This election is about the kind of country we want to be.

The UK General election is both about who should lead our country for the next five years, and what kind of a country we want to create. It is an unusually important election, because the UK has great opportunities now it is leaving the EU. We need to leave in a way which brings more people together in our country. That requires reassurance to all that we are leaving the EU, not Europe. None of us want to damage our economy. We are not out to undermine the many friendly and positive collaborations and friendships UK people and companies share with the continent. We do not wish to turn inward. More than ever the UK needs strong and stable leadership, to negotiate a decent future relationship with other EU member states. I want to see an outward looking, optimistic UK, engaged in the wider world and a pioneer of freer trade on a global basis.

As the official Brexit campaign argued, the UK will not use our departure to undermine the employee protections embedded in EU law. The Conservative leadership has stressed that all existing minimum standards and protections will be transferred into UK law. As governments of all persuasions have in the past, so a future Conservative government wishes to go further than the EU standards. As the Labour party also supports this approach that should be one fear of Brexit removed.

So far there has been no downturn as forecast by some in the Remain campaign who thought the act of voting for Brexit, or the sending of the letter, would bring on an early recession. There is no need for there to be so once we do leave, either. An important task for the new government will be to extend and improve the economic recovery. So far since the banking crash and slump of 2008-9, we have seen good job creation and moderate growth. Setting the right tax rates, allowing sensible levels of public spending to improve the NHS, schools and other crucial services, and creating a climate friendly to investment and enterprise is central to building on what has been achieved since 2010.

There is no such thing as hard or soft Brexit. Remaining a member of the single market is not on offer. Being in the customs Union would prevent us having better arrangements with the rest of the world. It is mightily in the interests of the other member states to have a free trade agreement with the UK, so that may well happen. If it does not in time for our exit, we will be able to trade with them under WTO rules as we do with the rest of the world at the moment.

As we come out we need to legislate for a new UK fishing policy kinder to both our fish and our fishermen. We need to set up a new system of agricultural support, that is sensitive to the UK rural landscape and helps promote more domestic food production. We can get rid of EU taxes we do not like.

I think in a few years time we will have more and better friendly contacts and partnerships with people and companies on the continent. Just as staying out the Euro allowed the City to be Europe’s major fund raising market, so being out of the EU will not impede more trade, investment, academic and cultural exchange. Our future relations will rest of the good will and commonsense of people on both sides of the Channel, not on the sometimes unhelpful words of a few EU officials.

Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    If we are to have a strong and stable government then we are going to need a PM that does not dither.

    I think Chairman May lost it when she signed us up to one of the two biggest White Elephant projects, Hinckley Point. Expensive energy for all.

    I have to say, given past form on certain Tory governments and the Chancellors sneaky tax rises I am not looking forward to the next 5 years.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      They all love their stealth taxes . The real genius of Labour’s student loans and tuition fees was that they cunningly got 18 year olds to pay their own unemployment benefit for 3 years (on tick) .

      There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in the Conservative rebuttal of the leaked Labour manifesto .

      A financial transaction tax could at least dampen high frequency (ro)bot(ic) trades of securities , though vested interests would argue it would reduce liquidity .

      Set at the right level it would have minimal effect on proper transactions .

      What really gets me is that the Conservatives have the gall to call Labour on a financial transaction tax after having themselves introduced the totally iniquitous insurance premium tax .

      Does the electorate really have that short a memory ?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        A financial transaction tax is a sure way to export jobs and raise a net negative sum.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          @LL; Nonsense. A financial transaction tax would only export the sort of non governmental non-jobs most industrialised counties manage to do without. The real issue is the level of any such tax is set at, as @ADS suggests.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink


            Once again displaying your total ignorance of all things finance, business & trade.

            For your information those dispensable “non jobs” in financial transactions are the very transactions we need most when we try to a) export b) predict future costs of raw material c ) deal with fluctuating currency exchange and commodity prices.

            NO industrialised country can do without them !

          • Jerry
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Correction Walter, they are “non-jobs” that people like you need, after all that is how you have made your (supposed) wealth is it not?

            If there was such a FTT, and I do not actually approve of one as it happens, money and people would remain in the UK, just as it has for years, the only people who might up-sticks are the very few who basically gamble on the electronic markets, not the true investors and such like.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink


            Total drivel

            Nope dont make and never have made my money from either people or non jobs.

            You are completely clueless when it comes to financial markets or indeed any other type of market

          • libertarian
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink


            The Traders that you dislike ( I am no fan of traders myself , but thats because I spent a lot of my career before starting my own businesses, providing tech support to traders) Are the tip of the iceberg, behind the traders the jobs in IT, settlements, back office and all the other support functions would also go as well. The “own account traders” that you would do without do not operate in isolation , they are part of the overall trading function of a bank, fund, or trading house

            However the biggest things about the FTT is 1) It won’t raise anything like the money they think it will, not least of which because a big chunk of the tax will be paid by one of the biggest users…. The Government 2) This will effect every workers pension scheme 3) The cost of the transaction tax will NOT be born by the bank but by the client 4) There is ALREADY a tax on share dealing here are the details

            When you buy shares, you usually pay a tax or duty of 0.5% on the transaction.

            If you buy:

            shares electronically, you’ll pay Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)
            shares using a stock transfer form, you’ll pay Stamp Duty if the transaction is over £1,000

            You’ll have to pay tax at 1.5% if you transfer shares into some ‘depositary receipt schemes’ or ‘clearance services

          • Jerry
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

            libertarian; First you said; “Nope dont make and never have made my money from either people or non jobs. “

            Then in your very next reply to me you said;

            “but thats because I spent a lot of my career before starting my own businesses, providing tech support to traders”

            You appear to contradict yourself in a little over a half hour there Walter…

            I take your point about IT and other support specialist but the point you miss is that when this country is less reliant on the magic money trees and their pruners and we have an strong industrial & manufacturing base once again all those specialist you talk about will be employed maintaining the IT systems etc. within the real economy, not the ‘non-job’ economy.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


            Oh dear oh dear oh dear

            I was paid to work first as Tech support specialist engineer, Then as VP of Tech Support & finally as SVP of IT Infrastructure for a very well know Investment Bank. i.e. I was paid ( a lot of money) for my technical expertise.

            So if you think thats a non job…. good luck

            If you are so deluded that you think you can operate manufacturing and industrial exporters without corporate finance, derivatives, futures, foreign exchange , commodities and buying and selling equities in those types of companies as well as actually providing pension investments for their workers then you are even more deluded than you first appear.

            I notice you dont have the courage to tell us what you do for a living

          • Jerry
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; No one is saying that Business doesn’t need corporate finance, it is how the financial sector works that people dispute.

            “I notice you dont have the courage to tell us what you do for a living”

            Says the person who is to scared to even use their first name! Also, I have said what my trade is and thus what I do for a living (ask your mate @Edward2). – all you have done once again is prove that you do not actually bother to read and understand what others are saying,. Sorry Walter but you are far to ready to defend the indefensible, that can only mean one thing, you are one of the indefensible.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink


            Who knows if thats actually your name or not?? , I have no idea who Edward2 is so rather than expect to read messages you’ve posted too some other random person why not just tell me what you do? Tell you what post a link to your linked profile and I’ll connect with you.

            Disputing “how the financial sector works” when you haven’t got a clue is a bit limp Jezzy . Oh and believe me I’m not defending some of the city practices , I have a far better insight into what is wrong with financial services than you ever will have. This thread was about the FTT a subject you quickly avoided when it became apparent you know nothing about that either

        • acorn
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          You would be exporting computers to get plugged in somewhere else. Except, in high frequency computer trading, the length of the data connection matters. There is no point in sending a buy or sell signal, if your competitors can get their bid in a nanosecond before yours using shorter wires.

          A financial transaction (Tobin) tax, is simply another HMRC Gaming Tax / Machine Gaming Tax. It can be administered in the same way as Casinos are currently taxed.

