The German Constitutional Court tries to assert German power over the ECB and the European Court.

In a sweeping judgement the German Court dismissed the judgement of the European Court as a “view”, and gave its own  instead.

At issue is the right of the European central Bank to print billions of Euros, buy up the bonds of member states, and keep interest rates around zero. Many Germans  think this is a very damaging policy, hitting savers and dragging German taxpayers towards responsibility for the debts of other countries with less prudent financial management. Various German interests brought this court case to demand Germany is insulated from the debts of Italy and Greece, and from any inflationary threats were the ECB to overdo the money printing.

At issue is also the powers of the EU Institutions themselves. Elsewhere in the EU – including the UK when we were a member – domestic courts accepted the superiority of the European Court of Justice, and accepted all EU policies and laws emanating from  the Commission, Court and Parliament. The German Court has always tried to maintain a different doctrine, limiting the EU’s powers to the massive range and depth of powers bestowed by Treaty but keeping  open the possibility that there is some power they claim that goes beyond their Treaty entitlements.

The German Court has up to this point found very little and has not been that willing to pursue German powers instead of EU powers, as the German Court generally supports the EU federal scheme. That is what makes this judgement so much more revolutionary, claiming as it does that the ECB and EU has acted ultra vires in such a dismissive judgement.

It is one  thing to say this, and another to turn it into any kind of reality. The detail of the judgement gives the ECB a three month period to show it has used its powers proportionately. Only if the ECB fails to satisfy the German Court and government on that matter will the judgement become a declaration of some independence, and only then will the ECB have to change its bond buying policy to avoid schism.

Maybe this German judgement will turn out to be just another “view” in a bitter row about how much money the ECB can print and how much of a free ride it gives to financially weaker countries. It is likely to mean more Euro austerity and smaller increases in bond buying, as the EU moves to head off a more radical declaration of German independence in these economic areas.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    In a sweeping judgement the German Court dismissed the judgement of the European Court as a “view”, and gave its own instead.

    This is indeed a very important development. We here have long been told that EU Law is above UK Law and that there is nothing the UK Government could do. But just like the UK opt-outs the Germans could have negotiated similar, but I am only aware of the deal made between Chancellor Kohl and President Mitterand.

    If the markets realise that Europes, and the EU’s, biggest economy will not be able to back up the EURO, this could have serious consequences for the currency and the block. Even some Remainers I know have admitted that the EURO is a failure.

    I suspect that some sort of political / legal fudge will be made or the decision will be quietly ignored. After all, to paraphrase someone from history. “How many divisions does the German Constitutional Court have ?”

    • bill brown
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      What makes the EURO a failure?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Dear bill–Can you be serious?–For a start it has made Germany rich and Southern European countries poor such that North and South now hate each other more than they always did.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          Being both a Dane and and Brit, I have not seen the Danes hate the Spaniards, Itlians or French.

          You obviously know something the rest of us do not?

          Please, share .

          thank you

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Dear Bill–Perhaps I do–Maybe what you say about the Danes, about whom I know little, is true but what I do know (my Mother was Italian) is that the opinion the Italians in particular, Greece too, hold of Germany is unprintable, and getting worse all the time, as Germany rakes in the dosh. Not exactly peas in a pod and there is no reason I can work out why they should be in the same union.

      • Hope
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Germany is still very nationalistic, looking after its own interests beyond any compromise garb within the EU. Their lockdown eased but borders remain closed, no inward air travel unless urgent.

        EU demands for level playing field on state aid and competition thrown out the window and Mr Frost should insist it is not discussed again after current events, closed borders, PPE, money. It is clear every country for themselves. Mayhab talking global rot again hailing UN, WTO, WHO and China, when the facts show govts are elected to look after their own citizens.

        Immigration detention centres emptied! Prisoners allowed out, illegal migrants allowed in and no border control whatsoever when 130 countries imposed theirs! Raab still talking utter crap today, just like Mayhab. What did Timothy call the policy the other day China kowtowing by UK despite knowing it stole military and commercial secrets. Now Johnson gives them the keys through Haewei! Let them bribe the UK through Hinkley and British steel as well, just when we need control over our critical infrastructure!

        Meanwhile around the world the U.K. ridiculed for its flip flop strategy, dither and delay, fingers crossed, fake graphs. Why further lockdown because wee crankie wants to humiliate UK govt? Ferguson still not produced his code for his modelling. Many articles about his flawed past predictions. Still guessing at R factor, now the experts say today R factor estimated.

        Once again, England suffers from a distinct lack of political representation not having its own parliament. Either each of the four nations have their own administration or none at all. English taxpayer pays the most and gets the least.

        All Johnson had/has to consider is what would May do, then do the opposite. There is no justification for national house arrest or destroying the economy.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Bill Brown

        The essential flaw of the single currency was elementary. In giving up their national currencies, euro zone members lost important policy levers. If a member country went into recession, it would not have a currency it could devalue so that its businesses could sell abroad at lower US-dollar prices in order to boost exports and employment. The member country would also not have a central bank that could reduce its interest rates to encourage domestic spending and stimulate growth.

        This basic flaw creates acute difficulties as soon as the economies of countries that share the currency diverge from one another. If the Italian economy is in trouble and the German economy is humming along, the common interest rate set by the European Central Bank (ECB) will be too high for Italy and too low for Germany. Thus, Italy’s economic troubles will persist, and the German economy will get even more of a boost. It is in the nature of the single currency that once member economies begin to diverge from one another, the common interest rate will cause the divergence to increase.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink


          thank you good and comprehensive explanation and some of the identified issue are also really there and some of them will also be there in 20 years time , unless some of the issues are solved on a more long term basis.


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

          So all the States of the US have the same problem, don’t they?

          • Monty
            Posted May 9, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            Not the same. The States have access to wealth and debt sharing through the Federal government.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      There were many people who voted remain who would never have supported euro membership I can assure you. Actual EU-federalists who wanted ever closer political union and euro membership for the UK would have been a small minority of Remain, and would now be vanishingly small.

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

      The German Constitution, like that of other European Union countries, contains clauses which mean that there will be exemptions from such rulings in certain cases.

      Another example is the Polish ruling that the Union-wide ban on Kosher and on Halal slaughter methods etc. was unconstitutional.

      The Lisbon Treaty makes provision for these exceptions.

      • SM
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        The EU regulations themselves allow for derogation from the slaughter rules on religious grounds, and some countries including Poland have taken that line.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        Germany flexing its muscles…

        It is well known the German court has clashed with the Luxembourg-based court for decades. However, the German court’s contemptuous criticism of the CJEU on Tuesday even surprised some highly regarded legal scholars.

        European critics of the German court’s provocative move worry that by refusing to accept the CJEU’s legal position, it effectively undermines it’s overarching legitimacy, further opening the door for other countries to ignore CJEU rulings when they disagree with them.

        There is a general feeling in Germany the Government is pandering to its electoral base, who fear for their savings? So much for European Unity…is this a further signal of EU solidarity’s impending fracture?

  2. oldtimer
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    If past form is any guide some way will be found to kick the can down the road. That appears to be the default policy choice for Merkel, the EU Commission and other EU leaders when confronted by intractable problems. The severe recession caused by the C-19 lock down makes that a trickier choice. The price of fudge has suddenly become higher.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      “kick the can down the road” drips like ambrosia onto the lips of politicians. The ECB is accountable to the European Parliament – in other words it can do as it pleases, which it will in the form of printing as much money as the southern states need to keep them liquid.
      The Germans may complain but will just suck it up until they have a revolution, and right now there isn’t enough Euroscepticism to precipitate that.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Yes, this is a very interesting development, and there are many facets to explore:
    1) German sovereignty, over what, the ECB, Euro?
    2) A ‘warning shot’ from Mrs Merkel, to say don’t expect German acquiescence to Euro area profligacy and the proposed mutualised Euro-Recovery Bond.
    3) A reassurance message to German savers to say that the promise not to loose all their savings on loans to the rest of the Eurozone still stands.

    BTW, it appears Mssr, Barnier has yet to comprehend Mr. Frost’s negotiating plan, let me help; WE DON’T WANT A CLOSE AND SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. There, clear?

    Interesting times.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Me neither but it seems that Boris is rushing full steam ahead with all the international cooperation to ‘defeat the virus’ rot.

    • Andy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      This is the completely unelected, unaccountable Mr Frost who has no mandate – and appears to be struggling with the basics. I suspect the public inquiry will not end well for him.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Who elected Barnier?
        Did you?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Mr Frost’s mandate is from the British people who voted several times for Brexit – which means leaving the EU in total.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:03 am | Permalink


        I have never known an individual, such as you, that consistently gets hoisted by his own petard?

