Surely the Chancellor does not want to mar Brexit?

I have been reading strange stories this week that the Chancellor is going on to the Marr show this morning to seek to change government policy on Brexit. I find this difficult to believe. The Chancellor is a senior member of the Cabinet and Brexit Committee, so he would have put his point of  view strongly when the Brexit policy was decided. The government deliberated long and hard, and then produced a White Paper, several statements to Parliament, and the Article 50 letter and Act. These all made it clear the UK would be leaving the EU and its single market and Customs Union, but would be negotiating for a business friendly comprehensive free trade agreement with the rest of the EU. This approach received overwhelming support from MPs in the last Parliament who voted through the Article 50 Act on that basis. The Chancellor was in full support.

I also find it difficult to believe the stories because the policy the unnamed briefers  say we need to change to is stupid. I would be surprised if the Chancellor wanted to sign up to such a policy. It is said we need to seek associate membership of the Customs Union, with an opt out of its strict rule that a member cannot negotiate free trade deals of its own for certain UK trade in services. How on earth could that  work? The main gains from negotiating free trade agreements with other countries will come from those where the present tariff barriers are highest. These are the lower income countries with a big export industry in farm products and basic industry. In order to get access for our services we will of course have to offer zero  tariffs and reduced barriers on things like tropical and  Mediterranean  agricultural products which currently are made dearer by EU impositions. If we cant negotiate on non service trade we have  no leverage.

It is also foolish because it creates the impression with the rest of the EU that the UK is constantly changing her mind and is too busy negotiating with herself to be able to negotiate seriously with them. Such a change at this late stage would send the wrong signal, and would not leave the government with the strong position accepted by Parliament that  we have at the moment. The General election saw 85% of the voters vote for parties that stated we  will leave the EU and the single market and negotiate our own trade deals. That is incompatible with any kind of membership of the Customs Union which would prevent us feeing our trade with others.

That’s why I think it unlikely the Chancellor will oppose government policy on the Marr show. Doubtless he will say he wants a  business friendly Brexit. On that I agree with him. That much is agreed by Labour and the Conservatives. The way to achieve it is through maximum access to the EU market, and through much better trade deals with the rest of the world.

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  1. Marmoset
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    O dear, your dreams are turning to ashes! Your scorched earth Brexit is being placed in the bin.
    Well, it is the will of the people, is it not? Your party campaigned in the Election for a hard Brexit. You did not win a majority. It’s over!

    • bri
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I think you need to go back and do the remedial maths class. The Tories had an overall majority. The Labour manifesto also clearly states that they would leave the single market. Brace yourself for the diamond hard Brexit coming your way.

  2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    You keep forgetting the 48% !
    This way you’ll never unify your very divided country and seem to be begging for a backlash, sooner or later.

    • Bert Young
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      PvL , Since the vote public support for Brexit has increased substantially ; the latest poll showed 66 % wants “out” !.

      • Hope
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        PvL, there is always a losing side at every election or referendum. Don’t be daft.

        • brian
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          The Left don’t like democracy when they lose. They will try to foment civil unrest. Socialism is only maintained in a country when that country is a police state.

          • Handbags
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            Well said Brian.

            Also, if you offer inexperienced kids free ice-cream they’ll go for it – and that’s exactly what the Labour Party promised.

            They cynically made promises they knew they would never have to keep because they knew they wouldn’t win the election.

            They did better than anyone expected (including themselves) – but there were enough sensible people out there who could see through their promises – and so they didn’t gain power.

            In reality socialism is dead – this is a high watermark for them – they’ll never gain this number of seats again.

        • bri
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          PVL supports the EU, he’s not used to democracy and referenda.

          • Hope
            Posted June 19, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

            Dutch government acts in stark contrast to its people wishes over EU accepting Ukraine to the fold! Some democracy in Holland where politicos claimed they were not strong enough to stand up to the EU! Your country is already overwhelmed, history shows your country rolling over in defeat. No wonder.

      • bigneil
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Bert. remember we are in a supposed democracy. How many people voted for mass unwanted immigration where those that came, and are still coming, now demand WE change things from our culture to suit THEIRS, despite many not paying any taxes, never working and also many not even bothering to learn the language. Why should they? Our govt ( our taxes ) pays for translators, at extended NHS appointments. We just have more and more trouble getting appointments in a system WE pay for.

        • Bert Young
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Bigneil , good points !

      • Dave , Shinfield
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        BY – please post a link to this poll.

