We do need to spend a bit more

Starting today I want to run a series of articles looking at how we could best spend the additional money coming from growth and from the savings in our EU contributions.

The NHS does need more money. There is the need to provide for the rising numbers of patients, partly the result of rapid growth in population. Even after a new migration policy has been put in place there will be some growth of population we need to provide for.

Under new arrangements with the EU after departure we need to make sure that if we continue with state payments for care in each other’s territory there is a fairer recharging by the UK to the EU for the care we deliver to EU citizens in the UK.  If there is no agreement then we need to require payments or insurance on EU citizens here, and to offer  a way of reimbursing UK citizens needing care on the continent.

The government has accepted the case for more money, and even accepted a general level of increased payments. Over the summer it is vital this is turned into a positive programme. The government should not sign off on any extra money unless and until there is a costed proposal that cannot be covered by existing budgets, and which will raise the quality and quantity of care delivered.

Ministers are talking about setting the Chief Executive of NHS England proper targets and requiring performance against them to justify extra cash. These targets need careful choosing and enforcement. It also needs to be clear that failure to hit agreed targets will result in financial penalties for the highly paid top team. If they wish to be paid far more than the PM, more like the private sector, there needs to genuine performance related risk for them

I do think we need more money to expand operating theatre capacity, provide extra medical teams for hospital treatments, and expand the numbers of GPs.

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  1. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Rather than tax everyone to pay for more NHS waste, can we introduce more private care.
    An old age care insurance scheme is badly needed so people don’t need to horde a war chest in case they need long term care.
    Secondly, a tax incentivised company healthcare scheme. The welfare of employees matters to business, and this kind of scheme would be better in early intervention as it’s in their interest to reduce long term costs. Reward the schemes with NI rebates of a proportion of the premiums. All employees included for the scheme to qualify, not just for management.

    • Hope
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Debt is costing us £1 billion a week at the moment and May has started to announce unfunded spending sprees!

      We read Barnier is eager to conclude the withdraw agreement. This should be resisted at all costs. I suggest this focuses your mind this summer. We do not want to pay £100 billion and remain in a punishment extension as a vassal state for at least two years. No withdraw agreement without trade agreement. Full stop.

      Your spending proposals will be utterly useless if EU fanatic May is allowed further time to act treacherously against the public vote with the dishonest civil service to keep the U.K. In the EU at all costs. She starts her deception tour to convince people her lies are true. Time to fix May’s deceit, stop billions going to the EU for nothing in return. This must be your priority. You failed the public by supporting this treacherous witch, you must not make the same mistake. I would feel better if she wa gone by Tuesday.

    • Narrow Shoulder
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink


      For schemes open to all employees should not be a taxable benefit. There is no preferential treatment and it is saving the company money.

      I would not give companies incentives to look after their employees. Good companies should be offering reasonable packages and looking after their employees for competitive advantage. No need for further subsidy.

    • Adam
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Concept for Fairness:

      Every citizen’s NHS no is allowed an equal NHS budget value.
      Their Health Budget pays their health costs.
      Those who maintain healthy lifestyles receive 20% of their unused Health Budget at age 20, 30 & 50.
      Those who exceed their budget receive treatment as now.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Dave Andrews

      Great ideas, this is entirely the kind of thinking that we need in order to boost productivity too.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      More for the NHS, but for treating who? More and more arrive, having contributed nothing, yet take up multiple appointment times because they need/use translators (which WE have to pay for).

  2. Jason Wells
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Problem is that a lot of the old retirees on the continent are thinking about returning to UK with brexit looming, especially those who have since lost their partners and may themselves be in bad health or feeling the pinch with the fall in the pound value vs the euro.

    Thing is if they manage to sell their apartments or villas out there they may not have enough funds to buy back into the UK property scene and how this will even out we don’t know yet, except to say it is bound to weigh heavy on the NHS capacity to deliver

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Jason, it is my experience that what you are talking about has been happening for years. It is the norm. I lived in Spain for 5 years and most people were older than me. I have an older husband. We returned to the UK because we didn’t enjoy living there and came back. My husband started his own business and we bought our own property.. Every couple we knew out in Spain has returned to the UK as they have got older so Brexit has nothing to do with it. It happens all the time. Care in Spain is non existent for older people and even hospital care isn’t great. You need to do a lot of the actual caring yourself or get someone in to do it.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      The number of ex pats returning to the UK because of ill health or loss of partner, is balanced by a larger number who move from the UK to retire abroad.
      This has been happening for many years.
      And whilst in the EU the pound has varied against the Euro from 1.60 to near 1.00 and ex pats have still managed.
      I’m more worried about the NHS coping with half a million new arrivals to this country every year since 2000.

      • miami.mode
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        A bit back to front there, E2. It’s healthy pensioners who move abroad, particularly to Spain, and then return when they start to suffer ill health.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          Yet the numbers show loads leaving the UK to retire abroad and only a small number returning ill or widowed.
          Compared to several hundred thousand every year coming here as new arrivals.

          • miami.mode
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            On reflection, E2, I accept the argument of you and others that these people will have paid all their direct taxes and are fully entitled. In US parlance, I misspoke.

            However, doubtless there are many who work abroad in their early working lives and would be only too happy to move back if ill health strikes.

            A youngish lady wrote an article in a national daily not too long ago that she and her husband moved to the USA to work, I believe Denver but with no timescale, where they had their first child. Even with health insurance it cost them at least $6,000. They moved back to London and had their second child and in her words “completely free thanks to the good old NHS”.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            That’s a nice story.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      This not a new phenomenon. Oldies have been selling up and returning for years. Nothing to do with Brexit.
      Problem is as our friends found it’s desperately difficult to sell a property in Spain and many are taking a financial hit.
      This is true of Australians. Health care costs are crippling and my cousin is returning home after 50 years.
      Nothing to Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed they will perhaps come back and rent a property but then run out of cash & then need housing benefit/Council tax/social care and medical treatment too. Hammond’s tax and benefit system encourages this let’s “live off other people’s taxes” approach. If you have assets the government will grab them off you anyway so why not?

    • libertarian
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Jason Wells

      But we are also told that lots of Europeans are returning home now they are reaching retirement age, so I guess as theres more of them leaving than coming back it won’t be so bad

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Jason Wells, There are around 247,000 British pensioners living in the rEU (ONS figure). Even if all came home at once it would be only around average net immigration each year for the last couple of decades. So not much of a problem really.

