What kind of Brexit?

To Brexiteers there is just one kind of Brexit – taking back control of our money, our borders, our laws and our trade policy. It is about independence. The Conservative Manifesto confirms all of that. That was why I did  not need to add to it or amend during the election, as I was happy with the clear statement that we will indeed be taking  back control.

Staying in the Customs Union, legislating to ensure our rules and laws stay in line with whatever the EU wants, being an external member of the single market and having to accept all their Directives are  not Brexit. The EU has been masterful in extending its reach ostensibly in the name of trade into a dazzling array of other governmental and legal areas. We end up with freedom of movement, large tax impositions and detailed laws on everything in the name of the single market.

We wish to trade with the single market, as many other countries from around the world do everyday. They do so without accepting freedom of movement, or all the laws of the EU or without making budget contributions. They do so under WTO rules, which are superior even to EU laws, and are designed to facilitate trade between fellow members.

I do not like the Implementation period. I wanted us to leave in March 2019, and again in October 2019. Instead the Remain Parliament and Mrs May  prevented us doing so. We have ended up with an unsatisfactory period when we still have to obey EU laws and pay large sums of money. The new Parliament which will vote through our exit by December 2020 will not vote for our immediate exit this coming January. We will have to accept the costly legacy of the last Parliament was expensive delay to our exit.

The government is being urged to make sure all legal requirements and financial obligations end when we leave next December. They have also been persuaded to put in a Sovereignty clause to protect us against abuse of EU power during the Implementation period. The Committee stage of the Bill will give the government opportunity to strengthen the position, and in so doing strengthen its bargaining hand for the Free Trade Agreement  they seek in the discussions ahead with the EU. There is no need or desire to make further concessions on things like fish to secure a FTA.  

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225 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    We need the sort of Brexit which results in Andy, Martin in Cardiff, Margaret Howard and a few others eventually conceding, in writing to your diary, that the vote to leave an increasingly fragile EU was the very best decision for the British people..

    • Andy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Ha! No chance.

      The reason being that I want what is best for my country. And it has been perfectly evident for years that Brexit is not in.

      I understand how wonderful Brexit sounded in 2016 – with all the shiny claims made by Vote Leave. But as we have seen the details it is clear that Brexit is rubbish. Much worse than what we have.

      The Brexiteers have betrayed those of you who voted for Brexit and have failed to deliver their promises. You have all responded by blaming people who told you Brexit was a bad idea in the first place.

      One of us will be proven wrong. And it won’t be me.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Unless they publicly and solemnly recant I would prefer them to leave the country and I would encourage them to do so by stripping them of their present rights to vote and hold public office. Why on earth should we allow people whose primary loyalty clearly lies elsewhere, not with this country, to have any hand in its government?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Well said

    • Hope
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The servitude plan JR voted for does not take back control of laws borders or money. Vassalage to start with no control over anything. ECJ applies for years to come and is the final arbiter of any dispute!, it is not known how much for long the UK has to pay the EU for leaving. Howe predicts a hundred billion. There is no fixed sum. If so tell us JR. Borders are not back in our control. Fishing grounds will continue as CFP still applying. Then of course article 174, 184 and the UK not allowed to impede or act against interest of EU defence and foreign policy! Still not allowed to criticise the EU.

      No the servitude plan is till rotten. It was when Mayhab created it in collusion with the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Conceding?

      Conceding what? I accept that this country is leaving the European Union.

      That is all.

      I will join millions of other British patriots in cementing the closest possible relationship with it, and in furthering its morally enlightened aims, in whatever ways that I may, however. Parties will fight elections on the point, I predict.

      I also support the UK’s eventual rejoining, although that would probably not advisedly happen until those who were schooled with imperial era geography books are far fewer in number.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Marty – – – you? – a British patriot!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        You better get used to the idea that you are part of disaffected minority which has always been small and is now small and impotent.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          No, it is reasonably estimated that nearly two million Leave voters are no longer with us, and that more young are now of voting age.

          More people voted for either cancellation of exit or for a second referendum than voted for committed Leave parties in the last election too.

          I’m not going to crow about majorities, but at least accept that the country will stay roughly split down the middle for some time to come.

          The question is, what are you who caused this mess going to do to mitigate its effects? It seems that you want the highly able, productive Remain voters to clear up your shambles for you.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            The election result shows the there was a very large number wanting to get Brexit done.
            But I realise you are still in the denial phase.

          • The Not Deluded
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            “The election result shows the there was a very large number wanting to get Brexit done.”

            Hmm…. 14.4 Million votes for Brexit parties. 16.6 Million for confirmatory referendum parties.

            I think you will find, those numbers suggest no appetite to “Get Brexit Done” at all.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            You fail to accept voters know the rules before they vote.
            The result was the biggest majority for one party for decades.

      • Dr. Peter Watson
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Those of us who went to school before the advent of the EEC were educated in history. Those of us who remember England before the EEC know it was an order of magnitude better and a more pleasant place to live.
        Boris could end up being regarded as a modern day Churchill. Let’s hope so but the mechanism of the EU was founded on lies and will do us no favours whatever. As someone who has fought the EU Project since 1986 I can assure you that the EU is over as the other nations of Europe will be queuing up to follow our lead. The EU has broken any semblance of a democratic compact with the peoples of Europe by ignoring referenda results in Holland, Denmark, France and Ireland (twice). I wish for the utter elimination of the EU and the restoration of the self government of the nations of Europe.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          Read the polls across the European Union, the reverse is true of your claim.

          Cinque Stelle have abandoned Farage’s rabble, and applied to join Verhofstadt’s group, the most europositive of the lot, for instance.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Promoting a EU was always going to be popular in Germany – another chance to reign supreme over the rest. France, Holland, Poland, Italy etc didn’t want to be at risk yet another time in the future. The tiddlers eventually saw trading benefits and subsidies were worth having. UK wanted in but the tall Frenchman who throroughly enjoyed in his wartime years living it up in London kept saying ‘non’.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Dr? Peter Watson

          “. The EU has broken any semblance of a democratic compact with the peoples of Europe by ignoring referenda results in Holland, Denmark, France and Ireland (twice).”

          Not that old chestnut again. The truth is that the people were actually listened to and those arguments were addressed and a more suitable version put before them again. They then had another vote to confirm the new deal.

          Here millions can send petitions to Westminster and absolutely nothing will get done.

          The trouble with zealous Brexiteers is that they have got away with telling lies and half truths to a gullible public with a huge helping from a mostly foreign owned press.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            And Project Fear 1.0 and 2.0’s predictions and claims were all truthful?

      • Ignoramus
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        “Morally enlightened”!!! YOU might argue that massive youth unemployment in Greece, Italy, and Spain was justified to save “the project”.

        Would you also defend the treatment of Marta Andreasen? If you don’t know who she is I suggest you read her book “Brussels laid bare”. Someone brought in as chief accountant and was persecuted and sacked for refusing to sign the 2001 accounts because they were open to massive
        fraud and waste.

        There are several other instances of whistle blowers being sacked or arrested or dismissed as mentally unbalanced. What is morally enlightened about the way the EU actually works?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          So you don’t think that employment and benefits law, plus national economic structural policy should be sovereign matters for member states then?

          What else can you mean?

          • Ignoramus
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            I am surprised that you can not see the wood for the trees, ie economic and banking policies. Perhaps you can but ignored them. An exchange rate for the euro which prevents countries pursuing their own interests. Refusal to help countries in severe financial difficulty other than by “cold turkey”.

            I could add the imposition of EU officials as unelected prime ministers.

            Have you heard of Andreasen?

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        But who believe in freedom, independence & self determination for the former colonies but want the same for themselves. All empires collapse eventually and the EU’s will be quicker than most.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          Name an empire where countries applied, nay, in the case of the UK, begged to join?

          Come off it.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        I also support the UK’s eventual rejoining, although that would probably not advisedly happen until those who were schooled with imperial era geography books are far fewer in number.

        Petty insults about racism and how woke the younger generation is aside, most of the advocates of staying in during the referendum conceded that they wouldn’t want to join the EU if we weren’t already part of it.

        Any campaign to rejoin is defeated before it begins. Especially if led by people who tell us they are right rather than convince us.

  2. margaret
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Many are reluctant to accept half measures where in name we are out but in reality , the same continues. I hope taking back control of our laws , borders and trading agreements doesn’t actually mean that we agree with the EU so will continue in the same vein . In other words a transfer of power in name but essentially the same.
    I did read somewhere that we would be welcome back anytime ( and I cannot remember who it was: names elude me) That gesture hands out a generosity of spirit which is most welcome as the new year and decade arises.

  3. Mark B
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . when we leave next December.

    Words fail me !

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      There is something increasingly otherworldly about our host’s postings.I am reminded of Cicero’s observation(Letters to Atticus) about the irreproachable,incorruptible senator,Cato:

      “Cato makes speeches in the Senate as if he were living in Plato’s Republic,instead of this sewer of Romulus.”

