A visit to the continent

I spent the week-end in the Netherlands. It was a pleasure to visit the EU now we have decided to leave. I no longer went fearing I would need to explain why we are dragging heels on joining the Euro, not accepting Schengen and not joining them in their political union. I would have no more self imposed moral obligation to state if asked why I thought the Euro scheme was a prime  generator of mass unemployment and political tensions. Now we are leaving we are no longer to blame for anything that goes wrong, no longer under some requirement to try and argue for a different route, no longer having to try to stop all sorts of changes we do not want which we judge to be against Europe’s wider interest. As good visitors we should wish them well and regard these things as their matters.

So I was relaxed and able to enjoy the continent more than when we were committed. Even better news was I found my Dutch hosts were great. They treated me as a friend, ally and of course as a valued customer. No-one mentioned Brexit. They were all charming, keen to make my stay comfortable, and willing to share their culture and cuisine with a friendly neighbour. I saw if anything an improved relationship. This was a private visit as a tourist.

I also had some surprises. Throughout my stay I did not see a single twelve stars EU flag. I was ready for it. Once again, now we are leaving, the flag does not worry me. It used to, as it was for me a symbol of our loss  of democratic self government. Now it is the flag of our continental friends. Its absence was curious. There were plenty of flags on display. They mainly proudly flew the Dutch flag from the public buildings, the tourist kiosks and the boats, interspersed with some City flags.

It was also curious in the museums I visited which traced the history of the Netherlands through into the present century I saw no mention of their commitment to the EU or the impact it was having on their lives. I am not drawing any conclusions from any of this.  I am at a loss to know why it is so.

I did find their presentation of their national story fascinating, and will talk more of it tomorrow. The recently refurbished Rijks Museum is beautifully done, and provides a stylish  backdrop to Rembrandt’s fine paintings and many other great works of art. The take away was we should get along fine once we have sorted out our new relationship with the EU.

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  1. Nig l
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Amsterdam is indeed a fine city having been there myself only two weeks ago. Building on your theme, I was in SW France for two months during Brexit and without exception, the French and a few Spanish people I spoke to were jealous of what we had done. They are of course basque so fiercely independent and waiting to see what the Catalans achieve before making their move, but the thread was a total distaste of the ‘androgynous’ big State direction, with no acknowledgement of regional differences,that Junkers is taking the EC. This in turn fuels a contempt for their (all) politicians and a belief their governments are corrupt.

    You might like to comment at some time whether you think this is widespread and could foment the ultimate splintering if the project.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed dislike of the incompetence or the EU institutions is widespread in across the whole of the EU and rightly so.

      BBC favourite Chuka Umunna on radio 4 this morning with the remainers very silly argument of “why do we want an Australian style points system when they get more immigration per head than we do”. Chuka must be rather slow on the uptake. Points based systems can be designed to give the outcome you want to achieve. No one said we would use the exact Australian points system, as that would clearly be absurd for the UK’s different needs. Could the man not grow up a little, how stupid does he think people are?

      But what is this and what does it mean?


      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        I found Amsterdam is a very pleasant place to visit for short breaks and at any time of year, unless you get stuck in airport fog that is.

        Did not some of the mad remainers and project fear not suggest we would even find it much harder even to go on holidays in the EU? Before they went one further and decided to pin the blame for the murder of Jo Cox on the leavers?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        According to the Telegraph today:

        May to block Boris Johnson’s plans for points-based migration
        May will not rule out preferential treatment for EU citizens

        So it seems she want to keep to a racist immigration system – EU good US, Canada, India, China, Australia all bad. Why? We should surely take the best from anywhere as needed

        • Hope
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          She was in charge of the mass immigration for the last seven years and has the worst record in history! How anyone can take her view seriously on this issue is beyond me. She is an EU remainers and will strive for the five presidents report of associated membership. This is NOT what we voted for, again how she has the bare faced cheek to state we voted for some watered down version is pure dishonesty.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      ‘Spanish people I spoke to were jealous of what we had done. They are of course basque so fiercely independent’

      – The Spanish Conservative PM Senor Rajoy is really angry with the UK as he sees Brexit destabilises the union of Spain. He could get extremely difficult when it comes to Gibraltar (and this could perhaps encourage Argentina to get difficult again with the Falkland Islands, certainly though, Gibraltar is going to be a real problem, and we’re going to have problems with the border in N. Ireland and Nicola Sturgeon is going to use Brexit to bash Westminster with taking up government’s time and energy).

      • Hope
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Spain ruled most of the northern area of South America, hardly worth listening to Spain preaching to others about land grand squabbles.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        It sounds like you would rather like him to get extremely difficult when it comes to Gibraltar and likewise Argentina with the Falklands.At least you didn’t refer to the latter as Las Malvinas.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 7, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          ‘It sounds like you would rather like him to get extremely difficult when it comes to Gibraltar’

          – Oh come on ..

          I don’t want Brexiteers opening up a Pandora Boxes of problems all over the place – problems or the unintended consequences of Brexit.

          I believe in strong reform of the EU. Of the UK taking control of the EU. So that we enjoy the benefits of the EU whilst being able to enjoy the benefits of excellent trade links with countries outside Europe as well (and there are also many British companies doing really well outside the EU anyway – in other words, it’s a myth that somehow the EU blocks UK trade with the world outside the EU).

          Reply Why should the rest let the UK take control? Didn’t Mr Cameron try some very modest reforms, and get rebuffed a most of them?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            ‘Why should the rest let the UK take control? Didn’t Mr Cameron try some very modest reforms, and get rebuffed a most of them?’

            – Mr Cameron had no plan to take control. Just get concessions (very different). Just as he had no plan over Brexit. He was just rolling the dice with the referendum, thinking he’d win. When:
            – country at moment can’t afford to take risk in leaving the EU (maybe in few years, but not now). We’ve currently got a massive national debt to pay off.
            His main misguided goal of holding the referendum was to put the eurosceptics in the Tory and Ukip parties ‘back in their boxes.’

            I don’t want to knock Mr Cameron too much. He and Mr Osborne did a great job in getting our economy under control when it went through quite a dangerous period a few years ago. And must also be congratulated for the relative success of the coalition.

            But so far, the Brexiteers leading the negotiating table appear, in the words of Michael O’Leary like ‘headless chickens’. No idea, no consensus what Brexit means. Whilst the Japanese present us with ultimatums, with China and the USA in the background saying similar things. Lastly, then we get comments from the the Telegraph’s International Business Editor warning that we’re in the Phoney War stage of Brexit and the economy at moment doesn’t truly reflect what Brexit might really be like once we start leaving and rolling things out, and trying to negotiate trade deals etc .. And many Breixteers scoff at comments such as these as if the UK can handle crisis and any trade war whoever it is, and from wherever it is in the world.

            It’s like the country has taken leave of its senses. And as a historian I’ve come across this thing many times – South Sea Bubble being one. But many other cases in many countries throughout history. A kind of over-confidence in our own abilities (i mean we’re human beings not supermen) whilst denigrating other countries in an aggressive, standoffish way.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            ‘and get rebuffed a most of them?’

            – and you don’t allow yourself to get ‘rebuffed.’ You fight!

    • Hope
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      May is already lying that we voted for “some control” over movement of people. We did not. We voted for absolute control. JR, herein lies your problem with May being PM. She is already conditioning the public and showing her hand to the EU. In contrast she says she cannot comment on other issues as it would show her hand.

      Oh dear, if this is not a huge backtrack on Brexit I do not know what is. We do not want single market for some control over our borders, perhaps May needs it spelt out in slow clear words. This is why I suspect project fear continues. To convince us we need EU light. May was your party’s way of ignoring the public.nthe plan B to keep the UK in the EU.

      Merkel is starting to get what she deserves.

      BTW turn the boats around and stop encouraging them to trave to Europe.

