Farming for our future

The Uk currently runs a massive £20bn trade deficit in food with the rest of the EU. In 1984 the UK was 78% self sufficient in food. It produced 95% of all the temperate food we needed at home. The early years under the EEC had been fine for farming. Then the EU put in milk quotas and other restrictions on us which began a long decline in our ability to sustain home production.  The Common Fishing Policy led a fast decline  in our fishing industry. We have seen home production  fall from 78% to 60% of our needs. We  now import more than a quarter of the food of the kind we can grow or produce for ourselves. This is despite having one of the best climates for growing what we need.

Under the milk quota system which lasted 30 years from 1984 the UK only had half the milk quota of Germany, and ended up importing a lot of processed milk products from the continent. The Danish pig industry, the Dutch market gardening and flower businesses and many others made  big inroads into our home market. Our fishing grounds were taken over by the whole of the EU under the Common Fishing Policy. We changed from landing  1 million tonnes of fish in the year we joined the EEC, to landing just 400,000 tonnes last year. The UK became a net importer of fish, after years of being a  net exporter with one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The large quantities landed elsewhere meant we needed to impose more restrictions on the total catch.

When we leave the EU we will be able to design a fishing and farming policy that allows us to sustain higher levels of home production. It will need further investment. The UK could do more food processing to add value to the staples supplied by the farms. Much of this can be done through co-operatives or processing businesses working in partnership with the farms. Where farm size is relatively small mechanisation will also require collaboration, joint investment or rental agreements to mobilise the high powered and sophisticated machinery that can  now automate farming and make it more efficient.

The UK is extending the growing season for everything from asparagus to strawberries by polytunnels. We presently only produce one fifth of our own apples, but have the techniques to greatly increase the output and the durability of the apples over a longer season. All this will be accelerated if the EU does opt for WTO tariffs rather than carry on tariff free as we propose. Only in agriculture are the tariff barriers potential high. They would require a rapid response from UK farms to fill the gaps caused by dearer EU product, rather than seeing us buying more from non EU sources overseas. Even without tariffs following the recent strong performance of the Euro against all major world currencies including the pound, UK farmers are in a good position to expand. Doing so cuts food miles, gives us the pleasure of local produce, and eats away at that colossal food deficit the EU has given us.



  1. Newmania
    October 16, 2017

    If the farmers of this country are to face the same world markets as the rest of us then there will soon be no food grown here at all .

    1. Roy Grainger
      October 16, 2017

      NO FOOD GROWN HERE AT ALL. Project Fear lives.

    2. Anonymous
      October 16, 2017


      It will only happen if the food is cheaper than we can get now. So for most of us not in farming a good thing.

    3. Richard1
      October 16, 2017

      Scratch a Continuity Remainer, find a protectionist. The remain case that they are defending free trade is humbug – Protectionism is at the heart of the EU political project.

    4. stred
      October 16, 2017

      Presumably, we could keep WTO tariffs on food that is produced by British farmers, in order to protect them as much as at present and apply the same level of subsidy. Very few customers would wish to buy only cheap food from the third world and the US. If we allowed US hormone produced beef and marked it as such, only body builders and gender changers would buy it. We must keep low tariffs on NZ lamb, for customers that like grass fed meat.

      I see Mrs May is off to see Mr Junker today. Let us hope and pray she keeps her credit card in her handbag and doesn’t try to be sympathetic to his ideas about rounds of drinks. Will she take David Davis or Baldrick the USSR fan with her to keep an eye on proceedings?

    5. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2017

      Not true but they will have to and indeed should change and adapt to real market conditions.

  2. Tasman
    October 16, 2017

    So, your basic argument is that trade is bad. How has the Conservative party achieved such a state of ignorance and stupidity? Adam Smith? Does the name mean anything t0 you?

    Reply The doctrine of comparative advantage is fine, which is why I would prefer a free trade deal with the EU. I am just pointing out we have other options if they don’t want one. You should be asking the EU if it has read A Smith, not me!

    1. Tasman
      October 16, 2017

      There has never in human history been a collection of states that has freed up trade between themselves more than the EU. Yet you want to leave it, and you want to accept that the UK will be facing a host of protectionist trade barriers that haven’t affected us since 1973.

      1. libertarian
        October 18, 2017


        If you had ever started , run or traded in business you would know that there is nothing freed up about trade in EU, there is NO single market its a con.

        I trade in Spain, Japan, Canada & Brazil . Spain is by far and away harder than the others and I dont bother at all with Germany as it has its own set of rules that dont conform at all to anyone else.

        Your knowledge of history is derisory , for most of human history there have been no barriers on trade anywhere

        92% of UK business does no trade whatsoever with EU countries so I wouldn’t worry your empty head about it too much

        You are typical of people who have no actual experience of a thing telling those of us that do why your “theory” about single markets sounds like a good idea. Try having skin in the game first

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2017

      He should also ask them to read their own treaties …

      “It’s not just Mario Draghi who wants more trade, ostensibly that desire runs all the way through the EU treaties and our diplomats and other representatives should be actively pointing that out to governments and other influential bodies around the world and making sure they fully understand that when they are dealing with the EU they should always expect to be dealing with hypocritical and untrustworthy people.

      Apart from the general Article 8 TEU on the EU’s neighbourhood policy, mentioned above, here is a list, not necessarily exhaustive, of other relevant provisions in the EU treaties … “

    3. Newmania
      October 16, 2017

      Rubbish, you regularly make the argument for protectionism whenever it becomes more obvious that we will not enjoy the benefits of the single market without paying the political and financial costs.
      If tariff free trade was the natural state of things, and the default position of Europe that would make sense
      In reality even military peace has been hard won
      Why do you not know this obvious fact?

      You simply cannot adopt this “say any old thing “attitude it is an irresponsible way to treat the millions of people who do not understand the argument and to whom you owe greater care and duty
      ; have you entirely forgotten the consequences of your actions to real people?

      1. libertarian
        October 18, 2017


        Explain how the single market benefits the business you run

        There have been 35 wars, insurrections, coups and revolutions in Europe since the founding of EEC , some peace. We have at least 2 going on right now. Please explain how the EU is currently keeping the peace

    4. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2017

      Free trade is good but be we have other options if the selfinterested EU bureaucrats want to shoot themselves and us in the foot.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 16, 2017

        Perhaps have more apples and pears and fewer peaches and pomigranites.

    5. forthurst
      October 16, 2017

      “Reply The doctrine of comparative advantage is fine, which is why I would prefer a free trade deal with the EU.”

      Yes: the CAP gives French farmers a comparative advantage.

    6. libertarian
      October 16, 2017


      Your lack of understanding of trade is monumentally pathetic. Trade doesn’t just happen overseas you know in fact 86% of existing UK trade is internal

      Boy remainers really do not have much of a clue , as the EU is NOT a free trade area its a protected customs union you are whining to the wrong people

  3. Lifelogic
    October 16, 2017

    Indeed huge scope in farming, far less red tape, easy hire and fire, cheaper energy, and lower simpler taxes is what is needed as with everything else. Then watch farming boom- but stop paying them daft subsidies for doing nothing or the wrong things and cut the green crap energy subsidies.

    English apples, loganberries, blackcurrents, plumbs, asparagus, pears, damsons ….. are so much nicer too.

    It is reported that Hammond in his budget is going to make taxes dependent on age – to advantage the young. What a bonkers and pointlessly complex idea that is, should create lots more parasitic jobs (in the tax, consultancy and law professions) and lots of pointless activity with people paying their children rather than themselves. Perhaps firing older workers to replace them with younger and fiscally cheaper young staff. Hugely damaging as we have come to expect from this silly man.

