Buying things from the EU

We are still waiting to learn if the rest of the EU wants to impose tariffs on all their many agricultural exports to us, and on the  cars they send us. Most of the things we export to them are tariff free under WTO rules or would be subject to very low tariffs. All services are tariff free, the things like aerospace parts and planes are tariff free.  The EU  sell us so much more of the limited number of items that do attract serious tariffs under WTO schedules.

I would like to reassure people who are worried about this. If by any chance the rest of the EU does turn down our offer of tariff free trade in an unlikely fit of self harm, we can find plenty of cheaper and better substitutes.

You do not have to buy German or French cars.   There is now a good choice of models, prices and specifications available from a range of UK car factories. If the EU wants tariffs on cars I would recommend the factory owners increase their UK capacity, as we will be wanting more home produced vehicles.

A visit to one of England’s vineyards  taught me that England makes some good white wines.  There are plenty of good  Australian and Californian reds as well as English.

There are many great English cheese, so you don’t need to buy French. There is such an abundance of choice.  Our dairy industry was held back and made smaller by EU policy, with a long period of restrictive quotas. It needs more domestic demand for higher value added products.

Our supermarkets do rely on a lot of continental fresh produce, but there are other possible sources at home and abroad outside the EU which would be more attractive if they go for the EU tariff option. The UK could remove tariffs on rest of the world food where they produce things we cannot produce here which would  bring those prices down.

In a world of oversupply, with low rates of world inflation, being the customer has its advantages. All the time we remain in the EU we have to impose high tariff barriers on food from the rest of the world. Out of the EU we can cut or remove tariffs, and can bargain for a better deal for our exporters at the same time. The EU would be silly to make it dearer and more difficult for us to buy their products, when there is plenty of choice elsewhere.



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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Mrs. May has clearly made our exit from the EU the main issue of the election. I believe many people are not yet comfortable with a ‘no free trade deal’ with the EU nations. May I suggest you make this your bailiwick for the party? A concise presentation for the attention-span challenged media with just the key macro figures, and then useful to the household budget, will be a great help.

    PS, don’t bash the French too much, they may be joining us soon!

    • Hope
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      JR, as normal you sensibly put forward the alternatives. This is not advanced in cabinet, civil service or public service circles. The procurement power would be huge. Why is Javid not promoting British? A career politician as we saw in the referendum. No right minded person should vote for him, Fallon, Hammond or the awful Rudd after their speeches and actions last year. Do not believe the polls this is not going to be clear cut. May gave this second referendum do not be surprised it will be used as such.

      Only a token few conservatives in cabinet despite the overwhelming referendum result! Most on this site would wish you chancellor. However, May is a remaining liberal. Imposed gay marriage, imposed mayors, imposed state intervention in everything. Today we read she will continue with the idiotic overseas aid spending. Hammond will impose more taxes upon us! If correct your party lost all opportunity of getting my vote. In my area we have a swing seat: a remaining Tory MP who voted contrary to constituent wishes or Lib Dumbs. I am minded to go with the Dumbs.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink


  2. Len Grinds
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Readers need to grasp they are not being told the truth by Mr Redwood. The EU may not offer the UK tariff-free trade unless it makes the same offer to the rest of the world – which it certainly will not do. This is straightforward WTO law.

    Reply They can if registered as an FTA

    • Helen
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Cannot be done in 2 years, as David Davis has said

      • David Price
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Of course it can be done since we already have that relationship and applicable practices and will transcribe EU laws straight on to our statute books.

        The issue is that the EU do not wish it to be done.

      • Bob
        Posted April 22, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        He never said that. You’re mixing up negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement with registering an existing one.

        • P2017
          Posted April 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          How do we register the current arrangement when we are leaving it in this fantasy scenario?

    • John Probert
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The point that Mr Redwood makes is that we should support
      our Own Market which will strengthen our economy

      What the EU decide is out of our control

      Mr Redwood is correct

      • Richard
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        It is economically absurd to want to trade in a market of 60 million instead of one of 600 million

        • anon
          Posted April 23, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          Trade lots of individuals buying and selling things. Things like quality , price, form , function make a difference.

          The size of the market is relevant if it effects one of the above.

          PS The World Market is larger than 600 million, particularly when the UK and France leave. Anyway on balance we buy more from the EU than we sell.

          So i suppose we may be need to consider buying elsewhere…isnt that the point of leaving more choice?

    • Mr Rob Drummond
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      To Len Grinds

      If your assertion is that The EU cannot enter into an FTA with the UK outside WTO Rules – can you explain how they have just agreed an FTA for 98% of trade between the EU and Canada?

      • Richard
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Took ten years

    • ralphmalph
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Also under WTO rules we can offer poor countries (main produce agriculture) tariff free trade without having to have to offer it to WTO developed countries.

      Trade not aid as they say.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Len Grinds

      So what you are saying is that the EU single market isnt tarriff free and is therefore not a single market unless of course the EU is breaking WTO rules

      In which case why are you so keen to be in it?

