More proof that the UK is a good place for inward investors

The news that two major pharmaceutical companies are to commit £1bn to investment in research in the UK is further proof that the UK is a good centre for knowledge based businesses. Investors can recruit a well educated workforce and can establish a good business presence in the UK.

The UK also now has the opportunity to set up its own Medicine Agency as we leave the EU. Given the high regard for UK science this could be well received by the world community, and could attract other countries to want to use its facilities and adopt its standards.

The government yesterday set out its vision to assist in the growth of knowledge and technology based activities in the UK. The pursuit of excellence in education and training does involve government spending, standard setting and encouragement. Continuing to attract investors also requires more work on improving road and rail links to ensure sufficient transport capacity, high speed broadband, and other utility provision.

The Industrial Strategy document contains proposals for people, ideas, infrastructure, places and the business environment. It rightly states that ensuring a competitive market is the best to promote growth and innovation. There is some additional cash for transport links between cities, more investment for Broadband, additional money for an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and for a general Investment Fund.

The government has expressed an especial interest in Artificial intelligence, clean energy, mobility including self drive vehicles and the issues from more elderly people in the population. It will be interesting to see what they come up with and how this will complement what the market is doing already. The government’s best course would be to apply the digital technologies more consistently and positively to the public sector which it runs. Given the emphasis on raising productivity, it would be a good place to start.

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  1. Duncan
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    ‘Industrial strategy’ reeks of the 1970’s. There’s no need for this State inspired nonsense. Business is ‘switched on’ enough to seek its own opportunities, it doesn’t need an interventionist like May intervening even with the best of intentions

    This is the PM who forced a public listed company to elect a union member to its board of directors.

    This is the PM who planned to have employee representatives (in political language that translates as a Marxist union activist) on every board of every public listed company in the UK.

    And you expect business to even take your leader seriously on this issue?

    She’s a socialist. She has no place in business. Her instinct is Statist not capitalist. Her instinct is tax and intervene. She’ll be sequestrating private assets next.

    Business want you to stop interfering. They want lower taxes. They want lower transaction costs.

    Stop pandering to the unions. Stop pandering to the public sector vested interest who waste billions every year which has to be replaced by productivity gains in the private sector.

    Stop pandering to public sector threats. It’s coming up to Christmas which usually means the annual NHS scaremonger-fest in which they, the BBC and the Guardian trot out tales of NHS collapse, nurse shortages and the panoply of tedious lies to extract more cash. No wonder our Keynesian Chancellor threw another £6bn at the bottomless pit. He’s using my money to buy off a potential political banana skin rather than reforming this bankrupt public sector entity. It’s pathetic and it’s an abuse of the taxpayer to fund political spending

    The private sector is still being smashed to fund the Byzantine construction that is the public sector. Why? Because gutless politicians haven’t got the courage to confront reform for fear of political damage. Thatcher confronted these issues. This government cowers like a child in the corner. It’s far easier to smash the private sector

    This government cares not one jot for the private sector because it knows it can abuse it continually without any political comeback. It isn’t a singular, organised entity in the way the public sector is and it can’t cause political damage in the way the public sector vested can so it’s an easy target

    We know it’s going to happen so let’s get on with it. Get rid of this PM and her tedious obsessions with all things socialist, leftist, gender, race and sexuality.

    Maybe she can get a job as a Guardian journalist when she’s booted out of office

    The UK needs a pro-business leader who understands that it is the PRIVATE SECTOR that puts the food on the table.

  2. Mark B
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Your last paragraph is the killer one. Government needs to focus on improving on what it already has rather than try to create markets. We do not need to spend tax payers money on space ports and other gimmicks. If there is a need private enterprise will fill it and fund it for themselves.

    The other side to all this is for government set up committees, departments, minister of state to oversee government spending and/or some Tsar or Tsarina who will receive a lavish salary and benefits for such.

    Government needs to learn to do less with less. Government and the legislature need fullfill their role and not act like some quasi charity and multinational corporation. If they are that good at business then they should get out of politics and do that instead.

  3. Duncan
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Moroever, Priti Patel told a few truths last night about May and her approach to Brexit. She’s not fully committed to it and it is your job Mr Redmond to ensure that she delivers FULL BREXIT not some alignment with Brussels or convergence as some are calling it

    Please get rid of May and Hammond so that the result of the EU referendum is implemented in its entirety

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I like Ms Patel even more after her reported “sod off” rejoinder to the so called divorce bill. Her sacking from the Government was yet another example of May’s political myopia. PP could win a Conservative Party members vote for leader, if there was such a contest I could rejoin just to vote.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        It is a greet shame that the party members were not given a say last time (thanks to Gove and absurd attacks on Leadsom). I cannot think the members would have landed us with an ex(?) remainer, dithering, high taxing, interventionist, socialist like May. Someone who thought that “punishment manifestos” were a great plan for winning elections.

        Surely after Heath, Cameron and Major we have had enough of these broken compass, big government, dopes.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          It’s all about balance Lifelogic, the political classes seem to think they needed someone with lots of pc awareness and experience. Someone to calm down the remainers who were getting upset. Too gungho and it would spook the horses, however, too cave in and it upsets the Leavers.

      • Chris
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes, AS, I think very many of us feel at the SO stage with the divorce bill.

      • Hope
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Priti Patel raises an important issue that needs to be addressed. We have a cabinet not president. Why is May not holding a cabinet meeting with ministers to discuss what the outcome of Brexit should be? Is it because she is clueless or is it more sinister that she wants to make a deal by herself giving her leaver ministers in cabinet no room to manouvre on a take it or leave bases?

        As a declared remainer she needs to be open and transparent about delivering a clean Brexit to the public and parliament. None of the four pillars of the EU influencing the U.K. after departure. Not a specious close special partnership i.e. Keeping the U.K. in the EU all but name. After Cameron’s behaviour we have every reason to doubt her.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I do wonder, given the sums of money being bandied about, whether, in her mind, Brexit actually means Nix It; and whether a bad deal is better than no deal. After all, she has form; she said she would not call a general election and then called one. And where did that lead us but to a minority government struggling to get its legislation through parliament and, it seems, an agreed Brexit policy through the Cabinet.

    • Peter
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      It’s all very well to speak out about the negotiations and the unnecessary concessions. It is quite another matter to change things and prevent bad decisions. The government seems to ignore objections to its strategy. Concede, then leak news of further concessions to soften up public reaction. Then, when it comes to the crunch, hide the details of the final settlement but claim it is a success anyway.

      May is on her way out anyway. It is possible she might have an eye on life after parliament and a favourable press and some very nice sweeteners have been hinted at.

    • Hope
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Patel stated May will not hold a cabinet meeting to discuss the end game! What does that Tell you about her intentions.

      Her mass immigration policy effecting, finance, welfare, public services and housing not mentioned in the budget. How can you plan your budget not knowing how many tocater for? Houses cannot be built to match historic record high i. Gyration figures that May claims to reduce and has done nothing to date over 7 years! A bit like the above it is pretending we will not notice or do anything. More tax rises from the budget more cuts to public services and any request for money to fall on deaf ears per Amber Rudd. Defense at an all time low where the U.K. Asks the US and Canada to search for a Russian sub! But May content to give money to the EU defense budget when we are leaving and have no say!

