A vision for an independent democratic UK

The Cabinet this week  debates what kind of a country we wish to be, and how we should be governed once we leave the EU.

The vision of Leave was uplifting. We want to belong to an independent democratic country.

We want to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money.

The people reasserted their sovereignty. They now wish their Parliament to act in their interests. They want the UK Parliament to spend the taxes raised on our priorities. They want the UK Parliament to pass wise and humane laws. They want the UK government to have a confident global vision, acting in the best interests of our country and acting for the wider good.

We did not vote to be some minor state following meekly the EU’s laws and policies. We voted for our country to regain its vote and voice in global bodies. We voted to be friends and trading partners with the EU, but not to be part of its legal system and budgets.

This vision means, as the PM says, leaving the EU and its single market and customs union on 29 March 2019 in accordance with the Treaty.

It means from that date  being able to pursue our own agenda in world councils, and to negotiate our own trade deals and partnerships.

It means seeking the best possible access to the EU’s single market, knowing we can have general access through our membership  of the World Trade Organisation, where the EU also is a member and accepts its rules .

It means being able to amend and improve our laws whether the EU is doing so or not.

It means welcoming EU students, tourists, investors, people coming to jobs with permits, people wishing to live here on their own resources.

It means having our own fair policy for the whole world on access to benefits and work.

It means having our own fishing and farming policies, seeking to rebuild home  output for the home market.

It means spending our money on priorities at home, and on helping those most in  need elsewhere in the world.

It means being a force for the good in the world, using our soft power and military capability to promote peace, free trade, democracy and greater prosperity.


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  1. Tasman
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, we see what a UK outside the EU will in fact look like by taking a look at the Irish border. Since Ireland is backed by the EU, Ireland has the whip hand. The UK will do what Ireland requires. Already last week Mrs May was forced to bow down and accept we will stay in the single market and the customs union, because this is the only way to avoid a hard border in Ireland. Here is the UK’s future – being told what to do by the Eu27. Spain/ Gibraltar will be next. The UK after Brexit is exposed as the very opposite of an independent country. We are rule takers, not rule makers.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Another way to avoid the hard border in Ireland is for Eire to follow us out of the EU.
      The UK and Eire could then negotiate a working soft border, free of the convolutions of the EU.
      Just as soon as the UK demonstrates success after leaving, others will follow. Establishments are beavering away to smear and spread their fear campaign, hoping people won’t attain their despised democracy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        That would be a very sensible think for the Eire to do, though rather unlikely that they will.

        I just listened to Stephen Kinnock on the daily politics. The BBC helpfully flashes on the screen that he read Modern Languages (Queens Camb.) and speaks five languages. Does he talk the same complete and utter drivel in all of them I wonder?

        I have observed this often in the past with people good at many languages – often far more concerned with the correctness and elegance of the language they are using than in having any logic or reason to what they are saying.
        But surely there are some exceptions to this?

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you could follow you own example. How many languages do you speak?

          • Lifelogic.
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            One, plus a tiny bit of restaurant French and Italian I suppose.

          • Little Englander
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Don’t need to Margaret – English is THE International language – it’s the language which makes business tick and whether you believe that this is right/wrong it always will be.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          I would like to hear Stephen Kinnock’s so called language abilities…I would hazard a guess, it is most probably average to poor! British University Language schools are sub par to the best in Europe.

          My personal experience of British Managers/Directors languages skills used abroad is very poor, against their European counterparts. Most British speakers revert to English as quickly as possible when confronted with a foreign language at European business meetings. They try their best, but are soon lost in the intricacy of legal contracts/negotiations.

          I have witnessed this in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. A meeting is started in the local language then reverts to English almost immediately when the look on the Anglo-sphere participant’s faces is a mixture of shock and horror!

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

            Little Englander. Nobody has to learn anything and is entitled to remain ignorant. As for English being the international language forever – remember Latin that had that role for over a thousand years and has now virtually disappeared? NOTHING lasts forever. But speaking just one language is a decided drawback in life.

    • Doom
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Independence but not independence.It is fascinating the depth of desperate arguments by persons who cannot accept a democratic vote.
      We are leaving. You lost the vote!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Under T May/P Hammond and with the Commons, the Lords, the appallingly biased BBC, the state sector and academia so alarmingly pro EU I would not count on it. Other than Brexitino.

        Theresa May is urged to stay as leader until 2021 say the headlines today – fine but can someone snatch that duff socialist/PC/big government/high tax/green crap compass off her and give her some sound guidance please? Something like May just do the opposite of almost everything you have done so far, on the economy, the PC agenda, the green lunacy, taxation, gender pay drivel, endless over regulation, your absurd last manifesto and your complete cave in to the EU.

        • I'm Flighty!
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          She gives them quite impatient side glares , not quite strong enough to knock the skin off a rice pudding but they could frighten a curious baby robin at the window.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Agree LL. The EU are handing over 1.75 euros to Greece from the carbon fund. I thought all EU countries were supposed to be fighting climate change or is it just the UK taking all these crap demands seriously? How come Greece are allowed to use fossil fuels which provide cheap power but not us?

    • agricola
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Depressing lack of vision. Whatever form of trade we end up with it can be handled electronically, no need for a plod at a line across a road. Any offenders can be dealt with including the apocryphal cattle that circulate the border on a daily basis.

    • Oggy
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      I cannot disagree with you Tasman, but what you say has materialised due to a weak Prime Minister’s capitulation to the EU. We didn’t vote leave to negotiate or for transitional deals, we voted OUT, and we are not getting what we voted for.
      It’s time the Government understood this.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        “we are not getting what we voted for.”

        You were told time and again that what you voted for would never be on offer. So it should not be a surprise.

        • getahead
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          “David Cameron, June 15th, 2016, in Parliament:
          “IN means we remain in a reformed EU, OUT means we come out, out means out of the EU, out of the European Single Market, out of the Council of Ministers, out of all of those things”.

          This is what our PM promised us in Parliament just before the Vote, this is what we voted for, and THIS IS WHAT WE WILL GET.

      • stred
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Capitulation may not be quite the right word. ‘Collaboration’ may be a better one. Working towards the same end, discussing with the opposite side, showing documents to them and preparing acceptable proposals, meetings in private without notice, sending fellow travellers such as unelected and ousted politicians to negotiate in secret. If May does not realise what collaboration is she must be even dimmer than some people think.

        She should read about Laval and his eventual fate.

        • hefner
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Are you seriously comparing Theresa May to Pierre Laval?

          • stred
            Posted December 21, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Collaboration is the same. The difference is that they don’t have to invade. They already have a Vichy government in the form of the civil service. Hanging would not be possible these days of course. Possibly just send to the House of Cronies.

            From David Davis’s expression at PMQT with Boris as glum, he had not realised he had been stitched up and that Remain establishment such as Helen (BK?) knew more than he did.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Wrong way round. What you’ve described is the UK in the EU, except we are the paymasters now who also have to knuckle under. Where does the cash for all this grandeur come from when the UK leaves?

      • Linda Jones
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        What tosh that is. Perhaps you’d like to explain, Mr Soap, exactly why (y)our country should wish to remain shackled to the execrable EU. And please explain why you believe your EU masters and their empire-building plans are so appealing. Remainders are fond of their soundbites, learned from Project Fear, and it seems it is difficult for you to let them go and think for yourself. Read a little and see what people in the know are saying about the well-being of our country – not just the words of those who have something to gain from being part of this discreditable ”organisation”.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          “Eexecrable EU” . Truly a comment that deserves to not to be deleted.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          I think you have grabbed the wrong end of the stick

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


          I believe you and Sir Joe Soap are actually saying the same thing and therefore in vehement agreement with each other? }:O)

          Though, I have no idea what Rien Huizer is going on about…again?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      If that happens I do believe that the establishment will suffer and almighty backlash from the voters.
      There is already much discontent about reducing the defence budget whilst tipping £billions in foreign aid.
      Building the white elephant which is HS2 and building useless windmills whilst shutting down cheap reliable coal plants.
      I think the government is on probation with Brexit and failure to deliver will be the end of the mainstream parties.
      The voters aren’t as stupid as the likes of Starmer,Morgan or Sourberry believe.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        It is happening under May, we will get Brexitino only. She will then kick it all into the long grass for ever more – just as the various governments did from Heath to the dreadful Cast Iron ratter, D Cameron – for about another 45 years.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        @ Ian Wragg

        building useless windmills whilst shutting down cheap reliable coal plants.

