Assessing a good deal

The best way for the government to negotiate from here with the EU is to remind them what No deal does for us, and then ask what they would prefer to that No Deal. An Agreement needs to be better than No Deal for them and for us.

No Deal ticks four of the five boxes to provide us with a good deal.

  1.  It means we pay them no money over the legal requirments for regular contributions up to departure in March 2019.
  2. It means from March 2019 we can make our own laws, with the ECJ no longer having any sway over our legal system which will be under the control of the UK Supreme Court.
  3. It means we will regain control of our fishing grounds and territorial waters
  4. We can set out our own borders and migration policy with a system which is fair for the whole world

The only box it does not tick is our preference to have a full free trade Agreement with the EU instead of relying on WTO terms and rules.  If the EU understands our intent to leave without an Agreement, it is still possible – as it is massively in their interest – that they will want to take up our offer of free trade as well.

The Deals which some in the UK and on the continent are sketching do not do as well as the No Deal/WTO option. They often envisage large sums in payment to the EU after we have left in March 2019 which would be unacceptable to many UK voters. They seek to keep some EU involvement in our law making, with a continuing role for the ECJ. They do not immediately restore either our fishing grounds or control over our borders. They may offer tariff free trade in goods, or go further and offer a service sector package as well.

Many versions of this kind of Deal would be a bad deal. The Prime Minister is right to be positive, warm and enthusiastic about a more all embracing Agreement, with the UK continuing to make an important contribution to Intelligence, security, defence culture and much else besides. She is offering a full free trade agreement in goods and services. She has hinted that for a good deal she would consider an Implementation period where the UK might make further financial contributions and accept some temporary  joint or independent influence over our courts and laws.

If the government goes beyond this it soon reaches the territory of a bad deal which many people in the UK will not accept. We voted to leave. We do not want a full two years further delay after March 2019, we do not want to pay them large sums of money  beyond the £30 bn leaving present we are giving by paying full contributions  during the waiting period to exit and we do  not want to still be unable to take back control 2 years nine months after the vote.

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  1. Tom Rogers
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Let’s just leave, please. Unilaterally declare free trade and take it from there.

    • Alan
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      That would destroy much of our industry in a few years.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        That may be the initial effect, but in the long term I believe UFT will make us better off. It helps the poor by lowering prices. It helps industry by forcing producers to become ruthlessly competitive and also gives them access to cheaper components from abroad. These benefits in turn would grow the economy.

        However, there are some caveats to what I say. For UFT to be optimally-effective, we would also need to abolish the statutory minimum wage and other employment protections, so that producers can make the changes necessary to adapt.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Tom, Indeed let’s just leave, which is what we voted for.

      Personally I would not go for unilateral zero tariffs at this stage. As a starter we could adopt the EU’s tariffs but halve them and simplify them. That would make EU products more expensive than now, leading to our buying more from the rest of the world at lower prices than at the present. It would also encourage some import substitution.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        As I concede above, tariffs may have some effect, but I suspect their impact is exaggerated and I do not believe they are the factor they once were. In my opinion, better to simply declare UFT as a starting point. It’s simple and there will be immediate benefits.

    • Pauline M Baxter
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Hear Hear. Get on with it. Just leave. That’s what we voted for. The referendum stands as the most democratic vote the U.K. has ever had.

    • Hope
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      We read in the papers today Clegg, Clarke and Odonis meeting Barnier in Brussels. Could you tell me why Clarke does not have whip removed and Odonis sacked as govt advisor? Clegg does not have a mandate but as a former Lib dem and deputy PM speaks volumes, he should be removed from privvy council. Moreover, why is May allowing this or not walking away from talks as this conduct is unacceptable? Alternatively is this anything to do with her?

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


        I agree, this could be called treasonable behaviour, which at best will completely undermine our Governments attempts to get the best for our Country.

        Can you imagine this being allowed to happen in any other Country or Company.

        Utterly disgraceful, can they not see that the EU are try to divide us, so they can then offer a sham of a deal, so they can still have some element of control over us.

        Mrs May needs to get her act together with regards to this nonsense.

        • Hope
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          In Spain they are trying to arrest the leader of Catalan for Rebellion and sedition!

          At the moment I cannot think of any reason why no action is being taken against them. It is deliberately undermining our national interest, acting against the will of the people of this country and bringing both Westminster and the Lords into disrepute. I think it is treason. Clegg has declared he wants to reverse Brexit. Odonis has already been allowed to voice opinions against Brexit while a govt advisor.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            I hope Nicola Sturgeon is learning a few lessons from that.

  2. Duncan
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    ‘She has hinted that for a good deal she would consider an Implementation period where the UK might make further financial contributions and accept some temporary joint or independent influence over our courts and laws.’

    This is what happens when you elect a weak, pro-EU leader of the Conservative Party rather than a leader who understands in first principles like democracy, sovereignty, independence and the supremacy of British law.

    Why is the EU so determined to maintain control of our laws and our legal system? This is a red line imho. The supremacy of British law must be absolute, no negotiations.

    Thanks Mr Redwood and thank you to all your colleagues who decided to choose the Europhile Theresa May as your new leader. Your party will sacrifice the United Kingdom on the altar of the EU and your party will do it with a smile on its face. Disgraceful

    If this nonsense is agreed too you can wave goodbye to my support at the next election, irrelevant though it is.

    • sm
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Didn’t Mrs Leasom have our host’s support when Cameron chickened out?

      And as I recall, there ended up being no Leadership election when other candidates dropped out.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        He did support Leadsom when Boris backed out did he not?

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      You voice the anger and frustration of a very large number of Brexit voters, including me. It was blindingly obvious that electing Theresa May was going to be counter-productive, and her choices and actions since her election as leader have only confirmed my worst fears.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Thats what most people are thinking

      This country really is wide open for a common sense decent new political party to emerge

      None of the current lot even have an outline of a clue

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I heartily believe that if Parliament and others within the UK media and establishment ceased their running commentary and interference on avoiding no deal and staying in the single market/customs union a deal would be easier to achieve.

    Why can Soubry, Morgan, Starmer, Hain, Miller, BBC et al not see that a united front is vital to get the best deal.

    United we stand, divided we fall. We can not separate the the more amenable EU countries from its collective position until they see we are unified ourselves.

    It is in both parties interest to maintain the current trading relationship with no barriers, if we get it done quickly the EU can not put mitigation in place to undermine us.

    • Alan
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Well we are not going to be united: Brexit has been very divisive for our country. So by your analysis we are about to fall. I rather agree,

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        You had all of the advantages but you lost the referendum, which your side said would be a once in a generation decision. If you had any commitment to democracy and loyalty to your country you would accept that result not try to undermine it to the obvious detriment of our national interest. That is the real reason why Brexit is now so divisive, because despicable people like you will not accept the verdict of the people as expressed in the referendum.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      @ Duncan

      you can wave goodbye to my support at the next election

      Sad, but I do not think you are alone on this one

      • BobE
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        I agree

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      @ Narrow Shoulders

      Why can Soubry, Morgan, Starmer, Hain, Miller, BBC et al not see that a united front is vital to get the best deal.

      Because they are too thick and all in their own way have their own agenda and reasons. Not one good reason ever given to stay in. Maybe if the balance of payments between the EU and us was the other way around who would want to leave?

      This leaving has bred its own fifth column, traitors every one of them. As for the Brussels Broadcasting Company shut it down it is a disgrace when it comes to representing the real British people.

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      As more information comes out, it becomes clear that MPs such as these are loyal to international forces and not to their nation. They have their own networks and co-operate with Brussels. They encourage and co-operate with the EU side to offer a poor deal so that, near the election, they hope that opinion polls will move as Project FearII rolls on and then they will push for a second referendum. They visit the Commission to discuss their plans.It will not to as quick as with Ireland and Norway, but they think the subversion will work. Clegg and Blair are open about it.

      If they succeed in undermining a promise given by MPs to implement the result, then deselection will be too good for them. Non-democratic means may be adopted when it can be seen that there is no point in voting.

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Soubry et al do not want us to leave, full stop, and that explains their actions and words. The “constructive” front that they try to put on it fools no one. They seem to be intent on derailing Brexit and as they have a Remainer as PM, and a very weak one at that, they see easy meat.

  4. John Soper
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    I just cannot understand why you think the EU will offer the UK a full free trade agreement when it does not offer one to the US, China, India or all the other big economies round the world. You seem to live in a world where the UK is more importnat than any other country. That is not the real world.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Deals already in place are easier to keep than to change.

      There are vested interests that need the status quo to be maintained which US, China and Japan do not have.

      Unfortunately there are also vested interests in the UK and the EU who need our exit to be punitive to maintain the federal set up and centralisation on which the EU thrives.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        It is the UK who wants to change the current deal.

        It is the UK who wants to leave the internal market. It is the UK who wants to leave the customs union. It is the UK who wants to end freedom of movement of people. All of these represent a change to the current deal.

        The UK has said it wants to become a third country, so will get a third country deal.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter–The term ‘Third Country’ is pejorative, useless, indeed barely comprehensible except as EU mumbo jumbo–What the majority of us wanted, and increasingly want, is simply to be a Country again. Here’s hoping the EU simply collapses.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            I hold a UK passport and a UK driving licence. I earn and spend British pounds issued by the Bank of England (or, occasionally, the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland or the Clydesdale Bank). I have a country already, thank you very much.

            Beyond that, like many, I am concious that I am British not by earning it, but by nothing more than an accident of birth. Being British doesn’t make me inherently superior, it makes me inherently lucky, and I have no problem being a “citizen of nowhere” as Theresa May insultingly called me.

            The only possible positive I can see coming out of Brexit is that it will expose the many charlatans in Westminster for who they are as they will no longer have someone else to hide behind and blame for their failures and decisions or non-decisions (although I don’t doubt some will still try).

          • BobE
            Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


          • hans christian ivers
            Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink


            Nothing is going to collapse so let us get the best deal we can get now that we got ourselves in this mess

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        The UK wishes to keep the same trading relationship which demonstrably (by the deficit trade figures) puts it at a disadvantage.

        The EU would be cutting off its nose to spite it’s face if it chooses not to continue with free trade and other selective cooperation.

