Mrs May and Mrs Merkel

Some in the press and media wish to personalise the negotiation between the UK and the EU into a battle between Mrs May and Mrs Merkel. As always on the UK side there are those who want to portray it as a fight between a weak UK and a powerful Germany. They seem to think Mrs Merkel is in a strong position, whilst they wrongly allege Mrs May is in a weak position.

It starts with EU spin trying to suggest Mrs May is in a weak position owing to the recent election. That is an odd allegation to come from the continent. Mrs May and the Conservatives received 42.4% of the popular vote in June. Mrs Merkel and her party received 41.5% in the last German election. Mrs Merkel’s party currently stands on 38% in the polls, and has not been above that for two years and has often been well below it. Mrs Merkel won just 33% of the seats in the German Parliament with her party, Mrs May won 49% of the seats in the Commons. Mrs May need not face another election for five years. Mrs Merkel has to go to the polls in three months time and looks set to do worse than last time. Mrs May can govern as a single party. Mrs Merkel has to govern in coalition partnership with the SPD, the equivalent of Mrs May having to govern with the support of Labour. I would rather be in Mrs May’s position than Mrs Merkel’s.

The posturing by the EU in response to the UK proposal on reassuring UK and EU citizens resident in each other’s territories shows they are misjudging the strength of their position. It looks as if they think delaying and being difficult could lead to the UK giving up and staying in the EU. That would be a bad misreading of the situation, and of the recent election where voters decisively rejected the Lib Dems who offered just that approach.

If the EU wastes too much of their negotiating time on making silly claims for large sums of money, and on pressing for future freedom of movement as well as accepting past free movement, they will run out of time to secure tariff and barrier free access to our market. French dairy famers, Danish pig farmers, Dutch market gardeners, German car producers and many others who would face tariffs will not be amused if that happens. Maybe Mrs Merkel’s forthcoming encounters with the German electors will make her more realistic. It will certainly remind her of how she lost popularity over her migration policy since she last asked the voters to vote for her.

There are signs that business on the continent wants their leaders to get on with it to ensure smooth trade in 20 months time. It would be good news if the UK media started submitting the other EU governments to the barrage of difficult questions over how their businesses will fare in 2019 that they give us daily at the UK end.

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  1. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Very good post John. I am fed up of the media not supporting their own country and deriding us whenever they can. They feed the public misery and depressing news. Why can’t they ever be upbeat about the good things that are out there? Same with the other political parties. They need to put the good of the country before themselves for a change. I did not watch Corbyn’s speech at Glastonbury which I thought was supposed to be non political. I am sure it was full of hatred for all the great things about the UK. It would be nothing different from the usual rubbish he spouts off and all the gullible audience will be convinced life is for free!

    Let’s just get on with the negotiating and just walk if they don’t want to play ball.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. No deal – we walk away. And any so called divorce bill should be deducted from the net £10 billion a year we have been paying year on year. If anything, they owe us. But have enough of our politicians got the guts? Somehow doubt it.

      • Hope
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        If they claim the the have liabilities (which of course we legally do not) then we also need to make sure we have our fair share of the assets and deposits made. Will we get back the money leant to Greece? Cameron claimed the UK would not help bail outs of Eurozone countries, of course we did. We also loaned Ireland £7 billion to get around his false claim.

        JR, the remainiacs in your party secured May as PM. Leadsom was far better, she has charisma, came across as normal and people skills ( not a rich toff or stereo type of arrogant Tories like Cameron). She comes across sincere authentic and fair but firm. She was a key figure why people voted to leave from the TV debates without the brash or pompous appearance of some other candidates.

        Unfortunately for May has none of these qualities and an awful record on keeping us safe. Unfortunately she also has peculiar jaw drop like Brown which people do not looked because it makes her look like she is grimacing, even though she is not. She has an awkward gate no walks in a stooped fashion which makes her look insecure and lack confidence. Hammond would be a disaster and so would Davis. I hope the flattery or their ambition gets the better of them. Hammond also has an appalling record and personal record which would not stand the test of press scrutiny.

      • nigel seymour
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Agree. The sad thing is we never grasped the ‘political nettle’ when the ref result came in. The UK and the EU are in the same position given that both sides were ‘stunned’ by the result. We still dont understand what the implications will be so time will tell. History tells us that civil wars divide nations and peoples, we are now experiencing this big time and I fear this will continue well beyond 2020.

      • eleanor justice
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately I think JR is casting the best light on a very bad job. If a majority of 17 wasn’t good enough, then a majority of -9 is a lot worse. Theresa Maybe’s government did nothing with that majority of 17 and a full year (Happy Independence Day, btw), other than invoke Article 50. And that just makes us the supplicant. What a wasted opportunity.

      I think JR and the rest of the Conservative party need to wake up. If the situation really isn’t as bad as it appears – backstabbing, Hammond being touted as interim PM, etc, etc – then the PR has to be a lot more pro-active. If it is that bad, then leaving the EU is over, just a dream, and the Remain establishment has won. And the Tory party is finished, and we will end up not as the UK but an impoverished, sidelined England still in the EU.

      • bratwurst
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


        Tory party destroyed and with Corbyn & the communists as a government.

        A year on from the referendum, we still don’t have a plan.

        We’ve lost a prime minister, gained another, gone through a general election and now a weakened government had started negotiations by surrendering to the EU … and we still don’t have a plan.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        It is not a fact that a majority of 17 wasn’t good enough. In truth it was. Mrs May in particular but the Tory leadership as a whole wanted a massive majority and some were convinced a general election would deliver it. It turned out they didn’t get what they wanted. But 17 was always, in truth, enough.

    • English Pensioner
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m not only fed up with the media and also with quite a few MPs who are more concerned about the rights of EU citizens in Britain rather than British citizens in the EU. Surely their prime responsibilities should be towards our own citizens; it is for the EU countries to make representations on their behalf, not our MPs and media.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    I fully agree that the discussions of our future trade and social arrangements with the EU should be with the principal stakeholders; however it is not. We are left to talk with an organisation that has entirely different objectives, which the EU members appear not to realise.

    Further, we have started half way down the schedule; we should have started with which law the UK will hold primacy in the UK, followed by sovereignty of Parliament to make our laws, followed by security of land sea and air (borders). Had we started with these then the discussions on other issues would be far simpler.

    • NickC
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Peter, As you will know, Lisbon Declaration 17 (based on 1964 case law) states that EU law has primacy over member states law. However I would be interested in an expert’s opinion of the potential clash of Declaration 17 with the Supreme Court judgement in the Miller case. Miller looked only at amendments by the UK executive, but in principle any amendment, even by the EU, should be caught in its net.

      Consider a new EU law. According to the treaties any new Regulation or Decision automatically becomes part of UK law – although the UK has no choice about Directives they are at least shunted through Parliament. According to the Miller case any change to our statutory “rights” must be voted on by Parliament.

      Perhaps Parliamentary sovereignty has already been restored rather sooner than expected?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        NickC, I do hope your last paragraph is correct. However, if the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ does its job, then we should rest more easily.

        My point was to suggest a framework for the negotiations to proceed more quickly. We should state our position on these 3 issues clearly; about which there can be little room for change, and then the many other issues can be resolved based on these fundamental positions. However, I regret to say that I don’t believe that we will ever achieve a settlement simply because the EU negotiators have been told not to achieve one.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        The only we we could find out whether you are right is for a case to be brought to court. Do we really want that?

