Welcome to the exciting 20s

There is no more important task than restoring our right to self government. By the end of the first year of this decade the UK people and Parliament once again will control their laws, money and borders as they wish.

I have every confidence in the people of the UK to make wise choices and to lobby for better government. It has been the people, not their leaders, that have insisted on the UK becoming again an independent country. It will be the people that hold successive governments to account to use the powers well and to spend the tax revenues sensibly.

Once we are fully out we will have more of our own money to spend. Money played an important part in the referendum campaign. Remain forces at home and in the EU have been particularly keen to burden us with as much continuing EU spend as possible to limit the obvious gains controlling our own money brings.

Once we are fully out we can make laws that improve our lives and scrap laws that get in the way. An early candidate for reform and repeal are all the fishing rules that have done so much to damage our fishing grounds. We will be able to raise our standards of animal welfare as we wish. We can have regulations for business which set high standards in ways that allow us good trade with the rest of the world as well as with the EU.

Once fully out we can set our own taxes. We will no longer be subject to losing corporation tax revenues owing to some legal case at the ECJ overturning Parliament’s wishes. We will no longer have to impose VAT on green products and female hygiene goods. We will not have to keep our tax rates within specified bands or at required levels.

The bigger gain will be in our standing in the world. We can become a leading force for free trade through our independent membership of the World Trade Organisation. They would like a major economy to work with them to promote an agenda of freer trade worldwide at a time when the USA is using tariffs and other barriers to trade as a major instrument of wider policy. We will have our own voice and vote in many other international bodies where before we had to accept the EU line.

The UK is well placed to grow faster, to promote democratic and peace loving values worldwide, and to win new friends and influence.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

239 Comments

  1. agricola
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    You outline the opportunities well. I hope we are governed and respond in a glass half full way to the challenges ahead. There has been too much negativity over the last few years and it continues today in this diary to an irrational and illogical extent.

    The driving force for economic progress will not be the large corporations typified by CBI membership. Their negativity has existed for too long. They had a cosy existance in the EU and will need to adjust in a less protectionist world. Real growth will come from those who seek self employment and from those who have developed into small and medium sized businesses. These are the ones who would benefit from a more sympathetic attitude from government and it’s agencies such as HMRC. You and your 649 colleagues must see that they get it. They are the seed corn of our future.

    I wish you all well over the next five years as you and your fellow MPs get acquainted with running the ship once more.

    • dixie
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Agree – we need to be encouraging the smaller innovators and many of them.

      Modern desktop 3D printing came about from the efforts of a small group in Bath University plus some enthusiasts, not the large corporations. This in turn depended on the revolution in maker electronics with a small group developing the Arduino. Linux is the core engine of the internet and web services, it’s kernel was developed initially by one person and is still maintained and evolved by a small open-source team. The PC only started commercial development once most of the groundwork had been established by enthusiasts outside academia/industry.

      We need a way to encourage and support such small, independent innovators whether they are in academia, industry or just enthusiasts, a way that does not demand early or large scale returns or that it meets some academic/civil servants hot topic and involves onerous application procedures.

      I suggest looking at approaches in addition to Catapults with their regional restrictions and focus on businesses, encourage the fledgling projects that may not have immediate payback – Evolve community libraries into community maker spaces, establish X Prizes and smaller scale competitions like Hackaday Prize open to all. Require universities and colleges to actively support such community projects. My local university has been particularly poor in such engagement, my impression is because they will do nothing unless grant funding is attached. There needs to be significant attitude adjustment as even with a bit of funding such things become a patronage issue.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Encouraging them, by inhibiting their access to the market which has probably hitherto sustained them and under which they have flourished? That’s an interesting one.

        Also, by making it highly unlikely that the top talent from probably the twenty-seven best-educated countries on the planet would want to come here.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          See below for reply

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Marty ….. there is evidence that Japan, S.Korea, Russia, Norway, Israel, Hong Kong are 6 of the best 10 countries for education. UK are also in the top 10!
          That doesn’t leave the 27 as you put it in the best light.
          However, it makes a good soundbite at first glance.
          Try another approach.

          https://www.edsys.in/best-education-system-in-the-world/

        • dixie
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 3:29 am | Permalink

          @mic – So you didn’t actually read my comment at all, just used it as a convenient anchor to vent your usual claptrap.

          I am talking about supporting precursors to commercial activity, there is no market at that stage which is why it is so difficult to find resources and/or funding even places to meet. I am suggesting we explore ways to encourage people to get involved in activities that could be precursors for commercial development to make us more a entrepreneurial and successful as we engage more fully with the wider world.

          I have no objection to people emigrating here in manageable numbers and throwing their lot into our engagement with the wider world. Managing our immigration effectively and a points system should help ensure they are actually top talent and not gimmigrants.

          But EU citizens should not enjoy any priority based on them being from the EU, that would be racist and discriminating.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        These folks need proximate markets.
        Academia does ok from the “European” Horizon 2020 and grant models, but early stage businesses do better under the Irish model of US high tech transplant corporate demand plus exceptional government support from university graduate up. Give tax breaks to (particularly US) multinationals based on their opening up R and D to local start-up input and watch the high tech economy fly.

        • dixie
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 3:11 am | Permalink

          I agree that helps for commercial technology startups, but not for non-profits and precursors. Desktop 3D printing, arduino, Linux did not start that way but as very small scale non-profit enthusiast projects but all subsequently spawned many commercial, academic and non-commercial enterprises.

          Kickstarter, Patreon and the like can provide some funding routes now and I have sponsored several projects that way but they do not provide the proximate environment/community that can nurture/accelerate such precursor activities. It is hard to establish such communities and the lack of interest and support from universities, government and local authorities is disappointing when we need to be energizing all ages in such activities.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Agreed. We have heard little, other than generalities, of what the BJ government intends on taxation and the promotion of business. The forthcoming budget will provide significant indicators.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, maybe it is with ‘good intentions’ that Governments feel the need to impose up on people. Continually as UK Governments have had to take instructions the point is missed. The People and their communities can facilitate 90% of the dynamism need if allowed.

  2. Mark B
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning and Happy New Year to our kind host and all my fellow contributors.

    🙂

    By the end of the first year of this decade the UK people and Parliament once again will control their laws, money and borders as they wish.

    So after four and half years, more than twice as long as it took for India, we get to have a say over our own affairs. I am going to copy this line, this article and its link so that when the government extends the transition period I can remind you.

    Finally. Upon reading the rest, all I can say is that our kind host has somewhat over indulged in the party spirit. None of which he writes will come to pass.

    • Andy
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Good news. It’s only January 1st and I can confirm that – as a sovereign state – we already control our money, our borders and our laws.

      Rejoice.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Rejoice, indeed we do Sir.

        Your ‘Remain’ isn’t going well, is it.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Money, no. Borders, no. Laws, no. Otherwise spot on as usual Andy.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      There may be no need for an extension as our government could find a way to capitulate completely by the end of this year…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Why must you wallow in this silly self-flagellation?

        Agreeing to reasonable terms for unhindered access to the world’s richest market is in no way “capitulation”.

        Who wants dangerous, uncontrolled, food, medicines, pesticides and other products anyway?

        Reply All countries have access to the EU market WTO rules. Do stop making something out of nothing.

        • steve
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          “Who wants dangerous, uncontrolled, food, medicines, pesticides and other products anyway?”

          Did your granny (or mum) put SPAM on the table during the war ?

          Chances are she did, and chances are it kept the family going, so you come to exist.

          Think on, before casting such ridiculous aspersions about our time tested ally, without actually having the conviction to name the country, I note.

          Dangerous foods and medicines,……load of poppycock.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          reply to reply – – but then what else could he contribute?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          With respect John, that is by no means the unhindered access hitherto enjoyed, and to which I refer.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Define what you mean by “unhindered access” Martin.
            Have you ever exported to EU countries or imported from EU countries?
            I have and there is considerable red tape to meet.
            In fact the difference between the complexity of EU and non EU trading is marginal.

        • zorro
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Martin, this is just nonsense. Who is saying we would allow in “dangerous, uncontrolled food, medicines…”? China has access to the SM – have you not seen all those Chinese goods with the CE mark in stores?? So why would we allow in the independent UK allow dangerous products. It is a non-sensical Project Fear rap!

          zorro

  3. steve
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Seasons greetings to you too JR.

    You mention VAT. I may be wrong but doesn’t the EU force us to pay VAT ?

