Our EU membership in a few numbers

1970  21,443 fishermen                    2914  11,845 fishermen

The EU has been most damaging to UK business. The more closely it has been involved, the bigger has been the collapse.

Consider our fishing industry. In 1971 just before entry we produced around 1 million tonnes of fish with a thriving industry in England  as well as in Scotland. There were 21,500 fishermen.

Last year we caught around 600,000 tonnes, with just 11,845 fishermen. The English industry has been very badly damaged, with our fishing now concentrated on Scottish waters. Overfishing and regulation combined have done grave damage to the English fishery in particular, as the EU made our fishing grounds into a common resource with free access for all EU member states with dreadful results.

The UK now imports more fish than it exports, and has witnessed a collapse of the cod,haddock and plaice fishery.


Steel Output   1972     25 million tonnes     2013     12 million tonnes

Consider our steel industry. Output has more than halved since we joined the EU, whilst Germany’s at 43 million tonnes has been much more stable and is now 3.6 times the UK’s.

The current state of crisis in the industry has been brought about in part by very dear energy prices from EU energy policies, and from the inability of the UK to buy enough UK steel owing to EU procurement rules. Other states do not seem to enforce them in the same way.  EU state aid rules now also prevent  helping the industry at a time of crisis made worse by cheap Chinese steel.

The UK has become a heavy net importer of steel.


Aluminium output

1972  300,000 tonnes   2015  43,000 tonnes

Both the UK’s large smelters at Anglesey and Lynemouth have closed. High energy costs resulting from EU and UK energy policies have been the main reason.

So can we say the EU has been good for business? It has certainly been good for continental businesses, who have come in and taken our fish and sold us many manufactured products. It has promoted imports to the UK, but has helped or caused the collapse of important industries at home. The Fishing decline is wholly attributable to the EU, as throughout the time we have been in the EEC/EU they have controlled it through their common policies and have insisted on others exploiting our natural resource.







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  1. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Excellent information JR as ever. This really does bring home some of the unpublicised effects of our EU membership in bold and stark numbers.

    So many effects like these remain hidden from the voting public – not always because they’re unavailable but because the mainstream media over the years has had little interest in publicising them. Bravo for putting this right.

    If it’s not too much trouble, could you please tell us the sources for the data, so we can re-post your powerful information (with attribution) on our website at http://www.facts4eu.org?

    • DaveM
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      How about a strapline or two for your website, to add to JR’s excellent “Prosperity not austerity”?

      “Project Fear? I’m not afraid”

      “If we were OUT now, would you vote to join?”

      • Hope
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        JR, Anna Soubry writes in the DT to counter what you say here. I think she has lost leave of her senses, deceitful, is deluded or dense. I think I would err on the deceitful and dense. She claims the U K would still have control of its borders because people show their passports. Doe she not realize the UK cannot refuse any EU citizen of entering the country whether they have convictions for serious offends, unsupervised and not monitored? Late on she contradicts herself by making comment about the German finance minister that to have access to the single market free movement of people would be required! Very dense. Reading her article you would actually think Cameron achieved something, poor woman. How does someone with such lack of knowledge become a minister for small business! Then on the other hand Cameron has nev been very good with judgement for selection of people to jobs- Coulson springs to mind.

      • The Active Citizen
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        Hi Dave, yes I love JR’s “prosperity not austerity” line and we’re going to use that. (With attribution of course.)

        And we’ll shortly be drafting a piece on “If we weren’t already in, would we seriously think of joining?”

        P.S. Why don’t you contact our site and volunteer?

        Reply NO need to attribute my best lines if they are used for a good cause! My Joining the Euro is like taking out a bank account for the neighbours soon lost connection with its author.

  2. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    JR on 21 January this year you wrote about the continued threats to the UK steel industry, following a speech you made in the House. Here’s the link: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/01/21/steel-matters/

    You said: “In exchanges in the Commons on Monday I pressed the government on the impact of EU procurement directives on buying UK steel. The Minister said they have been relaxed, but was unable to confirm that the UK state sector can simply require its purchasing officers to buy UK steel for all needs paid for out of tax revenue.”

    Your article above is a powerful follow-up, thank you.

    I’ll repeat a comment I made at the time:

    “Yesterday the EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, belatedly announced an investigation into Italy’s support of its steel industry, to the tune of €2 billion euros in the form of loans, state-guarantees and direct subsidies. She also announced that Belgium must repay €211 million euros of state aid to its own steel industry.”

    “No doubt the pro-EU lobby would say that this shows the EU has teeth. I would counter that it simply shows how other EU countries regularly ignore EU laws to the detriment of the UK. In the two cases above, the Italian and Belgian companies concerned have benefited for years. I wonder what damage this did to our steel industry’s competitiveness during this time? I also wonder how many other cases of state support have gone uninvestigated throughout the EU?”

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Indeed it has been a disaster for nearly all industries. The exceptions perhaps being the essentially parasitic activities of law, accountancy, bureaucrats and the consultants who attempt to guide people around the vast maze of EU regulations and exploit the crazy systems they have put in place. Or perhaps the legal aid and human rights lawyers, such as the ones who prevented for years the deportation of Abu Hamza.

    I see that TaxPayers’ Alliance estimated that the father-of-eight had cost Britain £2.75 million in welfare payments, council housing and legal costs.

    Or the ones who quide our farmers around the maze of CAP subsidies. Or those who guide companies on how to set up tax arrangements such as the “Double Irish With A Dutch Sandwich” one.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile we have the appalling suicide bomb attack on largely Christians, killing 65 people mainly children and wounding over 300 in Lahore.

      Doubtless Cameron will advise us again to “pray” for them and tell us that this has nothing to do with Islam. Doubtless he will still continue to support and fund religious segregation in UK schools.

      Children are surely just children and not Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus or anything else until they later decided what they want to believe or not believe?



      • Bazman
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        More chance of them falling of their bikes than being blown up anyway.

      • scottspeig
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        From a personal perspective, I would argue that my children are indeed Christian – How much they understand is questionable yet they would proclaim Christ as friend and pray regularly as well as read from scripture (They are 6 and 2).

        Whether this undermines the argument is besides the point. However, one ought to remember that Christianity was at the forefront of universal education before the state decided it was a good idea. We owe rather a lot to our Christian heritage and so ought to (in my view) have a special place in our society.

  4. oldtimer
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    The UK membership of the EU has certainly contributed to the declines you describe but other factors count too. The Climate Change Act seems to have made matters worse than they might have been Germany, in particular, has benefitted from swapping the DM for the Euro because it resulted in a very competitive fx rate. Perhaps the idea that the £ will suffer if the UK leaves confirms the thought that it has been overvalued vs the Euro and other currencies. The UK has certainly attracted a lot of footloose capital because it has been seen as a safe baven. This will have helped to squeeze out the marginal exporters and those exposed to competition from China. None of this changes my view that the UK will be better off out.

    • Hope
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      This is a key point where JR is exposed because his manifesto supported the continued Climate Change Act! The very same making our household energy bills soar through the roof by its alleged by commitment to the environment, the same making themelderly and vulnerable enter fuel poverty, the one that makes industry uncompetitive. These are against so called Tory values. Unfortunately JR cannot have it both ways, when he often reminds us the contents of the document is what we vote for when he advances his notion the public votes for pro EU parties. Of course we do not, the lib lab con lied and deceived us per FCO 30/1048. A deliberate deceit on the public. Don’t blame me I voted UKIP.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        So did I and was proved to be right!

