There are no such things as hard and soft Brexit

The new Remain media line is to draw an absurd distinction between hard and soft Brexit.

We were asked to vote to remain or leave. We voted to leave the EU. The Vote Leave campaign made clear that meant taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money. Polling after the event shows starkly that Leave voters understood that and mainly voted to take back control. It also shows that very few Remain voters (about 10% of total voters) bought into the idea of European Union and wanted further integration along continental lines. ( Michael Ashcroft post vote polls)

The PM has already rightly ruled out the Norwegian and Swiss options, and ruled out staying in the EEA. We leave what the EU regards as the single market as this is fully integrated with the EU as a whole and includes freedom of movement and financial contributions to the budgets.

The main issue we need to sort out with the rest of the EU is access to the single market. All non EU member states have access to the single market. The rest of the EU has to make a simple choice. Do they want to retain tariff free access to the UK market or not? If not, then their access and our access will be under MFN WTO rules, which allows an average tariff of 3.5%. That leaves us 6.5% more competitive, and them 13.5% less competitive after the devaluation of the pound against the Euro.

They will of course want to stay tariff free. If the EU institutional vindictive policy did win out despite the commonsense of most member states and the interests of business on the continent, then the UK will enjoy tariff free trade on things we are good at like aerospace and services, whilst French agriculture will face quite high tariffs and German cars a 10% tariff.

None of this need take a long time to settle, nor does it require a complex negotiation. It is a simple choice. Carry on tariff free as at present, or revert to the WTO ready made schedules.

There is no soft or hard Brexit. We do not negotiate taking back control – that is a contradiction in terms. Nor do I expect us to lose trade over this, as I do not think our EU partners are both vindictive and stupid.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Who benefits and who loses from the imposition of tarrifs ? It is government that wins and the consumer that loses, that’s who. Governments get the cash and we the little people that pay to keep governments largess.

    What about all those trade deals post exit ? We cannot negotiate whilst IN the EU zo we won’t be able to trade freely with everyone from day one.

    Hard BREXIT is going to hit the little people, not those who are in safe state jobs.

    If this is an attempt by the government to get the other 27 member countries to move their positions on free movement of people, I do not think it is going to work.

    And while we are about it, can we stop ALL EU Citizens from applying to become UK nationals please.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The single market argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
      We pay an equivalent of 7% tax on our exports via the nett payment to Brussels. This also means we have to accept free movement whilst running up a colossal £70 billion annual deficit with the rest of the EU.
      It’s the “little people ” that are getting hit now. No places in our local schools and 3 weeks for a doctors appointment.
      More expensive agricultural products due to the ridiculous protectionist policies of the EU.
      There is absolutely nothing positive to say about the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Well if you import lots of low paid labour (paying little if anything net in tax) and then they need houses, schools, roads, health care, police, social services, come with elderly relatives and all the rest …… plus they send much of the money back home.

        Still do not worry as Corbyn and McDonnell seem to think they have a magic money tree, as well as an olive tree. Cameron and Osborne thought low paid immigration was good thing too. Doubtless the reason they nearly doubled the debt while falsely claiming they were “repaying the debt”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Swings and roundabouts, I think, given the overlap between consumers who would pay more for their purchases and taxpayers who would not have to pay so much to the government when it had that additional source of revenue.

      But in any case UK consumers are already paying more for goods imported from outside of the EU, however with 75% of the fruits of the Common External Tariff going to the EU and only 25% to the UK government:

      “Traditional own resources: consist mainly of customs duties on imports from outside the EU and sugar levies. EU Member States keep 25 % of the amounts as collection costs.”

    • Know-dice
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      “If this is an attempt by the government to get the other 27 member countries to move their positions on free movement of people, I do not think it is going to work”

      You may well be correct that this doesn’t work, but the “27” need to believe that we WILL just wave goodbye to the Single Market if they don’t.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        I think it’s unlikely to work because the inseparability of the four freedoms is like a religious doctrine.

    • PaulDirac
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      It ain’t necessarily so.
      The easy way to solve this is by compensating all “EU tariff losers” in the UK, by giving them the tariff money we get for the BMW’s, French Agro. products etc.

      As we are in a deficit on our EU trade, there will be plenty left over for sensible infrastructure investments.

      In fact, we should declare this policy immediately, which will de-fang the continental EU bureaucracy and make (post article 50) negotiations fast and simple.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. UK can negotiate other trade deals while still in the EU. The only thing it cannot do is bring them into effect.

  2. Elliot Kane
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Eminently sensible & absolutely right, John.

    After all the posturing and the yelling has died down, I suspect that what you suggest here is exactly what will happen, as it is in everyone’s interests.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Yet more posturing today; this time by one Carlos Goshn the current CEO of Renault-Nissan trying to blackmail the govt. into “guaranteeing” compensation for any tariff the EU might impose on car imports from the UK. Astonishing cheek. Even more astonishing when he has just had a 10% reduction in price from the Euro/Pound exchange rate. Who do these people think they are? What arrogance! I suspect from his accent that he is of French nationality and is under pressure from the French govt. who would dearly love to move car manufacture from Sunderland to France.

      • David Ashton
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely correct, and don’t forget Renault is ~20% owned by French state.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Mockbeggar; “Yet more posturing today; this time by one Carlos Goshn the current CEO of Renault-Nissan [..//..]”

        Oh right, so would it have also been “Yet more posturing” had he announced that because of Brexit Nissan would be investing vast sums of money in a new UK factory because the UK has a very much brighter future outside of the EU. Or would it have been due to the same hard economic facts that has driven -quite possibly- the exact opposite decisions talked of today?…

        A typical Brexiteers ownership of facts;
        Good news: Everything, absolutely everything to do with Brexit.
        Bad news: Nothing to do with us mate, just more typical pro-EU (CEO) posturing.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          Of course it is posturing. If the rationale were purely business why would Goshn make his demands public when his competitors would obviously demand the same.

          This was a political statement not a business one.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          Both sides do it, Jerry.

          I don’t doubt Nissan mean what they say. There will be costs to Brexit.

          But there are costs to having Nissan here. It wants us to take 3 million EU immigrants if necessary and for us to subsume ourselves into a political superstate.

          Sorry. A business deal that comes with those sorts of conditions attached it is not worth having. In fact we are subsidising Nissan through welfare and the NHS because of the wider open doors policy that it wants us to keep and the national debt/deficit figures show the true cost of present arrangements.

          BBC reports yesterday were that our young were lagging far behind the over 40s in wealth and opportunities.

          Well that’s what happens when you import millions of young people to compete for jobs and housing.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; Wages have been lagging behind in the UK, compared to other comparable countries, for years, long before the so called migrant crisis, hence why Blair’s government brought in the NMW laws!

            If you do not want (young) migrants entering the country then start telling our own youth that they will just have to work that 18 hour day cutting cabbages, or will just have to work that 8 hour shift in a chilled environment whilst adhering to strict dress and hygiene codes, more to the point rather than having a good night out they should be in bed early so that they can get up at 4am totally refreshed — or what ever employers require from their workforce, including meaningful qualifications and skills relevant to the employers needs and not just (often ‘easy’ [1]) subjects designed simply to keep youth in education and off the official unemployment figures.

            [1] easy for students to gain a pass and thus feel as if they have achieved, cheap as in what the course costs to provide

          • Edward2
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            What an awful comment Jerry
            Reminiscent of “let them eat cake”
            We do not want anyone slaving away on minimum wages for long hours in poor conditions.
            Be they recent arrivals or our citizens.
            There are alternatives to picks and shovels these days.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; No different to the messages of the 1980s, when government told many that their industries and thus jobs were bloated, uncompetitive or what ever, that people should not in future expect union membership or collective bargaining etc. If such messages were the truth them similar messages that prick the current day comfort balloon are also the truth and need to be told.

            If certain Brexiteers want fewer migrants then what should be done, tell a few home truths or allow farm land to go without being ploughed for the want of willing farm labourers, shut factories that can not find/keep suitable operatives, make office workers or even directors clean their own offices when their cleaning contractors can not recruit staff to do such work…

            As for wages, funny how in the 1980s it was all about the market and that the market and not the unions should decide what pay rates should be. But now I guess because many a white or blue collar worker, or -perhaps more to the point- the children of such people, are now getting caught by the such market forces rational is no longer a valid and should be dropped like a hot potato.

        • BKWilliams
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          They have already said the new model will be built in Sunderland, and in fact delivery of new car doors to the factory has already started. Regarding good and bad news, the media makes sure that little good news is put out, if it is there is always a “but” at the end to soften the good news.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; Of course it’s a EU political conspiracy, it’s bad news after all so it must be!

            @BKWilliams; No they have not, and even if they have, until the investment is made at Sunderland such decisions can change. Oh it seems that Mr Price (above) is wrong, it’s a MSM conspiracy…

          • Edward2
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            It seems others are picking an argument with you Jerry.
            Could it be an uprising.

          • David Price
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            @Jerry – if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck then you treat it like a duck until it has proved beyond a shadow of doubt otherwise.

            Or, as in this case, if it is a state owned company making political statements you assume it is for political reasons.

            Shame really, I was thinking about buying a Nissan Leaf.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            @David Price; Isn’t that what Joseph McCarthy used to say when people accused him of creating conspiracy theories about “Reds under beds” back ion the 1950s?…

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Exactly, but will May actually do it? Will her lefty MP’s and the Lords allow her, even if she herself is actually determined. Her main decisions so far have been on Grammar schools (which is broadly right, but for the extension of religious schools) and Hinkley C, which is hugely misguided, damaging to the economy and totally wrong headed.

    The grammar schools agenda has clearly mainly been done as a distraction/signaling mechanism, as she will be unable get much through parliament or the Lords.

    Still no indication of a real sense of direction from May or Hammond. Undoing Osborne’s very many bonkers taxes, his central wage controls, his pension, landlord, tennent and savers muggings, getting a competitive banking system, cancelling HS2, going ahead with new runways, the Brexit plan …. what are they waiting for?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Spot on as usual Lifelogic. We are to be lumbered with Hinkley but the government are being warned about the dangers of power cuts again. When is May going to take some positive steps to stop the rot?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Gas and coal are very cheap, on demand and have low capital costs and lead times too. They also need no subsidy. We have loads and fracking resources too. The solution is obvious to any decent engineer.

        • Deborah
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes, but sadly there aren’t many decent engineers in parliament.
          In fact decent engineers are increasingly hard to find outside parliament because we pay them so little compared to those critical workers in financial services and consultancy.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            Indeed are there any decent engineers, mathematicians or physicists who are MPs? Surely it is at best in single figures, whereas lawyers, PPE graduates and the likes just litter the place.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The more I think about Hinkly C the more depressed about the quality of Theresa May’s judgement I become. It was quite obviously the wrong decision, no one both independent & sensible supports it. It is very clearly the wrong nuclear project.

      Why JR do you think this new government got it so very wrong? This when the economics, science and engineering facts are so very clear cut against it? Is it vested interests, corruption, pressure groups or merely incompetence?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      ‘Will her lefty MP’

      – Does that include Ken Clarke?’
      With ordinary voters, he is easily the most popular Tory MP. If he had been leader of the Tory Party, the Tory Party would have been in power much longer than it has, perhaps with Tony Blair only winning one election.
      So many people in this country see Ken Clarke as an ‘ordinary bloke’, in touch with the concerns of ‘ordinary’ people whilst being no socialist or mild socialist or liberal.
      (And I think he’s great although too soft on Europe – Europe needs reforming).
      Problem with the Tory party is that there are far too many in it who are out of touch with ‘ordinary’ people, way too far to the right, whilst even many lack any real experience of business and the economy (even though they are on the side of business and the economy and have more experience of than those in Labour or the Liberals).

