What might happen next to Turkey’s relations with NATO, the USA and the EU?

There is no mechanism in NATO to evict a member and no sign that Turkey wishes to leave. The base case is Turkey stays in, with increasing tensions for the time being over policy and what can be shared and done together. The more Turkey cosies up to Russia, the less likely the US will share technology and secrets with Turkey. NATO is not about to turn against the Kurds that have helped it in Syria, though no-one seems to have a solution to the Kurdish problems.

Syria is likely to complete its brutal re conquest of the country with Russian help. There will be countless displaced people in Idlib seeking a new home. Turkey will have to decide how many and whom it might help, and look to its border defences if it wishes to say No to large numbers whose natural exit from Syria will be across the Turkish border. The EU will want to keep its arrangement with Turkey going that refugees stay in Turkey and do not travel on to EU members on the continent. This means the EU may well have to offer more financial and other assistance to Turkey to handle her border issues and look after refugees.

The EU has already provided substantial sums to help Turkey build a 911km wall with a height of 3m, with barbed wire at the top. The EU supplied some of the surveillance technology and military vehicles to enforce the border ban on people crossing from Syria. Presumably the EU and Turkey will use this tough border to make it difficult for refugees to flee Idlib into Turkey, with more deaths in Syria the likely result.

Turkey will continue to negotiate with Russia, who will generally wish to encourage Turkey  to destabilise the eastern end NATO. Russia, however, will not agree with Turkey’s wish to have a buffer zone in northern Syria. It will be easy for Russia to appear as a better friend to Turkey than the USA all the time President Trump is waging what President Erdogan calls economic war against him.

The USA will want to keep inner NATO secrets from their formal ally. The President seems determined to pursue his trade war with Turkey which will drive Turkey further from the Western alliance. It will be another case where the US pattern of alliances and interests will diverge from the EU’s.

The EU is in the  most vulnerable position. Their Association Agreement with Turkey makes Turkish policy of considerable interest to the EU. The current drift of Turkish policy is not the one the  EU intended, as they sought to bind Turkey more firmly into western ways. The EU’s Association Agreements are contentious items. The one with Ukraine lay behind the secession of Crimea, where Russia was able to exploit the tensions caused by the EU policy within the former Ukraine.The Turkish one is not going to lead to a splitting up of the country, but it could lead to an important rift between the West and Turkey. The EU in its March 2016 Agreement offered Euro 3bn to Turkey in return for her keeping the migrants and not allowing them passage to the EU. The EU helped finance and strengthen the border fences which will mark the limit of Assad’s reconquest of Syria by force.

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  1. Iain Gill
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Turkey, like Bulgaria, should never have been allowed into NATO in the first place.

    Turkey versus Greece tensions remain very high, and I hope we would support Greece if fighting breaks out again. Indeed by now Cyprus should have been completely returned to Greece.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Comment I saw from a former Russian diplomat,Vladimir Frolov:”it serves our interests better to have an offended Turkey inside NATO to undermine the alliance’s capabilities”.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Talking of flaky US allies,I see the Philippines government is now considering buying Russian submarines-and getting a ticking off from the USA for it!

        • Prigger
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

          It’s probably because they have a traditional view that if the US sees a Russian threat they will cut the cost, in this case, of submarines they sell them 🙂
          The Greek government did similar with their harbours to China
          The French have used that one also,with selling their small military ships to the Russians. It doesn’t work on Trump! He says “Go on then if it’s a better deal, knowing they will run short of spare parts. He has a cute cheeky sense of humour which few understand.

      • Prigger
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:25 am | Permalink

        The diplomat wouldn’t say that if it were absolutely true. If it were true then Putin would need a stable Turkey which he has little influence over. It is in Russian interests to have a stable Turkey in the region and, have trade with Turkey. US influence even for Russia is on balance the lesser of the two evils.

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink


          • Mitchel
            Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            The Philippines have just announced they are talking to the Chinese about a joint oil exploration programme in mutually disputed waters.They are edging themselves out of the western orbit.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      By 1914, when Cyprus was annexed by Britain, it had been part of the Ottoman empire for over 300 years. It never was part of Greece.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Richard the Lionheart annexed it from the Byzantines during the third crusade but couldn’t hold on to it.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink


      That is highly unlikely as it has not happened since Cyprus

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Well we shall see how it all progresses. Rather beyond my area of knowledge.

    Will all the stabbing and two deaths in London over the last 48 hours finally make Cressida Dick realise that consulting her hate crime ‘experts’ over the innocuous comments by Boris Johnson is hardly a priority. Indeed she should probably reasonably be charged with wasting police time (and money)!

    Then we have Jeremy Hunt (PPE yet again) making very silly comment indeed over Brexit. What certainly will affect people for generations to come Jeremy is your total failure to tackle the absurd structure and funding system of the dire NHS which has killed thousands over the years you were minister and injured and permanently damaged far more people (and is still doing.so every single day).