      • jerry
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        @NickC; The average age of EU27 migration coming to the UK is what, 25+ years of age, the average age of retirees is obviously 60+, most migrants come here to work, thus they pay not only VAT but also income tax, most expat retirees returning to the UK not and will not pay anything like the same taxes. You might have a rosy view of expats returning but on average each one will be a net drain on the NHS and social services (and have every right to use and claim), whilst the average lost migrant would have been a net contributor.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          But do these youngsters get tax credits, housing benefit, need to send children to schools and pay much in income tax if they are on average or below average wages?

          It would be interesting to know some proper figures for the actual profit and loss of different age groups.

        • NickC
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, By definition the UK pensioners will have lived, worked, and paid taxes in the UK for most of their lives. They therefore have contributed to the creation of the infrastructure they may use on returning for 40+ years. Something that new young migrants haven’t. Moreover UK pensioners living in the EU may use the medical services of the EU state in which they reside but that is paid for by the NHS anyway. Try again.

          • jerry
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            @NickC; I know of several expat couples who have every right to return, have every right to claim, yet they have not paid any UK tax (other than VAT on their visits back to Old Blighty) in over years, some for 30, 40 years, but because they have their NI number and a UK passport… Those migrants you keep making scapegoat of, on the other hand, pay UK income tax and other indirect taxes every day they are here, many will have paid more UK tax in one year than an expat has in 10 or more years…

        • rose
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Aren’t your average migrants costing £8 billion a year in top up benefits, etc? A handful of French bankers, for example, may be net contributors, but not the majority. All mass immigration does is grow the GDP: it doesn’t grow real wealth, health, and happiness.

          • jerry
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            @rose; How much does it cost HMT to subsidise lazy British born people who prefer to work a few hours per day/week in the Gig Economy, rather than getting a full time job working on a farm, in a chilled food processing factory or where ever the migrants you and others keep making scapegoats out of find their (most often) full time work – sometimes BEFORE they leave their homes in their own country!

        • getahead
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Except of course expat retirees will have paid their National Insurance contributions and are therefore entitled to free NHS treatment.

          • jerry
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            @getahead; Expect not, at last for many a year, see my reply to NickC (assuming is doesn’t get deleted…).

          • NickC
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The British pensioners living in the EU are by definition not using the UK infrastructure whilst they are abroad. Infrastructure they paid for whilst working here. If they return they will use, on average, no more of the NHS and other infrastructure than if they had stayed here.

            The original point made by Jason Wells was there was a lot of British retirees who, if they returned, would swamp the NHS, etc. The truth is there are less than quarter of a million. That is less than 3% of the foreign immigrants in this country. You need to take off your migrant Labour blinkers.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink


        Let’s not forget also that many of these people have a small property (flat) that they have owned and rented out at home as a safety net in case things go wrong for them in Spain or wherever else they may be in Europe. Most people are self sufficient with good pensions because believe you me, you will not get benefits in Spain so easily as you do in the UK. Every person we knew was self sufficient and had a good lifestyle. Can you imagine how the EU would look if they didn’t even allow these people to sell their properties but just took them off them and sent them home? It just isn’t going to happen! If it did then they wouldn’t look good to the rest of the world and it would be a repeat of the plunder that went on in the 2nd world war where Germany took many people’s property and possessions that didn’t belong to them.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Then perhaps these people selling properties abroad should simply rent when they come home. It’s not as if they are saving for their future, if their twilight years are now upon them. Why do people think they MUST buy? And if they haven’t ”enough funds” to do that, then surely that is lack of foresight and planning on their part. If they have lived outside the UK for a long time, then they should provide their own medical insurance when they come back to this country, as should any long-term visitor, unless they have paid UK tax and national insurance through the years they have been absent from these shores.

      As far as EU people arriving here and having access to OUR medical facilities, why can’t this cost come out of the Foreign Aid budget? After all, that IS foreign aid – aiding foreigners.

      NHS crisis = population crisis.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I have no doubt that a lone pensioner, returning to the UK without enough funds to buy themselves a property here, will be classed as “making themselves homeless” and should expect nothing. Meanwhile anyone arriving with a sob story, not in English, then wanting to bring in three wives and umpteen children, will be welcomed with open arms and everything set up for them, bank account and deposit already waiting.

    • Hope
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      JR, Barnier made it clear yesterday that the ECJ will rule over the U.K. while May was falsely claiming in N. Irleland it would not. Shocking dishonesty.

      • Timaction
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. In black and white text for all to see. No red lines left. A total sell out. Then we read Hammond still wants free movement. Treason May must go now. Not later! It’s in our National interest, even if it means an election to put Brexiter candidates in all leave seats!
        So much for control of our laws and therefore sovereignty.

    • Juiliet
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Problem is additional people that can come on the settled status ticket and bring in additional family members that are not of working age, if those additional people are on low or below minimum wage then this group of people are costing the taxpayers more to keep them here in low wage low skilled and unskilled work as they are paying less or next to nothing no taxes but gaining from all the benefits of the welfare & healthcare and other public services for schooling GPs adult social care and even pension entitlement. Instead of big businesses paying for cheap labour the taxpayers are being burdened with increasing population that may or may not add value to the economy

  3. Richard1
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    What is actually needed is the introduction of much more patient choice and competition in the NHS – funds would be better spent allowing patients to choose private sector providers. This would improve outcomes and solve waiting times. Doesn’t need to be like the US but does need to more like eg the Netherlands the Nordic region or Switzerland. But I suppose this would be a heresy which even free market Conservatives will not dare touch. So it will be an endless depressing cycle of more and more money but always inferior outcomes to those achieved elsewhere with mixed systems. Does anyone think the new £20bn pa for the NHS will mean we don’t go on hearing about a ‘winter crisis’ ‘underfunding’ ‘cuts’ etc?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      “a heresy which even free market Conservatives will not dare touch” and certainly not the daft high tax socialists that we currently have in charge of the Conservative Party.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The problem is that the vast majority of people don’t have the money for that choice. Either because they don’t earn it or because they are taxed heavily so that the NHS is ‘free’ on delivery.

      The NHS is lax on collecting payment where it should, and lax on doling out treatment where it shouldn’t because those in it honestly believe it is free. From the magic money tree free.

      Otherwise the vast majority in the NHS do good work.

      The propaganda machine for the industrial wing of the socialist movement is in full overdrive at the moment.

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      The NHS has many problems. One is the tendency for “political initiatives” from government. Another is the dreadful NHS management besotted with a “time and motion” style management typical of 1950s factories. Whistleblowers are sidelined at best or victimised by stress or job loss. Yet modern factory management methods copied from Japan welcome the highlighting of faults, and solutions, from the shop-floor – something the NHS direly needs. It is not money, but a sincere culture change that is needed.