      Oh and youre wrong about WTO rules bilateral Free Trade Agreements are perfectly fine under WTO rulesperfectly fine under

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. I have been looking into this as the MFN rules are somewhat obscure, although they sound simple at first. There are many exceptions to the basic rule you stated correctly. The point is whether there is a change to the status quo and whether that change lowers or raises barriers to trade.
      The question the WTO would ask is why the EU wishes to impose new barriers to trade where none existed before.
      The EU is a customs union. Like all customs unions it is one of the recognised exceptions to MFN rules. It is allowed to impose common external tariffs only because within it there is free trade, which was an improvement on the situation before the Common Market/EEC.
      Ergo, maintaining free trade with UK would not be breaching MFN rules.
      Similarly, UK could adopt the EU’s common external tariffs as national tariffs whilst maintaining free trade with the EU because it would not be a change to the status quo as far as world trade is concerned. However, UK would probably intend to lower its barriers, such as the EU’s tariffs, rather than maintain them, an intention which would meet with the approval of the WTO.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        You say that “the question the WTO would ask is why the EU wishes to impose new barriers to trade where none existed before”, but this is a misunderstanding on your part. When the UK leaves the EU, it becomes a third country. It is then subject to the normal rules that the EU applies to third countries. There are no new barriers to trade, only the normally applicable EU rules.
        A tariff-free deal with the UK alone is not permitted under WTO law (unless it is accompanied by an EU-UK FTA, which all parties involve recognise will take many years to hammer out, given that the UK is refusing to accept important parts of the current deal such as free movement of people and the place of the Court of Justice)

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink


    The EU would indeed be very silly to make it dearer and more difficult for us to buy their products, but then the EU do have a habit of being very silly. Just look at their energy agenda, CAP, their (drop the dead fish back) fishing policy, the ERM, the EURO, their landfill policies, their climate alarmism, the food mountains and milk quotas, their central control of everything, their endless damaging interference in free markets ………

    Outside the EU we can deregulate, go for cheap energy, have sensible simple lower taxes and employment laws too – if we can get T May to finally grow up a bit and not build on EU employment “rights”.
    I am delighted to see that the probate IHT tax II is now to be dropped due to the election. It was an outrage to rat on the IHT £1m threshold each promise and then introduce an underhand second IHT probate tax.

    There should not be any IHT at all. The Canandian system of just the normal CGT on death seems far more sensible and encourages the wealthy, hard working and job creators to live and stay in the UK and create wealth. The USA has about $10,000,000 free of tax for a couple and far lower rate too, we still have the derisory £325K each.

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Of course all this depends on what deal is negotiated. And personally, I do not think we will get a good deal. Yes there will be a good deal for large corp orates as they can lobby hard for their interests, and they do, but also those who rely on the endless supply of cheap labour.

    I still maintain that we will be sold out. We will leave the EU only to sign back up to many of its policies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Well if they want a good deal for them, they will have to offer a good deal for us they export more to us after all. No deal is certainly better than a bad deal. Business will always find way round any absurd obstacles the EU choose to harm trade with, using other EU companies/subsidiaries or similar.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Sad to say, that is what Mrs May did with the opt outs we had while Home Sec – including the notorious EAW.

  5. am
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Buying goods from the eu doesn’t even have the advantage of near production. Jets easily transport fresh veg and fruit from East Africa and elsewhere picked a few days before to arrive fresh in the UK.
    But I do think the UK farming community needs to sit down any work out their way forward. Especially small holders with less than 200 acres. Subsidies should continue for them but be phased out. Large landholders should get no subsidies at all.

  6. NA
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    I could easily do without EU products, no problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      So could I. Though I do rather like the odd good claret, palma ham & parmesan but if alternatives have to be found! I rather like holidays in Italy and France too but I cannot see them stopping me doing that either.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        @LL agreed, my company does 75% of its business with companies within the EU.

        This will continue, I have no doubt about that…may be a bit of extra paperwork, not rocket science…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink


          Just get the government out of the way and we will be just fine.

    • agricola
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      As I live in the EU I am not so sure I could. One great distinction between UK and EU supermarkets is the lack of choice the EU ones offer. I cannot for instance walk into Carrefore and get a selection of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Spanish wine is excellent but beyond it there is little choice. I do have the advantage of being able to buy tomatoes of great flavour even if they are not perfectly round. The fish counters are enormous and contain UK clams that I find unavailable in the UK. They contain just about every other fish you can think of as well.

      Your comment suggests you are the perfect candidate for the school dinners I suffered.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, I can’t think of a single product that I couldn’t get elsewhere at a cheaper price – which I’ve started to do. I’ve had my Mercedes for a while and will be looking to change it but not before tariffs are agreed. I assume that if MB (Germany) impose tariffs, then UK dealers will have no other choice than to offer deals to mitigate this. I wouldn’t have any problem at all in buying British (although I would prefer the Mustang 5.0 that was parked up at my golf course t’other day!!!)

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        @Nigel A friend of ours always drove the X5 BMW and swore by it. However, we met up recently and he is driving the Range Rover now and said he would never go back to a BMW. The Range Rover is far superior. Just saying!

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Yes, your list of the other day of the existing massive tariffs on food imports into the EU was quite an eye-opener, that was the only place I’d ever seen it reported.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Tariffs are not the problem – only.
    The real problem is that EU trade, is carefully organised on a computer system. The rules are that if things go correctly through the system, then everything runs smoothly through customs. Materials and goods and people set out from an approved point and travel through the EU customs barriers without even a check providing the paperwork and the computer say “YES”.
    On 29th March 2019, the computer system will simply cease to work for us because we will be a “third country” and all our goods will have to go through an approved point. Calais will be out of the question (Eurostar) because the nearest approved point will be Dunkirk. In Northern Ireland, everything will have to travel to Shannon for checking.
    Tariffs are a tiny part of the problem.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find UKG is aware of the possibility and is actively seeking a solution. It is just business as usual as it is for every other country in the world.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    On the probate tax, why on earth have the Tories not yet ruled out any return of this appalling back door tax, post the election having now discarded it? They should also make very clear that, at the very least, that a new Tory government will introduce the £1M IHT threshold each (as promised by Osborne many years back) but then cheated on.

    T May should make it very clear that manifesto promises under her will no longer just be a blatant collection of cast iron lies, cons and deceptions in the Cameron/Osborne mode.

