How to reduce the uncertainties of Brexit.

Yesterday in the Commons I spoke of the need to reduce the uncertainties and disagreements following the vote to leave the EU.

Business is right to chide politicians to be more precise and to reduce the worries they have There are three main ways to do this.

The first is to rule out the need to negotiate over large areas where we need to take back control. You cannot negotiate taking back control. We need to resume decision making over our laws, our money and our borders. Saying these are not up for negotiations greatly simplifies the task.

The second is to make a generous offer on trade, where we do need to reach an agreement over how we trade with the rest of the EU in future. We should offer trade tariff free with no new service trade barriers. it’s a generous offer, and would make sense for the continent to welcome it. I have still not heard any continental government Ministers demanding that tariffs be placed in the way of their exports to the UK, so it should be pleasing to them. Nor would they wish to lose their financial passports to London.

The third is to have a rock solid fall back position which does not require any positive decision by the rest of the EU, just in case Remain are right and the Commission does make the member states damage their own trade with us. We are founder members of the World Trade Organisation and can therefore file a schedule of tariffs with them under the MFN procedure, using the current EU schedules. We could trade reasonably well using this, just as the USA, China and others do into the EU at the moment without special trade deals. It would also mean the Uk government had a substantial revenue from the tariffs on rest of the EU exports to us, which could be given back to UK consumers in various ways.

There is absolutely no need to pay money into the EU budget in order to import products from the EU. There is no need to trade freedom of movement for the exchange of goods.

There is no need to spend two years sorting this out. If we rely on existing trade terms it could be much quicker.


  1. Margaret
    October 13, 2016

    Opponents are coming out of the closet this am. Nicola Sturgeon wants to work to keep the Whole of the UK in the single market … Marmite may go up 10 % and we couldn’t cope without pot noodle. Does that mean the whole nation will now cut down on salt and choose healthy options ? does it mean we can work closer with our German owned supermarkets for mutual benefit ? does it mean Unilever will go back to making sunlight soap only?
    Niggle , niggle .

    The NHS is at breaking point … Why didn’t they listen to us 30 years ago? I remember arguing with many people about the overload of patients due to immigrants , people living longer and compulsion of those wanting 6 children family’s . So now it is spoiled for everyone because we were accused of racism etc.

    Where is the foresight we were all given. Do these people not even regard consequences?

    1. Jerry
      October 13, 2016

      @Margaret; “Where is the foresight we were all given. Do these people not even regard consequences?”

      Someone in the USA once said that Television was like fast food, there to fill a hole, not give (intellectual) subsistence, he was wrong, he should have likened TV to politics and politicians.

    2. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2016

      The NHS was Cameron’s priority in three letters, well that is what he said! Then again he said something about “Cast Iron”, pretended to be a Eurosceptic and even claimed to be “a Low Tax Conservative at Heart”. This while Osborne was increasing taxes all over the place and ratting on his IHT promise too.

      His actions were of course the complete opposite on all of the above.

      The NHS certainly needs to charge those who have not contributed, and should really start to charge everyone.

      1. Jerry
        October 14, 2016

        @LL; “The NHS certainly needs to charge those who have not contributed, and should really start to charge everyone.”

        No political party will be daft enough to take your ‘advice’… Whilst Labours 1983 manifesto was the longest political suicide note in history yours would be the shortest.

      2. Jerry
        October 14, 2016

        @LL; The NHS is funded via the various taxation systems, thus everyone has already pre-paid their contributions, just like how those who have paid into private health insurance pre-pay via their premiums.

        1. Edward2
          October 14, 2016

          How does your theory work for children who need NHS treatment?
          Or citizens who have never been able to earn enough pay tax or NI?

          1. Jerry
            October 15, 2016

            @Edward2; Children pay VAT [1] on many of their pocket money purchases, never mind their parents paying VAT on their big ticket discretionary must haves purchases.

            [1] as do those who fall outside of income tax and NI

          2. Edward2
            October 15, 2016

            You said everyone has pre paid their contributions to the NHS
            Now it’s quite plain that this is not correct you fall back on the ruse that children and those who pay no tax because they are low paid or on welfare pay VAT on some things they purchase and this covers their NHS costs
            Children’s pocket money..say £10 per week..VAT @20% equals £2 generated.

            Parents on just under the point at which you start paying tax…£11,000 pa…est VAT on items bought other than food rent etc say £3000 VAT @20% equals £600
            So one family pre pays approx £600 and that’s being generous.
            And that VAT goes towards all items of Govt expenditure
            Do you know how much the NHS costs Jerry?

          3. Jerry
            October 16, 2016

            @Edward2; The NHS is paid for by HMT, in turn HMT is funded via tax receipts, VAT is one of those tax receipts (only a proportion of it going, currently, to the EU), so you are simply wrong.

            Also I never mentioned people on benefits, I just said those outside the scope of income and NI tax, it was you who brought in straw man arguments, forgetting that many who are currently on benefits have in the past paid into the tax system in their own right – which is admittedly were the NHS and private health care insurance NHS ‘premiums’ last a lifetime, not just 1 to 12 months dependant on plan…

            “Do you know how much the NHS costs Jerry?

            Yes thanks, and unlike you Edward2, I also understand how taxation works, and insurance polices for that matter (the pooling of risk)!

    3. Ed Mahony
      October 13, 2016

      ‘Marmite’ – not just Marmite (although i thought it was made in the UK?) but a whole range of items from food to electricals and more. This might not affect middle class Brexiteers much, but it will certainly affect working class Brexiteers, and Brexit will quickly lose its momentum if it cannot meet the basic needs of its working class voters (and not forgetting how working class jobs could be affected by the Japanese, Chinese and Americans pulling their investments out of this country when they were using this country as a bridge into Europe).

      1. libertarian
        October 14, 2016

        Ed Mahony

        Oh my word…. how difficult is this? The UK produces good quality food ( including marmite) and electrical, cars and anything else the working class needs. If the value of the pound makes imports too costly then just buy British, hey and guess what the more British goods you buy the more jobs you create, the more tax revenue the country earns… I despair at the ignorance of remaniacs .

        Oh and if you believe that overseas countries only base themselves here to bridge into EU ask yourself what they dislike about other EU countries that makes them choose the UK every time. You will also need to stop being a hypocrite. If bridging works then we also dont need single market or the financial passport do we, considering that all our UK major businesses and banks also have offices in in EU countries …

        I won’t even comment on your total lack of knowledge or awareness re the UK job market

        1. Ed Mahony
          October 14, 2016

          ‘If the value of the pound makes imports too costly then just buy British,’

          – What? Like foods we can’t grow here, petrol, holidays abroad, mobile phones etc ..
          Again, all these things add up if you’re working class.
          And more importantly, jobs, if the Japanese, the Chinese and Americans pull out of the UK where they were using the UK as a gateway into the EU.
          As well as no longer being able to retire to places in the sun in Europe.

          1. Edward2
            October 15, 2016

            The pound has been parity versus the dollar and the Euro and as high as 1.70
            Whilst we were in the EU
            Did you blame the EU then?

          2. libertarian
            October 15, 2016

            Ed Mahony

            Why eat food we can’t grow here ? Oh and what is it that we can’t grow thats so important?

            Have a staycation if you can’t afford a holiday overseas

            75% of ALL mobile phone components are made under
            licence in the UK

            We are still a net exporter of petrol

            We do import diesel ( due to skewed diesel use propagated by the the EU on behalf of VW)

            Name the overseas companies that are actually pulling out ( hint so far none, zero)

            You can retire to plenty of places in the sun without being in the EU

            You do realise that due to the low pound tourism is booming in the UK, raising more revenue and creating new jobs. You do realise that the low pound is a massive boost to exporters, creating more income, more tax revenue and more jobs.

            You haven’t got a clue have you.

        2. Ed Mahony
          October 15, 2016

          ‘Oh and if you believe that overseas countries only base themselves here to bridge into EU’

          – I never said ‘only’. That’s a strawman argument.
          But we will lose, or more likely to lose, investors who main reason for investing in the UK was to use the UK as a bridge into the EU. It’s not what i think, it’s what the Japanese said (and others will do the same, in particular, the Chinese and the Americans).

          1. libertarian
            October 15, 2016

            Ed Mahony

            Name a company thats here as a bridge into the EU.

            Name any company that is pulling out of the UK solely because of Brexit

            How come

            Google are building their new European HQ at Battersea Power Station

            GlaxoSmithKline announced that they want to invest a further £275million in Britain

            Fast food giant McDonald’s also said it wants to create an extra 5,000 jobs here by the end of next year with its UK chief executive Paul Pomroy saying: “We remain committed to the UK.

            How come Dutch Investment Bank ING are relocating traders and support staff from Amsterdam and Brussels to London?

            Nissan are staying


            Lets hope that the Chinese do pull out of Hinckley thats not a good investment

            Meanwhile Chinese investment is as follows
            $3billion in Barclays Bank,
            The same is the case with oil giant BP, in which the SAFE sovereign wealth fund has invested more than $2bn.

            Chinese investors have either outright ownership, in the case of Pizza Express, or a controlling interest, in the case of House of Fraser, Weetabix and Sunseeker yachts.

            So please explain why the Chinese would move these British based businesses to the EU?


            The value of the stock of FDI held by UK investors in the USA is £239.8 billion. This was similar to the stock of FDI held in the UK by investors in the USA, which stood at £253.0 billion

            You really should avoid subjects you dont understand

          2. Ed Mahony
            October 16, 2016


            ‘You really should avoid subjects you dont understand’

            – you’re basically having an argument with yourself, attributing things to me i didn’t say, and then just going off on your own tangent about something (i also never said everyone would pull out but that jobs would be lost).
            Plus you’re over-complicating things. It’s very simple. The Japanese clearly stated the UK would pay a price for hard Brexit. And it makes sense anyway even if they didn’t say it explicitly. Where countries want to access the EU as a whole from outside the EU, there inevitably going to feel safer focusing their HQ in the Europe in a country that is in the EU as opposed to be outside it.
            I’ts not rocket science. And frankly i just think you’re in denial.

        3. David Lister
          October 16, 2016

          Dear Libertarium,

          I am intrigued by your claim that 75% of all components in a mobile phone are made under licence in the UK.

          I think what you mean is that there is Intellectual Property in many of the components, e.g. through ARM. However this only means that a licence is required to manufacture the product elsewhere.

          Fabrication of silicon is actually performed in only 1 or 2 ‘foundries’ in the world which support the highest process node of manufacture (14nm). There are no manufacturing processes that support this in Europe, let alone the UK.

          Similarly, capacitive screens, batteries, and RF components are all sourced in a few specialist manufacturers concentrated in the Far East.

          There is very little appetite for any manufacturing of these products in the more advanced western econonomies becuase the value add that we offer is in IP.

          What this means is that Ed is quite right regards the globalisation. It is quite impossible to conceive of ‘buying british’ when it comes ot a mobile phone. There are many dozens of components, some of which have Britiish IP but that is the best you can hope for!

          1. libertarian
            October 18, 2016

            Dear David Lister

            Your profound lack of understanding of business you seem to wear as a badge of pride.

            The value of IP and licences far outweigh the value of the physical components. Every time you buy a mobile phone you are aiding the UK economy.

            Ed and you are quite wrong because you can’t deal with practical reality. Ed was moaning about the rise in cost of importing certain goods such as mobile phones for the UK’s working poor. Well the reality is this, you can purchase a basic mobile phone on a pay as you go basis for as little as £15 , If you buy a more expensive phone you are aiding the UK economy. If you take a contract with a British based phone operator you get a free phone as part of the contract. The temporary fall in the value of the pound is fairly irrelevant.

            Oh and if you really want to be realistic about poor working class people a lot of them will buy things like smart phones on the 2nd hand market from one of the 1,000s of mobile phone repair/resale dealers in the UK

            British Electronics

            800,000+ direct jobs
            £78bn annual turnover
            95%+ of the sectors 6,000 businesses are SMEs
            UK Electronics is the world’s fifth largest in terms of production
            14 of the world’s top 20 semiconductor companies have established manufacturing sites in the UK

            You really must stay away from business topics as you lack practical knowledge

    4. Know-dice
      October 13, 2016

      Agreed Margaret, talking about lack of democracy Nicola Sturgeon seems to becoming an expert at that.

      Poor old Unilever, lets consume more home grown healthy food 🙂

      And well done Mr Redwood with your comments in the House of Commons yesterday and your excellent put-down of Ms. Wark on Newsnight

    5. alan jutson
      October 13, 2016


      “The NHS is at breaking point”

      Anyone who has either worked within, or uses the NHS on a regular basis will agree, more money just by itself is not the answer anymore, as this seems to just allow existing waste and inefficiency to continue.

      We really do need to have a grown up, cross party, comprehensive discussion, about how it should be run in the future, and what services it should provide.

      Such discussion should start from a zero position, as if you were setting up a completely new system, as trying modify the existing just seems to be leading to ever more further expensive complications.

    6. Bob
      October 13, 2016

      Hear hear Margaret, well said!

