Small Business, Brexit and the budget

The Small Federation of Businesses signed a letter with the CBI talking of unspecified dangers they saw for business from Brexit uncertainties. That letter indeed seemed to want to extend the uncertainties rather than reducing them, by recommending a further two years of delay before we fully exit the EU. They recommend a Transitional period of 2 years. That would need to  be negotiated and agreed with the rest of the EU. It delays adjusting to the new relationship.

There is a muddle in the minds of some who seek a 2 year Transitional period. You cannot have a Transition unless you have in place an Agreement about a new relationship which you are then going to move to. It is best currently to concentrate on negotiating that future relationship. If any implementation period is then needed as a result of that agreement, that would be decided once you know the overall Agreement. The Prime Minister has always been clear about this. As the EU is not yet willing to start negotiating a new relationship the idea of transition looks premature. No future Relationship Agreement, No Transition. If as the PM hopes they soon change their mind and do get on with negotiating a future relationship agreement then there could be implementation time depending on what needs doing to execute the Agreement. If there is no special Agreement, then clearly there is no need for an implementation period.

The overwhelming majority of small businesses do not export to the EU. Their confidence levels and ambitions are dependent on the prosperity of the local and UK economies. They are more interested in lobbying the Chancellor before the budget than in seeking to influence any particular way to leave the EU. Issues that worry the small business community most include the indexation of business rates to the RPI, which they would like eased. Business rates are felt to be high, and hit businesses like High Street shops more than some of their on line competitors.  The small business groups are worried about the reduction of credit in the economy resulting from the macro prudential actions of the Bank of England and  the slowing apparent in recent figures for output. They regret some of the tax rises put through in the 2016 and 2017 budgets, and are keen to resist any changes to the way NI is levied on the self employed.

There is a temptation in some journalism and commentary to attribute everything to Brexit when little that is currently happening is to do with Brexit which still has not happened. Small business wants a positive budget that helps promote growth. An end to monetary tightening combined with some suitable tax cuts would be the best response from government to the needs of small business.

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  1. Duncan
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    So did May ‘beg for help’ from Juncker and Merkel as we are led to believe?

    Is this what my country as been reduced too? Reduced to a laughing stock by a useless Prime Minister who is utterly clueless, rudderless and firmly of the opinion that she is ambivalent about leaving the EU

    Tory backbenchers are directly responsible for this debacle by choosing this hopeless leader. They knew she was a Europhile.

    You all backed May as leader and now we are here. The UK mocked openly by a fool like Juncker.

    I can see were this is going. The CBI is determined to impose itself on these discussions. It is determined to circumvent democracy.

    It is my firm belief that we will never leave the EU in its entirety and every Tory MP will be too blame for backing Theresa May as the leader of our party

    • stred
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      The Cabinet Office seems to be able to find time, apart from managing Project Fear II for Reverse Brexit, to advise the civil service and no doubt businesses before long as to the need to use gender-free language. Apparently, Mrs May and the Remainer Mayjorettes who are keen on women, minorities, equality etc are determined to push language alteration rather than making sure that computer systems, cameras and lorry parks and staff to work them are installed by March 2019. It would be good to find just who it or it is sending this (nonsense ed) etc etc

      • zorro
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the ‘gender neutral’ toilets in the Civil Service! – de rigueur nowadays 😳


      • Hope
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        CBI and business in general had a nine month extension, to the two year period in the delay of sending the letter by May.bwe did not vote for an extension, we did not vote for a registration scheme to allow freedom of movement, we did not vote for ECJ to have any control or say over an citizen living in this country. Davis and May do not have a mandate or legal authority to negotiate any such proposal. We voted leave on its entirety. Those traitorous MPs asking for a vote on an deal are asking to prevent our country leVing the EU.

        It is noteworthy the most vociferous remainer Tory MPs were in Cameron’s cabinet, Grieve, Soubry, Clarke, Morgan. If they do not like the public right to vote they should resign not keep harping on against a legitimate vote which they lost.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      The main problem with T May is she is, at heart, another big government, high tax, interventionist. Clearly a socialist who is infected with the climate alarmism (and indeed even other religions). She clearly likes pissing other people’s money down the drain (on absurdities like HS2, subsidies for renewable lunacies and Hinkley C corrupt overseas aid). She also show little understanding of how to negotiate the UK has a very good hand that she is wasting.

      She seems to have almost no understanding of the private & productive sector (that employs 80% of workers) at all. Does she spend all her time talking only to state sector employees with lots of new ideas for yet more red tape, additional licencing, parasitic job creation schemes and further increased taxes.

      A broken compass Tory PM and electoral disaster yet again – in the Heath, Major, Cameron and now T May mode. Will they never learn? If Hammond budget is as daft as looks likely form the leaks – that will surely be the final straw.

      • Derek Henry
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I’m sick of hearing this lifelogic.

        Put your money where your mouth is and study the accounting between HM Treasury and the BOE.

        Then prove to me your taxes fund government spending ?

        Good luck!

        • Know-Dice
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          Derek, I don’t fully understand where you are coming from although you are not the only person to say this about where Government funding comes from.

          Can you explain in simple terms 🙁 or point to a source that can explain.


      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May is a soft capitalist. Not a socialist.
        Those on the hard right of the Tory party have invented this gnostic, black-and-white notion that if you’re not hard right, then you’re a socialist. Like ‘you’re either for us or against us.’
        Soft capitalism allows for enterprise whilst curbing those who would manipulate the system for their own gain. Soft capitalism is pragmatic about when and how much to tax, invest in infrastructure, privatise and so on.
        Hard capitalism is too ideological. And because of lack of regulation, leads to short-term or else dodgy business practises for a quick buck.
        Hard capitalism does nothing to build up patriotism or capture people’s imaginations which is important to win votes.
        Hard capitalism is essentially just about money – and how to make it as easily as possible.
        Lastly, the only way to really reduce burden on state is to encourage people to work more by encouraging work ethic. As well as a sense of public duty. And once people do this and enjoy their work more, then they will be more healthy physically and psychologically, being less of a burden on the NHS and social services, and paying for themselves more in life.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          America is more hard capitalist than the UK, but it is far more of a broken society. I’ve lived and worked there. What’s more, most people in the UK see themselves as Europeans not Americans. They don’t want American hamburger society/economics/culture imposed on them. Hard capitalism can never work in this country. All it can do is cause a reaction in the left, to turn even more socialist, which is exactly what’s happened now. The revolution to get rid of socialism has failed, to a degree, because some in the Tory party have lurched too far to the right.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, i don’t mean to preach, but i just think this country could be great again. But we can only make it great by:

            1. Encouraging work ethic (through culture mainly). Where the poor work hard with respect to their employers. And employers respect their workers and treat them well.
            2. Sense of public duty and patriotism (through culture). Building up a love for people, culture, arts, nature, heroes, army and so on.

            And it is through work ethic and sense of public duty that you get people working harder, less of a burden on the state, do more charitable work, be more interesting individuals and so on. And all of this within a soft capitalistic environment (because hard capitalism is too obsessively focused on the quickest, easiest buck.

            In order words, making this country is really more down to culture than politics. Politicians can only do so much. The real burden is on parents, people in education, the arts, and work life in general. However, politicians can play an important role in igniting the soft capitalist / work ethic / public duty story. This is the only way to get people back to work again and making our country great in general.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            Hard capitalists also forget that men and women love sex, money and power. And will beg, borrow and steal sometimes to get these things. Such is the desire of all men and women for these from one degree to another. So just as working class people need to be regulated through the law. So do middle class people, including those involved in capitalism. Not destroy capitalism. But regulate to keep in check all those powerful desires in man.

            Hard capitalism forgets all this. It’s too focused on spreadsheets, forgetting human nature and the great, powerful forces (both good and bad) that drive man, whether working class, middle class, upper class, homeless or royalty.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            Lastly, i am NOT condemning hard capitalists (although i think hard capitalism works less well for a country than soft capitalism – and soft capitalism on its own isn’t enough, you also need work ethic and sense of public duty).

