Getting our money back

Margaret Thatcher understood the UK had a bad deal out of our EEC/EU membership. At a time when she was battling to get the public finances under control and to get value for money for UK taxpayers, she naturally expected the same of our EU contributions and budgets. She judged the public mood well. Why accept less spending at home if they were wasting so much of our money abroad?

The official government and establishment was shocked by her wish. They did the usual thing of checking with their official continental friends and gleefully reported back that there was no interest in offering the UK a better financial deal, and the UK would be the only state wanting to press the matter. To even raise it was bad taste which would “undermine our position in Europe” or would “marginalise the UK “

Margaret decided to proceed. She said she would threaten to withhold contributions if they did not take the matter seriously and make a concession. This caused even greater official consternation. They pointed out it would be completely illegal to withhold the money. It was owing under our Treaty obligations, enforced by the clear Act of Parliament making us obey the Treaty provisions. If she did so the UK would soon be found guilty by the European Court of Justice which had complete control over us all the time we were members.

She pressed on regardless. To the amazement and consternation of the official advisers the EU took her demands and possible threat seriously. They offered a generous discount on the bad terms we had before. She did not as a result have to carry out her threat to withhold the money. One woman, opposed by the whole EEC and by much of the UK establishment , saved UK taxpayers billions. It shows how will power and not making concessions is essential to a successful negotiation with the EU.

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304 Comments

  1. Peter
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    ‘ will power and not making concessions is essential to a successful negotiation with the EU’

    Yes and also a strong, single-minded sense of conviction. Mrs. May never had that. She just wanted the appearance of change while maintaining the status quo. Boris is not a conviction politician either. He is better than May but that is not difficult.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      I listened to a long rather pathetically soft interview by the new woke Iain Dale of David Cameron (Thursday LBC). Few sensible or challenging questions were asked. It was a great shame Cameron was never the Cast Iron, Eurosceptic, “low tax at heart” Conservative he claimed to be. Also his foolish Libya interventions.

      He had all the presentational skills, ability and sitting duck opposition in two elections. But he threw the first and decided to be a high taxing, lefty EUphile/Libdim. Coming back with his pathetic thin gruel he should have just left the EU there and then. He could have been a great PM had he done so. Instead he lost the referendum and pathetically skulked off the stage.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Agreed
        Cameron was a huge disappointment, who in the end showed a complete lack of conviction, guts, and drive, for doing the right thing.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          Boris To Use Army? – HDTV Parliament Video – MP Tobias Ellwood

          How has this not been covered my the MSM? This is massive and I can’t see ANY coverage anywhere from MP Tobias Ellwood request you Boris Johnson

        • Original Chris
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          A shallow salesman who duped so many Tory MPs.

      • Annette
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        Let’s be honest. There are very few conservatives in the Conservative party, and none of them stand a chance of ever being supported in the party to become leader. Most appear to be lib dems wearing a blue badge of convenience to gain power & influence. The current policies being trotted out would warm the cockles of Corbyn’s heart.
        Small Govt? Nah, Nanny State knows best.
        Low taxes? You’re having a laugh.
        Sensible spending? Labour’s magic money tree has nothing on the veritable tory magic money forest.
        Self-reliance? Insistence on implementing the EU structure (HS2/regionalisation) from magic money forest tells us otherwise.
        Party of small business? Crushing small, independent businesses out of business. Those that have just managed through the disastrous & unnecessary ‘lockdown’ will die if a second one is imposed.
        Investment? Who would want to invest in a business when the Govt is acting like the Soviet Union?
        Law & Order? Equality of law no longer exists. A politicised police farce seemingly enforcing Ministers’ ‘desires'(guidance) not the law, non-crime ‘hate crimes’ & enforcing Order depends on whether the political /cultural views are ‘favoured’.
        Rule by fear seems to be the new conlablibdem policy of choice.

        • BOF
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Thanks Annette, I am with you all the way. Good summary.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          On the money – many of the current Cabinet would sit comfortably with JC as PM.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          +1

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Almost one third of Covid deaths in July and August ‘primarily caused by other conditions’
          Oxford research finds someone who had heart attack may have been included in figures if they had also tested positive for virus

          Daily Telegraph

          With the truth we will win

          • Mark
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            Nailed it…..

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          What a great post Annette

        • Donna
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Correct. We voted Conservative, expecting to get something vaguely approaching conservative policies.

          Instead Boris is basically implementing Corbyn’s policies and had to assure us he’s not a Commie.

          Could’ve fooled me. It’s resembling the DDR more with every day that passes.

        • Original Chrisa
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Good summary. Wish they would pay heed to it. That is not the sort of “Conservatism” that people want.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        Screwed up when he took the RAF advice to scrap the harrier force at face value, rather than anti fleet air arm vandalism that it was.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Yes, the UK could pay a few billion a year for unhindered access to the Single Market and to the Customs Union.

      Or it could save that money and not bother, at a cost of probably hundreds of billions in GDP, and of a commensurate fall in living standards. Then there’s that border business to do with Ireland.

      The choice is simple and clear.

      • acorn
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Martin, the Northern Ireland (NI) border business has been sorted exactly as specified in the NI Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty. The EU Frontier will be in the Irish sea.

        “A £200m contract to implement Brexit checks on goods in the Irish Sea has been won by a consortium of companies led by Japanese company Fujistu. HMRC announced on Friday that a two-year contract for the new trader support service (TSS) had been awarded to a consortium led by the tech company and its partners, the Customs Clearance Consortium, an organisation run by customs expert Robert Hardy and the Institute of Export and International Trade.”

        “The winning consortium, which also involves McKinsey consultants, said it was “very pleased to be the successful supplier” of what will be “a free service available to all traders moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and importing goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the world, which will help them to comply with new requirements under the NI protocol”.

        “Earlier this week, the government gave the go-ahead for a second tender for works for sanitary checks at ports in Northern Ireland.”(Guardian)

        PS. It appears previous objectors and fantasy electronic borders disciples have been brought “on board”.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          Thank you for highlighting Acorn

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, As we said on here the WA (agreed in October 2019) is a Remain capitulation. I wouldn’t boast about it if I were you because it demonstrates yet again how hostile and vindictive the EU is.

          • acorn
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Sorry but I can’t make a logical connection between “I wouldn’t boast about it” and “how hostile and vindictive the EU is”.

          • Andy
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Your border in the Irish Sea was negotiated by David Frost and Boris Johnson. Are they responsible for your ‘remain capitulation’ or did you Brexiters just totally and utterly fail?

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            nick C

            No proof but lots of postulations grwon up

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Wrong as usual. The bulk of the WA was negotiated by Theresa May and Ollie Robbins and their Remain team.

            Leaves wanted to be as independent of the EU as New Zealand is. And that’s not only clearly available for any non-EU country, it’s even possible for the UK at this late stage.

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, The EU has shown in the WA (including its employees sneers about making the UK an EU “colony”) that it is hostile and vindictive. And you boast about it.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Give it a rest, PLEASE!

      • Edward2
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Who else in the world is paying billions a year to buy and sell goods in Europe?

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Edward2, No one else pays bribes to the EU for trade. Only us. And we do so because there have been so many Remains in powerful positions over the last 50 years. And the odd thing is they boast about it. By failing to defend our own interests this country – under such Remain control – is regarded with contempt around the world, even including by the EU.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Lots of members start reading again

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            You are being very silly again bill.
            It is pretty obvious I was talking about nations who trade with Europe who are not EU members.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Apart from the ignorance of your reply, MiC, the arrogance of the comment ‘a few billion a year’ is absolutely breathtaking

      • Ian Turner
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        These things are actually always very simple and clear.

        The more difficult it is to do business with anyone – the more likely you are to look for alternatives. The Germans will obviously look for other places to sell their cars and the French for other places to sell their Cheese and Wine. No doubt the Irish are also busy looking for someone else to drink their beers too.

        (Perhaps, all the US companies based in Dublin and Cork will also continue to run their UK businesses from RoI but it will clearly be a bit more inconvenient to dodge their UK tax bills going forward too.)

        We of course are totally doomed, as no-one is ever going to want to talk or trade with us ever again, in spite of this country probably being the most populous in Europe within a decade or two.

        So, no more BMWs, no more Champagne and no more Martin (when you finally escape to Spain). I’ll be devastated !

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Would you care to bet how much GDP will fall after we leave? I’m willing to bet it will increase.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Ian ha, ha. Yes we can do without all 3 last items.

  2. Mick
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Yes we need another Margaret Thatcher in charge who wasn’t scared of the limp wrested mps in her party or the trade unions or the Eu, but alas there’s nobody in your party Sir John that matches up to her values, so we have to for the time being have to make do with what we’ve got, so get the internal market bill through and stop the mamby pamby approach to the hundreds of illegals landing on our shores or suffer the consequences at the next general election

    • Al
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Who the party members want to lead and who the party top-tier want are often two different things: look at Labour and Corbin.

      While we may need another Thatcher for these negotiations, I suspect you will find that most parties’ leadership structures are working as hard as they can to prevent one. It is far more important from their point of view to get someone who will support the leadership and fall in line than someone who may point out its flaws, or worse show them up in the eyes of the public.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        They are all battling for the, ‘Middle Ground’ and anyone that is either side of that is an extremist.

        • Original Chris
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          They are so past their sell by date, but they can’t seem to see it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Put Tony Abbott in charge of illegal immigration and indeed energy and climate too.