      • Keith
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Jacob Rees-Mogg is the most popular Tory MP in my area. Clarke is just another globalist with strong Bilderberger links.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg is the most popular Tory MP in my area’

          – I saw Rees-Mogg NOT having sharp words for Donald Trump on the TV the other night (I’m a Republican-supporter, but like many Republicans in the US, am open in opposition to Donald Trump) when he had the opportunity to. That’s far worse than being a globalist.

          Looks like a lot of (narrow and quaint) nationalist, right-wingers are retreating into some kind of 1950’s fantasy land (bit like Corbyn retreating into some kind of Marxist 1950’s fantasy land).

          If we start putting our two fingers up at everyone (the EU and globalisation, with some Brexiteers doing the same to the Japanese, recently, and to a degree to the Chinese and Americans), who does Jacob think are we going to trade with and what are we going to export: cream buns and lashing of ginger beer?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        He is an ordinary bloke who has I agree some appeal to right wing of the labour party. But he is wrong, wrong, wrong on almost everything. The EU, the ERM, the EURO, migration, the tax system, grammar schools indeed almost everything.

        Yet another lefty lawyer who cannot see the wood for the trees. Almost as daft that other BBC favourite Libdim, Matthew Parris.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink


          How many people then share y our worldview? Very few if even Ken Clarke and Matthew Parris come under your criticism like this. Must be a lonely position to see the world from (and how many of the Brexiteers in government love each other – they might be best buddies when it’s about achieving similar goals, but when that has been achieved, it’s gloves off, stabbing each other in the back as we saw after the referendum and all kinds of undignified behaviour in general).

          Lastly, part of the problem is that we’re a divided nation with hundreds, thousands of different cliques of people. It’s not so much we can’t get on with the Europeans, it’s more we can’t get on with ourselves.

        • David Ashton
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          Well said again LL. Clarke is not a favourite with real Conservatives. His commitment to global governance through his almost permanent Bilderberg membership, that spills over into his obsession with the EU, reveals his true politics, and they are well left of centre.

          Thank goodness this is his last parliament.

      • BKWilliams
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Ken Clarke, LOL

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      I hear we have Jeremy Hunt ordering restaurant chains to make desserts smaller or less sweet, in bid to tackle obesity. Is there no corner of human activity that the government can just leave alone.

      I tend to agree that puddings in most UK restaurants are over sweet, industrial and rather dreadful, but what has that to do with him?

      A far better approach would be just to charge for all the cost that obese patients put on the NHS and to educate people. Better still just charge everyone who uses the NHS and then reduce taxes accordingly.

      The NHS and social services removes the moral hazard of eating too much. Deal with that first.

      Still some good news, the dire Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is finally going.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        ‘that obese patients put on the NHS’

        Have you no thought for children who are obese from too much sugar (and vulnerable to companies very clever at selling their stuff). Or sugar increasing depression in someone (hundreds of thousands / millions). And the myriad of health issues sugar causes. Costing the tax payer billions.
        Yes to companies making lots of money. And yes to sugar. But there has to be limits. We’re not barbarians. We’re civilised human beings.

        (BTW, did you know there are – or were, perhaps still – 40 sachets of sugar in a large cinema (popular drink ed). Discovered that from Paxman on Newsnight few years ago. Was shocked. I’m educated but had no idea – how on earth is a 13 year old child going to know there are 40 sachets of sugar in a giant (drink ed)and the damage of this to his health?).

      • David Ashton
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        You are on form today LL. Fully agree we should pay for NHS services, not the full cost but an entry fee to cut out time wasters, make people realise there is a cost to healthcare, and to make them take more responsibility for their own health and fitness. I would suggest £25 to see GP, £40 to visit A&E, and pay cost of hotel services, food, TV, wifi etc. whilst staying in hospital.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          The working classes have a responsibility to work hard (and we need to re-instill a sense of work ethic in this country into the working classes). But the rich and middle classes have a responsibility towards those less off and the vulnerable as well (we need to re-instill a sense of ‘with privilege comes responsibility’ which is the ethics of a gentleman/lady Conservative as opposed to the approach of a parvenu and/or overly-materliastic Conservative who can only think ultimately in terms of money. We are already a divided and broken society, let’s make things worse by breaking up the NHS.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            (Just reading a great biography on Jane Austen who in my mind represents British Conservatism at its best, Jane spending much time looking after the poor in her village, and giving what little money she had to them. But at the same time she believed in hard work and duty to king and country. And she had only scorn for the approach of the parvenu and/or the greedy-minded person in trade with no sense of responsibility towards others, including the poor and the vulnerable.
            *By parvenu, I don’t mean anyone who is new to money (many people who have made lots of money recently are honest and generous towards others), i mean those who are new to money and forget who they are and were they come from and their duty towards others as well as honest work).

  4. Kenneth
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    This post sums things up very well.

    Not only that, as you said in an earlier post John, while we delay, more taxpayer money is being sent overseas.

    In my opinion that is a scandal.

  5. Roger parkin
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Excellent article John as ever. I have been making these points myself on several blogs including conservative home. I always prompt people to reply if they feel that my reasoning is faulty but never get a response. I despair that the remainers are purposely trying to convince everybody that Brexit is more complicated than it need be. I hope those responsible in government are listening to your good self.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    You say:- “I do not think our EU partners are both vindictive and stupid” well perhaps not but the EU bureaucrats, as a body, clearly can be very stupid indeed (and sometimes vindictive too). Witness the Euro, the ERM, CAP, the common fishing policy and almost everything else they have done or attempted to do over the years. Indeed coming out with endless stupid policies seems to be their general approach. Even if individually they are not all stupid, their policies clearly nearly always are.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Funny how some people are lamenting the slackening growth of global trade while also contemplating quite unnecessary disruption of the existing trade between the UK and the other EU member states. It’s not as if we will be seeking a new deal to open up trade, just one to keep the existing trade running smoothly.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, and more to their advantage than ours.

    • Richard Butler
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      LIFEHOGIC > In the end heads of Govt accountable to their workers, business and taxpayers will call the shots, particularly France & Germany.

      Remoaners also vastly under-estimate the importance to Eastern Europeans that our out-sized military enterprise & experience represents. Would they really want to punish us only for us to pull back to NATO minimums?

  7. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Negotiations will be with the Commission and they seem plenty vindictive and stupid and blind and obsessive and narrow minded and utopian and a whole lot else. Others may well tend towards common sense and accommodation but nevertheless seem willing to allow things to go on as they are. I never liked Article 50 in the first place and if it had been up to me we would have been out completely by now. To Hades with the so-called single market not to mention the four so-called principles.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Postscript–Why we should be begging to export freely to the EU when it is they who net export to us I have no idea.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        1. The blow to each country would be less than to the blow overall of the UK (for example, 44% of our exports are to the EU, where as only 7.5% of Germany’s exports are to the UK).
        2. Giving a nice deal to the UK would cost more to Germany and others in the long-term, as other EU countries might demand a similar deal as the UK, and then the EU would implode costing Germany and others far more than a not so nice deal with the UK now.
        3. Germany and others have been honest and realistic saying Brexit is bad for everyone – the UK, Germany and the EU. Only some Brexiteers seem to be in denial of this.

        • Keith
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          1. Absolute costs more important than percentages for exports.
          2. Eurozone is already imploding with (banking tensions ed).
          3. 14 m in denial? Germany now worried that they will have to fund EU without significant UK contributions.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


            ‘Eurozone is already imploding with (banking tensions ed)’

            – What, and the UK is a paradigm of economic success and stability?! (With national debt at a whopping 90% compared to Sweden’s at 40%), and more.

            I’m no lover of the EU. It must be reformed, in particular, regarding immigration. And we’ve got to go ahead now and leave the EU. But NOW we got to keep Brexiteers in government on their toes (and not kow-tow to them) as much as possible so that they don’t make things even worse than they have to be.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            ‘Germany now worried that they will have to fund EU without significant UK contributions’

            – I believe the UK does have a duty towards the EU on this.

            However, saying that, the real duty lies with the Germans, and they need to dig deeper. That is if they want to be remembered as being a country that ‘saved’ Europe as Britain saved Europe in WW2 (until the Americans joined the war, that is, but even then Britain continued to play a key role alongside the Americans in defeating the Nazis).

            (Saying that, that doesn’t excuse us from our duties either in helping to preserve and grow prosperity, peace and security in Europe as a whole).

          • getahead
            Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            And please lets not lose sight of our regaining independence, control of our borders, no EU subs and we get back our fishing grounds.
            The Remaniacs are all about trade. Trade to me is of secondary importance. I want my country back.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            Ed, while we are still in the EU we are bound by Article 8 TEU and other relevant treaty provisions and I don’t think there are many people in this country who would demur and I don’t think we will depart from its spirit after we have left.

            The problem is with people in other EU countries who seem to have already forgotten that they are bound by it now and will continue to be bound by it after the UK has left, absent any future EU treaty change to remove it.

            Just a reminder of what it says and how it does not leave any legal room for vindictiveness or indeed for calculations that it would be best to administer a ‘punishment beating’ to any country which has the temerity to decide to leave.

            Article 8 TEU:


            “1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.

            2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.”

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Dear Ed–Tell that to the German car workers who will be out of a job and see what they think about percentages.

        • ian wragg
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          The straw man repeatedly used by the remainiacs.
          the bulk of trade is with France and Germany, the southern states having very little that we want. St some engineering goods but in absolute terms we have a £69 billion imbalance in their favour.

      • Know-dice
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        If you listen to Kamal Ahmed BBC Economics editor then you would believe that “We are doomed Mr Mainwaring” – which bit of “the EU sells more to us by value, than we sell to the EU” doesn’t he understand…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          I think the bias of the BBC during the referendum and their general left of centre, magic money tree approach to everything is rather hard for them to shake off. They all have lefty PC group think.

          Andrew Neil to me is good and about in the centre of the political spectrum yet every one else on the BBC is way to the left of him.

          The other night Thursday(?) on Newsnight they had three people with Matthew Paris lefty Libdem thinker as the most “right wing”. The presenter then said they thus had all the political spectrum covered! Left, very left, and very very left I assume. They do not even realise how biased they are. Magic money tree, PC, fake feminist, remainiacs and global warming alarmists to a man or woman. Nearly all innumerate art graduates too.

      • getahead
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        It’s the bakers Leslie, fearful of losing their “passports”.

        • getahead
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          bankers duh!

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Surely, negotiation will be with the representative appointed by the Council of Ministers, not the Commission or the Parliament.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      ‘Negotiations will be with the Commission and they seem plenty vindictive and stupid and blind and obsessive and narrow minded and utopian and a whole lot else’

      – And our parliament is full of Mother Theresas? We have the exact same as you describe above both in the left of Labour/Liberals and the right of the Conservative Party as well as other politicians who couldn’t give a monkey’s about ideals but are in parliament to serve their own agendas of gaining as much as power as possible. Experience tells us that. History tells us that. And Machiavelli tells us that as well.
      The way we put our own politicians on a pedestal right now (when normally we love to bash them and put them in their place) whilst maligning the EU overall (sure it has it’s major problems like all political organisations, and needs reforming, not forgetting this country has probably enjoyed more peace, prosperity and security overall under the EU than at any time in its history) is extraordinary and a form of blind fanaticism.

      • Keith
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        European peace is entirely due to NATO. EU is far more corrupt than UK parliament and we can vote our senior politicians out if necessary.

