Injecting some balance into the EU talks

All the time the UK accepts that the talks are about the so called divorce settlement without including a future agreement and trade issues they are a waste of time from the UK point of view. It would be better just to leave.

On Thursday morning I was invited to the LSE to lead a discussion with a legal expert on EU Treaty law and the Vienna Convention on Treaties on the issue of  the so called divirce bill. Many at the seminar were on the EU’s side, favouring us paying a large sum and seeking legal, political and moral reasons why we should.

The good news was no-one was able to sustain a legal case for us to pay. Article 50 clearly makes no such demand. There was also general agreement that any attempt by the EU to pursue us for money after we have left through any international legal procedure would fail. Article 50 gives us the absolute right to leave after 2 years, and expressly states that ends our rights and obligations.

The moral case for paying is based on the proposition that we were round the table when the 7 year budget plan was agreed. This falls down because we were not let off payments for  budgets agreed before we joined once we became a member. When you join you have to accept the liabilities already incurred, so when you leave the liabilities must stop.

The political case for paying is based on the simple fact that the EU wants us to pay, so many pro EU Brits think we should do so. They sometimes think this will unlock advantages for us which apparently  take the form of staying in bits of the EU that we voted to leave!

When I go into a shop I do not give them a large sum of money because they would like me to, and then ask them if they will give me any goods back in return. If the EU wants us to stay in the EIB or Erasmus then they need to tell us and spell out the price and what we would get in return. We should not pay to trade, or pay for talks, as they are in their interest too.

If as many expect the EU says at the October Council they still do not intend to talk about a future Agreement we should just get on with preparing for exit with No Deal. We should certainly not offer them money, which would be taken as signs of weakness by the UK, encouraging them to dig in harder to get more.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. oldtimer
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink


  2. Peter Wood
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    Your last paragraph should now be government policy, please use every effort to make it so.
    The EU bureaucracy has become a kind of Mafiosi of the 27/28 member nations; it needs the member to exist and pretends to provide benefits and protection, but in reality it only increases costs and seeks to make itself powerful and wealthy. If you want to leave look at the threats!

    • A Baverstock
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I agree it’s time the UK made plans for a hard Brexit. I would suggest an early budget to build a buffer for the significant drop in GDP.

      Can I suggest a 3p in the £ Brexit tax. Maybe a special 50% tax on pensions (after all they got us into this mess) and removal of the winter fuel allowance.

      We can close the channel links and the Irish border so business can prepare.

      We already know the government is building the inferstructure on these borders and recruiting the 1,000s of customs officers to man them! You mean there not!!!!!

      Replyan especially silly contribution. We will be £12 bn a year better off out so need no need for tax rises

      • Janet Tanner-Tremain
        Posted October 10, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Hands off the winter fuel allowance for means-tested people. Our gas heater in our lounge is broken and we use a portable gas heater with a bottle that is filled every 5 – 6 weeks (depending how cold it gets) to keep us warm. But those pensioners who do not need the payment should not have it paid to them so that it can be used for other social purposes.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Bang on–You may not be aware that, at least so I understand, the etymology of the word “Mafia” is “bragging or boasting”

  3. Helena
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Your argument is utterly mysterious. You claim that “when you leave the liabilities must stop”. Well, of course, they do, no one is arguing to the contrary. No one suggests the UK is liable for commitments undertaken by the 27 after the UK leaves. The point is that the UK is liable for commitments undertaken by the 28 before the UK leaves. And Mr Davis is currently negotiating on exactly how much money that is. His job would be easier if you and Mr Mogg would stop going round TV studios squealing about how we owe no money. We do owe money. The PM accepts that, and so does Mr Davis.

    Reply Simply not true. We owe them nothing beyond our contributions up to the date of departure. They have no intention of paying us anything under the programmes in their budgets after we leave!

    • Andy
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Your whole argument is fundamentally flawed and is nonsense. You need to read the Treaties and you will find that the EU is financed in a specific way which is subordinate to the treaties. The members of the EU sit down and spend that revenue, but they do so as members not as individual states as you seem to think. You need to remember that the EU has a Legal Personality, so commitments made are the EUs not individual member states. We also hear a lot about pension liabilities, but there was no balancing payment when the UK joined, nor when any other member joins so how can there be a liability when you leave ?? Also you cannot have liabilities without you talk about Assets, and one notes the EU refuses to do this.

      The only case where there is a genuine liability is where a programme is financed off balance sheet as it were, as these are separate agreements. These amount to a few billion at the very most.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Look at this rationally. If we’re paying for a programme where we perceive there is a benefit to us later, yes. If we’re paying for a road in Lithuania, no.

  4. Brigham
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I’m not a great fan of Boris, but his “Let them whistle for it.” Is how I feel about demands by the crooked EU.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      All true Brexiteers agree with the ‘whistle’ comment.

      The Remoaners and the EU are all calling for Boris to be sacked, because they are scared stiff of him getting the top job. They know he wouldn’t put up with all the extend and pretend crap! They remember only too well his ability to fire up people and galvanise them around a cause. – Brexit needs him more than ever now!

  5. Liam Hillman
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Never give in to extortion!

  6. Richard1
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    This is certainly right from the point of view of negotiation tactics. It’s very extraordinary that apparently intelligent people like Keir Starmer say they do wish to leave the EU following the referendum, but cannot see that if you are not prepared to walk away from a negotiation the other side will go on demanding more and more. Not only will this lead to a worse deal, it makes agreeement at all less likely. If the EU says no to trade talks in October, the Govt should make a low key response and continue ‘technical’ talks until the next meeting of the EU council in December. In the meantime the govt needs to get through to Merkel, Macron et al, that if the December summit says no as well, that’s it we will assume there is no deal, walk out and ask them to call back if and when they are ready to talk. Only in this way is there any chance of an eventual deal.

    • Geoff Cox
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Hi Richard1 – Don’t mistake Keir Starmer’s tactics for ignorance – he knows exactly what he is doing. His plan is to ensure we get no deal in the hopes that this will frighten members of the public enough to regret their Leave vote and thus give politicians (in particular in the Labour Party) the chance to ride to our “salvation” and call the whole thing off.

      The Government should never have talked up the idea of a brilliant deal as now they will have to answer to the public (unlike the EU who answers to no one) for its failure to materialise. This in itself will weaken Leave sentiments. The fact is that we may even be better off with no deal – £10bn net, open borders, no change on fishing grounds, plus a host of other restrictions is a lot to put up against possible loss of trade and increased cost of doing business in the EU outside the single market.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Before the referendum the government position was that it would be close to an economic catastrophe if we so much as voted to leave the EU, let alone then went ahead and left, and it was certain Leave campaigners who went beyond what was necessary and supportable by saying that on the contrary it would not only be OK but it would be wonderful.

