Buy British in 2017

Charity begins at home. Self help is the best way to a better tomorrow.  We need to apply these two truths to improving our lives and economy in 2017.

The UK will continue to be supportive of those in need of help, and needs to be generous to the disabled. It also needs to do more to make it worthwhile to work, and worthwhile for UK companies to pitch for and win contracts to supply us here at home. In 2017 one of the main tasks of government should be to get the balance of payments deficit down, so we no longer have to depend on the goodwill of foreigners as the Governor of the Bank likes to say.

The two elements of the balance of payments deficit, comprising one quarter of it, are directly under government control. These  are the EU contributions and overseas aid the UK government pays away. I want the government to send the Article 50 letter soon, and then progress whatever talks are needed as quickly as possible. We want to stop making those EU payments quickly. There is not a great deal to discuss before we leave and cancel the subscription. The rest of the EU just has to decide whether they want to have tariffs imposed on their exports to us or not, not a difficult question to answer.

Overseas aid entails sending large sums of our money to the EU, and to other international bodies. Some of this in turn is spent with large companies operating from other rich countries. Let’s cut out the middlemen and just give aid direct for the good  causes we believe in. The aid money should be spent either in the region we are trying to help, or on procuring goods and services they need from UK corporations. These changes would reduce the strain of aid on the balance of payments whilst enabling us to target and improve its effectiveness at the same time.

The government’s pending new industrial strategy should have import saving at its heart. UK products are  now 12% better value compared to continental ones thanks to the devaluation of the pound since July 2015. The UK government should show a lead by insisting on a much higher UK content in all the purchases it makes. They can start immediately with defence where EU rules do  not prevent buying from home sources, and move  on to the rest once we have left and can change the procurement rules. Why are so many new Ajax armoured vehicles going to be built in Spain? Why does the steel for our new submarines come from the continent?

Where the UK government is  buying or subsidising the purchase of buses and trains they should be made in the UK. There are ways of doing this even under EU rules.  Where the government is working with Housing Associations to build more affordable housing they should be constructed from UK materials and products. In each of these markets there are competing UK companies that can compete for the work and expand capacity as needed.

Brexit offers us a great opportunity to make more for ourselves and in the process make more of ourselves. Charity begins at home, and self help is aided by good neighbourly purchasing.

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151 Comments

  1. Iain Gill
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Does that include hire British instead of cheap foreign labour?

    • libertarian
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      IG

      If you can find any British workers to fill the skills gap!

      • Graham
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Most jobs don’t require skills it’s purely money as Iain says and foreign workers living in conditions that (quite rightly) most Brits would find acceptable – go visit Boston for yourself.

        • Graham
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Should say of course ‘unacceptable ‘

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Making coffee?

        Waiting tables?

        Clearing tables?

        Operating a till?

        Stacking shelves?

        I appreciate that there will be skilled roles that we need to import labour for as companies do not invest as much in training as they should but the above minimum wage jobs can be done by a school leaver. Whether a school leaver or other unemployed Brit would get out of bed to do those jobs when there is a range of benefits available to them is another matter.

        It is, however, likely that if we did not have an endless supply of cheap labour available the cry to revamp the benefits system so that only those who can’t work or have short term fallen on hard times are eligible would be louder.

        • Brit
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          I’ve done all those jobs, part-time and full-time. Sometimes a full-time and three part-time lower paid jobs at one time. We don’t need migrants.
          Those jobs are largely unnecessary. As one of my bosses commented in these food and drink industries. “I’ll make money while ever there are lazy people”. I made money in those jobs while ever there were lazy people who could not make coffee themselves or even be bothered to take a sandwich to work from home. Cut out migration. Learn how to make a bless-ed sandwich and put it in a lunchbox for yourself!!!! You’ll need to learn how to use toilet paper too for yourself.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          benefits should be reformed so that those who have contributed most of their adult life get more out when they need to claim than those who have not, (re)introducing this simple incentive would fix a lot

        • B Lane
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          Those jobs you mentioned used to be taken by students to help pay their way. Look at the big picture. Let students get into debt by making loans available, putting them in debt for most of their life while taking away the need to work while studying. That opens up work for low skilled jobs for immigrants which in turn justifies the bull that immigrants are doing the jobs the brits won’t, and giving the excuse for why we need them. Who was doing all these jobs before we allowed the 5 million we have allowed in over the last ten years.

        • APL
          Posted January 3, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          B Lane: “Let students get into debt by making loans available, putting them in debt for most of their life ”

          Yep, *THIS*

          Now coupled with the ever increasing cost of housing, either mortgaged or BTL and you can expect a huge hole in the house buying or even renting market reflecting those former students already weighted down by debt and unable to service both a mortgage and student debt. And buy food too.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        It would be very unfortunate if the effect of Brexit is a UKIP style anti-foreigner mentality takes hold. In many sectors foreign workers have either filled skills gaps or supplied excellent competition. Building is an obvious example – I would not wish to be deprived of the option of working with Polish builders! Theresa May should already have excluded students from the immigration total – education is a successful export industry. We need to welcome the world’s talent to the UK.

        • hy
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          UKIP have proposed a points based system similar to that used in Australia. Hardly anti-foreigner as doesn’t restrict easy access to EU workers..

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          UKIP isn’t anti foreigner and it would be illegal for them to be so.

          The simple fact is that the ‘competition’ in labour is subsidised by the welfare system in one way or another.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            Any person who claims to be pro EU should be unhappy about various EU regions being denuded of their youth. They often claim “we need young blood to support our pensioners” but as an enthusiastic EU citizen they should be concerned about the future of ALL EU pensioners.

            The ‘Brits can’t/won’t do the work’ is nonsense anyway. From personal experience – including the home care of my bedridden and completely imobile father, on Christmas day too.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Simplistic nonsense I am afraid. When I work abroad 1 I don’t undercut locals 2 I bring skills genuinely in short supply or unique 3 I pay at least as much tax as locals 4 I pay my own way for healthcare and my kids schooling 5 I do not expect or try to pick up local rights to residency 6 I do not expect to be able to bring in extended family… none of these apply to the tens of thousands being shipped in explicitly to displace Brits from the workforce by the big outsourcers…

          • Richard1
            Posted January 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Your points are irrelevant – the same apply to my work abroad. But we need to be able to welcome talented and ambitious foreigners who do want to move here with their families etc. I’m all in favour of the points system but not a mentality which says we should feel uncomfortable when we hear too many foreign tongues on the train, as Mr Farage did, absurdly. We will all be poorer if such an attitude takes hold.

          • hefner
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            Iain,
            Who are your so-called “big outsourcers”? What ideology in the last 40 years has led to the present situation?
            Which country opened up to potential immigration from Romania and Bulgaria seven years before the rest of the EU countries?
            And finally are you so sure that the “extended families” come from the EU and not from the old British Empire?

        • B Lane
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          Don’t you mean cheap competition ?

          • Richard1
            Posted January 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            Higher quality competiton

        • alan jutson
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          Richards 1

          “….I would not wish to be deprived of the option of working etc…”

          I think you have a rather rosy view of the construction industry if you think foreign workers will employ anyone else but their own countrymen.

          Whole sites are now run by foreign labour who simply will not allow local labour, skilled or otherwise on site because they simply want to look after their own.

          How do I know?

          I was in the construction industry for 30 years before I retired and still have contacts who tell me things have not changed, and indeed are getting worse in that regard.

          • Richard1
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            I think that’s v much a language issue. Overall the supply of high quality construction workers has increased and that’s a good thing?

    • John
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      That’s what they said about the mills in the midlands and the north, it needed the children to clean and re stock the spindles as no one else would do it.

      That’s what they said about the cotton the in deep south of America, you need that cheep labour otherwise it will all fall apart.

      There is no skills gap on cheap migrant labour, come child labour, come slave labour.
      I’m sure even you without training have the skills to pick cotton, change a spindle, pick a lettuce, etc etc.

      This is 2017, don’t you think that technology could assist here? Are you happy to see cheap migrant labour? Does it make sense that these people are often educated and to a reasonably high level by a poor country but they leave that country to sort rubbish here?

