Revisions to international investment figures

The ONS published its latest balance of payments data on 29 September. This included a final table which showed that the ONS have revised their view of how much UK investment abroad is worth relative to how much overseas investors have invested in the UK. Some have now suggested these figures show the UK has “lost” £490bn.  This is an odd way of looking at it. The figures show an increase of £334bn in inward investment, which of course is a figure that is taken off our overseas assets to derive the net figure. It does no however mean we have got poorer!

The maximum downward revision to the net figure was for the 2016 figure (£490 bn), with the bulk of the downward revision relating to a period before the referendum vote. The main reason for the downward change in the net figure arises from strong inward investment in 2016 accounting for an extra £334 bn investment.

I have often referred to the large  balance of payments deficit we have been running, and pointed out that an important part of our net outflows arise from the substantial contributions we make to the EU and from our large overseas aid payments. I have often argued to stop the EU payments, to up the UK content in the overseas aid spending where the money cannot  be spent in the country we are trying to help, and to follow policies which promote more import substitution. All the time the UK continues to send large sums abroad, and to run such a large trade deficit with the EU, there will need to be continuing inward investment into the UK to pay the bills. Alternatively we will have to sell overseas assets to pay for the imports and the remittances overseas. Either of these ways of paying for the trade and payments deficit will tend to reduce our net overseas asset position.

This is nothing to do with Brexit.The biggest part of the deficit is trade with the EU and payments to the EU.

It is also a reminder of how much trouble the ONS have in measuring things like the stock of overseas wealth held by UK people and institutions, which they have recently reduced as they change their way of estimating. They also have  difficulty  in knowing how much overseas investment has been committed here. Those who think Brexit has caused the fall in the pound should of course acknowledge that so far if this is true Brexit has helped swell the net overseas asset figure, by increasing the sterling value of foreign assets. Readers of this site will know I do not think Brexit is the main reason for the fall of the pound since 2015, nor for that  matter for the recent rise of the pound against the dollar.



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  1. Mark B
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Another government department that needs shutting down. I wonder who created that ? Oh, I remember, it was George Osborne of the Conservative (sic) Party.

    We should not be sending monies overseas unless it is for disaster relief.

    • Hope
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      OECD supporting and championing project fear again as it receives over £36 million from the EU, as pointed out by Guido. A sum not produced by the OECD when writing or talking about Brexit.

      These quangos need to be wound down over the next two years now we are leaving. Start with the EA.nwe should not be paying three times for the same service in our taxes! This could also help public finances to the tune of £1.5 billion. The public would prefer doctors and teachers instead of bureaucratic pen pushers promoting EU directives.

  2. Duncan
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    So who’s nobbling the ONS then? Hammond?

    No doubt a decent lunch with a high ranking Civil Service lackey and the ONS suddenly decides to smash Brexit with scaremongering nonsense like this

    This reeks of politics. What a shame it is that people employed by the state so willingly betray their public duty to their nation for a fat pension or a promotion

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    Dr. Redwood, thank you for this discussion. Under this topic you have repeatedly said that our payments to the EU are a large part of both the ‘balance of payments’ deficit and the government deficit. Will you undertake to your readers here, to carryout an analysis of the final ‘deal’ reached with the EU bureaucracy for our exit/new arrangements as they affect both deficits? Hopefully this will show a before and after net figure for both, for the 5 years after exit. With thanks.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Do you or any of your readers know if the external trade tariffs, where we get 20% and the EU gets 80% are part of our gross and net contributions. I’m aware of the gni and % of VAT and some small anomolies around sugar.
      When is Mrs May going to hang tough with the EU over their claimed but non existant divorce bill?
      Been reading today that your Government is preparing to be part of the EU army, despite the fact we’re leaving? Any truth in that Mr Redwood?
      I and many millions feel like we’re in the backseat of a car with a completely inadequate driver!

      • NickC
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Timeaction, Yes, the EU import tariffs collected by the UK are remitted to the EU in the ratio you state – 80% to the EU, 20% to the UK, as part of our total bill from the EU. The three main components of our total bill are: a proportion of GNI, a proportion of VAT (as you say), and the import tariff collection detailed above.

        Being the EU it is not that simple of course. There are other sources of income, and various adjustments made for countries. As others have pointed out, the Thatcher rebate (the “Fontainebleau abatement”), is paid back to the UK a year in arrears, so it is correct to talk about our total gross bill (as VoteLeave did).

        You can find more sordid details from the HoL, European Union Committee, 15th Report of Session 2016–17, HL Paper 125, “Brexit and the EU budget” (pdf).

      • zorro
        Posted October 18, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        These are in addition to our regularly yearly membership fee.


  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I agree fully with all that.

    Is Hammond really going to do another stupid thing by opening up the young v old grievences in the fiscal system and hit pensions yet again?

    Just stop pissing money down the drain on lunacies and a bloated state and cut taxes for all. Abolising IHT would certainly help the young and hugely help the economy too.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Indeed the rumours of differential tax rates depending on age are surely too ridiculous to be true?! Will 20 something traders in the City on £100ks be paying a lower percentage tax than workers on £10ks in the 40s and 50s?! The problem is the govt seem to want to ‘solve’ the main problem – the housing crisis – without attacking it directly. We need lower tax rates to incentives work and investment, we need to free up planning restrictions so housing supply can be improved. The removal or readjustment of agricultural subsidies should help as a lot of marginal land is now farmed, which isn’t in any area of natural beauty, and which would be much better moved to housing. Problems need to be addressed directly not in a roundabout, virtue-signalling way!

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        The things that will make the young richer are:

        – less competition for jobs

        – less competition for houses

        – not going to university to study pointless degrees (which only serve to keep true unemployment figures down anyway.)

        It’s about time we started delivering what people voted for. Controlled immigration with visas and points for essential workers.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Indeed a sensible points bases quality only system. But May ruled out points based so we will have to use “merits” or gold stars or something I assume.

          Certainly far too many with circa £50K of student debts and nothing but fairly worthless degrees (and perhaps a chip on the shoulder ) to show for it.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        And we need to cut immigration, which is the main driver of said housing bubble.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Property outside the South East and a few hot spot is largely about the same in real terms as it was ten years ago so for many there is not a housing bubble at all. Hammond’s absurdly high stamp duty land tax and double taxation of landlord interest is hitting these hot spots too.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Yes to property investments. But focus on the young first, especially with young family striving to buy first home, whether in London or Loughborough—for practical and economic reasons as well as for patriotic ones, ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle.’ Every hard-working Englishman deserves his own castle, even if it’s a two bed flat.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            Relax planning laws and the homes will follow a year or two later.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      The older generation have far more money than the younger generation. Younger generation struggling to buy houses and other costs. Younger generation voted to remain. Older generation voted to leave. Older generation should pay for Brexit. (If not, the Tories will lose millions of young voters to Labour and Liberal Democrats).

