President Obama confirms in the EU there is no US trade deal and outside we could negotiate one

What a load of fuss about nothing. The Remain side have got their lackeys in the media to repeat bitter nothings about Obama’s message.

The facts are simple. Inside the EU for 43 years we have no US trade agreement. The EU has sole responsibility for negotiating one.

Outside the EU we would start with no trade agreement, so no change. As Obama stated, we could then negotiate one with his successor and the U.S. Government . He thinks it might  take five years or more. How long is the EU one going to take?


As  current practice shows, we trade well with the U.S. with no trade deal, so when we get the UK/US trade deal that will be a bonus.


Mr. Obama also stressed that there is a close or special relationship between the U.S and the UK and had to admit that will continue if we leave the EU. Given that, I am sure the U.S. would see how it was in their interest as well as ours to negotiate a better trade arrangement. I doubt it would take as long as he says, but then he is determined to keep us in this malfunctioning Union for his own convenience. Faced with the reality of Brexit the US would see the advantage of negotiating a mutually beneficial trade deal with an old ally whilst the 27 member states of the EU continued to row about TTIP and find it unacceptable.



  1. Mark B
    April 25, 2016

    Good morning.

    I have to disagree with our kind host, when he asserts that when we ‘leave’ the EU it will take us ‘x’ (yes I know he said 5) number of years to negotiate a trade deal with the USA. if the UK vote to leave the EU, it is important to remember that nothing has changed, we are still members. But if we start trade talks with the USA the day after (remember only the Commission can sign a Treaty and, Merkel has set a precedent with her so called, Economic Pact), by the time the UK finally exits the EU, we should, with a fair wind, have a few trade deals done and, some in the pipework, including the USA.

    It is important to state, that things do not necessarily have to follow one another. Things can be made to run in parallel.

    Just saying

    1. Richard1
      April 25, 2016

      Is there any reason we shouldn’t just join NAFTA in the event of Brexit?

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 25, 2016

        You’ve just been told that the US government would not be rushing to conclude any trade deal with the UK, we would be at the back of the queue behind not just the EU but also lots of countries like Mauritius:

        And that would equally apply to the UK joining NAFTA, which would require the consent of all of the existing members including the US.

        1. Hope
          April 25, 2016

          I note Madelson chipping in today the leave camp has lost the economic debate so it has moved on to immigration. If he basis is remarks on the Treasury it is no wonder the govt he was in last the economy in such a mess etc ed. He then goes on to make disparaging remarks about UKIP to link to all who want to vote to leave. etc ed

        2. Richard1
          April 26, 2016

          Only by Obama who leaves office in 9 months. Other candidates for the Presidency such as Mr Cruz have said the opposite. Joining NAFTA is a policy which a number of people, including JR, have advocated in the past.

        3. Hope
          April 26, 2016

          Let us not forget that Junker said when it gets serious lie. Perhaps tax avoiding Dave is doing that. Still no apology to Jimmy Carr for his career assignation comments about tax avoidance when Cameron etc ed.

    2. Hope
      April 25, 2016

      Obama claimed the EU help spread our values and practice. It demonstrates he has not got a clue. Grayling highlights an agreement between Germany, France, Italy and Luxemburg effectively calling for an EU superstate which goes far beyond economics or trade. The Eurozone will become the neucleas of the superstar and the associate membership will still dictate to the UK what it can or cannot do. The public must also remember that the UK contribution is based on how well all other EU countries perform. The Euro area is still in crisis, Greece will need another bail out and the U.K. will pay billions in an increased contribution, like last year and this year, the U.K. will accept more EU immigration as the Euro devastates employment across the continent. We pay more taxes, as tax avoiding Dave hands it over without any qualms. Our public services cannot cope at the moment, it will become even worse.

      1. Hope
        April 25, 2016

        Thousands in Hannover demonstrate against TTIP. What was the result of the Austrian election and why?

        1. Hope
          April 25, 2016

          Read Peter Hitchens’ article on the alleged special friendship with the US and you will see quite clearly that the US is an ally but no friend. The US has sought to dismantle the UK as a superpower and it fought in the two world wars for its own interests not ours? Perhaps Putin could equally claim a special friend status based on the last world war. It is such a ridiculous claim.

          Obama claimed France was its oldest special friend. Perhaps it is because France and Spain helped the US gain its independence from the UK. Without their help the US would have not independence war against the US. Everything Obama said about the UK and EU he would not dare say in the US nor would he allow free movement of all Countries on the American continent, allow all the people free health care, education, welfare and housing. Nor would he allow another court to have supremely over the the US Supreme Court. Would the US taxpayer allow their money to be used to bail out Argintina? Tax avoiding Dave gives away our taxes freely while hiding his offshore!

        2. Mockbeggar
          April 25, 2016

          I understand that all four of the main candidates for the US Presidency are against TTIP.

      2. Mitchel
        April 25, 2016

        Talking about spreading “our values and practice”,Am I the only one who thinks that the US embassy running an outreach programme in this country for “Young Leaders” (as per that curious Q&A session with Obama on Saturday with its politically correct subjects) is a little sinister.

    3. Denis Cooper
      April 25, 2016

      As well as the EU itself each of the EU member states is a separate party to each of the present EU trade deals, each country in its own sovereign right, including the agreement for the European Economic Area or EEA. In each case the third country is also a party, their counterparty, in its own sovereign right.

      If all of the parties to a particular treaty were agreeable it would be perfectly possible to amend it so that the UK continued to be a party even after it had left the EU, either for a specified number of years or until some criteria were met or indefinitely. Technically an interim arrangement of that kind would be easy to set up, for example through a short protocol to the treaty saying in essence:

      “We know that the UK will be leaving the EU, but we all agree that for the purposes of this treaty the UK will continue to be treated as though it was still in the EU, for a period of X years or until a replacement treaty has been agreed”.

      The Leave Alliance group led by Richard North have dealt with this recently, with greater emphasis on formal international law rather than my simple approach that the sovereign parties to a treaty are always free to change it as they please, provided they all agree about how it will be changed:

      “The UK will not have to renegotiate its trade deals”

      Well, not immediately, and provided that everybody agrees.