    • M.W.Browne
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Fully agree, but there is no chance that any of the depressing old politocal parties will do anything. Time for some new polirtical parties I think, like they have got in Netherlands, Germany, Italy etc.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    When Brexit comes to pass after 30/3/19, rest assured the economy will suffer.

    It may take time – while the EU adjusts the BIPs necessary to check incoming traffic and people.

    The economic decline could be like Cuba, or it could be like 2008 – and a lot worse than that because the IMF is run by Mme Lagarde of the EU.

    Who will be to blame is the question.
    And Mr Corbyn has all the answers…

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard, If we do not get a WTO deal Brexit, we will get something along the lines of Olly Robbins’ Remain by another name. If WTO, we have the chance to strike out in the world leaving the sclerotic, corrupt EU behind. If we are tied to the EU by the Remain fanatics in the establishment we will indeed suffer.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Whether we stop paying (Hard Brexit) or we can’t pay (become like Cuba) the EU is going to suffer a huge and debilitating short fall in funding and trade.

      Best they do a good deal with us.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      People like you were known as “defeatists” during the war.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


      When it happens what will all those unemployed EU citizens do for money ? What political party will get the blame ? What will happen to all the EU businesses and the EU economy as a whole when their biggest customer tightens their belts and stops buying their over priced goods ?

      I have no doubt that whatever solution is found there will be some economic discomfort. It is inescapable. My concern is, that the UK Government is hamstring UK business to please the EU. Regulatory alignment and a Common Rule book are EU by another name.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Gosh, Mr Stallard! What an expert you must be! Why haven’t we heard of you before now?

      You sound so pleased about the idea of our country suffering. The word ”glee” comes to mind! So isn’t it about time you moved to an EU country of your choice, where you could watch this country’s ”economic decline” at your leisure and get a great thrill from saying ”I told you so” to anyone who you can get to listen to you.

      Dream on.

  5. Kenneth
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    The doctor’s surgery is a quaint leftover from when they were paid directly for their services.

    It does not work – and never has worked imho – with a service where the patient pays nothing directly.

    The effect is that expensive GPs who should be targeting their resources for the good of their whole list of patients are being tied down to a triage service where the workload and prioritisation is dictated by whoever turns up at the surgery with minor ailments and lonely people taking up too much of the GP’s time.

    I would suggest that nurses take over the surgery and the doctor is freed to treat patients according to clinical priority.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      A lot of patients should be going directly to the appropriate consultant like they would in the rest of the world. GP as gatekeeper is a failed model, and wastes too much of everyone’s time. You should not need GP referral if symptoms are obviously in need of consultant. Indeed half hour with consultant costs little different to half an hour with GP.

  6. Man of Kent
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Off topic – apologies !
    But listening to TM in Belfast yesterday I was struck by what an accomplished liar she has become .

    ‘No British PM could possibly see Northern Ireland treated differently to the rest of the UK ‘
    Yet she proposed exactly that late last year without discussing it with the NI Government .

    Fortunately she was brought up short by Arlene Foster who threatened to to deny her voting support .
    But in return she conceded ‘regulatory alignment ‘with the EU for the whole of the UK – the backstop position .

    There were plenty of references to , ‘when we have left the EU ‘ , but nothing about the new arrangements to follow .

    The Chequers plan denies us any competitive edge with the EU once we have signed the new Treaty .

    Frankly her track record of conning the party , parliament , her own government and the electorate is so toxic that I certainly would not vote for her ever again .

    Sadly there are those who regard her lies as ‘just politics ‘ and want any Brexit completed asp.

    We really do depend so much on you Dr John R to keep a sense of fact and on the ERG group to keep her to Lancaster House et al .These are desperate times .

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Man of Kent, Indeed you are correct. With Mrs May’s Remain under another name, we won’t have the money to spend on infrastructure and the NHS.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Well, JR, I have previously suggested that Olly Robbins should be sent to advise the government of St Helena but now your article suggests an alternative idea to my mind, that he could be taken off his present duties as appallingly bad adviser to Theresa May on all aspects of Brexit and instead set to the special task of sorting out the complex problem of foreigners making use of our national health system. Then he could propose a new reciprocal system whereby there would be a “formula revenue agreement” with the EU for reimbursement of the medical fees but without anybody actually collecting any fees at surgeries or hospitals, and that kind of system might even work in that case, and his other half might even be able to explain it to Yvette Cooper on the Liaison Committee, and he might even deserve to become Sir Oliver Robbins when she resigns.

  8. Horatio McSherry
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink


    “We” do not need to spend more. Please stop this. The government already spends more than it can steal from us. It says something about the mentality of the political class when even your good self talks of spending more.

    The NHS does not need more money. The NHS is appalling. The NHS needs dismantling and rebuilding with a very narrow scope.

    When Milton Friedman replied to a similar question he said he would spend any and all “extra” money on tax cuts as governments would never get to a point where they even WANT run a surplus. And that was 25 years ago.

    All I want is two things. 1) To be left alone (from a legislation point of view) 2) People to get their sticky fingers out of my wallet. As politicians are parasites this will never happen, so who’s the closest to this? Currently there there are no parties who don’t want to steal more from me to give to themselves and their special interests.

  9. agricola
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    It seems to me somewhat premature to be planning the spending of money we have not as yet got. Shall we have a 38 foot or 45 foot yacht pending a win on the lottery.

    It is now clear that the civil service under Robbins with the PM’s connivence have been actively undermining the David Davis team in the EU negotiation. They have side stepped the democratic decision of 17.4 million people and continue in place to sell this dogs dinner of a Chequers proposal.

    Every indication suggests that the EU have rejected the Chequers nonsense and intend to extract further concessions if they can. I do not blame them, it was a rubbish proposal in horse design that produced a camel. The EU should be asked a straight question. Do you want a free trade treaty covering goods and services or not. If yes, then turn the present arrangement into a treaty. If the EU want it with any form of political or judicial control then the response is no, we intend to revert to WTO rules with no transition payment.

    Reverting to the NHS, are the extra theatres you want really the existing ones waiting to be utilised 24/7 like any other piece of very expensive capital equipment in industry. I for one would not spend any more on the NHS until their operation has been audited by responsible business consultants.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The government should largely get out of education too. This by using education vouchers that can be topped for use at independent schools. Freedom, competition and choice is what is needed not take it or leave it dire state monopolies .

