Brexit prospects

Everywhere I went yesterday at conference people wanted to talk about Brexit. By far the best attended of the four meetings I did was the one about next steps for Brexit. Most delegates are pleased we are leaving and want us to get on with it.

There was some surprise that the Chancellor is still genuflecting to the absurd Treasury pessimism that was fashionable under his predecessor by using the word “turbulence”. I suspect it is just a matter of time. Even the Treasury will have to catch up with all the good news about the econony that has come in since June 23.The Chancellor himself was admirably clear about the need to leave the EU and the opportunities it presents. He also referred to the better figures he has seen since June 23rd. He may have to face unrealistically pessimistic forecasts for this year and next from the Treasury as well as those we have already seen from the Bank. Let us hope they have revised them up a bit from current Bank pessimism before he has to make a judgement at the Autumn Statement.

I look forward to the Treasury thinking it should be a force to encourage confidence and sticking to the facts. The Chancellor himself is wise to leave himself room for manoeuvre on the deficit figures. If the Office of Budget Responsibility comes up with very pessimistic figures for growth next year then the apparent deficit will be much larger from the lower tax revenues that implies. The Chancellor would be sensible to ignore it, as such forecasts are likely to prove wrong. The Bank has already had to raise its pessimistic forecast for Q3 this year in the light of the evidence that the economy continued to grow.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Confidence in the construction industry is not as strong as it was this time last year. Developers are rethinking their investment models and new house building, especially of high-rise luxury developments, are either being downgraded or shelved.

    I imagine the Govenors base rate cut was more to try and boost confidence in an industry that can truly be said to be the Canary in the coal mine.

    All this talk of Hard BREXIT does little good

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      15% turnover taxes in property thanks to Osborne can hardly help. A lot of money down the government drain if you more.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        if you move.

        Indeed not worth moving unless you know you are staying put for 10 plus years.

        • acorn
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          HAVE YOU NOTICED. JR never does a “Reply” to a Lifelogic comment. IMHO that is because “Lifelogic” does not exist; he is the Alter Ego of JR. 😉

          Reply Not so. Why would I need an alter ego when I post what I think and do on my own site! I do not have time to respond to all contributions.

          • acorn
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            So how come Lifelogic now has 19 posts out of 74 at 18:00 hours today; and I, have to wait two or three days to get posted? It’s because, as Col. Jessep said in “A Few Good Men”: “You can’t handle the truth!” 😉

            Reply Short ones and ones that do not have anything that could be libellous or refer to outside sources get handled more quickly.

          • M Davis
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            I for one, HAVE NOTICED that JR does sometimes respond to Lifelogic so, put that in your pipe and smoke it, acorn!!!

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Notice that Lifelogic hasn’t denied that he’s John Redwood !

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            He does occasionally reply to me and I can assure you I am not JR. Anyway he is far better at not making spelling, grammar and typing errors. It is however an advantage not being an MP as you can actually tell the truth and rather more bluntly.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            A politician could never dare to point out even simple facts. Fact such as how few woman choose to study physics, further maths, or computer studies for example.

          • acorn
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            My reply to this post might possibly be approved before the end of the month, (when JR thinks nobody will notice it). Can I just say on behalf of the MMT crowd, to Chancellor Hammond:-

            “Mosler’s law states that “There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large tax cut or spending increase cannot deal with it”.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            I always thought LL was JRs alter ego too. He used “LL” to espouse the thoughts that were likely to get him booted out of Cameron’s “conservative” party. LLs legend was the diametric opposite of JRs to avoid suspicion. JR is from the SE, LL the NW. JR went to Oxford, LL Cambridge, JR works in finance, LL has a science background. JR works out of Wokingham, LL from a secret location (probably Switzerland).

          • Jack
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 12:39 am | Permalink

            I’m just surprised that JR never puts much thought into how our monetary system really works. If he read Warren Mosler’s “Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy“, or L. Randall Wray’s “Modern Money Theory” if he wants the exact technical details of reserve accounting and monetary operations at the CB, etc, he would be able to put together the finest Brexit plan for the economy.

            We have the economic capacity, in this country, to grow our GDP at least in the double-digits domestically on an annual basis, without any trade at all. And of course Brexit wouldn’t end our trade anyway, but I’m just illustrating the point. JR needs to convince the government to forget about their deficit obsession, and recognise the budget deficit is actually far, far too small already.

          • stred
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            He accidentally clicked his name once, enabling us to look him up. God knows how he has time to run his business, clear up beaches in Guernsey and write all his comments. It does liven up JR’s blog.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            There are always some economists who feel ever more State spending will lead to success just as there are economists who feel a smaller State with a low tax economy will bring success.

            For decades we have had a rising size State spending l larger sums of money each year and taxing us more and employing ever more people and it’s not been a great success for Europe.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        15%? A rather selective quote given that this rate only applies to second, third etc. homes valued at over £1.5 million and only on that portion of the price above £1.5 million.

        How many people are there out there who can afford to buy second homes valued at £1.5 million plus? Not many, and I suspect that those who can can also afford the stamp duty.

        • hefner
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Seconded, and applauded.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to break from the levity about the ID of Lifelogic…

      City flats in particular have been over supplied. This has been reported for some while. They are being held at high values to protect the other parts of developer’s portfolios.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Why is she predicting a slowdown next year?

  2. Excalibur
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    So right, JR. There are three things that the Prime Minister could do immediately that would be hugely beneficial to our futures:

    a) Sack Carney and take back control of the Bank of England
    b) Replace lacklustre Chancellor Hammond with your good self
    c} Sanction Boris Island forthwith

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Boris Island is in the wrong place! All the population is on one side of it. Heathwick (with 5 runways and an HS shuttle) if a far cheaper and far better option. We should work towards Heathwick and get on with it.

      Hopefully the Hammond and May will see the error of their ways and become real Tories. They should reject and undo Osborne’s lefty, tax borrow and waste, interventionist lunacies.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Again, the PM being interviewed by LK on the news today….. the UK’s exit from the UK will involve ‘complex negotiations with the EU to achieve the right deal for the UK’…. She really doesn’t get it, does she? We voted to leave and take control of our future. We are not a supplicant pleading terms of surrender to a hostile power. We have made a sovereign decision to leave the EU and be independent…..

        It need not be difficult as you say John, offer free trade or fall back on WTO, but we must be serious. She’s talking in a defensive way, she needs to be more assertive, confident. I am not sure of how well she will do if I am honest, and I would want to give her a chance but I think that her pre 23/06 position was too flaky (submarine May) to be effective in representing Uk …..