    He preferred to just endless apologise for it. He was quite good at apologising for it (lots of practise after all) but did nothing at all to rectify the problems. Despite the workable improvements and solutions being so obvious.

    • zorro
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, she would be better served in consulting her advisors on how to be more effective in controlling the increasing criminality in London. I wonder if she is the right person for the job, after the woeful Stockwell Park tube incident or has been scarred by it….. She is, of course, achingly politically correct in every sense of the word.


      • Prigger
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        We do not yet have free speech, even our senior politicians, to even offer possible explanations of the problem itself. The fact we do not have free speech actually explains much in itself…open discussion may lead to people of all kinds being offended and, we can’t have that can we.
        I do not know the solution if there is one indeed. In many ways it is too late.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      yep the liberal elite in all parts of the public sector are pretty much to blame for the knife crime, its a logical consequence of the policies they have forced on us

  3. Steve
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    All the more reason to get out of the EU. It’s problems should not be our problems.

    I don’t think we should be getting any European country out of the cack for a third time.

    EU covert agenda of getting borders within an inch of Russia’s borders will lead to conflict.

    We need to get out now and not have anything whatsoever to do with Europe, assuming May has not already made some sneaky behind our backs deal to have our armed forces involved if there’s any trouble.

    • Hoof Hearted
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      The Armed Forces are withering on the vine, nobody wants to serve the ‘star spangled (country ed)

      • Prigger
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        If we had just one British soldier, any future enemy would be outnumbered.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      “EU covert agenda of getting borders within an inch of Russia’s borders will lead to conflict”

      Since the collapse of the Soviet empire it is the US who moved into former Russian territory creating yet more military bases to add to the hundreds they already have circling the globe.

      It is the US that is the biggest danger to world peace by our constant willingness to follow them into illegal wars starting with Iraq.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Can you define “illegal wars”
        This is stated regularly now by people in a throw away fashion yet I know of no such examples.
        If a Prime Minister wants to take military action then they can.
        It is not illegal for them to do so.

        Were some expeditions foolhardy and poorly planned?
        But that doesn’t make them illegal.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      we are not just an island that can cut ourselves off form a whole continent the world ahs moved on

      • libertarian
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink



        Luckily free market ( non EU ) technology has given us easy access to the entire globe. We dont want or need the EU bureaucrats any longer to try and tell us how and with who to trade. The EU is a 1950’s protectionist throwback using the same operating model as Trump

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          ” The EU is a 1950’s protectionist throwback”

          So why did we beg to join it in the 1970’s?

          Because it turned us from the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s 5th biggest economy. All going now.

  4. oldtimer
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Re Syrian refugees, some will presumably wish to return to Syria once the civil war is over; it will not be one way traffic out of Syria.

    Re the Kurds they will most likely remain minority communities in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Their hopes of an independent Kurdish state will remain unfulfilled.

    The regional winner over the past few years is Russia who provided the essential support for Assad against the US. It is likely to do the same for Erdogan when push becomes shove because it will cause cracks in NATO and because it will serve Russia’s economic interests. There are now clear political fault lines from Turkey through to Iran. Longer term it seems to me that US influence will wane as the economic needs of China and India for Middle East oil will outstrip the West’s.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Turkey has announced a new freight and passenger ferry service between it’s Black Sea ports and the Crimea,to boost already surging bi-lateral trade with Russia.It also,of course,implies de facto recognition that Crimea is Russia’s.

      • Prigger
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

        The West is not prepared to go to war with Russia over Crimea. Even if the West scored some kind of political or military victory, the people of Crimea are in fact 95% or more, Russian speakers and not Ukrainian speakers. Crimea is like Northern Ireland but with the Republicans in 95% majority with the DUP shouting “We are British”. Tricky!

    • Pravda
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Irony of ironies, Russia is the only historically and relatively stable and importantly internally peaceful, truly multicultural, multi-ethnic country in the regionS surrounding Turkey as far as one earth satellite in one shot can see, including former Eastern bloc countries in the EU. Covering a territory which dwarfs the land area of the EU and the UK right into Asia proper.
      Our former Home Secretary has there in essence what she was wishing for. Pity she will not get to be MP in the next General Election so she can observe it as it were from within of the path to righteousness and no TV licence fee.

    • Longinus
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      The US don’t need oil from the Middle East as they are now self-sufficient. US influence will continue for the foreseeable future.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        They are not there yet and have infrastructure problems getting oil from production spots to consumption spots-and the environmental lobby is holding up plans for new pipelines.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile is seems Michael Howard has fallen hook line and sinker for the climate alarmist religion.

    “Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher warned of man-made global warming. I fear this blazing summer is proving her right, says former Tory party leader MICHAEL HOWARD”

    I see no sensible (and independent) scientists (certainly no sensible physicists) really think that the temperature can be controlled by using atmospheric CO2 concentration as some kind of world thermostat (while ignoring all the other millions of factors and interactions). One would clearly have to be a complete idiot to think this.

