The dangers of Transition

The news yesterday  that Mr Barnier does not think there has been enough progress was in a way a relief. The only progress the EU will currently recognise is a firm UK offer of large sums of money we do not owe. As long as we continue to decline to offer cash, they will probably come to the conclusion they need to talk trade as it is in their interests to continue tariff free. If we start to offer cash they will hang tough for longer. I was delighted to see the UK electorate are better bargainers than the Parliamentary Opposition. 74% agree that No Deal is better than a bad deal, the only way we have a negotiation that gives us great leverage. The way to end the uncertainty is to prepare for No deal and to show we are ready to leave in March 2019 whatever the response of the EU.

I am writing about this again today, knowing some of you think I write too much about Brexit and others complain whenever I do other topics. I do so today because this is an important moment ahead of the EU Council, when the UK needs to stand firm to avoid drifting to a bad deal.

The PM is clear that we only have a transition period if there is an Agreement to transit to. She has also said No Deal is better than a bad deal. She does not want transition to be any longer than is needed for implementation, and argues implementation times may be different for different clauses of any  Agreement.

There are growing demands amongst Brexiteers not merely to pursue No Deal as a prudent contingency plan but to pursue it as the main plan. The EU might then decide it wanted to offer something better to us in its own interests. It would also avoid the problem of UK negotiators ending up offering too generous a settlement.

There are four big worries about relying heavily on eventual Agreement. The first is money. One of the main prizes of leaving the EU, as advertised prominently in the Referendum campaign, is the right to spend our own money. Giving away two more years of net and gross contribution delays any benefits and leaves the UK Treasury very tight for domestic programmes and tax cuts.

The second is the ability to make our own trade arrangements. If other countries think the UK will not be able to sign a trade deal for another three and a half years it removes the enthusiasm and urgency currently around to get something done. If the UK is not in control of its own regulations it limits the ability to negotiate a services agreement with others.

The third is the issue of powers. The PM was clear in the Lancaster House speech and White Paper that leaving the EU meant leaving the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Imposing the Court on ourselves for another two years limits our legislative as well as our judicial independence, as the ECJ is superior to Parliament.

The fourth issue is the ever growing volume of EU law. The EU could use a long period of transition to impose on us and our businesses a whole range of new legislative burdens designed to help the continent or to hinder business generally. Once we are out any new burdens only apply to our business with the continent in line with the requirements they impose on themselves, and no longer apply to the dominant domestic business or exports to the rest of the world.

These serious concerns are turning more people to see advantages in No Deal. That will produce a world where we can change regulations for domestic  and  non EU business , can sign trade treaties, spend our own money and be in charge of our own laws. We can have, for example, a fishing policy that works for us. That would be a popular early win from a clean departure on March 29 2019.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Can the Environment Agency not just the dump the EUs rivers directives now?. Not only did the flood defences that it built in response to the 2009 floods fail in 2015, despite the amount of water involved being a fraction of the former, they have failed again just now with only around twelve hours rain. All that money that it spent recently dredging the river has effectively been money washed down the drain. Its not as if Mother Nature is not giving it a hint as to how to hasten the flow of water to the sea by straightening its course? Does anybody at the EA not have “o” level geography and remember how ox bow lakes are formed? Meanwhile as this is going on the PM has time in her schedule to give us her thoughts on the personal conduct of a Hollywood film producer.

  2. Mick
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:37 am | Permalink
    And this is the labour party’s A team that would take over negotiations on Brexit, give me a break , it’s a pity Mrs May doesn’t have the backbone to call a GE now because labour/lib???/snp/greens/Tory remoaners would be kicked out of Westminster and replaced with true democratic MPs who believe in Brexit

    • Hope
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      JR, May does not have a mandate to keep the UK in the EU past 19/03/2019. Davies Doric not have the mandate to negotiate the ECJ or EU directives or rules applying to any citizen in this country beyond this date. I also think they do not have the legal authority either. Perhaps we should crowd fund a legal objection to the
      any extension, because this is what it is not a transition.

      Today Junker wants citizens rights to remain as they are. They can in EU countries, not ours we voted leave by the correct legal means and that date is 19/03/2019. We did not vote or legally argue for any extension period keeping us in the EU beyond that date. If there is some form of transition it should be outside all legal ties of ECJ, EU rules or directives. Otherwise it is an illegal extension.

      On a business or moral perspective it would be stupid to stay inside so that the EU could harm our economy and prevent our future status, from the EU point of view they have the control over us, we pay for it and it will increase pressure for us to change our minds. Any transition will cause uncertainty for business.

      No transition period, this it until March 2019 take it or leave it.

        Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Mr Hope , We did not vote to leave the EU March ’19 we voted to leave 24-6-2016. No Extentions, No trasitions. No Nothing. We should be out now making our own way. May is a plant and as to go straight away. We need a strong Brexit leader and I say JACOB REES-MOGG. He will be our new MR CHURCHILL. You will be ammaised if and when we get this soughted.

        …………………………………………………VET TOM T.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      By warning off voting for Corbyn Remainers you are getting people to vote for Tory Remainers to keep them out. We’ve been here before. No better, I can assure you.

  3. Duncan
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    The UK cannot be seen to be or indeed perceived to be gaining an advantage or enjoying a benefit from leaving the EU. That would send out entirely the wrong message to those EU member states who may be flirting with the idea of joining the UK in its quest to reclaim its nation back. It is with this mind that I believe the EU will try and damage the UK in some shape or form to send a warning to other EU member states

    Following Leave’s victory against those who would choose EU servitude and legislative slavery the Conservative Party (CP) went on to choose a person to lead their party who was an ardent EU supporter. Why?

    Why did the CP make life more difficult for itself by choosing May? The party’s internal tensions should have been relegated to the needs of the nation in its fight for independence. This selfishness and myopic stupidity may well cost it at the next election

    We now have two fights on our hands. One against the EU and the other against a more sinister opponent, Marxist Labour.

    We need a leader who can confront and defeat both. Time to ditch May, install a pro-UK leader of the CP who possesses charisma, belief and patriotism and who will fight for the UK

    • Hope
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      As far as Tory remainers were concerned it was of national importance to get a remainers as PM.

      The Tory mariners sacrificed Thatcher before, EU removed Greek and Italian govts who challenged them. I suspect they are concerned why May has not stopped this leaving venture already. Hence why an extension is being created under the term transition. This is to keep the UK in. A bit like the choreographed Cameron Shinanigans. May has already changed her position from Lancaster to Florence speeches. JR and colleagues need to speak up and take action. Put her feet to the fire.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        “Put her feet to the fire”

        Better still give her the full Joan of Arc!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink


    No Deal will indeed produce as you say – a world where we can change regulations for domestic and non EU business , can sign trade treaties, spend our own money and be in charge of our own laws. We can have, for example, a fishing policy that works for us. That would be a popular early win from a clean departure on March 29 2019.

    We could also have a sensible fiscal policy, a sensible reliable, cheap & “on demand” energy policy, a sensible bonfire of the suffocating red tape straight jacket, a sensible points based immigration system, we could stop the misguided subsidies for green white elephants, Hinkley C and HS2, the daft aspects of subsidised farming and the many other damaging insanities. We could compete in the world on a fair basis and get productivity up hugely.

    Alas the tax, borrow and waste socialists May and Hammond do not see it this way at all. May even wants “to build on EU workers rights”, wants gender and even it seems racial pay gap reporting, wants misguided and damaging prices and income controls, wants a subsidised housing for some (paid for by taxes on often poorer others) and has even ruled out any “points based immigration system”.

    She and Hammond clearly seem to like things like 15% stamp duty, IHT at 40% over £325K, abolishing child benefit and personal allowances for many, subsidising farmer to do daft things, taxing tenants (via landlords) to push up their rents by circa 15%, attacking private pensions, having the highest tax levels for 30 years. Also having loads of expensive people doing essentially unproductive & pointless jobs in tax planning, HR consultancy, gender pay gap reporting, working for the state and the likes.

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    What is odd is that Starmer wrote to Davis complaining about the lack of progress in starting trade talks, he should have written to Barnier. I haven’t seen a single word of criticism in the Remain press and media for the way the EU are conducting these talks – they are laughably biased.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      It was good to see Andrew Neil back doing the Daily Politics and this Week, and showed what we were missing with his question to an SNP politician who was about to launch into a criticism of the Government on the EU by asking him the question…’What concessions have the EU made in the negotiation?’ The response there came none, apart from a lot of stuttering and spluttering.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      This article seeks to identify points of difference among the 27. Reaching agreement among themselves looks difficult in a short timeframe. This will aid the foot draggers who want to dish out “punishment” treatment. Link here:

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Roy too true,

      Headlines today:

      Guardian – Chaos as EU Brexit deadlocked. Sterling plunges against Euro – The facts are that the £/Euro rate today is back to pretty much where its been for most of this week, in fact slightly higher…

      The Daily Telegraph – Tory rebels stall Brexit bill – So they expect David Davis & Co. to just roll over and give away £ billions for nothing, dream on…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed what can Davis do if the EU are simply not interested in a deal and put absurd obstacles in the way.