        • Bert Young
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Ok . Link established

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      This is none of your business, but if you insist on poking your nose in you might care to look at the 12% who took the opportunity to vote for parties opposed to Brexit on June 8th 2017 rather than the 48% who voted against Brexit on June 23rd 2016.

      375 LibDem candidates lost their deposits, that is they got less than 5% of the votes cast, as did 455 Green candidates. So where was your 48%?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        I’ve decided to apply for Dutch citizenship to enhance my chances of getting comments published on this blog … in the meantime, I won’t bother.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          You’re welcome Denis!
          But do expect between 5 and 10 courses and exams (in Dutch language, knowledge of Dutch society, how to apply for jobs, etc. etc.) before you can qualify for Dutch citizenship. I actually witness this now with a son who brought a foreign partner to the Netherlands. How much easier it was when I brought my British wife to the Netherlands some forty years ago. 🙂

          • ian wragg
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            Peter, I was in Rotterdam earlier this year, first visit since 1963 when in the RN in Den Helder. What a tip, it is as bad as the worst areas of Paris and that takes some doing.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink


      The 48% you speak of seem to be getting nearer to 20% given current reviews/polls.

      Most of us in the UK just want the government to get on with it.

    • rose
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      More than 84% voted for parties which wanted to come out of the EU. If they wanted to indicate their wish to stay they would have voted Liberal or Green, or all in Scotland for the SNP. That didn’t happen. The Greens have just one seat, despite huge coverage by the broadcasters. And the Liberals are not doing well either. The SNP vote fell dramatically.

      The 48% have changed their minds apart from a very few diehards. Perhaps not changed their minds, more allowed themselves to think what they wanted to think all along, but were frightened by Project Fear from saying. The election showed the people had moved on; they thought the question was settled last year. Out means out.

      We know the EU wants our money. We have noticed.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        @Rose: I doubt that the Brexit which different parties respect and go for is the same type, I read big differences there. If there were a large, cross-party contingent formulating the Brexit strategy that would make all the difference, and I haven’t seen anything of the kind yet.
        I really don’t mind the UK leaving, apart from the damage it will certainly cause.
        Money is not the greatest concern over here in spite of what the tabloids write.

        • rose
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter,
          This is another fallacy, fostered by the remainiacs: there are not many different ways to escape the clutches of the EU, only one, and that is to leave. Remainiacs talk of different ways because they are in fact concocting different ways of staying in. Only remainiacs do this.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      We’re not being allowed to forget the 48% – not for a single minute !

      (Though no sign of a backlash yet.)

    • libertarian
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Peter vL

      I know you have a tennis grasp of democracy but I think you’ll find that the so called “48%” were actually part of the 85% who voted for full Brexit parties at the general election. This isn’t the Netherlands where people’s votes are ignored

      • libertarian
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Tennis? Really autocorrect get a grip TENUOUS

    • DaveM
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink


      Your post illustrates the misunderstanding of our country held by most continental Europeans. Our country has always been divided in one way or another, whether it be culturally, racially, religiously, financially, politically, geographically, by football (!), whatever.

      It’s one of our great historical problems. But it’s OUR problem and we like to fix it without foreign interference – when other European countries try to interfere, that’s when real trouble occurs. For example, the pope interfering in our sovereignty, the Spanish king trying to help the die-hard catholics during Elizabeth’s reign, the French helping the Pretenders. Etc etc. Funny though, the Dutch have nearly always been on our side because most of your countrymen likewise prefer to cut their own path.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM: If you think your country can become more unified without needing a common outside enemy, that would be an excellent achievement.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      PVL Oh dear. You never know when to shut up do you?

    • James Matthews
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Ahh Peter. Taking the opportunity to join the ranks of the walking dead, lead by failures like Major. Heseltine, Clarke, Osborne, Blair, Mandelson et al.

      Well jackals will be jackals I guess, but you really ought to try to overcome your compulsion to meddle in British affairs. Dutch politics too boring? Surely not. Like the rest of the EU countries (with the possible exception of the Eastern Europeans) you are quietly accepting the destruction not only of your own individual national identity but also of the most important elements of the common European culture which once constituted a genuine European identity (meanwhile noisily pursuing a European state). That ought to be enough to keep you amused

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Attn VL–I seem to remember that a number of times when it suited you EU lovers, the message (in particular from a French Lady Cabinet Minister or somesuch) was “A win is a win” (this was after a win smaller than the one you are attempting to throw stones at). That is how voting works and to hell with Second Referenda only when it suits you. As I have said before here, King Charles I faced a Tribunal of 135 Judges who ruled against him 68 to 67, which was enough for regicide never mind merely leaving the wretched EU–his head came off I think the next day or close.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      How’s it going with forming a ‘Strong and Stable
      ‘ government in the Netherlands?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Well the Evening Standard (under IHT ratter and 15% stamp duty Osborne) on Thursday already suggested what he was going to say in his speech, before he cancelled it.