        Of course four freedoms and a membership fee might be more important to the politicians who need to maintain their club but fiscal reality should win the day.

        Let us not forget the claims by the world bank and the IFS that the UK leaving the EU would bring a global recession. Messrs Junked, Tusk, Barnier, Verhofstad et al wouldn’t risk that surely?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Junker – although…….

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          we are not important enough to create a global recession with Brexit

    • zorro
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      It would be so much easier to achieve a simple tariff free trade/services agreement with the UK because of reasonable convergence, effective equivalence after 40 years in the EU, and a host of other reasons than with any of the other countries you mention. It is only the stubborn zeolatry and frank stupidity of the EU to fly in the face of economic progress and benefit their people which would stop them doing it…..

      But what do you expect – look at what they are doing across the EU – massive youth unemployment which the UK is soaking up in coffee bars amongst other places! Look at what they have ibnflicted on Greece with their economic straitjacket.

      How can you be in awe of such a monster?


      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


        Your generalizations are astonishing, there is not youth unemployment in most of the EU in northern Europe and the jobs taken by southern Europeans are the jobs that our youngsters do not want, so wake up and become real

        • zorro
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

          Nonsense, there are plenty of Uk youngsters doing those jobs outside of your metropolitan elite circles! And really was it such a huge generalisation?


        • David Price
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          Youth (ie < 25 yrs) unemployment rates;

          Greece – 43.3%
          Spain – 38.7%
          Italy – 35.1%
          Cyprus – 26.3%
          Croatia – 26.1%
          Portugal – 24.6%
          France – 23%
          Belgium – 21.7%
          Finland – 20.6%

          Euro area average – 18.9%
          EU average – 16.7%

          (August 2017 data from

          France, Belgium and Finland are not southern states.

          These are astonishing levels of unemployment and it is truly monstrous that Merkel and the EU have engineered such horrendous levels of migration from outside the EU and claim they are for economic reasons.

          You wake up and become real.

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            No responsible politician would claim it was for economic reasons and you know that as well as I do

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            Hey. Let’s become real too.

            How many of our youth classified as NEETs or at university studying time-wasting degrees.

            Our figures would be just as bad.

          • David Price
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

            @Anon – the UK youth unemployment rate in the same statistics is 11.8% while Germany is 6.4%.

            11.8% is nothing to be complacent about and I would much prefer our rate to be much lower but don’t see this happening easily without curtailing freedom of movement and increased investment in training and enterprise.

          • David Price
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            I don’t claim to understand the thinking of these people. To me it is either cretinous or malicious to engineer monstrous levels of unemployment in parts of the EU but then import vast numbers of migrants.

            The suggestion is that it is to address a drop in birth rates, which is an economic problem, but why not encourage shifts within Europe instead of importing lower productivity migrants from elsewhere.

            Unlike you the UN also seem to think this is an economic issue – their Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Population Division has produced a report “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?”.

    • agricola
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      It fails to offer true free trade to the USA, China and India because it is very protectionist specifically in the agricultural sector. French farmers do not buy free trade.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Because we’re the customer.

      • hefner
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        That’s a rather ridiculous statement: in your everyday life, do you get the feeling that as a customer, you are the one who decide the quality of the products that you buy. No, you can certainly decide not to buy this or that product, but will be stuck with whatever choice the producer will have made for « the benefit of the customer », which most of the time will be the less expensive choice for the producer.

        On a more positive note, today sees the publication of both the Colliers’s analysis and of the Industrial Digitalisation Review by Juergen Maier, two good news for the post-Brexit future.

      • Hugh Rose
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        We can buy from the rest of the world.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      John Soper, I don’t think the EU will offer the UK a full free trade agreement. That was obvious to me at least 4 years ago.

      But we’ve got to go through the motions to satisfy the Remain complainers, including the BBC, before opting for the best deal which is to use the WTO agreement, and ignore the corrupt dysfunctional EU as far as possible.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      John Soper
      Oh dear , maybe try thinking it through a little better? The EU struggles to cut free trade deals with just about anyone of any importance because the 27 EU countries all have a different agenda and can’t agree on the terms of a deal. Meanwhile the UK is already fully compliant with all 27 nations and is already trading on that basis. So all it needs is a tick to say its done. The reason the EU won’t do this is fear. Fear that the divisive, controlling undemocratic “leadership” of the EU is a worthless un-needed construct and if they didn’t exist all 28 countries would be better off

    • HJ
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Because free trade is mutually beneficial. The only thing that prevents the EU agreeing to free trade with China, etc. is the power of EU producer interests over those of EU consumers.

      However, introducing new impediments to trade (which is what the EU would be doing if it puts up tariff barriers against UK-sourced products) is a very different thing from not removing longstanding ones.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Exactly but May and Hammond do not seem to see it this way. They simply do not seem to understand how to negotiate. Nor, is seems, do they understand how to grow and economy with lower, simpler taxes, cheaper energy, a bonfire of red tape, decent roads and a smaller state sector.

    Jeremy Hunt did a good job on Marr yesterday while trying to defend the totally indefensible Nhs. But it is still totally indefensible as currently structured.

    He said he want a Nhs paid for through general taxation but without delays and rationing. Sure mate how are you going to get that? Has he got a magic wand perhaps? Or is he going to suspend the laws of supply and demand?

    He need to encourage people to go privately with tax incentives and charge something for Nhs, for all who can afford to pay. The Nhs as currently structured is an outrage killing and failing millions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      So Gordon Brown admits biggest regret ‘not persuading people of his “progressive” vision for UK’

      Do not worry Gordon we got your lefty, “progressing” backwards, tax borrow and piss down the drain vision with socialist remainers Cameron, Osborne, May and Hammond. It was and is a disaster.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Gordon Brown has boldly and honestly admitted he wasn’t the right personality to win the 2010 election, because he doesn’t get twitter or something. (ie the kind of self-condemnation which is in reality disguised praise). It appears that he doesn’t admit that he lost because he 1) bust the UK economy by going into a financial crisis after years of booming tax receipts with a large budget deficit 2) initiated numerous bad economic policies such as the sale of the gold and wasteful ‘investment’ as he used to call it 3) disguised debt off balance sheet in a Greek-Enron style obfuscation with PFIs 4) sat around the cabinet table while other disastrous decisions were taken such as invading Iraq, promoting mass immigration, encouraging Scottish separatism and handing over sovereignty in the Nice Amsterdam and Lisbon treaties.

        let’s have some real honesty from Gordon Brown as to the extent of his and the Labour Party’s failures in government.

        • mike fowle
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. He seeks to distinguish himself from Blair, but he followed identical policies of spin. For Alastair Campbell, he had Charlie Whelan and McBride. On top of his other failings commented on here (failure of regulation, sale of gold, destruction of the best funded pension system in Europe etc.), his frequent boast that he had abolished “Boom and Bust” (I shivered when I heard that) encouraged excessive borrowing.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Brown seems to think that his problem was his personality and how he came across. Not at all Gordon, it was that everyone sensible knew that your tax borrow, over regulate and piss down the drain approach would destroy the economy & deliver appalling public services. As it did, as Labour always do. A shame the Tories under Cameron and May are so very little better.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        and his NHS vision of same day consultant access if you happen to be the PM, and six months for everyone else

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          All in it together – as they say.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink


      This is a very negative spin you are placing on the NHS. There are major financial issues, agreed, but inferring ” the NHS is killing and failing millions” is frankly, rather disingenuous at best!

      The NHS, for all its failings, is a success to all those millions with ill health and associated problems and I salute the many hardworking support staff that help these patients each year!

      • Nig l
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        I have recently had quite a serious operation with the NHS a similar one to an earlier problem which I did privately.

        Every part of my treatment with the Royal South Hants in Surrey was excellent and compared very well with the private experience, indeed on some aspects, bettered it.

        Indeed personally over the years I have nothing but praise.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Good, but I think you were lucky and not typical. Some of the staff are indeed excellent but the system is dire and more about delay and rationing than treatment.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Dear Nig I

          I had the same experience.

          My wife was diagnosed with a rare kidney tumour that was life-threatening. The three hospitals in London and Hampshire saved her life. The support they gave over an 18 months period was exceptional. She has now fully recovered from her operations, but will need ongoing support for the rest of her life.

          I am truly grateful to the NHS staff, general medical practitioners, and have the highest regards for their professionalism, kindness and aftercare service.

          Perhaps more people should speak out on their behalf, rather than constantly commenting negatively.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Read the North Stafford report and look at cancer and other survival statistics. Some of the staff are indeed dedicated and excellent but the system is a disaster with delay, rationing and incompetence all over the place.

  6. Mick
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink
    Just leave before Mrs May looses her majority in Parliament if she as to sack the sex pest in her Party, because we don’t want any chance of labour /snp/lib???/green getting into power and reversing Brexit, which I’m sure that would cause riots on the streets if Westminster went against the will of the people

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      What an appalling prospect, May and tax ’til the pips squeak Hammond to be followed by Corbyn, the dire Scottish woman (who thinks children are the Property of the state and whose name escapes me) and the Libdims. Perhaps even the Bbc favourite (and his misguided wife) Nick Clegg back in.

      The dreadfull, Bbc’s other favourite, Soubrey on today yet again.

  7. Nig l
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    So in the interim period their parliament supported by their courts can impose laws that we do not want. I hope that is not what is being suggested. Why not ‘shadow’ what the do and our parliament can then decide to accept it or not?

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Nig 1, Not just suggested, Mrs May has offered a further two years in the EU where we pay and obey. That’s her non-transition “transition”.

      It’s all already in the bag for the EU, together with our total surrender on Defence, Security, Criminal Justice, Aid, and Diplomacy in perpetuity. All the EU is hanging on for now is to extract £80bn from us rather than the paltry £40bn so far offered.

      We have been stitched up by the Remains in government and the civil service.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Jacob Rees-Mogg asked the PM a very clear question on this very thing. Let us say that her answer was not sufficient.

      The ECJ can have power over the UK and the Commission can use existing laws against us it if so wished and levy fines.

      OUT means OUT !!

  8. oldtimer
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    You sum it up very clearly. The Florence speech stretched the financial elastic to the very limit. It seems however that some are determined to obfuscate and to confuse the issue with the aim of arresting and then overturning the Brexit process. This needs to be exposed.

