The EU response to the pandemic

Despite the protestations of pro EU contributors that I should not be  writing about the EU  now we have left, I  note that my recent post on the German Court and the Euro got a much bigger response than many other items I write about. I remain interested in our neighbours and wish them well. Today I need to consider the scale and nature of their possible response to the economic damage of the pandemic on the continent.

The Franco-German deal to propose raising Euro 500bn on the strength of the EU’s total  budget and to pass it on to member states to help with Covid 19 recovery has now been transposed into a Commission proposal. They recommend  Euro 750 bn, two thirds for grants and one third for loans to member states to help them recover. As in the original idea the EU as a whole will borrow the money against the security of its budget. It will fall due for repayment sometime between 2028 and 2058.

In a new twist the Commission states that it will need to raise the overall level of EU taxation on  member states and their citizens from 1.2% of GNI (total national incomes) to 2%, a tax hike of 66.6%. The tax rises will take the form of new emissions taxes, carbon border taxes, digital taxes and the like, to be determined in the future. Each of these taxes will need negotiation and legislation.  The disbursement of the Euro 750 bn will take place over an unspecified period within the next seven year budget cycle.

The EU seven year budget from next year will of course have to deal with the loss of 15% of its income with the departure of the UK, and a further drop from the decline in the EU economy being experienced this year. If we put this at a  modest 5% decline only, that means they are short of one fifth of the budget next year. The proposed rise in  tax would therefore only deliver a 33% increase in revenues in the first year, even if all the new taxes were in place as early as that.

The document is silent over how the Euro 750 bn will be divided between countries. The largest heading for spending will be a Recovery and resilience facility, with rules to be designed. There are smaller sums to promote the existing budget agenda of support and subsidy for the green deal and for digitalisation.

This package will need unanimous support as it is a matter relating to the 7 year budget settlement. Each country will be able to pick away at the tax proposals to finance it, and at the distributional issues which are unclear over payments. If it is to be a first essay in solidarity, bringing German and Dutch taxpayers to assist Italian and Spanish businesses and people, it will need to find ways to route more money proportionately to these latter countries under the various headings of the funds and programmes.

This does not look like a major gamechanger. Though a large headline sum of money, it will be spread out over the years ahead. The tax rises may be damaging, and imply a more inward looking and protectionist EU as they find ways to tax foreign digital success stories and overseas produced goods on grounds of their carbon content. It is good the U.K. should be free of the anti business and anti trade taxes about to be planned.

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  1. formula57
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The amount proposed and the timescale for spending show the response is muted, the more so since it seems unsupported by fiscal measures.

    More amusingly, I note Dr Merkel supposes the spending will be covered by budget adjustments in due course rather than just by the Commission taking on debt.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Yep – the timescale struck me as odd. It’s almost as if the EU is chasing headlines rather than seeking to be effective. If I were German I would be incensed, first, that the scheme is going ahead and, second, that so much of it is in grant-form.

      • Hope
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        We read in the papers today bottler Johnson has made another U-turn and changed the deadline from end of June to the end of September! JR, please confirm your Govt has, once again, dropped the deadline, blinked which the EU will rightly assume will budge again in September?

        Disgraceful. Do or die, die in a ditch, tell them to go whistle etc. Johnson has shown himself to be all hot air and capitulation.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          I think and only think that the June date still applies. If an agreement for an FTA is made before the end of June then they have until the end of November to sort out the details.
          If no committment to an FTA is made before the end of June then WTO rules it is.
          As I see it.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:16 am | Permalink

            That is what I understand but Johnson seemed to change that to ‘end September or WTO’ – he is all over the place. If he can’t stick to end June, why will anybody believe he will stick to end September – or end December?
            He apparently ‘believes’ he will get an agreement!
            The inability to learn is a sure sign of mental deficiency. Just because somebody has ability or even brilliance in one sector does not mean competence across the board!

      Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Dr Merkel? She is trying to give confidence to her electorate and country she is on the ball. She cannot have a clue what she may have to do in a kaleidoscope of economic data hitting her daily as economic national engines splutter into life sporadically with back firings and sudden starts and stops.
      She has been foolish like so many national leaders in swallowing whole , every conceivable box of medicines in advance of real illness. They have poisoned her country irrespective of Virus. The effects of the medicine, some would call it economic vaccine, may take many years to bring the patient back to semi-life. Many deaths, too many, and ruined lives. beyond repair. All self -inflicted.

      • Hope
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        I seem to recall Martin Howe QC and other leavers thought the illegal divorce bill, aka ransom, would be more in the region of £100 billion than the £39 billion quoted by Treasury to soothe the anger of those UK taxpayers who would have to pick up Mayhab’s donation. Therefore the 15% percent JR claims is not strictly correct as the U.K. Will keep paying in. It is not all about the yearly contributions but the add ons secretly paid to the EU to prevent public outrage.

        Come on JR, tell us the full amount the UK pays to all EU budgets? Let us not have the dishonest KitKat policy under Mayhab to hide true costs and ties to EU, a full clear transparent costing. Plus handing over control of our military!

        • steve
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


          “Plus handing over control of our military!”

          I seem to recall that is no longer going to happen, thank heavens.

          • Hope
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            Not according to some experts, military and academics, who interpret the documents differently. You might also recall this was when the dishonest KitKat tape was uncovered civil servants in charge of military aspect of the agreement stating to hide true ties and costs to EU.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        ‘Dr’ is all about ‘the science’ – imperative to be beyond question For there are no answers!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      More amusingly still, formula57, I see that Spain – over whose tragic toll of coronavirus deaths some commenters here were gloating a few weeks ago – has now reduced that rate to just four deaths on Saturday.

      Their brilliant, heroic, exemplary actions to defeat this scourge are what should be filling out headlines, not froth about Cummings’ silliness.

      They must be mad, however, to accept holidaymakers from the infection-riddled UK without quarantine, but that is for them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        But they have just indicated their sound reason.

        Spain, along with Greece and Cyprus, will not accept visitors from the UK until the coronavirus situation here improves markedly.

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          Martin, So what? – this isn’t a pissing contest.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          will China let YOU in Martin?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:20 am | Permalink

        They have no reason to exclude anyone now as they have herd immunity. They may as well take the money.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          No, they have suppressed the epidemic, an entirely different, and very fragile, hard-won prize.

          And they have just announced a sensible policy.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            Different timescales to us.
            Same bell curve different dates.

          • hefner
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            Even with the same bell curve shape, the curves representing the infection in different countries can still have different width and height.
            And as you seem to be a specialist in curves, have you noticed that comparisons between countries are now presented with a logarithmic scale on the y-axis. Please tell me why it is so. Thanks.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            I realise bell curves have different shapes.
            But my point stands.
            The shape of this virus is similar for many nations and is similar to virus epidemics eg flu in the past.
            Answer your own question you know you want to.

      • dixie
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        As far as I can tell when someone has referred to the higher tolls in other countries it has been to correct the suggestion, usually from you or other anti-UK bloggers, that the UK and/or USA have the worst problems.

        So please show which blogger on here “gloated” over the high toll in Spain? Who made such comments and provide the permalink please.

        You, Andy and the other euphilics are the only ones who have gloated in such a way;
        “Since it is mainly Leave voters who are dying – the old – it is an indication of the moral stature of those who called for effective measures, not of “panic”.” –

        You are the ones gloating at our misfortunes and mis-steps. Most normal people wish to see our situation improve and our people and friends prosper, whereas you and your kind only wish to see us fail and suffer. I for one have no intention of giving you and yours any such satisfaction.

    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I have been sentenced to house arrest. I’m innocent.
    I was not given any trial and no right to appeal.
    Things need to change.

    • Andy
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      You could go to work for Boris Johnson. Then you could do what you like.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Especially if the Police confirm you were doing nothing that might attract even a small fixed penalty fine.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t advise it. No 10 has shown a poor record on infection control.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Andy, Since when have Ian Blackford, Stephen Kinnock, Jeremy Corbyn, Alistair Campbell and Tahir Ali, worked for Boris Johnson?

        • steve
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Andy idolises Boris Johnson, but just doesn’t realise it yet.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:22 am | Permalink

            Yes it’s the irrationality and authority with which Andy associates.

      • formula57
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        @ Andy – its is not a matter of doing what we like but what we understand is prudent and permissible. A charge of hypocrisy cannot be applied to me for I disclose I am in much the same position as Dominic Cummings.

        The official Regulations governing conduct by the public, designed to be clear and to cope with most common eventualities, nonetheless contain a number of provisos that permit actions otherwise forbidden and have to be interpreted and applied by individuals to their own lives.

        Upon reflection, I now see that just like the police concluded of Mr. Cummings, in the case of my own conduct “there might have been a minor breach of the Regulations” and had the police spoken to me I would have accepted their advice such that “no enforcement action would have been taken” by them against me.

        The distinction of course is that the infotainment industry, baying, spiteful, and gangrenous as it is, knows Mr. Cummings advises Boris Johnson and is keen on getting Brexit done. In my case (thankfully) only Sir John knows the extent of my advice to Boris, provided by proxy as he passes on the substance of my insightful Comments here. (I am not one to criticize, as you know Sir John, but I will say Boris seems a bit slow on the uptake. Just saying.)

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          It may be useful to point out that there is more than one ‘Andy’ on here. If we presume there to be only one, then their posts would appear to be in conflict from time-to-time.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Or Kier Starmer like Steven Kinnock who travelled from south Wales yo London and back to wish his father a happy birthday, or Imperial College like Ferguson who repeatedly met with (and did not keep social distancing while in a quarantine period) the mother of 2 small children!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          It matters little.

          The fatalism created by Johnson’s falsehoods at the start of this – “many families will lose a dear one” and “we will have to live with this virus”, as if there were no choice, and as other countries have admirably shown to be utterly untrue – could alone ensure the failure of any attempt at suppression in this country.

          However, coupled with completely undermining the sense of duty of the public to behave responsibly, as Cummings’ antics have done, together will make any effective response to the epidemic very difficult indeed to sustain.

          So they have their Survivor Immunity policy by default.

          I’m slim, under seventy, and without any serious health issues of which I am aware. I wonder what the average health and age profile of a Tory voter is?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            Your blatant attempts to continually just focus on Boris for selfish political purposes means you fail to look wider at the different results appearing from many other nations.
            Some nations with less than 100 deaths.
            Some with none.
            Others like Sweden who didn’t really lock down yet have comparable results to others who did.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            Martin, Which law did Cummings break – compared to Ian Blackford, Rosie Duffield, Tahir Ali, and Jeremy Corbyn, for example?

          • Fred H
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            So you are a shining example of voters for who?

          • Adrian Ambroz
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            I presume therefore with your logic you hold Winston Churchill responsible for the 70,000 civilian deaths during ’39 to ’45?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Or Keir Starmer as it turns out today.

        • steve
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps there should be gangs of press nosey parkers harassing these individuals outside their homes night and day, and following them everywhere they go.

          The BBC marxists could also see it as opportunity to gnaw on a new bone for several weeks.

          After all, what’s good for the goose etc. Oh wait a moment….lefty remainers don’t like it done back to them.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink


      You are only a prisoner of your mind. Ignore the State and just go about your business as best you can. I have 🙂

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Me too. I’m nearly 75 and have no intention of being confined to barracks. We have vulnerable people who need help and I’m able to oblige.

      • BeebTax
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is certainly now time to get back to work and release the lockdown. People should make their own judgements as to risk. A one size fits all, government decree imposed with threats of fines and criminal records is not acceptable.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        I’ve been out and about and talking. People are hooked on the sedative that is furlough and scared of going back to work (not scared of the disease.)

        They have a glimpse of the stultifying effects of welfare.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          I am going to be honest @anon. I have loved not having to commute to the office, loved not having to interact with my work mates, listen to them whine and assume they know better than me when policies, procedures and decisions do not favour them.

          I have not been as productive as you need close working for collaboration and information and that just is not possible remotely. There are no throw away asides and water cooler moments that often give insights and inspiration. Managing remotely also takes up more time and requires dedicated meetings rather than ad hoc catchups and conversations which are quicker and more immediate.

          So for the sake of my organisation I want to get back to the office. For my personal wellbeing (non Covid related) I am going to miss lockdown.

          In lockdown, with my wife working, I have worked full time, kept two children home schooled, made two home cooked meals per day, kept the house tidy, been a slut in the bedroom and exercised as regularly as permitted plus yoga indoors.

          In short, if lockdown was for nine months and I had a womb I would show it was possible to have it all.

          It must however come to an end for the good of the majority.

        • Al
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          “They have a glimpse of the stultifying effects of welfare.” – Anonymous

          What is really doing the damage is this: try to get a grant or even a loan for a small business and you will be blocked at every turn. Shut that business down and stop working, and the government will promptly pay bills of everyone who was laid off through benefits.

