Mr Macron, migrants and a tapestry

Mr Macron today comes with a rare gift. He is willing to loan the Bayeux tapestry to the UK. This fine and ancient work of art chronicles the misery and violence of war, showing the deaths of men and horses in battle and the torching of someone’s house. It celebrates the victory of Duke William of Normandy over King Harold of England.

I am sure the offer is well meant, and many would like to see this most famous of tapestries which many of us  have seen in illustrations many times. I will pass over the unfortunate truth  that it depicts an invading French army killing England’s King with the deaths of  many in the English army, before taking over the government of our kingdom. It was the last time England was defeated in war  by  a hostile continental invasion, though many more attempts were made at enforced political union with the continent.

Mr Macron comes to talk about the immediate issue of economic migrants, and the longer term issue of Brexit. We read in advance that he wants the UK to take more economic migrants, and that he wants to reduce the migratory pressures in and through France. It is difficult to see how these two aims are compatible, as any indication that we would welcome more economic migrants will presumably just increase the pressures on France as more seek to come. The UK has always said it will welcome child migrants who are seeking to join parents or other close family already legally settled in the UK who wish to look after them. We also read that he wants more UK cash to help with the border arrangements. It makes every sense, as both sides agreed in a Treaty, that the UK border with France is in the French Channel ports, and their border with us resides in the UK Channel ports. Why allow people to make a journey that entails them arriving as illegals in each other’s country? Of course the UK must pay its fair share of policing the shared borders.

I trust when he turns to Brexit Mrs May will reaffirm that any deal must be better than No Deal. That means it must secure us control again over our money, our borders and  our laws. The principle issue for the EU to resolve is how many new barriers would they like to erect against our mutual trade, as the UK is happy to carry on with no new barriers. The UK should not pay for the privilege of importing more than we export to the rest of the EU, but should not wish to make it more difficult for them to sell things to us unless  they wish to impede  our exports. The UK needs to set out a strong and clear position and then let the EU consider how to respond.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Indeed but we are paying rather too much as usual.

    Carrillion proves that capitalism works: bad firms are duly punished – says Allister Heath today. He is quite right as usual. Though much of the fault lies with very poor government procurement (as we see in Military Procurement and other areas too). These civil servants would be even more hopeless at actually doing the job. They cannot even procure contractors efficiently.

    Some dope on the BBC kept making the argument that as a the government can borrow more cheaply than private companies they should do all the work directly themselves. But the government are borrowing cheaply and paying for all this work anyway, and getting it done far more cheaply and efficiently than they could ever do it themselves. No one one pointed this out to her needless to say. The problem seems to be the Carillion was not charging enough and winning loss making contracts where too much risk was transferred to them.

  2. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Does it make sense for the UK border to be in France?

    Although UK customs staff will (presumably) still be responsible for inspections, will these end up being counter-supervised by the French? It all sounds fishy to me. You’re too trusting.

    Why not make the ferry company/Eurotunnel responsible for the assembled masses they send over, then we (counter)check them in Dover, and send back free of charge to the taxpayer on same ferry/tunnel any unwelcome “visitors”.

    Else the UK taxpayer will end up paying the fox to supervise the hen house. It’s so xxxing obvious!!!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      The Bayeux tapestry business is such an obvious distraction/seduction technique, only the naive and blind Mrs May can’t see it. Just say No, thanks! They can keep their tapestries, and their third world economic migrants!

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


        There is a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry (or was a few years ago) displayed on the walls of the Reading Museum, whilst not as long, it looks every bit as good as the original when viewed from ground level

        Have seen them both.

        What a strange Nation we are looking to promote a defeat and an invasion 0f 1000 years ago.

        If France did not let illegal immigrants into their Country through their own open borders, they would not have such a big problem in Calais.

        Close up Calais and make it secure, and the illegals try another port like Dunkerque, Caen (Ouistreham), LeHavre, or Cherbourg.

        They are already starting to mass in Santander in Spain.

        Other than Calais which has good fencing, the others are far less secure as the Ports in virtually within the Towns themselves. making separation with fencing rather more difficult and very ugly.

        Been through all of them in the last few years.

        • Hope
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Macron made nasty comments when he left May’s office before his election claiming he would take jobs from us. France can keep the tapestry to show the immigrants at Calais that are there because of their insecure borders Andy Schengen Agreement. He is no friend of the U.K. He made further demands for money before May capitulated in phas one of her talks. Macaron like May is an utter disaster. Treat as an ally not a friend. It would be timely to remind them of their disgusting behaviour with the US over Vietnam, over 3 million people died based on lies and preventing its people from having fair elections. Then a propaganda war to hide the truth from the public, read the Pentagan papers and all becomes clear. It makes the French govt hypocrites and not to be trusted.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Only the British establishment could get excited about being loaned a tapestry that gloried in the defeat of the English that lead to a genocidal culling of parts of the country.

        • stred
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes. It makes sense to check cars and lorries before they get on the boat, as they have to wait to get on and then can drive off quickly without waiting in the hold or on the train. The French own most of Eurotunnel and some ferries and it is in their interest to have their customs in Dover. The French security tems check cars first in Calais and then UK customs. There is a lorry park where they could check lorries but when we need to check imports with documents agreen by computer, it will be necessary to have an area before customs where lorries can be checked and scanned by camera. This is what some of the £45m is going on.

          But it seems a lot and, as it is the Frech who wish to do the checks and punish us with tariffs and paperwork, it seems strange that Mrs may is handing millions over to compensate them. A beard scanner for child refugees may be a good idea.

      • Roger Smith
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Actually they weren’t French,had they been Harold would have won.

        Normans or Northmen or Vikings as we tend to call them invaded England.Not the French (France in fact did not exist as a proper Country at that time) who had already been kicked out of Normandy.

      • zorro
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        LOL only ‘weak and wobbly’ would think that was a good deal. Bringing over a tapestry celebrating an English defeat and paying the French for it!!

        I am sure that John, most of us on this blog and every true Englishman would have been bearing our axes, swords and shields at Senlac Hill shouting ‘Ut,ut,ut’…. as we should be doing now 😉

        And…. I really mean it this time, we stay at the top of the hill, no matter what the provocation!


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      The border between the UK and France is still where is has been for a very long time, down the middle of the Channel, or in the case of the tunnel at a point directly below that. Just because certain activities associated with the border are performed away from the border does not change the location of the border.

