German views of the EU and Brexit

On Wednesday morning the Today programme had the good idea of going to Germany to find out what they are thinking about the EU and Brexit. A few patsy interviews later we were little the wiser. There was no cross examination of how Germany is changing, with the Eurosceptic AFD now the official Opposition and the CSU moving sharply in an anti migrant direction. There was no proper examination of what the German government will now do post Brexit in response to Macron’s wish to push ahead with political Union and a common budget. There was no discussion at all about the 900 billion Euros Germany is lending the weaker members of the zone at zero interest through the ECB. I would like to have heard what Germany thinks about the pace and style of more integration, how they wish to change the budget after our departure and above all how they will tackle the need for more transfers around the Euro area to help the struggling members with high unemployment.

Instead the BBC was keen to get a few German interviewees to tell the UK what we should expect from Brexit, and keen to play up the latest approach of some senior Germans that it is such a pity the UK is leaving so they should now respond more positively to Mr Cameron’s requests for renegotiation! I find it bizarre that some intelligent Germans seem to think that maybe a concession or two on freedom of movement, and some opt out or emergency brake on benefit rules will mean the UK then changes its mind and stays in. They had their chance to keep us in by being positive about the Cameron renegotiation. Many of us thought Mr Cameron asked for too little, and clearly got a lot less even than he dared ask for. Offering more of the too little he wanted is not going to change anything. The BBC seemed pleased that maybe there will be an offer of tariff free trade after all, as if that was some surprise. Of course Germany wants tariff free trade in goods, given her huge surplus. Whether the EU as a whole can make a sensible offer on trade remains to be seen. Germany should work on the Commission. The BBC was also keen to highlight  those Germans who say that the Transition period cannot be taken for granted as they sought to help Germany squeeze more concessions from the UK to secure a Transition many of us do not want.

It was predictable to hear the Germans say that in the case of us leaving the customs union and single market, as we have said we will do, there was scope to keep us in after all despite early EU rhetoric that of course you cannot be in them if you are out of the EU. Again that boat has sailed. Leave voters voted in the knowledge we would be leaving the single market and customs union, and the EU confirmed the logic of that in all their comments. It was also amusing to learn that maybe passports should be available for financial services, as of course German companies would like them into London, when the UK had ruled them out! It just goes to show that if the UK says No firmly on items Germany is quite keen to make an offer we might still refuse.

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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Quite right John. We need to be firmer and should have stood our ground from day one. I fear Mrs May isn’t strong enough to do this and hasn’t shown enough determination to do so in the future. Why have we handed over so much money just to talk about trade? Canada didn’t. Let’s just tell them what we are going to do and what we expect and leave the ball in their court. It might focus the minds a little more. The BBC never manages to put out a programme which supports the leave side and I doubt they ever will. They always sound so surprised when told our exports and manufacturing are doing well.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed we are doing quite well and that is despite totally idiotic socialist tax, regulate, borrow and waste policies from May and Hammond.

    • Hope
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      JR, BTW, May has said a lot of things and broke her word on all key leave EU issues. When you ‘we’ do not include us with her. You cannot believe a word she says.

      Has she fulfilled her Lancaster speech or even how the U.K. Would implement the punishment extension? Her red lines?

      It appears to me a lot of remaining big business chiefs now changing their view because they know the U.K. Is only leaving in name only under May. Modest changes as Hammond described. She has even given away control over our territorial waters and fishing stock to a foreign power when we leave the EU when she clearly said she would not.

      We want to know why you and the other Leave MPs have capitulated, including the disasterous Davis. Still no demand why he had said two figures over the £100 billion- Marr and parliament to Priti Patel. Both cannot be true.

  2. hans chr iversen
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink


    Germany alone is not lending the 900 billion EUROs, the whole of teh EU is lending some of the EU members the money.

    The youth unemployment is till too high in some of the southern European countries, but in Portugal the unemployment is now under 7% and it was 17% three years ago. I am not sure the Portugese economy is struggling any more with a growth rate above 3%, significantly higher than ours.

    Germany has a big say in the EU, but fortunately it is not just them running the EU.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink


      Portugal youth unemployment is 21.4% as of February 2018 , UK unemployment is 4.2%

      the EU has destroyed the future of nearly half of all its young citizens. Anyone supporting this monstrosity of an organisation ought to be thoroughly ashamed

      • hefner
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        UK youth unemployment was 11.9% in July-Sep’17.
        I would have expected better from you, libertarian, at least to be able to compare like with like. And yes, UK figures are much better than Portugal’s.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Was it just the couple of months after leaving school, college and University that peaked Hefner? Perhaps it is to be expected when the last couple of months at these institutions are full of exams?

          Hefner do you know if all teens can claim unemployment and funds immediately after leaving these institutions, I wasn’t actually aware of that, thank you.

          • hefner
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Very good question. You can find (with just a bit of work) data for UK unemployment and youth unemployment for years between 1983-2018 on the then united-kingdom then youth-unemployment-rate.
            The 11.9% of summer 2017 is not a recent maximum.

            (I put the website reference that, otherwise it will aaaaaaaaeeeees before this post appears …)

        • libertarian
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


          I was responding to hans post which was NOT comparing like for like I gave the correct equivalent of his figures. Do keep up Heffie

          Excluding young people in full-time education, there are 358,000 people aged 16-24 unemployed in UK . There are 816,000 unfilled jobs


          If you have just left school you cannot get Jobseeker’s Allowance. To get Jobseeker’s Allowance you must have been out of school for 3 months and you must be at least 18 years of age. The 3-month period starts from the day you leave school or the day following your last exam if you are doing exams.

          People aged under 26 who do not have children get a reduced rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance. If they take up a place on an education, training or work experience scheme they will get a higher rate of payment

      • Andy
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        You not comparing like with like.

        You compare youth unemployment in Portugal with overall unemployment in the UK. Convenient but inaccurate.

        According to a UK Parliament briefing paper published last month youth employment in the UK in the 3 months to Jan 2018 was 12.3%. The number of 16-24 year olds out of work also went up compared with the previous 3 months.

        Portugal’s overall unemployment rate fell below 8% in December – to its lowest for 13 years. Too high but falling.

        I agree the future of many young people has been destroyed – but by the global recession, not by the EU. Indeed the EU has given young people opportunities they would not have had without it. Faced with high unemployment in Spain, young Spaniards can seek work elsewhere in 30+ other countries of the EEA while their home economy recovers. Alas during the next great British recession this is a right which our young people will no longer have – the hard-right Tory pensioners will see to that. (Ironically many of these same hard-right Tory pensioners have holiday homes in the EU – perhaps these need to be seized as part of the Brexit deal?)

        In any case the economic reality of the global recession is that some EU countries have done well. Others have not. Some have high unemployment. Others do not. Some Eurozone countries are flourishing. Some are not. It is the individual governments of these countries which are largely to blame for their successes or failures.

        Young people overwhelmingly consider themselves European and overwhelmingly back the EU – even here in the UK. This is why Brexit is doomed. We see the world very different from the baby boomers. Your childhood of the Dam Busters and Cliff Richard is gone.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink


          Do try and read at least

          I responded to Hans’s post that also did not compare like for like.

          Excluding young people in full-time education, there are 358,000 people aged 16-24 unemployed in UK . There are 816,000 unfilled jobs

          You are completely devoid of any knowledge on the realities of life

          I am part of a group that briefs employers on employment trends amongst millennials

          I deliver workshops in schools to generation Z on the world of work, careers, the gig economy and other topics around apprenticeships ( good) degrees ( poor) and business startups ( very good)

          I run a data analytics software company specialising in employment and the job market

          I’m an angel investor , investing in start up companies and I own and run a lean business incubator for graduates starting their own businesses

          Of the over 3000 students in schools, colleges and universities that I’ve spoken to in the last 2 years , not one,zero, none , zilch, nada has mentioned that they feel that their job prospects have been adversely affected by Brexit… NONE .

        • 60022Mallard
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink


          So the EU has allowed many countries to export the young people they cannot provide work for as a result for many of them of being trapped in the Euro – despite the huge subsidies put in to many of them from our net contributions.