        Then after the referendum some part of those over-optimistic exaggerations of the Leave campaign found its way into the new government position.

        Now we find the mass media have forgotten all about the dire predictions that they uncritically and gleefully disseminated on behalf of the Remain campaign, and only remember the over-optimism of some elements of the Leave campaign as perpetuated by the new government.

        • Len Grinds
          Posted October 8, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          Denis, Remain lost. If Brexit works out badly – and so far we have no new trade deals, no deal with the EU even though we were promised by Redwood they need us more than we need them, and not a penny for the NHS, and inflation on the up – it is nothing to do with Remainers. Leave won. You own this now. If it goes wrong – and it is going wrong – it is your fault.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 8, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            So an EU that is determined to block any deal and deliberately make things difficult is also Leave voters fault.
            How odd.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 8, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            I’m glad you recognise that Remain lost. I suppose that if you and your kind had any trace of patriotism you might now try to make the best of that reality rather than seeking to undermine the government in its withdrawal negotiations.

          • David Price
            Posted October 9, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            It is everything to do with remainers, you have been and are actively undermining the Brexit process and the country. Why do you think you there will be no consequences if you succeed?

    • DianeB
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree!

  7. Tom Rogers
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Why doesn’t the government also show this same logic, common-sense and clear-thinking and simply tell the EU that they either agree reasonable terms for talks or we will leave without a formal agreement? We can leave unilaterally by a further Act of Parliament nullifying the Treaties, which can take effect immediately on Royal Assent.

    That would be the correct negotiating ploy at this stage. Don’t give them a deadline, just say they either buck their ideas up or we’re leaving now, rather than waiting for expiry of the two-year notification period in Article 50(3). If we say it like we mean it, they’ll probably change their attitude very quickly – but we have to be serious about this and willing to follow-through on the threat and actually leave if the EU doesn’t respond correctly.

    Deliver the threat to the EU prior to their October report to the other Member States. They will surmise from that a clear subtext that we will secede at the end of this month, or some point in November at the latest, if the Member States do not instruct the EU to respond positively, reasonably. and promptly with a view to a more constructive engagement with us.

    • Andy
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      John will correct me, but all the Government needs to do is to denounce the Treaties and Leave which would be inaccord with Article 50 (1). Such would make the 1972 redundant.

    • getahead
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Why doesn’t the government also show this same logic, common-sense and clear-thinking ?
      Because more than half of our by-our-lady government apparently has vested interest in continuing EU membership. Which allows them to disregard the referendum result.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I would advocate staying in until March 19 and playing a full part, including holding up military unification, but hold no further talks about leaving, certainly not discuss any exit fee.

      Leaving in March 19 gives us 18 months to sort customs, passport in, assure EU citizens here before June 16 they can stay while employed, and to tell Eire that incoming border arrangements remain the same. It also shows properties trade partners that our word is our bond. Win/win

      • Miss Brandreth-Jones
        Posted October 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        They forget the law also is based on being and dojng before written contracts are the rule, providing no dire harm was being done.

  8. Mick
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I’ll give you some balance, I think it’s about time to organised a mass demonstration for Brexit and not to be held in snowflake London but the centre of England, because I’m sick to the back teeth of endless coverage being given to the remoaners all the time, the eu muppets will be observing the coverage given daily to the remoaners and will have drawn the conclusion that we want to stay in the dreaded eu, so come on Mr Redwood put on your thinking cap and talk to people who can make a demonstration for Brexit possible

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Mick. Yes, I was thinking the same thing this morning when I saw the masses out demonstrating in Catalan this morning. I think many of us feel strongly enough to get out and PEACEFULLY protest against what is clearly biased reporting from the BBC and other news channels. I too am sick to death of talk, talk, talk and no action. It has been long enough for the EU to make their monstrous demands and it’s about time Britain hit back and told them NO!! Why haven’t we got more clear headed people leading this issue like JR, Boris and Leadsome??

      Instead we have a wishy, washy PM who doesn’t seem to know what hard line negotiating is all about. She has to man up before it is too late. At least Ruth Davidson puts her case across with conviction. Good on you Ruth.

  9. sm
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that clear exposition, John.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink


    As you rightly say:- All the time the UK accepts that the talks are about the so called divorce settlement without including a future agreement and trade issues they are a waste of time from the UK point of view. It would be better just to leave.

    Even when May made the generous (and foolish in my view) financial offer it was rapidly rejected anyway. You do not pay for anything until you have agreed what you are getting for it. You certainly do not pay anything just to discuss what you might possibly get.

    As you say:- We should just get on with preparing for exit with No Deal. We should certainly not offer them money, which would be taken as signs of weakness by the UK, encouraging them to dig in harder to get more.

    All this is surely fairly obvious to anyone who negotiates deals – but not it seems to May, Hammond and some others in the current government. They seem more interested in misguided socialist housing schemes, white elephant HS trains, controlling pay rates, fixing energy prices, augmenting grievances (in the Lammy mode) and talking complete drivel on gender pay gaps and the likes.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      L/L Agree. No wonder we are broke as a nation giving money away to all and sundry and for what? All these white elephants they are pursing are eating away at billions. She stands up telling us she’s going to cap energy prices and then goes on to encourage more wind farms which are costing us all millions to switch off! No sense and no conviction to say to all these lefty greens, we need a sensible energy policy so we are fracking and building clean gas power stations for our future needs. It would be good for jobs and for the economy. Never mind though. Lets’ appease all those with vested interests and carry on regardless. Meanwhile we all watch while the country goes down the drain.

    • getahead
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Hammond is a business elite lackey. He ignores the referendum result by trying to delay our leaving the EU. Ad perpetuum if he has his way. Rather than May, it is Hammond who needs to go.

  11. Andy Marlot
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “The political case for paying is based on the simple fact that the EU wants us to pay, so many pro EU Brits think we should do so. ”
    Like Mrs May for instance?

  12. Caterpillar
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Whilst I agree with the conclusion in the final paragraph, will this be the actual position taken?

  13. agricola
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Your argument or more accurately, statement of fact, is very clear. So what is the £20 billion Mrs May offered in Florence. Is it our nett fee for the period March 2017 to March 2019 covering our last two years of membership or is an extra sum thrown in as a good will measure.