      Article 3 in the 1986 Treaty of Canterbury here:

      “… the vertical projection of the line defined in the Agreement signed at London on 24 June 1982 … “

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I would have thought that spending the £44 million hiring border control officers to cover the ferries , checking all vehicles on them for illegal migrants , and so not letting them land in the UK and returning them to France, would have been a better use of funds than bunging France more money.

  3. Tasman
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    “The principle issue for the EU to resolve is how many new barriers would they like to erect against our mutual trade, as the UK is happy to carry on with no new barriers…”

    Blah blah blah. As usual, you pretend the UK can leave the EU with no consequences. On Brexit day, the UK becomes a third country as far as the EU is concerned, and if there is no deal, it trades with the EU on the same basis as all other third countries that have no deal. That means tariffs and it means border checks on goods. That is what you campaigned for and that is what you voted for. Own it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      As far as I am concerned I always said that I would prefer to agree a special trade deal with the continuing EU but if they chose to make that impossible then so be it, there would certainly be economic effects on the UK but they would be marginal and overall they could be positive rather than negative. But you probably never read that when I said it on this blog, as it was before you and other pro-EU )people ed) arrived.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Tasman, It does not mean border checks in general. It means customs procedures as we already have in place to handle our exports to the rest of the world.

      If there is no FTA deal with the EU (which I hope is the case) then the EU bloc simply becomes a supplier and customer like any of the other 165 countries in the world which we deal with.

      What’s your problem?

    • Mike Ferro
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      That’s what John Redwood is saying: the consequences, if there are to be consequences are up to the EU. As far as we are concerned there needn’t be consequences if the EU don’t want them!

    • Dee
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Tasman, you really don’t get the big picture, any self respecting Brexiteer would prefer to deal with the EU dogs through WTO rules, we don’t want a trade deal with them. Under WTO rules the EU would pay our tarriffs and leave us with a nice bonus with which we can recompence any company that has to pay tarrifs for their exports and is no different to claiming back VAT, all thanks of course to the fact that they send us 3 times more goods (value) than we send them. Why the hell do you think Germany, Spain, Italy and others are begining to panic? They know what will happen under WTO rules. Bring it on? We need not worry, after all 60% of our exports are already done through WTO rules to other 3rd World Countries. We don’t need the EU

    • mancunius
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      As economist Roger Bootle has pointed out, trading on WTO terms should hold no terrors for us. Here in Britain we have traded for centuries without protectionism, looking at commercial matters from our own national perspective in the framework of international trade provisions sanctioned in law.
      EU rhetoric is merely a front. Macron and Merkel are understandably annoyed as they have realized that any attempts to politicise trade will impotently rebound on their own national economies. The industrial exporters of the EU will ultimately not allow it: and French corporates (for example) certainly don’t want British companies hopping across to a site near them, invited and aided by the French government, and competing directly against them in their own country.
      Although the French and German governments have enlisted a few opportunistic europhile corporate political allies who claim staunchly that ‘the political claims of the single market are more important than trade with Great Britain’ – and the BBC cheerfully offers each of these anti-Brexit propagandists several minutes at the microphone – it’s all EU-managed bluster.
      Can you seriously imagine a shareholders’ meeting in Duisburg or Wolfsburg, where the company chairman had to explain that he had deliberately reduced the past financial year’s profits and the share dividend out of a desire to punish his company’s customers? – And backing it up with the defiant statement that, personally, he thought his company’s commercial trade was far less important than supporting the EU?
      No – me neither.

  4. gyges
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Following the defeat there was an exodus of people (5,000) from the country. They sailed to Constantinople. If anyone knows where they went after that …

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      That’s right- the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Danish warriors who could not be reconciled to Norman rule joined the Byzantine Emperors’s famed Varangian Guard.Their first battle,by accident or design,was against the Normans who, from Sicily had invaded Byzantine territory in what is now Albania.Sadly they made exactly the same mistake as at Hastings-chasing after an enemy that was feigning retreat-and were largely wiped out.

      There was said to be an Anglo-Saxon settlement in Byzantine territory on the Black Sea but no evidence has ever been found to support this assertion.Harold’s daughter,Gytha,is believed to have married the Russian ruler,Vladimir Monomakh,son-in-law of the Byzantine Emperor.

  5. Peter
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Economic migrants? Weasel words for describing illegal immigrants.

    A change in international law is required to address this problem. Countries should be able to prevent the entry of illegals, by force if necessary. However, elites are happy with illegals so nothing will happen.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      How many Isis fighters have left their previous strongholds and made their way to Europe?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      France has to enforce the law. Those illegals need to be sent back to the first country they entered. But we must stop giving such people generous benefits once here.

      • stred
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        They would use Rights lawyers to argue that they would not be safe in Libya, Chad, Afghanistan or wherever and Italy and Greece would refuse, as they are not the first country. Best idea is to pay Tunisia to help them go home instead of running a Royal Navy ferry service to Sicily.

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Tunisia,that great hope of the “Arab Spring”,seems to be having a few problems of its own.

          • stred
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            That’s why they need the money. Ferrying migrants home would be a nice replacement for lost tourism.

    • Bob
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      “elites are happy with illegals”

      in accordance with Agenda 21. The Labour Party when in govt were actively encouraging migration from the third world.

      • stred
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Great last sentence from the Home Office- ‘The British people can be confident that immigration is in control’. Soon afterwards they had Mrs May in charge to help them keep strict control.

    • Andy
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      You give it away in your comment with the use of the word ‘illegals’.

      Illegals are illegal. Illegal is not a synonym for refugee. It is not a synonym for economic migrant. It is not a synonym for Muslim. It means illegal. They have no legal right to be here and, consequently, they can be sent home.

      Incidentally, the very same people who come on this site whining about people from poor African and Asian countries coming here to make their lives and their families lives better are the very same people who claim to believe it is an individual’s responsibility to improve their own life. Leaving family and friends and trying to make a new, more prosperous, start in a new country is about the most ‘Conservative’ thing anyone could do. Indeed, you applauded white British ‘ex-pats’ who go to America or Australia with the same aim.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Who has suggested that people should act illegally to improve their lot?