      I notice the BBC have completely overlooked Mark Carney’s role in devaluing sterling because it doesn’t suit their agenda.

      The idea that you can build an economy upon continuously increasing the population is nothing more than a pyramid scam.

    7. Ed Mahony
      October 13, 2016

      You’re absolutely right about immigration. There has to be much stronger control. However, why are Brexiteers relatively silent when it comes to immigration from outside the EU? We should have focused on that first.
      I mean more immigrants come from outside the EU than inside. There are many more reasons why we should be prioritising EU immigrants over non-EU ones (I’m discussing economic migrants here not refugees). For starters it’s part of the deal we get to building up trading relations with our nearest neighbours, as well as building up Europe in general which contributes more to the prosperity, peace and security of Europe overall.
      And the best way to deal with immigration from the EU is to reform it for all the members of the EU (not just the UK), and in time, when the ex-Communist countries in Europe have caught up more economically with the rest of the EU then you can consider re-introducing free movement of peoples. But that wouldn’t be for another 20 years or so.

      1. libertarian
        October 16, 2016

        Ed Mahony

        Let me try to explain this simply for you as you seem to struggle with fairly straight forward concepts.

        Under EU free movement absolutely anyone can come and live here from an EU country. They can be unskilled, unemployed, criminals anything. That places our infrastructure into two big problems. 1) We have no idea who is coming and when so we can’t plan to deliver the appropriate level of infrastructure 2) Some of those that arrive will need welfare support but again we can’t plan how many

        On Brexit

        Once we have control of our borders we can accept immigration from anywhere in the world but on our terms. We only allow access to those whom we wish to enter UK society. Because we know how many and what type of visas we will issue we can plan our infrastructure needs accordingly. Visa rules also stipulate that the applicant must be able to support themselves and their family this means that our welfare costs are reduced whilst our tax revenues go up. That means that should we wish we are in a better position to offer planned numbers of places for genuine asylum seekers and refugees

        See Ed all you need to do is apply some thought to it rather than rely on being told what to think by control freak politicians from the defunct EU

        Glad I could clear that up for you.

    8. Hope
      October 13, 2016

      Stop buying products from those who try to scare us, use your buying power. Good to see Tesco stand up to Pro EU Unilever. Do not buy their products. Change your buying habits, no French goods to stand up to Hollande threats. 17 million people can make a difference to these bullies and traitors.

      Proper Right of recall for the public for MPs who stand for one thing vote anther e Alan Duncan.

    9. Hope
      October 13, 2016

      Guido highlights Marmite totally sourced and made in U.K., therefore no need of 10 percent hike. Profiteering and scaremongering by Unilever.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 14, 2016

        There are lots of far less pricey, fermented yeast alternatives to Marmite. Perhaps someone should launch one called Brexit. I rather prefer beef dripping off the Sunday roast, with a pinch of salt myself.

    10. Mitchel
      October 13, 2016


      The answer is no.They have a world vision and anybody that suffers in the execution of it is just collateral damage.As an early observer of the Bolshevik paradise famously remarked – I see the broken eggs,but where is the omelette?

    11. Deborah
      October 13, 2016

      “These people” have vested interests so the consequences they see are positive. They have private health, private schools…they live charmed lives in nice big houses. In the dystopian films they watch, they identify with the winners in the glass skyscrapers. It is simply a modern version of “Let them eat cake”.

      October 13, 2016

      Tesco is famed for making managerial mistakes. Other online supermarkets are not out of stock and are clever enough to put in their “shop windows ” other interesting things for sale at discounts and so reduce customer requests for more expensive items and make ongoing negotiations with suppliers that more feisty.
      Guess what Tesco online shoppers are doing now? They are forming passwords and signing up with other online grocers. Tesco has shot itself in the foot ..stomach and head.

    13. David Lister
      October 13, 2016

      Dear John,

      I am glad that you recognise that ” third is to have a rock solid fall back” as this is essential to any negotiation. Without a fall-back position you can have no strength in your negotiation position to start from.

      But you continue to distort the facts by claiming the fall back is the WTO ” just as the USA, China and others do into the EU at the moment without special trade deals”

      Under the European Commission’s Europa website, there is the Treaties Office which describes at least 61 treaties for trade between the US and the EU, and 62 treaties between China and the EU. It is simply incorrect to claim that the US and China operate under WTO rules alone.

      Outside the EU, the UK would become a ‘Third Country’ under WTO rules and we would be subject to the EU’s Common External Tariff (CET) that would be applied automatically, in accordance with the WTO’s non-discrimination rules which require all third countries to be treated equally for tariff purposes. This is not the EU seeking punishment on the UK, but following international agreements.

      Outside of the EU Single Market, importing countries within the EU must satisfy themselves that goods conform to relevant standards. This can be achieved through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) which is another set of treaties that countries such as the US and China have agreed with the EU. Without an MRA we will be unable to export to the EU.

      Outside of the EU Single Market all Food & Agricultural products must be imported into the EU through a Border Inspection Post (BIP). There are no BIP’s scaled to accept the volume of goods from the UK (e.g. Calais).

      The above are just a few examples where it is necessary to go beyond WTO as a fall-back option. You must recognise that treaties must be enacted between the EU and the UK as a Third Country in order for this to be an option, and ports need to be upgraded to become BIP’s. Claiming otherwise is disingenuous.

      I understand that you hope and expect that a bilateral trade agreement will be forthcoming between the UK and EU in the 2-year period. But this is based on hope, and not fact, and is inconsistent with the messaging coming out from Member State leaders.

      Can you please give some appropriate thought to WTO membership and its consequences rather that just responding in your usual manner that ‘this is what China and the US do’.

      1. Dennis
        October 13, 2016

        A pity there is no JR reply to this – a lacuna in his thinking?

        1. David Lister
          October 14, 2016

          @Dennis, yes maybe he will revisit this. I’ll invite him to do so in a later blog.

      2. Tedgo
        October 13, 2016

        The problem you remainers seem to have is your belief that ONLY the EU has a god given right to make rules and regulations.

        You say “Outside of the EU Single Market all Food & Agricultural products must be imported into the EU through a Border Inspection Post (BIP). There are no BIP’s scaled to accept the volume of goods from the UK (e.g. Calais).”

        I would reply, are there any BIP’s scaled to accept the volume of goods from the EU to the UK (e.g. Dover).

        The answer is no, in the end common sense will prevail, and free trade will continue without missing a beat.

        1. David Lister
          October 14, 2016

          Dear Tedgo,

          John has advocated a position that WTO is a fall back position. I am concerned it is not as easy as he makes it appear.

          We do of course have BIP’s for Third Countrys (ie. those outside the EU) as it is not in our interest to import, for example, food or animals that could carry disease or may be bad for our health. These are designated points of entry into our country and we would require to maintain these for our own interest. If we wish to apply the same rules to the EU as to other countries we will have to invest substantially in our port faciltilies to do so.

          Similarly, the EU will be unable to import the volume of products from the UK, and through Calais, without investment.

          I am not claiming that these are insurmountable problems only that agreements must be put in place, and appropriate time/money made available to our European partners who wish to continue to trade with us. It is very likely that the investements required will take several years of planning.

          An advantage of the Single Market is that trade does not need to pass through a BIP.

          If we enter into negotiation believing that such practical problems do not need to be considered and that no agreemens are needed then we will wake up in shock in 2 years time when trade comes to an abrupt stop.

      3. Andy
        October 13, 2016

        And all of these things apply in reverse. As the EU has a huge trade surplus with the UK I would have thought that a friendly relationship ought to be established. Judging by the hostile comments from Juncker, Schultz etc and from Hollande and Merkel perhaps they don’t have the best interests of the EU at heart.

        1. David Lister
          October 14, 2016


          I would also hope a friendly relationship will prevail!

          However I honestly think that the WTO argument has been far too simplified.

          The EU will be obliged to impose obstructions because they will have to treat us in the same way as any other country under WTO rules if that is the position we choose to follow. So in my view having this as the default negotatoin position puts us in a very weak position.

      4. Bob
        October 14, 2016

        @David Lister

        With good will on both sides there is no reason that free trade and visa free travel cannot continue with the newly independent UK.

        If the EU decide to be deliberately obstructive in order to punish the UK and deter other members from leaving then you should ask why they would need to. Is the EU a club or a prison?

        1. David Lister
          October 14, 2016

          Dear Bob,

          Thanks for your comment. Please see my reply above.

          We need more than goodwill, we need trade agreements.

      5. libertarian
        October 14, 2016

        David Lister

        The single market is a common regulatory regime and customs union. It is not necessary to be in the single market to trade across borders with EU member states. The USA manages to do $1.9 TRILLION of trade with the EU annually without paying a cent for access to the ‘single market’, without having to accept uncontrolled immigration from Eastern Europe or being subject to any loss of sovereignty or too much bother about border inspection posts

        1. David Lister
          October 14, 2016


          And your comment provides evidence that trade with the Single Market is possible. I agree.

          What you are ignoring are the 80 individual bilateral agreements between the EU and the US. These are the type of agreements we also need to have in place.

          And all US goods do have to enter the EU through designated BIPS. We need to find an equivalent import route acceptable to the EU and which is consistent with WTO rules.

          Claiming that we don’t need such agreements or preparation is a mistake.

          1. libertarian
            October 15, 2016

            David Lister

            How’s the TTip coming along , how’s the trade negotiations with Canada progressing? Australia, New Zealand….oh

            Meanwhile 75% of all our economic activity is in services, we dont need BIPS for that.

            Just so you know my companies trade internationally specifically Spain, Brazil, Canada and Japan. Guess which one is the hardest to deal with?

          2. David Lister
            October 16, 2016

            Dear Libertarian,

            I’m not surprised you find it easier to trade outside the EU, but this does not support an argument for leaving the Single Market. Leaving the Single Market will only make trade more difficult with the EU.

            Given that you have good trade with the rest of the world it suggests that the EU is not hindering trade. Do you see any greater opportunities outside the EU?

          3. libertarian
            October 16, 2016

            David Lister

            You really dont understand this at all do you.

            1) There IS NOT a single market in services

            2) There are NO tariffs on WTO services

            3) The single market is a market in goods only

            You’re argument concerns BIPs for agricultural and food products, which the UK already has. Its the EU’s problem to set up points of entry not ours.

            164 countries currently trade quite happily without any form of agreement with the so called “single market” You seem to be unaware of what trade actually is. Its a customer buying a product from a seller. If I want to sell a piece of software to a French company I just comply with French(EU) rules and supply the product at the price set by those trading costs .

            If I want to sell a mobile phone to a customer in Denmark, it has to comply with EU safety and usage rules , if they put an import tariff on it , that just means the customer pays more and I build my business accordingly. In fact fluctuations in currency has far more effect that restrictive tariffs.

            Countries and empires like the EU have no part to play in trade other than trying to interfere to protect their own markets. The WTO Uruguay round seeks to remove as much protectionism as possible.

            Give a real example of a trade that will be more difficult once we have totally left the EU “single market”

          4. David Lister
            October 18, 2016


            In the general case, once we are outside the Customs Union any goods that we import from a country that is not part of the Customs Union and then sell on to the EU must be accompanied by Rules of Origin. This is to prevent a country (e.g. the UK in the case) importing goods that are then circulated within the Single Market circumventing tariffs. It is what will happen if we conclude with a Free Trade Agreement with the EU for example (although that will take a lot longer than 2 years to agree!).

            This is what I mean by ‘it will be more difficult’. It simply adds overhead to trade to/from the EU which didn’t exist before.

            Please be clear, I am not saying that these are insurmountable. This can all be worked out in time. How its meant to happen within 2 years is beyond me.

            Where I do take issue is the statement that we can operate solely under WTO rules without any Free Trade Agreement which is the default position from Mr Redwood and others on this blog.

      6. Peter D Gardner
        October 14, 2016

        Do you happen to know how long it took the EU to negotiate the MRAs? I would have thought that mutual recognition of UK exports could be achieved very quickly as a starting point. The problem would be in maintaining that. But that is precisely the same problem faced by every other non-EU state.

        I am also intrigued by the idea that the WTO MFN rules mean that the EU must impose tariffs on Britain. Am I not correct in saying that once a nation confers tariff free importation on a class of goods it must offer the same to every other WTO member? It is designed to encourage reduction or removal of tariffs, not imposition of tariffs. The exception to the rule is customs unions for which the WTO allows external tariffs because it agrees that a region within which there are not tariffs is better than the same region with internal tariffs. In principle, since the WTO exists to reduce tariffs universally, why would it insist on tariffs being imposed on Britain? Surely it would encourage the EU not to do any such thing.? Britain would be in a unique position, with the possible exception of Greenland, as a major power leaving a customs union. The WTO makes decisions by consensus. So would the USA, for example, argue for imposition of tariffs on Britain or argue for a free trade deal with Britain?

        1. David Lister
          October 16, 2016

          Dear Peter,

          Thanks for the commments, apologies I missed these when I revisited earlier.