  2. Mick
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Looks like your boss is going to try and water down Brexit, on her head be it I voted to leave no if’s no but’s LEAVE what part of leave doesn’t Mrs May understand, I can only hope that her MP’s turn against her get her out and put in a PM that will get us out of the eu club

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Dear Mick–Yes, she will be forever tainted by having been in favour of Remain and now one reads that she gets that the people want “more control” over immigration. To Hell with that: we had no control re Europe and more of that is meaningless and nowhere near the ordinary straightforward border most of us want. That said, Farage, though equally doubtful, says he is, reluctantly, giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      This is what happens, she questions whether one possible system of control of immigration that was mooted by some Leave campaigners would be the best, and some sections of the media blow that up into a developing decision to retain the present unlimited and uncontrolled immigration from the EU. Not just the Express, but on the other side the Guardian.

      Personally I see it as a subsidiary matter exactly what system we have and indeed what quantity and quality of immigration we have, provided that we regain total control of our immigration policy and can actually make those decisions.

      If we found that elected representatives in our sovereign Parliament were still being told that a proposed amendment to an immigration Bill would be “illegal” (as the parts of the media put it) or “in breach of our treaty obligations” (as Theresa May would put it) then that would not be acceptable.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      @Mick; No, she is being realistic, wanting what will work. Perhaps have you not noticed, Australia has both a points based immigration system and an illegal migrant problem, although admittedly they do try and hide the latter issue off-shore, so to speak…

      Anyway, what is the difference between a points based immigration system and a work-permit system, if anything a permit system is stronger, assuming it does what it says in the tin!

      • Hugh Rose
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        …but what she said merely gives support to the ‘Remainers’! She was/is one of course.

        There has to be some sort of system to judge whether an applicant is a desirable immigrant (resident or worker) and the best way is a “points system” with points for various desired characteristics and red lines for undesirable one such as criminality /inability to support themselves.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it clearly has to be some sort of points, merits, credits and something. What else is she proposing a lottery, darts or something? Does she not want to take the best candidates? If she does want the best how else is she going to decide which they are?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            Dear Lifelogic–I had rather thought that somebody would be saying that such a ‘desirability’ based system would somehow be “illegal”: brotherhood of man and all that. When I was sent to America for a three-year “tour of duty” I was allowed in (after an error in my Visa was corrected) because the American Bank I worked for wanted me to go on a Credit Training Course at Head Office. That would be my idea of a valid reason with nary a point in sight. I have trouble with the references one reads about to Australia — a huge place with a continent’s space to fill so it is not hard to believe that they really do want and need more people and that (presumably) they set their points system accordingly. Very very different for us. Apart from all else I don’t like seeing our lovely villages visually and otherwise ruined by all the new little-boxes housing estates. John would not print what I really think, but I wonder if he has read any speeches by Mrs May’s hero Joseph Chamberlain, in particular his references to the “British Race”.

        • Hope
          Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          May having the worst record in history for mass immigration and lost illegal immigrants to the system is hardly a person of authority on the subject. She is a Europhile who wanted mass immigration, there is no possible over explanation with her record. So is this first of many EU light measures we are to expect.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            @LL; There is a good Matt cartoon in the DT online edition, not sure if you will approve of it though as it is being very critical of a ‘points’ based system, it shows two immigrants about to play table tennis, whilst an immigration officer is saying ‘Ready? The first to 2i points gets into the country’….

            @Hope; Thanks for confirming, by way of your unwarranted attack on Mrs May [1], rather than having a valid argument as to why an as yet unspecified ‘points’ based system would be better -other than such a system was part of the UKIP manifesto and wider Brexit campaign, but then the latter campaign also told us all that there would be £350m pw extra funding for the NHS but I don’t here people like yourself attacking our host and others when they now try and claim that the message on the said of that battle-bus didn’t say what it clearly did. Those who supported Brexit, campaigned for it, can U-turn when-ever they wish but others can not, or so it seems…

            [1] any number of ‘Brexiteers’ could have been in charge at the Home Office and they too would have been constrained by the same EU law as May was, and indeed still is until we actually leave the EU

          • Iain gill
            Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Correct it is may who printed vast numbers of intra company transfer visas for mostly Indian nationals to come and work, and printed vast numbers of indefinite leave to remain visas for simply working here a while.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 7, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            @Iain gill; The problem is that until, as a nation, we face up to why so many people are being actively recruited from abroad to work in the UK by UK based/owned companies there is no way any government can restrict such work-permits etc. without risk of damage to the competitiveness of our own economy as positions go unfilled etc.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          @Hugh Rose; Rubbish, the same problems can exist in a points system if badly designed and/or run.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        At least it treats all applicants the same wherever they come from.
        Our current system does not.
        And until we leave the EU we cannot do what Australia can do as an independent nation which is to decide on an annual limit of immigrants.
        Points or permits or visas it doesn’t make much difference if you have no ability to control numbers from the EU

    • Ronald Olden
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Mick…Mrs May is not Mr Redwood’s ‘Boss’. Constitutionally speaking, the Queen is.

      Politically speaking however, Mr Redwood is one of Mrs May’s bosses. Mrs May is Prime Minister because she has the support of the Parliamentary Party.

      Mr Redwood’s bosses are his Constituents.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        But didn’t the majority of Mr Redwood’s constituents (his bosses) vote Remain ?

        Reply The results were not declared by constituency

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          But a large majority voted for him to be their MP knowing that he would vote for a national, not local, referendum on EU membership.

    • JohnF
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      LEAVE means NO freedom of movement. It doesn’t mean NO immigration.

      • Ronald Olden
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        JohnF. Brexit might not mean ‘no freedom of movement’ either. Freedom of movement has existed between Ireland and the UK since long before we joined the EU.

        When the time comes we might be content to extend that privilege to some of the existing EU States but not to others. Freedom of Movement didn’t become an issue until the East Europeans joined the EU.

        What we must be strict on however is a complete ban of Freedom to come and claim benefits and Social Housing.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          There was little concern until the 2004 enlargement. No doubt there were some who were strongly against the very idea of citizens of other EU countries having the automatic right to come and live and work and settle down to raise families here, but most people either welcomed it or tolerated it. Supporters of the EU have in fact been brought down by their own hubris as much as by anything else.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          @Ronald Olden; “Freedom of Movement didn’t become an issue until the East Europeans joined the EU.”

          Oh yes it was, for those without an unquestionable claim to a UK passport, in other words, by the 1990s, such as those from the island of Ireland. It was just that those who objected were a little more tolerant of those from certain Europeans and Commonwealth nations.

          “What we must be strict on however is a complete ban of Freedom to come and claim benefits and Social Housing.”

          Some people also said that back in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s too….

          • Edward2
            Posted September 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            However numbers which for the years up to 2000 were in the tens of thousand per annum went up to hundreds of thousands per annum.
            This coincided with the rapid increase in the number of nations joining the EU and of course immigration policy decis ions made by Labour.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You need to look back further than even 1973 and our entry into the old EEC, never mind just the 1990s, ‘immigration’ has always been a bone of contention in the UK, we loved colonising (or emigrating to) other countries but we have not always been very welcoming of migrant flows in the opposite direction…

            Many of the same basic arguments against immigration, made today in relation to EU migrants, were made in the past, Commonwealth migrants etc. were (along with blatant racism) often accused of taking jobs that the UK born and breed complaint believed his by rights, that migrants were depressing take-home pay, that migrants were the cause of the housing shortage or house price/rent inflation etc.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      I certainly voted and campaigned for Brexit but not contingent on any of the ill-thought out post Brexit options floated at the time. According to the DT:

      “A Downing Street spokesman said: “One of the opportunities of Brexit is that we will be able to control the number of people coming to Britain from the EU.

      “The precise way in which the Government will control the movement of EU nationals to Britain after Brexit is yet to be determined. However, as the PM has said many times in the past, a PBS will not work and is not an option.

      “When Labour introduced a PBS, the numbers went straight up. In Australia, they have a PBS, and they have higher immigration per capita than Britain. A PBS would give foreign nationals the right to come to Britain if they meet certain criteria: an immigration system that works for Britain would ensure that the right to decide who comes to the country resides with the Government.””

      The PBS introduced in Australia was intended to increase third world immigration and multi-culturalise it just like Labour’s here. We do not need an influx of foreigners per se, we are already full; we should be under no obligation to admit anyone for any reason whatsoever, including for ‘political asylum’. That we should wish to offend our nearest neighbours by telling them that they need to take their place in the queue behind those with whom neither we nor they have any shared cultural is both offensive and absurd.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


    • Graham
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I too think the whitewashing process is underway and I still fear that progress will be so slow that the Remainers will be allowed to re-group..

