Domestic production and state aid

As we leave the EU we need to create our own approach to preventing unfair competition and avoiding unacceptable subsidies. The very wide ranging EU regime under the control of the Commission and Court can be too long winded and unfair itself.

There are some industries which can benefit from exit from the EU once we can change the rules. Fish is the most obvious which I have talked about before. As we take control of our fish stocks again we need to stimulate a larger domestic fishing fleet to capture a much larger proportion of a smaller total catch. This in turn can act as a means of creating a larger fish processing and related food products industry.

Farming too can be given a domestic boost by leaving the restrictions of the CAP and providing a system of financial support which encourages more domestic food production.

When we leave we will also be able to strengthen our domestic capability to provide the weapons, vehicles and protection that our armed forces require from their suppliers. When the government wishes to buy naval vessels or aircraft or body armour or small weapons the competition should preferably be organised for domestic producers so that the technology and ability to scale up production rests here in the UK should need ever arise created by a larger conflict. We can rebuild parts of our defence industries that have been run down in recent decades as a result of smaller budgets and shared procurement.

Where we wish to buy good products from allies that are already available we should seek the capacity to make them in whole or part under licence, to have access to the technology, or have an alternative we can control in the event of disagreements. Of course there are benefits from sharing ideas with allies and from buying from each other, but there needs to be fair give and take and satisfactory arrangements to ensure we have the ability to replace and repair the weapons in any circumstances.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As someone said yesterday – All wishful thinking.

    We are not Leaving the EU. Not whilst we are in ‘transition’, still having to accept all their rules and paying in. The so called trade negotiations are designed to tie us down still further by forcing us to accept more of their jurisdiction over us. All to protect their market and prevent us from out competing us.

    There are many things we can do now. For example, we can cut the Passenger Airline Duty / Tax that the Conservatives brought in back in 1994 and have raised recently. It is ironic that a company that is owned by a Luxembourg based investment fund through a UK subsidiary, has its ‘Green Tax’ payment offset to help it. This say others is classed as a subsidy and is unfair. But what is also unfair is the fact that this tax is paid for by the consumer and not the business and, it is then handed over to the government who use it to subsidies wind farms and the like for wealthy landowners. You cannot make stuff up !

    So let us not wait to Leave / Checkout of the Hotel California to make changes. Let’s do it now !!

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Sorry – . . . us from out competing us. – . . . us from out competing them.

      • Hope
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Johnson appointed BoE Carney climate change advisor! He will advise govt on financial matters relating to climate change targets! A man who has a record of failing to achieve his own self imposed targets! JR, only blogged about BoE recently. Carney was accused by Johnson of “talking Britain down”, IDS and others critised his political voice. Now Johnson creates a new role for him, undoubtedly, at our expense.

        Your two faced Tory govt. No wonder Johnson wants to keep all negotiate with EU secret!

        As for today’s blog, it appears JR has not read the servitude plan and PD. Pure fantasy when it comes to fish, read WA and PD.

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          The globalist Big Finance organs are seeking to force green expenditure on us by starving alternatives of funding.Their placemen all promote this view.There is not only Mark Carney with his new job at the UN but Christine Lagarde at the ECB and the new woman at the IMF (and no doubt her successor at the World Bank).Goldman Sachs announced in December they would no longer be financing coal extraction or energy generation projects or Arctic drilling.BoJo yesterday at the poorly attended UK-Africa conference said the UK would no longer support coal extraction or power generation funding in Africa.

          There is also undoubtedly a geopolitical angle to these moves-look at where the big fossil fuel reserves are located!-but what these people apparently fail to recognize is that these western institutions no longer have a monopoly on finance or governance.Those institutions that work within the BRICS and SCO frameworks have their own multilateral banking organizations supported by China,Russia, India and other smaller Eurasian states.The West is hastening it’s own demise.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Carney was recently named as the U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. Advising Johnson is a part-time role that will be undertaken on a pro bono basis.

          It is this sort of Cronyism that people were hoping wouldn’t continue.

          • Hope
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            We were promißed by Mayhab and Cameron it would not. Then they did the exact opposite!

    • jerry
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; “So let us not wait to Leave / Checkout of the Hotel California to make changes. Let’s do it now !!”

      Indeed, and the Lords obliged yesterday by rejecting part of the WA Bill, meaning that it can’t simply be nodded through (it needs to return to the Commons) before it can gain Royal Assent, perhaps now is the time to simply allow the Bill to die and thus leave in 10 days time on WTO rules?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink


        And again today. You are correct, the unelected Lords has acted against a newly elected govt with massive majority implementing the result of a referendum. The Govt should take the opportunity to just leave on the 31st. Moreover, for the sake of the country we need to go unicameral asap.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        jerry – – great idea…..

        Where did I put the fireworks and my recording of Land of Hope & Glory?

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      handed over to the government who use it to subsidies wind farms and the like for wealthy landowners

      Totally correct.

      • Leaver
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        I half agree. But you have to accept without subsidies for solar and wind farms, we wouldn’t have got as far in terms of renewable technology as we are today.

        Indeed, many industries need state sponsorship and subsidies to get going – Airbus being a prime example.

        • jerry
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          @Leaver; “without subsidies [..//..] we wouldn’t have got as far in terms of renewable technology as we are today.”

          Except we have got not got very far with solar or wind farms renewable technologies, non of it has proven to be as reliable or dependable as pre existing low carbon technology [1] – the nonsense has to stop, the experiment has failed.

          The UK has lost 20 plus years to this nonsense, time enough for new nuclear to have been designed, proposed (planning appeals included) and built, with or without state aid!

          [1] whilst tidal lagoons remain untested

          • Leaver
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            I’m all for adding nuclear to the mix. And huge progress has been made. The cost of producing a kilowatt hour of electricity has been dropping for both wind and solar for years – as I’m sure you well know. Tidal lagoons I know nothing about I’m afraid.

          • hefner
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            What is awfully funny in what you write is that the twenty years lost might have been the result of the ‘dash for gas’ initiated under the 80s Conservatives. See Dieter Helm’s book on the energy in the UK.

          • jerry
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            @Leaver; The cost has not fallen when the need to have back-up capacity is costed in.

            @hefner; If we include the politically inspired ‘dash for gas’ then we have had close to 40 lost years!

      • Hope
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        And precious metal from China to create the magnet in them. Lakes of poison created as a bi product, yet it is claimed wind machines are environmently friendly! Not including the carbon added at the blast furnace stage for producing the metal.

