The Trade Bill and trade deals

I have received copies of a couple of lobby letters being sent round asking me to support proper Parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals. Let me put minds at rest. Parliament has debated trade more thoroughly and more often in the last four years than in the four decades of our membership of the EU.

Parliament is debating trade yet again today as we continue our scrutiny of the government’s legislative framework for our post EU trade policy. We were never offered primary legislation or extensive scrutiny of the many tariffs and rules imposed during our membership of the EU. There was of course little point in Parliament debating the tariffs and controls imposed on us during those years, as they resulted from directly acting regulations of the Commission, or from Directives decided by qualified majority vote which we might have lost or agreed to reluctantly.

Any future trade deal will be discussed, examined and debated extensively by Parliament. It may well need legislation which will have to go through both Houses with more extensive scrutiny and with votes for those who dislike any such Agreement. There is no need today to vote for an amendment which requires more scrutiny as there will be more scrutiny. It is not a good idea for Parliament to try to fix its own future agenda in law. The truth is if a majority of MPs want something to be debated or wish to stop something the government is proposing, they will do so. Governments can only enter trade treaties or make other decisions all the time they command a majority. To continue to command such a majority they need to persuade enough MPs on each measure that they deserve support.

Some rightly argue we need high animal welfare standards. One of the advantages of coming out of the EU is we can set higher standards, as we were usually arguing for higher standards within the EU against considerable resistance from some countries. It took longer than we wanted to improve conditions for hens, and to ease veal crate conditions for example. It is strange that some people think it is both critical we have a Free Trade Agreement with the EU and equally critical we do not have one with the USA. The truth is FTAs with both could be helpful if they are good deals, but we can trade without one if necessary as we have had to with the USA for all our time in the EU.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I suppose one could argue that is little point in Parliament debating very much at all – such is the appalling quality, ignorance and often dishonesty of the average MP. All but a handful having voted for the climate change act (and still nothing has been done to rectifty this insanity). A majority even having voted for the outragious treachery of the Benn act. Including 21 who claimed to have been “Conservatives”. Many of whom have even been allowed back into the party or are now to be elevated to the Lords.

    It is all very depressing. The misguided economic policies of Sunak and Boris (HS2, exensive energy, every more red tape, ever larger government, electric car subsidies, very high taxes, expensive unreliable energy, state subsidied restaurants and taxpayer funded insulation grants are clearly idiotic and socialist. This will lead to weakened economy and a Labour victory in about four years time which will been ever worse still.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Time for Boris/Cummings to get a grip and actually deliver some real smaller state, free market, lower tax policies so this had some time to take effect before he loses the next election. Quite soon it will be too late.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Plus we have a total lack of free and fair competition in healthcare, schools, universities, housing, transport, broadcasting … huge taxes rates and despite this generally rather dire public services. Even the issuing passports, probate and driving licences in a timely manner or to have a few decent public loos seems to be beyond them in most places.

    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Remain bigots still doing their best to muddy the waters, even after all this time. Delay, frustrate, block and if possible halt and reverse the EU referendum result

    I see social conditioning rules are not being adhered to for those attending extremist political rallies in the north but then those of a certain persuasion are allowed to behave like reprobates by our infected political authorities who now view crime through the prism of identity politics. Faux victim afforded special privileges

    One can only pray for the rise of a neo-Thatcherite that slays the Marxist dragon.

    It’s time for London-centric liberal Johnson to depart. He’s been a damaging presence since he arrived in No.10 and the majority are now less free and exposed to official contempt than ever before

  3. Mark B
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    No Deal is better than a bad deal. FTA’s may look good on paper but, they can, as the EU is trying to do, tie you up in so much nonsense.

    We have sold successfully into the U.S. and other non-EU markets and see no reason that that can continue.

    Of course my view on the negotiations with the EU are nothing but a sham and see it as a way for those Europhiles to create a EU-LITE form of membership. The CV19 fiasco has, will, be used to bury bad news.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Agreed, yet people fail to comprehend that.

      Is that the Political Class think they can do better than the guy in the street or the entrepreneur. When in fact they are the hinderers to a more harmonious World

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      After 1st January 2021 will the US continue to impose a 30% tariff on Scotch Whisky and, potentially, 25% on UK made gin? Or will we have to wait for a UK/US trade deal to be completed?

      • Mark B
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I think you know the answer.

        The U.S. imposed sanction on the EU of which we are still a member despite what we are being told.

        So once out fully I expect these tariffs to be lowered.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, Exactly so. The WTO rules are universal and used by every trading nation and bloc all the time (98% global trade) – including the EU. “Trade deals” (ie RTAs registered at the WTO) only modify the participating nations own rules, not the WTO rules.

      Crazily, the EU makes its own trading rules (CCP) so sclerotic it has to ameliorate them via trade deals. The UK could eschew the rigid dirigiste EU model, set our tariffs and NTBs low (to suit our own industries), and consequently we would then have no pressing need of RTAs all over the place.

  4. Paddam
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    You have got your precious Brexit, and still you can’t resist telling fibs about it. All welfare standards and all environmental standards in the EU are minimum standards. We were always able to choose higher standards

    Reply Not true. We had to allow the import of animal food reared to low standards when we wanted higher standards

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      What about export and import of live animals ? We could have banned the import of live animals while we were in the EU could we ? Your precious EU would have allowed that ?

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Oh really? So how did we manage to poison our animals with mad cow disease resulting in a world wide ban? Did anyone force us to feed cows with the ground down remains of their fellow creatures?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I think the doom munger experts at the time predicted millions of human deaths from Mad Cow disease – in reality there was almost no increase in deaths from this types of brain infection.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 22, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        “Scientists looked at continental meats in isolation and found they were worse…British and Irish sausages increase bowel cancer risk less than chorizo or salami The World Health Organization in 2015 classified all processed meat as cancer-causing, tarring the reputations of bacon and sausages. But British and Irish sausages, as well as new types of ham and bacon, may not be as bad for people’s health as predicted… more heavily processed or cured foods such as chorizo, frankfurters, salami and prosciutto may carry a bigger risk …while processed meat as a whole increased risk by about half, this rose to a 65 per cent increase for those processed with a chemical called sodium nitrite..British and Irish sausages are not processed with nitrites.”The research was published in the journal Nutrients.DM

        Where was the horsemeat scandal from Margaret?

