A new trade vision for the UK

I find some of the media and email arguments I read  and hear about our trade future bizarre. Remain politicians and spin doctors are still peddling the lie that we cannot live with any changes to our  current tariff  free trade arrangements with the EU, whilst we must not enter into a tariff free  Agreement with the USA.

There has always been a central lie behind the Remain position on  trade, based on  the so called gravity model. This states that trade with near neighbours is both more likely and more important than trade with countries further away., The model’s economic forecasts are  weighted so EU trade matters and rest of the world trade doesn’t, for no particularly good reason.

In recent years our single biggest national trading partner is the USA, not Germany or France. 3000 miles has beaten a few hundred miles of distance. Our trade with China on the other side of the world has grown far more quickly than our trade with the low countries, near by.  This is despite facing tariffs on our non EU trade and no tariffs on our EU trade. How much more could we   trade with  the TPP and the USA on a tariff free basis?

The dislike of opening a Free Trade Agreement with the USA predates President Trump but has been intensified by Remain’s distaste for the present incumbent of the White House. There has been an orchestrated attempt to disrupt good relations between our two countries, and to vilify US food. The people who do so have often flown across the Atlantic and enjoyed US meals in hotels and restaurants without a murmur then about what they are eating other than to sometimes praise it and their hosts.

In a few posts I am going to explore some of these issues one more time. Today I wish to stress four obvious truths from the figures concerning our trading patterns in recent years.

  1. Our trade has grown more quickly with the rest of the world than with the EU in recent years, despite EU barriers and tariffs and despite distance. Non EU trade is now the majority of our trade.
  2. Our non EU trade shows you can have a substantial and profitable trade without a special FTA in place. FTAs are helpful but not essential to trade, expanding it a bit.
  3. If you enter a Free Trade Agreement with another country you do not have to obey their law codes, and you do not have to buy products they make which you do not want or like.
  4. Once we are fully out of the EU we will decide on our animal welfare and food growing standards.

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  1. matthu
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    How many FTAs have ratchet agreements on prices, wages, taxation or standards and who do these terms benefit?

    • matthu
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Not a very long comment – and not particularly controversial. Yet it goes straight into moderation and lingers there long after much longer comments have been published.

      Must have hit a spot there somewhere?

      Reply I do not read and then hold comments! When I read them I post or bin

      • matthu
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Thank you for that assurance.

        • jerry
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          @matthu; Our host appears to moderate last-in, first moderated, so posting early can actually cause ones comments to be held in moderation until late in the day if he is busy – frustrating – but that is how he runs his site…

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          Sir John is doing this on a voluntary basis in his own time, you know !

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    If you visit a foreign Country you automatically accept all of their standards on everything, including their laws.
    If you do not like it, you do not, should not go.

    If you export goods or services to another Country then you accept their standards and build your products accordingly, unless they are prepared to accept equivalence.
    If you do not like it, then do not bother to sell them Product or services

    All of the above should apply here as well, if people are visiting or supplying goods then it is our standards, Laws and regulations which should apply.
    If they do not like it then tough.

    We surely only ask of others, which they ask of ourselves.

    • Peter
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Well it should not really matter what Remain say. Johnson has a large majority. The country voted Conservatives into power to Leave. There was an understanding that Johnson initially had a big mess to clear up courtesy of Mrs.May and her cohorts. However, that stage has passed and he is his own man now.

      So far it has all looked promising for a leave on WTO terms outcome. Frost has been clear and resolute and indicated that things have moved on from Mrs.May. Barnier has not budged, but chosen to attack the UK for not yielding ground.

      So great loss of face for both sides if they capitulate. Fine.

      The big fly in the ointment is last minute developments.

      Johnson does the talking. Barnier is sidelined for Merkel. An agreement is reached. Praise the Lord!

      Don’t look too closely at the small print though.

      We would better to be completely out – with no ifs or buts.

      Then when the dust settles both sides could make changes that seem beneficial. If the EU wants to make a stand so be it. Let’s move on first though.

      • Peter
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Furthermore, if Johnson compromises on his promises he will be held to account by the electorate in due course.

        He should know that a clean break as per the timetable is in his best interests politically.

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Peter, As you say, Boris Johnson could be the danger point. He has form in claiming that his WA treaty is Brexit.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      International trade isn’t a complicated process, however politicians make it complicated….you only have to read the draft EU/UK FTA to know I speak the truth

  3. jerry
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    “Once we are fully out of the EU we will decide on our animal welfare and food growing standards.”

    Of course we wont, politicos these days are to mealy-mouthed to talk sense against the emotive claptrap spoken by the ecology and animal rights activists.

    Can’t see much changing post exit from the WA, at least not whilst the current PM is in post, we will simply shadow what ever the political activists demand within the EU and call it our own, mark my words – I would proved to be proved wrong though!

    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I’ll start believing the UK govt is serious about agriculture, fishing and our food supply when they rebalance policy, scrap DEFRA, bring back MAFF with Environment a sub-department of MAFF or, better, a sub of BEIS (seeing that the latter has ‘climate change’ anyway). Oh and whilst their at it, and to keep this about post Brexit trade, let’s bring back those marketing boards, to help sell UK produce, both at home and overseas.

      Farmers and other countryside businesses have always cared for the environment, to suggest otherwise is akin to suggesting a master carpenter has and uses blunt chisels!

      Never before, post (or living with) CV19, has the UK needed a clean break from the EU via WTO rules, we’ll need the freedom.

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, So true. UK politicians will have to re-build our economy after the coronavirus, and tthey need a free hand without have to ask the EU for permission. And we need to know this so we can hold our leaders directly to account.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Sadly true. They are pushing for us all to become vegetarians, so raising the price of meat (by raising “production standards”) is seen as virtuous. We’ll end up in a medieval situation where the elite eat meat (organic, free range etc etc) and the masses (who can’t afford it) eat gruel.

      • Longinus
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        The medieval masses used to eat a greater variety of meat than we do today. Also income taxed at 10%. We’re the serfs now.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Good Sunday,

    Trade between the UK and EU is EASY! We’ve been told its all about trade, its not; its about power, to be expressed on the international stage. Without the UK, the most militarily potent nation in Europe, the EU has about 50% of what it hoped to have.

    Those who like these things think they can affect the world order and make the United States of Europe a force to be respected, this will not now happen, because we’ve left. The modus vivendi of the EU is gone and it’ll dissolve when it realizes it cannot achieve it’s purpose.

    • Andy
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The EU will be around for many more years than you or I will.

      • IanT
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        But not in its present form Andy

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        But which EU, Andy? The EU of Cameron’s 2015 renegotiation? The EU of 2016? Of 2020? Or some new EU, like the “original” pickaxe that’s had 3 new heads and 5 new handles? The fact is the EU never works, so it’s always having to change. So do you support the EU – any EU – solely because you hate the UK, or is there one particular EU model you like?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        You feeling unwell Andy, or just trying to cheer me up?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Thank God. Another narrow escape.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink


      It’s about morality and peace.

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink


        The EU is about corruption and power.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Like the peace they didn’t maintain in the Balkans? The peace they didn’t maintain in the Ukraine, while importing Putin’s gas? The morality of buying up thousands of bottles of champagne to quaff in Brussels while they have 25% youth unemployment in parts of their empire. The morality of pauperising parts of the union while maintaining their 5 star life style in Brussels, a free zone. were morality is concerned. The morality of moving every 6 months between Brussels & Strasburg, wasting millions just to appease the French? The morality of accepting £50M plus from the UK to sort out their problem with illegal immigrants & then escorting them into British waters ? I could go on but as you might say, “Vous pouvez amener le cheval à l’eau, mais vous ne pouvez pas le forcer à boire. (You can lead a horse to water but ….”)

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

          Funny, but Ukraine and those Balkan countries were not in the European Union, and it has no military nor defence ministry.

          Billions pouring into those countries, to finance right wing nationalist groups and militias from unaccountable interests in the US may have had rather more to do with their respective problems, I think.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood

      ” Without the UK, the most militarily potent nation in Europe, the EU has about 50% of what it hoped to have”

      You are stuck in a time warp. The age of the importance of military power is over. Only a generation or so ago we boasted of being the most powerful military nation on earth and now you claim to be so (only) in Europe. It was an illusion. From earth to europe to what next?

      What good does it do us now? The days of gun boat diplomacy are gone. So who could we defend ourselves against if we were attacked? China? USA? Russia? They’d flatten us in no time.

      As Einstein already said in the 1950′: “I don’t know what weapons will be used in world war three, but in world war four people will use sticks and stones.”

      Thank goodness for the MAD doctrine (Mutually Assured Destruction) – it has saved the globe from aggressive militarism and will soon make men in fancy uniforms and even more fanciful medals on their chests redundant.

      • IanT
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        You are right Margaret – you do not need Armies in peacetime.

        So let’s get rid of our Armed Forces and just keep our fingers crossed that some bigger, less principled Country doesn’t decide to just walk in and take over.

        Or we could simply let them buy all our key Industries and just gain complete control over our economy…

        No – neither options seem too attractive…

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Scrap the regiments then. Along with the pubs.

        Only a third for the Tory party to get the set of three. (The Monarchy)

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    A very rational view of what has been happening.
    It seems that getting out of the EU is a lifetime’s work, but it will be worth it — We should however start recognizing that so many in this country are not just Pro-EU – They are Anti-UK and pro-NWO.

    Apart from trade deals, we should insist on a referendum for any future treaties with international bodies. Governments have signed up to irrational things simply because we are in and subsidise an NGO – That has to change, and British leaders have to become more sceptical of following the lemming approach to everything.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      NWO – what’s this please?

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        I think this means New World Order – shorthand for global government. That notion has been hit on the head by the pandemic.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


          Oh no it hasn’t – In fact they are using every means possible to advance this agenda.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            Yes they are fighting for it on the streets this very hour, egged on by Welby etc. Welby seems to enjoy ‘unwarranted supremacy’ living in a Palace. Time he moved on.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        The New world Order – You can look it up on the UN’s own site to see what they stand for, and what they are proposing… UNNWO

        Or click on my name…

      • IanT
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        New World Order

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        NWO = New World Order

  6. Nigl
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Despite millions of words I still fail to understand what the EU has that causes people to be seemingly emotionally attached to it in defiance of fact based logic.

