Why No deal will work fine

The latest scare stories doing the rounds seek to suggest that the UK could not trade successfully with the rest of the EU from outside the single market and customs union if there is no deal. I have explained in general terms why I think this is wrong, but there is still some demand for more detail. I will supply it. It is always difficult tackling nonsense, as there are no limits to the amount of nonsense you have to tackle. I am choosing the most common examples.

1. “Planes will not be able to fly to and from the continent and the UK the day after we leave, as there will be no Air Services Agreement in place” say some gloom mongers. Many air travel routes carry on daily around the world without a formal Air Services Agreement. All you need is a landing permission in the airport you are going to, and you need to get a flight path from air traffic control in controlled space. If there is no deal then the UK will of course allow EU carriers to continue with the landing slots they currently have, and the rest of the EU will do the same for UK carriers. The EU will not want to ban plane loads of UK tourists and other visitors from going to their countries and will not want to lose the landing revenues at their airports.

2. “The need for customs clearance will mean massive queues at our borders, with disruption to the supply system for the UK” argue some pessimists. Both the EU and the UK as a member of the EU are currently putting in new streamlined customs procedures to handle third party imports. These will work fine for rest of EU goods as well if necessary. Under customs simplified procedures for freight there is already a system of electronic registration of consignments, with the ability to undertake customs clearance at the importers premises once the goods have been successfully delivered. The EU will want decent procedures on the UK side of the channel as they export so much to us, including big volumes of perishable agricultural products.

3. “The need for products to comply with EU rules will hold up movements of goods” say some negative commentators. At the moment all UK goods exported to the EU conform with EU rules anyway. In future there is likely to be be mutual recognition of each other’s standard granting bodies, as with non EU country trade. There can also be continuity of the current system of self certification by manufacturers of the standards and specifications of their products. The EU will want this for their exports to the UK. None of this need physically hold up goods crossing borders, where electronic documentation will have been filed in advance and cover all necessary details about consignments.

4. “Complex supply chains will incur tariffs that make Assembly of components from different sides of the Channel uneconomic” say those who often have never run complex supply chains. Most components are zero rated for tariff if they are included in a good which attracts a tariff on final sale, or of course for a good which is rated at zero tariff. Some components do attract low level tariffs which are more than offset by the fall in sterling against the Euro. I have never experienced difficulties in bringing in components from non Eu sources in my past life with manufacturing companies.

5. “Rules of origin” will be too difficult to sort out in time” say some anti Brexit people. Rules of origin work fine for non EU trade, with a system of self certification of origin available.


  1. Prigger
    June 30, 2017

    “4. “Complex supply chains will incur tariffs that make Assembly of components from different sides of the Channel uneconomic” say those who often have never run complex supply chains ”
    If all the questions raised by Remoaners were to raise discussion as how best to get a good deal. But they are not. They are merely going through pre-referendum arguments because they will not respect democracy and wish the referendum to be run again or at worst another referendum after the deal to accept or decline hoping for decline. Why don’t they go live in Germany? Most of the million or so refugees are still unemployed so presumably they can find work picking German carrots or something and chomping on a delicious brockwurst with sauerkraut. ( actually this combination gives me stomach trouble but I’m picky ).

    1. Hope
      June 30, 2017

      Beloved remainiacs Merkel states a marriage is between a man and woman. Where are the chorous of extreme left wing liberals condemning her? Where is loud mouth Bercow? They came out in droves for far less when Trump spoke. Merkel is e head of the EU, she ousts governments imposes destitution on Greeks, enforces mass immigration on countries who do not want it and countries like Holland who vote against it, she covers up sexual assaults in her cities by immigrants grants. Come on where are those left wing remainiacs who love to condem people for having a view opposed to their own? Will May condem her or tell us she is wrong? May imposed this upon us denying the public a say. Cameron claimed this was his best achievement even though he did not have the courage to put it in a manifesto or Queen speech.

      1. rose
        July 1, 2017

        Nor did the Liberals put it in their manifesto. It was sprung on the country from nowhere by Mrs May and Miss Featherstone. Now they are all venting their bigotry on the DUP for being honest about their beliefs.

      2. Prigger
        July 7, 2017

        “Where is loud mouth Bercow? ” Patience! Your Comment on Mr Bercow was posted on June 30, 2017 at 8:30 pm. It is only July 7, 2017. Mr Bercow could very well have started speaking at the moment Merkel opened her mouth. He may be at this moment in time merely half-way through his first sentence of comment and still quite a distance from the point he wishes to make.

  2. Lifelogic
    June 30, 2017

    Indeed we just need to try to make sure that the EU bureaucrats act in the interests of their members, rather than inflicting damage on them (and the UK) for pathetic political reasons. We are in a much stronger position to do this outside the the EU and outside the jurisdiction of EU courts.

    Andrew Haldane at the BoE seemed distinctly unimpressive on Newsnight last night, rather like his (pro EU propaganda pushing) boss.

    A good article by James Delingpole in the spectator on the green lunacy of the BoE in the Spectator.


    Why on earth would Manchester University want to demean itself by making the economic illiterate George Osborne an honorary professor of economics? Does Manchester University think that 15% stamp duty, taking landlords on profit they are not making, making it illegal for low paid workers to work, investing in HS2 and green crap …….. are sensible economics?


    A shame as Manchester University has done a lot of good especially in science and engineering so why put up a badge saying we clearly do not understand basic economics!

    1. Lifelogic
      June 30, 2017

      Does Manchester University’s economics department actually think that Osborne’s absurdly high taxing, complex, irrational and hugely damaging tax system was good for the economy? Do they think that having a tax system that forces almost everyone in the country to use dire virtual monopoly of the NHS or state schools is a good thing?

      Or, by offering Osborne this award, are they just putting up a big flag saying, very loudly, that the University of Manchester does not really understand economics, the value of competition, free markets or business at all?

    2. stred
      July 1, 2017

      Osbo was pushing his idea of a 30 mile tunnel under the Pennines to make his Powerhouse work. Unfortunately, someone realised the M62 had already been built.
      He could explain the economics of this in his inaugural lecture. Failed journalist to failed chancellor, now editor and professor of economics. Amazing where you can get with waffle in this country.

      1. a-tracy
        July 1, 2017

        A connection from the East Coast via Manchester to Sheffield and out to the East coast would take pressure off the M62 which is frequently congested and open up faster trade, transport and expand living areas that will become more connected to jobs and our airports.

        1. a-tracy
          July 4, 2017

          Oops I meant to type the West coast (Liverpool)

  3. alte fritz
    June 30, 2017

    In other words, the horror stories only come true if we are treated by the EU as if we are a state sponsoring terrorism which must be ostracised by a trade ban.

    I suppose that is how the Remainers see it.

    1. Denis Cooper
      June 30, 2017

      Well, we’re not going to be the ones who want to sever all links and bring travel and trade and commerce to a grinding halt, despite the balance of the existing trade being in the favour of those other countries. If anybody does that it will be the governments of those countries, acting out of stupid and hypocritical spite.

      However even with complete goodwill on both sides it may take some time to sort out some of the new legal and practical arrangements and so we must be prepared to agree suitable transitional provisions to apply after we have left the EU.

      As mentioned before the six EEC countries wrote into their 1957 Treaty of Rome that they would set up their common market over a period of twelve years:


      “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.

      2. To each stage there shall be assigned a set of actions to be initiated and carried through concurrently … ”

      And later when the UK joined the accession treaty included transitional provisions typically running for five years, so there would be nothing special about having a similar timescale for full implementation of our withdrawal.

  4. Lifelogic
    June 30, 2017

    Newsnight also has another BBC favourite (another pro EU lefty needless to day) Lord Patten on for a long slot. He think their is a majority for “wets” and wants even higher taxes.
    A shame he learned so little about economics from his time in Hong Kong.

    Of the Chinese Ambassador he said – “he does not knows the difference between democracy and a wet haddock”.

    But given Patten’s views on the EU, does Lord Patten?

    1. Lifelogic
      June 30, 2017


    2. Mitchel
      June 30, 2017

      Moreover,the Chinese government doesn’t line his pockets whereas…..

    3. E.S Tablishment
      June 30, 2017

      Has Lord Patten written a book on “How to speak of the Chinese in public and cement closer ever trade and security cooperation with the biggest nation on earth?
      Corby says we have great diplomats. We know where Corbyn is coming from, out of a shell of a duck egg.

  5. Realist
    June 30, 2017

    Thank you John, thank goodness for your wisdom! So, on the day after Brexit, all that UK exporters need to do is to turn up at the airports and the docks of our EU partners and say “Hello, we are here to trade! We are not from an EU Member State, and we don’t have any sort of deal with you either, but John Redwood told us it would all be fine!”
    Tally ho!!

    1. Dennis Zoff
      June 30, 2017

      Realist: You clearly have no idea how commerce works in Europe. What are your personal international business credentials to make such an asinine comment?