        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          Indeed we are the new buyers. We have the money they have the goods. Which one is usually the supplicant?
          Bring Farage into it – he understands trading and negotiation better than people like May who’ve never been in the commercial sharp end of a deal in their lives.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        @LL; You are obsessed with your “Heathwick”, it will not happen, NIMBYS in the shape of the Surrey stock broker belt will see to that (as it is there is a legal embargo on a second Gatwick runway at the moment if I recall correctly, granted when the north terminal was allowed I think). Well I say never, not under a Tory government but a non green crap left-wing Labour Government might decide to force such a project through just to p*ss off those stock brokers…

        As for cost, a Heathwick, with a direct high speed rail link, and or new motorway, will make CrossRail if not both HS1 and HS2 combined look like small change, try looking at a map!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Nonsense, it does hot have to be expensive and much cheaper than Boris Island and far more sensible too. Two new runways and a high speed shuttle link.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:57 am | Permalink

          In 1979, there was an agreement was reached not to build a second runway at Gatwick before 2019. But it would take at least that long to finish anyway. Heathwick is the sensible 5 runway hub that the South East needs and it needs it now.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            @LL; You want to drive a railway and perhaps another motorway (linking Heathrow and Gatwick) through the outer echelons of south [1], south west and west London and you say that it will not be expensive, so how do you propose to do this, tunnelling is very expensive and problematic -just look at CrossRail, build another Westway style flyover road, or just bulldoze homes and businesses in some rather expensive areas – ah, perhaps that is the rational, after all many a home owner, land owner and landlord would be compensated for such losses [2], quite possibly at a figure that reflected the hight of the market and not the market at the time of planning consent, after all once even a serious plan was mooted (British meaning) blight would quickly set in…

            Also the south east doesn’t need a “Hub Airport”, the UK needs a Hub Airport, location is not as vital as some suggest, as other countries have proved when integrated with frequent, cheap (ticketing) high speed rail links.

            [1] as well as perhaps inner London once the necessary upgrades to the direct rail and road links between Gatwick and central London are considered.

            [2] probably be cheaper to modify the Boris island idea, rather than build a new Thames estuary island off Sheppey just raise the entire Isle of Sheppey and build a new airport on the existing island! No, that wasn’t a serious proposal, just a comparison.

          • stred
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Vancouver has a rail link which runs to the airport overhead and can run alongside and over motorways. A similar link could be built to Gatwick or Stansted. More population is north of Stansted than west of Heathrow. Do you think we need extra traffic through London or round the M25 and M23?

    • rose
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      I agree wtih Excalibur on all three points. I would also like a place in government for Jacob Rees Mogg.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:47 am | Permalink


    The chancellor focused correctly on the need for better productivity. But the obstacle to productivity is off course mainly the bloated size and general incompetence of government. Which spends (or mainly wastes) nearly 50% of GDP producing very little or any value. Through daft regulations and over complex taxes it also wastes much time in the private sector.

    If he want higher productivity he needs to get out of the way of business. We need a bonfire of red tape, cheap non greencrap energy, no Hinkley C, no HS2, new runways, lower simpler taxes, no central wage controls, relaxed planning, some real competition in banking, no greencrap subsidies and a far smaller state sector.

    The many people in the state sector, who do nothing of any use or worse still do positive harm, need to go. Wages in the state sector need to be cut to the level of the private sector (with pension included they are about 50% more). The dire and rationed NHS (with, for example, the worse cancer outcomes win western Europe) need sorting out. This so people can get efficient treatment and get back to work.

    We need fewer people doing duff & dumbed down courses at universities and better school and technical collages. Best achieved by giving education vouchers and choice. Fewer, counterproductive, expensive and damaging wars too.

    But what has May proposed, workers/customers on boards by law, more gender pay reporting rules, the go ahead for the absurdly over priced Hinkley C, new quarterly reporting rules, the work place pension, the retaining of daft employment laws and even more red tape.

    Does this government really want higher productivity? It seems they do not. All they have to do it get out of the damn way for a change.

    May and Hammond do not seem to have realised this at all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Mrs May need to slam a copy of Hayek’s, The Constitution of Liberty, on the the cabinet table and declare “this is what we believe” and get them all to read it, grow up and start cutting the bloated and incompetent state.

      Alas she does not seem very sure of what she believes at all.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        Only a few months back she was a remainer, who was falsely assuring voters that we had control of our borders through Schengen and fully engaging in project fear.

        At her age it is about time she had made up her mind about what she believes. Is she a Tory or another Libdim. Start by cancelling HS2, a bonfire of red tape and by introducing lower and far simpler taxes. Revisit Hinkley C too, it will damage UK productivity hugely, it is far too expensive.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        A a geography graduate has she ever read it or any similar sound economics I wonder?

        Does she perhaps still believe in the hugely exaggerated climate alarmism, central wage controls, endless employment red tape, magic money trees and the tooth fairy like Corbyn?

        • hefner
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Simply because the weather is still benevolent between Guernsey and London does not prevent it to be somewhat
          a bitty stronger in other parts of the world. The problem is that more and more people get alarmed. And despite LL’s huffing and puffing, there might soon be 55 countries with more than 55 % of world’s population which might sign something about “LL’s unchanging climate”. Whether this will be useful or not is not clear, to me at least, but I would think rather stupid of the British not to engage in R&D as it is likely there will be commercial opportunities in climate adaptation. But I guess the great guru, LL, knows better …
          Britain has already essentially missed the solar and wind energy trains.
          Fortunately, not all British CEOs are not as closed-minded as Dear Old LL.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            I am all in favour of R&D just not rolling out duff & over expensive technology with tax payer grants and a rigged market.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Haha, dream on Lifelogic ?


        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          One can but dream.

      • hefner
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        “The Constitution of Liberty” shown by Mrs Thatcher to her Cabinet like Mao’s Little Red Book?

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Just an observation. When Fox, Johnson and Davies have made a comment on what Brexit might eventually look like they have been slapped down by No 10. When Hammond said it was essential to stay in the single market No 10 said nothing.

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Says it all really……


    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Did Hammond actually say “it is essential to stay in the single market”, or just “have access to the EU market”?

  5. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Totally agree with your sentiments John. If Hammond could only show some optimism everyone might feel better and more upbeat. It’s a shame the public have more faith in our country than those in charge of the finances. Is he still sulking?

  6. sm
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the Treasury is doing a collective Sir Humphrey-sulk and the Chancellor has fallen for it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Ditto the Foreign Office and MoD and possibly all departments-too many Secretaries and Ministers of State are being led by,rather than leading,their departments.

      I don’t know whether its the low calibre of politician or that they feel like managing our own affairs is too much trouble and too risky for their meagre skills and experience.Or Both.

