Was this the undercurrent conversation at the EU dinner?

Prime Minister

It is a pleasure to be here with you today for dinner. I come to renew my friendly proposals about our future relationship. The UK wants a comprehensive and deep partnership with the EU. We will offer you tariff free access to our market with no new barriers. We will continue our substantial contribution to European security and intelligence.  We will carry forward joint working on space, science, academic life and much else. We will continue our welcome for all EU citizens legally settled in the UK.

Mr Juncker

Thank you for coming. I do hope you have brought your cheque book. You must understand that we cannot keep on meeting like this unless the UK pays the bills for the dinners and much else. The EU is getting cross with the UK for not being realistic, so I hope this evening we can make some progress on the divorce settlement.


As I have made clear the UK will pay anything it owes, but you have to understand UK Ministers do not have powers to send money to the EU after we have left. We need to look at all the issues together including our future relationship.

Mr Juncker

I don’t think you understand. The UK has signed up to a soup course for future meals which is going to cost billions of pounds. Doubtless you want coffee, which does not come cheaply either. I have explained before to you that we decided to order drinks right through to the next decade, so that will be another big bill. The UK can’t expect to get away without paying.


I can do without the soup course and coffee late in the evening keeps me awake at night. In the UK we accept we have to pay all the time we remain in the EU, but not after we have left. You should cancel the drinks for us for when we have gone and save some of your cash. As to this dinner I thought you had invited me, and I have had the cost and inconvenience of coming to you here in Brussels.

Mr Juncker

You British are so unreasonable. You can’t just walk out and leave us short of cash. There is a big bill to pay.

PM  So how much is the bill and what is the legal base for the items you want to charge?

Mr Juncker

There’s no need to get legal with us. We want you to make a realistic offer. It’s all about European solidarity, about setting the right tone for our future relationship. We don’t have an itemised bill backed by a legal base.


When we joined the EEC we did not get a discount or a payment to deal with all the spending commitments the others had decided on before we joined, so why would there be any bill for future spending  after we left?

Mr Juncker

You agreed then to join on the terms available. That is different.

PM Are you also saying that if a country left the EU now that gets money out, the EU would go on paying it after it had left?

Mr Juncker

There’s no point in getting clever with the EU. The rest of the EU expects you to pay a large sum. I do hope you understand we cannot possibly talk about trade any time soon given the UK’s stubbornness.


That is a pity, as it hugely in the EU’s interest to have continued tariff free access to the UK market. We have to go ahead and plan for WTO tariffs on EU food and goods without sensible discussions.

Mr Juncker

The EU has other priorities.


So the EU does not care about all its exporters to the UK?

Mr Juncker

The impact on the EU is containable


May I suggest we talk about  something else, like Iran, where we may agree and put out a statement on that?

Mr Juncker

That’s the best we can do.










  1. Peter
    October 18, 2017

    Maybe not the exact words used, but the talks would have been just as useless. Then a spokesman would have put a positive but misleading spin on them.

    1. Mike Stallard
      October 18, 2017

      Mr Juncker is, I think myself, making all arrangements for Brexit more and more difficult. The traditional way for the EU in such a predicament is to force a second referendum which, surprise, surprise, turns the earlier one on its head.
      By wrecking the negotiations, he is forcing Mrs May into a second referendum.

      1. graham1946
        October 18, 2017

        I received an email from the government yesterday in response to the petition I signed demanding an immediate exit which stated categorically that there will be no second referendum, no backdoor trying to rejoin, no trying to sabotage the vote, no more payments after we’ve left and of course, no, they won’t come out early.
        I wonder if this is a Cameron type cast iron promise. I’ll keep a copy just in case.

      2. Denis Cooper
        October 18, 2017

        The UK’s Article 50 TEU notification has gone in, the guideline period of two years for negotiations laid down in that article will expire on March 29th 2019, and there is no provision for the notification to be cancelled even if the UK wanted to do that after a repeat referendum, which in any case could not be held before next spring at the earliest … far from removing uncertainty for businesses a repeat referendum could only have the opposite effect and the “leading think tank” OECD has been stupid to even suggest it.

    2. Hope
      October 18, 2017

      PM: Jean you know I will let you have whatever you want (as David did before) I need to make it look difficult and protracted. I have all the civil service and associated bodies back in full swing for operation fear. We need to make it look we are leaving but keep a foot in the door so we can reverse when the public mood changes. Alternatively make it so economically catastrophic if we left like the Swiss model.

      You know I want to stay with all my heart. I loaded the cabinet with remainers with a few token leavers. All the press are on board and the only alternative is Labour who want in. You noted I changed my speech from Lancaster to Florence. Subtle differences and a willing to cave in to ‘reasonable’ demands. Hammond and Carney will keep the pressure on the economy, this will demonstrate I have no choice but to give into your demands. Rudd has batted off five atrocities without too much difficulty and none from my party! My Navy is still acting as a ferry service in the Med and is ready at your disposal.

      As you know I have supported and gone along with Angela’s mass immigration policy and implement everything she wants.We are working to see if we could give you more money from the Foreign aid budget, as you know we do not care what you do with the £2 billion already so a few billion more would go unnoticed.

      We’ll pick up the dinner tab.
      Treezer Halifax May

      1. NickC
        October 18, 2017

        Theresa May has looked at our negotiation strategy in 1972 and decided that is the way to go. The continuity Remain tactic is to delay, hamper and sabotage Brexit so much that we will get a very bad deal. And, of course – as Alistair Campbell said – we cannot possibly countenance “No deal”. Then the hypocritical Remains will claim that we should remain because of the bad deal they’ve engineered.

      2. Chris
        October 18, 2017

        That just about sums May up, Hope, I think.

  2. Narrow Shoulders
    October 18, 2017


    We really should insist that the discussions about financial settlement are over and we are no longer talking about them.

    If trade is not on the agenda next time we can not turn up.

    But the 27 EU countries are united in their negotiating position, the UK is not that makes us weak. Parliament must debate and pass a notion that we stop undermining the negotiators. That is the only way we can get a good deal.

    1. NickC
      October 18, 2017

      Narrow Shoulders, We should but we won’t. One reason is the policy administrators in the civil service are Remain almost to a man. And it is the civil service which does the real negotiating, not the headline politicians.

      Thee second main reason is we love to capitulate. That’s what we did in 1972 when Con O’Niell said: “swallow the lot and swallow it now”. We are making the same mistake. Our establishment (especially the civil service) has convinced itself that “kick me” is the noble and just response to EU demands.

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    October 18, 2017

    The OECD and the treasury produce forecasts that show UK suffering by not being in the EU.

    Could this be because they do not have the vision to imagine a changed world. Their models are all based on the status quo, not on the new reality.