    • Oggy
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      @Duncan – So it appears we were right all along about Mrs May’s lack of enthusiasm for Brexit.
      Dr Redwood if the PM and the cabinet in general sell the UK out to the EU and cross those now well known red lines it will guarantee the next PM will be Jeremy Corbyn.
      The Tories need to get a grip and do what the electorate have asked them to, anything less will be seen as betrayal and have consequences.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Are you sure you wish to put such a great responsibility on the shoulders of John R, who seems relatively confused even on simple economics features. For example suggesting that BoE can just write off the 30% of the debt the government owes the BoE and it will have no impact on the value of the pound?

        • Richard1
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Please explain what you think the impact would be

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          He must know that that is a daft idea but assumes that the audience is not too critical about things they like to hear and no one else tells them.

      • cornishstu
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Oggy, I don’t think Corbyn / Labour getting in would trouble them too much if they can keep us tied to the EU in some way, a case of the end justifies the means.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I’m at a loss to understand the affront of our politicos, their arrogance and conceit when it comes to delivering the will of the people. EU, foreign aid, immigration, capital punishment, health tourism, two tiered legal systems and process between the rest of us and then “the others”! They know full well what the public want but consider themselves superior to the rest of us plebs. How wrong they are. When it comes to referendum’s they are ALWAY’s wrong despite their lies and trickery. Still no apology for the decades of lies and conspiracy of silence from the legacies on their true intentions on the EU, FCO 30/1048 – 1971!

        • Timaction
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          So it’s reported in the Telegraph tonight that your PM has agreed a grubby backroom deal to give the EU, non gratis, money not owed by the UK at over £650 for each of us, 45-55 Billion Euro’s. This will be apparently dressed up as less, in a lie, as usual by the Tory’s.
          Now if she didn’t have to go before, what about now Mr Redwood? I am personally incensed and consider this an unlawful payment. Law made up to appease her cronies and dictators in her beloved EU.
          If this is true, once again politicos putting herself before the National interest.

          • NickC
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            Timeaction, Well said. Mrs May’s government is approaching the EU in the same way that Heath’s government did in 1972.

            Doesn’t the government know that in the future people will be saying “why did they give away so much?” – or indeed anything. Just as in 1972. For God’s sake why don’t they behave like the independent country we voted for?

            Have they no sense even of self preservation? – even if the default Tory position is to sell out their friends (us) and buy their enemies (the EU)?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            ‘Law made up to appease her cronies and dictators in her beloved EU’

            – You know jolly well that Mrs May does not ‘love’ the EU. You’re exaggerating in order to justify supporting Brexit that so many in business argued could be reckless for our economy (and politicians that it could be reckless from the POV of globalpolitics – the peace and security of Europe as a whole and how that profoundly affects us).

            You’re exaggerating just as The Express, The Telegraph, The Sun, and The Mail have been exaggerating to sell more copies of their newspapers.

            (And, yes, Remainers have exaggerated as well – and if they had won the referendum i’d be focused on challenging Remainers to try and reform the EU as so many Brexiters quite rightly wanted / want).

      • Hope
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Today we read the exclusive in the DT 45-55 billion given away, depending on methodology in calculations, to the EU to trade with it. Barnier claims he nearly reached agreement on citizen rights.

        JR, what does a bad deal look like to you? It strikes me this is a bad deal. We did not vote for this. W voted leave with no EU pillars influencing the U.K. To do so means we remain under EU control, therefor in. We have no legal liability, two years budget is not enforceable but demonstrates good faith. The current amount demonstrates stupidity and remaining in. I trust all you leavers will vote against this and try to get enough votes to oust May before it is too late.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          ‘We did not vote for this’

          – Most Brexiters voted for control of borders. They did not vote for a decline in the economy as so many in business predict Hard Brexit would lead to. And many leading Brexiters argued during the Referendum that Brexit was NOT about leaving the single market (at least that is what one could infer from what they said).

          • Hope
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            No such thing as a hard Brexit, you are either not very bright on the take up or enjoy making things up.

            Leave means leave and Cameron made that clear as he tried to make it a threat we would nit be able to change! Grow up.

      • rose
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Why does everyone use the phrase “sell out” when we are paying to be taken down the river?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink


      “Please get rid of May and Hammond so that the result of the EU referendum is implemented in its entirety”

      Excellent comment and trust our kind host is listening?

      • Atlas
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes Dennis, I trust our host is listening anyway – it is some of his fellow MPs who also need to do the same.

      • sm
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Do you have any sensible suggestions as to the method, Dennis, since I’m sure you would not wish to see our host commit any unconstitutional, illegal or indeed criminal act?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink


          Sadly there are no legal ways around this issue. Therefore, we must continue to address our concerns to JR, in the hope he can twist the arms of his “like-minded” colleagues to pressurise T. May into executing the wishes of the electorate!

          Suggested action plan:

          1. Continue to pressurise T. May to execute the will of the people…..

          2. ……else, continue to pressurise his colleagues into urgently supporting a change of management.

          3. Continue to initiate objections to a divorce bill settlement. Push for WTO!

          4. Continue to write articles that eruditely denounce the EU’s bullying, in the strongest terms possible, and have them published to a wider audience. Brexit Facts4EU.Org is one such publication.

          5. Relentlessly remonstrate in Parliament against any kind of acquiescence towards an intolerable divorce settlement.

          6. Enlist our support to visit other blogs. This, to encourage other Brexiteers to communicate JR’s message. Start with these publications: (a) Guardian (b) Telegraph (c) The Spectator (d) Independent (e) The Economist ( f) The Times (g) Financial Times (h)etc….I do this already. Do you sm?

          7. Create a crowdfunding project, which supports Brexit – call it BrexitSmart!…to get the message out there – Force the issue?

          8. Initiate public forums, which include all Parliament pro-Brexit colleagues together in one place. Strength in numbers – reinforces the message and get people to engage with their Remainer MPs – The key is to gain an electorate groundswell of pressure! There is a little urgency on this one, don’t you think?

          9. Force the BBC, ITV, C4 etc, by all means possible, to provide an equitable table for discussing the Pros and Cons of an EU settlement and why the country should move to WTO terms? Brexiteers are not being vocal enough!

          10. Any other suggestions are welcome?

          sm, above are some of my suggestions. Perhaps you could include your suggestions below…….?

          • a-tracy
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            DZ “Brexiteers are not being vocal enough!”

            When they are they are getting silenced, lots of mud slung at them, thrown out of their jobs, quietly resigning and going through a period of quiet. I feel people like John are walking and tightrope and he’s been around the block a few times enough to know the balancing act.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink


            I am sure you are right in some cases, though I have not experienced this personally. Given any opportunity, I do push my Brexit opinion strongly to all and sundry and frankly, I have not had any pushback?

    • NickC
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Duncan, An excellent comment. Please add my name to your list of supporting commenters.

