Negotiating a deal

Both the EU and the UK government would be wise to study why their last negotiation before the referendum went so wrong. The two parties wanted the same outcome – a deal which enable the UK to vote to stay in the EU. Their failure has left the EU struggling with the departure of one of its largest paymasters, and saw the end of the Prime Minister and Chancellor in the UK who signed off the deal.

On that occasion with full civil service encouragement the UK Prime Minister went round the EU asking leaders what they might grant the UK. They told him they could not grant much, so he asked for not much. As this was always going to be a negotiation the EU did not feel they could let him have all he asked for, so a low bid which he had made was scaled back further. When the UK voters saw it gave us no remission from high financial contributions, prevented us running our own migration policy and did not even fix the issue of letting us make our own decisions about benefit payments, they rejected it.

There is now a strange German movement to say they might be able to fix some of the things Mr Cameron said he wanted fixed, now they have seen the outcome. The truth is it’s too late to do that. Many UK voters anyway do not think Mr Cameron asked for enough. He made a mistake, but so did the EU in refusing even his modest demands.

Today the UK government now needs to be sure to ask for enough from a Future Trade and Partnership Agreement, otherwise what has currently been outlined will be judged a bad deal by many UK voters. The EU would be wise to understand if they deliberately set out to make a tough deal which the UK thinks is an unfair deal that could backfire. It might result in the UK leaving with no deal. The UK government has rightly said on many occaisons No deal is better than a bad deal. Past experience shows the EU quite likes bad deals. That is why it is facing the exit of one of its major paymasters and one of its main single country export markets.

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  1. Ten
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    We are getting a much worse deal than you Brexiters promised. I understand how clever you think you are in trying to blame the UK government’s negotiating stance and the EU for this, but the truth is that the blame falls on you for making utterly unrealistic promises to the British people about how easy Brexit would be

    • eeyore
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I don’t remember any Brexiter promising these things. Perhaps Ten will give us some references.

      • Helena
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        My own favourite was David Davis on Conservative Home – have you noticed any of these trade deals with third countries he thought would be polished off by now?

        The there’s Liam Fox – doing a deal with the EU will be the easiest in human history. Any sign of this chap Fox lately?

        Or how about dear old John Redwood. The EU needs us more than we need them. Makes interesting reading as the UK caves in on everything and the EU caves in on nothing

        • alan jutson
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink


          Your wonderful EU rules prevent us fr0m signing up new trade deals until we have actually left.

          Do you suggest we simply ignore the EU rules ?

        • eeyore
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Helena. Each of your links says there NEED not be problems. Ten asserts Brexiters promised there WOULD not be problems. The distinction hardly merits labouring.

          Nonetheless, it is gallant of you to march to his rescue when so very wretchedly equipped. I hope Ten himself will do better.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Pots & Kettles….

        • John
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          This should be a simple task as we are 100% aligned being mucked up by EU ideology and bitterness. But many Brexiteers caveated that it is up to the EU if they want to make it difficult to trade.

          Not a good look to be giving out to the wider world that the EU is the most intransient difficult belligerent body to deal with?

        • Edward2
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          I’m puzzled Helena.
          Does this make you happy?
          Do you not realise that the EU makes it illegal for any trade deal to be developed or agreed until after we have left the EU?

        • getahead
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely right Helena. Those who voted to leave did not anticipate the total shambles Theresa May and her henchman would make of it.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          There can’t be any trade deals until after Brexit, that has always been clear. We haven’t reached a deal yet – what’s happening now is posturing, with the EU’s threats backed up by Continuity Remain designed to weaken the U.K. Govts resolve. Let’s see what happens, you never know, they might not cave in.

          Reply I see no good reason why no trade deals before Brexit

    • Peter
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      No deal would be best given the poor alternatives the EU offer. It could be cheaper and speedier.
      However,splits in the Conservative party have made leaving unnecessarily difficult. I still fear Brexit in Name Only unless committed Brexiteers take control which is looking unlikely. There has been talk but no effective action.

    • zorro
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Nonsense, we all know why the current approach is being promoted by the government – too remainer focused and led by the nose by remainer civil servant bosses who hate their usually wrong forecasts being called out!


      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


        Quite right.

        Civil Service mantra: “If you can’t defeat the argument then better to initiate a “no substance or integrity strawman argument”

    • duncan
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Some people lay down their lives for their country’s independence. In the UK they will sign away their country for a cheap trip to France and cheap vegetables from Spain

      It’s pathetic how the British people have been indoctrinated by the EU and pro-EU politicians since the UK joined this anti-democratic political entity

      It is the principle that matters. We want our country back from the snakes in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Strasbourg.

      Independence and sovereignty are everything.

      • DaveM
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I wish there was an up-tick on this site!

      • LukeM
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        The EU is first of all an economic bloc made up of a membership of 28 independent democratic sovereign nations..who collectively pool their resources for best commonwealth effect don’tnknow whetebyou get thenidea that it is a political entity

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Dear Luke–Hard to believe you said that–Won’t burden John with reading too much that is obvious but will say try reading what Herr Schultz (sp?) has in mind by way of not just a federal Europe “by 2025” but compulsory ejection for those unwilling to comply.

          • LukeM
            Posted February 9, 2018 at 1:04 am | Permalink

            Leslie Singleton..Heŕr Schiltz hasn’t got the say on any of this..the EU council is the supreme body and nothing can move unless the elected EU parliament passes it..we are a long way off from what you suggest..i believe Schultz is going in a different direction..seeki g a powerful economic bloc of the Northern Hemisphere that will include Russia, China and Japan in time- in fact the maki gs of it are right there with the new chjnese solk road..hope all of this doesn’t alarm you too much

        • Timaction
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Where have you been? Go look around their own website. You will see all the competencies, propaganda, rules, budgets, plans etc etc.

          Then come back and apologise to the readers on this site.

        • getahead
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          If you are not aware of the EU’s political ambitions Luke, like an ostrich you must have your head in the sand. If the EU had stuck to its deception of a being common market we would not I’m sure, have voted to leave.

    • jerry
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Ten; “We are getting a much worse deal than you Brexiters promised.”

      Nonsense! Even at its “worst” [1], Brexit on WTO rules was always an opinion. Anyway, those who think as you do seem to want it both ways, you claim it is not the fault of the EU and then slag off the government for not having a public negotiating hand – thus the only hurdles that have been placed (into the public domain at least) are those from the EU…

      [1] indeed one or two of the 29 Brexit manifestos even wanted such an exit so they at least believe it the “best” option!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      What about the unrealistic promises of how easy it would be to allocate land and build a city the size of Basingstoke in the UK every year, to accommodate the net EU immigration?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The usual Remainer cry that they know why Leavers voted for Leave with the implication they were conned. Still waiting for those 500,000 job losses in the year immediately following the vote incidentally.

    • Ten and a penny
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “We are getting a much worse deal than…” But the deal has not been negotiated. How do you know??? What you do know is that EU migrants here are most likely to get the only thing the Labour Party wishes .Is that a bad deal for them? Of course not.

    • Richie Keen
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      It’s one of the propaganda themes of the Remain campaign “it’s so complicated”.

      I think you are being played like fiddle

      • getahead
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, the complication comes from the Remainers themselves.

    • Alison
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      I can’t remember promises about an easy Brexit, but I certainly remember leaflets, flyers, Remainer speakers during the 2016 referendum effectively saying how small a role the EU had in our lives. The massive list of areas and issues to be covered are ghastly proof of the reach of the EU and the level of control. I pray we are getting out, but it’s happening just in time – a year later, and Juncker & co would be cementing more foundations of a EU federal state, imposed on us all.

      • Javk snell
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Alison..i don’t know why Junker is mentioned at all because his term of appointment will be up next year..he’ll be history

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Dear Javk–Maybe, but worse will take his place egged on by Herr Schultz (sp?), Foreign Minister in waiting in the new German coalition

        • Andy
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Juncker has said he will not seek a second term. And even if he did he might not be re-elected. The Commission President is also elected twice – once by the council, once by the European Parliament. And, of course, he can be kicked out by MEPs.

          This compares favourably with the undemocratic system in Westminster. Our Prime Minister was elected only by about half the people who chose to vote in Maidenhead. Not a single other person from anywhere else in the country had a say (well, except the Queen). She leads a party which was rejected by 58% of voters last year – and still claims a mandate she does not have.

          The EU is much more democratic than Westminster. And this is reflected in the fact that a broad range of British voices are represented in the European Parliament. Westminster is an old boys club. Full of gropers and expense cheats. Time to drain the swamp.

          • NickC
            Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Andy, Even if the EU were perfectly democratic, that is no reason why we should be taken over and eliminated as an independent nation. Of course the running joke is that if the EU applied to the EU for membership, the EU would be rejected as not being democratic enough.