      I wish Piers Corbyn well with his absurd £10,000 fine. People and news organisations keep libelling him (like Abbott) as a climate change denier. He is not at all, he is a fairly sensible Imperial College trained physicist. No one sensible denies the climate changes it always has and always will for very many reasons.

      The question is how much man made CO2 has any effect, is any “climate catastrophe” round the corner and does lowering man made CO2 at vast expense make any significant difference. The answers are clearly not very much, no and no it does far more harm than good.

      Far, far better ways to spent the money as people like Bjørn Lomborg point out.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Mick

      stop the mamby pamby approach to the hundreds of illegals landing on our shores

      This for the man and woman in the street is the one thing they could turn around their opinion and perception of politicians without question.

      • beresford
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Four years ago the ‘visible’ would-be migrants were in camps on the north coast of France and trying largely unsuccessfully to enter by breaking into the Tunnel or attacking lorry drivers. David Cameron warned that if we left the EU that camps could be moved to Dover, and we was rebutted by one ‘John Redwood, MP’. Today camps are being allocated along the South Coast. If Andy were alive he would claim that Cameron was right, and there is an element of truth here. While we were EU members, the ‘de-homegenisation’ of our country could be achieved by ‘freedom of movement’ after migrants were granted EU citizenship, but the potential closure of that door has led to the globalist panic to get migrants across the Channel. of course those that are arriving are not the original residents of the French camps but relatively well-off people who have bought passage directly from their own countries.

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Beresford, What the EU is doing by transporting its unwanted migrants across the Channel is breaking international law.

          • Original Chris
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            ….but following the UN Compact on Migration, which incidentally our government has signed up to, but not owned up to. It is that which is restricting Priti P. She should at least have the guts to admit it.

            However, honesty does not seem to come naturally to many of the Tory MPs. Nigel Farage is one of the very few people who are honest and speak frankly. That is why they, the Tories, do not like him. The truth hurts/damages political prospects.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            the EU is doing more nonsesne from you Edward

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

            You can’t even post in the correct place.
            Dont be a troll bill.

    • Christine
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Lawyers stop the deportation of illegals because the Spanish might not provide good enough accommodation for them. Whereas we have homeless people living on the streets here in the UK and that seems to be ok. The asylum laws need to change urgently.

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Why has Dido Harding not been sacked yet?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      I once took an account out with Talk Talk many years back they mucked up appallingly, caused huge inconvenience and their customer service what almost non existent. I eventually got some derisory compensation from them. Posh girl with PPE Oxon I note.

      So little or no science, logic or numeracy I assume.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        So little or no science, logic or numeracy I assume.

        That pretty much describe the whole Cabinet.

        Angela Merkel, like Margaret Thatcher, is a chemist. How many ministers have a degree in STEM ?

        • rose
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          Frau Merkel is not running health. 16 Minister Presidents are. She has even less domestic power than the US President.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Even the ones with economic degrees seem not to understand real economics.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 2:40 am | Permalink

            Roughly when my brother in law was there. Though he seem fairly sound on economic and politics – unlike many LSE economists.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Angela Merkel, unlike Margaret Thatcher was an enthusiastic East German Communist. I have a picture of her matching in full uniform. He father, uniquely, ‘escaped’ from west Germany to East Germany such an enthusiastic communist was he.

      • acorn
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        If I remember correctly, Dido was responsible for the introduction of screw top wine bottles in UK Supermarkets.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Dear Acorn–Did anybody ever get to understand what the hogwash about needing not just corks but damp corks, so the wine could breathe at the right rate (whatever that was), was all about? For those not ancient enough to know, old blacksmith-made wine racks were always sloped slightly down to the front solely so that the corks would not dry out. Was there absolutely nothing real, dare I say scientific, to back this up? I can affirm that Prosecco from screwtops tastes ecactly the same as the stuff from bottles with corks and is a quid or two cheaper to boot. Also presumably no such thing as ‘corked’ any more. Romans just had a layer of olive oil floating on top of their amphorae.

          • Mike Durrans
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Shame on you! Drinking eu wine when there is good Australian wine on the market, booycott eu produce

          • acorn
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            I have never had a screw top Prosecco, yet. I don’t know how much pressure a screw top can contain compared to a genuine Cork stopper. A Prosecco has a bottle pressure of about 15 psi, proper Champagne would be about 40 psi.

            I recently had a case of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo cheap from a German wine merchant that said on the case “this way up” in English. I assume this is a quaffing wine, not for laying cork down to keep the Aluminium screw top “damp”. All the best to you Leslie, keep taking the fizz.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      When will she wave her White Flag?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Failure brings its own reward in government.
      From one disaster to another but never sacked.
      It’s only taxpayers money.
      Margaret Thatcher the last real tory leader.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        Local printers doing leaflets for NHS and Government.
        Lockdown 11th October for 14 days.
        What have you to say to that John. Furthet trashing of the economy for a flue dose.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          How does the virus KNOW? It knows the date?
          Why does an “emergency“ not require immediate action?

          An air raid will occur at 3pm on the 5th??

          Have masks caused this “resurgence”?

          Let the PSYCHOLOGIST who insists on them prove that masks have NOT caused it!

          • an idea
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            4 weeks ago it was leaked and repeated by me that talk of the second lockdown would start Sept 17th. It did. This is a script.

        • Iago
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Lockdown to coincide with government surrender to EU?

          • Everhopeful
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            I have wondered that.
            Could be the plan.

          • DavidJ
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            My thoughts too. Boris is no Margaret Thatcher and I cannot bring myself to trust him.

            I suspect he will let us down on fishing and, even worse, surrender our armed forces to EU control even when we are “out”.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Tests carried out on 18 Sept: 233,199
          Matt Hancock states false positive rate is ‘below 1%’. Say 0.8% (lowest point on research range 0.8% to 4% with median of 2.3%) so false positives at lowest rate = 1,865
          Therefore number of genuine positives on 18 Sept was 2,457, which is approximately 0.0037% of population.
          Worth trashing the economy with a second lockdown, Sir John?

          • Mark
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Interesting but not actually relevant.

            This is a disease that for the vast majority of the population, you need a test to know if you have it or not.

            It’s a complete and utter nonsense…..

          • an idea
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            It’s a complete and utter nonsense…..

            ….
            so what are MPs trying to tell us?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Even she was not a real Tory. She closed very many ecellent grammar schools, failed to get real freedom and choice in health care, education, broadcasting, failed to reform the BBC, failed to cut taxes and the bloated state sector down to size, buried us further into the dire EU, was forced into the ERM (after she foolishly appointed the appalling John Major as Chancellor). But she was I agree far better than the appalling others we have suffered under Heath, Major, Cameron and May.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          +1

        • rose
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          She didn’t shut the grammar schools: local authorities did and some never did which is why there are some grammars left.

          She couldn’t take on the teachers, lawyers, and doctors at the same time as Galtieri, the IRA, and Scargill. She did take on the unions but ten years was not enough as she was only too aware.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            Margaret Thatcher holds the prize as the Education Secretary who allowed the closure or mergeders of the most grammar schools for a comprehensive alternative.

          • rose
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            In those days the Government really did respect Local Government and didn’t interfere with the running of the schools which was Local Government’s responsibility. Even in the eighties, our MP, Conservative then, would never take up a matter which was the province of the Council. That etiquette has all gone now.

            Are you saying she should have got the PM to legislate against comps? I doubt he would have.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          The point of comprehensive education was to upgrade ALL schools to grammar standard.

          Thatcher instead set about downgrading them to secondary modern standards, thereby de-emancipating ordinary people.

          That is Toryism to perfection.

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            You just make stuff up.

    • BOF
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Why indeed, was she ever given a job, any job!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        No doubt because the tories, virtue signalling as ever, liberal lefties that they are, wanted to have the first female PM.

    • Donna
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Old friend of Hancock.

  4. agricola
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    As I said yesterday, she knew the difference between right and wrong. A characteristic sadly lacking in many who surounded her. It is sad to reflect that it has been remain in its death throes both in and out of Parliament that has cost us so much over the past four years in EU contributions. Not to mention the immeasurable amount it has cost to work within the EU system of law , red tape and other restraints. They should reflect on what their abuse of democracy has cost the UK.

    I hope that the cut off point of mid October remains firmly fixed in Boris’s mind , and the lack of a clear FTA on trade and financial services put an absolute end to any obligation to pay a divorce bill, last set by the EU at £39 billion I believe. The sorely pressed UK taxpayer has been over milked by the EU and their remain “quislings” for long enough.

    The EU should be repaying us the support deposits we have at the European Central Bank and our share in their property portfolio to which we have contributed over the years. I would also tax all those who currently receive tax free pensions from the EU. They have no moral arguement for not paying their UK tax obligations at the same rate as everyone else residing in the UK.

    Beware, the EU will agree it 90% up to mid October and plan to use the remaining 10% to squeeze whatever last minute concessions they have in mind to 31st December. Do not be fooled, cut their umbelical on 15th October by closing the door on them. Boris’s credibility and that of the suspect conservative party, not to mention the future UK hangs on it.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      £39bn has already been paid before the end of the transition period. The payment schedule was front loaded and that is no coincidence.

      I think that by now you should stop assuming that the EU Commission is staffed by dumb people: of course they would have made sure that the UK pays what it owes before it leaves.