          My understanding of the WTO is aligned with yours, it is intended to encourage the reduction of tariffs. The EU will have to offer the same (lowest) tariff to all Third Countries trading under WTO. If the EU already has tariffs on a range of products then it can do one of two things in negotiations with the UK:

          1) Require the UK to follow the same tariffs that it already imposes on Third Countries; or

          2) Change its Tariffs for all other countries under WTO to zero, and then it will be in a position to offer UK tariff free trade under the same conditions to all.

          For the EU to change its tariffs with other WTO countries would open up a hornet’s nest in terms of negotiatons with the 27 EU members and WTO arragnements. Therefore I can’t see the EU avoiding the MFN approach of setting the same tariffs as any other WTO country.

          Mr Redwood’s approach as a fall back position is to avoid negotiations alltogether which I can only take as an acceptance of tarrifs.

          I’d be very happy to be corrected by a trade expert, which I am most certainly not.

    14. turboterrier
      October 13, 2016

      @ Margaret

      Do these people not even regard consequences?

      No, selfish to the bitter end knowing that when and if they fall the state will pick up the tab.
      The Americans had a great idea. If single person has a child fine the state helps, have a second you are on your own. All the time you get assistance whilst making mistakes they will always keep happening. Nobody ever seems to be held to account.

    15. Anonymous
      October 13, 2016

      Heard a university professor complaining on the train today that “Because of Brexit we’re no longer going to be able to bring in EU doctors and we’re going to have to train more of our own people.”

      He sounded as though this was a bad thing. What’s more his claims weren’t even true.

      1. Qubus
        October 14, 2016

        Sadly, the calibre of university professors has fallen very rapidly over the past decade.

    16. David Lister
      October 14, 2016

      (I am reposting from yesterday in response to your comments)

      Dear John,

      I am glad that you recognise that ” third is to have a rock solid fall back” as this is essential to any negotiation. Without a fall-back position you can have no strength in your negotiation position to start from.

      But you continue to distort the facts by claiming the fall back is the WTO ” just as the USA, China and others do into the EU at the moment without special trade deals”

      Under the European Commission’s Europa website, there is the Treaties Office which describes at least 61 treaties for trade between the US and the EU, and 62 treaties between China and the EU. It is simply incorrect to claim that the US and China operate under WTO rules alone.

      Outside the EU, the UK would become a ‘Third Country’ under WTO rules and we would be subject to the EU’s Common External Tariff (CET) that would be applied automatically, in accordance with the WTO’s non-discrimination rules which require all third countries to be treated equally for tariff purposes. This is not the EU seeking punishment on the UK, but following international agreements.

      Outside of the EU Single Market, importing countries within the EU must satisfy themselves that goods conform to relevant standards. This can be achieved through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) which is another set of treaties that countries such as the US and China have agreed with the EU. Without an MRA we will be unable to export to the EU.

      Outside of the EU Single Market all Food & Agricultural products must be imported into the EU through a Border Inspection Post (BIP). There are no BIP’s scaled to accept the volume of goods from the UK (e.g. Calais).

      The above are just a few examples where it is necessary to go beyond WTO as a fall-back option. You must recognise that treaties must be enacted between the EU and the UK as a Third Country in order for this to be an option, and ports need to be upgraded to become BIP’s. Claiming otherwise is disingenuous.

      I understand that you hope and expect that a bilateral trade agreement will be forthcoming between the UK and EU in the 2-year period. But this is based on hope, and not fact, and is inconsistent with the messaging coming out from Member State leaders.

      Can you please give some appropriate thought to WTO membership and its consequences rather that just responding in your usual manner that ‘this is what China and the US do’.

  2. The Active Citizen
    October 13, 2016

    Your speech in Parliament yesterday was one of the highlights, for two reasons.

    1. You simplified and stated the key issues, which are full sovereignty, our laws, our money, and our borders. Trade is a relatively simple matter if the EU accept a generous offer from the UK of no tariffs. If not then tariffs will generate more income for the UK than for them.

    2. You were virtually the only MP to call for a positive and enthusiastic attitude based on the great opportunities ahead of us. If only there were more like you. Why on earth you’re not a Minister is a complete mystery to many of us.

    1. Bob
      October 14, 2016

      @Active Citizen

      ” If only there were more like you. Why on earth you’re not a Minister is a complete mystery to many of us.”

      There are a few like Mr Redwood, too few unfortunately.
      There are far too many that got their safe seats through being shortlisted by the previous PM because they were “cooperative”.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    October 13, 2016

    Suggesting it might be the European Commission against the Member States is wrong, they are all pretty much united and the 27 have been able to find solutions, e.g. in the UK “vetoed” fiscal compact.
    A WTO relationship may seem likely now, but temporary exceptions could be negotiated to soften the blow on both sides. Retaining financial services passports by a EU- and euro-hostile country seems very unlikely to me.
    P.S. I do have some unused marmite brought back (“imported”) from Britain years ago (now passed their sell-by dates, but who cares) You may have them for free.

    1. alan jutson
      October 13, 2016

      Hi Peter

      I see it is being reported that the EU Budget has failed to be signed off again this year by the Auditors.

      Now 22 years in a row, its nothing if consistent, will it ever change do you think ?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        @alan jutson: this has to do with lacking control by member states in their own country. Although gradual improvement, 4% is still above the 2% limit the Auditers set for errors. Making it compulsory for national finance ministers to sign off and be accountable for the funding requests might be a way forward. The Netherlands finance minister already does this on a, as yet voluntary basis.

    2. libertarian
      October 13, 2016

      Peter vL

      No comment on you about ING Investment bank moving traders and staff from Amsterdam & Brussels to London then?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        I heard about it – after my comments. I don’t see anything wrong or particularly related in this.

        1. libertarian
          October 16, 2016

          Hi Peter vL

          Good as contrary to what we were threatened with it seems that the opposite will happen. Rather thanLondon banks moving to EU countries, European banks are moving more staff to London. Oh and did you see that Google has decided to base its European HQ at Battersea Power Station in London….

          The EU is in a rapid downward spiral. Out of a spirit of friendship and warmth to the Dutch people and others I would urge you to change the leadership of the current EU as quickly as possible and put in place a structure that is more forward looking and responsive to a) the people and b) the modern world. The EU is imploding around you and still the old stale men that run it hang on to their outmoded plans and empire building ideology

    3. fedupsoutherner
      October 13, 2016

      Don’t worry yourself Peter. Managed to get a large jar in Asda yesterday with no fuss whatsoever.

    4. Anonymous
      October 13, 2016

      You either love it or you hate it. (Ukip that is.)

    5. Andy
      October 13, 2016

      So you Continental Europeans don’t want to be able to trade in London ? Passporting is actually more important to you Europeans than you seem to realise.

    6. Bert Young
      October 13, 2016

      PvL . I am an ex Grammar school boy from Burton-on-Trent – the place where Marmite has always been produced . Slapping a price increase on something that has no import content in its manufacture was a silly mistake by Unilever . If the result is an embargo on all the products Unilever sell in this country , the outcome would be a substantial dent in its profits . Marmite is a health giving product I hope the Burtonians will continue to manufacture and sell to the health conscious citizens of the world .

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        @Bert Young: I’ve twice visited the Bass brewery in the past, but times change and companies as well. The brewery isn’t run by Burtonians anymore I believe. 🙁

    7. Richard1
      October 13, 2016

      You might be right. It’s clear that ideology trumps rationality in the EU – just look at the euro.

      In the U.K. Press today (FT) M Valls, the French PM, argued for using Brexit to Transform Europe. By this he meant: harmonisation of tax rates in the EU; harmonised social and welfare policies (that will be the ‘social union’ which has been proposed); and a common EU defence arrangement. Note that these were all things denied – quite wrongly – by the Remain side in the UK referendum. He also called for a parallel ‘patriotism’ for Europe alongside national patriotism. These policies do have an internal logic, and they are consistent e.g. With the EU 5 Presidents’ report which calls for the same thing. But if put honestly to the UK electorate they would struggle to break 15% I would think. Can it really be that different elsewhere in the EU? Do Dutch voters want EU federally imposed tax and welfare policies? Do Dutch voters really share the anti-Americanism which is what’s behind M Valls’s call for an EU-patriotism?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        @Richard1: Individual politicians may come with ideas, especially when elections are near, but more likely (Dutch commentary) nothing will happen until several elections next year and possible new governments are in place. Even then, European leaders may avoid sparring in public about contentious issues for some time, in order to project an image of unity. The interesting period, IMHO, will be the first quarter of 2019, because any deals are always made at the last minute.

    8. Yudansha
      October 14, 2016

      The Dutchman who tried to swindle us on Marmite (to make a fast buck out of us and a cheap point on the EU) has been forced to back pedal, I see.

      It’s not Marmite that’s hard to get from Holland – it appears to be any sense of democracy !

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        @Yudansha: I consider Dutch democracy rather more representative than UK democracy.

    9. Bob
      October 14, 2016

      @PvL Retaining financial services passports by a EU- and euro-hostile country seems very unlikely to me. Do you consider all non-EU countries to be “euro-hostile” Peter?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 14, 2016

        @Bob: of course not. During the aftermath of the financial crisis most non-euro countries have been quite supportive and keen on reaching common decisions. The UK was more likely to be in a minority of 1 or (max) 2.

  4. formula57
    October 13, 2016

    The Government’s lack of clear direction accompanied by its seeming lack of grip on Brexit matters is leading to an ebb of confidence.

    I confidently look forward to some panic reshuffle an aim of which will be expressed as enabling Mrs May to take closer control and which will result in a further ebbing of confidence. Tragic really.

  5. Richard
    October 13, 2016

    To be honest, the best thing the UK can do to reduce uncertainty is to be clear about this: The exit negotiations aren’t really between UK and EU, but mostly among the remaining EU-27. They will decide the terms of the deal. The debate about the role of Parliament (or come to think of it, even that of Government) is distracting from the brutal reality that Britain, rather than taking back control, has in fact handed over control to the EU-27. They will work out what is best for them. This is actually implied by your points two and three. Of course, given the close links between the UK and the European economies, which were after all the motivation for joining the EU in the first place, we can hope that what is best for them is also good for us. It is them who will decide, though. And that hope implies that they make pragmatically rather ideologically motivated decisions, when ours (Brexit) was certainly not a pragmatically motivated one.

    Reply On the contrary, once we are out they can no longer legislate to make us do anything! Nor fan they put on restrictive rules against our exports to them beyond WTO rules, so cheer up.

  6. Mark B
    October 13, 2016

    Good morning.

    It is not just the REMANIACS that think you have got it wrong with regards to the EU Commission wanting to punish the UK for wanting to leave. Those of us who have not been living in the Westminster Bubble and can see thst that the world has moved on and that the subject of trade is more complex than before.

    1. libertarian
      October 14, 2016

      Mark B

      Nope can’t find the link proving that load of waffle

      Trade is still just buyers and sellers. Nothing difficult. Comes down to price, supply and demand.

  7. Jerry
    October 13, 2016

    I heard some of the debate, sorry to say but Brexiteers are in danger of ‘winning the war’ but loosing the peace, just accept that the referendum was a simple binary In or Out question, politicos such as yourself have no mandate to tell the elected government, Parliament, nor the electorate what sort of exit we now have, want that then either push for a second referendum or a GE.

    Brexiteers had their chance to run the ship (careful how I typed that…) but she bottled it, whilst all the other possible Vote Leave candidates were far to intent on fighting each other!

    If we can not accept the EU/EU27s requirements for a trade deals then why don’t we just walk away, why do we even bother buying (and selling) goods and services etc. within the EU, with the EU27 … oh hang on, could it be because we do not actually make that much in the UK any more, and what we do is actually made either by EU27 based companies or by RotW companies for the EU27 markets, yes some goods are made for the sale in the RotW but such goods could easily be made elsewhere, those car transporting cargo ships that dock in Southampton for example could quite as easily dock on the west cost of France at no extra cost, or with slight extra cost some place like Rotterdam or even Hamburg.

    1. libertarian
      October 14, 2016


      Blimey Jerry you get worse , its almost as if you wear your business ignorance with pride.

      We are the worlds 7th largest manufacturing nation, as you have been told multiple times we are world leaders in a number of sectors.

      Services which make up 75% of the economy is also one of our fortes.

      Car transporting ships that dock in Southampton bring cars for sale in the UK, why on earth would you drop them off in France ha ha ha unbelievably naive

      1. Jerry
        October 14, 2016

        @libertarian; “We are the worlds 7th largest manufacturing nation”

        Until the magic money tree, that you appear to worship as some sort of god, was allowed to grow like topsy and take over we used to be 2nd or 3rd, so take your own advice Walter, you wear your industrial/manufacturing ignorance with pride.

        Yes we had problems, like many other industrialised nations, the difference is we chose a scorched earth policy were other nations chose to support their industries through proper restructuring and modernisation.

        As for cars, yes but I was specifically talking about exports from our so called car exports (as anyone, bar perhaps someone intent on trolling anything and everything I ever say, would have understood), you know the ones made in what we like to call the “UK motor industry” but are actually built by companies that are our competitors. Thanks for acknowledging the level at which we import cars, rather than either make or export then though.

