The Boris article

I do not see the Boris article as a leadership bid or an offside comment. It is a clear statement of the possible gains from Brexit, by a senior member of the government speaking for the government.  It is a  reminder of how we can and should be better off by implementing the decision of the voters.  It was good to see the reminder that we want to be able to scrap VAT on items that should not attract it when we take back control of our taxes, and to be able to spend more on public services when we get our money back.

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  1. Bert Young
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Whether Boris has made another focus on his leadership bid is neither here not there ; the points he made on re-utilising the funds we make to the EU are sensible and would be well received .

  2. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed – brief reminder of our great prospects once BREXIT is settled.

    JR – I hope we can have a suitable discussion on taxation, in due course – It’s one thing to say that certain products should be VAT free, but there are more and greater anomolies in our tax system than a labour party manifesto.
    A review of taxation has to go hand in hand with the country we want to become….

  3. Hope
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    About it that senior minister set out some positives about Brexit. It is also about time a senior minister set out to Barnier and Junker their rude behaviour is not fitting of states men or negotiators.

    News spending more time on Trump than the terror act itself, Campbell addressed a large audience of levies, including BBC senior people, this week telling them they must act to stop Brexit.

    Again, what has May actually done other than empty words of sympathy of passing the responsibility of decision making to others? What message does it send to have army on the streets when she cut the police numbers by 20,000! Rudd only issued one order preventing people who trained for terrorism reentering our country out of 400! Political correctness will make us unsafe as people will be too scared of being labelled racist to say a Asian looking man had something suspicious on him when entering the tube or train. This is the culture May has created.

  4. Duncan
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The last thing this country needs is another politician like BJ making spending promises when what we should be doing is looking at ways of reforming the public sector (not throwing money at an inefficient, detached organisation) and cutting taxes for the average private sector worker who doesn’t enjoy the protective cloak of the State

    Johnson is pandering to the public sector (especially the NHS, a backward, inefficient state entity) vested interest. It is a disgrace that not one Tory politician makes reference to tax cuts but groans on about more public sector spending.

    The left have won the battle on this issue

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Dear Duncan–At least Boris (and Jacob) are invariably upbeat and overtly positive–Compare that with that mouse Hammond who is still there for reasons I cannot understand

  5. Atlas
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I was dismayed to read in this morning’s (Sat) “Daily Mail” that May is to offer £30 Billion Pounds to the EU so that Germany and France do not have to make extra contributions for 2 years. The Mail described this as the EU caving in – however I think not, I think it is May caving in.

    It will be ‘interesting’ for her at the Party Conference if this is what May actually says in her forthcoming speech at Florence.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Exactly what I forecast here some weeks ago and was told ‘rubbish’ by JR. I am waiting to remind him of what he said.

  6. MikeP
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Despite Boris’s intervention, rumours abound, from “Government sources”, that Mrs May is at the point of offering the EU money to reach a trade deal. In other words, payment(s) to trade, or a tariff in other words. How is this approach possible or even sensible without a tariff going the other way as our host here as said all too often ?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mike–Boris was clear on the point viz if we have to pay for access so must they

      • graham1946
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately, Leslie Boris is not in charge – the Remainers May and Hammond are.

  7. ian wragg
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Boris is at last projecting a positive post Brexit message, something woefully missing from the rest of the cabinet.
    I trust he is singing from the same hymn sheet as Mrs. May and I hope what’s reported today that we’re going to pay a £30 billion divorce settlement over a 2nyear transition period.
    Please explain what a 2 year transition period entails as it looks suspiciously like just a 2 year extension on our membership making 6 years from the referendum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:10 am | Permalink

      May has not got a clue about projecting a positive post Brexit vision – unlike Boris she is essentially another misguided, tax borrow, waste and tie up in red tape, climate alarmist socialist.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        According to The Spectator this week she seems poised to accuse much of the state sector of “institutional racism” too. She really seems to have a broken compass in almost all areas.

        What possible good will come of this childish, PC, approach? Is she taking her cue from that great “thinker”, David Lammy MP?

  8. Nerwmania
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Isn`t it amusing how terrified of an election these “democrats” are. Not many government statements are forbidden to be spoken by the government .It’s a novel way to proceed , let’s keep it !
    I have met BJ several times ( he is personally charming , but then so am I ..) but seriously , how could it possibly be worse ? The country is meandering to disaster whilst a loser poses as its leader.

    Like it or not , it is widely felt that the referendum was a con and the election provided no remain or moderate option. Corbyn has now shifted and there would be a clear if far from perfect choice . One way or another an election would unite and reconcile the country to facing the future together
    As a remainer let me tell you something , I fear Johnson , do you know why ? It is because he is more our type. He would be a much harder target , because Liberals instinctively like him no matter the rage at his betrayal
    The country needs an election it cannot be forced off a cliff edge by bribes to the DUP , no-one will ever forgive those responsible and it places us in the weakest possible position
    You say you are a democrat, then prove it . New leader , new mandate , forward together , in whatever way we go .