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Young people should pay for mass immgration if that”s what they want

      • Bob
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        @Ed Mahony

        “The older generation have far more money than the younger generation.”

        you may have hit on something there Ed, I have far more now than I did when I was young. Maybe years of hard work has something to do with it?

        Thing is that when I was young it was the accepted norm, unless you came from a rich family you had to plough your own furrow. We didn’t blame our predecessors for not having money.

        I know a fellow who arrived as an immigrant just 15 years ago now runs his own business owns 3 houses and he and his wife both drive top of the range Mercedes, he doesn’t sit on his backside moaning about pensioners.

        The blame culture is originating from marxist indoctrination in the state school system.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 18, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

          Sorry, please delete

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 19, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          Yes, socialists moan. But so do those on the hard right. As well as social liberals. Socialism, hard rightism and social liberalism are three dragons that need to be slain if this country is to be more free and happy.

      • Hope
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Complete stupidity. This is not a factual based opinion, but utter rot. There are lots of old people I know struggling to cope. The interest rates have punished them for eight years, they are being forced to sale their homes for elderly care. Some cannot afford to heat their homes! This before waiting in pain to get doctor appointments or the non existent nurse visits, or months to be assessed for health support by local councils.

        Time for the govt to stop promoting and supporting the feckless and reduce the welfare state on the fit and able young and cosy s of mass immigration.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          I never said older people weren’t suffering (another issue that we have to deal with).

          ‘Complete stupidity. This is not a factual based opinion, but utter rot’

          – It’s actually based on recent analysis by academics at the London School of Economics for the All Party Parliamentary Group.

          This is something the Conservative Party are going to have to take seriously if they want the young vote in next general election in order to beat socialist Jeremy Corbyn.


      • Dunedin
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, the older generation have always held most of the wealth – for most it is the effect of 40 years of earning and saving.

        As Anonymous points out above, the young generation will benefit from Brexit if there is less competition for jobs and houses. The young generation have far more to gain from leaving the EU than the older generation.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 19, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          No-one’s arguing the older have always been richer!

          The argument is about the older voting for Brexit so they should pay for it! (Young already have enough to cope with financially).

      • NickC
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Ed, The older generation have always had more money than the younger generation – working your entire life tends to do that. It’s nothing to do with Brexit.

        It is not true to say that the “younger generation voted to remain” – a majority did, but not all. Same in reverse for oldies.

        As for paying: Yes, I will pay for my share of Brexit, provided you: a) recompense me for the years I spent propping up the EU (at today’s value and rates £528bn total; b) pay me for the lost opportunity costs of the cash, fish and control handed to the EU (amount=10% UK GDP?); and c) pay me for the benefit of living in a democratic, free, independent country (amount=incalculable).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 18, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          ‘And lots of other concerns that the fit and healthy younger generation’

          – and lots of other concerns that the fit and older younger generation I meant.

          And BTW, the younger generation do have a duty towards the older generation. It is about looking after them and giving them lots of love when they become ill and grow old and possibly end up a lone (just as the older generation have a duty now to help out with the grandchildren and help with certain financial costs as well). That is their duty. It is not their duty to have to worry about and pay for Brexit which the older generation voted for (by and large).

      • rose
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear, this is like the phrase “a country which works for everyone”. It takes no account of the infinite variety in human existence, regardless of age, sex, or race.

        As it happens, I am poorer than my parents and my husband is poorer than his; my parents were poorer than theirs; and theirs were poorer than theirs. Our son is poorer than we are. That is what happens in life. Some people go up and others go down. We don’t all go up.

        After the Black Death most people went up, but not everyone will have done. This was not in the gift of government, though government can certainly impoverish everyone but the Party with socialism, and with mass immigration.

        Old people did not all insist on mass immigration which is impoverishing our young, though some did. Old people did not all insist that IHT should be imposed, though some did. That has damaged young people. Old people did not all insist on low interest rates being imposed for ten years, though some did. Low interest rates have transferred capital from old to young.

        These senseless attacks on the old, whether it be for voting for independence or for owning their own houses, must stop. With so much class hatred and left wing thuggery around do we really want to add age hatred?

        People who now own their own houses went though periods of punishing inflation and high mortgage rates which the young cannot imagine now. The old didn’t indulge themselves as the young now do. They couldn’t afford to, and if they could, they saved it all for the next generation instead.

      • Original Richard
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        There’s nothing new in the older generation being wealthier than the younger generation, not least simply because they have been working for longer.

        It is not immoral.

        It is false logic to say that because more younger people vote remain than leave and vice versa for older people that in the end the country will vote to remain as the old die off.

        If this was logical then why after so many years do the Conservatives poll more votes than either Labour or the Lib Dems or the Greens ?

        The reason is because as people get older, get more experience of life, economics and politics many change their vote from Labour to Conservative.

        The same will happen for any vote EU referendum vote in the future.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        The younger generation should get off their backsides and get a job and start actually contributing to society, oh and if you want to buy a house DO NOT try and buy one in London, but somewhere in the rest of the country you can afford one . Simple really

        • hefner
          Posted October 19, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          A bit short as a solution: assuming one gets a job in London, how far does one have to go to find an affordable starter one, a young family house?
          Taking the example of the M4 corridor, does one settle for Maidenhead, Reading, Newbury, Swindon? After Swindon, prices go up again because of the attractiveness of Bristol.
          I am afraid that your comments, contrary to some others’ here are neither “enlightened” nor helpful.
          … but anyone has the right to put their “opinions” even if they are rather, how to say that nicely, “simplistic”.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      If Hammond does this he is going to end up even more fiddly than Gordon Brown. Do we really want a situation of student loan repayments as a function of income (so essentially a graduate tax) but then a lower tax rate based on age. Also there have been many, “do the right thing” people in the middle destroyed by ZIRP, as well as some elderly. ZIRP is what has made assets out of reach, Carney should get on and correct this. Hammond encouraging ageism and continuing Osborne’s asset price bubbles would not surprise me. Policies that increase capital formation faster than labour growth, remove zombies etc would surprise me. It is a long time since any sensible policies were followed.