      Hope I’m wrong

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        The very powerful forces of remain are indeed re-grouping, the BBC is clearly firmly on their side, as can be seen by the line they take (and the people “experts” they invite on every single day).

        I fear Mrs May is still one of them. Perhaps I am wrong, I hope so, but I see little sign that she is not yet another wrong’un like Cameron. Surely anyone who can very recently blithely mislead the nation’s voters in the referendum that we had control of our borders through Schengen is either a liar or a complete fool? I can see few other explanations.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Dear Lifelogic–To think we are where we are solely because that clever fellow Gove decided to knife Boris in the back at the last moment. Personally I preferred the smoke filled rooms and a pox on voting. In a smoke filled room I take it as a given that there would have formed a rapid consensus that the new leader had to have campaigned to Leave and they would have been right.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Indeed the foolish Gove cost me quite a lot on my Boris for leader bet, but rather less than I won on my Brexit wager.

      • Ronald Olden
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Graham and others. Britain is leaving the EU. The question is what relationship with the EU and each member state exists after. There are any number of possibilities

        There’s no need to get hung up on this ‘points based system’. One of the worries about it is that it might actually result in more immigration not less. At the moment it’s difficult for non EU migrants to come here. A points based system might open the door to large numbers of people from China Russia India Africa and South America.

        I voted to Leave the EU. I did not Vote specifically for a points based system or for anything else. I voted for the UK to be able to choose what’s best for us.

        All options for trade, immigration etc are now an the table. But we are leaving the EU. That cannot be watered down. Once Article 50 is invoked, we are going. But what replaces the EU as our basis for relations with Europe remains to be seen.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        So now Theresa tells us that a points based system means that if people reach the points threshold they are “automatically allowed in” and so it does not give the UK enough control.

        What complete and utter tosh. It all depends on the design of the points system, power would always rest with the government to change it anyway. Reaching the point threshold might anyway only give the right to be considered depending on the demand for that kind of workers or any other factors.

        Mrs May clearly does think the public are very stupid indeed. This after her we have control of our borders through Schengen lie. So what exactly is she proposing? You can call them points, marks, merits, cucumbers or even yaks but it has to be some sort of points system to ensure we get only the best and just the people we need. Surely even a geography graduate can see this?

    • stred
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps she should tell Mr Turnbull that his Australian system doesn’t work while they are in China.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        It is not an “Australian” points system that was proposed, just a points system designed for the UK’s needs. What else is proposed by Theresa? A lottery perhaps.

        Then again a lottery for selecting MPs would probably improve the quality of governance (given the many career politicians, the politics of envy pedlars. expense fiddlers or worse).

        With rather a few exceptions, someone seeking a career in politics has probably already shown themselves to be entirely unsuitable.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    The Dutch don’t attach so much importance to their own flag, nor to the EU flag, which was negotiated out of the defeated constitutional treaty before it became the Lisbon treaty. Their show of patriotism or togetherness would be the colour orange, and even though the Netherlands still beats team GB in Rio’s “medals per capita” there has been very little reason to dress up in orange for the millionaires’ sport called soccer, lately.
    When taking a little distance, the Dutch will see Brexit as a step in a longer process:
    After twice applying and joining the European integration project in 1973 (the 1957 Treaty of Rome), the UK’s second thoughts appeared, which led to gradual disentanglement: opt-out from Schengen free travel (1985, 1997), opt-out from the Economic and Monetary Union (1992), opt-out from charter of fundamental rights (2007), opt-out from most judicial and police cooperation (1997, 2014). Brexit is the next step in disentanglement.
    Not to worry, there will always be trade, also between Britain and the Netherlands.
    In a more lighthearted explanation, some Dutch will see Brexit as Mr. Humprey’s failure in ‘Yes Minister’: Breaking up the EEC from the outside didn’t work, disuniting the EU from the inside (pig’s breakfast) didn’t succeed, so time now to not admit defeat but make a heroic exit: “independence!”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Well, it was more that Merkel realised that the article on the symbols of the Union was too provocative, and its removal was one of the very few changes that she had made to the legal contents of the EU Constitution when they were decanted into the Lisbon Treaty. But then sixteen countries – not including the Netherlands – agreed to reinstate it at a non-binding level in Declaration 52:

      “Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic declare that the flag with a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background, the anthem based on the “Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, the motto “United in diversity”, the euro as the currency of the European Union and Europe Day on 9 May will for them continue as symbols to
      express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it.”

      Except for a very small euro fanatical minority people in the UK don’t really want any of that, apart from the Beethoven provided it can decontaminated.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        @Denis: Viewed from largely mono-lingual Britain, developments only seem to revolve around Merkel or Hollande, but the continental reality is and was much more complicated. That said, you are right about this non-binding declaration.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Peter I can see your petticoat.
      My French work colleague mirrors more or less precisely what John is saying.
      We have been friends for over 30 years and in the 80s he was a rabid Europhile but the change is astonishing.
      He has a 32 year old son who is highly qualified but can’t get work which he blames on the Euro.
      He says we have made a tremendous decision and wishes the French would unite under Le Penn.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg: I know similar cases, also among friends, but they don’t represent any majority here (neither do I 🙂 )

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Our intention was never to break up the EU.

      The vast majority of UK politicians want it to work and want for us to remain.

      The Brexit result was a revolt by the people against the UK establishment (and the BBC) as much as anything else. In fact MORE than anything else.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      There are plenty of Dutch flags and orange T shirts at sporting events.

      Just look at the TV coverage of every European Formula 1 race where thousands dressed in orange turn up to support young Verstappen, an 18yr old sensation.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        @ChrisS: No lack of orange in some sports, but currently not in soccer, that is what I meant to say.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      A few years back we enjoyed a canal boat based holiday which happened to coincide with your national day. In the town where we were moored everyone seemed to be dressed in orange and the buildings were decked out with orange bunting. The mayor addressed the town folk, bands played, children paraded, balloons were released, the main street was thronged and a great time was had by all – including us. Our sense was that the Dutch national identity was alive and well.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        @oldtimer: I would agree, even though we go through the same (populist and xenophobic) turmoil that can be seen in many countries. I’d say though that my wife attaches more to the union jack than I attach to the Dutch 3 color flag (only to be used on 4th and 5th May and the King’s birthday)

    • acorn
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The Netherlands is still our third largest trade counterparty at 7.2% of our exports, £26 billion; and 7.6% of our imports, £39 billion.

      I hear Mrs May wants to put Australia as top of our list for a trade agreement! The UK does less than a net 0.6% trade with that country.

      But the best bit of the Netherlands is “The Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich”. Particularly if you are a trans-nation corporation trying to avoid taxation.

      This is a “tax avoidance technique employed by certain large corporations, involving the use of a combination of Irish and Dutch subsidiary companies to shift profits to low or no tax jurisdictions. The double Irish with a Dutch sandwich technique involves sending profits first through one Irish company, then to a Dutch company and finally to a second Irish company headquartered in a tax haven. This technique has allowed certain corporations to reduce their overall corporate tax rates dramatically.” (Investopedia)

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        @acorn: That why there will always be trade between the Netherlands and Britian. Luckily, the clever fiscal creations are now being scrutinized and will hopefully lead to fairer tax payments. Apple paying 0.005% tax is a bit on the low side, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        “The UK does less than a net 0.6% trade with that country”

        Plenty of scope for expanding it then.

    • Graham
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the politburo update report which contains nothing useful to man whatsoever.

      Can you revert to annual updates.

    • James Matthews
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      It would be interesting to know how many Dutch people you speak for Peter. Perhaps you might one day – I don’t know – have a referendum or something like that. so the we, and more importantly you, could find out.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        @James Matthews: and I take it you represent the large majority of British people? 🙂 🙂

    • Richard1
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I think you highlight the central contradiction of UK membership of the EU: the pretence that the UK could be in the EU and not be at some point sucked into the core ideology of the EU which is common government as evidenced by policies such as the euro and uncontrolled immigration. Perhaps it is therefore better for both sides we are out. It is interesting that whilst there is general disquiet at Brexit from the likes of Obama, its very difficult to find external expert opinion to defend the EU’s core policies. eg the left wing US economist Joseph Stiglitz has just published a book setting out why the euro is necessarily a disaster (although his solution of a south euro and a north euro would just seem to postpone and shove the problem around).