        Have you never heard of irony…indeed, you fuse verbal, dramatic, and situational irony into one pot?…quite a feat, bravo!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink


    A great shame that UK will still, even now, have to suffer from the fallout of this dire EURO structure and the complete mess the EU has created for its members. Had Cameron just done as he promised, delivered the section 50 notice the day after the referendum (back on 24th June 2016) and delivered a real and prompt Brexit (instead of pathetically sulking off stage like a spoilt child). Thus making the UK suffer the apalling, tedious, dishonest, electoral liability that was Theresa May. With her 9% of the vote, fifth place and insane net neutral CO2 lunacy.

    Thank goodness Boris recued us from the threat of Corbyn/SNP. Just a shame he does not yet understand economic realities, the absurdity of HS2 and climate alarmism lunacy, and how inefficient a state monopoly NHS and education system is (yet).

      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      He does understand all of what you say but doesn’t have the conviction or political courage to do anything about it. He’s a careerist, nothing more.

      What type of western leader allows the telecommunications arm of the brutal and oppressive Chinese Communist Party into our inner sanctum?

      What we have seen since 2010 is nothing less than a total rejection of all that the Conservative Party believes in. That purging is now complete and the party that Johnson purports to lead doesn’t exist in any meaningful sense in the same manner that Labour no longer exists

      Both main parties are a mirage, established political vehicles to be abused by all and sundry for personal enrichment or political activism

    • Nicholas Hallam
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I think Boris does understand the inefficiency of the NHS but has judged that it is not in his interests to declare this. Perhaps he will be less inclined to rely on alarmist outcomes of climate models when the dust has settled from the failures of epidemiological modelling

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I certainly hope so. Even if one accepts the C02 relgion it is very clear the renewable solutions/electric cars proposed do not really work even in just CO2 terms.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The government now claims that CV19 deaths are 30,076, but we know that recent excess deaths over normal in the last couple of months are now over 50,000. So are they putting these extra 20,000+ death down to the cancellation of normal NHS services due negligence (or a lack of NHS capacity) or do they have some other mysterious explanation they are not disclosing?

    The reality is that they are (almost certainly) CV19 (or CV19 accelerated) death. Indeed it is likely to be even more as other death have probably gone down due to cancelled operations and other medical activity). Why (even politically) would they want the former explantion? Especially as it is clearly not even remotely true?

    • dixie
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      What is the source of your figures, exactly, because they do not agree with ONS by a large amount.

      ref: ONS data at “Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 24 April 2020”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Add 13 more days on, as it is now 7th May. In the week to 24th alone there were 11,500 excess deaths. It is also almost certain that other deaths have actually declined (due to cancelled NHS operations), fewer road deaths plus we were (prior to covid) running at a little below average deaths.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        The ONS source states between weeks 13 and 17 (ending 24th April) there were 38,471 more deaths than five year average. I don’t know what Lifelogic is adding on for 2 weeks since then, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

        • dixie
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          LifeLogic claims to have a scientific and mathematical background but never states his sources and never states when he is guessing.

          The ONS figures I cite include the weeks you indicate. I am not saying there are more than the 5 years average just that LifeLogic claims are significantly more than official figures, so where is he getting his numbers from – Prof Neil Furgeson, out of thin air …?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      In 2018 winter flu had an excess death figure of 50,100.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        ….and 44,000 excess deaths in 2014/15

        no lockdown no nothing

  6. Kenneth
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    There is a significant contingent in Germany who do not want to take responsibility for most of the continent.

    With many of them it’s not just that they resent having to pay, although that’s a big part of it.

    There are also those who shy away from anything resembling German dominance of the continent. They just don’t want to visit that dark place again.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Yesterday (or recently), Florian Schneide of Kraftwerk (the German electronic-music-band equivalent of the Beatles) died. Their song ‘Autobahn’ captures well the sense of German hope / good feeling in the new Germany after WW2 under political leaders such as Konrad Adenauer and others.

      Many Germans are terrified of ever returning in any shape or form to the dark days of the Nazis.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      And twice – 1920 and 1945 – Germans lost everything to inflation. I personally can remember using cardboard (yes cardboard) currency in Germany in 1946 with my Aunt Joy.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        This is the 3rd time in just over 100 years that Germany has brought Europe to its knees.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink


          this ha nothing to do with WWs but you obviously do not understand this

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Explain how, please.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          I am less concerned about Germany, or even the UK, destroying itself. What they don’t have the right to do is destroy the other European nations. Germany has done this in the 3 phases of the WW – the EU being the third attempt.
          Doomed to failure happily. But price paid by the Southern European States has been huge, not that either of you care because socialism requires a heart of stone.
          This time we will not save Germany with honest money (the Dmark) and Marshall Aid.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink


            Fortunately, you have a total misunderstanding of the dynamics in the EU, this is not Germany alone on one side against the rest of southern Europe, lots of counties in teh north, south and east have benefitted form the EU and will continue to do so, just look at the growth at eastern and central Europe,
            Southern Europe has budget and Italy has growth problems, but blaming the Germans,does not give an impression of understanding the actual dynamics,

      • Ed M
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


        ‘ I personally can remember using cardboard (yes cardboard) currency in Germany in 1946 with my Aunt Joy.’

        – This is fascinating. As a history buff, please tell more.

        Ed, London

        • Mark B
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 3:50 am | Permalink


          This is Mike Stallard. He only transmits, never receives. But I assume you may have known that.


    • margaret howard
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink


      “There are also those who shy away from anything resembling German dominance of the continent. They just don’t want to visit that dark place again.”

      Which part of ‘German dominance’ are you referring to? The 1000 year old Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) when German kaisers ruled over much of Europe making it the world’s most successful continent or the 12 years of the Third Reich?

      • SM
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        My word, what a lot of inter-national (sic) warfare and power struggles and religious strife you have swept to one side in that comment!

      • Ed Hirst I
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes but they had no dominance over England!

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          Ed Hirst

          Wiki entry on the House of Hanover a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries:

          ” George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria’s death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha”

      • Longinus
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Germany did not exist as a nation state until 1871.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink


          Not that old chestnut again. Does that mean that England did not exist prior to becoming the UK after the 1707 union with Scotland?

          • Doug Powell
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Typical Margaret! – Anything she can’t refute, or doesn’t like she attempts to disparage by calling it an ‘Old Chestnut!’ But, ‘Old Chestnuts’ are always the best! They have stood the test of time, due to their wisdom! Just because something is old doesn’t invalidate it!

            Margaret, can you give some reference points please? Such as BOC (Before Old Chestnuts) and AOC (After Old Chestnuts), so that you can enlighten us on how much of the World’s great knowledge, science, religions, literature, and art you think is of no worth?
            Or is your use of OCs just a simplistic device to put down a point of view that you find uncomfortable and are unable to refute!

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        No Margaret I think it’s the 20th century we are talking about not 962 AD

        • Fred H
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          she usually gets centuries and nations mixed up, try not to notice.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    If this ruling is upheld it’s the end of the euro.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink


      I am not too sure. If the EURO dies so does the EU. The two are inextricably linked. Which is why President Mitterrand wanted Chancellor Kohl to adopt it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012” said Nigel Farage.

        Change the record.

        The single market and customs union, plus all the regulation needed to maintain it such as H&S etc. would continue, even if the currency were scrapped too.

        • jerry
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          @MiC; The point you keep missing is, if any EZ member nation unilaterally leaves the Euro they also leave the EU and thus the SM – membership of the EZ is a prerequisite of membership of the EU for them -and any new or re-entry. It was this latter treaty fact that torpedoed the SNPs Indi-ref idea that Scotland post indi’ could both join the EU and keep the (safe) GBP as their currency.

          On the other hand if the EC were to scrap the Euro Currency, and the ECB by doing so, they are scrapping two of the foundations that has always underpinned their project and their ‘Four freedoms’, the chances of that happening are less likely than seeing an elephant fly past your upstairs window!

        • Fred H
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          its you who keep bringing that up. Thank you for keeping our hope going.

      • jerry
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        @Mark B; Little reported but that is exactly the warning from the EC, although it was framed in terms that the CV19 pandemic puts both the Euro and the entire EU project at risk.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. But, little understood in Britain, there is this invisible glue between the EU founders (and probably much wider) which will keep the EU project on course, and thus, most likely, the euro.
          For instance, however sceptic the very right wing Netherlands political scene might seem in view of debt sharing, they would never give up their EU membership. Neither would the Germans. So, in the end solutions will be found, possibly a further integration within the EU.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 1:43 am | Permalink


            Time will tell if your assertion is correct. The political elite may continue to think so, but the increasingly disenchanted European citizens may have other ideas?