    The negotiations apparently are not going well, our position is clearly defined supported by bullish comments so do we have any wiggle room at all. If not why are we still talking?

    Red lines turning pink?

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Your first para: I think the EU have been very clever/cunning, by getting a lot of people to think that if one is a critic of the EU, one is a xenophobe. Completely untrue, but so many people take it as a given.

      • Andy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        It is interesting when you ask EU Zealots what are the advantages of EU Membership they can never tell you. All becomes rather woolly, about ‘being together’ etc.

        • Nick
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Are you Andy2 or Andy3? I did see a video of a young Remain lady who said that the best thing about the EU was the NHS. The most frequent response I got from those intending to vote Remain in 2016 was they “didn’t want to rock the boat”. Some of those said the EU should be “reformed”. The out and out Remains, like Martin, Margaret, etc were in a decided minority.

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Beebtax, You have it right. Of course we can point out that we are actually opposed to a political system – the EU is just an ideology, not a nation, still less a people. So there’s no people to be “xenophobic” about. And Remains just bandy slogans and epithets (“thick”; “racist”; etc) as a means of “winning” the argument, they’re not interested in truth and rationality.

  7. Julian Flood
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    As I understand it – perhaps erroneously, g WTO rules forbid subsidies, something which much of UK farming could not withstand.
    My suggested solution to this is published on Independence Daily under the title ‘A Fair Field Full of Folk’. Briefly, we can pay farmers for the other great asset they own, access to open space in one of the most crowded countries on Earth.


    • Andy
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      That sounds like a naff deal – when I can currently access huge amounts of empty countryside for free.

    • Nick
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Julian Flood, No the WTO does not ban subsidies to UK farms, any more than subsidies to French farms. Where ever did you get that idea? Both the UK and France, and the EU, are in the WTO and have been for years, yet the existing subsidies have continued.

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Great post today John. I can’t wait to get put but please make sure we don’t have shackles on us that the EU would like to foist upon us. We must be free to do our own thing like so many other successful countries do now. We have waited long enough for this day and this is what we voted for as a nation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed we have more than enough UK generated shackles, dead weights and balls and chains to carry already.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        …which is the next little job – all must be removed! MPs can no longer say ‘I agree with you that this is outrageous, but we are compelled …’

  9. Jess
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Considering that our wonderful political leaders around the world have managed to crash the economy into a very solid wall, indebted this and future generations to a degree never before seen and are currently engaged in a rerun of Zimbabwe’s hyper inflation x 1000 what I would like to hear is some recognition of the damage the political class has done. Also perhaps they just might have the humility to accept that the world is better off without their deals and treaties, policies and interference. Just remove your rules and taxes and let productive people repair the damage you have all done.

    • Nick
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Jess, 18 million arrivals to the UK in the first 3 months this year as the coronavirus pandemic was building. No quarantine. Boris locked down the nation, but refused to lock down our borders. Bonkers. Now the pandemic is dying down, suddenly Boris wants quarantine for arrivals. Bonkers. How can he get it so wrong at both the start and the end?

      And where are those Tory MPs who called for Cummings to be sacked despite his maintaining social distancing, when we have demonstrations where hundreds are packed closely together obviously flouting the rules? Is the MPs lack of public concern just more bonkers, or is it cowardice?

      • Ed M
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Well said. It seems bonkers to quarantine foreigners (except perhaps for the countries with worst cases – but certainly not likes of Australia, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and many others).

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Mostly MPs idiocy is incompetence. As one said during the Brexit votes, many are really stupid people. We have a minority fit to Sit in our House. We must redress that imbalance.

  10. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The UK’s largest single export market by far is the European Union, not the United States.

    The term “Single Market” lends a clue.

    The US comes a long way behind, and a new deal would only increase such trade as there is marginally too.

    It would not make up for any significant reduction in commerce with the first, and the concessions that the US would demand – if their TTIP ones are a guide – would be highly anti-UK-democracy.

    The European Union’s parliament was absolutely right to kick the whole shabby thing out of the stadium.

    So much for “rubber-stamping”, but you can do that when you’re large, independent, and powerful.

    Once again, the puritanical approach of the UK’s Right – in the manner of the US’s – makes progress impossible, however.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      The trade argument comes down to who do we benefit most from trading with, we have a 33 billion trade surplus with the USA, and an 83 Billion deficit with the EU. Give me tariffs on that difference every time.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        The national figures are of no central interest to the thousands of successful firms employing millions, who supply the European Union.

        Furthermore, if they are hindered in their work, then that in no way affects demand here for European products, so that would drastically worsen the deficit to which you refer.

        You ignore the toweringly obvious as ever.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Yet again you try to push the idea that trade between Europe and the UK will cease or greatly reduce when we leave the EU.
          Trade will carry on regardless as long as customers want to purchase.

          • acorn
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Ed, you are assuming the Pound Sterling will maintain its purchasing power post Brexit.

            Additionally, you are assuming that foreigners will remain happy to be paid in Pounds Sterling; and, be prepared to save those Pounds in Sterling denominated assets such as the prime London property market.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Well it’s one of the world’s strongest currencies.
            And all major nations have been affected by the pandemic.
            So I reckon major currencies will remain stable PC (post coronus)

        • IanT
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Because you see things in monochrome Andy – you fail to see that it is not all or nothing with the EU.

          Even if there is some reduction in absolute trade with the EU (which I frankly doubt) any shortfall can be made up by increases from elsewhere. In fact our trade with the EU (as a % of UK exports) has been falling steadily for 20 years now and will continue to do so. The only question currently is whether this reduction in percentage terms will accelerate or just continue down at the current pace.

          The reason being that the EU has the slowest economic growth rate in the world and that fact alone will drive their share of our exports down.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Spoken, MiC clearly by someone who has never had to sell anything internationally. If you had that experience, you’d realise that no-one ‘supplies’ the European Union, other than those firms that sell to the Commission itself.
          Supplies are from the UK to customers in the individual countries. You ought to post less; you’d reveal your ignorance less.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            I agree Jim
            I’ve spent decades buying and selling in both the EU and the rest of the world and there was little difference in overall cost and bureaucracy in dealing with the EU compared to elsewhere.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink


    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      @MiC; Once again you have been seduced by the ‘Rotterdam fudge’, mistaking UK RotW exports as EU single market trade, were exports only count as exports once the goods leave the EEA (counting towards EU exports, how else would a non-sovereign ‘state’ obtain a GDP etc?!).

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed but the willingly blind will never see.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        That nonsense has been comprehensively debunked.

        • Nick
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Whilst the ONS states that the Rotterdam/Antwerp effect is difficult to quantify, they accept its existence. If that’s what you’re referring to. So I suggest any “debunking” you’ve seen is Remain debunking and worthless.

          • acorn
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            The Rotterdam affect was guessed at being about 4% of UK total trade. More recently that has been reduced to 2 -3%.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            So inow it’s under 40%
            And after brexit do you think the EU will tell its members to stop trading with the UK?

          • jerry
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

            @acorn; Your figures suggest the amount of UK trade sent to the EU27 via the port of Rotterdam, not UK RotW exports, after all most traffic to/from the EU will be either via the Channel tunnel or ferries, not sea containers.

        • jerry
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          @MiC; So you keep asserting Martin, except you have yet to cite any such (independent) evidence.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      ‘Single Market’ is a contradiction in terms. As a professional I cannot understand why you can’t comprehend that. A constrained market is no longer a Market. Our exports to the EU were always gerrymandered diverting exports to the world via their posts – and of course by quotas, forcing us to pour our milk down the drain and buy theirs. Moreover there was never ‘free trade’ with the EU because the French for example Constructed impediments – like demands that you have specific insurance cover which was only available to French companies. Lucky you have a desk job, you don’t have the ability to comprehend reality to trade.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        I am of independent means.

        I require no job, thank you.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Dont say you have a pension because young andy will hate you.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for making my point.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            Not at all.

            I made my money through an international undertaking.

      • Nigl
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Spot on and the Germans are equally protective. When discussing across the EU standards in manufacturing they use their muscle to insist that theirs, inevitably boiler plated and ones that their industry is geared up for, are the ones accepted despite lesser ones being acceptable to other countries thus stifling/eliminating competition.

        Try getting a job in France or indeed say building trades work, except from ex pats.

        Little to no chance. Remainers who spout that the EU is some egalitarian level playing field sunlit upland are talking bollocks.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        @Lynn Atkinson: In Dutch it is called “de interne markt” (the internal market) which may be a better term.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          PvL. It is NOT one market!

        • Nick
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          PvL, So poorly is the “single market” viewed here that we would refer to the EU as a customs union rather than a free market. That was why it was especially funny when Andy claimed that no eurosceptic had heard of the customs union until after our independence Referendum.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes a constrained market. Our NHS operates the same system and we have all witnessed the success of that in the last few months. Any constraint trashes the term market in capitalist terms, but continentals have never understood Capitalism – only Corporatism.
          The value of your internal market is in free-fall as a percentage of world trade. Keep telling us (and yourselves) about the number of consumers in the EU and ignore their reduced ability to consume as you impoverish them. The African Union has a far bigger number of consumers than the EU so presumably you think that an even greater ‘internal market’?

          • jerry
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

            Lynn, the NHS is problematic because it is not a constrained market, on the other hand the MOD does operate a constrained market (for essentials), it has assured supplies…

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Dig deeper and you will discover that there are national differences designed and calculated to provide competitive advantage to national suppliers (despite the EU), Germany for example.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      @Martin – Brexiters won. I voted Remain (although reluctantly – I am a Brexiter who only wanted to leave when we were rich enough to and with the right plan and leadership in place to implement it).

      Let’s get behind Brexit now.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        There is no more reason for me to “get behind” this madness than there is for me to promote Tory government.

        • Ed M
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          ‘There is no more reason for me to “get behind” this madness than there is for me to promote Tory government’

          – What is the alternative to Tory government? Jeremy Corbyn was a disaster. A 6th-form, Don-Quixote Fantasist who thinks money grows on trees to provide for all the services of the country? Grow up. Get real.

          I am a Tory but I would have liked Labour to have a proper opposition to keep the Tories on their toes.

          You can have a fair argument about a Tory Capitalist versus a Labour Capitalist but not when you have a self-indulgent fantasist like Jeremy Corbyn around. He was a gift to the Tories.

