There are other options to Chequers

One of the most bizarre lines the government is currently using says there is no alternative to Chequers. The government knows full well there are other options. After all it is working on one itself which it tells us will be ready by March next year, the option of leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement. This one avoids payments of £39bn and allows us to choose our own tariff schedule for trade under WTO rules with the EU like the rest of the world.

There is also the Canada plus plus plus deal. This would entail leaving with a Free Trade Agreement with the EU based on the one Canada has recently signed, with additional barrier removal thanks to starting from a position of few barriers as members of the same customs union. There could be no tariffs rather than the few tariffs that remain in the Canada one. There could be a better range of services agreed given we start from a common position on services. There could be a security partnership added. The EU has offered a Canada style free trade agreement, only with an unacceptable position on Northern Ireland. It should be negotiable to persuade them that there is an easier solution to the Irish border problem than the EU makes out, so the Free Trade Agreement applies to Northern Ireland alongside the rest of the UK.

David Davis was working on an alternative to Chequers in the Department before his resignation. Presumably the government recognises that as a possible option. The government is doubtless working on an alternative to Chequers that might command the support of the EU , given the substantial objections they have made so far to the proposal.

There’s four options that are not Chequers which the government has worked on, so it’s not sensible to say there is no alternative.
There has also been a campaign to ask the ERG to produce their proposal instead of Chequers. Yesterday the Group presented research to show that the Irish border is not a problem that requires Chequers or the EU backstop. If you accept this detailed proposal, then the other options become possible and the need for Chequers falls away.

Various think tanks have also produced plans. My view is leaving without signing the draft Withdrawal Agreement is very difficult to beat. Saving £39bn and completing exit next March to end the uncertainty looks like a good plan to me.

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  1. Ian wragg
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    The Lords are once again trying to thwart Brexit by cancelling the ammendments to the Customs bill
    We now know who is against the people and no one elected them
    Troubling times

  2. Newmania
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    allows us to choose our own tariff schedule for trade under WTO rules with the EU like the rest of the world.

    90% of our trade is governed either by EU arrangements or by ownward EU treaties , including the US. China is not a member of the WTO. I`m sorry but you have no idea what you are talking about and how would you.
    Nissan woiuld face higher costs in production , delays and customs costs as well as tarrifs tryingt o keep their market in the EU which is trhe only reason they were persuaded ( by Margaret Thatcher) to come here.
    That is one example , how can you even think of doing this to so many families , what is the matter with you ?

    • Richard1
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      What are you talking about China has been in the WTO for over 16 years. No coherent reason has been given as to why exporting businesses with cross border supply chains will not be able to continue as now and plenty of such business – Dyson for example – have set out clearly why there is no issue. We have already seen how EU trade deals with other countries will novate to the UK.

      Project Fear continues with endless repetition but no coherent argument or evidence. A recent example was yesterday’s leader in the evening standard presumably written by George Osborne. It says any deal – any deal – is better than no Deal. Imagine what sort of a deal we would get were Mr Osborne to be negotiating it! If this is really what he thinks he should have resigned rather than support a referendum in the first place.

    • DUNCAN
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      52% voted to leave the EU
      48% voted to remain in the EU

      Democracy’s spoken. Unless of course you find democracy unpalatable?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        How often will you and others repeat this. It is pointless. People have moved on, they understand the situation better and would not vote the same again. So why impose something only a few people really want ( that is those who are still alive, voted leave and could not care about the economic consequences). Just wait a couple of months and look at what even mr Redwood will accept.

        • matthu
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Under what illusion do you claim that people have “moved on”?

          Are your pollsters *so* much more accurate today than they were in 2016? Or 2017?

          Both Cameron and the MSM were wrong-footed in 2016. Obama was wrong-footed (twice).

          You are the one failing to learn from history. Fortunately, you will be protected from repeating it.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          You say…Would not vote the same again…something .only a few people want….
          Your claim isn’t born out by polling since the referendum date.
          Despite a deluge of propaganda and endless project fear from the new elite EU establishment.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            Most polls are indicating that the majority of leave voters (I assume people who would vote leave today, not the population segment that voted so in the referendum, because some 2-5% are no longer alive) do not want a “hard” brexit. That is what Mr Redwood proposes and given that this was about the merits of “no deal” (the most radical version of brexit) I think my remark is justified. I do not suggest that a rerun of the referendum with the same (technically flawed) question would result in a vastly different result, although I believe its is likely that a referendum on the question of “no deal” vs “Chequers” would result in a rejection of “No Deal”. Show me a credible pollster who disagrees with that.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:30 am | Permalink

            Some polls not most.
            And what is hard brexit?
            Did they ask would you prefer a deal?
            Easy to get the result you want by asking a carefully worded question.

