Why the WTO option works fine – the government is working up the WTO Option

There is no cliff edge. We can trade with the rest of the EU as we trade today with the rest of the world under the WTO umbrella we share with the EU. A deal to provide tariff free trade after we left would be better but it is not essential and cannot be guaranteed.

Brexit voters voted to take back control. That included taking back control of our money, our laws and our borders.  Any Agreement that entails continued payments to the EU, continued control from the ECJ, and continued surveillance of our entire law code does not fulfil the instruction of UK voters to leave.

Let’s just look at the pluses from leaving without a deal.

We can start to spend the £12 bn a year we will save, on our priorities.

We can remove VAT from items we do not want to charge it on but have to.

We can sign trade deals with the many countries in the rest of the world that would like freer trade with us.

We can set a regulatory framework with high standards for our banks and financial services which does most to attract global business to the UK

We can pass the laws we want on everything from animal welfare to energy to transport to meet our own needs and high standards

The new Project Fear concentrates on saying the food basket will get dearer with tariffs against continental foods. We will be able to give the tariffs we collect back to our consumers as tax cuts so they will not  be worse off. We will also be able to buy more from UK farmers and non EU farmers at cheaper prices than EU tariffed product. We could remove all tariffs from items we cannot produce in our climate.

They also say we will not have functioning borders for EU trade if we go the WTO route. Of course we will, and there is time enough to put them in place by 2017.

The UK must stop negotiating with itself. It is not a petitioner in a weak position. We can just leave.

If the EU delays and pushes for more and more money we either end with No Deal or with a Deal with a high price which the public will not accept. As the government reminds the EU, No Deal is better than a bad deal.

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  1. am
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Do feel yesterday’s beeb was another remainer campaign- – unashamedly so. The campaign is massive to prevent brexit and make remain happen. Lost a lot of respect for Corbyn in that he was over there whistling for the eu: an astonishing betrayal of our national interest and democratic values.

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn said in Brussels yesterday that an EU “No deal” (that would be a WTO deal, actually) is “very dangerous” for Britain. Yet we trade with the rest of the world using WTO rules – about 60% of our total exports. Why isn’t Corbyn concerned about our other exports as well, if WTO trade with the EU is as “dangerous” as he imagines? It almost seems as though he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

      • Bob
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I think that last statement applies to most of the remainers in our illustrious Government too.

      • Hooe
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        JR, your useless leader has already indictated by this evening she will give away even more money than the £20 billion! We were led to believe this is all we pay to the EU so anymore would show we were lied to by politicians of all persuasions!

        No legal liability to pay anything, why is she so stupid? I would be grateful to know why she is so happy for all of us to work so she can give it away. Why is Davis putting up with this? Is it because he thinks it will reflect on him? His standing would be increased if he stood up for the country not capitulate like a May.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:08 am | Permalink

          “Why she is so happy for all of us to work so she can give it away” indeed – but pissing money away is almost the only thing that governments do well, that and destroying productivity while distracting the productive from being so.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Why did you still have respect for “let’s become another Venezuela”, Corbyn?

      A man happy to promises almost anything to anyone for their vote – all paid by his magic money tree.

      • am
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        til his recent reversal with Starmer on Europe I thought his policy on brexit acceptable and helpful to get article 50 through the Lord’s and commons.

  2. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on putting your opponent on the ropes during your Sky News interview yesterday

  3. Mark B
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We will be able to give the tariffs we collect back to our consumers as tax cuts . . . .

    Aren’t you robbing Peter in order to pay Paul ?

    It is the UK Government that will impose the tariff on imported goods on the consumer. If it really wants to help then it must not impose tariffs on most, if not any goods.

    UK must stop negotiating with itself. 

    We’re not, it is the UK Government and parliament. Plus a government that seems to keep making more generous and rediculous offers with nothing in return. WEAK !

    It is time to withdraw all offers of monies and start to get tough. The EU needs to be treated with indifference and we should just openly get on with preparing to exit without proper arrangements in place. It will of course be a disaster but, at least it will be a disaster for all and will quicken the demise of the EU itself.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mark–Just read Liam Halligan in Torygraph today and must say everything he said rang true to me, as it usually does. In particular, why hasn’t more been said about the ICJ? I confess to not knowing much about this Court but the obvious main worry might be that despite its in theory being under the aegis of the UN it is physically in the body of the EU so to that extent doubt arises about its ability to be independent even if it wants to be.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      ‘It will of course be a disaster but, at least it will be a disaster for all’

      – Not the way to make UK great again!

      This whole Brexit thing—much ado about nothing, stemming from mid-life crisis. Most Brexiters will be fairly old / 6 feet under in 20 years time.

      For most people, the following are more important:

      1. Good sex life
      2. Happily married
      3. Enough money for house, holiday, pension, healthcare etc ..
      4. Good health
      5. Good social life
      6. Safe and secure country

      What does 20 years of strife offer us? Not a lot really. If Brexit ‘works’, be one of the biggest anti-climaxes of all time. Plus where it will have mitigated some problems, will have thrown up a whole bunch of new ones.

      (And, yes, EU needs reforming, but not like this).

      • NickC
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Ed, the “… EU needs reforming …” Isn’t 45 years enough experience for you to see that the EU is unreformable? And what is so terrible, and strife filled, about wanting our independence? It’s the Remains anxious and hate-filled, we’ve simply had enough and would leave tomorrow.

        What you advocate is comfy serfdom, like well kept animals in a cage. I want something better for my children. There would still be problems (albeit different) if we had voted Remain. The net result of your advice is democracy would be dead in this country. Then you’d really see strife.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          ‘about wanting our independence’

          – No doubt people in Holland, France and elsewhere think we exaggerate our lack of independence because they know what real lack of independence is – look at these countries during WW2. Whilst at the same time, they appreciate we’re no longer big global powers anymore. The days of European empires, whether it be British, French, Dutch, or whatever, are gone. We’re now competing against big global players like USA, China, Japan, and India (growing fast). Yes, we need to tap into the emerging markets, but we do that by creating great brands like the Germans do exporting with great success outside the EU (yes the Euro helps, but only to a degree).

          Your comment just seems exaggerated and talking about problems from a bit of a ‘first world’ POV. Yes, the EU has real problems, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be reformed (through Merkel and Macron and May – Junker is just a manager, he’s not really chairman as some Brexiters confuse him for). We Brits have never tried reform , we’ve only tried to get concessions (Mrs Thatcher didn’t have chance, as she was too busy battling socialism).

          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Ed, I’m really not interested in what “people in Holland, France and elsewhere think”, I’m interested in what’s best for this country. Nor have I any interest in a potted wander through your prejudices about past empires, the strengths of “big global players”, or Juncker’s position, none of which are germane to the issue.

            It is good you admit that the EU needs reform. The EU has a plan – and that is for a “form of empire”, or a United states of Europe. We’ve never liked that and fought it all the way. Our efforts failed. How much longer than 45 years do you want us to continue before you admit it won’t happen?

            “Those who would give up liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither” may or may not have been said by Franklin, but the sentiment is true. I find your complacency about the takeover of our country shocking.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink


          Just look at your language. It’s just exaggerated:

          ‘hate-filled,’ + ‘What you advocate is comfy serfdom, like well kept animals in a cage’ + ‘democracy would be dead in this country.’

          Until we get rid of exaggeration on both sides (Remainers as well as Brexiters), then we won’t be able to look at things as they really are and work towards a solution that works best for all, and for the long-term future, of our country.


          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            Ed, There are numerous examples of hate-filled rhetoric from Remains towards Leavers. The latest is Branson’s view that all he has to do is wait a few years until the ancient Leaves die off. I haven’t even responded in kind, merely observed it is happening.

            Leaves have been routinely vilified as thick, and having no idea what we voted for. And that’s the toned down version. It is outrageous, unacceptable, and I’m amazed that we Leaves haven’t taken to the streets.

            You did advocate comfy serfdom: your list was precisely that. There are more things to life than comfort and security, important though they are. Actually there is no security to be had where it is controlled by a foreign power, in this case the EU. We need independence to be free to pursue security.

            If you think the Referendum result can be by-passed, or even overturned, and millions of people won’t feel conned, then you are dreaming. Think carefully of the consequences. Democracy is regime change without a civil war. If the Remains (you?) throw out this democratic result, what are you left with? It is no exaggeration, the Remains are blindly tinkering with the social compact of democracy. It is that serious. I think you need to wake up.

          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            Ed, There are numerous examples of hate-filled rhetoric from Remains towards Leavers. Your own, and Branson’s view, that all you have to do is wait a few years until the ancient Leaves die off. Don’t you realise how that sounds? I haven’t even responded in kind, merely observed it is happening.

            Leaves have been routinely vilified as thick, and having no idea what we voted for. And that’s the toned down version. It is outrageous, unacceptable, and I’m amazed that we Leaves haven’t taken to the streets.

            You did advocate comfy serfdom: your list was precisely that. There are more things to life than comfort and security, important though they are. Actually there is no security to be had where it is controlled by a foreign power, in this case the EU. We need independence to be free to pursue security.

            If you think the Referendum result can be by-passed, or even overturned, and millions of Leave people won’t feel conned, then you are dreaming. Think carefully of the consequences. Democracy is regime change without a civil war. If the Remains (you?) throw out this democratic result, what are you left with? It is no exaggeration, the Remains are blindly tinkering with the social compact of democracy. It is that serious. I think you need to wake up.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        1. Good sex life
        2. Happily married
        3. Enough money for house, holiday, pension, healthcare etc ..
        4. Good health
        5. Good social life
        6. Safe and secure country

        Or course – none of these things can exist outside the EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          ‘Or course – none of these things can exist outside the EU’

          – For the next 15 to 20 years all these things will be compromised to a degree as there will be a certain amount of stress involved re-jigging our economy to post Brexit. Lastly, 15 to 20 years of stress for what, exactly?

          – And regarding ‘safe and secure,’ the EU isn’t just about prosperity (important as that is). It’s also about safety and security, not forgetting all the wars and civil wars and revolutions and conflicts in Europe in the 20th century. British money into the EU has helped to build up Europe’s prosperity – which: 1) gives more close trading partners for the UK to trade with (look at Ireland, poor to rich over last few decades) 2) makes Europe (and so the UK) more safe and secure (as poverty / economic crisis plays key role in conflict) to live in (look at Ireland, how prosperity has been the main reason for peace there).
          —Geopolitics in Europe. Brexiters have very little to say about this. But it’s crucial to our long term future, in terms of peace and security and prosperity (because wars and conflicts in general make one’s country poorer – look at how we were battered, economically, from WW2).

      • Peter Lavington
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        So, you are happy with no Democracy? How about using the Euro and having no control over interest rates? You don’t mind your taxes going directly to Brussels and probably used to bail out Greece? Oh, finally, your children and grandchildren being called up into the Euro Army, possibility shooting people on the streets of other European cities when people demonstrate? Despite possible short term economically problems I think Brexit is a much more attractive future.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          It’s legally impossible for the EU to drag us into the Euro, and all the other things you write about. Sorry, this is Project Fear (yes, some Remainers guilty of the same but then I criticise anyone who doesn’t stay objective and keep a sense of perspective).

          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            Ed, The EU can, and does, change its own laws. That’s the point – the EU has legal supremacy. The EU has frequently over the last 45 years subjected us to a new competence, that europhiles denied would ever happen. We’ve learnt, you haven’t. Mrs May is already signing us up to aspects of the EU military force. Nick Clegg said the idea of an EU army was a “dangerous fantasy”. Wake up.

        • Gary C
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          @ Peter Lavington

          All these issues were pointed out before the referendum when the remain camp kept saying it was all nonsense and would not happen, it is now obvious this is the direction the EU is aiming for and the remain camp are still happy to ignore this to push the UK people into being subservient to the evil EU dictatorship.

          Hopefully this will be remembered at the next election when the country will have the chance to kick these traitors out.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        The EU cannot be reformed – Period !

        If so, how ? And when ?

        None of this has or will ever happen. It is all, “Jam tomorrow but not today” stuff. Pure fantasy.

  4. Duncan
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Don’t tell us John, tell Theresa May. She’s the one who’s going to betray us. She’s the leader of the Conservative Party who will double cross the British people. She’s the leader you guys chose to lead your party knowing she was a pro-EU Remain supporter.

