What does the EU want from the Brexit discussions?

You would have thought the rest of the EU would be delighted to learn that the UK, the most reluctant EU member of them all, was leaving. It means they are free to pursue economic, monetary and political union without the UK constantly trying to slow it down, impede or stop it, or demanding special treatment. Better still, that same UK is happy to make her market available tariff free to the rest of the EU who have been so successful at exploiting it.

Instead it appears that the EU is once again misjudging the mood of UK voters. The EU seems to think if it delays and creates difficulties the UK may think again or come creeping back for some version of its membership. The EU has invented the idea that the UK owes the EU a lot of money after we have left when there is no Treaty basis for this. They have proposed that the UK has to continue to accept rulings of the European Court of Justice in the way no other independent country that is an EU trading partner has to accept. They have suggested that EU citizens currently legally settled in the UK would continue to have EU rights policed by the EU instead of enjoying UK rights policed by the UK after exit. These are presumably provocative proposals designed to foment argument within the UK with a view to delaying Brexit.

The EU needs to learn from its recent experiences. It was this mentality which led the EU to turn down Mr Cameron’s modest requests for improvements in the UK/EU relationship and which led directly to the Leave vote. They underestimated the resolve of UK voters then, and are in danger of doing so again. Indeed, their current attitude reinforces the view of many UK voters that they made exactly the right choice. The process of exit is also serving to underline just how far our subservience to EU lawmaking and courts has gone, something hard line pro EU campaigners always denied prior to the decision.

As someone who has undertaken all too many debates on this topic, I was regularly accused of exaggerating the influence and power of Brussels, which was just a kind of large free trade arrangement according to many of its protagonists. Now they tell us it is all so complex and comprehensive it makes getting out all but impossible.

My advice to the EU is simple. The UK has voted decisively to leave, with a massive Parliamentary majority to carry out the wishes of the voters. The UK wishes to be friendly and generous in departure. Indeed, many of us think we will be a better partner and neighbour when we can make our own decisions, than when we were constantly having to fight against imposed collective decisions we did not like. The EU can do a good deal for itself if it wishes. It can secure free trade, defence collaboration, protected rights for EU citizens settled in the UK and much more. If it doesn’t want to do that we will be leaving anyway.


  1. Mick
    August 8, 2017

    The eu can go whistle

    1. NickC
      August 8, 2017

      Mick, Although the EU is a dysfunctional pain in the neck, there is no need to be hostile as long as we realise they are never to be trusted. The following is our basic demands, and we can realise all but the trade deal by walking away:

      1. Restore UK sovereignty;

      2. Restore the supremacy of UK law;

      3. Independence is non-negotiable;

      4. Leave the EU entirely – no ECJ, EEA, ECU, or any other part of the EU;

      5. UK control of UK borders and of immigrant types, numbers and persons;

      6. Full fishing/mineral rights up to the 200 mile boundary;

      7. No danegeld payments;

      8. Any nation or bloc that demands money off us merely to trade to be downgraded for security co-operation and by removing MFN status;

      9. All we are negotiating is a trade deal;

      10. A Leave rebuttal unit to counteract Remain rumours in the MSM.

      1. Suzy O'Shea
        August 8, 2017


        Just read your list. seems good except for point 6: 200 mile boundary from Dover would give us most of Normandy. are you proposing to start a war up to get back the possessions that once belonged to Henry II?


        1. Bob
          August 9, 2017

          It doesn’t work like that.

          If 200 miles would overlap with another state’s territorial sea, the border is taken as the median point between the states’ baselines.

      2. Helen
        August 8, 2017

        11. Go red in the face and stamp your feet.

        12. Shout and scream and bang the table.

        13. Burst into tears.

        1. libertarian
          August 9, 2017


          Typical Remoaner response , no facts, no data, nothing to offer just …. cry cry cry I wanna stay …Pathetic

      3. Londoner
        August 8, 2017

        Look, what you need to grasp is that almost half our trade is with the EU 27. About 6 per cent of theirs is with us. If there is no deal, they are hurt, but we are ruined. The UK is in no position to demand anything, it can only plead. That is why you are seeing David Davis conceding we must pay up, conceding there won’t even be trade negotiation til we do pay up, etc. We are in a very bad position, and all Redwood’s hot air about the UK holding the whip hand would bring a hollow laugh from David Davis.

        Reply The EU does not have the power to stop companies and farmers on the continent selling us their products! They are also governed by international law. Do stop silly scaremongering

        1. libertarian
          August 9, 2017


          What YOU need to grasp is just 9% of our total trade is with the EU ( and that is falling). What YOU need to grasp is once out of the EU we can negotiate FTA’s with the other 7 billion people on the planet

          Oh and what YOU need to grasp is those of us that actually do trade do not need the permission of governments, quango’s or self appointed despots to “allow” us to trade

      4. Sally
        August 8, 2017

        What a brilliant collection of straightforward points. They are all exactly why I voted leave.

      5. NHSGP
        August 8, 2017

        Tit for Tat on residency.

        If Poland wants to screw Brits there, its like for like.

      6. Hope
        August 9, 2017

        Has the EU told the US, Canada, Australia, Japan or any other country that to trade with it the ECJ must prevail over their existing court systems and that any citizen from the EU must have legal address by the ECJ not their courts. It is so stupid to even countenance.

        But then Teresa May gave away our rights under the European Arrest Warrant when she did not have to. Cameron gave away an extra two point nine billion extra cash when he said he would not give one point seven billion! Cameron claimed in his veto that never was that he would stop eurozone countries using EU institutions, he never did. He was going to object to the extra spend at Strasbourg, he never did.

        It is this sort of servitude that gives the EU every reason to believe the U.K. will cave in.

    2. Hope
      August 8, 2017

      The sham discussions about ECJ, ECHR. freedom of movement, welfare benefits to EU citizens and vast sums should not be even entertained. This is about helping the EU welfare state in our country because the euro is failing across the EU.

      We will be an independent nation and their citizens need to accept our laws and way of life – take it or leave it. If our citizens who moved to the EU provinces need to accept they abide by the EU rules as is the case the world over. Do they want to trade yes or no.

      Why is May still signing up to EU security and defense agreements when we are leaving, it makes no sense unless she is being deceitful in her aims.

      1. Margaret Howard
        August 9, 2017

        The euro failing? It’s over 30% more against the pound which is falling into a black hole. And Cameron’s demand for special concessions were turned down because EU countries were sick and tired of UK pleading for constant opt outs and special treatment. They are glad to be rid of us. But don’t forget Britain begged to be allowed to join over 4 decades ago because it was on its uppers. It will be so again after Brexit.

        Reply The pound is currently at the level against the Euro which it reached in 2013 before rising

        1. libertarian
          August 10, 2017


          You think that the EU is glad to get rid of the second largest contributor of funds to the project…. hmm OK remind me to take you seriously some time.

    3. Michael Skerrett
      August 8, 2017

      We need to just walk now. No more talk no more payments from now. WTO trading rules and then discuss a trade deal with EU should take about five minutes to sign up.NICK is correct the only thing stopping us walking is a Trade deal.So leave and then sort it out.

  2. Peter Wood
    August 8, 2017

    Good Morning,

    Dr. Redwood, you make an important observation: ” The EU needs to learn from its recent experiences. ” It is to be hoped that the UK negotiators have similarly learned from the Greece v EU negotiations; that talking to the EU clerks is merely a waste of breath, until the Berlin heavyweights show up nothing of value is achieved.