            Jesus chose the greedy, conniving, tax-collector, Matthew, as one of his 12 disciples. St Matthew of course experienced a powerful conversion.
            Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol was inspired by the Prodigal Son / The Good Samaritan. And 19th century, hard capitalist Scrooge becomes a sort of St Matthew figure at the end, full of joy (and not exaggerated – that’s what it is like to experience the power of The Divine in one’s life – it sweeps one of one’s feet like it did with Scrooge).

            At its best, soft capitalism + work ethic + sense of public duty creates the kind of companies and work environment we saw under the Quakers, in particular, about 250 to 150 years ago in this country, in the UK. I’m not advocating Quakerism, although i think there’s a lot we can learn from them.

          • NickC
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            Ed, You are the pub bore, and I demand my £5.

        • stred
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Ed. Have you ever thought of writing for the Guardian or getting ordained in the C of E. They like this sort of stuff.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Derek Henry

          You win dumbest post ever posted… thanks a great laugh

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink


      Whilst I share your sentiments about Theresa May, have you forgotten how she became Prime Minister? She won by default because the Brexit candidates all demonstrated that they were unfit for that office while under scrutiny from the media.

      Nothing has changed for me subsequently regarding their “competence” which is why I have signed the petition in support of Jacob Rees-Mogg for leadership of the Conservative Party. I urge you to consider doing the same if you want a genuinely Conservative Prime Minister.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        May got in thanks to Michael Gove going potty and knifing Boris. Then the appalling, vicious and rather pathetic attacks on Andrea Leadsom – when she perfectly reasonably hinted that having children might give one a different perspective, as indeed it usually does in my experience.

        This was turned (by remainiac May supporters) into claiming she had attacked May for her lack of ability to have children – she did nothing of the sort.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      I agree she is plainly inadequate, although no doubt someone with a high sense of duty. But the alternative on offer was Andrea Ledsom, an unthinkable choice as PM.
      Hopefully we can middle through until March 19 and then have a change.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink


        • stred
          Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          ‘Middle through’ describes government by Dithering Doris better. ‘Muddle’ implies unseeing or accidental. It is not that daft. (gender neutral language compliant to code BS CS 1 2017)

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I wonder how many previous Prime Ministers could have withstood similar campaigns of disparagement by enemies both foreign and domestic. I also wonder whether there is anybody else who could take over her role without being subjected to the same kind of treatment. This is a war, a war which is being fought with words rather than bullets but nonetheless a war.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Spot on.The referendum result was a revolution.Ideological revolutions are usually met with counter-revolutions which frequently result in vicious civil wars.With or without bullets.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Ledsom may not be perfect but would have been better than May. She can think on her feet and is not so robotic. With her we would surely have had a sensible chancellor rather than Hammond. She is actually a genuine “low tax at heart Conservative” (rather than a fake Cameron/Osborne one), she was sound on Brexit and I think she even understands what a complete nonsense things like HS2, Hinkely C, the renewable subsidies, the climate alarmism religion, gender pay reporting, anti gazumping laws and the race disparity audits are.

        • Glenn Vaughan
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          Guesswork from “Lifelogic” – as usual!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      It is my firm belief that we will never leave the EU in its entirety . . .

      Mine as well.

      We will leave the EU but sign up to everything either immediately thereafter or, over time. We will just not be part of Schengen and the Euro. Our veto will be the ability to pick and choose. But there is a catch. The EU will at some point want to tidy things up – in its favour of course. And countries like the UK, Norway and Switzerland will be offered EU Associate member status (EU-Lite).

      From, Ode to Joy too, Welcome to the Hotel California / Brussels 😉

      You’ve been warned !

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        We will leave the EU but of course we will not sever all relations with the EU and its member states as some Remainers liked to pretend. For example it has already been agreed that continuing co-operation to defeat terrorism will not be made conditional upon the outcome of withdrawal negotiations.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I suspect you are right. Had Michael Gove not knifed Boris we would have had a good chance. But under May I suspect we will leave in name only and perhaps even end up with Corbyn.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Stalling Brexit was the intention of putting a Remainer in charge.

      Her heart is not in it and that’s all it takes to kybosh it. No sabotage – just half heartedness.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Actually I think her heart is in it. She was only moderately in favour of staying in the EU and having lost the vote on that she is now prepared to do her best to get us out on the most favourable terms. The same cannot be said for many others in positions of power and influence, traitors who simply cannot accept that we had the “once in a generation” referendum and they lost it.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink



    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It is not transition it is an extension hoping to change our minds. Another obstacle to prevent leaving. It should be soundly rejected. While in the extension they cannot obtain trade deals with the rest of the world as the U.K. Will be under EU control, ECJ jurisdiction, free movemement continues. It is a specious sham to keep us in. This creates uncertainty by not getting on without EU intereference.

      JR, any extension should be rejected we did not vote for it,there is no mandate to extend no mandate for any continued EJC to any citizen living in our country. Davis does not have a mandate to negotiate this. May has already tried it give a different meaning to her capitulating Florence speech. We did not vote for what she claims and she has no mandate to change leave in its entirety per the question given to the public and dopey leaflet Cameron gave every household.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Any transitional period(s) would be AFTER we had left the EU, just as for example the transitional provisions in the amending Treaty of Lisbon started to operate AFTER the treaty as a whole had come into force.



        WHEREAS, in order to organise the transition from the institutional provisions of the Treaties applicable prior to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon to the provisions contained in that Treaty, it is necessary to lay down transitional provisions,

        HAVE AGREED UPON the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community …








        • Hope
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Dennis, all fine and dandy, but Labour have indicated an indefinite transition, Hammond wants more than two years and Tusk said on,t days ago the UK can change its mind. The sooner a clean break the better, March 2019.

      • acorn
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Hope, please tell me how you think your life and your families life, is going to be better after Brexit? How exactly is the EU currently subjugating your existence? Which EU laws are stopping you having a good family life every day of the year? How do you think a Brexiteer government in 2022, will make it better?

        • Know-Dice
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          acorn, the other side of that coin is – how do you believe that life would be better if we stay in the EU?

          Is an EU super state with an army (this does already exist) and taxes paid directly to Brussels something to look forward to?

          Is the continued drip drip of UK taxes paid to the expanding outskirts of the EU something you want?

          For me, to maintain the status quo and push it back is what I expect from this separation.

          • acorn
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

            Every member of the UN wants to be part of a trading bloc. If you can get in with the premier league big three, cushty. The three or four in the Championship league are nearly as good.

            The UK is the only one wanting to start a new league with one team in it.

            All the current “super states” are federally constructed and use transfer payments from one state to another to balance up the society they chose to form. Have a look at how the US federal tax system attempts to balance out the fifty states economies.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink


            piffle, I think youlll find the most successful happiest, wealthiest and healthiest countries are ALL non EU countries trading quite happily on their own

            Its just so boring hearing from people who lack any form of strategic vision , creativity or entrepreneurial spirit. Brexit throws up so many opportunities for the future its hard to begin listing them . What makes me laugh is how people like you put down the UK , tell us how we can’t do or make anything anymore but then ignore the fact that IF this was true it would be entirely due to having been in the EU for 40 years . You can lecture about the benefits or otherwise of truee free trade the day you ever start a business and try it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      “So did May ‘beg for help’ from Juncker and Merkel as we are led to believe?”

      During the war Goebbels ran a systematic propaganda campaign against Churchill to try to weaken his leadership in Britain and his standing around the world. However that was a time when most of those working in the British mass media had enough patriotism to see through it and counteract it rather than assist it.

      • Hope
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, as point out Davis should have a dedicated media team to counter rot from the EU.

        However, there is ev ray reason to doubt May with her appalling g record and that of Cameron before her.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Duncan, I fear you are correct, especially your analysis of Theresa May. She is over promoted. The Remain civil service ensures we appease the EU in the same manner we did in 1972. Yes, Minister is true in essence. It is all a bit of a mess.