    I see that (wrong on almost every issue) Lord Patten has suggested Damian Green, Philip Hammond or Amber Rudd might make good leaders of the party to replace socialist May. Thus confirming my opinion that they are all totally unsuitable.

    Charles Moore in the Telegraph yesterday is surely right. If the Tory do not carry out their promise on a real Brexit they are surely finished.

  4. Nig l
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I trust you leaving big guns are ready, if there is any ambiguity, to put him down. My concern is that this briefing has been the same for months. If it is inaccurate, why hasn’t he made an unequivocal rebuttal?

    • Hope
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      JR, it is a simple question of stand together or fall together. The MSM are geared up to help stop Brexit any way they can. That is why we hear from the die hards who want foreign rule or stand by foreign leaders making threats to our nation i.e. Cameron. Hammond expected support following his disastrous budget so a little loyalty would not go a miss.

      You need to get a circle of same minded people to get more leavers at the head table of govt. May has an appalling record, in about a year or so dump her. She cannot cope with pressure her facial expressions say it all. Green and others will need to stand up to the plate to take the heat off her in the press. Force Hammond to make more public statements about leaving the EU. During the year Rudd will need to be forced to go quietly for family reasons while shoring up the failures of failing to keep us safe borders, immigration, deportations, police border agency, prison service changed to become a punishment and fit for purpose. As sure as eggs are eggs her and May’s failings will come back to bite.

  5. Brexit
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    We agree with you and sincerely hope that the rumours about Mr Hammond’s attempts to promote a ‘soft’ Brexit are untrue. Brexit = Leave, Soft Brexit = Remain.

    Interesting that it was the PM and Dr Fox who jointly appointed the new Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, Crawford Falconer, last night. This should send a very strong signal to the EU (and to anyone in the UK who doubts it) that the UK is serious about the bright international trade future ahead of us, once we leave the Single Market and Customs Union.

    Incidentally your recent articles on Brexit have been excellent.

    Best wishes, the Facts4EU.Org Team

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Your label of “Facts4UK” seems to be misleading advertising, which is illegal. Soft Brexit, viz staying in the single market like Norway, is not “Remain”. Unless of course you believe that Norway is a member of the EU.

      • Oggy
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        No but Norway still has to accept all the EU’s rules and regulations ! – when will you begin to understand or is it a hopeless task.

        ‘The EEA agreement grants Norway access to the EU’s internal market. From the 23,000 EU laws currently in force, the EEA has incorporated around 5,000 (in force) meaning that Norway is subject to roughly 21% of EU laws. According to Norway’s Foreign Affairs from the legislative acts implemented from 1994 to 2010, 70% of EU directives and 17% of EU regulations in force in the EU in 2008 were in force in Norway in 2010.”

        • Oggy
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          PS that includes Norway having to accept ‘freedom of movement’ of people.

          • getahead
            Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            And pay for it.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Then report it to the ASA Les.
        Not that your ridiculous claim is correct.

        • Len Grinds
          Posted June 19, 2017 at 4:54 am | Permalink

          Which bit of “Norway is in the single market but not in the EU” don’t you get?

      • libertarian
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Les Grinds

        If you want UK to join the EEA you will have to get a party to support you , win an election then hold a referendum on joining the EEA

        Remember we triggered article 50 to leave, the EU, EEA etc

    • Richard1
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I just listened to his interview, it sounded perfectly sensible. What is all the fuss about? He was calm clear and articulate. He rightly pointed out that the Conservatives should have addressed economic issues and the governments record during the election. Mrs May and her dismissed advisers were very foolish to keep Hammond (and virtually the rest of the cabinet) off the airwaves.