    If he really wants to help the young get rid of his extra 3% stamp duty and landlord interest taxes that push up their rents up by circa 15% and restrict supply. That and cut the daft planning restrictions and OTT green crap building regs.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2017

      And English Rhubarb, Cob Nuts, Cherries, Gooseberries, Bilberries, Milk, Cream, Venison, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Fish, Game, Veg …………. Some of the best produce in the world is English and far more could be if the government just got out of the way.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 16, 2017

        British I meant.

    2. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2017

      “Big cut in stamp duty for young” says Osborne’s Standard today. Hopefully Hammond will not forget about all the people renting who are also being mugged with higher rents due to his 3% stamp duty surcharge and his double taxation of landlord interest.

      Or will it just be a cut for buyers which, in general, just means higher prices for seller as the buyer has less SDLT! Turnover taxes are economic lunacy in general and certainly at 15% they are absurd. Or does he not care about the generally poorer people people renting? Just thought I would warn him what the reaction will be if he does choose to ignore them.

  4. Mark B
    October 16, 2017

    Good morning

    All this depends on a government that does not try and sell them out for the sake of a few corporates who happen to be members of the CBI.

    And given its history with dealing with rural affairs I am afraid I do not hold out much hope.

    1. Hope
      October 16, 2017

      Exactly. Treeza Halifax May reported is on her way for emergency rails with the EU. Why? Is the choreographed moment when she capitulates, like Cameron before, claiming to have reformed the EU but we must stay in the ECJ, comply with EU rules, no border with EU citizens and pay billions for the privilege! I.e. Stay in.

      There should be no emergency talks, like you pointed out JR, the EU wants to trade or it does not, it wants to be friends or it does not. One thing May does not have to do is jump each time Junker/ Merkel speaks and offer more.

      Good to see Austria reject EU and Merkel’s mass immigration by electing a person who expresses the wish of the Austrian public. The same in the US. About time the UK had a PM who did the same for the U.K.!

      Why is your govt not hammering Labour for going against its manifesto to leave the single market and custom union? Might it be because inwardly it agrees with Labour, against the public wishes?

  5. Caterpillar
    October 16, 2017

    So, another reason why UK should get on and leave, though I would like to see tariff and other barriers lower for food. It is of course another reason why the team of May, Hammond, Corbyn and McDonnell will wish to remain/delay – they want to deal and they want to look after the EU. Certainty now, no deal please.

    1. Caterpillar
      October 16, 2017

      We will see in October whether the BoE will continue to encourage inflation and weaken the currency in an apparent ctd attempt to create the outcomes of project fear. (I can no longer tell incompetence from conspiracy).

  6. Duncan
    October 16, 2017

    The Swiss Trap is being laid. Will Tory Eurosceptics have the guts to stand up, be counted and expose May and Hammond as they try to lure Brexiteers into a false sense of security

  7. Sakara Gold
    October 16, 2017

    An impressive analysis. We also fly in food from non-EU countries – South Africa, Chile, Egypt etc – I believe that the supermarkets report that the British consumer also throws away a lot of food. It would be good to eat more local produce, provided British farmers do not dump more unnecessary pesticides on our arable land, harming our honeybees, moths, butterflies, bats etc.

    1. David Price
      October 16, 2017

      The first step is to rebuild a viable and sustainable ability to feed ourselves then perhaps we could look at secondary priorities

  8. oldtimer
    October 16, 2017

    This data is a shocking indictment of those Remainers who wish to sustain this state of affairs. That includes MPs who seek suppress the farming and fishing industries.

    1. Chris
      October 16, 2017

      It is also a shocking indictment of our MPs who have allowed this to happen over the last 40 odd years. Why did they not speak up during that time?

  9. Richard1
    October 16, 2017

    The Labour first minister of Wales has threatened to ‘veto’ any free trade deals with Australia or New Zealand, so as to protect Welsh agriculture, which he thinks would be threatened, and with China, to protect steel. It’s an interesting insight into EU-type mentality on a micro scale – keep prices high for the whole population to protect a vociferous producer minority from competition. But does he really have this power over the whole Country?!

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2017

      No, trade policy is reserved to the UK authorities.

      “International relations, regulation of international trade, and international development assistance and co-operation are reserved matters.”

  10. Cheshire Girl
    October 16, 2017

    Just a thought for the Politicians to mull on. This country may not be able to grow lots more produce after leaving the EU if the predicted expansion of housing is built on agricultural land.

    Reply Housing will not take much additional land and I presume it will not take good grade agricultural which we need for food

    1. Iain Moore
      October 16, 2017

      I am sure they said new homes wouldn’t take up much land when they built Stevenage,
      East Kilbride,
      Hemel Hempstead,
      Newton Aycliffe,
      Glenrothes, Fife
      Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield,
      Milton Keynes,

      But now we are having to build more new towns .

      1. miami.mode
        October 16, 2017

        IM. What about Slough?

    2. Hope
      October 16, 2017

      Your govts mass immigration policy increases demands for food, housing, public services, water, waste and welfare bill. When can we expect the pledge of seven years ago to be implemented? Osborne made it clear that the public was lied to by your party as no one was sincere about cutting numbers! Historic record numbers that require infrastructure. Your party’s mass immmigration policy being rejected across Europe and the US. May was and is in charge of it.

    3. graham1946
      October 16, 2017

      Reply to reply

      The ‘Garden Suburb’ near me which I mentioned last week is being built with 1200 houses on prime agricultural land and is destined for 3000 more around the district. It is mostly agricultural land, we don’t have much else. This is done on Tory orders, is a Tory council and has a Tory MP. This is in addition to other developments done over the years on the Tory policy of assumed acceptance and because the council was 3 years late in getting the Local Development Plan done.

    4. Kevin Lohse
      October 16, 2017

      In e Kent, significant amounts of top-grade agricultural land are being earmarked for tarmacking over as emergency car parks for HGV’s trapped by possible EU punitive action on the channel crossings. The more cost-effective plan of retaining HGV’s at the dispatch depots until routes are re-established doesn’t seem to have been considered. Can we see some joined-up planning, please?

      1. Beecee
        October 16, 2017

        The plans are due to the French Unions habit of closing the Channel Ports whilst they have a barnie with their government. The gridlock when this happens is astonishing in its ability to bring life in East Kent to a standstill.

        It has nothing to do with Brexit.

      2. Bob
        October 18, 2017

        @Kevin Lohse

        Suggest you google “operation stack”.

        This is a recurrent problem since well before the referendum.
        Things may improve after Brexit when we become less dependent on EU goods, especially if we go for WTO terms.

    5. Deborah
      October 16, 2017

      We will see whether you are correct. The Planning Inspector is currently examining East Herts Council’s District Plan which recommends punching a hole through the green belt and taking a huge swathe of prime agricultural land for housing.

    6. Dennis
      October 17, 2017

      “Housing will not take much additional land ” but what about the roads, shops, schools etc. that go with housing?

      JR didn’t think of that?

  11. robert lewy
    October 16, 2017

    This should be compulsory reading for all in UK

    1. Chris
      October 16, 2017

      I would agree entirely, RL.

  12. eeyore
    October 16, 2017

    Efficient farming: I know a West-country farm of 45 acres with 21 fields, none of them larger than four acres. This tiny scrap of land has miles of hedgerow and abundant wildlife. In the spring wildflowers “paint the meadows with delight”. It is a vision of England as townies imagine it should be. The owners subsidise it from other income by many thousand pounds a year.

    Over in the Eastern counties a single field can be ten times bigger than that little farm. It will have no hedges, nor a bird, nor a beast. It will produce abundant food and make its owner many thousands a year.

    Which farm contributes most to Britain? Which do we most value?