  4. Shirley
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Boris has a large majority. Why do have to accept the costly implementation period dictated by the previous Parliament? Why don’t we just leave on 31st Jan?

    • Pollen Counter
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Good question Shirley, no answer from Mr John Redwood. And he is avoiding a lot of difficult questions, Shirley! Here is Article 158 of Boris’s “deal” – “The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on requests pursuant to paragraph 1. The legal effects in the United Kingdom of such preliminary rulings shall be the same as the legal effects of preliminary rulings given pursuant to Article 267 TFEU in the Union and its Member States”. So we are tied into the EU’s Court!! As if we never left!! It is clear that the Tories do not plan to deliver Brexit at all – yet another trick after 40 years of tricks. Farage was right – a healthy number of Brexit party MPs was needed to hold the Tories to account. This is NOT Brexit!!

      Reply Only during the so called Implementation period, not after December 2020

      • Pollen Counter
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        No Mr John Redwood, you are wrong. You have not read it!! Article 158 clearly gives the ECJ power over us for EIGHT years after 2020.
        It is here, you should look at it https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:C:2019:384I:FULL&from=EN

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          Please could you provide a more specific reference?

        • jerry
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          @Pollen Counter: ECJ rulings will only have jurisdiction over UK cases already before the courts on the 31st Dec 2020 (plus the equivalent days of any extension agreed via Art 132 of the WA).

          There will be no new cases put before the ECJ after 31st Dec 2020 (Art 132 not withstanding).

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Good question – what’s the answer John?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The country does leave on 31st Jan 2020.

      Try using your wonderful blue passport to get past the long queues for non-European Union passport holders after that date at Continental airports for instance.

      We can watch all of Farage’s wastes-of-space getting their metaphorical helpful shove between the shoulders by the Parliament then too, along with Daniel Hannan etc.

      That particular joy will be quite unalloyed for many, I predict.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Last sentence including “I predict” duly noted.

      • jerry
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        @MiC; Are the EU27 introducing travel visas to/from the UK, could you cite the relevant EC/EU press release or announcement please…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Search yourself.

          All I suggested was that your obsolete European Union passport would not work in the same way as those of nationals from legal member states after 31st January, nothing about visas.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            It isn’t a EU passport.
            It is a UK passport.

          • jerry
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; “Search yourself.”

            No, you made the claim you cite the evidence. Put up or shut up!

            “your obsolete European Union passport”

            You’re talking bilge water again. The EU has never issued Passports, how could it, the EU is not a State, just a political club…

    • acorn
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      The UK does “leave” the EU on the 31st January 2020. The proper term in the Act is “Exit Day”. The end of the Implementation Period December 31st 2020, is defined as “IP Completion Day”. Rights of “frontier workers” for instance and ECJ case law stretch out to 2028.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Shirley _The Establishment do not want to leave the EU; it is not in their interest.

    • anon
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Re: Now Boris has a comfortable majority.

      Just the leave the EU unencumbered, without any further treaty commitments.

      I predict the Conservatives will continue to bind us deeply into the EU via any and every means possible, whilst saying the opposite. ( Treaty is toxic and should be dropped)

      We should prioritise rest of the world trade relationships. Enough of the time wasters in Brussels.

      Table a take it or leave it- with an immediate answer required. No answer. Go directly to a WTO leave.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Well given the dire deal that Boris negotiated (admittedly under appalling constraints forced on him by the appalling traitors in parliament) it is not a real Brexit at all. Let us hope that (rid or the Benn act and many of these appalling traitor MP who were trying to undermine Brexit at every turn) he can now do something to rescue the county from this position.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      We know you have a Doctorate in hyperbole. Maybe you could spare us occasionally. All you are doing is giving the impression of being permanently angry which detracts from some otherwise good stuff.

    • Andy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      The position you voted for?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      LL

      Please do not be so naive. Johnson could have scuppered the Benn Act anytime he so wished and retained leverage over the EU with, ‘No Deal’ (ie Leaving the EU) still on the table. He chose not to. Why ?

      • Otto
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        LL – another good question that JR cannot answer.

        • Otto
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          No LL but Mark B – another good question that JR cannot answer.

      • jerry
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B; “Why?”

        Could you remind us all just how many days parliament has sat since the “Benn Act” gained royal accent, you might also care to remind us how many days parliament has sat since the GE gave Boris a working majority to do as you suggest – doing so will answer the question you asked!…

  6. Nig l
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Agree totally and our negotiators must not forget they are solely looking after the UK’s best interests not baling out a troubled EU, particularly in the area of competition and financial contributions.

    Indeed it is often overlooked that these extensions are having a detrimental on them and closure will enable them to concentrate on what they need to do without us,

    • Hope
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      The servitude plan already contains clauses to bail out the EIB while giving up all our billions in cash assets! Who in their right mind would agree to hundreds of billions of liabilities for years to come after we left and not being part of the Euro? Johnson that is who.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Be careful what you have wished for. They have invested £25 billion in the U.K. since 2011. Presumably you are keen to give all that back plus the benefits it generated.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Why would the EIB be better at investing in the UK than an entity that was 100% focused on the needs of British industry?

        • cornishstu
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          And where did that money come from originally?

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    The Honours list is as usual depressing reading with the huge over representation of state sector, time serving bureaucrats. Particularly depressing is Dame Alison Saunders’ honour, a real “kick in the teeth” for the very many innocent people whose lives were hugely damaged by warped and idiotic prosecutions overseen by her dysfunctional department. At least traitor Bercow is not included and nor should he ever be.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Lifelogic. It’s sickening to see so many politicians (mostly failed) and civil servants receiving honours simply for doing their jobs or in some cases simply because they lost their jobs. And what has BoB Neill, the biggest arch remainer and denier of democracy done to receive a Knighthood? It’s an insult to those members of the public who truly deserve their honours. No offence John, but it’s time this practise of handing out honours to politicians and civil servants was stopped.

  8. David in Kent
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry you still need to make all these arguments as it implies that you feel people are still paying attention to the huge propaganda effort from the EU to ensure that we remain tied to them even after we have left . That they so clearly fear us becoming a successful, though friendly, competitor on their doorsteps should be enough to urge us on.

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      David

      “That they so clearly fear us becoming a successful, though friendly, competitor on their doorsteps…”

      Like we were before we begged to be admitted to the club? We were then known as the ‘sick man of Europe’ and all of us who were able vote in the 1975 referendum were thrilled to be allowed in and saw our country transformed and turned into the success it is today.

      Brexiteers have deprived our children of their future and put us into the hands of ruthless international asset grabbers.

      • sm
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Well actually we were already in what was alleged to be just a ‘trading union’ by 1975, and by the late 80’s many of us were beginning to question just what the benefits were.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          sm

          Just a trading union?

          Here it the official government 1975 referendum leaflet:

          The aims of the Common Market are:

          To bring together the peoples of Europe.

          To raise living standards and improve working conditions.

          To promote growth and boost world trade.

          To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.

          To help maintain peace and freedom.”

          PS Hope Mr Redwood will allow it through this time.

          Reply You have often quoted this. The question was about the Common market and the Yes campaign stressed no loss of sovereignty etc

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:07 am | Permalink

            Reply to Reply

            What sovereignty had we lost? Just wait and see what conditions the US will impose on us. They will squeeze us until the pips squeak.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            Heath stressed that there would be no loss of “essential” sovereignty.

            No one claimed that there would be no sharing of it in uncontroversial areas, such as in food and medicine safety, river water standards etc.

            The claim that the nation was lied to is false on that basis.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Willingly sharing things of mutual advantage to trade with other countries is very different to the current EU with powers legally enforced via the ECJ who can hand out huge fines to countries.
            Reducing areas of veto and using treaties signed years ago to grab more powers whilst we have one vote in 28.
            With nine paying in and the others taking out.
            We were lied to
            I was there.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Same boring old rubbish, can’t you do any better than that?

      • APL
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        “We were then known as the ‘sick man of Europe’ and all of us who were able vote in the 1975 referendum were thrilled to be allowed in and saw our country transformed and turned into the success it is today.”

        Margaret Howard conveniently forgets the strikes, ( France today!) the ‘winter of discontent’ and the election of Thatcher, which turned us into the success we were – until Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron & Clegg and then the disaster Theresa May, undid much of Thatchers work.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:03 am | Permalink

          APL

          Margaret Thatcher was such an ardent Common Market supporter that she campaigned in the 1975 referendum wearing an jumper illustrated with EU member country flags!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Lots of us liked the 1975 version of the Common Market.
            Back in those days the left hated it.
            Ardent EU supporters like yourself Margaret always attribute any improvement since 1975 to our membership and any problem as a purely domestic cause.
            That cannot be right.
            You need to look at the growth and improvement since 1975 in other democratic nations that were never in the EU..
            Canada Australia South Korea America etc.
            Then you get a fairer comparison.