      The conclusion must be that the EU is an ideology which doesn’t admit for internal dissent. Quite why there shouldn’t be a free trade arrangement between the EU and another country – such as the UK – unless that other country also joins the ideology beats me. It isn’t required in free trade arrangements anywhere else in the world.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: Of course there can be free trade agreements and there are many with the EU!
        It is just not the same as being a member of a single market.
        Look at wikipedia on EFTA (all about free trade), scroll to the bottom and see an interactive graphic showing you all the variety of cooperation (internal dissent – if that is your prefered term). WHen I heard Joseph Stiglitz (via internet), a split in the euro was not the only possible medicine he suggested.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        Oh, it’s just a “club” … no, actually it’s more like a “cult”.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      ‘opt-out from Schengen free travel (1985, 1997), opt-out from the Economic and Monetary Union (1992), opt-out from charter of fundamental rights (2007), opt-out from most judicial and police cooperation (1997, 2014).’

      I wonder could you tell us all when you had Referendums on all of the above and the majorities obtained for each.

      ‘Brexit is the next step in disentanglement’. It is actually the reestablishment of Parliamentary Sovereignty, bringing back control of matters which should never have been given up and for which there was never authority to give up control.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        Neither Britain nor the Netherlands have (had) referendums about these developments. Referendums are no healthy substitute for representative democracy.

  4. Mark B
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I am glad to hear our kind host had a pleasant trip. I googled pictures of the museum he mentions, I’ll add that to my, “things to do and places to visit list” – thanks.

    Did you see PvL ? If so, how is he ? 😉

    Strangely I am ambivalent about the EU or any flag (see below for a curious fact) but have a very strong reaction against being regarded as an, EU Citizen as on my passport. To be termed as such is a statement of ownership and one I vociferously reject.

    One of the things I am really looking forward to post BREXIT is getting a new passport and driving licence without, EU Citizen or the EU flag.

    Curious fact: It is not just the flag of the EU. In fact, the EU, much like much else about it, stole the design from here:


    • Sean
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      It’s a boring dull flag, unlike our British union flag, Bright like the people, colour full and interesting.

      Long live Brexit, if ever May delivers her promise of not watering down Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed let us get back to those nice blue passports and a driving licence and number plates with no mention of the dire EU. Perhaps even we could be allow to buy a pound or two of decent British apples as the season starts (should this suit both buyer and seller) what business has the state got to intervene in such things?

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    It is infuriating when PMs, Mrs May now included, choose to announce policies to the press (when travelling to China in this case) rather than in parliament and (I’m guessing) with no prior cabinet discussion or agreement on what is going to be said. Of course this may be deliberate simply to provoke the Brexit ministers into eventually resigning (the Matthew Parris masterplan). Hopeless.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      If Matthew Paris is behind a plan it is bound to be a disaster. He can occasionally be amusing but he is wrong on almost every issue. Another wet, lefty Libdim rather like Cameron, why are there so many in the Tory party?

      Where does one go to read this master plan?

      • rose
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        And yet he was the first person to publicly question the Geneva Convention as applied to asylum seekers, arguing we should end up giving asylum to every woman, child, and homosexual in the Third World. (He didn’t forsee that it would be overwhelmingly young fit men who would be arriving en masse.) He did that decades ago, arguing it couldn’t be sustained, and we would have to admit it. Possibly in his old age he might not be so rational as then.

  6. Latimer Alder
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I travelled recently in France and Ireland. There were no Euroflags (‘Star Spangled Sphincters’) on display in those countries either.

    The EU’s hold over the imaginations of the people of EUland (if it was ever truly there) is slipping fast.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      ‘The EU’s hold over the imaginations of the people of EUland (if it was ever truly there) is slipping fast’

      – You’re missing the point. Most Europeans have never thought that much about the EU. It’s only important to them when they have to make an important decision about their country’s future or something. Unlike many more of us here in the UK who seemed obsessed by the EU (in a negative sense).

    • LittleBlackCensored
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      In France the EU flag flies alongside the tricolour outside every Mairie, or so it seemed to me when I was there.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Also in the Netherlands, but not enforced, it is decided at local level.

  7. formula57
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    That the UK will be “no longer having to try to stop all sorts of changes we do not want which we judge to be against Europe’s wider interest” is an important point surely for I am sure the UK’s past stance has often harmed relations with EU member states.

    It was notable that no other member states showed much support for nor any wish to join in Mr. Cameron’s renegotiation and it has been a surprise to hear from some, like the Visegrad group (and (from private sources post the Apple ruling) Ireland), that they will miss the lead the UK often took.

    Nonetheless, with regard to all the various reforms and adjustments etc. that the EU will make in future, it is surely right too that “As good visitors we should wish them well and regard these things as their matters”. That must include standing aloof whilst Europe participates in the forthcoming wars that Mr. Cameron promised during the referendum.

  8. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink


    And I am at a loss to know why your gracious Dutch hosts didn’t ask you what the reasons are for the UK to be dragging its heels over leaving the EU.

  9. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink


    We should discover shortly if we have another “iron lady” residing at 10 Downing Street. The tests will be whether or not the Prime Minister caves in to differing pressures from China and Japan.

    The Obama “back of the trading queue” threat can be ignored as mercifully we will see the back of the most useless US president since World War II before the end of January 2017.

  10. David Cockburn
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    It sounds as if you visited the Ship Museum in Amsterdam . I was very interested to see there how the Dutch pictured their history. There was a clear effort to discuss whaling, slavery and colonialism in a positive fashion. It seems they are rightly making a big effort to engender patriotism in their large immigrant population.
    Should we not be doing the same here?

  11. Excalibur
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    In the meantime the subversive press continues to undermine the democratic process. Theresa May says she does not support the Foreign Secretary’s proposals of a points based immigration system. Once more, the dialogue of what cannot be done rather than what can be done.
    The options to me are quite straightforward. Scrap Hinkley Point, scrap HS2. Salve the irritation of the Chinese by allowing them to construct Boris Island. They would have it up and running in two years. A giant step forward for a renewed Britain grasping its opportunities and taking its leading place in the world.

  12. Dee
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    So no reference to the Japanese ‘ultimatum’ from any of you? All mouth and no trousers.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Thinking about Mr Cameron’s legacy again. The reason he is so disliked is surely due to his dishonesty. He only got the job of leading the Tories by pretending to be an EUskeptic, with his cast iron promise, a low tax at heart Conservative yet he was not of these things. All the time he was a wet, lefty, tax borrow and piss down the drain, EUphile Libdem like Clegg. One who was very bad at selecting Chancellors or BBC chair of trustees.

    I do not dislike Clegg anything like as much, I just think he is profoundly misguided as do the public it seems from the last election result. But at least Clegg was fairly honest about what he was and where he stood.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Let this be a lesson to “Brexit means Brexit” Theresa, she is already showing some worrying signs of being another similar disaster.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes, also worrying that we had a Chancellor and BOE Governor who both got the aftermath of the vote horribly wrong, or were more likely perfectly knowledgeable about the outcome, but backing their large Corporate/ Big Bank mates’ postitions.

      The problem is that one is still in place. The other is hopefully hiding his head in shame.

      What’ll you do now, Carney, print more money because the economy is reeling so badly? When won’t it be too early to say?

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    A contrasting perspective here:


    “The leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, struck a chord last week when he said that as a result of the Brexit vote, Britain had become a laughing stock abroad.

    He is quite right. I myself have been receiving baffled inquiries from friends overseas. And on two recent trips to get away from it all – to Crete and Provence, since you ask – we could not escape. Everyone we encountered – yes, everyone – asked why this country had taken leave of its senses.

    It is no good people saying we Remainers, or “Brits-in” as an acquaintance terms us, should shut up, accept that “the people have spoken” and get on with it. This is the biggest crisis to erupt in my working life, and the implications are far too daunting to be taken lying down.”