    4. oldtimer
      April 25, 2016

      You have neatly summed up the reality.

      I was asked a question yesterday by my son-in-law to which I do not know the real answer. The question was: what does Obama have on Cameron that makes Cameron pursue such a flimsy case for Remain? The most charitable answer I could think of was that he actually believes in the case for a European state – although he will not come out into the open actually to say so.

      How would you answer his question?

      Reply I have no idea why he wants to go back on his clear opposition to Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon in the previous decade.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 25, 2016

        Perhaps because Cast Iron’s opposition to these treaties was never sincere like almost everything he ever utters just convenient politics at the time.

        Oh sorry, they are apparently no longer treaties once ratified, according to the government anyway, that was why he could rat on his cast rubber promise.

        If Cameron wins the referendum we will as Boris says be treated with even more contempt by the EU and the Tory party will be in a dire state. The real Tories must get control of the party and Rid it of the pathetic, failed, Libdem wets.

        1. Hope
          April 25, 2016

          I think it is much simpler, he lies to get his way. Emotional intelligence should not be confused with academic ability or a good education. In short he is liar? If was truly against all the treaties JR mentions why would he surround himself with pro EU advisors and promote MPs into cabinet? Why would he claim that if her were out of the EU and offered his current non deal he would vote in after all that he said and warned us about before! He said he ruled nothing out, now he should be held to account why he failed to do even this. I think it is reasonable to conclude you cannot believe a word he says and that he is a liar.

        2. Leslie Singleton
          April 25, 2016

          What chance a Judicial Review, or whatever, on whether “Leave or Remain?” is a sensible, reasonable, meaningful, appropriate, fair etc question? Seems to me that the “Remain?” bit is silly when all know that the EU is not going to “Remain” as it is, nor even close. The question asked should be more along the lines of (And remember the Scottish question) “Independent or Federalised?”.

          1. Lifelogic
            April 26, 2016

            Democracy or dictatorship from unelected, non removable Brussels bureaucrats?

      2. alan jutson
        April 25, 2016


        Perhaps he wants to Remain because he has already handed in his notice as Prime Minister, and if he delivers a remain vote to the EU he will then probably (if not already) be offered a huge role within the EU which will secure his future without any elections for as long as he likes.

        Just look at the failed politicians/leaders who are doing rather nicely already.

        1. oldtimer
          April 25, 2016

          I do wonder about this – but alternatively with UN tax free remuneration, all expenses paid and hassle free diplomatic passport in the back pocket. But that would be too cyncial would it not?

      3. Bob Eldridge
        April 25, 2016

        He probably wants to do “A Kinnock”

      4. Tad Davison
        April 25, 2016

        Easy, because Cameron is a con man! And people can finally see through him.

        This country needs a new Prime Minister we can trust.


      5. JoeSoap
        April 25, 2016

        Because it was never really opposition. Look back at your previous correspondents’ comments over 6+ years…. I think they get it, even if you don’t!

        He is all spin and hyperbolae… just as Mandelson loves rich folk when he boards their yachts, and poor folk when he stands as MP for Hartlepool… so Cameron likes or hates the EU depending on whether he’s speaking to you or J C Junker… for adults, this type is pretty damn easy to detect, really…..

    5. margaret
      April 25, 2016

      Don’t we all know how we can be plagiarised by things running Parallel , but this time it may be to our advantage instead of those lagging behind us who want a boost up.

  2. Brexit
    April 25, 2016

    Very nice summary JR, thank you.

    “As current practice shows, we trade well with the U.S. with no trade deal, so when we get the UK/US trade deal that will be a bonus.”

    Readers might want to know that our exports to the US have grown by an average of just over 5% per year since 1998. (This is the first year available in the latest ONS data tables.) Our US exports have more than doubled in that time.

    There’s more information available here in case anyone needs this for campaigning purposes.

    One further point: TTIP has barely been talked about on the BBC or in the mainstream media in the UK. It’s better known in continental EU countries where opposition to it is growing on a massive scale. Mr Obama arrived in Hanover yesterday and the day before this, over 20,000 Hanoverians took to the streets in a protest march about TTIP.

    Imagine that happening in the UK. It might, if we hadn’t had virtual media silence about important subjects like TTIP!

  3. matthu
    April 25, 2016

    John, please could you explain to all of us why “when we get the UK/US trade deal that will be a bonus”.

    There will be give and take on both sides of this TTIP deal and it is by no means clear which parts of society will be the givers and which parts the receivers because all of the negotiations are being conducted in secret.

    In fact there are many indications that we will be giving away super-judicial powers to large commercial interests.

    Will that be a bonus?

    Reply Im talking about a proper UK/US deal, not the TTIP which I am not proposing.

  4. Ex-expat Colin
    April 25, 2016

    If I pay somebody money I fully expect them to do as I bid,otherwise the money returns to me. Don’t think Camerons negotiation run about included cessation of payments immediate on Brexit…did it? Rather important and I think most of us would have been chasing down repetitive unwanted high payments.

    As regards trade, its simply between trading partners – us and them. What’s so damned difficult about that? Is it like so many skills in the UK…forgotten?

  5. Antisthenes
    April 25, 2016

    The only things the EU does with any haste and clarity is to impose costly anticompetitive rules and regulations everything else it does at a snails pace. Economies of scale and unity of action is impossible for the EU to achieve. It has taken considerable powers for itself so that it could but demonstrably even that does not mitigate the bureaucratic incompetence of that institution. Inertia is an inherent failing of governments and public sector bodies. So the left and statists are wrong to want government to do what they demand it does and in the case of the EU have it at all.

    In UK devolution and moves away from bureaucratic controls we are seeing that it is beginning to dawn on people that central political and bureaucratic control does not work. Even Labour is for devolution all though for the wrong reasons if not the latter. So for the EU to negotiate trade deals on behalf of 28 member states it can never produce a deal that will be suitable for all the members. As it is not suitable to have the same rules and regulations for those trading with one another in the EU common market. The only workable solution are bilateral agreements on both trade and cooperation with bodies set up for common purpose in the way NATO was. If we want a a trade deal with the USA or any foreign country then it should be tailored to fit the circumstances that are peculiar to us. As for timing without the shackles of EU bureaucracy and 27 other members opinions and needs then it there is not reason why a deal cannot be concluded relatively quickly.