            My family in Holland and Germany do not share your enthusiasm for the current EU construct and would certainly be encouraged to see a return to a more free market focused position with much less interfering bureaucracy?

            Perhaps there should a Brexit type referendum for all the 27 countries to determine if you are right…or perhaps you fear such an anti-EU outcome?

          • jerry
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

            @PvR; Whenever someone uses a “Glue” analogy to back up their political wish-listing I always think of that glue which was supposed to be so strong under all circumstances that it was used to stick the heat tiles on the space shuttle…

            Never under estimate natural forced, be they physical, economic or social.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff: I know that some of the political populist elite indeed want less Europe (they don’t dare to say “no europe” recently anymore), elite like e.g. Wilders and Baudet. However, the citizens’ opinions have been well reflected over many years in the Eurobarometers (see wikipedia if you’re not familiar), and the latest show rather high support for the EU and the euro. As for referendums, “the tools of dictators and demagogues”(M. Thatcher), they make me think of people like Farage and of referendums like Germany 1934 and following years, so “no thank you Dennis”.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            @jerry: the term invisible glue comes from Luuk van Middelaar, a Dutch conservative political philosopher, who has written some of the better books about EU history and developments.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink


            It is just our opinions (perhaps some better researched than others) and until there is a real driving force for change, such as a Brexit, it remains just that, an opinion. Though in the past France, Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark citizens have had their minds changed with successive voting (i.e. rearranging Treaty text, as dictated by Brussels) until they arrived at the correct (Brussels) outcome!

            Perhaps Corona-bonds will be the tipping point that softens the glue of European solidarity?

            Btw, in general, I don’t personally use Wiki as an authority on anything, and rather surprised you do. I much prefer to go to the original source of the data and eruditely draw conclusions from my own objective analysis, rather than another’s subjective analysis.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            Dennis Zoff

            “I much prefer to go to the original source of the data and eruditely draw conclusions from my own objective analysis, rather than another’s subjective analysis”

            Really? So how can you write:

            “in the past France, Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark citizens have had their minds changed with successive voting (i.e. rearranging Treaty text, as dictated by Brussels) until they arrived at the correct (Brussels) outcome!”

            which is obviously the opposite of the true facts. These countries had their reservations listened to and addressed after which they were invited to vote for the amended texts.

            In other words, a democratic process unlike our own system whereby 17m mostly elderly voters can determine the future of 70m people with no redress and deprive the coming generation of its right to belong to its glorious European heritage rather than a narrow nationalistic little England.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 9, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

            @Margaret Howard; @Dennis Zoff:
            Thank you Margaret and let me give an example:
            In the period between the Dutch “no” against the constitutional treaty and the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, being Dutch, I was able to follow the debates in both houses of our parliament, leading to the demands for change by our government, the advice of our highest court after such and other changes had been made to make the Lisbon treaty, again the debates in both houses thereafter and the decision for ratification. I regard that as pretty much going to the source and drawing my conclusions from the whole process.
            Maybe only 2% of the treaty’s “DNA” needed altering to produce the Lisbon treaty.
            Complexities and nuances are lost in referendums. As such I would only accept referendums for “gut feeling issues”, not for many hundreds pages of legal text.

          • jerry
            Posted May 9, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            @PvR; EU history is irrelevant when Mr & Mrs Pleb are trying to put breed on the plates of his children but find it impossible, perhaps you should read-up on French history?…

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        That’s my point Germany Germany won’t underwrite the debts of the southern countries. I think when they realise just what is owed them under Target2 transfers the government could be finished.
        I see Brussels is looking to ban UK tourism because of the number of deaths.
        I don’t think anyone believes the figures coming out of Europe and the Spanish and Italians will need as much tourism as possible. Watch for some bilateral deals bypassing Brussels again.

      • John E
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Yes the Euro was France’s price for agreeing to German reunification. Mrs. Thatcher’s price was German agreement to the eastward expansion of the EU.

        They both intended that these measures would rein in German dominance of the EU.

        Things might have turned out better if we had just focused on our own economic performance and competed more intelligently and effectively with German industry.
        As I said a few days ago the Germans have a Champions League level government and we have Conference league level hackers who are reduced as in this post to shouting comments from outside the stadium that the Germans will entirely ignore because we have shown ourselves to be completely incompetent.
        And we continue to do so with the latest coronavirus tracking app debacle where the Germans are doing it right. Our ministers thought they knew better and are being very publicly humiliated again..

        • Mark B
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 3:53 am | Permalink

          John E

          There is no doubt that the Germans are better organised. But better led ? I’d doubt it.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            Mark B

            I think most people would prefer Angela Merkel over our own Boris.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            margaret howard

            “I think most people would prefer Angela Merkel over our own Boris.”

            From a German perspective you are clearly remote from Merkel realities…go ask some Germans, many (increasingly alarmed) do not share your enthusiasm?

            My German wife did have a little giggle at your naivety!

            Merkel in Britain, now there’s a thought?

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            Mark B

            “There is no doubt that the Germans are better organised”…..partly myth.

            In general I much prefer my Dutch management over my German management (but don’t tell the Dutch)

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            Dennis Zoff

            “From a German perspective you are clearly remote from Merkel realities…go ask some Germans, many (increasingly alarmed) do not share your enthusiasm”

            Makes you wonder why they elected her for over 15 years now. Maybe you should widen your circle of friends to find out why?

            reply Mrs Merkel’s party vote collapsed over recent years and is nowhere near being able to win a majority. She heads a very wide multi party coalition animated merely to keep the AFD out.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        The French wanted to impose the Euro on Germany because they feared the Deutsche Mark becoming the de facto dollar of the EU together with other Northern pegged currencies leaving weaker currencies like the French Franc and the rest of Club Med with permanently high borrowing rates.

      • DavidJ
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        “so does the EU”. I live in hope!

        • Mark B
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 3:54 am | Permalink


    • bill brown
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      How do you know this?

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

      It isn’t.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      and another ‘fissure” in the design of the EU.

  8. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    There’s no valid reasons or excuses not to get oit of the EU now. The oandemic has blown up all the predictions of disaster if we do. We must get out clear and clean at the end of June. Staying in won’t mend anything. We have a great chance now to be free.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed but that is not enough. We also need sensible economic policies, deregulation, a far smaller state, cheap reliable energy, freedom of choice and easy hire and fire …. especially now to repair the even larger economic hole created by this pandemic and the rather incompetent management of it so far.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink


      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        So according to the ONS only 4 weeks in 2020 have exceeded the last 5 year average death rate. We are trashing the economy for a lower rate of deaths than in the same period 2017.
        What’s going on John.

        • hefner
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          IW, what are you talking about?
 has the ‘All-cause mortality surveillance’ curve since week 40 in 2015. Check it (the 7 May week 19 report).
          I am afraid you are talking rubbish, pure and simple.
          If you cannot see the difference between the winter 2017-18 peak and what is happening now, I would advise you to go and make an appointment with an optician as soon as the lockdown is over.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      The UK left the European Union on 31st Jan last.

      Farage and his wastes-of-space got their helpful shoves in the back.

      The future is bright.

      For the European Union, that is.

      • Pominoz
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink


        Optimism is normally a good thing. Hope you are equipped to deal with the inevitable collapse of your beloved EU.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink


          So how do you rate the chances of the collapse of the EU against the collapse of the UK with Nicola determined to bring about Scottish independence?

          With the last Scottish independence referendum preceding Brexit her chances have never been higher.

          And where Scotland goes Ireland will follow. So after 300 years just a rump England left with about as much influence on the world stage as Liechtenstein?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

            Polls show no majority for Scottish nor Northern Ireland independence.
            Still making your ridiculous ” just a rump England” comment I see,
            Some rump, with over 80% of the population over 80% of the wealth and tax revenues and land values.
            England would be better off without the billions it gives to its Union members every year.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            margaret howard

            Your continued lack of Britain’s economic (London) in-depth knowledge and its international influence is breathtaking!

            I suggest you seek information elsewhere rather than from the BBC!

        • bill brown
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:46 am | Permalink


          Please provide the proof? thank you

      • JohnK
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink


        You are more than welcome to go and live in your beloved European Union and share in the wealth and prosperity of Italy and Greece.

        • Andy
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          He can’t. You removed his right to go and live in his beloved EU.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            He should just ask…he would come recommended by dozens of us.

    • Christine
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I agree. We will all be fighting for survival in a post-pandemic World. It will be best for us to strike out on our own and form allegiances with our Commonwealth friends. The EU has never had the UKs interests at heart. It will be many years, if ever, before things get back to normal. Time to put the people of this country first rather than pandering to the left loving establishment. The Government needs to take radical steps and this includes reforming the public sector including the BBC, quangos, House of Lords, foreign aid. Put a cap on public sector salaries and reduce the vast number of contractors. If the money coming into my household drops the first thing I do is cancel any non-essential services.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        The Commonwealth are not friends, the Dominions are.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


        “It will be best for us to strike out on our own and form allegiances with our Commonwealth friends.”