    How about it john , what are you afraid of ?

    • Oggy
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      We’ve just had an election thanks. The one who is undemocratic is YOU ! because you and others of your kind (ie Vince ‘exit from Brexit’ Cable) are totally unwilling to accept the referendum result because it didn’t go your way. Tough luck.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The insults and disgraceful conduct of Remain towards us since 2016 is why we would never countenance another referendum.

      You’ve blown it.

    • Juiliet
      Posted September 18, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Is it Nerwmania now, not Newmania1 or Newmania with talking down anything anyone not supporting you’re Lib-Lab appalling u-turn vision to rejoin the EU at the first stage of power. Democrat more like undemocratic sums up Nerwmania

  9. Michael
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Three cheers for Boris. He has delivered a great pick me up. Optimistic, full of hope and confidence .

    Remoaners should look on the bright side of life and cheer up.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Let us hope T May reads it and finally copies this positive approach.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly my sentiments, M.

  10. Nig l
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Apart from the fact that Theresa May should be doing this on an ongoing basis but she can’t, just doesn’t have either the oomph or the charisma and this applies to most of the others.

    Well done Boris it is what is needed and about time.

  11. mickc
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Leadership bid or not, taxes must be cut and the economy must be stimulated in order that all people benefit.
    Borrowing to spend on our creaking infrastructure is sensible at current low interest rates.
    The attempt to “pay down the debt” by raising taxes has failed miserably. Time for another approach.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      And all the time they kid us that growth is happening that record taxes are being received via Corporation tax etc., VAT is at an all time high, yet they still can’t control spending. Something is wrong somewhere. We are being conned. Immigration gives the illusion of growth, which is why they are not keen on controlling it as they have nothing else to offer.

      • mickc
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s about the size of it! Smoke and mirrors again, whilst the taxpayer is robbed….again!

  12. Liam Hillman
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    What I really want to know is “Where does Philip Hammond keep the negatives?”.

    Why has the treacherous Remainiac been left in charge of the Taxpayers’ purse strings for such a long time, having blatently and continuously briefed against Government policy?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Dear Liam–Heartily agree

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed and Hammond (with May) attempted to kill the gig economy. He still even retains the absurd (up to) 15% stamp duty turnover tax. This clearly shows he is totally unsuitable for the job. Yet another economic illiterate in number eleven. The job certainly seems to attract them, Healey, Major, Howe, Clarke, Brown, Darling, Osborne, Hammond no wonder the economy and productivity have grown so little with such tax borrow and waste incompetents in charge.

  13. acorn
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I see he is resurrecting the number one Matthew Elliot leave campaign lie, £350 million a week for the NHS. I appreciate that you can’t be a Westminster politician unless, you can stand in front of a television camera and tell blatant lies. Being, in medical terms, a “compulsive liar”; or, better still a “congenital liar” (genetic), has to a shoo-in for the job.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      So you think the Treasury was lying when it said that in 2015 our “gross payment” to the EU was £18.777 billion, see Table 3.A on page 14 in this official document entitled “European Union Finances 2015”:

      £18.777 billion outturn in 2014, which works out as £361 million a week.

      Remoaners were told this before the referendum, that the £350 million a week painted on the side of a bus was actually a slight understatement of the official “gross payments”; but that doesn’t stop them boring us all to death by going over the same old false arguments again and again.

      I suppose mindless repetition is easier for them than thinking.

      • acorn
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Denis read para 3.9; 3.10 and Table 3.B. The numbers there are taken from the actual accounts at

        You will notice that the UK net contribution to the EU in 2014 was £5.71 billion. The “gross payments” figure only exists in a spreadsheet, it never crosses the channel. Hence the OBR is loosely estimating that post Brexit, the UK government faces match EU replacement spending of £12.7 billion a year. A significant amount of that already never criss-crosses the channel to the EU.

        Whichever way you spin it Denis, the “leave” campaign sold the nation a “pig in a poke”. It would not surprise me if the print media decides there should be a second referendum.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          If the Treasury publishes a report giving a number for “gross payments” to the EU then anybody is entitled to quote and use that number for “gross payments” to the EU without being called a liar. And for the umpteenth time the rebate is not an upfront discount, that money is paid to the EU in one year as part of “gross payments” and then repaid in the next year and to a lesser extent later years.

  14. graham1946
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Not a leadership bid. Pity. Lets hope May takes note and tames down her expected talk of giving money to the EU. Why does she need to state the latest position? What has happened (nothing according to Barnier) to warrant another clarification? Wasn’t her first speech correct or is she watering down Brexit?

