us why it could not keep its three manifesto promises to immigration outside the EU which are a financial detriment as well as public service detriment to all taxpayers of this country. Please explain.

      • old salt
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        reply to Hope-
        Sorry, Sir John – Promises promises- just how many many have been broken?
        “We don’t believe you” comes to mind.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        Yes, of course they’ve promised. What is that worth? Nothing. It’s yet another gutless deceit.

        But Sir John has to be loyal to the party. He has said he’d be lonely without it.

        Sorry though. We don’t believe you! I wonder how Sir John will try to explain away the betrayal tjat’s coming.

        Reply In politics to achieve beneficial changes you need vision and good ideas, but you also need votes and support. I have always said we will only be able to leave the EU if at least one of the two main parties wills it and wins elections to achieve it. Our only hope of delivering the verdict of the referendum is to back a Conservative government to do so. We are only in the position where we can leave the EU thanks to those of us who persuaded the Conservative government to hold a referendum and then persuaded them to implement it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I love the fact that everyone has forgotten that we are paying £39bn for the WA

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Apparently the EU are now awaiting a further conference to introduce a new European Constitution. This will be Lisbon on steroids. The Spinelli-Bertelsmann document shows the direction of travel and it is, as so often repeated by M. Juncker, More Europe. The European countries will be kept under much tighter control by the committees that run the organisation behind the scenes with a very strong German input. (I got that from Varoufakis’ book).
    So the Remainers are facing a radical change even though they pretend that the EU is a safe haven. It really is not that.

  12. Bob Dixon
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party are heading for a decent majority. Why not leave without implementing W/A mark two asp?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, it would be funny to see the reaction of the Leave voters to the consequences of that.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      It all depends how many of those Conservatives are Remainers or Leavers.

      This election is being confused for the usual Red vs Blue kick about when it is meant to be a second referendum with MPs fired or selected on their EU position.

      This way we can get a parliament more closely aligned with the public on the EU.

      PS, What about students given two voting slips as my sons have again for this election ? What about postal vote corruption ? Will anyone actually be prosecuted ?

    • Andy
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Please do. The consequences would be fun – and you would be entirely to blame.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Because that would utterly betray the trust of the electorate, whom have been promised a ‘great deal’?

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I seem to remember ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ yes I’ve definately heard that somewhere before

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Shhhhh.. keep quite on that….

    • ADAMS
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely ! We keep the unacceptable £39 billion bung for starters that they will get with Boris’s deal .

  13. GilesB
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The incoming EU President has pledged that every new trade deal the EU signs will contain a “chapter on sustainable development”.

    Can’t we just make the discussions on the future relationship really quick by declaring that we will only sign trade deals that are about trade and not pushing our values or worldview on anyone else? While at the same time proposing an international convention on sustainable development for all countries to sign without any link to trade

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The European Union is foremost a peace project and an endeavour devoted to the advancement of civilisation.

      That is why this country’s Leave vote is such a terrible stain on the character of the nation in the eyes of the civilised world.

      It is also why our MEPs rightly threw out TTIP.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        marty .. . do go check a bit of history. It’s been a long long time since this country opened hostilities to destroy peace with others, but we quite often, at our cost, have enabled peace from a war situation.
        Ask your teacher to begin history at say 1800 rather than 1957 or 1993.

        • hefner
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          Oh yes, what about reading Piers Brendon’s “The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997”. You’ll get a lot of examples of how we have enabled … peace …
          Fred H, contrary to what you might have been fed to think, there is not one way of looking at things past.

      • sm
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        The European Union is a peace project only because it was meant to stop France and Germany ripping each other to shreds – yet again.

        And I would say it more of an advancement of the principles of global government by crony capitalists and a power-crazed bureaucracy.