      Did you know that the UK was entitled to ask the return of the £7bn of capital inside the EIB but that Boris literally gave it away in his haste to conclude the WA last November… the same WA that now he says is not fit for purpose ? £7bn… blown just like this because he needed an oven ready deal to win the GE.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Well add that to what we’ve thrown into this failed institution over the years. Now it has to stop.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        I think that your last paragraph is not quite right.
        Boris may have negotiated away that £7bn but not for the election, I believe that was in the bag. The reason that a deal had to be negotiated was that 31st January was fast approaching and we were not ready for a WTO departure.
        Why not? Because of the foot dragging by the previous PM.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Factually incorrect, Tab. The £7bn was actually given away as one of the very first acts of Ollie Robbins, on the instruction of T May

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          +1

      • NickC
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        tabulazero, Unfortunately for your theories the WA was a Remain document – conceived by Remains, empowered by a Remain PM, and signed off by a Remain Parliament (in October 2019).

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 2:46 am | Permalink

          Indeed.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      agricola

      Your last paragraph sums it all up very nicely.

  5. Len Peel
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The woman who said Britain must be at the centre of Europe, not on the fringes, and who insisted the UK should NEVER break a Treaty

    • Mark B
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      But who later realised that all they wanted to do was take, take, take, and never give.

      The political class and the Establishment have allowed the EEC / EU to take the British people for fools for far too long.

      • Andy
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Well, many of you have proven than you are fools.

        Thatcher would not had voted for Brexit.

        She may have been surrounded by idiots, but she wasn’t one.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          One of your more ridiculous posts Andy.
          The idiots that surrounded her were the pro EU fanatics. who conspired and engineered her downfall.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Nick C

            you are going to have to prove this?

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Edwaed 2

            prove it

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            It is well recorded in many books about Lady Thatcher and her final months as PM.

            Prove me wrong bill.

        • BJC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          …………yet she was the founding President of the Bruges Group.

        • NickC
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Andy, Mrs Thatcher came to believe that we would be better off out of the EU. As do most sensible people.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            Can you please cite where she ever said that?

            Thanks.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            Nick C

            you are going to have to prove this?

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Bill,

            Charles Moore, in Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biography, third volume, reports that Mrs Thatcher confided to a number of friends that she had come to believe that the UK should leave the EU. Moore reports she even felt guilt that she had signed away too much sovereignty to Brussels. She never admitted this in public because aides advised her it would be too divisive.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          When Nick Ridley was campaigning to reject the Heath Accession legislation, Mrs T said to him ‘you know I am with you, but if I vote with you I will never get on in Government’.
          She ALWAYS was a Brexiteer, sometimes she did not have the courage or strength to see it through. JR, EP and NR (and many others) had no such power problems and stood their ground always.
          JR is a better Conservative and would be a better PM than Thatcher.
          That is not to say that Mrs T did not do wonders, and especially for a woman. We are not genetically designed to fight!

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            Lynn

            “She was always a Brexiteer…”

            Really? You could have fooled me as I remember her during the 1975 Referendum campaign being such a keen pro EU supporter that she was electioneering wearing a jumper displaying the flags of all EU countries.

            Couldn’t have been more enthusiastic!
            Rewriting history again?

          • rose
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            In those days the EEC was not looking so left wing as it later became, while the situation here was dire. A lot of people voted for the EEC as a brake on extremists here. For example, both Liberals and Socialists here wanted to abolish independent education. This was seen as a fundamental human right on the Continent.

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, Mrs Thatcher never approved of the growing dirigisme of the EC/EU, nor its heading in the direction of empire. If the EEC had remained a trading bloc like EFTA it appears she would have accepted that. But her Bruges speech made it abundantly clear she had no time for the power pretensions of the EU. She became increasingly eurosceptic as time went on.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Margaret
            If you go back to 1975 many people were in favour of what was then called the Common Market.
            The tragedy is that the Common Market has turned into what it is today.

            A lot on the left back in 1975 were opposed to it calling it a bosses club for the rich to get richer.
            How times have changed.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The way not to break a treaty is to sign only the good ones, not the bad ones that won’t last.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        The UK in large part drafted this one.

        Your brexit Tories voted for it.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          Treaties are broken all the time, Italy and Malta on immigration and boats they manage to turn around but we’re not allowed to.

          Cameron and other Countries broke EU Treaties not allowing prisoners to vote I read Lynton Crosbie remind people today in the FT.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      If the Withdrawal Agreement was a treaty it would be called the Withdrawal Treaty.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        If a conveyance were a deed – it is – then it would be called a deed not a conveyance.

        If a covenant were a contract – it is – then it would be called a contract not a covenant.

        I could list any number of things just as silly as your claim Ed.

        It’s a good job that few people are quite as willing to make fools of themselves.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Well yes
          But that doesn’t change my opinion.
          It is called an Agreement.
          If it was a treaty it is pretty logical to assume it would be called a treaty.
          But I realise you are desperate to call it something it isnt.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            I agree Edward, the nuances aren’t subtle at all it is an agreement not a treaty.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      As Sir John’s post makes clear – unless you have some facts to disprove it? – Margaret threatened to break treaty obligations and therefore ‘break international law’. That’s how she got the result she achieved. Any other party – or any other Conservative PM at the time – would have failed to do that.

    • NickC
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Len Peel said: “The woman …”. Still can’t bear to give “that woman” her name, Len? If only all our prime ministers had the same honesty, intelligence, integrity, and capacity for hard work. Mrs Thatcher pulled up this country by its bootstraps. And people like you who lost the political argument are reduced to ad hominems and hatred.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed only to have much of it given away again by Blair in 2005.

  7. Simple
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Boris follows globalist orders as we can see with the plandemic, Margaret did not.

    ………
    everyone after Thatcher was a traitor

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Or alternatively the world may have changed since Thatcher. Who knows ?

      • BOF
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Unquestionably, for the worse.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          You are remembering your youth

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        The world never changes. Only the people do.

  8. Adam
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    When the wrong of a heavy burden is bearing down people are right to undermine it in reach of freedom.

    Margaret Thatcher worked out what was right and enacted righteousness relentlessly. She was right and her way made us better.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      What, all the people whose jobs her governments destroyed, and whose communities were brought to their knees?

      What utter nonsense.

      • Ian Turner
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        I suppose you are talking about the Miners Martin?

        Harold Wilson closed more mines than Mrs T did.

      • Adam
        Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Useful work supports jobs. Jobs that aren’t needed self-destruct.

  9. BeebTax
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    We must be prepared (and be preparing ourselves) to leave under WTO. It’s possible something better would emerge, but only after we’ve gone down the WTO route.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      There is nothing better than WTO from the U.K. point of view.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        +1

      • NickC
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, Indeed. The EU’s sole aim to to keep this country an EU “colony”, as its employees admitted.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      agreed
      The Eu will only bend after we have left, and the consequences for them is starting to bite.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        What consequences? We begged to join because the EU because it was in the process of becoming the most successful trading bloc in modern history. Not the other way around as our own EFTA was left far behind.

        If anyone will be the ‘bitten’ it will be us!

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Have a look at today’s facts4eu MH and then give us a reason why the ‘most successful trading block in modern history’ is worth supporting. I’m genuinely interested. Your beloved EU has been a disaster for UK over many decades. If our products are so useless as you’ve previously claimed, why is the world outside the EU so keen to buy?

          • bill brown
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            jiminyjim

            are they so keen to buy or are you just being full of fake news

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Let us just wait and see shall we !

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          😂😂 why are so many living on the streets then why no medicine available in Greece? Why ‘bale-in’ which robs private bank accounts like they did in Cyprus?
          They are poor, desperate and purblind.
          They are in a existential crisis and will collapse certainly in my lifetime.
          This is the 3rd time within a century that Germany has brought the European people to their knees. I don’t know if they will be able to get up this time, it could be that they are actually lost Continental Europe to the migrants.
          Thanks Mutti!

          • bill brown
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson,

            your focus on Germany being the bad guy and the forthcoming demise of the EU. Has no fundamentals and is not grunded in any real substantiated arguments.
            You are so full of fke news

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            I think Lynn raises real problems in the structure of the EU which you fail to address bill.

  10. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    An uplifting lesson. I take it also as a message that we are on the brink of another but bigger negotiating success. I am one of those though who does not want any compromise. I even fear that a FTA may have its hidden weak areas where the EU retains a toe in the door – we can be sure if that is the case they will push the door wider, especially as we will let our guard down amid self congratulation. One of our intrinsic weaknesses. The fifth column will help them.

  11. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    We have MPs as good as Thatcher but the Blob keeps them away from power. The Membership must assert itself. The Parliamentary Party and Central Office have just about destroyed the Party.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson
      True so very true sad to say.

      The expertise and experience banished to the back benches shameful.

  12. Tabulazero
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The point you seem to be missing out is that Margaret Thatcher got all these concessions specifically because the UK was then an EU member and that the other EU members thought it was in their interest to keep the UK.

    This is no longer the case. You won. The UK left. The EU seems to have realised far more than the Brexiters what leaving means and has moved on.

    What happens next good or bad is all your legacy. Good luck.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Fair point about the EU feeling that keeping the UK as a member was in its interests @tab.

      Since then we have become more intertwined so it is even more in the EU’s interests to keep us close. That is what we are offering minus contributions, fish and jurisdiction. Still in their interests I feel if you remove the politics.