    Things just to be discarded the day after the election. She should however discard herself of Philip Hammond on 9th June. We need someone who actually believes that lower, simpler taxes, deregulation and far less government spending & waste is the way to go. Hammond clearly does not think this at all.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, double taxation probate tax + IHT is just not on, cancel it completely.

  10. formula57
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    “If by any chance the rest of the EU does turn down our offer of tariff free trade in an unlikely fit of self harm, we can find plenty of cheaper and better substitutes” – and probably would serve ourselves well if we sought out those cheaper and better substitutes anyway?

    We have to be ready for the EU to self-harm – it is what evil empires be like.

  11. Martin
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    What you keep forgetting is that is costs more in transport costs to trade with all these far away places. For business the cost of sending staff to say Australia is sky high compared to the near continent once travelling time and jet lag are added in.

    Not for nothing do most countries trade most with their neighbours.

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Chinese trade with us (and the rest of Europe) is immense. They are not close.

      Britain once traded more with the Commonwealth and the USA than Europe. Not close neighbours. Both sea and air transport is now relatively much cheaper and more efficient than it was then, it will be just a matter of adjustment.

  12. APL
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    JR: “We are still waiting to learn if the rest of the EU wants to impose tariffs on all their many agricultural exports to us, and on the cars they send us.

    Why would the EU wish to penalize its own trade exports?

    On my cursory reading of the WTO list of exemptions on grounds of Health and Safety. The EU regulatory regime ‘REACH’ is a health and safety regime, we have agreed as much as it sits in the UK governmental hierarchy under the Health and Safety executive.

    You can hardly say that goods exported to the EU are approved for export under the auspices of the REACH regulatory regime existing on the 28 March 2019 but on the 1 April 2019 the EU is engaging in unfair trade practices because the UK have withdrawn from the REACH regulatory regime, and thus goods manufactured in the UK no longer are automatically certified safe for import to the EU.

    They are not engaging in unfair trade practices, they are ensuring consumer safety in the EU. Thus the WTO would have nothing to say on the matter.

    “Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows governments to act on trade in order to protect human, animal or plant life or health, provided they do not discriminate or use this as disguised protectionism.

    The EU wouldn’t be singling out the UK on the grounds of protectionism, because it will be treating the UK like any other third country.

    No case to answer at the WTO!

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I suppose the fear some have is the non-tariff barriers, e.g checking regulations and standards are met before entry. This could easily not be a problem, but could also easily be made one. I think negotiations have to ensure the chance of this becoming problematic is reduced, sadly there is now unnecessary uncertainty until at least June on the UK’s position and ability.

    • P2017
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      It is definite to be a problem if we follow the insanity of Redwood’s ‘walk away’ option.

  14. eeyore
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    According to the FT, the EU plans to make “hardline” demands in negotiations. Will those who loudly condemn a “hard Brexit” now condemn the EU? Or are hard positions fine so long as you aren’t British?

    • Julien Tabulazero
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Leave means Leave. The EU understands that and takes it seriously. Why the anger ?

    • Oggy
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Personally I would prefer no deal at all than continuing our subservience to the EU. The EU is obviously wanting to still ‘pull our strings’ after we have left – I would rather the UK walk away than accept this. Better to be poor master than a rich servant as Michael Caine said.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Apparently so. But then we have a significant minority who would rather grovell to the EU than support their own country.

  15. Ed Mahony
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    ‘We are still waiting to learn if the rest of the EU wants to impose tariffs on all their many agricultural exports to us, and on the cars they send us’

    – Yes, definitely. Absolutely. Although they will lose out (they’ve already been clear about this), it’ll be cheaper for them in the long-run to try and preserve the EU rather than give the UK, what the UK thinks, a good deal. Such a deal could lead to other countries wanting to leave the EU and so the break-up of the EU at much higher cost to countries such as Germany, France and others.

    At end of day, it will be the economy, with 40% exports to the EU, that will ultimately be calling the shots – ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ ( James Carville /Bill Clinton).

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      The question the WTO would ask is why the EU wishes to impose new barriers to trade where none existed before.
      The EU is a customs union. Like all customs unions it is one of the recognised exceptions to MFN rules. It is allowed to impose common external tariffs only because within it there is free trade, which was an improvement on the situation before the Common Market/EEC.
      Imposing barriers to trade with UK would be regarded as a retrograde step by the WTO.

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The so called single market is a protectionist con.
    It has been used to close down many businesses in Britain and other countries to the advantage of France and Germany.
    We have to impose high tarrifs on tropical fruits other than what’s produced in southern Europe which limits choice and quality and harms developing countries.
    It is essential that we leave the single market and customs union to regain independence. Anything less will be a cop out by the government.
    The people are well informed.

  17. Richard1
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    What would be the process for the U.K. & the EU to simply register the current zero tariff regime as a trade deal at the WTO (clearly the sensible solution) – and would all EU parliaments need to agree it or could the EU as a whole just do it?

    • Helen
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Not allowed unless it covers non tariff barriers too.
      Mrs May has said she does not want this

    • acorn
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      EU member states delegate trade agreements to the EU Commission. On leaving the EU, circa March 2019, the UK becomes a “third country” in EU Treaty terms.

      The EU Parliament has decreed that a post Brexit transition agreement should be no longer than 3 years after March 2019. That takes us to 2022. Hence, a UK General Election (GE) now, makes sense, putting the next UK GE, just after the exit from the transition period. Assuming, the five year parliament thing hasn’t been jettisoned meanwhile.