    Nice interview with James Dyson in the Mail today extolling the benefits of Brexit, in sharp relief to the whingers of the CBI (wrong about almost everything they talk about).

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    We should scrap VAT fully and have a far simpler sales tax anyway.

    Perhaps going back to a sensible rate perhaps the 8% or 10% that VAT used to be before the state became so greedy, bloated, often corrupt and generally inept. Of course to do this we would need to cut out the endless government waste and pointless activity.

    But May and Hammond seem to love government waste, pointless activity, greencrap and vanity projects.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      The apprenticeship levy is yet another misguided government scheme & tax that damages productivity hugely as is the work place pension scheme. All schemes that distract tax the productive from producing efficiently.

      The government’s main aim often seem to be to damage productivity where ever it can. That, or just to confiscate other people’s money off them so they can waste it on lunacies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        “I detected once again a distinct unease by Labour to discuss public sector productivity” – Indeed, well so much of the state sector produce nothing of value at all. Many have a net negative output of distracting or misdirecting the productive.

        They also never seem to mention that they are remunerated (when pensions are included) at nearly 150% times the average in the private sector, they take far more sick leave, work fewer hours and retire earlier too. What about the 80% who do not work for the state for a change?

  16. John
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Saw the BBC seemed astonished that Boris said we should not have to pay for access to the EU just as the EU should not have to pay for access to the UK single market. They seem to have their own position as laid out by one of their staff.

    I wonder is Scotland has voted to leave if the BBC would be pressing for punishment and extortion payments to be made to Westminster for daring to exercise their right to self determination.

  17. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink


    In relation to Boris article.

    Do you still believe we have £ 350 million per week at our disposal as claimed by Boris?

    How do we know we have a glorious future outside the EU, what is the proof?

    Reply That us the gross figure where we will control the spending once we are out

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      ivers–If you are daft enough to seek proof, along lines of say Pythagoras, you have a problem–One cannot duck decisions whose time has come by pleading lack of proof–Would have thought that unarguable

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Do you still believe the EU isn’t going to build its own army ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        The biggest lie was told by Remain. That the EU is in a steady and complete state.

        Not one of them argued the referendum on the basis of the exciting future the EU offered.

        Surely, any EU enthusiast should have been keen to do this.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink


      Not is we loose it on fallen trade when we leave?

    • graham1946
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      It’s more than the gross figure. If you add on the 3 billion Custome Duties we remit it becomes more or less the net figure. Why won’t prominent Brexiters recognise this – it is a figure that boosts our net cost by 30 per cent?

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 18, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      If the net figure is really “only” £10bn/year how come the EU is requesting an £80bn exit payment?

  18. John S
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    In order to a success of Brexit, we need to overhaul intrusive legislation and reduce bureaucracy in the public sector. Theresa May is not the person to do this as her entire political career has been marked by maintaining the status quo, in other words doing nothing.

  19. paulW
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    All very well but he is behaving like the wild card in the pack..i bet he did not consult with mrs may before putting out these ideas again at this very sensitive time. If he did and it was done in agreement with mrs may then i think we are only playing games, dangerous games, that the EU side will see straight through and in the end will not make the slightest bit of diffetence to the talks.
    Either way the clock is ticking.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Dear Paul–I think otherwise–For a start the clock is ticking for them too–Try and remember they net export to us

      • paulW
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        Leslie – the EU is driven by politics and not common sense as we will see soon enough. They are willing to take the hit of losing the UK market if it holds the rest of the EU together. They are already looking for alternative markets to make up the difference. This is something that some of our leaders do no accept yet?

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    As I now refuse to pay to read anything in the Telegraph I must wait to see what others say about this article … however I see that while this may have been written by “a senior member of the government speaking for the government” a leading Telegraph journalist immediately starts to speculate about whether he should replace Theresa May.

    Oh, what an excellent idea, then journalists could keep on and on about how he had no personal mandate, so in the end he would be compelled to call another general election, which would certainly use up more time and with the prospect that the new government would decide that we should stay in the EU after all, even if it did mean agreeing to join the euro and Schengen etc in order to wriggle out of the Article 50 notice.

    I don’t know who persuaded Theresa May to call an entirely unnecessary and inevitably risky early general election rather than just getting on with the job of extricating us from the EU, whether it was David Davis or it was Jean-Claude Juncker or it was both, but I wonder when some people who say that they want us to leave the EU will start using a bit of common sense about the internal party politics.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–Disagree strongly with you on this–Everything but everything was wrong with the Election, and the Manifesto, except the sense in calling it

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 18, 2017 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        Postscript–If she had put NOTHING in the Manifesto except a request for a stronger Mandate and had just SHUT UP instead of spouting her conceited and OTT ‘Vote for me’ she would have won going away

    • AndyC
      Posted September 18, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      BJ has posted the full text of the article on his facebook page here:

      It’s a good one, and presumably was cleared with Number 10 before publication.