          Isn’t this exactly the wrong type of message to send?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Indeed 80% is to high many are no worse off at all (after travel cost and tax/NI are taken into account). Plus we have had nice weather.

    • BJC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I imagine COVID-19 will have been eradicated by the time the EU27 agree this one, but is it simply a means to an end, anyway? All the EU really need is agreement on the principle, which would then set the precedent and can be applied across the board. What a coup! It would appear the EU’s overall objective remains well on track, even if it is rather like watching a slo-mo car crash.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I have been sentenced to house arrest. I’m innocent.
      I was not given any trial and no right to appeal.
      Things need to change.

      They do need to change. You need to grow up.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    There are two funding issues not addressed: who will the EU budget funding fall on most, and, will the German people and Court allow it?

    My back-of-the-envelop calculation suggests that Germany will have to provide 40-45% of the EU’s annual budget.NET. (I have no idea what proportion of the Recovery fund, but I’d imagine somewhere north of 50% given Mr Macron’s pleasure in getting it this far)

    Lets assume that Germany agrees. we should not presume that they do this out of ‘solidarity’ or altruism, Germany would do this only for its own benefit, what would that be I wonder?

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood:
      Dutch commentators expect the Bundesverfassungsgericht to be happy / relieved by this development. Why? The ECB, as ïndependent institution has no formal accountability to a democratic institution like a EP or (non-existant) EU-government.
      The new proposal has to pass national governments and be ratified by many parliaments.

      • oldwulf
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Hi PvL

        Is the EU therefore destined to stagger between crisis and fudge unless it manages to eliminate national governments ?

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          @oldwulf: In this hybrid setup national governments will not be eliminated (in influence), as it would imply elimination of the European Council.
          Crisis -> fudge -> crisis -> fudge, maybe. Time will tell.

          • oldwulf
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            @PvL. My thought is that, unless national governments are in some way neutered, the fudge – crisis – fudge – crisis, will last forever.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            PvL, If you think we are going to be gulled by the normal power creep cycle of the EU argument again, you are much mistaken.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Meanwhile, your “unaccountable” ECB keeps printing money and buying Italian bonds. And of course your new non-ECB slush fund will be operated by the Commission to bribe its friends and punish its enemies without accountability to your joke “parliament”. Even if that mattered. What’s it like to be controlled by Germany for even less real outlay than they dreamed possible? Walther Funk must be spinning in his grave – with delight.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: the jokers left the parliament around 31st of January.

          • NickC
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            So now it’s a joke parliament full of people who take themselves over seriously?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:33 am | Permalink

            You have not 1 Parliament in the entire EU. A Parliament can propose, enact, amend and repeal laws.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink


          You are really on a roll but with no substantive proof it is ery difficult to take you seriously or even listen

          • NickC
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, You want proof that the ECB is printing money (QE) and buying Italian government debt? Really? You think the EU Commission will give some of its new slush fund (when it comes into existence) to its enemies? Seriously? You don’t agree that Walther Funk somewhat anticipated the EU? What a sheltered life you lead.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: if you want a serious conversation, put up a serious and measured argument, without terms like “joke parliament”, “punish its enemies” and others. Just give the “substantive proof” yourself.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            PvL, Awww, how about: “We finally turned them into a colony, and that was our plan from the first moment“? If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            “. . .Awww, how about: . . . ”
            I can take anything but it just makes you uninteresting to discuss with. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Sorry.

        • hefner
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Lynn, (4:33, 01/06) just an example. If you can read French you could have a look at “Projets et propositions de loi” then click on “consultez la liste chronologique” to get what the French Senat has been doing these last 12 months. That’s the list of texts that have already gone through the first chamber (Assemblee Nationale) and have been passed to the second chamber (Senat).

          I am afraid that if one counter-example can disprove an argument, your argument is already dead and buried.
          Accept that you don’t know a thing on how laws are proposed, discussed and passed in each of the EU27 countries, and you will not look such a fool.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            Hefner, Clanggg!! Lynn was talking about the EU, not about its subject states.

          • hefner
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            It would be good if Lynn could precise what she exactly meant by: “you have not one parliament in the entire EU”.
            She did not say “in the EU” or in Brussels or Strasbourg.
            My simple understanding is that now there are 27 parliaments, therefore my comment.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            What a classic pompous post Hefner.
            I hope you were never a teacher.
            The way you put down everyone is appalling.

          • hefner
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            Pompous, well it might be. But why should I take the kind of comments put by some of you lying down. Do you really want Sir John’s blog to become a nest of ‘benis oui-oui’, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, … ?
            Admit it, you would lose an awful lot of opportunities to put us down, wouldn’t you. It would get rather boring. What do you think?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            I think you come across as sarcastic, pompous and aggressive.
            And keen to try to impress us with your self professed superior intelligence.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The Germs are in a quandary. They have so many IOUs from the bankrupt EU countries that they will do anything to avoid that being crystallised and exposed. Could be that they are damn near bankrupt too…

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        @Lynn Atkinson: Time for a “bad bank” like the Americans did after 2008.
        18-2-2020 GBP/EUR = 1.20
        29-5-2020 GBP/EUR – 1.11

        (and 31-6-2015 GBP/EUR = 1.42)

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Oh look there’s a squirrel! It’s run off with all that ECB QE intended to buy that nice safe club-med debt. You know, the stuff that will be used to pay back the Germans.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            nick c

            there is not difference between the BoE and Federal Reserve or ECB on QE so stop your fake news

          • Edward2
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            There is a difference bill.
            The ECB is not a real central bank.
            It requires member nations in the Eurozone to agree and provide the security for its actions

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:35 am | Permalink

          Yep – we are making you pay. Merc’s are not as cheap in the U.K. as the Germs planned.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson: “you” being the British. In Angola a Mercedes has become even more expensive in local currency.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            still making them with no customers?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            @Fred H:
            “still making them with no customers?”

            Not all currencies are going down and not all customers worldwide are therefor unable to pay for a mercedes.
            Remeber Fred, there IS a world outside Britain (0.9% of world population).

      • bill brown
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink


        So kindly tell us how many and the amounts as you seem to know all about it?

        thank you

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning. And what a lovely morning it is too 🙂

    It is important to note that these are ‘grants’ and ‘loans’. They are not transfers of wealth. That means the money has to be paid back by the poorer nations to the richer ones.

    The EU is moving to a common tax regime. Whilst there will be some resistance, especially in Ireland and Luxembourg, I suspect some ground to be given and the EU will gain new tax raising powers. This is the goal of the current Commission President and would mark a substantial power and money grab.

    The EU does seem to be on the way down. I think we are right to free ourselves from this political and economic basket case and look east to Asia. It is there that the future for this nation lay. An independent UK able to nimbly negotiate its way and open up markets will recover faster than a heavy protectionism EU. My main concern is that Alexander Johnson is doing a TM and trying to muscle in and take over negotiations, with what I fear will be the same result. David Frost, I thought, was doing a very good job. Probably too good a job in some people’s eyes 😉

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      @Mark B
      “ . . .goal of the current Commission President would mark a substantial power and money grab”

      In order to tax Google and Facebook or levy for CO2 at the EU borders, some power grab is required. Fortunately this doesn’t disappear in the Commission Presidents purse. It is still our EU money, used for suitable investments and with a focus to help the countries which suffered most from the pandemic.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Suitable investment, really. The EU is a very wasteful organisation which spend a lot of your money paying itself and promoting itself.
        It’s a busted flush and the citizens are starting to realise.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          It’s interesting your back posting as we are 2 furlongs from home on Brexit. Now we have Cummings advising Boris, your propaganda has been for nought.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          @Ian Wragg: The citizens are starting to realise that the EU overhead is only 6%.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            And rising!

      • Mark B
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Interesting. Why just Google and Facebook, two American companies ? Why not Royal Dutch Shell or Phillips ? 😉

        And please spare me the EU solidarity nonsense. We all saw what you all did to Italy in her hour of need.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          @Mark B: I DID spare you, anticipating your sensitive nature. I did not write about solidarity.
          I DID (earlier) write about well-understood longterm self interest.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:40 am | Permalink

            So long as you understand Italy’s ‘longterm self-interest’ should be fine…

      • Hope
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        PVL, you are a hoot. We saw the unity and compromise when Germany refused PPE to Italy, closed its borders and its highest court deemed EU to go beyond treaty obligations.

        You live in a country where the Govt. ignores its mandate from the public in referenda if it does not get the answer it wants. However, some us belive in democracy and the will of the people. Enjoy your corrupt EU monster that was created to ignore, deceive and deprive the public for its own ends.

        I think there is no need to share your fanatical EU globalist views of a redundant club that is not fit for this century. Germany should be able to exist without its neighbours fearing it invading other European countries without a Supra national club to clip its wings.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:42 am | Permalink

          Germany has invaded its neighbours using the supra-national club as the vehicle.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson

            Your distortion and lack of understanding of European integration is astonishing. Give us some facts and substantive argument and then we will listen, these superficial statements are a waste of time

  5. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Absolutely crucial that the U.K. has no part in the impending EU endgame exposed by this new fraud to tax at all costs. Unwise of Boris to extend talks to September. Why? What has not been agreed after 6 years of talks (including Cameron’s 2 year effort) will not be agreed in yet another few months. British business needs to know a settlement so it can plan! Does Boris really not understand that?

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Lynn, Indeed it is ludicrous for Barnier to whinge about having to negotiate in only a few months. What has he been doing for the last four years?

    • Hope
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      He is a bottler. Facts show again he has bottled it his fixed deadline. When he interferes next week it will be worse. We saw that with the Irish border and his broken word and promises to DUP.

      Another sell out that the EU will continue to expose. You would have thought he learned from the past three years! Clearly not that bright after all.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Hope, You really are a “down” person in hopes clothing! But I fear you are right to doubt both Boris’s bottle and smarts. The problem is that Boris holds the UK’s and the Tory party’s prospects in his less-than-sure hands. Such is our future, because our politicians would not do what they promised when we voted Leave.

      • Andy
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The last time we sent Boris Johnson to negotiate for us he literally gave away Northern Ireland. And he pretended he won! Worse
        many of the Tory Brexit sheep actually believed him.

        That EU must be delighted that Johnson is going back to negotiate again. They are eagerly rubbing their hands wondering just what the giant blonde turnip will surrender next time.

        “Of course you can have Cornwall Mr Barnier. How about I throw in Devon, Scotland and Cumbria too?”

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Now it’s “us” in the UK is it? I thought you said you were going to live with the EU “us” on the continent, so what do you care about the UK?

          This looks like a new Andy – one who cares about “us”. Presumably the old Andy has found another job, or been given his marching orders for incompetence in promoting the EU.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Nick C

            Please, please do not start talking about incompetence , because you are already in the chair

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:43 am | Permalink

        Boris must go.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Not sure. Once we have passed the end-June date for extending the transition the EU may decide to negotiate, or they may not, no harm in trying.

  6. Nigl
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    It seems de rigour for our prime ministers to go to Brussels making bullish noises and then returning like Poodles having crumbled to EU demands.

    It worries that Boris feels the need to go there in July when his chief negotiator has all the cojones needed certainly more than Major, Blair, May etc.

    I am expecting you, IDS etc to maintain his backbone if required.

    We will sniff BS spun as success immediately.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      IF the Johnson does go, I hope he’s studied the script and sticks to it. He only needs to make a good speech (best for all concerned) and come home, something like:

      ‘As a great seafaring nation, we chafe at the ropes binding us to the old world of the EU. We see a great and varied future before us, I have set the destination of Freedom and our Captain Frost, who has my total support and confidence, will take us there, speedily, come-what-may’.

      HURRAH! (is that ok..?

    • Hope
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Nigel, Too late Johnson broke his word and bottled it gain. He has extended the deadline!

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      ” returning like Poodles having crumbled to EU demands” . . . .Like a certain PM and a very large EU bill. “I am NOT paying it” – -and within 2 days – he had.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:49 am | Permalink

        These were ‘Council leaders’, reduced by 47 years of EU subservience, – even our Monarch was a Suzereign and common EU citizen until this year, but we will soon provide a real a British PM with the responsibility to balance his authority.
        Britain is back!

  7. Nigl
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Off topic but current. Please tell me the report saying that PHEs test and trace system could only cope with 5 cases a week is false. If true who employed these people I guess on ludicrous salaries and why aren’t you guys pillorying them and kicking them out the door?

    Strewth I could have done better with a pen, paper and phone.

    Like the Care Home disgrace deaths could be directly attributable to them and their political masters.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes it is false.

  8. Adam
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Difference is the essence of existence.

    EU enthusiasts trying to force member nations to operate on rules that only some want for the sake of uniformity destroys individuality. Having a bank account serves no useful purpose when it is of such mass and out of control, being used and shared by so many others with different needs and values.

