Trading opportunities

On Monday I asked the Prime Minister to update us on the work the UK is now doing to have a better set of trading arrangements after we leave the EU.

She confirmed that the UK is working on transferring the current EU trade agreements with other countries to the UK as well as to the rest of the EU on exit. The two most important are with South Korea and Switzerland, with another 50 with other smaller trading partners. There is every prospect of this happening smoothly. So far no country who has signed one of these Agreements has said they wish to cancel it with the UK or with the rest of the EU as a result of our exit. Why would they? It makes no sense to put up barriers where you have successfully negotiated them down. The new EU/Canada deal will start coming into effect over the next year. That too can novate to the UK and be the basis for an enlarged Agreement in due course.

She also confirmed that the UK is working on a new Agreement with the USA and with Australia, where the EU does not have one. There will be other countries too where the UK can make progress in preparing a deal prior to exit to speed up signature after exit. The Prime Minister went on to say that the UK was also working on proposals to help the WTO speed more free trade worldwide.

Some remain negative about trade prospects outside the EU, afraid that the EU will impose new and difficult barriers on us. The good news is no EU member state has said it wants to impose tariff barriers on its exports to us, and therefore on our exports to them. Nor has any member state said it wants to stop its people and businesses getting access to the money, investment and financial advice that London provides.

Some on the continent have said they want to repatriate dealings in the Euro to the continent. This is a silly statement. All the time they want the Euro to be a serious global currency like the dollar, widely used around the world, they have to allow non EU centres to make a market in it. How would the EU stop people buying and selling Euros or Euro denominated bonds outside their area? And why would the world then take their currency seriously?

We will doubtless face another year or more of posturing. All the time interests in the UK try to force the UK to weaken its position over the future relationship there will be voices on the continent demanding we do so. They cannot believe their luck that so many in the UK establishment are still out to weaken the UK’s clear, optimistic and positive proposals on movement of people, future trade and collaboration.


  1. Duncan
    July 12, 2017

    For all the talk that surrounds the economic impact of leaving the EU the most important aspects of leaving the EU are the reassertion of the UK’s sovereignty, its independence, supremacy of British law and direct democratic control of the British people over Parliament. These fundamentals must be returned to their rightful place and reinstated

    The ECJ should be banished to the continent and its influence in the UK obliterated and removed. No more shall the Crown be subservient to a highly politicised law body like the ECJ

    It is important that Mr Redwood and his leave colleagues make these points forcefully, aggressively and continually. We want our country back in its absolute entirety. No more EU influence in any shape or form

    Thank you for all your efforts John. Millions of leave voters look to MP’s like you to argue for the return of the UK to its rightful and lawful place

    1. Turboterrier.
      July 12, 2017

      @ Duncan

      Millions of leave voters look to MP’s like you to argue for the return of the UK to its rightful and lawful place

      The problem is Duncan that there are more in the house totally unlike our host who still believe that we are better in the world we know, and sadly the UK media prefers to give them all the headlines. It needs more of the believers to follow Johns example talk and walk the talk everyday and show up the EU and its future for what it really is and will become and the real cost to all of us.

    2. Chris S
      July 12, 2017

      A very good post !

      I was going to write a similar one myself but there is nothing more that needs to be said.

      Could we have a discussion here on University funding going forward ?
      I have a feeling its going to be a very big issue at the next election after listening to the hopeless Labour shadow education secretary last weekend.

      Clearly Corbyn will be making the running on this with its forest of Magic Money Trees. If he is allowed a free run he will pick up millions of votes from youngsters who have no idea of the abysmal track record of every previous Labour Government.

      1. alan jutson
        July 12, 2017


        I see from Guido’s website this morning that the Labour Government in Wales are likely to put up tuition fees for students in Wales for next year. !!!

        Not seen any reports elsewhere, but if true, this will rank as one of the biggest U turns in recent Labour times.

        Perhaps the Welsh politicians have realised that the magic money tree is a figment of some peoples imagination, and that services have to be paid for with real money, from real resources.

      2. MickN
        July 12, 2017

        “Clearly Corbyn will be making the running on this with its forest of Magic Money Trees. If he is allowed a free run he will pick up millions of votes from youngsters who have no idea of the abysmal track record of every previous Labour Government.”

        That fox has been shot by the news this morning that Welsh Labour is to increase uni fees for students, a devolved issue I believe. I thought the manifesto said it would abolish them.
        Labour’s Momentum paymasters will not be pleased with that one.

      3. Hope
        July 12, 2017

        Welsh Labour announced an increase in tutition fees to after claiming before the election that it would follow Corbyn to abolish them! Carwyn Jones having a lying Clegg moment! Tories should be all over it.

      4. Dunedin
        July 12, 2017

        @Chris S – good point – Mr Corbyn just needs to expand his Money Tree Manifesto a bit more at the next election. If he gains power, he can then reduce the voting age to include 16-17 year olds thus ensuring even more votes in future.

        1. Cspring6
          July 14, 2017

          That would be the same magic money tree that the DUP bribe came from?

    3. David Murfin
      July 12, 2017

      Hear, hear.

      1. Anonymous
        July 12, 2017

        Yes. I should thank John Redwood more.

        Thank you John.

    4. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2017

      Provided there is a smooth and orderly transition the economic impact of the UK leaving the EU will be slight for us and indeed for them. We can anticipate this with confidence because overall the economic benefit of EU membership has been very small for the UK, maybe 1% of GDP, and so simply losing that would be just one more contribution to the general background noise of worldwide economic events including natural growth of the UK economy at a trend rate of about 2.5% a year. If the governments of the other EU countries decide to be stupid and vindictive and childish and untrustworthy and they deliberately set out to create a disorderly exit, a so-called “cliff edge”, then that would be a different matter. In that event we must make sure that the rest of the world knows where the blame lies.

    5. Tabulazero
      July 12, 2017


      Sorry to pop your bubble but Free Trade Agreements being complex pieces of legislation, there is usually the need for some kind of oversight body.

      So the name might change to accommodate Brexiters’ sensibilities but the body that will oversee the future EU/UK trade relation will be the ECJ but in name.

      And I have not even touched on the transitory period required for the UK to craft that piece of legislation which means that the ECJ will remain in place for many years.

      And finally, while the UK may leave the ECJ, your government has said nothing as to leaving the ECHR.

      Bottom line: do not get your hopes up.

      1. David Price
        July 14, 2017

        Stop fibbing.

        The EU accepts the WTO dispute resolution process as a mutual requirement with a number of trade agreements;

        So why shouldn’t the WTO be mutually acceptable for any UK-EU agreement.

        1. Tabulazero
          July 14, 2017

          @David Price: your assumption that the EU will play fair is deeply touching.

          Also WTO does not cover services very well which just so happen to be the U.K. #1 export. Oh well!

          Good luck with operating under WTO rules but I guess you know better than the CBI, the City and all the UK’s trade bodies

          Reply We trade under WTO rules with rest of the world street the moment and have a surplus with them! You are tediously wrong and negative the whole time. Why do you want to be so miserable?

          1. Tabulazero
            July 14, 2017

            I don’t know, Mr Redwood, but i doubt the fact that EasyJet is applying today for a new airline licence and is setting up a new HQ in Austria has only to do with the schnitzels.

            I hear your mantra of “everything will be fine under WTO” but when I look at what FTSE companies are actually doing, they do not appear to share your optimism.

            On that topic, what makes you think you are right and that everybody else (starting with the Chancellor) is wrong ?

          2. David Price
            July 15, 2017

            You claim that ECJ will impose control over any and all UK-EU interactions when precedents make it clear that it is not a foregone conclusion.

            I don’t assume the EU will play fair at all, quite the opposite given their attitude and behaviour so far.

    6. NickC
      July 12, 2017

      Duncan, Well said.

  2. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2017

    Indeed another year or more of pathetic posturing by bureaucrat.