            The EU is an oligarchy with no demos: it’s that basic and that bad. The EU is also corrupt and dysfunctional (open borders for criminals, up to 50% youth unemployment, etc). We want independence and freedom. You want us to be merely the offshore province of the fourth re-construction of the Roman empire.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your important contribution to this debate. It is just a pity that you should feel so intimidated by the ferocity of the extreme Brexiteers who frequent this site that you have to use a pseudonym, and moreover a pseudonym which like other temporary pseudonyms on this blog appears as a link but in fact links to nowhere … what is it that scares you? If this was my blog I would not give houseroom to you and your fellow trolls, but you are lucky in that respect.

      • Tom William
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Of course there are no extreme Remainers using pseudonyms on this blog. Interesting to see how many are relatively recent. I wonder why…..

      • forthurst
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Ten’s troll has provoked nineteen anguished replies from Brexiteers, and three further trolls so far. What is the significance of Ten? He got in his troll first thing in order to generate a maximal postbag. Ten is probably his estimate of the wasted minutes of JR’s time in moderating his thread. He has also ensured some rather unrewarding comments at the start of the JR’s blog. Trolls are a serious menace and should be treated as such.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed, well we have a rather dopey, ex(?) remainer and politically correct socialist as PM and the Hammond/Soubry/Clarke/Grieve types are trying their best to destroy the negotiations. Soros too it seems.

      Just leave, no deal/no fee and negotiate as we go on individual areas where there is mutual interest to both parties. WTO is just fine.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Ooooh Lifelogic…you mentioned an unmentionable.Have a look at Rafael Behr’s article in today’s Guardian as an attempt to close down debate about a foreign meddler in Brexit.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–The imperative must be to get clean out and totally arms’ length ASAP–Assuredly in due time an appropriate, I want to say zero budget, agreement will then be forged from the ground up.

        • Tom
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and the sooner the better.

    • LJ
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      No-one promised that Brexit would be easy – they didn’t say it would be difficult either. We who voted ”out” had our eyes upon freedom from the EU’s rule. It someone had categorically stated ”The EU won’t like it – they’ll make it really hard for us” – would that have deterred us? No.
      I am still at a loss to know why Remainders continue to cling to their EU masters’ ideals, though I note they don’t seek to excuse their appalling behaviour towards the UK for actually deciding to leave.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I don’t ever remember the word ‘deal’ being used in the referendum.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink


      You created an argument without substance, clarity or erudite research to back up your negative assertions.

      Please be so kind and detail them below…..lest we believe this is just another silly incoherent Remainer rant?

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      ” Past experience shows the EU quite likes bad deals.” Quite – but why is our government and civil service always so supinely ready to urge our agreement to them? When Cameron returned to Britain in February 2016 to the laughable propaganda headline in the FT proclaiming his ‘Success’, how did he, they, the EU, possibly think they could get away with that miserable ‘offer’?
      There is a useful German word, ‘konsequent’, that describes a logical, consistent and unswerving approach, where any one action can be seen as part of a consistent set of values, and leads logically, in developmental sequence, to the next. This is what we need from a PM – that he/she should begin to understand what we are doing as a nation, and why we’re doing it, and what steady path of future action it entails. At present – even given the need for internal debate and public discretion – the government seems to be just shambling along.

  2. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    I think you live in hope but will be disappointed again, unless T May is replaced. You need only to look at the track record of this government. No better than Cameron in negotiating. Perhaps worse as he knew how little he wanted, and she seems not to know what she wants. It changes by the day anyway.

    Perhaps we’re better off with Corbyn negotiating this. He’ll stand firm on control of tax and monetary policy; his manifesto will detail nationalisation. Perhaps 18 months on we’ll be out of the EU and he’ll be out of office, replaced by a proper Trumpian recovery administration.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      May clearly cannot be allowed to stand at the next election. The question is surely at what point should she retire in the next 18 months. Also can we stop her (and especially tax ’til the pip sqeak Hammond) from doing even more damage to the economy before they do go?

      What is needed is rational, Eurosceptic, low tax at heart, real conservative policies. Leaders who see Brexit as the huge opportunity it is (and over high taxes and over regulation as the massive evils they are). This rather than the pathetic, wrong on every issue, big government, PC, virtue signaling, Libdems dopes we have now.

      T May if retained will be even more of an electoral liability than John Major proved to be. At least people felt a bit sorry for Major, as he was clearly as daft as a brush and could not really help it. No one feels sorry for bossy, robotic, misguided T May. Corbyn is actually very easy to beat with a half competent leadership.

      No one sensible really wants a Venezuella economy do they?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        I feel sorry for Theresa. A barely competent Home Secretary, pitchforked into the leadership as a seat-warming compromise because neither faction of the CPP was prepared to give way to the other. Having kicked the leadership can down the road, the Conservative party have given aid and comfort to the most totalitarian opposition this country has seen and to that extent, the Corbyn phenomenon is a Tory construct You and your colleagues, Mr Redwood, need to establish a secure leader in touch with the electorate PDQ.

    • Learners whisky
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      …a proper Trumpian recovery administration. ” It would be nice. But Trumponomics are even a revolution for capitalist America. Actually his tax cuts for the worker/consumer don’t start to kick in until the end of this month ( February ). The impact on political allegiances will , in my opinion, be profound and progressively free market. This will impact our CBI in ways they cannot discern…or perhaps they do. It would explain their protectionist cowardly support for anything EU.
      I just wonder if our EU negotiating team will sign us up to so many little deals which are intertwined and interdependent with the EU that we miss greater opportunities.
      I think they will. You can hear it in the staid utterances of Mr Davies. In certain terms he has only “kept up classwork and is a valued member of the School’s croquet team”

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Trump has a point on our NHS too.

      • mancunius
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Lw – You need a killer instinct to play croquet successfully. I don’t think DD has any of that, despite his TA training.

    • con
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn will stand firm on taxation and monetary policy? You mean he will increase tax and spend spend spend? I’ll have some of whatever you’re on.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Stand firm in massive tax increases and ultra-loose money, of course

  3. LukeM
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    They are indifferent and will be quite prepared to cope with whatever outcome happens..bottom line is they have had enough of UK whinging over the years and together with Farage and others like Hannan..they will be quite happy to see the back of us.

    • Prigger
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      A strange reaction. Emotional. Very emotional. Unprofessional. “indifferent” ,”prepared to cope” “they have had enough” “quite happy to see the back of…”
      We really should not be part of an organisation like the EU which cannot make calm, thoughtful and rational decisions. it is behaving , isn’t it, like a spurned lover.

    • Wessexboy
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      And our money??

      • Jason wells
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Wessexboy..yes..that too..they are quite prepared to take the hit

    • graham1946
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      If that’s the case, why are they trying so hard to keep us in? Just grant free trade so it does not damage either side and we’ll be on our way. They may not like our complaints, but they just love our money, that’s the top and botom of it.

      • Beecee
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it is for our £9 Bn net contribution plus c. £3 Bn VAT payments each Year?

        Or maybe also for the huge annual Balance of Trade in their favour of c. £80 Bn?

        Or maybe they just love our sense of humour and hate to see us go?

      • Jonp
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink ..they are not tryi g to keep us in..march 2019 in the magic date..all of the running in trying to get a deal is coming from the UK govetnment side..being pushed by British business interests and british banking. If we leave abruptly on the other hand we can only go to WTO is all our choice..and in that case we’ll not be allowed any preferrential treatment cherry picking or having our cake and eating it..all of this is of our own making

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      In other words, they are petulant, thin-skinned anglophobes? A curious view of our European friends.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      They have only ever wanted us for our money, fishing grounds, exports, to employ their unemployed, intelligence, security services and defence. We don’t want or need them at all!

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    The May government is seeking a new way to trade with Europe, but, like Cameron, May is talking to the wrong people; the EU bureaucracy don’t trade. To get an acceptable deal from the EU you have to have leverage; this can only be had from getting the people who do trade, our European commercial counterparts, to pressure their politicians to tell the EU bureaucrats to allow free trade to continue. Barnier, Juncker et al couldn’t care less if we have a FTA or not, they only care about their own ego’s and salaries. Threaten these and you’ll get a result.

    • jerry
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; But is there any leverage to be had, with so much spare capacity and/or cheap labour within the EU27 (and indeed EU candidate countries), what added-value does the UK offer our European commercial counterparts?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        @jerry, it’s up to the EU27 if they want to find new markets for their spare capacity + what used to be exported to the UK.

        • jerry
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          @Know-dice; I was thinking more about what used toi be made in the UK actually, why invest outside of the EU278 when that new car can be made in an under used French or Spanish factory, never mind the cheap workforce in those candidate countries.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 9, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            What about the EU “helping” Ford to move Transit from Southampton to Turkey which isn’t in the EU.