        • margaret howard
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink


          You’ll find that we were at war with France many more times than Germany ever was, not just in the mainland but the many colonial conflicts.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink



        Tell that to the rioting French, oh and by the way the French farmers have joined in, tell that to the people of Catalonia, ah look there are street demonstrations in Germany planned for this weekend . As for Sweden 28 bombings in a month

        Yeh its a peace project, yeh they all look at us and shake their heads .. not

        Yes do not do a trade deal with the most advanced nation on earth, Imean its not like you would use any of their technology or anything…. oh hang on

        Martin you are supposed to be a socialist, you do realise that the EU is anti socialist, pro banking and big business right?

        • bill brown
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


          Your response to Martin is wrong . The European Steel and Coal Union was created as part of a number of treaties to make sure there wold never be war between France and Germany again. So stop your silly lecturing

          • libertarian
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            bill hans christian brown

            Do at least try to follow a thread, its not difficult

            Please explain how rioting and bombings in a number of EU countries is “an endeavour devoted to the advancement of civilisation.”

            Try thinking first , I won’t wait

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Indeed what an idiotic thing for the EU president to do, but that is what these virtue signalling dopes like to do. Can we just leave the EU properly and now please.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Likewise Christine Lagarde,newly installed at the ECB,and her manifesto-and,also,the new criteria for lending adopted by the EIB.

      They are going to push through the green agenda because they control the money-it is reminiscent of the Bolsheviks forcibly industrializing the Soviet Union at a unnaturally rapid pace,impoverishing(and,indeed,starving)the peasants to pay for it.

    • miami.mode
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      GB, all very laudable, but the mindsets are that the EU officials are extremely determined in everything they do and with a few exceptions our leaders seem ambivalent at best.

  14. BJC
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    It’s all well and good to have the vision to see what we SHOULD be able to do, but the only question I’m asking myself is, “What clause in Mr Johnson’s EU Treaty would be interpreted to our detriment and prevent us implementing our plans as WE wish?” The final arbiter in any dispute would be the ECJ and they are the self-appointed guardians of the original treaties. It’s these that would form the basis of their judgments so it’s safer to Leave on neutral WTO terms and seek a FTA, aka a level playing field.

  15. Christine
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Sadly, as pointed out by Nigel Farage, manifestos as not worth the paper they are written on – a pointless wish list such as a child would write to Father Christmas. I can’t think of a single thing that was in the last Conservative manifesto and actually materialised. All talk, all lies. As usual the politicians take us, the public, for fools.

    As for the current CP manifesto, you are having a laugh, aren’t you? See Mark B’s comment above.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Which is why you should ignore the manifesto. Go on your candidate’s voting record and what they say about the EU.

  16. Christine
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “Debate on the bill” won’t clarify anything. Many commentators here will have read document FCO 30/1048 which proves that the British public was misled into voting to join the EU in the first place. If the ECJ has the power to decide on disputes it doesn’t matter what our politicians believe. We know that the EU is pursuing tax harmonisation but we will not find out until it is too late if the UK has to align with these changes. Why give any power to the ECJ? It’s a recipe for disaster.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      We had already joined the EU before we voted on it. Even the first referendum was Remain or Leave. We were never given an opportunity to ‘join’.

      It’s the way of the EU.

      • margaret howard
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink


        The voters agreed with the decision our politicians campaigned for with a hefty majority in the original referendum. One of the main enthusiasts who campaigned for EU membership at the time was Mrs Thatcher who wore a jumper depicting all EU flags to show her commitment.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      ‘British public was misled into voting to join the EU in the first place’

      I think you have that wrong at no time in the UK’s history has there been a democratic vote to join the European Union.

      As you note the ECJ is not fit for any democratic purpose, it is a corrupt political court that reinforces the will of the un-representative, un-accountable overlords of Europe. Any law that doesn’t have the support of being scrutinized by a full democratic process is just a dictate by a dictator.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Have you any idea what our judges do?

        You don’t understand how the declarative principle works in English common law, do you?

        Nor much else, judging from your comments.

        It is not subject to any popular scrutiny.

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          Yes but you clearly don’t

          I do understand English Law, but those principles have been abandoned in favour of the European methods.