    It would be like claiming the out come of a snooker competition was entirely predictable from knowing the % of chalk dust on the green baize! World climate is a chaotic and absurdly complex system with millions of factors affecting it, Most are not even known even if they were it would not be possible to predict long term climate. Furthermore the “renewable energy” solutions being pushed do not really even work in CO2 terms anyway.

    • Prigger
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      @ Lifelogic
      The CO2 in our atmosphere has been considerably higher. It was not caused by Man who did not exist at the time . You are right about all the other millions of factors.
      The Parker Solar Probe is heading towards the sun. If you have a roaring fire in your home not in your control at all, with fuel input and heat adjustment, it’s silly to blame your hotness or coldness on smoking or not smoking a cigarette.
      We shall find out! Too much to learn perhaps…or maybe unpleasant findings too upsetting to release to everyone. “We are not sure” by NASA is a no-no . Greens must be told, yes, we control all.

    • hefner
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      So our LL does not seem to have ever heard of the so-called Ockham’s razor. Why say that there are a multitude of phenomena that are not being taken into account when a relatively simple explanation, namely the ongoing increase in CO2 and similar greenhouse gases, is putting the atmospheric and oceanic system out of balance.
      As for the usual comments (often repeated on this blog) about the tiny concentration of these gases, they are misleading as what counts are not the concentrations but the radiative effects of these gases.
      And could the honourable Prigger also comment on the state of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface when the CO2 concentration was so much higher some eons ago, please? That might require a teeny weeny bit more of research than simply regurgitating his usual daily newspaper.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Also in the Telegraph today:-

    Farage: I’m back and ready to kill May’s Chequers plan.

    It must indeed be killed dead and May and Hammond must go. May’s Checkers plan is clearly a sick, fraudulent, “Brexit means vassal state” joke. Furthermore it and she will lead to Corbyn/SNP. She and Cameron only just scraped through the last two general elections due to UKIP voters returning to vote Conservative. UKIP voters and sensible Tories will never support her sick Checkers con trick.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      By all means, but first ask the piper for who pays him.

      • zorro
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Go on tell us Rien, we’re all ears….


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Back to the smearmongering …

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      LL. Farage cannot come back soon enough. That should put the wind up some of our useless MP’s. He’s yet another person, a bit like Boris who’s not afraid to tell it as it is. Three cheers for Farage.

      • zorro
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        He should go straight for May’s political jugular vein and call her for what she so self evidently is!


  7. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Always a complex problem when any country interferes with another over its internal problems, even more so when those problems are caused by outside influences from yet another Country/Countries, let a lone a group of Countries, NATO further complicates the situation.
    Quite honestly John it is becoming increasingly difficult to try to unravel the complex situation around Syria and the middle East, and I am sure both Russia and the USA would not be so involved if it did not relate to oil.

    Goodness knows what the solution will be in the end, but we should keep out of it as far as is possible.

    • Hope
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Cameron and Hague got involved, spent our taxes on rebels not knowing who they were or what they represented! They escalated human suffering, displacement of people etc. they should Not have ever got involved. Cameron thought he could complete regime change without fuss like Lybia.mcameron needs to be investigated by judicial inquiry with proper punishments available irrespective of ministerial code.

      Cameron was a disgrace. His action caused large loss of life, mass suffering, mass exodus from the country and total instability in the country tonall extreme factions. Egged on, no doubt, by the EU as it was a joint venture with France.

      • margaret howard
        Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        There will be no punishment for Cameron just as Blair and his friend Bush have got away with war mongering in the Middle East.

        No doubt now that America can get its oil from fracking they can stop attacking oil rich countries to get their hands at other countries’ wealth.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Regardless of oil,gas,etc,Russia has always been interested in what is now Turkey and Syria-they were part of The Byzantine Empire-the second Rome;Russia, it’s successor,is the Third Rome.Constantinople,now Istanbul,was the Holy city of Eastern Orthodoxy and the endless object of desire of the Tsars.

      You cannot understand Russia without understanding not only Russian history but also Byzantine history.The 1204 attack on Constantinople by the western crusaders looking for plunder to settle their debts to the Venetians(the investment bankers of their day)still has powerful resonance in the Orthodox world-I saw an address by the Kyrill,Patriarch of Moscow,a year or so ago using it as an example of western perfidy and treachery.

  8. Ian wragg
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Association Agreement. That will be the same as May wants to join. Luckily today Farage is back to call out Mays treacherous Chequers paper.
    A government of liars, cheats and traitors.
    Enough really is enough.

    Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Obama and Merkel. Like two rats in a sack. The pain and suffering these two have caused beyond the borders of the EU is immense

    Failed Turkish revolution. Obama
    Failed Syrian revolution. Obama

    And now we have Merkel doing grubby pipeline deals with Putin because her and Obama’s plan to build gas pipelines through a pro-Western Syria failed due to her Obama’s failed plan to bring down Assad

    Step back, assess with an objective eye and it makes sense

    EU survival is the most important consideration, at all costs. Maintaining German productivity is key to the survival of the EU. Without Germany the EU is dead

    Obama and Merkel know what they’ve done.

