The EU imprisons some civil servants

One of the strengths of the old UK constitution was an independent civil service. They could give honest and fearless advice to Ministers, who would decide following discussion with them. Civil servants would then implement the decision. Only Ministers announced and defended new policy. Ministers took the blame if mistakes we made whilst defending their officials who could not speak out for themselves.

This model was changed in two ways during our time in the EU. Government created more public bodies to carry out policy or to regulate. This gave to their senior officials a voice, and meant they had to accept responsibility themselves without the full protection of the Minister. As the powers of the EU expanded, spreading a vast canopy of EU law above our own law, so officials starting telling Ministers that many of the things they wanted to do were illegal under EU law and therefore could not figure in the Ministerial decision. All too many so called Ministerial decisions were instructions from officials who took their orders from Brussels.

Now we are leaving the EU I am told some important officials are finding it hard to adjust to serve a sovereign UK government. They are still running to Brussels for instruction, and telling Ministers that things are against EU laws which Ministers wish to change or will no longer apply. It is true Ministers want to keep big areas of EU law like employment and environmental laws, but there are other areas where people and politicians  want change.

Many want to press on with negotiating trade deals with non EU countries. Some officials claim this is against EU law and cannot be done until we leave. I see no evidence of that in the Treaties. Clearly we cannot sign a trade deal until the date we leave, but what is stopping sorting one out ahead of departure? To do so will not damage the EU. As we are leaving their jurisdiction there is no crime the day we leave.

We want a UK fishing policy. Lets get on and design and legislate one so its ready for April 2019 when we depart. Of course that’s against current EU rules, but as long as it only applies from the day we leave there is again no violation of the Treaty. Civil service jobs have just got a lot more interesting. Instead of having to relay the EU instruction to a frustrated Minister the two can now work together on  a better answer for the UK. Its called democracy and it could catch on.



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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    ‘It is true Ministers want to keep big areas of EU law like employment and environmental laws’ indeed it is but why do they? Most of these laws are hugely damaging to productivity, jobs, misguided and do little but harm even to employees.

    You are right on the broader point, we should ignore all EU law on day one after we leave and plan for this day in advance. It is a great shame this day has already be so delayed by Cameron (as usual) failing to keeping his promise to voters that he would deliver the notice of leaving the day after the referendum.

    The other huge problem with the EU (and to a degree the UK government too) is that they fund charities and pressure groups to campaign to push government to do thinks they wanted to do anyway (usually to increase taxes and regulation everywhere). Another form of government propaganda, telling the people how to think using their money to do so. This hugely distorts democracy as does the endless lefty, pro EU green crap from the BBC.

    We thus end up with a massive state sector delivering little of any value while suffocates the productive, driving them overseas and augmenting the feckless at home.

    Of course a lot of civil servants do richly deserve to be literally imprisoned – for spending so much and delivering so little of any value and for acting mainly in their interest rather than those of the public’s. Look for example at the bonkers green subsidies agenda, appalling defence procurement, the aircraft carriers without aircraft, the incompetence at Grenville Tower, the attempts to break up the UK into EU regions, the absurd welfare system that does such damage, the appallingly second rate NHS that kills thousands …… (see the Robert Francis’s report into the failings at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust for example or look at the dire cancer survival rates in the UK).

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

      To say nothing about supplying the lies for Project Fear I and II or cover up after cover up. House arrest and removal of honours and pensions may be less expensive than prison. It would also save the taxpayer an awful lot of wasted money.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        “Here lies a civil servant
        He was civil
        To everyone
        And a servant to the devil”

        C H Sisson,1961

      • Hope
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        JR, May gave away our fundamental rights (that the country has developed and shed blood over) to despots under the European Arrest Warrant. She did not have to but she chose to?

        She quite happily lied over the security of our borders when campaigning to remain and despite attrocities occurring. The same is occurring under Rudd.

        Why would she do anything you suggest? Of course it is obvious and necessary, but she wants the EU to giver her a deal to defend, she also let the EU help draft her Florence speech for how much the UK should concede in the first instance!! She is a national embarrassment.

        • Chris
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          She has also apparently signed up to commitments associated with the planned European army. We are in that far deeper than many voters realise, I fear.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      There is no intention to ignore all EU law on day one after we leave, and nor should there be. Every existing EU law which applies to the UK on the day before we leave the EU will continue to apply unchanged on the day after we have left and until each law is positively repealed or amended over time.

      In unimportant cases it may be decades before Parliament or government gets around to sorting out the last of those EU-derived laws , as we can see from how long it has taken some of our former colonies to thoroughly cleanse all imperial era laws from their statute books.

      As for new EU laws, we will ignore them or copy them as we see fit.

      I have to say here that I do not agree in principle with the government’s standard formulation that the intention is to transfer all EU laws into UK law, because in fact all the EU laws which apply to the UK are already part of UK law.

      Perhaps some ministers or civil servants prefer not to see it that way, but the reality is that Acts of Parliament have made the applicable parts of the primary legislation of the EU, the treaties, part of our national constitution, while the applicable secondary legislation of the EU, that is regulations, directives and decisions, are already part of our national law.

      The correct formulation is that the new Act will provide an alternative legal basis for the EU laws to continue to be part of UK law once the European Communities Act 1972 and successive amending Acts no longer perform that function.

      Instead of an EU law being UK law because the 1972 Act says so, that EU law will continue to be UK law for the time being because the new Act says so.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      How do you respond to Michael Bloomberg saying that Brexit is the ‘stupidest thing any country has ever done’ only to be ‘trumped’ by the US voting for Donald Trump.

      (From today’s Telegraph).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink


        • stred
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          He owns the station where, when we are trying to read something interesting, American birds pop up and read the US stock exchange prices through their nose. You have to click the little rectangle on the bottom left to turn them off.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          A neutral-minded, highly successful businessman from the USA.

          Most of the evidence is pointing to Brexit being a disaster (drawn out over many years).

          How on earth to Brexiters think they’ll be able to implement Brexit when there are so many things against it. The chances of success are so slim with such high odds of disaster. And for what? Most people don’t even want Hard Brexit and / or feel strongly about Brexit. We’re now looking at not just Brexit being an impossibility in the long-term, but that in trying to implement it, we’ll sink our economy (over years) whilst destroying the Conservative Party.

          Until people can provide evidence and strong argument to counter this, I’m (and I’m sure millions of others are) very happy and open to listen. I want the best for my country whether we’re in Europe, our of Europe, but so far, the evidence and argument is going strongly against Brexit (Hard Brexit – we might well end up with Soft Brexit or Medium/Soft Brexit for which we’ll still have to pay a lot for but without any power in the EU).


          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Apologies, Denis for going over the top.

            Patriotism is a virtue and I love my country.
            I want to see us first pay off our national debt. And build up our economy. And, sure, yes listen, and respond to, the justified concerns of Brexiters. But not crash out of the EU, damaging our economy.
            And then somehow, we need to get the Church of England, schools, people in the arts world, and so on, to encourage love of country (patriotism), including work ethic and sense of public duty, as well as return to more Conservative social values like every child having a Mum and Dad. This will considerably cut down on the public purse as people become more self-sufficient and more healthy, physically and psychologically, and so on. And the stronger your economy, the more we can focus on the arts, nature, building up love of country in general (patriotism).

            In other words a strong economy feeds patriotism and patriotism, in turn, feeds a strong economy. And the two just make the other grow and grow and grown. A strong economy and strong patriotism means a happy fulfilled, interesting country to live in and work for!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            “Most of the evidence is pointing to Brexit being a disaster (drawn out over many years).”

            What evidence? Look, I’ve repeatedly provided evidence that overall EU membership has had very little effect on the UK economy, one way or the other, so why should the absence of EU membership be a disaster? It makes no sense.

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Bloomberg this week, Clintons last week want the new world order which includes the EU as it is a vehicle for land grab off the the Russians. Bloomberg might recall the US lack of interest to world war 2. The US is an ally not a friend under Democrats. Too many examples to post here.