            But in any case I think we are singing from the same book, in that we [the UK] should be bringing more manufacturing back to these shores.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink


        “what added-value does the UK offer our European commercial counterparts?”

        Added-value?…£80+ Billion annual trade imbalance for starters….or are you deliberately ignoring the blindingly obvious?

        • jerry
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          @Dennis Zoff; “Added-value?…£80+ Billion annual trade imbalance”

          Err, like all those products that the EU27 sell to the UK that they can never sell elsewhere? For example all those RHD cars made in the EU27 for the UK market could, with little other modification, be made compliant for the Australian, NZ or Indian markets. If the UK can trade with the RotW post Brexit so can the EU27, perhaps doing so as the USE under WTO rules to.

          It’s not the Brexit realists who are “deliberately ignoring the blindingly obvious”, far to many right wing Brexiteers think that the EU (if not the entire developed world) owe the poor old UK a favour –they don’t…

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink


            “the EU (if not the entire developed world) owe the poor old UK a favour –they don’t…”

            Agreed, so please assist in getting the EU’s insufferable hindrance out of our way and let the UK fulfil its enormous potential on its own merit!

    • Danni
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      You make a very good point. Unfortunately though, this was the first approach taken by our government – the reason for much of the delay in political progress. It came to nothing.

    • Stred
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      May was on a party political broadcast last evening. She seems to think she is doing a good job, giving down the middle course in everything and doing as advised by the team. She could not negotiate a deal on a new car.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Would someone please direct May to a short Youtube video (entitled “I am not your friend,I am the President of Russia”-just 1 min 23secs in length) of Mr Putin talking to a couple of Germans.

        “I am not your friend,I am not your bride or groom.I am the President of the Russian Federation,146 million people who have certain interests.It is my job to protect those interests.”

        That is how you do it.

    • zorro
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      The solution is simple – tap- turned – off as of 31/03/2019. Get smart and agree a sensible arrangement with us.


      • Mark B
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink


    • alan jutson
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink


      Exactly right.

      The first rule of negotiation is to talk to the decision maker, if you cannot get to the decision maker, so called discussion is all rather pointless and a waste of time, because it goes backwards and forwards over an endless period of time.

      May should get her cards on the table ask a few pertinent questions, make some bold statements and wait for an answer.

      We have made the decision to leave, thus we are going to trade on WTO rules if they do not want free trade that is the bottom line.

      Negotiation is as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.

      Cameron Failed because he did not want to upset anyone in the EU, May will also fail if she continues to think of them as friends.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Perhaps May need to copy Trump a bit or read “The art of the deal” (not that I have) or at least some book on how to negotiating well.

        The difference between Trumps uplifting speech in Davos and her waffle was a chasm.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I cannot see any evidence that the EU bureaucrats intend offer a reasonable, commercial deal. ( See the comments from Mr. Evans-Pritchard today in the Telegraph). My concern now is that we have only a year in which to prepare commerce and industry for a ‘no deal’ arrangement with the EU. This requires immediate and total government commitment.

        Mrs. May MUST STOP promising that which she cannot deliver.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        alan jutson

        Cameron failed (better acquiesced) because he was looking at the long-term EU benefits for his personal career “a plum job in Brussels no-doubt”…..this, unfortunately, appears to be the stepping stone mentality for many political careerists

        ….all roads lead to Brussels and its increased personal prosperity, without the needless political accountability!

      • Mark B
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Correct !

      There is the EU, and then there is the rEU27. Not the same.

  5. duncan
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    We all know that May as PM of our country doesn’t want the UK to leave the EU. This then begs the question as to why John Redwood’s colleagues voted for her as the leader of the Tory party? It just doesn’t make sense.

    Does my party have a death wish or does it always behave in a manner that is utterly inexplicable?

    Moreover, the EU isn’t the main problem, Theresa May is the problem. The British civil service is the problem. Phil Hammond is the problem. It is incumbent on someone within the Tory ranks to stand up and denounce this leader of our party. Her weakness represents a danger to the UK. Her spinelessness and her dithering is a god send to the destructive EU but more than that her presence is a boon for the hard left and Labour

    If we’re not careful we could end up remaining EU members and having a Marxist Labour government at the same time.

    It is my belief that too many Tory MP’s are putting their own careers before party and country

    It is also very telling that the hard left unions are quite placid at present. They don’t want to bring the country to a halt yet just in case it tarnishes Labour’s standing in the polls but they’ll be preparing their forces, watching and waiting

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      The Tories are deeply divided and always have been on this issue. There is no appetite for another leadership election and TM and the Remainers in the party know it. They have had a disastrous and totally unnecessary GE and are trying to keep the lid on a half century civil war. When you have a certain colleague of our kind host calling for his and others like minded to be purged from the party, you know you are in a bad place. Hence why I have kept silent on it.

      • NickC
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Mark B, Both Conservative and Labour parties are divided on this. However they no longer have a choice. Parliament gave us the choice. We chose Leave. Unless they deliver Leave, instead of the weird half-in/half-out invention that both main parties favour, the UK Parliament becomes superfluous.

        Only a small number of MPs are willing to do what the electorate decided. I stated at least as far back as 2013 that the EU would give us a bad deal, that Art50 was a trap, and that we should leave by repealing the ECA1972. By refusing to grasp the opportunity of independence we are instead facing the death rattles of our nation.

        From Elizabeth to Elizabeth – the rise and fall of an empire. Nations, and empires, fall when their citizens no longer believe in them. As Remains demonstrate daily.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink


      Re your first para. It does make sense when you realise that most of them are Remainers and her dithering and incompetence leading to a fudge is exactly what they want.
      What doesn’t make sense is why any elected person wants to sell his country to a foreign power. In my view they are not putting careers before party, they are putting party before country. This has been a running sore for 40 years since Heath took us in on a lie. Tories are natural Remainers – the word Conservative says it all – they do not want change, they want comfort and ease. Change is hard work.

  6. Newmania
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    We already had a good deal . We had full market access and the benefits of the Euro without being in the Euro as well as being outside the Schengen area . We also had our own rebate and there was nothing in the future which we did not have an absolute right to veto if we chose to
    We had done phenomenally well out of being in the EU as its chief recipient of inward investment and take off point for Japanese and others to access the market.
    For all that it was clear to me that what Cameron got was going to make it very hard for remain and I have always felt his was the one point where the Brexit people had some justification
    The political realties were not logical and the EU showed itself cumbersome in not recognising that . It could have given a bit more painlessly and avoided this whole mess .

    None of that help us now , what the British people think of the deal does not materially matter to the EU and making threats just looks absurd . It is clear to a blind man that we have much much more to lose and in fact many parts of the EU will be looking to replace our commercial role with relish .
    If we choose to walk off with no deal then we know that the cuts will fall even harder on our schools and NHS as the sick and young are forced to pay for Brexit. It is an empty threat and they know it , Leave promised everyone more money , not a withering trade war and there is zero appetite for it , there is not even a majority for leaving

    The best way forward would be to ark ourselves in the EEA and spend the next five years agreeing a sensible alternative to staying in . We should then , as Rees Mogg and Farrage have suggested have a further referendum on the real alternatives and go whichever way . Such a plan would command a large majority of support and I don`t doubt that more help would be forthcoming form our friends

    There mistake was to misjudge the new world of Trump Rees Moog and Western populism . They have this in common with many more but there is still a chance to save the country from its worst elements

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Although I won’t contribute to the blog until 30-3-19, I do occasionally check it for content and comments like yours. Thanks.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink


    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink


      I guess this is one opinion which your fan PVL likes. If you could provide more flesh to the bones of your argument it may have some merit. But as it stands it is simply another negative Remainer spin!

    • NickC
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Newmania, We had an exceedingly bad deal: our fish stolen from us; a tribute of £10+bn taken off us every year; rules that put us at a disadvantage; loss of influence in world organisations; around 60% of our new national laws imposed undemocratically from Brussels; without any real ability to change the EU government or change its direction; fig-leaf MEPs on the same lines as voting in the GDR; etc; etc.

      Parliament gave us, the people, the choice. We chose to Leave. Our MPs are honour bound to grasp the opportunity of independence. Failure to do so means we remain as vassals to the Brussels oligarchy, and disappear as an independent nation.

  7. Mick
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink
    If these people are after a civil war they are going the right way to start one,if you hate this country that much then pack your bags and go live in your beloved eu, but I won’t be any part of the European project any longer , if you awaken the sleeping lion you had better be ready for the fight

  8. Richard1
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Perhaps a good tactic would be to say there will now be a second referendum. But the choice – since the UK has already decided the issue of leaving the EU – will be between accepting the deal on offer (if there is one) or leaving on WTO terms. Clearly this would require full preparation for WTO terms to have been made in the UK. This would enable UK negotiators to say “give us a deal which is good enough to recommend otherwise the WTO option will win”. At the moment the EU are making threats and foot dragging as they think there will be a repeat In/Out referendum, and the worse the deal offered, the more likely it is UK voters will reverse the original decision.