      • getahead
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Foolish to keep Hammond full-stop.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lionheart–I watched him and think very much otherwise–Whether Hammond likes it or not, being able and minded to walk away if necessary is (or unfortunately perhaps now was) an absolutely crucial part of the forthcoming negotiations and he with his newly open mouth and his, wrong in any event, opinions has done his best to undermine our efforts and at the worst possible time. It always was insane and absurd to have a Remainer like him as No 2 to Mrs May also a Remainer–not that anything he has said or done outside Brexit has been anything other than disastrous as well. Why didn’t he make more noise during the campaign? Presumably because, despite what he says with hindsight, he thought there would be a good majority so decided he had to keep his head down as the best chance to keep his job. I actively don’t like the fellow.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I hope your optimism of Mr Hamonds views are correct, with us starting negotiations tomorrow, it would be foolish indeed if the Chancellor were to outline a different policy or thought process that was different from the Prime ministers Lancaster house speech, which I assume is the current position our Government holds.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      You were correct JR, I though Mr Hammond came across very well.

      Please he also said the Lancaster House speech Position still holds true.

      Interesting that Labours position seems to be shifting towards a cleaner Brexit, but they are still not clear about the customs union.

      In the meantime I wish David Davis and his team well for next week.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Agreed, there was nothing to get upset with on his interview, I think. The point he seemed uncertain about was whether we would be able to negotiate other trade deals before the end of the 2 year period. I think this needs to be cleared up early in the negotiation. We can’t reasonably be expected to leave the trade bloc one day with nothing to go to with third parties the next, and I trust the government will already have been putting personnel in place to start the ball rolling on this, regardless of the rules. What’s the worst the EU can do to us for disobeying this daft rule? Stop selling to us??
        I think this issue will come to the fore quite quickly and needs to be resolved.

        Meanwhile Labour/Keir Starmer can be dismissed as being uncertain even whether they want to leave the customs union, which is 100 metres behind in the race.

  7. E.S Tablishment
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    JR, the media never prelude any of your interviews with Shock-Horror probabilities of you abandoning the whole point of Brexit.The media understand the ease with which people can believe the Chancellor is more likely than others to reveal he has had horns all the time.

  8. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I just hope you are right John. Everyone is getting fed up of hearing conflicting things on the news, the papers and from government ministers themselves. Let’s get what is being proposed for the UK out into the open and go for it. All this dallying must be making business nervous too. We have had a year to think about this and the government must know what they are going to do. Now we should know too.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Everyone is getting fed up of hearing conflicting things on the news,

      Theres and easy way to deal with that, stop listening, watching and reading the media. Our media is amongst the worst in the world , crap journalism, opinion passing as analysis, rabble rousing ( red tops) and above all lazy, cliched, churnalism and fake news

  9. jason wells
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The dogs in the street know that the cabinet is divided on brexit so why should we be surprised that the chancellor is going on the Marr show to try to get his position across to the public.

    Lets be clear about this- if as it looks.. that we will crash out of the the EU, and very soon, there will be no business friendly comprehensive agreement waiting to negotiate with the remaining eu countries.. its not going to happen.. any such thinking is only pie in the sky.. the Europeans will be relentless in their determination that there will be no cherry picking allowed.. the four principal freedoms of the eu for goods, services, people and capital will be maintained. According to what is being said here we will be looking for maximum access to the eu market (something we already have) without being members of the customs union..with also freedom to negotiate with whomever else we please but that is not going to happen.. it won’t be allowed.. as I have said already.. its all pie in the sky.. if uk leave the customs union then it’s goodbye from the eu..and I can already see another large player waiting patiently in the wings to eventually take our place..namely Russia. This is shaping up to be an own goal of our own making but of enormous proportions.. in my opinion

    • zorro
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      There is no way on earth that Russia would join the EU!!


      • Mitchel
        Posted June 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed,the idea of “the haughty Muscovite” giving up even a thread of it’s sovereignty to a foreign power is laughable.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 19, 2017 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      Quite so. And the likes of Mr Redwood who told us the EU would fold because the UK has such a good bargaining position are being exposed.

  10. Peter
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    We shall see what Mr. Hammond says in due course.

    At the moment it is speculation.

    However, I do take comfort from other stories saying:-

    1. David Davis says forget ‘soft’ Brexit.

    2. Backbenchers will axe Mrs. May if she fails to deliver .brexit.

  11. formula57
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Well said! We might need a replacement Chancellor of course but let us hope backsliding on Brexit does not provide the cause.