          With your in depth knowledge can you estimate what effect that has had on our 18 – 24 unemployment and then reduce our figure by that number please.

          A look at the age profile of the population of Ireland shows a huge hollowing out – surely not good for a country long term?

        • Tony Sharp
          Posted April 16, 2018 at 3:50 am | Permalink

          The unemployment rates fall in the smaller nations of the EU by exporting their unemployed and low skilled to the UK and the other larger economies. That is why the EU is doomed because it causes demographic imbalances in the smaller nations and dumps them into the larger ones where these people distort the labour market against the interests of those already there. So of course ‘youth are pro EU’, because the issue for them is ‘remain unemployed at home or get at least some work in another country’. This is not multicultutalism and diversity of the EU, it is straight forward exploitation and beggar as a neighbour.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


        I was talking about the overall employment rate.

        You as the so-called intellectual , should know better than just blaming the EU.

        Your emotional expressions does not serve any purpose for me and no I am not ashamed supporting the principles of the EU.

        Lots of countries in northern Europe and in southern Europe have an unemployment lower or close to the UK as well.

        Thank you for your contribution

        • libertarian
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink


          The EURO has killed the Southern economies, thats a fact not an emotion. You’re supporting policies and an institution that has facilitated that. Protectionist markets kill innovation and fail to create jobs, thats a feature of the EU .

          I’ve never called myself an intellectual. I’m an entrepreneur and businessman.

          You’re living in the past. Try joining the 21st century and creating a future for the youth of Europe

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Considering I run companies that ahve created 100 of employment opportunities in teh UK and in Europe in general, I cannot take your prejudice comments particularly seriously or at all actually

          • libertarian
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


            If you are running companies yet have no idea what effect the Euro has had on PIGS countries then you have zero credibility and no knowledge of real business , I wonder what industry your companies are in. My major business ( i own 10) is in data analytics and software in the employment and jobs market. I analysis job data for government, major companies and recruitment firms.

            So I couldn’t care less what you “think” I have the facts on my side

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but we should aim for unemployment of below 4.2% Just those who few who really cannot usefully work. 2% perhaps tops. We should not pay the healthy but feckless not to work. It is not even in the interests of the feckless really.

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find John is refering to the Target 2 balances which is running at 900 billion in Germanys case.

    • Andrew Dow
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I am afraid you appear to have misunderstood what John redwood was saying, Hans.

      Effectively – Germany writes the cheque to the EU, who then write smaller shceques to other EU members, once the German cheque has been cashed.

      Germany recoups the money through the artificially low level at which the Deutschmark entered the Euro, so that its exports are still very “competitive” or cheap.

      That is why Germany is starting to think about that nice export market just off the costs of mainland Europe that always pays its bills, behaves decently, and is reasonable and liberal and believes – mostly – in free trade.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


        “That is why Germany is starting to think about that nice export market just off the costs of mainland Europe that always pays its bills, behaves decently, and is reasonable and liberal and believes – mostly – in free trade.”

        Behaves decently reasonable liberal – and illegally invades and attacks Iraq to please its American masters? And then Afghanistan, Libya, Syria – a return to its ruthless 19th century empire behaviour ?

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted April 15, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Actually, that applies for most countries in northern Europe including Nordics, Netherlands and Austria, so know I have not misunderstood anything

        • libertarian
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


          Actually Denmark and Finland receive back as much as they put in almost exactly, Sweden makes a very minor contribution and Ireland Austria Luxembourg and surprisingly France receives back more than they pay in

          Data from ONS ( I would provide a link but JR is busy today)

  3. Prigger
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    I do not care what Germany thinks of the EU and Brexit.

    • georgeP
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Good for you Prigger and by return I don’t think the EU or Germany cares too much about you either..

      Very soon the lights will go out in the Channel Ports and we’ll be free to continue on with our naval gazing

      • Jimbo
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        So you think the EU will blockade the channel ports? You think they have that power over the French and Dutch, both of whom have sizeable anti-EU populations even without a trade war.

        Histrionics like that are why it is so difficult to have rational arguments about the pros and cons of the EU. You force the battle lines to be drawn.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        And if they are not, what then ?

      • Tony Sharp
        Posted April 16, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

        Why would the ‘lights go out’ in our ports – this is not hyperbole from you is it?

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    This is not the big picture that Berlin is working on. German MUST have control of Europe, or it will fall into terminal decline. The government in Berlin knows this. Reason, population aging and decline. Simplistically:
    Germany needs people to keep its manufacturing base populated and to pay pensions. Germany will therefore, through the bureaucracy of the EU that it pays for, take effective control of the populations of Europe. Quite simply, for Germany, the EU is win or bust.
    Their plan would have worked but for the UK vote for Brexit.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink


      Interesting hypothesis but decline in the population and demographics applies for most of Europe and the German theory is interesting but probably more fake news than reality

      • Margaret Robinson
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        High unemployment in southern europe, especially young people. Also in eastern states. Why did they not encourage these people to migrate to Germany to help change the demographics. Autumation will be much increased during the next 20 years so less people required. Over a million migrants will not help the situation because they also grow old then more are again needed to pay pensions. Ever lasting merry go round. People taking responsibly for their own pensions and old age care would have gradually happened when automation increased. Humans have always adapted but not so sure now as migrants could pose a problem

  5. sm
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    John, may I give you a personal anecdote on German views?

    Last week at a party, I had a lively discussion with a German friend, who runs a hugely successful consultancy in Germany advising car manufacturers on sales&marketing. He is passionately in favour of the EU and Mrs Merkel and German technology, and believes that if countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy cannot ‘keep up’ they should be left to rot.

    Last night, over dinner, I was asking him general questions about his business, and he was lamenting that there was less and less call for his services. As he was a guest in my home, I did not press any buttons about the possibility of a downturn in German fortunes.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      When you guest was saying that countries like Greece should be left to rot, he should have realised that those countries like Greece were lent vast amounts of money by German, French and Italian banks to buy German goods. It was them that helped create German manufacturing success. Now that that market has gone and China and others look like they are slowing down, plus, America threatening trade over cars, you can see how easily things can change.

  6. Mark B
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It does not matter what they German people think, they will do what they are told !

    The problem for the EU as a whole, is that Germany secured a concession that it would never be the lender of last resort, hence the austerity measures imposed on other member countries.

    The rEU27 as a whole is now locked into a situation that they wanted to avoid. Before we were the ones that dragged the pace of integration. This suited Germany as it could tout its pro-EU integrationist credentials but know that things would never go to the level where it felt less comfortable and in control. The UK Referendum has blown a big hole in German / EU / French foreign policy. The French are always keen to integrate the most as this would tie Germany down. So us leaving has created tensions in the EU and the rEU27. Good !

    They had their chance to keep us in by being positive about the Cameron renegotiation.

    That is because they thought, quite understandably, that the UK was bluffing. They were right to take that view about the political class, but not the rest of us. Ooops !

    But never mind, the renegotiation has begun and we will still be in the EU in all but name. Paying in, taking in their unemployed and allowing them free access to our market. Just so that they can be nice to us. Pathetic !

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      In all of northern Europe we take in unemployed youngsters from southern Europe, because they work hard and help our economies generate more growth as well

      • mancunius
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        We do not ‘take in’ EU migrants from southern or northern Europe because they are hard-working, they come here because they have a right to work wherever they want to within the EU, and because the UK’s sterling economy continues to provide jobs that are so conspicuously lacking in the eurozone.
        The aggregate fiscal impact of EU immigration is very small – 1% plus or 1% minus, or zero, depending on the year of measurement: and the immigrants from the Club Med countries are not statistically shown to be more or less hardworking than any other immigrants.
        Statistics show that over very long period of time, immigration would help growth by reducing government debt. Some of us think the government should do more towards reducing its own debt, as the social costs of immigration are high.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        And so will we by he looks of things.

        Rearranging the deck chairs me thinks. 😉

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Correct Hans so why wouldn’t the Junker lead EU allow our paltry concessions on benefits and claims and nhs due to our unique models causing problems for us with resources and our inability to recharge healthcare.

