Taking back control requires the restoration of sovereignty to the British people

Let me go back to the Brexit discussions we were having  before Covid 19 monopolised the agenda. Sir William Cash spoke to the Brexit  conference about the clauses he helped the government produce to reassert UK sovereignty in the Withdrawal Agreement.  They were essential, given some of the rest of the text.

The legislation makes clear that  nothing in  the Withdrawal Agreement  “shall derogate from the sovereignty of the UK”. The Act allows Parliament to debate and vote against any measure the EU proposes during the so called Implementation period up to the end of December, when we finally leave all aspects of EU control.  This is important to prevent the EU attempting to tie us into unacceptable and damaging measures before we are free.

The Act includes a method for the UK to reject unwanted legislation during the Implementation period should the EU try to damage us. The European Scrutiny Committee of the Commons can refer an EU proposal for a debate and vote to determine whether ti should become part of UK law or not.

I was pleased to see recently the Treasury is at last going to propose getting rid of the tampon tax, but only effective from next year. I want them to add getting rid of VAT on green products and domestic fuel at the same time. We need to show we have taken back control of our taxes by altering VAT, an EU tax and removing it from things we do  not wish to tax.

It is also important that we become an independent coastal state with full control over our own fishing grounds this summer . We should ensure much more of the fish is landed in the UK, and where we need time to build up our fishing industry capacity we should allow a period of recuperation of fish stocks after the  bruising impact of continental industrial trawlers.

The Current UK negotiating position is strong and needs to be kept up. We do not want any delay beyond December and wish any Agreement to be based around a Free Trade Agreement. We do not wish to perpetuate EU controls over our economy.

 

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367 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    May I request one thing to be added for VAT removal. Please can we get rid of VAT on certain foods ? Just because something is warmed up does not make it a luxury item. It will also help those in the food a catering industry who have been hit hard by recent events. I am not in any of those industries but I fail to see the logic of the tax.

    I am pleased that our negotiating team seem to be holding strong. Telling the EU that the UK will not accept anything that has not been asked of any other non-EU sovereign nation. 🙂

    I would also like to add that, the EU, and its Remainer lackeys here in the UK, has been bangning on about the need for the UK to expend the implementation period. It is worth reminding those who agree this this position, that the EU can unilaterally request an extension itself. Which begs the question, why don’t they ? Answers on a posatge stamp 😉

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      If John is that bothered about “sovereignty” then he seriously needs to do something about the UK’s NATO agreements, and extradition treaties with the US.

      The European Union never once launched bombing raids from UK soil, on a country, which was not even a UK enemy at the time, did it?

      Nor did it demand that Julian Assange be held in indefinite custody – as some claim in breach of everything from Magna Carta to the ECHR – to keep our masters across the Atlantic happy while some nominal box ticking is done before he is tamely handed over?

      No, it is far more important that cheese makers in Wolverhampton be allowed to make stuff labelled as Wensleydale, if Tommy wants that eh?

      • graham1946
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Oh Yes and what about the EU Arrest Warrant? Assange chose to avoid the law by claiming asylum.
        A British tourist in Greece was arrested and thrown into a stinking jail having been wrongly identified as a murderer. The EU Arrest warrant meant that the British Authorities could not even examine the ‘evidence’ against him. The evidence was fabricated and he had proof he was not involved and was elsewhere at the time. Two other lads were arrested and beaten up to make them incriminate the man they wanted and made to sign statements in Greek which they didn’t understand. He was eventually exonerated. Look it up, don’t ask me to do it all for you. At least we get to see the evidence in a US extradition case which we do not under EU A.W.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          What about…what about…what about…

          And your claims are probably rubbish anyway.

          • graham1946
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            How childish . As usual you have no answer ,so resort to insults and unsubstantiated claims. For your info it is all true – Google it, not too difficult. It was big at the time. You simply can’t bear to see any criticism of your masters in Brussels and you can’t take being made to look wrong, though you usually are.

          • hefner
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

            MiC, it must be true, it is on the MailOnline site dated 03/05/2015 reporting events that had happened on 04/08/2009.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            Not a proper reply.
            When countered you descend into insults and petty comments.
            Using red herrings to switch the argument.

          • dixie
            Posted May 2, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            graham1946 gave a specific factual example that can be verified. You couldn’t be bothered to find out and resulted to insult instead.

            The person wrongly accused and jailed was Andrew Symeou, it’s easy enough to find these things out.

            You are pathetic.

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why does John needs to do something about the UK’s NATO agreement?

        Don’t you know the difference between a treaty limited by its content, and a treaty which enables new laws to be created? The NATO does not create new laws. The EU creates new laws all the time.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          The fact that NATO membership, and extradition, are both huge losses of sovereignty is completely unaffected by that arbitrary distinction.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            NATO involves no loss of Sovereignty
            But the European and USA arrest warrants are.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 4, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        Do you ever get your facts right?

        The case is notable for highlighting the problems with the European Arrest Warrant and how it operates. Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stated; “No-one should ever have to go through what Andrew and the Symeou family went through. It was a travesty that they were made to suffer so much for so long.

        His case showed that there were real problems with the way the EAW was operating and that things needed to change as a result.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      The €U seem to treat any extension to anything, as an excuse to reset the not just the clock, but also the the negotiations themselves. Back to Square One?

      “We cannot possibly negotiate a deal before 31st December 2020…”. Well chaps, WTF have you been doing since 23/6/16, or even 29/3/17? Did you throw all of those negotiations and agreements out of the window?

    • acorn
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Mark, you say “I fail to see the logic of the tax.” There is no logic to taxation in a Neoliberal economy that we have suffered for the last four decades; Labour; Conservative or Liberal. You are required to accept that taxation and government “borrowing” fund all government expenditure into 26 million UK households.

      Neoliberal governments have to sustain “The Noble Lie” such that you must never be allowed to understand or even be aware of, the difference between a fiat currency “issuing” government and a fiat currency “using” non-government sector (Households and Firms).

      In the the 2008 Banking crash it was easy for the government treasury to create £2,000 billion and stuff it into the insolvent banking sector, at the same time it only had to create and stuff £1,000 billion into the non-government households and firms; the non-banking sectors of the economy.

      This virus thing is hitting the non-government sector, not the Banking sector as in 2008. It requires the creation and issue of new fiat money, by the currency issuing Treasury, to increase the “fiscal assets” circulating in the non-government (households and firms) sector of the economy.

      Trying to keep this fiscal budget deficit secret from the citizens by smoke and mirrors accounting at the Treasury Debt Management Office and the Bank of England, is futile. The bottom line is always and ever that, in a fiat currency economy, the government’s budget deficit, is the non-government’s budget surplus; to the penny!

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, The MMT illusion is that creating more currency in a fiat system doesn’t lead to inflation. That has only worked over the last two decades because China has injected a massive amount of deflation into the world economy. This rough balance may, or may not, continue. But when it stops your MMT is a dead duck.

  2. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    “should the EU try to damage us”
    Of course the EU 27 will look after its own interests, values and principles but “trying to damage the UK” is not part of that. I’m surprised such language is being used.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Really? I thought that their negotiating to date had involved the EU trying to tie us in knots while giving FTAs to other countries without any such loathsome restrictions. And those other countries hadn’t been subsidising the EU like we have.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior: Not giving in by giving you just any FTA is not the same as trying to damage you. You’re outside the EU, hence WTO rules will apply. If you want more, there are a few conditions (to do geographic proximity, human rights, standards, level playing fields, the protection of our fishing industry and the like). All have nothing to do with trying to damage the UK. You can be “free” and some British people are taking back control. What is there to complain? Not having your cake and eat it?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          You can keep your fishing industry, but not ours.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Don’t forget. 2 i/c in the EU negotiating team is one Guy **** ****, who cavorted on stage with the illiberal non dems during the EU elections wearing a t-shirt with the slogan: “Bollocks to Brexit!”, which tells us precisely the EU position regarding the UK – no ifs, no buts – pure and simple hostility! The sooner we walk away from these fake negotiations, the better!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Better to RUN!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Of course the EU 27 will look after its own interests . . .

      Except in a crisis and when it comes to ventilators and PPE 😉 Then it is everyone for themselves.

      Deny it ? 😉

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        @Mark B: Of course I deny it! Political.eu gave a good timeline of all the confusion, partly fed by ideology (UK wanting to go it alone). Een now the UK can still participate, but it failed to do so for the first four orders.
        To assume any intent of “the EU trying to damage the UK” is not the most sophisticated line I’ve come across recently. Doesn’t it sound more like animosity turning into paranoia?

        Reply Let us hope they do not wish to damage us, but so far their ridiculous demands on fishing and obeying their laws does not look good.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:32 am | Permalink

          You didn’t answer my question. How telling.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            @Mark B: I did anwer your question but see now I misunderstood it. S here again:
            As I witness the developments in the EU, after an initial kneejerk egocentric reaction, borne out of fear, the cooperation and solidarity among the members is back. Mutual help, collective buying equipment, large amaount of money available for most stricken countries. I would say an initial failure (apologised for) and a fast recovery form that.
            It depends a bit on the sources your read to get a real insight. British press may not be

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Not to mention the Falklands War of course.

    • bill brown
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Peter

      I totally agree and very valuable and good contribution, as both a Danish and UK passport holder, I have not come across anybody wishing to damage the UK interests, as that would damage Eu interests as well.
      But domestic politics sometimes becomes a bit narrow.

      • NickC
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, Don’t advertise your lack of knowledge. Just because you’ve not bothered to look, doesn’t mean the evidence isn’t there.

        The EU is a corrupt authoritarian empire whose oligarchs are only interested in keeping themselves in power. Of course the EU has deliberately tried to make Brexit difficult – they wanted to reverse it. They said so. It’s worked before on the French, Irish and Dutch – the EU was arrogant enough to think it would work on us. It very nearly has done, with EU fellow travellers like you in the UK giving them a hand.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:21 am | Permalink

          NickC

          As a fellow British citizen I must unfortunately admit you have lost the sense of fair game. But that is of course your problem

          • NickC
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, See my comment below which lists only a small amount of the evidence demonstrating that the EU wants to punish the UK for daring to be sovereign.

      • mancunius
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s true: Barnier’s interests are quite narrowly pro-French – he doesn’t really care if he damages German business and industry, in fact that would suit Macron down to the ground. Merkel on the other hand is making sure German mercantilist interests continue to dominate the EU.

        At today’s egg-hurling agri-protest in Brussels, the Dutch protested that ‘in Holland we have higher costs than our European colleagues. And that’s the reason why we are here now.’ Meanwhile the Lithuanian farmers angrily shouted ‘In Lithuania we have the lowest price of milk. We have 20 euro cents per litre and the Europe average is about 30 cents.’

        Yes, it does one good to see with how selflessly the EU’s nations are all avoiding being ‘narrow’ in their domestic politics! :-))

        • rose
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          If we could get the price of milk up here to a reasonable level we would be on the way to self sufficiency and higher standards. How do we get the customer to accept that after years of supermarkets driving the prices down?