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        Bang on John

  2. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Why are we giving aid to India when British jobs are being outsourced there too? That must be a bit of a kick in the teeth to those workers involved, particularly if they have had to directly train up their Indian replacement if they want their redundancy cheque and reference. Funnily enough corporate India seems to have enough money to buy up British businesses too.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Funny enough I have personal experience of this. And let me tell you, the only solution is upskill and offer something they cannot.

      eg The German’s and Japanese build a lot of cars in their home countries. People pay a premium for them because they are well made, good value (in most cases), reliable (ditto) and sought after. India makes cars too ! They are cheap but I have never seen one yet.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I bet you have, as examples the Hyundai i20 and old model Dacia duster sold in the UK are made in India.

        • Mark B
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Did not know that ! Cheers. 🙂

          Tell you what though, my phone was made in India.

          • APL
            Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            Mark B: ” the only solution is upskill and offer something they cannot.”

            Mark B: “Tell you what though, my phone was made in India.”

            Mark, I think your advice is sound, upskill. However, given that a mobile phone includes some of the highest wireless, antenna and computer technology ‘out there’, and western countries have chosen to outsource the manufacture of these devices to third world countries – when we might have made them here competitively using robotics.

            And now we’ve sold ARM to the Japanese – what skills do you think would be worth ‘upskilling’ in?

            And in an economy where mass production at the lowest cost – provides a market premium, what is the ‘something’ the UK worker can offer, that the Indian worker is unable to?

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Is the reason you have seen few Indian cars is because the Protection Society known as the EU single Market puts such an high tariff on them, they can’t sell them here.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          There are ways around this, for instance a lot of engines (the main high value component) are made in India then shipped somewhere in Europe to be installed into cars on the production line the cars then count as EU produced. Plus fully Indian made cars are coming in as I pointed out above.
          So the tarrif is clearly not that much of a barrier.

      • David Price
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        I have direct experience of jobs being outsourced under threat also.

        “Upskilling” is not the only solution when the problem is driven by people making a quick buck outsourcing skills and capabilities they never invested in and bare no cost in their loss. This is compounded by consumers who don’t realise the true cost until their own livelihoods disappear as well.

        Where do you think Germany, Japan, China and India got their skills and capabilities from in the first place? Mostly from those the so-called “free marketeers” accuse of being lazy and un-enterprising.

        Perhaps if those who so gleefully outsource skills and capabilities bore the true costs of establishing them in the first place they would be far less ready.

        Where is all the investment by these gods of free marketing in education and infrastructure to enable “upskilling” and advanced R&D?

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Its nothing to do with skills, its cheaper electricity, its an ability to pollute more with no sanctions (and have cheaper anti pollution gear in the factories), its an ability to use cheaper attitudes and kit for health and safety, its an ability to use intellectual property freely without paying proper licence fees.

          • David Price
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            It is everything to do with skills – establishing the same capabilities in a lower cost economy. Which by happy coincidence is supported by the host governments demanding goods are manufactured there if there are to be marketed there.
            The Chinese have done that with aircraft, cars, electronics for example.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      DRW

      EE has onshored 100% of its customer service jobs

      British car makers have onshored 50,000 jobs

      Manchester based manufacturer onshores all its workforce back from Thailand

      In 2012 26% of all outsourced jobs were onshored back to UK , that trend has been growing since

      One of the reasons we have such massive skills shortages and its so hard to fill jobs in the UK is because for the last 3 or 4 years most companies have been bringing jobs back from overseas especially in manufacturing and engineering but even in the very low wage jobs like textiles and the fashion industry has onshored 20,000 jobs since 2014

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Oh i see. Is that why recruiters in 2015 where advertising abroad for workers instead of here

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Correct

      India has nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers, they do not need our so called aid.

      And their outsourcers routinely strip this country of jobs and intellectual property.

      And they pay far less tax than British companies and workers when working here.

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        If my memory serves India told Britain they did not want aid. I think it was around 2009 – 2010 somewhere. They said they did not need it and it was demeaning for them.

  3. O woe is me
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    “Buy British in 2017″

    Name ten politicians,apart from JR, business leaders, bankers, CEOs, business journals and Business TV programmes who champion British!

    Recent TV interview with Scottish whisky producers:
    ” Well (forced smile ) the pound does mean we are selling 20% more BUT…(half snarl, glum look about the eyes,)” it may get worse ”

    Recent TV interview with English wine producers

    ” Well, (forced smile) the lowered pound does mean our wine is cheaper than Europe’s( reluctant beam of satisfaction ) the lowered pound does mean we are selling more and more ( half snarl ) BUT how long will it last? ( look of paradoxical triumph )

    Recent interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer

    “Well… ( upturned lip at one side, downturned lip at the other side ) “it could be worse…”(sad bloodhound eyes cast downwards ) “we will just have to see how near or close is the edge of doom..” ( inappropriate quote from Shakespeare’s 116 sonnet )(looks into the near distance )…(looks as if taken ill and about to spew up ) …”I shall give a statement when the ” (shouts ).”UNCERTAINTY maybe, perhaps has subsided somewhat. We have to prioritise ,…try to look after people who will feel..IT more than those much better off and able to cope “( glides off into the left side background like a withering tulip )

    • hefner
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      “Name ten politicians, apart from JR, …. who champion British!”
      I would think such comment needs a little addendum: Are you so sure that JR has always been such a defender of the “British brand” when at the beginning of the 1990s as Minister he had been involved in various privatisations, not all of them by British companies? Wasn’t it the result of such an ideological turn of mind that has made so many British companies be taken over by foreign ones?
      Obviously the EC/EU has also contributed to the problem, but I find a bit rich people with such short memory being able to write “apart from JR”. He might now sing from a somewhat changed music sheet (that’s a politician for (you and) me) but 25+ years ago he was among the most red-toothed dogs (singing dogs, sorry for that) pushing for privatization, whoever was acquiring, whatever the consequences.

      Reply The privatisations I backed and assisted sold the shares to UK shareholders.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Translation of Reply.

        ‘Nothing to do wiv’ me guv’.

        An attempt at diversion. It would be interesting to find out how much our host protested and acted to prevent so many of our privatisations and other businesses falling into foreign hands. Subsequent foreign acquisitions were foreseeable and guess whst happened.

        • Handbags
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Who cares who owns the business as long as they employ people in the UK?

          Profits (if any) are miniscule compared to the wages, NI, VAT and council taxes that are paid.

          As Donald Trump has figured out – it’s jobs that are important – who owns the business is irrelevant.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        I’ll drink to that …with a glass of Sipsmith’s London Gin; but wait: too late, it’s already owned by the Japs. Rather than exhorting the British to demonstrate patriotism by purchase, why not the politicians give a lead by thinking (a difficult concept, I know) like a good snooker player who never plays a shot without lining up his next shot or by snookering his opponent’s; granted the shares were sold to Sid, but what did Sid do with them?? Instead of welcoming foreign ‘investment’ (ie foreign fiat currency), why not put a poison pill into every British owned company so that it can only be sold to another British company without grievous financial penalties for the owners – for goodness sakes, are we not world leaders in the international trade in intoxicating liquor? How can we ever build up major new industries to replace those that have declined or already been flogged off, if the government does not take a lead.

        • Ta ta for now!
          Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          forthurst If you look online you will see a range of online stock/share buying agencies ( transaction only, so the fees are cheap as they do not give advice ) which will allow even a humble buyer the opportunity to buy shares ( invest ) in those foreign companies taking over our British ones. You will benefit by dividends and an increase in share price for when you decide to sell if, you have bought wisely.
          Be careful though!!!!!Some of those foreign-bought British companies were and are lousy. British management after British management couldn’t make them work..bad salesmanship, bad management, corbynista moaning minnie workforce. But they floundered or were just plain rubbish. So you could lose your money backing those companies and so could the foreign shareholders.
          One can be British but we would not be truly British if we did not allow that we can also make lousy companies with idiot lazy British managements and an equally idiot lazy British workforces.
          So foreign managements can take an added risk by trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear of some of our very British dumbcluck companies. If they succeed, we should try their model of management in future. If they fail we can laugh and pick up the pieces of their failure for a song. In this case, finance pundits may call such a “play” as “worth a punt” or “not for orphans and widows” “for those with nerves of steel” and with money they can afford to lose…. in total.