    As you say they cannot believe their luck that so many in the UK establishment are still out to weaken the UK’s clear, optimistic and positive proposals on movement of people, future trade and collaboration. So that will be the appalling BBC, most of the state sector, the CBI, some large companies (especially airlines), the FT and the economist, most of the left wing press, quite a few Tory MP’s, most of academia ……

    1. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      Brexit has become Laura Kuenssberg’s sour face.

    2. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2017

      I just listened to Mathew Taylor on money box live defending his very damaging proposals. No one attacked him from the right direction i.e. that his misguided interventions in the market will harm business, harm employee and decrease available jobs. Available alternative jobs is the only real protection for employees. Not rights!

      In it he said he could not have done it without employment lawyers and he was on their side. Indeed he fell for it hook line and sinker. But the more employment lawyers you have essentially producing a negative output then the poorer workers, the economy and companies will be. Lawyer (with a few exceptions) produce nothing of value. They just ague over the wealth that others have produced. They are just another, largely parasitic overhead on the productive rather like an extension of the largely parasitic state.

      May is mad to have started this lunacy. No one forces people to become a gig worker they sign up to it. It is their choice.

  3. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2017

    Meanwhile we have T May and her lefty friend Mathew Taylor barking up totally the wrong tree with her silly “good work” speech yesterday. The new work proposals will harm the economy and workers. Time to grow up dear. We need less red tape not more.

    Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has said she doesn’t use the taxi app Uber because it is not ‘morally acceptable’.

    What a plonker she is. What on earth is unacceptable about it. What is morally unacceptable is the preferential monopoly that governments gave black cabs had for years. A right to over charge everyone or make them walk (and always insufficient of them at peak times). Why can UBER taxis still no use bus lanes? A taxi is a taxi after all. It is actually far more moral to use UBER and minicabs. Also more fair & egalitarian.

    I suspect the main reason is she is not price sensitive as she gets the tax payer to pay for them and is well paid by the tax payers too.

    1. Mitchel
      July 12, 2017

      Why is it that the Tories answer to any domestic issue seems to have been to appoint a Blairite pseudo-technocrat to look into it?

    2. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      So long as Uber doesn’t use imported labour which is subsidised with welfare or labour which is illegal or labour which has a criminal past.

  4. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2017

    I did some “good” work yesterday rodding & un blocking my drains. Not particularly pleasant I admit, but as I did it myself there was no cut for the government. The DIY tax incentive is huge.

    If you earn the money then pay someone else to do the job than you can lose nearly 80% of the money in tax and NI on your pay plus VAT, tax and NI on the employees. £100 pound from your employer end up as just £20 in the pocket of the professional you used and £80 with the state.

    So even if you are 5 times less efficient at the job or earn 5 times more it still pays for you to do it rather than pay someone else.

    What a powerful way of making the economy far less efficient over taxation is! What will Hammond and May do next? Say that DIY is morally repugnant tax evasion perhaps and then ban it!

    1. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2017

      Similarly if you look after your own children rather than employing others to do it. Taxes are just far, far too high for an efficient economy and public services are still generally dreadful or rationed as with the NHS.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2017

      You are giving them ideas. It’s a rich vein, collecting tax on work you do for yourself that would otherwise be done by servants and for which you’d deduct income tax NI NEST and possibly a student loan repayment. Let’s call it Imputed Labour Cost and tax it at 80 pc?

  5. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2017

    May’s speech yesterday. Why oh why is she so determined to row in completely the wrong direction! We need some proper vision not a Corbyn light agenda. She is clearly just another daft misguided socialist in the genes. She really must go and as soon as possible.

    The speech is so full of platitudes and lunacy you can point out the misguided stupidity in almost every line. Her agenda will harm workers and harm UK productivity. It will not help them – unless they are lawyers or bureaucrats that is.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2017

      T May is her totally misguided speech yesterday.

      “And because disability or a health condition should never dictate the path a person is able to take in their working life”

      How are you going to do that dear, are you going to start performing miracles now? Or just pass a law to say that companies should have to do that?

      “We have introduced for the first time a National Living Wage, giving 1.5 million workers the fastest pay rise in 20 years”

      Not you giving it to them but their companies. Giving them less to invest elsewhere or to pay to other staff. A law that kills jobs, damages productivity and makes it illegal for many people whose work is worth less than this to work.

      “For example, employing unpaid interns as workers to avoid paying the National Minimum Wage is illegal, but we need to make sure that employers and interns alike are clear on the rules.”

      Why on earth should you not be able to work for nothing if you want to? When is a “volunteer” an “intern” – the law is as clear as mud here as usual! It is hugely damaging to productivity and peoples’ opportunities to learn on the job.

      1. hefner
        July 12, 2017

        About interns: I know of two recent (2014) Oxford graduates (with respectively a first and a 2/1 degree) who within the first six months of graduating could only find unpaid internships in the UK (not even reimbursement of travel expenses) and then found properly paid jobs in some international/multilingual companies in Germany and … France (of all countries!). The lack of any rule on internships in the UK makes these clever and curious young people more willing to widen their horizon when trying to find a job, and this to the detriment of the UK.
        So, LL, try to think a bit before posting what you think are absolute truths valid everywhere and for ever. You are of a certain age and cannot know for sure about bad the conditions of employment can be for recent graduates in the UK.

        1. libertarian
          July 14, 2017


          Oh my word !!! Tell you what chap , take you’re own advice and a survey of 2 unspecified people isn’t an argument for anything…

          You are of a age and position where your knowledge of the UK job market is absolutely zero so stop lecturing others.

          The reason as I’ve stated so often here is that graduates are NOT in possession of desirable work attributes just because they have a degree . There are currently 767,000 unfilled job vacancies in the UK, we have the HIGHEST number of people in work and the lowest unemployment since 1975. The fact that 2 of your friends dont know how to find a job is irrelevant , they should have asked me ( an expert in the field) and not you..

      2. graham1946
        July 12, 2017

        Why do you support tax payers subsiding firms to pay low wages via in-work benefits, when you are so hard right? Surely with your views they should sink or swim without subsidy.

        Interns – have you ever met one who ‘wants to work for nothing’? I have two nephews on internship and they would not refuse payment – they are mostly scared and hoping for a full time job. It is firms taking advantage of those willing to be exploited and takes a proper job from someone else. It’s not even an ‘apprenticeship’ and mostly nothing comes of it at the end.They even have to pay their own travel to work on top. Pure exploitation . A labourer is worthy of his hire and no-one should work for nothing. It is mostly big firms who do it who can well afford to pay but don’t want to. I suggest you need to find out what is happening in the world before making your posts.

      3. Hope
        July 12, 2017

        She is very left wing. A proper Tory with Tory ideas for working people is wanted. She should have lauded the employment rate and economic record to date to embarrass Labour. Instead she wanted to imply Labour moved left and so has she? Tragic.

        We do not want or need a nanny state inferring with our entire lives. Freedom of choice, freedom in employment markets. Successful businesses will always attract the brightest and best not because they pay the minimum wage FFS or have a pension imposed on them by govt. Get back to raising tax thresholds to ensure people pay less tax and retain what they earn, cut immigration to prevent cheap Labour that reduce wages, cut immigration so public services can cope, these are our public services not open for the world to abuse. Strivers, savers and prudent people should be supported to help themselves not handouts. Not fleeced until their peeps seek!

        Look after your own citizens before wasting their taxes on despots and vanity projects. Taxes should be used for necessary spending to help citizens not desirable ego trips that we could all live without i.e. Climate Change Act, Overseas aid, Hinckley, Hs2. Wake up May you are completely out of touch.

        Fair society starts when MPs and Lords act as pillars of society and role models for people to follow. Shocking low standards and self serving greed pervade every political party still today. Policing themselves, never resigning, never being held to account. What message does this send to the public services?

      4. Sir Joe Soap
        July 12, 2017

        Bang goes David Cameron’s Big Society then. I thought that was all about unpaid voluntary work? Something getting in a twist here I think.

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2017

      I don’t see how that speech relaunches her premiership.