  11. Nigl
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Ps cue a non fact based rant from Andy.

  12. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Initially I thought that you were adding monies in respect of American trade , but then you did go on to talk about food. To me it seems obvious due to logistics that food needs to be fresh and the more quickly it is delivered then the fresher it will be , therefore the EU presents us with a fresh diversity of vegetables and fruits. I am not exactly sure how this compares to time taken with American imports and other countries .

    Having said this people will do what they need to do to survive . Imports which are tariff free send out more good will messages than the persistent fighting over necessities .There are many ways to ensure we have a healthy diverse diet and we should continue looking to our own country, yet explore the many options in the world to make us partners of healthy , plentiful food. Genetics were important research in crops a couple of decades ago , but I don’t hear a lot about this today.

    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      @MB-J; Oh dear… Never heard of New Zeeland lamb or Butter. Never heard of freezing or other ways to preserve, or just refrigeration – I hope you do not think fresh perishable produce from the (south of) Spain travels up through France to the UK at ambient temperatures?!

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        I am concentrating on vegetables and fruits as stated . Freshness can be kept at correct temperatures from anywhere!

        • jerry
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          @MB-J; You appear to be arguing against yourself now!

          Want fresh veg, then we can grow here in the UK, what we can’t grow in the fields can be grown under glass or in poly-tunnels, for example just one producer here in the UK grows 1/3rd of the UK supply of sweet peppers under glass, that’s some 65m pepper pa…

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            don’t be silly ..it is not one thing or another .if you want to make such assertions then look at previous posts where I talk about UK poly tunnels etc .

      • Andy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Quite. Some of the stuff he thinks is ‘fresh’ could have been in storage for months !

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      American white goods, cars, clothes, etc etc etc are all very much less expensive than our goods. Trade is more than food but in any case a crate of tomatoes saturated in OPs (Nerve gas with which they are sprayed in the EU) stuck in a truck in Calais can take longer to arrive than a crate from the US washed in chlorine (non toxic) and transported in a cool aircraft.
      33,000 people dies of food poisoning in the EU annually.

      • Iago
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Your comment makes me realise I must stick to my decision never to buy food and wine from the EU. This coming week’s surrenders I will endure with a bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

        • IanT
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          We’ve been mostly drinking Aussie wines for some years now – can’t remember when we last purchased a French bottle. I’m not a wine buff I’m afraid. It’s red or white – and I either like it or I don’t.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      The CRISPR contribution to crop development is going to be huge and needed. Hopefully the GMO brouhaha won’t come back and get in the way.

    • NigelE
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Looking in the fridge, I see the red grapes are from Chile and the cherry tomatoes from Morocco, the cucumber from Spain. All are in perfect condition. So however they are doing it, distance does not seem to be a barrier in our modern, refrigerated world.

      Hopefully, as fruit & veg from Morocco, Chile and other EU countries will attract zero or reduced tariffs in 2021, so will be cheaper in the shops. Or more profitable to the suppliers which I do not really mind.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Bananas picked/harvested green in the Caribbean, ripen on the way over in their boxes, so they are just about ripe when they are unloaded in the UK.

    • IanT
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Sat in the garden last week and we were enjoying a bunch of grapes (trying to avoid the biscuits) purchased from Tesco. Idly looked at the packaging and was surprised to find they’d come from Chile… Pity about the food miles – they were sweet though!

  13. Shirley M
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    No deal is better than a bad deal. I hope Boris stays true to this.
    The ‘level playing field’ demanded by the EU, is a field where the EU can set and change the rules to suit their requirements and need no agreement from the UK …. oh, and they want to be the referee too. Why are we bothering with such unreasonable demands? Just walk away.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Shirley, in my stupidity 4 years ago I actually believed the Tory mantra ‘’no deal is better than a bad deal’’…..still can’t believed I was mugged so easy

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        We are nearly there nevertheless. The lesson is ‘it’s not over until we win’. Once MPs understand that, they will give up fighting or trying to fool the British people. Life will get back to the ‘old normal’.

    • DavidJ
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed; walking away has always been the only sensible choice once their intent became clear. The fact that we haven’t just makes me question Boris’ intent.

  14. Germany gas watcher
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Headlines suggest the EU continues adding countries to its trading ban list Russia because of Ukraine but somehow supports importing Russian gas and actively builds a pipeline to Germany but not one to southern EU poor states.In fact it threatened Bulgaria and Serbia and others with fines if they did have a pipeline. Germany wishes to control gas supply just as Russia. A marriage of mines.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Find a more interesting hobby.

      • Nick
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        What, like worshipping the EU?

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Don’t let Boris waver at this stage. WTO is fine and with the virus creating so much upheaval now is exactly the right time to leave the crumbling edifice of the EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink


    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      100 upticks to that, Ian!

      And then tear up the Irish Protocol…we don’t won’t any EU weeds taking root via Northern Ireland.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        + another 100 upticks.

    • DavidJ
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      + another 100…

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


    • M Davis
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Plus, plus, plus!

    • Nick
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Ian W, Exactly – Don’t let Boris waver at this stage.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I can think of several, relatively small, AIM listed, companies that are growing fast by selling around the world. Some have next to no sales in the EU. They obviously think that opportunities for faster growth lie elsewhere. None of them rely on “trade deals” but on their innovative products and their get up and go. That is what really matters. The best thing the UK government can do is to create a simpler tax and regulatory environment in which they can operate. This is even more important after the business and jobs carnage caused by C-19 and the responses to it.

    • Nick
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, That is very true. Jeff Taylor (youtube) reports on a study by Aston University out 1st June that shows UK small businesses have actively shifted about £10 billion of exports from the EU to the rest of the world. The EU is continuing to reduce in importance to the UK.

  17. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    I agree with your blog this morning.

    Does anyone seriously believe that with the US recourse to the legal system to hold people and companies in check and that any transgression to food standards would not be met with massive multi billion dollar settlements -they are not living in the real world.

    In those terms even if the standards required by the authorities if they are found to be lacking producers would still be jumped on by the legal system. The standards are guides not a definitive ruling so anything found to cause health issues or other issues would not be protected the producer.

  18. Gorgon Zola(writer)
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The present crisis with viruses should indicate we need more diverse trading relationships. One virus and the whole of the EU stops producing. Suppose another virus picks on working age Brie makers.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      That would be hard cheese for them, then.

      • Peter
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        That remark is whey below the belt.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          Gouda one!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Train those from age different.

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    FTA’s in themselves are over rated. It is local regulations, standards and practices that for the most part are contrived to protect local industries that are the problem.

    How can the EU’s Common Agriculture be squared with unfair taxpayer funding when in its self it destroys self reliance in other parts of the world.

    It is time for ISO to step in and be the de facto recognized and only permissible standard for world trade

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink


    You can of course export more easily and generate far more and better paid jobs if companies are allowed by government to be competitive. Successive Governments of all descriptions in the UK have made this harder and harder. We have dire virtual state monopolies in health care and education, excessive, slow and inefficient planning laws, mad employment laws, excessive red tape all over the place, a bloated state sector producing little of much value, a mad and expensive energy policy, excessive and absurdly over-complex taxation.

    Investment in the UK needs to be encourages not endlessly deterred by government. This government should drop all the expensive energy climate alarmism lunacy and HS2 for a start. They should follow some real and solid science for a change. Also they should cull all the worthless degrees tax payers are forced to fund with soft loans, well over half of them. That at least would show a they had a working compass.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Currently listening to the excellent new book by Matt Ridley, “How Innovation Works”. He quotes the interesting figure of 2.75 billion for the cost (just to the UK) of the idiotic forcing of compact flourescent lamps onto the public. Now redundant due to far better LEDs that do not need to be forced onto people.

      Vested interests, deluded green loons, virtue signalling idiots and bent or stupid politicians essentially robbing people by law. We have the same now with the renewable subsidies, electric car grants, gas boiler regulations and many other totally insanities.

      What for example is the cost (to productivity) of the UK’s insane employment laws it must be least £30 billion PA surely.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Matt Ridley has a good article in the Telegraph today too:- Have scientist made their biggest error ever?

        • Richard1
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          The conclusion – let’s focus less on the models and more on the data – will hopefully be the key take away from this whole fiasco. Let it be applied in all other fields where scientific advice seeks to inform public policy. The end of the world due to global warming would be a start.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        What too is the cost of the absurd complextity and total irrationality of the PAYE system with employers NI, employees NI, income tax, wage laws, holiday pay rules and then all the deductions for student loans, workplace pensions, other pensions, deductions for ex wife/partner allowances, benefits in kind and many other deductions and complexitities forced onto employers. This forces them to use agencies to do it for them (at significant cost) and you still need a lot of in house staff time to administer it all. It all deters them taking people on and kills jobs. Other than unproductive and largely parasitic ones that drags overall UK propductivity and wages down)

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          The point is that they think they have hidden the marginal rate of tax.

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Deluded green loons indeed but they seem to have the ear of government, including Boris, whilst being a part of the globalists arsenal.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          It seems so, plus he has a young green partner with a degree in theatre studies and art or similar and a new baby too. All rather worrying.

          The chancellor was going on about pissing tax payer’s cash away on Carbon (dioxide) capture the other day. A process that wastes huge amounts of energy and cost a fortune for no benefit at all. If only these dopes actually understood some science.

          Even the chair of the parliamentary science and technology committee seem to have no science, is a green pushing, lefty, pro EU Libdem and to my mind a blatant traitor too.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      If the university awarding the useless degree was on the hook at leaset for the fees portion of student loans, that might make them more selective in the courses they run.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Better still just give soft loans for people with BBB or better at A level and only for sensible subjects. The rest resit or just pay for themselves.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Only subject that we have ‘shortage’ and the classics, and for the top 2%. Everyone else pays for themselves and no foreign student ever gets the right to live in the U.K.

      • IanT
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        It would be interesting to scrap University fees for UK nationals and instead pay for them via a very small (<1%) tax on lifetime earnings for all graduates. I think the Universities might look more carefully at managing their human investment portfolio then…

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Another great response… I agree!

      Too much government.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Spot on!

  21. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The US, gets a bad reputation because the UK media needs a focus to sell its stories. Or more correctly they love having President Trump as their whipping boy. All the while they forget as POTUS he has less power on what the States do than our own PM does for the whole of the UK.