          • forthurst
            Posted January 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            I have my own rules about investing: rule no 1. Do not take advice from idiots.

      • hefner
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        UK shareholders, indeed. But most individual shareholders would not have had any influence on the decisions of the BoDs, not even the pension funds, which up to very recently had only a consultative vote.

      • O woe is me
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        hefner:
        So what you are saying is that we should not have private companies because some shareholders may be foreign? The alternative? Nationalised industries?
        “The British brand” as you term it under nationalisation is “Lame Duck Enterprises”. Nothing to be proud of. Nothing British about an inefficient industry. People laughed at our nationalised railways and at us. Took photos of British Rail sandwiches with dry turned up corners with blue bottles buzzing about under the plastic covers, when those covers existed at all.
        Any government can limit the foreign percentage shareholding of companies. Companies can too and do by numerous available methods.The USA does it all the time.
        Do you believe foreign companies do not have British shareholders? That their contracting foreign companies do not have British shareholders?
        hefner, your idea of capitalism is straight out of a Lenin comic book. Things are not so black and white. If the rich got richer and the poor got poorer the working class would all have died of starvation roundabout the year 1067.

        • hefner
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          OWIM, I have absolutely nothing against foreign companies buying UK companies. I was just pointing out that some on this blog take JR for a Knight with shining armour (cannot say or do anything wrong, I guess) whereas as a Minister he had been among those who had started the trend. So your original comment “apart from JR” is really to be taken with a triple pinch of salt, if it was not a joke.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Not seen any of the interviews. But if true of our Chancellor then I am afraid he really typifies the type of administrator we have – Simply not up to the job.

      Since the fall of the, Great Lady we have not had a politician capable of giving this nation a sense of direction and purpose.

      JM: was weak and presided over a bitterly divided party. With real Conservatives on one side, and National Liberals on the other. The ERM was a blessing in disguise as it gave the UK a taste of what was to come for others. Can’t say they were not warned and that cost more jobs than MT government ever did.

      TB: looked and sounded good but was neither a socialist or a capitalist and simply went through the motions. A triumph of style over substance. A price we will pay for a long time to come. 🙁

      GB: was a usurper and never had a mandate. Was a lousy Chancellor who, unlike his former boss neither has style or substance. Set up the system of bank regulation that caused a ‘depression’ or, as our kind host calls it, a Great Recession. Bailed out when his (and other Scots) plan to set up a United Scottish Soviet Republic backed fired when the National Socialists looked likely to take power. Won’t be missed.

      CMD: Where do you begin ? Is the man of the people back from his luxury holiday in the Caribbean yet ? The one thing he will be remembered for was the very thing that was his undoing. Never let it be said that CMD could not do irony. And I am not talking about the thing you do with your freshly laundered clothes.

      TM or Chairman May: Started off OK and then very quickly disappointed. A ditherer. And that is the best I can say without getting banned.

    • matthu
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Have you thought of writing the script for a stage production of Brexit?! I gather the film is already underway.

    • B Lane
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      o woe is me, Well said

  4. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Yes…listening to some of David Davis on the Parliament committee (EU Exit) yesterday. Plenty of questions asked which largely drew the repeat answer that we are after the best deal for Britain within 2.5 years. Thats deals both within and without the EU and the curse of the open border..Ireland!

    The committee including Benn kept asking questions that they should know cannot be accurately answered mostly. Simply wind it in circles and add nothing. And they would mainly be those who wanted to continue to waste the UK on the failing EU.

    Any business in UK that has international links ought to have contingency supply and markets identified by now. The whinging won’t work..as they know!

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Simple solution. You keep the border with the Irish Republic in its current state so nobody is upset there. The hard border controls begin at the mainland airports and ferry terminals for anybody coming across from Ulster.

    • rose
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      The Archbishop of Canterbury and the PM have both called the referendum “divisive”. Please can you explain to them, Mr R, that it was the EU that divided us and still is.

      Your suggestions in this piece are spsot on and should unite us if anything will.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

        It was politicians like Cameron, Major, Clegg, Blair & Brown who kept denying voters any say on the EU and kept breaking Cast Iron and other promises who were decisive. The Archbishop of Canterbury is clearly as misguided as they nearly always are. Had Cameron failed to win a majority a second time, as Cameron surely expected Then he would almost certainly have ratted on the referendum yet again. Without Farage no referendum would ever have been granted by the Tories.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The border between Ulster and Eire cannot be policed. The border between Ulster and the UK mainland can be by use of checks on those entering and leaving.

      2.5 Years ? We only have 2 once Art.50 is invoked. It can only be extended if both parties agree. Does he therefore have prior agreement that the UK and the EU will extend talks if necessary ? Methinks we should know.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I watched the committee too. It is just a political game for Benn & co, they are not interested in the answers to the questions because they know them already. It would be interesting to hear Benn explain exactly what Corbyn’s negotiating position would be in detail – that really is something we don’t know.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but what about all the many other ways the government could reduce the deficit?

    They could stop HS2 & Hinkley, the bonkers parasitic job creation scheme that is the sugar tax, the vast areas of government that do nothing useful or worse still do positive harm they could fire all these people releasing them to get a real & productive job for a change. They should also reduce state sector remuneration, which with pensions included is about 50% above the private sector on average. They could cancel all the pointless grants for intermittent and expensive energy. They could get out of the very many areas where the state does far more harm than good. They could address the dire death causing farce that is the NHS.

    They could simplify taxes and cut red tape. The object should be to eliminate as many parasitic and pointless jobs as possible. There should be real incentives to work, just being a tiny bit better off from working (after the cost of getting to and fro, child care and the likes) is simply not a sufficient incentive.

    But alas we have dithering, socialist & interventionist Theresa May with her forced workers on company boards and gender pay reporting, an insane tax system and Philip Hammond who seems to want to ape the dire IHT ratter and tax borrow and waste Osborne.

    Zero vision and still the same broken compass so far from May and Hammond.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Why have we not withdrawn from the Paris Climate agreement and abolished the damaging “renewable” grants and Ed Milibands absurd Climate Change Act as yet? When is our government going to grasp scientific and energy engineering realities.

  6. Where are we?
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I thought about buying some shares of a British company. Wrongly or rightly, I thought a repeat of “We are leaving the EU” by Mrs May in January could make the BBC and Sky News talk down the pound again and lead to a surge in the FTSE 100.

    But British companies apart from BP and Vodafone, if they can be classed as British, do seem to have much poorer dividends than some good large Canadian- based companies advancing like billyho into the American marketplace.
    Canadian bank dividends seem better than British banks too.

    Then North American companies seem to have cheer-leading online TV business programmes like CNBC , BNN, Bloomburg and online magazines like MarketWatch and others continually every day producing thousands of interviews about company activities.

    So where are our cheer-leading media for buying British? A man or a woman with a pencil and a stick-drawing of the FTSE… saying how bad everything is, how it will probably get worse and just because the one chart has gone up a bit today it is still going to throw it down with a financial storm tomorrow. Or we can look at four lines of a certain expensive British financial paper of international fame for free online and pay for the rest not knowing in advance what it says. It is only an opinion anyway…and generally a re-writing and re-jigging of American articles published the month before.

    I would have a British chocolate as a comfort-eat but one bar is made by a Swiss company, now. The other is made at the other side of the country and is American. I’ll not mention Belgian chocolate as Belgium is not supposed to be famous for anything . I’d have a can of stout but its not made in the UK.

  7. Excalibur
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    A tremendous opportunity, as you say, JR. However, I cannot be alone in the disquiet I feel regarding Theresa May’s assertion that she will reach an agreement with the EU that will satisfy the Remainers as well as those who voted to Leave.
    It is these sort of attempts to be ‘all things to all men’ that result in unsatisfactory half- baked solutions that satisfy no one. What we require, above all, is strong leadership and a determination to see Britain succeed, It cannot be achieved by attempting to keep everyone happy.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      @Elxcalibur

      she will reach an agreement with the EU that will satisfy the Remainers as well as those who voted to Leave.