        My view of the ‘Big Picture’ is that matters concerning the British constitution are better settled by agreement after all aspects have been debated by all interested parties, rather than by the narrower interests of a court of law. The latter would set a trend towards the Supreme Court becoming the highest of the institutions of parliamentary government in UK, a very bad trend indeed. It must be Parliament.
        Quite simply, these issues are not mere questions of law and therefore should be settled outside the confines of existing law.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Well Mrs May will not be facing another election, unless the Tories are very, very stupid indeed. They did however re-elected the appaling disaster that was John Major to fight a second election, even after his ERM fiasco and total failure even to appoligise. So they can be very stupid indeed.

    He went down with 165 Tory seats to Labour’s 418.

    On Brexit we clearly need the member states to force the EU bureaucrats to act in their members interests for a change and not those of the bureaucrats themselves. May’s hand may be better than Merkel’s but she is doing her very best to waste it. This with her daft socialist light agenda, her robotic presentation and her moronic punishment manifesto.

    Why on earth are Camden council forcing tenants out of their tower block homes while they remove the cladding just for a couple of weeks? On any rational assesment with suitable extra fire protrols the flats are clearly far saver than cycling through London for a few hours or going skiing or horse riding for the week. Why is no one in government ever numerate or rationial? I assume it is all driven by Labour’s politics and envy. Public money being usued to keep the agenda going & generate resentment and Labour votes. Doubless May will support this lunacy too.

    The head of Camden Council should be forced to resign, she is not paid advance political causes. They should certainly not be given any government money for their idiotic plan. They after all, moronically, wrapped these buildings in flammable, green crap, cladding. Just take it off again and quickly and fire all the senior staff who made this huge, expensive and very obvious mistake.

    Problem solved in about four weeks if they get organised.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      The question that needs answering after this ghastly incident is: how is that we have thousands of lines of regulation on buildings and thousands of people employed at the public expense to enforce them – as anyone who has ever done building work knows very well – yet it is possible that only two years ago, £10m was spent on refurbishing Grenfell Tower, of which c. £3m was to clad it in flammable material?

      • stred
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        The twaddle level over this is building up to hysterical levels. There was an expert retired fire expert on LBC this morning who said we had not learned the lessons from the Great Fire of London. The regulations have covered spread of fire for years, covering everything he mentioned. Then he said that the fire certificates for the insulation products were not genuine. The certification is published in the manufacturers literature.

        The problem is that there are 3 grades and the FR and above grades may not have been installed. The Grenfell block was visited 16 times by LA building inspectors, who apparently did not see the markings on the sheets. Perhaps they were covered up. Camden is reported to have spent £66m on their blocks and we are still not being told which grade of insulation they required when the builders were given the job. Bearing in mind that a previous fire in a flat was contained and the building did not go up like a torch, is arse-covering going on here?

        One thing the LBC expert had right was that a clerk of works would have picked up any changes to specification.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and now there is a call for even more regulation and to give even more powers and money to these failed state regulators. Probably the best way is to insist on all buildings (even government ones) being fully insured (and for the insurance companies to satisfy themselves fully of the risk they are taking on. At least they have their businesses & profits at stake if they get it wrong.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Some of the Camden tenants (Roger Evan on just now for example) are clearly far, far more sensible than Camden Council.

    • zorro
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Dead right – this is the depressing face of public sector management in many cases. A totally daft over-reaction to a situation where the risk could be sensibly mitigated at a fraction of the cost by ensuring that there is a fire warden management service available whilst any remedial works take place….. Oh no, in the Council’s eyes far better to spend huge sums rehousing people elsewhere and causing chaos….. This is the moden face of Orwell’s boot stamping on your face forever in the guise of the diversity sound wreckless stupidity of public sector management to make pathetic political points!


      • Hope
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Local councils are well overdue for a radical change. Including size, no more two tiered councils for the benefit of a small number of meglamaniac councillors in cabinet! The pay structure for council staff at the top is genuinely awful for the their lack of ability. If Jarvis wanted to do something uselful he would sort them out. Jackdaw epitomises the current view of a Tory MPs no conviction, values or judgement other than being in power, as we saw with his voting to remain in the EU referendum after claiming he was eurosceptic! Another underserved appointment when Rees- Mogadishu, Jenkins and our host far more capable and know what hey believe in!

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 26, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          Be careful what you wish for Hope, we had this a Borough Council and a County Council and now only have one and our local services have deteriorated severely and accountability at regular quarterly public meetings have ended. Instead of being second Town in a Borough we’re now tenth and get no regard to roadside cleaning, shrub gardening, any planting at all, poor roads and pavements and cycle lanes to name but a few problems.

          • Hope
            Posted June 26, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            My point is that they should be sorted out and stop all the tiers. We now have another tier with Mayors! No improvement in service. We want a slimmed downed council that is fit for purpose. There or two tiered councils are no more better than single ones.
            These small cliques of councillors in cabinets needs to be stopped. They are acting like useless mini fiefdoms.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Exactly and this storey is repeated endlessly. What do they care? After all it is not their money nor their time they are wasting. It is the tax payers or rate payers.

        Did Camden actually compare the risk to say that of taking a three hour flight or cycling in London for a few hours? Or did they just go on their gut feeling as usual. Best to avoid “thinking” with ones guts I find.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Mrs May won’t be facing another election period.

      However we are on a time fuse to the Corbyn bomb exploding at some stage. Shadow Work and Pensions lady on Marr now, seems nice and reasonable, help the poor, remove the welfare cap to prevent brain damaged children, etc etc. She and her like will bankrupt the country, all for giving out unlimited free stuff, raising the minimum wage to the average wage and all this totally innumerate advice. This lot make Gordon Brown look sane.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      ref The Cladding
      This is clearly calculated as yet another political vehicle for the left to blame the alleged bonfire of red tape (promised but never happened) for making thousands of people homeless.
      Totally illogical and unnecessary to move people out of their homes by force. Labour brought them this. With firefighters on-site, limiting use of naked flames, the risks can be reduced dramatically whilst the buildings are repaired. It just takes organising and no knee-jerk panic reaction.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      The re-election of Mr Major was especially lamentable as they had a perfectly able challenger to take over. Mr John Redwood was his name, as I recall.

      John makes some fairly obvious points about voting numbers in the recent election and these need to be made. The Tory party and Tory supporting newspapers seem to have gone into a blind funk after the result on June 8th. So, let’s repeat slowly that the Labour Party did not win the election and the Tories did and the latter, as is normal in these circumstances, have duly formed a government. With the support of the DUP, the Tories could govern for a considerable period of time.

      After the 2010 election, when all my knowledgeable friends were telling me that the coalition would not last six months, I bet that it would go for two years and the Libdems and Conservatives would then see if it was worth renewing. In fact, we were all wrong. The coalition agreed to go the full five years and I see no reason why a Conservative/DUP deal cannot guarantee stability for quite some time to come .

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      You go to the heart of the problem. The government decides policies and actions on an ad hoc basis by the arithmetic of votes. It lacks a coherent vision of where UK should be headed and why and what is required to get there. The buck stops with Mrs May. Sadly, there is nothing that can be done. She was put in place by the Tories as a manager-administrator to deliver Brexit. We need to accept that she is not, never was and never will be a great leader. She did try to blackmail us over Brexit: you can have it but it will cost us her daft loopy policies. That upset a great many of people otherwise content to support her on Brexit.
      So Mrs May is our Project Manager for Brexit. in that capacity, if given the right direction by her cabinet and negotiating team, she will be fine. But, far from rallying behind her as so many are suggesting as if she is a leader, we need to rally round her and lead her collectively as primus inter pares, not CEO and Chairman – not something we have seen recently in governments in UK.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I just listened to the spectator podcast with Michael Heseltine – The dying of the right.

