The rest of the EU is in a big muddle about Brexit

The EU officials who speak out and a few of the other member states politicians join them in expressing  great dislike of the UK and say they wish to punish us.

They also seem to want us to stay in the EU. I guess that is because they see that being made to stay in would indeed be punishment. It would mean continuing to pay all those bills, accept all their laws, and make our energy, our agriculture, our fishing  and much else ever more dependent on them.

It is a very strange club that thinks the way to keep you in is to threaten you if you decide to leave. Why don’t they think of ways of making their institutions friendlier to member state democracy, to jobs and to living standards. At least it made it an easy choice for the UK, as so much of the EU is hostile to prosperity and freedom.

The truth, O EU, is most of the UK is not scared of you and does see how we will be freer and more prosperous out of it. We do not think under global rules you can harm us, as well as seeing that the more you try to damage us the more you would damage yourselves.

The irony of the referendum and of the current position is we Eurosceptics take a positive view of other member states, whereas the pro EU people  take a negative one. Pro EU people in the UK are always warning us how the nasty EU will hurt us if we leave, whilst Eurosceptics reckon most of the peoples and governments of the EU will want to be friends and trade with us after exit. The good news for the UK is it is difficult to know how  the rest of the EU can damage us. If they want tariffs on their exports to us we can always buy elsewhere, whilst the impact on our trade to them is far less.


  1. Leslie Singleton
    November 28, 2016

    O John–“O EU” would be the vocative, that’s if there is one. O me miserum! Sorry but some of us do care about this stuff.

    1. Richard W
      November 28, 2016

      I heard a talk by John Heritage recently, a linguistics professor at UCLA of British origin. He’s the world expert on “oh” and made the very plausible claim that English conversational “oh” is the successor of the Latin vocative “o”, through Shakespeare’s use of it.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        November 28, 2016

        O Richard–Interesting, but what’s John’s excuse for using “per capita” (and inconsistently!!), as if it meant per head? This would once have been held to be a barbarism.

    2. LittleBlackCensored
      November 28, 2016

      How about using the French “Ô”?

    3. Qubus
      November 28, 2016

      Perhaps Dr Redwood should have written, “Oh, EU”; that, I am sure, would have satisfied the pedants amongst us.

  2. Excalibur
    November 28, 2016

    Off topic, if I may JR. I see there were power outages in the West End and in Winchester over the weekend, and possibly elsewhere. Is this a prelude to the severe shortages of electric power forecast in these columns as a result of the closure of coal fired power stations ? The cold weather has barely started yet .

    1. Lifelogic
      November 28, 2016

      Indeed you can buy gas at about 2p per KWH (even retail at only a touch over this) and it can be converted to electricity at about 50% efficiency so about 4p should be about the true cost price of electricity. And this is on demand energy no intermittent which is worth far less. Yet we have to pay more like 3+ times this for electricity.

      All thanks the the greencrap religion and the government rigging of the market.

      The Hinkley strike rate is well over double this and coal is even cheaper still. Gas and Coal are both likely to become cheaper still over the years and clearly (with better technology, automation, extraction systems and fracking).

      Yet we still have a government that is even considering bonkers lagoons in Wales!

      1. acorn
        November 30, 2016

        These wild exaggerations are not doing the Brexit cause any favours. Remainers can exaggerate; but, they have the “known known” fall back position of business as usual. Brexiteers have no known position; or, more precisely, the are a “known unknown”. (HT: Donald Rumsfeld).

        A typical breakdown of costs for domestic electricity supply is; 13% Cost of Government Schemes; 15% Corporate Operating costs; 27% Cost of getting power to the home; 35% Cost of buying electricity from generators; 5% VAT and 5% Profit.

        Gas is; 4% Cost of Government Schemes; 13% Corporate Operating costs; 25% Cost of getting gas to the home; 48% Cost of buying gas; 5% VAT and 5% Profit.

    2. English Pensioner
      November 28, 2016

      As a retired electrical engineer, one of the first things that I look at each morning on the internet in the winter is the G.B. National Grid Status otherwise Gridwatch. Just Google for it, it comes top of the list! It shows demand and the available supply from various sources as a row of dials. This morning demand is hovering just on the ‘amber’ zone, not a good sign. Wind is supplying a mere quarter of its nominal capacity, not surprising as it is very still as it often is on cold days.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      November 28, 2016

      Ha, ha, ha. Have just got back into the country and saw on the news that London had a big power cut but no reason given for it. Must be controversial!!! BBC didn’t give any reasons. I hope it was because of the ridiculous stance over renewables. The wind farm recently completed opposite my home consisting of 11 turbines has just been shut down for an unknown period because there is insufficient infrastructure to take the power out!!!!! You really couldn’t make it up.

      Why are bill payers in the UK being expected to fund such folly? It is a disgrace and something Mrs May needs to address urgently.

      1. alan jutson
        November 30, 2016

        Payment made for them to be shut off of course, just to add to the fiasco.

  3. Sam Stoner
    November 28, 2016

    What a very strange post. No EU politician has expressed any wish to punish the UK.
    It sounds to me, however, that you are inventing scare stories to cover up the reality that the UK has no plan at all for its future and that, moreover, you fear that Mrs May is inching ever closer to throwing your preferences overboard and, under pressure from business, heading instead for a Norway style deal.
    You’re right to be rattled

    1. Mark Watson
      November 28, 2016

      Many EU politicians have expressed a desire to punish the UK.

      1. Mitchel
        November 28, 2016

        Even the Maltese PM last week.

        Do pay attention at the back!

    2. Ian Wragg
      November 28, 2016

      Sam you obviously haven’t been reading the European papers recently.
      Only last week Malta was threatening us.
      Many German politicians have said we must be punished for having the temerity to upset the apple cart.
      Only Italies Beppi has said we should be allowed to leave orderly.
      Yet another legal challenge. This time saying that leaving the EU doesn’t mean leaving the EEA. The EU associate membership. Nothing changes, still under the ECJ and accepting free movement of people.
      Is there no end to the remainiacs whingeing.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @Ian Wragg: Not a single word of threat from Joseph Muscat, the Malthese prime-minister! Just wishing for a fair (but not superior) deal for Britain, restating (for the 100th time?) that there is no bluffing about the 4 freedoms by the EU27, and restating that this will (also in his view) be a lose-lose outcome.
        Why do you invent threats where there aren’t any???
        Just replay his interview with the BBC, easily found on internet.

    3. Hope
      November 28, 2016

      Yes, Hollande has on more than one occasion. And our miserable former PM Cameron stood by smirking.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        When Hollande states that “there is a price to be paid” that is a price to be paid by all EU countries, not the same as “punishing” the UK. If you wait until after May next year, he will be gone most likely.

        1. Hope
          December 2, 2016

          No, he made sinister veiled threats. Do no this be selective. He is not standing so your weasel point is invalid. Schauble the German fiancé minister was trying to scare us as well, then he claimed Osborne told him to say it! Very statesmen like. Bearing in mind German history I think it was irresponsible and stupid for a German statesmen to make threats to the U.K. Eternal gratitude for saving them from their past or projected history might be the order of the day. The same with Holland.

    4. Denis Cooper
      November 28, 2016

      “No EU politician has expressed any wish to punish the UK”

      The rarities are those who say that the EU should not try to punish the UK, as you will know if you’ve been following the news over recent months.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 28, 2016

        @Denis: You are always so profusely providing links to your content, I don’t see any this time.