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Your comment confused me Denis Cooper, I take it there are now two Denis Cooper’s posting on this blog, sometimes this is why a unique identity is better than using common use name. Perhaps you could put a picture in your identity box of an IN supporter so we know which Denis we are reading.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you could study the use of quotation marks!

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 7, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink


  15. S. Ian
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    As a Dutch citizen (and a British subject) I’m happy you enjoyed your visit to my adopted country. The rebuilt Rijksmuseum is splendid indeed.

    Though the Dutch do have a strong euro-skeptic streak they generally regard the Brexit result with bemusement, concern and some sadness. It is telling that the only voices calling for a Nexit, namely the alt-right demagogue Geert Wilders and his fellow travelers, have gone remarkably quiet having initially welcomed the result with jubilation. In a country of Anglophiles few think the UK has made a wise choice. If anything support for the EU has risen, with attention moving from grumbling about Brussels to a debate on how to save and strengthen the EU.

    The UK and the Netherlands will doubtless remain friends after Brexit, though it may be a little strained at times.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Why should Netherlands/UK relations be ‘strained’ ?? All we have done is said we do not wish to remain in the EU, a club that actually some members never wanted us to join in the first place. I have been appalled at the hostility that has come from some at this perfectly sensible decision by our people. But what sort of a ‘club’ is it that has to discourage nations from leaving ?

      The reality is we should never, ever have joined in the first place. Not only was this bad for us but it has been bad for the rest of the EU. The Continentals should offer friendship and free trade and allow us to do our own thing as we have for 2000 years.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        It’s a “cult”!

  16. Anonymous
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I used to enjoy visiting Europe. The last place I went to looked a lot more like a failing African state than it did Europe. (Milan)

    We are not having a points system – a key reason why people voted for Brexit.

    Goodbye Britain.

  17. amelinixon
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Ok if you are not interested in what I have to say then you can hardly expect me to continue reading your Twitter entries. Shame, quite liked what you had to say even though I disagreed sometimes BYE : /

  18. ChrisS
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I’m writing this from a hotel in Bad Bellingen, just across the Rhine from Mulhouse. This is my second trip to the EU since our Brexit vote and my experience has been the same as our host.

    In the area around Mulhouse and given the history of the area, one would expect lots of EU flags but we have seen none on the German side of the river. Perhaps things will be different across the river when we visit the Schlumfp collection today ?

    As for the Netherlands, it would be hard to see the people voting to follow us out given their close economic ties with Germany. For a very small country adjacent to the largest and most prosperous one in the EU, the loss of sovereignty is, at best, an inevitable price to pay for prosperity and their economy is hipumming along in a way the French can only dream about ! If I were Dutch, I would be pushing for change within the EU. Probably a forlorn hope, but the only sensible choice.

    If only Brussels could have accepted being just a trading block and they had not gone down the disastrous route of the Euro, even we would probably have been happy to stay in.

    How will it resolve itself ?

    After a lot more trauma and pain I suspect a segmentation into smaller blocks of countries more suited to amalgamate together. That will almost certainly involve a full union between the Netherlands and their larger neighbour, and I don’t mean France.

    France will inevitably choose to go it alone and with its own currency again, despite the 35hr week, it could maintain some semblance of competitiveness through continuous devaluation.

    A segmented EU will also split Belgium in two and put that divided and fractious “Country” out of her collective misery !

  19. DaveM
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Glad you had a good weekend. I spent much of it listening to BBC radio wheel out hundreds of desperate remainiacs who are dissecting every word which issues forth from the PM’s mouth in the vain hope of overturning the Referendum result.

    It’s a shame you didn’t go through Calais…………when an MP’s car gets attacked perhaps the UK and French govts might actually do something about that situation.

    Can we Leave the EU now please?

  20. Antisthenes
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The tide is slowly turning in Europe if reports of much discontent with the EU is true. There is every reason to believe that it is. The idea of trading blocks may have been theoretically a good one 40/50 years ago but now the concept no longer fits in with modern ways of trading.

    Making political and economic union run along side trading blocks was and is a disastrous mistake as the EU has demonstrated. Pooling political and economic control leads to loss of sovereignty, the dilution of democracy, inequalities, a loss of identity and the loss of the right of self determination which outweigh any benefits of pooling. Confusion reigns as the increased size of government and lack of local solutions leads to decisions made and actions taken that can never properly address the problems that arise. Hence as we have seen when they do the problem usually in crisis form and when anything has to be agreed it is either deferred or takes a long time to be resolved.

    Protectionism may still be popular but it is gradually losing it’s appeal and the world is slowly moving away from mercantilism. The benefits from free trade and free movement are enormous. It brings more and more people out of poverty, other economic benefits for those who practice it and it makes conflicts less likely. It cannot be done at the stroke of a pen and both must be done gradually under controlled conditions and by consent not coercion . Merkel and Brussels forgot that rule and so we have a currency union that does few much good and a massive immigration problem leading to resentment and discontent. Brexit being one consequence which I have no doubt will be followed by more like it.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    JR: “once we have sorted out our new relationship with the EU.”
    Who is deciding? Mrs May now tells the press that she doesn’t favour an Australian style points system to control immigration but hasn’t told us what she would support. Or does she not want to control immigration, as her record on that is quite abysmal? Her “Brexit means Brexit” mantra is wearing thin and used daily by those regularly on the broadcast media to re-run the arguments of the referendum. There must be some positive news from the government soon about how they do intend to fulfil the instruction given them by the British people. The future of democracy in this country is at stake.

    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Holland is still on my Avoid List awaiting good news. Recently Canada and certain states in the USA are also firmly now AVOID.
    A number of young people 20-35 years of age, British and German, professionals but intelligent by the yardsticks of academia for all that, have through decades referred to Holland as “A great country”. Being a wrinkly, I assumed at first they were noting Holland’s art, history, or industry. No they were assessing greatness on the basis of Holland’s failure and subsequent submission to its drug problem.

    Mr Trump, says he intends to make America “Great” again. A very large part of his agenda means building a wall to stop massive drug trafficking injuring spectacularly youth of key states where he is winning markedly…voted by youths’ parents and grandparents. We can expect his zero-tolerance to the modern day much-more-than-equivalent Dutch Courage.

    • CdB
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      If you were to visit The Netherlands (not the same as Holland) then you might discover just how wrong you are. Careful if you take the blinkers off though, the light may be blinding!

  23. Bert Young
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    During the many years my organisation – based in Amsterdam existed , there was never a need to involve a translator ; every person I encountered spoke excellent English including the odd person on the street when I sought help in asking for a particular location .

    The teaching of English in the Dutch education system goes back a long way and is a fine example of how a foreign language can become a “norm” in their everyday lives . Perhaps this is the result of their need ( and success ) in the conduct of international business spread throughout the world . PvL is also right to point out their performance in most sports – they do achieve excellent results in competitive events .

    Dutch/British businesses have always been a success and I would would cite Unilever and Shell as examples . Some enterprises that were active in Holland did not survive – DAF for example ; the pressure of the international automotive sector and the size of their local market made it impossible for this essentially family business to continue .

    Today – in common with all EU countries , the Dutch have to live with the proximity and dominance of German industry and commerce . They know what it is to be exposed to its conditions and the need to circumnavigate a way that still gives them an identity . I admire their determination and survival instincts .

  24. Dominic
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    i went to France last month and felt embarrassed to come from a country where so many had been misled by the lies of brexiteers. I spoke to some locals about the vote and they thought were we mad to leave. I guess personal anecdote is no basis for policy.

      Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I bet the government in France is not proposing the French border be extended to soil surrounding Dover to stop all the British trying to escape to EUland after Brexit. They should feel embarrassed at that given their views.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      How about coming from a country where so many had been misled by the lies of the Reamainiacs ? Where’s our punishment budget with income tax increases of 2-3% for all ? Where’s our recession with up to a 2% fall in GDP ? Where’s our stock market crash ? Where’s Woprld War III ? Of course the Leavers were bright enough to know these were lies.

      • getahead
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, the Remaniacs keep talking about Brexit lies, but apart from the gaffe of the gross figure of £350 million a week available for the NHS instead of the net £250 million, no-one has produced an example.
        I believe the Brexit campaign, excluding the above, was honest.