      • old salt
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        DUNCAN- On a constituency basis around two thirds voted to Leave. Even more convincing

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Newmania, you are the fool. China became a member of the WTO in 2001. I’m not surprised our host ignores you, you have nothing useful to add here.

      Dr. Redwood, keep pushing for WTO terms, it looks as though No. 10 might now listen. I’d like to see a cost of WTO vs the £39 billion saved.

      • Zorro
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        There are several studies out there on the relative benefits. Patrick Minford completed one recently and that didn’t (from memory) take account of the 39 bn pounds saving in its calculations, but focused on increased growth/revenue through freer trade and not being hamstrung by EU regulations.


      • Newmania
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        So it did ,ok badly out of date there (.I wondered why that post got published – some meat for the vultures eh .) Ok my bad but so what the £39bn is not contingent on anything.
        I am not convinced Redders actually thinks allowing every treaty we have to lapse over night is a viable scheme. I was equally unconvinced he really thought we could convert QE to helicopter money at no cost- I think it is a pose he is relying on others to prevent .

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          I get moderated too but you don’t hear me bitching and moaning about it.

          Try a more civil manner.

      • Richard
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        The ‘£39Bn’ cost the Draft Withdrawal Treaty will quite likely end up far higher:

        I thought EFT’s recent explanation of why a World Trade Deal works fine for the UK was particularly clearly written:

        A Canada-style FTA must include Services (as partly offered by the EU) to be of interest to the UK.
        Agreeing Canada+++ after leaving also works fine for the UK with either a zero-for-zero EU-UK interim FTA or £13Bn pa extra for the UK Treasury.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        I’d like to see a cost of WTO vs the £39 billion saved.

        Wouldn’t we all

    • Nig l
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      JR has explained umpteen times about delays, customs costs as have logistics experts all pointing out your concerns are overblown.

      Nissan wants this, Nissan wants that, so what? I presume they will be wanting and welcoming us having to join the Euro because that us where the EU has said it intends to go. Are you a spokesman for Nissan. It sounds like it. Maybe you should listen to Dyson, Witherspoon, Bamford, for an alternative view.

      In any event, umpteen billions back for us to spend, breaking free of their protectionists policies, a constant stream of rules and regulations etc will, in the long term, be worth any amount of short term pain, which I am sure you and the BBC will be delighted to highlight, if it happens.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Dyson, Witherspoon etc are not making things in the UK and exporting them.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          They trade with the EU, import products and employ people who have come to the UK to work from outside the UK.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Only some fraction of 6% of UK businesses are making things in the UK and exporting them to the EU, the rest of that 6% are exporting to the EU but not exporting goods they have made in the UK, and then 94% of UK businesses are not involved in exporting anything to the EU.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


          Really? Dyson dont make things and export them? are you sure ?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Fake news: China IS in the WTO.

      And, if we had a free trade agreement with the EU why would Nissan face tariffs ? What are you on about ?

      Anyway, ignoring the result of a democratic election if the outcome produced an economically negative outcome would mean that Corbyn might as well pack up and go home now because you’re recommending we ignore the result of a General Election if he won it.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Project Fear in all its incarnations certainly seems to have some Remainers by the throat (eg Newmania). As usual, comment accompanied by veiled insults.

      You can always tell a Remainer – but you can’t tell ’em much.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      90% of world trade carries on using WTO rules.
      I don’t see any delays or shortages when all that trading carries on.
      Many nations have already said they want to carry on trading with the UK without disruption.
      Plainly those deals cannot be formally signed until we are free of the EU.
      Keep calm Newmania, don’t believe project fear Mark 2.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        That is not true I don`t think any country exists purely on WTO , certainly not any major country

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          pure WTO….another of your made up ideas.

          Trade with agreements and with no formal agreements carries on all over the world.
          WTO rules help nations to trade.
          It is quite simple.
          You need to go away and do some checking.