          In four days, enough foreign exchange is processed to enable a whole years worth of international trading in goods. The rest is a load of punters – not investors – betting on the equivalent of two flies walking up a windowpane (FX market) or, taking a bet on your neighbour not paying off his mortgage to his lender (Credit Default Swap). Is this the kind of Country we want to be?

          • libertarian
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink


            This post made me laugh out loud for its sheer ignorance

            The length of the cable ha ha ha ha ha

            Do you seriously not know that both the FX and derivatives market are heavily used by industrial companies to manage their raw materials, commodities and fluctuating currencies? Do you not realise that everyone of the workers with a pension including the new workplace pensions will be hit by this tax? Oh and who do you think is one of the biggest users of financial transactions? Oh that would be the UK government , taxing itself

            Oh and it would help if you knew what a credit default swap is. It is the most common form of financial derivative and involves municipal bonds, emerging market bonds, corporate bonds as well as mortgage backed securities

            You may not want to be that type of country but then that would leave you North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and Venezuela in your own little club of non trading countries

          • A different Simon
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Acorn ,

            What gets me is “flash trading” , where a third party intercepts a sell order and buy order which would normally match immediately and due to their preferential treatment by the bourse are allowed to match each independently to derive a margin .

            Hardly a level playing field .

            Some of us have no access to decent pensions plans and end up going long on shares for the long term in an effort to make provision for our old age .

          • acorn
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

            Libby, you display more bits of your business ignorance every time you comment. For a start, have a read of How High-Speed Trading Is About to Get Speedier

          • libertarian
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


            I’ve designed, installed and technically supported 3 banks electronic trading systems and desks…. you?

            However let me educate you , the article you link to is about the Market Trading Platforms operated by some of the markets.

            The traders that use them are located all over the world in trading rooms of various banks, hedge funds and trading houses. Now days most trading platforms use the internet as the carrier method…. so no you are totally , completely and utterly wrong its not about how long the traders bit of wire is… The Data Centres of the various Exchange Markets need to have very ultra fast through put in order to handle the high number of volumes from the traders who are NOT located often even on the same continent as the Exchange they are using let alone in the same building.

            You obviously also didn’t actually read the puff piece that you linked to. The person who wrote that missed ( or actually tried to fool the gullible) the fact that the NASDAQ trading platform is offering a market data ( note NOT trading orders ) subscription service that is faster. Who ever subscribes to it and what ever length their bit of cable they will get the market data ( but NOT the trade) faster. This is sometimes referred to as Flash Trading. It enables traders who SUBSCRIBE to the service to intervene on NON subscribers trade data
            Just reading bits of newspaper reports is no substitute having having actually done it. 1/10 must try harder

          • Jerry
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “I’ve designed, installed and technically supported 3 banks electronic trading systems and desks”

            More proof that you make this all up as you go along Walter, or was your reply to me (above) just a blatant fib?

          • libertarian
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


            How ignorant are you? My reply by which I assume you mean my work providing Tech Support to traders was as a technical specialist in a bank !!! Blimey Jerry do you live under a rock?

            Many years ago I started as a tech support engineer, I progressed via experience into designing, installing and supporting technical trading systems for the various banks I worked for. Its not difficult son. Would you like my full CV?

          • Jerry
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; So you worked in a support roll in or for financial markets, hence how you made your wealth via those financial markets and hence why you defend your income streams, you are hardly going to do a “Ratner” are you. Its not difficult son…

            I did not specify what you did, just that you worked for such markets, try actually reading what i said, not replying to what you think i said, how ever enlightening your unnecessary knee-jerk replies are to the rest of us!

            As for your CV, no need, hardly verifiable, just the name of ‘your’ radio station will do, that will allow ,me to check with Ofcom…

          • libertarian
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink


            As always you are wrong , is there any subject on which you have knowledge ?

            No I didn’t make my wealth from having a salaried position with a bank. I made my money when I started my own businesses which aren’t in financial services at all. Blimey Jerry how dumb are you?

            Interestingly I interviewed Gerald Ratner on my radio show about 2 years ago. Really nice bloke.

            The fact that you seriously think that financial markets are non jobs is quite possibly the most ignorant thing I’ve ever seen posted. No manufacturer or exporter could survive in business without these services, I guess you have no idea that industrial companies such as BP, Shell, Volkswagen etc all run in house trading desks as the Financial markets are so important to their businesses. I think to be this wrong about something you must be a parody account

            I have no need to prove who I am or what I do to you Jerry, and thats especially laughable as you dont even have the guts to tell us what you do for a living.. Chicken

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; Wow so much personal abuse towards me just for saying that you made your wealth out of working for the Financial markets, how ever and in what ever way that was….

          • libertarian
            Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink


            1) If you dish out personal abuse, you’ll get it back !

            2) You’ve maligned me and Ive proved you wrong

            3) No apology for being totally and utterly wrong?

            4) For the nth time you are WRONG I made no wealth from financial markets, its not difficult to understand

            5) You are clueless about most things business & especially financial markets

            6) Still no word from you on what you do for a living

            If you dont like personal abuse then instead of referring to me as Walter , instead of continuing to lie about my situation when Ive made it abundantly clear you are incorrect in your assertions, rather than continue to argue technical facts of which you clearly have no knowledge or experience why not either just apologise or like others on here do when they are clearly wrong just stop arguing ?

            If you dish it out, you’ll get it back

      • Terry
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Why are we committing Tax Payers money to ultra expensive Nuclear power when we have our own potential energy sources underground?Fracking should be given a higher priority and funding released for research into cleaner and more efficient coal power.
        We have our own resources but this country has allowed itself to be ruled by the ‘greenflies’ of the planet because they do not care about who has to pay the bills as long as their unproven and unsubstantiated pet vanity projects get underway.
        The rest of the competitive world laughs both at us and the idiots in Brussels for pursuing such pipe-dreams.
        It is time we woke up.

      • David Price
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        I am not convinced that such a FTT would be limited to the non-productive HS trading. Politicians and civil masters can’t help themselves and combined with unintended consequences will impact everyone with unnecessary costs applied to all transactions whether they were a trade or Pension contribution.

        The safest course for most is to remove all such temptation from the busybodies.

        If HS trades are counter productive then find a way to stop them rather than tax everyone.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I’m prepared to cut Theresa May a lot of slack, provided that she accomplishes the central, essential task of getting us out of the EU. She did not expect to become Prime Minister, and there was no time for her and the other Tory leadership candidates to develop personal policy platforms, so inevitably she had to simply continue with a lot of the policies agreed under her predecessor.

    • Chris
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Mark B, but we are in her hands, so will adopt Denis C’s outlook for the time being. What worries me hugely though is the nature/attitude of May’s closest advisors, Hill and Timothy. Not at all promising, in my view.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, Mark B. Mrs May is going to make us pay a heavy price for Brexit with her interventionist nanny state, policies. It seems she does not realise that people voted for Brexit because they want less interfering government, whether it derives from Brussels or Westminster. However, she she realises, nobody else can deliver any kind of Brexit at all. She has us by the short and curlies and is making the most of it. She doesn’t even feel she needs to justify her policies or flesh them out in reasonable detail. We will get Mrs May, all of her. We cannot even say, ‘What you see is what you get’ because we don’t know what she stands for, what she will actually do. It is close to blackmail.
      I suspect that her period in office will be considerably shorter than 5 years. there will be huge unrest from all sides among voters resulting in a leadership challenge. And i really have very little confidence in either her aims in Brexit or her ability to negotiate what UK really needs from the EU . She will get sucked into endless trivia and side-issues and run out of time and either have to walk away with no deal, or take what the EU dictates, a bad deal. She needs to make that assessment within 6 months and then make a firm decision to continue for a limited time to achieve only the essentials or walk away.