        We would all like better information on the food we eat and better labels on origins will help us to make up our minds on food miles and care of animals in those areas.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Paddam. I’ve seen European standards and I’m appalled. I trust this government will raise standards further than they are now. Standards in slaughterhouses need improvement too. Farming practices are often the reason people turn vegan so farmers should address much of which is cruel practice. If people don’t want to eat chicken from the USA they have a choice.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      If the UK had genuinely wanted higher welfare standards, then it could have ended its opt-out at any time, from the European Union’s blanket ban on non-stun slaughter, which would have stopped halal, kosher and any other such matters of general concern.

      It did not.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Labour were in power for 15 years.
        They did nothing.

      • NickC
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It was not our own food standards – we were able to improve them – it was the food standards of other EU states. As part of the EU we had to swallow those. Once we’re independent we can insist on food imports from the EU meeting our standards.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink


          In your brave new post-Brexit world does that include our ability to insist our higher food standards are met on the food imports from our new best friends and trading partners the US?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            We already import food from America.
            And many other non EU nations.

          • NickC
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            Margaret H, Yes. It’s our choice – because we’ll be independent. We may, of course choose to do things you don’t like (or profess to) – but that does not make our control less valid.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          Under WTO rules the UK would have to insist on the same standards for all imports.

          Trump wouldn’t like that.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            No you dont.
            Variation is allowed.
            Similar tariffs maybe.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            You claim that as if it were a good thing.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            It is a good thing.
            As an independent nation we can make decisions in our national interests.
            I’m amazed you find that a negative concept.

    • BJC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Is this why the EU has effectively blocked our attempts to ban the import of coffee plants and myrtle leaf milkwort, as well as introducing strict controls on olive, rosemary, lavender, almond and oleander, aimed at preventing the spread of the incurable bacterial disease, Xylella fastidiosa? Apparently, it’s already infected 520 species of plants in this country, including oak trees, but rules is rules and it was in controvention of EU plant “health” regulations. That’s all right then………

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Under EU single market rules, no member state can ban live animal exports, although the EU does put a number of animal welfare restrictions on exporting them.

      We wanted to ban the cruelty of live animal exports but couldn’t because the EU won’t allow it. That’s a simple fact.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Paddam, Really?? You need to ask the EU whether we have got our precious Brexit. Because the EU still believes it controls us. And the current negotiations are all about the EU continuing to control us (they think).

      As an apparently ill-informed Remain you don’t seem to know that in the EU we cannot force the Germans to adopt higher standards for their pork products. But as an independent nation we can.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Explain how, then.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          We don’t buy unless the standards are acceptable to us. Same for the USA and everywhere else.

        • NickC
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Explain how, what? You don’t think an independent nation can set its own food and animal husbandry rules? Are you serious?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            And you think that the supplicant, weakened UK will defy the US?

            Are you serious?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            I agree with Nick.
            America meets current EU regulations and standards to sell into our markets and have been doing so for decades.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

            Because the European Union is a big, powerful market and can lay down terms.

            The UK will not be in that position.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            The US can’t sell stuff we don’t want to buy Martin, if we insist on better labelling about origins and educate about processes then the public who don’t want to buy chlorine washed chicken and salad don’t buy it.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            In order to sell successfully in every market in the world you have to meet the requirements of that market.
            We do when we sell to America and they will, to sell into our home market.

            As Tracey says dont buy it if you dont want to.

  5. Nigl
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Yes. Anything agreed will be subject to unparalleled levels of ‘dissection’ and I am not convinced anyone will be happy. HMG better gets its comms coordinated and firing on all cylinders to counter what I expect to be a blizzard of negativity.

    Talking of negatives still no counter to claims that the WDA means continuing financial penalties and other aspects, boris’s claims re NI look particularly dubious and now it is alleged post exit large numbers of haulage companies will not be allowed licences to take goods to and from the EU.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The problem is John, no one trusts the government. We are still expecting an 11th hour sell out on fish and somewhere along the line involvement of the ECJ.
    You still do nothing on illegal immigration across the Channel despite talking tough.
    It seems you are incapable of acting in the interests of Britain.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      I agree with you. I don’t know whether it’s the MSM reporting, or the remainers still stirring things up; but a lot of people are seriously concerned that there will be a last minute botch. And as you say, some link with the ECJ, would render this uphill battle for freedom of the EU tentacles….pointless.. Even one tentacle would somehow grow and include other things. With the EU, give them an inch and somehow they’ll intrude on a thousand inches.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Totally agree on the trust. The internet and FOIs has shone unprecedented amounts of light in dark corners exposing massive levels of duplicity, waste etc. Theresa May keeping negotiations secret even from her own ministers, then many of them sold out only to tells us that 360 degree turns from the new guy were the way forward but we now know what are are currently being spun is way off the reality.

      Cameron tried to spin zero concessions from the EU as a success. I am expecting similar towards the end of the year.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Nearly 200 (admitted to) new “English” to pay for arrived over the weekend. Their families back home will already be laughing and packing their suitcases for their lives on our taxes. PP says and does NOTHING. The govt’s contempt for the people who they so willingly tax is very VERY clear.

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Its beyond belief

        • Fred H
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          glen – -you may not believe it – but millions of us voters DO believe it.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I think Sir John summed it up with the publication of ‘We Don’t Believe You’ .

      Our strange version our democracy gets the elected thinking they are there to demonstrate the wielding of power. When it is the opposite that’s needed – we can do it better ourselves thankyou.

    • Hope
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Grayling was going to be put in place, why? Cover up the dishonest MOD Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU defense, security and intelligence? A Mayhab policy Johnson is implementing having told the nation her deal was dead!

    • majorfrustration
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      How about an answer Sir John

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      I’ve just been reading about the level of services not available from the public sector during lockdown.
      No doubt all getting full pay whilst sunbathing at home, it gives the lie that they are working from home.
      They should be back to work or be sacked like the private sector.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      A valid summary and assessment of current affairs, I too believe this government will sell us out at the eleventh hour

      Every man and his dog can see though all the talk….we’re all a bit more news savvy than politicians think…the plebs will rebel

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Absolutely true.
      Look at the Begum situation. How many times did Patel say she would not be let back to UK? All talk.
      And now govt. refuses to pass a specific law to save historic statues!
      It would never surprise me if they turned round and said Brexit will be impossible because of Covid.