        I read today that Mr Osborne hid more national insurance charges for some in his budget. He apparently announced this 3 years ago! There is really no difference in Osbrown with his stealth and deceit.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Osborne is even worse.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        I voted UKIP too and will continue to do so all the time Cameron is in charge of the loony bin. They are the only party that want us to get out of Europe.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Old Timer

      The Climate Change Act seems to have made matters worse

      That has to be the understatement of the year. Cameron should have had the balls to repeal it and get rid of the DECC on the first day of going back into No 10.

      Only history will prove how incompetent and useless in this area he has been.

      • stred
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        DECC and its ministers may actually be relieved to see the back of energy- intensive industries like steel and aluminium, as when they go it is a big reduction in the accounts for CO2 emission. That is their main aim and targets must be fulfilled. Jobs and national security come last. They seem to never answer the point that when steel moves to China, more CO2 is produced.

        Of course, aluminium smelters have moved to Iceland where cheap hydro and geothermal electricity is available. If we had built 5 Sizewell Cs and allowed smelters to buy power at production costs, we could have continued to produce low carbon aluminium. But Labour banished nuclear and now we are bound to the failed European Pressurised Reactor and have to close the older stations before long.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Post Brexit we will hopefully get a sensible Chancellor who generates real and productive jobs rather than all these artificial, contrived and essentially parasitic ones. Simpler and lower taxes, fewer regulations, simpler & easy hire and fire employment laws and cheaper energy is what is needed. One who taxes profits at a reasonable level (and does not attempt to tax losses to augment them and thus forcing higher rents for tenants). One who cuts the absurd rates of stamp duty, IPT, Income tax, NI and IHT.

    A government which imports high quality labour (when beneficial), but does not depress living standard in the UK (and the hugely overstretch public services) with open door migration policies.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Where are your replies to my previous posts on rip off landlord and the feather bedding of them by the state? You have much to say on taxation and scrounging, but little on this massive cost to the taxpayer. It not a mystery, but shows who you are Rigsby.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Landlords charge the market rate and far from feather bedding they are being unfairly mugged by Osborne and also undercut by state susidised & this unfair competition.

        It is certainly not that easy a business to run profitably currently, so supply of properties to rent will surely reduce.

        It is not anyway, my main business as it happens. But what is wrong with Rigsby anyway?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Nothing wrong with Rigsby he is a genius character, a glorious anti hero played by the legendary late Leonard Rossiter. We will leave it at that..

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic – The rental market is – at source – underwitten by the taxpayer in the form of welfare-to-landlord payments from the State. There is, in effect, a solid artificial base to the whole thing.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:54 am | Permalink

            Most properties are let to people who are not on benefits. Certainly that is true in my case. The benefits paid are rarely sufficient to cover the market rents anyway.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            The level of rents demanded by landlords is subsidised by housing benefit whether the tenant is on housing benefit or not. If some are subsidised it increases their ability to pay thus pushing up rents across the board. If the many billions provided in housing benefit were withdrawn from the market then rents would not be where they are now (similarly childcare). Classic state intervention in a market but you are the first to complain about banks and interest rates LL.

          • stred
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            Many landlords refuse to accept HB tenants because of problems with payment and trust. Adverts often have ‘sorry no SS or HB’. Government decided to move the housing subsidy to the tenant rather than the council house, as it was found that some council tenants had high incomes. Since then council building has dwindled and building land too. The private rental sector has expanded and taken up the missing demand.

            Whether the huge increase in house values is solely caused by BTL is doubtful. Much more likely is the lack of land,planning rules, building regulation cost and large scale immigration- 50m to 65m + uncounted illegal and travelling home but working here.

            Rents at the moment only just cover the cost of borrowing and management and many landlords will have to sell if taxes and regulation is continued. What happens then?

          • Bazman
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            Interesting theory and no doubt truebut when the government tried to limit the a amount paid in housing benefit no their surprise and everyone else’s the rents continued to rise showing how desperate the demand for housing is. Its a no brainer though everyone must live somewhere and landlord are cashing in on this some more successfully than others, but still massively helped by a housing shortage.
            Why do you not try to answer this lielogic instead of just mindlessly ranting about right wing policy and misogynistic views.
            Socialism and corporate welfare costing the country billions indirectly and directly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I see that (finger up the bottom and rather likes it) Anna Soubry has written a load of complete tosh in the Telegraph today. Is this pathetic guff really the best the remain side can come up with? It is an even worse attempt than John Major’s drivel the other day.


      Soubry (yet another law graduate) is totally unsuitable as a Minister for Small Business Industry and Enterprise anyway, as she illustrates every time she opens her mouth.

      Small business owners are overwhelmingly infavour of leaving as they knowvery well the huge damge that EU regulations do to productivity and business every single day.

      She suggest that her side “remain” offers certainty – well perhaps. Perhaps the certainly of open door non selective immigration, hundred of thousands net migrants PA, a much higher risk of terrorism, far lower productivity, lower GDP per capita, a total destruction of the residual UK democracy, expensive green loon energy and with very little chance for the UK ever to escaping after this last chance.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Anna Soubry after all of her duff figures and and the usual entirely bogus arguments does the common politicians trick of invoking everyone’s children and grandchildren, a gamble we cannot take she says.

        Surely the real question is:- do we want out children and grand children to live in a UK based democracy? One where they can choose their future governments or in an anti-democratic, sclerotic, socialist, superstate and economic backwater. One with open door immigration to the whole of the expanding EU and where they cannot. One they can never escape nor influence in any real sense at all. That is certainly not what I want for mine.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          its interesting how you indulge your familiar John.

    • Hope
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      As night follows day your wish will not come true because the stupid Tories want Cameron post Brexit! His weird side kick will remain if Cameron is about. Whatever the outcome Tories will lose votes because of Cameron’s insults to his Tory supporters and Tory associations. Mori poll has Corbyn ahead of him! He could not beat Brown the most loathed PM in living memory. His arrogance and Flashman qualities emerge to those he perceives are in a weaker position, he cowers to those he perceives stronger i.e. people in the EU and other EU leaders Hollande, Merkel.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Cameron threw his first election against sitting duck G Brown and only scraped home this time only thanks the English not wanting Ed and the SNP. Also thank to UKIP voters having to hold their noses and vote Tory. Cameron must surely go, after the Brexit vote. A real Tory would have won easily these elections easily. No one wants Libdems like Cameron and Osborne leading the party do they.

        We saw how popular the pro EU, big state, high tax, green loon, Libdems were at the last election.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Thick repetitive nonsense that you cannot justify.
      Maybe less housing benefits and massive subsidies to parasitic landlords too. Still have not mentioned how you want more easy hire and fire employment laws and what form they would take have you. More east]y than zero hours contract, agency, self employment and so on. What you mean is to be able to fire a long standing employee for any reason. Maybe we should make it more easy to prosecute landlords who do not comply with basic standards cost9ng the country a fortune.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


        Repeatedly calling people thick, dingbats etc when in fact its you that have the least awareness is quite laughable.

        it IS already perfectly possible to terminate a long standing employee as long as the correct procedure is followed. Likewise ZHC, self employment agency and contract work have ALL occurred under the government of the EU. An institution that you claim protects workers rights. So please explain why you wish to remain under a government that promotes these working practices that you claim to despise. Are you dumb? Why dont you just join the Cameron Tories?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          If the beanie fits.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – Labour laws don’t get easier than the slave labour introduced into this country from the EU with absolutely no worker’s rights whatsoever.