    My concerns about government weakness have led me to infiltrate my constituency Conservative Party to the extent of now being on first name terms with the MP (sound enough). I have yet to reveal my hand of promoting a Redwoodista agenda. Clearly, if your chief whip is up to the job he will soon be aware of and hence alarmed by my initiative and so I make plain that you did not seek it, were not consulted and that any cease and desist message from you will be disregarded as having been issued under duress.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The fact that you have to write this piece is revealing and perhaps an indication of supporting criticism of his appointment. His budget was lacklustre and lacked vision. It was widely reported Mrs. May was sacking him after a presumed successful election. The question many of us asked last July was why appoint him? He was clearly not right for the job. It was also the start of Mrs. May getting critical things wrong.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    This is the same Chancellor who continues to rat on the £1M IHT threshold promise, thought mugging the seft employed with extra NI was just a great plan, increased insurance IPT tax to 12% (even on private medical insurance which saves the NHS billions), thinks 15% stamp duty on houses is a great plan, likes mugging private penison pots and taxing landlords on “profits” they have not even made (thus pushing tenants’ rents up).

    This while pissing money down the drain on corrupt foreign aid, HS2, Hinkley C, biofuels, bonkers subsidies for very expensive and unreliable “renewables”. He likes the hugely expensive and damaging climate change act and the Paris agreement and allows countless other nonsense and waste from this bloated and largely inept state sector anywhere you care to look.

    A chancellor who think he knows how much businesses can afford to pay staff and is clearly at war with the very business people who drive the economy and create the wealth that his government lover to waste. A chancellor who is still borrowing an additional £100,000 every minute.

    At least, unlike Gove, he has not mentioned 20% VAT on school fees yet I suppose.

  14. Tabulazero
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir,

    How do you propose to leave the single-market and the custom union while not imposing a hard border across Ireland ?

    In the absence of the latter wouldn’t all the U.K. Goods flow through Europe via Ireland ?


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Tariff free access both ways and a payment from us to them or vice versa of a percentage of any variation in trade from that prevailing is my best guess.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Er why would UK goods flow through Ireland, to what end? If we have a FTA what difference would it make for goods?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      That depends what you mean by a “hard” border.

      “The UK-Irish border is particularly sensitive, but there is strong political will to find a solution. A customs border will be required but the border can be almost invisible. A number of measures can be adopted to reduce its visibility – notably drawing on the experience of EUCU border between Sweden and Norway.”

    • zorro
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      What happened at that border before we joined the EU? Any reason to think the two governments would want anything different? There was trade and travel before we joined the EU you know…. We have had the Common Travel Area for nearly a century!


      • Len Grinds
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        After Brexit, the UK is not in the EU. Ireland is. Therefore there must be a hard border. The only way to avoid it is for the UK to stay in the customs union.

        Reply Nonsense

        • Chris
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          What is the point of posting such an inaccurate statement, LG? It serves no useful purpose.

          • Len Grinds
            Posted June 19, 2017 at 4:58 am | Permalink

            It is one hundred per cent accurate.

            Do explain why you do not agree, if you can. What you and Mr Redwood need to learn is that simply saying Brexit will be lovely doesn’t convince, when all your promises of an easy ride are being shown to be false day by day.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 19, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            Don’t bother answering my point about Sweden (inside the EU customs union) and Norway (outside the EU customs union), because of course you have no answer.

        • ian wragg
          Posted June 18, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          How’s Brussels this sunny day Len. What with you and PvL I sometimes feel like buying a shillings worth of gas.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      From the answers above, i conclude that your solution to this problem is a FTA with the EU that would grant you all the benefits of the single-market without any of the drawbacks.

      You realise that, seen from the continent, the odds of this happening are note vers good.

      Do what is the UK’s plan B, than ?

      • anon
        Posted June 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        We need do nothing, that’s the reality. We are leaviing. That is the plan.No deal is acceptable to us. If this is the case for the EU the discussions will be short,and then we exit early, unilaterally and immediately.

        The delay and prevarication is of no benefit to anyone, except maybe traders and of course the EU budget.

        Concentrate on making the EU work for its remaining members not least the soon to be contributing more ones. That is if you want them to remain.

        What the EU does next will define its character and values openly to the ROW and it is existential for its current modus of operation.

        Once we are out , lets see how many countries re-visit their EU agreements in light of the fact the UK market is no longer part of the EU.

  15. Michael
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The fact it was felt necessary to write in these terms says a lot.

    If the Conservative Party retreated on its BREXIT promises how would it be able to face the electorate at the next general election? It would be crazy to do so.

  16. Peter Wood
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Please clarify; the Chancellor is not the minister tasked with effecting Brexit, he must therefore do as he’s told by the PM and should really not comment.

    • Chris
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      He thinks May is weak and that he can do what he likes. Time he was reined in, and pdq. Actually, I believe he should be removed forthwith. JR for Chancellor, as I have said in comments before.