  9. David sprake
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Has there ever been in history a membership of a club where the non members get a better deal than the members?

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink


      No Club I have ever belonged to has actually paid people to join, and that is the case with the EU, more take out than put in.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      No. But nor has there been in history a membership of a club where the chair tells you who you must have come live in your house.

    • Chris
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Has there ever been a club where once you have left you continue to pay membership fees and obey their rules?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Or a club that charges some members and lets others not only join for free but gives them a free lunch as well?

      Remind me how many of the current EU27 put in more than they take out?

      At the last count, 9 pay in 19 take out…!!!

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Has there ever been in history membership of a club where some members always pay for their lunch, and others always get it free?
      Has there ever been a club where members are forced to invite one another’s relatives to live with them at their homes?
      Some club.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      It is not a club it is a hugely damaging, anti-democratic organisation for the enrichment of bureaucrats and the elite – at the expense of the people. It is hugely dangerous too.

      There is no net benefit in being a member quite the reverse.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know for sure, maybe you should ask a solicitor.

    • Peter
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      There are plenty of clubs where continued membership is not good value. At one time, golf clubs in England had more people wanting to play than they could accommodate. The result was people up at the crack of dawn at weekends looking to get a round in.
      The result was many new clubs were set up. Then golfing interest peaked and clubs could nor get enough members. I play with a golf society that negotiated cheap rates at a number of golf clubs at a fraction of the cost of being a member of any one of them. This suits me handsomely. Draw your own conclusion about the value of EU membership.
      Additionally being outside the EU means we don’t have to abide by their rules or put up with unelected apparatchiks telling us what we can and can’t do.

  10. Ian Russell
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Cameron was batting on the wrong wicket. He should have insisted on mechanisms to avoid the damaging effects of unfettered free movement. The treaties oblige member states and the commission to put them in place. They champion rights and ignore obligation s.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Why has the UK never properly implemented Directive 2004/38/EU which allows EU countries to send citizens back to their country of origin after 3 months if they are not self-supporting (i.e. working or have an independent source of income).

      There is also no right for those who move countries within the EU to seek work to have access social assistance for the first three months of residence, and this has been confirmed by European Court of Justice rulings.

      The mechanisms are already there. The failure to implement in full them lies entirely with Westminster.

      • mancunius
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary, the UK regulation stipulates: “you will not be able to satisfy the conditions of the HRT [=Habitual Residence Test] for the purpose of claiming income-based jobseeker’s allowance until you have been living in the ‘Common Travel Area’ [= UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or Ireland] for at least three months (although some short absences are allowed). This means you will have to wait at least three months before you will be allowed to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.”

        The EU Directive you cite does not anywhere that EU citizens may be expelled after three months if not self-supporting. The relevant paragraph states:
        “an expulsion measure may in no case be adopted against Union citizens or their family members if […] the Union citizens entered the territory of the host Member State in order to seek employment, [and] can provide evidence that they are continuing to seek employment. “

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          He made the unusual mistake of specifying the directive so you could easily check it and discover that his gloss was inaccurate.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      When it comes to free movement I think you will find the UK government have been more than willing to:

      a) not apply the rules.

      b) not ask for new member countries citizens from Eastern Europe to have their numbers capped.


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I read that like Harold Wilson before him David Cameron was advised not to seek any treaty changes. In his Bloomberg speech he had proposed fundamental changes but then basically he chickened out and asked for, and got, very little.

  11. Jack snell
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Just where is IDS? Havn’t heard a squeak of late and after all of the promises that were made about how the bavarian car workers would come rushing to our corner?
    At leaßt Gove was cute enough when he said that everything would workout ok provided we made the right decisions..what a clever man..and then there wasdear Boris nithing much to say really except 350 on the side of a bus never believing that such a thing could happen..and bravely soldiered until he was stabbed in the back..all we heard then was about putting atiger in the tank..well the game is up now.. and even Dr Fox has gone to ground..leaving it all to DD and Mrs May..i don’t know whats going to come out of it but its nothing like we were promised…

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Too many putting party and careers before Country 🙁

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      IDS has been frequently interviewed on air in recent months: he wrote about the Brexit talks in the press on 10 December after the Joint Report, and as recently as 4th February wrote another newspaper article giving his forthright views on civil service resistance to Brexit.
      The others…no sorry, I can’t be bothered. Have you thought of using Google?

  12. Mark B
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Sorry for the long post.

    The main problem we have with regarding our membership of the EEC/EC/EU is one of honesty. The establishment, the political class and the media have all be complicit in preventing , for as long as possible, the true nature of the European Union – A United States of Europe.

    The EU cannot and will not give much and that is why so many, from James Callahan up to CMD, have found Europe to be a barren place when negotiating so called deals. Not unless we have something it wants will we be able to get anything.

    It would be far better for us to seek to settle our affairs, leave, and become an independent Third Country. No ECJ, SM or CU. Those that complain simply do not remember our history. The Continent of Europe has cause the UK much sorry over many hundreds of years, and it has not changed.

    The thing is, what do we want and what is it we are willing to offer in exchange. To me there is very little. Freedom is beyond price. Beyond measure. It is what our former colonies yearned for and it is what they received. We never demanded special status for UK citizens. We never demanded that they pay us reparations for all the infrastructure we built. We never demanded that they belong to a Customs Union or comply to Regulatory Convergence. So how is it that we are expected to submit to become a vassal state !

    We get bad deals because we put ourselves as the beggar nation. Only when Lady Thatcher demanded our money back did we get it. Only years later did the likes of Blair and others have it prized away from us for nothing in return.

    The current PM has beggared UK yet again. MacMillan beggared. MacMillan beggared. Heath beggared. Wilson beggared. And like Oliver Twist, all we got was an incredulous look and a beating just for asking.

    When we are out of the EU, hopefully properly, then we will see who the true beggars are. Not turning our backs, but looking to new horizons and opportunities.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Apart from anything else the UK has been and is their very good customer, but in contradiction of the normal adage about the customer always being right that has counted for nothing in the past and clearly counts for nothing now. I read comments from continental politicians more or less implying that they are doing us a favour by selling us their stuff as well as by buying smaller quantities of our stuff.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Indeed why on earth did Cameron ever think that his worthless “thin gruel” would be enough for voters? Why did he ask and accept so little? Arrogance one assumes he had got away with lying that he was “a cast iron Euro sceptic, low tax at heart conservative” when he was the complete opposite. The tragedy of the man is that he had two open goal elections and a golden opportunity. He ever knew what the public wanted (a cast iron Eurosceptic, low tax at heart conservative) but he chose to try to deceive them instead. Then just walked away!

    Still thanks goodness he did get such a worthless deal and also that Osborne’s pathetic “punishment budget” threats backfired so well too.

    People want real democracy to be properly restored nothing less, UK courts to be supreme and sensible trade and cooperation agreements with the EU and indeed with as many other countries as possible.

    Yet more litigation lunacy with Tesco lawyers arguing that very different jobs are of “equal value”. Which damn fool put that vague and meaningless phrase into law. It does huge damage for everyone but lawyers. The country will not get richer by having endless litigation, it produces nothing of any real value quite the reverse. It is almost entirely parasitic. Will someone sort out this absurd litigation lunacy.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Brexit won’t deliver real democracy to the UK. Only full reform of the UK system can deliver that, and that is something which can be done inside or outside of the EU.

      Until we have a system where everyone’s vote counts and is worth campaigning for (I suggest reading Tim Ross’ book on the Conservative’s 2015 campaign where the first decision that was made was to ignore about 85% of the electorate as they were irrelevant to the outcome), and we don’t have the largest unelected legislating chamber in the entire western world, the UK will continue to have democracino.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        This seems fine. Leave EU redesign electoral systems, assemblies and representatives. (Unicameral, 2 vote MMP, English assembly.)

  14. oldtimer
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I think there is at least a 50% chance that there will be no deal. This could occur either at the negotiating stage or at the ratification stage. On the UK side the differences are out in the open. On the EU side they are there if not so obvious. Both May and the EU have a track record of miscalculation and misjudgment.

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      PS I read that the Hungarian billionaire, Mr Soros, is finding a campaign to overturn Brexit. Paul Goodman refers to it today. I should appreciate your observations on this attempt to interfere with UK affairs by Mr Soros. He has form in this sort of activity, in the USA and in Eastern Europe.

      • oldtimer
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Finding should read funding.

        • Chris
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          I tried to post this about Soros on yesterday’s article but it apparently didn’t get posted.

      • Tom William
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        If Soros does fund demands for another referendum surely it is not beyond the abilities of Brexiteers to point out that his behaviour and the attitudes of people like Lord Malloch Brown is proof of everything they have said about the undemocratic nature of the EU.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Not just undemocratic positively anti-democratic by design. Just a superficial veneer to fool people.

