EU advice on borders and the virus

The EU Commission has reminded all EU states  on its website that “it is the responsibility of the Member States to refuse entry on public health grounds to individual 3rd country nationals” where they are judged to be a risk to public health.  This applies at all borders between an EU member and third country.

It wants the  external border of the EU to be reinforced, with migrants kept separate on arrival until their health has been checked.

It has also made clear it does not recommend that action at internal borders within  the EU between member states.  It states

“It should also be noted that according to the WHO and others, reintroduction of border controls at internal borders in  order to refuse entry is not considered an appropriate preventive (or remedial) measure”

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161 Comments

  1. Steve Reay
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Government needs to step in now to stop panic buying otherwise those responsible people will have no alternative but to join them.

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Steve R, Who is to define “panic buying”? You? And which army of prod-noses? And exactly how would the government stop it, even if it could define it?

      • Steve Reay
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Says he the panic buyer.

        • NickC
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          Steve, So who, exactly, is to define panic buying? You? Your next job after Witch Finder general?

        • Steve Reay
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Panic buying is already defined . Use the not so recently invented the internet to find out, or any english dictionary. In terms of how to stop it history already used it during the first and second world wars, most people would know this already.

      • hefner
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Easy peasy, you draw the details of a typical meal plan for one week and consider the number of persons in the household. That can define the number of pieces of soap, hand wash, … pasta, rice, lentils, peas, beans, …tissues, loo rolls … (a thing that at least one person in a given household is used to do, unfortunately often the lady of the house). Then one just asks before the people goes through the cashier’s how many people the content of a particular trolley is supposed to serve.

        That would require a teeny weeny bit of civic sense from the customer, which obviously some here are not embarrassed with, as the same would be repeating after their idol ‘There is no such thing as society’.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Taken from.a long speech out of context.
          But it has become a famous phrase the left love to use.

          • hefner
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Oh yes, taken out of context surely, but used as much by the right as by the left. Do not make yourself so self-important, on the right as on the left and centre, there are pretty selfish people.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            I’m not trying to make myself important.
            What a very strange comment.

            The left uses this phrase regularly and far more than any other political grouping.
            It is a club they use as propaganda to criticise Lady Thatcher and to denigrate people.
            As you tried to do with your post.

        • NickC
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Hefner, “You”? “One”? Steve R’s point was the “government needs to step in now”. There are about 28 million households, all with different needs and dietary requirements or preferences.

          The “government” would need to set up a giant Ministry of Rationing, a means of enforcing the rations, and an appeal process. Even if there were a 100,000 prod-noses in the new MoR, it would take them around 10 months, at one household per day, to assess every household.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            Just like they do in Cuba North Korea and Venezuela.
            It is the controlled socialist system Hefner likes.
            For others, obviously.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there is some panic-buying going on – but visiting my Tesco at 1400 this afternoon, the shelves were stocked to about the 90% level. My major concern is the availability of food delivery services to the likes of my housebound, 90-year old mother.
      P.S. And here’s a prediction about Austria’s closing down its ski resorts. A great many Slovakian staff will now be laid off in the resorts. Devoid of work, they will travel from highly-infected Austria to lightly-infected Slovakia. I’ll be checking the statistics.

    • steve
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Steve Reay

      I’m not convinced here is any panic buying. My local is deliberately maintaining near – empty shelves of some items.

      There is no supply problem – their own words, they’re creating the illusion of shortage.

  2. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Fine, and vice versa too should apply. Infact should have applied from June 2016.

    If we’d been checking health at borders for the past 10 years instead of confiscating 100ml deodorant capsules we might not be here now.

  3. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The “pot calling the kettle black” , or what?

  4. Mitchel
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I seen a story on a number of alternative news sites today that Cuba has an antiviral medication,Interferon Alfa 2B(originally developed back in 1981),that is said to be effective against the Covid-19 virus.The Chinese apparently have used it to good effect.