        Hundreds of millions paid for them not to work last week.

  2. Andy
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    You want Brexit Britain to become an arms dealer? Which regimes should we sell these too?

    As for fish – they don’t have passports. They tend to swim where they like.

    To the north of Scotland we have a couple of hundred miles of waters which are ours – in parts of the Channel we have just a dozen miles or so. It turns out you need agreement from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland about where the boundary is. And it ain’t gonna be 200 miles.

    Ironically, some British fishing ‘communities’ rely heavily on imports of fish to process to survive. I note Grimsby is already asking for freeport status to protect it from Brexit. Honestly you couldn’t make it up.

    • jerry
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      @Andy; The UK is already an “Arms Dealer”, and very good for our GDP it is too!

    • agricola
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Fish may appear to swim where they like. However they tend either to hang around where their food is or migrate to patterns. Think salmon and eels.

      Maritime boundries are normally at 200 miles or the median line.

      If the Grimsby processing industry relies on imported cod from Iceland to process it is because the Icelanders have conserved their fish stocks while your beloved EU has raped theirs shortly to become ours where appropriate. Grimsby will have to continue to import cod untill our stocks have been allowed to recover. You I find can make up anything, but it gives us all a laugh.

      • Mitchel
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Climate change is causing a permanent northward movement of certain popular fish species(not just a seasonal migration),possibly into zones claimed by other countries.I have written a reply below to someone else about what’s going on in the Pacific re Japan and Russia.There is also the increasing question of the Arctic where you can be sure Russia will forcefully defend its 200 mile EEZ across the whole,vast stretch of the High North.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      “Honestly you couldn’t make it up.” Andy

      But you do and on a daily basis.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Free trade status for Lincolnshire ports is a sign of post Brexit optimism.
      At the moment it would not be possible!

    • Richard1
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Great to see the PwC report projecting the U.K. to outperform the eurozone and be one of the top global destinations for intended business investment didn’t you think?

      What a frustrating 10 years you are going to have as Tory policies deliver a boom in the UK, the eurozone stumbles towards ever closer political and fiscal integration (in a way always denied by U.K. EU-philes), And, after a bit of posturing, sensible trade agreements are put in place all round.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        A trade deal will be put in place with the EU. But it will be less good than the deal we have.

        And it doesn’t matter how much our economy grows this year or next. It is still significantly smaller as a result of your Brexit than it would have been otherwise. And it will still be smaller for the rest of your life.

        And it will not be a frustrating 10 years for me at all. I now get to blame you lot for everything! Just like you did the EU. It’ll be funny.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          What a crystal ball you have Andy.
          You can see into the future with such accuracy.
          It seems whatever level of growth the UK has in the the future you will be claiming it could have been higher.
          How come the IMF say UK growth will be higher than the EU average if your prediction is correct?

        • Richard1
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          It is unclear whether the economy is smaller than it would have been as its performed in line with or better than most European economies, and of course it never crashed as you hoped and assured us it would. There is now expected to be significant catch up. But of course it all depends on sensible free market policies.

          Personally I never blamed the EU for everything at all. Just for the things it did badly. Like the euro, the CAP, the CFP etc. But unlike you I accept the referendum result and the reasons for the vote.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      The UK has been a top “arms dealer” for decades andy.
      Hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in sales every year.
      Did you not know?

    • hefner
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Since 2010 Britain has sold arms to 39 of the 51 countries ranked ‘not free’ on the Freedom House ‘Freedom in the world’ report (2016) and to 22 of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s very own human rights watch list.
      That’s just the continuation of how good the UK is at defending ‘democracy’.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        You often moan about UK deficit and growth levels hefner, yet now you are on here wanting to throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work and reduce our GDP by billions a year by closing down our defence industry.

        • hefner
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          Do I? When?

    • miami.mode
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Nonstop carping from you, Andy.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The UNCLoS EEZ limit is 200 nm, whether you like it or not. The divisions between closely contiguous EEZ boundaries is already well established outside the remit of your EU empire, by UNCLoS. Where fish swim is irrelevant – the issue is where fish are caught.

    • Alison
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Andy, fish swim where they like. That is why the EU’s discard system and quotas are so awful.

  3. Len Peel
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    But whos gonna eat all this extra fish? We sell 70% of our fish now to the EU but if as you suggest we throw state aid at UK boats we will be barred from EU markets cos that aid will be illegal. And we cant sell fresh fish to US, NZ rtc. As ever your plan doesnt survive contact with the real world

    • agricola
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Coastal EU is into fish and shellfish like the UK is into cocaine. They will continue buying it wherever it comes from, enhancing our export of it.

      • Andy
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Many consumers are price conscious. When British caught shellfish rises in price as a result of your extra Brexit bureaucracy, fewer people on the continent will buy it. The effects will then be felt in British coastal communities as fishing industry jobs go. We promise not to laugh. Honest.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          It is a luxury product.
          Demand is strong.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Andy, The EU is only a small part of the world. We already enjoy grapes from Peru, watercress from the USA, wine from Australia, so they will be able to enjoy our shellfish without EU bureaucracy.

    • HJ
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t support subsidies for the fishing industry but do you really think that EU countries wouldn’t want to buy subsidised fish? As for supposed illegality, you are forgetting that we are leaving the EU and therefore EU laws won’t apply to us.

      • Len Peel
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        If you want to export to the EU (our biggest export market by far) we have to comply with every comma of EU law. Take back control? Ha ha

        • Edward2
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          Is that what America and China do Len?

        • Know-Dice
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          I would dispute the term “EU law”, the EU have rules and directives, only countries have “Laws”, which is why the EU hands down directives for each country to convert it to their own laws. And in the case of the UK these usually get “Gold plated” by our Civil Servants..

          The EU is only a “Super Quango” – and by “Super” I mean large and attempting to be all encompassing…

        • Shirley
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          Like Canada & Japan? When did they start complying with every comma of EU law, free movement, etc?

          • Keith
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            Just like the rest of us comply with US laws and regulations in everything we want to do with them- just look at immigration regs Visas online protocols to get anything done

        • NickC
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Len Peel, Your ignorance is showing. If the UK does not sign up to alignment with EU laws, we won’t have to comply with EU laws in the UK. We can then subsidise and rescue any industry we want up to the full extent allowed by the WTO.