    Which begs the question. Why did you elect May knowing full well she would defy the democratic will of the British people?

    What a pity that UKIP failed to secure any seats in the Commons at the last GE. Traditional Labour voters voted to leave the EU in their millions and then, god knows why, transferred back to the Marxists at the GE. If they had stuck with UKIP we’d now be out of the EU or certainly guaranteed to leave

    So we have a gutless, spineless, double-crossing political class. Corbyn will defy his own core vote by keeping us in the EU if he gets into power while May is trying to damnedest to create a set of circumstances that ensures we exist in some form of EU hinterland, neither in nor out

    Politicians like you are to blame. Your failure to elect an anti-EU leader may mean we never leave. Worse still we may end up with a Marxist government and still a member of the EU

    This treachery, lies and insincerity is why people despise politics and the political class.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Exactly, but May and Hammond types just do not believe this. But then, as we see from their Corbyn light economic policies, they do not understand very much at all. They witter on about “improving productivity” while heaping more and more red tape, greencap, fiscal insanities and government impediments to productivity onto businesses every single day.

    • Hope
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      When Treeza Halifax May asks other EU countries to give her a deal she can ‘defend’ to the British public it does not bode well.

      She is an embarrassment. No wonder they were impressed. Please get rid rid of her. I simply cannot afford to pay more taxes for her to waste.

      Sky in full project fear mode today allowing dopey Chuka to spout anything he wished.

      When can we expect a politician to stand up for our country?

      • Chris
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        The situation has been completely taken over by Remainers. I agree with your sentiments about Theresa May entirely.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. And she is even very foolishly going down the pathetic David Lammy route with her childish “Race Disparity Audit” agenda to augment unwarranted grievances.

        The figures for Oxford are I understand:-

        Twenty seven per cent of all the students at Oxford – undergraduate and post-graduate are from (Black and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds. For British domiciled students admitted to the university as undergraduates in 2016, the figure is 15.9 per cent (and only 13 per cent of the UK population is BME). So if anything BME’s are over represented. In my experience they just want the best people – as indeed to most employers why would they not?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          If people as daft as Diane Abbot and Theresa May can get a places at Oxbridge then admission standards were clearly rather too low. Hopefully they are finding rather better people nowadays. People who hopefully, at the very least, understand that correlation isn’t causation. Also that augmenting grievances on bogus evidence is perhaps rather an evil and damaging thing to do.

      • zorro
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Could you ever imagine a dafter way to describe a deal you want to obtain….. give me a deal I can defend to the British people….. I mean really John it is awful.


        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Dear Zorro–Embarrassing as I have just written elsewhere here–Makes one want to hide under the carpet

        • NickC
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Zorro, Exactly. The problem is that Mrs May and the civil servants behind her are making the cultural mistake of thinking “being reasonable” (ie compromising first) is admired. To continental politicians it just looks weak, as though we don’t mean what we say.

          It is exactly the same mistake that the Tory government made in 1972. That appeasement laid the foundations for the subsequent discontent. May’s current supine “kick-me” attitude will be castigated for 50 years. Could any other country care less whether we are “reasonable”? No.

          As Zorro says – the government’s efforts are awful.

        • Chris
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          You voice my utter despair also with Theresa May, zorro.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 3:54 am | Permalink

          She sounds rather like Cameron and the joke deal he got. She really is not up to this job. She simply does not understand the maths of game theory, negotiation and how to play the cards we hold. Still going on about yet more government and more regulation, we need this like a hole in the head or HS2 or renewable energy.

  6. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    A leading UK politician once claimed that the British people have had enough of “experts”.
    As such, few people will read one of the more well researched online media, politico.eu, and its “This is what the Brexit cliff edge looks like”.
    Interestingly, for each of the 11 researched areas there is a section” What can they (UK, EU) do about it? It doesn’t give such an uncomplicated and positive picture as today’s blog.

    • Hope
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      What rot. The world order does not like our choice, we saw from project fear they will say anything to get their way. Do not waste your time here when,your country needs you.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        @Hope: how can I help my country, when it even hasn’t got a new government yet! 🙂

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Good morning Peter.

      UK citizens are used to being Mushrooms or Ostriches so what ever the experts or not so experts say, we will, as the song says “Go our own way”.

      Many thanks for your ongoing concerns though…

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: and as the saying goes:
        “when you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”!
        Which will increasingly happen to the UK, I fear.
        Ostrich in mushroom sauce , . . . hmm, never tried it before! 🙂

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Good Morning PVL. A rather foolish piece on Politico, but it is fundamentally flawed; it assumes we will just sit on our hands and do nothing between now and 29-3-19. Clearly plans are being made and facilities will be in place when our independence day arrives.
      By the way, you will have noticed that Mrs Merkel has spoken and it seems that the EU bureaucracy are changing their rhetoric. Do please read the signs; Germany is in control. You think that the many agreements guarantee protection, that is naive in the extreme; agreements need two or more parties to start but only one to terminate.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        @Peter Wood: I don’t understand you, it mentions what could be doe in all the examples.
        You probably don’t know about or understand the long processes of consultation and preparation between these council summits. To think that only Merkel’s opinion matter is a fundamentally flawed perception.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Oh , for goodness sake let’s just leave .

      It is very easy to complicate matters as we are experiencing at the moment .
      It s much better , as any simple soldier will tell you , to select and maintain your aim so that no one is in any doubt as to where you are heading .

      ‘No Deal ‘ will not be without problems but they will be quickly sorted out using the £20 bn so far on the table from Florence .

      OK it may cost more but so what ?
      Better that we spend our own money on ourselves than give it to the EU for their federalist agenda .

      We ordinary plebs are represented lopsidedly in Parliament when it comes to Brexit with so many Remainers at Cabinet level poking their noses into matters for which they do not have responsibility .

      We , the broad swathe of the electorate just want to get on with it and get out of the swamp asp .

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        @Man of Kent: “Just leaving” as UK remains always possible but a negotiation to avoid too much damage on either side should be preferable. That is also in the UK’s self interest.
        If only there were consensus among the “leavers” in your parliament, but there isn’t.

      • getahead
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        That just about covers it, Man of Kent.

    • John Finn
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      As such, few people will read one of the more well researched online media, politico.eu, and its “This is what the Brexit cliff edge looks like”.


      If just half of the negative effects described in the “well researched” article are based on fact, I suggest a lot of us, far from being frightened off Brexit, will be wondering how it is that an un-elected bureaucracy has gained so much control over the daily lives of those living in a supposedly sovereign, independent nation.

      The UK and the republic of Ireland went the own separate ways in the 1920s – yet trade continued without interruption and a common travel area was established which allowed citizens from both countries to move freely to and fro. This was, by the way, mainly to the advantage of the RoI – i.e. the one seeking independence.

      Throughout the 20th century nations and blocs have formed and separated without a fraction of the difficulties that apparently face a nation that is leaving the EU. We are supposed to be living in mature, civilised western democracies. But, thank you, Peter for reminding us that the EU prefers to behave like spoilt, spiteful children.

      It helps to reinforce our belief that the vote to leave was the correct one.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        @John Finn
        In contrast to 1920, there is no violent independence war nor bloodshed needed to leave this voluntary club the EU.

        I always thought that Heath, Thatcher, Blair, Cameron and the like had been elected! As are all heads of government, as is the (European) Parliament, as is Herr Juncker!
        Do you have elections for your civil service, your courts, your Bank of England??? How odd!!!
        What does treaty ratification mean to the UK???

        • NickC
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Tosh. Tell me when and where I have ever had the chance to vote for (or against) “Herr Juncker” or his party?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: When did you get a chance to vote for or against “Ruth Davidson”? She is a Westminster MP.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I looked at that site. It is giving prominence to a claim the Russians interfered in the Brexit vote, so I draw my own conclusions.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: at this moment it gives prominence at (former prime minister) Renzi, it just depends on what is topical at any moment.
        I’ve read about this “black money” but that wasn’t in politico.eu

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:43 am | Permalink

        According to the BBC the Russians interfere with everything in politics at the moment. Ask Trump! What a joke.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Experts dislike simplicity.

      They tell us that importing 3 million people (that we know of) has nothing to do with falling wages and increasing house prices.

      My family:

      Police constable – retired at 50 in detached house fully paid.


      Doctor unable to get on the property ladder until 35

      Now THAT’s a cliff edge and it has happened in Britain in the space of one generation.

      You always start from the presumption that everything is rosey in the EU.

      A hotel with such a disaproval rating (-50% across much of the EU) would not attract many stayers.

      The EU needs complete reform but you never admit it.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: A much needed EU reform will IMHO be easier with the UK (temporarily) out. Whether or not it’ll wants to join in some way again in future we’ll see.

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      PvL . Of course there will be differences between different media sources on any topic ; the plain truth here is we’ve had enough of outside interference and prefer to steer ourselves in any sort of stormy waters .

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        @Bert Young: I wish you safe sailing.

    • David Price
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Politico is heavily biased against a sovereign UK and a successful Brexit. I am not surprised you recommend such a pro-EU site.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        @David Price: I don’t see it that way at all. Who’d want to be against a sovereign UK?

        • NickC
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Nice try. The EU with Declaration 27 is against a sovereign UK.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            @NickC: If the UK hadn’t been sovereign, it couldn’t have terminated its membership of this voluntary club, the EU.
            It was all the UK’s sovereign decision, (however misguided it may prove in future)

          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            PvL, That is a Remain debating trick, and you know it. The EU has taken some of our sovereignty but not all of it. The ability to abrogate the EU treaties is still (just!) within our power. Many other powers essential to an independent nation have been ceded to the EU.

            The very fact that the Remains think, when we leave, that the aircraft will stop flying, the ports will block up, our economy will collapse, we will lose consumer rights and workers rights, our beaches will be polluted, etc, etc, etc, shows that the Remains themselves know we have lost sovereignty to the EU.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: any part of sovereignty that the UK has shared (and which it now wants back) was a direct consequence of the treaties and agreements that the UK entered into willingly through its own sovereignt decision making in government and parliament.

    • Prigger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      The Cliff Edge was supposed happen..insisted to happen..by banks, asset managers, our present Chancellor , the Ex-Chancellor Osborne, President Obama, Juncker, Scotland’s First Minister Sturgeon, Ex-PM Tony Blair, Ex-PM Major,Ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling, Ex-PM and Ex-Chancellor Gordon Brown, the BBC, Sky News, Labour Leader Corbyn, Hilary Benn Labour MP, Yvette Cooper Labour MP., Ex-Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman, Anna Soubry Conservative MP, Nicky Morgan Conservative MP, Ben Bradshaw Labour MP, Amber Rudd Conservative MP, on 24th June 2016, one day after the Referendum. It didn’t happen so some of them said “Just wait to see what happens just before Christmas!!”. Nothing happened. Then they said “the beginning f the New Year 2017 will see massive redundancies and our economy on he rocks.”
      So, you wish us to look at the “wisdom” of politico.eu! Why??????????????????
      We have better things to do, like boiling an British egg for breakfast.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        @Prigger: if that requires all your attention please do.

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Do you want us to remain in the EU or leave it? If you wanted us to remain you have gone the wrong way about it. If you want us to leave, what business is it of yours how we conduct our affairs after we become independent again?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: Personally (not the view of my government) I don’t think that the current UK fits well in the EU and in that sense pro-Brexit – even though there will be damage.
        Links between the younger generations though should be cherished in whatever way possible (make studying/ working/ engaging culturally on the continent very worthwhile), because in the end the UK will return, as an associate member, I guess. Brexiteers will slowly disappear, although that may take decades.

        • NickC
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Actually Brexiteers have slowly increased from 1975. If only our useless Remain establishment allows us to break free we will never return to the corrupt oligarchy of the EU.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            @NickC: Excellent. Question remains if you want to be friends with this “corrupt oligarchy of the EU”. Using such terminology your country wouldn’t make much chance.

          • NickC
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            PvL, I don’t want to be friends with the nasty, unfriendly, grasping, corrupt, anti-democratic oligarchy of the EU. Particularly given the attitude of the EU in these negotiations.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Dear Peter,

      All you remain “experts” really are making yourselves look very silly. You seem so keen on telling us that we are going to crash and burn. Not once have you offered a vision of the future that makes the EU look like a good bet. Not once have you set out an positive reason for us to reconsider . You answer to everything is more EU when we’ve told you repeatedly we want less.