    The polls show that Trump’s support is stable, which to some over here is a mystery since they spend so much time ‘slagging him off’. Trump has the edge simply because he is not the establishment, that’s all nothing else.

    Most democratic people are against those that believe they are the establishment. Democracy is not about having a ruling class, a ruling elite, its about letting the people be certain that they are in charge and able to remind those lent power who is paying their wages.

    The above can also be summed up in the EU exit talks as it is reported elsewhere in todays press when someone stated – “Michel Barnier seems to think he is the referee when actually he is a player on the pitch.”

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink


    • Andy
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Billionaire rich boy Donald Trump – who inherited his wealth and lost more than he made – is not part of the establishment? Brilliant.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        😂😂 he inherited a good amount then multiplied it by 1,000% stupid, jealous, nasty boy. And he is not done yet, he’s created and repatriated millions of jobs to the US, cut taxes, defends and asserts the Rule of Law. He is more popular than Abe! Wish he would come home to Scotland.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Political establishment.
        You know what Ian meant.

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2 – thankyou I forgot the audience.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            You are welcome Ian.
            We all have to do our best to keep this great site away from the lefty hecklers

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:17 am | Permalink


        How lucky the Americans are to have him!!! They nearly didn’t make it.

        According to local records Mr. Trump’s grandfather left Kallstadt for the United States at age 16 in 1885, and returned in 1902 a rich man. He married the girl next door, and the couple went back to America.

        But soon Ms. Trump became homesick and wanted to go back to Germany. They returned, and her husband wrote a series of letters in 1904 and 1905 requesting the right to regain residency. Because he had not performed his military service, the Prince Regent of Bavaria refused. (like grandfather like grandson?)

        “We shall be ordered to leave?” Friedrich wrote after being informed that his visa would expire in July 1905. “That is hard, very hard for a family.”

        Still, Germany’s loss is America’s gain -:)

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


  22. Richard1
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    There is a lot of nonsense talked about US food. Is Nick Clegg for example (who was prominent with such scares) now sending to the EU for food parcels for his family while he lives and works in California?

    The BBC wrongly contradicted the US ambassador a year or so ago when the ambassador stated correctly that instances of poisoning from salmonella and campylobacter (which antimocrobial washes seek to prevent) are significantly lower In the US than they are in the EU.

    Let’s get the facts straight. Let’s have very clear food labelling so people know where their food comes from and then let’s allow the consumer to choose.

    • Andy
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Today it is reported that one of the demands of American negotiators is for the UK to ditch country of origin labelling on food. This is one of those ghastly EU regulations you all hate. If the US is success and the Tory pensioners capitulate then you won’t know where the food you buy comes from.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Country of origin was on UK food and other products way before the EU existed.

      • matthu
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Are you suggesting that UK or EU producers would actually be banned from labelling their own goods with country of origin? Of course not. In which case, you could always seek out produce with proper labelling.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          It probably wouldn’t even require an Act of Parliament, but come under a provision of an existing one, where “ministers may make rules”.

          The UK will do whatever the US tells it, pretty well.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            The UK had country of origin labelling way before the EU began.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

            Easy come, easy go, Ed.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Who is proposing to stop it?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        ‘Today it is reported” where by who and how do they know?

    • One of many
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      In the case of the EU we also need to know which countries in the EU have processed the food product in any way even packaged it after it was made in another EU state.
      The reason being EU nations have a choice of whether they accept the higher more expensive levels of hygiene and content checks or the lower cheaper ones. So a number of products go through one Baltic state and from non-EU nations too as it adds less to the final consumer buying price.
      One assumes it is not because they wish to thwart hygiene tests for iffy foodstuffs as only a token number in any set of batches are tested at all at best.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Yes. Let’s get clear labelling done now, so that those arguing we should not allow food imports ”because our consumers do not want it”, have the rug pulled from under them.

      If we were to get on and label food clearly then our consumers have nothing to fear from us opening up our markets.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        I agree

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Let’s also accurately label water companies, airways, cars etc so that if they are not in fact British Airways for instance, we know.

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    On the protests yesterday. As the lockdown doesn’t apply to the BLM protestors, then it doesn’t apply to anybody. Time for pubs and shops to open, time for people to go to their football and cricket matches, for as the state couldn’t be bothered to apply the law and rules yesterday, then it would be discriminatory to apply the law on the rest of us.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Agreed, the protests make a nonsense of the lockdown. At least if there is a second wave of the Wuhan virus we now know who to blame – all those leftists in the streets.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Richard, the people pictured on that beach with the 3 injured jumping off the cliff over a week ago appearing to be breaking lockdown was there a spike from those people there would be by now?

        These young people have set themselves up for a perfect experiment, they are all in the highest categories of risks – if there is no spike in their families and socio economic urban groups or big increase in R then we can all start to come out of lockdown.

        • Richard1
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it could be all these leftists have done us a favour. If we see no spike in infections in London despite thousands of people gathering in defiance of lockdown and social distancing we will know the policies are nonsense.

          • Sir Joe Soap
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            We need to encourage them to demonstrate inside say the Dome. It would then become the perfect test as to whether congregating inside caused an uptick of the virus.
            As a by-product, that waste-of-money structure might be ready to come down soon anyway.
            Thanks, BLM protestors!

    • Viral activist
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Given that the BLM protesters are said to predominantly of ‘ethnic people’, not my words but those of MSM, which have proven to be in higher risk of contracting the virus it was an unwise decision in my view for the Home Secretary to take such a lax view in not advising and compelling by force of law the leaders of the protest to stop it immediately.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        And how would that have appeared had she locked them down, people all overcrowded they beaches the weekend before, the government warned EVERYONE clearly not to do this, if there are consequences they have only themselves to blame and they have all said their cause was worth the risk.

        Now police officers that have been put in place facing people shouting in their faces, having missiles from water bottles to a child’s bike thrown at them and their horses, I’m not sure Cressida Dicks was wise and didn’t provide them with sufficient ppe. Do we need to police peaceful protests? There are claims they didn’t in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Also reported today – The Met police gave the green light to take a knee during Black Lives Matter protest but say doing so is at officers’ ‘discretion’!

          What bl**** fool made that decision?

        • steve
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


          “Do we need to police peaceful protests?”

          No, just ban mass gatherings of left wing activists, we’ve seen how the benefit-abusing parasites behave.

          When they’re terrorising people, they’re terrorists by definition.

          When they’re throwing pyrotechnics and bicycles at horses, well, they’re cowards.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            How do “snowflakes” “terrorise” people, Steve?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, you show them.

      Make sure that you drink from taps labelled “not drinking water” and go swimming where there are no blue flags too, you rebel you.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Maybe we could go to work, and earn the money on which you live Martin? Rebellious enough for you? Or should we stay home and watch the racing while Richi feeds you?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          I live entirely on my own money, thanks Lynn.

          And I also pay taxes to support Leave voters.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        You should read Food Safety News more often Martin.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Quite. And what a lilly-livered, two-faced bunch of politicians we have at Westminster and elsewhere, who barely raise an eyebrow to the BLM mass gatherings, but pour out a lot of sanctimonious drivel about businesses not being able to reopen yet, the rest of us only being allowed to meet up in groups of Six, and everything being “led by the science”. What fools they take us for.

      That’s not forgetting last week’s vilification of Cummings, either, for daring to….(do what, exactly?).

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      While the BLM protests hog the news headlines there is an opportunity for the PM to wind back on the lockdown, there is something else the media can latch onto.

      That said, I do still think elderly lives matter so focus is needed.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      How on earth does risking spreading the coronavirus, by gathering in crowds close-together to protest, help the cause of the protesters overall?

      Let’s fight in injustice but it’s also unjust to risk spreading a disease that could and does kill people – as well as the profound effect on the economy – that affects ALL and could for some years to come.

      Unbelievable. I really think the government could have prevented this by finding a way to support the protesters message without actually people taking to the streets and risking passing on the virus again. But ultimately this is not the government’s fault (but it could have done more).

  24. Adam
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The EU has lost its grip on our ability.
    We won’t need to pay them a further fee solely to pull us backward.
    Most Europeans are among the finest folk one could find in the world, yet those who attempt to prop up the EU’s crazy restrictions are leading themselves to worthlessness.
    Now they can slide off our back into blubber at ground level.

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Thanks Adam, I needed a roaring-out-loud belly laugh this morning!

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I believe we owe a debt of gratitude to Martin in Cardiff as he generously provides us with more than one “roaring-out-loud belly laugh” every day!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink


  25. Mark B
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This is all about protectionism. Treasure Island (UK) has decided that the cost of membership, both economic and social, is simply too great and does not warrant the ever rising membership fee. Paying to subsidise other countries and then allowing their citizens to come here, driving down wages has not been a good for the populace. Certainly for business, but not those on low skills and low incomes.

    It is therefore unsurprising that those that have benefited from membership of the EU and have interests in trading with them are so keen on either Remaining or, Remaining as closely aligned as possible. Nothing must interfere with them and their profits. It is from this pool and the largely ignorant, many of them we witness here, that Remain draw their support.

    Outside the EU we will be free to remove tariffs and make trade deals with poorer countries and so help them and their people out of poverty. We do not need to give them money, trade is what they want !

    • IanT
      Posted June 10, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      An interesting point Mark. We buy much of our processed coffee beans from Germany.

      Why? Well the EU charge no tariffs on raw beans, but 7.5% on roasted ones – hence the poorer ‘producer’ countries don’t get to value-add their produce as they are at an immediate cost disadvantage compared to companies inside the EUs protectionist marketplace. Germany apparently makes more money on coffee than all of the African states added together.

      Since we don’t grow coffee in this country ( or process it here as far as I know ) we could help these economies by placing zero tariffs on roasted beans from those countries that actually grow them. That night be a better form of “Fair Trade”

  26. agricola
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    While the EU’s Barnier plays to his political agenda, which has little to do with the trade benefits to both sides of a sensible FTA, he should be ignored while we get on with our trade relationships with more amenable partners worldwide.

    What terrifies the EU is a successful UK, sitting offshore, because it will say to many EU members , why not us. Such thinking already exists in the EU and will gather strength.

    Our future trading arrangements should be based on quality, delivery and price with an absolute minimum of political interference. We the UK should aim to become a Singaporean offshore trade zone, to the benefit of all our citizens. The Plimsoles and Wilberforces apart, whenever politicians interfere you can almost always anticipate a screw up. Their only virtue is their incompetence.