        Which ones?

        Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Bangladesh, Jamaica etc?

        Will we be able to bail them out when they need it?

        I don’t think we can rely on the good will of Australia or New Zealand when it comes to it as I’m sure they will remember how shabbily we ditched them when we joined the EU. By cutting off trade with them overnight whole industries like lamb and dairy collapsed forcing them to turn to the East to rescue them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Did you not hear what Julia Gillard said?

        A comprehensive deal between the European Union and Australia is far more important than one with the UK.

        But perhaps you meant with those countries which account for 97% of the Commonwealth’s people?

        That is, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria etc., who would all require increased freedom of movement as a term?

        Could you clarify, please?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t she a former PM of Australia ?
          Loud but not in power.
          Bit like Blair.

    • Bob
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      “We must get out clear and clean at the end of June.”

      Should have been done in June 2016.
      The Remoaners including the perfidious Mrs May the are now on the warpath again and the fact that SAGE has been politicised and stuffed with Remainers is typical of their modus operandi. There is growing evidence that the Covid stats are being fudged for political reasons.

      In 2005 George W. Bush predicted this pandemic and recommended steps that should be taken to prepare for it. Looks like successive British govts have been asleep at the wheel. [Google: “George W. Bush Urged Us to Prepare for Future Pandemics in 2005”

      • Doug Powell
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        “Should have been done in June 2016” – spot on Christine!

        I noticed the EU 5th Column, aka ‘The Dinosaur Brigade’, or ‘Remoaner Brigade’ was out in force in the House on Monday. Dutifully stepping up, with each making the same now pointless demand that the transition period be extended beyond 31st December. HMG has been resolute in saying “NO!” I sense it says “NO” with a degree of ‘pay back’ for the insolence handed out from the 5th Column stalking behind the ‘Benn’ Act before the 19GE!

        Why can’t these people move on, or move out? Given the current majority it is likely that, barring doing something crass, this government and its successors should still be incumbent after at least 2 more GEs. That, with the almost 5 years of this parliament still to run could mean 15 years of uninterrupted office!

        The Remoaners argue that the present demographic is that the young, are more kindly disposed to the EU than the older generation, who will die off in fairly short order – then we will return to the land of dictatorship by the unelected! No democracy – No accountability – Surrender of sovereignty!

        What the Remoaners seem blind to, is that after 15 years – 15 years of new voters, who will have only known of life outside the EU, that this ‘young’ demographic will change! Also, when the impact of the effects of the considerable disquiet welling up within the EU at this moment is manifest, many erstwhile UK EU supporters will be of the opinion that: “We are glad we are not part of it!

        In less than 15 years The EU may not exist!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Exactly how does one prepare for a pandemic?

        I assume the only way is to shut the borders at the first sign of trouble as the lock down approach is not hugely efficient.

  9. Richard1
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    It is indeed a very significant judgement, although it hasn’t ruled in favour of the claimants’ main case that the ECB’s actions are monetisation of state debts, contrary to the treaties even though it seems impossible to imagine they are anything other than that.

    The fundamental contradictions at the heart of the euro scheme are coming ever sharper into focus. It is highly relevant for the UK for all sorts of reasons. Clearly a break-up of the eurozone would be extremely disruptive and lead to unknowable losses throughout the global banking system, mainly in the eurozone but also in the UK. Preserving the euro is clearly now the main policy objective of the EU. EU membership for non-euro countries is likely to become ever trickier – we need to make sure no FTA would suck us into bailout costs. And of course if it does break up markets will look for safe havens. Switzerland will be an obvious one but the UK could be another.

    What a pity they didn’t adopt Margaret Thatcher’s excellent proposal for a hard ECU all those years ago and went instead for the political euro!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:03 am | Permalink

      The Europhiles did not want to go to a hard ECU because it was a trap. The trap being, that once everyone realised, with little risk, that the EURO idea was absolutely flawed, they would abandon the idea. It would, in one fell swoop, bring to an end the Euro Federalist dream of a Single Europe.

      Of course they did not see the other trap – The expansion East 😉

  10. agricola
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Whatever those in Brussels might wish to believe, the EU is not a state in the sense that the USA or the UK is a state. It is a club to control the interests of a game called the unification of Europe first through trade and then through politics. Everyone joined with the intention of playing cricket, but of late because some club members have stronger voices than others many of the others found themselves being pushed in the direction of playing rugby. They are now saying no, we joined to play cricket.

    We know that historically the EU’s genesis was trade. A starting point to avoid the sort of wars that had plagued Europe for hundreds of years. All very laudable in the 50s and understandable because the politicians involved had fought in those wars. As time evolved they failed to get the trade concept fair and even with their CAPs and EFPs effectively the rich nations got richer and those less so stayed where they were, becoming sources of cheap food and holiday resorts for those who could afford to travel. A currency that reflected the poor performance of the whole benefitted disproportionally the rich nations. The people of the richer richest members then began to think that their wealth was being used to attract more and more poor members who were a liability rather than an investment opportunity. All round dissatisfaction if not yet at the political level.

    In reality federalism and central control is the only way their currency is going to work, just as it does in the USA and UK. However the dissatisfaction level has reached such a level that the desired federalism is no longer a saleable idea. We in the UK have realised this for a long time with politicians and the establishment being way off the curve until end 2019. Now it is beginning to dawn in Europe. The EU was a very good idea, born of the best of intentions, but increasingly at the mercy of a succession of inadequate politicians. It is destined to fragment into a smaller power bloc and a series of reborn nation states who in their new state of responsibility, I hope, treat each other with sympathetic equanimity, realising where it all went wrong. Covid 19 was just the catalyst waiting in the wings.

    • agricola
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      Long overdue moderation. When I read much nonesense supposedly related to your submission I wonder what moderstion is about.

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    While I have some sympathy with a German court that attempts to limit EU power, it does on one hand feel like a power play by Germany to take more control of EU affairs.

    Germany is right about the ills of simply printing money – it was never a solution.

    Merkel already has far too many of her people in powerful EU jobs. I wouldn’t put it past her to use this situation to expand even more German influence.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      You may have a very good point Bryan. With a French woman heading the ECB, and we all know how strong EU Federalist the French Establishment are, this could be a way of undermining her ? Hmmm !

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The German view makes no sense as it conflicts with the whole ethos of the EU which they have repeatedly said they support. The EU central bank needs to operate in this way just like other central banks do to manage the entire Eurozone as a single entity and not to favour just one country.

    A related issue is debt mutualisation across the entire Eurozone, with the EU issuing bonds on behalf of all the Eurozone countries at the same interest rate This is the logical and consistent thing to do but Germany/Netherlands disapprove. This would mean weaker countries would be able to borrow money at lower rates than at present, thus helping their economies, and German borrowings would be at higher rates than now which they are well able to pay given their massive trade surplus and strong economy. It is almost anti-European of them to complain about this. Anyway, not really our place to comment as it’s nothing to do with us how they organise their economies.

    On another point, the EU countries who have done best so far in the Covid crisis, according to the data, are the ones who completely ignored EU directions and closed their borders mid-March (Poland, Czech Republic, etc.). Another case of “every man for himself” ignoring the EU project.

    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    It is a meaningless judgement. Germany cannot afford to see the EU project derailed. They have invested far too much into it to see it fail. Many German ‘export’ markets rely on their ability to create economic and financial dependency on the German State. China expand their geo-political reach by behaving in the same despicable manner using debt and investment to infect weak nations like the UK and Tanzania to exploit their natural resources or take advantage of politicians and ex-bureaucrats who see a huge opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of domestic security

  14. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    So in other words the EU, as far as Germany is concerned, is only a fair weather organisation! When the going gets rough all of a sudden Germany is not not interested!

    So brexiteers we were right all along- Germany wants to control things to its advantage, but never to it’s detriment! Never mind that all the other member states have to take the rough with the smooth. And some countries have had a lot of ‘the rough’!

    I read elsewhere that there is something written into the German Constitution that forbids certain EU laws because it’s detrimental to their National way of life!

  15. ShaunR
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I seem to have stopped receiving the email diary. How come?

  16. Nigl
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Off topic but an interesting development. It is reported the NHS it is looking at a u turn on their tracing app tasking a Swiss company to ‘investigate’ the possibility of joining the global standard.

    Their app has been torn apart by the ‘geeks’ how much will this cost and why the b hell did they think it would be better to go it alone?