  7. Bork them
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Why didn’t the BBC just rent or buy a German report?
    My consumption of BBC reports on everything has gone down by 90% in the last few weeks. I’m fed up of re-runs of Brexit debates from remoaners. We had another mini re-run on BBC Question Time last night. They lost the vote and just moan and stamp their feet like little kids Accept democracy! It’s an ancient Greek thing but its catching on.
    #Urgent It is only about 350 days before we leave the EU. Those remoaners who genuinely believe we are going to starve to death or worse should start making emigration plans now. We’ll easy fill your carrot picking jobs, no worries! Sweden sounds nice! Try there.

    • jerry
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      @Bork them; Talk about the utmost hypocrisy, so why didn’t (some) eurosceptics accept the 1975 vote?! After all Heath made it quite clear, in 1972, to those who bothered to listen what the Treaty of Rome’s end game was, then in 1975 people like Benn & Powell did likewise.

      Stop complaining about europhiles, they are doing nothing that eurosceptic right did post 1975, it is the eurosceptic who continue to “moan and stamp their feet like little kids Accept democracy!”

      • NickC
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, That is a travesty. And I should know because I voted to remain in the EEC in 1975. That referendum result, as a vote, was fully accepted back then, and I saw it happen. There is a world of difference between not changing your mind (or indeed changing your mind) and not accepting the legitimacy of the vote itself.

        There were only two options on the 2016 ballot paper: Remain, or Leave. There was no half-in/half-out option. Both designated campaigns made it absolutely clear that leaving meant leaving the EU as a whole, especially leaving the single market and customs union. Yet Remains are trying to reverse the vote, or dilute it, by threats, subterfuge and chicanery. It really isn’t acceptable in a democracy.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          @NickC; “That [1975] referendum result, as a vote, was fully accepted back then”

          No it wasn’t, otherwise there would not have been the referenda of 2016, nothing had changed, the ideals put forward in the Treaty of Rome have not changed and we were informed of them before and during the 1975 referenda. Euroscepticism did not begin in 1988, or even 1975, it has existed since the early 1950s when the UK declined the invite to join the ECSC.

          “There were only two options on the 2016 ballot paper: Remain, or Leave. There was no half-in/half-out option. “

          Indeed, so had the result been Remain would you know be sitting back accepting hard line europhiles saying that the UK should give up our opt-outs, adopt the Euro, push for the speedy creation of the USE, no you would be arguing the case that there were 19 very different options to what a Remain vote meant, not just the one most favoured by hard line europhiles. Stop being such a hypocrite!

      • 60022Mallard
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Jerry. How old were you when the 1975 vote was taken?

        Having lived through the Thatcher years I know there is a lot of wilful misinformation out there for the gullible.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Quite ridiculous to claim Heath “made it perfectly clear…what the end game was”
        He talked about a common market and a trading bloc.
        He ridiculed any who predicted the EEC would develop into the EU with its current powers over us.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Nonsense, it doesn’t take much searching to come up with at least one YouTube video of Heath saying what I claim he said, in his own words! Also you pick on what I said about Heath but others, Foot and Powell to name two, also said the same sorts of things, they all made it very clear what our membership the EEC meant and were it would lead.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            You have a strange view of history Jerry.
            One video on You Tube doesn’t make up for decades of people like Heath denying the UK would ever give up control of its courts supremacy, co trol of its borders and it’s law making ability.
            After Heath left office Hessletine carried on the talk.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: The only strange view of history is yours! 🙁

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Jerry
            I forgot only you are right.

      • MikeP
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Jerry the UK electorate was not shown the full text of the Treaty of Rome, nor would we have expected to see it. We used to (more or less) respect our Parliamentarians so took them at their word. Not until 1990 did the truth come out, and I quote – Peter Sissons: “The single currency, a United States of Europe, was all that in your mind when you took Britain in?
        Edward Heath: Of course, yes.” On BBC’s Question Time (1 November 1990). Even Civil Servants have been found recently to have issued stark warnings to Ministers at the time over loss of Sovereignty and creeping Federalisation but all was hushed up till recently.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          @MikeP; “the UK electorate was not shown the full text of the Treaty of Rome, nor would we have expected to see it.”

          I wonder how many people who voted Leave in 2016 have read the full text of the Lisbon Treaty? Nor would our host or Mr Farage expect then to have, perhaps not even wanting them too… Thus your point was what exactly?

          Oh and what of the UN and NATO treaties we are also signed up to, perhaps we should have a referenda on those too….

          “Even Civil Servants have been found recently to have issued stark warnings to Ministers at the time over loss of Sovereignty and creeping Federalisation but all was hushed up till recently.”

          Again what is your point, other than NEWS FLASH, opinions circulate within the Civil Service (never mind Cabinet), shock horror!

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            The point Jerry is that we listen to our Prime Ministers.
            We take what they say as being honest.
            We do not read treaties.
            We have other things to do like earning a living.
            Sadly we were told that sovereignty would not be damaged and that we would retain control over making our laws and that our courts would remain supreme.
            Heath and others knew where the EEC was heading but kept quiet.
            Not only that they attacked and ridiculed those that spoke out.
            Their behaviour was reprehensible.
            Ironically I believe their reticence to argue the case for how the EU would develop and argue it’s possible advantages actually has led to us voting to leave.
            U.N. and NATO don’t have law making powers over the UK.

      • Andrew Dow
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink


        the reason for that is very simple. In 1975 we voted on a the proposition of a free trade based “COMMON MARKET”.

        By his own admission Heseltine “kneeeeeeewwww” then that it was never going to be just about free trade, but omitted to tell us.

        So, we’ve had the opportunity to right that wrong, especially in the light of ever closer union being proposed by the EU, the fact that no EU member of Parliament – the only person we elect to that august body, btw – has any executive or decision making power, and …………

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          @Andrew Dow; Nonsense, unless you are admiring to total ignorance!

          The aims of the Treaty of Rome (TEEC), the basis of all future treaties since, has not changed, both the Euro and ever closer union were foreseen in the TEEC. All these facts were placed before the nation between 1972 & 1975, please do not try suggesting otherwise, as I said to Edward2, a quick search of YouTube soon lists programmes from the BBC and ITV – the latter programmes almost certainly to have had a network TX across all ITV regions.

          I have just been watching one such programme, made by Thames in 1975, “People and Politics” with Mr Heath and Mr Foot debating the issue – and very interesting it’s been, everything Foot said was true, history since has proved it to be so…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Your opening comment is aggressive and unnecessary Jerry.

          • jerry
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; But true none the less!

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            Well you reckon you are right always Jerry
            But no need to be quite so dimissive of others opinions

          • 60022Mallard
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


            “I have just been watching one such programme, made by Thames in 1975, …”

            You have chosen not to answer my question above which related to were you actually there at the time?

            From the above I can only assume you were not, or possibly in short trousers.

            Strange as it may seem to you You tube and the internet were not available in 1975 and just like today,l for the vast majority political programmes on the television had audiences about the size Newsnight struggles up to nowadays.

    • John Fitzgerald
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Again it was repeated on Question Time that we, the voters, were not told that leaving the EU will mean leaving the Single Market and Customs Union. I am going blue in the face repeating “YES WE WERE!”. Cameron made it quite clear what leaving meant. It did not need to go on the ballot paper as it was a simple question; do we stay in or leave? We said with a loud democratic voice LEAVE.

      • NickC
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        John, Absolutely. Remains who try to re-write history are despicable. No one expects them to change their minds, but they must not get away with changing the vote.

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        @John Fitzgerald; “I am going blue in the face repeating “YES WE WERE!”.”

        And am going blue in the face repeating No we were not, otherwise explain the so called Flexit option put forward (on this very site by some) before and during the referenda campaign, explain how Norway can be in the EU’s Single Market but not in the Customs Union…

        “We said with a loud democratic voice LEAVE.”

        Indeed, BUT it has always been up to the Govt to decide How and When, any more than Remain vote would have given a green light to europhiles to adopt the Euro without either another referenda or a change of govt and thus repeal of the relevant law that requires such a referenda.