  5. ferdinand
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    ” how much trouble the ONS have in measuring things like the stock of overseas wealth” “changed their way of estimating” These two statements rather take the sting out of the ‘estimated’ result.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    So the NHS’s main concern is patients sexual preferences and the size of chocolate bars in their vending machines not the thousands they kill through delays, negligence and non treatment. Well done Sir(?) Simon Stevens, it is all about priorities I suppose!

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

      Just pandering by successive Governments to socialist minority groups like LGBT – whilst ignoring the majority.

  7. nigel
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Staffed by former Tesco accountants?

  8. alan jutson
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    So once again its headlines, which simply do not relate to the facts.

    Afraid this is happening far too often, and whilst I appreciate that government cannot spend its time correcting every inaccurate story, perhaps they can do a rather better job of making sensible announcements to its policies and decisions which may help reduce this sort of sensationalist speculation.

  9. Peter
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The EU continues to deny and delay. No progress.

    As summed up on Guido :-

    The EU’s position is, “we won’t talk about trade until you concede everything – and then when you’ve done that, we won’t concede anything. And we won’t concede because we don’t need to, because you’ve already lost…”

    Our leadership is too weak. We need to go to ‘No Deal’ now.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Or as someone said in a wholly different(but equally applicable) context:

      “Delay,Deny,hope you Die”

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I think you’ve summed it up! Interesting German on Today R4 this morning; said we must comply with all 4 EU conditions during transition – – NON STARTER, let’s hope.
      He also referred to Germany’s concern at the loss of our cash, that is where the EU weak point is. Mrs. May and DD are talking to the wrong people! Germany knows it will have to pick up our contribution and that is politically ‘difficult’. We need to leave these waste of time talks with the EU bureaucracy and tell Mrs. Merkel that we’re planning on leaving on 29-03-19 and no more cash from us; good luck with the EU budget!

    • CharlesE
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Peter..right at this very time we are already in ‘no deal’ mode and will remain in no deal mode until march 2019 unless in the meantime we make some kind of transitional agreement, which at this time looks highly unlikely, and so after that time, march 2019, we’ll be in post brexit mode and free to make new trade deals with new countries overseas… no need to fret.

    • Hermit
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Labour is forever siding with the EU verbatim. Labour avoids all questions of whether they would pay anything and how much to the EU…just that we should accept everything the EU wants and give a large tip. No wonder Corbyn rides a bike, he couldn’t negotiate the buying of a toy pedal car from a seven year old without losing his wallet in the bargain and just coming away with the steering wheel and instructions of how to say Brum Brummmmmm.

  10. Edward
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    In yesterday’s ‘The Telegraph’, it made a big splash about this ‘missing’ £490 billions. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it.

    I know well though, what the subtext is however, the same droning leitmotif on a loop; as was the airspace palaver, shutting the ports threats, RBS leaving [good bye] and so on. Scare mongering by the remain camp and as we know the ONS are stuffed full of non servile nor civil people who just hate the idea of Britain leaving ‘le grand projet’ and its formative Brussels administered federal superstate.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      You are right Edward. This was used as just another stick to beat Brexit with. What amuses me is that after this non-trivial error of £490 billion (one quarter of one year’s UK GDP), the new figures seem to being treated as if they are gospel. And this, despite the previous government errors made in the calculation of the economic consequences of Brexit.

      Some 20 years ago, the Institute of Economic Affairs produced a well-researched pamphlet claiming that UK overseas assets registered at book value massively underestimated their true current value. I wonder if UK overseas assets are still being calculated at book value by the ONS and quite frankly, it would not surprise if they were.

  11. Kenneth
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    But the BBC wants us to send even more money abroad.

    Today’s political statement by the BBC:

    “In conclusion, it is easy to say – in isolation – that the UK has no legal obligation to pay [the eu] anything at all. But the reality is that such a provocative move would cause far more problems than it would solve.”

    The link is here:

    Mr Redwood, the problem you have is that the BBC’s web site is heavily promoted using powerful transmitters and yours is not.

    The BBC’s political message will be seen by multiples more than yours.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      What makes you think many read the BBC website.
      I prefer other online forum without such blatant bias.

      • stred
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I try to avoid BBC news and political programmes now that they have put solely liberal or labour journalists in charge. Same with CH4 and even Ch5 has a morning opinion/news porgramme that descibed IDS as a prat because he used the word disfunctional to describe families where the father was absent. They then put up 3 lots of research that showed the realationship and discussed whether it might be true. They should change the name of the programme to ‘The Wright Prats’.

        Yesterday I put BBC on to see the reason for the yellow sky. They had an item about Mrs May sucking up to Junker and chose Damian Green in the HoC to comment. As an arch remaining lawyer who can’t imagine how difficult his life will be without EU laws to follow, he said that the MPs wanting to threaten WTO rules were in a small minority and would be ignored. He said both sides must come to a more reasonable agreement and we need the extra 2 years- not ‘our side’ or ‘their side’- let’s be even handed and give them the money when they have delayed for 3 years and have us against the cliff! What a …… (self ed). Later they chose the ever voluble and hoarse, fanatical, EU loving MP Anna Sobery, who for some reason was not sent to join the Libdems at the election.

        • stred
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          Forgot. Their editors must have wanted to get even with JR for disagreeing effectively on the news yesterday. So, they had a competition to chose whether, because the sky behind him was yellow, he looked like he was from Star Wars or Dr Spock, the vulcan in Starship Enterprise. Oh how the politicians from the Womans Equality party and North Korean party laughed.

          Correction -relationship.^

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

      Essentially any payment we did agree to make would be as a matter of goodwill not as a matter of legal liability. And that correlates with what Theresa May has said in her Florence speech, that we would make sure that the departure of our country did not result in people in other countries to lose out financially up to the end of the current financial framework. Clearly that is not enough for the EU, they are out to extort as much as possible from the UK; and equally clearly there are some in the UK who would give the EU whatever it wanted, if it demanded ten trillion euros they would still say that this would be a better deal than a catastrophic “no deal”.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        . . . . departure of our country did not result in people in other countries to lose out financially up to the end of the current financial framework.

        But the financial loss to the likes of you and me, the people, and quite literally in your case, that put her in the position she now enjoys is of no consequence.


        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          That was her generous offer, which of course the greedy EU has just banked as a first concession while continuing to demand more and more with the encouragement of opposition politicians in the UK. But I think that we, that is the UK taxpayers, should be allowed to see the full details of the EU is demanding, line by line, euro by euro.

