Negotiating with the EU – again

There are more talks underway between the UK and the EU. So far the EU has acted toughly with unfriendly actions and rhetoric, whilst the UK has behaved with diplomatic charm  constantly stressing the wish to have a positive and wide ranging relationship once we have left. It is important that the UK continues to be warm and friendly about the future relationship, but also important that UK negotiators are not tempted to make offers on money or on the rights of the European Court against  eventual promises to talk about trade and the wider relationship. We should not pay for talks, and there is no need  to pay for trade either.

The EU has broken normal diplomatic conventions in the way they are handling their side of the talks. Usually states negotiate government to government, or in this case EU to government. They do not at the same time open talks with the opponents of the government.  Instead the EU has welcomed delegations from the official opposition, from parties and individual MPs hostile to Brexit, and others who are in disagreement with the UK government. I see press articles which look as if they have been sourced from the EU or its friends claiming that the UK government may be about to fall, or there might be change to a Labour government, or there is about to be a change of PM where there is no evidence to support any of these claims. At the same time the EU issues instructions to its member states seeking to prevent them talking to the UK on the grounds that they want a single view for the negotiation which will be the view set out by the Commission. There have been stories and quotes implying the EU wants to punish the UK for leaving. Their idea of punishment seems to be more punishment for them, as it entails imposing tariffs and obstacles to trade where they have a large surplus.

The EU has insisted throughout that there is a Brexit bill to pay though it cannot produce any legal basis for such a bill. It has insisted on only talking about three main chosen issues, and declining to talk about the important wider issues of the future relationship at the same time. As both sides agree nothing is agreed until everything is agreed it is silly to refuse to talk about the wider issues. With the clock ticking the UK government should now privately explain to the EU that if there is no prospect of talks about the free trade offer the UK is making before the end of this year then the UK will have to tell businesses to get on with planning for exit under WTO terms.

The UK is offering the rest of the EU great free access to the lucrative UK market. Translating this into the format to register as a free trade agreement with the WTO is easy as we already have the full framework in place. For the EU now it is a simple binary choice. Do they want to carry on with the access they currently enjoy to the UK, or would they prefer to access the UK as a third country under WTO rules and with WTO tariffs?

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  1. am
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Yes the quislings have tried to subvert the democratic process.

    • Hope
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      JR, I hope and trust no money beyond yearly contribution up until 2020 is offered. If it is you and other leavers must object and hold May to her no deal is better than a bad deal. No extension, no EJC, no freedom of movement under a sham registration scheme. Our laws, courts, borders, money. Take it or leave it. I have not heard or read any concessions by the EU. It appears Davis has been instructed to capitulate incrementally so we do not notice. May’s Florence speech was dreadful, she let the EU edit/write it! No more. We voted out.

      Why did Priti Patel resign when Clarke and Odonis have no censure imposed on them by May? How many more people is HS even going to allow to speak with Barnier before she demands an end to it or the UK walks away from talks? She is dreadful.

    • C.Goldsmid
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Why would we want to still be living(or governed) under the EU dominated by Germany. We remember tomorrow what happened before when Germany wanted to dominate Europe!

  2. John Soper
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    In short, everything you promised about how we would get a quick and easy deal has turned out to be utterly false.

    Reply I promised nothing and always said No Deal was fine by me if the EU was difficult

    • G Wilson
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Trading under the deal we signed up to under the WTO is quick and easy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      No deal is just fine it takes two to tango, if the EU do not want a sensible (and clearly in their interests) deal then there will be no deal. The UK cannot enforce a deal, but then we do not need one. What we do desperately need is a proper, real Conservative government with vision and a working compass, rather than a weak, dithering, Corbyn light one.

    • NickC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      John Soper, Why are you fixated on only a small part of our economy? The vast majority of our GDP (c90%) is earned by exporting to the rest of the world, and by trade within UK borders (the domestic economy).

      It is time the government started to do the same. The EU, as a trade partner, is important to us, but not that important. All the rest of our economy would benefit by being out of the EU today.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    This week (8/11/2017) the Metro pictures the slogan the Leave campaign used during its rallies:
    “Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.”
    Pretty unambuiguous.
    How is your government going to deliver on this, even under WTO tariffs?

    Reply Not the slogan – a misquote from the bus!

    • Timaction
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      After the £10 billion net saving to the EU we’ll have £ billions more on trade tariffs from our trade deficit with them. Then we can import cheaper foods and products from the rest of the world tariff free, if we want, cutting more costs. Then we have an options on corporate tax rates!
      EU threats of stealing business cuts both ways and even mentioning this in a negotiation is way beyond the pale and moves to language where we may have to act a lot stronger in our own National interest to silence the pip squeaks in the EU. A divorce bill having been a net contributor for 41 out of 42 years is an insult to us and our intelligence. We’ll have all the roads, buildings and infrastructure back @11% of total EU assets shall we? Go and blackmail others to trade with you.
      This really isn’t any of your business and shows a lack of understanding of our National psyche.