        1. Edward2
          October 15, 2016

          Car production and value of vehicle exports is at a record high
          Profitable automotive sector now Jerry not like loss making companies from your distant past golden age.

          1. Jerry
            October 16, 2016

            @Edward2; Your point being what, other than yet more crystal ball gazing about the future and yet another display of your utter ignorance of historical facts, the British car industry goes back further than 1975…

        2. libertarian
          October 16, 2016


          ha ha you are totally ignorant and STILL trapped in 1948. Yes because British Leyland was the pinnacle of car production wasn’t it… pmsl .

          Ranting about something I’ve never said or supported is entirely your style Jerry . No I dont believe in the magic money tree. Yes I do believe in the incredibly powerful service industries. You however haven’t got a clue what service industries are.

          Manufacturing goods have changed out of all recognition in the last 50 years. Most of the value in manufacturing is actually no longer in the physical goods but in the software, IP and service based technology associated with it. As an example for a while a few years ago technically the worlds biggest finance company ( from a loan portfolio point of view) was General Motors ( GM profits this year at $3 billion $0.5 billion of which from financial products) New service based manufacturing techniques such as robotics, 3D printing, IoT, augmented reality and just in time assembly have transformed the landscape of manufacturing.

          UK manufacturing produces 48% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6 million people.

          We now produce more cars and at greater value in the UK than we ever have before , so put that down as yet another Jerry is wrong.

          Blimey Jerry has just discovered we import BMW’s, Mercedes and other cars from Germany . Hey Jerry Germany is the biggest importer of UK built Jaguars, Range Rovers, Aston Martins etc.

          You just have to keep on showing your ignorance about business. I’d love to know what part of the public sector you work in. Me I used to own a manufacturing company ( a very small one admittedly, but I sold it) .

          You dont need a crystal ball to see whats going on around you. Just open your eyes and look

          At the start of the 20th century 22% of UK workforce was employed in agriculture , in the 21st century we have a far bigger, healthier and long lived population and we provide far more food but only 1% now work in agriculture.

          Manufacturing is on the same trajectory .

          A 2009 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, citing data from the UK Office for National Statistics, stated that manufacturing output has increased in 35 of the 50 years between 1958 and 2007, and output in 2007 was at record levels, approximately double that in 1958. The latest figures indicate this trend has continued

          Business & trade is about buyers and sellers, it is NOT about countries.

  8. The Prangwizard
    October 13, 2016

    Mrs May must get a grip and get on with A50. The 170 questions is an illustration of how she is losing the initiative. They wouldn’t have time to think them up if she hadn’t dithered. Now you will be dogged by them.

    And other strategies will be employed by the Remainers. Questions and accusations from them and silence from her.

    It bodes badly for democracy. Will she let the Brexit case down because she cannot make decisions. Will her supporters drift away. Will democracy thus be lost to extremism?

    She could have a lot to answer for if she continues to dither.

    1. Anonymous
      October 13, 2016

      The Pranglewizard – Look on the bright side. Seeing the ruling elite openly defy the majority on the EU is a better position than we Eurosceptics were in last year.

      1. Jerry
        October 15, 2016

        @Anonymous; No one is defying the majority with regards exiting the EU, what you do not like is the fact that the mandate doesn’t extend to How or When that exit should be – because it was never asked for.

        The UK will exit the EU, that I am sure of (as even Labour and the LibDems have accepted the decision of the electors), but that said the UK might not exit the EU When or How many a right-wing europhobe like yourself are wish-listing for.

        Brexit means exiting the EU, not How or When though.

        1. Edward2
          October 15, 2016

          Mandate..What’s that Jerry
          We voted to leave the EU
          The method was discussed at length by both sides
          The elected Government has decided to invoke Article 50 early next year and repeal the 72 act by parliamentary vote.
          That’s what is happening
          You can debate your favourite “half in” situation endlessly but the Govt is doing what it is.

          1. Jerry
            October 16, 2016

            @Edward2; “Mandate..What’s that Jerry”

            Exactly my point, there is no mandate!

            “We voted to leave the EU

            No one is arguing about leaving [1], the debate has moved on, to the “How” and “When” questions, something neither side have a mandate on.

            “The method was discussed at length by both sides”

            But there lies the problem, how to implement Brexit, you say that ‘method was discussed at length by both sides’, indeed but was that the Brexit method put forward by “Vote Leave”, “”, “GO! Grassroots Out” or any of the other 25 ideas put forward during the campaign by various groups on how the UK should leave the EU, supporters of which would have all voted for the “same” Brexit on the 23rd June as there were only two options on the ballot paper – In or Out.

            Thus beyond wanting to leave, government Ministers now charged with obtaining Brexit can not claim any knowledge of the will of the people, hence why constituency MPs need to be in the loop, otherwise the only other democratic option is to hold a second referendum, were the How and When question(s) are asked about how the UK goes forward.

            As for a ‘half in’ Brexit, even vote Leave were campaigning for that, or were until it was pointed out by the EU that access to their internal market meant also accepting the other three of the “Four Freedoms”, meaning that even some Vote Leave supporters -not totally up to speed by polling day- might well have been voting for a ‘half in” Brexit too…

            I actually have never had a problem with the government (together with the experts within the various Civil Services) “doing what it is” as such, my problem is with self appointed Vote Leave members or their supporters claiming some sort of moral high ground, wanting to tell the government what they should be doing, how and when.

            [1] bar that High Court challenge, which is not questioning the result of the vote, just if the government can avoid a vote in Parliament before actually triggering A50

    2. Jerry
      October 14, 2016

      TPW; “The 170 questions is an illustration of how [Mrs May] is losing the initiative. They wouldn’t have time to think them up if she hadn’t dithered.”

      Thanks for acknowledging that once people actually start to examine what Brexit really means more and more will not want to actually have Brexit. Why else are you so scared by the democratic process?

      Also it was the Brexit side who put off triggering A50. I asked on this very site, a day or so after the referendum result was in, why not have A50 triggered on the following Monday (Mr Cameron was hardly in any position to refuse by then), I was greeted with comments to the effect – “what’s the rush?”. Well of course we now know what the delay was, firstly and most obviously there was no Brexit plan even though eurosceptics are well placed to formulate a plan beyond just a wish-list [1], and secondly they wanted to wait because they expected to get a Vote Leave Brexiteer into No.10, trouble is that so unlikely was the Brexit result in the rush they all started to fall over each other, if not metaphorically stabbing their rivals in each others backs! The first two weeks post Brexit vote, for eurosceptic Tories at least, was like a cross between a Greek tragedy, Macbeth and the final episode of ‘Yes Minister’…

      If Brexit is dogged and bogged down by the very democracy you claimed you wanted repatriated from the EU then Vote Leave and all the other Brexit campaign groups only have themselves to blame, you will have won the war but lost the peace.

      [1] UKIP are the biggest party within the UK MEPs in the EP, whilst there are significant Eurosceptic Conservative MEPs too, all being well placed to research etc. the needs and pitfalls of any Brexit, even if the UK’s civil service were prevented from assisting British eurosceptic MPs and (then) Ministers.

      1. Edward2
        October 14, 2016

        “Why are you scared of democracy ”

        Say someone scared of the referendum result.

        1. Jerry
          October 15, 2016

          @Edward2; Not so, I fully accept that the UK will be leaving the EU, what I do not accept and do not have to accept is How and When we do so as those questions were not asked and thus ‘Breakiters’ have no mandate to dictate How and When the UK should leave, and this is why europbobes like you fear the very democracy you wanted repatriated. You are no better than the eurocrats your decry, democracy is all well and good just so long as it delivered the answers you want.

          1. Edward2
            October 15, 2016

            The Government have a mandate via their majority
            They are the elected Government
            They have decided the next moves.
            They will invoke Article 50 early next year and repeal the original act via Parliamentary vote after that.
            Democracy in action.
            You can vote them out at the next election Jerry

          2. Jerry
            October 16, 2016

            @Edwartd2; What ever, once again you seem to be replying to a generic issue and not actually responding to anything I have said, whilst still fighting the Brexit referendum – other than for the SNP all political parties have accepted that the will of the people is to leave the EU.

            There is no “Democracy in action” if one of the 28 different ideas/groups for Brexit hijack “How” and “When” the UK leaves, that is the issue now and why increasing numbers of MPs and voters are calling for either binding votes on the floors in Parliament or further binding national referenda.

          3. libertarian
            October 16, 2016


            Nope not for the first time you are entirely wrong.

            There is ONLY 1 option and that was mandated by 17.4 million people . We voted to Leave. So leave we will.

            Once that process is in place we can then begin to debate what we might do after we’ve left. Things like immigration visas or points based systems. Negotiating free trade agreements with the rest of the world and talking to the EU about how they might trade with us and us with them .

            Democracy is all well and good if you accept that the winners won. Get over it. We’re leaving and we’re starting the process before March 2017 …

  9. Lifelogic
    October 13, 2016

    That is indeed the path to take.

    Alas Theresa May seems more concerned with lunacies like gender pay reporting, workers/customers on boards and basket case vanity projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C.

  10. DaveM
    October 13, 2016

    This whole debate is a telling sign that the Westminster bubble is back in force. Even staunch remain voters who I know well are fully getting on with their lives and waiting to Leave and get on with life. People like Anna Soubry would do well to talk to their constituents and realise it’s time to accept the verdict, stop trying to kill democracy, and get on with making it work the best way possible.

  11. John B
    October 13, 2016

    Totally agree with your suggestions.

    Sincere Remainers may well be confused about the single market and believe, incorrectly, that we won’t be able to sell into it unless we accept its rules (FoM etc) but duplicitous Remainers know full well that insisting on staying in the sm means not leaving the EU.

    The leaked £66bn per year story stokes up fears on all sides. I don’t know if details of how it is calculated have been made clear but it seems to me that it must assume we lose all our exports to the EU as well as a large chunk of non EU business. I think total treasury receipts are circa £750bn but 40% or so of this is not related to export business. If the other taxes (mainly income tax, ni and corporation tax) are pro rata to GDP, £66bn represents about 15% of GDP whilst exports to EU only account for about 11% of GDP. The £66bn figure would mainly come from income tax and ni so it clearly assumes a 15% or so loss of jobs. This would make the normally quoted 3 million jobs dependent on the EU look very light. Whoever produced the figure has some explaining to do!

  12. Ed Mahony
    October 13, 2016

    ‘Business is right to chide politicians to be more precise and to reduce the worries they have There are three main ways to do this.’ – they’re concerned by uncertainty, but more by the UK losing access to the single market.

    ‘Saying these are not up for negotiations greatly simplifies the task’ – in that case, there won’t be any negotiations (the EU isn’t go risk undermining the EU by giving the UK something crucial for nothing – if the EU were to unravel because of this, it would cost far more to Germany, France and others than not being able to come to a deal with the UK – they’ve already said this, and already said Brexit is bad both for the EU and the UK – it is Brexiteers who are in denial).

    ‘Nor would they wish to lose their financial passports to London’ – in terms of passports, the UK would lose much, much more (and not forgetting how much the UK economy is based on this, with London getting smaller on this, and Frankfurt, Dublin and other places in the EU, getting bigger on this).

    ‘We could trade reasonably well using this, just as the USA, China and others do into the EU at the moment’ – the bulk of the USA and China’s trade are with their nearest neighbours though … plus they have quite different economies, I mean where are the UK’s Apples, Googles, Amazon’s, IBMs etc (we could have gone on to create a great flagship high tech UK company with ARM but it got sold to the Japanese thanks to the drop in the pound because of Brexit). Whilst China was using the UK as a bridge into Europe. We will now lose that advantage (the Japanese having been very clear about that ..).

    ‘There is absolutely no need to pay money into the EU budget in order to import products from the EU’ – and no-one is making that argument! The argument is that we’ll have to pay into the EU budget in order to EXPORT products into the EU (on more favourable terms overall to us).

    ‘we rely on existing trade terms it could be much quicker’ – doesn’t really matter what Remainers or Leavers think, or even the EU, what really matters is what the Japanese think, and the Chinese and the Americans, and traders, and whether the pound will tumble or not, things become more expensive for ordinary people in this country or not, and that our economy will shrink overall or not when people see more clearly what’s in store). At end of day, realpolitik (which also includes general elections including new parties being set up to move Parliament back to the centre ground) will determine the future of this country, not Remainers or Leavers.

  13. alan jutson
    October 13, 2016

    John I really do hope you have been asked officially to help shape in some way our programme for leaving the EU.

    Aware you have not yet been placed in a headline front line position within the so called Brexit Department, but I really do hope you are working in the background and are helping with all of the preparatory work, given that your thoughts and suggestions are so clear cut, balanced and sensible for all concerned.

    Please carry on the good work, and continue to expose those who are still trying to stop us leaving by putting up all sorts of spurious reasons, with your precise arguments.

    Amazing how many politicians (from all sides) do not seem to want to be in control of our own Countries future, I wonder why, do they fear they will be exposed as being totally incompetent and lacking original thought.