    Also what is the point of all the huge debts people accrue, £50K-£100K plus interest and the loss of three years + of earnings. This for degrees in Media & Gender Studies from the University of Bognor Regis or even worse PPE at Oxford?

    At least 50% of degrees are almost totally worthless.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      The NHS is essentially a fraudulent insurance scheme you pay in but it cheats you when you make a claim. Worse still (even after you have been defrauded by them failing to treat you as needed) you still have to continue to pay the taxes/premium.

      Even simple hernia ops are being rationed. The delays in people needing stents, cancer diagnosis and other urgent operations are killing very many people. Far more than Grenville and every month or week.


      The NHS will never respond to patient when they do not pay. Free at the point of need/delay and rationing is a total disaster.

  11. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The NHS is having to cope with the huge, unplanned increase in population due to out of control immigration and an ageing population. Most of the extra money will go on salaries for consultants to replace those who have returned to the EU – very little of it will go to the nurses or to build the desperately needed new hospitals. GP’s are already on £150,000 a year (at least), how does that make you feel when you get misdiagnosed – or one of your parents gets a terminal injection when they go into hospital to have an ingrowing toenail removed?

    There have been far too many clinical scandals in the NHS. Clearly, what is needed is greater oversight and a simpler scheme to get failing doctors struck off the medical register – coupled with greater protection for whistleblowers

  12. alan jutson
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Why not introduce tax allowance against private health care annual subscription and private school fees.
    Then you are targeting funding to those who actually do not join the waiting lists, and may, just may, encourage a few more along that route.

    Agree NHS capacity needs to increase, so why not operate a two shift system for outpatients, this would of course require more admin, nursing, and doctor staff, seems silly to only use the buildings and equipment for 8 hours a day.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      And kill Hammond’s even 12% IPT on top of health insurance premiums. Why should people pay three or four times over?

      • alan jutson
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


        Tax allowance against payments would reduce the cost to the user ,not increase them, would also shorten the NHS waiting list if more people were encouraged to use that system.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I am no Remainer and I have full respect for the aged. I’m no spring chicken myself.

    We need a discussion on euthanasia.

    Having seen what my poor father went through over two years, having seen what was inflicted my family and upon myself and having seen the costs caused to the NHS, if it had been me then I (and I’m sure, by the end, he) would have prefered euthanasia to the terrors that came in the end.

    Then there are the people I know who are alone and in their nineties – all of their friends and relatives gone. The one I visited yesterday “Nothing’s happened. Nothing’s happened.” when trying to find something to talk about.

    Again. I’d like the euthanasia option for myself please.

    Just how old is actually good for us or society ?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous. I totally agree with you. It’s disgusting that we havn’t even got the choice of how our days should end. We put our dogs to sleep to save them suffering and yet have to watch while our loved ones suffer so badly. My mother was so depressed and cried a lot because she was in constant pain just standing up and couldn’t go out on her own as she couldn’t use a wheelchair as her arm didn’t work after a stroke. She was full of fluid all over her body and begged for God to take her. I found it all so upsetting and cried every time I visited her. It is inhumane to keep people alive like we do. I cannot take any kind of morphine based drug so I dread dying of something painful. I know what I would like when I reach the end and it’s not to lose my dignity and have to rely on someone else to take care of me.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      In my first hand experience people are euthanised with the Liverpool care pathway, and variants. Morphine up, no fluids, vast numbers really die of dehydration in this country. I have seen the NHS do far too much of this to people who could have lived significantly longer. So I don’t see the big need for euthanasia here as in my first hand experience it’s already normal practice.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        My friend’s experience was exactly the same with his own father.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed but the religious lobby with scupper it for many years yet. But do do a living will to make clear you preferences.

    • Al
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree, having gone through something similar with a grandparent some years ago, a nearly one hundred year old man with stage 4 cancer. Such treatment was costly to the NHS, but also not wanted, needed, nor effective, against his directions, and denied him his actual stated wish to die at home.

      Our existing euthanasia laws from 1961 were not written with current medical advances in mind, before the first heart transplant took place or medical devices could keep a brain dead body alive (also, I believe, before the concept of brain death was legally defined in the 70’s). The world has changed a great deal since then, and it is time to revisit them.

  14. Steve
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Well for a start the indulgent morbidly obese should not have any priority.

    Neither should health tourists.

    As for ex pats, most of them are of the generation that never had it so good and robbed the pension pot, then went off to sunnier climates. They made their choice but they think they can come back here when the old chassis gets a bit too rickety and get fixed up at our expense.

    Note that these ex pats want to see the UK enslaved just to maintain their big fat pensions. It’s a no contest as far as they’re concerned.

    No, the McMillan-ites chose to live abroad with the proceeds of the opportunities they selfishly grabbed for themselves without thought for the rest of us, so let them get healthcare abroad. I begrudge paying anything to help that lot.

  15. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The BBC has announced this morning it is cutting back on political programmes such as Sunday and Daily Politics, BBC Parliament. Yes, well , they have proved to all they are rubbish at producing a ballet and will settle for Morris Dancing.

    They are to produce” Political Conversation programmes aimed at youth” People without memories. But the Young will still catch them out!

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Completely off-topic, just as an example of how advocates of the EU often exaggerate its economic effects, benefits as they think, I have just had a brief email exchange with the assistant of an MP who claimed that the UK car industry “… is a sector that brings in £77.5 billion every year in revenue … “, when according to a House of Commons Library briefing it “contributed £15.2 billion to the economy in 2017”.

    I willingly give him credit for responding to my criticism, which very few MPs ever do nowadays, but his reference to an annual report of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders does not support what he said.

    On page 7 in the 2018 report:


    there are these two numbers among others:

    “In 2017 the UK automotive manufacturing industry …

    … Turned over £82 billion …

    … Added £22.22 billion in value to the UK economy … ”

    It would be better if both sides in this debate could refrain from gilding their lilies …

    Incidentally statistics in that report also support my previous claims that while the UK car industry is now described as a great export success story, “8 out of 10 cars built in the UK are exported”, the other side of the coin is that our domestic market is overwhelmingly dominated by imports: 1.67 million cars built in the UK, minus 1.33 million of them built for export = 0.34 million built and sold in the UK, out of 2.54 million new cars registered, therefore 2.20 million must have been imported, which = 87%.