      • NickC
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Ed, My response is that Mr Bloomberg is (ill advised ed) to engage in such partisan polemical hyperbole when it is non of his business. If he can only be bothered to listen to such as the BBC to find out what the UK thinks of the EU before he invests, that is his problem.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          ‘none of his business’

          Come on Nick, don’t be so defensive. I remember lots of Brexiters shouting off the rooftops when they heard Trump was supporting Brexit.

          I’m happy to listen to businessman such as Sir James Dyson who support Brexit. In fact, until Mrs May’s disastrous general election result, I was supporting Brexit (although i voted remain, it wasn’t by much, and then i thought we just need to rally behind our leader). Now I’m just thinking, you need a leader to implement something as controversial and complicated ‘as a moon landing.’ No leader. No clear strategy. Big national debt. Our country’s economy still needs to be built up before we embark on Brexit.

          I gave Brexit a chance. But now i just think we have to be pragmatic and realistic (like successful people in business are) and see things as they really are.

          • Hope
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            Americans would not countenance a supranational body overruling its laws, courts, giving away billions to trade, allowing freedom of movement from all American continent countries, allowing the people free public services, health care, houses and benefits from the day they set foot in the country and creating and imposing laws on the US! Be serious Ed not stupid.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Mr Mahoney–The answer of course is to ask this chappie what he would think if it were proposed that the USA were to be made subservient to some foreign supranational organisation or other with different laws, culture, history, religion, ethnicity etc and speaking, as he would say, multiple different languages. Not much I’ll bet.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          But Thatcherites in the Tory part want to wed us more to the American capitalist system, and closer to the USA in general, with a culture, history and ethnicity more different to that in Europe in general. We’re far more European than American in every sense.

          Also, the USA isn’t the UK! The USA is a superpower in a global world. The UK is a fraction of its size in population and wealth, where we depend on Europe for 40% of our exports and for so much of our peace and security (not forgetting Europe’s violent history).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Restoring UK democracy was vital. The EU can never be democratic as it does not have a sensible Demos. It is another experiment in top down, one size fits all, bloated government with all the usual corruption and the vested interests, like flies buzzing round a far dead carcass.

        I say he is very mistaken. Was he a fan of the EURO and ERM too – they usually were.

        I am no fan of Trump though, but clearly Hillary was far, far worse and Trump is at least sound on climate alarmism. Unlike nearly every other virtue signalling politician (nearly all with zero grasp of science). He also understands that bloated governments are the problem not the solution.
        Also he won my bet on him for me. Unlike May who made me lose my bet with her punishment manifesto and robotic lunacy.

    • Tom William
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      It is not just those who the NHS kills through neglect but also the facts show that survival rates for various medical problems are poor in comparison with other European countries. We are constantly told that the NHS is the envy of the world. Yet there is no other country which has copied it. Debate about healthcare is blighted by the belief that the only alternative would be like the American system while in fact Social Health Insurance systems in Europe provide high quality healthcare to everyone.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        The Australian system (“Medicare”) has much in common with the NHS and in fact most OECD countries have government-run health care with varying degrees of private provision.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is true, the NHS is the envy of the world….if you mean it is free for those who have not contributed to its running!

        Having personally experienced health care in the USA, France, Holland and Germany, in one case a serious illness (Germany), I can state categorically the NHS is, without doubt, one of the finest institutions ever to come out of the UK, but again it is now run by incompetent management and clueless government; bordering on the reckless.

        Simply visit a hospital in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Holland and you will see the most modern infrastructures; patient rooms, reception, parking, ER, cleanliness and most importantly the quality of the equipment. #They spend significantly more on equipment than what is available to the NHS.

        Why: examples

        1. Hospitals are managed more efficiently.
        2. Patients that have not paid into the system do not receive free treatment
        3. Less interference from central government – managed by professionals
        4. Less interference from central government – Gov’t cannot take Healthcare monies away for politically motivated and wasteful activities.
        5. Hospitals have more authority and funding decision-making powers
        6. Well thought out working practices – waste reduction
        7. Overall organization superior to the NHS
        8. More taxpayer’s money goes into these hospitals
        9. General Healthcare has the highest political support
        10. The list is endless

        However, my wife is a Medical professional (German trained) and has the highest regard for the NHS, speaks very highly of the staff and medical training, professional competence, dedication, enthusiasm, motivation and patient care skills, which in her opinion, are one of the best in the world!

        Her key complaints however are

        1. Management incompetence – management not fit for purpose
        2. Waste – again down to poorly trained medical management
        3. Constant interference from central government and incompetent Trustees
        4. Insufficient funding
        5. High waiting times – lack of qualified staff at critical times
        6. High visiting parking charges
        7. Salary and conditions lower than Europe’s best
        8. Weak organizational practices
        9. Many antiquated buildings
        10. Limited control in restricting access to the NHS by freeloaders and time wasters

        The NHS has many fine attributes, let down by government interference, Hospital management incompetence, lack of funding and poor political will!

        The NHS is indeed the envy of the world, but for some of the wrong reasons!

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, One of the main problems is the institutional world view. Over the years people adopt the view of their employer, or they move on. I know a fairly senior civil servant working on policy whose view is “Brexit is a disaster”; and that is the departmental view too.

      Of course for much civil service work it does not matter what the departmental view is, or what party is in government. But when the country votes to leave the EU in a Referendum given by Parliament, and the civil servants’ general view is that Brexit should be reversed or fudged, that is a recipe for disaster.

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I would suggest the main disaster is leaving in place Jeremy Heywood. I am sure they could have dreamt up a creative way of removing him.

  2. Helena
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    You ask – “Clearly we cannot sign a trade deal until the date we leave, but what is stopping sorting one out ahead of departure?” Answer – the fact that no country has any interest in talking to the UK about trade until it knows what the UK’s relationship with the EU market will be in future.

    Reply Not true. Plenty of countries want to get on with trade deals with us

    • zorro
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Utter rubbish (sorry not quite as diplomatic as John) and you probably know it. There is no legal bar on us negotiating a trade deal with another country. We can only sign or enact it once we leave the EU or more specifically the Customs Union. Getting a bit hot around the collar Helena? 🤓


      • acorn
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Basically wrong zorro, alas, my explanations don’t get passed moderation so I won’t bother. But, be assured that “another country” will not sign up with the UK, until it knows what the much bigger EU might demand from them as recompense.

        • David Price
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:11 am | Permalink

          Basically wrong acorn – the comment was;

          “… no country has any interest in talking to the UK about trade until it knows what the UK’s relationship with the EU market will be in future.”

          Mr Fox has been talking with other countries, however we are unable to sign any TA until we are free of the EU treaty obligations.

        • zorro
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          LOL ….. I’ll take your word for it eh?….hmmmm…… No, why on earth would JR censor a clear legal explanation that we were incorrect, or “basically wrong” in your words….. That might be a bit daft and leave ourselves open to unnecessary criticism. So…. JR, please don’t keep us in suspenders, what is acorn’s legal gem that you are allegedly censoring in a beastly fashion and hiding from the assembled throng on the blog page


          Reply No idea. I may have binned it if it was too long or had unchecked references to other websites. Not for any other reason

    • zorro
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Plenty of countries want access to our consumers. They realise how loaded and protectionist the dice are in the EU.


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      That is a very puzzling statement. It’s like saying we shouldn’t sign a trade deal with the EU because we don’t know what trade deal the EU is going to sign with the USA. There hasn’t been a single report anywhere at all of any country saying that, it makes no sense at all.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      This argument has no logic. There is uncertainty over NAFTA now, so does that mean the U.K. and the EU are telling Canada they can’t discuss a trade deal until it’s clear what their eventual relationship with the US will be? No. It appears your assertion is untrue – which is not surprising as it has no logic.

      • Helena
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Think before you write. The relationship between Canada and the US is defined by NAFTA. NAFTA might be changed in future, but right now everyone knows the rules. In the case of the UK and the EU, no one has any clue what will be the rules after March 2019. So no country will commit to a deal with the UK until they do know

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Dear Lady–But no country has been asked to commit to anything–What has committal got to do with anything at this stage? We are at a “subject to” stage.