      • G
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink


      • Know-Dice
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Also, don’t forget that 80% of existing external tariffs collected by the UK go to Brussels, after 29th March 2019 100% of external tariffs will go to the UK Treasury who may (or may not 🙁 )spend that wisely in the UK or even offset against the “deficit”… 🙂

    • zorro
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Come on PVL…. google the image of the bus and read, then compare and contrast with the quote! Schoolboy error!


      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        @zorro: Your foreign secretary still a schoolboy? You said it. 🙂
        Not so innocent though if you’d only realise how close the referendum result was. Not that I would want to stop you exiting, it’s much too late for that.

    • agricola
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Whatever extra the NHS may get , the real satisfaction will be in knowing that your USSEU is not going to get it.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: the leader of the leave campaign’s face is on the same picture. He was the one using that so-called misquote.
      Anyway, people can see for themselves, the picture is halfway down the article called: NHS ‘must get money promised in Brexit by Leave campaign’

      • Bert Young
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Peter , the NHS and other features within our budget profile will be able to benefit from the extra cash we will have following our exit from the EU . At the moment the huge sucking away of our resources in the payments we make to the EU is of absolutely no benefit to us whatsoever .

      • NickC
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        PvL, In English “Let’s” is used to make suggestions about what you and someone else should do. So even the slogan featured in the Metro article is not a promise or a commitment.

        In any case are you sure you’ve not been had by a photoshop? I went to a Boris rally, and helped deliver thousands of VoteLeave leaflets, and never saw this (non bus) slogan.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      If we weren’t Leaving within a few years the cost of the EU to the UK would almost certainly have doubled and continued to rise under the profligate and self aggrandising current bureaucracy. Our departure will dry up the easy money our daft Governments have provided and could ultimately bring the very needed changes to your beloved five president, twin parliament, unelected commission organisation.

    • MPC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood is right this is a misquote. I delivered many of the ‘NHS’ leaflets and – as Gisella Stuart said during the Referendum campaign – ‘£350m every week for the NHS’ was not a promise but an illustration of what could only be possible once out of the EU. Vote Leave was not a Government in waiting and was not in a position to make ‘promises’ anyway. People we spoke to during the campaign understood that we would be able to make alternative use of the EU contributions including for the NHS.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        @MPC: I think that the misleading claims made quite a bit of difference in the final result.
        Anyway, at least the divisions and polarization in your country are your problem, not mine.

        • Mockbeggar
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          In that case, why are you so bothered?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          So why dont you keep out of it PVL? Or are you concerned your precious EU will suffer without our money which funds much of which I’d beneficial to you and others but not us?

      • forthurst
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        “Vote Leave was not a Government in waiting” Thank God for that!

    • Bob
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Another sign of desperation when the EU schills have to resort to misquoting a slogan from the side of the campaign bus.

      In reality, the £350m issue was debated and clarified at length during the referendum campaign, so you would need to be intellectually sub par to have misunderstood its message.

      Perhaps they would be better off reading the govt pamphlet, produced at a cost of £9.5 million (additional to authorised Remain campaign funding)

      “This is your decision. The Government will implement what your decide.”

      Now, that’s what I call unambiguous.

      • Bob
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        * you

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Obviously, you didn’t bother to look at the article for yourself

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is a quid pro quo deal. The government implements THEN the NHS gets the money, not the other way round.

    • Coin
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Yes, it was the bus advertisement that convinced the British to Leave. Cunning!

      • DaveM
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Absolutely. I was 100% pro-EU until I saw that bus on the telly. That’s how shallow and easily swayed I am!!!

    • Kenneth
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Peter, CND had a campaign slogan “Ban the Bomb”. They have not delivered either.

      Apart from the fact that this money is not available to us yet (as we are still paying Brussels), I think you are confusing government policy with slogans used by campaigners.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        @Kenneth: I would imagine that this brexiting government would at least try to deliver on the claims.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          I know that this is hard for you but the bus slogan was an illustration on the money wasted in contributions to your beloved undemocratic despot EU. This money is cycled through this monstrous organisation at huge administration costs, to give us back money and resources, leaving us with a £10 billion net loss. The EU has NO money its net contributors tax payers money! 11% of the budget comes from the UK and you want a divorce payment! Give us all the infrastructure and money in the ECB back and we’ll offer you free trade. How does that suit you? Trade and friendship, nothing more! Good luck with your additional payments to make good our shortfall.