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 29, 2016

          Yes, because I decided that I just couldn’t be bothered to do Sam’s work for him; if he wants he do can searches and come up with references to disprove his assertion, just as well as I can. Let him waste his time on his own nonsense, rather than wasting mine.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 28, 2016

        @Stred: Are you even aware yourself that in this link you are referring to FORMER European ministers, and an old link (January 2016) for that, and only when playing a (war) game??? How far remote can you get with so-called “punishment” by the official spokespeople or government leaders of today?
        Not much of a support for the opinion set out in today’s blog.

        1. stred
          November 29, 2016

          Yes. Sorry Peter, even retired leaders were on the Google list. Here’s a fresh one. Scooter Boy is staying on punishing until next year.

          1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            November 29, 2016

            @stred: Sorry stred (I have watched the clip 3 times), that is not a bout “punishing” that is about “fermeté” – firmness. Firmness in applying the rules and principles of the treaties. Listen more carefully or read the translation more carefully please. To me it reads like: “you cannot have your cake and eat it”, we (EU27) should not be taken for fools.

          2. stred
            November 30, 2016

            Scooter Boy, ‘There must be a threat’. If we leave we will receive the threat. I thought a fermete is a small farm.

    5. stred
      November 28, 2016

      OurEuro President,Donald Trusk seems very clear about the softee non-option that remoaning ex PMs, failed politicians, unelected Lords, bankers and their wives, and the legal bigwigs are pushing. What could be clearer. Thanks Donald, and by the way, Poles doing useful jobs in reasonable numbers will still be welcome while tariffs will be very low on Polish beer and Ikea flatpacks.

      1. stred
        November 28, 2016

        The latest attempt by lords and moaners to avoid leaving seems to be a Mr J.Lies, who will argue that the EEA option was not explained to voters. Do these unelected people get public money for this sort of sedition?

        At least the shadow Foreign Secretary was honest on the telly yesterday and admitted that we would lose control of immigration in return. Pity Marr didn’t say, “so we might as well not have bothered to decide to leave then”.

      2. Sam Stoner
        November 28, 2016

        Thank you for that, I now understand. When you say there is an intention to “punish” the UK, what you actually mean is that politicians elsewhere in Europe are concerned to put their own, rather than the British, national interest first. Quelle surprise!

        1. Qubus
          November 28, 2016

          #Sam Stoner

          ” … actually mean is that politicians elsewhere in Europe are concerned to put their own, rather than the British, national interest first”.

          Of course other states put their own interests first. What the UK is trying to do is put the UK’s interest first.

        2. libertarian
          November 28, 2016

          Sam Stoner

          What you actually mean is “No sorry I was completely wrong, they have threatened to punish the UK’

          If the politicians elsewhere were really protecting their own self interests they wouldn’t remotely try to threaten the UK because for a lot of them we are one of their biggest customers. One of the main reasons we’re leaving is because these people have failed miserably and consistently to negotiate trade deals effectively. Quelle surprise!

        3. DaveM
          November 28, 2016

          No, several european politicians have stated quite clearly that they want to see the UK ‘punished’ (oooh I’m scared!) in order to discourage others from leaving the EU. Don’t you read papers/websites or watch the news?

          I’m sure theres nothing vindictive about it though!

        4. Edward2
          November 28, 2016

          Some union then Sam

      3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 28, 2016

        @Stred: Donald Tusk just bemoans Brexit as the lose-lose option for every country in the EU, hence his salt and vinegar metaphor. Whether a “soft-Brexit” in the form of a (often suggested during the Brexit campaign) “Norway-option” (EEA) is out of the question is apparently now a matter before the court.

        1. Hope
          December 2, 2016

          No, Tusk made threats which insult us as well. You are being selective again.

    6. John Hogan
      November 28, 2016

      I suggest reading past Hollande, Schultz, Ver Hofstadt comments. Comments that do not impress Brexiteers only harden their resolve.

    7. Qubus
      November 28, 2016

      Really Mr Stoner, you must be joking!

    8. getahead
      November 29, 2016

      If I may quote the Prime Minister in parliament on 15th June 2016,

      ““In” means we remain in a reformed EU; “out” means we come out. “Out” means out of the EU, out of the European single market, out of the Council of Ministers—out of all those things.”

      I hope that makes it clear for you.

  4. JJE
    November 28, 2016

    It’s a bit harsh to blame them for being in a muddle when our own negotiating position could most charitably be described as “evolving”. Perhaps Sir Humphrey would say we are at a stage where clarity remains an achievable objective?

    It’s time to use your Parliamentary sovereignty to pass the legislation to invoke Article 50 and get on with things. All will be unclear until that is done. Letting the appeal against the legal challenge proceed to the Supreme Court isn’t going to help your cause in my view. It’s not a risk I would take. Accept the High Court ruling and get on with the legislation.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 28, 2016

      Don’t accept the High Court ruling because it is incorrect and may set precedents which will come back to bite us in the future, but still get on with the legislation without waiting for the Supreme Court ruling. Bear in mind that the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords may try to hold it up, so start it now.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 28, 2016

        I didn’t anticipate that if the incorrect High Court ruling was left to stand then that could come back to bite us quite this soon, but apparently so:

        “Brexit: Legal battle over UK’s single market membership”

        “Lawyers say uncertainty over the UK’s European Economic Area membership means ministers could be stopped from taking Britain out of the single market.

        They will argue the UK will not leave the EEA automatically when it leaves the EU and Parliament should decide.

        But the government said EEA membership ends when the UK leaves the EU.”

        “If the courts back the legal challenge and give Parliament the final say over EEA membership, then MPs could vote to ensure that Britain stays in the single market until a long-term trading relationship with the EU has been agreed.”

        “But some lawyers argue that leaving the EEA would not be automatic and would happen only if Britain formally withdraws by triggering Article 127 of the EEA agreement.

        The legal question is focused on whether the UK is a member of the EEA in its own right or because it is a member of the EU.”

        Well, I’ve argued in the past that the UK is a separate contracting party to the EEA Agreement in its own sovereign right but on the premise that it is an EU member state, so it will be up to the other EEA contracting parties to decide how to react to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

        That Agreement may be read here:

        At the start it has the EU, or rather still the EC, and each of the EU member states listed as one set of contracting parties, and three of the four EFTA member states are listed as another set of contracting parties.

        Note that Croatia has not yet been added to the list of EU member states in that Agreement; in fact the UK is one of the many existing EEA member states which have not yet ratified the agreement for Croatia’s participation in the EEA, which after more than three years is still being applied on a provisional basis:

      2. rose
        November 28, 2016

        Read the legal opinions here.

      3. turboterrier
        November 28, 2016

        @ Denis Cooper

        Well said that man!!

    2. Oggy
      November 28, 2016

      @JJE – I couldn’t agree more, Mrs May is playing a risky game appealing to the Supreme court, at best it’s only going to delay things further.
      Now because of all the dithering the Government have another legal challenge re A127 and leaving the EEA.

      Mrs May should have triggered A50 months ago instead of all this dithering around which is why the Remoaners are getting their act together. It’s looking increasingly like we will not be leaving the EU.