        Lately the BBC are reporting that jihadists are being recruited from unhappy Muslim youth unable to find job opportunities. So how does the migrant crisis encouraged by the EU help that then ?

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I have been there and watched the Spanish fishing boats come in laden with undersized fish. I have seen tiny little codlings on sale in supermarkets in Spain too.
    I have been reading Christopher Booker in the Telegraph for years as he has unpicked the Directives on energy and shown them to be totally unrealistic. He has also foretold a terrible energy crisis which is just about to hit us. Fancy believing that solar energy works in UK! About 88% of the time it produces no electricity! Fancy believing that windmills work when the wind is not blowing right! They just stop. And they demand enormous amounts of maintenance. And they are terribly expensive with all the subsidies.
    As non Euro members we have a position in decision making below Eire, Cyprus and Malta, and this, according to the Five Presidents’ Report, is going to get even worse.

    • acorn
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      As the days go on the rhetoric / numbers are getting more disconnected from reality. The last APX report shows that the average day ahead market price of electricity in France; Germany; Belgium and Netherlands, was circa £32 per MWh. In the UK it was £42 per MWh. If we had more inter-connectors with those countries the price would come down. The UK power cartel, does not want more inter-connectors.

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        And wee would be at the mercy of foreign producers.
        UK electricity was some of the cheapest in the world until the clowns that govern us shut down perfectly good coal fired stations and started massive subsidies to useless renewables.
        We now have the stupid situation of importing millions of tonnes of wood from the USA which produces more CO2 than coal when we are sitting on 300 years supply.
        Only idiots could justify this nonsense,
        NO we don’t need any more inter connectors, we need a sensible domestic energy policy.
        This is not likely to happen with the LibLabCON>

        • acorn
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Katie’s wind supplied about 13% of UK generation through to mid-day today.

          The UK is going to be dependant on imported natural gas for some while. Particularly LNG from the Middle East and increasing amounts of LNG from the USA, now they have decided to start exporting the stuff. Norway is a friendly gas supplier to us; and also is a short trip for a division or two of Russian Battle Tanks.

          Wood pellets are now a globally traded commodity, just like LNG, some of us question the “carbon neutral” point with this bio-fuel. I am still at the 70 years point; sugar cane these pellets ain’t.

          BTW. If you are thinking “fracking” for gas is the answer; forget it. Everywhere the Yanks come across rock structures in the US, like the rock structures in the UK, they give up and move on.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          They can’t change it unless they get rid of Ed’s Climate Change Act. Can’t see the Westminster luvvies doing that!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      And wind with backup, maintenance and manufacture all considered does not even save CO2 emmisions, even if you are a believers in the warming alarmism.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        As has been shown in Germany where their CO2 emissions have risen even though they have invested heavily in renewables. Indeed, the reason is that renewables just don’t cut the mustard and fossil fuel power stations do but aren’t being run properly. Just what is happening slowly in this country. Why don’t we learn by watching other countries failures??? Or is that too simple?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Solar energy works in the UK, just so long as you do not mind paying way above market cost for the electricity, it being mainly available in the summer, when far less needed and intermittent to boot. Thus needing full time fossil fuel back up anyway or even more expensive and very wasteful energy storage systems.

      A policy designed by ignorent politicians, vested interests and religious green loons rather than honest engineers and physicists. Look at the people Camereron has put in charge of it – Huhne, Davey, Rudd before that Ed Miliband – 3 PPE graduates and one history Graduate. Would you fly on a plane designed PPE graduates and Historians? They simply do not have a clue what they are doing. He even fired Owen Patterson when he showed some sense on the issue.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        No problem with massive subsidy in the housing market allowing sky high rents though have we? Funny that.

  7. Jerry
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    “Consider our steel industry. Output has more than halved since we joined the EU”

    Not true, our steel industry has halved since May 1979, we joined the EEC in Jan 1973…

    Sorry John but you may or may not have a point on fishing (although the EU is not responsible for basic over fishing, nor non EU factory ships ignoring territorial waters) but to bring up steel and Aluminium output is just daft, much of the loss you talk about is down the policies the government you were a part of had in the 1980s, and then helped pushed through the then EEC/EC the core structure of the EC/EU that impose such free-market rules. How does France and Germany cope, they both appear to still have thriving steel and aluminium industries, are they breaking EU rules or are they finding ways to work around the rules, are they not as health as they appear either. If the latter then perhaps, should the UK not have our Brexit, we could build some allies to obtain further reforms?

    But I suspect someone is trying to blame passed UK domestic political policies with regards our heavy industry and energy onto the EU. Leaving aside the then policies towards the UK’s national iron, steel and aluminium industries (not to mention coal), had the Thatcher government ordered ten new nuclear power station in the early 1980s -rather than their dash for gas, these nuclear power stations would have now been built and paid for, will be no more than one third of the way through their working life and energy prices in this country would not be (so) pegged to the world price of oil & gas.

    Reply Yours is the untruthful statement. There was a big loss of industrial output under labour 1974-9 and again 1997-2010 if you wish yo look at UK govt time periods. EU energy and purchasing policies have been damaging and much more stenuously enforced in the UK

    • Jerry
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; OK, I’ll accept that the same rationalisation (bar eventual privatisation…) that occurred to the BSC in the 1980s would have happened anyway had Labour been re-elected in 1979, but this rationalisation wasn’t directly due to our membership of the EEC but simply outdated plants and locations and would have occurred had we not joined the EEC in 1973, had we left in 1975. It still doesn’t explain why our EEC/EU neighbours have managed to keep their own iron, steel and aluminium industries far more intact (in fact much of their industry) even though they have suffered from similar industrial and economic problems as we have, or why UK domestic governbment(s) seem to interpret EU regulation in a different way to how other EU member states do? What angers me is that the Brexit side will not win floating votes by simply blaming the EU for every ill-wing faced by the UK, when they can see that our EU neighbours are not only coping with the same ill-winds, EU rules, and other problems but -often- still thrive in spite of them.

      As for new nuclear, what EEC rules in the 1980s where there that would have stopped the UK government from ordering multiple new nuclear power stations?

    • stred
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Mrs T ordered and built our first sensible nuclear pressurised water station at Sizewell and it seems to have been a success. Successive governments ordered no more and then cancelled all nuclear and sold Westinghouse for very little. Meanwhile, the dash for gas cut energy costs and lowered CO2 . She, as a scientist, believed the AGW predictions and was doing her best at the time. It was Major and Blair/Brown that put us in the mess we are in today. Cameron’s duffers continue the job.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        @stred; You seem to want it both ways, first you say that Mrs Thatcher supported AGW but then suggest that had she remained in power after 1990 she would not have taken the same road as Major and later Blair did.

        You forget that she spoke about the dangers of ‘Acid Rain’ long before AGW, in doing so she almost certainly gave credence to those who trying to find a cause for what they believe is global warming (AGW) rather than just natural climatic cycles. Also as a scientist, she should have understood the finite resource that is/was our own oil and gas reserves, as someone who understood economics she should have understood that such a dash for oil and gas to replace coal could become very expensive, even more so as she was PM during the Iran-Iraq war that threatened world oil supply and put upward pressure on prices.