    • peter
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I would have thought any negotiations should be with the member states (The Council) the commission is supposed to be the executive arm which does what they are directed to do (acknowledging the bluster which comes out of Junckers mouth in the press)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Negotiations will be under the direction of the Council, at least some of whom may be motivated more by common sense and financial self-interest.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–I doubt one in 10 has much idea what the Council is. I certainly haven’t. Is it headed by one of them Presidents one hears about? If you are right, and I suspect you are, this Council isn’t saying much or is it that they take the position that there can be no negotiation, even tentative (secret?), till we trigger? What we want is for Mrs May to stand up and tell the Conservative Party conference that she has just sent the letter.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          I think you’re right that most people won’t have much idea about it, but suffice it to say that the political leaders will be in overall charge, not the bureaucrats.

  8. Excalibur
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Why is it, JR, that you can see these issues with such clarity, and explain them with such lucidity, when most of the rest of Parliament cannot ? Why are you not at the forefront of the government’s Brexit programme ?

    • Bob
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink


      “Why is it, JR, that you can see these issues with such clarity, and explain them with such lucidity, when most of the rest of Parliament cannot ? Why are you not at the forefront of the government’s Brexit programme ?”

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. If Mrs May were sincere about Brexit she would have Mr Redwood on the team, rather that Remainer Phil Hammond.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      It’s an intellect thing, combined with not being frightened to row against the Westminster tide.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I see Nicky Morgan has opined that May “has no clear plan for Brexit” and has demanded to know “what we are going to ask for”. Based on this May was wise to fire her as she clearly has no experience whatsoever of negotiating in the real world. Why isn’t she demanding that the EU set out what they “are going to agree to” ? The only people in British pubic life who know anything about negotiation are the big union leaders – Morgan could learn a lot from them.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      It is the duty of the majority of MPs, Lords and the Queen who all enabled the Referendum Act to get behind the decision that the people made and to make it work.

      We don’t need to plan. We just need to get out and get on with it.

      I do not recall Newmania coming to these pages and squealing when it was first mooted that we might have a referendum. That would have been the time to do it.

      There were few if any campaigns against having a referendum. In fact the majority in power supported having one.

      We now know the people who didn’t plan were the Remainers who didn’t think losing was on the cards.

      • getahead
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Nicely said Anymouse.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      ‘Based on this May was wise to fire her as she clearly has no experience whatsoever of negotiating in the real world’

      – Neither does Liam Fox. Even though he has never set up his own business, has no business experience, and tells people in business not to be so lazy, and to export more (his vision of Brexit is a, to an important degree, a right-wing fantasy, just as dangerous as fantasies from those on the left).

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Why isn’t she demanding that the EU set out what they “are going to agree to” ?


      This rabbit in the headlights should be a teacher or whatever,- the selection committee slipped up there.

  10. Jerry
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    “Nor do I expect us to lose trade over this, as I do not think our EU partners are both vindictive and stupid.”

    But as I keep pointing out, that logic very much depends on whether the EU27 governments do not think their companies can fill their order books from elsewhere, that they will not be able to sell their widgets in to non UK existing markets or to emerging markets. The UK is in real danger of being the self-vindictive and stupid one, can the UK make what it currently buys from the EU27 -have we got the industrial and manufacturing capacity and do so at the same price (if so why were we buying from the EU27?!), else, has the UK got the trading partners in place so that we can buy tariff free from non EU markets?

    More bad news from the motor industry yesterday; Now the head of Nissan (who is also head of Renault) has cast doubt on future UK investment until they know exactly what Brexit will mean, and the UK governments response to it.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Whilst Honda have just announced further investment and expansion creating more well paid careers as Swindon becomes one of Honda’s world centre manufacturing plants.

      You are just perpetually negative Jerry.
      If you keep saying you predict terrible weather tomorrow then eventually one day you will be right.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2; Whilst you are just perpetually positive Edward, always blind to any opinion, fact, figure or news that doesn’t fit your Europhobic pro-Brexit thoughts.

        Obviously Honda think that the UK, post Brexit, will work for them [1]. Great but how does that off-set news from Nissan/Renault (and now JLR) that suggests Brexit is or might cause them issues, and if those issues result in plant contraction or closure how does a relativity few -probably specialised- jobs two or three hundred miles south help the less skilled workers in the NE or Midlands whose jobs have become insecure or worse. Also remember that it will not just be those working for the car manufacture either, supply chain, maintenance contractors, even corner shops all suffer too and for them there will be no one offering them a job ‘down south’.

        [1] or perhaps they do not believe that Brexit will actually happen, and remember that investment has only happened once the money has been spent, we have had the talking, now we await for the walking to start…

      • Edward2
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Just showing that for every negative story you gleefully post there is a positive story to balance it somewhere else.
        Business carries on. Some companies thrive others do not.
        Just as they did for decades before the vote to Leave

      • David Price
        Posted October 2, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        I was considering getting a Nissan Leaf but instead I should maybe look at Honda instead, pour encourager les good guys.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      @Jerry; [recent motor industry statements] …and now JLR has joined in with similar comments as those from Nissan/Renault.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Business doesn’t like uncertainty.
        But sometimes it is unavoidable for a time.
        Perhaps more information will be revealed at the Conservative Conference.
        A number of companies are now looking for subsidies from the UK Government
        It’s natural move for businesses to ask.
        I don’t see it as a crisis as you do Jerry

        • Jerry
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; I don’t see it as a crisis, yet, you on the other hand will never see a crisis ever – well perhaps not until you come face-to-face with one and are given your own P45, but even then it will not be the polices that you support and voted for that caused your grief but the trade unions, migrants, the weather or what ever other scapegoats you choose to blame.

          But how (ironically) funny it is to compare your comment above regarding statements from Nissan/Renault and then JLR, could it be that the prospect of a P45 has just become a little more real for you? Having been very dismissive of what the boss at Nissan said you now say that the boss at JLR needs certainty, it’s OK for such companies to seek reassurances (even subsidies) from the UK government, it’s natural for businesses to ask…

          • Edward2
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Yes of course Jerry if they think free money can be leveraged from the State they will do the best for their company to get that money.
            At the moment it’s all talk.
            That’s why I say it’s not a crisis
            Far from it.
            But it is time for our Government to set out their plans.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; But they are not asking for money from the state, not really (for one thing they know they will not get any, at least not from a Tory government with Monetarist policies), they just want assurances that there will be UK-EU tariff free trade after actual Brexit.

            So far, since raising this on our hosts site, in reply I have read that it is a EU conspiracy, a MSM conspiracy, now you seem to be suggesting that it’s a motor industry conspiracy to extract subsidies from the UK government…

            The UK is not the only country who have highly skilled personal in the motor industry (both R&D or production), and many companies that have manufacturing plant in the UK also often have spare capacity in their CABs elsewhere – yes it’s not a crisis (yet) but once it is it is often to late, decision will have been taken if not production moved.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            They have been asking for money.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; No they have not, try actually reading and more importantly understanding what they are saying.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            It’s been in MSM papers
            UK automotive bosses saying they want payments.

        • hefner
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Ah ah! “A number of companies are now looking for subsidies from the UK Government. It’s natural move for businesses to ask”.

          How is that compatible with the invisible hand of the free market? Isn’t it a bit “statist”?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            You are seeing the market operating hefner.
            Company bosses are exploiting the current political position to try to gain money from the State.

          • hefner
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Isn’t it called “rent seeking’?

    • getahead
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, possible loss of trade is the only argument the Remaniacs have against leaving the EU, but to me trade is secondary to getting our country’s independence back.
      In any case I have a feeling that trade will do better out of the EU.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        @getahead; “loss of trade is the only argument the Remaniacs have”

        The fact that you feel the need to insult, question others mental health, every time you talk of those who would have preferred to remain in the EU suggest that it is you who has the really weak arguments.

        “to me trade is secondary to getting our country’s independence back.”

        That was also the nationalists argument in Zimbabwe, if only we could control our own country, scapegoat those (some) didn’t think belonged, cause uncertainty or fear within multinational companies so they cede control of their subsidiaries to locals etc…

        “In any case I have a feeling that trade will do better out of the EU.”

        So which multi £m, multinational, company do you head up? After all those who walk the walk and not just talk the talk are questioning the sort of assertions you and others keep making about post Brexit trade, what insight do you have that they don’t.

  11. Brexit
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Refreshing as ever, Mr Redwood. We wrote an editorial in the same vein last Saturday entitled “There’s No Soft Brexit – There’s Brexit, Or No Brexit”, but above you have written more eloquently about this.

    One question: “The PM has already rightly ruled out the Norwegian and Swiss options, and ruled out staying in the EEA.” We haven’t seen anything specific from the PM on the EEA. Has she definitely ruled out the EEA/EFTA option? If so this is very encouraging.

    Best wishes, the pro-Brexit Facts4EU.Org Team

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I cannot agree more. That is not always the position I held but have come to slowly see that it is the most practical and sensible one. Your article today seals it. I fear we listen too much to the misinformed, confused and biased who instead of clarity give us mixed and contradictory messages. Your today’s article is a reminder that simple is always best and any one who reads it and hitherto have been fearful of the Brexit process and the outcome from it will no longer need to be so afraid. The EU can huff and puff as much as they like but the UK house is not made of straw. However they need to look at their own as that is looking decidedly rickety with one large piece about to fall off making it more unstable the structure is not sound at all.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your clear and concise outline of the situation, all you have to do now is convince all the other MP’s that the situation you describe are the simple facts.

    Vote Remain or Leave was the question on the ballot paper, nothing else, just two options.

    The Country Voted to LEAVE, it did not vote for part leave, part remain, single market options, Brexit, or anything else, just LEAVE pure and simple.

    Quite why it is taking so long I simply have no idea.

    How long does it take to send in a resignation letter with a termination date.

    Once we have left, then we are in the same position as any other non EU Country, and are free to negotiate anything with any Country as well as the EU, should that be our wish, and like with any other Country, we start from a base point of Zero where we are fully in control of our own Country.

    Existing co-operation links can be swiftly agreed to continue, or be modified or broken as the case may be.

    If we want a simple reciprocal trade agreement with the EU Countries, and they in turn wish to trade with us for the mutual benefit of all, then we should start from a Zero position and talk only trade.

    The very last thing we should be doing is to try and negotiate from the very present position of acceptance of EU membership rules and all of its complexities, and see what we can exclude, which seems to be the present confused Government position which will lead to an expensive disaster and confusion all around.

    LEAVE means LEAVE Pure and Simple, and the sooner Politicians of all sides recognise this the better, instead of trying to confuse us and themselves with meaningless words, and catch phrases.

    We are now completely in charge of our own destiny and the negotiations, do not throw it all away, just get on with it.

    • Roger parkin
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Very well put. Excellent contribution.

  14. Old Albion
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I have no argument with what you have written JR. But the longer the Gov. delay serving Article 50, the longer the nonsense being spoken about our exit, will go on.
    Failure to get on with it indicates a search for a fudge.

  15. ChrisS
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    At the moment the government has no choice other than wait until the court case over Article 50 has been dismissed, as it surely will be.

    Hopefully this will happen early in October and pressure will then be on to make the declaration.

    I am not so sure that Germany will be able to defeat Juncker and Co in their desire to punish Britain for having the temerity to leave. A number of the 27 have little export trade to the UK so tariffs will be OK with them. They get far more benefit from money earned in the UK and repatriated by their citizens working here. FOM with the U.K. is far more important to them.

    No doubt Juncker will attempt to bribe these member states to fall in line with his desire to punish us by promising them more cash, although where he will get that from is a question considering the budget will have a £10bn black hole.