        Well slap my thigh would never have believed it but it appears that Greece are in the frame for EU funding to the tune of 1.75bn euros for the construction of two coal fired power stations. You cannot make it up, where do they get the money from?

        (Reported on line by Not a Lot of People Know That)

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          It was reported that in Spain they were even generating solar power at night, this by illuminating the solar cells with electric light from diesel generators such were the absurd subsidies.

          Complete and utter economic and environmental lunacy.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        Ian, Greece are being given money to build 2 new coal fired power stations.

        • stred
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          Probably the same type of power station that The Most Important Country in Europe has been building and using to burn Lignite while putting their CO2 content up, unlike the UK and US which have have used more gas and lowered theirs. More good hypocritical news for the pickled cabbage eaters.

    • Robert Polatajko
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Is the rest of the world told what to do by an economically, politically and socially diminishing EU ? No. Neither will be the fifth biggest global economy.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        “Is the rest of the world told what to do by an economically, politically and socially diminishing EU ? No. Neither will be the fifth biggest global economy”

        The evidence is that the EU IS telling us what to do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Well it is being and May seem to like it!

        • Edward2
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          And very rich by comparison.
          Check GDP per head.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Reply for Rien below….

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Any idea how many of China’s provinces and large municipalities outrank the UK in population? Seven. If a few municipalities were added to their surrounding provinces it would be eleven. All European countries, even Russia, are small to medium sized.

    • David Murfin
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      “The fault, dear Tasman, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
      The way we avoid a hard border in Ireland is by not setting one up, in accordance with agreements made before the EU was even thought of. If the EU desires a hard border, let it give its instructions to Ireland to break those longer standing agreements.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        “The way we avoid a hard border in Ireland is by not setting one up”

        So how exactly will you keep out all those foreigners you want to keep out?

        From the other side – the EU will set up a hard border – just as it does with all countries outside the EU. You voted to leave. How will you solve this problem?

        Motherhood and apple pie from Dr Redwood. No solution thought.

        • jerry
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          @Loudbarker; [NI border] “So how exactly will you keep out all those foreigners you want to keep out [without a hard border]? “

          How did we do so back in 1952, so well before the “Troubles”, and before we joined the EEC…..

        • longinus
          Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Spain-Gibralta has a hard border. Tell me about the Turkey-Greece border in Cyrus.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            There is a “barrier on the zone’s northern side, consisting mainly of barbed-wire fencing, concrete wall segments, watchtowers, anti-tank ditches, and minefields” between the Turkish and Greek controlled parts of Cyprus according to Wikipedia. Turkey is of course outside the EU.

            There are identity checks at the Spanish- Gibraltar boundary since the UK is of course (currently) in the EU but outside the Schengen area. It’s a good deal. We should keep it.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Eire’s two biggest customers, UK and USA, says it all. Very difficult to see they have the whip hand. It is just the UK Government couldn’t exit a wet paper bag never mind the EU.

    • Peter
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      The difference between a “vision” and realpolitik.

      I do get the feeling we will be softened up and worn down over a very long period. Then we will get shafted. Our leaders will be proclaimed as tough negotiators by the EU. The UK media will say how well the government reconciled the wishes of the opposing camps.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink


      If you think that the Irish people will want to stay in the EU when we’ve left you are deluded. The UK is the republics biggest customer, the EU is seeking to destroy the Irish economy by outlawing their low rate of corporation tax, the Irish people already voted once against the EU and were ignored. It won’t happen again

    • English Pensioner
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I’d disagree.
      Our politicians will have to learn how to act in Britain’s own interests instead of just doing what they are told. There’s no reason that Spain should invade Gibraltar, they may huff and puff but that’s all unless they totally wish to kill their tourist business. As for Ireland, much the same situation. If we decide to have a hard border, there is little that they can do about it if they still wish for tourists and all their trucks to the continent finding some other route than through the UK.
      The problem is not Spain or Gibraltar, it’s our politicians who have forgotten that they work for the British voters, not the Irish or Spanish ones.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      And what is wrong with reconciling the wishes of the opposing camps. That is proper, civilized democratic government in action.

    • Charles Crofton
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Only in …………………….. your narrow mind. The reality is the EU are terrified Britain will deregulate and be more competitive then use a borderless Northern Ireland border as a free conduit into there market. You need to eat a fee extra Shredded Wheat and understand the EU is highly protectionist and frightened about the UK being successful.

    • Ian
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      “The UK will do what Ireland requires”.
      As a customer, that has always been the case, inside or outside the EU. It’s the same for any customers of the UK’s goods and services.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


      Heres whats happening really in the real world

      Manufacturing order books were close to a 30 year high in the three months to December, according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey.

      28% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, at the +17% level last seen in August 1988.
      28% of firms said their export order books were above normal at +16%, well above the long-run average of -18%
      42% of businesses said the volume of output over the past three months was up, and 11% said it was down, giving a rounded balance of +30% above the long-run average of +4%
      29% of companies expect average selling prices to increase in the coming three months, with 6% predicting a decline, giving a balance of +23%
      In addition the CBI’s Employment Trends Survey of 299 firms employing around 1 million people found that 51% of firms across the UK will grow their workforce in the year ahead, with confidence highest amongst small and mid-sized firms (58%). The majority (52%) of firms aim to raise pay for their employees in line with or above inflation in the coming year.

      There are 32 million people in work , the highest number ever recorded in the UK

      The fact that you think its all going wrong just shows that your opinions really are quite worthless

    • Cartimandua
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      The EU sells more goods to us. WE have the whip hand.

  2. Bob Dixon
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Please make it happen as soon as possible.

    • Gary C
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      @ Bob Dixon

      It would appear this will drag on for a good bit yet creating exactly the uncertainty the remainers are telling us they are fighting against.

      The longer this goes on the more it looks like the river we are being sold down is gaining pace.

      I will always vote for leaving but am fast loosing confidence with our negotiators who seem to be experts at capitulation.

  3. Duyfken
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Would that our PM could make a few rallying speeches and statements expressing such sentiments as JR has provided. But no, she radiates no such enthusiasm, just a wet blanket (or the charisma of a damp rag as Nigel F would put it).

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Aspirational stuff but it’s probably going to take a generation and a few more shoves to get there, probably after a brief interregnum of Labour misrule.

    How come Hammond gets away with saying things which have not been formally agreed that would get Boris slapped down ? So far from Hammond we’ve had the announcement that we’re paying the 40bn anyway even if no deal, that we’re effectively staying in the EU in its entirety during the transition (accepting ECJ rulings, all EU laws, freedom of movement, contributions paid), and that we might continue to pay for free market access. The most obvious assumption as to why he gets away with it is because he’s right.

  5. Doom
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Democracy in the UK would be better served if we ditched the idea of “communities”. I’ve never seen one on my travels except in the Province of Natal.
    MPs generally don’t like boundary changes. Selfish and indeed honourable reasons if they have a substantial majority. But some people spend their whole life never having their own choice of MP or Local Councillor get into power. On balance, First Past the Post is the best system but it might be a good idea to expose people to a Tory or Labour MP for the first time. Not a LibDemer of course.That would be awful. One should not experiment on the electorate. We’ve all seen the damage they do. Worse than mildew on your roses with EU dilute chemicals to remedy it.

  6. Duncan
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    ‘The Cabinet this week debates what kind of a country we wish to be, and how we should be governed once we leave the EU.’

    There’s nothing to debate. We leave the EU and revert once again to being a sovereign, independent nation.

    I have no idea what ‘how we should be governed’ means?

    Does this need debating? AGAIN. People in the real world, outside of politics, are sick and tired of this nonsense. We’ve had the debate, we’ve had the vote, you’ve been given your orders so tell this PM to get on with it and stop boring the nation with her dithering.

    We all know May, Hammond and her clique want to circumvent or certainly weaken Brexit irrespective of the general Eurosceptic sentiments on her backbenches. There’s no doubt in my mind that the EU and this PM will construct a deal that ensures our sovereignty and independence is compromised.