  6. Ian Wragg
    April 25, 2016

    I watched that stupid HOME Secretary yesterday. How can someone in such a position talk such nonsense and tell such blatant lies.
    Barry is a third rate President who dislikes Britain. His pronouncements carry no weight whatsoever.
    We do well with the rest of the world with or without trade agreements. If you have the product or service people will trade.
    When is Vote Leave going to join in the debate. Looks like another establishment stitch up.

    1. Mitchel
      April 25, 2016

      Theresa May seems to have a Sister Jekyll and Mrs Hyde complex.

  7. Richard1
    April 25, 2016

    I have to say I am finding this referendum a tough one. Everyone I meet in international business – mainly non-UK citizens admittedly – thinks it would be a disaster if the UK left the EU, investment would dry up, the U.K. Economy would be hit etc etc. But when you listen to the substance of the Remain argument it is extraordinarily thin, with this latest non-issue of a US trade deal being a recent example (the main issue Mr Obama has raised re Brexit) & we see there is nothing to discuss, as set out by JR above.

    I guess the only real coherent argument for Remain is: we are doing OK in the EU despite many irritations; we seem to manage to muddle through and escape the worst of it like the euro; we will very likely be able to come back for another bite on renegotiation in a few years time when the Political Union treaty needs ratifying, so don’t rock the boat now and cause short-medium term investment-reducing uncertainty, carry on and put up with it. Our friends and allies want us to stay. Not very inspiring but it might swing it.

    Reply There is nothing at risk by leaving! We get our money back and the right to make our own laws. What’s not to like? Our trade is not at risk.

    1. ian wragg
      April 25, 2016

      Same arguments as if we didn’t join the Euro.
      That went well didn’t it.
      I work for a French Company and they would rip Britain off at every opportunity.
      They have a buy French policy – screw the EU rules.

      1. David Price
        April 25, 2016

        The same is true of German, Canadian and US firms I have had dealings with.

        It seems it is only the British government and civil servants who have a unilateral commercial disarmament policy. No wonder we’ve never acheieved anything of tangible benefit to the UK in all the years of our involvement with the EU.

    2. Richard1`
      April 25, 2016

      Reply to Reply: OK but if its that simple don’t you find it odd that almost all internationally facing business is for Remain, with the major engineering companies being today’s example?

    3. Paul Kiver
      April 25, 2016

      ‘muddle through’ – ‘don’t rock the boat’ – ‘carry on and put up with it’.

      Is that really the spirit that, for better or worst, gave this nation governance over a third of the planet?

    4. oldtimer
      April 25, 2016

      It is much more convenient for them if the UK Remains in. Even my youngest son groans at all the thought of the extra work (for him) that would likely follow Brexit. Chiefly this would involve setting up some brass plate businesses within the EU when and where required. I tell him it is a small price to pay for your independence.

    5. Anonymous
      April 25, 2016

      Trade can be won back with sweat.

      Sovereignty can only ever be won back with blood.

      Trade or sovereignty ?

      This is the choice the Remainers are saying that we have and I know which I would choose – even if what they were saying about loss of trade were true.

  8. agricola
    April 25, 2016

    Obama believes that the relationship with the EU is easier if an inside UK can explain the US case. It suggests a lack of confidence in being able to sell themselves. Not a US characteristic I would suggest.

    However, proving he is a politician, he is reported as being at one with Angela Merkel for her handling of the immigration crisis in Europe. He must either have the understanding of the average Ohio farmer of European politics or he has brought out some particularly effective rose tinted spectacles. It would appear to me that the German electorate are becoming increasingly disquieted at her handling of the immigration shambles that is Europe.

    It would seem to me that UK/USA trade is doing fine outside the political arena. In February 2016 exports to the USA were up 19.8% at £3.5 Billion. Imports from the USA were up 20.7% at £2.9 Billion. In 2015 we sold the USA $56.35 Billion while they sold us $57.8 Billion. Everyone should be happy. It was much the same in 2014. All achieved without the aid of any specific trade agreement. Our host suggests that a UK/USA trade deal might be the icing on the cake, but trade seems to be thriving without one.

    My conclusion is that the “Back of the queue ” threats from Obama were just part of the political smokescreen dreamt up by Cameron and Obama for the express purpose of adding to the scaremongering campaign that Remain have had to resort to, having nothing of any real substance they can sell the British electorate on the delights of staying in the EU. If you agree, make sure it is hammered home in public over the next two months.

  9. Ian Wragg
    April 25, 2016

    Quote for the day
    In politics stupidity is no handicap.

    1. turbo terrier
      April 25, 2016

      Ian Wragg

      One could also say “it is not a crime to be ignorant” but it is a crime to show it.

  10. alan jutson
    April 25, 2016

    Better to be in the queue on your own than let someone stand there for you, who then forgets your request/needs.

    I also see it is now being reported that the EU will be having a meeting next month to discuss how they move forward with more integration, I can only but assume this is along the lines of the five presidents report, is this correct John ?

    If so, then the leavers should hammer this point home hard.

    We are not voting on what the EU is now but what it will become, and the more who realise this the better.

    1. Yosarion
      April 25, 2016

      Exactly sooner be at the back of the Que with people who are their with one hat, rather than someone who has twenty eight hats, but has left our hat back home on the peg.

  11. alan jutson
    April 25, 2016

    So, this US President say’s he does not want us to leave the EU, and the next say’s ?

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 25, 2016

      He/she will take the same position, that US policy is for “Europe” to become one country whether or not its inhabitants like that idea. However he/she may not be quite so ready to come and threaten us at the request of our Prime Minister.

      1. David Price
        April 25, 2016

        Better to keep us all tied in knots and out of the way

  12. Lifelogic
    April 25, 2016

    Indeed but it has had its effect on the betting odds. You can not get odds of 14/5 on Brexit. If Cameron, the BBC, the EU and all the paid liars, academia, the professional politicians and all the arms of our bloated state do actually succeed in conning the public into a remain it will surely spit the Tories in half and merely delay the inevitable leaving.