      I think you and your “experts” are terrified. You are terrified of losing British taxpayers money to squander, you’re terrified that the UK will succeed without the EU and you are really terrified that others will also want to leave.

      You are right to be afraid, very afraid . Your project has been rumbled and its a dead duck

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: I wouldn’t want you to reconsider at this late stage. Besides, it appears to draw the rest of the EU closer together which is positive.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink


          “it appears to draw the rest of the EU closer together”

          Really try looking around you in the real world, Catalonia is feeling very loved by the EU at the moment I’m sure….. not

    • rose
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      “The British people have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms who say they know best and get it consistently wrong.”

      That is what he said. I wonder whom he could have been talking about? Not real experts, that is for sure.

  7. Ron Olden
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Whatever the pros and cons of this position we should at least be preparing for it, and be telling the EU that’s what’s going to happen of there’s no deal.

    Going around like Vince Cable has been telling everyone that our negotiating position is ‘weak’ and saying, (like Labour has been) , that leaving without a deal will be ‘unacceptable’, is, whatever your point of view, wholly nonsensical.

    Do these people think the EU aren’t listening?

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Ron, What you say is true. No one seems to ask the Cables, Corbyns and Mandlesons of the Remains whether they would buy a car, or a house, on the basis they are advocating we deal with the EU. Corbyn doesn’t even understand that the “no deal” (ie: WTO deal for our exports to the EU) is already used for our exports to the rest of the world.

  8. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me on our strong position.I would like us to aim for a no deal by 31/03/2019.
    Can Michael Gove tell us what fishery protection vessels and plans he has for our fishing grounds?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink


      I am not an expert in fishing matters, but it seems obvious that the role of fishery protection and surveillance would be best carried out by drones. Their range has to be greater than surface vessels, and searches quicker. They also possess armaments to provide an equivalent of the traditional ‘warning shot across the bow’.

      Remember this, Prime Minister:

      Fish in UK waters must be for UK fisherman only! If the catch is less than current EU quotas, then sobeit – let the fish stocks recover for future generations!

      There must be no sell out on fishing. Our fishermen have suffered enough since 1972!

      • charlesD
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Doug Powell,..yes i was reading somewhere that our official fishing grounds before 1973 only extended out to 12 miles from the coast so drones could be very suitable for protecting our waters out to there provided that the winds were not too strong. drones would be very useful to in the detection of smugglers as well.

  9. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Another splendid piece. It’s a shame you have to keep repeating basics but unfortunately it’s necessary. It’s a choice between a common sense ‘status quo’ trade deal (without all the EU’s usual chains) and a normal WTO arrangement which is used around the world happily.

    This morning we show how Germany in particular is currently benefiting from having the UK as its no.1 trade partner – a €50bn surplus last year of exports minus imports. Your readers may find it interesting: http://facts4eu.org/news_oct2_2017.shtml#am . The stats come from the German equivalent of the ONS.

    If it wants to put all this at risk, so be it.

  10. Caterpillar
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Whilst many of us agree with your sentiment Dr Redwood, it appears that the PM and many Govt members do not. Together with the opposition they seek to create two cliff edges, either that or large payments or that of being unprepared for 2019. Businesses need clarity now, the only way for this to occur is to start, and to effectively publicize, the no deal preparations. For projects, new products such to maximize future profits you have to get the early stages right and to focus resource into them, it is a text book failure to delay resource inputs until later, this is the failure that is currently underway in the Brexit project. The Govt needs immediately to direct resources to ‘no deal’ (what was voted for) to make this successful. The Govt does not have the right mindset at the moment.

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar, Excellent analysis. Unfortunately the Remain civil servants, who are driving our negotiations, have no idea of business needs, and think only of themselves and getting their agreements entrenched by midnight 29 March 2019.

      An example, which others have raised, is where are the orders for fishery protection patrol vessels and aircraft?

      • Hope
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        They are in the med picking up economic migrants. Switch the navy to protect our waters, is that not its purpose?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:51 am | Permalink

          @hope. Yes, what an absolute joke. We want to leave the EU and yet spend time and money bringing illegal immigrants into Europe for many to eventually find themselves in the UK. Lucky them.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    The refusal of the EU to discuss trade issues shows clearly that they are not negotiating in good faith. We should plan for and assume no deal. We need to cut taxes, cut red tape, reduce the size of government and cut the green crap. We should do it now so it has time to work for the next election. There is no cliff in having no EU deal. There is however a cliff at the end of the path May and Hammond are taking. She will lead the UK to Corbyn and Venezuela. She will do a John Major and bury the party yet again.

    Alas we have May whose agenda is the opposite.

  12. Wokingham Resident
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, it has been made clear by so many commentators that we do not trade today with the rest of the world under the WTO umbrella we share with the EU – in truth, we trade with the rest of the world thanks to the supplementary agreements that the EU has struck with third countries, all of the benefits we lose once we are not a member of the EU – that I cannot now suppose you are ignorant of the truth. It follows that you are being dishonest. I find that extremely disturbing.

    Reply The agreements the EU has with third countries novate to us as well as to them when we leave

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      So, self-proclaimed “Wokingham Resident”, who may or may not in fact be one of JR’s constituents, please do tell us how you think we traded with those countries before we were in the EU – thereby allowing the EU to make our trade deals for us and all the other members – and/or before the EU eventually got around to agreeing some kind of trade deal with each of them.

      So, just as a random example, how do you think we traded with Chile before February 2003? Do you suppose that there was no trade between the UK and Chile before then? Or alternatively do you suppose that there was trade between the UK and Chile, but it was unlawful trade which lacked any legal basis?


      “The EU and Chile concluded an Association Agreement in 2002, which included a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in February 2003.”

      Come on, “be honest”, as you enjoin JR, and tell us how we could possibly have traded with Chile before February 2003.

      • Tallaght
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Denis, to put it kindly, you do not understand any of this. We traded with Chile before 2003 on worse terms than we traded with Chile since 2003, and after Brexit we go back to the worse terms

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Tallaght, don’t bother with pretending to put it kindly, just try harder to put it accurately. Just how much worse do you think those “worse terms” would be if we did go back to them?

          “The trade pillar of the EU-Chile Association Agreement entered into force in February 2003. It includes a comprehensive FTA pillar that has led to a significant increase in trade in goods and services between the EU and Chile. In 2015 bilateral trade in goods had more than doubled, from the initial € 7.7 billion in 2003 to € 15.9 billion in 2016.”

          Increase that initial €7.7 billion for inflation over 12 years and that will be €9.5 billion, so in 2016 euros the increase in the value of the bilateral trade between the EU and Chile has been a mere €6.4 billion, compared to a collective GDP of the EU in 2016 = €14,800 billion. That is to say, the enhanced trade with Chile through the FTA concluded by the EU in 2003 has enhanced the collective GDP of the EU by something like 0.02%.

          • Tanna
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            Great post Denis. You just proved that leaving the EU in the hope of making great trade deals with nonEU countries is stupid

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            Strange how we now have all these different people who pop up to post their silly and sarcastic pro-EU comments under various pseudonyms … if you’d been following this blog over the years, “Tanna”, you’d know that I’ve repeatedly said that just as we’ve got little from the EU Single Market so we should not expect to get huge benefits from new trade deals around the world.

    • Steven Granger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      John, so you accept that we don’t trade with the rest of the world just on WTO terms but we have a series of agreements with most non-EU trading partners. Yet you are arguing at the same time that we can trade with the EU on WTO terms without entering into similar arrangements with them, our largest trading partner. You are self evidently talking nonsense.

      Reply Not so. The EU as a member of WTO will of course trade with us on WTO terms and has to as part of its membership! This may include bilateral customs and trade facilitation agreements or not. Easiest is just to continue with what we have got.

      • billR
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        It cannot be done with what we have got. A new WTO relationship between UK and the EU will need to be formalised and registered at WTO HQ–all of this will take some time

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Interestingly the EU’s own schedules at the WTO are miles out of date, not having yet been updated for various enlargements, and yet nobody is saying that they will halt all trade with the EU countries until that technicality has been sorted out.

          But apparently if it’s the UK then that is a different matter, then our present trading partners around the world will suddenly become sticklers for the rules and simply refuse to trade with us until every tiny part of our new schedules has been finalised.

          Of course while they were about it they could also be threatening to halt all trade with the EU until its schedules are corrected.

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Wokingham Resident, Actually we do trade with the rest of the world under WTO rules. The reason is that the supplementary agreements (RTAs) become part of the WTO rules by dint of the requirement to register them with the WTO.

      All that needs to happen is, as JR says, to novate them to the UK just as the EU27 will have to. Indeed a joint UK/EU letter has already assured third countries that their tariff free quotas will continue to be applied (on a pro-rata basis) after we have left.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–Would not surprise me to learn that this “Wokingham Resident” (maybe) had never heard of novation

    • Tallaght
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      No, Mr Redwood, you are confused, or you are not telling the truth. The EU’s agreements continue. Of course they do – the EU continues to exist. But the UK has left the EU, it has become a third country and so of course it no longer has the benefit of the EU’s agreements. You can store your fantasies about “novation” with your collection of unicorns

      Reply You do not ud nerstand the law of international treaties. They are novating to the UK

      • Alan Gill
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

        Mr Redwood, please cite a source for your legal claim. You sound to me as if you are simply inventing this. International law recognises nothing of the sort

        Reply The Vienna Convention on Treaties

        • Alan Gill
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink


          • Andy
            Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            Actually it is not. Virtually all EU Trade Agreements are ‘mixed’ agreements and if you read the preamble of most it states that the agreement is between the EU and the . . . it them list all the Nation States. These agreements can be novated and only require bilateral agreement to do so.

        • Lawyer
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          Really? Which Article?
          You are making it up as you go along, Mr Redwood, and you look silly

          Reply Why then is the government reporting good progress with agreeing the novations? No country says it wants to cancel our free trade agreement on our leaving the EU. It is you who look remorselessly negative and ill informed. What legal qualifications do you have as you call yourself Lawyer

        • John Soper
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          Here, Mr Redwood, is the text of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties.


          Please use your search facility. The word “novation” does not appear, nor does any word beginning with “nov-” (except November).

          So you are not telling the truth.

          Reply Under the Convention a country cannot unilaterally renounce a Treaty- it needs the consent of the other parties or a get out clause as with Article 50 in the EU Treaty. The UK is well advanced with novating these treaties to us, and the EU is having to do the same as they too need to transfer them

          • Tanna
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            You seriously think the EU has to renegotiate its trade deals after Brexit? You seriously think that?

          • Pierre
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            The EU is doing no such thing. It does not need to, its Treaties are completely unchanged. You are making a fool of yourself, Mr Redwood

          • David Price
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            I suggest you;
            1. Look up the definition of “novate”
            2. Actually read the document you refer to, particularly artcle 57 bearing in mind that the FTAs are mixed agreements and the UK is one of the contracting parties
            3. Withdraw your accusation and apologise to our host.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            How can the EU’s external treaties be completely unchanged when one of the parties which jointly contracted those treaties under the premise that it was an EU member state is no longer a member state, and so the EU has suffered a significant loss of territory and economic output? If it was not just the UK leaving the EU but many more states would you still claim that the EU’s external treaties were unchanged? Or if all the member states left, would the EU’s treaties still be unchanged? The question is whether the external party to a treaty objects to a change which has taken place with the EU since the treaty was concluded, or it agrees to carry on for the time being until the treaty has been adjusted.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        The UK also continues to exist, and where it is a separate party to a treaty then it will simply be up to all the other parties to say what they wish to do about the change in the UK’s status from EU to non-EU.

        Eg, the 2002 treaty between Chile and the EEC and its member states:


        “AGREEMENT establishing an association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part





        of the one part, and

        THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE … of the other part …”

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        We have already signed a joint letter (11th Oct) with the EU, for the WTO at Geneva, which states the UK’s position on trade with third countries after Brexit:
        “… the UK will remain a Member of the WTO …”
        The UK “will have its own separate schedules of commitments for goods and services, to take effect immediately upon leaving the EU.”
        Specifically the EU and UK intend to maintain the existing levels of market access available to other WTO Members.

        Since non-discrimination among trading partners is one of the core principles of the WTO, it follows that third countries in the WTO will reciprocate the unilateral declaration by the EU and the UK to maintain access both ways at existing levels. This does not mean that third countries have agreed; it just means that their not agreeing is highly unlikely given their acceptance of WTO rules.