      Yes, I heard this too and thought, well, we are not coming out then.

  8. Gary C
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Well said, the battle is to get that message across to those with the ability and capacity to do something.

    The glass is half full, lets top it up 🙂

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    From May’s dire speech on taking office:

    In David Cameron, I follow in the footsteps of a great, modern Prime Minister. Under David’s leadership, the Government stabilised the economy, reduced the budget deficit, and helped more people into work than ever before. But David’s true legacy is not about the economy, but about social justice. From the introduction of same sex marriage, to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a one nation government, and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead.

    His true legacy is in getting a leave vote, but this was against his all his dishonest efforts and against his will. Cameron and Osborne’s term was a tax borrow and piss down the drain, greencrap and essentially socialist disaster. Nearly doubling the national debt (while claiming to be repaying it). Both Cameron and May are clearly not in favour not of “one nation government in the UK” but of a no nation, anti-democratic government with the UK subsumed within the EU.

    The rest was yet more misguided lefty drivel and zero vision.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/theresa-mays-first-speech-prime-minister/

    Reading her depressing speeches it is very clear she is following the same David Cameron/John Major broken compass and is essentially another Libdem at heart and rather a dithering one too. All thanks to the daft Gove foolishly knifing Boris.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Theresa May’s new year message:- I’ll fight remainers’ case in Europe, too.

      Yeah sure dear, and how are you going to fight for both sides at the same time!

      The real interests of remainers is to leave the EU as soon as possible anyway, they just do not have the gumption realise it yet.

      Why on earth yet more milking of the tragic death of Jo Cox by Theresa? Does she think she will get points from remainers for this pathetic virtue signaling? It she wants to remember the murder with something constructive perhaps do something real about the dire mental health care and try to reduce the circa one murder per week (plus many more injuries) that occur from this non-care in the community agenda.

      Jo Cox was a labour MP who wanted to end democracy in the UK by remaining in the anti-democratic EU. Also, like all politics of envy labour politicians her economic polices would have damaged the economy and harmed the (especially the poor) hugely.

      Can May not see this, has she any real Conservative in her at all?

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/31/theresa-may-new-year-message-brexit

      Also why does he have to deliver it as if she is a wet vicar, talking very slowly to rather dim five year old’s?

      The first comment on the Guardian site is:

      This woman does not have a clue whatsoever, everything is sound bits to take in the gullible, first it is Brexit means Brexit and now see is going to fight the corner of those who voted to stay; either were in or out but she does not know which way to go – devoid of any plan or ideas – God help us all.

      I rather agree.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Stop trying to be all things to all people, you are not a new Mother Theresa, just get on with the job of leaving the EU now. Cutting taxes, cutting red tape, cutting the endless government waste and white elephant projects, reduce energy prices by killing all the greencrap …….. – that is how you could really help the JAMS and everyone else dear!

        Stop this pathetic (I am a wet lefty vicar) dithering and do something.

  10. Babe
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    There is one foreign company which doesn’t mask its foreigness one little bit. Few realise it imports beef from its native North America. Nothing wrong with that of course. But it is hard to believe a British company would set up a multi- franchised fast food outlet in North America and insist on buying and importing all bacon from Newpork Pagnell.

  11. APL
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    JR: “Charity begins at home. ”

    Yes. So can we stop our government taking on more debt to pay to third party countries in aid?

    JR: “Self help is the best way to a better tomorrow.”

    Yes, so a country like the one time responsible India, which has recently taken measures to destroy it’s own economy, is now, no longer eligible for our aid. If they insist on destroying themselves, what can we do to stop them?

    JR: “We need to apply these two truths to improving our lives and economy in 2017.”

    As Ann Coulter has said of the USA, it applies equally to the UK, we need a little alone time to get our own house in order.

    • B Lane
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

      The Foreign Aid programme is dictated by the UN. It is the UN that TELLS it’s members what percentage to pay, and our government follow it through. Cameron looked all moral and charitable when he stood there and said we will ring fence the Foreign Aid Budget, pity he didn’t tell the truth and say we will pay what the UN has told us to.

      • APL
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        B Lane: ” It is the UN that TELLS it’s members what percentage to pay, ..”

        Well, I didn’t know that. But I’m not surprised.

        But as a Permanent member of the Security council we might have a little heft to change things.

  12. Chips n egg wiv tea
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    There was one of those long-running trendy foodie programmes on TV. Took us joyfully through the French countryside. Naturally it ended up in a winery cum and then about La vie dans une ferme française. ( Life on a French farm ). The wonderful meal for important family guests turned out to be poached egg ( no not on toast like a truck stop cafe ) in red wine.
    Shouldn’t we be employing French TV journalists to do a tour of anywhere at all in the UK, even Slough, to show Europe how to cook, what to cook , how to eat, and how not to be sick when eating an egg?
    We don’t show off enough. We think foreigners hate our food. Would you go and live and work somewhere if you couldn’t stomach the grub? For years?

    It’s popular modern chefs who give our food a bad name. Who on Earth wants a “gorgeous healthly iron-rich cress sandwich with unprocessed and unground bits of chaff ending up stuck between your teeth? ” They think we’re out of our minds. When they come here they head for the fish and chip shop.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Watch the Great British Menu it celebrates British produce, Britains chefs competing and a great judging panel, keep the faith.

  13. Mark B
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning and Happy New Year both to our kind host and all those that contribute and read here.

    The rules regarding competition make it clear that the UK has to tender all government contracts so that other EU member countries businesses can share in the pie. This we signed up to in good faith and cannot change.

    As for Art.50 and the rest I note our kind host still has not understood that there is a regulatory dimension to the EU. May I please ask why he chooses to ignore this and will he seek to address it sometime this New Year ?

    There is indeed much to look forward to but, as someone has said elsewhere, I think the Establishment after all these shocks will seek to reimpose its will on the masses. The so called, ‘Fake News’ and control via the EU is but a firing shot in what is to become a serious and dangerous war with the people’s of Europe and America. A new darkness seems to be looming over our continent and the sooner people realise the danger, the better.

    Reply I have often addressed the regulatory issues and set out how we first nationalise the acquis then go on to reform it

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      But you only give prominence to economic issues. You talk of all the money we save etc. But how do we negotiate trade deals with the rest of the world, let alone the EU, when we can only do it on the very day we leave ? Madness.

      We would have to apply to become members of various international bodies as the EU has taken our place. This will take time and in that time the economy will suffer.

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        I may be wrong but i think while we are still members there is nothing to stop us negotiating with countries outside the EU but we can not negotiate with other EU countries.

      • APL
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Mark B: “We would have to apply to become members of various international bodies as the EU has taken our place. ”

        The United Kingdom is still members of a large number of international bodies; a Permanent member of the UN Security council, a member of codex alimentarius – the UN affiliated food standards body, we have representation on ISO standards bodies too.

        Just go to their various web sites to confirm for your own satisfaction.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Agreed, but you also wonder if corporate Britain isn’t hungry enough to compete for the contracts, after all the senior management of UK corporations have done very well for themselves without having to add to share holder value.

  15. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Buy British??? The start of isolation?
    I never hear slogans like “buy Dutch”. Becoming competitive is to be reached in different ways I think.
    Happy 2017 anyway.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it a bank holiday in Brussels.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg: A joke which is a bit past its sell-by date?

    • Mark Watson
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Well it’s a bit like making the decision to buy Fairtrade products.You buy Fairtrade for ethical reasons. And if the EU want to make things difficult, as seems to be the case, then on an ethical basis I will buy anything but rumpEU sourced products.I’ve found that US,Aus,NZ,South Africa and even some English wines are excellent so we haven’t bought any EU wines since June.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        @Mark Watson: “And if the EU want to make things difficult, as seems to be the case”
        What a lovely misconception! The EU hasn’t made anything difficult at all. The EU is patiently (only slightly exasperated but as understanding as possibly could be expected) waiting for the UK to do anything formal, like triggering the Article 50
        It is not the EU that is divided it is you, the UK! It is you talking to yourselves, taking yourselves to court, making up stories, hyping and hyping what may or may not happen.
        The EU-27 is busy with other things, and is just waiting for this “filing of the divorce papers”. Not that we want to, we don’t mind if you decide not to file for divorce (although personally I think it would be better for the EU longer term)
        It is SO interesting!!! Are you crying out being mistreated by your divorcé, when it is only you making all this fuss!!
        Very very interesting!