    • rose
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      The Times has just caught up with this. The rest of us heard a little while ago that it was an insurance policy, not a U turn. Anyway, what would be wrong with a U turn? It is a skilful manoeuvre to avoid trouble ahead or just going in the wrong direction.

    • Martyn G
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      It is reported today that £1.5 million has been spent thus far, mainly on ‘consultants’. You couldn’t make it up!

  17. Nigl
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Ps we are now told the gowns etc flown in from Turkey at vast expense in a blaze of political hubris are useless, with the government knowing for some time but covering it up?

    Who will rid us of these incompetents?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      The simple solution, now we are where we are, is to use the gowns for lower grade contact treatment operatives, and demand/deduct a refund for the price difference.

      Unfortunately this is what happens when there is a World shortage of anything, the price goes up, Quality goes down. and deliveries are extended.
      Far more easily controlled when we have home manufacture, but then you pay the Price which includes UK overheads and wages.

      Just in time delivery systems also fail under the present circumstances.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        “but then you pay the Price which includes UK overheads and wages.”

        So instead you paid for…

        unemployment and social dysfunction

        being unable to produce the PPE in a crisis

        an economy completely trashed by a virus

        and you paid for it by being put over a barrel by the people who caused the virus

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      If they were CE marked, then according to EU rules, of which we are still under, then they were of merchantable quality.

      Blame the EU’s CE system not the people who bought them in good faith 😉

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Will Gina Miller be pursuing this?

    It seems that the German courts have declared national law supreme over EU law. She must want to take this up in the interests of democracy. It could overturn the Climate change act and HS2 among other EU impositions.

  19. Andy
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    You left. It is not your business. The EU and Germany are fine. You are looking for whatever dregs you can find that someone else is going to leave. That the dominoes will fall. They won’t. Everyone else has seen what a monumental mess the Brexiteers have made of Brexit. Nobody will willingly follow suit anytime soon.

    In any case perhaps you should worry more about the 30,000 dead under a failed Tory Brexit government and the worst UK slump for more than 300 years. In all the first quarter of taking back control. The foreign press around the world are highlighting Britain as an example of a country that has epically failed the Coronavirus test.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Under Labour Lib Dems and the Green there would not have been one death.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      No. The first quarter of taking back control is 1Q21 – for the moment we are still subject to EU rules, like freedom of movement.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Of course it affects the UK. If there isn’t a clean FTA or a move to WTO terms we might be sucked into the bailout costs. If it breaks up there will be huge dislocations including costs and economic impact on the UK. Most of all though it’s worth highlighting as it shows how right the eurosceptic case regarding the euro has been for 30 years.

      It’s funny watching you get so defensive about it.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    No surprise there, after all the Germans put the skids under Major when he was desperately trying to save his disastrous ERM policy, making it known that they wouldn’t be helping support Sterling. For all the talk about European solidarity the Germans pursue their interests in a single minded way, though it does have its benefits, for their non intervention for Sterling in the ERM made sure we never joined the Euro, and their EU open borders policy made sure we voted for Brexit. So what have the Germans done for us? They helped get us out of the EU.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Iain Moore

      “though it does have its benefits, for their non intervention for Sterling in the ERM made sure we never joined the Euro,”

      So exactly what are the benefits? The euro has displaced the £ from its former position as the world’s most popular reserve currency after the $ while the pound has sunk like a stone against the euro since its inception.

      From 1.42.euros in 1999 to 1.14 euros today is good news?

      • Iain Moore
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        An independent monetary policy that is applicable to our economy. The ERM was a painful experience that distorted monetary policy meaning we either had the wrong interest policy, exchange rate, or both.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Is that why they offered to take all those refugees who had arrived in Italy, and in Greece, who were overwhelming those countries, Iain?

      Looks like pretty good solidarity to me.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:22 am | Permalink


  21. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Is it bad that the mandates of ECB and ECJ are scrutinized this way and demanding better explanations? Maybe not, maybe it will lead to more clarity, given by both ECB (within 3 months) and ECJ. Germans tend to be “gründlich” (thorough), more so than Italians or French.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      You just can’t bear the idea that there could be anything wrong with your beloved EU. Face it, currency union between countries as different economically and culturally as those in Northern Europe and those in Southern Europe was a stupid idea.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson:
        It is however up to us, not up to you, so just think what you want.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          Yes, Peter, it’s funny.

          They left, and they can only inflict their leaving the once.

          They can’t seem to get over that.

          They now have no TBP MEPs, to insult our neighbours and to shame this country.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      Germans tend to be “gründlich” (thorough), more so than Italians or French.

      It is easy to be seen as thorough when you set the benchmark (French and Italian) so low 😉

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        @Mark B: My previous work experience tells me that the Germans are also more thorough than the Dutch. In legal matters that is not bad at all.

      • hefner
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Well, I have never lived in Germany long enough to have to really deal with the German administration, but I lived 10+ years in France and I could not say it was much worse than having to deal with HMRC, NHS, school or social services here in the UK. And having had to deal with family-related inheritance matters in both France and Britain, I must admit that the services of the French notaire were faster and cheaper than those of the British solicitor. This was again confirmed when I recently had to go through something as simple, I would have thought, as writing a will ‘complicated’ by having assets in two countries.

        I am afraid that some here are wearing pink-tinted glasses whenever talking about the UK (and possibly other English-speaking countries) and ‘lunettes noires’ when addressing any ‘continental’ matters.
        But what can one do: Don’t try to teach Grandma to suck eggs.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 9, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          @Hefner: God forbid me “wearing pink-tinted glasses” when reacting about EU issues here, although I have that appearance.
          Apart from praise, there is an awful lot to criticise about European institutions, but to watch the painful EU processes through the decades remains very interesting for me.

  22. formula57
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! However reluctantly, we must conclude that all is not well within the Evil Empire.

    German taxpayers, oblivious though they may be, will remain on the hook for bailing out the Eurozone whatever rulings their constitutional court conjures up. Thank goodness for our own recent liberation.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      The poor German citizens were not even aware that the Luftwaffe were in the air with the RAF bombing our anti-nazi wartime allies, the Serbs. The Germs if my acquaintance were adamant that the Luftwaffe was grounded.
      Boy, they are going to be astonished to learn that Germany has an empire and that empires are very expensive!

      • hefner
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Because obviously you know the details of any SAS, SBS and RAF operations, being told firsthand by your MP, I assume.

  23. SM
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    But I’ve been reading predictions for some years now that while Germany has been more than happy to help Southern Europe increase its debt burden, it certainly will not help extricate them when it’s repayment time. So no surprise there!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      They were happy to see the Club-Med increase its debts, so long as they bought German goods with the money.

  24. majorfrustration
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    So the ECB has to satisfy the German Court – novel. And in the event that the German Court is not satisfied then what? Its academic but I do wonder if our courts would have the same bottle.

  25. Andy
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Jan 31: FREEDOM! We don’t have to held back by the ghastly EU anymore!

    May 7: 30,000 dead and the worst slump in 300 years.

    How this Brexit thing working out for you all?

    • matthu
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Are you suggesting Brexit might be infectious?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        after we are well out of it, and showing the way – Brexit will be most certainly infectious.

    • SM
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Wow, so the covid19 virus was caused by Brexit, who knew?

      How fortunate that other countries, both in and out of the EU, aren’t suffering a dreadful economic slump!

    • jerry
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Please feel free to explain what a virus that originated in China has to do with Brexit, but have it your way;

      The combined EU27 death toll, just counting the three worst hit regions, France, Spain & Italy, stands at around 67,394 dead and the worst slump in 300 years.

      How is your beloved EU with its common travel area and common currency working out for all you ‘One nation’ Europiles?…

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        And the BBC bangs on about America’s death toll ?

    • Martyn G
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Explain your thinking Andy – how can you possible conflate Covid-19 with Brexit? On second thoughts, don’t bother as probably no one is interested in your thinking.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        I am still waiting for the government to try to blame it on manmade co2 emissions and global warming. Everything else is after all.

        The excess CO2 causes more plant growth so more bats and pangolin food and thus more such animals and more chance of incubating such a virus perhaps?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      We still have to do what the EU tell us at the moment Andy, Macron told the UK close down when France closed down or else!

      In the 2018 winter flu season there were 50,100 excess flu deaths – and we were still in the EU as you said until Jan 31. Being in the EU hasn’t stopped the excess deaths in Italy or France or Spain – only Germany has survived such a large excess death figure. If the EU had shut down travel between EU regions Brits may not have trouped off in the thousands on the half-term breaks there. No-one not even your EU predicted what would happen in Italy and then the knock on.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        That’s nothing to do with the European Union.

        It is the physical fact of Britain being an island, and of needing access to French roads, ports and airports etc.

        Nothing will change that.