          Then, our fish exporters only need to comply with EU food standards when we export to the EU. All the EU can (must) do is to impose its normal duty on our fish exports. It’s all laid out in WTO rules – which the EU must comply with (as must the UK, of course).

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            The Tories, for ideological reasons, do not believe in governments rescuing industries, so that makes no difference.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Often when the government do try to help industry the EU refuses to allow it.

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            Martin, The Tories appear to me to cavil at long term subsidies, not one off rescues.

    • dixie
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The CFP involves EU subsidies, according to a Guardian article Spain received £2.3b over 12 years – 48% of the total subsidies. So how can state aid, ie subsidies, be illegal.

      My family will happily eat more seafood and I’m sure we can take on the lost EU exports to the US and China for the surplus.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        dixie – – lots more affordable fish – yummy….

        • dixie
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          And if we can recover and properly manage the fishing grounds perhaps we can have proper sized fish again – Cod, Haddock and especially Sea Bass.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            now you are talking – – Dover Sole, Turbot ….loverly.

    • Gareth
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Using the technology of fire I believe we will be able to keep the fish edible all around the world, freezing also will work.

      Fish today is exported for processing in the far east, it is a badly used resource at present.

    • SM
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Norway sends frozen fish to South Africa, why can’t the UK do so too?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Complete nonsense Len
      Europe trades with many independent countries that choose to give aid to their own industries.
      The EU would be breaking WTO rules if they tried to stop the trade.
      And fish can be exported frozen all over the world.
      Have a look in any supermarket and see where fish and shellfish come from.

  4. Javelin
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Since stopping paying the BBC licence fee at Christmas and switching to Netflix, Youtube and catchup the quality of my TV viewing has increased immensely. You suddenly become aware of how tired and low quality the BBC programmes are. Auntie is very old and her life is now failing her and it is time to let her go.

    • Bob
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink


      “stopping paying the BBC licence fee”

      Well done! I did that more than ten years ago, and I agree with you about the low quality of the BBC.
      I’m just surprised it took you so long.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I mainly listen to it in order to monitor it appalling bias and endless propaganda. Plus to listen to their climate experts confuse power with energy and negative feedback with positive feedback. Woman’s hour is always very amusing. The programme seems determined to give woman a bad name by only inviting dim, left wing, chip on the should ones on. Woman invariably so daft they cannot understand the real reason for the gender pay gap which is work life balance choices and the types of jobs the genders choose take.

      A favourite of the BBC is to go on about life expectancy being lower in poorer areas due to people being poorer. Far more likely of course is that people in ill health, taking drugs, obese or drinking or smoking too much are rather likely to earn less or be unemployed.

      Is this not the far more likely order of cause and effect?

    • Peter
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I agree. I was mostly watching repeats of old shows on live TV. These are freely available on catch up without the need for a licence.

      I did have some concern about Match of The Day, but football highlights are available elsewhere before MOTD airs. They are free of waffle from annoying pundits.

      As for Netflix, not only are there no adverts but you can skip the titles and introduction if you wish.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I totally agree with you.Youtube is a resource without equal for archive material,foreign news and documentaries.I rarely watch BBC1 or BBC2-if it’s the BBC,it’s the News channel-and even then I hop between it and Sky and RT -and occasionally BBC4 for it’s arts and history/documentary content;and I’d be happy to pay a modest subscription for that.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


      I agree with this but since I occasionally watch Bloomberg live I must have a licence. It is beyond irritation that the law requires giving the BBC money so that one can watch better love products from other providers. If the conservatives can’t even manage to dump the licence then they clearly do not support free choice.

    • anon
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Please appraise us of the unsolicited mail where investigations have been authorised and enforcement visits authorized. Very official sounding.


      However please ensure that the more vulnerable members of your household are protected from these disgraceful mailings.

    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I fail to see how affording farming special privileges will improve productivity and therefore yields? CAP is a geo-political trade-off between two nations (Germany and France). The UK government should refrain from importing this type of interventionist stupidity into the British farming sector. It always leads to inefficiencies warping capital allocation towards investment that is inferior in nature

    Capital investment tax breaks and reductions in business taxes is acceptable. Direct subsidy is ignorant and political.

    You would assume that British politicians would have learned the lessons of CAP. It seems not. Vested interest is never far away when the taxpayer is being abused

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Alas many farms are hooked on subsidies. It will take sometime, if ever, to get them off them. Some farming, such as sheep farming in Wales, cannot survive without some subsidy. Tricky one.

    • HJ
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      You are correct, but don’t forget that the CAP pays farmers (or rather landowners) not to produce (so-called “set aside” land). This land may well come back into production when we leave the EU.

      There is also the case for environmental subsidies, i.e. paying farmers/landowners to maintain hedgerows, public rights of way, etc..

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      The landowning-farming-military are the historic core of the British Establishment and of the Tory Party.

      They will never be subjected to the brutality of market forces like the rest of us.

      • NickC
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Martin, Market forces are not “brutal”, the term is simply a collective way of describing how all of us (all) vote with our wallets. There is no better, benign, or democratic way of running an economy than the market. The alternative is the coercion of central planning.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          There are many alternatives involving a mixed economy.

          There is not a binary choice between two caricature extremes.

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink


      Direct subsidy is ignorant and political.

      One only has to look at the renewable energy industry and the fire, aim, think process that has been adopted for EVs. SirJohn posted a reply highlighting the millions pouring into Scotland for wind farms to be shut offa few days ago. Totally obscene such a complete waste of money.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        like Flybe

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          Bill B, A one-time rescue of a business that is viable is not the same as decades long subsidies.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Farming production was supported in the UK prior to CAP membership, this in order to protect farmers from lower cost producers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
      More could be done in other ways to help farmers reduce their costs such as the prohibition of the ownership of farmland by those themselves not directly engaged in agriculture. Actually a useful project post-Brexit would be a war on rentiers, generally, and the encouragement of working for a living.

      • Al
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        “More could be done in other ways to help farmers reduce their costs such as the prohibition of the ownership of farmland by those themselves not directly engaged in agriculture. ”

        As someone who grew up in the countryside, tenant farming is a tradition that allows farms to remain functional when those who own them become to old to work the entirity of the land. Outlawing it would result in established farms being sold off piecemeal. It also allows easy transition from one owner to the next, as acquiring the funds to purchase a farm outright is very difficult – particularly with the banks’ notorious reluctance to lend…

        Outlawing landbanking by property firms, who buy the farm and let it sit and decay for years before developing it if they ever do, would solve a lot of problems.