      One question Dr Redwood, – who actually does run this country, the lawyers/courts or the Government ? because it seems the lawyers and the courts are dictating terms to the Government.
      Of course it could all be part of the plan ! – that is to keep us in the EU against our will and then blame the courts and/ or Lady Macbeth.

    3. stred
      November 29, 2016

      Reading the scribbled notes of the aide going into a brexit meeting, helpfully held up for the EU to read, it sounds as though they are going to take as long as possible.

      It will be ‘problematic for EU if we move decisivelywith no transition. Article 50 interpretation. Barnier wants to see what deal looks like first. Got to be done in parallel- 20 odd negotiations. Keep the 2 years. Won’t provide providemore detail……’, then ‘ECJ(?) and control of borders won’t fit.. Transitional (?) to do it. Whitehall will lead action on it (?)… Looking at Canadian deal and add to it…..

      What happened to ‘ We are leaving and will cease paying contributions to a club in which we have no influence while we are excluded. We wish to continue trading as at present keeping EU laws on trading and without tariffs. If you wish to impose tariffs or other restictions, please let us know what these will be as soon as possible and we will match them. Copy to BMW, Peugeot, AXA, Danone, Dutch flower growers assn. etc. Then wait while they spend years arguing and if they decide anything, then do it.

      But what do our civil servants do? ‘Barnier wants’ so lets do as we are told.
      They don’t seem to be able to cope with the idea of independence. What a useless lot they are.

  5. Lifelogic
    November 28, 2016

    Exactly leavers like Europe and free trade, bonfires of daft regulations, selective immigration, our own currency and moving to cheap energy.

    We dislike the EU, which stands a for a top down government knows best, anti-democratic, anti-business, over regulated, over bureaucratic and over taxed sclerotic, socialist basket case.

    Which side are May and Hammond on though. Their signals are very mixed (indeed they are mainly pro EU). Both were (are?) remainers and they are still pushing up taxes and tax complexity hugely, still investing on bonkers vanity projects and creating yet more damaging red tape here and there. They have not signalled any move towards cheap energy or to easier hire and fire. There certainly do not seem to be pro business other than the jam tomorrow rather small cut in CT (that we might get one day just before an election). They have not even kept the £1IHT promise yet made 8+ years ago by ratter Osborne.

    What are they waiting for?

    1. Qubus
      November 28, 2016

      I voted to leave, but have never voted for UKIP. However, I am gradually coming to the conclusion that we shall effectively remain in the EU. This is due to the army of bien-penchant “liberals” who wish us to stay in. They talk about a second referendum; surely, we have just had a second referendum, the first one was in 1973, when we all voted to join a trading group, the EEC; since then, we have been deceived again and again. The rules have gradually been changed by many duplicitous politicians, aided and abetted by organisations such as the BBC, and we finally find ourselves in a political organisation. Can someone explain to me what is so fundamentally important about freedom of movement? What was it that the great statesman, Herr Junker, said: when all else fails, we have to lie. Why should we allow these countries to determine our future? If it weren’t for the UK, they probably wouldn’t even exist now. I have admiration for the Poles, but have they forgotten that we went to war partly on their behalf, and almost bankrupted ourselves in the process. France has still not been able to get over the fact that, without the UK, they would be under German domination. Obama, in his valedictory European tour missed-out the UK, but managed to get to Ireland and Germany, the USA’s new best friends. Have the Germans forgotten that after WWII the USA was considering turning Germany into farmland, the Morgenthal plan? What short memories our European neighbours have.

      We are going to end up with a soft Brexit, in which case, I wonder why we bothered to have the referendum in the first place because that will mean basically no change. And whilst I am ranting, let me say that I think that Nigel Farage is being treated a little shabbily; he is a bit too much beer-and-fags, but he talks sense and without him, there would have been no second referendum. Why are there no Ukippers in the HoL, yet there are around 1oo liberal peers with about eight(?) MPs.

    2. turboterrier
      November 28, 2016

      @ Lifelogic

      Did anyone expect anything different?

  6. Mark B
    November 28, 2016

    Good morning.

    What a bunch of, Bunny Boilers !


  7. Sean
    November 28, 2016

    I agree, make John PM

  8. David Cockburn
    November 28, 2016

    I do think we should be prepared for the return of ‘The Continental System’ of the Napoleonic era when we leave. No doubt the French will be more subtle than Boney but I would expect the Calais fishermen to go on strike and close the port, Eurotunnel will be closed for maintenance and French air traffic controllers will institute a work to rule.
    However, it didn’t work last time and it will not this time either. Further, it was one of the incentives for us to branch out and trade across the world rather than confining our focus to our own continent. And that did us no harm at all.

    1. Mitchel
      November 28, 2016

      All the more reason for drawing closer to Russia,something May appears unwilling to do.

  9. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    November 28, 2016

    What a weird post this morning! I don’t just read English media and see a totally different picture! No wish whatsoever to “punish” Britain. There are just restatements of the plainly obvious – that the 4 freedoms are central to the whole idea of the “Single Market” (which over here we always call the “internal market”). Why would the Netherlands or Germany want to punish Britain??? We are (were?) your third trade partner and we cannot help seeing a lose – lose situation (citing our finance minister) with Brexit, but totally accept that this is going to happen next year. Or isn’t it?
    The power of national parliaments (even regional parliaments – see Belgium) has only been strengthened. What is your problem with our living standards?

    When I carefully and successfully cut a cake in equal halves, their weights may well turn out to be 52% versus 48%. I just hope that Mr Redwood is sufficiently democrat to take the concerns of this huge minority (much larger than any popular vote ever for the Conservative party, large enough to bring a Trump to power) very very seriously. What I see is a muddled Britain, riddled with court cases and gossip, whereas the rest of the EU mainly speaks with one voice.

    1. stred
      November 28, 2016

      PvL. The proposal to offer associate EU citizen membership for a fee seems quite helpful. It would enable British workers and retirees to continue working and living in Europe if permitted and the EU has no problem with large numbers emigrating from the UK except for a small numbers of security risks, which they could refuse. It would keep a lot of young brainwashed remoaners happy too. The only problem I can see is that workers from the EU will not have to pay for work permits but may be entitled to benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit, whereas Brits would pay but, as at present, usually get no benefits and pay their way.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @stred: How you deal with housing benefits and tax credits is really national legislation. It seems to me that Britain could long ago have made some changes in these UK provisions, so that they don’t equally apply to Britons and EU immigrants (who should first pay into the system before they can receive its benefits). I wondered about the British unwillingness to tweak national regulations for this purpose, just like other countries managed to have a fairer system towards their own populations. The remaining, hard-felt injustice in the Netherlands (and all wealthy EU countries) is the undercutting of wages when employing East European workers in the Netherlands. That is advantageous to the employers, but destroys solidarity. The Netherlands has made some headway to change this at the EU level, but not enough yet. Ironically the BBC’s Daily Politics presenter didn’t even know or understand the issue at first, illustrating how little concern there is for British workers in Britain. That will not vanish by leaving the EU, that lack of concern is likely to stay in my view.

    2. ian wragg
      November 28, 2016

      Spoken like a good Eurocrat.
      We in Britain are certainly not muddled, we voted leave and we hope that means leave. Yes there are court cases because we have some very undemocratic people in high places.
      We are waiting with interest for the results of the Italian referendum, the French, German and Dutch elections together with the re-run of the Austrian presidency.
      Things aren’t looking that rosy for the country called Europe.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @ian wragg: Yes we are all waiting . . .