    • Andy
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Strange. Because France is very different to Germany. Which is very different to Spain. Which is very different to Denmark. Which is very different to Greece. All of them manage to retain their own laws, their own culture, their own individuality – despite being in the EU. How odd that you think the UK is totally unable to do what literally other EU member state has done.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Andy, You’ll have to to be much more convincing to persuade us that Greece retains self-governance. And you seem to have forgotten Declaration 17 (Lisbon). Again. The states of the USA have more freedom than the subject states of the EU where every state law has to conform to EU law.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Nick C

          as is the case with state aw if they are considered deemed against the constitution by the Supreme Court

      • Adam
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


        EU members share their currency with each other.
        Feel free to share your current account with them if you prefer distant others deciding what to do with your money.
        Having taken back control the UK is free to differ.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        strange – why then have a European Court Of Justice.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          @Fred H: to settle issues that cross borders, often to do with the EU Single Market, but also with the European Treaties. E.g. when the UK disagreed with a particular ECB plan, it took the ECB to court and the ECJ actually ruled in the UK’s favour.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            Hurrah! – was that the plan that wanted only straight bananas to be sold?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        They are now all the same Andy. There is no such country as Portugal etc, as their own governments discovered when they threaten to conclude trade agreements with the U.K. unilaterally, and were told they ‘could not’!
        That is the whole point. ONE CITIZENSHIP, ONE FLAG, ONE CURRENCY. Do you still not ‘get it’?
        Interesting that you said ‘despite the EU’! 😉

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          @Lynn Atkinson: Hyperbole argument. Maybe one day you’ll study the EU in more detail and discover all the diversity.

  9. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Your para 3 needs bringing to the attention of the wider public.
    If I were running the EU right now, and wanted it to survive, I would be seeking to REDUCE the size of the budget, over time, and end all of the transfer-payments. I would mirror NATO’s budgeting principle, of having the member states pay only a modest amount, for administrative overheads and essential common infrastructure. But I don’t run the EU and I look forward to the day it dies, setting free the peoples of Europe.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      @Sea Warrior:
      “EU and I look forward to the day it dies” Why? What is it to you? The large majority of the people in all the EU member states don’t want what you want. And it shoudn’t concern you, the UK has left!!!!
      What is this incomprehensible hate of the EU?

  10. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    As I wrote before, this EC proposal would not have worked for an EU28. However, do not expect the Netherlands to become the next spanner in the works. Änd between a “Nexit”and mutualisation of some debt, the latter is already pointed out as far more favourable for us. In trade terms, where Netherlands is still a major trading partner to the UK (2019, declining since referendum but still ranking third) its exports to the rest of the single market are more than 7 x as large and rising.
    Apart from a limited mutualisation of debt, the other change is within the hybrid EU construct between intergovernmental and supranational. While the eurogroup package was intergovernmental, now the EU’s “own resources” will rise, a small step towards more supranational, with a larger role for the EP. The new taxes at EU level will not be felt much at ground level. Neither Google nor Facebook are about to charge consumers for reading their advertisements.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      The arrogance in this reply sums up totally why we need to get clear. I’m afraid that neither the EU, nor PvL can see the approaching train crash of a group of countries whose prospects are now more gloomy and an EU bureaucracy that refuses to cut its cloth to reflect the fact that times are going to be tougher. When reality strikes, as it must, the Netherlands will see the approaching crash and will want out.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink


        Your forecasts of the EUs demise and Nexit are very interesting.
        I am afraid I can see neither happening?
        However, if you have information to share, please do kindly shsre

        thank you

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          You don’t have any “information” either, Bill. The future is guesswork for us all, including you.

          The EU is in a mess. Again. Whilst it may very well survive (I think it will), no-one can now say it is good for its subject states: first Greece, now Italy. Even if the latest slush fund is enough to placate the more EU-gullible in Italy, which country is next?

          In the end the EU will have no magic money left and will have to generate an artificial “EU patriotism” to get by. Good luck with that.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 2:24 am | Permalink


            Actually national patriotism is on the rise in Europe not EU patriotism, but you probably have not noticed it is also happening in the UK

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, Read what I said. I didn’t say EU patriotism was on the rise, I said that was all the EU has left when it runs out of your money. And you’re a bit late acknowledging British patriotism – did you forget our vote for independence in 2016?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink

          Just be grateful that you personally are no longer at risk of EU bale-in! Google that little gem and weep for the people of Cyprus!

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson: I assume you mean “bail-in”?
            Not a bad idea in my opinion. It is better to have the owners of a bank pay for its bad results than ordinary tax-paying consumers.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink


            What has this got to do with the previous conversation?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        @Jiminyjim: Even before 2008 I read some prophets of doom in the comments area of this website.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          PvL, I’ve seen many more EU prophets declaring the UK is doomed.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:01 am | Permalink

            2016 yes you are right there were many different votes of independence but it was not British it was Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English, but you probably missed that one as well.
            NickC you really have to wake up or write less

      • steve
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink


        “When reality strikes, as it must, the Netherlands will see the approaching crash and will want out.”

        Personally I wouldn’t want this kind of scenario for the Netherlands, She’s been a good friend to our country.

        However I agree there will be a crash at some point, but my bet would be on Ireland being amongst the first to want out. They won’t like crippling taxation forced on them by the French – led EU.

        Similarly when reality strikes I’d like to hear what Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Assembly has to say. It’d be the cherry on the cake if She’d taken Scotland out of the UK and into the EU as a member state.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          @steve: You have already been educated by other contributors that “French – led EU” is a misconception.

      • Hope
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Jim, it is an old debate that needs no further discussion. Whatever the EU does is a matter for it. Clean break required and let them get on with without any ties whatsoever.

    • steve
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink


      “The new taxes at EU level will not be felt much at ground level”

      Watch the space, Peter.

      In my opinion I think you should campaign to get your country out ASAP.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Get out and give up on our growing export advantages to the rest of the Single Market (in 2019 $395.9 bn)?
        Not a smart move!

        • steve
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Like I said Peter, watch the space.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          PvL, So you think if the Netherlands left the EU empire you would lose all your exports to the EU? Well, you said it, not me.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @NickC: It is different. Outside the EU the Netherlands would be exporting to it on WTO terms and we’d lose out to competitors still inside the Single Market.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink


      The EU does not have its own resources. It only has what contributors like the Netherlands give.

      And as for your country not expected to put a spanner in the works, it already has by not bailing out The Club Med countries.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: You’re not very well informed concerning the EU, Mark.
        It already had its own resources, which were not to exceed 1.26% of the EU’s GNI. The proposal now is to raise this ceiling with new EU taxes.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Simply because the EU calls it “own resources” doesn’t actually make it the EU’s own resources.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            @NickC: All the EU countries also call it the EU “own resources”. It is specified in European legislation and in the EU treaty.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Taxes at EU level will be a Trojan Horse for the better-off Member States. As soon as they hand to Brussels the means to raise taxes directly, they will be on the slippery slope towards total control from Brussels.

      By taxing Dot Com businesses, greenhouse gas emissions and all the other things they come up with, including a Financial transaction tax, Brussels, egged on by the zealots like Verhofstadt in the European Parliament, will have almost unlimited sums with which to bribe the smaller member states to increase power and influence at the centre, at the expense of the larger member states.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        @ChrisS: The so-called “zealots” like Guy Verhofstadt would have wanted much more from Mrs Von der Leyen and have said that in an earlier parliament debate with her.
        One of the reasons that the EC prosal was so late (27 May i.s.o. 10 May) is the careful balancing between all the stakeholders by the Von der Leyen (european Commission) and Charles Michel (European Council)

        • ChrisS
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure you are right on this, Peter, but, the point is that giving Brussels the power to raise taxes direct rather that from the member states opens up a whole new revenue stream that the Eurofanatics will exploit and use to further their federalist ideals.

          Every extra Euro raised will make the EU less competitive in the world. At least when the money comes from the member states, national politicians are accountable to their taxpayers for what they have agreed.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

            The success of the EU thus far has been that they compelled ‘National governments’ to send the brown envelopes. No tax has the EU name on it. If the EU taxes directly, that is a critical error and evidence of their losing the plot, not of ‘progress’.
            BTW – Funny that Socialists in general call regression ‘progress’.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            “Every extra Euro raised will make the EU less competitive in the world”.
            The Dutch government wouldn’t agree. Good investments sometimes need government support to produce profitable businesses. From Big Pharma to Elon Musk to the Internet itself, it all started with government support.

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      PvL, I thought you insisted the EU was just a group of independent countries cooperating in a limited way, rather than a single state with a fiscal union where the Netherlands is forced to subsidise Italy (for example)?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: The term I always use is “hybrid construct”,
        * partly intergovernmental (e.g. the European Council, made up of the heads of government)
        * partly supranational (e.g. the European Commission and the European Parliament)

        The EU is not a single state (like e.g. the US), there is as yet no fiscal union and no minister of finance. The EU evolves very slowly and likely will always stay a hybrid construction.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          Nothing can remain in that ‘Hybrid’ limbo for long. It will fall apart or unite totally and then break up violently. It’s your choice.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson: So how do you know?
            There are no other exampes of hybride constructions. The EU has operated as a hybrid for quite a few decades now, woudn’t you agree?

          • bill brown
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink


            why don’t you read some history was this what happen to the British Empire or the Vikings?

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          PvL, The EU is rather less “hybrid” than you like to pretend. Especially when the Netherlands is forced to subsidise Italy.

  11. James Bertram
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Of immediate concern is just how much of that bill will be paid through emptying the pockets of the UK taxpayer whilst remaining in transition, before we leave fully.
    An interesting article yesterday on BrexitFacts4EU suggests that if we extend the transition period beyond this year end, for 2 years more, then there will be a minimum £120 Billion liability paid by us to cover our contribution to:
    The EU Commission’s proposed new budgets
    Three safety nets of €540 billion in loans, already agreed by EU Parliament and Council
    New recovery instrument, called Next Generation EU – worth €750 billion
    Revamped EU budget of €157 billion per year for seven years
    TOTAL : €2.4 trillion (approx £2.2 TRILLION GBP) over the next seven years

    • Brigham
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Of course Boris doesn’t know that.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Buckle up and pay. You KNOW that is what our government will do.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        We are ALL subjects of HM and the government is HM government therefore the Establishment will make their final decision regardless 0f the people. The Establishment rule and Alexander will do as he is told.
        Long live the Republic – one day maybe, but sooner rather than later.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          ‘the Republic’ disposes of HM not of the Govt which you cast as the people’s enemy. We can now assert ourselves and return a Government that is the people’s instrument – as is the traditional dispensation.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I suspect that what will matter more to recovery will be the response of the millions of businesses to the enforced lockdowns and the rules of social interaction that will be deemed necessary. As in the UK, many EU businesses will be taking a hard look at their business models and how they will adapt to the post covid world. The answer, as we have already seen (the car industry being a prominent example), will involve factory closures, new ways of working and lower employment. Businesses that in the past relied on densely packed groups of customers (bars, restaurants, theatres, stadia) to support their income streams face especially acute problems. Capacity utilisation will drop significantly under current social distancing rules. Many will close, with a loss of the jobs they support. While the scientists agonise over relaxation, the rest of us should agonise over how to avoid the huge drop in living standards we face consequent upon the restrictions they have proposed and imposed.

    • steve
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink


      “the rest of us should agonise over how to avoid the huge drop in living standards we face consequent upon the restrictions they have proposed and imposed.”

      That is a very wise conclusion.

      I rather suspect we’d do ourselves a favour by going back to the old ways – mend and make do, proper community spirit, and quite importantly – the more people grow their own veg the better.

      If you’ve got no money, but have your own spuds, toms etc – you don’t starve.

      Similarly if people knew how to repair things there would be less personal debt.

      Sounds old fashioned, but there was a lot to be said in favour of the Green Shield Stamp days. People had a sense of value and life seemed more honest than today.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We can’t escape having some interest in the EU given our love hate relationship of late.

    I suspect they are keeping one remedy in reserve for when they fail to even come close to raising enough taxes to pay for their desires. No doubt it will be a hard task to get agreement on tax rises, but when this fails the EU will then insist either all national taxation be controlled at an EU level, or / and the regularly proposed transaction task be implemented, providing the EU with their own income…. bring forward the day when national EU parliaments can be disposed of.
    I sincerely hope the UK does not follow in the EU’s footsteps in any shape or form.

  14. Will Jones
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it self defeating to use green sin taxes to raise revenue as the aim of such taxes is to reduce reliance on the taxed objects and reduce their use and hence the revenue from them? Government ends up with contradictory aims, trying to raise revenue out of something and reduce its use.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      @Will Jones:
      You could argue the same for the Congestion Charge in London, charging congestion, in the hope that it will diminish. It still serves a purpose.