      Can they keep us close? I think it unlikely as they are too worried about the project and less so about their interests.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      We haven’t left.

      Negotiations are still ongoing.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        …and we’re still paying them £1bn+ every month

    • agricola
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      A logic that does not stand examination. We were members when Cameron returned from his negotiation with the seat of his trousers hanging out. I would point out that we are still members and have been during the last four years while the EU acted the way they have with a UK negotiating cabal that was intent on staying in.

      • Andy
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        You are not members. You left last January.

        The EU has had enough of the Conservative Party’s epic Europe-whinge.

        Get on with Brexit – we can all experience for a handful of years how much worse it is than EU membership – and then we will undo it.

        Easy.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Yawn.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Sea warrior what? Only one yawn?

        • steve
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          “and then we will undo it.”

          No chance, you, your kind, and the EU are finished.

        • NickC
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Andy, The WA was mainly negotiated by and for Remains. Because of the Remain WA the UK is still under the jackboot of EU control. With luck we shall actually (mostly) Leave on 1 Jan 2021. And fortunately the rest of the world demonstrates that it is perfectly possible for us to live without the EU. No one with any sense will sell us out again, as you imagine.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Cameron toured the EU with his begging bowl and came back empty. He was useless at everything; educated to PPE level ie uneducated, his rise in the Tory party was entirely due to his being a globalists’ stooge and they put on a pretty good show, especially on the BBC to sell him to the gullible Tory masses. Thus when the globalists were ready for their scheduled attack on Libya, their man was in place. Some might call it treason.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      So why are they still ‘talking’? Crying about fish, level-playing fields (ie hobbling the U.K. so that our capitalism does not show them up as it did Gorbachev’s Russia), and keeping our money!
      How humiliating for them.
      Beggars and thieves.
      And that’s the good bit, watch this space.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I see Jeremy Hunt is complaining about the £1 bn cost of NHS maternity blunders. More spend on compensation than on doctors and nurses. Well why did he not do anything about it during his long period as health secretary. The solutions are simple:-

    Make people agree to standard no fault compensation if they use the NHS or take out addition compensation insurance if they want to. Then reduce the mistakes by running a more efficient service and by open reporting of mistakes and measure to stop them as with aircraft incidents. I am all in favour of cutting the parasitic lawyers out.

    Also charge those who can pay for the NHS and get more real competition in the system.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Time was when there was Crown Immunity which did not allow for all the litigations which now exist if you stub your toe in an NHS corridor. Then politics was invaded by lawyers who saw a golden goose ripe for the taking and we became like America. If you want NHS treatment, take it on your own risk and insure or not as you suggest if want (I wouldn’t) . The system we have has cost billions in payouts and doctor’s insurance premiums, plus of course when you get insurance companies involved the doctors are so hamstrung they would rather do nothing for you than take any risk. Insurers don’t like paying out which is why it is essential they are kept away from the NHS or we will get nothing done and at greater cost.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Lawyers and governments tent to modify and interpret the law mainly in the interest of lawyers and against the interests of everyone else. They are largely parasitic in the same ways as most of government is.

        This combined with insurance issues, health and safely and endless red tape are yet another tax on the productive. Lowering overall living standards hugely.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      The NHS kills more people every year than the Army. That is they die of something they did not have when they went to the NHS.

  14. Mark B
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It was our money that they were wasting and the one and only thing the EEC / EU are really afraid of, is ‘we the people.’ They hate democracy ! And when you have a PM and a government that has the support of the people, the EU or any other external body simply does not stand a chance. The EEC new this. It knew that the PM had our support and, if push came to shove, fining the UK would further damage them and their reputation and make us want to LEAVE. In the end, it was all the bad deals and treaties we got from the EU via successive governments and PM that did it, and all it would take is a simple IN or OUT referendum. In 2016 we got that chance and took it. They, much like the Bourbons of France, have learned nothing ! The more they try to spite us, the more we despise them and wish to LEAVE. PM Johnson needs to understand this ? He needs to understand that it is, we the people, that put him and 649 others where they are, and it is we, the people, that his and their loyalty lay and not Brussels. The Civil Service are just another Fifth Column.

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The EU have walked all over us from even the time before we joined – Except for the time Thatcher was in number 10 – She knew how to stand up to bullies – She was magnificent, and knew how to run a country.

    The establishment drives too many things, and they are ripe for re-formatting. How is that going with the civil service? Any action from Cummings on this?

    • graham1946
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Some of the worst of the bigwigs have gone, so I’d say he’s getting on with it.

  16. a-tracy
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Thatcher didn’t talk to the public directly, my biggest regret of her.

    Boris needs to take back over the daily briefing, no questions as there is no time but a clear message he delivers to the different postcodes he is taking action with that day. A link to a gov.uk website..
    There needs to be a covid response website with one simple button , type in the post code where you live, type in the post code of your place of work. It should then tell you what Alert your postcode is on then linked to clear protocol.

    You are on code A alert – this means…
    You are on code B alert.

    The journalists can’t understand it so they’re making hay. Local politicians and Mayors are making political statements almost hourly and confusing matters.

    The testing station fiasco, if you type in your home postcode and that you can’t travel more than 20 miles from this testing station why on earth are they suggesting testing stations hundreds of miles away? Because people are lying about their home postcodes perhaps?

    Blackpool is open but Lancashire is closed – so can the residents of Lancs visit Blackpool this weekend or should they stay away?

    I wonder if all these people had to pay £10 per test if it would reduce the worried well? The money could be used specifically for the NHS to treat COVID.

  17. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Margaret Thatcher, unlike many who came after her, came from a more simple family background where you gained success only through determination, hard work, and application, and she followed and applied those principles to the top job, never being afraid to stand her corner, even in the face of fierce opposition.

    In order to sustain your position you need to surround yourself with people of a similar character, and she did that well until the last few years when she lost a plot a little herself, and allowed weak people to be more involved around her.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      +1

  18. George Brooks.
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Through Lord Frost, Boris must shut down the nagging discussion on UK fisheries and state aid NOW. Stop ‘pussy-footing’ around and tell the EU there is a trade deal to be be done by October 15. After that, it is WTO rules from Jan’1.

    Give industry and commerce a clear signal so that we are fully prepared on Jan 1. We will not go short of food or medicine as we are a huge market right on their doorstep. Don’t worry about lorry parks as over 50% of the trucks returning home across the channel will be urgently needed by the EU states to ship more goods here.

    We celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE day in May so let’s give our children V EU day to celebrate, when yet again we have been able repel those in Europe who wanted to invade and control this country

    • Andy
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      What a silly post.

      Another armchair Captain Mainwaring seemingly unaware that the war is over.

      Another Baby Boomer who never fought for anything but who falsely claims the glory of those who did.

      They fought so our country didn’t become what you have turned it into.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Well said Andy.

        My late father saw some of the bloodiest fighting in WWII.

        He was overjoyed at the formation of the European Union, and at the peace, friendship, and civility that were its foundation.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Hear hear, Andy and Martin.

        • Mike Durrans
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Yes, they hid the real reason of the eu well, didn’t they. I do not think your father would be overjoyed now if he could see the fraud that goes on in the upper ranks of the eu, and their hatred of Britain

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            The power struggles go on though ad infinitum,; silly to underestimate the alpha push and pullmes

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          MIC I don’t see much friendship coming from EU countries at the moment. I have to ask why they are so reluctant to see that we just want to be a free country in FULL control of our own destiny? Could it be our money?

      • NickC
        Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Andy, On the contrary, George Brooks comment was excellent. The invasion of Europe by the western allies was to restore sovereignty and freedom. Unfortunately the EU mimics Reichsminister Walther Funk’s vision of a european union under German direction.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Many in my family fought in both wars.
      War is a terrible thing but so is the overmighty state.
      They were “putting on their masks”.
      Doing as they were told.
      Following orders.
      They didn’t win freedom for us.
      They just taught us how to obey.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you 100%.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    She didn’t get us out though did she? And she agreed to the Channel Tunnel ( Treaty of Canterbury).

    In 1986 Mrs T. signed up to the Single European Act.

    Was she a bit bamboozled by Kohl and Mitterrand ( who excluded her from talks) but so eager to get the Single Market ( deregulation etc) in place that she made a lot of concessions?
    Apparently unwittingly she and Lord Cockfield laid the foundations for future treaties/integrations.

    They say that when she realised what had happened she turned against the EU.

    Did “I want my money back!”, “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level” and “No, no, no!” mean any more than “Brexit means Brexit” etc etc ad nauseam?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I concur about the desire to complete the single market blinding Mrs Thstcher to the other risks.

      There is still no single market in services where we excel.

      • Andy
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Actually the EU has gone significantly further in creating a single market for services than anywhere else. No other trade deal comes close. The UK will not sign any deals which come anywhere close.

        There are many practical considerations. How, for example, can you have a single market in lawyers when law is completely different in each country? Indeed, the UK doesn’t even have a single market in lawyers as English law and Scottish law is not the same.

        What you can do though is have free movement of people – enabling people from one country to live, study in that other country and to learn to become a lawyer there.

        That said many professional qualifications are recognised across the EU allowing people in those professions to take their services anywhere. Teaching, medical qualifications, driving or flying qualifications, architects, musicians. A favourite of mine – skiing instructors. France in particular was very protective of its skiing instructors – so much so that Britons and others are excluded. It took an ECJ ruling against France to establish this.