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the position of BMW and the VW Group.
    They both sell thousands of German built cars in the UK but BMW sells thousands of Minis and Rolls Royces in Europe and VW has a good trade in high value Bentleys.

    These are two of the largest EU companies and will be putting huge pressure on Merkel and Brussels to avoid 10% tariffs on all these vehicles built or sold in the UK. Then we have the situation of Renault who build Nissans here for export to Europe and sell Renaults here.

    Brexit is very likely to heap even more disunity among the 27 than already exists because of the Euro, Banking and Migrant crisis. As a result, we cannot be sure we will be dealing with negotiators determined to make a rational deal.

    As a result the outcome will be unpredictable until the EU attitude on Free Trade emerges. That will require one bloc or other to comes out on top.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      The hearing is scheduled for October 13th.

      • ChrisS
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Denis

  16. agricola
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Succinctly explained. When I hear anyone of the three negotiators or Mrs May get up at conference and put it as clearly I will know we are heading in the right direction. Until then I reserve the right to feel a bit cynical. At the moment we are being treated like mushrooms in a growing shed.

  17. Anthony
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Without mutual recognition agreements to ensure that UK products confirm to single market regulations, our products will have to be checked as they cross the EU border. This could leave products sitting there for days while the checks take place.

    This would be immensely damaging to the just in time supply lines that see components cross borders a number of times before being fitted into a final product – the business model simply would no longer work and would cause immense problems to British industry, as I understand it.

    We need a mutual recognition agreement with the EU – would you agree? The WTO does not provide for these MRAs, so it would have to be achieved in the negotiation with the EU.

    Referring to the WTO agreement does not present a total solution to the problem of how to leave the EU. What are our chances of achieving the MRA and what do you think we would have to provide in return?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      The problems would not stop this side of the Channel!

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Two can play that game. If we have to check every French and German car which are only allowed to come in via Great Yarmouth, they will soon see sense.
      trade is a 2 way affair, we are not a defeated rabble awaiting armistice terms.

  18. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Please, please, please can we get on with Brexit. I am fed up to the back teeth of hearing people say that May has no plans when clearly there are plans she could follow if she just got on with listening to you and others and did something. She is looking more and more not up to the task of governing every day.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I think we’re being softened up for a second referendum. The BBC was full of it last night about what a disaster it is for manufacturing.

    The real disaster is Shengen and the EU nations pushing the Biblical exodus of men of fighting age from Africa and the middle East to these shores.

    Brexit will be pointless if we don’t bother dealing with the migration crisis.

    Whether or not our factories remain competitive is a side issue compared to this and a majority of people have noticed that they are getting poorer in real terms despite being in the EU.

    We have voted to Leave. Can we at least stop acting as though we are in the EU for the long term ?

    The majority have made their decision. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong – I had to suck up 14 years of Labour misrule knowing that those who voted for it were wrong. I did so without trying to overturn election results.

  20. oldtimer
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Fot the UK it is a simple issue: offer freetrade. But that has not stopped the Remainiacs wanting to make it sound complicated for the UK. The complications are on the EU side; how do they reconcile the interests of the member states with the interests of the Commission and, it seems, the European parliament? No doubt much heat will be generated while the matter is thrashed out in the coming negotiation. Meantime I see the BBC giving prominent airtime to manufacturers complaining about the prospect of tariffs while remaining entirely silent about the benefits they already enjoy from devaluation.

  21. formula57
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Your words are like a breath of fresh air in a heat haze. Let us hope Mrs May has forwarded a copy to Messrs. Johnson, Davis and Fox.

    C.£ 850 million a month for the privilege of being bound up to a failing organization we wish to leave! Let no one in this government speak of value for money and being prudent with taxpayers’ funds.

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    We are fed a daily diet of all the difficulties involved in leaving the EU from those who never wanted the UK to leave the EU. No doubt they cling to the hope that if things are delayed long enough it will never happen and they can thwart the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. Let us hope that during and immediately after your party conference we shall hear and see positive action to carry out the instruction of the British people to take control and make this country independent, self-governing and world trading.

  23. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I agree, we have to go through the democratic process, but the whole thing was a stitch-up led by a right-wing cabal in the current Conservative government looking to win back sovereignty of Parliament (or power) for themselves, at an opportune time (Labour in disarray after the unpopularity of Blair taking the country to war in Iraq) and subtly cosying up to UKIP who used exaggerated, inflammatory fear of immigration to essentially win the campaign.
    After the the Brexit result, we had back-stabbing in the Tory party like something from a Shakespeare tragedy, and all of this is only going to end in tears when people see, over the years, that the UK overall, is worse off overall in terms of real prosperity, peace and security. That we’ll become more of a kind of US state across the water when culturally most people are more alligned with Europe, with Chinese investors controlling much of our economy and the income our companies earn. We’ll be like little America or little China. Who knows, we might have helped the EU to implode, and we’ll become the country that everyone hates the most now in Europe (with Germany moving down to second place). Or else we could even destabilise the international economy for some years, and even more people hating us for that. Whilst immigration won’t be that drastically reduced, and we’ll have Scotland, Gibraltar, Irish border and Falkland islands, and hundreds of other unintended consequences of Brexit, plaguing us (working class people even poorer than before – the ones who voted for Brexit in masses, paying back national debt delayed by years, unable to retire to Europe, unable to participate in large European economic/scientific projects like space travel and building planes, undermining the efforts to work together with Europe to fix the problems of the Middle East and to stem mass immigration from N. Africa and elsewhere, and so on).
    Yes, the EU needs reforming, but not like this.
    And for what? To get back an extra bit of stupid power at Westminster which benefits no-one in the long-term except the interests of some members of the Conservative government.


    That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:
    how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were
    Cain’s jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It
    might be the pate of a politician, which this ass
    now o’er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
    might it not?

    There’s another: why may not that be the skull of a
    lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,
    his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he
    suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the
    sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of
    his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be
    in’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,
    his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,
    his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and
    the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
    pate full of fine dirt?

  24. Bert Young
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Competition is the keynote to any sort of business ; if you create a product or service that is wanted , effectively priced and ” on time “, trade will occur . The world market is an open place today as far as these conditions apply , so , ” hard ” , ” soft ” – call it what you may deals , can be disregarded . Arguing about 5% differentials is nonsense ,its consumer demand that matters .

    Markets change for all sorts of reasons – just look at ladies fashion for example , each year new designs evoke a response . The professional service business I created in 1964 faced challenges from the USA and , to some extent , from Europe ; I did not worry or concern myself about a ” trade barrier ” or any sort of preventive condition . The fact was that the services offered played a significant part in the efficiency running of a business ; the market was alerted to these services and the response was there . Offices were opened in Europe , the USA and Japan and they were all successful .

    I have a good laugh when I read about the different sorts of Brexits to be negotiated ; I consider them all to be nothing more than bureaucratic waffle .

  25. Mick
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I voted to leave the eu, which to me was leave anything to do with the eu and back to pre 1975 and sort out our country and its problems and not some faceless nobody from abroad, it wasn’t rocket science or don’t these politicians get this, I wanted out, no ifs no buts , if Westminster do not listen to the great British public then do it at your peril and get kicked out of office at the next GE

    • getahead
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      And let UKIP in for a clean break.

  26. Chris
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent article. I believe it is imperative, in order to dispel uncertainty (and to quell the further manipulation of public opinion by Europhiles to a soft Brexit position) that Theresa May makes an absolutely unequivocal statement at the opening of the Party Conference concerning a clean Brexit.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Anyone who can accept a job as “Minister for Women and Equalities” clearly has not got much of a command of logic, how can you do both if you are for Women you are clearly against equality? Yet another lefty lawyer.

    According to wiki:- In December 2015, Morgan declared that a High court ruling that religious teaching should be pluralistic, and that therefore it was unlawful to exclude teaching about atheism and humanism, should be ignored as UK religious traditions are mainly Christian.

    So more in favour of indoctrination that real education it seems.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      T May however seems even worse in this area.

  28. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the remaining EU is vindictive, but it is impatient to get on with the ” divorce”.
    I also don’t expect there will be tariffs – as that is in nobody’s interest after this long tariff-free period together. I do expect that passporting rights will be lost, in order to avoid UK cherry-picking, but the consequences of that will be limited for London. It is not that difficult to set up a branch office in Frankfurt or Paris (or, even better Amsterdam, although we’re not keen on the large investment banks and therfore have a legal 20% cap on bonusses 🙂 ).

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      There are 8,300 EU passports for London but only 5,100 for the EU so again the EU will be the net loser.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      As I’ve said elsewhere: The ‘Tariff Free Zone’ has certainly not be a Cost Free Zone.

      The impact of freedom of movement has been huge in the UK. In social, political and welfare costs.

  29. Oggy
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Your post is absolutely correct John.
    There is nothing to negotiate except a trade deal, the rest returns to full UK control without any need for negotiation. Why is this so hard to understand for so many people ? the media and MP’s included.

  30. Yosarion
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The hard Exit would be a cause where a Second English Civil War is the only option to fulfill the Democratic will of the People.

  31. Peter Dennis
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Sigh. What about the car industry:

    Jobs are going to be lost there. This whole BREXIT thing is a farce. We are a member of the EU and we have MEPs who are *supposed* to represent the UK interest. The UK has a great deal of power (a veto for one). And so closing the doors and trying to get another deal with the EU that is the *same* as we have is nuts. Money is being wasted on the ‘new’ government departments sorting out this mess.

    Part of the UK’s role in the world is to make things better but slamming the door on the EU is not part of that. The EU offers stability and a rule set to use. So what if it costs some money (I see that somewhere it actually costs 24 p per person per day),
    it has benefits – education opportunities, regional investment in poor areas.

    • Know-dice
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      What “Veto” ?

      We now only have Qualified Majority Voting – So can be easily out voted by the 25 countries that get more out of the the EU in direct payments than the few like the UK who contribute more than they get out.

      We are turning out back on the non democratic EU in favour of direct trading with the individual countries of the World including Europe.

      If you read correctly you will find that most education and research opportunities are not solely the remit of the EU, and regional investment (in the UK) is only getting (some of) our own money back.

      • Know-dice
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
      • Peter Dennis
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        kinda of supports both of us. But do we imagine the whole of the EU
        (or a majority) will pick on the UK ?

        But anyway getting some of our own money back as the form of *targeted* investment which I think will be hard for the government to do.

        And so we will have to have new treaties with the countries we have a treaty with ?

        The end result is going to be interesting and I do hope good comes of it but in today’s modern world we should be working together to make things better as opposed to breaking apart.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Peter Dennis

          You’re annoying me.

          We had this debate over and over during the referendum campaigns and the people decided to Leave.

          The debate is over. The vote has been cast.

          Now we leave.

          Are we going to have to fight over this seeing as you seem to be wilfuly ignoring the vote ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          “There are now only a few areas of EU policy where changes require a unanimous vote.” does not really support you!

  32. stred
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Prof. Varoufakis has been telling us how complicated leaving will be and that negotiating with the EU could take ten years. Perhaps this is because of his own experience, as he got nowhere and was shown the door. Others point out that the EU deal with Canada has taken 5 years. This is apparently because all 27 countries can raise objections. Then the unelected and very highly paid M, Macron has been making more threatening noises and thinks the French people would like to choose his as president.

    What they have forgotten is that we will keep EU regulations for the time being and that traders will continue to send their goods, If the empire building arrogant politicians wish to stop trade, they will be turfed out very quickly. The UK can do without French cheese, Dutch flowers and BMWs. We can but Somerset brie and buy the Jags that Germans find too expensive. Plastic flowers last longer and save money.