    The EU will and have no doubt already threatened UK-EU SM trade flows to achieve such a humiliating capitulation. Having such a pathetic, pro-EU PM simply makes thing more difficult

    It is my opinion that what we are seeing is the construction of a mirage, a narrative, call it what you will. A vision of independence conjured in the popular imagination with the reality being something completely different

    Politics today is one of smokes and mirrors. It is the management of expectations and the manipulation of our perceptions through the use of words and images.

    We are being deceived and this article does nothing to soothe my concerns

  7. Colin Donald
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    It means freeing the 90% of our businesses, those have no trade with the EU, from having to fall in line with all the requirements imposed by the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      And only imposing about a quarter of EU laws on those who do export to the EU.

      Which could be seen as 97% freedom from EU laws in this country, with the 3% residual only affecting those who have effectively volunteered to remain subject to parts of EU law because they wish to continue to export to the EU.

      There was a recent report of some businesses saying that they would like to remain subject to EU rules:


      “Britain’s chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries have called on the government to let them remain within EU rules as Eurosceptic ministers step up a campaign to break away from the bloc’s regulations.”

      I see no insuperable problem with that; in fact I would go a lot further and say that as any company which wishes to export goods to the EU must of course meet the requirements imposed by the EU – just as any company exporting to the US must meet the requirements laid down by the US – then the UK government should make sure that goods exported to the EU will be acceptable to the EU and will not usually need to be checked at the entry point – be that entry of the goods into the EU by land, sea or air.

  8. Duncan
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    This morning we’ve had another ESMA announcement designed to kneecap our financial services industry

    As we approach the EU exit deadline (the farce) the EU and its various bureaucracies will speed up the legislative stranglehold over the UK so that when we do ‘leave’ their control over us will be even greater

    I don’t believe Theresa May. I believe she’s an empty vessel. A pro-EU cuckoo in the nest. I have no idea why Mr Redwood continues the charade of support for her on this blog

    What’s the game?

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Oh, if only, John. What a wonderful prospect. I just can’t see it happening though. Mrs May is already bowing and scraping making us a laughing stock. The EU know that we have a load of snivelling wimps in Parliament who will vote against anything like a Brexit giving us control over anything. During the ridiculous transition period we will be forced to give up on many things. We may as well face the fact that we will never be truly sovereign again. This is not what I voted for! The thought of being governed by the likes of Germany makes me sick to the pit of my stomach.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      “Mrs May is already bowing and scraping making us a laughing stock”

      You voted “Out” . This is your result. Hard Brexit will be worse. Own it and deal with it.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Loudbarker. Stop barking contradictory statements. Yes, I voted out but it is not being delivered by the wimps we have working for us.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          You wanted “Out”. There was no collective vision of what “Out” meant. It has to be cobbled together and is being cobbled together. Even though Remain is by far the better option (my view) Mrs May does seem to be achieving (by accident or design) a no change Brexit where we end up having the benefits, paying for them but being rule takers rather than (collective) rule makers.
          This was one of the options on offer (by default) and you voted for it . And I entirely agree that we are more of a laughingstock than the English national cricket team as a result.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Loud barker

            What out meant…. is OUT , you know as in leave, go, exit , remove oneself from the club. It is blatantly, fully and totally clear what voting OUT meant

            Its only the losers who keep trying to make up reasons to half stay, stay a little bit, hang in there in some way and crafts of other nonsense

            Its a clear unambiguous process

            We trigger A50 giving us a maximum of 2 years to leave

            Once we leave we begin signing FTA’s with the rest of the world

            We offer an FTA with the remaining EU members

            Thats it. Its really really simple

    • Linda Jones
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I think you speak for many of us, Fedup. And many of us have signed the petition (number 200165) calling for our Parliament to exit the EU immediately. But will they listen?

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        @ Linda Jones

        But will they listen?

        In your dreams.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      You wish you were governed like the Germans. No such luck!

      • mickc
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes Merkel’s invite to the Miidle East to move there has worked well for the German people…..

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Risen your comment makes no sense.

      • Jane4brexit
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        You don’t even have a government at the moment.

  10. Mark B
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning- again.

    It means being able to amend and improve our laws whether the EU is doing so or not.

    It means welcoming EU students, tourists, investors, people coming to jobs with permits, people wishing to live here on their own resources.

    We will never be able to amend our laws as the EU would demand that we keep regulatory convergence with them in order to remain in the sudo Single Market.

    Yes EU citizens will be allowed to come and live and work here. No problem with that. But they will be able to being their families and would be entitled to FULL UK benefits. We have also agreed to allow the EU to monitor the UK to ensure we behave ourselves.

    Total sell out.

  11. David Cockburn
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you for an inspiring vision to take forward.
    I would like to add; Earning our way in the world and at home so that we are no longer increasing our levels of state and personal debt or having to sell off our assets to balance our accounts

  12. zorro
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Look forward to you receiving the endorsement of May, Hammond, Rudd, Grieve, Morgan and the rest of the remainers…..


    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the commons was 494 remain (including May & Hammond) to just 158 for leave at the referendum. Hugely out of tough with the far greater wisdom of the electorate (show despite all the state funded propaganda and the threats & lies from the remainers).

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Very laudable and 100% agree.
    Just a pity a view not shared by our PM and the majority of one world government fanatics in Westminster.
    I still can’t get my head around a transition phase which in fact maintains the status quo so in 2021 we face exactly the same problems as in 2019.
    I notice there is no mention of fisheries from the government. Rumour has it that it’s going to be traded for aviation rights.
    Bad move if true.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      What I find extraordinary is that at a time when since the election of President Trump we are no longer facing a hostile President of the United States, instead of looking to his good auspices to ensure we get a fair deal from the EU, Mrs May goes in for some totally unnecessary SJW grandstanding; what is the matter with her? Does she not understand diplomacy? If not, we are in big trouble. This has been going on ever since Trump was elected and it is a total disgrace, especially when put into context with her grovelling towards some of the least SJW regimes in the ME.

      • zorro
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Clearly not – shame that she cannot show some fighting spirit in dealing with Juncker instead of going on her knees to him at 0430hrs in the morning for urgent talks four months later….. Totally and utterly useless and hopeless.


      • Turboterrier.
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        @ forthurst

        Does she not understand diplomacy?

        Don’t be silly she is a politician, that in its self is debatable

    • Linda Jones
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Not that I set much store by these petitions, but it’s better than doing nothing – look at petition parliament number 204098. If, as you say, this is what is being decided for fisheries, then that is utterly outrageous. We are being betrayed in so many ways, it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

  14. HenryS
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Here we go again- “we voted to be friends and trading partners with the EU, but not to be part of it’s legal system and budgets”- where on earth does this tripe come from- i don’t ever remember voting for this? As far as I am concerned we voted to leave and that is all.

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Sorry but the people did not “reassert” a thing, least of all Sovereignty–We were condescended to by Caneron for his own reasons who graciously allowed us a vote but then couldn’t hack the result–There’s a difference–What we need is much more Direct Democracy as of right.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the people are far wiser than politicians as we see time and time again. The people want out of the EU, cheap on demand energy, far lower & simpler taxes, real freedoms, less government and sensible deterrents to real crimes.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      We voted to leave the EU which to me and all the other people I spoke to meant that we would be reinstating the status quo ante joining the EEC in respect of sovereignty over our territories borders and laws.

      As to Direct Democracy which yielded the anti-establishment decision to leave the EU, at least we should be demanding, now that our politicians will be making our laws, that we have a system of representative government which ensures that the voice of the people is far more accurately represented in Parliament, ie PR not FPTP which disenfranches a high proportion of the population and yields massive changes in seats with small changes in the popular vote; perhaps then the establishment would become the voice of the people.

  16. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Your message is clear John and it is a vision which many of us share but is it one shared by the Cabinet which is dominated by “remainiacs” with a few malleable Brexiteers?

  17. Old Albion
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sadly JR, your vision is not shared by Mrs May, as her continual capitulation shows.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      She is wrong headed on almost every other issue too.

      • zorro
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Only Theresa May could negotiate something worse and more constraining than we had in the EU!


  18. agricola
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    We would appreciate knowing what the Cabinets vision is. There are too many noises off from politicians in both the UK and EU, not to mention the press making what they will of it. Your voice is one of the few that mostly makes sense. It would be nice to know where the Cabinet is going with the project which, if in line with your thoughts, would give us something to unite behind. The Cabinet might benefit from knowing that it had support. There is far too much deja vu reminiscent of the leadership during WW1. We are in dire need of a Winstonian voice as in WW2. It is that serious.