    2. Denis Cooper
      June 30, 2017

      Well, I suppose at the minimum there will still be this deal, to which the UK and the other EU member states are already parties in their own sovereign right:



      Which actually leads on to other agreements under its Article II.

    3. NickC
      June 30, 2017

      Are we there yet? Grizzle … whinge … moan … For goodness sake grow up – trade between nations existed before the EU, will exist after the EU and continues to exist between nations not in the EU, as well as between the EU and nations not in the EU. A nation does not have to be in the EU to trade. A nation does not have to be in the EU to trade with the EU.

    4. outsider
      June 30, 2017

      Realistically, Chinese exporters to the EU seem to do OK on that basis.

    5. libertarian
      June 30, 2017


      Yep just like the 160 other countries already do. Are you a bit simple?

  6. Mick
    June 30, 2017

    Am I missing something here, but if we stay in the single market and custom union we have not left the the eu, if these muppets of any party should be kicked out of Westminster if there constituency voted to leave the eu so they deceived the public to gain votes, and because of this they lied to get elected

  7. Duncan
    June 30, 2017

    Your efforts to expose the cynicism, destructive tendencies and blatant scaremongering among the anti-Brexit rabble is commendable and to be applauded. These embittered pro-EU people would rather see the UK ‘fail’ than see a successful exit from the EU

    It’s important that pro-Brexit campaigners get their message across and explain to the public the actual day to day, ‘on the ground’ relationship between the UK and the continent will smoothly and that the country will not simply grind to a halt and collapse in a heap

    Confront lies and mendacity with facts, facts and more facts. The British public, a sensible presence in our country, will always tell the difference

    1. Duncan
      June 30, 2017

      “Your efforts to expose the cynicism, destructive tendencies and blatant scaremongering among the anti-Brexit rabble is commendable”

      “It’s important that pro-Brexit campaigners get their message across”

      Oh, you are absolutely getting your message across. Not, perhaps, a message likely to persuade anyone with a brain, but a message nonetheless.

    2. a-tracy
      June 30, 2017

      Well the BBC today have highlighted that savings have dropped in the UK but are they sure this isn’t to do with the new NEST pension schemes now more people are saving into compulsory savings schemes to 3% of their income that they weren’t forced to pay before, are these savings added into total savings? There was a big boost into NEST in the final quarter last year as the last SME’s shemes started. This has started to remove a large chunk of independent saving and reduced net income.

      1. libertarian
        June 30, 2017


        Sorry if I’m a bit dim, but the main reason I no longer bother to save is because the interest rate is less than 0.5%

        1. a-tracy
          June 30, 2017

          I wasn’t talking about wealthy savers that can speculate with their savings in Buy to Let’s or share portfolios. I was talking about people that could only afford to save around 1-3% of their income anyway that have had that amount compulsorily put into pension savings. I was simply wondering if those Nest savings have been taken into account.

          1. libertarian
            July 1, 2017


            Yes sure, agree with you on the other issues, but I’m still convinced that its the base rate thats the root cause of the problem. How does a young person save for a deposit on a house when the interest in a bank or building society is non existent

          2. a-tracy
            July 1, 2017

            Yes bank and building society savings rates are a main contributor I agree, I know many young people struggling to save a deposit, I also know lots of parents taking out their meagre savings and loaning them for deposits to their kids, this troubles me if the parent needs the money before the kids can repay. I also know many parents with their adult children living with them with their partners in to their 30’s trying to save a deposit with little or no savings interest. But some of these adult children need to save a lot more than they do (in high risk tax free ISAs and the new housing savings schemes) but many would rather blow a fortune on clothes and holidays and gin bars with drinks at £8 per pop and take out massively expensive phone contracts and drive brand new cars, we couldn’t have got credit for all this when I was that age all they’re interested in is what is this going to cost each month.

            If you put interest rates up too far then those that have been sensible and saved up their deposits and bought homes, stretching themselves will be the ones who then get punished when their mortgages become unaffordable if their interest payments double, there are savings plans out there.

  8. Mark B
    June 30, 2017

    Good morning

    Well, let us hope you are right

  9. Len Grinds
    June 30, 2017

    1 “Planes will not be able to fly … [but] All you need is a landing permission in the airport you are going to… ”
    2 “The need for customs clearance will mean massive queues … [but] The EU will want decent procedures on the UK side of the channel ….
    3. “The need for products to comply with EU rules will hold up movements of goods” [but] In future there is likely to be be mutual recognition of each other’s standard granting bodies…. etc

    So when you say you are happy with no deal, what you actually mean is that there is a desperate need for deals on all the matters you cite. You have to understand the UK cannot do this all on its own – or at least you have to stop deceiving your readers that it can

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 30, 2017

      Just grind on Len. Just another remoaner. Good job there weren’t too many of you in charge when we had 2 world wars to fight. We wouldn’t have been capable of anything.

      1. JonP
        June 30, 2017

        We didn’t fight them on our own – we had the americans and the rest of the Empire to help -but now we are alone

        1. libertarian
          July 1, 2017


          Nope I think you’ll find we’ve still got the 1.5 billion plus people from USA and Commonwealth on our side now we’ve left the 300 million EUites

          1. Dennis Zoff
            July 1, 2017


            It is extraordinary how some remainers on this blog wish for a UK collapse because they did not get their way!

            It appears irrelevant to them that all the facile fear factors that were stated prior to Brexit, did not come to pass, and they just cannot stand it. Who are these people?

            I can only conclude they are/were not very successful individuals in their careers. Have limited or no international experience of any kind and are completely blind to the cronyistic nature, blundering inefficiency, overly bureaucratic complex procedures and the most cynical profligate lifestyle of the EU’s narcissistic management?

            Regardless of the simplest EU facts, remainers ignore them and trot out their own puerile facts as truths…because if someone said something against Brexit, they immediately accept any narrative that is against leaving, but in return, offer no personal researched evidence to suggest remaining in the EU makes good sense?

            These are the very same people that build walls against progress, rather than seeking out alternative solutions. They appear to have limited gumption and are lacking in the most rudimentary knowledge of international commerce or fundamental business development.

            But if you ask a simple question as to why they personally wish to remain in the EU and the benefits derived from the EU, gained by erudite researched facts or personal experiences, absolutely nothing! In the real world, they would be dismissed as irrelevant to any proceedings!

    2. Denis Cooper
      June 30, 2017

      I suppose that JR, an opponent of the EU, may be a bit naive about the intentions of the other EU countries, while you, a fervent supporter of the EU, may have a much better idea about just how stupid, hypocritical and spiteful your friends are.

    3. libertarian
      June 30, 2017


      Give up mate , you are totally clueless about trade and business.

      Come back to us when you’ve actually set up a business and traded internationally theres a good boy

    4. acorn
      June 30, 2017

      How will it be decided that “no deal” is going to be “the” deal and when will it apply? How will we know when we are half way towards a no deal? Will we leave a note on the EU’s doorstep saying “So long and thanks for all the fish”. Fascinating!

      Anyway, with the EU- Japan deal ready to sign and the TTIP looking like it will make a comeback, that could mean by Sunday, March 31st, 2019, 88% of UK trade will be with the EU internal (single) market or through an EU negotiated trade deal. There will be circa 60 such deals by then, that will give easier access to 2/3 of the world’s markets by value.

      According to the CBI, Switzerland, working mostly through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), has been effective in signing trade deals with important partners. The China – Switzerland trade deal, the much bigger partner being China, it has set the terms of trade. It is allowed more time to remove tariffs on Swiss goods, (up to 15 years in some cases), than the Swiss, who have to let in Chinese goods, tariff-free, almost immediately. It is also limited in scope; it does not cover cars or financial services; two major export areas for the UK.

      Likewise, the EU – South Korea deal scraps almost 99% of tariffs in just 5 years and including liberalisation of trade in services. The South Korea – Australia trade deal, takes almost 20 years to reach this level of tariff reduction.

      1. libertarian
        June 30, 2017


        Well as a guess as article 50 requires us to leave within two years , if there is no deal then I would think that WTO trade applies on the 2nd anniversary of triggering Art 50

        Er you second paragraph is total and utter nonsense for a start 85% of all economic activity is internal to the UK. You just make this drivel up for some reason.

        1. acorn
          July 1, 2017

          The subject is UK “external” trade, not total domestic trade.

          1. libertarian
            July 1, 2017


            But you didn’t say that you said and I quote

            88% of UK trade will be with the EU internal (single) market

            Er no it won’t . Not on any dimension . More total nonsense from you. Your posts are becoming wilder and more erratic

    5. Simon
      June 30, 2017

      A “No deal” needs probably hundreds of “deals” to make it work.

  10. Sakara Gold
    June 30, 2017

    The Brexit vote was devisive, many in the UK as a whole did not support leaving. It’s agreed that the negotiations will be long and complex, even more so because we cannot agree our negotiating position at Cabinet level . This results in the media reporting all the nuances of internal discusions etc – which, it could be argued is healthy in a democracy such as ours.