          • Newmania
            Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            I think its Mauretania that does that and no-one else , not sure you are up to speed here ( and even Mauretania gets some default deal on the grouds of being a developing Nation)

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            Complete nonsense.
            The vast majority of nations trade using WTO rules.

    • robert lewy
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink


      Think before you speak and more important check your facts before you insult.
      China is a member of WTO

    • Adam
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Efficient solutions exist. Theresa May is the obstruction at the border of common sense. That obstruction should be removed from office now.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        The Irish border; a tiny percentage of UK/EU27 trade is being used by unscrupulous Brussels bureaucrats (and some in the RoI govt. who are fearful of their more strident Nationalists) to attempt to salvage something from a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Suddenly the prospect of our leaving without making any concessions or paying any money is beginning to loom large and they are starting to grasp at straws.

        I don’t think our PM is the obstacle here except insofar as she is desperately trying to cobble an agreement that will get though Parliament. I’m not at all sure that she has much chance.

      • Andy
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Efficient solutions to the border problem do exist – you are correct.

        And the most efficient solution is EU memebrship because it makes the border a non-problem.

        What Brexiteers are about to find out to their peril is that voters love tough borders until those tough borders have an impact on them.

        It’ll be fun to watch.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          There are “tough borders” in the 160 nations who are not in the EU.
          Yet we travel to these nations and we trade with these nations.
          Goods from all over the world are for sale in the UK
          How did they get in?

          • Newmania
            Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            Almost without exception they are subject ot EU trade agreements , in any case EU plus US plus China ..India and Japan …. thats three quarters of the world`s GDP the whole of the rest of the words splits the last 25%

            Babies take a long time to aquire a sense of scale …. probably a coincidence

          • libertarian
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


            That would be the USA, China, India and soon to be UK that the EU does NOT have trade agreements with then…. hmmm

            I’d give up for today and go back to troll school and take whiny Andy with you

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Yes they may have agreements.
            We cannot have any agreements signed until we are free of the EU.
            Will the UK agree to fresh agreements?
            Yes itvwill.
            Already dozens of nations have signalled their wish to do so.
            And why wouldnt they?
            RThe UK is a profitable large market.

        • L Jones
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          And there you go again, Andy. Gleeful at the very idea of the UK having problems. Have you any idea how you sound?

          Perhaps just sometimes you could try being more positive about your(?) country. You might find that you feel better about yourself and other people, and realise that you like being a grown up.

          But, besides that, you’re talking tripe.

          • Andy
            Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            No – I am gleeful at the idea at Brexiteers having problems.

            Britain and Brexit are not the same thing.

            You mob – and mob is a perfect word – have spent 30 years complaining, whining and lying about the EU.

            This is payback time. Brexit is already dying. It is just a matter of time until we kill it for good.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


            You’re lucky you haven’t been censored on these pages yet.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink


          The solution to the border problem ??? Get rid of the border.

          The solution to drug crime ? Get rid of drug laws.

          The solution to general crime ????

          • libertarian
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink


            Er there isn’t a border to get rid of.

        • Adam
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Water is a solution. Your EU ‘memebr’ ship sank below the English Channel with your wet predictions.

          • David Price
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

            Water is a solvent not a solution.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Andy Newmania

          Breaking news

          Paris fashion house Chanel , announced this afternoon they are moving their global HQ from Paris to London

          Blimey these big companies are terrified of Brexit…. oh no, they’re not

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Your Nissan model for the economy does not work. Look at the national debt. Look at the crime figures (worse, the massaging of the figures.)

      Look at the soaring immigration levels (a requisite of Nissan et al) and the pressure on housing – young people unable to even THINK about starting families.

      How could you do this to them ?

      (A 7000 home housing estate tacked on to Lewes please. No say in who comes, cuts in services. Maybe then you’ll understand.)

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        LOL. It was not EU that depleted UK’s housing. It did not privatise British Rail or shut down UK’s coal industry. These are our own doings.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          If Nissan demands we are ruled from abroad (our borders too) then we are subsidising Nissan with overcrowding and related costs in the UK.

    • Eh?
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      ” how can you even think of doing this to so many families”
      The family asked for it, told it should be so. But they do not agree with you scary outcome.