    If that is the case then surely it could be abolished altogether on 31st.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      To paraphrase Johnny Mathis:
      Until the 31st of Never and that’s a long, long time

      • jerry
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        @SJS; “the 31st of Never and that’s a long, long time”

        Not if Boris & Parliament rejects the WA, it’s just 31 days away!..

        Our’s, the UK’s and (dare I say it) Russia & and China’s next task is getting the UN back on track, true to its 75 year old charter, the UN is meant to be (or should be) a facilitator of worldwide intergovernmental dialogue, not the worlds (unelected) government.

        • jerry
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          Sorry, meant to type Our’s, the USA’s and…

    • graham1946
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      No chance. It brings in north of 100 billion a year. We’ll be lucky to get a reduction on sanitary products. The 5 percent on energy would be a good thing to scrap, would not cost that much and would help out the least well off who don’t have solar panels etc. The scrapping of the ridiculous green tax on energy would be even better, but don’t hold your breath, this is not going to be a real one nation Conservative Party, the best deals will still be for the already well off.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      steve

      “You mention VAT. I may be wrong but doesn’t the EU force us to pay VAT ?”

      No it doesn’t. But here is what we had before our EU membership:

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

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

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

      On 1 January 1973 the UK joined the European Economic Community and as a consequence Purchase Tax was replaced by Value Added Tax on 1 April 1973”

      So maybe now we can all return to the good old days.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that informative reply, Ms Howard. Appreciated, and happy new year to you.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        You are being a bit pedantic Margaret.
        VAT is a tax EU member nations all have.
        Levels of VAT are controlled by the EU within certain margins.
        The ability to zero rate certain products is not allowed.
        The ability to have a very low rate on certain products is not allowed.
        We were promised a single figure tax which would be simple administer.
        It is even more complex than the old purchase tax.

      • zorro
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
      • graham1946
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        MH

        The EU does force us to charge VAT. It was invented as a way of raising the cost of joining and belonging.

        Where you Remainers continually go wrong is in thinking that leaving the EU means a back-shift to the past. It doesn’t and constantly harping on about the 70’s and before just shows what a paucity of ideas you have in your thinking. Your ideas about the EU are from the 1950’s and earlier.

        • jerry
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          @graham1946; Nothing wrong in harking back to a period of Keynesian economics that worked, I suspect that some Brexiteers do not like to do so because it shows up the failings of their beloved Monetarist theories! :p

          • graham1946
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            When was this period of great success? The three day week? The sick man of Europe? Rationing after the war? Telephones that took 6 months to get a share of a party line?
            Margaret is right that these things happened but is wrong in thinking we will go back there. Learning from history is what is required.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            @graham1946; “When was this period of great success?”

            Try thinking about the 1950s and early ’60s, stop obsessing about telephones, the 1970s and Mrs Thatcher all the time. 💡

            Also, many people never did obtain a fixed telephone line, even after BT was privatised, the real telecoms revolution occurred from the late 1990s with the advent of ready access to cheap PAYG (and cheaper contract) mobile phones.

            “Learning from history is what is required.”

            EXACTLY!

            To obsess about your telephones for a moment longer, if you needed, rather than merely wanted, a telephone you got one, assuming telephones lines to your road existed, and not necessarily a party-line either.

            Nor did the GPO keep telling you they could not supply the ‘product’ because it was unprofitable or outside their area of interest, they ran a telephone service, not a business.

            Sometimes those who subscriber to Monetarist theories are as bad as those who subscribe to Marxism, for both it’s one or the other with nothing in-between. 🙁

          • graham1946
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            50’s and 60’s? You must ave been much more fortunate than I was. My childhood was in the late 40’s and 50’s. No central heating, no carpets, just mats on the lino which Mum banged out the dust on the washing line, iced up windows, one coal fire in the living room, cooking on a coal range, our first telly was for the Coronation, 6inch screen with a big bubble magnifier to get it up to 9 inch. Loads of other benefits. Wealth indeed!!

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            @graham1946; But the 1950s were a great advance on the home life for many compared to the 1920s & ’30s, but then the 1930s were a great advance on the 1900, your point was what exactly?..

  4. Kremer
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Every WTO member is openly laughing at the UK’s loss of influence. No one cares what tge UK says or thinks. China, the US and the EU makes the rules, everyone else follows. And you will give up your fish on day 1 of the talks, just like D Davis gave up on sequencing on day 1. Welcome to irrelevance, Brexiters

    • agricola
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Take a look in the mirror , that’s where you will find the irrelevance.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Agricola,

        Grow up and happy new year to you too

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        You find it necessary to attempt a riposte. That proves that you accept Kremer’s relevance.

        Julia Arvo’s comments, on where the UK would stand in the queue, for a deal with Australia behind the European Union should be noted, for instance.

        The Commonwealth nations have exactly the same priorities as any other country.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Sad you bill and kremer rejoice in hoping the UK fares badly.
          What us the matter with you all.
          The UK is the world’s 6th biggest economy.
          Yet you hope it will be laughed at as an irrelevance.
          Pathetic.

          • bill brown
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            thank you for a very useful and highly optimistic and positive contribution to a very serious debate

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            I see yet another post from you bill, that contains no useful content beyond sarcasm and petty rudeness.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I’m sick to death of hearing ‘no one cares what the UK says or thinks’.

      If that is the case, we should stop giving any Foreign Aid to those countries. They seem keen enough to take our money, when it suits them. I’m sure (like me) that many taxpayers are fed up with being forced to cough up, while being insulted!

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Cheshire Girl

        Agreed

        Trade, both ways is the answer, not Aid and gifts of money.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        CG – the only thing I have seen increase after giving £ billions in Foreign Aid – -is the size of their population – -then they want even more money.

    • jerry
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Kremer; Yawn … and no it wasn’t a late night, just tied of hearing the eurocrats & europhiles complain about all their lost exports to the UK.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Where is the evidence for this laughter? Your conclusions as to the irrelevance of countries other than the US China and EU members will be a surprise to all those prosperous nations not in this group. Such as Canada, Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland etc.

      I doubt this govt will cave in in the way the May govt did. If it does of course the whole purpose of Brexit will be negated. Each and every Conservative MP must feel real pressure to make sure Brexit is a success and to focus relentlessly on making the U.K. super competitive and super attractive to investment.

      If that works – and I think it might – everyone will be laughing at you.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        The EU is diminishing itself to a mere 10% of world trade. The UK exports to the EU total less than 10% of UK GDP.

        The real World is outside of the EU’s isolationist block and the are all doing better as a result

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Ian @

          “With just 6.9 % of the world’s population, EU trade with the rest of the world accounts for some 15.6 % of global imports and exports. Together with the United States and China, the EU is one of the 3 largest global players in international trade”

          Seeing that the UK population is equivalent to 0.87% of the total wouldn’t it have been wiser to stay in a larger, more important bloc?

          • Fred H
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            when we take ours away those figures will drop!

          • graham1946
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            Nope. Numbers are not everything. Most of the EU citizens are poor and cannot buy our products which is one reason why there is an imbalance of trade. A lot of the stuff we buy is relatively cheap – food etc. which we do not in general except for some niche items produce an abundance of for export, mostly due to land size and climate. Also poverty in the EU is why so many EU citizens came here as financial refugees and prefer selling on the streets or car washing to life in the EU.

          • Ian@Barkham
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            Your figures are old and now outdated.

            How is a block where the rulers are un-accountable to it’s people a good choice? That’s thuggery not democracy.

            The US is smaller than the EU and seem to be doing better. New Zealand on that basis is a mere dot, yet its people enjoy a reasonable quality of life and their leaders remain accountable to the people.

            Who in their right mind would want to be part of any Gang in the first place.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Richard 1

        Well said !

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Brussels trolls working on new years day. They must be desperate.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Krispy Kremer ( other brands are available) – some evidence please or is that just a figment of your imagination?

    • Pud
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Kremer, perhaps you can explain how being in the EU gave the UK influence on the world stage? The way I see it, the EU’s position on any topic often disagrees with the UK’s but as an EU member the world gets the impression that the UK agrees with the EU.

  5. dixie
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    A prosperous and happy new year and new decade – now we can work for ourselves and our people and cooperate with others for mutual benefit.

    If the Boris administration is truly serious about independence then they will implement changes that benefit all of us and demonstrate clear severing of rule from Brussels in all categories on or close to February 1st.

