The UK will rejoin the high table of global influence

Out of the EU the UK will have more influence in the world

The UK has often been a force for good

We have faced down genocides and warmongering dictators

We have often with our US ally stood for freedom, self determination and democracy

We stood up for the values of freedom and self determination when we helped liberate Kuwait

Freed the Falkland islanders

And defeated the Axis powers in 1945

Some say if we leave the EU we will become isolated and less powerful

That is selling us short and misunderstanding the realities

Out of the EU the UK will regain her voice and vote in international bodies where the EU has displaced us

We have not given up our seat on the UN Security Council

Let us take the WTO as an example

We were an influential founding member

In recent years we have had neither voice nor vote, as the EU has spoken for us

Out of the EU we will once again be a strong voice for free trade worldwide

Far from being isolated we will have new allies

Under WTO rules the EU cannot impose on us any barriers they do not impose on all the other WTO members

So if some in the EU have in mind retreating behind some stockade of tariffs and regulations

They will be picking a fight with the USA, China and the rest at the same time

Out of the EU we will be able to regain our voice and vote in various worldwide standards making bodies, whose work often requires the EU to implement the results

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  1. duncan
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe that this PM is committed to taking the UK of the EU. I believe she will find a method or device to tie us in some way to the laws and trading system of the EU.

    I am trying to decide if Eurosceptic Tory MPs are using her weakness as leader against her to force through full UK independence or if they themselves are too cowardly to confront her for fear of triggering a GE and the uncertainty that this would bring for themselves

    What the EU do from here is to a degree irrelevant. I want the UK out of the EU irrespective of their response but then I’m not a politician and therefore see the world through the prism of morality (doing what we know to be right and proper) rather than through the prism of vile politics (doing what’s best for political advantage irrespective of what is right and proper)

    Get us of the EU. Get rid of this appalling, spineless PM. And then let’s get on with confronting the real threat to the UK, Marxism

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Indeed as you say “Get us of the EU. Get rid of this appalling, spineless PM. And then let’s get on with confronting the real threat to the UK, Marxism”.

      May cannot be allowed to stand at the next election as she is such a huge electoral liability even against moronic Marxists. Together with Hammond, she has totally the wrong economic policies too – high increasing taxes, ever more regulation, expensive energy and a bloated government wasting money hand over fist all over the place.

      • Richard1
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        May has clearly made a terrible mistake in having the election, but we are where we are. Given that, she is in no position to be as robust as many would like. Even a small number of Tory rebels can force a change given Corbyn’s opportunism. So Mrs May has a v difficult hand to play.

        I think where this could now be headed is Corbyn continues his ‘journey’ and finds he’s in favour of ‘a’ single market as well. Soubry and Co will jump on that and the final deal might be the U.K. ‘leaves’ the EU but remains in the customs union and the single market (or ‘a’…etc). At that point it might be the brexiteers who want a new referendum with a choice of Remain-lite or Leave+ WTO immediately from March 19. That will be a roller-coaster. I would be interested in JRs considered view as to whether the U.K. could be ready for Leave + WTO from March 19 with perhaps only 5 months notice.

      • Hope
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        DUP MP on TV thrashed any argument over the Irish border despite e BBCs best attempts to say the U.K. Should remain in the customs union. We need someone from the DUP to negotiate with Barneir and co. Not weak kneed Europhile civil servants.

        Wollaston and other (people ed) like her seem to forget parliament made it clear the public vote would decide and parliament would act on it. The public voted leave, and knew it meant leaving the customs union and single market. We know this because Cameron made it clear in Parliament! There was always a remain bias in parliament, therefore her point about there not being a majority in parliament has no legitimate or democratic basis.

        Time to leave without a deal, if the EU want a border up to them the is no need as pointed out by the DUP as tax on goods etc already collected without a border. This is specious rubbish to keep the U.K. in the EU or humiliate the country by stealing Northern Ireland. This is tantamount to an act of war! By those allegedly claiming the EU is a force for peace. No more conversations, no more money, no more ECJ. Our laws, borders, money and courts remain here in the U.K.

    • Chris
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I echo your concerns, Duncan.

    • Iago
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      quite agree and ably assisted by the complacent David Davis and the rest of the acquiescent cabinet, including Gove, Johnson, Fox.

    • Peter
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Yes. I am also not sure whether Brexit Tories are working behind the scenes and driving a weak Prime Minister in the right direction or whether they are too weak or ‘cowardly’ in your words to topple her.

      The EU are working well from their political point of view. They are yielding nothing and playing a waiting game. It is clear the UK will not be offered a good deal. Prevarication is pointless and worse than that it damages the UK.

    • Peter
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I suppose one further hope is that the EU intransigence might actually force an unwilling UK government to walk away with ‘No Deal’. The latest EU stance on Northern Ireland is but one example.

      It will now be very difficult for Mrs. May and the Remainers to devise a well-worded ‘Brexit in Name Only’ that they can fob off on the British public.

      In many ways, the EU seem keener on ‘No Deal’ than the British government.

      • Robert Betteridge
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        The mantra that you ‘don’t miss what you’ve never had’ applies to the question of the Irish Border. It has ‘always’ been a free travel area. Presently we derive no duty from cross Border Trade. Whatever Customs Agreement we manage with the EU we (probably) won’t raise much, if any. The current cry is that if we erect cameras they will be blown up.
        Anyone selling ex EU goods will need to charge VAT, importers could be asked to declare transactions, which would in any event show up in any VAT investigation, and if they were to journey on across the Irish Sea. Since Import Duty is a tax on our citizens, we might decide that small undeclared importation isn’t economically viable to collect, currently Ex-EU imports under £120 aren’t assessed. If the EU felt differently, as is their right as a Customs Block, the onus to erect controls to collect tax, and suffer the consequences, is their pigeon.
        The EU calculates the Black Hole of our leaving to be roughly 1/5th of their yearly income – that’s €28 Billion or £24 Billion split between our contribution and the Import Tax we collect for Brussels. That’s going out of our current account every year – rather puts Ireland’s possible tax take into perspective.

      • Atlas
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes, after Corbyn’s ‘pick and mix’ Customs Union proposal which the EU has already said to May’s team is a no-no, and now the EU pronouncements on the NI border, then a ‘No Deal’ outcome indeed looks to be back on the cards.

        By the way John, are we as a country committed to an EU defence force?

        • Mark B
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Yes. We are committed to subsidising their defence.

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        “I suppose one further hope is that the EU intransigence might actually force an unwilling UK government to walk away with ‘No Deal’.”

        I’m seriously beginning to believe that ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’were just words Peter. There’s not enough of then in the Government with any backbone and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that capitulating May will settle for whatever crumbs the EU decide to throw at her andthen try and sell it as a good deal just as Cameron did before her.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          And Major before him and Wilson before him. And so it goes on.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      The Tory rebel MP, Sarah Woolaston, said on the BBC’s Newsnight programme that there is not a parliamentary majority for a ‘hard Brexit’. This is the mistake so frequently made by these pro-EU people. There is a majority out in the country for a Brexit that takes back control of our money, our laws, and our borders, not to mention our inalienable right to self-determination.

      The will of the people should be the policy of the government – any government. That is how democracy works, not to be usurped by career politicians who seek to do as they think they will, or to serve another master entirely.

      Tad Davison


      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Career politician are not interested in the will ( or indeed the interests) of the public. They are interested in their careers and their consultancies – sometime these interests are in line but not that often.

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        The will of the people? You mean the will of the mob. The backward, old misguided Daily Mail readers will be allowed to dictate the future of England? I say England on purpose, not Scotland and Ireland because they will leave the union if Brexit is ever allowed to succeed.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Over 17 million voted to leave the EU
          Only a million read the Daily Mail

        • graham1946
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          What the haters really dislike about the Daily Mail is that 9 times out of ten in the end they are proved correct.

          Stick to the Guardian if that is your bag, always wrong on every issue.

      • jerry
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        @Tad Davison; ” This is the mistake so frequently made by these pro-EU people. There is a majority out in the country for a Brexit”

        But only Parliament can alter primary legislation, not the Crown, nor the people, what ever you might wish to be the case – to suit your partisan wish. That is why, in the UK, referenda are merely advisory, they can not be anything else under our constitutional settlement, and why the people elect representatives called Members of Parliament.