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          mancunius

          “Yes, it does one good to see with how selflessly the EU’s nations are all avoiding being ‘narrow’ in their domestic politics! :-))”

          So what’s the difference between that and Scotland under Nicola Sturgeon?

          The way things are going she will bring about an end to the union.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Not if she takes account of the opinion polls

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      PVL
      It’s a one size doesn’t fit all issue; the CFP is a case in point. ECJ jurisdiction MUST of course not apply to any part of the EU/UK arrangements.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        @Peter Wood: You seem to forget that it is our single market, not your single market anymore. Anything pertaining to the EU’s single market will be dealt with by the ECJ. That is not even a point of negotiation, it is what the single market is built on.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          We have a single market too – and you EU countries sell more into our single market than we do into yours. So we intend the control and enforcement of our laws in our market are done by our Government and British Courts.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson: That is quite ok with the EU27 and I believe this has been stated in the past.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          We have left your single market, it’s done. We simply need to figure out how to trade together, under WTO. It’s not difficult, since there are precedents we have both agreed to.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Your ECJ may enforce EU rules in your EU single market. It cannot enforce EU rules in the UK. Otherwise we are not independent.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Like it would materially degrade your life.

        Hilarious!

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Martin, It does! That’s why we voted to Leave.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            How?

            Come on?

            Do you understand what “materially” means?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      If Barnier has his way we would be reduced to colonial status. If the EU 27 want to look after themselves then they need to get rid of some of the idiots representing them. Second rate failed politicians.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        ” Second rate failed politicians”

        Unlike our own? Quite frankly I’d prefer a Merkel to a Johnson any day.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, You’re quite welcome to go and be ruled by Merkel if you prefer. But you’ll also get ruled by second rate politicians who you do not elect; and by second rate politicians who no-one elects.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:17 am | Permalink

        Ian wragg

        you do write a lot of nonsense and not substantiated either

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, And you do write a lot of nonsense, and not substantiated either. Mostly because you cannot refute the facts.

    • BeebTax
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      They want to show those remaining that you get a raw deal if you leave. “Pour encourager les autres”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      The EU “values and principles” these (I assume) are that the public should have no democratic say in anything at all (but should be fooled in to thinking they have a say through the MEP elections and as a very expensive fig leaf). That all power should be drawn to the centre and we should have one size fits all regulations and laws for all the EU members – even where it does not fit at all – like the Euro.

      Also that all markets should be rigged and over regulated in hugely damaging ways (energy, farming, cars, fishing, labour markets, food production & packaging, chemicals, vacuum cleaners, tap design, water, recycling, landfill, fuels, phamaceuticals, transport, vat……

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      It’s the endless victimhood-pleading that we get from these people, Peter.

      You get used to it.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Just a desire to be a citizen of a free, democratic and independent nation state.
        You will not get it, but many thousands in history have sacrificed their lives to achieve that goal.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          Edward2

          “Just a desire to be a citizen of a free, democratic and independent nation state.”

          Twinned with the US of A?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            Except without the equality of twinship.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            Oh do stop bleating with everything anti uk woman.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            No.
            Just as I said.

            Why do the left hate America.
            It has always puzzled me.

          • NickC
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, We would be freer, more democratic, and richer if the UK was a state in the USA, rather than being an EU state. But I voted for independence. It’s you who wants the UK to be subservient.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I’m certain that the peoples of the EU27 aren’t trying to damage the UK. I only have good words to say about Dutchmen and you and I could readily do business amicably, but there are those in Brussels who want to see the UK suffer for leaving the EU, so as to dissuade the others from acting to further threaten the Project.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      All the way through the supposed ‘negotiations’ it appears EU have played hardball, displaying their intention to damage UK rather than to strike an agreement where all sides can better work together should they wish in the future. If we cannot overcome the major points by say end of June, then why continue ‘debate’.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The trouble Peter is , it is how people feel and their emotion translates into the language they use. do we feel damaged? ..yes. Did we want to stop free movement and not share the very bad as well as the good.?. yes. Whether the EU is vindictive or not and want to harm relations is another thing. In a world of civilised people we think not, but then we read of about all the competitive nasty tricks countries use and relate it to our own lives where we know that we have been deliberately damaged and everything becomes plausible. Using double think, I do agree that hype should not be used, as a responsibility to everyone who jumps on the bandwagon and creates havoc and fear.

    • BOF
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      ‘ EU Value and principles’

      Well done Peter, I always thought that irony was more of a British thing.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        @BOF:
        For values you may read “European Convention” (the ECHR is the last court of appeal for 800 million people, quite a few more than just the EU with or without Britain). Britain ponders leaving this convention.

        For principles read for instance: the foundations for the single market. The EU27 will protect the principles on which its single market is built.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          PvL, The EU is not built on principles, it’s built on power.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          800 million?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            47 countries comprising 800 million people.

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You are naive PVL on the damage joining the EU and all it’s predecessors impacted the UK historically.
      Merkel has let it be known the EU don’t want a successful competitor on their doorstep hence the BS over the last 4 yrs.
      Frenchman Barnier was appointed by Junker to warn other countries having the temerity to leave would have a beating session as displayed historically ….
      Thank you for your Obama helplines, but methinks you need to offer your help to the EU instead especially those in southern Europe and see how they view your help if any is forthcoming by way of hard cash and foreign aid?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        @ukretired123: There is already a lot of money made available for most stricken countries and today Italy became the first country to make an actual first application. Of course many more and larger ones will follow.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Bit late in the day, ain’t it though? Italy needed help and solidarity two months ago. Not some waffle from eurocrats promising the same treatment as Greece got.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:15 am | Permalink

        Ukretired123

        the help to southern Europe is actually forthcoming , so just be up to speed with the real facts

        • ukretired123
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          I have personally witnessed living and working in this poor area so have first-hand knowledge of the EU damage.
          Only now belatedly when the EU very existence is threatened do they realise they should have helped.
          Not impressed.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            @ukretired123: Neither am I. It may still work as a warning, also for the Netherlands. More solidarity is very much in the Dutch longterm interest as an EU member.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, No actual help, just vague waffle from EU ideologues. So just be up to speed with the real facts please.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Really ?

      French President Hollande said 07/10/2016 about Brexit :

      “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences.”

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        @Original Richard: And this “price” has often been repeated, most recently a number of times by Ursula von der Leyen: “the measure of access to our single market will depend on your (UK) willingness to apply our demands”, sometimes compacted to a oneliner: “no tariffs, no quotas and no dumping,”.
        And if there is no feasibility of an FTA, than there are still the WTO terms, which it often seems, Broris johnson is already steering towards.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          PvL, In the very unlikely event of the UK “dumping” goods into the EU, the correct route is to lodge a complaint at the WTO. Not demand that the EU should rule the UK.

        • dixie
          Posted May 2, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          On dumping, you might wish to look at the DW youtube report on Dutch onions being dumped on Cameroon, damaging the livelihoods on village farmers.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Do you share Michel Barnier’s view that the UK should throw away any advantages (and there are many!) that we will have gained from no longer being members of the €U?

      He clearly does think that and is confused (or annoyed, or both) as to why we will not re-level the playing field and throw those advantages away.

      • Andy
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        What advantages are these exactly? After four years Brexiteers have failed to find any – except 5% off tampons. Which I am sure must be useful to you somehow.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          That’s partly – as you well know – due to protracted attempts at scuppering Brexit by the staunch €urophiles within both Government, the opposition parties, The HoL and pressure on all of those from sections of thebusiness community.

          Many people therein would rather see the €U prosper to the detriment of the UK. There’s a word for those people that, no doubt, you wouldn’t like to hear uttered.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Andy, We get our fish back, for one. We get our democracy back. We get our sovereignty back. We get our money back. We get to control our own external commercial policy. And many many more. As you have been told over and over. Instead of paying attention you just whinge about 17.4 million angry Tory pensioners, and make the same demands like a small child.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        @Graham Wheatley: I have not heard Barnier express such a point of view, and I always try to get his press outings first hand.
        Was that in the Daily Express?

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Nope. Don’t read newspapers any longer. This was as reported from the news on various TV and radio stations. You’ll probably have seen or heard the same ones?

          Barnier has said that he’s ‘puzzled’ by the UK’s refusal to renegotiate a (further) level playing field. You didn’t see those reports?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            @Graham Wheatley: I remember the “puzzled” remark by Barnier. But who on the continent wouldn’t be puzzled? Ther are IMHO quite a few advantages, which come ONLY with an EU membership. Because of the perceived disadvantageous you have left, but then it is just a matter of fact that the advantages are also lost. Nothing to do with rtying to damage the UK, just applying all the well-known rules.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Graham Wheatley

        “Do you share Michel Barnier’s view that the UK should throw away any advantages (and there are many!) that we will have gained from no longer being members of the €U?”

        Surely you mean ‘any advantages (and there are many!) that we had gained from BEING members of the EU’ for so many decades?

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Nope. If I’d meant that I would have said it.

    • NickC
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      PvL says that trying to punish the UK is not the EU’s intent. The evidence says otherwise:
      – EU demands right to punish UK if it fails to shadow Brussels (Guardian Feb 2020);
      – Brexit news – How the EU admitted it wanted to punish Britain (Express July 2019);
      – EU will happily punish Britain for ‘Greek Fallacy’ (Business Insider Jan 2019);
      – “We finally turned them into a colony, and that was our plan all along” (Verhofstadt staffer, BBC, May 2019);
      – Many in Europe wish to punish the UK for leaving the EU, says Luxembourg finance minister (CNBC, Jan 2018);
      – Brexiteers are right – the EU is trying to punish the UK (German MEP, Independent July 2017);
      – Etc, etc.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        But even if that were so, why shouldn’t traitors be punished?

        Like you are always saying?

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Oh, look, there’s a squirrel. Leaving the EU is allowed in the EU treaties, and is therefore not analogous to treason in any way. Pay attention to the point and don’t make up unicorns (or squirrels) to try to distract. PvL made a claim that the EU was not trying to damage us. I have given evidence which refutes that false claim.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        NickC

        this is tactical politics being played on both sides of the table, I am sure you are aware of that fact?

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, This is not a game! There is no time to indulge the EU playing about. I am surprised you should try to defend it. There is plenty of evidence which shows the EU has tried to damage the UK, and damage Leave. If you cannot refute it, have the good grace to apologise!

    • Treacle
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Of course the EU are trying to damage us. Pour encourager les autres, to coin a phrase. If we succeed, they and their project will be ruined.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        @Treacle: oversimplification. E.g. the Netherlands has quite strong reasons to be in the EU, which are still true without the UK, and would also be true if/once the EU/eurozone were to turn more into an transfer of money north to south than currently the case.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Treacle

        We begged to join them all those years ago because we were ruined and our own efforts to create a trading bloc like EFTA failed to succeed where the EU steamed ahead to become the world’s most successful.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, And we fairly rapidly found that to be a mistake. We certainly were not “ruined” before 1973, but by 1976 after 3 years inside your EU (EEC) we had to run off to the IMF for help. That’s how wonderful EEC membership was. And EFTA may be smaller, but it’s still there and still successful, otherwise it would have folded by now.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Treacle

        Can you please substantiate the last comment?