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    After “genuflecting” to his SpAds/civil servants and making a massive mess over misinterpreting Keogh’s findings on the “weekend effect” Jeremy Hunt is at it again. This time its supposed to be an NHS with British doctors only. JR perhaps you might like to remind JH that the reason so many British medics leave the NHS is because of its grade Z management. Australia is such a magnet because the working conditions are far superior. Its not because the weather is better. In fact if you want to go there now you have to accept some post in a backwater, Sydney and Melbourne are off limits to new recruits. The part of the NHS that my other half works in around here is fully staffed with non EU employees. He has a big mountain climb if this is some sort of serious proposition.

  8. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Mrs May needs to have a stern word with all ministers who continue to talk the UK down. Brexit is going to happen and they have to accept this. The UK can do very well and the least they can do for their money is get behind businesses and the country and encourage everyone. What is the point in talking your country down? Have they no pride? It is the chancellors job to do the best for the country and Hammond is falling down big time. Why on earth didn’t May appoint you as chancellor? That was an error on her part. If Soubrey and co think that Brexit is going to be so bad why don’t they resign and join Corbyn and his army?

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I think it was in a tweet by Carswell that a visit from the Whip might settle Soubry? See tweets below:

      ‏@DouglasCarswell Oct 2
      Douglas Carswell MP Retweeted Alison Mackenzie
      Nothing that withdrawing the whip couldn’t fix?Douglas Carswell MP added,

      @Anna_Soubry tells @pestononsunday we are heading for a Constitutional crisis with Great Repeal Bill

  9. Richard1
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Pity about sterling though. Project Fear got that one right.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      How do we know Mark Carney’s policies haven’t become self fulfilling ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        May we at least dispense with this from Remainers/BBC:

        Good news = because we haven’t yet left the EU/Despite Brexit

        and at the same time,

        Bad news = Ah. That’ll be because of Brexit.

        They can’t have it both ways. I do understand that Leave do similar but it doesn’t seem to be quite to the same extent.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        In part they probably have. But there has been an undoubted hit to confidence which the government needs to work to restore. A clear message that the UK will be a super competitive low tax, light regulation business-friendly environment would do the trick – assuming its followed up with action at the Autumn statement. Silly gestures like worker representatives on boards, wasteful projects like HS2 (if thats going ahead) and mushy talk about govt for ‘everyone’ won’t cut it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Sterling has been heading for a fall for some time,given our twin deficits(some of us had adjusted our portfolios in anticipation!) and it’s obviously not without a silver lining for rejuvenating the productive sector of the economy.

    • Know-dice
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes & No 🙂

      About time that manufacturing was brought back to this country. Anyone who exports is in a much stronger position against foreign competition, even if the cost of imported raw materials has gone up that should be a relatively small part of the final cost manufactured cost.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Attempting to revive manufacturing by weakening the currency is a fools errand, the U.K. Has been here before.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Well have the markets got the fall in sterling right? I think it is over done, things can change quite quickly. We are not that weak against the EURO. All we need is some sensible and decisive action from May and Hammond.

      • hefner
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        “We are not that weak against the euro”: Have you tried to book some ski holiday in the Alps for this winter? Or a trip or cruise for next summer, even with a British company? At least 10, usually 12 to 15 percent more than expensive.
        Prudent people might have done their bookings last April or May.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        1.15 against the Euro and 1.25 against the CHF – I’d say £ is very weak and I don’t share the optimism about exporters and manufacturing. We could do without QE and this absurd interest rate policy, but even so we need much stronger signals from the govt as to the direction of travel. A sesnse of drift is causing this weakening of confidence.

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Sterling was clearly overvalued before the referendum, and it has not done any real harm overall with the fall. Please look at the economic figures overall.


      • Richard1
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        What 1.27 vs the USD, 1.15 vs the euro and 1.25 vs the CHF? Sterling is very weak and it’s not a good signal. The govt needs to move quickly to restore confidence. We could have a strong currency and have a balanced budget, and low taxes and good services, like say Switzerland. But some robust govt action is needed to get there.

  10. Jerry
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    “Most delegates are pleased we are leaving and want us to get on with it.”

    Well yes, because they are democrats, it is what the electorate wanted, and who doesn’t want economic stability, the latter can only be delivered by either the government doing an SNP and denouncing democracy EU style or by ‘getting on with Brexit’. Hardly a headline making discovery.

    “There was some surprise that the Chancellor is still genuflecting to the absurd Treasury pessimism that was fashionable under his predecessor. I suspect it is just a matter of time.”

    Well perhaps, but then when we have actual Brexit those previous HMT forecasts might still be proved correct, and it would be remiss of HMT and the Chancellor not to plan for such eventualities, to do otherwise would be even worse that ‘talking Britain down’ a little.

    As for policy changes, I can understand why so many might wish to highlight and talk about the pre/post Brexit forecasts from HMT rather than the obvious policy switch that has occurred, not only away from Osborne’s so called austerity but what appeared to be a move away from almost 40 years of Monetarist theory back to a more mixed or outright Keynesian economics which seemed to ringing through speech after speech from the rostrum so far. Heck we even appeared to have an announcement that the governbment are going to use prefab and ‘system built’ housing again, like they did in the 1950s and ’60s -back to the future or so it seems! Oh and someone tell the minister that its very old technology, even if it has been updated to take in advances in technology.

    On a slight tangent, if Mr Corbyn and his policies are so weak, so out of touch, why are so many rostrum speakers wasting so much time attempting to vilify the man…

  11. Fred
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Most of your government is made up of Remainers. Is it any surprise they are attempting to derail Brexit?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Indeed only a hard full of leave people in the Cabinet and even more remainers filling up the House Lords.

  12. hefner
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    “genuflecting to the absurb Treasury pessimism”: independently of the content , it is difficult not to think of some “bolchevik neoliberal” vocabulary?

  13. Sean
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan EMP said “If we do not leave the ECHR there is no point in Brexit”

    The Conservative’s election manifesto last year promised to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights to break the formal link between British courts and the ECHR.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Indeed we should leave the ERHR now indeed we should have done years ago.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:59 am | Permalink


  14. Anthony Makara
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The Treasury need to make clear to the public that any weakness in Sterling is due to the regressive policy of Mark Carney and the BOE and not a consequence of Brexit. Secondly Chancellor Hammond seems to think that we should replace the European Single Market with trading deals with BRIC economies and in particular China. This is a mistake because the UK cannot compete with BRICs on wages or currency differentials. We need to look to build trade with Hard Currency economies like the United States as well as rebuilding the UKs domestic market. Finally, Chancellor Hammond should only borrow to invest in infrastructure, recent soundings about a relaxed approach to borrowing are going to unsettle markets and voters.

  15. Peter Wood
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Independence Day for the UK seems to depend on the success of our negotiations with the EU. How long are we going to spend on this, probably futile (according to Lord Lawson) activity? Have you heard any views from our team?

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    £5 billion fund to get Britain building I read. Will this money come for the absurd stamp duty rates of up to 15% or the other landlord and tenant muggings that the misguided Osborne put in place? These of course have the opposite effect. Doubtless they will take £10 billion of the building industry, waste about half of it on bureaucracy then give half back with silly strings attached.

