No deal is better than a bad deal

I attended the Urgent Question on the Brexit discussions yesterday.

The government made clear that they still believe No deal is better than a bad deal. They confirmed to me that they are continuing to plan for a No Deal exit. They need to do this as No Deal is still a possible outcome. They also need to do so as the government will have no capacity to resist a bad deal at the last minute if we are not ready to leave without an Agreement.

The government believes they can secure a good deal. This would embrace a full free trade agreement and various other features of a comprehensive economic partnership. It is important it leaves the UK free to negotiate our own trade deals with the rest of the world, settle our own borders, make our own laws and no longer be under the ECJ. The government states they have not offered any specific sums of money, but have indicated areas where they will consider making ex gratia payments in return for a good deal.

Some contributors to this website want me to write all the time about Brexit and respond daily to the false rumours, stories and comments that abound in this area. I have no intention of doing so. Any likely Agreement is probably a year away. It will only be possible to decide whether the Deal is better than No Deal when we know what it is. The discussions will get very repetitious, and my attitude will not change daily as the news flows. In the meantime I do have other constituency interests to pursue. I will continue to engage on the many matters that do not relate to Brexit that affect the lives of my constituents.

No Deal ticks four of the five boxes of what we want from Brexit. It gives us control of our borders, our laws and our money. It means no special divorce bill. It means we are free to negotiate our own trade agreements around the world. It does not deliver us a free trade agreement with the EU, though later after we have left the EU might want one after all. Any Agreement needs to improve on this to be worthwhile.

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  1. Tanna
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Settle our own borders? You have said we should have no border controls in Ireland. Your story is utterly self-contradictory.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      We need border controls only where the flow of immigrants is a problem. That doesn’t include Ireland.

      • Hope
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Tell us what May’s view of a bad deal is? She let the EU write/edit the Florence speech to say how much the U.K. Should give the EU!

        She wants to remain in the EU. So any tie to it is not a bade deal in her view. The term is wide and indeterminate. Her record is appalling and you cannot believe a word she says as a consequence. Leave ministers have already caved in over their alleged red lines.

        She needs to be ousted.

        So please, tell us what May thinks is a bade deal?

        • Hope
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Blaire telling the French today we are changing our view on Brexit because it is too hard etc. it is as if he is working with May to make it sound more difficult than it has to be and give far much more than the U.K. Needs to!

          JR, why do you trust May on Brexit? After being fooled by Cameron are you not at least cautious she is having you and leavers over? Leave ministers already caved in!

          Whether the U.K. Pays a vast amount in one lump sum or over a considerable number to f years still makes it a bad deal when there is no legal liability and the U.K. Gets nothing in return or even a share of the assets it pays d for.

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            That would apply to the £1b danegeld May gave the DUP. They are already coming back for more. Blackmailers always do.

      • NHSGP
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        It should do. All economic migration should be subject to 3 simple conditions.

        1. No criminals
        2. Net contributors only
        3. No discrimination – including special deals for Ireland.

        • Anonymous
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          NHSGP – A fourth condition to that please.

          4. No displacement of an indiginous worker doing the same job.

          Australian style points system please.

          • NHSGP
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            If you look at the break even income it is 38K per person. You need to generate over 12.5K a year in tax.

            My take is that lots of people earning that much change the dynamic.

            1. They drag in more high earners.
            2. The barista jobs etc get done by those on welfare – more tax less spending

            It works well. Just put in place a minimum tax per head. Uses the established system so is cheap.

            Australian points based system is a bad approach.

            Civil servants allow in people who don’t generate the tax.

            It’s an excuse not to train.

            Civil servants ban those that would have generate the tax.

            How does it deal with entrepreneurs? Tax based, they pay the tax up front, and they come here and the UK wins.

            Points based is better than the current system, but its flawed.

            Tax based means everyone knows economic migrants are paying their way. They earn too much to be on welfare. That deals with lots of racist arguments.

            I would add

            4. No cap

            The more rich people paying lots of tax, the better the UK is

        • Iain Gill
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Not for skills already in over supply anywhere in the skills spectrum.

      • James Matthews
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Saying we should have no border controls in Ireland IS controlling our own borders. It is our decision to take. Ireland however will have to bow to whatever border arrangements the EU wants to impose on their side.

      • Hope
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Tories trying to condition our minds that a vast payment is worth it when they already told us there is no legal liability and ratified by the HoL!

        JR, pointed out a long time ago that it does not take this long to make an agreement to leave and talk about trade alternatively use WTO. He has told us many times.

        The prolonged time span is to condition us that a bad deal is something else, like Cameron’s false deceptive claim he reformed the EU, or would not pay the extra £1.7 billion when he quietly paid £2.9 billion!

        Who would put up with threats, demands, leaks and insults and discussions only on their terms! No one with self respect. Who would give away security for nothing in return? Who , Otherthan May, would not have an end game 18 months after the vote to leave! 15 months for business to plan to leave, no need of an extension under the same terms for at LEAST two years. How does that help be sinews when the U.K. Not allowed to start trade with other countries! Bad deal position has already been achieved. Walk away.

          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          hOpe, You are soooooooo right. i have been saying the same things for ever. They now exactly how we feel and they know we are right. Simply put, We should walk away today. things will be fine for GB. MAY and her Builderberg, NWO Cronies don’t want that do they. well they will have to lump it as we say. OK Then All together, OUT OUT OUT, NOW NOW NOW.

      • Hope
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        We read today that new powers will be given to N Ireland so it can effectively be in the single market or be close to EU, as most people there voted to stay in, it appears we could be right May is keeping us in in all but name wherever possible.

        What next Wales, Scotland? Sadly England has not have a parliament or representation in the U.K. Parliament like the others.

        JR, I hope this report is wrong for the country’s national interest and for your party’s sake.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Control of your laws ? The US Commerce Secretary has already told you that you will need to abandon most of your food safety legislation if you wanted to have a trade deal with the US.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        More Project Fear nonsense from you Tab.

        The USA has more health and safety rules and regulations to do with food than the EU.
        Do you recall the horsemeat scandal and the infected eggs scandal recently under the EU’s “perfect” controls.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        No I think they’ve just said there is no reason to continue the EUs irrational ban eg on GM foods.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          or hormonal beef or chlorine-washed chickens…

          • Edward2
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            The hormones just help the cattle grow. And grow into one of the world’s best and tastiest beef.
            The level of chlorine in a chicken is less than you get from one small mouthful of water in a swimming pool and is good to kill off bacteria whilst being undetectable to taste when cooked.

            Huge project fear propaganda as usual.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            Aka efficient farming.

      • stred
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        The US is talking about offering to adapt their standards to ours and other export markets. Products will be marked as US chlorinated water washed and Irish and British customers will be free to chose between salmonella and insecticide impregnated Dutch or Spanish and US chickens washed with swimming pool standard water.

      • John
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        The EU still allows the transport of live animals over long distances.

        Throwing back fish needlessly killing millions of seafood that’s its never looked to solve.

        Performing bears on chains and bull fighting still going on.


    • A different Simon
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      The UK has arrangements with Ireland regarding movement of people which predate the EU .

      It’s hardly the insurmountable problem that some people want to make it .

      The EU nirvana is a bubble and when the emperors new clothes eventually fall from in front of younger Irish men and women’s eyes , they might well decide to reclaim the sovereignty their parents were bullied into giving up .

  2. Prigger
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    For the most part discussions in Parliament yesterday and every day are merely a repeat of pre-Referendum campaigns as The Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss, MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury was at pains to point out.
    I do feel there are what are called Trolls in these Comments’pages each day who are systematically organised to attack the democratic vote of the British people on 23rd June 2016 and bring about a return to dictatorship in these islands. They do it on Twitter too and are boring a whole generation of democratically minded people. Fascism ceased to a be seen as a valid political idea some time ago and these trolls should accept the fact. It is not nice!

    • David Price
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      A number of new commenters with a pro-EU attitude showed up shortly after Politico labelled JR as one of the Brexit “trouble makers”. They must see our host as a clear danger to their and the EU’s interests so are aiming to disrupt and lower the quality of discussion as they know we won’t embrace their creed.

      Quite often they demonstrate a lack of awareness of UK specifics and what is even more mystifying, a lack of awareness of EU specifics, eg that Maastricht introduced freedom of movement and residence of people not just workers.

      The normal approach with trolls is to not feed them … but it can be difficult at times. My suggestion is to maintain a quality of discussion despite and around such disruptions.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        I agree with most of your post David, and I too have noticed a trend as if their ploys are somehow orchestrated, but if we don’t take these (Remain supporters ed) on, they’ll think they can get away with it. Their nonsense always betrays them, and they keep coming back with the same old tired arguments that can easily be demolished, but for evil to triumph, all good men need do is nothing.

        That is how they were able to get us into the EU in the first place. Let’s keep calling them out.


      • John Soper
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        To be honest David, since every single one of our host’s predictions have been proved wrong – from us paying no money, to the EU giving us a quick and easy deal, to deals with India, Australia, China etc – I think Remainers do not see him as a clear danger, or any sort of danger.

        Reply I always said No Deal was a possible and satisfactory outcome, and would not require us paying any money

        • David Price
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          We have not left nor has the deal been agreed so there is no “proof” of anything.

    • Chris
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, DP, it is very noticeable on here, and also on Coffeehouse (spectator) website. I understand that(there are people ed )s to trawl through the internet and focus in particular on websites that are pro Brexit as it claims they are promoting fake news, apparently. This is also in conjunction with new large scale funding of “education” programmes in European schools about the benefits of the EU.

      • Chris
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        It is very strange but none of my recent comments have been posted. No obvious reason.