    My advice would be to conclude on citizens rights and the Irish border then to insist that trade becomes top of the agenda or the bonus twenty billion is forfeit. At that point walk away and let them ponder reality.

    • David Price
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Take the £20b off the table now, don’t wait for the EU to “bank it” and add qualifications etc.

    • RichardB
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Agree and in fact the nature of the future trade agreement seems fundamental to the Irish border issue – can’t possibly be concluded in isolation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May didn’t actually say 20 billion of anything in her Florence speech.

      She did say:

      “Still I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave. The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership.”

      It seems to have been other people who said £20 billion or €20 billion.

      Infinitely more important, she did say plainly and unambiguously:

      “The United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European Union on 29th March 2019”.

      • getahead
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Not if Hammond gets his extension.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 8, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          We must do our best to make sure that he does not get any extension of our EU membership, while recognising that a transitional period after we have left is not the same as an extension of membership.

      • stred
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        The current EU budget plan runs from 2014 to 2020. The Commission Europarl website gives the UK net contribution as 10,752m euros. The budget is agreed each year and the trend is up, with more projects in the pipeline, as announced by Herr Junker, of Luxembourg, which receives around 10x the amount paid by Holland and Sweden per head of population. We have agreed to pay to early 2019. The amount for the remainder to the end of 2014 would, therefore, be around £20bn if no EU country is to lose or miss out on gains. But Mrs May has also suggested that we would like to pay for 2 years beyond 2019, and pay another £10bn or more, if they decide, for the privilege of being able to access the single market, as other non-EU countries do, but pay as before and accept free movement while under the European Court of Justice.

        This seems like just the sort of deal that Remainer MEPs would have voted for. But they rejected the offer and want more for their new state.

        • stred
          Posted October 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          correction- remainder to the end of the 2014 to 2020 period

    • Andy
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Errr no it isn’t. The £20 billion is over and above what we will pay until March 2019. It is to generously cover what we would have paid until the end of the Budget Period in December 2020. Mrs May should never have made such an offer.

      • stred
        Posted October 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes £20bn to end of 2020, but then the transition of 2 years goes to early 2021 so another £5bn. But the budget commissioner is now saying the EU will be £12bn pa short after we leave so perhaps we have generously offered £27bn. Plus pensions, aid, bribes to Erdogan, other projects and committing to the EU armed forces. But they want more in return for permission to sell less than they sell to us.

  14. Cobwatch
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    John,you say there is no prospect of a leadership challenge. You do not want it or expect it. But our PM has already offered £20 billion with every sign that much more will be shovelled down the pipe. I completely agree with the premise of this article. Do not pay. “Many at the seminar were on the EU’s side”,it is unfortunate this applies to our PM and has already been agreed by Cabinet. It is a fait accompli. The EU have rejected this generous and unnecessary offer in clear expectation of more. You and others do not agree with this but no one will stand up. sniping from the side-lines won’t cut it. Without changes at the top huge payments will be made,and the EU knows it.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t think you colleagues in cabinet understand your reasoning
    There is an active fifth column in your ranks and if you cock up Brexit you will be out of power for a generation. Rightly so.
    There is a very good letter in todays DT the government deserve to lose and the opposition doesn’t deserve to win.
    A new party is required immediately.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg. Just what I was saying yesterday to my daughter. At the moment there isn’t a single party I would be happy voting for and that has never happened to me before. What sad times for the once great nation.

  16. Ian Dennis
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Odd then that CONSERVATIVE MEPs voted against any trade talks.

    “Richard Ashworth, who sits for the South East, and Julie Girling, an MEP for the South West, broke ranks to support a motion that the UK has not made ‘sufficient progress’ to be permitted to start talking trade.”
    Conservative Home

  17. Ian Dennis
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “I believe it is profoundly in all our interests for the negotiations to succeed. But I know that are some are worried whether we are prepared in the event that they do not. It is our responsibility as a government to prepare for every eventuality. And let me reassure everyone in this hall – that is exactly what we are doing.”

    Theresa May 04/10/2017.

    It is the absence of any supporting evidence of the above that not surprisingly, makes the EU conclude that we are not serious about a no deal scenario.
    Until we see, land purchased, customs posts built, staff recruited and trained, etc etc, we will never persuade the EU that a no deal scenario is a possibility.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Dear Ian–Don’t like references to a “No Deal Scenario”–We need to state with masses of “clarity” that we will not be paying a so-called Divorce Bill under any circumstances, followed by que sera sera which may or may not result in No Deal–Best I read it, No Deal at all, certainly after a bit of tempus fugit, is unlikely (and who cares anyway?)–Trouble is of course our Remainer High Command does not see it this way and is going to faff around forever instead of taking a stand

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, and a budget whereby part of those juicy customs receipts on Mercedes cars will offset the considerable cost of setting up these systems.
      Press the button, now please.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Agreed. Therefore you should have been pressing your leader to get on with preparations for no deal. You have? Her response? Nothing? No action? So you should have been making soundings as to whether she’s the appropriate person to lead the party at this difficult time. You have?
    Oh, I just read your next post.
    You haven’t.
    So you don’t think it’s sensible for a team committed to a policy of Brexit to lead the process? You’d prefer ditherers and equivocators?
    This isn’t going to work.

    Reply They are pressing on with No deal arrangements

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      ‘They are pressing on with No deal arrangements’

      Well if this is true John then they need to let us know this so we are reassured. At the moment we all see nothing happening.

      • Prigger
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Davis let everyone know. He has lost his voice many times letting everyone know. He has told Mr Benn and Ms Cooper ( Balls ) several times in reply to their repeated questions in the House and in Parliamentary Committees. Politics is hard for them to understand.

      • Beecee
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        The fact you do not know does not mean it is not happening.

        Some things are better left without the glare of publicity!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Dear John–But rEU do not believe it will happen and who can blame them?

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    It’s not really about injecting balance so much as injecting business sense. David Davis’ early career aside, how much business experience does your team of negotiators have?

  20. Michael
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    We must have a bottom line in the negotiations and if it is not reached proceed without an agreement.

    However, I believe the EU will so engineer things that come March 2019′ they will tempt us to stay a bit longer and the public mood at that time may wobble not able to clearly decide between the alternatives. The noise made by remainers will increase. The risks and fears they conjure up will be at full throttle. We may never leave.

  21. Oggy
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    At the LSE meeting was any representation made about the UK’s share of EU assets and that the EU should repay us for past contributions ? After all in any divorce the sharing out of the assets is also worked out.