        Thus only Parliament can repeal the 1972 Act of Accession that took us into the EEC. The only way to influence Parliament so it votes the way you wish is via a General Election (to get more like minded people elected), so if you are feeling lucky lets have one — oh hang on, wasn’t that tried in 2017, what is more technically the GE of 2017 trumps the referendum of 2016, as no future govt. can be held hostage by any previous govt. [1] (the Brexit Referenda was held in the 56th parliament, we are now in the 57th).

        [1] otherwise the Thatcher govt. could not have de-nationalised what previous Labour govts. had nationalised!

        Why is it that so many europhobes who called for Brexit, because they want our democracy back, now want to rip up that very same parliamentary democracy because it might not deliver what they want. A bunch of Hypocrites!

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink


          You need to pay attention to reality. Yes our parliament enacts the laws. They voted on the will of the people already. We are just asking that they implement what they already debated, voted on and passed .

          Nothing hypocritical in ensuring that people do the job they’ve been paid to do. Nothing hypocritical in ensuring that MP’s treat the will of parliament and the laws they’ve passed with respect and actually implement them. What we actually have is a minority of MP’s trying to change laws that have already been passed by parliament, they do that like you do Jerry by making up fictitious reasons to not Leave the EU , SM, CU, etc etc lock stock and barrel which is what the mandate said.

          • jerry
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Nothing hypocritical in ensuring that people do the job they’ve been paid to do.”

            Except that is what they are doing, the problem being that they are not doing as you think they should, hence the hypocrisy from those who demanded the return of democracy to the UK but then object when it doesn’t deliver what they want.

            “What we actually have is a minority of MP’s trying to change laws that have already been passed by parliament”

            Indeed, mostly hard-line Brexiteers!

            The referenda asked about leaving the EU, that is what the UK will do, but it asked nothing about how or when – leaving the EU but joining the EEA is still leaving, Norway is not in the EU. If Brexiteers want to be more specific then we need to have that second referenda, asking the How and When questions this time.

            Also, nice attempt to rubbish me Libby, trying to make out that I’m trying to sabotage Brexit, only trouble is that I’m on record on this site saying that I actually favour leaving on WTO terms because I agree with JR-M, the UK must not become a vessel state.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        True, Tad.

        An EU Parliament OR a UK Parliament but not both, thank you very much.

        If we’re going to have an unrepresentative Parliament it doesn’t really matter which.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Would this be the same Wollaston that ‘defected’ from Leave to Remain?

      • Richard
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Tad..all above is what Irish Republicans have being saying for generations

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Morality is nice to have. Marxism went to the archives a long time ago. No one believes in it, except people afraid of marxists. What you should be afraid of is giving neo-marxists or other opportunistic moralists from the communeautarian spectrum of political thought, an opportunity to copy Venezuela. That opportunity appears to be growing by the day and can only be remedied by explaining to the people that there is no cake to be eaten or had. Life in a competitive world economy is hard and merciless. A bit like that British political philosophers’ perception. Maybe a combination of morality and Enlightenment (Smith for instance) would help.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Well said Duncan. I share your view.

    • sm
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      In order to ‘replace’ Mrs May, the Party would need to find a candidate with:

      1. impeccable credentials, both politically and personally
      2. a forceful and charismatic character
      3. and one that is capable of inspiring respect from most MPs
      4. a desire for leadership, even under extreme conditions
      5. sufficient regard for the country that s/he would be prepared to potentially risk a rewarding political career

      Step forward………..who?

      • Timaction
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, You are right. I would only give us a 10% chance now of actually leaving the EU. The LibLabCon establishment and the civil service are going for BINO. Tory Brexiteers have been out manouevred.

      The only sensible way is to give 12 months diplomatic notice of leaving, because our independence is non-negotiable. That doesn’t mean we should stop diplomacy, but the EU should be under no illusion that we will treat it as any other third country.

      Any of the numerous threats from the EU should be met with counter threats and preferential treatment for other more friendly nations.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but will we ever actually get out under Theresa May. Even if we do May and Hammond seem determined to stick to the very high tax, high regulation and expensive energy EU model that has done such massive economic damage to Europe and the UK.

    • Chris
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      May and Hammond need a dose of Trumpism, but they seem to be firmly entrenched in their mindsets, with no vision, no entrepreneurial spirit, nor the necessary wisdom and competence to take us out of the EU and to make Brexit work. The country deserves so much better than this. They will also never win elections convincingly with their left liberal policies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink


        Their idea of “entrepreneurial spirit” is to increases taxes still further, make people pay a fortune for green crap energy, force PC drivel onto business, pass more and more daft regulations to kill jobs, build on EU “workers rights” and to follow the failed European Economic Model.

        Thus killing competitiveness in the UK.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        You mean they should communicate with each other in Trumpian ways?

      • NickC
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Come on Chris, this isn’t the 16th Century you know, we don’t have the courage or the technology to go whizzing round the world like we did back then. Any way the planet is much bigger and more scary than it was. Or so Remains tell me.

        • Chris
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Indeed, our politicians/government have apparently been emasculated by membership of the EU – apparently just reduced to wimps who cannot think for themselves and who prefer to be told what to do and to get handouts for the UK (only for specific purposes and actually funded by us anyway) in return.

  3. Tasman
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    As ever, you completely misrepresent the nature of the WTO. As a member of the EU we have barrier-free trade at Dover, Felixstowe, Fishguard etc. Outside the EU, we will have to face tariffs, customs checks, phytosanitary inspections and many other formalities – these are barriers all States face when they trade with the EU, and the WTO has nothing to say about them. Is it possible to trade with the EU without being a member of it? Of course it is, but it is a lot slower and more costly than it is if you are a member. Brexit is the biggest step back from free trade in human history

    • duncan
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Leaving the EU isn’t about trade, this is about direct democracy, sovereignty and national independence

      This is about political accountability

      This is about holding those who take decisions on our behalf to account

      This is about circumventing the power and influence of the self-serving, grubby liberal elite who use inter-national bodies to pass on power and circumvent national parliaments

      You fail to understand what’s at stake here. This isn’t about the cost of tomatoes, fish or whatever product we import or indeed export

      This is about taking back full democratic control of the political decision making process

      You wouldn’t adopt such a position if you were an America, Aussie, Kiwi or Canadian.

      Trade will be what trade will be and as always we will respond as the UK has always done but the most important challenge is that we must take back full control of the UK and wrestle it back from the autocratic grip of the EU

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        I can assure you that many Aussies would like to be in a customs union of over 500 million consumers..

        • Timaction
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Let me assure you that to give up their sovereignty and control to a group of unelected, unaccountable and lets be honest, rude dictators, they would not! They, like me and many others would rather be poorer and free than under the control of unelected and unaccountable dictators where we get next to no say at any level but at huge cost.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            Does not sound you know Australians well. They would not like to be under the control dictators but that goes for almost anywhere. Where are those dictators anyway “unelected and unaccountable”?

        • Chris
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          The Aussies quite rightly would never accept being told what to do and being a “vassal” state.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink


          I can assure you that you are wrong totally , as the Australian Commissioner for Trade himself pointed out the other day.

          You seem to be totally ignorant of what a customs union actually is, and you seem to conflate it with selling products into that area. So let me put you straight, anyone from anywhere can sell products and services into the EU. Thats why every EU citizen owns a mobile phone, not one of which was made by an EU country .

          For those of us that trade internationally we are fully aware that there are 7.6 BILLION consumers in the world. with roughly 7% of them living in the EU.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Obviously you are not very familiar with the courteous mr Downer who during his Canberra days used to be caricatured in Dame Edna style. He was just trying to be nice, I assume.

      • Peter
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink


        I think this is the best post I have seen from you. It is all about control and the nation state for me too.

        Free trade can work in cases where a country has an advantage in producing goods and services. At other times protectionism suits. You can be crafty with this too as our continental neighbours have often shown.

        Anyway let’s get back to a nation state with accountable politicians that we can get rid of if they don’t suit.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Duncan, for an eloquent reply to ”Tasman” who is typical of negative, naysaying remainers. Project Fear certainly infected their minds. It is still quite baffling that, since the referendum, they have still not seen fit to educate themselves. They give the impression that they find the idea of the UK suffering really quite exciting. Thank goodness for positive and optimistic mouthpieces like Dr Redwood and, among others, yourself!