  2. Richard1
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I understand the perceived need for soft centrist language and the occasional silly interventionist policy like energy price caps and workers on the boards (or “having a say” – what on Earth does that mean?!) in order to hoover up votes of Labour supporters. But let’s be realistic about the need for the UK to play hard to compete post Brexit. Italy has just announced new tax incentives to treat carried interest as a gain at 26% to attract private equity and other asset management business. We need to sharpen our pencils also. The top rates of income tax, IHT, stamp duty in the U.K. Are all uncompetitive and need to change. The huge non-Dom charge is an own goal. The Conservative manifesto needs to be drafted to allow scope to implement radical free enterprise policies post Brexit. They might not have wide public support now, but the need for them will be obvious in a couple of years. We should not be tied down to statist dirigsme by fatuous election promises.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Now reporting of pay by gender and ethnicity, we can’t afford much more of this! Meanwhile the ‘gig’ economy is to be hampered by new regulations proposed by Labour’s Matthew Taylor at the behest of Mrs May. He seems a decent enough sort but does not appear ever to have worked in a private business let alone in an entrepreneurial environment. This all smacks of complacency. Let’s hope these silly new commitments are so loosely drafted they don’t actually have to be implemented.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the proposals are insane,costly and hugely damaging to the economy and indeed to tax revenues. Mathew Taylor may be a decent chap but he is certainly in the wrong job here, where a rational Melton Freedman type is needed.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink


          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink


        • acorn
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Friedman gave up on his own theory of “monetarism” in the end, it didn’t work. Unfortunately, Reagan and Thatcher had launched the western world, on an economic downward spiral, that culminated in the Great Financial Crash of 2008.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

            That the Guardian for you. Alway reading history completely upside down and the wrong way round, just to confirm their potty ideology.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink


      I’m afraid I have to agree. I can see and hear nothing other than socialist tax and spend policies/sound-bites coming from the Conservative. I don’t even see those balanced out with attractive business-attracting policies or tax rates to take us forward after we’ve left the EU.

      I was hoping to be convinced that voting Conservative would be the right decision. Unfortunately I’ve been convinced it’ll be more of the same Cameron and Osbourne waste: wasted money, wasted opportunities, wasted years of politicking, and I can’t bring myself to vote for Socialists sticking their hands even deeper in my pockets each election.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        @Horatio McSherry. It’s all very sad that none of us can see a real Conservative government out there any more. They all seem to be mingling into one morphed party all intent on going down the road of insanity and tax grabbing for useless policies that even a child of junior school age could see was futile.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          I honestly thought when we managed to get rid of Labour and the Lib dims things might change dramatically but really there isn’t a lot of choice only over Brexit and I wonder if that will turn out as we wanted it to.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            @fedupsoutherner; “It’s all very sad that none of us can see a real Conservative government out there any more.”

            Indeed, but first we need to define what a “real Conservative government” is, for me (and I suspect most) it would be their policies of the 1950s & manifesto pledges of 1964/66.

            “there isn’t a lot of choice only over Brexit and I wonder if that will turn out as we wanted it to.”

            Brexit will turn out how the majority want, it might not turn out how you want though, its called democracy I think… You (and others) are free to vote for a UKIP fundamentalist Brexit, assuming that UKIP are bothering to stand a candidate in your constituency, if they are not your beef is surely with UKIP not Mrs May or the party she leads?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Neither Hammond nor May ‘do’ free enterprise.

  3. eeyore
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good relations with the EU after Brexit will come down to the money. If they don’t get a divorce settlement they’ll be sullen, peevish and obstructive. If they have to make a payment they’ll be livid.

    Talking of which, some papers report this morning that Mr Corbyn thinks Britain must pay a divorce settlement. Does he actually want to win this election at all?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Any government paying an inflated divorce settlement to this corrupt and undemocratic entity will be sowing the seeds of their own destruction.
      The fact we voted to leave and the position has hardened since the referendum should be warning enough to Mrs May that she is being watched.
      I see from Open Europe the EU is insisting the ECJ plays a part post Brexit.
      What sovereign nation lets another country interfere with its decisions.
      If they sulk, so what. As my mother used to say “I want, doesn’t get.”

      • Jerry
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; Whilst I believe the paying of any Brexit devoice settlement is abhorrent that is my personal opinion and not something anyone voted for or against, collectively we merely expressed a majority view that the UK should leave the EU. If you want to cite how the electorate wish to leave then first the nation will need to have a ‘How’ (and perhaps also a ‘When’) referendum.

        “[re the ECJ post Brexit] What sovereign nation lets another country interfere with its decisions.”

        Any country signed up to the UN for starters, should we also withdraw from the ICJ?

        “If they sulk, so what. As my mother used to say “I want, doesn’t get.”

        The pot trying to call the kettle black. Yes, fundamentalist Brexiteers such as yourself do seem to ‘want’, and do a lot of virtual shouting to try and get what they want, listen to your mother…and stop stamping your feet!

        • Edward2
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          You are getting rather agressive Jerry.
          Fundamentalist Brexiteers
          Pot kettle etc etc
          Do try to keep calm.
          Those like yourself who want a deal with the EU of some sort, assume the EU wish to give us a deal.
          A sort of half in, half out position.

          Yet nothing I have heard so far from EU leaders gives me any cause for optimism that the EU wants to do a deal.
          Their main concern is to show any other EU member nations toying with the idea of copying the UK that leaving means really leaving.
          So in a sense they could be described as the fundamentalists.

        • acorn
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          I have to agree Jerry. The majority of commenters on this site, demonstrate daily, their total ignorance of how a socio-economic system is meant to work, for the benefit of ALL our 64 million citizens.

          They seem to think that the “private sector” is the be-all and end-all of society. When, in fact, the private sector can’t exist without the public sector democratically deciding what it wants the private sector to supply for its enjoyment and well-being.

          The private sector depends on the public sector to supply it with a “risk free” asset, to anchor its operations (Gilt securities); and, a bottomless pit of “liquidity” in the form of central bank money, to bail it out when its “markets” get constipated. Without government money backing private bank credit issuing, every private bank would be issuing its own currency.

          Unfortunately, sovereign governments have forgotten that they make the rules, NOT transnational, globalist, corporations, demanding “free trade agreements” to keep their costs down and their profits up.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            That’s an extreme view Acorn
            Since 1945 the UK has had a mixed economy with the State and the Private sector both playing an important part in the economic success of the nation.
            The argument is about the relative power and involvement of both sectors.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “The argument is about the relative power and involvement of both sectors.”

            Indeed but since 1979 though that mix has swung very much towards the private sector, often delivering little or no benefit to the consumer, even were there had been a post war consensus that public was better. Often the perceived benefits of privatisation are not those to the customer (as was promised) but those to the investor. If that is not true why do we need such heavy handed and ever increasing regulation of utilities and the such like?

          • libertarian
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink


            Totally wrong. Every single last bit of data and evidence shows that private sector commerce has been the ONLY driving force in raising world levels of income, equality, life expectancy and standards of living.


            Disparaging people who actually operate in and do things in markets by telling us your pet text book theories doesn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid. There is a balance to be had between the creative, innovative, wealth and job creating private sector and the state sector that needs to provide rule of law, justice and property rights and defence of those freedoms. The state does not need to provide anything else and it certainly shouldn’t be bailing out failing private companies.

            The state sector can’t exist without the revenues generated by the private sector, by workers and the individuals that collectively make up society, however free markets have existed outside of the state and for far longer than organised government has.

        • getahead
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, there is no such thing as a hard brexit or a soft brexit. There is no such thing as a fundamentalist brexiteer. There are only those who expect that the referendum vote will be honoured. Cleanly.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            @getahead; Sorry but Brexit means nothing and everything at the same time, it’s at worst a sound-bite, at best a slogan! Why, because the electorate were never asked to approve a specific option – go read all 28 of the Brexit referendum campaign manifestos rather than just the one that most fits your personal opinion.