    JR – ‘we should just get on with preparing for exit with No Deal.’ – but does Mrs May’s cabinet especially Hammond and Rudd agree with this position ?
    I will go one further and say we SHOULD leave immediately with NO deal because the EU itself (Barnier) says the EU/UK cannot negotiate a trade deal whilst the UK is still a member of the EU, so doesn’t it make sense just to leave ?

    So what about the news that the EU has been meeting Jeremy Corbyn behind closed doors to see if he will guarantee any agreements already made after Mrs May’s administration collapses ?
    The EU doesn’t have much confidence in the Tories seeing this through.

    Reply Yes the government is going to press ahead with a good No deal option. I did not make a case for a share of assets as there is no legal case for that or for a share of future liabilities, other than the EIB issue which I did examine

    • David Price
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Reply though wouldn’t the EU owe us the abatement since that is applied in arrears

  22. Know-Dice
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Our current Prime Minster and David Davis come across as being weak and indecisive.

    Now is the time for a letter to Monsieur Barnier and also released to the press along the lines of:

    1. The UK will no longer discuss separation terms in particular any payment by the UK to the EU, unless parallel talks over the future relationship and trade are started immediately.

    2. The UK is willing to continue talks over the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in Europe. But it must be understood that whilst the UK is leaving the EU, it is expected that this matter needs to be resolved by both parties acting together in unison rather than the one-sided discussions to date. It should also be understood that the ECJ will have no jurisdiction over EU citizens living in the UK, Just as it would not be acceptable for the UK courts to have jurisdiction over UK citizens living in Europe.

    3. Talks with regards to the UK/Republic of Ireland border should also continue, but, as in point 2. above this is a joint responsibility and the EU needs to take this responsibility on board and join in discussions to find a mutually acceptable solution.

  23. jack Snell
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    There are a few glaring points about all of this- if it were as easy as JR outlines then why has he not been able to so far convince his party colleagues of his arguments?

    If we were to follow JR’s logic then there would be no clean divorce only an unseemly breakup which would not leave us completely free to make new deals overseas as per Liam Fox – perception is everything when it comes to these things and an Englishman’s word is his bond?

    To spell things out again- we can’t get away from the fact that the exit talks will have to be agreed sufficiently before new arrangements are discussed, the EU side has been very clear about this- we are leaving the EU and not the other way round- Mrs May and DD are only prolonging the agony by trying to talk up new arrangements at every turn in an effort to kick start new discussion about the future. We are not going to be allowed to rearrange the schedule- have our cake and eat it- neither will we be helped by the EU side to set up a counter trading bloc that can cherry pick deals into the EU. We have chosen to go our own way and should now make the exit deal and then forget all about it. It is clear we have no future with them for a very long time to come- they are only toying with us and behind all of the glitz are not in any way disposed to help.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      “There are a few glaring points about all of this- if it were as easy as JR outlines then why has he not been able to so far convince his party colleagues of his arguments?”

      They are scared that, were we to leave with no deal, during the ensuing period of adjustment, there would be a recession with the Tories losing the next election as a consequence; party before country don’t you know? Always has been; always will be: that is why we are living in a country which has been transformed beyond recognition since WWII and not in a good way.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      We are leaving, yes, because the game has changed. You leave a cricket club which decides to completely change the rules, allow in numerous hopeless new players, increase the subs dramatically, force all players to use the same size bat. allow games only between the hours of 11am and 2pm, then you’re not really leaving them, are you? They’re leaving behind the norms of cricket, and you want to stick to the normal rules, so you go and play elsewhere.

      • Helena
        Posted October 8, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        Yes, but nobody else wants to play with us. Didn’t you notice the US slapping massive tariffs on us last week? Didn’t you notice India saying no deal unless we hand out more visas for immigrants?

  24. Alan
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    What does Mr Redwood mean by “No Deal”? No agreement on the status of UK citizens living in the EU? No agreement on how to police the Northern Ireland border? No consultation on things like customs and standards controls on our exports to the EU? No agreement on the air and sea traffic control, import and export of nuclear materials, inspection of food, medicines, exchange of information about criminal activity, passport standards, and the many other things that are needed for our complex modern civilisation to work?

    I don’t think he can mean all that. It seems to me almost inconceivable that we do not make arrangements to operate our borders with the EU and arrange for imports and exports to take place.

    Before the Brexit vote we were told that the EU would be desperate to negotiate with us. It now seems they are not. But we do need these agreements on all the practical aspects of imports and exports and the movement of people. We are forced to negotiate. Shutting our eyes and hoping the problems will just go away will not work.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      The issue of whether British subjects can contimue to live in the EU and vice-versa is a bit of a red herring; the discussion should be about whether they would continue to have the right to work and receive in work benefits and continue to benefit from social services. The British have lived abroad both within and without the EU for a very long time.

      With regard to Customs and Border control, we already do most of our trade outside the EU and we are still outside the Shengen area so that applies to aliens arrriving via Eire as well. All that needs to happen is that the authorities that police trade and entry extend their remit and they also need to sharpen up in any case.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        It’s even easier than that because we already have identical standards to the EU.
        We’ve offered a tariff-free trade area.
        Should the EU reject this, and indeed should they reject continuing with all other agreements, that is for them. The outlook will be poor for UK citizens in the EU and vice versa, but there’s nothing we can or should do about that. The EU has moved the goalposts from our date of joining. We haven’t.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Alan “What does Mr Redwood mean by “No Deal”?” Do you mean does he mean SoftNo Deal or Hard No Deal? You write like a seasoned Remoaner

    • Beecee
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      ‘Before the Brexit vote we were told that the EU would be desperate to negotiate with us…’

      Not said in those terms!

      In the face of continuing EU intransigence our end game is simple – how much of your 300 bn sales a year into the UK do you wish to endanger?

      They can play hard ball if they wish but they are not the Chicago Cubs!

      It is a pity that David Davis doesn’t know how to pitch!

    • John Soper
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I fully agree. I listened carefully to Mr Redwood before the referendum, because I have found him reliable on EU matters in the past. He made it clear that the trade balance favours us, and that the EU would be desperate to offer us a great deal. This is not happening. In fact it seems we have no leverage at all – we can’t even TALK about trade until we pay many billions. I would not now vote to Leave. The promises made have not been kept.

