The BBC Today programme recycles the trade deal scare

I awoke to the one sided comment that prices will rise as we will lose access to the EU ‘s trade deals when we leave. Both the EU and the UK has to confirm with the other party to any given trade deal that we wish to continue as before after seperation. I do not know of any country wanting to end these arragements with either the rest of the EU or with the UK!

The UK government is discussing this with all the relevant countries to ensure continuity.

Once out of the EU we can unilaterally lower or remove the tariff on anything we like.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again


    How many trade deals has the EU concluded ? Because I do not think it is that many.

    • NickC
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, As is usual with these things there is never a simple answer.

      From the WTO website (just type WTO into your search engine): “As of 20 June 2017, 279 RTAs were in force [worldwide]. These correspond to 445 notifications from WTO members, counting goods, services and accessions separately.” (RTA = Regional Trade Agreement).

      The list of RTAs is on
      I counted 40 RTAs between the EU and other, often economically minor, countries. They range from EU-Faroe Isles to EU-Canada. Not all are fully implemented; the Canada deal will take years.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink


        • Hope
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Leaving the EU is not solely about trade as May would have us believe. Phase one was a disaster and sell out we should all dread phase two!

          Still she has just given a knighthood to Clegg, someone acting against the national interest, govt policy and electoral democracy.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            Dear Hope–As usual her judgement is up the pole

  2. majorfrustration
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Is there nobody in Government that can just pick up the phone and have a quiet word with the DG of the BBC – along the lives of “Balance Balance” or forget the K or seat in the HoLs. Luvvies love gongs – should work

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      This will not happen. This government dropped all attempts at reform a year or two back. It does not have the desire nor the will to change the BBC’s behaviour. It considers itself untouchable. Only direct action has any hope of bringing change.

      • Hope
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        JR, this topic has been done to death your goat needs to get rid of the BBC on a pay to view or private basis. It no longer fulfills its aims under its charter or tried to be balanced or fair as a state broadcaster.

  3. jerry
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed John, but unlike so many contributors on this site, I have made a complaint, suggesting that the Today programme to revisit the issue and be rather more balanced. I would love then to explain why any country would impose export tariffs on their own industries and commerce, thus causing price increases for those goods here in the UK!

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Nobody in the media seems to explain this well enough, yet it will be a major advantage for us to be able to offer tariff-free access to sectors where we have no competing interests, i.e. many industrial sectors dominated by German companies, non-European agricultural products. This will reduce prices and increase competitiveness here.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Just think it through and pay attention to producers as well as consumers.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Nobody in the government can be bothered to explain it or contradict it.

  5. Epikouros
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    It really is time to do something about the BBC that paragon of disinformation. At least by the left and the EU they see it as a paragon. Myself I see it as a waste of the money that a licence fee costs so no longer watch it. Apparently 3.5 million others feel the same although the rest of the UK public have the same reverence for it as the NHS which is rather alarming because neither provides much in the way of quality of service or value for what it costs to run.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Be glad to have a broadcasting service without commercials, first rate journalism, no influence of irrationally conservative ideologues like Murdoch etc. No doubt your preferences are different but still, many people appreciate those characteristics. Some pro-remain bias is not strange, it is quite common among people who think professionally about things like brexit..

      • NickC
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Rien, I find BBC journalists to be rather dim and irrational, especially about Brexit. It’s all disappointing actually; there’s no rigour. BBC journalists, like other Remains, sneer at patriotism (“It’s too, too, populist; what can be done?”) yet their infatuation with the EU shines through. So they clearly have no consistent rational argument or analysis – they’ve just transferred their mere undifferentiated feelings from one institution (the UK) to another (the EU). Support for the EU is just an emotional spasm.

        • rose
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          And they have annoying commercials all the time, even on the Third Programme and the Parliament Channel, advertising themselves.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The source of this unspeakable garbage is the BRC not the BBC:

      This is at least the fourth occasion they’ve pushed it out, just quickly looking on google they’ve been allowed to get away with it before in April, September, early December and now again in late December:…27934.36541.0.39569.….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.17.1145…0j0i67k1j0i7i30k1j0i22i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.G9S11RWfIoY

      Most of the mass media just uncritically repeat it as a useful stick with which to beat Brexit, and the government departments which should be speaking out against such false propaganda either don’t want to or can’t be bothered.

      • Hope
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        I am convinced Dennis the govt wants it. Moreover May wants it so she can tie the U.K. to the EU as closely as possible under brainwashing the public this is the best she could achieve. No right minded person would allow govt policy to be undermined consistently on a regular basis if it was not deliberate. Sadly leave MPs and minister stand idly by.

        May is allowing the traitors in her party to side with Labour to bring about what she wants.

  6. Alan
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    We do know that New Zealand, Australia, and the USA wish to make some changes to the trade deal that the EU has with them. I would have thought that other countries are quite likely to wish to make changes once they give the matter attention.

    That doesn’t mean that it will be impossible to come to agreement quickly, or that we may not get terms which are better for us than the current ones. But it is dangerous to pretend that this work does not have to be done. Brexiters need to take their policies seriously, not just dismiss everything, saying it is all so easy we can leave it till later.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      And it doesn’t mean that New Zealand, Australia and the USA will insist that the UK must impose swingeing tariffs on their exports to the UK. Have you even stopped to think about how utterly silly the whole argument is? Can you imagine the Australian High Commissioner dropping a line to the UK government saying that in the absence of any new trade deal agreed between the UK and Australia his government demands that the UK government must immediately increase tariffs on goods imported into the UK from Australia? Is that what you would expect to happen?

  7. Anonymous
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    3.5 million have just stopped paying the BBC licence without consequence to themselves.

  8. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink


    Question for you?

    Do you actually believe that a trade deal with the EU will give us free access of setting all tariffs , both tariffs and regulatory tariffs as well?

