How the EU single market and customs union damaged the UK economy

Conventional wisdom says that the UK received an economic boost from joining the EEC, wrongly called the Common Market at the time. It also alleges there was a further boost from the EEC transforming itself into the EU and completing its so called single market in 1992.

I believe in checking the data. If you looks at the graphs and charts of our economic output there is no sudden favourable burst in 1973-5 when we first joined, and no sudden surge in 1993-5 when the EU announced single market completion. Nor is there any sign throughout this period of any upward tilt in our economic performance, however slight. If you gave people the charts and asked them when a significant favourable event occurred they would not have chosen 1973 or 1993.

Worse still is that in practice both our time in the Common market and in the single market impeded our growth and helped destroy important parts of our industrial base. These were the years of big decline in everything from fishing to steel and from market gardening to shipbuilding.

The 20 years from 1953 to 1972 prior to our entry into the EEC saw the UK grow by 95%. That was a growth rate of 3.4%. I have left out 1945-1952 as years obviously boosted by recovery from a war and affected by demobilisation.

The next twenty years in the Common market, 1973-92, saw our growth slump to just 42%, under half the previous 20 year period. That was an annual rate of 1.76%

If we then look at the 28 years 1993 to 2020 when we were in the single market and customs union, total growth was 59%. That was an annual growth rate of just 1.66%. I have taken the OBR forecast for 2020 as we still await the end year number.

So we grew much slower in the EEC/EU than out, and slower still once the restrictive and bureaucratic single market was completed. These numbers flatter the later EU period as they are not per capita. They are not adjusted for Labour’s relaxation of control on economic migrants after 1997.

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  1. Rissy
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    We have left the EU, it’s done, you won. Yet you keep whining about being the victim. Will you ever move on?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I have been trying to get the commenters here to understand that brexit is not the end, but the beginning of Europe dominating current affairs in the UK in a way that it never did whilst the UK was a member of the European Union.

      They and John have obliged in helping me to show this, by demonstrating an ever deeper fixation with such matters.

      Having divorced, but now living next door, they seem to be obsessed with shouting constantly about their ex’s claimed shortcomings in the hope that they and other neighbours will hear them.

      No doubt they do, and equally certain are the opinions that they will form too.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Who wants to dominate?
        I think the UK just wants to be a free independent sovereign democratic nation.
        The EU can do what it wants now.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          Well now Edward, seeing that you are now part of this ‘free, independent sovereign democratic nation’ do you feel any different today?

          Remind us – why did we vote so overwhelmingly 5 decades ago to join this organisation? Were we wrong? Was it wrong for us?

          If so why did we stay for what was for many of us a lifetime during which I saw this country transformed from a grey, down at heel society into a thriving modern part of a thriving modern Europe and a member of the world’s biggest, most successful trading bloc?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          If you study history many nations have fought long battles and many have died in their struggle to become independent and free.
          Very sad that you do not understand the concept.

          50 years ago it was the Common Market not the United States of Europe. Had it stayed a trading bloc with a few similar economies then I would have had little complaint.

          The UK has improved over 50 years just as most nations on the planet have improved.
          It seems you think every UK improvement is due the EU and every negative occurrence is our own fault.
          Strange logic

      • John Brunt
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        John’s article is merely statistical information of relevance.

        I was surprised at the referendum result but delighted. Likewise with the appointment of Boris, his election win and his delivery of our exit from Europe and the hard negotiated settlement. Let us all move on and help develop this, one of the greatest and liberal countries in the World and the envy of most of it.

        We do not realise how lucky we are!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Do you accept the growth figures in the article?

      • acorn
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Beware politicians selectively quoting numbers out of context. For instance, JR makes no reference to the 1973 Oil Crisis, which took the UK ten years to recover from.

        The higher growth occurred under a Labour government from 64 to 79, apart from four years of Heath, 70 to 74; who remains the prime culprit for todays mess.

        In 1981 the UK gave up making things to sell and started on an importing binge from the EC/EU. The Commonwealth by this time, had wised up to the fact it was giving the mother land a cheap living, and said bye bye.

        The best way to sum up the UK for the last seven decades, is to imagine it as an old tractor tyre. It has little tread left to get a grip on anything. It has a slow puncture that nobody knows how to repair, which the EU has been regularly pumping up since 1973.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          The oil crisis affected all modern industrial nations.

          Your metaphor is ridiculous.
          The UK has transformed itself over the last few decades.
          The standard of living of its citizens has improved greatly.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Why don’t you post elsewhere. We enjoy our hosts critical analysis.
      We’ve been conned by various governments over the years and now we can celebrate being free of the dead hand of Brussels.
      It’s up to us to make it a success.
      It’s you that’s whining. P

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        O/T I’ve just been watching BBC news and their constant scare mongering about Covid. What I don’t understand is the NHS employs over a million people and costs over £140 billion annually but it’s overwhelmed.
        It’s time the government got a grip on this out of control monolith

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Do you expect them to leave thousands upon thousands of people who cannot breathe because of covid19 pneumonia at home, with no oxygen etc.?

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      There are a lot of negative people, clearly of the same ilk as you, who need to be reminded / made aware that leaving the eu is only positive for our future. It is obvious that Mr Redwood is moving on and looking forward, you are not. He’s for winning not whining.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Robert McDonald

        Good luck with your Sisyphean task!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      We won to a degree, but May, Hammond, Hillary Ben, Gauke, Adonis, Starmer, Clegg, the SNP, the Libdims and the many other blatant traitors have helped ensure a rather poor deal.

      Northern Ireland has alas been thrown under a bus.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        NI have been let to rot by westminister

        They have a just course to leave to union

        • Sea_Warrior
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Or they could say that they value trade links with the UK more than trade links with ROI. The Northern Ireland Secretary should now get on the case.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink


        Here we go – the blame everybody else for brexit stupidity has started.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Put the blame where it lies, the remainers in trying appallingly to reverse the Brexit vote (The Libdims, BBC, Benn Act traitors, Theresa May, Philip Hammond ….. have given us a far worse death than could otherwise have been obtained.

          But it is certainly still better than remain.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            deal not death!

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      It is bizarre JR is looking back instead of the present or future. We already know his party and govt sold out the nation several times through Major, Cameron, May and now Johnson.

      I am not sure we need reminding about the single market and customs union that Johnson has signed up to again! So presumably he will vote against this subservient partnership deal because it leaves N.Ireland, our country, in the same position and all U.K. Companies that trade there.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Taking back control is only the first part of what needs to be done. Who has the levers of power and what they do with them is the next concern and Sir John is correct to be focused upon it and suggesting policy direction.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      … says a whiny victim who won’t move on.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Bloody rude.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        + 1

    • thud
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Now that’s whining, no victimhood here.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      We won in the same way that Trump won.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:52 am | Permalink

        Which is not winning at all.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I would be very careful about taking broad data and using it to make a specific point. There is more that goes on in the world that affects an economy than just a political project like the EEC / EU. For example : The Oil Crisis of the 70’s. Unions and strikes. Political interference in private industry, forcing companies to merge.

    And remember, it was the political class that wanted to join the EEC, not the people. That is why it was dressed up as a Common Market and about trade, not political union which was the real aim.

    This ‘deal’ is the same. A political game of calling something other that what it really is.

    • Peter
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      ‘I would be very careful about taking broad data and using it to make a specific point. There is more that goes on in the world that affects an economy than just a political project like the EEC / EU. For example : The Oil Crisis of the 70’s. Unions and strikes. Political interference in private industry, forcing companies to merge.’

      Correct. I would add to that list:-

      Wilful misuse of the North Sea oil windfall simply to take on and defeat union power.

      Meanwhile, whole areas of the country lost industries and never recovered.

      It was claimed that market forces would make things better. Milton Friedman ruled the roost.

      The City and services did fine. Areas that manufactured or produced things did not.

      Just as bad, key parts of our infrastructure such as power, water, and rail were allowed to fall into foreign hands. Consumers paid a heavy price for this.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 3:58 am | Permalink

        Before the Second World War the UK had an Empire and a captive market. Post war these markets were opened up to competition and that competition was better so we lost market share. Governments of all hues thought they knew the answer, but only did more harm than good.

        By the 70’s good business were being used to subsidies bad ones as politicians did not have the backbone to let market forces take control so only made the problems worse. Mrs.T inherited a mess. The fact that she realised that lancing the boil now was the only solution made her deeply unpopular. But it had to be done.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Is that why the same people won the referendum by 68:32 in 1975, Mark?

      A bit better than a paltry 52:48 wasn’t it?

      The pamphlet sent to every single electoral address did not dress anything up as being just about trade.

      It accurately described the purpose of the entity and predicted very well progress towards the European Union.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        No it did not.
        Using the phrase “ever closer union” is a false analogy to describe how the Common Market transformed itself to the United States of Europe

        • hefner
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Edward2, Accept that in those days you were not aware or you did not care or were too dumb to figure it out.