    Take with one hand, waste about half and then give a little back with silly strings attached, what a bonkers approach.

    The way to get Britain building is to relax planning, get some real competition in banking, relax the OTT greencrap building regulations, reduce stamp duty hugely (especially on new houses), reduce vat on refurbishments, simplify employment laws and generally get out of the way.

    As nearly always the government is the problem not the solution.

    Are Hammond and May Conservatives or not? We do alas know that about half of her MPs are Cameron/Osborne/Clark remain Libdims and many are in here cabinet too. The Lords is about 70% Libdim.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      It seems likely that HS2 will cost nearly £100 billion in the end, if they do not kill it quickly as they clearly must. So what is £5 billion? Perhaps 25,000 rather small houses and flats with pokey green crap windows and low ceilings. But the population is increasing by about 500,000 PA, so over say five years only about 1/100 of a small house for each new arrival.

      Cancel the absurd HS2 and Hinkley and you could do more that 20 times that. Yet still have some money to widen the roads, get on with the runways, get fracking, sort out some real competition in banking and other things.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Another excellent way to increase the supply of houses is to stop the bonkers planning rules that often force you to demolish an old house in order to be allowed to build a new one. Why not get two houses for less than the price of one by building it as well as the old one. Saves on demolition cost too.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          A huge boost to productivity too. Two houses for less than the cost of one a 110% boost to productivity perhaps at a stroke. Cut the bonker green crap OTT building regs too and add another circa 10% to productivity.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I wonder if anyone at your meeting pointed out that in strict legal terms we were not taken into the EEC by ECA72 and we cannot be taken out of the EU by repeal of ECA72.

    That Act did not instruct, or even formally permit, the government to ratify the treaties but instead made sure that our national law would be compatible with the requirements of the relevant international treaties if the government did decide to ratify them. There was still the legal possibility that for whatever reason the government would change its mind after the passage of ECA72 and decide not to go ahead and deposit its instruments of ratification with the government of Italy, in which event we would not have joined the EEC.

    It’s worth reading through this official FCO document:




    “Ratification: follows signature and signifies the consent of a state to be bound by the

    Page 6:

    “It is important to note that from the date a treaty enters into force for the UK, it places international obligations on the UK visa-vis the other party or parties. It is essential therefore that the UK is in a position to fulfil its obligations as from that date, and does not become legally bound until it has the necessary domestic powers to give effect to the provisions of the treaty; otherwise it will be in breach of its international obligations. Pleading insufficiency of domestic law is not, in international law, an acceptable excuse for failure to implement the provisions of a treaty.

    Accordingly, if domestic legislation is required to enable the UK to give effect to its obligations under a treaty, the legislation should be in place before the treaty comes into force, so that the two can come into operation at the same time. It is FCO practice, therefore, to insist that any necessary UK legislation, i.e. an Act or Order-in-Council,
    must be in place before a treaty is ratified or acceded to.”

    Reply Article 50 gives us the right to leave!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      But not through repeal of ECA72 or any other domestic legislation.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Denis, but you really aren’t going to get anywhere with JR using the domestic v international law argument. Or for that matter pointing out that the rest of the world might take a dim view of the UK breaching its responsibilities under international law. I’ve tried it to no avail.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          I think you may be right, John.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; “or [leave by] any other domestic legislation.”

        Nonsense, the UK parliament or government could simply inform the EU that we are no longer members, that as a nation we are exercising our rights under the UN Charter, Article 1. paragraph 2. – namely the right of peoples and nations to self-determination.

        As it is, as far as I can tell, the announced “Great Repeal Bill” [1] doesn’t appear to be a repeal Bill at all, anything but in terms of extracting the UK from the influence of EU made law! By the time it is enacted -not just passed- we will have actually left the EU (by all of one second…), either via Article 50 or otherwise, what the intention of the Bill appears to be is to keep alive those EEC/EU derived laws that are thought essential for the governments etc. to carry on functioning until parliament has the time to revisits them.

        [1] the repeal of the ECA72

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Jerry, please don’t paraphrase, and so distort, my comment.

          JR said that “Article 50 gives us the right to leave”, and my response “But not through repeal of ECA72 or any other domestic legislation.” related specifically to that reply.

          If a country wishes to exercise its right to leave the EU under that treaty article then it follows the procedure laid down in that article, it doesn’t immediately remove legislation which was enacted to ensure that it would meet its obligations under the treaty.

          Supposing that it did depart from the agreed procedure and repealed its domestic legislation then that in itself would not remove it from the EU. If Parliament just repealed ECA72 that would not take us out of the treaties, it would leave us still bound by the EU treaties but with no guarantee that we would meet all its obligations.

          Of course Parliament is sovereign and it would be possible for it to pass domestic legislation to instruct the government to act on the international plane to remove us from the EU, but that would need more than a simple repeal of ECA72.

          ECA72 did not say “The government must ratify the EEC treaties”, nor even “The government may ratify the EEC treaties”; the Act was a necessary precursor to ratification, and once the Act had been passed it was open to the government to ratify the treaties, but it was also still open to the government not to ratify them.

          It would have taken an extraordinary change in circumstances for the government to change its mind on joining the EEC after it had gone to the trouble of getting ECA72 through Parliament, but as far as I can see that would still have been legally possible.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:47 am | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; Nonsense, once again, it would require one more (probably single line) clause added to any such ECA72 repeal Bill, if we went down the UN Charter route, even after A50 has been triggered.

          A change of leadership, or a change of governing party are not that extraordinary! Perhaps you meant that it would have taken an extraordinary change in circumstances for Mr Heath to have changed his mind?

    • Andy
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      It is true to say that the European Communities Act 1972 did not take us into the EU. What took us into the EU was a Treaty signed by Prerogative. The UK is a ‘Duelist’ State and as such an International Treaty (such as joining the EU) has no effect in UK Domestic Law unless and until Parliament has made it so. The 1972 put into effect the Treaty by allowing EU Law to be automatically accepted as UK Law and created a schedule of Treaties. If the 1972 Act is repealed it would destroy the ability of the EU to impose Law on the UK.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        If ECA72 was repealed, and not replaced by any domestic legislation with equivalent effect, then we would still be bound by the EU treaties but without any guarantee that we would meet all our treaty obligations. And we would remain bound by the treaties until the government took the necessary action on the international plane to remove us from them.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    There are always a lot of “words” at conferences ; most are hot air comments with little underlying intentions . Short term attention and crowd popularity is no substitute for effective action – the real truth will out .

    If the reforms proposed that Theresa has indicated – to make the Board room more open by including worker representatives takes place , she must go back and examine carefully the CBI response to Bullock several years ago . Admitedly times have moderately changed and the Union threat is not what it used to be , however , it will take little encouragement to take us back to the dark days -the last thing economic recovery wants .