    Replythe trade deal with the eu will depend on what the two sides agree.Non EU trade will be nothing to do with them.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Really ? Trump’s excellent tax cuts are also nothing to do with the EU but it hasn’t stopped them (supported by Hammond of course) complaining to the WTO about them. I think you are mistaken if you think the EU will sign a trade deal with UK without demanding all sorts of conditions on UK trade with 3rd parties under the guise of “fair” competition and anti-dumping provisions. I bet May will agree to them all too.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        The EU complaint about aspects of the new US corporate tax system is genuine. However the EU VAT system (currently also benefiting the UK) has been subject to trade criticism too. A legitimate pot and kettle situation and also quite normal between trade blocs.

    • NickC
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Hans, An independent country can set its own import tariff levels. We voted Leave to be independent.

    • Andy
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:58 am | Permalink

      ‘Non EU trade will be nothing to do with them’.


      Say you are a country like Australia – which does not yet have a trade deal with either the EU or UK. The UK sets outs its trade plan. Australia sets out its plan in return (which, incidentally will include easier travel, visas and immigration – as will India’s) and then there is a negotiation. But wait, the EU is negotiating too – and the EU is a much bigger market and can demand a better deal. It can also refuse that deal if Australia agrees something with the UK which will undermine the EU. Consequently what the EU demands with regard to Australia-UK trade will be very much a factor for the Australians to consider before they do a deal with Brexit Britain. You will not get it all your own way.

      South Korea is an interesting case. It already has a deal with the EU – which favours the EU because it is much bigger than South Korea. The UK wants to copy the deal. South Korea is saying ‘hang on – we have a population of 50m and we gave this really good deal to 500m consumers in the EU. This was a market 10 times our size. Why should we match the deal for the UK market alone – which is not much bigger than ours?’

      The EU negotiates with the US as an equal. We negotiate as a supplicant. I suspect Dr Fox likes chlorinated chicken anyway but, even if he doesn’t, there is no doubt that he will sell out the country and allow in Frankenstein foods. His mate Donald will give him no choice. Oh, and the US will get all its demands met with regards to access to the NHS. Tory Brexit Britain is too weak to stand up against it.

      Brexiteers are going to learn a really harsh lesson in trade – and it is going to be immensely fun to watch. For all its faults the EU single market – created by Margaret Thatcher – is by far the best trade deal in the world. Nothing else comes close. No ‘bold and ambitious’ trade deal the Tories do will come close to replicating the Rolls Royce trade deal we already have. You won’t fob us off with the Robin Reliant trade deal you negotiate in its place. We’ll point out your failures and make you squirm.

      Oh – and I know you won’t take responsibility for the car crash you are inflicting on us. It’ll always be someone else’s fault won’t it? Not in the history books it won’t. Brexiteer names will be writ large. (Not for good reasons).

      • Le tear
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Quite right. Mrs Thatcher’s legacy is being trashed by the little Englanders behind Brexit

      • stred
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        So South Korea will not wish to reduce tariffs on the cars they sell to the UK because it is smaller than the EU market? Are you a civil servant or BBC wonk?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Apparently not, it seems South Korea will say “We longer have a trade deal, you know, so you must increase tariffs on our cars”.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Most of that 500 million are poor or subsidised by the rest in some way.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          No ‘Rolls Royce’ trade deal includes subordinating your courts, Parliament and border control.

          I’m not letting you get away with ignoring those things, Andy.

          No ‘Rolls Royce’ trade deal says “You must take in the trade bloc’s unemployed and criminal fraternity in order to do business with us.”

          No ‘Rolls Royce’ trade deal says “You must take in our citizens and their parents can visit to have treatment on the NHS when they feel like it.”

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Full marks although no one here will believe you – different hymn book. Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with chlorinating chicken by itself. The problem is that it facilitates unhygienic processing and unhealthy farming practices. But clearly one of the things to keep in mind the only FTA the US will want to conclude with the UK will include agro (with possibly lax rules of origin so the produce of US firms grown/raised, for instance in Thailand, Vietnam and Chile will piggyback) and that may have interesting effects on UK growers with, like once the repeal of the corn laws, on UK society at large.
        Mr Redwood believes the UK will grow more of its own food. He will have to have a word with Mr Fox because in Fox’s England food will be sold, not grown.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        “South Korea is an interesting case. It already has a deal with the EU – which favours the EU because it is much bigger than South Korea.”

        Oddly enough that is not what the EU Commission says, as you could have very easily found out if you could have been bothered to look for some facts before shooting off your adolescent mouth.

        The main point of interest for that case is actually the same as that for all other cases of EU trade deals that I have checked, and that is its marginal overall economic significance.

        “Results of the simulations show that the effects of the EU-Korea FTA on GDP are positive for both the EU (0.08%) and Korea (up to 0.84%).”

        And if achieved that one-off GDP boost for Korea would be equivalent to the natural growth of the economy over less than three months.

      • Dennis
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        As JR has not made any reply to Andy’s post, JR must think he has some unanswerable points and cannot gainsay them. Very interesting.

        Reply I disagree with Andy’s post, but he makes no new points so there is no need to answer them again

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          I’ve answered parts of it, and some time before you commented, but once again JR has chosen not to publish my comment.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        As more informative comments so often go unpublished on this blog, which for some inexplicable reason has now been allowed to turn into little more than a playground for often hate-filled and vicious pro-EU trolls, I’m not sure whether to even bother with this additional comment about the EU trade deal with South Korea …

        Which as I said in my so far unpublished comment has been of very little overall economic value to South Korea and close to zero overall economic value to the EU and its member states.

        But it also has another interesting feature, namely that it was signed on October 6th 2010 but because of Italy delaying ratification it only came into full legal force five years later on December 13th 2015.