        • forthurst
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          One would hope that farmers had relatives keen to take over and that inheritance laws which enable those whose whose assets are able to be deployed offshore such as those of a recent PM could be fair to people who need the land to earn a living.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    It looks like the EU are delaying trade talks to force us into extending the transition period.
    I hope we aren’t going to hand over any money until talks have concluded.

    • agricola
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Whatever tactics they apply, it should be made crystal clear that failre to settle by December 2020 will result in no payment and trade under WTO rules, to the detriment of their own industries.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink


        All in the EU would like to make a deal but in is much more than trade , data protection, finance, security and defence and it therefore takes time, so hopefully it will be wrapped up or agreed in phases. No deal will be to the detriment of our industry as well

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Bill B, We do not want to include all the peripherals you list. Trade access for trade access, and there’s an end to it. Any other co-operation can be done on an ad hoc basis so that the UK is not controlled by the EU, and does not have to follow suit.

          • bill brown
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


            It is all part of the WA but you probably have not read it, so spare me and look at the facts

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, I suspect I’m one of the few people in the country who has read the WA. The WA is not what I want. The WA is not what we voted for, either. But thanks, all the same.

    • Andy
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      The EU is not delaying anything. It has said from the start trade talks will not start until you have signed the capitulation, I mean withdrawal, agreement. And you have not signed it. Despite lots of bluster and huffing and puffing from Brexiteers Johnson’s deal will pass. It is essentially May’s deal – except for the section that completely sells out Northern Ireland, requiring customs checks on goods sent within our own country.

      When the Tory capitulation agreement has completed its path through Parliament the EU says it will talk trade. It is not unreasonable for it to take a month or so to establish its negotiating criteria between the 27. At some point you all have to take responsibility for this mess you have caused. But I am guessing that today is not that day.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So far the EU has delayed trade talks by 2 years and 10 months, so I suppose another month’s procrastination by your useless vindictive EU oligarchy is typical. All completely arbitrary and one sided, of course.

        However the IMF, which you used to applaud, now says that the UK will grow faster than the EU (EZ) – despite Brexit!! So when the experts say Brexit will be a success, where does that leave you? Making things up as usual, I expect.

        • bill brown
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink


          The quality of your comments are really falling, we have delayed the departure ourselves not the EU due to domestic political considerations. So, when you raise these issues then at least get the facts right or we might accuse you of what you usually accuse Margaret in personal attacks

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, You need to brush up on the facts. The EU has manoeuvred, including colluding with UK Remains, to obstruct and delay Brexit. As the EU has clearly demonstrated, the EU is our enemy.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink


      Then we should use the time to talk to the Americans and others. That should help concentrate the minds of the rEU27.


    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink


      You outline the very reason why a very simple amendment should have been put in the WA, or added to it.

      “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

      Then we have our own backstop, if the EU do not like it, or will not accept it, then that is surely proof they were never going to be sincere with their negotiations in the first place.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      They are not delaying them. They have always said that negotiations would take longer than the limit which Johnson has recently and arbitrarily imposed.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        all previous dates were arbitrarily conjured up – no wonder the H of C had fun preventing them.

      • NickC
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Martin, So you accept everything your opponents claim do you?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          That is a different point.

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            Martin, No, it is exactly the point: in any negotiation you do not have to accept the other party’s statements as true. Unfortunately you normally accept the EU’s. You really don’t have to. And I won’t.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            It’s a universal truth that an agreement takes the consent of all involved parties.

            If any declines, then that is a simple matter of fact.

            It is a fact that the European Union’s negotiators have said that an agreement will not be concluded in Johnson’s allowed time. They have been 100% as good as their word to date too.

            You can accuse them of lying if you like, but I think that you will be shown as wrong yet again.

            Why isn’t Johnson “dead in a ditch” on the other hand?

    • Bob
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Just leave, they can call us when they’re ready to talk.

    • Len Peel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      You hope Boris wont let you down?
      O my you have not been paying attention

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Farmers round here in the Fens are leaving a lot of stubble in the ground and many have not yet ploughed. This I have not seen before.
    Education needs to adapt to the new situation which you describe. I do not know how it can though without a serious set of risk taking and training – neither of which are the sort of things either state or independent schools are, frankly, much good at. The mediocre is normal and good pupils get fed up.
    Challenges! Not obstacles!

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      I think this is more to do with ‘black grass’ and really wet soil which made fields inaccessible even to tractors than anything else. The good effect is that leaving the stubble is a bonus for birds and wildlife generally.

  8. Caterpillar
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Perhaps 2nd sentence, 2nd paragraph should be

    a domestic fishing fleet to capture ALL of a smaller total catch

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Looking at the World Bank fisheries harvest figures for 2016 I was surprised to see just how far down the world rankings we are-no 27 with a total of 0.9(0.7 by sea;0.2 by aquaculture).

      That compares with the top two -China 81.5 and Indonesia 23.2;both way ahead of anyone else – and both of whom have a massive aquaculture component (63.7 and 16.6,respectively).

      (I forgot to scribble down the metric-tonnes million probably)

  9. jerry
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    “As we take control of our fish stocks again”

    I didn’t realise that the CFP covered fish farming…

    Salt water fish are not “our fish”, unless they are caught in UK territorial waters, post Brexit we can only be assured of a 12 mile limit for much of our off-shore fishing fleets [1], not the much wider (EEZ) limit often talked about, due to over lapping claims to the same areas. Any disputes will be settles via the UN, not the EU.

    The way some try and make fishing a special case, beyond their usual economic rules, anyone might be mistaken for thinking a lot of marginal constituencies are in old fishing port areas! 😯

    [1] deep sea fleets will be less affected, so long as they fish outside of any EEZ

    • agricola
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      I always thought that territorial waters ran to 200 miles or the median line. Perhaps someone versed in maritime law could clarify this point.

      • dixie
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        My understanding is territorial waters are 12 miles, the EEZ is 200 miles. We have control over economic aspects of the EE, ie below the surface, but there is freedom of navigation which is not the case with sovereign territorial waters.

      • jerry
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        @agricola; It does, but most of the UK territorial waters would fall within a median line between EEZ territories, there are very few areas that could extend for the full 200 miles unchallenged.

        About the only areas clear of any obvious competing claims are off the North and North West coasts of the Scotland and her Islands, even there the UK might not obtain the full 200 miles.