          Sir John has written for the Bow Group in Feb.’20: ‘One of the first votes I cast as a young man was to vote to leave the EEC in 1975. I read the Treaty of Rome and realised this was no simple common market. I thought we were being lied to by the establishment who told us we could veto anything we did not like and would not lose our sovereignty as the Treaty made clear wide-ranging ambitions by the Europeans on their chosen path to ‘ever closer union’.

          So who am I more likely to believe, Sir John or Edward2? Well no tossing of the coin necessary.

      • IanT
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Quote from that pamphlet:

        “There was a threat to employment in Britain from the movement in the Common Market towards an Economic & Monetary Union. This could have forced us to accept fixed exchange rates for the pound, restricting industrial growth and putting jobs at risk. This threat has been removed.”

        But that turned out to be disingenuous didn’t it Martin? The threat wasn’t removed – it was simply deferred.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, too many other variables to draw any useful point.

      Sir John, this piece is entitled ”HOW…..” you do not answer this question; if you did then it would indeed be a useful piece. I certainly wish to know which rules of behaviour we have had forced on us since we were bamboozled into the EEC/EU. It would be a work plan to start with.

    • Grey Friar
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It was never dressed up as a common market. Both sides, at time of accession and then in the 1975 referendum, made very clear it was a political project – Heath, Shore, Benn, Wilson, Thatcher, Powell, you name it.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Heath didn’t
        Wilson didn’t
        The others tried to warn us where the Common Market was heading long term but they were surrounded by politicians in their parties who loved the idea.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          and some got medals from them.

      • jon livesey
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Not true.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed, our host is sadly taking a lesson from Hancock & Co in how not to present data.
      What was the comparative growth in equivalent, larger and smaller states inside and out of the EU? The US, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia?
      What about “real” GDP? Ignore the public sector digging holes and filling them in, adjust for net immigration.

      I think we can ignore the data anyway and rely on the touch and feel of the country. A few % GDP is neither here nor there.

      We might be technically materially better off in terms of goods having imported them from elsewhere on a pile of debt, but most are cooped up in smaller homes working longer hours with less in the way of health and education facilities. The place is far more congested, and we’re less able to move around and less free under the pile of restrictions. From the retired doctor who couldn’t return to work to give jabs because of the lack of equality, diversity, to police tracking dog walkers. We are surrounded by knee benders on what used to be sports arenas. This is not freedom. This is a regulated quasi-police state.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Mark, it is clear words used by Johnson or govt are simply u true. This is not a trade deal. It covers a host of areas we voted to leave. UK should decide if it wants to be In ECHR not gold by EU!

      JR always claimed any deal would have to be getter than WTO. JR, show us on a factual basis this is the case.

      What does the U.K. Gain by this rotten subservient partnership agreement to follow a host of EU competences with non regression clauses, annexes N.Ireland, misses out Gibralta, and EU gets to keep territorial waters within 12 mile zone and outer 200 mile limit.

      The only “polished turd” I see is a he one who capitulated to agree it, liar Johnson.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Amen to that. There is obviously a case to be made for just how damaging EU oversight of the UK economy has been, but this is not the way to do it – unless your purpose is to absolve successive UK governments of blame for abject policy failures.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        Correct. We must be honest with ourselves and learn from the mistakes made.

        One lesson is, we have far too much government poking its nose into too many things that do not concern it.

    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Sir John is countering a misconception which has been deceitfully fostered and is now pervasive. How else could have have done it?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Buy telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        The EU is responsible for many negative things but, the EEC / EU never made us join or surrender our fish etc. We did that !! We could have said no and walked away.

        The EU is like an opium den to our political class.

        • simple soul
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          True point on the fish. They should never have been on the table, either this time or last, and I don’t understand why they were other than that the negotiators wanted a bargaining chip. But what for? What was the gain?. Their vineyards weren’t on the table and they seem to have got everything they wanted..

          It is like getting the house back but without the garden, and people telling us the garden isn’t worth as much as the house. That is a matter of opinion and the EU certainly think it worth a lot.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      This is not a trade deal. It ties the U.K. to the EU under a false premise.

      It binds the U.K. to the EU and allows the U.K. to rejoin or get closer. WTO shuts the door firmly, like we voted for.

      That is the crux of the matter. This is not a trade deal but a subservient partnership agreement- association agreement- described and labelled so we would not notice.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink


        I know ! You are preaching to the converted mate.

        It is an Association Agreement. I would have prefered it in the beginning and everyone be honest about it and viewed it as a temporary measure until we were truly up and running. But the way this has been handled and dressed up make me very suspicious.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I also would like John to talk about what he’d like to see (and more importantly what his party agree to do) moving forward now. He is answering all the negative comments that Martin, Margaret, Andy, Hefner and Bill amongst others concentrate on presenting here but he should white noise them out and advise them of the positive solutions we can influence now moving forward.

      My questions are: We have got all these trade deals now but what money is the government putting behind sales? We need to learn from the best American sales training schemes as that Country does not see sales and promotion as a dirty business that no-one wants to do. We need to organise trade events online not all in person events, we need to harness new technologies in sales and marketing and teach these to small businesses for free.

      We have our 20% VAT money we used to send to the EU back to spend in the UK, we can’t afford to drop VAT taxes we’re used to collecting yet because we have to improve our healthcare and social services. If our NHS can’t cope with staff absence levels through the roof we need a private sector solution as the private sector doesn’t get paid if it doesn’t provide a service (I do not mean using previous private hospitals that the private insurance sector pays for – otherwise if the services aren’t restored next year we will all be cancelling medical insurance). One suggestion – could we set up private hospital care to do treatments to foreigners (as they do in Spain) and re-bill all the Countries around the world as they currently invoice us, certainly one new hospital in each City near the big A&Es that has this regular problem.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:05 am | Permalink


    • Peter
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      ‘I would be very careful about taking broad data and using it to make a specific point. There is more that goes on in the world that affects an economy than just a political project like the EEC / EU. For example : The Oil Crisis of the 70’s. Unions and strikes. Political interference in private industry, forcing companies to merge.’

      Indeed. The old ‘ceteris paribus’ trick economists employ.

      However, if you challenge that it does not go down at all well on here. Deletion or delayed post is the usual outcome.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        Cheers mate, I learnt something 🙂

        ‘ceteris paribus’

        Well this time it passed. It is Christmas 😉

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Indeed, well for growth we know we need for less government and red tape not even more and even more levels of government. Plus real freedom of choice in housing, health care, education and the likes not dire state monopolies.

    The problem now is that this new treaty largely forces the UK to remain rather uncompetitive for years to come.

    • Andy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Brexit = tsunami of red tape.

      You. Are. Building. Actual. Lorry. Parks.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        I would hope so, they have been needed periodically these last 25 years whenever there have been French strikes. and most recently after Macron’s vainglorious posturing. Brexit on the other hand is unlikely to require them much once initial procedures have been established and got used to.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          No, because the customs procedures at the border are now so time-consuming.

          • Robert Mcdonald
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            But we have not left as of today.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            What already?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            There is no need at all for then to be remotely time consuming and certainly not time consuming at the ports.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        well the empty lorries going home are the lowest priority. A lorry park seems appropriate to me.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Sir JR, it appears that like a worn out and weary football team at the end of a very hard match, our politicians appear to accept a draw. This isn’t meant as an insult, most of us would fear a loss due to a counterattack in the last seconds of Fergietime. However to most people this treaty is just that. The counterattack that wins the game just when we thought we’d got a point.

      • Andy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        This is not a draw. You lost.

        • steve
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          You cheated

        • IanT
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Well for some daft reason Andy – and against all the odds – I feel we won! 🙂

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I think that John is mistaken.

      The UK got Dutch Elm Disease around 1973.

      It was clearly that which affected growth as he describes, since his logic as to coincidence and cause is apparently infallible.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Ridiculous post Martin.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Why does it force us to remain uncompetitive?

      The UK has opened up trade deals with the rest of the World and have global reach. We need to teach people how to make and sell and do instead of just focusing on what we can’t do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Why because it loads lots extra costs, the government overheads, expensive energy and unproductive work onto businesses and individuals.

        • IanT
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          There was a guy who owned furniture shops in our chamber of commerce who employed two full-time ladies to do his VAT some 30 years ago.

          He was astounded when I told him I could do it at the end of each month with the press of a button (Sage Accounting on a PC was still relatively new back then).

          Much of this so called extra “paperwork” is automated these days – and huge amounts of goods flow around the world without too much trouble – much of it entering the UK via Felixstowe. Companies will update their software and adapt.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Boris “We have take back control of every jot and tittle of our regulations in a way that is complete and unfettered”

    Alas this is very far from the truth. .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      But to be fair to Boris perhaps he has not read it yet.

      The blame for the poor quality of this new treaty rests with the dire remainers in Westminster, the BBC, the Benn Act traitors, Corbyn, Starmer, the B******* to Brexit Libdims, the Supreme Court and all the other appalling, anti-democratic establishment forces that went to war with the voters.