  19. Woody
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I do find it amazing how those who wish us to defy the democratic mandate to leave use as an argument that we will be smaller and insignificant in the outside world .. your article sums the real situation up “We did not vote to be some minor state following meekly the EU’s laws and policies.” The vision by those who voted leave is of a dynamic and energised uk trading enthusiastically with the bigger wide world outside the straight jacket of the eu.

  20. Man of Kent
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    We all have this vision but are being badly let down by Mrs May and her acolytes .

    In order to get some sanity back she has to go – now .

    Then a ‘no deal ‘ Brexit in Apr 2019
    Otherwise we are heading for national humiliation .

  21. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    All very well and good John but we do not have politicians across the house who actually want what the majority of readers to this site want.

    Never in the field of politics have so many been able and proud to betray the majority.

    Traitors every last one of them. Eradicate this cancer within or this country has no future even in or out of the EU.

    You are but one voice and they are just not listening let alone hearing what you are saying

  22. alan jutson
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I voted leave for all the reasons you state today with my eyes wide open..

    I hope our Prime Minister understands that Leave means exactly that, we leave the EU to be under our own Governance.

    We have kicked the can around for far too long, time now to get serious and dare I say it be patriotic and put our Country first.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we need a ”new party” with the likes of our host, and Mr Rees Mogg, etc, and perhaps even a few of the more level-headed Labour people….

      • BretW
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        Linda Jones..am afraid that thete is nothing level headed about any of these people mentioned..they are part of a bunch of flat heads coming to you directly from the ninteenth century..their road leads only to the wilderness..alas!

  23. Michael Anthony Wood
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    And what happens if we fail to achieve these ambitions?

    We should get rid of the overbearing House of Lords and the House of Commons.
    Why should we continue to pay for no accountability!

  24. Andy
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    We have always had control of our laws and borders.

    Parliament has always been sovereign.

    Our schools and hospitals are rubbish because of failures in Westminster.

    You sit in traffic jams because MPs are lousy.

    Your trains are late and crowded because UK politicians repeatedly fail.

    Your children can not afford a home because Westminster has failed.

    All Brexit does is make us poorer – and make us less relevant.

    The rest of the world now thinks we’re backward and racist.

    And the rest of the world is right.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Oi ! Stop trying to steal my act !


    • Edward2
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Twaddle Andy
      The ECJ has supremacy over our courts.
      Most of our laws regulations and directives come from the EU.

      Now you finally realise your arguments are failing you throw in the race card.
      Whilst millions battle to come here.
      Come on Andy have a re think.

    • Charles Crofton
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      You need to do some more homework and I recommend getting out into the big wide world.
      1. The Lisbon Treaty is our written constitution.
      2. We have ceded all power to Brussels if you bothered to read it.
      3. Our schools are failing for multiple reasons but over crowding is one.
      4. Traffic jams are because Britain is overcrowded, has limited space, there are more vehicles on the road because the country is more wealthy.
      5. More average train kilometers being travelled.
      6. This is due to QE lowering rates, flooding liquidity and overcrowding.
      7. Brexit allows us to deregulate and expand markets, both with make us become the largest economy in Europe. What sort of relevance do you need? We are less relevant diluted inside the racket which is Brussels.
      8. No they don’t. They think we are sensible for leaving. Who exactly have you spoken to? The Australians and Americans have commended us.

      You must stop being a narrow minded “Little European” and think in terms of a larger scale.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      “The rest of the world now thinks we’re backward and racist.

      And the rest of the world is right.”

      All we want is control of immigration like the rest of the world has. Otherwise we are the most multicultural nation on the planet.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        It is the EU system of immigration, EU good everyone else bad, that is racist by definition.

    • longinus
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      You missed out mass immigration. Pathetic newspeak.

  25. Oggy
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    It also means putting Britons first again, standing up for traditional British values and to stop pandering to balmy liberalist minority views.
    It also means keeping out terrorists, criminals, spongers and scroungers and being able to deport foreign criminals without interference from the European court.
    It also means being able to hold our heads high again in a free independent country with a Government that will listen to what WE want and be able to make it happen without interference.

    Unfortunately due to Mrs May’s capitulation to the EU, none of the above is going to happen.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    JR: “It means from that date..”
    Tell that to Hammond and others who seem determined to see the UK become a vassal state of the EU. There are too many MPs who appear to have more loyalty to the EU than their own country. Maybe the appallingly low calibre of so many MPs is because they are glorified social workers happy to take and follow instructions from a foreign power.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      I have long felt, under the suffocating embrace of the EU, our MPs forgot that they were legislators and became social workers. They were no longer plotting a path for our country, instead they willingly subsumed themselves into sorting out constituents welfare payment problems. Here we have a problem of an infantilised class of MP being tasked with the job of making our country a self governing entity, which though would be a liberating experience for them, it is something they are fighting tooth and nail to oppose.

  27. Chris S
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    We need to stand firm and resist the pressure from Remainers and the 27.

    They are engaged in Project Fear Mk 2 and, thanks to the disastrous General Election, it looks as if Mrs May could not get a so-called Hard Brexit through the house.

    If Remainers have their way, there is a very real risk that we will be leaving in name only with Brussels continuing to call the shots.

    As far as Ireland is concerned, we have to make it very clear that in no circumstances will we be erecting a border of any kind thus ensuring that the EU 27 make the decision on that.

    In the end they will chicken out and back down. The 27 will not want to be responsible for imposing a border and Ireland desperately needs cross border trade to continue.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I think we’re stuffed.

    • mickc
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I think we aren’t…..

    • John
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      I take you are a Remoaner. In which case you are and I agree with you.

      As for the rest of us it will be party time March 2019.

  29. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    John, interesting summary the last paragraph applies to any other member of the EU as well, we all have similar objectives whether we are in or out of the single market and the customs union. Any democratic country will subscribe to those value objectives. thank you

    • stred
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Morning Hans,
      Democracy is the people deciding how they are run and not some elite that thinks it is leading beyond authority for their own good. You wouldn’t understand what democracy is if it flew up your (rectum self ed). Some people in your country do understand it and it is good to see they have refused to join the unelected Mogherini’s army.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink


        I am sorry to see you know so little abou other Eu countries but we can teach you

        • stred
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Hans,
          I’ve been to most of them. My ‘in laws’ live there. I have a house there and was in wonderful wonderful Copenhagen a few months ago when some loony came and dropped his trousers by our table and the staff didn’t dare chuck him out. Not that that has much to do with democracy. But I have had a knowledge about Europe since before you were around and I don’t need any lessons from someone who gets his facts wrong consistently.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      The problem is hans, most of the countries in Europe don’t do their bit towards defence and I don’t for one minute think the EU is a force for good.
      It is an empire building entity which rides roughshod over the electorate.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Hard to understand why any democratic country would want to be part of and subservient to a political organisation like the EU which shows contempt for democracy and behaves at times like a protection racket.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink


      Others have a more difficult problem because they are tied by the Euro !

  30. BOF
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Surely, there cannot be many in the country who could disagree with your vision set out here today. Those that do disagree should ask themselves if they really have the best interests of the United Kingdom at heart?

  31. Loudbarker
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    With all due respect to Dr Redwood, his vision is snake oil. He is bright enough -but he has that kind of intelligence that cannot let go of something that is wrong. How a fellow of All Souls and a member of my old college can disregard modern British history – continually involved in the political affairs of the continent of Europe for 500 years and more so as to prevent domination of the continent by a single power – and recommend withdrawal beggars belief.

    1 “The people” did not vote for Brexit 51.8% of those who voted did.

    2 “We want to belong to an independent democratic country.” We do in the EU. Have you not noticed that those making the EU’s decisions about Brexit are the Council of Ministers and the Parliament. The independent nations have power to veto any deal the UK may make.

    3 “We did not vote to be some minor state following meekly the EU’s laws and policies” But that is w hat we are going to get. Why is that the UKhas accepted pretty well every demand the EU made in the retreat – I mean negotiation – to date?

    3 Cost of leaving the EU – £350 million a week . Where have I seen that number before.?

    4 “It means from that date being able to ……….. negotiate our own trade deals and partnerships.” Chlorinated chicken, GM food and a privatised NHS is we do a deal with the US? No thank you.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Question from the Chinese

      What are you going to sell to us?