    The best card is the fact that the EU cannot proceed to agree anything quickly and if we put the ball in their court, they will spend years trying to find it or dropping it. In the meantime trade will continue as at present, unless lunatics in the Commission are allowed to shoot themselves in the foot. When we stop paying for this nonesense they will get the message.

  33. Sam Stoner
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Please go read Chapter 1 of any book on the WTO.

    The UK cannot offer the EU tariff-free access unless it offers the same to every other WTO member. And the EU cannot offer the UK tariff-free access unless it offers the same to all other WTO members. This will not happen, there are far too many political blockages.

    Your plan is in fact pure fantasy

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      How come South Korea has tariff free access to the EU.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 3:21 am | Permalink

        Well asked.

        As far as I can see the WTO would encourage the EU to lower if not remove barriers to trade. There is great misunderstanding. There is a pro-EU group, the Constitution Unit that believes the WTO requires tariffs to be imposed!

        The reality is that a future trade deal between UK and the EU can be what they will it to be.

        I think both the EU and the UK would benefit by leaving first and waiting for a few years before attempting a new formal and comprehensive relationship – there is no such thing as a trade deal that restricts itself to tariffs.

      • acorn
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        You are all getting your WTO mixed up with FTA . SK has a bilateral FTA with the EU. The EU gains 3 Euro for every 2 Euro SK gains.

  34. Alan Bell
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    So you have no clue what you want, you are going to just let the EU27 decide for us. Nice. Now about those ready made WTO schedules . . . they are not. We have none and cloning the EU one is non-trivial. We can’t justify seasonal protectionism for our citrus production and how much of the EU beef quota belongs to the UK? It needs a lot of work. We can do it, but lets engage with reality and acknowledge it needs to be done. Now about that tariff free services thing. Yeah, not gonna happen at all without some kind of agreement in place, perhaps you are relying on provisions in MiFID II around equivalence? Maybe you could engage with reality and say that is what you are intending, if indeed it is?
    Can we just stop with the delusional nonsense that we can exit from the regional trade agreement and get better trade terms than the most favoured nation gets. The RTA was the way to get better trade terms than MFN. We can’t both leave the RTA and be in the RTA at the same time. It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Alan Bell:
      Of course you love our country. I can tell. Who could not? It is obvious. But I would ask you to think that if it is so difficult to stand on our own…as you outline very eruditely …then some of us, perhaps not your good self, will wish to break away from such constriction with Gods speed, irrespective. We do not wish to accustom ourselves to the stability stuck on a spider’s web. Freedom is hard. Dangerous.

      • Alan Bell
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        yeah, democracy and freedom is important. Recalling the MEPs I voted for does not extend my democratic reach. Curtailing my freedom to live, work and settle across Europe does not enhance the prospects for me and my family. We now have a situation where we voted to restrict our freedom of movement and restrict our involvement in democracy. We are where we are, and I would just like the brexiteers to articulate in words I can understand what plausible outcome they actually want.

        • John Archer
          Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          Recalling the MEPs I voted for does not extend my democratic reach. … We now have a situation where we voted to … restrict our involvement in democracy.” — Alan Bell

          ‘Democratic’, ‘democracy’?

          Democracy requires a demos. There is no European demos. The EU is not a democracy.

          To be clear, I agree to be ruled by the majority decision of my fellow countrymen. The citizens of other countries are not my fellow countrymen. I have never agreed, much less been consulted, about foreigners having a say in how I am ruled. I will never accept such rule.

          Your very use of the two terms in the context of the EU perpetuates an outrageous lie.

          The demos is the cornerstone of any democracy. Any attempt to undermine it is an act of treason.

          And by the way, allowing mass alien immigration without explicit and overwhelming consent is such.

          Perhaps Mr Redwood will find the expression of the above views unhelpful, maybe even inappropriate and unacceptable or worse, dangerous, and therefore refuse to post them. Let’s see.

          Meanwhile, I have to say I have never yet had seen them shot down with a contrary argument — plenty of ad hominem and similar blustering rhetorical responses, yes, but mostly silence or deletion, certainly nothing in the way of an actual, stand-up argument.

          • Alan Bell
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Well this is where we have a very fundamental disagreement. I live in Surrey and I accept just the authority of Surrey County Council, I see no reason why the people of Essex should have any say in how I am ruled, they are not my fellow countymen. Sounds daft right? I see your views on Europe as just like that. Absolutely I should be represented in the EU as common standards are formed across Europe, so I can go to Ireland and expect the food to be safe, and the people of Spain can come to the UK and expect no effluent on the beaches. I expect the people of other countries who are just like us to have an input into our shared future. I do understand your little Englander outlook, but it seems very dated to me. Hey ho, you won I lost and little England is on the rise. My view is that it is a step backwards in terms of democracy.

  35. Mark Watson
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic but I see that Q2 GDP growth has been revised up from 0.6 to 0.7% this morning.
    More interesting is that the July index of services was +0.4% even though the PMI for services in July indicated a large contraction.Analysts suggesting Q3 GDP growth may surprise on the upside.
    Evidence as you have rightly pointed out that the PMI is to be taken with a pinch of salt …

    ” the PMI has predicted 3 out of the last 1 recessions ” I think you said 🙂

    Reply I did, and they are proving it again!

  36. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The trade deficit argument is somewhat more nuanced than presented in this article. Many EU countries buy more from the UK than they sell. While Germany is the obvious exception (although the Germans seem to sell perfectly well into the North American market where tariffs exist), the view of other governments may well be different with regards to the effect of possible tariffs as it may be viewed as an opportunity. I note that Ford have already made a decision to cut investment in their Bridgend engine plant by nearly half and reduce the planned production output by 50% and we have seen the recent comments by the Japanese.

    The idea that anything other than tariff-free is a “vindictive” position is, IMO, naive. It appears to be based on the assumption that many of the multi-national non-EU companies who currently base themselves in the UK for reasons of single market access would continue to do so once the UK left the single market and not consider relocation of functions to retain single market access. For many, single market access is their primary reason for being here, so would they stay once that disappears, especially for jobs which are not tied to physical infrastructure?

    We have already seen reports of, for example, Frankfurt Paris and Dublin advertising themelves as potential new locations for London-based jobs in the passported financial services functions, and there are reports of many financial services companies planning for potential relocation of such functions post-Brexit. Many services jobs are very mobile and I would expect that many EU governments are seeing Brexit as an opportunity to attract those jobs to their country and would be happy with an outcome which gives them that opportunity to attract what are typically skilled, high-paid jobs to their countries.

    Manufacturing jobs such as those in the the Japanese car plants are not as simple to relocate, but the imposition of tariffs would make investing in plants elsewhere in Europe more attractive than investing in the UK, leaving the UK-based plants heading towards a slow decline, while future investment is focussed elsewhere. There would also be knock-on effects on, for example, the UK-based elements of the manufacturing supply chain.

    Finally, for the UK to negotiate its own trade deals means leaving the Customs Union, which means creating a hard border in Ireland between the North and the Republic (as the Republic is not leaving the Customs Union) with all the potential implications that has on the politics and relations within Ireland. I have yet to see a credible solution to solving this issue advocated.

  37. rose
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I am very glad you have written this. I hope it will be widely circulated.

  38. Colin Hart
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Here’s a draft of the letter from HMG:

    This is to inform you that under the terms of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK Government is giving notice that we shall be leaving the European Union in 2018.
    Over the two-year notice period the UK is prepared to negotiate fresh arrangements with the EU which we sincerely hope can be in the best interests of both parties.
    We must, however, make clear that whatever the outcome of the negotiations once the two-year notice period has expired, the UK will be making no further financial contributions to the EU, will not be obliged to follow any directives or regulations promulgated by the EU and will not be bound by any rulings of the European Court of Justice.
    As far as UK-EU trade is concerned post 2018, should no better arrangement be possible, the UK will trade, as it does with much of the rest of the world, under World Trade Organisation rules. Given the large trade surplus the EU currently runs with the UK, the EU may wish to seek more favourable terms than this. The UK government will give serious consideration to any proposals from the EU for a new trade agreement between the two parties post 2018.
    Meanwhile the UK reserves the right to explore the possibilities of other free trade agreements with the rest of the world, while recognising that any such agreements cannot be legally ratified until the UK has actually left the European Union.
    As to the movement of people post 2018, the UK will assert its right as a sovereign nation to control its borders and decide what numbers of people it allows to enter its territory for the purpose of work or settlement. Those EU citizens already domiciled in the UK would continue to have a right to stay in the UK but the UK government cannot bind its successors with any guarantee that benefits they currently enjoy will exist in perpetuity. The right of EU citizens to stay is conditional on the same right being applied by the EU and its member states to UK citizens already domiciled in the EU.
    There will no doubt be a number of other issues falling under the general heading of ‘mutual co-operation’ where it would be helpful for both parties to pursue a constructive dialogue. We look forward to doing so.
    Yours etc

  39. JM
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I wish I shared your sanguinity that our EU partners were neither vindictive or stupid. Listening to the comments that have been made by some of them since June 23rd, I wonder.

  40. acorn
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “Carry on tariff free as at present, or revert to the WTO ready made schedules.”

    There won’t be any ready made schedules unless the UK takes the initiative, and designs new schedules, that are slightly more liberal than the current EU schedules, if not a Singapore style free trader, with low import duties across the board, and minimal subsidies for farmers. Is it likely that WTO members would agree to the UK getting the same terms as the EU, outside of an EU with much greater bargaining power?

    Lawyers are suggesting that the UK “submit these schedules as a rectification or, to avoid unnecessary dispute, as a combination of rectification and modification, for certification by the WTO Director-General”.

    There are about a hundred Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQ) that are for the whole of the EU. The UK share will need negotiating in the divorce settlement, since that will come out of the EU’s WTO entitlement. The EU’s quotas (allowing quantities of certain products to be imported at special lower-duty rates) are for the whole EU single market, not any individual country such as the UK. WTO limits on agricultural subsidies, are also for the entire EU.

    I am assuming that Mrs May won’t move on Article 50, until the government back office has crunched all the numbers with the other 27 members.

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    In one sense you are correct John.
    But there are other issues.
    1 What happens to the thousands camped up around Calais expecting to get into the UK one way or another eventually?
    2 What happens to the many more tens of thousands Ms Merkel has invited into Europe, who will get German passports at some point, who will then get the first coach to Victoria available making them our problem not Germanys?
    3 What happens to the Irish land border? And the current practise of being able to catch the ferry from Northern Ireland to England without a passport? Are we going to continue to allow people to fly into Southern Ireland, cross the land border, and hop on a ferry to England, bypassing immigration controls here? And the same problem with Scotland if the SNP get their way?
    4 What happens to the promises senior British politicians have made to India to keep their work visa (and intra company transfer bypassing the quotas) taps fully open via the EU/India trade deals? Are we really going to see sense and tell India to take a hike?
    5 What is done to keep the roads to the ferry ports open and trade moving? While keeping the attempted illegal immigration under some proper control?
    These and more questions need answering too.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Actually Mrs May has answered this for me… speaking to BBC News NI at Downing Street today, Mrs May said she agreed with the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive about not seeing a “return to the borders of the past”. She would work “closely together” with them to ensure free movement across the border, she added.

      So there we have it anyone who can get into Southern Ireland can gain free entry to Northen Ireland and no doubt onto England in the no passport required ferry.

      Open borders is alive and well.

      We may as well not have had a referendum.

      What a complete and utter disaster of a prime minister for this country.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 1:14 am | Permalink

      Yes they need answering but are not required as “Arrangements for withdrawal” as stated in Article 50. They can all be better answered by Britain as an independent sovereign nation than by Britain as a subordinate member state of the EU.