      • Peter
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


        Your best post ever.

        Leaving is about taking back control and the nation state versus supra national edicts.

        Free trade is fine where countries have an edge. Protectionism also suits in many cases. Other neighbours on the continent have many examples of protectionism by stealth/ invisible barriers which suit their national interests.

        Anyway, becoming a self governing nation state with accountable politicians is what it is all about. We can argue the toss about free trade AFTER that.

        The American paleocon philosophy suits me better here than the free trade mantra. Look after number one.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          Duncan would be a great PM. Seriously!

      • acorn
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        So basically, you want the UK to become the North Korea of the North Atlantic? Frankly, I would rather take my chances inside the EU, where there are levels of appeal against an elected dictatorship that we have in the UK.

        An elected dictatorship that could change the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, from five years to ten or twenty. Just like the Communist Party of China’s Xi Jinping wants to cement his power with a plan to scrap the two-term limit of office for its leader. In fact, it would be easier to do it in the UK than it will be in China.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


          Are you completely simple? Yes an elected UK government could if voted through change any rule. What planet do you inhabit that you dont seem to know that the EU can and does do exactly the same?

          I love lefties who are so obsessed that they are willing to give up democracy just to prove that they can go on holiday to EU without getting a visa. I love lefties who think an unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable set of politicians are better than free elections. I love lefties who fail to see that anyone could seize control of EU ( Blair? ) and do all kinds of damage. But then you’re the person that told me the French government were saving a French company ( who are actually South Korean) from selling out a shipyard to the Italians ( the same Italians that the French government sold a 51% stake too). Acorn the gift that keeps on giving.

      • SecretPeople
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Duncan.

      • Chris
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Splendid, Duncan. I am sure you must have written to MPs/those in government in those words, but another timely letter to key individuals would serve our cause greatly.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      “Brexit is the biggest step back from free trade in human history”

      Can you just briefly explain why in your view it is a bigger step back than the Japan closed country edict of 1635 ?

      • getahead
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        ” Brexit is the biggest step back from free trade in human history”
        And since when was the EU single market “free”?

    • Edward2
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      The nations with the biggest growth of trade with Europe since the EU set up the single market are America and China.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Trade will be as slow or fast as we allow politicians to make it. People trade, politicians frustrate trade. We do not wish to put up any restrictions, will the other countries in the EU allow the EU bureaucrats, who don’t do any trading, force them to frustrate trade.
      This is what the EU fears, loss of power and therefore it becomes irrelevant.

    • jerry
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      @Tasman; It is you who is completely misrepresent the nature of the WTO, the world is not the EU28 but some 164 countries, only 27 of whom will be part of the EU post Brexit..

      “Brexit is the biggest step back from free trade in human history”

      No, that was (necessarily) allowing independence & self governance for the British Empire, second was abandoning the Commonwealth for the EEC, third was signing up to the EU’s (protective) single market that stopped the UK from taking her seat at the WTO etc and thus negotiating the best trade agreements and tariffs for the needs of the country.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        What did the Commonwealth mean to the UK in the 1970s?

        • rick hamilton
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 12:43 am | Permalink

          It meant a huge captive export market with British protective tariffs, which were very important when we were a great manufacturing nation. Those tariffs were lost after their independence. The emergence of Japan as a competitor on a weak currency made the EEC look like a better option than relying on the former Empire. With China emerging later the EEC was a good arrangement.

          Since the 1970s we have lost huge swathes of manufacturing and now we buy far too much from abroad. Whether that is caused by EU membership or would have happened anyway is hard to say. We were told the UK would have free access to 12 (?) markets but they didn’t mention those countries having free access to ours.

          Maastricht was a massive mistake for us, but no referendum was offered despite the obvious loss of sovereignty. Much of the political class will pay the price for its arrogance, or ignorance, take your pick. The EU is a political project and we are well out of it.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            Apart from the final paragraph you are spot on. The Commonwealth was once a huge captive market. But the commonwealth countries are not interested in anything but commonwealth games and the occasional get together of heads of state. It is becoming harder and harder to find a gracious host for these events. What you describe is a country that lost an empire and then lost its industries (replaced by shopkeepers and city types). That was not the EU’s doing. And the EU is a political process in the eyes of some EU excentrics and of course as a rhetorical device. It is a melting pot and a great place to do business. Maybe it will become a political entity in a substantive way, maybe not. Most people do not care.

          • jerry
            Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            @Rien Huizer; “But the commonwealth countries are not interested in anything but commonwealth games and the occasional get together of heads of state.”

            Care to cite some evidence that Commonwealth countries are not interested in trading with the UK post Brexit?!

            Many policy mistakes were made in the UK, but most revolved around our EEC/EU membership, especially when it comes to industry and manufacturing, that is why Brexit is not and can not simply be about trade but our whole economic policies and methods.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      And no secure border. Bit of a flaw, that.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      There is no reason for this unless the EU decides to start a trade war by erecting tariff and other barriers which aren’t currently in place. The UK has no intention to do so. If there are new barriers to UK-EU trade it will be the EU that’s imposing them.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        It’s not about tariff. It’s about country of origin rules. Let’s assume that the EU and the UK sign a free trade deal with 0% tariffs on car parts. Let’s assume that both the UK and the EU sign a trade deal with China. However, the EU charges 10% and the UK 5%

        What would prevent a Chinese exporter wanting to sell in the EU to export the car part to the UK first (and pay 5% duty) and then re-package the parts into a new box with a big Union Jack on top and export it to the EU at 0%, thus saving 5% in the process.

        Hence rules of origins which are meant to prove that the products you export are truely yours and not some re-exportations. It will work both way, as the UK may also want to impose its own tariff schedule and this means that there will need to be some inspection at some stage.

        It has nothing to do with trade wars.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          Time for the EU to lower its tariffs then!

          • Tabulazero
            Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

            Sure. Do we get to have a vote on that or we are meant to blindly follow what 17m British people out of 400m decided ?

        • Richard1
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          uk-eu Trade will remain tariff free as now unless one or other party decides to change it, which the U.K. will certainly not, unless I suppose in retaliation. It is quite easy to ensure an FTA isn’t wilfully breached in the way you describe and of course this is an issue for every FTA.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            But if nothing changes, Richard, what’s the point of Brexit ?
            I am really surprised you would support full regalutory alignment on the EU.

            This does not strike me as very Brexiterish

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          I suppose that we could have, and take sufficient care to enforce, UK laws designed to prevent UK businesses breaking such EU rules if and when they exported to the EU … which is in fact the present situation, as the EU and the other EU countries have effectively been given that kind of legal guarantee through the UK’s EU single market legislation, except of course that those laws unnecessarily apply to all businesses in the UK rather than just the 6% which export to the EU …

          • Tabulazero
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            True but it would require the EU to have a lot of trust in the UK and it raises also the question of compensation if the EU would find out that the UK is not fulfilling its obligations.

            Frankly, there is not a lot of trust going around these days. The antics of your Foreign Secretary are not helping.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            So what has the UK state done to cause any loss of trust?

            The EU treaties have explicit provision for a member state to withdraw of it so chooses and the UK is making proper use of that provision. Nothing there for the EU to justifiably conclude that the UK state can no longer be trusted.

        • NickC
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Can you explain why we should be bothered about the EU’s fixation with the origin of products? Oh . . . . that’s right, because a) the EU is more important than we are according to the EU, and b) the EU protectionist racket must be protected at all costs. Well, actually, I think our independence is more valuable than your sordid little oligarchy.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes the EU is 6 Times your size. What you call a protectionist racket also protect small to medium sized farmers in the UK. What are you going to offer them: go and compete with Argentine cattle farmers on the open market ?

          • Richard1
            Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

            Not really fair he/she has raised a valid issue which needs a proper response

        • Student
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          To answer your scenario directly, the EU imported 152,000 cars from China in 2016, down almost 30% from the previous year and has been falling since. By contrast, recent research by Deloitte estimates a no deal scenario will result in a 255,000 unit reduction in German car exports to the UK and risk 18,000 German jobs. The impact on the most powerful and infuential country far outweighs the benefits of imposing tariffs on the UK.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

            Interesting but does your study state what would be the impact on German car manufacturers if the single-market was to unravel were the UK get a sweat cake and eat it deal ?