  13. Mick
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said, but when you have the likes of heseltine Clarke clegg Blair cable etc BBC sky channel 4 and most of the newspaper rags spewing out there bile it must be like trying to empty a Olympic size swimming pool with a teaspoon , what’s needed is a mass demonstration for Brexit so that our MPs and the eu know that we mean business and we want to leave no ifs no buts

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mick–I like Simon Heffer’s description of in particular Clarke and Heseltine as the undead.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Yet another massive new tax on Londoners the T charge. Clearly nothing whatever to do with clean air just another excuse to tax Londoners, enlarge the bloated state further, kill Jobs and make business, and especially London, less competitive.

  15. Annette
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    We must stop the references to ‘no deal’ which has been conflated with the dreaded ‘cliff edge’. At every opportunity it must be referred to as what it actually is – standard world trading.
    Quite why this Project Fear tag has been allowed the time & oxygen to embed itself into unthinking people’s psyche is beyond me. Perhaps not. May’s reported comments today of ‘Give me a deal that I can defend to the the people’ (Sky News website) smacks of Cameron’s derisory attempt at ‘reform’ which proved to many that the EU is on a fixed track. It tells me that she is trying to keep us as tied in as possible which is a betrayal.
    For me, & a growing number of people, the ONLY way now to ensure that we DO leave is to ensure that we leave on standard world trading terms. A deal would be nice, but to be honest I would no longer trust ‘a deal’ on leaving. These are not ‘negotiations’, it is just a list of demands from the EU who are seeing how many they can bag & how much they can extort without moving a mm.
    May & this country is being ritually humiliated by the EU. Her failure to set a deadline for them to be sensible or we leave is something she & the party will pay dearly for. It’s like she’s employed someone to do a specific job but agreeing to a daily rate. There is no incentive for them to finish the job. The fix for this is obvious.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Dear Annette–Good post–It is all so very strange how May can talk out of both sides of her mouth at once–In particular she needs to get clarity on whether we are or are not “supplicants”. “Standard World Trading Terms” would be hard to argue against–The PR battle on WTO has unfortunately been fought and lost.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Postscript–Just watched the evening News and was embarrassed at Mrs May’s having gone way beyond mere supplication to outright grovelling.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      I’d include ‘crashing out of the EU’ in the list of petty annoyances.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Project Fear has produced two unlikely bedfellows in the persons of neo Marxist Jeremy Corbyn and arch capitalist Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. That probably tells us all we need to know about the desperation of the Remainers.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      @ old timer


    • Mitchel
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer,the relationship between revolutionary socialism (and the state capitalism it tends to engender) and transnational Big Finance goes back a long way.Not such strange bedfellows after all.

    • Hope
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      JR, we pay a lot more than the£12 billion, hence the demands on top of our contribution. We read infrastructure projects and pensions are separate and on top of this. We were led to believe our contribution covered everything, so what is the truth of our actual monies paid you the UK on top of the £12 billion over the last 7 years? Remainers and the country needs to know so that when she comes back with Cameron/Chamberlain piece of paper ready to capitulate like Halifax, we leavers can tell her to get stuffed. I doubt the navy costs are included or the £2 billion from foreign aid! Actual numbers not just the contribution figure please.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Remoaniac depression is no respecter of race or creed and can strike the best and the very worst; fortunately, the former category can be cured by sympathetic counciling. Unfortunately, for the latter category, their illness is part of their identity and care in the community for them is inappropriate as their irrational thought processes and behaviour can be disturbing: globalist banksters and gravy rain passengers are notoriously susceptible.

  17. TL
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink


    I hope you and your colleagues are holding Corbyn and Starmer to account with regards their negotiating strategy with the EU? Is he talking about a hard or soft Exit from Brexit?

    In regards to the “divorce”, what stage are we at?

    We ought to get an independant judge to determine this. One from the ECJ would make perfect sense.

    I hope he finds that we’ve not even reached decree-nici yet, it will be cheaper. Otherwise we’re talking decree-absolute; we’re talking re-marriage!

    1 new engagement rings
    2 dowry; the groom has another 27 wives to support
    3 wedding service; full continental (Oh, and it’s “love honour obey” this time”)
    4 free bar
    5 honeymoon
    6 solicitors, court fees and new marriage certificate

    All this could cost 100 billion. Can you ask Corbyn how much he’s willing to pay, it’s only fair, he can’t expect to start negotiations with out getting the bill sorted first.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      No problem…

      Juncker will pay for the drinks & Corbyn will cover the tuition fees for all of the offspring… 🙁

  18. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Silly question. Why would we want to put tariffs on food in the first place.
    We don’t produce enough of anything. Are you seriously suggesting wee charge 18% tax on Florida oranges which we don’t grow.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      If you read JR’s post he says:
      “We could remove all tariffs from items we cannot produce in our climate.”
      I imagine he would put oranges in that category. In passing I have read that the Florida orange industry suffered immense damage as a result of the recent hurricanes and will take time and investment to restore it to its former state.

    • Andy
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Well have to do now. I think the orange tax is 16%, but your point is well made.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        And 80% of that goes to Brussels…probably protecting the Spanish growers

        • Andy
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          Don’t we keep 25% ?? But it is absurd for us to impose a tariff on Oranges (and other Citrus) when they won’t grow here !! I believe the EU has about 13000 tariffs.

    • michael mcgrath
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “We will be able to give the tariffs we collect back to our consumers as tax cuts so they will not be worse off. ”

      Wouldn’t it be better not to charge the tariff in the first place so that the consumer benefits directly from lower prices. This would also avoid the costly collection and redistribution expenses.

      Finally, should the benefit of lower imported product cost not be enjoyed directly by the pertinent consumer rather than have the tariff he pays being redistrbuted to the entire taxpayer base?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Currently I think the EU tariff on Florida orange imports to UK is 16%. Part of the customs union. If we left under WTO we could reduce this to anything we wanted, like 0%. However for foods we imported from EU the high tariffs on some food exports from UK to EU would remain.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        We run a massive deficit on our trade in food with the EU!


        “The Uk currently runs a massive £20bn trade deficit in food with the rest of the EU. In 1984 the UK was 78% self sufficient in food. It produced 95% of all the temperate food we needed at home … ”

        There are just a few small sub-sectors where we run a surplus.

        • ian wragg
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          I understand this Denis but Hammond would appear to be saying he would keep CET. The EU would love this as it would protect their surplus with us.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink


      Tariff Tax is already on some food imported from outside the EU and into the UK, which the UK gets no benefit from.

      We could either have no tax at all, or less tax than present, which would mean lower prices and more income for the Government.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The EU can do without the cliff edge too. What they’re stalling for is a transitional period in which they can eke away our City banks to Frankfurt with minimal cliff-edging.

    We need to leave now.

    (Jeremy Corbyn was made by the Tories. Their dilly dallying. In fact I’m sure many Tories would prefer a Corbyn government to Brexit.)

    • Chris
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Your last sentence is spot on, Anonymous.

    • David Price
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree with this. Whether we are in the EU or out they will strive to dismantle our competitive sectors and our economy. Being outside means they cannot “contain” us as successfully as they have to date.

  20. Jason Wells
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I hardly know where to start with comments on this.. what we have here is a mindset hell bent on dragging us into the quagmire- consider this very carefully then- if we leave the EU on the terms suggested by JR then we can forget all about getting a normal trade deal with them into the future on any kind of favoured status, in fact official and unofficial roadblocks will be thrown up so bad at every level by officials, politicians and others in every attempt to block trade with us- that is a given- what i’m talking about is customs and immigration queues in seaports airports etc etc

    It’s the people on the front line who will bear the brunt, it’s the people at home who will pay the higher prices- but it will matter little to the political people and business tycoons like Tim Martin, Dyson and others who are suggesting all of this because one thing is for sure they themselves will be all well cushioned.

    So let’s forget about future trading with the EU countries then and go along with all of the new trade deals promised with other countries worldwide, Boris is meeting the Mexicans today- good, so let’s see how it goes and let’s hear a little more from Liam Fox. We can see that the US has turned in on itself at the moment under Trump and is not going to be very useful for the forseeable future but there is always the old commonwealth countries India Oz and NZ but as was stated by others we are going to need a revival of our great merchant navy if we are going to attempt that kind of trading on a grand scale and that will require a huge ship building programme for which we have not even thought about or discussed yet..so you see it’s all pie in the sky about walking away to WTO without making plans.

    Right now we are involved too much with europe, we are in it’s shadow and that’s the truth of the matter, and it cannot be ignored. So we can forget about all of this useless talk about simply walking away and going to WTO with the rest of the world we havn’t got the ships- at this time we need to get real, our political leaders need to get real.

    Barnier and the EU are not there meeting with us in Brussels to negotiate something- they are there primarily to make sure we pay what is owed- they are there to look after their own EU nationals for now and into the future- and they are there to make sure people living and trading on the island of Ireland are not messed about any more than is necessary.

    Don’t forget it is UK that is leaving the EU bloc after 45 years that should be making the running on all of this, it is up to us to acknowledge that and to pay whatever price is owing to get out as smoothly as possible, but don’t expect the EU to bend over backwards – because they won’t.

  21. Original Richard
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    We also benefit from the return of our fishing grounds.

    • rjkbee
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Did I not see somewhere that May had already “bargained” those away as part of any “divorce settlement”? She has absolutely no authority (from the British people) to do that, but what remedy would we have to get them back if she concludes such a deal as part of Brexit?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Who knows what May has given away, but be sure that she will come back from Brussels telling us just what a good deal she got, just like Cameron & Chamberlain before her…

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

          Know dice

          Whatever deal Mrs May got us it would be crap. No deal is the only option on the table.

      • anon
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        It seems fashionable to challenge all decisions in court, so hopefully given the likely ” 9 month delay” we can then exit without a deal.

        I certainly do not trust our current remainer parliament and institutions.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          By which time our banking district will be well on the way out with no cliff edge … for the EU !

          Time is running out.

          We must leave now.

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Looks like Goldman Sachs would prefer to pay high tax in Frankfurt, though. Shows how out of touch they are. A “sell” signal, perhaps? I’m not sure the Frankfurt weather is worth it, personally.

    • zorro
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      They would end up in Luxembourg. The vampire squid has its reasons to try and block/sabotage Brexit. We all know how their due diligence is with regards to Greece after all…….


    • miami.mode
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Germans never seem very happy with the sort of complicated financial structures that Goldman Sachs use nd it would probably prove to be an embarrassment all round.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      The number employed in the City of London is about half of the total population of Frankfurt, so if they go, where will they all live? Another scare story from s second rater who wants to live in a second rate financial services city. Let GS go – what good to they do for the UK anyway?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Dear Sir–Few tears about Goldman–And I bet it’s all exaggerated nonsense in sense that of course they will have a few people in Frankfurt but whether they can be persuaded to stay is another story–Ghastly non-event of a place especially for Americans

      • rose
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        If he really intended to move he would just do it. He wouldn’t be tweeting for Project Fear, but then GS were the main underwriters of Project Fear, after the hapless taxpayer.

  23. Rob Jump
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    “The UK must stop negotiating with itself. It is not a petitioner in a weak position. We can just leave.” Tell that to your own ministers. No wonder we are doing such a good job of wrecking Brexit when the best we have on the Brexit team is the likes of Boris the clown who is so busy making ludicrous claims about RT and the Kremlin that that reality doesn’t get a look in. If the government wasn’t chock full of Remainers sabotaging the whole process and had some intelligent people capable of independent thought perhaps we could have some faith in them- as it is…

  24. Freeborn John
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Much has been made of the EU extortionate demands in their “Phase 1” of talks. But we have not yet seen their demands for Phase 2. It is highly likely they will be asking for an extortionate annual fee, and for their law to apply in our country and markets with a big regulatory cost of compliance on our industry. The UK negotiators are just chasing a chimera and getting held up for money at every turn. Better a clean break and the Continentals come to their senses while paying tariffs on their trade surplus.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear Freeborn–A pox on their “phases” and “sequencing”, which we should unequivocally and with maximum clarity tell them we are ceasing to accept

  25. Iain Gill
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I would be more concerned about the candidates the political parties are selecting for parliamentary candidates the next time, as usual they seem very unrepresentative of the country. If we are not careful we will have a parliament completely at odds with the country, and some kind of remain will sneak in.