    • Lin Whist
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      JR is not Redmond. He is a Redwood. I’ve seen various “Name/ Word origins but it was, to me, merely a guy being asked his name to which he replied AE-ward later (Edward ) meaning from the east ward.We were not individuals.
      I own my word origin definitions are not the in thing, they are way-ward

  4. Andy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    We can set up a new medicines agency? Why?

    I thought Brexit was about slashing bureaucracy – and you’ve just increased it.

    We used to share the cost of the EMA with 27 other counties.

    Now we have to duplicate a structure and pay for it ourselves.

    Not going very well this Brexit malarkey, is it?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      No we didn’t share the cost with 27 other countries. Some years we shared it with only one other country, we never shared it with more than a handful. Sharing costs equally is not how the EU works, a large number of EU countries never paid a penny for this agency during the past 30 years, surprised you don’t know that.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger

        “….EU countries never paid a penny for this agency during the past 30 years, surprised you don’t know that.”

        It is no surprise to me….Remainers have a remarkable ability to ignore self-evident facts, or worse, just simply have no idea what goes on within the corridors of EU bureaucracy!

      • acorn
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        For 2017, the total budget of the European Medicines Agency amounts to €322.1 million. Around 89% of the Agency’s budget derives from fees and charges, 5% from the European Union (EU) contribution for public-health issues and 7% from other sources.

        In 2017, it is estimated that €118.7 million will be paid to member states national medicines regulatory agencies from the Agency’s budget, for carrying out research; regulation and testing of pharma products.

        Surprised you don’t know that.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Did it say how much of that 118.7 million Euros was the British contribution?

    • zorro
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Says you who is insisting that there is no alternative to a ‘hard border’ if tge UK does not bend to your master’s will. AND the Single Market is ridiculously bureaucratic with its overbearing regulation…. Pot…. Kettle….Charcoal


    • Edward2
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Independence is worth every penny.

    • TomTomTom
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      How did we share the costs with 27 other countries when most of the others are a net recipient of EU funding?

      A more accurate statement would be : “The UK, German and French taxpayers funded an agency for the benefit of 28 countries.”

      BREXIT is not about “No regulation”. It’s about having the right regulation and having a parliament that can change that regulation to better meet the needs of the UK economy and population.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      “I thought Brexit was about slashing bureaucracy – and you’ve just increased it.”

      We do not need two governments, that’s for sure.

      Remain or leave, one of them must go.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        So much of what Remain predicted has turned out to be wrong and this latest news is but one issue.

        They certainly weren’t telling us that £1bn was going to be invested in UK pharmaceuticals.

        If agencies are needed then better the employment is here than somewhere else.

        If we don’t leave the EU then over 17 million could well be demanding savings in government, boycotting elections and the BBC licence.

    • Andrew G
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      The EMA was just a protectionist quango that offered little serious benefit for consumers ( patients), but did a great deal to help the pharmacy industry monopolies make a stack of money for themselves and the EU machine.

      We are best rid of it altogether.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink


      • sm
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        And wasn’t Italy earmarked to get it, and are furious it’s gone to the Dutch?

      • Andy
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Let’s see whether the public agrees when we get the first Brexit related cancer death in the UK – because you lot have forced out the regulator.

        • Oggy
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          So Brexit causes cancer deaths too, what utter drivel.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          Andy, do you know how much British pharmaceutical companies contribute to the Regulator? We would just have our own regulator funded in the same way as the previous EU regulator.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Dear little Andy

          When you get home from school Google MHRA

          They are the UK’s own medicines regulatory authority and have always been in place and do a large amount of the assessments for the European Agency

          Cancer deaths caused by Brexit, my god you schoolboy remainers are just so pathetic

      • rose
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Did it also help to bend the ear of the EU to put natural remedies out of business?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink
          • Rien Huizer
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            That was not an EMA policy but I like it, actually. There is far too little control over traditional “medicine” even under the regime you refer to. If it is not from (named company ed), it is probably woth finding out what exactly it is that you are taking.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            A fair point. Thank you

    • Hope
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Guess what? We managed before and will manage again. I suspect there will be a huge number of companies willing to sell drugs and perform R and D if there are incentives to do so. EMA a drop in the world oceans.

      The problem with Brexit is May a remainer who does not want to leave the EU. She has to be ousted. How can you have a deep and special partnership with ablackmailer who insults you at every opportunity? She appears too dull to grasp her spending power, security influence and social etiquet from a customer who spends billions in their economy! Note to May: you do not have to plead to spend your money in any shop, go elsewhere.

    • NickC
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Andy said: “I thought Brexit was about slashing bureaucracy …”. It never was about slashing sensible rules to enable a complex modern nation to enjoy the best practical standards. It is about slashing the bureaucracy of the EU itself, the bureaucracy that creates an unnecessary top tier of government.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      ‘I thought Brexit was about slashing bureaucracy – and you’ve just increased it’

      – this is exactly the argument a neutral-minded American banker said to me about Brexit. That it will lead to an increase of bureaucracy here in the UK as we have to do things like this ourselves instead of being able to share costs with other countries in Europe.

      It’s not rocket science, but because of group-think hysteria people have been blind to everything except EU bureaucracy.

      • NickC
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Ed, You are subject to Remain group-think hysteria, though you may deny it. The reality is that of course the EU has its own bureaucracy to promote its own interests, which we can cut out entirely by leaving.

        Then what you call “EU bureaucracy” is actually performed already at the nation level – by the nations – at the behest of the EU. (This is how the Remains can portray the EU as smaller than Luton, or whatever.) So the systems are in place but we can dispense with EU superfluity. It’s not rocket science.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink


          ‘Ed, You are subject to Remain group-think hysteria’

          – i said i strongly support leaving the EU now where we get an agreement over borders. A lot of Remainers would disagree me, saying leave borders alone.

          But what i said is we must protect our relationship with the single market so as not to hurt our economy over the next few years.

          I’m much more in tune with most Brexiters (and the business community) than Hard Brexiters. And my argument is subtle and nuanced. Not black and white like those on the extremes of this argument.

    • Newton Aycliffe
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      We’ve already got our own medicines regulatory authority (MHRA) and it does about 25% of the EMA’s assessment work.

    • getahead
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Andy, of one thing you can be sure. All the complications have been fabricated by the Remainers.

    • John
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Seeing as only 7 countries out of the 28 pay into the EU and about 5 pay more than they get out, how are we sharing the cost?!

      Seems like we are paying for the administration costs of the other 27 and getting nothing back.

  5. Andy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Lord Heseltine – a great Conservative who actually served in the Thatcher government – correctly points out that the best thing the government could do to boost the economy is to cancel Brexit.

    But the hard-right ideologues who have taken over and bastardised the party of Thatcher and Churchill do not listen to their sensible elders.

    The electoral consequences for you all are totally predictable – as are the dire consequence for the country and its economy. Still, the plus side of Brexit is that you lot are – permanently – toast.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      The great Lord Heseltine who told us it would be wonderful to join the euro.

      Maybe you’re too young to remember that, so here we go from 1999:

      “Prime minister Tony Blair and leading Conservatives today joined forces in launching a high-powered campaign to prepare Britain for the euro by underlining the economic benefits of the European Union.