  13. Rob Jump
    October 16, 2017

    The EU has always been anti British. The sole reason for wanting us in their club was to exploit and control us. If we had remained outside and become more prosperous the whole ramshackle enterprise wold have fallen apart years ago. As it is our massive contributions kept them afloat to wreck Europe far more than they should have. Your comments, Mr Redwood, show why no deal is the best deal we can get. Leave now.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2017

      No deal is certainly not the best deal we could get in theory. But likewise there is no theoretical limit to just how bad a bad deal could be, so it is illogical to deny that no deal could be better than a bad deal. Whenever somebody repeats the false claim that no deal would be the worst possible deal they should be asked to say what they would be prepared to concede to the EU as part of a deal. For example, if the EU said “Pay us a trillion euro and you can have a free trade agreement” would they go along with that, or would they say that it was such a bad deal that it would be better for us not to have any trade deal? If they would swallow paying the EU a trillion euro bribe, would they baulk at a ten trillion euro demand, or one of a hundred trillion, or would they go along with those saying “Just name your price”?

    2. CharlesE
      October 16, 2017

      Rob jump…it’s all in your’ve been fed this line now for so long that you have bought it. In fact most Europeans like the British but they have their own concerns so with bringing up family and work that they like the redt of us don’t dwell too much about UK or UK people. In fact more than 90 per cent of Europeans have never even btravelled to Uk not even for a visit and 80 per cent of them have never even met a briton before in their lives so I don’t know how you can come to your conclusions

  14. David L
    October 16, 2017

    Around my town the farmland seems to be sprouting houses!

    1. Mockbeggar
      October 16, 2017

      Many farmers around the country are approached by housing developers who say, ‘We will apply for planning permission to build on your land. We will pay all the costs of that application (surveyors, architects, archeological surveys etc.) and for the appeal if it fails. If we succeed, we guarantee to buy your land at a price far above the going rate for agricultural land which will make you a multi-millionaire. Developers reckon that one in ten of these applications succeed and this is more than enough to make them handsome profits.

      Local authorities are under tremendous pressure to build more houses and the govt. is encouraging them to give in in order to meet housing targets around the country.

      The reasons are;
      1. The huge increases in population over the last twenty or thirty years. (Why is that? I wonder).
      2. In holiday and areas of outstanding natural beauty around the country, may of the houses are bought for retirers, weekend retreats or holiday letting Very few end up in the hands of the children of local people, so the culture and character of rural villages is rapidly changing.
      3. It is much cheaper for developers to build on greenfield sites than to redevelop brownfield (usually ex-industrial) sites.

    2. Oggy
      October 16, 2017

      @David L – required to house all the immigrants from Eastern Europe who in turn are required to build them ! – catch 22.

    3. Anonymous
      October 16, 2017


      Rachel Johnson (sister of Boris) complained that Kent would have to be concreted over for Brexit customs.

      Well the rUK is already being concreted over for EU migration.

      Factories/farms go – houses, unemployed come.

  15. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2017

    Off-topic, however the EU negotiations themselves may be going the government’s PR is terrible. It’s hard to imagine Alistair Campbell or even Bernard Ingram carelessly allowing the situation to develop where the media can get away with misrepresenting what is said to be a long-planned trip by the Prime Minister as an urgent reaction to the deadlock in the talks. Theresa May should sack those advisers who keep letting her (and us) down, in all likelihood quite deliberately in at least some cases.

    1. Hope
      October 16, 2017

      Do we know as fact this is not the case Dennis? Could it not be another choreographed moment like Cameron did before? To make a bad deal sound a triumph? After all Cameron reformed the EU, so he claimed, yet so many of us did not believe him and voted to leave.

    2. Doug Powell
      October 16, 2017

      The buck stops at the PM! She doesn’t have to accept crap advice, but she does, apparently. Perhaps, she is incapable of spotting it!

      Better the PM resign and is replaced by someone with a proper Brexit understanding, who can recognize a bona fide adviser from a sycophant – or a traitor!

  16. Ian Wragg
    October 16, 2017

    Daily people are finding out just how skewed EU policies have been to the detriment of Britain.
    Today Roger Bootle makes a positive case for no deal just so we don’t get into a transition period which in fact is just an extension of members.
    This would hobble us from trading and continue with us paying tarrifs on a range of products.
    We are fed up with paying Europes bills as we have been a net contributor for the past 40 years.
    No Deal and be damned.

    1. Ian Wragg
      October 16, 2017


  17. alan jutson
    October 16, 2017

    I only hope that when Mrs May talks to Barnier and Juncker she does not give away any more than she has already, and sets out to them in the clearest of terms our alternative of WTO if THEY will not budge.

    Time for the posturing to end, we have offered an olive branch (and Money) if they will not pick it up, we should walk.

    1. Know-Dice
      October 16, 2017

      Alan, that’s my biggest worry over today’s “meeting”…May will give away the crown jewels..

      All that should be said is –

      1. No more discussions about separation payments without talk on trade – Red line.
      2. Continued discussion on citizens rights, but the ECJ will have no jurisdiction over EU citizens in the UK.
      3. Continued discussions over the Irish border, but as far as the UK is concerned it will remain open as it is currently. If the EU want to have restrictions there, it’s up to them.

    2. Caterpillar
      October 16, 2017

      It does feel like Mrs May is going to surrender to the “enemy”.

    3. John O'Leary
      October 16, 2017

      WTO is otherwise known as the suicide option. No other developed country trades with the EU on a WTO basis. They all have customs cooperation and trade deals.

      1. Edward2
        October 16, 2017

        Not really correct because all those co operation deals are based on WTO lines.
        Many non EU countries trade successfully and happily with Europe.
        So can we.

      2. libertarian
        October 16, 2017

        John O’Leary

        Really, there are 162 countries in the world , the EU only has trade deals of any kind with 50, and mostly they are very small countries

        Heres the list

        1. Tasman
          October 17, 2017

          You are 100% wrong, libertarian. You confuse free trade agreements with other types of trade agreement. In reality there are is only a handful of countries in the world with which the EU does NOT have a trade deal.

          Educate yourself by looking at this list –

          Note also that when the UK leaves the EU it loses the benefit of every one of these deals

          1. David Price
            October 17, 2017

            The list of trade agreements in-place, not just free trade agreements, is here;

            That does not look like a list of the majority of countries in the world.

            Secondly, a trade agreement where France et al can sell lots of agricultural produce or cars does not benefit us that greatly. How many EU trade agreements even include elements of services – two or maybe even three.

          2. Edward2
            October 17, 2017

            Yet even without formal trade deals nations carry on trading with each other.

    4. miami.mode
      October 16, 2017

      aj, Mrs May should make contact with the WTO and make it plain to the world that she has done so.

  18. l'Esprit
    October 16, 2017

    More industrialised farming, sure.

    But NOT to the detriment of the countryside, the nation’s National Parks and Designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    1. The Prangwizard
      October 16, 2017

      ‘ The countryside’. What is that but where we grow crops already? It’s not a garden cultivated for your recreation and enjoyment.

    2. anon
      October 16, 2017

      Whats your take on mass uncontrolled immigration?

      Look at the cause not the symptoms.

  19. Peter
    October 16, 2017

    All true. Mr.Grayling has said similar but the mainstream media are unwilling to listen. They still prefer Project Fear.

    Well done on the radio4 ‘Today’ programme this morning, Mr. Redwood. There are few ‘Leave’ voices given airtime these days unfortunately.

  20. Nigel
    October 16, 2017

    JR: I enjoyed your interview on radio 5 this morning. As usual, you put the case beautifully. Yet again, the BBC cannot resist putting in its owm views. In one of his introductory pieces, Nicky Campbell had to add on “of course many are saying that the UK should continue as an associate member of the EU”.