    The Syrian war released cheap labour from Syria and the ME for the ageing German labour force

    German productivity is the beating heart that keeps the EU alive

    And now democracy intervenes and delivers Trump and Brexit. Blasted democracy. How the liberal left despise something they cannot control. Nation state democracy really is an inconvenience at times

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Your analysis is sound. You need to project forward, and its not pretty. Merkel gets sidelined in the EU, who fills the vacuum: already the new Napoleon Macron is on maneuvers. We just have to hope that :

      1. The UK leaves and withholds our funding,

      2. Germans decide the EU is not worth having to fork out even more to French and Italian and Spanish farmers and decline to make up the UK’s contribution.

      3. Italy goes bankrupt and leaves the Euro.

      Then were back to happy European nations trading sensibly amongst ourselves.

      No need for the EU bureaucracy!

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        so many aspirations and so much nonsense in one go, keep dreaming

        • libertarian
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink


          tut tut old boy, no need to be rude

      • David Price
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        The EU commissars have said that all rebates will be forbidden so you probably want to add the Netherlands to (2), France will get a double whammy since they will lose theirs as well.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Duncan – Excellent and accurate in every respect.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


      “Obama and Merkel. Like two rats in a sack. The pain and suffering these two have caused beyond the borders of the EU is immense”

      I’m sure you meant to write ‘Bush and Blair’ who caused untold suffering in the Middle East with their illegal invasion of Iraq and subsequent Afghan, Libyan etc adventures totally destroying those countries.

      “And now we have Merkel doing grubby pipeline deals with Putin”

      “The original pipeline project started in 1997 when Gazprom and the Finnish company Neste (in 1998 merged with Imatran Voima to form Fortum, and 2004 separated again to Fortum and Neste Oil) formed the joint company North Transgas Oy for construction and operation of a gas pipeline from Russia to Northern Germany across the Baltic Sea”

  10. Chris
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    There are some excellent articles on Turkey on The Conservative Tree House (US) website explaining the details of President Trump’s MAGAeconomics and trade and also foreign policy. I tried to post the titles and links but my comment was not published. I believe that it would be very constructive to have input from excellent US sources so that we do not merely rehearse/concentrate on the UK views which can be blinkered. It is after all an article about US policy, NATO (President Trump absolutely key to this), and Turkey.

  11. Adam
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    If the EU were composed of independent nations with strong borders it would not need to pay Turkey vast sums of money to be a fortified buffer zone & surrogate refugee minder.

    Peace-generating initiative & action would be more sensible & efficient.

  12. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I read from Press reports that Our Chancellor is likely to put a tax on all sorts of packaging, food, and drink containers at the next Budget, because it causes plastic waste which cannot be recycled.

    If he is that concerned about the problems of waste products, rather than taxing, why not introduce legislation that outlaws packaging from being manufactured used which cannot be recycled, so it never appears in the first place.

    Why not tackle the problem at source, rather than after it has been produced and is in circulation.

    Oh forgot he would not get any income then would he, thus its a spurious argument just to get more tax income.

    • Hope
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Spot on Alan, why not make it a problem for supermarkets and retailers to solve not the consumer!

      This is about maximizing tax from us, again! Highest taxation in fifty years in stark contrast to lies in Tory manifesto and speeches by ministers who know they are lying when making false claims. Deficit still not balanced but unfunded spending pledges by May. Sounds all very socialist to me.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Alan, I’m glad you’ve brought this subject up. I was only just saying to my husband that most of the packaging I have brought home today from my supermarket shop is not recyclable and yet our council has, in it’s wisdom brought in a policy where we are all to get different colour bins for recycling and our main bin that was emptied once a fortnight will now get emptied every 3 weeks. Apart from the cost of all this what about the fact that our main bin wont’ hold all the unrecyclable packaging we have to dispose of?? Madness and another case of local councils thinking they are God. Still it’s only our money they are playing with.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Three weeks! That’s going to smell in the summer.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink


        Agree. The ruling class at every level have completely lost touch with the people .

        They just extort more and more money from our labour and provide less and less services.

        We really need a complete and totally wholesale change in the way we are governed

    • Stred
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Another big increase in the Thames Crossing charge is coming soon. It was paid for years ago. About £4 a week extra for commuters.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      Spot on. I also seem to remember many years ago the EU stopping independent traders and shops in the UK selling loose items in paper bags. Wasn’t it the EU that introduced packaging in the first place.

      Laughably i was in an establishment the other day that made a big fuss about their paper straws….. which were wrapped in plastic… lol

  13. BOF
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Another interesting and thought provoking piece from Dr Redwood which raises more questions that there are answers.

    I have been particularly concerned that Mrs May has been signing up British armed forces to EU projects (without Parliamentary involvement). Knowing how badly wrong they can get it, e.g. Ukraine, this seems particularly unwise and could easily get the UK involved in matters not of our liking and possibly to our disadvantage. Perhaps even against the interests of NATO.