    Vision is what is needed, none of the models appears to take account of cheaper prices from elsewhere let alone increased trading opportunities. Only what may be lost by EU protectonism

    1. Ian Wragg
      October 18, 2017

      This is project fear 2. All the institutions are being wheeled out on a daily basis to try and overturn the referendum result.
      There is panic amongst the elite as it now looks like we will be leaving the EU with no deal.
      They know it is probably more damaging for the EU than us as we will have the freedom to legislate accordingly.
      It looks like the ECB is about to get a dose of reality with the Germans voting to stop sovereign bond purchases.
      All is not well.

    2. Original Richard
      October 18, 2017

      Taken from the OECD website :

      “In the Supplementary Protocol No. 1 to the Convention on the OECD of 14 December 1960, the signatories to the Convention agreed that the European Commission shall take part in the work of the OECD.

      European Commission representatives participate alongside Members in
      discussions on the OECD’s work programme, and are involved in the work of the entire Organisation and its different bodies.

      While the European Commission’s participation goes well beyond that of an observer, it does not have the right to vote and does not officially take part in the adoption of legal instruments submitted to the Council for adoption.”

      The OECD is unlikely to be producing impartial reports on Brexit.

      This is an organisation that said the UK would receive “great benefits” from joining the ERM and they recommended we join the Euro.

    3. Hope
      October 18, 2017

      OECD receives £36 million from the EU! Treasury wrong on all its predictions under Osborne or Hammond. Carney is doing his best as well. Any proper leader would have made it clear get on board or get out.

      Dennis as made the point several times: why is the govt not countering these false claims and propaganda by its media Dept.?

    4. Mitchel
      October 18, 2017

      Absolutely right.The world order has already changed.Go with it or be swept away by it.

      The same suspects who predicted collapse within months of the Brexit vote are the same people who told us Russia would be brought to it’s knees within months as a result of upsetting the international order.That hasn’t happened either- far from it!

  4. Peter
    October 18, 2017

    I’m a Dudd is not being helpful when she contradicts David Davis and says a ‘No Deal’ Brexit is ‘unthinkable’.

    1. Prigger
      October 18, 2017

      Peter, she was speaking in answer to a question posed by Yvette Cooper in a Parliamentary Committee and also in relation to the general thrust of combative questioning in which she was rhetorically channeled in defending the position of No Deal as a fall-back position but she then parried the attack by emphasising that the EU stabbing us and itself in the back by No Deal was “unthinkable” Ms Cooper is excellent on lungeing attacks.She has to be, for she has no basis on which to make her own stand on any issue whatsoever. The Press prefer deceit shadow boxing than truth. They are Fake News and know which politicians are their natural allies in Lie-dom

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 18, 2017

      The mass media are not being helpful when they deliberately and totally distort what she actually said to the Home Affairs Committee, which related solely to a security treaty and not to a trade treaty.

      Up to and about 8 minutes in here:


      “… if there was no deal of any form do you believe that Britain would continue to be as safe and secure as we are now?”

      “I think it’s unthinkable that there would be no deal … ”

      Whether we have a special trade deal with the EU or we trade with them under the WTO regime is not a question which falls within her Home Office remit, and in fact she did not stray beyond her own job.

      Of course it didn’t help that Theresa May took some more bad advice and seemed to be linking trade and security in her Article 50 letter.

      Personally I would only go so far in retaliating against unhelpful politicians in the other EU countries by taking it out on their citizens. I would be prepared to boycott their goods, and in fact I am already doing that, even though that would cost some of them their livelihoods, but I would not stand back and knowingly allow them to be slaughtered by terrorists. And nor would I punish well-behaved EU citizens who have already settled in this country for the sins of their home politicians.

      The real scandal here is not that Amber Rudd was contradicting David Davis, which she was not, but that the EU has flatly refused to discuss future agreements to help keep their citizens and our citizens safe until we have agreed to hand over some unspecified but very large sum of money, effectively a bribe.

      As always David Davis’s department has nothing to say about this latest gambit in the ongoing, almost completely one-sided, propaganda war.

      1. Anonymous
        October 18, 2017

        The Leave side is virtually absent in broadcasting.

  5. John Soper
    October 18, 2017

    Mr Davis promised that we would do a deal with the EU offering us the exact same benefits we have now. That is not happening. Mr Fox said it would be easiest deal in human history to do a deal. There is no deal. Now you say we do not need a deal – the opposite of what we were promised in the referendum. Mr Davis said we would have signed trade deals with the US, India etc by now. There are no deals – there are not even any talks. You, Mr Redwood, promised we would pay no bill. Mrs May and Mr Davis have already agreed to pay a bill, the question is only how much. The Leave campaign was a big con trick.

    1. Roy Grainger
      October 18, 2017

      We are not allowed to sign trade deals with US, India etc. because we are still members of the EU. Surprised you didn’t know that. I see unemployment is at an all time low. We were promised 500,000 job losses in the year following a Leave vote. The Remain campaign was a big con trick.

      1. James Doran
        October 18, 2017

        We should sign them anyway. Call them letters of intent if you want.

      2. John Soper
        October 18, 2017

        Roy, in July 2016 David Davis wrote that “I would expect the new Prime Minister on September 9th [2016] to immediately trigger a large round of global trade deals with all our most favoured trade partners. I would expect that the negotiation phase of most of them to be concluded within between 12 and 24 months”.

        We are already more than 12 months in. The negotiation phase has not been started – on any of them – let alone concluded. Don’t you feel you’ve been had? I know I do.

        Full source –

        1. Denis Cooper
          October 18, 2017

          John, as you know perfectly well your friends in the EU then said that we could not start such negotiations until we had left the EU.

      3. Linda Jones
        October 18, 2017

        Well said, Mr Grainger.

    2. matthu
      October 18, 2017

      And the remain side was absolutely straight and frank at all time?

      Remember how we were all assured that the idea of an EU army / EU taxation / EU superstate was fantasy?

      Now we are threatened with the death of democracy as MPs try to overthrow the referendum result.

      That is why we are leaving.

    3. zorro
      October 18, 2017

      John Soper, you have a very poor grasp of the political reality at this moment in time….

      1) David Davis has akways said that we wanted to have a reciprocal tariff free access to each other’s markets. As Liam Fox said, this could be easily transposed but, in case you hadn’t noticed, the EU are refusing to budge because they think that they can bully us….. That is why there is no deal at this time.

      2) As current EU members, we cannot sign any new trade deals into existence until we have left. We ARE currently talking with a number of nations to do the preparatory work leading to these deals. Simple stuff really, do you follow that?

      3) We have NOT agreed to pay any exit bill and will not do so. We have agreed to pay our membership bill until 2019. We have also agreed to pay any contingent liabilities, but that goes both ways and will only progress on a legal footing, not nonsensical demands.

      You really must try better than this, as you are parroting nonsensical slogans from the old Remain campaign.


    4. Know-Dice
      October 18, 2017

      Mr Soper still sulking just because President Trump called out your namesake?

      You may have noticed that we don’t leave the EU until 29th March 2019 and it has always been EU policy to leave agreements till the last hour – they want our money…
      So, stop undermining the efforts of the British Government that is tying to get the best deal for the UK. A bit more positivity from the BBC could be helpful.