    1. Hope
      August 8, 2017

      JR, you ar completely wrong. Cameron caved in before his alleged negotiations began. None of the important parts of the Bloomberg speech featured. Secondly, when people like Simon Fraser is head of FCO, EU fanatic appointed by Mandelson, why would the EU think they have to give any ground on any demand? The U.K. Has always deferred or capitulated why would they not think this is the case. The EU does not care what voters think, it goes by what the politicos tell them. Cameron was assured he would convince us to remain and used our taxes and every Whitehall resource to do so.
      May currently has four arch remainers as EU trade envoys FFS. Hammond, Carney, BBC propaganda unit and co all scaremongering again.
      Again, why has the Tory party not cleared out Blaire’s socialist infection from every section of the public sector? Whitehall, judiciary, public services, diplomatic service etc.
      Odonis still preaching bile about leaving the EU while heading the EU infrastructure project of HS2 for the govt which is of no use to man or beast in this country! £82 billion of money we cannot afford while May tells us we will have to sale our homes to pay for care that we already paid in taxes and NI contributions! Wake up. What is your party doing other than show it is an arm of the EU federalist cause? If May gives away £36 billion of our taxes to the EU with a transition period your party is history. Neither is required or expected, but on past performance why would the EU. Or think your party will cave in as Cameron did before? Blaire gave away billions of our EU rebate to advance his EU president ambition. We got nothing, fortunately neither did he.
      Sort your party out and we might take your comments seriously.

      1. rose
        August 8, 2017

        Have you heard much on the BBC about the poisonous Dutch eggs? I must have missed it.

      2. Wizup
        August 8, 2017

        Hope, whilst agreeing with your comments, I hardly think you can blame JR for the traitorous nature of the Conservative party. He has done his best over the years, to steer them to a better path, albeit from within. He has been roundly vilified by the MSM and indeed his own party (remember Mr Spock), but without a party and getting himself elected, he would have no voice at all.
        He has sacrificed any personal ambition to go up against the Globalist shills in all parties, and continues to be one of the few rational voices in Parliament.
        The fact that he uses Cameron’s alleged negotiations to make a point , does not mean he is not aware of what a sham it was…

        1. Hope
          August 9, 2017

          Wizen, I would like to agree, however JR lauded Cameron’s Bloomberg speech and denounced some us who did not believe cameron.

          Reply Yes, and got a referendum from him as I hoped. It was the only way out of the EU.

  3. Alan Jutson
    August 8, 2017

    Your post is absolutely right in all respects but one.

    They simply want us for our money more than any other reason, they always have, because we are a huge net contributor to their collective finances.

    When we leave they are either going to have to cut back, or someone else has to pick up the slack.
    Hence the reason they are now making up the numbers whilst trying to justify them with some complicated jargon.

    We are being generous with our offer to continue paying our full subscription until we leave in 2019, likewise the offer of free trade with us, when it is they who will benefit most.

    The ECJ is a farce, in that it should claim have any power over or apply to a non EU Country (as we will be)

    Our biggest problem are those who seek to undermine our position and arguments here at home, whilst supporting the EU position against us.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 8, 2017

      “Our biggest problem are those who seek to undermine our position and arguments here at home, whilst supporting the EU position against us.”

      Indeed, so that will be most of the state sector, half of Conservative & Labour MPs, all the SNP, Libdim and the Welsh lot, most of the judiciary and lawyers, some large companies with vested interests, the green blob, most of academia, most of the state sector bureaucrats and above all the EU propaganda outfit that is the BBC.

    2. rose
      August 8, 2017

      They don’t just want us for our money: they also want to carry on with their practice of sending their unemployed, homeless, and criminals here, as well as increasing numbers of recent arrivals from other continents.

    3. hans christian ivers
      August 8, 2017

      John, very interesting argument, yes we will leave but we will be much better off having a proper long-term agreement with 450 million consumers with no deal, we are still very dependent on them for our trade and in particular our services and if business needs a longer transition, then we should try and make an agreement that also gives us enough time to get non-tariff and technical standard agreements in place and included in our own legislation.

      Speed will not work in our favour in this case, new trade agreements can take up to five years or longer.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 8, 2017

        Our government has stated clearly that it seeks a proper long-term agreement, it is your friends in the EU who are playing silly buggers. In my view it is now long overdue for our government, and in particular David Davis’s department, to start up a propaganda campaign to expose the arrogance and stupidity of the EU negotiators to the rest of the world so that if/when the negotiations fail the blame is put where it belongs, at their door not ours.

        1. hans christian ivers
          August 15, 2017

          reply the negotiations will not fail .

          By they way who are my friends at the EU?

      2. NickC
        August 8, 2017

        Hans, It is difficult to understand how you can get everything you’ve said so comprehensively wrong.

        Trade is done by businesses and individuals, not by governments. The “no deal” scenario actually means trade will continue, probably under WTO basic terms. So those 450 million consumers don’t suddenly disappear. We are not “very dependent” on them – only c10% of UK GDP consists of exports to the 450 million. Out of the EU with no deal and using EU tariffs, German cars would be 10% more expensive here which would reduce their sales somewhat. Trade is a two way process.

        Let’s not have the 10% tail wag the 90% dog. There is the rest of the UK economy to consider. Businesses will have had a transition period because it will be 3 years since the wonderful result, before we’re actually free. As for technical standards – do me a favour . . . . . those standards are either international anyway or are already in place for both sides’ exports.

        Speed would certainly work in our (the UK’s) favour because it would make the EU face reality. A trade agreement should take no longer than the recent Australia-USA agreement of about a year to negotiate. We already have two trade agreements in place anyway.

        1. hans christian ivers
          August 15, 2017

          this is a very interesting response considering the government is now asking for a transition due to demands from businesses, so who got it wrong?

      3. Robin Wilcox
        August 8, 2017

        A transition deal will only be of use if we have agreed what we will be transitioning to with the EU. Otherwise it’s a pointless excercise which will merely delay the UK from leaving and cost us £ billions.

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 8, 2017

          I prefer to talk in terms of “transitional provisions”, a commonplace feature of international treaties when the parties agree that there is a need for them. I’ve pointed out before that in 1957 the six countries agreed to allow twelve years to set up their Common Market step by step, and wrote that into their Treaty of Rome, but there are many other examples of treaties including transitional provisions.

      4. libertarian
        August 9, 2017


        I love being lectured by people with no experience of business or trade about business and trade ….

    4. hans christian ivers
      August 8, 2017

      Reply Are you sure 450 million European consumers benefit more than 65 million UK consumers about Britain staying in or not?

      1. Alan Jutson
        August 8, 2017

        h c i


        The EU Consumers at6 the moment have a choice of our products.

        The EU workers at the moment have the benefit of being employed to make goods they sell to us in greater value, than we sell to them.

        Tariffs on both sides will make matters more difficult for all workers and consumers both in the EU and here in the UK, but the UK will get greater financial benefit from the tariffs it charges if trade remains at the same level as now for both sides.

        Signs are that acknowledgement (about EU employment risk) is beginning to be recognised by some powerful Unions within the EU.

      2. Anonymous
        August 8, 2017

        Not all of those 450 million have very much money. The EU has impoverished some member states and they are a net cost to us.

        Some adjustment is needed to your figure.

      3. Know-Dice
        August 8, 2017

        It’s not 450 million EU consumers that are important, it’s the ones in Germany, Ireland & the Netherlands that are important.

        See Appendix 2 & 3 of document linked to by Mike Stallard below.

      4. libertarian
        August 9, 2017


        It might pay you to actually think about reality What products and services are 450 million Europeans buying and why do you think they might want to do without them?

        1. hans christian ivers
          August 15, 2017

          so let us make it 400 milion

    5. Mockbeggar
      August 8, 2017

      If I were to receive a bill for an unimaginably large amount of, let’s say, 100 bn Euros or £36bn (these are the largest and smallest figures I have seen so far) I would want to know why and how the ‘invoicer’ arrived at whichever figure has actually been demanded. When are we likely to get a breakdown of whatever the ‘actual’ figure (if one can dignify it with such a description) is?
      There might then be something to discuss.

      1. Len Grinds
        August 8, 2017

        Mockbeggar, the EU is desperately trying to get the UK to sit round the table and discuss exactly this. The EU’s posiiton is open and clear – it is in this paper, freely available – It https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/position-paper-essential-principles-financial-settlement_en

        It is the UK that is refusing to get down to detail!

        1. NickC
          August 8, 2017

          Len, if you think that the UK’s purpose is to tug our collective forelock to the EU, and that we must discuss how much we will give them when they say so, then you haven’t been paying attention for the last 2 years.