      Question from the Brazilians

      What are you going to sell to us ?

      Question from the Indians

      What are you going to sell to us ?

      • John
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Seeing as all those countries have average earnings significantly below ours it will be how much can they sell to us.

        Rather like the EU, all the former communist countries on low wages, they sell to us. What does Lithuania or Latvia or Romaina buy from us? Let them compete with Brazil, China, India for our business!

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          How will we make the money to buy what they sell? Less demand for services I think.

          And why then are we making it more difficult for those who buy from us (ie the richer countries to do so?)

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        As we were before and we will not stop selling to/buying from the EU either.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          We won’t stop, but things will be more expensive both ways, so there will be less trade and services. Never mind those businesses that move away.

      • Charles Crofton
        Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        You might do well to consider how much the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans can invest in Britain once we’re out, deregulate and have the cheapest energy in Europe which we can export back to them. The inability for you to recognise this makes your time in college mostly wasted.

      • David Price
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        1. The people who cared enough about the country voted and the majority voted to leave.
        2. Being independent means being able to say no. Based on the behaviour of you geniuses we apparently can’t do that while in the EU. Is that because you value the weilding of power and influence is far more important than the outcome and benefits to us oiks.
        3. You are repeating yourself, see 2.

        second 3. Despite your self-vaunted education you are incapable of counting properly, perhaps you and your fellow travelers can’t predict costs accurately either.

        4. You already eat chlorinated salads and vegetables and food has always been subject to genetic manipulation. As for the NHS, medical services are already a mix of public and private and while the NHS needs a major shake up I agree that a purely US or Chinese model would not be my preferred approach.

        PS, your attempts top prevent domination of Europe by a single power have failed, or haven’t you noticed.

        • Loudbarker
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          1 I agree. But JR said the people did “Outers” are not everyone, and as you will know there are polls out there saying 50% of people today would vote in, and 40% would vote out. It’s only a poll of course.

          2 Plenty of ability to say “no” We often did up to Article 50 notice being served. Here’s a note of the influence (follow the links to the whole reporthttps://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/britain-eu-and-sovereignty-myth especially page 12) the UK had. We were rarely outvoted, and we had of course numerous opt-outs. What is an opt out expect an ability to permanently say no?

          3 I don’t think so but we will agree to disagree.

          3 If the best you can do is mock a typo or two – check out your own. Meanwhile there is no attempt to refute the figure. Tell us why it’s wrong – other than than because you don’t want it to be true.

          4 I do not eat chlorinate salad. Food is not genetically manipulated by natural processes if that is what you mean, and you miss the point about the NHS. The point is that if we were to sign a deal like TTIP with the US – public ownership of the NHS would not be permitted at all. (Taking back control anyone?)

          Your PS – see the link above describing the INFLUCECNE the UK has. If you refer to the EU Commission, it is answerable to the Council of Ministers (ie Nation States cooperating) and the EU parliament (democracy).

          • David Price
            Posted December 20, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            1. apparently a latest poll is based on people who didn’t vote in the referendum so doesn’t signify people have changed their minds.

            2. “we” have had no say at all. When finally asked and we did say “No” government, politicians and the media refused to respect that wish and are doing their best to reverse an unfortunate decision.

            3. Why trust what a couple of opinionated journalists say when the untrustworthy EU itself is incapable of providing any figures.

            4. GM is a label for a family of processes, some natural some not.

            PS who influences the EU direction and outcomes the most, who flouts EU rules and get away with it, who has the largest “allocation” from UK fisheries…

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      1 “The people” did not vote for Brexit 51.8% of those who voted did.

      Actually 65% of the total electorate did not vote to remain. Around 35% of the population bothered to *save* us from leaving in the referendum.

      I don’t detect much enthusiasm for the EU.

      I know of no-one knowledgeable in EU matters – not even Remainers.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        “Actually 65% of the total electorate did not vote to remain. Around 35% of the population bothered to *save* us from leaving in the referendum. ”

        You are of course correct. My point is that is not correct for JR to imply as does that the whole of “the people” wanted Brexit.

        • rose
          Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Normally in votes, it is assumed that the abstainers are content to go with the winners.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted December 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink


  32. JoolsB
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I look forward to when the UK Government repatriates even more powers to Scotland, Wales & NI as they have promised whilst still continuing to ignore out of pure self interest the elephant in the room – England and the fact it will still have NO powers whatsoever and will continue to be governed by UK MPs from across the whole UK. UK MPs in a UK Parliament who refuse to recognise England except as a cash cow for the rest of the UK and put the country whose name they refuse to utter last every time. Hopefully then the English will begin to realise the rotten deal they get both democratically and financially from this Tory Government and finally say enough is enough.

    With respect John, for someone who purports to speak for England, it’s a pity you don’t show the same passion for the democratic deficit that exists in England as you do for the undemocratic EU.

    Of course I don’t expect this comment to appear until tomorrow if then.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      The great irony is, he does not want an English parliament because it would create an extra layer of bureaucracy yet, he remains silent on all this mayors created, against the wishes of the people, which is just that.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    We made a democratic binary decision to leave the eu.

    Remainers have tried to downgrade this by inserting “degrees” of leaving.

    We should have none of it. The civil service and the propaganda of the BBC should be resisted.

    Visas should be issued as appropriate and the our border controls organised and we should leave imminently.

  34. Bob
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    “We did not vote to be some minor state following meekly the EU’s laws and policies.”

    The problem is that the majority of your colleagues don’t agree with you. Phil Hammond has already revealed that the UK will not be able to sign its own FTAs until 2021, that’s five years after voting to leave! Parliament will delay and obfuscate Brexit until it becomes Remain.

  35. Epikouros
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I believe that is exactly what leave voters envisaged when they voted to leave. Any one who disagrees with those objectives are either doing it for political and personal gain or to protect rights and privileges conferred on them by the EU that benefit those few even if they do so at the expense of the many of the rest of us. If it is reasonable and fair that those rights and and privileges should be maintained then they will remain enshrined in UK law and if not they will not be. At least it will be it will be the people of the UK who will decide by democratic vote of parliament which are and which are not not some bureaucrat in Brussels who we have no control over. Apart from which it gives us back our sovereignty and right of self determination which frees us from foreign domination and interference. A freedom that we have many times in our past been prepared to die for.

  36. Iain Gill
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Dont think many in the cabinet or civil service agree with what you have laid out here John.

  37. Alan
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    We never were a minor state meekly following EU policies. We were a voting member of the European Council with more votes than most and we elected a large number of MEPs. Unfortunately people like Mr Redwood obstructed our government in most of its attempts to influence the rest of the EU. We sidelined ourselves in the EU Parliament. Instead of being one of the leaders we became a disgruntled follower.

    Now we move into meekly following EU rules – we have agreed to align our laws with rules in which we have no say. How Mr Redwood can write these fantastic visions when we all know something else has been agreed I do not understand. We seem to have the opposite of what the Brexiters promised in almost all respects except being outside the EU, and they do not even realise it.

    Reply I often tried to help the UK government to influence the EU for the better, but the government rarely produced a result we wanted

  38. Bob
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    When the Irish voted AGAINST the Lisbon Treaty the EU made them vote again to get the “correct” outcome. The same forces are now agitating against the U.K. because we dared vote for Brexit.

  39. A different Simon
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is a remainer at heart and just cannot bring herself to cut the umbilical chord .

    I can’t work out whether she was given the job because she is weak and incompetent or because the establishment thought her competent enough to derail Brexit .

    The result is the same – it’s heads the establishment wins , tails the people lose .

    She is proving to be a worse prime minister than Gordon Brown .

    • zorro
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      As I have always said, she is the Tory Gordon Brown but without the intellect….


  40. Bert Young
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    What John says in defining ” leaving ” reflect exactly my thoughts on the matter . I cannot see any sense in continuing as a “vassal state”after March 2019 ; once we are out we should be out . Hammond and Rudd believe that during the – so called transition period we should continue to be controlled by the EU , maintain our contributions and yet have no central participation . What would we do for example if in December 2019 the EU decided that our contribution – based on GDP should change and should be increased ?. Equally that we should increase contributions to the CAP and to other contributions to the newly aligned EU countries ?. These decisions would be a completely unacceptable and simply underline why “out” is “out”.