    Listening to Hillary Benn on Any Question with his absurd, nasty, pre planned sound bites against leave & his bogus arguments for remaining in the clearly anti-democratic EU. I would have thought his father would have been totally horrified by his line and even more by his unpleasant and dishonest approach.

    His father was clearly totally misguided on how to run an economy (rather like Corbyn and McDonnall) but at least he was right on the EU, democracy and was honourable & widely respected.

    1. turbo terrier
      April 25, 2016


      If Cameron, the BBC, the EU and all the paid liars:

      It is a pity that a report presented today 25/4 on the web site Not A Lot Of People Know That about a Major New Complaint Submitted to BBC over Climate Bias which is 162 pags long could not be followed up with a similar report on their stance over the referendum before June. It really shows them up for what they really are.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 26, 2016

        The BBC are indeed equally absurd on “the global warming alarmism and its huge exaggeration at every turn”. Indeed this scare is also part of the EU’s agenda and justification for cross country government and destruction of democracy.

        “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” Richard P. Feynman

        Regrettably the Cameron government, the EU and the pathetic “group think” bias from the BBC are all public relations over reality & substance. Still no warming since 1998 and nothing significant before that. How many more years of increased c02 concentrations (and yet no warming) will it take before they find something else to scare the public with?

  13. Bert Young
    April 25, 2016

    Obama’s siding up with Cameron was shameful . His subsequent interviews showed a high degree of “ifs” and “buts” and underlined that he was simply following a party line . His administration has shown the same form of stuttering and is one of the reasons US domestic and foreign policy has been lacking in direction . He is certainly an amenable chap and a good family man but these characteristics have not made him a good leader ; the USA has to have a punchy no nonsense President whose values and beliefs are clear and dynamic .

    The referendum campaign now has to get into top gear and be more forceful . Those who lead it must get together and produce a dynamic approach capable of convincing the average person in the street . As things stand the fear that has been driven into the public’s mind has to be overcome .

    1. Mockbeggar
      April 25, 2016

      Remember that this is a referendum. That means that the PM has no more power than the man on the Clapham omnibus. For the masses of voters, all these esoteric economic and trade arguments are both complicated and incomprehensible. I think for the purposes of the Leave campaign, Farage is right to say that strategically, it should focus on immigration more than economics. Ordinary people can understand that and daily see the realities of immigration all around them whereas economics is far too abstract.

  14. Amanda
    April 25, 2016

    It is probably just as important to state that people trade with people, businesses with businesses – a trade deal isn’t necessary to trade.

    Does Cameron realize what a Quizling puppet he looks, standing next to a very poor US President (with many self-inflicted problems at home and abroad), nodding like a toy dog whilst said ‘President’ threatens the British people to ‘do as they are told’ at the time of a democratic vote? What an infamous picture for history that will become.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 25, 2016

      Indeed a trade deal is only needed when the state prevents trade by getting in the way of it or demand their cut. As alas they so often do, making us all poorer in the process.

    2. Mockbeggar
      April 25, 2016

      If there were a ‘Like’ button here, I would click on it.

  15. Denis Cooper
    April 25, 2016

    “As current practice shows, we trade well with the U.S. with no trade deal, so when we get the UK/US trade deal that will be a bonus.”

    I suppose it could be said that we do actually have a trade deal with US, but it is just part of the general global trade deal agreed through the WTO.

    As to the magnitude of that “bonus” from a UK-US trade deal, if it was no better than the proposed EU-US trade deal then it would be economically insignificant.

    I repeat, yet again, that on the government’s own figures the one-off boost to UK GDP from the proposed EU-US trade deal, TTIP, would be equivalent to the natural growth of the UK economy over just three months.

    So, just as an illustration, with this trade deal we might reach a given level of prosperity on May 1st 2025 rather than having to wait until August 1st 2025 without it.

    It wouldn’t “turbo-charge the transatlantic economy” or be “a landmark deal” which would “fire up” the global economy, and be “a once-in-a-generation prize”; that grossly inflated vision presented by Cameron in June 2013 is little more than a mirage.

    Unfortunately it seems that the Leave side, which should have detected and exposed this brazen con three years ago, still hasn’t worked out that it doesn’t really matter whether or not Obama’s successor will rush to sort out a similar deal just for the UK.

  16. formula57
    April 25, 2016

    Mr Obama lent himself for the purpose of disgraceful if successful manipulation of the British people, albeit he was perhaps furthering the interests of his own country, or at least some of its elites. He will be gone in about 270 days and the only reason he will be missed is for who may follow him.

  17. Tad Davison
    April 25, 2016

    Be that as it may, from the feedback I have received, Obama did more to set back anglo-US relations in those two interviews , than any other president in living memory.

    The amount of resentment towards the US is palpable. People in the United Kingdom don’t take kindly to anyone else tampering with their internal affairs or bullying them to promote their own dubious agenda.

    People, especially in Obama’s position, should never insist that another country subscribes to a political construct that they would never accept for their own country. It shows they don’t wish us well, quite the reverse, and the more people who wake up to that fact, the less influence these interfering no-hopers will have.

    It also says a lot about the manipulative David Cameron, the man who gave us the impression he was going to recommend leaving the EU if he couldn’t get the right deal for Britain. He and the BBC positively lapped it up when Obama made his position clear. Cameron was never anything other than a rabid Europhile dressed up in a Eurosceptic’s cloak to deceive the people.

    It says it all!

    Tad Davison


    1. Anonymous
      April 25, 2016

      Is that right, Tad ?

      Fresh from the football terraces I hear “Well I was pretty clear on leaving the EU but recent weeks have made me think about voting In”

      Project Fear isn’t designed to convert people like you or me but the bored and mildly interested masses. And it’s working.

      We’re staying in the EU. We aren’t allowed to leave and Mr Obama’s intervention makes that clear.

      1. Tad Davison
        April 25, 2016

        So effectively then, it’s a pre-ordained establishment fix.

        If that is what our democracy had come down to, all the more reason to want to get it back and re-establish the principle of the will of the people becoming the policy of the government.


        1. Anonymous
          April 26, 2016

          Tad – Not a fix. Just one-sided beyond belief.

          One hopes the people who see through it are better motivated to vote than those intimidated into remaining.