          • hefner
            Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            What about also asking for the publication of the 50+ (57?) reports on the various sectors of the British economy? To me they are as important as the EU demands.

          • Bob
            Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            David Davis seems to be negotiating not only with the EU but with the civil service and Parliament, including many in his own party who appear to be working for the other side.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            What about sticking to the point?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Ah but Nay carefully didn’t say “up to the end of the next financial framework”, she left it open.

        • stred
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          She said she did not want them to fear that they would have to pay more or receive less during the period of the current plan- which terminates in 2020. We would have to withdraw her offer on the grounds that they had not taken it. Otherwise it will cost a lot more than £20bn.

          Taxpayers cannot afford to have people in charge who do not agree firm figures before they go abroad waffling goodwill on our behalf.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          “But in this context I am conscious that our departure causes another type of uncertainty for the remaining member states and their taxpayers over the EU budget.

          Some of the claims made on this issue are exaggerated and unhelpful and we can only resolve this as part of the settlement of all the issues I have been talking about today.

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

          Her offer was just about “the remainder of the current budget plan”, which will be completed in 2020, not long after we have left.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      The police are broadcasting that they don’t have the manpower to investigage burglaries.

      Judges are instructed not to imprison unless absolutely necessary.

      So if Brexit is denied they won’t be helping to enforce non payment of BBC licences then.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Even advertising this to the criminals that they will not investigate or prosecute many serious crimes. Destroying even the illusion of deterrents. One assumes this is to ensure to this magnify the number of crimes hugely for next year.

        I have perhaps reported about 10 crimes to the police of the years, burglary, theft, breaking and entering, car crimes, shop lifting, physical assault, credit car fraud, cheque fraud …. over say 40 years. My impressions is that they nearly always do nothing beyond giving out a victim of crime leaflet and a crime reference number. Often they refuse to attend especially, especially if it is a business it seems. They even try to avoid taking a report at all with all sorts of reasons and ruses, (such as it was not you property stolen or car damaged but your wife’s, neighbours, someone who works for you …. Or that is a matter for the Bank, Credit Card Company. This even where there is a wealth of evidence.

        Doing nothing seems to be their preferred cause of action every time I find. So I tend not to bother reporting at all now.

      • Bob
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The BBC are giving Crimewatch the chop.
        One of its few actual public service programs, being axed in favour of chasing ratings.

        It’s the TV Licence that should be axed.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth ,

      Have just seen your BBC link .
      I would be perfectly happy to say
      ”Here’s £20 bn but we really don’t want a transition/implementation period of ‘around 2 years ‘ .we must be free to sign our own trade deals , have our fisheries back , get rid of ECJ , run our own migration policy and trade on WTO rules in 2019.

      We are always open to discussing trade with you but in the meantime let us get on with the certainty that this course gives business .
      And oh btw we’ll sort out the NI border with the ROI directly ”

    • Bob
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Remember Mr Redwood, Mon. 20th November. Abolish the TV Licence debate in Parliament.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this sensible discussion, JR; I saw the hysterical Telegraph headline but I could not be bothered to look into it, so this is helpful.

    I was not happy to see our Prime Minister hugging and kissing the enemy last night, and nor am I happy to read in the press that her emergency effort to move the EU negotiations along has been an abject and humiliating failure.

    In fact it’s all so bad that I think we might as well invoke that reservation which we should have put into the Article 50 letter – that we were proposing to use the exit procedure laid down in that EU treaty article because we had agreed to it through the Lisbon Treaty, but without prejudice to our rights under wider international law.

    “Leave the EU immediately”

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Like a naughty schoolgirl,defying school uniform policy,still wearing her Frida Kahlo bracelet too.

      Let’s hope it brought greater luck than it’s last outing!

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        beats running through a wheat field
        gives the media something to talk about rather than her dire lack of strength.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink


      Alastair Campbell writes in the Guardian “Time for Theresa May to tell the people why Brexit can’t be done.”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Time for her and Hammond to resign saying, “sorry we are both tax borrow and waste” greencrap, pro EU, socialist dopes really and an electoral disaster. We are not quite sure now why we ever joined the Conservative Party”.

      • rose
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        And a very good performance by JR showing AC up on TV today.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink


      We are being played.

      All this is just a pantomime, a game. They are, and John Major did this over Maastricht with his tennis analogy, trying to set themselves up as opposing parties, when in truth, they are on the same side.

      What they are doing is trying to make the EU out to be the bad guy and our government fighting over getting trade talks, even though we cannot do that until after we have left. The price of such mythical trade talks will be the, Exit Bill. Politically unacceptable but necessary for no reason. Everything is being done to help the EU because this is a political project that all politicians have a stake in making it a success. It is a mess and without us will soon fail.

      Remember. BREXIT should not have happened. We, in their eyes, voted the wrong way.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Any ex gratia payment would need to be approved in a vote in the HoC I believe, I would suggest it would be political suicide for the MPs who voted in favour of a large amount.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Labour MPs avoid answering any question about how much they would be prepared to pay, it could be infinite for all we know.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        The EU is the bad guy, and our government is not doing enough to make sure that everybody around the world realises that the EU is the bad guy.

  13. Nig l
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you. The Footsie treated the information with equanimity so I realised my worries were unfounded. Interesting day to break the news and the DT to headline it.

    As for all the balance of payments hoo ha, I believe that we have had a deficit on ‘visibles’ going back to 1840s ish, maybe people need to be reminded of that and our trade with the EU is only 12% of our GDP, again if true this needs to be driven home.

    The latest round of talks seem to be hingeing on money. On the basis of the above I continue to want us not to pay any.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      We still had the Empire to plunder back in the 1840s!

      • forthurst
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        We had the largest merchant navy in the world and the City made the market in all internationally tradeable raw materials as weel as operating the brokerages that facilitated international trade. We always were a trading nation; the EU is an aberration for us. Our close involvement with the continent in the 20th century was disastrous for us in every way. We need to get back to our knitting as far as possible.

  14. Derek Henry
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Is it Foreign Portfolio Investment – the interest on our foreign currency savings we have held in other central banks compared to interest they earn on the sterling savings they have held at the BOE ?


    Foreign Direct Investment – What foreign investors provides to a productive enterprise in the UK compared with what we invest to provide productive enterprises abroad ?

    John’s made a good attempt to try and break it down. However, ultimately you reap what you sow.