        • Michael Wood
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          In fact, according to Government figures, it is actually in the region of £376m.

    • Alexis
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      They might like to come and live in this country. Not in London.

      Understanding would soon dawn, I feel.

      Leavers are rather tired of the ‘lies’ line, by the way: without justification or evidence that is just hot air.

    • Mark Watson
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      You shouldn’t be embarrassed to come from a country that simply wants to be like all the other countries in the World (bar the EU 27) and control our own laws,immigration and economy.

    • James Matthews
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      As distinct from being misled by the greater and more numerous lies of the Remainders. If you felt embarrassed that is your problem and as you say, personal anecdote is no basis for policy.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      What ‘lies’ ??

      • James Matthews
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        I can’t be bothered to enumerate them all and have long since returned to Downing Street the catalogue of casuistry and opinion which the government so kindly sent to everyone at taxpayers expense’ describing it as the “facts” about leaving the EU (an enormous lie in itself) but here are a few to be going on with:

        1. That a leave vote would necessitate an emergency budget;
        2. That David Cameron was not in favour of Turkey joining the EU (in fact he is on record of saying he wants that to happen when possible and that has been the view of successive British Governments);
        3. That a vote to leave would lead to an immediate recession:
        4. That voting leave could trigger the end of western political civilisation or even world war three;
        5. That leaving the EU would make it harder to combat terrorism in the UK;
        6 That a vote to leave would make the Scots vote for independence when they otherwise would not (not, in my view much of a threat even if true, but of concern to some);
        7. That every British household would be £4300 a year “worse” of by 2030 as a result of leaving the EU. Even if a reliance could be placed on a forecast for fifteen years hence and even if GDP (inflated by EU migration) on which the forecast is was based, rather than per capita income, was what mattered, that is not what the report from which the claim stemmed said. What it actually said was that incomes would be expected to rise by only 29% rather that 37%. Incomes were not predicted to go down, hey just might not go up quite as much.

        That’s enough to be going on with

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 6, 2016 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          Indeed then they even tried to pin the murder of Jo Cox on all the remainers for encouraging as atmosphere of hate!

    • stred
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      I went to Switzerland and France and was delighted to explain why we had decided to leave and that most British people were smart enough to disbelieve lie after lie put out by Cameron, Osborne and the Remain campaign, and that the civil service had been completely biased and even emailed staff advising them which way to vote.
      Also that the £350m a week to be spent on the NHS foolishly put out by the official leave team had been debated over and over with the correct net figure given as £10bn pa. That the prospect of Turkey joining was only made meaning long term and that plans were being made for visa- free travel by the EU. They thought we may have problems with a Remainer chosen to be PM.

      Best of all, it was a pleasure to point out that we are not ‘leaving Europe’, as said by the Remainers, but leaving the EU and will be visiting and trading with them as before, providing Junker and his mob don’t get too big for their boots.

    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Massive jump in UK services PMI announced just now as I write. So little for the Remainers to clutch on to as they sink into the past tense: serviced!

    • Antisthenes
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      I do not think we can sigh a breath of relief yet that the remainers doomsday scenarios have not happened. There is a long time to go before the Brexit deal is done and dusted and the lead up to and the aftermath is going to produce some very unexpected results. Coupled with normal economic behaviour that has a tendency to be volatile and is unpredictable the remainers may have their day even if it is not directly linked to Brexit but will say it is and how can they be proved wrong. Not an easy task under the circumstances. The slightest problem will be jumped on as being Brexits fault as already is the case. Up to now something has happened afterwards so that they end up with egg on their faces but that cannot be guaranteed to be the case always. So be prepared for a bumpy ride with exhilaration sometimes mixed with disappointment and frustration. Brexiteers are not going to achieve Brexit without a hard fight.

        Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        I agree with much of what you say. The media and Remainers point to every positive economic event after 23rd June as being “too early to tell”; ” not the complete picture ” .Every negative event as indicative of the eventual doom and death of our people. We”ll get this for the next half century. But that is good. It shows that the “philosophy” and dogmatism were and still are so deeply set that even large measures of relity have a zero absorption effect on some brains. Worrying. But good that such a bomb-blast on their craniums may, in time, wake them up to a whole host of other issues. Goodness, many of them will discover that all this time, that all of their lives they have been living in the UK and we have a national flag and anthem. This many prompt them to read about Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood, the bombing of Coventry and how the latter was perpetrated by wicked hobgoblins from Middle Earth… but then they’ve known that for sure all along.

  26. Michael Wood
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I am a relative newcomer to John’s diary and I do enjoy reading comments from
    contributors. I voted Leave but have little faith in this Government’s willingness to deliver Brexit.

    One thing has always irritated me is that journalists and others interviewing the Remainiacs
    never ask the obvious question: If we are to stay in the EU we do not need the House of Commons or House of Lords, but they would never voluntary give up their present positions. If staying in means giving Brussels even more powers (Have we got any left anyway?) they should all resign or be sacked. We are over governed!

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I see that Merkel’s party has taken a beating in the elections, and in her home state, and yet she still refuses to express any remorse for having publicly, and unilaterally, invited untold numbers of illegal immigrants into the EU. I can only conclude that she is in the grip of some deep ideological conviction driving her to seek the gradual destruction of all the nations of Europe including her own.

    Which is presumably the same conviction which drives her and others to insist on an indissoluble link between trade and immigration, creating a conundrum not just for the British government but also the Swiss government, with both having to seek some way to reconcile internal demands for control of immigration, as expressed through a national referendum, with implacable external demands for a policy of unlimited and uncontrolled immigration as the price of continued trade in goods and services.


    “Swiss told to vote again on free movement – except this time the stakes are higher”

    It can’t really be the economics, because the overall economic benefit of free movement of persons within Europe is probably real but it is only slight; as with the insistence on a single currency the motivation must be essentially political. From which it should follow that the response of our government to these impudent external demands must also be determined far more by political than economic considerations.

  28. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Just let me have my genuine British passport back and I will be happy. I hate it when I see the EU flag on things especially when they say a project has been funded by the EU. No, it’s been funded by ourselves!!

  29. Iain Gill
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Back in England it’s the first day of term for all the school children.
    Except those children with parents who followed Norman Tebbits advice and “got on their bikes” to move to a new location.
    You see even those who moved in the middle of last term are often finding themselves with still no school places for their children.
    In Key Stage One (Reception, Year One, and Year Two) in many towns every single school place is already taken and there are no more. There are rules which prevent more than 30 pupils per class.
    This means that even if the parents appeal the rejection from each and every school they can still lose the appeals and the schools just need to say “sorry class size is already 30” and the appeal is almost certainly a lost cause.
    So the education authority would normally end up allocating a place at the worst school in town to such children. But now even that cosy corrupt (because we all know friends of teachers and LEA staff are given preferential treatment) system has broken down and we have many children without any school place at all.
    And instead of getting more places at the schools the parents chose the LEA’s will fund teachers at schools of their choice, making the whole pretence of parental choice a nonsense. If they ever get around to it.
    The LEA’s have spent the summer doing nothing, as the schools were on holiday, and they freely admit they don’t really have a handle on who is enrolled at which school, and who will move out of their areas. Now in complete chaos like headless chickens trying to allocate any old school in the whole county even if it means a long taxi ride for a very young child (and so far away no chance of the parents playing any part in school life).
    And still the government sees fit to allow mass immigration.
    The sooner real buying power is in parents hands the better. In the absence of that the sooner there are real sanctions against LEA staff who allow children to go without any school allocation for prolonged periods the better. If this is the best they can do sack them! They are quick enough to prosecute parents who keep their kids off for a few days, same should apply to them!
    Give me strength at the sheer crap we have to take from the public sector in this country.
    As a contrast friends who emigrated to Germany in the last few weeks were given a place in the local school for their young children on arrival, and started at the school at the start of term like all the other kids.
    A complete and utter shambles.