  9. eeyore
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I read JR’s last two paragraphs as Conservative Brexiteers’ final warning to their own government. I fully agree with them. Any further concessions and the deal must be off.

    If that means a government collapse and possibly an election, so be it. This is not some footling wrangle about trade terms but a mighty constitutional battle, the greatest of our lifetime. Risks must be run. We shall if necessary rely on the good sense of our fellow citizens to save us from Corbynism.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      @ eeyore

      We shall if necessary rely on the good sense of our fellow citizens to save us from Corbynism.

      God I hope your right. My reaction is have they got any?

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink



      But no need to call a general election if Mrs May decides to go, the Conservatives just simply need elect another leader.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      What would you expect from an election under those circumstances?

  10. Leo
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    No deal does not mean we can set our own borders. Aren’t you even aware that one of the three issues currently being discussed is the question of the Irish border? We cannot settle that without making a deal with the Irish. I suppose it is typical of you Brexiters, you don’t know anything about anywhere except little England

    Reply We can make our own borders!

    • zorro
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Nonsense – do you know anything of the history of the Irish border (notwithstanding the security issues before the peace process)? We have the Common Travel Area.

      WE can choose not to have a border with Eire if we want. That is our sovereign choice. If you think that the irish are going to let the EU put up a hard border with us (which we will not do) when they want to trade and engage within the island as they have always done historically, you are living in la la land!


      • PaulW
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Morning Zorro.. just for info Michael Gove was over in NI this morning where he met with phil Hogan eu commissioner for agriculture and understand they discussed a wide range of things. Reading between the lines it coud be that in the event of nothing being agreed before march 2019 then NI could be offered a seperate WTO membership in it’s own right, seperate from Britain, and in that way by shadowing the EU customs regime they could resolve the issue of a hard border in ireland.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      England is the most multicultural country in the world.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        And what should they know of England who only England know?

    • Alan
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I think we are largely in the hands of English Nationalists at the moment, and they could not care less about Ireland, north or south. They are going to do serious damage to the economy of Ireland, which is a country with which we should be on particularly friendly terms, as well as to our own economy. All this to gain what they regard as independence from a Union that has been of enormous benefit to us and has great potential to make Europe a prosperous, peaceful, and influential continent.

      As for Mr Redwood’s comment that we can make our own borders, I cannot imagine what he means.

      Reply The UK can decide what border to have in Northern Ireland on the UK side, and the EU will decide what they want on their side. The UK government has set out how it wishes to arrange the Uk side.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        The very fact that you state that the EU has been an enormous benefit just goes to show how little you know. The EU is a political project designed to destroy democracy and replace so called, English Nationalism with its own brand of nationalism.

    • Chris S
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      In a sensible world we would be settling the Irish Border issue on a bilateral basis and both the Irish republic and the UK would jointly submit their agreed solution to Brussels for rubber stamping.

      Unfortunately because Brussels demands control over absolutely everything, they have been able to use it as another stick with which to attempt to beat us. It won’t work.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


      I love hearing from patronising, ignorant remainers lecturing us on how stupid we are…. Then finding out its them who know nothing…. keep up the good work Leo.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      We could, if so minded. end the pretence that the Irish Republic is a friendly nation. For about 200 years we treated the Irish abominably (Cromwell, Drogheda, religious persecution, potato famine, absentee landlords). This was followed by 150 years of bad Irish behaviour (disrupting the Victorian parliament, the Easter rising, leaving the Dublin lights on during WW2, the 30 year campaign of Republican violence). The bonhomie of rugger buggers, boozy holidays and attendance at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, hardly compensate.

      If Sinn Fein don’t want to join in the Government of Northern Ireland, so be it. Let the Good Friday Agreement collapse. Reposition the border with the Republic to make it shorter and more defensible, by ceding the Bogside and Newry. Reduce the number of border crossing points for security reasons, including immigration control. Build a perimeter road on the Northern Ireland side of the new border in order to minimise the damage to trade with the Republic.

  11. David Price
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    You use the term “territorial waters”, do you hold that to explicitly mean the 12 mile extent? If so, what is the government position on the UK claim to contiguous and exclusive economic zones?

    • jonP
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      David.. The territorial waters still extends to three miles from the shore..the old UK fishing limits prior to the establishment of the EU economic zone in the 1970’s extended out to 12 miles from a baseline around our coast. The EU are not going to give us jurisdiction of any part of their EU exclusive economic zone out to 200 hundred miles- certainly not without some kind of quid pro quo

      • NickC
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        JonP, The economic zone is not an EU invention. The 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is the area specified by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. After leaving the EU that 200 mile zone (less where contiguous) reverts to the UK, and is not the EU’s to decide upon. There is no “quid pro quo involved.

      • David Price
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your comment but I was asking what out host meant by “terrritorial waters” as the phrase can have the precise meaning of 12 nautical miles (according to UNCLOS) from the baseline or the looser meaning of waters we have jurisdiction over which includes the EEZ and the continental shelf extent.

        The UK EEZ and an area of the continental shelf is documented here;

        The reference for the EEZ is “Marine Management. The Exclusive Economic Zone order 2013 SI No. 3161 of 2013”, this came in to force on 31st March 2014. Article 2 decalres the area of the UK EEZ and reflects treaties between the UK and Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands and Norway. The EU is not mentioned.

        I don’t see how it is the EU’s perogative to give or withhold the UK’s EEZ which is a domain established by UN convention for a state. When we leave the EU then the EU does not meet the geographic criteria for those areas.

        My question is where the EEZ is a sovereign right, will the UK government be exercising that right under article 4 of UNCLOS. This does not preclude flexible arrangements under a separate treaty but it is not for the EU to withhold.

  12. Simon Brown
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I hope the spineless at No 10 et al can take this on board. Goodness knows how many times this has been spelt out to them. It’s so obviously the correct logic I cannot understand why they cannot grasp its merit.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Simon, Correctly, Theresa May has no self-confidence. So she is being guided by the civil service which is Yes-Ministering a Remain agenda.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Geography and most arts graduates, socialist and indeed most people who have a strong religion ( climate alarmism or conventional) are not really very good at grasping logic very often. She even thought an election with a punishment manifesto, was a good plan. Vote for us and we will kick you where it hurts is not a good election slogan – as she found out.

      She still retains a bonkers disaster as chancellor too. If he does not cut taxes in the budget stamp duty and IHT in particular then he is dead in the water too.

      From here higher tax rates means less tax revenue as we are well above the Laffer point already.

      • hefner
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Whose value is?

        • hefner
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          For anyone interested, the Wikipedia entry for Laffer curve presents a discussion more complete than LL’s usual empty statement.

    • getahead
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Too busy appeasing their global business cronies, Simon. UK sovereignty matters little to them

  13. Duncan
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party has betrayed its supporters on the EU, embraced cultural Marxism, is actively undermining social conservatism, is attacking the sanctity of marriage and is complicit in the slow but sure destruction of the UK in all its forms

    As a party we have allowed ourselves to become infected by the liberal left and it will destroy us

    • Man of Kent
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      There’s plenty of time until the next election to weed out Remain MPs .
      This should start now . If I had any of the usual suspects as my MP I would be looking to the local conservative association to give a warning as to future conduct with de-selection to follow .

      On the Today programme I heard that the Institute of Fiscal Studies now believes we will not get rid of the deficit until 2025 by which time we will have a debt of £2 trillion .We cannot afford EU settlements of £20bn let alone £50-60 bn now being canvassed .

      Please get rid of May asp ,like ‘ eeyore ‘above I would take a chance on common sense overcoming Corbynism .

      She has offered far too much too early to the EU and needs to go NOW

      • stred
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        If central office still insists on choosing Cameron and Rudd clones for selection, then the local associations should resign and put their own Real Consrvative candidates up. The same goes for Labour if, as is certain, Sir (EU (friendly ed) ….) Starmer picks clones of himself and Lady (Aren’t these Union Jack waving builders awful) Nugee.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        ‘There’s plenty of time until the next election to weed out Remain MPs .
        This should start now.’

        Taking that comment together with Duncan’s original post, some people must be blind. There is an ocean of difference between what the present Conservative party actually stands for, and what a swathe of the public still thinks it stands for. It changed years ago!

        Safe to say there are still some decent people in the Conservative party who have stuck with their core principles and believe the party should reflect them, but with very deep regret, I have come across and engaged with others who are there under an entirely false prospectus. And that is being overly generous to them!

        Let’s take the banner ‘The Party of Law and Order’ for instance. It’s discredited balderdash! That’s why we have so much trouble on our streets, yet any red-blooded UK citizen could put it right – but not this shower, they’re gutless! There isn’t the political will to do the public’s bidding. If they were true patriots and had any bottle, we’d be out of the EU long ago.

        The Tories have been conning people for over forty years. They’re not likely to get rid of these undesirable liberal-leaning MPs any time soon because they have been so heavily infiltrated and the ground within the party shifted. Just look at the problems Mrs T. had with wets and pinkos, and it was in decline even before her time!


      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        The country cannot afford PS debt of two trillon unless the economy starts growing very fast. For a small economy with an independent currenct 150% of GDP would already be a big strechtch. The IMF would be complaining long before

        • NickC
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Whilst true, you are seeing the speck in our eye whilst you have a plank in yours.

          EZ banks have non-performing loans (NPL) of c5.4%, whilst by comparison the UK’s NPL is c1%. Italy’s bad loans are estimated to be €350 Billion alone (16.6% NPL), whilst half of all Greek loans are bad (55% NPL according to Yanis Varoufakis).

          Up to now ECB QE has been fed to dodgy EZ economies like Greece, Spain, Italy, etc, to keep them afloat. But the ECB will have to curtail its QE soon, so who will buy the rotten EU sovereign debt? Watch EZ sovereign debt rates rocket.

    • acorn
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Hopefully, for the rest of the century.

      • NickC
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Be careful what you wish for.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Sadly it won’t though acorn, as the conservative right are as brain dead as you and your socialist mates. You keep on going despite a 100 years of history proving your state socialism doesn’t work and creates untold misery for millions. By the same token too many on the right hanker for a return to the 1950’s. Politics is a game played by the incompetent, ignorant and backward looking. What we actually need is some innovation , creativity and a totally new politics.