    When you tell the media and voters for over 40 years that the government financies operates like a household budget then what do you expect.

    I’ve said many times this will come back and hurt Brexit and those left holding the poisioned chalice that taxes fund government spending and that budget deficits are bad will pay a heavy price.

    But you won’t listen.

  15. Know-Dice
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    So the EU and presumably Mrs May want to speed up Brexit negotiations…I wonder why?

    Could it be that the EU know that if we get to the end of March 2019 without a deal, they can “whistle” for any separation payments?

    It’s quite clear that any and all treaty obligations end on midnight of 29th March 2019…

  16. Prigger
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn in the last few months cast doubt on ONS analyses when it threw certain Labour Party propaganda into doubt. But it is not unusual for all parities to pick and choose what “facts” they hold true. Then they say as if they had made reference to some ancient holy source “From the ONS, the government’s own recognised institution”
    How much does the ONS cost to run?
    Does the Government ( the tax-payer ) pay the ONS?
    How much do we pay the ONS?
    What other companies, agencies, institutions did the Government consider as alternatives?
    When the ONS gives wrong advice or estimates, do they refund fees paid to them plus interest.
    Why not?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      And why, after centuries of doing without such a department, do we now need one to give us duff information ?

      One of my hero’s, John James Cowperthwaite, never allowed statistics to be collected.

      Google it !

    • acorn
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      ONS is part of the Statistics Authority, 100% owned and operated by the government and costs, circa £200 million a year.

  17. Duncan
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    There’s only 2 facts we need to know

    One. The UK is not an independent, sovereign nation
    Two. A majority voted to leave the EU in the 2015 plebiscite

    All else is trash, rhetoric and political subterfuge and who knows what to believe any more?

    • hefner
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      UK EU referendum, 23 June 2016: I know I know, things do not appear to be moving fast …

    • Hermit
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      As Brexit approaches all the celebrities who said they would leave the UK on Brexit are still bolted to the spot. ..and are so silent you could hear an out of tune guitar drop.
      Not one celebrity left the USA as threatened they would on Trump’s election. In fact, one or two, no names mentioned, have left the UK and gone back to America. Nothing to do with his proposed tax reforms of course. They have principles. Also bad acting and lousy voices.

      • rose
        Posted October 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        I like Geroge Harrison’s good natured Liverpudlian remark: “I think it’s a great idea to run your own country.”

        And Sharon Osbourne is also sound.

        So is John Cleese.

        There are others, but once they come out, they aren’t allowed on the air any more.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    No mention of this in the rw online tabloids, I’m afraid.

    At least we haven’t had the march of the far right in Britain, like some EU nations. We’re pretty easy going people but you wouldn’t think it listening to Remianers.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      For ‘Far-Right’ read democratic and patriotic.

      Hardly something to be ashamed of, me thinks.

  19. BOF
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I find it odd that Parliament overwhelmingly approves of paying these many billions in overseas aid, and in the process creates a monolithic very expensive department to distribute (mostly badly) all this money which has to be borrowed. Meanwhile the citizens of this country overwhelmingly disapprove of this staggering largess.

    I can only conclude that they don’t care what we think so long as they can continue with their virtue signalling. Oh, for a referendum.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Virtual signalling or an oligarchic nomenklatura looking after itself (and family and friends)?

      • Mark B
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Hear, hear to both of you !


        Direct Democracy, Swiss style is the answer to all this.

    • acorn
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      DfID spent £7.7 billion on international services last year, 1% of UK government’s total managed expenditure (TME).

      BTW. Net payments to EU Institutions for 2016/17 were £8.1 billion by TME (total managed expenditure) accounting; and, £4.7 billion by TES (total expenditure on services) accounting.

      One number that MMT (modern monetary theory) disciples like me can’t get from the ONS; BoE or Treasury is the Public Sector GROSS Cash Requirement. That would be the number of “units of account” (Pounds Sterling), plucked fresh from the magic money tree and spent into the private sector, with no net reductions from bond sales; taxation / charges / receipts; privatisation proceeds or any other method of recovering the units of account previously created and spent into the private sector.

  20. Nig l
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    According to a key ally of Mrs Merkel Boris is blocking Brexit because he is stopping Theresa May offering more money which is what we all suspected she wants to do. If true well done Boris.Incidentally great piece in Conservative Home as to why such bland people succeed.

    Would you tell Michael Fuchs that Boris is merely saying what millions of us think.

  21. Iain Gill
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I have a few Euro in my back pocket, I hope this doesnt upset their figures too much

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, following on yesterday’s thread:

    “‘No deal’ Brexit could cost families £500”

    “Millions of households would be more than £500 a year worse off if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, according to researchers.

    The average bill would rise by £260 in a “no deal” scenario in which Britain would begin trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.

    The worst-hit households could experience price rises taking £500 out of their budgets, with the poorest 20 per cent of households suffering a toll a third greater than the richest 20 per cent.

    The findings by the Resolution Foundation and the UK Trade Policy Observatory are based on the government carrying over the EU’s tariffs — taxes it applies to imports — after Brexit … ”

    Tosh, but yet again unanswered by the Department for Pretending to Exit the EU, whose jovial head has been too busy making love to EU officials to think that he should set up a unit to counter the constant stream of specious anti-Brexit propaganda.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Hi Dennis,
      Tosh indeed but even if it wasn’t it would be worth £500 just to get out of the dreaded Mafia club.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      “. . . a unit to counter the constant stream of specious anti-Brexit propaganda.” Never would public money be better spent.

      HMG and the Conservative Party will come to regret bitterly not taking this obvious and necessary step. But has there ever been a worse government PR operation than this one?

    • acorn
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry Denis, David Davis has only spent £23 million in 2016/17. His Brexit department is planning to spend circa £100 million a year for the next three years. That will be a plane load of air miles. Possibly even more than Liam “Flying” Fox at Internation Trade.

  23. acorn
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The best hint in JR’s post is make sure your financial investment bonds etc, are switched into outfits that earn a lot of their revenue in foreign currencies. The short version of the story is, there are two basic kinds of “rest of the world” (foreign) investment into the UK.

    FDI (foreign direct investment) and portfolio investment. The first is often necessary for a developing country short of resources of all kinds. In developed countries it is a consequence of running large trade deficits and exporting your currency to the rest of the world, who then spend it buying up your countries factories; bonds and Chelsea mansions.