          English common law is not supreme, it is subordinate to the ECJ. Just as the UK Parliament is subordinate to the EU Commission. The EU Commission is not held accountable by the People, it is it’s own master.

  17. Stred
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The civil service and Remainers are content with the WA and PD because the nation’s trousers have been removed and the only way to avoid being given the cane for being naughty is to pull them up and walk. But the gutless wassocks standing as Conservatives will vote this down, as they did before. Not only taxation but environmental , social and fishing will be aligned. Most important, the previous EU commissioners and civil servants, who swore loyalty to the EU, will keep their enormous tax free perks and immunity from prosecution.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Sounds highly likely. The conservatives have largely betrayed their voters and the UK for nearly all of my live. Even Thatcher made huge predictable errors – closing most grammar schools, not cutting taxes sufficiently, not giving freedom and choice in education and healthcare, increasing red tape endlessly, burying us further and further into the EU, falling for the climate alarmist lunacy, introducing the political disaster that was the poll tax and worse of all appointing John Major as chancellor allowing him to take us into the ERM and then letting him become PM.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        LL – – -tragically you are correct. Not much sign of change, is there!

    • Simeon
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Just a taste of the horrors to come should the Tories secure a majority.

  18. Yorkie
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Okay, those innocent parties are tainted,marked,set, by ideology alone. They are not …parts…of the whole, that is parties.. in our sense.That is the dangerous difference we should recognise .No logical, rational, conversation is possible now with them. Our balanced media is straining at the seams to give rationality to the irrational. It is doing a good job. Too good.
    The LibDems, they, in our sense of a party, still holds true despite a young leader of it. The Labour Party is crossing that bridge to being a non-party. In our sense, the SNP is not a party at all. It says so straight up. They are not part of us. The Green Party is not a party, it is a movement, an ideology, and is leaders two heads, urge on followers who actually BELIEVE the world is ending in 10 years. No argument, no traditional word-play in our Parliament is going to mellow their ideology or make pragmatic their ideology.
    We are in danger. We are too good.

  19. Alec
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Why would any genuinely Brexit party agree to limit sovereignty on tax or any other area of policy or territory? If you do not have control over every aspect of your country or you are a vassal. Either you are leaving or you are not. Boris Brexit is a fake Brexit and you would have said so yourself before the election Mr Redwood.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Mr E Powell said in 1972:

      ”…. an inherent consequence of accession to the Treaty of Rome that this House and Parliament will lose their legislative supremacy. It will no longer be true that law in this country is made only by or with the authority of Parliament… The second consequence … is that this House loses its exclusive control—upon which its power and authority has been built over the centuries—over taxation and expenditure. ..”

      ”..the power to control the supply of money, which is one of the fundamental aspects of sovereignty, has passed from government into other hands….”

      He gave many other warnings – would that our ”leaders” then had heeded them. Pity the present wannabees don’t reflect on them now, since they’re trying to make us believe, as you say, they’re a ”genuine Brexit party”. They can’t be.

  20. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    A likely story. We’re electioneering folks. It all sounds weak and wishful. We need something stronger.

    WA2 will be a disaster. We must get out with no such agreement. If the EU is allowed a foot in the door they will push it open – weak talk and wishes won’t keep them out.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump signs Hong Kong pro-democracy bill – what about the UK’s politicians in this election? Not much from them.

  22. Fred H
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Boris’ ‘we will get it done’ really means ‘we will agree to you getting done’.

  23. Alison
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I agree with Mark B.
    Question: “Debate on the bill will be an important opportunity to clarify this matter [ability to lower/abolish taxes once we are out]”.
    If it is clear that the whole of the UK, or parts of the UK (eg Northern Ireland) will not be able to lower/abolish taxes (or exercise autonomous decisions, eg on state aid), will MPs vote against it?

  24. Newmania
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Taxes will of course have to go up, ceterus paribus, to pay for the lost growth short fall .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Except that firstly leaving the EU will be an economic advantage if done cleanly with sensible post leave policies and secondly putting up rates from their current, absurdly high, levels would raise less tax not more.