      There is no cliff and no leaving bill, just leave as soon as possible and adjust to the new regime as soon as possible.

      Let us hope this massive costly mistake by the establishment, Heath, Wilson, Thatcher, Blair, Brown and Cameron (and T May had she had her way) is finally nearly over.

      • NickC
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, The current government is making exactly the same mistake as Heath’s did. “Swallow the lot, and swallow it now” was Sir Con O’Niell’s advice in 1972, and May’s capitulation mimics that. Then Cameron didn’t prepare for Brexit, now Hammond refuses to prepare for WTO trade. Why do Conservative governments keep making these obvious blunders?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Why indeed – a party run by daft ,EUphile, greencrap socialists I assume.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Labour and the EU are of the same undemocratic mind. Both support dictatorships and are largely warmongering in support of undemocratic forces throughout the world

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Laughably biased? — I think not!

      Traitorously and treacherously biased more like it!

  6. eeyore
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    A most excellent and encouraging post after a very difficult fortnight. The chief problem with No Deal is not the thing itself but that it has been allowed to acquire a strong negative image. So often in politics expectations become self-fulfilling. Perception matters no less than substance.

    May we now expect to see HMG talking up the benefits of No Deal? It would wrong-foot Labour (whose opportunism is shameful), concentrate minds in Brussels and do the Tories nothing but good. And by the way, it’s also best for Britain.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink


      “… deal…” negative aspects.

      Perhaps we should start calling the so called “no deal option”,

      “The World Trade Organisation Option”

      Hardly a negative option if huge and influential Countries all over the World are members, and operate within its rules.

      • anon
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Good point.

    • NickC
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Eeyore, We can start by calling it the WTO deal – the same deal we currently have with all the other countries in the world.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Agree your point on the ‘No Deal’ image; cliff-edge, disaster, etc. Our host could lead the promotion of a ‘no deal’ and write a useful column on why we should not be afraid of it.
      Is anyone else sick of this ‘deep and special relationship’ nonsense? We aren’t getting married, we want a fair and commercial relationship based on mutual respect; something very much lacking from the EU.

      • NickC
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Peter, Yes, I agree. I don’t want a “deep and special relationship” with the EU either. The shallower the better, please.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


      In addition to your wise words on HMG talking up the benefits of a No Deal, it is time Brexiteers began shouting from the rooftops, day after day, that:

      “Brexit isn’t SAFE in Labours hands!” –

      That must be worth a few votes – not least from Labour Leavers!

  7. Colin Hide
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Wise words.

  8. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The problem for the general public is that mainly we are seeing things from a position of relative ignorance about trade in itself. It is pride in self rule that drives our opinion . We can all relate to the potential of being drained of money we do not owe yet it is unlikely that these 74% have ever traded globally or even within the single market . We do not know how difficult it is to sell, we do not realise how the rights for new products and engineering can be stolen from its inventors before it is legally patented , we do not realise how names , products and work done for years and years can. be accredited to others who have not ever been involved !…… perhaps we do ..

  9. Pragmatist
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    “The EU might then decide it wanted to offer something better to us in its own interests. ” The EU does not have “own ” interests. That is the problem. Poland, Germany, Lithuania etc have “own ” interests. We, the UK , have “own ” interests. Mr Barnier made much of the fact he was operating according to precise instructions dictated at one time in one place by a committee. If we read that correctly it means the EU does not have “own” interests but only bench marks formulated by machine-process aforehand. We need to leave now before the EU machine gets into its rince-cycle, and pump water out cycle.

  10. sm
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    John, it’s your blog, no-one else is entitled to tell you what to write about. I know many who come to this site welcome and appreciate your commendable desire to both communicate and listen, on whatever subject.

  11. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Why not negotiate first article 50 (divorce) before embarking on article 218 (new relationship with third country) according to the (UK-ratified) treaties of the EU as interpreted by the EU27. If the UK had really disagreed with this interpretation it would have asked for the ECJ’s opinion. You’ve won ECJ cases before! Trying to renegotiate the (UK-ratified) treaties, you are wasting your time.
    The EU is going to internally prepare for negotiating on a new relationship as next week’s summit will show.

    • Nig l
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      And how quickly would the ECJ move, more delaying tactics Peter and look at your own side who wants paying before agreeing anything. Paying for what? Precisely.

    • Hope
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Utter nonsense. Article 50 and the treaties do not hold any provision for the UK to pay anything. Therefore the basis of w point you make has no merit. We owe nothing. A good faith payment until the end of the budget cycle in 2020 is over generous, but a compromise. Take it or leave it. Personally I would walk away now and not listen to the stupid utterances of Junker and company.

      Of course the Dutch can pay more once we leave and do handstands or whatever Junker orders it s people to do. The Dutch govt always rolls over even against the will of its people.

    • NickC
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Leaving the political construct of the EU is not divorce.

      Art218 is directly referred by Art50/2 so is not a separate negotiation. Moreover Art50 states: “… taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

      So start taking account of that “future relationship” and stop being childish. No wonder 74% of us in a poll prefer the WTO deal to the lousy EU deal.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Correct, Article 218 sets out the EU’s internal procedure for the Article 50 negotiations which clearly should include the future relationship.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink


      Its not a divorce, we aren’t married luckily for you in the EU , if it was a divorce then the assets of the partnership would be divided up and the EU would owe the UK a huge settlement in money and asset share .

      Try thinking things through before posting

  12. Nig l
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I do not understand parliamentary procedure but it is reported that umpteen wrecking amendments have been filed many by your side so whatever the next steps are, you have been forced to cancel because you do not have a large enough majority. Clever, vote the Bill through to show loyalty then wreck it.

    But my understanding may be totally wrong. Clarify please.

    Yes for me, keep on this topic, as necessary. You cut through the media BS and I rely on your assurances that it will still happen. Our responses, not sure if we are a representative cross sample, should be giving a clear indication of the mood of the wider people.

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    More people may be seeing the advantage of no deal, but it would have been nice for the to show support for Brexit in recognition of the advantages

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      … nice for the PM to show…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Indeed or Hammond or even for them to show, just for once in their actions, they are not dire tax borrow and waste socialists at heart.

        Saying they “believe free markets” and are “low tax at heart” is worthless when every policy they push runs totally counter to their empty words.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    As you say – The EU could use a long period of transition to impose on us and our businesses a whole range of new legislative burdens designed to help the continent or to hinder business generally.

    They could and almost certainly will do if given half a chance. We have quite enough home grown legislative (and fiscal) burdens from the current, essentially socialist, interventionist government (and from the EU and past governments) already. It nearly always seems to go only one way – though to be fair Cameron’s government did almost get rid of the absurd HIP packs though the energy certificates still absurdly remain compulsory. This and the criminal squatting law was about all he did that was sensible.

    May even seems to want to extend the gender pay gap reporting burden to ethnicity! She and Hammond still seem to want to kill the gig economy.

  15. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink


    the problem your argument is that UK business would like a deal, the money we save is less than 1% of the government budget, we cannot afford tax cuts at this stage and whatever we do we will still be subject to some ECJ legislation on some of our trade with Europe.

    So I am afraid your argument for “No deal” being a good option does not stand much scrutiny.

    thank you

    • NickC
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Hans, That is disingenuous. All exporters must comply with relevant rules in the countries to which they export. What we voted to get rid of was EU and CJEU legal supremacy within the UK.

      You see, it’s not just the money, it is freedom, the rule of law, and democratic control of our own Parliament and laws.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

        Quite. The Single European Act negotiated in 1987 was as close to free trade as the EU was ever going to allow. Since then, we have been going backwards for 30 years with regulation piled upon regulation, all in the name of ‘completing the single market’.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Hans christian ivers

      Oh really well as a businessman with international trade I can tell you you’re wrong my preferred option is the World Trade Option dont want or need a deal from the EU

  16. Richard1
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    There is no doubt the govt should clearly have started urgent preparations for no deal the day after the referendum. As in any negotiation there will have to be compromise, and the compromise the EU really wants from the UK is a bung. The bung must be used as a trade off against a free trade deal, even though that’s clearly in the interest of the EU also. The Govt should take the EUs latest aggression on the chin, smile and continue ‘technical’ talks. If the EU council refuses full trade talks again in December then No Deal needs to become Plan A, the Govt should pull out of negotiations and invite the EU to call back if and when they change their mind.