    • James
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Wish I could go to the pub- there’s no talk down at the pub about taking back control only talk about football and telling jokes

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        There’s no football. Just because you take no interest in politics does not mean politics will not take an interest in you.

    • dixie
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      @PvL and Hans Iverson Are you aware that member states agreed that the EU should have the right to apply sanctions if the UK diverged from UK laws and regulations leading to “disruptions of equal condition of competition”?

      You can read all about it on the Guardian website, Mon 24 2020, 18:48 GMT, the article headline is “EU to demand right to punish UK if it fails to shadow Brussels rules”.

      You may choose to ignore such threats or pretend they have never happened, I doubt many people in this country will.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        @dixie: if the UK were to distort a level playing field on competition, do you think the EU would have to sit idle by?
        Even when Norway inthe past distorted competition by an overnight duty of 400(?)% or so on EU cheese, it faced counter measures. I couldn’t see that as “the EU trying to damage Norway”.

        • dixie
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:07 am | Permalink

          We do not need to do anything, the EU can adjust it’s laws and then “punish” the UK for not implementing the change.

          Besides, there has never been a level playing field in the EU.

          Still, you seem to have backtracked on the “EU will not damage the UK” pretense.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            @dixie: Have I backtracked? I don’t quite see it that way (and I’m not in the conversation to win arguents). Let us imagine a future possibility: In a few years the ECB might want (again) that euro clearing houses are majority established within the EU. If that disadvantages the UK, that would still not mean that the EU was out to damage UK interest, you nay call it collateral damage, but it is for the EU27 to look after its interests just as the borne-again free Britain would look after hers.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            Dixie
            I read his comments differently

          • dixie
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            @PvL – that you “don’t see it that way doesn’t matter a damn – the EU position is to punish UK “if it fails to shadow Brussels rules”.

            That is a very clear position – if we don’t implement their laws and regulations in our supposedly sovereign country they will punish us.

            You can polish the turd as much as you want, it is still a turd.

          • dixie
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            @Hans Iverson, you would.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    This sounds a sensible and necessary precaution, especially at a time attention is deflected by the pandemic. The UK government itself slipped in repressive, controlling measures into its emergency legislation, under which we currently languish. It is not beyond the wit of others in the EU to do the same when seeking to structure its current and future relationship with the UK.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      agreed

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      The language has changed though.

      John uses terms such as “we do not want” or “do not wish”.

      That does not exclude the possibility of accepting these things nonetheless.

      And I think that he very well may do so.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Sadly you are correct….the door has been left ajar when it should’ve been firmly shut

  4. Nigl
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    We certainly do not heed/must not make the inevitable financial contributions the rich countries will be asked to make to sort out the weaker ones. We are already reading about that debate.

    The Sunday Times’ editorial last week claimed that businesses etc wanted a delay because of the virus. As usual no names/no numbers. Just the political editor using it to promote his personal view as a Remainer desperate to find any excuse.

    All must be resisted.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Well as we’ve seen at the daily press conferences we can discount what a journalist on the Sunday Times or any other newspaper says. Here’s a good comment someone made on Twitter:

      “Something I’ve learned through this pandemic is that journalists are just random people with opinions. My next door neighbour probably has opinions too. I wouldn’t pay much attention to what he thinks about politics, and I certainly wouldn’t pay for it.“

      • Nigl
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Yes. This has exposed their vacuity, obvious self importance and frankly the fact that the political commentators are superfluous

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Boris is a journalist, so is Gove. I think that proves your point.

  5. Prigger
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    “Taking back control requires the restoration of sovereignty to the British people”
    No.
    The Government is showing us all, Brexiteer and Remainer alike cross party what “taking
    back sovereignty means
    House arrest
    20.000 dead and rising quickly
    100% increase in food prices
    Rationing of food
    Unemployment
    Destruction of businesses
    Domestic violence
    ZERO education for our children

    ALL in FOUR short months of a Brexiteer Parliament in voluntary coalition with Remainers

    The End. Forget such Sovereignty of Parliament
    The challenge now is to get our country back from you all. Parliament is the Enemy of the People. No one voted for lockdown. No one had it in their Party Manifesto. No one voted to die in the butcher houses of nursing homes and the microbiologically dirty NHS beds and fingers.
    To hell with your Sovereignty of Parliament.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      And my post get to put in moderation ????????

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Mark B,

        Extended moderation may be a compliment to your posts.

      • Prigger
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        “And my post get to put in moderation ????????”
        Yes, but my opinion is important

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          (:

        • Fred H
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          and joins the other idiots.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:38 am | Permalink

          Fair enough 🙂

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Mark, my sentiments exactly as I have had several removed recently and for no apparent reasons. They contained important information which would have added value to the debate.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:40 am | Permalink

          That is the thing that really annoys me. We have before us a tool to extend our collective knowledge and it sometimes gets rendered useless.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            There is no promise of impartiality on John’s part, nor expectation of it on mine.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      The virus wasn’t in their manifesto and we didn’t vote for it either – you missed that out for some reason.

      • Prigger
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        The Virus was not standing for MP— you missed that out for some reason

    • agricola
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      It sounds as if you accept the deaths of a vastly larger number of people as the price of not trying to reorganise society temporally in an attempt to minimise said deaths. The problem is that your unfettered freedom is someone else’s funeral.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        agricola,

        It seems to me that Prigger is expressing a concern that the current policy is not saving sufficient lives to justify the destruction of democracy, liberty and the economy, which will in turn destroy more future lives than are being saved. The difference is that current covid19 deaths are visible, the number of lives saved will be an inflated claim and losses in future years and other countries will be invisible. I suspect Prigger is correct, the Govt has not presented a full calculation/appraisal.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Efficiently put, I think.

    • jerry
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      @Prigger; “No one voted for lockdown”

      No one voted for a nasty, deadly, virus either – sh*t happens….

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Prigger,

      I have much sympathy for your concerns that the Govt has taken very strong powers, removed freedom from its citizens and this to protect the NHS, seemingly not helping excess mortality rates.

      In recent days Lifelogic has argued that the excess deaths outside of hospitals are direct Covid19 deaths, others have argued they are indirect effects of stopping other general health care, stretched systems or the lockdown. Either/both seem possible as a majority of the deaths are in the elderly at least in ONS stats for England and Wales.

      One would think that the Govt / Mr Hancock would want some causal picture on the excess mortality data to inform strategy and communication with the electorate going forward.

      It is possible to compare European countries’ excess mortality here

      https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#z-scores-by-country

      (Sir John, please allow the link. It is from the European project on mortality monitoring based in Denmark. Data is usually a couple of weeks behind as member countries obviously have to collect and submit data. The graphs at the bottom of the page show mortality time series converted to z-scores. This approach is roughly applying statistical process control to epidemiology – Farrington et al 1996 – if mortality goes outside control lines something is going on)

    • Thomas
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Well, at least you can’t accuse the Government of being xenophobic, Prigger.

      After all, it’s kindly let 15,000 visitors into the country every day while we’ve all been locked up.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      You think that the EU’s Sovereignty over us during these months would have spared us the Lockdown? Have you not seen what has been happening across the Channel?

    • Fred H
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      what a load of frigging nonsense.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      So Brexit is now the cause of the covid-19 pandemic ?

      If you don’t want lockdown and don’t want any/further deaths how would you be proceeding?

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      My initial response was “Oh FFS! CV19 is nothing to do with Brexit! Really”.

      Indulging your idea for a moment (with my tinfoil hat on) are you suggesting that there is the possibility that a ‘remainer’ Government (masquerading as a ‘leaver’ Government) is using CV19 as a means by which to subvert the will of the people and cancel Brexit?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Sadly it is 40,000 + now. But children are certainly getting educated albeit in different things mine are getting far better at table tennis, trampolining, diy, decorating, cooking and tasting food from all around the world and badminton when the wind is low, plus a bit of school work on line too. Even leaning to use the washing machine and sew so thing on in one case!

      I just need to persuade them to do some filing for me, not one of my strengths. Must be about a month of it to be done.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I might even be able to get on to learn how mow the lawn!

    • Steven Burkmar
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never heard so much claptrap and rubbish.100% increase in food prices; Where did you get that from? Prigger, too scared to use your own name.? I’m not surprised spouting all that Left wing crap!

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      21/03/2020 Mirror ‘France threatened to close its border with Britain unless it introduced shutdown measures to stop the threat of Coronavirus, aides to President Emmanuel Macron claimed tonight. An Elysee Palace source told Liberation newspaper that if Mr Macron had carried out his threat to close all borders with the UK ‘all the other European states would have done the same, which would have been very bad news for the British economy.’

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        I heard that too ! A touch of Napoleon from President Macron. I am sure that went down well with the French peasentry.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Prigger

      “…and a partridge in a peartree” just to complete your list.

  6. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we need a review, in the next couple of years, looking at whether VAT is an appropriate tax at all. There are other models for taxing goods and services. Maybe we should evaluate VAT against those.
    P.S. In saying this, I accept that something like VAT is needed.

    • rose
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      VAT wasn’t necessary till we went into the EEC. Then it was explained to us we had to pay it as certain other countries wouldn’t pay income tax etc and VAT was the only way to raise revenue. We have been stuck with it ever since.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I think for goods VAT is an effective way to collect tax as it is hard to avoid. Obviously for many services (eg. builders) the exact opposite is true for as long as cash payments are feasible.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        As VAT is an end user tax it is an appalling vehicle for collecting tax and hugely open to abuse in reclaims.

        If we are to have a consumption tax then a small purchase tax on every sale would be a much better way to collect it. If the average accumulated percentage was 20% HM Treasury would not lose anything

    • Richard Elsy
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      An old fashioned sales tax perhaps? It’s a more versatile tax, as used in the US, and has the virtue of being less corrupted by crooks using the VAT carousels which were quite popular some years ago. VAT was imposed, as was the CET, by the European Commission – both of which existed to determine a share of revenues payable to the EC/EU. It’s probably time to shelve both of these and allow consumers to see a genuine Brexit benefit.

  7. DOMINIC
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    It’s refreshing to see a topic being covered that doesn’t include deliberately emotive, dependency infused, propaganda terms such as NHS, Covid-19 and ‘Clap for carers’.

    There’s absolutely no need ‘to be seen’ to be taking back control. We must take back control of our nation from the EU, in all its forms. The government’s job is simple. It is to carry out and execute the wishes so defiantly expressed by the British people many months ago.

    Moreover, the British people need to take back control from the British state and to confront its appalling abuse of the CV-19 issue to increase its powers of intervention while exposing this nation’s people to the continual barrage of sinister messaging designed to stoke and pique our emotions. It is DISTURBING in its tone, regularity and breadth

    The British people are under attack by both the EU and the British State.