        However in the meantime there was provisional application of most it from July 1st 2011:

        “Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part”

        “Provisional application as from 1 July 2011 with the exception of Articles 10.54 to 10.61 and Articles 4(3), 5(2), 6(1), 6(2), 6(4), 6(5), 8, 9, and 10 of the Protocol on Cultural Co-operation.”

        “Ratification Details”, NB:

        Italy – Signature 16/09/2010
        Notification – 14/09/2015
        Entry into force – 13/12/2015

      • NickC
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Your assertion that “… the EU single market [was] created by Margaret Thatcher …” is completely fake. The EU’s Single Market – based on “harmonisation” – was created by the EU, not Thatcher. She wanted independent nations trading on the basis of “mutual recognition” and (near) zero tariffs. She lost. Try reading her memoirs.

        It is important to realise (something you seem incapable of) that the EU’s Single Market is not essentially a trade deal. It is a method (via “harmonisation”) of creating a single state, the USE. Harmonisation is not a requisite of trade: many trade deals around the world work on the basis of Thatcher’s preferred method of mutual recognition.

        As for your purely imaginary view of trade talks: it is not a case of either/or. The EU preventing (or attempting to prevent) an independent country such as Australia doing a trade deal with another independent nation, such as the UK, would not get past the WTO.

        • Andy
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Even if the EU was an attempt to create a single country – which it is not – it wouldn’t worry me. What makes someone British is so much more than the colour of their passport or whether their rules are made in London or Edinburgh or Cardiff’ or Brussels.

          Do any of you seriously believe that being in the EU has made France any less French? Or Germany any less German? Or Italy any less Italian. Brexiteers claim to be patriots – actually you are nothing of the sort. You think your country and culture is so weak that it can not survive cooperation. Embarrassing. Basically you all need to get over the fact that it is not 1950 – that we are not a major world power and the white Christian country of your childhood is both gone and is also never coming back. My generation is the future and we do not want the failed Brexit you pensioners are inflicting on us.

          • NickC
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Andy, So you sneer at our patriotism, but your nationalist support of the EU is ok? Perhaps you ought to try being consistent for a change. And if you are still ignorant of the fact that the EU project is an attempt to create the USE, you need to pay more attention to the un-elected, white, middle class, elderly, mainly male, Brussels politicians that you idolise.

            Cooperation is fine – NATO, UN, WTO, etc, etc, but subjugation to rule by the corrupt, dysfunctional EU oligarchy from Brussels is not. Democracy matters. Even though you pretend it doesn’t.

        • Len Stanton
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

          No trade deal in human history has ever been based on mutual recognition

          • NickC
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Len, No trade deal in human history? Not one? So the trade deal on insurance between the USA and the EU itself, in Jan 2017, based on mutual recognition doesn’t count?

            The WTO even has a term for it: MRA – Mutual Recognition Agreement. Moreover the WTO TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Agreement specifically allows regulatory autonomy.

            There is a marked difference in using recognised non-contentious international standards such as the inch or the volt, and, on the other hand, mutual recognition of accountancy standards, or organic growing conditions. RTAs typically use both harmonisation and mutual recognition (sometimes called “equivalence”).

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        “For all its faults the EU single market – created by Margaret Thatcher – is by far the best trade deal in the world.”

        Perhaps, but certainly not for the UK.

        Who, apart from EU supporters would sign the UK up to a trade deal where :

        1) It is so unbalanced against us that we import £100bn/year more than we export ?

        2) We subsidise inefficient EU farmers and then still pay more for our imported food than we would by buying from the rest of the world on WTO terms outside of the EU’s protectionist CU ?

        3) We agree to give away our assets such as our fishing grounds so that any EU country can fish in our waters even using the controversial and damaging pulse method of fishing ?

        4) We must accept free movement of people, thus opening up our non-contributory health and welfare benefits to everyone in the EU and resulting in massive net immigration ?

        And these are just the trading disadvantages.

  9. Bert Young
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Why the BBC wishes to concentrate on the gloomy side of news I’ve no idea . Whenever I can I prefer to tune in to other sources of information . I have had arguments before with them on their selection of certain voice accents that I have found difficult to understand ; I was told it was their policy to include such accents . Gone are the days when the BBC were an example to us all .

    • Richard
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      and totally complacent…
      How can they say this with a straight face?

      • Bob
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        The BBC has become the Ministry of Truth
        “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength”

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      For the simple reason that it is gloomy, to say the least.

      • NickC
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Rien, No, Brexit is a source of great joy. And hopefully another dangerous NW European ideology will bite the dust soon after.

  10. stred
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Facts4eu has a story about a Mr Cooper writing in Politico, which has its office in Bruxelles, that Christmas turkeys will be in short supply because of Brexit. Apparently, we need EU folks to murder them. Four of us only managed to eat about a third of ours. How will we manage after we leave? They never give up do they?

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully we’ll be sort of Brussels too.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Was that the Denis Cooper of the off topic comments?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Why waste time with such a damn fool comment? Is it at all likely that I would ever write such an article? In case you don’t know – which you may not, being a foreigner – Cooper is an old and quite common English surname.

        • miami.mode
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          You’ve got him over a barrel there, Denis.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            In the barrel would be better …

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mr Cooper. As you may know, the predecessor of the modern English word “coop” is derived from an old/middle Dutch word for barrel or tub. In modern Dutch that would be “Kuip”. Interestingly the Dutch words derived from “Kuip” include the word “kuiperij”, meaning (1) the making of coops/barrels (by a “cooper”) and (2) deceit, malversation. Just a little bit of trivia. No patronizing intended….

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a sick joke wrong on every issue (they want more taxation, more regulation, more state sector, more green crap & climate alarmism, to stay in the anti-democratic and largely corrupt EU, more augmenting of the feckless and more magic money tree economics), more PC drivel, more subsidies for public transport and the NHS.