  5. Rolf Norfolk
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    So if someone enters the EU infected symptom-free they may subsequently roam around the Schengen area as the infection develops?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, just like they can between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, Rolf.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Gosh, Martin in C, have you not noticed that we are one country? What a desperately sad comment

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Oh really? Have you asked the Scots and the Welsh?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            Yes
            The Scots have been asked in a recent once in a generation referendum.
            They voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

            Various opinion polls in Wales show no majority for leaving the United Kingdom

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            Even if that were true, it has no bearing on the fact that they are countries in their own right, just as are the members of the European Union.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            It is true.
            PS
            Scotland and Wales are not separate countries.
            But autonomous constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
            Nations, not countries.
            Not recognised as countries by the UN
            But you call them what you want.

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 12:54 am | Permalink

            Edward2

            “The Scots have been asked in a recent once in a generation referendum.
            They voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.”

            That was before the Brexit vote. They couldn’t have forseen that the English voters were so short sighted as to vote for that disaster.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            And opinion polls since that time still show no majority for leaving the UK.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      The integrity of Schengen and the Single Market comes above all – ABOVE ALL!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        The Schengen Agreement allows countries to close their borders under exactly such circumstances as this.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      Typical Leaver, can’t observe anything without making reference to the European Commission. We are all getting so bored of this.

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Will, That makes you a typical Remain, inventing things. He didn’t reference the EU Commission, he referenced Schengen.

  6. Iago
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the government is continuing to pick up the invader migrants from the Channel and bring them to this country and of course not to check them for any infection.

    This globalist government of open borders and free movement had two months to do something to stop corona disease from reaching this country and chose to do nothing – priceless time thrown away.

  7. Richard1
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    It is becoming a country. Now it needs a proper system of representative democracy and a mechanism for proper transfers from rich parts to poor parts. Or it needs a re-think.

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Yes, the EU is a state, though as you infer not fully completed. The fact the EU calls borders between Italy and Austria an “internal border” shows that.

    • Fred H
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      not a chance. The house of cards will collapse not restructure.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 16, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        FredH

        Reminds me of the Mark Twain quip when it was rumoured that he had died:

        “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

        I see the £ has dropped again against the ‘failing’ euro to 1.10. Oh dear!

        How much was it worth originally?

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure that the good people of the twenty-seven Member States will welcome your wisdom and guidance about how they should run their affairs. Perhaps you’d be kind enough to offer some thoughts about an integrated fiscal policy for the eurozone?

      Or maybe not. Maybe it would be better if the Leavers stopped commenting about other people run their own affairs.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Will, what you are missing is that the point of Brexit was never just to get the UK out of the EU, it was mainly about destroying the EU entirely, and opening up the world to the unlimited power of billionaires like Murdoch, Trump and Putin. So the Uk leaving was only the start, you are gong to see an ongoing concerted attempt to destroy the EU from all the usual far right suspects

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          That is your far left fantasy Les
          Yet again making things up about the motives of 17.4 million voters.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Len, that was its prime objective irrespective of the cost to the UK’s people. Farage admitted as much.

          Fortunately that attempt has failed.

          No doubt there will be others however.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            Tell us when Farage said that we all voted leave to destroy the EU.
            Completely made up nonsense again from you.

        • Dennisa
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          There are several countries considering leaving because of the silly and phenomenally expensive climate agenda. Unfortunately our politicians made a law about it.

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Will, The not-so-good politicians of the 27 spent the last 47 years running our own affairs, not just telling us. And anyone is free to comment on your corrupt, sclerotic, EU empire, whether you approve or not. Unless of course you’ve just been appointed Censor-in-Chief, and we hadn’t heard.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        It’s odd how sensitive and defensive continuity remain types are about the EU / euro. Of course it’s of interest to us how the EU is governed, just as it’s of interest how the US is governed. But you don’t really like the scrutiny and debate do you?

  8. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    “New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern announced what she says will be some of the toughest border restrictions in the world to tackle the virus. From Monday, all incoming passengers, including Kiwi citizens, will have to isolate themselves for 14 days.”