    We don’t owe an obligation to the EU, or the NHS, or the Police or the British State. We pay our taxes as required. Don’t expect us to sacrifice our freedoms as well

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      100%

    • agricola
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      You are quite right to draw attention to the British State. It has been knocked back once over Brexit but it has not gone away, the establishment hovers ,a malignant force that will not retreat willingly. To me it is in the genesis of “1984” and needs throwing into reverse. We have PC in what we say or write, even our host suffers from it. Further we have the thought police pursuing our thoughts with a view to prosecution while ignoring what we understand as crime. This of course includes all the mass of information that private interests collect upon us, from what we buy to where we are. I suspect we are at a tipping point and that it is just as important to redress the balance of all this intrusion as it is to get Brexit right.

    • Nigl
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Interesting. I wonder what your/our response would have been if they had done nothing. No doubt a different way to promote anarchy.

    • jerry
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; You call for freedoms but then claim people freely choosing to “Clap for carers” (and the NHS) are simply being propagandists or suffering the effects of such propaganda…

      Sounds like your idea of freedom is nothing more than your right to tell the rest of us what we should be thinking, that we should not have the freedom to make our own minds up. Clue, no one has been forced to go outside on a Thursday evening and clap, such people do so because they are allowed to decide for themselves, and they do that because they have the freedom of opinion!

      • Al
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        “Clue, no one has been forced to go outside on a Thursday evening and clap,” – jerry

        And yet the press has reported cars being keyed and hate notes left for people who do not – including people who don’t clap because they are at work as nurses in the NHS!

        • jerry
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          @Al; Of course you fail to name these press reports…

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Yuup… just about sums up as things should be. Is the controlling Political Class listening? It doesn’t seem so, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a thing as the Political Class. Just Government by the People for the People etc.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      There are clear inconsistencies in the treatment of different firms. Alan Titchmarsh expressed so eloquently yesterday the plight of UK plant growers not allowed to sell their produce while DIY outlets can.

      We can be trusted to social distance – especially the types who tend gardens and allotments. This could apply to many many firms which could be operating now.

      Alas this disease (a problem largely caused by the CCP in China) has attacked something fundamental in the West. It has attacked the basis of *trust* in government by which a person can grow a business and employ people and NOT have it all taken away over night.

      Literally, small business owners are being put in the queue behind early release prisoners for welfare handouts – small business owners were the first thrown into the wolf’s maw.

      The message is devastating for both our economy and ultimately the NHS which will have very little money to fund it.

      • Al
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        “Alan Titchmarsh expressed so eloquently yesterday the plight of UK plant growers not allowed to sell their produce while DIY outlets can. ” – Anonymous

        Another recent case brough to my attention was a chain of pet stores who are currently having to give away the pets they sell to staff because they can’t maintain the animals for months unhomed when they aren’t allowed to open the stores.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I’ll give you some applause for that Dominic.

      As for the emotional blackmail poured out, I am thoroughly sickened by the new tv adverts put out by SOME charities. All the buzz words, plus “vital” and “emergency donation” etc. NO thought to those who have a drop in income, but still have bills to pay, nor any thought to those who will lose their jobs, houses, homes and businesses, Just GIVE US YOUR MONEY – GIVE US YOUR MONEY. They are not making themselves look good.

    • zorro
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I think that we are on the same page with our views. Let us see how Al Johnson rises to the challenge of promoting our country’s interests as opposed to those of others. If his performance on COVID 19 is anything to go by, I am worried. he appears to have been completely captivated and controlled by the Medical Industrial Complex and promoting their interests.

      Did you see the performance this morning?

      Moment of ‘maximum risk’? Really? We passed our death peak early in April and the infection peak three weeks before that and, of course, before the ‘lockdown’ which has had little effect on either rate…. The evidence shows that and it is clear that Sweden stood their ground with the right decision, and as a result, have not trashed their economy. Johnson seems pretty sanguine about trashing our economy as long as we ‘stay safe and stay well’…. The government are employing such repetition in slogans they use and straplines to infantilise thir message. The only one missing is ‘it’s a game of two halves’…

      Quote from BBC…’In the speech on Monday morning, Mr Johnson said he understood concerns from business-owners who were impatient to end the lockdown.
      But ending it too soon could lead to a second spike in cases and cause more deaths, “economic disaster” and restrictions being reintroduced, he said.

      Mr Johnson, it won’t need an alleged second peak to destroy the economy, you are doing very well at the moment..

      “I ask you to contain your impatience,” Mr Johnson added…. That’s easy for you to say from your guaranteed job and income but what about businesses that create the wealth of this nation and keep you in your comfy job. They are going to fold! He hasn’t a clue!

      https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-52439348

      zorro

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are right, Dominic.

    • NickC
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Boris – far from perfect – has his work cut out extracting us from the maw of the EU. A majority of the establishment, particularly the civil service, is working for the other side. That makes it incredibly difficult to Leave. We just have to make sure our MPs know that backsliding is not an option. And btw, I don’t agree with the universal lockdown either.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        The facts are what make it difficult to leave.

        That is, the consequences are all negative, and some severe.

        Stop your silly blame games. You were warned, patiently and repeatedly.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          That isn’t what Nick said or meant.

          The people were given a vote.
          We will implement what you decide.
          That is what we were promised.
          Others keep trying to subvert that firm decision.

          Pressure needs to be kept applied to ensure we really do leave.
          Your predictions of negative outcomes are just predictions.
          Many of which have already not come true.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Today – ‘Under the terms of the agreement, Novacyt will supply its COVID-19 test to the DHSC for an initial term of six months, starting from 4 May 2020. Novacyt has initially committed to supply 288,000 tests per week to the DHSC for use in the NHS, with the option to expand the agreement. ‘

    • D Note
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      The tests are not testing for Covid-19, they are testing for an immune response which can be trigged by all sorts of things, like radiation.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        D Note,

        I thought the Novacyt test continued to be aimed specifically at the viral RNA. (It’s still PCR but faster and their partners presumably have reagents).

  9. Ian@Barkham
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    In simple terms – no laws should apply to any citizen in their own country where it has not been introduced by their own elected representatives. That law can then be amended , reformed or annulled by the democratic process of its citizens.

    Anything else is a dictatorship

  10. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I am reminded that last year, a man and I cannot remember his name swam around the British coast and the channel. What struck him about the swim was the lack of fish in comparison to other water’s. W e need to restock but then of course we can not guarantee where the fish will swim and I don’t know enough about the movement of shoals of fish to say they will stay in the channel , but putting live stock into the water and making the EU aware of such would not give them as much leverage to their argument.

  11. BeebTax
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The government was elected on a promise to get us out of the EU. No ifs or buts. The remaniacs will never give up, so the sooner we are fully out, the more time will elapse before there’s a chance of a Remainer parliament being elected. We need to normalise the idea of being outside the EU as soon as possible. Crack on with trade deals with third parties, too.

    • Andy
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      You are out of the EU. You left at the end of January. Farage had his party to celebrate what he called the second worst deal in history and Francois failed to ring Big Ben. Despite being out you are all still whinging about the EU. You left. Get over it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        The addiction to wrongly blaming it for almost everything is not cured, evidently.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        you clearly haven’t.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          Yawn

  12. Old Albion
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I agree with the removal of VAT from the items JR mentioned. I would also like to see the general rate of VAT reduced significantly.
    However, the massive costs and lost taxation faced by this Gov. through Covid19 and ‘lockdown’ will make this difficult.

  13. GilesB
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    We must keep regulation of financial services under our control.

    If the EU wants to cut off its access to the City, it is their firms and state borrowers that will suffer.

    The City can easily take a downturn in demand from EU based customers. Some reorganisation and restructuring but very little long term impact

    • GilesB
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      By the way, equivalence for Financial Services must not be bought at the expense of leaving the Common Fisheries Policy or remaining in a similar net.

      Can we please hurry up the excellent Fisheries Bill through the House of Lords.

  14. Cynic
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Leave the EU without any extension or restrictions. Also get rid of HS2, green subsidies, wasteful foreign aid, costly restrictions on business and interfering quangos.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      You’re only asking for what I’d suggest the majority voted

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      +1

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile despite pressure on the govt from three unnamed cabinet ministers,a handful of very rich Tory donors and presumably quite a few worried backbenchers we still are not privvy to the govts’s release plans ( assuming it has any)!
    Old enough to pay tax and serve a jail sentence and trusted to be alone in our houses but not old enough to know when we might be unlocked eh?
    I suppose the powers that be are keen to keep the future terrors of their Brave New World to themselves. They need not fear…the sheeple had their teeth extracted eons ago!

  16. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Sir William Cash has been banging on about the EU for as long as I can recall, and we should all give him praise for his fortitude. If it wasn’t for his vision and determination, we would probably not have had Brexit in our life times.

    Once we have fully escaped the EU then we need to do something about the major issues of the day:
    – Globalism;
    – Socialism;
    – International organisations that deem themselves more important than nations.

    Socialism is inherent in everything bad that has affected us, and lies at the heart of failures in globalism and International organisations.
    The UN, The WHO, the IMF have stepped way outside their usefulness range, and now want to drive the narrative on life on Earth. Because of their dogmatic approach they want to impose ‘control’ yet are not fit due to inherent corruption and socialist thinking.
    If we are to be free, then we must confront and make these groups our servants once again, not our masters.

  17. margaret howard
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    JR

    “We do not wish to perpetuate EU controls over our economy”

    Which turned us from being the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s fifth largest economy.

    Ah, happy days, alas all going now.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Statistics show very little change.
      But it is noticeable that you think every good thing that has occurred since 1975 is due to our membership of the Common Market/EEC/EU
      Yet anything negative that happened is just our own fault.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        But it is a moral, not economic project anyway, even if you were correct.

        “It’s not about money” as some Leavers shriek.

        They are quite right.

        It absolutely is not.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          A moral project?
          Oh well that makes it just perfect.
          You only like it because you see it as being route to Europe wide socialism.
          In 1975 socialists like you hated the EEC calling it a bosses club designed to subjugate the working classes.
          How times have changed

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            Well, if Yanis Varoufakis’s group become more influential then that would be a good thing for the people of Europe, I think yes.

            No one forces anyone to vote for it though.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Edward2

            What a load of absolute nonsense .

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            Any facts bill?
            Yet again none from you.
            Just a knee jerk reaction from your blind love of the EU.

            What I said was factually correct.
            In the UK in 1975 the left wing hated the EEC
            Now they all love it.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      The EU is turning Europe into the sick man.

  18. Stred
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Talking about the tax on female sanitary products, the Spectator has reported that they are being used with rubber bands to make face masks suitable for Mayor Khan’s immaculate disinfected 50% running, overcrowded tube trains. The NHS has grabbed any of the usual type and British ingenuity has come to the rescue.