            It’s a matter of priorities : trade with the UK is good. That the single-market continues when you operate multiple plants across Europe is vital.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


          You ask what would prevent the Chinese selling on car parts.

          This may shock you but in the real world this situation has been in place for a very long time. You see there are countries that aren’t in the EU and trade happens between them and the EU so guess what? Theres ALREADY a system for dealing with it. Heres some info taken from the government website fact sheet on country of origin components

          Tariff preferences
          Once you have clarified the origin of the goods you’re exporting or importing, you can find out if they qualify for preferential treatment under a tariff preference scheme.

          There are 2 types of scheme:

          autonomous or non-reciprocal schemes are only for imports into the EU under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)
          reciprocal schemes applying to both imports to the EU and exports from it
          Ultimately, any preferential rate of duty will depend on there being preferential coverage for goods of that type between the importing and exporting countries – or between the EU and a third country – and the product:

          meeting its relevant rule of origin
          being wholly produced in the preference country or substantially manufactured there according to particular rules
          not being subject to a quota which would limit the quantity of the product that can be brought in under preference
          Once you have established the origin of the goods you can check their customs classification which will show you if the goods qualify for a preference scheme. See classification of goods website

    • Nematode
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      If you are right then what you are saying is that the EU wishes to impose delays, higher costs on us therefore you must believe the EU expects and welcomes us to impose the same on them?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Only fair..

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The EU is a prtoectionist club. Plrease don’t try and give the impression that it is an avid suppoerter of free trade when it is not.
      If it were they would gladly agree to maintaining a free trade arrangement with the UK when we leave. They give the opposite impression. Remember that 7000million people live outside the EU.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Free trade is WITHIN the EU. Probably the freest international trade in the world. In the rest of the world, there is no free trade, except within trade blocs and that treade tends to be a lot less free than the intra-EU version.

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          A protectionist club as I wrote.

        • Timaction
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Free trade for the UK all at a gross cost of about £19 billion and they give us some back so long as we put an EU flag on it and claim it is their money, when really its our recycled taxes.
          We just want our freedom and sovereignty!!!
          Remember this is all yesterdays news/debate and like yesterdays chip paper should be consigned to the bin

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


          You dont understand the concept of free trade. There is most definitely NOT free trade within the EU. Tariff free is not the same as free trade. There are dozens of non tariff barriers that prevent free trade within the EU.

          There are literally hundreds of bilateral Free trade deals in place in the rest of the world. You are talking complete ignorant nonsense

          Heres a list to get you started

    • Mainstreet
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Tasman, The EU is not a “Free Trade” organisation. The annual contribution makes it a very expensive trade protection racket.

      Having spent the last 20 years importing electronics and other items from China, I found few barriers or delays due to customs checks and compliance issues. Usually a container would be delivered in a day or so from the ship docking.

      Most items imported have very low import duties (2-3%) and many were zero rated.

      • Endo
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        That is because the EU has a network of trade facilitation agreements with China. All lost after Brexit

        • Edward2
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          I’m sure China and the UK can agree similar terms after we we leave.

      • Andy
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        I export to the USA and I find the same.

      • Richard1
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Good post

    • Ian wragg
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      We’ve just come back of a cruise. A Chinese ship docked with about 2000 containers on. They were offloaded onto trucks from all over the country for delivery. Odd ones were selected for checking.
      There were no queues or delays.
      How is that possible when the ship came direct from China.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      “but it is a lot slower and more costly”

      Come on then, give us some numbers. Let’s see just how gross your exaggeration is, like the gross exaggerations of the value of the EU Single Market.

    • BOF
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Tasman; I believe you have just identified the reason that UK trade with the rest of the world is growing faster than EU trade, both with the RoW and the UK!

    • Gareth
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink


      It is a fallacy to believe that our foreign policy behaviour in 1982, let alone 1939 to 1945, is of any relevance to the argument of whether or not we should leave the EU. This is a different time and the world very different.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Only if the EU is stupid enough to do it. Even then I believe in business and their ability to adapt to whatever stupid politicians force on them. Business will continue because money talks louder than the EU panjandrums.
      There is much posturing as part of the negotiation and it will continue up until the last minute when common sense will prevail and an FTA will be agreed. The nuclear option of mutual destruction is nonsensical but all part of the plan to try to frighten the British people, who, the EU should have realised by now are made of sterner stuff.

      We are Germany’s biggest customers for cars, France’s biggest customer for wines and agricultural produce etc. and is much the same for all the developed EU. You do not try to cripple your best customer.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        And cars and wine will continue to arrive. Even in Australia, BMW and French wine sell very well. Despite tariffs etc.

        • graham1946
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Exactly my point, so nod deal will do us just fine.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


      • Andy
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        And given the attitude coming out of Paris and Berlin, not to mention Brussels, which is hostile and aggressive towards the UK and her people, we should all start to change our shopping habits. So I’ve recently bought some wine and it was English Champagne rather than French and I’m already looking at ‘New World’ wines to replace French claret etc. The useless German car has already gone. The only thing I will still do is go to Greece: the Greek people have suffered so much at the hands of the EU it is a duty to encourage them to rise up and leave !!

    • Bob
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Is that how they allow horsemeat to be sold for human consumption?

    • Phil_Richmond
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Tasman – We are the EUs largest export market. They sell us a lot more than we sell them. We have a huge trade deficit with them. If the EU really cared about the prosperity of its people then this would be sorted out quite easily. However this is a political project and the UK needs to be punished!
      However I will give you one example of why the EU political class are going to be in a world of trouble very very soon. Ok lets go to WTO rules. The UK is the WORLDS largest importer of French agricultural products. Included are ……….Beef, Cheese, Butter, Lamb, Apples, Wine, Champagne, Cognac etc etc. Two words… French Farmers… Serious question. Do you think they are going to allow these products to attract 20-42% tariffs because Juncker wants a united states of Europe???
      They will bring down the French Government and probably stringing up EU bureaucrats from lamp posts. Not a joke. Seriously.

      Start thinking about the awesome power the UK has globally. We are not some little island that can be bullied easily!!

    • libertarian
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink


      If as you suggest the EU wish stop close down trade and impose barriers its no wonder their economy is shrinking and they have such huge unemployment. Meanwhile China, USA, India and Australia are thriving , oh look none of them are EU members…how on earth do they manage it

      The EU is NOT and never has been a free trade area

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      The trade is not *free* if we have to take in 500,000 poor people a year.

      The trade is not *free* if we have to give up home rule.

      The trade is not *free* if we have to pay net contributions to the EU.

      The trade is not *free* if we have had to give up fisheries.

      The trade is not *free* if we have to subsidise EU farming.

      The trade is not *free* if we are to pay a Tobin tax or any other redistributive EU taxation.

  4. Mark B
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I could have written this. It is what I and many others, here and elsewhere have been saying for sometime.

    Some say if we leave the EU we will become isolated and less powerful

    This claim has always irked me, much like the over used and quite undoubtedly wrong notion of, ‘influence in the EU’. In the EU the UK is only 1/28th of one say. That is both in the EU and, globally. This is because the Council of Ministers is one minister, one vote. So on this very important council the UK has no more or less say than Malta. Yet we pay far more in and get far less out than the vast majority.

    When CMD claimed, quite falsely, to have reduced the EU budget, what he in fact negotiated was a reduction for all the others, but an increase for the UK. Later, it was found, the EU miscalculated and the UK and a few others had to cough up more. It is never that case that others have to make do with less, because they are in the majority and the Council of Ministers (one vote each) will always vote for more.

    Out of this madhouse there will be more contributors than before. The Common Agricultural Policy no longer looks good for France as the French government has realised without us in the Single Market and paying in, they will no longer be recipients.

    Leaving the EU will not be easy. But it is the best thing we have ever done. Trouble is, our political pygmies in Westminster are going to be shown up for the lightweights we always knew they were. It ain’t gonna be pretty watching these people, but there you go 🙂

  5. Tabulazero
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    You used to be a powerfull voice inside a 400mm trading and political block. You use to participate in crafting policy for a whole continent.