    • acorn
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Denis. UK exported £34.2 billion worth of cars and imported £37.1 billion. Roughly, for every 9 we exported we imported 10.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        And most of the exported cars were exported outside the EU …

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Interesting also to study the net component situation in the UK. Look at the base level of an electrical connector which forms part of a wiring harness and the overwhelming finding is that the UK produces virtually no connectors which then go to making wiring harnesses, which again are mainly imported. Germany is far and away the giant. Sometimes they sub-con to the satellites Romania etc. but components which make up cars are scrily foreign. Hence all the furore about JIT. Just buy stuff in the UK and all will be well.

  17. JoolsB
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Could you please tell me John, when everyone in England is being taxed more to pay for an overcrowded NHS (partly caused by politicians allowing mass immigration into England where most immigrants reside), will the rest of the UK benefit yet again from those taxes through the outdated and skewed Barnett consequentials? If only we in England are to be taxed more, I would like to see this Tory Government use it for the benefit of England and nowhere else but there is obviously no chance of that with this anti-English Government who see England as nothing more than a milch cow for the benefit of the rest of the dis-UK and world providing then with services and freebies that we in England are denied.

    • Steve
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      @ Jools

      Hear, hear.

      Fully agree. I could never figure out why the other kingdoms got free prescriptions and we don’t. Maybe it was some kind of appeasement by politicians?

      Everyone in the UK should get the same.

      • JoolsB
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Not just prescriptions. Free tuition fees, personal care for the elderly, eye tests, dental checks, hospital parking in Scotland, in Wales & NI, tuition fees a third of what English kids pay and free hospital parking. Insultingly Welsh students still only pay just over £3,000 a year when studying at English universities alongside £9,250 fee paying English students. And as social care is devolved socialist May’s dementia tax would only apply to England’s elderly.
        All provided with the help of English taxes and yet John and his colleagues squatting in English seats are perfectly happy for this discrimination to carry on.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Jools. Yes our friends live in Worthing and one of them has been told she will have to wait at least 30 weeks to see a neurologist after suffering a spinal stroke. She is 74, worked and paid her dues all her life. She paid privately to see one and he has recommended her to go back to the NHS with his findings and this is how long she has to wait. She has had to have private physiotherapy and buy her own wheelchair as there is no help whatsoever. I am sick of treating people who just walk in and get it all for free.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      No. They all want a veto on any trade details, and England doesn’t even have a Parliament to veto them.

      • JoolsB
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Or even a First Minister or Secretary of State.

  18. Simon c
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I don’t think more operating theaters are needed. As I understand it, they are hardly used Friday and not at all stay and Sunday. But who wants to work for an organisation that is already working you far harder than is comfortable, doing many things that seem pointless, and new they want you to work #more# weekends than you already we act do !

  19. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The Chancellor is against spending money on boosting the economy. More money for the NHS and our NATO commitments are expenditures he cannot stop. His eyes opened widely in the House momentarily as Mrs May made the announcement that more money would be spent on Defence. Something he is being forced into. Well, those expeditures will directly and on the periphery boost the economy.
    He probably will try damping down our economy in other ways. Increasing taxes will be his favourite dumb-bomb ostensibly to pay for NHS and Defence. ..thus counteracting their positives in his desire for the remoaner project of GlumUK post Brexit.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    “Expand the number of GPs”

    This is possibly the most vulnerable area of the health service and it is not surprising many have retired early and the recruitment of newly qualified doctors, particularly men, seems sluggish. The concept is outdated and the self employed structure, a sop to the BMA in 1948 I think, is quite simply wrong. Their collective morale is probably on the low side. We are being encouraged, quite rightly, to use pharmacies and the use of more nurse practitioners is sensible. It is difficult to see today’s GP surgeries around in 25 years.

    A&E facilities should be expanded and the closing down of some is ridiculous. They should be staffed with more career doctors and the role expanded.

  21. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    PS Yes, The Chancellor’s ” eyes opened widely in the House momentarily as Mrs May made the announcement that more money would be spent on Defence.” was literally and figuratively Dumb Insolence to Mrs May” before anyone steals my fire, in my opinion.

  22. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    PPS Literally behind her back, but to the world, as she faced it.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      But you know she is an inveterate liar so probably nothing will come of it. I think there’s odds on favourites that the rebels will vote down his budget if they continue to make concessions to Brussels.

  23. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The N.H.S. does not need to spend more money : taxpayers (which are all of us if one includes indirect taxes such as V.A.T.) need it to spend , or rather waste less. It needs much more efficiency and I don’t believe that can be properly achieved in the public sector.
    The health service should be run like privatised prisons – that is privately run but publicly funded, though less funded than the N.H.S. currently is.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Agree Geoffrey. I sorted out my cupboard after recently coming home from surgery and found 3 boxes of antibiotics unopened because they took me into hospital instead and put me on a drip for a week, about 20 sealed surgical swabs and bandages, 4 walking sticks, a raised toilet seat and something to raise my armchair while I was recovering. We tried to take all these things back but they didn’t want them. They will end up on the tip. Disgraceful!!

  24. libertarian
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Andy, Newmania, Tablazero, hans, B&G etc etc etc

    You have all been banging on about cliff edges, the destruction of UK economy and the need to stay safely wedded to the EU to ensure we dont sink as a country.

    Therefore I wish to hear your response to the following from you hero Michel Barnier

    “May’s Chequers plan has been rejected by the EU’s Brexit chief – partly because it would give UK firms a competitive edge.”

    LOVE that the EU accept that leaving the EU & lowering tax/regulatory burden would make UK businesses more competitive

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      But you know she is an inveterate liar so probably nothing will come of it. I think there’s odds on favourites that the rebels will vote down his budget if they continue to make concessions to Brussels. But we have a lump dumb PM and Hammond who don’t want us to be competitive.
      Hence his continued moves to slow the economy so he can thwart Brexit.

    • Chris
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I suspect they have no answer, Libertarian.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Liberterian. And to think all our politicians don’t want this either by the look of things. We have the chance to make this country great again but our dummies in parliament cannot see this. We really cannot let this opportunity go.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      What I want to hear from the people you mention, not that I read their posts, is what can the EU do for the UK that it cannot do once outside the EU proper ?

      Still waiting fellas 🙂

    • Andy
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      I posted a response – by the way. Which did not get published.

  25. Chris S
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    From Margaret Thatcher’s Bruge Speech :

    “Let me say bluntly on behalf of Britain: we have not embarked on the business of throwing back the frontiers of the state at home, only to see a European super-state getting ready to exercise a new dominance from Brussels.”

    Says it all really. Did you have a hand in writing this line, John ?