      The Britain in Europe campaign, unveiled at the new Imax cinema near Waterloo, brought together an unusual coalition. It put on the same platform Mr Blair, Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal-Democrats, and leading Tories Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke.

      Seeking to infuse the event with a sense of historic occasion, Mr Blair said: “Once in each generation, the case for Britain in Europe needs to be remade, from first principles. The time for this generation is now.””

      You may notice the “once in each generation” prescription.

    • NickC
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Andy, There is no reason why an independent UK should be “toast”. Indeed most countries in the world have never had the misfortune to be in the grasp of the EU, and are not thereby toast because of it. And I’m pretty sure that there are not 17.4m Tory members, or voters.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      It this the Michael Heseltine who has been consistently wrong on almost everything political and landed us with the appalling John Major, the ERM and would even have given us the EURO?

    • Edward2
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      You forget that we had a referedum and over 80% of votes in the recent election went to parties who want to respect the referendum result.
      Parties that had remain policies got nowhere.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      “We’re doomed, we’re doomed!!!”

      Give it a rest. Go and wave a blue and yellow flag on Parliament Square or something equally futile. Or better still, move to Greece where you can enjoy all the positive benefits of EU membership.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

      Look at Lord Heseltine (who has actually set up his own multi-million pound company brand, including branches in the USA, Asia, Germany and more). And compare him to Liam Fox recently insulting British business and showing he is clueless about international trade.

      And then you have Boris Johnson, no experience of business whatsoever, and who thinks it’s all so easy, and mesmerised, no doubt, by his chums in the City with their retr0, 1980’s focus on the City of London (important as that is), wanting to turn the UK into a Singapore UK.

      I think we have to press on with getting control of our borders. But the evidence is all there that leaving the single market and customs union would greatly damage our economy and Hard Brexit would simply fail to the get the momentum it needs to survive long-term. We’d have to pay for proper access to the single market, but a price worth paying in the long-run.

      • NickC
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Ed, Our exports to the EU are about 11% of UK GDP (ex Rotterdam, latest Pink Book), about £214bn. So profit about £21bn at best? That is what our gross contribution is every year. So, no, it’s not worth staying in the single market and customs union., even if by doing so we lost half our exports to the EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


          ‘about £214bn. So profit about £21bn at best?’

          – No idea what your point about £21bn is (and how you reach it)?

          The point you’re missing is the massive disruption you cause to businesses in a myriad of complicated ways your crude numbers fail to address.

          You seem quick tapping in figures on the calculator and slow in understanding the concerns of business. Business and exporting is really hard you know!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        The evidence is where?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      ‘Still, the plus side of Brexit is that you lot are – permanently – toast’

      – Brexiters could still come out heroes (and i hope they do) if they focus on control of borders whilst remaining in the single market. And they will be lauded (as i laud them) for challenging the extravagances of the EU. But it’s a fine line. Hard Brexit could easily lead to something far worse than the 18th South Sea Bubble. The evidence is all pointing, at the moment, to this unless we pull back from extreme ideology, and use a bit more down-to-earth, pragmatic, British common sense.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        ‘Brexiters could still come out heroes (and i hope they do) if they focus on control of borders whilst remaining in the single market’

        – But to think you can get all the economic benefits of the single market whilst not paying for it as Boris Johnson says, is plain bonkers, or to think you won’t have to pay a proper price for it, is fantasy.

        • NickC
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Ed, Are you deliberately obtuse? Every country in the world has access to the single market. There are no other benefits which are not outweighed by the drawbacks (political control and cost).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


            I never said the world doesn’t have access to the single market.

            ‘There are no other benefits which are not outweighed by the drawbacks (political control and cost)’

            – You’re clearly not listening to people in business.

            You mention ‘political’ (fair enough) but you fail to mention geopolitics (how a strong and prosperous Europe is good for the UK in terms of peace, security and trade).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        “control of borders whilst remaining in the single market”

        It would have to be a different single market to the EU single market, which is founded on “four freedoms” not just the three we would like.

        “European Council (Art. 50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations”

        “… the European Council welcomes the recognition by the British Government that the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible … “

    • Richard1
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Those like Lord Hesletine who assert that Brexit is a disaster are never quite able to put their finger on exactly why it should be so. All they come up with is if the U.K. dares to leave the EU, the EU will start a trade war in some form, a mutually damaging course of action. What you never hear Lord H and other pro EU types argue to be a good thing are the core policies of the EU – the euro, uncontrolled intra-EU immigration, the CAP, the CFP, the common energy, foreign and defence policies, the emerging tax harmonisation, the required subventions from the UK, the tariffs vs the rest of the world etc etc. Why don’t they argue the case on its merits?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Lord Heseltine is calling for an industrial strategy. Spot on.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Not interested in what you have to say Andy.

      Shan’t be reading your posts anymore.


      Just who do you think you are ? Arbiter of where we set the parameters of acceptable debate ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        There is now a programme on TV called It Was Acceptable in the ’80s.

        Hardly an era of old fashioned bigotries.

        Quite clearly some historical perspectives are needed before we start bandying about terms such as ‘hard-right’ in order to censor opinions you dislike, Andy.

        This is why I’m so annoyed with you and such restriction on debate is precisely what caused Brexit – and Trump for that matter.

    • Hope
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      No not a great conservative, more people view him as a back stabber and one who is against democracy and wants to defy the electorate. Heseltine still wants the U.K. to join the Euro. Where would the country be if we entered the Euro like he wanted? Bankrupt. Unfortunately his att nuance record and voting in Lords shows he is anything but a great conservative or he would take a little more time and interest in govt business.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Heseltine, who of course tried to organise a coup against Thatcher, isn’t really a Conservative, more of a Statist. Anyway, boosting the economy wasn’t why people voted for Brexit, there were other reasons (Tony Benn and Michael Foot used to explain the problem with the EU quite well if you insist on harking back to Thatcher’s era).

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink


      When I read such immature and persistent drivel from “Andy” I am reminded of Captain Mainwaring’s assessment of Privite Pike!

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


      Nice try, but inane rambling is no substitute for facts!

    • Mark B
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Read up on Lord Heseltine’s political career. He has not always been a


    • rose
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      The electoral consequences of botching Brexit you mean. There is nothing right or left wing about national independence.

    • Oggy
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      I told you yesterday Brexit is not about economics it’s about freedom from the EU mafia.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    As many of the current members of the EU medical agency do not want to relocate from London it seems the UK would have a head start in setting up its own agency.

    I am wary of the government’s ability to pick winners in any industrial strategy. It would be far better to enable winners by creating a favourable, yet neutral business environment that allows competition to flourish.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I know people who work for the agency and don’t want to relocate. Interestingly they are citizens of other EU countries.

      • Newton Aycliffe
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Less than 7% of the EMA staff were British. They insisted on employees being bilingual with interviews in both languages to deter UK applicants. All the EMA business is currently conducted in English.