      Imprison and gag the population yet purposely allow riots and illegal immigration.

      • NickC
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, the government is literally gagging the population whilst purposely allowing riots and illegal immigration. It is not acceptable.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      The majority enjoyed by the Government was solely on the promise to get us out completely from the EU. No one would vote for the Tory’s again if that is not achieved including our fish. Is Barnier offering us any free orchards, valuable minerals in exchange for their free fish lunch? When are you sorting out the illegal immigrants who we know nothing about crossing the channel for their free meals, accomodation and health services. This Government appears all talk and no action.

    • DavidJ
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, I wait with bated breath and little optimism of BJ doing what is right for our country, not what the EU desires.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Yes, I am biting my nails wondering whether the government will sell us out again. And of course businesses still don’t know which way Boris will jump either. The lack of confidence in the government is deserved, but is detrimental for our economy.

  7. formula57
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    It is a matter of record that some bilateral trade agreements have disadvantaged both parties (USA- Australia for one) and it would surely be a help if the public were weaned off the notion commonly held that trade deals are not only always desirable but necessary.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Trade deals are frequently used to disadvantage the unwary rather than produce mutual benefit. It is of particular concern that the Tory Party will start from the false premise that the US is our friend. A lot of food in the US is produced on the basis that weight gain is primary and wholesomeness secondary. As US agriculture as with EU agriculture is heavily subsidised, trade deals with either involving food are better left off the dinner table. We will need our own agricultural policies to build up our production using any land left available after accommodating a large portion of the third world without having to over-subsidise our farmers as well.

      There is also the issue of cultural products from the USA bearing in mind that their culture is now certifiable and badly affecting us. Do we need any of it here? Let’s build up our cultural production (if we have a culture left).

      The most important issue is the need to remove a price tag off everything; this may be difficult for the Tories as their chums in the City want a continuous supply of assets to flog: Mergers & Acquisitions, they call it. The need is to deprecate parasitical activities and replace them with productive activities and the necessary changes all round to achieve this.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Formula57, Very true. Some minor agreements – such as on double taxation, driving licences, etc – are desirable and uncontroversial. A comprehensive trade deal allows too much scope for the vindictive EU to pull a fast one.

  8. jerry
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I suspect what many of those lobbyists really want is not grater scrutiny but a logjam in scrutiny, they will then claim that because there hasn’t been enough scrutiny the UK needs to sign-up to an open ended extension of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Correct. The lobbyists couldn’t care less about the details of trade deals, that’s why we never heard from them when the EU was negotiating them on our behalf. What they are lobbying for is to rejoin the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      What a joke the Labour party’s front bench are under their new leader, heard the opposition’s International Trade shadow, at the start of the Trade Bill debate, complain about the risks from post Brexit food imports damaging UK farmers – that from a party who wanted the UK to remain in the EU and thus have to accept unrestricted food important from the EU27 + EEA countries. Yes there are risks with any post Brexit FTA but at least the UK gets to decide/sign…

  9. Nigl
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The nonsense over chlorinated chicken I am grown up enough to make my own choice, thank you indicates the childish level of debate that I expect from the media whenever something gets signed.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      So will you support introducing country of origin labelling requirements in all locations where food is sold (restaurants, cafes, sandwich shops, motorway services, petrol stations etc.) to allow you and everyone else to always be able to make that choice?

      The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised:

      “In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.”

      • Edward2
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Out of the EU we are able to do this.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          There was never anything stopping us inside the EU.

          • jerry
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            @Peter Parsons; Stop talking total undiluted bilge water!

            Welfare, food standards and product labelling laws were set by EU wide laws, given the Single Market.

            Of course any company can choose to go beyond the basic requirements of EU law but under the SM the UK could not create a UK only standard – away from food, that is why products now carry a C€ mark and not a BS mark.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            We could only label ” from the EU”

          • Edward2
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Thankyou Jerry for reinforcing my post so eloquently.

        • hefner
          Posted July 26, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          Edward2, If one (a few more in fact) counter-example is able to contradict “we could only label from the EU”, how can I buy some Italian pecorino, French camembert, halloumi from Cyprus, feta from Greece, manchego and queixo de cabreiro from Spain, … (I love cheese!) all clearly displaying their country of origin?
          How comes that in France I found AllSorts Sweets clearly (and proudly) showing the ‘made in the UK’ label?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      I agree. Food should indicate the country of origin and the consumers can then choose whose standards they wish to support. I’ll happily eat chicken in America but won’t hesitate to always ‘Buy British’ at my local supermarket.

    • Lony
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      We can’t even choose if we want meat that is ritually slaughtered or not.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        +1 a disgrace!

    • Barbara
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Especially when they all happily eat chlorinated salad

    • Original Chris
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I would far rather have chlorinated chicken than salmonella laced chicken which may come from our intensive poultry rearing units.

    • jerry
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      @Nigl; Indeed, but let’s face it, this govt is using welfare and food safety as a protectionist brickbat to protect their country farming vote, not the consumer the other side of the now demolished “Red Wall”.

      This became obvious when someone pointed out the EU mandates the use of chlorinated washes for fruit and veg, all of a sudden Minsters stopped talking about ‘chlorinated chicken’ and started to talk about welfare issues, I seem to recall the switch was sudden, between the opening and closing speeches on the floor of the House!

  10. Shirley M
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Some people, like myself, only buy UK meat due to our higher welfare standards that are missing among many EU countries. I struggle to identify meat that has been slaughtered under UK Animal welfare laws as Parliament refuses to introduce labelling of meat produced under the religious exemption. Why? It wouldn’t reduce the ‘rights’ of those religions to buy religiously slaughtered meat but it would enable people not of those religions to choose to buy meat produced under UK Animal Welfare laws. If you are going to do anything to improve animal welfare then this is the place to start before ALL meat becomes religiously slaughtered as it is quickly heading that way despite the majority being not of those religions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      That’s the function of a democratically elected parliament and highlights for the most part what we have in the HoC is NOT.

      The UK reduced its standard on joining the EU as it disadvantage the EU regions.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      The only way to solve this conundrum is to abstain from eating other fellow mammals. The way any animal is killed will impact on it only in the last few minutes of its existence. It still dies and tries to escape its fate right until the end.