    The second and bad one, is portfolio investment in UK equities and other bits of paper; by the rest of the world. This is where the £490 billion is; foreigners are holding a lot more of it than the old ONS benchmarking abacus thought they did.

    When “capital flight” kicks in, portfolio investments can be dumped in the markets in seconds. It takes longer to dump a Chelsea mansion or a car factory; unless its a fire sale situation.

    The BoE and the Treasury, pray several times a day, that the rest of the world keeps wanting to save both financial and non-financial assets denominated in Pounds Sterling.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Well,yes,we’ve been effectively bust since the end of WWII and do,as Mark Carney,channelling that faded southern Belle,Blanche du Bois,said “rely on the kindness of strangers”.

      Brexit may help us dig our way out of it though.

  24. Jason Wells
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    What is it they say about Statistics, lies and damn lies?..we could also add in ‘spin’, fake news, misinformation, disinformation and plain old black ops- so take your pick-
    so who can believe anything anymore- especially from politicians

    • Nig l
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Norman Lamont once said that when he went to the Treasury the first thing they told him was that in years to come he would be the most hated man in the U.K. He went on to say that that was about the only prediction they got correct.

  25. Epikouros
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    We all know that statistics are a liars charter and should be treated with considerable reservation. So is data that is presented as the actual state of national economies. It is not absolutely false as that would soon be exposed(as the remainers scaremongering was) but neither is it absolutely true as it is prone to considerable margins of error. Competency of compilation, bias of compilers and even manipulation and judgement of what should and what should not be included all effects it’s accuracy. Studies show that the efficacy of much of the data and interpretation of that data is disputable and that government, it’s agencies and politicians often act on imperfect information. So when we see data compiled by experts it is well to ask if everything is as bad or as good as their data implies. Of course it is not.

    • hefner
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Very sensible post. But how would you judge whether the information in the tables is reliable, incomplete, biased? Would you, hand on heart, take everything that Redwood, Rees-Mogg, A. Campbell, T. Blair, G. Brown, N. Lawson, P. Hammond, … for proper unbiased information?

      I always enjoy politicians accusing the “other side” of playing politics. Do you really think that JR’s blog is apolitical and for the education of the masses?

  26. Tabulazero
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    UK Inflation has hit 3%, its highest level for five and a half years. Still sure this has only to do with higher Council taxes ?

    Reply 2 main items were housing costs including utilities and Council tax, and transport where higher oil prices are kicking in

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Competition for UK housing is critical.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I heard Carney saying today the high inflation figure was due to Brexit. As far as I’m concerned it’s due to Carney because his main job is to hold inflation at 2%.

      • rose
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        He never mentions QE or low interest rates.

      • Hermit
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        He has stated many times though he would refute it now and say “may” and might” that his intention was to set conditions so inflation would rise as “some” inflation is necessary for a healthy economy. It shows the man that he is modest in not taking credit for success in his own terms.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Inflation was bound to take off after housing was included and on a rising market. It will go down more quickly when the housing market slumps, as landlord taxes and high stamp duty has already caused it to in some areas.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Do we have to put up with this kind of mendacious trash day after day?

    “Asked if Parliament had the power to veto a no-deal option with the consequence that Britain would remain in the EU, Mr Clarke told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “As an off-the-cuff constitutional legal reply, yes, it does. This is a parliamentary democracy, Parliament here can do, practically, what it likes.”

    So can Parliament force the other EU governments to accept the cancellation of the UK’s Article 50 TEU notice sent in on March 29th after Parliament had passed the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017?

    No, it cannot. The UK Parliament is the supreme legal authority for the UK, but it has no authority over the other EU countries or their governments.

    And Article 50 has no provision at all for the cancellation of a withdrawal notice once it has been given, let alone a provision to give the member state concerned a unilateral right to revoke its notice.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you Dennis, I was hoping you would respond to this latest nonsense by the remainiacs thinking they could veto our exit.
      March 2019 gets nearer every day and they are obviously grabbing at each and every straw they can.

  28. Bert Young
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Responding seems to be a waste of my time ; yesterday for example my comments still await “moderation”. There was nothing that I referred to that was insulting , used bad language , was too long , or was “off topic”; I simply conditioned my views in relation to what I saw was happening to agricultural land and building in South Oxfordshire . I am left flummoxed !.

    Toady all I wish to add concerns our economic position and debt . The EU accounts for most of our trouble one way or another ; equally our GDP quota commitment for Overseas aid . Credit card use and the extent of personal debt is closely related to volume of purchasing and the deficit in our balance of trade . My tail note is simply ” Hammond must go “.

    • Augustyn
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Oh do get over it. JR ‘s main job is to be the MP for Wokingham. He has several important external interests. And of course he is an influential person in Brexit. The mere fact he can also run a blog and personally vet all contributions (often over 100 per day) is a credit to him.
      So let’s stop the moaning if your contribution’s moderation is delayed or not published at all.
      And lest there be doubt I am not a member of the Conservative party.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 18, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        I fully agree;it’s a privilege not a right to have our thoughts published here.

        • hefner
          Posted October 18, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink


  29. Ann Nomaly
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    One very rough description if not a precise definition of a nationalised industry is one owned and controlled by Central Government. So with America for example, a nation believing decidedly in free enterprise we find strange, weird, bizarre anomalies. The US military forces are nationalised. The US Post Office is nationalised. Pennsylvania unless things have changed recently has its pubs, yes its pubs of all things, nationalised. Of course certain US online retailers depend on the tax-subsidised US Post Office to a massive extent.
    So, the ONS. Okay let’s drop the exact definitions of “nationalisation”. But if it is a free enterprise institution then it is not as we know it. Why does government rely on a nationalised advice service when experience teaches nationalisation is wasteful, non-expert to the nth degree, inefficient and highly unlikely to come up with anything worthwhile? So the British government bases it whole strategy on a form of organisation that can’t even make an edible sandwich at a railway station shop etc.

  30. Expectorate
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Mr Carney is to face the Treasury Committee today, it is said. Can’t wait to see the video BBC Parliament recording. I’d hoped to see it LIVE as with Energy Price Caps now as I write.
    Rees-Mogg was beaten to the chairmanship by Nicky Morgan so the questioning will be as thorough and fact-finding as one might hope for but certainly not expect unless she is off work with what we all would hope is only a temporary chill.

  31. bigneil
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “Does not mean we are getting poorer” ? Cuts to the Police. Cuts to the Council services we continually pay for. Constant calls for more cash for the NHS. Yet a constant flood of arrivals with their hands out. Benefits for having made no contribution. Housing, paid for by those who are already paying for our own lives. Schooling, ditto. And of course – unlimited healthcare – complete with taxpayer funded translators and as much time as THEY need.