    We must take back control over our own affairs and restore the dignity and independence of this country . March 2019 is the end of the matter .

  41. Mick
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Just been watching another referendum labour denier on sky, Mary Creagh mp for Wakefield backtracking on labour manifesto saying the usual bile that the single market and customs union wasn’t on the ballot paper of cause it wasn’t you muppet you would have needed a ballot paper the size of a house to have put everything down, but we were told time and time again by the remain and leane side that leaving the eu means leaving the single market and custom union, she got re-elected by just 2000 votes but only because the Labour Party con the electorate into thinking the were for backing the referendum, I can only hope and pray that these labour mps are all kicked into touch by there voters for spinning a lot of porky pies to get re-elected because I’m sick to the back teeth of there total love for the eu and NOT Great Britain

  42. Peter Parsons
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    James Cleverly wrote in the Independent yesterday (17/12) “A huge lesson that we need to learn from the referendum was that millions of British people felt that they weren’t being listened to.”

    This is true, and Brexit won’t change it. Post leaving the UK establishment will still continue to ignore and take for granted the vast majority of us, the UK electorate.

    There is only one way for the people to truly regain our sovereignty and that is for a complete overhaul of the UK’s archaic, outdated, unrepresentative constitutional system. A system where wasted votes are commonplace (two-thirds of the votes cast in the 2017 GE were wasted), where safe seats exist, where tactical voting is deemed necessary (it has been estimated that 20% of those voting in the 2017 GE voted tactically), where parties routinely ignore the vast majority of the country (read Tim Ross’ book on the 2015 Conservative election campaign).

    Without constitutional reform to bring the UK out of its 19th century doldrums and in to the 21st by implementing a proper representative democracy where every vote counts, every vote matters and every vote is always worth using, the politicians will continue to take as little notice of us, the people, after Brexit as they did before.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Wrong blog

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Not at all. The article is about a “democratic UK”, I’m simply pointing out how most of us have no stake in a “democratic UK” under the current constitutional arrangements.

  43. Iain Moore
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    All fine sentiments, but we have a problem, we have a ruling class who really don’t like the people over whom they rule, for them the idea of making our interests a priority is a disgusting, if not a racist concept. Unfortunately they are now in charge of Brexit, we the people get the role of spectator, and right now what we are seeing is the usual tricks and slights of hand as they delay, and capitulate … sorry ‘negotiate’ away our Brexit.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Apparently Theresa May will be making a statement in the Commons later today, and I do hope some active and intelligent MP will pose my festive riddle:

    “When is a transition not a transition?”

    Riddling has a long history in this country:


    “The riddle was a major, prestigious literary genre in Anglo-Saxon England”

    But I don’t think they had one about a period of change when nothing changes.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      “When is a transition not a transition?”

      When some disingenuous MPs cry, “Hear, hear!” instead of “Here, there!”

      • rose
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        When is a transition not a transition? When it’s an implementation period.

        When is an implementation period not an implementation period? When nothing has been agreed to implement.

  45. Frank
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    “They [i.e. we] want the UK Parliament to pass wise and humane laws.”

    We also want the UK Parliament to repeal the stupid and the inhumane laws. The “Great Repeal Bill” might have done better by repealing all but a handful of EU imposed legislation.

  46. Tad Davison
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The vision JR outlines is fine, and it is eminently achievable as the UK is in the ascendency – and that’s the frustrating part!

    It’s eminently achievable provided we have a negotiating team with the ability to press home the UK’s advantage, not one that keeps giving ground!

    I listen to many radio phone-in shows throughout the week, and the frustration of the British people with this process is clear and palpable. We voted to leave the European Union – what’s difficult about that?

    It’s only difficult if the negotiators make it difficult, but being a spectator looking on, is like watching somebody blow a multi-million pound lottery win on frivolous things in the space of a few months, and asking the question, ‘How the hell can anybody be so stupid?’

    This is causing prolonged and unnecessary uncertainty at a time when we in the UK could and should be powering ahead – but maybe that’s what they really want and is part of the plan.

    Tad Davison


  47. Doom
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    How’s this for another Beauty of Mainstream Media positivity on Brexit…..

    LONDON (Reuters) today – “British factories matched a three-decade high for orders this month…..signs that manufacturers are riding high on the back of Europe’s economic recovery and the weak pound even as Britain’s economy remains slow….
    Not ….signs that manufacturers are riding high on the back of the UK’s economic recovery and the better valued pound even as the rest of Britain’s economy remains robust.

    How about these for two parallel sub-headlines in the same article
    ” *Retailers enjoy bumper Black Friday sales
    * Households turn downbeat about finances “

  48. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    But does Mrs May and her government want to deliver it? Will they be tough enough to deliver it?

    Answers on a postcard.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      I think NO fits prangwizard

  49. English Pensioner
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Fully agree with you.
    There is just one problem, quite a lot of our politicians will have to remember that they are working in the interests of the UK electorate, not the EU.
    Some seemed to be far more interested in the problems of EU citizens in this country than British citizens in the EU. They will need to remember why they are MPs and who elects them.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    For a couple of months at least there have been increasing signs that the EU will not be prepared to negotiate any “bespoke” trade deal with the UK; this was the prediction from Sir Ivan Rogers in October:


    “EU will not offer Theresa May a bespoke trade deal, warns UK’s former top Brussels diplomat”

    And in November:


    “Leaked EU paper dents May’s hopes for bespoke Brexit trade deal”

    Now Michel Barnier has repeated this:


    “In an exclusive interview for Prospect, the EU negotiation chief says there is “no way” the UK will be allowed a bespoke deal”

    Well, fine, let it be known around the world that the EU has already decided to adopt that stupid and destructive position even before any attempts have been made to negotiate a sensible mutually beneficial agreement, so there will be no point in any such negotiations, and indeed it is questionable whether there is any point in negotiations on transitional arrangements to move from the present position to a new position.

    And those who take the side of the EU will applaud its decision and hold it up as evidence that we should remain subservient to it in all its stupidity, while those who view the EU with loathing and contempt will see it as further strengthening the already strong case for us getting out from under it, and as for Theresa May and David Davis – well, they have taken a “vow of courtesy” and are inhibited in what they can say.

    • zorro
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I cannot blame the EU – If you were faced with Theresa May as your negotiating partner would you offer anything? All you have to do is set out your guidelines for negotiation and she eventually agrees with them. It’s great!


    • Andy
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      The EU’s position is not ‘stupid and destructive.’

      If you backed Brexit it is what you voted for.

      And it is really rather pathetic that you are all whining at the inevitable impact of your vote.

      If you’re whining now, and you are, it’ll great to see how you react when you get hit by Brexit car crash you have inflicted on everyone.

      I intend to laugh at pensioner Brexiters who suffer as a result of their vote. Hard luck.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      You confuse the needs of the EU with the needs of the rEU27 member states. The needs of the EU will always come first. This what many people, including our kind host, simply fail to understand. The EU do not care about the economic damage because they cannot be unelected.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree !
      The one big event that exposed the lack of proper democracy in the EU was Mrs Merkel’s unilateral invitation to a million ‘refugees’ to come to Germany .

      No discussion with other leaders , no papers to the Commission , no motions in the EU Parliament. Just a ripping up of the Dublin Agreement and direction to members to take their quota share .

      They want ever closer union but cannot secure their own borders .

      What a racket.!

  51. nigel seymour
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    17.4m voters said leave – enough said

  52. MikeP
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    The opening gambit from Michel Barnier doesn’t bode well though does it, saying the EU leaders have told him he cannot negotiate an offer of a unique deal, it has to be something modelled around Norway’s or Canada’s. Soon be time to walk methinks? Yet aren’t we unique, we’ve contributed net in every year bar one since the 1970s, we’ve tended to follow not flout the rules, unlike some other states, and our product and trading standards exactly match what they need going forward, just as we follow the standards required of China, Japan or the USA, and we have a huge military and intelligence presence that they need and has allowed them to short change NATO for years.
    I despair that an outfit that has such a huge trade surplus with the UK and continues to benefit to the tune of £10-15bn net every year from our contributions could be so blind to how their truculent and arrogant stance may lead us to act in future.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Mike P

      Not too late to walk and and take our offer with us.
      Then simply impose WTO terms if they start to cut up rough, but our representatives need to grow a pair first and then need to be supported by the Vast majority in our own Parliament.