    1. Iain Gill
      October 16, 2017

      You would not think that leave were in the majority in the country if you listened to the BBC, they insist on filling up the airwaves with majority stay panels and views

      Same with their ongoing politically correct drivel, espousing views laughed at by the majority

      etc ed

    2. alan jutson
      October 16, 2017


      JR clear and concise on Radio Berkshire this morning as well.

    3. Chris
      October 16, 2017

      Delighted to read the coverage of JR in some of the papers. O/T, but perhaps you could comment? Hammond’s reported plans to increase taxes on pensioners (apparently cut tax relief) in order to woo the young seems another disastrous decision. There are not going to be enough people supporting/voting Conservative for them to actually win an election. If this actually happens, it will be another spectacular failure like the previous budget. Madness. Is there a sabotage crew working for team May and Hammond? It certainly seems so.

      1. Chris
        October 16, 2017

        Regarding my comment about Hammond and his tax plans, I see Rob Wilson in the D Telegraph is condemning Hammond’s plans in no uncertain terms:
        “Dear Chancellor, if you patronise young voters and alienate the old you will destroy the Tory Party. Stop now! “

    4. Mark B
      October 16, 2017

      Which is what will happen – Associate Membership.

  21. Nigel
    October 16, 2017

    Re agriculture, yes we should be able to grow more for ourselves, but we could also buy more from developing countries like Africa. Much better to buy their produce, so encouraging enrtrepreneurial farmers, than to shovel aid money at them, which is inevitably filtered through their own political systems.
    Re housing: we have an increasing population, the majority of whom want to live in or near big cities. The only way to meet this demand is to build upwards and build smaller units, as in Singapore etc. In Tokyo the average flat size if 60 m2. Government should be looking to facilitate and encourage this, rather than trying to build council houses which will stifle ambition.

  22. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2017

    According to some chap connected with Sainsbury’s food prices will soar after we have left the EU. This has been said before on a number of occasions over past months, it was said again this weekend and once again widely and uncritically reported across the mass media, and yet nobody at the David Davis’s department has ever bothered to refute it. One might think that the real secret strategy of the Department for Exiting the European Union is to deliberately allow public support for leaving the European Union to be systematically eroded to the point where somehow it will no longer happen, one might think that David Davis is really running a Department for Pretending to Exit the European Union.

  23. Peter
    October 16, 2017

    Worrying rumours that Mr. Hammond is looking to clobber pensioners again the next budget. Tax biased according to age is a new one.

    There are a lot of behind the scenes tensions yet to be resolved. Too many forces pulling in different directions, lack of unity.

  24. Nig l
    October 16, 2017

    Theresa May flies to Brussels for emergency talks to ‘save’ Brexit and I see she has her rabid Remainer civil servant with her. If I was a negotiator I would love it if the other party kept running to me whilst I sat on my hands. What can this achieve unless she has a bag of giveaways

    Despite your fantastic efforts, Today prog, Daily Express, JR I still fear a highly spun sell out.

    Sorry on topic, yes super article, I love France to bits and it would be sad to see a way of life disappear but it is obvious why their agriculture needs such subsidy. Quotas are anti efficiency.

  25. Iain Gill
    October 16, 2017

    More apples from New Zealand and less from the EU would be good.

    More maple syrup from Canada.

    And so on…

  26. agricola
    October 16, 2017

    It would seem to me that the UK farming industry will need a transitional period as we revert to being self sufficient in basic needs. Much of the land in “Set aside” should be brought back into production. We also need an audit of who gets what under the CAP which is due to continue after Brexit , if not in name.

    I am not so sure about more food processing. Our supermarkets, unlike those in Europe, are already full of TV dinners for two of questionable financial and nutritional value to those watching EastEnders, as they top up their salt sugar and fat levels. I am not hitting at dairy farmers and the like who turn their milk into cheese and yoghurt. I would dearly love to see a renascence of English apples to replace the resemblance of wet cardboard we are currently served.

    Additionally I hope to see a surge in imports of all those foods we cannot grow from developing countries and Commonwealth partners , to in many cases replace overseas aid with trade. A much healthier prospect all round. If government can be largely kept out of the way it could be a very positive aspect of unfettering ourselves from the EU

    1. agricola
      October 17, 2017

      Yet another contrived omission?

  27. brian
    October 16, 2017

    The Germans continue to extend their tentacles – Muller recently bought the UK’s biggest dairy, Wisemans, although they have announced significant investment.

  28. Roy Grainger
    October 16, 2017

    I see Mr Starmer has announced that he’d rather not pay anything to trade with the EU but if he had to he would. Not much of a negotiator is he ?

  29. Spratt
    October 16, 2017

    The population has risen so much since we entered the EU that it is not surprising that our ability to feed ourselves with home-grown produce has fallen.

  30. michael mcgrath
    October 16, 2017

    ” Only in agriculture are the tariff barriers potential high. They would require a rapid response from UK farms to fill the gaps caused by dearer EU product”

    Why would high EU tariffs affect UK import prices? Surely, the import duties for goods coming in to the UK will be set by the UK and if we choose not to apply duties where none currently apply, there will be no effect upon prices to UK consumers.

  31. Anonymous
    October 16, 2017

    You did not mention that the self-sufficiency of farming has fallen to 60% at least partly because an explosion in population levels.

    But Mr Hammond plans to help the young by spanking older workers by removing pension relief.

    Those of us who voted for Brexit (in earnest and for the good of our children) did so in order that our offspring would face less competition for housing and wages – we see that this is what is making them poor, as well as well has having to fund their own places in adult creches (universities) to bond them to the state and to make the unemployment stats look better, because, let’s face it, not wanted nor needed when mass immigration is available.

    Start reducing immigration. Secure the borders with visa controlls.

    I cannot see the Tories winning the next general election.

    The demonising of old people continues. “Spank the old people !” Those voters over 50 see they are in the firing line.

    Incidentally Emma Thompson had a sly dig at old people regarding the Weinstein scandal, saying she spent much of her time trying to keep ” old men’s tongues out of my mouth.” I wish she’d name them, and were they old at the time they committed most of their alleged crimes ? (words left out ed). I bet none of them were working class nor of Conservative persuasion either, luvvie.

    Reduced population – food supply improved.

    Let’s deliver what all Brexit voters (and very many Remain voters) wanted.

    1. Anonymous
      October 16, 2017

      I’ve done a Lifelogic, haven’t I.


  32. Shieldsman
    October 16, 2017

    I have been looking into our Air Service Agreements with the EU member states, and why all the hysteria on the part of Hammond and the Media. Yes, we automatically fall out of the ECAA.
    The ECAA is just like the CAP and CFP, we entered a Cooperative and then found we had been taken over. The Commission and the Commissioner were the Boss and gave the orders on how we farmed and fished.
    Even BALPA of which I was once a member has not read the United Kingdoms proposal for a replacement air service agreement, set out in CBP-7633 thoroughly.
    A UK “Open Skies” deal with Europe? (i.e. UK treated as a third country, like the USA).
    Or negotiating a single bilateral agreement with the EU as a whole if Member States give the EU a mandate to negotiate on their behalf. Or the UK could still negotiate bilateral agreements with individual member states; for instance, if member states wish to or find the EU-led process too slow. (Any state that wanted to go down that route would have to notify the EU and negotiate in a way that is compatible with EU law, but this is a possible

    Why do I have to wait for moderation which never seems to happen?
    Their is no WTO in Aviation and the ‘Chicago Convention’ bi-laterals need to be negotiated independently of our trade negotiations with the EU.
    The EU cannot refuse to negotiate the ICAO 5 Freedoms of the Air with the UK. Not to do so would deny the 27 members Airlines, entry into and over the UK’s airspace. It is inconceivable the EU Council would allow that to happen.