        • Richard1
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          this is project fear 2.0 and has no basis in logic or reality. I doubt we’ll get an apology or admission of error though, when In 18 months time it’s shown to be as erroneous as PF 1.0.

        • Augustyn
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

          Sorry to disagree Helena. The EU rules on how a third country can have it’s goods imported into the EU are very clear. The EU is not,going to change it’s rules for 150 or so countries just because of brexit. Had you knowledge of the systems in place you would know they are perfectly able to cope both in the Eu and the uk. let’s not create problems which just do not exist.

    • Helena
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Name one. As usual, your reply lacks any detail at all.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        But Dr Redwood’s posts are very detailed.

        • hefner
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          No, they are not. Most of the times he puts his quantitative assertions without giving the relevant numbers nor the sources of his claims. So often it is simply qualitative comments without sources.
          Compare that to what Denis Cooper does: whether you agree or not with him, at least you know where his thinking comes from and on what it is based.
          Because Redwood is the MP owning this website, he allows himself day after day to put arguments sometimes very meaningful, very often incredibly tenuous. And most of the readers, at least the contributors, seem to take Redwood’s daily servings like most British people in restaurants asked by the waiter whether the food is right: “Oh, yes, simply wonderful”.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            I do not have the same time-consuming responsibilities!

      • NickC
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Helena, Don’t you read the answers you are given? Or are you just a Remain auto-bot? You have been told this before: One better . . . Trump said a FTA between the USA-UK was “100 per cent certain”.

        • stred
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Possibly an academic. They are squealing collectively at the moment following a request to list academics lecturing on Brexit and see what they are lecturing. They know how much EU money means to their salaries and pensions and are arguing that asking them what they teach is McCarthyism. The Times Educational Supplement did a survey and we already know their average politics. Let’s hope they keep squealing while students and parents who pay contribute to the debate.

        • Chris
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          A recently planted auto-bot? Their appearances across a lot of the blogs recently seems to suggest a definite pattern/strategy.

        • Helena
          Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Nick. You are the only person who has actually identified a country that has expressed an interest in doing a deal with the UK. And it is Trump’s USA, Trump’s “America first” USA. Which, as its first requirement, will certainly demand that the NHS opens up its market to competition from US health providers. We have come a long way since “£350 million for the NHS”, haven’t we!

          • Chris
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            Under the proposed EU deal with the USA the opening up of the NHS to private providers would have been part of the deal so you can’t blame that on Brexit.

          • zorro
            Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            Starters for ten, New Zealand and Australia too if you bother doing any research!


          • NickC
            Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Helena, Show me referenced evidence that the Leave campaigns stated that they would and could spend “£350 million for the NHS”, or even £350 million per week on the NHS.

          • zorro
            Posted October 26, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            Show me one official leave site with those exact words “350 million for the NHS” anywhere….. yes anywhere….. you won’t be able to do so because there was never a direct link between the two things. Only that the first part would be available on departure and as a result we could spend more funds on the NHS. NEVER a directly attributable correlation between the two on any official leave material.


      • Richard1
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        I guess the legitimate point of uncertainty is should the UK remain in the customs union, as now advocated by Labour, it would not be able to make any independent trade deals.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Helena, how do you know “the fact that no country has any interest in talking to the UK about trade” I’m not being funny I just actually want to know how you know this as a fact and not just your opinion?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink


      “the fact that no country has any interest in talking to the UK about trade until it knows what the UK’s relationship with the EU market will be in future.”

      This is utter sophistic nonsense and clearly untrue. Please provide evidence for your delusive assertion?

  3. Duncan
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    The circumstances are simple. Civil servants need to be brought to heel and if they don’t then sack them, take away their pensions and boot them off into the private sector where their arrogance and unaccountability will be keenly exposed

    The time is surely over where an unelected elite can simply contradict and circumvent the democratic wishes of the general populace.

    Unfortunately for the general populace there is no method by which we can impose our will upon these people nor can we remove them. For this, we must rely on people like Mr Redwood and his colleagues to expose these EU apparatchiks who appear to be doing the bidding of pro-EU interests against the interests of the British people

    Individuals need to be exposed and held responsible. It is for Ministers to hold them to account and if they refuse then sack them. Let’s do away with tedious convention and ancient practices governing Minister-Civil Servant relationships. The time for change is now. We cannot wait for these arrogant fools to hold us up any longer

    It seems the careers of these civil servants are far more important than the future of the UK and British democracy

    It’s time to take the shears to this backward organisation. Threaten their pensions and they’ll soon come to heel

    • Nig l
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Perfectly put and I think very popular with the voting public. Jobs for life, boiler plated pensions and a ‘K’ for just doing their jobs, or not?

      Many are as much Fat Cats that politicians love to criticise if they are in the private sector. More double standards.

      • Hope
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Look at the outburst from Gus O’Donnell and his Brexit scaremongering days ago. It is difficult to understand how such political people hold high public sector jobs, look at Starmer. They should never have been given the jobs. Root and branch reform needed to reverse the Blaire years of infection. Sadly, seven years in and no change from the New Labour Tories.

        • zorro
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          They almost all to a man/woman of those in high position within the Civil Service have a Common Purpose. It is very difficult to get in the SCS unless you have the “correct” views……


    • A different Simon
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      I know people who are civil servants and it has been apparent for some time that the civil service is totally out of control .

      At dinner parties you hear what is going on in the civil service and it’s impossible not to notice that they are expanding their remit to touch virtually everything .

      It makes anyone in the private sector realising they are wasting their time and whatever progress they make will be taxed away to pay for the civil services largesse and ambitions .

      They are all vehemently anti-Brexit and the morning after the referendum criticised the electorate for being stupid on their personal facebook pages . If I had done that about my customers I’d be out of a job/off their supplier list .

      The civil service proved it is not professional by taking sides in the referendum .

      I used to be under the illusion that MP’s made policy but civil servants seem to think they can walk on water .

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Duncan , couldn’t agree more !

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I support your anger and indignation. In reality, you will find that cronyism and mutual back-scratching is far more insidious and interconnected than you, or I (until recently), ever imagined.

      I strongly recommend Quetin Letts most excellent book: “Patronising Bastards”.
      The subject of the book being the Elite, who, when we failed to follow their advice regarding who to vote for in the Referendum, turned on us, calling us racists and ignorant, and demanded a second referendum because we didn’t understand what we were voting for!

      Readers will discover that there is far more that is rotten in the State of the UK, than there ever was in the State of Denmark!

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      One major Brexit spin-off – the Governmental opaqueness is becoming clearer and the populace is waking up and taking a keener interest in political substance, from both sides of the Brexit argument divide!

      ….we are now much more acquainted with the Civil Service chicanery, Government incompetence, institutionalised cronyism and their mendacious behaviour, which in many respects is anti-democratic and certainly anti-little people!?

      Political “transparency” is the people’s greatest weapon in bringing the Government to order…reminding them succinctly, they are there to serve the citizens of this country, not their self-interest!

      Brexit is bringing Governmental reform, as a by-product!

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      ” There is no method by which we can impose our will on these people nor can we remove them”.

      Time to embrace your inner Lenin!

  4. Mark B
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Some officials claim this is against EU law and cannot be done until we leave. I see no evidence of that in the Treaties.

    David Davis MP gave a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce this year in which he commented that the UK could not negotiate a FTA and mentioned that law. Perhaps our kind host could either speak or write to him to find out more detail.

    • zorro
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Which law? Please quote relevant section.


  5. Bernard from Bucks.
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    “It is true Ministers want to keep big areas of EU law like employment and environmental laws, but there other areas where people and politicians want change.”
    And there was I ,hoping that we were going to see the back of all this expensive and
    wasteful ‘green’ rubbish. The last thing we want is to keep ‘big areas’ of it. We need to be sensible and selective. We need to save money and get this country running cost-effectively once more, please. Thank you.
    Regards Bernard

  6. am
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    A whole set of remainsville lives within the UK civil service. They should be just identified and sacked. No civil servant can subvert the democratic process.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      “No civil servant can subvert the democratic process.”