        • acorn
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          This week, yet more data that shows that the better educated the voter, the more likely they would vote remain. Nonetheless, most voters understanding of political ideologies, also tended to be one dimensional; left wing or right wing.

          A “libertarian” for instance could be left or right wing. Because libertarianism and authoritarianism are extremees on an orthoganal, second dimension that forms the “political compass”, google it.

          The third dimension, the Z axis you can’t see, has neo-liberalism at one end of it. But you feel the economic effects of it. Just like the two dimensional person driving along a road, has no understanding of going up and down hills.

          • NickC
            Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, That’s a classic example of confusing correlation with causation. Which in turn shows that the Remains who espouse it are not as well educated as they think they are.

          • acorn
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            NickC, the the evidence of causation was gained after the event, for the purpose of proving the correlation, which it now has, twice. The standard procedure is as follows.

            Observe something and ask questions about a natural phenomenon (scientific observation). Make your hypothesis. Make predictions about logical consequences of the hypothesis. Test your predictions by controlled experiment, a natural experiment, an observational study or a field experiment. Create your conclusion on the basis of data or information gathered in your experiment.

          • David Price
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            There is a world of difference between being given an education and actually learning from it.

          • NickC
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            Acorn, You walked into my trap. The reason why older people who voted leave have fewer degrees is that, when they were young, they did not have the opportunities for university level education that young people have now (about 8x less). You have only assumed your causation, and it is false.

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

          @ libertarian

          Politics is a game played by the incompetent, ignorant and backward looking.

          You left out arrogant. They never admit they are wrong

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink


      But Corbyn is even worse. But then we might get a sensible party eventually, after Corbyn’s destructions.

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I agree completely, Duncan.

  14. zorro
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    It is good to go back to first principles and sort through the weeds to reiterate why we voted to leave. As you mention in your blog today there are very clear reasons both financially and politically why we should not be in the EU whilst still collaborating with them where reciprocated in a friendly spirit of tariff free trade and mutually beneficial cooperation – but it must be in our national interest.

    One of the main reasons why we voted to leave is bacuse it was palpably clear that we were not getting a good deal.

    1) Any trade deals made by the EU were inflexible, too dependent on protectionist influences by member states, and took an eternity to negotiate.

    2)We are also tied into the CET which meant that goods from third countries were more expensive than they needed to be beacuse of EU tariffs to protect home producers – expensive food.

    3) Our industry is heavily service focused – there is no effective single market for this, and indeed there are ‘cultural barriers’ to entering French and german markets in some instances

    4) The Single Market aka Internal Market is highly regulated and effectively stifles innovation by smaller companies and favours bigger firms who have the resources to continually update compliance with EU regulations.

    5) There is no ‘free trade’ within the EU. It is very expensive for us to be a member. Our fees to this club far outweigh WTO tariffs in the round. This is not good and we will not accept it any longer. Tariff free trade will be fine and there is no reason why we should pay any fee for that. We will not pay fees post leaving in March 2019.

    Why? Because we are offering tariff free access to our UK market which is the EU’s best customer. The EU run a massive trade surplus with us. They would be extremely foolish to jeopardise this when we could source goods from elsewhere in the world (the extra 85% of world trade) and a lot cheaper. They would find it difficult to claw their way back into our market if they chose this path.

    We do not want and are not asking for the ‘benefits’ of the four pillars. We are asking for reciprocal tariff free trade access and a sensible services agreement. It is the EU’s intransigence in demanding compliance to the four pillars and submission to the ECJ which will be their downfall.


    • David Price
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      A good summary. On point 4 I would add that standards and regulations are frequently set and influenced by the big companies – why try to guess what the future trends will be if you can dictate them and keep out the little upstarts at the same time.

  15. agricola
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    No deal is more significant for what it does for the EU rather than the UK. Give the EU till the end of December 2017 to start acting and sounding positive. It needs to be wrapped up by this time next year, giving all those who want a say in the EU ample opportunity to agree it all by March 2019, and the remainers in the UK time to dress their wounds. If this cannot be achieved then it is no deal and WTO rules from March 2019. Bare in mind that most exporting companies know what WTO rules are because they have more than the EU as customers. HMRC and our ports also know what WTO rules involve, so cut out all this talk of armageddon from ill informed politicians who have never exported anything in their lives.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      @ agricola

      No deal is more significant for what it does for the EU rather than the UK.

      Absolutely correct, as it send out the wrong message to those in the remaining 27 who to like us really want out. If you want it you can and will JFD.

  16. Richard1
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The Government needs to get much more specific on the cliff edge. This argument is not even close to being won. Why will planes still be able to fly if we don’t have a deal on March 30 2019?why won’t there be queues of lorries at Dover waiting to process customs declarations? Why won’t Financial and other services be shut out of the EU market in the way many assert? Why will pharmaceuticals and other regulated products still be able to be exported from the U.K. to the EU when there isn’t a deal? This needs a detailed response – a white paper or something – not just an assertion That there is no cliff edge. This should have happened months ago. The reason we are going round in circles is the public and many opinion formers don’t yet accept that there isn’t a cliff edge, and there is no well thought and laid out response to the question.

    Reply Try reading the papers the govt has already produced. No need for queues of lorries. EU services will want continued access to our market.

    • Alan
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      There will certainly be queues of lorries leaving the UK if neighbouring countries do not have adequate customs and inspection staff. Or maybe at our ports as we try to export elsewhere.

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you could put these government papers on this website as no-one else seems to want to have them read. Have the civil service or ministers done anything tangible about buying land in Calais, Dunkirk or Kent for lorry parks or ordering cameras and scanners and computers for customs? We will need these whether tariffs are zero or higher. The Remainers in the civil service may be going as slowly as possible in order to drag it out until they can get a Reversal.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Really? i haven’t found any comprehensive answer to these points at all. If they are so obviously set out in detail why aren’t ministers and other Brexiters such as you simply referring people to them? Besides, many ministers, such as Mr Hammond and Ms Rudd seem to think there is a cliff edge and no deal would be “very bad” or they “can’t contemplate it”. Needs to be much clearer than it is – Clean Brexit is losing this aspect of the argument with the public.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Apparently David Davis is happy for us to go round in circles, his department has a media office and a website and even a twitter account:

      but they sit back and allow all kinds of nonsense to circulate without rebuttal.

  17. Rob Jump
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    How can a deal be better than no deal? If we go to WTO rules it will encourage home substitutes for EU produce thereby reducing our trade deficit and boosting UK industry. Any deal produced by the EU and condoned by the EU quislings here in the UK will be much worse as demonstrated by the last 40 years of negotiating incompetence that has led us to the totally one sided situation we have now. Either we are free or we are not.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Rob, Quite right. Any deal offered by the EU, by definition is to the EU’s advantage. The WTO option, which we already use to export about 50% more to the rest of the world than we do to the EU, is clearly the best deal.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    We should leave in March 2019 without giving in to the extortion of the EU and take it from there. If, as their behaviour suggests, the EU is more interested in punishing the UK for having the temerity to leave their protectionist club we are wasting time and energy in playing their game, whilst the fifth column here in Parliament and the media play their part in feeding anti-Brexit propaganda on a daily basis.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Spot on!


  19. Mark B
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    This so called deal we are talking about is centred around trade. What the referendum was about was leaving the EU. This means becoming a Third Country. I personally have no problem with that.

    The matter concerning trade can only be discussed post BREXIT and the sooner we realise this and stop deluding ourselves that somehow the EU will give us what we want, the better.

    I voted to leave the EU. A choice I knew would not be a simple one. But the alternative, which no one discussed or discusses, would have been far worse.

    It would be nice for us to talk about what if the vote went the other way and, the UK ‘s position on this.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Well spoken. The Remainiacs have been allowed to hijack trade and portray it as the only matter worth speaking about.
      In reality it is the least important. We voted to leave the EU, not be stuck in some halfway house under EU and ECJ jurisdiction.
      Catalonia should be serving as a reminder to Westminster what we voted for (legally).

    • Oggy
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Mark B -‘What the referendum was about was leaving the EU. This means becoming a Third Country. I personally have no problem with that’.

      I totally agree with you. As I and others have pointed out several times here, the referendum ballot paper was a choice between ‘stay or leave’ it did not mention anything about ‘dealing’ with the EU before we leave.
      The more time that passes since June 2016 the more the remainer MP’s/Lords and MSM are blurring what was decided into something completely different.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        We do need to settle any matters and make suitable arrangements. Some of it quite complex, some quite simple. But we will become a, ‘Third Country’ post exit and to that we must look. Trying to get some bespoke arrangement is wasting time and deluding people. The UK Government has always sold the EU to the people as some sort of trade arrangement when it never was. It is political union and we voted not to have it.

  20. Tabulazero
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    How is your point 2. compatible with a 2 year transition period Theresa May is seeking ?

    Doesn’t it strike you as odd if the UK could sue any member country in front of the ECJ during the transition period but the reverse would not be true ?

    • zorro
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      There will only be a transition period if there is a good approved deal to transition too!


    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Dear Tabulazero and Hans

      As devout remainers I’m surprised you dont know your own rules. The maximum of 2 year transition period is the time between invoking article 50 and the point we have to fully leave. The transition is in your rules. Its supposed to be the time that we negotiate the terms of leaving and setting up new deals. The fact that the EU negotiators are petrified and doing all they can to make it a protracted mess is not the fault of business

  21. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    So why does business want a two year transition period ?

    • agricola
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Big business does not need a two year transition period, it is merely a remainer delaying tactic in the eyes of some. Think a moment, if BB starts to sell widgets to a new customer under WTO rules, it does nor require two years to get used to the idea. The two year transition period is merely a generous gesture on behalf of HMG and UK taxpayers to enable the EU to budget for the fact that it would otherwise be short of £12 billion per annum as soon as we leave in March 2019. If they cannot agree to a free trade treaty then they are the losers, big time.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        this has nothing to do with the EU budget it takes time to build up new markets

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Hans, The vast majority of UK businesses don’t.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        so talk to the association of small businesses the CBI and Institute of Directors

        • NickC
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Hans, You made a sweeping statement that you cannot justify: “why does business want a two year transition period”. Most UK businesses are small (hairdressers, plasterers, etc) and don’t export to the EU. Tradesmen etc are exactly the demographic that voted to leave.