      A “bilateral” trade agreement between the UK and the EU, will have supremacy over “multilateral”, bog standard, WTO terms. The snag is, the other circa 136 WTO Sovereign States, will want to know why the UK got terms with the EU, that they didn’t get with the EU, when they have exactly the same “third country” status as Brexitania.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The world is worried about Greece going off a cliff. It is in no-one’s interest that Britain does either.

    BBC’s Countryfile should be more upbeat about our farmers. None will do better if Brexit is as bad as the BBC says it’s going to be.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous; “BBC’s Countryfile should be more upbeat about our farmers.”

      Well first Countryfile, and in some ways Farming Today also, would need to be about farming and not those who just wear green Wellington boots as a life-style statement or think that farmers have to be told that they need to care for the environment!

      • acorn
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the £3.8 billion of EU payments to UK farmers, that come back from our gross contribution to the EU. Mrs May will have to pay that directly from her Treasury; or, will she?

        (There is another £6.3 billion she will have to pay out to replace EU spending in the UK; but, she may choose not to.)

        Remember that UK import tariffs will be applied, post Brexit, to protect UK domestic producers, particularly in the agri-food industry. UK households agree, via a ballot box, to pay higher prices for food, to protect the employment of fellow citizens and the environment.

        It’s called a socio-economic system. Redwoodians all know that Thatcher said there is no such thing as a society; so, no such thing as a socio-economic system.

  19. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The buy British theme always should and have been first when dealing with national contracts anything funded by the government if they want the money they play by the rules. British jobs for British products.

    Hopefully in this election we will get candidates to stand up to the remoaners especially the Millers and Farron of this world by asking the basic question, apart from access to large markets we do not get business from, how much will it cost us to stay in and stand still and progress not one jot?

  20. Jerry
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “There is now a good choice of models, prices and specifications available from a range of UK car factories.”

    Except that most use a substantial quantity of components sourced from EU27 manufactures!

    Of course we could always import RHD GM’s and Ford’s from the USA, or Holden’s from AUS for example, if either we change our C&U regulations or persuade them to invest in tooling up for our market and regulations.

    Food imports will also need to comply with our regulations, or we will have to (perhaps) weaken our food standards, for example I have no problem with USA food regulations but many do.

    I’m not disagreeing with your fundamental point, I’m just pointing out that is is not going to be as simple as you imply. At least Mrs May understand this, hence why she think she will need an extra two years post Brexit before the next election…

  21. rose
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    You forgot Chilean wine – which attracted a 32% tariff against it by the EU, presumably because it is so much better than French.

    • George
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      This is totally untrue, I’m afraid.

      Trade between the EU and Chile has, since 2002, been subject to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which eliminates tariffs on wine imports. Which is to say: red and white wine from Chile is tariff free, and has been for fifteen years.

      The 32% figure which (people ed) like Dan Hannan (even MEPs don’t understand the complexity of the thing they’re trying to quickly dismantle for no good reason) purport comes from a misunderstanding of the import duty levied on sparkling wines from the new world, which is 32% per 100 litres. Given a typical bottle of sparkling wine is 750ml, that amounts to about 24 cents per bottle.

      This is the sort of nonsense “fact” which illustrates just why a decision to leave the EU should not have been left up to a plebiscite: the complexities of trade tariffs and economic markets are not comprehensible to the average person. Frankly, it’s also evidence of a completely dysfunctional palette for wines, if you believe an average Chilean red is superior to an average French.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        A very good post, George. The nonsense about 32% tariff was a lie spread by D Hannan, quickly shown to be utterly false – and yet, like a zombie, it keeps appearing on right wing echo chambers like this one as if it fact! Fake news indeed….

        • hefner
          Posted April 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          And by the way, Chilean wines, when they are available in France (not everywhere I admit) are cheaper than in the UK. So I think it does not have much to do with the EU, much more with the greed of some UK distributors and/or the UK retail tax on those wines.
          I would love to have a proper explanation for this.

          • rose
            Posted April 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            Thank you all.

            I think, however, that George may be missing the bigger picture: Lord Ashcroft’s post-Brexit polling shows most people voted for independence over foreign rule. That was not a difficult question for a country which had been independent for about a thousand years. They were not voting with their shopping baskets in mind.

            And I was thinking of average Chilean whites, not reds. With the exception of the odd white Burgundy I stand by that judgement.

          • rose
            Posted April 23, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            PS I looked up the tariff myself: I didn’t get it from Mr Hannan.

  22. Andrea Dehant
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you for such a clear and positive statement.

    It love this country, I have complete faith in our strength and resilience. It is reassuring that John Redwood, you take so much time and effort to help the uninformed and those lacking the insight into what we are truly capable of.

    I lived in the French Alps for 20 years, no one should leave in fear of police states and corrupt governments. They have lost. Their back bones and have to become hypocrites in order to combat political correctness. People will always think what they truly believe and see, don’t let the brainwashed, greedy, robbing elitists dictate to us.

    We can go alone, what we have now and are almost losing is unthinkable.

    Thank you John Redwood,

  23. Bert Young
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The EU is both faulty and silly so I will not be surprised if they shoot themselves in the foot – those that know little about armament can easily make this mistake !.

    English White Wines – well , if they continue to be as expensive as they are now , I would not rate them highly in a competitive market place . John does not mention Tourism and the extent of the spend we Brits make each year on our holidays in EU countries . Travelling further afield to satisfy our quest for sunshine is more expensive . I doubt there will be much change in our annual choice of locations .

    I would love to think that we could cut ourselves out of EU product spend altogether , but this will not happen .

  24. agricola
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    You are quite correct in what you say. The EU in terms of agriculture is very protectionist. This maybe a good thing in some respects but overall it is bad and forces high prices on the shoppers. You need look no further than the size of the farming vote in France to understand why the CAP was conceived the way it is, and why they could never come to a trade agreement with the USA.