    Until then we will not have really left.

    Some suggestions;
    – reduce VAT initially to 15% and remove VAT from some products/services
    – sign the pending trade agreements and implement WTO trade facilitation
    – implement free ports, especially for deprived areas
    – boost in R&D funding with golden shares to preserve returns. Also, Something like the XPrize to spread support and access outside large companies
    – block on visa free entry from the EU while respecting the long standing agreement for Irish citizens, but review that.
    – Road usage vignette for non-UK vehicles which will have to pay to use our network
    – Enforce territorial waters and EEZ
    – Remove armed forces from EU command
    – End the EAW

    And, reciprocate any hindrance or interference by the EU.

    • Andy
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Of course most of this you can do as an EU member state.

      Not sure why you want to scrap the EAW which, after all, is only for more serious criminals. Vote Brexit get lax on crime. Was that on the other side of the bus?

      Again you have that weird Brexiteer obsession with fishing. That really won’t end well when you figure out that our fishermen need access to EU waters and markets.

      And ending visa free travel will be reciprocated. 58 million trips were made by Britons to Europe last year. You’ll have a lot of angry Brits – including many Brexit voters – if they suddenly need to fork out a fortune on red tape just to go to Benidorm.

      Still, it is interesting to read just how preposterous your Brexit has become.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Andy – – it seems us Little Englanders (or would you claim racists?) like to visit EU countries. I thought one of the thrusts of your views on here are that we wish to pull up the drawbridge?
        Perhaps as you claim we won’t ‘fork out a fortune on red tape ‘ any longer. An admission that EU imposes so much red tape. A death knell for so much UK spending in EU – – even more unemployment over the water.

      • MWB
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        I went skiing in the Alps, pre EU, without any visa problems.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          What has that to do with anything today?

          That vote in 2016 did not cause the position amongst 28 countries to revert to what it was in 1973.

      • zorro
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Andy – more nonsense from you …”suddenly need to fork out a fortune on red tape just to go to Benidorm”. Where is your proof? The EU has already confirmed that the Uk will have visa free travel. What is the fortune on red tape to travel??

        zorro

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          As leaving approaches these people are getting increasingly hysterical zorro.
          It is a pleasure to watch.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            I think Andy is very anxious that the cost of him getting to Benidorm is going up!

    • ChrisS
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      What an excellent list of recommendations. In particular, free ports and the introduction of Vignettes for non-UK vehicles.

      This is long overdue and will raise a lot of cash that must all be ring-fenced to be used to improve the strategic road network leading away from our ports.

    • GilesB
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Excellent list.

      Can we drop GDPR too?

      • SecretPeople
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Giles, there is a court report in The Times today that says search engines are not obliged to observe ‘the right to be forgotten’ except in EU member states. I wonder whether this principle will become a template for the application of GDPR outside of the EU?

    • jerry
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      @dixie; Free Ports are a good idea but they are no good if simply used to off set other needed investment, simply giving a deprived area ‘Free port’ status will likely do little for the area and more widely damage the wider Free Ports idea. The declarable of the then Govts insistence that the then new Roots group car plant should be built at Linwood (rather than close to their existing base in the Coventry area) should be learnt once and for all. Simply plonking such investments into an area doesn’t necessarily build long term economic success for the area nor the wider economy.

      Why should the UK review the 1923 Anglo-Irish treaty, doing so is more likely to promote an NI boarder poll than not.

      Any block on Visa free travel from the EU27 and the implementation of a vignette for non-UK vehicles will likely cause reciprocal “hindrance” – “fog in channel, Europe cut off”, as the old joke used to say!

      The EU, via most of the EU27 member states, will carry on having influence over the UK armed forced due to theirs and our NATO membership and should the EU27 ever fully become Federated the EU will become the largest member of NATO…

      • dixie
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        10 free ports have already been identified so I am suggesting we don’t wait for the EU to make it’s decisions, we go ahead straightaway. Once we have left we are no longer constrained by EU rules such as on state aid. I would expect the Freeports Advisory Panel to have assessed relevant factors to ensure they compliment rather than conflict with regional economies.

        I agree robbing one area to benefit another is not acceptable and UK governments do have track records in this failure.

        The EU already imposes Shengen visa requirements on “third” countries which they have stated a number of times the UK will become. My suggestion is that we reciprocate as part of our managed border, treat the EU as we already do other “third” countries.

        Of course we need to review our relationship with Ireland, even if nothing changes, as we now control our borders and until recently have not been afraid to dictate how we must manage them.

        Of course there will be geopolitical issues but we will be a sovereign nation outside of the EU and whilst we will be members of NATO, as long as that continues with the underfunding by most other European members, the EU itself is not and should have no control over any of our military.

        • jerry
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          @dixie; I wasn’t condemning Free Ports, just your idea that they are a quick-fix solution to other, far deeper, problems.

          With regards to Visas etc, there are many miles of difference between, post Brexit, returning to what was the established status que before Jan 1st 1973 and imposing rules that have never existed (at least in modern times), if the UK does so it could well invite others to impose tick-for-tack (“hindrance”) rules upon the UK accessing much of western Europe!

          The only thing that has changed with regards Ireland is that the UK is no longer a EU member. Your logic appears to suggest, post 1972, the UK should have reviewed our relationship with the CIs, they having remained outside of the EU..!

          NATO has been the servant to the needs of Western Europe since before its inception, indeed NATO was formed for that purpose, what West Germany (and other front-line and, to a lesser extent, secondary defensive lines) wanted/needed they got.

          Brexit brings full EU Federation a lot closer in my opinion, those who say that the EC will not influence NATO are sticking their heads in the sand.

          If a post Brexit UK truly dislikes the excessive influence the EU has over NATO then perhaps the UK should pull out, to either sign up to a defence pact with the USA or simply go it alone.

          • dixie
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            I did not say free ports were a “quick” fix. I said that they have already been identified and we should not wait on the EU before implementing existing plans.

            Why should the relationship with Ireland be untouchable, we should review things even if there is no subsequent change. However, the Irish government has been particularly anti-UK and I don’t see why there should not be consequences.

            The EU is not a member of NATO and despite it’s geographic size the individual countries contributes a minor part of NATOs budget and resources, I doubt that would change even if the EU replaced the membership of the individuals, especially as we will no longer be a EU contributing member.

          • jerry
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            @dixie; You accuse me of not reading what you said but have yourself replied to nothing I actually said!

            We need to put Free Ports were they are best suited, that might not actually be in deprived areas, otherwise we could simply end up with the modern equivalent of “Linwood” all over again. Free Ports need to go were they are economically best suited, not were they are politically best suited, perhaps in an attempt to hang on to a certain type of demographic voter.

            Yes the current ROI govt has caused problems with regards Brexit but what of the Irish people, what of a future govt. Best not burn any boats until one really has to, that time certainly is not now. Also, the UK needs the USA post Brexit, with or without Trump in the White House, there is a very strong Irish-American lobby in the USA….

            I never said the EU is a member of NATO, well not yet anyway. NATO is (mostly) made up of EU member States or at least nations closely aligned to it [1]. Should the EU27 become a single Federated entity the EU (the USE) will become a nation in its own right and thus a NATO member in its own right.

            [1] leaving only three outside, post Brexit, the UK, the USA and Canada

            I believe in Brexit for economic reasons, I get the impression that for you it is largely political, with a large dose of spite thrown in, yours is not a good Brexit pathway…

          • dixie
            Posted January 4, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            I accused you of nothing but you did seem to be trying to put your words in my mouth and then arguing against them.

            I agree that free ports have to be best place, I did not say otherwise. My expectation is that the Freeports Advisory Panel and those responsible for decisions would do a proper job, have you raised your concerns with them?

            Why do you assume that the EU would automatically become a NATO member. It is agitating for it’s own military and for a seat on the security council. Why should we continue as NATO to fund it’s defence when it wants to do it’s own thing. NATO would likely change or be replaced by a smaller number of Atlantic states.

            It is not “only three” there are also Norway and Iceland.

            You continually try to get the last word and project your prejudices onto others. That you confuse a wish to be independent and unwillingness to put up with crap as “spite” says so much more about you than me.

            And no, my motivation is not largely political.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    “Once we are fully out we will have more of our own money to spend”. Who is “we” the government or the people? Individuals need to have more of their own money to spend through substantial tax cuts and cuts in the vast government waste. They spend or invest it far better than governments do. It is a great shame the Boris deal is so poor largely thank to the Benn traitors – many of whom are still in parliament and even in the Conservative Party.