    • formula57
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      @ Will Jones – Perhaps, but it has worked with tobacco for years.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Well, with respect to the carbon tax I think the Commission’s thinking is pretty clear. Their objective is to reduce emissions, not to raise revenues on an enduring basis. The response to these taxes will be for investors and industry to pursue lower-carbon projects to displace today’s high-carbon assets. This is going to be a process that takes several years, so over the course of the coming 7-year budget the tax take for the Commission will be useful. But don’t confuse this with a long-term revenue-raising model for the Commission.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        You say this but previously introduced green taxes, subsidies and tax breaks have been permanent.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    A BBC presenter a week back said:- “a bit of good news – C02 emisions have fallen by the largest amount since records began”.

    But is this remotely good news? C02 has very, very many positive effects. It greens the planet (helping trees, seaweeds and plants grow, thus producing the Oxygen we all breath), it helps to keep people warm, it indirecty feeds animals, fish and insects, it enables us to travel, keeps us comfortable, entertained and alive. It also increases crop yields and food production and increases standards of living and saves very many lives.

    Why are BBC presenters taking such a one sided (and largely wrong) view on CO2? If Emily Maitlis ‘overstepped the mark’, with her juvenile diatribe against Cummings then this one sided C02 propaganda should surely be against impartiality rules too?

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It is a testament to British diversity of opinion that even in the country of Sir David Attenborough, opinions like yours still survive. 🙂

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        ‘The country if David Attenborough … ‘ 😂😂 –

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        PvL, So what positive benefit of CO2 that Lifelogic mentions is merely his opinion and not a scientific fact?

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: But of course NickC! Very beneficial! It reminds me of the Dutch climat sceptics who suggested that we should all dring more cocal-cola to save the planet! 🙂 Full of CO2!

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

            Try tulips on Cola then, because without CO2 they can’t live.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson:
            I tried and they died! 🙂

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            PvL, Now that we’ve taken our eyes off your Dutch coca-cola drinking squirrel, what positive benefits of CO2 – that Lifelogic mentions – are merely his opinion and not scientific facts?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Well I read physics, maths & later electric engineering. Attenborough is a geology/zoology chap – a good broadcaster with a pleasant voice for voice overs.

        Anyone who thinks you can predict the climate a accurately for 100 years using computer modelling when you do not even know most of the input variables is clearly deluded. This regardless of the power or cost of the computers. One could not even if you did know them!

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          @Lifelogic: As I said – diversity of opinion – and you have as much right to yours as I have to mine. I just notice that the global consensus points to greenhouse gases as a real culprit. Hence the Paris agreement some years ago.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            Fine but they are wrong – suffering from group think and they know what governments want and how to get jobs and grants.

            There is a great deal of evidence that a bit warmer and a bit more C02 is a net benefit.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Impartiality no longer counts as the BBC now regards Climate Change as as big a Holy Cow as the NHS.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately Lifelogic it is the policy of the BBC to believe totally in the CC religion and to expose/warp any information that they can use to blame on humanity

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

        But does anybody ‘believe in the BBC?’

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you could point us to just one scientific study concluding that the world is running low on CO2 to justify your concerns over this reduction in output.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        There is no doubt whatsoever that extra CO2 helps plants, crops and trees grow more efficiently (on average). That is why it is often pumped into greenhouses.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Optimal levels of CO2 for most plant growth is about 2.5 x the current level. They evolved with higher CO2 levels.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons, We are fairly low on CO2 at c0.04% at the moment. Probably around 0.02% would see most life extinct on Earth. Of course Mars and Venus go to the other extreme at over 95%. However the issue was that 0.04% of CO2 was beneficial, and a reduction was not a matter of congratulations. Not that a slight reduction on 0.04% constitutes “running low” – that is your invention.

  16. Tabulazero
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Changing the subject, are we ? Nevermind.

    Had the UK been still part of the EU, it would have surely vetoed any plan. Brexit is paying dividends…. but for the EU which did not have to contend with the traditional British obstructionism for a change.

    The EU proposal you criticize so much has a major difference and a significant advantage over its British counterpart: it exists.

    Do not be jealous. I am sure Boris Johnson will bother to come up with something once he stops wasting time on the Dominic Cummings affair.

    Reply The UK has already produced a much larger stimulus as a percentage of GDP

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      A stimulus for a country of 70 million citizens, not one for a market of over 500 million.

      And considering the disastrous response to the pandemic from the Boris administration and the ongoing daily muddle and confusions I would be surprised if the same weren’t to happen to any financial stimulus.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, In the midst of the crisis the European countries bypassed the EU because it was so sclerotic. Initially there was no EU response beyond wailing about keeping borders open – the reverse of a sensible policy, and ignored by the likes of Italy, Germany, etc. And as you keep being told the EU – sans UK – is about 445m, not “over 500m”.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

        Margaret calculate a market in financial terms, not heads present. The U.K. is a £90 billion pa BIGGER market for the EU than the EU is for the U.K.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Our PM wants to move on as you want, but the MSM only sees the ‘Cummings Affair’ as worthy of questioning.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Strange that the MSM are mainly concerned with a harmless and legal drive to Durham by Cummings for the sake of his family. Especially when we have a UK death rate (per positive case) that is about five times that of Germany. Surely they should be more concerned with what German hospitals are doing as it seems to be saving about 4/5ths of these deaths.

        Can the NHS please find out and copy them please?

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Please do not forget that all the national stimulus in the EU already totalled 2 trillion euros in the first two months alone.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        PvL, How could we forget “all the national stimulus”? It is wondrous to behold! Or all the national retention of medical equipment? When the proverbial hit the fan, nations looked after themselves, leaving the EU go hang and playing catch-up.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink


          Keep up with the news, EU countries shared and cared for each other.

          Did we help any of the less fortunate countries?

          Silly question.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

            Every country is ‘less fortunate’ than the U.K. – so yes – Boris sent £775 million to the EU For example.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H said: “EU countries shared and cared for each other”.

            There, there, you go and have a nice lie-down. Then, when you get up, you can research the news in February and March which showed EU subject states refusing to share. Or care.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: If you want to look at it this way, you need to add to the EU’s recovery effort all the fiscal stimulus already pledged by the member states for job retention schemes and SME grants.

      For Germany alone, you have to add EUR346bn.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Germany’s fiscal stimulus is to help . . . . . . Germany.

    • formula57
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Oh dear Tabulazero! Virus stimulus packages do not seem to be your forte.

      As I asked you when you commented on the diary @ (quotes from your Comment there @ 5.46 a.m.) : –

      So whilst you acknowledge ” …corona virus knows no borders. Neither should its response” you nonetheless want only “…a response across the Continent” not the world!

      What could account for your warped, illogical view that denies your own reasoning?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        am I really going to get into a conversation with someone who thought it would be a good idea to throw up trade barriers between the UK and its biggest export market ?

        Probably not.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          Only if you go and talk to some people in Europe.

          The UK wants a world of free trade with minimum barriers to trade.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Aww diddums . . . if you can’t cope with a “conversation” with a Leave on here you don’t have to stick around, you know.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Many of us like to hear SJR on many topics esp Brussels EU given it is at a pivotal moment in its history since WW2 as it’s leader acknowledged this week. And after all this is Sir John’s space and he deserves more respect and credit than you think.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood’s lifework has managed to make the UK irrelevant in Europe at a time when the European Union is undergoing a period of fundamental change. The boys and girls at the Quai d’Orsay would like to say thanks.

        Reply The UK is very important in Europe as a soon to be independent country with its own voice and veto. We do not want to be a rule taker in the EU

        • Tabulazero
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          You had a veto in the EU. You do not anymore. Your ability to influence European policy ranks behind that of Malta.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Well, the boys and girls at the Quai d’Orsay (and the Berlaymont) could say thanks – nothing is stopping them – but they seem to prefer spitting feathers.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          After Scotland and Ireland have left a rump England will be about as important on the world stage as Liechtenstein or Andorra.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            Oh no not the rump England cliche again.
            Dont you ever give up with your fake news?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

        +1 he deserves more respect than many can comprehend. Never wavered, never a step backwards.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      The UK economic support response to Covid has been the best in the EU. No question about it. Yet you seem to know nothing about it – public sector worker ?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Enjoy your lockdown then. Ours is already over.

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          Your lockdown is over?? Really? Is that guaranteed? By you?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Really? The French scheme pays up to 6,927 Euros (pre-tax) per month, and those on minimum wage receive 100%. The German scheme pays up to 6,700 (post tax) per month. Both countries have also allowed companies to move workers to part time working (unlike the UK scheme) from their start, thus allowing everyone to keep working rather than, as has happened in the UK at some places I know of, a percentage of the workers get furloughed and the rest carry on as before.

        In France or Germany, you can keep a team of 10 all working at 50% of their previuos hours. In the UK you have to pick 5 to furlough.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: Rather a bold claim! Many questions about it!
        Your source?

        According to the BBC (8 May) The UK had spent 5% of its GDP, which was lower than the following EU countries:
        (in increasing prder of generosity)
        France, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Malta.

        (e.g. Germany spent more than 10%, Malta more than 20% of their respective GDPs

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, The EU proposal you idolise so much has a major difference and a significant disadvantage over its British counterpart: it doesn’t exist.

  17. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    This is a minuscule amount divided by 27 nations.
    If Boris should agree to an extension then we would be liable for a large proportion of the debt as well as implementing the regressive tax measures.
    It looks like Germany will get the biggest bailout although they don’t really need it.
    I don’t think it will fly.

  18. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    This is one of John’s more confused articles, but I doubt that this is accidental.

    The European Union’s institutions cannot borrow, so this can be no more than a voluntary agreement, by its nations, to borrow on their own respective accounts, in furtherance of an equally voluntary plan of action.

    Indeed, when John writes “the EU” we generally don’t know whether he means other nations which simply happen to be its members, or the Commission, or any other related aspect.

    He then further elides from discussion of GNIs to the European Union’s budget, which is tiny by comparison.

    The fact is, that the UK’s contribution is a small fraction of one percent of the sum of those GNIs.

    Its absence will be unhelpful, but hardly fatal.

    Reply Do try to understand the EU which you support. This will be the issue of Bonds backed by the EU budget which in turn levies taxes on all member states. Why do you have to lie or try to suppress discussion of the EU ? The UK whilst a member or in Transition contributes 15% of EU GNI contributions.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I should perhaps clarify that the European Union’s Commission can borrow on behalf of the its nations as a whole.

      This enables advantageous interest rates for them all, which might otherwise not be achievable in some cases.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        You are wrong yet again Martin. The EU is not borrowing “on behalf” of the member states, if they were the debt would appear in the balance sheets of the individual states – it won’t – the EU were crowing about this particular bit of magic only a few days ago. States will not recognise it as debt and there will be no direct repayment by them, only their regular membership fees to the EU. What the credit reference agencies make of this will be interesting to see.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      John, that was an error on my part, not a lie.

      The last time that I checked the European Union’s website on the point it appeared pretty clear that for all intents and purposes its institutions did not borrow and indeed that they could not. I understood the recent announcements on that basis.

      Now it says that the Commission is authorised by Treaty to do this, provided that it is on behalf of the whole.

      I am an ordinary member of the public. Unlike you I am not paid to inform myself, but I do what I reasonably can.

      Reply You rush to allege I lied when I go to considerable lengths to check my pieces by reference to official websites and actual texts put out by the EU. I resent your implication in several of your responses that either I do not do this or that I deliberately misrepresent things.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Where did I accuse anyone, you, that is, of lying?

        I found your piece confused, because my interpretation was on the basis of my own erroneous understanding of a fact, to which I have raised my hand and that I have attempted to rectify.

        But my concluding point remains. The UK contribution is just a small fraction of one percent of the European Union’s GDP, and although its absence will require adjustments – exacerbated by the costs of the epidemic – I don’t think that these will be by any means catastrophic, as some people writing here appear to hope.

        It is absolutely in the interests of this nation, nay, the globe, that the European Union should continue to prosper.

        Yes, a tax rise from 1.2% to 2% is rise of 66%.

        The ratio, of 64,000 deaths in 67, 000,000, to five thousand in 1.4 billion is about 30,000%, incidentally.

        In terms of deaths-per-capita, that is how much worse the UK response to the epidemic has been than the Chinese, reportedly.

        It is possible to use figures in this way, yes.

        Reply you accused me of a lie about the EU borrowing money, a crucial issue at the heart of the constitutional struggles on the continent.. Try reading the Karlsruhe judgement

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Because you are (as you now admit) confused, it is a logical fallacy to ascribe your confusion to a confused article. You have fallen into the trap of believing Remain propaganda which has it that Leave voters are thick. That makes your contributions here sloppy, imaginary, and arrogant. You make no worthwhile contribution. You have never even explained in all this time why you think we should be governed by your EU empire.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Owned @marty despite your subsequent strawmen.