    We should do this too. If the government is dealing with the specific system in place now, we can’t have the equilibrium changed by excessive numbers with or without the virus.

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Sir Joe, Whilst I broadly agree with the government’s approach, there are definitely not enough tests being done, especially for those entering the UK from abroad.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      It is far, far too late for that.

      Intra-population spread must be stopped.

      There appears to be no will to do this, however.

      That is the basis of WHO’s criticism.

  9. Fred H
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Jet2 aircraft have been turned back to UK after heading for Spanish airports.

  10. Pete S
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    EU members do not seem to be taking notice of what the commission says. Are they beginning to regain some common sense ??

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Pete, They rarely did. Only we were so compliant, even gold-plating some EU rules.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, perhaps some common sense on this issue.

      In times of real Crisis the EU Political system and their policies is and will be ignored by many Member Nations.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      This is advice, not an edict.

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        The EU doesn’t know the difference.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          The Schengen Agreement provides for the closure of borders under these conditions anyway.

          Your silly assertions are worthless.

  11. Dave
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Corona virus death toll under 6000, flu death toll between 290,000 and 650,000 every year. Lets close everything.

  12. acorn
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    The paragraph actually said “It should also be noted that according to the WHO and others, reintroduction of border controls at internal borders in order to refuse entry is not considered an appropriate preventive (or remedial) measure. Quarantine measures are more appropriate.”

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, The point was that borders between European countries are now defined by the EU as “internal borders”. That is, the EU is treating (or, attempting to treat) itself as one single state.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Dear Nick–Except when Germany says otherwise

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        A bit like the US does, you mean, Nick?

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          To whom?

        • NickC
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Martin, But you claim the EU is not a state.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            It probably isn’t, but I’ve never posted on that topic.

  13. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “Hey, look over there”, says John.

    Reply Not so. I am supplying relevant information about our neighbours and what might happen to our links with them. You always seem ashamed of what the EU does and writes, so try to avoid people knowing about it.

    • hefner
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Anybody curious enough can get to the websites (in English) of Die Welt, Zeit online, France24, Le Monde, Ansa.it, ItaliaMia, El Pais, Krakowpost, … and that without Sir John’s filtering the news.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      As far as I can see, the response of the European Union countries to this virus follows WHO guidance and parallels that of China i.e. to extinguish the epidemic within their borders.

      That is quite different from the UK government’s who seem to have decided to allow it to burn itself out at whatever cost in fatalities, attracting criticism from WHO.

      If those countries are successful, then it would follow that they will not allow entry from UK nationals until this country is no longer deemed a danger zone.

      Unless there were a marked change in policy here then that would not appear to be any time soon.

      • Stred
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        The EU has not paralleled China, which is why it is now the centre of infection of Covid 19. The Chinese locked down their infected cities after they realised their initial mistake and worked with teams of thousands of health workers to identify cases and isolate them. Taiwan, Singapore and Korea also were very early and strict. All have reduced the spread of the virus. Italy only locked down after its health service had collapsed in Lombardy and France, Spain and Germany now have cases which are ten to twenty times the official figures from testing and are facing an exponential epidemic.
        We are too but Boris seems to have been persuaded by the Behavioural psychology guru and CMO to ignore WHO guides and let it take its course. This is likely to overwhelm the health service unless social distancing and closure of schools, universities, pubs and offices takes place very soon.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          The nations are responsible for their own public health responses, not any European Union institution.

          Italy is adopting China’s approach, and so is Spain, it appears.

          • NickC
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Except their responses cannot include shutting their borders by order of the EU’s Schengen scheme.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            No, Schengen allows that.

        • dixie
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          The playbook UK gov are following was published in 2011 – “UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011”.

    • acorn
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      BS JR! It was just another of your EU bashing posts.

      Anyway, thanks to the FCO, my gang will now get a refund on our Malta trip and our Italy trip. So far, it looks like the French will still let us all into our Normandy converted cow shed.