    • JohnK
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink


      How is Brexit linked to coronavirus?

      I realise you hate Brexit and love the European Union, but this comment is just deranged.

    • agricola
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Splendid, food excellent , pool 28c, neighbours gone home, who could ask for anything more.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      You often make utterly moronic and offensive comments. You have trumped yourself today.

      Yes, Brexit is the cause of the virus. Everyone (situated between your ears) knows that.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Some more cock ups while trying to trade with non EU members:

      “Some 400,000 surgical gowns ordered from Turkey do not meet British safety standards, the UK government has said.”

      Not yet clear whether a refund will be given!!!!!!

      If EU quality standards had been adhered to this wouldn’t have happened.

      Oh the joys of Brexit!!!!!!!

      Reply The joys of still being under all EU trade and customs rules, as is Turkey!

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        My wife used to work in import/export. I used to do some IT work for a firm she worked for. It didn’t seem to be rocket science. Someone wants to import something. They find a supplier. Get samples. If they are happy with the quality and price, they place an order. Various things happen then – things like ‘Letter of Credit’, ‘Bill of Lading’, ‘Customs Declaration’, ‘Customs Clearance’ etc. The bottom line is that importing goods, from ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, looked very, very straightforward to me.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        MH – Maybe they were made to EU standards but not good enough to meet UK standards?

        Unless you know better…

      • Fred H
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        MH – so who could be buy 400,000 surgical gowns from?

      • rose
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        I should like to know who decided the PPE was substandard after the Turks had been slaving away to get it to us in time, and after the RAF had flown it to us. Instead of throwing it away the day after use as they usually do, they decided to throw it away before use this time. When is this obscene practice going to stop? Thousands of tons, billions of articles, being thrown away when people have been making it specially.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Shallow nonsense & pathetic. You obviously do not like Britain esp England who SJR proudly defends Speaking for England. I’m convinced you are “Doubled Disgruntled” with sympathies from SNP as your namesake implies.

    • Time Lord
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      You have a point though with its customary limpness. The EU nation states in general are actually displaying a more classic liberal even British balanced stance on telling their own people what to do and veer to consent and in the case of Sweden asking its people, than our Government with all party cooperation. We have people in control of our country who have no respect for consent of its people but raises the truncheon as first response. Those who live by the truncheon….
      It is just of a question time…

    • Andy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      How can I blame Brexit to blame for Covid?

      How can I not?

      You lot have literally spent 40 years blaming the EU and its predecessors for all our ills.

      We leave, you can’t blame the EU anymore, and you deny Brexit has anything to do with it.


      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        That argument doesn’t work.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        A few months of a Leaver finally getting into office and you blame him for the neglect of pandemic preparation by SIX Remainer PMs !

        Where is the PPE and contingencies that Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, Clegg and May should have provided ???

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Well probably stopping freedom of movement much earlier would have helped. But people like you didn’t want to do that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      So far this year about 60,000 deaths due to the virus and about 200,000 from other causes.

  26. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Its a wonder that residual remainer types haven’t started telling us that the wipeout of the airlines and airports destroys for years to come our hopes of trade with the rest of the world.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Ah well..Mrs May has apparently suggested that Nationalism is responsible for the virus!

  27. ukretired123
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    When the going gets tough ……
    The tough get going …..
    While Britain was bailing out EU incontinence Germany saw us as an asset but since Boris came to get Brexit done this sent shock saves to all EU 27. In Germany’s case opposition to more contributions and the new backstop on top of the millions of immigrants and lockdown crisis has finally snapped their patience.
    Whilst Britain has knell before the hollow EU vanity took France and Germany flout it’s rules when it suits them.
    This is now bending that and SJR had forecast years ago the Euro project had put the cart before the horse.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Backstop role;/Knelt,/Bending to breaking point …

  28. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    So the Germans trying to look after and protect their Finances again, hardly news, but sensible.

    It will certainly be interesting to see how this works out in the end.

  29. Tim the Coder
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    And if the ECB just ignores the Kahlsruhe Klowns and carries on printing?
    What will the red-robed lot do about it? Issue another stern warning for the entertainment value?

    German law is irrelevant, the ECB have the power.

    We need to open the gap as fast as we can from the coming euro-fiasco.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Tim the Coder

      “What will the red-robed lot do about it?”

      Maybe you would be happier if they copied our lot and ordered themselves some horse hair wigs and wore pumps with silk stockings?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Ditching his wig and silk stocking hardly improved Mr Bercow. Clothes make the man as any actor will tell you, and when a judge puts on his garb, he stops being joe cool and becomes a Judge.

      • mancunius
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        A casual glance at a photo of the UK Supreme Court would show that they wear nothing of the kind.

  30. hefner
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Whether Brexit is to have a positive or negative impact, it will always be possible for any political commentator to tell us that the economic effect of the pandemic has overwhelmed it.

    As for the German Supreme Court’s view, this judgment might push the EU27 to address the question of a revision of the treaties that they have not been too keen to tackle up to now.
    If successful, it could clarify the exact roles of national Supreme Courts viz. the ECJ and of national ‘central’ banks viz. the ECB so that it would make clear that the type of actions pursued by the ECB under Draghi were in the past and would be in the future right.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      The statement by the German Supreme Court comes at the very inconvenient time (corona QE, recovery plan). But it may strengthen the hand of those who plead for the EU getting some own resources (through forms of taxation). The EP and EC would play a bigger role, something which in the long run may be required anyway.

  31. Adam
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Germany should have the freedom to enact its own people’s interests. Being governed from some remote control according to what inefficient others want degrades a nation’s quality.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes it should, and it can do that by leaving the EU.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      It’d be necessary for a majority in Germany to understand how great the dangers are: there is a massive bloc of self-interested politicians, corporates, banks and Mittelstand deliberately obstructing the view of reality of the ordinary taxpayer. And the current goldilocks German economy does not promote any clarity, let alone a salutary degree of fear.

  32. BJC
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Is it not time to fully cut our ties with the EU? It’s yet another “too big to fail” institution that’s on life-support and all we’re doing is delaying the inevitable implosion. I accept we should have a shared sense of responsibility, but the EU is hidebound by antiquated treaties ably assisted by the ECJ, which enforces the “one size fits all” ethos and prevents meaningful adaptations. Europe is stuck in the EU’s neverending loop of destruction, yet they just keep digging. The Project has failed.

    On another matter, but still talking about neverending loops, I tried to be a responsible citizen this morning by reporting (unsuccessfully) an unsolicited email, allegedly from TV Licensing advising me that my license is due to be paid (it’s not). It looked genuine and could fool many vulnerable people, but their “virtual assistant” is as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Perhaps you’d be kind enough to use your contacts to let them know they’re under attack, please? Thanks.

  33. Caterpillar
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    This is interesting both in terms of power/democracy and policy – wherever one stands on the increased QE policy effectiveness and fairness against Govt constrained supply and some demand side – at least it shows the debate is real in the EU.

    Meanwhile in the U.K. the B.O.E has signalled it will pretty much do whatever and ramp up QE next month, once the Govt’s unlocking plan is clear. There is no one representing/able to represent those other interests in the U.K. The B.O.E. is forecasting a much more significant reduction in GDP in the U.K. than Europe, then miraculously wishful thinking it will get it all back by end of 2021. Essentially the QE approach has been decided as a policy (interests?) and then post rationalised in terms of protecting businesses and supply recovery. Supply side shocks are not short lived. What is actually the case is that the Government has grabbed power and switched off supply (based on what seems to be a political objective of protecting the NHS, nowhere do we see that running the NHS well under capacity saves most lives) and spread fear into both supply and demand. The longer it does this the longer lived will be its effect. The Govt has driven U.K. over a real cliff edge and stubbornly refuses to admit it was wrong, seeking a long and winding path back. The Govt neither wants to switch back on, nor clear the decks for new businesses to start. The U.K. Govt is choosing to create more zombie businesses to add to those that have been walking dead since the GFC (bounce back loan aka clear credit card and stumble along). If we want supply to come back it is far better to slay the zombies, underwrite all people with a UBI so they have more freedom to take some risk, reskill … We need active cities. Switching cities off stops the spread … of interaction, ideas, innovation.

    The U.K. has lost both democracy and sensible policy consideration – well done to Germany and the EU to at least having some debate.

  34. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Italy, Spain and Greece have always depended on lowering their currency when in crisis. It is not so long since Franco fell when the Peseta was about as strong as the Australian dollar. The Lira, Franc and Drachma, too, declined in value before the Euro came in.
    Now that inflation is impossible and these countries face bankruptcy, poverty and real austerity coupled with massive immigration and now Covid too. Their banks cold be full of useless bonds as well. Who knows?
    Sooner or later the Germans will have to break away – the DM is sacred to them after the two inflations (plural) of the last century.