    Heseltine is still profoundly wrong on every single issue. He seems to think Brexit is all about immigration and wants to solve that by turning away, for example, top scientists, business people or surgeons from India, Canada, Australia or the USA while allowing everyone one in from from the EU, regardless of their merits, criminal records, intentions, health, ability to support and house themselves or anything else. Basically a blatantly racist immigration policy of “EU good everyone else is bad”!

    But then T May is wrong headed on almost everything too.

    He also seems to thing things are going towards Labour, as the old (mainly Tories) die off at 2% PA and we get new mainly Labour younger voters coming in at 2% PA. But as the young age they do get a little wiser and begin to understate that Labour do not actually have a magic money tree, Corbyn only has rubber cheques and Labour destroy jobs & the economy every time they get into power. So this should balance it out. It would do do even more if May had some real Conservative vision, rather than being a pathetic wet socialist light.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      It’s hard to believe that Heseltine could say anything so daft. People dying off has never caused conservatism to ebb. Others simply take their place as they too get older. How many of the people voting for Reagan and Thatcher in the 1980s were hippies in the 1960s?

      Interesting in this respect are the results of the two EU referenda in 1975 and 2016. Plainly there were plenty of people who voted in both and, given the results, it would seem that quite a number switched from Remain to Leave. Did they finally see the light on the EU or had they simply grown a little older?

      • rose
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        I voted in 1975 to ensure a curb on extreme left wing government here in general and to safeguard independent education in particular.

        I voted to leave in 2016 because the EU had changed into a mad project to destroy European civilization in general, and our nation in particular.

        My main anxiety is that history is repeating itself and that we shall regain our independence only for the Corbynistas to impose hard left government on us after all.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink


      EU immigrants with criminal records and those that cannot show that they can support themselves for 6 months whilst looking for work in the host EU country can be refused entry or removed. It is that our useless civil servants and ministers do not either know the rules or, do not wish to enforce them. e.g. they can prevent Gert Vilders from entry into the UK even though he has committed no crime an is an elected member of a democratic country but, they are happy to allow people with criminal records in.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    A very pleasant June, but 1976 and 1878 were hotter (even without all the extra atmospheric CO2). When are we finally going to cast off the climate alarmist religion and repeal the absurd Climate Change Act that nearly all our daft MPs voted for?

    Temeratures recorded at Heathrow Airport are hardly very typical either, could just be a few jets passing the sensors or the urban heat effect. Perhaps the BBC should shut up a bit and get some real scientists or climate experts in.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Whenever it’s hotter than normal the alarmist say it’s proof of climate change.
      Whenever is colder than normal the alarmist say it’s just local weather.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        We would surely know if the decline in our swan population had been through global warming as the BBC would have rammed it down our throats.

        We can infer from the lack of news, therefore, that they went down someone else’s !

        – everything EU good

        – everything Brexit bad

        The BBC must not veer from this.

        • Bob
          Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          ” the BBC would have rammed it down our throats.

          We can infer from the lack of news, therefore, that they went down someone else’s !”


        • APL
          Posted June 26, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Anon: “We can infer from the lack of news, therefore, that they went down someone else’s ! ”

          Sorry, missed that.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic: when your country is on IMF life support (1976) it is bound to get a little hotter. 🙂
      I wish you many cool (IMF-free) years ahead as a great global-Britain-mark2 !

      • Bob
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Thanks Peter, and the same to you.

      • stred
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        PvL. When were in Holland recently, my bird asked “why is it that the Dutch are so tall?” I said it was to do with evolution. They are below sea level and, in the past floods, the short people drowned. She believed me for a while, then came up with the extra cheese theory. Make sure your Dykes are tall enough, sea level rise is 3mm/year at the moment.

        By the way, when I drove on the M25 the temperature outside was 34 deg C. When I got home it was 30.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted June 26, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          🙂 🙂
          Maybe residual growth hormone in dairy products?
          Or is it that we like to stand tall? 🙂

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I like how they measure the temperature at Heathrow. They use the starboard outer Trent engine of PIA 602.
      they must think the public are really stupid.

  6. Turboterrier.
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    A fair appraisal of the current state of affairs and as usual the regular bogey men appear in your entry:

    UK media started submitting the other EU governments to the barrage of difficult questions over how their businesses will fare in 2019 that they give us daily

    For that John you will need squadrons of pigs flying over the country, it will never happen.

    If every politician on the leaving side at every opportunity talked about the way the EU is heading the real costs to this country the slow but constant loss of the control of our future in becoming a major world wide trader free to deal with everyone, and the impact that it will have on the other EU countries manufacturing and export base if the demands expected of us are too severe, would just not get reported. The only part of the discussions that will is when, we just stand up at the negotiating table and say “thanks but no thanks”

  7. Helen
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    You seem ignorant that Germany is not at the negotiating table. The Commission is. The same error that led to the PM being slapped down at the recent summit. The UK is in a horribly weak position and you need to grasp that

    Reply Not so. Germany was very visibly and audibly at the negotiating table! The UK is in a strong position – it was the EU complaining that their residents in the UK were not being offered enough. They are the demandeurs, not us.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Germany IS the hand behind the curtain (albeit rather transparent) of the Commission. Think who Juncker called after dinner at #10. Merkel is worried; with the loss of our cash, the second largest net payer to the EU after Germany, and about double then next closest France, she sees the EU super-state (under the safe management of Germany) falling apart. Our vote to leave the EU can be summarised as a vote to NOT become a province of greater Germany!

    • zorro
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      No you are – the Commission is the political identity through which Germany ‘manages’ the European Union through its proxies in a practical sense. If you don’t believe that, look at the way Merkel forced the migrant policies on the EU. For any country to have done that on a political union, they must have effective control. As JR says, Germany is the puppet master controlling the strings of any poltical negotiation on Brexit. A good example is in the initial spats on resolving the EU residency issue for nationals. I can guarantee that any proposition made by May would have been rejected by the EU because they have no incentive to play ball whilst they think that their ‘team’ in the UK can influence/sabotage matters.

      T May should leave it at that for now, and not make any further offer/concessions. I would advise her to do likewise on any other issues, and put the pressure on the EU as they will lose more as a body than us. The only thing that she should say is that all contributions stop in March 2019 unless there is an acceptable agreement.


      • sjb
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        look at the way Merkel forced the migrant policies on the EU.

        The EU Council’s decision 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 was made by a qualified majority vote: see Prof Steve Peers’ post Relocation of Asylum-Seekers in the EU: Law and Policy at EU Law Analysis blog.

        Juncker has recently started the process leading to infringement proceedings against those Member States, e.g. Hungary, that have not taken their quota.

        • rose
          Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          It was Frau Merkel who extended Free Movement of People to Africa and Asia without consulting the member states. The QMV you mention was to cope with the consequences of her unilateral action.

          When she took measures herself in seeking Turkish help with the consequences of her own action, she did the diplomacy in person.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      The fact that Germany is at the negotiating table adds to the common perception that the eu is a vehicle run by and for Germany.

      • Jane Roberts
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Nothing happens in the EU without German consent at some level.

    • Mark
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      It is unfortunate that the Council nominated the Commission as is negotiating team. They should instead have hived off Barnier’s department to report directly to the Council, thus bypassing Juncker and Selmayr, who now have far too much input into day to day negotiations. It is also unfortunate that neither Tusk nor Barnier has done anything towards resolving the contradictions and conflicts that permeate the EU negotiating guidelines and position papers. They have a lot of work to do to establish a proper negotiating position.