  17. Tasman
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Do you realise that every time you talk about “tariff free” trade you reveal just how utterly ignorant you are about the modern terms of international trade, which are all about non tariff barriers?

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      So what’s the problem with no deal as presumably nothing will change regarding NTBs.

    • NickC
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Tasman, The EU imposes average tariffs of 2.3% on non-agricultural and 8.5% on agricultural products, with cars at 10%. Whatever else that is, it is not “all about non tariff barriers”.

      We already face non-tariff barriers in the EU: they may or may not get worse after we leave. But that is what the WTO is for, and we can retaliate under WTO rules. Those which we face in the rest of the world are hardly going to change just by us leaving the EU.

      So c90% of our economy isn’t affected any more than it is already. About 10% may be marginally. I think that is worth it to be independent. Don’t you?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      So how does the UK manage to trade with so many non EU nations today, if all these “non tariff barriers” exist?
      Perhaps Tasman as you are so clever compared to our host you could explain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I don’t remember you saying that during the referendum campaign, when Remain campaigners from Cameron downwards were constantly harping on about the terrible damage that EU tariffs would inflict on our exporters. The rather amusing thing being that in almost every case that they instanced we in fact run trade deficits with the EU, and the restoration of tariffs would actually be to our advantage.

    • svcop3
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      NTBs do have a fearsome reputation for increasing the cost of trade. By far the biggest NTB cost to trading with the EU is complying with EU legislation. We have already absorbed that cost. The second largest is the thousands of NTBs that are internal to the EU. We have already absorbed those costs. Additional NTB costs are relatively small and will be mitigated by the funds released by the treasury to prepare for no deal. Remember NTBs are outlawed by the WTO; While they still exist, the ability to impose punitive NTBs selectively on the UK is extremely limited. So it really is OK Tasman, we wont be falling off any cliffs and there wont be any car crashes. JR does know what he is talking about.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


      Try a mirror if you want ignorance…. World Trade rules SPECIFICALLY prevent non tariff barriers…. jeez you people

      • Pierre
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        That may be the wrongest thing ever written! You should read the WTO rules

        • Edward2
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          Wrong Pierre
          The whole purpose of the WTO is to stop nations placing barriers to international trading.
          You can appeal to the WTO to intervene and start legal action where nations use regulations to try to delay or restrict trade.

        • NickC
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          Pierre, What is the purpose of your incorrect comment, since anyone can check easily?

          From the WTO website:

          A country should not discriminate between its trading partners and it should not discriminate between its own and foreign products, services or nationals.”

          “Trade negotiations
          The WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. . . . . commitments to lower customs tariffs and other trade barriers, and to open and keep open services markets.”

          “Dispute settlement
          The WTO’s procedure for resolving trade quarrels under the Dispute Settlement Understanding is vital for enforcing the rules and therefore for ensuring that trade flows smoothly.”

  18. oldtimer
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I agree with your analysis. The more we learn about the implications of transition the more alarming it sounds. There is a further consideration. It provides yet more time for the opponents of Brexit to undermine it at every turn especially as many are in positions to do so.

    • stred
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      There is an article by Martin Howe QC available in pdf on the Facts4EU site today>.
      He explains the legal problems involved in agreeing a transitional period under A50, the noose around our necks that it creates and that Mr Hammond has effectively kicked the chair from under our negotiators. This should be required reading for everyone in the cabinet and civil servants, who are obviously either clueless or have an agenda to delay Brexit until it can be reversed. If Hammond is not sacked it will be clear that the PM is in on the plot.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      we are not opponents bu twe do wish to give business more time to adapt and develop new markets as they have asked for

      • NickC
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Hans, It does not make sense to hamper c90% of the UK economy by extending our subjugation to the EU for the supposed sake of the few businesses that export c10% of UK GDP to the EU and will continue to do so anyway after we have left.

      • oldtimer
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Businesses need to adapt to changing circumstances all the time if they are to survive let alone survive. The impact of Brexit is no different and is probably less significant than the effects of competition and technology change.

        I remember an era when a market could disappear overnight, such as Iran after the Shah was deposed by the Ayatollah. That market remained closed for at least seven years until the Revolutionary Guards realised they needed to buy spare parts for the products we had supplied as their options to cannibalise old equipment had run out. Many third world markets (no less than fifteen for our products) closed for business in the early 1980s after the debt crisis of that time. By contrast Brexit should be manageable for most businesses; for most any imposition of tariffs has already been more than offset by sterling devaluation. Business doth protest too much.

  19. JJE
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    WTO rules do not apply to everything. So how does no deal work for aviation for example?

    • Tom William
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      The same way non EU airlines airlines fly to the EU and have reciprocal rights for EU airlines

    • Richard1
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I’ve never understood this particular cliff edge fear. We can fly to and from most of the 160 countries which aren’t in the EU, and you can fly to and from the US out of EU countries. And you could do all of this before the EU existed. It seems you don’t have to be in a political union with the EU to fly to and from an EU country.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      I thought aviation was not a competence of the EU but a series of bilateral agreements between countries.
      Hammond says there may be no flights between the |UK and EU, presumably he expects the flights from the EU to UK to continue.
      This is of course because only bad things will happen to Britain and the EU will continue sailing for the horizon undisturbed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      By sensible compromise on both sides of course – as it is in both parties interests.

    • svcop3
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You mean no flights? No deal means simply no free trade deal. It doesn’t mean there will be no agreements. Of course talks could deteriorate to the stage where there are literally no agreements but we would practically have to be at war with the EU before flights to the EU and back are grounded. You would be better worrying about 2012 TC4.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      How come we have flights to and from Japan, which was not in the EU the last time I looked? And how come there are flights between the 27 other EU countries and the 160-odd other countries which are not in the EU? Indeed, how come there are flights between those 160-odd countries themselves which are not in the EU? How does any of that work, do you think? Do you think there might be a wide range of international agreements which are not dependent upon membership of your precious EU?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Dear JJE–That qualifies for the daftest question of the year–What about train journeys, for instance, are they in peril? Hard to believe you are serious.

  20. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Of course a no deal is the best and cheapest option. As you say Barnier will be like a broken record saying that not enough progress has been made after every round.
    Total capitulation is what they want and there are many on your side who would happily concur.
    There should be no more money paid after March 2019 especially as we can’t apparently fund pensions and social care at home.
    Most of the public want a clean Brexit as soon as possible.

  21. alan jutson
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Such a shame that so many in the cabinet do not understand the points you are making JR.

    Indeed it seems that such is their enthusiasm for all things EU, they are deliberately trying to extend or wreck any chance of an agreement.

    If we are to have a so called transition period, then it has to be agreed in full and ratified by all concerned by the spring of 2019, the date of us leaving.

    We should have started planing for (no Deal) WTO terms the day we sent in the Article 50 letter, failure to do so has meant we now have transition on the table at all.

    Time to make it very clear and to make a stand, NO MORE MONEY.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I see Mr Juncker is now suggesting that Brexit talks are far more complicated that he thought, and will take more time.

      This is simply a ruse to extend and delay talks beyond the spring of 2019, and for us to pay even more money for longer.

      I hope our Government see through this for what it is.

      Talks simply have to finish before Spring of 2019 or we walk away.

      No negotiation during the so called transition period, otherwise it simply is not a transition period..

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Prepare for this scenario and all will be well.

  23. David Murfin
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    If we leave with no deal in March 2019, we can then as an independent nation seek to negotiate trade deals with various countries around the world, presumably including the EU.
    Why is that not our policy?

  24. MPC
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Developing the benefits of ‘No Deal’ should also repeatedly include reminders about potential specific uses of our £12bn pa net gain on departure, which would take the wind out of the sails of the BBC and others. For example, additional funding of social care which is sorely needed and which could begin wef March 2019 with No Deal.

  25. agricola
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    To achieve tariff free trade with the EU is the principal aim and should be the principal aim of all EU businesses that trade with us. The prospect of no deal is not as bad as it might superficially appear. I explained how it should work for the benefit of UK exporters to the EU yesterday.

    I make the assumption that all the operational agreements we have with the EU on such things as , flight freedom, defence, law enforcement, security and the exchange of intelligence, are all of equal benefit to the EU. The EU would therefore have to be supremely masochistic to wish to self harm for the sake of scoring short term political points. The EU may have these tendencies but I doubt the nation states do.

    So yes , make sure that the EU are in no doubt that no deal is a real possibility that we have included in our calculations, and that the more they prevaricate the closer to reality it becomes.