    • NickC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Peter, The actual bus slogan was: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave.”

      The first part is correct, the gross amount we are billed by the EU is about £350 million a week (in reality more then, and now). Yes, we get some back but under the EU’s control, not ours. Talking only about our net payment is itself misleading without also referring to the gross. VoteLeave talked about both.

      The second statement is a suggestion and example (like saying: give up your 20 a day cigarette habit, and you can fund a holiday instead). In their leaflets VoteLeave talked about other examples of how the Leave dividend could be spent. Precisely how we spend the freed money is for us to decide, not you, and after we have actually left.

      Twisting the actual bus slogan shows how weak your position really is. Seriously, is that all Remains can come up with? Moreover failing, at the same time, to acknowledge the fantastical claims of the Remains (from getting back £10 for every £1 we put in the EU, to austerity budgets, to even WW3), simply makes the Remains look silly.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: Yet another “believer” who didn’t bother to look at the article and the pictures.

        • NickC
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Yet another Remain who makes up stories to bolster his world view. Yes I did look at the article, as a comment of mine (above) testifies.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          PVL in case you hadn’t noticed, we are still sending money that could be spent on the NHS to the EU. Perhaps when we stop wasting our money on Europe, we can put it to good use.

    • john barnes
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Yes they love to miss quote that!!

    • Chris
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      You need to get your facts right, P v L. It convinces no-one if you persist in reporting material that is factually inaccurate to support your argument.

    • PamB
      Posted November 11, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      It was NEVER PROMISED to the NHS. it said let’s fund our NHS. instead. No mention of we will fund our NHS, or we promise to give it to our NHS. in point of fact we haven’t left the EU yet, we are still paying them so how can any organisation have money we haven’t got until we leave the EU.

  4. Leo
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Several people on this blog have tried to penetrate your ignorance about how the WTO works. But you keep publishing rubbish. For the sake of your readers, if not for your sake because you seem deaf, the UK cannot offer the rest of the EU ‘great free access to the lucrative UK market’ unless it makes the same offer to the rest of the world. As for registering what we have now as a free trade agreement with the WTO, that is fine – provided you fully accept the jurisdiction of the European Court and unlimited free movement of people.

    Reply Self contradictory nonsense again from you. Of course we can keep tariff free trade – without belonging to the single market – if the EU wishes and we register it.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yes the framework for a WTO FTA is already in place. We take out the tribute, fisheries, ECJ jurisdiction and free movement from that agreement and register it. Done.

      The EU do not want to safeguard their £80 billion surplus because they fear others will want to leave too. However we are the only net contributor running a deficit in trade with the economic area so there are fewer compelling reasons for other countries to leave.

      Pragmatism should win the day but this is the EU we are dealing with who rarely see beyond their own narrow political interests.

      The sooner we plan for no deal, the stronger our hand.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Your wasting your time John.
      It looks unlikely we will get an agreement so WTO it is.
      Anything rather than be shackled to the rotting corpse of the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      It is up to the EU do they want to act in their own countries’ interests and have free trade with the UK or not?

    • Gareth Parker
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Actually John you’re also wrong here. The UK does not need the EU’s permission to not impose tariffs on imports from the EU. If they then want to impose tariffs on their imports from the UK they can – but would be foolish to, just add we would be foolish to impose any tariffs at all on imports to the UK.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Leo, excellent to see that you are keeping up the pro-EU tradition of hurling insults which result in the devaluation of any lucid arguments you may have. Well done.

    • Al
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      My understanding is that the EU can’t do this easily. You are taking about a new treaty which would need ratification by all countries as per Canada.
      Also the Canada treaty includes ratchet provisions that mean that any future EU treaties that offer better terms to must also be offered to Canada.
      So to offer free trade to the UK outside of existing frameworks the EU will need to also offer those terms to Canada.
      Doesn’t look easy to me.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Leo, JR is perfectly correct. How do you suppose that New Zealand can export some of their lamb to the EU without a quota registered with the WTO?

      It is you that does not know how the WTO works. We can independently negotiate any trade deal we want, with any other country, and then register it with the WTO. It becomes an RTA and therefore part of the WTO rules. That’s even what the EU has already done itself in a minor way.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      “For the sake of your readers, if not for your sake because you seem deaf, the UK cannot offer the rest of the EU ‘great free access to the lucrative UK market’ unless it makes the same offer to the rest of the world.”

      Complete rubbish. There are numerous examples of Regional Trade Agreements in which the contracting countries give each other special preferences without being obliged to give the same treatment to the rest of the world.

      Either you are an ignoramus or you are a liar.