      • NoBrexitTears
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        I was seething listening to that on Question Time too. Cameron, Osborne, Gove, Johnson and several other major politicians repeated time after time during the referendum campaigns that a vote to leave was a vote to leave the single market and the customs union. Either the people peddling this line are a bit thick, or they are deliberately telling lies.

        The other disingenuous line is the one where they say that the campaign to leave could not be specific about the destination of travel, or as the idiot on Question Time put it, it was like selling one’s house without knowing what was to replace it. In either case, it is better that those decisions are made by us rather than them. We know exactly what we want and that freedom of control over the decisions we take over our future is the reason why we voted to leave

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          @NBF; “Either the people peddling this line are a bit thick, or they are deliberately telling lies.”

          That is no way to speak of Cameron, Osborne, Gove, Johnson and several other major politicians, non of them told lies, they were simply miss-informed, as you have been.

          Leaving the EU dose not prevent the UK from being a member of the Single market, otherwise Norway would have to be a member of the EU, they in the SM but are not members of the EU. If you doubt this FACT feel free to ask the govt or people of Norway what their status, I’m sure that after a long dark winter they need s laugh at right wing europhobes.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        John F, you are not the only one blue in the face. I fancy there are many of us screaming at TV screens and pounding away at keyboards to vent our frustration. It is utterly maddening that remainders keep insisting that ”we weren’t told”. We all had the same amount of information! We could all weigh up the options! We had the same leaflets, BBC brainwashing attempts, etc, etc. We chose based on what we could research.
        We chose Leave.
        Thank goodness.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          @L Jones; “We chose Leave.”

          Indeed, but we did not chose When nor How to leave, we couldn’t, were were not give a vote on those two issues. So we either need to accept what ever the elected government sees fit, hold a second referenda, or choose the govt via a GE called on the specific question – in the same way as heath asked the country to back him or sack him on his industrial polices in 1974.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Read the Leaflet Jerry.
            And the Prime Minister made it perfectly clear what leaving meant.
            As did Remain.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; So Norway must be living under a misconception, believing that she is in the SM but not a member of the EU nor CU – or could it be that the then British PM was simply wrong?…

            I do not give a damn what was said by either said as propaganda back in 2016, only the facts and the state of our democracy.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Worst of all worlds
          Half in
          Just leave and be a free independent nation
          Like the other 160

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Accept democracy? Wish we had some as we see his government proposing to attack another country without bothering to give Parliament a vote.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Dear Margaret–I believe otherwise–What do you think the average MP knows about it? Most haven’t been anywhere near Syria, could hardly find it on a map, know next to nothing about the military considerations specific to that part of the World and are not privy to the latest intelligence. I have asked many times why we should glorify the H of C the way you seem to but never get much of an an answer, except possibly the hardly-convincing “That’s the way we’ve always done it”. TVM Simon de Montfort. This is a Government responsibility and that’s all there is to it. Allowing the decision to hang on Party politics, as would inevitably happen, seems to me, certainly at present, to be akin to tossing a coin only less certain.

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Sigh. In a DEMOCRACY it is not only our right but our duty to disagree.

      Despite your lousy efforts to argue otherwise democracy did not end on 23 June 2016. You won a vote on a day – you did not win the right to shut down debate, to stop questioning, or to end opposition. If you want that stuff you need to find yourself a dictatorship.

      Countries change their minds. In 1987 Mrs Thatcher won a big majority. In 1997 – ten years later – Mr Blair won a landslide. In just ten years the ‘will of the people’ dramatically changed. As it will on Brexit.

      I accept you won a battle on 23 June 2016. But this is a war. And you’re gonna lose in the end.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink


        Quite right the ability to oppose is a fundamental of democracy, ( I can’t remember who is currently in opposition in the government of the EU, maybe you could remind me.

        You are perfectly entitled to have a different option, want different outcomes and a different policy.

        So far though you haven’t put forward one single positive benefit ( with evidence) for rejoining the EU.

        All you have done is insulted 17.4 million people, being rude, objectionable, told blatant falsehoods and cackled like a child.

        If you want a grown up debate, grow up and debate properly

        • jerry
          Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; Perhaps you can help me, who is currently in opposition in the USA, seems to me that US presidents (who ever they are) can sign executive orders at will…

          All some Brexiteers have done since 24th June 2016 is insulted 16,141,241 million people, plus another 27% of the UK electorate who chose not to vote (perhaps because at the time they have no firm opinion), being rude, objectionable, telling blatant falsehoods and cackling like a child when they do not get what they want from Brexit.

          • NickC
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            Jerry, The UK is not part of the USA, we are part of the EU. So your comment about the USA is irrelevant. But the answer is the Democrats (and others). Importantly the individual states have considerable power themselves (in some cases more than we have in the EU) to resist the PotUS, a political reality championed by what you’d sneer at as “right wing bigots”.

            Virtually from the day after our Referendum win, the Remains have been telling us we “didn’t know what we were voting for”; that we were “thick”, “knuckle-draggers” and “uneducated”; using the BBC, the MSM and the courts, not to tell us how wonderful the EU is, but to actually illegitemise our votes. It took us months to respond, but if you think we’re going to lie back and take it, you’re wrong.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “The UK is not part of the USA, we are part of the EU. “

            Oh right, so it’s only the ‘undemocratic’ EU that you find objectionable, might that have something to do with the fact that the USA is traditionally much further to the political right than either the UK or EU are -even when there is a Democratic President.

            It took us [hard line europhobes] months to respond”

            Yes, and all you have come out with since are half-truths is not lies, for example trying to claim that there was only ever one Brexit road-map placed before the electorate, or trying to claim that the UK can not be in the Single Market without being in the EU or its Customs Union, when it is a mater of record that Norway is in the SM but is not in either the EU or CU.

            If you think we, both democratic Leave supporters and Remain supporters, “are going to lie back and take it, you’re wrong” – your half-truths and lies will always be called out for what they are and what they are intended to achieve, an undemocratic political/social power grab for which the hard right do not have a mandate for, quite the opposite since June 2017.

        • hefner
          Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          To answer the question in your first paragraph: unfortunately it is the rather hopeless UKIP MEPs led by Farage who represent the UK. Given this, it is not surprising that, for other countries, it is even more radical parties like Fidesz, AfD, Front National, etc who are supposed to be the opposition at all EU levels.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


          You might have a point but you have a tendency of getting rather emotional yourself.

        • L Jones
          Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          I think we should all like a reasoned argument so that we can know why it is that Remainders would prefer to stay with the EU.
          As it is, it seems that they are yearning for ”the way we were” – but we all know that there is no ”status quo” with the EU. It is morphing very quickly, and we can see what it is becoming. And it’s not nice. Why can’t remainders see this too?

      • NickC
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If the Tories win a general election few dispute their right to form the government, even if half the electorate continue to oppose them. But continuity Remain are exactly proposing that the result itself is invalid. That’s the difference. You have the right to disagree with Brexit, but not the right to overturn it before it’s even implemented. In another 45 years, perhaps.

        As far as Leaves are concerned, your and Tony Blair’s resistance to change is not the issue. Remain had its 45 years in the sun; it didn’t work. Even most Remains I talked to were dissatisfied with the EU, wanting it reformed. We tried that and the EU wasn’t listening. Apparently some Germans are belatedly realising it, even if you’re not.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; But the Tories did not win the last general election, there is actually no Tory majority in the House…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Actually Jerry there is a majority.
            Otherwise there would have to be another election.

      • NoBrexitTears
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        I think that you are confused about the difference between Parliamentary Elections and Referenda. There have been numerous Parliamentary elections since the original Referendum to stay in the Common Market under Harold Wilson, but this is only the second Referendum on the subject. Note that I correctly identified the original organisation by what it was called then, the Common Market. Since then, despite morphing towards a Federal Political Union via the Treaties of Amsterdam, Maastricht, Nice and Lisbon the electorate has only now been given the chance to vote on that progression, and rejected it.

        You might be right that there will be a decision to rejoin the EU or whatever it will be called in 40 years time, (or even if it exists then), but you shouldn’t expect that another refendum will be any time soon.