        • stred
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Mrs T probably decided to close the coal industry because she believed in AGW and coal produces double the emissions of gas. I don’t think she would have been daft enough to close down our then promising nuclear industry. There is an article in the Evening standard pointing out that she ways arguing that we stay in the EU in 1975. I can’t remember how I voted, probably In. Now it looks as though steel is going to, thanks to us following EU rules and others not. If only we had foresight.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            @stred; “Mrs T probably decided to close the coal industry because she believed in AGW and coal produces double the emissions of gas.”

            Well yes, that was one of the many excuses, but many other countries have kept using coal and at the same time have reduced Sulphur, Co2 and other emissions of pollutants.

            “I don’t think she would have been daft enough to close down our then promising nuclear industry.”

            But that is exactly what she (helped) to do by not keeping up investment in new build and renewal of our nuclear power stations, baring in mind the time-scale involved in planning and building, any half qualified nuclear engineer not actively employed in the industry here will not sit around waiting for someone in Whitehall to make a decision, they will be off to pastures elsewhere – hence why we now need to get the French to build Hinkley C.

            “Now it looks as though steel is going to, thanks to us following EU rules and others not. If only we had foresight.”

            Once again the real problem the UK has with regards the EU is highlighted, we just don’t seem able to interpret or implement EU rules like other 27 member countries do!

            Also, as our host reminded me, the problems of the BSC were acknowledged and a start made on actioning them back in the 1970s, further sealed by it’s privatisation and the UK government’s wish to push the EEC/EC towards following their own open market approach with less allowable tariffs, state aid and state ownership etc. Had Labour been in power in the 1980s, with moderate leaders, would they have pushed the UK and the EEC towards many of those policies, I suspect not and thus even with the already planned BSC plant closures the UK would still have a steel industry, perhaps not very healthy, but it would still be alive…

            Reply The steel industry crashed as a nationalised concern 1967-1979 mainly under a Labour government. They planned and invested for a 35m tonne a year industry, only to produce and sell just 17.3 m tonnes in 1978-9

          • Jerry
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; Tell us John, what is the current output from what we like to call the UK steel industry, what is the immediately available capacity…

            Back in 1979, whilst the industry was very sick, at least the UK was still capable of making its own steel at a time of its own choosing and in what ever quantity and quality it required. Oh and that output figure you quote from 1979, compared to the ‘planned for’ capacity, did it not simply reflect the then gathering industrial clouds that culminated in the 1980s recession by any chance, rather than the true health of the industry, just as is the case today.

            The point is, back in 1979 people here in the UK make the decisions and did so with the UK’s best interests in mind, in 2016 people in India etc. are making decisions that have fundamental consequentness for the UK, its economy and industry yet they do so whilst having no loyalty to those UK needs or wishes – how is that any different to some eurocrat writing a directive in Brussels telling our industries what to do and how. I bet if some eurocrat in Brussels was telling us that such and such blast furnace has to be mothballed or (in effect) irrevocably shut down people on this site would be telling the EU just what they can do with their directive!

            I’m no fan of needless and/or idealogical political nationalisations, as favoured by the hard left, but better that (complete with tax payer support) than have a vital and necessary industry die in front of us. In opinion poll after opinion poll the public appear to support the renationalisation of the railways, I suspect that if polled about the UK steel industry (in light of the opportunity given by Tata today, and at a fair price) the public would likely support the renationalisation of some or all of the UK steel industry. The government I suspect is in danger of reading public opinion wrong on this and in doing so they will hand the high ground to Mr Corbyn…

  8. alan jutson
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The simple fact is we obey or Gold plate all the rules, all the others pick and choose which to enforce or ignore to suit themselves.

    Clearly rules and regulations should be upheld by all, but we have to blame ourselves sometimes for following them rather too closely.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Alan, you are so right about other nations ignoring the EU rules. I lived in Spain for almost 5 years and went out there in the year 1999. We had a new house built. It was not insulated anywhere. The workers didn’t wear hard hats, and most of them (words left out ed)wore slippers to work and went up very high buildings with just wooden makeshift ladders. We also had no drinkable water on the whole estate consisting of around 112 plus apartments. We had to either buy drinking water or go and fetch it from the village in the hills from an outlet. It was virtually chlorinated sea water! All our appliances using water were furred up in no time and it cost an arm and a leg to put right on a regular basis. This problem was reported to the local council and lawyers yet nothing was done to make the owner of the site responsible. We had meters on our outside walls which were read (never calibrated) by the owners and the money collected on the doorstep and put straight into their pockets or handbags. It was so fraudulent but was never tackled. Just like many things in Spain. Dogs and pets were given medicines that people took and we collected the prescriptions from the local pharmacy.

      It seems it is only the UK that enforces everything the EU rules on. I do hope that when we vote for Brexit Cameron is not in charge because we all thought that by getting rid of the LibDims things would be run by a true Conservative party but how wrong we have been. I just hope we can run things our way when we leave but not with Cameron in charge.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        If we vote out Cameron will go. He simply cannot be trusted with any renegotiations under article 50 with the EU!

  9. Edward.
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Though, I hate to nitpick, because actually I agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of this post.

    Indeed, before and during negotiations over British waters the French could not believe how easily the British laid down – the CFP was in total: an abrogation of UK responsibilities and access. CFP, it was and is the absolute failure any sort of British control over our own waters. Where, even now British negotiators are constantly, depressingly, outvoted, unable to do aught to prevent EU fleets hoovering up whatever they seek, be it pelagic and most fauna dwelling in benthic zones, in ‘British waters’.
    It should, however be recorded that the loss of access to the Icelandic fishing grounds was a key factor in the demise of the trawler fleets putting out from eastern ports, such as Hull and Grimsby and in the west out of Fleetwood.
    Known as the ‘Cod Wars’ from September 72 until 75 when Iceland declared a 200 mile zone and limited access, if not exclusive of Britain’s boats.

    What concerns me particularly are the inshore fishing smacks and fishermen who are severely limited in what they can and cannot catch – these British boats are, or were the lifeblood of many local small ports up and down the country and where the arcane Brussels auctions of ‘rights’ which are plainly, openly rigged to favour foreign vessels protect the jobs and families of Spanish and French nationals.
    Moreover, our abilities to protect and patrol our inshore waters is virtually non existent, in that, we do not seem to have a coastguard any longer Where, the French as the Times tells us have x20 greater capacity in regards to marine patrol capability – why has our government been so lax, allowing our marine coastal patrol capacity to be so reduced?

    Not only fish is it?

    With migrants freely able to cross the channel without any worries about being intercepted by any sort of British coastguard vessel – again using the EU as an excuse we have been made defenceless, soon no doubt the French will be assisting building boats for them – people smugglers.
    Alas, Westminster seems to have forgotten that, we are an island, and that, we are in need of many fast inshore patrol boats and where Britons have allowed HMG to get away with it (taking their eye off the seas) with more admirals than ships the navy a ghost of what it was even 30 years ago….and AGAIN the EU is an excuse for defence cost cutting, ergo: lax security.

    • agricola
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Apparently we have a total of five Border Force patrol vessels, two of which have been sent to the Med to help out with economic migrants from Africa. That leaves three ships in total. They have to spend time in port for maintenance, refuelling, victualing, and crew changes. Does not add up to much in terms of coast guarding or protecting our borders. For all their words, government has no serious intent to protect our borders.