  26. Jack snell
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    All talk today is about the WTO..so lets consider some things about this organisatio which China joined in 2001 after a fifteen years battle..Russia joined only in 2011

    WTO is a very powerfil bloc..i read somewhere that it can compel sovereign states to change national laws and regulations by declaring such laws regulations to be in violation of WTO free trade rules.

    Somebody else said that the WTO is for the rich and is indifferent to the impact of free trade on workers rights, child labour and the enviornment including health.

    Somewhere else i read that yhe WTO lacks democratic accountability- it’s hearings on trade disputes are closed to the media and to the public- and was wondering could this be true?

    It is said that theoretically, a country which is trading by WTO cannot change it’s laws if they contradict WTO rules- which governs 97 per cent of all world trade

    Also the WTO can issue trade sanctions against any violating country

    And then i wonder why we are leaving the EU to join this? Also where does taking back control fit in to any of this i wonder..or could it be the case of out of the pan into the fire.

    Reply Good joke. We and the rest of the EU are already in WTO!

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Jack Snell, A treaty with the EU (such as Lisbon) hands over sovereignty (new law making powers) to the EU. A normal treaty, such as one to define and regulate double taxation with Russia, is limited to the specific agreement, and does not give Russia the power to make new laws which have primacy over us.

      As for the WTO, a country either signs up to its aim of reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers, or not, just as a country chooses. The WTO cannot make entirely new laws in new policy areas, as the EU can.

    • Jack snell
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply..exactly .. all of our trade with the world is through the EU..they negotiate everything for us by WTO and it runs smoothly..when we leave the EU we are going to have to go back into that WTO dusty old offices in geneva or whereever and open the files of fifty years ago and pick up the pieces and then start all over again..and that’s what you’re advocating ..we’ll be the new kids on the block..great!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      We are already in the WTO, along with most of the world …


      “The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible … ”

      And we are also a party to the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement:


      along with the other EU member states and the EU itself; nevertheless it seems that the EU is determined to maximise disruption to trade when we leave.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Owen Paterson was “interviewed” on R4 Today this week, usual biased questions and interruptions but he made a very interesting point – we can choose not to impose any tariff under WTO rules, essentially they are maxima.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      From people like Chuka Ummana you might get the impression that it would be the EU imposing tariffs on our imports and it would be beyond our control. There is no shred of honesty in what he says, ever.

      • miami.mode
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Agree with that Denis, as I saw the clip on TV. The level of ignorance or dishonesty from him is almost off the scale, but again nobody, including the interviewer, to rebut the claim.

  28. agricola
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Yes we can spend the £12 billion membership fee as we please though I would not trust government to do it sensibly. North Sea oil revenue is a prime example of UK government short term thinking.

    According to your figures of a few days back we gain a theoretical £12 billion in import duty and spend £5 billion in export duty under WTO rules with the EU. If we find a way to compensate exporters to the EU for the duty they have to pay then we have a nett £7 billion in national income.

    The cost of the food basket should not increase if government has the wisdom to follow the route in the above paragraph. Hand outs direct to UK consumers is a none starter. It would only work if you charged VAT on food and reduced the VAT charge. As you say, increasing the cost of imported food due to duty only encourages us to produce it ourselves or import it from developing countries. Trade being better than aid.

    The UK border already functions for the majority of our trade which is under WTO rules. We just need to increase the HMRC capacity to deal with the EU under WTO rules. By now I would hope that it is all done electronically with all the necessary systems in place.

    Project fear is merely the tool with which remainers hope to stay in the EU, it has little substance. I wish to see Mrs May and her team playing the cards they have, but for the sake of EU citizens being magnanimous in the process. In terms of them being ever welcome in the UK, the gesture has been made. I await reciprocation.

  29. Nig l
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Yes and I think the politics are coming in your direction not the least because the EU are showing the same bullying misunderstandings as with Cameron and tgeoublic realise and are fed up with it.

    Corbyn s intervention was totally unhelpful. Indeed it would encourage the EU to stonewall, if there wasn’t a dead line and lost him credibility however it is not him that is the problem. Amber Dudd and her arch Remainers who have logged umpteen delaying amendments are now the enemy. How will you get round that road block?

    Finally beware the EU offering last minute crumbs.

  30. William Long
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    You take all the rubbish away and set it out as clearly and simply as it really is. However most politicians and all civil servants hate ‘Clear and simple’ as it would swiftly do most of them out of a job.

  31. Peter
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I am not sure the government is doing anything helpful though. Mrs. May is trying to placate all sides. At some stage she will need to take steps in one direction that will not please some of her government.

    My fear is she will choose the line of least resistance and go for a fudge.

  32. Chris S
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    My preference would be for no deal if the alternative is pay one penny more than the £20bn offered already. Trade can be sorted out under WTO rules but once the EU have sat and thought about it they will come back and negotiate zero tariffs at least on agricultural products and cars. We in return will insist that any deal is zero tariffs on everything.

    My only concern is on Financial Services which are outside the Single Market. We know that London based banks should easily be able to trade on the basis of equivalence ( as all of our regulations are currently identical) but I can imagine that the 27 will do everything they can to prevent this, especially as Paris and Frankfurt mistakenly think they have so much to gain.

    On the other hand, as Financial Services are outside the single market we might face the same problem anyway unless any deal expressly includes Banking and Insurance.

    In that case in return for a deal the 27 will try to demand a truly enormous sum in blackmail.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, as always, your arguments are clear and concise.

    The arguments put forward by the Remain lobby appear to be deliberately complicated, muddled and full of coded terms.

    They lost the referendum and so they invented a way of grading our decision into hard/soft.

    When you decode “soft Brexit” you end up with Remain.

    They then invented a transitional period where we continue to pay and continue to abide by eu rules.

    That doesn’t need much de-coding, transition = Remain.

    Now they have added “cliff-edge” to their lexicon in order to bolster the transition (remain) argument.

    It reminds me of management consultant sales talk, full of the latest buzz words i.e. bullsh**t.

  34. Chris
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    It would appear that those MPs wanting Brexit to be honoured are being daily increasingly sidelined with the Remain side running the agenda and dominating the airwaves. There should have been outrage at Corbyn openly and actively undermining May, but as usual not much reaction. As Denis Cooper has repeatedly said, we need an active rebuttals unit within government to deal with media/BBC/EU propaganda. That this has failed to materialise has meant the Remainers are dominating the media and apparently preparing the electorate for a fudge, not Brexit at all.

    May has always been a Remainer, she has a predominantly Remainer team with many key positions occupied by them, plus an apparently Remain dominated civil service, so it is not surprising that this has happened. It is a disgrace, and it has permitted the rise of Corbyn and the hard left. What a disaster that will be when he gets into government. Brexit will be reversed, the economy will go into serious decline with even greater debt and deficit problems, and, incidentally, the Conservative Party will be destroyed. Brexiteer MPs still have time to act, but it has to be radical action and immediately. The window of opportunity has almost disappeared.

  35. Epikouros
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    There will be consequences of a no deal but as you point out the main arguments against are adequately dealt with it is just the initial adjustment to new practices that will throw up the odd problem. Also some some cooperative deals, expats and the Northern Ireland situation will be left in limbo and knowing the attitude of Brussels to Brexit they will exploit that for all it’s worth. The hope then has to be that enough sensible leaders of the EU and more have recently joined the ranks as voters have pushed their countries away from the irresponsible politically left parties to be able to push Macron, Merkel and Brussels to act in a more conciliatory manner. And actually work for the common good.

  36. percy openshaw
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Three cheers for the clarity and confidence with which you put your unanswerable case, Mr Redwood. The recent threats to the city which we have heard so much about are another miserable, bullying bluff. The EU has done enough damage to the world economy already with its catastrophic euro; it will not want to risk the wrath of the USA or the BRICs by further disgusting shenanigans.

  37. Mick
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Just seen labours chuka umunna on sky saying how bad it would be to leave with no deal and to be on WTO trade, don’t these remoaners never give up on project fear, we are leaving there’s not going to be another referendum so get over it, you lost the eu referendum and as far as I can see labour lost the GE and hopefully many more until they get themselves out of the London bubble and start listening to the much more British born population of this Great country ,we have had enough of eu interference into this country and if the remoaner MPs cannot except that fact then I suggest you leave your job and go live in a eu country but you won’t because you have it to easy here, so stop moaning and do what we put you there for, WE are the boss or have you forgotten that fact

  38. Derek Henry
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Exactly why I voted to leave John.

    However, I’m still very worried that Hammond and Co still believe we use the gold standard. I know you don’t but even you have put an oxymoron in the list.

    Taking back control of our money


    We can start to spend the £12 bn a year we will save, on our priorities.

    You are falling into the usual so called progressive trap of making an endless series of “Sophie’s choices.” Choose which excellent program to kill in order to save (temporarily) another from the chopping block because we supposedly cannot afford to provide both. Then repeat the process.

    This choice does not exist for a monopoly issuer of the currency it can buy anything that is for sale in £’s. They key is you have to make sure you have enough skills and resources to absorb that spending and that you do not over spend the productive capacity of the economy. Instead of concentrating on numbers that are stored on an excel spreadsheet at the Bank Of England that we can never run out of. You have to start concentrating on things we can run out of and that’s people and the skills they have. If you run out of those then you get inflation.

    The question is never ever how can we pay for it. The question is always do we have the people and skills and resources to do it !

    So at 12pm today can HM Treasury spend £12b on our priorities ? Of course it can by keystroking the figure into a keyboard. We don’t need Brexit to do that.

    I’m convinced Hammond’s budget is going to be filled with these Sophie’s choices as he digs underground trying to find gold before he can spend.

  39. English Pensioner
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    We should ask the EU for a detailed invoice for the sum that they believe we owe them up to our date of leaving. No other organisation would pay without first having an invoice to check.

    • miami.mode
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      EP. Prior to the referendum there was no indication at all of any so-called divorce payment. The amusing thing is that if a bill of up to €100bn had been mentioned backed up, perhaps, by confirmation from reliable sources within the EU, then the chances are that the Remain side might have won.

    • Duyfken
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      And the UK should send them an itemised list of the EU assets to which the UK has contributed and for which and after depreciation a refund is due.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Dear Duyfken–Yes–But beware the bookkeeping baloney of Depreciation and Net Book Value–Property has rocketed up in last 40 years and our rebate should be based on current values

        • rose
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          We should be repaid the half of Margaret Thatcher’s rebate for all those years it was given back by Tony Blair in exchange for CAP reform, because reform never came.

          We should also be repaid for the assets due, and the deposit in the ECB. We should get back Heligoland too, as its annexation against the wishes of its people and of Queen Victoria by a Prussian Emperor cannot be regarded as legally valid.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the EU have indeed already provided a ‘negotiable invoice’ of some sorts. One of the Gov and EU’s biggest hurdle is that the EU cannot be seen to give too much to the UK. The fact remains that the ‘deal’ is being looked at during each stage by 27 countries some of which, undoubtedly, may well be eyeing up leaving this rotten and failing club…some of the lesser members are now locked into the EU for decades to come as they do not and will not have the money resources to issue their Art50. Takes me back to the cult TV series ‘THE PRISONER’.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Experts dislike simplicity.

    They tell us that importing 3 million people (that we know of) has nothing to do with falling wages and increasing house prices.

    My family:

    Police constable – retired at 50 in detached house fully paid.


    Doctor unable to get on the property ladder until 35

    Now THAT’s a cliff edge and it has happened in Britain in the space of one generation.

    You always start from the presumption that everything is rosey in the EU.

    A hotel with such a disaproval rating (-50% across much of the EU) would not attract many stayers.

    The EU needs complete reform but you never admit it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      That was to PvL

      Captcha is a pita.

  41. Alison
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Also, we all remember that Mr. Juncker’s predecessor, Mr Barroso, is a non-exec at Goldman Sachs Intl, chairman indeed.

  42. Tad Davison
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Good post. Are you planning to send copies of it to all those remain politicians in Westminster and the EU parliament?

    If not, I think you should, because they are having an extraordinary amount of difficulty with what is essentially an easy to understand concept. I find it very disconcerting that so many of our political representatives are so far behind the curve. That causes a crisis of confidence in their judgement. Quite simply, if they don’t get it, they are not fit and proper people to represent anybody.