    I see that the Government & the dire Sadiq Khan’s concern over CO2 emissions and London’s air quality is somewhat selective. It is fine, it seems, to have a huge firework shows at tax payers expense. Also bonfires and fireworks all over the place on Guy Faulks night. But big taxes and fines on the cars needed to do your job.

    Boris should of course abandon the zero carbon energy lunacy now and go for cheap, reliable, on demand and clean energy. C02 is of course perfectly clean.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Plus we need a decent London hub airport – the best way is one new runway at both Heathrow and Gatwick and a super fast shuttle link between them (circa 15 mins) to give decent a five runway hub airport.

      • Bob
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Or why not consider a brand new purpose built coastal airport where planes can arrive or depart 24/7 without causing noise nuisance to residents. We did it for Hong Kong.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Thames estuary anyone?

      • MWB
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        We don’t need any more public ‘investment’ in London. Get the private sector to do it if they think it will be profitable.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          It would not need public investment just planning and other permissions.

    • Leaver
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      CO2 is clean. Where do you get this from? Certainly no climatologist that I’ve ever spoken to. Admittedly, CO2 is does not have the warming effect of water vapour for instance. However, the issue is that water vapour disappears in days. CO2 has a halflife of hundreds of years. A good way to think of the CO2 problem is like a slowly dripping tap. Yes, it is only a trickle, but year on year, you still end up with a full bathtub – because there is no plughole.

      Reply a 0.04% full bathtub

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        CO2 sustains all plant life.
        Get rid of it and we all starve to death

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        CO2 has been far higher in the past, if anything there is currently a dearth of atmospheric CO2. It also has many positive effects as a tree and plant food it greens the planet and increases crop yields.

        • Leaver
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          Yes, CO2 has been much higher in the past – and yes, plants absolutely need it. But currently we appear to have no way of controlling production. I’m not arguing extinction rebellion here. My issue is that parts of the world, such as Australia, Florida as well as much of the equator are becoming very unpleasant places to live. Consequently climate change is likely to lead to huge costs and migration flows. I like the world as it is, nor do I want to be paying fat bills. I also freely admit simplifying. We haven’t even got onto methane and the cow issue. I’m only arguing wht Mararet Thatcher did. I don’t think it’s particularly controversial.

          • Pominoz
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            Leaver,

            “My issue is that parts of the world, such as Australia, Florida as well as much of the equator are becoming very unpleasant places to live”

            Based on what?

            Despite this year’s dreadful Australian bushfire crisis, which in my opinion is not caused by long-term climate change, but a one-off slight delay in the southerly drift of the monsoon, Australia remains a wonderful place to live. Next year the bushfires will be almost non-existent as the long build-up of fuel from fallen leaves, branches etc. has been burnt.

      • margaret
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Which is why it makes sense to re utilise as much as is possible. Australia needs to do a lot of replanting when thing are more under control,

      • Leaver
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Well put there, JR. In 1850 we had a 0.028% full bathtub and now it is a 0.04% bathtub. In other words, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by almost 50% since the industrial revolution.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          A classic misuse of statistics.

          • hefner
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            What is wrong Edward2? 0.028 + 0.5 x 0.028 = 0.042, so the concentration of atmospheric CO2 at 0.04 has been increased by almost 50% as pointed out by Leaver.
            Please give details how this is “a classic misuse of statistics”.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Because using a percentage to headline a tiny increase of tenths of a decimal point is a classic method of overstating the size of the increase.
            I’m surprised you don’t know this ruse.

          • hefner
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            Then, explain in clear terms how you would characterize the varying concentrations of CO2 (and those of other atmospheric gases like CFCs, HFCs, … with concentrations in ppb, not ppm) over the years?
            I am whole ears/eyes to learn from you the new mathematics/statistics.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            So if one of the atmospheric elements went from one tenth of one part per million to to two tenths of one part per million you could correctly say there had been a 100% increase.
            Mathematically that is correct.
            The headline looks alarming.
            The effect is minimal.

            I regularly see the use of percentages to create alarming headlines in climate science.
            You carry on using whatever measures you like Hefner.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          and all the while widespread deforestation has done what?

        • hefner
          Posted January 4, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Edward2, and yet, and yet, it was this teeny-weeny increase in percentages of CFCs tiny concentrations that forced the politicians’ hands after about ten years to sign the Montreal Protocol aiming at slowing down the increasing ozone holes.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        If all the upper level ozone – which is essential for animal and plant life – were concentrated into a layer then it would be just a few millimetres thick.

        The heat-retaining carbon dioxide would be about six metres thick on the other hand, nearly half as much again as in pre-industrial times when it would have been just over four.

        Small percentages are meaningless, when we are discussing gazillions of molecules even at very low levels.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Yet experts can say that the average level of the sea of the whole planet has risen by 3 millimetres since last year.
          Very clever measuring that is.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            and the cost of telling us was…?

          • hefner
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            A rocket satellite launch is around $100-150 millions, the development of the instruments carried onboard (essentially radar technology) around $200 millions.
            The damages in a Katrina type hurricane landing are usually of the order of a some $billions.
            Next question?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            Is 3mm in a year measured as an average over the whole surface of the sea and measured at chosen points on the earth’s surface and then extrapolated to give a final figure really accurate?
            Or is it within statistical variation of plus and minus 3mm?

          • hefner
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            Yesterday (02/01) I had mentioned the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1, 2, 3 satellite measurements for you to complete your understanding of the question (but this was not published). These measurements have been carried out since 1992.
            A search for these on the NASA (or even Wikipedia) website should give you elements of how these measurements are carried out and interpreted.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            So are you claiming the 3mm figure is totally accurate or is there and statistical variation?

          • dixie
            Posted January 4, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

            According to JPL the Topex/Poseidon measured ocean surface topography to an accuracy of 4.2 cm, so a claim of a 3 mm feature change is certainly questionable.

            Jason-1 to 3 had a goal of 3.3 to 2.5 cm accuracy, still far greater than 3mm.

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            Edward2, did I claim the 3 mm figure? No, you did. I just provided a bit of info about how sea level is being measured globally. You should really read what I write, not what you think I write.

      • hefner
        Posted January 3, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Sir John: BTW, with around only 1 percent of water vapour yet it is responsible for most of the weather. Atmospheric energetics is not your forte, isn’t it?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Governments are good a spending other peoples money but are considerably less good at providing proper purpose and results. The one size fits all mentality fails every time

      Governments should create ‘frameworks’ that permit those that know how to achieve the right results that permit societies to grow and achieve prosperity. That of course being the ‘People’

      You should always be concerned and afraid of any Leader, Government or Authority that doesn’t in the first place ‘Trust the People’

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Good at spending it yes – but bad at delivering any real value from this spending.

  7. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Let’s see.
    Have lost count of when we were supposed to have left already. The record of Tory government speaks for itself.
    Have diarised to review progress, if any, on 1.1.21

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      We have lost half 2016, 2017 2018, 2019 and 2020 so far. That’s 54 months when we could already have been doing as you say above, should your party have willed it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Indeed it was parliament, the establishment, the BBC and the judiciary against the people – but the people will surely win in the end.

        Listening to Lady Hale as guest editor on the Today Programme was rather perplexing. She seemed to think she was judging a matter of law – but not at all – the Supreme Court was inventing new laws and blatantly twisting words to give the political outcome that she and the other justices clearly wished to see. She went on about delivering “justice, fairness and equality”. But these three words clearly contradict each other hugely you cannot deliver all of them at the same time. Does she really see it as a court’s duty to deliver “equality”.

        Equality of outcome is seldom if ever fair, just or indeed remotely beneficial. How can she have lived so long without even realising this?

      • Andy
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        They haven’t done ‘it’ because they still haven’t figured out what ‘it’ is.

        All they ever needed was a plan. They still don’t have one.

        Or at least not one they are confident enough to share with the electorate

        They’re frit.

        • bigneil(newercomp)
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          We should ask Baldrick for one of his “cunning plans”. It would be more sensible than what has been suggested so far.

  8. Bob Dixon
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The earliest date we are finally in control is 31st of December 2020. My New Years Wish is that we and they realise that we will leave without a deal.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I wonder what the messages on here will be reflecting a year to the day from here?