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        When you have a government which has no intention of controlling immigration, why would they have a decent Coast Guard service,

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Yep .

      The problem is not the EU .

      It’s the network of traitors in Westminster , Whitehall , the Quangocracy and fake charities .

      Superficially these institutions look the same as they have for decades but underneath they are all report to foreign powers for their directives .

      MP’s in Westminster have more in common with EU politicians and bureaucrats than they do with ordinary British people so it’s hardly surprising they side with the EU at every opportunity .

      The traitors have corrupted everything they have touched including using the state education system to brainwash children .

      A vote to BREXIT would only mark the start of the job .

      Virtually every British institution will need to be purged of fifth columnists otherwise the drift will just continue unseen .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Indeed as you say “the network of traitors in Westminster , Whitehall , the Quangocracy and fake charities” as you say these are the problem, plus much of academia and the BBC which are largely bought with tax payer or EU money too.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink



      Our Governments only ever look at the cost of everything, never it seems the value, benefits, and of course safety and security.

      That is the problem with a Balance sheet Chancellor, and we have had many of those over the years.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Aren’t Hull, Grimsby and Fleetwood proximate to the Dogger Bank? Apart from the CFP, what prevented our East coast fisheries redirecting their energies there or elsewhere?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Fleetwood is rather a long way from Dogger Bank by sea!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Some of the people smugglers looking for trade in Calais are British.

      In my view that should make them liable to a long prison sentence.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Even if the boats were available they would be tasked with bringing the stranded migrants to our shores.

      Scrap the Royal Navy, scrap the Royal Air Force, scrap the government – combine a reduced army with the police and deploy them only in Britain for rapid reaction against terrorism.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The EU does not help the UK it exploits it with as you point out devastating results and we are paying them for the privilege. The stayers apparently do not mind this state of affairs and are happy for the EU to do unto us with immunity that which we cannot do back to them. Is it our propensity towards fair play that those on the continent do not possess that allows them to take advantage of us. Partly I believe but it also has to be that the UK does not fit into the EU as snugly as other members do. It is an alien system as it does not mesh with the way the UK does things.

    We are far less protectionist than they are which puts at a grave disadvantage. It is not a level playing ground. EU rules, regulations and the rest favour the continentals. After all they are predicated on continental thinking which the UK has never subscribed to. Probably because being an Island we have looked outward toward the rest of the world while they have looked inwardly as their concerns have been mostly about Europe.

    We are a round peg in a square hole made worse by the fact that we have no defence against the EU as David Cameron’s feeble attempts to reform it were contemptuously brushed aside attests. CAP reform promised but not delivered although money was extracted from us for that very purpose. Our contribution being arbitrarily ramped up year after year and often more often than that as they find ways to squeeze more out of us. Agreement to control increases circumvented.

    Where is the influence we have in the EU that the stayers we will lose if we leave. It is obvious we have none but also obvious we would would have considerable more if we leave. We can take back what is ours and if they want some they will have to come and beg for it not steal it as they do now.

    • Edward.
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Cogent, thoughtful and very eloquently argued.

  11. Mark B
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The EU has been good for Germany and France who have benefitted most. Other poorer countries, such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Eastern Countries have benefitted through massive investment, mostly in the form of UK cash via the EU. Think of all those lovely ‘Ghost Airports that the Spanish have thanks to us, whilst we borrow vast amounts and navel gaze over building just ONE RUNWAY !!!!

    You really cannot make this up.

    OUT !!!

    • bigneil
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Not only ghost airports – ghost towns as well, as was shown on an episode of Top Gear. Why aren’t refugees/asylum seekers put there. They supposedly only want safety. Surely a new place in a brand new country, with much better weather than here is preferable, but clearly a much more profitable free handouts benefits system is their priority.

      • John C.
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        bigneil. I have visited Spain and Portugal a lot this winter (weather, of course) and have constantly been amazed at the huge capital projects that they could not possibly have paid for (and probably won’t be able to maintain). It makes much of the U.K. look shabby and Victorian. It is infuriating to consider how much of this we have paid for via the E.U.
        I wish, the Spanish and Portuguese well, and may they enjoy these airports, railways, roads etc., but I wish that we could afford to mend some potholes in our own decaying land.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree John C. I only said to my husband the other day while driving along pot ridden roads (all of them) in Scotland that Spain and Ireland and France and Germany have lovely roads. Why is it that the UK have such bad roads to drive on? It’s not as if the motorists is not taxed to the hilt? It is dangerous now trying to dodge the pot holes because you find yourself not giving 100% attention to other drivers and hazards on the road. God only knows what foreigners think when they come to the UK. Broken down society I would think in so many ways.

        • turbo terrier
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          John C

          I wish that we could afford to mend some potholes in our own decaying land.

          I live and work in dictatorship Scotland and a lot of my clients own holiday cottages.

          Nothing is more embarrasing when the punters say “at times visiting this area is like being in a third world country the state of the roads and the amenities”

          Then today you read yet another SNP MP making front page news in the Daily Express for thousands of pounds of iffy expenses. Nothing changes.

          If Empress Nick had any bottle she would sack all those disgracing her party. Don’t hold your breath

    • Antisthenes
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      This is what credit and monetary expansion does it causes malinvestment and asset bubbles. QE does it but when mixed with the redistribution of wealth on the scale the EU does and suddenly countries who hitherto found money and credit tight only to be flooded with oodles of it from the largess of other countries then you are going to spend spend spend. Ask Greece, Spain and others how it worked out for them? I am sure they would say not well but it wont stop them doing exactly the same again. If they were not they would not be hanging onto the euro. They expect the gravy train to restart soon no doubt.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Just as Scotland will expect it too. This is why they are so keen to remain in the EU when they get independence. Some other sucker to bale them out.

  12. agricola
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    A well illustrated piece on the industrial downside of being in the EU. I wonder whether the TUC has taken on board the effect it must have on their members.

    In speaking of procurement rules you say ” Other states do not seem to enforce them in the same way”. I am not surprised. Germany seems to get away with electricity generation using Coal 18% and Lignite 23%. The latter is a particularly noxious form of fuel, a halfway house between peat and coal. Spain is a particularly prolific consumer of fish, some of which is of questionable size. Sardines have a maximum size of 20cm. The ones I see in restaurants fall far short of this. They have shrunk over the past twenty years. I have also seen remarkably small Turbot and other flat fish for sale.

    In restaurants on the sea front one is constantly pestered to buy fake Rolex watches, Lacoste t-shirts, and pirated films on DVD. The UK is accused by some in the EU of wanting a pick and mix set of EU rules. Some EU countries pick the rules that suit them and ignore those that do not. We the UK do not really belong in such an anarchic gathering because we tend to play by the rules, to our disadvantage in such company.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink


      “Small fish”

      Absolutely agree, you only have to visit the public fish markets in Spain and Portugal for first hand evidence.

  13. William Long
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    These are very powerful messages as ever clearly stated. My concern is that the Leave campaign is failing to get them across, partly, as you said in your previous post, because of the efforts of the media to obscure the story but also it seems to me to the failure of the Leave leaders to stand up and give the country the Leave case in clear and understandable form. We need to hear much more from Messrs Gove, Johnson and Duncan-Smith. What can be done to fire them up?