    • steve
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


      “What terrifies the EU is a successful UK, sitting offshore, because it will say to many EU members , why not us. Such thinking already exists in the EU and will gather strength.”

      Yes they are terrified, but not terrified in the context that the UK might destroy the EU, which it won’t, unfortunately.

      Their fear is almost totally because of French psyche. History records that when the UK joined the EEC, the French president responded by publicly announcing that France would make certain to be ‘in the driving seat of Europe’.

      Why? it was supposed to be a community, not a gaullist empire.

      In fact, De Gaulle himself blocked our earlier attempt at entry citing that in his opinion Britain was too close to America. Remember this is after Britain and America liberated his country from the Nazis incurring the loss of thousands of allied lives.

      The French have a problem, and the EU is French – led.

      It all comes down to the fact that France was liberated by it’s historical enemy, England. They have always had a problem dealing with it.

      They also harbour a secret fear of being left alone in the house with Germany.

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

    Sir JR.

    I do not think anybody would like ore in their right minds would question your four-so-called truths
    However, the conclusions on trade with 5 to 6 billion people as oppose to 500 million people in terms of more growth in trade with the rest of the world applies to the majority of EU countries in the western part of Europe as already members and continued members of the EU.
    So nothing particularly new about this so-called truth

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      But they are largely, in essence, truisms or irrelevant.

      For instance, in what way does the European Union compel anyone to buy products that it does not want or like?

      Point four is questionable. It looks like the US would have a large say over UK food and other standards under John’s vision.

      And the US might very well force the UK to abandon identifying foods origins on packaging. So the UK people would then indeed be forced, in many cases, to buy things that they did not want.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        The EU compelled you to buy necessities from the EU by applying HUGE tariffs for same from abroad. It’s called ‘protectionism’.

        Point 4 – you are wrong, the USA has the power of its own standards is not taking power over ours. It has always been thus.

        The USA may well stop false origin labels being placed in food.

        • forthurst
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          We have to be very careful; JR extols trade with the USA under TPP. The unratified TPP contains an egregious concept, that of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) which enables corporations to sue governments when they believe that measures subsequently introduced would adversely damage their investment in a host country; the USA has an abundance of lawyers, giving them a further outlet might not be wise. The only exclusion to this to date is tobacco; that tobacco is the only product that a host state might decide is harmful is over-optimistic especially when some audio-visual output is clearly intended to groom its audience.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            Good to have corporations invest rather than simply take our massive grants paid for by successful home businesses which are then replaced!
            We have rafts of lawyers too.

      • agricola
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        The EU compels by setting tariffs against goods from World sources that would otherwise compete on price and quality with goods of EU origin. Check out the tariffs on cane sugar designed to protect their own sugar beet industry.

        Your assumptions about what the USA might compel the UK to do on food and other standards is baseless. Even within an FTA with the USA there is no compulsion to buy. Your inside knowledge of the mindset of US manufactures is enviable. At the end of the day the market decides, end of story. The penalties arising from litigation in the USA are horrendous, so I don’t see them wishing to stick their necks out just to prove your wild predictions.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but they are not products that “we do not like or want” as John describes are they?

          How does any producer compel any buyer to buy such things?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            By causing us to pour our own milk down the drain the EU forced us to replace it with milk from the EU because they impose huge tariffs on milk originating outside the EU.
            This is the pre-school explanation. I hope you get it.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            We they would buy them if EU EU protectionism was removed and the products became available and cheaper.
            Great for people on limited budgets.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            But those are things that you WANT.


            I do not want tickets for football matches, nor a staffie, nor KFC, nor McDonalds, nor holidays in Benidorm.

            How would the European Union have compelled me to buy them?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Indeed Martin you don’t have to buy things you dont want.
            But for example without the CAP, food in the UK would be cheaper.
            Nice for people, especially those on limited budgets.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        1. I’m confused? So does the EU allow the U.K. to buy chlorinated chicken and any other products from the USA they don’t like right now?

        4. ‘It looks like the US would have a large say over U.K. food” says who? Why would we?

        might, could, maybe … we’ll they might not, they could not, and maybe they won’t.

        • steve
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink


          This chlorinated chicken business is just left wing remain propaganda.

          The US would happily supply non chlorinated products if that’s what we require. It makes no difference to them.

      • steve
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


        “So the UK people would then indeed be forced, in many cases, to buy things that they did not want.”

        Totally false.

        Never mind, you might wake up tomorrow and realise that most of what you buy that leaves you dissatisfied is so because of EU laws, devised to increase the profit of German & French industry.

        Or you might not, and instead continue blissfully in ignorance of EU corruption.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          I am careful as to what I buy, and cannot remember when I was last “dissatisfied” with what I bought from the European Union, Steve.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Then you are free to continue buying EU products Martin. That is the beauty of the capitalist Market, the consumer can choose what they want to buy.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            Eggs with salmonella in them?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            Much of the horsemeat came from Todmorden.

            If this country failed to detect criminals, then it is a national failure.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            It was sold as horsemeat then exported into the EU where it is suspected others added into the food chain.

            It was detected the owner of the abattoir was fined for not keeping proper records.

  28. acorn
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Last 14 day new cases/population as a percentage. Lock-down sceptics / denialists will see Sweden is now rocketing up the charts.

    Brazil 0.133%
    Sweden 0.101
    United States 0.089
    Russia 0.085
    United King 0.044
    Portugal 0.038
    Canada 0.031
    Belgium 0.020
    France 0.014
    Spain 0.013
    Netherlands 0.013
    Ireland 0.013
    Denmark 0.011
    Italy 0.009
    Finland 0.008
    Germany 0.007
    Austria 0.005
    Cyprus 0.003
    Greece 0.001

  29. Hue Rant
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Mr Hancock was asked a nutty question on Sophie On Sunday “How many blacks are in the Cabinet?”
    He struggled on that one as any normal person would. I don’t know. I’ve never considered it.Nor how many whites. Or yellow. Or brown. Or grey. Hammond looked grey to me now I think about it. I try to put him out of my mind as any normal person would.

  30. Pat
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Intensive chicken farming is a huge risk for a viral outbreak much more lethal to humanity than Covid 19, irrespective of in which country that farming is carried out. This is established science, not speculation.

    A google search throws up any number of articles from authoritative sources highlighting this ‘when not if’ situation.

    It may be that intensive food farming will in any case soon be eliminated by advanced cellular food technologies which produce high quality animal protein without farming and its associated viral disease risk.

    It would be prudent for our government to factor bio security risk consideration into it’s food and agriculture policy and it’s trade negotiations with other countries.

    We should also increase our efforts to develop safe bio technology to provide good quality animal protein to humanities poorest people, while eliminating the animal cruelty and disease integral to factory farming of animals.

    Thank you for your ongoing efforts.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      It is not clear that the first paragraph is established science. Outdoor chicken farming leads to later slaughter (increasing campylobacter), increases chances of avian flu in flocks and dioxin levels in eggs. Intensive, indoor systems reduce these risks though at an animal welfare cost.

      I think there are some who are motivated by the animal welfare cost that make the catastrophe argument. In the current irrational UK/world in which we find ourselves catastrophe stories are how causes compete for people’s attention. I think we are more likely to be destroyed by the catastrophe of the devaluation of knowledge, rational thought and the ability to construe how each other construes the world.

  31. Pat
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I should emphasize that we are on the brink of a revolution in cellular food production for animal protein.

    Britain should grasp this commercial opportunity.

    • Nutrient Dense
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Yummy. Lab grown meat requiring FBS – foetal bovine serum, a by product made from the blood of cow foetuses.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you want to see contented cows and sheep grazing in their emerald green British fields?

  32. William Long
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The four points you list this morning are clear, cogent and simple and they say everything that needs to be said. I cannot escape the conclusion that that is why the elistist Remainiacs cannot stand them: their whole raison d’etre depends on complicated bureaucratic procedures and rule by regulation. This in large part explains why our trade with the non-EU world has been growing faster than that with the EU despite being subject to protective EU tariffs.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Trade with the Developing World is, er, “developing” yes.

      What else would you expect?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        😂😂 the ‘non-EU’ world is NOT the ‘developing world’! The Anglo-sphere is the most developed. Have you never been to Portugal – drive north from the Algarve Highway and you are on corrugated in paved roads! Parts of the EU are shockingly undeveloped and disgracefully poor.

      • IanT
        Posted June 10, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        I think the Commonwealth would be a good starting point.

        54 countries with expanding economies and a range of economic development. If we seek mutual advantage it could be to the benefit of all. It might be good to upgrade its management first though and for the FO to take it more seriously.

  33. Javelin
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    A priority needs to be building British industry so we can make our own drugs, PPE, military uniforms etc

    As it’s impossible to know what we might need to follow Noah’s advice and make sure two of everything comes onboard.

    • steve
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


      Two ‘Andys’…..you can’t be serious.

  34. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see Labour supporting the right to ignore distancing rules to demonstrate whilst abhorring one person’s right to travel as a household to secure their child’s safety.

    We have the government denying us information and the opposition taking politically convenient stances over the rules.

    Neither of these 2 parties should be in control of negotiating trade agreements. I don’t trust them.

    Let’s go WTO and put our efforts into getting a functional UK governance.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Who are this “we” and “us”?

      • steve
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


        In case you hadn’t realised, the majority on here are Conservative voters, and voted to leave the EU.

        That puts you in the minority, as reflected by the last general election and leave referendum. Therefore we appropriately refer to ourselves as ‘we’ and ‘us’.

        Sorry if you don’t like it, but ‘we’ are the majority, and as you must know in any democracy it’s majority rule.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Only fourteen million out of sixty-seven million voted Tory, Steve.

          The “we” to whom I belong number fifty-three million, that is, non-Tory voters.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Including all the other 👶 then to get to 53 million?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Where do you get your claim of 77 million from?

            Ridiculous nonsense.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            Typo 67

            And I meant to add before pressing “post”,

            We have simple rules for voting Martin.
            You have to be 18 or over.
            You have to be a UK citizen
            Voting isn’t compulsory.
            For all you know those that didn’t vote in the referendum and the last election could all be Leave and Conservative supporters.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

            Fourteen plus fifty-three is sixty-seven, Ed.

            What do you mean?

            Back to primary school, I think for you.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            I’m not writing about voting, Ed.