          • APL
            Posted December 29, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            margaret howard: “Margaret Thatcher was such an ardent Common Market supporter that she campaigned in the 1975 referendum”

            True. But my point was not that she did or did not support the Common Market. But that it was her domestic policies not our membership of the Common market that reformed the British economy after the mishandling of the economy by Heath and Callaghan.

      • dixie
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        @MH Rubbish – not all of us able to vote were thrilled to be allowed in, quite the opposite.

        From the “Why You Should Vote No pamphlet in 1975;
        “What did the pro-Marketeers say? Before we joined the Common Market the Government forecast that we should enjoy – A rapid rise in our living standards; A trade surplus with the Common Market; Better Productivity; Higher Investment; More employment; Faster industrial growth.
        In every case the opposite is now happening, according to government figures.

        The pamphlet points out that the anti-marketeers correctly forecast the situation and goes on to say;
        “Remember also that before the (1972) referendum in Norway, the pro-Marketeers predicted, if Norway came out, just the same imaginary evils as our own pro-Marketeers are predicting now. The Norwegian people voted NO. And none of these evil results occurred.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          dixie

          The reason being that in the 1960s – just prior to their own 1972 referendum – the discovery of oil turned them from one of Europe’s poorest countries into one of its richest with 50% of its exports in oil.

          Nevertheless they still chose to belong to the EU single market and being a highly integrated member of most of EU markets and of course Schengen.

          As for your extracts you quote from the 1975 ‘NO’ pamphlet: nearly every forecast it derides came true.

          • dixie
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            “Nearly every forecast came true?”
            A rapid rise in our living standards? – our living standards have effectively fallen in costs of housing, transport, competition for access to medical treatment
            A trade surplus with the Common Market? – most definitely not.
            Better Productivity? – nope, apparently that’s been in decline in the protectionist EU also.
            Higher Investment? – asset stripping by EU companies does not count as inward investment and nor does selling off expensive properties to all and sundry.
            More employment – apparently we have done well in this but at the cost of uncontrolled immigration.
            Faster industrial growth – we’ve had faster industrial decline thanks to EU membership providing a nurturing environment for EU asset strippers.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Yes, indeed, D in K.
      Handing them a ”transition period” in which to get their act together seems to be the height of folly. Unless, of course, Parliament actually wishes to give the Remain contingent and their EU masters a second chance to be a scapegoat.
      ”Not my fault, guv…”

      • L Jones
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Or has that indeed been ”the Cunning Plan” all along? Give the daft voters just enough hope to keep them quiet for a while, string them along, allow the ”enemy” time to regroup for a final victory, then appear to accept defeat as a price for trade?
        The EU masters must be crowing even more loudly than the gullible electorate.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      What “propaganda effort”?

      How much of our MSM news time is taken up reporting verbatim statements from the European Union, compared with froth about politics here?

      • dixie
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:14 am | Permalink

        @mic – The propaganda efforts by the EU and pro-EU agents, agencies and useful idiots in the UK – the Remainiacs. You yourself have been part of that effort, surely you understand your role…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Yes, I’m sure that you very much do wish that about half the active electorate would cease reminding you of what an irrational and self-destructive choice you have made.

          The political life of a nation in a democracy doesn’t work like that though.

          You lost 32:68 in 1975, but you never gave up, and with the help of your influential allies you have got your way.

          Why should we differ?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

            You can have another referendum in another 40 years Martin.
            Wait like we had to.
            It is only fair.

          • dixie
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            So you advocate the leavers should use the same means as the remainiacs have done over the last 44 years, the last 3 and half in particular.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Martin ic

            You are perfectly entitled to form pressure groups, political parties etc advocating for rejoining the EU. First though I would wait and make sure that we aren’t actually vastly better off outside the EU or else you will end up looking remarkably silly

  9. agricola
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Agreed, but because you feel the need to raise the question I in turn have doubts concerning the real intention of the government. Tell me what is wrong with departure on 31st January on WTO terms with the offer of an FTA and the continuity of current trading arrangements under Art 24 of GATT by mutual agreement. It would quantify the sincerity of the EU in wishing to reach a swift agreement. That would ensure minimal disruption until the FTA is agreed. The FTA then becomes isolated as a trade agreement and is not dependant on harmony in any way with the rules of the internal market, nor would it be dependant upon the UK making continued membership fees or giving away fishing rights. Remember, harmony so called, is bullshit for control. We and the EU buy what we wish to buy based on price, quality, and delivery in future. Were the EU to say no then they are left with trading on WTO rules.

    Further, at what point in time do we become free to sign trade agreements with other nations around the World. Is it 31st January 2020 or 31st December 2020. On this we need clarification. For the information of the walking wounded of socialism, having a trade agreement with any nation is not a compulsion to buy from that nation. We buy what we wish to buy. Chlorinated chickens, good or bad are irrelevant.

    Perhaps you would be kind enough to put some meat on the bones of the points I have made.

    Fishing permissions should be granted to individual European nations in line with our conservation regime and not to the EU as a whole. All other items of ongoing cooperation should be covered by a separate treaty under the auspices of the Vienna Convention.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Agricola
      All that is too much common sense. There won’t be answers.

      We are being thrown crumbs thus far, and I’ve no doubt that crumbs will be showering down over the next few weeks so that we think we’re about to have a feast. People desperately want to be optimistic and are ready to clutch at straws (mixing metaphors) and can be kept quiescent by being trickle-fed crumbs – and this suits the ‘powers that be’ because the vast majority will accept that this is ”Brexit” – whether it’s 31 January or June or December, or whatever.

      I think throughout next year there’ll be a steady shower of crumbs so that the poor gullible electorate will think we’re on our way. Then we’ll be told – ”Well, it’s like this, you see….what happened was……” So – what kind of Brexit? The kind that the EU masters dictate – THAT’s what kind.

      I really hope I’m wrong.
      I hardly recognise myself – I used to be such an optimist.

  10. dixie
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Leaving means taking back control of everything, including fishing, the EEZ, defence, regulations, everything It means defending and promoting our interests just like any other sovereign nation, something our euphilic representatives have failed to do by giving way and giving control to the EU over the last 40 years.

    It is reported in the Times, Mail and elsewhere the EU are threatening to block City access to EU financial markets unless they get their way. Even if Boris acquiesces you can guarantee the EU will cripple access to their markets, certainly if we do anything they consider a threat.

    Clearly, it is a waste of time “negotiating” with these people, they do not negotiate so we should simply leave immediately, no trade agreement. Instead focus our efforts on those countries who wish to trade and cooperate on other matters to mutual advantage.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      The EU also wants to strongarm Switzerland. I think they will find they become the losers behind their financial Iron Curtain.

  11. Polly Smith
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    This is untrue. Although it is correct to say there is is just one kind of Brexit – taking back control of our money, our borders, our laws and our trade policy – what Boris Johnson plans will NOT do that. His “deal” (surrender!) will hand over Northern Ireland to the EU in perpatuity, destroying our United Kingdom, and it also commits the whole country to the role of the ECJ into the future. This is NOT what we voted for. Any Conservative MP who backs Boris’s BRINO will pay a heavy price the next time they seek election

    • Andy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      It is what you voted for. It is Brexit. Stop moaning about it. It is all you have.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy – -I concede the electorate has given Boris power to ‘give away’ the family silver, and to explain that it was so old and tarnished that it was of little value. A 2020 version of Brown flogging the gold reserve.
        I’m not moaning (yet) but feel justified in fearing the so called negotiation ahead.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      A silly post. This is clearly not the case. Indeed there is now again all sorts of shroud waving about ‘no deal’ which could not happen if what you wrote is correct

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      But some on your side claim that you voted for everything from the resurrection of the British Empire, to the re-introduction of duodecimal measurements, to the repeal of the Human Rights Act and to the preservation of Merrie England coffee houses.

      Of course it’s not available, and nor are any of the other fantasies.

      You seemed to imagine that if Leave won, then the European Union would disappear. On the contrary, this spectacle of sheer folly has markedly invigorated it.

      • Pud
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        I’ve only ever heard Remoaners linking the British Empire to Brexit.

  12. Simeon
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for finally acknowledging the elephant in the room.

    “We will have to accept the costly legacy of the last Parliament was expensive delay to our exit.”

    First question; Why was the legacy of the last Parliament (which Boris Johnson led) costly delay?

    Second question; Why must this Parliament accept this legacy, when, at least in theory, Parliament cannot bind a future Parliament’s hands?

    Reply This Parliament could overturn the Agreement and just leave but there are very few MPs who wish to do so or elected to expressly do that so it is not going to happen.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,

      Thank you for answering my second question. I agree that, given that MPs were elected on a platform of voting through BJ’s deal, they should do so. Meaning what you say and then doing it is very important. But you leave the first question unanswered, though this is the crux of the matter.