  3. Prigger
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Smirky faces from some Remoaners in those “Urgent” Questions suggested to me, at any rate, mischievousness rather than anything else. If there were a Chair to the proceedings in the House and if proceedings were organised in a business-like manner it would stop the irresponsibility of such MPs . I seem to have heard Mr Speaker allowing one MP to speak because of his “superiority” alone. I didn’t realise there was a pecking order apart from the obvious ones of PM , Shadow Leader etc .
    When I am Emperor their pecking beaks will be trimmed somewhat as usually their contributions are long-winded, pompous, and an utter waste of time.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Not a single person I spoke to yesterday could believe you had agreed to such an enormous payout whilst at the same time planning to fire 1000 marines and scrap Bulwark and Albion.
    The lunatics really have taken charge.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      @ Ian Wragg

      The lunatics really have taken charge.

      What do you mean by have? Don’t you mean “are in charge as per usual”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed every since Heseltine stabbed Thatcher we have had lefty loons in charge and still do. Most of them rather dim to boot. Some of them even pretending to be “low tax at heart”, EU skeptic, real Conservatives – but fooling almost no one for longer than a month or two. We judge politicians by actions not what they promise or say as they clearly never have any connection.

        • rose
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          It was Ken Clarke who really did for her – stabbed her in the front.

          • hefner
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            When one is commenting about historical facts, it is better if one checks their facts first: Sir Geoffrey Howe was the first to declare that Mrs T should go. Then Heseltine declared he would be candidate for PM. According to the Thatcher faithful Edward Leigh, “at least Heseltine stabbed her in the front”.

          • rose
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

            No, Heseltine was not important to her. Clarke was. She had the Cabinet in one by one before deciding whether to go. Clarke stabbed her in the front. It was fatal.

    • eeyore
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      JR – ” The government states they have not offered any specific sums of money, but have indicated areas where they will consider making ex gratia payments in return for a good deal. ”

      Three thoughts, if you will permit: 1 So long as offers are made without prejudice it is wise to wait on events. We may yet see no deal and no payment. 2. Ex gratia payments will need parliamentary approval from MPs sensitive to public opinion. 3. Mrs May is proposing to take serious sums off millions of ordinary people and give them to someone else. She must explain to them what they might have to pay, when they might pay it, why in her view it is necessary, and what they will get it return.

      It is disappointing that, rather than engage with her own people, she thinks it more pressing to engage with the Middle East. Yet more disappointing is that once again she misses the opportunity to give personal leadership. But has she ever missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

  5. Mark B
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    But how bad a deal does it have to be before the ‘no deal’ scenario becomes the only option ?

    . . . . various other features of a comprehensive economic partnership.

    I do not know about anyone else but I would like to have a fuller explanation as to what that means. Seems far too open ended to me.

    Like our kind host I too am waiting until we get more definite information. As indeed time passes and the realisation for both parties that more compromises need to be made, more progress will be made.

    I still maintain that in the short-term the UK will suffer but, if completely out of the EU the UK with the right low tax, low regulation and free trade environment and approach we will flurrish. Here hoping.

  6. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t Canada tick all the boxes plus having an excelent relationship with the EU?
    IMHO, the EU challenge will be not to take 10 years for something similar with the UK.

    • David Price
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      We haven’t had an excellent relationship with the EU while we have been a member, in my experience the EU is all take no give and we have had to give up far too much.

      Do you seriously think people will view our government paying a ransom and blackmail “fee” to the EU will improve that relationship in any way at all?

      It doesn’t matter what trade agreement is reached with the EU all that does is set tariffs and limits, it does not ensure trade will actually happen. I hope the UK will become a free trade country but whatever happens I personally will not trade with EU countries that undermine us.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        @David Price: The UK could potentially have a far more excellent EU-relationship after Brexit (no guarantees), as it has clearly never been a good match inside the EU. I could list at least six major UK opt-outs if you wanted proof of that.
        There is no blackmail fee at all, that is a media misconception, it is just about calculating together the settling of liabilities and assets for the separation.
        The UK (media) seem obsessed with Brexit as some huge battle, both against the EU as within the UK. For the EU27 there are many big challenges, some really much larger than dealing with Brexit.
        Let’s just leave it to the two negotiators and trust that sanity will prevail.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


          There are three options

          1. Legal obligations
          2. Extortion
          3. Bribe.

          If anything is paid above and beyond legal obligations (legally specified net liabilities) then it must fall into one of the other two. It does seem from HoL, Dr Redwood, lawyersforbritain that the legal obligations are smaller than the numbers under discussion. If the final number is large it will send a message across the EU and UK that extortion and bribery are OK ways of doing business. The precedent will also be set that this is how deals are done with the UK and with the EU. This really is a harmful message to the world that the parties wish to send out.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            @Caterpillar: I doubt that in 2017 the UK defines the rules and regulations for the world.
            The height of legal obligations can only be determined in court and JR and the EC have different positions.
            There are clearly large moral obligations as well. All kinds of contractors and institutions and researchers and consultants that have got operational contracts running until the end of this 7-year budget period (end of 2020)
            Obviously the UK government (Florence speech) acknowledged these.
            The only surprising fact is that it took them so long to face this reality!

        • David Price
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Extortion then instead of blackmail – Demands for money through force of threats.

          No matter how good a relationship you have with politicians it will be for nothing. The EU attitude and behaviour EU towards the UK has demonstrated to the electorate the reality. The EU reaction and behaviour since Brexit reveals it’s true self, a thug mentality drunk on power and unwilling to meet the needs of it’s “citizens”.

          The media don’t need to embellish things, we just have to listen to what your politicos say and see what you do. So does the rest of the world.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            @David Price: Really?? Simply stating that you cannot have your cake and eat it, is neither threat nor extorsion.
            You (UK) decides to leave. Barnier lists some hundred commitments the UK had signed up to and must be unraveled in an orderly way in order to have an orderly Brexit, and asks for rules/methods to calculate this. No amounts mentioned! You(UK) then take almost half a year before realising that Barnier has a point and come to some agreement. That is all that there is to it. No mention of future relationship or buttered cake with cherries and whipped cream! Not us but You wanted to leave, ok, just show that you feel morally obliged to do it in an orderly way.

          • NickC
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            PvL, You are confusing an EU wish-list (at the best budgets) with actual entered into legal liabilities. If there are any legal liabilities they should be specifically clear to the EU, and to the UK, so they can be easily identified and listed. The UK is, and I am, waiting with bated breath for this list. No list, no legitimate payment. Anything else is a bribe.

          • APL
            Posted December 3, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            PvL: “You(UK) then take almost half a year before realising that Barnier has a point and come to some agreement. ”

            There is some truth in that. May’s unnecessary election and negligently fought election was a step change in the incompetence of the Omniparty elite.

            Unless of course, they are trying to *uc* things up!

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        An interesting point of view. There must be some reason why you believe “the EU” is “all take and no give”. Do you mean (a) the EU as a bureaucracy/body corporate controlleds by the member states (a) one or more EU countries that may have given you specific grief or (c) all of the member countries collectively?

        • David Price
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          It is far too late, decades late, to start wondering what people have against the EU and the euphilics.

        • APL
          Posted December 3, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          Rien Huizer: “There must be some reason why you believe “the EU” is “all take and no give”.”

          You must be new around here?

      • Confused
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Do you seriously think people will view our government paying a ransom and blackmail “fee” to the EU will improve that relationship in any way at all?

        It cannot just be a ransom fee, the Tory elite must be on a commision from the Jesuits?

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      My goodness – 10 years before we can buy the EU’s stuff at reasonable prices again.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Brits should be buying elsewhere now,to show what trade deficit feels like to the EU who want to do us harm. ! Buy British or anywhere other than EU!

        • hefner
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          Delicious Chilean, and scrumptious Australian wines.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            @hefner: not to forget South African wines. We in the Netherlands on the other hand, will continue buying stilton cheese from Britain, single malt from Islay, our car from Japan and beer from Belgium. Why should we become childish just because other do?

          • NickC
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            PvL, It’s the EU that wants to punish us.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction: The EU has no interest in doing you (UK) harm. Brexit is doing harm . . . to both sides. Did the EU want Brexit? Of course not.

          • Timaction
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

            They never did anything to agree or support the UK in any ruling or directive. We were always in a minority of one just there to pay the bills and the EU,s export Treasure Island. Well for the English people enough was enough. All anti comparative rules, costs and mass migration and its impact on our housing health and public services. It can
            Not be reformed other than “more EU!” and everything aligned for the benefit of the Franco German alliance.
            Harm, of course the reports are accurate from your leaders so we will be buying British!

          • David Price
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

            The EU had a choice in how to react and what new relationship to develop with the UK.

            The EU has chosen badly.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            @Timaction: You may just have to accept that in 2017 you can be in a minority of one. Wasn’t it all different and so much better for Britain a hundred years ago! That glorious past is unlikely to return for Global Britain.

      • Newton Aycliffe
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Everything they export is cheaper and just as good elsewhere.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      PvL: You could be right about Canadian type deal, maybe if our wonderful civil servants spent more that 2 days a month on this, it could be settled in less than a month…

  7. Mick Anderson
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Benn seems to think that Mr Davis is in contempt of Parliament and should be hauled before a committee. If he’s that concerned about people holding Parliament in contempt there will need to be around 65 million hearings.

    The Government side of the argument seems to want to destroy Brexit by incompetence, with the Opposition wanting to destroy it through malice. They both want to punish the population for voting against their favorite gravy train.

    From what I have heard in the Press, leaving with no deal will be better for the Country for the simple reason that it has the least input from politicians, both at home and abroad.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed one can only hope that the govt’s incompetence and the opposition’s malice combine to vote down any deal. That’s the only way we will avoid this so-called “transition period”, aka staying in the EU for 2 more years with the pro-EU lobby thus having the opportunity to extend it indefinitely.

      Who knows – May’s utter ineptitude might just pay off for once.

    • stred
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      These Remoaners and Reversers, who even leaked the first letter from David Davis, are beneath contempt, including the little pompous (MP ed) who is threatening to chuck Davis out of parliament. They need to chuck the ………. speaker out instead.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Deal or No Deal.

      One or the other of our two governments has to go.