      • Pominoz
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink


        Within the “poor quality of this new treaty” is one particularly relevant item:

        The text of the Brexit Agreement document includes the following:

        “The provisions in the Protocol on Social Security Coordination will ensure that individuals who move between the UK and the EU in the future will have their social security position in respect of certain important benefits protected. Individuals will be able to have access to a range of social security benefits, including reciprocal healthcare cover and an uprated state pension.”

        Congratulations to Boris and Lord Frost on delivering this safeguard for UK citizens who decide they wish to continue to live in the EU. Quite clearly the right decision has been made, not least, perhaps, because it was accepted that to do otherwise would have resulted in uproar, particularly from pensioners.

        Now, therefore, seems the time to rectify the long-standing and cruel injustice of the frozen state pensions suffered by ‘fully paid up’ UK pensioners living in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, many Caribbean Islands and all African countries. Continuation of this blatant discrimination is indefensible, particularly at a time when social injustice is the subject of focus like never before.

        £half a billion will put this matter right once and for all. With money currently being spent like water, please, Sir John, urge Boris to put this matter right, for how can it be fair to treat a UK pensioner who decides to retire to the Costa Brava much more favourably than one who retires to a Commonwealth country?.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        He’s too busy listening to “science” and ramping up the next virus.
        I never rated him much ( ever since I saw that dire photo) but honestly, with regards to this virus I would never have believed him capable of such crass stupidity/naked duplicity.
        I suppose I always believed Caesar.
        I was wrong!

      • Arthur Wrightiss
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Spot on.

      • agricola
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        We are now free to drain the swamp, so let it begin.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        With respect, making excuses for Blowers enables the Tory agenda. There was, in theory, absolutely nothing stopping him from tearing up the WA and simply leaving. Indeed, this is what Sir John advocated. But then he wouldn’t have become Tory leader. And that is the problem. In practice, only BRINO would meet with the approval of the Tories. So, Blowers knew the deal, so to speak, when he stood for the leadership, and he has duly delivered. No one has twisted his arm. He’s exactly where he wants to be.

      • hefner
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        There must have been a really big room to accommodate all these people around the table in the discussions led by Lord Frost and Barnier.

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Democratic Unionist Party Westminster spokesman Sammy Wilson articulated this feeling of betrayal in comments reported by the BBC when he said: “Many things have been left unaddressed and kicked down the road… we’ll be saying to the government that these are still issues which we believe are resolvable.

        “We expect you [the government] to fulfil promises you’ve made to the people of Northern Ireland but you haven’t done it to date, so don’t expect our support.”

        The party said it would be voting against the deal because of its shortcomings.

        Absolutely sell out. Disgraceful.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          Kicked down the road sounds about right.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink


        The blame for this Trade & Coop agreement can front & centre be laid at the feet of all ‘’leaver’’ MPs that did nothing and continue to do nothing less save their own jobs

        They had the opportunity and ability to demand an WTO and/or a straightforward FTA, they settled for a easy, sitting on the fence appeasement deal with the EU

        It’s the Leavers MPs fault

        • steve
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


          We need a publicised shit list.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink


      • rose
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        You have left out the most powerful malign influence of all: the media. They need to be named.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          Oh a mighty +1 for that.

      • Fernando Ferreira
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic,

        Are you suggesting that absolutely nobody in Lord Frost’s negociating team UK doesn’t read, write or fully understand the English language in which the Draft Agreement is written??
        Are you suggesting that all those in the UK body politic that were against leaving the EU are guilty of treason for actually making this Draft Agreement??
        Are you suggesting that any PM doesn’t need to actually read or even understand no international Treaty that he/her is required to sign in the name and for the sake of the UK, or at least to timely present it to be voted by MPs and Lords as an Act of Parliament??
        So, for you the responsability for this Draft Agreement rests entirely at the doorstep of William the Conqueror’s grave…

        Yours truly,

        Fernando Ferreira

      • steve
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink



        Exactly right !

        It is these people who would compel me to resort to: ‘traditional British working man’s way of sorting things’ …..should they ever cross my path.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        The new treaty was stitched up by May and Robbins wasn’t it? Wasn’t Boris new election sufficiently large to overturn tranches of it, Sir John said that they had inserted a clause to give us more options, if Boris doesn’t choose to use it when it was signed into the agreement then the solid blame remains mainly with Boris and Gove.

      • DavidJ
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Indeed LL and we still have these reprobates in positions of power and influence. In the words of Donald Trump we need to “drain the swamp” and cut taxation as a consequence.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      No it isn’t. Name one area where we haven’t taken back control from the EU. Just as an example, after 5 years we have full control over our fishing waters and can ban any EU ship from entering. That’s what taking back control looks like.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Northern Ireland

        • Hope
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Roy, after five year…. you,just shot yourself in the foot. That is not taking back control. That should happen 01/02/2021! Secondly, if the U.K. dare to take back control the EU willpunish the U.K. With fines or in whole or part jeopardise the agreement! Gibralta not part of the agreement, N.Ireland remains in with EU inspectors checking data bases for compliance. Gove unequivocally stated EU acquis applies. That is not taking back control.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        The area that is Northern Ireland for a start and this will be used as a Trojan horse to try to retain influence over the whole of the UK.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        We should have left two and a half years ago. In fact, we should never have even joined.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Indeed had I been old enough I would have voted to leave in the Wilson referendum. Heath had no authority to take us in whatsoever.

      • steve
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger

        “That’s what taking back control looks like.”

        Taking back control looks like giving 24 hours notice to get out of our waters.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Maybe the deal does offer control of jots and of tittles, but not of other stuff?

      In which case Johnson is not lying.

      Is he?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        ‘jots and of tittles’ ? is that your local vernacular?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Well what did you expect from a man where the truth is a perpetual stranger ?

  5. DOM
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    This debate’s been had, numerous times. It achieves nothing except confusion. And the sanctity and veracity of economic data collected is always compromised by the very nature of the data being collected. It is imperfect and incomplete. It is at any point in time out of date. The conclusions therefore are always by there very nature incorrect

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      JR knows what he writes relates to N.Ireland and companies trading there. But fails to mention how awful it is in the current subservient agreement and fails to criticism Johnson for fail g to get us out as he promised and as h currently falsely claims! What Are the benefits of this agreement against WTO?

    • Jamie Farrell
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      So we should never attempt to assess performance and just operate blindly?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        Why not ? It is what the Public Sector does !

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong’s gross domestic product grew 180 times between 1961 and 1997. Also, the GDP per capita rose by 87 times within the same time frame. So where is our new John Copperthwaite.

    The idea that developed economy cannot grow rapidly is complete nonsense. They can do this very easily indeed. But what is needed is the political will to cut the size of government hugely, cut taxes, go for cheap reliable energy, huge deregulation everywhere and easy hire and fire. The policy should be for far fewer parasitic jobs and far more real & productive ones. It seems that under all recent government the policy has been the compete opposite of this. Growth when damagingly and pointlessly locked down (causing far more harm than good, both economic and to health) is not that easy either.

    Nor is it easy when government waste such huge sums on PCR testing, HS2, green lunacy, the dire state monopoly NHS, millions of largely worthless degrees, road blocking and so very much else.

  7. Tabulazero
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    You are out of both the EU, Single-Market and Custom Union. It’s a bit of a useless post.

    What people want to know is given what you just said, why don’t you prefer no-deal to the deal Boris brought back.

    No deal gives the UK full flexibility and full control, including of its fish. That is true sovereignty.

    • Peter
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, the advantage of this deal over leaving on WTO terms is the key question.

      Today is the last chance to consider this if there is a vote. Very little time is allocated to parliament to discuss this – or avoid buyer’s remorse.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      It’s a fine judgement for a business as to when to throw off a significant supplier, who comes and tells it how to run its affairs, for some imperceptible reason gets paid a bonus and then gives some of it back.
      So long as we’re free now to make that judgement over a few years, and deal with other suppliers on equitable terms, then fine. You’ll compete in the round and not just because we’re shackled to you.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      A very good point. I do think I know the answer to your question – as I suspect do you and many others. Sir John pressing for No Deal at this stage would put him at odds with his party, but as we know, he is very loyal.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

        Well it will clearly go through anyway, unless vetoed by an EU member.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      No N.Ireland is definitely not.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      This is a valid point Sir John, plainly and politely asked. Your answer would make a compelling future diary post.

    • agricola
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Having full control of fish on Jan 1st achieves little. The UK does not have the people or the equipment to control it’s territorial fishing waters and the current market for fish and shellfish is Holland, Belgium, France and Spain, not the UK. It would not be conducive to good relations with our neighbours to cut them off from a commodity they use. It makes sense to increase the involvement of UK fishermen in our territorial waters, to increase their catches and to rebuild their industry. If at the same time you fully understand the current fish stock situation and know what you intend to achieve in terms of fishing methods, sizes of catch etc you are in a position to dictate to foreign vessels how and the extent they are allowed to fish in UK waters. Essentially this needs to be a gradual transition over a number of years. Dropping the shutters would lead to chaos, so to the extent that we know it we would seem to have a pragmatic solution. From now on we have ultimate control of our territorial waters, we just need to exercise it intelligently.