          Only one business would falsify your statement. The CBI does not reflect the views of all its members and is itself unrepresentative of UK business. The FSB doesn’t reflect my views on this either.

        • David Price
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          Do you mean the Federation of Small Businesses.

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      BIG business wants to drag it out so that a reversal can happen and all the crooked lobbying to exclude competition and cheap labour will roll on.. Surely, you know what you are doing.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Good point. Because the Govt has not clearly set out why there is no cliff edge. (See above).

    • forthurst
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      To be specific, the American banks believe that it would take them time to relocate to Frankfurt if their is no deal on passporting. They have managed to convince Philip Hammond that their presence here is vital to our economy and that without a deal they would abscond to Frankfurt. However, it is not absolutely certain that they are not simply trying to keep us locked into the EU as long as possible as they were Brexit’s most vociferous opponents. Actually getting rid of these operators who have in the past used our City as a venue for offloading fraudulent derivatives manufactured in the the USA would be a another good reason for going for a no deal. The City is a unique financial centre and would be perfectly capable of taking up the slack were the American banks to actually follow through with their threats.

  22. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    If this current mob of appeasers had been governing Britain in 1940, there would only be one language spoken throughout the whole of Europe today and it would not be English!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      @ Glenn Vaughan

      Spot on, well said

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Never have so few said so much rubbish to so many

      • NickC
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Is that some form of Remain apology?

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          I am not even a remainer but I do work in business and know how long we need to find new markets

      • Jagman84
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        In that case I suggest that you desist from posting for a while. Your dishonest ‘rubbish’ is in a class of it’s own!

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          I think you should look up “dishonest before you sue it?

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    “Despite Brexit”:

    “Denmark and UK to connect via world’s longest power cable”

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      They are planning to sell their excess wind power to the UK. They already have to get rid of it to Norway and Sweden, where they pump water uphill and send Hydro power back. We only have a small amount of hydro storage. England already is having to take excess expensive Scottish wind and keep them going when it doesn’t blow. Offshore wind is expanding fast and the price agreed is 3x gas generation. Customers are being (made to pat dearly ed) by idiots in Whitehall. Bills will be going up even faster.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Missing the point, stred, the deal for a new connector been signed even though the Danes know that we are leaving the EU …

  24. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Ivan Rogers was apparently doing his disaster act at a Treasury Committee hearing, why he is involved at all is beyond me. The reality is the EU will not, cannot give us a free trade deal, that would explode the myth of their internal/single market. My view from the start was trade negotiation was a waste of time, we should be leaving on 24/06/18 but the Remainers have already inflicted a £10B penalty on our delayed A50 letter. I doubt if there are 100 true Brexit MPs and if this Government is not careful it will create a Catalonia type groundswell in England.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      To be fair to Ivan Rogers he was explaining why he thinks there is a cliff edge if there is no deal – which is his considered opinion. Unfortunately, though JR and one or two others assert – probably correctly – that the cliff edge will be like the millenium bug, the Government has not published a proper analysis refuting the cliff edge, so most MPs, such as those on this committee, and indeed many minsiters, can’t refute the argument.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        He is one of those who is on the side of the EU not the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      It would explode their myth that trade and immigration must be linked. It is not the only point of disagreement but most people in the UK simply do not accept the EU’s quasi-religious doctrine that the so-called “four freedoms” are inseparable.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      The EU is ready to offer a FTA (so it is not true that they cannot, will not etc) but what is on offer: something along the lines of CETA) is not to the Cabinet’s liking.

      • NickC
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Rien, I’m ready to offer myself for a trip to Mars. So it’s not true I cannot, will not, etc.

  25. Christine
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    When the deal is ready let’s have a second referendum to either accept it or leave with a No Deal. Let the people decide. I think I know which option the British people will choose.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hi Christine,
      But as you know the problem is the remoaners that are pushing for such a referendum want the choice to be accept the deal or stay in the EU.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Dear Christine–Balderdash–If the Second Referendum goes somebody’s wrong way do we then have a Third? The problem, and a progressive one (Apologies to Gordon Brown), is the delay not the First (and Final) Referendum

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Don’t count on it. As with May’s disastrous election, the media and all those Jean Monet academics will have been brainwashing snowflakes without much brain to wash for four years and an election will be due.

      Why doesn’t the minister for universities insist that these Europhile professors give their lectures waving a wad of euros and with a sign saying ‘I’ve got loads of Monet’.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      You can’t know that because you don’t know how bad the deal might be.

  26. Newmania
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Our peak EU contribution was about 8% of the EU budget and well under 1% of the UK`s annual spend. Almost everything written about on the Leave side is garbage for this reason alone.
    The suggestion argument that WTO is manageable (made exclusively by people who are not involved in any affected business) is a self-evident nonsense.

    If it were true then as we rely on the EU five times as much as they do on us they would barely notice the difference and have nothing to lose in telling us to sling our hook.
    In fact we have a great deal to lose and a long term structural weakness that will hold the country back in perpetuity thanks to one imbecilic act of selfishness and complete political failure.
    The EU also has a lot to lose but obviously much less, that is the truth. TRUTH remember that?

    It is the view of many that the right wing extremists of the Blue Kip want us to suffer economic hardship as a means to bring about the deconstruction of the side of the UK that is collectivist, for example the NHS.
    I prefer to the cock uptheory to the conspiracy.
    I think they would rather their stupidity was lost in a sea of accusations and counter accusations in a national emergency where the simple fact they were foolish wrong and dishonest is the least of our problems
    No deal can be vaguely spun as swings and roundabouts. Any real life alternative will be obviously much worse than what we had before. They don`t like that; they like rhetorical space for lying, it’s what they do, its all they do

    Reply Why do you mislead in all your comments. £12bn net contribution is 1.7% of public spending, a significant number. As we rely on WTO for all our non EU trade this is not an impractical or harmful way of proceeding

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I stopped reading when you said; ” . . . right wing extremists . . “

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      You don’t know the meaning of the words ‘right wing extremists’.

      • Jagman84
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Or truth, for that matter!

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Your extreme replies to people with whom you disagree really doe not serve you or the debate particularly well, so stop using strongly emotional words, then we might take you seriously

          • NickC
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            Hans, “Extreme” is in the eye of the beholder. We voted to be free of the corrupt, dysfunctional EU. You want us run by it. Hence your Remain views are extreme.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Most of the world gets by just fine without being a member of the EU. Why do you suppose the UK will be so different?

    • Newmania
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      No the net contributionto the EU in 2016 was £8.6 bn , you are , as usual quoting the gross amount and seeking to mislead people by allowing them to assume this means after the money we get back is deducted and not simply after the rebate is calculated .
      I was thinking of the amount as part of GDP which is£1.9 trillion so its way under 1% of that as compared with government spending which hovers around 40%
      This tiny figure is not £350 million per week by any caculation and even that is a tiny figure in context .
      In context it is a rounding error but the country was persuaded toi risk its future based on the lie that this small chnage was going to make themn richer . 90% of Leave voters believed it .

      • NickC
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Newmania, Please keep up. The £12bn NET annual figure comes from an EU estimate. The gross was nearly £19bn, so well over £350m pw gross. The gross figure makes sense because it is the total from which the net receipts are deducted, and the Thatcher rebate is deducted a year in arrears anyway.

        ONS figures for total government spending in 2015 was £747bn, less the £12bn danegeld to the EU = £735bn. So £12bn net is 1.63% of the total. Your imprecise, and erroneous, “way under 1%” sounds like an impecunious comedy character from Jane Austen.

        We have hardly risked our future when our total exports to the EU amount to only about 10% of UK GDP. Think about the other 90% for a change.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        “90% of Leave voters believed it .”

        90% of Leave voters had made up their mind about leaving the EU before the referendum – before £350m was ever mentioned.

        Indeed, that they wanted to vote Leave is why they asked for a referendum.

        No borders = no country.

        It’s not that we’re against other cultures but that the EU wants to diversify us out of existence.

    • John Soper
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      We do not rely on WTO for our non-EU trade, and you are dishonest to say we do

      Here is the truth -=

  27. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    At last a bit of common sense around the debate.
    Problem is May and her remain colleagues are well aware that no deal is the best for us.
    Bearing that in mind May is likely to keep capitulating line by line to keep us shackled to the corpse of the EU.
    We are going to be offered Associate Membership and that will suit the remainiacs fine.
    Membership without representation. The worst of both worlds.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Please, do kindly enlighten us on the Non deal versus as Deal you obviously know more about the potential deal than we do as the rest of us not have not been informed?

      • John
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Hans, its not that you haven’t been informed, its that you seem to struggle to assimilate information presented to you. We have all had the same information but you struggle to know what that information means. It’s called cognitive ability.

        Never mind Hans, I hope you don’t have a job that’s in any way important, for your sake first and then for our sake second.

        Wish you well.

      • NickC
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Hans, It doesn’t matter what deal the EU offers, we cannot get better than the WTO deal. You have been informed.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          yes and I fundamentally disagree with that conclusion

          • NickC
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            Hans, That’s only because you want to be governed by a few unelected politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels. Most British people don’t (who bothered to vote). We want our country, our freedom, our laws, our culture, our fish back, etc. We are fed up of being your cash-cow and the butt of your whining complaints.

  28. Simon
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    What is completely ridiculous about these “No dealers” of which Mr Redwood is among the leading advocates is that they themselves now admit that “no deal” can not mean “no deal at all”. There are they say a number of matters which will need to be agreed in any event. But all those items on their so far incomplete but rapidly growing list do still likewise require collaboration, co operation and agreement with the EU.

    For a good intro to this schizophrenic and fundamentally dishonest thinking see Conservativehome:

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Dear Simon–You are grasping at straws–We will be near and hopefully friendly neighbours so of course there will be agreements but what has that got to do with going to WTO?

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Simon, That is a straw-man fallacy. The (badly named) “No deal” scenario refers to a no specific tariff-free trade deal with the EU, not to no co-operation on anything. As you well know. Indeed the WTO rules, even without the few EU negotiated RTAs, require fair treatment and co-operation anyway.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      What is completely ridiculous about these fundamentally dishonest Remoaners is the way they unhesitatingly and rather stupidly assume that if the Home Secretary says she is sure there will be a deal then she must be talking about a trade deal and not about a deal relevant to her own departmental responsibilities, and they can’t even be bothered to check what was actually said and in what context but instead just repeat the same nonsense like a flock of parrots: “Rudd said there has to be a deal! Rudd said there has to be a deal! Squawk, squawk!”