  9. Kevin
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    “Once we are fully out”

    Art. 129(6) of the WA reads in part as follows: “Following a [foreign policy] decision of the Council…, the United Kingdom may make a formal declaration…indicating that, for vital and stated reasons of national policy,…it will not apply the decision. In a spirit of mutual solidarity, the United Kingdom shall refrain from any action likely to conflict with or impede Union action based on that decision”. I have inserted the words in square brackets based on commentary in a Brexit Party video. The commentary says that this provision applies to any foreign policy decision made by the EU before the end of the transition period, but that the respective obligation on the UK endures even after the transition period. At first, I thought perhaps the commentator misspoke. Upon re-reading Article 129(6), however, I notice that, unlike subsections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the same article, it does not contain the qualifying expression, “during the transition period”. (Compare, in particular, subsection 3, which reads in part, with my emphasis added: “the [UK] shall refrain, during the transition period, from any action or initiative which is likely to be prejudicial to the Union’s interests”.) What subsection 6 appears to mean is that, under the WA, the UK binds itself permanently to refrain from taking action that would impede any foreign policy decision that may be taken by the EU between February and December this year – even, so the article implies, if the UK considers that the decision runs counter to vital interests of national policy.

  10. Ian Wilson
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year, Sir, and many thanks for your insights.

    Two cheers for Boris Johnson and his team. Not three as he has fallen hook, line and sinker for the CO2/ climate change hysteria and his policies responding to it threaten grave economic and environmental damage. The manifesto refers to ‘the climate emergency’ but how can there be one when there was no runaway warming while dinosaurs thrived at CO2 levels 10 times or more higher than today? Common sense should tell us that means CO2 is only a minor influence on climate.

    ‘Fighting climate change’, a futile exercise as most of it is due to natural solar cycles, will impose yet higher energy costs on every household and business, closing yet more of our industry. Environmentally we will see more countryside wrecked with wind turbines with their toll on birds and bats, while electric cars beloved by ministers involve devastating mining practices and in the case of cobalt child labour working and all too often dying in appalling conditions. We should be talking about dirty electric cars instead of clean ones.

    Economic harm comes from high energy cosy

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Exactly, and not just huge economic harm but many excess winter deaths do to people being unable to afford to keep warm.

      Is Boris really so lacking in an understanding of the science and thus daft enough to have fallen for the Climate Alarmist Religion, or does he just think there are/were votes in it he needed?

      Perhaps he just thinks he needs to pretend to “believe” but will actually have sensible energy policies underneath. First thing to do is cut all the government subsidies for renewables. Either they are competitive and do not need subsidies (or market rigging) or they are not. Cut the subsidies and find out.

      Is a political science graduate the best person to be the energy minister? We need someone rather more like Matt Ridley or Peter Lilley.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Environmentalism is an illiberal ideology. It is about redistribution of the world’s wealth and WE are the ones who will, as ever do the redistributing. If the elite truly believed in climate change the planes would have already dropped from the skies…the roads would be empty…and they ( the elite) would be keeping warm at a bonfire of our possessions yet shivering in terror at the thought of unstoppable Armageddon.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Indeed the establishment do not really believe in the CO2 alarmism religion. The are from the “do as I say and not as I do” school. Then they get on their private jet to some climate conference somewhere exotic and lecture others.

    • Bob
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Isle of Man to introduce electric vehicle tax in 2020
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-50842395

      How long before the UK follows suit?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        There! QED. Redistribution via green stealth taxes.
        They will tax us greenly until we can scarcely live.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Of course the UK will have to introduce electric car taxes as they are losing a huge amount of revenue from the circa 80% of the petrol/diesel that is currently tax and the very high road taxes. The only reason to buy an expensive electric car is these fiscal/congestion zone and parking bribes or incentives.

        Even then your old car or a second hand car for say £1000 is probably a far better and more flexible vehicle than a brand new £30K- 90K electric one.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          ah – – a kindred spirit!

      • graham1946
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        I predict instead, road pricing will come in so we all pay. We will all be spied on, on every journey and our bank accounts or cards debited.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Sounds very likely, but it does have some advantages as the road pricing mechanism could then be usued reduce congestion at peak times and raise money to provide extra road space. Also it give an incentive to keep the roads open and people who use it most pay most and people who do not use it much pay very little.

          But the cash would probably just be wasted on something daft by the government – as is their usual practice.

  11. Everhopeful
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    A little boy hated cod and refused to eat it.
    His mother re-named it “ White Salmon”.
    Result… cod eaten happily. ( true story).
    A bit like Brexit except that the mother in the cod fraud didn’t go in for years of pantomime and actually had her son’s best interests at heart.

    So happy to report that ( here) last night virtually NO fireworks. That comes after a mercifully subdued November 5th. ( everyone broke..no more credit?? Certainly not to do with environmental concern in this neck of the woods!).

    Newspaper report …Ah ..apparently we don’t want tax cuts…we would prefer more services! Thought that’s what we were paying taxes for anyway? Also what happens to the vast fines paid by actual TAXPAYERS who happen to be a bit late with payments? More £££s for non taxpayers?

  12. Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Allow me a new year’s word of caution here.

    Europe, said Metternich, is a geographical expression (rough translation really). It will still be there on February 1st. We will still have to live with it. And – yes – trade with it too. And Europe is currently run by a failed German politician (Frau von der Leyen) who presides over a Commission of people who are invisible and unaccountable, not reported in the papers, not under any kind of financial scrutiny and who are heading up a bureaucracy which is Byzantine in its secrecy and complexity.

    So either we lose our trade with Europe or we do what they say.

    It will take time to build trading relations with USA, India and New Zealand, South Africa and West Africa and South America.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Mike – -I can hear an awful lot of businesses in the EU saying NON! – – we must not ‘ lose our trade with UK’.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      “Either we kose our trade with Europe or we do what they say.”

      Succinctly put. This is now the reality. It didn’t have to be this way, but we’ve played our hand, and indeed made our choice; preserving what we had as far as possible, and thereby largely undermining our ability to create something new. Our political masters will, in the narrowest sense, fulfil the letter of the referendum, but given the vote was, more than anything, a vote for change, they will betray its spirit.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        “Either we kose our trade with Europe or we do what they say.”

        Better to lose it then.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          I agree. It really doesn’t seem as if the government do though…

    • graham1946
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      We will not lose trade with Europe. Money talks louder than politics and people will make money where they can. Our market is too big to ignore (and vice versa) and too many EU firms are wedded to the UK market and is a far greater concern than the fake ‘just in time’ nonsense spouted (it’s all gone quiet on that front now Brexit it is a reality, just like all the other scare stories will).

      Regarding Von der Leyen she only just scraped home by 11 votes even though she was the only one on the ballot paper having been ‘chosen’! What a wonderful thing, EU democracy is.

      • Andy
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Still – the majority of MEPs voted for Von Der Leyen. Meaning she has the support of those representing most of us.

        Unlike Boris Johnson. Barely half the electorate in Uxbridge backed him. Nobody outside of the Tory party selected him as leader. MPs never gave him their approval and 57% of the electorate voted against him.

        Plus, of course, his government is effectively being run by Dominic Cummings. A bureaucrat elected by nobody who we can’t get rid of. What were you saying about democracy?

        Reply Boris has always enjoyed the confidence of Parliament and would win a vote of confidence by a good margin if Labour tabled one. It us unlikely Conservativesld have won so many seats if a majority in the country preferred Swinson or Corbyn as PM.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Nice to see you supporting a majority vote at last.
          Being a vote in the EU then I suppose you automatically would.

          • bill brown
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Can we have some content and facts instead of non valuable remarks, please

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            Certainly bill.
            Will you be heading your own advice?

            I thought my pithy short comment revealed dual standards in that Andy refuses to accept our referendum vote yet jumps to defend the weak process of crowning Von Der Letyen to high office in his beloved EU.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          And how many people bother to vote for MEPs ?

          Name me 10 British ones without looking.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Anon – – but over half of the country will answer Farage and err…. the rest don’t matter.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Just under 10% of UK GDP is traded with the EU. So being 10% poorer and ‘Free’ seems good value.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      “And Europe is currently run by a failed German politician (Frau von der Leyen)”

      Aren’t we lucky to have honest Boris at the helm?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 2, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Compare the number of votes received by Boris to the votes recently crowned EU’s Von Der Leyen got.