    Nobody gets everything they want in negotiations, the art of diplomacy is to make everyone go away at the end feeling that they have obtained a better deal thant their opponents.

    1. Chris
      June 30, 2017

      When you leave a Club and stop paying subscriptions you do not then get involved in complex negotiations trying to alter things.

    2. Beecee
      June 30, 2017

      No – that is called a political compromise, and nobody actually wins.

      This is about UK PLC and the way it will govern itself and trade in the ‘free’ world.

      It therefore needs a hard nosed business approach to these negotiations.

    3. Anonymous
      June 30, 2017

      The EU is ‘divisive’.

      The referendum came because there was clamour for it.

    4. NickC
      June 30, 2017

      All votes are divisive, by definition.

      Are the people that have told you the “negotiations will be long and complex”, the same people who say we are not ruled by the EU?

    5. E.S Tablishment
      June 30, 2017

      Sakara Gold
      “The Brexit vote was devisive….” There has never been a vote in the history of mankind which has not been divisive. That’s the idea!!! You divide people on the basis of Yes and No. The ones who get the highest vote WIN. The ones who don’t, LOSE. Unless they are Labour Party then no matter what vote you get, it’s a WIN WIN WIN situation because you do not believe in democracy and freedom like normal people..

  11. agricola
    June 30, 2017

    The rest of the World with whom we deal on commercial merit with great success are an example of how trade can be conducted. If the EU do not wish to sell to us tariff free it is to their disadvantage, end of story.

  12. Caterpillar
    June 30, 2017

    Do we need to get to a conclusion considerably before the Match 2019 deadline so that businesses that need to adapt can adapt? It is the dragged out uncertainty of process/mechanisms that concern me – all is possible but it seems the natural tendency of the EU (and possibly the UK Chancellor) is to drag things out.

    1. Caterpillar
      June 30, 2017

      I should add that if the induced uncertainty plus Carney’s destruction of the savings ratio takes hold in a mini credit crunch, so he is stuck with increasing inflation, weakening currency and no policy route, he will undoubtedly blame Brexit not his misplaced rates policy.

      We need Corbyn to continue to back Brexit and act to reduce govt uncertainty, delay the grab for power, a slight bit of fiscal loosening (investment) tovl allow for an increase in rates – half point or so. If we don’t get these we know where fingers will point.

  13. Martin
    June 30, 2017

    What you forget is that exporting also involves people. As somebody who was involved in exports over the years to EU & non EU countries I can tell you the EU was easy!.

    Want to to send sales/technical/training support to the EU ? Piece of cake – valid passport, get ticket off you go. Only 1 hour time difference. Only out of office for 3 days.

    USA- yeah gods – Hours on the phone to legal to check if Visas are needed. Of course if you have made a few trips in a short period the USA gets funny just to add to the complexity. If a staff member has connections to the Middle East or even been on holiday somewhere the the USA does not like – forget it.

    Any small spare parts to be carried – again customs/hassles risks. 5 to 8 hour time difference. Staff out of the office for a week.

    As for your support for tariffs – tax by another name!

    Border/customs checks – ever had a customer complain that his nice shiny goods have been pawed, or worse still damaged, by some customs goon somewhere?

    1. libertarian
      June 30, 2017


      What are you talking about?

      You started by talking about trade then moved on to travel.

      Hours to check visas? Are you a bit simple? When were you doing this ? In the 1950’s?

      I trade in US, Canada, Spain, Brazil and Japan, None of them are difficult.

      1. Martin
        July 1, 2017

        I am talking about real life experiences. I leave tabloid fantasy to others.

        Maybe you enjoy the hell holes of passport/vias checks etc. Toronto Pearson being a well known dump.

        Call yourself libertarian!

        Hope you are not waiting on a well known brand of breakfast cereal. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40453349

  14. formula57
    June 30, 2017

    You make it sound as though the UK can operate as successfully as the other 170 or so countries of the world not now suffering from EU membership and you are no doubt right.

  15. Bryan Harris
    June 30, 2017

    With the media all too ready to print scare stories and Brexit problems, it would be nice if these same media were inundated by a regular flow of correct information, as above, and obliged to print it.
    Perhaps each newspaper should provide column space on a daily basis to government to get the real truth across for important things like BREXIT

    JR – your approach is robust – but the government needs to do more of this in the same fashion – Whats that about ‘ATTACK BEING THE BEST MEANS OF DEFENCE’?


    1. Chris
      June 30, 2017

      However, they are up against the EU propaganda machine, as reported in Brexit Central this morning, which gives funding of up to 48,000 euros to “centres” to promote the EU

    2. Denis Cooper
      June 30, 2017

      One might expect that David Davis would have a strong press office dedicated to issuing accurate information to the mass media and rapidly rebutting the many falsehoods still being circulated every day by opponents of our withdrawal, and that Boris Johnson would have instructed our diplomatic staff to constantly counter EU propaganda around the world. Neither appear to be true, why not?

      1. Chris
        July 1, 2017

        I find this baffling, too, Denis. Complete lack of common sense, or what?

    3. hefner
      June 30, 2017

      List of newspapers in the UK by circulation (Wikipedia, figures for 2017Q1 in thousands)
      1766 The Sun.
      1511 Daily Mail.
      887 Evening Standard.
      724 Daily Mirror.
      472 Daily Telegraph.
      451 The Times.
      443 Daily Star.
      392 Daily Express.
      266 i.
      188 Financial Times.
      156 Guardian
      ??? Independent (on-line).
      Look at the titles, see which of them support(ed) Brexit, which is/was neutral, which is/was pro-EU.
      I don’t think the list shows a majority of papers actually circulated were anti-Brexit. As for TV channels (as well as newspapers) nobody has ever fore Ed même to buy a newspaper or to watch a program.
      Aren’t you (the majority of you) a bunch of s*ss*es with too much time on your hands, which would be better used taking a walk or gardening or having a pint in the pub?

      1. hefner
        June 30, 2017

        has ever forced me (sorry for that).

      2. Bryan Harris
        July 1, 2017

        What garbage you speak and yet you seem so logical, so much like corbyn in fact!

        What do circulation figures prove? Nothing – you cannot divide the votes in that way!

      3. libertarian
        July 1, 2017


        “sissies with too much time on your hands”

        Says the hypocrite that wasted good gardening time looking up newspaper circulation figures and then NOT adding TV viewing figures from BBC, Sky & Chan4 who are ALL devout remainers.

        Ha ha hefner you sissy

        1. hefner
          July 1, 2017

          Fair point. I was certainly biased given that I do not have a TV. Sorry for missing all these devout remainers.

  16. Peter
    June 30, 2017

    Fine but there will be a flood of similar stories in future.

    So Brexiteers are in reactive mode.

    That is why UKIP’s leave immediately strategy appeals.

  17. Ian Wragg
    June 30, 2017

    The above is what the Remainiacs want to happen.
    Being basically anti Britain they love to denigrate us as being too stupid to survive.
    You the government have to ensure an orderly exit and this can be done within the 2 year time frame.
    The latest ruse is for a long transition period with a view to rejoining the EU on much worse terms.

    1. Ed Mahony
      June 30, 2017

      ‘Remainiacs want to happen. Being basically anti Britain’

      – If you’re going to make that charge, it could be that SOME Brexiteers COULD (unintentionally) be ‘anti Britain’ in the sense of the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of their quixotic take on Britain, the EU and the world at large.

      To be truly pro British is to look at our country through the eyes of both romanticism and reality, not just romanticism.

      1. Anonymous
        June 30, 2017

        I look forward to the EU surviving the London whirlpool effect.

        As second contributor to the EU it is shocking to see how much more we contribute than France in contrast to the disrespect we are shown. (Largely because the Remain faction/BBC embolden the EU.)

    2. Ed Mahony
      June 30, 2017

      Also, there are many examples from history where ‘patriots’ have accused others of a lack of patriotism simply to stifle debate, whilst at the same time, going on to reveal how their own ‘patriotic’ arguments and actions led tragically, in the long-run, to greater unintended harm to their country than good.

      So let’s take it that we all have the best intentions for our country and not try and stifle reasoned and open debate by accusing others of lack of patriotism.

  18. Ed Mahony
    June 30, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Your ultimate point here isn’t politics or economics, its betting and mathematics!

    You’re betting that the EU won’t risk any part of its economy over Brexit. But the maths undermines this. The maths suggest that if the EU meets the Hard Brexiteers objectives, then other countries will leave the EU, and then the EU collapses costing far more to the EU than not offering what the Hard Brexiteers want.