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Labour seem to agree with the EU that Mrs May’s offer on migrants from the EU is inadequate. Ok so what’s Labour’s position then? Do they think the ECJ should be the final body of arbitration as the EU demands, whilst UK courts are perfectly adequate for everybody else including migrants from all other countries? The advantage of negotiating with a hung parliament is the other parties will have to take a decision on this and other issues. If the EU persists with this demand I suggest a parliamentary debate and vote on it : should the govt agree ECJ oversight or not? The country will surely be 80% against but what about MPs?

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Enquiring minds might like to have a look at yesterday’s FT and see what proportion of Conservative MPs are remainers. Mrs May may have lost her majority the other week, however she got what she wanted, enough MPs to marginalise people like JR. The fix is in.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        I thought all Tory MPs were elected on the same manifesto.

        Reply Some of us sent out our own leaflets with variations on the national manifesto.I did not agree with all the policies towards growth elderly in the national one.

  9. Tabulazero
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Dear sir,

    You are clutching at straws. What the continental press is reporting is the humiliation of Mrs May having to leave the rest of the EU leaders to discuss among themselves.

    Brexit was a splendid vote for isolation and this is exactly what it will deliver.

    Do not get your hope up on some form of rebellion from the business circles coming to save your version of Brexit.

    Like many of your past predictions, this will not happen.

    Best regards and I do sincerely hope the Conservatives have the common sens to usher in a new generation of leaders to replace the current one.

    Reply So far my predictions have come true. I predicted the referendum, predicted its result, and predicted a good economic performance from the UK in the year after the vote. The Conservatives are not about to have a leadership election. Can I trust your best regards?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      JR also predicted the disaster that were the EURO and the ERM and said “No change no chance” shortly before ERM Major buried the Tories for 3+ terms.

      The problem with T May is she is now fatally wounded, robotic, was a remainer and clearly is essentially a high tax socialist at heart. Above all she offer no positive vision of lower taxes, better jobs, better housing & positive growth.

      I forget to say (above) that Heseltine also thought increasing the minimum wage was a jolly good plan to encourage managment (to fire people I assume). Clearly he thinks people, whose work is worth less than £X per hour, should be banned from working by law. Great plan, should do wonders for the economy and developing people’s skills.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Brexit was a vote to be world facing not EU facing, a vote for nationally defined ethics not EU mandated economic bullying, a vote for reducing the ‘distance’ between the electorate and the elected, a vote to recognise that technology can overcome the trade needs for integration (e.g. Virtual customs displaces the need for a customs union), that many in the U.K. believe in UK courts first and last not ECJ, a vote for tax and spend to be a national issue, a vote recognising that different countries will be at different points in a business cycle ( hence need different monetary policy), a vote recognising that it is good for the world for different countries to be at different points in the cycle (otherwise diversification becomes v. hard)…

      And of course the current UK Govt appears to want to be decent and ethical towards the EU. It has offered rights to EU citizens in the U.K., will undoubtedly be prepared to continue security arrangements without the need for the ECJ, will undoubtedly be prepared to develop frictionless (virtual) customs without the desire to have single tariffs to bully the rest of the world and will undoubtedly be prepared to provide ongoing efficient financial services. If the EU doesn’t want to behave decently, which would not surprise some, then it merely confirms what it is institutionally – this could impact U.K. economically for some time, but sometimes one has to put decency first.

      The Brexit vote is a vote to be more ethical and more efficient (it doesn’t guarantee it but if the media grew up, the electorate could be better informed and respond accordingly)

    • zorro
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Noone really cares what the continental press say. The fact is that T May will always be presented in this way as the UK is alone in removing itself from the EU. But you know, we don’t really care or mind that much because we are doing what is best for the UK in the long run, so please spare us your platitudes 😀✌️.


    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      So speaks the voice of Brussels. I think Mrs May has a very strong hand as the other parties will have to take a definitive stand on all the issues. This will out the Quislings who want to defy the referendum result.
      If they vote for ECJ oversight on immigration for example we will understand that they wish us to be a vassal state.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Isolation from the rest of the world? We don’t mind being isolated from the EU political project, thanks. We won’t be isolated from the rest of the world, as will be the EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      “What the continental press is reporting is the humiliation of Mrs May having to leave the rest of the EU leaders to discuss among themselves.”

      1 = 27

      For once, something to feel very very proud about.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Hasn’t it happened before, more than once?

      • eeyore
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        “Sir, thus it is . . . As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.” (Samuel Johnson).

        By the way, anyone know what language the 27 were doing their discussing in?

        • DaveM
          Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Haha. Do you think Esperanto will be compulsory in all EU schools soon?!

        • hefner
          Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Yes, in (pidgin) English, that’s why they can all know about the travails of Mrs May, and why the big majority of us do not have a real clue of how much they laugh at us.
          And to think that the teaching of languages is without doubt the one that suffered the most in the last two Education budgets.

      • hefner
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        “something to feel very (x2) proud about” … as we are/were proud of the Charge of the Light Brigade?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      If I was Mrs May to shut you European naysayers up I’d make Farage a Lord and put him in charge of PR.

  10. Nig l
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I would agree with you but for the nagging feeling that they are being fed negative stuff by your colleagues and others with different views not helped by the almost total lack of coordinated aggressive pro UK/Brexit news feed that helped the Leave campaign before the vote. Why for instance were the comments about Hammond and the Customs Union not shut down immediately they were made? In your (collective) shoes the minimum I would be doing is employing a multi lingual researcher to do nothing but look at the larger EU countries newspares/tv to see if their stance, especially as you say, from the perspective of the real affected parties, is different from Tusk and Junkers and get it into the U.K media because I do not believe that their tetchy instant non to our offer on immigrants rights would be agreed with in Poland. Incidentally they are at odds with the EU over migration, why aren’t we using that as a way to seek their help on our position?

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    No surprise ES castigating Andrea Leadsom in the interview with Emily Maitlis. For what it is worth I can never remember a more biased BBC interview.

  12. Duncan
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    There is no doubt in my mind following what I have read to date that May, Hammond and her Govt will succumb to pressure from big business and other fervent pro-EU lobby groups and keep us in a Norway-EU style arrangement

    Quite simply, the UK will never be an independent sovereign nation with control of its own borders and a nation in which its parliament and laws reign supreme

    We are being led into a political trap, not by Merkel, but by May and Hammond who are determined to keep us, in some way, in the EU (full or indeed partial)

    I’m sorry Mr Redwood but unless you and your LML members in the Conservative party issue a direct threat to bring down her Govt then the sovereignty and independence of the UK will be lost forever.

    • zorro
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink


      What is your red line or Rubicon position?


    • Chris
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I hate to agree with this idea of a political trap, but I believe you are right, Duncan.

    • sjb
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      ‘Our party broke itself over the Corn Laws – and effectively shut itself out of power for 10 years. Our party broke itself over tariff reform and shut itself from power for 10 years.

      Our Conservative Party could break itself over Europe – with consequences which would deeply damage Britain and give comfort only to our opponents.’

      – from Douglas Hurd’s speech to the Conservative Party’s 1992 Conference.

  13. Michael
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The UK media does not have to travel to the continent for a story when there are strongly held opposing views on BREXIT in both main political parties.

    It is only when we have our own house in order that we can focus on splits in the EU.

    Is the Government really going to walk away from negotiations on any issue in the current political climate? Such a move would likely trigger another general election with all the risks that would bring.