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Chris S, And a couple of years later she was gone – stabbed in the back by our very own EU Quislings. Why is our establishment so totally besotted with the EU? Why do they believe we cannot be independent?

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    No don’t give the NHS more money, give patients more money, and have a large scale handing of buying power over to patients. Throwing more money at the current Stalinist model is completely the wrong thing to do. turn the NHS into a state backed insurance scheme, pay in according to ability, get out according to need, but get the state out of owning and running providers of care. Copy from Swiss or New Zealand model. Ration only by what is in the policy words before you claim, not by telling you after you need treatment that the CCG or government has decided not to fund it. Patients to choose GP and consultant and not have them assigned by the state.

    NHS is crap I am staggered they get away with it. Stop supporting the national religion call it out for what it is.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      The thing is even in the Labour heartlands they think the NHS is crap. It’s yet another difference between real people and the liberal elite of our media and politics. Handing real power to patients is a dramatic vote winner in the same way allowing them to buy their council houses was. It’s insights like this the conservatives need to make progress.

  27. Dr GP
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    30% of taxes go on the debts.

    Why not default on the debt and use that money?

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      And part of the debt is £20 billion a year which we are borrowing to give away on a ridiculous arbitrary foreign aid budget. Why not use some of that?

    • hefner
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Exactly what is required to increase the credit-worthiness of the UK at a time when it wants to sign a bunch of trade deals … Sigh …

  28. Nick
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    There is a pressing need to provide more resources for the Police. May and Rudd have overseen an up-tick in crime that undermines the Conservatives’ traitional claim to be a party of law and order. And no-one in government seems to care a jot! The public, however, do – and they vote.

  29. NickC
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    When some of the over 9 million people (official figure, almost certainly double in reality) in the UK not born here return home there will be less pressure on the NHS, the housing stock, and general infrastructure. I am not sure we will then need to spend extra. Of course we will only have extra to spend if we really do escape from EU control, something that won’t happen under Theresa “two-face” May’s plan.

    • sm
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Major factors in increased pressure on the NHS are amazing medical developments and the ensuing longevity of the population. None of this was predicted when the system was launched, perhaps understandably, and the running costs were woefully “misunderestimated”. The bulk of NHS spending goes disproportionally on the elderly.

      Until and unless the NHS is completely re-thought from the ground up, it will continue to be a terrifying black hole for all concerned: patients, medical staff and politicians of all stripes.

      (and, sigh, for all those girding their loins to throw abuse about ‘privatisation like the USA etc’, no I don’t advocate that)

      • NickC
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        SM, Failing to look at a persons entire lifecycle is a trap. And you could as easily say that criminals cost the taxpayer disproportionately. Actually 1% of under 25yrs cost 20% of all NHS funding on that age group (IFS report). So unhealthy minorities cost the taxpayer disproportionately too. As you would expect.

        The whole point of the NHS is that it is paid for disproportionately by the rich for the medical care of all, as needed. And the NHS depends on healthy productive people keeping it going for the elderly who previously kept it going with their taxes – which in turn paid for the children who are now productive adult contributors.

    • Andy
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Of course the biggest drain on both the NHS and housing is pensioners. But I guess facts are awkward.

      • Martyn G
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Some supporting facts to support your assertion would be helpful. For example, how many pensioners are there on the council housing waiting lists instead of care homes?
        How many pensioners are there clogging up A&E and wards across the nation compared to the many younger people people – not least fertile immigrants come to that – are there unduly hurting the NHS as you claim?
        Facts, always facts, Andy, otherwise you appear to me to be as but as a child…..

        • Andy
          Posted July 22, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          The trouble is that most of you do not believe facts and Mr Redwood does not like links. However hopefully he’ll let this one through as it shows a genuine problem. It is from NHS itself – and shows the problem of pensioners in a handy chart.


          Remember most of these people have paid far less into the system than they are now taking out. They will mostly have retired at around 65. And they are now a drain on the rest of us.

          Many are living in very big homes – using only a few rooms – while their children and grandchildren are forced, a small families, into glorified bedsits. The explosion in the number of pensioners is a major problem for society which nobody is tackling. But your politicians dare not admit it.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            Are you promoting a policy of euthanasia for senior citizens?
            The real explosion is in our population.
            The biggest increase since 2000 in our history.
            A new city the size of Southampton needed every year.
            But you think it has no effect.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        I am fast approaching pensionable age. My lump sum is already going to my extremely highly qualified sons in order to get them on the housing ladder.

        This after having spent huge amounts helping to get them through university.

        You see, I care about them.

        Like millions of pensioners I shall be working well into old age seeing as my pension arrangements have had to be diverted unexpectedly – whilst in the EU !

      • Edward2
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Wrong on both claims.

  30. Willia Long
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I think the nub of this lies in your fourth paragraph: ‘The government should not sign off on any extra money unless and until there is a costed proposal that cannot be covered by existing budgets’. One cannot escape the worry that Mrs May’s promise of extra funding was designed as a vote catching stunt without having properly considered what the money might be needed for and where it could come from. I seem to remember Gordon Brown going down the same path.
    I am quite prepared to be convinced that the NHS does need extra funding but only after also being convinced that the Government has forced the NHS to face up to, and deal with its own inefficiencies, which process one would expect to be a source of much of the needed money.
    Past experience though does not make one confident that this will happen.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Most of the NHS inefficiencies are the result of Government policy (interference). Clinicians do not sit there all day wondering how to squander money. There is far too much management caused by government obsession with targets and stats which are usually just tossed aside when they don’t suit. The 2012 re-organisation that the Tories said they would not do is mainly to blame for the current state of things, together with cheese paring cuts which were short sighted and which is now costing more than ever to rectify. Salami slicing was always a bad idea rather than a root and branch look at things. What happened to the bonfire of the quangos? There are more than ever providing excuses for politicians not to do anything and jobs for the boys.