  8. Peter Wood
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning,
    Dr. Redwood, the problem with your headline for the UK tax payer, is that Mrs. May’s Government doesn’t appear to have a definition as to what is a ‘bad deal’. Surely someone (hopefully with a business background) is doing the ‘opportunity cost’ calculations?
    Why not take the EU exit cost out of the foreign aid budget, after all, the EU seems to be in desperate financial straits without us!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      At one point the EU suggested we use the aid budget to pay them off – however it seems this is prevented by whatever international body we signed up to on aid payments.

      I am fairly sanguine about these behind the scenes offers May is making – at the end of the day I (and I suspect John) think that the EU will be unable to get any deal approved by all of the Commission, the EU Parliament, and all the national parliaments.

      • NHSGP
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Do you think Labour will vote for 50-100 bn of cuts to the NHS?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        RG, Yes I agree your expected outcome must carry the highest probability, from what we know of the egos in the EU and the many approvals needed to agree any trade deal. Even more reason to allocate money for aggressive preparations for WTO terms.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Please give the poor woman a bit of slack. She has a job no one wants and she is not getting any credit for it while het health may be suffering a bit too.

      • rose
        Posted December 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Not true that no-one wants that job. She is keeping most of the best people on the back bench deliberately. She doesn’t have to, but it makes it very difficult to get from there to no 10.

        Not only that, but she wouldn’t let Priti Patel do her job. She also lost Lord Bridges because she made it so difficult for him to do his job, not telling him what was going on. She sacked David Jones who was extremely sound – is that why she sacked him? Boris is very sweet-natured and loyal, but it must be hell for him working under her who is anything but loyal. And look how she is cutting out David Davis, removing his chief negotiator from him, so she and the Cabinet Secretary can control things.

        Vince Cable let the cat out of the bag when he said she was a control freak. A control freak is fine, if they are competent and do all of the work themselves.

  9. Duncan
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Brexit is without doubt the most singularly important political event since Henry VIII split with Rome. It is of such importance that any attempt to scupper the democratic will of the people is met with an equal degree of anger and rage by those like me who feel very much alienated and impotent

    I am certain that Mr Redwood is equally frustrated and probably exhausted by events surrounding Brexit, as we all are but a plebiscite was enacted and a majority voted to leave the EU. Therefore, when we see certain politicians and others from all sides conspiring to circumvent such a momentous and indeed monumental decision it invokes an emotion that is difficult to contain.

    Brexit voters are looking for hope, direction and a determination from our government that they will do what we’ve asked them to do.

    In simple, humble terms we want our nation back and the grip of the EU political mafia broken.

    Thanks for your efforts and apologies for my intermittent outbursts of anger

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      “Thanks for your efforts and apologies for my intermittent outbursts of anger”

      Me too. I channel this through the Redwood website in order to contain my anger and for the safety of the editing of our posts that so many here complain about.

      Patience and moderation are certainly powerful virtues. It keeps things civilised and tempers in check.

      I am, howerever, prepared to risk going to prison if Brexit is thwarted. Non violent protest and disobedience of course. I will pick and choose the laws I follow thereafter.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        You are not alone. If the Government breaks the “referendum contract” with the British people in any of the red line area’s then all bets are off and like you I will no longer respect the Government of the day or ANY its laws!! It’s time for the Government to get off of its knees, stop embarrassing the British people and deliver a full Brexit!!

        • Newton Aycliffe
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


        • Chris
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          No, he is not alone, Timaction. I still don’t think that the Brexiter MPs really comprehend the extent and depth of the anger and disquiet. All I can say is that I believe that Brexiter MPs have lost their chance, and Corbyn will be the next PM and Brexit will be no more. What staggering betrayal and incompetence.

      • APL
        Posted December 3, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Anon: “and for the safety of the editing of our posts that so many here complain about.”

        The problem with what people like Redwood does, is that it mutes the legitimate voice of people who would like to express their political opinion through the democratic process.

        Then the Socialists that masquerade as Tories ( such as Clarke and Hestletine types ) chime in to make legitimate political expression ‘verboten’, forcing those people outside the democratic political process.

        The Tory party has been driven to the left, and now probably holds the same ground that the SDP when it split from the Labour party in 1988.

        The Tory party doesn’t Conserve, it has acted as a cypher for and aided the march of the Marxists through our conservative institutions.

  10. Mick
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Are these people seriously thinking they can go against the will of the people, what it would cause if the referendum was reveased would be unrest and maybe at the very worst civil war
    I also watched the debate and all others that keep popping up and the usual mps keep spewing there total denial to the voters who voted to leave the dreaded eu, well they had better fall back into line and remember what manifesto they were voted back into there cussty jobs or come the next GE the only think they’ll be collecting is there P45’s

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

      Mick Isn’t it about time we told Scotland to sling their hook and flounder on their own? All they are intent on doing is undermining anything Westminster wants to do whether good or bad. They do nothing to improve the lot of the UK and act like an enemy to the state. We don’t need them.

  11. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    £10bn saved when exiting the EU.
    Another £10bn on import tariffs from the EU when we trade under WTO.
    I make that £383m a week – to our NHS perhaps?
    What did it say on the side of the bus?

    Time for us to be less scared of WTO rules and perhaps embrace them.
    Except for Ireland – they can trade with us tariff free, if they want.

    • Cobwatch
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Never said anything on the bus about handing over £50 billion with continued payments for 40 years of another £1 or £2 billion. That is what May seems to be proposing, supported by the Cabinet.

      • hefner
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        The payment should be limited to whatever Nigel’s MEP pension will cost.

        • Chris
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

          Just go away. I thought we were spared you on here.

          • hefner
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            Echo chamber, cho chamber, chamber, ber, …

    • acorn
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      All EU states are WTO members; plus, the EU separately is a member as the negotiating agent, at the WTO, for the 28 EU member states. There is no “when we trade under WTO” because we are all already trading under WTO rules and have been for decades!

      If you offer “tariff free” trade to Ireland, you are obliged to offer the same terms to all other WTO members. That is what Most Favoured Nation means; the opposite of what most brexiters think it means.

      • NickC
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, Are you the same Acorn that warbles about all the FTAs negotiated by the EU which are registered at the WTO? Has it not occurred to you that we can negotiate special deals too (when we are finally free of the EU)? Negotiate with Eire; agree a deal; register it with the WTO; no need to offer the same terms to all other WTO members.

  12. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The Financial Times recently reported that about £350b has been moved out of the UK by institutions concerned about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the prospects for the UK under the no deal hard Brexit scenario.

    (Misleading words left out ed) The trade magazine Construction Enquirer is reporting that development orders are falling off a cliff; the industry is already mak8ng highly skilled engineers redundant.

    If we are not carefull, I can foresee a serious run on sterling developing in 2018 in response to the government paying gigantic and extortionate sums to the EU to get a “favourable” trade deal. No wonder investors in the UK are voting with their feet

    • Edward2
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      It’s odd how remainers like you argue on one day that brexit will cause shortages of Labour
      Eg food rotting in fields and hospitality industry with no staff.
      The next day you are telling us that huge numbers of jobs will be lost.
      Eg finance and engineering.

      It’s just endless project fear.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      It is clearly one of the possibilities the relevant authorities (especially the BoE) must be regarding as contingencies to be prepared for. BoE/MPC repeatedly referred to FX levels that they would not be happy about. The key rate would be EUR/GBP and it should not cross the 90 level (or GBP/EUR of appr 110. We have been very close to that but positive news about a possible good deal (from an investor’s perspective) such as has been suggested in the media (agreement about UK net laibilities and phasing of payment (app EUR 50 bn within four years and the other 40-50 spread out over a much longer period) plus a generous offer on behalf of the EU to consider trade privileges along the Canadian model plus possibly (not in the papers but definitely being discussed) a regulatory model for the City that would satisfy (on a continuing basis) EU (EBA, ECB etc) regulators and allow something close to existing passporting rights. To what extent that would also include leaving m,arket infrastructure with very important systemic risk potential (such as EUR derivatives and gvt securities clearing) remains to be seen. The ECB is clearly not in favour of leaving that solely to the UK authorities, but some EU countries seem to have a different opinion, for tactical reasons: if we agree LCH will have to relocate some activities to the continent, where does that go? to LCH’s current “branch” or somewhere else, or would there be a de novo structure with LCH participating and possibly residing in Frankfurt, near Deutsche Boerse and the ECB. Plenty of time to deal with that.

      For the rest, the UK should be free to trade with anyone, make its own laws and submit to some judicial body that would gran t impartiality to EU and UK claimants. Sovereignty is the easy part, because it was never very far away. an FTA will be very hard if the scope is wide and irrelevant if the scope is narrow. Whatever happens, it will go through the same approval process as Canada plus separate ones for services, air, etc.

      • acorn
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Rein. The BoE will be reluctant to raise interest rates until the Pound drops closer to parity with the Euro. Private sector household debt is too high, both unsecured and secured (mostly mortgage) to handle higher interest rates. Lenders that have issued large amounts of fixed rate mortgages in the last few years of low interest rate conditions, may become a systemic risk.

        The Pound needs to drop to restrain the large trade deficit. Post Brexit we may have to spend several years without the goodies we have been used to importing from the EU and the Rest of the World. Foreign central banks may take pity on us and buy up the Pound to keep their exports flowing into the UK.

        Worth you having a read of Trade in Services Agreement.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      If the Government got on with it or walked there wouldn’t be the uncertainty created by the constant dithering over Brexit. The EU either want trade and friendship or NOT. Our future contributions shouldn’t be on offer. Now isn’t that simple, accept to the politicos who turn anything into rows and name calling! Don’t offer free security or anything else, pppppsssst, please pass it on to your leader Mr Redwood.

  13. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Brexit and respond daily to the false rumours, stories and comments that abound in this area

    I think I must have lost the plot regarding the above, when I heard the Foreign secretary on the news talking about extra money will get the ship off of the rocks and moving. To what destination? They are entitled to nothing as they (EU) have been shafting us for years and have been allowed to do so through the actions of incompetent politicians of all parties..

    Your last paragraph sums up the whole situation for a great number of people in the country and stuff what the protocol is, JFDI and walk away. The new opportunities we could lose are too big a risk. The signals we seem to be sending out shows the country weak and indecisive.