      I’m surprised you didn’t mention the “Bus” !!!

    5. Denis Cooper
      October 18, 2017

      Any comments about the Remain campaign?

      And what about official Remain leaflets such as 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 like you started talking about a repeat referendum.

    6. Prigger
      October 18, 2017

      Come , come, come John Soper! Please stop running the EU down. Of course they will deal very well with our leaving. You write as if the EU is a very nasty negative dictatorial pain in the neck . EU demands for money are just playing. The EU is a mighty, strong, pull-up-trees organisation and such petty amounts of money are just that , petty. The EU does not need British money.

      1. Turboterrier.
        October 18, 2017

        @ Prigger

        The EU does not need British money.

        Really glad to know that Prigger, very assuring to know they will not miss it when it ain’t there

    7. Anonymous
      October 18, 2017

      We are not going back in the EU on the same terms, whether you are right or wrong about it being a con trick.

      I happen to think you are not right.

      When I voted Leave I automatically assumed ‘hard’ Brexit – the very next day.

      Even though the terms ‘hard’and ‘soft’ were concocted by Remain after they’d lost the referendum to give themselves another bite of the cherry. “So what does Brexit mean ?”

      The only confusion and uncertainty is that which Remain have created.

    8. NickC
      October 18, 2017

      John Soper, You were told by eurosceptics over and over that the EU controlled us, and was not our friend (in the words of the Chancellor, our enemy). You (as a representative Remain/europhile) chose to ignore that message. That’s your fault.

      Now the truth of the eurosceptic point is made daily by the EU itself. UKIP’s Gerard Batten said: “We must not be discouraged by the intended difficulty of bringing about our exit from the EU.” I have observed frequently on here that if you think the EU will be reasonable you haven’t been paying attention for 45 years.

      Simply because the current government is capitulating, in the face of Remain anti-democratic intransigence at home, and EU spite and belligerence in Brussels, does not constitute a reason to remain in the EU. In fact it reinforces the need to exit immediately.

    9. Qubus
      October 18, 2017

      It would be the easiest deal to make, but the EU doesn’t want to make a deal. They want to punish us: pour encourage les autres.

      1. hefner
        October 18, 2017

        Get it right for X’s sake: pour decourager les autres!

      2. Dennis Zoff
        October 18, 2017


        “Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres”

        I would put forward Hammond, as a good opportunity, to make this a statement of intent!….and prove Voltaire’s aphorism!

        1. getahead
          October 18, 2017

          Aphorism? Steady Dennis.

    10. chris f
      October 18, 2017

      Guido reports that Bloomberg has a scoop on the German Foreign Ministry drawing up plans to involve various ‘relationships’ in various sectors post-brexit…as he says, ‘sounds sensible’…

  6. stred
    October 18, 2017

    Corrected post M.Barnier seemed to be relatively straight initially, then yesterday he said that the UK had caused the delays because of the 9 months before issuing A50 and then the election. Surely he must know that the delay, after Remain Dave welched on his promise to issue it, was caused by legal challenges financed and brought by EU supporters acting as agents to reverse and delay Brexit. The delays allow them more time to extort the money for their expansion plans. Elections in the EU have caused longer delays than ours.To blame us for the delays, as if they are disappointed is so dishonest as to deserve withdrawal of any goodwill offer. Mrs May is not suitable as a negotiator to look after our interests. We need to stand up to liars and name them, not waffle and kiss them.

    1. stred
      October 18, 2017

      The Department for Exiting the EU has today replied by email to people who signed the petition to leave now, instead sometime in the distant future.Unfortunately, the words do not match the actions of the PM and her Remain supporting leading members of the cabinet or Reamainer MPs who are constantly seeking to keep us in the EU and paying through the nose for the pleasure.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 18, 2017

        And what they say is a response to the petition is not any kind of response, it is merely a restatement of the government’s public position:


      2. Peter
        October 18, 2017

        I received that email. It did not answer the question. Just talked of a ‘smooth and orderly exit.

        There was more waffle towards the end about ‘continuity and control’.

        1. The Prangwizard
          October 18, 2017

          Just for the record – me too.

    2. NickC
      October 18, 2017

      Stred, Indeed. Remains seem to have adopted the bizarre notion that delays and problems caused by Remains, and the EU, somehow invalidates our vote to Leave.

  7. hans christian ivers
    October 18, 2017


    very primitive political manipulation and not very constructive contribution from your side you usually rise to a higher quality

    Or don’t you?

    1. eeyore
      October 18, 2017

      Hans -A most interesting if perplexing comment. We in Britain see no sign of manipulation or lack of constructivity – on the contrary, we see a government almost obsequious in its desire to oblige its European colleagues.

      But we can only know what we are told. Presumably you have the benefit of seeing how these things are reported on the Continent. Could it be that you are yourself the innocent victim of manipulation?

      1. hefner
        October 18, 2017

        Having had the regular opportunity of seeing Spanish, French and German newspapers on almost one or two weeks per month over the last twelve months, first thing to say is that most of the time Brexit comes nowhere near the front news, and second that in these three countries there does not seem to be any newspapers equivalent to and as strident as the UK tabloids.
        Overall feeling I get is that most people in these countries do not care very much for the UK or for Brexit. Given that Macron and Merkel appear to be displaying the harshest of attitudes towards the UK among the 27 heads of state, I think that JR’s comment about a EU mind change at the last minute of the last hour very very optimistic, and I wonder whether it is based on as a strong ground as his position on climate change. Is there a “think” tank as thoughtful as GWPF for hard-toothed Brexiteers?
        Anyway, I will be looking forward to the next GWPF’s report on this year’s state of the atmosphere.

    2. Edward2
      October 18, 2017

      By “constructive” do you mean simply giving the EU £100 billion to allow negotiations to begin?

    3. zorro
      October 18, 2017

      Not far off the mark though eh Hans?


    4. Nig l
      October 18, 2017

      Are you certain you are not Hans Christian Anderson writing EU fairy stories?

      1. Chris
        October 18, 2017

        Nig 1, it seems they have to at least one on every blog, Nig 1. At least they are easy to recognise.

        1. hefner
          October 19, 2017

          Well, personally I find good that there are contradictors, otherwise this fish tank gets stinking far too rap(b)idly.

    5. Ian Wragg
      October 18, 2017

      Thanks for the Brussels angle but we don’t need you.
      You should be more worried about the impending Euro crisis when Germany pulls out of QE in the new year.

    6. sm
      October 18, 2017

      Hans, I suggest it’s just a rather English way of letting off steam!

    7. Hope
      October 18, 2017


    8. Denis Cooper
      October 18, 2017

      Whereas your side is infallibly constructive …

      Neil Kinnock’s son did warn us that we should not expect the eurocrats to keep to their treaties, not Article 8 TEU or any other article:


      “Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that a withdrawing state is therefore liable to suffer what would amount to a punishment beating to dissuade others from withdrawing … ”

      What’s your view on an organisation which says one thing in its treaties but then proceeds in the opposite direction out of pique that a member has resigned?