    The EU have already been frank that Brexit is bad for the EU (and the UK). However, in a bad or no trade deal with us, we suffer more because the loss of trade is spread over 27 countries in their case, but we take the hit on our own, here in the UK, with 40% trade to the EU. Not only that, they’re betting that the rejigging of our economy will lead to greater austerity (when we already have a big national debt to pay off), and voters just won’t be able to take anymore (especially if immigration doesn’t come down in general, as immigration was the main reason people voted to Leave). And they’ll vote in Labour. And then Brexit will be scuppered, anyway. With possibly the UK returning to the EU but on worse conditions than before.

    My main fear right now, though, isn’t Brexit or the EU, but the socialists, under Corbyn, getting into power, and crippling this country – something that could have been avoided if we’d just focused on our economy the last few years, instead of Brexit – 1. Paying off our national debt 2. Encouraging entrepreneur programmes like in France right now 3. And other politics in general to build up our country.
    Lastly, we could have used this time to work out a strategy how to really reform the UK. It’s not too late to change course, but time is running out.

    1. Ed Mahony
      June 30, 2017

      ‘It’s not too late to change course, but time is running out’

      – And, yes, we have to leave the EU but Soft Brexit not Hard Brexit – I also forgot to mention that the EU is betting that the UK doesn’t have the leadership to implement something as tricky as Hard Brexit (and will be further emboldened by the disaster at the elections). But even if Soft Brexit doesn’t work, we still have the opportunity to try and figure out a way of trying to reform the EU for our benefit and for Europe’s, that is if the UK is forced to remain the EU because of the state of the economy and the pressure on jobs and living wages in general.

      I might be wrong, but I find it hard to see how anyone could write off such an argument considering lots of wealthy and successful businessmen here and abroad make the same or similar points.

      1. Chris
        June 30, 2017

        So called “Soft” Brexit is not leaving the EU. Therefore you, nor anyone else, has the authority to change the terms of the Referendum or the result.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 30, 2017

          ‘So called “Soft” Brexit is not leaving the EU’

          – No. Soft Brexit does involve leaving the EU.

      2. Chris S
        June 30, 2017

        Ed, have you learned nothing from being a regular contributor here ?

        There is no such thing as “Soft Brexit”.

        Remaining a member of the Single Market and Customs Union IS NOT POSSIBLE as we voted to end FOM and want to do our own trade deals.

        Both main parties, supported by 80% of the electorate, are committed to leaving the Single Market and Customs Union. The fact that Corbyn sacked three members of his shadow cabinet yesterday proves the point.

        There is no argument betwen them on this : both want maximum possible ACCESS to the Single Market, not MEMBERSHIP.

        So that argument has been comprehensively lost. So let’s move on.

        There are now just two possible outcomes to the negotiations :

        They are 1. “Brexit.”
        Definition : leaving the EU with some kind of deal.

        And 2. “Hard Brexit.”
        Definition : leaving the EU without a deal and working together in future on WTO terms which is what we already do with at least 100 other countries !

        All the scaremongering over leaving without a deal is just that : an extension of the ludicrous “Project Fear” pursued by the Remain side during the referendum campaign.

        Both Labour and the Conservative parties want the negotiations to succeed but the outcome is not in our gift. There have to be red lines and we all have our ideas as to what they must be.

        My bottom line is that we have to regain 100% of our sovereignty. That means absolutely no involvement of the ECJ in UK affairs and no brexit bill. other than [payment of existing commitments up to March 2019.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 30, 2017

          Hi Chris,

          ‘All the scaremongering over leaving without a deal is just that : an extension of the ludicrous “Project Fear” pursued by the Remain side during the referendum campaign’

          – No way did I support ‘Project Fear’ (nor did many Remainers like me). Of course, I accepted many of the Remainers’ arguments but I rejected the hyperbole (just as I reject the hyperbole of some Brexiteers and accept many of their arguments as good). Just overall, if we had to go one way or the other, I believed we were better off remaining (and many Leavers and Remainers were on the borderline like me).

          HOWEVER, I’m not really a Remainer but a REFORMER – meaning to remain in the EU but as long as we can get it reformed for our benefit and the benefit of the UK (and no, we’ve never tried that – we’ve tried getting concessions for the UK but not to reform the EU for the benefit of the EU and us).
          I also know there are lots of Brexiteers who are Reformers as well (their preference being to remain in the EU as long as it was reformed). This is another option. And I don’t see why we can’t consider this in case our economy does take a turn at some point during the negotiations / during the future.

          Lastly, it’s not really people who will determine what happens but the markets (if the economy sinks, affecting jobs and wages, people could demand some kind of second referendum to redress any serious imbalance in our economy).


          1. Ed Mahony
            July 1, 2017

            Sorry, i didn’t mean to talk about myself, merely that I represent a lot of the same views as lots of other Remainers and Brexiteers. That being a Remainer or Brexiteer isn’t black and white and there is a lot of cross-over of views.

      3. Oggy
        June 30, 2017

        I will write such an argument off because the dictatorship that is the EU is unreformable. Have you forgotten the measly deal Cameron tried to fob off on us as a ‘reformed EU’ ?
        You are already aware that ‘soft’ and hard’ Brexit doesn’t exist – we voted to leave, and that means escaping the juristiction of the ECJ in it’s entirety which means leaving the single market and the customs union.

        Ed we are leaving the EU, that ship has already left harbour.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 30, 2017


          ‘ship has already left harbour’

          – Yes, and we must carry on, but we can change direction for another destination to avoid the ice-bergs that many in business warn lie ahead.

          ‘the EU is unreformable. Have you forgotten the measly deal Cameron tried to fob off on us as a ‘reformed EU’ ?’

          – Sorry but this is simply a category error repeated again and again by some Brexiteers. Getting concessions for the UK is quite different to reforming the EU for the EU’s benefit and, of course, ours. We’ve never really tried that before.

          All I’m asking, really, is that people stay open-minded and agile in their thinking regarding Brexit and negotiations. Regards.

      4. ian wragg
        June 30, 2017

        Soft Brexit. Ergo No Brexit. Customs Union and Single market incorporating the 4 freedoms and superiority of the ECJ
        No thank you. We voted out, not for some half way house with worse conditions than now.
        have you read the latest financial document by the EU, armed forces, increase in contributions, single budget and finance minister.
        We want out of that.

      5. Denis Cooper
        June 30, 2017

        Clearly you missed Cameron’s attempts at “reforming” the EU, or you would have worked out that it is a non-starter now just as it was then. Merkel could force through her “Reform Treaty”, but Cameron got nowhere. That was why a large body of opinion swung towards leaving, because a chunk of the electorate saw that the kind of “reform” you may want is not going to happen.

      6. outsider
        June 30, 2017

        Dear Ed Mahoney,
        Soft and hard are just words. Politically, if HMG agreed a deal that left freedom of movement, ECJ jurisdiction or any obligation to enact future EU Directives at home, the Conservatives would be massacred at the next- following election. They would lose a lot of the pro-Brexit 52 per cent who voted for them this time without gaining any significant number of the 48 per cent anti-Brexit who did not.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 30, 2017

          OK, fair point (but 99% of Brexiteers aren’t making this argument).

          I don’t want Labour getting in, either. But i’m also concerned our country won’t be able to sustain the cost of rejigging our economy outside the single market whilst paying back our current national debt (and it’s not just that me that think this but lots of people in business both here and abroad). And eventually austerity will catch up, and Labour could get back in, and who knows what would happen with the lethal concoction of a socialist government with a whopping national debt by then.

      7. Nig l
        June 30, 2017

        Please do not keep repeating that old trope, namely that if we stay in we can reform it. I have been listening to that as an excuse to not hold a referendum for as long as I remember, indeed I recall Cameron coming back saying they get it, they really do. Nothing has happened, indeed when he tried to negotiate with the threat of us leaving s a possibility, even then they came up with nothing and from I can see they are staying that way. Inward looking, controlling, centralising, all those things that are an anathema to the culture of the uk.

        Wealthy and successful business men, please do not omit women next time, in the main, are only in the main interested in themselves, that single mindedness contributing to their success, of course once that is achieved, then they can do the charitable bit. They see the status quo and their ability to rub shoulders, lobby for their own benefit, under threat. No surprise they do not like it.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 30, 2017

          ‘indeed I recall Cameron coming back saying they get it, they really do’

          – I’m sorry but you’re making a category error.
          Trying to get concessions for the UK is not the same as trying to reform the EU for the benefit or the EU and, of course, us.
          Don’t you see the difference?

      8. libertarian
        June 30, 2017

        Ed M

        There is NO SUCH THING as soft Brexit, so its not on offer

    2. Bryan Harris
      June 30, 2017

      “The EU have already been frank that Brexit is bad for the EU (and the UK). However, in a bad or no trade deal with us, we suffer more because the loss of trade is spread over 27 countries”

      You distort the facts – trade is not equal to all 27 countries – Certain countries like Germany and France would lose out badly as they export the majority of items to us, and much more than we exort to them.

      In the event of a no trade deal, the governement (and JR) have already made it plain that the extra tax revenue would be used to support any UK companies that are having problems with their exports.