        As for applicable Maritime laws, read up on; United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea

    • Hope
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      The servitude plan forces the U.K. Not to discriminate against EU, any dispute goes to ECJ. Pure fantasy on JRs part to make such a claim. Clause 72 gives a better perspective of reality.

      10 days to vassalage status as Johnson called it. Tell them to go whistle for any money, he said. We learn billions and billions of U.K. Taxpayer money will be claimed for decades, the EU decides how much and for how long. That is not taking back control.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink


      Isn’t fishing already treated outside usual economic rules? Surely a country’s resources would usually be utilised by another by either (1) export or (2) FDI (or a combination). Admittedly in days of colonialism there was a tendency to just use resources of other nations, but I think there has been a move away from this. If an EU company chooses to invest in a fleet in the UK and export from there, that would seem more usual.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Ask the Japanese!

      From a Washington Post article 14/11/19 “How climate change is triggering a chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific.”:-

      “…warming inhibits the formation of sea ice and also drives fish populations north.The salmon catch on the North Japanese coast has fallen by 70% in the last 15 years,while the Russian chum salmon catch has quadrupled.”

      It’s one of the issues that Russia is using to bend Japan to it’s will in negotiations for the long elusive Peace Treaty concluding WWII which PM Abe is desperate to conclude before his period of office ends-and probably will later this year.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      The EEZ relates to submarine resources which includes fish; the 12 nm coastal water limit relates to navigation rights.

      • jerry
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        @forthurst; I’m not arguing that, but how much of the often cited 200 mile EEZ the UK would get when there are competing claims due to overlap.

        There isn’t 200 miles between the UK and France at the western mouth of the English Channel for example, there is a three way claim for much of the Celtic sea, same with much of the North Sea and so on all around our Island nation…

        • forthurst
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          Of course; however our EEZ of the North Sea includes the lion’s share of the Dogger Bank leaving Denmark, Germany and Holland scrabbling over the NE corner.

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, The UNCLoS stipulates the EEZ limit as 200 nm for all coastal states. Where those limits overlap, a median boundary of less than 200 nm is agreed. Such boundaries already exist between UK-Norway, UK-Netherlands, etc, and can be seen on maps on the internet.

      Therefore “our fish” are the fish that can be caught within our legal EEZ to the boundaries already agreed (not just 12 nm). It is not normal in a trade deal to hand over resources. It was a fatal error on Heath’s part to do so. We must recover ownership of our EEZ, even if we allow some licenced fishing by EU boats in our EEZ, for a limited time, as a goodwill gesture.

      • jerry
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        @NickC; Duh!?… As I originally said, I even mentioned the UN’s EEZ, try actually reading what I say. 😥

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Jerry, Duh!? . . . Where I agree with you then of course we will say similar things. Where I disagree, we won’t. Try actually reading what I said and spotting the differences.

        • dixie
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you mis-spoke Jerry, the EEZ out to 200 miles is not our sovereign territory but under UNCLOS we do have sovereign right to the resources, including the fish, beyond our territorial limit out to the EEZ limit.

          • jerry
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            @dixie; “the EEZ out to 200 miles”

            Oh dear… See my reply to @forthurst above.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            jerry – – ha ha – However the EU would like us to drift 200 miles further away.

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Oh dear . . . what part of my statement “The UNCLoS stipulates the EEZ limit as 200 nm for all coastal states. Where those limits overlap, a median boundary of less than 200 nm is agreed. Such boundaries already exist between UK-Norway, UK-Netherlands, etc, and can be seen on maps on the internet“, don’t you understand?

          • jerry
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Exactly! It’s not the EU who is desperate for a post Brexit fishing agreement, it’s the UK.

            The UKIP lie is catching up with them…

  10. Ian Wilson
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Some parts of farming have been having a torrid time but have at least been enjoying a bonus in the 14% rise in crop output thanks to the modest rise in atmospheric CO2. All hail the gas of life! (as well as oxygen of course). And no, it’s not going to fry us – ice ages came and went when there was 10 or more times as much CO2.

    Zero carbon protagonists might heed this morning’s generating statistics (around 5 – 6 am). Wind provided 4%, solar, don’t ask) That’s half that of good old trusty coal and around 1.5% of total energy. Those who want to dispense with fossil fuels had better start thinking where the other 98.5% of energy is coming from during winter anticyclones.

  11. agricola
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Yes to what you say on fishing and farming. Fishing will require a lot of investment at sea and on land. Make sure the money is available at the same rate that government pays for money. Likewise in farming. Where plant and technology are required to produce with less recourse to casual labour or out of the natural season make cheap government rate capital available.

    Naval vessels and much else should be home grown assuming it can be done at a price, on time, and technically ahead of the game.

    Incidentally where are we with the new joint UK/EU GPS system. Are we in or out of it. As I understand it we were making the satellites . If out I hope we are now designing an updated system for our exclusive use. On joint EU projects I am reminded of a schoolfriends warning. He sat with the French in Toulouse on Concorde deciding who did what. He said once the cake had been divided you fought like hell to hang onto your slice for the next five years.

    Independant sovereign status is a great opportunity. Make sure government is a facilitator not a burden, remembering that the lovers of all things EU are still at their desks and have not changed their mindset. However they are now identifiably responsible for their decisions.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    State aid that gives one company or organisation uncompetitive advantages over over another’s are not in general a very good idea. Perhaps the worse examples are in the state sector. The dire state monopolies of the NHS, State schools, the university soft loans for largely duff degrees, the absurd level of subsidies for train, tram and public transport relative to cars, the subsidies for green crap, rent subsidies social housing (often for people who can afford the full rent anyway). the BBC tax (given to the absurd lefty BBC misguided propaganda outfit.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      The Government announced some state aid yesterday.. £400 million to Africa. They might as well as flushed the money down the drain.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Much talk on the BBC about claims against the NHS for negligence having doubled in just a couple of years – much of it going to lawyers on both sides.

      The solution is simple. If you use the NHS you have to sign accept some standard (no blame) compensation levels (or to insure yourself for more if you wish to personally). Then the NHS can be honest and fully open about any negligence, they can have an honest and open reporting system to prevent as many recurrences as possible. Plus you release all the lawyers to get productive jobs perhaps. They could retain as farmers, engineers, plumbers, drain engineers, nurses, entertainers or something. Use the money saved to improve the service and cut out negligence. The best way to improve it would be to have real freedom and choice in health care by charging all who can pay and having large tax cuts.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Chris Packham on today about the fires in Australia being a potent of doom then Greta in Davos! He, the BBC and Greta are totally deluded and are even causing mental issues with vulnerable children and adults. They have no real solutions anyway, even if you accept their alarmist (we need four extra planets drivel).