    9. libertarian
      October 18, 2017


      Bloomberg has the scoop: Germany’s foreign ministry is working on a “balanced, ambitious and far-reaching” free trade deal with Brexit Britain – apparently they want a deal on security, agriculture, trade, energy, air travel and research.

      You lost, get over it

  8. am
    October 18, 2017

    well put and should be held too – no money beyond what they are strictly owed. It is amazing the eu just don’t come up with a figure. They don’t want their conduct exposed so they keep that quiet.
    Meanwhile numbers of the remainers are still in hysterics ville: talking for the eu not the uk.

  9. Roy Grainger
    October 18, 2017

    Any payment to the EU beyond what is legally required (nothing ?) has to be approved by a vote in the HoC as far as I understand it. I wonder how many MPs of any party would file through the lobbies in support of an ex gratia payment of Euro 90bn ? Would Mr Starmer ? All hypothetical I suppose as the EU are too ashamed to actually mention the amount of money they are demanding.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 18, 2017

      Labour politicians refuse to say how much they would be willing to pay the EU, instead they just repeat that it’s all the fault of the Tory government.

  10. alan jutson
    October 18, 2017

    Afraid its time to say enough is enough, we have no intention of paying any more than has been offered (which is generous given the circumstances) If they do not want to talk about other things like trade and co-operation projects, then there is no point in us turning up.

    Walk away prepare for no deal, and only return to the table when we can look at a full and comprehensive menu, when there are items we may like on it.

    Given the EU does not want to talk about our future, we should now be getting down to discuss, agree, and sign trade deals with Countries who do want to trade with us, ready for implementation on 28th March 2019.

    Too much time is passing and we are clearly getting nowhere.

    Transition is just a delay and an excuse for inaction.

    1. DaveM
      October 18, 2017

      Yup. Absolutely.

    2. The Prangwizard
      October 18, 2017

      Beware Theresa the Appeaser.

  11. oldtimer
    October 18, 2017

    That appears to sum it up very clearly.

    Meantime I hear that research reveals that the OECD, author of the remark yesterday that the UK should hold a second referendum on Brexit, has received £85 million from the EU since 2007. Did Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, declare this interest when making this recommendation about a second referendum? It sounds as though it has come straight out of the EU playbook. The EU does has form in seeking to overturn referenda results. The Irish case was especially obvious.

    With each passing day the EU/Remainer tactic is obvious. Play for time by blocking the negotiations/legislation needed to implement Brexit. The Corbyn/Labour party tactic is also obvious. Be negative and destructive at every turn; attempt to destabilise the Government to the point of outright fracture; win a vote of no confidence and an early general election. All three interests are complicit in their overt and covert attempts to subvert and overturn the referendum result and to blame the government for failure to deliver Brexit. The involvement of Conservative MPs in this campaign is particularly reprehensible. The outcome of no deal seems more likely by the day and in the circumstances is the preferable to the alternative demanded by the EU.

  12. Duncan
    October 18, 2017

    I care not one jot for Juncker. I do not trust May to do the right thing and I do not trust this government to abide by the democratic will of the British people

    We expect treachery from Labour since their loyalty is to the ’cause and the party’. We expect loyalty to the nation from the Conservatives and yet it feels as though the public is being ‘played’, treated as fools.

    I have no idea what is and what isn’t real any more. Who do we believe?

    This is not politics as I know it.

  13. Cheshire Girl
    October 18, 2017

    What concerns me is, what has been promised to the EU in the past ? Have our politicians been out there, pledging and vowing, to do this, that, and the other? We know that they are prone to make expensive promises. Have we made commitments that we now can’t withdraw from, and promised money for things, that we are now expected to honour?

    1. Chris
      October 19, 2017

      There are a lot of commitments with regard to the EU army that our government has signed up to in the last 2 years, I understand. I think many voters would be furious if they knew.

      1. rose
        October 19, 2017

        I already am furious.

  14. Peter Wood
    October 18, 2017

    Good Morning,
    A wasted trip talking to the monkey not the organ grinder, and more shame brought on the UK. Can Mrs. May not see this?

    Dr. Redwood, your friends at Guido have produced a piece on lower shop prices if we exit and go to WTO terms. (I don’t like the phrase ‘no deal’, we still trade on international terms). Perhaps this is something you can look into as to accuracy and promote a new positive narrative?

  15. A different Simon
    October 18, 2017

    Re security and intelligence .

    I’m not happy about having our British armed forces subsumed into an EU level and EU commanded defence force .

    Cameron and Fallon have systematically destroyed our capability to act unilaterally in order to make EU military union more palatable .

    It’s looking very like BR… to me – Brexit without the exit .

  16. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    October 18, 2017

    Obviously, Jean Claude called me afterwards.
    In vain, he had asked Theresa: “how may Tory parties are there these days?”
    I couldn’t help him either. 🙂

    1. Peter Wood
      October 18, 2017

      PVL, after the UK leaves the EU project, Germany will be paying over 50% of the net contributions to the EU budget. Ask yourself, what will they want for this ‘generosity’. This time there will be nobody to save Europe from the Germans, this time you sleep-walked into subjugation.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 18, 2017

        @Peter Wood: Germany’s contribution would still be a lot less that 50% and on top of that, neither its voting power in the European Council, nor its voting power in the European Parliament come anywhere close to 50%.
        Thank you for your concern nonetheless. You’d prefer us to be subjugated to Britain, like e.g. N. Ireland?

        1. Timaction
          October 19, 2017

          Voting power?? Merkel just does as she pleases and it becomes EU policy. Mass immigration, all welcome. Please catch up Peter!

          1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            October 19, 2017

            @Timaction: sorry, that’s just another example to show that you actually don’t know too much about the EU.

        2. rose
          October 19, 2017

          Dear Peter

          Northern Ireland is not subjugated to Britain: it is part of the United Kingdom. A very nasty campaign of violence and intimidation was waged against the people there to subjugate them to a foreign power, but they stood up to it and chose freedom, as, in their different situations, the people of Gibraltar and the Falklands did too.

          1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            October 20, 2017

            @rose: Neither is (or will be) the Netherlands subjugated to Germany, we’re both part of a voluntary club (the EU) of gradually increasing cooperation.

    2. NickC
      October 18, 2017

      PvL, There are three Tory parties on the government benches: about 20% of the total number are democratic Leaves; about 10% have sold out to a foreign power, contrary to our Bill of Rights; and about 70% are just here for the beer. The last lot being a bit like Jean Claude in fact.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 18, 2017

        @NickC: Thank you, I’ll call the commission president with this “sobering” message! 🙂

    3. Cobwatch
      October 18, 2017

      PVL, rather less than in the Dutch coalition which was hobbled together over 208 days specifically to exclude Wilders and his disenfranchised voters.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 18, 2017

        @Cobwatch: Excluding the extreme populist Wilders was really the most simple and was explicitely known before the elections. Any voter who had listened to election debates or read party programmes knew that there were only one or two small parties (out of 16) that hadn’t excluded Wilders.