      • IanT
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        Ah – some common sense at last – thank you.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Yes we are now an EU colony due to political ineptitude.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      perhaps Sir John does prefer NO DEAL like millions of us!

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        If only he and other MPs would publicly declare their desire for a WTO deal

        • steve
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          Glen / Fred

          We don’t know which way he’ll go on this, but he’ll vote according to his conscience and what he believes right for the country, of that you can be sure.

          It’s a pity all the other politicians don’t live by the same virtue.

          • Fred H
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

            party loyalty not considered?

    • steve
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink


      It is BRINO. We don’t want it. We want WTO and people with backbone leading this country.

      Get over it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        The minority “we” to which you belong does not want the same things as the larger “we” which includes moderate pro-Leave people – most of them – Remain backers and those disinterested too.

        In a democracy each will back those who offer what they want, so we’ll see how it works out come election times, won’t we?

        The referendum’s principle was discharged last January and that was the end of any claim based on it.

        From then on, the various options for relations with the European Union have been simple party politics as ever, and will, quite rightly, continue to be so.

        You have your vote, so use it as you always would.

        • steve
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink



    • SecretPeople
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Because we’re nice. Yes, we have agreed to a tariff and quota free deal but my question is what does the UK get out of it?! And will we (by which I mean our government) reciprocate if the EU do unilaterally decide to punish us?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Why would anyone bilaterally agree to be punished?

        • steve
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Our EU loving establishment agrees for us to be punished.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      We have full control of our fish after 5 years. And the EU have full control to put penal tariffs on fish imports. Two sovereign bodies able to do what they want.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Except that the UK export 75% of its cash to the Single-Market and in addition the EU get to slap tariff not only on fish but also much valuable British exports.

        On paper, the UK can take back control of its water but in practice it is not incentivised to do so.

        BRINO is an apt description.

        • beresford
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          As Remainers have pointed out, at the instant of leaving the EU we have active trade deals with nobody. In five years time we will be trading all over the world and in a position to take a much more robust approach to EU belligerence….. if the EU is still there.

          Reply Not true. We have roll over trade deals with many countries and a deal with the EU. We trade with many countries currently under WTO terms without trade deals.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Wrong – after 5.5 years the status quo remains and the negotiations for new quotas begin….please read the agreement

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Tab, how do you know if Sir John does prefer this deal to no-deal yet?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        If you read his previous post, that where I think he is heading.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    The UK’s GDP growth per cap for the last 16 years has been about zero. This “growth” despite all the vast technological advances and efficiencies. Basically the growth of largely parasitic government at all levels, daft energy policies and endless red tape has eaten up all these technological advances. Exporting and destroying thousands of real jobs in the process.

    Well done to T Blair, G Brown, A Darling, D Cameron, G Osborne, T May & P Hammond for your great economic “achievements”.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Yep – there’s a real need for Boris to think less about ‘Climate Change’ and to spend more time thinking about economic performance. But I don’t think he has it in him, so he needs to be given the push out of Downing Street.
      P.S. I made a huge switch in my investment portfolios out of the UK at the beginning of the year. The improvement in performance has been jaw-dropping. Yes, Brexit dithering will have been a factor, and so will our dire anti-COVID campaign. And yes, the FTSE 250 is going to have a good spell in the months ahead. But few of our ministers seem to care much about industry. For them, growth comes from importing a few more unskilled coffee-grinders.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      What a shame as a never wrong polymath you haven’t shown others how to do it. Zero political antennae doesn’t help neither does eternally highlighting problems without achievable solutions.

    • James1
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Workers right, expensive energy, endless red tape, absurd over taxation, over regulation and the likes depress living standards and exports jobs.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Probably into negative territory, given that we have no accurate measure of ‘capita’. Next move: watch the census be cancelled ‘owing to covid’. Can’t have people knowing how many people reside here – 80,000? More?

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Postponing the census would have my full support. It’s a hugely expensive exercise and 2021, like 2020, will be an atypical year.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      I don’t suppose the GDP figures reflect the massive growth in such activities as the prostitution of English children by new Britons or the massive growth in drug dealing or crime generally also thanks to new Britons. Don’t expect established parties to tell you what is really going on in this country after all they are inhibited by the thoughtcrime laws put onto our statute book, also thanks to new Britons.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Well 124 of our 454 distributors have gone into liquidation this year, very many more holding on by the skin of Sunack’s furlough. So tying us to the level playing field will knock any remaining hope out of probably millions of small business owners.
      Bless Boris, isn’t he wonderful!
      How much have the negotiations with the EU cost Sir John? I mean we should know because the proposal is that they never cease. Jobs for the Sir Humphries forever.
      Vote this deal down please.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Yes, brexit is a great heap of cack, isn’t it Lynn?

        You were patiently and repeatedly warned, so you only have yourselves to blame.

  9. Johannes Knies
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I do not doubt the figures, but there is something to be said for poor political management by both Labour and the Conservatives of the UK economy.

  10. Polly
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Absolutely true and the EU has no desire at all for the UK to become more competitive or innovative so tariffs await if you do.

    Energy policy is one sure way to keep the UK in check and the sky high electricity costs and dismantling of your gas supply as desired by Mr Johnson will surely achieve exactly that.

    With Mr Johnson’s energy plans, the EU has no need to worry about a more competitive Britain, it quite simply cannot happen and there is high likelihood of the precise opposite.


    • Nig l
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Gas prices are lower than 2010 and electricity much lower than when they spiked in 2011 and with the cost of renewables coming down and Ofgem driving efficiencies, where is your evidence for words like sky high and dismantling.

      You make Sir J R’s point for him about facts as opposed to ‘a bee in a bonnet’

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Why should a sweatshop with abysmal environmental and working conditions be allowed free access to the European Union’s Single Market?

      Yes, regression can be euphemised as “innovative” if you like.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        you saying it doesn’t happen anywhere in the 27? Really?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        One of the very biggest importers into the EU is China……

      • steve
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


        “Why should a sweatshop with abysmal environmental and working conditions be allowed free access to the European Union’s Single Market?”


        Because they have them in Europe too.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Not with sci-fi horror environmental conditions and dystopian employment standards they don’t.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            More made up fake news from you Martin.

            We have higher environmental standards and employment rights than EU nations.

            Who is saying they will reduce them to to “sci fi horror” conditions?
            Got any quotes?

          • Fred H
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            always a good laugh from you over breakfast.
            ‘dystopian employment standards’ – we must stop ruthless chimney sweeps sending those 7-year olds up chimneys!

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


            “We have higher environmental standards…. than EU nations.”

            As usual you don’t give us any examples to prove your point. The following is a more accurate portrayal of the state of affairs in this country BEFORE we joined the EU:

            “Britain was dubbed “the dirty man of Europe” after it joined the EU in 1973 because it was the only country in western Europe that failed to control pollution from cars, power stations and farming, tried to undermine European pesticide controls, and evaded nitrate regulations and bathing water directives. Legal pressure and the threat of unlimited fines forced it to clean up its act, but it still breaches laws on air pollution and water quality.”

            I well remember swimming off Brighton beach with raw sewage floating by.

            Living in the countryside of East Anglia we called it the prairie county on account of farmers destroying thousands of miles of hedgerows to create huge fields for the easy access of American style farming machinery. They saturated their fields with noxious poisons. EU laws environmental laws put a stop to it.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            The Climate Change Act is the most radical and ambitious piece of legislation in the world.
            We have committed to the Paris Agreement with all its challenges and targets.
            We have become the first major economy to set very ambitious targets to become zero emissions by 2050.

            It is ridiculous to compare the UK back in the 60s and 70s
            Every major industrial nation used the same technology and fuels.
            Europe had similar problems with pollution and air quality.
            Too much coal.
            But things have greatly improved all over the developed world.
            California was fighting against dreadful air quality problems for example
            Your default position is that only the EU drove those changes
            Which isn’t correct.

            We had a clean air act back in the 70s
            We had a health and safety at work act back in the 70s
            We had an Evironment Act back in the 70s.

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        So why is Bulgaria with a minimum wage of 1.95 EU/hour allowed access to the EU’s Single Market?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      The more competitive we are, the more tariffs, and the more we sell elsewhere, and the less we buy from the EU. That’s fine. The EU must become so far less relevant as customer and supplier that their constraints on us don’t mean anything.

    • acorn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The UK leaves the EU Single Energy Market on Friday. There is no replacement agreement yet for gas and electric interconnectors within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

      UK energy traders now have to register with with an EU member state regulatory authority, under the EU’s Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). The status of current contracts, and licences is not clear at the moment.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Four and a half years. Four and a half years and now this ?!?!?!

        Acorn. Why now ? Why has it taken until now to do this ?

      • forthurst
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        What’s the point of gas interconnectors? Gas can be stored. I would hope we had more than a transient supply of gas.