    • Peter
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      I agree with your last paragraph. I also favour a JFDI approach but I fear a fudge will be the eventual outcome.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        +1 JFDI!!!

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      It should be clear to you that even radically eurosceptic MPs like mr Redwood accept that the UK must pay some bills. Walking out and leaving formal commitments open is a certain road to international financial pariah status. Very unpleasant for the inhabitants of a country with twin deficits, a poor physical infrastructure, dependent on immigration for certain sectors and addicted to inefficient but costly defense.

      Reply We only have to pay the bills that we legally owe, which is the usual contributions up to departure. That comes to a large £30bn from the date of our decision to leave until end March 2019.

  14. Mark Riley
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Excellent piece here that highlights the clear cart before horse approach we have been adopting.. there always has been a different cultural difference in approach to negotiation; UK want to be friends and find a nice compromise, offer a few early concessions and wait for a reciprocal gesture; the EU see the early concession as a sign of weakness and stay more or less silent, maybe a little distraction on meaningless side issues and run the clock down.
    we have been supine and far too casual in these ‘negotiations’.

    • Cobwatch
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Mark, as the author of the piece in question i thank you for the positive review. That this guide was even necessary is testament to abysmal failure.

    • Chris
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to the utter naivety and incompetence of our PM, in my view, MR.

  15. Simon Brown
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Actually, what is a trade deal?

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Good question, Simon. The best part of a Free Trade Agreement is not the absence of trifling tariffs, but of differing rules and regulations. These had to be overcome when I was selling British made goods to Poland in the 1990s – well before they joined the EU, and we managed it. Occasionally frustrating and made Just-in-Time deliveries difficult but the main thing was the price and the exchange rate. Other than that, customers will buy what you have to sell if they can see a benefit that outweighs the cost. It’s that simple.

      While I disapprove of being bullied into making ex gratia payments to the EU, I can understand their need to be gently weaned off the annual injection of aid they have been receiving from us. However, provided the granting of these payments is subject to our getting a satisfactory trade settlement, they have now become a stick for our negotiators, which they don’t need to brandish while they speak softly.

      In a negotiation you are always more powerful than you think you are.

  16. David Price
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I agree. We must keep our eyes on the prize and not be distracted by the trolls in discussion boards, mainstream media and even parliament. We will leave the EU and you will have made a significant contribution to that change.

    It is then up to everyone to make the best of that opportunity which means focusing on our domestic economy and our relationships with the rest of the world. I found Alexander Downer’s thoughts in a BrexitCentral interview particularly useful on this matter. He is the Australian High Commissioner in London and is keen for us to embrace free trade as Australia did some years ago.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Do not overestimate his influence in Canberra..

  17. Cobwatch
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan is back pedalling furiously. The £50 billion is now a legitimate “debt”, and it will only take about 40 years to pay off other debt as it falls due. We are looking at £100 billion here. Mr Hannan says that is now a good deal. I have lost faith in May and no longer believe a word she says about Brexit or negotiations. I can understand our Host becoming frustrated, we all are, but despite no specific figure being confirmed this is clearly in the ball park. To pretend otherwise is lying. The EU are seeking to strip Brexit of any potential, to make Brexit as EU-like as possible, and they are clearly succeeding. But this is only because the UK relentlessly concedes. Has there been any push back? Brexit is being sliced to death by design with UK permission. Why would the PM even consider maintaining ECJ oversight post-Brexit? Or worse, agree to it? Says it all. No deal is a fantasy that this PM will not consider. May is a Remainer…as are most politicians.

    • NHSGP
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Why was that debt missed off the accounts?

      The EU should publish the legal text in Eur Lex as to why we are on the hook

      • Cobwatch
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        There is no legal basis for the payment. May has just decided to cough up…EU citizens are more important than her own. Hannan is spinning, he will be as shocked as anyone at this capitulation from Team UK and is just trying to minimise the damage. Johnson, Gove, none of them are willing to deny the EU if it knocks the appearance of a united Cabinet. It is clearly policy…Johnson confirmed it with his “off the rocks” comment. More baubles and goodies to follow yet…we are the Gift Horse that just keeps giving.

    • John Soper
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Yes, Cobwatch, it is all unravelling in EXACTLY the way that the Remain campaign predicted – the EU is a lot more powerful than we are, and so we are going to get a very bad deal. But stop blaming the EU, it is looking after its own interests. The people you need to blame are Leavers like Boris, Gove and Redwood who promised you that the EU needs us more than we need them, and that German carmakers and French farmers would rush to our rescue – which, as every passing day shows, ain’t true!

      • NickC
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        John Soper, It looks like we will: pay a bribe upwards of £100bn; have a non-transition transition; be still subject to the CJEU (ie the EU) for years; allow the EU to keep most of our fish; having a fake deal resulting in no better access to the Single Market than under WTO rules.

        Plainly this is not what Leaves want. Our view is that walking away from deals with the EU, and continuing to trade under WTO rules is a far better outcome than any likely deal with the EU.

        But equally plainly that list of undesirable outcomes is exactly what continuity Remain wants.

  18. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The government believes they can secure a good deal.

    The perception of many when reading that, words like head and sun shining comes to mind.

    If the rolls were reversed would the EU be paying us?

  19. Nig l
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Ex gratis payments when we are told nothing is due. What is the EU a charity? You, Boris, IDS, Dan Hannan today all are spinning that that paying something to get more is worth it, which seems to be a flexing of your position so it is inevitable the public will want to comment.

    On a different topic, one close to your heart, but a positive note. Looks like a good package from Chris Grayling re the railway network. I hope he can drive some early wins to counter the (dangerous) nonsense from Corbyn.

  20. Bob
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I see that the PM has decided to start a Twitter spat with POTUS, at a time when UK/US relations will be critical to the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

    Do you think that was a wise decision, or would it have been better if she had stayed off of Twitter?

    The BBC are having a field day with it.

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Bob , her response is another stupid mistake . Our relationship with the USA is a critical ingredient to a successful Brexit and our safety .

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        What makes you think the US Establishment (ex-Trump,the as yet undrained swamp)wants anything different than it did before Brexit-ie our continued membership of the EU.And as for our safety,who is going to attack us and if you believe that we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world with one of the best armed forces why can’t we defend ourselves?

        We need to abandon the vassal mentality be it with regard to the EU or US.

    • Fed Up and Angry
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Pretty stupid decision from May, given that most of the public will back the president drawing attention to a serious problem, rather than behaving (foolishly ed).

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        If course the public back Trump.
        I’ve just been listening to his spokesperson on radio talking nothing but common sense. Of course they won’t integrate and have different (often barbaric) customs from us.
        Many despise us and wish us harm.
        The Tories have no intention of stopping free movement or reducing immigration just as they are not a low tax free market party.
        What will be the next sell out.

        • Chris
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          I fully support Trump on this, IW, and not our weak government led by May, who seem determined not to face up to the truth and start addressing the desperately serious problems that we have.

      • rose
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        I have just watched an appalling debate in the H of C led by the Chief Snowflake. Each side competing with the other to sound hysterical and extreme. It was one long tirade against the President, accusing him of hate! If only they could see themselves as others see them. A damaging and embarrassing hate-fest. I have never felt more alienated from our politicians, and the Speaker naturally played his full part in dragging them down.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Should have heard Sky at lunchtime and their derision on Mr Trump. Totally out of touch reporters and snowflakes with fake upset whilst many in certain known extreme communities wish us harm, denied by our out of touch msm and leading politicos who do nothing other than talk of “enough is enough” nothings, reduce police, border and armed forces numbers…………..whilst increasing foreign aid and agreeing 10,s of billions in EU aid, not owed or required. Social care anyone?
          The lunatics are in charge here!

        • Chris
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          Well said, rose.

    • MickN
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I tend to think Lady Thatcher in similar circumstances would have phoned the POTUS and told him exactly what she thought of him without feeling the need for virtual signalling on social media. Then again she was a leader of this country whereas the present incumbent is leader in name only.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Precisely. It’s clear where her sympathies lie. Cave in to the socialist EU, start an argument for no reason with the US.

  21. zorro
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I watched the discussion yesterday and Liz Truss was at pains to repeat that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” in a mantra like fashion. I was reminded of “Brexit means Brexit” too…. I also looked at what Barnier said yesterday about the UK’s commitment to European Defence and how we are insignificant to the EU economy. I am sorry but there will be no far reaching economic deal because they know that we will pay them. I have not heard of any EU commitment to link these payments to any free trade deal. All I have heard is that the EU says that these payments are to do with exiting the EU…..

    I think that T May is in cloud cuckoo land if she thinks that the EU will stop now that they smell weakness, fear and money. There is no way that they will not add extra charges to accessing the SM in future or agreeing to a single market in services without further bribes. This will go way beyond the figures quoted. I simply do not believe that she will not hand over money for nothing. She has shown that she will not push hard and backs down all the time. Barnier knows it hence his speech yesterday. No tacit acknowledgement of real progress, they just view us with CONTEMPT and they are right to do so in the face of such weakness. How can anyone defend these transfers while our own people suffer?


    • David Price
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I saw the parliament debate and completely agree.

      Brexit has revealed much about our government, politicians and the EU. in particular their degree of incompetence and how disconnected they are from the needs and aspirations of their own citizens.

  22. oldtimer
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    If the government is considering ex Gratia payments that sounds like paying for a free trade deal. That would be a bad deal. The UK is in this position because of the negotiating stance taken by May at the outset. The EU has taken full advantage. Presumably any deal will need to be voted on by parliament.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood calls them ex-gratia payments but they’re not. They are payments to cover liabilities and commitments that we have already entered into. The government has accepted that we owe the money and that’s the end of it. The UK is in this position because 17 million people believed Mssrs Johnson, Gove (and Redwood) etc when they said there was a golden future that would cost nothing and would take no time at all to achieve. The benefits of Brexit remain theoretical in a highly complex global economic system…while the difficulties of leaving the EU are now being realised. And they won’t end in March 2019. While May is indeed hopeless, the people you should really blame are those who made the false promises…and told outright lies.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Please list these liabilities and commitments with the cost of each. Then at least you’d have one foot to stand on with your assertion.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        There are 28 countries in the EU yet we are liable for one eighth of the debt. This is despite paying the equivalent of half a trillion pounds over the last 40 years.
        Much of the projected EU future spend is for infrastructure projects on what will become our competitors.
        Many were voted through by qmv against the wishes of the bankrolling states.
        We should have nothing to do with them.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Scrap HS2.