          Amusing, thanks

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            Make the most of it!

      • acorn
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the UK is no longer a member of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and we are not part of the ECB’s Eurozone PSPP or PEPP bailouts (that are not bailouts; the TFEU forbids bailouts).

        The UK Treasury is currently injecting about 7% GDP and rising against the EU’s 4%; along with a further 17 – 19% of GDP in loans and tax breaks. All will have to go much higher.

        The ECB is the Euro currency issuer (Treasury) and a Euro Central Bank all-in-one, it will never run out of Euro to bailout anything or anybody that can be bailed out with Euro currency, Just the same as the UK, US and many more can do.

        That is the beauty of being a sovereign currency nation. If the 19 members of the Eurozone got rid of the Euro and went back to using their own currencies; and, it went back to being the EEC and not the EU, Europe would be a lot happier.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Maybe the States of the US should do the same?

          And the nations of the UK?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Your response demonstrates both discomfort on this subject – as this was precisely the sort of thing we were informed during the referendum would not happen, and complete ignorance and confusion as to what the EU are actually doing.

    • steve
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink


      It is pointless you trying to claim the author of today’s article is ‘confused’. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to fiscal matters and he has very high credentials.

      JR’s article is flawless.

    • Giles B
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The ECB is an ‘EU institution’.

      If you look at their website, you’ll see that in April 2020 (before any Covid funding) the ECB had liabilities of EUR474 billion.

  19. GilesB
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The EC are not wasting a crisis.

    This move is designed to a). Increase the EUs so-called ‘own resources’, beyond control by the member states b). Justify new taxes and their collection, embedding the EU into new areas of activity c). Institutionalise the EU as a transfer union (I say EU not eurozone, as it will be increasingly difficult to distinguish the two. A condition of receiving funds may well be a commitment to adopting the Euro).

    Nothing to do with restarting the European economy. It will be disbursed far too late for that..

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      “The EC are not wasting a crisis.” Thus following Churchill’s advise.
      Please realise that these are only small steps in the direction you mention.
      Earlier help came from the ECB and after that from the Eurogroup. By the time of disbursement, the investments will still be sorely needed I think.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        PvL: “By the time of disbursement …”! You need to have a word with Tabulazero who thinks the slush already exists.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Taxes were introduced as a one off by earlier monarchs to fight wars. Now they are unavoidable @pvl

        I am suspicious of small steps by political entities.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          @Narrow Shoulders: Fortunately we have parliaments without which these steps cannot happen.

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

            PvL, But not sovereign parliaments in the EU subject states – they are all subject to EU law – see Declaration 17 (Lisbon).

  20. Peter
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Britain needs to be completely out of any EU financial arrangements for dealing with Covid.

    It will be another bout of dodgy dealing and much internal bickering.

  21. agricola
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    “This package will need unanimous support” would seem to be the key to whether it will happen. There are big gaps of confidence between the EU and many of its component nations. Also between peoples and their national governments. Add to all this the realisation that they have lost their second largest paymaster. Little wonder there is a wish to extend the transition period by a further two years purely for what we might contribute in that time.

    They would do well to dump all their political ambitions and revert to a free trade area only, because they cannot afford the trinkets of a United States of Europe. It is not only a matter of not being able to finance it, there is not the willingness on the part of those countries one could describe as the “haves” to finance the “have nots”. If they fail to agree on how to move forward from Covid 19 and the previously existing disunity, anticipate the EU falling apart. Trade creates income, political ambitions only spend income and too often more than exists.

    Before we start to sound too smug, the same challenges exist within the United Kingdom. However in the current political climate we have UK government unity and the means to push forward all those components necessary to effect a recovery. Until the Scots understand the folly of the SNP we will still have voices off, but numerically they are irrelevant. Boris just needs to keep a clear head and press ahead with our detachment from the EU on schedule. If the EU fail to see the advantages of a free trade deal to them and wish to press ahead with their insistence on various levels of control of our sovereign nation, then on their heads be it. We await their damascene moment or it is WTO rules, end of story and the beginning of a new one.

  22. steve
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your latest article Mr Redwood, very informative.

    Well to me it looks like the French – led EU is going to be in very serious trouble as your analysis suggests. Thank God we’re out of it.

    No doubt France will want the lion’s share but expect someone else to pay for it. The Germans and others will not be amused and rightly so.

    Additionally, your revelation suggests to me that a certain group in Irish politics might find themselves laughing on the other side of their faces. Maybe they’ll come begging for another loan ? Trouble for them is, we haven’t forgotten their disrespectful rhetoric towards us during brexit.

    What goes around comes around eh !

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Actually, Germany will get the lion share of the disbursements from the Recovery fund.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Which is what steve was suggesting.

        • hefner
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Whoah, you must have extra-sensorial eyesight or mind-reading capabilities. Could you point out exactly where steve was ‘suggesting’ that Germany is going to get the lion’s share of the disbursements from the Recovery Fund?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            I have.
            Keep calm Hefner.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            It is reported in the MSM hefner.
            Read it for yourself.

          • hefner
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            So you prove that:
            1/ you had not (i.e., you could not point out where steve was suggesting the German thingy). 2/ your MSM ‘reference’ is your escape route as it is so vague as being nearly useless.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            I dont agree.
            Steve’s third paragraph gives you a big hint hef.
            There are articles in the MSM about Germany and the bail out available for you to look up.
            Consider it a lockdown challenge.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      You seem to have drawn exactly the conclusions that I expected from John’s piece.

      He earlier rebuked me, for implying that he deliberately presented his material in such a way as to cause you to do that, even if there were no real basis for so doing.

      If he doesn’t want to do this, then I think that he should be more careful to be clear, as seems evident from your and from others’ replies.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Martin are you the only one who does not know how easily you are confused? When exposed you whinge ‘that you are just an ordinary member of the public‘, in actual fact you repeatedly demonstrate that you are an authoritarian, etc etc individual, severely disappointed obviously, in your self.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Still defiant in your wrong interpretation I see Martin.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Since you don’t make clear what those “conclusions that [you] expected” are, it is difficult to judge whether you have made a point. You surely don’t expect us to believe you, do you, without evidence? Actually, you complained JR’s article was deliberately “confused” not that it was written to elicit particular conclusions from Leave commenters.

  23. margaret howard
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


    “The EU seven year budget from next year will of course have to deal with the loss of 15% of its income with the departure of the UK,”

    Conveniently forgetting that the EU will not have to pay out our share of the grants and loans which have sustained many of our regions over the last 5 decades.

    I remember what it was like prior of our EU membership. Not a happy prospect.

    Reply We were a substantial net contributor

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      And a substantial net beneficiary.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        how so?

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Fake news, MH. Why you get away with one incidence of this after another remains a complete mystery to me.
        You and MiC would do well to post less and consider what our host says more

      • Edward2
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        So Margaret I give you £100
        You keep £60 and give me £40 back to spend.
        Later I refuse to give you £100
        Have a little think who is better off in the second scenario you or me.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Margaret we are NOT a net beneficiary. Where do you dream up this rubbish?
        As pointed out to you we are a substantial net contributor and the costs to our economy of this rubbish are almost unfathomable!
        If you do remember the U.K. before joining the common market you know we had to drop standards in almost every field and we sacrificed farming and fishing effectively, totally. Quotas to distort our ‘dependence’ on the EU and underhand exports to the world via the EU counted as exports to the EU.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          “If you do remember the U.K. before joining the common market you know we had to drop standards in almost every field and we sacrificed farming and fishing effectively, totally”

          So remind me: Why DID we beg to join them?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Because we thought we might benefit from a Common Market.
            Remember at that time the left were totally against our entry.
            How times have changed.

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, You obviously don’t understand what the word “net” means. The fact of the UK being a substantial net contributor means we cannot have been a “net beneficiary” at the same time.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        There are none so blind as those that will not see.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Do you not know the meaning of the word NET?

    • SM
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      The UK was one of the biggest net contributors to the EU; rather than subsidising UK regions via the Brussels merry-go-round, a UK government can (if it wishes) do the subsidising directly.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      I remember what it was like etc as if the EU pulled us out of that mess. Nothing to do with the massive structural reforms, privatisation and unions made by Mrs Thatcher then?

      I think Sir JR would make a very clear case that the EU being inward looking, so protectionist has failed to match growth in the rest of the world and has held us back.

      Unhappy about the prospect of going back to those days. Glass always half empty is it. You need a positivity pill.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Margaret, it’s a fact that every year from now on, the EU budget will be short by a minimum of £11bn. That was our 2018 NET contribution.

      You refer to EU money spent in the UK “sustaining our regions over the last five decades”. This was approximately £5bn pa but it was money that the Treasury nominally paid over to Brussels in addition to the £11bn. It was therefore our own money but Brussels decided on what it could be spent.

      From now on our own government will rightly decide how this £5bn will be used.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      As JR says, we are a net contributor and we only get back a small amount of what we pay in and are told what to do with it and to erect banners saying it is from the EU.

      However, you may have a germ of a point in possibly wondering if the Tory government will make up for this and send money to the regions for development and investment. Past experience has not been good but Boris’s large majority was formed largely on a northern ‘lent’ vote on the promise that he would. If he doesn’t come through and even tries to blame COVID 19 for not so doing, the Tories will be slaughtered at the next GE as the north takes its votes back and Labour now have a credible leader, but still a poor shadow cabinet which I suspect will be kept in the background.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        It is true that £9 out of £10 ‘Sent to the North East in subsidies’ is originally taken from the North East. And our best people, following (our pension) money to the South East more than balance the extra £1.

        All we need is for the govt to stop interfering! Remember they take the money from people who know how to invest and create wealth and give it to the North East Development Board and worse!

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Margaret H, And Remains talk about Leaves being thick! The UK’s annual bill from the EU was c£20bn (remember the £350m/wk on the side of the bus?) of which we get back about £10bn in rebates – plus the grants you mention. That leaves a net (you understand what the word ‘net’ means?) payment by the UK to the EU of c£10bn. It was not the EU that “sustained many of our regions” but us – UK taxpayers.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      MH. We contributed more than we were given back.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      It was all our own money back minus EU taxes.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Yes Margaret lets yearn for and heap praise on an organisation that demolished Greek people’s lives, gave up to 40% of young people in places like Spain and Portugal, no hope of a job, indeed higher unemployment figures than us for instance, has bought Italy to the verge of bankruptcy keeps food prices artificially high, not forgetting the vast wine and milk lakes and butter mountains, gives us appalling broadband compared with much of the rest of the world etc

      All of course whilst MEPs and officials enjoy unaccountable rewards beyond our reach all paid for by the very people whose lives they have damaged. All led by a politician, non elected of course, who failed in her own country,

      You should get out more. Apart from the Germans and the locked in Dutch I have never heard a good word for it when in Spain, Italy and France. If you

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


        Greece was in such a desperate state that it cheated to get into the EU and has since then always voted for a pro EU government.

        Youth unemployment is 32% of young people, not 40%. The 32% is not however of all young people but 32% of those NOT in education or training. A recent study suggested this is around 13% of all young Spaniards.

        As for Italy I let wiki give you the latest details about the country:

        “Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world’s most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the world’s eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP (third in the Eurozone), sixth-largest national wealth and third-largest central bank gold reserve.”

        The wine and milk lakes disappeared years ago as did the butter mountains.

        As for broadband hopefully our new Brexit government will now be able to give us the world’s BEST broadband – nothing stopping it now.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          What a apologist for the EU you are.
          Give us a similar post for the USSR

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            32% of young people unemployed and you are happy with that?
            I’m amazed at you complacency.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            thank you very much Constable for your very factual response

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, Greece certainly did not “cheat” to get into the EU. There is an argument by Remains that Greece cheated to get into the EZ. But it is a two edged sword of an argument, because it means the EZ must have been incompetent or complicit in allowing Greece in.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink


      You highlight the very reason why we must not extend talks beyond 31st December 2020.

      We certainly do not want to be on the hook for any part of the next EU’s 7 year financial plan, or Money grab from the UK

  24. BOF
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Most of the economic damage, Sir John, has been caused by the totally wrong headed response of locking down their countries, by the politicians!

    As they saw their neighbours setting their houses on fire, they thought they should follow suit. Having lit the fires they now have to fight the fires.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink


      And of course our own house has burned more brightly and is continuing to burn more brightly than most of the others.

      • SM
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        No, Margaret, take a look at what’s happening in Southern and Central African countries if you want a real and terrifying glimpse of lockdown methods and outcomes.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink


          Southern and Central African countries? Is that what we are reduced to doing now – compare ourselves to Africa?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            Are you saying there is a reason we shouldn’t?
            Careful now Margaret.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      The emergency measures brought in by the member nations are all under sovereign control.