        There are clear benefits for this country to become carbon negative; the minor drawback such as closing down the rest of British industry and having extensive power cuts as in a normal third world country is easily offset by the moral kudos attaching to virtue-signaling politicians and the enormous profits open to thieving banksters involved in selling off the rest of British industry and in carbon emissions trading in which they earn commissions perpetually for selling the Emporer’s new clothes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The Boris/Queen Carrie expensive energy and green crap agenda is insane. It will not even reduce world CO2 output significantly. Just export some CO2 production, lots of jobs, freeze many pensioners, destroy living standards and the UK’s ability to compete.

      Plus a bit more atmospheric CO2 is, on balance, likely to be a net positive on any rational analysis.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Polly, you are absolutely right on this.

      I have just taken on a new energy deal, the best I could find and the electricity charge is 4.4 times more expensive than the cost of gas per kW/hr.

      None of the Green-leaning politicians mention this, do they ? Yet the situation is actually much worse, even than this : When the government signed the contract with EDF to build the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, they agreed in the contract to pay a much higher price for its output than was current at the time, and that price is index linked.

      There is no doubt that the difference in price between electricity and gas is going increase even further, making the situation much worse for householders. Then, of course, there is the effect on costs for industry. Can there be any doubt that an enforced switch to electricity from gas will make our industries hugely uncompetitive against Germany’s Russian gas imports and their hugely polluting Lignite coal from open cast mines, never mind the vast number of coal powered stations in China ?

      The vast majoprity of households in the country cannot possibly afford

  11. DOM
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Now Farage has delivered a soft Brexit who will now take up the mantle to defeat the fascist left who appear intent on destroying this nation’s culture, demonising its majority population with slander using historical events and smashing our institutions

    Labour is at the heart of this intolerant and aggressive extremist politics that it seems has now infected YOUR party. When will we see YOUR party pass laws to attack, ban and criminalise the Marxist infection, left wing racism, CRT and BLM bigotry and purge the client state of this most vicious virus?

    The NHS is now running courses on ‘Whiteness, the problem’. This use of public money to finance this racist bigotry is not only a disgrace but a criminal offence according to Badenoch

    It is now time for YOUR party to decide which side you are on rather than capitulating to it and hiding behind the sofa

  12. Nig l
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Oh dear. Using actual fact to inform ones view. As we see from some of your correspondents still parroting that Boris’s deal is Brino, it is something they find unhelpful.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Time will tell if it is BINO or not.

  13. Stephen J
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It is funny how misconceptions develop Sir John…

    I mean, many people would deduce that if something called itself “conservative” it would actually be so?

    Apparently not, the Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, has gone the “extra mile” to prove its globalist ambitions, and you sir, might benefit from organising (or at least taking part in) a genuine conservative denial of Johnson’s (oven ready) turkey.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink


    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink


    • Simeon
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Quite. And what an insult that moniker, ‘The Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingsdom and Northern Ireland’ is, especially to the people of Ulster, but also to the rest of the UK population.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink


    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” NI is in the United Kingdom.

    • steve
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink


      “and you sir, might benefit from organising (or at least taking part in) a genuine conservative denial of Johnson’s (oven ready) turkey.”


      For all his (relatively few) faults you can be certain if Sir Redwood finds anything in this so-called deal which is not good for the country he WILL stand up and be counted. That’s the sort of man he is.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


  14. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Here we go again.

    Labour’s relaxation of control on economic migrants after 1997

    What about TORY control of immigration since 2010? You must think people are stupid if you can blame Labour for your policy of high net immigration.

  15. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Between 1973 and 2020 we had:

    18 years of Labour government

    29 years of Tory governments

    Who are you going to blame for low growth?

    • Lynn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      The EU.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        +1 correct

      • Mark B
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Wrong answer.

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      So thats 47 years of being ruled and regulated by the eurocracy.

    • dixie
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Two sides of the same pro-EU coin.

  16. Adrian Lloyd
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    What do you think of the fishing part of the EU-UK agreement?

    • Fred H
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      its a load of pollock.

  17. Nivek
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    “I have taken the OBR forecast for 2020 as we still await the end year number.”

    As others have written, other factors may affect economic output in any particular year.

    I notice that a lot of commentators presume that this year’s public health measures have been imposed in good faith. Why, then, did these measures build in, from the outset (26th March), a system of fixed penalty notices and unlimited fines? Why hasn’t the same presumption of good faith been extended to the population at large?

  18. rick hamilton
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Another factor is the lack of resistance by politicians of both sides against huge sell-offs of our industries, knowhow, brands and market share to foreign ownership. No other country has been so stupid. If our businesses were so useless why did foreigners buy them?

    There was a time when company directors appeared to think that giving shareholders a windfall profit by selling off the business was better than a continuous stream of dividends and rising share price through growth, innovation and productivity. It was a self-destructive attitude problem, on top of the EU issue.

    One personal bugbear was government allowing police and other services to buy German cars and trucks when there were perfectly good ones available from the taxpayer-funded British Leyland. Spare me the Jeremy Clarkson BS about them all being rubbish. It’s not correct and it just illustrates the way that our media delight in doing down their own country.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Yes, in all cases, checking data is of the greatest importance! Actual numbers and accurate figures, properly studied, surely prevent the implementation of disastrous measures.
    Leaders dragged us into the EU with little thought for anything but their own projects and sadly most of those men and women are now gone, along with their STGM ambitions and plans.
    But I freely forgive and love all of them in nostalgia….for nothing, NOTHING can compare to what Boris Johnson, with no regard for reality or the checking of data, has now brought upon us all.

  20. Jess
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The graphs and data will show that the conservative government of 2020 is the worst most destructive UK government of all time. Will you be reporting on that?
    I wonder if this medical madness will mean we are in permanent tyranny or whether we will be saved by the sheer incompetence of the establishment. I suspect that is our best hope.

  21. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It’s worth reminding remoaners – especially those working against the UK to try and get us tied into, or back into, the EU, just how badly we were served by paying huge fees and getting diddly squat in return from the EU.

    If that had been the extent of our problems with the EU it would have been awful enough to warrant BREXIT, but there were far too many other reasons why we had to leave – most already discussed in this diary.

    Our government has now to shift us away from EU thinking, and prove that we really are independent…. I’m sure we all know what that should include?

  22. bill brown
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    We have been thorugh this conversation so many times and you still come up with the same arguments which have been contradicted with serious arguments many times

    All of western Europe and teh US went thourhg a growth phase till early 1970.s wthen growth slowed down after th war and not only till 1952, the oil crises, strikes in the UK and low quality in many sectors including car and stell industry also had an impact.

    So saying that the EU was to blame for our lower growth rate just not stack up as it applied to all OECD countries during this period after 1972.

    But you keep using the same arguments even if they do not stand up to real facts

    • Edward2
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Did you actually read Sir John’s article bill?

      It compared growth for UK versus EU countries.

      It didn’t say the EU was to blame.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        No but it basically said we had lower growth after we joined the EEC and taht was the explanaiton on , why the membership had hurt UK growth, which does not stand up to deeper historical scrutiny, in the 70’s or the 90’s.
        Hope this clarifies my explanation.

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Totally OT but 80 plus year olds aren’t being told by the jabbers or government that their vaccine won’t immediately confer immunity and are therefore wandering around in blithe ignorance for a few weeks.
    Another chance to get rid of this virus chucked away through mismanagement.

  24. agricola
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The proof of the pudding will be in the next twenty years. If we can keep government off the backs of the enterprising and spread the reward more evenly I feel quite positive. Our history is that of exploration , endeavour, technical innovation, and responding to the market. Let us rediscover those qualities and drive forward. The none government response to Covid 19 has been an excellent example of the possibilities.

    • IanT
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Thank you again!

  25. Andy
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Sometimes conventional wisdom says stuff because it is actually true. Like for example conventional wisdom says the world is round. Some people chose not to believe this. The conventional wisdom is not wrong, just the people who choose not to believe it.

    The fundamental flaw in your argument is that it fails to show us what growth would have been without the benefits of the single market and customs union. In every year there are events – some natural, some not, some predictable, some not – which affect economies. How would we have grown had we remained little England?

    We only have to look across the Channel to our friends and partners to see economic benefits of the single market and customs union. The transformation of southern and Eastern Europe is immense – and is continuing.

    Ah, but that doesn’t help us whine the Europhobes. They are wrong. It does. Growth anywhere helps growth everywhere. Levelling up benefits us all.

    How? Well a new motorway in Poland makes lorry journeys quicker making it cheaper to transport goods. This leads to new investment and jobs – which leads to richer consumers who buy from us. None of this is rocket science.

    You lost the economic argument for Brexit in 2016. There is no scenario under which Brexit makes us richer than we would have been. We have seen the deal now, there is no economic upside. So who are you trying to kid – us or yourself?