  14. Si Ian
    October 13, 2016

    The mood over here on the ‘continent’ is that Britain can forget access to the single-market without Norwegian-style conditions. No one is ‘demanding’ tariffs – grow up – but those are the inevitable consequences of leaving the EU without a comprehensive trade agreement in place.

    Sadly the UK seems hopelessly ill prepared for negotiating such agreements, or even able to agree upon what form Brexit should take. The delusion that ‘EU needs the UK, more than the UK needs the EU’ is about to collide with the economic reality. Or already is given the currency devaluation.

    1. libertarian
      October 13, 2016

      Si Ian

      Dont ever try and run a successful business is my advice to you.

      The so called single market is nothing of the sort and we need to have no part in it , conditions or otherwise. We just need to leave.

      The delusion is entirely yours. If you can’t work out that companies that sell things to buyers aren’t actually in the driving seat in a negotiation then you really are operating from a position of ignorance. Psst wanna buy a bridge?

    2. Andy
      October 13, 2016

      If the UK leave the EU without there being a Free Trade Ageement then WTO terms would be applied, both ways. If the EU wants to make French and German cars 10% dearer (added to the 15% devaluation) so be it.

      Judging by the hostile talk form people like Hollande, Merkel, Juncker etc I am expecting the EU to declare War on the UK.

    3. Bob
      October 14, 2016

      @Si Ian
      The currency devalution was a deliberate strategy by the Bank of England to make the UK more attractive to export markets, as a tourist destination and as a place to invest.

      The UK will be to the EU what HK was to the PRC, except the UK will be independent.

  15. Caterpillar
    October 13, 2016

    1st. Yes.
    2nd. Yes.
    3rd. Yes.

    Are 2 and 3 dichotomous alternatives? My fear is that the Governement views space between 2 and 3 as where to lose time (and increase uncertainty) negotiating.

  16. Ex-expat Colin
    October 13, 2016

    I get the feeling Aldi locally is staying put. Why? Well, they have closed for a month to expand the building by about 40% and thats after 3 months expanding it into the existing car park. I don’t think they do quality, but obviously what they sell works for some? Unilever on the other hand exhibits a death wish.

    It shouldn’t take a year to substantially quit the EU but with tariffs threatened I don’t think the likes of Aldi/Lidl will be too happy…..and the rest. The 27 need to wake up and smell the coffee, particularly the current flavour of the exchange rate.

  17. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    Excellent speech, JR, unlike maybe 90% of the speeches which actually contributed nothing significant to the debate and would not have been missed if they had not been made. As one MP after another got up to repeat the same party mantras, with or without their own little local twists, I found myself asking “So where were you when the Bill for the referendum was passing through its successive stages in the Commons?”, and that this is part of the reason why there had been hours and hours of Commons debates on three EU referendum Bills – two Private Members’ Bills, in 2013 and 2014, and then the government’s European Union Referendum Bill 2015, and yet apparently no MP ever noticed, or thought it worth pointing out, that the Bills were silent on what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU – hence, the court cases starting today. I even had a passing thought that the laws we get imposed by the EU might be better than the laws passed by this shower … however we can (and must) replace them; it is not the institution of Parliament which the problem, but just the current crop of parliamentarians we have elected.

  18. oldtimer
    October 13, 2016

    This is very clear, very sensible and in marked contrast to the muddled thinking that passes for informed comment on the BBC, whether uttered by MPs, “experts” or BBC reporters.

  19. Ed Mahony
    October 13, 2016

    On an existential level, I don’t understand why so many Brexiteers get so hot and bothered when it comes to getting back the laws of our country. It’s like they’re turning it into a religion. We’re all going to be pushing up daisies relatively soon so what does it really matter?
    What is far more important is immigration and the economy as these really affect the lives of ordinary people. But also geopolitics, because by having a prosperous Europe overall, that’s not just good for the UK’s economy, but also for our peace and security, not forgetting how it wasn’t very long ago we had two world wars, and our continent was ravaged by Communists and Nazis (and we certainly don’t want this on our door-step again – Brexiteers appear completely silent on the topic and importance of geopolitics in Europe).

    1. Mitchel
      October 15, 2016

      If the “Communists and Nazis” are on the rise again,who do you think is responsible?

  20. Alan Bell
    October 13, 2016

    You are actually right on this, the first thing we should do is formulate our standard external tariffs as a draft ready to submit to the WTO. This can be done before invoking Article 50 (and I won’t hold the government to the end of March deadline on that) it isn’t a trade agreement, it doesn’t (as a draft) require negotiation with other parties, it isn’t illegal to do, and it would reveal certain elephant traps around beef, citrus fruits and quantitative tariff breakpoints. You could try basing it on the EU standard tariffs where possible and you will discover the areas in which you can’t base it on that. All nice and safe, pre-article 50. You can spend as long as you need to get it done. People and businesses can do modelling on this when they have something to look at and can consider how they would need to reconfigure their operations, perhaps doing final assembly in another country (like Norway does not do salmon processing)
    It would be a fun little project for the brexiteers, and would show that they understand how the world works and would prove their competence. It would also be a starting point for negotiation with the EU, they can’t really negotiate until they know the detail of the “walk away” option.

  21. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    I recorded the whole debate but running out of time and patience I had to fast forward through some of the more boring and repetitious potboiler speeches. Unlike those winding up the debate who praised its excellence I thought the standard was generally pretty low.

    But it is always worth listening to what the Mad Woman of Broxtowe has to say.

    From her intervention at Column 361:

    “Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is a very grave danger when we talk about immigration of extrapolating from the referendum result that there is a desire to reduce immigration?”

    There is no need to extrapolate anything from the referendum result to know that the overwhelming majority of the British people have that desire to reduce immigration, that has been evident for years in opinion poll after opinion poll. The very grave danger is that some people are deliberately misinterpreting the referendum result as meaning that suddenly the British people are no longer so interested in reducing immigration, they mainly want to take back control but excluding control of immigration.

    From her main speech starting at Column 367:

    “I am concerned about the extrapolation – a new buzzword, perhaps – that involves our just saying, “Oh well – 52% of the British people apparently voted for controls on immigration.” The hon. Member for Wolverhampton North East (Emma Reynolds) mentioned people concerned about immigration. She should tread carefully. When people said they were concerned about immigration, I suspect that what they were really asking for was not control – that might make it go up – but less immigration.”

    It’s even worse than she thinks: not only do almost all of the Leave voters want an end to uncontrolled mass immigration, so do about half of the Remain voters.

    “All these issues have to be debated, so I fully agree with everything that has been said, and I will go one step further: the more I hear, and the more I think about this and listen to the learned and wise words of people such as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield, the more I am coming to the perhaps very quick conclusion that this place must vote on article 50. I really think that it is imperative that we do that.”

    Which later led to some frank talk from her colleague Desmond Swayne:

    “I have heard the mantra repeated again and again: despite having voted to remain, Members accept the will of the electorate. But when the mask slips, as it did during the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry) – ”

    “… but when that mask slipped, it was cheered on the other side. Do those Members really accept the will of the voters, or is this actually a ruse to thwart Brexit?”

  22. Roy Grainger
    October 13, 2016

    I see the Left are conflicted over the great marmite war – on the one hand they say it is a natural consequence of Brexit and on the other it is profit gouging by an evil multinational. There is no way that a 10% rise is justified but if they want to do it fair enough and let them suffer the consequences, I imagine their sales are down already with people reacting against their threats and boycotting their products. Well done to Tescos for explaining what is happening.

    1. Anonymous
      October 13, 2016

      When the pound was strong they weren’t keen to reduce prices, were they !

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    October 13, 2016

    The broadcast media ‘reports’ of yesterday’s debate yet again showed total bias towards those who would hope to thwart the will of the British people. Journalists and broadcasters have become pro-EU propagandists. There is no impartiality or objectivity just a relentless drive to reverse the result of the vote one way or another.

  24. agricola
    October 13, 2016

    Your comments are spot on. Could not have put it better myself. Unfortunately your party contains many fifth columnists who are endeavouring to undermine your commendable logic. Ensure that Mrs May and her three Brexiteers have the fullest support, while at the same time destroying the anti democratic stance of these political dinosaurs and flat earthers from other parties.

    There is a division of responsibility within the EU. That of the undemocratic EU hierarchy who have no responsibility but to their vision of Europe, and that of the nation states and people of the EU. Prior to the notification through Article 50 our team should be talking to the nation states and their people. We should be giving them the utmost reassurance of our future with them , especially in relation to tariff free trade, security for cross resident citizens, and cooperation where we all benefit. Ultimately it is they who will keep the EU hierarchy on the rails.

  25. Chris S
    October 13, 2016

    Like so many issues, and with the exception of our host, politicians, pundits and journalists cloud the issues by presenting them as much more complicated than they really are.

    Brexit is a text book example.

    I really don’t see why the Government can’t set out their position after confirming it at a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. After all, it’s pretty obvious to everyone posting here. Can there be any doubt that even Juncker is capable of working it out ?

    1. An end to freedom of movement.
    2.No more budget contributions.
    3. No role for the European Court in UK law.
    4. The continuation of UK-EU trade in goods and services exactly as at present.
    5. If the EU will not agree to 1 – 4 above, we will revert to the EU’s current WTO terms.
    6. Reciprocal residential rights for current residents to be mutually respected.
    7. We will continue cooperation in all military, security and policing matters as now.

    1-3 are not negotiating positions, they are red lines.
    It is up to the EU whether they accept them or not. There is therefore no need to go into great detail at this stage or for there to be any “negotiations” about the principles, these cannot be fudged – it’s take it or leave it for Brussels.

    Of course it will take a while longer for the Government to table the necessary proposals in legal terms before declaring Article 50, but the principle points should already be very clear and we can be very certain that the 27 are already developing their own position papers behind closed doors.

  26. Richard Butler
    October 13, 2016

    John I’m constantly enduring a new argument that claims tariffs are not the main issue, that supply chains and UK goods being held up at Rotterdam are the issue. These Remainers certainly keep us on our toes.

    Once again Leave are letting Remain dominate the national conversation, today all I’m hearing is we will all be poorer thanks to the pound.

    Leave must take control of the conversation daily as I keep saying, and not merely ending up as a small defensive voice responding to the Remain narratives
    James O’Brien on LBC spend a full three hours Tuesday with one message-Brexit will make us all poorer.

    No one is explaining how Brexit was in part a call for a revolution to return good jobs and dignity to the working class by way of an export lead rebalancing that also leads to British consumers home sourcing. For example Unilevers Ben & Jerry Icecream withdrawal is an opportunity for Cornish producers and dairy farms.

    May should have acted with speed and decisiveness, nature abhors a vacuum

    1. Jerry
      October 14, 2016

      @Richard Butler; “Leave must take control of the conversation daily”

      To do that they would have to take control of the internet, ‘The Great Firewall of Britain’ perhaps, the facts will come out.

  27. Bert Young
    October 13, 2016

    There is too much “argy pargy” going on at the moment and I despair that the HoC made room for debate . Declaring one’s hand before formal negotiations begin would be a fatal mistake . We have nothing to lose by standing firm knowing full well that it is an open world for trade where our products and services would be in demand . Comparing a “nil” rate of tariff to a WTO rate is a fallacy ; rates can change for all sorts of reasons and there is nothing stopping us creating our own.

    I was delighted that my old client JCB announced its departure from the CBI ; ” There is nothing to fear ” is a cry we should all take on board and just get on with the challenges ahead . The EU is a defunct organisation supported by a currency system that has little or no value . The sooner we are shot of all of its influences the better .

    1. Jerry
      October 14, 2016

      @Burt Young; “I despair that the HoC made room for debate”

      You despise democracy then, the very democracy Brexit was meant to be about, had some eurocrat come out with the about you would have been incandescent with rage…

  28. Peter Wood
    October 13, 2016

    ref. the debate in the house yesterday; is there not a difference between the terms of exit from the EU and the NEW terms of trade to be negotiated with the EU? I’d have thought leaving is the easy bit, and the new trade terms, along the lines stated above, is the way to proceed.

    BTW, certain members still don’t seem to understand that terminating our membership of the EU club means leaving the EU market as it applies to the members. We have to negotiate our terms of trade with the EU membership.

  29. Chris
    October 13, 2016

    Your suggested actions to reduce uncertainties are sorely needed. I believe the Government has allowed a dangerous political vacuum to develop which the Europhiles are exploiting with ease and effectiveness. What a mess. Please let us have some firm government, and some swift action to enact what was promised in the Referendum Bill.

    NB There is one uncertainty that Remainers are claiming exists (about people not knowing they were voting for leaving the Single Market) that is fictitious. Guido yesterday exposed this nonsense with videoclips of Osborne and Cameron in the Referendum campaign making definitive statements that a vote to leave would mean leaving the Single Market.

  30. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    From the father of the Foreign Secretary, a former European Commission official and now co-chairman of Environmentalists for Europe:

    “It may indeed be legally possible for the Government to trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament. We will hear the views of the Supreme Court on this matter in due course. But is it wise? Is this what the Brexiteers had in mind when they spoke of ‘restoring parliamentary sovereignty’?