    • Soft Brexit
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yep, it’s the no deal with lots of pick and mix deals thrown in there. Christ only knows how people like Redwood think the EU is going to just merrily go along with this after we’ve given them the two fingers, but I guess we just need some of that ‘optimism’. That will solve it!

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Hey, soft bwexit !

        I don’t remember you on the voting slip.

  29. Peter
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    At this stage all the arguments for and against have been made.

    What is of interest now is the realpolitik. Can May deliver a clean Brexit? Will Remainers nobble Brexit?

    Of course, there is no way ordinary folk will find out any of this until it is all done and dusted.

  30. Bert Young
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It is reasonable to conclude that Theresa will not stand as PM in the next election – there are too many negatives to support her . For the Conservatives to put themselves in reach of success next time round a new leader has to have sufficient time in office to prove that he / she is doing a good job and can win . When ought the change to occur ?. Obviously the date and timing becomes critical just when ” negotiations ” end .

    Looking at this scenario I firmly believe that walking away is the best choice if the Conservatives are going to succeed ; the majority of their supporters will not support the continuing flow of funds to Brussels and it is their votes that will count . Certainly in 2 years time the emerging cracks in the EU will have widened and it will be difficult for it to present a ” penalty ” price . Timing of events is now all important and the Conservatives have to put their house in order .

  31. Chris S
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Points 1 to 4 are the ideal basis for a deal as well as no deal. They, plus a deal on free trade, should be what we are aiming for. Any watering down of the four would be a bad deal.

    Turning to Free trade, Remainers, who so vociferously support the EU, conveniently forget that Mrs May offered an unrestricted free trade deal in goods and services right at the beginning. It is only EU internal politics that are making it so difficult, probably impossible, to achieve.

    Negotiations on the scope of a deal could easily have been wrapped up by now if only Brussels and the 27 have chosen to act in the best interest of their economies rather than their fear that others might want to follow us out.

    The demand for money, without any legal basis, remember, is purely a device to fill the back hole in the next budget round which should be nothing to do with us.

    Their problem is not that they can’t agree whether to cut the budget or demand that the smaller number of net contributing countries stump up a lot more money to carry on as if Brexit hadn’t happened.

    It’s because the bonds that bind the 27 together are so weak than Merkel and Juncker don’t even want to have that discussion for fear that the whole sorry mess will implode.

    Hence their trumped up demand that the UK must pay roughly what we would have contributed had we remained a member for the entire duration of the next full budget period.

    We must point blank refuse these demands and the £20bn promised till 2021 must remain conditional on a deal acceptable to the UK, otherwise we walk, keeping our £20bn to spend at home.

    • Stred
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      We must be careful to make sure deduct the amount of the amount rebate, as this comes in the car following the year.

      • Stred
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Smart added and changed words while out of sight

  32. VotedOut
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    You’re all THICK, according to some members of parliament.

    These are the same ‘intelligent’ MP’s who have made hate crime punishable by long prison terms. When asked most police forces defined a hate crime as ‘dislike’ or ‘unfriendliness’. Interestingly, the EU is legally a ‘personality’, so contributors to this column run the real risk of going to prison for the ‘dislike’ or ‘unfriendliness’ of … the EU.

    Given this wonderful legislation from our ‘intelligent’ MP’s, I have absolutely no confidence at all that brexit will happen.

    Porage anyone?

    • Oggy
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I believe you are referring to Barry Sheerman MP (Huddersfield) who said on Sunday ‘Only the less well educated voted to leave the EU, as all the University cities voted remain’. His logic is non existent and like many remoaners because they lost the argument are now resorting to insults.
      What an obnoxious individual.
      In addition my right to express my opinion of him is just as important as his opinion of me/us. But I agree the definition of a hate crime is somewhat nebulous at best.

      • VotedOut
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes indeed.

        What is most interesting about Mr Sheerman is his contempt for his own electorate.

        Sadly, constituencies all too often have a poor choice of candidates (usually parachuted in). The resulting general election choice is then an abysmal trio of identical candidates with the only difference being the colour of the rosette.

        As Mr Farage said, our MP’s are mostly sons and daughters of other MP’s and who themselves have been to the same University doing the same PPE’s. So its no surprise we have idiotic statements from them and equally idiotic laws. The truth is they need the EU because they don’t know how how to do government – nobody has since 1972.

        Reply Most MPs are nor parachuted in but chosen by local people to stand. Most are not the children of other MPs!

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      WRONG. A degree in stupidity is a prime qualification for being in Westminster.
      Who but the terminally stupid would give us the CCA and defining marriage as a union between anyone and anything.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      The same leaders who are welcoming back all those who have been having a holiday in Syria ? When they do the inevitable -and they will – will our leaders surprise us by standing up and saying “Lessons have been learned “? for the umpteenth time ?

  33. Edward
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Great points the Right Honorable Member makes.

    Personally I would recommend that the UK informs the EU that it does not for now seek a FTA, instead it only seeks to join and pay for selected aspects of the EU such as Horizon 2020, Euratom, Open Skies, Financial Passporting etc.

    And then the UK to trade fully on WTO terms by declaring unilateral free trade with zero import duties (other than to protect us from unfair dumping and to protect strategic industries). It will then be up to the EU to openly and blatantly punish us by imposing import duties on our exports to them (and thus continuing to impose costs on their consumers).

    This action may even be the catalyst for the EU to start reducing the protectionist wall it has which creates so much poverty around the world.

    The UK has a once in a generation opportunity over the next few weeks to help itself, the EU and the world. We should be brave, not timid.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I think there is a strong case for publicly demanding to know whether the EU has any intention of agreeing any trade deal beyond the default of WTO terms.

      Rather than another speech or hints dropped to the media an Open Letter to the other EU leaders could be the best vehicle for putting them on the spot.

      I would suggest these points, albeit maybe expressed more diplomatically:

      1. As you know we have long ago proposed the negotiation of a bespoke agreement to protect and enhance trade between the UK and the EU.

      2. But you have obstinately insisted on sequential rather than parallel negotiations with trade as a low priority and you have stubbornly refused to discuss trade even in outline.

      3. As you well know time is increasingly pressing and therefore we wish to know within the next thirty days whether you have any intention of negotiating any kind of trade deal with the UK.

      4. If you persist with your reckless intransigence and fail to clarify whether or not you wish to negotiate with us about trade, and moreover in good faith, within that stated period of thirty days, then we will assume that our future trade relations will be governed by the terms of the WTO arrangements to which we are all already parties and accept that there will be no negotiations on that matter.

      • Edward
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        Fully agree Dennis

        I guess my suggestion of pulling out of FTA talks now is a bit provocative. Give 30 days notice as you suggest.

        But sadly I feel our executive is far too timid to take a brave stand.

  34. Monza 71
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Fishing is a potentially difficult area for the negotiations. I’m all for taking back full control of our fishing grounds but it appears that the vast majority of fish caught in our waters are landed and sold in the 27. It seems unlikely that the 27 will ever agree to allow the fish to be sold into the 27 if we take back the fishing grounds in their entirety.

    We should already be building a new fleet of boats and training the next generation of fishermen but nothing seems to be happening on that front. I wonder why not ?

    • Andy
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      So the EU27 will have to get use to not eating fish or paying through the nose for it. And not allowing the EU27 to fish in UK waters will do wonders for fish stocks to the benefit of all.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      If that’s true, there will be a great expansion of fish stocks. We are a net importer of fish so we can absorb whatever our fishermen catch.
      I don’t think the Spanish or any of the 27 would be happy about banning import of fish from UK waters. There is no readily available substitute supply.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Dear Monza–Assuming you are right (but I must say that that “vast majority” smells a bit fishy), does not WTO cover fish?

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


      We will need plenty of fishery protection vessels as well !

    • Mactheknife
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      The 27 fish in our waters because we have the fish they want. When you sit down for your sea food platter by the med, much of it will be from our shores. So its in the 27’s interest to have a deal.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        With what navy do we stop them ?

        • David Price
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps the plan is to take pictures and throw lawyers at them.

        • anon
          Posted November 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Drones seem a good choice to gather evidence and co-ordinate protection efforts.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      The MFN tariffs are currently between 0 and 24% depending on species and product, about 10% for cod. If this means uk boats cannot successfully sell into EU then either stocks further recover or they sell into other markets, what is the problem?

  35. Bob
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    “we do not want to pay them large sums of money beyond the £30 bn leaving present we are giving”

    When was this agreed?

    Have you any idea how many hospitals could be built with that amount of money?

  36. Chris
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I see Paul Goodman of Cons Home is saying that we would have to stay in the ECHR as a necessary “price” of Brexit.
    Tory Diary | Paul Goodman
    “Remaining in the ECHR is a cost of leaving the EU
    Given its majority and manifesto, the Government cannot take on both delivering Brexit and quitting the court. But it must stand fast against the Charter of Fundamental Rights….”

    Why is this so, Mr Redwood?

  37. Bob
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    It’s reported in the press that jihadis returning from fighting in Syria will be offered taxpayer-funded homes, counselling and help finding jobs to stop them carrying out attacks in Britain.

    Codenamed “Operation Constrain” it could allow jihadis to jump to the top of council house waiting lists.

    Were you aware of this Mr Redwood?
    Was it put to a vote in the HoC?
    Are you aware that there are returning British soldiers sleeping on the streets?

    Reply No I cannot confirm this. Sounds unlikely.

  38. BOF
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    It could not be put more clearly and you sum up quite succinctly what leaving means. Thank you Mr Redwood.

    How unfortunate that so many in Parliament wish to obstruct UK sovereignty. The same people who voted overwhelmingly to leave when triggering Article 50. Do we call it double standards or just plain treachery?