    • anon
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      No flights into the EU.

      Wow. Can you imagine the opportunity for US states like Florida to market and sell holidays etc. I suspect Fred Laker type Airways are pre-planing for a bonanza in safe non-eu destinations.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    So many Remoaners, including Philip Hammond, espouse the view that any deal is better than no deal. In so doing they subjugate the UK’s negotiating position to their beloved EU.
    At the same time they complain that no progress is being made with negotiations. No doubt their idea of progress would be total acceptance of whatever the EU demands.
    They have become so enamoured with life where the EU is in charge they can see no further.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Spot on Brian!


    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I am not sure who the the remoaners are, but as far as I am concerned the businesses I am involved in, support Hammond in having the transition period so we can adapt timely to new markets as well, that is what I will call seeing further

      • Hope
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        It is not a transition it is an extension which the govt doe she not have the mandate and legal authority to implement. 19/03/2019 is the date we leave not part in part out as the stupid Florence speech indicates. Brexit means Brexit. Or enough is enough. Who said that?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          So when did France, Germany, et al join the EEC?

          On January 1st 1958 when the 1957 Treaty of Rome came into force, not twelve years later when the transitional provisions expired:

          “ARTICLE 8

          1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years … “

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t referring to the transition period in my criticism of Hammond. I was highlighting the foolishness of letting it be known during a negotiation that you consider any deal better than no deal. If you’re in business you must see this is no way to get a good deal.
        In addition he has been at odds with the PM over putting in train plans for the eventuality of no deal. Yet again the Treasury failing to cover all eventualities, just as they did before the referendum.

  27. bratwurst
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    There may be an issue with getting a popular early win from fishing.
    When Article 50 terminates at 11pm on 29th March 2019 the EU Treaties and Regulations cease to apply to the UK , and we revert back to our domestic UK law, which in the case of Fisheries, WOULD have been the 1976 Fishery Limits Act, under International Law – UNCLOS 3.
    That however will not happen, because our Westminster Parliament expects to have passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and it is this we will revert back to, and that contains all the acquis, using Fishing as an example, all the EU Fisheries regulations, including all the access arrangements giving the UK’s resource to the EU.
    So what our Parliament intends doing is that, as the Prime Minister correctly stated, we leave the CFP on the 29th March 2019, but by the Withdrawal Bill go back straight away into the CFP, in all but name, until otherwise decided, which could be 2021, or maybe never, and that is done by our own government, nothing to do with the EU.
    Any thoughts on what we should do to avoid this? Also, how many other arrear of policy will be similarly affected.

    • bratwurst
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Sorry, penultimate line should be areas not arrear!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      You and Mike Stallard seem to be plagiarising the same source …

      • bratwurst
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Using Fishing for Leave as a reference source? Why not, they are doing sterling work to ensure our fishing industry is not sold down the river – again.

    • anon
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      We can amend that later with full UK support in parliament.

      Why anyone would object when it is in our competence?

      Thats the benefit of more accountability. Next we might get some direct democracy to avoid 50 years errors compounding.

  28. John Soper
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    You are a fool, but a dangerous one. Do you have any idea what happens on the day after Brexit if there is no deal? Every single consignment that goes through the Channel ports has to be checked to ensure it complies with EU standards. There isn’t the capacity at Dover, there isn’t the capacity at Calais, there isn’t the room to build it, and there isn’t the time to build it. You are talking about cutting this country off.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Remain have forced us to dally around for 18 months.

    • Kenneth
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I think your comments are unrealistic.

      European exporters will no doubt be happy to comply with an electronic pre-approval system such as eTIR or any other system to prevent delays.

      It is not in anyone’s interests – deal or no deal – to have border delays and so goodwill will no doubt be forthcoming on all sides.

      The picture you paint is one of stubbornness to the point of sabotage and I cannot foresee that kind of attitude coming from the UK or from eu member states.

      • Pierre
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        International trade is based in rules not common sense

    • Nig l
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Please don’t be rude just because you disagree. Go to another blog if you think rudeness appropriate. After your first sentence I ignored the rest, sad because it might have had some value.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      What a nonsense post. No doubt you are a Brussels troll.

    • Eric Sorensen
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Relax. Goods will transit trouble-free when CE marked and approved. The approval procedure is taken care of by a so-called notified body. Such bodies are already in place in the UK, and most other countries for that matter, including China. Chinese products are approved to European directive standards by Chinese notified bodies. Put differently, all products that are pre-Brexit approved and CE marked will continue being so post-Brexit.

      • Pierre
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Exactly Eric, we need a deal! Redwood fails to get it

    • NickC
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      John Soper, You are the fool. Trade takes place because of willing sellers and buyers. Buyers won’t buy unless what they buy meets their requirements, including conforming to local standards.

      How do you think the USA sells to the EU without being in the EU? Conversely, we already sell about 50% more to the rest of the world than to the EU, clearly having to meet the local standards which by definition are not EU standards.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Not forgetting the problem of a hard border in Ireland and the effect that it will have on the Good Friday Agreement.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        “Would”, not “will”.

        • John O'Leary
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          I hope you are right that there is some question over the outcome. The way things are looking at the moment I have my doubts.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Having been involved in such trade I can tell you these checks are done prior to the goods leaving not at port of entry.
      There are no delays at Felixstowe for example, where huge volumes of containerised goods arrive and leave every day to and from every corner of the world.
      If you export your products have to meet import country standards and regulations . The UK manufacturing industry does this already.

      • anon
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        How much capacity does Felixtowe have if we have to completely replace imports via the EU?

        We should be upgrading our ports, if they cannot completely replace EU imports. I suggest other Northern Ports such as Liverpool should also be upgraded.

        Longer term.We should even look at power & a tunnel between the UK and Ireland.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 14, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          Felixstowe was just an example.

          The volume of exports won’t alter much if the UK imports more from non EU countries and less from EU countries.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      If that is the case then write to Mr Barnier and tell him to get his skates on. The clock is ticking and there are 27 countries who will have to lay off large numbers if workers ongoing, shareholders ruined , their pension funds reduced to zero value. hurry!!! This could mean the total disintegration of life in Europe as we know it Hurry!!!!!
      Or, realise you are being alarmist and if an ancient Saxon could get all the way from Saxony then modern man might just do it.

    • David Price
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Why do you focus solely on Dover and Calais? The UK has around 120 commercial ports handling 95% of trade volume with nearly 90% of import-export occurring at 20 of the largest. Dover is just one of many and it would be foolish to rely on just one port.

      Why are you not accusing the EU of being foolish and dangerous, they are the ones refusing to discuss trade and other issues but instead playing stupid and dangerous games.

      Why do you think UK people will even want to trade with an EU that has behaved in this way, I certainly plan on avoiding goods and services involving Germany and France, and any EU country that seeks to punish us for the temerity of rejecting their superstate.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Maybe it’s time for a campaign with a simple slogan –


        Which is what I already do whenever possible.

        • ian wragg
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Me too. Just bought a new Swindon built Honda and UK manufactured kitchen and bits.
          Nothing French or German and I now include Holland after listening to pvL regularly.

        • David Price
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          I also, though the EU, it’s friends and supermarkets do like to make things difficult at times. We should have clear, mandatory marking of goods so that those who wish to buy British can easily identify those goods.

          Perhaps “Buy Local, Buy British – and punish the EU”.

          I feel a slogan competition coming on…

        • anon
          Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          As do i, but non-eu is good also, particularly old friends.

  29. Monza 71
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Transition has to mean exactly that.

    It does not mean another two years of the status quo. There has to be a clear timetable that sees various parts of our EU involvement ending at stated dates during the transition period which must not be more than two years.

    In these circumstances, two more years of full budget contributions seems far too generous. I would suggest 66% in year one and 33% in year two.

    Barnier does seem to have come round to the conclusion that his brief is too restrictive but the chances of it being loosened seems remote. Only last week it seems Merkel was insisting that the suggestions made in the Florence speech need to be turned into a written guarantee without preconditions, even though what was offered was clearly dependent on there being movement from the other side.

    The problem is the very concept of the phased approach.

    We should never have agreed to sort out the issue of money before anything else. It was obvious to anyone with any experience of any kind of negotiation that it would used to blackmail us into agreeing a ludicrous financial settlement when both sides know that legally no payment is required.

    No Deal is looking more likely by the day.

  30. Gary C
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    Re: ‘I am writing about this again today, knowing some of you think I write too much about Brexit’

    Absolutely no problem with your coverage on Brexit it’s good to hear from an MP thats prepared to fight for the electorate however what I would like to hear is a tougher line coming from number 10 itself.

    Why are we hearing all this talk of a transition ?