      It is barbaric and future generations will look upon us as with horror. There may have been a necessity to eat meat in our past history although many countries like India with a population that is 75% vegetarian, have found less gruesome ways to survive. But today anyone can have a wholesome diet which doesn’t involve the slaughter of another creature.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


        The sooner we have synthetic meat the better.

        I had a mushroom burger at the weekend. I said to my son “This is guilt free.” He pointed to his beef burger and said “So is this.”

        We are a ghastly species !

        (Mushroom burger is a good substitute btw.)

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        We are omnivores. That’s the ‘science’. Even monkeys eat meat! Giraffes eat bones, dog should have nothing but raw meat, they are carnivores.

      • NickC
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H said: “anyone can have a wholesome diet which doesn’t involve the slaughter of another creature”. Rubbish. From the greenfly and slugs on your organic lettuce to the rodents ground up in your flour, your eating will involve the slaughter of other creatures. Unless you starve of course – and then you’ll kill off all your own parasites and bacteria. And yourself.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 22, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        margaret “The biggest myth, of course, is that India is a largely vegetarian country. But that’s not the case at all. … Hindus, who make up 80% of the Indian population, are major meat-eaters. Even only a third of the privileged, upper-caste Indians are vegetarian.” BBC

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink


      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        My +1 was for Shirley M’s post.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Some EU meat was illegally branded as U.K. meat. I unpacked some myself.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, some eateries and bakers sell “Cornish” pasties not made in Cornwall too Lynn.

        There are lots of dishonest people about.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          You found a Cornish pasty double wrapped with British on the top wrapper and Poland on the under wrapper?

        • NickC
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Don’t be more silly than you normally are, Martin, please. A Cornish pasty has become a type of pasty, not a pasty that’s made in Cornwall. Just as cheddar cheese does not have to be made in Cheddar.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            Incorrect yet again.

            Like Melton Mowbray pork pies they enjoy protected status in the European Union.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          Depends on what stage of our human development you go back to. For millions of years before we left the trees we existed on a diet of leaves and berries. Our appendix, now redundant, helped us digest grasses.

          And rather than humankind today being carnivores millions of people, especially in countries like India, are vegetarians.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted July 21, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Well, well Margaret that is a new one?

            …and there is my medically trained wife believing the appendix plays an important role in the immune system.

            “Researchers deduce that the appendix is designed to protect good bacteria in the gut. That way, when the gut is affected by a bout of diarrhea or other illness that cleans out the intestines, the good bacteria in the appendix can repopulate the digestive system and keep you healthy.”

    • dixie
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I agree we need proper labelling so we know the true source and processing of foodstuffs and make properly informed buying decisions. This should be the case for all goods.

      • Otto
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        dixie – if that were done we’d starve until we’d eat anything.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It shameful that religion get an exemption

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


    • Mike Durrans
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Well said Shirley

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Shirley M, Some of the supermarkets do detail origin information. Asda does, for example pork reared in Germany, slaughtered in Poland. The Co-Op makes an issue of only supplying UK meat. And of course farm shops often specialise in locally produced meat. I also pick only UK meat, avoiding Halal or Kosher where possible.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      We aren’t really hungry enough to eat meat although soon we well may be.
      No doubt the Romantic Movement has a lot to answer for … anthropomorphism etc.
      The pig in the stye at the bottom of the garden was regarded with zero sentimentality.Meat for the winter. The chickens were Sunday lunch with feathers.
      But at least those animals weren’t tortured by long journeys and blood-soaked abattoirs.
      Nor were they ritually slaughtered.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        years ago the ‘favourite pet rabbit’ went missing, but the kids were told it escaped to go and join its friends in the nearest field.

  11. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I agree with your stance – and I can easily conjure up a mental picture of those writing to you on the subject.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink


  12. Len Peel
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Completely false. All the EU’s big trade deals are done by unanimity, the UK Parliament always had a veto

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      @Len Peel; Totally wrong, the UK govt might have had a veto, parliament only ever got to rubber stamp a done deal – I doubt much will change…

    • Javelin
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      But Sir John’s point was EU trade laws were never debated as extensively by Parliament not that Parliament didn’t have the opportunity to debate them. Unless you believe every paragraph put forward in EU legislation was written by a heavenly angel for this countries benefit you need to ask yourself why did the British Governments not deem it appropriate to discuss EU trade legislation?

      I would suggest one of (a) submissiveness (b) pointlessness (c) powerlessness.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Completely false. Trade deals are the prerogative of the executive in UK. Other countries require parliamentary approval but not UK. If parliament always had a veto over trade deals why are they agitating now to gain exactly that ?

    • Nigl
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Not true as we saw with Maastricht and John Majors ‘btards’

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      The piece does not say we could not veto them it says that Parliament did not scrtinise them, just waved them through as it was European legislation and did not require scrutiny.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      One of the problems with our membership of the EU is that the UK didn’t veto often enough.

      • Andy
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        We didn’t need to veto. We got our own way most of the time.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          Because we had a veto.
          Have you ever done any negotiations Andy?

        • Fred H
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          just like the last 3 years discussions, eh? Andy?

    • IanT
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Ah! The Veto – the reason it takes the EU so long to get anything done Len.

      In the Canadian trade deal case, the final delay was because the Wallon’s (the French speaking part of Belgium) used it as a bargaining chip to promote their own internal political agenda. Belgium has five such sub-federal administrations, all of which can insist “Belgium” uses it’s veto. So it’s not just the 27 countries that need to agree anything (as if that wasn’t bad enough) – it’s even more complicated than that.

      Which is why with any EU ‘deal’ you end-up with a complete mishmash of priorities, many of which are not aligned with our specific (UK) needs or interests – all topped up with a goodly dollop of Pork-Barrel diplomacy from numerous self-interested members.

      Finally (hopefully) – we can focus on our needs and our interests and get on with things – and if the EU cannot sort out something with us within the timescale, then I’m sure we will manage. Covid is a far bigger threat to our economic well being.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Len Peel

      Perhaps you can enlighten us as to which singular business Veto put forward by the UK was successful and those that were not? Anybody that has run substantial international businesses (£multi-billion) in the EU will be fully cognizant of how some European countries have greater weight in Brussels than the UK.