      They can,do and have done for a long time.Our democracy has been reduced to piece of faded wrapping paper.Peter Mandelson told you so years ago.President Putin’s sardonic comment on the referendum vote “We will see how their principles of democracy get realised in practice” showed a greater understanding than many of our own citizens.

  7. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m going to disagree with you on this one. My experience of civil servants (in the MoD) was as a representative of the private sector brought in to provide private sector expertise to introduce efficiency reforms. I found them to be intractable and not persuadable in any sense at all – many of them affected an air of stupidity and their favourite phrase was ‘that wouldn’t work. Did you read my briefing paper on it?’
    Most of them were on the gravy train and were too close to defence contractors, accepted too much hospitality and presided over the wasting of huge sums of taxpayers money.

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Sakara, That sounds about right. I had to laugh when MoD personnel were drafted in to sort out AWE. Talk about the blind leading the blind . . . .

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold

      Your experience mirrors my own (especially the MOD), who I found very difficult to persuade in relation to new ideas?

      If it did not fit within their existing contractor’s framework, they were not persuaded to listen. Maybe my hospitality was not so generous…and I am being kind!

    • Timaction
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      My experience in the Home Office was the same. Intelligent idiots!

  8. Simon Brown
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Much as I enjoy your diary and its sagacious commentary you really must improve its proofreading. It is becoming almost unreadable and these errors reflect on you and undermine your credibility.

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

      Simon, Perhaps JR doesn’t have as much time as you?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      How petty. I am sure John has far less time than you do and as long as he is good enough to keep writing these entries I couldn’t give a stuff about the errors. His entries make perfect sense to hundreds of us who have no problems understanding him

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Google grammar helps spot typos but gets in the way telling you to write American.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Our host does have a full time job as well and it is a credit to him that he makes it so interesting.
      I like the way he flushes out all the Brussels trolls.

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        There are quite a few that have surfaced recently on his blog.

  9. Edward
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I heartily agree with the thrust of your post.

    However, I, indeed the whole of the UK might have a problem with this line and I quote,

    ” It is true Ministers want to keep big areas of EU law like employment and environmental laws”

    oh dear, in order to……………. appease who?

    If the UK wishes to compete in a very competitive global market then, all EU statute referencing the UK’s very over protective employment law, equality demands and much else besides, all of that needs to be sharply revisited and expeditiously at that.

    I shall not bore the commenters with EU Environmental stuff except to bring to the readers attention, ‘The Somerset Levels, flooding and EU enforced Environmental laws prevented effective dredging”.

    We need to do things our way again, civil servants must be reminded that [hopefully soon] when we leave [the EU] that, their bosses are actually, the taxpayers of the United Kingdom and no one else. Indeed, ministers also then must act purely to facilitate and accede to the wishes of the taxpaying electorate.

    The people are Sovereign, the legislature represents the nation, Britain will endure and civil servants come and will go if needs be.

  10. Terry Mushroom
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    At the next election, do I vote Labour to show dissatisfaction with the Conservative mess? But Labour scares me rigid.

    While politicians and parties have irritated me in the past, I’ve been able to live with it.

    Now I’ve never been so angry.

    Once again, we are lions led by donkeys.

    What to do?

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Terry, UKIP?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Dear Nick–I am all for UKIP, or at least certainly was, but on recent enquiry I find their Store in Limbo. I wanted to buy a (second) UKIP tie (the Black one with the single Purple and Yellow stripes) only to be told that the same is no longer being proffered and that (horrors!) in any event it is or was made of polyester. I see there is also now another tie – perhaps it’s an old one and I am not sure of material – the design of which I find naff, the one with the shields with rectangular Union Jacks in them. I have written suggesting they stop changing the ties all the time (There is still the one with £ signs which seems dated to me). My advice is to revive the Black one but of course in silk.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Vote for your local MP of whichever colour who works for the best interests of their constituents…

    • John
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I assume you voted Labour to weaken our hand in negotiations at the last election because you were upset at the referendum result. The result that most Britons don’t want to be ruled by a socialist undemocratic republic totalitarian state.

      I assume you voted Labour to strengthen the hand of Junker and the EU against the UK.

      You are the donkey led by Corbyn and Junker, am I correct?

      Sorry, I guess you will have to consult with Junker to answer that question.

  11. Richard1
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Is it true, as asserted by George Osborne’s Evening Standard, that 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? I assume this is fake news from Project Fear 2.0,but if true Fox should clearly be replaced.

    Reply I think it unlikely he ahs given up

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      I might well prefer chicken which has been disinfected according to US requirements rather than still infected chicken under the EU’s requirements …

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I would agree. There have been too many cases of contaminated chicken routinely found in our supermarkets.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Do you have a clear idea what you have so much against Chlorine, apart perhaps from its noxious use in WWI? Dilute, as in swimming pools I suggest the pluses well outweigh the minuses. For what worth in comparison with the other Halogens it is of course infinitely safer than Fluorine. Dilute Bromine is still used as a purifier I believe, and Tincture of Iodine still works wonders on wounds. Look at it another way, viz I grant you that in stronger concentrations Chlorine isn’t that nice (Bet it works though) but then which alternative disinfectant in strong concentration would you prefer be used instead? Dilution is everything–Chlorine is added to tap water to make it safe to drink. I hope I have gone some way to persuading you that there simply isn’t a problem.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    What a shame that the people at the very top of Government and the Civil Service cannot think like yourself, in clear terms to plan ahead (perhaps thats because few have any commercial experience)

    Unlike John Redwood we have far to may who are like driftwood, ebbing and flowing with the tide, instead of planning a route in advance, to get to the chosen destination in the quickest, safest, and most economical way.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      If the current Government was managing a business, you would need to fire the lot and start they are currently leading the country (business) into bankruptcy!

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        I think a lot of them are just not very bright and seem to completely lack common sense. However it would appear that they learn quickly to enjoy the trappings of “power”.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      @ alan jutson

      Unlike John Redwood we have far to may who are like driftwood, ebbing and flowing with the tide, instead of planning a route in advance, to get to the chosen destination in the quickest, safest, and most economical way.

      So so true Alan.

      The changes that will have to happen to and within the civil service should be managed in a similar manner to a privatisation or take over of a major business.

      Change, sign on or ship out. There will be hundreds if not thousands that will be very tempted to take an early retirement package especially if they get early access to their pension. The trick is to identify the personnel totally committed to the brave new world and come up with incentives to keep them.

      People have to be told that the train is leaving the station and will head full speed to its new destination, if you doubt your ability don’t get on the train because if you do and the ride gets too fast and furious that you cannot cope, the train is not stopping for anybody and if you have to jump you risk is getting really hurt.

      Seismic change (for that is what it is) dictates and demands harsh decisions and as thousand across the country have already experienced that change can be a two edged sword, depending a lot on ones own ability.

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Until the man at the top of the civil service is replaced by someone with an iota of patriotism, things won’t change.
    Civil servants like the EU as it gives them power without responsibility.
    Ministers should put their foot down and move anyone who obstructs Brexit. It’s time they realised we pay their inflated salaries and pensions not Brussels.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      But those who passionately want to stay in the EU want to work in Brussels, getting even bigger pay and pensions. We ( the electorate ) are only of a concern when Election/vote time comes around. As soon as the polling stations close their doors – we are back to being ignored while those who stood wait to see how well their lies were believed. Classic example. DC saying immigration would be reduced – while he increased it by ??fold.

  14. Richard1
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The BBC is whipping us a ridiculous story over MP Chris Heaton Harris asking universities for assistance in finding some website links he is interested in. It’s the subject of an absurd an aggressive interview on the main 08.10 slot on Today. Is there no proper news?

    • NickC
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Richard1, I neither watch nor even listen to the BBC anymore. It is just one news outlet among hundreds. The BBC’s bias against Brexit and in favour of Hillary Clinton, CAGW, state control, “gender fluidity”, the Grauniad, abortion, etc, are blatant. Their biases can be “subtracted” from their output, but frankly that leaves so little left it’s not worth the effort.