      • Eh?
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        ps I actually wrote that on automatic with, a good three word ending, by accident:-)

        • Eh?
          Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Forty years ago on a “Writing” Correspondence Course it gave an example of “How did you become a successful writer?” posed to a Writer of note. “By accident”
          Forty years to learn what that meant, really.??????I’m slow.

    • KZB
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Just like to point out, with the Japan-EU FTA agreed a short time ago, there is no reason Nissan needs to be in the UK (or anywhere else in the EU).
      Nissan does not need an outpost in the EU, going forward, because it can freely import whole cars from Japan.
      So whether we get a good deal or not, I’m afraid the days of Nissan in the UK are numbered.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Obviously you have literally zero conception of what it costs to transport a car form the other side of the world … 40 days on a ship , fees to navigate the Suez Canal , Insurance to get past the pirates ….

        I sometimes wonder if any of you have evwer looked at an atlas

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          It will be a lot quicker if Japan joins China and South Korea in Russia’s Arctic sea route project.And Japan is also currently testing the viability of the TransSiberian Rail route where freight handling capacity is being increased by half.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Amazing how Kia and Hyundai and many others manage to move cars all over the world and still compete on price.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink


          This is so delicious. You and Andy and the rest of the remain gang on here are just so detached and ignorant about the world of business and trade that its laughable. Maybe if the Remain camp hadn’t lied through their teeth about trade you would have seen sense and voted leave.

          Anyhow heres a quote from one of the worlds leading shippers of cars

          Our Roll on Roll off car shipping vessels are designed specifically for the transportation of wheeled cargo and are the preferred choice of shipping for car manufacturers including Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jaguar to transport their vehicles all over the world.

          Yes Newmania even EU car makers ship their cars ALL OVER THE WORLD

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Actually it is nearer 90% of UK trade that has nothing to do with the EU. The real figures from the latest Pink Book (2018 for year 2017) – Table 9.1 – are: Exports to the EU = c12.5% UK GDP; Exports to RoW = c18.3% UK GDP (inc Rotterdam effect); Domestic economy = 69.2% of UK GDP. The RTAs and MRAs registered at the WTO must conform to the WTO global trading system, and are only minor modifiers of it. There is no sense in your being polemical rather than accurate.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes Nick 69.2 % domestic economy. And what is it made of? A big part of it is imported from EU. Just go to Tecso, Sainsbury etc or pretty much any other business selling something. It is not just British products.
        This 69.2% will be effected heavily if there is no deal.

        • NickC
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Billy Elliot, So you’re threatening us with the EU cutting off their own exports just so Remains like you can sneer? And you expect to be taken seriously?

          Imports from the EU account for £341bn out of an economy of £2trn. That’s c17%, so not as big as you’re implying. Importantly we can get almost everything from the RoW just as easily.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink


          Stick to ballet

          Tescos biggest sellers are bananas ( hint not grown in the EU ) Corned Beef ( source South America)

          Berries sourced Morocco

          etc etc etc

          The effect on food of a WTO trade deal is actually great news for UK customers as the price of non EU sourced food will fall, dramatically as its no longer subject to EU customs union protectionist tariffs

          Oh and Billy 82% of UK trade and economy is in services NOT goods

      • Newmania
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        The figure that Sir Martin Donnelly used of “nearly half” of UK trade being directly with the EU refers to the figure for both exports and imports, which was 49% last year (see sheet C from ONS balance of payments).

        The other figure he used was that another 12% of total UK trade is with countries with which the EU has deals that free up trade.

        Howvere if we fall ut of the EU with nothign we also lose a the myriad agrements that facilitate trade with( foexample( the USA ) and without which it is almost impossibleto move anything .

        That maes about 90% of all trade in all . Now you might say that it is inconcievable that anyone could be so stupid as to drive us off that clifff and once I would have agreed . I read a few of thg posts here however and I start to wonder ….

        Reply The EU trade deals and transferring to the UK, and the biggest part of EU trade with us is imports!

        • libertarian
          Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink


          How many more times the EU does not have a trade agreement with the USA, they trade under WTO terms

          The UK is one of the largest investors in the USA and more than one million Americans work for British companies in the USA. Please stop talking about business and trade as you know less than zero about it.

          Tell us a non trade reason for remaining

    • Richard
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Import substitution means that UK Car manufacturers will do well out of the World Trade Deal Option:

      The UK should be far more nimble than the EU in doing FTA deals with RoW countries – so UK Consumers, RoW Car manufacturers & UK exporters all do well.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


      Your problem is your knowledge of individuals on this forum is extremely limited…otherwise you might have been aware some of us here personally rub shoulders with important UK industry captains and therefore it is very easy to refute your absurd claims.