        • APL
          Posted January 3, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          PvL: “waiting for the UK to do anything formal”

          It’s not quite the way you make out, Peter. As you say, the UK has not yet formally notified the EU of its intent to leave, yet the other EU heads of state spent the last EU summit meeting ostracizing the UK Prime Minister.

          PvL: “taking yourselves to court,”

          Well, the terms of Lisbon art. 50 is that the notification is submitted in accord with our constitutional procedures .

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            @APL: “ostracizing”. Allow me to see things a little different: Whereas the EU-27 had been perfectly clear and played to the rules (“no negotiation before notification”), at the EU summit Mrs. May attempted some”pre-negotiation” – to which the whole room answered with silence (i.e. no bad words uttered).
            “taking yourselves to court” – I’m not objecting tp constitutional proedures, just showing how deeply divided your country still is (not the EU’s fault).

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      PvL – We’ve had decades of ‘becoming competitive’ since Mrs Thatcher. We expected to include the outsource of jobs and factories – we did not expect it to include the insource of labour to do even the most basic work.

      Look where the competition has got us – record levels of personal and national debt ! Something is askew.

      I agree with you about ‘buying British/Dutch … isolationism’ but the fact is that when, say, a police force procures a brand of car because it is an economic choice then let’s ensure that the cost in displacing our own workforce is factored in – especially when it is public money which is being spent by that police force.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: I suppose that once you’re out of the EU/single market, it will become easier to benefit your home industries as you won’t be required to tender at EU level. So why not wait for these next two years?

        Why not concentrate on outsmarting the international competition in other ways, e.g. by simply being better? Why did I offer blue stilton and wensleydale with blueberries (not to forget various brands of Scottish whisky) to my guests on New Years Eve? Because these brands easily manage to compete internationally.

        After often buying Japanese cars, I notice that continental cars have become more competitive and innovative. They’ve learned to compete. I have never in my life thought of buying Dutch cheese or beer or other products “because” they’re Dutch. Why would I?!

    • APL
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Peter Van Lueewen: “Buy British??? The start of isolation?”

      Not really Peter, about 75% of the British economy is conducted entirely within the borders of the UK.

      Probably much the same for Netherlands too.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        @APL: Even after subtracting all transit-exports (also brings in money), the nett contribution of our export is about 30% of the Dutch economy. So our economy is more open and more interdependent than that of the UK, I believe.

  16. Made in the Universe
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “Made in the EU” should be banned. Too wide a description.Too many differing jurisdictions and competences regarding enforcement of hygiene, processing and determinations of ingredient sourcing. Also it should be stated when possible which part of an EU-nation it originates.
    Mrs Sturgeon is all for “Produced in Scotland ” for instance, telling all the world that the cod or trout was asphyxiated by a Scot and its dead carcass frozen by a Scot after its very bones were pulled out and its flesh shredded but not by a Welsh, English or Ulster human being. But by a Scot. In Scotland

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      @Made in the Universe.

      Yes, here in Scotland we have the Scottish flag plastered all over everything and they don’t say made in the UK.

      In England there is no English flag, just the union jack saying that it was produced in the UK. That could mean England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Just another way England gets left out in the cold.

      • B Lane
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        It would be Racist to show the English Flag don’t ya know.

    • APL
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Made in the Universe: “”Made in the EU” should be banned. ”

      Not least because when you buy a beef pie that has components originating in the EU, specifically and with a reasonable expectation Beef, if often turns out to be Horse.

      I’m sure horse is tasty, but if you’re buying beef, you ought to get beef.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        @APL: Yes and I remember one of your ministers to even eat BSE-beef to show the British public how utterly harmless it was. Fortunately, he couldn’t convince Americans nor continental Europeans at the time.

        • APL
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Peter Van Leeuwen: “Yes and I remember one of your ministers to even eat BSE-beef ”

          BSE has now been eradicated, and to this day, I think none of the brain or central nervous tissue may be consumed.

          But eating beef even during the BSE crisis was probably just as safe as eating any other commercial meat.

          Continentals who like steak tatare as a matter of course might have had cause to be concerned. 🙂

        • APL
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Peter van Lueewen: “Yes and I remember ..”

          But you’ve not really addressed my original point. That the EU regulatory regime permits, often encourages adulteration of food, despite its supposedly strict food standards.

          Just like its tax, VAT encourages carousel fraud. One of the largest vehicles for fraud in the world.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted January 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            @APL: I believe that I answered your attempt to score a too cheap point and blame the EU too easily.
            Fraud happens anywhere and is of all times. In a large, multi-country market like what you call the “Single Market” (we call it the “internal market”) it is even more complex to fight fraud, but it seems to work. notice the fines dealt out by the EU’s Competition branch e.g. for cartels or for tampering with food.

            By the way, it so happens that our village has a butcher who very openly sells horse-meat (leaner than beef?). I haven’t yet got further than venison and ostrich steak, I’ll leave the horse meat for you.

          • APL
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            Peter Van Leeuwen: “blame the EU too easily.”

            It’s an easy target.

            Peter Van Leeuwen: “it is even more complex to fight fraud, but it seems to work.”

            Yes, and the fraud is exacerbated because the complex regulatory systems enable the criminals and unscrupulous to exploit them..

            Just like VAT and the carousel fraud.

            Just like the CAP is exploited by fraudsters.

            Peter Van Lueewen: “who very openly sells horse-meat ”

            I am not being squeamish, and really do not care that people choose to eat horse, in this case it was a problem where the horse flesh was being sold as Beef or Beef was being adulterated by other materials – under the nose of the European Union regulators.

  17. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Quite right John about buying British. My husband and myself were only saying this yesterday while out on our walk. All uniforms should be sourced at home and all vehicles needed for all emergency services should start to be accommodated by the car industry in this country thus providing more jobs. As you say, more houses are going to be built and I am sure the companies already providing bricks and windows etc could welcome the extra business. Fair pay for their workers must be met too. I note this morning on the BBC they are saying what a challenge Mrs May has to meet and that it is going to be very long and complicated untangling everything we have built up with the EU over the years. Only if they want it that way. Surely, there has to be a way to just come out and do our own thing if the other countries don’t want to play ball. Just leave and lets’ get on with it. How long these extra court cases will delay everything is anyones guess and we all have to wonder how long the Remainiacs are going to sulk for.

    With the atrocity in Turkey over night, how long before they stop taking in ‘refugees’ and sending them back into Europe? It has gone very quiet on the news front regarding how many are still arriving on the shores of Europe but I’m sure it hasn’t stopped.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Its winter and the waters in the Med’ are very dangerous. Land crossing are becoming more difficult as countries closest are closing their borders and preventing entry.

      Come the spring things will change and it will be a news topic again. But let us hope, Saint Merkel has learnt her lesson now that an election is in the air.

    • B Lane
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      Yes we will be able to source all those vehicles & uniforms etc. as soon as we leave the EU. But while we are stuck with it, we have to follow EU Procurement Rules which do not allow a government to place orders direct to their own industries without putting it to tender to the other countries (sorry i mean states) unless of course you are Germany and in some cases France.

  18. turboterrier
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Very good first of the year post John.

    Charity begins at home.

    This has always been a problem in that home products are not competitive and do not meet the expectations of the purchaser.

    Production costs have got to be driven down and surely the easiest to address is energy. No matter what sector of business you are in it all requires energy to heat buildings, run electronic plant as well as the high user end of the industrial market. Anything is better than nothing.

    Adopt a cashback scheme to encourage consumers to Buy British. Every vehicle bought receives a UK discount which can be claimed back against taxation. It surely must increase production and the companies will have less export delivery costs to absorb in getting their product to market. I cannot believe that the British automobile industry cannot produce vehicles to replace all those foreign marques used by nearly all our charitable organisations. What are the customer expectations? Walk the talk and deliver what they want. Tax charities that prefer to by foreign on the difference in price. Draconian yes but this is all getting very serious and push has to go to shove.