    A very very interesting investigation was done by Facts4EU.org.

    Fences on Turkish borders? Why does the EU have the effrontery to object to Hungary erecting fences?

    The Kurds are the forgotten people of the Middle East and were badly let down when boundaries were drawn after the 1st WW and there seems no hope that this wrong will ever be redressed.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, this is in the Times today:

    “The government will set out the vast parts of public life which would be affected by Britain’s crashing out of the EU acrimoniously when it publishes the first tranche of
    no-deal contingency plans next Thursday. Whitehall departments are finalising a batch of technical notices that will explain how the government plans to keep different sectors of the economy running if the UK leaves the bloc at the end of March without a deal. The 84 papers will cover topics ranging from animal breeding to seafarer certification, according to a list leaked to the website Buzzfeed.”

    (Because of course the minister in charge of the civil service, one Theresa May, has never had any problem with selected information being leaked to Buzzfeed or whoever, there is never any leak investigation and no public servant is ever disciplined.)

    I am feeling a bit cross that all of those of us who want to leave the EU have been walked straight into this trap by a small but prominent and vocal minority of Leavers who have bombastically refused to distinguish between:

    a) The UK leaving the EU without any special or preferential trade deal, instead retiring to the baseline of WTO rules for trade defined by the WTO treaties which already exist and which are in already in force and which already bind the EU and its other member states as parties, but nonetheless leaving the EU in a smooth and orderly manner; and

    b) The UK leaving the EU without any kind of deal at all, falling off a cliff edge, “crashing out of the EU acrimoniously” as the Times has it above, creating legal and practical chaos and with potentially very damaging consequences not only for us and for them but indeed potentially for the whole world economy.

    I suggested nine months ago that we should tell the EU that for the moment we would not be seeking any special or preferential trade deal with them but we wished to start work on the practical details needed to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal:


    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    Reply Yes, the government has been working on the other issues where agreement helps a smooth transition failing a wider Partnership, as we have all suggested. I have deleted your over the top doomsday economic forecast.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s good that Nigel Farage is getting back in action and saying the right thing, that settling for reversion to WTO terms is not the same as having no deal at all.

      • Prigger
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper
        Yes, Mrs May has made him into Arthur in Avalon.

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Whenever I read ‘crashing out’ or cliff-edge in a report, I mentally consign it to the fake news bin.

  15. Rien Huizer
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    There is very little appetite within the EU membership for going further with Turkey’s association. As things stand, membership is unfeasible (and possibly undesirable politically for amajority of members). Turkey remains an economically interesting country, fairly well developed in some parts and of course in the past thre was strong US pressure to accept Turkish membership. That was before Erdogan became was he is now and before the phony “coup” and defvelopments more associated with Mussolini Italy than a country assimilating with a democratic and secular EU. Formally stopping this process will solve nothing of course, and the refugee problem has largely been solved.

    Turkey is mainly a problem for the US. I doubt Russia would like to invest in someone like Erdogan. Obviously Turkey will not become the place where the strengths and weaknesses of as yet untested US manned aircraft (the F35) against similarly untested Russian AA systems is going to take place. Neither country wants weaknesses exposed. Even Israel did not succeed in luring out up to date Russian AA systems during recent attacks on Syria.

    So pity for the Turkish population but this looks like a stalemate until Erdogan finds a way out or someone else does that for him.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Russia (which is now the world’s dominant designer-exporter of nuclear energy plants) has started construction of a large facility in Turkey,There is also the Turkstream oil pipeline (which I think may be under construction already) to take Russian gas to Turkey and on to the Balkans.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        that should read “Turkstream gas pipeline”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      While the EU continues to exist and continues to be under German leadership it will continue to crave further eastern expansion, “Drang nach Osten”.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Captain Mainwaring speaking?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 19, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          Try Angela Merkel.


          “Earlier at the Dublin congress, Ukraine opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Vitali Klitschko got standing ovations by the EPP elite.

          Chancellor Merkel said that “Ukrainian people have the same right for freedom and democracy as we have in the EU.”

          She added: “And the same goes for the people in Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan,” referring to the other countries in the EU’s “Eastern Partnership” policy on former Soviet Europe.”

  16. mickc
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Quite simply, NATO should not be “in” Syria at all. It is not the purpose of NATO to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states, which Syria happens to be.
    The interference is at the behest of the USA who wished to remove Assad because he would not allow a US favoured pipeline across Syrian territory. The USA therefore supported and funded anti Assad movements, none of them “moderate” (words removed ed), either directly and covertly, or by its ally Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, many brutally by IS, ( as well as a number ed) by bombing supported by NATO and untold devastation has been caused. Similar is happening in the Yemen. (where NATO is not involved ed)

    The Ukraine situation came about by the removal of an elected President by the USA and the EU via allegedly spontaneous (ie organised and funded by those powers) “demonstrations” in order that the Ukraine could be detached from Russia and turned into a US and EU satellite; and ultimately member of NATO.