      Britain was the most ignored country in EU. Additionally, the UK civil service were very compliant with EU directives over the past 40+ years and paid lip service to the needs of the UK citizenship and/or its businesses.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      The UK parliament never had a veto, or even a say.

      UK MEPs may have had a say, though again not a veto, as trade deals are a competence of the EU Commission.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Completely false. All the EU’s big trade deals are done by unanimity, the UK Parliament always had a veto

      Completely false. Qualified Majority voting for Trade Deals was in the NICE treaty.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Len Peel, Completely false. JR referenced the EU’s own “tariffs and rules” which are imposed upon us as an EU member, not the EU’s external “big trade deals”.

    • acorn
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Len. Ironically the EU Parliament, as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, has far greater powers over EU trade treaties, than the UK Parliament ever will.

      BTW. Did you know that a vote in the UK Parliament takes 20 minutes? In the EU Parliament it takes 20 seconds. Not that I am a fan of the EU Parliament or the Euro currency.

      Some of us have been trying to find out where the UK is with all these foreign countries that are falling over themselves trying to do post Brexit trade deals with the UK. That is, those that are not scared stiff of getting put on the Naughty Step by the EU.

      As far as we can find out so far, the UK has bagged £85 billion in total trade. That is about 7% of UK total trade of £1,379 billion last year. Total trade is defined as the sum of goods and services exports (£372 bn and £307 bn res) plus, goods and services imports (£502 bn and £197 bn res).

      Trade will go on much as now. It will just get more expensive with deliveries taking longer and some products in short supply for a while. Just hope that foreigners who fulfil the UK’s desire for imports that the UK can’t be bothered to make for itself, think the Pound Sterling is still worth getting paid in and still worth saving in Sterling denominated assets. Simples 😉

      • Edward2
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your last paragraph, to an extent.
        Substitute non EU suppliers will arise if EU suppliers are too expensive.
        If there are extended deliveries or shortages of supply other world suppliers will be keen to fill the gap.
        Some importers ask for US Dollars as payment so currency isn’t really the difficulty you claim.

        • acorn
          Posted July 23, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          What do you buy the US dollars with, we don’t make them in the UK?

  13. Andy
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    The crucial point is that while MPs can discuss new trade bills you do not get a binding vote on them.

    You will not get a binding vote on the mess that unelected bureaucrat David Frost is negotiating with the EU. You will not get a vote on what Liz Truss is negotiating with the US.

    There is precisely zero chance that Brexit will lead to high animal welfare standards. Standards which, incidentally, we could have had whilst in the EU.

    EU standards are a floor below which you cannot fall, not a ceiling above which you cannot rise.

    Meanwhile the government has embarked on a £90m+ campaign telling us all the ways in which our lives will get harder, more bureaucratic, more expensive and worse from January.

    They are no longer even trying to pretend there are any benefits to Brexit.

    Reply Parliament does get votes

    • Andy
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      The Commons Library has a helpful guide for MPs about their role in scrutinising trade agreements. It’s quite easy to understand. MPs have no formal role – and get no binding vote. The government has no obligation to inform Parliament or even seek to seek consent. Plans to change this to give MPs more powers over trade agreements were dropped by Boris Johnson last December. We will literally get what this government – elected by a minority of voters- gives us and Parliament cannot stop it.

      Whilst we were in the EU trade agreements were scrutinised both by MEPs – who had a binding vote – and by national, and sometimes regional, parliaments which could reject any deals. Remember tiny Wallonia delayed the Canada deal in a row over cheese? Helpfully Walloons now have more say over Brexit than Britons. As their Parliament can reject any deal negotiated between the EU and UK – and our MPs can’t. Wallonia is really taking back control.

      Reply Parliament is sovereign once out of the EU and can vote down a measure or a government if it chooses to do so.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      You are wrong as usual Andy. For example we could not have banned the import/export of live animals while in the EU – this was tested in court. It would have been a breach of your beloved Single Market rules. Now we can ban them, thus raising animal welfare standards – a benefit from Brexit.

    • acorn
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Worth reading
      The CRAG Act 2010 and Miller, haven’t reduced Downing Street’s monopoly of Treaty making. Non-EU Treaties don’t automatically change domestic law.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      ..and every Parliamentary vote is binding.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      It may seem strange, but the role of government is to govern.

      The role of parliament is to scrutinise both lending legislation and government actions. If parliament wished to flex its muscles on trade it could do so, but the government is the executive, not parliament.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Parliament is Sovereign and can overturn any Government proposal. That’s why the Whips ‘give the MP the bad news’ (that his legislation will not get through).

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      You are talking nonsense about animal standards.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      You will not get a binding vote on the mess that unelected bureaucrat David Frost is negotiating with the EU.

      Any mess is better than no mess.


      No mess is better than any mess.

      Is Michel Barnier elected? You have a thing about unelected people doing jobs?

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The crucial point is that you have never explained why Brexit Britain is a basket case (in your opinion) when the rest of the world isn’t, merely for being out of the EU. Presumably you haven’t got any reasons?

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      You do realise the panjandrums in Brussels see the UK as the equivalent of Poland breaking away from the Communist Bloc & the consequent collapse of the Russian empire. And they are louth for the same to happen to theirs, which is why they are trying to make leaving as difficult as possible for the UK as an example to the others.
      If like other Rejoiners you feel so strongly you have the choice, unlike those poor souls entrapped in the Russian empire, to follow Gareth Bale or the young Birmingham footballer who has just decided his future lies abroad & leave. But I doubt many will, but carry on moaning what ever the outcome saying “It could have been better”

      • Andy
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        You took away our right to live abroad remember. And the EU sees the UK as a basket case run for and by elderly extremists.

        • NickC
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Your EU took away our right to decide who and how many come here. And we see the EU as a basket case run for and by the EU nomenklatura.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 22, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          The EU has 27 members, we can hardly have taken away the right to live abroad. I think you mean within that 27 — not the other 168 countries which we have no right to live in. But then most of those countries’ people have no right to live here either!

  14. GilesB
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Trade deals should be about trade. And nothing else.

    Using trade to force change in other areas is blatant bribery. Using bribery shows that your arguments for the change you would like are too weak to persuade people.

    Involving other issues make trade deals much harder to update to keep up with changes in demography, technology and consumer preferences, so they end up distorting trade to the disadvantage of both parties.