    Now you do not anymore.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      A voice that was outvoted most of the time.
      27 members only 9 paying in.
      All with a vote.
      And with QMV on major issues and a reducing veto power the UK is better to be out of it all.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        Plenty of people get to vote in the UK despite paying virtually no taxes. Likewise, the vote of people paying lots of taxes does not weigh more than the vote of people that pay less taxes.

        Do you find that unfair ?

        • Edward2
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Red herring from you.

          It’s not tax the member states pay.
          Your original point was about influence of the UK in the EU after we leave.
          My point was that the UK under the EU’s system is currently very weak considering its size, population and contributions.

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero: “You used to be a powerfull voice inside” the EU. Ohh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha . . . . .

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        Guess who gave us the single-market and pushed for EU Eastern Expension ?

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          The UK?

    • L Jones
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Oh – tosh.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      The new QMV rules at the European Council have effectively reduced the UK’s power to influence policy to almost zero probability. All the areas that required unanimity up to ten years ago – ensuring that policy was carefully discussed and agreed – now need only a majority. Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands (for example) if voting together can ignore the interests of all the other countries, including Britain.
      That’s forty new policy areas – leaving only ten areas of EU policy (new membership, taxation etc) that require unanimity.
      No country ‘participates’ in crafting policy – they naturally attempt to obtain what best suits their own country by means of horsetrading.
      Let’s not confuse the EU with a benign co-operative.

      • mancunius
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Typo alert:
        ‘That’s forty new policy areas – leaving only ten areas of EU policy (new membership, taxation etc) that no longer require unanimity, only QMV.’

        • mancunius
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, ignore typo alert – the original post was correct, and there was no typo.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      We weren’t even allowed to craft policy in our own country ! Cameron proved that over modest requests for border control.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink


      That would be a trading block incapable of negotiating a major trade deal because 1 of 27 countries in it has a problem with tomatoes….

      The whole failure of the EU is that it tries to imposes uniform one size fits all solutions to 27 radically different places, all with very different needs

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        Yet the ability to seemlesly trade, move good, people and capital across 28 radically different places is priceless.

        It’s a trade off between « everyone is a unique snowflake » and « one size fit all ».

        • Edward2
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          If you think trading in the EU is seemless you plainly don’t try to export to the EU.
          I found it easier to trade with non EU countries
          Less red tape

        • libertarian
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink


          Those of us that actually you know trade in the real world know that its perfectly possible and happens every day to move goods, capital, services and people across 160 countries every day without the EU

          I trade with Canada Brazil Japan & Spain. Spain is the worst to deal with and I stopped trading with Germany altogether as they just have so many rules to prevent trading.

          Try taking a look at the countries that the EU can’t get a trade deal with ( hint all the biggest, fastest growing economies) then get back to me.

          Let us know where you trade and have gained your experience of international business

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Lisa Nandy (Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the Daily Politics) seems to see a choice between “a high wage, high regulation economy or low wage, low regulation economy”.

    Clearly she is rather confused (another politics graduate). By what mechanism does government over regulation ever make wages higher or industry more efficient?

    • Andy
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Regulation exists for a reason. It is a sign of a society which has learned from its mistakes.

      Their are regulations, for example, on what sort of cords you can have on window blinds.

      Outrageous bureaucracy scream the hard right. Thank God scream the distraught parents whose dead children are the reason for that rule.

      Who knows perhaps a regulation has even stopped you hurting yourself in a nasty way at some point.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        That change was initiated by us here in the UK
        It took ages to get it into law as it had to go through the EU process first.
        Out of the EU that life saving change would have been law much sooner.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


        And what makes you think that the EU are the only ones who can pass safety legislation ? Oh and any idea why the EU is right and UK wrong on Live Transport of Animals, foie gras force feeding, bull fighting etc ?

        EU minimum vehicle safety standards have not been updated since 2009. A plan to require carmakers to install life-saving technologies such as automated emergency braking, overridable intelligent speed assistance and passenger seat belt reminders in all cars was postponed again last month. I think more people die in car accidents than window blinds

        We won’t even mention diesel fuel

  7. David Price
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    There have been numerous complaints against the EU that have been and are the subject of the WTO dispute resolution procedures. The EU itself has even used that process and laid itself subject to it’s judgement as in the case of WT/DS265 (Export subsidies on sugar).

    So the WTO does take action on EU trade and the EU does accept the WTO as a ruling body. This information is easy enough to find out, the EU even lists some of the cases on it’s website.

    As always, it is you and your ilk that completely misrepresent the situation.

    • David Price
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      … above is response to Tasman’s 6:25 am comment

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      David Price, I am not sure who the “you” is in your comment. However Remains don’t seem to realise that EU nations exports and imports are themselves governed by WTO rules. And when Remains sneer that no one trades under WTO rules they are ignorant of the fact that 98% of global trade is governed by WTO rules. The RTAs and MRAs are just minor modifiers to reduce some tariffs and mutually recognise internal regulatory authorities.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Question: why do you call countries “nations” . Nations are a Rugby concept I believe. MOst countyries do not have national rugby (union) teams.

      • David Price
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        It was supposed to be a reply to Tasman. I agree with you as in fact does the EU who recognises the WTO dispute process and has submitted to it, details can be found on the EU’s own website.

  8. eeyore
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    If he will permit, I’d like to address the topic JR has raised today instead of all those he has not. Two factors are important when estimating a country’s global influence: how much it has in the bank and how many divisions it can field. On either count we do not do well.

    The world is run by those who turn up. Britain has certainly turned up, usually uninvited, for centuries. We have many friends everywhere, many enemies too. I suspect the world will not be displeased to see us suffer a fall.

    There is a fatuity beloved of politicians and it is called the Fallacy of Moral Influence. The Left are particularly addicted to it. When Prime Minister Corbyn is swaggering round the globe, demanding it admires his beautiful shiny conscience but without a battalion at his back or a bean in his pocket, we shall then find out what clout we really have.

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Eeyore, Too true, realpolitik wins. Unfortunately I can assure you that the FCO wallows in the fallacy of “soft power”.

  9. agricola
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It is a peripheral to the immediate, which is leaving the EU cleanly. Hopefully the EU will see the sense in continuing free trade but if not WTO rules will suffice. Having more direct influence on World bodies can but be a plus. It will be a bit like being self employed again after a spell of corporate life.

  10. JoolsB
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    John, all what you say is so true but it hasn’t happened yet and as each day goes by, sadly it is looking more and more unlikely that it will. Despite the referendum result, we now have Her Majesty’s opposition fully committed to staying in although they won’t admit it, the SNP are opposed to leaving as are a good number in your party. May although a remainer talked tough to begin with but is now showing her true colours and capitulating on every EU demand. Why on earth your colleagues chose her as leader is a mystery and a big mistake. Leadsome would have been much tougher and got the job done by now unlike weak and pathetic May. Then we have the biggest arch remainer of the lot – Hammond. Why is he still in post?

    The people have spoken and they voted to LEAVE the EU and everything to do with it. May needs to go and we need a new leader to get on with it NOW and that means out of the Customs Union, out of the Single Market, no transition period and definitely no divorce payment. Anything else will make us not only rule takers instead of rule makers but we will also be the laughing stock of not just the EU but the world if the majority of MPs get their way. It will be a complete and utter betrayal of their masters, the British people, and they need to be reminded of that.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Jools B

      the SNP are opposed to leaving

      The only thing the SNP want to leave is the UK and it is being reported in the Scottish press that Empress Nicola is thinking about putting it to the party in a couple of months taking full advantage of the mess that is at the moment called Westminster.

      There is nothing they will not stoop to, to try and destroy the UK. There present actions are all about under minding Mrs May to get Corbyn into No10 who they perceive will be a much softer touch in sharing out the spoils of victory.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Turbo. Well as long as I have got out of Scotland first they can do what they like. I am sick if the moaning and whinging coming from the ungrateful lot. England would be better on it’s own. They simply hold us back at every turn and I’m sick of the other countries in the UK being able to bite on English policies.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          Should read vote not bite

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            What a wonderful comment!

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        “The only thing the SNP want to leave is the UK and it is being reported in the Scottish press that Empress Nicola is thinking about putting it to the party in a couple of months taking full advantage of the mess that is at the moment called Westminster.”