  30. Newmania
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I have wanted to go to the Netherlands for years , it has the most remarkable links to this country , visual art language religion and empire.
    Dutch import words tell a tale of maritime rivalry , keelhaul , skipper deck , and so on , but it was 1688( and all that ) that really cemented the deal. In some way this was a reverse takeover . The Dutch East India Company became the our East India Company , the question of whether Parliament or King ruled was settled forever and Dutch banking skills were imported wholesale . At the same time , after repeated drubbing at the hands of the Dutch our Navy was reformed. With Parliament , Banking and a strong navy in place the shape of Britain’s mercantile future began to emerge.
    You can see all this expressed in the wonderful moral of William and Mary at Greenwich in Wrens extraordinary buildings by the Thames , well worth a visit
    The nail on which this hangs is Protestantism and the reformation . In the misguided zeal of the Brexiteers I see echoes of the Protestant cause , and its close connection to Parliament ( threatened of course by Catholic Europe ) This is a misunderstanding, the cry of No Popery has no relation to Europe which was as full of reforming zeal as this country , if not more so .

    Thinking about the reformation, it is a word used to describe a change in the emotional and intellectual world of Western man and this was surely brought about by the printing press .
    In the end this country reached a Compromise, the Anglican church .
    It may seem a tired old institution now but it was at one time a cause for great optimism and joy. This is is famously expressed in the words of Anglican Priest poet and ancestor of my wife ..( really ) George Herbert
    “Let all the word in every corner sing
    “My God and King”

    I believe we are seeing another change in the predominant cats of mind now ,and it is the internet that is driving it just as the printed word once did .
    Corbyn Trump extremist Brexiteers ready to sacrifice everything for their quasi holy cause , thus far this new kind of man has done little but harm .It is as if England remained under the heel of the most extremes puritans and all its other resources were crushed and ignored
    I still hope that a compromise may be reached that will be acceptable to all but the signs are dreadful. I fear not only will the economic damage be irreparable but the damage to the soul of the country, will be worse .

  31. Richard Butler
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    A favourite Bremoaner rant informs us we are a laughing stock around the world, a small inwards looking people indulging in an act of self harm.

    Friends of mine have just returned from Greece and told me that wherever they went Greek people wanted to bring up Brexit and break into high fives expressing great admiration in our confident, peoples revolution.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes I have recently had the same experience in Italy – locals very envious of the UK result !

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes well Tsipras shouldn’t have been such a wimp. All he is doing, along with the EU, is destroying Greece.

  32. stred
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I recently returned from a trip to Switzerland, then Antibes via Italy. I never saw an EU flag. No-one asked how the British had won so many Olympic medals or mentioned Brexit. Only on the penultimate night we met a Swede of my age who was a senior director in some large companies operating in the EU. He had lived in France for 25 years. He assumed that I was a Remaniac as my bird and I were speaking French. Her French is so perfect that he asked whether she had learned it from French lovers. He then told us that he and his associates thought it had been a stupid mistake to allow the uneducated rosbifs to vote to leave, and that it was a huge mistake and that his companies had lost a fortune after the pound devalued.

    I quickly explained that my bird had not and would not consider sleeping with a Frenchman, although some had threatened to and that his company would have lost value anyway.He said he was was surprised to meet anyone in France who spoke the language and supported Brexit. I explained that I wanted France to be as French as possible and not run by Junker’s mob. Then he left without inviting us to his house for a coffee.

    Next day we nearly bought an apartment with an amazing view of the Baie des Anges and the mountains. Unfortunately, so much space had been taken by access for wheelchairs, as in the UK and other EU countries, that the living space was not big enough for a bed and settee. The developer had reduced the price but was still having problems selling them. The agent explained therewas nothing they could do or even alter the partitions.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The take away was we should get along fine once we have sorted out our new relationship with the EU.

    We will only not get on fine if they want it that way. I really cannot understand why they are all so disgruntled when they could still trade with us in the same way as we have always done so. The only thing they are bothered about is the billions of pounds they won’t be getting anymore. Why should anything change other than that and what is so bad about wanting to manage and run your own country and not let others tell you what you are going to do? If they want to be petty and rub our noses in it then do so but it will just enforce the argument that we were right to leave. Who wants to be in a club where people can be so hostile to one another for no good reason? It’s not as if we have declared war on them!

  34. Hugh Rose
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Sadly I see 12 star flags every day on the mandatory EU propaganda notices that have to be erected at the gates to forestry plantations which have received grant aid regardless of the fact that the money was UK money recycled having had 60% subtracted to pay for EU projects and costs.

    The day that we leave the EU, I shall take great pleasure in destroying them until then failure to display means the grant could be reclaimed.

  35. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


    That Japanese investors would threaten to pull out of the UK is exactly what I’ve been saying in the comments on this blog. Often with people putting me down as being pessimistic or something.

    I didn’t specify Japan but I did say investors in general outside the EU, and using the UK as a gateway into the the EU. The Japanese have been far more forthright than I imagined any big investor nation would be. They seem to be more-a-less demanding ‘soft Brexit’. Far explicit and aggressive, almost, than anything we’ve heard from the EU (and Japanese companies are just investors in the UK, the EU has far more to lose if we pull it out – and now Japanese are saying the UK also has a lot to lose if we leave the EU).

    This is realpolitik kicking in. I said eventually it would. Only a matter of time. It’s as if we’ve been living in the calm before a possible storm. I hope there isn’t a storm but the storm will come from investors in Japan, China and the USA reacting to Brexiteers wanting to pull out of the EU.


    Secondly, Lord Powell has said that Lady Thatcher would never have supported Brexit. Rather she would have being fight for reform of the EU. I didn’t specify Lady Thatcher but I’ve said a lot recently that’s exactly what Winston Churchill would have done. Remain the the EU whilst trying to reform it.

    That is what great leaders are prepared to do. They’re prepared to take on the biggest fight, in this case, remaining in the EU whilst trying to reform it, as opposed to take the easier options of A. Leave the EU B. Remain in the EU without challenging it properly (trying to get concessions is not the same as trying to reform the EU). And it is precisely this fight which is the best for this country.

    Therefore I believe to be a true Thatherite and Churchillian on the EU, involves wanting to remain in the EU whilst trying to reform it. Anything else, is to fall short of being a true follower of Churchill and Thatcher on this.

    Reply Baroness Thatcher herself favoured Brexit before she died!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      ‘Therefore I believe to be a true Thatherite and Churchillian on the EU, involves wanting to remain in the EU whilst trying to reform it. Anything else, is to fall short of being a true follower of Churchill and Thatcher on this’

      – Also, the irony is that only a Thatcher oR Churchill could pull off a Brexit. It’s incredibly complicated and high risk. And we’ve got so many other issues to deal with at the moment, above all, pay off a huge national debt.

      But they wouldn’t have supported Brexit for reasons above in last comment. They would have seen the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of Brexit (and of Remain without trying to reform the EU) that’s why they would have gone for the bigger challenge, the bigger fight, with the better long-term consequences for this country, and that is remain in the EU whilst trying to reform it. Above all, great leaders know how to fight, even if often alone in their fight (think of Churchill during the 1930’s and at beginning of war when opposed by Lord Halifax and co).

      And the great fight now is to remain in the EU whilst trying to get it reformed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The Japanese should tell the other EU member states to be sensible and drop their politically-driven insistence that the present easy trade with the UK can only continue if the present easy mass immigration of EU citizens into the UK can continue. They are well placed to do that, having a strict immigration policy themselves.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 7, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        ‘The Japanese should tell the other EU member states’

        – You and I (nor the UK nor the EU) has much of a say in the matter. It’s going to be Japan (China and the US) who play an important role in dictating the outcome of Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU.

        All these countries warned against Brexit before the Referendum. And now they’re (Japan in particular) just following through their warning that it must be a soft as opposed to a hard Brexit.

        The only world leaders to actually support Brexit were Donald Trump and Putin (and it appears that even he think Brexit will be bad now for Russia as well, upsetting the world economy and so upsetting the Russian economy). Regarding Donald Trump he also said (about trade deals) that ‘bad trade deals costs jobs.’ Therefore if he gets into power, you can expect him to be ruthless with the UK over trade deals.

        And how are we going to get good trade deals with Japan, China and the US (whether under Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump) if we’re already upsetting them?

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Ed where is British investors money? Where are our share ISA’s, pension funds etc. the lack of transparency on most schemes is what allows the United Kingdom to become so weakened by your panic about the Japanese owning us?!