        Two problems sorted.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        As I tried to point out yesterday, in a comment awaiting moderation:

        not only the Leave side but also the Remain side signally failed to mention these accumulated liabilities during the referendum campaign, in particular there was nothing about it in the government’s official Remain leaflet.

        The government must have known that if we left the EU then we would probably find ourselves on the hook to pay our share of liabilities which had been quietly, surreptitiously, built up over the years, so why did it not warn the voters?

        The answer is obvious: because it preferred not to mention that the true cost of EU membership was much higher than it had admitted.

        • Chris
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          Well remarked, Denis.

      • David Price
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        By your logic the UK would be in this position even if we had stayed in the EU so it is nothing at all to do with the decison to leave. It is solely to do with the pro-EU people in our establishment who established those “liabilities” without clear discussion with the rest of us.

        However, the EU has not offered any accounts or statement that details those “liabilities” so at the moment it looks solely a concocted amount relying on so-called “moral” rather than legal obligations.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          I’ve read their uncosted reports on their own EU website and its pure………..fantasy and propaganda. All can be dismissed. How about change your future plans on infrastructure, and all other budgets as your second largest sucker contributor is leaving as it had NO BENEFITS! The main budget ends in 2020. Change the new budget accordingly, less grants or more contributions from 27 states or find another benevolent fool Country to make up the losses! Perhaps the remoaners could leave the UK and find their own state to make good the shortfall?

          • Newton Aycliffe
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            No assets = no liabilities.

          • rose
            Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink

            As soon as the Eurocrats knew we were going to have a referendum they should have started contingency planning. As soon as they knew we had voted out they should have adjusted their extravagant plans. Our people had always urged them to rein these in anyway. All this talk of “commitments” is indeed propaganda. It is not the Council of Ministers which decides spending and does the spending; it is the Commission. They decide who gets what, and for what, and when. They make the commitments. That is why they are unable to use the phrase “legally binding commitments” of us. The only restraint they have is that they are not allowed to spend money they haven’t got. That is what they are so frantic about.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        We are in this position because of May’s negotiating stance, which was to seek a close relationship as set out in her Lancaster House speech. There was an alternative: make a clean break with the expectation to implement WTO after the two years notice period was up.

        I think that was Mr Redwood’s preferred position. That was my view at the time (when I voted to leave) along with other pro Leave commentators. It was reached in the expectation there would be a period of disruption. Some, like Andrew Lilico, thought it would cause an initial 1% drop in GDP with benefits to flow subsequently. It was not followed because May, and her two key civil service advisors in the Cabinet Office, are Remainers at heart and have steered a different course.

        In the UK, the only way her stance can be overturned is if the Conservative party cannot stomach the deal she is fashioning and throw her out or parliament votes to reject it when all the details are on the table. Of course it might founder on the EU side because the 27 member states and the EU parliament must agree to it too. This remains a possible outcome.

      • Pud
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        If they are payments to cover liabilities and commitments that we have already entered into then we would have paid them if we hadn’t voted to leave the EU. At worst, Brexit has no effect on the amount we pay regarding them, at best we are under no legal obligation to pay after leaving so we save a lot of money.
        If a net recipient were to leave the EU would the EU insist that they continued to receive funds after leaving?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Just out of interest, why didn’t a single Remainer mention any “divorce bill” during the referendum campaign? Surely if they had mentioned a 50bn bill more people would have voted for them. Instead they chose to make up things about a recession. I conclude that they thought no divorce bill was payable either b

        • Know-Dice
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink


          It’s funny that you should say that. Heseltine on Radio Two last week pointed out that the Leave group had not mentioned this before the referendum. Jeremy Vine then pointed out that Remain had not mentioned this either, Heseltine’s repost was that everyone knew this would be due and that the settlement payment needed to be paid…

          Completely out of touch…If everyone knew about this, then it should have been in the leaflet sent to every home – I can’t remember seeing it. In any case the Lords say that is not due.

          Reply Neither side mentioned a Brexit bill because there is no legal obligation to pay one and no-one had suggested one

          • Chris
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply: it seems that you are in a different world from our government. I believe you are in the right, but sadly you are not in power, with your colleagues apparently determined to vote in a Remainer as PM. I fear the Cons Party is rotten to the core, and needs rescuing, or the remains salvaging. This is not meant as a personal insult to you , Mr Redwood, as I appreciate what you have tried to do, but it appears that you and your Eurosceptic colleagues (of whom there seem to be surprisingly few) have failed. I, and many others, feel utterly betrayed by this Conservative Party and leadership.

      • rose
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        They are called Ex Gratia because they are. If there were any legal obligation to pay a ransom, the EU would be saying so, but they aren’t, because there isn’t.

        If the right people were in charge we wouldn’t be paying even ex gratia . We would be asking for what is due to us.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Please come back to politics full time Mr Farage our Country is in desperate need of you!!

      • Linda Jones
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        So, Simon, you are another of those people who think we should have simply polished up our shackles and knuckled down to obey your EU masters, are you? Disappointed that we actually decided to back sovereignty and freedom for our country? We are not all simple minded and most of us knew we were entering into a complex situation, but one which would benefit our country immeasurably. You remainders sound so gleeful when predicting failure. So we should have stayed tied to the EU just because it would be complicated to leave? How weak and shallow.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Right you are

  23. Mick
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    This 50 billion euro’s divorce bill that is being banded around is really peanuts being that it’s what we will be paying over the next 40 years , it’s nothing compared to the billions we give away every year in foreign aid !!!

  24. Bert Young
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Its all very well saying that the deal is a year away , there is also the build up to the deal when both sides have to come to a negotiated agreement . During this period the EU will be looking and seeking areas of weakness . We are stupid to mention figures like 50Bn , all this does is to indicate that there is much more to come beyond the Florence figure . Barnier must now be laughing his socks off and Juncker can be assured of his pension . One way or another the public are aware that they are the ones who have to cough up and they will not think kindly of any Party or Politician who leads them into such a liability .

  25. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    My contribution to yesterday’s blog is still awaiting moderation. I cannot understand why this should be so. It is not controversial, not libellous and does not impugn the reputation of any individual. It is not particularly lengthy – when compared to some contributors who on occasions post several entries.

    I submit it once again for publication in today’s blog where I admit it is more relevant than under the heading ‘getting people out of poverty’. However, I was far from the only one wanting to express my thoughts about the latest Brexit developments.

    Following the announcement that Mrs. May has more or less agreed to pay a £40 – £50bn Brexit fee and is meandering towards allowing the ECJ an interfering role in UK law, we now await what she has in mind for the Irish border issue. Does a one-sided trade deal in favour of the EU await the UK when trade negotiations get underway? One thing is sure – all the tough talk from the UK side evaporates when the two sides face each other across the negotiating table.

    Perhaps, it would not be so bad if the Prime Minister committed to be open and honest with the British people and set out her case for paying such an astronomical sum of money by way of an itemised bill showing the cost of EU pensions, development projects, etc. It could also show the effect of the British rebate and the return of our monies from the European Investment Bank and other monies due to us.

    Instead, it seems we may never know how much Mrs. May has agreed to pay. It is reported that the Brexit bill will be paid over many years, perhaps, even decades. However, it beggars belief that detailed calculations of how much we are going to pay do not exist already.

    What other delights will we discover further down the road, for example, in relation to the role of the ECJ? Will we really be in control of our borders? And what does Mrs. May have planned for our fishing grounds? Her actions do not match her words. What ever happened to the red, white and blue brexit? A circle of twelve gold stars has been superimposed on it. What happened to taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money? A deep and special partnership has taken its place.

    It looks like the UK public are being taken for fools by the Prime Minister. Too ignorant to have ever been given a referendum and certainly too stupid to be given the facts of withdrawal.

    The Government has committed to a meaningful vote for MP’s on the final deal. It will be a take it or leave it deal. If the Government loses the vote then the UK will leave the EU without an agreement.

    In reply to a previous blog of yours I commented that sooner or later you and certain others might be called upon to square their opinions on Brexit with the actions of their party. That time cannot be too far away.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      – keep it short

      – don’t accuse anyone personally

      – don’t provide dodgy links

      – be patient, this is an amateur site run in spare time.

    • Cobwatch
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      It is difficult for our generous host. He is being painted into a corner by the PM to whom he has shown loyalty. A reckoning may be approaching when the fundamental division in the Tory Party plays out in public once more. There are many more twists and turns yet to come. I am appalled with PM May. Perhaps only the DUP are standing up for true Conservative values…without there resilience i have no doubt that Northern Ireland would already have been sacrificed to the Custom Union at the EU’s request.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I expect it was delayed because it was long. JR did warn us about this the other day.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce

      Please don’t take it personally. We all, I suggest, at one time or another have experienced the same level of moderation?

      Some of my comments, on the same basis as yours (indeed this comment may not get through either?), have disappeared into the ether, while other bloggers, with significantly more controversial undertones, have sailed through unimpeded….I guess some are “more equal” than others?-

      It is difficult to a draw a conclusion on this gatekeeping and rather frustrating at times when one cannot adequately retort to a direct question or an indirect contentious issue?

    • Chris
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I have been having similar problems, Alan.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      chin up mate, you are not alone.

  26. NHSGP
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It does not deliver us a free trade agreement with the EU,


    This is where you are wrong.

    The EU negotiated deals for all EU countries and the deal for free trade and tariffs were signed by the UK, France, German, Ireland under the WTO banner.