        No chance of that unfortunately – the canny Scots know which side their bread if buttered on and wouldn’t have the guts to leave especially with UK Governments, including this Tory one pandering to their every whim. Hammond could find billions of extra English taxpayers’ cash to bung ’em in the budget on top of their already overfunded block grant. Meanwhile at the same time he is cutting English services to the bone.

        Scottish independence can’t come soon enough for me but it won’t happen in my lifetime, more’s the pity. It’s we English that should be demanding independence to spend our own money on our kids, our sick and our elderly for a change but of course that won’t happen either because except at election time we English don’t exist except as a cash cow for the benefit of the rest of the UK.

      • graham1946
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Let England join in any Scottish referendum and they’d be out in a trice. And bust inside two trice.

  11. rick hamilton
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    To paraphrase a well known saying, you can get the UK out of the EU but you can’t get the EU out of the UK. Not with spineless leadership at any rate.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Being positive and marching on boldly to new frontiers post Brexit is the way forward for us . The challenges are there to be faced and won ; if we sit on our backsides we will be sorry . The EU is a defunct mechanism and we will be better off out of its clutches ; the system has done nothing for us . Those who preach staying in a “customs union” do not appreciate the reaction that will be imposed by the EU , nor do they respect the will of the voters .

    • L Jones
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      You’re right, Bert. What remainers don’t seem to acknowledge is that there is no status quo where the EU is concerned.

  13. Oh Oh Prigger
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This is the first time since just prior to 1939 that a number of MPs have joined forces with politicians of a foreign power in blatant attempts to undermine the negotiations and talks of the standing government. Worse, they even brazenly use the same words and phrases. Ya, The Clock is Ticking for these MPs in deed.

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Too true. These MPs chatter to themselves and the media in the Westminster bubble and think that everyone else is persuaded by their sophistry and b*llshit. They are in for a rude awakening.

  14. acorn
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The draft Withdrawal Agreement (WD) is due tomorrow I think, that will interesting.

    You say “… EU have in mind retreating behind some stockade of tariffs and regulations […] They will be picking a fight with the USA, China and the rest at the same time”

    The EU won’t change anything. Its current third country agreements and WTO tariffs will continue as now. The UK will just become another EU third country. The EU is obliged to tell its counter-parties that the EU28 will become the EU27, under Article 56.2 VCLT.

    As CEPS says, “That article allows for continuity (not succession) of the EU as a party to an international agreement when one of its member states withdraws from the EU. Indeed, it does not imply that the EU as a whole needs to withdraw from such international agreements.”

    The interesting bit in the WD will be what arrangements will be made for TRQs (reduced tariffs on some volume of imports) and how much of those the EU will try and dump on the UK. That will upset some counter-parties who may want a better deal post Brexit.

    • David Price
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      @Acorn at 0919 – “The Impact of Brexit on the EU’s International Agreements”, 15 July 2016, Van der Loo and Blockmans

      You misrepresent what even that non-authoritative article says – the text you offer comes from the section limited to EU-only agreements. You conveniently ignore what it has to say about the mixed agreements of which the UK is a co-signatory. One example of many such mixed agreements is the FTA signed with South Korea that came in to force in 2015. The authors themselves consider the situation a Pandora’s box which denies your attempt to suggest that the UK can simply be unilaterally erased from the agreements by the EU.

      • acorn
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        I made no suggestion that the EU could erase the UK from mixed agreements. The problem for the UK and not the EU, is there is no catalogue of which are the mixed bits and which are the purely EU bits. The EU deliberately drafted them that way.

        • David Price
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Read your own comment starting from “The EU won’t change anything.” then go back and read all the article and the VCLT.

          The mixed treaty cannot simply continue solely for the EU excluding the UK without UK agreement. Why else do the authors see complications ahead.

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, I don’t think that counter parties will make much fuss because the alternative is they lose their tariff-free quotas entirely.

  15. John Partington
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Tasman,you are obviously a depressed Remoaner devoid of any vision.If you like the EU so much,go and live there.People with your sentiments are not required in this great country of ours.

  16. Ron Olden
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Speakers House

    Many of these points are covered in John Redwood’s Speakers House Lecture he gave on February 20th 2018, and which is now available on BBC iplayer. I recommend that all watch it.

    Even if you don’t fully agree with some of the points he advances, the lecture raises all relevant points arising from the Leave vote.

    I do take issue with Mr Redwood on one thing however:-

    To my mind too much emphasis, is placed by Mr Redwood (and others), on Magna Carta having been the font of freedom under the law.

    In fact, England and Wales was a much free-er place prior to the Norman invasion of 1066. Before that, Angla Saxon and Celtic Britain had nothing like the oppressive laws and monarchy we had by 1215.

    To all intents and purposes Anglo Saxon England had even been electing our kings, and local communites ruled themselves.

    All Magna Carta did, was to circumscribe the powers of the monarchy slightly, for the benefit of a foreign Baronial elite who had arrived with the Norman Conquest. It was a peace settlement between two foreign power centres which were running England.

    It was not until the Glorious Revolution that the events of 1066 started to unwind properly. But even now we aren’t fully free of it. Our centralised system of Government and law derives directly from the Norman Conquest.

    All that’s happened, is that an elected Parliament has replaced the Barons. Democracy is undoubtedly a good thing, but it is not the same thing as Freedom.

    The outcome of the Battle of Hastings was close run thing. If it had gone the other way, Britain and the World might have been a very different, (and arguably better) place.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I find it extremely annoying too that many academics historians politicians and others, when talking about the past so often frame their comments in such a way as to diminish any history of the people of England prior to the Norman conquest. The majority of people before and after it were the same people. It is not a matter of pride to think that before was bad and after was good. That is a perversity.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Your points about pre-Norman England are correct and very overlooked.We were part of a loose if fractious Norse cultural commonwealth that included not only Scandinavia but also Russia in it’s earliest form(the Republics of Novgorod and Pskov- the Kievan Rus’,whose rulers until the Romanovs were Swedish Viking-descended),all of which had a form of rudimentary citizen democracy.

      Just as the Normans and their centralising authoritarianism changed our destiny so did Russia’s voluntary absorption into the Byzantine Imperial and religious world with it’s theocratic absolutism(later overlaid with oriental despotism through their long-involuntary-association with the Mongols).

      But without these interruptions we and Russia may have remained versions of Denmark and Sweden,respectively!Interesting that after Hastings Harold’s defeated surviving warriors joined their Swedish,Norwegian and Rus brethren in the service of the Eastern Empire against,amongst others,the Normans.

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Ron Olden, Very thoughtful, I fully agree. It particularly irks me that in popular culture (eg American films) the English are portrayed as invading France, when in fact it was the Norman/French aristocracy playing politics who just happened to use English (and many other) soldiers on the continent, because they were expendable.

  17. Chris
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this dose of optimism this morning, Mr Redwood. It is sorely needed in government.

  18. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    our natural allies are in Europe both in terms of trade, services, security so what is the actual issue, neither we nor Europe is about to turn their back to us as it is in nobody’s interest

    • NickC
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Hans, I assume you mean the EU, not Europe? I can well believe your natural allies are in the EU. Mine aren’t. And I think history demonstrates that my view is more accurate than yours.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        I was talking about Europe no the EU. If, it makes you feel better that your view on history is more accurate than good luck

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Our natural allies are USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Actions speak louder than words.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Good luck then. They speak the language but that is about as far as affinity goes. Pity you forgot South Africa.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


      Our natural allies in terms of trade services security language culture and system of law are actually the Angloshere countries

      We turned our back on them and have suffered ever since. Its time to put that right

    • getahead
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Hans, the European Union is not Europe. The European Union is dedicated to forming a federal state in Europe. To the EU, trade, services, security are of secondary importance.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        I was talking about Europe

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Hans. Allies in Europe? Like who? USA and the Commonwealth but certainly not the Germans, French etc

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Let us just mention the Nordics, the Dutch and the Poles, Baltic states

  19. jack Snell
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Now that we know all of UK’s strong points can you tell us if there are any weaknesses?

    Didn’t Corbyn look very presidential making his speech yesterday? my opinion

    So am looking forward to what the International Trade Secretary Fox has to say today, and
    then reading the publication of the EU draft report on the December agreement due tomorrow

    It’s going to be an interesting week with Mrs May to round off things on Friday

    Now what’s that you were saying about the UK rejoining the high table of global influence?