  19. Bert Young
    June 30, 2017

    The negotiation problem is weighted in our favour and we would be stupid to finally agree if a “punishment” element was imposed . Maintaining a high rate of employment in EU countries has to be a priority for them – Spain and many of their southern bloc already have high rates of unemployment . . A “No” deal poses no problems in the way I have concluded .

    1. Ed Mahony
      June 30, 2017

      ‘The negotiation problem is weighted in our favour’

      – I think this is wishful- thinking.

      It’s weighted in the EU’s favour for the following reasons:

      1) The cost of a favourable deal to the EU could mean other countries leave the EU, the EU crashes, costing far more to the main EU countries than bad deal with the UK
      2) Any loss of trade is spread over the main EU countries, compared to the UK which has to take the hit on its own, with 40% of our trade to the EU
      3) They know we A) Lack the leadership to implement Hard Brexit with many complicated outcomes B) Have a national debt ticking bomb that needs paying off, rejigging our economy will only add more financial pressure C) We’re going to find it really challenging to bring down immigration overall (whilst not affecting our economy) – the main reason people voted to leave D) We lack the manpower and experience of quick, favourable trade deals with the outside world (when so many investors in Japan, China and the USA wanted us to remain in the single market using us as a stepping stone into the EU) E) The opportunities of trade outside the EU are exaggerated when you consider Japan’s GDP per capita is only 41%, Canada’s 46% and New Zealand’s 37%, and that we still need the Europe for our less competitive companies to trade with as it’s far more challenging trading further afield in very different work cultures with very different business regulations etc.

      Not just what i think, but what so many in business think as well, both here and abroad.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 30, 2017

        BTW, I wish we were TOTALLY independent of the EU. In that regard, I’m a hard, hard Brexiteer.

        Idealism is one thing but being realistic and pragmatic is another. An unintended consequence of this kind of idealism is that it could cripple our country’s economy and we end up back in the EU with even less control than before – an unintended consequence of Brexit.
        But that’s what happens when idealism isn’t tempered by pragmatic realism.

  20. margaret
    June 30, 2017

    With all these problems many people are set to lose their jobs .Will they want this for spite?

    1. E.S Tablishment
      June 30, 2017

      Germans are going to lose thousands of jobs. Canada’s Bombadier is cutting its factories in Germany. Some problem with the joint venture with building railway carriages etc with Siemens? Let the refugees travel by autobahn.

  21. Denis Cooper
    June 30, 2017

    To repeat a comment I made earlier this week:


    “The Treasury’s economic models have grossly overestimated the cost of Brexit”

    One crucial defect being:

    “… the Treasury used an average trade gain across all 28 EU members, but neglected to say that the gains to the UK alone were much smaller. This vital point was omitted even though an earlier Treasury paper acknowledged its existence.”

    Which is similar to a point I have repeatedly made in the past, that a German study found that the creation of the EU single market had increased collective GDP across the EU by about 2%, corresponding to the estimate accepted by the EU Commission – but the gross economic benefit for the UK was only about half that average.

    The conclusion of this new study being:

    “Our own worst-case prediction is that per capita GDP could be 2 per cent lower by 2025 than would otherwise be the case, but by 2030 would be higher than it would have been without Brexit. If UK firms find new markets more quickly than the slow rate we have assumed, the outlook could be more optimistic than this.”

    Recalling that the UK economy has a trend growth rate of about 2.5% a year, at worse in 2025 UK GDP would be just 20% higher than now rather than 22% higher.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 30, 2017

      Of course with sensible lower & simpler taxes, smaller government, a bonfire or red tape, some uplifting vision and cheap (no green crap) on demand energy we could do hugely better on top of this.

      But alas we have socialist May in charge & without even a majority now.

      Still we will get some pointless gender pay gap reporting to read I suppose and vastly expensive white elephants in the form of HS2 and Hinkley C.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 30, 2017

        Plus a huge, but largely unproductive (often even worse) state sector.

    2. ian wragg
      June 30, 2017

      These sort of comments should be made ad nauseum by government ministers. the single market is of no consequence to probably 95% of the population. The Customs Union on the other hand affects everyone due to higher prices because of the Common External Tariff.

  22. Epikouros
    June 30, 2017

    Fallacious statements are stock in trade for those who wish to promote a dubious opinion or cause. The other common tactic is to drown out or silence opposing voices using interruption, threats, scaremongering, vilification and the outlawing of free expression. They are abhorrent practices and those who use them can only said to be morally and intellectually flawed. Telling is that their use is to be found mostly in those who are adherents of socialist, progressive ideologies and latterly those who are wedded to the idea that we must not leave the EU.

    It is those that cause you to have to refute spurious claims that generally are without foundation but are concerns legitimate enough that can be expanded and exaggerated to be used to demonise Brexit. To my mind you adequately address their mischievous claims considering the difficulty as you say of disproving nonsense or negatives. A perfect example is Corbyn who spouts nonsense all of the time on matters economic and social all of which sound perfectly reasonable and true. However if anyone has the time and inclination and researched properly and looks at all the factors that actually lead to the issue that he is railing about or promoting would realise he is only using one of them to make his point. So his rhetoric is always without foundation, baseless and a useless over simplification.

  23. Ian Scott
    June 30, 2017

    You’ve costed nothing so you cannot say what a bad deal looks like.

  24. Benjamin Greenberg
    June 30, 2017

    Of course we can trade with non EU countries. Look at how much the Dutch, Germans et al export to e.g. Commonwealth countries like India or South Africa.

    But as the UK has benefited from EU-membership more than most, it is likely to lose much. John Redwood’s five points above fail to answer questions on banking, services, work permits et al, which will become rather more costly. I doubt they will be sufficiently reassuring to investors, who have to decide where to produce the next generation of cars, lawn mowers et al.

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 1, 2017

      “But as the UK has benefited from EU-membership more than most … ”

      Nope, far less than most, see my comment further down the thread.

  25. G
    June 30, 2017

    Forgive me if I get to my point in a roundabout way, but I was listening earlier to this whole business of ties. I know that many will think this a shocking impropriety.

    But isn’t there some symbolism going on here. What is it that makes us to about all day, having willingly tied a noose around one’s own neck, and think it a frightfully good idea?

    Is that symbolic of a peculiar self-defeating twist in us that has made us subject to the slowest head lock in history?

  26. John Archer
    June 30, 2017

    …there is already a system of electronic registration of consignments, with the ability to undertake customs clearance at the importers premises once the goods have been successfully delivered.

    Hmmm. I wonder if this very helpful customs clearance system will be policed as super efficiently as the electoral system when the premises are located in areas such as, say, Tower Hamlets.

    I suppose next there will be similarly helpful passport control facilities on the premises at places like Grenfell Tower.

    Nevertheless, oddly enough I find myself asking if it is possible that there might be enhanced moral hazard with such arrangements at certain locations and with certain types of entrepreneur. I can’t think why I do that though. Perhaps a trip to the re-education camp would help there. They are on the horizon, aren’t they?

  27. Dennis Zoff
    June 30, 2017

    Realist: You clearly have no idea how commerce works in Europe. What are your personal international business credentials to make such an asinine comment?

  28. Dennis Zoff
    June 30, 2017

    Just politely asking, as I am interested in other’s points of view?

    Argument. Those that wish to remain in the EU may well have a valid point?

    Therefore, for my own personal edification, could all those persons that are arguing against the UK leaving the EU, please eruditely explain why it is better to remain in the EU?

    The argument, must be based on thoroughly researched information or personal experiences? Please, without unsubstantiated politicized soundbites or sciolism!

    1. Len Grinds
      July 1, 2017

      Certainly, Mr Zoff.
      45% of our exports by value go to the EU-27. They go tariff free and free of non-tariff-barriers too. After Brexit, there will be tariffs, and more important we will have to comply with all the EU’s laws (non tariff barriers) too, without having any say in the content of those laws, and all goods and services entering the EU will need to checked to be sure they do comply. Other countries round the world are in this position, but none is anywhere near as reliant on trade with the EU-27 as we are. So Brexit means taking almost half our export trade and making it significantly more difficult and expensive. Call it taking back control if you like, but it is in fact more like shooting yourself in the foot, then shooting yourself in the other foot, and then beating yourself over the head. This is why the rest of the world thinks the UK has taken leave of its senses

      Reply A good mix of wrong numbers and wrong judgement. See my previous posts on our balance of trade and how much of it will not attract tariffs under WTO rules.

      1. Len Grinds
        July 1, 2017

        I did see your previous posts. They were about tariffs. You do not understand that it is non tariff barriers that matter to the UK’s economy post-Brexit, and you do not understand that it is services, not goods, that matter to the Uk’s economy post-Brexit. You do not understand how the UK’s economy functions nowadays, as a mainly service-driven economy, and you do not understand how international trade deals work nowadays, as attempts to manage not tariffs but non tariff barriers.
        You. Do. Not. Understand.