    Your version of “we” was meant as the country John. My version is as a person.

  32. Ron Olden
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink


    The inflation figures came out today, and are at the highest level since 2012.

    These figures however, are excellent. I can remember when prices rose by 4% in one MONTH, not 3% in a YEAR.

    We are now only a month or two away from the peak that inflation is likely to reach as a consequence of the fall in the value of the Pound, following the Brexit Vote in 2016.

    Considering the massive size of the fall, which was followed by a period in which global Oil and Gas prices also recovered, you would have expected inflation to have risen much more than this.

    Inflation will be back to its target figure of 2% well before we leave the EU in March 2019.

    This small hike in inflation is a small price to pay for the beneficial effect on competitiveness which the fall in Sterling offers. The problem with most devaluations in the past, has been that the benefit is lost in much higher inflation. This time it hasn’t happened.

  33. Freeborn John
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I note that both the German BDI and the Irish government have now set the expectation with their industry of the likelihood of the UK trading with them on WTO terms from March 2019 with no transition. Why is the UK government not setting similar expectations for UK industry and putting necessary preparations in place? From the very beginning this is what they should have done instead of adopting a rosy niavity that will leave them over a barrel in the latter stages of negotiations. Any negotiated deal should always have been presented as a long shot, something nice in theory but unlikely to be attainable within the constraints of the June 2016 vote for no EU law, no ECJ jurisdiction, no freedom of movement and no ongoing payments to the EU budget. This failure to manage expectations is (along with Philip Hammond’s undermining of the UK government position) playing into the hands of the EU punishment crew.

  34. Doug Powell
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Off Topic

    I see that the OECD has produced a report saying a second referendum reversing Brexit would be beneficial to the UK economy! Why can’t these people keep out of out affairs?
    We have had Obama – IMF – et al – all meddling to influence our electorate!

    If Russian influence is as powerful as some people believe, I would welcome Putin putting his weight behind Brexit! Send Boris to Moscow to sign him up!

    These constant attempts to undermine the will of the British people makes it imperative to make a dash for No Deal and WTO immediately! Especially as I have no faith in the PM maintaining a sufficiently rigid backbone to resist these siren voices!

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Boris is going to Moscow later this year.The Saudi caravan,bearing lavish gifts,has just left,so we’ve probably been given the OK to follow in their wake.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Hah, all this continuing Brexit uncertainty is very damaging to our economy and the sooner it is all sorted out the better, so the best answer is to have a repeat referendum to reverse the result of last year’s referendum. So says the OECD, described by the Telegraph as “a leading think tank”. OK, so it’s near the end of October 2017 now, a bit late to start making the arrangements for a referendum on anything this year – first it would need an Act of Parliament, then it would need the Electoral Commission and local authorities to do all the necessary organisation – so let’s say that we plan for a repeat referendum next spring. What happens about the ongoing negotiations with the EU before then? Are they just put on hold, and will the EU agree to that even if the UK wants it? So with the EU withdrawal negotiations possibly on hold or possibly continuing, and a repeat referendum in the offing, with the two possibilities that the previous result will be overturned or that it will be repeated, will all that decrease or increase uncertainty for business? And if the repeat referendum next spring did contradict the previous referendum, what would happen then? Would the new referendum Act be silent on what should ensue if the result was one way or the other, in the same way as the previous referendum Act was silent on what would ensue from a vote to leave? If Parliament decided that a vote to stay in the EU should led to a request that the UK be permitted to revoke its notification that it intended to leave the EU, would all the governments of the other EU member states agree with that, and would their helpful decision withstand potential challenge at the ECJ, and what might they try to extract from the UK as the price for their agreement?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Oh, and what about this:

      “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.”

      But despite that claim it wasn’t a generation, it was literally just days after they had lost the referendum that some of these contemptible anti-democratic eurofanatics started talking about a repeat referendum.

  36. Tabulazero
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Brexit is every day more turning into a Doomsday cult.

  37. agricola
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Todays subject is fairly academic and has little resonance in the bar at the Spotted Cow. I therefore prefer to talk of the Westminster/ Brussels circus that affects all our lives in a readily understandable way.

    This mess of potage/ bucket of worms which is the EU Brexit negotiation is epitomised by one word, uncertainty. An uncertainty that some wish to drag into a period of two to three years after March 2019. We do not even know whether this period is designed to accommodate further negotiation or the implementation of what is completed by March 2019. What becomes increasingly clear is that the current and continuing uncertainty is bad for the country, the economy, and the government. It would not surprise me to discover it was an intended delaying tactic on future UK trade agreements worldwide. It also gives oxygen to those who scheme for it’s failure under any circumstances.

    To create certainty and enable business to be ready for March 2019, then the time is close when we need to declare that the future is trade under WTO rules. This is sold by remainers as akin to the black death. It isn’t, all our trade with the rest of the World, trade which I would add is in surplus, is conducted under WTO rules.

    Let us please decide on a cut off date for all this nonsense of toing and froing with Brussels. It is increasingly obvious to me that the EU is not a sincere negotiator. I have in mind the end of December 2017.

  38. Dennis Zoff
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Back in the country for only 10 hours and all I have read from the usual media suspects is “Brexit gloom and doom” disinformation, opaque articles and in some cases downright mendacious nonsense. Nothing in the continental press, I might add.

    I must assume, therefore, the Remainers are climbing out from under their stones, gathering additional cunning ideas, to have another go at undermining the UK voter’s will?

    To no avail, I trust!

  39. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


    the only slight problem with your calculation is that the amount we spend net on tehe Eu and on foreign aid is less than 25% of our deficit, but facts and figures does not seem to stop you agitating for leaving the Eu with no deal, no matter the facts stare you in the eyes.

    Why is that so?

    Reply It is a large sum we don’t have to pay

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I thought it was much less than that Hans. Thanks for the info. Even more reasons to tell Junker to pay for his own round. By the way, why does Denmark pay so much less to the EU per head than Sweden. Holland and the UK? Is it because your previous lady PM married into the Kinnock EU dynasty and went to EU university. Is there a knack to paying less, like France or making a thumping profit from the EU like Luxembourg?