      • Newmania
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Putting up taxes at high income levels is likely to raise little if not lose money for the exchequer .Heavier taxes can be levied on the middling and will be .
        The Conservative spending agenda will require us all to pay more tax but my guess is they will rely more on increasing our debts . One or the other is unavoidable
        There are no actual economic advantages to leaving the EU what Sir John wishes to do is obscure the immediate and visible ill effects so he can escape the blame, concoct some story or other . That means cheap money and more borrowing
        You know how he rolls

      • tim
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic– please keep up, we are not leaving the EU. Never were, and never will. The Tory party are REMAINERS!

    • graham1946
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      What shortfall? We have been in the EU over 40 years and our growth as members is hardly stellar is it? To raise the 50 billion (staying in bonus) the LibDims mention will require growth at more than 5 percent. Quite a ridiculous claim, almost as absurd as Swinson saying she is a candidate to be PM.

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Why will we be paying any VAT?
    I thought that was purely an EU invention.
    Will post Brexit (😂) VAT comply with the EU VAT code ( or whatever)?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Why indeed? It is an absurdly inefficient and over complex tax almost as inefficient as motorist mugging with bus lanes, hatch junctions and the likes.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 28, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Yes..I got caught with a “Bus Gate/Lane” fine in a town I have never driven to…for a vehicle ( a van), clearly not mine… as obvious on the CCTV footage but illegally sharing my number plate.
        I did manage to sort it but the onus was on me!
        No authority interested in stolen number plate. Oh no!
        Stealth tax for fiscal squeeze.

    • graham1946
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Why? Because it raises north of 130 billion per year. We will be stuck with it in perpetuity. It is the easiest tax to levy, but not for business to account for as it is horrendously complicated, after 40 years plus of civil servants working on it.

  26. Gareth Warren
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Here I do believe you are of course right that we should assert our taxes at the earliest opportunity.

    However all it would do will reveal the ECJ has the whip hand.

    I would prefer no WA, however a compromise could be that any issue enforced by the ECJ allows the government to withdraw from the WA within 7 days. It would be an extreme event, but I suspect the ECJ will be quite happy to have a extreme action to humiliate Boris and get a more remain friendly PM.

    The WA really is a artifact from the previous remain parliament, we must not let the EU stop us trading freely with the rest of the world.

  27. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is reported that in return for a FTA, the EU will demand the UK first agrees to the current fishing quotas and even some continued freedom of movement. What else will they demand as the clock ticks towards the end of 2020 and Mr. Johnson is desperate to secure a trade deal without asking for an extension?

    It will surely be the intention of Barnier and the EU to bind the UK as tightly as possible to the EU so that when we seek FTA’s with the US, Canada, etc. there is not much room to negotiate or we have little left to offer them.

    I hope that the UK will not allow the EU to dictate the timetable for talks or anything else for that matter as it did when the hapless Mrs. May was in charge. Doubtless, the EU will take the talks to the wire and hope the pressure leads to concessions. That is why it is imperative for No-Deal preparations to be 100% complete before then so that we can walk away under WTO.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Alan, It would seem our vision of Leaving is becoming death by a thousand cuts, or we are the frog in the saucepan being nicely heated to boil.

    • miami.mode
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      AJ, it is already established that any extension to the implementation period for 1 or 2 years must be agreed prior to 1st July 2020, so talk of taking it to the wire at the end of 2020 is nonsense. 30th June 2020 is the correct date.

      Beware of politicians bearing policies.

  28. MPC
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Debate on the bill will be important but equally so are the degree of commitment in the Cabinet and the necessity to publicise an effective delivery plan to December 2020. That period is an opportunity to persuade the public and specific groups (such as farmers who export to the EU) that a ‘cliff edge’ does not exist as all material risks have been addressed. It’s time to treat the arrogant EC firmly – which is only possible with a decent Tory majority of course.