      Reply Yes. I also said No deal is fine, and have always said best to prepare for No Deal, as that makes a deal more likely.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    When the offer of 20Bn was made I believe that the EU took this as an indication that more could be blackmailed out of us . Making this offer was a mistake just as much as the preference for a transitional period . The EU have made it clear that further progress cannot be made , well , so can we !. The sooner we establish a black and white case the better . We should adopt the present action of Poland and Hungary who have made it abundantly clear they will not allow interference in their domestic affairs .

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      You always reject the first offer, so no surprise the EU have done just that. As May offered 20Bn I assume she is prepared to settle for more than that. Anyway, what May offered, the 20Bn, was simply a continuation of annual payments during the transition – Marcon has made it abundantly clear that the “divorce settlement” is entirely separate and in addition to that money and some in France have suggested 100Bn.

  26. Chris
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The reports in some papers about the apparent role of Heywood and Robbins in softening Brexit and operating free of David Davis’s control are not good at all, but presumably it is what one can expect to happen with a Remainer dominated Cabinet and civil service. Seems also that Leadsom criticised May’s Florence speech in Cabinet and “stunned” colleagues. Good for her, I say. However, there are reports that she will be removed in a Cabinet reshuffle. I know that you say do not believe all you read in the papers, but there has been enough reported that is accurate about May and Brexit to be very discouraging indeed.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I’d like to say to Tabulazero at this point that we’re not trying to have our cake and eat it. We’re trying to be fair.

    What club stipulates in its terms an conditions who is going to live in your house ?

    A slight movement on this issue and the referendum would have had an entirely different outcome.

  28. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    On reflection, I have decided that the UK owes nothing to the EU for pension liabilities after we leave.
    It is the EU that has decided to fund their pensions out of future contributions, rather than making provision out of current payments.
    This includes any UK national with an EU pension. The EU is liable for the pension, not the UK.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Juncker said when talking to EU employees “you leave your national hat at the door”.

      Dave, as you say it’s an EU problem…

    • Alan
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      But as members of the EU at the time we presumably accepted the arrangement to fund future pensions out of future contributions, so you can argue that we have a responsibility to pay our part of them. It all seems to be a matter of what obligations we accept that we have incurred.

      • matthu
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Are you sure that we would have had a veto on that arrangement?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 8, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          A good question, and I think Alan might have to consult a lawyer before he could provide a definitive answer to it.

      • matthu
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        If you are employed by a company and during your employment both the company and you make contributions to a final salary pension scheme, you have very little control over whether or not the pension fund is fully funded.

        When you cease to be any employee, your contributions stop. The pension scheme has an ongoing liability. If the company cannot continue to fund this scheme, it changes it to a funded scheme rather than a final salary scheme.

        It’s about time that governments, including the EU, recognised this simple fact instead of assuming that members of the scheme (or in this case taxpayers – and even taxpayers of another country!) will be willing to carry on funding the scheme long after they have left the employ of that company and often long after they are past normal employment age.

        Scale back the pension scheme, just as most companies in the private sector have done!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        It’s a pity that no government could ever be bothered to tell us that while we were in the EU we were constantly accumulating liabilities above and beyond our annual budget contributions. The root cause of the problem is not that we are now leaving the EU, which is what I want, but that we made the mistake of joining it, which was what you wanted. In fact there is an argument that any bill from the EU should be paid solely by those responsible for incurring it, which could be approximated by all those who voted Remain last year.

      • rose
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        The main point is that the employees of the EU are just that. They are not our employees. The higher ones take oaths of allegiance to the EU; e.g. our commissioners do not swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen but to the EU. Their pronouncements bear this out. Their loyalty is to the EU, for life. The EU should therefore be responsible for their pensions, not the taxpayers of the country they have abandoned.

      • Andy
        Posted October 8, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        How so ? The EU has a ‘legal personality’ so pension liabilities, because they finance these from current revenue, are the EUs and not the member states. It is a common misconception that the Nation States are liable for things the EU agrees to do. Nor is there any legal case nor a case in logic for the EU to demand a ‘divorce payment’. It is a pity Barnier doesn’t read the Treaties.

  29. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    As owner of a company that exports to the EU, can you confirm that a no deal means we default to WTO rules?
    I can see, the day after we leave, vehicles queueing up both sides of the channel because nobody knows what they are supposed to be doing regarding customs control.
    Do WTO rules come in automatically, or does that itself need to be mutually agreed?

    Reply We will file a scheduke of our trading terms at the WTO so everyone knows the basis. Ee handle tariffs under WTO rules for all non EU trade at the moment so we know how to do it

    • Len Grinds
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Anyone who supposes that the main problem in international trade policy and practice is tariffs, rather than non tariff barriers, does not understand international trade policy and practice.

      Mr Redwood, you do not understand international trade policy and practice.

      • Soft Brexit
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think anyone who seriously understands the importance of non-tariff barriers in trade thinks Mr Redwood has a clue what he is talking about.

        I just read his blog posts to remind myself of how ignorant half the Tory party are at this point.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Non-tariff barriers so low that we currently have a trade surplus with the EU?
        Or non-tariff barriers so high that we currently have a trade deficit with the US?
        Perhaps you’re the one who doesn’t know how international trade works?

        • Soft Brexit
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

          Your bizarre rant has no relation to the issues we will face as a third country outside of the EEA. We will face those problems without a customs infastructure, staff or IT systems in any way ready to deal with them. That is just some of the non-tariff barriers I refer to.

          Mr Redwood prefers to pretend they don’t exist. And patsies like yourself go along with him because it’s easier than thinking outside of an incredibly simplistic narrative that everything will be fine regardless of any deal, and blaming the EU for any problems that will emerge.

          The real tragedy for sensible Brexiters like myself is that the economic crisis your approach will cause will lead to Brexit being completely discredited and possibly reversed. You are dooming the very cause you support, yet are too short sighted and ideological to see it.

          But hey, just blame the EU and everything becomes simple I suppose.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      “I can see, the day after we leave, vehicles queueing up both sides of the channel.”

      How did that business you were worried about with the Millenium Bug go?

  30. David
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I feel I might join the Conservative party as it includes people I admire greatly, such as John. Then TM comes up with a statement offering encouragement to the EU or some socialist idea like capping energy prices and I get depressed and wonder, what’s the point?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink


      Dont bother the current Conservative Party is just another anti business, big government, high tax, social democrat, left leaning, statist virtue signalling snowflake party stuffed with talentless sheep. They have no idea about the 21st century, no innovation, no leadership and no desire to make a real difference or to solve peoples problems. They exist to get elected and keep themselves in a job, no more no less.