  14. hefner
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    To use British FPTP arguments (when actually less than a hundred votes in relevant constituencies to the CP would have ensured a victory to Theresa May) to comment on the German essentially proportional voting system is either a lack of honesty or a lack of intelligence. I do not know what I prefer to think JR is displaying today.

  15. jack snell
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is indeed in a weakened position..the EU leaders have absolutely no idea of what the British are looking for.. so I can’t understand how you could equate the British position with the European one.. thing is the Europeans are getting on with it.. and the only thing holding them up is the crawl pace of the British. The reality is that the Europeans are sick of us and want us out asap..future trade deals or no future trade deals?

  16. alte fritz
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    If life in the EU were so wonderful, the UK would not be full of young people from southern and eastern Europe doing the jobs which are not available at home.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      That is indeed a puzzle and something which remains unquestioned in the media. 1.5 million British retirees in the EU (for the sun) and 3 million EU workers and shirkers in the UK (for work and benefits). Yet we’re supposed to be the ones going down the tubes???

  17. Tweeter_L
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    A very clear and interesting post as per usual: thank you.
    Regarding your final paragraph, this is just what Mrs Leadsom meant the other evening isn’t it? Perfectly reasonable, one would think. And Tim Farron’s predictable reaction? Utterly contrived outrage having deliberately missed the point.

  18. Jason wells
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    David davis on Marr this morning says he is not completely sure we’ll get a deal with the EU but he is pretty sure..that with looking at the body language i am pretty convinced now that we are sunk.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Interesting eh. Mr Davis (and Mr Redwood) said we would easily get a good deal with the EU because we are in strong position. Not happening is it?
      Mr Davis (and Mr Redwood) said of course the EU will want to trade in goods and services with us while agreeing to restrictions on immigration. Not happening is it?
      Mr Davis (and Mr Redwood) said we won’t pay the EU a penny. Mr Davis gave up on that on day 1 of the negotiation.
      Mr Davis (and Mr Redwood) promised us quick and easy trade deals with the US, India, NZ etc. Not happening is it?
      And meanwhile the eurozone is enjoying high growth rates than the UK, and banks and other companies are moving to Dublin, Frankfurt etc
      Sorry but Mr Davis (and Mr Redwood) have sold you a dud

      Reply I have always said No deal is better than a bad deal and we might end up with that. It is still likely after 20 months of posturing huge EU will decided eyes do want tariff free access to the UK after all.You must have a miserable life being so relentlessly negative

      • Len Grinds
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        No deal with the EU, no deal with Ireland, no deal with Trump’s USA, no deal with China, no deal with India, no deal with Australia …..

        That’s the Redwood vision and you call me negative!

        Reply There will be! We always explained we can’t sign them before we’ve left the EU

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Len Grinds. I second your sentiments John. There are times I feel despondent but do you know what? I have faith that things will eventually iron themselves out as they always do and we will have a great future. The pain will be worth the gain. Well done for keeping spirits up John.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        What isn’t happening is a reversal of immigration of folk from all over the world who seem to still want to come here. Can we address why that is sometime please?

      • hefner
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        “you must have a miserable life being so relentlessly negative” some kind of a Leadsomite comment?

      • DaveM
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr Grinds,

        Move to mainland Europe quick. Get out now and get to the promised land while you can. The UK is going down the pan and we’ll all be worse off than if we lived in the Central African Republic. We’re all doomed – DOOMED I tell you.

        Alternatively you could stay and use what I presume is your vastly superior brain to actually make this work well for our younger generations. Or you could sit behind your computer and snipe bitterly every time you pick up on a bit of possible bad news on the BBC or in the Guardian.

      • acorn
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Len, no deal will be economic suicide for the UK, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Ireland and Cyprus are the two EU states that have more than 10% of their total goods exports coming to the UK . The other 25 states have less than that. The Dutch have about 9%, the Danish; Polish Swedish and the Germans about 6 -7%.

        These are significant figures, some 16% of EU exports of goods; but, internal trade in the EU is much bigger than external trade, and that is the bit that matters to the EU machine. If you include services, the 16% number drops. The UK imports less than 10% of EU services exports.

        The Brexit impact on EU GDP will be less than 3%. That is still a significant number; but, it’s a long long way from doing irreparable damage to the massive EU machine.

        The Brexit impact on UK Households’ purchasing power in the shops, is a Poker hand I would not want to be holding.

        Reply Absurd to suggest all trade will stop with EU!

        • acorn
          Posted June 26, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

          Where does it say “all trade will stop”?

          Trade will not stop unless the UK and/or the EU want to price each others goods out of their home markets to protect their home producers (within WTO rules that is).

          Citizens of both the EU and particularly the UK, will still want them BMWs and them Miele kitchen appliances. Woe betide the government that makes them too expensive or subject to import quotas.

          Reply In the false calculation of alleged loss of national output from Brexit!

          • acorn
            Posted June 26, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Er … the loss of output was for the EU not the UK, perhaps I did not make that clear, apologies.

      • margaret
        Posted June 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I think Dr Redwood actually said there is no reason why we should not get a good deal . Reason may be one sided as your comments elucidate.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    In truth, the MSM has been getting to me of late too.

    Whoever controls the news flow controls the general morale.

    It is this which demoralises me – not the drip-drip of anti Brexit sentiment emitting from the BBC in just about every sentence it utters, but that they can do it.

    Also that every inch of ground is having to be fought for at home – before we even get to the EU negotiating table.

    There should have been a large Tory majority at home now, confident enough to take on the BBC. That bit should have been easy – but we tripped over a daisy and dropped the egg and spoon at the finishing tape.

    When you are constantly being told you are impure, wicked and stupid for supporting Brexit it’s hard not to start believing it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Emily Maitliss was very annoyed with Andria Leadsome – even before patriotism was mentioned. Indeed, Maitless’ clear anger with this member of our Brexit team was why patriotism was mentioned. Leadsome backed off when asked “Are you doubting my patriotism ?”

      Can we be clear on what patriotism is then ? That, if we support a foreign government and a foreign flag and get angered on its behalf, we cannot be a patriot of this nation ?

      No. We can’t.

      If a person dares declare themselves a patriot, proud to be English or British they will be asked what patriot, English or British means.

      Each of these questions is laced with malicious intent, to checkmate the other into a confession of that which trumps all modern sins – racism (soon to be replaced by
      sins against that-which-must-not-be named on the most shocking of BBC news items.)

      This supranationalism rules in all EU nations too – which are in the process of committing cultural suicide, the biblical sight of which made so many vote to leave it.
      The BBC has stopped reporting on that too.

    • getahead
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      The Mail on Sunday even had an article by George Soros last week. Perpetual negative comments in the finance pages

  20. Mikew
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    David davis admits he was one who encouraged mrs may to have a snap election and then he chuckles..god bless him..hope he doesn’t chuckle too much when he is over in brussels..

    • Mark B
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      David Davis the Chief Whip to the then PM, John Major and who helped steer through the Maastricht treaty.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I think he should chuckle too. People are still marching in here to live. Not for our weather, I guess, so why????????

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I’m no expert on German politics, but I observe in the UK that the two main parties obsess about being polarised on their views, whereas in reality they do virtually identical things when in government. A slender majority is more critical in a system where the other side cares only about their political success and hardly at all about the country they are supposed to represent.