    Will we ever hear TM announce ‘There will be no transition we are leaving . . . . now’ ?

    Enough is enough the EU have no intention of doing a deal so stop wasting time and get on with it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      “Enough is enough the EU have no intention of doing a deal so stop wasting time and get on with it.”

      The collaborators are stopping that from happening. What a gift to the EU negotiators they are.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Gary C

      Wait and see and be a bit more patient, it will most likely all work out

      • Gary C
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Hi Hans,

        The problem here is I’ve not seen much evidence or reason to be happy with showing patience.

    • Graham Wood
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Gary. Agree fully. See:

      to that end!

      • Gary C
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Graham, signed.

  31. Bob
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Philip Hammond obviously cannot see the way forward after Brexit, so why is he still in situ?

    It’s self defeating to have an anti Brexit Chancellor in a govt which needs carry out the decision to leave the EU. We need a Chancellor with a positive approach to the role, someone who can espouse the benefits of self rule.

    I listened to BBC R4 this morning and it seems that each time I walk back into the room there’s another invited guest on air preaching the usual drip drip drip of anti Trump, anti Brexit high tax and spend propaganda.

    Apparently the TV Licence Debate in Parliament which was scheduled for Monday has now be rescheduled for 20th Nov.
    I daresay that there will be a variety of lefties there suggesting that the BBC is “far right” while at the same time defending it’s right to levy Licence Fees so long as it stops inviting Brexiters and Climate Change deniers to join the QT panel.

  32. majorfrustration
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Given the lack of progress and indeed lack of genuine intent by the EU lets simply withdraw from the talks and spend the time working towards WTO rules come 2019. If the EU want to do a deal then then can come to us no later than March 2018

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Sounds sensible. Perhaps we should withhold all payments in the meantime too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      First the government needs to do the diplomatic and media work to make sure that the rest of the world fully understands that the EU is not negotiating in good faith, and that it clearly has no intention of negotiating in good faith notwithstanding the legal imperatives of its own treaties and also other international treaties to which it and its member states are parties, and that we have therefore been left with no realistic alternative but to walk away from negotiations which EU leaders have long ago pre-determined shall be fruitless.

      Once again, we should recognise that the American revolutionaries had got it right with this opening passage in their Declaration of Independence:

      “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

      And stop all the smarmy lovey-dovey hugging and kissing “our European friends and partners” rubbish. The leaders of the other EU member states may or may not be our friends, that is open to question, but they are certainly not behaving like friends towards us as even Philip Hammond has acknowledged.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I’m with you John. This issue overshadows all others. The problem we have is that we are still fighting the Referendum contest long after Remainers promised us that they would honour the result.

    What we hear a lot is “They did not know what they were voting for.”

    What we hear very little is “I did not know what I was voting for.”

    Leading Remainers purport to be arguing on my behalf. I can assure you that they are most certainly not.

    I doubt that one Leave voting visitor to this blog (with verifiable ID) will say that they regret the way they voted. This reflects what I hear in the real world too.

    Remain are having a second bite of the cherry by asking “What does Leave mean ?”

    Well you didn’t vote for it so what’s it got to do with you ?

  34. Simon
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The EU “offer” is for an extension of EU membership. There are no provisions to discuss future relationships under the aegis of Article 50 at all. And the Prime Minister is desperately trying to disguise that fact by describing that extension as something else. Fortunately we are not stupid.

    Any Art 50 agreement needs to be complete by Sept 2018 for ratification. It can not now start before March 2018. That gives 6 months. Looking at the rate of progress on 3 simple issues so far with DD working one day a week what on earth do you think could be achieved in that time over the summer?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      It is not, and should not be, about an extension of EU membership.

      I wonder if you have actually read 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. ”

      How do you suppose the arrangements for withdrawal agreed under Article 50 could take account of the framework for the future relationship if there was no possibility of discussions on the future relationship?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Why do we never hear these quotes repeated by our politicians of all parties on the tv. They are all in this together, we would talk to everyone McDonnell who doesn’t even talk to his own voters properly about the Labour Party position to want to keep us in at any cost.

  35. Simon Brown
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    What about all those MPs of all hues determined to ignore the wish of the ordinary people by sabotaging Brexit at this end?

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink


      The biggest problem by far, Simon Brown.

      They promised us they would honour the vote. Or did this only apply because they thought they were going to win !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      About 55% of the Tories and about 75% of the rest of them.

  36. Peter
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Please continue to write about Brexit. For me it is the main topic of interest on this site.

    I am keen on a prompt ‘No Deal’.

    My main worry are the attacks in Brexit and the in fighting.

    Last night the London Evening Standard was singing the praises of Hammonds delaying tactics. No surprises as Osborne is in charge of the paper – but annoying none the less.

    The Independent, Guardian etc are likewise hopeless.

    It is all a constant battle.

  37. Iain Moore
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    If we ever thought the talks were being held in good faith then the recent story unwittingly from the BBC shows otherwise. To quote the BBC ….

    “The EU is to begin preparing for its post-Brexit trade negotiations with the UK, while refusing to discuss the matter with the British government.
    An internal draft document seen by the BBC suggests the 27 European Union countries should discuss trade among themselves while officials in Brussels prepare the details.”

    All this talk of us being able to move onto post Brexit trade talks once the divorce is settled is a deceit , the EU hasn’t even had talks among themselves about what they will seek from a trade deal. We are being strung along under false pretenses that there was something to negotiate on trade . Clearly this whole divorce process was an exercise to string us along and see how much money they could wring out of us without having any serious intentions of negotiating anything on trade.

  38. Michael
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Please continue to bang on about Brexit and a no deal scenario. We leavers have need of you up front making the case day in and day out.

  39. billR
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Why are we talking about transition again? we didn’t vote for transition we voted to leave. The sooner we are out now will be all the better to allow us take stock and see where we stand and where we’re going. So first of all go for a No Deal, and that could be arranged for much earlier than March 2019- in fact it could be engineered from some crisis in the talks. A cliff edge, so called, will be the best option at this stage to bring clarity to the people,UK politics, Labour dithering and Tory ambition- bring it on- we want nothing more to do with the EU

    So go for it- make it ‘No Deal’- and see how we get on

  40. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Keep sending the message.

    It is difficult to imagine a worse effort to Leave the EU to our best advantage. I refrain from calling it a strategy.

    The Government’s approach has been appalling, naive and simply dumb. It also shows why Corbyn and Co are so prominent. As with Cameron’s, this Government is incapable of focusing on priorities, it just fiddles around the edges and fudges. From the off No Deal should have been the strategy, if the EU in its many wondrous forms wants to talk let them make the running.

    This transition/implementation period is another Whitehall farce, it runs close to the probable next election and stops our having serious money to spend on tax cuts, NHS, etc. Maybe the Conservative Party self interest will get the message that it is at serious risk of imploding next time around.

  41. Tom William
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    After the referendum Remainers criticised Leavers for having no plans. The main reason was the refusal by Cameron to allow the Civil Service to prepare any “what if” answers.

    Hammond is doing exactly the same by refusing to fund anything for a no deal situation until it is too late.

  42. Bert Young
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    What John says today echos my feelings on breaking away completely ; I wish that the same were true of the utterings from different members of the Cabinet . Yesterday the split of opinion between Theresa and Hammond was highlighted in the media ; one can only conclude that she must stamp her authority and rid herself of this continuing problem . The quality of her leadership has undermined the negotiations so far and the EU have seen this as an advantage to them . A ” No Deal ” approach is definitely the right way to go.

  43. WestwardHo
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    We don’t want an eventual agreement, we don’t want a transition, we voted to leave so that we can have trade deals with new partners world wide and not being bound by EU rules and treaties. So as one who has nothing else to lose, i say go for no deal –
    cut our ties completely- and sit back and wait till we see the new trade possibilities emerge. I’m sure there are plenty of countries out there waiting to have a chance to talk with us going forward as promised by Liam Fox.

  44. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Let us look at the Common Fisheries Policy.
    During the “interim” period, we will still be in the CFP: this is because when Article 50 terminates at 11pm on 29th March 2019 the EU Treaties and Regulations cease to apply to the UK , and we revert back to our domestic UK law, which in the case of Fisheries, WOULD have been the 1976 Fishery Limits Act, under International Law – UNCLOS3.,
    That however will not happen, because our Westminster Parliament expects to have passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, previously known as the Great Repeal Bill, and it is this we will revert back to, and of course that contains all the acquis, using Fishing as an example, all the EU Fisheries regulations, including all the access arangements giving our Nation’s resource to the EU.
    So what our Parliament intends doing, is as the Prime Minister correctly stated, we leave the CFP on the 29h March 2019, but by the Withdrawal Bill go back straight away into the CFP, in all but name, until otherwise decided, which could be 2021, or who knows – never, and that is done by our own people, nothing to do with the EU.