        • jerry
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          @NBT; The TEEC (Treaty of Rome) has not changed its aims since it was signed on the 25 March 1957, nor has its successors, what we joined in 1973 is thus no different to what it is today. Cif household cleaner used to be called Jif here in the UK, by your logic they must be two totally different products but they are not, they are exactly the same, just like the TEEC and the Lisbon Treaty, a different name but the same ‘product’ non the less.

          As for your second paragraph; The UK must have a general election by June 7th 2022, if a party in their manifesto stated that if elected they would approach the EU with the aim of allowing the UK to rejoin. if they get elected, or even perhaps just become the largest party, in a coalition, then that govt will have every right to take the country back into the EU, regardless of the 2016 referenda result. A new mandate having been give by the electorate.

      • Alexis
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


        There is no battle and no war. We are leaving a failing political institution.

        In or out, it’s time is up, and the people on the inside know it. Look to the future.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      its not the biggest obvious waste, the vast numbers of staff they send to the glastonbury festival is taking the mickey out of every licence payer, far more than they need for any reasonable reporting or coverage, we all know many of them are just going to enjoy the festival themselves at the licence payers expense

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Gill; “we all know many of them are just going to enjoy the festival themselves at the licence payers expense”

        For how many years, and at what level, have you worked in either radio or TV broadcasting to judge how many staff are actually needed for an event that is in effect a 24/5 multi-channelled live + pre-recorded event for the broadcaster plus what ever set-up & knock-down time is needed?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      My consumption of BBC reports on everything has gone down by 90% in the last few weeks.

      Your consumption of their product can be reduced to zero, but you will still be paying for it by force of law. All thanks to our MP’s who think it is wonderful for such a system that is used to criminalise their voters for watching TV.

      Time for subscription of the BBC.

  8. Peter
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The trouble is the UK is not saying ‘No firmly’. Mrs. May continues to duck questions that ask if she would vote for Brexit in a second referendum.Thus confirming the belief that she is not at all keen on leaving. She concedes in negotiations and gains nothing.

    So radio excerpts such as the one quoted above are not aimed at most of us on here. Our minds are already made up.

    The intention is to lay the ground for further delays and concessions on the road to Brexit In Name Only.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      The intention is to lay the ground for further delays and concessions on the road to Brexit In Name Only.

      This certainly seems to be the May agenda. Has May ever got anything right in her life? If she makes a decision on anything you can be almost certain it is daft, misguided and wrong headed. The list is huge, I will not list them all again!

    • NickC
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Peter and LL, I read that Mrs May’s government has failed to give the requisite 12 months notice under Article 127 of the EEA Agreement that we will be leaving the single market (the EEA) on 29th March 2019. That means we will be trapped in the single market after our supposed exit from the EU.

      Perhaps John Redwood will comment on that?

      • Andy
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        You have not read the EEA Agreement correctly. Read Article 126. This defines the area of the EEA. Also the UK is a party to this agreement by virtue of its membership of the EU, so once one ceases so does the other. It maybe that other members of the EEA might view the UK leaving as a fundamental change to the agreement and might terminate it or demand its renegotiation.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    From what I understand about the transition period is that it is a “bad deal”. Maybe it can be turned into an acceptable deal. It is a case of wait and see. Conservative MPs will need to have a clear and robust view when the final deal is presented for approval later this year. Loose ends, matters to be negotiated later will not be acceptable. Better a clean break with no deal.

  10. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately we aren’t a cohesive force here in the UK. Blair and Co. are still fighting the last battle, rather than getting on with the plan in a sensible way. May is still equivocating this way and that, over just about everything. If Brexit works, it will despite the political class, not because of them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      May is just simply giving and sensible leadership, vision or direction. She even through her majority away with an absurd tax and punish manifesto.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        I meant:-

        May is simply not giving any sensible leadership, vision or direction. She even threw away her majority with an absurd tax and punish manifesto election.

        How can you almost lose to people as dire as Corbyn, Mc Donnall and the SNP?

    • Stred
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Watching the EU parliament the other day, it gave the impression that MEPs thought that the Laval Bros were the UK Government.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Most of the right-thinking and loyal people here believe that OF COURSE Brexit will work, and yes, despite the political class. What will be tedious will be the years we will still have to put up with Remainders finding every little hiccup to blow up out of all proportion, in order to keep saying ”we told you so”. They’ll still need their fix of glee at the idea of the UK suffering.

      • Andy
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        What, like 1000 jobs at Jaguar? We told you so.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          The reduction in sales is mostly in the home market where new higher taxes on new vehicles and as yet undefined proposals to ban certain ages and types of cars from cities or to levy pollution tax if they are allowed in has caused uncertainty amongst purchasers.
          On top of that we have a stricter MOT test coming in next month.
          My local garage is predicting that many older diesels will not pass the new emissions test limits.

          But as usual Andy you see every bit of bad news as being “because of Brexit “

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Well the referendum result was despite the political class, so I guess we should not be surprised.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      UK politics isn’t designed to be cohesive, it’s designed to be adversarial. It’s “them and us”. Things like consensus and cohesion are not part of the inherent nature of how things are done.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Very true. And that is another reason why we are such a bad fit in the EU.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted April 15, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          I guesss that depends on whether you think the UK political system is a good system or not.

  11. HardyB
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    As you say – the boat has sailed

    It’s a great pity that the UK government years back did not push the case for change within the EU more forcefully. Inside the EU and at the table and with the right players we could have done much more to change and shape things- but we didn’t and now it doesn’t matter.

    So there’s no need for us to go on about Germany and France etrc, we are not part of it now and had only look forward to our own new international trade deals with partners overseas.

    We have already been told very clearly that cherry picking with the EU into the future is not going to work so we can forget about passporting for financial services as well- better to develop our own centres now along the lines of Singapore and Hong Kong

  12. Richard1
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    This story in the Telegraph about a leaked EU document showing collusion between Germany and Russia at the expense of other EU countries with the knowledge and connivance of the EU commission is massive, if true. The Govt needs to make major play of it, and most of all needs to press on urgently with shale gas development in the U.K. and maybe small, local nuclear power stations.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      With Nordstream 2 Germany will control the distribution of c70% of the Russian pipeline gas entering Europe.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It seems that everything associated with the EU has been clouded by lies and misinformation, whether it be Britains entry into the EEC, or how Russian gas is supplied to Gemany at a lower cost to other EU countries…
    France and Germany made sure that they would have all the advantages when the EU was set up – using a bureaucracy built on French model, and disallowing industries in new countries if they existed already in France and Germany (Greece is an example where major industries were stripped away) – so it’s not surprsing that the BBC will never provide a balanced report on the EU, nor one that is truly informative…

    • chris f
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      That is one of the most lucid descriptions of what has been going on that I have come across

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Bryan.

  14. Ian wragg
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    What have you to say about Barnier demanding a non regression clause in the leaving treaty ensuring that we continue to follow the EU environmental, tax and employment regulatory alignment.
    Could any government with even a scintilla of sense agree to this. I suppose the answer is yes as Remoaners are in charge of the negotiations.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The BBC (rather like America) wants to recreate the rest of the nation in its own image. It’s own London/Remain image that is.

    Because London is just so bloody perfect, isn’t it.

  16. a-tracy
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Not interested in what the Germans are saying. I’m more interested in your reply to Denis yesterday on this: Meanwhile:

    “Could Theresa May get away with a customs union climbdown?”

    The only good thing about Theresa May dithering in charge is that nothing gets done and we just leave and Syria just is in the pending tray until more evidence and facts become clear to those people beginning to doubt the news cycle yet again.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Too late it seems.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Well she’s certainly marked her card now, let’s see how strong and stable she is, I’m very concerned she always chooses the wrong path, if as NickC article 127EEA hasn’t been submitted in time she will be held accountable.

    • stred
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      It looks like she’s jumped the inquiry and is speaking like a virtuous Brittania, in front of the Union Jack. Nothing like a few missiles up em to get support for selling us out.
      It makes you proud to collaborate.