    We aren’t leaving the WTO. Neither is France.

    Why would you tear up that agreement when you don’t have to?

    The EU and the WTO are parallel.

  27. NHSGP
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink


    You need to ask a question in the House as to why the Treasury didn’t book the liabilities on the state books.

    Why did the public accounts committee not spot the missing debt number?

    Why the national audit office didn’t spot the missing debt number?

    It’s as if there is something to hide.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Are these perhaps the outstanding bribes-disguised-as-loans to the Eastern Partnership countries which will probably never be repaid and therefore will have to be provided for on departure.

      And as Theresa is so keen on the “international rules-based system” I wonder what she made of one of that system’s prime institutions,the IMF,breaking/changing it’s rules to extend loans to a defaulting Ukraine last year.

    • stred
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      The House of Lords, Lawyers for Britain and a young civil servant have been clear that legally the UK owes nothing. Is there a hidden written commitment to pay this sum or not? It’s very simple. Taxpayers will not accept lies and fudges.

      Is this a blackmail payment to placate big business or a legal obligation? Answer now please.

      As Dennis Skinner and some honest Conservative MPs pointed out, this sum would be enough to save the NHS. At present net payments would finance 10% of the NHS. We are offering to pay 5 times this or possible 10 times by the time they have mugged us for more.

  28. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Last night I dreamt that the best selling book of 2019 was entitled “How I Revived UKIP Single-handedly” by former British prime minister Theresa May.

    A prophesy perhaps?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      In my dream the book is entitled “How I Ratted on the Will of the British People!”

      There is a companion volume: “How to Grovel to the EU!”

      • Know-Dice
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Shouldn’t that be “Dummies Guide to EU Negotiation”… by JR Juncker 🙂

    • Prigger
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      A nightmare. UKIP is not capable of mounting any campaign against government.It is too busy having altercations and leadership elections.

    • PedrApWallis
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      No, a prophecy!

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        No not a prophecy but a prophesy. Collins English Dictionary will explain the distinction for you.

        • Prigger
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          It says it is a dictionary published by a guy called Collins or maybe there were two of them

  29. Eric Sorensen
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Media on the continent are having a laugh, talking about the ever-losing Brits and how clever Juncker & Co are. Seems they are right. The normal break-away procedure would call for the EU to itemise demands to a net figure, i.e., the minimum loss that the EU can’t reduce by removing all costs not legally committed to third parties. This need not be regulated in the Treaty, it follows from civil law since the Romans ruled. Has the invoice been worked out and presented? Think not. Yet the UK is giving in and paying out. Very strange and the rest of the negotiations will be from a weak position. Looks like the EU finances are back in shape…

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      As we do 55% of our trade with Europe and the EU we are best served by having the. best and closest relationship gong forward, taking out particular EU countries from the equation makes no sense

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        40% down from 60% of exports which account for about 9% of GDP and falling year on year.
        Stop exaggerating for Brussels.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Don’t forget the deep water ports in Northern Ireland, real international exports for Eire, and the Rotterdam onward exporting stuff and its a lot less again!!

      • forthurst
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        “best and closest” is an oxymoron and exports to the EU are closer to 45% and constitute less than 10% of GDP, the imports being irrelevant. We would be better with a WTO deal to exclude CAP market-rigging and other malign influences.

      • Chris
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        That doesn’t add up, hci. See Rotterdam effect.

  30. DaveF
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Today we are talking about getting a “good deal that will embrace a full trade agreement and various other features of a comprehensive partnership”- looks to me like something we already have!

    The basic changes we really want is to get away from the ECJ so that we can make our own laws – ok, but at this time there is nothing stopping us trading with the rest of the world so I don’t know what he argument is about this?

    As far as the Irish border is concerned, the Irish are only concerned about disruption to daily life for the people and to border trade in general? I think any reasonable person can understand this- the Good Friday agreement has long been accepted and brings peace and normality to that part of the island. Also the free movement of EU and UK citizens post brexit has to be sorted. After all people from Europe and UK have been passing each others borders for a long time before the ordinary person ever even held a passport.

    So please let’s get real about all of this.. money has been agree a promise about the Irish border and then agree about how EU UK people can move in and out and lets get on with it.

  31. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The reason contributors want you to concentrate on Brexit is few others, not least our feeble Government, are fighting the cause we, the majority, voted for on 23/06/16. This Cabinet Committee continues to be deluded about these ludicrous negotiations e.g. the perceived major issue of the Irish border is a fake blocking mechanism, if Eire and the rest want a wall on their side so be it, the UK will not have one on our side – end of story. You couldn’t make it up, it really is playground stuff.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Can someone please explain just how this payment and trade talks afterwards will work? Seriously. Are we going to pay this extortionate amount up front and then have trade talks? If so, then what happens when we have paid this sum to the EU and the trade talks don’t get anywhere? Just say, what we are offered is a crap deal for us, do they then keep all the money we have handed over or do we not actually hand it over unless the trade talks go well for us???? Can someone clarify please because I can see a scenario whereby we pay a shed load of cash to the EU for them to spend at their will while we struggle at home to fund everything and we don’t get a good deal, whatever that actually is, and leave anyway. Does anyone know how this works??? Sorry, but this is a serious question because it is not clear to me.

    • rose
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Nothing is agreed until everything is agred. so they don’t get the money until the deal is deemed to be good. My worry is that they won’t keep to the deal, or will construct new obstructions to shut us out. Remember they didn’t deliver to Blair when he bartered away half the rebate. That must not happen again.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      FUS – Have you not been listening 🙂

      This is how the EU works, case in point Greece…

      Promised CAP reform for part of UK rebate…Hmmm…still waiting.

      They only needed to give Cameron a little something to take home…nothing…nada…

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Know dice.. Yes, I’ve been listening. I feel we will get shafted like many others and like we have in the past. Seems like nobody knows for definite how negotiations will proceed.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          And fishing for landing rights…argh…

          How many other “third” countries do that…answer…none

          We need to walk now…

          Must write to my MP…doh… It’s John Redwood 🙂

  33. Richard1
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I hope your interpretation is right. As ever there has been no public clarity from Mrs May or Mr Davis so we don’t know. There was an extensive interview with an Irish minister yesterday who said his & the EUs understanding is that this £45bn settles the UK’s ‘obligations’ until 2020. Now talks on trade can begin, perhaps these will result in further demands. If this is right & this is in fact what the govt have offered then the ex gratia payment hasn’t bought anything worth having. So the EU has 180 degree different interpretation to you – perhaps the Govt are saying different things depending on whom hey are talking to? It’s quite a mess. Besides, why have we waited a year for his offer – what has been achieved in that time from the UKs point of view.

  34. Peter
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood thanks for this update.

    I think you are largely preaching to the converted here regarding the merit of No Deal. I imagine you must get tired of people expecting you to single-handedly achieve it though.

    I am not keen on the ‘ex gratia’ payment idea. I worry about the mood music around Brexit and the fact that the final decision around No Deal is still a year ahead. My feeling is that this government will eventually sell out on Brexit.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The PM is on slippery ground with all the huge sums of ransom money being bandied around by Whitehall and the media.
    Will Barnier talk without coming back for more. I doubt it? Besides he wants an EU border between Eire and the UK (N.I.).
    Negotiation usually means compromise on both sides. There has been non from the Commission, Parliament and the Council. Are they holding out in the hope the
    Quislings in our Parliament can revoke Article 50.

  36. HenryS
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    If you are old retired and on a modest pension then no deal is better than a bad deal has little meaning. If you are well off living on an estate like some of our tory better offs then a no deal would suit as well because you can always jet off to your holiday villa in the Bahamas if things get a little hot..if on the other hand you are one of the great majority stuck in the middle trying to get by then it is important to get a good get a deal like something we have at the moment but without the ECJ..that would be the best..and suit everyone..we are not going to get evetything we want if we want a good trade deal with them..that’s for’s been said by the EU side we cannot be as well off outside the EU than we are in it..but that was our choice.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      No we can be a damned site better off outside the protectionist racket that is the EU.
      No deal would be the best outcome by far and the £45billion can be used to improve our defence and public sector.

    • rose
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, you are falling captive! What we have at the moment imposes rules on the whole country, the whole of business, not just the bits that deal with the EU. What we have at the moment prevents us from making free trade deals with the rest of the world. That means you are paying more for your food and clothes than you need to be. Do you not remember how cheap everything was before we went into the Protection Racket? It could be again. How can you want free movement when we have 7,000 soldiers sleeping on our streets?

      Of course the EU want to impoverish us, to prevent us from flourishing: they don’t want anyone else jumping over the wall. But there is a difference between “cannot be” and “we won’t let you.” We have to free ourselves to such an extent that we are able to be better off by our own efforts. If we aren’t materially better off, but just about the same, we will have made the huge gain of getting back our independence.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      The EU have no intention of negotiating with the UK a good deal. It is important we are punished and become an example to any other country that might want to leave.

      We have to make do with the next best thing, which right now seems to be leaving with no exit payment and trade on WTO rules.

      The only hope for a good deal is for German industry to weigh in in our favour, but right now their voices are muffled by the deadlock in the German Parliament.

      With leadership, we should be taking the initiative in our arrangements. Instead, we have a PM without any initiative undertaking a vain hope objective of trying to appease Brussels.

  37. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Progress for the Irish “no-border” could be made when the EU26 (i.e. minus Ireland) is viewed as a third party, able to mediate. The EU has already funded 4 peace programs in the border area, it could well up its game and offer significant finance and human resources (Estonians? 🙂 ) to help realise this electronic surveillance in the border area in time and contribute lots of EU-fudge and creativity to create exceptions needed without keeping N. Ireland in the single market or customs union.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      The EU did not fund anything. It came via UK payments to the EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        @Mark B: Sorry Mark – 100% wrong!
        The money partly came from Dutch taxpayers (highest net contributors per capita to the EU funds)
        Information sources available on-line, one of them (haven’t got much time today) is REGULATION (EU) No 1299/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
        of 17 December 2013

    • rose
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      There is a helpful article on this by David Trimble in today’s Spectator.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      zzzzzzzzzzzz EU money via English taxpayers. The EU doesn’t have any money and is about to get LEsS!!!