  33. Kenneth
    October 16, 2017

    Another good reason to cut the uncertainty and leave now. e.g. orchards need a few years to mature; e.g. brassicas need less time but still need to be planned

    Whether we are buying from Africa or growing our own, all of this planning can go ahead if we break away and give farmers/importers a definite lead.

  34. fedupsoutherner
    October 16, 2017

    I remember a friend of ours in Essex had orchards on his property and was paid through subsidies (I presume through the EU) to destroy them all. This was going on all over the south of England. Disgusting and I hope it’s not too late to start again.

  35. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2017

    Off-topic, admittedly this is second hand and unverifiable but it does ring true:

    “Speaking to the World This Weekend, about the deadlock over the so-called Brexit bill, Open Europe’s Director, Henry Newman said, “One of the things that I was told by the Polish Foreign Minister was that the EU27 may disagree on all kinds of things but there’s one thing that they agree on and that’s that the UK should pay as much as possible for as long as possible.”

    NB, “… the UK should pay as much as possible for as long as possible”.

    If that is the attitude of our friends and partners/interlocutors/opponents/enemies then it should be obvious even to the meanest Remoaner intellect that there is no limit to how bad they would be prepared make a bad deal for the UK if we allowed them to do that, if we were not prepared to walk away from the negotiations without a trade deal. These people are undermining our national interests in their service of the EU.

    And incidentally I recall David Davis saying not so long ago that a member of his team had given a presentation in which he had gone through the EU’s financial demands line by line and demolished the lot in front of Michel Barnier and others.

    I would like to know why that detailed information should not be published. Let the EU put down on paper every item with estimated monetary value and at least some kind of justification why we should pay, and let those who would have to provide the money see that fully itemised invoice. Why not? Because it’s all fabricated?

  36. James Neill
    October 16, 2017

    Problem is that the farmers have got set too much in their ways and have grown lazy- the whole thing has become too easy with cheques CAP payments coming in the door. But here we have to ask, who exactly is going to do all of this labouring work? what young english people are going to train to go out to sea in fishing boats to work all hours in all weathers? however with saying that we really should be growing more of our own and probably the only way to do this in quick time is if the government lays down quotas that farmers and fishermen have to reach otherwise they risk forfeit their fields or boats.

    But fortunately we won’t have reach that stage because Mrs May has gone over to Brussels and I think today’s talks will break the logjam, whether we like it or not we’re eventually going to end up with a deal with EU where we’ll be half in and half out.. talks will go on for appearances sake and to allow for a certain amount of choreography and the new deal will be agreed

    1/ That the UK will leave the EU 29 March 2019 (as the people voted for)

    2/ but that we will remain in the single market and customs union for such time as we can plan and sort out our future for new trade deals world wide? (this to help with Boris launching ships from the slipway and out on to the worlds oceans)

    3/ this agreement will solve the Irish border and the free movement of people throughout europe (some people will be disappointed but no change here)

    4/ we will continue to pay into the EU budget as before but will have no voting rights ( this equates to taking back control but we will still have to acknowledge the ECJ)

    5/ The situation will remain like this well into the future until another a more enlightened generation looks at it again?

    I can’t see it any other way if we want to avoid huge disruption to trade and since we have no hope of new deals worldwide at the moment- let’s face it, Trump is nuts – eg Bombardier and US Commerce dept- possible standing down of NAFTA- so the devil we know might be better than the devil we don’t.

  37. Bob
    October 16, 2017

    LBC’s James O’Brien is yet again singing the praises of Phil Hammond’s Corbynomics, this morning praising the doctrine of “intergenerational fairness”.

    Proof positive that the Tories have lost the plot.

  38. Epikouros
    October 16, 2017

    How anyone can say that the EU has and is any benefit to the UK seriously needs to examine their capacity for rational thinking. On every measure it is a failure. Socially, politically, economically, fiscally and commercially it benefits the UK not one jot. Germany has enjoyed considerable mercantile benefit but is now learning with other net contributing members of the EU at a considerable future cost as they will be saddles with the bills that recipients of the largess determined by Brussels are chalking up. Naturally Brexit is exacerbating that difficulty hence the desire of the EU negotiators to milk the UK of every penny it can before the final exit. Having filched our taxes for 40 years it now finds that thievery when stopped will created a fiscal back hole that cannot be plugged.

  39. Ed Mahony
    October 16, 2017

    Telegraph reporting Britain is £490bn poorer than had been ­assumed and no longer has any reserve of net foreign assets.

    Telegraph also reporting foreign ­direct investment (FDI) by companies is plummeting. It fell from a £120bn surplus in the first half 2016 to a £25bn deficit over the same period of this year.

    We haven’t even formally/legally left the EU yet. We’re in the Phoney War, not the real war, stage. We’ve got to face these facts / the evidence / the reality, otherwise our county is going to sink and sink, economically, for years, taking at least one generation, if not two, just to get us back to where we were before. And the Conservative Party will be toast.

    1. Ed Mahony
      October 16, 2017

      i shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions (although that is what the Telegraph encourages by the nature of its headline). Need more economists (which i’m not) to go over this to make sure it isn’t (or is) what seems. But one can be sure that the Telegraph has given a lot of people the jitters after this.

  40. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    October 16, 2017

    Fine if you’re able to produce and sell more farm products locally, if for no other reason it’s good for the environment (lower transport costs). I do have the sneaking suspicion though that we’ve simply out-competed you with our exports, nothing to do with EU regulations, which are there also for the Netherlands.
    Look forward to out-competing you in other parts of the world! 🙂

    1. Leslie Singleton
      October 16, 2017

      PvL–Can you possibly imagine our backing off based on drivel like this?

    2. Beecee
      October 16, 2017

      Keep taking the Happy Tablets Peter!

      How is your new Government doing? Or has the EU not appointed it yet?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 17, 2017

        @Beecee: no government problems in the Netherlands. 🙂
        Happy without tablets. 🙂

  41. formula57
    October 16, 2017

    Is it after only two or three missed meals that anarchy is upon us (possibly fewer with so many now obese)? Food security should be a priority, especially as we know because Project Fear told us that soon outbreaks of wars across Europe will occur.

    (I was impressed and pleased so see the people’s Blue Boris is on his way to Moscow later this year. Well done!)

    1. Mitchel
      October 17, 2017

      There has been a stampede of supplicants petitioning the tsar over the past year.All roads lead to (the Third) Rome these days!

  42. Bert Young
    October 16, 2017

    Productive agriculture has declined and the imbalance John refers to has had unfortunate knock-on effects . Certainly in South Oxfordshire where I live agricultural land has been sacrificed to building on an enormous scale and there is no sign of this abating . Didcot still expands at an unbelievable rate . Where will the jobs come from for all these extra people ?. Add to this dilemma is the lack of school places , the inadequate transport infrastructure and , lamentably , the stretched overworked health sector .

    I would dearly like to see the increase of agricultural products that we could produce in our shops and supermarkets ; sadly I don’t see how this will happen .

  43. Mike Stallard
    October 16, 2017

    “When we leave the EU we will be able to design a fishing and farming policy that allows us to sustain higher levels of home production. ”

    Yup – and we will lose an awful lot of continental food as well. The supermarket shelves will empty fast. Then what?

    But if we join EFTA, we immediately gain freedom from the CAP and CFP.

    Does anyone else know that?

    1. alan jutson
      October 16, 2017


      Why not import more food from those countries outside of the EU which appear on our supermarket shelves now if we cannot produce more of our own.