  19. a-tracy
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Why is it a surprise about the Chancellor genuflecting he is reported in the Telegraph of saying this before the referendum “We can expect the goodwill we have seen towards Britain to evaporate. The blunt fact is that our former partners will not feel that they owe us any favours; they will have no interest in helping us to thrive outside the EU. And to those who argue, as some have done, that ‘they need us more than we need them’, I say ‘sadly not the case’. ” Phillip Hammond March 2016.

    I actually agree with him, I know how we would have felt had the Scottish rejected the Union it certainly wouldn’t be business as usual. Now we are locked in a divorce with PM May giving five months notice, this is not going to be pleasant, there will be threats; we will ruin you, we will make it hard and expensive for you to visit and travel to and work in Europe now you’re not paying in, we will stop buying UK brand vehicles. I don’t think they realise that just reporting these things like this will harm their tourist trade, their car production but anything to terrify reluctant Brits who wanted to remain and put pressure on leave to do a bad deal.

  20. Hamsterwheel
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    My boss (Remoaner Supreme) reckons that GBP-Euro could be parity by end 2016. Any substance to this?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Well it depends, If Hammond and May go for a smaller state, sound money, lower taxes, freedom and a bonfire of red tape then no.

      If they go for lefty, Corbyn light, central control policies and regulation or if Corbyn actually get it then it could be far, far, far worse still.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I actually hope that the pound goes a little, but not too much, lower than that. Might help stem the flow of immigration.

  21. Chris
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    A paper by Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform highlights some EU views of Brexit and seems to put the UK very much in the passenger rather than the driving seat. This to me seems to display the arrogance on the part of the EU which so many in the UK have come to dislike. If we adopt the position recommended we will never leave the EU. I copy one excerpt below:
    “…I found a strong consensus for this hard line in EU capitals. Many governments adopt a softer tone than the French, the Commission and the Parliament, but they differ little on substance. The British government needs to take MEPs very seriously. They must approve both the Article 50 agreement and the FTA governing future relations between the UK and the EU. If by some feat of brilliant diplomacy, Britain were to negotiate single market membership combined with limits on free movement, MEPs would certainly throw out the deal….”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Mr Grant and the CER have form.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        @Chris; @Denis Cooper; what is your problem, the cited extract simply states a fact, if there is any arrogance it appears to be from certain people on the Brexit side of the argument and their wish to have access to a menu À la carte of EU treaties rather than the set menú del día…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          It states what a highly partial source claims is a fact.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “It states what a highly partial source claims is a fact.”

            Pot, have you met Kettle?! Denis, you are probably even more highly partial…

            A fact is a fact, all the power now lies with the EU27 and non UK MEPs.

  22. Prigger
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    They are certain in the midst of “uncertainties”. They can see: in “A leap in the dark”. If they can also saw a woman in half and yet leave her in one piece they may have a future career.

  23. stred
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Mrs May was on LBC this morning. She said HS2 was about connectivity and laughed when it was suggested the cost was not worth the time savings. So far we have been told HS2 was for speed, and perhaps this is why it is to be faster than French trains- and much more expensive. Then when it emerged that the saving was only 20 minutes we were told it was about capacity. Now it’s connectivity. We will be paying upwards of £60bn for being able to connect between London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Crewe. Another Hinkley moment.

    Following the announcement that EU citizens already here may be used as bargaining chips in the unlikely event that retirees on the Costas are sent packing, some are already leaving or postponing buying businesses. I have worked out a possible reason for this change of policy. By the time we have delayed A50 and started to use the civil service to spend years negotiating deals with their opposite numbers in Bruxelles, it will be nearly election time and far more new people from theEast will be here. The central Europeans, doing essential jobs may have left and those staying will be even keener to reverse Brexit. Younger people will have replaced older. The Brexit vote will be forgotten and a new agenda will be drawn up in which skill shortages will be shown. The Cabinet is stuffed with Remainers. We will not get a full Engish Brexit.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      @stred; Chris Grayling really did get in a right (wing party political) pickle with his conference speech, I will leave aside his comments that were not related to HS2 though. Quite how the DfT think that a better service can be offered on the WCML by the building of HS2 really escapes me, did I miss the announcement that there are going to be vastly more stations on the proposed HS2 route, and if the DfT want to get more freight off the roads and (back) on to the railways [1] were do they think these usually slower trains are going to run other than in the mix with all the existing and extra faster passenger trains the DfT want there to be!

      I will say again, the money that will be spent on HS2 would be better spent on reopening closed lines, even building new but cheaper slow speed lines, so allowing freight trains to be routed away from the main and commuter railway routes as far as possible.

      [1] 55 odd years after the Beeching report told the government (well the then Minister of Transport actually, what he wanted to hear) and the railway industry that road transport was more economical, cleaner, more efficient etc, and thus wagon load traffic, marshalling yards and goods yards were closed by BR

  24. forthurst
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The Treasury has become too powerful under Gordon Brown and George Osborne; it is time to clip its wings, tell it look after the money, withdraw from interfering in central policy and setting up its own policy initiatives. Philip Hammond has not started well; he should not have accepted responsibility for deciding to flog ARM Holdings to the Japs because that was an industrial strategic matter. If he had a major role in following through with Osborne’s nuclear power station, than that is to deplored as well.

  25. Alan
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I think we want the Treasury to manage our economy sensibly. It should not base this on wishful thinking but on hard data and expert forecasts. At the moment the expert forecast is that leaving the single market will damage our exports to the EU. Actually you don’t seem to need to be an expert to come to that conclusion. Where we do need the experts is to work out what the likely consequence are – it will lower our imports as well, it will enable us to impose customs duty on imports, there will be less tax collected from the exporters who are selling less, we will no longer have to pay money into the EU funds, the value of the pound will fall, or will it rise (our balance of payments deficit will be lower with lower trade) etc, etc. In short there are many interacting factors and these need to be quantified by people who understand them. That’s why we need experts in the Treasury and why we should listen to them. They might not be right, but they are more likely to be right than anyone who does not do the calculations.

  26. Brood
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    There are egos and reputations involved. In this case Deflation personified.
    Obviously the present Chancellor is able. But he got it terribly wrong before the Referendum. The Bank of England is however consistent. It works feverishly hard.Is smiley and serene. Gets it wrong time and time again. Though is demonstrably a dab hand at Five Pound Note laundering.

  27. JM
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the job of the Chancellor is to be a bit Eyoreish and not to be too flash. Dull bank manager approach might be just what we need at this time. Whilst the sky has not fallen in as was so luridly (and stupidly) predicted since the vote, there can be no doubt that there are risks and that the road ahead will not be smooth – if only because of other world events.