    Just like the Libdims, Labour, the greens and half the Tory party.

    Staffed as it is mainly by dim, lefty, chip on the shoulder art graduates (hugely over paid and pensioned) then I suppose that is what you get.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      LL I see Nick Clegg is going to get a knighthood!!!!! Why?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Recommended by Farage perhaps?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Being consistently wrong seems to be the best way into the Lords too. Just look at the dire list of politician who have been knighted, CBE ed or ennobled. Even Sir John Major for goodness sake (for the services of burying the Conservative party for 3 plus terms and failing even to apologise for his ERM fiasco and treaty signing without the people’s authority). What next Lord Tony Blair for his counter productive wars on a lie, or Lord Gordon Brown for abolishing Boom and Bust and killing private pensions! Lord George Osborne for giving up 15% stamp duty, ratting on his IHT promise and being an economic illiterate? Lord Cameron for cast iron ratting and huge tax increases (but “a low tax Conservative at heart” of course).

        Being consistently right like JR and Farage rarely helps unless you are in business, an investor or are a betting man. Then it works very well indeed.

    • Andy
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:03 am | Permalink

      Or – alternately – the BBC is the most impartial news organisation on the planet and you just don’t like it because, like most people on this blog, you sit well outside the political mainstream.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Dearest Andy–Rubbish as usual and BTW you mean alternatively

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        The referendum rather proved Euroskepticism is mainstream.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and it is very clear that on the Catastrophic Global Warming religion the BBC has been “exaggerating somewhat” to say the least. No significant warming for 19 years despite the increases in C02 plant, tree and crop food.

          Also the “BBC think” solutions PV and Wind are not economic and do not really work, not even in CO2 terms.

      • NickC
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If you think the BBC is impartial then you pay for it, and don’t expect me to subsidise it for you. Abolish the TV Tax, make the BBC pay to view, and we’re both happy.

    • APL
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      LL: “they [ the BBC ] want more taxation, more regulation, more state sector, more green crap & climate alarmism, to stay in the anti-democratic and largely corrupt EU, … ”

      Well, er, Yea! Tax funded organisation demands more tax.

  12. MickN
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Ah and of course absolutely nailed on as the lead story on the Brexit Bashing Corporation. Sort em out John!

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    If on discussion programmes like Q.T. or Any Questions you get one sensible person on then you are doing well. Usually four pro EU, greencrap lefties plus the chairman to one or worse six to none.

    The pre-framing of debates on the BBC is also absurd. Should we have this wrong solution or that wrong solution and we cannot discuss any sensible solutions at all. Such as charging for the NHS or vouchers for education or sensible provision of road space to meet demand, or few daft degree courses, or some quality controls on immigration, or “is catastrophic global warming theory a little exaggerated perhaps and the solution proposed clearly duff too”?, is religion often not hugely damaging and rather racist – discussion (on the BBC and MSM) of these topics simply not allowed.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–You have come a long way–I remember when you didn’t know what MSM meant

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        The BBC is the main irritation (as we have to pay for it regardless and it has a duty to be balance that if fails every single day and always in the same direction). Though Kentish Town’s Jon Snow and channel 4 are hugely irritating too.

  14. John O'Leary
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    “Once out of the EU we can unilaterally lower or remove the tariff on anything we like.”

    But what you cannot do, according to your favoured WTO rules, is discriminate between countries. Lower or impose a tariff barrier and/or non-tariff barrier against one country and you must do so to all.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Please understand we will set import tariffs from ALL countries on anything we like to suit the UK competitive situation for those items, not to suit the competitive situation of Germany, France etc., which is substantively different to our own. That is the whole point.
      To have been part of a group seeking often to place tariffs on imports of goods where we have no industry of our own and no national interest in placing barriers was always a bit mad. Zero tariffs on line items bought from non-EU sources will make those items cheaper and make us more competitive.

    • NickC
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      John O’Leary, Sir Joe is spot on. And just think: if we opt for tariffs of about half of the EU’s then we make world goods cheaper, so they sell more to us; and EU goods more expensive, so they sell less. Win-win.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Let’s hope “the World” will supply the goods (cheaply enough) that the EU does now.

        • NickC
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Rien, I’m glad you “hope” that. The world is a lot bigger than the EU. For Remains who seem transfixed by size that may be important to to remember.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Pray lead with some examples of goods we won’t be able to buy elsewhere?

  15. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    “Once out of the EU we can unilaterally lower or remove the tariff on anything we like.”
    Really? Mrs May has agreed otherwise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Can we lower Hammond’s 15% charge on moving home and his 40% charge on dying now please. They are doing massive damage.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Brexit will take care of that. Patience pse

    • NickC
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Peter, Evidence please?

  16. NHSGP
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Depends on the schedules the UK has already signed with EU countries. Those deals don’t change. Namely no barriers to trade and no tariffs.

    That’s gone over your head and you haven’t understood the implications

    Reply Nonsense.once out of the eu we decide our teade arrangements with non EU countries

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      @JR: “Nonsense.once out of the eu we decide our teade arrangements with non EU countries” But those countries will have to agree with what you decide and may have their own balance of interests to consider.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh my goodness, you really have discovered something very important there which everybody else including JR has foolishly overlooked, that any special trade deals between the UK and other countries would need to be agreed by both sides. Thank goodness we have your help and advice.

        • NickC
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Denis, Good one. I’m not sure whether Rien is simple or patronising. But he always misses the point that most of the world isn’t in the EU.

  17. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Could it be interpreted that if we didn’t get a trade deal , then they could be awkward and have the potential to apply higher tariffs on anything they want and so prices could rise.?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Then we wouldn’t buy them. Why should we have to pay 18%tarrif on oranges when we don’t grow them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Miss B-D, The EU does not put tariffs on its exports, we (and they) put tariffs on imports. So, once independent, the UK can set whatever import duties suit us (within WTO rules). And the EU must not discriminate against UK exports. Nor can we discriminate in turn. But by judicious setting of our tariff levels we can make it awkward for the EU’s typical exports, and import from the rest of the world instead.