          The UK owes the EU nothing. Indeed we need at least a partial reimbursement of the £400B+ (current prices) that the EU has had off us already to pay for all their madcap schemes. By rights we own some of it.

          When is the EU going to get down to detail about that?

        2. Denis Cooper
          August 8, 2017

          There are no numbers in that, not even estimated numbers or ranges. I expect that an itemised invoice will normally include a number for each item, don’t you? Or is it special rules for your beloved EU?

        3. Mockbeggar
          August 8, 2017

          I have examined the ‘Position Paper’ and find that it is simply a list of every EU Authority and activity that the Commission think might conceivably be losing money from the UK annual contribution. It is a wish list in other words. Within that list there may be a case for our continuing to subscribe to one or two. But before we even get to that point we need the Commission to tell us the amount they believe we should pay, their justification for it and, above all, what the pay-off would be to us.
          Who invented the £36 bn (or more) and what are the figures behind it?
          Until we know those data then they have provided no ‘detail’ whatever. Until we have those data, we are in no position to provide any ‘detail’ of our own.

        4. ChrisS
          August 8, 2017

          I read this document a long time ago and there is mention whatsoever to any amount of money.

          If I were negotiating with them I would insist on seeing their exact calculation for each and every item contained within the document. They must have it otherwise how could they come up with a figure of €100bn ?

          I understand that his is what David Davies has been asking for and he has received no response.

        5. Sir Joe Soap
          August 8, 2017

          There’s no breakdown here, only a list with no figures attached.

        6. David Price
          August 9, 2017

          If you don’t agree with the principle of owing monies for something why waste time and effort debating the intricate details of their calculation?

          Besides, it won’t matter one jot what we pay, the EU arrogant, disruptive and threatening attitude towards the UK will stay the same.

        7. libertarian
          August 10, 2017


          Ha ha thats hilarious. You think this document is useful? No wonder you are so gullible about the EU

      2. Dunedin
        August 8, 2017

        @ Mockbeggar – When are we likely to get a breakdown of whatever the ‘actual’ figure (if one can dignify it with such a description) is?

        Good question – I also don’t understand how we can agree on an amount to pay to the EU before we have even discussed what we will be getting for our money.

        There appears to be growing concensus in the media that we will have to pay, even though we don’t have to. These politicians and commentators who say we must pay should be explaining to British taxpayers why they want to give the EU so much of our money.

        PS – I am pleased to discover I am not a robot

  4. Duncan
    August 8, 2017

    It appears that threats do indeed work. Well, I have a threat. All Eurosceptic MP’s in the Conservative Party should en masse deliver an ultimatum to Hammond. They should tell him to stop his conspiratorial behaviour, his plottings and his pathetic meanderings and start determined steps to get us out of the EU in its entirety or else we will bring down this government

    The idea that this ancient nation should in anyway be subservient to a court of justice (ECJ) that has only been in existence for a few decades is offensive to our collective senses

    The real enemy is here at home, an unseen enemy. As mere voters we can only look to decent MPs like Mr Redwood and his patriotic colleagues to impose the will of the people

    1. Wizup
      August 9, 2017

      Duncan, I appreciate your sentiment concerning Hammond. As you will know he was due for the chop. The difficulty now is that after the debacle of the GE, no one wants to rock the boat further in case it capsizes. We can’t afford to give the remainers an excuse for a leadership election, or indeed another GE. There are shark infested waters all around, with the Globalists and their shills plotting night and day (and with unlimited funds) to prevent Brexit happening.

  5. Mike Stallard
    August 8, 2017

    This document says what the EU thinks about British trade with the EU:

    1. Alan Jutson
      August 8, 2017


      Interesting that they seem to major on quoting percentages, which will always show up better for the EU because they are 10 times as large as the UK in population terms.

      Thus they are really trying to put the best face possible on the situation for the EU.

      The simple fact is they have more workers at risk than we do, because their trade with us, is of greater value than ours with them.

    2. Dave Martin
      August 8, 2017

      Just read this Mike and found parts of it interesting. It seems to me that it deliberately puts its focus on the impact being detrimental to the Uk whilst at the same time playing down the impact on the EU. Whilst I have no doubts there will be tough times ahead, both in the UK and the EU, it totally underplays the relative strength of the two organisations. The UK economy and outlook is far more robust that that of the EU, where a few countries (soon to be one less!) are propping up a failing Euro and member countries that are economic disaster areas, with little room for manoeuvre. The obviously biased slant to the EU is highlighted by the almost complete dismissal of the impact of losing the annual UK budget contribution. It lamely talks of possible revenue from tariff on the UK (ignoring any potential tariff we might impose), and suggests they might still get us to contribute!! This is from a bankrupt organisation that has not balanced its books and had them audited fir the last 10 to 20 years!!
      The sooner we sail free from this discredited organisation the better.

    3. NickC
      August 8, 2017

      Don’t bureaucrats love percentages! Percentages hide a thousand sins.

      However the impact on real people, in terms of their jobs, will be worse in the EU than the UK because they sell more to us in absolute, or real, terms than we sell to them. Imports in both cases can of course be sourced from elsewhere. But there are still those pesky job losses.

      This EU “study” is just propaganda, and not particularly good propaganda at that.

      1. Timaction
        August 9, 2017

        I read it today. It is not particularly well written and is as you state, propaganda. Its very obvious the EU 27 have a substantial trade and services surplus with the UK yet it only discusses gross GDP figures. All scenarios would give us a bigger loss of GDP. It states various options including WTO rules and how that would net them over £4 billion to recoup part of our contributions. No mention of the bigger reciprocal costs to EU! I supposed it shows a mindset that the EU is for itself and not its peoples or companies who would suffer the larger costs! Totally disingenuous. Interestingly it states our divorce costs in the order of 20-40 billion Euros assuming we contribute to the mid term term budgets that end in 2020. It also assumes that all our companies would still apply EU standards even if they don’t trade with it. Total nonsense. Oh to be free from this awful bullying dictatorship. If only we had capable politicos and civil servants in charge.

  6. agricola
    August 8, 2017

    I’m just guessing based on human nature and in general the small mindedness of politicians.

    Political EU in Brussels wish to ensure that the departure of the UK will discourage anyone else from trying. In this I think they are too late, disenchantment with Brussels in Europe is growing. There will be big political battles over where the money to replace our billions is going to come from. Hopefully at last real pressure on the CAP. All these problems as a result of our departure will be there, question is are they up to dealing with them.

    Business EU being more pragmatic would say goodbye, but we still wish to have unhindered trade with you.

    The people of the EU are I guess watching and waiting. If the UK is a success after divorce it will concentrate their minds to go through all the arguments on sovereignty and financial control that we have been through. In many countries they will question the effect of the Euro and they will question the motives of their current set of national politicians. The next ten years will be theatre worth watching.

    1. Longinus
      August 8, 2017

      Poland out = £10 bn deficit gone
      UK out = £10 bn contribution gone

      Books balanced

  7. fedupsoutherner
    August 8, 2017

    Those politicians like Clegg, Soubry, Cable, Clark etc are a disgrace to the nation. They are in effect traitors. We can all see how the EU wants to take us for a ride under their rules. It has been like this in the past and they want it to carry on. I wonder how we can even consider finding the vast sums of money they require to leave. It is obvious to a blind man they want to put obstacles in the way of our departure every step of the way and so we should just tell them what we propose. As you say John, we are offering them a very generous package but all we will be and all they want us to be is a little puppet on a string with them pulling them. It is an affront to our justice system that they want control even after we have left. We have to be tougher and let them see we are not playing ball. Why do some in government want us to stay in what is a dictatorship? We want to be a free country once again and not under the (control ed) of Merkel and co.

  8. James Doran
    August 8, 2017

    The EU cannot cooperate with Brexit for the simple reason that the UK leaving and subsequently prospering is their worst nightmare as other countries will want to do the same.