      • stred
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        It is possible to be an ignorant liar, which is probably the case here. Some people, such as Tony Blair seem to be able to lie to themselves and believe what they say.

  5. Mick
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said Mr Redwood, I’m sick to the back teeth of all this negativity from some of your Party and other MPs and the total fake news bull s#%t from the media – TV, the sooner we’re out of the dreaded eu the better I and millions more will feel

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed – BBC and Channel four in particular are absurdly left wing, absurdly pro EU, absurdly full of climate alarmism, full of the tax avoidance drivel, pro ever bigger government and the damaging red tap, the gender equality drivel and the likes – but the Tories are too cowardly and pathetic to tackle these issues head on.

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Just do it. Stop letting them make us look like puppets to the rest of the world and show some back bone. They must love the way we have given them the upper hand. Time to show some good old fashioned British fighting spirit.

  7. Mark B
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    As I never tire of saying, the EU does not care about trade. What it cares about is keeping its ‘political project’ both on track and together. To the EU the UK and BREXIT is like a disease or a plague, it must be contained and controlled. Stopping the rot is priority number one with so called trade talks, which cannot be started until we have left, as a lure to extract more monies from us.

    The EU’s position is understandable since there is nothing for it (do not think that the EU and the 27 other members are exactly the same thing they are not) to gain and therefore has few demands. For the UK it requires goodwill in order to get what it wants. Unfortunately, whilst this might work with similar nations the EU is not one as yet and is both unaffected by trade and elections to the all powerful Commission.

    Whilst I am a supporter of the EEA I see that many want a clean break. Unfortunately there are those that will come to realise that we will end up with far far worse.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    This is a timely article with which I am in full agreement.

    It seems to me that there is a coordinated effort by the EU, UK Remainers and senior figures in the UK civil service to frustrate and stop Brexit. The attempts to discredit prominent figures from the Leave campaign are not coincidental. They are “enemy action” to borrow the Goldfinger phrase. Angela Leadsom seems to have got her retaliation in first versus attempts to have her removed. Boris Johnson has been attacked and briefed against on several issues but so far has survived them. Charlie Elphick still does not know the specific charges against him – similar to the disgraceful case of the Welsh cabinet minister who took his own life. I was shocked to hear Carwen Jones say that he acted “by the book”; what kind of book charges someone without disclosing what those charges are? Priti Patel seems to be the author of her own misfortunes. It would be illuminating to discover the motives of the peer who apparently set up and accompanied her to her many meetings with Israeli politicians.

    Politics is a dirty business, especially when the stakes are so high. Those attempting to overturn the referendum result are playing with fire.

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

      There is certainly no effort on the part of the EU to keep Britain in and “frustrate” Brexit. That was the case long ago but now the sentiment is that there is no government and even if there was one, it could not be trusted to enter into agreements it could adhere to.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Whilst I agree with you JR, why is it I have no confidence that Mrs May will not crumble and offer even more money at the last minute.

    It is being reported widely now that the EU is going to give us 3 weeks to capitulate on payment, otherwise they will delay talks about trade, also that the so called transition period will need to be longer.

    This simply is death for the UK by a thousand demands whilst they slowly manipulate huge commercial businesses to try and relocate or set up other offices out of the UK.

    Our Prime Minister needs to get a grip fast and get in control, otherwise we are forever playing catch up and dancing to the EU tune.

    If they will not budge then walk away, and announce I am afraid its going to be WTO terms.

  10. Colin Hide
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Perfect sense as always.

  11. sm
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    So now I hear on this morning’s news that the author of the Article 50 letter has publicly stated that it can be revoked.

    It evoked vague memories of referrals to people of illegitimate parentage who should be cared for by people in pale-coloured coats.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      “So now I hear on this morning’s news that the author of the Article 50 letter has publicly stated that it can be revoked.”

      Not surprising when you consider the EU (aka Germany) will break the rules and cheat whenever they want :

      For example :

      Cheating on diesel engine emissions with no mis-selling compensation paid to UK car owners, as they have had to do in the USA.

      Continuing to build coal fired power stations using a particularly dirty form of coal known as lignite whilst we are closing down all our coal fired power stations.

      Running a very large trading and budget surplus for many years against Euro rules and causing massive youth unemployment in southern Euro countries which in turn has been a factor in causing unwanted and unnecessary migration.

      Not spending 2% of GDP on defence and thus relying on the tax payers of other countries to fund NATO.

      Unilaterally and illegally inviting millions of illegal immigrants into Europe, causing social and economic problems in many countries followed by insisting that all EU countries “take their quota”.

      Supplying gas turbines to Crimea against international sanctions.