      • Prigger
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        The Tory Party does not believe in Free Trade. It has shot itself in the foot and our country with the Bombardier cooperation with Canada. Canadian politics is like the talk you hear on the poorest council housing estates who have voted Labour for the past half century but with near American accents. Canada wouldn’t understand no-state intervention if you spent your life explaining the concept to them.

  31. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Absolutely, but the bald (Hamilton sad “joke”) truth is 80% of Conservative MPs are Remainers/Remoaners.

  32. Iain Gill
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I take it we will get the money back we have lent via the European central Bank?

    Not sure any of the likely British policians will do a good job of running things with power repatriation.

    That’s what we need more than anything, what happens next? The political class cannot carry on like this.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I presume the people who are pushing for us to pay extra know that they are giving the eu false hope and emboldening them to the point that a ‘no deal’ scenario is more likely.

    Bring it on I say. A trade deal sounds good until you realise that it could end up being a stitch up that favours the big conglomerates, big governments and the many taxpayer-hungry quangos.

    A “No deal” may be our first steps to becoming a market economy away from the current socialist, high tax regime.

  34. Iain Moore
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I agree, its time to play hard ball with them. I would have done it a lot earlier for the EU has sought to insult and humiliate us . Before we do, in light of our wonderful Remainer media always seeing us as being in the wrong , we first have to ensure the media know the sequence of events, that we have tried to be flexible but all we have met with is EU intransigence.

  35. Pat
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    With the additional point that they are far more likely to negotiate seriously if they believe we will walk away.

  36. formula57
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The Evil Empire is our enemy and it does us no good to pretend that it is not a hostile power.

  37. robert lewy
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink


    Your reasoning is as usual flawless ………..but only up to a point.

    “If as many expect the EU say at the October Council that they still do not intend to talk about a future Agreement we should just get on with preparing for exit with No Deal.”

    However, I believe that your conclusion does not go far enough.

    As good Europeans surely we need to act in a way that demonstrates that by leaving the EU
    we are signaling to the inhabitants of the EU area that we do not have confidence in the decision-making capacity and authority of their unelected leaders. We do not expect a positive response from the October Council and need to go beyond merely appealing for an agreement which we believe is in the common interest of the EU and the UK. The conclusion must be that we not only prepare for a no-deal exit but that we announce our decision to proceed with no deal arrangements if positive trade talks do not commence AND reach a stage which we consider satisfactory by a certain date perhaps 31st December 2017.
    By making such an announcement we would speaking over the heads of Brussels directly to
    the people of the EU who will have to bear the consequences of non agreement with the UK
    This would therefore possibly be the last toss of the coin to make the EU see sense when its people speak out.

  38. Christine
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Listening to TM’s conference speech, I don’t think she has learned the lesson from her failed election campaign. The British people are becoming very disillusioned with the two main parties both of which seem to put the interests of foreign people and countries above our own. We see our elderly people denied the care they deserve in their old age, we see our young people burdened with debt, we see hard working people excessively taxed, we see the infrastructure of this country overloaded and falling into decay. The British people deserve better. The time is upon us to create a new party who will champion the British people. We’ve seen the rise of new parties across Europe, why not here?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Even the way road policing is run discriminates against locals. Nonsense like being given a ticket for jumping a red light to let an emergency vehicle through is routinely being prosecuted if you have a local licence, you will be let off on a foreign license.
      A few mph over a ridiculously low speed limit is the same. Compare and contrast to how British drivers get handled in main land EU. We are mugs for putting up with this.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Davies is sailing against the EU wind by trying to get voting for EU citizens continuing in our local elections after Brexit. Time he decided which side he is on. He’s gone native!

  39. Peter
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed. You are mostly preaching to the converted here about preparations for ‘No Deal’.

    However, we would like clear evidence of progress on such preparations, rather than assurances that work is in hand.

    A minister for ‘No Deal’ , as has been suggested in the press, would also be a very good idea.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      A Rudd comes to mind.
      Hung out to dry.

  40. English Pensioner
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Your analogy that one doesn’t have to pay to enter a shop can be taken further. Currently many shops are offering ‘extras’ if one buys from them; Waitrose offer a free newspaper, Sainsburys offer extra Nectar points for spends above a certain value whilst Tesco have recently posted us ‘money off’ vouchers to buy from them.
    We should be demanding similar discounts if we buy from the EU rather than elsewhere. We are the customer in that we buy far more from the EU than they buy from us; they need to encourage us to continue buying from them, not try to charge us for the privilege.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      a free newspaper is more a threat than a gift. Can’t they bin their own newspapers? The London Evening Standards is half composted before it leaves the printing presses since its new Editor took over.

  41. miami.mode
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Many posts talk about simply walking away but this is not a good idea as we will forever be blamed for any slight future hitch in trade or any other EU related matter. Far better to keep talking to the last minute then both sides can agree no deal.

    A bit like slamming the phone down. Let the other party do it and understand that they are the ones who are fuming.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      We hope that’s what Mrs May is doing, but I’m not sure the EU understands subtlety.
      She’s actually being somewhat more generous than just talking. However, she is in danger of being seen as the silly willy in the end, rather than the party which tried but failed to convince the other side.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      miami.mode The EU will possibly be in a talking mood and more agreeable after we leave. There will be a varied hotspots in different countries which the bureaucracy will not be able to quell…They will then come to an interim deal and quick decision for a couple of years, or nation states will create havoc. Actually, this would have been the most logical step for both sides but quick decisions do not create overtime payments, residence payments, free lunches for negotiators. The longer the agony is prolonged, the more money they get. …OH and the more time they appear on the telly making a name for themselves..good for future political and business promotion. They could use their faces to advertise on TV too..such things as toiletries perhaps .

  42. James murphy
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    At this time we are still part of the EU28..we made commitments towards the EU budget still in being..we made collective commitments towards pensions for which we are still liable..we made commitments towards other EU projects into the future. It’s nonsense to talk about walking away without discharging our’s even much worse when we threaten to do this if we don’t get our own selfish way for future trade deals because the EU will know it for what it is and surely cook our goose- so we see it’s all just Idiotic nonsense from JR today, but you’d wonder why? something to rally the troops by i suppose, but such diatribe is going nowhere fast except maybe to the cliff edge.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      James Murphy, another Brussels EU troll spouting the Juncker line. We owe them nothing after leaving and they haven’t even presented us with a bill to justify their outrageous demands.
      Much of the future spending the EU is committed to was voted through on QMV where the recipient countries out vote us for infrastructure projects benefitting them.
      Many of these projects can now be cancelled. Why should we pay for them.