    • Beecee
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Good orators always make politicians attractive which is how the Foots, Blairs and Camerons get to be party leaders.

      They tend to make poor Prime Ministers though!

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Nigel F is already out there at the big boys table, evidence is there for all to see

    Nobody around the world believes the wishy washy liberal elite in parliament represent the British people any more

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Who is Nigel F?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Oh dear Rien. When you want someone to blame for Brexit then the name Garage is never far from your lips. He is the only politician that has told the truth about the EU from the start.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          Who pays his bills?

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            He’s doing a job so he gets paid for it. Don’t forget its British money too.

  21. BOF
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Many thanks, John for that brilliant lecture that I watched on the BBC parliamentary channel.

    I hear, on the BBC of course, that the the negotiation paper put out by Brussels is quite unequivocal on the Irish border. It leaves no room to negotiate and Mrs May can only tarnish her reputation further by even indulging in talks. But I am sure she will, and concessions will follow that will be harmful to the UK.

    Could Comrade Corbyn have come up with anything more unworkable than yesterdays speech? Pure politicking.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I enjoyed the Speakers House address too.A very gracious introduction from The Speaker too(only slightly spoiled by his innate pomposity!).

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many Tory MPs would be prepared to bring down a Tory government rather than see this happen. We may find out if the government is forced to make a vote on the/a customs union with the EU into a confidence vote. How many of the Tory rebels in the UK Parliament are so determined that said UK Parliament shall never again control the UK’s trade policy that they would join with the opposition against the government? What are they even doing in our Parliament, let alone as Tory members?

  23. Epikouros
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    That such a small country like Britain once ruled a large part of the globe was rather an amazing feat and the appellation Great to her name was well deserved although that was not the reason it was given it. A far more mundane reason was the case. After WWI and II Britain’s heyday gradually came to an end and she lost her superpower status but not her influence.

    That ended the day we misguidedly joined the common market. Although unlike other great civilisations the end of empire did not see our society fall apart and crumble into dust. The reasons being that our character is obviously made of sterner stuff than other similar societies in that position and the impact our empire had on the world was such that it has been seen as a benefit and they appreciated the fillip it gave their nations.

    Since joining the common market although we have managed to prosper we have not done so to the degree that we could have achieved if we had been free to develop our full potential by engaging in commerce with all of the world or used all those inherent abilities that we have that allowed our plucky forefathers to build an empire. Not to build another empire but to teach and influence others to build their societies founded as ours was on sound institutions that encouraged the rule of law and good democratic principles.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      “Although unlike other great civilisations the end of empire did not see our society fall apart and crumble into dust. ”

      Give it another 50 years. 200 years not one church will stand in this country.

  24. John S
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    It seems likely that Parliament will vote to keep us in the single market and that makes me pessimistic that we shall ever regain our freedom.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Here is a question. Every working day goods worth about £10 million are transported from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic across the land border. Why have the Irish authorities ceased to carry out any checks on those goods as they cross the border?

    Here is another question. The value of those goods crossing the border into the Republic, in the future from the UK into the EU, is equivalent to about 0.1% of UK GDP, so why should their existence be allowed to impose EU laws to the entire UK economy?

    And here is a third question. If the fact that we do some trade with the EU justifies the imposition of an entire body of EU law on all of our country, why do we not extend the same kind of privilege to all of our other trading partners around the world?

  26. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Very good aspirational writing with little substance but that was to be expected. The ERG letter’s wording is pretty precise and not really suitable for amendments via speeches. So, enjoy and people like myself (desinterested but very interested in the upcoming UK experiment (whatever it may turn out to be)) will just wait and see, as well as continuing to offer a voice of reason.

    Now, you say:

    “So if some in the EU have in mind retreating behind some stockade of tariffs and regulations

    They will be picking a fight with the USA, China and the rest at the same time”

    Whatever “stockade” there is is unlikely to change and the UK may well end up on the wrong side of it. Do you think the US and China will become less protectionist? In my experience it is a lot harder for a non-US business to be successful in the US (and similar, even worse) in China -or India, that other chestnut- than it is for these countries’ firms to do business in Europe. The EU member UK is a prime example of that. Not because of her own attractions but as an English speaking bridgehead into the world’s largest market. Anyway, you know that as well as I do. Let’s call this poetry..

    • Oh Oh Prigger
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “UK experiment”? No, the UK has existed for quite some time. The experiment was joining the EU. It failed. We cannot even rely on one wholesome proper egg produced by 500 million people in Europe. We are leaving. It is not just the eggs. But everything.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      The converse is also true: the EU will now lose the convenient bridgehead of an English-speaking market of 65.6 million people, as we turn our own attention to making direct national agreements with the rest of the world.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Interesting suggestion. But in what way is the UK a bridgehead “to an English speaking ..people” I do not think once out of the EU, the UK is a bridgehead at all. More like a dead end.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink


      The EU is NOT the worlds largest market… stop making things up based on your limited vision and knowledge

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Apologies for my ignorance, librarian. I suspect you were looking at 2016 (2017 reported) figures. In 2016 US GDP was about 1.6 trillion higher than the EU’s. The 2017 figures will show either a dad heat or slight advantage for Europe due to the depreciation of the USD. You are right that the US’ consumer market is larger than the EU because of a much higher consumption quote. If you add investment and imports, there would be a dead heat again. In purchasing parity terms, China is the world’s largest economy. Anyway, without the UK, the EU will be a smaller market but still a very large one and much more integrated than NAFTA (you could call NAFTA a market, for as long as it pleases mr Trump.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      You make good points that I find disconcerting but in a manner that is far better than Newmania’s and Andy’s which completely turn me off.

      This site is no ‘echo chamber’, thanks be for that.

    • Dennis
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      JR – Rien Huizer’s post is not too long?

  27. Phil_Richmond
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    John – I dont think you or any of the politicians have any idea of the anger that is building around the country.
    *You politicians denied us for 20 years a referendum.
    *Finally we get one and in Camerons Chatham House speech said in crystal language that this was OUR decision and no politicians was going to renege on it.
    * In the campaign the Leave side went on ad nauseum about ‘taking back control’
    *We voted to do this.

    Now you Westminster elite think that you can have your own Brexit in name only.
    John dont think for a second you’re on our side because if you were you’d be saying that Theresa May was no longer fit for purpose!

  28. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    All good words Dr Redwood but they are of no import to Mrs May and her government whatsoever. She and the majority of her government find the whole concept of self-governing sovereign nation states alien or abhorrent.
    The destination towards which Mrs May’s government is allowing UK to be bullied is quite clear. At the end of the day her government will present to Parliament a choice between a bad deal and an unprepared exit to No Deal.
    The only thing that can be salvaged at this late stage is a planned exit to No Deal. That is the best deal now available.

  29. Richard
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Fine speech by Dr Fox..putting it up to the EU..but am afraid it’s not going to run with them…still too much lookjng for cherry picking while doing our own thing..all very well but that is not what the EU is there can be no meeting of minds on any of this as we will hear presently from Barnier and Junker. Makes you wonder why govrrnment persists with wasting valuable time looking for bespoke when we could be out doing deals with China

    Tomorrow we’re going to hear from the EU about what was agreed to for exiting last December will be interesting then to hear Mrs May on Friday- but am afraid it’s all a little too late..on the other hand we will be free after march next year to chase Dr Fox’s new trade deals with countries Michael Gove once said it will be all ok provided we take the right decisions.

  30. Andy Marlot
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    We also interfered and wrecked the Middle East for more than 100 years, participated in numerous illegal wars, supported brutal dictators and terrorist organizations, armed and enabled all manner of awful governments or their oppositions (sometimes both at the same time) and we are still doing all of the above and more. All the evidence is out there yet never mentioned by politicians, I wonder why?

  31. Ian wragg
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    So we now have confirmation from the horses mouth.
    Listening to Junckers it appears our government has asked for indefinite leave to remain in the EU under the guise of a transition period.
    They have said that this is not possible and it must end 31st December 2020. No doubt near the end they will offer an extension for many billions to which we will agree. He also laid out the terms of surrender which include keeping the COG in exchange for aviation rights and keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union.
    Every word was indicating Vassal statehood for us.
    If May agrees to any of this she should be tried for treason.
    The EU has no intention of negotiations just demands.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink


  32. Andy
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed Dr Fox’s speech. An International Trade Secretary who does not understand trade – staggering. And this is why businesses have embraced Corbyn and rejected the Tories.