  17. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I watched your Brexit speech again yesterday. When talking about the possibility of tariffs being imposed by the EU you said that you would expect the UK to respond accordingly. For your analysis to work out UK would need to do so but I wonder if this is your hope rather than expectation. With May’s record of weakness and appeasement I am not confident we can rely on getting the leadership we will need.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, here is yet another case of ‘Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would.” ‘

  18. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Dr. Redwood, you can’t be serious about Theresa May staying firm on anything. We have sold out for the mere promise of a trade deal, outcome unknown, which they need more than us; it has been the height of weakness and stupidity so far. Now we’re hearing rumours of how she can sell a ‘camouflaged’ customs union to the masses. Unacceptable.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I keep telling everyone. The mythical ‘Trade Deal’ is nothing but a sup to fool people into accepting Soft Remain.

      “We’ve got to give them what they want otherwise, we won’t get a trade deal”

      Will be the excuse. And yes, all the MP’s will vote for it, because they are all in on the SCAM !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 4:37 am | Permalink

      It certainly looks like that to me too.

  19. agricola
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The BBC has it’s own political agenda, always has done. Until it has fundamental change in it’s management and reverts to it’s original Reithian principals it will continue to disappoint.

    I imagine that the national governments within the EU are monitoring these negotiations in detail. If they detect that penalising the UK in terms of trade or financial dealing runs contrary to their best interests, you can expect them to speak up. If they do not then the dissent will be heard from the business interests within that country. Rumblings off are already being heard from fishing interests, car manufacturers, and the users of finance

    The remainers meanwhile create obstacles where they need not exist, the Irish border being a prime example. Our negotiators should operate on the KISS principal, ( keep it simple stupid.) Should the penalising tendency prevail on the EU side then the mantra that nothing is decided till all is decided should be emphasised. The EU is between a rock and a hard place. The rock of dogma and intransigence, and the hard place of no income from the UK after March end 2019, with trade based on WTO rules.

    As citizens of the UK we are entitled to a monthly score sheet on what is agreed and what is outstanding, a fait accompli in October is not acceptable.

  20. Michael
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The so called Transition Period is no such thing. The further two years will be taken up with negotiating the details of poste BREXIT arrangements. Germany does not want us to leave and is taking action to put off the day in the hope that the UK Government will change its mind or at least soften it’s position even further.

    Unfortunately the debate about the UK leaving has to be won over and over again.

  21. Epikouros
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The Brexit arguments for and against are being dominated by those hostile to leaving or those seeking to gain pecuniary or political advantage. The EU negotiators are deliberately fostering an environment whereby they can. They being chief amongst those who are attempting to d0 both. Their tactic is obvious to create uncertainty and fear. When you and others point out providing proof and reasoned argument that there is nothing to fear or the outcome need be uncertain. As a path to an excellent outcome for the UK is available with or without a deal you are howled down or denigrated or circumvented by remainers and unscrupulous political and other opportunists.

    It is certain that many members of the EU like Germany want a sensible and workable deal. A deal similar to that which the UK is requesting as they realise that from a bad or no deal they are likely to suffer just as much as the UK, in all probability they will suffer much more. The question is do they have the ability to change the EU negotiators/commissioners minds so that they do follow a more sensible approach to negotiations. EU members when joining give away their sovereignty and many of their responsibilities to Brussels which leaves them with little actual power to control events which we have already found out to our detriment(one reason we are leaving). So maybe the best the UK can expect is platitudes and sympathy from EU members. However if they do brave the commissions big stick and force them into making the right concessions then we cannot expect to see the evidence of that until the last moment if we have not capitualed before that. Maybe that particular rabbit is already in the hat ready to be whisked out at the appropriate time. All we need do is keep our nerve and we will find out.

  22. Original Richard
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “It was predictable to hear the Germans say that in the case of us leaving the customs union and single market, as we have said we will do, there was scope to keep us in after all despite early EU rhetoric that of course you cannot be in them if you are out of the EU.”

    The Germans realise that whatever they and the EU can threaten the UK with in the short-term for leaving the EU it is nothing compared to the damage they can inflict upon the UK over the long-term as a member of the EU and thus subject to all their laws, regulations, taxation, budget commitments, trade, foreign and immigration policies as well as using our assets such as our fishing waters and our military.

    BTW there is no bigger demonstration of the EU’s corruption than the fact that absolutely no action has been taken by the EU over the massive German diesel emissions cheating fraud.

    • anon
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      The EU banned all exports of German diesel cars to all world markets until a cull was arranged at huge cost. True or False?

  23. Adam
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The UK shall be a happier home when the EU returns to being our neighbour across the brook.

    Accommodating them as expensive landlords squatting in our loft restricted us.

  24. margaret
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I have listened to the father of the house recently and he usually talks good economic sense( as far as it is my understanding ) . What this country needs at present is to go through the horns of the argument and finalise details as far as is possible. The arguments could go on ad infinitum and there will always be some who want to argue for the sake of it rather than resolve the issue.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    “Whether the EU as a whole can make a sensible offer on trade remains to be seen”, and not so sensibly it must remain to be seen until after we have actually left the EU:

    “‘There will be no negotiation strands’: Brussels crushes Davis hopes for detailed trade talks before Brexit”

    Well, that should not come as any great surprise, given that one of the first concessions made by the UK, WITHOUT ANY PROTEST, was that there would be sequential rather than parallel negotiations.

    I emphasise “WITHOUT ANY PROTEST” because common sense and a plain reading of Article 50 would both dictate that negotiations on future trade arrangements should be developed in parallel with negotiations on the withdrawal arrangements; but rather than making this point forcibly around the world and showing the EU up for the hypocritical untrustworthy and often silly organisation that it is our Prime Minister chose to do the opposite and endorse their position – from last April:

    “The third party status was detailed in the EU Council negotiation guidelines last Friday, and Theresa May said both sides were being “sensible” and “pragmatic” on the timing of discussions.

    In an interview with Sky News during a trip to Jordan, when asked to clarify if she accepted “third country status” for the final deal, she said: “There’s obviously a legal situation in terms of how the EU can conduct trade negotiations.””

    Well, there is indeed a “legal situation”, and in the special context of negotiations with a member state which is withdrawing from the EU that “legal situation” is expressed in the relevant treaty provision, Article 50 TEU:

    “… the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, TAKING ACCOUNT OF THE FRAMEWORK FOR ITS FUTURE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNION.”

    I have no doubt that the ingrained europhilia in the senior ranks of the civil service has had it effect in persuading the Prime Minister to constantly suck up to the EU, however unreasonable it may be, rather than even make a brief show of standing up to it.

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Total I have the delights of submitting the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings form ATED which have to be submitted between the 1st and 31st April. No tax is due as the properties are all let out but is still takes up most of my day and is depressing. A completely pointless tax on me that raises nothing. Thousands of others also wasting their valuable time too.

    Why not say only those where tax is actually due have to file? Why such a short filing period. Which idiot introduced this Osborne and which one has failed to repeal it Hammond. HMRC already know these are let as they get tax returns on the rents each year so why not add this to those instead of this additional return!

  27. David Murfin
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I voted ‘Leave’ because I believe that it is better to be free of EU control, better to decide our own laws, better to control our own borders, better to be free to trade on the best terms we can negotiate with the EU as well as other countries. Better chiefly to be no part of any move towards a ‘United States of Europe’ If this should cost slightly slower economic growth over the next few years so be it, though government Brexit policy should include steps to avoid that downside if at all possible.
    If that understanding is correct, it is clearly better to leave the EU as soon as possible.
    A determined effort to implement Brexit would have seen us out by this July. Anything later is a degree of failure.

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Just think about what you said there. You are prepared to be poorer in the short and medium term (and probably the long term) just to go through with Brexit. You can accept that because you voted for it.

      Just remember that 48% of those who voted did not want to get poorer at all – but will because of your vote. This is in addition to millions of teens who were denied a vote, millions of EU citizens who live here who were denied a vote and tens of thousands of UK citizens in the EU who were denied a vote. They all have far more to lose than you – and you are expecting to lose out for a while too. Do you lot not get why opposition to your Brexit is so strong AND growing?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        He didn’t say poorer.
        He said slightly slower economic growth.
        And even that is just a vague 15 year prediction.
        So instead of being 10% better off you will be 9% better off.
        So not poorer at all.