    • APL
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      ” it could well up its game and offer significant finance and human resources ”

      The precedent of the Ukrane doesn’t bode well for the EU ‘upping’ it’s game.

  38. JoolsB
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    A bad deal IS handing over thirty, forty, fifty, sixty or even twenty billion of taxpayers’ cash. We should walk away now.

  39. mike fowle
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I respectfully agree with your decision not to keep posting about Brexit. There is already far too much fevered speculation and your posts often attract tiresome comments.

  40. Kenneth
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I have been in correspondence with others who are trying to put together some opposition to this socialist government.

    Not another new party??

    Well, we can’t think of any better way of trying to get to a small state, low tax, freedom loving govt that we so desperately need

  41. Man of Kent
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The talk is all about caving in to EU demands .
    But nothing about EU threats .

    Have we been threatened with inordinate delays to our trade with the EU in the event of WTO rules ?
    As masters of bureaucracy the EU is quite capable of inventing reasons to delay trade past its sell -by date and heap on the agony while we play by the rules and allow trade to continue .

    Have we caved in to threats for a quieter life ?

  42. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Yes, we do want to know almost daily from you which of these rumours are false and your views on £billions of our money being pisssed away OVERSEAS needlessly. For many of us this could be the first time we’d take to the streets in protest to stop a government in its tracks !!!!

  43. James Matthews
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Clearly our host is right. He can not spend all his time on the ups and downs of the Brexit negotiations. Thus far, however, I do not detect any ups.. There has been nothing but foot dragging (the delay in triggering article 50 and attempts to get an unnecessary and undesirable transition deal) and repeated appeasement, spiced occasionally with virtue signalling misdirection from our Prime Minister like her twitter spat with our most important ally.

    Mr Redwood must, at times, find it very difficult to defend the performance of his governing party. Let us hope that the end product is not as indefensible as many of us now fear.

  44. Tabulazero
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    So basically, Brexit will lead to the UK paying £50bn or more into the EU’s coffers just for the privilege of leaving.

    It will then get in all likelihood a free trade deal pretty similar to the one Canada has (and for which Canada paid nothing in case you did not notice), which will not cover services (Canada’s does not) and which in any case will leave it with less access to the Single-Market than it currently enjoys and no say as to how the political and regulatory situations evolve in its biggest export market.

    … And all this will only lead to a self-avowed Marxist intent on building socialism in one nation having a clear shot at becoming your next Prime Minister… as if things could not get worse.

    What a complete and utter waste of British taxpayer money. You must feel mightily proud, Mr Redwood.

    • John
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is that the estimate was 50 bn euro, less the two years remaining of the EU budget it comes to around £25bn odd give or take to be spread over many years.

      Our current Net contribution is around £12bn so over the next 40 years that would be circa £480bn not allowing for any increase. If we assume a 2% increase in the budget each year then it comes to over £1 trillion we save. That’s over 1000 billion saved by leaving now and paying the £25bn odd.

      I’m so happy

  45. Epikouros
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    If the EU continues with it’s current unreasonable intransigence and given their vindictiveness and zealous defence of their ideological superstate project then that will not alter and a no deal is ordained to be the outcome. Assuming our negotiators recognise that the alternative is not in the best interests of the UK. True it leaves some matters unresolved but the fact remains even without them unresolved although it will be of some inconvenience the UK will still reap enormous economic, political/democratic and social benefits.

    We joined the common market being promised and being guaranteed much. It proved to be nothing but empty rhetoric designed to ensnare the UK into participating in a social, economic and political experiment is bound in socialist and progressive principles. Principles that in theory promise everything but only delivers bureaucratic tyranny, crony capitalism, protectionism and an ever increasing demand for our money to squander on ill conceived adventures and propping up the experiment as it constantly proves to be misguided to continue with.

  46. Beecee
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    An article in the Times today suggests that now the Remainers seem to be getting what they are angling for – ‘soft Brexit’ as the alternative to no Brexit, they are out in force complaining that we are getting ‘soft Brexit’.

    If our host is prepared to wait and see what kind of deal is finally offered then so should the rest of us.

  47. Norman
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I respect what you say in the above post, John, and to me, it all rings true. May you continue to have perfect clarity of mind, in these difficult days. At least those who voted against remaining in the EU can be thankful that our hopes on behalf of our country may, at last, be honourably delivered. One good thing that’s come out of it all thus far, is the way the controlling, antidemocratic nature of the EU project is now perfectly clear to all; and whilst some sincerely cannot or will not see it, others betray their true colours by the things they say and do.
    I should add, that I do not agree with all the sentiments expressed by Brexiteers, either! I would like to see a sovereign United Kingdom, outgoing and generous in spirit, wise and balanced in counsel. For, as I read this morning: ‘Mercy rejoiceth against judgement’ (James 2:13).

  48. John Finn
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Some contributors to this website want me to write all the time about Brexit and respond daily to the false rumours, stories and comments that abound in this area.

    I understand your point of view here, John. However, by refusing to respond to the “false rumours” you (and the government) are allowing the Labour party and those who wish to sabotage Brexit to control the narrative. I have for some time argued that the press have no way of knowing exactly what’s going on but I find even I’m accepting some of the claims made in the press.

    • Chris
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      As Denis has often written, JF, there is no rapid rebuttal unit from government to counter the Remainers’ arguments/claims. Why? It seems that they do not think it is important. What a disaster.

      • rose
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        I think it is because the Dept for Exiting the EU is underfunded and the people who decided that – the Chancellor and the Cabinet Secretary – like it that way.

  49. Oggy
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    John I can understand your frustration with what is going with the Governments EU negotiations, but we the ‘ignorant uneducated electorate’ that voted for Brexit are very concerned we are not getting what we voted for.
    As regards Mrs May’s offer of £50Bn to the EU, I noticed yesterday neither she nor any other minister denied it was true and there is no smoke without fire. What is she going to concede next …………………

    Today It is reported from a Dublin source there has been ‘movement’ on the Irish border question, more concessions from Mrs May ?

    Today I also read the EU is going to play tough in trade negotiations and try to exchange Aviation landing rights with EU access to our fishing grounds.

    You say you won’t respond to ‘just’ rumours, but what the hell is going on ?

  50. am
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You have lost or caved in. Any ditching of discussions in favour of constituency matters seems to apply that.

  51. Oggy
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I see today that Blair has told the French we are about to change our minds on Brexit, he’s another has been full of their own self importance and completely out of touch with the rest of us.
    He also states he is successfully moving the Labour party to an anti Brexit position.

    He told the paper: “I am trying to convince the Labour Party to take a strong position against Brexit. I have the impression that he (Corbyn) is moving in this direction. Then, we will see if some Conservatives are ready to choose their country rather than their party.”

    Or putting it another way – he wants MP’s to choose dictatorship over democracy.
    etc ed

  52. English Pensioner
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I still believe that it is the UK who should be demanding money from the EU for a trade deal. They have far more to lose than us if there isn’t one. It’s crazy paying the EU for something that they desperately want and which we can manage without.

    Whilst those in Brussels are prepared to “punish” Britain, politicians in the various EU countries are steadily beginning to realise what it will actually mean to their countries if Brussels succeeds. Possible loss of not only the UK markets when we can buy from elsewhere, as well as the loss of tourists who might feel unwanted and go further afield at little extra cost (my daughter has booked for Barbados which is costing her little more than her usual holiday in Portugal).

    We should increase our preparations for the ‘no deal’ situation making them public knowledge. This would make the EU realise we are serious.

  53. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think you need to write about Brexit every day, JR, but on the other hand I think that David Davis’s Brexit department should be writing about it every waking hour and rebutting at least some of the false propaganda which is being constantly churned out by Remoaners and their many friends and supporters in the mass media. Instead he is allowing rumours to spread and confusion to reign and not only our government but our country to be treated as an international laughing stock. Of course we do have a problem in that the British people voting in the referendum have contradicted the established British government policy of six decades, and it can be difficult for politicians who had supported Remain to now reverse their previous positions. That is why ministers find it much easier to agree that EU membership is hugely beneficial rather than exposing the truth that its benefits have been grossly exaggerated.

    • Peter
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Ministers who favour leave should be regularly making the case for it and defending it against the backsliders, I agree.

      While we do not know what goes in private cabinet meetings, there still needs to public statements by ministers prompting the leave case and attacking EU intransigence and dissembling.

      • Chris
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        Why are they not bothered? The conclusion one can draw from their complacency is they simply do not care, and that it does not matter. Hugely worrying, as it would indicate that these Remainers’ claims are useful to the government/in their interests.

  54. margaret
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    So immediately everyone blogs about Brexit ! I am so sorry that grasping the need to discuss other matters isn’t prevalent amongst bloggers. As for talking to your constituents ; of course that must be a priority as that is why they voted you in again , however we from other areas have also shown in the main good faith and loyalty towards you and even those who argue vehemently against you . They would not bother if they felt what you were saying did not have impact.

  55. Peter
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Those who voted leave did so to take back control of our borders law and money. A free trade agreement was not the issue. Yet it now seems the be the biggest concern as we move forward to leaving.

    We should just forget about a free trade agreement and go.

  56. Zero Base Survivor
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Fair comment, John. As you say, any agreement or non agreement is at least a year away and that UK contingency planning, in the event of no agreement, is progressing satisfactorily.

    However, what about UK contingency planning in the event of a break-up of the EU into euro-Nord and euro-Sud regions over coming years . The EU super-state zealots are putting on a great display of hubris at the moment but the road to their nemesis is already well signposted.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      A year is a very short time for this sort of thing. But mr Redwood deserves a rest from Brexit discourse. In a couple of weeks we will have a decent idea about what would be the intersection of the two feasibility sets and then people can like or dislike the result. I doubt very much that the Uk can do a better deal than is envisaged right now but maybe there are areas where marginal improvements might work. All in all the EU is prepared to show some generosity, probably for the last time.