  31. SueL
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    *I have seen data which suggests that UK health outcomes per pound spent is the worst in the developed world save only for the US. If this data is broadly reliable, then the NHS management team should be challenged to comment and improve on these outcomes.
    *Personal responsibility for our own well being needs to be prioritised in the construction of our response to health policies. The assumption that the taxpayer can fund the ever increasing obesity crisis should be disabused. How can it be acceptable that taxes are spent to allow others become sick and require years of invasive healthcare. We can all jump on the scales and check our own blood pressure.
    *Many illnesses are increasingly due to life style issues which, of course, includes obesity but is far beyond over eating / poor diet. Too little is understood about immunity, food sensitivity, drugs used in animal husbandry, pest control, pollution etc etc. Alternative healthcare options have been referred to by others on this site and I agree that this needs to be much more widely available. Medical research is invariably linked to projects which will result in patentable products and so do not help with understanding basic / cheap but practicable self help remedies. The gut is the largest organ in the body and little is known how important it is, how we can maintain its health and how its health impacts illnesses as diverse as mental health, blood pressure, joints etc etc. Choice will be key to unlocking the potential for wellness in this area.
    *The NHS has access to so much data on health issues but so much of this data is lost due to data protection or poor data collection. So much is still on paper – including bedside data. Information will help unlock knowledge and aid efficiency.
    *Drug dispensing is any area of huge cost. Side effects are often “resolved” with additional prescriptions. Lists of drugs are ever extended for the elderly and not always reviewed for elimination. The effectiveness, efficiency, cost of prescriptions is an area where costs can be reduced and convenience can be improved (especially for carers). Technology can readily help. Crowdfunding is already promoting on-line pharmacies.
    *I welcome the increased priority for mental health issues but I hope this leads to a genuine reduction in these issues and not to more prescriptions and a nanny state. The extent of child abuse and so-called grooming is depressingly and points up a failure by local councils to protect the vulnerable. And, of course, we are seeing the first generation of social media exposed children come of age and the challenges this might yet generate.

  32. ian
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Maybe if gov had spent the 11 billion plus smart meter money on new equipment for hospitals and the 76,000 pounds it pays out for each badge murder, it might have got in front of the task and saved more people.

    No doubt going forward the gov will be wasting a lot more money on thing that does not matter apart from giving the few a leg up.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


      Absolutely agree with your point about Smart meters, a complete and unnecessary waste of money.
      They may help some companies with Automatic billing, but saving money for the consumer, absolutely not, since the cost of electricity is the same smart meter or not..

      If power suppliers want to educate their customers on how to use electricity more efficiently, then they can do that with simple information either enclosed with a paper bill, or on line.

      I am reliably informed that Smart meters can have a problem and fail to work if you change supplier.

      What an absolute farce, and once again a Government has fallen for it !.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Re Smart Meters, that wasn’t the Government’s money – it was, is and will continue to be a surcharge on our electricity bills. Does anyone seriously think that when this farce is completed the power firms will reduce bills by the 11 billion? Of course not, also if Smart Meters did result in a cut in usage, unit prices would just go up to maintain and enhance profits.

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the man that came to fit our smart meter told us before he even fitted it that it wouldn’t work because where we live in rural Cornwall, we cannot get a good mobile ‘phone signal but he said he still had to fit it because they had to meet Government targets. A few days later we received an apologetic letter from our supplier feigning surprise that now fitted it won’t work. How many others like us? What a complete and utter waste by this socialist Government!!!

  33. JoolsB
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought under Conservative Governments taxes were supposed to go down not up. If only we had a Conservative Government!!!!

  34. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    All the research I’ve done seems to show that the vast majority of HARD Brexiters, in particular in business, would be happy to remain in the EU IF IF IF the EU was radically reformed (i.e. essentially stripped it of its political / bureaucratic power and made more business-friendly / more export-friendly). And I agree 100% with these HARD Brexiters (my main argument is that we don’t have 1. Strong enough plan for the short to medium term to escape the EU 2. Our economy’s too weak for such a dramatic impact on our economy as leaving the EU).

    People say we’ve tried to reform the EU before but the EU is quite different to what it was 20+ years ago. Now it’s a lot more politically interfering, bureaucratic, and serious problems like Greece etc .. In other words, the time is now ripe across Europe (not just the UK) to call for radical reform. People would respond to us. We’ve not really done it before (CAP was years ago, and Cameron only tried to get concessions for the UK).

    The UK is the best country to try and radically reform the EU. This would be the great achievement of our times – appealing to everyone. Best for both the UK and the Europe (and what is good for Europe is also good for us to an important degree as well).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      If the EU were ever to implode economically / politically / socially, the UK would be hit bad, whether in the EU or not. So it’s in our own economic / political / social / gobal-political interests to try and radically reform the EU (including re-introducing control of borders).

      Hard Brexiters get what they want. Plus they’re heroes and the Conservatives get to remain in office for years to come.

    • sm
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I fear you are being utterly unrealistic, Ed.

      The bit about the original Common Market most UK voters were happy with was (we later discovered) only a step along the road to supra-governmental powers being handed to Brussels, as had always been the long-term plan.

      Any attempts to reverse the European Commission’s declared aims of ‘ever closer Union’ and revert to an inter-governmental organisation, are therefore an utter waste of time and why many of us voted to Leave.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink


        The problem with the EU is that it is too ideological. But when you hit ideology with the arguments and approach of pragmatism, it eventually crumbles. As people always see the logic of pragmatism in the long-term (pragmatism isn’t about not having a vision, but it’s about having a vision that is popular / workable for the long-term future).

        Lastly, Europe has begun to see the bad fruits of ideological EU, most dramatically with Greece but in other subtle ways as well, in particular the day-to-day regulations of business and so on. People are much more ready for radical reform of the EU now (stripping it of its political power etc) than ever before.

    • Chris S
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Ed, there is some common ground here – at least in the idea.

      The problem is that those running the Brussels establishment and Leaders like Macron and Merkel actually believe in all this European Superstate stuff.

      Why ? because they have always hated and resented the USA’s position in the world, and that was before President Trump came on the scene. They have this delusional and stupid idea that they can somehow usurp the the USA and become the next World Superpower.

      If the EU was open to reform, they would have given their best mate in the UK, Cameron, something to work with before the referendum. They were so arrogant that they gave him absolutely nothing and, while the average voter might not have been too keen on Our Dave, they positively hated to see our Prime Minister utterly humiliated a whole lot more.

      Make no mistake, it was Merkel, Hollande and Juncker that lost Dave the referendum.

      Mrs May is clearly doing a first class job or humiliating herself but that hasn’t stopped Brussels from treating her ( and us ) like something unpleasant that got stuck on the bottom of their shoe.

      The EU steam roller just carries on as usual. Even though there are numerous potentially catastrophic problems ahead, (the Euro debacle, for example ) they will do nothing until it’s far, far too late to rescue the situation.