  12. Peter Wood
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    If the UK really wants a deal it has to talk to Germany.
    No doubt you will recall the infamous JC Junker speech on the way forward for the EU, with a de-facto single state as the objective; did anybody hear dissenting voices from the leaders in Berlin, (or Paris)? Clearly the speech was pre-approved by Berlin.
    Please stop the charade.

    • Helena
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Germany has made clear it will not talk to the UK. The negotiations are being led by the Commission, representing the 27. Stop dreaming, live in the real world, and realise the UK doesn’t have an empire any more.

      • Bert Young
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Helena , Germany has no co-ordinated voice at the moment so it cannot respond anyway . The only messages coming from Germany are those from its leaders of industry who have communicated that they want a deal with the UK .

      • Peter Wood
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Germany won’t talk to us because we are still wasting time talking to the EU. Germany ‘owns’ the EU. Who is JC Junker’s top aid, Martin Selmayr; he’s not there to assist Junker, but to make sure Junker does what he’s told by Berlin.
        You are the naïve one here if you think this is not orchestrated from Berlin.
        After we leave, the EU continent will be run by Germany, by far the largest net contributor; without Germany the EU will not exist. I feel sorry for the rest of Europe. Even the Irish now see this.

      • NickC
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Helena, Whereas Germany does? Ahhh . . . it’s the EU of course.

    • HardyB
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Yes send IDS over to talk to the german car workers- that should sort it out

  13. MPC
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    An excellent and clear article, thank you. I too am impressed by the unfailing British politeness shown by our Government to the EU.

    The other factor is the part played by the Remain media. For example, Sky news implying that, despite Article 50, the UK can readily change its mind and stay in the EU. This is based on a carefully timed speech today by Lord Kerr – with no comment by Sky that the Gina Miller case was ostensibly brought because Article 50 is non reversible as David Pannick himself said.

    I’d like to see more publicity in the media about EU plans to implement the 5 Presidents Report and its other emerging proposals. That would help remind diehard Remainers why the UK voted Leave.

    • Helena
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      The 5 Presidents report is about the Eurozone. It is completely irrelevant to the UK. But I agree with you, more publicity to that would help – it would remind diehard leavers why the UK voted Leave – because they were told a pack of lies. Has Turkey joined the EU yet? And how about that 350 million?

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        You may have difficulty reading but I know exactly why I voted leave. It was nothing to do with a slogan on the side of a bus but the fact that politicians of all colours have been lying about EU membership for 40 years.
        I am sick of the UK importing all of the EU unemployment, paying benefits abroad, paying inflated fuel bills and having tariffs on food to protect French and German farmers.
        I also read the government flyer which said….a vote to leave means leaving the EU and all its institutions……. very concise I believe.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          What about the EU also protecting British farmers?

          • .Philippa
            Posted November 11, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            Rien Huizer, How?

      • NickC
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Helena, No one but a few pathetic Remains believe the Remain lie about “the £350 million”. And where’s the “pack” in “pack of lies”?

        On the other hand if we had believed the Remain pack of lies we would now have the biggest economy in the EU. How? By giving the EU £1 trillion, we would get back almost £10 trillion!! And yes, I still have the Remain leaflet that said “For every £1 we put into the EU, we get back almost £10”.

        Where’s our £10 trillion, Helena? After all, we haven’t left yet.

    • Oggy
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Even if A50 was revocable (which as you say isn’t), the UK government and all EU27 would have to agree and I don’t think they would as some in the EU just want to see the back of us, so they can get on with further integration.
      Not to mention if A50 was revoked the UK government would be playing with fire, inciting civil unrest or worse to restore democracy.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Yes the comments made by Kerr appears to be at odds with the rulings made by the Supreme Court over A50 . Oddly this contradiction has been allowed to go without comment or challenge by our media, pretty much confirming which camp they are in, for they would be all over a similar irregularity if made by a Brexiteer.

      • Andy
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t put much faith in the Supreme Court’s Article 50 judgement if I were you. It was twaddle and the judges ‘bent’ the Law and accepted Constitutional practise to make it. All down to a poor understanding of language as an article which examined the relevant provisions in the 1972 Act in detail made clear.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          May be so, but the Supreme Court Judges are trapped by it, for in light of the response to their A50 judgement ‘Enemies of the people’ and all that, they now can’t easily retract it. To assist Remainers in their attempt block Brexit once, and failing, and now seeking to do it a second time would undermine the very foundations of their Court. It is fraily amusing to find that Gina Miller, in her EU activism, has become the guarantor of Brexit, is fairly amusing.