    March 2017 is only weeks away. Given the overwhelming importance of the decision the Government is about to take in triggering Article 50, isn’t there a strong case for consulting Parliament now?”

    Sheer hypocrisy; we know precisely why some people want Parliament, that is both the Commons and the Lords, to have the chance to veto the service of the Article 50 notice, and it’s nothing to do with the sovereignty of Parliament and everything to do with defeating the will of the people as expressed in a referendum ordered by Parliament and held on the clear basis that:

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    This is not a contest between Parliament and the executive, and nor is it a contest between Parliament and the EU; it is a contest between the present occupants of Parliament and the sovereign people it is supposed to represent.

    1. Jerry
      October 15, 2016

      @Denis Cooper; The only “sheer hypocrisy” is to demand the restoration of UK parliamentary sovereignty and then refuse our elected Parliamentarians a voice after it has been (to all intent) returned – of course I might have it wrong Denis, that you would prefer those “How” and “When” questions the elected Parliamentarians want asked and voted upon should be put directly to the electorate via a second referendum…

      Also quite what Stanley Johnson’s current employment status has to do with the state of our democracy post Brexit vote, he still has a right to an opinion, nor was there any apparent (direct) conflict of interest either.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 15, 2016

        Our elected, and unelected, parliamentarians had multiple opportunities to assert a claim to control the service of an Article 50 notice but could never be bothered to do so, not over the thirteen years since the legal substance of that provision first appeared in the EU Constitution. Only now that the people have been explicitly asked to make the decision directly in a referendum, but have made the “wrong” decision in their eyes, do some parliamentarians suddenly wake up and say that they, not the people, should decide.

        1. Jerry
          October 16, 2016

          @Denis Cooper; Yes but that rational also suggest that “parliamentarians had multiple opportunities to assert a claim to control” in the last 50 or so years, so actually as parliament has been happy to vote in favour of the EEC and EU in that time there should never have been the recent Brexit Referenda put in the first place! But time, issues and social trends move on, meaning that parliamentarians often have to revisit much that they or their forbears have previously debated and voted upon (and not just when it comes to our relationship with the EU).

          After all in the last 45 years parliament has debated and voted on the 1972 Act that took us in to the EEC, on SEA, on Maastricht on Lisbon and anything and everything in-between, yes some parliamentarians did object and did question but their arguments were rejected when it came to the democratic vote, and in some cases the democratic vote of the entire electorate, once in the 1975 referenda, and -as manifesto mandates- again in 1983 and since 1997.

          Sorry Denis but you are either speaking with the utmost hypocrisy yourself or you simply do not understand what democracy is and is not.

          1. Denis Cooper
            October 16, 2016

            Nothing to do with the last 45 years, Jerry. It was 13 years ago that the legal substance of Article 50 first appeared in the EU Constitution, which was fully debated in Parliament even though no legislation was passed. No MP or peer said then “We must take control of this treaty provision and make sure that the government cannot invoke it without our approval”. Then it was decanted into the Lisbon Treaty, which was fully debated and approved by a 2008 Act, and that Act expressly gave Parliament control over certain decisions under the treaty, but not an Article 50 decision. Then those provisions to give Parliament control over decisions were moved into the European Union Act 2011 and long lists of decisions were added to institute control by various forms of Parliamentary authorisation and in some cases by referendum, including as it happens a decision under Article 50(3) but not including one under Article 50(2). Then there was the European Union Referendum Act 2015, hours and hours of debate at the successive stages, but during the passage of the Bill no MP or peer raised the matter of who should decide to activate Article 50. Even after the Bill had passed and MPs and peers were told in terms that in the event of a vote to leave the EU the government would trigger Article 50 without any further parliamentary process, and they still had the opportunity not only to object but to insist that the government must not act on those lines and to enforce their will, they still couldn’t be bothered to do that. Only after we have voted to leave do some of them wake up and decide that they will try to frustrate the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. Read what one of them, Baroness Wheatcroft, had to say here:


            “A rebellion in the Lords”

  31. JJE
    October 13, 2016

    Off topic but a local issue following the recent M4 closures. Our sympathies are with those injured and killed. Could you ask Thames Valley Police why they need to close the motorway for eight hours each time for their investigation before repairs can start?
    Also every time diesel is spilt the carriageway needs resurfacing. Is there any research underway into alternative methods of removing or neutralising the spilt diesel?

  32. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    “… the Commission does make the member states damage their own trade with us.”

    The Commission cannot do that; the political leaders of the other member states will decide their common negotiating position, not the Commission; they may have to bully their MEPs to get the final deal they have negotiated and agreed approved by the EU Parliament, and they may have to bully their national parliaments to accept it, but ultimately the Commission will do what it is told by the political leaders.

    And it is some of the most important among those political leaders who have already said that they would prefer to damage their own trade with us rather than agree to separate their “four freedoms” into a set of three – goods, services and capital – to do with trade and justifiably considered indispensable for membership of the EU Single Market on economic grounds, plus the fourth – persons – to do with immigration, not trade, and so treated as an optional extra with a primarily political rather than economic purpose.

    It is really every simple: if you want to be in the EU Single Market alongside country X then you have to accept that every citizen of X will have the automatic right to come and live and work and settle and start a family in your country. In total about half a billion people across the EU, all with that legal right, even if most do not choose to exercise it.

    Which is fine, if like the MP for Broxtowe you want as much immigration as you can get, and blow what the great majority of your fellow Britons may think about it.

  33. Frank Salmon
    October 13, 2016

    Excellent John
    Ian Duncan Smith was brilliant last night on Hard Talk. The logic in favour of Brexit is insurmountable.

  34. a-tracy
    October 13, 2016

    Well politicians of all parties should be more careful about using terms such as “xenophobic Tories”, if Sturgeon is talking about Amber Rudd’s statement at your conference, a remainer that was given a high position in PM May’s cabinet, then was asking for statistics on the numbers of companies who had to employ lots of immigrants to fill gaps because we don’t train sufficient numbers up in the UK with the right skills for those positions xenophobic? If so what action is being taken?

    I don’t really understand the politicians crying out against Hunt’s statement that he will release more training places for our own children to train for positions we currently have to import lots of labour into. Shouldn’t our children be told at school about all of these vacancies in IT, computer science, medicine?

    It’s amazing that requests that David Cameron was turned down on in the EU such as a four year living term before claiming benefits has now been proposed as five years in Germany and seems to be just passed through?

    We hear about racist crimes increasing after the vote, did it increase disproportionately in England and Wales over Scotland and N Ireland? Are there pockets, what is happening to investigate and deal with these problems that are being highlighted.

  35. Jims
    October 13, 2016

    It is amazing how much thought is apparently needed to get us out of this union compared to how little thought was given to putting us in!

    I suspect that many of our politicians haven’t even got as far as reading the first page of the treaty of Rome, (the ever closer union bit).

  36. lehutson
    October 13, 2016

    Unfortunately, Remain are fanning the flames of uncertainty with this nonsense over a parliamentary vote on the deal. People need to realise that the ‘negotiation’ has already begun. This talk of a parliamentary vote is doing nothing but encouraging the EU to concede very little, to take its time, and then eventually offer very little. And of course, this is what Remain would like.

    Hence, an approach along the lines of the above is needed. Much of the negotiation needs to be neutralised. Kept to a minimum. And done swiftly. Then business will get its certainty.

  37. Richard Scully
    October 13, 2016

    Wonderful straightforward common sense from John Redwood!
    It is the clarity of thought other commentators (particularly from the BBC) seem incapable of.

    I sincerely hope he has the ear of Theresa May.

  38. Antisthenes
    October 13, 2016

    It is impossible to reduce the uncertainty before negotiations are complete and least of all before they have even started. Setting out in broad terms that which we wish achieve from those negotiations is obviously necessary and in fact they have already been set out by the people and government. Those are to leave the EU and continue to cooperate and trade with it under mutually acceptable conditions. What those conditions eventually are is down to what is negotiated. Unfortunately there are many groups with differing needs and ambitions so have different ideas as to what constitutes acceptable conditions. Reconciling and satisfying all of them is a mammoth task. Indeed impossible.

    Not everyone is going to be satisfied that is impossible given the conflicting aspirations. So the aim has to be to primarily satisfy the largest and most important group and that has to be the 17 million who voted to leave. Then as far as it is possible under the circumstances of achieving that goal to secure a deal that will satisfy many of the other groups that have economic interests in the outcome. Not political interests that are against Brexit. Those interests are no longer relevant as they have been superseded by those they purport to represent. The will of the people is paramount. So all others will have to accept that for good or ill making a contribution towards achieving what the people wish securing for themselves the best they can.

    In your article today and in previous ones you have set out how we should negotiate. Pointing out that we are in a strong negotiating position and that we can achieve a deal that will satisfy most without too much compromise. If Theresa May, Boris, Liam and David adopt it and ignore the calls to set out their negotiating parameters (calls that are so stupid as to be derisory) then Brexit will be a resounding success.

  39. Kenneth
    October 13, 2016

    Excellent post which sums it all up.

    The referendum was binary. Article 50 is binary. So we can trigger that straight away as we have a clear mandate.

    The rest is not a matter of negotiation but simply our statement on how we will operate and, as you say John, our wish to trade with eu member states without tariffs.

    If some or all of them apply tariffs we will obviously reciprocate.

    I’ve got no idea what there is to negotiate and why it should take any time at all.

  40. Stewart Watts
    October 13, 2016

    Dear Mr Redwood, a great and thoughtful piece as usual. May I ask your view, should option 3 happen, of simply remaining tariff-free on imports to the U.K. regardless of what is imposed by our trading partners in the EU? Import tariffs only serve to restrict choice and raise prices for domestic consumers; I note of course that you say “return the revenues to U.K. consumers”, but in that case why take it in the first place? The whole “take with one hand and give back with the other” is surely reminiscent of former Chancellor Brown!

  41. Richard Butler
    October 13, 2016

    Must read piece from The Telegraph on devaluation;

    The devaluation is necessary and desirable. The pound is now near ‘fair value’ based on the real effective exchange rate used by the International Monetary Fund.

    All that has happened is a correction of the extreme over-valuation of sterling before Brexit, caused by capital inflows. This left the country with the worst current account deficit in peace-time since records began in the 18th Century.

    The fall is roughly comparable to the devaluation from 2007 to 2008 – though the same financial elites who talk so much of Armageddon today played it down on that occasion, mindful that their own banking crisis was the trigger.

    We can argue over how much the 2008 devaluation helped but it clearly acted as shock absorber at a crucial moment. It was in any case a far less painful way to restore short-term competitiveness than the ‘internal devaluations’ and mass unemployment suffered by the eurozone’s Club Med bloc.

    But there is a deeper point today that is often overlooked. Central banks across the developed world are caught in a deflationary trap. The ‘Wicksellian’ or natural rate of interest has been falling ever lower with each economic cycle and is now at or below zero in half the global economy, a full seven years into the expansion.

    This paralyses monetary policy and has dark implications for the next downturn. It is why central banks are desperately trying to drive down their currencies to gain a little breathing room, or in the case of the US Federal Reserve to stop the dollar rising.

    By the accident of Brexit, Britain has pulled off a Wicksellian adjustment that eludes others.

    With luck, the economy may even generate a few flickers of inflation, enough to let the Bank of England raise interest rates and start to restore ‘intertemporal’ equilibrium.

    Online and digital trade across borders remains minimal, riddled with barriers. Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for European Reform concluded that “there is no single market in services in any meaningful sense.”

  42. Mick
    October 13, 2016

    Just been anounce that Sturgeon is drafting a bill for a second Scottish referendum next week, go for it SNP and hopefully the entire UK will get a chance to vote this time, and I for one would vote for you and your bunch of wingers to leave, but I think the great Scottish people will not be taken in by the SNP because they would be in dire straights and vote to stay united then hopefully the winging SNP will be history for good

    1. fedupsoutherner
      October 13, 2016

      Being English and living in Scotland I can concur with your feeling exactly Mick. We just hope the SNP take a run and jump in the not too distant future as we are all sick to death of her going on.

  43. E.S Tablishment
    October 13, 2016

    Off Topic:
    Mrs Sturgeon has just announced she is putting a Bill through the Scottish devolved Parliament for another Independence Referendum.This time I feel the rest of the UK should be included in the Referendum for Scotland’s Independence. Scottish people voted in the UK Referendum to Brexit. They felt themselves to be not independent for the purposes of voting. Why should we temporarily outside Scotland ( for we may decide at any moment to go live there ) be forced to abstain in what is actually OUR UK Scottish Referendum?
    I do not wish a large piece of my country and the British souls living therein to be controlled eventually by European foreign powers. A war was fought 1939-45 to prevent that for all time. A relatively small UK political party should not be allowed to try to commit such an act of treason.

  44. Iain Gill
    October 13, 2016

    Unilever trying to charge Tesco in dollars, and expecting Tesco to take the currency hit, so funny

    But no marmite in the shops, wow, and blaming it on Brexit

    This is so funny

    Thankfully the supermarkets are not operated like state schools and the NHS and failure to provide what the public want will easily be dealt with by the public going elsewhere

    Is there anything that will not be blamed on Brexit?