    Involving other issues make each trade deal more restricted as they have to take into account the complexities and compromises of every previous trade deal. With less room for manoeuvre every trade deal becomes less and less useful.

    On the other hand educated and informed consumers can make their own choices. Labelling, and policing, origin of goods gives consumers choice. Let the consumers decide through their shopping choices the extent to which they are concerned about human rights, climate change, etc.

  15. Pat
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    As reported in The Telegraph:

    Brussels has blocked the UK from introducing tough new import controls to protect oaks and other favourite trees and shrubs from a devastating plant disease.

    This hostile action under the guise of trade facilitation will devastate UK ecology and agriculture indefinitely.

    How can this be prevented?

    What action can parliament take?

    Thank you for your attention.

    • Otto
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      JR has no view on this and other topics.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Why are you still pursuing the referendum campaign?

      The disease is already endemic. The UK measures would have been pointless.

      • NickC
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Martin said: “The disease is already endemic. The UK measures would have been pointless.”

        Don’t be such an irresponsible miserable defeatist wet lettuce!!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          You make a valid point, but the relative impacts/costs and threats to life are incomparable with covid19.

    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Breakthrough in the fight against CV-19 by LSE listed Synairgen –

    ‘Southampton, UK – 20 July 2020: Synairgen plc (LSE: SNG), the respiratory drug discovery and development company which originated from research at the University of Southampton, is pleased to announce positive results from its clinical trial of SNG001, its wholly-owned inhaled formulation of interferon beta, in hospitalised COVID-19 patients.’

  17. Javelin
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Higher animal welfare standards should mean we don’t buy foods from producers who can’t prove high welfare standards. It shouldn’t mean we give them the benefit of the doubt until we can prove they don’t meet standards. This would mean visits from welfare inspectors.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Visits from the purchasers of food. That is standard practise.

  18. Adam
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Having a trade deal decided by the EU was like being dealt a busted flush from a bunch of bureaucratic jokers. They enjoyed Beggar-my-Neighbour and Patients (sic type) at our expense.

    Now we are free and have a fresh deck. We can play Contract Bridge or Top Trumps if we proffer.

  19. RichardM
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    There are no beneficial new trade agreements. The one we have with the UK’s main market is being massively downgraded. Some of those being rolled over are on less good terms with smaller markets.
    You are still pretending about the enormous long term costs of your precious Brexit.

  20. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The phrase ‘free trade’ for the most part is misplaced.

    The whole of the UK pays more for its goods and services, to subsidies those with a need to trade in the EU. So its not free trade but it is a trade that attracts a high tariff in background bureaucracy, red tape, and pseudo standards for all. i.e. Jobs for the boys at everyone’s expense.

    All trade and commercial activity simply needs transparency, i.e. you say what it is on the tin. The consumer then gets free choice.

    This might seem odd to those brought up in a EU controlled country. English Law as it used to be called worked on the principle that everything was legal unless those in a democratically elected parliament deemed it not to be. Allowing then for rules and laws to be changed amended, changed and repealed by the democratic process. The EU method of rules and laws is that everything is illegal unless they through their commission have created the rules and laws to control it. A subtle difference with nightmare consequence when it comes to getting things done.

    As other here have inferred FTA’s are a nonsense not needed and have little relevance to a world that should pull together. The only caveat would be that a way so-called standards can be unified to be globally accepted, as often these are contrived for the sole purpose of creating barriers.

    ISO would be a good starting place here, as it is up and running and to most has meaning.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    EU now sending us plants diseased with xylella fastidiosa, and preventing us placing legal controls. We’re still a long way from taking back control from them. We’re an island, for goodness sake-why do we have to be dragged into their self-imposed problems 4 years after voting to leave?

  22. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I have worked for several firms which had so little faith in their own staff that outside advice was always sought for any decisions. Consultants or new recruits were favoured over existing staff.

    This tended to result in generic solutions based on theory and what worked in other organisations rather than consideration of what was good for the actual company I was working for in its own operational circumstances.

    The most successful firms I have worked in listen from within to tailor solutions.

    The EU / UK divide seems to run along the same lines, EU stalwarts assume anything the UK suggests is automatically bad and colonialist, the EU has a magic wand. But that magic wand is a solution for 28 (27) countries not specific to any one.

    Trade deals for a single country has to be more beneficial than deals for 28 even if a little competitive advantage is ceded due to market size shrinking.

  23. Newmania
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    So anyone who is happy this government will not quietly slide through things they unequivocally promised not to (like leaving the EU without a deal for example ) feel free to trust John Redwood .

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      John Redwood is not the Government, sadly!

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Well, that is better than quietly sliding through Remain which all the parties unequivocally promised not to, after we voted Leave. Don’t you think?

  24. agricola
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Yes we are moving from take what we were given to create what we want. I only hope there are enough people in the HOC who understand trade to be able to debate it constructively. No doubt you can prod them in the right direction where necessary.

  25. wab
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Ho, ho, the Brexiters kept telling us we had to leave the EU because we didn’t have trade deals with the entire world. They also kept telling us how trivial it would be to get all these trade deals once we left the EU. How has that worked out, then? More recently they keep telling us we don’t need trade deals at all, because they have proven to be totally incompetent at getting trade deals. Funny that. It seems that Brexit was all about making us poorer and a poodle of the US. Congratulations.

    • agricola
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      A wishful little piece.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Wab, Haha, you think we voted Leave because “we didn’t have trade deals with the entire world“?? What have you been smoking? And we are not allowed by the EU to sign any trade deals until 1 Jan 2021 – because we haven’t left yet. But at least when we do, we will be richer by the subsidies we no longer have to give to the EU.

  26. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Stop the illegal importation of human immigrants then John! Or are most MP in favour?

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      I honestly believe that most MPs don’t care… doesn’t affect them, they’re not taking their jobs, they don’t live on their street, they don’t follow the same leisure pursuits, they’re not really seen by MPs…….and they certainly don’t want to be reported as anti-immigrantion (career killer)

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        They are taking their jobs! Take a look at the HOC and the Lords!

      • Fred H
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        thats hitting the nail on its head.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Certainly our Home Secretary needs to show she is taking action on this front, as all we ever see is more and more reports about more and more illegal arrivals, we never ever hear or see any being deported or returned to France, which makes it feel like nothing is happening.