      Both campaigns were absolutely clear that leaving meant leaving the single market etc. And it was to be done fast – Cameron promised to invoke Art50 on 24th June 2016. Only the Referendum gave a clear mandate; there was no endorsement at the election for Mrs May’s grovelling to the EU. So she must be replaced.

    • James Doran
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative Party has the leader it deserves. Inept and utterly devoid of ideas.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Dr. Redwood, the question you could have asked the PM yesterday:

    Will my R H friend agree that to provide our country with the certainty it needs for a safe transition out of the EU is to stop wasting time continuing negotiating with the EU bureaucracy, and use the remaining time and money that we would have given them for a further two years transition, to prepare the nation for exit in 2019 on WTO terms?”

    Why do the Tory back benchers not stand up and tell it like it is, that’s why you’re there!

    • sm
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      You are overlooking Parliamentary procedures, surely? However much an MP may wish to ask a question in the Chamber, s/he depends on the co-operation of the Speaker.

      And neither you, Peter, nor I, know whether Mr Redwood has said precisely that to the PM in private!

      • stred
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        sm. No point in trying to ask why we can invite dictators and communists who don’t allow free speech to a full queen monty but not the president of our closest big ally who was keen to offer a trade deal.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood,

      Because the WTO terms are not as easy and as straight forward as they have been presented and will take time to introduce as a British solution as oppose to the Eu solution we are currently using with the WTO nor does the WTO cover services.

      • NickC
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Hans, Everthing you’ve said there is incorrect. The WTO trade deal is straightforward, and already used by our exporters to the rest of the world. The WTO rules are a lot simpler than the EU’s. The few minor RTAs added by the EU don’t change the essence of the WTO trading deal.

        From the WTO website: “At its heart are the WTO agreements . . . signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations. . . . They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies . . . . the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business …”.

        “British solutions” already exist. Do you actually think that EU bureaucrats operate our ports, airports, HMRC, etc? We will simply swap EU rules for WTO rules, which we already use.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          All Eu members are operating as one block in trade with the rest of the World (look it up), this means that we have made deals with a big part of the rest of the World under teh Eu umbrella. If, we leave we then have to take on the Eu deal as it exists with the WTO, or we ahve to re-negotiate the terms that are covered on tariffs with each country through the WTO, this is how this works and I would suggest you look it up again

          • NickC
            Posted October 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Hans, You stated the WTO doesn’t cover services. It does. Accept that you are wrong.

            I suggest you look up the actual RTAs negotiated by the EU – they are relatively trivial compared with the fundamentally far more important and far reaching original WTO rules.

            Moreover we have already signed a joint letter with the EU to the WTO, assuring third countries that their quota deals with the EU will be honoured pro-rata. Half of what you are worrying about is already agreed, and according to WTO principles the rest will follow.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        On the other it’s quite possible that nobody will care very much if the UK has not disentangled its WTO schedules before it leaves the EU. After all the EU has not updated its schedules from when it had only 15 member states but nobody is strongly objecting and threatening to cut off trade.

      • David Price
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        WTO S/L/92 28 March 2001

        Adopted by the Council for Trade in Services on 23 March 2001

      • libertarian
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink


        For the umpteenth time the EU DOESNT COVER SERVICES either…. are you hard of thinking ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      A long transition period gives the EU time to move our banks without a cliff edge. The cliff edge scenario in our banking district would sink the EU. It is our strength in negotiations, not our weakness.

    • Norman
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Remember the saying attributed to Oliver Cromwell, as his men crossed a river on horseback to join battle with the enemy: ‘TRUST IN GOD, AND KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY!’
      Even in my Civil Service career, one had to recognize the limits of what one could achieve in highly-charged polemics – otherwise blowing one’s chances of success altogether. Such battles are invariably ideological, and seriously so!
      Even so, the PM has a very precipitous path to tread, and is no doubt aware of the stakes, and the spectrum of prominent back bench opinion. If she gets this wrong, and Mr Corbyn gets in, a reconstituted, reformed Conservative government could eventually ensue – but don’t hold your breath. Follow Cromwell”s advice – and accept that victory isn’t altogether in your gift!

      • Peter Wood
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for these comments/criticisms. I have three main objectives:
        1. We do not have the luxury of time; this is an existential risk to UK as it looks as though we are being strung along until there is not enough time to change course resulting in remaining in the EU on the worst possible terms.
        2. Get Mrs May to start leading the debate, not grudgingly moving along by being shoved from behind one way or other.
        3. Get the WTO terms on the table for serious discussion. These are NOT the worst outcome; half in half out and still paying full contributions is far worse, and that’s where we’re heading!

    • Malcolm White
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree with you more.

      We need bold, unequivocal statements from Government. Not the wishy washy claptrap that seems to be the speak of the day. Let’s tell it like it is and get on with leaving.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Have always found Business Rates and Employers’ NI hard to understand–Given the work and worry that businesses are forced to do and suffer for the Government (collecting PAYE, VAT, Workplace Pension, Maternity Leave, Minimum Wage, excessive Employment Law etc) one might have thought the Government would at least have the grace not to charge businesses for doing it all free for them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink


      My UK businesses employ around 29 people. We could easily expand. to two or three times the size. If we had simpler employment laws, relaxed planning laws, cheaper non green crap energy, simpler lower taxes, a bonfire or red tape and more competition in banking we would.

      Also if we have more confidence in the UK. Something is not at all enhanced, to say the least, by the zero vision socialists May and Hammond (and with Corbyn and McDonnell waiting in the wings).

      The tax laws also force so many wealthy and hard working people either to move abroad or not settle in the UK. Why have such economically damaging & destructive tax laws? These raise less tax in the end by killing the economy. The hugely damaging taxes are IHT at 40%, CGT 28% on non real gains, stamp duty at up to 15% and income tax at up to 45% all all far to high for the good of the UK economy. As is the absurdly expensive climate alarmist religion energy they force on to us. And the appallingly damaging new T tax.

      Get the damn government out of the way please.

    • Jonathan Stewart
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Business’ use roads.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Dear Jonathon–What?–Do not business vehicles pay Road Tax??–I believe they do and that lorries and trucks pay commensurately (much) more.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Almost anything from government (licencing, statistics gathering, tax laws, NI, work place pensions, employment laws, refuse, building regulations, health and safely planning, deductions for maintenance, student loans ……….takes hours to complete with endless reading of multiple pages of guidance (often contradictory guidance) and then very often calls to phone lines with very long delays and very often people at the end who know less about the subject than you do.

      It is a brilliant way to distract the productive, lower productivity still further and to create more parasitic jobs. Often forcing one to pay “experts” large sums to guide you through this man made maze of red tape lunacy. May and Hammond want even more of it.

      • Derek Henry
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        “Get the damn government out of the way please.”

        I’m sure the bankers said that long before 2007. Then came crawling on their hands and knees asking the government to save them.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Given the work and worry that businesses are forced to do and suffer for the Government (collecting PAYE, VAT, Workplace Pension, Maternity Leave, Minimum Wage, excessive Employment Law etc) one might have thought the Government would at least have the grace not to charge businesses for doing it all free for them.

      I’m not looking for sympathy, but my brother, a small business owner for the last 15 years or so, has just passed away. His business just about made him a living – and he had no choice but to run it – he was too old (in his 60s) to get a job and his pensions were not enough to live on. Whenever we spoke I would ask ‘how’s business’ and usually would be treated to a litany of the stress he was undergoing regarding … business rates (just up a lot), VAT, running the payroll, paying Employer’s NI, having to run a workplace pension and so on. The poor lad spent all day working to make money and all evening working, unpaid, for the government. He died in his sleep, I think he’d just had enough.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mike–Such is the way it is–Think how many more people would be employed if some sort of amelioration were actioned–Bit like your brother’s case, a friend who inherited a business from his father would now all but rather die than hire staff–He would rather stay up all night (on his computer and accounting package) than do it, what with its being so onerous to keep them on even if they are good and so difficult and legally risky to let anybody go if they are not.