  13. ChrisS
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    A happy and prosperous New Year to our host and all the regulars posting here.

    It’s the first day of a new decade and already Project Fear is out in force on the Today programme. All the talk was about us being forced to accept a “Level Playing Field.”
    No wonder the Government is boycotting the programme.

    We know that a trade deal with the EU will be difficult and to concentrate minds across the 27, it may well prove necessary for us to end the transition period without a deal in place. We should not be fearful about that.

    Other countries trade with the EU on WTO terms perfectly well but the EU will want a deal and will compromise – eventually.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Sadly, the UK have very clearly indicated over the past three and a half years that they want a deal even more desperately than the EU. As such, it will be us that compromises before they do.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Simeon

        “the UK have very clearly indicated over the past three and a half years that they want a deal even more desperately than the EU.”

        No, that was Mrs May, not the UK. The majority of those who voted leave don’t want any deals with the EU.

        “As such, it will be us that compromises before they do.”

        Which is what TM did, (without consent) and is why the silly woman got walked all over at Salzburg.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          steve

          We both want the same thing, but I have no condidence that the government shares our view, and indeed every confidence that they don’t. I may be a pessimist, but I believe I am justified in so being.

          And sadly, it is our elected representatives that speak for us, the UK. BJ has yet to show he is meaningfully different to TM.

          • Mark B
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            +1

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Exactly as the Remain campaigns repeatedly and patiently explained that it would be.

        • dixie
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Because the establishment and politicians were predominantly remainers – what a surprise.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          it’s good to know who to come to when we need advice.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            You wouldn’t know good advice in an identity parade.

            Just don’t claim that no one said that it would be exactly like this.

            Even Nick Clegg did in the very first TV “debate” with Farage for one.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Is that the same Clegg who promised an end to student fees and then said the talk of an EU armed force was a dreadful lie.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Marty – – well in that case stop offering your advice.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Just stop listening to the Today program, if people did this in January for a whole month they might get the message. I did this with Channel 4 news last year, I’m so much happier of an evening now without all the doom and gloom.

      Happy New Year 2020 🥳

      • Mark B
        Posted January 2, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • steve
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      “it may well prove necessary for us to end the transition period without a deal in place.”

      Let’s hope so.

  14. Fred H
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    For me the telling proviso is what you started paragraphs with 3 times – – ‘once fully out.’

    It can’t come soon enough, since we have a PM and MPs who don’t have the stomach to just walk away – any day in this month will do…

  15. Tina Seymour
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year to you. Thank you for this diary. I have only discovered it in the last year but it has been a beacon of light and hope for me amid all the negativity around Brexit. I do believe that this country has a wonderful future ahead. We just need to convince the other half of the electorate and to do that we need to follow through on the promises made.
    Please keep the diary going, reading it has now become part of my morning routine that I look forward to.

  16. Stred
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hopeful New Year. On 1.2.20 we will still be paying to follow EU policy and law determined by a a Commission run by Germany’s incompetent defense minister, who works closely with Mrs Merkel. She is Germany’s Mrs May and, like her, has swallowed the climate emergency green agenda and not listened to the advice of scientists and analysts that point out that there is no emergency or imminent extinction. The EU is implementing policies which will lead to very unreliable and expensive energy, industry leaving and poverty. The UK will follow this, with ministers and civil servants fully signed up.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Your penultimate sentence is the real clue -‘expensive energy’. A poor little girl has been sucked in and royally exploited. They tried the same thing in 1992, (check out UN climate meeting then) but the girl used wasn’t as forceful or young looking or so photogenic and we didn’t have the internet to any great extent so it didn’t stick. They got a bulls eye this time though and most of the world seems to be supporting it all.

      • graham1946
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Further to my last sentence, I should have said ‘except the USA, India and China’ without whom nothing of worth will be achieved regarding emissions, but the globalists still have to figure out a way to manipulate those countries.

      • Bob
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        I can’t believe that any sane person is taken in by the Greta roadshow.
        When a Canadian journalist Keean Bexte asked her whether AGW should be solved by politics or by science her minders quickly whisked her away and threatened to call the police.

  17. Stred
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hopeful New Year. On 1.2.20 we will still be paying to follow EU policy and law determined by a a Commission run by Germany’s incompetent defense minister, who works closely with Mrs Merkel. She is Germany’s Mrs May and, like her, has swallowed the climate emergency green agenda and not listened to the advice of scientists and analysts that point out that there is no emergency or imminent extinction. The EU is implementing policies which will lead to very unreliable and expensive energy, industry leaving and poverty. The UK will follow this, with ministers and civil servants fully signed up..

    • Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Good grief, Stred. How depressing.
      And sadly probably true.
      But happy new year on a personal level.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “Voters prefer public services to tax cuts” according to Chris Smyth Whitehall Editor in the Times today according to a YouGov poll Or are they mainly surveying people who do not pay taxes or think they do not pay them?

    Were this true then surely the voters are daft or deluded. Why on earth would they want to have money taken off them by government and then have them waste the vast majority of it and then use the rest to deliver some dire second rate “service” that was probably not remotely what you wanted or needed.

    Surely, especially just after Christmas, people realise how very inefficient people buying things (presents) for others is, (this even when they are spending their own money and trying their best to please). It is even worse when governments do it using other’s (taxpayers) money and they are not (usually) even trying to please the public.

    What is needed is to cut out the parasitic and hugely inefficient middle man of the government. Cut taxes and half the size of government. Give real freedom and choice to people as to how they spend and invest their own money. It is about three times as efficient that way.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, agreed but you don’t go far enough.

      US population approx. 350 million, UK population approx. 65 million. The UK is approx. 1/5 th of the size of the US.
      US house of representatives 435 – UK house of Commons 650
      US upper house 100 all elected – UK 793 none of which are accountable to anyone.

      To change the system would require those sitting to vote for it!

      Those that have power without accountability have no place in society.

      Logic as with Common Sense, Democracy and ‘Trust in the People’ were all parked up somewhere and only inferred to exist at election time. How we are actually Governed is never on the ticket – you get to choose the least worst ‘Gang’

  19. Iain Moore
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately there are a lot of Jonah’s out there who will only be happy if our country fails, after all they have a lot invested in it, their whole EU project was based on it . Boris Johnson’s positivity and enthusiasm will not be enough to see them off , there will need to be some strong policies to draw a line with the past and to show we are charting a new course for our country. I would like to see a patriotic industrial policy where Government is proactive to see industries being developed here, unfortunately Cobham , and likelihood of British steel being flogged off to Chinese interests is not a good start.

  20. Thomas
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    JR wrote: “We will be able to raise our standards of animal welfare as we wish”.

    Does this mean there will be an end to halal and kosher slaughter? Some hope.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      agree

    • Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Thomas. I’m sure many of us are with you there. Also the issue of live animal export (and that’s animals for human consumption who are so cruelly treated, rather than the cossetted studs). And perhaps mobile slaughterhouses, etc.
      So much needs to be dealt with to undo the harm that the EU has inflicted (is still inflicting) upon our country.

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year John, and to all contributors here.
    Let us hope that our Government can now get a real grip on matters after the absolute Fiasco of the last 3 years of indecision, drift and capitulation, and we can at last all move forward to a better and brighter future.

  22. Jasper
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I love the optimism and agree with everything you have said and I do hope that the Government uses the opportunity accordingly. Exciting times ahead! I didn’t really realise until now how much damage Mrs May and Parliament have done to the meaning of the word trust because even I (who is a glass half full person) have a worry that there will be individuals who will try and sabotage this wonderful opportunity!

    • Jasper
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Sorry – Happy New Year everyone 🎉

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The recent election showed just what the people want. Brexit and a proper Brexit. People who never voted Conservative did so not only because of Labour’s dire policies but because Boris was promising to actually leave. I just hope all those in your party John are listening and put aside what they want if they are remainers and stick together when it comes to voting for a clean exit. No fudge. Just leave with a good trade deal if possible but if not, then just walk away. If the EU are supposed to be our friend what is the problem with a free trade agreement which would benefit all? I just hope Boris doesn’t betray the voters like Cameron and May before him.

    • Bob
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      “People who never voted Conservative did so not only because of Labour’s dire policies but because Boris was promising to actually leave.”

      I think his allusion to ending BBC Licencing finally clinched it.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Bob – – ‘ considering’ is always a cheap vote.

    • steve
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      FUS

      “I just hope Boris doesn’t betray the voters like Cameron and May before him.”