    As for less than impartial broadcasters and academics who can see no alternative to their cherished European Union bureaucracy, little wonder we have such a perplexed society when their guidance cannot be depended upon.

    Tad Davison


  43. Bert Young
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Agree with all your points today John . I would also like to highlight the advantages of a low tax regime ; Goldman Sachs – and the other dickering Bankers would dicker no longer . Hammond would no go for this approach so he would have to go .

  44. acorn
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    JR says, “We will be able to give the tariffs we collect back to our consumers as tax cuts so they will not be worse off.” There are a couple of tricks that the WTO looks out for in trade agreements.

    A domestic consumption tax on a product imported plus a domestic production subsidy set at the same rate as the tax, has the same price and welfare effects as an import tariff set at the same rate on the same imported product.”

    Basically a country declares an import tariff free trade, while domestically increasing sales taxes (VAT), and using the extra tax as a subsidy to its domestic producers of that product, who now can’t compete at the price of the import.

    In JR’s case above, the domestic effects of applying an new import tariff (prices up) on an imported product, could be offset with a domestic production tax/duty and consumption subsidy (tax cut) combination, so that that the import tariff does not appear to be an import blocking move.

    All such actions are basic WTO trade violations for WTO member countries. Have a read of Steve Suranovic, associate professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University “Policy and Theory of International Trade”

    Reply Not what I proposed. I proposed something quite legal under WTO rules. Collect the tariff and have a general tax cut

  45. Christopher Hudson
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    They have to be ready with a plan B and ready to use it or the EU will just push for more money

    Otherwise they’ll see it rightly as an empty threat

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    “The UK must stop negotiating with itself.”

    I don’t think that accurately describes what has been going on during the sixteen months since the EU referendum; that referendum which the official Remain campaign said in leaflets would be “a once in a generation vote”, see here for example:


    The great majority of UK citizens are loyal to the UK, and even if their best judgment led them to vote to stay in the EU on June 23rd 2016 they mostly accepted straight away that more of their fellow citizens had taken took the opposite view, that was the result of that “once in a generation” referendum, and they wanted to see their politicians carry out the will of the people and get the best possible deal for our future outside the EU.

    However there is a small minority who put loyalty to the EU way above loyalty to the UK, they do not accept the result referendum even if for the sake of appearances many of them proclaim that of course they “respect” the result, and starting within days, or hours, of the referendum result be announced their leaders have been doing everything they can either to prevent us leaving the EU or make to sure that the terms of our withdrawal are so bad that eventually we will be forced to crawl back and beg to be readmitted to the EU, and on whatever conditions their beloved EU may choose to impose.

    I will hold back from saying what I really think of these people who put loyalty to the EU above loyalty to their own country, there are words which could be used.

    I will just say that they are to be found with very much greater frequency in Parliament than in the population at large, despite the parliamentarians all being required to take solemn oaths of allegiance. Which as far as MPs were concerned showed up very clearly on several past occasions when they were invited to vote to affirm the sovereignty of their own Parliament and hardly any of them were prepared to do so.

  47. Atlas
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    After all the EU intransigence – some would say extortion attempts – then the sooner we leave the better.

  48. Alan
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Before the referendum Mr Redwood was assuring us that the EU was certain to offer us good access to the Single Market – the German car makers and the French farmers would insist on it. Now he tells us that we can just rely on the WTO. I don’t think that information is any more accurate than the former one.

    Reply Before the referendum and after it I have said the same – prepare for No Deal, we may well get a free trade deal as it is massively in the EU’s interest.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Why not provide some references for those assurances you claim he gave.

      • forthurst
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I think JR assured us that the Brussels regime would want a free trade deal because it would be massively to their advantage.

  49. Prigger
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Bankers do mistakes.The Economic landscape is littered with their mistakes, bankruptcies, sacked senior personnel here and in America.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    So much nonsense being put forward by the Remoaners, day after day, and none of it being answered by the Department for Exiting the European Union … for God’s sake, JR, can’t you tell David Davis to fight back against this tide of anti-Brexit propaganda?

    • Nig l
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Dennis you are spot on but have raised this umpteen times and get no response so presume JR either doesn’t agree or is helpless to intervene.

      I think the guys at the sharp end are doing a great job but, lookin at TMs career, is there any sign of the sort of leadership ability, vision, drive etc, to pilot this through. No therefore she is a hostage to whatever provides the easiest political option. Accordingly on her track record to date, she is a fudger.

      We need a Neutron Jack (ex GE) to drive this through.

  51. Soft Brexit
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Standard denial of reality from Mr Redwood here. I suppose airlines are worried for no reason? I suppose all the agreements we have with the EU are just irrelevant?

    At this point, it really is just embarrassing. Constantly repeating ‘there is no cliff edge’ when all evidence is available to the contrary doesn’t make it so, it makes you close-minded. Disappointing, but unsurprising.

    Reply Planes will fly – the government is ensuring mutual landing rights continue after Brexit. Who is seeking to stop the planes?

    • Prigger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Soft Brexit
      You would be wise, given your intelligent predictions, to fly off before Brexit and establish yourself in the EU. Good luck!You would be a complete an utter idiot to stay here. When will you go next month?, next year? You have made contingency plans haven’t you so you will have food at least…a stockpile of canned food? A pet dog..so you can eat him if meat gets scarce, as it will of course. Have your dental work done now…dentists will paddle off when their customers are too poor to employ them. Don’t forget the bottled water storage. Also a giant tarpaulin to cover your house for when the sky falls in.

    • Soft Brexit
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Remind me how we agree mutual landing rights when we walk away from negociations Mr Redwood?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Look it up yourself instead of parroting the same old Remoaner lines.

        • Soft Brexit
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Of course, retreat to insults because you lack the answers. You must be right at home here.

  52. Mick Bolingbroke
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    “We can trade with the rest of the EU as we trade today with the rest of the world under the WTO umbrella we share with the EU”
    Yes, but while inside the EU, we currently benefit from the raft of EU agreements relating to WTO trading with other countries, to which we will no longer be party once we leave the EU, and will have to agree our own arrangements with all other countries. This off course will take time so what happens to our trade the day after we leave.
    Cliff edge?

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Mick, The RTAs to which you refer are registered with the WTO, and are a small part of its rules and procedures. Having agreed the RTA with the EU why wouldn’t third countries want to continue with the UK (and the EU27)? Which countries want to scrap their RTA with us?

      • OECD
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

        Nick, they will not continue them because they can get a better deal out of the UK than they can out of the much more powerful EU

        • acorn
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Spot on OECD

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Incurably negative … does it not occur to you that because of the economic divergences within the EU we might even be able to get a better deal for ourselves on our own than the EU could get or would want to get on behalf of all 28 disparate member states?

        • NickC
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          OECD, In that case why would they bother making the RTA with the EU in the first place? Either the RTA is advantageous to both parties or it is not. A third country would simply reject a deal with the EU if the result was to its disadvantage (as we should). And even if a third country can get a better deal out of the UK, so what? Why does that preclude taking advantage (by definition) of the first novated RTA and then negotiating something better?

          • acorn
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            They would bother because the EU has 500 million potential customers in it, they sacrifice some aggregate margin for that. The UK market is just 15% of the EU market.

          • NickC
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            Acorn, They would only bother if it is advantageous. As I said.

            If it is advantageous why wouldn’t they continue it with the UK after Brexit as well? It is not either/or, they can have both. Indeed we have already signed a joint letter (11th Oct) with the EU, to the WTO, guaranteeing continued access for third countries to our markets on a pro-rata basis after Brexit.

          • acorn
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            We have run out of “replies” yo click on this thread.

            You said “Indeed we have already signed a joint letter (11th Oct) with the EU, to the WTO.”

            Seven countries, including the USA, have already objected to this UK-EU letter.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      If the parties to those trade agreements wish to treat them as terminated then the trade would be disrupted, otherwise it will be agreed that trade can continue on the existing basis until any new agreement has been finalised. New trade agreements may be applied provisionally, and obsolete trade agreements may be continued for the time being, it all depends what the parties wish to do. Perhaps you could explain why any sensible country should wish to trade with us while we are in the EU but decide to instantly halt all trade with us once we are no longer in the EU.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink


      Try checking facts before posting…. Google is your friend

  53. James Matthews
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Our host repeatedly makes the point that we should stop negotiating with ourselves and he is of course right.

    The problem is that the Remain camp will not allow that to happen. They will use every device they can find to thwart Brexit altogether or, if that can not be done ,to ensure that the terms are such that they achieve none of the advantages that a real Brexit ( a “hard” Brexit in Remainder terms) will bring. What Leavers need to grasp is that the worst fear of the Remain camp is not Brexit, it is a Brexit that quickly proves to be a success.

    The appeasing stance of the Government is not helping. It has already conceded too much time. too much money, too great an extension rights for EU nationals, too much defence co-operation and too great a continuing role for EU institutions in British life.

    Time to start behaving in Brussels as though Brexit really does mean Brexit, and robustly defending that stance to the British public. Prevarication isn’t good enough.

    • John Soper
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      So it is all going wrong – but that is the Remainers fault.

      Rot. Leave won. Leave promised the moon. The moon is not being delivered. No one is to blame but the Leavers who duped the British people.

      • NickC
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        John Soper, Rot. Remain said the Moon would crash into the Atlantic if we voted Leave. It hasn’t. Neither has WW3 started in Europe.

        Remain (and that includes Corbyn’s Labour) are undermining our negotiation in at least three distinct ways:
        1. idiotically promising the EU that we will accept any deal however bad;
        2. attempting to discredit Leave voters (we’re thick, etc, apparently)
        3. claiming that the Referendum has no validity and will be re-run (where the second magically is valid).

        Remains are entitled to imagine that we should be subjugated by the EU empire, if that floats their boat. What Remains are not entitled to do is stand in the way of our democratic decision to leave.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr Soper–What complete Tosh–Remainers’ lies were in a different league–Along lines that the EU would remain ISQ with no single central treasury, no further homogenisation, no EU Army, no transfer payments, no debt guarantees, no moves to EU Statehood etc.

      • James Matthews
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        It has not yet all gone wrong. The Remainders are doing their best to make sure it does, but if that happens it will be the Government’s fault for its half-hearted approach. If you believe this government actually represents leave voters, then yes. that means it will be the leavers fault.

        No one was duped. That really is utter tosh. The arguments for remaining were rehearsed ad nauseam by the Remain coalition. That comprised all three major parties, public sector management and Unions, the educational establishment at all levels, four out of the five major broadcasters, including the BBC -( the single most intrusive and influential news source in the country), a third of our national Newspapers and of course assorted leaders of the Western world. all helped along with generous dollops of UK and EU taxpayers money.

        Despite that massive preponderance of resources, the Remainders failed to convince a majority. Your case was just not good enough.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        “Leave promised the moon.”

        So provide one reference to a Leave campaigner promising the moon, and then continue to state which position of power they now hold which could possibly enable them to deliver the moon …. try to contain your bitterness at losing the referendum despite having so much stacked in your favour.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        The Cameron/Osborne Government bombarded the voters with dire warnings of our leaving, the not so stupid electorate decided running our own show was better than being ordered around by the faux democracy that is the EU.

      • anon
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Leave hasnt left yet. We are being held back by the remoaners.

        This country will boom once the prevarication stops and we are out on a the default “WTO” option .

      • libertarian
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


        We haven’t left yet …………..

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Remainers are holding us back !

  54. Toffeeboy
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    There may or may not be a cliff edge, only time will tell. But Mr Redwood, what you and your like always fail to acknowledge is the long-term risk to foreign investment into the UK. The UK has in recent times been the third biggest recipient of foreign direct investment globally. While this may have had something to do with the country’s legal system, use of the English language and relatively highly skilled workforce, among other factors, our access to the single market has arguably been the biggest factor of all.
    When we come out with no deal, you might want to ask yourself what will happen to all this inward investment. Will it dry up? If you say not, you might want to ask why are global investment banks already moving out of London and why did the government see fit to do some kind of underhand deal with Nissan, the details of which have still to be made public. Perhaps you could ask Theresa to disclose the terms of that agreement to enable the British public to know exactly what is going on?

    Reply If our balance of trade improves as it may out of the EU the of course net capital movements in will decline. We will become a net capital exporter if we move into surplus

    • Toffeeboy
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes but without getting too technical, what happens to the jobs that this inflow of capital helps to support if it suddenly disappears. I suggest that they will disappear too. Or are you suggesting we’ll suddenly manage miraculously to establish domestic businesses that are capable of competing internationally?