    The incoherence of the Brexiteer argument is beyond staggering. THE biggest barrier to trade is regulation. Different countries choosing to do things in different ways with different laws. Standardising regulation removes barriers and yet leaving the EU – which has standardised regulations – does the exact opposite.

    Fox has no answers to any of the difficult questions. None to Northern Ireland. None to customs. He even admits Brexiteers voted to erect trade barriers by accepting there would be additional friction at the borders. Though he did not put it quite like that.

    Future generations will look back at this completely incompetent rabble mismanaging our country and will wonder how quite so many seemingly sensible people fell for the lies of the Brexit snake-oil salesmen. Its the sort of collective brainwash that you normally only see in conflict when a complete disregard of reason frequently leads to barbarity.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 28, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      The EU is just 27 nations and even when trading with those 27 there are different kinds of regulation and paperwork systems to navigate.
      Those of us that export managed to meet the requirements of all the different the nations we sell to.
      There is a lot of convergence and similarity all over the world.
      And the growth is outside the EU.

      The Ireland border is being played up for a political reason.
      The solution is easy.
      Open border
      Free trade
      No tariffs.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    “Why would the EU agree to Labour’s customs union proposal?”

    It is highly improbable that the UK would be able to secure a formal veto over future EU FTAs. Why would the EU give Britain the power unilaterally to block its ability to conclude trade agreements after Brexit? This would mean handing a non-EU country unprecedented influence over determining the future direction of the EU – both Brussels and member states have consistently signaled their opposition to any erosion of the EU’s autonomy following Brexit. A UK government could feasibly choose not to apply the free trade agreement domestically, without preventing the EU from concluding the deal. However, this would simply lead to the same asymmetry that Turkey currently experiences – the non-EU country would still gain tariff-free access to the UK’s market without the UK benefiting from reciprocal access in return”.

    And without solving the EU border problem!

  34. formula57
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    You have ignored (not inappropriately) the corollary of diminished influence in the halls of the mighty for the Evil Empire itself, shorn as it will be of one of its more important members and probably the most internationally connected of all. How remoaners cope with the worry of that I just do not know, poor lambs.

  35. nigel seymour
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    J, What are your main expectations when TM makes her speech on Friday?

  36. Chris
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I welcome your article but have to point out that like it or not we will never free ourselves from the EU Defence Union unless radical action is taken immediately. The Bruges Group is highlighting how we have been apparently committed to the policy, with few people realising. (It would of course explain the government’s systematic running down of our armed forces, in order to fit in with the new shape of defence policy?). The Bruges Group is urging people to write to their MPs to express their grave concerns about what has been going on. The following is a quote from The Bruges Group:

    EU defence and security plans include the UK even after Brexit.
    Take part in the Bruges Group’s campaign to ask your MP for a full Brexit for defence.
    Email your Member of Parliament to inform them about the Government committing the UK to be a part of the EU’s defence and security plans.

    The EU is establishing what it calls an ‘EU Defence Union’, this includes the UK. Since 23rd June 2016 the Government have included the UK in these military plans with no debate in the British Parliament. Leaving the EU must also include our full independence from the European Union’s interference in our defence, security and foreign policy. Anything less is a failure to respect the referendum result…”

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I take it you don’t mind Britain illegally making war on countries like Iraq as long the the US calls the tune?

  37. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Again, the idea of the UK existing outside the EU is perfectly feasible.

    The problem is getting there. Similar to having a good business idea and turning that idea into a successful business. So often businesses fail because:

    1. Lack of money
    2. Lack of leadership skills
    3. Lack of strategy
    4. Lack of enthusiasm

    That’s exactly like Brexit now. Not that we couldn’t exist outside the EU. But that we lack the money to make the jump. We lack the leadership and strategy and there isn’t enough deep enthusiasm, in the country, right now for something so radical.

    But a problem with the long-term is that the British people would reject Hard Brexiters’ vision of the UK becoming like the USA, Hong Kong or Singapore (and we’d have to most likely if we were to leaven the EU). Rather, the Brits see themselves as Europeans, culturally / socially / politically / economically.

    So there are huge problems with Brexit. Short term. Medium term. And long term. If people still want to proceed with Brexit, fine. But we first have to have a common sense approach and not depend so much on wishful thinking.

  38. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Quite . A Country has to think greatness before it can achieve it and these are the words I like to hear.

  39. Walter
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    That was a fine speech by Mr Fox but am afraid it doesn’t cut the mustard..what in effect he is looking for is to wish the empire back? all much too late

  40. John
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Remainers go on about how good the EU market is. Taking $40,000 average salary as a bench (£28,700) you can see which countries earn more or less than that at the UN’s site. The copy web address is too long.

    The EU countries that have average wages over $40,000 have a population of 229.5 million.

    The NON EU countries that have average wages over $40,000 have a population of 443.2 million.

    Near double the economic compatible population outside the EU.

    I think the actual number will be much higher as its average wage. How many in Chine or India earn over $40,000 and so can buy our products?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Consumers in India and China buys lots of products made by EU, Japanese, Korean and Japanese firms. But most of those products are made in China or India by those firms subsidiaries or associates. For instance, China is now the world’s largest car market (in units) but most of these are made by local subs/JV’s of VW, GM and the large Japanese and Koreans. Chinese consumers spend almost nothing on things that the UK makes currently (except luxury goods and components, like the design of chips in iPhones -the chips themselves are made in Taiwan though). In other words: exports to China are “mediated” by very large global firms and the same goes for India. Take India and China out of your comparison ad there is virtually only Latin America, Russia and the MIddle East left. Russia is subject to a boycott, Latin America’s markets are in Mercosur (soon to conclude an FTA with the EU that will limit third country access) or Mexico, a NAFTA member. Fox is leading people down the garden path because he has been given an empty job and does not like that.

  41. John
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    According to the International Labour Organisation (UN) the average wage of the UK s $40,475.

    The mean average wage of the EU excluding the UK will be $27,599

    In my stats above I said;

    The NON EU countries that have average wages over $40,000 have a population of 443.2 million.

    Taking the EU as a block they would not figure as a country that has an average wage above $40,000 and not economically compatible with the UK. I know individually some are but that’s where the bloc is heading.

  42. duncan
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I know one thing. If May is not deposed as leader of my party and PM of my country the UK will never leave the EU

    I know this John and so do you.

    Why do you and your Eurosceptic colleagues accept such an intolerable situation?

    This PM is a liberal left, pro-EU cuckoo in the Tory nest

    We want her out NOW

  43. kenD
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    JR get real- the UK government goose is cooked- the EU crowd want us out and that is what is going to happen- later on, after a few years, and after negotiation we’ll get Canada plus deal which is probably more than we deserve considering all of the nonsense that has been going on. After we leave they will adjust their budgets, reorganise and that will be that- so why waste your time with long meandering pieces about the high table of global influence- it’s much too late for that now-just go out and do it- mind you I didn’t hear too much detail today about new deals from Liam Fox- I thought today would have been a perfect opportunity for him to reveal some of his better plans more close up like?

    • Prigger
      Posted February 27, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      “…more than we deserve…” More than you deserve!

  44. Prigger
    Posted February 27, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure how others feel. That having voted Leave on 23rd June 2016, I am bombarded by media and exhumed grandee politicians not just putting official and so-called expert doubt on my vote and my judgement yet actively trying to thwart it absolutely or in part with tabled amendments and clever linguistic and pseudo-visual three-shell-and-a-pea tricks. It is grand harassment as me. Not difference of opinion. But non-acceptance of my democratically expressed vote. I find the Remoaner MPs and their paymaster ally the EU un-British in value and foreign in ambition and rectitude

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      A responsible government wouldt have worded that referendum differently. It should have read: do you want a job/income or a lottery ticket?

  45. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The UK will rejoin the high table of global influence

    Perhaps this is another reason why the EU is making BREXIT so painful – the likes of Tusk and Juncker won’t be able to lord it over us after we are free of their clutches… They just cannot see us as an equal, rather another nation to be bossed around…

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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