      Nissan UK exports to global markets; your business acumen is astonishing poor!..probably deliberate so…because Remainers have such difficulty in providing evidence for their claims.

      “The SMMT said global demand for British-built cars increased by more than 10%, leading to four of every five cars built in this country being exported to one of 160 markets.” Evidence for future success post Brexit is all around us, but you and other Remainers choose to ignore the evidence to justify your ludicrous erroneous claims? UK Car delivers to mainland Europe has been declining for years, while exports to the rest of the world has been increasing year on year..our future is global, not in a declining export limiting EU.

      Try reading for a change!…here is the article for your edification.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink


      Tedious , typical remainer castigates leave voters as being dumb and ignorant then posts completely factually incorrect nonsense

      China is a member of WTO and has been for some time, its how the EU trades with them

      Already some treaties have novated , you yourself put a fatuous comment about the Africa countries that have already agreed to novate

      Any thoughts on the EU passing Article 11 & 13 despite the EU MEPS having vetoed it in July?

      Any thoughts on the Electoral Commission losing in the High Court and being castigated by the judge for their illegal and unfair treatment of vote leave?

    • libertarian
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Dear Newmania & Andy

      Nissan UK

      This official report by Nissan to Nikkei Exchange Tokyo on their plans

      TOKYO — Nissan Motor looks to boost production by 20% at a massive U.K. factory and source more parts within the country, aiming to offset higher costs expected after Britain’s exit from the European Union becomes final.

      The Japanese automaker will begin turning out the latest model in the Qashqai sport utility vehicle and other lines at its Sunderland plant in northern England as soon as 2019, along with autos not currently assembled at the factory. Production of electric vehicles also will increase in anticipation of higher demand in the U.K. and Europe, feeding 20% growth in total output to around 600,000 vehicles per year.

      Investments related to the expansion are seen reaching 10 billion yen to 20 billion yen ($91.4 million to $182 million). The greater economies of scale provided by increased production will alleviate this expense, while the use of common parts will help cut costs directly.

      Nissan also intends to raise the share of parts for the plant sourced in the U.K. to around 80% from the current 40%

      You two are clueless

  3. Nig l
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Yes. Their blinkered approach seems to indicate an inflexible bunker mentality and I am certain is adding to the reasons the opinion polls are against them,

    Theresa May is known to be secretive, non collegiate and risk averse as is Hammond. They set the tone and the poodles like Barwell etc who would not have their jobs without them, tamely follow.

    I think we would welcome your views as to why this is because in any problem solving until you know the why, it is not possible to come up with a solution.

  4. Jagman84
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. When you state that the “Government” say there is no alternative to Chequers, in reality, is it not the position of civil service? The PM, Chancellor and Cabinet ministers have been relegated to a position of spokespersons. Your description of a puppet parliament will not alter until the Sir Humphries are brought to heel. That goes way beyond Brexit.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Civil service and the BBC surely? And a core of the political bubble.

      Same lot that constantly spin us the lie that the NHS is a great thing, while we can all see how poor our health system is.

    • Newmania
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Did you know that the European Commission has 33,000 employees , the UK has over 400,000 civil servants and has taken on another 20,000 to try to cope with Brexit
      Now which one is the bloated bureaucracy?
      EU aside- the spectacular cost of UK Government is quite something to behold and most of them are overpaid with huge pensions all of which is funded by the tax payer.
      Add to that the fact they almost nothing right and its a bad joke

      • NHSGP
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        The additional bit.

        Why should we trust the people who have created the mess to fix the mess?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        One or the other, Newmania.

        Not both.

        We do not need two governments. I want a British one.

      • sm
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Dear Hysteria

        You are comparing chalk to cheese. Does the EC run the equivalent of the DWP, the Armed Forces, the NHS, Housing etc etc?

        On the other hand, does the British Government shift its Parliament to Edinburgh or Cardiff once a month, with all its associated time and money burdens?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        That argument about staff has been demolished many times before yet you continue with it.
        The UK unlike the EU is responsible for all the practical things a nation has to provide and manage.
        Health Education Welfare Defence Police Armed forces and many other things.