      • NickC
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        So, Andy, the migrants who want to leave France, and leave the EU in order to come to the UK (which shortly won’t be in the EU) are doing the right thing in your view? So you don’t actually think the EU is a better place?

  6. Peter
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    “I trust when he turns to Brexit Mrs May will reaffirm that any deal must be better than No Deal. That means it must secure us control again over our money, our borders and our laws. ”

    You obviously trust Mrs May more than I do. She might talk the talk, but she will cave in and concede over the course of negotiations.

    We are on course for Brexit in Name Only.

    • Dee
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

      @Peter, we are on course for a revolution, a full blown Cuba. When democracy is spat on by the very people who are supposed to uphold it, what course is left?
      May has proved herself to be a rEUmoaner. She has had 2 oportunities to get rid of Hammond and Rudd, two blocks to Brexit. She says she can’t stand Hammond, but he is still there, Rudd says she would vote Leave if she had her chance again yet does all she can for a soft brexit. May has whitewashed over every ‘Red Line’ she laid down, the latest being the ECJ involvement was to be for 5yrs only, Junkers said 10, May said No, 5, Junkers said 8, may said OK and had the gall to call it a victory. It is little wonder the EU want her to stay as PM, she gives them EVERYTHING they ask for, like she agreed to Macrons terms even before he’s come here. I’d like to know what France is paying to do their border checks in England? Why hasn’t the EU been asked what they are going to pay us to let them export all their export to us tarrif free? We need Reese-Mogg as PM and get rid of May, Hammond, Rudd and anyone else who denies the Brexit vote.

  7. Jonp
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    We have no idea about what Macron and May are going to talk could be the migrants issue but it could also be the start of back channel talks to keep UK in the EU in some shape or form. What we are commenting on is the story going around in the newspapers..if a deal can be worked out with the help of france then good but e have no guarantee with such a deal that we are going to get all of the freedoms that some of the hardli e leavers demañd..and therin lies Mrs May’s dilemma. But if a no deal scenario looms thenwe can be sure, things here will take a serious turn for the worst..sterling would plunge against other currencies..causing another spike in inflation. Business investment would suffer as firms become worried a out the future. The UK could see outflows of foreign direct investment and the migration of tens of thousands from the city of london to the is in all our ibterests to get the best deal that wecan now..the phrase no dealis better than a bad deal has no’s all much to serious a game now.

    • Dee
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Jonp, I bet you go to bed thinking these thing up. Don’t you doommongers ever get tired of being proven wrong. You have not made a correct prediction yet. Do you not realise you are the butt of a joke now. Macron is a snake in the grass and should never be trusted, he has come because he knows May is a soft touch. He wants favour from us while in the same breath tells the EU to punish us while at the same time trying to steal our businesses Haa what a laugh, France wants to punish us. He would do well to remember that France and indeed Europe belongs to us , the USA and Russia and what we gave back we can take back. A ‘No Deal’ would be perfect and the icing on the cake. UK is doing well despite the doommongers and when we are free again we will do even better. But even if things don’t go as I expect them to go, telling Brussels to get stuffed would be well worth the price.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    We should respond as trump would. No absolutely no more economic migrants. Remember we already have Germany printing German passports for economic migrants in their country, many who will subsequently use those passports to come here. So as well as saying no to economic migrants from Calais we should stop recognising German passports issued to their economic migrants.
    We should also point out the obvious adults who came over recently when amnesty for children was given, France can look after them perfectly well, and we don’t want adults pretending to be children in our care system.
    As for brexit just tell them no deal and we want out now, that is the position of the vast majority of voters.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    More migrants too???
    Surely we are Leaving these arrangements, not enhancing them???
    Is this taking back control??

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      She is a complete liability.

      • rose
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        She is not cautious as the media keep telling us, but dangerous.

  10. DaveM
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “Mr Macron comes to talk about the immediate issue of economic migrants, and the longer term issue of Brexit.”

    Er, not exactly – more like “Mr Macron comes to the UK to tell May what he wants to happen and May will say “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir””. Why do we have the only “leader” in the world that doesn’t stand up for its own people?

    We keep being told immigration is a good thing, so why do all the other countries in Europe keep trying to get rid of them?

    And why can’t the Conservative party select a leader that doesn’t cave in to any demand from anyone?

  11. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I do hope that Theresa May doesnt ‘buckle under’ and agree to take more refugees/migrants. We have more than done our share!!!

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Radio 4 is saying we have already agreed to take more immigrants.

      This is completely undemocratic and the absolute opposite of what people voted for.

      Absolute disgrace.

  12. JoolsB
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    “I trust when he turns to Brexit Mrs May will reaffirm that any deal must be better than No Deal.”

    What happened to ‘No deal is better than any deal’? Is this yet another capitulation by May?

  13. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Europe for many years have been taking the mick.Th British have been left out. The public institutions have been sold off. Our new mix excludes us.People saw the general attitude many years ago at events like the Eurovision song contest which the less perceptive simply put down to a good song event and not a political mix. State Nurses who do medical work in hospitals and even more in general practice , take more responsibility than locum doctors, are ignored by the media and all credit is being given to all others from Europe. In a period of 2 weeks a locum European Dr was paid £8,000 . I was paid £750 for taking the same responsibility doing exactly the same job plus added clinical responsibilities and patient referrals.They always talk about going to Doctors and never going to see the Nurse who has to be insured and take exactly the same responsibility for patients. I wonder who is bringing us down ?

    The Bayeux tapestry is just another slight and I wish fairness and acceptance of non British or those who were born in this country and do not care about the country were not the part of our fabric to the denial of ourselves.

    Dr Redwood ; you may not see the same sort of scenario as I do. I undertake New Registration examinations of immigrants every week . My responsibility is to treat all with the same respect regardless of ethnicity , religion place of birth etc and I do.There are professionals who want to flood the country , take the money and take all back to their Countries of origin where some have very large houses and maids and Europeans will gladly let them and laugh.
    Many in the media , younger solicitors and people in positions of legal and political responsibility seem to be so simple and lacking foresight as they read their glossy magazines , talk about wine o clock and cannot see beyond their latest relationship.