      Reply It is just quotes from the EU. They are bashing themselves according to you.

  14. Richard1
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    A side observation. All this pandemonium is going to make an EU-UK FTA much more likely at the end of the year. The disruption we are going to face in business over the next couple of quarters will be orders of magnitude greater than anything a move to WTO trade with the EU might throw up. So the EU will know the UK govt isn’t bluffing when it says no Deal is better than a bad deal – and all attempts by continuity remain types to stir up project fear will be laughed off by the population. Also likely at the time is a new euro crisis, which they will hardly want to add to. So sanity will prevail and the EU and the UK will agree a sensible FTA modelled on those the EU has signed with other countries such as Canada and Japan.

    • BeebTax
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Good point. Italy’s economy will have taken a huge hit. Remains to seen how badly the other big two Euro economies fare.

  15. Tabulazero
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    What point does this post serve ?

    Do you criticize the EU not closing the borders yet you agree with the PM that not closing schools is ok ? Do you agree with the EU that closing borders will ultimately disrupt trade and depress economic activity ?

    Do you actually have a point other than taking potshots at the EU in the middle of a crisis ?

    • hefner
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      That’s called “feeding the beast”, a bit like some tabloids do every day.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I think the point is that the EU is restricting entry to 3rd country citizens, including those from the UK. It has every right to do this, chuck state cash to prop up its businesses, restrict export of its medical equipment, or whatever.

      But then don’t bleat about and criticise the UK when we want and voted for the freedom to do precisely those things!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      If John implies that it is disgraceful that there will be no health checks at the internal borders between European Union member countries, then surely he must want them between Scotland and England, Wales and England, and Northern Ireland and both countries too?

      If not why not?

      Reply I did not comment on the EU policy

      • Richard1
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Why would we do that? Scotland Wales and NI are part of the UK. That would be like a border between Bavaria and the rest of Germany.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        You just don’t get it, M in C, do you? You assume that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the same relationship with UK as the rest of the EU. You have no understanding of history. Why does that not surprise me?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          Look, we’re discussing the material effects of measures to stop the spread of disease, not priggish notions of nationality.

          If you think that there should be checks at borders to do this, then why not at every county’s? That would be more effective still?

          The reason is simply that the UK Government is not trying to extinguish the epidemic, as it admits. Other countries are, however.

          • Fred H
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            sigh…..

        • Will in Hampshire
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Errr, no he doesn’t. It seems to me that his point is that border checks within supranational groupings are sensible. You may or may not agree with this (I couldn’t possibly comment on a Leaver site like this) but it’s hard to argue that the United Kingdom isn’t a supranational grouping like the European Union.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Jiminyjim

          “. You have no understanding of history”

          Hope the virus is better informed about British history!

    • NickC
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, What point does your comment serve?

      Why do you criticise JR for not leaving out the EU’s response to Covid-19? Do you agree that the EU preventing its sub-states from closing their borders will result in a more rapid spread of the virus throughout the EU?

      Do you actually have a point other than taking potshots at the UK (and JR) in the middle of a crisis?

      • Will in Hampshire
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        Err, we’ve left the EU. Who cares really about what’s happening there?

        • NickC
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Err, we’ve not left, the EU still controls the UK via the WA treaty. More pertinently, why are you attempting to stop us taking an interest in your EU empire? Something to hide, hmm?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          You might, if the death rate here turns out to be whole orders higher than it does there.

          • NickC
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            At the moment the “death rate” in Italy is a whole lot worse than “here”. But no-one on here has blamed the Italian government. So why are you insinuating the death rate “here” might turn out to be “whole orders higher than it does there”? Are you going to start blaming the government?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Yes Nick that is precisely what Martin is trying to do.

    • formula57
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      @ Tabulazero – so simple recitation of the EU’s actions, largely as described by itself, becomes “…taking potshots at the EU…”! How?

    • jerry
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      @Tabulazero; “Do you actually have a point other than taking potshots at the EU in the middle of a crisis ?”