    2. Lindsay McDougall
      April 26, 2016

      Yes indeed, Tad, and the sheer spin, mendacity and hire of foreign mercenaries by the Remain camp, mean that neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Osborne is fit to be within barge pole length of public office.

      That applies whichever side wins the Referendum.

      I have far from given up hope, though. The Remain side have fired their arrows too early. As soon as the local elections are out of the way – and I see no reason not to vote Conservative in those – we on the Brexit side have got six weeks of campaigning when we can really take the gloves off. Rubbish their arguments and their authority will crumble. Play the ball – and take the man on the follow through.

      1. Tad Davison
        April 26, 2016

        ‘Play the ball – and take the man on the follow through.’

        You’ve seen Man United too then Lindsay!


  18. bluedog
    April 25, 2016

    If the electorate votes for Brexit on 23rd June, Dr JR, one would hope that the Parliament would feel solemnly obliged to vote for immediate repeal of the European Communities Act 1972.

    Thus the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU would be briskly terminated. The FCO should be ordered to advise the EU accordingly and without argument, while a forwarding address should also be sent to the EU in Brussels as a matter of courtesy.

    1. Antisthenes
      April 25, 2016

      That is the road to perdition not an exercise in common sense. To be used only as a threat to be employed if the EU drags it’s feet as it usually does. No an orderly, legal and well planned transition from incarceration to freedom will only offer a solution that is workable outside of the EU prison.

      1. David Price
        April 25, 2016

        I agree that the change of relationship needs to be orderly and as friendly as possible. Preferably a new set of heads that are actually able to negotiate effectively will be involved.

        At the same time we should be exploring relationship changes with other countries in Europe.

      2. bluedog
        April 25, 2016

        That is the road to perdition not an exercise in common sense.’

        Your opinion, that with respect, needs to be substantiated. Where is the perdition in exercising sovereignty, something that the elites have forgotten how to do, such is their inculcated subservience to the EU? We don’t have a centrally planned economy, commercial business with the EU will simply continue. The UK will simply promulgate its rules for entry and residency, consistent with the Vienna Convention. Lengthy negotiations with the EU simply grants Brussels a continuing veto over our right to manage an independent British state.

        From day one we lose nothing by declaring that the ECJ hath no jurisdiction in this land.

        If Brexit comes to pass, it is in the British national interest to support other independence movements within the EU. Breaking the EU into manageable sub-groups becomes an important exercise in risk management. For example, we would need to support the Visegrad Group in their efforts to avoid being absorbed by Germany, a possibility those nations have already decided to counter.

      3. bluedog
        April 26, 2016

        But if the people vote for Brexit they will expect a demonstrable step in that direction in order to prevent overwhelming cynicism about even this important development. Repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 and clear explanation that sovereignty has returned through disavowal of any further judgement of the ECJ would be a good start. Your post implies granting the EU a free option to decide the points of negotiation. No successful revolution has ever indulged the opposing power in that manner. Power is seized and exercised, without inhibition. We must do the same.

  19. Original Richard
    April 25, 2016

    Mr. Redwood, you are correct that since the EU does not have a trade deal with the US our leaving the EU will not initially make any difference to our US trade.

    And, since it takes 2 years to exit the EU, during which time nothing changes, there is sufficient time for everything to stabilise and for a plan to be devised.

    At the moment of more importance is our free trade deal with the EU.

    This much vaunted deal “with 500m+ people etc. etc.” means that we currently import £60bn/year more from the EU than we export to them adding to our narional debt.

    If we leave the EU we will at least have the tools to begin to redress this serious imbalance.

  20. English Pensioner
    April 25, 2016

    It’s surely far easier for the US to negotiate with just one country than a consortium of 27 where each country has its own interests to protect. I suspect that Obama, like Cameron, has never been involved in any real ‘hard’ negotiations and has no clue as to what is involved.

  21. Bob
    April 25, 2016

    Good news for the UK, the Mr Obama with his dislike of all things British will only be the former US president when we are negotiating the UK/US trade agreement.

  22. John Bracewell
    April 25, 2016

    Thank you Mr Redwood, I was waiting for someone to say that any trade deals we have with the US through the EU could continue after Brexit simply by both the US and UK agreeing the trade deal status quo. It seemed simple to me and would not take 5 to 10 years as the scaremongering Obama said (wonder where he got that from?). I did not realise that we have no trade deals with the US now, so it is even simpler, everything carries on as now and as you say trade deals can be negotiated as a bonus and in whatever time it takes since nothing will have changed. ‘In line’ (sic) with your recent Shakespeare speeches – ‘Much ado about nothing’. I hope you or the other Leave people can get this across in the media asap.

  23. hefner
    April 25, 2016

    Around these days, I would prefer ” Much ado about nothing”. What is the present level of tariffs between the US and the UK? I would guess, already very low, and this without trade deal.
    Today’s blog might be more convincing if real information, with actual numbers had been provided, e.g. tariffs on UK services, or US cars, computers, machinery, scientific instruments, … or US produced foodstuffs.
    Otherwise such a general comment, quite good at whipping sentiment is rather poor in actual content.

  24. Loddon
    April 25, 2016

    Obama asked the country to “think globally” when deciding which way to vote. As we think globally we want to be out of the EU and its restrictions and limitations and be free to trade and relate to the Commonwealth and all other countries around the globe.

    Thank you Obama for arguing for us to vote OUT of the EU !!

    April 25, 2016

    For several years, all the TV and online video feeds from the US Business programmes have indicated American firms use the UK to “piggy-back” US companies and wares into the whole of Europe, not just the EU. Then to re-export them with alteration and addition. The reason, openly stated: “Because many Europeans are anti-American”. “The French”; “The Germans” “Even The Spanish”. Also, “Because there are nations in Asia…. ( India and China not named though the Indian Business Press frequently highlights that India is disallowed Favored Nation Status from the US ) who will do business with the UK and Europe but not with…Great American companies..”

    Hmm, so US companies “piggy-back” on we Brits hiding like scared underfed little jack rabbits, their Stars and Stripes:-
    “..And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”: ” Not a lot it would seem.