  9. margaret
    August 8, 2017

    ….and it doesn’t help the UK if we have insiders here Kow Towing to the EU :negotiating on their behalf and not our behalf . It is all to easy to say that somebody else handled the matters whilst they were away.

  10. Bryan Harris
    August 8, 2017

    Nicely put

    The EU was only ever interested in having the UK as a member to exploit our resources – they will badly miss our money, and CAP will never be the same!

    Won’t it be wonderful to get our fishing industry back.

    JR – it’s not just that the EU is being mean to us, and difficult, because of BREXIT, it is exactly the same attitude they have always had towards the UK – they cannot forgive us for our past, but more importantly they cannot forgive us for having independence of thought.


  11. Narrow Shoulders
    August 8, 2017

    Slightly O/T but….

    Our net contribution to the EU has reduced to £8.1 billion from £8.6 billion the year before. Pro EU commentators jump on this to show leave misrepresentation of figures and that our fee does not necessarily keep rising.

    As I recall the previous year we paid a one off adjustment of £1.9 billion (less rebate which was adjusted this year). Even allowing for the rebate our routine contributions have increased by a large percentage once the extraneous payment last year is factored in.

    The EU is an ever increasing drain on our direct resources even before we consider the indirect drain of trade deficit and educating, housing, giving tax credits and looking after the health care of unknown and untracked numbers of free moving immigrants from this political creation.

    1. graham1946
      August 8, 2017

      There is also the £3 billion in cash in Customs Duties collected from the British people as a tax on imports from outside the EU and remitted to Brussels which the Remainers either never mention or more likely don’t even know about. Why the Brexiteers keep quiet about this figure I don’t know. Also, come 2020, there will be new budget requirements. Anyone actually consider contributions will go down? I’d like to think we are out by then, but I’m not yet convinced our government won’t continue to pay.

    2. a-tracy
      August 8, 2017

      That is not counting the fines and top ups we keep hearing about.

      Our NHS Maternity units are under pressure now, unexpected increases in foreign parents, so how many women born here have been displaced to provide services for new arrivals. This massive increase in immigration hasn’t had the requisite training in place to increase school places and midwifery services, if there was plenty of extra national insurance contributions there wouldn’t be a problem because the health slush fund would be overflowing.

  12. fedupsoutherner
    August 8, 2017

    If the EU truly had our best interests at heart then they would allow us to seek trade elsewhere in the world before we left. The longer all this goes on the worse our economy will get. We need to find better markets to deal with. I just hope DD is being stronger than Cameron was with them and I hope that some positive news is made public soon as people are becoming despondent with all the bad news the BBC and the likes love to tell us. It was reported in the Daily Mail yesterday that Vince Cable is calling those that support leaving the EU as ‘Jihadis’. What disgraceful language. Who really wants this man in charge of the Liberal party? Well over a year now since the vote to year we are still hearing the same arguments. I am fed up with it all. Let’s just go.

    1. Len Grinds
      August 8, 2017

      You CAN seek trade elsewhere in the world before we leave. Did you know Germany has five times as much as trade with China as the UK? It’s not the EU that holds us back, it is our lack of smart business people. Brexit will just make things worse

      1. libertarian
        August 10, 2017

        Len Grinds

        The UK is the 6th largest trading nation in the world, the 2nd most powerful nation on Earth we are world leaders in a number of areas including number one in financial services

        We can and do trade with anyone, we tend to trade more with the US , however what the EU does is it prevents Free trade and it blocks certain things via its customs union and protectionism.

        Its a laugh that you think that the EU has smarter business people

        Name the largest EU mobile phone manufacturer

        Name the largest EU operating systems provider

        Name the largest EU social media platform

        Name the largest EU medical devices manufacturer

        The EU make cars and some other bits and pieces , thats about it really

        The top 10 largest European Companies

        Number 1 British
        Number 2 British

        Germany has 2 in top 10 both car makers

    2. Doug Powell
      August 8, 2017

      Well said!

      I had thought it impossible for the LibDems (joke in itself!) to find a leader more disreputable than Clegg, but Cable has exceeded one’s worst expectations!

      Indeed! What thoroughly disgraceful language to refer to Leavers as Jihadis! The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring to mind as Cable’s lack of respect for Democracy appears to be identical to the Jihadis!

  13. Andy Marlot
    August 8, 2017

    I really fail to see why we need years of negotiations. Our position should be that the EU can trade freely with us if we can with them. No money is due according to the treaty that the EU signed with us. EU nationals already here can stay on the same terms if British nationals enjoy the same treatment in the EU. All the other minutiae do not affect us leaving so should not be part of the leaving process, simply be thrashed out by the parties involved.
    Bureaucrats and politicians (and solicitors) always make things much more complicated than they are, mostly to justify their salary, but we should not let them. Just get on with it.

  14. BCL
    August 8, 2017

    I agree with what you say but I am fearful that some in the government will allow us to be bullied, threatened, tricked or persuaded into giving in to some of these crackpot EU ideas. I do so hope you and those of similar mind will keep the government on track. In particular I do not want to see any payment made after we leave and I do not want any continuing or new role for the ECJ. We do not let the US Supreme Court tell us what to do and I cannot see the justification in letting and foreign judicial structure do likewise. I do think “No deal is better than a bad deal”.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      I think we need to preserve a calm and measured attitude about the future status of the ECJ in UK law. Which is the opposite of what the Telegraph is seeking with its deliberately inflammatory headline today:


      “British judges could still apply European court decisions after Brexit, says UK’s top judge”

      But pretty much what he is actually saying:

      “Lord Neuberger, the Supreme Court president, has called for clarity about how the judiciary should handle the issue and said judges should not face the blame for misinterpretations “when parliament has failed to do so”.”

      We already have this kind of problem with the Council of Europe’s ECHR, where the Human Rights Act 1998 instructs UK judges to “take into account” judgments from that court; we have occasional instances where UK judges cite cases in other, usually Commonwealth, countries; we also still have the Privy Council as the final court of appeal for many of those countries; and so on.

      Parliament needs to debate and decide what judges in the UK should do about ECJ judgments, and put that into law so they know what is required.

    2. graham1946
      August 8, 2017

      Trouble is, too many members of the government (May and Hammond et al ) actually think all this stuff is the Holy Grail, not threats or cajoling needed and want to continue, but must go through some motions before telling us they’ve done their best but we are still in, in all but name. If this turns out to be the case, I can see return of Nigel Farage, a big upsurge in UKIP and devastation for the Tories.

      1. Longinus
        August 8, 2017

        devastation for the UK as Corbyn gets in

  15. Iain Moore
    August 8, 2017

    ” I was regularly accused of exaggerating the influence and power of Brussels, ”

    Yes that is something I have noticed, before we voted to leave the EU we were told the EU was just a little organiosation no bigger than a local authority. Now that we have voted to leave we are told that it is in fact this behmoth that was involved in every aspect of our lives , which makes Brexit so impossible.

    1. rose
      August 8, 2017

      And today we hear the BBC kow towing to it as it is overseeing the Kenyan elections. Is there no limit to its overweening arrogance? Just what is the constitutional relationship between the EU and Kenya?

  16. DaveM
    August 8, 2017

    The EU wants our money and our cooperation in order to form a political superstate controlled by Brussels bureaucrats. They seem to have accepted the fact that the UK is leaving so are determined to make it as difficult as possible so that other countries don’t do the same. Although it looks like E Europe will head in the same direction sooner or later. Especially if the UK makes an effort to invest in relationships with those countries.

    What would be more helpful for the UK though, is if the PM had the authority and gumption to sack those fifth-columnists within the most senior levels of government and appoint a raft of talented people who would act as a team and stop trying to undermine people like Davis and Fox who are doing their best to act in the UK’s interests. If she can’t control her own cabinet she has to go. She is the problem, not the EU negotiators.

  17. Original Richard
    August 8, 2017

    What does the EU want from the Brexit discussions?

    Firstly the EU wants as large a sum of money as possible as they are losing a major budget contributor even though, as the HOL, who are no Brexiteers, have agreed, we do not owe the EU anything.