        • Chris
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Did you know that Fraser Nelson of The Spectator wrote an article in the D Tel. yesterday calling Soros a “champion of democracy”! Quite beyond belief.

  15. Man of Kent
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    With new talk of punishment beatings by Barnier surely we are entitled to take ‘regulatory alignment ‘ off the table and talk about how best to preserve Irish agricultural exports to us without impeding our ability to do trade deals with the rest of the world .

    The best solution would be for Ireland to come out too.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Man of Kent

      Would be interesting to better understand the Irish people’s thoughts on the subject of leaving the EU and joining its closest supporter, the UK?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      They will once they realise that they have signed up to an EU Military and lose their neutrality.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      My suggestion was that the UK Parliament should pass a new law to guarantee that even after we have left the EU all goods exported from the UK to the Irish Republic will continue to meet all EU requirements, so there will be no need for the Republic to subject them to any additional checks on entry.

      I emphasise that this would be a new UK Act designed to perform a specific legal function which is among those presently performed by the European Communities Act 1972 and subsequent Acts. In other words, it would be a replacement for that part of our existing law, would have the same legal force and with the possibility for the same kind of legal sanctions for infringements as now.

      However it has now become clear that the EU will not trust us to enforce any such law in the absence of potential sanctions from the EU Court of Justice, so making it necessary for the EU Commission to have independent powers to impose instant and severe sanctions on the UK without any authorisation from the court.

      On the other hand, notably, there is no suggestion that the UK government should have reciprocal powers to punish the other EU countries for infringements.

      With such an unjustified, and insulting, lack of EU trust in the integrity of the UK government and Parliament and courts it is hard to see what solution could ever be found. If they think that our national law is not good enough to ensure that we will always use our best and effective endeavours to keep our international obligations then there seems to be little point in making any agreement at all.

      • acorn
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Denis, look up the impact of territorial limitations in WTO goods and services schedules and the agreed Treaty actions required of individual Member States responsible for overseas territories. Look at Spain for an example, with its North African enclaves. Northern Ireland could be considered a similar case.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          Except that the UK will no longer be an EU member state and will no longer be bound by any such provisions of the EU treaties, not with respect to territories outwith the UK nor with respect to Northern Ireland as part of the UK.

          Which is why the reassurance presently provided to the EU by UK laws approving the EU treaties would need to be replicated by a new UK law designed just for that limited purpose of obviating any new need for inspections of goods crossing the border from Northern Ireland to the Republic.

          However it now appears that even if the UK Parliament passed such a law the EU would still insult us by saying “You are no longer one of our member states and so we don’t trust you to keep your word, not even if your word is enshrined in your law”.

      • Leonard
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

        So the UK parliament will decide how a sovereign country, Ireland, shall behave. Your arrogance is amazing

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          JR will not allow me to reply to you, presumably he thinks you are in need of his protection.

  16. Old Albion
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The memory of then PM David Cameron scuttling round the EU begging for some tiny concession that he could promote as a wonderful deal, is most unedifying.
    It sits alongside Chamberlains ‘piece of paper’ in terms of embarrassment.

    As I keep saying, the EU’s greatest fear is for the (dis)UK to leave and be successful. So why on earth would they help us?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink


  17. Caterpillar
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    There is only one year to go. There will either be a bad deal (occupied territorial waters, EU rules and regulations, bung, no representation, no legal control, no border control) or a cliff edge. Clearly the ‘leadeship’ of the UK have mistakenly followed a single path as Mr Cameron did. The leadership needs to star leading, it has one year to get the UK ready and everything in place, why it insists on the continued distraction of pretend negotiations is unfathomable. The UK may do a Yugoslavia if it doesn’t get a shared identity and clear pathway, soon. Stop the tittle tattle about unforcastable GDP growth rates and do what was voted for in the referendum. Leave and control.

  18. Richard1
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    A ludicrous interview by the LibDem MP Jo Swinson with John Humphrys on the Today Programme. MPs are to undergo mandatory sexual harassment training so they don’t harass their staff. What about mandatory training in the basics of economics for those who, eg, confuse the deficit and the debt? This would of more use the taxpaying public. And Humphrys required again to apologise for some reason to Carrie Gracie, a very highly paid BBC employee, who thinks she should be paid even more and has discounted the possibility that she might be getting a bit less than some male colleague because 1) she isn’t as senior 2) her job isn’t as important or 3) she isn’t as good. Or is to become illegal to apply criterion 3)if the employee in question is a woman?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Training for Hammond & Chancellors on what a good tax system should look like and how damaging to the economy a bad one is too.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Or 4) Most foreign correspondents (e.g. Jon Sopel) are stationed and work abroad: she’s a China correspondent who at her own request (presumably for personal reasons) is based in London.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed give me tooth paste and tyres any day over this tiresome woman’s version of “The BBC deals in Truth”. Let her actually resign fully and see what her real market value actually is in the real world?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Will the harrassment train be for men only, I wounder ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      No man worth his salt “would submit to undergo mandatory sexual harassment training”. Is this a policy to rid the place of people worth their salt?

  19. David Murfin
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I suspect that in the absence of a deal, free trade will continue (on a somewhat reduced scale) by the same means that it did in response to Napoleon’s Continental System.

  20. agricola
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The EU is not a democratic entity. It is not subject to the will of the European people or their national governments. It has been free to set it’s own conditions for transition/ implementation, conditions which I find outrageous, and to which there should be a very firm no response. We should tell them in turn that,

    1. We leave the EU at March end 2019 at which point we invoke our sovereignty in every respect.

    2 Between now and then (1), we either agree a free trade and financial services deal or we confirm reversion to WTO rules.

    3. In the WTO scenario there would be no transition arrangements and absolutely no payment for two years of transition membership of all the restrictions they envisage without a voice. No taxation without representation.

    Once this is clear to the national governments of the EU you can expect their exporting industries via their governments to exert pressure on the EU to come to heel. If they are too emasculated to do this then they are the losers in financial terms. We have the World as alternative sources. Everyone should be aware that the Customs Union is a device for preventing competitive World sources from competing with EU expensive sources. Free of this we can fly.

    • agricola
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      PS. I have since discovered that Nigel Farage put it brilliantly on LBC yesterday.

  21. John Bell
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    In today’s Telegraph (7 Feb), Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that we should walk away from negotiations now, while there is still time to opt for a WTO-Brexit. He argues that this would be better than any likely deal the EU will offer us, and that persisting with fruitless negotiations will lead to a worst-of-all-worlds Versailles Brexit; where we are forced to sign up to draconian conditions without securing the central objective British parliamentary self-government (“Canada colonial”) .

    An important article, which again raises the question: Why do we need a transition? Why don’t we just agree departure terms and leave. It would be much better for us to discuss trade with the EU when we have left (at leisure and as a fully independent country).

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      That would have been the better way to proceed. Instead May went another route, which handed the initiative to the EU. She is now being played like a hooked fish. The EU is looking for the right time to strike and to net their fish.

    • acorn
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May requested from the EU, a transition agreement, because, for this decade, we have had the least capable government in charge of the UK, for the last century.

      If we want this country to advance socio-economically for the 99%, and not just for the top 1%, we have got to stop electing laissez faire neo-liberal Conservative Party governments.

      Sadly, the British electorate is too dumb to understand what the 1% is doing (and screwing them) in their name; thanks to the poorest education system in Europe. Brexit will not impact the top 5% of the UK income distribution. They will have sorted their foreign / off-shore bank accounts, and their dual citizenship passports in one or other of the EU27 Member States.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        The 1% love the eu

  22. Bert Young
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    What really is the price for proper independence ?. Regaining the right to make our own laws , being able to control immigration and trading with whoever and whenever we like is a price worth paying . It means we can stand on our own feet , face the challenges the world offers and progress as far as we can without interference from outsiders .

    Being in the EU implied bending to the dictat from Brussels under a regime of un-elected and not very talented individuals . What has emerged from there is from a mix-max of highly paid civil servants hell bent on protecting their jobs and pensions . There has been – and still is , little sign of democracy ; its development has benefited the German economy and produced a (bad ed) result . National identity and sovereign value has been constantly disregarded . It was absolutely right for us to distance ourselves from this influence and regain a proper British identity . If this comes at a price – then so be it .

    • LenD
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Bert Young..well Bert with first reading of your comment re unelected individuals..i wasn’t quite sure at first about whethet you were talking about the house of lords or the Uk civil service..then i reslized it was about Junker. Since Verhofstadt is elected and Tusk is appointed..come to think of it Junkers term of appointment finishes next year..just wondeting when any of tje Lords will finish their term

  23. margaret
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    In daily negotiations most ask for more knowing that they will probably get less. Occasionally people; e.g employees will get what they ask for, but there is usually a compromise.