      Do you actually have a point other that taking pot shots at our host for reporting a statement from the EC, and rather funny how the left and Europhiles hate it when the EU becomes someone’s target but constantly take pot-shots at the current POTUS because of who he is…

      There is no evidence that closing boarders will depress economic activity, it might disrupt trade but so did the extended CNY, & so will having countless countries population ill with Covid-19 – we know this from SARS virus, and past pandemics such as the the 1968-9 Hong Kong Flu and 1956-58 Asian Flu.

      • Will in Hampshire
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know how you close a boarder, but I certainly hope that those officials who manage our borders know how to close them. Maybe jerry should buy a dictionary.

        • jerry
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          @Will in Hampshire; “Maybe jerry should buy a dictionary.”

          I think you need to buy a clue, sorry for the typo and causing you to waste our hosts time!

        • Fred H
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          use that dictionary for ‘pedant’.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Agreed. The Leavers just can’t break their habit of blaming everything on the European Commission. Soon it will be “my potholes haven’t been fixed, what are they doing in Brussels?” Goodness knows what it will take to wake them up.

      • jerry
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        @Will in Hampshire; “The Leavers just can’t break their habit of blaming everything on the European Commission.”

        Whilst Remainers just cant help blaming Leavers when the EC makes a fool out of themselves and their tifosi!

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Will, So you have to invent something to berate Leaves with. You’ll have to do better than that.

      • dixie
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        @WiH I don’t blame everything on the commission, certainly they are power mad but I actually blame our euphilic establishment so much more.

        But the people your remainers should be angry with are yourselves, you failed to ensure that our membership and experience of the EU were sufficiently beneficial for a significant number of UK citizens. As a result many voted to leave an arrangement they saw little value in

    • Paolo
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      There are some very happy Brexiters out there, the virus is distracting attention from how their promises we would get a GREAT deal from the EU (exact same benefits, etc) are going up in smoke

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Paolo, Liam Fox said: “The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the EU should be one of the easiest in human history.” The operative words are: “should be”, not will. The fact that you have to put incorrect words in Leavers’ mouths to make any point shows the pathetic state of your Remain beliefs.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          What? There’s no meanigful difference in the message conveyed by either wording.

          That really is desperate.

  16. jerry
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Good luck to the European Commission trying to enforce that one!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Brussels is terrified of losing control.
      Member states are reverting to sovereign states and the populous probably agree.
      Another nail in the ideology driven EU.
      With the upset to commerce now is an excellent time to leave the EU on wto terms whilst volumes of trade are low.
      I wonder how many of Extinction Rebellion and St Greta the goblin of Thunberg followers are complaining now because of the travel restrictions spoiling their holidays.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      It cannot enforce that advice, because the Schengen Agreement provides for the closure of borders under just these sort of circumstances.

  17. margaret howard
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    During some research on the 14th century black death plague I came across the following story:

    A village in England decided to cut itself off completely to save itself. In those days traveling salesmen/hawkers supplied the countryside with goods they could not produce themselves. Not wanting to lose his trade a regular purveyor of cloth left a bale outside the village boundaries.

    Avoiding person to person contact with outsiders did not save the village as the fleas in the bale did their work for them.

    Allegory? Parable? Who knows!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      The village of Eyam cut itself off AFTER a bale of cloth from London had brought the plague. The first death occurred some three months AFTER the arrival of the cloth ( and fleas) which was needed to make clothes for Wakes Week.
      The village went into quarantine to stop the spread of the plague
      Effectively, by so doing the villagers saved Sheffield and Bakewell.
      However in any emergency it should be vital for leaders to keep people calm.
      Which prodded by the Left this govt is FAILING to do! ( Boris’ “We are all going to die “ speech.)
      Govt could learn a lesson or two from the rector of Eyam, William Mompesson.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Thank you Everhopeful

      • LinJ
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Yes, thank you, Everhopeful. Their sacrifice was noble and their action wasn’t to ”save themselves”. Perhaps Ms Howard should read a little more history.