    3. Hope
      November 28, 2016

      No, not the case. The former EU president (1999-2004) claims otherwise. He states the EU commission power has slipped to Germany ruling the EU. He also claims the Greece crisis was not fixed by the EU and Athens but between Germany and Athens. The border fences going up suggest it is everyone for themselves not. The united voice you speak about. Even Merkel stating repatriation, repatriation, repatriation to 100,000 refugee/ economic migrants! Where is the unity on migration? Italy ignoring Junker over its debt to GDP to help earthquake victims and migrant crisis. 2/10 for trying or for being trying?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @Hope. My suggesting that the EU27 mainly speak with one voice is only meant to apply for the Brexit process, especially because this process hasn’t even really started. I haven’t read about Barroso, but what can be said is that more power has moved from the supranational (i.e. Juncker) to the intergovernmental (i.e. Merkel and the other heads of government). I’d preferred the supranational, but the UK could have been happy that the intergovernmental has become stronger. Of course, after leaving, there still will be some intergovernmental contacts, but the UK won’t have the influence it had as an EU member.

    4. Sir Joe Soap
      November 28, 2016

      Remove your funding (recycled from our taxes) and placemen. People of “influence” with EU funded pensions-Kinnock, Mandelson and their ilk. Organisations funded at EU discretion; BBC, to name but one.

      Then let’s see how far that 52% rises.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @Sir Joe Soap: How are you going to “remove” people who have a different opinion from yours?

    5. acorn
      November 28, 2016

      They are still counting the Trump / Clinton votes, they don’t declare the final Electoral College vote till December 19. So far, Clinton has 64.2 million popular votes; Trump has 62.2 million. Pennsylvania Wisconsin and Michigan are being pushed to a recount. Clinton would need to win all three states in the recount, to change the Electoral College vote her way; if I am understanding the US system correctly.

      PVL, I get a similar response to yours from EU contacts. And, “What is your problem with our living standards?”, is a great line, please can I use it elsewhere?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @acorn: Have you heard me complain about Dutch living standards before?

        1. acorn
          November 30, 2016

          I don’t think the Dutch have much to worry about. You are being a little bit greedy with a 9.1% export surplus; but, that is probably due to you electing governments, that are considerably brighter than hours 😉 😉 😉

    6. ChrisS
      November 28, 2016

      The EU speaking with one voice ?

      Oh, please, Peter.

      The 27 can’t agree on anything at all otherwise why would it take seven years to negotiate a trade deal. Ask the Canadians what they think !

      There are to many fault lines to list here, but Freedom of Movement is not just of concern to the British, is it ?

      Will Juncker try to suspend Austrian membership when Norbert Hofer wins the Presidential election next weekend ?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @ChrisS: Have a look around for trade deals in general and you’ll see they all take time. Without democracy a trade deal might be concluded faster. How fast is Britain expecting to negotiate its trade deals?

    7. a-tracy
      November 28, 2016

      Like you say Peter ‘punish’ is probably the wrong term for most leaders. We were warned before the Brexit vote: “I’m sure the deserters will not be welcomed with open arms,” Mr Juncker, a lifelong European federalist, told Le Monde. “The United Kingdom will have to accept being regarded as a third country, which won’t be handled with kid gloves”. May 2016 – is there going to be the promised punch up?

      The French finance minister previously sparked fury by insisting the UK would be ‘killed’ by its former partners in negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal. – seems a bit strong!

      I don’t think expecting reasonable trading terms between the UK and EU is an extreme view otherwise, why would the EU be trading with many other Countries without freedom of movement? Personally, for me reasonable controlled numbers of transfers of workers between the UK and EU is another negotiable trade off.

      We hardly hear reported the EU voice at all since the vote – funny that. Every night on C4 news I watched program after program of people in desperate situations trying to get to the UK but these reports all stopped being reported to.

      “What is your problem with our living standards?” we hear all of the time how wonderful your living standards are, one wonders why so many native people emigrate or you went through a phase of net emigration. I’ve never visited but I hope to before you all decide to get tough with us.

    8. Qubus
      November 28, 2016

      But why should one pick on this particular vote to become picky about statistics? In all the other situations that I have come across, a majority is a majority. I would admit that it might have been better for the government to say that in order to effect a change in the status quo, the majority would have to be say 75%. However, it is a little late to complain now.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @Qubus: If you want your country to become more united, it is important to take the concerns of any minority well into account, not least such a large minority as 48%. My impression is that the more zealous Brexiteers seem to just want to forget there even exists a large minority of “remain-voters” and just bulldoze on.

    9. Narrow Shoulders
      November 28, 2016

      @Peter if the four freedoms are so beneficial together why does the club you serve object to us only wanting to partake of three?

      If we do not avail ourselves of free movement then let us hamstring ourselves and trade with us.

      Free movement is a benefit isn’t it?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @Narrow Shoulders: It sounds like an interesting question, but the 4 freedoms were in the original Treaty of Rome already as one integral set of principles.
        It would be a bit like saying, “ok we want to continue to play soccer with the rest of the 27 teams, but for us the off-side rule no longer applies”. Would that make for a level playing field? Of course not!

        For me personally, the opt-out from Schengen (fee movement of people), granted to the UK, was already was a compromise too much, because it forced Ireland against its will to opt-out as well. This time, you’re really up against a big red line.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          November 29, 2016

          @ Peter you have told me your views and reiterated that freedom of movement is a founding principle of the EEC but not addressed my enquiry.

          We will no longer be in the successor to the EEC, the EU, and all parties lose if existing trade is compromised. So the question remains, If freedom of movement in its current form is so beneficial why do the 27 not trade freely with us with the advantage of freedom of movement for themselves and the UK at a disadvantage.

          Could it be that freedom of movement is not as beneficial as the EU makes out?

          1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            November 30, 2016

            @Narrow Shoulders: That is a rather simple to answer question I think: you would take away the automatic right of e.g. “the Polish plumber” to set up his business in the UK. You’re trying to have your cake and eat it.
            How about if someone in future was to set up a haulage company in Liverpool and wanted to bring in 20 East European drivers with their families then also based in Liverpool? In the current Single Market that is simply done, in your proposal Britain wants to opt-out from giving those rights. Why not just have a free trade deal after you have well and truly left the EU instead?

    10. turboterrier
      November 28, 2016

      Peter Van Leeuween

      whereas the rest of the EU mainly speaks with one voice.

      You are having a laugh either that or change your tablets.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @turboterrier: Equipped with a large screen mobile phone I don’t use tablets. 🙂 On the issue of Brexit the EU-27 mainly speaks with one voice.

    11. DaveM
      November 28, 2016

      Two voices, PvL – Merkel’s and Juncker’s. They don’t speak Dutch either.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        November 29, 2016

        @DaveM: I do listen to them in their own language Dave, although I must say that “Luxembourgish” is a funny language (dialect?) which sometimes escapes me. Fortunately, Juncker often speaks in the other two official Luxembourg languages, and occasionally in English as well. Neither Merkel nor Juncker are talking in terms of any “punishment” for the UK. Don’t always believe the Daily Express, please!

        1. DaveM
          November 29, 2016

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not concerned about “punishment” – they can bring on whatever they like.