  57. John
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    After this I want to see an annually published list of what our money is spent on by the EU.

    Each road, factory, broadband, bridge built and where.

    It would be good PR for having left.

  58. Original Richard
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    “It is important it leaves the UK free to negotiate our own trade deals with the rest of the world, settle our own borders, make our own laws and no longer be under the ECJ”

    We also need to have returned to us complete control over our fishing grounds. There are rumours that the EU wants to trade our fishing grounds for EU landing rights.

    If the government gives away our fishing grounds for the second time then this will be even more unpopular than almost any size of Brexit bill.

  59. Original Richard
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Either the EU’s Brexit bill is falsely inflated or else it is giving us the true cost of EU membership.

    But whatever is the size, it will certainly be cheaper than remaining in a spendthrift and expanding EU as a major contributor unable through QMV to exert any effective control.

    Given that our current trade “deal” with the EU leaves us with a £100bn/year trading deficit (for which we pay a net budget figure of £10bn/year) I am of the opinion that trading under WTO terms under a No Deal scenario would be to our benefit.

  60. Remington Norman
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink


    You say: The government states they have not offered any specific sums of money. It was widely reported that Theresa May had offered £20bn plus a further £20bn in her Florence speech. This reportage was not contradicted by government spokesmen.

    As you have repeatedly noted, there is no legal basis for any exit payment to the EU, so there is no reason for offering anything – ex gratia or otherwise. WTO will work well so why does the government continue to bow the knee to the EU’s bullying? The issue, I suspect, is that Theresa May is a remainer, along with many in the cabinet, so the chance to keep us in the EU whilst appearing to leave is too tempting to pass up.

    The UK’s interests are being surreptitiously surrendered to the EU. Many, myself included, will never vote Tory again.

    • Chris
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      The Tories still fool themselves that they have people who will still vote for them. I hate to say it, but I cannot vote for Conservatives after this. By this I mean not only the Theresa May in government apparent debacle, but also the inaction by the Brexiter Tory MPs. If we could see what was coming, why couldn’t they?

      Reply On the contrary, we have secured the Article 50 Act and letter and are now working our way through the Withdrawal Bill, both crucial to getting out.

      • Chris
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        It would seem that we are paying to “leave”, that we will not leave quickly with a clean break but apparently have all manner of strings attached making us still effectively members of the EU. The ECJ is apparently going to hold influence over us, the fishing waters will not be reclaimed being used as a bargaining chip as in the 1970s. The list seems to be endless. What is more we carry on supporting the EU e.g. by agreeing to contribute to EU funds (450m00 euros apparently) directed at quashing pro Brexit material on the internet. This is a dangerous situation for our democracy, and yet our government is apparently aiding and abetting the demise of free speech and with it democracy.

        • Chris
          Posted December 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Correction: 450,000 euros

  61. hans chr iversen
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    total censorship has taken over on this site, unfortunately.

    • Newton Aycliffe
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Collect your refund on the way out.

    • Ans khr uverdaughter
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink


      Absolute free speech has taken over this site, fortunately

  62. ian
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    As the tory Government try to get a good deal for big businesses like banks, financials, insurance and others with taxpayers money, I wonder how keen they would be if they were footing the ongoing bills to the EU, with no tax deduction, instead of the people. Maybe one of the Brexiteers can bring in a private members bill in the HOC, making all businesses dealing with the EU responsible for paying all further payment to the EU, and once passed see how much they willing to bid the bill up by to get themselves a deal with the EU. I think we all know the answer to that question.

  63. Andy
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty clear that we should split the £50bn Brexit bill 17.4m ways.

    You voted for it. You pay for it.

    The rest of us should not have to fund your self-harming xenophobic vanity project.

    Reply We who were against the EU did not charge it all to supporters!

    • Newton Aycliffe
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      We have been paying for it over the last 40 years.

  64. TedC
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how anyone can be surprised at the turn of events..we were horribly lied to during the referendum campaign and the same rogues who were spinning their old guff are still at it, although some of them have softened the rhetoric in preparation of the bottom line bombshell about to land. We have no choice but to do a deal on the best terms that we can- there are no new international trade deals waiting out there only Liam Fox’s pie in the sky, even Boris has given up on the US, and listening to Trump today???- he’s such a dunce.

    So what’s it all about..just agreeing exit terms so that we can start talks about the future with our nearest neighbours who we shouldn’t have bothered leaving in the first place because we are very likely going to end up in a worse place- Monday will tell a lot more

  65. HarveyG
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Sammy wilson MP DUP has threatened that they, the DUP, will pull the plug on the conservative government if the outcome of the talks is not to their liking, if the DUP do that then there will be elections which will very probably herald in a Labour government and If that happens then the DUP, who are not even in government in Northern Ireland, can only look forward to a decade in the wilderness-etc ed

    • BenM
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      You have to understand it from the DUP point..most of the northern ireland population one way or the other are paid from the UK treasury..only the farmers and small business are working for themselves and have a direct need for the EU (CAP payments) .but even with that a majority of people voted to remain.the DUP were always going to campaign in opposition to the nationalist wish anyway…nothing strange about’s just the way things are.

      • rose
        Posted December 2, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        The DUP campaigned to get back our independence because in the EU they were at greater risk of being absorbed against their will into Southern Ireland. That is why Sinn Fein have (made ed) everything (difficult ed) now. They see things going against them now we have voted out, and are using every trick in the book to reverse the decision.

  66. Peter
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    This is more like it:-

    “Tory MP Peter Bone said he would vote down the final deal if the divorce bill was too high.

    If the Government was defeated in the final vote, that would see the country crash out of the EU without a deal.

    And should too many Tories rebel, Mrs May’s lack of parliamentary support could see her reliant on Labour backing.

    Mr Bone said: “I think people in the country will be very, very upset. I don’t think paying billions to the EU is what the people voted for. ”

    Source is Daily Express.

    Mr. Bone is a prominent leave voice though he is not a minister. It would be great if he had the numbers to achieve this.

    Realpolitik again.

  67. nigel seymour
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    J, You made your point. So, let’s hear from you about Trump, let’s hear from you about NK, let’s hear from you about former Burma, let’s hear from you about pot holes in West Berks, let’s hear from you about Grenfell Tower and the illegal migrants that should not have been in the country, let’s hear from you about immigration is down a third, let’s hear from you about the rise in Burghfield of ….crime…

    Do you want me to go on and on and on!!!

  68. NigelM
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    So today’s news is that the number of foreigners coming looking for work is greatly down..and we havn’t even exited yet? Things are looking better already

    • V Tsar
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Of course everyone should require a visa to look for work as we don’t wish our HR departments clogged up. Admin costs money.

  69. am
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
    former Greece chancellor who sees right through the negotiating terms but seemingly the uk negotiators, pm, et al, do not.

  70. Confused
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Everyone in Europe is saying the EU were bluffing and they cannot understand why May caved in unless she prefers to give them the money?

  71. Freeborn John
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    What a contemptible idiot May is wading into conflict with the US administration unnecessarily at just the moment we are seeking a FTA with a president who had previously be supportive. Of course Trump was wrong in his retweeting of islamophobic material but May has made a diplomatic crisis when she did not need to intervene at all. She really has to go because she is by far the worst prime minister since Heath. Since you personally are one of the people propping her up you share culpability for the disastrous Brexit “deal” she is surrending to.

  72. Ken moore
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Jrj I have other constituency matters….I guess its hard when your fighting your own government on all they want to bulldoze wokinghams green belt

  73. Prigger
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    BBC Question Time tonight. Not the slightest respect nor support for free-speech from the Chair, the panel, nor any those called from the audience.
    I may think many things are unacceptable for a whole variety of reasons. I do. But unacceptable only to me; for, my brain is enclosed in my person. It is sad hearing professional politicians obviously with technically gifted brains not respecting free speech. They obviously must know what it is but nevertheless reject it. They are fit, in my opinion, to be human beings and are fit to have their own opinion but should not have power over anyone else. No politician on the panel should be a politician

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      “No politician on the panel should be a politician” is difficult but maybe you did not mean that. However the layman’s term of “free speech” is equally difficuly. It can be a slogan which means that it should not be taken litterally but indicative of a somewhat libertarian bent. It can also mean a sort of “newspeak” for something that would violate normal democratic practice, that is to spread hate, offend (without technically being defamation) or incite. Of course your tolerance for borderline speech type A does not mean that you are equally tolerant for a different type. Normally one would not allow a firebrand preacher of any religion, be it Bhuddist, Christian, Hindu or Moslem (Maybe I forgot some minor ones and of course Pentecostals, Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses are sort of Christian for the children of the Enlightenment. Very few people like to be entertained by a Muezzin in the early hours or told that certain activities are not allowed on Sundays.

      So, free speech is a subjective idea. The legal thing is not entirely “free”.

      • rose
        Posted December 3, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        We have clear laws on what is not allowed. Everything else should be but nowadays isn’t. That should worry you.

        • rose
          Posted December 3, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Actually, this is out of date now we have the new hate laws where no-one can any longer know what they are allowed to say, as hate speech or a hate crime or a hate incident is anything perceived by the victim or any other person to be such. Now that is extremely worrying.

  74. getahead
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    “The government made clear that they still believe No deal is better than a bad deal.”
    They’re lying, John.

  75. Juiliet
    Posted December 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Too many Remoaners and reversers given open mic to talk on behalf of the government about Brexit causing day to day confusion and insurmountable low confidence in delivering a full Brexit. Brexiteers are being blatantly ignored from what I can see, there are too many too many y u-turns and compromises in favour of the EU for the talks to sound meaningful redline are their for a reason weeks. May need to get things moving forward and stop dithering and why isn’t there a Brexit war room to counterbalance and diffuse the noise and set the record straight we need clarity and focus on the message what happens next. Leavers are counting on you and the others to get this delivered. Jeremy Hunt has put doubt of no Brexit in people minds this Sunday that should have been pulled up on

  • 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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