  19. agricola
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    While I am happy with what you say I would like to emphasise that control of our territorial waters and fishing should go beyond such a statement. By this I mean control by area governing whether anyone can fish , what they can fish for and the fishing methods employed. All of it has to be based on what marine biologists are telling the government. Though this would not prohibit the licencing of EU boats, it would put them under very much stricter control as to how they conduct fishing. Always remember that our own fishermen have not been above plundering the sea in the distant past so a good control regime is essential. I hope that those negotiating on the EU side get it into their heads that they are dealing with a sovereign nation. They have enough internal problems without arousing the enmity of the UK.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes let’s follow the science

  20. Jiminyjim
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The problem, Sir John, has been, is and always will be that the EU is not interested in the prosperity of its member states. It is interested only in the prosperity of ITSELF, which is not the same thing. Some of its members are waking up to this fact for the first time. And when, not if, it goes pear-shaped, we need to be well clear. COVID has made it more important we leave all financial responsibilities behind on 31 Dec, not less.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Did you just make up, or imagine stuff to answer your school exams too, Jim?

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    What about all the sleights of hand and weasel words that locked us into the EU for all those years?
    Why do ( basically nationalists) always have to play by the Queensbury rules?
    IMO this whole ramping up of a disease has been about “populism” ( ie what is normal and human) v globalism.
    Never, ever before has such a stupid course of action been taken…for goodness sake…the elite were MOST upset with the economy post Great Plague.
    And all because we have bleeding hearted liberals in charge.
    Another May-style fiasco. I always thought at that time. OK what if we get Brexit only to be delivered into a totalitarian nightmare?
    Never dreamed it would BE ALLOWED to happen under Boris.
    Politicians need to wake up to the fact that at least since the very first smallpox vacs many scientists have been bought and politicised.

  22. Carl Davies
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The Act that took us into the EEC in 1972 in no way damaged the UK’s sovereignty. We were always free to leave – and we have. Your bluster about sovereignty is an attempt to divert attention from the real reason you have for Brexit, which is to attack the post-war rules based international order. That is why Trump and Putin are so keen on Brexit

  23. jerry
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Three points jump out at me from your piece Sir John, first and foremost we need to be actively negotiating with the likes of the USA and Australia etc. regarding FTAs that can be signed as soon as the UK can legally do so under UN international treaties (not EU law) [1], second you are correct with regards changes to certain rates of VAT but let’s go further, abolish VAT and replace it with a more flexible purchase tax system. Such a purchase tax system could even be used to, eventually (post CV19 restrictions), be used to support the High Street and other smaller brick-and-mortar shops.

    My problem, as always, is your remarks about fishing, when will some realise that our territorial competences when it comes to fishing limits and sovereignty has far more to do with the UN than it has ever done with the EEC/EU, there will still be “Cod Wars” after Brexit. What the UK will be able to do is limit or even ban the sale of EU27 caught fish products here in the UK, but that would also affect our own industry selling onto the EU27, that said it might be a price worth paying.

    Brexit is not a quick fix for our fishing industry, nor our coastal communities, the Tory party should have exposed the UKIP lie, not picked it up and ran with it…

    [1] important considering the USA elections in Nov, we need a FTA agreed and ideal signed before

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Take back control of our jobs!
    Over 3,000 British applied for picking…given only 112 of the jobs!
    Thousands of sacked Eastern Romanian pickers stranded penniless in Germany…no trains or planes to take them home.
    Yet many planes to bring them here!! Despite house arrest laws.

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      We should recruit Romanian pickers and other workers to come to the UK. I know some and they are competent and hard working, unlike the products of British state education,who mostly want to do media studies.

      • jerry
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        @Stred; The UK education system is a product of our political system, that education system did not have problems supplying willing and able workers before the politicos decided that they wanted 50% of school leavers to attend Uni’, get a Degree (it matter not what subject) and as a result the young adult then thinks they are above manual labouring or trades – including agriculture and horticulture.

        Things were very different back in the 1950-70s…

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          jerry, we are told we have hundreds of asylum seekers sailing into Dover on a regular basis, why can’t they work for their keep?

          • jerry
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy; Why are you so against UK citizens having jobs?!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately, owing to the 2016 vote and all that has followed, Sterling has plunged against currencies including that in Romania.

        So the work here is less attractive than it once was.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Compkete nonsense
          Average wage in Romainia is about $5000 per year
          Average wage on the UK is about $35,000 per year

  25. Tabulazero
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Fish need to be landed where it is consumed:

    That means the continent.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Not according to international law.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Tab – – thats silly.

      Wheat – Canada/USA.
      Milk – UK
      Aberdeen Beef – Scotland
      Bacon – Denmark

      I won’t go on. So you want the biggest consumer to have the whole market?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Ever heard of our national dish? Fish and chips?😂😂

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        No, it’s chicken tikka masala now – the stats are in.

    • anon
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      We can eat a lot more fish in the UK, not a problem, as long as the price is right.

      • anon
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        We could reduce VAT to zero for all restaraunts and take aways, except we are subject to EU laws still.

        Go on prove we have taken back control. Take the no VAT on Fish & Chips test!

        This will help the trade adjust to distancing and increase the demand.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      We’ll sequester your grapes in return. Much is consumed here. Perhaps also steal csrs straight out of EU factories to where they’re consumed.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Does that include my wild Alaskan red salmon, Tab?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      And if so, for a price. Our waters, our fish. You want them, you pay for the rights for them. Simple. No more FREE stuff !

  26. Dystopian nightmare
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The UK govt, (forced by a globalist plot) have destroyed thousands of peoples jobs, mainly hard-working self-employed or restaurant type staff on the back of a simulated (*yes simulated pandemic), a Live Excercise and now I hear they want to turn us all into serfs, picking fruit and working the field. No, no, no! You are not going to get away with this.

  27. wrong country
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Is anyone going to comment on the IMF predictions we are heading for something worse than the Great Depression?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      It’s the IMF. About as much use as PHE.

  28. wrong country
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The UK government itself slipped in repressive, controlling measures

    ………….
    Yes, so we need an open debate about the nature of government. The way I see it is we have one or two decent MPs like Redwood (and in the past David Davies) who try to thwart the endless evil push by govt to oppress and control, but why should there be an endless push by govt to oppress and control?

    The people of the world have gravely misunderstood the nature of politics and have failed to grasp the lessons of history and that is why we are living in a dystopian nightmare, right now, that is only ever going to get worse and worse until the above is addressed.

  29. Dunc.
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I suggest you watch Michael Moore’s new documentary, Planet of the Humans , before you advocate any tax breaks for Green products.
    The biggest scam every devised.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Every day I run on the beach and I hate looking at the forty plus off-shore wind turbines that where purchase by tax-payer subsidy, then the bills they produce have a energy tax ? Tax-payer and consumer being screwed

  30. Christine
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    To rebuild the fishing industry the government needs to put incentives in place now. We need grants to build trawlers in this country and training for youngsters who want to go into the industry. This will all take time but this period will give fish stocks a chance to recover.

  31. BJC
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    History tells us that any commitments the EU doesn’t particularly like are subsequently shelved once they’ve banked the concessions others have made. The EU operates by sleight of hand and the legally binding treaties will always trump any alternative deals they might make. Unless the treaties are changed, we’re wasting our time pretending they’ll adopt a different attitude towards us.

    They gleefully took Mr Blair’s offer to reduce our rebate in exchange for a commitment to change CAP, which was forgotten the minute they walked out of the room. They’re a WTO member, but do not want the obligations of full status. They gave consent for CETA, but it’s never been fully ratified. They might agree to a dispute mechanism, but always want to use the ECJ as the final arbiter. If they can’t find a formal way to use them, they simply shelve the ratification of the new procedure; presumably, to keep the status quo as the fallback position. The ECJ, of course, are the self-appointed guardians of the all-encompassing treaties and ECJ rulings are based on their contents, so any alternative arrangements will always be quashed in favour of the existing treaties, i.e. all EU roads lead back to the ECJ.

    History, again, tells us we’re destined for many disputes over fisheries and unless we entrench our own strong fallback position into (all) the deals we make with the EU, we will find ourselves at a distinct disadvantage. We can only hope that Sir William’s sovereignty clause will be enough.

  32. formula57
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    At long last it appears the UK Government will stand firm against Evil Empire antics and reject any transition extension. Well done Boris!

    O/T I am very pleased that the Prime Minister is sufficiently restored to health to return to work. He has been missed.

    (I am also very pleased that I acted very, very early (in the non-Trumpian sense of soon) to ask you to keep your distance after Boris’s extensive contact with the infected. You may have been intending to do that anyway or not done it but I hope you will leave me with the fond belief that it might be the first ever example of my thoughts here informing action. 🙂 )

  33. Kevin
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    “clauses he helped the government produce to reassert UK sovereignty in the Withdrawal Agreement”

    Is this reassertion of sovereignty actually in the Agreement itself, or is it only in the UK legislation? If the latter, how effective would it be in practice? I ask because, if there is any doubt, I am not confident, based on past experience, that it would have the support of the Government. For example, when the Conservative Government extended Article 50 prior to the much-promised “Brexit deadline” of March 29th, 2019, Downing Street sources (according to BBC) claimed that the agreement to extend,being a piece of international law, would take precedence even if Parliament rejected it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      But now we have left and our Parliament is Sovereign. So that argument is dead – even Hestletine acknowledged that.

  34. William Long
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I have to say I was encouraged by M. Barnier’s negative reaction to our negotiating stance last week.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think we’ve upset him enough. I would like to see DEFRA draft bilateral fishing agreements and present them to the Danish, Belgian and Dutch governments for signature. Imagine the drama that that would cause!

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        excellent idea

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Thank you. Perhaps Sir John might like to float it in the Commons chamber. I don’t need a credit!

  35. Iain Moore
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Disappointing speech from Boris, when the Nightingale hospitals are not being used, other hospitals half empty, with the staff spending their time making dance videos , telling us to protect the NHS is not a winning argument. What about protecting the economy? The way things are going there won’t be much left of it , from big businesses like Airbus to small restaurants there doesn’t seem to be anything that will provide the growth. May be their idea is to have everybody work for the NHS.

    I get the sense that people have had their fill of the lockdown, in his speech Boris had the opportunity to get ahead of the curve and manage how the lockdown ended, he didn’t, so people will decide for themselves.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      So the NHS in my region now get (in addition to their pay and guaranteed job) free public transport, free mobile data and now a £60k death in service grant….apart from the media and themselves telling us how great the NHS is, I just don’t see the above & beyond the call of duty they describe

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      After his experience with Covid and not be advised how to avoid it, I fear that Boris has gone soft in the head.

    • cynic
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Re “people deciding for themselves” I think that is part of the plan. Boris would rather be led by public opinion than risk being blamed for making wrong decisions on lock down. How he will deal with the economic fallout is another question.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes. We have decided. I’m getting on with my life.