            There might or might not be Hard and Soft exit’s but there are differing opinions on how to leave, those like yourself, Ian Wragg and others, seem to want the most pure (“fundamental”) split from the EU.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


            It really is very very simple. We were asked to decided based on a binary position Leave or stay , there were no other options offered. We voted leave which means we leave the EU , the internal market, the customs union, schengen , we leave everything. Thats what we were offered and the majority chose it.

        • Know-dice
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          FYI – The EU is not a member of the UN (not that you said it was…) merely an “observer”.

          But, in any case it is not acceptable that we (the UK) come under the ECJ in any way after we leave the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            @Know-dice; I never said the EU was a member of the UN, I implied that the UK was.

            I tend to agree that the UK should not be subject to ECJ rulings post Brexit but that is my personal opinion based on the fact that I (now) believe that Brexit on WTO rules is probably the best outcome, not because either was somehow implied by the referendum result. Other people who voted to leave the EU, but at the same time do not necessarily wish to leave the EEA or EFTA (as some of the 28 Brexit campaign groups suggested) might think differently and thus wish to remain subject to ECJ rulings.

    • sm
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Mr Corbyn’s management team are not interested in winning elections, their concern is to undermine democratic capitalist societies over the long term, by creating discontent, envy and contentious behavioural modes – just think about the turmoil in universities both in the UK and elsewhere regarding ‘acceptable’ language, ‘safe’ spaces and censoring of free speech etc. The generation that was nurtured to do this at certain universities in the 60’s and 70’s is now influential, and are now guiding our young to go the same way.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        @sm; Much the same could be said about some parties of the right, UKIP for example were far more interested in creating discontent, envy and contentious behavioural modes by over-exaggerating the impact of migration for example and under-playing the effects of failed right-wing industrial and housing policies. Thankfully Mrs May has seen sense on those issues, if the reports are correct.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


          Agree, UKIP were and are just plain wrong about migrants and jobs.

          Luckily UKIP are finished as a political force

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I’ll go for the “livid” case rather than the “We’d better pay the Danegeld” case.

      It is an interesting point whether a country like Poland which is a net recipient could expect a handsome payment from the EU on its withdrawal. Logic says that as all the other member states have promised that Poland (etc) will be paid subsidies in future years they should be entitled to receive a beneficial settlement if they left.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–“…subject to their remaining in the EU” I should have thought a given, explicit or otherwise–that’s assuming the leaving was voluntary

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Then the same must apply if a net contributor leaves.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            Who’s arguing?

          • Newmania
            Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            Promising to make payments for some mutual endeavour not the same thing as promising to receive payments is it .
            I hereby promsise to get £5 per week from John Redwood ……….tumble weed,,,,,,,,you see nothing happens .

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Did John Redwood promise to pay you that?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Only for a time. At some point out the UK’s contribution is around 10% of the EU’s budget. Although a domestic national cut of 10% in government spending would cause uproar it will not make that much difference to individual countries. Haven’t exact numbers but, for example, UK’s contributions to the EU are an insignificant proportion of GDP – 3%?, 5%?
      The danger is that the government will make the mistake of thinking paying all or some of the EU’s ‘divorce bill’ will generate goodwill. It will not. It will generate nothing except further demands. Goodwill arises only from agreement on issues, so Mrs May should start with small easy things. That is why the EU wants the difficult things at the front of the agenda.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I want to see a far richer country, one with a much smaller state sector. One with far less red tape, far cheaper non green crap energy, far lower taxes, simpler taxes and real freedoms to choose. One where government admits that that things are far better for everyone if the government only does the few things that government have to do, and generally keeps out of the way.

    We have a choice between a bankrupt, basket case economy under a magic money tree Corbyn dog (waged by the tail by the Sturgeon). Or a softish socialist government in the Miliband mode under Chairman May.

    Let us hope that post the election her big state, top down socialist approach and her ex(?) remain instincts can be kept in check by the sensible wing of the Tories. Or she is rapidly replaced with a real Tory.

    We nead a country where the state does not have dire virtual monopolies in heath, education, wage control, price controls and much else. One where the state does not stangle businesses and individuals with high taxes and red tape at every turn. One where most people do real and productive jobs and where we have far fewer parasitic jobs, rent seeking and croney capitalism. One with far fewer lawyers, bureaucrats, tax collectors, tax & HR advisors and the likes and far more engineers, business people, builders and the likes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      One where people do not have 40% of their (already heavily over taxed assets) taken off them when they try to pass it on to their relatives. One where the incentives on people are to be responsible and not to be feckless and live off the backs of others.

      • eeyore
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        A man can bequeath his assets to his descendants free of IHT by the simple expedient of marrying his great-grandchild. This is perfectly legal.

        True, a marriage to his great-granddaughter would have to be consummated to be valid. I accept that may not be desirable from the bride’s point of view, let alone possible from the bridegroom’s.

        A better bet would be to contract a same-sex marriage to his great-grandson. Parliament has imposed no consummation requirement on homosexual marriage, presumably because it shrank from specifying in detail just how, in the circumstances, consummation should be defined.

        Mutatis mutandis, the same applies to great-grandmothers.

        • John C.
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Superb stuff: we need more of this, because the only sane course of action in this increasingly ludicrous world is to derive comedy from it.

        • Know-dice
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Brilliant 🙂

    • Duyfken
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I reckon that you have her taped correctly – and have been right from Day One. We are now trapped into voting for May because to do otherwise would jeopardize the BREXIT process.

      Clever Mother Theresa, but I am damned if I want all of the liberal leftie stuff she is intending to introduce.

      I fear your “sensible wing of the Tories” will be of little consequence under the weight of a Tory landslide victory.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        I fear that too. Far too many just want a well paid job ro rock the boat.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Agree with much of what you say John, but the problem is Governments of all colours over the past years have imposed more and more tax on the people, not by the simple raising of income tax rates, but by a host of complicated stealth taxes.

    Likewise in our politicians quest to socially engineer the population into a form which they believe we should have, we now have a complicated range of in work, out of work, social care, and range of benefits which few understand and which often fail the truly needy.

    Instead of trying to come up with basic but simple programmes which work well and are efficient, the complicated micro management control systems they have tried to introduce have become too expensive, too complicated and have failed the very people they were supposed to help.

    John Major said we should get back to basics, but ever since then government has interfered more in our lives than ever before, and usually failed at every turn, whilst taking more and more money from the very public it is supposed to serve.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Correct Alan

      Less government, simply delivered at a reasonable price.

      • APL
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders: “Less government, simply delivered at a reasonable price.”

        While a nice idea, much of the function of local government and central government, come to that is to disguise the chronic state of the labour market.

        There is no incentive for government to be more efficient, as reducing the number of employed in government would adversely impact the employment ( indeed employability ) statistics.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      There was a study that showed many months of consecutive growth in the US economy during the Obama years. This was mapped against deadlock in the Senate and proved to be an exact match.

      The conclusion: the economy performs best when government does least.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Indeed get it out of the way. As an example his PM I had to waste half an hour and £20 getting yet another passport and driving licence certified by a lawyer. Delays obstacles and costs heaped on to us pointlessly by government in every direction.

        • John C.
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Presumably THIS pm?

    • Bob
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink


      “Governments of all colours over the past years have imposed more and more tax on the people, not by the simple raising of income tax rates, but by a host of complicated stealth taxes.”

      and if the Tories kept their “bonfire of the quangos” promise cut some of the useless quangos the UK could save tens of £billions, and the only ones to suiffer would be the overpaid crony quangocrats who interfere in our lives to no useful purpose (often quite to the oppostite of useful).

  6. Limited
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    We do not trade with the rest of the world on WTO terms at the moment.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      How do we trade with them then.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Where the EU trades on WTO terms we trade on WTO terms.

      • Limited
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        And it trades almost nowhere on WTO terms. It trades on the terms of the deals it has struck with dozens of countries on free trade (eg Canada, Korea) or customs cooperation (eg USA, Australia, Japan). The UK loses all this on Brexit day, it becomes a third country, all on its own.
        Of course you might think Liam Fox will negotiate the same or better deals over the course of the next 22 months. Seen any sign of that? They laughed at him and the PM in India when he asked for a special deal.