      • sm
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        The answer to your first question is surely that the Prime Minister had no effective majority before the latest GE.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          No. BJ could have rejected what he inherited when he became PM and called an immediate GE. He could have affirmed his willingness to leave without a deal (which of course was always the only way to leave), whilst playing the necessary political game of being willing to do a deal on the UK’s terms. Instead, he went with May’s WA, and made it his own.

        • Hope
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          I think JR is in Fantacy land today and has forgot his 2017 manifesto no deal better than a bad deal. His govt and MPs betrayed the electorate, party, parliament and nation. Starkey is quite right on that point.

          How many times did his PM say nothing agreed until everything agreed. Is JR now prepared to confirm his govt lied on many occasions to deceive and sell out the nation?

          Reply Last PM promised us good deal or no deal which OI supported . She then failed top deliver so I helped replace her with someone who said he would get us out.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Hope

            From our kind host’s answer I think we can safely conclude that he is not yet ready to confirm what we, quite rightly I’m sure, believe to be true.

          • Fred H
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            reply to reply…..but it wasn’t an unconditional ‘he would get us out’ was it! Sounds like a warder in a prison tells you he will get you out, then after you agreeing, he says ‘oh but you leave without your legs’.

          • Hope
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Johnson said he would get the UK out the EU by the 31/10/2019 deal or no deal as well! This was his campaign mantra to be leader of your party and then PM. He also said categorically that Mayhab’s deal was dead! He is now delivering it with a few minor tweaks, falsely claiming it is a new deal. Were you not listening or have selective hearing?

            How about all those election lies about get Brexit done or leave by January nonsense? Why not no WA or PD and leave in January?

            Explain to us why you made all your condemning blogs about Mayhab’s deal or your view at the Bruge Group meeting to now vote for it. It is on video if you wish to view it.

            You might as well as voted for Mayhabs deal from the outset instead of blocking something you now willingly support.

            Reply I tried hard to get us out in March and October in a Remain dominated Parliament. The revised WA is better than the May version as it gets us a cleaner exit after December 2020 with no lock in to single market or Customs Union. I would like to leave asap and not pay any more money but that is not the will of Parliament.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Sir John,

        Was BJ obliged to pick up the WA and run with it? If he WAS obliged to do so, then that begs the question, Who is really running the country? If he CHOSE to go with the WA, then this would contradict his assertion that the WA was dead – an assertion that apparently was key to him securing the support of the ERG.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          Can we coclude that you accept it is one or the other then?

          • Simeon
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            *conclude

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Reply “This Parliament could overturn the Agreement and just leave but there are very few MPs who wish to do so or elected to expressly do that so it is not going to happen.”

      Reply to reply… This reply, Mr Redwood, suggests this Parliament to only be marginally better than the last… certainly lacking in courage to do the job properly!

      How utterly sad!

      • Hope
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        It is a dishonest Parliament with all thqtmwas said and written since 2016. Johnson said Mayhab’s deal was dead. He lied that is clear because he is now agreeing to the contents that he condemned!

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        “How utterly sad!”

        But entirely predictable.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      It was really the costly legacy of May and her negotiators, not Parliament in the first instance.

      Why on earth are we going through an implementation period when there’s nothing to implement?

      Why didn’t hapless May insist on agreeing trade in parallel with other issues rather than after them?

      There is no doubt that hapless May’s poor handling led to Parliament’s delay, and not vice versa. Then she has the cheek to tell Johnson that this is what should have happened two years ago! Unbelievable – it would have happened had she not over-rated her own abilities and stood aside far earlier!

      We are truly still reaping the rewards of the EU thinking we are still a soft touch, with Van de Leyen saying we must extend…

      If negative honours could be bestowed, she would be at the front of the line, to coin a phrase.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Why was BJ obliged to tread the path May had laid?

        • Otto
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          JR is really getting into the MP’s swing of not answering questions.

    • Kevin
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      “elected to expressly do that”

      The only demonstrably express mandate that MPs have is that which appeared on the referendum ballot paper: “Leave the EU”. There was no amendment to this instruction, referencing the Withdrawal Agreement, on the general election ballot paper. If MPs vote through the WA, they are choosing to do so.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      reply — and I’m sure you know, and also have accepted that the majority of the new Conservative government are in no hurry to leave. Boris has repeated ad nauseum ‘get it done’ yet 31st January will come and go, and very likely end of December will be as satisfying as watered down thin soup.

    • agricola
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply
      So on your own admission we have a knobbled tory party before they even start. With the threat of Leave with no deal off the agenda any negotiation is just a fart in a bottle. Barnier must just love the UKs talent for negotiation.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        “Negotiation”? – the way the EU carries on it should be changed to a more apt word . . . . No-go-tiation.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Simeon
      Telling, isn’t it? ”.. there are very few MPs who wish to do so…..”
      It shouldn’t be about what MPs want, their consciences, their wishes. The country as a whole has said clearly it wants OUT – and it is well understood now that we want out cleanly, without strings, and as soon as possible, with no further delay to allow the remain contingent and their EU masters to get their act together to prevent it. Handing them a ”transition period” in which to do this is outrageous.

      So of course we should ”just leave” as Parliament could decree, if they were following our wishes – but, as Sir John says, there are few MPs who want to fulfil OUR wishes. They seem to have their own agenda.

      • Shirley
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        L Jones

        Sadly, after the GE, the only thing that can be sensibly argued, given the nature of our political system, is that the country clearly wishes for the Tory party to govern, and presumably in the way they said they would. That’s what we voted for.

        • Shirley
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          … and the alternatives were … ? There were none, other than Remain, thanks to FPTP.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            I accept that Farage’s actions substantially disenfranchised many. After his folly, Leavers were bereft of leadership and direction. Many evidently decided to vote Tory and hope for the best. Clearly, the government we have, despite its large majority, fails to represent the views of many, even amongst those who voted for it. The system has failed, but even more so the actors within it – both our appalling political parties, and also The People. It is our collective failure, over many, many years, to demand better that led us to where we are. It will take little short of a political revolution to achieve meaningful change and some semblance of good government.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply; ‘there are very few MPs who wish to do so’.

      The problem is that the Tory Party remains a Remain party at heart. Not one of these Tory MPs is prepared to explain why we are giving the EU £39 billion (6 times the amount allocated to 40 new hospitals) just to initiate talks rather than paying this ‘bribe’ (illegal?) once the outcome of the talks are known. [Note: The House of Lords report of 4th March 2017 made it clear that we are under no obligation to pay the EU any money on leaving – it is being paid solely because the Tory Party unnecessarily wants to give this taxpayers’ money away].

      The WA, if shamefully it is to be signed, must include the amendment ‘Nothing is agreed before everything is agreed.’ so that £39 billion is paid on results, and then, if no FTA, then no money is paid. Common sense.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        A ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ clause is a lovely idea, but I can’t see why the EU would concede it, never mind that the Tories aren’t going to suggest it.

        • James Bertram
          Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          Simeon – the EU would agree this if they were given the choice between either a ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ clause, or us not signing the WA at all.
          It’s time for the Tories to show some spine – so not holding my breath on this.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            You are certainly right not to hold your breath! My point was that given the present context, were the UK to attempt a pivot to this position, the EU would call the bluff; it is clear as day that BJ wants a deal – and indeed he has painted himself into a corner whereby he *needs* the deal, never mind that big business, etc. demand it. The only way now to get rid of the deal is uto get rid of BJ – but obviously that is not happening. But I’m not infallible, so perhaps the Tories aren’t in fact invertebrates and the WA will be meaningfully amended. Over to you Sir John 🙂

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      But they were elected to get BREXIT Done ! If we are still in the EU how is that fulfilling on that promise ?

      I fail to see the conflict in just Leaving, as that was what has been promised.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        That promise has since been superseded by many other incompatible promises.

  13. Mick
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I to want to be free from the shackles of the Eu the sooner the better, what’s your bets that someone like miller grieve Blair major sturgeon are looking into some way of keeping us tied to the dying corpse of the Eu

    • BeebTax
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      They’re not going to give up, so we have to be vigilant. Just as well we have our host in parliament, doing just that.

    • Gordon Nottingham
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks Mick. I AGREE

    • Steve
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the duplicitous Starmer.

      • steve
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        How is it possible that you can post using my name ?

  14. Cortona
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I fear that the EU can play hardball over financial services access where we have a lot to lose and they will use any concessions on access to such services to ensure continued fishing rights etc. This is an area I haven’t heard you address and I would be grateful to hear your view on this key part of our economy please Sir John as the City seems concerned about it?