      • margaret
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        ah ha. So there is a rule about discrimination which talks about fair trade even if there is no trade deal ? We export, they import so surely they can put a higher tariff on our goods and if not what is al the chat about ? This would make our goods more expensive and difficult to sell .. Is this all bolder dash?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          The BRC’s false argument is about tariffs on imports into the UK and not about tariffs on exports from the UK. And I’m quite sure they know their argument is balderdash, the question is why they should want to deliberately mislead the public in this way.

          • Miss Brandreth-Jones
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            What I want to know Dennis is why the spell check did not sort out my balderdash !

        • NickC
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Margaret, Yes, the WTO insists on non-discrimination. So, no, the EU cannot put higher tariffs on their imports from the UK, than on their similar imports from the rest of the world.

  18. Anthony Graham Dow Woodwark
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    They left out despite Brexit, I miss it , it’s become like an old friend.

  19. agricola
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    One great advantage of leaving the EU protectionist racket on trade, is that confirmation of revised deals with outside supply countries could be at much revised or eliminated duty levels. It would also enable us to strike deals with countries such as the USA on food, something the protectionist EU could not do, at great advantage to the UK shopper.

    A caveat, having experience the move from the Peseta to the Euro, when a café con leche went from 100 Pesetas to 1 Euro, a hike of 135% , it is of paramount importance that we have a food price watchdog with teeth to curb any retailer excesses.

    • am
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      well said and something similar happened at decimalisation. I remember when the pound fell on the ref vote a uk cheese producer tried to justify their price rise in wholly uk produced cheese because they were increasing their overseas price.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Dear am–I suggest that raising prices significantly for no reason simply will not work–That is what free and clear markets are all about

        • DancerJ
          Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Leslie..there are no free and clear markets..government, wholesalers retailers middlemen and cartels will just pile it on..thats how free the market is..nothing will change post brexit except these charges ard likely to be higher because of WTO tariffs..or ammi missing something

          • NickC
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            DancerJ, The WTO does not set tariffs. As an independent nation the UK will. So it is up to the government we elect.

  20. getahead
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance says,
    “The total cost to Britain of EU membership, once the harmful impacts of its policies and regulations have been taken into account, comes to £118 billion a year. That is equal to £1,968 for every man, woman and child.”
    I’m sure on leaving, we will be able shed some of that cost.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed probably an underestimate, but will we shed much at all under interventionist, gender pay drivel, let us build on EU workers rights T May?

  21. DavidEvans
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    There is very little that we currently import from other EU countries that we cannot source domestically or from non EU countries, and these will come to us without the current protectionist EU import tarriffs. Maybe we will have forgo BMWs and Mercedes, for Lexuses and Hondas but would it matter – not at all and maybe BMW could build more cars in the U.K. to satisfy demand! Large numbers of Mercedes are already built in South Africa Nd BMW have huge factories in North America so in reality nothing will change! Being old enough to remember our joining of the Common Market, I recall joining it made very little difference apart from negative impacts on Agriculture, Fishinng Steel production and in general hugelyinflationary Fodd Pricess. Logically we should see dramatic food price reductions on leaving and an impetus to grow U.K. manufacturing, so how can any of that be bad!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear David–I agree with all of that–With so many of us Brits ever increasingly execrating the EU, I reckon, certainly hope, there will be a tendency for our imports from that ghastly artificial hodgepodge to decrease irrespective of price.

  22. lojolondon
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The BBC constantly rubs their EU storyline in our faces, John, and the most frustrating thing is that we pay for it. The only reason they can afford to ignore the facts and the sentiment of the British public is because they receive funding no matter what they say or do. The only way forward is to defund the Biased BBC. When they have to compete for viewers like every other station, they will begin to reflect the views of their audience.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      It’s the BRC, not the BBC …


      “New evidence from the BRC shows the importance to UK consumers of maintaining the benefits of trade deals the EU has negotiated with other countries.”

      As mentioned above this at least the fourth time that they, that is to say the British Retail Consortium, have run this propaganda line during 2017.

      The question is why, what do they hope to achieve with this pack of lies?

  23. Duncan
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    When are we going to get a leader of the Tory party who stands up and lashes this organisation into next week???????

    What about a Tory party who confronts Marxism, liberal left politics, the BBC, the EU and the wasteful public sector?

    What about a Tory party who defends our liberties, freedoms and confronts the vested interests that infect the State apparatus?

    Does my party have anyone with balls or have you all been silenced?

    This party either stands up NOW, dispenses with this lefty clique that’s dominating my party and gets back to its Thatcherite soul that delivered three GE’s in succession

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Duncan–And to cap it all that failed LibDem remainiac Clegg is going to be knighted–Our system of Government is just plain crazy

    • Roger Parkin
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Well said. They are presently hanging on to conservative supporters like me by their fingernails.

    • Chris
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, you are right to pose these questions. I don’t think tory MPs have a clue about the depth of anger and disgust at their weakness and failure to have put in place an effective and utterly committed Brexit government.

    • APL
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Duncan: “What about a Tory party who confronts Marxism, liberal left politics, the BBC, the EU and the wasteful public sector?”

      No chance, the Tory party has itself been infiltrated.

      Conservative party? It couldn’t conserve a pot of Jam.

  24. Prigger
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should have its World Service TV, radio and online worldwide distribution stopped.

    Even in former communist states their propaganda machines had what were called “internal propaganda” and “external propaganda”. There were categories of books published which were exclusively for their own people…history books for example…which they did not allow exported. I guess the reason was because they felt they had a right to tell their own people whatever nonsense they wished but pumping out all but a small part of it abroad was a bridge too far.
    The BBC’s Fake News is a bridge too far. They should also be compelled to call themselves Broadcasting Corporation ( BC ) without reference to our country and people which coincidentally sets a more realistic correct time-frame for their bad verbal behaviour.