  7. Prigger
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The media reacted by getting an expert to say that “It’s all very well attracting those two major companies but they ONLY provide jobs for highly skilled people and it doesn’t really help the economy. It seems highly skilled experts speaking about experts don’t help the economy either

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      There is no unemployment among highly educated experts generally and certainly not in medicine. Same goes for cutting edge IT skills. The trouble with the UK labour market is, it is relatively small and there is already a very high proportion of foreigners among them. As is remarked elsewhere here, the EMA staff may not all want to leave London and no one would expect the British staff to relocate with the EMA, it is the jobs that will relocate and there is some time to fill them or redesign their roles.

      The real employment problems resulting from a “hard” brexit are in manufacturing (shrinking employment initially -what happens later is anyone’s guess) and construction (shortage of workers because they may have residence difficulties and there are better paying jobs on the continent now.

      It all depends on the type of FTA, additional arrangements and the transition. It looks more and more plausibible that a Canada-style agreement, with a generous “implementation period” , maybe a limited open skies and certainly no arrangements for financial services (and added to that mandatory onshore (ie within Euroland) relocation of core activities that could cause systemic risk. With EMA and EBA both in Paris, financial regulation for the euro-zone will probably be prioritizing the interests of industry participants located within the EU, similar to what the US has been doing for a long time.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Manufacturing employment is not shrinking.

        And I’m puzzled by your arguments that Brexit is causing both shortages of staff and unemployment.

      • NickC
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Rien, On the other hand the EU could see sense (unlikely, I know) and decide that their empire strategy predicated on the back of EU corruption, EZ multiple sovereign debt crisis, massive unemployment in south EU, German mercantilism, pointless harmonisation, centralisation, bureaucracy, really dodgy banks, etc, etc, is just as useless an ideology as any of the previous north west European political spasms have been.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink


        “The UK labour market is small” ha ha ha ha its 32million there are 751,000 unfilled jobs , in job creation we are top of the league and the majority of the EU countries are at the bottom. You haven’t a clue about the job market


        The UK headline labour market indicators compare well with OECD averages. At the end of 2016, the UK unemployment rate stood at 4.8% against the OECD average of 6.2%, and the UK employment rate at 65.5% was more than 4 percentage points above the OECD average.

        The UK unemployment rate is now 4.2%, 79% of UK economy is services and the rate of employment in manufacturing is on a par with Germany but UK service sector is bigger than Germanys

        You people just make it up as you go along

  8. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It’s good to hear about foreign investment in the UK.
    We don’t hear so much about UK investment in the UK. Could that be because UK companies have all their income whittled away in tax, with practically nothing left to invest?
    Reducing CT is a help, but so would NI and business rates. This leaves a hole in public finances I know, but that could be offset by the government spending less.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      There’s good and bad investment.
      This Conservative Party tried to spin that the selling of ARM Holdings was good for this country.
      It was really bad for this country because it undermined our tech industry to take one of its great brands global (not only would this have been great for ARM Holdings but it would have been a great incentive for the UK tech industry in general). Now profits, and everything else will go to Japan.

      There’s lots of smart guys in the Tory Party. But they’re too caught up in retro, 1980’s economics, focused on the City of London (important as that is), and ignorant / ignoring the great potential of the tech industry.

      (i think, i might be wrong).

      • libertarian
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        When will people EVER learn that public companies DO NOT BELONG to countries they belong to the shareholders

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink


          I understand that.

          My main point was the way Theresa May was putting a political slant on it as if the selling of ARM to the Japanese was a good thing for the UK. It wasn’t (overall).

          What I do know is that the government could be doing way more to support / encourage / invest ) (and working closely with high tech entrepreneurs / established high tech companies / investors / universities etc) in a high tech strategy for this country. Perhaps such a strategy could have encouraged shareholder to keep ARM under British control.


    • matthu
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Or offset by an increase in GDP. People never seem to consider that.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The best way to improve productivity is for the state sector to get out of the way of the private sector and for the state sector to reduce in size hugely. This while doing the very few things that government can do best, but far more efficiently than they currently do.

    It is clear from the direction coming form May and Hammond that they simply do not understand this. They are tax, borrow and waste interventionists at heart. A huge number of tax increase yet again in the last budget.

    Once again government picking “winners” it seems. Something not likely to end well. We know form history that they cannot even run a whelk stall efficiently, let alone the massive and largely unproductive state sector.

    Yet they still want to order the private sector about.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink


      ‘The best way to improve productivity is for the state sector to get out of the way of the private sector and for the state sector to reduce in size hugely.’

      – I agree to an important degree, but i think you’re emphasis is a bit retro, 1980’s economics (sorry). This country needs an industrial strategy, in particular, regarding the High Tech Industry, involving close government discussions with the business community (companies, entrepreneurs, investors etc) and universities (in particular, Cambridge and Oxford to establish a Silicon Valley between these places). And it will involve some soft government investment for investments that the private sector won’t be interested in but is needed in order to sew the seeds for high tech enterprise.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink
    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Not really, and yesterday Chuka Umunna was uncritically accepting and repeating highly dubious Treasury predictions from before the referendum:

      “A Canada-style EU deal would leave us with £36 billion less a year to spend on public services”

      As far as he is concerned the Treasury is a credible source, even though our vote to leave the EU did not plunge the country into recession as predicted.

      One point of interest is that when I go back and look at that April 2016 Treasury analysis upon which he so unquestioningly relies:

      while its predictions were clearly wrong in absolute terms its numbers for GDP losses were quite similar for simply moving to WTO terms (7.5%) and moving to a deal like that between the EU and Canada (6.2%).

      This is what I was wondering a couple of days ago, whether it would really be worth the bother of even trying to negotiate a trade deal with the intransigent, vindictive, obstructive, untrustworthy EU.

      • NickC
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Denis, You are quite right. We are tying ourselves in knots, and delaying Leave, all on the “hope” of a trade deal which the EU senses our government and civil service are desperate for.

        It’s the lost opportunity costs that bother me – multiple system changes because of extended transitions; ongoing membership costs; bribes to trade; no deals with friendly countries; loss of fishing rights; etc. Especially since the EU is intransigent, vindictive, obstructive, untrustworthy, as you say.

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Forgive me for being cynical but pharma companies will set up in the UK because of the monopoly provider the NHS . They can develop their drugs and recover the cost from the UK taxpayers.
    As for an industrial strategy we just have to look at the pigs ear government has made of energy sector.
    The best strategy would be to fix the infrastructure and get out of the EU as quick and cheap as possible.

  12. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Why not reduce UK companies taxes by a large amount on the understanding they invest in the UK?

  13. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I’ve no problem running our own agencies after we have left the EU but not if we are partly paying the EU for trade etc. Where would the financial advantages be then? We need to leave cleanly with no financial commitments to the EU so we can spend that money here at home.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    It hard to think that many will find that the UK a good place to invest. This until the government stops taxing until the pips squeak and finds some vision – especially with Corbyn looking likely for PM. It is certainly a good place to pay very high taxes and get almost nothing in return for them.

    IHT 40% over just £325K, income tax 45%, NI (both combined) about 23%, CGT 28% without indexation, stamp duty up to 15%, fuel duty, road duty, alcohol duty, council tax, corporation tax, licence fees, restrictive planning, dreadful transport infrastructure, expensive property and all is tied up in endless red tape just for good measure.