  35. Alan Joyce
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Germany and its people love the Euro (it keeps their exports nice and cheap) but just not enough to share EU debt.

    I wonder why Germany has repatriated hundreds of tons of its gold reserves in the last few years?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I wonder why Germany has repatriated hundreds of tons of its gold reserves in the last few years?

      What does that mean? Did Germany keep gold somewhere else and are now bringing it back? Or, what?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Someone found the hidden Nazi gold?

      • hefner
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Germany had had its reserves in New York, London and Paris since the end of WW2. It had been kept abroad to prevent any risk potentially coming from the Soviet Union.
        Following the fall of the Soviet Union and on top of it the sub-prime crisis of 2008, there was some pressure from within Germany to rapatriate it. In 2013 Germany announced its intention to rapatriate half of it. In November 2017, it was announced that it had been done and half of its gold (1,710 tons) was now back in Frankfurt. There is nothing left in Paris (24/08/2017) and New York now has only 2/3 of its previous amount.

        Despite my searches, I have not been able to find any more recent information.
        A nice summary (if you can access it) is an item in the FT (11/11/2017) ‘How Germany got its gold back’.

      • JohnK
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Germany’s gold was mostly stored at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In recent years it has all been repatriated.

      • rose
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        If only we could repatriate ours after what Brown did.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      They’ve tried to repatriate it.

      The US has allowed them to have some of it back.

  36. hefner
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The BoE forecasts -14% for 2020 and +15% for 2021. So starting from 100 on 1 January 2020 we’ll get 86 by 31 December 2020 and 98.9 by 31 December 2021 (100 * 0.86 * 1.15). Will we have to go out and clap for that?

    • matthu
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Yes – if they get their forecast right it will be a first.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Applaud, but don’t mention that even in this optimistic scenario then 1 to 4 months of life expectancy gain will have been lost.

  37. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    This is not the first time the German Constitutional Court has claimed superiority to the EU institutions and law. For instance Germany (and in violation of EU law) unilaterally recognised Croatia, it wartime fascist ally. The EU tagged along later.
    Of course the German problem is that they share a currency ie a bank account with the rest of the Eurozone.
    Is this Gexit? Some of us have thought for some time that Germany might be the first to leave, but we beat them to it.
    Britain has no liability for Euro debt. We are in transition to a new trade arrangement and have left the EU.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Don’t the ECB have some of our money on “loan”?

    • mancunius
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, You must have noticed how generous all UK politicians are with our money when any country or region spins a hard luck story and extends their hand palm upwards…Next time will be no different, and the more catastrophic and self-inflicted, the larger will be the amount you and I will get to ‘donate’.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Irks me too, but we can sack our ‘generous’ politicians and need to. We need to replace most of the HoC and get rid of the HoL – the Lords long gone So closing the doors of their house is an easy decision.

  38. passingby
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    We’re leaving so why go on about it? as far as they are concerned they see it as as a project in making so there will certainly be different “views” and maybe even schisms- and then don’t forget treaties can be changed- we ourselves were at the top table for nearly fifty years and did nothing much to influence things either so now that we’re leaving we should just forget about it and get on with making our own way with our new trade partners ie. Trump’s USA and countries in S America and Asia- I’ll believe it when I see it.

    One last point the UK has weaker regions just like the EU has weaker countries, it’s just a matter of how we treat the people of these weaker regions or countries to bring them up to spec so that they are contributing members and good consumers rather than forever on the take members but then of course we could also consider offloading some of our own weaker regions? we could for instance have Schisms with Scotland, NI or maybe parts of Yorkshire? then who knows what the future might hold especially if we maintain this ‘I’m alright Jack’ nasty frame of mind

  39. George Brooks.
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    We were warned Andy that the lockdown could be very stressful.

    It has hit you hard but you should recover your balance in time and understand the effect of Covid-19

  40. ian
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Nobody knows how many people have died from C19. The coronavirus Act of 25 March 2020 saw to that along with no compensation while under lockdown from the NHS for any reasons, no examination of a person who has died is needed by a doctor or coroner, they use case note only and any doctor can sign the death certificate to be rubber-stamped by the coroner without seeing the body. If you have died at a care home the manager of the home put down the cause of death which then go to the GP at their office with the majority just saying chest infection with no examination of the person if you died at home or on the way to the hospital no examination for the course of death.

  41. Tony Sharp
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The reason for the German Zero Interest rates for their savers is the same as the reason for the Bankruptcy of Greece and Zero growth since 2002 of Italy. That is the German project of the EUroZone currency and policies. This was until recently something the German economy enjoyed enormous advantages from, allied to the Protectionist methods of th so called Single Market and Customs Union.
    The Biter has now been bit!

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    So, our beloved Bank of England is telling everyone we are in for a massive recession. Way to cause a recession! Once lockdown is over many people’s natural inclination will be to spend, spend, spend and make up for lost time. There is no need for a recession. Unless idiots forecast one and people get worried and don’t spend.

    The Germans will do nothing to upset the EU apple cart. It is just a bit of hot air.

    I read the NHS app is a load of c**p. Who is developing it? I know a bloke who could develop an app that does what that one is supposed to in, at most, 2 days. It would work and the bugs would be out. Mind you, he charges his time out at £3k a day. For something like this app, given the seriousness and the urgency, you really need the top people in the business. But, no doubt, it is being developed by committee with 50 developers chatting about every line of code before writing any.

    I hear the 400,000 items of PPE from Turkey are not fit for purpose. Didn’t anyone ask for a sample?

    You get the impression that the very last people you would want running things in this situation are, in fact, ‘running’ things.

  43. John
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The British government of all parties has been destroying our savings for years. From pension pots, personal savings and property the have stolen it all to some degree.

  44. James
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt but they’ll work it out to suit themselves so I wouln’t be too concerned-

  45. nhsgp
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Shows how supine the UK supreme court is.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      No. Law abiding. The latest will of Parliament was to obey EU law over UK law. That’s why we could not win a case defending a British Sovereignty in the Courts as William Rees Mogg discovered at great cost. Our courts were implementing EU law. German Courts including their Constitutional Court should too, but they are young and undeveloped compared to the 800 year old British institutions.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      You didn’t say that when it ruled a prorogation unlawful, I suspect?

    • rose
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      It is an arm of the ECJ. It wouldn’t think itself supine at all – not towards us.

  46. William Long
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has been interesting on this one in the Telegraph. Of course on past form the odds must be on further Euro-fudge, but surely sooner or later the German court must get fed up with being ignored. When that happens it is hard to see any other outcome than the whole Euro edifice collapsing. Perhaps that could be perceived as a positive outcome of Covid.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    To accompany this, there is evidence that German public opinion is now less enthusiastic about forming a Federal European SuperState than it used to be. They probably look across the pond at the USA and Canadian federations and note that fiscal transfers from rich states & provinces to poor ones take place. If you don’t want fiscal transfers, don’t go federal.

    The EU as it stands suits Germany very well. The European Commission bends over backwards to favour German technology and German business in its Directives and harmonisation. Germany has a lot of influence on EU decision making. And until next year, it has got the UK to pay some of the bills. In short, provided it can keep the Euro strong, Germany has an empire or sorts.

    When Mrs Merkel stands down, the next German Chancellor may not support M Macron’s zeal.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Germany, a federation itself, know about fiscal transfers – remember East Germany and the parity of the Oostmark with the Dmark? Germany’s problem is that it holds a lot of the Southern European States debt. IOUs from bankrupt nations don’t butter many parsnips!

  48. tony monk
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Will any chickens be coming home to roost on any of these matters. I’d like to think that we can learn from any cock ups especially when they have caused death or serious illness. I won’t be holding my breath or putting any money on it though. If I’m right and no one of any importance is found lacking then it is OUR fault!

  49. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    It is almost as if the Germans wish to, what is the expression, “Cherry pick” parts of Euro membership. They almost seem to want to Have their Kuchen and eat it.

  50. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I see Boris has caved in yet again to the Scots and Welsh this time over lockdown easing.

    It’s clear again that they are calling the shots and running the show.

    Sturgeon gets in first with her press conference and we have to listen to the excruciatingly robotic performance later in the afternoon. We get a UK minister standing between two alleged English authorities who are talking about the UK.

    Appeasement of minority interests is foremost in this pathetic government. England is provided with a lip-service acknowledgment only.

  51. Rhoddas
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    As an aside to the Germans whose death rate is significantly lower than UK, when we we hear why this is? And when will the lessons learned be put into action?

    BHow many non C19 related patients are in hospital compared to averages, when does NHS decide this will return to normal ways of working, catch up with the undeclared backlog, how many have died earlier as a result, when will the private hospitals be released from nhs C19 measures and how will they be used to clear this backlog? Rumour has it alot of hospitals are in fact empty except for C19 patients..