  39. Jay North
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    ” The Prime Minister is right to be positive, warm and enthusiastic”

    There, John, I’m afraid I disagree. An icy, wan, contemptuous smile is what is needed in any dealings with Merkel, Juncker, Selmayr, Verhofstadt et al. These numbskulls all mistake politeness for weakness, and only the broken record of a stubbornly repeated simple mantra (such as Mrs Thatcher’s: ‘We want our money back’) has any chance of success.

    This is why you are right in saying that we must hammer it home to the EU that we now *intend* to leave without an Agreement, and the EU must accept the financial implications of that intention, or else now quickly offer terms.

  40. Epikouros
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The obscure arguments being put forward for doing anything different than what you propose here are lame at best at worst they are put forward to deceive and to negate the will of the majority that voted to leave. It is pitiful that Brussels and remainers are blind to reason. The Former because of malice and fear of the EU budget black hole that Brexit will cause. The latter because of their short sighted and misguided zealous believe that the EU will create an Utopian superstate that will provide a cornucopia of wealth, security and liberalism.

    They cannot put forward any evidence or sound argument that in fact the EU has achieved any of that or is likely to in the to do so in the future. They then ignore the fact that leavers can point out that the EU is expensive and wasteful of taxpayers money. Crisis riddled, offers no security that NATO and cross border security services cooperation that extends beyond the EU does not already do better. It is only liberal in the progressive sense and is in fact illiberal undemocratic and authoritarian.

    I defy remainers and the EU to put forward any sensible and rational reason for the EU’s existence. They will find that they cannot because the EU stands against all that the human condition lives for. The right to self determination; to decide their own laws and codes moral, economic and social and to be closer to the seat of those who have power over them (independence and devolution demands prove that truism). The EU does the opposite of that and Brussels and remainers cannot make the case that that is not true.

  41. Colin Garrett
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I have just read your piece for Brexit Central this morning – agreed with every word. Let’s just leave and get on with life. Anyone who has read Varoufakis will see that the EU will just b****r us around until time runs out. Their modus operandi is “Let’s compromise – do it our way”. Keep up the good work !


  42. Iain Gill
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Nice to see Gordon Browns memoir confirm he, like Blair, jumped the NHS waits and was seen by a consultant eye surgeon the same day.

    The NHS really is Orwells animal farm writ large.

    Shame the service is so bad for the rest of us.

  43. jack Snell
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    We are still talking about them needing a deal as much as us but we forget that politics matters much more to the EU set than any deals or economics. It is more important to them to keep the whole EU project on track as much as possible by whatever means and I have no doubt that they will make the necessary changes and bring in the reforms needed to allow it to happen. When UK leaves they will just have to refashion retool and get on with it- just like ourselves.. I have no doubt that with the possibility of Turkey joining the EU now out of the equation they may very well be looking at Russia for post Putin time as a market to fill any void. I will go further and say that they may even have China and Japan in their sights for a grand coalition of economic regions in the northern hemisphere for the long term- don’t forget China is building that railway line through the old silk road.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      It is much,much more likely that western Europe will be subsumed into the Sino-Russian bloc than the other way round.Neither China nor Russia are going to be taking orders from anyone,least of all EU bureaucrats.

  44. kenD
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Reading today’s diary it seems to me that the reason we want to leave is because we want to return to the 19th century- All very well if that is what we want and what we voted for. It’s democracy afterall

  45. graham1946
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It’s all about the money and how much and for how long the EU can screw us for.

    Since the referendum, up to the ‘leaving date’ March 2019, we will already have given them 30 billion due to dithering etc. Then Mrs, May offers another 20 billion over the 2 following years. That’s 50 billion already, well over half of the figure they snatched out of the air and and which we said we would not pay) and we are not even anywhere near half way in the ‘negotiations’. At this rate they will get their 100 billion Euros without any concessions being granted. The 20 billion (which I believe JR you told us some time ago that it would be illegal for the UK to pay, although your boss does not seem to agree) should be taken off the table and the EU be told that unless a free trade deal is forthcoming by this time next year, they can do what Boris suggests and ‘whistle’. Time to get tough, these people only want money, so take away the possibility they will get it and it may concentrate their minds. If not, just leave, not be strung along until we have paid their outrageous bill by the back door and still not be fully out.

  46. English Pensioner
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    We should go for the no deal option.
    I would have thought it more to the EU’s advantage than our own to have a free trade deal.
    We should be setting a figure for what we expect them to pay us for such a deal, not us paying them.
    It seems that we don’t have any one in government or the civil service who is capable of driving a bargain. No wonder the state is always taken for a ride by commercial companies when negotiating contracts.

  47. lojolondon
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    John. I don’t understand why we think we want a free-trade deal with the EU. THEY should want a free trade deal with US!!

    Let’s say we do not get a free-trade deal with the EU – say we charge 10% on all imports. That makes EU goods less competitive in the UK and rewards our other, new trading partners. Also means that the British Treasury gathers all that cash, unlike the current situation where import duties are hoovered up by the EU. If I was Chancellor, I would really enjoy that, maybe cut British personal tax rate or VAT by 5%, and give the whole country a massive bonanza.
    One other point I want to make – post-Brexit, (large multinationals ed) etc. will all have to pay full corporation tax in the UK for their UK earnings. This is never mentioned by the Remainers, and will bring many Billions per annum to our economy.

  48. LibDim
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It should not surprise if the LibDems call for the legalisation of inappropriate behaviour since it appears at first sight so widespread and an aid to arthritis in the wrists.

  49. Tad Davison
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    It’s like watching three attacking footballers standing in the goalmouth in open play where there aren’t any defenders, and the goalkeeper is out of position. All they have to do is boot the ball between the goalposts, and the game is reset. The crowd is yelling at them to get on with it, yet they dither and faff around, totally unaware of the frustration they are causing, and the very real risk that inaction might provoke a pitch invasion.

    There’s one former premier league manager whom I’m in contact with, and he tells me if this negotiation was in his profession, not only would the team be replaced at the earliest opportunity, the manager would have been up the road long ago.

    We just can’t have these Muppets running things any longer. Which part of the phrase ‘For Christ’s sake show some guts and get on with it’ do they not understand?

    Nil – nil is just not good enough and won’t win this negotiating team any fans. Yet by leaving the EU, the UK can be right up there and challenging for top honours, but that takes vision and planning. Something the remain side are clearly lacking.

    Tad Davison


  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    JR, I think you need to be much clearer about what you mean by “No Deal”. Bear in mind that we are not having a polite and reasonable national conversation about the best way to proceed, rather there is a continuing war of words between those of us who are loyal to this country and those whose primary allegiance is to the EU and who will stop at nothing to try to get their way and keep us in their beloved EU by hook or by crook, and the latter will take every opportunity to distort and misrepresent whatever we say.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink


      I think we, the Government and all Leavers should forget the term “no deal” and simply refer to it with “a deal under WTO terms”, it sounds and is so much more positive, and because it is workable and already in use by many Countries.

      • John Soper
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        In truth almost no countries trade under WTO rules alone.

        • NickC
          Posted October 31, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          John Soper, All WTO signatory countries trade under WTO rules alone. That’s what they signed up to do. The RTAs, (registered with the WTO – making them WTO rules), are few and minor modifications of the original far-reaching WTO rules and remit.

          We have already signed a joint letter with the EU to the WTO assuring third countries that their RTA quotas will be respected, pro-rata. The WTO encourages fairness and reciprocity so your worries are ill-founded.

  51. rose
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Paying the EU at all seems masochistic.

    Why go on paying in when they are no longer treating us as a proper member state?

  52. Michael
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Many MP’s possibly a majority will not countenance us leaving the EU without a deal.

    I worry they will look for any reason for us not to leave in March 2019.

    The British people voted to leave in a referendum and it ill behoves politicians to try and second guess that decision.

    They say they respect the outcome of the referendum but show no enthusiasm for the opportunities it could unlock.

  53. bigneil
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    A migration policy fair for the whole world ?? – -what about one that is fair on the UK taxpayer ?? Every month more and more pile in with arms outstretched and their pockets reinforced to take the cash and goodies our leaders happily throw them. What happened to “If you can’t support yourself after 3 months – out you go.” ? No sense in having a law if you never use it.

  54. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Suggesting a binary division of deals into “Good” and “Bad” is rarely the optimal way to solve political problems. But it can be good populism/demagoguery. Another issue: one man’s “good deal” may well be another man’s “bad deal”. Your criteria for a “good deal” are “your” criteria. Possibly shared by lots of people but neither exhaustive (as you admit yourself (although making it look like the economics aspect is of minor importance is somewhat suspect: someone with your background ought to know better or may have a radically different economic future as an ideal than many others; anyway it suggests an agenda rather than the plain truth Brexit voters crave) not necessarily the only “good deal” that the British median voter (who may have been just in favour of Brexit or just against) would tolerate or better prefer.

    There is of course another problem: there is not enough time to prepare Britain for (your) no deal scenario. All in all then, I suggest you look at what you wrote again and do some homework. It may well be an outcome that (for political reasons) cannot be improved upon and There may be within the EU member states a growing tendency to let the UK go (in peace) but that does not really address practicalities. Wait until countries like Belgium and Holland that have massive shares of exports directed to the UK. Apparently. On closer inspection those exports are merely formal and associated with very little domestic added value (and hence jobs/votes) in those countries. They are obviously very well ware of this and their EU-internal objections to a treatment of EEU-UK relations is hence capable of disappearing rapidly once Germany has made up its mind (Germany and non-EU are probably the most important suppliers of those “transit-exports” merel;y booked in the Benelux because the goods travel physically through those countries and may well undergo some minor value addition =in order to qualify for a shift in tax liability. I suspect this is the case but there is no documentary evidence. However, those goods will continue to flow, and until the UK logistical system is complete, will continue to go through the large container ports on the eastern side of the North Sea/Channel. For the UK consumer, they may just become a little more expensive, also depending on the Pound’s trajectory during a “no deal” event.

    So, the matter is basically “what economic price, in the short term, is the UK willing to pay for rather intangible achievements in areas like regulation/lawmaking plus more economic ones like immigration and EU contributions. I am sure that Immigration and EU contributions are in no way binary in nature. The Polish plumber may leave but will not be replaced by a Geordie moving to Peterborough. The more likely replacement would be Ukranian or even Pakistani under your immigration rules. That will keep people who dislike immigrants emotionally dissatisfied. This while the EU has just adopted a new policy direction that will limit freedom of movement in important ways. EU contributions are eminently negotiable if one wants to sit down and be prepared to explain to the public that these aounts, per annum, are insignificant in the greater scheme of the UK economy and will probably not result in tangible fiscal savings for the UK once externalities are taken into account.