  24. Andy Marlot
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    No deal is better than any deal our incompetent masters will saddle us with.

  25. John S
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    In spite of her words, Theresa May will never walk away with a “no deal”. We are going to be continually humiliated.

  26. a-tracy
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The EU are not indifferent, if they want to cut their noses off to spite their faces then so be it. We have many more EU immigrants in the UK than they have UK emigrants and those emigrants will be living under the ECJ under which they already have the rights they need to stay where they are and continue so to threaten people is completely wrong. We have guaranteed residents for people already here, what we wanted to stop guaranteeing is benefits and housing for all if they become homeless for any reason for up to five years of arriving here – if as we keep being told the immigrants are all workers who are fully contributing and completely economically active then why is this a problem to anybody?

    The Germans are only considering it now for themselves because Merkel waved a lot of low paid people into Germany on a free for all and are only now seeing the problems with homelessness and housing issues that we, thanks to Blair, have experienced over the last few years.

  27. Capt Mannering
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “There is now a strange German movement to say they might be able to fix some of the things Mr Cameron…”
    The German government is in disarray. Unstable. If two parties in Germany need six months to agree a common platform when their policies are so close anyway, then we can expect fireworks if anything at all goes wrong in their economy and it will, of course, IN ONE YEAR THREE WEEKS TIME when we LEAVE!!!!!!
    The AfD will hold the sway. In reality as politics work, they probably do right now. Combined with the recent result in the Czech Republic and continuing movement in Poland, it is not looking good for the EU . No wonder the EU is so easily persuaded of a “transition” giving them two years of breathing space. Didn’t take them seven years to agree that did it?

  28. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Lots of work on, not going to comment.
    Thank you for moderating and for all the sparks debating with your followers. I really like you, not just because i enjoy your articles (even some of the EU ones ..) but also because you’re not a shmoozer and other things like that.
    Best wishes

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I like your articles on transport and energy the best.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      ‘I really like you’ and Ken Clarke, for similar and different reasons.
      Both of you are old school, able to stay well-mannered / respectful / good-humoured unlike, I’m afraid some other Remainers / Brexiters, especially in the press.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Ken Clarke is affable enough, but he is wrong on virtually every issue. Rather like Matthew Parris and all the other Libdems.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Ed, nine days ago I asked you a question, which you haven’t yet answered:

      “… if this chart of the UK growth rate going back to 1956 had no dates or other indications of time marked on the horizontal axis, or you had no prior knowledge of when the events took place, would you be able to pinpoint when we joined the EEC, or when the EU Single Market was created, on the basis of subsequent improved growth?”

  29. Epikouros
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Politicians, bureaucrats, experts and the righteous have no love for democracy it gets in the way of them governing us in the way they see fit. In our best interests of course as we are far too shallow, bigoted and intellectually challenged to know what is best for ourselves. Unfortunately for them us plebs tend to like our civil liberties, free speech and the right to vote to be rid of them if we do not like their ways or policies.

    Naturally they scheme to circumvent our pesky ways. Slip in progressive and social ideology and such like and grow the state apparatus with the granddaddy of them all create the EU. Especially the EU as that surrupliciously has been constructed to have next to no democratic checks and balances at all. A virtual dictatorship. However even dictatorships can be challenged and like all tyrants since time immemorial they are aghast at the affrontary of those who have the temerity to do so. So when so challenged they reaffirm their absolute right to govern us and retaliate forcibly and without compromise.

    The UK cannot possibly expect them to do other than what for example Charles I did when negotiating with parliament not give an inch or even believe they should. So parliament resorted to regicide but as cides are now out of fashion we cannot cut off the the heads of the Brussels autocrats. Instead we must give up expecting to be able to negotiate rationally with them and sever our membership of the EU instead.

  30. ian parkinson
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    So where is the debate and the detailed description of the no-deal scenario?
    I think there is a very positive open-exit no deal scenario, I just don’t see anybody putting in the work to describe it. What are you going to be voting on when parliament gets to choose between EU deal or rejection?

    When the treasury did its most recent economic modelling why did they assume WTO-with-full-tariffs when every economic analysis shows that WTO-unilateral-zero-tariffs is superior? If they were told to make that negative assumption then who by and why? If they chose an excessively negative scenario themselves, then what reason do they give for that choice?

  31. Mortar Bored Head
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Apart from diplomatic rhetoric, I do not know why the UK says “We wish a strong EU”
    They will be our adversary. We should hope they are as weak as a LibDem/Labour promise of tuition fees.

    • formula57
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the view is that the stronger it is, the more likely its member states will rebel against it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      “Did Pitt urge Napoleon to “get a grip” and consolidate his existing empire, so that he could gradually expand it to cover the whole of Europe including this country?”

  32. English Pensioner
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    One of the problems, judging from my time in the Civil Service, is that senior civil servants absolutely hate to come away from a meeting at any level without reaching an agreement. They want to be friends, even if this means ‘giving away’ their entire negotiating position. Most wouldn’t survive five minutes if they were working for a commercial organisation.
    No doubt they had this same attitude when they were involved in the Cameron negotiations and I expect the same individuals are involved in the current discussions. They won’t ask for any more than they believe the EU might give them rather than demanding what we really want.

  33. JimS
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    We shouldn’t be negotiating a divorce, we should be negotiating a new relationship that is mutually beneficial.

    If the EU can’t grasp that more fool them, international law is on our side.

  34. robert lewy
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    A brilliant take on how we got where we are!

    Surely, it follows that the UK government should prepare both EU and the UK for the
    possibility of a WTO outcome. They must make it abundantly clear that if there is no other way on offer to meet our requirements that will be the PREFERRED option.

    This will on the one hand raise anxiety in some quarters but on the other hand will make
    the WTO outcome less of a shock when it arrives.

  35. BOF
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I have said on this blog before Mr Redwood that with regulatory allignment, we already have a very bad deal and now with every new demand from the EU it simply gets worse. When this is all over, I would be prepared to join any boycot of products from the EU. That may be about the only weapon left to UK citizens once this betrayal is over.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Agreed, although in my case I already prefer to avoid anything imported from the rest of the EU so it would make little difference. Ireland moves on and off my embargo list depending on events, at present the absurd extreme and intransigent position of the new Irish government has moved it back on the list.

      I stopped buying anything French in 1990 after some of their farmers had burned lambs alive:

      “French farmers set fire to one truckload of British sheep, killing 219 of them. They poisoned 94 sheep on one truck, slit the throats of sheep on another and doused animals on a third truck with insecticide to prevent their meat from being sold.

      British officials have angrily criticized the French Government for not doing more to stop such tactics. John Gummer, Britain’s Agriculture Minister, said the French authorities should ”insure that trade can flow freely, which is fundamental to the operation of the European Community.”

      Responding to the violence against British cargoes, 70 store owners in Wales, the heartland of Britain’s sheep industry, announced a boycott of French goods. Marks & Spencer, the British department store chain, canceled a campaign promoting French products.

      In an editorial, The Sun, the British tabloid, urged a boycott of French goods. ”The French are supposed to be our trading partners in the Common Market,” it wrote. ”They are breaking every rule in the book.””

      That is what we need now, powerful voices urging a boycott of EU imports.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, “regulatory alignment” throws away a large portion of any trading advantage we would have with the rest of the world after 29th March 2019

  36. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    “The EU would be wise to understand if they deliberately set out to make a tough deal which the UK thinks is an unfair deal that could backfire. It might result in the UK leaving with no deal. The UK government has rightly said on many occaisons No deal is better than a bad deal.”

    My compliments. “Deliberately set out” , “EU”, “tough deal” , “UK’ , “thinks is an unfair deal”, etc. Cleverly worded but very hard to reconcile with actual and upcoming developments. What do you think the EU thinks is a tough deal and what is the “UK” here? all of the electorate? A large minority? A majority of referendum voters sticking to their original verdict? I could do on. What exactly do you mean? Who is to know what “The EU” thinks? The EU is a membership organisation, much more so than a unitary body topped up by unelected bureaucrats. What is a bad deal for mr Redwood or his borough may be a great deal for someone in a different position. All of this is subjective and whatever deal is made or not, eventually a country with a large stock of human and physical capital will move on. Of course. The point is is the change (under any deal except the status quo) worth thebother and especially, who benefits. Never the whole country.

    But, again, cleverly worded and sure to appeal to the believers.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      ‘is the change (under any deal except the status quo) worth the bother’

      Yes, of course. It is the status quo that is not worth the bother.

      But your post helpfully represents the puzzlement of the EU when faced with a democratic viewpoint they have never previously reckoned with.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Rien Huizer

      It would have been nice if your cleverly worded whatever, could be somewhat clearer and definitely more succinct!

      • Longinus III
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        It’s sophistry from an EU troll. It is unintelligible for a good reason.