    The EU have not published any itemised exit bill and the amount they have proposed is so large that either it is vastly exaggerated or else it is showing just how much more we are paying into the EU coffers than we are told.

    Secondly the EU wishes to tie us down/give us as little freedom as possible, wanting to control where they can our laws, money, trade and economic decisions. Ideally they would like us to be a colony of their empire. And for free movement to continue.

    Thirdly they want to continue to have free access to not only our market but also to our assets – such as our fishing grounds.

    The EU want so much from the UK that a clean Brexit will be the inevitable result.

  18. robert lewy
    August 8, 2017

    Is it the case that we need to wait until ACTUAL Brexit before we discover the truth about the EU attitude towards their ex member?

    Or, will the phoney war go on even then continuing EU misjudgement of their own interests.

    Will the first “action ” from the EU be at the Customs front?
    And if so how should we respond?

  19. Michael
    August 8, 2017


  20. alte fritz
    August 8, 2017

    Absolutely. Before the vote we were still a sovereign nation, so the Remainers said. Now they make a point I have made for years, that we would get to a stage where we were so enmeshed, that it would be constitutionally, legally and economically impossible to leave.

    What really hurts in all this is that the Fifth Column seems to sit in our own government.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    August 8, 2017

    No deal is better than a bad deal.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      Agreed, if there is no limit to how bad a proposed deal could be there must always be a point at which it would be worse than having no deal at all.

  22. A.Sedgwick
    August 8, 2017

    Had the UK not joined in 1973 the EEC would not have grown in the same way. We were the catalyst to the organisation being taken too seriously. Our weight of history, democracy, law and order and culture added a dimension of gravitas and solidarity. The numbers would have been less e.g. no Eire membership, less money to waste on two parliaments, five presidents, Commission, CAP. We would have kept control of our fishing industry. As the country that pioneered freedoms to be held to ransom on the bogus single market etc is laughable.

    I am surprised how many deluded politicians we have and how easily they choose to try to turn democracy on its head. It would be to Mrs. May’s credit and the country’s benefit if she publicly states she regrets supporting Remain.

    In short “you don’t know what you had until it’s gone” is dawning on the Continentals.

  23. JimS
    August 8, 2017

    We should stop all talk of the Article 50 ‘two years’ and ‘transition periods’ and give them a deadline, 31 December 2017.

    Remember it is the EU that takes 10+ years to negotiate trade deals that soverign countries can do in less than two years.

  24. Excalibur
    August 8, 2017

    I see the Independent carries news of a report by the University of Leicester today, that if just 3 per cent more of the population had gone to university, we would probably not be leaving the EU. Apparently, attending a university or having access to higher education was a ‘predominant factor’ influencing how people voted.

    No limits, it seems, to the arrogance of the Left; and an admission surely, of its indoctrination of young people in leftist ideology.

  25. Kenneth
    August 8, 2017

    The eu has an outside chance of pulling it off.

    The BBC is firmly allied to their cause as it trawls for bad news stories about our negotiating team and negotiating position.

    I am now warming to the LibDem proposal for another referendum:

    2nd referendum question:


    1. Oggy
      August 8, 2017

      A lot of people forget – it would be the 3rd referendum, the 1st in 1975, and the 2nd in 2016. But such a song and dance wasn’t made by the losing side in 1975.

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      Their second referendum proposal has the UK deciding to stay in the EU on present terms as one of the options on the ballot paper. The fact that the UK government having put in its Article 50 notice cannot now unilaterally decide to revoke that notice seems to have passed them by. Which is odd really, since their central argument in the Gina Miller case was based on just that concept, that the notice would be irrevocable and so sending it would be like firing off a bullet from a gun.

    3. RDM
      August 8, 2017


      We are leaving, whatever is novitiated!

      Better to novitiate something we (GB and EU) can accept, or its WTO!


      1. RDM
        August 8, 2017

        Negotiated, not novitiated. Bloody auto thingy!!

      2. Kenneth
        August 8, 2017

        I the deal means years of transition (= REMAIN) we may be better off with WTO

  26. Iain Gill
    August 8, 2017

    You would be better drafting a letter to the British people explaining what the British political class want.

  27. a-tracy
    August 8, 2017

    The problem is the disproportionate time given to people who don’t want to leave without any balance so Europe thinks they are the majority because they shout the loudest, yesterday I read they are now preparing to disrupt the Conservative Conference more coverage of the noisiest, just cancel the conference and get on with the big job at hand.

    What has Belgium got to lose? Their entire prosperity and future big paying jobs in the region is predicated on the United States of Europe. The smaller regions seem to get as much say and vote as the largest like Malta, Luxembourg etc. so they’re bound to want the much larger UK brought down a peg or two.

    I read today about a single mother claiming whilst living with her husband who managed to put two children through private school (on benefits?) HOW? Just how much are benefits in London – she has got a suspended sentence so no problem there and just a short community service order (the equivalent of £1400 fine at £8 per hour), her children should have the amount their mother stole for their education as a loan and pay back the tuition fees on their future earnings.

  28. miami.mode
    August 8, 2017

    It’s like being in an abusive relationship. The bully (the EU) turns nasty when he/she realises that their power is waning.

  29. Mark B
    August 8, 2017

    I fear it is our kind host who may have it wrong.

    The EU is more concerned with its own survival than the needs of individual member States. They are not interested in trade or those it calls its citizens.

    It will not make things easy and will want to maintain as much control over the UK as possible.

    The monies that have been banded about in the media are largely unsubstantiated and I believe the are designed to soften us up for a lesser but still politically damaging settlement, and to see what the general public will and will not accept.

  30. oldtimer
    August 8, 2017

    Aided and abetted by the Blairs, Camerons, Osbornes, Cleggs the BBC and others in the Remainiac camp, the EU is probably being encouraged to play hardball in the hope of reversing the referendum result. This is extremely dangerous ground both for the EU and the Remainiacs. I do not see the UK being the compliant, client cash cow state that the EU wants in the future. There would be a revolution before that happens.

  31. Norman
    August 8, 2017

    Thank you, Dr Redwood, for a clear and incisive assessment of the psychology behind the maze! I suppose a bull has to behave like a bull – it’s in its genes (the bull being a symbol, of the EU, not its respected constituent nations). And a bulldog has to do the same. The one is a ‘bully’: the other, one who’s been known in the past for fighting back against bullies! Ugly to some, lovable to others, he’s a defender of freedom. Freedom – that elusive quality that emerges from a nation’s history – an expression of its soul – and at root, a reflection of its spiritual affiliation. Individuals stand for truth, often at great personal cost, but sculpt a nation’s corporate destiny. Who will dare to put a price on that?? Pay our dues for honour’s sake, yes; then resolutely and politely leave!

  32. Christine
    August 8, 2017

    My worry is that the public are a fickle bunch. It only needs a downturn in the economy for them to blame Brexit and demand a new referendum. This is what the EU is banking on. What current politicians fail to do is get across the benefits of leaving like being able to do trade deals with the rest of the world. All we see and hear via the media is doom and gloom. The Government really needs to get a positive message out to the country. We know what brainwashing has done to the youth of this country by the increased popularity of Jeremy. Grandiose gestures like foreign aid, importing refugees and green initiatives might make MPs feel better but for the majority of the public they just see their hard-earned money going down the drain.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 8, 2017

      The Government really needs to get a positive message out to the country.

      Perhaps the government doesn’t really want to leave and is happy with the doom and gloom situation.

  33. Lifelogic
    August 8, 2017

    Well there is what the EU bureaucrats want, then there is what the 27 countries want then there is what the people of the EU want.

  34. zorro
    August 8, 2017

    The confusion and cognitive dissonance in extreme EU supporters is legion. One day, the EU is a loose benign organisation and the next we are so inextricably linked it is impossible to leave. Neither proposition is true, and leave we must for the overall good of our country.