    Realise that switching sources is not that simple. Those sources are already geared to the markets they have and cannot double up overnight. The USA is the most likely alternative source that can. Longer term, East and West Africa could be developed but I suspect we would need to put in a lot of development time from our end to achieve this. Personally I like this because trade is better than Overseas Aid. Aid creates a dependency culture.

    You will need to think about how you prevent the supermarkets thinking it is another large profit opportunity at the expense of the shopper. For example yesterday I bought 2.0 Kg of 6-7 inch long prawns, that’s at least 4.0 inches of body flesh, for Eu 19.0. That’s about £16.00 in real money. In the supermarket I used to use in Worcestershire, 2.0 inch long ones were never less than £22.0 per Kilo. Either the supermarkets do not know how or where to buy prawns or they prefer to rip us off.

    Do all your homework on trade agreements, alternative sources, and development from now on in so that we are ready to go in two years time. Make sure the EU negotiators are aware of this just to concentrate their minds. The basic problem with this negotiation is that those doing it on the EU side are doing so for a political concept with little real responsibility. It will be interesting to see how much EU national governments, industrialists and their agricultural industry can influence the outcome. It is their industries and workers who will suffer. I do not want to see the Spanish market garden industry suffer any more than it is suffering already.

    • agricola
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Chop Chop.

  25. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    However, don’t forget to buy your wife her weekly bouquet of beautiful Dutch flowers, whatever the price will be, because that is what true love requires! 🙂 🙂
    . . . and she won’t settle for less!!

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Better hope that the EU’s past predictions (and yours) turn out to be the nonsense we all thought they were then PVL. If not we will all be too poor for such fripperies. Flowers grow in Britain too.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        And there are tulips everywhere this year!

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Well PvL, I would say to you what I would say to Danish fishermen or Polish plumbers. Get organised. Put pressure on YOUR government to offer the UK a deal it can live with.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        @backofanenvelope: Today, Danish Dutch and Irish governments came together in The Hague – all three have the intention to push for a reasonable continuation of trade links with the UK.
        As I have argued before: there always will be trade.

        • APL
          Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          PvL: “As I have argued before: there always will be trade.”

          And there nearly always has been trade.

          The Hanseatic League for example, was a successful trading alliance. Existing oddly, some years before the EU 🙂

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Ha ha !

    • Mr Rob Drummond
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      We would love to keep buying Dutch flowers tariff free – maybe you should lobby your own Government on my wifes behalf – please!

      If not we will have to import them from elsewhere.

      • APL
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        Mr Rob Drummond: “If not we will have to import them from elsewhere.”

        Some entrepreneurial individual could run his own hot houses and grow them in the UK.

        No disrespect to the Dutch, but they no longer have a monopoly on tulip bulbs.

        I think we would be better lobbying our own government to remove the excessive excise duty on industrial energy, so our domestic producers can compete.

    • Little Englander
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Actually the Lady loves…… Milk Tray.
      Welcome back PVL

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Me too, I like cadbury 🙂

    • Mark B
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink


      But we will buy them from whoever offers us the best price. If that is Dutch growers, that’s fine by me. If not ? Too bad, you should have offered CMD a better deal. 🙂

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I thought your department had shifted its focus to France and Italy now there is a good chance they may be packing their bags.
      Brexit is a done deal because we the voters said so.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Lower tariffs to African counties, which Brexit will allow, will make them cheaper for us Brits to purchase than Dutch ones.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Interesting point that you raise Antisthenes: Please do import them in future from e.g. Kenya, where Dutch flower growers have assisted in setting up many Kenyan flower growers. Instead of routing these flowers through flower auctions in Holland they could be sold directly into the UK. The Dutch will still earn money by helping the Kenyan horticulture sector with knowledge, experience and e.g. seed development.

        • Antisthenes
          Posted April 23, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          So Brexit is a win win for both Holland and the UK. We can source cheaper flowers from Kenya and you can profit from selling your expertise to the growers there. Another benefit of Brexit to be added to a very long list. Sorry Holland will lose out on direct sales but that is the price you pay for being in the EU.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Hello Peter I have two years to become self sufficient and grow my own. True love demands sacrifice.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders: That may be doable for flowers, but I also have some Gouda cheese on offer 🙂

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I shall pick far nicer and actually perfumed flowers from my garden.

    • pragmatist
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Kenya’s flowers to the EU are a massive 1 in 3 of all flowers sold in the EU. Maybe the UK could do a deal of coffee too.

  26. Duncan
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    Please read this from the Guardian.

    ‘Brexit: leaked documents say EU wants Britain kept under European courts

    Tough draft negotiating documents demand UK meet billions in budget commitments and protect rights of Europeans citizens’

    This is completely unacceptable. I did not vote ‘Leave’ for this appalling abuse of the UK. It is important that you shout from every rooftop the message that the UK is leaving the EU in its entirety and we are taking back absolute control of all UK matters, no ifs, no buts

    If the PM reneges and capitulates she will go down in history as the PM who sold the UK down the river and you will see mass demonstrations.

    We want our country back. We want independence

    • George
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      > she will go down in history as the PM who sold the UK down the river and you will see mass demonstrations.

      Half of the country already thinks this is the case, and has been demonstrating.

  27. Deborah Kennion
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Yes you are quite correct John, there are other choices to spend our money on, other than goods from Europe. I have been buying Cornish brie and camembert for a number of years. When ripe, it is as tasty as the French equivalent.
    I will also comment here, rapeseed oil is a very good alternative to olive oil too……
    I hasten to add I have been buying English wines and ‘New World’ wines since the nineties. No complaints.