      John’s piece is about the European Union.

      For some reason, commenters here often don’t seem to distinguish between member nations acting either singly or together outside of its institutions, and the policies of the Commission.

      I think that John fails to draw a clear enough distinction in his writing on this point, but he seems irritated by any implication that this might be intentional on his part.

      Reply My piece is very clearly about the Eu not about individual member states. There is no lack of clarity. Stop wriggling.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply — you can always hold his ‘work’ back and release nearer midnight, just like you do to most of mine!

        Reply Your short ones usually get prompt treatment Try doing shorter ones or fewer. You like a few others wish to have more on my blog than I do.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          reply to reply…..
          Well Martin’s, often Andy’s, Agricola’s, NickC’s, Newmania’s, etc are nearly always longer than mine.
          I often challenge posts, usually a short reply, do you want the regular nonsense to be left as accepted? We might as well read Facebook then! Other posts might be a direct criticism of Government with facts.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Martin! You can’t think!

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        No one else on here (at least, Leaves) has any problem understanding when JR writes about the EU and when about a particular nation, Martin. Perhaps you need to look in the mirror.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      We have committed economic suicide and have handed ourselves on a platter to those who caused it.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Hindsight is always 20:20 vision. Nothing like this has happened for 100 years so you need to cut the politicians who are floundering some slack. They are acting on advice of the ‘experts’ who also don’t have any experience of it and can only advise based on past knowledge of how viruses spread and mutate. We still don’t know if a second and worse wave of virus will hit us so we must be prepared. When winter comes we may think what has happened so far a very minor affair and if it mutates and hits the young, what then?

  25. Jess
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Sadly the UK is not immune to ridiculous taxation or the effects of the lockdown. The drive towards the uneconomic and impossible elimination of oil fueled transportation will prove to be a disaster and along with other pointless and ill thought out responses to non existent warming of the climate will join the catastrohic lockdown to make life a lot harder for us all. If the much touted track and trace becomes general all we will need is a cashless society to make life much more like 1984 than anyone can imagine.

      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. It is the direct consequence of voting LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE since 1990. Both main parties are now no longer what they once were and now simply abuse for convenience what they once were

      Both rancid, racist Labour and the morally bankrupt Tory party have both embraced large State authoritarianism. Labour through design and Tory through political cowardice and an absence of conviction

      The UK will be an unpleasant place to reside in the decades to come and both parties will be directly responsible

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Jess, Indeed all “green” technologies are either subsidised, failed, or imaginary.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      COVID-19 despite a ‘disastrous UK response’ has killed only 0.06% of the population and 90% of that 0.06% were already dying.

      (Japan and Sweden didn’t have lockdowns and have fared better.)

      • Fred H
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        We are all dying – it is a matter of COVID19 hastening it along for older, unwell people.
        And incidentally the nearing 20,000 Care Home deaths mentioning Covid19, there might have been a high fraction of that, if a nasty winter flu had been released ina similar manner.

    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Merkel’s response is political not humanitarian. PM Johnson’s response is political not humanitarian. Today, all is political and that should send a shiver down all our spines

    • Richard1
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      And what would your suggestions be?

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Dominic, Exactly correct. We are smothered in marxism where the simple acts of working, buying and selling are regarded as an ideology.

  27. bill brown
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Thank you for an interesting and informative analysis of the future EU-Budget

    I ahve the following comments
    1) The burden will be on at least 8 to 10 countries in teh EU and not jut Germany and Netherlands
    2) it is good that 2/3 are grants and not loans
    3) This is a good sign on the mutulisation on Europe which is required
    4) It is expected to lead to more growth also in eastern and southern Europe
    5) With increased economic responsibility and sharing across Europe I cannot see, why this should lead to greater protectionism across the EU.
    6) Which , I also hope it does not so the UK can remain a very important trading partner with it neighbours.

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, The burden will fall on all the EU27 – the increase applies to every subject state. None of the EU’s slush fund *is* either grants or loans, because it doesn’t exist yet. “Europe” isn’t being “mutualised”, the EU is. “More growth … in southern Europe”?? – Italy hasn’t grown at all since 2008. The only thing the EU “shares” is the tax burden; and the EU only exists at all because of protectionism. We do much better trading with the rest of the world than we do with the EU – our trade with the EU continues to shrink in importance.

      Apart from everything you’ve got wrong, Bill, which is everything, you were spot on.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 1:52 am | Permalink


        let us take your so-called factual contribution and look at it
        1) All countries in southern Europe have grown the past five years except for Italy
        2) Yes, everybody will be paying to the Eu but some will be paying more because they can afford and they were the countries I referred to
        3) When countries reach a mature stage of development their trade will grow less,so we will naturally have less growth with the EU than the whole rest of the World.
        4) The protectionism you are talking about exists in every trading block arund the World ASEAN, North America and the new trading block in Africa.

        So, when you get your facts right let us have another conversation, you are making this far too easy

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, You can’t even get your second comment to match your first. You originally claimed that at least 10-12 subject states would pay in, when it is in fact all 27, as you now admit. So why not say it originally? Whether other EU states have grown or not is irrelevant, the crisis at the moment is in Italy. Italian politicians have already stated that the EU slush fund won’t help them. The purpose of the UK joining the EU was to increase our trade with it. That has failed, as even you now accept. And no other trading bloc models itself on the dirigiste protectionism of the EU – probably for good reasons.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:55 am | Permalink


            you are a very funny man, you do not answer the questions and I never said the trade has not increased in the Eu as you will see from the statistics over the past 25 years it has increased significantly.But what I did say is that of course trade will increase more with developing countries that have a higher growth rate
            So read the response before you conclude, please

  28. Richard1
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It is of course a fudge, although it’s the sort of thing the eurozone needs to be doing. €750bn sounds a big number but spread over the whole EU for the period of the next financial settlement its not much. The solvent eurozone members like Germany have been able to announce major stimulus measures already. The insolvent ones like Italy are dependent on permission and /or transfers from the EU. Much more will be needed and it needs to be transfers. That is ‘grants’ spent in the insolvent eurozone states but with the responsibility for repayment of the debt the commission raises falling on the taxpayers of Germany, the Netherlands etc. The position of non-euro states in the EU becomes increasingly anomalous and difficult.

    The angry defensiveness of pro-EU commentators in the U.K. on this issue here and elsewhere is revealing.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


      From where I am sitting there are a number of insolvent or nearly insolvent nations in Europe and the world, Belgium, Italy , UK US, Venezulea and so on

  29. Kevin
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    “The EU seven year budget from next year will of course have to deal with…the departure of the UK” (emphases here and below added)

    What about this year?

    On this subject, I note that Article 136(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement, ratified four months ago after the Conservative Party secured a “stonking” Commons majority, expressly provides as follows:
    “[EU] law concerning the [EU’s] own resources [in other words, it seems, the EU Budget] relating to financial years until 2020 shall continue to apply to the [UK] after 31 December 2020, including where the own resources concerned are to be…corrected or subject to adjustments after that date”.

    Does “until” here mean “up to and including“?

    I mention this because it is my understanding that such corrections or adjustments that are based on revisions to VAT or gross national income (“GNI”) can be substantial.

  30. Fred H
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I urge readers to go back and re-read ‘Has Lockdown worked’. Late additions are well worth considering, which is usually the case. Sir John releases numerous additions late in the evening.

  31. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I am in particular confused where we stand in transition period as far as belonging to EU and not belonging to EU. Is part of the 750 Billion our since we are still paying them money for the pleasure.
    As usual when money is allotted it doesn’t seem to reach the people who it was intended for.For instance my consultations were stopped as face to face yet much of my work is face to face whatever it is classed om . It cannot be done remotely or over a telephone. I need to examine the patient. I had annual leave added to a period of 14 days isolation after catching covi9-19 . As the surgery was still closed I then opted for a month of unpaid salary with furlough subsidy . I was then told that I was not entitled to this as a public employee ,but now am being cut off from all involvement in my permanent contracted job.
    It is my feeling that this happening deliberately get rid of me as staff and bring in private concerns. Up until now I don’t seem to be getting that allotted money.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      P.S , Can I ask you a question . You state that some responses to your blog are longer than others. Do you publish all publishable comments or have you a cut off point?

      Reply Long posts get delayed until I have more time. frequent long postings may result in some being binned without reading. I do not have time tO count words!

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        That is more numerous.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply . I meant the length of your published comments, as in lines, in total. Sorry that was not clearly expressed. I am surprised that you have time to do all these anyway . I would certainly get a headache after 4 contributions.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply – – – but you do not mention that you hold back, often until next day or late evening. It appears a form of censorship – -well you can it is after all your Diary. You should not invite views as you frequently do and then sift those you find too critical – mine never suggest you lie, are not libellous, I do not swear, but I am not going to hold back from pointing out Government failings. I include BBC news which ought to be of interest for the people or the electorate. Loyalty only goes so far until it becomes censorship. Do you agree?

        Reply I do not hold back. I am very busy and often do not get round to the longer contributions until late. Those wanting early postings should send one short pithy contribution early.

  32. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    There is a rumour going round that Dominic Cummings is set to replace a lot of high Civil Servants (mainly pro EU ones) and also that there is a plot to lock us quietly into the new EU 7 year plan.
    Nobody could doubt that this is a very good time to bury bad news!

    I wondered for some time why all the fuss was being made about Dominic Cummings over what, actually, seemed a very common sense thing to do at the time. Stephen Kinnoch, did exactly the same thing and nobody castigated him!

    This rumour does go a long way to answering that question. EU again interfering in British politics – if it is true!

  33. ChrisS
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The Commission’s €750bn proposal is clearly a breach of the EZ rules as it includes an element of mutual debt financing. I wonder whether the German Constitutional Court will rule against German participation? That would the political equivalent of pitching a hand grenade onto the floor of the European Parliament. I suspect that the court will go along with the €750bn as an emergency measure but will take the opportunity to rule that it would be illegal for Germany to be involved with any further debt sharing.

    It must now be absolutely clear to the Eurofanatics in Brussels, that the four smaller net contributor states, Austria, Netherlands, Finland and Denmark, will not back any move towards Macron’s Eurobond scheme, who cynically sees it as a way of perpetuating extravagancies endemic in the French economy at the expense of the taxpayers of other EZ members.

    The “Frugal four” will have to be bullied into backing even the €750bn von der Leyen is now proposing and correctly see this as the start of a slippery slope towards monetary union, with them and Germany paying all the bills. Merkel is only backing it because she’s on her way out and won’t be around to deal with the growing anger of German taxpayers over the huge increases in contributions they will be required to pay following Brexit. A new Bundeskanzler may well take a completely different view and side with the Frugal four.

    We must also remember that the next seven-year budget has not yet been agreed and we could yet see the Commission reigned in and forced to cut the budget in line with the loss of the UK’s 15% contribution. it must be obvious that the EU cannot keep increasing expenditure and taking on more poor new member states that will need financial support while the number of net contributor countries is so small.

  34. Tabulazero
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    It is not Europe’s Hamiltonian moment but it is getting there.

    Like always, what will come out of it will be a result of a compromise, a concept anathema to British political life.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      We are close to the EU’s ‘Gorbachev Moment’!

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Don’t be silly, the UK (ie Theresa May) offered the EU a fantastic compromise (actually a giveaway) which the EU promptly rejected. See Dan Hannan’s article in today’s Telegraph.

  35. henry
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    None of our business now John- on another note what progress have we made regarding new trade deals with countries far away? I ask because I don’t like what I see is happening in Trumps America- so then what else is out there because it seems to me we are going to be completely free to go to WTO rules trade from end of June also I havn’t heard a peep from Liz Truss of late

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Henry, I shall continue to comment on your nasty EU empire for years to come. It’s not for you to say I cannot. I prefer independence (and no trade deals) but better to have one with Trump’s America than with the corrupt EU.

      • henry
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        I can’t agree NickC I think we’ve made a monumental mistake in all of this- we’ve somehow lost sight, got sovereignty mixed up with international trade relations- as if taking back control was supposed to be the answer to everything but now we see it’s just a bit of a figment dressed up. So then next week will tell all- will it be like you say ‘Independence and no trade deal’ or a minimum trade deal with them to keep us going? I don’t see it any other way unless Liz Truss is going to pull a few rabbits

        • NickC
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Henry, No “we” do not see Leave as “a figment dressed up” (??). You may do, but you do not speak for us Leaves. Most countries in the world are not in the EU, and are not about to give up their sovereignty, or their trade policy, to the EU, or to any other similar dirigiste bloc. And bi-lateral trade deals are not necessary in order to trade anyway.

  36. ukretired123
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The CV19 torpedo on top of Brexit has challenged Brussels EU like no other as it has in Britain and can only be solved by everyone in each currency area. If focuses the minds on who pays ultimately and the risks taken by givers and takers as the ultimate currency stress test of who to trust.