      Courage, confidence, passion, and patriotism needs to be shown.

  53. Know-Dice
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    “The Cabinet this week debates what kind of a country we wish to be, and how we should be governed once we leave the EU.”

    Is this true?

    Why is this only happening now?

  54. Chris
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Please tell that to Theresa May and Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd, Mr Redwood.

  55. Loudbarker
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Here the EU’s position chaps. Meanwhile our Brexit government has not even DISCUSSED where they want to get to: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/32236/15-euco-art50-guidelines-en.pdf

  56. Simon Coleman
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    It means use of Henry VIII powers, unprecedented in modern times.
    It means the government trying to avoid a meaningful vote by Parliament on any deal with the EU.
    It means that the country is bound by the outcome of a referendum which contained a poverty of meaningful debate and wilful distortion of the facts.
    It means a serious threat to the stability of the hard-won Northern Ireland peace process by greatly complicating the sensitive border issue.
    It means a government abusing its powers to gain control of Parliamentary committees which are supposed to reflect the General Election result.
    It means some leading cabinet ministers ignoring the result of the June General Election by continuing to push for a hard Brexit when there is a clear majority in the Commons for a soft one.
    It meant the government attempting to illegally trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament. (If they didn’t even know how to start the process how can they be trusted to bring it to a successful conclusion!).
    It means a probable Westminster power grab at the expense of the devolved administrations.
    It means a democratic deficit for the UK because of the attempt by many Brexit MPs to claim that the referendum was a vote for all manner of specific issues, when there was only one question asked.
    It means increasing divisions in politics and poisoning of public life, largely because of the implacable, EU-hating Brexiteers, who will risk any damage to the country’s interests in pursuing their fantasies.

  57. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Vision and opportunities I find are used in a bluff situation. Perhaps you are weakening. The word game continues.

  58. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Figures on Brexit according to FT and LSE.
    Brexit according to FT is costing the economy about £ 350 million a wek in earned income.

    and inflation is 1.7 % higher than without Brexit according to the LSE.

    Very interesting reading from two different sides of the political spectrum

  59. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Dear mr Redwood, your vision is in tune (?) with the season. Lots of motherhood and applepie and no turkey in sight. Two points of criticism: democratic politicians should avoid using the term “the people” because that could send the wrong signal: that one is a populist and not someone who cares about democracy. The other point is less subjective: your statement that starts with “We did not vote to be some minor state..” is a bit silly. The UK has less than 70 million inhabitants. It is a highly developed one but with several severe economic problems that brexit will not improve in the short yterm and maybe never. It depends, like all NATO members, Japan, Australia/NZ and the ROK, on US benevolence for its external security. So there may be a bit of a gap between ambition and reality with that vision of a sovereign England (sorry, the others are not really part of that vision and come to think of it neither is London) but maybe you should work on it and hope that miracles will happen.

    • longinus
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Nice try Fritz. Nuclear weapons are a great leveller.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Dear Rien Huizer

        Not all of us British citizens live in the past and dream of a time when the German nation suffered a collective madness, now happily cured. I apologise on behalf of longinus since I cannot imagine he will do it himself. I hope you will be kind enough to forgive our own collective madness when the time comes.


        • David Price
          Posted December 21, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          But you remainers do worry of those times, otherwise why try to claim, wrongly, that the EU has kept the peace in Europe. Why do you persistently turn a blind eye to the many infractions of Germany and France yet gold plate the rules in the UK.

          You remainers talk forlornly of lost influence in EU affairs as a key consequence of Brexit while persistently ignoring the voices and needs of our people in the UK.

          You should be apologising for your own actions.

          • Loudbarker
            Posted December 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            I do indeed worry about war in Europe. Why, I remember someone suggesting only a few months ago that Britain would go to war over Gibraltar.: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3235404/britain-gibraltar-spain-war-brexit/

            Isn’t interesting all these historic tensions over Oreland and Gibraltar are breaking out when the UK plans to leave the EU? Do think they could be -you know – related?

  60. Chris
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for asking for clarification about the key issue about whether the sum agreed (and by implication the other issues “agreed”) in the Joint Agreement is binding before we have agreement on a future trade deal:

    I understood May to say that it wasn’t binding. It would appear that Theresa May’s interpretation of the Joint Agreement is different from the EU’s, particularly if she thinks that the other issues discussed will only happen if a favourable trade deal is reached.

    • zorro
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      You just know that Theresa will hold the line and stand firm for the UK. Not one to wilt under pressure our T May.


    • Chris S
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      She was very clear and unequivocal.

      As the money is in the vaults of those from whom we will have to borrow it, it is up to us if or when we pay it.

      No deal to our satisfaction, no money will be paid.

  61. ian
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    The Irish border and trading freely with the world. First, a 23% VAT rate at the point of sale in the UK on all world products apart from food and fish, in line with UK VAT rates, and no tariffs on imports apart from sugar from around the world. UK services VAT to stay at 20% while VAT on manufacture goods within the UK 15% VAT rate at the point of sale,
    Southern Ireland, When selling to the UK manufactured goods made in Southern Ireland the rate will be 15% Vat at the point of sale in the UK and not 23% as the rest of the world and UK Vat rates for food which I would say are 0%.

    Effect on the EU, no effect to the EU with VAT rates of 27% VAT to 17% VAT, 23% is one percent above the middle ranger, which can go up or down. A German made car would be 3% more than now while UK made car would be 15% in the UK and UK car sold in Germany would be 19% and a car from the USA would 7% cheaper to sell in the UK at 23% VAT rate than 10% import tax and 20% VAT.

    Other changes to UK VAT; Energy Vat on UK manufactures cut to 15%, VAT on domestic fuels 0% from 5% and 0% on insulation for homes.

    I hope the changes would bring 8 billion pounds but I would not know, 6 billion pounds for the health service and 2 billion for the Armforces, leaving the 18 billion EU contribution to be shared out, could be 6 billion from VAT 8 billion from contribution and 4.0 billion the chancellor has just given over the next 2. 1/2 years, would come to 18 billion pounds for the health service when the UK leaves the EU, 350 million a week on leaving and over 2 billion for arm forces.

  62. getahead
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    It means removing Phillip Hammond from the cabinet.

  63. zorro
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about you lot, but I am just thankful for the decisive leadership shown by T May in bravely and clearly outlining her vision for a post Brexit future, by asking each of her cabinet members what their views are on a future state before term ends and then taking them and going away over Xmas to try and fuse a weak compromise to keep her in office. You know they don’t call her ‘submarine May’ for nothing!

    Three cheers for strong, stable decisive T May!


    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      The reality is that Hard Brexit wouldn’t stand a chance if any of the Hard Brexiters were leader.

      Sterling would plummit. Investors would pull out. It would be an economic hiatus. Mrs May is the best chance Brexiters have of getting anything at all.

      They all know this which is why they are very happy to have her in power. They know they don’t really have the will of people. They’re being wildly opportunistic—to0 clever for their own good. As whatever settlement we go for, it will have to fit in in with the will of da ‘people’ in the long-run.

      And as everyone knows, and as David Davis said so eloquently a few years ago that referendums could be “dangerous” if “not done properly”. They should be held, he explained, only if voters were told “exactly what they’re voting for… We shouldn’t ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper, and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards.”

      Well Owen Patterson said leaving the market was ‘madness.’ And other leading Brexiters compared leaving the EU to getting a Norway-style deal with the EU. Nothing more.

      • zorro
        Posted December 20, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        You are misquoting the context of Owen Patterson’s remarks so I suggest that you look at the remarks as a whole if you can.


  64. D Gardener
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    So, tell us, John, has the Prime Minister consulted the Back Benches on this subject? Or are you in that dark as are we insignificant others?

  65. ferdinand
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mr.Redwood for putting the issue so succinctly. Would you kindly pass your message to each of the so-called Rebels and ask them with which part they disagree.

  66. Norman
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    With so much flack flying around, I hesitate to comment!
    Thank you, John, for setting out your positive vision – it is a good vision, and could be delivered if everyone was of the same mind and spirit. We need such a vision, to survive as a self-respecting, civilized nation. Of course we know there will be countless set-backs and discouragements, but if you aim at ‘nothing”, you are sure to hit it.