            I’m writing about BEING – a human.

            Fifty-three million British human beings did not vote Tory.

            The fact that you do not care about that reality says a great deal, I think.

            But they are making their presence felt, aren’t they?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            You claim everyone that didn’t actually vote Conservative in the last election was a “non Tory” and then you have the nerve to say you have a a good sense of reality.


    • steve
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


      “Let’s go WTO and put our efforts into getting a functional UK governance.”

      Agreed, I don’t think we should muck about any further. Just tell the French – led EU right now to sling their hook. They can trade with us on WTO, get out of our fishing grounds with 24 hours notice, accept that we will have immigrants in the English Channel do a 180 degree turn as soon as we spot them.

      If that is not good enough they can do one.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Let the people of Dover enjoy what the people of Calais have endured for years.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Endured? Surely they’ve been welcomed into the EU with open arms, haven’t they? Somehow misguidedly thinking the UK offers them a standard of life worth risking their lives for? Surely they should be attending re-orientation classes in Calais to save them from their cruel non-EU fate here in the UK?

  35. Everhopeful
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    What a cheek telling people to socialise in their gardens!
    How about long suffering neighbours who have been imprisoned next to appalling noise ( kids and adults) and terrible behaviour throughout this madness?
    What does the govt HONESTLY think has been going on? No hot tub parties? No shared paddling pools? No overnight visitors? No rotten, stinking BBQs??
    At the beginning of the insanity least govt could have done…put out message

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Oh, it’s not so bad.

      Not everywhere voted Leave.

  36. Andy
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    It is amusing that you continue to peddle this nonsense after 4 years of being proven repeatedly wrong at every stage. As I have said all along the economics of Brexit are just about the least worst thing about Brexit and yet even the economics are silly. To take your points:

    1 The EU remains, by far, our biggest trading partner. EU external tariffs on the vast majority of goods are very low and there are special arrangements in place for poor countries. In any case, tariffs are a significantly less important barrier to trade than non tariff barriers – which the single market all but eliminates for goods and has done more than anywhere else on Earth to eliminate for services too.

    2 You can have profitable trade without an FTA – nobody said otherwise. But FTA’s can and do help and single markets really help. Leaving the most developed single market in the world and replacing it with a bog standard FTA will be costly. Replacing it with WTO terms will be very costly and mind-numbingly stupid.

    3 Goods you sell to another country have to comply with their product rules. If their product rules are different to yours then companies which export – and many suppliers to those companies – either have to manufacture to two different standards, increasing costs, or have to manufacture to the higher standard, also increasing costs. At the moment our product rules are the same as the EUs but you are intent on doubling costs for manufactures by exercising your sovereign right to regulate standards for toasters and dishwashers. Perhaps you can work these out with your colleagues while you are queuing to vote?

    4 The EU has very high animal welfare standards compared to most of the world and it won’t accept imports in areas where there is a risk our market our infected with substandard American trash.

    None of this begins to even mention Rules of Origin requirements which will likely be the killer for complex industries like car and plane manufacturers.

    More to the point none of what you are now saying in anyway matches what the winning Vote Leave campaign promised in 2016. They promised a new treaty with the EU -which was better than EU membership. They promised we would be a part of a free trade area which stretched from Iceland to Russia. They promised less bureaucracy not more. Johnson promised no extra paperwork to travel and said it would still be as easy to travel to or live in the EU. This is what your side promised and it was all untrue.

    • steve
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink


      “The EU has very high animal welfare standards compared to most of the world”

      Your comment above proves two things, firstly you have never been to Europe. Secondly you appear not to know what you are talking about.

      “It is amusing that you [JR] continue to peddle this nonsense after 4 years of being proven repeatedly wrong at every stage.”

      Considering he has not been proven wrong on anything during the last four years, clearly it is you who is peddling nonsense.

      • steve
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink


        “The EU has very high animal welfare standards compared to most of the world”

        And while we’re on the subject, your beloved left wingers IN THIS COUNTRY don’t have very high animal welfare standards, what with them throwing flares and bicycles at horses.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:03 am | Permalink


          So you claim that you have to be a left winger to take part in an anti racism demonstrations? I thought all decent human beings of whatever political persuasion are appalled by this latest American racist murder.

          Although I fail to see what EU animal welfare has to do with some English yobs attacking horses in London.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            MH, Yes appalled by his method of arrest but more appalled by the selfish mob who couldn’t give a damn how many they kill by spreading a virus amonst us. Anyone badly treating an animal is a low life, EU or not.

      • Andy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        I have not only been all over Europe. I have lived in Europe too – and I own property in Europe.

        And whether you like it or not it is a fact that the EU has high animal welfare standards. That doesn’t mean they could not be higher still – they could. Incidentally I don’t eat meat so I don’t really care if you want to eat substandard food.

        It is very sad that a badly trained police horse bolted but these things happen. Incidentally I am not left wing and there is nothing left wing about opposing racism.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Live animals movement?
          Bull fighting?
          Migrating bird trapping?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Andy, I too have lived in Europe and you have a strange idea about high standards of animal welfare. It’s virally non existent. Geese force fed, frogs having their legs cut off, sheep eating scraps in concrete back yards, hunting dogs left to die after the season and thrown out of cars on motorways and bull fights. Really lovely.

    • Tim Rowe
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. Where did all that come from. The issue of being a true democracy is far far more important than anything you have said. I attended a wedding of a my nephew in Germany recently. Having a beer with the young people later in the night I was asked what I thought of Brexit? I said I was in favour and I voted to leave the EU. There was a silence then one young guy asked why and I told him that I wanted to live and be governed by people who I could vote out of power if I didn’t like their policies or if I had changed my mind. I was told that the EU was democratic. I said no. In a democracy policy is made by the elected people and administered by the civil service of that country. In the EU it is the civil service that both makes the policy and administers it. I then asked, which of you voted for Tusk or Junker. There was silence.

      • Andy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        I am not surprised there was silence. They probably wondered how anyone could be quite dim.

        Still, at least you got to vote for Mr Cummings. (Oh).

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          If Cummings stood he would do very well, specially here in the North. The last election he was involved in his side (which he headed) obtained 98%.

          A Parliament can propose, enact, amend and repeal laws. Not one ‘parliament’ in the EU can do that so to call them ‘parliaments’ does violence to our language (to quote the Greatest of them all, EP).

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

        Tim Rowe

        There was silence? I’m not surprised. No doubt they were too polite to laugh.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      1. Untrue, there are plenty of FTAs which cover goods and services but do not require one party to pay the other nor supranational government structures. The Australia-NZ CER is an example
      2. The potential gains from leaving the EU include, inter alia, saving money (which would now be 2x even what it was with the new bailout), freedom over regulatory and trade policy, and most of all insulation from the likely increasing costs and risks of monetary union. (The new bailout costs land on the non-euro members)
      3. Of course goods and services sold to an export market have to comply with applicable standards. EU standards for EU markets, US standards for US markets etc. But nowhere else in the world does a supposed trade agreement mandate that all laws and regs as made from time by one party should apply automatically and in perpetuity to the entire economy of the other
      4. False. See my post above

      Rules of origin? Which state that you absolutely can’t sell anything into the EU irrespective of price or quality unless c 60-90% is made in the EU. That’s why no-one in the eu has an iPhone or an iPad. No-one has a Samsung tv. No-one buys drugs made by American companies. No Australian or NZ wine – how could there be it isn’t made in the EU? No Chinese imports, no Teslas etc etc.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Here’s an easy question for you.

      If we leave the EU with no trade deal agreed and the trade on WTO terms, by what percentage do you estimate trade between us will fall?

      And, follow up questions.

      1) By how much will our exports to the EU fall?

      2) By how much will imports from the EU fall?

      3) What will there be shortages of in the shops?

      Your best estimates please, with your reasoning too if possible.

  37. BJC
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I’ve never understood the furore over tariffs, as we’ve clearly succeeded despite the sclerotic EU, not because of it.

    If we gave our EU membership fees their true title of “tariffs” perhaps there would be a better understanding that we’ve been well and truly conned. These fees are, of course, based on our overall income from EU AND worldwide trade, so can be likened to a tax liability based on our own AND our entire neighbourhood income. As our EU trade has decreased, so our dynamic businesses have diversified and sought trade from around the world……no effort whatsoever required on the part of the EU. They simply claim our successes as their own, salivate in anticipation of the billions that continue to roll in from our enterprise and dream up ever more elaborate ways to extract every last penny from us.

    We could be paying over £1m for every single widget exported to the EU, no-one would know……give me tariffs calculated on genuine trade with them, any day.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Tariffs are the simplest part of it.

      The vastly greater complexity is REGULATION, of product standards, safety, etc.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        All companies that sell into export markets comply with regulations and product standards already.
        And have been doing so for decades.
        It isn’t a problem.
        There are many different types of rules and regulations even within Europe.
        You show your lack of knowledge on this Martin.

  38. Anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    People on furlough are having the time of their lives.

    They are getting a taste of what the professional welfare abuser gets.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed the absurd way in which the government endlessly augment the feckless (using money extracted of others) is appalling. Often taxes taken off people who are just a poor as the people claiming these benefits (and who have far less time too). Perhaps people deciding they cannot afford to have a child or have another child and yet they are paying for someone on benefits with nine children and another on the way living round the corner.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        I know some of those, very sad cases. It costs £180k to bring up a child in the U.K. to the age of majority. Someone pays!

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


          So what do you propose to do? Punish the children for the recklessness of their parents and deny them a better start in life?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I do not really blame the welfare abuser so much as the system that endlessly encourages this abuse.

    • steve
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


      Not everyone on furlough is having a whale of a time, some people are ‘bricking it’ because once furlough ends they’ll be out of a job.

      Though I agree with what you say in principle, quite a few are taking the P.