  17. Mark B
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    A trade deal with the EU may take a very long time. e.g. Canada. But looking long term I think we are going to reap the benefits as the UK sources much that it buys from the EU elsewhere. This will have a very negative effect on them and will see them push for a better trading arrangements.

    But the EU have the slightly upper hand in the short term and we would be wise to bear that in mind.

    I am very optimistic about our future and that needs to be reflected by our government.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      There is no comparison with Canada. We would not be seeking to remove barriers to trade, we would be agreeing what impediments to trade should be reinstated.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    We’ll see shortly, that TV programme starts in ten minutes, but a lot of the much-hyped fundamental divisions between politicians and others in the UK seems to boil down to nothing more than whether our new agreements with the EU and the other member states should include transitional provisions. Of course they should, wherever they are necessary to ensure a smooth and orderly transition, it has always been nonsense to suppose that one day we would vote to leave the EU and with one bound we would instantly be free of all its legal obligations and complications. And I’m really not bothered that it will inevitably take some years to completely disentangle ourselves, provided that when we leave the EU and the new legal arrangements treaties come into force we know for sure that their transitional provisions will come to an end at certain defined points in the future, at the latest. That is not the same as agreeing to some transitional state, for example leaving the EU but staying in the EEA, which could end up being the final, not a temporary or interim, state.

  19. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    If you are correct, then someone has been briefing the media a falsehood, which they have subsequently reported on. This has been going on too much with our media lately and is undermining my already tentative trust in them. Capital should be made from highlighting their failed campaigns to undermine the Government. At the very least, they are reporting unsubstantiated rumour, which makes them look fools; at the worst, they are inciting this current era of political turmoil for their own gain. All ministers should go on the offensive.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Apparently the government can’t be bothered with any counter-propaganda, which itself may arouse justified suspicion about what it really intends.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    We will see how soft/on the fence the remain leaning senior Govt members are.

    The position should be simple, out of the customs union, but as frictionless as possible customs, especially for those existing supply chains flowing back and forth across channel.

  21. Javelin
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    John you are assuming his emotional brain isn’t overriding his thinking brain.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    “…it creates the impression with the rest of the EU that the UK is constantly changing her mind and is too busy negotiating with herself…”

    That’s because we are. We are so riven with different factions and inordinately powerful lobbies it is impossible to reach a clear consensus.

    R4’s Any Questions yesterday. An alliance with the DUP was said to be risky because it would upset the LGBT ‘community.’

    Grenfell Tower (sorry to return to it)

    There could be thousands of such buildings. Labour councils are just as guilty and it could just have easily have been one of theirs.

  23. Timaction
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    So who is briefing or is it more fake news? You wonder why people have lost all faith with the legacy parties who wouldn’t know truth, honour or patriotism if it slapped them in the face

  24. JoolsB
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives renege on any part of a full Brexit, they will be toast come the next election. We need Brexiteers in charges of these negotiations, not EU loving remainers, socialists at that, like Hammond and May.

  25. Peter
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Well Mr. Hammond has just made absolutely clear on the Marr show that we are leaving. No ifs or buts.

    • rose
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Except that he mentioned transitional arrangements.

      Why do we have to have them? Surely there has been enough notice? He said we would have to have Free Movement during that time. And presumably pay tribute.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Why did the original six EEC countries allow themselves twelve years to set up their common market, writing that into the 1957 Treaty of Rome?

        “ARTICLE 8

        1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years.

        This transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years each; the length of each stage may be altered in accordance with the provisions
        set out below … ”

        And why were there transitional provisions written into the later treaty for the UK to join the EEC, and into every subsequent accession treaty?

        It’s commonplace for a treaty to include transitional provisions.

        • anon
          Posted June 19, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          How many years of continued unfettered immigration would it take to change a future vote? You can bet it wont be 40 years.

    • Superwoman
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      “No ifs or buts” . Now where have I heard that phrase before?

  26. graham1946
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    If backsliding occurs expect a resurgence of UKIP with Nigel coming back. He has invested too much time and effort in Brexit to let people like Hammond ruin it. I don’t know why you have such faith in your party – the PM is a Remainer so is the Chancellor. The PM made the perfect speech outlining the government approach to Brexit which everyone understood and would have got behind had there been ‘strong and stable’ backing. There has been nothing like it since. She is good with empty words such as this and the JAM’s. If May truly believed what she said she would have slapped down opposition in her Ministers when she was strong. Can’t do it now, of course. Your party has been riven on this issue for over 40 years, why do they want to make it worse. Brexit could have laid the matter to rest once and for all for you, but you seem determined to take the suicide pill.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hammond, just now, was being rather evasive on what replaces the customs union.