    If you have lots of flammable wood lying around in a hot dry country it will sooner or later catch alight. Over millions of years insect, plants, trees and animals have evolved for this.

    • Leaver
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Maybe. I, like President Trump, accept manmade climate change – but think we need to be careful about doom-mongering and focus on taking positive action.

      • Leaver
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Though I think pulling out of the Paris talks is a mistake. You can’t influence the conversation if you aren’t at the table – and most of the country are ignoring him anyway. Particularly California, who will have us driving horses and carts and eating vegan if they have their way.

        We need to find solutions, but not destroy the world economy in the process.

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Leaver, There’s no point looking for “solutions” to the CAGW hoax, there aren’t any.

          • Leaver
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Global warming is not a hoax. The world has been getting hotter since the industrial revolution. And your message about solar wind, cosmic rays, and magnetic fields makes you sound like some new-age hippie, which I assume is not your intention. Though I remain grateful for your excellent message on CO2 acting like a blanket on the upper atmosphere which was really insightful.

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            Leaver, Did I say that global warming was a hoax? What I said was that CAGW was a hoax. It is peddled by the like of Gore, Mann and Thunberg, and is more a hybrid of politics and religion than science.

            “Cosmic rays are high-energy protons and atomic nuclei which move through space at nearly the speed of light. They originate from the sun, from outside of the solar system, and from distant galaxies” (Wiki).

            All you have to do is look up the terms I used. Thank you for your approbation regarding CO2 acting like a blanket.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Is that the Chris Packham who Guido Fawkes revealed had a travel company selling expensive guided tours of the Arctic and East Africa?

      “If you have lots of flammable wood lying around in a hot dry country it will sooner or later catch alight”

      And it helps it along having arsonists happy to put a match to the countryside, Australia having charged in the order of 100 people for arson , something the likes of the BBC is reluctant to mention.

    • bill brown
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


      Interesting perspectives on BBC and climate, if, you honestly believe all the information you have presented you should probably get into politics with the Brexit party or just right of it

      • Edward2
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        And you bill could line up with Corbyn and Momentum.
        They were really popular in the last election.

        • bill brown
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink


          If you have nothing more relevant to say it might be better to remain silent?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            No I shall continue to reply to your comments.
            Perhaps you might take your own advice.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          The brexit party were rather less popular with two percent of the vote.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            What less popular than Corbyn and Momentum ?
            Surely not.
            I didn’t realise support for Labour had declined so much.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Marty – – surely you can do better than that. No match for the Beast of Bolsover (would be Cardiff).

    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    ‘providing a system of financial support which encourages more domestic food production.’

    Politicians never learn do they. Domestic demand for home grown produce will encourage more domestic production of natural products not more subsidy which is what ‘system of financial support’ appears to imply. Use the term ‘subsidy’ if subsidy is what you mean rather than a convoluted term.

    If a politician is encouraging subsidy to promote the agricultural sector in his own constituency then be transparent about that so that we can all see that the purpose of subsidy is not economic but political

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Lost of pro BBC people on Newsnight last night desperately trying to defend the dire BBC. Although the licence fee is clearly grossly unfair competition my main objection to the BBC is the endless preaching and propaganda (on climate alarmism, ever bigger government, lefty economics, being pro EU, anti-US, anti-England, endlessly pushing the gender pay gap (which is just free choice) and other endless PC nonsense). They are totally wrong on all these issues – staffed as they are by fairly second rate, “group think” lefty art graduates.

    Even their first science editor is a geography graduate. Farage joked about applying for the Job yesterday! Charles Moore would do the job well but would you get rid of all these deluded, hugely overpaid, lefty pro EU group think staff?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Why on earth can you not pay the BBC Directly to use the BBCiPlayer when you are overseas? This instead of having to use a paid for VPN to get round their blocking systems. Do they not want the revenue and the extra viewers?

    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    End State aid to Labour’s propaganda platform, the BBC

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Well not just the anticompetitive TV pole tax.

      Insist on them being balances. On them employing at least some people who are are not “BBC group think” dopes. So no more private school, dimmish art graduates with zero grasp of business, engineering, physics or real economics. Some who have not fallen for the climate alarmist religion, in magic money tree economics, endless PC lefty lunacies, ever bigger government, rule by unelected Brussels bureaucrats, identity politics and have a clear hatred of the US (and often of England too).

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I ponder which Labour leadership candidate is the best (to keep them out of power at the next election). I suppose it has to be Long-Bailey but then again watching the despiser of “patriotic white van men” Emily Thornberry just now she must come close. Then again I cannot even see Sir Kier Starmer doing it unless Boris really makes a fist of it. His record at the DPP was dire after he left it got even worse under Dame Alison Saunders.

    In my view many at the DDP should be being investigated for preventing the course of justice. But then who, if anyone at all, guards the guards themselves?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      “Perverting” the course of justice – how do you switch this autocorrect off!

  18. Newmania
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Most of our fish is exported the EU an is under threat .The fish processing industry is also in peril which is the reason ( Free ) ports are to be exempted from the Brexit the rest of us have to put up with
    I feel this is especially unfair as the people who do not have to suffer if usually voted for it. Quite why the tax payer is being asked to subsidise the arms industry and farming defeats me.Is everyone else comparatively worthless ? We were promised cheaper food , not increased taxes to subsidise more expensive food.
    Are we ever going to stop talking about fishing ?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Are you joking? Subsidising and protecting farming is one of the core raisons d’etre of the EU, absorbing c 40% of its budget. It subsidies inefficiency in farming, distorts land prices and forces up food prices, hitting the poor. And causes poverty in developing countries. Are you really not aware of this?

      • Newmania
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Quite .Just about the only real gain of coming out of the EU was being able to source food 20% cheaper on world markets
        Obviously this would put UK farmers out of business but the rest of us have to live with the drawbacks of Brexit why cry about them , ( no-one cares about us )
        We are actually going block EU food block world food and subsidise useless UK farming every bit as much as we did before . Who pays .. we do

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Newmania, We grow our own food suitable to our climate; and import food we can’t grow. Doh . . .