      • Hope
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        And for May to watefully give away his hard earned taxes on foreign aid, EU infrastructure projects,

      • Tweeter_L
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Mike Wilson– I was very sorry to read this. My husband ran a small business but for 20 years, I joined him in it for 10 of those. It all ended in stress, stress, stress- much of it caused by government red tape. I can understand a little of what your brother went through and can only say I am sorry you have such painful memories.

      • stred
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Stress from government tax and regulation should be a Health and Safety matter. I know members of my family who died early after years dealing with it. I got out early to avoid it and keep my income low to avoid excessive tax. My bird works 12 hours or more and weekends and it is now paying at 60% on income between 100k and 125k. Only a few more years to go if it manages to keep fit. Sorry to read about your brother.

    • roger
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Business rates are just another form of tax upon the customer, hidden amongst the input costs that make up the retail price. We could call it a sales tax since that is what it is, but then it would be out in the open and visible as such to the public.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        That suggests business owners would not just pocket the proceeds if the tax wasn’t there.


        Business should pay towards infrastructure as they use it. It should however be a level playing field.

  4. Caterpillar
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Forbes reports airlines just preparing pragmatically, no problems to see here.

  5. Peter
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    According to some news reports Mrs. May has declared there will be no transition unless there is a trade deal in place with the EU first. This is being interpreted as putting pressure on the EU and moving a step closer to a No Deal exit.

    Other news reports say there will be further delays in trade talks so Mrs. May can hold on to Leave and Remain factions within the Conservative party for a little bit longer.

    Of course one newspaper or another will publish almost any rumour in search of readers.

    I don’t know what to believe. I am sure I am not the only one.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      As a general rule journalists are interested in getting/keeping readers/viewers far more than they are interested in telling the truth. It’s obvious that if you are going have any kind of transition then you need to have a starting point and a finishing point, and it may be better to know what the finishing point will be.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Beyond me why we do not advise the rEU right now that it will be No Deal when we leave and that, following their attempts at extortion, we are now Full Steam Ahead planning accordingly (this might need booting out the uninspiring Hammond –a step in the right direction if there ever were one) but that, as ever and of course, our door is open. This boil needs lancing. We should, while we are at it, remind them that the clock is ticking. Of course there will be transient difficulties–SFW?–When have there not when trying to achieve something admittedly challenging?

  6. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I heard a small businessman who imports components from the EU on a radio show who was positive about the WTO option. This was met with incredulity of course “Do you actually KNOW what tariffs you’d have to pay ?” He was asked. Fortunately he did: 1.2% – as he pointed out this is trivial compared with his bigger problem of Tory government perpetual tinkering with tax and NI rates and regulations.

  7. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    There are 2 points to come out of this. Firstly I cannot see the need for a rigid framework to work towards. A transition time I agree is moving from one thing to another ,but surely this has been suggested not only to allow time for the mechanics of movement but also for testing the waters and reviewing the problems which are met on the way.It is a new shaping to allow more flexibility.
    Secondly the banks do not like the lack of interest coming in on the credit they allow customers and are consequently tightening their belts, but they need to remember that this scenario has been initiated by the public who saw their savings , investments and their businesses fall by the action of the banks( and others who allowed the ethos of spend spend spend to correct problems)

    • getahead
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      B-J, you generally transit from one place to another, otherwise it is not a transition.
      As I have said elsewhere, what the Chancellor is seeking is not a transition but an extension.

      • margaret
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Well yes!, it is stating the obvious for a reason. My point was that a framework which denotes a point and time in space to move to would incorporate that transition, however a rigid form of that ‘point’ is not required as there must be flexibility in the transition to address the unseen.

  8. Nig l
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Small business forums would achieve greater success if they concentrated more on improving the internal management of who they represent rather than external factors. Of course they are important but creating a victim culture where it is every one else’s fault, whilst it may encourage subscriptions, is not what SME’s need, I specifically say need not want.

    Good management was the key differentiator between successful businesses and less so, that I worked with.

  9. formula57
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Does not the Small business Bureau know that one is judged by the company one keeps and that the brief moment when the CBI could be treated seriously (when Digby Jones ran it) has long passed?

  10. eeyore
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Is there not something rather pathetic about businessmen demanding certainty? Surely they know that where there’s uncertainty there’s opportunity. Their job is to look into the future, assess possibilities and risks, place their bets and live in hope. If they can’t cope with that they’re in the wrong job.

    Anyway, there are far bigger uncertainties than Brexit. Farmers must plan four years ahead, not having a clue what the market or even the weather will bring. Exterior decorators and groundworks contractors, even more weather-sensitive, can’t plan even 24 hours ahead.

    I hope the government pays little attention to CBI whinging. We all live with uncertainty. None knows what the morrow will bring.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Eeyore, There are indeed “far bigger uncertainties than Brexit”. Remaining in the EU would be one of them. That is because the rules even for our domestic economy are at the whim of the EU. We can leave and decide our own domestic rules; or remain and have only a paltry influence on the EU.

    • getahead
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Uncertainty is a Remainer construction. Didn’t you know Brexit causes uncertainty?

  11. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink


    However, a lot of small businesses import from the EU and therefore need the certainty of an extra two years to plan there future trading and investment relationships, which is why a two year transition is important for small businesses as well, whether they import or export.

    But with your great responsibilities in Parliament and in your c0nstituency it can often be difficult to keep up to date with all in the business world as well.

    I wold recommend that you read my chapter “SMEs and Brexit” in the book from Bloomsbury Professional. “Doing Business After Brexit, A Practical Guide to teh Legal Changes”

    Which will give you a better understanding of the Brexit challenges for SMEs.

    Reply I am well aware of the issues. Most SMEs do not export

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink


      I am sorry but that is really not a very valid reply to back up your argument?

      • stred
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Why would anyone want to read a book by someone who gets its facts and figures wrong, then doesn’t retract them?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Small businesses I speak to will not need two extra years to arrange the supply of parts and materials they currently purchase.
      Most purchasing managers already have several suppliers for everything they buy, just in case.
      They will continue to buy from EU suppliers and I bet they in the EU will be happy to continue to supply them.
      Any tariffs can be absorbed.
      But if there is a particularly large price change small companies will soon switch to non EU sources.
      A few weeks perhaps but not a few years.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        this really depends on whether they are part of a larger European supply chain which lots of them are

        • Edward2
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Chains are not unchangeable.
          The chain is always looking at better or cheaper or more local companies.
          Alternative suppliers are always out there in the world wanting to supply.

        • stred
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Larger supply chains should find dealing with forms easier than small businesses. The firms will co-operate to have their electronic paperwork and marked freight ready and sent in large batches. Any customs officer who decided to take a train carrying engines apart and inspect every bit of the delivery while waving your book would soon find itself out of a job. Same for idiot politicians like Verhofsad.

    • David Price
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      @hci – Your performance on these blogs gives you no credibility as an expert so to advertise your wares is arrogant, not to say ill mannered given your condescending remarks to our host.

      I run a small business, I do not trade with the EU but import components from other parts of the world. I do not need a transition period, I will continue getting best value and quality were I need to and accommodate any tariffs that change.

      I certainly don’t see why I and my customers should have to subsidise your business because you choose to trade with the EU.

  12. JimS
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    “You cannot have a Transition unless you have in place an Agreement about a new relationship which you are then going to move to.”

    Equally how can one have a ‘divorce settlement’ if one doesn’t know what the arrangements are going to be ‘post-divorce’? To my mind the EU has put the ‘cart before the horse’ and we are stupid if we have agreed to that.

    • Miss Brandreth-Jones
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      However this is not a divorce and there will be many unseen circumstances on the way. If you try and make rigid rules to apply without having seen these problems it will be a case of trying to fit circumstance to rules which were applied without knowledge.
      I am going through a situation at present where similar rigid rules have been made and the business and the customers will not get the same service. Resources already overloaded will have to be used and many may fall on the way.

  13. a-tracy
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Who are the Small business Bureau, after 34 years in business i’ve never heard of them, who are they representing, do they have paid members?