    The conversion of NATO into the military arm of the (now Neocon) American Empire is disgraceful; the UK supporting it is contemptible.

    Your post seems to imply you accept the standard Western party line that Assad and Russia have been the instigators of the Middle East chaos; and that Russia alone for the Ukraine chaos. You are a well informed and intelligent Member of Parliament, presumably with access to much confidential information; I can scarce credit you merely go along with the US propaganda.

    Enoch Powell was right about economics, the “Common Market”…….and the USA being antipathetic to UK interests.

    In order to forestall the inevitable accusations, I am not a Russian troll or paid by Russia, or other such nonsense; merely a British citizen appalled at our pandering to foreign powers who do not wish us well.

    Reply My piece presented the views of both sides and invited comment. The US did not sponsor or encourage ISIS and devoted considerable resource to fighting against ISIS. That is the one area where Russia and the USA agreed.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      The interventions in Syria and Ukraine and now these tariffs and sanctions imposed on a range of countries by the USA are effectively the USA’s last roll of the dice for global hegemony – short of starting WWIII.Mr Putin,in his Munich Security Conference speech in 2007, effectively destroyed the “Project For the New American Century”;Eurasia is now consolidating around the China-Russia axis.

    • mickc
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      With regard to your statement that the USA did not support IS, as sceptical judges frequently comment when told something they disbelieve…..I hear what you say. The circumstantial evidence indicates otherwise; usually 40 tons of ammunition are not dropped by US forces in the wrong place….to be picked up by IStephen. …

    • forthurst
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      The US has fought against ISIS in Iraq; however, ISIS is also the US’ fig leaf for continuing its illegal occupation of Syrian territory so they have actually only been pretend fighting them there. Syrian refugees are fearful to return to Palmyra because of the proximity of the US occupation of at-Tanf and the presence of ISIS in the neighbourhood which are being protected by US forces by default.

      With regard to the Turkish wall, the US could have insisted that it were built on the border instead of actually in the territory of Syria thereby achieving yet another Turkish land grab and a further reason for conflict with Syria and Russia.

      Syrians who took up arms against the government have been able to surrender without retribution and return to their homes or join the SAA therefore Idlib only contains a hardcore of terrorists whose homes lie mostly outside the borders of Syria.

      What the idiots who formulate western foreign policy need to remember is that the US is insulted by the Atlantic Ocean from the consequences of their neocon warmongering whereas we are in Europe are not. The Tory Party may be happy to warmonger in Libya and Syria and consequently give asylum to White Helmets, Libyan al Nusra and ISIS, but there are many English patriots who are not at all content.

      • zorro
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Well said forthurst an there are many of us who will not tolerate this continual warmongering for the obscene gain of the few…. I am sure that JR is fully aware of the political facts. What can be said is that the US did a very poor job of allegedly trying to stop the ISIS advance before the Russians intervened to do the job properly. The US DIA admitted their indifference to the partition of Syria comprising a Salafist statelet (ISIS)….

        Look at history…. wherever US interests are supposedly threatened or compromised,up pop extremist Sunni terrorists to create havoc – Afghanistan, Former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria….. and let’s not forget Gen Wesley Clark’s famous recanting of the US mission to turn over 7 countries in 5 years. Do I need to name them?


        • margaret howard
          Posted August 20, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Well said zorro, forthurst and mickc!

  17. Mick
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Now your for it, it’s about time to, the remoaners have been given far to much coverage on project fear , now it’s the turn of true patriot Brexiteers to have there say

    Reply I’m not – I have helped push through the EU Withdrawal Act with the crucial 29 Match 2019 date in it, not in the original plan. So we will leave then. If the government now wants to dilute taking back control or delay Brexit for 21 months it will not be getting support from pro Brexit Conservatives to vote through any such thing, which would need an Act of Parliament.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Sir Nigel will shake and smoke the remainers out and shine a light of truth on Mays traiterous team! We’ll support him 100%.

  18. Fishknife
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Wars start when one party gets territorially acquisitive and the swalowee isn’t inclined to be lunch.
    Brussels is expansionist and its Civil Law is an insidious cancer.
    Conversely the USA, GB, Turkey have pecuniary interests but no urge to Empire.
    There will be a GB/EU trading relationship after Brexit, mainly dictated by European Businesses and their bottom line.
    Sorry Andy, no cliff edge, that’s just sabre rattling.
    That looser trading arrangement may well prove to be attractive to a number of EU peripheral countries.
    These might include Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland, Greece and the Visegrad group.
    There is advantage in this group joining CPTPP with a working relationship with USA, once Trump has redefined dollar priorities.

    • mickc
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      But of course the USA has an urge to Empire….it has since the Spanish American War in 1898. We are part of it.
      Empires are not just territorial but mainly economic. The USA controls it’s Empire by rigging elections to ensure its puppets are in power and by ensuring those states are indebted to US finance.