  14. turbo terrier
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Very well presented John.

    What gets measured gets noticed and it is an indictment of how over the years the majority of politicians from all parties took their eye off of the ball and let the EU get away with everything. Hopefully facts like this will somehow get into the mainstream media.

    People like you and others were just a pain in the backside and it is now all a case of the emperor’s new clothes and you were right all along.

    Sadly none of the ministers who allowed this to happen will actually admit their short comings and fall on their sword and resign from the upper chamber.

  15. Alan
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    There will not be any more fish in the sea if we leave the EU. We do not even know if we will have control over any fishery grounds if we leave the EU, or how extensive they will be, because we do not know what agreement we will come to. Remember the reason we gave up control over the fisheries was because this was a relatively small part of our economy and we were anxious to get access to the Common Market for our much larger manufacturing businesses. Negotiating endlessly on fishing did not seem sensible. We might have similar trade-offs to make in any negotiation after we leave the EU: we don’t know because the Eurosceptics seem to think there will not have to be trade-offs. That seems naive to me.

    • ian wragg
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      The fishing grounds would be according to international recognised rules. 12 mile and 200 miles with a suitably sized Navy to patrol them.
      We had a fleet of Blackwood Class frigates in the 60’s to do just that.
      I know, I was there.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, “we were anxious to get access to the Common Market for our much larger manufacturing businesses”, apparently without thinking that it would work the other way as well and their manufacturing businesses would have access to our domestic market. Even now, after we’ve been running a chronic trade deficit with them for four decades, there are still people who will only talk about the benefits for our exporters and can’t bring themselves to mention the other side of the coin.

  16. turbo terrier
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    So can we say the EU has been good for business?


  17. Mick
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I fully support that comment Mercia , Mr Redwood must have more hours in his day ?

  18. Anonymous
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    And the EU has done nothing to prevent us from having zero hour contracts, wage depression and a new slave class working in the black market with absolutely no working rights whatsoever.

    So much for “The EU makes things better for workers.”

  19. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The problem I see with leaving is that the people in charge of extricating us will be the same people who got us into this mess in the first place

    • Know Dice
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Too true, a major issue that needs sorting out in due course.

      CMD will be unwise not to resign the day after we vote to Leave. He would surely lose a vote of no confidence. But let him stay at the moment as this doesn’t detriment the Leave cause.

      The other major worry is that is will be the same civil servants etc who will be negotiating a new deal, and they real don’t have much of a track record of getting a good deal for the UK.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        “The other major worry is that is will be the same civil servants etc who will be negotiating a new deal, and they real don’t have much of a track record of getting a good deal for the UK.”

        Basically they have no idea about running an economically sound country. Seems to me that the charitable organisations run with country. you only have to look at energy policy to see the effects. WWF and FOE have a lot to answer for. So have the likes of Caroline Lucas.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to produce EU figures for output over the past 10 years; my belief is there has been a significant decline in overall GDP , so , presumably , in the volume of some of its core products . This would have to be related to overall population size to compensate for the increase in member countries .

    Ireland is celebrating its Easter Independence Rising ; will we create a similar occasion ?.

    Reply We have no wish to copy the Easter uprising which resulted in many deaths and short term failure of the independence cause.

    • ian wragg
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The way things are going John, this may be the only course open to us.
      Look what is happening in Belgium and Germany etc etc.

  21. Paul Cohen
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The LEAVE campaign needs a convincing win to escape the nightmare of the divisive, bloated and beaurocratic EU.

    The campaign needs a serious and respected figure such as perhaps Frank Field to press ahead with a well thought out strategy. Unfortunately Boris Johnson with his many attributes, comes over as a rather bumbling figure that will be a turnoff for many people.

    Mr Cameron should of course be leading the leave movement, following his pledge prior to his tour of EU countries, he still contends this as a successful exercise although it was and is now shown as no such thing.

    It should be made clear to the victim industries such as the fisheries and farming that the new arrangements would enable them better outcomes than staying in the EU, with the CAP for instance replaced with a forward thinking policy, and not having to subsidise other countries to the ruinous level we are at present.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for clear information and hard facts
    So much of the information we get is confusing and unclear; For example, we are told that we get millions (billions?) of pounds of investment from the EU each year. Does this so-called investment include companies within the EU taking over British Companies? If so, I can’t see how it alters the economic situation within this country one iota, unless, which seems the norm, they start moving jobs out of Britain when it appears to me to be disinvestment.
    The only major investment that I’ve read about seems to be from the Japanese car companies, and the owner of Jaguar/Landrover, none of which are in the EU.
    Perhaps this is a subject you might feel worth discussing one day.

  23. Bazman
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    The UK has become a heavy net importer of steel!?
    Maybe you could write a piece in the Tories betrayal of the steel industry John. Warships and trains built using foreign steel and the EU’s role in this? Why Germany has supported their steel industry and the UK has not?
    Britain blocked an attempt to impose tougher sanctions to stop the Chinese dumping cut-price imports. The European Commission wanted to increase the tariffs on Chinese imports to help the struggling steel industry, but the UK government was the “ringleader” in stopping Brussels from increasing the tariffs to the same rate as the United States. As as result the EU has only increased the import duty by just 9% on Chinese goods while the States has slapped tariffs of 66%. Business Secretary Sajid Javid admitted he had blocked the EU for taking tougher action even though it would have helped UK steel firms.
    This will be the same government protecting workers rights after a a Brexit.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Even the dreaded and useless wind turbines are largely made abroad!! What an insult.

  24. fkc
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I have read all your posts and agree with you. If only this was published nationwide then the general public would realise where THEIR money is going. The influence of the EU on all aspects of our daily lives is quite shocking. To lose half our fishermen and almost all of our steel industry is terrible. We must get out of Europe and rebuild out nation to the proud country it once was .

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      I copy John’s entries and send to my friends who then send to theirs. It is one way of getting his excellent messages across.

  25. Hope
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    What always surprises me is why our alleged negotiators are so weak and insipid. We were told the las of fishing grounds was a price worth paying! Who could reach such a stupid conclusion. Blaire giving away the UK rebate that Thatcher fought so had to achieve. I can only conclude they were motivatedcan by personal interest and greed.

    We saw how useless Cameron was in negotiating with the lib deems. He could have gone alone. I conclude he was scared to take responsibility and wanted to change your party.

    Cameron being the last to achieve nothing and pretend he got the world. I cannot believe his outrageous lie that if the UK was out and offered the crumbs he got he would vote in. He must know that he either lied before when he told us of the dangers from Lisbon, the need to repatriate powers, treaty change essential etc. why would any right minded person want him to negotiate any new deal or withdraw from the EU? You cannot believe a word he says and his track record demonstrates he is useless and weak at negotiating.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Cameron and Osborne prove that excellent private education cures ignorance but not stupidity!

      I’ve just read an article by Ms Soubrey in the Telegraph that is outright lies published in a National Newspaper I once respected. Of course comments were turned off so the Government propaganda machine pours its usual nonsense. I cannot understand how any one with a modicum of intelligence can support our continued membership of this undemocratic, bureaucratic, costly, outdated structure as opposed to the return of our once proud independent sovereign Nation where we can control our own laws, secure and regulate our borders and negotiate our own trade deals.

      Bring on the debates they have NO positive messages to deliver or would have done so by now!