        PS the fact that only 36% of youngsters bothered to vote after months of campaigning is not anyone’s fault other than their own.
        PPS You have to be 18 to vote.

  28. margaret howard
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    The reason Cameron failed to get any more concessions was because the other EU members were fed up with Britain’s constant demands for opt outs and special treatment. Enough was enough and good riddance.

    • mike fowle
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      That is simply but profoundly wrong. The UK adhered to the rules far more rigorously than most European countries. Mainly because our basis of law was common law whilst most of Europe worked on the Code Napoleon approach. It is no myth that many passed EU directives into local law and then ignored them. Indeed we had politicians in this country asking why could we not be more “European” in our approach.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Cameron asked for nothing and made it clear nothing was totally acceptable so he got nothing!

    • GY
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      A major financial contributor wanted to re-negotiate their disadvantageous deal, how terrible.

    • Alexis
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      No, Cameron asked them for scraps and he got even less than that.

      He thought the referendum was about pacifying a few backbenchers. He knew nothing about the people of this country, and at that time, apparently cared even less.

  29. acorn
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    JR, why are you still campaigning as if we haven’t had the Referendum vote yet? Who are you more frightened of, the BBC; the Germans or your own government front bench? As a hard Brexit guy, why are you so bothered about what the Germans or the French do post Brexit 29/3/19. As long as EU27 members are happy holding Sterling assets, they will keep flogging us stuff, which Brits will remain eager to buy.

    The €900 billion credit German Banks have issued, so Club Med members can buy BMWs and Miele kitchens; won’t get paid back if the Germans don’t stick with the EU plan.

    If you think your own government is going to screw over the 52% leave vote, then would it not be better to support a second popular referendum? I would not trust our Punch & Judy parliament to come up with any meaningful result that the executive did not want!

    • NickC
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, That is hypocrisy of the highest order. Remain have been “campaigning as if we haven’t had the Referendum vote yet” since 24th June 2016. At last we Leaves are fighting back and you have the nerve to complain? And there’s no such thing as a “hard” Brexit, there is only Remain or Leave.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink


        Be careful you are getting very hot under the collar, it is not good for you

  30. Know-Dice
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    …some senior Germans that it is such a pity the UK is leaving so they should now respond more positively to Mr Cameron’s requests for renegotiation!…

    Too late…

    Horse has bolted, stable door is shut.

    That was the key issue that could have swung the vote…

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    we should call our loans to the European central bank in, and stop paying the bills, stop allowing new countries to be added to the list of people allowed to enter here freely, and stop paying our subs

    come on the referendum was ages ago, we could have been completely out by now with half decent people in charge

  32. DrakeB
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    We didn’t vote for a new deal..we voted to leave..that’s why go on about the germans..forget about them

    • NickC
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      DrakeB, You know that; I know that; JR knows that. But Mrs May doesn’t.

  33. ian
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    EU says, no trade negotiations before 29/03/2019, only outline agreement on talks about the trade.
    So no vote needed in commons this year or next, this is falling a long way short of being out of the EU by who knows when. You have failed to uphold the vote of the people to leave the EU on the 29/03/2019. War more important to the con party now than Brexit.

    • NickC
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Ian, I regret to say you are correct on all points.

  34. Atlas
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, yes, John the BBC does have form on this. I find there is a similar ‘patsy’ approach by the BBC to Climate Change and a few other of the lefts’ sacred cows.

  35. Dennis Zoff
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Reality check – Germany:

    Having just returned from a three week trip to Germany (Family, friends and colleagues), I can testify to the huge disgruntlement of many Germans with regards to; the Political situation (very unhappy with Merkel); EU’s handling of problems; Germany’s EU financial contributions and obligations; the migration issue (very unhappy with migrants gaining free access to everything at Germany’s expense); significant increase in crime; insecurity regarding terrorist activities; increase in taxes; deteriorating roads; insidious and draconian personal censorship (smacks of DDR?). The list is growing and Germans are at last speaking out!

    An interesting point regarding Pensioners: Pensioners continue to pay 11% monthly tax on their pensionable income for their healthcare (NHS equivalent), plus additional taxes, bringing up the monthly cost from their Pensions to circa 19%. Therefore, an average Pensioner with a monthly state pension of say €1,000 will pay 19% state tax – net €810 pension income.

    Additionally, pensioners are required to pay for their Doctor prescriptions @ €5 per item. On average, pensioners pay €25 per month for their prescriptions. With this continuing drip, drip cost increase, Germans are slowly realizing Merkel’s (EU) madness is costing them dearly! Regardless of what the controlled German mass media is saying, Germany is becoming a powder keg of discontent.

    The AfD is exploiting this situation very effectively! Three years on from the “2015 Welcome”, every German I spoke to, had a negative comment to say about the continuing migration issues, overtly bureaucratic Brussels and the political shenanigans constructed by Merkel!

    It appears the “Welcome”, Merkel or indeed the EU is no longer appreciated!

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Makes you wonder why they have just re-elected Frau Merkel for an unprecedented 4th term.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        margaret howard

        They tried not to vote in large numbers for Merkel, successfully….however, it was a cross-party stitch-up akin to the UK parties self-seeking shenanigans (fear) against UKIP, though in this particular case it was the AfD.

        You may have read Merkel’s party “CDU” had the worst result since 1949. SPD and CSU (CDU’s sister party) equally suffered very badly at the polls. As yet there is not a credible or powerful enough alternative party to a CDU/SPD/CSU alliance. AfD did exceptionally well but are mostly an exDDR supported party, which is not currently palatable to the majority voters in the “big five” highest populated areas – Rhine-Ruhr, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Frankfurt.

        Interesting link for you here:

        Although I typically get my information directly from living in Germany (part-time), my extended German family (professionals – Medical, Legal, Higher education and Senior BOD Management), ex-University friends, work colleagues, senior business management customers and some various “in Government” sources? A nice cross-reference of actual life in Germany….not through biased media adjusted insights?

        Respectfully, the UK’s general population has little knowledge of Europe and in particular, the current realities of life in Germany and for that matter central Europe and therefore can be easily manipulated by the UK Establishment’s group thinking MSM bias and slight of hand EU support!

        Though I grant you, the UK is coming up to speed thanks to the EU’s flagrant “transparent” chicanery and the “current” Government’s apparent political sophistry!

  36. ian
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    That’s because they might know more than you do about what your gov is going to do.

  37. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Of course Mr Hunt could not really do anything without support from May for change but doubtless being a lefty she thinks it is just fine as it is! So what if they kill thousands and thousands more have to years wait in pain?

  38. Len Grinds
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again! Brexit is going badly, but apparently it’s the BBC’s fault – I wonder if Mr John Redwood will EVER accept any responsibility for his totally false promise that we hold all the cards in the negotiation with the EU

    • libertarian
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink


      Brexit is NOT going badly. The government is making a cock up, but thats what governments always do because they are staffed and run with incompetents. Meanwhile in the real world, even our mate Lloyd Blankfein has decided that Brexit is going rather well and he doesn’t have to move to Frankfurt. You remainers are so funny and detached from reality

    • NickC
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Len, Brexit hasn’t happened yet. And the BBC has a near monopoly as it peddles its Brexit hatred. It may not concern you but it certainly worries me. At least I don’t pay for your BBC tosh.

    • NoBrexitTears
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      But we do hold all the cards, Len.
      It’s just that our Government is totally and utterly useless at knowing how to play them.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      “Brexit is going badly…”. Where is your authority for this please? I read lots of news on all media and yet I can find nothing to substantiate claims that it is going well or badly.

  39. Ron Olden
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    These interviews they play to us on the Radio and TV are useless enough wherever they are.

    The only people who give coherent responses worth broadcasting, are people with strongly held and well informed opinions, and who are willing to be seen to express them in public.

    The second of these features, inevitably creates a big bias towards people expressing anodyne or fashionable views.

    And even then, the only ones we hear, are the ones the BBC chooses to play us.

    In any case, who are all these people? And what authority do they have to speak for the EU and tell us what offers we can expect on this or that?