  14. hefner
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    What about having a look at this site for primary school children
    primary homework ?
    As anybody who has looked at these facts could realise, it was a Duke of Normandy (hardly speaking anything resembling “French”) who came to settle his claims with a distant cousin because of some promises. Maybe as confused a situation as what happened during the so-called “Glorious” revolution.
    But rewriting history or at least giving it the required slant for pleasing one’s audience in our times is what can be expected from politicians.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Hefner, Nevertheless it was an invasion; it was an invasion by French speakers; it was an invasion by French speakers who imposed their own Norman government upon the native English; it was an invasion by French speakers who imposed their own Norman government upon the native English and expropriated most of our country’s land and wealth for themselves. All for the benefit of a king who spent most of his time in his own country, not here. Ironically, defending his own land against invasion. A bit like the EU which sees no irony in EU nationalism.

      • hefner
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, right: now explain to me what the English were doing in Gascony (SW of France) between 1204 and 1453?

        • NickC
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, It was precisely not the the English, it was their Norman French overlords. For example, Richard 1, Duke of Gascony (etc) (the Lionheart, parents Henry II (himself not English), and Eleanor of Aquitaine) probably couldn’t speak English, and wanted to sell England if he could. England was just a cash cow, and not his home.

          Richard 1 was a typical product of the Norman/French then Blois, Anjou, Plantagenet, Lancaster and York houses, all deeply French related aristocracy that ruled England for centuries. Kings were the government so who they married further defined their power. Richard 1 was the English king, but he certainly wasn’t English.

          The Norman-French language was used in the English Court, the courts, and the Church from 1066 until it died out in the C15th here. The entire aristocracy and power base of England used this dialect of French for centuries, reflecting England’s subjugation.

          • hefner
            Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for that. I don’t know whether this has been accepted by all historians but I have read once that the GDP of England (Britain) had been practically flat for centuries before Hastings and multiplied by three between 1085 and 1285, simply because the Normans were keen on trading outside the island something that the locals could not be bothered with?
            Does anybody know more about that? A proper reference would be brilliant. Thanks in advance.

        • zorro
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          A matter of kingship old chap 😀 and our Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty….


    • Dee
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      They were Vikings who invaded France, decided they liked were they were and kicked the French out and claimed it for there own. later on they got greedy and decided to invade England. Like I said, the French are good at surrendering. We at least fought back and eventualy won our lands back only for twisted politicians to hand it over to some corrupt gang in europe without any discussion with the UK citizens. Heath, you WILL be remembered.

  15. Andy
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    France and the EU does not want trade barriers. YOU want trade barriers. A Leave vote was a vote for trade barriers.

    A Leave vote was a vote to keep EU citizens out – a trade barrier YOU want.

    A Leave vote was a vote against contributions to the single market – a trade barrier YOU want.

    A Leave vote was a vote against EU regulations – a trade barrier YOU want.

    As for the migrants – the mighty President Macron wants the UK take child migrants who have family already here. If we were a decent country we would. But we currently are not.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      How do you know what a Leave vote was for as you obviously voted Remain ? The one I would agree with is that a Leave vote was to stop paying “contributions” to the Single Market – a Remain vote was to continue paying billions for the privilege of running a massive trading deficit with the EU.

      The EU LOVES trade barriers, it is one of the biggest protectionist trading blocks in the world – tell Macron to remove all tariffs on food imports to the EU and see what response you get.

    • Maringa
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      The EU has very significant trade barriers with most of the world so I struggle to understand your comment. It is also the EU who apparently does not want to have a free trade agreement with an UK outside the EU.

    • Stred
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      We offered no tariffs and pre approved checks. They refused and are extorting vast payments and total regulation compliance. With their quisling euroflakes to support the Mighty Emanuelle, they may get away with it.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Andy, you have, either wilfully or from inability, fundamentally misunderstood Brexit; the overriding issue in all your examples is WHO decides. At present the unelected EU commission decides, surely it is better that the UK voters decide?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        UK voters (most of them anyway) don’t get to decide either. Only 32% of the 68.7% who voted in the 2017 election “got to decide”. The rest were irrelevant as their votes counted for nothing.

        The vast majority of the UK electorate do not get to decide and that won’t change post-Brexit unless we get a modern 21st century democracy to replace the archaic 19th century system which currently exists.

        Reply All voters have the opportunity to help decide! Many did just that – in record numbers – for the referendum.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          The UK will not have the situation where all voters have the opportunity to help decide until FPTP is replaced with a form of Proportional Representation. As I already pointed out, 68% of those who voted in the 2017 general election were not able to help decide as their votes counted for nothing in determining the result.

          • Timaction
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Exactly right. FPTP by and for the legacies to retain its stranglehold on office and keep delivering what we don’t want or ignoring us.
            Proportional representation has to come as millions don’t have the wish to vote for the legacies or choose the best WORST option.
            My own MP is Mr Rees Mogg, an excellent example of what a Tory should be and how they should think. His/your party has moved far to the left of centre leaving him out in the cold with no influence whatsoever under May’s leadership.

          • rose
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            How would we have PR for a referendum?

          • hefner
            Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            Rose, for GE, doh!

        • Andy
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Strange – the vast majority of voters decided last year that they did not want the Tories in power. And, yet, here you are ruining the NHS, stuffing up the economy, failing to fix the housing crisis, sending your staff to buy dildos etc etc…

          We need to scrap the voting system which allows Tories and Labour to alternately rape our country. And we need to eliminate the scurge of safe seats – which leads to corrupt, lazy politicians. Once in they are in they can not easily be removed. The system is broken. It represents very few properly – we need a mass clear out of the Westminster detritus.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            Oh so you are a Green Party enthusiast.
            Now I understand you.

          • hefner
            Posted January 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, there is no need to be a Green or Yellow enthusiast to think a (more) proportional system of representation would introduce a bit of fresh air in the Parliament. What’s the point of having people with so dissimilar viewpoints within both the Conservative and the Labour parties, with the whips more or less preventing the MPs from having individual thoughts and declaring them. On particular topics, there are a few MPs with guts (like JR on the EU, and in some sense like Ken Clarke). But how many MPs apart from the one in your own constituency not in Government do you recognize and know what they might be thinking. Most of the MPs can be divided in roughly two flocks of sheep, bleating as one or the other during PMQ. It is ridiculous.
            There is/might be very good work done in (sub-)committees but that is unfortunately not much reported in newspapers and other media. Is that a sign that the average Brit is too dumb to be interested by anything other than “Panem et circenses”?