  29. Kevin
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you for discussing the content of the WA and PD. Article 140(5) of the WA begins: “At the request of the [UK], made at the earliest after 31 December 2028, the [EU] shall make an estimate of the remaining amounts to be paid by the [UK] under this Article” (emphasis added). How did a democratic decision to leave the EU in 2016 become an obligation to get back to the EU more than twelve years after the vote to find out what they think we “still owe”?

  30. glen cullen
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Quote ‘Once the Implementation period is over’

    This gets to the heart of the matter, we are not independent nor satisfied the result of the referendum until we fully control our own financial systems, without having to ask the EU for permission. Using VAT as a yard stick I’d like to know the actually date we can change the rate by our self

  31. Chris
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Level playing field?

  32. Polly
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    A sovereignty clause doesn’t look likely to make much difference in practice.

    To get the holy grail ”free trade deal”, Brits will have to voluntarily give up most new found freedoms anyway. In fact, the EU has already said so… no changes to fishing.

    So the WA, sovereignty clause or not, is skillfully designed to retain the status quo, and put Britain right back where she started.

    Brits will never go ”No Deal”. So the EU has already won. Traffic chaos and shortages is their ace card.


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that’s why the Remain campaigns tried to explain that voting Leave would be pointless, especially if they won.

  33. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    We are stuck on the treadmill of hollow promises and a corrupt notion of democracy.

    The Main Stream Media is peddling rubbish as if it thinks it knows what is going on, the opinion poles are just contrived guesses and the ‘Pundits’!? The bottom line it is about money, as in the money these entities get by dragging traffic towards their stories. Advertisers pay for traffic, to repeat advertiser pay for traffic. How that traffic is arrived at is immaterial.

    The MSM is not some voice that interrogates society or exposes wrong doing anymore they are 100% profit making enterprise’s. A good story is just that a good story. The freedom of the press is just a mask to hide behind in the desire for profit.

    The Tax question is easily answered, democratically define its purpose. Ensure everyone contributes equally – no more, no less. Simplify it and make it transparent. But above all ban all attempts to manipulate it for political purpose. Every time it is manipulated to achieve a Political dream it then has to have exceptions, on exceptions – leading to the mess we have today.

    How can we be free to choose, when the forces for freedom are drowned out by the need to sell.

    While I respect our host here and I am of a similar mind to his train of thought, most of his collogues are not seeking to serve, not seeking to involve the peoples of this country and to allow them to excel. They are seeking their moment in the limelight to stroke their own egos. Turn a personal profit. Simple one if they wish to be involved in UK Government, why-oh-why is the desire to immediately abdicate that wish to those that rule without scrutiny. What sort of democracy is that?

    We sort of know that Boris has said we should leave the EU. But today Corbyn is suddenly not against leaving and is trying to say he has a better way of doing it. Swinson said she wanted to leave yesterday, but today her party has said we should possibly leave because the people democratically voted for that.

    Does anyone know what will happen tomorrow?

  34. Polly
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Will you please stop wasting my time having to delete endless posts trying to drag me into your daily attacks on a named individual you do not like. This site does not pursue vendettas against people, however much I may disagree with them.

  35. kzb
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Can’t we just replace VAT with a Sales tax? Would be much simpler all round. Plus we could have different rates according to how luxurious the goods are.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      can’t change VAT till after the implementation period….as mentioned above the 12th of never

    • libertarian
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink


      Why would you do that? I cant see what the point is. Everyone knows how VAT works. Once we leave then we can set the rates we want

      • bill brown
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink


        You are not answering the question about the Eu and your answer still comes across by you acting like a clown

  36. K Jig
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I still feel we are too weak in our dealings with the EU. The leaders are not our friends and partners, they are our competitors and will do everything to halt and sabotage our independence from the EU.

    I do wish Boris would not place such an importance in the EU, backwards and forwards like May, when it is failing, the Euro could go belly-up at any time and our true friends and partners are the United States and other Anglo countries.

    As to Barnier throwing his weight around, I just hope Boris is strong.