        The ball is in the governments court here John, they need to show they are taking action, and prove it, otherwise the population will conclude the Government do not care, and nothing is being done to stop it.

        Fail to protect our borders, and you are not in control at all.

        Another Brexit promise broken.

        • beresford
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          Priti Patel has pledged to ‘stop at nothing’ and she has been true to her word, she’s stopped without doing anything. It is evident that the Government are following a deliberate policy in the interests of some party other than the British people. Since you don’t like us naming wealthy globalists JR, why not tell us why YOU think mass immigration is being facilitated?

        • glen cullen
          Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

          Your words are so true – we’re not in control and we don’t believe this govt

  27. Christine
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Why is there talk of Boris putting more Remainers in the House of Lords? Has he not learned his lesson yet on how disruptive these people can be? If you insist on keeping the HoLs, which many people would like abolished, then why not put some of the clever ex MEPs from the Brexit Party in there? Ban lobby groups, with their ulterior motives, from inputting their opinions. Until we have unbiased scrutiny we won’t see good legislation coming out of either house. I believe the people of this country want reform of all the major institutions like justice, law enforcement, border control, education. All we hear is talk but see no action. This Government is as weak as the last and shows no sign of rooting out the corruption and rotten politics that has pervaded this country for decades.

  28. graham1946
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I too have sent such a letter to my MP.

    Unfortunately Sir John I am not reassured by your blog today. You have an 80 seat majority, quite a few of which are new members who will possibly be unsure and will not want to blot their copy book with the leaders.

    Boris is quite capable of even withdrawing the whip from people who defy him and will get through more or less whatever he wants. We must hope he wants what we want, but he must be pressured and only you and your colleagues can do it. Pls do not dismiss such letters as ‘ a couple of lobby letters being sent round’ which to my mind insinuates that you feel such matters are none of our business. We send such letters, simply because we have very little trust in Parliament anymore after the last few years shenanigans and do what we can (which is very little) to let MP’s know how we feel.

  29. Caterpillar
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I do not wish animal welfare standards to be used to continue the drive to plant dominated diets based on processed carbs, hydrogenated plant fats and sugar. The health consequences of these plant based diets are all around us, to the extent that it is reported that the Govt will fund the NHS to do more obesity surgery. A somewhat pathetic situation seems to have arisen where the PM / Govt will not act against such diets (the no-tax PM therefore seemingly being pro-sugar), but will then back more surgery to attempt to ameliorate the effects.

    I would suggest allowing in, in particular, USA beef, but also chicken products. There are of course people that have individual/personal ethical values and so labelling should be used. I would prefer meat to be fully labelled – where raised/slaughtered & packed, how slaughtered, how much mass gained whilst grass fed & how much whilst grain fed (for mammals), indoor-area/outdoor (for birds) – chlorine washed or not. i.e. tell us where it comes from and how it has been treated and let us decide.

    I do appreciate that the cheap processed plant diet allows large food providers to make substantial profits, but the opportunity for some competition in nutrient rich, animal proteins may permit more people to access more satiating food and tackle the dire plant based obesity epidemic that the U.K. has. Of course choice alone is not enough; it can be hard to switch to an eating culture of quality over quantity when threatened by poverty and uncertainty … so meat, dairy, eggs and UBI!

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar, I think you are right. The fake science which set in motion 50 years of government propaganda against animal fats has long been discredited.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 11:49 pm | Permalink


      The majority of Indians are vegetarians and many Asiatic countries ear very little meat.

      But you don’t find many fat Indians or Asians. Now compare that to the meat eating Americans!

      • Edward2
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Obesity isnt caused simply by meat eating.
        Obesity is due to eating too many calories versus calories burnt.
        You can be an overweight unfit vegetarian too.

  30. villaking
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Sir John, the problem is that this government and the PM in particular are not trusted. It is not so easy for MPs to insist on a vote on anything. There would have been no binding parliamentary vote on Mrs May’s WA had Gina Miller not brought her court case. Boris has been prepared to withdraw the whip from any MP who doesn’t do as he or she is told and has even illegally suspended parliament to try and stop MPs having a voice. The well known issue of US chlorinated chicken is a case in point. Although the Environment Secretary said in January it would remain prohibited and a government source recently stated this again, who would trust Boris not to cave in to the ERG’s demands? Whether or not this totemic issue is really important, a promise has been made but Boris has a history of breaking promises

    Reply There was no need for vote on sending the letter as the majority in Parliament just wanted to get on and send it! If a majority had been against sending it we could have forced a vote

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, You sure are one mixed up dude! The Miller case was about a vote in Parliament to invoke Article 50, not for a vote on Mrs May’s WA. And let us hope that Boris does cave in to the ERG’s demands. For once.

  31. Dave
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Setting higher standards for animal welfare while the whole world is falling apart?
    what a load of old crock

  32. DavidJ
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Let us hope that MPs reject any deal which allows the EU to trump our sovereignty in any way. Any which is allowed will be the thin end of a very large wedge. We voted for out, not associate membership.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      fully concur

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Well that’s an argument for leaving NATO and for ending extradition treaties with the US if ever there were.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        That post by David is about our relationship with the EU.
        You have with incredible expansion tried to link it to NATO and our relationship with America.
        Quite ridiculous.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        true – they want us to give up to request, but refuse ours to them.

  33. David Brown
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    It is my opinion the Britain should stick to the EU standards not try to water them down for the sake of a bad deal with the USA.
    Life will get much harder outside the EU and I for one look forward to the next generation of young people making their voices heard at the next election and pushing a lab/lib coalition into Gov and taking Britain into the EU Customs Union on a permanent basis and scrap any deals with the USA. Although if Democrats win they will not want a free trade deal with Britain outside the EU.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      We have to step up to equal USA standards. We are sick of poor EU food standards, you know that 33,000 people die of food poisoning in the EU each year?

    • Peter
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Killing of bulls for laughter, fun and clapping. If only Spain was a member of the EU then this barbarism could be abolished. Oh, hold on, Spain is an EU member.

      It seems being a member of the EU does allow for the torture and murder of animals for hilarity and fun

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 12:08 am | Permalink


        Now that we have left the EU maybe you should concern yourself with those many Commonwealth countries that allow the most atrocious behaviour to go unpunished. The killing of rhinos, Elephants etc in the African commonwealth members and the hideous bird killing fields of Malta come to mind.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          If we can’t stop our own EU friends and colleagues in member nations close to the UK after 45 years of membership what hope is there in stopping independent nations thousands of miles away?