  35. Tasman
    August 8, 2017

    What an extraordinarily wrong-headed post. It is not the EU that wants anything out of this negotiation, it is the UK. It is – perhaps you have missed this, Mr Redwood – the UK that has decided to leave the EU, not the other way round. So it is for the UK to decide what sort of relationship it wants with the EU, and then start to negotiate. The UK, for example, has still not even decided whether it wants to ask to stay part of the single market. The Rt Hon Owen Paterson says only a madman would want to leave the single market. Do you agree with him, Mr Redwood?

    Reply Do try and keep up with our country’s position. Parliament voted decisively recently to leave the single market and customs Union as we leave the EU. That is also Mr Paterson’s view, and mine. The UK has a clear offer to the EU – lets continue with tariff free trade with no new barriers. We are leaving and taking back control of our money, our borders and our laws.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      “The UK, for example, has still not even decided whether it wants to ask to stay part of the single market.”

      Really? Have you even bothered to read Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech of January 17th, or do you think it’s good enough just to parrot whatever rubbish you may have been fed?


      “But I want to be clear. What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.

      European leaders have said many times that membership means accepting the ‘4 freedoms’ of goods, capital, services and people. And being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are. It would mean accepting a role for the European Court of Justice that would see it still having direct legal authority in our country.

      It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.

      And that is why both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the single market.

      So we do not seek membership of the single market. Instead we seek the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.”

      Is that clear and decisive enough for you? I don’t suppose so.

      1. Helen
        August 8, 2017

        You seem unaware that Mrs May asked the people of the UK on 8 June to support this stance. They did not

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 9, 2017

          You seem to forget that both of the main parties asked the people to support that clear stance, and they did, while those who differed failed to attract more than slight support.

    2. Duyfken
      August 8, 2017

      UK wishes to leave, and will be doing so in accordance with the treaty terms. All that is required is for arrangements to be made to facilitate a clean break. No negotiations, just administrative agreements.

      Once these have been decided and completed, then maybe the UK and the EU (or the individual countries within the EU) should discuss FTAs and the like. Indeed they could be discussed in advance and in preparation, as JR points to, but those are matters outside the scope and no part of the Brexit terms.

      It is you who has it wrong-headed Tasman, and btw, I deplore the use of that moniker, it being in similar vein to my own!

    3. WalterP
      August 8, 2017

      All very well but the reality is far removed from that outlined by JR. We are not going to get tariff free trade with no new barriers which is exactly what we have at the moment? We are going out of the customs union.

      Also am a little tired of all of this sloganeering about taking back control and 350 on the side of a bus, its not the real world

    4. John O'Leary
      August 8, 2017

      Reply to reply:

      The UK has a clear offer to the EU – lets continue with tariff free trade with no new barriers The UK has a clear offer to the EU – lets continue with tariff free trade with no new barriers

      But they won’t be new barriers Mr Redwood, they are existing barriers that are indiscriminately applied to all third countries. It is the UK that wishes to change its status to that of a third country so the EU will have no option but to apply those barriers to us. If they did not do so they would be in breach of WTO rules.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 8, 2017

        “If they did not do so they would be in breach of WTO rules.”

        Don’t you think it would be a pretty surprising paradox if rules of the WTO, which only exists to promote and facilitate trade around the world, could operate in that perverse way? Of course they wouldn’t. If the UK and the EU agreed to a new deal for their trade to be as free as it is now then that would not infringe any WTO rules.

        1. John O'Leary
          August 9, 2017

          @Denis Cooper I was referring to the, now likely, outcome where we leave without a deal in place. i.e. when we have told them to “go whistle”. Do you honestly think a deal is on the cards in 19 months, when the average time to negotiate a Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreement is around 8 years?

          1. Denis Cooper
            August 9, 2017

            @John O’Leary Why on earth should it take 8 years for both sides to agree that they want to carry on trading with each other more or less as at present? Do you honestly think that should take 8 years? More like 8 months, unless the EU wants to cause as many problems as possible despite its various international commitments to freeing up and facilitating trade.

      2. David Price
        August 8, 2017

        You seriously expect us to believe the EU has no option and cannot adapt to circumstances?

        On the one hand you highlight both one of the reasons to leave and why it is a waste of time negotiating.

  36. Graham Wood
    August 8, 2017

    JR You rightly point out in relation to : “the idea that the UK owes the EU a lot of money after we have left when there is no Treaty basis for this”, that this and other proposals from the EU are indeed provocative.
    Mr Barnier must know himself that there is no Treaty basis for this demand and therefore for the EU to insist upon it would be contrary to their much vaunted respect for “the rule of law”.
    As I see it, we have three options on this matter of payment of unspecified £Billions of British taxpayers money to the EU.
    1. We should, and indeed must refuse such payment on the grounds that it would be illegal as the treaties do not specify that a leaving state must pay to do so. Even less that payment is conditional for further negotiations to take place.

    2. If the EU refuses to move on this then clearly we have every right to walk away from the table as a result of intransigence on the part of the EU.

    3. If (2) would remain a sticking point then clearly the EU would be guilty of “negotiating” in bad faith, and the UK would have every justification on these grounds for invoking the relevant clauses of the Vienna Convention on treaties which apply where such disputes arise.

    It has been suggested that if no agreement on the matter of payments is achieved, then another alternative is for the matter to be submitted to an independent international court for a judgement – not of course, the politically directed European Court of Justice.
    This seems a sensible means of hastening the resumption of negotiations, and there is no sound or logical reason for the EU to refuse.


  37. The Prangwizard
    August 8, 2017

    What do we want?

    Out of the EU.

    When do we want it?


  38. Bert Young
    August 8, 2017

    The EU is scared stiff because without our financial contribution it will not be able to continue with its profligate ways . Most EU countries rely on Brussels paying for support of all kinds ; to them “union” is getting a pay out – it is not about the principle of mutual co-operation . Putting up with all the political interference that occurs with EU membership has only continued with these countries because of this. Our withdrawal has driven a wedge into the entire structure of EU bureaucracy and will hasten its break up .

    As things stand I do not believe that the EU is capable of adjusting and learning from its mistakes ; the centralised core that has been established is entirely based on a personality cult and a belief that its overall size is power enough . The EU is breaking apart and has not the means to keep it going .

    1. ChrisS
      August 9, 2017

      Bert, your analysis of the position is exactly right.

      Juncker has a dilemma: he cannot maintain the budget without our £9-10bn net contribution without making unreasonable demands on Germany and the rest of the small band of net contributors, that now includes Ireland.

      Neither can he decrease the budget because almost all the money goes to buy off the former Eastern Bloc countries that are giving Brussels and Merkel so much trouble over her very personal migrant crisis. Without being able to bribe them with billions of Euros from the EU budget they will be even more intransigent.

      The demand for €100bn is just a means of kicking that particular can down the road so that they can maintain current spending using our money throughout the next seven year budget round. By then most of the current leaders, crucially including Merkel, will be gone and their successors will be left to argue the case amongst themselves.

      That is, of course, if the Euro survives that long.

  39. jack Snell
    August 8, 2017

    We shouldn’t kid ourselves after listening to the English whinge for decades the EU has no problem with letting the UK go. In fact if we changed our minds now and wanted to stayt in it would make not one bit of difference- we are on the A50 hook and they won’t let us off not in a million years- so out we will go- brexiteers be reassured.

    All that is left now is to agree the terms of exit which includes a bill for commitments already made like support for the newly joined EU members infrastructure which we had a big say in encouraging new countries to join this EU project etc etc and we cannot just walk away now and wash our hands, and that along with our membership bill up until the next EU budget date which could altogether work out at anything up to 60 – 70bn

    If we cannot agree these terms including a satisfactory outcome to the Irish border and how EU citizens will be treated in the future then i’m afraid we will have reached an impasse and there will be no chance of talks about any future trade arrangement. Also the ECJ is right on our doorstep and we are part of it, our nationals and EU citizens are all part of it, how to unscramble all of this has to be agreed and will not be an easy one, probably it is something that will take decades to allow it to slowly grow out.

    You talk about UK voters but the EU will not be negotiating with UK voters instead they will talk with David Davis and the UK government.. you seem to think it is the EU who is leaving the UK instead of the other way round- the UK will have to do the running on this and let the EU know it’s intentions, and who knows? as the government still doesn’t seem to know what it wants.