    Do the MoD really save money by buying foreign when you take the impact on British jobs and companies? Our defence industries must be pressured into using and buying British. Will the Welsh, Scottish steel mills not want to have really sharpen their pencils to get the order as would the unions in their negotiations. Nothing is nothing and specialised workers laid off add an even bigger burden to the state. The only way to increase the specialist skills to the next generation is to give them full “specialist” training. In the long haul it will be industry and engineering that will drive forward this country. The finance sector is always looking for new systems to improve profit and that is usually electronic system led which can have an impact on jobs.

    We have a Civil Servant being knighted for his aid projects. Planes cannot land on the runway?!! You cannot make it up. Cut the waste and before handing over large sums of money to all and sundry get the data and fully research the why, who, where and how is the money to be used. Rocket science it is not.

  19. graham1946
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Yep, all very sensible JR and what most of us would say.

    Unfortunately we see no signs of having a sensible government to bring it all about. All dither and delay on Brexit, wasting a billion pounds a month while the NHS grinds to a halt, Priti Patel seems to have gone native on foreign aid now she’s in charge, previously having strident views on the waste and we order trains from Germany, power stations from France, China and Japan, steel from anywhere but the UK, the list goes on.

    Empty words from Ditherer May about the JAMS in Downing Street whilst putting up Council tax for these same people by many times inflation for Council Care ( which will never be sufficient anyway). All in all a poor outlook for us all.

    Happy New Year Everyone! Good luck – we are going to need it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      Empty words indeed, but after Major and Cameron that is surely exactly what we now expect of these Libdems, pretending to be Conservatives. Why do thy elect such dire leaders? A great shame that thanks to Boris the party members got no say.

      • graham1946
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        The Tories always do choose the wrong one, have done since they stabbed Mrs. Thatcher in the back. Everyone a loser. They only get into government because the alternative is so dire. Maybe next time it won’t be quite to easy. I see UKIP taking a lot of seats from Labour in the north if Corbyn keeps going. Be rather ironic if the Tories had to form a coalition with them eh?

  20. alan jutson
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Why do we simply just give away money as foreign aid.

    If aid or help is required, why do we not manage a project from start to finish with UK managers/products, but using less expensive local labour.

    Thought Priti was going to completely overhaul our foreign aid programmes to make sure they were actually fit for purpose and value for money.

    • B Lane
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      We give away money in Foreign aid because the UN have told us to, and how much, which i believe will be raised this year by around 0.5%. If that figure is correct it will almost double our payment.

  21. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    If only your government were listening. We’ve heard it before.

    I’m pleased Cameron did the bonourable thing, but most of the rest are still around. They are sitting on different chairs but they still think what they thought before.

    Too many people think we must be nice to foreigners and that their products are better than ours anyway, and aren’t we just so wonderfully inclusive when we buy their stuff or invite them to set up businesses here and import their goods. Won’t they we are just so nice.

    Nothing will change until we remove people who think like that, and the weak and politically correct. Our cash will drain away – business cash flow and profits, foreign aid, foreign remittances, charity waste and government mismanagement and incompetence.

    And do we think that Dithering Doris will somehow ‘miss the post’ with the Article 50 letter?

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Apparently the leaders of the other EU countries would like tariffs to be reimposed on their exports to the UK, and they would also like to reverse the previous removal of all the other, non-tariff, barriers to their exports, which unnecessary obstacles they want reinstated to actively create the maximum disruption for their exporters and maximum damage to their economies. And, yes, they do look forward to their roads being clogged up for miles with queues of trucks waiting to get across the Channel and pass through slow and cumbersome UK customs controls.

    Some may think that they will take this attitude because they are barmy, but there is some method in their madness. It is really very simple: unless we agree that all their citizens, all 450 million of them, shall continue to have the automatic legal right to move to the UK if they so wish, they will break their treaties by applying illegal economic sanctions to force the UK to submit to their will, and they are prepared to accept whatever collateral damage to their own countries that policy of economic warfare may entail.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
    • forthurst
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Potentially, we have Trump card; Trump believes in the nation state; he feels attached to the nations that furnished his ancestry: perhaps Nigel Farage who is a British patriot and hated by the Establishment for it, could invite his friend Don to put the screws on the EU unless they play ball; e.g. how quickly will the EU armed forces be able to take up the slack, if the US decides to pull out; of course, that should be the job of the foreign office but they are far too busy facilitating terrorism in Syria although no one has actually explained why any of this is in our national interest or even that we are dong it.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper: Oh dear, is just talking to yourselves not satisfying anymore, do you have to now spice it up with exiting fantasies of what you imagine in your wild dreams might happen?
      Why not simply trigger Article 50 and start living in the ordinary, not very exiting reality which will follow most likely. Sigh.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Why not listen to what the leaders of your beloved EU are saying?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: But I do, and I haven’t heard this from
          Barnier, Tusk, Juncker, Verhofstadt (who is not included yet anyway),
          nor from Merkel, Hollande, Rutte, Kenny, etc. etc.
          Sorry for not regularly reading the Daily Express.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            Then obviously you are not listening properly, Peter, because the threat is quite blatant – either we continue to accept open-door immigration from the EU, or they will deliberately disrupt the existing two-way flow of trade. Not quite a blockade, not quite a Napoleonic Continental System, and certainly not physical war, but instead a form of economic warfare in direct contravention of “international law” including their own treaties. These are the kind of people you choose to support.

    • B Lane
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      I would sooner FREE TRADE with the other 7 Billion thanks.

  23. ian wragg
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    It’s time the government activated article 50. Are they going to allow endless vexatious challenges.
    Mrs May could present a bill straight after the holiday and make it clear she will call for an election if it is frustrated.
    The second item in the manifesto after declaring that article 50 will be initiated should be the abolition of the unelected HoL. I don’t see why Camerons hair dresser should be able to thwart the referendum result.

  24. ian wragg
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I see the BBC are in new year anti brexit mode, the newscaster this morning couldn’t hide his scorn for TM’s speech.
    They obviously see us as Neanderthals who shouldn’t be allowed a vote.

  25. British Spy
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Like many British I have holidayed abroad and stayed in hotels, bought their meals, gone to mysterious and different cafe’s, restaurants and Eating Places” for want of better words. Also dined in and stayed in many private homes in different countries..yes I get about! I’m a British spy! 😉
    But , because of my work I have had to stay too in hotels here…even when I could have reasonably driven home. So, I have been like a tourist in my own country but not usually in resorts of any kind. Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Sheffield, Manchester.
    What strikes me is that the facilities for eating food here in the UK …well, I prefer the food and service here…even when that food and service is performed by workers from countries I have visited as a tourist.
    You know, we get one helluva lot of tourists to this perpetually rainy, blowy, snowy, icy, frosty, foggy dim-lit isle. When asked what the foreign tourists liked they don’t of course reply the sun,sea, and skiing.
    They reply simply “Everything!”

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    JR please can we have your views on the frightening attempts to kill press freedom in the UK?

    Why all this criticism about Posh Spice’s OBE, she seem a rather more deserving choice than most on the list?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Agree with your first but not your second sentence.

  27. Bert Young
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your priorities John . Brexit fast and get on with it .
    Meanwhile – ” A Happy New Year “.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I make sure I spend locally. I also think it wrong that exhausted volunteers martyr themselves running association bars when struggling local publicans could do with the trade. The drinks may be marginally cheaper but I’d sooner pay more rather have a righteous committee member trying to shame me into doing ‘my bit’ while good pubs go out of business. My real job is demanding enough without becoming an unpaid barman.

    Happy New Year and thanks for running the blog.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      People who volunteer should be careful about which work they do. It is not right to deny people the opportunity to do paid work.