      Admin, sorry for the web link, but I think it’s important that people should be able to read an article on Brexit by the Foreign Secretary for themselves and not have it interpreted for them by the BBC/Guardian/Sky News.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink


  21. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink


    Why, do you write about an unimportant article instead of the terrible terrorist attack in London yesterday?

    Reply Because I have no new insight to offer on the issue of the tube incident

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      ivers–Why do you write at all?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted September 18, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink


        Because I am trying to raise the quality of the debate which sometimes falls a bit low on facts and figures on this web-site

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Lucky us

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Some BBC person (on the Daily Politics) ever suggested that we should not jump to conclusions as to the bombers and that is could be “animal rights activists”! Sure mate that seems very likely. We should not jump to conclusion about tossing coins either as they might just land and balance standing on their rim.

      Where do the BBC get such PC plonkers from? Thank goodness anyway that it did not go off and kill the 20+ people! The evil power of religious indoctrination seems rather likely to be the cause, as is usual.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      well done but a little note might have been the right thing to do, to show compassion

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink


    “The main theme being floated is that Theresa May is about to suggest some form of ongoing annual payment for continued access to the Single Market during a ‘transition phase’ of 2-3 years. The lowest sum being mooted is £9-10 billion per annum.”

    I think it could be acceptable for the EU to pay us that kind of annual sum for free access to our lucrative domestic market, but why only for a few years? 🙂

    If Theresa May does say that we should pay Danegeld, will she have to rely on support from Labour and other opposition parties to get that through the Commons, or will the Tory MPs go along with it?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Incidentally if Theresa May needs any help with her Florence speech I would be happy to offer some suggestions.

      Having just read in one place that EU governments are refusing to even discuss the continuation and adjustment of existing customs arrangements until the EU starts trade negotiations with the UK, and having just read in another place that in essence Theresa May will be offering the EU a bribe just to start those trade negotiations, I feel it is time that the world began to understand the true character of those leading the EU, and this speech would offer a good opportunity to start the work of exposing their hypocrisy in no uncertain terms.

      She could also belatedly say what she should have said in the Article 50 letter, that we are following the withdrawal procedure laid down in the EU treaties without prejudice to our right of withdrawal under wider international law; in other words, if the EU messes us about then we will just leave anyway.

      I think some would say we are now rapidly approaching that point.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        We should just tell the EU what we want and ask them – how much?

  23. E.S Tablishment
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Few in the world are best known by their Christian name , perhaps Che, Fidel, Chewbacca

    • Diogenes
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Che? He was Ernesto.

  24. Tom Rogers
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Theresa May, for all her faults, does seem to be the right leader for Brexit. I think a more principled Leaver might have antagonised the EU too much and upset the necessary balance of negotiations which, as much as most of us would not care to consider it, must exist in the interests of both parties. There has to be fair-mindedness and a bit of ‘give-and-take’ to make this work. Having a Remainer in charge is a shrewd move in that regard. I also think the weak general election result might have done the government some good and, if anything, helped Brexit along.

    We’ll see what happens. Once Brexit is achieved, and provided it is a complete withdrawal from the EU and the Single Market, etc., then May’s place in history will be assured and the Conservative Party can re-visit the leadership question, if there is a view to do that.

    Regarding VAT, while I appreciate there may be fiscal and economic arguments for an indirect sales tax, I would favour abolition as part of a fuller programme of rationalisation. The administrative burden of the tax alone is enough to justify this. Speaking from a business point-of-view, what we actually need is tax simplification: which in my view means we have one single Land Value Tax that every property owner pays, and that’s it. Abolish income tax, abolish all corporate taxes, abolish VAT, SDLT, ad valorem stamp tax, Inheritance Tax, abolish council tax, National Business Rates and all the others. Local authorities should be able to set a precept on Land Value Tax specific to the services in their area, so that the LTV payable or its rate might vary slightly from one area to another, but not enough to create investment distortions.

    All of that also means abolish HM Revenue & Customs and contract-out all its functions to the private sector, including debt collection agencies: a highly-efficient sector. It also means we will need to see a shrinkage of the public sector. I would like to see the civil service and local government bureaucracies cut by 75%, together with the wholesale privatisation and tendering of public services – but not in the Thatcherite sense. I am not a Thatcherite and I do not believe private ownership should exclusively have such connotations. Everything should be privately-run – roads, motorways, parks, national infrastructure, healthcare, police, fire services, prisons – that should be the governing assumption, but privately-owned and regulated too, with real competition, not blue chip monopolies, and a ban on foreign ownership or non-British involvement. In other words, unlike under Thatcher/Major, the state withdraws completely and we become a society of true social and economic liberty.