    If you want to invest or live in the UK, it is best to be prepared to spend lots of time and money with your very expensive tax planners. Rather than on productive work and have a plan to escape if Corbyn arrives.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Still there is some good news, Meghan Markle seems very pleasant. Good luck to them.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    If only the Government would act !. There is a stalemate in the system and nothing really positive and encouraging is emerging ; the public want action and incentive to face up to the challenge of Brexit . The media are having a field day broadcasting doom and very dark clouds . Ordinary MPs do have an initiative to play in this game and , so far , nothing visible is emerging from them . MPs should remind themselves that they are the servants of the people .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      The intensive but one-sided propaganda war continues; Remoaners churn it out day after day and David Davis’s department lets them get away with it, so no wonder that public opinion is gradually shifting against Brexit.

      • John Soper
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        Denis, public opinion is not shifting against Brexit because of propaganda. It is shifting because facts are emerging. Contrray to Mr Redwood’s claims, they do not need us more than we need them. Were that so, they would be paying us, but you will notice Mrs May has now upped the price we will pay to £50 billion. Mr Redwood also promised us fantastic deals with India, Australia, Canada, etc. Not a sign of them! As for the NHS ….

        • NickC
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          John Soper, In terms of trade value, the EU does need us more than we need them, but Mrs May is bowing to EU and Remain preferences. That hardly supports your case.

          I suspect that the “fantastic deals with India, Australia, Canada, etc” are on the back burner because they have got tired of May’s appeasing the EU, and prevaricating on actually leaving. Something you want to happen.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          So you think the fact that the EU is now successfully extorting huge sums of money to meet supposed liabilities which have been quietly building up during our period of membership, and would continue to build up if we stayed in, is a good reason to stay in …

  16. Nig l
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Yes some positive news nonetheless as you say nothing on public sector efficiency wasting far more than the almost pathetic 750million of new investment. As usual all the big numbers pushed forward so almost meaningless. We are so strapped it seems we have to rely on joint ventures and whilst the new jobs created is welcome the numbers again are not large.

    Considering this was THE new policy I assume worked on intensively over some time, methinks a bit of a non event. Equally I assume no money because of a (secret) Brexit contingency.

    Incidentally Ms Patel has now broken cover confirming what we all thought. One question. How can you negotiate when you do not know the end state you are aiming for?

  17. Melvin Cornwell
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Word on the street is we are ALL having serious doubts about May’s behaviours now. Prior to her going on holiday, she gave the impression she was fully behind Brexit and was climbing over any obstacles to deliver it in full. THEN… she went on holiday (her “road to Damascus, it would seem..) and came back with a head full of silly half arsed nonsense. Since then her actions have been cringeworthy. There is little point in decking the ship out in garlands if we are sailing in the wrong direction, and trying to ‘hide’ those actions from the public is not going to wash.

  18. am
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Talking down Britain is normal though it appears to come more from British malcontents not foreigners. Such investment programs have to be labelled by the malcontents, despite brexit.

  19. Bob
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Nick Robinson on R4 Toady programme talking to an RT spokesman said that the Licence Fee is not a tax.

    It appears to me to have all the characteristics of a tax, insofar as the charge is set by government, and non payment can result in a criminal conviction.

    Just the way the state pension has been re-labelled as a “benefit” rather than an entitlement, it appears that the term “Licence” is used to conceal the true nature of the charge.

    • rose
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      What is more, it is a poll tax, a flat rate tax levied equally on the duke and the dustman. Just what the BBC brought down with its daily onslaught of propaganda. The government’s great mistake with the Poll Tax was not to set it at the same level as the BBC licence fee.

  20. rose
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    “Could that be because UK companies have all their income whittled away in tax, with practically nothing left to invest?”

    It could also be because drawing on unlimited pools of imported cheap labour subsidised by the taxpayer gives them no incentive to invest in new technology.

  21. hefner
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Yes, and JR’s post is corroborated by the BoE’s stress test on UK banks.

  22. Epikouros
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    If a society decides to have an institution that it spends income other than it’s own in this case government which has none so takes from the productive and then spends it in any way it and favoured politicians and friends see fit then at least spend it wisely. How wisely of course depends on behalf which politicians and friends see fit it is being spent on and which agency is charged with administering that spending. What is proposed here would appear to be as appropriate as it can get when an institution such as government makes a decision to spend. Most of the time it is inappropriate and all of the time incompetently and wastefully administered.

  23. Student
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The government really need to give firm assurance to international students attending our Universities that we will have jobs and/or post graduate positions available to them that provide highly valuable technical research benefit to the Country. Currently there is no firm assurance that after March 2019 the top graduates from outside the UK will be able to stay and receive funding and jobs in the way that they are currently, and this is pushing many that I know to take their skills and leave the Country in favour of the continent or the US, where there is a much higher degree of clarity, certainty and encouragement for those sorts of people. All we have at the moment are typical bland and empty words from the Prime Minister of ‘staying open’ whilst providing no actual substance, and the ambiguous 2 year ‘transition period’ will only add to this uncertainty.

    I sincerely hope that the UK will take a friendlier and more encouraging position to highly skilled graduates very soon, or we risk losing the top talent that will make us competitive innovators and World leaders after Brexit.

    • John Barleycorn
      Posted December 3, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      The Industrial Strategy encourages migration for the people you mention. On p88-89:
      “We want the UK to be a magnet for world-class talent…
      The government is also changing immigration rules to enable
      world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 route to apply for settlement after three years and to make it quicker for highly-skilled students to apply to work in the UK after finishing their degrees. We are relaxing the labour market test to allow UK
      Research and Innovation and other select organisations to
      sponsor researchers, making it easier to hire international
      researchers and members of established research teams.”

  24. Iain Gill
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Re “The government has expressed an especial interest in”… avoid these investments like the plague, government has a one hundred percent track record of picking the losing horse.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      The O2 springs to mind.
      All the Councils that lost money investing in Iceland and general ratepayers have had to retop up all their pension funds by thousands and thousands of pounds.
      Housing and shopping estates the governments built in the 1960s and 1970s, all those tower blocks that haven’t survived a half decade.

    • getahead
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Well said Iain.

  25. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    ‘The UK also now has the opportunity to set up its own Medicine Agency as we leave the EU’

    – I don’t know enough about the Medicine Agency, but theoretically having to set up your own national agencies could lead to more bureaucracy. Large companies and large trading organisations like the EU are able to share, centralise and cut down the work on agency work in general. Similar to how scientific/technical commercial organisations within the EU can share large projects that a country wouldn’t be able to do on own (for example, satellites and space travel in general, expensive planes, aircraft carriers and so on). This greatly cuts down on the UK’s possibilities in scientific and technical research and development. Countries within the EU, working together, will be able to compete with the USA, China and others, but the UK will be left out to an important degree.

  26. billR
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Yes we can set up all of the agencies we like, including a medicines agency, but if we want to sell and to deal into Europe then they will have to work to EU standards.

    • NickC
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      BillR said: “… if we want to sell and to deal into Europe then they will have to work to EU standards.” Yes, just as we have to work to USA standards when we sell into the USA. Your point?