    But we will also be leaving it too. Here is the Prime Minister:
    “When we leave the European Union, we will be leaving the common fisheries policy. As part of the agreement that we need to enter into for the implementation period, obviously that and other issues will be part of that agreement. But when we leave the European Union, we will leave the common fisheries policy.”

    I am beginning to see what sort of people we are dealing with now and I am beginning to respect your insistence on a hjard Brexit (I am in favour of EFTA/EEA.)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Even if we foolishly allowed ourselves to be tempted to stay in the EEA we would still have to negotiate new agreements on fisheries and agriculture.

  45. Original Richard
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, you are absolutely right and interesting to note that the percentage figure of 74% who think that a “no deal” is better than a “bad deal” holds true across all the age ranges.

    There is a clear majority for a clean Brexit to remove ourselves entirely from the EU’s jurisdiction and to keep our money and get back our fishing grounds when we exit in March 2019.

    A “no deal” on trade is the most likely scenario by March 2019 because any deal on offer from the EU will be so bad for the UK that it amounts to a punishment deal and hence unacceptable to the UK and any deal acceptable to the UK is very unlikely to be acceptable to all the EU27 countries and the EP. This is shown by how difficult it is for the EU to negotiate trade deals.

    The biggest danger for us is that Mrs. May agrees to an everlasting transition period to enable “negotiations” to continue during which time we are still paying our fees, still under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and all EU laws and still have not reclaimed our fishing grounds.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard, I think Boris said “if there is going to be a transition period, then everything must be agreed BEFORE March 2019”, if Hammond & May think that there can be any transition negotiations after March 2019 then we are really in the brown stuff…

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        And the transition period starts AFTER we have left the EU.

  46. oldtimer
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I think you will agree with this broadside aimed at the monocultural thinking on economic matters that prevails in the Treasury, FT, BBC and elsewhere. Perhaps the Treasury Committee is the place to hold the Treasury forecasters to account? It provides confirmation, if any were needed, of the baleful influence the Treasury has had and continues to have on the economic prosperity of this country. Link here:

    As the Treasury is the slow camel in the march towards Brexit, and the author of the demand for a never ending transition, perhaps it should be cut adrift from the camel train so that the rest of us can make progress.

  47. CharlesV
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    What should matter to you is that we exit the EU in an orderly way and so that at the point of exit the following has been achieved:
    1/ control over our borders, finance and laws
    2/ tariff free trade arrangements with the EU
    3/ efficient and as friction-less trading arrangements with the EU as possible
    4/ smooth transition to WTO rules
    5/ re-establishment of our own trade dept so we can exploit the new opportunities
    6/ a country more at ease with itself now that this decisive issue has been resolved
    7/ preservation or enhancement our relationship with our EU allies
    8/ a more united conservative party that has better prospects of winning the next election

    The only one of those you are going to achieve if there is no deal is 1/. The truth is that article 50 should not have been triggered until the planning was done to make the no deal a credible option. But, no, rather than approach this in a, logical and ordered manner you pressed for this. It was a big mistake and has significantly weakened our negotiating position.

    The white papers published this week were filled with typos and the content was vague. This sums up the lack of detailed planning and clarity that you have forced on the government.

    Because no deal is no a credible option we will get a poor deal. We can all therefore look forward to another, completely avoidable, decade or so you and the rest of your allies moaning like hell. That is, assuming you get elected again – I think that is in question.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      You really mean, the truth is that article 50 should not have been triggered until people like you had had the maximum opportunity to neutralise the result of the referendum. We know what you are about with your specious objections.

  48. Excalibur
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you, JR. No Transition; No ECJ jurisdiction; No parachute payments, and preferably No Deal.

  49. Epikouros
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    There is no argument left now for other than what you state above. The public are convinced of it only the woolly headed are against. It is convincing them is the problem(they hold the levers of power) as although we live in a democracy and the voice of the people should always take precedent the woolly headed believe we should not and they should act on our behalf even if it is against our wishes for our own good. This form of arrogance is to be found everywhere. From the Brussels clique to the righteous indignant that disapprove of any actions, speech or lifestyle social or political that does not meet with their narrow minded approval.

  50. BOF
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks for an excellent post.

    I saw yesterday that a Brussels think tank says that we owe no more than £10m, so why has the PM offered £20m in Florence?

    I agree that transition is a poor choice which will have negative consequences for UK.

    It is now increasingly obvious to all that EU negotiations are all about blackmail, extortion and control.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      She mentioned no figure, journalists have made it up.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Is it not the case that to offer money to foreign officials for trade considerations is illegal?

  51. Mockbeggar
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It was interesting that the good news this morning – that the EU is at last beginning to realise that we mean business when we say ‘No deal…’ and to think about their next move, that the Today programme had the state of prisons as its prime discussion immediately after the 8.00 am news. I’ve just looked through the schedule and the only Brexit discussion they had was with a couple of obscure EU politicians at 7.09 am.
    Good news is no news for them.

  52. ian
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The speaker of the HOC made a statement yesterday to MPs saying that they have the right to delay or prevent Brexit if they wish at any time. I take that to mean that a vote in the HOC will be needed for a no deal. Cannot see where you have the numbers in the HOC to vote through a no deal. A no deal option at this time is not really on the table. A deal option is on the table but the hurdles it will have to go throw are as follows, an agreement between the two sides working on it now, then the HOC and the HOL will have to agree to it, then the 27 countries have to agree on it which will take time and then the ECJ will have to agree on it which could take years. Till you have 326 MPs in the HOC willing to sign up to a no-deal, I cannot see how it going to work because you have too many con party MPs who will be against it also the DUP might be against as well.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Parliament is sovereign and so of course MPs have that right, it should not need to be said. Equally come the next election the voters have the right to throw out all those who voted to overturn the referendum result. As for the Lords, if you are relying on those unelected legislators-for-life to do what you want and block Brexit then that just shows how little you care about our national democracy, which obviously fits in very well with your support for the EU.

  53. a-tracy
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    “There are four big worries about relying heavily on eventual Agreement. The first is money.”

    It was never a marriage so there is no divorce. Breaking up business arrangements always takes lots of money and if you don’t sort things out amicably there’s only one set of people that gain and that’s lawyers.

    Junker is reported to have said to a group of laughing Uni students in Luxembourg, ‘its like you’re sat in a bar and ordering 28 beers and suddenly some of your colleagues leave and they’re not paying that’s not feasible’. Well that’s a bit disingenuous, its more like five of those 28 have been paying for those drinks for 40 years and one of the biggest contributors says ‘you know what guys I’ve got problems at home, I’ve a family now that’s expanded at quite a rate and many of them are getting to a point they need a roof over their heads; I’ve aging parents who need medical care and lots more social support and quite a lot of my teenagers after years and years of education, education, education are suffering from mental health problems 10% of them serious and I need to stop drinking and use my money to support them. I’ll stick around and buy a fairer share of drinks in the future but this largess has to stop, I asked you all if I could cut back but you said no, I asked if others could step up a bit more and they refused well you left me with little choice as now you’re telling me to go cold turkey .

  54. Atlas
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Agreed !

  55. Man of Kent
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Two hundred plus years ago we prepared for ‘no deal ‘ and declined to join Napoleon’s Continental System .
    We built Martello Towers and the Grand Military Canal from Hythe to Lympne
    They all became redundant after Trafalgar in 1805 .

    I have never heard of anyone saying at the time or afterwards that they were a waste of public money and should never have been built ; although there were plenty of the London ‘intelligentsia ‘ who favoured the French revolution as a political goal and were dismayed by Waterloo.

    • CharlesV
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      We haven’t got time to build Martello Towers before we exit. As soon as we triggered Article 50 we removed the option to do so in time, our host and others of his ilk put us in this position.

      No deal is not a credible option because no credible planning has been done. We will therefore get a bad deal.

      Ironic isn’t it? Those most in favour of brexit have done the most to scupper it’s success.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        There would be plenty of time to build Martello towers, if that is what we wanted to do to deal with our enemies across the Channel. Please don’t try to blame Leavers for the failure of a government run by Remainers to make any plans in case they lost the vote. In fact it was not just a failure on their part, it was a disgraceful, conscious, refusal to make any such plans.

  56. travisH
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Who cares if there are no flights to europe after march 2019..we will have no need to go there anyway

  57. Tad Davison
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Considering that Brexit ranks in importance alongside Magna Carta or the threat of invasion from Nazi Germany – something else that threatened to subsume and subjugate us in perpetuity – I feel it cannot be talked about enough.