          You know as well as I do that my reference to their language was metaphorical Peter. You think they care about your country? The Germans are even taking over your armed forces. So they can carry out Juncker’s policies for him. German-led Dutch soldiers putting down insurrection in Holland? Not beyond the realms of possibility in a few years. It’s happened before.

          1. DaveM
            November 29, 2016

            PS I believe it’s called Luxembourgois.

          2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            November 29, 2016

            @DaveM: There are also German soldiers under Dutch command as s little googling would show you. I just did that and put the (Dutch)text through google-translate – sorry if the English isn’t quite perfect:
            “Another aspect of the maritime cooperation is the integration of the Seebataillon of the German navy in the Dutch Royal Navy. The Seebataillon consists of several hundred soldiers with special capacities, such as divers, amphibious reconnaissance and mine experts. This German unit comes under Dutch command, such as Dutch units also under German command.”

  10. agricola
    November 28, 2016

    They in the EU are possibly as confused in their thinking as are the re-moaners in the UK. There is also a growing abyss between the EU and the EU member states, due to their different agendas.
    I liken the EU to a UK golf or any other form of club. It has gathered a momentum of it’s own that is divorced from those who wish to and can play serious golf. Instead they spend their time agonising over the reorganisation of the car park and the colour of the curtains in the lounge, none of which enhances the standard of play. For instance the EU are reported to be of a mind to dictate on the details of pelletised seeds that currently get sown in UK gardens. They need to get a life.
    The UK’s interests and those of the sovereign states in the EU are very much in harmony. It is the EU committee, with little more than direction governed by questionable political theory and second rate politicians who are the problem to all. They couldn’t play golf with Arnold Palmer at their side.

  11. Original Richard
    November 28, 2016

    “The EU officials who speak out and a few of the other member states politicians join them in expressing great dislike of the UK and say they wish to punish us.”

    This is true.

    But do the people of the other EU countries want to punish us for wanting to leave ?

    1. Hope
      November 28, 2016

      Who cares. Get on with it.

  12. Bert Young
    November 28, 2016

    From the early news today it would seem that it is the Legal profession who seek to punish us not just some of the EU representatives . I don’t care how many Articles we have to cancel or Letters to send ; the people voted and the people want “Out”. We should not get drawn into the quagmire of fringe opinion – its a bit like the one-time Monarch who thought he could stem the tide !.

    As each day passes there is bound to be speculation about what tomorrow brings ; such speculation should not be fed from sources that disregard the majority . Media are having a field day in this sort of no-mans land and they will continue to do so until someone says “Stop” . Theresa is the only person who can bring this to an end ; she must not waver and she must not delay . She can stop her “sleepless nights” and forcefully take us to a brighter tomorrow by acting NOW.

    1. getahead
      November 29, 2016

      I believe King Canute (Knut) was proving he could NOT stem the tide.

      1. rose
        November 30, 2016

        In order to show up the flatterers.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    November 28, 2016

    It has long appeared that the EU operates in a similar way to a protection racket, keen on collecting its dues, punishing anyone stepping out of line, ever trying to widen its areas of membership and control.

  14. Caterpillar
    November 28, 2016

    I think the problem is that the UK just needs to act and leave. Many small countries in EU (or parts of Belgium) will presumably have a veto power over whatever is ‘negotiated’ with UK so we have to face the fact this will not happen on any sensible timescale.

  15. Denis Cooper
    November 28, 2016

    Twenty-eight countries have solemnly pledged to observe the EU treaties and all of them including the UK are still bound by those treaties now.

    Which is why I believe that we should at least start by trying to use the agreed Article 50 TEU procedure for our withdrawal.

    Once we have left the other twenty-seven countries will still be bound by the EU treaties, which include Article 8 TEU that says:

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

    Formal exit negotiations have not yet started but that is not what we are seeing now, instead we are seeing constant threats and warnings that they will try to make life as difficult as possible for us once we have left.

    And some in this country who are on the other side positively welcome these threats in the hope that we may be induced to change our minds.

    Our ambassadors around the world should be making it clear to governments that the desire of the UK government is to follow the principle laid down in Article 8 TEU and seek a satisfactory and mutually beneficial modus vivendi with our neighbours for after we have left the EU, while it is political leaders elsewhere in the EU who are showing themselves to be not only stupid and spiteful but also untrustworthy by uttering threats against us and openly proclaiming their intention to approach the exit negotiations in a spirit of intransigence.

  16. rk
    November 28, 2016

    Mr. Redwood- what is your opinion on the Unified Patent Court system?

    As I understand it- it will involve a transfer of sovereignty to the CJEU- including making it the ultimate court of appeal in some cases.

    Can I assume then that you oppose the UK’s membership of this?

  17. Alan
    November 28, 2016

    Mr Redwood spent some time before the referendum saying that we would get tariff-free access to the EU if we left. He had spoken to German car makers who had assured him that the EU would agree to this. Other Brexit campaigners said that French farmers would insist on a good deal for the UK so that they could sell us wine and cheeses.

    Some of us who argued for Remain pointed out that there was no assurance that we would get tariff-free access if we left the EU. We suggested that leaving the EU single market would result in us being outside the market, without tariff-free access.

    Now Mr Redwood says that the EU will be punishing us if it does not allow tariff-free access. It is not punishment: it is just the logical consequence of leaving the market. It is not a strange club that says that if you leave you cease to have the advantages of membership: it is the normal course of events.

    I don’t believe the EU will be nasty to us if we leave. I just think we will fail to have the advantages of membership: advantages that Mr Redwood says are non-existent and he does not want anyway, but still he wants them to be offered. Perhaps so he can turn them down.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 28, 2016

      And some of us pointed out that the EU’s “internal” or “single” market was of only marginal economic benefit to the EU as a whole and even less benefit to the UK, so it would actually make little difference if we were no longer in it. There is the need to avoid a sudden disruption to trade, but in reality that would be the only significant reason to stay in it even for a transitional period.

      1. Hope
        November 28, 2016

        Well said. The other countries of the world manage.

      2. Alan
        November 28, 2016

        Exports worth over £200 billion to one of the richest markets in the world is hardly of only marginal benefit. We won’t lose all this trade but we will lose some. We will need a lot of trade with other countries to make up for this, and there is no reason to suppose that gaining that trade will be any easier than it is now.

        We are giving up a certainty for wishful thinking.

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 29, 2016

          But the test is overall prosperity, not the volume of trade which may or may not contribute to that prosperity, and by the admission of the EU Commission itself the EU internal or single market has added only about 2% to the collective GDP of the member states. As far as the UK is concerned it seems that the economic benefit has been only about half that average for the EU as a whole.

          I note that some are concerned that in recent years global GDP has been rising faster than the volume of global trade. There is no need for that concern, it is not a problem if people have been becoming more prosperous by routes other than increased trade. For the UK only a small part of the 2.5% a year long term trend growth rate has anything to do with increasing international trade.

      3. getahead
        November 29, 2016

        The single market is a bureaucratic web which we need to escape.. The customs union prevents us from obtaining free trade deals with other countries so we should be out of that too.

    2. Mockbeggar
      November 28, 2016

      Mr Redwood was talking about EU Politicians wanting to ‘punish’ us. Business, on the other hand, will want to carry on trading with a large and profitable market. In the end, the undemocratic unelected politicians and bureaucrats will be obliged to bow to the demands of business. They are only uttering these silly threats because they know that, ultimately, they will be impotent to stop businesses from trading and and these will demand a level playing field – to use the modern cliche.