  14. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Small businesses need to grow and that normally implies expanding the work force.

    Taking on a youngster today is just not worth the hassle and all the paperwork.

    I would love to have taken youngsters on and teach them the skills of working for and with customers.

    Every time I sat down with the accountant, the figures just never stacked up to make it worth while considering all the extra work and worry and that all small businesses are controlled by what the market forces dictate they will be paid and sadly customers object to pay for the training of apprentices, so you employ someone and lose business and have hours wasted doing all the required paperwork

  15. ferdinand
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    To sum it up for small businesses – as for large incidentally – is get the state off our backs and free up markets.

  16. Richard1
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Surveys show a high proportion of EU citizens contemplate leaving. This is bad news and is a result of the complete failure of Mrs May to give anything other than a very muddled steer as to what their status will be. Likewise Damian Green who was taking the attitude post referendum when challenged in this ‘you voted for Brexit now this is the sort of trade off we need to make’. In this sense we would have been much better off with leaders who are prepared to make clear and bold moves for the moral high ground. We really need a pro market pro growth budget and not more statist virtue signalling – interventionist tinkerings such as are rumoured.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      George Osborne in the Standard claims Liam Fox has given up with the idea of a free trade deal in goods with the US due to scares over chlorine washed chicken. Can this be true?!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        The answer to your question can be found in your first two words.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        It’s Halloween every week with Boy George!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Pathetic, especially when the press continually report the case of infected chickens in our supermarkets from home and European markets.

  17. Mark B
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    From section 3 of Article 50.

    . . . . unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

    We do not need a ‘transition period’. If business cannot cope, then it either needs to redouble its efforts ahead of the deadline for leaving or, lobby the government and the 27 other EU members into enacting an extension. This will of course mean that the UK will still have MEP’s, a seat at the Council of Ministers – ie a Full paying member.

    A transition is worse than the aforementioned, as it gives us no say but we still have to pay the bills of a full member.

    Either that, or we just leave as arranged.

    As many here know, I am a supporter of being a member of the EEA for a limited time. Not perfect but, it will solve many of the issues we have whilst we get our act together. But the government, rather unwisely, ruled that option out and know finds itself in an even worse mess.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      But it wouldn’t be “a limited time”, would it.

  18. Jonathan Stewart
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    You and the PM have misunderstood Article 50 I am afraid. It is merely for negotiating the “framework” of the future relationship.

    All set out very clearly here:

    You can argue that this interpretation of A.50 is incorrect if you like, but sadly, your view does not matter, the UK is the smaller partner in this negotiation, and their interpretation is what counts.

    After all, if you disagree, what court are you going to take it to?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      The view of that renegade commentator counts for infinitely less than the view of the UK government … not only was he was totally wrong with his carefully thought out prediction that the EU referendum could not take place before 2017 at the earliest – thank goodness few people believed him – but since the government has rejected his pet route for leaving the EU he has transformed from Leaver to Remoaner – which is why other Remoaners now flock to his blog.

      Article 50 TEU is here:

      It says:

      “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

      So it is not “merely for negotiating the “framework” of the future relationship”, it is to negotiate and conclude an agreement “taking account of the framework for its future relationship”; that is open to various interpretations, and of course you and he choose to accept the EU’s preferred interpretation.

      As I have repeatedly said, the UK government needs to make sure that the rest of the world understands that the EU has resolved to adopt a stupid interpretation of that article and insists on a stupid procedure for the negotiations; there is a kind of court of world opinion, and for the sake of our future alliances that is where we should be making our case against the EU.

  19. a-tracy
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Personally I don’t think the CBI or the ‘Small Business Bureau?’ should be presenting anything unless more than 75% of their paid members have voted for what they are claiming and that this is put in the letter just what representative figure for the whole of the UK’s SMEs and larger business voice they are.

    • hefner
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      75% indeed. What about 52 vs. 48%. Beware what you are saying.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Beware nothing, 73% of the UK population voted in the referendum, £9 million was spent by the government encouraging everyone to vote and we knew what % of the population voted. A majority larger than the population of Brussels voted to leave and that is what I was asking for, are you sure that small businesses that are connected with these organisations were even asked for their opinion. If a business organisation is reported extensively to be talking for their members don’t you think their members should be asked first, or the % of the members that expressed an opinion or voted should be logged – over the the CBI and Small Business Bureau (that I’ve never even heard of) how many of your paid up members were asked for their opinion.

  20. Epikouros
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It is certainly true that a vested interest will shamelessly jump on any bandwagon and hang onto any coattails that will further their cause. So small businesses backing the CBI for wanting something that does not effect them and is in any case premature and ill considered is no surprise if your analysis of the reason is to be believed and I certainly do. Even the CBI is not being honest. It is not worried about Brexit for quite the reasons they give. What they want is to keep the EU regulations, red tape and protectionism that shelters them from competition which they fear Brexit may remove.

    I have a lot of sympathy for small business they are after all are the economic backbone of the economy and are the one that push innovation, entrepreneurship, competition and best serve consumers. Philip Hammond and the BoE are certainly not doing them or consumers any favours. What they are doing is attempting to stop a financial crisis that by their action to address the last one and the constant interference in the market place by politicians is creating a new one. Their actions appear to be precipitous so may in fact do the opposite of that which wish to achieve but then that has become normal practice. The answer of course is less BoE and government very much so in fact and more to allow market forces to drive the economy allowing the best to succeed and the worst to fail. The left will not allow that of course but then they never like rational ways of doing things.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Good piece by Kate Andrews in the Telegraph today about “the envy on no one sensible” the rather appalling NHS. We are taxed to the hilt yet public services are nearly all dire often even killing thousands.

  22. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Jim O’Neill, ex Goldman Sachs and Osborne team, on the Briefing Room R4 programme last week was bemoaning that the Brexit trade team were ignoring China and saying that the Northern Powerhouse project was vital and how influential he was in its creation. His example was selling high cost fashion items was a key to our exporting to China. My view is that we have exported our industrial base for short term gain and yes we need to re-establish industry in the North and elsewhere as a priority and displace unnecessary imports.

    He appears to miss the contradiction and weakness in his argument as do many on this tortured EU exit and your piece is another example of this logic blindness.

  23. MikeP
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t a way of levelling the playing field for High St shops be to levy a specific tax on merchandise bought online? As two of the primary contenders for this are (named companies ed), both US companies paying way below what they should in tax, some sort of tariff for their disproportionate access to our market (for the corporation taxes they pay and their choice of tax haven Luxembourg for their base) would bring in funds that could be redistributed to smaller non-exporting companies in lower business rates.

  24. William Long
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    This muddled thinking is a direct and unsurprising result of the failure of those few members of the Government who really believe we should be leaving the EU to stand up and explain the advantages of doing so, and the likely process, both by the ‘Agreement’ and WTO routes. Instead they seem content to let the Remainers and the EU negotiators keep the initiative. Boris seems to be the only one prepared to open his mouth; I suppose Davis would plead he has to shelter under the brim of his Chief Negotiator hat, but where are the others?

  25. alan jutson
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct, a transition period is exactly that it is not a negotiation extension period.

    Any negotiations should be totally complete by 31st December 2018 or before if both sides are sensible.

  26. Monza 71
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Any definition of a “transitional” or “implementation” period would mean moving from one known type of relationship to another. It therefore can only be involked when the shape of the final relationship is is known.

    After the Florence speech there were two problems :

    1. Merkel et al assumed that Mrs May just offered them €20bn without conditions which would tide them over till 2020.

    2. Desperate Remainers assumed Mrs May was prepared to effectively extend our membership for a further 2 years.

    Neither could be the case. Never mind the £50-100bn, pressure is now on the EU side because they can now see the £20bn disappearing before their eyes unless they agree a trade deal quickly.

    A very clever strategy by our government and one the Opposition should support.