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, No normal country hands over its resources to another state, unless it’s conquered.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink


        This is a total ignorant simplification which has nothing to do with newmania’s comments

        • NickC
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Bill B, Newmania endorses the UK handing over our fishing resources to the EU. That handover would normally only happen to a conquered country – like reparations for example.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Apparently the EU is now pushing for the ability to fine the UK for violations of whatever trade deal is eventually arrived at ( assuming we actually “leave” that is).
    A sort of back door Customs Union overseen by ECJ?
    Hope not!

    • NickC
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful, It appears that the EU never learns. It stole our fish, our money and our democracy in 1973. Bad outcomes continued for the UK except when Thatcher wrested a rebate from them. Tony Blair got fooled into handing back some of that rebate in return for CAP reform which never took place. The EU then sent Cameron back with a flea in his ear. Since the referendum the EU has been hostile, vindictive and intransigent. But the EU still wonders why we’re leaving?

      • Fred H
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        NickC …… but then Oliver Twist (Cameron) arrived saying ‘ Please Sir, may I have some more?’

      • bill brown
        Posted January 22, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


        This is an interesting factually wrong and very biased view of 27 other European nations, who are supposed to be our partners

        • Edward2
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          What facts that Nick said were “factually wrong” as you claim bill?

        • NickC
          Posted January 23, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          Bill B, The EU is not the “27 other European nations”, it is a political and legal entity in its own right. The UK therefore has a relationship with the EU quite outside our relationship to other European countries. And the EU’s relationship with us is to exploit us as much as it can get away with.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    “When we leave we will also be able to strengthen our domestic capability to provide the weapons, vehicles and protection that our armed forces require from their suppliers. ”

    Like going off to buy German armored vehicles for the Army that seems to have been rushed through last year.

    Sorry I really don’t trust the British establishment, they have no loyalty to our country or its people. Other countries managed to priorities their industries while in the EU, our’s didn’t because they didn’t want to, and I am not sure being out of the EU will change the British establishment’s attitude to us.

  21. Kevin
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I am pleased to see you address “taking back control” of a specific aspect of the EU’s legal regime. In addition to state aid, you also appear to have in mind the current rules on public procurement. Part of the context of discontent in which the People’s Vote was called and cast was what Booker and North alleged was “the usual discrepancies…between the theory of any Euro-legislation and how it works out in practice” (Castle of Lies). In that case, they were specifically referring to the impact of the Single Market on public procurement contracts via the EU’s “procurement directives”. Booker and North wrote this comment in 1996. Fast forward twenty years, and we can see Ross Clark making a similar complaint in the “Daily Mail”: “It would be forbidden for, say, the Highways Agency to buy British steel…, if a cheaper offer,…was tendered from abroad. That might be easier to swallow if the rules were applied firmly across the EU, but that isn’t what happens in practice” (“Eight reasons why Port Talbot never stood a chance (and the EU is the biggest of them all)”, 31/3/2016).

    A couple of days ago, I mentioned a BBC article that questions whether state aid would be easier after Brexit, making specific reference to the call in the Political Declaration (“PD”) for “open and fair competition”. If such a question can be asked of the state aid rules, surely, in a similar vein, one can question whether the same “level playing field” clause in the PD (Clause 77) will effectively keep us subject to the Single Market’s rules on public procurement.

  22. glen cullen
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    We already have massive state aid in the form of the tax-book that supports every large and multi national company to use loop-holes to reduce their taxation liability

    SMEs that don’t have the expertise, time or funds to exploit the weaknesses in the tax system

    Fix the red book first

  23. Gareth
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I wholeheartedly agree with this article, we need to develop a trade position that generates prosperity rather than protects industry.

    An exception to this is our defense industry where indigenous production must be maintained – we have need of it anyway.

    One thing that I think needs protection is telecoms, while we do not need to protect indigenous production we should consider carefully who we buy from as if it were defense assets.

  24. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Off Topic

    I’ve just seen a headline that says Gibraltar might join the Schengen area. If so will this just be a backdoor immigration route into the UK?

  25. Peter
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Fishing fleets cannot just be increased at the drop of a hat. Considerable investment and skills are required.

    Increased opportunities also need to be guaranteed first.

  26. BJC
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I sense that Remainers have adopted new multi-faceted tactics. They’re absolutely relentless, aren’t they? You’d think that the EU had created a haven from oppression, inequality and poverty.

    Meanwhile, the privileged attendees of the World Economic Forum that missed signs of an impending financial crash, and a pious 17 year old alarmist puppet, board their private jets to to Davos to decide what the rest of us should do to impoverish ourselves to stop alleged “climate change”, while it’s business as usual for them and the biggest polluters.

    An independent policy for strong domestic growth would go some way to weakening the grip of the big players only interested in their own enrichment. As I’ve said before, however, it’s dishonest to expect us to fund the government’s vision of our future prosperity, only to allow the transfer of our successes to global corporates to reap the benefits. Our money, our country, our long-term reward.

  27. gyges
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’d like you to think about the aluminium smelter at Lynemouth which closed in 2012. Can we think about side stepping environmental taxes for high energy industries? Before we all react with horror … the global production of aluminium has not abated by the closure of the Alcan aluminium smelter, the work has simply gone abroad. The CO2 has still been produced. Since that is the case, why not produce it here?

    Outsourcing pollution (and of course poverty wages) is just another example of the failure of globalisation.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Aluminium production is hugely energy intensive-you need cheap energy,which-even stripping away green taxes-we wouldn’t have.Those countries like Russia and Norway with cheap hydroelectric power have a marked advantage.

  28. Leaver
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I too fail to understand the importance of fish.

    Surely it would be better for the economy to focus on getting a good deal on finance and giving the EU fishing rights in return?

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      No.The age of “Finance Capitalism” is passing.Control of/access to real resources are what will count in the future.

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        I agree……just look at china and russia grabbing land and controlling resources everywhere they can by whatever means they can

        • Fred H
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          glen – – err….reminds me of a once Great nation some years ago?

      • Stred
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        In which case the Chinese, Russian and USA will win. The EU/ UK energy policy will leave us impoverished.

    • dixie
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Why stop at fish, you could give everything away to sustain the lords of the universe, except you already have.

  29. kzb
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe I am reading this from one of the leading free-marketiers and monetarists of the Thatcher government 🙂 Why the change of heart towards “protectionism”? Not criticizing by the way, I agree with it, but 30 years ago this would’ve been all wrong.

  30. miami.mode
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    With Boris angling to unite the country, fish may catch him out.