    In the meantime let us remember our greatest single trading partner is the USA! We export more to the USA than to the two largest economies in the EU France and Germany combined.

    And the British are the second largest owners of businesses in the USA after Americans themselves.

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Off topic
    All part of that trade deal ( which of course involved political integration!!! NOT!!!).
    The EU will be importing chicken and other food items from Fukushima!
    Bound for UK shops.
    Controls on levels of radioactivity allowed will be lifted!
    Will this food ( which I understand the Japanese do not eat) be clearly labelled?

  38. James Snell
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    What you’re at is all bunkum, as you will see soon enough- just plain bunkum dressed up as English Nationalism on a road leading to nowhere- because nobody has a clue about how any of this is going to end up? Probobably in making us all the much poorer- my guess- but luckily enough you will be still around to see the consequences of your delusional mindset- ‘taking back control’- indeed

  39. Robert Valence
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Of course we must set our own taxes, our rate of Corporation tax, VAT etc. But this was taken as read – we voted – & the Tory gov. of the agreed to apply this – to be free of all EU laws, constraints, regulations etc.
    By picking up & running with May’s surrender doc. and tinkering around the edges sufficient to incense the DUP and endanger NI – Boris has failed to honour what was promised or what true Brexiteers want.
    I hope that TBP obtains a fair number of seats to ensure we don’t end up worse than we started.
    To reiterate, I am suspicious of Boris and “his deal” and am not in the least persuaded by your protestations.

  40. MeSET
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Please just submit the odd one or two shorter pieces. You are making me delete far too many.

  41. Ian
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Listen if you do not believe that Johnson has got a good deal, and you like us are very worried indeed after reading just what Lawyers for Brexit say.
    This is a total Con, it is at least as bad as you can fear, even one of there own said , (it is the same as the last one, never any mention of the Super Canada +++ ?

    They know everyone is desperate to get this behind us. Do not sell us short.

    There is a new Tory party and they are the real Tories, no other party will see us right,
    It is of coarse, The Brexit Party, make the change otherwise it is just the same old

  42. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Well it’s quite obvious we are not leaving so your post today John seems irrelevant. Never have I been in a situation before where I am voting for something and someone I don’t believe in but voting for any of the other scheming parties is out of the question.. I am mad I cannot vote for Farage. I don’t believe so many lies have ever been told in parliament as they have for the past nearly 4 years. It’s really unbelievable what has gone on. How can you be proud to be a Tory?

  43. Dominic
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s time to purge, reform and privatise the BBC, Channel 4 and any other channel that feeds off the taxpayer for funding

    They are are leftist, anti-Tory, anti-BP, pro-EU and without shame. They openly abuse their privileges and pump out lies and propaganda and conveniently ignore any news story or issue that they find politically inconvenient or uncomfortable

  44. bill brown
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    I am sorry but I think you argument of control of taxes is nonsense as there are much more essential arguments to raise than the one’s you have raised.

    What is important it to make sure we have taxes that benefits society and has a re-distribution effect throughout the economy, as we have one of the most unequal societies in Europe (according to the GINI measurement) and have millions of children living in poverty and it has increased under the Conservative government.

    Most EU countries have very different VAT levels and on very different goods as we,,. which means the VAT implications of EU law is considerable less thank you make it out to be. The EU budget is still just less than 1% of EU GDP

    • libertarian
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      bill brown

      Total and utter fantasy post

      NO ONE is living in poverty in the UK, not a single person. Its RELATIVE , if they had £1 m but everyone else had £10 m they would be in relative poverty. This is schoolboy stuff . The trouble with people like you is you dont think. Explain exactly how tax revenue is “redistributed” answer it isn’t, its SPENT by the government on stuff they want to spend it on.

      Hows it going in Sweden, Denmark, France and Germany right now Hans ?