  25. agricola
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    One of the most perverse pieces of news to day is that the Clegg is to get a knighthood but that Nigel Farage has been ignored. How come a man that is totally against the sovereignty of our nation should be rewarded while the man that has fought for it , often alone and with no support from the establishment , but of late with success has been ignored. Clegg should be satisfied with his EU pension and the smug satisfaction that he has consistently ignored the democratic decision of the UK electorate.

    • Don't callme Sirley
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      As a general rule, local to me, it is thought someone who is a “Sir” says much about them. None of it good. The practice of giving knighthoods should continue so we can spot them more easily.

    • Tin Man
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      The good ole English and European idea of creating knights was to send them to lay siege to Jerusalem. It is guarded now by US missiles. Onward Sir Clegg!!!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Dear agricola–Maybe someone will leak a Government memo with an explanation of its reasoning on not giving anything to Nigel Farage–Should make good reading–He rides head and shoulders over the wrongheaded pygmies we have in charge of us

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 26, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Leslie, Agree with your sentiments.

        • Chris
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          LS, Nigel Farage is indeed head and shoulders above the lot of them. They know it, and that is, perversely, why they will fight against the recognition that he so deserves. I believe that a change in leadership of the Conservative party (and obviously PM) would right the wrong. The Conservative MPs are still not facing up to what Brexit readlly was and how, and by whom, it was achieved.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Dear Chris–I still unequivocally wish that May and Hammond would just get the hell out of it–I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read the other day that that would not find favour with one or two nobodies on the Continent

    • Bob
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      The honours system recognises people who have:

      – made achievements in public life
      – committed themselves to serving and helping Britain
      They’ll usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do.

      So under what criteria does Clegg qualify?

  26. Prigger
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Mr Johnson Minister of State for Universities and Science is reported as going to say soon a new regulator, the Office for Students, “will go even further to ensure that universities promote freedom of speech within the law.”
    I with many, too many, fell victim in the sixties and early seventies to leftie-liberal professors, lecturers and teachers taking over the universities, colleges and yes schools. It was an organised campaign forming tiny groups in and outside those establishments. Today, violations of free-speech are blamed on student unions. No, I believe we will find dark influences by their teachers…who should encourage all forms of free speech. Officially they now say “we support legitimate free speech” . Their ideas of “legitimate” is a bastardisation.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      The Sky presenter a day ago suggested Farage might still have to be censored. After Jo Johnson has restored free speech!!!

  27. Bob
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    There are people who don’t follow these things closely and are not conscious of the subversive nature of the BBC and its propensity to promote the EU’s agenda and denigrate Britain as a nation. When they listen to the BBC’s news and current affairs programs they do so with an uncritical ear. I suspect that this accounts for a large part of the 48%.

    Parliament had a chance to debate justification of the Licence Fee and it was a wasted opportunity, or to put it more bluntly, a whitewash. I can only conclude that a large majority of the political class share the BBC’s objectives.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I think also they are terrified of crossing the BBC. Only the DUP are fearless in that respect.

  28. Richard1
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your clarification. But I do find it strange that we have heard so little from the government on this issue of novation of 3rd country EU trade deals. If such deals can simply be novated to the U.K. we have no problem, this can clearly be set up to come into force at midnight in 29march 2019. I also understand that under WTO rules, so long as you are in the process of negotiating an FTA, there is a 10-year derogation from imposing tariff schedules, meaning that if there is no deal at Brexit, there is no need for tariffs – the only reason there would be tariffs would be because either the EU or the U.K. wanted to impose them.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Novation is not that big a deal–The parties change, true, but by the simplest of documents (one page maybe) and the underlying agreement stays the same–I have no inside track but for my money your having heard so little is a (good) sign that the parties are happy to go along in principle–It is hard to find a specific reason why any would not–Again it is good that you haven’t heard much if anything to the contrary–Even if all that is wrong, which I doubt, it is hard to see why any desired alterations should be nutcrushers (technical in-house banking term!)

    • Tanna
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      You have heard nothing about this “novation” because the concept does not exist in international trade. It is an invention of the Brexiteers, designed to pull the wool over your eyes about how harmful Brexit will be

      Reply Not so.It is proceeding

      • Richard1
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Sounds like you just made that up. There is no reason at all any legal deal signed by the EU on behalf of all its members shouldn’t be novated to one of them, upon agreement from the other party.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Tanna, instead of writing here in complete ignorance you could take time to look and see what is said about it on the internet, even in wikipedia.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Dear Tanna–I don’t see how it is conceptually possible for novation not to exist but even if that were true all that would need to be done is just draw up the same wording in a new (novate means make new) but identical document signed as appropriate. A pain in the bum in terms of paper and ink perhaps but hardly insuperable. Novation just provides an easy way to achieve something otherwise a bit tedious. It is I suppose a wonder that the lawyers allow it to be done but that is another story.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          If all of the parties to the contract or treaty or whatever agree to it then the role of the lawyers is basically to make sure that the paperwork is right. But all of the parties must agree to it:

          “Novation is not a unilateral contract mechanism, hence allows room for negotiation on the new T&Cs under the new circumstances.”