    3. Timaction
      November 28, 2016

      Why is it remoaners seem the least informed when it comes to the issues of the EU or is it wilful blindness?
      With an annual trade deficit of over £70 billions who would loose out if a tariff free arrangement is not agreed? The single market/customs union is really all about control and the creation of a federal state by stealthy incremental change over time. Freedom of movement is a deliberate attempt to stop EU citizens having a feeling of National identity.
      All of these issues and many more like agriculture, EU fees, fisheries, law making, the recycling of British tax at great loss via EU grants, British law being supreme and the like were discussed before we voted to LEAVE.
      Get used to it, you lost the democratic vote.

  18. formula57
    November 28, 2016

    Those who exhibit “great dislike of the UK and say they wish to punish us” should feel unconstrained by mutual defence pacts so far as I am concerned for I have no wish for the UK to do more than profit by selling them armaments in the event of the wars your erstwhile friend D. Cameron warned us would come after Brexit.

  19. michael
    November 28, 2016

    The EEA is in the news this morning. Please see the following two paragraphs ( written by Allen & Overy) particularly the last sentence; paradox indeed.

    A separate mechanism for withdrawing from the EEA
    is set out at Article 127 of the EEA Agreement,
    allowing any ‘Contracting Party’ to withdraw by
    providing at least 12 months’ written notice to the other
    Contracting Parties. There is no separate definition in
    the EEA Agreement of ‘EU Member States’. However,
    in the preamble to the EEA Agreement, the EU
    Member States are listed individually and, along with
    the EU itself, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, are
    collectively referred to as the ‘Contracting Parties’.
    On one reading of the EEA Agreement therefore, the
    UK is a Contracting Party by virtue of being one of the
    individually listed EU Member States that has signed

    On its face, this would suggest that it would be open to
    the UK to exit the EU following the procedure set out
    in Article 50 TEU, but take no action under Article 127
    of the EEA Agreement. However, this raises the
    question of whether the UK would remain an EEA
    Contracting Party. One difficulty in that respect is that
    the territorial ambit of the EEA Agreement (as defined
    under Article 126(1)) is limited to the territories to
    which the EU Treaties apply, plus Norway, Iceland and
    Liechtenstein, creating a paradox of the UK potentially
    being party to an international economic and trade
    agreement, the territorial ambit of which does not cover THE UK

  20. hefner
    November 28, 2016

    Yes, they are, but is the UK government crystal-clear? And does poor JR and his daily bloggy utterances have any impact on the state of things? In your dreams.

    November 28, 2016

    As mentioned before in Comments, looking through the online newspapers and those others referenced online of EU nations states, they pay little ..very very little attention, if any, to their attitude to Brexit.
    The negativity towards our Brexit, it seems, is largely the product of the propaganda of the Remoaners and our media.They should accept our democratic decision, totally, with no buts and ifs, or people will think they are not quite sensible and proper MPs

  22. Antisthenes
    November 28, 2016

    How are the Presidents and some of the leaders of the EU any different to Putin, Erdogan and the like. Their rhetoric and the actions they threaten the UK with are the same tyrannies throughout all of history used to keep a recalcitrant population in check and compliant. Democracy is about the right to pick and choose friends and what the relationship with those friends entails. The EU and remainers do not subscribe to that notion ignorant of the fact that that makes them authoritarian statists who care nothing for classical liberal and democracy values.

    When the SNP decided that they wanted Scotland to become independent the rest of the UK gave them the right to decide. During that process pressure was brought to bear to encourage them not to follow that path but I do not believe any of the pressures indicated that in the event the vote was yes they would be punished for it. Even not being able to continue with the use of the pound was because of the practical difficulties of allowing them to do so not as a punishment.

    If the vote had been yes it would have thrown up many problems but they would have been quickly addressed. Probably the only changes would be in the areas of foreign policy, security, fiscal control and the supremacy of the Scottish parliament(adding a few more powers to the ones it already has). Everything else would have stayed the same. Free movement may have become a problem if Scotland remained in the EU and the UK did not. I am sure genuine Scots would be as welcome as they have always been but other EU nationals piggy backing on Scotland’s membership of the EU would not.

    We would have accepted Scotland’s independence reluctantly(some of us that is) but we would have dealt with it in a manner that made the best of it for both sides. The EU would do well to treat our independence choice in the same way. As it stands it appears the EU wishes to emulate US an Cuba position that lasted for 50 years and treat us like a pariah and sanction us into submission. Forgetting we are not Cuba and need a big brother to help us as we are big enough to stand on our own and even prosper probably better than most of the members inside the EU will.

  23. MikeP
    November 28, 2016

    Some have replied here talking about losing the “advantages” of our EU membership but are less forthcoming about losing the disadvantages too. Such as membership of a protectionist bloc that costs us net £10bn a year (equivalent to a tariff in any other guise); our inability to negotiate trading arrangements with India, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, much of Africa and the Caribbean with whom we have legal, accounting, language and historical ties; releasing these countries from crippling EU tariffs that apply to their exports to us which hike our food prices to protect over-priced EU exports; and our inability to manage our farms and fishing grounds. I can’t imagine why we’d not want to be rid of such DIS-advantages.

  24. Denis Cooper
    November 28, 2016

    Incidentally as a small piece of information the EEA Agreement is included in the list of treaties in Section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972:

    “In this Act …

    … “the Treaties” … means …

    … a) the treaty relating to the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community and to the European Atomic Energy Community, signed at Brussels on the 22nd January 1972; and ….

    … m) the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 …”

    It was put there by the European Union Economic Area Act 1993:

    Successive governments have got us into a fine legal mess, meat and drink for lawyers.

  25. English Pensioner
    November 28, 2016

    I’m still trying to understand exactly what is meant by “The single market” which Carney seems keen to keep us in as long as possible.
    Does this mean that we are then still bound by all the EU’s rules and regulations relating to trade? Does this mean that we will still have to rely on those running the single market to negotiate trade deals and that we still will not be able to negotiate our own? Does in mean that we will still have to obey the singles market’s rules for products that we make and use in the UK, such as the recent reports of ‘slow release’ fertilisers which we use but they want to ban? Will our goods still have to meet all EU requirements, even if they are not intended for sale in the EU?
    If this is what is meant by ‘The single market’, the sooner we are out the better.

  26. Eric Sorensen
    November 28, 2016

    The ever-closer-union mantra is loosing support amongst the people and can best carry on by hand-cuffing nations via the Euro currency and by threatening hard trading terms on leaving members like the UK. It is a funny idea that free trade requires free movement of people with equal access to social benefits as if citizens. Especially strange in the case of the UK being quite a lot more attractive to immigrants than any other EU member state.

    As a foreigner from another EU member state residing in the UK I don’t understand why I should receive such entitlements under a free trading arrangement.

    However, I do appreciate that should the UK/EU agree on free trade without free immigration and “same rights”, why would other nations want to remain in a Union without a clear and agreed upon map towards becoming a federal state?

    This is the unknown, not the leaving, and this beast could turn politically left or right in future with no democratic control. Nobody can tell. It all comes down to estimating the value of democracy, which apparently is not of high value when you have it, but perhaps when you don’t.