    3. Chris
      July 12, 2017

      Quentin Letts has a stinging and witty critique of May’s launch of the review on modern working practices.
      “All the technocratic remoteness of our political elite was on display when Theresa May helped launch a Government review of ‘modern working practices’ (ie casual work).
      One reason she flopped in last month’s general election was that the public thought her an Establishment trundler. That perception will not have been altered yesterday.
      The review, riddled with jargon, was led by sometime Blair policy adviser Matthew Taylor. ….Mr Taylor gave an introductory speech in which he explained ‘good employers have nothing to fear’, a formulation often used by authoritarians.
      He waffled about the ‘employment wedge’, ‘productivity challenge’, ‘voluntary flexibility’ and ‘platform-based models’. His report mentions ‘aligning frameworks’, ‘online tools’, ‘understanding trade-offs’ and ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’. …‘We should offer Good Work to all our citizens,’ cried Mr Taylor. Workers should no longer be called workers, even. They should, he averred, be known as ‘dependent contractors’. Oh for Heaven’s sake…..

      But all Mrs May’s message really came down to was hot air, writes Quentin Letts
      From all sides – the main speakers, audience members and two long-winded broadcast journalists who were allowed to ask questions – we had just platitudes and Centrist spiel.
      No one asked ‘what does this mean for college kids doing bar shifts?’. No one cut through the pap, saying ‘give us one practical example of how this will help those poor souls who work for Sports Direct’.
      Instead we had self-indulgent waffle about ‘skills’ and ‘flexibilities’ – words to disengage any normal mortal – as these grandees of the body politic paraded their concern. It was just so much cotton wool.

      If Mrs May can persuade exploited toilers she is their ally, yet not make life impossibly bureaucratic for small firms, she may be on to something.
      But she will not do that by appearing alongside cliched droners in front of a staid audience of wonks at a central London venue under a mural of pastoral cherubs.
      She should haul herself to a Midlands warehouse, lose the high heels and the schoolmarmery, and speak in plain English….”

  6. Nig l
    July 12, 2017

    I presume the BBC did not give prominence to this. I think Theresa May should give a regular queens speech style talk to the nation on TV and radio to update us on progress and counter the myths and fables that are filling the information vacuum.

    1. Bob
      July 12, 2017

      As a result of a petition on the Parliament petition website there was supposed to be a Parliamentary debate about the BBC Licence Fee on May 8th but it was postponed due to Mrs May’s snap election folly.

      Is this petition now to be completely ignored because it doesn’t fit with mrs May’s secret Common Purpose agenda?

  7. Nig l
    July 12, 2017

    Off topic but another example of why your contributors are in the main negative about the public sector and resigned to the fact that nothing will change, read the article in the Times on a report about a five year tagging shambles in the Ministry of Justice and once again no acknowledgement of this by a spokesperson nor of course will any one be sacked or demoted or have to pay back any bonuses. Maybe you are honest enough to do a mea culpa with explanations/updates in a future blog. After all it looks as if our safety has been seriously compromised.

  8. Lifelogic
    July 12, 2017

    T May

    “my commitment to change in Britain is undimmed”. A shame she wants to take it in totally the wrong direction. More red tape, even more state intervention, even higher taxes, even more workers “rights”, daft vanity projects and even more expensive greencrap energy.

    Can she please be replaced with a proper Conservative and as soon as possible? Osborne for once is quite right, she is a dead woman walking (in the wrong direction) has to go. Her agenda is totally misguided – just as George Osborne and Cameron’s agenda was.

    1. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      Mathew Parris describes Mrs May as a hostage of right wing Euroscepticism. The last bastion of a ‘Brexit which is dying.’

      The default of the Conservative party is Remain and it is Blairist. Mrs May is the default PM.

    2. zorro
      July 13, 2017

      Thank god she didn’t a majority. Can you imagine what nonsense she would have tried to push through then! Brexit would have been watered down, and at least now she has to rely on the Brexit Tories and not upset them too much, oh and at least she can count on Corbyn’s vote, a fellow outer in ’75!


  9. Narrow Shoulders
    July 12, 2017

    We collect around £3 billion in tariff duties per year from imports. We can therefore afford to offer tariff free access to our shores to all countries once we leave the EU. We would retain the right to levy tariffs for strategic or anti dumping remedies but could otherwise be a free trade zone. This would reduce consumer prices in this country. With no tariffs in play goods can flow smoothly into this country with our delays at the docks. Current anti smuggling and trafficking practices for EU goods can be extended to goods arriving globally

    Our exporters regularly deal with currency fluctuations in excess of any duty that might be levied on exports to the EU. The negotiations should concentrate on the smooth flow of our exports into the EU.

    With our trading sorted the real issue hiding in the pile of timber for trade and services is easy movement of business people and tourists. I have few problems entering Thailand, Malaysia?Cambodia or Laos for 30 days so a short hop to Europe should really be a breeze.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2017

      Yes I was thinking today going through LHR if, in extremis, us having offered a straight deal to the EU to continue trans national movements through LHR as now as part of an immigration and trade package, and they refused the deal, who would have egg on face if we just stopped all transit through LHR until the issue was agreed by the EU?

  10. Richard1
    July 12, 2017

    The Government have not been nearly clear enough on this issue. Perhaps it’s difficult to give running updates on these discussions. One of the confusions is the block on any ‘negotiations’ before Brexit. How much can be agreed. Can there be for example an outline agreement subject only to formal negotiation and agreement upon EU exit, such that these agreements could come into place more or less immediately on exit? If it is clear that all the existing EU ageeements, such as with Switzerland and South Korea, can immediately be novated to the UK, and if it is clear there will be speedy new deals with other counties, especially the US, that will hugely strengthen the hand of the Govt in negotiations with the EU.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2017

      Indeed, and bear in mind the Swiss want immigration controls from the EU, we can work together to apply such pressure if only over time.

  11. Peter
    July 12, 2017

    “Another year of posturing” ? That seems optimistic. It looks as though it will never end. It’s driving me crackers.

    I wish we would just walk away in six months. I don’t see that happening though.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2017

      Peter. You and me, both!! I am fed up with dithery May. Can we please have Mogg for PM, Paterson for the environment, and you, John for chancellor?

      1. Tabulazero
        July 17, 2017

        @fedupsoutherner: You are missing one rider of the apocalypse to complete the set. Who should it be ?

    2. Andrew G
      July 13, 2017

      Me too. I really can’t see the point of negotiating anything. ” Do you want to continue trading with us or not ? …….. “. Mr Juncker & Co are fighting for nothing other than their own survival, and ( for media purposes) ignoring every exporting business in Europe. Regret we must dance this dance out until the A50 music stops.

  12. Michael
    July 12, 2017

    Why should we ask our young men and women to put their lives on the line to defend EU member states against aggressors. Why should we be prepared to spend huge amounts of money to defend them, if those member states are not even prepared to have tariff free trade with us on reasonable and friendly terms. If they are not prepared to be trade friendly towards us then all bets should be off.

    1. Andrew G
      July 13, 2017

      Continental Europe has been bailed out by the UK repeatedly. nb: UK borrowed £21billion from the USA to both liberate and then rebuild (mainly) France in WW2, and we have only recently cleared that loan. They ( the French specifically) are repeatedly both ungrateful and in denial for this, to the point where the UK are now seen as a cash cow benefactor . It’s now their integral cultural stance towards us, and they are now bitter that we threaten to withdraw it. Be in no doubt though, we WILL throw them yet another bone, because it is not in our interest to have a starving dog on our doorstep……and they won’t go to the Germans for help… they dispose them even more…for obvious reasons they are also in denial about.

  13. Tasman
    July 12, 2017

    Non tariff barriers. Ever heard of them?

    1. libertarian
      July 12, 2017


      “Non tariff barriers. Ever heard of them?”

      Certainly have, have you ever heard of the WTO and the restrictions on non tariff barriers ?