  14. Ian Dennis
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Too much attention is on the divorce bill, from an EU perspective that is just a start.
    They are also explicitly trying to have a veto on many other aspects of our sovereignty.
    From article 20 of their negotiating position they also want control of our tax policy, environment policy and social policies among others, as a price for a FTA.
    This is the reason for their sequencing, agree the money and then with that in the bag go for the really controversial stuff.
    What remainers need to understand is that even if the UK were to concede everything on money, there are still red lines to a FTA that no UK PM could accept.

  15. Nig l
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Yes. The vote next week seems to me to be a watershed. A good move assuming you win it but then it should get support from the likes of Ms Hoey and others across the House who want to leave. Interesting to see how Labour vote and what the likes of Soubry, Clarke etc do.

    Are we likely to get umpteen amendments that render it meaningless. Nevertheless with her warning to her own rebels, well done TM, on the surface it seems very positive and should send a clear message to the EU that we are serious.

  16. Old Albion
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    You cannot negotiate with dictators.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink


    Do they want to carry on with the access they currently enjoy to the UK, or would they prefer to access the UK as a third country under WTO rules and with WTO tariffs?

    The former is perhaps a little preferable, but either way is just fine for the UK as the UK will raise more in tariffs form this than the UK will.

    What an absurd discussion on “Tax Avoidance” on Question Time last night, following on from the BBC absurd and misguided Panorama/Guardian agenda. No one actually prepared to point out that we pay far, far too much tax already and that tax avoidance benefits everyone in lower prices and better investment decisions.

    UK tax is largely wasted anyway (HS2, aircraft carriers without aircraft, pointless degrees in pointless subjects, green crap subsidies, motorways that flow at 10-20 MPH ……). We get generally very poor services indeed in return, often nothing of value at all.

    This idea that the rich should pay their “fair share” seemed popular. The government spends about £10K per head PA so what is their “fair share” £100K PA, £1M PA or £100M PA? If you want all the rich, capable and their money to leave then vote for Corbyn go for Venezuela II with 1000% + inflation, no food or medicine and violence in the streets.

    The government set the tax rules so if they need changing (to perhaps tax some large multi-national companies rather more fairly) then they can do that. But mainly they should cut the size of government, tax rather less and simplify UK tax system. That way more investment and capable hardworking people will flow into the UK and nearly all will benefit from better pay and cheaper good. More people can also do directly productive jobs rather than giving tax advice and other “red tape compliance” consultancy advice.

  18. Duncan
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    As voters, the only question we should be asking ourselves is, ‘Who can we trust’….The inevitable answer is no one. We will be betrayed. It is what modern politicians do

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    You criticise the EU for talking to other UK representatives but this is good tactics by the EU.

    Your criticism should be reserved for those from the UK who undermine the government’s official negotiators.

  20. Original Richard
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The UN Charter on self-determination allows the UK to leave the EU if it so wishes.

    The EU Lisbon Treaty also allows a nation to leave if it so wishes and the Article 50 of this Treaty makes it clear that the EU must negotiate, stating :

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

    So the EU have no right to hold up negotiations for any reason, although we know the reason is the financial settlement and a wish to punish the UK. As Mr. Hollande said about Brexit 07/10/2016 :

    “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price….”

    The UK voted for freedom from the EU, luckily for us compared to many nations, we have only had to vote and not fight for our freedom.

    The EU has no right to deny us our complete freedom from their empire.

  21. Original Richard
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    “Michel Barnier said this week :
    “UK must choose European rules if it wants trade.”

    Does the EU not trade with many countries who do not apply “European rules” ?

    Or is the UK only to be given “North Korean” trade terms if it doesn’t submit itself to the ECJ?

  22. agricola
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    In complete agreement, said so yesterday. Let’s hope that our negotiating team has the same resolve.

  23. Rob Jump
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    If the EU wants to talk to the opposition lets do the same. Recognize Catalonia as a separate state and start talks with every separatist movement in Europe. Two can play at that game.

  24. Peter
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    It has been clear for a long time that talks are getting nowhere and we should go to ‘No Deal’.

    The key question is whether the government has the strength to do that.

  25. acorn
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    For a starter on approximately 100 separate Tariff Quota Rate splits, try and fill in the numbers on one of them Seven WTO exporters in North and South America have already filed an objection to this EU – UK process.

    • NickC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, It is unlikely they will overturn the UK/EU proposal because the quotas already exist and are registered with the WTO.

      Why are you so afraid of change?

      • acorn
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Because 136 other WTO members will not accept the EU – UK splits. They had to compromise to get a deal with the much larger EU28+1. They see no reason to take the same hit on their margins with the much smaller UK, which they know is far from being self sufficient in food particularly.