  39. Christine
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The same people who gave us project fear about leaving the EU are mainly the same people now rubbishing the quality of American food. It passes them by that we have been eating chlorinated salad stuffs for years as their outrage about chlorinated chicken reaches hysterical levels. They conveniently forget the horsemeat scandal and the wine doctored with antifreeze. Not a peep from them about the cruelty of prawn farming in Asia and how the seabed there is decimated, in order to produce prawn food and is polluted with prawn farm waste. I’ve been to the USA many times and the food is of a very high standard. This outcry is nothing to do with food standards, it’s all about tying us into a bad deal with the EU. Once again, we see the media and EU lovers trying to damage our future trade deals. Boris is right to vote down the amendments to the agriculture bill. As long as food is clearly labelled, giving people a choice, I have no problem with where it comes from.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Well said Christine

    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Max Horkeimer. Read and feel nervous because you should. Gove made reference to Horkeimer some years ago. The ideas of Horkheimer have been implemented and are now bearing fruit right before our very eyes

    Both main parties have embraced these ideas and what we see on our tv screens today are the direct result of Tory MPs passing laws they do not believe in

    Labour was captured in the early 1970’s but the Tory party’s embrace has removed the last barrier to the full implementation of the ideas of cultural Marxism

    Oppression is just around the corner

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Year Zero is already well underway. Statues being thrown into docks.

      Having failed to defeat the democratic vote at the ballot box and in the courts they have now resorted to disorder under the cover of racism.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Precisely so.
        Where’s Johnson?
        Can you imagine what Thatcher would have been doing and saying with this going on?
        There seems to be a deafening acquiescence from our host up.

  41. shipping
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Why do you put it out as a New Trade Vision for the UK? What you’re proposing is what we had back in the 1950’s and 1960’s as I well remember when we had hundreds of ocean going merchant ships, with tens of thousands of UK seafarers, on UK flagged and UK owned vessels, transporting goods to and from Britain to the four corners.

    So now according to your New Trade Vision you propose we resume trade again with countries on the other side of the world but this time using foreign flagged and largely EU owned shipping companies from Copenhagen Hamburg and Rotterdam? or from China- and you think this a safe and suitable way for an island nation of 60 million to conduct its trade business into the future.

    • Iago
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      It’s about 70 million at least.

  42. Everhopeful
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    The argument for proximity is really an argument for integration.
    Mini ( BMW) purposely designed to economically integrate us into EU.
    Free movement of cars back and forth in different stages of production.
    Nissan ( Sunderland…”RedWall“ jobs) now putting pressure on govt. for EU trade deal because of all this! Difficult.
    Mind you..Covid has closed the lot down.
    Car factories will go the way of the typewriter factories!
    Build Back Better? With a great deal of state aid? Corbyn’s dream fulfilled!!

  43. WorshippED
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Like an unupdated web page, I was refreshed this morning. I watched glowingly a Church Service here in England. Full congregation, no social distancing, singing their hearts out and I sang along wearing my mask

    “And did those feet in ancient time,
    Walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the holy lamb of god
    On England’s pleasant pastures seen?”

    (shuffling and coughing and sniffing and a child silently crunching a hidden crisp)

    Then the vicar proclaimed matter-of -factly,
    “Jesus is alive”
    I knew then it was a recording made a very long time ago and no wonder the pictures were in black and white

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Well..govt has now come out for full atheism ( or rather no Christianity).
      Sundays to be days of full on shopping. (Actually, thought that was de facto anyway).
      Still, now it is official.
      Wonder where the spending money will come from?

  44. Polly
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink
  45. Tabulazero
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    4. Once we are fully out of the EU we will decide on our animal welfare and food growing standards.

    Why wait ? Why not change them right now ?

    The EU sets minimum standards. If a member states want to go above (and some do), nobody is going to prevent them from doing so.

    The only advantage of leaving the EU is that it will allow the UK to go below those minimum standards.

    The fact that you are talking about changing those standards without bothering to indicate the direction of travel (higher or lower standards from today) would indicate that this is indeed the plan.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      And if they are seen as safer to us and less safe to the EU, what then?
      Does the US see their food standards as being less safe than the EUs?
      I think we make our own rules, please, and our own decisions on what is safer for us.
      That’s the whole point.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        You are absolutely correct but I think the Conservative party should come clean about it rather than make the promise not to lower standards and then quietly break it.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          How are they breaking it?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I remember the greyish-brown, foetid, open sewers and chemical waste dumps, which passed for major UK rivers and coastal waters before EC or European Union water standards.

        The UK had to be dragged kicking and screaming to implement them.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          So you’re happy for us not to make our own rules?
          Why don’t we go the whole way and let the Chinese rule us? They seem to have this virus thing licked.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            I care whether laws and rules are good, effective, just ones.

            I don’t care tuppence who made them.

            The Romans laid the foundations of our land law, for instance.

        • Robert Mcdonald
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Britain has led the world in environmental protection, and certainly led Europe. Did you see the documentary about Spanish greenhouse practices ? Disposing of used plastics in untended piles next to water courses. And don’t ask about how casual they treat their migrant workers.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            Yes, it’s a pity that employment law – apart from H&S – is not a European Union but a national matter.

            Your first claim is utter rubbish.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero: ‘The only advantage of leaving the EU is that it will allow the UK to go below those minimum standards.’
      By leaving the EU we set and maintain our own standards. We then can, and should, prevent imports of lower standards (for example, Continental pork – Note that the Coop will only sell British pork because of the low welfare of pig production on the continent; sadly, other supermarkets are not so ethical. Another example is to ban the sale of Foie Gras in the UK). As you say, the EU sets minimum standards, and currently we have to accept such low standard food imports from the EU. When we leave, we do not. And thus our farmers can produce, and should be encouraged to produce, to a higher welfare standard without fear of being undercut by cheap low standard imports.
      Too, we can now ban the live export of animals (an important debate in parliament this month, one I hope Sir John will speak on). We were unable to do this under Freedom of Movement rules of the EU.
      Too, we can restore our farmland and fishing grounds, and maintain them for nature at a much higher standard, something we were unable to do when in the CAP and CFP.
      There is more…. – but I suspect that is not of interest to you.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      By law we have to treat animals in a way we never would otherwise. Defending people who bury geese in the ground and fill their stomachs with so much grain, using funnels, is not a winning argument really. Try something else like how kind the EU is to migrants, allowing them to burn 1,500 churches to the ground in France, for instance.

      • hefner
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        There have been acts of vandalism in French churches. True, with a peak around February 2019, five churches vandalised over seven weeks. Overall accounting for all incidents, including thefts of donation money boxes, it is about one incident a day. And I agree that’s really bad.
        But that’s not 1500 churches burnt to the ground and no systematically linked to migrant actions as you are reporting.

        Sites repeating a figure in excess of 1000 are all far-right or anti-migrant related. No AFP, no AP, no Reuters, no Le Monde or Figaro reports of such things. But Breitbart at the top of the list.
        Lynn, if you are happy living in your little fish bowl, good for you, but you are peddling untruths.

  46. Newmania
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Are you suggesting we should export Nissan’s to Australia ? Are you suggesting we can have same access for financial services in the States as we have in the Single Market ? I hope not .
    You are right to point out that being as member of the EU has assisted not impeded growing trade with other economies and a fair deal with the US and the EU is along terms project . Going with a begging bowl to Donald Trump is not something I would recommend.
    All authoritative opinion agrees with me , and whilst it is no doubt possible to make an argument for just about anything we have real world problem requiring real solutions . Frankly debate between sense and nonsense has delighted us all enough.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      27,000 jobs at Sunderland including supply chain jobs.


      In view of the fact that we’re likely to lose 3 million plus jobs because of the CV19 reaction you’re saying that Japan should dictate how we’re ruled as a country.

      I don’t think that any automotive manufacturer is going to fair well out of this. Not least because of the mad pro cyclist policy being pursued in our cities under the cover of lockdown.

  47. Bert
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    What is this “Remain” nonsense? We left the EU months ago. There is no such thing as “Remain”. You won, Mr Redwood. We have left. All you have to do now is make good on your many promises about how wonderful it will be, with no downsides. It’s all up to you now, you own it.

    Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    The Tories in government have deliberately protected Labour from political harm to maintain the two party duopoly in the Commons. Without Labour, what we are seeing today (mob rule, violence and racism) would not be happening.

    Now, the Tory party is under attack by the very people they have been protecting. To destroy Brexit the BBC and Labour’s client state are working together to destroy the UK and Johnson

    If Labour’s crimes had been exposed then I believe Labour would have been replaced by the Brexit Party in the north and we would now be seeing a true conservative government

    The Tories have walked right into the Left’s trap and exposed the nation to a most appalling future

    A FTA with the US is now meaningless when the enemy is now within the bowels of the British State

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t even the left’s trap, it was the trap in their own party. “Baroness” Morgan, Cameron and their type who thwarted a timely Brexit and without whom we would likely be in a new era of making our own rules, own PPE etc. walks away with a stipend.
      It is indeed pity the Brexit party couldn’t match the other 2 for spending and background. We are stuck with the better of the worst.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        So what is this b useless govt doing about statues being pulled down?
        Where are the police who arrested people over Covid rules?
        What of Charlie Gilmour who only climbed a statue?
        How DARE the govt let this happen.
        After all they have put us through.
        Descent into anarchy.

        • Mark B
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          The government gave itself widespread powers and, in the face of true anarchy, stood by and did nothing. Nothing except getting the police to bend on one knee. Pathetic !

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          You seem rather angrier about a lump of bronze than you do over seventy thousand squandered lives.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          I notice the Daily Telegraph don’t allow comments on this. There is no doubt, they approve of this act, together with the BBC.

          Diversity trumps everything today, even violent acts like this, meet with their full approval. They are craven cowards.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            The ‘whites’ in the BBC and Telegraph and Lambeth Palace who feel guilty should resign and give their assets away. Then they would be assuaged of their guilt. I look forward to news of a raft of resignations!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your first paragraph. In not standing candidates down when Farage stood candidates down Johnson made much of the current situation. In your 4th paragraph I do not think it is the left’s trap, it has been a conscious decision. Nonetheless your overall fear of the left being in the bowels of the British state seems frighteningly true.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      The UK has left the European Union.

      Your precious “brexit” has been achieved.

      You must accept, however that getting divorced is just slightly different from never having been married in the first place.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh Martin this was a shotgun ‘wedding’ in 1972 – don’t you remember?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          We voted by 68:32 to keep it.

          And we were properly informed, every single voter.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            Common Market back then.
            No mention of 28 states, a flag, an anthem ,5 Presidents, embassies, ambitions for their own army and a descent into the United States of Europe.
            Just a mutually beneficial trading club.

            I remember a time when the far left hated the concept.
            Calling it a bosses club to subjugate the working class.
            My how you’ve all changed.