      Well if he does that’s the expedient way to the nearest ditch, and with no suitable opposition to form a government you’d be looking at things turning very nasty indeed.

      Boris can, and should, get tough with the EU. He could start by kicking the EU out of our fishing areas on 31st.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      I just as with the majority still feel a fudge is around the corner. We placed our trust in the least worst option, and kept our fingers and everything else crossed that here maybe some understanding as to Democracy, Responsibility and Accountability.

      Not forgetting the HoC is still a majority of the previous intake, with the same double speak and dishonest agendas.

  24. BJC
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    If we’re truly “in transition” after 31 January, it’s not unreasonable to expect to see the introduction of a series of independent measures, not more “white noise” about future intentions. If we’re “not permitted” to act independently we will not have started the Leaving process, but merely entered into another year-long extension.

    Consequently, Mr Johnson would be wise to announce at least one hugely significant deviation from the EU, effective on 1 Feb, to demonstrate to us that we have, indeed, set out on our long journey towards independence.

    • steve
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      BJC

      “If we’re truly “in transition” after 31 January,”

      Personally I don’t recognise this transition. On 31st we’re out and that’s it as far as I’m concerned.

      The ungrateful EU can KMA.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        somebody else’s already I presume.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is it.

        It’s much the same as May proposed.

        You could have had that ages ago if the ERG hadn’t rebelled.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          And if Labour, SNP, Green and Lib Dems had supported it.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            The principal job of the Opposition is to oppose.

            The clue’s in the name.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 1:02 am | Permalink

            They were entitled to vote as they wished.
            But your attempt to blame just the few ERG MPs doesn’t tell the whole story.

            Anyway it doesn’t matter now Martin.
            The voters gave given the Conservatives a large majority.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            Indeed.

            And now the Tories alone own their whole lamentable enterprise from start to finish.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            An enterprise the majority voted for in the referendum and have now voted for party with the promise of implementing that decision.
            The voters are the ones who own that enterprise.
            They have told Parliament to get on with it.

          • dixie
            Posted January 4, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

            @mic – the principle job of the opposition is to hold the government to account, not merely to blindly and dogmatically oppose.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      A lucid post, thank you.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Announcing that HS2 will be postponed and that HS3 will be commenced immediately would send a message of thanks to the Tory’s new Northern best friends and would also give comfort to their existing European friends that their https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-European_high-speed_rail_network
      is not without merit.

    • Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      ”… another year long extension…” Yes, allowing the remainer element and their EU masters to regroup and get their ducks in a row ready to bar the door to our escape.

  25. Peter
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    ‘Once we are fully out’

    Anyone care to guess when that will be?

    I mean ‘out’ with no caveats, no agreement to align with the EU, or mirror what they do.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      When will we be out? take your choice between the “12th of never” and “tomorrow”.

    • Andy
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Not even when it facilitates trade, cuts bureaucracy, saves time and money and is in everyone’s interest – including yours?

      • Peter
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        “Not even when it facilitates trade, cuts bureaucracy, saves time and money and is in everyone’s interest – including yours?”

        That’s a caveat right there.

        It’s probably equivocation too.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      We will be Free to make our own mistakes, and Free to remedy and correct them.

      Being ruled, by an unelected(by us) Commission that is un-Accountable to the People, means their mistakes, their dictates, their one size fits all is paid for by everyone but them. That is a long way from the asperation of Democracy.

  26. MWB
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Most immigration into the UK is from non-EU sources, so why have we not better controlled the numbers of non-EU immigrants coming here ?
    Also, why are we providing a free taxi service here to those would-be illegal immigrants picked up in the English Channel ?
    How many illegals are returned to their countries of origin ?

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      We are told that immigration rates may rise under the forthcoming points system. If that is the case, the government will need to make room for these productive individuals; removing those who shouldn’t be here and, where possible, deporting those who have caused harm. Foreign aid could be paid on condition that recipient countries take back their criminals – something (it has been reported) that they have been reluctant to do.

      • nhsgp
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Define productive and for whom?
        A min wage cherry picker is very productive for the employer.
        For society its bad, particular for the non employers who have to fund them

    • Bob
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I was watching My Greek Odyssey where Peter Maneas travels around the Greek Islands on his yacht. In one episode he joins the coastguard who go out looking for refugees. He reveals that the refugees usually refuse to be rescued by Turkish coastguards.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Stop being so optimistic MWB – the Beeb text news had a figure of 1,892 getting here over the Channel during 2019 alone. How many of their families are here also by now is anyone’s guess. Why do you think houses are being built everywhere? We will be paying for them – -and they’ll be living in them.

    • Mark Antony
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      This is the key, can we STOP the unnecessary mass migration.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        The UK always could. It was always a sovereign matter, nothing to do with the European Union.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          One of the four “freedoms” of the single market is freedom of movement.
          Leading to open borders between UK and Europe.
          Surely you know that?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Our fellow Europeans are not immigrants or foreigners, any more than are the Welsh or Scots when in England.

            They are not generally referred to as such in any European Union country other than the UK.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

            Pedantic wriggling Martin.
            You said immigration was a sovereign matter.
            It is not.
            There can only be adherence to the rules regarding freedom of movement for anyone who comes from an EU nation.

        • Antony
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          I don’t often say things like this unless warranted but if you still believe that you are a complete idiot. Of course in the E.U we could not control migration directly. But I do agree and people seem to forget there was and is nothing being done by the government despite that being what the people want and have wanted for decades.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      As a normal traveller there are many ways to check your identity, where and who purchased your ticket, etc and even then you have to prove your identity with a passport to enter the country. These illegal boat people, who the British state is laying on a taxi service for, don’t have to show any identity, with no means to check it if they could be bothered to , and they are let straight into the country.

    • Andy
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      By ‘free taxi service’ you mean rescuing refugees in danger.

      The reason we are rescuing them is because it’s against international law not to help a ship or boat in distress.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        they are not refugees. They chose and PAID to be put in mortal risk on the busiest channel for shipping in the world. Meanwhile how did they get into France not being EU citizens? Then how come the French sit and probably enjoy the problem people setting off for UK. Go rescue them France!

        • steve
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          “Meanwhile how did they get into France not being EU citizens?”

          The french let them in because the policy is simply to send them across the English Channel.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        You used two words that many europhobics appear to hate: “international” and “law”.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Law is good.
          Especially enforced by democratic governments and jury courts.
          International is a meaningless concept.
          A group of nations who agree to act in mutually advantageous ways.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          or possibly – Euro and Commissioners.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        The ruse being to put themselves afloat from a safe EU country without realistic means of reaching our shores in order to be ‘rescued’ half way. But we all know that and so do you.

        It is a way of bending our laws and most of us believe our own authorities are complicit in it.

      • steve
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “…. it’s against international law not to help a ship or boat in distress.”

        Indeed so.

        Which is why these people should be rescued, given access to medical assistance, perhaps some food and dry clothing….and then be promptly returned to France.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          They have no right to be in France either.

          And they want to be in the UK, not in France.

          What would you say if the position were reversed?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 3, 2020 at 1:05 am | Permalink

            Nearest country of safety is the agreed position.
            It is up yo France to deal with them when they are returned to France.

    • nhsgp
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Why not control both?

  27. Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Immigration policy is key !

    We have to educate and train our own and the spending Bill has to include this. Then HM Treasury can instruct the BOE to start crediting bank accounts with their index finger.

    Now outside of the EU make a case for a net zero migration strategy. But to do that you have to dump the neo-liberal economic model.

    The growth strategy of the UK has been for many years “import cheap labour to keep the middle classes in their delusions of grandeur”. It’s actually called The British Growth Model. But we didn’t reject New Labour to have it replaced by Cheap Labour. Our future must lie in
    improving productivity and increasing investment so that we can do more things with a stable population and a sustainable ecology. And a constraint on the labour supply is one of the ways that gets done. Employees should always be reassuringly expensive to force the
    Private sector to invest and innovate.

    Paying workers the least you can get away with just creates overbloated, uncompetitive and unhappy workforces. The international strategy must be to encourage other nations to follow our lead in pushing productivity and increasing investment, and solve their unemployment problem at home rather than exporting it. That means that activity needs to move to where the people live and in their communities throughout the UK and not just down South.