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Dear Denis–Never any doubt that all parties must agree (of course)

  29. nigel seymour
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Suggest you all catch up with Prof Patrick Minford in regard to trade, free or otherwise.
    The EU needs a free trade deal more than we do FACT. We have a trade deficit with the EU circa billions FACT. So, has the WTO become so toxic since Brexit?, I don’t think so FACT

    • DancerJ
      Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Nigel seymour..only one thing you’re missing out..politics trumps economics as far as the EU is concerned..just like political considerations trumped economic reality here during the referendum campaign..IDS was often heard to say how Bsvarian car workers would put pressure on mrs merkel to make the EU set come to their senses it hasn’t happened..FACT…Michsel gove said the french wine growers would put pressure on the french government and that has not happened either.. the reality is that once we leave we will lose trade with 73 outside countries with which we currently trzde with no or low tariffs by being members of thd EU..when we leave we go to WTO rules and all this will change..we are going to have to pick up the pieces and start again..fact..the slogan..they need us more than we need just not true..because nobody knows how this is all goingbto work out yet.

      • rose
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Of course it hasn’t happened – the trade talks haven’t started yet! This is like the complaint that we haven’t had the £350 million yet.

    • Andy
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:14 am | Permalink

      Minford’s research is based on a flawed 1970’s model – which has been discredited by just about all sensible economists. He is, unfortunately, one of the band of irrelevant pensioners who have imposed the Brexit disaster on the next generation through a campaign of lies. He and the Tory hard-right will reap what they have sown.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        What are you talking about?! His research repudiates the flawed ‘gravity’ model of trade used by the Treasury, upon which all Brexit outcomes are negative. Minford, unlike the Treasury and the large majority of the economics establishment has been right over the last 37 years on: Thatchers economic policy, the ERM and the Euro. We should at least listen to him now therefore.

        • hefner
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Is that the same Minford who was all for the Community Tax (aka Poll Tax)?
          Am I allowed to take his prognostics with a double punch of salt?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            Dear Hefner–It was not the Poll Tax per se that was at fault but its size. Presumably the Treasury misjudged that but I think you’ll find that Patrick Minford was in favour of something of order £100 (which people would have accepted) rather than the actualite which was nearer £1,000.

          • rose
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

            Yes, the poll tax should have been fixed at the same uniform rate as the BBC licence fee. Then the BBC would not have been able to bring it down. Unfortunately the Treasury didn’t understand this.

  30. Deer Rudolph
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    The House Returns 8th January 2018. Place your bets Ladies and Gentlemen and others, on which Remoaners did not get a visit from Santa and will be blubbering and moaning even more than usual. It could be all of them.

  31. Strange Hunger
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    “London Euston rail station holds Christmas lunch for 200 homeless people”
    Not sure what to call a free dinner for any 200 homeless in London that despite massive publicity could not get more than a few tables filled as was seen. More servers and media than others. I guess ironically it was a massive success for our glorious United Kingdom. Shock and Awe!

  32. Original Richard
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Because of the way the BBC is funded and its position as an almost monopolistic public broadcaster, the government should insist that :

    1) Whenever the BBC quotes a report from an organisation it must advise how and who funds this organisation. This includes the BBC itself and its own reports and include all relevant funding.

    2) For any report that advises the government to spend more money there must be a right of reply from the Taxpayers’ Alliance or similar.

    3) In any discussion on Brexit the BBC must have equal numbers of Brexit supporters and EU supporters.

    4) When newspaper reporters are interviewed or employed for their views and reports the BBC must use a wide range of reporters and not just those who work for the Guardian and the FT.

  33. BBC as of old
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    The next Captain of a HM ship who “shadows” a Russian ship in International waters as it sails through one of the busiest waterway in the world ie North Sea/ English Channel should be stripped of his rank and thrown out of the Service, without pension rights.
    Before they leave they can be asked “What practical advantage is there to “shadowing” a Russian destroyer ( in this day and age 2017 ) when an automatic missile launch from the ship would sink you before you had broken wind in one? Then throw the Captain out of the office!
    The trouble with the BBC propaganda is that they do not seem to realise OUR sailors are human beings and report back to their families and local communities regularly and have done so against orders for decades. The Ministry of Defence should stop bathtime games of ships and submarines and b. w. grow up!

  34. Brian Nish
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, could you name one country which has said it will give the UK the same deal it gives to the (ten times bigger) EU

    Reply all the countries with current eu trade deals!

    • Len Stanton
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Typical Redwood. Wildly implausible claims. No evidence whatsoever.

    • stred
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      B.Nish. Could you name one country which does not like our money, whisky and rollers?

      • hefner
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Well, if one had a stash of sterling pounds from some previous trip to the UK, one would roughly have lost 15 percent in purchasing value in the last few months. (Check for example tariffs of various overseas vacations billed in £).

        Moreover I am not too keen on whisky, much prefer rum; and I am too old for roller (skates).

        Reply In the last few months sterling has risen from $1.20 to $1.34!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          If one had some pounds left over from a previous trip to the UK then their internal purchasing power would have changed in line with CPI, not in line with the external value of sterling.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Can you name any of these 50 or so countries which have said they won’t?

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink


      your reply is actually not correct. A number of countries are considering doing just that but nothing is confirmed as of now.

    • David Price
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not ten times bigger.

      When we leave the EU population and economy will be smaller, the rEU will be seven times the population of the UK but have only 4 times the GDP (Eurostat 2016 figures – “Share of Member States in EU GDP “).

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Dear David–The 4 times GDP is very interesting

    • NickC
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Brian Nish, The PotUS has said he will give us a trade deal even though there isn’t one between the USA and the EU!! So one better.

  35. Le tear
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    You seriously think that the EU has to get the agreement of third countries for its trade deals to continue after Brexit? You seriously think that?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You seriously think the EU could decree that an agreement it made when it had 28 member states would automatically continue with only 27 member states over any objections raised by the counterparty? You seriously think that?