  22. MikeP
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The UK Media seems incapable of any objective examination of the EUs strengths and weaknesses. It is accepted “wisdom” of reporters that everything the Brexit team and wider Tory party do is useless or too little too late, yet there is little if any coverage of the unfolding EU dramas with Italian banks, brushed under the carpet again, the forthcoming German elections, whether Macron has done anything other than talk, and the bail-outs for Greece. Whereas Juncker & Tusk are still smarting over their inability to keep us in the club, country leaders are more accepting of our Referendum result and the need to find a trading solution. That explains why the former keep up their daily snipes (that go unchallnged in our media) whereas the leaders of Poland, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and others are more measured in their comments and even critical of Tusk’s stance. Thank you for this latest post.

  23. bigneil
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel definitely IS the EU. Any photo of the so-called Union shows her at the front/middle which is the normal position of Leader of anything. By declaring it a Union she is just trying to divert away from the fact that SHE wants to rule Europe.

  24. Mark B
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    How many more times, this is about regulation not trade. The negotiations are between the EU and the UK. They are about things to do with how the UK will leave and what arrangements are in place such as the land border between the EU and the UK.

    There is no exit bill. The EU however are trying to maintain power over us and making our courts subservient to theirs. This must not happen.

  25. Shieldsman
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The insulation cladding was not put on the Tower Blocks to save the tenants money on their rising energy bills, but simply as means to try and comply with the Climate Change Act. The money and directives to Councils would not have been provided but for the CCA, and the various Ministers at the DECC.
    The rising energy costs are entirely due to Government Policies to tax fossil fuel electricity out of existence and through levies and subsidies to build and support Wind & Solar energy farms.
    We now have Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian – Hinkley Point is a terrible deal. May must show courage and cancel it. Spending watchdog condemns ‘risky and expensive’ Hinkley Point.
    The Guardian was the newspaper that brought you the FAKE CONSENSUS on the opinions of Scientists supposedly having connections with CLIMATOLOGY.
    Now to the man responsible for Hinkley Point – Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, said the EC decision was an important step on the road to Britain’s first new nuclear power station and a good deal for consumers. “While there is much work still to do before a final contract can be signed, today’s announcement is a boost to our efforts to ensure Britain has secure, affordable low carbon electricity in the 2020s,” he said in 2014. Then in July 2016 Former Kingston MP Ed Davey criticised the government’s decision to delay building a “much needed” nuclear power plant in the UK, calling the postponement damaging to international relations.

    Hinkley Point is needed in an attempt to try and meet the (impossible) CO2 reductions demanded by the CCA.
    Sman responsible

  26. Bert Young
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Whether one is right or wrong in predictions on the Brexit deal remains to be seen .In the meantime I support Johns’ views most strongly . The ability to make our own rules by people we have elected is paramount ; the bureaucracy we have had to put up with from Brussels has been sickening .

    The German economy was built on the back of the Marshall Plan ; their success was the outcome of generous financial backing at a time when we suffered severe austerity conditions . We have repaid our debts ; the Germans have not repaid theirs . Merkel can stand on a platform and proclaim all sorts of things ; I am old enough to remember World War II and will never forgive how their present power position has been achieved .

    • Qubus
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      What a short memory these Europeans have; if it weren’t for the UK there would be no EU, they would all be under the jackboot of the Germans. France, Belgium, Holland, Poland … hang your heads in shame.

      Our country bankrupted itself fighting WW2, and we have only recently finished paying the debts, under punitive rates of interest, that we incurred with the USA, whereas, as you pointed out, Germany was bankrolled via the Marshall plan.

      I am beginning to wonder whether it would not have been better if the victors had not adopted the USA’s Morgenthal plan, which considered turning Germany into a rural economy. Francois Mauriac’s comment on the re-unification plan for Germany comes to mind: “I love Germany so much I’m glad there are two”.

      And don’t forget that the euro only came into being because Kohl agreed to it as Mitterand’s condition that German re-unification went ahead.

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      In fact the prewar and postwar debts were “forgiven” to the tune of a 62.6%

    • sjb
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      The German economy was built on the back of the Marshall Plan ; their success was the outcome of generous financial backing at a time when we suffered severe austerity conditions .

      We received over twice as much Marshall Plan aid as (West) Germany, Bert.

    • hefner
      Posted June 26, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      BY, you might want to refresh your memory, look at Marshall Plan on Wikipedia, it is a long, but detailed and informative read. From there, I see that the total respectively received by West Germany was US$1448, by the UK US$3297.

      • hefner
        Posted June 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, US$xxxx million.

  27. Anna
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I am very concerned at the negative slant that is placed on all Brexit news, particularly on the BBC which is supposed to be impartial.

    I should like to see Mrs May giving a monthly update on Brexit negotiations directly to the British people, unfiltered by the hostility and negativity of much of the media. A 15 minute Brexit News from Downing Street would put us in the picture, help us understand the government’s position, and build a rapport between the PM and the people of this country.

    Mrs May has had much hostile criticism of late, much of it unfair. She is clearly happier behind a desk rather than grandstanding. I hope her positive qualities will emerge in these negotiations. She is resilient, diligent, able to master detail, and resolute in pursuit of her goals. Let’s not forget that she negotiated Abu Hamza’s removal when others had failed. She faced down a belligerent USA and prevented the extradition of the man with Asperger’s on alleged hacking charges. She also brought in legislation to outlaw people trafficking and slavery. There are now regular successful prosecutions against these cruelties thanks to Theresa May. She has many flaws, but she is a woman of integrity and honesty (no expense fiddling!) who deserves our support as she embarks on her momentous task. I wish her well.

    • Qubus
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      We live in the touchy-feely media age. I don’t think that Winston Churchill would have come across very well either.

    • eeyore
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Though no admirer of Mrs May I applaud the generosity of these observations. The Conservatives might have poleaxed her after the election; they decided not to. She is thus entitled to their full support, and I hope that of all people of good sense and good will, while she carries out the heavy duty we imposed on her.

      I agree too that regular updates from her would be desirable. Taking the public into his confidence did Churchill no harm in the war (“The news from France is very BAD . . .”) and should do Mrs May none either.

  28. John Finn
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    It looks as if they think delaying and being difficult could lead to the UK giving up and staying in the EU. That would be a bad misreading of the situation, and of the recent election where voters decisively rejected the Lib Dems who offered just that approach.

    I’m not sure I take much comfort from the election result. All it demonstrated to me is that the electorate can be incredibly fickle and is liable to change its mind quite dramatically if negotiations don’t go well. It’s true that the Lib Dems didn’t have a good election but that’s probably because Labour hoovered up the young “remain” voters. We know Labour will swing behind whatever is popular at the moment. Don’t rely on Labour or those who voted for them to support the government if the going gets tough.

  29. Peter
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood is loyally supporting the Conservative party leader.

    However, numbers do not tell the whole story. Most would agree that Mrs. May has been weakened. Many speculate on how long she will last.

    Consequently opposition at home and abroad feel emboldened.

    A generous offer on the position of EU citizens gets knocked back at the start of talks.

    I cannot help feeling brexiteers are on the back foot. We need a lift from somewhere.

    It seems the talks are likely to get nowhere and walking away for WTO terms might save a lot of time.

    Unfortunately I get the sense that the relentless opposition is softening us up for no Brexit at all.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      The PTA appointed Head Girl not only feigned tripping over daisies during the race on sports day she stopped to plant a few – just to let the ……boy catch her up… and then she tumbled (almost too spectacularly) over the very last daisy just before the finishing tape. Not only did she drop the egg… she dropped THE SPOON too !




      And if not then can anyone explain why ???

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        I am utterly UTTERLY exhasperated with Mrs May.

  30. Bert Young
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I have just read the comment in the Sunday Daily Mail that Hammond is being suggested (and supported by some Conservative MPs )as a 2 year leader stop gap leader . I am horrified at this suggestion . I sincerely hope that influential right wingers in the Party will ridicule and prevent this happening .