    2. zorro
      July 13, 2017

      Thank god she didn’t a majority. Can you imagine what nonsense she would have tried to push through then! Brexit would have been watered down, and at least now she has to rely on the Brexit Tories and not upset them too much, oh and at least she can count on Corbyn’s vote, a fellow outer in ’75!


    3. zorro
      July 13, 2017

      Of course we know about them, we have discussed them ad infinitum. Read the WTO site!


    4. Sean O'Hare
      July 13, 2017

      @Tasman JR and the rest of the tory ultras are deaf to such things. It doesn’t fit the narrative.

  14. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    July 12, 2017

    I believe that this very divided UK damaged itself when the government tried to hijack the referendum result largely ignoring those who voted or thought differently. While the EU-27 managed a cross-country consensus on how to negotiate, the UK, a year ago, would have been better served with a cross-nation and and cross-party team to work out a unified strategy for the Brexit negotiations. A steamroll doesn’t provide consensus.

    1. ian wragg
      July 12, 2017

      While the EU-27 managed a cross-country consensus on how to negotiate, the UK, …………………….
      Should read, Merkel said this is the plan so stick to it.
      9% of all Dutch exports come to the UK, nothing that cannot be sourced elsewhere. Have the Dutch business men agreed to the 27 negotiating position?
      Unlike Holland, our politicians will not ignore the outcome of the referendum, they know as a serious force, they would be finished.

    2. Doug Powell
      July 12, 2017


      I disagree.

      HMG damaged the UK’s position by not getting the article 50 letter in the post by 24th June last year as promised by Cameron. I think he knew he would mess up Brexit if he resigned! Immediate action then would have signalled official acceptance of the result and initiated a national purpose.

      As it is the remoaners will never accept Brexit! That’s obvious from what is reported in the media, where they continually rubbish the very existence of Brexit, eg Cable! You can always recognise a remoaner – they begin the conversation with, “I accept the result of the referendum!” – I’ll be polite and say – ‘balderdash.’

      Also, a cross party, or cross nation approach is impossible! The remoaners idea of consensus is capitulation! If a steamroller approach means honouring a referendum that was won by a massive 1.4 million votes, then so be it!

      Only when Brexit is a REALITY, will it be possible to achieve a consensus. At that point the remoaners have a decision to make: “Do I wish to live in the UK, or should I bugger off and live in one of the 27 EU nations flowing with milk and honey?”

      Honourable remainers will choose the former, the remoaners the latter – if they have the guts!

    3. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      Steamroll ? The EU – 27 are as flat as a pancake ! To reach a ‘consensus’ so quickly and so unanimously over 27 nations shows us that the EU is a dictatorship.

      We voted Leave and the most powerful of those who *voted or thought differently* decided to stymie the result with various smears against the majority of British voters:

      “Too stupid”, “Too ill informed”, “Too parochial”…

      The EU has redefined ‘consensus’. It now means ‘middle ground’ – something which does not deviate from the course.

      ‘Consensus’ means pro EU. Always.

    4. A.Sedgwick
      July 12, 2017



    5. 37/6
      July 12, 2017

      Here’s our consensus:

      – we had a referendum
      – we had a long delay so that Remain could assemble a case
      – we had a court case
      – we had a Parliamentary vote
      – we had a general election in which the one party offering a second referendum withered and the two remaining major parties both offered full Brexit

    6. Timaction
      July 12, 2017

      This really isn’t your business is it Mr Van EU. More meddling in our affairs. Look to your own democratic deficit. Ukraine travel vote ignored??!!

    7. Hope
      July 12, 2017

      No one in the U.K. Was hijacked. Holland was hijacked when its government voted against it publics wishes over Ukraine. Come on PvL, at least be factual.

    8. NickC
      July 12, 2017

      Peter, All democratic elections and referendums are divisive by definition.

      The EU-27 does not have a cross-country consensus on how to negotiate – ordinary people have not been asked, unlike the UK where we had the Referendum. As is usual for the EU, it’s top down decisions and who cares what the peasants think. We’ve even got a minority like that in the UK – they say the peasants are too thick to vote, and they are all EU worshipers, natch.

    9. Edward2
      July 12, 2017

      Your posts are generally well reasoned from the pro EU perspective Peter but it is ridiculous to claim the Government hijacked the referendum result.
      There was a small but significant win for leaving.
      The House of Commons voted to send Article 50 by a huge majority.
      We are now into the process of negotiations in order to actually leave.
      Nothing hijacked about that.
      The UK Govt’s position on these negotiations were set out several months ago.
      It is up to the Government to lead these negotiations whilst considering the best outcomes and the opinions of voters.
      The idea of some committee of all the parties around the table would lead to paralysis not success in my opinion.

  15. Len Grinds
    July 12, 2017

    “The good news is no EU member state has said it wants to impose tariff barriers on its exports to us…”

    This would be funny if it were not so very serious for our country’s future. You, the man whose life’s work has been getting us out of the EU, don’t even know that EU member states do not impose tariffs? The EU does, not member states

    Reply All 27 states will help form the EU’s approach to future trade with the UK. I note you are unable to name a single member state arguing for tariffs

    1. Sean O'Hare
      July 13, 2017

      Reply to reply

      JR you credit the EU with having a more democratic form of governance that it actually has. The European Council simply accepts what the Commission orders.

  16. The Variable Bead
    July 12, 2017

    “Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing Bill” I watched and heard some of this in Parliament yesterday. I heard the speeches and proposed Amendments by Labour and SNP MPs. They were just an utter waste of time. The SNP actually rejoiced over the past year in being a time -wasting nuisance just for the sake of disrupting Parliamentary Time rather than seriously wanting something achieved.
    But the Labour Party now have joined forces with the SNP and make sure their and every other parties MPs are confined to Westminster for each and every vote listening to drivel and nit-picking mischievousness. I guess this is what the Labour Party will do with the whole of the time to Brexit. As a Party they do not tolerate such abuse of time in their own Branch and Regional meetings. A member would be cautioned by the Chair and then asked ot leave the meeting or be suspended. It is a pity Parliament does not run on a proper Business-like basis. A whole day wasted in Parliament yesterday!

  17. Ian Wragg
    July 12, 2017

    Letting the Remainiacs highjack the debate about leaving the EU is all about trade is nonesense.
    We are now seeing to what extent our country has been subordinated to the EU and mischief making ECJ.
    For years we were told that the EU only had a marginal effect on us but we are now told they are so embedded it is impossible to leave.
    The country is watching and any backsliding will have serious repercussions at the ballot box.
    People like Hammond should be told to shut up as he is behaving like a Brussels mouthpiece.
    On trade if you have something someone wants they will buy it irrespective of government posturing.

  18. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    July 12, 2017

    Given that now a post Brexit transition (implementation) period is foreseen, of course the UK will soon be able to strike lots of trade deals all over the world. Time will tell whether flexibility (not having to agree with 27 others) will compensate for its size (less than one sixth of the remaining EU).

    1. ian wragg
      July 12, 2017

      Less than one sixth of the remaining EU……
      That will be with youth unemployment in Greece at 50% and 25% in Spain, Italy and France.
      Yes peter, the EU is a roaring success (for Holland and Germany) that’s why there are so many unemployed and millions coming to Britain to escape the continental utopia.

    2. libertarian
      July 12, 2017

      Peter vL

      You think the rest of the world is one sixth the size of the EU??? Blimey

    3. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      It really doesn’t help having people at home deliberately trying to wreck Brexit.

      Were it not for that I’d be confident in what our country could do.

      Most of the EU bloc is weak.

    4. Hope
      July 12, 2017

      No need for transition of any kind. Leave means leave. How is Italy and Greece at the moment? Will the economies of the 27 drastically improve overnight to provide work for them? Will the 27 be able to say no to Merkel’s mass immigration from Africa? Will the 27 resist Merkel’s bid to create an army and March east across the Ukraine bring peace with a Russia? Come on PvL, the EU is dying from suffocating elites who are putting themselves above the people who finance their fanatical views.