    The doomsayers will continue to adopt the approach of, “It’s all too difficult!”

    The reality is that if we are to prosper we must be as free and open to trade as possible, whilst properly protecting ourselves from dumping (control economies please note). We want to have as open a trading arrangement with the EU as possible. If they do not want such an agreement, then we will have to decide if we reciprocate or carry on regardless.

    The city will look after itself. It always does and has repeatedly shown itself more than capable of reinventing itself and rising to the challenges presented. A falling pound will assist our exporters, but make imports more expensive, which in turn will assist domestic manufacturers. People may go abroad less on holiday, which in turn will assist our domestic tourist trade.

    Meanwhile we all have to acknowledge that we are in for a period of sustained hard work for little reward. There is no immediate path to riches, but at least we have resumed control of the tiller for better or for worse.

  28. James Munroe
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I was particularly disappointed by the tone of Hammond’s speech.

    I am all in favour of our Chancellor taking a cautious approach, where necessary, and avoiding false optimism.

    However, he should avoid sounding like a Remainer, who has returned to the closet, secretly still wanting to be proven right.

    The ‘Roller-coaster’ soundbites in his speech were pounced upon by the BBC, and other media, and repeated over and over again.

    Unfortunately, for Mr Hammond, he makes himself sound slightly ridiculous, by insisting that the prophecies of ‘financial experts’ should be taken seriously now, when their track record is so bad.

    Why should we believe the ‘financial experts’, when their predictions of immediate post-Referendum disaster were so wrong?

    10 out of 10 for that, I suppose, for keeping a straight face, when quoting how we must believe the ‘financial experts’.

    “Loose talk costs lives”, Mr Chancellor (EuroPhil) – beware self-fulfilling prophecies.
    Please remember that.

  29. English Pensioner
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I always think that it is better when somebody in charge of money is a bit pessimistic, whether it is the Chancellor or the Treasurer of a local club.
    If things then turn out well, he can claim that the economy is booming and claim the credit, if they don’t , he’s made his excuses in advance!
    As a supporter of Brexit, I feel that he is probably correct about ‘turbulence’ , the markets seem to panic at the slightest opportunity, and there will be plenty of opportunities during the Brexit period! Mrs May is right to refuse to give a running commentary on the state of the negotiations, otherwise we would be having daily panics with the pound and the stock market going up and down like a see-saw!

  30. Ed Mahony
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    ‘He may have to face unrealistically pessimistic forecasts’

    – It doesn’t really matter what people here think. What matters is what people like the Japanese say. And they’re saying bad things about hard Brexit. And the reality is that if the Japanese, the Chinese and the American investors stop using the UK as a bridge into the EU then there are going to be real problems (and all of this isn’t going to encourage their governments to make favourable trade deals with the UK, especially as they might regard Brexit upsetting the international economy besides upsetting big investors in the UK, where they were using the UK as a bridge into the EU). I challenge you to address this point!

    I still think Sarkozy’s idea to reform the entire EU on immigration and other things is the best way forward. And I’m pretty sure history will judge the same as well. Not forgetting of course how most people (including the Tories) thought Churchill’s position towards Germany during the 1930’s was a bit bonkers, so i think some/many think Sarkozy’s position towards the EU is a bit bonkers, but it makes the best sense.

    Reply Sunderland and Birmingham are mainly a bridge into the UK, a great market for their cars. JLR now export much more to the rest of the world – with WTO tariffs – than to the rest of the EU without.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your reply. I have a lot of respect for you even though i don’t agree with you overall on the EU. I can’t say the same, however, for one or two others in government at moment over Brexit. Regards.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Well, to provide a little perspective on the attitude of the Japanese their companies employ about 0.5% of UK workers.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        And for this they demand that we are ruled from Brussels and take millions of migrants.

        How on earth can that be a deal worth having ?

        • rose
          Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Quite. Can you imagine a Japan in political union with mainland Asia, paying annual tribute, subject to a higher court and legislature, and accepting unlimited, out of control immigration from the Asian mainland? It doesn’t bear thinking, of does it?

  31. Chris
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    BBC bias? Anna Soubry was key interviewee with Carolyn Quinn yesterday on Radio 4: (abour 5 mins in).

    Of all the individuals/material to focus on Quinn focuses on Soubry. What a distorted picture it gives of the whole Brexit issue. My own view is that the BBC is deliberately stirring dissent. It is time for the BBC to have new direction and management, with a clear out of the predominantly left wing liberal elite. We need a balanced/unbiased reporting of the news by individuals who are not constantly trying to undermine the democratic process, which is what appears to be happening at present.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the BBC bias is still overwhelming. Soubry, Parris, Morgan, Toynbee, Abbott types everywhere you look, usually talking complete and utter drivel.

      • rose
        Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Not only are they biased: they are ignorant. They still don’t know the difference between being in the single market and having access to it. It was the same during the referendum debate: pig ignorance and no awareness of it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Both the BBC and Sky are determined that we have a second referendum or soft Brexit.

      Soft Brexit was never mentioned during the referendum – none were more specific that Brexit meant Brexit than the Remainers who threatened us dire consequences. People voted for hard Brexit, nothing less.

      ‘Soft’ Brexit is a euphemism for Remain.

      It is an attempt to subvert democracy.

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    All Hammond has to do is to lighten the burden of his bloated government of the backs of the productive and more to lower simpler taxes and have a bonfire of red tap. Stop dithering and get on with it man.

  33. Mitchel
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I attended the Politeia Brexit meeting yesterday- standing room only!-and was pleased to see/hear not only our host but also Jacob Rees-Mogg and the finance/economics journalist I am most in tune with,Liam Halligan.The atmosphere was,indeed, very upbeat and everyone seems to leave in high spirits and there was also a rousing cheer for the representative from Labour Leave who spoke to ask for assurances about controls on unskilled immigration post Brexit.

    • Iain gill
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Nobody asking about controls on skilled labour then? And the outsourcers model of bringing in uncapped cheaper foreign workers to displace Brits from the workforce?