    Lastly you talk about the UK wishing to depart on friendly terms well I’m afraid that it is much too late for that now considering the amount of abuse and personal insults that have been hurled at EU elected and EU officials over the past decades and that compounded by the British gutter press which the Tory right wing has allowed to roll on unchallenged to suit their own purpose of pandering to the masses- we now find ourselves in this sorry mess.

    These EU officials elected and otherwise retired are still around and they haven’t forgotten, they well know the English mood, and they know that the bad feeling towards european countries will not subside in the future, despite everything, and for that reason we are going out whether we like it or not. It all looks very clear to me and has absolutely nothing at all to do with defence collaboration or other considerations including future trade relations. Politics will trump economics especially when it comes to this brexit mess.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      August 8, 2017

      Most EU countries were quite happy to co-operate with us before the advent of the EU and will likely be there to do so again when it’s over.

  40. Epikouros
    August 8, 2017

    The EU being a virtual dictatorship as it was designed to be is showing it’s true colours with it’s arrogant threatening and bullying ways. Even Poland and other Eastern countries are finding out that the cost of membership is perhaps more than it is willing to pay. As they are being bullied into taking immigrants that they do not want. The EU should take care it may find it’s arrogance will be the straw that breaks it. If the UK negotiators keep their nerve and are not cowed by the EU blowhard bullies then all the evidence suggest that we will come out the winner on the best of terms.

  41. Leslie Singleton
    August 8, 2017

    Dear John–There may (or may not) be some amount that we “should” pay for the enormous privilege of trading in to the Single Market–What is wrong is that the figure that we actually do pay is much larger than any conceivable such figure because it is polluted by what the EU fancy it is doing politically and monetarily (and soon militarily)–Why isn’t this obvious and why isn’t it clear to the EU maniacs that we want nothing to do with payments having no relation to trade (or, as in my case, with any payments at all–other than tariffs if such there must be–How much do we pay America other than in tariffs?).

  42. Dan H.
    August 8, 2017

    The thing you have to remember here is that the EU has form for being generally daft when dealing with external countries. They were daft enough not to give Cameron sufficient concessions to prevent Brexit from happening. They did not shine much when trying to deal with Russia in the Crimea. They have dealt very poorly indeed with the massive influx of refugees from Africa. They didn’t do very much good when trying to shut down the criminal banking enterprises in Cyprus (letting criminal bankers know ahead of time when the raid will occur is the height of foolishness), and they haven’t dealt with the crisis in Greece.

    The EU’s top brains are really not all that good at all. Maybe they’re in a bad system, maybe they’re complacent, but they really are not much good at their job.

    So, all we need do is fall back on the old faithful brinksmanship technique. They have more to loose than we do, and even if there is no deal at all, we can always talk some more after Brexit (assuming that there is an EU to talk to).

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      I think there’s a lot in what you say here. Supporters of the EU like those who have commented above always try to give the impression that whatever the EU does and says must be right and whatever the UK does and says must be wrong.

    2. rose
      August 8, 2017

      And they didn’t do at all well in their relations with the US. Like our MPs and Life Peers here, they set great store by insulting the elected President – which their 5 are not – in order to impress each other, but forgot all about diplomacy. They have also done badly in their relations with Turkey, not keeping to their side of the bargain but continually leading the Turks up the garden path. The Turks are now mightily offended which was not clever at all. Probably Trump is too.

      1. rose
        August 8, 2017

        And they have done appallingly with NATO, with five honourable exceptions.

  43. Peter
    August 8, 2017

    The EU will delay as long as possible. There is no point in telling them how to behave.

    Britain needs to walk away as soon as possible.

    The EU are still operating on the basis that we will not do that.

  44. Freeborn John
    August 8, 2017

    The biggest barrier to brexit right now is Phillip Hammond. He has to be fired for undermining the UK negotiating position.

    Also you and your conservative EU-sceptic colleagues need to go on the offensive. Remoaners are campaigning every day but you only write about the EU once a week. You need to visit the PM and tell her that Hammond has to go immediately and that any EU exit payment or continued Budget contributions, freedom of movement or ECJ jurisdiction will result in her removal. The current cabinet shambles if maintained will not only lead to a bad deal but will lead to devistating defeat for your party in the next general election. You have to get a grip of brexit now and that means learning how to say No to Brussels outrageous demands.

  45. ian
    August 8, 2017

    The war on Britons from within and outside, will it ever end.

  46. Terry
    August 8, 2017

    The EU must be alerted to the old English proverb, recognised around the world.
    “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

    It appears that German Industrialists are very aware of it but not so the decrepit, arrogant Oligarchy in Brussels and their bullying negotiating team.

  47. Oggy
    August 8, 2017

    If we are taking back FULL control of our laws, borders and our money then surely they are non negotiable ! The UK has already stated it’s stance on EU citizens living here so just inform the EU of the UK’s generous offer on free trade and walk away. We leave in March 2019 with or without a deal.
    First job when Mrs May returns from holiday is to assert her leadership and ‘drain the swamp’ of the cabinet ministers constantly undermining her position – and we all know who that is – don’t we ?

  48. RDM
    August 8, 2017

    Make an example of US, so as too try and deter Poland (and any one else, currently Poland) from doing a Polixt ?

  49. Vanessa
    August 8, 2017

    This is a very good synopsis of what we could look forward to if Britain joined the EEA/EfTA and it would smooth our exit from the EU.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 8, 2017

      It’s a synopsis which omits any mention of the unrestricted freedom of movement of persons which we would still have to accept if we stayed in the EEA.


      “The free movement of persons is one of the core rights guaranteed in the European Economic Area (EEA)”

      Well, that’s an extremely serious flaw which might just be tolerable for a short interim period, but certainly not as part of a permanent settlement; but then one of the strongest advocates of this plan has himself written:

      “The idea also of using the EEA for a short-term stopover is, on the other hand, an unlikely solution. Tailoring the EEA Agreement to fit the requirements of the UK would take most if not all of the time we have left, and we could not finalise the Article 50 settlement until we knew where we were going with the EEA.

      And then of course, there is that very minor detail of re-joining Efta – getting the agreement of all four existing members in the context of the UK government having shown no enthusiasm for membership. One cannot see Efta members responding positively to being treated as a second-rate option.”

      And more recently:

      “… with nothing better than the EEA on offer, the danger is that the transitional becomes permanent. In that, I have a great deal of sympathy with those who oppose the EEA because of the danger of it becoming permanent … “

  50. ian
    August 8, 2017

    All being record for posterity of who done what, and why, historian will have a field day in years to come with companies like wikileaks, and professor history with documentaries, title not, world at war, but war on britons. A lot of their family members will be well piss off when they past over.

  51. Mark
    August 8, 2017

    The problem the EU faces is that it has no realistic agreed negotiating position, because it still doesn’t believe that Brexit means Brexit. It assumes that the UK will capitulate, and ask to remain a member – and therefore, there is no need for the EU to work out what to do should the UK actually leave: only how to try to scare us into staying. The lack of real internal negotiations in the EU to deal with a post-Brexit situation on budgets, borders, migration, trade, etc. is very evident. We would have heard a lot more about the horse trading they need to do.

    1. AdamG
      August 8, 2017

      Mark..wrong the EU knows very well brexit means brexit and despite what you and others think they have gotton well used to the idea now. I can tell you as one who travels a lot on the continent that they don’t give two hoots what yhe british are going to do. The EU don’t have to negotiate they have a rule book which yhey follow. All negotiations are for our side

      1. Mark
        August 9, 2017

        If the EU follow their rule book, a.k.a. the Treaty of Lisbon, then they are bound tonegotiate and conclude an agreement with the withdrawing state. The negotiations are for them – and not only in terms of negotiations with with withdrawing state, but also among themselves for how they do things in future. They will have a large gap in the EU budget that will mean some combination of cuts in spending and rises in revenues to be shared among the 27 – something they haven’t even broached yet. That’s just the beginning.