        • alan jutson
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


          Why are you so negative about our prospects, what did we do before we joined the EU, hardly a Nation on its own with no influence in the World were we. !

          Afraid a Limited mind, and Limited thought, will get you absolutely no where.
          We need people with Vision !!!!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Does the EU have WTO schedules? Yes.

          Of course as far as the EU is concerned the UK becomes a third country the day it leaves the EU, but whether or not all the trade deals to which the UK is a party then fall is an entirely different matter to be decided by the parties to those treaties. And why should any of those countries want to bring trade with the UK to a halt?

        • Original Richard
          Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          The Canada/EU CETA is yet to take “full effect” :

          (Updated 15/05/2017)

        • David Price
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

          But are the trade deal negotiated by the EU actually beneficial for the services based UK economy, are they perhaps instead more suited to a manufacturing and/or agricultural economy?

          If the latter then we’d have to (re)negotiate them anyway.

  7. agricola
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    One is tempted to ask if this is your personal message to the voters of Wokingham. I hope it is a reflection of what our negotiators and the cabinet as a whole think because it is relevant to all electors. There will come a point when we have to get down to specifics such as exactly how we intend to be kinder to our fish and fishermen. This will be the creation of a new export oriented industry whereas farming is well established and will only require fine tuning.

  8. John S
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I do not want to hear or read the words “strong and stable” again during this election campaign.

    • John C.
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I think you may be disappointed. Clearly instructions have gone out to repeat the phrase endlessly to drill it into people’s heads. Endless repetition of slogans is an old Stalinist trick.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    One where people choose how to spend their own money on the things they want, rather than having governments spend and waste it for them on things they did not want.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Agree and one thing we don’t want are dirty great inefficient, useless, bird chomping, expensive wind turbines. You say John

      We need to set up a new system of agricultural support, that is sensitive to the UK rural landscape and helps promote more domestic food production.

      Well, come and look at the agricultural land in Scotland and you will soon see it is not sensitive to the UK landscape at all but a bloody great blot on the landscape that is costing us all dearly.

      Can someone in the Conservative party please stop this madness?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Also farmland is absurdly overvalued due to daft and damaging subsidies to rich land owners.

    • Bob
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink


      “One where people choose how to spend their own money on the things they want”

      for example, the dept for overseas aid should be funded by voluntary donations from the wealthy celebs that keep telling how wonderful it is, while spending their own earnings from the BBC and potato crisp manufacturers on seven bedroomed mansions, expensive German made motor cars and bespoke Range Rovers.

  10. Bert Young
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Two things dominate our relationship with the EU . Firstly – as the most densely populated country in Europe , we have to have 100% tight control over who comes here and the consequent right to stay ; the EU want the present situation to continue and state ” it is not negotiable “. Secondly is the dominance of Germany ; Germany has achieved what 2 World Wars were unable to get – European control . With us in the EU Germany was able to extend its influence over us , with Brexit it cannot . Germany will seek other means of influence .

    Other countries in Europe are as sensitive as us about the need for a continuing relationship – Denmark , Holland , Norway , Hungary and Poland in particular . Each have suffered at the hands of Germany and they needed us to stabilise their position . It is this aspect that is more likely to be at the root of EU downfall rather than the economic discrepancy with the Southern country members and the economic differences that exist .

    The key is now what happens between us and the USA . We can build on the past and the sooner we create a trade deal with them the better . Once this has been established Germany has more reason to toe the line . The Euro will lose its place and be forced out of existence .

  11. JoolsB
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Davis has already said he wants to see powers coming back from Brussels repatriated to Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London, in other words the Scots Government, the Welsh & NI Assemblies and the UK Government. So Scottish fishing rights will probably end up being decided by the Scots Parliament but English fishing rights will still be decided by the UK Parliament made up of MPs from across the whole UK including Scottish ones.

    Hmmmm, from their discriminatory actions against England so far by this anti-English Tory Government which continues to deny the very existence of England despite relying on it for most it’s support, we all know how that will end don’t we? Yet ANOTHER rotten deal for England no doubt!!

    Reply The government has also made clear we will need a UK wide fishing and agricultural policy to replace the EU one.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:
      I’ll believe that when/if it happens John. Sturgeon will be demanding she has control over Scotland’s fishing rights and we all know full well this Government like the rotten anti-English Labour Government before it have proved time and time again that pandering to the rest of this so called union is far more important to them than fairness for England.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I’m with JoolsB on this one. The ‘precious Union’ and keeping Her Maj happy is far more important than anything else. England can always be sacrificed.

  12. Doug Powell
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The election is primarily about the kind of a country we want to create.

    That said, it is imperative to remember that the Lib Dems would return us to the EU by the front door, and Labour would return us by the back door. So, the matter of leader is settled by default.

    But take nothing for granted! Before voting, stiffen the sinews, envisage being returned to ‘Jurassic Park’ where individuality is an anathema. Where mad bureaucrats and demented politicians have a project to clone dinosaur procedures, institutions, and life itself! – All imprisoned behind a gigantic tariff walls of the Customs Union.

    Vote to go forth and embrace the World!

  13. David L
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The latest newsletter from an investment company I use has a really upbeat report on prospects post-EU. It stresses the possibilities for wider trade and welcomes the loss of many EU restrictions. This message contrasts wildly with the pessimism expressed in the same organ pre-referendum. Now, it may be that they consider talking-up the situation is better for their own business, or maybe it is the truth. Whatever, the cynic in me thinks nothing is ever as dire or as wonderful as the proponents of either course claim (e.g. Daily Express weather stories). Should the economy falter over the next few years the scapegoats will be named and doubtless castigated on this site and others.
    As a constituent of yours, John, I would like to express my appreciation of the work you put into this Diary day after day. I don’t always agree with your views but you put them succinctly and readably. I sometimes look at other MP’s blogs and find them quite wanting in comparison.

    Reply Thank you. I think there does need to be a continuous conversation so I know what more of you think and you can see how my thoughts are developing.

  14. james Neill
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Some people still think that we can pick and choose when it comes to our future trading pattern with individual EU European countries but that is far from the reality. The EU at the moment feels hurt and disappointed with UK over brexit that the remaining 27 will close ranks and have no choice but to take their lead from Germany France and the EU Commission itself. There will be no side agreements with individual countries outside of anything that is agreed with Michel Bernier and his team- as all other avenues are closed off- So in effect it seems that we are heading for a place outside of the Customs Union- as far as the EU is concerned we will become a third country- so we should start to make the necessary plans for along those lines now- I don’t see it any other way

    In fact I cannot see how we can possibly even get agreement for exiting the EU, here I’m talking about the money demanded for past commitments made and of course about migration, EU and UK citizens living all over the place. Very likely its going to be a train crash!- Its all just a sorry mess!

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      You talk as if the EU were a homogeneous body of entirely like minded people. You have to differentiate between the 3rd rate unelected members of the Brussels brigade who are in mortal fear of their extremely well-paid jobs and the people who actually create the wealth in Europe. They are much less sanguine about ‘punishing’ the UK for having the temerity to leave their club and are much more concerned about the effect such action would have on their businesses.

    • Know-dice
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      It will not be easy, needs a steady hand on the tiller…

      I feel that it’s now or never and I don’t want live in a region of the United States of EU Land that was previously known as England…

    • rose
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Money for past commitments made is a formula made up by the EU mafia to extract money from us. You shouldn’t be falling for it, let alone repeating it. A responsible and honest organization would revise its plans in the light of one of its members departing. It has had plenty of notice.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Of course when we leave the EU they will start to treat us as a third country not as a member state. So what? We will be one of 160-odd countries around the world in that position,including I would point out the four EFTA countries. And, yes, we should start drawing up plans for the “EU decides to be bloody stupid” scenario.