    4. Sir Joe Soap
      October 18, 2017

      But one solid majority to Leave

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        October 18, 2017

        @Sir Joe Soap: No problem with that. But impossible to negotiate with.

    5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      October 18, 2017

      P.S. on a more serious note: the article “Theresa May is right on Brexit: no deal is better than a bad deal – for the EU”, by Jens Geier, makes interesting reading. The UK really has to get its act together!

  17. nigel
    October 18, 2017

    She should never have gone to that meeting. She needs to realise that she must deal at the right level i.e talk only to people like Merkel and Macron. Davis and his team should be talking to Barnier and Juncker
    Negotiation is an art, and she clearly does not have it. From the beginning, we should have made clear that we would walk away unless they approach the talks sensibly. It would have caused all sorts of screaming and tantrums at home, but it would have provoked some real negotiation in the end.
    It is still not too late. She must now say that unless they start proper negotiations on the whole deal by Christmas, we assume thay do not want a deal, and act accordingly (prepare for no deal). They will come back.

  18. agricola
    October 18, 2017

    Rather flippant, I covered this very precisely only yesterday. Not too long, not libellous, but reflecting the growing frustration with the negotiating circus. Guess what you have still not moderated it . Such lack of action says it all, keep the trees well fertilized so that the wood cannot be seen.

  19. Iain Gill
    October 18, 2017

    We need some politicians who represent the real views of the British people and who want to get on with Brexit, and are prepared to be tough.

  20. Christopher Hudson
    October 18, 2017

    The good news however is that the EU handbrake/millstone is slowly beginning to dissipate

  21. jonP
    October 18, 2017

    Or the conversation could have gone like this-


    good evening Mr Junker.. I have come to let you know we intend to have our cake and eat it and we will continue to contribute to European security and defence also university research and for student exchange. We will continue to welcome all EU citizens to UK after they have been interviewed finger printed and sorted.


    Thank you for coming and notice you still havn’t brought your cheque book. ‘eating your cake’ etc etc is out of the question into the future also cherry picking..these are things that you already enjoy but for whatever reason you want to run away from. we have to settle the past before we look at the future. Also would like to remind you we have our own intelligence and security.. what we havn’t got we will develop when we get our new EU army..


    we are not going to pay for anthing into the future even though we made promises in good faith to fund some of these projects- the game has changed- we want out and we want out on the cheap.


    you are not going to get out on the cheap


    I want to cherry pick into the future without paying


    No deal


    No deal


    We have other priorities


    So you don’t care?


    No- we don’t care


    The EU will suffer if there is no deal


    As will the UK.. but we are prepared and will take the hit


    OK lets go outside now in front of the cameras and do the Kissy Kissy stuff


    No problem we are good at that in the commission

    PM..driving away in the big car..looking very glum..thinking..what now?


    thinking.. time for that drink..glad that meeting is over

    1. Pud
      October 18, 2017

      What EU army? That nice Mr Clegg assured us there no plans for an EU army.

  22. Bob
    October 18, 2017

    At some point in a negotiation you need to recognise that your counterpart is taking the pee.
    Then you should stand up say “thank you for your time” and walk away. This is the point at which you will find out whether they really want to deal.

    While on the subject of peeing, MPs occupying the Cabinet “tent” should be reminded which way to face when doing so. If they fail to observe this basic directional discipline they should be required to leave the tent.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    October 18, 2017

    Has anyone seen a detailed statement of account from the EU specifying and justifying their claim for a large payment from the UK?

    1. Bob
      October 18, 2017

      To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t prepared one.
      They’re just kite flying, and they’ve got Mrs May chasing tail chasing.

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 18, 2017

      No, so far just a statement of principles with no numbers. Apparently it is up to us to say what we think the numbers should be so that the haggling can start.

      1. hefner
        October 19, 2017

        Come on, the Government has been speaking of a bespoke deal, with keeping links with the EU in various domains.
        Has the UK produced a proper list of those areas where it wants to keep an active collaboration? With such a list of areas comes a further list of programs/projects to which the UK, in the past, had accepted to contribute, all of them over different timescales.
        Is it so difficult to understand that without the UK being clear on its objectives, it is nearly impossible to put figures on the final bill?

        1. Denis Cooper
          October 19, 2017

          You forget that thanks to the stupidity of your friends in the EU we have not yet got round to even talking about that bespoke deal.

  24. Cobwatch
    October 18, 2017

    Very funny but also remarkably on point. It is extortion plain and simple. If the Govt. give in to this Corbyn as PM is inevitable. Walk away. Now.

  25. Denis Cooper
    October 18, 2017

    “We don’t have an itemised bill backed by a legal base.”

    I’m sure that David Davis put it about that a young member of his team had given a long presentation at a negotiating session in which he had picked the bill apart line by line, to the annoyance of our friends and partners/interlocutors/opponents/enemies.

    Yes, here we go, from August 30th:


    “UK tells Brussels negotiators their Brexit bill sums do not add up”

    “Tensions rise as EU says Britain failing to show its hand and UK argues some claims for money have no legal basis”

    “Over a three-hour Powerpoint presentation, British officials picked apart the EU claims over liabilities … ”

    But they were working on this EU paper:


    which does not give any numbers, there is no “Item XXX €782 million” or anything like that. Apparently the EU wants the UK make offers of how much it might be willing to pay for each item, it won’t say how much it thinks that item should be with any kind of legal or even logical justification.

    However I come back to the point that in any sensible negotiation this question of money would be committed to a joint working party to discuss on the fringes in parallel with the discussions on more important issues such as trade, it would not be allowed to prevent those far more important discussions even getting started.

    There is all this talk about the clock ticking and time being short, but the EU is insisting on the least efficient procedure of sequential rather than parallel negotiations and the UK government has been foolish enough to go along with that without complaint.

  26. Epikouros
    October 18, 2017

    Intransigence cannot be met with intransigence so any move by the UK to diffuse the current stalemate in talks with the EU is to be praised. However when reasonable offers to resolve a dispute is met with a rebuff that only the EU’s demands and none other are acceptable then the UK has no option other than to walk away from the negotiating table. The EU is in effect demanding the UK enter into a boxing match with the EU with both hands tied behind her back.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    October 18, 2017

    The reality is if the UK were a recipient of funds, the two year A50 period would be ignored and there would be a great effort to kick us out on receipt of the letter. I cannot believe how naive the Remoaners are, their cross party backlash is very depressing for democracy. On the one hand they say Parliament must decide but they were and still are willing to lose all our sovereignty to the likes of Juncker.