      • james Murphy
        Posted October 8, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        Ian wragg.. we should honour our commitments, commitments mean promises made in the past, and into the future if we want to have any chance of a future trade relationship with them..but if we don’t, say in the case that Liam Fox comes up with some great new trading deals from overseas then of course we could haggle away for what would it matter? However I don’t see any new trading arrangements on the horizon yet

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s down to the EU to tabulate a list of assets and liabilities owned by the UK as part of the EU, and to invoice or credit us with the balance.
      Do you really imagine that Scotland would have paid their share of the national debt without mentioning their assets had they voted for independence?
      Get real.

    • cornishstu
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      what is it with this line of thinking? You are a member of a club and the members decide to raise membership by x pounds for the next number of years to pay for the club house to be refurbished. The following year you leave does that mean you are committed to funding the club because they were banking on your membership to fund their project, NO, so why should we have to continue pay for something that we will no longer receive any benefit. Like wise with pensions say 10% of your membership fee goes into the clubs staff pension fund are you still liable for funding their pensions.

  43. MikeP
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Today’s news that the EU has apparently stepped up talks with Labour (doubtless aided and abetted by Blair and Starmer) is as disgraceful as it is worrying. If Labour soften there position, or are duped into an EU offer to stay – as EU27 need our money – what possible benefit is there to them of continuing to negotiate with the present Government? Better for the EU to hold tight, offer nothing, give nothing, blame May for there being no chance of a deal, all in the hope of forcing a General Election and the expectation of getting Corbyn the puppet to take over the negotiation. This is all going pear-shaped John, very worrying!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      It’s the perfect excuse for Davis to start negotiating direct with EU states and ignoring the EU itself, whilst our “hard nosed” PM directs operations.

      OK the last 7 words were a fantasy.

  44. Chris
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Balance can only be injected if the PM pursues a true Brexit agenda and swiftly imports Brexiteers into key positions. These letters in the D Telegraph really do sum up how precarious May’s position is and how she will not be supported because of her New Labour type policies, and her apparently soft Brexit approach. The Cons fondly imagine that if they just display unity now then all will be well. I fear it won’t as the fundamentals of the whole problem are still in place:

    SIR – Allister Heath (Comment, October 5) comments that Theresa May “needs to plot a course back to conservatism if she wants to save her premiership”. To this he might have added: her party and more importantly, her country.
    Philip Nierop Exeter, Devon

    SIR – The Prime Minister has failed on two crucial occasions to present a radical Conservative agenda. In the general election and at the party conference, Mrs May has disastrously set out a Brexit edition of New Labour.

    The Tories are in desperate need of a leader who is Conservative-minded and who fully believes in the goodness of the free market if they are to prevent a socialist government and capitalise on Brexit.
    Edward Hopewell Great Chesterfield, Essex

  45. Atlas
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you John – if nothing good comes of the the EU Council meeting then we should politely but firmly leave – certainly not give in to their ransom demands.

  46. ian
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The miss management of this country is breathtaking, I thought the 70s were bad under labour, but when I think about that time, it was the troy gov of the day that insisted on joining the EU which led to the downfall of the country back then. Why/ 20% inflation, and cutting all ties with other countries who bought your goods, which were now unaffordable to buy which led to workers going on walkouts for bigger pay rises to keep their standard of living up. If the troy government and big businesses had not insisted on joining the EU back then, most of what has happened since then, would of not have taken place. Troy came into gov again with big business and gave you the big bang, which you are living with now. Apart from house prices going up because of your currency going down the big bang has done nothing for the majority of people in this country. The share prices have not gone up in 17 years, that shows you how bad big businesses are in this country, just a waste of space. The only policy neoliberals have come up with is 500,000 people a year to be brought in to the country each year to keep big businesses going and to attract more of them here while paying little tax, with you the people having to pay more tax so they can bring them in. Now this policy has left the people of the UK with third world service at best, with more cuts and taxes to come. As for coming out of the EU, the troy party and big businesses will be at it again. by the time they are finished, you will be revising the seventies again with the media and the troy party blames it all on the gel, who is not even in power.
    The closest you have ever come to a leftwing gov was one after the last war which brought in all the social changes which the next troy gov did not change at that time and the gov that you have today.

  47. Crazytimes
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Are we seriously thinking about threatening the EU that we will walk away and pay nothing if we don’t get our way? Sounds kinda silly to me- for if we behave like spoiled brats then we will be treated the same. We have chosen this route, A50 has been activated, Michael Gove said that the people have had enough of experts..we are going to do our own thing..boris indicated 350 million per week extra for the NHS..the pound has plunged slashing the value of british assets with higher import prices likely to follow. The US commerce dept has just put 300per cent duty on bombardier aircraftimports to the States..Rarely have businesses faced such uncertainty we don’t know if mrs may will last the pace or not or if she will be tripped next week by Boris or some other scoundral on the way up. There is no good news either about future trade deals a la Liam Fox with countries worldwide that we were promised..more businesses are putting investments on hold..all happening on the Tory watch..all happening with the help of JR’s delusional spin and with boris, IDS and Michael Gove..”people in this country have had enough of experts” yes onwards to the cliff

    • James Matthews
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Nothing of the spoiled brat in refusing to give in to extortion. That is an appropriate and confident adult reaction. Spoiled brats, in the real world, tend to expect money that is not due, just like the European Union.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Are you seriously thinking that sorting out this relatively minor question of an equitable financial settlement should take absolute precedence over sorting out the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU, which involves getting on for half a trillion a year, year after year?

      If the eurocrats operated on common sense rather than on political ideology they would have readily agreed to a group of accountants and lawyers going off into another room and negotiating a financial settlement, while in parallel others got cracking on the trade agreement. Instead they think it is worth trying to blackmail us by refusing to discuss trade until we have agreed to pay their ransom.

      • PaulW
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Denis has been said before by others..politics trumps economics in this business..just as politics trumped economics in the referendum..unfortunately there is no room for common sense

      • ChrisS
        Posted October 9, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        It’s not a ransom, it’s extortion, pure and simple.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Glad you like giving your cash away. I’d be pleased to receive your donations to my bank account too, please. I’m sure if you get in touch with Mr Redwood, he’ll act as the intermediary. Thanks.

    • lo
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      We’re possibly walking away because we don’t want the E.U. to have their way. Only spoilt brats refuse to negotiate when so much is at stake. The rest of your post is fake news.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      The EU propaganda has lamed your Britishness. You can stand up! You can. Believe it. You can!!!