        • Newmania
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          ooo excuse me I thought it infested every area of National life , still manages to manipulate and govern half a billion people with about 7.5% of the people, we take just to look after the shop

          Thew Army has about 80,000 bods so thats 5 civil servants each ( plus the 20,000 extra ones) for every one and this does not include the LAs who actually run health education and the Police force …

          Oh dear seems as if the bloated bureaucracy is in the UK !

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:32 am | Permalink

            Did you not read my reply?

      • Richard1
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Yes I can agree with much of what you say there. But the point about EU membership is those 33k EU civil servants increasingly direct the policies which the 400k UK civil servants have to implement. The Leave argument i suppose is it would be better if the work of he 400k were to implement policies formulated by elected politicians who can be removed in elections.

      • NickC
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Newmania, Again, what is the point in you telling such porkies? The reason the EU has relatively few bureaucrats is because it is the top tier of government. As a pyramidal hierarchy one expects fewer people at the top. It is the subject states which must make the EU rules work. Most of our civil servants are actually working to EU rules. We do not have to start up the various agencies from scratch – because our own bureaucracy is already doing the work.

      • Woody
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Bloated is as bloated does. The uk national civil service is certainly overstaffed, but they are responsible for all aspects of daily life … the eu bureaucrats are responsible for creating regulations and trade obstacles… 33,000 to do that desk job is bloated … although they do need to cover for excessive holidays and to manage their move between HQ’s every month.

        • Newmania
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          No they are not this does not include the LAs this is just pen pushers , god knows what the total is

          • libertarian
            Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


            If you want to go that route you only cited the numbers employed by the EU commission, maybe include all the others working for the EU, plus those working in member countries paid by those countries but working wholly on EU business

            If you think we could do away with all the UK civil servants and have society run by 33,000 EU bureaucrats you are totally and utterly deluded… oh you are..

      • Mark B
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Which is why they ALL want to Remain. When the EU no longer does their job, we can start to weed out the wheat from the chaff.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink


        …….but 33,000 personnel simply for admin purposes is absolutely absurd…..and for the avoidance of doubt, not required. …then go look up their remuneration packages, if you want real absurdity!

        Though on thing I do agree, WasteMinster will be on the agenda for reduction post Brexit!

    • Bob
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I think you have identified the real problem.
      Democracy in the UK is illusory.
      “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal”

  5. Conservative
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has, after great difficulty, put together a plan. I call on you, sir, to back it, or to shut up and stop undermining our Conservative PM. You are doing Mr Corbyn’s work with your sniping

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Her great difficulty is that she does not want us to leave the EU and she cannot set aside her personal preference in order to properly perform the task for which the majority voted and which she promised to undertake for us. And this is where I depart from Tories like Jacob Rees-Mogg who say they want to change the policy but not change the person charged with carrying it through; in my view she has already shown herself to be totally untrustworthy and unfit to be Prime Minister in what is supposed to be a democracy. And having made an exception and trusted her and voted for her as the Tory candidate in this Maidenhead constituency in the 2017 general election, I can now tell you, “Conservative”, that I shall never make the same mistake again with any Tory candidate in any election.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative party is more than a brand name. You simply cannot peddle any old nonsense and get away with it simply because you happen to be in place at the top of the party.

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

      Conservative(?), Mrs May has put together a plan which involves the UK signing up to new treaties with the EU. I call on you, sir, to read the plan before you pontificate. It is a revolving-door Remain. I didn’t vote Remain, sir.

  6. Mark B
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It all seems rather rushed. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have such plans BEFORE the Referendum and not with some six months to go before we leave ?

    It is clear that the government and the Civil Service have colluded to create a situation where we will have to sign anything. Such an agreement will be far worse than that we have.

    To my mind only one person ever bothered to for a team of people and seriously look at the problem. They came at it from all angles / perspectives and concluded that, whilst not perfect or ultimately desirable, leaving the political aspect of the EU and transiting to the EEA / Norway would be more feasible.

    We are already an EEA member and the arguments concerning immigration and the ECJ are, in my opinion, somewhat overblown. And as it would be a transitory phase we would be in a far stronger position.

    But none are so blind than those that refuse to see.

    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    With May as PM the UK will not be leaving the EU. It is that simple. The solution is therefore equally as simple.