  26. Denis Cooper
    April 25, 2016

    Oh, and while we are on the subject of trade, for many years supporters of the EU have been allowed to get away with gross exaggerations of the economic benefits of the EU Single Market, and so that economic argument has become entrenched as part of the conventional wisdom and is now being constantly used against those who wish to leave the EU, when the evidence shows that the Single Market has actually been of little economic benefit to the EU as a whole, and especially to the UK.

    An extra 2% or so has been added to the collective GDP of the EU countries, thanks to the Single Market, according to “The most commonly cited study” mentioned in Section 3.10 of this UK government report in 2013:

    While last September EU Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis claimed that it had helped to create 3 million new jobs across the EU:

    but as I pointed out at the time, in a comment here:

    that represented only 1.3% of the total jobs across the EU.

    However worse is to come, for the UK, because that small benefit of the Single Market has not necessarily been uniformly spread across all countries and the UK is one of those which has benefited least, according to the table on the first page of this 2104 report:

    “20 years of the European single market: growth effects of EU integration”

    According to that analysis, as far as the UK is concerned the economic benefit of the EU Single Market has amounted to a mere 1% added to our per capita GDP.

    All those vetoes surrendered through the Single European Act and subsequent treaties so that all those “harmonising” rules could be pushed through by Qualified Majority Voting, in the expectation that the Single Market would then increase our GDP by 5% – itself a small mess of pottage, for which our politicians were prepared to sell our birthright – and in the end we have gained a paltry 1% on per capita GDP, which we would have gained anyway through natural growth of the UK economy over just six average months.

    1. Chris
      April 25, 2016

      Very interesting points, DC. One wonders why is Richard North then making so much of the virtues of the single market argument (EEA) as an interim stage in his Flexcit document other than to make people feel more secure about leaving the EU (and to have an off the shelf interim solution for the process of withdrawal).

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 26, 2016

        I hesitate to answer on his behalf, but at present we are in the EU and in the EU Single Market and there would a complex mass of both legal and practical problems to sort out before we could make an orderly transition to a new arrangement, and he argues that it would take much longer than the two year period laid down for negotiations in Article 50 TEU.

        However clearly it would be much more reassuring to tell voters that we would stay in the EEA for the time being and then gradually make further changes. The main problem I see is that there is a chunk of voters who might not even bother to vote to leave the EU if they thought we would still be stuck with unfettered freedom of movement of persons and therefore mass immigration.

  27. Peter van Leeuwen
    April 25, 2016

    While I will refrain from your debates, just listen to Obama speaking in Hannover to the generation that matters: Doesn’t he make you eurosceptics look small!

    Reply No. We are the optimists, the globalists, living in the twenty first century. The EU is out of date, backward looking and was trying to solve the problem of France fighting Germany which is long since solved anyway.

    1. libertarian
      April 25, 2016


      Could they hear Barry over the noise of the German protesters ?

      What happens to TTIP when Obama is turfed out of office later this year?

    2. Bob
      April 25, 2016

      It looked rather clichéd and stage managed. Rather sad.

    3. alan jutson
      April 25, 2016


      Are you happy with the way the migration problem is being handled by your so called representatives and big thinkers.

      Are you happy that they have resolved the financial and debt problems of its members.

    4. Mitchel
      April 25, 2016

      “The EU is out of date,backward looking and was trying to solve the problem of France fighting Germany …..”and is now being used by the US as a (rather ineffective) battering ram against Russia which simply refuses to lie down and die(or “converge”as Philip Hammond would have it).The 15-20 year window of opportunity for Russia to be taken down,identified by Zbigniew Brzezinski in “The Grand Chessboard :American Primacy & it’s Geostrategic Imperatives”in 1997 is rapidly expiring – and the US is getting desperate.

    5. Chris
      April 25, 2016

      Reply to PvL:
      No, the EU is an old fashioned customs union, not fit for purpose in the 21st century. It has erected enormous barriers/tarriffs against poorer countries, barring them from the elitist club of the EU. This is not compatible with the globalisation mantra. It was no accident that the sugar trade in the West Indies collapsed thanks to the EU safeguarding and encouraging sugar beet growers within the EU with large subsidies and protection from competition.

      1. Qubus
        April 26, 2016

        I read or heard somewhere recently that Tate and Lyle, one of whose main operations is the importation of cane-sugar from Jamaica to produce refined sugar, is to be badly hit by a tariff barrier that is to be, or has been, erected by the EU. I understand that the EU wishes all refined sugar now to be produced from sugar-beet grown within the EU.

        (You only have to be in or around Julich, northern Germany, in the autumn to experience the stink of this stuff being processed.)

    6. Beecee
      April 25, 2016

      Worry not Peter, when we vote to leave and get our country and sanity back – your country will soon follow!

    7. Anonymous
      April 25, 2016

      All generations matter, Peter.

      When the EU leaves Europe an uncivilised and impoverished husk who will you be blaming ? Doubtless those who weren’t EU enough. Doubtless those who weren’t EU early enough.

      If the far right marches across Europe once again who will you blame ? Anyone but yourself, I’m sure.

      Reply to reply: Solve the problem of France fighting Germany ? To stop Germany invading France to be more precise – which she has done thrice since her formation in the 19th century.

      Such a pity that a country that hasn’t invaded France and the only one to resist Germany is the one being broken up suspiciously convenient to the EU.

      Such a pity that we have to forgo our independence and democracy to keep Germany in good temper.

      1. Mitchel
        April 26, 2016

        @Anonymous.And if you include German involvement in recent developments,it has invaded Ukraine three times in the last century also.

        Drang nach Ost has been in the German political gene since the Northern Crusades(the ones nobody in the West ever mentions)of the thirteenth century.

    8. Anonymous
      April 25, 2016

      Peter – I’d like to point out that Mr Obama has just threatened the UK.

      That is not winning the argument on Brexit. That is bullying.

      You clearly like this behaviour.

    9. Mondeo Man
      April 25, 2016

      The mask slips.

      Peter van Leeuwen (if indeed that is the real Peter van Leeuwen – or just one who is intoxicated on drink or shadenfreude) reveals his true face to those among which he purports to be friendly but harbours contempt in reality.