      Food from outside the EU has tariffs on it already, so should be cheaper, and if we were to keep some sort of tariff on theses goods at least we would keep 100% of it, not just the 20% we are allowed to keep to cover the cost of collection, courtesy of the EU.

  44. Richard1
    October 16, 2017

    There’s a new cliff edge threat this morning. The ONS has suddenly found that the UK has £490bn less in net foreign assets than they had thought! Therefore a 5% current account deficit is unsustainable post Brexit, therefore we might see a 4.5% budget deficit and a 20% decline in sterling. Therefore the govt will be forced to increase interest rates in an emergency to stop a gilts strike and there will be a huge recession!! We didn’t even hear this one during the referendum. (And therefore obviously we need either to creep back into the EU or else simply ask them to mail us a list of demands for ‘access to the single market’ and accept them immediately). Does anyone have a view?

  45. Graham Wood
    October 16, 2017

    JR. Thanks for a sound, clear and robust pro Brexit interview on BBC R4 Toady programme.

    Such an interview is a comparative rarity these days!

  46. Prigger
    October 16, 2017

    There are British who have bought up farms in the EU and are farming.Though surprisingly low in number given British farmers have a very high regard for EU farm labourers…over here. Carrots grow very well in Poland too. I know, I had one.

  47. Tom Rogers
    October 16, 2017

    Isn’t the fundamental point here that we have too many people in the country. We could manage quite adequately with a population of 30 million. This is a small island country. Once Brexit has been actuated, serious attention needs to be put to immigration. As a starting-point, the government should make it clear that the days of mass immigration are over and net migration figures will be reduced to four-figures.

  48. JJE
    October 16, 2017

    Any thoughts as to who will be picking those home grown products?

    1. forthurst
      October 16, 2017

      Those who used to pick them before they were undercut by Eastern Europeans squating in the vicinity.

  49. am
    October 16, 2017

    hear, hear.

  50. Peter
    October 16, 2017

    Just listened to Mr. Redwood again on the Today programme. It is 1 hour 13 minutes in on the iPlayer. All sound points and Mr. Humphreys let him have his say. The idea of some conservatives and labour colluding to defeat the new Act in parliament is a worry though.

    I agree that Labour are canny and are letting the conservatives make the running. I am not confident that all conservatives will rally round for fear of a General Election though.

    All part of the numerous obstacles that stand in the way of clean Brexit. Perhaps the biggest concern is the lack of really strong leadership prepared to drive through a clean Brexit.

  51. percy openshaw
    October 16, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood, this is off topic I know but the case seems to be urgent. According to the Telegraph website this morning Great Britain is £490 billion worse off than thought. How can this be? And what are the implications? Or is it just a Remain scare story? The provenance (Ambrose Evans Pritchard) would suggest not.

  52. Billyg
    October 16, 2017

    Yes..the penny has finally last some of our most senior politicians are getting serious about no deal is better than a bad deal..just by listening to Boris añd seeing Mrs May with DD over there in Brussels i am heartened.

    There’s no need to be concerned about Farming and fishing they will take care of themselves just like any other parts of our industry, they will survive or fall depending on the circumstances of the economy, the right trade deal and will and motivation of the people.

    But there will always be the ones like Farage, jacob R-M, IDS and our own JR out there who will want to spin the negatives of the EU and no matter what will go down with the ship and there are others as well like Michael Gove and Boris who will move the deck chairs about and blow with the wind- It’s just the way it is- some sensible thinking is starting to show through at last.

  53. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2017

    Having grown weary of shouting at the TV I’ve just sent an email to the Labour MP Luke Pollard, as follows:

    “I’ve just seen you on TV talking utter tripe and repeatedly refusing to answer simple questions. If it was left to people like you then the EU could have whatever it bloody well wanted, couldn’t it? “Mr Pollard, give us a trillion euros and we may start trade talks with you” “OK, but are you sure that just a trillion will be a big enough bung for you?” Absolutely pathetic, and you really think that you are working in the interests of the country, and your constituents? You are not fit to be in Parliament, let alone in government.”

    Why do I have to do this, JR, when there is a government department which should be smacking these idiots down as soon as they open their stupid mouths?

  54. TomTomTom
    October 16, 2017

    Off Topic : What is the story behind this “missing” £490B?

  55. Fed Up and Angry
    October 16, 2017

    As normal I agree with you John, but how is this a consistent message when we have
    a chancellor that wants to concrete all over the greenbelt – mainly to house the huge increase in population driven through mass, uncontrolled immigration?

  56. A different Simon
    October 16, 2017

    The population of the UK in 1984 was approximately 56 million people .

    As of 2017 , the UK contains somewhere between 70 and 75 million people , an increase of between 25% and 34% .

    It stands to reason that as population increases , food consumption is also likely to increase .

    1. Mark B
      October 16, 2017

      Consumption generally, and therefore GDP, which is used as a headline figure for supposed success.

      All it really means is, a lot of corporates like supermarket change are getting extra turnover and potentially profits for little of no investment or new ideas.

      Clever eh ?!?!?

      1. A different Simon
        October 17, 2017

        Mark B ,

        There are industries which not only benefit from an increasing population but which rely on it for their very existence – e.g. housebuilding .

        I saw an extreme version of this during my business trips to Israel – one of the few countries on earth with immigration rates higher than the UK .

        An increasing population certainly provides a stimulus to the economy but isn’t it the definition of a Ponzi scheme that it relies on ever adding more people to the bottom ?

  57. ian
    October 16, 2017

    If the gov put tariffs on the food imported from the rest of the world to the same price as EU food imports are at the moment. 100% is charged by EU on sugar and you import 1.3 billion pounds worth a year, that 1.3 billion to the treasury and 20 billion of other food at around 22% would another 4.4 billion to the treasury which would be 5.7 billion a year, and then the farmers would not be undercut by cheap imports. there are other imports like beverages, fish, and so on of 7 billion a year with lower tariffs. 6.2 billion extra into the treasury and gave it out as tax cuts of 2p off the 20% tax rate, to 18%, and the rest on the nil start rate of tax which that time would be 12.500 a year which may take it to 12.750, everybody would have a nice tax cut at the lower end, and companies would have an extra 6.2 billion a year going into the economy.

  58. A different Simon
    October 16, 2017

    Topsoil is one of any countries most valuable assets and management of topsoil surely cannot be left entirely to farmers .

    Perverse incentives have caused farmland to be taken out of food production and used to produce feedstock for biofuel e.g. maize production without rotation on the Somerset levels . This did such damage to the topsoil that much was washed away during the floods .

    The Danish company Unibio is optimising fermenters to ferment natural gas using naturally occurring bacteria into single cell proteins for animal feeds .

    Such single cell protein can replace fishmeal in farmed salmon feed . This would reduce the overfishing of sand eels and bait fish in the North sea improving stocks of more valuable fish .

    The approach could de-strand North Sea natural gas resources which cannot be used because they are not practical/economic to connect to pipeline infrastructure .

  59. Derek Henry
    October 16, 2017

    The doctrine of comparative advantage is not fine it is absurd and a myth.

    It is invalid, inapplicable, and irrelevant in the real world of trade imbalances; global movement of capital, technology, research, and management skills; worker specialisation; persistent large-scale unemployment; huge wage-level gaps between countries; “sticky” prices, wages, and currency rates; technological progress; “learning curves”; production overcapacity; geopolitical and economic instability; and unprecedented uncertainty.

    This list of forbidden by the theory but unavoidable conditions of the 21st century can be prolonged further. (And I do not even include here the “unfair-trade” conditions that maybe — just maybe — can be removed, such as predatory trading and currency manipulation.)