  40. Prigger
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    David Davis . Brexit Minister,in the House today “Brexit Negotiations Statement”

    Mr Davis in answer to a question from an SNP MP indicated the UK had had talks with the Polish Government affirming “we” would honour Poles of Polish citizenship alone,residing temporarily or semi permanently or permanently in our country in their retaining vote in our local elections.Could Mr Davis be a good chap and take a flight to Warsaw and tell them NO DEAL. This is UK territory. OURS, not theirs, that is This is not Poland. Let the UK be the UK…apologies to the Polish Solidarność who chanted “Let Poland be Poland”. The Polish Government may recall just why they chanted it. Mr davis should reflect he is British which entails some loyalty to us.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m against people who are not UK citizens being allowed to vote in any UK official elections or referendums. That includes citizens of the Irish Republic and citizens of other Commonwealth countries as well as citizens of other EU countries.

  41. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    From what I recall from previous posts the EU savings, if we ever get any of course, will be frittered away and wasted on current (revenue) spending. And no-one will notice of course.

    There will be no change in the mindset that foreign stuff is best and that we don’t make much here anyway.

    Where is the strategy to change that? How do we start making things again that the world relies upon which other nations who are not small minded like us have done. Too many people here, individuals and authorities seem to think the rest of the world exists to provide us with necessities and comforts. Governments have allowed our industrial and manufacturing to decay and die and have allowed this to prevail. If there is such a strategy government is silent.

  42. Freeborn John
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    It is imperative now that the British government make a statement that their working assumption is that the Uk will be trading with the EU27 on WTO MFN terms from March 2019. Anything else is a de facto plan to be held over a barrel as that date approaches with nothing in place when the irresponsible ultras in the EU Parliament inevitably vote down any terrible deal that Hammond has led us into. Hammond has got us the negotiations into this this mess and he (or better his successor) needs to get the chequebook out to prepare for it, which will in any case be vastly cheaper than handing the EU £60-90bn and then £10bn + a year ad infinitum.

  43. nigel seymour
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    J, The OECD are now entering the Brexit fray. Clearly the job of any Gov opposition is to hold them to account which I don’t have any problem with at all. However, Brexit seems to have opened the flood gates for all and sundry to trash the UK and it’s ability to be a great power going forward when we leave the EU. I’m happy for the UK to get a good kicking from piddly countries and institutions that, in the words of Prof Patrick Minford, need to protect their vested interests…
    I’ll be providing my anti EU consumer spending list when I’ve completed my supermarket rounds and analysis…

  44. Duncan
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Pro-EU OECD enjoys scaremongering for Project Fear and here’s why: From the usual source:

    Interesting research just out from Change Britain this evening. The OECD has received a grand total of £85,173,454.91 from the EU since 2007:

    In 2007 the OECD received €3,915,338 (£2,680,064.52) from the European Commission
    In 2008 the OECD received €6,915,240 (£5,504,897.55) from the European Commission
    In 2009 the OECD received €5,217,103 (£4,651,542.95) from the European Commission
    In 2010 the OECD received €3,947,916 (£3,384,548.39) from the European Commission
    In 2011 the OECD received €5,796,929 (£5,033,473.45) from the European Commission
    In 2012 the OECD received €1,722,375 (£1,396,329.41) from the European Commission
    In 2013 the OECD received €2,669,613 (£2,265,433.59) from the European Commission
    In 2014 the OECD received €380,249 (£306,784.89) from the European Commission
    In 2015 the OECD received €32,898,142 (£23,884,051.09) from the European Commission
    In 2016 the OECD received €44,752,859 (£36,066,329.07) from the European Commission

    How long do we have tolerate this type of political interference in our national public life????

    • hefner
      Posted October 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      What exactly are you going to do about it?

  45. stred
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Guido reports that the OECD, which has decided we need to reverse Brexit, has received 44m E from the EU, up from 380k after Junker was elected. UK subsciption is 5.5% of 375m. according to OECD site. More than current EU donation. It is supposed to be funded by nations according to GDP. Slight Pong?

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Sorry- UK subscription is less than half Junker’s voluntary bung. maybe we should save 20m, as this is now a political lobbying organisation and its forecasts and advice have been consistently wrong.

  46. Golf
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Sky News today showed and shows as I write clips from MPs Rudd, Boris, Hammond and , Fox appearing to show them contradicting one another on Brexit. However, I saw and heard their entire utterances which were identical in emphasis and substance.
    Lazy journalists.

  47. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps they are going to call our overseas assets as null and void when we leave, perhaps they only have one cerebral hemisphere working. perhaps they can only understand one half of the story .. conveniently , but what ever happens in trade and has happened in trade initially may have not been caused by Brexit , but will play an important part now in Brexit.

  48. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Apart from Dr Philippa Whitford SNP MP, the whole squad of SNP MPs should be voted out of power by their electorates. I saw them questioning Greg Clark, Boris, and others in Parliament. They just raise false issues which they are too intelligent to think are legitimate questions. They are wasting time and not serving the people who loyally voted for them. They should be no party’s MPs. In a more business-orientated Parliament their questions would be disallowed by a Chairman of the meeting before they got to the end of the second sentence. The Labour Party taught them this unprofessional bad behaviour. But they had a choice to copy or reject it. They chose to ape deprived inner city Street-English bad behaviour.

  49. HenryS
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    John..all of these statistics and figures impress very few..what we need is hard policy..policy from a united government in the i terests of the country which is something very badly missing.

    Your Boris is out to wreck the government so long as he comes out on top and Michael Gove is out to wreck Boris so long as he comes out on top..and that’s what tory politics is about..a party of self serving over educated bootboys who have no regard for the country or the people..and JR regret to say but you are part of all of this.

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 18, 2017 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Our economy is entering a period of stagflation – slow to zero growth and mounting inflation. The principal cause is the ultra-loose monetary policy that has been pursued for years. The fall in sterling is an effect, not a cause. Sterling was overvalued and had been heading for a fall even without Brexit.

    The effrontery of doom sayers knows no bounds. Any pack of lies about Brexit will do. We need to retaliate. Cancel our annual payments to OECD and IMF, remove the poisonous anti-Brexit influence in the judiciary, the Lords and the BBC. Purge CCHQ of its pro-European element. Sack Carney. Get Patrick Minford and UKIP to write a booklet on our real prospects outside of the EU. Tell the EU it gets no divorce deal until we get a trade deal.

    Above all, at the next general election get the right sort of MPs according to their views on Brexit:- Kate Hoey ‘Yes, Ken Clarke ‘No’.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      In other words, ‘lance the boil’.

  • 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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