  27. Colin Hide
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Wise words as always.

    J0hn, the government is so bad a communicating all of what you say to the public. As you say the transition period cannot be agreed until we know what we are transiting too – as set out in the Treaty. Yet this is poorly understood and not reported by the MSM.

    Why doesn’t the Goevernement have a “State of the Union” address to the country to point this out? Not Ms May – she is a very poor communicator and only winds people up – but someone who is a good at speaking and voted for BREXIT.

  28. Chris S
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Having read just about everything in the print media since the summit it appears that nothing really has changed other than a softening of the words used.

    The 27 are still demanding :

    £50-70bn plus the £20bn for the transition period.

    No truly “free” trade deal without FOM.

    An ongoing role for the ECJ in respect of EU citizens living in the UK.

    A satisfactory deal therfore seems as far away as ever, especially with Verhofstdt and co ready and willing to scupper any deal that looks remotely attractive for us.

    No Deal is looking more attractive by the day…

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, good comment – my feelings too !

  29. BOF
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The whole concept of transition is entirely bogus. There is no option that could be more damaging or provide scope and ammunition to Brexit wreckers than a further two years in no man’s land.

    It will massively inhibit business from advancing as it is bound to be linked to governance from the ECJ, free movement etc. and bound to play havoc with our ability to make our own deals with other countries. Also unacceptable to the electorate.

    Mrs May must realise that the only way to get business to focus is to abandon this ridiculous idea and state categorically that we leave and if the EU does not wish to reciprocate with a free trade agreement, then WTO rules will apply.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Bogus ,yes yes, yes !

      It just seems to be a cover for the payment of £20 bn to the EU while keeping her buddies Hammond , Rudd , Green on board .

      In the House yesterday she talked about negotiating for ‘the people’ and then about going through the exit bill line by line .

      How about admitting that we are skint and to pay a huge exit bill we would have to print more money .
      That would precipitate another fall in the GBP just as Mark Carney’s unnecessary intervention after the referendum achieved .

      That course means higher import costs for ‘the people ‘ .

      All the costs of Brexit will eventually fall on ‘the people ‘. Even the derisory £250 million apparently allocated to ‘no deal ‘ so far .

  30. Eric Sorensen
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    If business wants certainty then drop out of negotiations and duplicate whatever tariffs the EU wants to impose if any. Drop tariffs on non-EU goods and EU businesses will soon have a word with Berlin to help out and keep exporting to the UK.

    Go public with EU demands for compensation so voters can see that payments are to cover issues/costs that are self-imposed, i.e., not subject to third party commitments entertained while the UK is a member state and therefore not legal obligations. Put differently: payment to be invited to tariff negotiations.

    Why is this so difficult for the UK government to work with?

  31. Bob
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Frau Merkel is being a little more supportive of Mrs May to prevent a leadership challenge leading to a pro leave Prime Minister.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the papers.

      • Bob
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        I don’t.

  32. stred
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The Commission does not seem to be too enthusiastic about the new goodwill towards the deal. Mr Tusk thinks it is now down to the British if we want a deal, as they apparently do. Presumably, as before, this will entail Mrs May quietly handing over much more borrowed money in order to fund their future infrastructure projects and tax- free enormous pensions. They are also telling the European and British public that the troublesome MPs calling for a possible exit without a deal are going to cause chaos and a disaster. Well, if they think this then why not stop the extortion approach? The British equivalens of French tv propaganda may be leading them to the conclusion that we are a pushover.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      We are still having to fund an EU infrastructure project called HS2 .

      I very much doubt we would have thought this up ourselves without the wish to be good Europeans and conform to their plan .

      Due to a lack of connection between HS1 and HS2 [ to save money ? ] we will end up with a domestic NOT international route which should have been the aim .

      Did the EU fund this project – NO .
      We cannot fund both EU infrastructure and our own .

      • stred
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        The amount of the pay to trade blackmail is likely to be around the same as HS2 infrastructure, while we pay for Romanian motorways and can’t afford our own dual carriageways.

  33. acorn
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    A while back I did some numbers on replacing Business Rates (BR) with a single Council Tax (CT). If I remember correctly, CT averages about 0.6% of property value and BR about 4.8%. They will each gross about £30 billion this year. The single CT would come to 1.2% of the value of ALL types of property, (no tax bands and no cap on property value like now). 1.2% would be circa the median that is paid in France and the US for instance.

    Now politically impossible to introduce in the UK.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      So you think someone renting a tiny flat in London worth £390,000 should pay £4680pa Council tax? But someone with a five bedroomed three storied home and four working adults in a property in Newcastle worth £390,000 should pay the same?

      • acorn
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        I can’t write the whole paper here. Have a look at the French system where the tax is split between the occupier and the owner. Taxe d’Habitation – French Residence Tax and Taxe Foncière – Property Ownership Tax.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 28, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          I don’t live in France, I’ve no interest in French taxes, I just want to know if I’m clear on what you think is better for us. If you share a property tax in the U.K. To any landlord they would pass that charge on in the rent to their tenant.

  34. Know-Dice
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    So Donald Tusk says

    “The EU will be “defeated” in Brexit negotiations unless it maintains absolute unity”

    That’s not a statement you would expect from somebody who is trying to reach a negotiated settlement…Hammond was right calling the EU “the enemy”…

    • Mick
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      He also said it’s up to London for a good deal no deal or no Brexit, I’m not to concern about the first two But should it be a no Brexit then the 650 MPs will see the voter turn on them big time , and the eu will see that there is life outside the Westminster bubble and London especially north of the Watford gap

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      But on the other hand we have Herr Hans-Olaf Henkel MEP, to Herr Juncker “would you agree on a price for anything before you know what you would get for it? “.


      “the EU’s stance was – illogical, dangerous and unfair”

      Paraphrasing the song title “We’ve got a friend in you”…

  35. Nig l
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Off topic but read the article in Conservative Women by Laura (Perkins?) sums up everything that many, certainly your bloggers, feel. What a shame people are voting, not for you, but against the other guy.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    These business organisation have sent their letter to the wrong address. There is little point in urging the UK government to get on and provide certainty about the future when it is the EU which is holding up progress in the Brexit negotiations, and they should have addressed their plea to Brussels. In the view of the EU it is far more important to extort as much money as possible from the UK rather than giving certainty to business, either here or elsewhere in the EU. They are the ones who should be told to change their stupid tune, not the UK government which has always wanted to adopt the obviously much more sensible procedure of running negotiations on trade in parallel to the secondary issues. But as usual almost all of those working in the UK media, loyal to the EU and habitually denigrating patriotism as vile nationalism or nativism or racism, are perfectly content to see the blame wrongly laid at the door of our government.

  37. Bert Young
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Small and large businesses have the same ambition – to make a profit . The Chancellor has one ambition – to increase revenue . There is one solution for all – reduce taxation . Simplicity never seems to enter the heads of those running Government Departments because bureaucracy is the mainstay and protection of the individual Civil Servant’s future . Driving wedges into establishments ought to be the quest for all Ministers ; it never seems to happen because the very act of their personal ambition gets in the way ; seeking favour and attention is at the top of the queue .

  38. Fed Up and Angry
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Here’s the problem I see with the WTO option – hopefully someone can tell me I’m wrong with a reasoned explanation though! To go to WTO and make it work with EU trade, we’ll need some kind of customs agreement with the EU – otherwise UK goods will be subject to lengthy inspections. I am 100% sure that in the event of no trade deal, the EU will refuse to agree to anything around customs inspections (unless we agree to their ridiculous divorce bill); they are quite happy to shoot themselves in the foot if they can hurt the UK and send a message to other EU countries.

    The government IMO should now be spending 90% of its time planning for this situation so that disruption can be kept to the minimum. The more time businesses have to plan for the no deal, the more time they have to seek alternative markets in the event that the EU plays hardball.

    Reply Try reading the Facilitation of trade Agreement which the WTO brought into effect in Feb 2017

  39. henryS
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    JR writes his piece daily and very good it is for breakfast reading, he invites comments and posts straight away most of the ones he agrees with and also posts some of what he sees are the more harmless ones. But the comments he dislikes most for their tone or content he delays posting until later in the day when he considers they will have less of an impact. He even disallows some altogether according to some friends who also contribute.