    Even members of the Bundestag have little or no say in what their own Government does. So who cares what members of the German public have to say about offers that might, or might not be forthcoming from the EU?

  40. Hoof Hearted
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has warned British PM David Cameron not to be too sure of German support in his bid to reform the EU.
    Mr Fischer said it would be an “illusion” to think the UK would get special treatment because it is a major contributor to the EU budget.
    He added: “What will the UK be without the EU? Go to Washington, ask them. The answer is very clear, very negative.”

    “Germany should now, as it has become peaceful and reasonable, get all that Europe and the world has refused in two gigantic World Wars, a sort of smooth hegemony over Europe”
    Joschka Fischer

    Two quotes from Joschka Fischer on the EU and the UK which reflect the real view of most Germans.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Hoof Hearted

      “Two quotes from Joschka Fischer on the EU and the UK which reflect the real view of most Germans.”

      This is “not” the real view of most Germans…your comment is utter unsubstantiated nonsense!

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Personally I have long felt that the Germans really wanted the UK out of the EU because in the absence of the UK Germany would have hegemony over all of Europe, which has been their ambition ever since unification in 1871. The French also thought that the EU without the UK would be to their advantage but I think they have badly miscalculated as per usual.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted April 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


        Not so on both counts….this is not what the populace think?

        Your only error in your comment is to believe Politicians speak for their people…sadly this is not the case?

        What the populace think and what Politicians do and say is very different?

  41. Prigger
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    should not

  42. slartibartfast
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    If they’d waited a day or so they could have asked meaningful questions about Herr Schroder, Gospodin Putin and the price of gas in Berlin.

    Expect to see a few stories about Brexit, Syria and assassinations in the news tomorrow to generate the necessary fog…

  43. Brexit
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    How deeply refreshing to hear a senior, experienced former minister analyse the German question from a common sense point of view. And (alas) your dissection of the BBC’s journalism was depressingly accurate.

    We have written on the German question several times and coincidentally we produced a highly-researched piece overnight to help our readers understand one particular backdrop to this. It is available here and the data all comes from the official German government version of the ONS, called Destatis.

    Your views are based on the facts and where they concern Brexit they reflect what our readers believe they voted for. Thank you for continuing to express them and for standing up for a clean exit from the EU – preferably in March next year.

    With kind regards, the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team

    • hefner
      Posted April 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      For an alternative and as well (if not better?) documented view on Germany, the Economist 14-20/04/2018 has a 12-page, 7-item “dossier” on Germany, maybe worth reading together with JR’s and’s contributions.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Somewhat off-topic:

    “Both sides have vowed to avoid physical border checks on the island of Ireland for fear of reigniting sectarian violence there, but the EU says this would not be possible under Britain’s plan to also leave the bloc’s single market and customs union.”

    And naturally what the EU says must always be correct and will never be contradicted by a supine UK government led by a Prime Minister who would still vote to stay in the EU if we were to have a repeat referendum, and who is advised by senior officials all of whom have been recruited and promoted to their present positions of power and influence over the six decades since her Tory predecessors decided that our country should be subjugated in a pan-European federation while falsely reassuring their party’s rank and file supporters that they were firmly against European federalism.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      They’re finished.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Has anyone at any stage pointed out the fact that there was no hard border in Ireland before 1973 and that this wouldn’t even be an issue if there was no EU?

  45. hefner
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Has anybody here had a look at the recent YouGov poll “Do you think BBC News is pro-Brexit, anti-Brexit or neither?”
    For Leave voters: the BBC is pro-Brexit 5%, neither 13%, don’t know 37%, anti-Brexit 45%.
    For Remain voters: it is pro-Brexit 13%, neither 37%, don’t know 36%, anti-Brexit 14%.
    Interesting numbers.

  46. 60022Mallard
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I can only presume that John Redwood listens to the BBC to find out what the metropolitan elite on the left that believes it should be running the country are thinking, not for any impartial news coverage.

  47. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Well done May and Hammond for decimating the diesel car industry. The success story of Jaguar/Land rover has been ruined with the loss of 1000 jobs. Just what is this Tory government thinking about. The BBC had to put part of the blame on Brexit. Pass the sick bucket. It has nothing to do with Brexit and all to do with stupid green issues and no clear policy from government. What’s new?

  48. VotedOut
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I have been doing business in Germany for over 11 years.

    I can tell you that I was directly told by a head of purchasing for a well known German company that they preferred German speaking suppliers because “its easier”.

    This attitude led to a German supplier being preferred over a UK supplier despite the UK supplier offering better quality at 25% less.

    I remember walking down the shop floor of this company and seeing health and safety violations literally every 10 feet. Nobody had ever inspected the site despite it being one of the biggest employer in the region! Only when pressed by their customers did any health and safety audit take place – and we are talking 2014 here!

    My experience over 11 years in Germany, 2 years in Sweden and 2 years in France, is that there is absolutely no such thing as a free market for the UK. This is an absurd dream. The EU has been a vehicle to asset strip the UK of its industrial base and intellectual property. This is going on now in Germany with our aerospace industries.

    We are 100% better off outside the EU. We do not need a transition deal to delay things further. We need to get out now. It will be a bumpy ride, but it is a necessary ride and a far easier one to do now rather then to leave it until the whole EU implodes under its own bureaucratic crypto-protectionism

  49. L Jones
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Surely, Dr Redwood, it is obvious from the vast majority of comments here that erstwhile committed Conservative supporters realise that they have been let down, if not duped, by these so-called ”negotiations” – let alone the insistence upon this nugatory ”transition period”.

    We are rapidly beginning to feel that we have been taken for fools, and treated as if we are too stupid to realise what is going on – this, despite our Government being aware that we have the information available to us all through various media.

    This is really sad stuff. We have wanted to believe in our Government, in our chosen party, and in particular in our Prime Minister. We were prepared to believe Mrs May was playing ‘the long game’ – only now it is becoming clear that she is not, and that appeasement of the EU is far more important than conciliation of her own people.

    I partiulcarly hate the fact that all this is playing into the hands of Corbyn and his motley bunch, who will make sure we are well and truly doomed.

  50. nigel seymour
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I changed my bird box about 5 years ago and the blue tits haven’t nested since, until this year. They are now flitting in and out with bits of moss and other suitable nest building material. Unfortunately, magpies have also come around and seem to constantly monitor the box, perhaps hoping to get an early insight as to what may emerge. Who knows what may emerge and in what numbers? Will they survive in the early minutes or hours or just fall prey to the big predatory bird…

  51. Bill
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    There is a simple answer to the Northern Ireland problem which has been creating so much heat lately. Declare Northern Ireland to be a “free port”, just as Spain has for many decades – since long before it joined the EU – run the Canary Islands as a free port.

    This means that, if you import something from outside the EU into the Canaries, the normal import duty does not apply, but if you subsequently move it to mainland Spain (or anywhere else in the EU) you then become liable for that duty.

    It would be easy to put Northern Ireland onto the same relationship to the rest of the UK as the Canaries have to the rest of Spain. This would be hugely advantageous to NI, so presumably they would not resist it.

  52. Nick
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    John, again you’re on the money but what Germany wants makes no difference. It cannot – nor can we – make individual agreements with other nations. That’s the whole point of the EU. It’s why there is mass poverty and unemployment across the continent. Any ability to react to what the nation wants has been sacrificed to the EUrocracy.

    The EU is a protectionist, communist bureaucracy. It was designed to control nations. Now, when Cameron went to negotiate he knew, as we did; that it was meaningless but having the white paper to wave would have given him a lie to sell to the people. The Eurocrats refused any concession and with Germany as powerless as Cameron, no one got anything. So we left – which the state machine is completely unwilling to accept.

  53. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 14, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The way BBC, and many other, journalists work is that they determine their own personal or corporate position and then find people to speak in favour of it who they can call independent. You can easily find someone in Germany to support whatever view you personally have – the bias is in the selection.

  54. Vim Baselink
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Needless to say, Brexit is not on top of the news agenda in Germany. BBC coverage reflects that.

    Germans will still sell us stuff with tariffs if we dont accept free movement and the rules of the single market .

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  • 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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