    Can anyone imagine Mr Juncker elected by the people for his post?

    Recent and/or soon-coming development in the US, Austria, Italy, and France might soften the stance of Juncker & Co., but then again the risk of loosing future non-elected federal rule is probably too big to cave in and face a prosperous UK showing a different path.

  27. mick
    November 28, 2016

    Watched the sunday politics and it had Paddy whats his name on spounting on about a second referendum, are these remoaners real all he kept saying was that we didn`t vote for a destination after the vote, YES WE DID as far as bloody possible from the eu, if the remoaners don`t like it go live in europe bye bye

    1. Qubus
      November 28, 2016

      The Leave-Remain problem is an asymmetic one. All the Remainers had to do was to sit tight; they had no plans to prepare, it was just business-as-usual for them. On the other hand, it seems that the Leavers have been expected to come up with a detailed plan of action, despite the fact that, apparently, D. Cameron forbade the Civil Service drawing up any contingency plans; this is plainly ridiculous. The aims of the Leavers were simply, “we want our democracy back and do not want to be dictated to by unelected bureaucrats.” It is both impossible and highly undesirable to go any further than that before meaningful discussions begin; it is like playing at cards and showing one’s opponents one’s hand before the game begins..

    2. acorn
      November 28, 2016

      A good suggestion mick. Can I recommend the article in the Independent a while back. “How to keep your EU citizenship after Brexit”, some good Brexit work-rounds.

      Lots of UK Lawyers are applying for Irish citizenship, so they can keep lawyering in the EU. Ireland allows dual nationality so they can keep their UK passport. If you are a UK business, keep in mind that Northern Ireland is the place to be, Corporation Tax drops to 12.5% in 2018, to match the Republic; lower than the rest of the UK.

      Also, think about the Estonian “e-residency” scam. You can stay in the EU while living in the UK. Then there is Cyprus; got screwed by Brussels and wants revenge; set to become the new Monaco. Purchase two million of its government debt, and you are an EU citizen; and, you don’t have to live there; but, my wife loves the place and its people. Malta has a similar and cheaper citizenship plan for UK “remainers”. 😉

    3. turboterrier
      November 28, 2016

      @ mick

      Hole in one

      We did know exactly what we wanted and the country needed.

      How much did the EU reward its 55,000 civil servants? 3.3% back dated to July. How much longer must we keep being ripped off by this failed Micky Mouse excuse of a Union?

  28. Ed Mahony
    November 28, 2016

    ‘The truth, O EU, is most of the UK is not scared of you’

    – Most people are more scared by Trump in the US and right-wing nationalism here in the UK than they are by the EU (not forgetting that the EU’s politicians are overwhelmingly centre-right, with the right-wing nationalism we’re seeing, in parts, in the UK today, a bit more like the right-wing nationalism of Mussolini than the more centre-right Conservatism of Churchill or Mrs Thatcher).

    1. Mitchel
      November 28, 2016

      I suggest Churchill’s views and actions would be regarded as hard if not extreme right rather than centre right in today’s terms.There are still some on the left who vilify him for his desire to shoot striking miners,defend the continuance of empire,his obsessive desire to intervene in the Russian civil war-“to strangle Bolshevism in it’s craddle”,the approval of the use of chemical weapons,etc

      1. Ed Mahony
        November 29, 2016

        I certainly don’t think Churchill was considered right-wing in his day. Be wary, in history, of judging people by the standards of your own time.

    2. James Matthews
      November 28, 2016

      Which right (or left) wing nationalists in this country advocate a one party state?

      Where are you seeing such people?

      Or are you just suggesting an entirely fictional equivalence between a desire to control your own borders and make you own laws (something which, until the second half of the 2oth century, was taken for granted by Britain) and fascism?

      Mussolini was of course an imperialist. He had that in common with Churchill (amongst many others), though without comparable success.

  29. miami.mode
    November 28, 2016

    …..It is a very strange club that thinks the way to keep you in is to threaten you if you decide to leave…..

    Rather reminiscent of the old East Germany, except you ran the risk of being shot dead if you tried to leave.

    Hard politics going on here. If the EU unequivocally states that we must accept all conditions including the four freedoms in order to have tariff-free access to their single market or internal market, or whatever they care to call it, and subsequently give way on any aspect then they will be seen as having lost some control which is anathema to these people.

    Probably a similar reason why Theresa May is playing it cool because you always look in a weak condition if you have to cede too many points. Her sleepless nights might well be due to plotting the best method of attack.

  30. alte fritz
    November 28, 2016

    Judging by the latest threat of judicial review, the Remoaners believe that we are fixed as part of the EU in perpetuity. That, by extension, means that Article 50 is a fake since it cannot be meaningfully exercised and our sovereignty has gone thanks to a revolution by stealth, something none of the Remoaners said during the campaign.

    Why does the EU just not say that we are in and may not leave.

  31. Newmania
    November 28, 2016

    Leavers do not take a positive view of the EU. They take a dishonest view of our prospects when it suits them , thats all. The EU certifiably can hurt us but remainers do not generally think of the EU as either nice or nasty , because that would be an infantile way to approach the question. Sorry
    I think the problem is that because the stability of the greater Free Trade zone depends on punishing those who undermine the political structures required to maintain it the rational self interest of the EU flips from a soft Brexit into an ultra hard Brexit designed to maximise the competitive advantages of the EU over its small neighbor
    This in turn will oblige the UK to dispense with costly social norms within the EU like maternity leave statutory holidays corporation tax regulated services and so on…Singapore has been used as a model and was only last week by a leave representative

    This brutally unsocial capitalism will collide with the Nativist protectionism with which it grabbed power with god knows what results.

  32. Ed Mahony
    November 28, 2016

    Paul Nuttall elected as Ukip leader and vows to make Britain ‘great’ again.

    – What proven track-record does Mr Nuttall have in academic and business life to make Britain ‘great’ again. Does he have something like an economics degree from Harvard, as well as having started up his own successful business / and or be the successful director of a large company. Plus he’s only 39. His language is delusionary.

    If Britain wants to be ‘great’ again, then people here (all people) will have to work their guts out like the Chinese. The reality is that most people in the UK don’t want to work their gusts out like the Chinese and be ‘great’ just as most Europeans don’t, just as most Americans and Japanese don’t, at least to the same degree as the Chinese, which is a key reason why Chinese GDP continues to rise, and Europe’s, the USA’s and Europe’s (including the UK’s) continues to lag.

    Most Brits don’t want to be ‘great.’ They just want enough money to support their families )(and have good family life and good social life with their friends), go on nice holidays, play golf on Friday afternoons if they can, have money for retirement, good NHS, strong defence force, maybe buy a second house abroad, and so on.

  33. ChrisS
    November 28, 2016

    Brexit is the least that Juncker and the merry band of 27 have to worry about with next weekend’s Austrian Presidential election and Italian referendum and then Fillon to face off Le Pen in the French Presidential election next summer.

    At the very least a France in industrial relations turmoil is guaranteed if Fillon wins and all bets are off in the increasingly likely event that it’s LePen. The cobblestones will be undoubtedly be flying next summer.