      Obama looks big only if one is a sucker for Airforce One and an entourage – I suppose a liking for the EU would be consistent with a liking for being dealt terms by someone remote and presidential.

      I was unimpressed by Obama’s interference in a sovereign nation’s affairs.

      Which part of democracy is it that neither you nor he likes ?

  28. forthurst
    April 25, 2016

    When we were railroaded by Tory traitor Heath (why does the Tory Party mainline in Treason?) into the EEC, it had a 20% external tariff barrier against the rest of the world (apart from some favoured ex-French colonies etc) which destroyed our longstanding and mutually beneficial trading relationships with the Commonwealth. The EU was always about the protection of inefficient French farmers and the untrammelled hegemony of German manufacturing industry; our interests were engineered out by design. More expensive food was blamed on decimalisation and the loss of much of our engineering industry soon followed either through bankrupcy or German takeover. Consequently, it should be no surprise how little progress has been made in forty years towards the creation of mutually beneficlal trade deals with the rest of the world, apart from those negotiated through the WTO, in which our interests were secondary to those of the core EU membership whose politicians and civil servants control the Brussels regime.

    However, loose talk about free trade can cost jobs through exposure to unfair trading practices and expose us to dangerous and environmentally damaging products such as some of those the US is trying to foist on the EU through TTIP; many of us also would be very happy fro a tariff wall against the cultural marxist propaganda and puerile ‘cultural’ offerings emanating from USA.

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that free trade with all would be an unmitigated benefit to us; bearing in mind that our trade with the world outside the inward looking and failing EU is greater and growing, there is no reason for taking seriously the vapourings of CMD and Obama on this issue.
    Outside the EU our trade with the Brussels regime is secure as it is so benefical to them and our trade with the rest of the worrld will continue to grow as we retake our seat on the WTO and other international bodies and reforge old trading partnerships with old friends and forge new ones that we choose.

    1. forthurst
      April 25, 2016

      n February a freedom of information (FoI) request was made to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to find out whether risk assessments had been carried out in relation to the secretive deal [TTIP], which is currently in its 13th round of negotiations.

      The BIS reported that the only assessment had been carried out by the London School of Economics (LSE), which found “little reason” to believe the “EU-US investment chapter” – as the deal is sometimes called – would give the UK significant political or economic benefits.

      The report also examined the issue of secret courts, where investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) proceedings would allow US firms to sue national governments.

      The authors argue that “we would expect an EU-US investment chapter to be regularly invoked by US investors against the UK for governmental actions that would normally not be challengeable under UK law.”

      Vote Brexit to get rid of TTIP, the Brussels Regime and CMD, not necessarily in that order.

  29. ian wragg
    April 25, 2016

    Today in Germany (where there are street revolts against) Barry says TTIP may be delayed or never implemented if it’s not concluded in his term in office.
    Back of what queue???

    1. Anonymous
      April 25, 2016

      Ian – My contact in East Germany says that the people are enraged by Frau Merkel’s invitation to 1 million refugees. All classes, all ages. Not just shaven headed thugs.

      1. Qubus
        April 26, 2016

        # Anonymous (or is it Dame Rita?)

        I couldn’t agree more, and it is certainly not just in “East” Germany.
        What a contrast with the way that they treated the Gastarbeiter of the 1960s and 1970s, etc ed.

  30. Dennis
    April 25, 2016

    What will be the difference between the trade we do now with the US and what will be the trade when a ‘trade deal’ happens later with the US?

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 26, 2016


  31. David Edwards
    April 25, 2016

    Quite possibly I’m idealistic I admit but isn’t all this talk about EU and US trade deals, that the EU and the US have pursued protectionist policies which favour selected suppliers (i.e. those with large lobbying capability) and there has been little talk about consumers which suffer from protectionism (by prices increased by the cost of the import duty) and also other suppliers without similar lobbying budgets, particular those suppliers in poorer regions of the world, by loss of sales. As I say its idealistic but couldn’t the UK after Brexit simply adopt the world price and not be protectionist, and in doing so lead the world in benefitting consumers and most suppliers? Lord Lawson suggested on Marr the other week that the world price would only be 3-4% above free trade and currency fluctuations would in any case dwarf that increase.

    1. Margaret
      April 26, 2016

      exactly .. break the mould.. why do we need trade deals initially?

  32. agricola
    April 25, 2016

    Having explained the reality of current UK/USA trade already today, I will draw your attention to the “Five Presidents Report” (FPR). This map for the progress of the Euro Zone and the EU has received scant publicity in the UK, but should be studied to fully appreciate what “Remain” intends to involve us in. Forget about Cameron’s opt outs, this battle plan has an inevitability about it for the UK, should we buy into “Remain.”

    The FPR it is claimed, ” Has benefitted from intense discussion with Member states and civil society.” British civil society to my knowledge has never been made aware of it. Perhaps we are not considered civil. Cameron and his complicit civil servants I am sure are well aware of it, and have no doubt been involved in it’s creation. They probably consider it too toxic for public digestion in the UK. It supposedly focuses on the Euro area, but it cannot help but have a deep impact upon all members of the EU.

    The report makes the claim that “The Euro is a successful and stable currency.” The southern states of the EU may not realise it, but the Euro is in part the cause of their economic failure and dependency, as witnessed by the 18Million unemployed in the region.

    The report openly admits that the Euro is really a political and economic project. For it to work they also admit that the members of it must give up their sovereignty on matters financial, fiscal and political to form a union. It is planned in three stages from July 2015 to completion by 2025. It would be naïve in the extreme to suppose that such consolidation would not affect the sovereignty, financial and fiscal life in those states that, while staying in the EU remain outside the Euro.

    In my opinion it is not a place for the United Kingdom to thrive. The FPR pays only lip service to any serious democratic control. It will remain a top down directorate making
    barely democratic gestures to an ineffective European Parliament. Anyone with the slightest hint of what democracy is, would not touch it with the proverbial barge pole.

  33. mick
    April 25, 2016

    Good afternoon Mr Redwood can you shead some light on this
    It doesn`t appear to be getting much coverage

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    April 25, 2016

    Forget about Mr Obama. When he left UK, he went on to address the European Union. He opined what a wonderful achievement it was that 28 nations speaking 24 different languages could adopt a common currency and form a political Union. Now we know, if we didn’t before, that Obama is a man who likes Federations and big government. Since he is a man of the left, he almost certainly likes all those Directives, all that forced harmonisation and all those workers’ ‘rights’ – although he wouldn’t dare to say so in America.