      • billR
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        NickC.. point is USA is far away.,. EU is on our doorstep

        • NickC
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          BillR, Distance is irrelevant if it turns a profit.

      • Helena
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        The point is we now trade with the EU without any border checks at all. Not so with the US. You Brexiteers are throwing away the massive advantages we have right now in trade with our most importnat partners. And getting nothing in return

        • Edward2
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          The point you fail to realise that to import.into any market we have to be compliant with all the rules and regulations of that market.
          Open borders is not the same.
          Checks are done before the goods depart in the form of declarations.
          There are random checks on product conformity in all our export markets.
          Even the EU

        • NickC
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Helena, The point that BillR made was that to sell into the EU we will have to work to EU standards. He appeared to think that was an extra burden. It isn’t. We do so for every country we export to. Already. That was my point.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          Where do we have a trade deficit and where do we have a surplus?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Everything else we sell to the rest of the world has to comply with local standards.
      Honda makes 27 variants of the Civic for different markets.
      Several different types for within the EU.

    • Jagman84
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      We already do comply so what is your point? We can raise the bar so the EU members can try to match our improved standards. That’s how progress is made.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bill–Yes, but your comment though true is of little significance because assuming the standards are set scientifically as they will be based on Randomised Controlled Trials and the like the standards will be as near identical as makes no difference. Besides I object to everything under the sun being subjugated to dealing in to the EU. They had their chance and blew it–to Hell with them.

  27. HenryS
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The industrial strategy document is a government ‘talk things up’ document and is all pie in the we have absolutely no way of knowing, even at this stage, as to how we will be fixed after all of this business is finished. It could turn out we will be very much on our own, which we voted for and trading with countries in the far east and africa.. so then where is this competitive market going to be? Just what market are we going to compete with?.. the EU maybe..but if we enter into competition with them then one way or the other we are going to have to work by their their prices..which will effect pricing and standards worldwide..even under WTO rules.

  28. formula57
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    British science could well be boosted by attracting foreign scientists and, as noted hitherto, such people would be more likely to base themselves here if the work permit regime were streamlined and, critically, partners of such were included in it too. Given our apparent ready willingness to permit/ inability to control immigration in the hundreds of thousands, a few thousand extra admitted on work visas being partners of wished for scientists would not be noticed surely?

  29. a-tracy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    “mobility including self drive vehicles”
    Perhaps the government should look in particular to this in towns over 20,000 people that aren’t connected to a train station and connect them up. Or a Town over 20,000 people not connected to a hospital and connect them up.

  30. a-tracy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    “The government’s best course would be to apply the digital technologies more consistently and positively to the public sector which it runs”

    yes and couldn’t the government start with Parliament. Keeping MPs in their constituencies to live like the rest of us do in those places. London based MPs may not understand this, but do meetings and votes have to take place in London? Couldn’t new digital meetings and voting systems be made secure enough, if not, perhaps they’re not good enough for any of us.

  31. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Do you think we export to the other 140 countries by not meeting their standard.
    The EU is a big protectionist racket.

  32. Kenneth
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, the BBC doesn’t share your optimism. Yesterday it made a political statement:

    “It doesn’t really matter what sort of industrial strategy you have if the economy tanks under Brexit.”

    It is here: about 35 minutes.

    The BBC wasn’t quoting anybody: this is its own political statement. At no point did I hear the BBC contemplating the notion that Brexit may be good or neutral for our economy.

    How can the BBC be allowed to use powerful transmitters – that the public has provided the money for – to push propaganda back at us?

  33. Peter
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Prepare for a government sell out on Brexit.

    “May is a grey, mediocre careerist who loathes risk and whose every instinct is to cave in and seek ‘compromise’ (i.e. surrender) on any given position. Flat-footed, reactive and utterly without vision, the kind of person for whom a bird in the hand is worth a thousand in the bush, everything in her track record suggests that her instincts will be to avoid ‘crashing out’ of the EU. Despite her rhetoric, for her any deal at all is better than no deal.”

    Andrew Cadman

    I think if we were prepared to walk away we would have done so by now. Expect PR spin about a ‘win win’ deal.

    If there was to be a coup against May it would have already happened.

  34. am
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink Perhaps potential for uk fishing exports.

  35. Peter
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “Short of a civil war, Britain is going to concede to the traitors of remain.”

    Response to Cadman article.

    If you wonder why it has gone quiet on Brexit, it is because the government already have a plan but need to work out damage limitation when the public get wind of (some of) it. Unfortunately for the government they cannot keep the whole thing secret.

  36. margaret
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    well yes! but need to laugh about this knowledge based stuff.
    I was sister of a research unit at MRI in 1995 and watched several trials. Some work was accepted and some was not , but anyway prior to this we were prescribing medications and dealing with medical problems for many years, myself since 1968 with great success. Today it is not classed as research even treatments benefited millions rather than a random sample.
    I went to a conference recently and asked if selenium which had already benefited many people could be used as an antioxidant where the oxidisation of high density lipoproteins was causing problems . Now even though it has been used with some success , the answer was we don’t know as a paper hasn’t been written about it !!!! I plead for sense with research.

  37. ian
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    A fool paradise, forcing your own drug companies offshore to places like Africa for tax reasons and be able to receive some money from the UK overseas aid budget, while briding other overseas drugs companies into coming into the UK with taxpayers money.
    The UK is already spending 34 billion a year on R&D, with a lot of it going to overseas companies, what you never talk about is how much you’re going to be giving them to come to the UK each year. The companies themselves will never pay any tax in the UK and if they make a drug breakthrough while in the UK, that money will be offshored.
    As for putting up the R&D budget for companies to 50 billion a year by 2026 while forcing more UK companies out of the UK, is madness.
    The whole Parliament, HOL, Councils, Banks, you name it, are for overseas governments, companies and people only. Billion of pounds of UK taxpayers money going to support these entities each year, whether coming to the UK, outside of the UK or already in the UK.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Some good news here:

    “In our view, Brexit represents the greatest current threat to European producers, consumers and distributors of meat, with a potential impact much greater than the Russian political embargo on EU agrifood exports.

    By potentially cutting off one of the largest and highest value meat markets in Europe, Brexit threatens to be catastrophic for the industry across Europe and the UK.

    In the worst case scenario, in which no deal between the EU and the UK is agreed, the impact on the meat sector will be monumental, due to the particular exposure of this sector to tariff costs, veterinary checks and increased customs and transport costs.”

    Well, of course it would be far less “catastrophic” for the UK industry which will still have tariff-free, unimpeded and relatively cheap access to the UK market, “one of the largest and highest value meat markets in Europe”.

    This is something that David Cameron apparently forgot when he was warning us about the dire consequences for our farmers if we left the EU without a trade deal:

    “David Cameron: Farmers face 70pc tariffs after Brexit”

    Although it is unlikely I would be directly affected by this, as I am already operating a personal trade embargo against our EU neighbours wherever possible.

  39. forthurst
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What we need from Inward Investors is an undertaking to pay Corporation Tax rather than use transfer pricing to evade it and not to use their businesses as strategic vehicles for importing more people from the third world. What we should offer them is an safe environment free from third world grooming gangs and violence.