      On the specific question of borders there are some common EU wide rules concerning non-EU migration but essential such arrangements are for individual states to decide. So Britain can maintain the treaty with France concerning Calais and negotiate directly with the Republic of Ireland on the Northern Ireland land border.

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Gill,

      Don’t all your questions apply whether we are in or out of the EU ?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 2, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        The vote to leave was a vote against open doors and high levels of immigration. It will be a mockery of the will of the people to fail to improve the immigration situation.

        And it’s the only sustainable long term winnable political strategy to take.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Much is being made of leaving the “Tariff Free Zone”.

    It needs to be pointed out to advocates of remaining in the EU that there is nothing cost free about the TFZ.

    It comes with the costs of freedom of movement (the EU’s unemployed to our shores) and soon to be the costs of Fiscal Union (redistributive EU tax) and EU bank bailouts.

    Infact the TFZ piles on to us huge welfare, social and political costs.

  43. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Whilst I have welcomed the fact that we no longer have a PM trying to dominate the airwaves and screens, Mrs May is taking it too far. She is creating a vacuum; suggestions that she is a ditherer will gain ground and she is danger of losing the initiative. I welcome Liam Fox’s speaking yesterday on free trade, but we need more of that kind of motivation.

    Mrs May is the leader now, she must demonstrate some leadership qualities and urgently. If next week goes by without it I suspect demoralisation may begin to set in with Brexit and other matters.

    • Chris
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly, PW. Delay is very dangerous for democracy.

  44. forthurst
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “The new Remain media line is to draw an absurd distinction between hard and soft Brexit.”

    A ‘soft brexit’ is the last redoubt of the Remain Campaign which now calls itself ‘Open Britain’. Their aim is to inflict free movement on us despite the clear majority who voted against. What is remarkable about ‘Open Britain’ is that its site does not identify who is behind its campaign; many of those who were directors before a change of name on the Register of Companies from ‘The In Campaign’ have resigned, but that does not mean they may not be working openly or surreptitiously for a ‘soft Brexit’. Mrs May needs to clear out any ministers who purport to support the government’s objectives whilst advocating for the same position as ‘Open Britain’.

  45. Jack Snell
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    You’re wrong there- the EU institutions are not stupid but they are collectively vindictive- they see what we have done in voting to leave as a stab in the back and in any case they are fed up listening to our whine over decades. Even if we wanted to change our minds now there is no way back for the UK as the EU institutions would throw up so many roadblocks it would be impossible to change our course of direction now.

    So rest assured dear brexiteers fasten your seat belts for we’re in for a bumpy ride and whether we like it or not taking back control will mean squat to the ordinary hard pressed people. In a few years time the older generation, who voted in such large numbers to exit, will have passed on and it is the younger ones and the generations to come that will pay the price. Hard or soft brexit are only words and will mean very little to the suffering people in the future patiently waiting outside the European embassies in London to get their visas for travel – business or pleasure. That seems to be the way we’re going- Enough said

    • Oggy
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I hope you are right.
      Waiting outside embassies in London will be a welcome change from waiting in A+E depts, GP surgeries, and for school places for your children because of the 3m EU migrants already here.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      I thought John Redwood was saying these individuals can be either vindicative or stupid but are not both – so far in his experience. Non?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      You should remember that most of the older generations have progeny and voted for what they consider best for them.

      The EU can put up road blocks and obstacles only if the UK is asking for something. There is very little UK should ask for as terms of withdrawal and in most cases it has the upper hand, such as the status of the 1.2 million UK citizens resident in EU states and the 3 million EU citizens resident in Britain.
      There is no requirement in Article 50 to negotiate a future relationship on anything.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 1:32 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, one other thing. Non-EU migration and travel is a matter for individual states although there are a few EU wide rules. So UK could have visa free travel for all EU states except a few. UK’s arrangements need not be with the EU itself. Before you pounce, Turkey is different because travel and immigration in that case is part of an EU Accession Agreement leading to membership of the EU.

  46. petermartin2001
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    These notions of hard and soft have only emerged since the referendum. Maybe I missed them, but I don’t remember any arguments from either side, prior to the 23rd June, that a vote for Leave would be, in itself, an indecisive outcome and that further clarification would be later required.

    If result had gone other way, we would equally have had to decide if we wanted hard or full membership ( fully embracing the idea of EU integration, ever closer union, complete with adopting the euro etc) or the kind of soft membership (half-in, half out) we had before.

    I really don’t see the point of either soft membership or soft Brexit. We should either be fully in or fully out. There’ll be a lot of huffing and puffing in the next few years but the EU, and the Germans in particular, would have to be crazy to allow any deliberate harm to come to their best European customer. There’s only the USA which is bigger.

    • Chris
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      It is a disgraceful tactic by the Remainers to try to nullify the results of the Referendum. The problem is that many Tory MPs are buying into it.

  47. Prigger
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The Remainers were defeated so soundly and humiliatingly they are scratting about for something to peck and gobble to show they are still somehow engaging in a living debate which in reality has already been concluded.

    • Alan Bell
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      We lost. We all lost. We are all screwed. The remainers hereby accept the will of the people for us to be losing losers who lost. Fine. Our simple single question for the brexiters is “what do you want?” and we would like a plausible and legal answer to that question. The fact that after three months we are no closer to having an answer to that question that is compatible with reality and the legal framework in which the world operates is slightly disturbing.

      reply I have set out a very clear answer. I want to leave the EU and become a normal non EU country!

      • Alan Bell
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        John, you seem to want white coffee without milk. You want tariff free trade but not being a party to the RTA that is registered with the WTO. You want random tariff wars which are not compatible with being a member of the WTO. You want to fail to pay our share of the reste á liquider budget provision and the pensions of EU officials bringing about a sovereign debt default with no consequences. You just need to engage with reality and answer some basic questions about what you want with answers that are compatible with what can be delivered in reality.

        • Peter D Gardner
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 2:28 am | Permalink

          John Redwood can answer whether he actually wants the things you cite. I suggest the answers are:

          The RTA that is registered with the WTO. I don’t think anyone wants tariff wars. The WTO wants free trade as much as possible. The EU has a free trade agreement with South Africa. Why not with Britain? I would suggest an Association Agreement with UK but they all do include free trade. There is no fundamental difficulty. The question is whether the parties want a free trade deal. In any case UK’s negotiating position will be greatly enhanced once it has officially left the EU.

          UK’s share of the reste á liquider budget is a matter for settlement under Article 50. I don’t see any reason why UK would expect not to pay what it has committed to pay while a member. However, it would be unreasonable for UK to pay into budgets for periods after it has left the EU.

          The pensions of British EU officials is a matter to be settled under Article 50, along with, for example, UK’s share of EU assets, resolution of any cases before the ECJ involving UK etc etc.

          Bottom line is that there is nothing in the EU Treaties requiring any ongoing commitment by a state leaving the EU. None.

          • Peter D Gardner
            Posted October 1, 2016 at 2:29 am | Permalink

            Typo! My comment should read “I would NOT suggest an Association Agreement with UK … “

      • hefner
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood, Indeed you have and I congratulate you for it. But how much weight do you/your blog has on your Conservative MP colleagues, and on the Government?

  48. miami.mode
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Agree completely with your post and the Remainers request for a further referendum based on the “deal” that we get is ludicrous. Our exit strategy and the way forward will be like starting a new job. There will not be any sort of lightbulb moment but our trade and new position in the world will develop over the coming months and years.

  49. MPC
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Many people in the media and elsewhere (Martin Schultz?!) don’t seem to realise that it’s individual firms rather than countries/Blocs that actually trade with one another, and on behalf of consumers living within those different countries. So we shouldn’t ‘negotiate’ or need any unanimous approval of 27 EU member states to new arrangements (which should simply be access to the traders located in EU markets, as you say). Therefore there should be no scope for a second referendum on the terms of our exit as suggested by people such as Caroline Lucas!

    I worry about why an additional 500 civil servants are needed, and why the PM doesn’t seem to be driving forward our exit from the EU. Let’s hope your party conference results in some decisiveness in this regard, satisfying those of us who worked hard to secure the referendum result and all of the Leave voters who are becoming increasingly cynical about all this apparent delay.

  50. Alan Bell
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Is this actually about assigning blame? You want to abrogate responsibility for deciding what outcome you even desire, fail to negotiate anything and then declare that the inevitable tariffs are the somehow the fault of the EU? You really don’t care what happens and how many people suffer as long as you can blame someone else.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Alan Bell:
      Few are suffering if any. Our economy is booming. EU economy is failing.Let our enemies impose tariffs! Our friends will not. They ARE our friends aren’t they?

      • Alan Bell
        Posted October 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        That is *not* how tariffs work, and it hasn’t been since the days of the Weimar Republic. You can’t have a customs war now, that isn’t compatible with membership of the WTO. You give *all* nations the same tariffs as the most favored trading partner unless there is a bilateral regional trade agreement in place that covers substantially all goods and agrees more liberal trading terms and market access. There are also PTAs which are aid for trade agreements for helping developing nations. You can’t say “lets do no tariffs and see if they reciprocate or not” that simply isn’t how the world has worked for a century.

    • Graham
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Are you the new troll on the block – heir apparent to our EU sponsored Dutchman PvL?

      You add nothing to the debate other than whine so go away.

  51. lojolondon
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    By “the new Remain media line” , John, you are referring to every one of the main newspapers, and to all the TV, radio and internet broadcast output. The Biased BBC has been particularly despicable in this context, continuously bigging up every sad story they can find, and ignoring entirely or glossing over positive Brexit stories. Please can you throw your weight behind the widespread opposition to the BBC, we really need to save the £6Billion we spend on it every year, and do something useful with the money.

    • Peter Dennis
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Where did you pick that number from ? Are you discounting the rebates, the allocation of funds for education, the funds passed to poorer areas (in the UK).
      Just looking at the cash side of the fence is simply ignoring a whole bunch of stuff that the EU brings to the party: clean beaches, better societies for the countries who want to join (and that is really really important), education, research, standards for imports/exports (what is the CE mark on stuff ?).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Polling day was June 23rd, in case you missed it.

        • Peter Dennis
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Of course not. Why do you ask ? Questions and comments are good things. Examining mistakes and learning from them are good things.

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        I suppose we are too stupid to employ high standards.
        The EU also brings poverty in southern Europe and violence on the streets.
        It ravishes the seas for fish and bankrupts African farmers with tariffs on their goods.
        The EU is a corrupt mess.

      • rose
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        The EU has made us a dirtier, more poisonous place: the first thing it did was force us to overturn our prohibition on outsize lorries; it foisted over-packaging on us, including environmental oestrogen-inducing plastic; it foisted diesel on us, at the secret behest of diesel engine producers; and worst of all it inflicted overpopulation on us, the most polluting thing of all. The environmental initiatives came from us and our scientists. The idea that the EU has been good for our environment is poppycock, or rather propaganda.

        • rose
          Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          PS the EU has also increased noise pollution in insisting that everything which can be mechanised must be.

  52. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Deja vu all over again in Cameron/Blair/Major world

    UKIP = nasty nutty fruitcakes, Conservative/Blair Lab = compassionate caring souls
    Hard Brexit = nasty nutty Brexiteers, Soft Brexit = caring sensible folk

    This is just career politicians and media people pandering to peoples’ fears. Expect to see more of it as this process continues, so again we arrive at a mushy half-baked Major-type solution. Or perhaps T May has a stronger spine than that? We’ll know soon enough.