    A related social benefit of tax simplification is that it will reduce fraud, dishonesty and general improper behaviour in society. As long as we have an intrusive, complex and burdensome tax system, this encourages a dishonest mindset, and little or no consideration is given to what the wider social ramifications of this might be. Simplify the tax system, and it’s not just the system itself that becomes more honest, people will too.

  25. Jason Wells
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Am afraid that our dear old Boris is a bit of a bootboy, a well educated bootboy, but nevertheless a bootboy. Could be that he is off on manoeuvres again but I doubt it, i think this one is a movement conjured up by one of the think tank groups- they think a bit of a sideshow will upset the EU crowd but somehow I don’t think it will work- it’ smacks too much of ‘in your face’ stuff’ – and I don’t think Barnier, Verhofstadt or Junker are paying attention.

  26. Colin Hart
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Either you or Boris are being a trifle disingenuous. What loyal Foreign Secretary sounds off like this just ahead of the PM’s big Florence speech and the Party Conference.

    Either he is having a laugh or is heading off others (JRM and other lesser mortals) before a leadership crisis he foresees this autumn.

    If he is still Foreign Secretary by next week, Mrs May is going to look very weak indeed.

    • lp
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May already looks very weak indeed, if she promises billions to the EU then she should be removed.

  27. Peter Wood
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Mr. Johnson would do well to spend a couple of years as foreign secretary, re-defining his persona to become a serious and competent minister in whom the nation can place its trust. in short, the buffoonery must stop. Return only when he can look and sound like a statesman.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Great, except that we need him now

    • graham1946
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Except, Peter that he is not Buffooning. This was a considered and carefully crafted essay and it re-stated all he believed in when he was campaigning for Brexit. Unlike some others he is prepared to stick his head above the parapet for his views which have not changed. To keep quiet and become just another nonentity Foreign Secrretary at such an important time would be dereliction of duty.

      The big problem is we have ditherinng Doris in charge and she is likely to sell us down the river. If this article stiffens her resolve to serve her country rather than the EU then I say ‘well done’.

      • Chris
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Agree totally, g1946.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted September 18, 2017 at 1:37 am | Permalink

        I don’t disagree with you, the article was not bad, but it was really just ‘red meat for the base’, designed for a speech. My criticism on the buffoonery is more general, Boris still lets his jocular side free too often, and he is lazy; viz the 350 mil. number, which, if I’m correct, our NET annual payment is @ 9 Bil. which equates to 174 mil. per week. He really should check his facts and make sure he presents them seriously, without the smirk and hyperbole, so that WE can take him seriously.
        Agree on wishful effect on T May, she better have a stunner of a game-plan to either kick the EU in the nuts to get an agreement, or tell them we’re leaving on WTO terms and no more money until we have a free trade deal. I thought Lord King’s advice was apposite and should be followed immediately and in public.

  28. eeyore
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    No doubt JR is right and Boris’s article is not the first salvo in a leadership bid. Even so, it is a pity that the Prime Minister herself seems unwilling to offer us similar energy, exuberance, vision and hope.

    These qualities are all part of leadership. If Mrs May genuinely aspires to lead, and not merely to manage, she could do worse than take a lesson from Boris.

  29. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I see the putative female equivalent of Boris – the quiz show and media friendly Ruth Davidson – had a big moan about this article saying he shouldn’t have published it on the day of the Parsons Green terrorist attack. She’s one of the crowd who will attack Boris whatever he says or does, no idea why she’s in the Conservative party really as she doesn’t seem to agree with many of their policies.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Did she have foreknowledge of the attack then? This was already done by then. What a stupid thing to say.

  30. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m becoming wearied by all the talk of public spending increases, especially on the NHS. It matters not how much is spent there, no-one will ever admit it is enough. And too many people use it as a means of demonstrating how worthy they are.

    We could improve it and save money if we stopped inventing new areas of services for it to provide and strip more away. I mentioned the other day the suggestion that it provides cookery classes for fat people. There are similar examples of waste and stupidity, anything however loosely labelled ‘health’ can come under its remit.

  31. Mark B
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    No matter how much we save, our government will just find new ways to waste it.

    Conservative Party => New Labour v2.0

    • mickc
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree! Would that we could have a true conservative party…

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, I’m looking at Clause 14 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill:


    And in particular:

    “(1) In this Act …

    … “exit day” means such day as a Minister of the Crown may by regulations appoint … ”

    Now I know that there are rules for the interpretation of statutes, and that here:

    it is laid down that:

    “In any Act, unless the contrary intention appears …

    … words in the singular include the plural … ”

    but how likely is that a judge is going to say that under the withdrawal Act there could be more than one “exit day” when the UK leaves the EU?