  36. Peter
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Two issue emerge from the comments above:-

    Firstly, we have to become a fully fledged nation state, making decisions in our own parliament, free from any EEC or globalist diktat.

    Secondly, the nation state itself needs become less bureaucratic and intrusive into the lives of its citizens.

    The sooner this happens the better in my view. However, we have a long way to go and lots of obstacles in the way.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Better pull out of NATO then.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Oh, and WTO…and…

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          At least it would be voluntary decision taken by a sovereign independent nations elected parliament.

  37. Jack Falstaff
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The only thing which continuing these vapid “negotiations” with the EU will achieve is to give them the impression that we are seeking their approval to leave and aggrandise them.
    The EU is not acting in good faith and the only beneficiaries this side of the channel are the media, who have a clear interest in pretending that the talks are still alive.
    We should just tell the EU that the offer of a Free Trade Agreement is always open and they can take it or leave it whenever they are ready.
    Anything else is just a stale soap opera that should have been pulled ages ago.

  38. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Boris has given one of his uplifting speeches this morning asking us to not lose sight on the goal.

    “I know that without our private sector, without the drive and commitment of the wealth creators of this country, there will be no economy to speak of…”

    The reality is that the lockdown continues, because enough couldn’t be bothered an kept spreading the virous.
    The lockdown continues because those employed by the taxpayer, MP’s, Government departments, Police, the NHS and so on, thought ‘Oh Well’ our money is secure, our rules apply to others. Social distancing etc. wasn’t meant for us. Lets get the Private Sector to take the load and carry the can.

    The Front is not leading by example.

    The examples daily demonstrated by those we would have expected better from is the sole reason this Lockdown will last longer than elsewhere

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      That is the problem. They don’t realise where their inflated salaries come from.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      The Private sector is starting to get pretty annoyed right now Ian.

      If this group of politicians thinks this continuing of services by people earning just 20% more than people sat doing nothing can carry on for another month they are KIDDING themselves! If something doesn’t change soon then we might all decide to lock up instead of impoverishing ourselves to keep things moving on reduced turnovers and all the bills arriving without any grants or thanks.

  39. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The title of “taking back” shows that it HAS been given away. And what would be the point of “taking it back” while the world can set off from Calais and ring 999 to be taxied to a “free everything” life on our taxes? Then our govt bows to their demands and allows them THEIR rules laws and culture to take over, in preference to our own. You in power are deliberately destroying this nation. 30 – 40 years the English will be a minority in their own – now 3rd World – land. And you will NOT be able to “get that back”. The history books of the future will show it.
    You had better get the construction workers back building, the illegals will be all wanting their new 4 bed detacheds ready for their families arrival.

  40. glen cullen
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Very concerned by Sir Johns chose of words in last para ‘’we do not want’’, and other comments from other MPs suggesting that there could be slippage of the end date

  41. Stephen Reay
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Lets hope Boris keeps to the Brexit timetable and leaves on Dec 31 st without giving too much of our fisheries away. It he extends or gives away more than a 1 Year fisheries deal then he won’t get my vote next time.

  42. glen cullen
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Its very clear listening to the HS2:NEXT STEP select committee 24 April, shown this morning on BBC Parliament channel, that the transport project has nothing to do with improving transport infrastructure for individuals but has everything to do with social engineering and how the government will determine our choice

  43. Newmania
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    There is no ‘we’; its almost impossible to imagine that the reward for getting through this nightmare will be to have the country further impoverished in the name of some farcical superannuated fantasy .
    Its so miserable you can hardly bear to look .The only thing that provides any cheer is the thought that this worthless generation of self serving politicians will be dead and gone for most of my children`s lives.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      The politicians are following the instructions of the referendum and the recent election which gave the Government an 80 seat majority.
      Blame the voters who voted differently to you.

    • dixie
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

      The Chinese Virus presented the EU and it’s supporters with a chance to shine.

      Instead, it has highlighted the reality of the EU – utter lack of solidarity, value and dependability, not to mention the immoral behaviour over PPE, just at the time it is needed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        You demand absolute perfection from the European Union, yet excuse the most egregious conduct and failings on the part of the UK Government.

        Since it is the fault of voters such as you that we have it, that’s perhaps comprehensible.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Who asked for absolute perfection?
          Even you must see the shocking lack of leadership from the EU as European nations have gone away and done their own national thing.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            Like they do in most areas of law, where the European Union has no remit.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            Here was a crisis affecting all members.
            A classic opportunity for the EU to gather member nations together with a common policy.
            It never happened.
            I’m not gloating.
            I am just disappointed.

        • dixie
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          I do not demand absolute perfection of the EU, it is you and your mewling herd of euphlics that claim it is of a higher moral standing than the UK and altogether perfect in every way.

          You also mistake my position, I do not support the UK government unconditionally, I support the UK.

          If you and your kind hadn’t been so egocentric and arrogant you wouldn’t have cocked things up to the extent that a referendum was necessary and had the outcome it did. But as we have seen the EU is prone to cock ups on a continental scale damaging people and countries.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:44 am | Permalink

        dixie

        you are barking up the wrong tree again , teh new funds are actually being used across the EU and paid by everybody. But of course you might not be up to date .

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Thesexare unds made available before the crisis.
          The current negotiations for bigger sums are being resisted by Holland and Germany.
          Surely you know this?

        • dixie
          Posted April 30, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          @Hand Iverson – Who said anything about funds, is that all you are concerned about amidst this tragedy of death and destruction – money?

          Does the hijacking of medical shipments by some EU countries not concern and disturb you. Have you no sense of shame at all that you defend the EU money mania?

          Your comment highlights how corrosive the euphilic mindset is.

  44. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Completely off topic but the Lords has reported on IR35 changes

    Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, chair of the Lords Finance Bill Sub-Committee said:
    “Our inquiry found these rules to be riddled with problems, unfairnesses, and unintended consequences.
    The potential impact of the rules on the wider labour market, particularly the gig economy, has been overlooked by the government. It must devote time to analysing all of this. A wholesale reform of IR35 is required.”

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Bring back competent Thatcher ministers. Sack the new non conservative ministers, who are incompetent socialists.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

        +1

        But does Sir John want a Cabinet job ?

        Reply I have not been offered one. I would be happy to help the government.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          reply to reply…..enough evidence that Boris needs to get a grip! Advisors need to be in touch with public views, not sitting in cloistered offices daydreaming.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        Boris needs some competent media handlers, old school MPs with lots of experience to train the newbies.

  45. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    ‘Full control of our fishing grounds this summer’.

    How is this going to be exercised not just for this summer but for years to come? Where are the additional vessels which will be required, or will we going to roll over as usual to aggression and to breaches of our other borders and rights, such as with illegal immigration, where the Border Force (don’t laugh) and Coastguard (no, really, please don’t laugh) seem to be more keen to bring people over the channel than stop them.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      There is NO need for additional fishery protection vessels to protect our fishing stocks just because we are leaving the EU.
      P.S. I commanded one.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        You are certain our waters will not be under threat?

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          The scale of the fishery protection problem doesn’t change. Only if one of our former ‘partners’, facing a reduction in access, decides to send warships into our fishing grounds, to protect illegal fishing, would the requirement for Royal Navy support change. In that case, conventional warships would be available. But that situation is almost inconceivable, as the EU nations that fish our waters are NATO members – though Spain might cut rough.

        • dixie
          Posted April 30, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          We shall see exactly how law abiding our neighbours are.

  46. George Brooks.
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    One cannot fail to agree with you totally, Sir John, and yes ,our fish stocks will need time to recover from the hammering they have had.

    We certainly do not want any extension to the transition period and Barnier needs to be told this in no uncertain terms after his speech last week. He is up to his old tricks and dragging his feet and our negotiating team should make certain that he and the EU understand that they will come off second best if they continue this approach.

  47. Zorro
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I’ll move from Coronavirus crisis to cheer myself – great to see ‘ze clicking tock’ squirming as he realises that we will no longer bend the knee. Johnson needs to stay away from the talks and let Frost do the work. The EU will start to feel the pressure now…. https://facts4eu.org/news/2020_apr_barnier_sulks#preview

    Zorro

    • Zorro
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      LOL I mean ze ticking clock! I just went a bit Clouseau there!

      Zorro

  48. DavidJ
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Well said Sir John but we need Boris and his negotiators to comply. That might be difficult.

  49. Peter Parsons
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Ireland has no VAT on female sanitary products. Let’s be honest here, the reason the UK does is because of the decision of a Conservative government.

    The same is true for VAT on domestic fuel, introduced by the Conservatives in 1993.

    • anon
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes – but EU control is a one way ratchet once charged to VAT it cant be changed back.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      PP, the whole point about VAT is that once it’s applied, no matter how much it might be opposed, it can never be removed or altered without the express permission of the EU Commission.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        When it came to domestic fuel, the Conservative government knew this as it was the same Conservative government who voted for the EU VAT regulations only a few months before.

        Again, a situation the Conservatives voted for when then could have voted against. These things were not imposed on member states, the member states agreed to them voluntarily, including the UK governed, at the time, by the Conservatives.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          If a member nation introduces a tax then it should also be allowed to abolish it.
          Seems reasonable to me.
          But not to you Peter.
          One minute you want the electors to be able to wield more direct and effective control over their own government now here you support the power the EU has to restrict individual member nations taxation decisions.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            I’m not supporting it, I’m pointing out that it is the way it is because the Conservatives voted for it.

            The Conservatives could have voted against it. They did not.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Missing my point.
            Why does the EU refuse to allow modification.

        • miami.mode
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          PP, the EU takes a cut of all VAT and would therefore never relinquish control.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      PP just looked it up it was introduced 1 April 1994.

      We know Ireland can get away with so much in the EU, it doesn’t conform to high rates of corporation tax, it doesn’t contribute 2% of its GDP to Nato, we reduced their rate of interest for their bail out with no requirement to. Why would VAT be any different for Ireland we just suck up every rule and regulation and get fined if we don’t even though we don’t collect taxes on prostitution and drugs the EU charge us VAT on a made up figure, do they charge Southern Ireland?

  50. ukretired123
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The Pilgrim Bandits charity of ex Special Forces are an example today of how intelligent problem solving directly on the ground is helping to get PPE urgently to the pinch points of A&E , GPs and even individuals unlike the Civil Service who operate too level without knowledge or experience of dealing with a crisis.

    We should be making better use of their hard won skills.
    This CV19 crisis has shown why Britain should be allowed to be free in interference from EU bureaucracy and red tape as the EU shown itself as a liability millstone to even its hard core original members!

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Top level…

  51. Graham Wheatley
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Just so. I wonder what makes Michel Barnier think that the UK would be willing to agree a newly levelled playing field and relinquish any advantages we will have gained from withdrawing from the union?

    He obviously does think that, otherwise he wouldn’t be so confused or annoyed that the UK isn’t doing what he/€U want. He therefore must also acknowledge that there WILL be advantages for us, and he/€U cannot stand the thought that we WILL benefit from being outside basking in the economic sunshine of WTO rules.