    • forthurst
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      There is a need for far stricter regulation of the City. Since the Big Bang, the City has been infested with various species of Wall Street parasite such so-called Investment Banks and Private Equity. The City should be re-focused on providing necessary services, not selling toxic derivatives, predating on British businesses or trying to undermining Brexit.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately as the country is insolvent we do what the City(which these days is mostly foreign-owned and merely hosted by London)dictates.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      The Single Market in Financial Services is not complete. It is the carrot on a stick that they keep dangling in front of us and, like the fools we are, we fall for it. It is better to just walk away and tell them to come and talk about fishing rights etc when they are ready to be serious.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Please define “they”.

        Thanks.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          The EU Commission.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Boris Brexit is not leaving or taking back control in any meaningfully way.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      And once the new treaty is signed there is nothing more we can do.

      I would never has said we held all the good cards but, we had more than enough and if we played them well could have a Withdrawal Agreement all could be happy with. Instead, we had an Establishment, a political class and corporates all falling over themselves to sell us out. And they have nearly won. It is just up to those Uncle Tom’s to sell the honey coated turd to the unsuspecting public.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        The sale was surely complete at this GE…

  16. Sharon Jagger
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning!

    I too think Brexit is taking back control of everything. And I am sceptical and a bit fearful of the further harm that could happen to us during the so called implementation period. It appears to be a period of stand still, when the trade deal is supposedly to be agreed.

    It is reassuring to hear about the sovereignty clause that has been added to the bill, and all legal ties end on that date in 2020.

    However, the EU are continuing to contrive ways to prevent to delay etc. and can we be certain they’ll take notice of the clause on sovereignty etc?

    How anyone could describe Brussels as our “friends “ is beyond me, very clearly they are not and never have been!

    The safest means of ensuring an end to the spider’s web of steel around us would have been to leave first, then sort out the trade deal. Oh well, we are where we are.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      The Sovereignty Clause is much like Hague’s Triple Lock on EU legislation – A worthless ruse to dupe the masses and provide MP’s with a figleaf of an excuse.

  17. Stred
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    There is a good article in the Conservative Woman website today about the treacherous signing up to the EDA and the political declaration promising to use our endeavors to assist the EU in military ventures inside EU members and outside when requested by the European Council. Duncan signed as instructed by May while Johnson was Foreign Secretary and supposed to be his senior minister.
    The political declaration also accepts the superiority of the European Court of Justice. Just when and how do we tell them to stick it? Remainers are still in the majority in parliament. The disastrous previous chief of the Crime Prosecution Service has just be sent to the Lords to continue her work and the previous chief, who has been undermining Brexit since he arrived in House of Commons is up for the leadership of the opposition.

  18. Alan Joyce
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is notable that you have selected fishing as a potential ‘sticking point’. Although only a fraction of overall trade talks, it looks as though it will have a disproportionate effect on securing a FTA. Indeed, it has already been reported that the EU will seek to schedule the trade talks so that they secure an agreement of fishing quotas before they will proceed to anything else.

    Fishing may be the litmus test that determines if Mr. Johnson really is determined to take back control. However, I fear that it may be bargained away in return for greater access to the single market – possibly for financial services.

  19. DOMINIC
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    You have a point of view I am happy to publish, but not if it always comes with hostile and exaggerated adjectives before every person mentioned by name.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    So Brian may is CBE, Roger Taylor just been made OBE, but John deacon gets nothing.

    Sounds like prejudice against bass players to me, why is guitar worth more than drums, and drums more than bass in the honours system?

    Shows how biased and full of prejudice the whole thing is.

    The class system alive and well even in music.

  21. Alan Joyce
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I am pleased that the former Speaker of the House does not appear in the New Years’ Honours List. Apparently, it is the norm for former Speakers to be given a peerage and elevated to the House of Lords.

    Clearly, as Mr. Bercow himself argued, “If we were guided only by precedent, manifestly nothing would ever change”. Therefore, he can have no quibble with his omission from the Awards.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      It has just been delayed. Bercow will get his ‘honour’ next time around when the Establishment thinks the dust has settled. After all Allison Saunders has got her second.

      And tbe Brexit betrayal will live on under Continuty May. Boris and the Tories under him will sell us out. Brexit will be shown to be a deceit that the WA2 is.

      • Alan Joyce
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Redwood,

        @The Prangwizard,

        I hope you are wrong but fear you may be right.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        +1

  22. jerry
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sorry to say, unless there is a massive shake up in how Govt and the Civil Service is run we will simply carry on muddling through, being lead by pre-existing and future EU regulations.

    I actually hope the EU-UK trade talks fail during 2020 and thus this time next year we are looking at a final exit on WTO rules, but unless the Govt have done trade deals with the USA, Australia and any other sovereign nation that’s ready and willing the PM will no doubt be forced by economic necessity to ask for an extension to the trade talks with the EU, perhaps for years to come (in other words the EU will have won)….

  23. Javelin
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    MPs have short memories. Voters have long memories.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Javelin – – Voters sign their copy of a brief written contract. The other party to it sets a verbal basis for the contract. If a manifesto was the other part voters could expect to sue on non-performance. As the contract must now be a verbal one, the electorate should ensure the verbal promises are carried out. We shall see.

  24. DOMINIC
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Who controls the UK’s armed forces? Have agreements, written or otherwise, been reached between the UK and the EU that transfer operational control over our army, naval and air forces to EU aligned command and control

    We need to be told but more importantly our armed forces need to know to whom they owe their allegiance. Is it Queen Elizabeth II or the President of Germany? Would we put ourselves in harm’s way for Merkel?

    Does the Tory party really care that much about these most important points or are they still pandering to the CBI?

  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Simply do not agree with your position John.

    The Conservative manifesto is totally different in explanation and meaning to the actual content within the withdrawal agreement.

    Our Government is signing the WA, not the manifesto.

    We now have a ridiculous situation where a Prime Minister who has been put in a very strong position to negotiate by the electorate, has agreed to sign a document which was conceived and negotiated by a previous prime minister who was weak, and gave in, after having manufactured their own weak position.

    What complete and utter stupidity.

    Just leave on our own terms and work in co-operation on areas of mutual interest.

    I see the Royal Navy English Channel rescue taxi service is still operating as well as before.?

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “We will have to accept the costly legacy of the last Parliament was … ” not just “expensive delay to our exit”, it was leaving us in an unnecessarily weak negotiating position. However what was done was done, and while maybe some of the mistakes could be undone quite easily there will be others for which there would inevitably be some kind of cost.

  27. ian terry
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    There is no need or desire to make further concessions on things like fish to secure a FTA.

    Absolutely correct. What do they not understand obout the words leave and out?

  28. agricola
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    What a mealy mouthed mean spirited lot are those who suggest and sanction the New Years Honours List. To omit the driving force behind Brexit, without whom it would never have happened typifies the irrelevance of the process and those who have a hand in it. History will look after Nigel Farage when the turd polishers are well and truly forgotten.

  29. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It would be nice if on the 31st January we had some kind of a national celebration, ringing the bells on Big Ben is fine but that is for London, where in fact “Remain” won! What about the rest of us nationally that would like to welcome a new dawn for our great country John?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Agree!
      What I would like to see is all the traditional beacons across the country lit at 11.00 pm GMT on 31st January. – But it won’t happen. It would be considered non PC!

  30. glen cullen
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Either way its going to cost us £39bn+

    ….and the media are going mad about £250m for hositpal car parking but £39bn for the EU is okay !!!!

  31. Andy
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    It will be funny when you are forced to make concessions to secure a trade deal. I can already imagine your outrage.

    Why should the EU give the Little Englanders everything they want without getting some of what it wants?

    The answer is that they shouldn’t and they won’t. Hard lessons are coming your way.

    Incidentally, I do expect there will be a trade deal. It may even be done in a year. Brexiteers – as usual – will cheer without reading the details. But you are so desperate for a deal you will literally sign us up to any old rubbish. For you lot it has not become about the quality of the deal, it has become about getting any deal you can. The same will apply to the deal you sign with the US. It will be ludicrously one sided.

    As for freedom of movement – thank you for reminding us that xenophobic pensioners are stealing this from young people. At the end of the day Brexit largely boils down to the baby boomers not liking foreigners. And we all know it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Andy. So bigoted and bitter. Sad.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      lets remember together again your two repeated predictions over recent years:-

      1. the EU would not re-open the WA and would not remove the backstop
      2. the Tories would lose the election.

      Keep the predictions coming, they make good reading!

      • Andy
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        They EU didn’t reopen the withdrawal agreement. They merely went back to an older version which Theresa May had rejected for being too bad. Incidentally Johnson rejected it at that stage as well. He just completely capitulated later.

        And I didn’t say the Tories would lose the election. Why would I think anyone would lose to Corbyn? I’ve said the inevitable post Brexit Tory wipeout is coming. And it is. The question is just when.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, so much of your analysis is correct. However, your assertion that what is happening was the only possible form of ‘Brexit’ is wrong. Your invective is almost entirely aimed at voters rather than politicians. Perhaps this is telling. I don’t doubt that you revile the ‘Brexiteer’ politicians, but that you revile people you cannot possibly know, and indeed seemingly refuse to understand, is contemptible.