    • David Price
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      We don’t need EU agreement to exit the EU.

  15. Original Richard
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “As we come out we need to legislate for a new UK fishing policy kinder to both our fish and our fishermen.”

    I take it that this means a Conservative government will be taking back ownership and control of all our fishing waters, including close inshore fishing.

    • Paul w
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Very likely we will get back the old fishing limits we had before joining the eec in 1973..which was 12 miles out from the baseline surrounding the uk coast..the eu limits out to 200 miles came into being in is doubtful if we can share in this now as we’re leaving and since this limit is exclusive to yhe its hard to say

      • Know-dice
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Can the EU enforce a 200 mile limit on its region states and not honour a 200 mile on 3rd countries?

        I would think the the UN would have something to say about that…

  16. Antisthenes
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Does Theresa May and will the majority of Conservative MPs post the general election see Brexit in those terms? I have my doubts despite the fact that what you are stating is eminently sensible. However considering the EU’s intransigent stance on negotiating and the fact it harbours considerable ill will toward the UK it is not achievable. As I believe Theresa May and many Conservative MPs out of fear, lack of knowledge and understanding will succumb to EU bullying and not follow your path to Brexit.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Even if you do not publish this comment I urge you to read this link yourself It reinforces all your arguments that the UK has nothing to fear from Brexit but the EU has.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Dear Antisthenes–Yes, very good article, but how are the EU going to get off the hook of their ridiculous 100 million invoice? My take is that there is far too much talk of legalities–Nobody any more if they ever did thinks the invoice is going to be resolved by legalities. Instead it unfortunately will be a political trade-off along the lines of being allowed the wretched Single Market if we pay. Personally I’d tell them to get knotted.

  17. happydaze
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “Kinder to fish” makes me smile each time I see it.

  18. JJE
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Looking at the way that Theresa May’s name dominates the Conservative election banners combined with her extreme centralisation of decision making must leave you a little bit uneasy about the elected dictatorship you will be supporting in the next parliament? When only three people are able to make a decision, what are the rest of you for?

    What does she actually believe in and why is she hiding from a TV debate? Personally I find it all rather unsettling, not to say insulting.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Dear JJE–Nuts to the TV debate–She’d be crazy to lower herself to their level and risk losing all she has gained by a bad or confused answer to a barbed question

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. Nothing to be gained and everything to be lost.

  19. P2017
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    ‘There is no such thing as hard or soft Brexit’

    Mr Redwood’s tenuous grasp of facts continues.

    • Chris
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      What on earth is your justification for claiming that, P2?

      • Chris
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        …i.e. your claim about Mr Redwood, P2.

        • P2017
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Redwood’s argument is factuous because there is evidently different ways to leave the EU. Agreement or no agreement, for instance. He then tries to cover that obvious factual point by saying a soft brexit isn’t ‘on offer’.

          Does he even follow what the EU has said? They have offered transitional arrangements, which is the very soft brexit Redwood says isn’t on offer.

          That is what I meant by referring to his tenuous grasp of facts.

          Reply There is no such thing as a soft Brexit. People who use that mean staying in the single market, which is clearly not on offer.

          • P2017
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            ‘There is no such thing as a soft Brexit’

            Tell that to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. You are factually and demonstrably wrong.

            ‘People who use that mean staying in the single market, which is clearly not on offer.’

            Isn’t it? Do you know that? Or are you just making a assertion without any evidence to back it up?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      I don’t recall ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ being mentioned in the the referendum at all – those options were concocted after Remain had lost.

      • Chris
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, Anonymous, and the BBC happily went along with, and promoted, the myth.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s a Clean Brexit that we need 🙂

  20. agricola
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Well we now have Labour’s Manifesto or wish list. We can argue as to how backward looking it is, the financial cost of it, where the money might come from, and the likelihood of those targeted to fund it just rolling over and accepting their fate.

    My fundamental question is, does state owned anything actually work. I accept that Lloyds Bank, owned by government did work because the management had every incentive to extract themselves from state ownership. This they have almost achieved, but this is not an argument for state ownership in the Labour model, just the opposite in fact.

    I cannot point to anything run by the state, present or past that has worked. There is never any incentive at any level to make it work. The best example at present being the NHS. Run at the sharp end by dedicated staff, but managed , if that is not an exaggeration, by the less than competent in numbers that exceed the medical staff.

    In terms of suicide notes it exceeds anything from the political past. At least it corrals Labour well to the left and totally distinct from anything the Conservatives might offer.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      @agricola; “My fundamental question is, does state owned anything actually work.”

      Yes they do, assuming that politicians allow them to…

      “I cannot point to anything run by the state, present or past that has worked.”

      Are you seriously suggesting that Rail Track worked better than Network Rail (or even BR). What is more, try thinking outside of the UK, carrying on with a railway theme, are you seriously suggesting that neither the French SNCF or German DB railway systems did, and still do, not work as state owned entities?

      • libertarian
        Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


        The German railways consists of 100’s of private companies

        SNCF is part of a consortium who will run the West Coast Main Line from May 2019

        I agree that the present state owned UK system doesn’t work any better than BR or any other nationalised railways , in the UK no nationalised utility has worked well for the citizens of the country. The fact that poorly thought out privatisations also dont always work out well has nothing to do with it. Rather than go back to something that never worked well we need to innovate for the future. So for instance just privatising the NHS will never make it better. Its the structure thats wrong

    • hefner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      The point might also be rewritten: Are we so sure that privately owned utilities actually work better and cheaper than state owned? Looking at trains, electricity, gas and water distribution, I would think the jury is out. Electricity, gas, water and trains are (much) more expensive to the consumers in the UK than in a large number of continental European states where various different ownership systems are used, from fully state-owned, to partially-stated owned, to PROPERLY regulated regionally private companies.

      One of the problems in the UK is that nobody seems to really bother looking whether things actually work, but instead seem to concentrate on whether things are “ideologically” pure (as a number of contributors to this blog seem so keen on insisting on). So let me laugh when I hear that the British are pragmatic.

    • old salt
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Why couldn’t the Lloyds Bank management do the same for RBS?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


      Can you imagine all these state owned industries with the unions in charge under a Labour government who worship the ground they walk on? Disaster in the making.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner; It doesn’t need to be the 1970s, the utilities and railways were state owned in the 1950s you know, and the British ‘never had it so good’ or so one Tory PM told us at the time…

  21. miami.mode
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Labour have produced their manifesto and indicate they will scrap university tuition fees which precipitate the consequent ‘loans’, but as anyone with a modicum of intelligence on finance will tell you, the ‘loan’ only has to be repaid after a certain level of earnings has been reached and is therefore simply a marginal tax rate. If the minimum level of earnings is not achieved by a certain age then the amount is written off.

    As Labour are so keen on income tax for the better-off based on marginal tax rates, their position seems rather inconsistent with their own policy.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      This manifesto pledge is a big problem for Labour, are they going to cancel the graduate tax of 9% for all those English students paying off loans now (children born 1990-1998 are the most affected generation having tuition fees of £3500 -£9000pa and living loans.

      Or will we have graduates from this cohort being the only ones paying 9% tax for up to 30 years.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      It is a consequence of sending 50% of people to University. There is no other way to pay for it except through student loans.

      – Keep the unemployment figures down by creating adult creches

      – Make the otherwise unemployed pay for if they do get a job

      – Make the country *look* better educated

      Genius !

    • Jerry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      @miami.mode; Not sure what your point is. If you are correct then the Labour pledge on tuition fees is election show-boating to grab students votes but is by on-large fiscally neutral, so why don’t all parties make the same pledge?