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    It absolutely beggars belief that after 45 or so years of gradually being sucked down by the EU, as shown above, the political classes just can’t wait to hand what little there is left over to globalists!
    And the unequalled ( in ANY history) utter, vile, despicable, blackmailing cruelty with which they are doing it ( you will murder your granny etc) just beggars belief.
    And apparently they are all on board and VERY pleased with themselves.
    The article rather begs the question…how come no one noticed and insisted we quit the EU while we were still ahead??
    Unfortunately. I can imagine no get-out strategy from what Johnson has now hurled us into.

  27. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Totally off topic.

    Last night I was watching “Border Control Europe”. A van had come from Africa to Spain on a ferry. Inside a panel had been fitted to hide 5 illegals. It was said they would be questioned then returned to Africa. How come Spain can just deport them – and WE end up putting them in hotels and letting them stay as a danger and financial burden? So much for Europe and one set of rules.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Because illegal immigration and asylum is big business in the UK. Legal aid for criminals, for that is what they are when they enter our country illegally, is far greater than elsewhere.

      We have far too many lawyers and people with connections to various Chambers that deal with such matters. Plus. The likes of Theresa May MP signed us up to UN Migration pacts.

      It really is a tangled web.

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    How many of the 1200 or so pages describe how we remain linked and tied in some way to the EU.

    Many of us have said during the last four years that if the EU is allowed a foot in the door they will push to open it further, helped by many on the inside.

    We are being deceived with the outcome of this deal which in time will be recognised as a watered down version of membership and tragically there are many on the remain side who will work hard and long to move us back. Are there enough to resist and remove them?

    It is not the freedom we voted for.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:26 am | Permalink


  29. Newmania
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This is especially eccentric stuff, coming form an ex-Thatcherite. Sir John now seems to believe the UK enjoyed a golden age during the period of Nationalization, run-away debt, and a strike record that earned the UK the name, “The sick man of Europe“. Perhaps membership of the EU has caused a decline in his memory?
    The decline of the Old British ship building industry, on the other hand, long predates, our entry to the EU. Market share had reduced since the 30s . Sir John`s analysis, would have to account for the post 1950s failure, in a period in when Denmark, Sweden and Germany, continued to compete effectively with the Japanese and take UK market share.
    I can`t chase every fairy story down today, but the picture overall is this. Between 1958 ( when the EEC was set up) and 1973; GDP per head, in West Germany, France and Italy, grew 95% , compared to 50% in the UK. GDP per capita has risen faster than Italy France and Germany since, and in 2013 , the UK became more prosperous than the average of the 3 other large European economies for the first time since 1965.
    Too easy

  30. John Partington
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The EU will be looking on and if our economy prospers there will be consequences dreamt up by their bureaucrats. I think that a clean break would have been better. Let us see what the ERG are going to do.Let me guess; rubber stamp Boris’s deal. Have they had time to read the fine print?

    • acorn
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      The fine print is irrelevant and always is, it is solely about base level politics. The Conservative Party’s prime directive is the Party must survive, regardless. Just like the Covid bug, it has no future if it keeps killing its host, hence the expected Sky headline:-

      “Brexit: European Research Group of Conservative MPs gives support for EU trade deal. The group’s backing for the agreement provides a significant boost for Boris Johnson ahead of a House of Commons vote on the deal.”

      I could have written that headline a month back.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:27 am | Permalink


  31. GilesB
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The sclerotic EU economy can only grow very slowly.

    At one point it was over a third of global GDP. It is now less than a seventh – a decline of more than 50%. The Commonwealth alone overtook the EU in 2004.

    A fundamental principle of economic strategy, is that to achieve growth it is essential to focus on fast growing markets. A focus on low growth, let alone declining, market segments makes it nearly impossible to grow.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      The EU is a protection racket with the French farmers being the most protected. Massive subsidies and a captive market where, those on the outside see their produce priced out.

      People do not want to trade with such a negative backwater so, will trade elsewhere. And elsewhere is where our future lay.

  32. glen cullen
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I agree with your assessment Sir John

    However this Trade & Cooperation agreement is same as associated membership of the EU… the issues you highlighted remain

    Mark 8:18 Having eyes do you not see

  33. agricola
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    As our host points out , membership of the EU has done little for us economically. I have known Spain since about 1965 and currently live in Spain. Spain has gained a better road and rail infrastructure during its time in the EU, it being one of the 19 dependent members of the EU. However while the German economy has flourished using the weak Euro currency, the level of unemployment and youth unemployment has remained grotesquely high in Spain. That the Spanish people have managed to live with this over the last fifty years says much for their resilience and the utter uselessness of the EU in resolving their plight.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I guess something to do with the ‘dependency’ bit. Get addicted to and rely on handouts, lose will and resilience to go it alone.

      And Spain is not alone in that respect.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Of the US, only thirteen of the fifty states are net contributors to the federal budget. The rest are takers.

      That’s how these things work.

      You could do a similar thing with the counties of the UK.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Germany is getting increasingly fed up paying in loads.

    • SM
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      I saw an interesting little video on the BBC News Website yesterday, about a young Portuguese man who has come to the UK to be a care worker: he clearly states that there is little chance of a job for him in Portugal and wages are far too low to live on.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        Good for him.

        Now what about his family and healthcare ? Is he going to pay for that or are we ?

    • Andy
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Is Spain sending you home after 90 days – because you are not entitled to stay beyond that.

      • IanT
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again Andy – if a UK National is resident in Spain – then they can simply apply for a TIE card at their local Town Hall. It was in the withdrawal agreement.

        If you are not resident, you can stay for 90 days in every 180 without a visa (so Spanish holidays are not a problem for most people). If you have a holiday home in Spain – the 90 day in 180 rule may cramp your style a bit but that shouldn’t really upset you Andy…

        I mean the people effected will mostly be well-off, older folk – e.g. the kind you don’t like very much. 🙂

  34. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The single market impeded our growth and helped destroy important parts of our industrial base

    Wasn’t that the point. Political ego passing responsibility to govern to others for them to manipulate for personal gain.

    If you cant compete, you create rules to steal. We cant blame the EU for our ineptitude of our governments for not seeing they were getting played.

    History has demonstrated time and time again that Maggie ‘got it’ its the economy – stupid. It still is. Every Conservative leader in modern times other than MT has failed and deflated the country pushing it back instead of forward, every time it has been personal ego (look at me I’m a statesman) that’s got in the way of improving the standards of the people they serve.

    Now we have Boris, ego to the fore – lets follow the WOKE chattering classes, s*d the economy. Everyone knows but the brain dead that get the Economy and the Wealth of the Country rolling, then and only then you get to play with personal asperations and guide people to new frontiers.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Yep !

  35. rose
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    It is fashionable to knock the fifties, but weren’t they a period of negligible crime, plentiful and cheap home grown food topped up cheaply by the Commonwealth, enough housing, and good home manufactured goods? Was there noticeable unemployment? There was no homelessness apart from tramps who chose to be. The only blight was surely British Rail but even that wasn’t insufferable as passengers could get from Glasgow to Penzance in one train, and get a seat. The population was large at 50 million or so but was projected to come down as people had fewer children. Probably to 35 million, a sustainable figure.

    If we had gone on like that, just think where we might be now.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink


      We had just come through the most destructive war in history. There was much rebuilding to be done and many new technologies which created more jobs eg the jet airliner and passenger travel. It was what came along with it. A Labour government and Nationalisation of perfectly good business, including healthcare !

      • rose
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        You are talking about the forties which for some reason don’t get knocked. We even had food rationing then, despite the peace.

  36. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Though notoriously difficult to calculate and with data sometimes hard to make truly comparable, it does appear that the bloc’s share of World Trade (from when the UK joined up to the referendum) has dropped dramatically whatever the methodology applied.

    This appears to be because the rest of the world has grown materially faster.

    If we also bear in mind the considerable enlargement of the bloc in this period, I am not in the slightest bit impressed, quite the reverse.

    Okay, it is one of the world’s largest markets and one of the UK’s largest export destinations but (i) it is dwarfed when held against world trade as a whole and (ii) we switched our exports into the bloc dramatically after joining but what’s to stop us switching back to something more closely resembling our natural pattern of global trade?

    A lot of starry-eyed Remain fans very conveniently forget the world stage, and indeed seem to confuse the EU with the entire world more often than I am comfortable with.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      So where would you rather live?

      The ex-USSR? China? The Islamic world? Africa? Latin America? Gun-mad US which has just had an attempted coup?

      So that leaves Aus, NZ, Canada and Japan or thereabouts.

      I’ll stick with the wonders of Europe, thanks.

      • IanT
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Well I’ll just stick with the UK thanks!

        (I’ve tried other places – but even with the rain and damp here – I was always happy to get back home)

  37. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    In the real world where we don’t measure GDP but worry about how much we earn and the cost if living the EU has artificially kept the price of food high with its subsidies to farmers and our inability to source from cheaper third countries.

    Then there is the demand element on the cost of living. Freedom of movement has put up taxes to pay for the extra infrastructure and benefits and accelerated housing costs.