    For any doubters, it would be good for them to look back and reacquaint themselves with the fact that everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) that the €U Commission have done is aimed squarely at preventing the first member state from leaving. And if they cannot, then their damage-limitation exercise is making sure that that state does not gain any advantage in regards to trade or anything else!

    A state that successfully leaves the €uropean Union, and is seen to prosper outside of it, will herald the end of their project. Other member states will want some of that (currently out of reach) cake and be inclined to hold exit-referenda. Their populace will likely vote in-favour of leaving and the whole rotten house of cards will come tumbling down around their unworthy ears.

    (In the light of recent events perhaps Italy will be next? Van der Layen’s apology to the Italian people would seem to suggest that that is also a damage-limitation exercise designed to keep them aboard the ship).

  52. Faked Again
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    My freedom is essential.
    My body is sovereign.

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      The Covid virus thinks otherwise.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      My spirit is absolute
      My soul is supreme
      My belief is firm
      My heart is independent
      My courage is resolute
      My history is british
      My present is british
      My future is british

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        My democracy is threatened
        My free speech is curtailed
        My feelings are manipulated
        My temper is raised
        My patience is exhausted
        My activity is becoming unpredictable
        My respect for law is stretched

  53. ChrisS
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Just as long as Boris keeps to his red lines on Fishing, the ECJ and the 31st December final exit date, we can be confident that we will genuinely return to being a fully independent sovereign country as are the USA, Australia and many other countries outside Europe.

    The problem, as ever, is that Brussels remains in denial that this is what we voted for. Negotiations are going nowhere because Barnier’s mandate requires us to agree to the ongoing supremacy of the ECJ, a continuation of the current fishing quota arrangements and that we follow current and future EU legislation in trade and other areas.

    Brussels Aparatniks are used to dealing with a negotiator who was an avowed Remainer and Mrs May, who seemed happy to cave into their every demand. But things have changed : Elected members of the Conservative party and our current Prime Minister are determined to stick to their guns at all costs. Brussels needs to take this on board, fast, otherwise there will be no point in continuing talks.

    Failure to reach an agreement satisfactory to the Government will inevitably result in us leaving without a deal. That is fine by me, just as long as we then hand over no money..

    • Andy
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Brexiteers are ‘determined to stick to their guns at all costs.’ Your words. And that is precisely the point. When the cost becomes too high you only stick up your guns if you’re an idiot.

      As for not handing over any money – that was agreed in the withdrawal agreement. We are paying the EU tens of billions of pounds and our payments continue until the 2060s. All your favourite Brexiteers in the Tory party voted for that.

      • Chris S
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        As usual, Andy, you misunderstand the situation.

        The withdrawal agreement calls for a trade deal to be agreed and the timescale is set out as ending on 31st December.

        If there is no trade deal, the withdrawal agreement is breached and there will be no need to pay over any money. On 7 September 2018 it was announced that Barnier had made a concession to British MPs and that the EU will allow a future trade agreement to be linked to the payment of the divorce bill.

        Dominic Raab is now Foreign Secretary but in September 2018, as Brexit Secretary, he stated publically that the UK will not pay the financial settlement to the EU in a no-deal scenario.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Sadly, with collective madness, we have an example in recent European history as to what has to be done to break the spell.

        And yet even after the firestorms of Hamburg and of Dresden, some still clung to their insane creed.

        These lunatics are determined to take everyone with them, Andy.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          You and Andy sat at the same computer now Martin?
          You will end up denouncing him as a splitter.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Martin – so now you hang the sins of the fathers and grandfathers (Bomber Harris) on the following generations?
          You really have found the bottom of the sewage pipe.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            I pass no comment here on the morality or otherwise of any wartime strategy.

            There’s no indication that I do either.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            “even after…………insane creed”

            Come off it Martin.

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Barney thinks that because he’s hot over Covid, he’s got over Brexit. He’s mistaken. Belgium has the worst infection rate in the world, probably caused by EU officials travelling and going to pubs.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Drinking beer and eating chocolate is well known to reduce CV infection.
        NOT.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          At least it doesn’t kill you, unlike injecting bleach or disinfectant.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            So you don’t actually read Trump either, just jump to wild conclusions.

    • Alison
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      We must NOT get into the toils of an EU-drafted ‘level playing field’ (it won’t be anything of the sort), and we must not agree to an umbrella agreement – one way for the EU to hold us hostage on everything, with just one item.

  54. Zorro
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Mr Ferguson, j’accuse….. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/six-questions-that-neil-ferguson-should-be-asked

    All includes questions we have put on JR’S blog.

    Zorro

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Zorro,

      True, he needs to be held to account, but I feel the Govt has been too fearful to question him.

      • Stred
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        So much rubbish written about the Imperial estimate. The figure for lock down was 20,000. We have already exceeded this and are following Italy. The 500k was for a do nothing policy which no one was proposing. Let it rip with few getting treatment.

        • zorro
          Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          The figures for deaths are highly compromised as there is no real distinction between dyIng of or dying with COVID 19…

          zorro

          • Stred
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            My wife’s colleagues are working 12 hour shifts continuously and they are finding that this new deadly virus id acting in ways not seen before. It attacks the vascular system and is not the usual pneumonia. The survival rate of patients put onto ventilators is very low. The doctors are having to manage the choice of which patients to try to save. These are top surgeons in teaching hospitals and they know a covid death when they treat one. These patients may have other conditions but would have survived for many years had they not been infected. Some of the older surgeons also have conditions and are at risk themselves.

            If anything. the untested deaths in care homes and houses are not being certified as due to covid and GPs are unable to register these, although the sudden peak in homes is unlikely to be due to anything else. The idea that residents are dying early because they can’t hug their relatives seems a bit far fetched.

          • hefner
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

            Zorro, that’s a ridiculous statement. Whether people die of or with Covid-19, there is still a huge increase in the number of deaths for March-April compared to previous years. So contrary to what you say, the figures for deaths are not highly compromised.
            Given that you are likely to be one of the ‘Blitz-spirit guys’, would you have preferred to die on 15/09/1940 directly hit by a bomb or asphyxiated under the ruins of a crumbled building?

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          The issue is that the 1/2 million number was referred to by Mr Hancock.under questioning in one of the briefings, essentially the justification for locking down in terms of potential lives saved. Imperial have to show this is a legitimate estimate (and it has been questioned as indicated by Zorro), the Govt needs to show that the lockdown does less harm than the number of lives (life years QALYs) saved. Nothing has been forthcoming.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        They are colluding with him to save their own face – they were played!

  55. mancunius
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, If Bill Cash forestalled so many issues in the Withdrawal Agreement, why then were the damaging NI clauses allowed to stand without modification? The only thing that would obviate their application is a FTA – and we must not depend on that eventuality, as the EU clearly puts stubborn dogmatism above the welfare and trade interests of its members.
    The truncation of the UK is a most serious matter.

  56. Gordon Merrett
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I had always understood that part of VAT takings went direct to the EU. Is this correct and if so should that part be discontinued and the vat rate lowered to take it into account? This would benefit the public and show an immediate benefit of our newfound freedom.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Yes Gordon and what a great idea.

  57. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of sovereignty, how nice to see HMG telling the EU that it won’t be allowed to establish a presence in Northern Ireland.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      What if the people of Northern Ireland wanted it there, for whatever reason?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        I think you must have trained Corbyn for the last 40 years in being so disagreable.

  58. Error by Labour MP
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    The Chancellor’ Economic Statement today.
    A factual error made by a Labour MP in the preamble to his own question “Since the virus hit the economy….”
    The virus did not hit the economy in the UK. The Government hit the economy in the UK.
    An alternative fact is the Government hit the economy in the UK hard.

  59. Sane
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Sturgeon said in a recorded message on TV today that an increase of 200 to over 1000 deaths in Scotland was “good progress”.
    It would be insane to give the slightest justification as she attempted of why it could be “good progress”
    Such explanations are for the madhouse, alone.

  60. Zorro
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    And another nail in the government’s case, Professor Heneghan shows clearly inthis chart that the death peak was on Apr 8, and peak infection rate would have been at least three weeks before, and well before the lockdown, as was the government’s downgrading of COVID 19 from HCID. The lockdown was not necessary and there is no evidence that lockdowns have ‘worked’ elsewhere either. There will be a reckoning and someone must be held responsible for this assault on our society, economy and freedom!

    Zorro

    • Zorro
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
      • Stred
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        The peak infection rate would have been about a week before lockdown. True and probably rife among schoolchildren. Many secondary infections would have occurred in the homes of these. The infection was rising strongly in parts of London near the train terminals to the airports too. That’s the reason that they locked down in order to stop those with the disease from passing it on to anyone outside of the family, except for health and essential workers. They have passed it on but to fewer people and these are the reduced but horrible numbers seen now.
        If it had not been for the lockdown, the peak would have continued. In other words, it worked, even though late. This means that the economy can recover earlier. Some recovery such as opening garden centres or fish farms could happen now if the government acted intelligently.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Agree – I’ve been saying this since the start of the lockdown

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes. All for nothing.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        And that’s what’s worrying them now, that they’ve destroyed the country and overreacted for something that could’ve been managed like a flu epidemic

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          Nail. Head. Hit.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Peak infection rate about the time of the Cheltenham festival. Most sensible people thought it was crazy to have that. I abandoned another event for 300 people mainly over 70 years old that same weekend in a tent which went ahead anyway because people allowed the government to think for them. You just had to look at the numbers to know that was daft.

      Unfortunately people act like sheep and wait to be told they can or can’t do something before they adjust their behaviours.

  61. Helen Smith
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Very impressed with David Frost. He got Barnier properly rattled, good man.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Lone, drunken football fan slinging stale beer over angry Rugby League squad at closing time “absolutely brilliant idea” says Helen.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        What a dreadful yet pathetic comment.
        Come on Martin you can do better.
        Just copy bits out of the Guardian.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Come on Ed, give us your very best late Peter Sellers “Bluebottle” voice then.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            And you with your Dave Spart posts.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          would that be better?

      • zorro
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Barnier’s not that bad, probably champagne…

        zorro

  62. glen cullen
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    This new policy of providing a death in service (NHS) grant of £60k is something that use to happen in Greece to bribe a section of the electorate ….this is the wrong policy, stop trying to be the party of the NHS

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Good cynical move by the civil service. If NHS sued for inadequate care by an employer, the sum would be more like ten times or more. Paid by the taxpayer of course with no recriminations for the incompetents.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Glen Cullen,

      Is this on top of the usual death in service benefit that NHS staff have (roughly twice a year of pensionable pay)?

  63. Cosmic stairplace
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    “The Current UK negotiating position is strong and needs to be kept up.”
    We try.
    Is Barnier up and about? One hears he had a dose of sniffles which seeing he is French is a big deal. He’s probably banking on the Boris government falling from grace. Not a chance is there.
    So he will be tougher than one could ever imagine. and stick it out to the last.