      We don’t have to buy Japanese cars.. We don’t have to buy Japanese goods. We are not a race of people who take kindly to being threatened and our hospitality abused by bullies.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 7, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        ‘We don’t have to buy Japanese cars..’

        – You sound like Brexiteers threatening not to buy German cars or anything from the EU.
        If we don’t trade (and have good relations with in general) with the EU, Japan (and China and the US who are also adding pressure although not as forthrightly as Japan) then who are we going to trade with? I mean we have a massive national debt to pay off, first of all. We can’t afford to be too picky who we choose with. Comments like this just seem extraordinary to me.

  36. lojolondon
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    John, we went to Lanzerote for 10 days, and met some very good Dutch people. I was very pleased they were extremely anti-EU, and everything it stands for. They did have some misunderstandings of the British situation, obviously their state propaganda is probably just as insidious as the Biased BBC, so I was happy to correct their perspective on several points. They were envious of our Brexit vote, and are looking forward to the next elections so they can pass an anti-EU message to Dutch politicians. We got on so well that we have agreed to visit them in Amsterdam, and them to visit us in Buckinghamshire. I believe this is the single major achievement of the EU – all decent people are united in opposition to the EU!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Lojolondon. That is great news and very positive. I wish the BBC could be just as positive in its reporting. So far they have not said anything positive.

    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Alike to the unobtrusive background music in a well produced and directed movie, you are not aware the Stock Market functions all the time.

    Still, it is mildly amusing if not ironic that the US and Canadian stock markets are officially closed for Labor and Labour Days today . The main action of G20 are in China with Mrs May who is announcing important things. Also Saudi Arabia and Russia announce cooperation in oil production limits. The oil price at this moment is up by 4%. PMI UK Services statistics shown to be soaring.

    I say ” “mildly amusing or ironic” because stock markets do behave like yesteryear’s tiny family-run corner shops who locked their front doors, closed their flowered or paisley patterned mini-curtains across the door windows and put a sign up written in biro saying: ” LUNCH, back later ” In reality,time enough for even the hungriest Frenchman.

    We could have all made a penny or two today what with the soarings and declinings. Couldn’t the US and Canadian working class have celebrated on May Day like the civilised world in Russia, China, Europe and the UK? We started May Day after all. And this could be MRS May’s day too.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink


    “Theresa May has explained why she has ruled out introducing a points-based migration system.

    Asked if she had gone “soft” on Brexit and tackling migration, she said: “What the British people voted for on 23 June was for some control of movement of people into the UK. A points-based system does not give you that control.”

    Not “some” control, Mrs May, “total” control of our immigration policy.

    “I want a system where the Government can decide who comes into the system. A points-based system means they come in automatically if they meet the criteria.”

    Not necessarily, you could set a limit for the coming year and then admit people on a “first come first served” basis.

    In fact the Australian scheme does have a set number of “places” each year:


    “Up to 190,000 permanent migration places will be available in 2015-16 as announced by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection as part of the Budget on 12 May 2015.

    The number of permanent places available will remain the same as last year. This includes up to:

    128,550 places for skilled migrants, including employer sponsored, general skilled and business categories;

    57,400 places for family migrants sponsored by immediate family members; and
    565 places for special eligibility migrants, who include former permanent residents who have maintained close business, cultural or personal ties with Australia.

    Additionally, at least 3,485 permanent Child visa places will be available outside the managed Migration Programme.”

    I’m not saying that it’s an ideal system, just that this specific criticism that

    “A points-based system means they come in automatically if they meet the criteria.”

    is not necessarily true.

  39. Atlas
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


    Glad to read that your trip was enjoyable. I also hope to visit the continent as soon as we formally leave. Friendly neighbours yes – overlords no…

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I worked in Amsterdam last year. There was not a problem getting to see a GP, or dentist, waits to see consultants at the local hospital were sub one week, and they don’t have children at the start of the academic year with no school places at all.

    So I don’t think they feel the pain in the same way that we do.

  41. hefner
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Could it be that people on the continent are somewhat less neurotic than the British regarding the EU flag?

    • getahead
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I doubt it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Well if they’re happy to salute their federal flag that’s their business.

  42. adam
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Now we’ve had Brexit its time for BBC-exit

    • Nigel
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is often referred to as “Auntie”. This is ,in fact a grammatical error. What it should be is “Anti”, short for The Anti British Broadcasting Corporation.

    • anon
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations to the BBC.

      They now seem to agree that that ( iplayer) subscription based service is the way forward. This process should now be rolled out to its main service suitably encrypted.

    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    JR I saw you on TV today in Parliament in the update to preparations of getting out of the EU, delivered by Brexit Secretary David Davis MP.

    I didn’t see the bit as reported by BBC News online that Mr Lammy MP had requested yet again another referendum because people did not vote the first time the way he wished. Some of his Labour colleagues were more wily. They wished to know why they could not have a vote on whether or not to accept the triggering of Article 50…if the renegotiation was up to their alleged standards and principles or not. They just will not accept democracy of The People and fight against it at every turn. Hopefully, the Labour Party will deselect them soon. But they’d ignore the deselection and turn up for work in Parliament with dodgy passes and forged authorisations. Their path to being peers.

  44. mike fowle
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Ironically, many of us who wanted to leave believe that it will ultimately improve relations with our European friends.

  45. Christopher Hudson
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink
  46. Fred
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Why do you assume we are leaving the EU Mr Redwood? May and her fellow Quislings are working hard to go back on all the promises one by one. If we leave it will be a miracle.

  47. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    ‘Take Back Control’

    – Looks like it’s going to be the Japanese (and Chinese and Americans) who will dictate to the UK and the EU what Brexit will be like. And that is a ‘soft Brexit’ causing minimal interference to long-term investors like Japan (and China and the USA) in the UK, using the UK as a gateway into the EU.

    The terrible irony of course is that Brexiteers thought it was the EU being dictatorial. Looks like they totally missed the REALPOLITIK of big investors like the Japanese (as I warned in the comments on this blog and was accused of being ‘pessimistic’ or whatever).

    (And if we anger the Japanese over investment, do you really think they’re going to offer us great trade deals – same applies to China and the USA – no, they’re going to be focusing on trying to stabilise the EU as a whole, not just for investment-reasons but also so that Brexit doesn’t destabilise the world economy as well).

    Reply Do you seriously think a Japanese company with a great workforce and successful factory here is suddenly going to close it? If you think that you know nothing about modern manufacturing and business

    • Know-dice
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      JR – Don’t forget the “Elephant in the room” i.e. the EU 🙁

      They [the EU] already have “form” when it comes to financing and encouraging companies to move out of the UK – think Ford Transit to Turkey…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      If they’re dictating to the EU that could be a help for us.


      “Mr Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton) (Con)

      May I join the chorus welcoming the Secretary of State to his post, and also welcome the Prime Minister’s statement about Britain becoming a global leader on free trade? May I urge him to follow the example of Japan and, indeed, every other non-European member of the G20 in engaging in free trade deals and negotiations, which is never to give up national control over immigration or, indeed, pay a fee?

      Mr Davis

      My hon. Friend, who is an old friend of mine, is exactly right. The most successful countries in the world in establishing free trade deals – this might surprise Members – are places such as Chile and South Korea. They never, ever give up anything other than access to their own market in exchange for a free trade deal. Not one of them gives up money or immigration rights.”

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Do you seriously think a Japanese company with a great workforce and successful factory here is suddenly going to close it? If you think that you know nothing about modern manufacturing and business’

      – with respect, that’s a complete strawman argument. I never said or suggested that. All I was doing was refering to what the Japanese said in general. Specifically, what that means is that they will, over time, stop investing in the UK as a gateway into the EU and instead just invest in the UK purely for the UK market. It’s not a question of what i think but what the Japanese and others think regarding using the UK as a gateway into the EU or not. (Plus we won’t be doing ourselves any favours when it comes to trade deals with Japan and others).

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 6, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Perhaps we could take back control by controlling spending on mobility cars, government cars, public sector company cars. We could invest in businesses willing to make cars using a UK workforce and paying UK taxes like our foreign counterparts do once out of the EU without the controls they now have over our decision making.

  • 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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