    Reply That’s not going to happen. Don’t believe all you read in papers

  31. Duma N Duma
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    In the UK there is a variety of politics. In Germany there is only German politics.
    Tories, for instance as seen by the SNP, are the group personification,avatar or archetype of “the English” or “The British. Those one or two of Labour who express love of Country, are seen by the SNP as Red English or Red British or as they tell it “Red Tories.
    But in Merkel’s Germany the Left, Right, Centre are merely aspects, as it were, of the “statue” of Mr Germany.
    Mrs Merkel if she wins, will have 100% of the “vote”
    It is true that Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and LibDems have undermined the British strength at EU negotiations and weakened Mrs May who is a reluctant but hardworking Brit.

  32. Peter Lavington
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    There are a few comments here tegarding the fire and the cladding used. I haven’t heard a word in the media questioning why these buildings have to have cladding. I believe this is a ‘green’ issue. Whether by our own govt or more likely by eu edict it seems it is a ‘saving the planet’ issue. I think the cladding was put up for green insulation and nobody even considered that peoplr’s safety is more important than being green

    • jantyR
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Cladding is there as insulation to help with the energy heating bill

    • R.T.G.
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      @Peter Livingston
      of 19 May 2010
      on the energy performance of buildings

      Measures to improve further the energy performance of buildings should take into account climatic and local conditions as well as indoor climate environment and cost-effectiveness. These measures should not affect other requirements concerning buildings such as accessibility, safety and the intended use of the building.”

      The use of the word “should”, in the second sentence, could be a mistranslation, but nevertheless the meaning seems clear.

      • R.T.G.
        Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Apologies, Mr Lavington – wretched spellcheck!

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      The Left wins every way – and always.

      There will be a migrant amnesty. 40,000 residents ? And the rest ! Who will be able to refute claims “I lived in that block.” ?

      The problem with Britain is this:

      It is too fragmented. We can never have another Churchill because we are too disparate. The common consensus is Blairist ‘middle ground’. We are stuck with it.

      You are ‘evil’ if you disagree with it.

  33. Prigger
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    UK media has to personalise the EU negotiations as between Mrs Merkel and Mrs May.
    Not so many of our people know who Mr Tusk is, what he does, and whether he could be, without any satire, the boyfriend of their children’s Sindy doll.

    Throughout our entire Common Market and EU membership we have never as a people been a real part of that organisation. We do not know nor do we care about the Government of the EU.
    Most Remoaners for example, cannot name five EU bigwig politicians, nor their titles nor their work. They cannot tell you if the EU has an equivalent of the House of Lords, or a Cabinet, or an Embassy in Beijing. Nothing.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      And that is quite deliberate.


  34. Prigger
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I think the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby should call a meeting. Participants from all religions, Islamic,Hindu, Methodist, Catholic and others. They should be set the task of working out a common approach the C of E should take in interpreting the Gospels and how to conduct affairs in the Church of England. It will take some of the poison out of religious debate in the UK. Why should the General Synod be discriminatory on the attendance and participation by White Witches for example. They are human beings!!!!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Somebody should point out to Welby that there has been a special Commons select committee dedicated to closely following the process of leaving the EU, and with a Remainer Labour MP as chairman in the last Parliament.

      Plus there are other cross-party committees in both Houses whose deliberations will often touch upon some aspect of our withdrawal from the EU.

      There is no need to set up a new cross-party “commission” to keep the government on the rails during the withdrawal negotiations, these bodies already exist and it is really just a matter of making sure that both the government and Parliament listen to what they have to say.

  35. PaulW
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Lord Price today being interviewed by Andrew Neil was a real eye opener in what was otherwise a master class in winding down the clock- ‘what ever you say say nothing’.. the translation being.. we don’t know where we are and have absolutely no idea where we’re going.. all according to Lord Price

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Of course Merkel is the dominant figure in the EU, she is the Empress Angela. That doesn’t mean that she is omnipotent and will always get exactly what she wants, but it’s for sure that it will always be difficult for the UK government or indeed anybody else to get the EU to agree to anything that she opposes. We’ve seen in the past how the leaders of smaller member states especially will tend to look to her for leadership and gravitate to her policy position.

    • rose
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      She didn’t get her way over homosexual marriage – unless she was feigning.

  37. Mark
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand why our media fail to appreciate the basis for our negotiations. All EU members signed up to a treaty that includes he right to withdraw by giving two years notice, after which the treaties do not apply to the withdrawing state. That is the baseline. All migrants who took advantage of freedom of movement provisions did so with that possibility ever present: they have no inherent rights to be treated as if the UK were not withdrawing. Likewise, there is no obligation to pay a penny towards the EU after we leave. The only obligations that survive exit are on the remaining EU members – to negotiate and conclude the Article 50 agreement if they have not already done so, and to honour their obligations under Article 3(5) and 8 at least on promoting free trade, prosperity and peace with their neighbours. Agreement should therefore be on a win-win basis.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Kenneth Clarke was on the TV correctly saying that it would be stupid to unnecessarily reinstate old barriers to trade within Europe. Unfortunately he managed to convey the false impression that it is the UK government which wishes to do that, when the reality is that the threat is being made by the other EU governments: unless we agree that all their citizens shall continue to have the automatic right to come and live and work in our country then they will deliberately create unnecessary impediments to trade, in effect imposing (arguably illegal) trade sanctions on the UK. Unfortunately also it seems that David Davis has no press office tasked with picking up these fallacious attacks and vigorously rebutting them. Day after day all manner of rubbish is being hurled against the government, which takes it all lying down rather than responding and defending itself. Why? When is David Davis going to realise it is not enough for him to smilingly shrug it off in the Commons or in interviews, it is necessary for his department to hit back at its critics, and hit back hard.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    This seems a very strange approach to the problem:

    “Davis – EU nationals will have “effectively the same rights as British citizens””

    That is not how I would put it: I would prefer to say that as a general rule EU nationals already settled here will not lose any rights they enjoyed on the cut-off date.

  40. Frank Nitty
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The Archbishop of Canterbury is as useful as a ring-pull on a safe.

  41. Cloverdoguk
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    You would have thought that the Brexiteers, having had 25 years to think about the issue, would have some answers to the “difficult questions”.

    e.g. How will medicines be regulated? If the U.K. Has it’s own regime, what does that mean for the U.K. Pharmaceutical industry which will have to have double compliance (with U.K. and EU standards)? If the U.K. continues to follow the EU without any representation, does that make sense? If there is no deal, what happens?

    This is one of thousands of unanswered questions. Brexit is complicated. And not a single Brexiteer has thought about it properly.

    As to the attitude of the U.K. media, no one in the EU gives a damn.

    Reply Yes we have thought all this through. The UK would have its own medicines regulatory body adopting best in world standards. US standards are more important than EU ones for global trade.

  42. Thomas More.
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    In EU/UK negotiations, I bet the 27 are really sorry now they didn’t take Henry VIIIs advice then they would have the Archbishop of Canterbury on their side too.

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    The talks have barely started and our left wing media just will not provide a balanced report on how things are – they hone in on the least thing to make Ms May look bad.

    After BREXIT if the Tories survive, and I hope they do, we want the BBC handled, for a start!

  44. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Interesting fact: gay marriage is not allowed in Germany and Mrs Merkel is opposed to it. So how come Labour and the LibDems and the SNP aren’t heaping the same abuse on her as they are on the DUP ? Rhetorical question, obviously.