  28. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    It is either funny or sad: Brexit seen from the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative party is akin to leaving a golf club. On the other hand, Brexit seen from the EU27 is perceived as an existential threat to the EU itself. Each side fail to understand the other. I doubt an agreement will be easy to reach given the divergence of outlook.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      The golf club analogy comes from Remain. “You can’t leave a club and expect to use the facilities.”

      Yes. If we succeed outside the EU then it becomes an existential threat. Why ?

      Because there is probably a near 50% disatisfaction rate among the populace in the most influential of those 27 nations. It would not do to see that there is an escape.

      Holland has done the equivalent of Britain voting 80 BNP MPs into office. France has an outside chance of voting in the equivalent of a British BNP government !

      In Britain the BNP never even made it past first base – several thousand supporters at most. (In no way is UKIP the BNP btw.)

      Please stop the insinuations that we are small minded. The EU was constructed to deal with the Contintal’s tendency to vote extremists into power from time to time. In Britain we’ve never done it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Article 50 was presumably only made available by the EU to give a process for exit. Hardly a member’s problem if the EU did no risk analysis.

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      And why is Britain’s departure perceived as an existential threat? One tenth of the EU population, not in the Eurozone, always an equivocal EU member and, if the noises coming out of the EU for the last year or so are to believed, not really capable of standing on its own feet.

      If the EU was a sound structure our leaving not present the slightest threat.

  29. Kenneth
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Africa is a good source of food.

    Trade not aid!

  30. Deborah Kennion
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    @PV Leeuwen
    Daffodils from Cornwall, just as cheering on the kitchen window sill.

  31. Bob
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    New Zealand wines are very nice, and after we sign out free trade deal with them I suspect the prices will be more favourable (especially if the EU want to impose trade barriers).

  32. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sadly we don’t have many English products made by English owned businesses. Just how many of our sucessful ones were sold off to foreign buyers for the profit of City spivs and their friends.

    If governments and their advisors had thought thought long-term and not sold out as a policy so readily we would be be making more of our own things.

    We seem to be left with only cheese and wine. Could our host provide a longer list of manufactures made owned and branded in England sometime?

    Reply There is a very long list of made and branded here which is what matters.

  33. Robert Christopher
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget rose wine, especially from Kent!

  34. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    PVL. There are some nice examples of flowers coming out of the poorer countries now in Africa. We always have a choice and don’t forget Jersey!!

  35. Prigger
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    We should work on the real assumption there will not be a good deal with the EU.
    Politically for a number of EU nations it is advantageous for them electorally on one hand to blame the EU for failing to get an agreement..leading to economic downturn and on the other hand to blame a foreign power such as the UK for its failing economy. It is a win win from the lose lose deal, for them.

  36. E.S Tablishment
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Opposition parties here are in tacit alliance with EU negotiators. They have an identical game-plan. Therefore the negotiations will drag out as they ( the EU ) and the LIb Dems, SNP and Labour feel time is on their side. Yes of course they do not care if our people suffer as a result. We are dealing with undemocratic uncaring people of little account.

  37. jack snell
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Its about time we calmed down.. theres a long way to go yet…. very likely we’ll end up in a fudge..we’ll be half in and half out.. we’ll have all the responsibilities of being in the EU and have to pay in the same amount or near enough without any of the benefits.. we won’t even have voting rights.. but we’ll have no more worries about migrants coming here because by that time tourists won’t even be bothered coming here.. the word has already gone out loud and clear.. England is not a very welcoming place to go to.. am I missing something?

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Yep. You’re missing the facts that if what you say were true there would be no reason to be calm, that tourists from around the world continue to flood here (you can’t move for them in central London), and that would be migrants are still queuing to enter this “unwelcoming” country, legally and illegally.

    • rose
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      If people are being given the wrong idea about the UK, it is because of the continuation of Project Fear. Project Fear is a remainiac organization. Remainiacs should stop running down their own country.

  38. Antisthenes
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The EU is more about protectionism than genuine free trade. The Single market may be tariff free for those who participate in it but is not free of regulations that are designed to act in a similar way as tariffs. Protecting producers in favoured member states like France and Germany by making it difficult for other members to bear the cost of Brussels imposed standards as their producers are starting from a less developed or alternative but unapproved position(by the self proclaimed arbiters. Brussels) .

    One of the most insidious aspects of the EU single market is the purported belief of the EU that it is committed to eradicating world poverty and helping to assist poorer nations to become wealthier. That is totally contradictory to the EU’s trade policies which are all aimed at doing the opposite. Imposing barriers to trade to these countries as the EU does with it’s protectionist policy of excluding their good and services with the use of high tariffs and multiple regulations nothing to aid that endeavour.

    In recent decades free market capitalism has vastly reduced world poverty. For that to continue and increase then the simple expediency of extending tariff free and regulation light trade everywhere in the world will be sufficient. Consumers rich and poor gain everywhere only inefficient producers need have any concern and that is not a problem as competition will ensure they become more efficient or be replaced by those that are.

  39. John B
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    “We are still waiting to learn if the rest of the EU wants to impose tariffs on all their many agricultural exports to us, and on the cars they send us.”

    Tariffs are imposed on IMPORTS by the IMPORTING Country. I know of no example where exporting Countries impose tariffs on their EXPORTS – perhaps you do? Why would any Country deliberately make its product more expensive and harm its own overseas sales?

    If imports to the UK were to carry tariffs, then these would be WTO tariffs imposed by the British Government at the expense of British citizens, in the same way that if there were to be tariffs on British goods into the EU, these would be imposed by EU Governments at the expense of their citizens.

    There is no reason why the UK cannot continue to import goods at zero tariff from the EU irrespective of any deal, or for that matter zero tariff from all Countries.