    Yet that is the latest nonsense being propagated by the eurofederalist Dominic Grieve in an attempt to obstruct Brexit, the former Attorney General saying

    “There’s an ambiguity in the bill as to whether the ‘exit day’ is a single date or several.

    “Though the Government has never suggested anything other than a single date, it is important to clarify it.

    “If it is more than one date many of the very unusual powers in this legislation would last over a much longer period.”

    Mr Grieve has tabled a string of amendments to the bill including one, backed by eight other Tories, that would force the Government to confirm that all of the exit days referred to in the legislation are the same date.”

    Oh, well, I suppose that to be on the safe side the government should agree to amend the Bill to make it crystal clear that “exit day” is always the same, single, unique, day, the day we leave the EU, not any one of a number of “exit days”, plural, or they could have Gina Miller on their case again and maybe with Dominic Grieve as her lead counsel.

    This is about trying to give substance to the specious accusation that the Bill is some kind of “power grab” by the government, an accusation leveled by people who never gave a damn about how much power was grabbed by Brussels over the past four decades.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–Does ‘Man embraces woman’ still apply to this sort of stuff?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Yes, that’s also in the 1978 Act …

  33. NickC
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I have read Boris Johnson’s article, all 6 A4 pages; and very good it is too. That sort of persuasion of the rightness of our cause has been sadly lacking. Someone in government should be making like comments every week.

    What snatches away any reassurance that Johnson provides are the media hints that Theresa May is set to offer more concessions to the EU in her speech in Florence.

    If that speculation is remotely true her approach would be a grave mistake. That is not how to negotiate on the continent. Haven’t the government realised that after 45 years of being outmanoeuvred by the EU? She must not compromise our independence.

  34. Cobwatch
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Exactly right John. This is no pitch for the PM’s job. In fact Johnson has been supportive of her. More likely this is a warm-up before a barn-stormer at Conference. Any mention of the £350 million figure is controversial. That is Johnson saying i am still here. No regrets.

  35. VotedOut
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    We all agree.

    However, I and others will be more interested in what the PM is alleged to have earmarked as an exit payment or transitional deal. I hope it is zero.

    There will be no deal from the EU. That has been clear since before Article-50 was invoked. Nine months were spent deciding how to manage a “no deal” result. I suspect that we are going through the motions to appear good neighbours and ensure any future FTA with anyone else to be worth the paper its written on. If that is correct Mr Davis must be pleased as everything is going to plan. We have to appear to be reasonable.

    Experience has show that the EU will spin any “no deal” as due to the British. This then is all about how the UK looks internationally. So if the PM has allocated 27 billion for an exit payment in any guise, not only will this upset a huge part of the UK public but it will also show dithering. It will neutralise the whole point of this Article-50 two year farce.

    We are better off out and will have the chance to rebalance our economy and start to fund the services we need with the business growth that will result.

  36. Dennis
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It was good to hear of the £350m coming up again. Perhaps now it will force people to understand it – if Boris can then perhaps most remainers will be able to.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      If ever there were a second referendum there would be no need to use the £350m slogan.

      We now have the disgusting behaviour of the BBC and Remainers after losing the referendum to use instead.

  37. HenryS
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Boris is a bit light on top if he thinks this kite will fly- the EU side will not be amused-
    another billion added onto the bill i’d say and the clock is ticking..

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      When I read this kind of comment I ask “Which is your side?”

  38. Man of Kent
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    The tone of the article was very positive , thank goodness !
    How does the PM manage to sound so uninspiring ?

    It was good to read about the opportunities ahead .However if we go along with May’s statist tax and spend policies then we will only have ourselves to blame .

    Let’s hope we can have an equally positive vision from Florence next week with no ridiculous giveaways to the EU for a ‘transition period ‘
    In fact no transition period at all .

  39. Remoaning Minnie
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The immortal Sir Humphrey Appleby once observed that you have to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back. But then of course most of us have never met Boris, whereas no doubt you have – so you’ll know him better than we do.

  40. William Long
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The article was just what one needed to hear. Why do so few make the case in this way? My only concern about it is that in the Daily Telegraph Boris is largely preaching to the converted.

  41. E.S Tablishment
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    You wonder if Mrs May, despite her Cabinet’s view, is going to resign. Not so much Boris challenging. Merely being in position. I do not believe he would be a better PM than Mrs May. Though the electorate may think so. It is the…… Electorate…. which his under severe attack by Corbyn, Cable, and SNP. They will not, and cannot accept, a mere extremely humble Mr Copperfield cross on a ballot paper.Their level of democracy-literacy is in negative figures. They cannot pass BTech Level one on fairness. They ARE human but not as we know it.