        But it’s irrelevant now. You left and, as a result, Britons in none of these professions have any rights at all to offer their services in 30 other countries.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          So your single market for services is in effect freedom of movement and the problems that brings.

          A Visa to perform services in the US or UAE (and other places) takes very little effort to procure

          • Andy
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            I was chatting to a friend of mine who needed to work in the US for a few months. The visa application process takes five hours and requires two interviews. They are now not bothering.

            Free of movement only ‘brings problems’ if you don’t like foreigners. Farage stood in a front of a poster of Muslim refugees for a reason. Not because any of the Muslim refugees was eligible for free movement – they aren’t – but because they represent the type of foreigner that Brexit voters don’t like.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            Five hours?
            Your friend must be very very slow at typing.
            It took a family member under an hour recently and just one interview.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            I have completed the visa process and Edward is correct.

            Wanting to end Freedom of movement is not about not liking foreigners ( my family are ‘foreigners” as are Nigel Farage’s). It is about recognising that welfare and capacity require planning and limits. But you stick to your incorrect narrative and sound like a fool.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Oh Andy.
          If only you were correct.
          I rather suspect that all we have is BRINO.
          You seem pretty certain though…so maybe there is hope?

        • NickC
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Why do you think that your own selfish want to live in someone else’s country should trump their right to decide who comes to live next to them? Your immense ego takes some beating.

  20. Newmania
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Consult your own experience; are we the florid lout at the bar. He gets served only
    so he goes away ? That was Margaret’s position, not ours.
    Have we have left a club still wishing to use its facilities sometimes. Such arrangements are common amongst friends. Sadly no
    In fact we have barged into the big office, told the boss to stick his job up his hairy fundament, insulted the Company, his wife ,and his dearest dreams, promising to join a competitor and stick it to him soon.
    Then…clad in the Rhino skin of self absorption … we have crawled back asked for a reference and some part time work to tide us over . That is where we are . It is embarrassing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Is it a club or an employer ?

      Your analogy is confusing. Two extremely different things.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Three ..three images . One, two three .
        I think I may have located the source of the confusion…..

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          So are we (were we) employee, member or customer ?

          You do realise we were net contributors to the EU in monies, and main contributors to the EU in nuclear missile, special forces, 5 Eyes intelligence capabilities ?

          We were also mug buyers of overpriced German, French and Italian cars – the UK dubbed ‘fantasy island’.

          You analogies just don’t hold up.

          That’s the source of the confusion.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          You are the source of confusion. In fact the personification of Confusion.

    • agricola
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Too much descriptive licence or put the way of the left, too many word and little substance.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Dear Mr Hancock

      From an NHS website, it seems you bought the above tablets, which have now been trialled in many countries and found to be efficacious if used at first sign of Covid. When will you hand over the tablets to the GPs in this country, so that they are prepared for a second wave of Covid infections?

      I would rather take a treatment for Covid which has been tested, than have to wait for a vaccination which will be produced too quickly to be safe. Prevention is better than cure, and this drug can also be used to prevent catching covid. Surely you can come out of the vaccine contract as it has been shown to be dangerous in the current trial.

      The big pharmaceutical companies will be able to produce something that may be useful in the future, but whether it will be for Covid is doubtful.

      If you persist in ignoring the results of trials around the world which are shown to be trustworthy, on a drug which has been around for a long time, you are sentencing people to death for the sake of what? Tell the public the truth, supply the GPs and doctors with this drug at the correct dosage with zinc , and you will, even at this late stage, be hailed a hero.

      Please think carefully before you go along with another lockdown, which will not help anyone, as the treatment for the virus in the UK is this medicine. Covid will still be there this winter along with flu and we need to have the treatment ready.

      Please discuss this with all the scientists who have spoken out, including SAGE, so that you get the full picture before it is too late.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Better to give any such pills to pharmacists to dish out. They understand drugs better than any GP who has to consult Google to prescribe and at least they are available. GP’s seem to have been furloughed.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    O/T but shocking!!
    Rumour regarding smart meters.
    The Great Reset?
    SSE now applying for the power to switch off electricity supply to manage peak demand!
    Suggesting that there isn’t much confidence in renewables after all.
    And why the Hell WOULD there be??
    When the wind don’t blow…the country won’t GO!!

    • Andy
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure you understand how renewable energy works. Solar panels, for example, generate electricity when it is not sunny. Amazing eh? They work on daylight, not just on sunshine. Wind turbines do not actually need it to be particularly windy to generate power and they are put in places where wind patterns are predictable.

      The European Wind Energy Association is working with countries across Europe to develop a Europe wide power grid too. So when the wind stops blowing in the North Sea, it can be balanced out by power to the grid from the Bay of Biscay. Solar will also be a part of this mix. (Don’t worry you will not be a part of this, you left).

      Plus, of course, thanks to EU law our homes and our products are now significantly more energy efficient than they used to be. So year on year we actually use less electricity. Finally, batteries are a large part of the solution – large scale ones are already online in this country.

      You will not even notice the moment most of your power comes from green energy sources. Indeed, when figures are released early next year we will probably find that 2020 was the year that most UK electricity was generated from low carbon sources.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        When we have regular power cuts in a few years you may start to change your mind.
        Demand for electricity is predicted to increase.
        But generating capacity is not.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        So why then on a cold still short winter’s day is the output of renewables so low? You’re the expert, pls explain to us thickies.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Funny then that they didn’t stick with windmills the first time round!

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        This reply, Andy, is so unbelievably ignorant on so many different levels that I don’t know where to begin. I assume you never studied Science, even at GCSE

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Jim, indeed, it is laughable.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          +1 I guess they get their energy on the dark side of the moon using solar panels? 🤦

        • bill brown
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          jiminyjim

          are you talking about yourself or Andy?

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Bill, Andy has been told frequently where he is going wrong. Both Solar and Wind are intermittent. They need back-up or storage to work at all. And we’re not building either the prime generation plant or the storage needed for the policies he espouses.

      • agricola
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        After your first paragraph I am inclined to say like the hot air you generate. Windmill do not work when there is no wind or when there is too much. They need diesel generators on standbye for when the elements don’t suit them. On the plus side I have found them very good indicators of air mass convergence, which I have found useful at times.

        Your last para sounds lovely until it comes to paying the bill, and the bit in between I find just fanciful thinking.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Agricole. My provider has put my monthly payments up twice in the last 3 months. Each time they suggest I pay £10 more due to price increases. Where do they think we can find this kind of money on a fixed income? There are only so many lights I can turn off and only so many ways to save money when cooking. Needless to say I have switched again bit how long before their prices go up too. I think new deals reel you in and then prices go up.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        You might think your car is on charge and then when you go to it realise that they electricity supplier switched it off for a couple of hours without telling you.

        • gregory martin
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          No, you wont find that.
          It will not be a surprise because the supply and meter will be turned OFF.
          No lights, no television, no internet, no cooker, no microwave ,no heating, no fridge/freezer, no phone in many cases. Back to the stone age, living by candles.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Everhopeful. I don’t know why people will be surprised at this news. Ever since smart meters came about people said watch this space. It will give the energy companies the power to switch you off at any time they feel like it. These meters were never about giving the customer the ability to monitor what they are using. You use what you use. If you are careful you don’t need a meter to cut down. This has always been about control of peoples homes. Another big issue are solar panels. We have bought a house with panels on the roof left by the previous owner. The system is only 4 years old. The guarantees on the inverters and panels only cover the first owner. The inverter has already broken down which means no power from the panels has registered on the meter so no payment for us. The call out charge from the company who installed them is £325 and the actual inverter is around £500. By the time we have paid the engineer to fit the thing we will be looking at a bill of around £1k. Hardly a good investment. We are seriously thinking about taking the whole lot down and not bothering. There are homes going up in our village with solar panels installed and I wonder how many young families will balk at the cost when they go wrong? The renewables game is a rip off.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Utter rip off!
        Yes agree and have resisted the trap of smart metre several times.
        Much pressure though.
        Will they say “No smart metre…no supply” soon?

        • graham1946
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          I have the best excuse of all for not having one – we get no mobile signals and use satellite dishes to get decent tv coverage and no, not the middle of nowhere – just 50 miles from the capital. It’s a disgrace for a modern country, but of course all based on profit and as it is a village it will no doubt stay that way.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Plus storing electricity is very, very expensive and wastes lots of the energy in the process too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Much better to generated as and when needed from natural gas. Get fracking.

      • jerry
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        @LL; A slight qualification; Pumped-storage hydro-electricity does not waste lots of energy in the process, it uses off peak power that would otherwise have to be wasted.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Pumped storage still wastes 20% minimum of the energy in the process. Far better to generate as and when needed.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            @LL; “Far better to generate as and when needed.”

            Other than stand-by generators, using an IC engines, no such method of electricity generation exists!

            Even your beloved gas fired power station needs to be kept hot (producing steam) 24/7, if the steam is not directed to the turbines then 100% of the heat created by burning the gas needs to be wasted (usually via the cooling towers).

            The only on-demand ‘free energy’ comes from nuclear, but at high build and post-life costs.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            Not so – you can ramp gas power stations up and down as needed fairly quickly. Indeed it is easier to do this with gas than with nuclear in general.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, why invest £ billions in while elephant renewables that produce rather expensive electricty at times when you do not need it? Kill all these tax payer subsidies and the market rigging and let them compete on a level playing field, if, when and where they actually can.