    Labour costs have been kept down as the supply is plentiful.

    Not good for the little people.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:37 am | Permalink


  38. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    From my experience and to a very high degree the bureaucracy and red tape is created inside the UK, is self inflicted and not directly attributed to the EU.

    In my other life I have been able to sit down with EU standards and rule makers. For their part they couldn’t believe the people of the UK would stand for a such multilayer convoluted expensive approach to creating standards. As one of the French guys on the standards panel said ‘they would never get away with that amount of red tape and its costs in the EU’

    The original scientist (from the UK) who evolved the measuring requirements for the Standards – quit in disgust.

    Not forgetting I am relating to harmonised EU standards

    All this has left the UK consumer paying some 15-20% over the odds for the products to cover the needles expensive hoops that, that industry has to go through to get the product to market. All 100% created in the UK for the UK market only. The same products in the EU meet the same agreed standards but without the needles red tape and bureaucracy so arrive in the market place with less hassle and less expensive.

    I don’t like the EU, I don’t like their hypocritical un-democratic methods. But from my experience it is the UK Government BIG is best, more government equals more control aided and abetted by their over-bearing over-weight Civil Service – that is clearly the root cause in holding the UK back. Even worse it is those that pretend to be Conservative then push a Socialist agenda solely because the alternative gang is even worse and unelectable.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      To get out from under the yoke of the EU is one thing. But, replacing it with a mini-me is equally abhorrent.

      Its the economy – stupid. Should be writ LARGE on the forehead of every MP

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      So now we have left the EU our UK government and civil service will fortunately be no longer able to blame their self created bureaucracy and red tape on the EU.

  39. Iain Gill
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I look forward to some new perspectives, like “how the NHS cripples the economy”, or “why the political class like open doors immigration”, “why the white working class in the old industrial heartlands have been let down over decades”, “why the state constraining training places for locals at medical schools is a bad idea”, and so on…

    Come on John you must be close to retirement, you can say some of the stuff that many of your peers think but refuse to say in public…

  40. steve
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink


    “These were the years of big decline in everything from fishing to steel and from market gardening to shipbuilding.”

    Glad you recognise this, JR.

    In my opinion it was all a deliberate intention to dumb down this country…..with it’s roots going far back as benelux.

    Europe, especially the french, don’t like a winner unless it’s them.

    Even now, the EU sentiment is one of fear that we might become competitive on their doorstep. I say tough luck – they owe us if that’s their attitude.

    I’d like to see –

    A new Britain where we are selective as to which individual countries can access our maritime resources – based on how they’ve treated us throughout history and during our time in the EU. If they’ve been ungrateful & disrespectful – they get nothing.

    British trawlers reclassified as armed merchantmen. 20mm deck cannon should stop attacks by french vessels.

    If our fishing industry is too small to operate – hard luck, only our friends get access. The resource is ours and nobody else’s even if we don’t fish.

    To hell with green crap, take the argument to China, India & S. America, not us.

    Rebuilding of the industrial & heavy engineering base – new foundries.

    Nuclear energy – lots of it.

    Transform the state education system – eliminate the woke left wing PC brainwashing. Focus on British history, home economics, craft skills, fair play, patriotism and sportsmanship.

    Encourage and educate the masses to grown their own food, and cook for themselves – that will help make the country independent of foreign imports and reduce obesity.

    Eliminate the biased media, starting with the BBC.

    Reinstate treason and sedition laws – encompassing the actions of broadcasters.

    Abolish the credit reference agency scam – force the banks to stop throwing their toys out of the pram and take direct responsibility for lending.

    Ban all-electric cars.

    Make planned obsolescence a serious criminal offence – punishable by state confiscation of the business. Including failure to adequately rustproof vehicles.

    Eliminate homelessness – it’s a national embarrassment and utter disgrace in the extreme.

    • steve
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


      I hope my post is held simply because you are otherwise occupied with parliamentary matters.

  41. PB
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I have a chart according to the WTO based on JP Morgan Chase analysis from a couple of years ago (unable to paste it here) which shows how moribund and uncompetitive Europe has been over the last 50 years.

    It charted the Share of Global Real GDP in PPP for different economic blocks ~ I summarise the approximate 1970 and 2016 start and end points:

    Eurozone 26% >> 17%
    USA 25% >> 22%;
    Japan 10% >> 8%;
    Germany 8% >> 5%;
    China 1% >> 13%;
    India 1% >> 3%

    JPM may have an up-to-date chart available somewhere on the web. Please post a link if you can find it.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      As I said in a post sometime ago, the future is in the Far East, not Little Europe.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        You go and live there then.

        I’ll stick with the piazzas and boulevards thanks.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          What in Cardiff !

          • Mark B
            Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:39 am | Permalink

            I like trolling Trolls. They bite so easily 😉

  42. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Off topic: Here we go, the press, Hancock, the unions all want the schools closed. U-Turn from Boris coming. If they close for January they won’t open again in February, or March probably, plus these same people will get the exams cancelled too. Same old scaremongering playbook to get their way and same old Boris.

    I see that new Covid variant isn’t more infectious at all in Denmark where they have been tracking it for a few months. Odd that.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Agree – there still isn’t any evidence that under 18s are infected, have died or transmit the infection to others…..and I mean evidence, real evidence not what you heard on the BBC

      • Mark B
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

        Roy, Glen

        This Corvid story is what one might consider, low hanging fruit.

  43. formula57
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The British people need to know this information. The quislings and remoaners will not wish it though.

    Perhaps today’s diary could be printed out, stamped up “Top Secret”, and then carried openly into No. 10 by a senior minister so infotainment operatives could capture it on photographs?

  44. SecretPeople
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    >They are not adjusted for Labour’s relaxation of control on economic migrants after 1997.

    ..which no subsequent government has seen fit to reverse. I notice Priti has created 30,000 6-month visa places for crop pickers – why, when we have millions of unemployed and 4m+ EU citizens already here? Any idea whether these individuals will leave the UK after 6 months?

    The salary threshold has been reduced to make it meaningless. The cap on numbers has been removed. The British people have been demanding a drastic reduction on numbers incoming. Leaving the EU was not about being able to import countless people from all over the world!

    I know this wasn’t the point of your article, but it needs saying.

  45. Richard1
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The great historian and biographer Andrew Roberts (can he really not yet be Sir Andrew or Lord Roberts?) has written an excellent article in the Mail on Sunday praising the greatness of Boris’s negotiating triumph. It contains this excellent sentence: ‘the moment when I first suspected that Boris and his doughty senior brexit negotiator Lord Frost had done a good deal was when the BBC relegated it to the third item on the News at Ten’.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      I confess, that does rather say a lot.

  46. Christine
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I lived through these turbulent years. The 1970s saw our big industries trashed by the unions. Cheap imports from Japan saw off most of our car industry. In the 1980s our country flourished under Margaret Thatcher who moved us into services. Yes, there were winners and losers but how many children of miners would wish to be working down the pits? I don’t blame the EU for the decline in our major industries but I will forever blame Boris and the Conservative party for this abomination of a so-called trade deal and the lies he is currently telling us about taking back control.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink


  47. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I have read this article several times and, the more I read it, the more contrived it feels. The world has changed massively in the last 47 years. Globalisation, so enthusiastically embraced by UK politicians, is far more responsible for the loss of manufacturing and the growth of low paid service industry jobs than our membership of the EU. Sorry, but this article really is grasping at straws.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink


  48. Fred H
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    References to decades-old computer software are included in the new Brexit agreement, including a description of Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Mail as being “modern” services. Experts believe officials must have copied and pasted chunks of text from old legislation into the document.
    The references are on page 931 of the trade deal, in a section on encryption technology.
    Dead years ago…..
    Fills us full of confidence !!

    • Fred H
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      include it or not?

  49. Bitterend
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Time to let the past go- we made the decisions in the earlier days- or at least our political class made the decisions- also business leaders a lot of them associated with the Tory party down graded the country sold off assets like ship building shipping companies and ports. So there is no need to blame it on the EU this it was all of our own doing.- and now we have just sold out NI too- and set in train the breakup of UK itself- all of it our own doing.

  50. John McDonald
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes we were mislead by Government even back in the days of the EEC.
    I guess at the time most people thought ( and don’t forget we were joining with just 7 of the EU nations, are closest neighbours) a common market was just that- work anywhere, same standards for products and services and no tariffs. There were concerns about breaking our commercial ties with the commonwealth and putting tariffs on their goods.
    And as Sir John indicates downhill ever since. I also feel, like always, we play by the rules and other members of the EU club don’t. How comes EDF is a Nationalise industry supplying us with electricity at a higher cost than to customers in France ?

    • Dennis
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘How comes EDF is a Nationalise industry supplying us with electricity at a higher cost than to customers in France ?’

      Could it be that the UK govt. tacks on a charge to pay for windfarms etc?