  19. Hope
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Your underhand PM May has given even more of our taxes off the books. Let us not forget she wastes £14 billion in overseas aid, she also gives a further £3.75 billion to the EU for its over seas aid. £17.75 billion in overseas aid!

    JR explain to us why the UK provides money for the EU overseas aid in addition to our own. Explain why thus is off the books and why it forms part of May’s dishonest KitKat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU? Why should the U.K. Give this money to the aeUbonce we leave! This is a dishonest use of our taxes.

    Furthermore you make no mention of May’s pledge to commit unconditionally to the EU defense pact when we leave! No. The U.K. Decides on a case by case basis not follow without a voice or veto to commit our troops and resources to the unelected EU. Our country and citizens deserve better than underhand untrustworthy May. You would be utterly stupid to believe anything she says. If in doubt look at her Lancaster speech, the twelve points, her red lines all in your manifesto of false words and pledges.

    • Christine
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Well said. What’s happened to news reporting in this country? Why aren’t the public being informed of these shenanigans? All the information is published on the EU website but only http://facts4eu.org/news.shtml seem to read it and alert the British public about what’s really going on.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

        Hopefully Christine many of these facts will come to light when Farage gets back into mainstream. That’s of course if he is given enough airtime to tell people what is really going on. Love him or hate him, at least we will be told the truth with no smoke and mirrors. He can see we have and are being conned big time.

  20. William Long
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Like so many problems in the Middle East, the situation of Turkey is like a jigsaw puzzle made of pieces that will never fit together. There are plenty of Kurds in Iran as well which is another factor that will not help.
    However, if history is anything to go by, we can be reasonably confident that all steps that Turkey takes will be directed only by what she assesses to be her own best interests and nothing else. She will appear welcoming to anyone who is prepared to talk to her, but anyone who does would do well to have this in mind.
    Whether she is correct in her assessment is of course another matter, as was seen in both World Wars.

  21. Stred
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    No wonder that the US state machine rejected the Russian proposal to join NATO when Yeltsin was doing a Junker. We might have been able to but cheaper air defence systems and fighters from them like Turkey.
    The F35 b is now 85m Dollars to be paid at a worsening exchange rate. Under a socialist Tory leadership it can only get worse. How is the diesel powered Prince of Wales coming on and can we use it for other countries F35s, perhaps renting the space. At least we have a spare in case it is hit by a Russian or Chinese missile.

  22. Dennis
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    “Syria is likely to complete its brutal re conquest of the country with Russian help. ”

    Saudi Arabia is likely to complete its brutal attacks on Yemen with British help too.

  23. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    No wonder the EU want an Eu army! We would be best to stay well clear of this. Turkey should never have been allowed to be considered for membership in the first place. They have a completely different culture to western Europe. I hope to God they never decide to let all those immigrants they have now leave and make their way into the rest of Europe. Merkel will be less popular than she is now. Again I say, we don’t know who any of them really are.

  24. Big ears
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    “The former MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North Jim Sheridan has been suspended by the Labour Party.”
    He said something. We can’t have politicians saying something. Utter disgrace!

  25. Ian wragg
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    So Lord Kerslake thinks that we may have to revisit Brexit.
    Oh. The great and good who believe that they have a right to rule. Another member of the traitorous civil service who can’t accept that we have spoken.
    The whole lot make me sick.

  26. mancun
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Other EU Association Agreements include those with Algeria (2002), Morocco (2000) and Tunisia (1998).
    The EU Commission’s comments on Tunisia (24 May 2018) are worth noting:
    “Negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Tunisia were launched on 13 October 2015….The EU and Tunisia signed a bilateral protocol in 2009 on the establishment of a dispute settlement mechanism, which entered into force in September 2011….
    Tunisia is one of the partners of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed). Euromed is one of the key initiatives of the European Neighbourhood Policy, through which the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (including democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development)”

    Statistically, more illegal migrants to Europe have come from Tunisia than from any other country, and it has been a launchpad for terrorism activity since Bourguiba’s time.

    For our own safety’s sake, we should immediately break off all negotiations with the EU: its dangerously selective and distorted idea of ‘neighbourhood policy’ and open borders coupled with freedom of movement is severely negligent in ignoring radical, crass discrepancies in values and beliefs.

  27. Steve
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Off topic;

    I can’t understand how May justifies expecting Boris Johnson to apologise, while she is continually insulting the people and the entire nation with her sneaky acts of deceit against all of us.

    If there is any apology to come out of government it should be her making it, to say sorry for trying to thwart brexit and assuming divine right to treat the British public in such a contemptuous way.

    She should also personally apologise for refusing to accept where the buck stops for the Windrush scandal, and for the mess she’s left behind in every office she has held.

    Who the hell does this woman think she is ? Insisting Boris apologises, that really is rich coming from the like of her.

    Lack of moral fibre, total incompetence, career driven quisling, closet liberal, not an ounce of patriotism, prepared to sell the country out at the drop of a hat. A foreign serving tyrant.