  34. Ed Mahony
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The reality is that our parliament has been hijacked by left and right wingers, as opposed to moderates, in parliament (thanks to Tory Blair and Iraq war giving rise to Jeremy Corbyn who gives the right-wingers a free reign in parliament).
    Problem is that most voters are moderates. So if we end up with the right-wing of the Tory party implementing their right-wing agenda, in time, voters will reject all this, and there will be a major re-alignment back to the centre ground, but with some hard jolts along the way.
    You can fool the people some of the time, but not all the time and not in the long-term. The best policy is to stay in the centre ground as much as possible. It’s very basic stuff. We’ve forgotten that now but we’re going to pay for it in the future.
    Brexit COULD mark the end of both the Labour and Conservative Parties as new centre left and centre right protest parties are created to boot the left-wingers and right-wingers into touch. Either that, or there COULD be some kind of coup, so to speak, in the Labour and Tory parties in the next few years, with leaders trying to get their parties back to the centre ground (with pressure from new left and centre protest parties). And/or there will be a massive surge in support for the Lib Dems.
    At the moment, millions of moderate/centre-right voters feel alienated by the Conservative party. Same, at moment, for millions of moderate/centre-left voters feel alienated by the Labour party. I really don’t think the right-wingers in the Tories and the left-wingers in the Labour party have really thought about this / really think about this as they’re too blinkered by their narrow politics.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      The centre ground of the UK citizenry wants the UK to regain complete control of its immigration policy. It’s unfortunate that many of the politicians in other EU countries have this irrational, quasi-religious, belief that the “four freedoms” are inseparable and so it seems likely that we will all take at least a small economic hit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


      The Parliamentary ‘centre ground’ is waaay over to the Left and out of touch with what people think on lots of issues.

      We now at least have some numerical evidence on the size of the disconnect between MPs and the People on the EU, which itself [the EU] encompasses many political standpoints that – at the very least- 52% of the population are so unhappy with they are prepared to take a chance on the economy. Before anyone says ‘they didn’t know the economy was at risk, pu-lease ! We had no end of warnings and scare about the threat to the economy – it was called Project Fear.

      Are you seriously suggesting that John Redwood is as extreme as Corbyn ?

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I would agree more with Anonymous above. Also, the label “left” and “right” is, I believe becoming increasingly irrelevant/outdated, and does not reflect at all what is going on in politics at the moment.

    • rose
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The British people, like the Swiss, are a conservative people. The Swiss fortunes are extolled above. The reason for their better governance is that their politicians are regularly disciplined by plebiscites. And even then they put them in the Single Market when they had clearly voted against it!

      We have been subjected to a cultural revolution since the war which has been carried through by a tiny minority and in direct opposition to the public wish. The EU referendum was the first chance people have had to show what they thought of it. There was a lot of pent up resentment at being repeatedly pulled to the left and it has now been released.

    • rose
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I meant to say the Swiss politicians had put their people in the Schengen Area not the Single Market. A freudian slip and difficult to know which is worse.

  35. hefner
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    An interesting comment by Anjana Ahuja in today’s FT (which might please our LifeLogic):
    “Philip Hammond’s comments on science and tech are no joke”.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I could add that because the UK is a member state of the EU by virtue of the instruments of ratification of the successive EU treaties deposited by the UK government on behalf of the Queen, rather than by virtue of the successive Acts of Parliament which were necessary before the government could safely take those steps on the international plane, any additional rights now enjoyed by UK citizens as a result of the UK’s membership of the EU have been granted by the UK government, that is in principle by the Queen, in agreement with the governments of the other EU countries, and not by the UK Parliament. Which must clearly be the case when for example EU membership gives UK citizens the right to live in other EU countries, a right which obviously could not be granted to them by the UK Parliament as those countries do not form part of its territorial jurisdiction.

  37. Sackerson
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    You attended the Bruges Group meeting? I thought Prof Myddelton vg.

  38. ice62
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you for standing up for what’s right. One needs courage to do it and that you have.

  39. lojolondon
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    John, I truly believe we need regime change at the BOE and at the Biased BBC, these organisations are too used to bullying people and spreading propaganda and not serving Britain which is what they should be doing.

  40. Mick
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Just been watching the daily politics and Andrew Neil was interviewing the plumber who is spear heading the court action for parliament to have a vote on Brexit , what a muppet Mr Neil made of him, the guy couldn’t answer the easy questions put to him but did keep saying it was about his business and kept tying himself in knots, if this is the best the remoaners have the courts will kick them into touch in ten days time,

    • graham1946
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Brexit causing uncertainty in plumbing?

      So if your bog gets blocked you may not send for a plumber until you know whether article 50 can be started by the PM or Parliament.

      Here is the news for him. There is no uncertainty, we are leaving. The uncertainty is caused partly by this man slowing down Article 50 and he is costing 200 million a week for his own gratification. I’d like yo see him lose and awarded costs against. Hope he is better at joining pipes than he is at stringing a sentence together.

    Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Thus far, there is no commitment in the Conservative Party Conference, for dog owners. They are being confined. Because of anti-trespass laws on uncultivated or post-harvest farmland and, because of local by-laws to keeping their dogs on a short leash. No way to “give them a run”. No way to let them off the leash even for a short burst of energy. This is cruel. But cruelty not of dog-owners’s responsibility. Dogs are good for the nations’s health and good for the health of any government, any government which, wishes to stay in power.

  42. Gary
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Brexit’s effect of weakening the pound isn’t going to help these absolutely abysmal balance of payments numbers :

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh. That’s it then.

      We’re not having Brexit. It’s too scary.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Dominic Grieve in the Times today:

    “Article 50 can’t be triggered unless Parliament agrees”

    “It goes entirely against constitutional principles”

    Isn’t it a pity that this eminent lawyer never raised that important issue during the passage of the referendum Act and apparently has only now, belatedly, discovered it.

    I’ve taken the trouble to check all his Commons contributions back to the summer of 2013 when James Wharton introduced his Private Members’ Bill for a referendum, when even laymen such as myself were pointing out that the Bill did not say what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU, and while he spoke about other aspects he never raised this issue for the Wharton Bill, or the Neill Bill in 2014, or the government Bill in 2015.

    And then I see what he had to say on June 27th:

    “While we have to accept and must accept the referendum decision, is not the problem that, in the course of the campaign, statements were made by those advocating vote leave, which were, first, false and, secondly, in many cases unfulfillable? One thing that came out so clearly from this referendum campaign was the increasing disconnect between the public and those of us in this House who are, as the public would see it, in authority. What can we do and what should we do to restore that trust? My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has behaved impeccably in this matter and I would like to thank him for his long service to this country, but if we do not restore that trust, the role of this House will, it seems to me, be fatally undermined.”

    Well, here’s a very good way NOT to restore that trust – hold a referendum, explicitly tell the people that it will be their decision, and it will be a final decision, then after they have voted the “wrong” way tell them that in fact it will not be their decision but Parliament’s decision in the hope that Parliament will overturn their verdict.

    Utterly despicable, and no wonder that so many people have lost all faith in the present occupants of Parliament.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      It’s worth adding that Dominic Grieve was the Attorney-General when both of those Private Members’ Bills were introduced and though they were not government Bills he could easily have seen and pointed out that defect in their drafting.

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Agree wholeheartedly, DC. I see in the Press that there is talk of legal action against the Leave campaign/individuals who made “dishonest claims”. Could Grieve possibly be egging them on?

      • rose
        Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        What about the real lies, not imagined, by the Remainiacs? Too long to list.