    I will also add that, although I don’t agree with everything Mrs May says or thinks, she surely deserves credit for her pluck. As far as I can see, she’s doing her very best to deliver what we voted for, even if at the risk of being wrong-footed by a powerful EU that sees only its own agenda. My hope is that her ‘decent’ approach will vindicate Britain in any future (some would say, inevitable) breakdown in negotiations. She also has to bear in mind those who did not want Brexit, so if there is a bad outcome, it will be seen that she did her best to avoid it on everyone’s behalf. As long as she sticks to her principled aims, she will be fine. (I dread to think of the alternative.)
    The real ‘enemy’ is the incredibly well-entrenched, myopic, ivory tower elite, who think its so smart to do-down the best of Britain that so many of us Brexiteers cherish.

  67. ian
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Brexit is about recalibrating the UK economy from 80 percent service to 75 percent service 25% the other, the reemergence of UK manufacturing is needed to try to do this and more help for small businesses rules after Brexit, the removal of EU rules on fishing and agriculture, and being able to do business with other countries when the UK leaves the EU, this is what Brexit is all about, and better choice of job and training, cheaper prices on food, clothes and shoes while trying to get more money for the UK health service which suports over 5 million European living in the UK. Brexit was never about anything else.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree to a degree, but look at Hard Brexiters such as Mr Fox and IDS getting businesses’ backs up with their comments. Fox and IDS have ZERO experience in business. Ditto for Boris Johnson, Michael Gove—most of them.

      And their economic vision is retro, 1980’s, focused on turning the UK into a Singapore or whatever (yes, of course, financial services will always be important and rightly so). When we should be focusing on the high tech sector like in Silicon Valley.

      But we don’t even have the money or the productivity to re-jig our economy. It’s looking more and more like an economic, political and social disaster. I hope I’m wrong. But all the evidence is pointing to this unless Tories get a grip and stop being over-run by ideology, emotion and wishful thinking, and start being the party of pro business (by first listening to the business community).

      • rose
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Lots of successful business people are advocating getting out now because they don’t want to be messed about by the EU and the government any more.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Netherlands, Scandanavian countries, and Germany, and others, do just fine inside the EU. The EU is just an excuse because the UK has lost its work ethic to a degree. It’s often just about the fast buck which is, to a degree, a by-product of the 1980’s and ‘loads of money’ mentality.

  68. Billyg
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Correction JR..you are the only one continually going on about taking back control of our borders, our money and our laws. It will matter little to the ordinary people in the street because they are screwed anyway by politicians incompetence business greed and tory fake news and downright lies.

    Today i read that how the great London financial services centre will be denied passport into the EU markets..i presume that also includes for insurance assurance work as well..barnier is spelling it out..loud and clear..the four building blocks of the EU are not to be trifled with…movement of goods, movement of services, movement of people and movement of Capital..of course we don’t want all of this we only want some..a bespoke arrangement..well barnier is clearly saying..on yer bike..so what now?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      ‘business greed’

      – business is a noble pursuit. But there are some in the Tory people who think that all people are saints and would never even think about being greedy.

      When of course, everyone, tramps, working class, middle class, upper class, royalty, are all vulnerable to wanting too much or inordinate sex, money and power. And all these things have to be regulated in some way (not excessively either) or else people and the country in general will pay for it in some way.

      But no, the hard-right idealogues think everyone in business, and in particular, the City of London are saints, and should not be regulated.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        And we only have to see how the excesses of the market lead to booms and busts, depressions and wars (but the hard right are in denial of this truth as well – because they are bamboozled by the lure of money).

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      “barnier is clearly saying..on yer bike..so what now?”

      Given that what is proposed today is harmonisation at a cost and our being rule takers until the (insoluble) Irish border question is sorted out, why don’t we just rescind Article 50 and stay in the EU? It’s perfectly human to make mistakes.

  69. Original Richard
    Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    “We want to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money.”

    And our assets (fishing grounds).

  70. Dennis Perrin
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Much of the M Barnier rhetoric is to frighten and dissuade the 27 member states from even thinking about their own Brexits. M Barnier is not our prime minister but behaves as some kind of Lord of Europe. This is exactly why we voted to leave. It’s the EU that’s finished and we are hearing their last gasps of fearful and threatening hot air. We cannot afford to continue to prop up the “Superstate That Failed”.

  71. rick hamilton
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I want the UK to be a country of smaller government, lower taxes and less intrusion into peoples’ lives.

    That wouldn’t happen inside the EU and it won’t happen under the present so-called Conservatives.

    • Chris
      Posted December 19, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      We need Trump here. His tax cuts and tax reform plans are going to transform the US economy, I believe.
      Has Trump pulled off unlikely economic miracle? US economy confounds forecasters
      AGAINST the experts’ forecasts Donald Trump seems to be turning the US economy around recording THREE per cent growth for the second quarter in a row.

  72. ian parkinson
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Presumably now that parliament has got a vote on any final deal, then for that vote to be meaningful there needs to be a fully fleshed out alternative. So is the government going to start making progress on what a no deal scenario would look like?

    As a hint: please don’t go and hire hundreds of customs officers and build infrastructure just to enforce new customs duties – 0% inbound regardless of what the other side charges. Economically better, and far less chance of government screw up causing delays/shortages.

    Ditto import quotas. If it is safe to import 1 unit, then any cap on volume is pure protectionism (and rumoured to be what the Irish are mainly worried about, Argentinean beef being just as good as Irish).

    Will second the comments above that this is the most left wing conservative government we have seen in a long time. Not sure how being a pale copy of your opponent is any kind of strategy, particularly when those beliefs are the opposite of what truly makes a nation wealthy.

  73. Peter Parsons
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “They want the UK Parliament to pass wise and humane laws.”

    And yet there is talk of abolishing the Working Time Directive, the thing which has provided workers with a guaranteed rest breaks, a guaranteed day off and guaranteed holidays.

    Wise and humane? Gove’s proposal is neither.

    Reply No, there is not talk by government or Conservative MPs of changing employment laws.

  74. Bob Copeman
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Whilst UK lets our weak +wobbly PM and her Wooden Cabinet pay to discuss Non negotiable Red Lines CJEU safeguarded with unelected MB +Ideolog cohorts none of your vision will happen. Leave to 400 proven Global UK Exporters to secure Amicable Separation 3/19 with 400-800 GERMAN +FRENCH Exporters keen to protect as much as possible of their share of £500 Billion Tariff Free Goods Trade Surplusses 2011-2017 during @Conservatives AUSTERITY and not One Transition Day

  75. Loudbarker
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    The EU is pushing for trade deal with Mexico – having just done one with Japan.


    Meanwhile the US is getting more protectionist by the day – as well as seeing Brexit as a great opportunity to steal the UK’s trade. Not my words – the words of the US government.

  76. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    “This vision means, as the PM says, leaving the EU and its single market and customs union on 29 March 2019 in accordance with the Treaty.”

    Yes. It also means we don’t want another treaty cementing a deep and special comprehensive partnership because, on present showing, that can mean only something akin to membership of the EU. Indeed, the government is debating the extent to which such a treaty should limit UK’s ability to depart from EU regulation. That can only be agreed by reducing the sovereignty of UK just as it did in 1972.
    It is vital that the treaty should not contain any such restriction. After Brexit it must always be the UK’s decision alone whether or not and to what extent it wishes to align itself to EU regulation.
    It seems to me that the only way the concept of a sovereign independent self-governing nation state will ever permeate the upper reaches of Government and the civil service is for UK to leave without any overall treaty, apart from leaving arrangements and the necessary practical and mundane business of air traffic control, etc. UK should then wait, re-establish itself as a self-governing state and only after both UK and the EU have settled in their new directions – massive change is due inside the EU – perhaps 5-10 years after Brexit, consider any new treaty with the EU.

  77. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


    ““We feared that if Britain decided to leave, it would most likely entail a depreciation of sterling, higher inflation leading to a squeeze on disposable income and a reduction in investment,” she said.

    “People said ‘Oh those experts’, but we are seeing the narrative we identified as a potential risk being rolled out as we speak. This is not the experts speaking, it’s what the economy is demonstrating.”

    They forecast a recession , falling house prices and rising unemployment – the reverse happened. Sterling has been rising in recent months. There are high levels of inward investment.

  • 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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