    Today’s “free trade” is not only the last remnant of laissez-faire — it is its least deserving remnant, full of wholesale foul play, deception, currency manipulation, predatory techniques, and other violations of its rules, with the perps not even trying to conceal those violations. To call the existing international trade “free,” and to use the law of comparitive advantage to justify it, is the top of unscrupulous audacity. I do not understand how people of integrity can do it and then call themselves “scientists.”

    Among the best sayings of George Orwell, “There are some things only intellectuals are crazy enough to believe” takes a place of honour. The law of comparitive advantage is one of these things.

    Along with Riquardian equivalence and the money multiplier. Even the BOE now says loans creates deposits.

  60. Trimperley
    October 16, 2017

    I would like to see us become more self sufficient in food production and voted leave but I am pessimistic that this can be achieved for two reasons. Firstly good farm land is being built on for housing. Secondly diary farming has been decimated in my lifetime and the speed of decline is increasing. When I was a teenager most farmers had a diary herd. Now most of them have given up milking. Milking parlours are now “barn conversions” or farm shops. The cost of starting a new diary herd is high. Farmers who have given up diary are enjoying their new found freedom of not having to milk twice a day.

    I have been reading the Yanis Varoufakis book and its seems that the EU are playing the same games with us that they did with the Greeks. I would encourage everyone to read his book so that they know what we are up against . I think that we are in a stronger position than the Greeks the EU obviously doesn’t.

  61. Leslie Singleton
    October 16, 2017

    Dear John–That Clarke fellow, one of the walking undead, has just described the rEU as the biggest free (free?) market in the world–Funny how he, and they, always manage to omit the huge cash cost of our being in–and that of course itself omits reference to the real reasons we voted Leave.

  62. Norman
    October 16, 2017

    It is a sad by-product of our educational system that there are very few youngsters with the right work ethic to take up agricultural jobs – hence an army of East Europeans who have filled the gap. They are mostly hardworking, reliable and knowledgeable about livestock and growing crops. Good for them – the farmers certainly value them, but their availability may be in decline. Hi-tech mechanization isn’t always the answer. I would like to see more vocational emphasis in education, which encourages young people to embrace the rural life. Affordable housing is another factor. University fees may have helped to encourage more in-work training (apprenticeships), but only visionary government can address such deep-seated problems.

    1. Anonymous
      October 16, 2017

      UKIP/Vote Leave always proposed a visa system.

  63. ian
    October 16, 2017

    I can see 30 billion coming into the treasury if they keep tariffs on EU goods coming in of 12 billion, 12 billion from contribution, and 6.2 billion on food tariffs from the rest of the world, which come to 30 billion pounds for the treasury. What to do with the money, take 5 billion for NHS and social care and 25 billion for income tax cuts. Put the starting rate of tax to 300 pounds a week, then bring down the 20% rate to 15%, so that someone on 500 pounds a week would only pay 30 pounds a week income tax, then put the 40% tax rate up to 60,000 a year, leave the 45% percent rate in place, because they will be paying 15% up to 60,000 which is a tax cut for them of 4000 pounds a year, this give the economy an extra 25 billion a year boost for businesses, which in turn would boost VAT receipts with other taxes to the treasury of about 6 billion pounds a year which could be added to the 5 billion pounds set aside already for the NHS and social care and bring it to 11 billion a year, and there is any money left over, it could go education and students. No need for the gov to give pay raises to its staff because of tax cuts instead. If you listen to politician BS your be going nowhere.

  64. Johnbarry
    October 16, 2017

    JR I saw you on telly this afternoon putting out your usual spin but I’m afraid that it won’t work..the people are starting to realize about the big lies they we were told during the campaign and since and are starting to ask questions as to where we are headed.

    Unfortunately i was one on those who believed the spiel about 350million extra for the NHS and also about getting new trade deals worldwide..well none of this is forthcoming..I have a young family and I have to think seriously about their future and what IDS and Bill Cash and jacob rees-moog etc etc have to say i can tell you is not very inspiring. I get the idea that some of the Tory hardliners including yourself JR are well founded and if things were to go horribly wrong for the rest of us, which I have a bad feeling about, you’d just retreat behind your big walls and pull up the ladder…we need more certainty now than ever before and we’re not getting it from the present leadership- so better stay with the EU for now…just the way I see it.

    1. alan jutson
      October 16, 2017


      Do you see certainty with us remaining in the EU, with its progressive power grab on everything.

      Have you read “The Five Presidents Report”, if not I suggest you do, as its the vision of how the EU Commission Presidents wants to operate in the future.
      It was published BEFORE the referendum by the EU, but the Remainers kept it very, very quiet, because they wanted everyone to think the EU would just be a simple continuation of what we know now. !!!!!!!!

      We cannot do trade deals at the moment, because we ARE STILL a member of the EU and it is forbidden under EU law.

    2. Mark B
      October 16, 2017

      Both sides told porkies.

      And what do you think continued membership of the EU would entail for you and yours ? Look at Greece ! Hardly a model of success is it ?

      The EU is an idea of the early 20th Century. It is an idea of gas lamps, steam ships and horse drawn carriages. Look up Jean Monet and Sir Arthur Salter and Dr. R.E. North’s book the Great Deception.

    3. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2017

      We are staying with the EU for now, and that’s why we don’t yet have that £350 million a week extra to spend as we choose, on the NHS or whatever, and why we can’t conclude any of those new trade deals around the world. So the sooner we leave the better as far as I’m concerned, and I’m increasingly minded to say that unless your friends in the EU stop mucking us about we should just leave:

      “Leave the EU immediately”

      1. Leslie Singleton
        October 16, 2017

        Dear Denis–Of course we should leave immediately, so we can start to begin the rest of our lives–“Perfection spells Paralysis” as has been correctly said–We need to get on with it. Perhaps in 10 years’ time we might reach some accommodation with the Continentals but I don’t see it before.

    4. Peter
      October 16, 2017

      Fair comment. What made you question the ‘big lies’ though?

      I understand your concerns with a young family to support but, though I am comfortably off, I don’t think I would believe all the remain talk of doom and gloom.

      Just interested to know what exactly made you change your mind.

    5. Fred Lyons
      October 16, 2017

      That is also my feeling. I voted leave, but now I am not seeing the quick and easy deals we were promised. In fact, JR is now saying no deal is fine, whereas in the referendum that was certainly not his line. Leaving is a mistake

      Reply I always said in the referendum that No Deal was fine. We will do plenty of trade deals with others when we exit.

    6. Edward2
      October 16, 2017

      We can’t sign trade deals until we leave and there are no savings on our costs of membership of the EU available to be spent on our priorities like the NHS until we leave.

    7. Anonymous
      October 16, 2017

      We get shafted if we stay now.

      “.the people are starting to realize about the big lies they we were told ”

      Well I know of no Leave voter who feels duped or has regret. We have not had the chance to see Brexit without massive hinderence from Remainers within our own country.

      This has strengthened the negotiators opposite no end.

  65. ian
    October 16, 2017

    I have not included companies taxes of 20% because the gov says they are going to cut it to 16% by 2021 anyway without any of the 30 billion anyway.

  66. Dioclese
    October 16, 2017

    Sorry John – I know this off topic – but I was horrified this morning to discover that Mr Hammond is proposing a tax on age in the upcoming budget.

    What on earth is he thinking? Was the thrashing your party got in the election over the so called ‘dementia tax’ taught him nothing?

    Is the Conservative Party really trying to alienate it’s core vote because this what will happen if this goes ahead. If you thought the last election was a drubbing down, this is like throwing Labour the keys to number 10 and keeping the Conservatives out of power for a generation!!!