  64. David Brown
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I know it probably will not happen but I do feel the Scottish Government should have a say over fishing rights in Scottish waters and not simply London. My point here is Scotland has a good relationship with the EU and if Scotland wants EU fishing rights in Scottish waters this should be entirely a matter for Scotland.
    The case for Scotland leaving the UK and an end to the union flag in support of the EU flag was overwhelmingly supported by the Scottish people when England voted to leave the EU.
    Its only a matter of time before Scotland leaves.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      If by any chance that came about, and I don’t think it will, Scotland would lose its contributions from England and the EU would want Scottish membership contributions. Scotland would be broken.

      • David Brown
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Scotland would be free from London control; the EU is far lesser of the 2 evils in my opinion and any Scottish contribution to the EU will be based on the economy. Its the UK that will be broken in the sense of finally broken up and the union flag consigned to history where the EU flag will continue to fly

        • Fred H
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          SNP are expecting to get more out of EU payments than they get from the Barnett formula. At 5.4m people they would rank between Finland and Slovakia. What would be attractive to EU? Wood, wind energy, Scotch, porridge oats?

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative party promised the Scottish fishing industry it would take back control of Scottish waters.

      To concede that to Sturgeon, would be to break a manifesto promise because she would immediately trade Scottish fishing jobs for a deal to rejoin the EU. That would open up the way for a second referendum on independence.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that the Scottish fishing industry doesn’t agree with you. There is a golden opportunity to grow the size of the UK’s fishing fleet, so that the economic value of our fishing resources comes mainly here rather than being taken by foreign fleets.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Scotland voted to Remain in the U.K. single market. Unequivocally. Scotland has not got a ‘government’ which is Sovereign, it’s an assembly with limited powers, luckily for Scotland, which would otherwise be bankrupt.

    • anon
      Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      I know it probably wont happen but i do feel the English who do not have a devolved government should be able to vote on matters for English devolved areas alone. Exactly as how it happens in devolved governments such as Scotland.
      Of course in more UK matters of defense,seas, and borders etc all MPs in the UK parliament should be able to influence this decision. Perhaps we should review the over representation of the Scots in the UK parliament.

      Go win the vote first or give the English a vote.

      • Chris S
        Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        The Government has foolishly abandoned the independent Boundary Commission’s proposals to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and equalise the number of voters in a constituency.

        That would have reduced the number of Scottish MPs by six and Welsh members by eleven.
        Instead, they have decided to keep the number of MPs unchanged at 650 but the inbuilt 20 seat advantage enjoyed by Labour still remains because of the wide difference in the sizes of constituencies.

        This needs to be addressed before the next General Election but there appear to be no plans in place to ensure it happens. Why not ?

    • Stred
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      That would be wonderful. Then English electricity consumers could tell English politicians to stick the massive Scottish expensive wind power where it is generated and charge an equivalent price for English gas back up electricity, which keeps Scotland going when the wind doesn’t blow half of the time

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      How would the Scottish economy be faring now that Nicoliar’s budget is phuqued by the crash in the oil price?

  65. John Hatfield
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Your last paragraphh, John. I think most know that. I only wish someone would let Michel Barnier know.

  66. Iain Gill
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I see the government is pressing ahead with IR35, and printing work visas for masses of cheap workers from India with skills already in oversupply here.

    Couldnt make it up really, after the sham help to freelancers during the pandemic.

    Shows clearly the political class dont understand the real world, and how real projects really get delivered.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      IR35 is a piece of legislation that allows HMRC to collect additional payment where a contractor is an employee in all but name.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        a strange employee relationship with the employer where no tangible benefits exist. The only relationship is that the business pays the service provider – pretty normal I’d have thought, but certainly not employment.

      • Al
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        “IR35 is a piece of legislation that allows HMRC to collect additional payment where a contractor is an employee in all but name.” – a-tracy

        But is applied even when the contractor is working on their own equipment, managing their own hours, has substitution rights, and has other clients at the same time, all of which are basic to self employment and were supposed to block IR35.

        In practice, HMRC go after contracting companies and freelancers anyway, even when the freelancer in question doesn’t pay dividends and takes a full salary.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Al is there a measure that says as long as the relationships form no more than say a % of the ‘contractors’ annualised billed weekly hours then the contractor is self-employed? I thought this was to stop eg. building companies using long term independent builders as contractors to avoid Employer’s NI, Holiday pay, potential sick benefits, potential sick holiday pay, health and safety claims and regulations. A self employed individual can also offset a lot of expenses that an employee can’t such as works vehicle use.

          • Al
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            “Al is there a measure that says as long as the relationships form no more than say a % of the ‘contractors’ annualised billed weekly hours then the contractor is self-employed?”

            No. I wish.

  67. Otto
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    JR – Re your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, does Boris know this?

  68. simple soul
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John

    Looking to the future, your guidance would be very welcome on the broad issue of V shaped recoveries, past and perhaps future. The leading cases for discussion are probably Germany and South Korea. In 1945 Germany was all too near a heap of rubble and in a dozen years it was one of the economic wonders of the world. How this came about does not appear to be very clear to English policy makers today. Perhaps you have some helpful advice you might be able to give about recovering from year zero.

    South Korea, by the end of the Korean War, was in no less terrible shape, but we know much less about its extraordinary post war recovery.

    With regards, simple soul.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Germany on reciept of money from the Marshal Plan chose to distribute it as loans and for those loans to be repayed and reinvested. – Perpetual Growth and prosperity.

      The UK on the other hand just blew their share on Socialist Ideolagy, No investment, No Strategy. So no future prosperity

      • graham1946
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        The British way. Take north Sea Oil Revenues. Norway made a state wealth fund. We blew ours. Nothing to show for it.

  69. Chris S
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    The Government has foolishly abandoned the independent Boundary Commission’s proposals to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and equalise the number of voters in a constituency.

    That would have reduced the number of Scottish MPs by six and Welsh members by eleven.
    Instead, they have decided to keep the number of MPs unchanged at 650 but the inbuilt 20 seat advantage enjoyed by Labour still remains because of the wide difference in the sizes of constituencies.

    This needs to be addressed before the next General Election but there appear to be no plans in place to ensure it happens. Why not ?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      ChrisS – why did the Government say they abandoned this?

      John, why would your Government give the Welsh 11 seats too many and the Scottish six? Why would you spend this money unnecessarily when they have regional spokespeople and devolved decision making and the costs of a second house sitting in their regions. This is all getting a bit much now and when we’re all going to be cutting our cloth your government better get cracking at the HoC and the HoL.

      • ChrisS
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Cabinet office minister Chloe Smith revealed that the Government is to ditch the reduction in the number of MPs because the UK parliament faces a “greater workload” after Brexit.

        With Welsh, Scottish and NI assemblies, each giving constituents an extra layer of representation, one wonders how much of a workload their MPs have compared with those representing English Constituencies ?

        Given that all three regions are heavily subsidised by English Taxpayers to the tune of more than £26bn pa, it is we who are funding these three unnecessary talking shops.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      A reduction by 50 would be a start, but doesn’t go anywhere far enough.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      @Chris S
      Its all about jobs for the chums. That’s why they try to micro manage local issues from the center, which it is impossible and the Country will remain a mess.

      UK population 67 million – MP’s 650
      US population 330million – representatives 441

  70. Odd
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Trump and his team says there are near on 60,000 deaths in the USA by the virus.
    The social media with a picture of the Texas governor says
    Thank You God!
    “Texas’ stay at-home order to expire Thursday, businesses to reopen in phases Friday”(May Ist)
    “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott detailed plans on Monday to reopen the state for business amid the coronavirus pandemic – allowing places like retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters to open up to customers at a limited capacity by Friday May 1.

    Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said wearing masks will be encouraged, but will not be required.

    The move by Abbot puts Texas – the country’s second-largest economy behind California – at the forefront of the movement to reopen state economies that have been basically brought to a standstill as the U.S. grapples with the outbreak of COVID-19.”

    So near 60,000 deaths in the whole of the USA. How many deaths has the UK got?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      The UK has clearly had about 40,000 corona related deaths as we can see just from the increase over normal death rates. Nothing else is causing these excess deaths (that we know of). The figures are published only up to week 15 so far, but add on the extra 17 days gets you to circa 40,000+ in fact it might be rather higher as other operations have been cancelled and fewer road deaths will have lowered the other causes death rate a little below the average. Indeed we were running at a little below average anyway until this virus landed.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        yes ‘until this virus landed’.
        By aircraft.
        A most efficient way to spread a pandemic that kills and disables the western way of life and economies.
        A serious review of health check preparation prior to boarding, and a form of quarantine on arrival will be required in future.
        If the world doesn’t wake up to the newly discovered possible terrorist or madman tactic what will be the future?

  71. ChrisS
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I looked at the Daily Express online today, only to read that the UK might be required to fund a large percentage of an “EU Solidarity Fund ” designed to assist current member states and those who haven’t even joined yet through the virus Pandemic. A figure of £87m was mentioned but possibly a great deal more, contributions of which may well not end in December.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1274856/Brexit-latest-news-UK-EU-Solidarity-Fund-Italy-EU-coronavirus-update

    I hope that this is not the case. We have already contributed over £36bn in additional contributions to the budget since voting to leave and by the time we get to December, that figure will be way over £40bn. At least £25bn of this vast sum we can thank Remainers like Gina Miller for, because it is they that have delayed us leaving.

    Perhaps our host could tell us whether the report in the Express has any semblance of truth ?

  72. Diane
    Posted April 29, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    ChrisS – EU payments: our present & future liabilities are I’m sure a very grey area. Never really been spelled out and there is bound to be some chestnut lurking in the Withdrawal Agreement. There is also something termed Joint and Several Liability I recall. If I’m permitted to mention, there is a short presentation on possible future financial liability on the Brexit Party website with comment from Mr Farage and two ex MEPs ( Mr Habib & Mr Pugh )

  73. Freeborn John
    Posted May 1, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    There are aspects of the U.K. negotiating position that are worrisome. The EU and Sublin are clearly intending to use the current wording of the withdrawal agreement to try to impose EU tariffs on all goods flowing from GB to No. they will claim any such good is “at risk” of proceeding onward to the Republic. The U.K. needs to be firm is maintaining that NI is part of the U.K. customs territory and there can be no more than a simple declaration at NI ferry ports that the goods are for NI or the Republic. When the U.K. government is not making this argument it only encourages Dublin to seize Northern Ireland and the EU to gather customs revenue on all GB->NI trade. Silence from London is worrisome as it has always in the past being followed by cave in.

  74. Peter Cousins
    Posted May 4, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    You may wish to consider the abolition of VAT.. and while you are about it the abolition of National Insurance which is just income tax by another name. A sales tax can replace VAT making it so much simpler to administer and removing all the intermediate administration at a great cost saving. An income tax rate around 28% would make the abolition of National Insurance revenue neutral. Great savings in admin costs and more straightforward……..no hope then!!

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    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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