    Having amongst ourselves our own discussion it is very interesting to read the delayed pieces and the censored ones and then cross reference them with earlier interviews and blogs in that way we can get a truer picture of political thinking coming from the Tory right wing. Can’t say as I agree with Liam Halligan’s latest today…even with the truth staring him straight in the face he’s way off track.

    Reply Not so. I delay posting longer ones whether for or against as I do not have time to read them until later in the day or the next day. I delete any which make unfounded or un proven allegations against named individuals whatever their views and allegiances.

    • Peter
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I must say I think Henry is not far off the mark here regarding moderation. Some posters have numerous comments up before others even get a look in.

      Furthermore, it is not simply longer posts that are delayed or those that cast aspersions on individuals.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      If I owned this blog I would not allow personal attacks and offensive comments to be made from behind pseudonyms. Trolls are treated very generously here.

    • Andy
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      It is HIS blog and he can do as he likes. I find he seems to allow critical posts and censors merely to stop legal problems. If you don’t like it then you are not compelled to come here.

    • rose
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      How do you know what is in the censored ones when you can’t see them?

      This all sounds paranoid to me. Keep them short and they will get through straight away. Make them long and they will take longer. Censored ones? Well we can’t know why they are censored because we can’t see them.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I dread to think that there are even worse attacks than we see on Dr Redwood or Brexit.

  40. miami.mode
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    As you state, the Transitional period will only be contemplated if there is agreement on where we will end up, but this should be made clearer to the entire country. It will not simply be a means of delaying the exit for 2 years. For masters of spin the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.

    A simple analogy is that you would not generally set out from home without knowing where you are going to.

  41. Oggy
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious what the CBI reasons are for wanting – a ‘ Transitional deal with the same conditions as at present’ because that relates to staying in the EU. Nearing the end of the first transition there would be calls for another and then another and then ………..

    I am still bemused/mystified by calls from the Labour benches and others for a 2 year transition deal when an agreement is not yet in place. All it amounts to are delaying tactics to stay in the EU.

  42. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Disagree -to a certain extent- that a transition would only make sense if there is an agreement about the future relationship. Of course, a situation of irreconcilable conflict about the future relationship should not be continued under the guise of “transition”. But there is a range of possibilities where a variety of mutually agreeable future relationships could well lead to a transitional period in which elements of the status qou remain in place. As a minimum non-hostile future relationship would be a situation where UK and UE would work together to secure “third country” trade relations for the UK as favourable as possible compared to the status quo. That would limit disruption for the international sector. As a maximum, an outline/template for a future FTA (say, CETA ) could be agreed as an ed point and a set of steps for transition towards that point. There may not be enough time for a fully specified deal, but an outline of an agreement based on an existing example, or an agreement to use best efforts to move to a version of “WTO” that respects the spirit of national awareness in the UK and also prevents the emergence of economic warfare between UK and EU, should both be feasible, given the political will on both sides. As it appears, the EU is (and has been for a while) in the process of preparing for just such a preliminary (ie until 2019) outcome.

    Disagree also with your statement that the SME sector (the not directly trade exposed part I presume) will not be affected by a poorly handled exit cum transition. I can hardly believe that someone who worked for a merchant bank once specializing in privatization would be unaware of the the concept of transition costs. Disrupting the supply chains and access agreements that exist today will be costly, with unpredictable ripples throughout the UK economy, depending on the modalities of Brexit. Comparing this with the rather sudden end of Comecon may be an exaggeration but something like “walking out” may well be highly disruptive (and involve a UK government default as well). I am sure that your intention is not to expose the UK to a radical shock of that magnitude.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    “There is a muddle in the minds of some who seek a 2 year Transitional period.”

    Some of the Remoaners have deliberately created that muddle.

    “You cannot have a Transition unless you have in place an Agreement about a new relationship which you are then going to move to.”

    Of course, it’s only necessary to look up the definition of “transition” to see that.


    “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.”


    “A period during which nothing changes from the original state or condition”

    There are words which describe the latter, including “stasis”, or if you like “delay”, but not “transition”, and it is a complete oxymoron to talk about a “standstill transition”.

    “It is best currently to concentrate on negotiating that future relationship. If any implementation period is then needed as a result of that agreement, that would be decided once you know the overall Agreement.”

    Obviously, anybody who knows anything at all about international treaties will be aware that it is utterly commonplace for the parties to a treaty to agree to include transitional provisions, so that some changes will come into effect gradually after the treaty as a whole has come into force. And it need not be a single transitional period, it could be that only six months are allowed for the implementation of one change, while five years are allowed to deal with some other more radical or difficult change.

    I am really getting tired of saying this again and again and pointing out as a simple example the twelve years that the six founding countries of the EEC allowed for the gradual establishment of their common market after the Treaty of Rome had come into force:

    “Article 8

    1. The Common Market shall be progressively established in the course of a transitional period of twelve years.

    The transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years each; the length of each stage may be modified in accordance with the provisions set out below … ”

    “The Prime Minister has always been clear about this.”

    She has, right back in her Lancaster House speech on January 17th 2017:

    she said:

    “But there is one further objective we are setting. For as I have said before – it is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff-edge for business or a threat to stability, as we change from our existing relationship to a new partnership with the EU.

    By this, I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status, in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory. That would not be good for Britain, but nor do I believe it would be good for the EU.

    Instead, I want us to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the 2-year Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards, we believe a phased process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us will be in our mutual self-interest. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements.”

    It could not be much clearer what she was proposing, and it was not some spurious “standstill transition” which would not even be a transition because nothing would change and nor would it be a transition which was so glacially slow that it might as well not be a transition at all, and nor would it be some period before we left the EU.

    “As the EU is not yet willing to start negotiating a new relationship the idea of transition looks premature.”

    Well, during the negotiations it could be noted that it seemed possible for agreed changes A, B and C to come into effect immediately we left the EU, while changes X, Y and Z would probably have to come into effect gradually after we had left.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Dennis.
      You probably saw Chris Leslie MP on Daily Politics today who is extremely confused about a 2 year transition – saying the PM had changed her mind about it since her speech. Not so.
      What he wants is a 2 year extension of EU membership – in the hope we change our minds and stay in the EU.

  44. am
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Tusk today spoke of three options including no brexit. The BBC never challenged this interference in the UK democratic process. Remainsville prevails in all reporting: dishonourable lack of journalistic standards.

  45. Peter Martin
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I notice that Tom Peck of the Independent is giving John Redwood a hard time today. Inevitably his critics are linking his views on the EU with his position on the right of the political spectrum.

    However, he’s really not saying much that is different on the EU to what Tony Benn himself used to say. Opposition to the EU doesn’t just come from the political right. Many Labour voters in the North, who would never vote Tory, are staunchly anti-EU too, and would like just as clean a break as JR. Once that is out of the way we can then start with a clean sheet and the real negotiations can start.

    Anyone can disagree with this view if they like, but it is perfectly rational viewpoint – no matter who says it. It is nothing to do with stupidity or duplicity. Neither does it indicate evil intent.

    This perhaps needs to be pointed out to Mr Peck.

  46. Brit
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    “The Small Federation of Businesses signed a letter with the CBI talking of unspecified dangers”
    These two entities are wholly discredited. They were phenomenally wrong in their assessments from the Referendum result, DAY ONE ongoing.No-one should take them seriously in speaking about any matter economic or political .Their error was not merely a typo, or putting the decimal point in the wrong place in a set of figures. Their error was the Mother of Errors. No-one in business making such an error would survive, they would be bankrupt owing money to everyone. They should have the humility to be quiet while intelligent people speak.

  47. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The Budget. There will be meat given away by the Chancellor to the Remoaners. Probably some measure that will lose the Tories popularity among it key voters combined with a fresh cause for bemoaning about Brexit. It will be a stab to the chest. He can rely on another to stab in the back. As for the CBI and the Small Business Federation. …They should concentrate on things they know something about. They couldn’t sell an iced lollipop in an Indian Summer in the Apprentice programme. They would be “You’re Fired!” in the first round.