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t advise walking away from the negotiations until we had convinced the world that this was a reasonable course of action which had been made inevitable by the greed, stupidity and intransigence of the other side.

    As so far the UK government has been doing the reverse, all huggy-huggy kissy-kissy keen to express its enduring love for the EU, that will need a lot of work. I do begin to wonder whether Theresa May, or even David Davis, has the stomach for it.

    Once again I quote the opening passage of the American Declaration of Independence, they knew that they had to win over allies to their cause and so do we:

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

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree Denis, enough is enough now! When we allow failed politician Hilary Clinton to come over to the UK telling us “Brexit would put Britain at a “very big disadvantage” and force companies to move resources to continental Europe” you’ve got to question the narrative, we were already told by Obama the democrats didn’t agree with Brexit, and he was someone held in very high regard by many Brits.
      Her own people wouldn’t believe and elect her over someone that so divided opinion in the States why is she being given so much prominence over here. She claims her failure is to do with being a woman but the UK elected a woman leader, Scotland has a woman leader, Germany re-elected a female leader for 15 years – and I’m sure that America will elect a female leader within my lifetime but someone they feel isn’t so politically puppet mastered.

  56. Newmania
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well if it is of so little concern to us then it must be barely noticeable to the EU who will have absolutely nothing to lose by allowing the UK to take its chosen route to poverty and irrelevance .
    The WTO option does not work fine in the opinion of everyone who will be required to work it but lets not let experience commercial knowledge and expertise get in the way of empty waffle from public servants
    Funnily enough form the EU`s point of view there is a lot to like about no deal. It gives them a much better position to take manufacture services and employment for their market onshore .In the case of motor there is excess capacity anyway so it would be a suitable chance to lose some of it .

    Reply I have run several manufacturing and service sector businesses and base my judgement on business as well as political experience.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      You weaken your argument further, as many Remainers do, by exaggeration and by making things up that you hope are true but aren’t. “The WTO option does not work in the opinion of anyone who …” you say ? Well, I just need to name one then don’t I, James Dyson.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        And the AEOs…?
        And the BIPs?…
        And the Irish border?…

    • NickC
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, About 60% of our exports are already sold under WTO rules. Why not 100%?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink


      Its people that trade not countries. You & most politicians have never run businesses and do not understand how trade works. if the goods I bring in from Europe are not priced right I can look further afield to the rest of the world. If I can’t sell my goods in 27 EU countries I have 135 others including China with a population 4 times larger than EU that I can sell too.

      Business lives with risk and uncertainty all the time. There are worse risks in the business world than Brexit. Rising taxes and business rates, increased regulations and high employment costs, skills shortages, Oil prices, US interest rates, slowdown in China, commodity prices, war in the middle east, a Labour-led government, that kind of thing…

  57. Tom William
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    We need a sign of an iron fist in Mrs May’s velvet glove but we just see pleas for “reasonableness”. The whole concept of an indeterminate “transition process” is a gift to EU negotiators who have blatantly ignored the text of Article 50 to dictate increasingly unacceptable terms, which they know to be unacceptable at the moment in the hope that, as time passes, we will give in on some or all of them. The longer the process goes on the better for the EU and the easier for financial services to be lured away from London.

    They are like a fisherman who has hooked a fish but needs to tire it out before landing it.
    A decision to stop negotiations and announce a WTO or temporary Norwegian EEA route
    would concentrate everyone’s mind and save a lot of money. It could unblock the EU’s deliberate logjam.

    What are the chances of Mrs May reaching this decision? If the answer is none, what next?

  58. Kevin Quinton
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    One good aspect of trading under WTO rules instead of a ‘TTIP’ or ‘CETA’ style FTA is that those insidious corporate ISDS tribunals won’t be involved. I cannot be a good trade deal when governments are beholden to these tribunals.

  59. Prigger
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    “…UK to take its chosen route to poverty and irrelevance .” I take it you have moved abroad to avoid armaggedon here.? Sold you home while the price is at a false high, packed your furniture and put it into EU storage warehouses? Learned a foreign language so you can cope and if you have any children , relations, taken them with you?
    Personally I’ve planted some rose bushes in my back garden. They should look really good in five-ten years time.

  60. LB
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The deal has been done. We have signed a WTO deal with France for Free trade.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      France is not allowed to make separate treaties. It is part of the EEA. We will not be.

  61. Nostalgia
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    A letter salvaged from the Titanic is up for auction. It was written by a man in the First Class Section. It is at similar times like this when we Brexiteers are in Heaven that we will nevertheless experience a rare bit of depression and wished we had booked Economy Class.

  62. Mark Watson
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Just want to say well done for taking Campbell to the cleaners, and you showed great patience with his emotional outbursts as interruptions.
    Why do people like Campbell seem to have a religious zealot- like love of the EU, it seems above their own country?

  63. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen a French politician on BBC TV saying that 3 million EU citizens in the UK are living in “absolute anguish”, and I would like to know why David Davis’s department has nothing at all to say about that ridiculous and insulting claim.

    What is the point of even having a twitter account:


    if you are never going to make any effective use of it?

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Let me know when I can apply for my non EU British passport?

    I hope the passport office is getting geared up for the mass of applications that will come in as soon as they are available…

  65. Dennis
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    What does anyone think of this? From http://www.eurozine.com/sovereignty-bites-back/

    Brexit can be seen as a paradigmatic example of the idea of autolimitation applied to the EU. When a state agrees to subordinate its sovereign powers to a higher authority through an international treaty, it retains the final say – it can always withdraw that assent. In this way, British parliamentary sovereignty was never compromised because the act of parliament that enabled the UK to enter the European Community (EC) could have been revoked.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I think one could say that our national sovereignty was “compromised”.

      If something endures de jure but becomes increasingly nugatory de facto then surely it can be said to be “compromised” even if it has not been formally abolished.

  66. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink


    It is really like listening to an old horse talking about past glories.

    Mrs. Merkel and a number of head of states have said the do believe there will be a deal and your continued preaching of WTO rules are beginning to sound rather tiring.

    The standards and regulatory frame-work agreed both for services and goods within the Eu are not part of the WTO and therefore not covered for more than 50% of our trade with the Eu, which is currently growing as oppose to trade with the rest of the World. (trade figures from August)

    New trade deals take at least five years to negotiate, so in the meantime we are constrained, and as a business dependent on Europe I do not need the advise of a p0litician who has not been involved in business for years, singing out of the same hymn sheet for years

    • David Price
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:58 am | Permalink

      Your business is dependent on the EU – why didn’t you say so in the first place.

      Why should businesses not dependent on the EU and their customers pay directly and indirectly to subsidise your business.

      Why should you be treated any differently than say the fisherman?

  67. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    There’s a simple answer to the question of deal v. no deal. Ask the thousands of businesses who trade with the EU or recruit from the EU. They’ll give you an answer. And what happens to the Irish border if there’s no deal? And the other issue that you always avoid: May asked for a No Deal mandate at the last election and didn’t get one. The pro-deal majority in the Commons are now (rightly) flexing their muscles…and that spells the end of your No Deal fantasy, Mr Redwood. There will be a deal and May will pay the divorce bill. Clueless though she is as PM, she does at least realise that everything from now on is a Brexit-damage-limitation exercise.

  68. a-tracy
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Good news – UK budget deficit narrows to lowest September level since 2007
    BUT NEXT THE BAAADDDD NEWS – Inflation-fuelled rise in VAT receipts cheers chancellor ahead of budget but analysts warn of OBR cut in forecasts and further Brexit uncertainty

  69. Melvin Cornwell
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    We will be crowd funding a full and robust legal challenge against any attempt by May to hand over OUR money to the EU, for what is no more than a bribe (after which they will still mess us around anyway).

    More information to follow shortly on all social media. It is TIME TO ACT, people!!!

    • rose
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      They would certainly continue to frustrate us after we have had handed over a legally binding undertaking to give them a ransom. Look what happened when Blair handed back the half rebate in exchange for CAP reform. They kept the money, every year, and we never got the reform. We still pay in twice as much as the French.

  70. a-tracy
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I sometimes feel the EU thinks they’re winning the Brexit propaganda war. The people aren’t being asked what they think, our political discourse is unbalanced to the remain side which gives the EU an unbalanced vision but they aren’t seeing what effect this has on the general man and woman in the streets of the UK considering now where they go on holiday next summer, what vehicle they want to buy, what new white goods to buy as presents. We keep hearing about being punished. We’ve got to pay, why have we – what for? One minute we’re told our subs are a very small amount so now why are these amounts so large? We’re told we won’t be welcome in Spain on holiday, today there was also a piece on expect to be tasered if you party too hard over there, we won’t be allowed to fly or land in Europe, the French ports don’t want our transactions to flow through their port of entry without trouble ahead. Well, that doesn’t really encourage you to book Eurostar for next year does it, or a Spanish holiday, or buy a Citroen or a BMW anytime soon. Have the EU heard of the British phrase ‘Batten down the Hatches’? This is what normal people are talking about not capitulation.

  71. Chris
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I fear greatly that Brexit is not now going to happen, and the despair voiced in this comment in the D Tel today by “Roger Mole” sums up my feelings:

    “She is the main cause of all of our problems. She is inarticulate, indecisive, ineffectual and a complete waste of space, really. The Tory mandarins who put her up for the PM’s job should hold their heads in shame.

    She has to go and her role taken over by a committed Brexiter who can articulate a strategy and a strong vision for the UK instead of just keep coming out with woolly meaningless phrases. And the new incumbent then needs to implement a complete Cabinet shake-up placing Brexiters in key positions.

    And it needs to happen sooner rather than later because the longer this travesty goes on the more damage she’s causing to the UK, its image and its interests.”

  72. Tom Rogers
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Enough. Just declare this country a Unilateral Free Trade Zone and secede completely.

    Issue a statement saying that we will make good our budgetary contributions up until the date of secession inclusive, and will co-operate fully in any legal or moral post-secession obligations (if any) that may arise. We will also reasonably compensate persons aggrieved by any inadvertent breaches of contract incidental to our departure.

    We will remain in the ECHR (separate to the EU/EEA), but we will pass our own domestic Bill of Rights to replace and repeal the HRA and adjust the effects of convention rights by introducing a ‘margin of appreciation’ so that their judicial interpretation is more in line with the British way of life and British attitudes, which in some respects are more illiberal (the attitude to prison and punishment, etc.), and in other respects are, if anything, more liberal (e.g. the attitude to free speech).

    Inform the WTO that we will abide by global trade rules fully, and in fact we will now go further and not impose tariffs or unreasonable non-tariff barriers on imports to Britain. This will cause pain for some of our domestic industries, but it will also help us industrially in the long-run by making us ruthlessly competitive and it will assist us economically by opening up the market for both businesses and consumers to cheaper goods, raw materials and components. However, these benefits depend on the government finally making a determined and good faith effort to control immigration – that means the government should tell the country that mass immigration is now at an end and that its target is to bring down net migration to four figures by the end of the next parliamentary term at the very latest (not including Irish migration, which I mention below), an outcome that will be monitored by an independent commission. Work on this commitment shall begin immediately.

    Britain should also inform the Irish government specifically that, as far as we are concerned, the land border remains open and the CTA remains in effect, and Irish people, businesses, goods and services will always be welcome in this country and we regard Ireland as our closest friends. However, it is down to the Irish government to settle any issues with the EU. We will of course assist where and when we can.

  73. Paul H
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    This is all very well, but May appears to be folding like the proverbial pack of cards. She would be out of her depth on dry land. It is absolutely embarrassing.

    And the end of the Conservative Party’s prospects of power for a long time, incidentally. Thatcher’s popularity soared in the wake of the Falklands. Even Cameron’s went up following his “veto” – albeit briefly, as we discovered that it was a con. The opposite will apply – in spades.

  74. Pat
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Why bother with import duties at all? To punish the Continentals? Why cut off our nose to spite our face.
    Universal free trade gives the British consumer the cheapest access to goods and services, and there are vastly more consumers of any good than there are producers.
    Although it may be politic to threaten reintroduction of tarrifs as a means of encouraging other nations to allow free access to British products.

  75. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    “There is no cliff edge.”