    • rose
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      They are trying to link it to the foul-mouthed Labour MP. Desperate stuff.

      If he had written to ask for information on PC quotas for material in their courses they would be urging him on.

  15. Tabulazero
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    When do you expect the first political prisoners to be freed from Brussels’s jails ?

    Before or after March 2019 ?

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Let’s focus more on those that need locking up!

    • John
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Assume you are referring to Catalan politicians being imprisoned with the backing of the EU.

      I don’t see what that has to do with Brexit.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Well, it’s now nearly sixty decades since Macmillan tried to get us into the EEC and it’s over four decades since Heath managed to get us in, and either way that’s plenty of time for the civil service to evolve as its political masters apparently wanted it to evolve.

    So I admit to some scepticism when David Davis started talking about being able to choose excellent and highly motivated civil servants from other departments who wanted to work on our withdrawal from the EU and make it a huge success.

    On the other hand, circumstances do not permit him to recruit new staff from scratch, like the allied powers occupying Germany in 1945 he has to make use of the civil servants who are already in place and hope that they will turn out OK.

  17. Chris
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The problem is quite simple: the PM. There has to be an utterly committed Brexiteer leading the country and in charge of the civil servants and that person has to be bold, brave and have an iron will. I see none of this in Theresa May, so the mice will continue to play.

  18. Monza 71
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Despite being Remainders to a man, from a professional and career development point of view you would have thought that Civil Servants would have embraced Brexit once the decision to leave had been made.

    Those that can’t alter their mindset should be replaced by people who are keen to develop a truly global outlook for our country.

    Same should apply to politicians, of course.

  19. Christine
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    If there’s nothing in the treaties to stop us preparing for the day we leave then it is very irresponsible not to start this preparation immediately. We can’t be taken to the ECJ once we have left so what is the Government worried about? Other EU countries break the laws constantly and get away with it. I am worried that I see no evidence of trawlers being built and fishing ports being made ready, which makes me think that the negotiators plan to give away our fishing grounds yet again. It’s as if the Government is afraid to take back control. We need leaders with vision who can make this country great again. Get rid of the likes of Hammond and Rudd who are stale and ineffectual and bring in people like you JR along with JR-M.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      @ Christine

      We need leaders with vision who can make this country great again. Get rid of the likes of Hammond and Rudd who are stale and ineffectual and bring in people like you JR along with JR-M.

      Spot on, there is too much skill and experience condemned to life on the back benches.

  20. JimS
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    A common response, when we were children and on being told that we couldn’t do something ‘because’ was – “You and whose army?”

    But then we had more guts than the current crop.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      ” whose army “? – Merkel’s – as soon as she can screw us into handing over billions every year – on a non-stop basis. Of course – it will never be admitted to.

  21. agricola
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Your paragraph one was the theory, even though “Yes Minister” opened a window on the reality. Now civil servants are politicised and EU indoctrinated. Some ministers are of the same mind and prefer advisors and quangos to taking responsibility. When did the last one resign on a matter of principal or just because they got it badly wrong. The intervention of the EU made ministers largely superfluous beyond creating the illusion that democracy still existed. I hope they all know where the buck stops after March 2019.

    The civil servants who are overtly political and follow the Brussels line should be put out to grass, those that are obstructive to leave should be told to find alternative employment. I can only assume from your comment that some are specifically obstructive of a new fisheries policy. Show them the door. A new fisheries policy is not as simple as one may think. Borders have to be delineated, protection vessels created. A potential training first command for RN officers. Our attitude to foreign fishing vessels in our waters and how we control them. Investment in modern shore marketing facilities. It will not be a place for obstructive civil servants.

    • agricola
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Must be too long, libellous , controversial or just spoils the taste of your cornflakes.

  22. Original Richard
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it is not just the civil service who “run to Brussel for instruction” and are incapable of giving “honest and fearless advice”.

    There are numerous UK organisations, such as the BBC and the CBI, who receive funding from the EU.

    For some information go to :

    The government should introduce a law that requires “public broadcasters” to publicise how an organisation is funded whenever they broadcast a report from the organisation.

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Their is an interesting article in Conservative Woman about the funding of academia by the EU, with Jean Monnet professors and ‘opinion multipliers’. In the link to the author’s Red Cell publication, there is a list of grants to UK universities that is too long to read. Now the universities are complaining about McCarthyism when an MP asks for a list of lecturers and their subjects. They must be worried about funding and are hoping the BBC, Independent and Guardian keep up the anti-Brexit propaganda until it is dead.

    • hefner
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting website. Thanks.
      It would be good to have a similar one here in the UK providing the same level of information on various UK politicised think tanks.

  23. acorn
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “The UK is already a WTO member, but its membership terms are bundled with the EU’s. Re-establishing the UK’s WTO status in its own right means both the UK and the EU would negotiate simultaneously with the rest of the WTO’s members to extract their separate membership terms. Agreement on the UK’s terms is unlikely before those of the EU.

    For its part, the UK would have to negotiate with the EU itself, the US, China, Russia, India, Brazil and any trading nation or group of nations that matters, large or small, rich or poor. It would only take one objection to hold up the talks because the WTO operates by consensus, not voting, one reason why WTO negotiations take so long. The UK government would have to balance conflicting interests domestically as well.

    This is not an argument for or against Brexit. Proponents on either side can weigh up the costs and benefits and make their own cases. But they cannot assume that becoming an independent WTO member will be simple and quick for the UK.

    The only way it could, would be if a post-Brexit UK became — as some propose — much more of a free trader, with low import duties across the board, and minimal subsidies for farmers. This would be simple to establish in the WTO, but domestic opposition would have to be overcome first.” (Peter Ungphakorn Agribusiness Intelligence. Retired from two decades at the WTO)

    BTW JR. Is it possible to use an EDM to stop the “executive” from prolonging the Brexit agony and instructing it to just leave now. In fact, is there ANY ancient mechanism that parliament can use to bind the “elected dictatorship” at Downing Street?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      “It would only take one objection to hold up the talks because the WTO operates by consensus, not voting, … ”

      I’m sure you can see that makes no sense at all. The WTO exists to promote and facilitate international trade, it does not exist as a mechanism for one country to prevent a second country conducting trade talks with other countries.

      And perhaps your source could explain how the EU has been allowed to get away with keeping same schedules it had when it only had 15 members. Why has no other WTO member objected to this, and demanded that all trade with the EU should be suspended until it sorts out its schedules?

  24. Pat
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many ministers have found the time to check whether their proposal is in fact against EU law. Given the EU propensity to make the law up as they go along together with the stupifying complexity there is much scope for either Commission employees or Civil Servants to declare a proposal illegal just because they don’t like it.

  25. Peter
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Two points in the above article.

    1.The expansion of quangoes and NGOs with considerable legal powers.

    2. The loyalties of our civil servants.

    I think politicians use quangoes for political patronage to reward friends. They are not solely the result of EU membership. They could and should be reduced in number. Just as alarming are the soaring salaries in areas like university chancellors and education chiefs. This area is also used for patronage.

    As for the civil service the use of high fliers who have not come through the ranks must ruffle feathers. However, ministers have the final say. Surely it is up to them to bring their civil servants into line?

  26. Alison
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    JR, completely agree – particularly on fishing. My fear, and the fear of many Leave voters in Scotland – those who are fishermen, in the fishing industry – is that they will be sold down the river AGAIN, bartered away. Fishing in British waters must be British only. (I believe French, Spanish, Dutch fishing companies are registered in British ports, counting as ‘British’ .. loophole to be closed.) Bartering away fishing rights would be manna for other Scottish parties for decades to come. I used to watch massive Greek and Spanish dredgers – probably EU subsidized – dredge and dredge in the Sound of Mull, no UK boats, and no attention to fish/seafood stocks. Desperately sad. A few weeks ago you noted that the conservative vote in the 2017 election had increased. The Scottish conservative vote surged (up 13.7%). If the government sells the fishermen down the river, I am sure the Scottish conservative vote will halve at least, and I calculate that the Scottish conservative vote was 5.5% of the UK conservative total.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      @ Alison

      So right, we cannot place the fishing industry in in the position of being a lost leader, for far too long they have been let down and cast adrift.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed. It doesn’t look or feel like we are leaving the EU. The establishment is just not into it.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      If this goes on, leaving will surely happen but possibly in a rather chaotic fashion. Establishment support or not. Incidentally, “orderly retreating and regrouping” are supposed to be among the most difficult of manoevres, requiring great discipline.