    • Woody
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Rewriting facts seem to be the name of the game for those who desire and dream of a reversal of the democratic vote of the uk to leave. I find it difficult to understand where you get this idea that the uk is trying to put up trade barriers, if that can be called an idea that rather than a whinge. The eu is the protectionist cabal demanding tariffs for trade from outside its borders and the uk is keen to expand its own already booming trade with the world.
      And when migrants have beards I find it hard to appreciate how you can call them children, and further if they have parents here then those parents are illegal immigrants and should be sent back.

    • agricola
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Why not reunite the family with the children they readily abandoned.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      If France was a decent country, they would take the child migrants into care, not leave them to the mercy of people traffickers.

    • rick hamilton
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      A Leave vote was a vote to get out of the political union which was set up to create ever closer union of the peoples of Europe. They did not mention “whether they like it or not” in the Treaty of Rome but that is exactly what the likes of Monnet intended. A union which is going in a direction which millions across the EU do not like.

      Nobody voted for trade barriers and nobody wants them except certain EU bureaucrats and politicians. The UK does not trade with the EU, but with its member countries. Also governments do not trade but businesses do and I expect them to adjust to whatever mess the EU succeeds in foisting upon us. That’s what business does. In my experience the exchange rate is a lot more important than tariffs as long as they are not huge.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Don’t be so naive.

    • Bob
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink


      Free Trade
      On the contrary, if you have to pay a billion pounds a month to trade, then by definition, it’s not “free”. What the UK is offering is genuinely free trade with no up charges.

      “Child” Migrants
      The last time we accepted “children” the vetting process failed miserably and we ended up importing adults pretending to be children with tenuous family connections in the UK, and there was an outcry when it was suggested that their age should be verified via dental examination. The whole process was a scam that the traffickers would have been proud of. If these were genuine cases they would register in France legally and apply for an EU passport. It’s common knowledge that many of the so called refugees that come into the EU take holidays in the countries they fled from once they get their EU passports.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink


        Free Trade

        “Child Migrants”.

        Agreed and Perfectly outlined.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Andy, Controlling who migrates from continental Europe is not a barrier to trade. A free trade area based on mutual recognition does not have any institutional costs. EU regulations are mainly to construct the EU, and nothing to do with trade (see the EEA agreement). It is time that economic migrants turned their energies to making their own countries better rather than sponging off us.

      The EU has FTAs and MRAs with other (“third”) countries without ruling them from Brussels. Even you have said so. That’s all we want. The government is trying (not very hard, unfortunately) to get tariff free trade with the EU, but not be governed from Brussels. That is mutual recognition, rather than harmonisation – just like the majority of FTAs in the world rely on.

    • BOF
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      A Leave vote was a vote to keep EU citizens out. IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT.

      A Leave vote was a vote against contributions to the single market. OF COURSE.

      A Leave vote was a vote against EU regulations. QUITE EMPHATICALLY, YES.


      • Andy
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Keep struggling guys. Your argument is incoherent – and really rather pathetic. The Europeans have outlined their position clearly and no amount of you stamping your feet will change it.

        You are trying – and failing – to make an economic case for Brexit when we all know the Leave vote only happened because of mass hatred (particularly among older people) of immigrants. I am absolutely fine with how Brexit is going. It’s your car crash. You’ll own it. You should all be embarrassed but, in the meantime, I am perfectly happy to laugh at you all.

        • NickC
          Posted January 19, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Andy, We are not getting the Leave we voted for. Theresa May and the civil service are doing exactly what Remains like you demand: keeping us in the EU for years more; keeping us aligned to the EU’s SM and CU for years after that; paying the EU for “access” when under WTO rules we have it by right; and signing us up to subjugation to the EU military, diplomatic and security policies in perpetuity.

  16. MickN
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    In days long gone (1960s I think) my uncle used to work at the RMAS. He took us on a number of occasions to visit the museums. One of the things I most remember was a skeleton of a horse called Marengo. This horse was Napoleons that he rode at the battle of Waterloo. It is a shame that it is not still there . I believe the offer to display the Bayeaux Tapestry is a brilliant idea. I hope we can find a way to display it at Stratfield Saye, the stately home of the Duke of Wellington.
    I saw the film Darkest Hour last night. My overwhelming thought was how much we are missing a figure like Churchill to lead our country now.

  17. David Price
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    We already have an excellent copy of the Bayeux tapestry hanging in the Reading Museum so why would we want the bother of housing, protecting and insuring their version?

    Perhaps a copy of the Overlord Embroidery might be offered to France instead, as a reminder of the last time British, Commonwealth and American blood bailed them out of yet another European misadventure.

  18. Stred
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Looks like one in the eye again from the grenouilles.
    We pay to check traffic in and they pay rien to check their traffic in. While they send more stuff over and we send more tourists. And we offer the British Museum free to publicise their only successful invasion and subsequent thefts. May must be a closet Norwoman.

  19. David Murfin
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    For those who want to see the tapestry, there was a copy made in Leek, Staffordshire in 1886 which is still, I believe, exhibited in Reading Museum. It’s very good. I’ve seen both.

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    As it is likely the Bayeux tapestry was made in England, not France, we should just hold on to it and get Greece to support our stance on repatriating looted artifacts.

  21. Blue and Gold
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Well said again, Andy.

    The hypocrisy of the lemons who voted for leaving the EU is an absolute disgrace.

    Taking back control of our borders means the UK border is at Dover NOT Calais. The great country of France should not have to do the UK’s dirty work.

    No ifs’, no buts, WE WANT CONTROL OF OUR BORDERS , and that border MUST be on UK soil.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      BlueandGold, No, where it makes sense to control borders at the point of embarkation then that’s the way it’s done. Don’t embark on a flight to the USA without either a visa or a return ticket of less than 90 days – the USA border is effectively in the UK. So the border should be at Calais NOT Dover for inward travel. The issue is control, not where the control takes place. And it’s perfectly normal.

      • rose
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        And similarly, the French border is at Dover. The Treaty of Le Touquet, which had nothing to do with the EU, is of mutual benefit. One sensible thing Blair did.

  22. Mark B
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Three things about the tapestry.

    1) It represents the earliest form of propaganda.

    2) The tapestry was created using English slave labour. Our embroyders were amoungst the finest in europe.