    • APL
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      margaret howard: “Allegory? Parable? Who knows!”

      What we do know, Margaret. Is for some reason, you presented the story in a utterly distorted perspective. You are consistent, I’ll give you that.

      Margaret’s researched version:-

      “A village in England decided to cut itself off completely to save itself. ”

      The alternative accepted version:-

      “The village went into quarantine to stop the spread of the plague”

  18. William Long
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I think the EU will soon learn that Sovereign nations can do what they like with their borders.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      They can anyway pretty well.

      The Schengen Agreement provides for the closure of borders under just these sort of circumstances.

      The European Union’s officers all know that too.

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I see Merkel announced she expects up to 60-70% of the population to eventually catch the virus. Same assumption our CMO is working on.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      No, without the time frame, which is all important, you cannot liken the two forecasts at all.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        We haven’t given a time frame either..
        So you can liken those two forecasts.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Fine, so someone who earns thirty thousand a month is no richer than one who earns thirty thousand a year then.

          Thanks for clearing that up, Ed.

  20. rose
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    It may not be considered appropriate by the Commission, but it is happening. Schengen is on life support.

    • Andy
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s not.

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Andy, Clearly it is.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Read the Schengen Agreement on Emergency Provisions. Nick eh?

    • Fred H
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      rose – – I think it has died.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Rose – the Schengen Agreement provides for the closure of borders under just these sort of circumstances.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        please provide chapter and verse.

  21. Irene
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you’ve got what you wanted – curtailing Free Movement of People.

    Perhaps you could now turn your attention to the panic going on. Local supermarket stocked shelves overnight. When I was there at 0930-ish this morning, the shelves were devoid of loo rolls, biscuits, tinned veg and fruit, flour, eggs, Vitamins and minerals and other supplements, coffee and frozen goods. I spoke with one of the supervisors who told me the loo rolls were all gone by 0815. NB the store only opened its doors at 0800.

    We are all required to behave like responsible people, with hand washing and elbow-coughing, no hand-shaking etc etc etc. Perhaps it’s time for you to connect with the businesses you support so much and to invite them to behave responsibly too. Monitoring and controlling panic-buying. Or will those supermarket chains just count the bank balance, while people who can’t afford to stock pile go wanting?

    It’s good to see that the care and support services are at long last being recognised as vital, and essential services. Do you have any plans to ensure that the seriously depleted supply of care workers will be enhanced by a miracle, now that they are valued so much? Someone needs to connect with the care providers to guarantee that all those ‘foreign workers’ and ‘immigrants’ that now may not feel so welcome, are in fact rewarded suitably for the work they do, rather than despised and paid a paltry minimum wage. Was it something like 120,000 needed to prop up the crumbling care service – in the good days before Coronavirus arrived. Surely we will need them even more now. But will they care about us?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      You want the government to to everything for you Irene.
      It is up to each individual to behave properly and sensibly.

      Re care workers
      This is the Government that has both greatly increased the starting point for paying income tax and the minimum wage.
      Then there is tax credits child benefit and housing benefit on top.

      • Irene
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Edward2, indeed it i up to each individual to behave properly and sensibly. However, it is clear that they are not all doing so – otherwise the shelves wouldn’t be empty at 0930 on a Saturday morning.

        There’s nothing I can do to influence the irresponsible behaviour of people I don’t even know. But the retailers / Supermarkets / government can. By restricting the sales to a sensible and responsible number.

        Re. care workers – even with zero tax being paid, and so on – what is so wrong with paying a decent salary to people who do the work that many would not do for all the tea in China, if you pardon that phrase.

        • Irene
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          PS. I most certainly am not asking the government to do ‘everything’ for me.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Well if you want to control the bad behaviour you cite then you would have to bring in emergency powers with Police and even army on the streets and in the shops.

            Care workers would get better salaries if we didn’t imports tens of thousands from outside the UK every year willing to work for minimum wage.
            Supply and demand.