        • NickC
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          Margaret H, We haven’t left the EU. That’s why the current negotiations are concerned with our relationship after we leave on 31 Dec. And the Commonwealth is not a dirigiste empire like the EU so the UK no longer controls what Commonwealth countries do. Do wake up.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        Like fox hunting and the rest, yes.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          It was the UK Parliament that voted to end fox hunting.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink


            And the Tories want to restore it, which, if they were successful, the European Union would not have prevented when we were members.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            It will be the will of Parliament voted in by you and me and all the other voters.
            My guess however, is it will not be restored.

    • NickC
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      David Brown, If our young people really are to give up our independence again then they would be well advised to opt to join the USA, rather than selling us out to your sclerotic corrupt EU empire like Heath did.

  34. Ivan Richards
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    If its labelled clearly I don’t care where the food comes from – although I’d much it not be an ‘enemy’ country – like China for instance. The problem lies with labeling. Why are we not informed of Halal meat ? Many people strongly object to this form of slaughter – myself included – and we should have a right to choose.

  35. mancunius
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    We can conclude not foreign trade agreements if part of the UK (Northern Ireland ) is no longer and integral part of the UK for trade purposes. The Northern Ireland protocol commits the UK to leaving province within the jurisdiction of EU law and EU taxes and creates a new border between it and the rest of the UK.
    It will make the UK subservient to the ECJ in all matters concerning NI and its trade.
    I cannot see how any foreign country could make a trade agreement with us under such circumstances. It reduces UK sovereignty to a pretence.

    • mancunius
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      ‘We can conclude no foreign free trade agreements if’ etc.

  36. Everhopeful
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Rumour has it that just over 5,000 illegals arrived this week!
    Where are they heading? To live in all the now empty office blocks in London?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Vote Leave!!!

      Ooh, er, oh dear…

      • Edward2
        Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Until we leave the EU on December 31st we cannot refuse to accept refugees from France.
        Surely you know the legal position.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 22, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          International law on refugees is not dictated by the European Union, and we have left anyway.

          Where ever have you been?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            We have more flexibility after we leave and are not controlled by courts of the EU.
            We can alter our position in respect of refugees and asylum seeking which is being exploited by thousands of what are essentially economic migrants.

            Mainly I have been at home.

  37. mancunius
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    As for ‘higher welfare standards’ – a hypocritical pretence by the biggest and most powerful farmers who are only interested in their own bottom line, not in animal welfare.
    This lobbying by big-farming interests is the Corn Laws all over again. Peel had to break with his own party to repeal these protectionist anti-free trade laws so that the masses might afford to eat. The Tory farmers fought to prevent imports, so as to keep prices high.

    The unrepresentative NFU and the remainer landowners have a similar brief today, to impoverish the many at the expense of a few. Many Tory MPs are still largely beholden to the financial interests of farming and land. They will prevent us from obtaining good cheap food, unless the economic and social advantages of free trade over protectionism are explained and defended with passion by the government.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Given how in the US they head for the courts when there is a chance of blame, what chance do those responsible for substandard produce have to remain in business?

      So how come some in the UK believe everything produced in the US is bad.

  38. Fred H
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Is Wokingham considering closing our libraries for good? They could redeploy the 30 staff, as they say they have done that. Sell off the sites. Give away or sell off the book stocks.

    Sadly I’ve read the books I had borrowed prior to closure so I will be happy to hand them back.

  39. glen cullen
    Posted July 20, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    BBC reporting tonight on their website – Since the beginning of the year, 2,800 people have crossed the English Channel in small dinghies

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed and the government are effectively encouraging more and more to try as almost none are ever being returned.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      and the BBBC figure of 2.800 is only the number of illegals that hand themselves in when landed. I fear how many others there are ?

    • Fred H
      Posted July 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      and hundreds of their dinghies piled up in Dover.

  40. Rhoddas
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Reciprocity – the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another. FTAs are supposed to bring mutual benefit, otherwise why bother. WTO seems to work pretty well in the absence of an FTA, it’s what global trade operates on, whatever our Andy might think.

    Politically however the EU & some nation states want to penalise us for leaving and hence are likely to shoot themselves in the foot (& us) if they pursue such a malign agenda. They do not want us to succeed post-Brexit proper, yet they would suffer proportionately more with their trade imbalance. With C19 thrown into the mix, it is time for some clear heads and business-minded views to lead the negotiations and put aside party politics.

    Democratically we voted to leave and voted in a Tory government to GET BREXIT DONE.
    I remember the “bumps in the road” comments and they are sure out there, even ignoring the malign Remainer MSM which persists to this day.

    Democratically the sensible Scottish people voted to stay in the Union in their once in a lifetime vote. Bizarrely the SNP still think they have a mandate to pursue ‘independence’ yet proscribe nothing behind it, in terms of a legitimate currency, funding of their share of the national debt etc. Still they are free to moan unlike the Uigurs.

  41. XYXY
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Well said. Good piece.

    The only reason they wanted some of these amendments is that they want to lock the NHS into its current form.

  42. Diane
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The UK coastguard apparently alerted today of more than 20 incidents in the channel, a steady stream apparently. All landed, handed over to Immigration officials & it’s reported that the anticipated final number may be a one day record ! Until the next time. The criminals are obviously upping their game & efforts and so must we. Soon. The Franco British Intelligence Cell is presumably still being set up but the French and British powers that be, reportedly still squabbling on the tactics to be used. Home Office yet to provide info on the Border Force operations taking place. It’s no good our leaders continually giving us the same old lines. People want to see action & confirmation that proposals made have been carried out such as the statement by the Minister for Immigration Compliance on Sunday stating that 160 will be returned to Italy, Germany & France & that return requests for hundreds more are in place. Further, we have an asylum seeker given sanctuary in Wakefield ( the Urban House development, usually used as short stay ) who has unfortunately contracted the virus ( & a few others it seems ) & is taking action against the government complaining about what has been provided. I gather he is now moved to an hotel. ‘ The UK has failed to house him in suitable accommodation & is unlawful’ Just one individual of the 2900 this year.

  • 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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