          • jerry
            Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @LL; Oh for Pete sake! You said “on-demand”, having to ramp up a boiler to its working pressure is anything but power on-demand.

            Also keeping a boiler ‘ticking over’ as you suggest really is a waste of the fuel source and has maintenance issues too, it is actually cheaper to keep it at its WP. This is why the GEGB and then the privatised owners tended to offer cheaper electricity to certain industries, such as aluminium smelting, during the night when demand fell off a cliff, it was also the thinking behind Economy7 etc.

        • Syd
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          I had 35 years experience in electricity generation, rising from Craft Apprentice to Engineering Manager of the biggest, most technologically advanced gas and oil dual fuelled power station in Europe.
          I have worked in coal, oil, nuclear, gas and hydro power stations.
          It is clear to me, that you, my dear chap, don’t have a clue what you are talking about!

          • Syd
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            This comment aimed at Jerry.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            Well said Syd.

          • jerry
            Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            @Syd; OK, tell us a steam boiler that can go from zero or low psi to full working pressure instantly, or for that matter a gas turbine engine that can be started in an instant, and thus spin the generator when someone switches on that smelting plant, or another power station drops out.

            Try reading the thread, and context, next time dear chap. Heck the GEGB even used to consult the broadcast schedules to check by when they would need to supply extra demand on-line as a few million kettles where switched on, if you and Mr Life are correct it could have been all done automagically, by merely sensing the load in real time.

            I once knew a Craft Apprentice, he to rose to Management level, he was very good with figures, in fact he was a far better accountant than engineer….

  22. John E
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Mrs. Thatcher worked extraordinarily hard for the interests of the nation. She was on top of every detail. She refused to contemplate the U.K. being marginalised. She kept her word and never broke any treaty.

    Boris Johnson is her opposite in every way. He is lazy, uninterested in detail, and utterly untrustworthy. Mrs. Thatcher would not have tolerated him in her cabinet for a minute. I’m sure you can imagine how she would have dealt with him.

    When are you going to apply that lesson and get rid of him?

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      John E

      What possessed the people in this country not just to vote for him but to give his party such a huge majority?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        MH because the alternative was even worse.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        They wanted to upset some mythical Guardian reader who had been described to them, apparently.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Shows you just how out of touch you are, MH. This is obviously a massive disappointment to you, to realise what a tiny minority you’re in. Time to wake up, MH

      • beresford
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Anger about the shenanigans in Parliament by the likes of Bercow, Balls and Letwin intended to deny the democratic will to leave the EU. If it wasn’t for miscalculation by the Lib Dems and Nats it might still be going on.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        The opposition!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      +1

  23. Christine
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    This is a very different negotiation. Back then they wanted the UK to be a central part of the EU. Now they want to punish the UK and make an example of us. It’s a pity we didn’t leave straight after the referendum. By now we would have had a US trade deal whereas we have no chance if Biden gets elected.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Christine

      “By now we would have had a US trade deal whereas we have no chance if Biden gets elected.”

      Don’t worry. Mr Biden can be advised that we can always cancel F35 and other defence contracts, close USAF bases, and remind him that the US has never won a war in which England was not involved.

      Without the UK, the US will have a very compromised position in any future conflict. If thats what Mr Biden wants…..no skin off our nose.

      • Billy Elliott
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Jesus Steve that was the best. Cancel F35? What shall we buy instead – Shukoi? Mig?
        Close USAF bases??

        Brexiters negotion tactic has often been “EU if you dont do as we say we are going to harm ourselves” but now u r suggesting the same with USA! In military context!

        Sweet Jesus! You guys really are piece of work!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        +1 – and Mr Biden will be very busy trying to put out the fires the Democrats set alight all over the USA. Mandela taught the ANC how to get money (robbery) and when he won power they could not see why they should stop getting money the same way. So the violence and destruction is easy to start, not so easy to stop.

        • bill brown
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Lynn

          your destortion and lies of history is remarkable in its ignorance

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Bill, I think you are an AI random phrase generator, and I demand my £5.

        • James
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          Don’t know who or what poisoned your mind Lynn- as things go in American politics there are an awful lot of very good, well meaning and law abiding people in both parties. Only problem is unscrupulous politicians with their unscrupulous advisers- we have the same here in UK- set out to distort twist and tear down all that is good in order to get to the top of the greasy pole- think Cummings, think Steve Bannon- Sometimes it’s good to change our reading and TV and Radio listening habits- if we are always looking out the same window we’ll see only the same things.

    • James
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Christine ‘ None of this is true- nobody set out to make UK the central part of anything except maybe the British themselves in their own minds- the EU is not out to punish Britain in any way- we ourselves are making all of the running on this brexit thing- we wanted to leave- we now want to diverge so much from the EU as to be totally cut off from them- well then can hardly blame the EU if tariffs come in with WTO rules- it’s all just our own doing – we are calling the shots on these changes- the EU is just standing still- looking on in awe at the stupidity of it all. Lastly we have every chance of getting a good deal with Bidens Democrats come the election- Joe Biden is a decent man with emphasis on decency and will not hold grudges with honourable people who deal with him in a decent manner-

      • NickC
        Posted September 20, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        James, So EU employees gloating that they had finally made the UK into an EU colony, is nothing to worry about, then?

  24. Andy
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    An element in the Conservative Party treats Mrs Thatcher as if she was a goddess who could do no wrong.

    Actually, she was one of the worst post war prime ministers.

    She was divisive. She was dismissive. She was bossy. She always thought she knew best – consequently we ended up with appalling policies like the Poll Tax and Section 28.

    There was a significant constituency in the country which loved her. But an even bigger constituency which loathed her. I mean properly loathed. Not merely disliked, loathed. I grew up on an estate in London – and we all hated Thatcherism. I remember sitting in an A level class when we heard that she had resigned. How we all cheered. She was not our prime minister.

    She also set us on a disastrous course with Europe. She created the poison in the Conservative party – and it is just in the Conservative Party – towards Brussels. Based on a false post-war vision of a glorious powerful Britain which actually never was, she set out country on a course to be the international embarrassment the Conservatives have turned it into to.

    Perhaps we should look at why Mr Blair is, by far, the best prime minister we have had since the war?

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Oh Dear!

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Joker and agent provocateur as usual back to front propaganda…..

    • jerry
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Open your eyes man!

      Blair is quite possibly the worst PM we have ever had post WW2, even eclipsing Eden’s and Heath’s follies (Suez & EEC respectfully), after all the UN is still looking for evidence of those Iraqi WMDs that Blair openly claimed could have hit the UK within minutes, whilst the ‘war on terror has simply bread even more acts terrorism…

      You say you detest Thatcherism but appear to celibate Blairism, which was mostly just slightly watered down Thatcherism, sold as “New Labour” to the young and/or gullible! Blair was just as dismissive, he was bossy, he always thought he knew best (and still does).

      • miami.mode
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        jerry, Blairism was certainly not celibate, as witnessed by many of us.

      • steve
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        +1

    • Richard1
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      She was a world-historic figure who transformed the U.K. – and opportunities for people in it, including you. She is widely recognised, along with Churchill, as one of the two great C20th British PMs. Together with Ronald Reagan – also bitterly hated and mocked by the left at the time – she faced down the Soviet Union and liberated 1/2 of Europe and many other parts of the world from socialism / communism.

      Her policies, loudly and hysterically criticised at the time, have been imitated and followed all around the world. Especially in Eastern Europe which was of course socialist right until the end of her term in office.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Richard1

        “she faced down the Soviet Union and liberated 1/2 of Europe and many other parts of the world from socialism / communism.”

        What utter balderdash. The Soviet Union collapsed into itself, nothing to do with her.

        And your claim that she ‘liberated’ half of Europe is an insult to those people who REALLY freed Europe, like the students in the Hungarian uprising, the shipyard workers of Gdansk, the people who risked their careers opening up borders for people fleeing from the East.

        And last but not least the ‘ordinary’ people who were active in the many civil disobedience movements in cities across Eastern Europe which led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          If were not for the pressure President Reagan and Lady Thatcher put on USSR by supporting its satellite nations and their funding of a huge superior military the demise of the evil empire would have taken many years more.
          There was a rising realisation inside USSR that radical reforms were needed.
          But with over two thirds working for the state the other third couldn’t earn enough money to support them.
          Socialism in a nutshell.

        • NickC
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, No one is suggesting that Margaret Thatcher brought down the iron curtain single-handed. But her stance, supporting Ronald Reagan, gave hope and encouragement to the people of eastern Europe (and Russia) to throw off the yoke of communism. And of course it was Gorbachev who likened the EU to the USSR. There’s a lesson for you, if you’d only take it.

    • agricola
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Please stop confusing Europe with the EU. they are as different as chalk and cheese. The reason you and all forms of UK socialism love the EU is that at heart the EU is socialim personified. Grand plans lacking the substance to fulfill them. Fat tax free reward for those at the top of the heap, not unlike the USSR, and a glossing over of all that unemployment that has plagued the lives of a vast swathe of their population. Protectionism to prevent real competition, all really a payola to perpetuate support. Some might suggest it is a pact between France and Germany to achieve what Naploeon the Kaiser and Hitler failed to achieve. Very sad really, because as a true free trade area minus political ambition it could have achieved great things. As it is it has sown the seeds for the destruction of what it was designed for in the first place.