  48. Oggy
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Exactly Dennis.
    You probably saw Chris Leslie MP on Daily Politics today who is extremely confused about a 2 year transition – saying the PM had changed her mind about it since her speech. Not so.
    What he wants is a 2 year extension of EU membership – in the hope we change our minds and stay in the EU.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      spot on!

  49. CharlesE
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    What is wrong with the british side in these talks..they still do not understand that there will be no negotiation on the exit..the EU cammission might call it negotiation but it is not it is only talks..Uk will have to meet EU departure considerations including the three items listed for departure before we are allowed to move on to talks about our future relationship..negotiations will only start then..even the CBI recognizes why go on pretending that we are negotiating?

  50. nigel seymour
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    J, The EU say they need to defeat us!!! It’s all becoming clear as I have always said. The EU cannot be seen to fail in negotiations with us. Is the UK bigger and better than the EU? No, probably not, but we held a referendum and the people of the UK voted to leave the EU (in my case, lock ,stock and both barrels LEAVE MEANS LEAVE) If we buckle or capitulate then we will be a laughing stock around the world.

    ” The EU will be “defeated” in Brexit negotiations unless it maintains absolute unity, European Council president Donald Tusk has said.
    The ex-Polish prime minister told the European Parliament the UK’s departure was the EU’s “toughest stress test” and it must not be divided at any costs.
    “If we fail it then the negotiations will end in our defeat,” he told MEPs.
    But one German MEP said the EU’s stance was “illogical, dangerous and unfair” and UKIP accused the EU of “extortion”.

    • am
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Tusk is reflecting the (tough ed) approach of the eu elite to the dissent that is bubbling up behind the scenes among the 27 and the mep’s. Everyone knows that Barnier is going to result in hard exit because he isn’t negotiating just dictating so plenty are going to lose out without the deal. The eu rumblings have started. So Tusk starts threatening his own who might break ranks.

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I saw the Labour MP Chris Leslie on TV warning that if we moved to WTO terms for our trade with the EU then some UK businesses would be facing tariffs of 10% or 20% or even 30% on their exports. So I had a quick look at the twitter feed of David Davis’s Department for Exiting the European Union to see whether the Rapid Rebuttal Unit had responded to him by pointing out that on average he was out by a factor of about ten. But of course there is no Rapid Rebuttal Unit, and so there is no tweet slapping him down as he deserves, and so people like him are allowed to get away with any lies they like, day after day.

  52. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    In light of Mr Tusk’s recent comment and other EU persons which directly attack our democratic procedures ie LEAVING, not changing our mind, but LEAVING the EU and as a by the way not recognising the democratic Referendum, and speaks on the side to non-governmental parties in the UK eg The Labour Party with a view to thwarting our Referendum,why does Mrs May say “WE want a strong EU????
    Mrs May should be actively encouraging many of the 27 nation states to leave the EU and present them with bespoke trade deals with us and our international allies if they do. It is in our economic, political and economic interests in the light of Tusk’s statement and talks with the Labour Party to go for the EU jugular. We talked to them nicely and prettily. Now we should shout!

  53. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that Hammond, backed up by Willetts, is intent on attacking pensioners, and destroying the Conservative Party. If these reports are true, then it confirms to me that he is no Conservative at all, and that he has very questionable motives, some of which may not be unrelated to destroying Brexit. Theresa May should sack him forthwith. Brexit will not succeed with him and his supporters in post, and likely the Conservative Party will be dealt a fatal blow by him. Is this all in aid of saving” the Project”. Apparently they will stop at nothing in order to save the EU.

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Is this the double- brained Willets who was telling young people what a great deal student loans were and to get into hock for £50+? And, if they were lucky, perhaps they could get a degree at Swansea University and go to see Hilary Clinton get an honorary one while slagging of Brexiteers for lying.

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        I fear so, Stred.
        There is a lot of clearing out of dead wood amongst the “progressive” Conservatives so that a common sense dominated, grassroots Conservative Party can be recreated. The left of centre “nasty Party” thinking has been a disaster, and it seems to have created a lot of drones who are prepared to spout party line sound bites/nonsense about which they are apparently in no danger of being challenged.

  54. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    If we wished a trading deal with China, would we actively go to the Chinese Opposition movement ( if there is one ) simultaneously as we negotiated with the legitimate government of China? Then , speak with one voice with that Opposition Movement in just what should transpire in the trade deal? We should tell the EU and its ally the Labour Party not to go whistle but to go to hell and leave immediately!”

  55. getahead
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    John, “You cannot have a Transition unless you have in place an Agreement about a new relationship which you are then going to move to.”

    You know that what Hammond means by Transition is not Transition at all. He is aiming to extend our period of EU membership, no doubt indefinitely if he has his way.

  56. leavewon
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Who advised the MP to send the letter to the Universities ?
    Could have found out the info in 10 mins.
    Good Media responses by JR recently. Keep up the good work.

  57. John
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    We need to triple efforts for a WTO deal for 17 months from now when we leave and let the EU offer us something why we should divert resources away from that.

  58. gregory martin
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Fed Up and Angry
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Here’s the problem I see with the WTO option – hopefully someone can tell me I’m wrong with a reasoned explanation though! To go to WTO and make it work with EU trade, we’ll need some kind of customs agreement with the EU – otherwise UK goods will be subject to lengthy inspections. I am 100% sure that in the event of no trade deal, the EU will refuse to agree to anything around customs inspections (unless we agree to their ridiculous divorce bill); they are quite happy to shoot themselves in the foot if they can hurt the UK and send a message to other EU countries.

    The government IMO should now be spending 90% of its time planning for this situation so that disruption can be kept to the minimum. The more time businesses have to plan for the no deal, the more time they have to seek alternative markets in the event that the EU plays hardball.

    Reply Try reading the Facilitation of trade Agreement which the WTO brought into effect in Feb 2017

    For bed-time reading,
    may I submit a link:

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Reply – Reply

      Thank you for that link JR

      Why have few of the media not picked up on this, let alone many politicians.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      this really depends on whether they are part of a larger European supply chain which lots of them are

  59. Wet behind ears
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    They did not teach us Shakespeare in my Secondary Modern School. They thought us too thick to understand it. I am thankful for their ignorance self-leashed.

  60. Pragmatist
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Activists on all sides have a view on what people think. There would be no revolutions in this world if they were right. The Brexit team is dangerous. They do not bring us victory. There is precedent for an entity to change the team.
    Question: Has the team been successful? No .Mr Davis and his team should go. The new team should be headed by JR

  61. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    The PM has not been clear about it. The only thing we know for sure about her views on Brexit is that she wouldn’t vote for it in a second referendum!

  62. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Let’s get it right, shall we? The CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce, EEF, the Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses all signed the letter. You say ‘…unspecified dangers they saw for business from Brexit uncertainties. That letter indeed seemed to want to extend the uncertainties rather than reducing them…’

    The letter says, ‘“We need agreement of transitional arrangements as soon as possible, as without urgent agreement many companies have serious decisions about investment and contingency plans to take at the start of 2018…“Failure to agree a transition period of at least two years could have wide-reaching and damaging consequences for investment and trade, as firms review their investment plans and business strategies.”

    Well that seems fairly clear. And they want the transition period to be “matched as closely as possible to the current UK relationship”. So this transition where very little changes ought to be negotiable very quickly. And it will be once there’s some movement on the divorce bill. Once again, you just make it up as you go along.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      But Simon we have connections with two of these organisations who frequently ask for our opinion yet we were not asked for our opinion on this. So how many of their paid-up members were asked? What % are they of the total businesses in this Country?

  63. Juiliet
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    CBI is no friend of British businesses unless they champion the pro-EU ethos. CBI and IoD want never ending transition to overturn Brexit. I have cancelled membership to both they do not act in the UK favour at all.

  • 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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