    Posted September 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The of Remainers of the Labour and LibDems in particular sabotaged Mr Cameron’s earnest attempts at getting a better deal with the EU. They stated categorically that they would vote Remain irrespective. Mr Cameron was therefore denied any leverage in negotiations as the EU bureaucrats were convinced we would never leave even with the worst of deals. Now, the Remainers are sabotaging post-Brexit negotiations by campaigning for a repeat referendum and a Parliamentary right to thwart the result of negotiations and the Leave vote.
    Again the EU foreign bureaucrats have a good anti-British ally in the Remainers.

  54. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Brexiteers now have a moral duty to support the car workers in Sunderland considering Brexiteers promised them they would be better off economically out of Europe than in. The government is going to have to promise to compensate Nissan for the losses it now forecasts. And it’s going to have compensate all the other companies in similar areas, and across Britain, so as to fulfil the promises it made in the Referendum.

    (Except that they can’t afford Brexit as first we have to pay back our huge national debt)
    (Yes to reform of the EU over immigration, but not like this)

    Reply I doubt there will be car tariffs. If there were then of course we can subsidise UK companies out of the tariff revenue, as we of course will be getting more of it given the high imports from the EU!

    • Alan Bell
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      About that subsidising car companies out of tariff revenue. No. That is illegal state aid and it is against WTO rules, not just EU rules. We do that and we get dragged through WTO arbitration and could end up with economic sanctions being authorised against us. There are ways of doing it legally, but you can’t just chuck money at companies to keep them profitable.

      reply As you say there are plenty of ways of doing it legally! Look at Germany’s electricity prices for example

      • Alan Bell
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        good example John. They got slapped for doing state aid

        • anon
          Posted October 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Dispute resolution is not same in EU v WTO as i think mentioned elsewhere.

          EU is a law thing via courts. WTO is a negotiation by sovereigns.

          • Alan Bell
            Posted October 2, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            WTO dispute process is documented here and really brexit fans need to spend a few days reading stuff on the WTO website if that is where they want to take us. It is really concerning when people like John Redwood talk about stuff that is not compatible with being in the WTO. Yes you muppets won, you are in control, you can take us where you like, and you don’t like the Norway/Switzerland etc options. OK, but lets not go for the Somalia/North Korea option which is where you are taking us if you continue to declare that you intend to flout WTO rules.

      • Prigger
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Alan Bell:
        Tell Mr Corbyn ” you cannot just chuck money” at say the steel industry or the rail industry. Mrs Merkel has “chucked money” at VW, Germany’s steel industry (in the East ) the lignite industry and coal industry, and at tiny EU nations which only survive by having “money chucked ” at them:Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Greece, Cyprus…

      • Simon
        Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Thankyou Allan Bell. Very well summarised!

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        ‘No. That is illegal state aid and it is against WTO rules, not just EU rules’

        – OK, point taken. But what do you do about Sunderland car-workers, and others, who voted Leave because they were promised life would be better outside the EU than inside?

        • Alan Bell
          Posted October 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          I really don’t know. They are going to be unemployed, along with the whole supply chain and will have simultaneously voted away the Auf Wiedersehen Pet freedom of movement to seek new opportunities elsewhere. There might be some local manufacturing that can be done profitably, and some might be able to restructure to just serve the domestic market and forget about exports. Overall it is going to be a serious reduction of overall GDP when manufacturing and financial services restructure to fit into our new environment. At that point people will take a long hard look at our debt to GDP ratio and wonder what the hell to do about it. I know some people are really pleased about having local democratically elected politicians running the show without interference from Brussels based democratically elected politicians (yay to taking away half of the democracy we participate in) but fundamentally you can’t eat democracy or sovereignty and we are going to be hungry.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ed–“Reform of the EU over immigration”. Give us a break, please. We are told nightly by somebody from the EU that this is totally, 100%, completely, unarguably, absolutely impossible.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


      I would have thought that the 10% reduction in the vale of £ sterling would go some way to counter any tariffs on factory prices should they ever be imposed, which I doubt.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Ed Mahoney

      It is unreasonable that Nissan should expect the benefits of the ‘Tariff Free Zone’ which come at the cost to the UK taxpayer in freedom of movement and associated welfare and social problems.

      In effect we are subsidising them to be here and I wonder if the net cost of the whole open borders policy which comes with the TFZ is worth it.

      One would suggest that the national debt and deficit indicates not.

      One would suggest that the social cost – in view of the majority vote to Leave – indicates not.

      Dare I say it – we could exit the TFZ, control our borders, lose quite a few Nissans and still be better off for all it’s worth.

  55. Richard Butler
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    John, the Remainers counter argument has now moved on to say without proper SM membership all our goods will rot in queues of ships awaiting inspection / authorisation, that tariffs are ‘not the real issue’.

    I hear this argument nightly again and again on LBC Radio. Got to be nonsense, at it would mean the same would be happened to Japanese and Chinese goods.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      No doubt there will be legal, technical and practical details to sort out, but I don’t think we are intending that their exports to us will held up and so if they did that to ours it would just be another aspect of stupidity and vindictiveness.

  56. Newmania
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I find this post ( and the previous ones in particular dealing with passporting ) so entirely lacking in a quality we sometimes call ” truth” there is no point whatsoever in endlessly pointing it out.
    Thats me done , you live on your planet and I shall continue to live on mine

    • Edward2
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you are confusing the truth with different opinions.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      As the arch remainiac and EU troll, we expect that kid of vacuous comment.
      We’re leaving, end of.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Churlish and childish as ever.

      Thank you very much for your many posts proving my claims that the sneering intelligensia does exist.

      Do show your postings to fellow Remainers. I imagine they will be most annoyed with you for blowing the gaff.

    • Yudansha
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      “you live on your planet and I shall continue to live on mine”

      That’s not how democracy works. You live on the planet the majority chooses.

  57. Richard Butler
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


    Richard Eglin to the House of Lords Select Committee enquiry on ‘Brexit: future trade between the UK and the EU’ on 8 September 2016 are of particular value. Eglin served for over 20 years as a Director in the WTO Secretariat. To summarise his position as best I can, he said that so long as the UK maintained the same tariff schedule as that of the EU, there would not be any great difficulty in what he called ‘a rectification of the schedule’. Certain matters, such as the agricultural quotas, would have to be negotiated, but there would be no breakdown in trade (Question 3, p. 7):

    Chaos would break out if anybody were to suggest that the UK does not have a schedule and therefore they will not trade with the UK. It would be absolute pandemonium. It is not going to happen. The reality is that it is a matter of negotiation. It could take years before the schedule is actually certified by consensus, as you say, but in that period we would continue to trade on the terms in which we proposed we should trade, as long as they were reasonable. … As long as it is reasonable, I see no problem whatever.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink


      Where this is the political will there is almost invariably a legal way.

      If necessary it can be agreed by all parties that a new agreement can come into force provisionally until such time as they have all completed their domestic formalities, and it is even possible to say that these parts will be applied provisionally but these other parts won’t come until force until all parties have ratified, etc.

      For example while Croatia has been a member state of the EU since July 1st 2013 it is not yet formally a member of the EEA. The protocol for its participation in the EEA was agreed long ago but it is still awaiting final ratification by some of the EEA parties and so it is not yet in force.

      At present anything which legally depends upon Croatia being an EEA member state only works because all parties have agreed to provisional application of the protocol prior to it coming into force.

      Of course the fact that in practice an agreement is operating as if it was already in force can mean that some of the parties see no particular urgency in completing their internal procedures and formally ratifying it, in this particular case that includes the EU as well as the UK and most of the other EU member states:

      “Agreement on the participation of the Republic of Croatia in the European Economic Area”

      “Provisional Application from 12/04/2014.”

  58. John B
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    JR imho is absolutely correct in his analysis – I also heard Peter Lilley making similar points on LBC on a program asking whether Brexit should be hard or soft. PL also pointed out that it only took 2 years to sort out all the required legal, tariff, customs, tax regime and other changes when we joined so, with those things now largely harmonised, it should not take as long to leave.

    People who supported Remain are overwhelmingly calling to stay in the “single market” and therefore asking for a soft (i.e. no real) Brexit whereas Leavers seem to clearly understand that we have to leave the single market (but not stop trading with EU businesses) to regain control of our laws, borders etc. A German industry leader also made the same point on the Today program yesterday and advised us to get on with a “hard” Brexit.

    Can someone please enlighten me about which negotiations are going to be so difficult? On LBC, when people called for a hard, fast Brexit, the show host said it could not be done like that and gave as an example that one of the difficult things would be to negotiate what happens to EU nationals who are currently living in other EU countries. I hope our position would be that those who can pay their own way (without depending on benefits) should be allowed to stay and those who can’t should be required to leave. If other EU countries were unwilling to continue free healthcare for U.K. Nationals, we could simply have a reciprocal charging arrangement for healthcare. This is clearly one example that needs to be agreed but I can’t see why it needs to take much time to deal with. If the EU wants to spin negotiations out, we should simply set out our position and then implement it on DDay, and sort out any problems later. I am not saying that it will be easy or that there won’t be discussions about matters that are in our interest, but we don’t need to spend much time on things that are not in our interest.

  59. CdBrux
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    If I may pick up on a possibly slightly pedantic, but I feel important, use of the word ‘access’ in relation to the single market. As you say ‘access’ is not the (narrow) question – of course we get that, it’s the *type* of access that is the question. I’m not sure enough people, in particular those who don’t follow the whole thing that closely, get this distinction.

    I wish all people when discussing this would say “The main issue we need to sort out with the rest of the EU is do we have tariff-free access to the single market, or access at WTO tariffs.”

    OK, a bit longer, but I think it may help more people understand access is not at risk, it’s just under what terms. This can then lead more debate around those terms and I think this would help people understand they are not so bad as all that even if we get WTO terms.

  60. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just happened across this:

    and the chart says the EU average (trade weighted) MFN tariff is now no more than 1%.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Plus of course that in general world prices are lower than EU prices, so if they want to sell us their commodities they will have to lower prices to world levels or we will simply buy elsewhere, which we cannot do at present because of external tariffs. All the nonsense about increased prices outside the EU is another Remoaner scare story (which I think even they believe) and we can be sure that our grocery bills will fall outside the EU.
      We need to get on with it. I know you are concerned about the ludicrous court case trying to thwart the will of the people, but in actuality, we could have a vote in parliament any time we like which would nullify it and I can’t see even the most ardent Remoaner in the Tory Party or even Labour would stop it as it would be political suicide for those members. Their careers would be very short and that’s the one thing politicians won’t risk, principles or not.

  61. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s quite funny really. I’ve been reading your posts and people’s replies for a long time now John and really we are all saying the same things that we were saying before the referendum. We want out and out completely. How long can the people tell government what they want before something actually happens? How many times do we all have to say get on with it? When will we get a government that listens to the people that voted it in and listens to the voice of reason when it comes to so many policies? They just don’t cut the mustard any more. Today I hear that the climate change rubbish is to be ratified as soon as possible and the UK will be signing up to it before the end of the year. Isn’t anyone listening? We want sensible policies on this and so much more.

    • Peter Dennis
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      @fedupsoutherner can you explain the comment ‘climate change rubbish’, thank you ?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Climate change – I totally agree.
      EU: if we do this wrong, then the trade with Europe could easily suddenly come to a standstill. It is not just about tariffs, now we have approved economic operators and trade agreements which allow lorries, planes and ships to pass through customs without checking. We have standards which allow free trade with other countries through the world. We have globalised sompanies with central offices in places like Ireland where the tax is lowest and banks in the Caribbean.
      Touching the EU relationship in a clumsy way is like taking a penknife to a cancer excision.

  62. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    The Guardianistas keep clutching at straw of the £ devaluation following the vote to argue that the outcome was a disaster. If so voting for Corbyn’s Labour at the next elections would be even more of a disaster as the pound would plummet further. But I don’t expect they’ll say that.