        Reply. Funny that. See this weeks post on non tariff barriers! If you want to contribute to my site you could at least extend me the courtesy of reading and understanding what I write. If you think I am so misinformed why do you waste your time here? Why should I go on posting your ill informed comments?

      2. David Price
        July 1, 2017

        According to the ONS “visual” web page on trade partners today the EU accounts for 44% of our trade in Goods and Services in 2015 (I realise there may be more recent data but the ONS should be self consistent).

        The ONS goes on to show that we import £290,621 from the EU and export £230,031m (a balance of -£60,590m) while we import £229,245m from the RoW and export £259,995m ( a balance of £30,750m).

        So we have a good trade balance with the rest of the world but a hefty negative balance with the EU that we must also pay billions to the EU for the privilege of letting them export their goods to us and then we must pay VAT to the EU when we buy the stuff. How is this tariff/tax, call it what you will, free? How is such a relationship not nuts.

        If we must import cars, for example, lets import them from the US, China, Korea, India even, countries where we have a healthier trading relationship.

      3. Dennis Zoff
        July 1, 2017

        Len, thank you for your reply, appreciated. Though my question was a little broader than John’s original article.

        However, John has answered your comment directly and clearly refutes your misinformed rationale, of which I agree. On the commercial side, it is well established the European countries need a good relationship with the UK for obvious reasons. I can agree with these finding based on my own discussions with businesses around Europe….can you?

        In the end, each individual European country’s commercial needs will force the EU to acquiesce to a sensible solution that is both equitable and realistic to all parties.

        “Source: UK Trade OfNS – Apr 2017

        EU exports to the UK vs imports from the UK – 2016 (Switzerland included)

        Germany exports to UK £64B – Imports from UK £32.7B (-£31.3B)
        France exports to UK £40.4B – Imports from UK £19.5B (-£21.0B)
        Holland exports to UK £34.9B – Imports from UK £18.6B (-£16.3B)
        Ireland exports to UK £13.4B – Imports from UK £17.1B (+£3.7B)
        Bel/Lux exports to UK £24B – Imports from UK £11.9B (-£12.1B)
        Italy exports to UK £17.4B – Imports from UK £9.9B (-£7.5B)
        Spain exports to UK £15.8B – Imports from UK £9.7B (-£6.1B) (not including UK tourists)
        Swiss exports to UK £10.1B – Imports from UK £9.2B (-£0.9B)
        Sweden exports to UK £6.3B – Imports from UK £4.6B (-£1.7B)

        Total EU/Swiss exports to the UK £226.4B vs Imports from UK £133.2B (-£93.2B)

        In contrast, UK exports to the USA £47.4B vs imports from the USA £36.6B (+£10.8B)

        The top European exporting countries badly need the good will of the UK, regardless of the puerile EU sabre rattling.

        Commercially, the UK is in a very strong position….and will negotiate from a position of strength!”

        1. Len Grinds
          July 2, 2017

          Well, if you are right, then of course the EU 27 will want to pay the UK to continue this relationship. Yet all the talk is of how much the UK will have to pay. Why do you think this is?

  29. Eric Sorensen
    June 30, 2017

    With decades of experience in EU and international standardisation work, legally and technically, please allow me to add a few comments on the practical aspect of complying with EU standards. For starters, there are no EU standards. The EU issues legal instruments called directives, which are basically a lot of bla. bla and more bla with reference to European or international technical standards, i.e., standards typically issued by CEN or ISO. The UK is a member of all these organisations, which has nothing to do with the EU. Products subject to EU directives must be issued a certificate of compliance with the underlying technical standard from CEN, ISO or one of the many other organisations. The certification is issued by a so-called Notified Body, accredited to do the job. There are hundreds of Notified Bodies, and they do not need be EU based.
    Thus, a UK manufacturer would simply do post-Brexit certification as he would today.
    Put differently, talk about trade restrictions due to compliance issues is utterly wrong.

  30. English Pensioner
    June 30, 2017

    I always ask the simple question “Who did we manage before we joined the Common Market, the predecessor of the EU”. After all it was formed for some time before we joined, did things stagnate during this period?

    1. Len Grinds
      July 1, 2017

      Of course they stagnated. We joined the common market exactly because our economy was doing so badly outside it. And after Brexit it will do badly again

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 1, 2017

        We may have joined the common market with that in mind but there is no evidence that it produced any significant benefit for our economy.

  31. Hard Cheese Holiday
    June 30, 2017

    MPs are looking forward to Parliament’s Summer Recess 20th July 2017 to 5th September 2017. I hope Labour and other Opposition MPs will decide to stay in London instead, in case the government collapses and they need to step in.

    I do not in the least expect the govenment to collapse. But it will give me schadenfreude if their holidays are totally spoilt. They have been a complete pain since 23rd June 2017. Their families too will be spared listening to their moaning “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

  32. Christine
    June 30, 2017

    I recently wanted to buy a new toaster whilst in Spain. At the electrical shop there was a choice of 11 different brands all of them made in China. So China doesn’t seem to have any problem exporting goods to the EU. Also Spain is full of Chinese shops equivalent to our Poundland, these shops are full of shoddy goods that I doubt comply with any EU regulations. Seems to me that we are hearing scare stories when the reality is that EU member states turn a blind eye to many of the EU rules and regulations anyway.

  33. Robin Wilcox
    June 30, 2017

    Of course there will be some things we need to agree with the EU. Other countries who are not EU member states manage to conduct business without suffering meltdown. If they can do it so can the UK.

  34. jack Snell
    June 30, 2017

    If we get the benefit of all of the five points listed above then we have to accept that we have not completely left the EU..it seems that we will be at a half in/half out arrangement and that can mean anything- it certainly is not a clean brexit.

    Also nowhere have you mentioned about the surly bad manners we often see displayed from the various European customs and other airport and seaport officials we will also have to contend with in our daily business and working lives, and right into the future- only this time greatly magnified. because with whatever new arrangement ‘they will have it in for us’..no doubt about that.. the british name is mud on the continent right now and that is not going to change in one or two generations either.

  35. Dinero
    June 30, 2017

    Single market and Customs union are two terms for the same thing , are they not.
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=definition+customs+union .

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 1, 2017

      Certainly not as far as the EU is concerned, the EU single or internal market being based on four indivisible freedoms including freedom of movement of persons and not just tariff free trade.

  36. P2017
    June 30, 2017

    So it’s no deal with lots of extra sides deals. Is this what you call ‘detail’?

    Embarrassing doesn’t even cover it.

  37. ian
    June 30, 2017

    They have not got the votes in the HOC for full brexit with at least 23 con party MPs voting against a full brexit. The only way to get a full brexit is if the labour leader wants one or MAY back tracks on a vote in the commons and takes you out on her own, which i cannot see happening.
    What does staying in mean, no seats in the EU councils to form policies, just taking orders, higher immigration from the EU with ME people and people from Africa coming in as refugees, parts of your tax system being taken over, more taxes on pollution, much bigger contribution with no rebates to pay for all the new things the EU wants to do, bigger cuts to services with lots more people to look after, no trade agreement unless the EU says so, and i think the people can think of a lot more as well on this site.
    I myself do not really care anymore, if it to bad i will just move out of the country.

  38. mart
    June 30, 2017

    Dear John,

    It is good for you to tackle nonsense, since, as you say, there is so much of it about.

    And if you don’t tackle it, who will?

    Kindest regards

  39. Bob
    June 30, 2017

    If no deal is the deal, then that’s fine by me. Let’s not waste any more time, repeal ECA72, make the offer of tariff free trade on a take it or leave it basis, then get on with our global FTA arrangements.

    If you need any more advice, please do not hesitate to ask.

  40. Jason wells
    June 30, 2017

    No deal will be absolutely disasterous and full well you know it.. you’re like the little boy passing the graveyard at night whistling to keep your spirits up..make no mistake if there is no deal.. everything will stop.. we’ll be left in a forever winterland that will take years and maybe decades to thaw out..and in the end we will never be as well off as we are today.. the europeans are determined to see to that.. we can never be allowed to be so well off outside of the EU as we are currently inside it.. hope that is clear to everyone..and we can also forget about new trade deals with countries worldwide.. that wss tye empire..it’s not going to come back..it’s not going to happen..liam fox knows it and so does theresa may..it’s all just pie in the sky

    Reply What nonsense. You take a very negative view of the rest of the EU and assume they will break their own Treaty!

    1. Anonymous
      June 30, 2017

      If we’re in a ‘winterland’ they’re in a winterland.

      The world was quaking in its boots over the BRICS.

      Are you seriously SERILOUSLY saying that it won’t be if London goes tits up ???

      Have you looked at how much more to the EU Britain contributes than France ? Or the £80bn deficit in trade we run with the EU ?