    It is called free trade.

    We get wealthier from what we consume, what we have that increases the utility of our lives, not by producing. Imports make us wealthier, not exports – exports are important to earn us foreign exchange to buy the imports.

    And by the way: currently the UK is obliged to make its citizens poorer because it is part of the EU Customs Union/(alleged) Single Market which means it HAS to charge WTO tariffs and apply non-tariff barriers on non-EU imports as specified by the EU.

    Once out of the EU, the UK can lift these tariffs/non-tariff barriers and make UK citizens better off.

    UK consumers will be net better off whatever ‘deal’ the British Government gets since the Government will not be obliged to impose any import restrictions irrespective of what the EU does. If they are worse of it will be because the Government makes them so.

    I am disappointed you do not understand this, although it seems you are in a majority!

    Reply I understand trade issues – the point is if they impose tariffs on our exports to them of course we will retaliate under WTO rules. We will collect more than twice as much tariff revenue on their products than they do on ours, which we can give back to UK consumers and businesses.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Reply I understand trade issues – the point is if they impose tariffs on our exports to them of course we will retaliate under WTO rules. We will collect more than twice as much tariff revenue on their products than they do on ours, which we can give back to UK consumers and businesses.

      I’m not so sure – Uk based business importing European goods will have to pay the duty. Also what about non tariff barriers ?.
      When/if the Uk becomes a ‘third country’ then we will have to demonstrate Eu conformity on all of our exports. It seems we have neither the computer systems or checking procedures infrastructure that will be ready in 2 years time.

  40. Robin Wilcox
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I’m already trying to buy British as i don’t like the threats the EU has been making over the last few months. My second choice is goods from outside of the EU. I only consider EU goods as a last resort.

    My car is due to be replaced soon. At the moment I drive a Peugeot. Soon I won’t be. In my wine rack i have some excellent value, good quality wines. None of them from EU countries.

  41. John Ashworth
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Right thesis, wrong argument.

    The UK motor, food and wine industries have had plenty of opportunity to win a greater share of domestic business but haven’t, because consumers want the range, diversity and quality offered from elsewhere. To appeal to people in this small ‘p’ protectionist way is self-evidently daft.

    Surely the argument in appealing for sensible, low/no tarifs is that the UK represents a large and liquid market … not that we’re going to bite off our noses to spite our face.

  42. Andy Marlot
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Indeed one might think that the best possible Brexit would be a hard one. In fact one would be right.

  43. Richard Butler
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Spanish growers are very concerned the UK could reduce energy tax on UK market gardening growers so that we could grow own peppers etc.

    ‘Brexit fears mount in Spain
    Maintaining the UK’s relationship with the single market is a top priority for Spanish fruit and vegetable exporters, according to Fepex.

    The Spanish exporter federation said concerns among its members over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union were rising.
    “Fepex considers it a priority to continue with a single market without borders between the EU and the UK’

    Belgians are worried;

    Flemish rally to avoid a hard Brexit
    Of Belgium’s exports to Britain, 87 percent come from this Dutch-speaking region. In total, 9 percent of Flemish exports head to the U.K.

    Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois insisted that Europe would need a “trade deal-plus” that would privilege British industry over other countries outside of the EU.

  44. Richard Butler
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Who here has a house piled high with goods and services that came under WTO rules? I do.

    I had no trouble buying American software services or Japanese Cameras.
    I use an American credit card – lots of us do. We drink American fizzy drinks, we eat their fast food, we have roads full of Korean and Japanese cars, shelves full of NZ wines and Chinese underpants.

    Again 97% of Chinese goods come straight of the good ship Taurus as Felixtowe, no delays, none of the doom scenarios dreamt up in idle minds come to pass, WTO is extremely advanced now.

    I have a link to the reality of imports at Felixtowe if anyone requires.

  45. Bob
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I read in the Guardian that your 2017 manifesto will remove the tax lock, the pension triple lock, but maintain the 0.7% foreign aid budget.

    I think they must have confused the tories with the Lib Dems.

    • Chris
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      It (the foreign aid commitment) is an absolute nonsense, and inexcusable in my view. I really question the sanity of those advocating this, in view of circumstances at home.

    • Chris
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      After scanning various comments sections online, it is clear that this foreign aid debacle will cost many votes. What on earth, or rather whos, is driving this policy? It defies logic, common sense, and much more.

    • Beecee
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Bob, save your money and stop buying the Guardian – just watch the BBC!

  46. Chad H
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    >>>You do not have to buy German or French cars. There is now a good choice of models, prices and specifications available from a range of UK car factories.

    Which are owned by the Japanese, or the Americans; and use parts built in EU factories?

    • pragmatist
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      It never was a good idea to be dependent on Europe or the EU to provide us with so much of our food. Apart from political considerations, European weather can sometimes be universally bad news for growers.

  47. George
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    “Our dairy industry was held back and made smaller by EU policy, with a long period of restrictive quotas. ” every farmer in the EU said that then the EU removed the quotas, it led to overproduction, prices fell and those farmers were crying for subsidies/help from the Eu to save them from bankruptcy (they had invested to increase production)

    • hefner
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      As proposed this Saturday (22/04) morning by Owen Paterson, “cancelling all subsidies after Brexit will make British farming as efficient as New Zealand’s one”.
      A perfect example of an idiotic comment by somebody not aware of (or able to see/understand) the differences between the UK and NZ in population number, population density, domestic and immediate regional (EU vs. Asia-Pacific) markets, currency strength and support, …
      If that is the best of what thinking Hard Brexiter Conservatives have to offer … please hmG!