      Menacing Merkel will bring Europe to boiling point with her extreme views. Thankfully Trump has her card marked. Germany profits and does well out of the EU while the main countries suffer at Germany’s expense. Euolland will look passively on claiming it is too weak to do anything, per Its govt response. Good luck.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      July 12, 2017

      Taking the majority of those 27 and the UK, who usually came out on the right side of history in the last century after mistakes made in central Europe?
      History has a habit of repeating itself.

  19. formula57
    July 12, 2017

    “…so many in the UK establishment are still out to weaken the UK’s clear, optimistic and positive proposals on movement of people, future trade and collaboration” – indeed, given a renewed boost by the election result of course.

    Why are these quislings not challenged directly and forcefully by our strong and stable Brexit government?

  20. alan jutson
    July 12, 2017

    Pleased to hear that some work is going on in the background, shame it does not get much publicity.

  21. Mike Stallard
    July 12, 2017

    While the British Government is getting its act together, the Commissioners have got theirs together already in writing. They have also set the agenda out on paper too. They will have to stick to it because it has been agreed by all the 27 countries and they cannot afford more debate.
    We face three possibilities: 1. Becoming a third country. If this happens, the economy will simply crash. Already the pound is sinking. Already banks are withdrawing from London. Already Ryanair is making scared noises. 2. Joining EFTA. But will they have us now anyway after all the delay? 3. Associate Membership where we accept the four freedoms (including limited immigration), the ECJ and the Court of Human Rights, and we cough up the same – or more – money than we now are. Oh – and we get no representatives at all.

    It is make-your-mind-up time!

    Reply The economy will not crash if we trade with the EU like the rest of the world under WTO rules!

    1. Roy Grainger
      July 12, 2017

      Ryanair is indeed making scared noises. They are an Irish company so they should be putting pressure on the EU to reach a deal, not the U.K., shouldn’t they ?

    2. fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2017

      Reply to reply. No, maybe not John but we need to get a move on and all this dithering is making everyone nervous just as the threat of Scottish Independence is.

    3. Original Richard
      July 12, 2017

      “We face three possibilities”.

      Realistically there is only one possibility given that the country voted to leave the EU and the EU is insisting that the UK will be treated as a “third country” unless we submit to their four “freedoms” and the ECJ.

      Trading under WTO terms is perfectly feasible as many countries trade very successfully with the EU using these terms and I see no reason why we should be paying a £10bn/year fee to access a market that sells £100bn/year more to us than we sell to them.

      This is in addition to accepting loss of sovereignty and assets (fishing grounds), uncontrolled immigration from an expanding EU, and the acceptance of Middle Eastern and African migrant quotas.

      BTW remainers are incorrect in saying that the country did not vote to be poorer.

      Quite the reverse as the government and remain side made it abundantly clear that voting to leave would cause massive economic decline and yet the country still voted to leave.

    4. Anonymous
      July 12, 2017

      The pound was sinking a year before Brexit.

      If Britain crashes the damage will be global.

    5. Leslie Singleton
      July 12, 2017

      Dear John–I have just listened to the BBC 1.00 News which had an EU loving MP talking about what he reckons we have to do “to have any kind of access to the Single Market”. How can it be that he wasn’t cut short? Needless to say, according to him the ECJ is absolutely essential. Why didn’t the interviewer point out that all other countries trade with the EU; not one of whom needs the ECJ to do so. If he is worried about tariffs he should say so.

    6. zorro
      July 13, 2017

      I am sorry Mike, this is pure nonsense and you must know it. I can assure you that my computer will still keep churning over after 29/03/2019 👍👍


    7. Ian Firth
      July 13, 2017

      Don’t worry Mr Stallard you will get your way. We will Remain the politicians and the Civil Serpents will ensure that we do.

    8. Sean O'Hare
      July 13, 2017

      Reply to reply

      The rest of the world does not trade with the EU under WTO rules. I know you tend to delete comments with links in them, because you don’t have time to check authenticity, so may I suggest that you and your readers search the web for “EU treaties database”, go to that site shown, select “advanced search” then on the form under “nature of agreement” select the “trade agreement” option. The results contain 252 bilateral and multilateral agreements under which the rest of the world trade with the EU over and above WTO rules.

      1. zorro
        July 14, 2017

        Access to single market, but do not need to accept EU political/social control though!


        1. Sean O'Hare
          July 15, 2017

          Neither do the Efta members of the EEA Agreement.

  22. Caterpillar
    July 12, 2017

    1. Irresponsible to allow a year+ of posturing, a line should be drawn under negotiations much earlier to allow businesses to adapt.
    2. BBC and BoE need to stop interpreting their independence as freedom to be stupid. BBC needs to run real news, BoE needs to run real policy.

    1. Doug Powell
      July 12, 2017

      Quite right! The EU’s MO is to wear opponents down! Do not fall into the trap! A year+ of posturing would be counterproductive and a waste of time and effort for us. – Do not collect the ‘divorce settlement’ – move directly to WTO!

      Business can then begin the process of adapting to the new situation.

  23. agricola
    July 12, 2017

    When we withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention we will need naval power to defend and police our new 200 mile territorial limits at sea. The current Royal Navy does not ,I would suggest, have enough naval power to defend the one carrier it has just launched never mind the second one. Fisheries protection will be a very poor cousin in this new situation. What plans does government have for the creation of a fisheries protection fleet. If none ,then you had better get your finger out because you are going to need such a fleet. Witness the first signs of EU fisheries greed in Norway.

    1. Jack snell
      July 12, 2017

      Agricola..better stick with farming on land..don’t worry about a 200 mile sea fisheries limit..our limits will stretch out to only 12 miles as that was the limit up until 1973 when we joined the eec and 1983 when the present eu fisheries agreement was signed. Sea fisheries out to 200 miles is EU waters whi h we are leaving.

    2. Sean O'Hare
      July 13, 2017

      I think you ought to read up on acquired rights. We are going to see EU fishing boats in our waters for some time to come.

  24. Sally
    July 12, 2017

    I learn more about what is being discussed with the EU from your blog than I seem to hear from the MSM. The BBC especially seem to be continually undermining our negotiating position with the EU and the rest of the world. Where is all the positive news on Brexit on the BBC? I think there’s so much to be positive about and that is why I come to your blog! Thank you for writing it and keeping us informed.

    1. Tweeter_L
      July 13, 2017

      Hear Hear! Well said Sally. Hopefully you also visit which is another informative and optimistic site.

  25. Jason Wells
    July 12, 2017

    Same old, same old!- “they can go whistle”- might be meant for home consumption ok.. but they are also reading these sentiments in Brussels.. David Davis is going over there on Monday so i expect we’ll get a flavour then as to how things are really going- not very well- as i expect. FYI..Verhofstadt wrote an article printed on the weekend in some of the european newspapers where he said a few things but the most important to my mind was when he said that there can be no extension to the March 29th 2019 deadline set by triggering A50, mainly because the EU elections for the EU parliament are coming up very soon afterwards- and also reading from other EU sources i see that from a EU point it would be unthinkable that the UK could still be in the EU in any shape or form after that date and following the election so brexiteers should be greatly assured UK will certainly leave the EU on that date- no question.

    So what this means is that we should crack on with making whatever new deals with countries worldwide and not to forget that we can still trade with the EU although tariffs will apply.. but that won’t matter to someone importing a BMW for instance as there will be perhaps only 5 – 10 percent extra to pay, and for someone who likes a bottle of french wine might have to pay say another few shillings on import tax or whatever. The only problem as far as i can see will be the holdup in customs/ warehouses etc and the extra paperwork that will be involved for the importers, otherwise South African wine is also perfectly ok to drink.. although i’m sure excise duty still applies

    The very real problem is with services as i see it, with representatives going out to various EU countries they might need work visas and there will be hold ups and delays just the same as going out to do business to any south american country or china for instance- great preparation has to be made. Likewise travel for holidays to southern EU countries won’t be as free as before, very likely there will be special immigration channels for UK citizens to pass. On the other hand some UK citizens might opt to retain their EU citizenry on their passports and will be free to pass unhindered.. well we have just over another year to go to decide on all of these things.. still ..i’m afraid..telling people to go whistle is not going to help very the same time i’m quite pleased that we have a good brexit team in Boris, Ml Gove, Liam Fox and D Davis are out there on the front line doing the business for us – Mrs May should be greatly encouraged!