  45. Prigger
    October 13, 2016

    Boris has just finished answering questions, telling the tale, scratching his head lightly, on BBC Parliament “Foreign Policy Development Committee”

    Mr Blunt MP chaired the meeting. There was an SNP MP asking questions which could not be answered because they were from the standpoint of a non-existent completely independent and sovereign Scotland. Boris instructed and trained the SNP MP that we are the United KingDOM… emphasising its joined-up singularity and the SNP MP will undoubtedly profit from the lesson as otherwise he seemed bright enough.

    Brexit/Syria questions were tabled. Answers and questions appeared to give the impression, broadly, that TV listeners had never seen and understood the movies Lawrence of Arabia, Arn The Knight Templar, the documentaries The World at War ; not heard of Churchill ordering the attack and sinking of the French Fleet in Toulon, the massive allied bombing of Rotterdam and of other nazi occupied cities of our friends and relations.
    Importantly, never read a British history book, nor served in the armed forces nor had relatives, who tell tales, who served in our armed forces..all over the place.
    Therefore, Mr Foreign Policy Development Committee, concerning the “evil” of Aleppo, the wartime American adage is appropriate: “Go tell it to the marines! “.

  46. NoBrandNames
    October 13, 2016

    As one of the dudes in the Brexit movie said I would rather eat grass than stay in the EU. So I can do without certain spreads. Bring it on.

  47. Nick Good
    October 13, 2016

    Invoke article 50, don’t wait for the clock to run down. Set a 6 month date for exit and the repeal of European Communities Act 1972 concurrent with enacting current EU law into UK law, to be worked through – add, change, delete – as required in due course.

    State in clear that WTO tariffs will apply, absent a trade agreement, when the six months runs out – it’s under 5% on most goods except cars, where it is 10%, all more than covered for UK businesses by the fall in the pound. Make clear all UK EU budget contributions will be stopping, the UK will decide on who has the right to live and work in the UK and will be making its own laws and not be subject to EU dictats. Offer a simple tariff free trade deal to be concluded in those 6 months – on past form this is unlikely to happen, because 27 EU states have to agree.

    Meantime, strike trade deals with Australia, NZ, Japan, China, US using Singapore’s deals as a template – their law is based on UK law and they have trade deals in place with all of the above.

  48. BOF
    October 13, 2016

    Spot on as usual Dr Redwood but I am greatly concerned. So far we have a fail on Hinkly C. Now another fail on HS2. It is being mooted in today’s Daily Mail that we may pay into the EU for access to the single market. Yes, I am worried because it all looks like capitulation to vested interests.

  49. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    Alistair Heath today:

    “Take the single market: the European Commission thought that it had boosted EU-wide GDP by just 2.1 per cent in 2008. David Davis needs to produce a new estimate of this as soon as possible …”

    Well, this study is from 2014, taking data up to 2012, and it has the added advantage that it tried to estimate how the overall benefit had been spread across EU member states:

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

    The opening passage:

    “The ongoing European integration between 1992 and 2012 led to the real gross domestic
    product (GDP) per capita in Germany in 2012 being around 2.3 percent higher than
    it would have been without this integration progress. With the exception of Greece, the
    other countries considered here also achieved integration-induced growth in their per capita gross domestic product.”

    So that 2.3% for Germany is in the same ballpark as the Commission’s 2.1% for the EU as a whole; the one relates to per capita GDP while the other relates to overall GDP and so the two are not exactly comparable, but even after adjusting for changes in population they are similar numbers.

    Then according to the table on the same page the next greatest beneficiary of the Single Market was Denmark, with a 2.0% increase in per capita GDP, while for the UK the benefit was about half of that at just 1.0%.

    Which was better than eight other countries, but still pretty paltry in the overall scheme of things – in particular when put in the context of the average natural growth rate of UK GDP having been 2.5% a year since the 1950’s, and that is an increase in GDP repeated each year on average, not just a one-off boost of 1.0% spread over a number of years.

    Yesterday it was mentioned that a Norwegian campaigner had claimed:

    “A study conducted by Norway’s official statistics bureau (SSB) states that total revenue from the trade rules of EEA and WTO is 0.77 %. That is equivalent to only a few months’ average economic growth in Norway.”

    which seems to present a similar picture of the EU Single Market being of some, but only marginal, economic value.

    So we could stay in the EU Single Market and reach a certain level of per capita GDP maybe six months earlier than if we had not in the EU Single Market, but with no control over EU immigration, and paying into the EU budget for the privilege of running a massive trade deficit with the rest of the EU, and with our government and Parliament being told that what they are proposing would break EU law, or we could leave the EU and leave the EU Single Market at the same time.

  50. REPay
    October 13, 2016

    This seems an excellent solution and I am at a loss as to why it is not being pursued.

    This would also have the benefit of revealing the protectionist tendencies within the EU and put the burden of working out what they want onto the 26 remaining countries – much harder than picking at an array of proposals; in turn they might realize it is easier to do the sensible thing and leave trading arrangements as they are. I suspect the need to punish or seek national advantage may overcome commercial common sense.

    My fear is that government lawyers will want to complicate the negotiations. As Sir Humphrey might say – “Years of fruitful work…” (I worked with a Treasury lawyer once who rigorously interpreted a rule against the interests of the UK when literally everybody else took the opposite view. The UK lost an important international financial body that a group of businesses and the City of London had worked hard to attract.)

  51. BeeCee
    October 13, 2016

    Mrs May should have sent the Article 50 letter on day 1 of her Premiership.

    That she did not was a huge mistake and now Legal and Parliamentary challenges will delay or thwart the Brexit process for years to come.

    One shining light on the horizon however is the today threat by the SNP to have another Independence Referendum. When they go, the £10Bn a year we shall save on the Barnett formula can be used in the rest of the UK for the NHS.

    Will they qualify for Foreign Aid? They will certainly be impoverished without the English Tax Payer to support them!

  52. forthurst
    October 13, 2016

    If we were not in the EU but nevertheless wanted a free trade agreement with it, would our ideal relationship be via membership of the Single Market?

    The Single Market works very well for foreigners who wish to take advantage of our higher wages and superior social services and those who wish to avail their businesses of cheaper labour. It It works less well for those who find their tax bills are providing access to social services and housing which is being squeezed by people of foreign extraction whilst their access to well paid jobs is also being squeezed.

    The Single Market works well for continental manufacturers of consumer goods and continental predators of British businesses; it works less well, when we wish to sell services back to them to shore up our yawning trade defict, or to invest in their established businesses.

    The Single Market works well for continental manufacturers who wish the WTO to work for them in selling their goods whilst protecting their home markets; it works less well when we wish to expand our trade in services and focus our trading endeavours toward the open sea.

    The Single Market is too imperfect to form the basis of any deal with the Brussels regime. Add to which the privilege of membership comes with a huge annual subscripton fee.

  53. Dr James Thompson
    October 13, 2016

    I would like to get more people to read this diary. Could we have a Twitter button please?

  54. Postie
    October 13, 2016

    Better, “How to… eliminate… the uncertainties of Brexit? Answer: Brexit!

    Since Mrs May has told the world that Article 50 is a definite and no later than the end of March 2017 then what possible reason, really, can there be for not writing the letter now? Royal Mail has only refused to process packages containing foreign-made exploding phones.
    If Mrs May writes the letter tonight, takes it to her local post office tomorrow morning. Wait in a queue, and send it Recorded or Registered post and sign a declaration to be affixed on the envelope as to the value of its contents then Bob’s yer uncle, Katie’s yer aunt, Mr Juncker’s secretaries will open the letter within a week. Better send it right away to allow for delays due to people sending presents and such prior to Christmas..or in line with those of the Labour Party: Festive-Occasion-Not-More-Important-Than-Anyone Else’s-Even-That-Of-The-Lesser-Spotted-Tree-Frog-Of-Ontario-Who-Gets-Quite-Frisky-Now-And-Then.
    Writing it now would also wrong-foot many of the currency speculators. The American ones go off on a very long Christmas vacation starting one and a half week’s prior to 24-25th December and don’t return until late in January. OR, If Mr Farage acts as courier of the letter it would save on postage costs and he would love to deliver it to Mr Juncker as a Christmas present. Bless!

  55. Ian Russell
    October 13, 2016

    In the event that the EU27 wish to fall back on WTO rules, everyone should agree to calculate tariff payments on the basis of existing arrangements (Intrastat, etc.) and settle them at national/EU level. This would allow businesses to continue to trade as before as they want to do.

    This scheme would avoid the need for “hard borders”. The only cost would be a few more accountants in Brussels or somewhere else in Europe where there is a dearth of jobs.

    With a bit of imagination the UK could use the funds this scheme generates to promote scientific and technological cooperation with EU countries and our trading partners in the rest of the world.

  56. Biggles
    October 13, 2016

    I heard on Sky News that they have done a poll of their viewers and they say there is 50 odd per cent in favour of British military action in Syria. Oh yeah?
    I think Mr Corbyn stated some time ago there is “much de-moralisation” in our army just now and the Opposite Bench, the Conservative person who he was speaking with actually agreed.
    Let me put it more clearly for them both, away from political-speak. Our rank and file army personnel and all armed forces for that matter are against it, privately, in large percentage. They have been there, seen it, got the tee-shirt. Nothing accomplished except dead and injured, and that’s just our side. Getting rid of one dictator replacing him with another dictator who speaks American English as opposed to proper English isn’t worth it.

  57. Mark
    October 13, 2016

    You rightly point out that it is the Commission who would instigate the damage of resurrecting tariff barriers. We should get smoke signals on whether the EU 27 will let them do this when we see who the European Council appoint as the actual Chief Negotiator once we have submitted Article 50 notice. It seems every EU institution thinks it can appoint its own Chief Negotiator, but none of them has any standing under Article 50. Also important will be whether the Council insists that the EU team be part of the Secretariat to the Council (and therefore reporting to them, not to Juncker and the EU Commission as is the case with Barnier). Article 50 does give primacy of place to the guidelines from the Council for negotiations: its members would be foolish to cede that to the Commission.

  58. James Neill
    October 13, 2016

    First of all we know that there can be no negotiation on our future relationship with the EU until Article 50 is activated. David Davis is at the present time no doubt doing the rounds with Theresa May, by the back channel, to see if he can drum up some support for a way forward that would be acceptable to both sides but there can be little chance of succeeding as the Europeans are determined that there will be no meaningful talks beginning until after March 2017, they have plainly said so, so there is little point in setting out conditions now for any future relationships at this stage. It is very likely that because of lack of progress with the prospects of new UK / worldwide trade deals, short to medium term, that Ms May will bring about a government reshuffle around about the same time of March next year- it will strengthen her hand as she faces into the talks. It is also likely that the three Brexiteers Davis, Fox and Boris will be dropped at this stage and she will then promote into high office people more acceptable to her own way of thinking so that talks can begin- and we can only guess what this will mean- there will be compromise as in all negotiations if progress is to be made.

    It will quickly become apparent that the Europeans see things very differently from the rest of us but in a formal and structured business like way the disentanglement will begin. It will be tortuous, slow and depending on how the British side conduct themselves and the negotiations according to our own and to EU interests at the table will be the key to the prospect for successfully advancing talks to the next stage. If talks are to succeed there will have to be compromise on both sides- and as it has already been set out by some EU heads of state and EU officials- cherry picking will not be allowed – the British public will very soon have a ringside seat and see it all blow by blow- by then then penny will have dropped

    So how will it all end up? -well we will achieve some negotiated trade settlement with the EU mainly because of geographical position and nearness that is a given- but at what price? We won’t be able to afford German Cars anymore anyway by then so the question of buying foreign cars won’t matter and in any case passporting restrictions will hardly allow the Germans to push the necessary finance through to help us buy the cars. France will have diversified and developed other markets for its agricultural produce and we will be left to grow our own, that is if we can get young people to go into the fields to labour since by then there won’t be any foreigners around to do this work. Services into the EU will have slowed up and be difficult to perform because our business people and technicians etc may need visas to access travel to some of the European countries – depending on how hard a position we adopt about their own nationals coming to Britain. Essential banking services, Finance and Insurance companies will have already opened offices in Frankfurt and other EU countries like Stockholm so then things will be a little slower in London- so we’ll have time for longer lunch breaks

    Of course another way of looking at all of this is that it is signalling the start of not only the breakup of the EU as we know it but the break up of the UK itself? It could also be the start of a new two speed EU with the UK and Greece with Portugal on the outside track – with closer integration at the European centre- anything is possible – and to think it all started with taking back control’ – Enough said

  59. Sam Stoner
    October 13, 2016

    You can file all the tariffs you like with the WT), they’ll be sent straight back with a little note attached saying try again when you’re no longer a member of the EU.
    And, once you’ve met the legal requirements of Art 50, then when you try again you’ll be told “well, we’ll have a look, but you have got a lot of states to persuade and a lot of negotiating to do”

    John Redwood is a unilateral politician in a multilateral world.

    1. ian russell
      October 14, 2016

      Continue as now until the new arrangements are in place.