        • NickC
          Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, Any of the other 136 countries are entitled to seek a trade deal with the independent UK as well. However the very nature of any registered RTA is that it is advantageous to only the countries involved. That’s just how it is.

          And RTAs are struck whatever the size of the countries involved and whatever the size of the countries not involved (eg the Mexico – Panama FTA doesn’t need the permission of the EU). You seem oddly fixated by size as though that mattered.

      • acorn
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Your statement tells me you know far less about how the WTO works than you pretend to.

  26. A different Simon
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Please just leave and revert to WTO rules ASAP .

    Any business which decided to take advantage of the UK’s membership of the EU did so in the knowledge that the politicians who committed the UK to the EU (as opposed to European Community) had no mandate from the people to do so .

    Thus they willingly took the business risk that the politicians decision would later be reversed by the people .

    Therefore no compensation need be given to companies which claim losses as a result of the British peoples decision to leave the EU .

    Far too much consideration is being given to those who will lose out as a result of the decision to leave . Let them fend for themselves .

    This whole situation could have been avoided if the British Establishment and their lackeys in parliament had not decided to ignore and even pursue policy contrary to the wishes of the British little people for so many years .

  27. hans chr iversen
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink


    You do write an awful lot of nonsense as I have pointed out over the past few months.

    The latest that everything for a no deal WTO solution is also in place, as is definitely not the case.

    Your replies to facts is skating and superficial.

    Can I please suggest you just stick to subjects you know about and stay away from economics and the WTO solution.

    You do not serve the Brexit cause particularly well.

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Hans , Nor do your responses! . What John says is the result of a detailed contact with events and an over-riding attitude to our need for independence from EU bureaucracy that adds nothing to our well-being and way of life .

    • NickC
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Hans, Just repeating your opinions doesn’t make them fact. You haven’t factually demonstrated once, that I’ve seen, any supposed “nonsense” by JR.

      Apart from unsubstantiated personal insults your only attempt at stating a fact (“a no deal WTO solution”) is incorrect. The WTO deal is not a “No deal” by definition – it is the WTO deal! And the only deal on offer. We use WTO rules now for about 60% of our exports. The rest of the world (far bigger than the EU) uses the WTO to trade with the EU, and each other all the time.

      You do realise that JR keeps allowing your own contributions on his blog so that we can all have a good laugh at you, and by extension the Remain position?

  28. alte fritz
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    In spite of the most intense Remain pressure imaginable, complete with fake news, the public voted, albeit by a narrow margin, to leave. Liberal Democrats (the clue is not in the name) and others openly work to overturn that result. The EU machine works to punish the UK pour encourager les autres.

    Then we have the process you describe.

    Sometimes news gets through that Eurosceptic mainstream commentators in Germany and elsewhere criticise the approach taken by the EU to the UK. We know that others throughout Europe do not like what is being done in their name.

    Our own media give the lightest possible reporting to the problems besetting Spain. Whatever the merits, there is a democratic crisis in a major EU state and the EU is keen to suppress those Catalonians who want independence.

    Just what is it about our Remoaners that they side with this awful EU bureaucracy? I, for one, do not want to be anyone’s enemy. Why do Remoaners and the EU apparatchiks want a war with the rest of us?

  29. Oggy
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Actions speak louder than words Dr Redwood, if the Government doesn’t get any further with negotiations by Christmas, then it’s time to walk away and tell the world very loudly why. No more bluffing please.
    I would like to remind the ‘Remainders’ that the question on the ballot paper was ‘remain or leave’, not leave by 50 per cent or 70, but leave – period.

  30. Bert Young
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    So far we have played the negotiating game with a patience and dignity ; we have done this at a time when the EU has been – and still is , deteriorating . There is no justification whatsoever in any effort to get us to pay for something we don’t need ; if they cause us to walk away it will be entirely their own loss and fault . Just imagine what would happen if one went into a shop and said ” I am interested in buying so and so and the sales assistant said , ” Just a moment I will ask my Manager what you will have to pay before you can buy it “- I don’t think the shop would exist much longer !. Market forces underpin most – if not all , of trade ; we must remind ourselves of this at all times .

  31. majorfrustration
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Agree – unlikely that we will reach any form of understanding with the EU – lets call it a day and work towards WTO rules now. At least business will know where it stands and can plan accordingly.

  32. Iain Moore
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Yesterday Barnier said …..(a quote from the Guardian)….”There is behind this European regulatory framework the fundamental societal choices we hold: the social market economy, health protection, food security, fair and efficient financial regulation … it is up to the British to tell us whether they still adhere to the European model.”

    “Their answer is important because it directs the discussion on our future partnership and the conditions of its ratification.”