    2. Bob
      July 1, 2017

      @Jason wells

      “the europeans are determined to see to that.. we can never be allowed to be so well off outside of the EU”

      Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?

    3. Denis Cooper
      July 1, 2017

      “everything will stop”

      If everything stopped for us it would stop for them as well. Maybe you think that they are sufficiently stupid to do that? And yet you still want them to have a large hand in the government of our country? Why?

  41. Novoludo
    June 30, 2017

    Curious. This view of Redwood’s is completely countered and opposed by: virtually all internationally trading British companies and business people; the Confederation of British Industry; and our two leading business journals, the Financial Times and The Economist.

    It’s possible all these people are wrong, and you few are all right. But it’s hardly likely, is it?

    Clues: the pound fell on Brexit because the financial community believed the UK had taken a step which permanently lowered the value of its economy. The UK since Brexit is the slowest growing economy in Europe. There are daily announcements of companies actually or planning to relocate their activities outside the UK (read the FT).

    Again, it could be that this is all completely coincidental, has all happened in the last twelve months, but has nothing to do with our decision to leave the EU. But it’s hardly likely is it?

    The reality of course is that it is certain that Brexit, and particularly Redwood’s ‘crash out Brexit’, will permanently damage the UK economy and reduce the living standards of its citizens. It already is doing so. And all informed business people know it will do so. Which is why they are vigorously opposing it.

    But of course, despite all informed opinion, and all available data, you few could be right. But you are not.

    Reply The Uk has continued to grow at2% a year as I predicted and did not suffer the winter recession the worthies you cite did predict.

    1. Novoludo
      June 30, 2017

      This is simply not true. The UK is the slowest growing economy in Europe, and incomes have fallen for three successive quarters for the first time since 1976 (ONS reported today).

      Brexit is and will damage the economy severely, even without the incredibly irresponsible “crash out’ case that Redwood espouses. There is no serious debate about this except by extremists like Redwood and Hannan, who are either ignorant of the publicly available data, or ‘lying for the cause’.

      If you worsen your competitive terms of trade with your major neighbouring markets, it obviously has to damage your economy.

      Companies are relocating and will relocate. These are facts that cannot be denied. Read the Financial Times any day, the newspaper written by and for our businessmen, and the Brexit damage to the economy is all there, chapter and verse.

      Reality is reality. You can try to deny it, but open your eyes and it is in front of your face.

      Reply Try reading the ONS figures. UK’s grew 2% in year to end March 2017 in latest figs, a good rate compared to otter EU countries.

      1. Anonymous
        June 30, 2017

        London goes tits up then so do they.

      2. Novoludo
        July 1, 2017

        But what counts of course is the fall in household incomes, which you don’t deny. People’s standards of living have called because of Brexit.

        Incidentally productivity growth has been lower since 2008 than any other country apart from Greece. That’s also of course because of the economically damaging Austerity policies of the Tory governments.

        Anyway, your crash out Brexit is the most irresponsible economic proposal that has been made by a politician in my lifetime (55 years old). Fortunately all informed opinion apart from the likes of you and Hannan know this, and so it won’t happen.

        The reality is that Brexit is so foolish and damaging to our country for no beneficial consequences that, especially with the young below thirty resolutely opposed to it and its supporters amongst the old steadily dying off, it won’t happen; or we will be back within a decade pleading with the EU to let us back in.

        It’s like the Twilight Zone on a Redwood comments thread, so untethered from the basic features of reality. But reality is reality, and this will all be a bizarre historical document one day as to how a small sect of crazy people so degraded the UK’s prosperity and position in the world.

        Reply The big fall in UK living standards occurred at the end of the last decade with Labour’s banking crash. Running a big trade deficit with the EU and having to pay high tariffs and prices for imported food has not made us rich. Remember the living standards you complain about have all occurred as members of the EU!

    2. outsider
      June 30, 2017

      Dear Novoludo,
      As memory serves, all these interest groups and intellectual worthies were in favour of the UK joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1990 at a rate that was on any sensible analysis artificially high, then moaned about the recession that this perpetuated and were aghast when the UK was forced out.
      Likewise, nearly all of them were in favour of the UK joining the euro at the millennium, as was Tony Blair. Gordon Brown, to his credit, devised reasons for keeping us out (incidentally avoiding a referendum that Mr Blair would almost certainly have lost). Mr Brown’s real reason, I think, was that he did not want to lose his power to manage the UK economy, which proved wise.
      So the answer to your rhetorical question is that, on past form, these “authorities” are extremely likely to be wrong. And the “uniformed masses” are more likely to be right.
      Sterling certainly fell, as it did to our advantage in on the forced ERM exit of 1992, but the degree and persistence of that fall might just possibly have something to do with the Bank of England halving its base interest rate immediately after the referendum. If the referendum result had caused an immediate, potentially catastrophic shock to the UK economy, as the Bank and the Chancellor of the time expected, that might have been the right thing to do.

      1. outsider
        June 30, 2017

        PS: “uninformed masses” not “uniformed masses”, this not being Maoist China.

        1. Bob
          July 1, 2017


          “uniformed masses”

          If we remain in the EU, it may just be a matter of time.

    3. Dennis Zoff
      June 30, 2017


      To whom are you speaking with personally, within the International trading British/European companies community and said business people? or indeed the Confederation of British Industry? Not hearsay please, but a direct engagement?

      I have a fair knowledge of these senior persons running international UK companies and would be happy to exchange an alternative view to theirs. Anyone of the FTSE 100 CEOs that you know personally, will do?

      As a CEO of an international company myself, I most probably would have engaged with these people directly, either through the IOD or CEO think tanks, Industry think tanks, televised events, competitively…or international commercial gatherings, of which there are many?

      I suspect like many, however, you are full of bluff and bluster and most probably gain your third party insight from pro-EU journalistic propaganda outlets, with their puerile political click-bait…and I would suggest you most certainly have no real knowledge/insight or personal engagement with these CEO’s, and what they are really planning for the future?

      CEO’s of large multinational corporations use politicians and the MSM for their commercial/personal advantage….and certainly, do not let their competitors know their real intentions via either of these extremely indiscreet and wholly imprudent bodies! Your naivety is mildly amusing!

      But I must be fair, so please, provide a senior individual/s that you know personally that can support and substantiate your rather negative meanderings and then perhaps we can debate the reality of the international commercial world?

  42. mike fowle
    June 30, 2017

    I suspect any problems that arise will throw up how obstructive and petty minded the Eurocracy is. The countries that want to trade with us – both ways – will increasingly lose patience with them. Hopefully it augurs the end of the EU as we know it.

  43. Simon
    June 30, 2017

    Pretty good nonsense Mr Redwood. A lot of wild assertion with little research and no detail. Poor effort.

    Reply Your comment applies to your comment, not to my piece. You sound a bit rattled by it.

    1. Dennis Zoff
      June 30, 2017

      Simon, my comment to Novoludo is appropriate for you too!


      “Just politely asking, as I am interested in other’s points of view?

      Argument. Those that wish to remain in the EU may well have a valid point?

      Therefore, for my own personal edification, could all those persons that are arguing against the UK leaving the EU, please eruditely explain why it is better to remain in the EU?

      The argument, must be based on thoroughly researched information or personal experiences? Please, without unsubstantiated politicized soundbites or sciolism!”

      I look forward to your comment?

    2. Simon
      July 2, 2017

      Well yes I am rattled John. I am rattled that a highly educated MP and one of a tiny handful of MPs with very substantial business experience should be promulgating such propaganda on his blog.

      It is not necessary for me to go any further than (1). Air Travel to demonstrate .
      The notion we could leave the EASA and the EU and everything just carry on as normal is absolutely farcical. Of course non EU nations fly in & out of EU but on what terms, what freedoms do they have and what is the regulatory framework? All members of the EASA by the way are subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ. A red line right there.

  44. Viking holiday
    June 30, 2017

    “MemberS of the Scottish Parliament have previously travelled to Norway to study the scheme there” (ie having a deposit on bottles and giving a refund ) . This really does show how devolved governments, regions and Local Authorities WASTE money.
    How on earth do you justify “members” going to Norway ( was it a daytrip , did they take their families, girlfriends, grandmothers, pet dogs? ) to talk to a Norwegian about deposits on bottles?
    The introduction of telephones, a postal system, and an email service between Scotland and Norway should be FIRST on Sturgeon’s agenda. Plus her plans for the “memberS” to refund to the UK all expenses , tickets, meals, hotel accomodations and refund money for their salaries whilst they went on holiday to Norway in works time.

  45. ian
    June 30, 2017

    and by the way, no deal is the only.

  46. ian
    June 30, 2017


  47. James neill
    June 30, 2017

    As time goes by and as the full reality of the dire straits that we find ourselves in starts to bite then and only then will JR and other commentators change tack. Then we will see michael gove emerge to say we have not got success because, as he forecast, the right decisions would have to be taken but were not taken..DDavis will blame it all on Barnier and the other ungrategul EU bureaucrats..wreckers who couldn”t see things britains way. Meanwhile Boris will do his usual shuffle..pretending to put some order onto his hair while giving a sheepish smile before tucking his shirt in..then and only then will the general public know that the game is finally up.