  26. Gareth
    July 12, 2017

    That comes across as just being anti-European. Our stance should be pro-British but not anti-European. There are times when we agree to work with other nations, or groups of other nations, and “pool” our sovereignty: NATO Article 5 is a good example, where an attack on another NATO nation means the at war with the aggressor nation. There may be perfectly sound reasons why, in some spheres of activity, we may enter into an agreement with another nation – not necessarily even in the EU – whereby we both agree to use the ECJ to resolve certain issues. That is a practical matter, not one of sovereignty. Brexit wi require pragmatism in spades. Banging tables and shrieking “sovereignty” gets us nowhere.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      July 12, 2017

      Dear Gareth–Except–That the ECJ has incurred the derision of so many of us that it has to go at least as regards any say over us. And it is pretty much the same with the EU: I loathe everything it says and does, which I am sorry to say is making me think the same about Europe. For what worth, I have never heard talk of a supranational Court covering trade between America and Canada. If there is one it doesn’t seem to have been too controversial. For this purpose I would have thought that America with its States’ Rights would vis a vis Canada be similar enough to the rEU vis a vis us.

  27. rick hamilton
    July 12, 2017

    It’s not just a rhetorical question: I really do wonder what is wrong with those who are determined to see every possible outcome of Brexit as entirely negative.

    There are plenty of them in the BBC, the FT and the Economist. I have stopped watching or cancelled subscriptions to avoid this sort of claptrap. Why does a certain class of British citizens want to mock, sneer at and belittle everything about their own country? Is it an insidious disease like socialism ? Is there any cure?

    1. Lifelogic
      July 12, 2017

      Well perhaps instead of “no taxation without representation” we had “no representation without a minimum tax contribution”.

      Otherwise one part of the voters can always vote to confiscate the earning and wealth of the other part. Politicians can buy vote in the Corbyn manner by making endless rubber cheque promises.

  28. Brian Tomkinson
    July 12, 2017

    When EU agrees a trade deal with other countries does it insist on free movement of people, ECJ jurisdiction for EU citizens living in that country, an up front payment and a restriction on the other country’s ability to make other trade deals beyond the EU or are they just for a deal with the UK?

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2017

      Well, there’s nothing about any of that in the outline agreement with Japan. As far as freedom of movement of persons is concerned it seems there is some loosening of the rules for what is called “Mode 4” migration, but that is nothing like the EU and Japan throwing open their doors to unlimited and uncontrolled exchanges of population in the same way that the UK and the other EU countries have all thrown open their door to virtually unrestricted mutual exchanges of citizens.

      “The Agreement includes provisions on movement of natural persons for business purposes (“mode 4”). They cover all traditional categories of mode 4 service providers (such as intra-corporate transferees, business visitors for investment purposes, contractual service suppliers, independent professionals) plus two additional profiles that the EU has committed in CETA, namely short term business visitors and investors. In addition, the Agreement includes a Protocol with procedural commitments concerning the entry of service providers in the territory of the Parties. This covers issues such as fees or processing times for entry applications. Finally, Japan and the EU commit to allow the entry of family dependants (spouses or children) of mode 4 service suppliers.”

  29. DaveM
    July 12, 2017

    With regards to your final paragraph Mr R, it has to be said that some of the loudest voices are in your own party. What the govt is really lacking from the public’s point of view is a united party behind a good, charismatic, and strong leader. At the moment there are neither of those things and it’s worrying.

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 12, 2017

      The government is lacking any effective means of responding to its critics and making sure the public know that most of their repetitious criticisms are rubbish. I can’t understand why this should be so, why for example David Davis apparently cannot see that he should not be allowing Remoaners free rein to steadily undermine the work of his department. Prove them wrong, slap them down, shut them up.

  30. A.Sedgwick
    July 12, 2017

    Another good sane piece.

    Why are so many people trying to wreck our country by downplaying our trade potential outside the EU and eliminate democracy? We have less than 10% of MEPs , so if we had voted to Remain our future would be in the hands of other countries at best, at worst the unelected in Brussels. Cable’s remark saying we may never exit is another undermining example. The indisputable facts are leaving the EU means out of so called single market, out of customs union, no jurisdiction for ECJ and control of our borders and laws.

    1. Sean O'Hare
      July 13, 2017

      @A.Sedgwick it could be that “potential” is not a good substitute for certainly.

  31. Prigger
    July 12, 2017

    It is surprising Hilary Benn Labour Leeds MP yesterday posed a question about Euratom in Parliament as he has asked and been assured painstakingly in a committee in which is a paid senior member of such details by specific people in the know. Other Labour MPs, such as Chris Bryant and Ben Bradshaw also posed or accused similarly in the same Parliamentary “breath” as it were. All three MPs are hold hands in Parliament. They should confer even more regularly and closely thus avoiding wasting the nation’s time.

  32. All out Brexit
    July 12, 2017

    One is should be wary of saying “History will show” or “History will prove me right” as Tony Blair no doubt has learned. But
    I feel history will show in regard to “The good news is no EU member state has said it wants to impose tariff barriers on its exports to us, and therefore on our exports to them.” is key. Behind such a simple statement I suspect lies a very great deal of hard work in interpersonal contacts between Mrs May and EU nation state leaders in the last year plus those of the Brexit Minister and other unsung heroes of our Country. The EU warned that such meetings were an attempt to undermine the executive negotiating position of the EU. As if!

    1. A Knox
      July 12, 2017

      No. The reason “no member state has said it wants to impose tariff barriers on us…” is that no member state CAN impose tariff barriers on us. They are set by the EU.

  33. Bob
    July 12, 2017

    If we have a trade deal with South Korea, will we need to send them a billion pounds a month, allow free movement and submit to Korean Law?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2017

      Bob, Maybe not but we could strike up a good arms deal the way things are going over there!!

  34. Mike Chaffin
    July 12, 2017

    John has previously posted an estimate of how much we are likely to receive in tariffs from EU imports under wto rules.

    How much though do the EU’s externals tariffs currently raise ( the vast majority going straight to EU coffers) and how much therefore will tariffs raise from imports from non EU sources under wto rules after brexit?

    I’ve never seen this figure in any of the debates John so hopefully you can enlighten us.

  35. MikeP
    July 12, 2017

    It cannot be said often and strongly enough that countries trade with each other because they want each others’ products and services, not because politicians and unelected Brussels bureaucrats want it to happen (or not). Sure an FTS sets the terms, as does the WTO in the absence of a free trade deal but all this media frenzy over FTAs is greatly overdone, not least when you consider how much trade we do globally, 58% of which to non-EU countries and much of that to the USA or Comminwealth countries where we don’t have FTAs!

  36. Mockbeggar
    July 12, 2017

    Did M. Barnier consult Airbus before stating that BAE would lose all its business with Airbus I wonder? I’d love to know how pleased Airbus would be to be told that that would happen. These failed politicians who represent the EU in Brussels clearly have no knowledge of business whatever and seem to think that they can threaten us with silly outbursts such as these. Businesses will want to trade wherever they can trade conveniently and profitably to the benefit of them and their clients or business partners. If what JR says is true about WTO rules and tariffs (and I have no reason to doubt it -or any other facts he quotes for that matter) then the tariffs are paltry between non-agricultural goods and price is by no means the only consideration when it comes to buying or selling or negotiating deals in business.

    I hope Mr. Davis has a better grasp of business realities than M. Barnier.