  28. Andrew M
    October 18, 2017

    John you’re getting a lot of flak from the leave alliance crowd (Richard north and Peter north) on the specifics of no deal and wto, it could be worth addressing their less ridiculous accusations in this blog

  29. Monza 71
    October 18, 2017

    It’s becoming very clear that there will be no deal that should be acceptable to the UK

    In the press we read that Merkel and Macron have toughened up their stance on a future role for the ECJ which is even more unacceptable than paying out up to £50bn which we must remember is in addition to the £20bn we have offered for the transition.

    It’s hard to see whether the intransigence is more to overcome Merkel and Juncker’s concerns as to how they are going to avoid a very damaging dispute between net contributors and recipients over money in the next budget round than the risk that other countries might want to leave if they give us a free trade deal.

    Obviously a £50-£70bn windfall from the UK would go along way to defusing the forthcoming problems with the next EU budget round.

    However I suspect that the flat refusal to even discuss free trade until after we come up with at least £50bn is because they are trying to legally secure our money before announcing that they aren’t going to offer us a free trade deal anyway.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 18, 2017

      Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, remember.

      1. Chris S
        October 18, 2017

        Since when has it been possible to be certain of anything in these so-called negotiations ?

        After Florence, Merkel is demanding a written assurance of the financial deal that Mrs May offered just for the transition. We know that the £50-£100bn demand is in addition to the £20bn.

        If Mrs May is foolish enough to offer a further amount Merkel will also demand a written commitment to pay before starting trade discussions.

        Merkel won’t even contemplate any conditionality on our part. The process cannot be considered to be a “negotiation.” It’s nothing more than a series of demands from the 27 which they insist we accept or they won’t move on.

        We should not be surprised – it’s exactly the same as the Greek experience as outlined in Yanis Varoufakis’ book “Adults in the room.”

        He’s been warning us this would happen since Mrs May triggered Article 50.

  30. Bert Young
    October 18, 2017

    Juncker : I have just sent my letter to Austria that they must obey me and put the EU first . Theresa you must respect my position .
    Theresa : I have always been respectful of others – often to me detriment , but the respect you now wish me to observe would not concur with the majority of Austrian voters .
    Juncker : Nevertheless it is what I say that others should do , surely you agree with that .
    Theresa : Sorry I cannot . It is the will of the majority that counts , if I ignored this democracy would be dead and there would be no need for any Politician .
    Juncker : Oh well , we must agree to disagree . Have a glass of Champagne anyway – I’m a long way ahead of you .

  31. Doug Powell
    October 18, 2017


    The EU Baroness of Broxtowe said in the Commons yesterday that she was a member of a coalition in the House that would vote against a No Deal if that was HMG’s preferred option.

    These bloody remoaners are obnoxious! They lost the referendum, but are now having a second bite of the cherry by attempting to render Brexit meaningless! In a truly democratic world Brexit would be fashioned by the winners alone!

    Being a No- Dealer, I would be grateful if you would give an opinion on the likelihood of this disgraceful, undemocratic ploy proving successful? If so, what then?

    Reply Were |Parliament to vote against us leaving without a deal, we will still be out of the EU under the Article 50 procedure! I am not sure what such a vote would signify.

    1. Doug Powell
      October 18, 2017

      Thank you.
      Let’s hope that by March 2019, sufficient MPs* will have a firmer grasp on reality, see the futility of being bad losers for the rest of their lives, and channel their energies and abilities to future challenges.

      * I admit there are some for whom this will not be possible: they have been brainwashed to remain unthinking dinosaurs ‘protected’ within walls of the Jurassic Park that is the EU.

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      October 18, 2017

      Reply to reply
      Clearly this is just an attempt to overturn the result of the referendum.
      There is so much dishonesty from MPs they cannot be regarded as “Honourable” – far from it.

      1. Doug Powell
        October 18, 2017


        The term ‘Dishonourable Member’ has a nice ring to it, especially when one scans Traitor’s Corner in the Chamber.

  32. Denis Cooper
    October 18, 2017

    I will add that on Sunday I pointed out that Keir Starmer had just claimed on the Peston programme that leaving the EU without a deal would mean the end of co-operation on counter-terrorism, and …

    “So I thought I would look to see what the Rapid Rebuttal Unit in the Department for Exiting the European Union had to say, maybe on twitter; but of course there is no Rapid Rebuttal Unit, and the Remoaners are still being allowed to get away with any rubbish they like without any fear of contradiction, presumably because David Davis can’t be bothered to organise a small group of his hundreds of civil servants to perform that role.”

    And now we have had Yvette Cooper following that up by inveigling Amber Rudd into saying “I think it’s unthinkable that there would be no deal … ”, meaning no kind of security deal, but that then being misrepresented as meaning a trade deal in contradiction of David Davis.

  33. Newmania
    October 18, 2017

    Or was it this

    Junker: So shall we bear in mind when we decide what we are having that you may at any time leave the restaurant and refuse to pay for your share , shouting “ So sue me “ as you rush to the door ?
    May- Goodness me no the UK would like to show we are a reliable partner who can be trusted to fulfil our role in any agreement
    Junker : This is good news , so we do not have to take you to court to extract the money you owe , excellent . Pardon me for misunderstand your recent behaviour

    Now as I understand it you wish to leave our club
    Mat: Quite so we have clearly expressed that in a resounding 52% to 48% popular voter
    Junker: So the UK is pretty much undecided then?
    May : Ah no you see in our country , when there is majority the minority however large cease to be people , and when I refer to the will of the people I am clearly not including them
    Junker: I see I see , yes we have had some experience of this ”Will of the people” on the continent and brutal subjugation as well , not my cup of tea of course but you know best.
    Anyway you wish to leave the club and we certainly cannot stop you, so what are we talking about ?
    May: Yes well we would still like to use all the facilities
    Jumker : So you do not wish to leave the club?
    May no, we wish, in the paying and political sacrifice sense to leave the club, but in the trading and international cooperation sense , to stay in the club
    Junker : Ahhhhhhh I see, Ms May please have a piece of this lovely cake
    May: There is no cake ?
    Junker …Aha ..

    ……..No cake …..

    Perhaps you would like to spend some more time complaining about our intransigence and telling each other what a dire Soviet style con we all are ?

  34. Peter D Gardner
    October 18, 2017

    Very Good Dr Redwood. The EU is getting boring. We have 15 months or so to go until the Uk leaves in March 2019. What on earth is there to discuss.? The EU will go on saying ‘Pay up or else” until December 2018. If UK gives way and pays up the EU will simply move onto power, ie, jurisdiction of the ECJ over EU citizens, trade or whatever. The only way to move things forward is for UK to suspend negotiations, state that the EU is not negotiating in good faith and is therefore repudiating the Lisbon Treaty, Article 50 of which places a legal obligation on the EU to negotiate, leaves a draft free trade deal on the table on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, and gives notice that if UK does not receive from the EU a request for trade talks within 30 days ceases all further payments to the EU will cease immediately, and UK will act as a sovereign nation in its own interests without consulting the EU thereafter.
    This nonsense wit the EU is no more than a costly and time wasting distraction exactly as foretold by Varoufakis. David Davies has read the book. I hope he has passed it on to Mrs My and Mr Hammond.