      • crazytimes
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Prigger..i worked for more than fifty years in the import export retired..i well remember a time before 1973..i’m a realist

  48. ian
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Until the troy party supporters get down to their local con party branches and start picking their own MP for parliament and making policies which they themselves want to see in this country, nothing is going to change for them. They are too lazy to do anything about their situation apart from moaning. All they are really doing is supporting con party HQ policies, who are supporting big businesses in the city of London and elsewhere and people with lots of money, and of course, these policies are not suited for them or their families but they insist that their icon MPs know best and not themselves. Can’t wait until the next budget for big business which con party HQ and the treasury are now working on, at the expense of small businesses and taxpayers.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May told MPs that the government would not be giving a running commentary on the negotiations with the EU – Column 232 on November 16th 2016:

    “One of the most important things we can do is to make sure that we are not giving a running commentary on those negotiations and on our stance, because that would be the best way to get the worst deal for this country.”

    Consequently the mass media have been largely free to give us their own fabricated running commentaries without any correction, day by day running commentaries allegedly based on “information from officials” and “cabinet sources” and sometimes “sources in Brussels”; and as most of those working in the mass media are deeply hostile to Brexit even if they are not also hostile to a Tory government we are being fed pro-EU, anti-Brexit propaganda day after day with no rebuttals from the government.

    For instance:

    “Theresa May is set to propose a transitional deal with the EU of up to two years in a speech on Friday, a cabinet source has told BBC News.

    The PM is also expected to make an “open and generous” offer, potentially worth 20bn euros over the two years.”

    But that did not actually appear in her speech:

    So why do we hear nothing back from David Davis’s department to squash the lies which are being circulated? Is that because some civil servant has advised against it?

    • Chris
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      I suspect Olly Robbins may have had something to do with it, Denis. Perhaps that is why Davis apparently got so frustrated with him/angered by him (report in Press today about Davis apparently wanting Robbins to go for apparently undermining him/his work).

    • Miss Brandreth-Jones
      Posted October 12, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      It was actually a very good respectful speech and she insisted that we are also to leave the customs union and endeavour to find a new creative relationship as our present relationship and forthcoming exit was unprecedented.

      I am to work with Italian trained free movers for the next few weeks and will glean a perspective on their views and how they view themselves in comparison to British trained professionals.

  50. Stuart K
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t we just say “enough is enough”. Wind up the negotiations and leave! Great piece on free trade in today’s Telegraph:

    The race is to the swift!

  51. Giles
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    We should halt ALL discussions UNLESS future arrangements are included.

    Otherwise we are not complying with Article 50.

    ‘In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union’

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      And we should then explain to the world that we are merely requiring the EU to keep to its own treaties, for a change.

    • matthu
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you for pointing that out. I do wonder, though, why our political representatives are not pointing this out at *every* available opportunity.

      Every major speech.
      Every party political platform.
      Every media interview.

      In fact, one might even argue that the current position being taken by the EU negotiators is illegal?

      (This should be a fixture at the top of every blog.)

  52. Jonp
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Tonight on the news it is reported the three big guns DD, Boris and Liam Fox have come out in support of the PM..and i say yes but..where is Michael Gove? where does he stand in all of this?

    Of course the plain truth is that Mrs May should have resigned by now if she had any sense of self worth.. alas i’m afraid she is tarred with the same brush as the other Tory rascals who try to cling to the greasy pole..always putting self before before country..and here we are going into negotiations with the EU.. it’snot good..not good

  53. James Doran
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The mistake was letting the EU set the agenda for the talks. As soon as they said a ‘divorce’ payment had to be agreed before discussions on future trade could take place , at that point we should have made it clear that was not acceptable, if necessary by leaving the room.

  54. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    let us just be very clear there is no short term alternative to the eU ,our exports to the Eu are growing and we do 50% of all our trade and services with the Eu. We only do 4% with China, with a market with half the purchasing power of the EU.

    Trade around the word is done with nations who live next to one another not across the world , We are part of an integrated European supply-chain and thinking that this can be replaced quickly with WTO rules by trading with China and India is really naive and it will have a major impact on our standard of living.

  55. NickW
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The EU wants to establish the precedent that any Country leaving the Union has to pay a large sum of money for the privilege.

    It has nothing to do with Treaty law, fairness, contract law or anything else.

    EU Leaders think that punishing Countries for leaving is the only way to keep the Union intact. In addition, the National leaders of the EU know that the more money they can get off us, the less they will have to pay themselves.

    The Government needs to make these points as vociferously as possible, in order to ensure that the public understands that our position is legally correct, right and proper; we must not allow the EU to use moral blackmail by painting us as welshers and contract breakers, when it is the EU that is in the wrong.

    • John wayne
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 4:10 am | Permalink

      Utter rubbish. The only people talking about punishment are the Brits. All that the EU wants is for the UK to recognise that commitments made by 28 must be met by 28. Once that is recognised, talks can move on, but not before.

  56. Chris S
    Posted October 9, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    A brilliant analysis entirely in line with my own thoughts.

    Sitting here in France for a week, it seems such a pity that Brussels and the 27 are acting so stupidly.

    • John wayne
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 4:11 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood said the EU would quickly cave in because they need us so much more than we need them. Could you speculate why this has been proved untrue?

      Reply Never said quickly, always said No deal fine and a possible outcome. The EU often does cave in at the end if the other party is firm

  57. gyges01
    Posted October 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Can you write about the UK’s BATNA in a future post and compare it to the state of the negotiations thus far …?

  58. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 9, 2017 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    We have made made commitments to the present EU budget. They are right to ask us to pay our share of liabilities. They didn’t ask us to leave. We have liabilities and the government has accepted it. The only question is the amount. Your shop analogy is ludicrous.

    • rose
      Posted October 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      What is your source for this? Where is it written down that we have made commitments? Or have liabilities?

      Lawyers for both the EU and the UK have advised there are none. The EU loving House of Lords took evidence from many experts and found there are none.

      The Commission has over-reached itself in its spending and want us to bail it out. It is the Commission, not the Council of Ministers, which decides on spending. Whenever we are asked our opinion we say please rein in your spending, but we are ignored. We pay the second largest contribution but are not allowed the power and influence of the 1st and 3rd contributors.

      It is understandable that the EU wants to hang on to our money, as it wants to keep sending us its unemployed, its homeless, and its criminals, but that is not the same thing as being legitimately owed unspecified billions of pounds.

  • About John Redwood

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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page