    1. Anonymous
      June 30, 2017

      London goes tits up the EU goes tits up. BRICS are nothing compared to this.

      If they want money from us then they must leave us in a fit state to pay.

      Britain knows how to conduit money into the EU. We have the talent for it.

      Rather than let Brexit succeed the EU would spiral into a circle jerk of washing each other’s shirts.

  48. ian
    June 30, 2017

    After being bitten once i would never sign any agreement with the EU ever again. As for being friends, that is for the birds. If they want something, pay me if it to expensive don’t have it. From now on all i would be interested in is fill up the treasury coppers to give to the people from where ever i could get it without putting any more tax on the people. That would for the rest as well, and tear up every agreement made since 1946. Then cancel all moneys going to international organization, and ask the like of the IMF for your money back. No more companies from outside of the UK getting tax break or tax relief on there money, so companies like starbucks start paying tax on day one, i do not need them because have thousand of people hear who would like to open up there own coffee shops.

    1. Anonymous
      June 30, 2017

      Never mind the fact that our own office workers have forgotten that there are such things as flasks and tupperware boxes.


      Their workers are entirely superfluous NOT ‘essential’.

  49. VEG Day
    July 1, 2017

    JR We still haven’t got our annual 23rd June Independence Day Celebration ( and day off )
    We were asked how our Independence Day should be celebrated. Of course there were silly suggestions that Cameron should be put in a pillory outside Parliament where people could pelt him with EU produced tomatoes. More sensibly and touchingly sentimental and compassionate, stocks were suggested so he could sit down and be pelted with EU tomatoes.

  50. Novoludo
    July 1, 2017

    For those on here with some taste for actual data, according to the Office of National Statistics the UK economy grew at just 0.2% in the first quarter of 2017, making it the worst performing major economy in the world right now. This is at the same time as our national savings rate is the lowest for decades.

    In other words: UK consumers are borrowing like never before to achieve lower growth than our competitor nations, while household incomes fall for three successive quarters for the first time since 1976. And inflation is rising because of the fall in the pound. And still our national debt is rising as the Govt has to borrow to make up for the decline in tax revenues.

    Brexit has already been extremely negative for our economy and for the living standards of people in the UK. It will get considerably worse as we leave. And drastically worse if we left so irresponsibly as Redwood is proposing.

    Fortunately informed people who understand business, trade and economics area fighting to avoid these things happening.

    Reply Over the last year we grew by 2%, mainly after the vote. Official forecasts expect 2% growth again thus year

    1. a-tracy
      July 1, 2017

      Novoludo, the national savings rate – do you know if these ONS figures include the new savings scheme NEST that is compulsorily taking 1-3% of people’s gross incomes, in 2015 the nmw went up over 6% for over 25s but many didn’t see that boost of parity income increases because NeST stopped them being able to save this money as they chose (as they did in the past) without losing their 1% government contribution and their employers 1-3% contribution. People can’t save the same £1 twice! It needs adding back in to the ONS savings figures.

      I’d like to see borrowings broken down into borrowing to fund homes. Borrowing to fund large ticket items like cars and borrowing for general consumption between the age groups. I’m particularly interested in borrowings under the age of 30 and over the age of 65.

    2. Novoludo
      July 1, 2017

      This is simply not true and you know it. You lied to win the Referendum and you keep lying – even when the contrary data and information is fully available. You are just shameless. It’s really shocking.

      Fortunately the tide has turned and people are finding you out. You are panicking because you know there won’t be anything like the kind of Brexit the extreme right wing nationalists such as yourself craved. It will be very satisfying to watch your disappointment. Especially as you will not get to to ruin the prosperity of so many with your Little England imperialist fantasies.

      1. Dennis Zoff
        July 1, 2017

        Utter nonsense!

      2. Denis Cooper
        July 2, 2017

        You’re the liar, Novoludo.

        You only have to look at the report I referenced to see on page 8:

        “GDP in Q1 2017 was 2.0% higher than a year before.”

        “GDP has now increased for 17 consecutive quarters and is estimated to have grown by 1.8% in 2016, compared to growth of 2.2% in 2015.”

        From a table:

        QOQ growth YOY growth
        2016 Q1 0.2% 1.6%
        2016 Q2 0.6% 1.7%
        2016 Q3 0.5% 2.0%
        2016 Q4 0.7% 1.9%
        2017 Q1 0.2% 2.0%

        “The latest Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts, published
        alongside the March 2017 Budget, are for growth of 2.0% in 2017 and
        1.6% in 2018. (By comparison, in November 2016 the OBR had forecast
        growth of 1.4% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018.)

        In April 2017, the Treasury survey of independent forecasts for GDP
        growth showed an average forecast of 1.7% for 2017 and 1.4% for 2018.”

    3. Denis Cooper
      July 1, 2017

      For those on here with some taste for actual data, according to the Office of National Statistics the UK economy grew at just 0.2% in the first quarter of 2016.


      reply It grew 2% over the year to end March 2017, faster than your misquoted figure for Q1 2016

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 2, 2017

        Look at the chart, JR, it was 0.2% in Q1 2016 before the referendum as well as 0.2% in Q1 2017 after the referendum. These are both examples of Q1 growth being lower than the average, which is often but not always the case. Q1 2015 showed the same effect, about 0.3% quarter on quarter growth.

        Reply – sorry, in too great haste I misunderstood point you were making – right and good!

    4. hefner
      July 1, 2017

      GDP might have grown by 2%, no problem with that.
      Does that mean that everybody salaried in the population saw their income grow by 2%?
      Did any potential growth in salary cover the increase in the overall basket of prices (food, rents, travel costs, …).
      I doubt it.

  51. hans chr iversen
    July 1, 2017


    You say there is so much nonsenses to tackle from people. Actually most of the nonsense comes from you , let me give you some recent examples.

    1) We will stop paying to the EU in 20 months time, you have no idea and it will most likely not happen
    2) We have had great economic performance since we had the Brexit vote. Britain had the lowest economic growth of any EU country in the 1st quarter of 2017.
    3) You talk about trade but you totally forget to argue about the barriers we will now potentially have to services.

    So, how is actually producing nonsense, John Redwood

    Reply Remain forecast a winter recession after the vote which did not happen. UK has had one of the vest economic performances of advanced countries since the vote.

  52. Tabulazero
    July 1, 2017

    If WTO is so good why have Canada and the EU spent the better part of a decade to try to hash out a FTA?

  53. David Price
    July 2, 2017

    Why hasn’t Canada spent that time becoming a member of the EU?

    1. Julien Tabulazero
      July 3, 2017

      Because they understood from the start that the EU is not simply a free trading area but also a political project ?

      In short, they bothered to read what was on the tin.

  54. Novoludo
    July 2, 2017

    You could all be right that the economy is booming post Brexit… It is actually the slowest growing major economy in the world right now, but that’s probably fake news.

    Obviously a fake news top headline in the Financial Times right now that ‘Car Industry Investment Plummets in the UK Amongst Brexit Uncertainty’.

    But who believes the FT on business matters when John Redwood obviously knows better? What do they know?

    Reply I was right last year re growth rate. I have pointed out before that car sales have fallen sharply since March, after a great post Brexit run, owing to big tax increases.

    1. Julien Tabulazero
      July 3, 2017

      Sorry but I do not understand the logic of your answer, Mr Redwood.

      What has UK taxes to do with a fall in automotive investments especially knowing that the vast majority of cars built in the UK are exported (mostly to the EU by the way) ?

      May I respectfully point out the Novoludo was not mentioning car sales but car industry investments. Different things.

      Reply There has been a sharp fall in top end buying of cars following big VED rises in April. This affects sentiment towards the UK market by manufacturers.

  55. Support
    July 5, 2017

    Yes bank and building society savings rates are a main contributor I agree, I know many young people struggling to save a deposit, I also know lots of parents taking out their meagre savings and loaning them for deposits to their kids, this troubles me if the parent needs the money before the kids can repay. I also know many parents with their adult children living with them with their partners in to their 30’s trying to save a deposit with little or no savings interest.
    Thanks for sharing a blog!!!

  56. faded_Glory
    July 9, 2017

    One example of added complexity in case of a ‘no deal’ outcome is that visitors from the UK, as a non-EEA country, will need a Schengen visa to be allowed entry into 26 of the remaining 27 EU countries:

    Schengen visa

    It is recommended to apply for this document up to 6 weeks before traveling. Proof of travel insurance must be supplied, as well as a round tip ticket and proof of accommodation or hotel booking.

    This will affect business travelers and lorry drivers, as well as tourist travelers. The potential impact on short term and unforeseen business trips is obvious.

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