    1. Chris S
      October 18, 2017

      Peter, your analysis and solution are exactly right.

      They just want to secure a legally-binding agreement from us to pay them €50-€100bn PLUS the €20bn already offered. They will then string us along for another two years and ultimately refuse to do a free trade deal with us.

      Has the House of Commons got enough collective guts to go along with your ultimatum ?

      Sadly I feel sure they will bottle it.

  35. Turboterrier.
    October 18, 2017

    Remoaners are totally acting true to form not only when talking about Brexit but also the other key areas which in reality are driving this country to a standstill.

    Their so called stalwart stands on Brexit, Energy, NHS at times beg belief if one is a believer in real true democracy.

    At times it is as if the majority of politicians are making decisions based upon:-

    Incompetence. Ignorance. Arrogance.

    They seem to be incompetent to make real decisions based upon facts and seem ignorant to the possible outcome of their decisions and have an arrogance not to be able to admit they are wrong. They not only have to listen but hear what is being said. The country voted for whatever reasons to leave the EU and that vote has to be respected and if politicians are so obsessed to scupper the process they should be bold enough to stand down and seek re-election on their own personal stance.

    Many contributors to this blog highlight week in week out of the mess we find ourselves getting in, bought about by decisions that have reached their sale by date and should be repealed forthwith.

    Politicians must start with some haste to stop just sounding off and look at the bigger picture and collate the facts before creating mayhem in their passion to bring this country down, especially in the Brexit process.

  36. Dennis Zoff
    October 18, 2017


    Thank you, for presenting the latest pantomime scenario. If only it was close to the truth.

    I venture to state, I still believe there is a monumental civil-service stitch-up just around the corner…which will be to the abject horror of the 17.4 Million Brexit voters patiently waiting in the wings!

  37. HenryS
    October 18, 2017

    I would say 40 billion will do it- pay it and move on

    Put the irish border into the irish sea- most sensible thing

    Give the decision making to local authorities as to whether eu nationals come here..if the services and schools fire brigades police etc etc etc are not sufficient and cannot cope then they extra people can’t enter and settle in that place..let the councils decide

    1. rose
      October 19, 2017

      Why do you want to give in to blackmail?

      Why do you want the EU to annexe Northern Ireland, and how do you think that would go down with the majority ? Civil war?

      How would you stop immigrants moving from under-populated parts to over-populated parts?

  38. Thames Trader
    October 18, 2017

    It’s clear to me that certain players among the EU 27 want to drag this out as long as possible with the intent of damaging the UK and setting an example to other countries. Dealing with this situation is made much harder with our divided government and an opposition who are focussed on damaging the government rather than supporting the country at a time of need.

    I believe the only response for the UK side is to actively pursue the no-deal option. Project Fear Part 3 has already started attempting to frighten the public away from no-deal. It’s really important to start an information campaign to explain to the public and media the advantages of the no-deal option. There was a statement by someone from M&S at the weekend saying that no-deal would push up food prices which was widely reported in the media. This sort of statement has to be properly countered by the government to explain the reality with cheaper food coming from other countries when we have the trade deals in place. In any case the tariffs for food coming into the UK are under our control so the government can choose how much to add to food cost.

  39. Prigger
    October 18, 2017

    “EU chief brands May’s €20bn Brexit offer as ‘peanuts”
    If he doesn’t like peanuts then how about a bag of Prawn Cocktail crisps?

  40. Oggy
    October 18, 2017

    No SM, No CU, No ECJ, No BILL, ……….. No DEAL – just leave.
    ‘Enough is enough’.

  41. hefner
    October 18, 2017

    A beautiful summary:
    PM: So the EU does not care about all its exporters to the UK?
    JCJ: The impact on the EU is containable.
    So, get out as quickly as possible (30/03/2019 or even before) and let the Brexiteers show their metal (or not?).

  42. james Murphy
    October 18, 2017

    The undercurrent conversation is the one that is not spoken

    The PM thinks.. better play tough with Junker to show Boris I mean business

    Junker thinks.. this woman coming over here with DD at this hour of the day to do some tory grandstanding for the UK public’ delight..all could have been done earlier in the day by conference call

    PM thinks..will push the Florence speech and our great intelligence and security services strength that should go a long way to getting them to bypass an exit agreement

    Junker thinks..Don’t understand what they want..deal or no deal they have to account for the past commitments made first..how many times have we told them?

    PM thinks.. not getting anywhere here but at least it will buy me a little time until Thursday/Friday when I can meet the EU27, maybe someone there will throw me a life belt?

    Junker thinks..Is that it..like I said we could have done it by conference call.

  43. Chris S
    October 18, 2017

    Peter, your analysis and solution are exactly right.

    They just want to secure a legally-binding agreement from us to pay them €50-€100bn PLUS the €20bn already offered. They will then string us along for another two years and ultimately refuse to do a free trade deal with us.

    Has the House of Commons got enough collective guts to go along with your ultimatum ?

    Sadly I feel sure they will bottle it.

  44. Turboterrier.
    October 18, 2017

    It is being reported in the DE online that a leaked document would imply that Mrs Merkal is thinking about a different type of deal with the UK.

    It is a four-page document, dated for October 11, which calls for a “comprehensive free-trade accord” between the EU and UK beyond 2019.

    According to officials this accord should be “balanced, ambitious and far-reaching” but avoid any chance of the UK “cherry-picking” Single Market access for competitive advantage.

    The dossier states: “We share the UK’s desire to secure a close partnership with the Union after its exit that covers economic and trade relations.”

    It also proposes a partnership that covers “at a minimum” the fields of foreign and security policy, fighting terrorism, cooperation on criminal justice, agriculture and fisheries, energy, transport, research and digital issues.

    If true as good as that is, I cringe when I read agriculture, fisheries, energy and transport mentioned that the foregoing will be up for discussion. We need complete and full control of these areas as they are critical to our future and we will need the flexibility to act without having to consider restrictions laid down by any let alone German members of the Commission

  45. Monza 71
    October 18, 2017

    The supposed leak from the German foreign ministry is an interesting development.

    It supposes that the Ministry is planning for a special and comprehensive trading relationship with the U.K. but this could just be a sop to the Free Trading FDP which Merkel needs to cultivate to have any chance of putting together a ramshackle coalition capable of governing Germany and, of course, the 27.

  46. George
    October 18, 2017

    We must remember that Mrs May is kidding us. She has absolutely no intention of allowing the UK to leave the EU. Come March 2019, if she is still our PM, she will SAY we have left but in reality we will be tied up in such complex arrangements, transitions, partnerships and ongoing payments that the UK will very much under the control of the EU.

    We shall have left in name only; the UK will be outside of the Brussels institutions but in effect will be a Dominion or Dependency of the EU.

    This is apparent by the totally unprofessional way she has been conducting these affairs since her appointment. For example, her Article 50 letter; six pages of waffle in which she asked eight times for parallel talks on trade from the beginning of negotiations; the EU dismissed that approach and dictated their own way of proceeding and she meekly gave in; first battle lost.