  52. Anna
    August 8, 2017

    The EU’s negotiating technique is to delay, prevaricate, change tack, bully, spread false rumours and attempt to divide the opposition. This is how they operated with Greece and they are trying the same tactics with us. They hope that negotiation by fatigue will exhaust our resolution.

    Mr Davies and his colleagues are rightly keeping their cards close to their chests. The EU has meanwhile fed all sorts of negative briefings to willing lackeys in politics, public life and the media at home and abroad. It is totally dishonourable and our side needs to make it plain that negotiations will be suspended until we have a guarantee that it will stop. There can be brief, joint press releases along the lines of ‘we have reached agreement on X, but we need further discussions on Y.’

    I should like to see Mrs May behave in a more robust manner to those in her party who are undermining Brexit, including the Chancellor whose disloyalty to her, his party and his country is a disgrace.

    1. Alan Jutson
      August 8, 2017


      We will only start to make real progress when we stop talking to Mr Barnier and start talking with EU nations Heads of Government direct.

      Why talk to the oily rag or a mechanic, when you need to negotiate with the garage owner to get a deal done.

      Mr Barnier does not have the power to agree anything, as he has to report to the heads of Governments who can then choose to accept or reject all of his so called recommendations.

      Time for us to start playing hard ball, and start to talk as if we mean it.

      1. Londoner
        August 9, 2017

        Alan, David Davis said last summer he would do a deal with Berlin, and would ignore the Commission. Mrs MERKEL put him in his place straight away. When will you realise the UK has no leverage in these talks?

  53. Denis Cooper
    August 8, 2017

    For crying out loud, when will David Davis wake up?


    “Approval of Government’s Brexit Negotiations falls further this month.”

    “This months Brexit tracker suggests the damage from a poor election result is continuing to cast doubt over Brexit. Approval of the Governments handling of the negotiations has fallen again since last month.

    61% of respondents said they disapprove of the way the Government is handling Brexit negotiations, up from 56% in July.

    35% of respondents said they are confident the Prime Minister will get the right deal for Britain.”

  54. Dedicated Leaver
    August 8, 2017

    100% agree. I am far more resolved to leaving the EU now than I was when I voted leave last year. Our departure cannot come soon enough.

  55. fizzer
    August 8, 2017

    Excellent article Mr R. The EU is out of idea,s with Brexit, the Eastern EU, migrant crisis & an increasingly belligerent USA. I would be amazed if Mrs May & her team have not worked this out, surely a take it or leave it proposal from the British side in the next round of talks will see the EU negotiators collapse in disarray. The shadow boxing has gone on too long, let’s land a knockout blow

  56. Robin Wilcox
    August 8, 2017

    Well done Mr Redwood. It’s a shame that many of our MPs would rather grovell to the EU than support their own country.

  57. Jonp
    August 8, 2017

    The question is asked what does the EU want from the brexit negotiations


    1/ a monetry settlement to cover costs of all outstanding commitments already made into the future and costs for usual contributions to cover up until the end of the current EU budgetry pariod.

    2/ ireland and the border. One hundred years ago the british drew a political border across ireland..but the irish are not going to allow them draw another one..this time an economic border..here i would add a reminder the irish government have a veto among the 27 remainers on how and if this will be accepted or not. And even after this the EU parluament have a vote on the final outcome- plenty for mr verhofstadt to consider as well.

    3/ massive consideration will have to be given as to the treatment and respect that EU citizens will enjoy and live under going forward..the UK starting point that all foreigners will have to be registered with uk immigration will not be acceptable.

    Above comments are in answer to your question. Little else needs to be said as David Davis knows full well at this stage the gravity of the UK position with regard to these exit talks, as no doubt does, Mrs May, Boris, Liam Fox and Gove, etc

    So lets wait and see the after meeting news conference with Barnier and Davis next week. Lets wait to see what they have to say.

  58. BartD
    August 8, 2017

    John, there is too much threatening language being used here and we can be sure that this diary is being widely read in Europe as well, so we are not doing ourselves any favours in persisting in this fashion.

    At this stage the initial talks are well under way in Brussels so Mr Davis and his team knows very well by now what it is going to take the UK to resolve this issue to everyones satisfaction. Whether he is going to reveal his hand at this stage or not we’ll know more about next week after the next barnier/ davis meeting.

    For our part Liam Fox should be laying out the plans by now for our future trade deals with countries worldwide and we should be getting on with our plans for a new ship building programme, because that is what were going to need again, plenty of ships if we are not to be beholden to well known large european owned carriers- taking back control in the fullest sense.

    1. Simon Coleman
      August 9, 2017

      Yes, ship building. Mr Redwood knows all about that as well. Bringing back the Royal Yacht was his Big Idea to win the Conservative leadership in the 1990s!

      Reply That was not the big idea. Why do you bother to trivialise something I did years ago?

  59. RDM.
    August 8, 2017

    I had had a reply from an application I made for a job.

    ” sorry, but you lack any experience, the minimum requirement is a SLIA license” !

    It was a pub job, serving behind the bar!

    Don’t laugh, I’m in need of a job!

    Surely, serving behind a bar is a Buffer job?

    You need a license, it’s third minimum requirement!

    How do youngest try out different jobs, if they have pay for a license, for each?

    A different world to that which I grew up in?


  60. Dennis
    August 8, 2017

    “The EU has invented the idea that the UK owes the EU a lot of money after we have left when there is no Treaty basis for this.”

    Could well be true but I have never heard this important issue discussed on the BBC one way or the other.

  61. ChrisS
    August 8, 2017

    This is the best summary of the position that I have read in the last year.

    Only this morning someone was spouting off on the Today programme that “UK companies trading in Europe will continue to fall under the jurisdiction of the ECJ”

    This is simply not correct.

    Do US and Canadian companies have to subvert themselves to the ECJ above their responsibilities to their respective Supreme courts ?

    Of course not !

    This was repeated more than once and, of course, went completely unchallenged by the interviewer.

    1. Londoner
      August 9, 2017

      Certainly US and Canadian companies have to comply with the law as stated by the ECJ when they trade with the EU. So do UK companies, and that will not change after Brexit. What is your point?

  62. Prigger
    August 8, 2017

    People have always said we Northerners die younger than Southerners. So we stopped working in coalmines. Then we stopped working on trawlers. Then we stopped eating fish and chips.Then we stopped putting sugar in our tea. Then we stopped smoking so much. Then we stopped drinking so much beer. The only thing left for us to stop doing now is going with bad women. Why don’t you southerners leave us alone. Enough is enough!

  63. Tabulazero
    August 9, 2017

    Isn’t it a little bit sad to say that the best contribution the UK can make to the EU is to leave it because it has been such a difficult partner to deal with ?

    I find this argument quite depressing and a little bit derogatory for the UK.

  64. Terry
    August 9, 2017

    It is very clear to me that there are a group of EU Fifth Columnists amongst our judiciary and now a good reason to bring some democracy into that profession.
    If they were elected to office they would be more mindful of where their loyalties lie.

    I personally do not believe Judges should be exempt from democracy, they should be made accountable to the citizens they are supposed to serve and to protect. Possibly via the elected Government but they can no longer be “Independent” and immune as it leaves them in position of control and free to pursue their own particular agenda without fear of challenge. Exactly as we have seen with their anti-Brexit stance here.

  65. Simon Coleman
    August 9, 2017

    ‘…complex and comprehensive’ – yes, because it is complex and comprehensive, as is being revealed almost daily. We’ve been inextricably bound up with the EU, economically, legally, politically, socially, for over 40 years. That’s why leaving the thing is going to be difficult, painful and damaging. It’s one thing to exaggerate the negative aspects of the EU, but quite another to pretend to the British people that there is no downside to our exit. It’s disgraceful, quite frankly.
    And I don’t suppose you’ve given a thought to the Irish border question – someone else’s problem, obviously. If Brexit can’t produce a solution there, or solve the EU citizens’ rights question, then it’s failed already. But it will fail simply because it’ll hit so many of the people who voted for it.

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