  28. Bert Young
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    No-one should be surprised at the spread of bureaucracy ; Brussels and our link to the EU has provided opportunity and power to individuals who are difficult to keep in check . Prior to our EU membership this was the case and efforts to expose Civil Servants to the real world did not achieve a positive result .

    Years ago I had a brief to create secondments of bright and up-coming individuals to and from the Civil Service with outside bodies ; it was believed that such secondments would develop a better understanding of both sides and bring about a different sort of initiative to CS operations . The brainchild was the then Head of the Civil Service and the practice continued with his successors . Prior to my exiting the scene in 1988 a review took place to consider if the results were there ; it was concluded that there was no real change . The private sector did not gain and the Civil Service remained as a self perpetuating organisation .

    Bureaucracy received an enormous boost when the Common Market changed to EEC . The tentacles then spread to each of the member countries and the will of the people took back stage . Today the growth of “populism” and the fragmentation that is evident suggests that central control has weakened and levels of dissent are growing ; it will surely be the raison d’etre of its death .

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    So UK economic growth was up in the third quarter of 2017, despite Brexit … however I would make four points here:

    1. We haven’t actually left the EU yet. Once again the Project Fear predictions which have been shown to be a total load of rubbish were those threatening an immediate economic collapse if we even dared to vote to leave. We will have to wait until we have finally left to confirm that the predictions of long term economic catastrophe were just as unsound as the predictions of short term economic disaster.

    2. Although 0.4% is higher than most expectations for the last quarter it is well below the average economic growth rate since the 1950’s, which has been about 0.6% per quarter or 2.45% per annum as shown on this chart:

    3. On the other hand the same chart shows that the growth rate has been trending down since the beginning of 2015, long before the EU referendum, and in fact it is not possible see any significant effect of the referendum on the curve.

    4. Likewise looking at the same chart it is impossible to detect any clear growth effects from the UK joining the EEC or from the EU Single Market being created. In the real world, rather than in the lazy imaginations of europhiles, whatever benefits there may have been for the UK economy were so slight that they are lost in the general noise and had no significant effect on the overall trend of natural economic growth.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      No one knows what would have happened to the UK economy if it had remained outside EEC/EU. Hence an ideal area for charlatan researchers to apply their skills (and of course politicians using the result).

      The argument that on a long time series of UK GDP, the events around EEC/EU membership cannot be traced says little about the pros and cons of membership in a large trading bloc. To make matters more complicated, the (missing) counterfactual is not unambiguous: the UK could have been completely unaffiliated, had a trade relationship along EFTA lines, or even been a member of Nafta etc. Every one of those states might have yielded a different counterfactual. And then there is the counterfactual in the other direction: a UK that would have adopted the Euro (Schengen maybe not relevant) and the same migration controls as Germany (meaning a much lower influx of foreign workers from certain East European countries and probably lower GDP growth due to factor constraints and intra EUR contagion in the period 2009-2015, but much more robust growth during the past two years). As you see, this is outside the realm of serious economics. A more serious point is how likely is it that the UK (on a PPP basis) will be able to (a) quickly recoup whatever adjustment costs associated with Brexit and (b) outperform the average of the NW European members of the EU (the UK’s real peer group). No time series for that yet!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Such qualifications and caveats do not stop people on the other side of the debate constantly referring to the economic benefits of EU membership as if they actually had solid evidence of significant overall economic benefits, and even though some of them must know perfectly well that even the EU Commission cannot produce evidence of anything more than marginal overall benefits.

        For example, George Osborne must have been aware that official reports published by his own government accepted the EU Commission’s estimates of the increase in collective GDP of the EU member states and the increase in employment attributable to the creation of the EU Single Market, and yet he was still willing to pretend that the benefits were massive and indispensable to our prosperity.

    • zorro
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Great site for showing how membership of EU/SM has done diddly squat for our growth rates but cost us a large fortune!


  30. Martin
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Why do you keep going on about fishing?

    Does the latest Whitehall farce about Heathrow not concern you more? Another do nothing consultation launched.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink


      Many of us suggested Gatwick in the first place, simply because you would have too many eggs in one basket at Heathrow, which I believe also has the worst record for days lost due to fog.

      Expand Gatwick, build another one with two runways in Kent, then you will have four airports surrounding London, to the North, South,, East and West.

      Far more sensible.

      • Chris
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        I still think that Boris Island is the best, but that a short term solution will have to be found in the form of an extra runway, probably at Gatwick.

        • Martin
          Posted October 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          1) The airlines don’t want it.
          2) Mirabel in Canada should serve as a warning.

      • David Price
        Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:32 am | Permalink

        The Boris Island plan is to dismantle Heathrow and convert it into a dormitory for London. What then for the Thames Valley economy?

  31. Epikouros
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Brexit has given civil servants a problem it puts their privileges, perks and even their jobs in jeopardy. Bureaucrats are famous for empire building and finding the flimsiest reasons to justify their existence. The EU ia an extremely efficient enabler for them to do just that. With us leaving they realise that the EU gravy train is going to be sent to the location where unwanted locomotives are sent to be scrapped. Needless to say the civil service will do their utmost to defend their own interests. So it will be no surprise if they are less than helpful to those who are charged with implementing the pull out of the EU. Brexit is beset with enough opposition from Brussels and remainers so civil servants also being difficult and disruptive is an obstacle that is not welcome.

  32. Norman
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Dear John – you are bold indeed, to touch on the Europhiliac attitudes entrenched in today’s Civil Service! As in other hornet’s nests, it’s the default mindset of our so-called intelligentsia. One hears of young people who voted for Brexit being vigorously ostracised by their Oxbridge peers: no cries of censorship heard on their part! However, its worth remembering that all who hugely influenced our history for the better hitherto, suffered similar scorn the Ivory Tower establishment.
    Only a successfully delivered Brexit can effect the beginnings of the necessary sea-change, which is so long overdue. One comment I’d add concerning the devolution of accountability in the Civil Service, is that it was central government policy since the 1970’s! It meant that if things went wrong, the CEOs of Executive Agencies carried the can, not ministers. And of course everyone, Ministers and CEOs, practiced the duplicitous art of kowtowing to Brussels. All this reveals just how subtly damaging to our historic freedom and democracy the EU project has already been, and how urgent it is to escape before its too late.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Try saying you voted Brexit is some places. I dare you.

      (I doubt there’s anywhere that applies in reverse.)

    • Norman
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Correction – the implicit culture of deference to Brussels was developing from the 1970’s, in order to comply with the various Directives. The executive agencies came in about a decade or more later, to improve accountability. Fine, but as I’ve said, accountability to whom? Looking back, it was quite a turbulent period, even then.

  33. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Your post lacks specifics about instances where civil servants (falsely?) claim that what the Minister wishes (Yes, Minister?) is illegal under EU (hence also UK) Law.

    Nevertheless you are absolutely right that the UK could and should attempt to prepare as far as possible, future trading relationships. I am not aware that the EU has any say over Uk diplomatic activity as long as the UK adheres to relevant EU obligations.

    I suspect that the EU has signaled that UK activity may well have an impact on the EU’s willingness to treat with the UK regarding the “future relationship”. In that case it is a matter of setting priorities; risking EU displeasure for clear diplomatic gain may well be worth it. It probably depends on how one looks at the future relationship.

    Assuming that both Brussels and Whitehall have a pretty good idea of what envelopes are feasible on each side for structuring that relationship and that an area of overlap has been identified , be it informally, concrete steps of UK and EU (so far the only concrete step has been the triggering of art 50) in the near future may give clues as to where those overlaps might be.