    As an aside. To see JRM and his family once again being intimidated by ……….. thugs is an example of how far we have fallen. A decent, moral man being threatened while May passes laws pandering to the culture of misandry and anti-male bigotry

    This PM is offensive on every level.

  8. Henry Spark
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    The Irish government’s Brexit committee chairman Neale Richmond has described the ERG’s approach as “simplistic and ignorant.” You talk about agriculture and food – you seem unaware of cross border services like healthcare and education. No one takes you seriously, Mr Redwood

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Why do you believe the Irish politician ? Anyway we’re not negotiating with Ireland so they should stay out of it, the EU are negotiating on their behalf and should tell them to stop butting in.

  9. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Re my post yesterday, isn’t it time to separate the Withdrawal Agreement from a Trade Agreement. The EU doesn’t claim they are linked.
    I believe we should honour financial commitments already made, but we also have the right to claim back the value of investments already made and send in the loss assessors on any EU claims.
    Link the Withdrawal Agreement to the future partnership arrangements, such as Galileo and Euratom, where we might be happy to make contributions.
    It’s not that we shouldn’t need to pay the EU to trade, it’s more that we must not because that would constitute state subsidy.
    The £39bn isn’t what we owe, it’s just a number cooked up. The EU would claim much more and we should challenge any demand.

    • michael mcgrath
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Can anyone please tell me the source of this £39 billion?
      I imagine that there are expenditures underway which were partly dependent upon a commitment from the UK as members of the EU and, where these are irreversible, it seems logical for us to meet our obligations.
      In the cases where the projects were not started before we voted to leave, these should not be included as any sensible management within the EU could see that they had lost a valuable contributor and so should have re-considered the project and the source of funds
      As far as pensions are concerned, they are always, at government level, met from current income/expenditure. Having left, we will not have any continuing liability…perhaps I should add that, in the same way, while members of the EU, we have contributed to the pensions of EU personnel which were incurred before we joined
      On the question of future contributions, they will be negotiated on an individual project or collaborative basis (defence??) provided, of course, that our negotiators do not hand control of our future to the Commission over the next few months
      There remains the subject of the repayment to the UK of our share of the residual value which we have helped create through our cash and expertise contributions. This I leave to other, better qualified, readers of this site

    • Andy
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      There aren’t any ‘financial commitments’ and if there were the EU would have been able to produce an exact and detailed breakdown of these AND the precisis legal basis for them. They haven’t and can’t.

  10. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The problem you have is that your options are all seen as far more risky than running through a wheat field.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Well said John

  12. George Brooks
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope that the PM sees the ladder that is being built for her to climb down.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t expect that to happen, and my only hope is that the EU will push her off.

      I don’t expect the Commons would vote against whatever appalling agreement she would need to make to keep us under the EU’s thumb as far as she possibly can, given all their mutterings about it not being possible to separate parts of the Single Market or divide the four freedoms, and the Lords would vote for anything the EU wanted, so the only hope is that the EU knocks Chequers on the head.

      Just a reminder of something Theresa May said in her Lancaster House speech:

      “… being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are. It would mean accepting a role for the European Court of Justice that would see it still having direct legal authority in our country.

      It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.”

  13. Peter
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    May claims There is No Alternative and seems to have adopted a bunker mentality to try to force her Chequers plan through.

    Everybody can see there are alternatives.

    Meanwhile there are claims fifty MPs were discussing how to get rid of May.

  14. Monza 71
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’m sure the majority here all agree with your last point but there is an insurmountable problem :

    That problem is that there is no majority in Parliament for this proposal or any other solution currently in the public domain. I fail to see how this can be overcome.

    • Bob
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      “I fail to see how this can be overcome.”

      A ukip government would overcome it.

      • Monza 71
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Not with the current make-up of Parliament, it couldn’t

        Anyway UKIP is a spent force without Nigel Farage in command.
        As much of a joke as Labour under Corbyn.

  15. agricola
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I find it appalling that she has fannied about for so long and achieved nothing. Her first big mistake was to allow the EU control of the agenda and timing. Ever since it has been one step forward and two backwards. I do hope that conference give her a real roasting. The negative position of the Tory party since the last election is all down to her and it has added to the problem of getting rid of her as PM. Her statement that there is no alternative to Chequers is fatuous. As you point out there are numerous options. I equate her attitude with that of Haigh during WW1, blundering on with an ill conceived plan A that gets hundreds of thousands killed through a pig headed paucity of imagination.