      • John McDonald
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Hi Dennis,
        If you look at the EDF (UK) web site they are promoting zero carbon electricity supply. This is probably due to it being nuclear generated in France and supplied by the cable under the channel.
        I agree the whole supply arrangement in this country is a con really as you can’t channel green electricity to a particular home anyway.
        I am not aware that the government is actually charging for green energy as such. The suppliers may be, and someone in the end has to pay for the wind farms, and that is us. Even if the electricity we get is from the nearby coal fired power station 🙂
        John McD

      • Ian@Barkham
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        State controlled prices in France, but they are permitted big profits in the UK.

    • hefner
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      I hope that you know that there are different electricity prices for the industry and for households, both in France and the UK.

      12 to 16 p /kWh for business, 14.40 p /kWh for households in the UK (, ‘DUKES: Digest of UK energy statistics’)
      Between 6 c and 10 c /kWh for business, 15 c /kWh for French households
      (all averages, actual prices varying with suppliers and consumption patterns, subscription fee/standing charge NOT included and more important in the UK)

      The difference is not so great for households, more sizeable for business.

      Please note that even before renewable electricity was introduced in the UK, and before ‘France’ started providing a fraction of the UK energy market, the price of electricity for business was already cheaper in France due to the ‘semi-nationalised’ nature of its nuclear energy provider, and this from the ‘70s onwards.

      So the commonly heard argument about UK electricity being more expensive because of renewables is only partly valid, another important part of the story (and rarely discussed by politicians of all hues) is the mishandling of the UK energy policy by the successive governments from the ‘60-70s, Labour, Conservative, then Labour, then coalition and Conservative again governments.

      • hefner
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        And another point to keep in mind, the role of the EU in all this has been minimal …

  51. Original Richard
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the reasons it is clear that the EU’s single market and customs union (for goods not services) is not working us as evidenced by our £100bn/YEAR trading deficit.

    By leaving the EU ‘s single market and customs union :

    – We can develop a strategy to reverse this deficit.

    – We can negotiate trade deals more quickly and specifically to benefit our type of economy.

    – We can ensure we are not exposed to EU trade deals which advantage German cars and French food at the expense of the UK’s services and institutions.

    – We can reduce our exposure to EU frauds such as the German diesel engine emissions testing scam.

  52. BJC
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    A little off topic, but I see that pressure is mounting to keep children off school due to increased hospital admissions.

    Question: Are the government making a presumption that hospitalisations are increasing DIRECTLY as a result of Covid, or is nearer the truth to assume that hospitalisation are increasing generally due to winter conditions, with more testing positive because of the admissions regime? i.e. a positive test for Covid on arrival doesn’t mean it was the primary cause of hospitalisation or that an individual was displaying any symptoms. Not a lie, per se, as they’re in hospital and tested positive for Covid, but if true, it would most definitely be a deception by the NHS and a very worrying development as it would translate to using our children as political pawns.

  53. Nig l
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    So now we know. Not independent whatsoever tied to a level playing in state subsidy, far more ‘onerous’ as you out it than other treaties and frankly has lied about Northern Ireland and Gove has sold them out just like Blair did with the Agreement. You might as well put a flag up, the Conservative and non Unionist party supports a united Ireland .

    The so called Spartans have ‘sold out’, with some weasel word justifications in truth to protect their party from more schisms.

    I think you should be ashamed of yourself but will wait to see what explanation you give us.

  54. Ian
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    It will be sometime before we know just what kind of a deal the PM is going to try and sell.
    In the mean time we should be cutting ever more trade deals, fingers crossed that Trump stays in power .
    We all voted, well those that wanted to Leave, to have sovereignty as an independent Country. We need no more than WTO, anything outside of that we will be little better than we are now.For us to thrive it has to be WTO, anything less is a waste of more time only pulling the wool over our eyes again
    Happy New year everyone

  55. glen cullen
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, could you tomorrow ask the Speaker to ascertain whether or not MPs have read and understand the Trade & Cooperation agreement document before voting

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Just seen that ERG are supporting the deal.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      or ask how many paragraphs were previously agreed to by ‘Dave’ or Mrs May?

  56. Multi-ID
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Still blaming the EU as if British incompetence had nothing at all to do with it?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:02 am | Permalink


  57. Everhopeful
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Really Mr Redwood.
    The insanity is getting very much out of hand.
    Aren’t you going to do anything about it?

  58. Lynn
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    So the Star Chamber considers that a ‘robust U.K. Government’ would be OK with this EU deal. The issue of No is a separate agreement and therefore not really considered, which I think is an unsatisfactory slight of hand by our own weak but cunning Government.
    Unless a robust British population takes control of the two main parties and clears them out completely, returning only those prepared to be bound by the Oath of Allegiance, we will NEVER have a robust Government.
    The Star Chamber considered the legal status exclusively. Considering the political situation, the disastrous environmental damage to our waters extended for another half decade and the shameful abandonment of Northern Ireland, I think this deal needs to be opposed.
    Perhaps the best party in Parliament, the DUP could become the Unionist and Conservative Party and stand candidates across the Union.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      You are correct, Lynn.

      The star chamber only considered the narrow legal implications and did not consider the practicalities.

      For example: the ECJ will continue to have sway over the whole UK given its involvement in the Withdrawal agreement.

      While its name does not appear in the text of the FTA, any British government that choose to exercise its sovereign right to meaningfully diverge from EU will automatically harden the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The bigger the divergence, the more intrusive and disruptive the border checks. No PM will want to go down that route for fear of bringing Irish reunification forward.

      It’s BRINO and the Star Chamber lacked the courage of its convictions

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, I’ve never read such a weak response from the Star Chamber. How can they make a verdict upon the UK sovereignty of the Trade & Cooperation Agreement without reference to the Withdrawal Agreement, Political Declaration and Northern Island Protocol

  59. Lynn
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    What is even more desperately required now is the unique contract between MPs and their constituents crystallised in the BDI. It removed the dreadful overweaning power of the professional Party Machines. Lord Martin Howe QC has now advocated a Bill reasserting our Constitution, the same method that the BDI deployed to eradicate all the EU tentacles from our Body of Law.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      You didn’t seem to care two hoots about the Constitution when Johnson sought to cancel Parliament.

  60. jon livesey
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    If we grew more slowly inside the EU it’s only because we would have grown even more slowly out of it. And if we now grow more strongly out of the EU, it’s only because we would have grown even more strongly inside it.

    I’m not joking. Although this is a totally crazy argument, it’s what you are going to be hearing from the Remainer Press for the next decade.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      You have no proof or data for your initial claim.
      You just love the EU.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Jon.
        I got triggered by your first paragraph.
        My apologies

        • jon livesey
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          Not at all. As I said, we will be hearing this one until we are sick of it.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 30, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        then it is like a lot of your past claims join the club

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          What are you going on about bill.

  61. Peter Jeffries
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Sir John
    I see remoaners out in force today. Don’t they just hate truth and facts?
    Anyway, when you compare to the pacific rim, the EU has been a laggard with only Germany showing and substantial growth whilst PR growth was considered slow much below 5% as is currently the case. 12%-16% has been consistently achieved in the region. Why? Huge investment in infrastructure and low business taxes with little local red tape. It works.

  62. glen cullen
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just read the ERG Star Chamber verdict on the Trade & Cooperation Agreement

    COWARDS – There self imposed terms of reference was to study the agreement in terms of our sovereignty nothing more nothing less…..not the WA nor the PA/NIP

    In their opinion the agreement does not impinge on our sovereignty

    How can you only review one single document, the three are inter-connected TCA, WA & PD/NIP

  63. glen cullen
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Why is the ”Trade & Cooperation Agreement” not called an ”Free Trade Agreement”

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      Because we are tied in by and Association Agreement in all but name.

  64. jon livesey
    Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Today, in the Grauniad, Will Hutton says we will be rejoining in 2029. That’s the same Will Hutton who in 2005 said that both the Pound and the Dollar would collapse “within five years”.

    Will Hutton also told us in 1990 that Mexico would soon overtake the UK, and told us in 2001 of the Pound’s “imminent parity” with the euro, and warned us that the UK would have to seek an urgent E200bn loan from the ECB in exchange for EU supervision of the UK economy, or face immediate collapse.

    Always good to see professionals in action.

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 30, 2020 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Now let’s follow the argument where it leads. From 1st January 1993, our economic performance has been significantly set back by implementation of a plethora of EU laws and directives issuing from the European Commission. These have favoured German technology, French style bureaucracy, big business and incumbent businesses.

    The logical thing to do is to repeal many of these EU laws and directives. Our red pencil should be busy. It concerns me not a little that the treaty with the EU allows them to impose tariffs on our exports to them if we depart too much from a “level playing field”. I would like to see restrictions on working hours lessened, so that only genuine safety concerns are addressed. And I would like our Government to list at length and in detail the many ways in which the EU and its individual Member States break their own State aid laws.

  66. Peter
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I may have just missed it, but could you provide a link to the data you are referring to and provide some analysis of our growth rate outside of the EEC?

    Reply I have done the calculations myself from official data!

  • 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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