  29. English Pensioner
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    All foreign aid should be given in the form of goods made in this country or services supplied by British companies. We should never give cash, either directly or through charities because more often than not much of it ends up in the wrong pockets. Ideally it should only be provided to assist with emergencies such as natural disasters, but one-time infrastructure projects overseen and run by UK companies would be acceptable.
    If the money is spent on British goods and materials this would help boost the British economy with all the consequent knock on effects.
    I would also argue that the cost of treating patients from abroad on the NHS is a form of foreign aid and the NHS should be paid from the foreign aid budget!

    • Mark B
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

      We should issue ‘vouchers’ that entitle foreign countries to buy British goods and services at discounted rates. This would increase UK’s international market share, increase jobs and output here in the UK and boost the UK’s image. Such vouchers should not be used where locally produced products are made and sold so as to not adversely effect the local economy.

  30. William Long
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you totally that the sooner we send the Article 50 letter the better because that will enable us to get on with real life – that is, life outside the dismal constraints of the EU, and of course we should stop the wasteful aspects of Foreign aid (most of it?). Is it though really in Britain’s best interests to have to buy things just because they are British if there are better and cheaper alternatives available from abroad? That strikes me as having the immorality of Fairtrade where people in primitive economies are paid more than the market rate, thereby reducing the incentive to bring their economic and working practices into the modern world.

  31. Oggy
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    ‘Charity begins at home’ – quite right JR, that’s why 3bn of foreign aid should be redirected to pay for the social care of OUR elderly. Plus another 3bn to help with OUR NHS. It is obscene that 12bn of tax payers money is given away every year when our own services are struggling.

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Simon Heffer and Christopher Booker both kick of the new year with excellent pieces in the telegraph today. On Obama’s failures, the warmists’ last hurrah for the hottest year ever and the dire performance the out police force in dealing with real crime and the dire state if prisons.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/31/americas-new-president-will-put-end-obamas-flight-reality/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/01/give-house-lords-spring-clean/

    Did the BBC really send 175 staff to Washington just to celebrate Obama’s victory?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      The House of Lords may need more than a spring clean if the government is to get an Article 50 Bill through both Houses in less than the thirteen months that is needed to by-pass the Lords under the Parliament Acts. I suggest that afterwards something more like a Herculanean cleansing of the Augean stables will be required, but in the shorter term it may be necessary for Theresa May to get the Queen to flood it with hundreds of new peers who unlike the present lot of unelected legislators-for-life can be guaranteed to vote to fulfill the will of the people as expressed in the referendum, and then afterwards vote for a thorough-going reform of this anachronism.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 4:30 am | Permalink

        Dear Denis–Agreed–The Lords has become an unfunny joke whereas previously, logically or otherwise, it was held in great respect. Outgoing (failed) prime ministers getting to appoint their non event cronies (and cronies of cronies) is ridiculous–We should be a bit more like the US where appointments are made, on merit, as the new leader comes in not as they are thrown out. The perception of Cameron’s awfulness grows all the time.

  33. Antisthenes
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Your article exudes much that will elicit approbation because the basic intent is indeed laudable. However it is biased towards protecting producers at the expense of consumers. It is therefore protectionist and therefore anti free trade. A contradiction to one of your basic tenets for leaving the EU. To leave the EU is to free the UK from it’s protectionist embrace and then to champion enacting a domestic one is nonsensical. If a state wishes to be prosperous then it has to embrace free markets and free trade. There is no halfway house and Brexit is about leaving that house.

    However your intent for the UK to produce more for it’s own market and world market is an ambition that should be striven for but not by your means and not totally for the reasons you give. The means should concentrate on the environment that UK businesses have to operate in. It has to be less constrained than current laws, rules and regulations and political and social mores allow. A very big demand as UK culture has embedded obstacles to achieving that. Something the Conservative party has found out every time it is in government and finds it is unable to retract adverse Labour policies and practices and enact radical reforms or if so only marginally. Achieving Brexit is a big step in the right direction but more is needed and your solution is not it.

    Your reasons would be an improvement of the current situation. However they are not essential. A current account deficit is not a major problem as a country and many do can operate quite successfully with one. As funds flowing out for purchases flow back in the form of capital investment so it is a zero sum exercise. Despite bitching about flogging off the family silver and profits going to foreigners. It is not that objectionable as people think. I agree with you that giving our money away gratis and how it is done is not desirable unless the return from doing so is at least equal to that given and it achieves the desired objective. The EU contribution certainly does not pass those tests. As for foreign aid I doubt the latter as bureaucratic/public sector use of money is seldom done efficiently. The former is something I have no reliable data on which to judge but suspect there is some return from it.

  34. rick hamilton
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Your recommendation to ‘support the home’ team is very noble JR, but why wasn’t this the policy decades ago when British Leyland was state owned? Why were police forces allowed to buy BMWs and Volvos when there were eminently suitable Range Rovers and Jaguars available? Indeed why was any taxpayer-funded institution allowed to buy foreign if a British made product could do the job?

    Your sentiments are admirable, but we seem to have an inability in the UK to do what’s obviously best for ourselves. Always bending over backwards to be so even-handed and fair to all comers when almost nobody else in the world is so daft.

  35. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a good website to help people buy British: http://makeitbritish.co.uk/

    Some of my favourites to support: independent book shops, local cafes, Airfix (my nephew loves their non-glue models), Yeo dairy products, British-made shirts, fine British chocolates, holiday in Wales (amazing beaches / coastline), weekend visit to London (travelled all over the place and still think London’s best city), and obviously lots more.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      @d Mahony: Unwittingly, the link you provided gives the only honest answer:
      “The makeitbritish.co.uk page isn’t working”!
      Becoming competitive shouldn’t require the “consumer support” to “buy British” for whatever sentimental or patriotic or chauvinistic motivation. These are “loser tools”. Better to become competitive in a free and open market.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Works for me.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 3, 2017 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        ‘patriotic’ – patriotism is actually a Christian virtue, heavily inspired, in Catholic theology, from Plato’s philosophy.
        Unfortunately, the Fascists of the 1930’s ruined the true meaning of patriotism, idolising it to the point of making it something ugly. And in turn, Communists, the hard left and anti religious secularists also did their bit to make patriotism an ugly word.
        And this is one of the main reasons why I support much of what the Brexiteers say even though I still think we’re better off in Europe – in a REFORMED Europe, in particular, on immigration.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          You already have a “reformed” EU, “reformed” by Merkel’s “Reform Treaty”, aka the Lisbon Treaty.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Needs more reform, in particular over immigration.
            The EU can be too Utopian. That’s it’s great weakness. It needs to be more pragmatic. That would strengthen it greatly.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted January 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Ed Mahony: Well, I trust that there will always close ties between Britain and the European continent, even after the UK will have left EU membership.
          I also trust that over the longer term the mood in the UK will shift: old Brexiteers and old imperirial/common wealth nostalgics will die and the youngest generations will be much more inclined to seek connection with the continent (last year they already voted 3 to 1 in favour of remain). Some future associated membership may even (in 20, 30 years?) turn into full membership again.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            The main reason why the UK is leaving the EU is over immigration.
            Many other people in the EU agree / sympathise.
            The EU wants to achieve too much too soon. In 20 years time, when the poorer members of the EU have caught up a fair bit, then you wouldn’t see so much dramatic movement of people across borders. Then you could have open borders. Same with the Euro. Good idea. But asking too much too soon (by about 20 or 30 years too early).

  36. behindthefrogs
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    We need to improve the advantage of buying British abroad. One way of achieving this would be to reduce employers’ NICs. This should be done in preference to reducing corporation tax as it not only attracts foreign companies but also encourages them to use British labour.

    We also need to increase the pressure on counterfeit goods as these are almost always imported if not smuggled into the country.

  37. Richard1
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I would like all public procurement to be aimed at getting the best available result for taxpayers. ‘Buy British’ is fair enough where the British product or service is competitive but such a mentality could easily slip into a pressure to buy inferior or more expensive products or services because they are British. That’ll make us poorer in the end.

  38. acorn
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Running a large current account deficit for long periods, such as in the UK and US, means that domestic production capacity has atrophied and the skilled labour went likewise.

    Why invest in making something in the UK when you can import it for less money. Likewise, why invest in upskilling your own labour force when you are effectively importing those skills in the foreign products you buy.