      @a-tracy; Not scrapping tuition fees, or at least not fundamentally changing how and when they are paid (back) is an even bigger problem for a future government – I suspect that Labour has simply done publicly, via policy, what is happening in effect anyway, 100% write off, fees that are repaid, in part or in full, becomes a bonus to HMT, rather like someone who voluntarily pays more tax than they need to.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, not sure of your point here? Most graduates will be paying their additional tax of 9% for loans/living expenses on earnings over just £17,775 pa (£21,500 for graduates that started to study in 2012) and let’s face it Labour’s policy is to have a minimum wage of £10 per hour (or nearly £20k pa for a full-time unqualified worker) and if they hold the starting point of the repayment terms as GO did for the 2012 cohort breaching another promise they’ll all be paying it unless they drop out of the jobs market or only work part-time.

        So all these students that Labour are working hard to convince to vote for them this time around will be the only ones paying their graduate taxes for 30 years. 100% of whom are getting fees written off – EU Students that are being funded by UK taxpayers perhaps?

        • Jerry
          Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy; My point is that first these “graduates” need to be in employment that will allow them to reach the earnings threshold, and then stay above that threshold without any other debts that exclude them from (fully) paying back their student loans, for 30 years. Gone are the days of a job for life, many are on fixed term contracts and thus only know their futures to the end of that contract, someone currently halfway through a 12 month fixed term contract could be flipping burgers or stacking supermarket selves for the NMW before Christmas – even worse, on JSA!

          Also, I never said that 100% of students would not pay their loans back, just an HMT assumed write-off of 100%, because they can have absolutely no idea how many graduates will pay their loans back, in part or in full.

  22. ale bro
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t see the need to encourage domestic food production. This country can be adequately fed by importing food which is being grown more cheaply abroad. There is no need to impose additional costs on UK consumers simply to protect a class of wealthy landowners .

    Relying on overseas production has many benefits, as it will reduce the level of agricultural pollution throughout the country, increase biodiversity via lower pesticide use, and make available more land for use in leisure or housing.

    The UK has a huge overseas aid budget that could be put to good use by assisting subsistence farmers in exporting to the UK, instead of funding e.g. the Indian Space Program

    • Jerry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      @ale bro; A country that is not 100% self sufficient in the essential foods is not an independent sovereign nation. Your ideas would achieve what the U-boats (1939-45) could not, the UK being subservience to others.

      • ale bro
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        i’m pretty sure that the independence of a sovereign nation isn’t determined by agricultural policy

        • Jerry
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          @ale bro; If a nation can not feed its population it will be at the beck-and-call of those who do feed it. That is hardly independence of a sovereign nation. Anyway, getting back to your comment regards agricultural pollution, you seem to think it OK for other countries to pollute, use pesticides to fee the UK, never mind the pollution caused by unnecessary transportation, are you not being rather hypercritical?

          • ale bro
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            Jerry – I’m very happy with the UK exporting its pollution to other countries.

            In fact, this approach is long standing government policy, e.g. we have exported industrial and chemicals production to China so CO2 emissions can be made there rather than in the UK.

            If the UK relies on other countries to pollute for it, the statistics will show the UK as a greenest country in the world. Now that’s progress!

          • Jerry
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            @ale bro; …and we will all get along trolling well good no doubt, rather than a few years down the road those polluting countries turning the cards on the UK, demanding that we pay for that pollution, the UK will be over a barrel or starving (at least when China demands that we pay more for our play-widgets or lifestyle-widgets we can do without).

  23. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Jerry but I thought the majority voted to come OUT of the EU and that means coming out in its entirety.. Not some wishy, washy compromise. That was what we were led to believe anyway and it’s certainly what JR seems to feel is the right thing.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      @fedupsoutherner; The referendum did not ask either the How or When question, just the If question. Legally if we leave the EU but join the EFTA that is still Brexit, not what you, I or most on this site want but Brexit it would be “Brexit” all the same.

      Some Brexiteers are in danger of winning the battle but loosing the war! Do not assume what you want is what others want.

      Put it this way, there was/is nothing fundamentally wrong with being a trade union member, nothing wrong with closed-shops even, but ordinary trade unionists -perhaps the majority- simply got thoroughly sick and tired of political fundamentalist hard line trade unionists [1] telling others what they should be thinking/doing that when a chance came (in the shape of Mrs Thatcher’s 1979 manifesto, and her pledge to tame the unions) people jumped at the opportunity even if they were not natural Tories. Fundamentalist Brexiteers are in danger of acting like those union Barons and shop-stewards, please stop trying to tell us what we did or didn’t vote for.

      [1] such as that British Leyland’s Longbridge union convener, I won’t name him, most know who I mean

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        That’s not leaving! Doesn’t matter which way you cut the mustard. To be in the EFTA is not leaving. It’s still being part of the EU and still under the control of the EU to some extent. We need to make our own decisions and take control of our country in all aspects. Since when did out mean in???

        • Jerry
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          @fedupsoutherner; Legally EFTA membership is not membership of the EU, the referendum asked about our EU membership, nothing else. Stop trying to tell others what they did or did not vote for, you are behaving no better than those union barons back in the 1970s.

          “We need to make our own decisions and take control of our country in all aspects.

          You appear not to even want WTO rules then…

      • Limited
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        Quite right, Jerry. Mr Redwood keeps saying we voted to leave the single market. We absolutely did not.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          The EU doesn’t agree with you.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Can you please cite were and when the EU have said that UK membership of the single market is not possible under any kind of Brexit agreement…

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Oh come on Jerry
            Stop being so obtuse.
            The EU have repeatedly said that to remain members of the Single Market the UK needs to accept the 4 principles.
            The UK Government has repeatedly said it will not accept these 4 principles.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Then you will have no problem is citing an official EU briefing paper or press release won’t you?

            The EU says many things, they also regularity get miss quoted by the anti EU media and others…

            “The UK Government has repeatedly said it will not accept these 4 principles.”

            …ah, so it is not the EU who has said what you claim but the UK conservative government [1], hence why you could not give a EU source!

            [1] but they still want access to the Single Market, time will tell just what the UK government will accept come 23:59hrs March 28th 2019.

  24. John O'Leary
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    JR wrote:

    There is no such thing as hard or soft Brexit. Remaining a member of the single market is not on offer. Being in the customs Union would prevent us having better arrangements with the rest of the world.

    How do you know it isn’t on offer? No-one in the UK has approached EFTA to inquire whether we would be welcome to rejoin and thereby remain in the EEA with continued unfettered access to the Single Market. Nobody in government has bothered to read the EEA agreement and to explore the possibility of invoking Article 112 to curtail free movement of people as Liechtenstein have done successfully for a number of years.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


      Agreed we need to leave the EU customs union, but by leaving the EU that just happens anyway. Norway and the other two EFTA/EEA members are not part of the EU customs union simply because they are not in the EU. They are at liberty to negotiate FTAs with thirds parties as would we.

      The probability of Mrs May and her Brexit team achieving anything better than the EFTA/EEA option for the inevitable transition period are so negligible as to be non existent. This can go one of two ways 1) she caves in and we end up with some sort of associate membership and still subject to the ECJ for many years to come, do not get our fishing grounds back and still subject to the CAP. Or b) we crash out with no agreement as an economic catastrophe on our hands that will see the Conservative Party out of government for a generation.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        This is your eighth post Jerry.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        @John O’Leary; ‘Crashing out’ whilst messy might actually be a better option than a messy construct of an ‘agreement’ that could well end up with EU27 countries defining what the UK and eurocrats meant, only being settled in many years time when the ECJ hears the case, considers it and finally makes a legally binding judgement.

        As an aside, those who wish to see the UK remain in the EU keep banging-on about traffic congestion at ports and transshipment terminals, but they fail to understand that Customs paperwork doesn’t need to be done at ports, being done instead at the point of origin under TIR Convention. What is more that has been the case for many European countries since 1949…

      • Chris
        Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Worth reading this today in the Press about how many in Norway are not at all happy with the EEA and are aiming to reform it:

        “…A new report from Nei til EU (No to the EU) revealed the extensive impact the EEA has had on Norway since it joined on May 2, 1992.
        Nearly 12,000 EU directives and regulations have been implemented through the agreement, which have included huge changes to sectors that were supposed be outside the agreement – including fisheries and agriculture.
        Morten Harper, Research Manager at Nei til EU, said: “We at Nei til EU want to replace the EEA agreement with a modern trade agreement, and we are demanding a referendum on leaving the EEA.
        “We are certain it would better to trade on even terms with the EU than being integrated into the single market and its four ‘freedoms’, the free flow of goods, services, capital and labour.”…….”