    For evil to triumph, all good men need do is nothing at all. Happily, JR isn’t so disposed and as well as being very articulate, a true patriot, and master of his subject, he also has the guts to take on vested interests that are all-too-often blinkered and entrenched.

    The EU construct is not just wrong, it is positively dangerous, so that message needs to be driven home time and time again and constantly backed up with incontrovertible facts in order to put these remainiacs in their place. Quite why there are still so many EU lovers in positions of influence when they are now so discredited, is a moot point. A good leader would rid us of them, particularly the ones who continue to throw obstacles in this country’s way.

    Tad Davison


  58. Ken Worthy
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Isn’t the money situation even worse than just two more years contributions during the transition period? M Barnier has made it clear that they still want the exit fee on top of that, and are frustrated because the UK has refused to make an offer. The fee has no basis in law, but Theresa May in her Florence speech abandoned this position and agreed to “meet our commitments”, which is the EU’s exact wording for their claim, and was probably dictated to her by EU officials.

  59. lojolondon
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    John, to date we have taken no action against those traitors to the British cause, and I mean irrespective on their stance over Brexit. The Chancellor and the BBC have distinguished themselves by actively undermining Britain’s position at every turn. I do believe that changes need to be made, these should be immediate and permanent. Indeed, I would consider legal charges by the Crown against both parties to be not excessive.

    • Phil_Richmond
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – Many MPs are clearly committing high treason. It is noted.

  60. Sue Doughty
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Mr Barnier used an analogy of 28 people sitting in the bar and one wants to leave without paying. “That’s not right, you have to pay.” But the rounds of 27 drink being brought after one has left will be paid by the remaining 27 and that is a smaller bill and the one no longer there is not drinking any more so should not pay any more.
    Now we know what the EU is all about, who buys the beer.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      The rounds are paid for in advance.

  61. rose
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    And the fifth issue is the continuing influx of people whom we can’t cater for without damaging the environment and the lives of our own people.

    The Sky poll seems to have rattled the BBC. They had the despised and rejected AfD and Danish People’s Party on this am in a desperate bid to con us into wanting to go back to the table. They treated them with curtesy and respect and didn’t interrupt them once!

    • graham1946
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      The Danish party are actually right wing, Euro Sceptic, anti immigration and would like to follow the UK out, so I can’t quite see what point you are making.

      • rose
        Posted October 14, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        I was being sarcastic about the BBC. Sorry to have been obscure.

        The Eurosceptic DPP and AfD are beyond the pale for the BBC. They have made that clear, as they did with the many French Eurosceptic parties and their Austrian and Italian equivalents. When do you ever hear them on the air?

        Having these gentlemen on the programme to say that the EU should change the terms of negotiation to include the future relationship was intended to make us want the negotiations to go on. It is hard to stomach this behaviour when they normally won’t speak to them.

  62. miami.mode
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    We excused ourselves from the mainland of Europe in 1940 which unleashed the fury, both verbal and actual, of some European nations. Plus ca change!

  63. Anna
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    We, as a trading and maritime nation over many centuries, have negotiation, bargaining and compromise in our blood. It occurs to me that the EU lacks these skills. The High Command in Brussels issues directives, or the EU Parliament rubber-stamps its laws, or high-handed actions by the EU usurp democratically elected politicians, as in Greece, and install EU appointees.

    Now they have to learn the art and craft of give and take in shaping a new relationship with the UK. We have made some friendly gestures and generous offers which, instead of using them to move negotiations forward, the EU have met with derision and obduracy. Emollience and goodwill on our part have been perceived as weakness and subservience. This is the perspective of the tyrant, who, unused to having to make concessions, cannot accept them in a positive and gracious spirit. We need to recognise this. We need to give assurances to EU citizens resident here that their right to be here will be respected, subject to their obedience to UK law, then withdraw, leaving an offer to negotiate further in London, if and when the EU is ready.

    • Pierre
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Anna. Can you tell me where the unicorns are in your fantasy “Britain first” world?

  64. JoolsB
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    May and Davis have said that many of the powers coming back from Brussels will be repatriated to the devolved Governments. Not surprising that as usual no mention of England whatsoever. How can there be when England is now the only country in the UK and western world denied a voice and it’s own parliament? When are you John, someone who purports to talk for England, going to have a word in their ear and ask them when England is going to get a taste of these new powers or even some of the powers the other nations of the UK already enjoy?

    You and your colleagues may think you can carry on getting away with ignoring the English Question and the undemocratic manner in which England is governed but hopefully once the English see even more powers being given to the rest of this dis-UK, powers denied to them, and see 117 UK MPs with non-English seats continue to meddle and interfere in matters which neither affect them or their constituents, they will rise up and demand equality and an end to the rotten deal they are dealt by 650 self serving UK MPs in the UK Parliament.

    The anti-English Con/Lab/Lib parties continue to ignore England at their peril.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      When the Scots joined the Union they were effectively bankrupt and had to be bailed out. When the UK joined the EU via the EEC we’ve done nothing but pay up. Go back and read what we were sold to join in with a customs union not a political union where we would be consumed, outvoted by minority nations and a super block who didn’t have the same political end goals that we had. They never told us because they knew we would never join in.
      Now Scotland wants to bite off the hand that fed it and nurtured it and the EU wants to bite off the other hand that gives more than we take. We’re being cornered by our own leaders. We are sick of being told we can’t care for you in our NHS as we want to because even with eye watering amounts of money the number of people using the service for free has expanded, same with housing, you have to retire at 67 instead of 60 whilst the civil servants deciding this can keep their pensions and get their retirement funds at 60, our children have to get £47,000 to £57,000 of student debt but the rest of the nation and the EU if they study in Scotland, Wales etc. Can get it for free or much lower costs, we have to pay for prescriptions, parking, every check up in hospital then costs £3 to £5 so even blood tests aren’t free. Don’t be sick, don’t get old, and our schools are churning out 20% of our children with mental health problems 10% of them serious. All our media are concerned about is deal or no deal! Our contribution seems to be based on GDP surely they should of been based on profits not turnover it’s aborhent, we’re borrowing more and more to stay in a club that patently has no respect for us and as Macron pointed out never fitted in, they only want the money and when relationships are just based on money there’s always one party that is unhappy.

  65. Cobwatch
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday nonsense was spouted via ITV news and elsewhere that a no-deal would collapse UK gdp by 18%(by 2030) and would also lead to an immediate recession. This is Project Fear reborn on steroids! This is a Dutch analysis by Rabobank. Hilarious.

    • Pierre
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Why would a Dutch bank not tell the truth?

  66. Mactheknife
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m involved in large commercial negotiations and I’m constantly surprised that our media, particularly the BBC do not understand what a negotiation is. They go into doom mongering mode whenever Barnier, Tusk et al says anything. What the EU say in public will not be what is happening behind the scenes. During negotiations both parties will (or should have) different bargaining strategies and its therefore no surprise that the leaked document tells us they are preparing for trade talks. They know that “no deal” is a bad deal for them as the export of EU goods to the UK far outweighs our exports to the EU and they know we know its a bad deal for them !. The UK should continue with the no deal line until the EU show some flexibility and serious engagement with us instead of the ‘we (EU) have set out the terms of negotiation’ stance they’ve taken so far.

    • CharlesV
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Then you’ll appreciate that before you start a negotiation you put yourself in a position where the walk away option is favourable as it could be. We failed to do this.

  67. TomTomTom
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Barnier says “The negotiations are deadlocked”.

    I translate that as:

    EU is surprised that the UK fails to capitulate.

  68. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    It is getting very tedious to read abusive comments from Remainers in this blog – just today we have John called “ignorant” and a “fool”. It shows up the threadbare nature of their actual arguments I suppose.

  69. Graham Wood
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Martin Howe QC, probably one of the sharpest legal minds to navigate the Brexit minefield has written a piece (reported on Brexit Central yesterday) on the extreme dangers the UK would face in a so called “transition period” and the issue of payments to the EU.
    It is long but in my view, very important to grasp his warning that in such a period we would in effect not be leaving the EU, or rather in name only.

  70. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Unlike many who comment here I have no problem in principle with the suggestion of a transitional period after we have left the EU, because I know that it is commonplace for international treaties to include transitional provisions so that some changes which have been agreed are only implemented gradually after the treaty has come into force.

    But I would emphasise three points which seem not to be fully understood, in some cases deliberately misunderstood.

    1. The transitional provisions must operate AFTER the treaty as a whole has come into effect, so in this case the transition is completed AFTER WE HAVE LEFT THE EU.