    I am absolutely convinced that the UK should not be/never have been a full member of the EU, but becoming an isolated outpost of an imagined global free trading system is far from the only alternative.

  55. Stuart Watkin
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Excellent analysis, John, as ever.

    Let’s face it, we are not going to get a good deal from the EU unless they see we are deadly serious about leaving with No Deal. The ONLY way to demonstrate this to them is to allocate the money is the upcoming budget, and immediately start spending it on the necessary changes to ports and customs arrangements, just as your Parliamentary colleague Charlie Elphicke has emphasised.

  56. Dennis Zoff
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


    As you well know, in dealing with the EU, give a finger and they will want a hand, give a hand they will want an arm, give an arm and they will want the body!

    The biggest issue is one of negotiation skills and determination, which appears sorely missing in both T. May and her negotiation team! However, this is not as clear-cut as it seems, as you well know!.

    The major self-inflicted issue:

    Mrs May has to defend her fragile personal position; voters requirements from both side of the divide; selfish business needs and wants; strong criticism from within her cabinet and political opponents, with their vested political interest; hostile MSM coverage; wholesale belligerency from certain Euro-fanatics; nation-state interference, etc.

    This is just too complicated and frankly, an impossible task to execute. Those of us that have formed teams to negotiate billion dollar contracts, tried very hard to keep negations manageable, simplified, with a clear execution plan and hopefully establishing a win-win scenario! Both parties wanted a successful outcome. As we all know, this is not a scenario wanted by the EU?

    Currently, these negotiations are a hugely embarrassing “colossal” pig’s ear and a lose-lose scenario. Anybody with any sense can see it…but of course, many fifth columnists wish this to continue?

    Please push harder for WTO and be done with it! WTO is sensible, unambiguous, easier to defend later and delivers a clean sheet to start further negotiations on all the important issues!

    Otherwise, this whole pantomime will carry on for years, until finally someone comes along and stops this travesty, and delivers that which is clearly needed?

  57. Hugh Rose
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    PLEASE can everyone stop talking about “NO DEAL” and instead talk about a “WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION DEAL” – NO DEAL would involve trade sanctions or even a blockade and war.

  58. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May does not wish us to leave. She is the architect of delay, she is desperate to stitch up some appeasing compromuse to keep us under EU influence and control, while deviously claiming we are out.

    Mr Redwood will be betrayed in his urging and wishes. Will he remain loyal to the party in these undoubted circumstances? Probably he will find a way. It ought to be as dangerous as joining the euro however which he once said was a resigning issue.

    As for the rest of us, the people and our democracy – who knows where we will end up.

  59. nigel seymour
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Watched the comm for leaving the EU 26/10 and was impressed with the (our) two Under Sec’s SB and RW. Picked up on the observation that remainers/labour are keen to thwart Brexit with some questions clearly contrived. Having said that, it was indeed nuanced and notwithstanding my attempts to take it all in I’m not sure some of the Committee had a grasp of the actual specific subject in question!!

  60. Mactheknife
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    As Merkel was reportedly furious at Junker and his team for constantly leaking doom laden news from the meetings with the PM, it shows to me that a) the powerful nations in the EU do want a deal despite what is said in public b) they think May is their best chance of a deal, and c) its puts the UK in a strong position. My only worry is that in May they feel they have someone who will capitulate under the pressure.
    If the stumbling block is the divorce payment then we should treat it like a divorce payment. Calculate current UK financial liabilities ( investments already committed, UK pensions etc) and then UK assets which would be left with the EU (investments already done, payments made within the two years etc) and the balance will be the exit payment. I suspect as we are a net contributor our bill would be fairly minimal.

  61. Lee
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    From what I understand, no deal also ticks a number of boxes that will potentially have some very serious negative effects. Given you’ve stated the positives, it would be good to see you identify the negatives too; the risk benefit so to speak.

    • zorro
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      You are the one suggesting negatives….. fire away!


    • anon
      Posted November 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Try as i might i cannot see in any sense any material negatives to a “WTO or no deal”.

      I am struggling badly to see any positives in pursuing any agreement with the EU whilst a member.

      We should exit unilaterally and soon as the EU are not negotiating in good faith and hence the article 50 process is a sham. The EU is being paid to delay.

      Our interest is a an immediate clean exit.

  62. getahead
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    John, the implementation, extension, transition period is a Hammond scam which we don’t need. Mrs May should have slapped him down as soon as she returned from holiday. You say some kind things about her above but the truth is she is a wimp under Hammond’s thumb.

  63. Iain Gill
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I notice India is planning to land on the moon next year, and yet we still borrow masses of money to give them as supposed “aid”

    Couldnt make it up

    (c) the British ruling class clueless as ever

    Reply Not so. The Overseas Aid budget has been altered.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Come on how much are we giving India this very month, it’s not zero is it?

  64. John
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I assume No Deal would not mean that both partiers would not carry on with the arrangements being made for things like:

    UK and EU citizens
    Nuclear regulator
    and so on

    If so then a No Deal is a deal on all these non trade areas and a WTO deal for trade?

    If so then No Deal isn’t really the right terminology we should be using.

  65. Mick
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
    Clegg Clarke Adonis and others who go against the will of the people for there own gain should all be chucked in the Tower of London and after about twenty years shipped off to there beloved Europe

    • Oggy
      Posted October 31, 2017 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Hi Mick, Your favourite Cleggy could be back soon ! If Jared O’Mara’s shenanigans ends up causing a bi-election in Sheffield Hallam you can guess who will be standing for the Libdims.

  66. HenryS
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s all nonsense if you think that the EU want’s to have a deal at any cost..they are quite prepared to walk away with no deal. Information from EU sources is that they have had enough of English whinging going on now for decades and a lot of them will be pleased to be shut of us. Economics and deal making comes only very secondary as far as they are concerned. The way they see it is that the most important thing is the preservation of the four EU and capital..but with our thinking we are not going to fit in in any way in the future so better be prepared to look for these trades overseas and paddle our own canoe

    Reply So be it. We cannot make them have a deal, but my sources say there are many on the continent who like our free trade offer.

  67. Dunedin
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    A very good piece – I would suggest your points 1-4 provide a checklist of questions which Remainers need to answer:

    1. Why do you want to keep giving British taxpayers’ money to the EU? Those who believe we have a “moral obligation” to keep paying need to explain why it is moral to give away money that could be spent at home or left in taxpayers’ own pockets.
    2. Why do you want the ECJ to continue to hold sway over British law? Why do you not have faith in our own legal system?
    3. Why do you not want us to control our own fishing waters?
    4. What do you find wrong with controlling our own borders and having a properly managed system for immigration? Why do you want to have unlimited immigration which puts strain on public services, adds to the shortage of housing, and increases competition for jobs particularly for those on lower wages?
    Remainers need to be asked these questions but most of the broadcast media are not willing do so.

  68. jackH
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    John the whole of the cabinet knows now that we need some kind of a sensible deal with the EU going forward so why do you insist with going on with this ridiculous charade of pretending WTO trading with them will be ok..because it won’ would be a disaster for this country..just even listen to Michael Gove today in northern ireland..he also has had a late convertion..jeez and we have to listen to you and IDS bleating on with Bill Cash the last of the Alamo set

    • Orwell
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink


      Going forward….
      The truth is…..
      No stone unturned…..

      All common purpose speak

  69. Radio's still free
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Best wishes for QT.
    00000001% of the actual population ( made that figure up) listen.
    That percentage comprises mainly of rabid media wolves looking for a soundbite.
    You will do well.

  70. John O'Leary
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    So under WTO the government doesn’t pay £10billion in contributions to the EU budget and foregoes the vast majority of the tax revenue from £240billion of UK exports to the EU. That makes sense NOT!

    Reply Why would we lose the tax revenue on our exports?

  71. WalterP
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Michael Gove says today that we want a deal with as close as possible relations with the Eu..hardly the same stuff that he was talking about during the referendum campaign?
    Boris and Fox have been very quiet of late..i’d say the game is up..there will be no more talk now about new trade deals with countries overseas..A50 is activated so it’s too late now to reverse so we’ll just have to make the best of it as an outsider country..there is no doubt now to my mind but that we were horribly lied to.

  72. Chris
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Am very concerned by this report in the Mail:
    “….Brexiteer ex-Cabinet ministers today warned Tory rebels that defeating the Government on the final deal could trigger a snap election. Iain Duncan Smith and John Whittingdale said Theresa May would have little choice but to call fresh elections if she was unable to get her Brexit deal past the Commons….”

    I believe the Tory “rebels” Soubry et al do not actually care about triggering an election as their allegiances seems to be not to the UK or the Cons Party, but the EU. Furthermore, there are some rebels who have small majorities anyway, but who maybe feel they would stand a better chance in another Party, to which ideologically they would be better suited?

  73. Norman
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Probably too late to comment, BUT for what its worth, I think we have to continue negotiating in ‘friendly mode’ for all sorts of reasons, without capitulating on the essentials: timing, money, sovereignty, borders, territorial waters, etc. In a dangerous world, the PM has to be mindful of preserving good relations at home and abroad – firm, good manners are needed, in what must be one of the toughest challenges since WW2. The team at the sharp end will need perfect clarity of vision, and the so-called ‘No-Deal’ option has to be maintained as a practical but courteous default – not a bellicose threat.

  74. Alison
    Posted October 31, 2017 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Sorry to post so late. Barnier meeting Clarke, Clegg, Adonis – ‘tripartite’ – seems to me an extremely serious matter. It seems to me highly inappropriate for Barnier to meet them. Is Barnier, through what he said in that meeting, indirectly interfering in UK matters, or could he be perceived as so doing? (Goes without saying, I agree with Hope above, and think Mick is too kind)

  75. Prigger
    Posted October 31, 2017 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope Michael Fallon has quit underselling himself in the last fifteen years.

  76. Wireworm
    Posted October 31, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    A brilliant dissection, if I may say so, Dr Redwood.

  • 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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