    This statement has nothing do do with the ‘divorce’ negotiations. Under their own narrow restrictions placed on the current negotiations he has no right to ask us this, unless of course the EU is moving onto trade negotiations. Are they? Oddly despite the minutiae to which our media dissects words and statements made by our Ministers, where a word out of place appears to be just short an event to that of the end of the world , they have allowed this stunning intervention by Barnier to go by without comment .

  33. Penny
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Why don’t we just LEAVE now??

    If Mrs May agrees to more money there is likely to be a revolution

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      because business needs time to plan for the change, thank you

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        h c i

        You mean your business has no plan as yet in place at all and no idea !

        How do they trade with the rest of the World ?

  34. Epikouros
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Anyone who is a member of a club that it’s administrative body acted in the way that Brussels is acting towards the UK would immediately cease membership as it being a club that does not merit membership. No doubt other members of that club would start to have serious misgivings after observing such despicable behaviour. Especially as that type of behaviour will have been previously observed perhaps not so vigorously but the trend towards authoritarian rule without recourse to challenge and proper debate would be noticed.

    The demise of the EU is now a given as it is not an institution that has democratic legitimacy nor a political and economic construct either real or aspirational that is viable. Brussels actions past and present including her Brexit negotiation strategy notoriously ill advised will I believe make the demise sooner rather than later.

  35. Jane Moorhouse
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    There is also a rumour that our armed forces will be run by the EU and we are signing a document on Monday to this end. I understood our Queen to be head of the armed forces. This must be fake news but exactly what is going on, something must be and we need clarification.
    I am glad Mrs May is enshrining the date of our leaving the EU in law. This will concentrate the minds of all to ensure a best deal and reveal the snakes in the grass. Those who vote against it will be exposed as not working in the best interests of the country, I.e the ones who say casually “oh yes we will be leaving the EU in March ’19” whilst at the same time working to reverse the decision. Soubry, Corbyn, Thornberry Spring to mind. We know who the other traitors are it’s the sneaky ones which need uncovering.

    • Chris
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I fear this government has already signed agreements on the EU army project during the last few years, committing us to the project.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I do not understand why anybody is a traitor because they disagree with you , please explain?

      • NickC
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Hans, have a look at the 1689 Bill of Rights, and the pertaining commentaries.

  36. ian
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    When we leave the EU on 29/03/2019 at 11 pm, I am quite sure that the NHS will get it 350 million pounds a day two years of leaving the EU, and will get more money next year and the years after as well. I don’t think that the money NHS receives should be spent on pay rises, that should come out of efficiency saving and tax cuts on wages. The money should go to more new hospitals, robotics, scanners and training, especially on mental health. People who would deny ordinary people in this country this opportunity for much better health care by coming out of the EU are not right in the head/ and should seek urgent treatment.

  37. GERALD
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink


    • alan jutson
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink


      Sorry the kids come first, otherwise there may be nothing left for them !!!!

  38. ian
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The UK has been sending contracts to the EU countries since the 70s in accordance with EU laws/ while winding down our own ability to fill them our selfs, and have lost hundreds of thousands of jobs for skilled manual workers and have to replace those lost jobs with jobs that do not produce value for the country, at the same time the EU countries have not sent the UK hardly any work in accordance with the agreements sign with them and have withheld their work from coming to the UK. When we leave the EU you can assign more of the contracts to UK companies and other countries outside of the EU for better prices and trade deals. Talking about tariffs on goods after we leave, a good idea would be to do it through the VAT code on final sale of their goods so that countries that are nice to us pay the standard rate of VAT and ones that are not nice pay extra VAT at the tills on their goods, that way you only need quotas on goods coming into the UK.

  39. HenryS
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    We are negotiating..the EU are not..they have their rule book and clear instructions from the EU Council..all watched over by Verhofstadt of the EU Parliament..the EU side is not divided like the UK government and Tory question is who will win out by all of this? Mrs May thinks that by putting dates and times on when we are leaving and playing other silly games is going to frighten the EU crowd but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a cohort of EU officials there very high up who in the past have suffered from Farage and other disrespectful UK MEPs who for decades have been hurling insults and personal remarks around the EU parliament..the UK is on the hook now and they are not going to be given wriggle room..these EU types are a determined bunch

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      @ HenryS

      Lets see how determined they really are when we get up and walk away from the table.

      We have been playing silly buggers for far too long. The time has come for push to go to shove. All these demands just go to show how desperate they really are for our money.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      And once free from their grasp, what then ?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Mark B. Just get on with it and make it a success like we have with other things in the past. It will not be the end of the world. We are British after all, or does that escape you? I despair at people who give up before the battle has begun.

  • 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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