        • Jerry
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          @Chris; With respect, you need to find a better source, I’m not saying that the basics are wrong but the DE says what ever they think their readers want to hear, be it Brexit or the weather!

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Presumably if the same quote was reported in the Mirror Guardian Observer or on the BBC you would accept it.
            Its a quote.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; I rarely accept newspaper or even the broadcast media’s say so as gospel, after all in this age of the internet it is not difficult find the raw or at least less partisan source (even if it is not in English, after all there are all number of off-line and on-line translation services etc).

            For example if I want to know what our host has said in parliament woudl I simply believe what the media say he said or would I come here (he has often posted transcripts of his more important speeches here), or perhaps consult the on-line version of Hansard? Why do I get the impression that you Eddie would (be utterly lazy,) simply accept what ever your partisan newspaper said he said, even if it was more fiction than fact…

  25. Terry
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I find it easy to conclude that the fictitious choices of a “Hard” or a “Soft” Brexit are a creation of the wretched remoaners in attempt to turn those Brexiteers, who according to the die-hard remainers, did not know what they were voting for. LOL. By doing so they insult the British electorate. But being remoaners they care for no one but themselves, of course.

    Furthermore, I also conclude that wanting your Country to be ruled by Foreign Government is an act of betrayal of your country and it must only be because of some vested interests with the Sadly, in the case of an ex-LibDem leader, an ex Royal Marine dedicated to protect this country from Foreign rule, there are additional words to describe this anti-patriot stance. Dishonourable is one of them.

    It was made very clear in the run-up to the Referendum vote (Not least of all by Dave Cameron himself) that if we voted to Leave we would leave it all -the Single Market as well as the Customs Union and everything that went with it.
    So much so that we were warned in no uncertain terms what devastation would happen to jobs, the economy and the Nation if we opted out. The Fear Factors were played out in full swing by all of those who wished this country to be continually subservient to an unelected unaccountable Oligarchy. So now, how can these people claim that the electorate were ignorant of the facts?

    Perhaps, if we are lucky, we may learn from the remaining Remainers why they think we should sacrifice our Nation and OUR sovereignty to an Oligarchy when two million British lives were sacrificed in maintaining the democratic Independence of ALL European Nations during World War 2. A fact, I fear the members of the European Commission have dumped in their waste bin in favour of their pursuit to a totalitarian society within Europe. We MUST leave while we still can.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear Terry. Exactly what Jerry doesn’t understand. We knew what we were voting for and that’s what we want.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner; ” We knew what we were voting for and that’s what we want.”

        You only understood what you yourself voted for, not what someone else voted for, heck you do not even know which of the 28 “Brexit” manifestos they were reading, or are you seriously suggesting that someone reading the “Trade Unionists Against the EU” manifesto voted for the Vote Leave vision of Brexit, never mind that of UKIP?!

        If you do know who voted for which of the 28 manifestos then please cite the break down of the voting figures…

        • Edward2
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Ditto Remain

    • Limited
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage, among many others, made very clear that they were fully content with the Norway option – ie continuing membership of the single market

      • rose
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Nigel Farage made clearest of all that no deal was better than the rotten deal we have at the moment.

  26. old salt
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    “We can get rid of EU taxes we do not like.”
    Does this mean VAT or the component paid to the EU?

    • Jerry
      Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      @old salt; “Does this mean VAT or the component paid to the EU?”

      But that has already been promised to the NHS, remember…

  27. Original Richard
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    “The UK General election is both about who should lead our country for the next five years, and what kind of a country we want to create.”

    The only important issue for this election and the next 5 years is to ensure we have a clean and complete break from the EU so that we regain total control of our money, economy, immigration and energy policies, laws, trade deals, foreign affairs and assets etc..

  28. Anonymous
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    My son is registered to vote in the general election both here and at his University. Yes. To vote twice constitutes electoral fraud – but is this being watched ?

    Reply So he must not break GE law by voting twice

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      But what’s stopping others doing it ?

  29. Peter D Gardner
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The core of John Redwood’s diary here is this passage: “As we come out we need to legislate for a new UK fishing policy kinder to both our fish and our fishermen. We need to set up a new system of agricultural support, that is sensitive to the UK rural landscape and helps promote more domestic food production. We can get rid of EU taxes we do not like.”

    This should have been Mrs May’s focus since she became PM. instead we had months os paralysis by analysis of everything but the UK’s needs for the future. Eventually Mrs May got to the blindingly obvious position that UK should not seek to remain a member of the single market. This removed most of the serious obstacles to a successful negotiation. She stuck rigidly to her timetable to invoke Article 50, during which time, the Remoaner forces organised their campaign of sabotage. She stuck rigidly to her position of a new comprehensive treaty with the EU , incredibly, being negotiated in the same timescale as arrangements for withdrawal, two years. Only in the last month or two has she realised that this will not be possible and considered the cost to UK of ‘No Deal’.
    UK’s position should be simple. Starting from ‘No Deal’ what does UK need to do in order to become a fully independent fully functioning independent sovereign nation once again? Answer: JR’s paragraph quoted above. Ergo, what does it need from the EU? Answer total Brexit, minimum distraction, minimum of exposure to risks arising from EU entanglement or from Brexit Remoaners, short negotiations concentrating on the essentials of the withdrawal arrangements, take it or leave free trade deal, and to this end it must be prepared to cease negotiations on the future relationship very early because above all industry and individuals need certainty as distinct from a detailed comprehensive treaty.
    Mrs May’s mantra is ‘strong and stable’ but her approach is closer to stubborn and rigid, and what is needed is clarity of vision, boldness, speed and agility. Does she have any of these qualities?

  30. Juliet
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    We need to get real about immigration.

    Immigration must provide positive results, immigrants who deliver economic* value are the type of people who also add-value
    1. Workers: High-skilled / Skilled occupations
    2. Investors / Startups occupation status
    3. Retired (financially independent) status
    4. Students (university)

    *Immigrants in all 4 categories above must contribute financially towards the UK economy and fulfill specific expectations such as:
    – Workers in full-time work, pay taxes
    – Students in full-time degree or above study
    – healthcare insurance required first 2 years

    If we focus on quality over quantity we can control and restrict low-skilled category of workers if in the future they treated as ‘short-stay guest workers / seasonal migration’ to temporarily fill industry demand labour shortages; where a ‘visa permit’ was assigned only to the migrant worker & specific conditions applied (allocation of two-year period of work, no entitlement to welfare benefits, no permanent residency rights, mandatory healthcare insurance & criminal/credit checks, disallowing family members from migrating to the UK) we could maintain a higher quality of immigration and controls

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The students must:

      – not displace a UK student with good grades

      – must pay their fees up front

      – must leave the country when required to do so

      This is yet another area where cheats have destroyed our trust and good will.

  31. SecretPeople
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    >>As we come out we need to legislate for a new UK fishing policy kinder to both our fish and our fishermen. We need to set up a new system of agricultural support, that is sensitive to the UK rural landscape and helps promote more domestic food production.

    I really appreciate your posting this. We need policies suited to our geographical and ecological realities. My fear is that, knowing our fishing rights are to be reclaimed, our fish stocks will be overfished by EU fishermen in the lead up to March 2019 (assuming no transitional period). Our land mass is finite; therefore net migration targets of 100,000 are not sustainable and inevitably imply building on more and more land. We should be aiming to increase agricultural land and wildflower meadow – not because they are pretty but because our lives depend upon it.

  • 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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