  42. garretw
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    The timing has to be suspect..Boris is suspect..jr’s motives for rowing in behind him have also to be suspect..but desperate like clutching at straws

  43. JM
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Can I urge people to read the article and ask themselves, “What is there to disagree with?” If y0u voted out, then this is exactly what you you voted for. If not, then, if you are a democrat and if we are to make success, we have to rally round and make a success of it. Europe is determined to move on. We need to stop navel gazing and accept that there is no appetite in Europe for deal. It would “reward” our decision to leave. We must prepare for the “cliff edge” and strike out on our own. Like Mr Johnson, I refuse to think so little of my country to think that we cannot make our way in the world. I do not pretend that it will be easy, but we can (and must) do it.

  44. Soft Brexit
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Boris’s article is the usual dose of entirely blind faith that everything will be ok to those who like that sort of thinking. Depressing but unsurprisingly from someone with his grasp of detail, which is limited, to be kind. This country needs a sensible transitional deal, at the very least, inside the EEA.

    • E.S Tablishment
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      I really do not see Boris whatever may be his sins as intellectually limited as your Comment infers

      • Soft Brexit
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        He is not stupid, but he is intellectually lazy, consequently poor at detail and dishonest to boot, as his professional and personal life could tell you.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      There can be no sensible transitional deal, or any other deal, inside the EEA.

      • Soft Brexit
        Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        You prefer the alternative of no deal? It’s not a particularly sensible idea.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Read the last three words of my comment and do not try to put other words into my mouth.

          • Soft Brexit
            Posted September 19, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

            I read your comment. What do you think is the alternative to the EEA that could realistically be negociated in 2 years?

            If the answer is nothing, then by rejecting the EEA, you accept no deal, which is economic madness. That was my point.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    It remains to be seen whether the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will be as steadfast as Boris in minimising our exit payment and rejecting a transition. What we really need is an overlap, in which we are allowed to IMPLEMENT trade deals with other countries a year before we officially leave the Single Market. The Customs Union is incompatible with free trade.

  46. Freeborn John
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    It is time to get rid of May. She cannot be allowed to get on that airplane to Florence and sell out Brexit. It is imperative she is removed immediately and a real Leaver prime minister replaces her.

  47. ChrisS
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I see predictions in the media that Mrs May is about to offer to continue something like our full net contribution for three years as a fee for Single Market access to break the deadlock in the negotiations.

    This would would set a precedent and be a fundamental mistake because :

    a) Both sides have legal advice confirming that we owe them nothing.

    b) No independent country pays the EU for single market access,

    c) if a payment were to be agreed, it should be made by the party with the trade surplus!

    If we were to agree to a payment during the transition period, they will demand a permanent annual payment for access to continue. This would be completely unacceptable.

  48. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Good old Boris! After watching a programme about the miracle of Dunkirk last night and how thousands of our men risked their lives for the French I am not happy giving out any more money to the EU in whatever form. Why do we always let this country get beaten down? We have stood up against others in the past and we are not too weak to do it again. Let’s have some fighting talk and action.

  49. agricola
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Boris’s article would appear to be a confirmation of leaving the EU and seeing a positive outcome of such action. If there is any disquiet at such a proposition within the cabinet, party, and commmentariat at large , then it is that by and large they are remainers. He is in formation with the majority who voted to leave.

    Let’s see what Mrs May has to say on Friday. I hope it appeals to all those individuals , businesses and responsible politicians in national EU governments, as a sensible continuation of a non tariff trade and cooperation where beneficial relationship with them, but a firm understanding that we totally reject the none democratic totalitarian EU. I believe it is a precursor to some of them rejecting same too, the signs are in the wind.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m now seriously concerned about how far Theresa May will backtrack in her speech on Friday. Yes, it’s media speculation but there’s rarely smoke without some fire.

    The main problem is the bloody-minded obduracy of the EU and she should tell the world very plainly that the main problem is the bloody-minded obduracy of the EU, that is what has been holding up negotiations on the important matters such as trade, and she is simply not prepared to offer them a bribe to start negotiating sensibly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Remember this, from October 2016?

      “Jean-Claude Juncker has called for EU leaders to be “intransigent” with Britain when holding talks over the country’s departure from the bloc … ”

      “… Mr Hollande demanded “firmness” from the commission and its chief Brexit negotiator, the Frenchman Mr Barnier … “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price.”

      This is not the language of people who want a successful negotiation; as one of their ardent British supporters said, it is about inflicting “a punishment beating”:

      Yet he and his unpatriotic kind still want these despicable people to have a large hand in the government of our country …

  51. Javk swelke
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Boris is up to own self serving low type behaviour again with that other article Gove yelping at his heels, between the two they will plunge this country into a tail spin.