    • rose
      Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Irene, foreign workers have been imported, not to be despised, but because they are already trained and they will work for less. If they did not work for less, they would not have been employed in the first place. That is the law of supply and demand. What you don’t mention is the effect this has had on domestic labour.

      • Irene
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        As before, Rose, if the salary (and prospects to progress through the care system in a career) are not there, to such an extent that domestic labout won’t touch the work, the problem lies with the care providers who are employing care staff. Not all care workers from abroad are ‘already trained’. Even nurses working in the care system who may have trained abroad, are not necessarily trained to an appropriate standard. Ask the NMC about that.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Few British people are willing to work as agricultural labourers, so the point is moot.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Tens of thousands already do.
          And more would if the wage was more attractive.
          But with loads coming in willing to work for minimum wage or even less in some gangmaster cases then wages will, not ruse.

          • Fred H
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            and the thousands and thousands come here from horrendous standards of living in the EU countries….

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            No, Fred, it’s just that the exchange rate provides enhanced motivation, though with the plummeting pound less of late.

  22. Sea Warrior
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what we should be making of the very high infection rates in the Scandinavian countries and of Sweden’s decision to start suppressing data on numbers of cases.

  23. DOMINIC
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    What exactly is an ‘internal border’? Oxymoron is a term invented to describe the sheer idiocy and stupidity of the EU and those who rally to and promote its cause

    I’m looking forward to the time when the German taxpayer decides to withdraw its involvement and informs the rest of Europe to stop relying on German efficiency and productivity

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Such as exists between countries like Scotland and England.

      Is that so difficult to grasp?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        It is just a line on a map.
        There is no real border.

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It’s not the same, and you know it. More to the point, the rest of the world knows it. The fact that the EU is trying to destroy the nation states of Europe – and is part way there – shows Remains like you that the EU has become an empire. So even you are beginning to grasp that the EU is not just a trade agreement. At last.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          It is you who wishes ruin on those nation states though, Nick, jointly or severally, isn’t it?

          Don’t project so.

  24. ed2
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    It has been proven the virus did not come from the seafood market in Wuhan, but definitely came from bats. Wuhan has the only grade 4 biowarfare lab in China.

  25. Andy
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    So old people are going to be in ordered for self quarantine for 4 months.

    We know Coronavirus is very bad for the over 70s – and so we are all taking a huge hit to save pensioners’ lives. As we should.

    I don’t doubt that most of the Baby Boomers will be ungrateful.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Why do you think you are taking a huge hit to save pensioners lives?

    • NickC
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      It’s all about you, isn’t it Andy? How are you taking “a huge hit” because people a few years older than you are ordered to self quarantine?

      And weren’t you gloating about “17.4 million angry Tory pensioners” dying off so you and your primary school children could reverse Brexit? Why the change of heart?

    • Fred H
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      it is true that without the child support, the off-peak trains and bus journeys, the visits to coffee-shops, the restaurant trips, the pub socials your economy and services you take for granted would take a huge hit should the over-70s hunker down not to be seen out for weeks. One bright note for you if you work in undertakers or crematoria – you get extra business.

  26. FOOD not enough
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    PS Message to MPs
    People when at home and not working eat more food, consume more of everything. I know. I had four jobs once at one time. Then three for two years. I do know, believe me. In point of fact my state pension and my Local Authority pension will just about stretch to the Government’s panic NOW….and…..god dammit…nothing has happened to induce REAL panic yet.
    Pull yourselves together!You are losing it!
    Eat a carrot and concentrate

  27. The wizz
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    At this point in time INMO our PM has put a way forward for the UK. At least he is leading from the front.

  28. Will in Hampshire
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Hard to see what the point of this post is. Perhaps Sir John could deliver a circumnavigation of the globe, describing the entry regulations of all the world’s nations, not that it would be particularly interesting.

    Leavers like Sir John need to recognise that we have now actually left the EU, and that we the electorate are all rather bored by their habit of continuing to compare us to it. We’re not in it any more.