    3) Early scenes bare wittness to the trick played upon Harold by William before Harold became King. William, upon rescuing Harold from a shipwreck, tricked him by making swear over the remains of a Saint, to let William become King once Edward died.

    So the tapestry depicts lies, deciet, war, the conquest of a narion and the slaughter its people, and topped of with the use of slavery in its construction.

    Nevertheless it is a gesture meant to bridge bonds. But all I want is to be is what those early Saxons under their King wanted to be. An indepndent sovereign nation, free, and able to go about its business in the world. The people of pre-1066 were denied such right and, it seems, so too am I.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the Brussels propaganda Andy. People like you reinforce my wish to leave the EU.
    Yes we voted against all the things you list because Brussels is going hell bent to destroy our national identity.
    France let these people in not us.
    It is their responsibility to deal with them not ours.
    Macron is so wedded to his open borders so he must suffer the consequences.

  24. agricola
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    You could look upon the Calais migrant situation as the second Norman invasion. Once landed, and many more have than William brought with him, they are welcomed with the benevolence of our social system. Very few are redirected whence they came. It is estimated that there are at least 600,000 in London alone, equating with around 2,000,000 in the country as a whole. For those from remoter parts, you have possible not noticed, but they have been building their castles just like the Normans.

    The Bayeux gesture should be taken gratefully at face value. It was after all made in Britain. I hope the maximum number are made happy by seeing it. Can I suggest the NEC as the exhibition site, supervised by the British Museum. It has the virtue of being central and having plenty of car parking space with good connections by road ,rail, and air.

  25. Chris S
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    It would be entirely counter-productive for us to take in more illegal economic immigrants from France. It is obvious that this will simply cause many more young men to flock towards Calais.

    If we do agree to take a few children claiming family connections with legal UK residents, we must insist that they are DNA tested and that they obtain valid documentation from their country of origin proving their origin and age.

    The last time we took in some of these “children” We all fell about laughing at the gullibility of those undertaking the vetting. Many claiming to be under 18 were obviously in their late 20s or even in their early 30s.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The young and aspiring Macron does everything he can to obtain publicity and to enhance his role as the “new leader” of Europe . Of course he wants our money and anything else he can get ; he has already offered all kinds of threats in his speeches about Brexit at the same time as trying to attract away banking from the City . He has to be put in his place by the kind of diplomacy we are noted for – subtle and clever stuff .

    As for the Bayeux tapestry . It is simply a way of reminding us of the once powerful Normans – the rest of France was a different matter . Whoever is the new owner of the remnant of Nelson’s flag should be asked to have it hoisted in a position Macron would be bound to notice it . This symbol is a much more recent reminder to the French of our place in world affairs .

  27. APL
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    JR: “I will pass over the unfortunate truth that it depicts an invading French army killing England’s King with the deaths of many in the English army, before taking over the government of our kingdom.”

    And led three years later to the harrying of the North, which involved the devastation of harvests and starvation and death.

    Our own British famine, that isn’t much talked about although it’s said the North of England may have taken a century to recover from Norman subjugation.

    JR: “We read in advance that he wants the UK to take more economic migrants,”

    No! They are not fleeing France, France is a modern European democracy, with a robust economy. These people are not fleeing persecution in France, and the French economy under Macron is booming, so they can settle in France.

    The supply of poor uneducated ignorant people from Africa is infinite. Our ability to keep them on the Welfare roles is strictly limited.

    JR: “and that he wants to reduce the migratory pressures in and through France.”

    Then turn them back at the Mediterranean coast. The French authorities should prosecute the NGOs ( often sponsored by George Soros ) that send boats and ships out to the edge of Libyan territorial waters to pick up the migrants, – the individuals who man and support these endeavours should be prosecuted and imprisoned for ‘international people smuggling’.

    JR: “Mr Macron comes to talk about the immediate issue of economic migrants, and the longer term issue of Brexit.”

    These migrants are being transported by NGOs who’s activities are being ignored by the European authorities and the UN. Human trafficking is being conducted in daylight and the European authorities are doing nothing.

    You Mr Redwood should stop slavishly following fashion, and stand up for British people. You could try being a Conservative and conserve British traditions, we don’t need to import alien customs and traditions to the UK.

    • rose
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      “NGOs who’s activities are being ignored by the European authorities and the UN.”

      The Italians have, very late in the day, stopped ignoring them.

      • APL
        Posted January 19, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        rose: “The Italians have, very late in the day, stopped ignoring them.”

        A change in the administration in the USA is just a coincidence.

  28. Original Richard
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    “I trust when he [Mr. Macron] turns to Brexit Mrs May will reaffirm that any deal must be better than No Deal. That means it must secure us control again over our money, our borders and our laws.”

    And secure control over our assets, such as fishing grounds, to stop the Dutch using eco damaging pulse fishing in our waters and to correct the EU’s grossly unfair to the UK fishing quotas.

    BTW don’t you mean “No deal is better than any deal” ?

    Or is the EU supporting Mrs. May working in collusion with the EU to concede so much that when we “leave” in March 2019 absolutely nothing will change except our representation (not that this means much today anyway) in the EU ?

    • Wessexboy
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      It’s quite clear our host meant that any deal would have be an improvement on no deal to be acceptable to us.

  29. Bob
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The Bayeux Tapestry should stay put, if anyone wants to see it they can take a trip to Bayeux.

    The migrants should stay put in Calais until the French either grant them asylum or return them from whence they came. France really needs to exercise more control over who it allows to cross it’s borders. Have they learned nothing since 1940?

  30. Newmania
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    King Harold spoke old English, a language that was inflected with more in common with German than modern English. The modern English state is direct descendant of William the Conquerors very unitary state and modern English as much Anglo Norman as Germanic (arguably ). By the time of Chaucer England was born out of Chanel Empire intimately linked to European Christendom and French centred mediaeval culture . Chaucer used middle English but wrote in a manner that drew from the French heart of Europe
    The superiority of Frenchness is still with us, hence haute couture and the authority of Latin by which Christendom was unified and differentiated form the Eastern orthodox church after the great schism. I suppose you could make a case for the invasion of England by the Dutch in1688 , people have recently ……
    Anyhoo when one thinks of the sweep of English history I struggle to think of any time when it was so inward looking small minded and determined to turn itself into a fetid backwater

    Sad that it should end this way

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Well, there’s still for you to escape to France before the gates are slammed shut and the rest of us retreat into our backward small minded isolation. So why not go, and don’t forget to cut the ties properly by renouncing your UK citizenship.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        still time

      • Newmania
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Oh how I wish I could but sadly I am both employed and a parent . You wouldn`t understand

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see why that should stop you, the whole point of EU freedom of movement of persons is that they should be able to move around within the EU as easily as they could previously move around within their old home country. If you are really so upset about Brexit then that is your solution, move to the continuing EU.