    May I humbly make a suggestion – that the Vote Leave side contact Donald Trump and tell him that we want a business relationship with the US, not a one sided special relationship. He (the man who thinks NATO is out of date) will understand.

  35. MartinW
    April 25, 2016

    Regarding trade ‘deals’ between the US and the EU, a relevant contribution to the debate has been posted today by Richard North on his EUReferendum blog in response to Charles Moore’s statement that “The EU has never yet, in its history, had a trade deal with America”. In fact, there are apparently more than twenty important trade agreements between the US and the EU, all of which we would continue with following a fervently hoped Brexit decision, so that trade would not be disrupted.

  36. acorn
    April 25, 2016

    At my time of writing, the word “trade” has been used 51 times on this site. You get the impression that the UK would shrivel and die, without a “trade agreement” outside the EU, with somebody, anybody.

    A good trade agreement allows a country to export its unemployment to some other country. If we did not buy all them BMW, then a lot of Germans would be unemployed. So, the UK is importing Germany’s potential unemployment, in exchange for a bag full of Pounds Sterling. The Germans will have to find something to do with all those Pounds. Inner London property, that will do nicely thank-you. How about a nice 100 year old Steel works (expletive answer deleted).

    If a foreign country has something you need desperately; and, you think you have something that foreign country wants to fulfil its new middle class desire for imports, then you need a “trade agreement” for a little bit of bi-lateral “win-win”.

    PS etc ed

    1. acorn
      April 25, 2016

      “Now is the winter of our discontent” (Dick Three).

      Things ain’t looking good for Osborn-e-conomics! His big problem is the non-government sector, is reluctant to let him have his money back via taxation. All you buggers out there, keep hanging on to what he calls “units of account”, that is what you call “money”. The little people are maxing out their credit cards to help Osbo’ out … suckers.

      Anyway, it is time you understood the difference between PSNB; PSND and PSNCR. The following is ONS / Treasury, first shot at 2015/16 Fiscal Accounts. I may be asking questions so stay awake.

  37. Colin Hart
    April 25, 2016

    It is not clear how desirable any free trade deal with the US would be. From everything one hears about the TTIP being stitched up behind closed doors, it sounds as though US corporations and lawyers will be the major beneficiaries. Our own and Europe’s ‘leaders’ are suspiciously silent about the benefits we will get from it.

    It was interesting in his BBC interview that Obama let slip that negotiating a treaty was one thing, ratifying it quite another. I suspect he is anticipating a rough ride from Congress who will have to approve the TIPP treaty.

    It would be interesting to who’ll be doing the ratifying on this side of the Atlantic – the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament…I suppose there is just a chance of a debate in Westminster.

    April 25, 2016

    Purdah…Why prior to the formal LEAVE and Remain Campaigns did Parliament take up so much valuable time discussing PURDAH in regard to the Referendum on LEAVING the EU?
    When does it start? It is no satirical point or even an attempt.

    I believe the SNP held a demonstration right in front of the BBC Headquarters in Scotland because of what they considered total bias. I’m not sure whether it was unprecedented in the history of the United Kingdom for such large numbers of people to lay siege to a State News Agency questioning the fundamentals of news output. It happened in East Germany.
    Judging by The Rt Hon Alex Salmond’s contributions and warnings regarding “PURDAH” , it would seem he was right, though it grieves as a non-Scot/ non-separatist to admit it. But give him his due.

    April 25, 2016

    Why does everyone keep talking about the Single Market,we don’t want this only free trade which takes us away from open borders etc.
    The remainians also keep talking about the 500+ millions in the EU.Why does Vote Leave not mention the 6.5 billion people that we would have the opportunity to deal with even if the EU become awkward as aggressive with the U.K?
    I feel that Vote Leave have to become more aggressive in their speeches,in the press,social media and television to get the salient points across and finally why do the leavers not ask the remainians what the EU will be like should we decide to remain in the club.

  40. BOF
    April 25, 2016

    We have no trade agreement with the USA now but are trading very successfully. Times change, circumstances change and ideas change, so flexibility can be maintained . A signed agreement can be a disadvantage to one or other of the parties when the unexpected happens. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  41. Margaret
    April 25, 2016

    Perhaps we ought to be questioning and examining Obamas real motives . His press is reported as saying he will always act in Americas best interests. Perhaps we ought to look at the oil pipeline which runs through Syria as we ask ourselves why there is limited interest in controlling Assad.
    Why did he make such a move to Europe to keep the EU as it is ? Why does he think that America should lead on the world stage? His motives are influencing our leaders .

  42. Monty
    April 25, 2016

    Sorry to post off-topic, but I’m somewhat baffled by today’s intervention by the Home Sec. She is advocating that we should cancel our adherence to the European Convention of Human Rights, and seems to be proposing that as some sort of alternative to Brexit.
    But the Convention, and the Court of Human Rights, are instruments of the Council of Europe are they not? Surely defaulting on our responsibilities to the Council of Europe would cancel our membership of both the Council and by extension the EU?

    1. bluedog
      April 26, 2016

      Perhaps Mrs May has had a minor epiphany and thought about the consequences of being a member of Cameron’s cabinet after a vote in favour of Brexit. If Kenneth Clarke is right for once and if Cameron lasted just 30 seconds as PM after Brexit wins, what price the rest of his team? Every girl has her price and it seems to this writer that Mrs May has metaphorically dropped her handkerchief to see who picks it up, with expectations of an attractive offer. The details of Mrs May’s observations are a second order matter. What counts is that she appears to have stepped out of line.

    2. Qubus
      April 26, 2016

      I would have thought that the ECJ would have been more appropriate.

    3. Chris
      April 26, 2016

      I am afraid T May seems to be ignorant of EU law and procedures, like many UK politicians.
      See R North’s eureferendum blog which details the structures/organisations involved very clearly. What she said was a non starter. To achieve what Theresa May wants we would have to leave the EU.

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