    2. It must actually be a transition, a series of changes from a starting point to an agreed finishing point, not this silly nonsense of a “standstill transition” which would be just a continuation of the status quo.

    3. There must be a defined schedule for the transition to take place, it cannot be a case of it just allowing to be dragged out longer and longer.

    Incidentally I also have no great objection to Philip Hammond saying that he would prefer not to spend money on preparations for our exit, with or without some agreement, until it had become clearer what needed to be done and what money would be needed.

    Some in the media have tried to make it seem that he is refusing to make preparations at all, when he is more saying that he wants to make timely and appropriate preparations rather than premature and inappropriate preparations:

    “Q23 Charlie Elphicke: In The Times today, you write that you will release funding only when it is responsible to do so. You said earlier that it is not a demonstration point. Can you explain further what you mean by that? In what circumstances do you envisage that it would be responsible to spend funds preparing for a no deal?

    Mr Philip Hammond: The point I was making is that some are urging me to spend money simply to send a message to the EU that we mean business. I think the EU knows that we mean business. It knows that we are planning for a no-deal scenario, and that we have to do that.

    In terms of when we start spending money on programme expenditure relating to a no-deal exit, where that is uniquely required in a no-deal scenario—some of it will need to be spent anyway—we need to work backwards from 29 March 2019 and identify where we need to make the commitment decision in order to deliver on time, but not commit public funds on a potentially abortive basis before we need to do so. By the way, that is the same principle we use in all public spending decisions … “

  71. Nig l
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    A major announcement. A Minister for No Deal and an ardent Leaver at that. Just stop the PM giving anything away at all at the next conference and progress will have been made.

  72. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Incidentally I was tidying a folder yesterday and I came across several copies of different official Remain campaign leaflets addressed to family members all with this prominent first message in answer to the question “WHY VOTE?”:


    “Unlike a General Election, where you can choose to elect a new Government every 5 years, this vote is a once in a generation opportunity to choose a Britain that is stronger, safer and better off.”

    Yet it wasn’t a generation, it was literally just days after they had lost the referendum that these contemptible people starting talking about a repeat referendum.

  73. Mike
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    John, keep posting more of your Brexit analysis. It’s brilliant. You speak very wise words.

  74. Phil_Richmond
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    One problem is that most MPs do not understand that they are servants of the people, they think its the other way round. (I include many Tories in this as well).
    Therefore they cannot take clear instructions from us. I knew it would descend into all this political obstruction.
    If democracy doesn’t work then I can only imagine what the backlash will be. MPs will only have themselves to blame.

  75. ian
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    You messed up. Cameron offered you a ref and you took the bait without thinking and picking your time to have a ref, then you voted to sign up for A 50 which was a no-no, then you allowed Mrs May to have an election which backfires on you.
    Now all that is left as options, is EU come with last minute agreement which you will have to agree to everything they want or you will have to coincide changing con party MPs, but you will have a problem with that/ because a lot of them are in remain areas. I see another election in 2019 so you better be ready. There not much chance of the con party winning anymore election, after all, that gone on. It would be welcome sight to see independent MPs in parliament who are for Brexit, and to stop labour and the con party from making laws against the people of this country, 40 independent MPs would do the job with more support for free parliament, so if you and your con party Brexiters want to make a name for yourselves before you retire, that would be the way to go.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Well, we won the referendum. I’ll repeat that in case you have a problem grasping it – we won the referendum, you lost the referendum, the UK is leaving the EU.

  76. George Brooks
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank heaven Junker has broken cover and confirmed it is all to do with money as if we didn’t know it. The EU is ”stoney” and has been living well beyond it’s means for years and now faces a 12% drop in contributions. If anybody is heading for a cliff edge the EU is’

    Remoaners and others with similar views to those of Messers Clegg, Cable, Corbyn and Hammond should wake up and realise the extremely dangerous game they are playing. It has been very clear for several months that Barnier and his team has been trying to crack the resolve of the Brexitiers in the hope that we might change our mind and ask to remain.

    Ever since 1066 there have been numerous attempts to ”take” the UK and this is exactly what is happening right now and I am surprised that so many lack the foresight not to realise this. Article 50 has been signed and sent, so we are OUT. There is no way back except to, heaven forbid, re-apply which would be both commercial and political suicide.

    Everything we have achieved in the last 50 years would be lost and the EU would strip us of our wealth and standing and the UK would be a shadow of it’s former self with no ‘opt-outs’, rebates and all the other previous benefits that we negotiated removed.

    Remoaners and the like stop encouraging the EU and support our negotiating team. As has been said a thousand times the EU needs a trade deal with us, just as much as we would like one with them but if they can’t see it then lets stop wasting time and get on with life free of the EU.

  77. ian
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Mactheknife, I understand what you are saying, but without the backing of parliament for a no deal vote, there is no way of calling their bluff. It means the UK has sent out a team for negotiation with the EU without the backing of the main player “parliament. Even if the EU start talking about trade it does not mean anything, because it will be all one-sided, without the backing of parliament, and with PMs in parliament phoning them every week to tell them if the no vote has changed, so they can change their stand on the talks if needed.

  78. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ve spent too long in economics lecture halls and forgotten about political realities. In fact you have very little to say about politics at all – puzzling since the Brexit process is mainly a political one. ‘No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal’ was the message that May sent out to the country and she asked SPECIFICALLY for endorsement of it when she called the election. Result – lost majority. Mandate for No Deal […] – non-existent. Despite what you say about Brexit restoring democracy, you calmly ignore a General Election result. And you cheerfully support the government’s attempt to acquire Henry VIII powers – further evidence that you hold democracy in contempt.

    Reply The Conservatives got the higher percentage of the vote since 1983 and have 49% of the seats, made a majority with the DUP

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 14, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      There are many reasons Mrs May did badly in the election. One was her rather dotty domestic policies, her lack of leadership, her failure to communicate any kind of visions of an independent sovereign UK etc etc. Brexit itself played a minor role. It was mainly about Mrs May herself.
      If there is one obvious conclusion from events since the referendum it is that Remainers and Leavers cannot be reconciled in government. There is no compromise to be had so long as Brexit remains only a concept and discussions are allowed to continue. Heads should be banged together. Mrs May cannot/won’t end the arguments, she indulges them. Like the referendum question it is binary. The cabinet, and preferably ministers, must be changed to be predominantly Brexiteers. Otherwise UK will not get Brexit other than in the technical sense of the Lisbon Treaty being replaced by something else. Once achieved, it will be possible to demonstrate to Remainers that Brexit is OK. Until then it is simply self destructive to allow the debate to continue instead of getting on with it.

  79. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Some of the Projects (over the 7 year budget period) that the EU want us to help finance will be the building blocks of a Federal European SuperState – unified Presidency, Army etc. None of these is in our interest. Just say ‘no’.

    Would we be willing to pay the EU anything for the bonus of being able to IMPLEMENT other free trade agreements one year early?

  80. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 14, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    No Deal should have been the starting point, the new status quo from which UK planned for negotiations and developing the capabilities required in an independent country. Obvious but it is not what Mrs May did. Her starting point was a new complex and comprehensive treaty that satisfied both Remainers and Leavers. So now we have ‘transition’ which should be about implementation but could equally be about merely continuing with something like EU membership.
    There is another real danger with transition that John Redwood has not mentioned.
    UK’s transition plan neatly aligns UK with the EU’s plan contained in the Five Presidents report on completing economic and monetary union by 2025 as the last step before founding the Federal State of Europe. Published in June 2015, with a follow-up white paper published on schedule in spring 2017. By 2025 the last step will be in place with new treaties. The transition would enable UK to take part in discussions on the treaty changes and consider joining the Federal State of Europe.

  81. Ron Olden
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    My concern about this ‘transition period’, is, that it will end up as permanent effective Membership of The EU without having any of the National rights associated with actually being in it. i.e, it’s the ‘Norway’ ‘solution’.

    I would rather Stay in the EU as a Full Member than have that.

    As for this recent controversy about Parliament having a vote on the final deal, I’m all for it.

    But it must be made quite clear that if Parliament rejects any such deal put before it, we Leave with No Deal. Otherwise the EU, on the assumption that when Parliament rejects it, we will stay in, has an irresistible incentive, to offer us the worst conceivable deal which the know cannot possibly accept.

    This notion that ‘a bad deal is better than no deal at all’, is like a Trade Union negotiator going into negotiations telling his employer that unless he gets a pay rise, he’ll accept a pay cut instead, and whatever he’s offered, he definitely won’t go on strike.

    This is what went wrong when Ted Heath ‘negotiated’ Membership in the first place, and in every Treaty, since. We always appear so desperate to be part of any agreement. that we end up having to accept whatever they offer.

  • 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.

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