    • hefner
      Posted June 26, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I agree for gay marriage. But civil partnership has been allowed in Germany since 2001, in the UK since 2004.
      So what exactly is your point?

  45. Basil Brush
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The all-consuming problem for some in the Tory Party is to prove Mrs May is more FOR fox hunting than Mrs Merkel. Our whole future and civilisation could depend on such a consideration. Boom! Boom! (as opposed to Bust Bust I guess )

  46. Chris S
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Merkel will win the German election in the Autumn.

    However, she will have to construct a coalition even before the vote : her own party, the CDU is not a national party. It has always relied on a coalition with the Bavarian CSU, a fiercely independent party well to the right of Merkel.

    The biggest businesses in Bayern are aircraft construction and car manufacturing ( it is home to Airbus factories, MBB and both BMW and Audi ).

    The Bavarians are extremely unlikely to back Merkel in driving a very hard deal that could put their exports to the UK at risk as those exports represent a much higher proportion of the economy of the largely independent Lande of Bavaria than those factories in the rest of the country.

    Even after she gets the agreement of the rather prickly Bavarians, to govern, she will also need to negotiate support from at least one other party. This could be the much smaller FDP or if she doesn’t have the numbers, another grand coalition. She will not talk to the anti-immigrant and anti-EU AfD.

    Her position is therefore nothing like as assured as is made out. It is likely to take her several weeks to construct a government, a task far more difficult than the one forced on Mrs May.

    However, despite having confidence in David Davies, I remain very pessimistic that the European Parliament and the 27 will sanction any kind of practical and sensible deal Brexiteers could support.

    The big players are far more worried about the fragile future of the Euro and the EU and that will cloud their judgement.

    • hefner
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Obviously, I do not have as much insight as you do, but looking at Wikipedia the CDU-CSU arrangement has been going on since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949. Over the years there have been a number of points of friction, latest in 2015 following Mrs Merkel’s open border policy.
      As for the time, it has taken in the past to form coalitions, it was with the liberal FDP or the Green Party.
      But thanks for pointing out a topics that is likely to fill the front pages of the British press come September.

  47. stred
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    In some ways, Mrs Merkel and Mrs May are quite alike. They are both vicars daughters who have a moral calling, or think they do, and call for their countries to do the Christian thing and be good. In the first case by welcoming thousands of displaced persons to come to stay in Germany and finding things went too well for everybody’s liking. In Mrs May’s case she decided to call an election and that the voters would like to put their only asset in hock to the government to pay for care that they thought they already had paid for, only to find that her opponent had made a lot more favourable offer of all sorts of goodies to those already in hock.

    But Mrs Merkel is a craftier character. When she decided to please the Greens and scrap their new nuclear power stations, because she though a tidal wave might go up the Rhine,she quickly used the opportunity to to build new dirty carbon fuelled stations while sending the EU targets the wrong way and making German industry cheaper. When Mrs May was offered the possibility of cancelling the French nuclear power station because it was far more expensive than others that worked, she thought it better not to upset the French and ordered it.

    Mrs Merkel also uses her position as boss and banker of the EU to make other countries tow the line. When she has too many unpopular guests, she sends them to other countries and tells her friends in Bruxelles to threaten fines if they don’t do as they are told. She also is determined to make the EU work, as the low Euro keeps Germany prospering and the only thing she would miss about the UK leaving is the money. Mrs May just tries to run a middle course, keeping all sides happy, and does not have the option of telling Mr Junker what to do. The poor dear has to go to meetings and be ignored, unless it is something important that they want, like the EU army, navy and airforce when they want some more of money. Then she can be nice to them and hope they will be nice back.

    • stred
      Posted June 26, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Facts4eu> have just reported that Mrs May popped over to become no 28 and was not ignored this time, while she agreed £9.8bn more for Mrs Merkel’s guests and the Junker Youth project, plus more for the EU armed forces which will replace Nato, for which we already pay far more. We will have to pay for this until we leave and probably afterwards if they extort payment for access. If only she had decided vicaring would be a better career.

  48. Square peg in round
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    We have nationalised, salvaged, saved, bailed out, RBS and it’s sacking Scots and moving to India? Did I hear this right?
    I’ve looked for a comment from Corbyn but nothing so far. He is probably swizzing round and round like a vexed Dalek repeating “It does not compute, it does not compute, it does not compute, resistance is futile. It does not compute. Etc ed

  49. Migrant
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Headlines say Corbyn will be PM in 6 months.
    Classically, people say ” I will leave the country! “. However, away from the shock horror headlines, there should be a scheme for say pensioners such as myself to get assisted passage to Canada and payment of our pensions in the event of Corbyn becoming PM. Money people will just leave. But many of us will wish to go too and try to live abroad on our UK state pension. He WAS a joke. Now he is a serious threat and the danger to us all.

    • stred
      Posted June 26, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Sweden decided to do away with inheritance tax after their best industrialists emigrated. It has high basic taxes but gives good services in return. It is rather cold and makes drink very expensive, as they tend to get depressed and drink too much in the winter. However, with home brewing and artificial light, it is possible to overcome these problems. They also tend to speak English better than we do and Swedish is easy to pronounce. Whether they would like to accept refugees from the Marx brothers and their property seizing revolutionaries is another question, especially as they have other problems from migrants with no jobs at the moment. I am looking around there over the summer.

  50. Juliet
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the logic as to why all 3.5 million EU citizens rights was given settled status without taking into account their income status.

    When we leave the EU the UK will no longer be a member state country. Therefore, EU citizens should be treated as EU foreign nationals from Europe when entering and leaving the UK and be subjected to the same immigration conditions and rules that apply to non-UK foreign nationals

    A person that is in a high skilled / skilled fulltime occupation pays taxes and has 5 years legal residency have economic value and should be granted settled status

    A person in a minimum wage low-skilled zero hour contract job not paying taxes because they only work 16 hours a week to claim tax credits should have been given work permits and assessed on the basis of income regularity if they are not paying taxes why should they be given same rights as british citizens (state pension, schools, healthcare, welfare) when they cannot afford to live in the UK

    A person in minimum wage unskilled job, not paying taxes, has minimum assurance of regular work on a zero hour contract or is unemployed and claiming benefits are a economic burden and should have been assessed for legitimate residency reasons

    British Citizenship rights & privileges have been watered down I now feel less welcomed in the country that I was born in. EU citizens now have more rights because some of them will receive privileges without having to work for it or having to contribute in and they can bring in spouses and family members that’s unfair. 3 million could climb to 5-10 million more people in low-skilled unskilled households

  51. Terry
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t we just LEAVE?
    A recent report from the Bruges Group has established that if we leave without any deal in place we shall be a net £50 Billions better off.
    Simply put, we shall lose around £40 Billions but GAIN £90 Billions. See here…

    What’s there to discuss?

  52. Freeborn John
    Posted June 26, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Why is the UK making one concession after another in the EU negotiations while the EU makes none? The FT is reporting the Uk is making concessions of EU citizen rights to claim UK benefits and previously the UK conceded EU nationals can bring in on-EU partners. The UK negotiators are an absolute joke having not achieved a single concession from the EU in return for one naive ‘goodwill gesture’ after another. And this in an area where the Uk should have the upper hand with 3+ million EU citizen here against just 1 million mainly economically inactive UK citizens in the EU largely retirees in Spain.

    The Uk needs to make a stand on ECJ jurisdiction and Exit fees (1 penny would be too much) and walk out if the EU will not back down. The EU is insatiable and will ask for more and more until we say no, so better starting saying it loud and clear at the earliest opportunity.

  • 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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