  37. Bert Young
    July 12, 2017

    The EU front is made by selected individuals ; EU countries in the main have different views and primarily want to retain a sensible trading relationship with us . Equally the dissenting views that are developed and featured here are from a few politicians , the BBC and the odd individual . As far as the real country is concerned the Brexit vote and more recent opinion polls show that there is a substantial majority to get out asap . News is created for many reasons – often because of the simple need to create a headline and it can be very misleading .

    Of course Brexit will mean a serious cutback in the EU’s financial plans ; many of its member countries are in a state of economic decline and demand a level of support that Germany is denying them . There is not a common rule for all in the EU and the divide is growing . Dissent by the Eastern EU bloc has already been made concerning the distribution of migrants and the consequent threat it would have on their established ways of life . Splits of all sorts exist and EU bureaucracy cannot cement the union together .

    The objective of our future trade in products and services is based on the skills that exist here and our ability to sell to the world . EU countries are a significant proportion of our ambition and will always feature strongly . Many healthy and established organisations have been created with a wide range of countries and will continue in the future . “Internationalism” is the key together with little or no tariffs .

  38. Global Businessman
    July 12, 2017

    If you provide attractive products and services at fair prices people will buy them with or without trade deals. My companies have no difficulty in exporting to all major countries around the world whether we have trade deals or we don’t. What we don’t need is the added cost of membership of the EU. It’s draft budget for 2018 is up 8.1 % on the already bloated figures for 2017! Where is all this extra money coming from? Greece?; Spain? Portugal?; Eire? Or is Germany going to foot the majority of this ever increasing bill? The EU is on a collision course with economic catastrophe. We need to get off this train before it hits the buffers.

  39. Epikouros
    July 12, 2017

    I have read that if the UK does not offer a better deal on EU expats then the EU will veto the deal. If that has any truth in it as we know that these days most news emanating from the media or most other sources are not worth a pinch of salt then your use of the word posturing is very apt indeed. Another report that David Davis is touting that a transitional deal is most likely. Not good news as the UK must be free of any EU shackles as quickly as possible so that it can be free to take whatever independent action it wants. That information is most likely true considering the constraints of time and effects of EU posturing however I trust him to ensure that is only temporary and of a short duration.

  40. Terry
    July 12, 2017

    Aren’t the debilitating rules and regulations of EU trade deals the very reason we want to abandon them? And who is better placed to decide what is best for this country than the British themselves? We surely want our own deals not second hand EU ones.
    I thought we were leaving behind in 2019 Brussels and their antiquated trade policies and not merely adopting them. This does not sound too “Leave” to me.

    It is this type of close EU alignment that must give hope to the Remoaners that Brexit will be reversed and so they continue to nibble away at democracy. Mrs May, stop the rot, please.

    Given the disgraceful and diabolical way Brussels have treated us since the Referendum, I now want my country to sever all relations with the political EU because they no longer deserve our respect.

    That respect was surely won in the last World War where this country, at enormous cost in British lives and British money. freed the rest of Europe from a tyrannical dictator. Again.

    It seems the words “Less we Forget”, have passed them by in neo-Marxist Brussels and that is disgusting.

  41. Atlas
    July 12, 2017

    Quote: They cannot believe their luck that so many in the UK establishment are still out to weaken the UK’s clear, optimistic and positive proposals on movement of people, future trade and collaboration.

    Yes, the EU does have a quite a sizeable fifth-column in the UK.

  42. Newmania
    July 12, 2017

    If this huge risk with jobs and security required National consensus then it should not have been forced down our throats !

    No -one has said , as yet , that they do not wish to shower us with sweeties and give us ponies

    Good news !!!!

    * clutches head in despair *

  43. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2017

    I’ve always said that we should be prepared to start by taking the Article 50 route to leave the EU but still reserving the right to just leave anyway if they mess us about. It seems to me that they are now taking us closer to that situation; for example see what comes up if you put “Brexit Betrayal: Theresa May Poised to Accept Submission to EU Courts for Over a Decade in ‘Transition Deal’” into google.

  44. All out Brexit
    July 12, 2017

    Michel Barnier says in response to Boris’s ” They can go whistle” that “The clock is ticking”.
    It is hard to know what to get Mr Barnier for Christmas if he has already got a watch. A Parker Pen is a good option.

  45. Helen
    July 12, 2017

    You think tariffs are imposed on exports!!
    You would fail O level economics. Or is this a spoof?

  46. Tabulazero
    July 12, 2017

    It remains to be seen if it is in the EU’s best interest to rely on an offshore center (the City of London) to act as the principal hub for clearing of euro denominated transactions. It would be a first for a major currency.

    As you know, equivalence is not the same thing as direct regulatory oversight and we have no guarantees whatsoever as to what would be the reaction of the U.K. Government in an accuse financial crisis, let alone any remedy.

    It boils down to a matter of trust and the latter might be in short supply these days.

    It might simply too sensitive to let such a large chunk of euro clearing transaction happen outside the EU.

    Would the US act differently in our position ? Probably not.

  47. Shieldsman
    July 12, 2017

    I read the G20 Communique yesterday, just like the G7 a lot of fine words and little action. There was no mention of the EU, but the OECD and the WTO were mentioned repeatedly. The UK are members of the OECD and WTO and will remain so when we leave the EU.
    The Section on Trade and Investment is worth a read.”We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements”.
    What exactly does this mean in relation to the EEA and its tariffe’s on 3rd Countries goods and products? Is the EEA a form of ‘closed shop’ ?

    The G7 Communique said: We acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. Therefore, we reiterate our commitment to keep our markets open and to ight protectionism, while standing firm against all unfair trade practices.
    Human Mobility: While upholding the human rights of all migrants and refugees, we reaffirm the sovereign rights of states, individually and collectively, to control their own borders and to establish policies in their own national interest and national security.
    EU member states – France, Germany, Italy and UK were signatories.

  48. Richard Butler
    July 12, 2017


    Backing for post-Brexit Britain from Qatari investment fund and Siemens

    McLaren, the supercar maker, moving production of carbon fibre chassis from Austria to the UK.

    Toyota is to invest £240m into modernings its car plant in Derbyshire in a major boost for the automotive industry after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

    Google’s opening a huge new tech hub in London for training the UK in digital skills
    Jaguar-Landover (10,000 new jobs)

    Rolls-Royce vows to protect 7,000 jobs with £150m investment

    McDonald’s moves international HQ from Brussels to UK.

    American drugs giant Mallinckrodt move global HQ to UK

    Deutsche Bank commits to London office

    French Credit Agricole agree new lease in London

    Softbank (£24 bn)
    Wells Fargo Bank
    Apple new London headquarters at Battersea
    Canadian Trade Office opening in London

  49. a-tracy
    July 12, 2017

    Theresa May has been told that the UK is not allowed to negotiate with the 27 EU member states individually, that all Brexit negotiations are to go through Barnier even though Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Juncker seem to give their opinions to any newspaper that cares to print them.

    So, as Mr Barnier has gone back on the deal by agreeing to give Ms Sturgeon and Mr Corbyn 2.5 exclusive hours of time to talk about Brexit, does this mean Mrs May gets 2.5 hours with each EU Prime Minister? Is David Davies invited to sit in on these meetings as our Brexit Leader of our democratically elected government? This isn’t on!

    1. Tabulazero
      July 14, 2017

      No. Brexit is a British problem for the U.K. government to solve.

      The heads of state of the rest of the EU will continue to have direct relationship with the U.K. Government but the last thing they want is to get bogged down with the Brexit talks, especially as no one knows what the UK position is.

      May does not get to summon other heads of state. That’s not how things work.

      1. a-tracy
        July 14, 2017

        But Barnier is going back on that this week and allowing anybody from UK politics to visit with him to discuss Brexit so surely Mrs May could send her representative say Liam Fox, David Davis, Boris Johnson or Michael Gove to visit the other heads of State to discuss Brexit on the same basis just 20 minutes to 45 minutes.