    October 13, 2016

    Off Topic:
    Bob Dylan famous 50 years ago, singer, well-noted supporter of the Obama Democratic Party election Campaign, has been awarded the Nobel prize for… Literature. A number of death-defying Soviet authors, in the past, have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The open secret of particularly Russian literature is that the most important thing is said to be what it does NOT say.
    We should all certainly not copy or in a sense plagiarise Russian creativity but try in our inadequate and humble possibility to understand the Russian mind.

    1. hefner
      October 13, 2016

      Have you ever read Bob Dylan’s lyrics by the way?
      At a time when some British were going “she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah”, he was writing “Sad-eyed lady of the low lands”.
      For me, sorry to disappoint, I found Obama a tiny bit more interesting than the bully no-nothing Trump.
      And I am sure you can practice trying to understand the Russian mind watching RT.

  61. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2016

    The de facto leader of the Remain campaign on the Andrew Marr Show, June 12th 2016:

    “What the British public will be voting for is to leave the EU and leave the single market.”

    “‘I’ll pull UK out of the single market after Brexit’

    Leaving the EU would be like planting ‘a bomb’ under the British economy, the prime minister warns.

    By TOM MCTAGUE 6/12/16, 11:54 AM CET Updated 6/13/16, 2:35 PM CET

    David Cameron confirmed Sunday that he will pull Britain out of the single market if there is a vote to leave the European Union at the upcoming referendum.

    The prime minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that it would be impossible to copy the Norwegian model by remaining inside the trading bloc despite being outside the EU because that would mean accepting freedom of movement and trade rules made in Brussels.

    He said the Brexit campaign had made it clear to voters that voting to leave also meant pulling out of the single market. The prime minister said he would accept the result as an “instruction” despite warning that leaving would be like planting a “bomb” under the British economy.

    There have been reports that the House of Commons, whose MPs are overwhelmingly pro-Remain, could vote against pulling out of the single market in the event of a Brexit. MPs could claim they were accepting voters’ wishes to withdraw from the EU while protecting them from the economic consequences of leaving the trading area.

    However, the Leave campaign has made it clear that in order to restrict immigration and strike trade deals with countries outside the EU, Britain would have to leave the single market.

    The prime minister said: “What the British public will be voting for is to leave the EU and leave the single market.”

    This would create a “decade of uncertainty,” he added, as the U.K. attempted to renegotiate a trade deal with the EU and countries around the world.

    “Far from not banging on about Europe we’d be banging on about Europe for 10 years,” he said.”

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 13, 2016

      Cameron was basically wrong on everything, and did little which he promised. Not sure for whom he’ll work, but they’ll get little value apart from a few tenuous contacts. He has no judgement and little capability to think straight.

    2. rose
      October 13, 2016

      Great minds think alike. Donald Tusk has just said, ““The only real alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit, even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility.”

    3. Newmania
      October 14, 2016

      Have you just discovered that politicians lie Dennis , that’s sweet. We now have inflation in the system and by next year interest rates will have to go up( as recommended endlessly by Redders ..) of course he doesn`t really want anything of the sort he just wants to avoid the blame for killing pensions . That will cut demand which will kill off the frothy consumers boom Carney engineered .
      Revenue down taxes up pay investment confidence gone .Already Banks are leaving have you any conception whatsoever of what this is going to do to this country not just now but for decades ?
      That how we enter this disastrous process of self-immolation and in case you have forgotten the cupboard is bare , the safety net is gone we have nothing !

      … I quite genuinely cannot imagine what would motivate someone to sit there googling away digging up trivia with the intention of putting people out of work .

      Is your hobby really worth it ?

      1. Edward2
        October 14, 2016

        Would you agree that higher interest rates…which you do not like..will strengthen the pound..Which you have been complaining about and demanding action.

      2. Denis Cooper
        October 14, 2016

        Calm down, you’ll do yourself some kind of injury.

        1. Edward2
          October 14, 2016

          Just hoping for a logical answer

          1. Denis Cooper
            October 15, 2016

            My advice was intended for Newmania.

          2. Edward2
            October 15, 2016

            I realsed that shortly after posting..sorry !

          3. Denis Cooper
            October 16, 2016

            That’s OK.

  62. hdq
    October 13, 2016

    All these suggestions are fine to negotiate after the leave, but not as part of the “Brexit” Article 50 procedure.

    One does NOT include “negotiations about future relationships” in a termination clause of a contract. It make no sense whatsoever, and it creates uncertainties of time and outcome.

    And it is even bad for a negotiating “strategy” to negotiate under a hanging sword of a time limit combined with economic and political pressures.

    First complete the exit, without any negotiations about the future, then negotiate whatever you like.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 14, 2016

      “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

  63. john byrne
    October 13, 2016

    Redwood told us so often (in the past, of course) how, for example, Germany would never allow sales of its expensive, up-market cars to be threatened by a hard exit – and many similar examples.

    Well these Germans and other Europeans apparently have certain standards to which they are going to stick.

  64. fedupsoutherner
    October 13, 2016

    I simply cannot believe that the headline news on the BBC this evening is the fact that Marmite, Tbags and Pot Noodle are not on the shelves in Tesco. God, how are some people going to manage? If this is what the BBC call news then they seriously need to start looking at their programme. We have Nicola Sturgeon going off on one again. More bribery and corruption against England.. I see the Tax Payers Alliance are saying that if they gain independence things will seriously change in Scotland with more money expected from people just to get by and a lot less in services than they enjoy now. When will she ever stop? I’ve already decided I can’t bear to watch Question Time this evening as Alex Salmond is on. I’ve had enough of the SNP for one day. I wish more people would listen you John, get his over with quickly instead of dragging it out and watch the UK prosper.

  65. hefner
    October 13, 2016

    For what is worth, Joris Luyendijk’s “charitable view is that many English people have a superiority complex that prevents them from being realistic about their country’s place in the world. … one wonders if parts of the UK’s political and media establishment, if not the whole country, are not in fact in the grips of collective clinical narcissism. … Feelings of vulnerability, dependency and helplessness can overwhelm them and for this reason narcissists cling to notions of grandiosity. They cannot consider others except as instruments to be manipulated or enemies to be fought. Marked by a mixture of bravado and contempt for those perceived as weaker, narcissists cannot accept criticism and feel no interest in others, let alone empathy.”

    Comment in less than 500 words.

  66. simple soul
    October 13, 2016

    Dear Dr Redwood

    I think it would lubricate matters a little more if we had a list of very specific and credible inducements which would make producers of Citroen, camembert, and champagne greedily desperate to lobby hard to achieve a quick settlement. We need a bit of human nature in the equation.

    When Mr Gladstone was negotiating his trade treaty with France in 1861, he won markets for UK industrial exports by hinting that French wines would replace the traditional UK working man’s beer. This eased the balance of negotiation considerably (and made it possible to present it as a Temperance achievement back home). Napoleon III was naturally a Free Trader but he had to get it past a hostile protectionist public.

    1. simple soul
      October 13, 2016

      But, mirabile dictu, despite all ingrained obstacles the Anglo-French treaty was achieved and trade did soar, Free Trade principles were proved right, and both countries benefited.

  67. simple soul
    October 13, 2016

    Thank you for your contribution to the second Brexit Debate. A cool head and wise words were exactly what was needed and were conspicuous for their rarety.

  68. Mick
    October 13, 2016

    I’m sure that I am not the only one getting pretty jerked off with the likes of the SNP /lab/lib’s/greens and some Torie who are always putting the UK down, I am getting to the age where I don’t give a fig, but I do care what is left to my siblings and I don’t think I’m alone on this, so come on Mrs May invoke A50 now and shut these pro eu loving luvves up, and go down in history along with Mr D Cameron Mr N Farage Mrs May that saved Britain without firing a shot in anger

  69. Peter D Gardner
    October 13, 2016

    It is now obvious that the Government’s timetable for Brexit is absurdly late and absurdly long. It is also obvious that the reason is that it wants a new complex deal with the EU and has had to start formulating its approach from scratche following Cameron’s dereliction of duty as Prime minister.

    The Government is therefore exposing the entire process to unnecessary risks. It could be de-railed by sectoral or political interests within UK. The EU will continue to impose regulations and directives on UK, some of which will be harmful and none of which can be rejected by UK. Uncertainty will continue allowing malign forces, eg., Unilever, George Soros, to inflict damage on UK’s trade, currency and so on to whip up anti-Brexit sentiment, and preventing genuinely entrepreneurial British interests to take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit.

    And all for what? The Government has persuaded itself that it can break the world record for negotiating a trade deal with the EU, currently seven years, by completing one within the Article 50 timescale of two years. If it is just a bluff it is hugely irresponsible. Who do you think you’re kidding Mrs May? UK will end up after two years of uncertainty either with nothing agreed, or a deal ensuring further long term entanglement with the EU that is not in Britain’s interests. If the Government goes for John Redwood’s plan B as the most likely outcome why wait? Do it now so we can all get on with our lives.

    Article 50 should be invoked within the month and Brexit negotiations completed possibly before the French elections, and certainly before the German elections in October 2017.

    The government’s mentality is still that of EU membership: slow, bureaucratic, unnecessarily detailed and lacking leadership and vision. Mrs May is a capable administrator and manager. She is no leader. Her ministers and civil service advisers seem still to be stuck with the EU mentality as well. It is time to shake it off and accept that in this matter the UK must take full responsibility for self government and take bold visionary action.

    1. a-tracy
      October 14, 2016

      I see your points. We are giving the EU time to completely stitch us up.

      Cameron is a traitor to the UK, he did not keep his word to the nation, I hope one day history reflects how poorly he let the UK down. We also should not have handed over our turn of the EU presidency the first act of PM May letting down the UK ridiculous.

      It’s time now that Gove, Johnson, Hoey, Hannan, Stuart, Farage etc. started to ask why notice cannot be served now? It was supposed to be the day after the vote.

  70. Ed Mahony
    October 14, 2016

    List has come out about best PMs of 20/21th century with David Cameron not doing very well. If we continue with Brexit or Remain (without reform of the EU) we’re just going to get the same old stuff again (with Brexit we suffer for years as well as destabilising the EU, with Remain without-reform we have to deal with the serious issue of immigration). There’s only one way forward and that is to remain in the EU whilst trying to reform it in particular on immigration). This is the best way forward although the most ambitious. Problem is do we have a leader with the ambition and vision to undertake this? If we did, – i have no doubt he/he would turn out to be one of the best, if not the best, PMs of the modern peacetime era.

    Reply Your proposal is completely unrealistic. The EU does not want to reform in the direction the UK wants, and made that quite clear by turning down most of Mr Cameron’s all too modest demands.

    1. Chris
      October 14, 2016

      Do you not understand the rules of the club, EM? They have made it quite explicit in the Treaties, and reinforced verbally in recent months, what their goals are and the path they are going to follow. They have no desire for reform, but they do seem to have a fanatical zeal to reach their goal of the United States of Europe with complete political and economic integration. As has been made abundantly clear, the four pillars of the EU are non negotiable i.e. they are not up for reform. Why do Remainers seem intent on perpetuating a myth?

      1. Ed Mahony
        October 14, 2016

        ‘Do you not understand the rules of the club, EM?’

        – Rules can be changed. But it does require will power to achieve.
        The EU has said no to special treatment to the UK (this time). But there is nothing that states that rules can’t be changed. Rules are important but so is flexibility in terms of evolution (or regression) of something, whether it be a business organisation, a political organisation or any kind of organisation.
        ‘They have no desire for reform’ – well let’s give them a bit of desire for reform then. It’s not just people in the UK who see big problems with the EU, but people across the Europe. But i admit it takes will power.
        Sarkozy has suggested this is the best way forward. He might not be able to achieve it. And it may never happen. But if Churchill was able to play a key role in keeping the Nazis at bay in Europe, and if we can send men to the moon, then surely it’s not beyond our capabilities to find a way to reform the EU.

    2. Ed Mahony
      October 14, 2016

      ‘Your proposal is completely unrealistic. The EU does not want to reform in the direction the UK wants, and made that quite clear by turning down most of Mr Cameron’s all too modest demands’

      – With respect, sir, you’re making a category error:
      – seeking concessions for the UK is quite different to seeking reform of the EU for the whole of the EU.

      Reply Mr Cameron did seek reform for the whole EU and was rebuffed

  71. Newmania
    October 14, 2016

    This is a bit like telling a man who suffers anxiety whilst awaiting a diagnosis that he can relax now because he has terminal cancer.

  72. Chris
    October 14, 2016

    Mark Carney “doing his bit”….Jacob Rees Mogg has apparently made his displeasure clear.

    I would dearly like to see Mervyn King back in charge. Is there any reason that he would not be “eligible”? We need someone who is positive and committed to making Brexit work, and who is above all competent, and not committed to QE and similar damaging practices.

  73. Lindsay McDougall
    October 16, 2016

    One of the biggest contributions to ending the uncertainties over Brexit would be to sack Messrs Carney and Hammond, end BoE control of monetary policy and appoint Mr John Redwood as Chancellor.

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