    Mrs May doez not need any more proof about their loyalty and should sack the two straight away. If they want to stand for a leadership run then the correct place is at the tory conference and not out there any time they like undermining the PM and by extension the country at tnis crucial time..Boris’s intervention was not very patriotic to say the least..but patriotism hardly matters any more these days and that is why we are in such a fix..350 million and taking back control..and out with the ECJ and all of that nonsense and lies..well we’ll see soon enough how it all stacks up.

    • Boristeer
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      The Chancellor has spent a year expressing his own view. So he should. The Home Secretary has not said much about diversity recently. She should. It will do something for her constituency vote in the next General Election.
      It is always pleasant to hear Boris.

    • Juiliet
      Posted September 18, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Calling for the FO to be sacked is coming from the divisive Remainers Vincent Cable, James Chapman amongst some others scheming to overturn Brexit.

  52. Simon
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    OT a bit: Liam Fox has announced the “support” for trade to South Africa is to be doubled to £3.5 billion. Why is the Govt paying any money for trade which should be between commercial entities ? Is this cash for market access? Why won’t he pay a bit to the EU ? And I thought leaving the EU was a cost free immediate cash win. £350 m for the NHS a week etc. No one mentioned costs. The Customs chap in his evidence to the Lords said he needed another £800 million for infrastructure. What haven’t you told us JR ?

  53. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


    thanks for your responses this morning.

    I am not sure your positive comments on Boris article in the Telegraph were the most intelligent comments you have made in relation to party loyalty and support to PM, but his is of course up to you.

    The fact that Boris is fundamentally wrong on his economic predictions, we can just leave a side this time as I know we have different vies on Britain’s economic performance post Brexit, I believe it will be many humble years before we come back

  54. margaret
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the real issue is, who in or out of the cabinet has the most influence. Amber Rudd certainly didn’t warm to what she calls his back seat driving . Perhaps she sees him as a pivotal member of the steering party.

  55. Mick
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Boris says this Rudd says this May says this gove says this, to be honest I don’t give two figs what any of them say but go against what we voted for and to leave the eu with no strings you had better get in touch with your local job centre because you’ll all be looking for other employment in 2022, JUST GET US OUT

  56. Freeborn John
    Posted September 17, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why Boris has to battle May’s capitulation on his own. The rest of you need to come out and back him and make it clear to May that if she gets on that plane to Florence with her surrender speech then she won’t be PM when she gets back. This is the week to say enough is enough.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted September 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      A very good job from yourself on BBC R4 this morning. If all your EU-sceptic colleagues were pulling their weight by doing similar each day then May would not be on the point of surrender.

  57. Juiliet
    Posted September 18, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Remainers dislike Boris want to stick with awkward non runner meaningless Soft Brexit

    Brexiters champion Boris for his honesty and clarity to
    get back to basics of a Hard Brexit

    Good for Boris keeping the momentum going in the right direction, all eyes on what May does next, is she going to sell us short that’s what we fear too many compromises to keep Remainers happy or is May listening to Brexiters and staying true to her word, the latter is the better viewpoint and aligns with Boris

  58. nigel seymour
    Posted September 18, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth my leadership vote would go to Boris if it came to that.

  59. Freeborn John
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Numerous cabinet ministers have to jointly resign this week if May is intending to sell out on Brexit in her Florence speech. David Davis has been completely inept as a negotiator and will probably not resign for his own incompetence but Johnson, Fox, Priti Patel, Gove etc must all simultaneously walk out.

    It will be catastrophic if the UK graves in on points for the mere promise from the EU to talk about a transitional arrangement. What leverage would the Uk then have on the longer term arrangements? The EU would simply drag the transitional arrangements on past the 2022 election in the knowledge that that the UK electorate will kick out a government that has done nothing in 6 years since the referendum while expecting a Labour government simply to continue the transitional standstill in perpetuity. All the time we would be locked into a system that allows the EU too block us from negotiating trade deals with any country outside the EU. You could not write a novel in which a government displayed this level of imcompetence and if all those now in government who were involved in the Leave campaign will not resign now they were be seen for ever as fellow travellers with Hammond and the others who have done everything possible to subvert the referendum result. There has to be a mass walk out from cabinet and a new Prime Minister.

  60. Na
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    You could not write a novel in which a government displayed this level of imcompetence a

    Freeborn John
    Why do you people find it so hard to believe that May was always destined to deliver a sellout. We knew that from day one. The entire thing was a setup including the GE result.

  61. Na
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth my leadership vote would go to Boris if it came to that.

    But Boris put the wrong figures on the side of a bus that gave remoan their ammunition. He also keeps spouting ridiculous neocon propaganda about Syria. Should we take all this with a pinch of salt?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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