    She has not even stated that we will now begin discussing and completing our future trade agreements with other countries, disregarding EU objections which are totally unreasoable. She continued to give massive concessions and all she has asked for, as in Florence, is “co-operation”, “creativity” and “partnership”.

    May has not made one clear demand of the EU so it is obvious, she does not want to win. This is all a charade to deceive the British public and sell us away. She must be removed from post immediately and replaced with a true Brexiteer. This is now absolutely imperative.

  47. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    October 18, 2017

    The Guardian this evening:
    “It is believed the Dutch government, led by Mark Rutte, has particularly championed a warm welcome for May.”
    So i’m not the only one who’s resolved to be nice to the British . . .
    (Mark Rutte still busy to vet ministers for his cabinet, which may be ready to govern by 1-11-2017)

    1. a-tracy
      October 19, 2017

      The Independent this morning:
      “EU heads of government will deliver another rebuff to the Prime Minister today by refusing face-to-face discussions to break the deadlock in the Brexit talks.”

    2. NickC
      October 19, 2017

      PvL, Good cop, Bad cop?

  48. margaret howard
    October 18, 2017

    Why is Britain suddenly so hard up? After all I’ve just read that the Queen is getting a £40m pay rise so there must be plenty of money in the coffers. Plus the daily £300 allowance for the peers to spend a nice hour or two in their excellent, subsidised bars and restaurants or have a nice bottle or two from their outstanding wine cellar. Even old aged pensioners will be getting an extra 25p a week from next year.

    Drinks all round!

    1. hefner
      October 19, 2017

      I’ll save these 25p a week for three months and then have (half) a pint to the health of our beloved Government (and MPs).

  49. Ron Olden
    October 18, 2017


    This BBC News Article is a load of rubbish.

    ‘Brexiteers’, as Laura Kuenssberg, calls us have NEVER said that these Trade Talks would be ‘straightforward’ (sic). In fact we have always said that the UK should be prepared for no deal at all.

    There’s nothing we can do if they EU won’t start discussing trade.

    If anyone expected that any progress would have been made by ‘this Autumn’ they are halfwits. The very earliest things could start proceeding seriously was after the German Elections. The German Elections have now come and gone, but its’ not yet officially certain who will be in the new German Government, or even whether Frau Merkel will stay on as Chancellor. (She will of course).

    The UK has offered £20 Billion to start the ball rolling. The EU hasn’t replied, and won’t even tell us how much money it wants, or what legal grounds it has for demanding any.

    In those circumstances there’s no more we can do. There’s no point in telling them our position for the Trade Agreement Talks, if they won’t even agree to hold any.

    I very much doubt, if we will have advanced much further than this, by this time next year. The EU always leaves agreement until the 11th hour. Things will get moving around this time next year, and what finally emerges (if anything), will arrive in February or March 2019.

    In the meantime we should be preparing for how we will best manage if there’s no deal by the time we have left.


    1. John Soper
      October 20, 2017

      Sir, you are at best ill-informed, at worst dishonest. In July 2016 David Davis stated that the negotiation phase of a large round of global trade deals would be concluded within the period September 2017 to September 2018. Reference below. This is pure fantasy – negotiation has not even begun. Liam Fox says a deal with the EU will the “easiest in human history” – google it. We have not even got round to discussing a deal yet. John Redwood said repeatedly that the UK was in a far stronger position than the EU and that the EU would fold, yet we see now that the voice of the EU’s 27 is a lot more unified than that of the UK. The only party folding is the UK, already Mrs May (in her Florence speech) is ready to pay up money Redwood said we wouldn’t. Everything you Brexiteers promised turns out to be false, and you will not get away with denying you made those promises. They are on the record. I Voted Leave, I was cheated.


  50. hefner
    October 19, 2017

    “A malin, malin et demi”!
    The Three Brexiteers (with Owen d’Artagnan) have become Robert Shrimsley’s “Famous Five” going brexiting in No Deal land, on Thursday 19 FT website.
    Is d’Atagnan to change the goalposts?

    It would be quite funny if the situation were not so serious.

  51. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    October 19, 2017

    People say.people say, people say! I will keep my post Brexit brandy warm in the palm of my hand.

  52. Ron Olden
    October 20, 2017


    I’m not surprised the EU won’t touch this with bargepole.

    Whatever the pros and cons of the Catalonian claim to Independence and the validity in International Law of this Referendum, the EU Bureaucracy has a 100% interest in resisting it, and leaving it to Spain to sort out.

    If Catalonia declares Independence it will, whether Catalonia and the EU Bureaucracy like it or not, have left the EU. Article 50 wouldn’t come into it. Catalonia, like Scotland, is not, and never has been, a Member of the EU. Spain is the Member State.

    The EU is creature of law and of the Lisbon Treaty. It comprises solely of Member States, not of land areas who become new Nation States.

    If Catalonia says it is no longer, part of Spain, it can’t have it both ways. It will have left the EU with immediate effect, and its residents immediately lose their entitlement to Freedom of Movement or Free Trade, with other Member States. It also immediately leaves the Customs Union, and the Single Market, and its’ MEPs lose the right to sit at Strasbourg.

    One of the internal contradictions in the claims of Scottish, Catalonian, Welsh, and other ‘Nationalists’, is that they seem to think that they can leave the EU Member States of which they are part, and force to the EU to immediately take them in as Members, on whatever terms they like.

    This is wrong in law. Which is probably why there has been such a deafening silence on this issue from Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland. If she were in Catalonia’s position on the other hand, she’d be announcing to every man and his dog in the EU, that they should be backing her.

    The EU however, is no friend of Nationalism. It’s not even too keen on respecting the independence of the states that already comprise the EU. There’s no way it will recognise any new ones against the wishes of the existing States. And, even if it wanted to, the EU will never be able to admit them as new Members, because the existing Member States, from which Catalonia etc, seceded would veto it.

    Nationalism and the EU are not compatible. So it’s ironic that its’ these allegedly ‘Nationalist’ parties which are the most keen on their parent states being in the EU itself. It all amounts to a severe case of schizophrenia.

    Scottish Nationalists must have had a rude awakening when they saw the violence Spain inflicted on Catalonia following the referendum. And we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    The UK’s attitude however is the exact opposite to Spain’s. If Scotland wants to vote for and become Independent good luck to it.

    Watch this Space. We might all be be in for some fun at the expense of the EU and the SNP. SNP EU Remain voters, will be observing these goings on, and even the most obtuse amongst them, might start to work out that Scotland will never be an EU Member Stare in its’ own right.

    Scotland would first have to leave the UK, then join the EU again as new Members. But the EU doesn’t want them. Spain alone would veto their application.

    For Scotland to remain in the EU Nicola Sturgeon has to persuade the UK to Remain, and then to make sure that Scotland remains part of the UK.

    Good luck with that Nicola.


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