    • Prigger
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      It is sad. We used to have David Cameron as a hate figure in political hyperbole. But he genuinely held his opinion. He is a patriot. British.
      He resigned no doubt for many reasons. But his opinion was lost. He has gone. He seems to have done very little to thwart Brexit since. He even admitted beforehand that Brexit would not be the end the world, we would be okay. Honourable!
      Then we have Mrs May.

  28. margaret
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Appearance and reality is something I sense is also happening in the Brexit deals.Who cosies up to whom for the sake of onlookers and future trade/power .Putin and Trump had the expressions of real allies knowing tactics that the rest of the world shouldn’t twig.Those who have criticised Trump’s wall should think again as the EU gives money to help cage Turkey’s wanderers out of Europe.

  29. GilesB
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    John, I fear that you may have misplaced confidence with Turkey’s stability. Armenians, Galatians, Kurds …. Turkey is an uneasy conglomeration which is no more stable than Yugoslavia was.

    The introduction of 81 provinces was a clever strategy to diminish the ancient tribal affiliations. But it isn’t working any more than the EC’s attempted to replace nation states with arbitrary regions: who wants to be part of an ‘Atlantic region’ stretching from Denmark to Portugal!

    Kemalism is of course totally incompatible with the EU project. As the man himself said:

    Mustafa Kemal’s basic tenet was the complete independence of the country.[75] He clarified his position:

    …by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence

  30. Butties
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    If we are talking about NATO, we must talk of NATO/EU.

    The EU is undergoing a rapid sub-imperial military expansion , coordination and unification of inter-operable military forces (PESCO) and a common defence fund (European Defence Fund: EDF)ref1.

    The provisions stem from the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, the 2016 EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS), and the Co-ordinated Annual Review of Defence (CARD). 17 projects have been agreed, and are being planned, and we can expect an announcement – from our unelected and unaccountable Foreign Secretary Mogherini – as to what they are shortly.

    We only have to look at what happened in Kosovo, Libya and more recently in Syria to realise that NATO is but a shill for US imperialism and is now fully bonded to by the EU.

    One overwhelming reason to leave the EU, so that us mere mortals (plebs) can keep a leash on the ‘elite’. Turkey could well be the can opener that opens the eyes of the European people.

    ref 1 BB @ OffGuardian NATO Actions Contradict their Values 16/8/18

  31. Lear's Fool
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Turkey does not need to ally with Russia. Russia and Turkey are equal when it comes to level of economic development. Turkey’s real allies are Pakistan, Iran and China. Pakistan will be more than happy to share its nuclear weapons with Turkey if Turkey’s survival and territorial integrity are at stake.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 19, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Omg, the book of Revelations comes to mind. I hope Mrs May has read it!

  32. zorro
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    We must always be watchful – Never forget War Plan Red, and never forget US ‘support’ for Suez and The Falklands….


    • Prigger
      Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May will do everything and is doing everything not directly for Brexit but for the victory of Brexiteers and she cannot help herself. She is being consumed by the ricochet of her very own artillery against The Referendum.

  33. Steve
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    “One overwhelming reason to leave the EU, so that us mere mortals (plebs) can keep a leash on the ‘elite’.”

    The game is up for the EU anyway, the population of europe are wising up really fast. In the final analysis it will be recorded that democracy truth and freedom won over lies, european federalism and attempts by it to pervert the identities of the nations it ensnared.

    Let’s hope we don’t have a war during the process.

    When this pariah pseudo state eventually disintegrates there will need to be a fundamental change in politics, not just to keep the elite on a leash as you say but to put them in a position where they can never again influence world events or corrupt the workings of other nations.

    It really does need to be live and let live and without any mischief whatsoever.

  34. James Snell
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Turkey might drop out of NATO..but it will make little difference..Erdogan and Trump are both becoming a liability and a drag on world trade so we see Merkel and Putin in talks..could be there will be a chair at the table of the EU when UK leaves..in time

  35. Anonymous
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Energy and Leftism. Sort out Energy (unsquared by mass immigration) and Leftism (anti Westernism) and we will be a lot less vulnerable.

    Brexit was a rebellion against Leftism. Trump was a rebellion against Leftism.

    If we’re going to be ignored then what comes next ?

  36. David D
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    “Syria is likely to complete its brutal re conquest of the country with Russian help.”
    How is it a brutal re conquest? Was the Falklands War a brutal re conquest by Britain? What a ridiculous and completely wrong headed view of Syria defending itself against vicious western paid mercenaries who were trained by US, UK and other western troops. Are you completely unaware of the world outside the Westminster bubble? No wonder the world is so messed up with “leaders” that can’t distinguish between fact and propaganda.

    Reply We took back control of the Falklands without killing an civilians. In Syria just look at the death rate amongst non combatants

  37. rose
    Posted August 20, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I am so pleased you have written these two excellent pieces on Turkey. So few people understand the subject or how important it is.

  • 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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