  48. margaret
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Evoques are doing well in our area and Toyota ‘s factories always have a good market here.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      @ Margaret

      As are Discovery’s. Land Rover is going from strength to strength and I am not surprised because of the quality of their cars. I love them.

  49. behindthefrogs
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Many of the more common French cheeses are also made in the south west of England and are available in many supermarkets, where they are cheaper and of better quality.

  50. Simon
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    OT John
    The PM has called for MPs to send manifesto ideas in. So if you will permit me here is one of my hobby horses. Please explore, look into and research; BANNING all proprietary computer software eg (left out ed) from being used in any and all publicly funded organisations. It is hideously expensive, completely unnecessary, difficult to work with at network level and riddled with security issues. Many advanced Nations have binned it completely years ago. Go Open Source and Linux.

  51. Jane Ashby
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    This post has been ridiculed on the internet as it relates to buying home produced goods and services. I find such ridicule upsetting. Since we made the decision to leave the EU (I voted to remain, husband to leave but totally accept the result and want it to work well) I have consciously tried to purchase local goods even English wines. I do hope if everyone does the same that the cost will be reduced as they are more expensive. We have two VW cars which we change every three years. I have been looking at all the cars produced in the UK and will start buying them to maintain jobs in this country. I now look at country of origin on goods and wherever possible make sure they are made or produced in the UK. It is not always possible but I do make the effort.

    Wnen in France it is astonishing how many locally produced cars are on the roads and shops full of French produce. We will have to start saying to retailers that is what we want.

    We are an important market for Germany (all my cars, white goods, furniture etc, Spain all the produce we import as well as from France). I would be astonished if they placed their own economies at risk by punishing us with high tariffs. If they do, I hope the country will fight back and not buy their goods. I would even take a placard and stand outside my local supermarket – that is how strong I feel.

    The EU will miss the UK. We offer so much financially (that is what worries them) as well as intelligence etc etc. I want to cooperate with them but be most angry if they ganged up on us. They really do not know us well if they think we would accept this.

    A long way to go……I remain optimistic and in the meantime I am applying for an Irish passport.

  52. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Well, I cannot believe my ears. They have just said that Mrs May is not going to guarantee the pension rise of 2.5%, is going to keep giving the same amount to foreign aid and is not sure about taxes. Are the Conservative party losing their marbles?? This will not be popular. Giving out foreign aid when they are thinking of cutting pensions and when the social care in the UK is in one big mess. On Good Friday my mother had to sit in her bedclothes all day because her carer did not turn up. Only after a phone call did someone call but only to give her a microwaved dinner. My sister had to finish work and then go around to my mothers to wash and put her to bed. Am I happy that we are giving away so much to others?? NO, I am not. Not a great start to the Conservative campaign John.

  53. Christopher Hudson
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    South African and Australian wines are as good if not better than French wines. As with
    Most things French they’re living on their past reputation, which they’ve been doing for 200 years.

  54. Iain Gill
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I see Mrs May has promised to keep sending so called aid money abroad while our own poor are sleeping rough on street corners.

    I notice she has also promised to keep the immigration in the tens of thousands promise which she keeps breaking.

    Conservatives may be the least worst option but they are hardly inspiring.

  55. mickc
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the true Theresa May is revealed! No cut in foreign aid, rises in taxes, cuts in pensions…..
    Generosity with our money to other countries, or more accurately their corrupt rulers, but not to our own pensioners!
    I wondered how long it would be before an agenda of bash the voter was revealed. Not long, came the answer!

  56. Jack
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    What party will pledge to massively increase the budget deficit, and therefore cause GDP (Gross DOMESTIC Product) to surge? That’s who would help the British domestic economy boom.

  57. Tony
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Just ‘take back control’ of these negotiations by advising the EU their obstructive position has caused the UK to bring forward its leaving date, to the 1st of July 2017 after-which WTO rules will apply ro European countries and legal jurisdiction of the ECJ will terminate in the UK.

    Give them a 21 month period in which they can lodge any claim and supportive evidence for the UK to consider the merits after-which all non accepted claims will cease to apply.

    Divert imports /exports to non EU deep sea ports. Prepare to bring home British passport holders from countries in the eu and accept only European migrants who have rescinded citizenship of their own European country in favor of a full British passport.

    Let’s just get on with making on any trade shortfall with non EU countries and tighten up customs surveillance of the English Channel and East coast.

    Prepare to provide full military aid and assistance to Gibraltar and reintroduce a border in Northern Ireland.

    This is what Winston Churchill would have done – with menaces.

  58. Christopher Hudson
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Telegraph articles don’t get many comments, 7 comments here or there sometimes 80. Any piece about the foreign aid budget is always a winner though. An article in today’s Telegraph about Mrs Mays commitment is hitting 400 plus comments, every comment, “disgraceful”, “betrayal”, “where are the real Tories”, “vote UKIP”, “why do we give money away to foreign gangsters whilst at the same time increasing taxes”, etc etc etc

  59. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Just out of interest, a bottle of Chilean Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon is £8.95 in UK at and A$23.75 (£14) in Australia.

    I don’t see why sourcing wines from around the world would be a problem for UK.

    Incidentally many French vineyards have employed Australian winemakers in order to remain competitive. French wine – except Champagne – is generally over-rated. It relies on snobbery, a weakness in many English households which they are not slow to exploit.

  60. hefner
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    A lot of naff comments here: the UK only produces about 40% of the food it consumes. Whether it is obviously possible to decide not to import any food-related product from the EU27, I would like more detailed and quantitative information on how much extra we are going to pay to get the additional 60% from the RotW.

    • rose
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The important thing for the long term is to stop building on green fields. And therefore to stop importing millions of extra people.

  • 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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