    It would be better of course if more information about the shape of those envelopes became known, since that might help interested parties, especially investors, stucture their plans. Even information about contraction or expansion would be helpful. For instance theCommission signals that a future relationship along the lines of CETA might be on offer. Norway is sometimes mentioned and always rejected by UK representatives. Ukraine is never mentioned although that agreement, except the intention to move closer, might well be a useful, yet vague template, since it contains both economic and security elements. Anyway, no one expects either party to put their cards on the table (the EU cannot but it does no harm if the Commission refers to existing treaties whilst confirming that full access as per current arrangements is out of the question without also the obligations of membership). The UK, given that it is the party likely to incur the (proportionally) higher adjustment costs in any post-Brexit scenario, should not disclose too much for the sake of negotiations. But that could mean continuing uncertainty for investors. Given that a very large proportion of UK imports and exports are for the account of non-UK owned firms (just look at the City or the motor industry) and in fact the core firms (those that employ subcontractors and suppliers) in (investment) banking, car making and arange of others, are usually foreign owned and involved in continuing assessment of the attractiveness of the sites they use, including the UK. Those firms tend to keep a low political profile but appear to be developing contingency plans and will soon start to dedicate resources to those plans if the scope of the UK’s desiderata and tolerances remain highly unclear and are in fact made to look contested by politicians like yourself.

  34. TedC
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Today, more nonsense again, just what the hell do you think Liam Fox has been doing? isn’t it his job to go out there in the big bad world and to seek out all of these new trade deals that we are going to do post March 2019..surely we should be setting all of this up now without signing anything until after we leave. If you’re not sure about what is going on then why lay it on us, all you have to do is approach him and probably see him a half dozen times a day in your travels around the house..jeez give us a break

    The same goes about a fishing policy post march 2019, you are the legislator, so why don’t you start the ball rolling- there’s no time like the present and no time to be lost with this.

    But of course the truth is that is all a load of nonsense anyway, we are going to end up with a deal with the EU where we are going to be half in and half out..the other glaring truth is that there are no new deals out there in the world..ask Liam Fox..put him on the spot..and as far as the fishing goes nothing will change..and that’s the truth- for if it were to change we would see the signs of change long before now. Young british men and women are not going to get out of bed at four o’clock in the morning to go out and fish in all weathers..we’ll have to leave that one to the east europeans.. the same with early morning fruit and vegetable let’s get real

    • Codpiece
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      “Young british men and women are not going to get out of bed at four o’clock in the morning to go out and fish in all weathers..we’ll have to leave that one to the east europeans..”

      Please visit Devon and Cornwall where young British men do exactly that.

      Stop being so bloody racist.

    • rose
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      “Young british men and women are not going to get out of bed at four o’clock in the morning to go out and fish in all weathers..”

      Actually, they do. Spend a bit more time at the seaside and you will find this out.

    • zorro
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Are you the arbiter and moral guardian of the work habits of young British men and women? Do you even like them?


    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Last para would suggest you are an urbanite with little real knowledge of what goes on in coastal and rural communities, and what exceptionally hard lives, physically speaking, that some endure there simply to earn money to survive on?

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Somehow my last comment has evaporated, so I will repeat that it seems that at least one of the MPs on the Exiting the European Union Committee has never heard of the provisional application of treaties prior to their final ratification:

    Provisional application of the EU-South Korea trade agreement:

    Provisional application of the EU-Canada trade agreement:

  36. DougM
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    When we get the new deal going with the EU after transition period sometime around 2022 we’ll be in some kind of customs union arrangement with them that will negate having to make trade deals by ourselves but instead we can pursue hew trade deals through the offices of the EU.
    Then we can think about downsizing the civil service and parliament apparatus..we really don’t need so many Lords in the upper house..we might not need so many embassies and consulates abroad? the same time we can take it for granted that the EU is going to reform as well..they have got a real wake up call over this brexit scare and are going to bring in the changes that are necessary. For ourselves we will have taken back control on some things that matter most to us like free movement of people, immigrants from the EU will be able to come and go but not to live and work anywhere they like, as someone else said some time back they shoild be allowed to live and work only where local services are sufficient to way to slow things down without throwing everything into a i am starting to see the light now and am very hopeful of a better brighter and more prosperous britain..provided we take the right Michael Gove once famously said

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Did you know that if a single truck is held up for just two minutes as it passes out through the port of Dover then that will precipitate a seventeen mile tailback to Ashford? So claims the euromaniac Labour MP Steven Kinnock.

  38. Atlas
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    A good post John; the selection for promotion of civil servants on the basis of their pro-EU stance has been a scandal for many years – well back into the 90’s. This of course is why they are trying to appease the EU by manoevering for a fake Brexit.

  39. Prigger and his dog
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    ” …negotiating trade deals with non EU countries. Some officials claim this is against EU law and cannot be done until we leave.”
    Clearly we can speak with other nations about anything we choose. It is the signing on the dotted line, prior to Brexit, which is a no-no. Everyone and their dog knows this. We have poorly informed civil servants.

  40. Prigger
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Theresa Villiers MP Conservative, Chipping Barnet, has just this minute in the House brought forward a proposal to end the export of LIVE animals ( “on the hook not on the hoof” ) so honouring and respecting animals and their welfare and in opposition to EU law.

    Interestingly she wished Parliament, in advance of Brexit, to pass legislation so that Day One after Brexit, our protection of animals will be implemented.
    I did not know that our Parliament could go forward, now, with such specific and timely measures in anticipation of our leaving. What other very useful and goodly measures can be legislated upon NOW?

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Good for her.

    • Norman
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Good. Pleased to hear that!

  41. lojolondon
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Quickly fire a couple of dozen traitors, make it clear to the others where their instructions come from. It is the only way. Failure to take action will result in years of pushing the unwilling to a destination they do not desire.

  42. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    A much more assertive and direct, if not angry, Mr Redwood I am pleased to note.

    The country is awash with subversive forces attempting to undermine our democracy and the matter is serious. I would call many of the traitors and would like to name some.

    Sadly we have a PM who will do nothing. Many like me suspect she sympathises with the EU its supporters and activists here. The very people who act against our interests. If she is not and does not she show it and demonstrate it.

  43. Alison
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    PS to my comment re fishing, have just seen that the European Fisheries Alliance is calling on EU to make access to EU market for UK fish & seafood conditional on EU access to UK waters:
    “We call upon European decision-makers to take into account the challenges faced by coastal communities in Europe. We call upon them to uphold the principle of reciprocity in trade relationships so as to make access to European markets for British seafood products conditional on access to fishing grounds for our fleets.” Not sure their request is legal.

  44. Alison
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to post again, but the title of your post today made me think of a few friends who used to work for EU institutions .. very well paid, very nice, valuable perks. But one case in particular: he saw something being done in his directorate which he thought was wrong, so he took the matter to his director. Who told him to forget it and not say anything. He thought the matter wrong, so he took the matter up a level, internally only. At which he was hounded, sent to Coventry, rapidly suspended. Two years later he gave in, took very early retirement .. his marriage and health in tatters. Silence was enforced. Any institutional action to put bad governance right? Not as far as I know. The Marta Andreasen case is well known. It is this lack of transparency, this hidden control, closed to the public, which troubles me so very much. How can any nation hand over power to a group of institutions as opaque as this?

  45. rose
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    A good example of legislation which is being prepared in advance and will be ready to go on day 1, is Theresa Villiers’s bill on animal cruelty in the EU. Up until now the ECJ has over-ruled our attempts to outlaw the export of live animals to the EU, and no doubt the civil servants approve of the ECJ having power over our animals as well as over us. These creatures often get driven into Southern Ireland, then shipped to Normandy and then driven down into Spain. Other routes across the continent are equally cruel and when they arrive they face further cruelty, including at the abattoirs. Continental standards of animal welfare are nowhere near good enough but they are imposed on us.

    Theresa V’s bill has been sponsored by, among others, the EU extremist Caroline Lucas. Interesting. It is to be debated in February, and if passed, will take effect on day 1 of our independence.