  34. ian
    November 28, 2016

    They are not in a muddle, they are just told what to say by their backers and keep on having referendum till they get the right answer, i just take the view that if people in each country knew that it their own big companies, politicians and other people pushing laws in the EU, so they do anything they can to stay in, other wise there cover is blown and the people will see them in there true light because they would have to pass the laws in there own parliaments to keep their backers happy, so if they have to come out of the EU they need another deal like canada deal or TIPP deal so they have somewhere to point the finger of blame of why things keep going wrong for the people.
    Do you really think things are going to change that much coming out of the EU with power set up you have now in this country, do you really think they will let small business free and change laws into the peoples favour, so people think that you just come out of the EU and all the people in parliament and councils for the EU will just disappear, same with the lords and media and just stop working for their backers, you have not got pasted the ref yet and fine yourselves in a 3 year stalemate, as for democracy do you really think these peoples backers are going to rollover and let the people have a say in law making.

  35. Phil_Richmond
    November 28, 2016

    At this point I don’t want to even be good neighbours. Clean break – WTO tarrifs unless they pay us – new Military alliance with the Anglosphere.
    The EU can go and do one!!

  36. Robert Pay
    November 28, 2016

    Mr Redwood

    I am wondering how the EU can punish us if we do not negotiate but simply say we will trade under WTO rules, leave while offering to continue to be members of agreements with their existing rules such as some of the academic and security programs etc. with a simple yes/no. If the yes does not come, then leave anyway and wait for the EU to come to its senses on everything that is clearly beneficial.

    I fear that complex “negotiations” will never succeed all the while there is majority voting and the appalling, unelected and anti-British Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Commission. We are setting ourselves up for failure. Better to talk once we are gone…

    Also, can we really be fined 60 billion for leaving as some media suggest? On whose authority?

  37. TrumpFactor & Alice
    November 28, 2016

    According to the BBC the reason the Dow 50 and Nasdaq having slipped a bit today is because of the “Trump Factor” : the reason the BBC gave for the Dow 50 and Nasdaq rocketing after the November 8th US Election at the time was the “Trump Factor”
    The Remoaners are wrong, Brexit is not the reason for everything from an unpleasant rainshower to sunspots, it is the “Trump Factor”. Why are they so slow to accept this?

  38. Yorkshireman
    November 28, 2016

    Congratulations on Paul Nuttall winning the UKIP Leadership. That’s the end of the line,however.
    There will be no Mr Nuttall MP nor any other UKIP MPs. No MEPs. by and after the next General Election.
    The idea UKIP is going to appeal to people in the North simply by coming out with a Liverpudlian accented Werking Chlass is not going to get anybody werking chlass to vote for them.
    It’s a traditional Labour inverted-arrogance that if you speak rough and say you were born in a shoe box in the middle of the road and everything else is “Luxury” then everyone will vote for you.
    No. We’ve moved on!

    1. a-tracy
      November 29, 2016

      The way I see it, these UKIP MEPs are about to lose their jobs, there is nothing more urgent and engrossing than facing a future out of work, so it is in all of their interests to take as many English parliament seats as possible, just as the SNP did in Scotland. Our MPs in England play a dangerous game with us, promising us EVEL then finding out years later it’s still not anywhere near being delivered.

      So what do you do if you’re a UKIP MEP keep banging your head against solid Tory support in the South East or go for softer seats in Stoke, Liverpool and Manchester, where year after year after year your schools are still facing failure, the bottom 10% are 50% not achieving what they should, no plan for those that don’t wish to go to University, no training in place for these youngsters to train on hospital wards to give us the skilled UK resident staff we need without having to poach from abroad. Nicola Sturgeon is just finding out in her seat, the people that live there actually expect her to improve their lot not just grandstand and make out she’s the big cheese.

  39. Silent Night
    November 28, 2016

    Well we hope they are enjoying themselves. They look like they are having a really good time. Those who are locked in compartments of State munching their lips, mmming, weeeerrrlling. Article, yet another one, another zit on the already pimply countenance of UK- Stall-Brexit.
    Impatience is not growing. It will erupt if Impatience can, at the end of March if Article 50 is not sent.
    Who would have guessed June 23rd was the conception point for a 9-month pregnancy of a free UK with its Mother-Referendum being repeatedly punched in the abdomen by the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and men-in-wigs and frocks.

  40. Courting disaster
    November 28, 2016

    Funny that 62% of the vote for Mr Nuttall equalled 9,622 UKIP votes. Didn’t they boast of having 40,000 members and growing, way back? They said they had overtaken the LibDems.
    Well officially Sept 2016:-
    UKIP, 39,000 members.
    Lib Dems 80,000 members

    UKIP is not going to do much in the north of England are they? They can’t even get their members to vote. In point of fact, their ex-members still receive loads of emails…they are not officially gone! But it has been stated by the media, that UKIP has been bleeding members chiefly to the Tory Party for months
    UKIP is THE Brexit Party. Just what is their main theme after Brexit? Wishy-washy gooey stuff, that’s all.
    Of course the judges, the Remoaners, other persons and institutions are undermining democracy and carving a lasting position for UKIP..and indeed a Parliamentary victory for UKIP if they persist in their premeditated cold-blooded treachery against our country

  41. NA
    November 28, 2016

    as well as seeing that the more you try to damage us the more you would damage yourselves.

    One day people will wake up to the fact politicians ideological dreams are making them poorer.
    Remember what their plan is, we cannot trust the USA any longer (due to Trump) and so must have an EU army. We must thwart it.

  42. margaret
    November 29, 2016

    This is the problem when all become nasty and unfair. Their actions reflect on themselves. What they do or say ultimately belongs to them.It is very difficult for some to understand this simple truth.They think that aggression , nastiness, poor treatment is justified and the victims themselves are to blame. Whilst turning the other cheek can lead to martyrdom , it can be noted that allowing people / countries freedom to spread this ethos without retaliation,will allow those who are receptive to enjoy these ideals also and grow with a responsible maturity.

  43. Bryan Harris
    November 29, 2016

    Nicely put John

    We should not be surprised at the EU’s attitude – after all, we are well aware that the EU leans much further left than is healthy.

    We also know how damaging left wing governments can be to their own people – for example Cuba. I’m just surprised that it has taken us as a country so long to decide that the EU is a very bad deal.

    If the EU survives, then it will be forced to follow British innovation post-Brexit, then perhaps we can get back to a state, not so many years back where European countries played off against each other, innovating, prospering with new/borrowed ideas. That was what made Europe great – the able leading the search for a better life, and each country leapfrogging one another.

    Socialism is for the dead – or in the case of the EU elite, a way to cling to power no matter what!

    Interestingly I’m usually online fairly early each morning, but am always surprised at the number of people who have already posted on this blog throughout the night. John You have a lot of very keen and interesting followers……

  44. Juliet
    November 29, 2016

    Looking in on the outside I’ve seen and heard more unprofessional people in jobs of leadership behaving badly and getting away with it in 6 months, than I have experienced in a 30 year career.

    I’m wondering how and why is this possible, is this the best of the best, and thinking we pay them to insult us.

    If the top layer was removed and 27 european countries go back to controlling their countries the noise would stop.

  45. James Matthews
    November 29, 2016

    At the time of writing 118 comments on this thread of which eighteen, more than one in seven, have come from Peter Van Leeuwen. Either the man is obsessed by British membership of the EU in a way that no Dutchman has reason to be, or he is a present of former functionary of the EU, or he really ought to get out more.

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