      The European project will end in tears. It is only a matter of when, not if.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      We tried and were ignored, always outvoted on anything we wanted to implement, including installing Juncker and Van Rompuy. Cameron tried for a few little baubles and was sent away with a flea in his ear. We are beyond hoping the EU will reform, they just belittle one of their biggest contributors and it will just get worse. We’ve had enough and want out now. The EU will eventually collapse under the weight of its own idiocy and the Euro.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh come, on that’s complete defeatism. Of course, it’s possible to reform the EU – yes, a few years ago, much more difficult. But not now. There are calls all over Europe for reform, in particular, when you look at Greece and the serious amount of red-tape and political interference in recent years.

        ‘The EU will eventually collapse under the weight of its own idiocy and the Euro’ – and that is a really good reason why we should try and reform it. Because if it does collapse, then boy will we know about it here in the UK – whether in the EU still or not, will make no difference – everyone one will be affected, not forgetting how we just escaped depression.

        Reform must be done with planning and in an ordered way. Not chaotically and without planning – that is recipe for disaster.

    • Andy
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Alas – while you are talking sense to your audience on this site does not want to hear. I am a huge supporter of the EU – and I absolutely admit there are bad things about it and things which need reform. The same applies in Westminster, incidentally, which also needs reform.

      Even though it is clear that whatever form Brexit takes it will be worse than the status quo you’ll get no one on here daring to admit it.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Re your last para. There are plenty of Remainers who say what you say, but unfortunately you produce no facts. We have asked many times but you cannot give a coherent reply, just pensioners fault for everything. You must have had a poor childhood to hate your parents so much. Will your kids feel the same when they grow up. With the example they get, be prepared to lose them when they are of age.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 22, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink


        But you just seem to attack and mock Brexiters all the time. What’s the point? No-one likes to be mocked. Plus how can you disagree they make a lot of strong points about what is wrong with the EU which i’m sure you’d agree to more if you engaged more with what they said.

        The more people engaged properly with each other, the better we’ll be able to come to a solution. There always is a solution. Just a question of working out together (and for me at the moment, that solution is trying to reform the EU – stripping it of its political power etc – but I might well be wrong …).


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Who says that leaving the EU will have a dramatic impact on our economy?

      The same kind of people who were about 10% out with their prediction of where we would be with GDP two years after voting to leave the EU?


      “The worst prediction was for a 6% loss, but there has been a gain of nearly 4%.”

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      If only the referendum had been on immigration alone.

      85/15% would have been the result.

  35. John Dodds
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Whilst doctors take the HippocraticOath,Madam May presumably swore the Hippocritical Oath!

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Post of the day.

  36. Simon
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    If we can just “go WTO” why is the government going to send out “no deal” warnings ?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Because they are a majority of remainers.

  37. Steve
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The NHS is in trouble because it is clogged up. A visit to most city NHS hospitals demonstrates this perfectly.

    The fact is the NHS was never conceived with obesity and mass immigration in mind. it cannot cope and never will no matter how much money is thrown at it. The money is not the problem, it’s having to cope with the fact that people are living longer, and consumerism lifestyle of the general population. Thus; simply too many patients to deal with.

    Abolish fast food from the national diet and I’ll bet the NHS would get a breathing space.

    A dietitian once told me that when the only fast food in this country was fish & chips, and the vinegar was not watered down euro – regulated pee, and people generally didn’t get obese because the ‘real’ vinegar broke down the fat in the gut.

    Now what do we have?……burger joints all over the place and funnily enough; a national obesity problem certainly not doing the NHS any favours.

    I think society needs to look at itself ahead of trying to find solutions for the NHS, usually involving more money thrown in.

    Anyone who doesn’t believe this should have a tour of the sewers and then they can see what we are shoving down our throats and expecting the NHS to deal with.

  38. margaret
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    We do not need any more GP’s. We need clinicians with the same skills and added skills so the patients are not pushed from pillar to post .It is not fair that the GP now sits there does a fairly easy job for large amounts of money and actually does little in the way of clinical work.
    GP work is administration intensive . Referrals, letters,and queries take up much of the days work and the patient is referred all over the place where much of the work could be done on site.For a GP ( who often has less expertise or knowledge than other professions) £800-£1,000 per day is not a viable proposition when others could do it for far less.

  39. LucasH
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    First things first..according to J R-M it looks like we will leave on WTO rules march 2019..wich is not so far off and so in this case we cannot be sure how things will work out for 2019, 2020 and 2021, There may also be costs for some, as yet, unforseen things, ..for instance we may have to upgrade and adapt our ports, buy new gantry type cranes etc to suit new trade patterns with new trading partners from overseas. In this case we should hold off spending on anything until we see how we go. Also there might be a shift in population from heavily populated centres as people move to new locations, thus freeing up housing, and apartments especially in greater London..for these reasons we should wait now before hiring further staff for NHS and spending money

  40. Simon Coleman
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Are you going to tell us how the EU funding for certain UK regions will be replaced?

    You Brexit politicians have whipped up a puny and ignorant nationalism that feeds off fantasies.

    You say you want a low tax Britain – but you also want a low wage Britain post – Brexit. The younger generation realised that, so they voted Remain. The demographics simply don’t make Brexit a likely long-term solution. There will be another referendum in 15-20 years – sooner if things go badly wrong.

    Reply I want a high wage UK, and many voters want to control the numbers of people coming in to take low wage jobs. We will pay our own regional grants, as we do st the moment by sending the money first to the EU

    • Edward2
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      The main supporters of a low wage economy are the pro EU multi national companies who love the EU with its endless supply of cheap labour and its easy to avoid taxes.

  41. Dealer
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Raab’s “ultimatum” to the EU is we pay billions to you if you will trade with us pretty please. How absurd. Who else do we need to pay to trade with us? No-one. Walk away!

  42. Prigger
    Posted July 22, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    “Germany’s long-understaffed army has a new plan to boost recruitment: allowing foreigners from other European Union countries to serve in the unified armed forces (Bundeswehr). ”
    Well well.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      It is stage one of the plan for an EU Armed force.

      • Prigger
        Posted July 23, 2018 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        No, I feel it is stage one of a long ago made plan by Germany his self and for his self.

  43. Juiliet
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Who going to pay for all the incoming low wage EU citizens with their additional open ticket of immigration that now allows them to bring unlimited number of family dependents kids parents grandparents partners on settled status.

    Has Olly accounted for all of the extra people on top of 1m that came from eastern europe has he budgeted for extra who are also automatically treated the same as British citizens and will be entitled to benefits on day one of arrival social housing etc. and any other benefits on welfare / social care or do we just shut up and put up and accept more people onto a saturated low skilled job market and more pressure on public services GPs Schools Housing increase in flytipping & anti social behaviour & crime

  • 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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