  37. percy openshaw
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Surely we are in a hole. If you can reassure me that I am mistaken, I would be grateful. First, even if we go for “no deal”, parliament (as currently constituted) might prevent it. Secondly, we’re not even preparing for it. Third, we will then be stuck with a vicious scenario of helpless subordination to Brussels for goodness knows how many years. Fourth, from a fluffed election, through NHS crises and poor crime figures, we might all too easily proceed to deep reputational damage to the Tory party, leading to a Corbyn government. Why you accepted May so sheepishly in 16, knowing her record at the Home Office, I’ll never know.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I have to say, my shoulders dropped as soon as she got the job.

      Fudge written all over it.

  38. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Mathew Parris in the Spectator today says:- ” There’s no housing shortage just a problem with cost – not availablility”. “I’m no economist. My understanding of the dismal science in rudimentary. I may be shot down in flames as an irnoramus” – well he is right on that bit I suppose.

    Mathew the high price is the clear indication of the shortage of supply. Prices would not be high if there were three houses for everyone who wanted one! Especially as you now pay council tax even on empty ones. The high price is also useful in correcting this shortage, as it encourage more supply, (or would do if restrictive planning and the greencrap OTT building control regs. were sensibly relaxed).

    Another dopey Libdem in the wrong party, albeit an occasionally entertaining one.

    Rod Liddle is very funny (and spot on) on the non existent gender pay gap though. Will he be arrested for a gender hate crime soon by Amber Rudd’s department?

    • ChrisS
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      The only reason there is a shortfall in housing provision is inward migration.
      Unfortunately no politician will admit to the fact or discuss it, but the numbers are as obvious as they could possibly be.

      Net inward migration accounts for all of the shortfall except for at most 10-25,000 housing units pa and that’s assuming that the migrants live 3-4 to a dwelling.

      If some effort had been made to bring net migration “down to the tens of thousands” in line with successive Conservative manifestos, it would then be extremely easy to build another 30-50,000 housing units pa to bring supply and demand into equilibrium.

      The fact that the Cameron and May Governments have been prepared to take all the flack for the shortage in housing provision tells us exactly what their real intentions are over migration.

      They have no intention of reducing it because the CBI and its members want to maintain access to cheap Eastern European labour rather than invest in new machinery and improve productivity.

      They don’t care about the extra demand on the NHS, Housing and Schools or the way it keeps down take home pay. After all, it’s the taxpayer that will suffer or have to pay for all of that – the leaders and members of the CBI all have big houses, BUPA Health care and their children go to private schools – and they’ve been promised a cut in their Corporation tax which will be good for profits and their bonuses.

  39. Chris
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    These article in D Tel are highly worrying.
    Revealed: The guerilla tactics and hefty sums that would return Britain to the EU

    and worst of all, George Soros’s involvement and funding:
    George Soros, the man who ‘broke the Bank of England’, backing secret plot to thwart Brexit

    The Tory Brexiters who are actually committed to honouring the referendum result cannot let this happen. Why is it happening? Simple: it is entirely due to our weak PM, who is a Remainer, and who has appointed a Remainer dominated cabinet, and chosen europhile advisers. She has to be replaced if Brexit is to be effected properly and honestly.

  40. Mick
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I see we are now onto stage 2 of project Fear, don’t the media ever give up, we are leaving get use to it, as for tariffs that the fear mongers keep harping on about, so what we will just put tariffs on imported goods from the eu and compensate the exporters for the tariffs they pay and will still be quids in, was watching labours Umunna on sky I think someone should take this muppet to one side and explain how that there won’t be any hard border between NI and the ROI the reason there was a hard border from the 60s to the 90s was because of terrorisem, we have now moved on from those days hopefully

  41. Remington Norman
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    John, the tenor of this piece is that the UK must invariably acts as suppliant – asking what the EU or constituents thereof can give us. This was Cameron’s tack and now Theresa May’s. Given the large trade imbalance, the losers from our leaving without a deal will be the EU. They should therefore be asking us what we are prepared to accept from them rather than vice versa. At no time during the post referendum negotiations has the government toughened its stance and acted not as suppliant but as potential benefactor. It’s time we stopped accepting the ceaseless stream of bullying and threats from Brussels and stood our ground: put forward an acceptable deal within a stated time-frame or else we leave without a deal and operate on WTO terms.

    • Helena
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Trading on WTO terms means we lose all privileged access to the EU’s internal market (back to customs posts at Dover/ Calais, Felixstowe/ Zeebrugge), and we lose too all the trade deals the EU has with the rest of the world. So saying to the EU “put forward an acceptable deal within a stated time-frame or else we leave without a deal and operate on WTO terms” is like saying “”put forward an acceptable deal within a stated time-frame or else we leave without a deal and shoot ourselves in both feet”

      • Edward2
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        You assume the EU want to do a deal.
        They don’t.
        You also need to ask yourself how so many nations trade happily with Europe without agreeing to freedom of movement nor being in the single market nor accepting supremacy of EU courts.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and now I’ve just seen Alistair Campbell saying the same thing … meanwhile the government seems to be going around in endless circles trying to find ways to avoid a proper implementation of the first referendum …

  43. Prigger
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The BoE Governor Mr Carney is on two TV Channels as I write. He is saying all the things he said..every time he says anything…so satirised on here. It is past a joke.

    Again he is making definite projections on the basis of complete and absolute Uncertainty, in his own terms. He admits he has a totally no idea about UK/UK they are progressing or not…the nature and details of any transition period…the nature or detail of any negotiated trade deals, the nature or detail of ongoing
    politics of any constituent EU-27 nation states..not a clue about what the EU may do in any respect at all internationally in any trade negotiation or failure of a trade negotiation.
    He has joked before, too many times, for a non-politician, that Trump may come out and say something TODAY on Twitter which will change everything. (!)
    Hopefully he will go on 30th March 2019. He has an Uncertain future.

    • Andy
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      He has a perfectly certain future – a political career in Canada.

      He’ll then be able to say exactly what he thinks about the Tory Brexit car crash.

  44. LukeM
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    There’s a reason the scots have been so quiet for such a long time..they know that as part of the outcome there will be a deal to keep us in some kind of has been whispeted..necessary step to maintain the UK itself

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I must say I hadn’t noticed the Scots being so quiet for such a long time …

    • Prigger
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The Scots have always been quiet. The SNP are the noise…intent on sacrificing Scotland to the will of 27 EU nation states with lots of gravy train jobs in the EU top crust for friends of friends in the SNP . A new gravy train minus Scotland.

  45. Billy Elliot
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Negotiation? What negotiation?
    From EU:s point of view it is about damage control. They have a surplus 400 bn EUR with the rest of the world.
    Brexit is a bump on a road for EU.

    For starters we need to renegotiate these treaties. Whos gonna do that?

    In best case we will we just become poorer.
    In worst case we will see the midget country scenario aka UK cease to exist.

    But hey, at least passports are blue…

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Billy Elliot

      …..are you still dancing to the Remainer’s puerile tune?

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        …yes…it is the only wise tune to dance…

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted February 10, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Billy Elliot

          So be it…enjoy your own puerile echo chamber! The rest of us are moving on to greater things.

    • Tom William
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Who is “they”? What surplus? It isn’t the governments of the EU countries nor the EU Commission.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        In this contex “they” are mainly Germany, France, Netherlands and France.

  46. Battery hen
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Never forget the ultimate aim of the EU is the United States of Europe. Until they categorically say that this is no longer the aim and that the supranational fundamental will be replaced by intergovernmental then there is no way we can ever be part of the EU (besides the pending disaster area of the Euro and European bank and national debts).

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Advertisement for gallery with poor art. Some people might be asking why their serious comments do not get published but this does get published.

    Reply Thanks for pointing this out – I do not post adverts and missed this link. Now corrected. PS I am happy to post some of your work, but you are now trying to post too many long contributions each day for me to keep up, so I will be deleting some to save moderating time

  48. Jason wells
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    One of the only good things about this negotiation is that some of the chief brexiteers Fox, Gove, DD, and Boris are up there right in the middle of it, so that when tnis is all over and the dust has settled we can expect to get full first hand accounts of the talks leading to the deal, or no deal

    • mancunius
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      But of those, only DD will be present at the talks. And he has already told us (and unhelpfully informed Brussels as well) that he will be resigning from politics after we leave in March 2019. And he must bear some responsibility for the giveaways on sequencing, EU immigrant freedoms, and the NI border. He could have said ‘No’.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      It took some time for the dust to settle after the 1975 referendum, the first part of the official internal history was only published in 2014:

      That is how we know for sure that Foreign Office mandarins persuaded Harold Wilson it would be a tactical error to seek any changes at all to the EEC treaties, even though Labour had promised in its election manifesto to “immediately seek a fundamental renegotiation of the terms of entry”.