    “Our Industrial Strategy builds on our work to develop people’s skills, investing an additional £406m in maths, digital and technical skills in England. This includes investing £84m over the next five years to deliver a comprehensive programme to improve the teaching of computing and drive up participation in computer science. We will up-skill 8,000 computer science teachers and work with industry to set up a new National Centre for Computing Education.”

    What the government needs understand is that the word ‘digital’ does not convey any useful information to industry professionals, it merely reveals that the government is infested with financial spivs and property speculators whose understanding of technical subjects is virtually nonexistent.

    Having checked the websites of both Imperial College and Cambridge University, neither is setting an entry requirement for A Level ‘Computer Science’ ; they are both far keener on Maths and Further Maths, so why do these imbeciles believe that ‘up-skilling’ the teaching of computer science is crucial? The leaching of tertiary level topics into the school curriculum is highly undesirable because it crowds out the essential building blocks of Science and the Humanities; it also means more subject teachers are required and often the use of techers for subjects for which they neither have the training or aptitude, thereby demoralising students rather than enthusing them.

  40. Zero Base Survivor
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Your comment “The government’s best course would be to apply the digital technologies more consistently and positively to the public sector which it runs. Given the emphasis on raising productivity, it would be a good place to start” is very true.

    One important thing that Government (Local and Central) must do is to condition their employees’ mind-set to rolling headcount reductions at all levels as the productivity improvements come through. Reductions can often be achieved voluntarily by means of early retirement or job flexibility via retraining with enhanced salaries/promotion granted for those that remain after the redundant positions have been eliminated. Without this, the productivity benefits never show on the bottom line, whatever way this it is accounted for.

  41. Hoop side Dawn
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    The Irish and German governments in chaos and uncertainty. They would vote to leave the EU wouldn’t they? What did they expect?

  42. British Spy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    The Remoaners are furious they haven’t got their hands on the sensitive trade information from our negotiating Brexit team just when the EU told them they desperately needed it. The clock is ticking. The Remoaners are out of favour with their EU bosses big style.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Some of them they can’t be trusted with any confidential information.

  43. hefner
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I had to check: a Merkle, Markel, Merkel, Markle entering the Royle Family.

  44. a-tracy
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe these Irish teenagers on C4 news one girl said the Irish have been under the thumb of the British for so long it’s great to have the chance to negotiate from a position of strength. Then the boy said the Irish weren’t taken into account – why would we they voted for independence years ago, they wanted decoupling from the UK and that’s what they’ve sort of got until they want £100bn in their banks, bailout money of near £7bn on terms they can only get because of us. Getting angry about this now.

    Ford, who don’t even put the vehicles they sell in the U.K. their 3rd biggest market in the U.K. Yet they’re threatening us. For goodness sake get some alternatives to Ford going in our market. Kia, Mitsubishi, British Manufacturers buy our car industry back!

  45. Freeborn John
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Cannot believe that surrender monkey May has agreed to pay huge Brexit bill to Brussels. Until she learns to say No to their extortion the EU will continue to believe the UK will remain a subservient satellite that will cave in to their every demand.

    I guarantee you that this means I will never vote Conservative again in my life. Those who are so subservient and so wasteful of taxpayer money will be ejected from office at the next election.

    • David L
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      so, Freeborn John, who will replace these wasters of taxpayer’s money? The alternatives don’t fill me with confidence. Worrying times.

      • Freeborn John
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Agree that Westminister is inhabited by the worst generation of politicians in history. The important thing is not to vote for LibLabCon cartel and their near identical policies. If you keep voting for any of them they will keep doing the same thing.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      yep the Conservatives are heading for electoral disaster unless something big changes

      this just is not good enough

      Labour may be a worse option but few will care given the shambles May has dropped on us

    • Oggy
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Yes – late night news reports that May has offered 50Bn to the EU – she has caved in as expected. She’s already caved in on the ecj so she just needs to stay in the SM and CU to keep the Irish happy and she will have a full house.

      Brexit in name only. Didn’t she do well ?

      • John Soper
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        Stop blaming Mrs May. She is making the best out of an impossible situation. Blame the people who made promises about Brexit that could never be kept, blame the people who told you the EU needs us more than we need them, blame the people who told you we’d get a quick and easy deal. I voted Leave, I was conned, we all were.

        • Oggy
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          I wasn’t conned by anybody, I don’t care about a UK -EU deal, I voted to leave and regain our freedom, not for May just to ignore what we voted for.
          For your info I voted leave in 1975 too when we were then lied to saying the common market was just about trade. Heath knew all along the future was a political superstate. The people WERE conned but in 1975 !

        • Chris
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          No, we were not conned JS. It is just that we have a weak PM and team, who are dominated by Remainers (I include civil servants in this) and who have no real will to implement the Brexit we voted for and the one that put us back in control. The EU has run circles round May et al, and employed all the bullying tactics etc that Varoufakis warned about (and any fool could have seen would happen). Result: the EU has got May where it wants to have her and is dictating terms and apparently extracting large sums of money, all agreed by a weak, Remainer dominated UK team. So do not blame those campaigning for Brexit for showing what we could achieve. It is the mindset, lack of talent and conviction of the UK team that is to blame, and principally the PM. The MPs who voted her to be leader also bear a heavy responsibility for this betrayal of the British people, in my view.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Blame those who took us into it in the first place, without that we would not now have the EU extorting these huge sums.

  46. Unified at last
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Half a million pounds per year salary for one job is easily understood when you look at what a barperson has to do. They get up in the morning, travel to work and start at 11.45am , finish at home, get to work again at 5.30pm and work until 11.30pm travel home again and do the same thing the next day every day seven days per week. They have to speak to persons throughout as though they are human and sober. Smile. Engage is banter and casual chatter. Smile. Their whole existence just WORK and travelling to and from work and pretending at each second, SMILE, they enjoy it. Is it any wonder they are paid £500,000 per annum? How much is a life worth? Surely half a million pounds per year.
    There are others though who do not sacrifice half so much…university wallahs, not worth a bank, certainly. They of course work for minimum wage and are lucky for all that.

  47. Peter
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    £49 billion is being talked of now:-

    It is never ending like an auctioneer’s. Some mild resistance but the EU will feel that money is in the bag and simply hike the bill up once more.

    • Chris
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      ,,,and the money is apparently going to be paid over an unspecified period of years to the EU, maybe decades, so the EU will keep revising upwards any amounts due. It will be a game for them and our weak government will give in again, based on current form. This sort of situation means that the UK will effectively be a prisoner of the EU, and will not have taken back control. Theresa May has got to be challenged on this. It cannot be allowed to happen.

  48. Michael O'S
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    To leave the Eu, to leave the single market of 500 million people with huge spending power right on our own doorstep , for what, on a whim, on a dream, that the empire might come back, that there might be some new el dorado out there is absolute nonsense- there is nothing out there- nothing

    • Edward2
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      I didn’t realise we are not going to have any trade at all between us and Europe after Brexit.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        I think we will, and I think it may well continue to be trade to their advantage rather than to ours: albeit with a lower volume and a lower deficit than if we had decided to stay in the EU and its single market and customs union.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      80% of world production is already out there.

  • 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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