    The idea that we will be restricted from making new trade deals during some interim period (after leaving the customs union) is totally unacceptable. But this is clearly not the case for Hammond. He seems to be open to a new “customs union” just given a new name – NO, NO NO! – as Lady Thatcher might have put it. Rather like the EU Constitution Treaty becoming the Lisbon Treaty. The name is irrelevant, it is the content, restrictions and the EU courts oversight that is totally unacceptable.

    Also on the appalling fire tragedy. He said:- “These are very complex technical issues”
    No, they are not at all complex. If you wrap a tall tower in flammable insulation and cladding. Thus forming a convection tunnel/furnace (and perhaps fit plastic framed windows too) then it is blinding obvious that you have made it far, far more dangerous than it was before you did so.

    So why on earth was it done? Why did the “experts”, the building regulations and the regulators actually permit this, why did the management company and council do this and pay for it to be done. Why was the cladding company even selling this product, knowing it was to be used in this way?

    The pathetic PC obsession with the green religion is surely very largely responsible too.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I think the point is to use the interim period to close trade deals with countries outside the customs union. We should infact be pushing to sign these before the 2 year period. What’s the worst that can happen? Even if we need to come to a deal where the EU pays a % of what they sell to us and we pay them a % of what we sell to them, that will incentive us to both up our value added and to move away from this focus on the business we do with the EU. We could even incentivise our own businesses to sell outside the EU as opposed to in it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      On this cladding issue, there are clearly two questions; was the cladding permitted and if so which tests proved its safety? The test results on this and comparable cladding/insulation combinations and structures could easily be released by the lab which carried out the tests. Were the tests fixed, VW style, or were the scientists too closed-minded to look at all possible scenarios for wind, existing building structures, etc, in the case of a fire?
      The response has, as usual, been emotional and not scientific or analytical.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is alway emotion that wins over logic and science. Look at all the climate alarmism.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      No, he’s correct to say that after we have left the EU customs union we, and the other EU countries, will almost certainly need some new arrangement to replace it and what matters is how that new arrangement is designed.

  28. Bert Young
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Rumours are one thing ; truth/facts are another .However , I don’t trust Hammond to follow the agreed line ; he is a “remainer”and he has tried before ( in his comments ) to maintain a “soft” approach to Brexit ; feed back from his counterpart in Germany confirmed this .

    If the interview does confirm the rumour , then he must “go”. The Cabinet should meet and agree a common line and not allow individual variations .

  29. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    So Mrs May is too expect a storcking horse challenge now the remainiacs feel emboldened.
    Millions are watching your shenanigans over Brexit and Farage is waiting in the wings. If you double cross the British public you will be finished as a serious party.
    Although I expect some see that as a price worth paying.

  30. Duncan
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    A hung parliament provides Brexit forces in the Conservative party excellent leverage to extract maximum concessions. Simply threaten May with a civil war in the Tory party and the possibility of a hard left Labour govt and we will see Brexit in its purest form

    It’s the perfect moment for decent Tory MP’s who love their country and all it stands for to strike at the heart of the EU and its supporters like Hammond.

    May is weak, take advantage of that fact

  31. Nig l
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    He came across well and laid the ghosts. Well done for keeping ‘his backbone stiff’ I am more confident than ever. Just get the Queens speech through!

  32. Vanessa
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    HURRAY for Philip Hammond – someone with a brain who does not want to destroy the British economy and trade. If Theresa May carries on with her lunacy of “no deal is better than a bad deal” Britain will be the “sick man of Europe” all over again. It has taken 44 years for it to come around. At least if we joined the EEA/EfTA we could make our own trade Agreements – it is allowed and the EU cannot stop us. There isn’t one country in the world which trades SOLELY on WTO rules they are much too generalised.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      There aren’t many countries in the world who allow their trading partners to dictate their immigration policy, which is the case while we remain in the EEA.

  33. Antisthenes
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Having just listened to Marr and Philip Hammond it is obvious that mendacious and malicious elements are yet again are spreading false news. The quantity of which especially from those who have left leaning sympathies these days is appalling. Pointing to the fact that those same elements who profess to be fighting often aggressively and violently against fascism are in fact anti-democratic and labelling them fascist would not be that much inaccurate.