    • Oggy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Cobblers.
      Haven’t you learnt anything from the many thousands of posts here. Brexiters don’t want a deal, repeat – leaving with NO DEAL is the outcome most of us want and voted for.

      • Andy
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Except it isn’t. You voted for what Vote Leave promised – and that included a deal. No deal has never been offered as a choice to the electorate – as much as your revisionism might wish it to be otherwise.

        And, incidentally, no deal is not an option anyway because we are not toddlers.

        • dixie
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 1:31 am | Permalink

          Usual unsubstantiated rubbish.

          Vote Leave promised nothing – they had no authority. The most they could do was forecast and propose policies. The choice to leave was not contingent on a trade deal

          According to the Ashcroft 12,000 sample exit poll people voted to leave predominantly to have decisions about the UK taken in the UK, to regain control over immigration and borders and because we have little or no choice over how the EU expanded membership and powers

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Andy : “As for freedom of movement – thank you for reminding us that xenophobic pensioners are stealing this from young people. At the end of the day Brexit largely boils down to the baby boomers not liking foreigners. And we all know it.”

      When “young people” (children) have grown older and wiser and are no longer under the influence of the educational establishment they will realise how sensible it is for the adequate provision of services to know just how many people reside in the country.

      Freedom of movement within a very large EU, that is keen to expand even further to include Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and the Ukraine plus Mr. Cameron’s list of “stan” countries (see his “Atlantic to the Urals” speech made in Kazakhstan July 2013) means that our future population size cannot be known and consequently planning for housing, schools, hospitals, GPs, energy, the environment, prisons, and general infrastructure becomes impossible.

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        PS : Freedom of movement should only exist between countries with similar levels of minimum wage. This should be no problem for the EU who are always keen to promote “a level playing field”.

  32. Derek Henry
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    YES!

    Love it and a clean break from the fiscal and monetary straight jacket. We have to bring both sides of the argument to the table to improve the debate that helps everybody after brexit. Improving the debate is always a good thing.

    Somebody said this to me during a debate….

    ” Deficits can NOT “help us fight a myriad of problems that plague our economy–inequality, poverty and unemployment, climate change, housing, health care, and more.”

    we can’t use deficits to solve problems if we continue to think of the deficit itself as a problem.” Deficits are ALWAYS the problem. Period. End of discussion.

    Deficits are wrong in personal finance and more so in government budgets.

    A deficit is the equivalent to a HIGHER tax. Think about it. All debts must be paid either by the debtors or the creditor. In the case of a deficit the taxpayer is BOTH. And who pays the taxes that pay off the deficits that pay for the wages of all those “helpful” government employees? Not the lazy SOBs that sit on their arses in council housing, but the productive hard workers who are trying to save so they can pay for their OWN housing and necessities.

    Government deficits is NEVER the answer. FREEDOM always is. ”

    Sounds reasonable and straight to the point and fits in with the narrative that has been created while we were in the EU.

    So I calmly showed them the real data graph that shows the budget deficit = The private sector surplus to the penny. Then replaced some words using the other side of the balance sheet.

    It looked looked like this……

    ” A private sector surplus can NOT “help us fight a myriad of problems that plague our economy–inequality, poverty and unemployment, climate change, housing, health care, and more.”

    we can’t use private sector surpluses to solve problems if we continue to think of the private sector surplus itself as a problem.” Private sector surpluses are ALWAYS the problem. Period. End of discussion.

    Private sector surpluses are wrong in personal finance and more so in government budgets.

    A private sector surplus is the equivalent to a HIGHER tax. Think about it. All debts must be paid either by the debtors or the creditor. In the case of a private sector surplus the taxpayer is BOTH. And who pays the taxes that pay off the private sector surplus that pay for the wages of all those “helpful” government employees? Not the lazy SOBs that sit on their arses in council housing, but the productive hard workers who are trying to save so they can pay for their OWN housing and necessities.

    Private sector surpluses are NEVER the answer. FREEDOM always is.

    Does not sound so reasonable now does it.

    🙂

  33. Alison
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you. I hope it is everybody who wants control of our laws and borders, money and trade.
    Our territorial waters – 200-mile zone – and our fishing quotas and management must, must return to our full control by end 2020. No concessions. That does not mean no quota eg for the French, it means we have full control. Leave the French government to look after its fishermen.
    The EU’s ‘management’ of our seas is typified not just be quotas which favour other countries, but in so doing result in substantial over-fishing and thereby causing (for example) a massive decline in the numbers of puffins, to the extent that puffins are in danger, and endangered in some areas.

    • Davek
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Don’t know how you can say 200 miles- all we had for fishing rights before we joined the EEC was 12 miles from a coastal base line- look to me if we are leaving the European Fisheries Zone we will revert to the position we had prior to 1973/ 1978

      Please don’t confuse zones for EU fishing and mineral rights with territorial rights- the UK territorial sea rights has been out to 12 miles since 1987 only and before that it was three miles from the coast.

      • dixie
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        While the UK territorial limit is 12 miles, the UK EEZ which has been asserted by Statutory Instrument 2013 no. 3161 came into force 11th December 2013 and complies with the UNCLOS (1982) 200 mile limit.

        Don’t confuse the UNCLOS defined EEZ with what you euphilics would like the EU to have.

  34. bill brown
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    This is not just about a deal according to WTO rules , which cold involve new tariffs, quantity restrictions and other issues. This is also about data exchange, security, future issues on financial transactions, citizen rights and many other issues. I understand your bias for wanting to simplify the issues involved, but it is much more than a free trade agreement, so let us make sure we get the best deal possible with the Eu, as they will remain our largest trading partner for many years to come and our nearest neighbours as well

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      We don’t have to accept political interference to trade.
      The EU is all about politics. The trade aspect is a smoke screen for greater integration.
      I see von Leyton wants us in the Single Market until end of 2022, no doubt to give them time to do as much destruction to Britain as possible.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Ian

        What happened to your Brexit party?

        • BillM
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          They did their job and remain the largest party in the EU Parliament. Until Jan 31st when Britain leaves the EU. NI at the end of 2020.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Billy hans

      We do not trade with the EU we trade with the individual 27 countries. The USA has always been and will remain our biggest trading partner . You really ought to find out more about how selling products and services to customers actually works in the real world

  35. Peter
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    “This Parliament could overturn the Agreement and just leave but there are very few MPs who wish to do so or elected to expressly do that so it is not going to happen.”

    That is the issue in a nutshell. We are getting a warmed up version of May’s Agreement with 95% still in place.

    That may remove Brexit from the headlines by allowing Boris to claim we have left the EU but there will be more difficulties to be addressed further along the line.

  36. BOF
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This morning,Sir John, I think you have highlighted in your entry and in your reply to Simeon, that we have been through what must be one of the most shameful periods in Parliamentary history and most especially in the history of the Conservative party.

    The honorable thing to do would be to overturn the Withdrawal Agreement and just leave and the fact that this will not happen reflects poorly on the Parliamentary party. We must now endure another year of being in the EU and from February that will be without representation, paying £1B pounds a month for the privilege, paying 80% of duties on non EU goods plus a large amount of VAT and under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

    I have lost all trust and would not be surprised should this Parliament find ways of keeping us shackled to the EU in various ways, as the Norwegian politicians have done to their country.

    That it will be over four and a half years since the referendum should cause our elected politicians to be deeply ashamed. I doubt they will be.

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    But we are “leaving” on 31st January? ….Boris did say…unless I dreamed it.
    Latest article sounds a bit grim…sitting here on my carousel ostrich the snake-tongued merry-go-round seems to be whizzing back around to the Slough of Despond.
    La,la,la,la…..

  38. agricola
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Pleased to read that the Princess Royal has little time for Health and Safety because it negates the capacity of youth to make judgements.

    Years ago I was a mountaineering and rock climbing instructor at an Outward Bound School. Boys were divided into groups of twelve and competed in a few activities. One such was a 12 foot planked wall where after much training 12 boys went from a start line over the wall and dropped into a sandpit. I vaguely remember the record was about 22 seconds.

    On a social visit some 20 years ago, out of nostalgia I had a look at said wall. It had acquired an A4 sheet of instructions for participants and another A4 sheet for instructors. I then looked at the wall. It had acquired a gallery on the downside plus a set of steps so completely negating it’s purpose and function. Later the chief Instructor explained that it was all down to health and safety.

    We never killed anyone and to the best of my memory the only injuries were a few bruises at worst. I came away thinking what a sad state of affaires was the conning of pupils into thinking they were doing something slightly dangerous and challenging, that with training could be overcome. I wonder if the naval gun challenge has been knobbled.