      Margaret Thatcher could see that socialism was taking the EU to exactly the same destination as that which she was in the process of diverting the UK from. UK socialism is a false god. Its implimentation inexorably leads us to the same financially broken destination. Always has done , always will do. Margaret knew the price of a pint of milk.

      Your final provocative Blair statement only confirms your detatchment from reality. He was and remains the greatest snake oil salesman we have ever experienced as a PM. True to his calling, his accumulation of wealth since leaving office says all you need to know.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Excellent post
        Thanks.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “Perhaps we should look at why Mr Blair is, by far, the best prime minister we have had since the war?”

      Could be: –

      Two illegal wars.
      Lying to Parliament.
      Lying to the people.
      Repealing the treason laws (surprise, surprise)
      Stealing the credit due to Mo Mowlam for the peace in NI.
      Stealing everyone’s house deeds.
      Causing binge drinking.
      Giving power to nationalist organisations with the aim of breaking up the UK.
      Mass brain washing in the state education system.
      Hatred of anything English.
      Becoming a multi – millionaire, aided by voters like you, Andy.

      Sounds like a lovely fellow.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        And of course the British love him … NOT. No matter what he advocates, there is a swing against him!

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Blair was divisive too.

      It’s just that when people like me lose a vote we accept the result.

      This gives the impression of a united country when the Left are in power.

      I accepted Blairism for all of Labour’s office and much of the Tory’s – and now it seems that when we finally do get a PM who starts talking the talk (if not actually doing things he promised) the Left kick off as they normally do …. giving the impression that the nation is divided.

      The Left NEVER accept the democratic vote without rioting.

      There’s the difference.

  25. ukretired123
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs Thatcher was a giant and stood up to Dictators against Britain and the enemy within.
    What a great opportunity we have now and how she would have relished sending Barnier and his gravy train packing!
    She survived the Brighton bombing and was in Parliament next morning to defy the IRA.
    Only 4hrs sleep per night was her modus operandi.
    She stood up for Britain and small businesses as she respected hard work and enterprise having worked in her parents humble shop.
    It was a badge of honour to be called “Madam (I want my money back) Thatcher” by French media as the Frugal Four countries are called today.

  26. jerry
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “Margaret decided to proceed. She said she would threaten to withhold contributions if they did not take the matter seriously and make a concession.”

    So being a good compliant europhile then, by not threatening to pull the UK (unilaterally) out of the block, unlike the then main UK opposition party was proposing. Both Mrs T and the EU knew the UK govt could not have carried through our threats for the reasons given.

    “It shows how will power and not making concessions is essential to a successful negotiation with the EU.”

    The time-line of historical dates appears interesting, UK rebate being adopted in May 1985, SEA signed by the UK on the 17 February 1986, quid pro quo perhaps, given this was also during the tenure of one Lord Cockfield [1], who, as the UK’s Commissioner (for Internal Market and Services) 1984-’88, was responsible for the creation of the Single Market.

    As I said yesterday, the UK, especially the right-wing, have been useful fools for the Euro-fanatics, and now we appear to be considered useful fools of the eurosceptics, perhaps some are, in select circles! If it wasn’t historical fact many would dismiss the above to be an anti Mrs T conspiracy theory no doubt…

    [1] nominated by the UK govt. lead by Mrs T

    Reply The Single market was not a UK creation. It was part of the EU’s continuing power grab.

    • jerry
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; So the apparent historical fact, that Lord Cockfield authored a White Paper on how the European single market could be completed, and his nomination to, as a UK commissioner, the European Commission are wrong?

      Of course the SEA treaty was the work of the entire EEC and Commission, no one is arguing that fact, my point of debate is why then and why the UK didn’t refuse to sign, or holding a referendum (as Ireland had to), even leaving the block!

      Reply The single market was an EC project which Lord Cockfield embraced. One of the few pieces of advice I gave to Margaret which she turned down was the advice not to accept the surrender of any veto in the name of the single market . The other main one was the Community Charge.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        To reply – sound advice indeed.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          +1 JR a much better prospect than Mrs T. We have our fate in our own hands – do we want a real Tory in Downing St? I’m prepared to fight for that.

          • jerry
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            @ Lynn Atkinson; Please define, diffidently, what a “real Tory” is, ask 1000 people and I suspect you’ll get 1001 different answers!

            I do wish some would stop hiding behind buzz-words, just name the person you want to lead, or someone who has lead, the party.

            My choice of a “real Tory” would be Macmillan, I get the impression you would consider him to be an arch Socialist though… 🙁

          • NickC
            Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, We know! You repeatedly extol the 1950s when the Tory party ran a socialist state.

          • jerry
            Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Thank you for your opinion

            Oh how you must hate the Macmillan era, the most successful economic period this country has had in over 100 years, hence why you appear to hark back to the era of Charles Dickens for your ‘solutions’.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, and the EU power grab was specified in the Treaty of Rome.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Johnson is leading us headlong into a disaster. Further borrowing to give the limited life elderly, like me, a few more months/years and completely wreck the economy especially as there is no contingency for even a small rate rise is criminal malfeasance.

    It is time for a the real Conservative MPs, maybe 25, to leave the party, negotiate with the opposition parties for a GE on a single issue – to abolish FPTP for PR. Another Boris flippany commitment – repeal Fixed Term Parliament Act – I have missed the Bill?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I’m guessing that you’re not a ‘real Conservative’.

  28. acorn
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Margaret Thatcher understood the UK had a bad deal out of the EC and so did the rest of the member states. It was obvious from the start but neither Heath or Wilson sorted it. Fortunately, Thatcher was good at arithmetic, being a Chemist, and in 1984 sorted it.

    80% of the EC Budget in the early days was spent on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). That suited the French and other members very nicely. France was and still is, one big farm, the UK was a very small farm by comparison and got little back from the CAP.

    The CAP has been coming down to circa 37% of the budget recently. Hence, back in 2010 the EU was saying the UK rebate was no longer justified. Blair had given some back previously to avoid a row with the new member states. The rebate was circa €5 billion in 2018.

    BTW. The UK became a “third country” in EU terms on 01/02/20. It is no-longer a member state of the EU. The UK relationship with the EU is now governed by the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty. The Agreement does not contain any provision on its termination. In the absence of such a provision, it is not possible under international law for a party to withdraw from the Agreement unilaterally. (Cm 9747)

    • NickC
      Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, Using international law, primarily Vienna, it is perfectly possible for one party to abrogate any treaty, including the WA. The WA does not have a termination clause as Lisbon does (Art50), which actually makes it easier to abrogate, not harder, still less impossible.

  29. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The HoL’s is due to try it’s hand at disrupting or killing off the Internal Market Bill, but what I’d like to know is where were their concerns each time the government introduced more stringent measures in relation to CV?

    Non-existent, is the real answer
    ….but the same appears to be true of Parliament —- The government is allowed to do whatever it wants when it comes to CV…. so what about a little real examination of what is going on – That’s what parliament is supposed to do, left or right – To hold the government to account.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      Good comments Bryan. Though I would add that if the House of Tony’s cronies Lords play any part in selling out NI, for example, that will be the end of them.

    • Longinus
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Salisbury convention?

  30. graham1946
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    He’s probably reading and uploading during short breaks in the house etc. It’s a wonder to me that he does it at all. No other MP offers it as far as I know. Lots of these issues except maybe technical ones to do with parliament and his own opinions are available with a little research. Better to ask some contributors here as there is considerable expertise among the membership.

  31. Dennis
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Polly – yes you are right. I have many times here said to those asking simple questions to which the simple answer would be a yes or no that don’t ask questions as JR never or rarely gives an answer. I, anyway, would learn a lot if he did answer.

    Reply I do answer many questions. You do not have to come onto this site if you find it so disappointing.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Dennis

      But to be fair did you ever know of a politician who answered yes or no ?

      In all my 60+ years I have not seen a single one, not ever.

      If one came along we’d probably view him / her with suspicion.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Then you are asking the wrong question.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      A question often posed but never answered directly is: Why has your government allow net immigration of 300,000 people a year for many years? A straight answer to that would be most welcome.

  32. David Williams
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    One of Mrs Thatcher’s strengths was that she kept to her principles. The lady was not for turning.

    Mr Johnson, on the other hand, U-turns all of the time. He is easily led by the opposition, a TV commentator, a footballer, etc. It is impossible to take him seriously. The EU will decide the outcome it wants and just wait for Mr Johnson’s U-turn.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Mr Johnson is solely about appeasement of the WOKE community, you know the ones, those that don’t work, wont work, don’t contribute to society. The Gimmee crowd that have time on their hands to make noise, disrupt those that keep things moving, leave their detritus in our cities for others to pay for the clean-up.

  33. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The bit missing in all these discussions :-

    Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

    with the responses to the question to be (to be marked with a single (X)):
    Remain a member of the European Union
    Leave the European Union

    In June 2016 the majoirity of the votes were cast to leave the EU aka, a ‘Clean Break’ and nothing else

    Everything else going on is semantics and egotistical posturing to avoid doing what was asked.

    4 years on and we have a Government still trying submit to rule by the EU through the back door. This delay has cost the UK taxpayer and UK Business £Billions. No one has voted specifically for the revised partial leaving, yes the last election was about getting it done. But that was only because the current fudge offered was a small but better difference than any of the other fudges. But it was still avoiding the referendum result. A ‘Clean Break’ is still the only way to ensure the nations positive, vibrant future. The price on all the alternatives are so, so expensive we will be back here again in a few years time with all these defunct question, just because Government is refusing to respond to the wishes of the people.