    Sir John please about this, thank you.

  52. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    A mystery for Martin in Cardiff to explain. How come Labour in Wales didn’t lock down two weeks early as Starmer in his wisdom realised was required ? How come they are managing only just over a thousand tests a day ? How come the Welsh NHS has problems getting PPE ?

  53. mancunius
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    But this case was brought in 2015: it has taken five years for the German Constitutional Court to hear it. The horse has long since bolted, the German court hasn’t even properly closed the stable door, and the ECB horse thieves have agreed today that they won’t even acknowledge the horse’s existence, as they neither recognize the BVG except as a local court subservient to EU institutions, nor do they respect its verdict today.

    The BVG does however have jurisdiction in Germany, and their strictures on the inaction of the Bundesbank and the government will embarrass Weidmann, and force Merkel to provide some kind of airy-fairy defence of the ECB – knowing that if another case or appeal is started, it’ll take several more years for the BVG to reach a decision, and that the web has deliberately been spun beyond the grasp of most German voters – though some have noted the implications, and are already shouting ‘Nichts wie weg!’

    Anyone still clinging superstitiously to the belief that GB should remain part of this expensive tyranny need testing – and not for Covid-19.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      There is no such place as Germany. This is the fundamental issue when surrendering your country to the new country called “europe’. When the British voted for Brexit, they made the decision to continue as a nation, and entity. The biggest and greatest decision made, by an entire population, maybe in the history of the world.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink


        ” When the British voted for Brexit, they made the decision to continue as a nation, and entity”

        Entity? Not if Nicola has anything to do with it.

        Like most Scots she knows that this ‘entity’ was forced on her country at the point of a gun by an aggressive, empire building neighbour. Nothing lasts forever and she feels her time has come.

        Should this happen maybe the EU will allow us to rejoin otherwise a rump England will have about as much influence on the world stage as Liechtenstein.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          We in England would be even wealthier without Scotland and if they want to vote to leave let them go ahead.
          Not there seems any majority to do so according to recent polls.
          England on its own would still be one of the biggest economies in the world.

        • mancunius
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Spain will never allow an independent Scotland to join the EU.

  54. ChrisS
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    This is a matter that has been coming down the tracks for at least a decade.

    The German Constitutional Court has always seen itself as the ultimate arbiter of laws that apply to Germany. There have been near-misses, such as the banking crisis when the Court has backed away from conflict with the ECB and the ECJ. At that time, many German constitutional experts, and a minority of her politicians, wished that the Constitutional Court had asserted itself.

    On this occasion the Court has given the EU a way out and the overwhelming odour of fudge is already in the air. If the Constitutional Court fails to assert itself over this crucial
    issue it will finally have failed German taxpayers and will leave them open to becoming the ultimate paymaster for every net recipient country in the Eurozone who will see Germany as a bottomless pit to be exploited ruthlessly.

    France, of course, will be one of those at the head of the queue as French Politicians will no longer have to try (and continually fail) to reform the French economy. Once the German Constitutional Court has given up the fight, French voters will be able to continue to think that they have the right to carry on living way beyond their means as they have for decades. Only then, they can be sure that German taxpayers will be picking up the tab.

    Ultimately it will be this that brings about the end of the European Project.

  55. Adam Padam
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    CNBC says the BoE says 14% down in something or other this year for the UK and 15% up next year.
    Of course they cannot know can they, how could they possibly calculate the total unknown interconnectedness? I better guess would be possible later for them as they live in a bubble of graphs, curves and more graphs with The Governor phoning rich people for their guess.

    6 months from the start of a full back to work will result in continuing net job losses. Openings and almost closing the following week of businesses. The world out there, each mini part of it in their phraseology “has its own dynamic”, all bad. I live in a real life so I’m better positioned to make good guesses and, I’m intelligent.
    The future is gloomy indeed, the divorces, children with problems and other social problems are yet to break into sick flower to be seen and heard. We will hear and see, too late.
    The Virus is nothing. Similar I’ve experienced here years ago. It was really bad, but went largely unchallenged. We worked through it, we had to. We should have to now. You can’t beat death, just paradoxically live with it, and WORK! It feeds bellies here and places where we sell and buy.It’s called World Economy Mr Bank of England. A new concept for you..You ignore the world always.Pop your silly bubble!Dunces!

  56. David Brown
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    What has Germany and the court ruling got to do with the UK and the current financial problems of the UK? Why report on this at all? What is the relevance?
    OR is there a fear in Westminster that Scotland and Scottish courts may want to rule on Westminster actions? as its only a matter of time before Scotland gains independence and finally the Union Flag can be confined to history. Scotland can then once again fly the EU flag alongside its own.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      15% of Scots are net contributors to taxation. If they leave the U.K. market, they will not be able to afford a flag.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      and they can join the long queue to be bailed out by Germany. Enjoy the independence and food banks. We’ll watch amused and relieved.

  57. WORK!WORK!
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    If Boris does not act smartly very soon. (he should have acted on May Ist but he decided to end his political career instead.Maybe he has another job lined up.)
    If he does not get us back to work producing wealth for ourselves and the world our children will inherit far less than he intends however large banknote. They’ll be back to his square one.
    Not a good inheritance. Parents make sacrifices for their children. We soldier on when we wish to just drop and sleep. They never know, really, how supreme the sacrifices we make. They take us for granted as we took our own parents for granted. Boris will leave our children with NOTHING! No economy. NOTHING. Just debt they will pay off every single day and less pension they would have had.
    I loved Boris.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      But Boris has now joined the ‘pull numbers out of thin air club’.
      Not content with the laughable if not so tragic 100,000 TESTS PER DAY, which we are still waiting for, he joins in with a ‘I’ll raise you to 200,000 TESTS per day by 1st June. I’ll be insisting the promise is EVERY day – not once by ordering, or delivering 150,000 test kits.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Sturgeon can afford to shut down Scotland. Oil isn’t much in demand at the moment, is it.

      But she’s just pulled a flanker on Boris and his intention to ease lock down. The tail wags the dog again.

      Forget it.

      Our kids are stuffed. And Sturgeon will realise that Scotland’s kids are stuffed too when we have no money to pay for their university fees and their gramp’s care home costs.

      Enjoy the coming weeks for what they are – nothing but hard times are ahead.

  58. Ed M
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Why is Australia’s mortality rates from coronavirus and number of cases so low compared to so much of Europe (even Germany’s is a lot higher)?

    Australia has a population of 27 million people. With two large cities. A lot of international travel and business. They are also in their Autumn season (a bit worse for viruses). We’re in our spring season. And so on.

    What has Australia done right that so much of rest of Europe and USA done wrong or not nearly so right. Looks like Australians will be seriously able to open up their economy again.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink


      In particular this question is for you (this is not a trick question – i don’t know the answer).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Population density is far lower and not as connected to the rest of the world as people think.

        • Monty
          Posted May 9, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Vitamin D. The aussies have been drenched in sunshine during their summer, so their vitamin D is bound to be much higher than ours.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Let’s compare the number of people going back into Australia after half-term February holidays from the first EU nations to peak with cases such as Northern Italy, Madrid, Tenerife, peak areas of France and other Winter holiday destinations close by ground zero to Scotland, N Ireland, England and Wales.

  59. Rien Huizer
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The Bundesverfassungsgericht (the Federal Constitutional Court) interprets the German constitution (drafted with considerable Allied input) and under German law, treaties can be in conflict with the constitution, in which case the constitution prevails. Given that treaties (incl the ECB membership treaty) are vetted extensively before they are entered into, conflicts with active treaties are very rare but not completely absent and in those cases there is room for a case that the Court would consider.

    This specific case is not as sensational as it is made out to be. There is a loose coalition of German private groups who have been trying to interfere with the ECB’s QE policy. The actual decision appears to have no practical effect, since it applies only to what the Bundesbank and the German Federal Treasury do.

    Bu, contrary to what the (non German) press seem to suggest, there is nothing novel in the German Supreme Court deviating from ECJ doctrine. In Germany, the Consitution does not allow the Government to conclude treaties that would subordinate the national Supreme Court to a foreign authority. Every treaty partner of Germany knows this is the case and it has been this way since 1946.

  60. John Hatfield
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It would appear that Germany no longer needs the EU. Perhaps, like Britain, it should quit.

  61. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    The ECJ just clarified its position in a press releas today.
    Here is the English version:

  62. Tabulazero
    Posted May 9, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Why do you even bother.

    You left the EU. The way it evolve should be none of your concern. It is not as if you could influence it anyhow after Brexit.

  • About John Redwood

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

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