    Well said the Princess Royal.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Extremely well said. A little late but…
      A teacher I knew was involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme years ago.
      The participants were under school leaving age (16 at a sec mod)…all boys.
      Part of the challenge was to get to a remote moor ( there were plenty in those days), pitch a tent, cook a meal and sleep in said tent for one or two nights.
      Always went swimmingly….
      Oh and while I am on the subject ..Secondary Moderns were wonderful schools…while the elite needed factory workers that is. Then of course the creeping Marxism of victimhood ( sec mod v grammar etc) …and now look at it …all kids involved in dire, dull rubbish learning. All will have 1st class degrees by whatever year apparently.
      How out politicians must hate us!!!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Oh..I say wonderful because they were really like technical schools.
        Art…pottery…wood and metal work..horticulture etc etc
        And they were local too. No bussing.
        Starved of resources they bit the dust helped by liberal elite who always know what’s good for us.

  39. Alec
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    This is exactly why I am dubious of Boris. Why do we need an implementation period when we’ve had years to prepare? If he was prepared to leave earlier this year without a deal why do we need to wait yet another year? It does not add up to me. I suspect a stitch up and right now I’ll probably get derided just like I was when I said the same about May after she made all her promises. I hope I’m incorrect but I fear I am not.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      No derision from me.

    • Oggy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Alec, I agree with all you say. ‘Let’s get Brexit done’ Boris knows full well his WA2 isn’t Brexit, and I too smell a rat.
      I didn’t vote for a transitional period or to pay the EU billions I voted to LEAVE.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        fully agree with your comments Oggy

  40. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with your vision of brexit, to leave the EU is to stop paying it and obeying its laws, we should not compromise that for a trade deal.

    I expect the EU will get nasty last year, they could have offered Theresa a better deal last year and had an easy time but they gambled and lost while interfering in UK politics.

    I expect France, Spain, and Netherlands will require membership of the common fisheries policy as payment for any FTA, Ireland will agitate to split the union and Germany will seek closer ties to keep the US out of the UK market.

    Boris has safeguards on the withdrawal agreement which should only cost us money for a year, anything mre and we should cancel it. He has a great negotiating position for a FTA but should not compromise, trade lost to the EU through tariffs will be more than made up with the rest of the world.

    Next year will be an interesting year in politics.

  41. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I am seriously concerned about the results for NI of trashing the Belfast Agreement and treating them differently to every other constituent part of the U.K.
    This must be radically improved as currently we are giving the IRA hope!
    Hoping the EU will overplay their hand (hopeful signs of that already) so that we do end up with WTO terms sooner rather than later.

  42. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Is there any FTA anywhere in the world that includes fishing rights ? The EU/Canada one ? The EU/Japan one ? Thought not. So why is the PM of Denmark talking as if there is ?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      And how much will the EU pay us for access to our resources?

    • Oggy
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it a shame Roy that nobody in our Government has the guts to tell these people to get stuffed.
      France, Holland and Spain will also insist on our fish in exchange for a FT deal and Spain will want Gibraltar- it would save a lot of time and effort for our Government to just grow a pair and tell them all to get lost.

      • Andy
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        So imagine we have told them to get lost – your words – what happens when:

        1) Our fishermen want to continue selling their fish tariff and barrier free into their markets? They tell us to get lost.

        2) Our financial services firms want easy access into their markets? They tell us to get lost.

        3) You want to travel visa and visa waiver free around Europe? They tell you to get lost.

        There is a reason why we do not usually allow toddlers to negotiate for us. And you show us why.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          why is this not insulting?

        • Gareth Warren
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Some answers

          1A) They sell more fish to non-EU markets and fish prices rise in the EU. Remember also, there are not enough UK fishermen for UK demand, so no jobs will be lost.

          2A) The firms get better access to non-EU markets and costs rise for the EU. When Ireland needs a bailout next time it will be more expensive.

          3A) Then more people will travel to English speaking and non-EU countries, this helps non-EU economies but hurts EU economies. Take me and healthcare, if I want a scan done in New York it only costs around £400 return to fly there, the fact they then speak English makes that destination more attractive then France.

          All of your examples have alternatives for the UK and downsides for the EU, I do expect next year the EU will cut off its nose to spite its face, at its heart it is authoritarian and all about control.

  43. Peter Martin
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    @ Derek Henry,

    “Government deficits is NEVER the answer” ??? Doesn’t it depend on the question?

    My question to you is where do you think money originates? I would say it originates when Govts deficit spend it into the economy. If there were never any Govt deficits and debts the rest of us wouldn’t have any financial assets.

    That doesn’t mean Govts should overdo their deficits. We’d all agree that could cause high inflation.

    But I’d be intersted to hear your ideas of how we can all be in surplus simultaneously.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree Peter.

      I didn’t say that the person I was debating with said it. If you read the comment again

      I replaced government deficits with the other side of the balance sheet private sector surplus.

      In spirit of debate. Once the spending Bill has been passed the money is created.

      When government spends it requests that its Treasury’s account at the BOE be debited and the reserve account of the recipient’s bank be credited and that the recipient’s current account at his bank be credited. ( some people do not like the’Treasury’s account at the BOE to be called a reserve account, but that is basically what it is.)

      Government spending creates broad money, since new bank deposits are created.

      When government raises tax or sells gilts, the reverse happens. The payer’s current account is debited, the payer’s bank’s reserve account is debited and the Treasury’s account at the BOE is credited. Government taxing or selling gilts (to the non-bank sector) destroys broad money.

      The other thing to remember is that the government has a self imposed rule that its Treasury’s account at the BOE should not go overdrawn, which means there has to be a sufficient balance in the Treasury’s account before the government can spend.

      This sufficient balance is acquired by taxing, selling gilts or writing an IOU to a commercial bank. By taxing or selling Gilts in order to acquire a balance in its Treasury’s account at the BOE, the government first destroys broad money and then recreates it when it spends.

      When it acquires a balance in its Treasury’s account at the BOE by writing an IOU to a commercial bank, it simply creates broad money when it subsequently spends. But that’s no different to me writing an IOU to a commercial bank and spending the balance that my bank then gives me in my account.

      It’s quite simple really. It’s important to remember it’s a self imposed rule that makes the govt do thins things way, but one that is generally adhered to in day to day operations.

      When the Maastricht treaty was introduced they clouded the picture with even more self imposed constraints. Banned the use of the ways and means account. Which was more efficient and was a simple overdraft the government could use at its own bank.

      Although, they broke that rule to bail out Bradford and Bingly.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        @ Derek,

        Yes apologies for that! I made the mistake of not reading all of your comment before firing off a reply.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      As a simplified walkthrough of what would happen if the Govt wishes to make a payment to me and that was the only transaction they were making:

      Treasury would request the BOE to debit one of the Treasury’s account at the BOE by the payment amount and credit the reserve account of my bank by the same amount. It would also instruct my bank to credit my current account by this amount, which it would do once it had received confirmation that its reserve account had been credited.

      That’s essentially all that happens. My bank doesn’t need to debit its reserve account in order to credit my account.

      I receive my funds in the form of a bank deposit (my asset). The deposit is my bank’s liability which is matched by an asset in the form of the increase in the balance of its reserve account. The Treasury loses an asset when its account at the BofE is debited.

      In the UK, as in most advanced economies, we have developed a highly advanced banking system – regulated by the government, with the government also supplying key components of the system – that enables participants to purchase stuff by creating their own debt, which becomes the seller’s credit. Some participants, who are respected enough and large enough and creditworthy enough, are able to issue their own debt directly to sellers (this includes the banks and clearly, the government). The majority of participants in the system are unable to issue their debt directly to sellers, so the system allows them to issue their own debt to the system, which in turn issues its own debt to the seller, which becomes the seller’s credits.

      The system allows these created credits to be easily assigned amongst participants in the system (they can be used to make purchases, they can be used to pay taxes and can be lent from one participant to another) and crucially the system will accept any such credit in the discharging of any debt to the system. Participants in the system can choose to be creators of debt, or receivers of credits and will usually choose to be both at different times. The government, which regulates the system and supplies a crucial component of the system (the central bank) as well as setting the legal framework within which the system operates, chooses to use the system just like anyone else. It can choose to be a supplier of its own debt, which creates credits for sellers. It can choose to be a user of credits created by others’ debts. It can choose to do both at different times – which it does.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      The only constraints on the system is are they enough skills and real resources to absorb

      a) Tax cuts

      b) government spending

      An inflation constraint. So it would be good jettison all the macroeconomic theory that construes the government budget constraint as an ex ante financial constraint instead of seeing it as an ex post accounting statement, with no operational relevance.

      If at some point the interest payments as a % of GDP become so large and private sector spending is such that there is less non-inflationary room available for other discretionary spending then fine that is what taxation is for – to reduce private spending and/or the government can reduces its own spending somewhat. But before that happens the current account, tax revenue (from higher activity) and saving will be taking up a signifcant part of the adjustment.

      But this is just saying that prudent government net spending is limited by the available real resources in the economy left by non-government saving desires.