    Then our Political Class wonders why to paraphrase you Sir John, the People say ‘We don’t believe you!’

    • Fred H
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      EXACTLY.

  34. LT
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I miss Maggie. She had gumption. She understood you get nowhere by caving in to threats from bullies. Its an ongoing mystery to me what so many of the Civil Service and others see in the EU.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      LT

      ” Its an ongoing mystery to me what so many of the Civil Service and others see in the EU.”

      Sir / Madam, it’s no mystery at all, see –

      Bums on seats for life.
      Big fat pensions.
      Loads of perks.
      Don’t have to be ‘public – facing’
      Not accountable for actions.
      Can set ‘security’ on any member of the public who has the cheek to complain.
      Automatically protected from dismissal.
      All for little work as possible because the EU does the work for them, at the expense of our sovereignty of course.

      It’s a winner as far as left wing civil servants are concerned.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        steve

        No doubt you include our own civil service in your (true) list of perks. And don’t forget our own unelected House of Lords which leaves everybody else standing, even reputed to have the best bars, clubs and wine cellars in the capital.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      +1 gumption is what is missing.

  35. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The EU broke the Lisbon Treaty by refusing to negotiate the future arrangements at the same time as withdrawal. But, it’s okay for the EU to break a treaty.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      “But, it’s okay for the EU to break a treaty.”

      Yeah….they’re allowed to, but we are not. Also we have left wing biased media and a left wing biased state broadcaster who kick off like crazy at the merest possibility that we ‘might’ slightly break a treaty, but say nothing of numerous breaches of law by the EU.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      The EU Rules and Laws on not applicable to the EU Cronies.

      The UK Government should never been negotiating – we never asked for that. They just don’t learn.

      The EU of course have the ECJ on their side, it will re interoperate all laws to suit needs.

      The WA agreement its self also breaks The Belfast(Good Friday) Agreement. Even worse it ensures the break up of the UK. Those whingeing about breaking agreements need to think again, how can you break an agreement when the other side has reneged on all their own laws to maneuver a position.

      The problem is we have more traitors in the UK that are running interference for the EU that are ensuring nothing works within the laws previously agreed. The EU will keep breaking their own Laws until someone kicks back and says enough is enough. Is Boris the man to ensure the UK is free from outside rule, to ensure the UK is not broken up by a foreign power. Most would say not – he didn’t walk in June as promised.

  36. steve
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “…..not making concessions is essential to a successful negotiation with the EU.”

    The ungrateful French – led EU should not be expecting us to make concessions.

    Liberating Europe from the tyranny of the nazis should be more than enough concession.

    The way Barnier, VDL, Macron et al behave is utterly despicable. Time to walk away and protect our own sovereignty, and if the US democrats don’t like it – tough ! We can always trade with the US on WTO same as anyone else.

    • beresford
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      We have already made concessions, the majority of the Withdrawal Agreement is a series of concessions to the EU, who said everything they wanted must be agreed before they discussed the even-handed FTA we wanted. That is why the claims by Remainers that we must ‘compromise’ on the EU’s new demands are so annoying. We must insist that it is the same deal they give everyone else or WTO.

  37. RichardP
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for this off topic comment but I have been listening to Matt Hancock’s interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer on TalkRadio and found his comments rather alarming.

    He was asked about the False Positive Rate for the CV19 PCR Tests and he said it was very low, under 1%.

    I might be missing something but a 1% error rate is huge! If you test 100,000 people with a 1% False Positive Rate you get around 1000 false positives or ‘cases’ for people who don’t have the disease. In a low virus prevalence situation there might only be 100 people who actually have the disease, so the FPR has amplified the result by a factor of 10.

    I’m sure someone will correct my maths if I’ve got it wrong, but could this be the source fabled second wave?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      This is something that is written about daily on The Spectator, Lockdown Sceptics, Spiked online…..etc

      No-one is listening!!!

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      A 1% false negative rate is even worse. 1000 superspreaders infecting say, 20 people a day = exponential growth.

      The real problems are Hancock and Harding. Two demonstrably incompetent buffoons allowed to go on the media to spout guff, digging even deeper holes for themselves as they try and justify their positions.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      You are spot on. Please do your best to raise the visibility of this most important issue!

    • Richard
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      As our host’s colleague Sir Desmond Swayne put it:
      “The Government website -when I last looked- stated the daily number of tests processed in the UK was 227,075. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/testing and the daily number of people tested positive is 3,105. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases
      Which means that 1.37% of those tested had a positive result. Clearly it doesn’t take a mathematician to tell you that a relatively small percentage of false positives will have a significant impact on our estimate of how many people are infected. In fact a report by the ONS in June put false positives at 2.4%: which even higher than the actual proportion of positives!”
      https://www.desmondswaynemp.com/ds-blog/false-positives/

  38. John Partington
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    The clock is ticking for the EU. All the wets criticizing Boris and his government apparently see nothing wrong in caving in to the EU and becoming slaves forever. My message to them is “grow a pair” and back Boris and Frosty. When time runs out for the corrupt EU Ponzi scheme, the uk will be in a good position to trade with other countries.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      John Partington

      I agree, the wets need to grow a pair. Also there are those who whinge & moan taking every opportunity to have a pop at Boris and his ministers, always ignoring any good done by Gov’t.

      I think such types really need to ask themselves could they do a better job. Gov’t has to deal with Covid AND the EU.

      Seriously the pressure Boris and Matt Hancock must be under is something I certainly wouldn’t want.

      People should also consider what state the country would be in if it was Mrs May in charge, or a labour government.

      Back Boris !

  39. James
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Back to money again- after 31st Dec we’ll be able to print as much of it as we like- but what it will be worth I have no idea.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      We are not in the Euro. We can print what we like and Boris has ‘liked‘.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        this why the pound is worth so little

        • Edward2
          Posted September 20, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          That’s a meaningless statement
          If you look at pound v dollar rates over period from 1970 you see it is only a little below the long term average.
          If you look at a 10 year chart for pound v Euro rates you see it is only a little below what it was 10 years ago.

          And the effect depends on who you are and what you need to do to earn a living.
          In one swing of value, imports are more expensive but our exports are cheaper.
          In the other swing exports are more expensive but imports are cheaper.
          Depends on what type of business you run.

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Nice history but Boris Johnson is also dealing well with the EU, including the recognition that the EC is negotiating in bad faith. It’s his fiscal policy that is disastrous.

    • steve
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay

      “It’s his fiscal policy that is disastrous.”

      So far I don’t think he’s doing badly at all.

      There’s something about Boris’s type of character, when all seems lost…they always shine through. The kind you would want with you in a lifeboat or stranded somewhere.

      Don’t rush to bin the guy, he’s accepting a lot of pressure….and not for the salary.

    • Richard
      Posted September 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      +1 Well said. Particularly exasperating is £100Bn p.a. for ‘Covid Testing’ in 2021.

  41. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Poll. I would rather have these posts with a few replies than not at all. I have learned such a lot from them.

  42. Donna
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    And when she took a firm line and said “No No No” to the creation of the European Union and the plan to create a United States of Europe, the Conservative Wets knifed her and the Not-a-Conservative-Party was created.

    It’s been downhill ever since. Including the present authoritarian, civil rights and economy-destroying administration.

    Thank God for Nigel Farage and UKIP/Brexit Party.

  43. formula57
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    @ Polly – It is a diary that unusually extends to readers the privilege of submitting Comments: it is not some form of Any Questions.

    It is a resource like no other and we are lucky to have it. Sir John is, alas, less lucky as more than a few Comments are of doubtful merit and some are not even worth reading.

  44. beresford
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    It is being suggested in some quarters that making implementation of the Internal Markets Bill conditional on a further vote in the HoC is a sign of weakness. However should we find ourselves in a position where we have to hold the vote because the EU wish to blockade Northern Ireland there will be massive public anger (even Andy and MiC may be mildly irritated with the EU). Europhile MPs will face the choice of gritting their teeth and supporting Britain or incurring opprobrium by aiding the EU. Faux moral outrage with no responsibility for consequences will no longer be an option.

  45. XYXY
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    `Indeed, good piece.

    It would be interesting to see you say something about the reasons so many of our “establishment”, MPs, civil service and others are so ideologically wedded to the EU when it is so awful.

    Can they not see that if there were to be European integration, the EU’s ossified, unchangeable structure and its approach is not the way to do it – and certainly not at the speed they want to do it.

  46. George Brooks.
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Not a silly post Andy, Martin and Margaret.

    I celebrated VE day in May 1945 and well remember the shocking day in September 1939 when war was declared. It was a rotten 6 years for everybody but we were very grateful to have regained our freedom.

    Equally many were delighted, as I was, with joining a European Common Market but never imagined it would turn into the money grabbing/wasting dictatorship that is today. We have suffered untold damage to the fabric of this country from the EU rules and regulations.

    There will be a few bumps in the road from those who still will not accept the result of the 2016 referendum but in three and half months time we will be free once more and no doubt the event will celebrated.

  47. Edwardm
    Posted September 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    We have much to be thankful to Mrs Thatcher for.
    Pertinent parallels are relevant today.

  • 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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