    As the man said standing on the white cliffs off Dover…

    PS How do you intend to solve the Irish border problem once we leave the EEA?
    PPS What are the advantages of joining EFTA?

  76. Peter
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    So we might talk in December? And that is deemed to be evidence of progress?

    We need to go to No Deal now. May lacks the confidence to do so. Future Conservative leaders do not fancy her job or their own prospects at the moment.

    So nothing happens and the EU try to tease out promises of more Danegeld.

    Not good.

  77. BartD
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Well done JR you continue to peddle misinformation/ fake news and seem to be getting away with it – except I see that you have not explained at all how all of this WTO rules trading will work in practical terms. For instance if we are to leave under such bad circumstances from the EU as outlined then of course we will have no option but to approach WTO headquarters of which we are still a dormant member since way before 1973, to pick up the cold trail.

    For the past forty five years the EU bloc has been shielding us from the ups and downs of trading disputes globally, excessive tariffs etc etc and now we are about to launch ourselves onto the world to seek our own fortune in our own way- by taking back control about who we want to trade with- such nonsense coming from a supposedly intelligent and educated person- all according to you. Well for your trouble I hope they recruit you to be the one to go over to Geneva to sort out the old british WTO files and to advise on how we are to proceed. Better you do it JR, you’ll be as good as anyone, because given the governments incompetence as shown so far in the present brussels talks, if we leave with the present crowd in situ then we will be surely sunk.

    Reply We have all just signed up to more trade facilitation at the WTO. The Uk inherits the work done by the EU and others over the last 40 years!

  78. BillyElliot
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Our economy is 80 % services which doesn’t go under WTO umbrella.
    True we might save £12 bn but we might loose much more. God knows how much. If we really do fall to WTOs we can kiss car industry good bye for starters.

    Before joining EEC we were the poor man of Europe and to that direction we are now heading again.

  79. margaret
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi to all bloggers here: the posers , the rich , the poor the angry, the creeps … or perhaps we all have a little of everything in a different balance , Yet we all have one thing in common;.Our access to JR ‘s Diary . Don’t you think that his project is a democracy in action ? Demonstrating free speech is JR’s speciality and thanks to everyone highlighting his talent relentlessly, the media and his views are taking interest and Johns old confidence has regained some strength . John might say in an embarrassed potent way that he has never lost confidence( we don’t like to appear to be weak: any of us)
    One thing :throughout all our years of writing this stuff a positive side of John keeps us happy without the need for someone to negatively say that we are burying our head in the sand. There is reason in the optimism .Power comments like its’ all right for us ( coz I am rich )’ don’t cut the mustard . Many of us on meagre salaries are fairly happy this way and contentment is more important than banking millions, whilst the drive for power and employing people also makes the powerful feel alpha and concomitantly employees may feel well healed. It is not an us and them but team work. As far as I am concerned the less aggression , the better . It is a way to deal with stress ;that is less aggression , more ordered speech , and reason without the touch of the bigots. Today I was called a’ tof.’ I cannot see why . I come from a humble background and am not rich . I don’t like slovenly behaviour and dirt. I like good standards and would like to see these incorporated into our countries again.
    We think it is clever to jibe at the monarchs who have been pivotal in our making and as far as Queen Elizabeth is concerned have shown us manners, restraint and order. The patron for myself as a State Registered Nurse was Queen Elizabeth. .I am a Queens Nurse. These standards , although scoffed at, took Britain out of the decades of self interest and into serving with Grace. How can we even begin to be those proud to be British again with so much slovenly European Conning.!

  80. miami.mode
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    All this “walk away” talk is wrong. It makes us look as though we are the prima donnas taking the ball home with us because they won’t play the way we want them to. We should simply make it plain that in the event of a stalemate, we will trade with the EU exactly the same as we do with the rest of the world and the suggestion that the ECJ will still have some jurisdiction over EU citizens who reside in the UK is 100% wrong.

  81. Nigel
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    JR: It doesn’t look like Mrs May is listening. Again.

  82. Charles v
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    “They also say we will not have functioning borders for EU trade if we go the WTO route. Of course we will, and there is time enough to put them in place by 2017.” Please spell out exactly what needs to happen in order for this to be put in place and the cost (one off and ongoing) of doing this. Lord Lawson was embarrassingly poor on on his LBC interview last night.

    Please also explain what bilateral agreements (including mutual recognition agreements) each of the EU’s 10 largest trading partners have in place with the EU. Please explain whether it would matter from the UK’s perspective that no such agreements were in force.

    Please also provide an assessment of the additional costs, if any, on business as a result of the UK operating as a third country without any bilateral agreements with the EU and the overall impact (positive or negative) on our level of trade with the EU and our economy.

  83. RupertP
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    John – It is widely reported elsewhere that “no deal” at all causes lots of problems such as leaving EU citizens in limbo, non-recognition of our products / no agreed conformity assessments, lorries impounded at Calais for inspection / testing etc, chemicals produced in UK no longer being recognised as complying under REACH, flights not permitted because of leaving Openskies, nuclear issues because of leaving Euratom etc, all of which you have brushed off as scaremongering and “no cliff edge at all”.

    I’m sure you must have a better answer for all these issues than saying there is no cliff edge, because we all need more than that glib answer, which doesn’t reassure most of us. Surely we have to get legal agreement on at least the basic administrative matters with the EU don’t we? The USA and China trades with the EU on WTO terms with a series of agreements with the EU on conformity assessment etc, not no deal at all.

    Do you think we should be pursuing a WTO terms trading relationship with the EU, not no deal at all? We would still need an agreement with the EU to trade on WTO terms which would encompass citizens rights, flight rights, nuclear and security co-operation, conformity assessment etc., agreement about border handling etc.

    But would the EU be interested in helping us at even this level if we refuse payment of any Brexit bill at all? The EU might feel perfectly happy to let us try and leave with no deal at all and then hold-up all our exports, ground flights in / out of UK airspace etc. on the grounds that they are illegal – It might feel to us in the UK similar to having economic sanctions imposed. This would make an example of us to any other country thinking about leaving the EU…

    Reply These are all groundless fears or things which the government is well advanced with fixing

    • Ken Moore
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


      Unfortunately few nations trade purely on WTO terms with the EU. Trade with America China etc. also requires a web of treaties that have been signed with the EU over the last 40 years. We have a cabinet that don’t even understand the difference between the single market and a customs union – there is no chance that the necessary treaties could be signed in time.

      Mrs Mays unworkable Brexit is a noose to hang the ‘euro sceptic right wingers’ in her party. May, beloved of political correctness, would dearly love to reverse the ‘populist’ movement by discrediting Brexit. I just hope Dr Redwood et al. do not fall into her trap and look at the details again..
      She is looking to settle the EU question once and for all its as if David Cameron never ran away..

      Look at us now..great Britain being threatened by france..Latvia that it must pay up or else..

  84. agricola
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Further Thoughts.

    I have come to the conclusion that the expression, “Insufficient progress”, much used by all and sundry in the EU, is a meaningless and deliberately ill defined term designed to extract more and more concessions from the UK. This road to nowhere needs to be blocked by providing the EU with some hard choices.

    They should be told that payment ceases on 29th March 2019 unless they have a tariff free trade agreement on the table ready for signature. It does not require negotiation because tariff free trade already exists, it just needs a new name.

    The questions of citizens rights and the Irish border can be decided unilaterally if no free trade agreement is forthcoming. All other working agreements can continue if the EU wishes, otherwise the door closes. Defence cooperation is only on offer to NATO partners who invest their own 2% of GDP. It should be made absolutely clear that from March 2019 the ECJ only has EU jurisdiction.

    I find it a total affront to the supposed spirit of these negotiations that Frankfurt and Paris feel free to try to poach trade and companies from the City of London while we in the UK cannot make trade agreements worldwide in anticipation of our departure from the EU. Who do these toy town EU politicians think they are?

  85. James Dell
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s absolutely sickening to watch billions of pounds being offered to the EU by May with no legal obligation to do so and simply in the hope of nothing more than being “allowed” to start trade talks with our competitors.

    How government after government led us down a path that is virtually impossible to now extract ourselves from at anything but an eye-watering cost is a dreadful indictment of our short sighted political classes.

    I’ve voted Conservative for 25 years, and I have perhaps another 25-30 years of votes to look forward to. But if I have to watch our country being sold out and held to ransom – and then watch that blackmail pay off – I will do what I can to express my indignation; I will simply stop voting for your party Mr Redwood. Not in general elections, nor in council and other local elections. Nothing could induce me to vote Labour, but I will simply never enter a polling booth for your party again.

    It really is as simple as that.

  86. Ken Moore
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    So with the Eu negotiations in tatters and the public finances still in a mess what is May prioritising …

    Mrs May yesterday said my government ‘will seek to streamline and de-medicalise the process of changing gender to reflect that being trans is not an illness’, and promised to press ahead ‘with inclusive relationships and sex education in English schools, making sure that LGBT issues are taught well’ to ‘eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying’

    I thought she was a bit dotty but she has lost the plot!

    So our children and grandchildren will now be taught that changing sex is completely normal just so May can look modern and beat up a few true conservatives.
    It’s dangerous and wrong to indoctrinate children in half baked ideologies to appease a tiny politically correct minority
    Does anyone seriously expect this deluded and dangerous woman to do anything that might please mainstream conservatives that supported the former ‘nasty’ party ?.
    She would rather rub our noses in diversity and political correctness than get us out of the EU.

    Her tactic will be ..look at this disastrous EU no deal prospect. Here I am begging the EU to let us trade with them…we are so isolated and friendless that despite being net contributors for years they want all our money. Now be a good little European and be grateful for what you had…

  87. Nick
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Another great article John, but don’t you mean 2019 when referring to customs preparations?

  88. Philip Stephens
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    A light-hearted alternative take on the negotiations as currently reported in the media, written in the style of the British Commission (if we had one):
    As you know the EU27 will be leaving the UK’s single market on 29 March 2019. Britain should not seek to punish the EU27 for this. After all it was the UK who decided to expel the EU27 when triggering Article 50. But the EU27 cannot expect to be better off after it has left. First, the EU27 should settle its divorce bill. For decades Britain has been a net contributor to the EU27 budget. So why should the EU27 believe that it is the UK who owes them money? No, the reverse is true. The UK will be happy to discuss the precise amount during the negotiations. This must be discussed in parallel with the new trade negotiations.
    At its October summit the EU27 spoke some warm words about preparing for a new trading arrangement with the UK. Warm words are not enough. The EU27 needs to clarify its position. After all, the clock is ticking.
    That said, the UK is not in any hurry to reach such a trading agreement. It will revert to WTO rules until a new agreement can be reached. That unfortunately will mean 10% on German motor imports to the UK and there will be higher percentage tariffs on continental food and wine. These tariffs, along with another expected fall in the £ to Euro exchange rate, will unfortunately price many BMWs and cases of Burgundy out of the UK market. The UK will have corresponding tariffs on its exports to the EU, but the projected fall in the exchange rate will offset some of this – as indeed has already been the case. The existing imbalance in traded goods may even be reversed, albeit at a lower level.
    After the EU27 has exited, the UK will be avidly seeking free trade deals with other countries around the world: Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, etc. Those deals that provide the most benefit to the UK should be at the head of the queue. The EU27 has been an important trading partner but its growth rate is very small compared with the rest of the world. So it must expect the UK to do other trade deals first. The EU27 won’t be at the back of the queue, but the UK must put its own interests first.
    Auf Wiedersehen!

  89. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Leaving the CAP will not result in higher food prices. The main effects will be:
    – We will be able to determine which food products are grown in the UK
    – We will be able to import value-for-money produce from wherever we please. It will be continental farmers who lose UK market share.

    There is no rocket science here. It will be a partial return to the status quo ante that existed prior to 1973. Overall, food prices will be lower.

  90. stred
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Late entry. As we will be a third country in any case, deal or no deal, we will need the new customs equipment and lorry parks to inspect them for correct documentation and to ensure they are not carrying illegal stowaways. The main incoming customs are in Calais where there is plenty of space in the derelict industrial area. The French customs are in Dover where there is little room and if they wish to inspect for the same reasons they may need to have a park up the M20. The computer systems and cameras should have been planned and ordered soon after the decision to leave. The fact that the civil service did very little must mean that they saw Brexit as a reversible inconvenience. Ministers should find out why nothing was done and get rid of the saboteurs.

  • 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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