        This could help the UK government solve the “Brexit problem” you speak of by speaking direct to the horse’s mouths. The UK could then explain direct to them what the UK position is instead of talking through their mouthpiece Mr Barnier – what’s good for the goose and all that.

        I wasn’t suggesting she summon the other heads but simply request an audience with them as Sturgeon, Corbyn and the Welsh representative did.

        1. Tabulazero
          July 15, 2017

          @a-Tracy : the thing is that the other heads of state want the British government to go through Barnier.

          That is exactly the mandate they have given him and so far he his fulfilling his job.

          Then again it is also Corbyn and Sturgeon that requested the meeting, not the other way round.

          Brexit continues to be seen from the continent as an inherently hostile act. We do read your tabloid press and listen to your Foreign Secretary, you know.

          I doubt there would be many takers if David Davis was to embark on a grand tour.

  50. His and Hers Tearia
    July 12, 2017

    Another MP suggested that new building safety regs should be backdated…well it sounds great but unfortunately is a no-no. Pragmatic reasons. New intelligence on safety and materials happen every week. Our homes and public buildings would nedd to have scaffolding on them permanently, No joke! and underground systems..dug up every other week! No I’m not exaggerating!
    I’m not entirely sure that “lead pipes” for example at some part of water supply system albeit a tiny part have even now been permanently eradicated. They were not 20 years ago though since Roman times their poisioning has been known.
    As Eddie Hughes says, building safe buildings is not simple and actually not wholly possible. He is a star!

  51. PaulW
    July 12, 2017

    We need to rebuild a merchant navy and get out there to see if we can do business with the british commonwealth countries. Its not going to happen by itself but will have to be worked at. Incidentally has anyone any idea about new deals that liam fox is supposidly working on..i have heard about a new trade deal with the US, but that might take some time to set up. So we need to start making progress on this front ASAP because after march 2019 we’re going to have control back and will be on our own.

  52. JonP
    July 12, 2017

    We’ll see if david davis is still laughing this time next week..some think whats going on now is a bit of a joke but i can tell you that it is not a joking matter in any sense in brussels..those EU types are deadly serious.

  53. AdamC
    July 12, 2017

    It has been said loud and clear by several EU leaders that the Uk cannot ever be better off outside of the EU than in it? So how do we square that circle?

    There is a lot of misinformation and speculation flying about..even mrs may is talking about transferring powers back from the EU and then redistributing them again to singular eu countries..all very fanciful.. as it is march 2019 wont be long in coming about and we haven’t even started to discuss the future yet..not even amongst ourselves?

  54. margaret
    July 12, 2017

    Delays ( in all areas) cost money .Some will be earning a pretty packet to delay and posture.

  55. margaret
    July 12, 2017

    Off topic: I have been concerned about deteriorating standards both in public life and social media. I cannot understand why some make abusive or just plainly rude comments about politicians or indeed anyone else in the media or private life.

    At present I am listening to the debate ‘Abuse and Intimidation in UK Elections’ . All agree that abuse and derision is getting out of hand. My Redwood talks about free speech , but I don’t think he has ever advocated personal abuse , although publishes comments from those being abusive.
    The very sensitive and kind Diane Abbot talked about the abuse she has received and many others also spoke who have experienced abuse. Some think it is OK to brush these remarks off and not give any more oxygen to the comments or type of person. I don’t. The less emotionally intelligent often see this as condoning abuse and rude offensive remarks and their example incites others similar to follow.

  56. Chewy
    July 12, 2017

    That’s really interesting that UK should be able to leave with trade deals that it already has as an EU member intact. And logically why not?
    No wonder the country’s being threatened and most of the senior EU officials are making barbed comments in speeches and on social media. They see us as a rival rather than an ally and trading partner, and are desperate to see us sign a humiliating and restrictive agreement.
    Just a few examples come to mind:
    Reports suggest that in the proposed EU-Japan trade deal the EU wants to restrict Japanese car imports if they exceed a certain number. Wonder which country’s influence was behind that? Imagine how keen Japan will be to sign an agreement with us with no restriction on car numbers, especially if we’re under WTO rules with the EU and there are tariffs on German and French vehicles.
    Good post about the EU making money from tariffs from countries without trade deals. If there’s no deal then a priority will be to keep food prices down. How easy will it be to get trade deals with African counties like Egypt, Kenya and South Africa? How much of our fruit and veg comes from those countries; especially stuff that doesn’t grow too well here? What Iberian country’s going to take a big hit from that?
    Finally changing the slant a bit; Michael O Leary seems to have a bit of an obsession about Brits not being allowed to fly into EU countries post 2019 and makes the point that there is little good will towards us and the holiday industries worth £127 billion. To who who exactly? Yes it would be inconvient for Brits not to be able to travel to EU countries for a year; but there’s staycations or further away destinations e.g. USA. Past generations have suffered slightly worse adversities. Me thinks MOL is trying to encourage such an intransigent move by the EU to make us go crawling back a begging to reverse article 50 and beg remain part of the EU. Of that £127 billion I bet a conservative estimate of £40 billion goes to Spain based on the fact that it’s the most popular holiday destination. Can anyone explain how a smaller country who’s economy is struggling and with crippling youth employment can take a hit of £40 billion in one year when a proposed EU bill of £50 billion is seen as eye watering by us? They could always ask for money from Germany I suppose although that may not go down too well as there car exports will have taken a nosedive!
    And corrrct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the devaluation in the pound pretty much neutralise the effect of tariffs for our exporters to the EU anyway?
    OK Evening rant over and goodnight.

  57. Peter D Gardner
    July 13, 2017

    More should be made of the fact that if the EU imposes barriers to trade with UK where none existed before, it is the EU rather than UK that will be acting contrary to the WTO rules. it would be a very regressive step. It would be good to know what of arrangement the government is trying to achieve.
    I would also like to know that since we are leaving the EU to have better trading relationships that UK will not simply copy and paste EU agreements to UK. They should be modified to suit UK rather than EU interests.
    And why is it necessary to have investor-state dispute mechanisms? These were intended originally to safeguard the assets and interests of companies operating in poorly regulated countries, where in some cases the government could not be trusted. They have no place in agreements between advanced economies with strong legal systems.

  58. Gerald
    July 13, 2017

    I wish people would leave the government to negotiate the best deal they can without interference, I don’t understand why people need to know the governments negotiating stance or objectives, why would you want the eu knowing what your bottom line is ?

    It’s in the nature of negotiation, that in order to get the best deal, the option of walking away with no deal has to be credible, we should just let Mr Davis and team get on with it, without undermining their position. Everything should be on the table, the eu says frictionless trade is impossible and we need to settle our bill first. Well, since the budgetary cycle is 3 years and we’re leaving after two, how can our exit bill be larger than 1 years contribution ? other than because they’re desperate for cash?

    Re frictionless trade, perhaps we’ll have to come up with some sort of associate membership of the common market with less restrictions on what else we can do ?

    I don’t think the EU is helping itself the way it’s behaving towards us, they know exactly what we want, we want to trade freely, and tariff free, but as an independent country.
    This doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, it’s not like we’re leaving but want to stop paying but still get the farming subsidies is it ? It costs the eu nothing to trade with us. I fear that they might find it more profitable to not do trade deals with us just to get the maxium number of manufacturing plants, and financial services moved into the EU.

    The other thing we must do urgently is come up with replacement subsidies for our farmers, sensible ones that give money to farmer to produce food, not millions to rich land owners who have no intention of producing food. This is urgent as in a few years time the subsidies from the eu, stop, government has guarenteed them for a couple more years, but farmers must have time to prepare for what comes next and debate if the new system is fair.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    July 14, 2017

    Why not pay a one off fee – say about £10 billion – to leave the Customs Union a year early, so that we can IMPLEMENT free trade agreements with China, USA, India, Australia, New Zealand etc from March 29th 2018. This would be in addition to the relatively modest exit bill that we are willing to pay the EC. Implementing new trade agreements before we formally leave the EU will give an overlap that will serve as the transitional arrangement that Mr Hammond is so fond of.

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