      • Iso
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Denis, the EU signs trade deals in its own name. This its so-called exclusive competence. So it does not matter at all how many members it has. The status of the EU’s deals is not affected by Brexit. But a state that leaves the EU autonatically loses the benefits of EU membership, including all those trade deals.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          Iso, the EU negotiates and concludes the trade agreement but each of the member states is a party to the treaty in its own sovereign right. So, yes, it does matter if a country leaves the EU, or equally if another country joins the EU, in both cases the counter party could object to the treaty continuing on the same terms. We’ve been over this before, and here is one instance in September:


          between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part





          Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Member States of the European Union’,



          of the one part, and

          THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Korea’,

          of the other part … “

          • Len Stanton
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            Denis, what you and Mr Redwood do not grasp us that the parts of the deal that belong to the EU’s exclusive competence bind and benefit only existing member states.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            It’s nothing to do with the EU’s exclusive competence. What you fail to grasp is that if this trade deal or any other agreement fell within the EU’s exclusive competence then it would not have the member states listed as separate parties and it would not require them all to ratify it. But it does, and technically one can neither add nor subtract any state to the agreement without the need to amend it. There may be no rush to do that – for example it was years before the 2004 accession states were formally added to the EEA Agreement – or it may done quite quickly – like the protocol adding Croatia to that agreement – but it will have to be done eventually to tidy it up and it will require ratification by all the parties. In the meantime, an exchange of letters expressing consent be enough for the parties to agree to the treaty continuing with only the minimally necessary adjustments.

        • NickC
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Iso, The EU and UK have already sent a letter to the WTO explaining that trade deals involving quotas with third countries will continue to be honoured after we leave, on a pro-rata basis. So, not including all those trade deals.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Dear Iso–You are the personification of a little learning is a dangerous thing

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    This is a little message I have just sent to the British Retail Consortium:

    “Why the hell do you keep publishing this twaddle about foreign countries forcing us to impose tariffs on our imports? At present the EU forces us to impose tariffs on imports, its Common External Tariff, mitigated as may be by any special trade deal when the source country. Why do you never mention that in your press releases? Why instead do you push out illogical crap like this? “As a member of the EU, the UK currently benefits from zero or low rate tariffs on various imports from trade deals that the EU has negotiated with third countries. From the day after the UK leaves the EU, on 30 March 2019, it will no longer be covered by these international agreements, so imported goods will be subject to higher tariffs and potential customs barriers. For consumers this means higher prices.” Once we have left the EU and its customs union we can decide what tariffs we will apply to imports, not the EU deciding and not the source countries for those imports deciding either. We could well decide to reduce tariffs on some imports below the current levels dictated by the EU, which we could do unilaterally. Or do you really think that, for example, we would have ask the Turks for permission to remove import tariffs on whatever goods they export to us? You really cannot be that stupid, and I want to know what ulterior motive you have for pumping out such nonsense.”

    And I would also like to know why the Department for Exiting the EU always allows such arrant nonsense to go unchallenged, because I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that those in charge are hoping that public opinion will swing against Brexit.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–Have you sent this to David Davis or even the Torygraph?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I’m fed up sending things to ministers, but I did.

  37. hans chr iversen
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    let us have an interesting look at the statistics this morning

    We would ahve to increase our trade import/export with Russia, Brazil, India and China by 25%, to compensate for a drop in trade with the EU by 5%. Source Times Newspaper, 27 December.)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      And overall it would hardly matter one way or the other.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        And Dennis, who does it not matter?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Because it takes a big change in the volume of trade to feed through to any significant change in prosperity, that is to say in terms of GDP or per capita GDP, and even more when it is mainly just a change in the pattern of trade rather than an overall increase.

          Which is why the substantial increases in bilateral trade between South Korea and the EU projected for the new trade deal, here:

          are projected to yield an increase of only 0.84% in the GDP of Korea and 0.08% in the collective GDP of the EU countries.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Dear Hans–Which probably proves how little we do with those countries–I’ll leave you to calculate 25% of approximately sweet FA

    • NickC
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Hans, It is already happening. Over the years we have continually increased our trade with the rest of the world, and reduced trade with the EU. That will accelerate after Brexit.

  38. Sue Doughty
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I thought it more of a warning and instruction than a fear. Quite helpful but not in enough detail to actually be any help.
    The Today programme is having Guest Editor week. This morning’s was much better, more instructive and open minded. Prince Harry should be taken on as permanent staff bceause he alone treats people as equals.

  39. Derek Gardener
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Those that spout the fear factor should be arrested for threatening behaviour.

  40. rose
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    The BBC Today Programme has given much greater offence this morning in exploiting a naive young idealist to give the Grand Waffler an opportunity to give a party political and attack the present incumbent. In pulling down the monarchy at the same time, the BBC has really surpassed itself: they had the most anti British president on to attack the most pro British one and the present incumbent, just when we need him most.

    • Norman
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I suspect you are right, Rose. In human terms, it was no doubt engaging and interesting. But we live in days of great deception, when not all is as it seems. Yet, in a marvelous way, some are able to see through the mist, which is most encouraging.

    • Chris
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree it was a disgrace, Rose. This politicisation of the royal family will do untold harm. Also, it was, in my view, hugely disrespectful behaviour by those involved to attack the President of the USA in such a way.

  41. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–I hope I am wrong and that it’s just me finding this Capcha thinggie more and more unreasonable–in other words that it is not a crafty plot by you to deter and thus minimise posts

  42. Simon
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    It has been a persistent weakness in all of Mr Redwood’s writings for years to over emphasise tariffs. They are not a big deal. What facilitates trade is the mountain of paperwork covering everything else other than the tariff.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Maybe you should tell that the British Retail Consortium and stop them making their fictitious calculations about how much increased tariffs will cost shoppers.

  43. MKB
    Posted December 28, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    As usual all the ‘ little Englanders’ accusing the BBC of bias just because there is a news item that they do not like.

    In the ‘what the papers say’ slot on the Today programme we have to listen to all of the pro- Brexit nonsense spouted by the newspapers.

    Paranoia seems to be infectious amongst the Brexiteers.

  • 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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