      • Hope
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Soubry needs to apologize to the families who were victims of crimes by EU criminals given free access to the country without monitoring or supervision. The Latvian murderer allowed in the country to murder again. Perhaps Teresa May can provide us the figures and tell us what she has done to prevent occurrences in the future as she thinks we are secure and safe in the EU. At the same time provide the true immigration figures from the EU. Then she could tell Soubry that our borders are not secure and she should stop lying to the public.

      • stred
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Anne Soubrey was also on R4 Today this morning telling us how hard she has been working to save our steel industry since Eural asked her to help out. Apparently, it is important to negotiate tariffs but there is only so much that we are ‘allowed’ to do. The interviewer did not pick up on this word and the EU was mentioned later when she said that the EU had protected our steel industry from the start when it was set up and it was important to work with them.

        Your figures about our industry halving while Germany’s expanding 3.5 x was not brought up. Neither was the EU inspired decision to have high energy costs or carbon trading, allowing production to be bought or moved to other countries. Neither were EU rules about subsidies or not allowing preferntial buying of our own steel.

        Probably the missing questions were down to incompetent journalism rather than deliberate avoidance of the truth.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Check to see whether my comment has got through or been vaporised.

  27. DaveM
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    As each day goes by it becomes more apparent that the EU is a totally dysfunctional self-serving organisation.

    This country is full of fully functioning organisations as is reflected by success both domestically and internationally.

    Having been back in England for a few days and reading papers, watching telly, and so on, it is completely obvious that the most dysfunctional organisation in this country is the government. We need a new PM and a new cabinet now before he/they do more damage than the EU has.

  28. DaveM
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post as usual from our host.

    The figures speak for themselves, but living in Devon as I do, let’s not forget about those others affected. To name a few:

    The boat builders, the net makers, the marine engineers, the harbour-workers, the marketeers, the fishmongers, the ice-makers, the hauliers, the chippies, the restaurateurs (with their chefs, waiters, dishwashers, etc), the farm machinery engineers, the milking machine makers and transporters, the vets, the farm labourers, the publicans, the café owners, those local firms that make boots, waterproofs, overalls, and so on.

    I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of all those affected by EU policies which have been slavishly followed by successive quisling UK governments. 83 days is too long to wait for this referendum. Every day the PM and his cronies stay in power is another nail in our coffin.

  29. DaveM
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    OT – I’ve signed one or two online petitions lately, and the debates/replies always appear to produce a dismissive response from the Govt, ie, that there is going to be no change of policy or direction.

    This one https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125692 was started by the MoS and has received 120000+ signatures in less than a day. Is the Govt just going to dismiss this one too? Bear in mind that if it does, the person who started it is not some person without the time and opportunity to bring it to the public’s attention.

  30. Dennis
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “and has witnessed a collapse of the cod,”

    Why is it that we have recently been informed that cod stocks are thriving and we should feel no guilt in eating cod as usual?

  31. Barbara Fairweather
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood
    Off message but I wonder if you could highlight the book “A fundamental law of the European Union” by the Spinelli group, which is what the EU have in store for us if we remain in the EU.
    I found it rather difficult to read but I am sure with your interlect you could pick out the main points.
    This is a very important issue as it is the completion of the United States of Europe and people should be under no illusion that there is NO status quo
    etc ed Mr Spinelli was a former communist and one of the founders of the EU.
    Seemed to have lost the top of my comment but the book is called “A fundamental law of the European Union. The remain campaign need to be aware of this. I was speaking to an active supporter of “stronger in Europe “while out canvassing and he was unaware of this new treaty in the pipeline
    I wish they would use EU and not Europe in their literature,this is misleading

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU – European nations should be guided towards the superstate, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.

      C Juncker – If it’s “yes” we will say “On we go”and if it’s “no” we will say “we continue” When it becomes serious you have to lie.

      Seems like we are involved in some Ponzi scheme!

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I see that Damien Greene is telling a few porkies on the ConservativeHome website.

    “These claims are based on a huge misunderstanding of what ‘free movement’ means. It means the freedom to move around Europe to take up a job, not the freedom to enter any country you like.”

    Actually it has always meant the freedom of “persons” to enter any of the member states they like, with just a few reservations, and that freedom of movement has never been restricted to “workers” taking up a job.

    From Article 3 of the 1957 Treaty of Rome:


    “(c) the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital”

    Posted March 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Recall the expression: “Just like taking coals to Newcastle?” EU, EU…EU it does.

    Also the EU takes Steel to Sheffield, to Port Talbot
    Takes fish to the fish docks of Hull and Grimsby
    Takes textiles to the textile mills of Bradford and Dewsbury
    Takes EU chocolate makers to our century old chocolate makers of York and takes them over
    Takes umbrage because we won’t behave and fit into the EU grand plan
    Takes the Mickey on German TV satirical shows on Mr Cameron’s renegotiation
    Takes him for a ride. He didn’t wear a crash helmet.You can tell.

    • stred
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Terrys and Cadburys were taken over by US firms, then the factories sold and production moved to the cheaper EU. World trade rules prevent us keeping industry here.

      I see the UN has decided that Argentina should extend its waters to the Falklands undersea oil areas. Probably tell them to change the name to Malvinas too. With friends like this……

  34. forthurst
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Further to the report of CMD’s scaremongering about a ‘threat’ of Brexit to Sussex Wine growers:

    “Winemaker David Carr Taylor, who has run Carr Taylor Wines of Westfield, near Hastings, since 1971, said Mr Cameron was talking “absolute rubbish”.

    Mr Carr Taylor said: “That’s absolute rubbish, he hasn’t a clue. They don’t drink English wine in Europe. Europe does not import wine from across the world. That’s where Europe is protectionist.

    “Politically it’s an interesting argument but I do think Britain is mature enough to run its own affairs.”

    Mr Carr Taylor said it would be beneficial to be out of Europe because winemaking rules were determined by Brussels, adding: “The sooner we get out of Europe and start making goods, the better. Let’s have our freedom.” ”
    The Argus.

    Mr David Carr Taylor, surely, has delivered the coup de grace to that piece of Project Fear hokum.

  35. A different Simon
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Why did the Chancellor issue such a confrontational and provocative budget ?

    The measures made I.D.S. situation untenable .

    The promise to turn every school into an academy was not in the manifesto and pulled the rug from under the education secretary , Nicky Morgan .

    I’m not a fan of Nicky Morgan but she is faced with being an apologist for dictatorial policy changes .

    David Cameron’s career is holed below the water line .

    The Trade Unions know a weak Government when they see one and have sensed blood .

    The situation is rapidly deteriorating into anarchy and they will all be out on strike soon .

    I can’t decide whether this is a natural consequence of politicians who lack any convictions finally being exposed as liars over the EU and other matters or whether The Budget is to blame .

    • matthu
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they judge a proportion of voters will opt for the EU as a defence against a dictatorial Conservative government. Or as a defence against an over-stuffed and broken House of Lords.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Bit of both Simon.

      • A different Simon
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        I think you are right .

        There is a saying along the lines of “Don’t lie because if you do you will have to remember everything you have said” .

        If you are a politician who lacks any convictions whatsoever , then it’s all lies because you don’t actually mean anything you say .

        Take Boris , he said he was making his mind up about EU membership and then justifies his decision based on supposed effects on The City .

        As Lord Mayor of London he is probably right to frame his decision in those terms but at the end of the day there is no patriotism , no conviction and hence no vision .