    • NickC
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Will, Why are you so fixated on stopping us assessing the actions your EU empire? Or do you just like attempting to control what other people do?

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      We are in transition Will, we’re not fully out yet. ‘The UK remains subject to EU law and remains part of the EU customs union and single market during the transition’.

      We are bored by Will come latelys who come on John Redwoods blog to criticise him, he comments on information from the EU, America and other Countries on the World – don’t visit if you don’t like reading what he has to say!

  29. Mark
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    So a slapped wrist for Denmark and Austria at least. It’s highly doubtful that the EU as an institution has the expertise or the information systems to manage this. Indeed, the same likely applies to WHO. It’s certainly my personal experience of international organisations as crisis managers. Realities are that local information and local policies are likely to be superior, taking account of local circumstances and knowledge of resources and likely behaviours. There will be mistakes made along the way. Example: the Portuguese reaction to shutting schools seems to include massed gatherings on the beach. Far better they don’t apply to a whole continent.

  30. Why is everyone lyin
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    194 people tested positive for Coronavirus in Australia, one of them in Tom Hanks, who visited Australia, decided he felt unwell so he wanted a test and tested positive. This is utter nonsense. The pope misses mass, trying to imply he has it. Nadine has it, the Iranian Health Minister put on a laughable spectacle on TV before admitting he had it. I am getting a running commentary via MSM alerts of which celebrities have it next, it is all the MSM want to alert me about.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Why have such alerts?

  31. everyone knows
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    A top Chinese official visiting Wuhan has been heckled by residents who yelled “fake, fake, everything is fake”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/fake-fake-senior-chinese-leader-heckled-by-residents-on-visit-to-coronavirus-epicentre

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Oh, so there is free speech in China then.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Yes just before you get arrested and sent off to labour camps without trial.
        Read what Amnesty and Human Rights Watch says.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        yes Martin, just the once – never to be heard from again….

      • NickC
        Posted March 15, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Do you really think so?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Yes Nick, Martin thinks all socialist countries are great workers paradises.
          That’s what he wants the UK to be like.

  32. Ex-Tory
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    As figures are available for the number of confirmed cases in the UK on a daily basis, I assume figures (or at least estimates) must be available daily for the number of people recovering. I realise that as yet these figures are small, but as time goes by they will doubtless become more significant. If you could press for them to be published, it would give us more information about what is happening and provide some mitigation to our gloom and despondency.

    • LinJ
      Posted March 15, 2020 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      From the beginning, as soon as the Press began its manic ‘panic’ campaign, our government should have been presenting us with measured advice and statistics – as you say to avoid despair and mitigate despondency. It let the Press set its own agenda – and look what resulted. Panic buying, stock piling, and so on.
      So yes – the figures should be published widely, rather than just the deaths of the poor unfortunates (who, it’s suggested, had additional poor health).
      A website with a lot of information is: http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
      It’s worth comparing the figures for yourself to get a proper overview day by day.

  33. ChrisS
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Many posting here are missing the point : China followed by Italy quarantined specific regions to limit the spread of the virus. In the case of China their drastic action appears to have worked and, if they are to believed, the number of new cases has dwindled to a minimum level. Ditto South Korea.

    In the case of a virus like this one, any movement of people is going to increase the number of cases. Hence, on a micro scale, individuals self isolating is the surest way of avoiding it.

    Any kind of politically motivated, artificial border is entirely irrelevant. What is important on a macro scale is stopping transmission from any area where there are a large number of cases. That could be an area the size of single towns as tried with limited success in Lombardy, up to a complete country.

    As far as the EU is concerned, in difficult times, politicians in member states still put their own citizens first, despite anything Von der Leyen and the zealots in Brussels might say.
    It just demonstrates the uncomfortable truth to all those Eurofanatics in Brussels that the concept of a United States of Europe is in reality decades away.

  34. ed2
    Posted March 15, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I do not want any compulsory vaccine. John. No thanks.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, compulsory nasty things are fine for people whom you don’t like though, aren’t they?

  • 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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