      The facts are its TAXATION that is causing misery, its TAXATION that is causing the high cost of living. The reason services suffer is 1) The government spaffs money up the wall and 2) The government couldn’t run a whelk stall

      • bill brown
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


        Denmark, Sweden and France are doing jut fine last quarter for Denmark was 0,3% growth thanks for asking.
        Taxation causing misery at our level in the UK absolute nonsense

  45. agricola
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Lets assume that Boris gets the sort of majority that allows him to be intellectually honest. If conservative candidates have signed up to WA2, then there is every chance he could get it through the HoC. Many conservatives would accept “Lets get it done” out of sheer ennui. The real question is what is good for the UK. A clean break or more years of interminable wrangling while we see all aspects of oue sovereignty eroded in exchange for a shadow of a free trade agreement. I mean our trade agreements, our fishing industry and our ability to set our own taxes and financial path forward. I would remind Boris and all his followers that we are not supplicants. The EU needs us more than we need them. If in doubt ask yourselves why they would wish to make it hard for us to leave. The EU fear us as a free radical, not only competing with them but showing others how sunny it is outside the EU.

    So I would ask Boris to find the strength of character and conviction he demonstrated at Chequers where he walked out on WA1, and say thanks to the EU but WA2 is equally unpalatable and we are going for departure on WTO terms. That way we start our new life in January 2020 not three years later standing in the shreds of our sovereignty.

  46. BillM
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    We voted to leave the EU and Leave means ‘leave’. So why are should we be subjected to anything the EU dictates via their employees and servants in the ECJ?
    If we need to export to the EU we will have to abide by their import requirements BUT they will, in turn, must abide by those or our own. But that is it.
    Dealing with the Rest of the World will be a doddle compared with the nightmare bureaucracy of the EU. After 40 years they still have been unable to secure a trade deal with the USA nor with China. But do those Nations actually care? Not one bit. So why should we?

  47. Jack Falstaff
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I believe that a highly significant proportion of pent-up immigration and EU dissatisfaction with our views on taxation relates to the fact that it is widely known that we wish to lower our taxes to a degree that makes us far more attractive to investors with respect to the EU.
    They have hidden behind their beloved customs union so much that they are only now fully aware that they have no chance if they attempt to vie with nations willing to expose themselves to worldwide competitive forces on fair terms.

  48. margaret howard
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    JR – Back to the good old pre EU days?:

    “Between October 1940 and March 1973 the UK had a consumption tax called Purchase Tax, which was levied at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness.

    Purchase Tax was applied to the wholesale price, introduced during World War II, initially at a rate of 33​1⁄3%. This was doubled in April 1942 to 66​2⁄3%, and further increased in April 1943 to a rate of 100%, before reverting in April 1946 to 33​1⁄3% again.

    Unlike VAT, Purchase Tax was applied at the point of manufacture and distribution, not at the point of sale. The rates of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, were 13, 22, 36 and 55%.”

    • libertarian
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink


      For once I agree with you, I think that VAT is a better system than purchase tax

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Margaret,we needed higher taxes then(and real austerity) to pay down our war debt.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    If the Conservative Party wins a landslide in the election, the UK’s hand in negotiations with the EU will be strengthened immensely. The Commons must insist that all measures in the Withdrawal Agreement are time limited to the end of 2020, as promised by the PM and Michael Gove, with unilateral modification of the text if necessary.

    The EU might moan a bit but as long as they get their exit fee and the changes to WA2 are made without prejudice to the EU’s negotiating position post 2020, they will accept the changes.

    Reply A landslide is not likely . It is important to achieve a decent working majority, otherwise all the uncertainty will return and the EU will once again be in a very strong negotiating position thanks to our divisions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 30, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      “It is important to achieve a decent working majority” indeed it is, the Conservative party is still stuffed with some dire traitors, socialists, Libdims and remainers – some of whom will still return as MPs – Greg Clarke and Theresa May for two examples.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 30, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

        Why have they been allowed to stand?

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 30, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Once we are out of the EU, Brussels will apply tremendous pressure to the Government of the Irish Republic to get Ireland to raise its rate of Corporation Tax. That will increase the flexibility available to us.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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