    Because the northern countries are risk averse they are being asked to take a leap of faith with eye-watering mega grants and not all loans expect the €500bn to be written off. The only way I believe they would accept it is in return for a Greek like stake in Italy and Spain but those countries would not accept that.

    I believe they are all in a race against time with an impossible task based on their juggernaut one-directional trajectory and dinosaur mentality when smaller more agile and flexible countries like Britain can quickly adapt. That is based on the commercial reality of constant non-stop turbulence in the Private Sector following the digital revolution.

  37. Newmania
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The response to Covid 19 not just by the EU but by every advanced country has put the UK to shame. By fatally delaying quarantine and lock down, the UK government allowed the disease to get a grip which even after endless sacrifice ( by everyone not called Dominic Cummings ) we are still at a level of infection scientists tell us will not justify forcing teachers and children to take risks they will not take themselves.
    As the UK relapses into being Europe’s sick man,once again, we will soon see if their efficient rational approach beats our blundering blustering incompetence . In any case and no-one asks for, or cares about the UK`s opinion ,so why bore us with your sugar coated far right version of it
    If you wish Europe well please ..never never wish me well , I have enough on my plate with a daily bucket of toxic fiction poured into my life .

    • SM
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I would be really interested to know in what particular ways you are being forced to read Sir John’s blog and respond by posting sour comments?

    • Edward2
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      If you look at deaths per million population, Belgium and Spain are above us, Italy and France a little below us.
      Sweden who didn’t lock down very much are 6th, better than all of those nations.

      And USA who generally you hate is in 9th place.
      Perhaps we should copy them.
      Oh well just carry on blaming Boris.
      I realise your politics makes this an automatic reaction.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        How many deaths did Spain record yesterday, Ed?

        Let me tell you – four.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          So that’s good.
          Way different to predictions modelled by well known experts.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            No, in absolute accordance.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Yes in absolute accordance

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Pot, kettle, I think. Which law did Cummings break? And which law did Ian Blackford and Tahir Ali break? The EU’s death toll and death rate exceeds the USA’s. Unfortunately we followed France rather than sticking to the extensive precautions and herd immunity policies pursued by Sweden.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink article 10th April “But none of the laws in force in any part of the UK address the use of cars or vehicles at all and do not forbid members of the public from using their cars to “go for a drive” or travel to a location by car to exercise.”

        It is overblown harassment now! He and his family had been holed up for a fortnight isolated – not even out to the supermarket, mini-market, or off his father’s estate. Why wouldn’t he take his car for a spin after not using it for a fortnight before he heads of back to London when going for his families daily exercise trip.

        The hypocracy of MPs who flew back with flight staff and went on trains with train staff to remote locations the day before just stinks now and the media who think their ‘journalist’ job protects them from all accusations, did they really need to be the reporter if they weren’t based locally?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Prof Neil Fergusson told us 600,000 would die.

      Well 560,000 were saved. 0.06% of the population died and 90% of those were old with life threatening illnesses already. Many of those died after being sent from hospitals to care homes by the NHS.

      There is a very good chance that a British university will find the vaccine – a university of the same open and international make-up that made us such a big target for CV-19 in the first place, BAMEs, global hub etc etc.

      Whether or not we do find it we are at the forefront of solving a problem that was caused by others we can’t mention.

      • MeSET
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Don’t give up on a vaccine. A preventative not a cure. But even if we had the correct formula now, safety means another 18 months a least and even then used sparingly just in case there are complications after a time. We , not me, have had the birth pill try to remember, remember! It took some time to reap that harvest with some terrible side effects for too many.
        Brave to say for one not infected but Brutal Mother Nature eventually balances things out. She will now I think, despite our premature victory parades. We are not as clever as we think we are. I am. And more highly likely. I started to read some months ago. Devastating realisation. I have a memory, so deep…,( it can see Hobbits in New Zealand for one. ) Others not so far .

  38. dixie
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    You may wish our neighbours well but that is clearly not reciprocated by their governing classes and conglomerates. Our governing and financial sectors have all too readily given away our rights, sovereignty, resources and industries to continentals who smile as they accept the “gifts” while sneering and abusing us.

    Time to stop be “treasure island” and start trading for mutual benefit, the EU countries will not accept that so focus on trade with countries that will.

    And we should dial back our military cooperation, as it is the European countries need make good their share of the costs, they have many years to catch up on.

    • ChrisS
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Dixie, the last sentence of your first paragraph would equally apply to Scotland.
      The “us” being English taxpayers, of course.

      How long are we going to have to put up with the ridiculous Barnett formula that costs us in excess of £10bn a year ?

  39. John S
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    No wonder they want a level playing field.

  40. NickC
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    JR, The Euro 500bn/750bn Recovery Fund is there to bypass the German Constitutional court. And indeed to put it in its place. The Fund will be used as a slush fund to reward the obedient and enhance EU Commission power. Nigel Farage was correct that the EU is a mafia-style protection racket.

    The ECB will continue its QE which is being used as a backdoor subsidy to the failing club-med economies. The incipient deflation will be used by the ECB to “prove” to the German court that the QE was, and is, “necessary”. Thus will the Euro be saved, and the freedoms of countries, even as powerful as Germany, be trampled on.

    The EU is a completely artificial political construct. An empire that steals money, power and rights from its subject states in order to pretend generosity but really to acquire power for itself. The EU is adept at that type of corruption. Yet the EU is a mess. Even its adherents have difficulty defending it.

    When Stalin abjectly failed as a political leader, when communism abjectly failed as an ideology, what did Stalin do? He turned to patriotism. Proving Johnson’s dictum that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Hence “the great patriotic war”, of course.

    This is what the EU will try to do. Whilst sneering at real patriotism – which is based on love of a real nation – the EU will try to foment an artificial patriotism to hide the defects in its artificial political construction. Interestingly, the Remains on here are beginning to reveal that EU “patriotism” is their last refuge.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Nick C
      you are using an awful amount of fine words
      -Artificial political construct
      -artificial patriotism
      -EU patriotism
      -freedom to be trampled on
      Even for your artificial way of arguing, you have overdone yourself in total ignorant nonsense with no factual support or evidence.
      Nick, write less and think more in the future

      • NickC
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, The day you actually come up with something as factual and verifiable as “The ECB will continue its QE which is being used as a backdoor subsidy to the failing club-med economies“, will be the day I have to sit down and mop my brow in admiration.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 1:42 am | Permalink


          It is a subsidy across the EU and not only to the southern nations, so not even that so-called factual statement can stand alone, as is the case for QE by the BoE it is not just for Wales and NI but for the whole of the UK

          • NickC
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, ECB QE is being used to buy Italian state debt. That action helps to keep the lid on Italian state interest rates, and keeps Italy from going bankrupt. Therefore ECB QE is a subsidy to Italy.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Not sure how Stalin failed in his own intention. He seems wildly successful on that one. Desperately poor, his USSR with won out tools and no tools really took half of Europe.
      We should beware failers.

  41. BeebTax
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see articles on the EU. We’re not properly out yet (unfortunately), but beyond this year’s negotiations they will still be important to us for trade and other matters.

  42. JavelinHete
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    In the DailyMail today

    Gao Fu who is China’s top epidemiologist and a member of the country’s top political advisory body (basically Chinese Prof Ferguson) made a stunning u-turn on TV after admitting the virus didn’t come from the sea food market.

    “At first, we assumed the seafood market might have the virus, but now the market is more like a victim”, “No viruses were detected in animal samples. They were found only in environmental samples, including sewage”, “the novel coronavirus had existed long before”

    This has some very serious consequences

    1. China DID cover the leak up. They did not tell scientists there were no animal samples.

    2. FactChecking done by the BBC and other social media is complete nonsense. The only way to fact check is not to listen to authoritarian sources but to think for yourself.

    3. Western Governments didn’t think for themselves they just copied what China did.

    Ironically the Behaviural Insights team, otherwise known as the nudge unit, say on their website ( that less informed/educated people are more likely to comply. We see a large number of complex and confusing rules telling us how to behave but absolutely no complex information informing us how viruses work so the public can infer for themselves what is going on.

    • ed2
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      This has some very serious consequences

      1. China DID cover the leak up. They did not tell scientists there were no animal samples.

      why do you believe anything coming out of China?
      Could you not tell the original footage was fake?

    • na
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Western Governments didn’t think for themselves they just copied what China did.

      By design, that was the idea.
      As I said to Hitchens and he agrees, we must support the Hong Kong demonstrators, as it is only because the Chinese have failed to overthrow their communist regime that Western leaders have become embolden to want to follow the Chinese model of centralized control.

      • Lover of Russian Qn
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        “Western Governments didn’t think for themselves they just copied what China did.” (in relation to lockdown?)No, not from what I have gathered and confirmed by Mr Trump days ago. Only Wuhan was subject to total lockdown and the rest of China not at all.
        They have dealt with plagues before and are not as naive and stupid as our Paliamentarians and their Rasputins in the medical profession

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Javelin, Most interesting, thank you.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      So, while your neighbour is damping down the ashes of his garden shed with a hosepipe, you taunt him about the feral kids playing with matches and smoking behind it.

      Meanwhile, your own three-piece suite and staircase are furiously ablaze.

  43. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    As someone who, with a heavy heart, voted to Leave – I do wonder what we have now let ourselves in for.

    I was hoping for a dynamic government to put a boot up the backside of the UK and turn us into a self-reliant, innovative, wealthy, economy with a fair and decent society. That, of course, requires people of vision and capability in charge.

    Then I look at the way the government has handled Covid and I think ‘oh boy, what have we done?’

    • Fred H
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      nothing wrong with that vote – the issues are with who IS AND WAS dealing with the EXIT.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Well Frost and Cummings have done OK. We can change the politicians!

        • dixie
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          but it is a lot harder to change the real culprits – the civil serpents

  44. Caterpillar
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Aside:- whilst on supranational organizations Sir John, do you know whether the D10 suggestion is serious, whether it will be discussed at the G7 and the practicalities of it if India continue to attend BRICS summits, Italy lean towards China and France & Germany fight to keep a united EU?

  45. Everhopeful
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    They want to “Build Back Better” as ordered by UN.
    So does Boris.
    The money is not for “Recovery” as we would understand it from a Conservative(!) govt.
    BBB (yet another hypnotic three worder) means GREEN, it also means more corporatism and other horrors.
    It means more and more nightmare for us!

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Do we wish the EU well? For centuries it has been first English and then UK foreign policy to prevent any one power from dominating continental Europe. Call it divide and rule or moan about Perfidious Albion if you want to, but it’s a fact. What is the EU, which aims to become a Federal SuperState, other than a single power wishing to dominate Europe? Would it not be much better for us if European Union were to fail?

    There are many features that will make European Union difficult:
    – Not all Member States want a European Army
    – What would the command language of a European Army be? Would we have to dub it the Power of Babel?
    – How will it form a common immigration policy when Germany admitted 1.1 million Moslems in a single year and the 4 Visigrad nations, led by Hungary, do not want to admit any Moslems at all?
    – Is the Euro to be a hard currency without fiscal transfers, a hard currency with fiscal transfers, or a soft currency? The 750 bn Euro recovery fund approved by Germany is probably a one off. I doubt if it represents a genuine conversion to fiscal transfers.

    Meanwhile Barnier is being a complete pain the backside. The Political Declaration that accompanied the Withdrawal Agreement was always considered by all to be non-binding. Yet Barnier cherry picks the bits he likes and refers to them as promises made by Britain.

  47. arrogance of power
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Be wary and very afraid, Mr Redwoods! The German Supreme Court only requested an explanation by the ECB within 3 months, so almost anything would have sufficed. It looks like EU institutional behaviour is imbued by the arrogance of power. If they really choose to ignore the court’s decision, it tells you they do not want to get things resolved amicably.
    Likewise the self-induced COVID-crisis (first blase ignorance, then over reaction) is used to bost centralism or simply institutional self-interest.

    How does this affect Brexit? Only 7% of EU exports go to the UK, but some 40% of UK exports to the EU. Plus sowing internal division. Extension is a Pandora’s box and grants the EU legislative powers. I dread the future until I hear by 1st July that an FTA has been agreed in principle or that the UK government affirms no further negotations and prepares for WTO trading with the EU. Even then, expect a continuing onslaught clamouring for an extension and warning of abyss and cliff edge.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      The EU sells £90 billion more to the U.K. than the U.K. sells to the EU. That is why the French vintners and German carmakers are very afraid. EU politicians are never afraid because like Mugabe, they will never suffer that to which they condemn their subjects.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        Not surprising that a community of 500m people would sell more than one of 70m, especially as we don’t produce much any longer having turned our country towards a 20% services / 80% finance industry.