      • Derek Henry
        Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Why a third of the police budget is being used for recruitment.

        So that the money being spent on the police can be absorbed without causing inflation.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          How high a level of inflation is OK for you Derek.
          We already have 2% in this period of “restraint” ?
          Double figures?
          I see many previous examples of economists like you saying lets create magic money and borrow and spend our way to prosperity.
          They tell us a bit of inflation isn’t a bad thing then they lose control and create chaos.
          Followed by recession, real austerity and unemployment..

          • Derek Henry
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            Only a bunch of idiots would lose control.

            We have one of the best private sectors in the world.

            The government, public sector and private sector could work hand in glove to make sure it doesn’t happen.

            We also need to make sure we replace the non sensical budget constraint models with inflation constraint models.

            Replacing the automatic stabilizers with a job guarentee is a fantastic price anchor.

            At the very least we should debate, it debating is always healthy.

          • Peter Martin
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            @ Edward2

            2% inflation has been a Govt/BoE target rather than an upper limit.

            The Govt has previously expected the BoE to meet its target by monetary means. In other words it keeps lowering interest rates every time the economy needs a boost.

            That road looks like its has just about run out. Some new thinking will be required.

  44. rose
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    “They have also been persuaded to put in a Sovereignty clause to protect us against abuse of EU power during the Implementation period. The Committee stage of the Bill will give the government opportunity to strengthen the position, and in so doing strengthen its bargaining hand for the Free Trade Agreement they seek in the discussions ahead with the EU. There is no need or desire to make further concessions on things like fish to secure a FTA.”

    These three things are vital.

  45. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree with the opening comment about taking back control of those four things – but it seems if the illegals just make a phone call from a few miles off the French coast good old UK instantly kicks in with £000s ferrying them into the UK, where the NHS has been scrambled into emergency mode for those whose intention is to stay here no matter what it costs the UK taxpayer. Still they come, still they are waved in, still they laugh their heads off, knowing their whole family will soon be here – in the land of the free – the free house, the free NHS, the free education, the free benefits. There is absolutely NO deterrent to them coming here.

  46. Sea Warrior
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, How do you feel about the proposed merger between the departments of International Trade and Business? I can’t help but feel that this will be a mistake and is being rushed. A merger might make sense five years down the line – but not now.

  47. John Probert
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Control, Independence but also and very important to many Identity

  48. Lester Beedell
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Nothing seems to have changed since the General Election, the usual whingers are still whinging
    We should be eternally grateful that Boris Johnson is PM with a healthy majority, and instead of predicting doom and gloom why don’t we just wait and see what happens?

    Happy New Year

    • dixie
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      We waited and saw what happened with May’s administration.

      We have nothing to be grateful for as Boris, his government and parliament have done nothing yet.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Dixie, please remind me when the GE happened
        Unless I’m much mistaken, December 12th springs to mind?
        Patience, I think that my previous comment was aimed squarely at you!

        • dixie
          Posted December 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          The have not done anything yet. All we have had is words, just as we did with May.

          Look at ConservativeHome – much celebration (Gove as “minister of the year” for Pete’s sake), mutual back slapping and pretence that having wiped out Labour at the GE all is therefore well with the UK and as it was before.

          No humility, no consideration that these people and the bubble they inhabit are severely mistrusted by the country. No recognition at all that after the betrayal of the last couple of years they are on probation.

          Boris has said some fine words, but not yet done anything, nothing to justify faith or gratitude, some aspects are quite the opposite to a degree (amnesty and etreme green). So I will not be grateful until they properly honour the result of the referendum and not seek to blind us with fair words which hide the deception of BRINO.

          If you should be grateful to anyone it is those who have kept the faith and been a thorn in the establishment. Thank the bloody infantry not the figureheads as the latter haven’t earned it yet.

  49. BJC
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I cannot help but think that this whole debacle has always been about saving the EU, while the EU does absolutely nothing to save itself. Mr Johnson has committed billions of UK taxpayer funding, which should, in theory, give them breathing space to introduce protective measures, but we all know it’s dead money that will simply be used to bolster the failed policies we’ve already rejected and will be wasted on yet more fripperies. Without extensive and fundamental change the EU is destined to implode causing major issues around the world and I have to wonder why we seem to believe that the UK holds the key to preventing this catastrophe. In the real world it’s blatantly obvious that syphoning off yet more of the UK taxpayer’s hard-earned cash to prop up the sclerotic EU is only delaying the inevitable. No amount of funding is ever going to be enough, neither is it the answer to the EU’s self-inflicted problems. I’d much rather spend these vast sums on fortifying our own economy in preparation for the moment heads are forcibly extracted from the sand and the extent of the fraud perpetrated on the peoples of Europe is finally exposed.

  50. backofanenvelope
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    The voters used their only weapon – a vote in a General Election. They delivered a kick in the slats to the remainers in Parliament. But now, our host, tells us the place is still stuffed with people who don’t get the message. I wish I knew what we could do to make them understand that we want to leave – NOW!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The ‘System’ is loaded against us – the people. When money, power and high politics are mixed you get what you have, and will continue, to see. The first thing is to try and work within the ‘System’ like all these minority pressure groups do. The other is try and convince enough people that the ‘System’ does not work for them and needs changing. The UKIP and then the BXP tried that, but it does not seem to work.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      so true – 100% agree – leave now on WTO then negotiate a deal

    • Gordon Nottingham
      Posted December 28, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we should copy Hong Kong and MAKE them listen

  51. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “Once in a lifetime, in/out referendum”, they said. No one mentioned anything about categorising degrees of Brexit on the Mohs scale (mineral hardness for the non-geologists). There was talk of “a deal” by which I assumed they meant a free trade deal.
    I voted “out” and assumed that if more than 50% did the same, we would leave completely and strike a trade deal. i.e We would end up with the same sort of relationship with the EU that is currently experienced by the USA or Australia or India.
    Those that try and tell leavers that we couldn’t possibly have understood how hard a Brexit we are heading for, just can’t grasp that others don’t share their affection for their beloved EU institutions.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The WA and current situation demonstrate just how far EU corruption in the UK has reached to include MPs, the civil service, the judiciary, the corporates, the educational establishment, the MSM, quangos and many institutions.

    As a result Brexit will have to be a process rather than an event as EU money is gradually weaned out of our system and the current young grow away from their brainwashing and begin to believe in themselves and the advantages of being a free and democratic nation.

  53. fairwind
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    So we’re back again to talk of trade by WTO and to use negotiation through WTO rules to cherry pick our way to that dream deal that we all want- with total and full access to the EU market for free trading and without paying any heed to their EU Four Freedoms- well we’ll see soon enough- bunch of dopes if you still think that’s going to work

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      We don’t need to “cherry pick”; we just need out. WTO is fine and the nearest outcome to that which was on the referendum ballot paper. As Sir John says many countries across the world trade with the EU without accepting its political rules. Why should we be any different?

  54. mancunius
    Posted December 28, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    JR, I hope you will all remain extremely vigilant during the FTA negotiations: all the evidence so far is that the EU neither understands nor accepts the concept of ‘F’ nor of ‘T’, and certainly not of ‘A’. They will desperately try to coerce and (if that fails) trick the UK negotiators into accepting the whole panoply of EU regulation. And of course, if that in turn fails, they’ll revert to the conspiratorial fearmongering threats of ‘cliff-edge’ and ‘time running out’. We should stoutly ignore these siren calls.
    I would much prefer we had no FTA with Brussels at all, as WTO rules give us more of an inducement for the domestic policies and reforms we need. I am not alone in this view, as I note many UK economists think the same.

  55. Ian@Barkham
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you have it right again,

    The EU however appear to making threats and more threats in the media that outlines the general disdain of having a neighbour that is independent and pursuing democracy.

    The question should be would any sane person ever want have any involvement of any organisation ruled by such an abhorrent sent of individuals?

    I feel sorry for the peoples of Europe that are under their control

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Set of individuals

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      What “threats” are those, beyond the fully predictable loss of membership rights?

      No, what dismays many on the Mainland is having a neighbour containing so many morally degenerate cynics, I’d aver.

  56. DavidJ
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Exactly what we need but can we trust Parliament to deliver? Doing so requires facing down the EU and probably saying “NO” (I’m being polite) to all the conditions that it seeks to impose.

    We will see but, after the recent shenanigans we cannot be wholly confident.

    • Grant
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      So watch for over the next few months to see Brexit morph into ‘Brexit 2’- Boris is a big fish in UK but am afraid only a pinkeen in the EU sharkpool

      And then what will Brexit 2 look like? well if we want to continue to trade with them- as big business wants to do- we will end up taking their rules and pay- It will be the same as before except we won’t have any say a top table! Of course to enable this there will have to be some choreography, window dressing on ‘free movement, visas etc etc, it seems the Irish border has already been redrawn- what else could there be?

  • 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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