  63. John O'Leary
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    The PM has already rightly ruled out the Norwegian and Swiss options, and ruled out staying in the EEA.

    Do you have a verifiable quote to back up that statement, as I have my doubts that she has ruled out remaining in the EEA?

  64. APL
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    JR: “We were asked to vote to remain or leave.”


    JR: “We voted to leave the EU. ”


    But neither was there a timetable!.

    A phased withdrawal from the European Union is perfectly consistent with the result of the referendum.

    Your party has spent forty three years integrating the UK into the European economic community / European Union. The goal of Kenneth Clarke and Michael Hestletine et al, was to drive that integration as far as possible, to the extent that it would be nearly impossible to arrest and reverse it. They have failed, good.

    We do need to stop the political influence of the European Union, trigger article 50 and start negotiations to leave.

    Article 50 should be invoked in the new year.
    Negotiations should follow that will allow us access to the single market.
    These could reasonably be tied up in two years.

    This may involve EFTA or the Norway option.

    With Article 50 invoked, we can proceed to adopt the whole body of European law into UK domestic law.

    But we no longer accept further dicktat from Brussels. Why deal with the monkey ( the European Union ) when you can talk directly to the organ grinder ( The United Nations ) ?

    We can also invoke article 112 of the EEA agreement to restrict free movement of people.

    Once the dust settles, we can start to negotiate our own bilateral trade agreements with third countries.

    Basically, we can have our cake and eat it, with the minimum of economic disruption.

    We can have access to the EEA, restrict free movement of people and regain political self determination, all with no economic disruption.

    I’m at a loss as to why you don’t adopt this solution whole heartedly?

    We can then selectively repeal / or replace items of European law that we are unhappy with.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid it is not that simple, but I would like to see JR discussing it.

    • James Munroe
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Article 112:
      “1. If serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties of a sectorial or regional nature liable to persist are arising, a Contracting Party may unilaterally take appropriate measures under the conditions and procedures laid down in Article 113”

      So, if (and it is a big if), we can convince the EEA Joint Committee that we have the above problems – which is extremely unlikely, we might be granted some temporary control over immigration.
      A wonderful temporary ‘concession’, by a committee outside of the UK, who would still tell us how we can control our borders.

      That is not ‘leaving’ the EU and gaining control of our borders, something very dear to the hearts of the 17 million Brexit voters.

      • APL
        Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        James Munroe: “which is extremely unlikely, we might be granted some temporary control over immigration.”

        Liechtenstein has invoked it permanently.

        James Munroe: “A wonderful temporary ‘concession’, by a committee outside of the UK, who would still tell us how we can control our borders.”

        It’s not a concession, it’s a right under the EEA agreement.

        Your own quote confirms it; “ a Contracting Party may unilaterally take appropriate measures under the conditions and procedures laid down in Article 113 ..”

        Britain could invoke article 112/113 of the EEA today, why we haven’t, you’d better ask John Redwood, he is, after all a member of the Privy council ( and thus on the inner circle of those who govern us ) and one of our representatives who signed up for the whole shebang.

        The definition of “Serious economic or societal matters” is, I think left up to the discretion of the contracting party to decide.

        James Munroe: “That is not ‘leaving’ the EU and gaining control of our borders, something very dear to the hearts of the 17 million Brexit voters.”

        Nor is the EEA the European Union. It is a distinct organization. We will trigger the process of leaving the EU by virtue of notification of our intent to do so, under article 50 of TEU (Lisbon).

        Once the two year period of negotiations has satisfactorily been completed, we repeal the ’73 act at the same time repatriate all EU legal instruments into UK domestic law, to unpick at our leisure.

        Negotiations during the two year period, will include our remaining in the EEA but outside the political apparatus that is the European Union. Just like Norway, just like Iceland.

        So having recovered our political freedom, we can decide later if we wish to stay in, for example the EFTA – which we were an original founding member, or negotiate our own bilateral trade agreements.

        I think it rash to think we can unpick 43 years of Tory and Labour and Liberal European integration in two years. It’s a complicate process.

        We also need to take control of the political parties again. That means wresting control of the Tory party from the Grandees like Clarke and yes, Redwood too.

  65. Iain Gill
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Anna Soubry on the TV recons she accepts the will of the people and we should leave the EU but then goes on to accept all the rules and problems of EU membership,
    she wants open borders, she wants EU regulation, what exactly would be the point of leaving in her world?

    There seems to be a concern in the real world that the political class are just playing the long game and putting things off as long as possible in the hope that they can make leaving as close to staying in as posssible, leave in name only, if thats the plan expect the people to get upset

    And still no political party (except perhaps UKIP) is prepared to really understand the real problems of immigration and actually fight for what the people want, as ever they thing their elites know better than the rest of us

    Corbyn and his regional aid fund to supposedly help areas impacted most by immigration really needs verbal attack, the small sum involved is not going to solve the lack of school places, GP access, and housing supply, it simply doesnt add up. And ongoing open doors has no support at all in the country including in the immigrant communties.

  66. Iain Gill
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I will be going out tomorrow and having the biggest dessert I can. Thanks to Mr Hunt I will consider it from now on my patriotic duty to have big desserts as often as possible as a show of resistance to our rubbish political masters.

    I strongly suggest he turns his attention to 1 why I have no real choice of GP 2 why I have no real choice of secondary care provider 3 why the waits are so long 4 why cancellations are routine 5 why treatments routine in the rest of the developed world are rationed so heavily here

    Why if I need a heart stent is it so unlikely I will get one in this shambles of a country? its OK if you are the Duke of Edinburgh and can get helicoptered over many A & E departments to one of the few doing heart stents, the rest of us are mostly left to die. In complete and utter contrast to the rest of the developed world.

    Stop defending the rubbish NHS Mr Hunt and empower the patients to exercise real buying power in the relationship with the cosy often state owned providers of sub 3rd world care.

    Large desserts all round.

  67. Bernard
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! Just happened across this page and it is one of the worst internet echo chambers I have come across. repeated posts by the same people egging you on, after you have made further simplistic (and factually incorrect) statements about Brexit – nonetheless they love it!

    Perhaps a test of your alleged liberal principles if posts like this mysteriously disappear.

    You need to talk to people in the real world about trading and exporting. Talk to trade negotiaters, trade lawyers, manufacturing companies, financial service companies and take no notice of these sycophants, lest you be tainted with their obvious lunacy.

    Just to talk specifics, when did the Prime Minister rule out the Norwegian and Swiss models? Only by saying she was going bespoke. A bit naughty that John. When did she rule out staying in the EEA aka the Single Market? I am sure I would have seen that on the news if it were true. Why do you say this is fully integrated with the EU when in fact, members of EFTA, definitely not in the EU, participate fully in the Single Market. Why do you keep putting forward the absolute fantasy that tariffs are the only barrier to trade as if trading under WTO rules at 0% tariff is an equivalent substitute for Single Market membership? Someone of your intellect and enquiring mind will be well aware that non-tariff barriers are a far more important issue. Someone must have told you that the required conformity checks and AEO requirements will hobble Britain’s manufacturing exporters if forced outside the Single Market. You must be aware of the problems for Britain’s financial service companies deprived of passporting. You must be aware that Britain’s service exporting companies in general gain nothing from your WTO backstop and will be savaged by a so-called hard Brexit. You do not even identify the potential problems. One has to conclude that you are simply dissembling.

    My thoughts will no doubt upset your fan club of simpering sycophants, whose responses I will simply ignore, but maybe you will have sufficient conscience to reflect on the real issues and stop peddling this simplistic nonsense. Or after a lifetime in politics, has it become too much of a habit?

  68. Peter Gardner
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I have emailed to you my submission to the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs inquiry, “Implications of leaving the EU for the UK’s role in the world”.
    I have read David Davis’s oral evidence to this and to the Lords EU Committee and my conclusion is that the government really is making a grave error in attempting to transition into a new and complex formal relationship while still a member of the EU. Furthermore it is busy, very busy, making a meal of what should be a very simple withdrawal negotiation that, if kept strictly to arrangements for withdrawal as Article 50 requires, could be completed in a few months giving industry and individuals immediate certainty.
    David Davis was not asked and offered no strategic overview. Basically there is neither objective nor strategy, not even tactics, just administration. The aim seems to be an administrative one of completing two new treaties with the EU in the same short timescale of two years: one on withdrawal and one on a new relationship. It is up to Mrs May to provide this vision and leadership and I see no evidence of it in the public domain.
    Factors such as a Withdrawal Agreement needing EU agreement by QMV, whereas a complex treaty including trade will require unanimity put withdrawal at risk.
    If the pace really is as frantic as David Davis implies, (to me it sounds more like being busy than being purposeful, with vast amounts of analysis and consultations) it will gain its own momentum and become increasingly difficult to change. We’ll be told that so much effort has gone into it we have to follow it through. The sunk costs fallacy. No country has ever negotiated a trade agreement with the EU within two years. What on earth makes Mrs May’s government imagine it can?
    Far better for UK and EU to adjust to Britain’s return to normality and develop their own future paths and only from that new perspective consider a formal relationship, if any.

  69. Jo Marsh
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    John – An excellent summary, and one that I sincerely hope Mrs May will perhaps take notice of. I do think matters appear to be dragging just a little, especially when the vote was crystal clear – We voted to leave the EU political union and take back control of our own country.

    Those whom are still in denial of democracy should think about this – We were never consulted in in 1973 (we were lied to to, as we found out when the papers came to light). We were consulted in 1975, but we were not given the entire truth. Had we known then what we now know, we would never have said yes in the first place.

    Since then, Treaty after Treaty has been signed and ratified without any consultation with the electorate, and little by little we lost more control.

    In 2010, their was a hung parliament, yet once again the electorate gave no mandate for that. No-one was calling for a re run of that election, we accepted it. It was an arrangement between the leaders.

    The June 2016 referendum finally allowed us our say following decades of debate, and the result clear. We must now move matters forward asap, for as I understand it, the UK continues to shell out around £34m net every single day. Presently, all we see and hear from the EU are extremely hostile remarks towards the UK . Why should we pay out £billions to those hostile to us – It leaves a bitter taste, so to speak.

    Thank you for keeping up the pressure to exit.

  70. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “The PM has already rightly ruled out the Norwegian and Swiss options, and ruled out staying in the EEA.”
    I wonder if you would please tell me why. This is not a sensible remark.
    And if you think that disentangling ourselves from the EEA is going to be simple, mr Redwood, you have simply not read the monographs of Dr North – a difficult man, yes, – but that does not mean he does not know what he is talking about.

  71. anon
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    How many further EU laws have been imposed since we voted to leave? and should they now all be subject to full UK parliament scrutiny and not by the usual EU legal backdoor.

  72. ChrisS
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I fail to understand how the Government can possibly be happy to continue paying more than £800m net per month to the EU for a day longer than absolutely necessary.

    The delay in making the Article 50 declaration because we have to awaiting the outcome of the court case brought by Luddite Remainers will have cost us more than £3bn in extra net contributions by the 13th October, the date the court case actually starts.

    When they Remainers lose, perhaps the Government lawyers could make a claim for costs of that amount on our behalf !

    Of course that isn’t the real reason for the delay. It’s CMD’s fault for refusing to allow any contingency planning for Brexit. What a pity we can’t surcharge Prime Ministers for incompetence like we can local councillors.

    For £800m a month, David Davies could hire even more lawyers and consultants to speed up the process. It would be money well spent as at least 40-50% would come back to the Treasury in income tax.

  • 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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