  44. Margaret
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I see you were on the box looking more animated than of late. You seem happier.

    Reply I am happier, because we are leaving the EU!

  45. Iain Gill
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    While you are at it get the Treasury to put housing costs into the inflation figures to show proper levels of inflation. And get the National Savings products supposedly linked to inflation to pay out according to this newer more realistic measure. And back date it 20 years. If you are going to spray money around you may as well give some to prudent savers.

  46. Chris
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Pleased to read this in the Press today. As a lot of it concerns quotes from Theresa May, I feel reassured somewhat.
    “….In a steely warning to EU chiefs, the Prime Minister insisted the UK will not play the role of “supplicant” begging for preferential trade links with the European bloc when Brexit talks start in earnest next spring. And she repeated her promise that the Government will not compromise with the EU on the issue of regaining full border controls. Mrs May sent her warning shot to Brussels during a round of broadcast interviews in Birmingham on the penultimate day of the Tory conference.

    In a BBC interview she rejected calls from supporters of a so-called “soft Brexit” for Britain to give ground to Brussels over immigration. She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “A lot of people talk in a way which suggests that we should be approaching this as, sort of, saying ‘Well, we’ve been members of the EU; when we come out, what bits of membership can we keep?’ “Actually, I think we need to have a different approach, which is when we come out of the European Union we will be an independent, sovereign, county – what relationship do we want with the EU?

    The PM acknowledged leaving the EU will not be easy, but remained positive about the future….”I think it’s not about the UK, in some sense, being a supplicant to the EU, it’s about the reciprocity here – a good trade deal is going to benefit to us and the EU.” Mrs May promised that migration from the EU to the UK will be controlled after Brexit. She said: “Once we leave the EU there will be the opportunity to control movements coming from the European Union. “I think, crucially, what people voted for on 23 June was for their Government to be able to be able to make those decisions, and it’s their Government that will decide…..”

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      “I think, crucially, what people voted for on 23 June was for their Government to be able to be able to make those decisions, and it’s their Government that will decide…..”

      Damn right it is. That is what we voted for. Nothing more and nothing less.

  47. adam
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping we might have Clexit – Climate Change Exit

    That would surely help with the economy as i think we pledged something like 10 trillion in commitments over 20 years. Apparently the Chinese dont have to pay anything and can continue building coal plants.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Adam, Clexit. That would be one of the most sensible things any government could have done. Here in Scotland people think that the money councils are receiving for having wind farms blotting the landscape comes from the government. We have to explain it comes out of their bills. So the little old lady who is finding it hard to heat her home has no choice but to pay for the ‘extras’ the local people are getting.

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      I, too, was hoping that. It somewhat mars a promising start by Theresa May. However, as leaving the EU cleanly and promptly is my top concern, I have temporarily stopped worrying about the Climate change dogma.

  48. Don Dutta
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Post Brexit:
    “All the youth of England are on fire and silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies!
    Now thrive the armourers and honours thought reign solely in the breast of every man!
    They sell the pasture to buy the horse, following the mirror of all Christian Kings with winged heels as English Mercuries!”

    • Chris
      Posted October 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Henry V/WS to the rescue! Wonderful words, thank you.

  49. mickc
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    The planning system is a major problem for anyone wishing to build a house. A typical example is the obstruction by councils of the conversion of farm buildings.
    Under Class Q this is allowed but the councils impose further conditions – must be structurally sound, only one allowed per holding even if more than one building….Why?
    Will May have the guts to sort out the Councils?

  50. Chris
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Extraordinarily negative reporting by Sky News tonight (Anna Botting and Faisal Islam) on Brexit and Theresa May. There seemed to be an emphasis on the most negative interviewees as possible, and unsurprisingly Anna Soubry featured too, apparently implying that Theresa May was listening to those pro single market campaigners and had moved in that direction so that Brexit would not necessarily involve the clean break that we voted for. Mr Redwood, please can you interpret what is going on. Sky certainly seems to have stirred up anxiety tonight about the UK’s financial situation being very worrying as a direct result of Brexit.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      People on here rightly moan about the BBC but Sky is consistently worse still.

    Posted October 5, 2016 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    I have just listened to the US Vice-Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine and that of Trump’s Mike Pence on CNN

    You hear all kinds of quotes attributed to Mr Trump.Even senior politicians of all parties here on BBC Question Time smugly dismiss his “beliefs” as “totally unacceptable” or even “loony”. One or two Eurosceptics are seemingly out of sync with his communications. Mr Pence explained one or two of Trump’s remarks by saying some were misquoted and that Mr Trump was not a “polished politician” .
    Well yes, it could be argued I need to get around more. But I feel Trump is the Grand Master of communication in the English speaking world and probably also in the remaining less culturally developed bit.
    Speaking and hearing is not quite as straightforward as many of us imagine. Loosely, there is something called “Register in Linguistics” which girdles our talk and understanding. But it goes far deeper than that.
    He is not a racist. He knows how he is talking about.

  52. a-tracy
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think Amber Rudd needs demoting, a Remainer who is antagonising business and workers in this Country without reason and in a prejudiced way. This does not reflect Vote Leave and is being put about as though it did. Have these people been put in place by PM May, herself a Remainer, to undermine and misrepresent what we want with our sovereignty back. If we need Polish and Romanian skilled machinists because of a sudden increase of business orders then who is complaining about that if it takes two years to train an apprentice, as long as that company is employing apprentices and have training in place for long term planning I fail to see what the problem is.

    The whole point according to most of the working class people I know was to stop people coming over here to claim everything from housing, housing benefit and other in part-time work benefits which then forces big employers to pay better wages that pay for British workers who can’t get social housing and jump lists because they’re homeless. The TV stations like Channel 4 and Channel 5 were the biggest trouble-makers in this regard identifying people who were in tents one minute and demanding homes for them, Benefits Britain programs to wind people up, showing all the trouble in Calais every night for weeks on end, then they wash their hands of the problems they create signalling they think everyone is racist who says “hold on my son, (nephew, niece) needs social housing first), where are they going to live, are we going further to the back of the queue.”

    I know a family of six who have four children in a tiny, cramped 3 bed rental, they have been on the housing list for 2 years and haven’t been offered one social house, the Council say they need 4 bedrooms and none are available but they’re happy to take 3 because often social housing is bigger than private rentals and would be a lot less cost for them, when they bid on a house there are usually 67 people already in the list and they are always 68?

    Why aren’t social landlords just increasing the size on a handful of their three bed houses by building a ground floor extra bedroom in the garden, this is what private buyers do, or go up into the loft space. Who monitors housing associations now they are separate from the Council to check how they are adapting and matching people to the correct properties that are in need of housing benefits? This is why the right to buy is such a bad policy for me, I also support the spare room subsidy for people who aren’t paying for these large homes whilst only using one room.

  • 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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