  49. Tim Rowe
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more. The peddled opinions of me, a person who voted for Brexit, are outrageous. In particular the claim that I am anti European insults me. I love our European neighbours. I am old enough to have travelled throughout Europe before the Common Market and the EU, I also voted to enter the Common Market but zi did not vote to join a federal state of European countries run by an unelected bureaucracy. Trade will happen, no matter what. If we end up with WTO terms then so be it. All that will happen if that occurs is a FTA will happen with individual countries when, perhaps the EU collapses.

    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      @Tim Rowe; “I also voted to enter the Common Market”

      Where has this idea come from, that the UK voted to enter the EEC, the UK electorate did no such thing, at best we voted to explore possible entry (1970 Tory manifesto). We joined on 1st Jan 1973, the only people who got to vote were MPs and Peers.

      “not vote to join a federal state of European countries run by an unelected bureaucracy.”

      Unfortunately that is exactly what we were agreeing to when we voted to remain members in 1975, as Heath had explained in press interviews to camera back in Feb. 1972 (saying that “Whitehall has got to become European”), and as the likes of Benn, Powell and Shore et el tried to explain again in 1975!

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Benn was ardently anti EU because he believed the EU to be undemocratic.

  50. Grant
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Dividing up what we export between France and Germany as individual countries makes no sense as an argument under present conditions. Our trade talks are with the EU as a whole and from what I read we currently send 47% of our exports to the EU Bloc of countries and a good bit into other foreign countries with whom the EU has trade agreements. And for all of this the EU Bloc exports only 7% of it’s goods into UK? and here we’re not even talking about financials and services. Lastly the WTO as presently constituted is in need of a vast overhaul if it is to become effective agent for world trade but can’t and won’t happen if Donald Trump has his way- dangerous times ahead indeed

    • Mark B
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      You need to look up the port of Rotterdam effect. Most of our exports go through Rotterdam on their way to non-EU countries and yet, these exports are classed as to the EU.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      The member states of the EU don’t have the power to conclude a trade treaty with anyone. It came as a shock to some of their governments (Portugal) who were under the impression that the EU was a group of countries in a trading arrangement. Apparently they had not comprehended that there are no Portuguese citizens anymore – just EU citizens.
      Brexit has caused a learning curve in the member states.

  51. acorn
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Worth having a read of Part 5 in UK Trade. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/uktrade/march2020 very good interactive charts on goods import and exports.

    Particularly notice “food and live animals” trade. The UK is 70% dependant on EU members to fill its Supermarket shelves. There is no-way that can be substituted for by non-EU sources anytime soon!

    The placards currently being waved by thousands in Downing Street, will change to “Full Shelves Matter”.

    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      @acorn; “The UK is 70% dependant on EU members to fill its Supermarket shelves.”

      Of course the UK has been “70% dependant on the EU members”, when the EC prevents us from importing any greater quantity from outside of the EU (had we wished to do so), or worse, makes it impossible for UK farms to produce more meat even at the EU inflated farm gate price due to the CAP and other polices!

      “There is no-way that can be substituted for by non-EU sources anytime soon!”

      Sounds like europhiles are wanting EU27 farmers to cut their own noses off to spite the UK, why would these EU countries stop selling us their meat, would that not cause them greater hardship?! After all if they do, why do you think Australia, New Zeeland and, yes, the USA are all chafing at the bit for the opportunity to sign post Brexit FTAs with the UK?

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

      I have some concerns but I am unsure how you arrived at 70% figure from BoP. The UK supplies about 60% of its own food (and drink) overall and 75% of what can be produced indigenously.


      Peak was late 80s early 90s (from 95 to 2005 there was a decline before levelling off, I haven’t looked at details of this).

      Scrolling down the graphic in the Guardian from last year is quite interesting – ignore the title – the graphics are fun,


    • Nick
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, According to DEFRA statistics 53% of UK food comes from the UK, 28% comes from the EU, and 19% from the rest of the world. So the UK is not “70% dependant” on the EU to fill our supermarket shelves. And when we get our fish back, and we opt for rotw wine and other beverages, the EU’s 28% will shrink even more.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        And, in the worst case, a reduction in food consumption by 28% would go a long way towards solving the UK’s obesity crisis.

  52. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    “The gravity model states that trade with near neighbours is both more likely and more important than trade with countries further away.”

    If that model were true the EU would be keen to conclude a FTA with the UK. As they plainly aren’t we can safely assume the gravity model is nonsense. A similar argument pushed by remainers is that as fishing is such a small % of UK’s GDP we should concede to the EU on this point – no mention of the fact that as it’s also such a small % of the EU’s GDP they should drop their demands.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re drawing the wrong conclusion. I believe that the EU is sincere in wanting an FTA, for a number of reasons including some supported by the gravity model of trade, but they won’t enter into one on the terms currently offered.

    • jerry
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Who says the EU27 are not keen to conclude a FTA with the UK, after all it is not the EU who is conducting these talks but the EC, a slight but important difference that (sorry to say) many UK europhiles still fail to understand.

  53. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    M Barnier is asserting that the UK is breaking promises by not agreeing to measures in the Political Declaration, which is non-binding – as he himself has said. So no promises have been broken and he is negotiating in bad faith. We may as well determine our trade policy without reference to the EU.

    The first step is to make sure that we do not request an extension to the transition period before the 30th June deadline.

    We will probably have to make some sort of temporary concession on fishing rights because we don’t yet have the warships and patrol boats that would be necessary to enforce 100% of the fish in British waters being caught by British boats. Allowing 25% of the catch to go to a mixture of Dutch, French and Spanish boats for 5 years would be OK. There would have to be a system of licensing individual boats because there is no way that we could trust the EU or its member states.

    The EU must not get away with insisting on an absolutely level playing field with regard to employment and environmental regulations because that would be a constraint on our sovereignty. We should sweep away some of the more ridiculous constraints on working hours (there was a time when M Jospin of France stipulated a maximum of 35 hours per week for most of the French economy). It seems that our environmental regulations will be more stringent than those of the EU.

    Hopefully, M Barnier will agree to tariff free trade in industrial items and supply chain parts. If not, and we are to get no special treatment, then we should pressure the EU to reduce its tariffs on imports from all countries. The EU is one of the more protectionist powers.

  54. Will in Hampshire
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Our host writes “There has always been a central lie behind the Remain position on trade, based on the so called gravity model. This states that trade with near neighbours is both more likely and more important than trade with countries further away”.

    I think it’s true that trade with near neighbours is more likely. This is because the investment of time and money needed to win contracts does vary in proportion to distance, as anyone working in cross-border Sales or Business Development will attest. For very practical reasons of language, cultural differences and travel times, it is cheaper and quicker to win business in Belgium than it is in Brazil. You can argue that these effects are vanishingly small compared with the value traded over the term of a long contract, and I would agree with that in the case of large FTSE100 companies. But for the small & medium-sized enterprises that make up the bulk of the UK economy I do not think that they are vanishingly small at all.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Will in Hampshire,

      I think your argument is reasonable, but possibility irrelevant. In terms of trade volumes the gravity model tends to fit data but the gravity model itself does not fit comparative advantage. The gravity model is consistent with rather undifferentiated products (monopolistic competition) so this trade, although in high volume, may not add much to real welfare of the countries concerned – they are just trading similar stuff with each other. Much of it may be unnecessary / pointless trade.

  55. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    We REALLY REALLY need to support Australia now they are being hit by Chinese.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink


  56. Ed M
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Why is Priti getting annoyed by protesters knocking down the statue of a man involved in the slave trade?

    She should be getting really angry about protesters in London getting close together and so risk passing on the virus – lengthening lockdown, increasing deaths, and worsening our economy.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      ‘and worsening our economy’ – for ALL (not just some).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Why is Priti not concentrating on destroying the people traffickers and exploiters of the ‘modern slave trade’?

    • Ed M
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      ‘Why is Priti getting annoyed by protesters knocking down the statue of a man involved in the slave trade?’

      In fact, from a Brand-Bristol POV, getting rid of the statue of a slave trader is a good thing. And instead, focus on erecting statues and other interesting monuments to people born and or connected with Bristol such as: Brunel, Cabot, Cary Grant (have a big statue of him as he climbs over rocks in North by North West), Bob Hope, John Wssley, Wallace and Grommit, Dirac, JK Rowling.

      – all helping the culture, tourism and economy of the city. The slaver trader only harms Bristol’s image – so from a brand POV, no harm the statue was pulled down.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink


        Annoyed!! We should all be more than annoyed! If people are allowed to go around destroying statues and monuments they don’t like, where will it all end. Will Churchills statue be next?

        Those people who are saying they dont have ‘justice’ besmirched the memory of those who sacrificed so much in two World Wars, plus several smaller ones.

        I am offended, as I suspect, many on this site, and around the Country are.

      • rose
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        One age’s hero may become another age’s villain.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      You can’t “whitewash” out history, certainly slave trading is not something that we can condone today (although it seems to be supported by those transporting the illegal people trade that we see coming across the Channel from a safe haven in France).

      Maybe these statues should stand as a reminder of what was done wrong in the past and should never happen in the future.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    BBC text today.
    Item 1: “BLM demonstrators throw slaver’s statue into canal.”

    Item 3: “Professor says more lives could have been saved with earlier lockdown.”


    Has CV19 gone away ?

    Has a vaccine been found and been issued ?


    So why isn’t the BBC mentioning that BLM protesters are breaking social distancing rules and risking lives ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      Marr accused Trump of encouraging these protests (it seem to me that they BBC has been actively pouring petrol onto the fire of these “protests”. As have many in the Labour Party and indeed some senior management of the Met.

      I hope the policewoman thrown from her horse at the protest (who suffered a collapsed lung and shattered ribs) fully recovers quickly. Thank goodness is was not any worse.

      • rose
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        If only the mob which attacked the police and their horses, and the one which pulled down the listed statue of Edward Colston and threw it in the harbour, could develop a little love for their fellow man and campaign instead against the slave trade which is flourishing in 2020, now the Empire and the Royal Navy are no longer there to prevent it. I have never heard one word against the traffic across the Channel from the no borders extremist Thangam Debbonaire. Nor have I ever heard from any of the outside agitators like David Olusoga and Madge Dresser who affect to be historians, one word on the many West Country men, women, and children who were snatched by Barbary pirates from North Africa and taken into slavery abroad in Colston’s day.

  • 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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