    For God’s sake do whatever you can to talk him out of this suicidal proposal!!!

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 16, 2017

      I think the intention is for him to beef up his image of being the Grim reaper, who also places a tax on age.

    2. alan jutson
      October 16, 2017


      Yes some of the Conservative Ministers seem wedded to self inflicted pain.

      They have learn’t nothing, because many of them simply have no idea how the majority of us out here in the real competitive World, think, work, or manage our affairs.

      The Chancellor in particular seems clueless.
      Time for The PM to replace him, the longer he stays in position, the worse the prospects are for the Nations people as a whole.

    3. percy openshaw
      October 16, 2017

      I can only say “hear, hear” to all that!

  67. ale bro
    October 16, 2017

    Why not just import food from poorer developing nations? These nations suffer greatly because they are outside the protectionist trade barriers that have been erected by the EU, USA, and Japan.

    The UK already provides aid to these countries, and attracts considerable criticism domestically because of this.

    The opportunity for these countries to earn foreign currency through exports is huge, and potentially transformative for their economies.

    This approach would raise the standing of the UK in developing countries.

    Whatever scheme the government decides on, I sincerely hope that it ends all agricultural subsidies in the UK, or at a minimum applies the benefits cap that has been applied to the poorest members of society. There’s no justification for landowners receiving large amounts of taxpayers money whilst disabled people lose benefit entitlements.

    Reply The UK will have a system of preference for lower income countries

  68. ian
    October 16, 2017

    I would not worry about tariffs on UK businesses goods going to the EU under WTO, because they are already being compensated with a cheaper pound and company tax being brought down by gov to 15% by 2022. All goods coming to the UK from rest of the world apart from food, like iron ore, timber, and so can be tariff-free to boost the making of goods for export.

  69. The Prangwizard
    October 16, 2017

    Just a layman’s observation but it seems to me that as farm impliments and tractors get bigger they cannot access corners easily in small fields and they become less efficient in them anyway. These corners may be set-aside patches but the result is they produce no crops.

    We will need to bring more land into use alongside more efficient methods of farming and production but the environmental mindset – you can’t do that – will need to be challenged as will the view that foreign is best. And why are we planting so many trees?

    One more point. Where I live large areas of land is used for the recreational keeping of ponies and horses. I believe they spoil the land but it seems another waste to me. Somehow we should make land more profitable for food production to phase this out.

    But how do we change quickly to compete with cheaper producers or subsidized producers abroad. We have failed with much of our manufacturing over decades with all manner of items ceasing production here in favour of imports, preferring to give up rather than compete, with government much to blame — will this be another example of lack of foresight and resolve?

  70. In-Sulted
    October 16, 2017

    The UK Ministry of Justice has done a consultation recently. 70% of the responses from no-one knows who shows …
    You know what I’m talking about because you have been consulted. It’s in black and white.

  71. Simon
    October 16, 2017

    I simply can not see the point of leaving the SM & CU then offering tariff free trade. What on earth is the point or the possible benefit of that ? We want to whack tariffs on French plonk and cut it on third world produce. And the same thinking can be extended to thousands of items.

  72. Prigger
    October 16, 2017

    Mrs May is having a chin wag with EU leaders including Juncker tonight. Unfortunately none of their administrative staff have had the foresight to time the meeting before or after meal times. In future, they should start meetings promptly. Stuff a sandwich or packet of sweeties in a pocket or handbag if they must. But for heaven’s sake get on with the job!!! These leaders are of nations and peoples who would be sacked for idling their time away picking their way through a bag of chips and pickled eggs in works time.

  73. Martin King
    October 16, 2017

    In reply to Sakara Gold I am unsure as to why he?/she? thinks that farmers are likely to “dump chemicals” on agricultural land. Crop protection products are an essential but expensive input on modern farms. They are used to protect plants from specific threats: weeds, fungus and insect attacks etc, which will adversely affect the yield of the crop and hence it’s potential profitability . As business people, farmers never want to use any more of these than is necessary to achieve an adequate level of protection, as any overuse will just erode their profit margins. These days these products are applied by very accurate machinery and users have to obtain a certificate to prove they understand how to calibrate and use the machinery effectively. Similarly their is a separate qualification for people, who make recommendations on the chemicals required in any crop protection situation.

  74. John
    October 16, 2017

    The Greens should be right behind this:

    Reduction in air flights transporting raspberries and other fruits thousands of miles that can be grown here.

    Reduce the road and sea tanker convoys buy growing it here.

    Why is are the Greens and the Lib Dems so keen to see this produce flown in?

    Why are they so keen to see UK taxpayer money spent subsidising continental farmers to out price UK farmers in order to export to us?

    Why are they so keen to cut out 3rd world countries from our market yet demand we send back the 0.7% in aid to their leaders. Wouldn’t it be better if we gave their villagers a job growing fruit for export to us?

  75. Clock is ticking
    October 16, 2017

    The Nuclear Safeguard’s Bill ( Debate ) 16th October 2017 21.10 Hours

    Mr Tom Pursglove, Conservative MP for Corby remarked the “Opposition benches” were “barren”, that is few Labour Party or SNP members were present. I counted just three Labour MPs and two SNP MPs who could be bothered to turn up. Not much of an Opposition in real time.

  76. Yossarion
    October 16, 2017

    John watching Padington tonight. I see that daft law that you have to pay full fare on the railway at 15 ( and Buses?), if you want to help the younger generation why not increase the age to 18. I remember being given an excess fare ticket at 15 myself even though not in full time work or treated as an adult. This was in the 70s, is this something that was never updated from the days when people left school at 14?.

  77. Dennis Zoff
    October 17, 2017

    Just returned from 5 days jolly to Krakow and district (nice area of Poland).

    What immediately struck me was the new roads and signage, building renovations galore, most opulent city centre – new restaurants and eateries to die for (and wholly inexpensive), excellent (new) trams, very nice new Airport, brand new city transporters for tourists (all Mercedes), brand new apartments building springing up around the city and in the countryside, a sense of drive, confidence and enthusiasm!……puts most drab UK cities to shame (not London of course)….and there’s me worrying about the UK £billions we have been shipping to Brussels….they have not been wasted, just regenerating other countries to the detriment of the UK. All the Polish positives are in % reverse negatives for the rUK!

    JR. Get us out of the EU’s grasp asap, and spend our money building up our once great nation’s city infrastructures again!

    The sad part of returning to the UK today….appalling roads, decaying buildings and….well just infrastructure decline period (not London, mind you?)

    Incidentally, 90 % of the workers that we spoke to in the city centre – restaurants, local pubs and shops, are from the Ukraine….rather curious don’t you think?

    Another interesting point: there are 250,000 students coming out of the Krakow Universities/Colleges each year, with no immediate job prospects….though when spoken to, had ideas of travelling to other countries, with the UK as one of their priority destinations….so much for Poles losing enthusiasm for the UK?

    …and last of all, had a great time; nice people, friendly atmosphere, excellent food and beer, and would highly recommend a visit!

    1. Mitchel
      October 17, 2017

      Poland has been handing out large numbers of work permits to Ukrainians for ages(plus there are illegal workers too)-it is how they replace their own emigrants.Latvia also more recently.

  78. Lindsay McDougall
    October 19, 2017

    After we leave, x% of our food requirements will be UK produce, x being sufficient for these islands to be defensible in times of war. The other (1-x)% will be imported from the best value-for-money products on offer, from whichever countries, as determined by UK consumers.

    You don’t need Governments to implement free trade. You just need them to get out of the way and let markets do their job. Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking metres.

    Products such as New Zealand lamb are cheap. Leaving the EU should lead to lower food prices. Food prices certainly increased when we joined the EEC in 1973.

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