    An immigration system that excludes EU immigrants that wouldn’t otherwise
    get a work visa instantly removes all those people who come here and compete with the working-class sub-median wage earners. These were the people who voted in the largest numbers for Brexit. These people have paid the heaviest price for EU membership.

    Reintroducing a work visa system that is on same lines as every other civilised
    advanced nation outside the EU, solves that problem.

    Then only higher waged, higher skilled individuals come into the country from all over the world, but they compete with a different class of people and compete less because they are in areas with genuine skill shortages.

    From the point of view of the sub-median wage earner, immigration has ended. So they are happy.

    And importantly we need to send out higher skilled individuals from this country to the rest of the world to balance those you take in. Otherwise you are stealing skills from other nations which they need to develop internally . Stop this ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ attitude that is morally unacceptable. Immigration should be more of an informal exchange process than a capitalist ‘free market’.

    This is a civilised solution that addresses all the concerns. Eminently reasonable and fair to all who believe in nations and borders. A win-win all round.

    Do not be fooled by the” Sophies choice ” myth when it comes to Government spending. Just because we decide to credit bank accounts using an index finger to educate and train our own. Does not mean we can’t credit bank accounts with an index finger elsewhere in the UK economy.

    We can run out of skills and real resources but never run out of credits.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    In-Out In-Out, shake it all about…

    Had enough of that last night.

    Happy New Year anyway.

  29. hardlyEver
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Boring boring!- wishful thinking with the same old delusional stuff that you have been putting about for years- about laws, money, borders? “we will have our own money to spend” you say, but who will decide how to spend it and on what? then you say “scrap laws that get in the way”- but what laws and anyway that’ll be the day- when did we ever see politicians willingly scrapping laws? Lastly our standing in the world is at zilch- and after we leave the EU it will be at zilch minus- that together with Trumps America trying to tear down the WTO? NO! I don’t see it- I don’t see it that we are well placed to grow faster- and where are all of these fancy new overseas trade deals that we were promised with countries far away- NO! I don’t see it

    • Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Not exactly in the spirit of the occasion, is it, hardlyEver?
      You don’t read much of quality if you really believe that ”our standing in the world is at zilch”. Utter tripe. Our country is admired – not just by the rest of the world but by most of us here. You, a denigrator of your country, are in a minority, I’m glad to say.

      But, there you are. That’s a Remainer for you. Never a comment without an insult and ill-informed blather.

      • hardlyEver
        Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        It will take more than the spirit of the occasion to get us out of this mess

  30. Dominic
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Far to much emphasis on the State finance related issues and a complete absence of those social and political issues such as freedom of expression, free debate, the leftw-wing fascism of identity politics and the weaponisation and politicisation of race and gender that is being used to slander, demonise and impose silence upon innocent people that Leave voters find utterly abhorrent

    We want to see immigration controls enforced without discrimination in the same manner as Australia, NZ, Canada, the US, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, China etc etc etc…

    Have the courage to confront the forces of the left who see immigration from low income nations as a source of new voters and political power using race as a pretext for political action

    I want to see the destruction of identity politics that your party’s embraced and brought into law to force real people in the real world through a process of social engineering

    I want to see the criminalisation of the criminal use of the race, misogyny and the religious bigotry card to crush debate and slander white, heterosexual males. It is utterly despicable that a Tory government refuse to confront those who accuse others of having far-right sentiment and opinion to impose silence

    White, hetero male is not the enemy. We are the backbone of this nation and we are being silenced, slandered and sidelined. This is a deliberate policy under the fatuous guise of diversity and inclusion.

    So, Leave was about many other issues other than tax, spend, sovereignty and democratic renewal. The main issue by far was immigration. This needs to be addressed even if that means your party being slanderously accused of racism. Explain to the people why the left slander your party in this way. They want mass immigration and they want to impose silence on the issue as this destroys opposition to their sinister plans. This is about political power first and immigration second

  31. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    If you mean access to the German and French markets for UK high tech startups forget it. Hardly worth thinking about. We will do far better with the US and Far East markets at zero barriers and advantageous tax treatment. French and German entrepreneurs will continue to flock here to trade, in even bigger numbers. Guaranteed.

  32. agricola
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Off Piste

    Overseas Aid is a very contravertial subject. Some of it very worthy no doubt, other aspects very difficult to accept. There is one enormous disaster being played out in eastern Australia where very many people face considerable hardship. I would suggest that half our OA fund, about £6 Billion be donated to the mitigation of this disaster. As a sum it won’t come anywhere near solving the problems these fires have created but I am sure it would be appreciated. What do our contributors think.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      yep — brilliant proposal.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Good idea..

    • rose
      Posted January 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      When we that hurricane flattened one of our islands we weren’t allowed to use our overseas aid because, amid its misfortune and devastation, it was deemed too well off. The same would be said of Australia. The OA legislation needs abolishing.

  33. acorn
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s not going to happen JR and you know it. The UK economy was propped up by Commonwealth countries in the early part of the last century. Eventually they wised up to being played for mugs and buggered off into the wider world, and they are not coming back.

    The UK then had to find another bloc to prop it up and got into the EU, once Charles de Gaulle was out of the way. A no-deal cliff-edge Brexit, will be the equivalent of kicking out the EU jacks from under the UK socio-economic bus axles.

    The ERG/IEA/Dark Money model for London to become the tax dodging, money laundering casino capital of the planet, will do little for those outside the M25 beltway.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      You sound more like Dave Spart every post acorn.
      Is the reality of the election result and finally leaving the EU getting to you?

      • acorn
        Posted January 2, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Not on an individual level; on a country level yes! My standard of living is not dependent on the Department of Work and Pensions. Many households are and more will be.

        The DWP spends a third of all government spending and will have to take the hit under a government that doesn’t do deficit spending. It would be great if this government actually learned how to use its own monopoly currency. Not likely.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 2, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          So this is your latest Project Fear prediction that the UK will get so poor after leaving the EU that it will be unable to pay old age pensions.
          Hilarious.

  34. nhsgp
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    1. When do we get the right of consent?
    2. The BBC, when will be allowed to say no?
    3. Free speech. When will we get the rights that you have and deny us?
    4. When will you retrospectively tax Judges, or allows us their perks?
    5. When will you subject your expenses to HMRC as you do with us?

    2 legs better than 4.

  35. margaret howard
    Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    In 2018 the EU accounted for 46% of UK exports. Who is going to buy our stuff now? Commonwealth like Australia, New Zealand etc? Hardly likely seeing we ditched them when we joined the EU all those decades ago and they managed to open new markets with the East.

    Not only will they not come back to us but we will have shown to the world that we can’t be trusted when something better comes along.

    Reply Same old nonsense

    • Fred H
      Posted January 2, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      MH – – Que sera, sera

    • BillM
      Posted January 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      We carry a running Trade Deficit with the EU of around £80 Billion per year. Taking on the WTO deal we shall gain a net amount of around £7 Billion per year because of the new tariffs to both sides applied by that deal. More than enough to compensate OUR Exporters for the tariffs laid on their products exported to the EU. It is just another very boring scare story.

      Why do you think so lowly of our country that we are unable to survive with the constant meddling in our affairs and the tiresome bureaucratic interference from Brussels?

    • BillM
      Posted January 2, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      We carry a running Trade Deficit with the EU of around £80 Billion per year. Taking on the WTO deal we shall gain a net amount of around £7 Billion per year because of the new tariffs to both sides applied by that deal. More than enough to compensate OUR Exporters for the tariffs laid on their products exported to the EU. It is just another very boring scare story.

      Why do you think so lowly of our country that we are unable to survive WITHOUT the constant meddling in our affairs and the tiresome bureaucratic interference from Brussels?

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 2, 2020 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    We can accept a limited trade deal with the EU at the end of 2020 as long as we recover total sovereignty. There must NOT be a ‘level playing field’ of regulation and any concession on fishing in our waters must be transitional and limited to small EU boats, individually nominated and licenced.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay

      The is what happened last time we challenged another nation as regards fishing rights:

      “The Cod Wars were a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland on fishing rights in the North Atlantic. Each of the disputes ended with an Icelandic victory.

      The Third Cod War concluded in 1976, with a highly favourable agreement for Iceland; the United Kingdom conceded to a 200-nautical-mile Icelandic exclusive fishery zone after threats that Iceland would withdraw from NATO

      As a result, British fishing communities lost access to rich areas and were devastated, with thousands of jobs lost.”

      Do we want a return to confrontational politics?

  • About John Redwood


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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page