    Much of the media reflects society and makes up what is these days known as the establishment which points to the fact that our societies standards and values have sunk to a very low point. That decadence,corruption and incompetence is on the rise and decency and honesty are being subjugated. It is therefore understandable that we the ordinary people are rapidly losing trust in our governments and corporations which ironically we are aiding and abetting in their rush to the bottom. Hence our rush to make the lunatic fringe the lunatic main stream. Where Marxist despotism, magic like money trees dripping with infinite amounts of free money and snake oil salesman are being turned to cure our perceived woes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Ask these people to do anything useful, for example accurately assess the fire risk of a building, and they would be absolutely hopeless. All they can do is pick on /invent flaws in the work of those who actually doing something rather than blathering.

  34. David Johnson
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The Conservatives would have a 60 seat majority if it was an ENGLAND ONLY gereral election…
    The vast majority of voters in England voted for a Conservative MP
    When will we have an English Parliament ?

    • James Matthews
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Answer, sadly, not before we have English independence.

  35. June A. Van Orman
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I do not trust Theresa May, Hammond or any Remainer. The referendum was almost a year ago and all we’ve been getting form them is the samo, samo, rhetoric. You may think they are for this country, but from where I am sitting they are for themselves and if the EU can and does deliver, well guess what?! UKIP and those backing LEAVE, regardless of party affiliation, are the only ones to trust.

  36. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    No problems with Hammond’s interview. The BBC headline “Hammond Attacks Tory Election Campaign”, which is certainly not the impression I got from the interview.
    A better headline would be “Hammond and Starmer in Agreement on Substance of Brexit Policy”, but we couldn’t expect the BBC to run that headline.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Well, what about the Telegraph website headline:

      “Philip Hammond undermines PM on eve of Brexit talks as he says ‘no deal would be a very bad outcome'”

      Eh, yes, he did say that, but as admitted in the report he went on to say:

      “… but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time.”

      Of course it makes sense that in principle a proposed deal could be so bad that it was worse than having no deal at all, however bad that might be.

      I’m getting thoroughly sick of journalists.

  37. JackG
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    In case any of your commentators have forgotton the following are some of the documents we all are going to be reminded of very soon-

    Commercial invoice
    Customs value declaration
    Packing lists
    Bills of lading
    Fiata bill of lading
    Ata carnet
    Tir carnet
    Etc etc

    All of these documents are still in use its just that we dont see them too often.. but we soon willl for all kinds of reasons along with increased queues at ports and warehouses..thats how it was in the 1960’s and am afraid that’s what we are going back to.

    • Terry
      Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      And these forms are not used currently in dealings with non-EU countries?
      And surely any export/import has to carry a commercial invoice and packing list and a BoL regardless of its origin or destination? How else can it be checked?

      In any case this is but a minor irritation in comparioson with the freedom we shall enjoy without the chains of the wretched EU round our business necks.

  38. Terry
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    So this is another of the “False News Stories” that POTUS Trump often speaks of.

    Well if this tale is untrue, The Chancellor must realease a public statement to that effect, NOW!
    Else suspicions will endure.

  39. ian
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    In my mind full brexit is a go, and the tower blocks like glenfell were due to be torn down, but because of the overwhelming desire by all parties in the HOC for more immigration, and refugees to be brought in to the country they tarted up.

  40. PaulW
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    David davis may say no ‘soft brexit here’ but what will mr barnier reply? – very likely ‘pay up and shut up’

    David davis may very well say lets talk about our future trading relations-
    But mr barnier will say ‘in your dreams’ – first we have to agree the cost of seperation.. then the deal for eu and uk migrants strewn throughout the uk and europe and finally the the irish border?- should take a few years

    Mr davis will say first he has to consult with mrs may.. and mr barnier will reply .. well hurry on then the clock is ticking..

  41. Terry
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Well I’m sorry to say, having seen the video, the Chancellor did make it clear that NO deal would be very bad for Britian, although he did also say that if an EU deal meant Britian would be punished then that would be worse than no deal.
    Ambiguous statements do nothing to promote confidence.
    Why could he not just have said if we cannot get a satisfactory deal then we shall walk away with no deal?

    I just thank TM that he is not on the negotiating team . He has the poor ability of those that Cameron took with him to “Renegotiate” the terms to Remaining in the EU. The result as we all know, was embarassing both for him and to this country.

  42. Mutiny on the Bounty
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    David Davis is said to become a caretaker PM whilst a proper leader is found. I would like to suggest a coconut for Tory PM, cunningly with two painted black eyes. It won’t be able to answer a single question in the next election. Should pick up a few more seats than Mrs May

  • 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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