  49. a-tracy
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it appears the German car industry via Ms Schick have said they aren’t interested in trade with the UK and will be standing with the EU whatever the cost to them.

    Today Merkel ‘pledges to steal London’s crown as Europe’s financial centre as the coalition tries to make Germany more attractive to the world’s most powerful banks and finance companies’.

    Is the EU really all about Germany still and what the German leaders say even though ‘GERMANY has been exposed as the top rule breaker in the European Union – even as it lectures other bloc members how to behave. It faces 74 infringement proceedings from Brussels for failing to adequately convert EU rules into German law’.

    What is the Brexit team going to do about this?

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    “David Davis has hit back at “discourteous” EU plans to punish Britain during a Brexit transition period.

    In the first major bust up over the next stage of negotiations, the Brexit Secretary complained proposals to sanction Britain were “not in good faith”.

    He said the talks were meant to be about “building a bridge” but that instead Brussels had come up with a “political document” that “is not the aim of this exercise”.

    Mr Davis was responding to a draft EU paper that suggested suspending Britain’s access to the single market in the event of a dispute between the two sides during the transition.”

    Well, David Davis is still missing the point that any arbitrary powers of suspension written into the agreement must be reciprocal. Why doesn’t he point out that the continuing EU could not expect to have continued access to the UK market if it had suspended UK access to the EU market? Is the government drawing up plans to switch to other suppliers?

    We have long been very good customers for the EU countries, but that could and should change if they carry on insulting us like this. There are few things we cannot source just as well, and maybe more cheaply, from other parts of the world.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      And why doesn’t David Davis publicly remind the EU of Article 8 TEU?

      “1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.”

      What a bunch of untrustworthy hypocrites they are.

      • Leonard
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

        The Union is keen to have a good relattionship with the UK. But it needs to know who is in charge in London, Boris or Hammond

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          The Union is showing no sign of wanting a good relationship with the UK whoever is in charge. They will come to regret that.

          • WalterP
            Posted February 10, 2018 at 3:00 am | Permalink

            You’re quite right Dennis..hit the nail right on the head.. the EU want britain out..all of these talks going on at the moment is only window dressing..winding down the clock

            From what i hear Brussels is convinced that there is no point in further deep discussions..mrs may it seems is fixated with getting bespoke srrangement for the things dhe wants while ignoring or refusing to discuss other things xhe doesn’t want..its cslled cherry picking or having your cake and eating it..the final straw in all of this will be the irish border hence to need to get the NI government in place so that the muck can be spread about a bit

      • Helena
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        Denis, you’re so right. It’s time the EU realised that a country is allowed to leave the EU and still keep all the benefits. That’s what Article 8 means, right?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          You mean all the benefits like always being a net contributor to the EU budget and running a chronic massive trade deficit with the rest of the EU and being the destination for uncontrolled and unlimited mass immigration and being outvoted on new laws which it does not want … Article 8 means what it says, and that is not “Any member state which decides to avail itself of the withdrawal procedure laid down in these treaties shall be subject to a punishment beating”.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Under WTO rules UK would have every right to respond to any EU imposition with retaliatory measures. Does DD really need to point this out? Perhaps so, because by signing a treaty with such provisions UK would be voluntarily giving up that right and the WTO could then do nothing on behalf of UK.

  51. Cromwell Jnr
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    You can tell when something odd is going on. The US stock Markets are up and down every other day. Economic commentators have run out of logical reasons. They’ve quoted all the customary excuses only to have them rubbished by the stock market operating directly opposite the following day. Now they saying perhaps “Someone Important may step forward to say everything is okay” No, we’ve no-one in the UK important enough either, not someone involved in day-to-day politics anyway. It is the same with The UK/EU negotiations. The House’s MPs have made such a punchbag of them that no-one believes anything anymore. MPs have screwed up.

  52. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting paper from July 2017:

    “The Local Economic Effects of Brexit”

    Directly contrary to the government studies which have recently been leaked:

    “… the areas that were most likely to vote remain are those that are predicted to be most negatively impacted by Brexit.”

    However even if the UK was trading with the continuing EU on basic WTO terms none of them would suffer to anything like the extent predicted in the leaked studies.

    As shown in Table 2 where the mean loss of GVA is given as 2.12%, and Table 3 where the range is from a GVA loss of 0.5% to one of 4.3%, and also the maps in Figure 2.

    So there you go: these findings are roughly consistent with the EU’s estimate of the benefit of its Single Market plus the residual benefit of the preceding Common Market:

    while the new UK Treasury studies are producing much higher predictions of losses, not dissimilar from the high losses predicted by the Treasury before the referendum.

    The answer is, of course, that Treasury civil servants are taking basic losses connected with moving to WTO terms, the 1% or 2% of GDP, and instead of making allowances for various benefits which would come close to cancelling out those basic losses – maybe a bit less, or maybe a bit more – they are indulging in politically charged speculation to produce greatly amplified losses, aka “fiddling the figures”.

    And then one or more of them, or one or more politicians, have breached confidence in an attempt to influence the deliberations of the Cabinet.

    • Miss Brandreth-Jones
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      I struggled to read this and wondered what exactly they mean by soft BREXIT what degree of softness and conversley what degree of hardness , although hard Brexit is easier as it means No deal.The impact does also not take into account the possibility of future trade. It states a case without any added benefits of world trade. Again like the Insurance brokerage I was involved in ,looks at past performance to predict future and we all know what happened to policies and pensions.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 9, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        “Under the hard Brexit scenario, the UK and the EU are not part of a free trade agreement (at least immediately) and so they must charge each other the tariffs that they charge to other members of the World Trade Organization. This means that goods crossing the UK-EU border are faced with WTO Most-Favoured-Nation tariffs. Dhingra et al. (2016a) also assume that non-tariff barriers will be larger in the absence of a free trade agreement. Specifically, they are assumed to increase to three quarters of the reducible barriers faced by US exporters to the EU (an 8.31% increase).”

  53. Mick
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
    Thank god these muppets aren’t trying to get us a good deal, I wouldn’t trust them to run a bath, let’s just get out ASAP that’s what we voted for, most of the people read the 9 million pound leaflet that was put through our doors so we knew the negative and positive after all it was rammed down our throats or is there a hidden agenda to keep us in a federal eu, it’s up to you Mr Redwood and your fellow patriot mps to make sure we leave with no strings attached because we are watching so do not try and fob us off

  54. margaret howard
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood is being very economical with the truth. The EU did not grant Cameron’s demands because they had grown tired of constant British pressure for ‘special concessions’, opt outs and claims of exceptionalism. Britain joined when the EU was thriving but then wanted to redraw the rules to favour its own conditions. The other members had enough and it is hard to find any EU country that regrets Britain leaving.

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      The EU didn’t exist when Britain joined the ‘Common Market.’ Germany and France seem to have dictated everything to their own advantage over the last 40 years so I don’t understand your point.

  55. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    First of all, it is as plain as a pikestaff to anyone not of a Europhile frame of mind, that UK should start the next round of negotiations by saying that UK is not interested in anything less than continuing free trade for both goods and services and without any political overlays and without any restrictions on its sovereign right to depart from EU regulation of individuals, businesses or organisations as when it so decides. The only obligation on UK should be to agree to regular, say, annual, reviews of regulatory alignment. UK’s ability to decide whether or not to continue regulatory alignment should be unrestricted by the terms of the deal.
    Having laid that on the table, UK should sit back and wait while proceeding unilaterally to prepare actively and visibly for No Deal, ie WTO terms on trade. Bi-lateral discussions with France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, states adjacent to UK’s EEZ and so on should continue on specific aspects relevant to them. They may consult with or defer to the EU if they wish. Other international channels should be utilised, eg., through IATA for air traffic routing and landing rights, WTO, IMO, etc etc. These rounds might possibly be comprised in a bare bones deal with the EU, but the important principle is that UK should negotiate as a third country, not as a member of the EU and it should be noted that EU competences do not include immigration, which remains a national competence.
    There is no time left for UK to agree anything with the EU other than one of two options: 1) being a vassal state for an undetermined period post Brexit or 2) an orderly No Deal.
    The notion that either the EU or the UK could commit to an end state of a so-called transition period that would be better than No Deal by autumn 2018 is fanciful in the extreme.

  56. Prigger
    Posted February 9, 2018 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Claire Perry ( Conservative MP for Devizes constituency ) said on BBC Question Time tonight and I paraphrase, that “Women work better together in Parliament than men do, as they do not quarrel and get on with things ”
    I wonder how many male MPs could say that men were better and get away with it. Of course I understand the mellow spirit in which she said it…just girly talk 🙂

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      I watch TV news with two presenters and see the female presenter treating the male presenter in ways which would enrage feminists if it was the other way round, but the male presenter generally takes it with good humour …

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    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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