          • Bob
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


            I think you should seriously think about relocating to the EU while you can, you wouldn’t want to condemn your kids to live in the post Brexit Dystopia as prophesied by Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Eddie Izzard.

          • Bob
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
          • stred
            Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            There are plenty of English insurance agents working in France. But they have to speak French. All the underwriting can be done with the home office in the UK. At present, there is no free trade in insurance or financial services. Can someone please explain why the government is determined to give away vast amounts of taxpayers money to the EU so that insurers can have what they don’t have at present. If they want full access they just need to catch the ferry and open an office in Dieppe.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Newmania, Latin is from Rome, not France. “Frenchness” is not “superior”; many countries around the world have worthwhile things to copy, including the UK. England did eventually recover from the Norman yoke, although it took hundreds of years.

      By the time of Elizabeth 1, England thankfully looked to the whole world instead of being besotted by a fringe of backward north west European states which were inward looking, small minded and determined to turn themselves into a fetid backwater. A couple of centuries later they hurriedly copied us.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      “the Chanel Empire”……Coco’s?I didn’t know she was around then!

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      “the authority of Latin by which Christendom was unified and differentiated form(sic) the Eastern orthodox church”

      The authority of Latin was down to the temporal authority illegitimately exercised by the Pope in the territories of the former western Roman empire(the “donation of Constantine” was a notorious Papal forgery);nothing to do with “Frenchness”.And on the one hand you say “Christendom was unified” and on the other you say “differentiated from the Orthodox church” which is/was also obviously christian-do you mean Catholicism -or as the Orthodox would say the “Latin Heresy”?!

      • stred
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        The pope gave William his blessing to kill the Anglo Saxon king and take the English barons property, starving and purging the North and Midlands. Macron comes from Amiens, near Agincourt. At least the English bow and arrow was effective then, but only for a short period.

  31. Duncan
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    If the vile May capitulates on Brexit the UK is doomed.

    If Marxist Labour achieve power the UK is doomed

    May’s presence is not wanted. Go now before you damage further my country

    We need a socially conservative party that represents the majority voter in the UK

    I despair at what is happening to the UK. It is slowly being destroyed from within

    • forthurst
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      We are being destroyed by the FPTP electoral system because it entrenches parties and policies which are well past their sell by date.

  32. Christine
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I see the loan of the tapestry as a veiled threat – we beat you before we can do it again. As for the migrants, we fell for their con last time when they sent us bearded children. The only way to solve Calais is to make them register in France or go home. The deal is a no-brainer, it must include Services and be better than a no deal else we walk. Anything less than taking control of our boarders, laws and ability to trade won’t be acceptable to the British people.

  33. LukeM
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    JR..don’t know what your going on were one of the tory rabble who led us to this place along with the other low life rump of your party..well very soon you’re going to see the results of this mistake..barnier is only sharpening his pencil..macron in london is neither here nor there and has no bearing on the brexitmistak at all..just watch the next few weeks will tell a lot.

    • NickC
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      LukeM, Your rage has made you almost incoherent. And 17.4 million people are hardly the “rump” of the Tory party, “low life” or otherwise. Or even Tory at all. Like most people in the world we want our own country to be independent. That is cross party, thank God.

  34. John S
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Migrants risk their lives to come to Europe. Why do they risk their lives again to try and gain entry to the UK? What is the attraction of coming here over staying in France? After all France is a prosperous country? I never hear these questions asked.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      It is. It was once asked of the mayor of Calais by a select committee. Her first answer was language. English is commonly taught around the world as the first “second language”.

      If you found yourself in the position that these people are, would going to a country where you have, at a minimum, a basic grasp of the language, have any appeal? It would for me.

      • rose
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        I saw some men being asked about this at Calais. One said “Here they make you go and live in a small village. The English give you a big house in a big city.” Language wasn’t mentioned but they also spoke about “education”. We are known to give “asylum seekers” free university education among other things. This is yet another incentive to pass themselves off as “children.”

      • Bert Young
        Posted January 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons , they come here because of the benefits system .

      • rick hamilton
        Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        In 2016 Japan had 10,901 applications from immigrants claiming to be refugees. After careful study ( as usual ) it was determined that the vast majority were not genuine refugees at all by the UN definition. Only 28 actually qualified for settlement. That’s how you control your borders.

  35. Rob Drummond
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Not ”French” army – but a ”Norman” Army – quite different.

  36. Epikouros
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    We can decry the Norman conquest but should we not do the same for Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt as we were trying to do the opposite of the Normans and put an English king on the French throne(not exactly but close enough). Although the former had much to do with the latter. History would no doubt have been much different had not Duke William won that day at Hastings. Our language today would be more like Friesian Dutch for one and would we have become the world power that we did without that invasion. I doubt it. We would certainly be a different type of people.

    The Germans twice tried to subjugate the British and if they had succeeded what a difference that would have made. By the UK joining the EU Germany has almost succeeded in peace that she was unable to do by war. Have hegemony over the UK and all of Europe not for any genuinely nefarious reason but because of her accidental dominance of the EU or was that by design. We are seeing what an hegemony can cause. As Merkel by decree decided that Germany should open her borders to refugees and when that turned out to be an unwise decision then made it plain that others should bail her out whether they wanted to do or not. Backed by Brussels making it compulsory or else. France Germany’s French poodle Macron now finds rather than defy his German master and say NON (he is after all a raving Europhile so can hardly complain) whines to the UK to take much more of his immigrant burden and also pay for the privilege.

  37. mike fowle
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I have seen the Bayeux Tapestry on site. It was in a darkened room and is incredibly fragile. Is it really practicable for it to come here for exhibition? Incidentally, Felixstowe where I live was the location of just about the last invasion of England – by the Dutch in 1667 and is celebrated locally.