    The fishing industry is mainly focused north of Watford and how he manages negotiations with the EU will prove whether he has been codding us.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Failure to deal with immigration or handing over fisheries policy to the EU will see the Tory Party decimated at every byelection and the next GE. Boris wants a legacy not the man who betrayed Britain.

      • jerry
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; Funny how Boris and his team kept the sort of nonsense you echo in every comment out of the GE (as did Mr Farage, by and largely…), by doing so Boris won the biggest victory over the Labour party since the 1920s, achieving the largest parliamentary majority since the mid 1980s.

        It’s the knee-jerk ideas that you push which turn the average voter off the Tory party, the last 23 years has taught you nothing!

        • NickC
          Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Jerry, The idea that the UK has the space and the money to sustain open borders migration is risible. Therefore at some point every UK political party (apart from the far left) will end up controlling numbers. So the Tory party will just have to get used to discussing the issue whether you like it or not.

          • jerry
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; That would be why Boris and the Tory party talked openly about points based immigration system, and won, Duh! But even those controls are not good enough for some.

          • NickC
            Posted January 22, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

            Jerry said: “Funny how Boris and his team kept the sort of nonsense you echo in every comment out of the GE” That was in reply to Ian Wragg’s comment on failing to deal with immigration.

            Now you’re saying the Tory party “talked openly about points based immigration system”. Make your mind up!

          • jerry
            Posted January 23, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Oh for pity sake, all parties talked about immigration, the point is about their detailed policy positions.

            There are many miles difference between the polices of UKIP/TBP and those of the Tory party when it comes to immigration – even if the end goal might be the same, if that is not the case why were so many UKIP/TBP supporters complaining so bitterly on here about a [insert chosen PM] sell-out…?

  31. Sane
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    No, the UK will sink to previously unimaginable depths for 35 years olds and below who have never seen it in their lives if the Green Agenda is continued as promised.
    The Tory Party has made itself peculiarly distant from reality. We will pay for it. They need some assistance to regain their equilibrium. Saying they are ‘chuffed’ does not gain support even from people who say ‘chuffed’ ordinarily.It doesn’t work like that.

  32. Lester Beedell
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, Laurence Fox is absolutely spot on after his appearance on Question Time, I can’t see him being invited back anytime soon, at last someone with the guts to speak out!
    I’m also concerned by Boris Johnson’s apparent adoption of the nonsense being put out by the Climate Change alarmists, there’s a YouTube video concerning 6 predictions made 10 years ago and guess how many have been correct….. zero out of 6
    Sky News Australia seem so much more sensible than anything over here!

  33. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    It is long overdue from government down that self reliance and self respect be championed. Bragging about this or that being ‘the envy of the world’ is often totally false and is embarrassing.

    And let’s stop prostituting ourselves with an everything is for sale attitude; it serves the short-termists and City spivs well no doubt as with the latest, Sirius Minerals, which ought to be regarded as a strategic industry. But instead its just something else of ours to be thrown away for a pittance.

    It’s time we invested vastly more in making things. We once could build ships and aircraft but those who have never had their hands dirty thought it was beneath us to continue when the going got tough – and see where that got us, wholly dependent on others.

  34. John S
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Will we regain control of our fishing grounds or will we cave in to Macron’s demand of EU access to our fish in return for the City to trade freely with the EU?

  35. Margaret
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I have just read that there’s a secret plot to force a second Brexit referendum. Is there any truth in this?

    • Fred H
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      no secret any longer…

      • margaret
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        So much for time lapses and the non linear time argument. Do they play dominoes?

  36. L Jones
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Regarding our host’s last paragraph, it reminded me of what the prescient Enoch Powell said in 1989:
    ”….The safety of this island nation reposes upon two pillars. The first is the impregnability of its homeland to invasion by air or sea. The second is its ability and its will to create over time the military forces by which the last conclusive battle will be decided. Without our own industrial base of military armament production neither of those pillars will stand. No doubt, with the oceans kept open, we can look to buy or borrow from the other continents; but to depend on the continent of Europe for our arms is suicide.”

    • Fred H
      Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      LJ – – he foretold the plunge politically, economically, militarily and morally.

  37. 1 vote t rule em all
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Who could wish more than be backed by a trades union with its 100 year fame for being the exact opposite of democracy as we know it, as all trade unionists know who have tried it out in good faith?

  38. Fred H
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    back to OFF TOPIC which never goes away.

    BBC website:
    Migrants trying to reach the UK in boats have set off from Belgium for the first time, a local mayor believes. A group of 14 swam back to shore when their small vessel sank off the coast of the town of De Panne. Mayor Bram Degrieck said eight of the group – which may include two children – are unaccounted for, but are believed to have made it back to land. “It’s the first time to my knowledge this happens on a beach in Belgium,” he said.

    Prosecutor Frank Demeester said British authorities would be consulted as part of the investigation as it was “rare” for smugglers to try to reach the UK from the Belgian coast.
    Meanwhile, 11 migrants were detained by Border Force at the Port of Dover, with 10 others intercepted in a dinghy in the Channel.

    Last year, nearly 1,900 people reached the UK after setting off from the French coast in small boats.

    How would ‘Prosecutor Frank Demeester’ and ‘Mayor Bram Degrieck’ know whether an attempt succeeds? The migrants would hardly admit to leaving Belgium if caught near UK- and if drowned…

  39. Fred H
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    At one point going back 10 years and a lot further, UK seeking procurement above an expected value (around £100k) were required to present invitation to tender in the OJEU (stands for the Official Journal of the European Union (previously called OJEC – the Official Journal of the European Community).
    This is the publication in which all tenders from the public sector which are valued above a certain financial threshold according to EU legislation, must be published.
    When will we be free of the often stupid rule?

  40. Keith
    Posted January 22, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why can Fish be so obvious in today’s piece- while it is not so obvious to everyone else given the massive confusion surrounding this whole topic. Prior to 1973 we had a Territorial waters limit of three miles out from our shore- nothing to do with Fishing limits- some years later the Territorial waters limits were pushed out to 12 miles- as it is still today and again nothing to do with Fishing. Before 1977 and the introduction of the EEZ which includes for Fishing as well as mineral rights Etc the UK fishing limits were out to 12 miles from a baseline around our coast – now pushed out to a EU EEZ. Th original Baseline ran by joining up points of UK land, Islands, outcrops Etc. How the whole thing is going to be unscrambled from EEZ is anyone’s guess and not very obvious to me.

  • About John Redwood

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

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