    Steel for building submarines is readily available in France and Spain. The supply chain for British made steel of suitable specification is defunct. The UK would have to import the Ore to make the steel; UK domestic sourced Ore is unsuitable for the job apparently. If you have to import the correct Ore to make the steel, why not cut out the middle processes and just import the finished steel product?

    Being a country that runs a large import trade deficits for long periods of time, ends up with “export led countries”, like Germany, holding large quantities of your currency. If you are a large economy, that’s when your currency gets called the world’s “reserve currency”, i.e. the US Dollar.

    If your economy is not big enough; or, your government is not seen to be running policies that are pushing every available domestic resource flat out, then foreigners start thinking about the long term value of the assets they are holding, denominated in your currency, be they cash; bonds; factories or Chelsea mansions. The Pound Sterling is no longer a premier league currency.

    Remember that old saying; if you owe your bank a thousand pounds you worry. If you owe your bank a hundred thousand pounds, the bank worries. The same goes for trade between countries. If the UK imports a hundred German cars, the buyers worry. The UK bought 810,000 German cars, now the Germans have a Brexit worry. Half of the cars made in Britain last year were built by German owned firms.

    • acorn
      Posted January 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, there is an error in the last sentence. 2.6 million cars were registered in the UK, half were assembled by German owned companies. 1.6 million cars were assembled in the UK; nearly 6 out of 10 of those were sold into Europe.

  39. Optimist
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Today:…..Mrs May looking grave had another turn at her “we are all divided” speech . By some camera technique she appeared almost misty and distant like Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in that Sky Wars scene when their ghosts appeared momentarily showing that Old Jedi never die,they just fade away. One half expected R2-D2 bleeping, mewing and rolling into shot with some mistletoe and attempting a robotic kiss. But instead Archbishop Welby popped up banging on about “many divisions”. They should get out to the pub more. We in the UK have never ever been so united since we stood together in the Second World War.Our Olympic victories alone showed us just how good we are.

    Then our TV showed a senior UK official in Cuba standing and saying on the renewed prospect of more trade with Cuba. “Well, sigh, Cuba is a small market for us, only eleven million people…” Strewth! 11,000,000! Twice the size of Scotland. A sixth of the size of the UK as a whole and our diplomatic corp think Cuba is “a small market”. Well I wish each of the eleven million Cubans each day would walk into my shop and buy a box of matches to light their cigars.

    The UK elite needs to cheer up, stop wishing division where division does not exist, and be rather more positive than the constipated way they have conducted our affairs up to now.

  40. John
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Support that farm shop
    Support that Butcher
    If inland, try ordering online for seafood for your freezer from a UK harbour based monger.
    Support the JohnLewis and Waitrose, M&S and Tesco rather than Lidl and Aldi. I thought it was discraceful of that Labour MP who ran a Christmas campaign against UK companies that paid better than the Lidle and Aldi’s of this world. Stand to be corrected though.

    Tastes better when it’s locally produced!

  41. Bob
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    So we’re coming to the end of another accounting period with the DfID desparately trying to find ways to shovel another £2 billion out of the door before the deadline; to comply with the law introduced by Dumb & Dumber under the coalition government.

    Meantime in Britain:
    – state education suffers from lack of funding/ tuition fees increasing
    – 3 week waits for a GP appointment
    – old folk dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes
    – crumbling transportation infrastructure
    – police and armed forces cut to the bone
    – council tax increases to fund elderly care
    – stealthy withdrawal of state pensions
    – early release of dangerous criminals due to prison overcrowding

    Welcome to Tory La La Land!

  42. Bwiton
    Posted January 1, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I tried Commentor Ed Mahony’s link to a Buy British website but it would not work. So I tried other similar ones. To be honest, a lot of junk on sale. Trinkets, souvenirs, and bric-a-brac with links to now non-existent businesses and websites.
    It can become tedious going to such places as Bronteland and I’m not singling it out, with say a hundred sales points such as “Ye Viry Auld-Olde Shoppe” selling olde-worlde junk made in China or India.
    Months ago I wanted a really good pair of hiking boots with most , the best excellent ankle support ( I know a little about walking ). I spent whole evenings on the internet searching. Posh looking websites with arrogant-faced models looking swish, rich, cool with that traditional flat-cap for huntin’shootin’ n fishin’ did not fool me. Yeah pay £50 more for a coalminer’s flat cap and look arrogant carrying a shot gun to justify the price.
    Well, all told, it is hard to buy truly British made stuff…If you probe deeply, many hiking boots are imported and rebranded. and to be honest despite accompanying videos explaining what a good hiking boot means..are nonsense. Customer Reviews on internet buying sites reveal the slipshod work of noble sounding brands accompanied by even more noble prices.
    There should be some form of British standard mark…a true one..which guarantees the Britishness of the product or the CEO is hanged, racked, drawn and quartered and his children sold into slavery. Like the good ole days. Firm but fair!

  43. B Lane
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:41 am | Permalink
  44. R.De Witt Jansen
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Buying British: many, many, many years ago it was reported that the CEO of Nissan UK at the time had said ” our plants in Japan cannot match the build quality of our cars coming off the line from our Plant in the North East of England”. Firstly he would never have been able to say that without ”clearance & authorization” from Japan; secondly it was at time when home- based Japanese quality was the envy of the world as was “‘Just in Time”‘ if you remember that one. As I understand it Japan upped their game but the NE led them to it. Also in those days (well before it actually) I believe the (British) Team that designed Datsun thence Nissan’s Vehicles worked out of a small office in Worthing. Back in the day (that’s the modern phrase isn’t it) I believe and am very prepared to stand corrected on this one – GM Detroit and Ford also had (British) Teams of veh…icle Designers working out of Offices in the UK. Some will think me misguided and am arrogant enough not to care – irrespective of whether the Company is Foreign owned if the product is produced/built here -it’s British and I am proud to buy it. However if Dutch cheese is of better quality and taste than that we produce in the UK I’ll buy it but it isn’t so I don’t. Endeavour to support our local economy first where it is practicable is all that is meant. Buy British/Made in Wales/the Little Lion and others were all slogans in use well before we woke up to find ourselves shackled to a Foreign Adventure however because we joined the Club it would appear that it is not PC to suggest that we support “‘our own”‘. Some even suggest here that some of what we produce is inferior and indeed it might be BUT that is also true of every Country worldwide.

  45. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    2017 is a critical year for the current political party system especially if the will of the people on June 23 is not delivered. I am not optimistic.

    “Ordinary people” have for years been saying much foreign aid is wasted, there is significant corruption, we cannot afford 0.7% and charity begins at home. Part of the problem is having a dedicated department which inevitably has a built in self justification and motivation to spend. DFID should be abolished, FO, Education and Business ministries should administer the funds for three specific areas: Disaster relief, education development and business projects overseas and without any outside organisations being involved e.g. UN.

  46. John B
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    “…the main tasks of government should be to get the balance of payments deficit down…”

    Do you mean trade deficit perhaps… there can be no such thing as a balance of payments deficit?

    The “balance of payments” balances, as the name implies; like a company balance sheet balances. The balance of payments is about transactions not actual payments, and includes a current account and a capital account.

    A current account (goods, services, investment income, current transfers) deficit has to be financed by a net inflow in the capital and financial account to give a net zero figure: it balances.

    Similarly a current account surplus corresponds to an outflow in the capital and financial account to give net zero: it balances.

    Trade – voluntary exchange -is between citizens whether in the next town or next Country. For trade to take place both parties must come out of the exchange better off than when we went into it.

    We get richer by consumption not production: reduced trade deficit means we are consuming less, getting poorer, and their is less inflow of capital.

    Production, jobs, exports are a cost not a benefit.

    We support ourselves, not UK producers. Only if they produce goods better or cheaper than we can obtain elsewhere should we buy from them.

    Nobody I know ‘shops around’ for a TV, car, fridge to check prices so they can pay the highest to ‘support’ a particular producer.

    The fact we can and do buy from abroad ensures the competition which makes UK producers innovate, reduce costs or go out of business to release resources to be used by other producers who can compete.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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