        And just 7 per cent of EU exports go to the UK, whereas 47 per cent of our exports go to the EU.

        And our car industry consists mostly of us putting together cars for foreign owners, mostly German with the result that any reduction in sales will hit us more than it will hit them as they will have access to a huge eastern European labour market.

        • NickC
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, The EU’s population is 445m, not 500m as you claim. The UK’s exports to the EU are not 47% of our total but c41% (ex Rotterdam). The EU’s exports may be a smaller percentage but it is of a much larger cake – so is actually about £92bn more. And money matters more than percentages. The biggest foreign owners of UK car producers are the Japanese, by a long way (about half of UK production), not German. If I can look this stuff up, so could you. And save yourself the embarrassment of being wrong so often.

        • Slavish
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          If we are so dependent on a foreign power then we must certainly stay away from it, the EU. We should not wish to be its slave now would we.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Lynn atkinson

        I am surprised you have even heard and remember Mugabe?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          How can anyone forget a dreadful Marxist dictator who ruined Zimbabwe and crushed his own people.
          Millions descended into real and awful poverty.
          Fiddled elections
          Imprisonment without trial.
          Torture and brutality.
          Billions stolen by outright fraud.
          A modern day Hitler.
          Hated by the people he was supposed to lead.

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Arrogance, You are hiding behind percentages to avoid confronting the actual value of what we sell to the EU, and what they sell to the UK.

      • Ah Gut!
        Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        The EU will need to buy stuff elsewhere by your reckoning. But you also probably agree they cannot buy it cheaper for no doubt you have previously made the argument we selling to the EU whilst in the EU was mutually beneficial.
        So, it is a depression for the EU about to come when it buys abroad.It has started to rule out buying from the USA, now China, always Russia, the best economy in Latin America Brazil. Not many places for the EU for trade. They hate all the world

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Ah Gut!

          “Not many places for the EU for trade. They hate all the world”

          Really? So how did it manage to become the world’s largest, wealthiest trading bloc? Other countries obviously don’t agree with you.

          • BillM
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            The EU is most certainly NOT the worlds largest trading bloc.
            European Union is the most integrated trade block in the world and formed in the year 1951. It has built a single Europe-wide market and also launched Euro as a single currency for regional trading. European Union goods exports to the global market worth USD 5887 billion and imports worth USD 5785 billion during the year 2017.
            APEC IS. APEC also referred to member economies and accounting approximately 60% of the world’s GDP. It is responsible for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in this region. APEC consists of 21 member countries including Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam. APEC exports of goods stood at USD 8021 billion and imports stood at USD 7997 billion during the year 2016. China and United States are the biggest trading countries.

          • ChrisS
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            The EU only became the largest trading block because so many countries came together.
            Over it’s life, the EU’s share of world trade has actually shrunk very significantly, not grown! The share in 1980 was 34%. It is now just 21%.

            We could just as easily form a comprehensive free trade area with the USA on it’s own, and then justifiably claim to be members of the “World’s largest Trading Bloc” at $23.4Tr compared with the EU 27 at just €13.8Tr.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink


            ” The share in 1980 was 34%. It is now just 21%.”

            1980 was before the emergence of India and China as significant words trading nations.

          • Ah Gut!
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            A multitude of people from many countries , countries who may not agree with me,
            using dangerous rubber boats flee the EU every week and even kiss the ground when they reach the UK.
            Don’t you feel it odd that they choose the UK above your “wealthiest trading bloc” the EU? Are you saying they are stupid? Of course not, then what? “Didn’t know what they were voting for?” Heard it!

        • bill brown
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          Ah Gut

          the hate all the world.

          You must tell me where that comes from, it consists of 27 member countries, so I must assume they also hate the whole world. Being Danish I was not aware that we have wh whole world?

  48. mancunius
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    ‘Loans’ – that made me laugh. Money that will not only never be repaid, but never even traced, as it disappears into the mezzogiorno and the Iberian rural communes.

    “The document is silent over how the Euro 750 bn will be divided between countries.”

    Surely along the usual lines: those who can demonstrate the most incompetence in handling their own public finances will be given the lion’s share. It will be like the Monty Python sketch about the Four Yorkshiremen: they’ll be vying with each other to boast that they they’re so poor, they don’t have any coal to keep in’t bath, or even a bath to keep it in.
    While the ‘donors’ in Gelsenkirchen and Chemnitz work their socks off to provide the cash, during their longer, harder working hours and working lives.

  49. Helen Smith
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    As long as we are out they can do what they like. We must not extend the transition even for a day.

  50. na
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I would say the evidence is the Tory leadership are all Fabians.

    Have been working for them, I have no idea about this current batch.

  51. Fred H
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    more smoke and mirrors.

    ‘The UK has exceeded its target to increase coronavirus testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May.’

    So having staff, military and others standing around at test location provides increased ‘capacity’
    While capacity for testing is over 200,000, a little more than 115,000 tests were carried out in the 24 hours up to 09:00 BST on Sunday.
    Ability of Hospital, care home staff and other frontline people to travel and get tested is quite different.
    I hear people are reluctant to get tested fearing they will be hauled off to hospital and never get back.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Fred H – home tests are available, I know two people that self-tested and got speedy results text to them.

  52. glen cullen
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    UK deaths today 113

    Please lift the lockdown in full immediately

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Spanish deaths on Saturday – four.

      They won’t be letting you in for some good time.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Different timescales.

  53. John Hatfield
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “I should not be writing about the EU now we have left,”

    We haven’t left until we stop paying them.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


  54. David Brown
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I also wish the EU well and a leading economy for the future.
    I will always remain proud of the EU flag
    I will always look very carefully for a political party that takes Britain into the EU Customs Union, I genuinely believe young people will rise to this and outnumber the older voters.
    The EU will grow more powerful
    I want the EU to have its own armed forces and if need be split away from NATO and become a world superpower.
    I want the EU to have one Passport for all its citizens
    I want Scotland back in the EU and when this happens its difficult to see how Britain can retain a permanent place on the UN I would want it to be the EU
    To conclude the coming months will be interesting with the current unrest in the US and elections. Coming out of Covid 19 the world economics will be very different

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      David B, So you would give up personal liberty and democracy merely to be an insignificant peasant in an authoritarian superpower EU? You can always go there, you know, and enjoy it personally.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        yo really have to make up your mind an authoritarian superpower or an empire or both?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Could easily be both bill.

  55. MG
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    It seems virtually every country in the world is intent on borrowing vast sums of money. Who is lending it to them, the Martians?

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      What about you reading ‘Naked Money’ and/or ‘Naked Economics’ by Charles Wheelan, books recommended ‘to anyone who wants to gain an understanding of basic economics with little pain and much pleasure’.

  56. hefner
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    A quizz: Who published this morning (31/05) an article starting with “Let me first lay to rest some of the more ridiculous accusations that have been laid at the door of those of us who have called for Dominic Cummings to resign. These include: that this is a Remainer conspiracy to help reverse Brexit, that it is a left wing campaign to destabilise the government, or that it is a coded attack on Boris Johnson.”
    And finishing with: “My view has not changed, MrCummings should resign.”

    Three clues: Conservative MP, Wellingborough, moral issue.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Hefner, you have used a word which some here do not know, let alone understand.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        What quizz ?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        yes MARTIN – -am I first to claim the prize?
        word answer: ridiculous.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Well it could have been me, except that I didn’t publish, I didn’t read this Diary until evening, I had better things to do than go over the same ground day after day after day.
      Get a life.

  57. Contagion
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the film Contagion (as it had the same people who decided this lockdown policy and social distancing as consultants).

    This is classic predictive programming. So what do they WANT us to believe.

    Here is what you can deduce from the boring film….

    The fiction

    1. The virus is worse than your worst nightmare.
    2. The only answer is a vaccine and the people demand it
    3. The virus was man-made and accidentally got out of a lab

    The reality

    1. A normal seasonal coronavirus was turned into the biggest political hoax in human history as the EU and WHO had decided in September everyone was going to be vaccinated no matter what.

  58. Robert Mcdonald
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    The printing presses.

  59. Edwardm
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    O/T. As the press is not interested in interrogating the like of S. Kinnock and I. Blackford (and others) as to what were the exceptional reasons why they made long trips during lockdown, perhaps SK and IB could be questioned in parliament, so we may find out, and then judge why K. Starmer felt it all right to promote SK, yet call for D. Cummings to resign.

    I guess if DC had been a Remainer or Leftie, the press story would be more like “safety concerns force family to flee from London”.
    The selective harassment of DC by the press needs to be called out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed they hate Cummings, this as he helped win the referendum and then destroyed Corbyn/SNP and an economic trip to Venezuela. This despite all May’s best efforts to help them.

      • Martin
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Take a look at the election results. How many MPs did the Conservatives lose and to which party?

    • Martin
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Mr Blackford is an MP whose constituency includes Skye. He travelled there after the lockdown started. The rules allow people to go to and from their place of work. MPs tend to work in their constituencies and Westminster.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Blackford did not travel the 600 miles to Skye to work: he travelled there because he was afraid he and his wife might fall ill – as he said himself ‘given the prevalence of the virus in London’.
        Though if as he said his purpose was to ‘self-isolate’ he could have done that without travelling 600 miles.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          The prevalence turned out to be the alarming number of deaths in the Care Home on the Isle – his own constituency!
          Perhaps several other people travelled from London to the Care Home?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      It’s seriously bordering on intimidation and is certainly bullying of DC. Staff from news organisations making a scene outside his family home, all of the press pack actually breaching physical and social distancing rules (which DC didn’t do) have they all been sacked from the news agencies that employ them. For goodness sake! STOP. There were lots of MPs and staffers who would have gone to bases outside of London when many have their London base as their primary residence the day before DC travelled whilst he was still well and his work finished (they use the excuse their work didn’t finish until the 26th well his work didn’t finish until 27th and we should be glad he didn’t just sod off when they all did and closed down the office first), they didn’t all go back to constituency homes either, witch hunts don’t always go the way the witchfinder generals expects.

  60. Ed M
    Posted May 31, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Research is beginning to show that Covid is a blood-vessel disease, which makes it more alarming than a bad kind of flu, as blood-vessel diseases can damage the body in many different ways.

    This is another reason more than ever why we need to absolutely focus on Testing and Tracing, with regular tests being carried out on a massive scale and that can be done with 24 hours. And why we really have to throw everything as well at finding drugs that can suppress the disease as well as, as soon as possible, a vaccination.

    Some people won’t be bothered by it. But many other will. And so we also have to suppress the fear factor so that people continue to go out to work and buy things – to keep our economy running as well as possible.

  61. Good idea for health
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    Could the First Lady of Scotland be asked to ask whoever is the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland “Which viral diseases are NOT , repeat NOT asymptomatic?” “Is the complete family of influenza any of them, how many, what are they called, NOT asymptomatic? ”
    Then perhaps when Parliament has time , they could ask The First Lady to answer some questions of her own. One assumes they may have questions they would wish to ask in idle curiosity?

    • Martin
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Assuming your remark “First Lady of Scotland” refers to the First Minister you might care to note that she takes questions each week in the Scottish Parliament and does the news conference usually on a daily basis.

      She does many more question and answer sessions than the “First Man of England (Durham excluded)”!

      • Fred H
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        How many questions from other than SNP members?

      • Good idea for health
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Is she pompous too?

  62. Dentist Bat
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    “Manila exits one of the world’s longest lockdowns. ”
    Well goody goody gumdrops!

  63. Dentist Bat
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Conspiracy Theorists have suggested the coronavirus is “Man-Made” That could be an alternative literal truth. A designer Dentist Bat virus.
    It has to start somewhere. Stop blaming poor little animals,mammals, fish and birds. One or two have caught it from humans. Who else could be responsible. “It’s not like the others ”
    I shall wait for Dr Birx to find out and agree within six months. She is clever, all other possibilities have been eliminated for their inherent absurdity,but we must wait for the truth to dawn by meticulous experimentation and salary received throughout..

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      I believe dentists are open from June 8th . Thank goodness these temporary over the counter fillers are useless.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        They will not use a drill, the spray is far too risky. They await supply of a suitable PPE dentist, assistant and patient – and then room clean?

  64. ukretired123
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much Sir John for your lifelong tireless and selfless efforts to educate many to the dangers of sleepwalking into economic mismanagement on the grand scales that befall many countries around the world. Giving up your weekends for others when you could be enjoying yourself is to be admired. Putting up with some of the nonsense is not for the faint-hearted.
    We owe you a great debt and a mountain of gratitude. Some of us would not dream to say some of the nonsense that is said here. Yet your are very tolerant of rants indeed!
    Amazing !

  65. Nothing to see here
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Its a plandemic not a pandemic

  66. HeyHey
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Hopefully, for them, another such financially costly disaster won’t happen afore this bill is paid. Chances are though …..

  • 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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