        He is rudderless and ultimately the country which is run by such people is leaderless .

        I saw a bit of the film “Fall of the Roman Empire” yesterday where they poisoned Caesar (played by Alec Guinness) .

        It suddenly dawned on me that it wasn’t just for personal gain but for the good of Rome that they accelerated the succession so that Rome was not exposed to leadership by a man weakened by illness and old age .

        Someone should put the country before their party and challenge Cameron and the cabal .

        Reply Boris made up his mind on the crucial issue of sovereignty – who is in charge?

  36. Margaret
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes . Fish and chips suppers used to be inexpensive .Chips shops now charge high prices for hake and cod.

    We used have our own totally made British cars . So much has happened since then.

    My holidays to Anglesey were of often visually spoiled a little by the smelting plants, but they were not really in view . Anglesey could open new smelting works now with the amount of lager cans carelessly disposed of .. that’s progress! I have been known to swim across Anglesey’s bays fully clothed and dried clothes by hanging them out of dads back car window. That was eccentric then .Today it is part of the sailing scene which I will revisit in retirement . Leisure can only proves so much , we need to get some manufacturing back in the UK.
    I have just watched Cliff Mitchelmore and Robin Day on a black and white politics programme . I find it hard to believe that it was not long ago in 1966.

    • Margaret
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      ‘were often visually spoiled’ The leisure industry can only provide so much of GDP ..we need to invest in manufacturing.

      I have always been slightly careless writing as I say something quickly and move on.. the writing reflects this , then I look back and wish I had taken my time..

      I don’t know whose fault it was that the steel industry started making a loss. I am not interested in who blames who. I am interested in who can creatively manage the problems and make GB stand up for itself. There is too much lingering on past arguments .The ramifications of these problems recycle and occur in some form or other again. Now some may call this gobbledegook , however they live short sightedly in a linear world whereas all others live in a cyclical universe.

  37. REPay
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    …the EU made our fishing grounds into a common resource with free access for all EU member states…

    If I recall correctly, the EU did this the day before we joined with no consultation, in the expectation that Britain would sign up anyway. This was a sleight of hand move that has never been reversed.

  38. John C.
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Not only is the admirable Dr Redwood not in the top job, he is not in the cabinet; a classic case of ability denied and mediocrity triumphant.
    Those figures speak for themselves and should be highlighted on posters on every street in the land.
    Except that it will all be blamed on Mrs.T.

  39. ChrisS
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m pleased that you have now highlighted the plight of our fishing industry which is a subject I have raised and provided figures for in earlier posts. My figures, drawn from Government sources, were even more alarming than the bare facts you have published today.

    I have twice suggested that in the first year of freedom, Brexit + 1, we should use a proportion of the £9.5bn -£12bn we save ( the amount depends on the year we cease to contribute ), to build a new fleet of fishing boats of all sizes and lease them on favourable terms to British fishermen, their offspring and others wishing to make a career in the industry.

    Of course we can also insist that every new boat in the fleet is built in Britain. We certainly have the expertise and facilities to do so. At a stroke this will be very good for direct employment in the marine industry, our deprived coastal towns and the knock on effect to ancilliary businesses will be transformational.

    If we enshrine this as a firm commitment to be contained in the first post-Brexit budget, we will get almost every vote in our coastal towns : including those in Scotland, please note, Ms Sturgeon.

    I would start drawing up the proposal now so it is costed and the benefits estimated and publicised before anyone gets to vote.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      As well as fish for direct human consumption , there is the issue of wild bait fish like sand eels being caught to be turned into pellets to feed farmed fish .

      This is having a devastating effect on UK marine waters and has forced cormorants fly inland to feed on freshwater fish with devastating effects on roach and trout populations .

      There are companies which are using naturally occurring bacteria to produce single cell proteins from natural gas . These proteins are recognised as food by fish and pigs and can thus reduce the strain on land to be turned over to soya production and harvesting of bait fish .

      One , Unibio.dk , has a motto which flies in the face of the fallacy of biofuel crops : “Fuel to food , not food to fuel” .

  40. ChrisS
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Are we really safer in the EU ????

    Today we drove from Munich to Namur in Belgium, crossing the German border into Luxembourg and then on into Belgium.

    On the Autobahns, most of the old border buildings and lorry holding areas are still in place but there was not a single member of any army, police force or Border service in evidence at any of them. Nor were there any additional numberplate recognition cameras set up to observe traffic.

    Any number of terrorists masquerading as refugees in Germany, including those amongst the thousand or so young men in Cologne that abused young German women earlier this year, could have hijacked or stolen a car or truck and driven it to Brussels completely undisturbed. Yet we have seen this route used repeatedly by those planning terrorist acts as well as those seeking to transport large supplies of automatic weapons by car. Why is there no increased security ?

    Our PM and Home Secretary repeatedly state we are safer in the EU. That is an obvious lie when you see that border controls and surveillance are non existent between our closest neighbours, even after the most recent tragic events in Brussels and Paris.

    We will be returning to the UK by car ferry as I believe that the vehicle trains through the Channel tunnel represent too great a target for the terrorists at the moment, especially as more than 50% of lorries go through with no security search of any kind.
    At least one has some chance of escape should a bomb go off on a ferry.

    I’ll find out and report whether there is any increased security at the Belgian/French border and channel ports tomorrow.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink


      We came back on the Ferry twice last year from France, not a single French Official in attendance at the Ports they simply left it open for UK officials to check people coming to the UK.

      Seems like they have given up if anyone is leaving, particularly if they may be undesirables.
      Simply passing the problem on to the next Country.

      • hefner
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Having to travel to France every 6-7 weeks via Eurotunnel in a private car, (9 crossings in the last year), I can say the controls both in Folkestone and Calais, both British and French have really been reinforced, over the last year, with officers going around vehicles checking who is in, and additional questions.

        Also the kilometres of high double fences near the lorry terminal, now often used for private vehicles, seem to work and deter attempts by migrants.

        Maybe some people take the Daily Mail and Daily Express’s screaming headlines a bit too seriously! After all as economic entities, they are right to try to sell more copies to the gullible.

        • alan jutson
          Posted April 2, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink


          Agree the new fences have helped around the French tunnel site (which we paid for), but no French officials at all around in the Calais Port to check leavers in June last year.

          Caen Port not much better, just the ticket checker in their booth.

          Not a single caravan or motor home opened on the UK side when we were passing through, I was amazed.

  41. hefner
    Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Fisheries, OK. Aluminum, role of expensive energy, OK, too.

    Steel needs quite a pinch of salt: “The truth about Mrs Thatcher and the steel industry” TheCommentator.com

    No it was not because of Mrs Thatcher but because of a number of factors, most of them having little to do with the EU.
    If Vote.Leave continues like this, it will be laughed out on 23 June 2016.
    As a former DTI minister, can’t JR do better?

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Can the Vote Leave not put these and lots of other facts about the detrimental effects of EU membership to our economy into a single blockbuster document that totally demolishes the Remain economic case? Right up there must be the elimination of £14 billion pa net contribution to the EU and control of our own energy costs and fisheries revenue.

  43. adams
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Yes we have lost 10K fishing jobs but the number of jobs lost on the onshore side of the Industry must take it to more than 20K in total . Appalling . No mention of this on the BBC or media .

  • 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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