    • Norman
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Will be great if it does, and will be a tangible benefit that many on all sides of the Brexit debate will welcome.

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      We had the misfortune of having to fly to Barcelona to get to France last year. On the motorway we passed 4 Irish cattle lorries with cows going to the south. The temperature was mid 30s. Utterly disgusting.

  46. John
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see that we have a ‘Free Trade’ agreement with the EU.

    According to Civitas our tariffs on WTO terms would be approx. £5.2 bn. We pay £19.5 bn approx. to the EU, net UK contribution is approx. £13.1bn.

    We the tax payer are paying for exporters to the EU to not have to pay the £5.2bn tarrif but it costs us £13.1 bn NET. That’s not a free trade agreement.

    A free trade agreement that exists elsewhere in the world is one where they remove WTO tariffs and where there is no tariff loaded onto the taxpayer.

    We don’t have a free trade agreement with the EU. It’s over double the cost of WTO terms.

  47. Chris
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Very convincing interview with Jacob Rees-Mogg on BBC5 live referring on air to the Brexit Bashing Corporation, and also stating categorically (again) that Mark Carney should have been sacked for his intervention in the referendum campaign:
    When he was thanked for being on BBC 5 Live, Mogg said: “Yes, on the Brexit-bashing BBC! It makes a change to have one (a Brexiteer) on occasionally against the hundreds of Remainers you have on. Perhaps ‘BB’ stands for ‘Brexit Bashing’ rather than ‘British Broadcasting’. Brexit Bashing Corporation.”

    On Carney, he said: “I’m talking about Mark Carney as an individual. He has shamed his role because he’s become a partisan. He quite disgracefully intervened in the referendum campaign by giving forecasts one way or the other, which he never would have done in an election campaign.”

    When asked if he should have been sacked, he said: “Oh yes, I’ve said that before.”

  48. Doug Powell
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC – no need to publish – just take on board, please.

    JR, I think it would be extremely helpful if in tomorrow’s piece you could shed some light on the confusion that has arisen today regarding ‘meaningful’ vote on Brexit deal.

    Do we leave the EU on 29 March 2019 whatever?
    Would a rejection of the deal mean Article 50 is revoked?
    If the ‘deal vote’ is defeated, does that mean we go to WTO?
    Ref Juncker’s leak that the PM was begging for help: does this mean she contemplating a sell out to win the ‘deal vote’ and therefore remain in office?

    These Remoam bastards are closing in for the kill – I’m getting worried! HELP!

  49. wilf
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Listening to DD today i see we are still scratching around. This guy is a chancer who hasn’t a’s no wonder that Barnier is running rings around him. Theresa May knew very well what she was doing when she put him on the front line- at the end of the day she will be able to point out tjat she put a real brexiteer into the driving setalkd thetefore i am not holding my breath on the outcome of these talks

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      David, unfortunately for himself, recognizes the truth.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s strange how some MPs who were always perfectly happy for previous governments to sign EU amending treaties without any prior approval of Parliament – remember Gordon Brown sneaking off to sign the Lisbon Treaty? – are getting so wound up by the idea that a representative of this government may have to sign an EU withdrawal agreement without the prior approval of Parliament.

    If that did happen it would certainly not be because our government wanted it to happen but because that is the way the EU often likes to proceed, taking negotiations to the wire and even beyond, and yet of course as per usual the cross-party eurofanatic faction in the Commons will follow their anti-patriotic practice of putting the blame on our national government and not on their beloved EU where it belongs.

    I seriously wonder how Parliament can possibly be kept properly informed about the course of the EU negotiations – as it certainly should be, so it can give its inputs in good time and keep the government on the right track – when some of its members, and also much of the mass media, behave with such total irresponsibility.

  51. Prigger
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    It is astonishing the person in Hallam, Sheffield who was thought a more attractive proposition by the electorate than former MP Nick Clegg was not found also to have driven his car at 34 mph in a 30 mph zone.

  52. Chris S
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Am I missing something ?

    It has always seemed obvious to me that there could not possibly be a Parliamentary vote on The Brexit Deal before March 2019.

    Neither side is suggesting that a deal will be settled by then, although Mrs May has stated categorically that an outline of the final deal must have been scoped out before any transition period begins and we agree to continue to pay £10bn pa for around two years.

    As everyone, other than those die-hard Remainers who are still in denial accepts, we are definitely out of the EU on 29th March 2019. It therefore stands to reason that the vote in our Parliament has to be between accepting the final negotiated deal or rejecting it : That, of course, means accepting The Deal or No Deal.

    Opposition MPs currently making a fuss should have understood this.

    If they don’t, they are not clever enough to hold the job. If they do understand it they are creating an artificial row for purely party political purposes. ( As usual ).

  53. Vote on Deal only
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I was informed by Labour that the vote on the Deal was just that…a vote on the Deal. Imagine my shock when I learn they wish to vote on it definitely BEFORE Brexit with a view to perhaps stopping Brexit. Hilary Benn did not say so, to be honest, merely it could readily be inferred from his remarks without tarnishing his spotless reputation for truth-telling of which, because he is Labour he no doubt is justifiably PROUD.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      It is a mark of what politicians, particularly the Government think of Brexit to appoint and arch Remainer like Mr. Benn to chair the committee. All designed to derail it in my view. I still say we will not leave in the way we voted for, but at best a fudge of half in half out with all the costs and knee bending to Brussels. Mrs. May is intent on giving parliament the vote, probably because she knows the House is mainly Remainers and can wash her hands of it. If she does so it should be limited to whether they accept the deal or simply reject it, not a vote on do we leave or not. We simply cannot trust them. If not the Remoaners will call for another referendum and with her her weakness and dithering she will be hard put to resist (if she has not gone by then and the Tories elect another Remainer as leader).

      Reply The government did not choose Benn, Parliament did

      • graham1946
        Posted October 27, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Reply yo reply

        I Know that I ACTUALLY said ‘what politicians, particularly the government think of Brexit to appoint an arch remainer etc.’ The government are the Tories as a whole, not just Ministers and I doubt no Tory voted for him. The government do not believe in Brexit – don’t try and tell us they do. Look at the Cabinet, mostly Remainers as is the majority of the House.

  54. Excalibur
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    A pro Remain, leftist EU oriented civil service is only part of the story. I have found a similar lack of discretion in bookshops when looking for literature as moderately right as Roger Scruton, I was once told that his books were out of print by a callow salesperson. The indoctrination of our young by leftist tutors in academia is legion.

    There is, of course, only the Centre Left and the Far Right. Radical Leftist newspapers like the Huffington Post can set up in England without a murmur.

  55. Dennis Perrin
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Being unable to make independent decisions in essence is being unable to think. The EU has supplanted British democratic principles, which are principles of independent thinking. Laying down laws for others to follow (on an industrial scale) exemplified perfectly by communist North Korea is the endemic political system in forms of government that do not trust the people to think for themselves.

    Yanis Varoufakis’s (ex Greek Finance Minister) experiences with the EU are well described in his book “And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must?” Are the faults of the EU worse than the faults in any democracy? We cannot quote a beneficial idea from the Opposition because by our “democratic nature” opposing parties can’t have any good ideas. “Yanis Varoufakis is left wing therefore . . . “ is bad thinking but is the essence of the system.

    It’s the faulty thinking system that got us into the EU in the first place. We don’t believe we can improve the political system “because it’s the one we’ve had for hundreds of years” and because we’re so in love with our history.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    And any Civil Servant that doesn’t like it can be liberated with a P45. Mr Redwood might care to investigate whether we need so much regulation and so many Public Inquiries. He might also comment on why the courts are so archaic, insisting on personal appearances by all witnesses, rather than taking evidence from technical witnesses remotely.

  57. Colin Hart
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Civil service subservience to Brussels doesn’t stop in Whitehall. It has seeped deep down into local government. A local government officer was explaining that measures they were about to take were as a result of ’emerging policy’. When questioned further he was forced to admit that this was policy emerging from the EU.

  • 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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