  38. BOF
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Why do we hear nothing at all about the money that France is spending on border security on this side of the channel? Is it because none is forthcoming?

    • rose
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Mrs May’s first priority in this respect should be our own coasts. We need a proper border force and defences.

  39. Doug Powell
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Ref: Bayeux Tapestry

    Reading Museum own the only replica of the Tapestry. It was embroidered by 35 members of the Leek Embroidery Society and completed in 1886. The aim of the project was to make a full-sized and accurate replica of the Bayeux Tapestry “so that England should have a copy of its own”.

    Arthur Hill, a former Mayor bought the Tapestry after it had been on display in Reading and presented it to the town. For many years the replica toured the world for exhibitions as Bayeux would not release the original.

    The only difference from the original is that where there are naked bodies, Victorian PC dictated that these should be wearing undergarments.

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I am surprised that your blog post is written as if its not already a “done deal”, when the press is reporting that the PM has already agreed to take more immigrants? Surely this is a sensitive subject, and counter the manifesto, so why has she made this deal without consulting senior MP’s like yourself?

    The way the country is being run leaves a lot to be desired.

    • miami.mode
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Iain…. you’re either in the loop or out of it.

  41. Prigger
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    We must have some ancient map to lend in return. A map showing there is not a border of France which it shares with North Africa or the Middle East.

    It should be pointed out to President Macron obviously rhetorically for he is extremely intelligent yet for politeness deserves some reply that it is for France to discuss border security with her neighbours to the North and South preventing further encroachments by persons coming from countries with which even they do not share a common border.

    Also we must not encourage persons to travel half the world without money and food. Exactly how they managed such travel without money for travel is something for Interpol to investigate with an urgent mission.. His legal system should severely punish adults who encourage such travel especially for children and eject them from his thy could pose a future threat to us.

  42. rose
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This capitulation on illegal immigrants is a disaster, for both France and for us. Can’t Macron see that for every thousand illegal immigrants he persuades us to take, another 10,000 will set out?

    The problem is the Schengen Area on the one hand, combined with no borders at the edges of the EU, and our perversely lenient judicial sysem and over-generous welfare state on the other.

    The sight of thousands of veteran soldiers sleeping on the streets, some suffering from mental illness, while Mrs May welcomes in these strong, fit young men from other continents, is extremely upsetting. We never see them sleeping on the streets. Why does this unreformed “asylum” system always have to trump the needs of our own people and the interessts of the country?

    • DaveM
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Rose. I for one am utterly sick to the back teeth of this bloody stupid woman appeasing everyone apart from the people who voted for her.

      I can’t say how I really feel about her because there’s no way Mr Redwood would even think about publishing it. Suffice to say complete contempt doesn’t even come close.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Plenty of people here need help. Families living in bed and breakfast, people living on the streets, people who need medical care they are not getting.

  43. Barbara Stevens
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I have supported Mrs May since she has been elected.. and before.. but I am now hesitant to give her more support.. this deal today, or treaty, does it have limits.. will they come back for more? It appears if they beg they get..or threaten us with exposing migrants and not stopping them..through the ports and ferries.. and this they call a friend and neighbour? Not so.. he’s Merkel’s puppet..takes his orders from her..and it seems Mrs May has given in to his what do we get back for our money.. our lorries from being attacked..which they have failed to protect even tho we have provided lots of money already for security.. I’m afraid May’s leadership today showed weakness.. and against what we want and hoped question, how old will these migrants be.. 20/30.. not like the last lot.. we hope.. no John she as to go.. enough is enough. sorry she’s tried my patience as a British woman..who can see her own suffering.. and they are more important than anyone else..

  44. anon
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    We don’t need either, politely decline, we have plenty culture already.

    We are full. Our increasing population & density is neither good for the environment or overall quality of life.Think of all the plastic packaging & straws at the least!

    Fine help with border security but it must work & the EU must deal with its migrant issue by securing its external borders and pursue arrangements which help people in the countries of origin. This mean re-patriation of illegals where the origin government claims them along with a relocation/facilitation grant to help their local areas of origin.

  45. mancunius
    Posted January 19, 2018 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Actually, the Bayeux tapestry is very probably of Anglo-Saxon manufacture. There are strong internal indications that it was actually created in England in the 1070s at St Augustine’s Abbey Canterbury, by Anglo-Saxon monastic craftsmen. The Anglo-Saxons were internationally known for their skilful needlework and tapestry-making, and there are clear stylistic similarities between letters, characters and figurations in the Bayeux tapestry and contemporary Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and illustrations definitely produced at that Canterbury monastery – including Anglo-Saxon names spelt in Anglo-Saxon.

    So it might be an excellent idea to wait until it’s arrived and then claim ownership of it under international law as a cornerstone of English artistic heritage. I’m sure we can get the British Museum to dedicate a large space to it. In provincial, out-of-the-way Bayeux they charge you 9.50 euros to see it Here in the British Museum you’d be able to see it free of charge, in a world capital full of other treasures that are freely accessible to view. There are probably infinitely more French people who visit or reside in London than ever get to Bayeux.

    So really, we’d be doing the French a favour…

  46. AndyP
    Posted January 19, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Erm, define what was English in 1066? Saxon/Dane/Viking – all invaders.

    As for the last time we were defeated in war by a hostile continental invasion be careful there too. The Dutch may have been ‘invited’ by Parliament in 1688, but they were coming anyway. They already had naval superiority and had heavily defeated the British fleet in 1667 at the Battle of the Medway. As Norman Davies puts it in his excellent “The Isles” – “William of Orange could have had no illusions that he was embarking on a blatant usurpation…this was a bloodless conquest, but a conquest all the same”. It was a conquest that heralded “British” imperial expansion based on…guess what… Dutch financial acumen. Niall Ferguson – in “Empire”, on England’s numerous defeats to the Dutch, “the superior Dutch financial system enabled them to punch well above their economic weight. What (the English) could learn from the Dutch was modern finance. London was able to import the Dutch system of a national public debt”. It was that system of finance that enabled England to pursue its imperial ambitions and 130 or so years later to fund Wellington’s campaign against Napoleon. Btw Waterloo – a battle where 18% of Wellington’s troops were British an his victory was dependent on the arrival of Prussian (that’s German John) troops late in the day. Why let history spoil politics though eh?

  • 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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