  16. BartD
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    We don’t hear Nigel Farage, and other Tory hardline MEPs banging on about not paying as a part of leaving..because they know full well that their pension pots depend very much on the divorce agreement being in place and signed off. It is easy for the likes of our home grown politico types to spend their time sniping from the sidelines..their pensions are secure because the British public will pay into their pot.

    This morning again JR talks as if we can have some kind of an ‘a la carte’ choice on the way he suggests.. let’s dismiss the withdrawal agreement as it doesn’t matter to us and anyway we don’t want to pay, ignore the movement of people on the Gibraltar and the Irish border and let’s pick a Canada plus plus style instead..yes let’s..that will do nicely..he thinks..well it’s all in the realm of fairyland..pie in the sky..because it’s all only the same old stuff of negotiating with ourselves which we have been doing for the past two years- naval gazing- am afraid reality dawns now and we havn’t got the choices as claimed by JR.. in fact looks more like.. havn’t got a clue

    • Bob
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink


      “their pension pots depend very much on the divorce agreement being in place”

      Are you suggesting that the likes of Lords Mandelson, Kinnoch and Patten could lose their pension rights?
      Is that the kind of organisation we are dealing with in Brussels?

      • Drachma
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Bob..could be ifvthere is not enough money in the pot

      • stred
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        What a lovely thought. We could always give the MEPs who were not traitors compensation.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      BartD, You think £39bn is needed to pay British ex-MEPs their pension? Blimey I knew the fat-cats in Brussels were overpaid, but I didn’t realise by that much!

  17. miami.mode
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    One of the overriding aspects of a senior politician’s life is not to lose face and respect despite being wrong on policies and therefore Mrs May will fight to maintain the Chequers deal intact.

  18. nigel
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The supposedly neutral BBC publishes an article under the heading “Reality Check”, attempting to pull apart the “Clean Break” option:

    I see no evidence of a similar critique of the Chequers proposals on their web site.

    To rub salt into the wounds they add at the bottom of the articel “Why you can trust BBC news”.

    • Bob
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink


      “no evidence of a similar critique of the Chequers proposals on their web site.”

      Is anyone surprised?
      I cancelled my BBC Licence many years ago because I didn’t want to support their campaign of cultural Marxism.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Nigel, I never trust sites that proclaim “fact check”, or “reality check”, scammers every one. If they really were trustworthy, they wouldn’t have to claim to be so.

  19. Richard1
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile the EU’s President Juncker has reminded us of the direction of travel of the EU. Imagine Remain had won – prime minister [osborne?] would be issuing hasty denunciations of Juncker’s call for an end to member states’ vetoes on foreign policy and tax policy they don’t like. In other words the direction For the U.K. had we still been in the EU would be towards full federalism with federal tax and foreign policy on top of all the out-sourced policy areas – trade, social environmental agriculture fishing etc etc. Worth bearing in mind.

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    If anyone has still not read the Advice to Stakeholders, now is the time to do so.
    It promises armageddon from the EU in great detail, based on all the relevant Directives, when, on 30/3/19, we become a third country.
    M.Barnier and the EU are not going to budge on this one because they cannot do so. It would simply tear up the acquis. Like asking the Pope to spit on the crucifix or Mr Corbyn to give up his allotment.
    Anyway they are not in the mood. PS Individual EU countries have no power to negotiate. So it is no good trying to go behind M. Barnier’s back.

    The only game in town must be the EEA option when we leave the EU and the Single Market.

    • NickC
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard, If you still believe a word the EU says, you deserve everything you get. But we don’t. We voted to Leave, not to remain partly in.

  21. Alison
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood, I wholeheartedly agree, and thank you for all you are doing.

    I remain disgusted by the position of many MPs, in particular Tories, who for a time said they would respect the result of the referendum, then gradually moved to say they are in favour of ‘Chequers’, which some even say represents Brexit. Core bits of the Chequers agreement are unconstitutional, giving away our sovereignty .. even agreeing a foreign court jurisdiction on our own soil. Who the heck do these civil servants and Mrs May think they are, even contemplating such a thing????

    I assume it is not allowed to mount a coup (I’m very tempted). However, these MPs are not doing their re-election chances any good. They may say to themselves, we’ve got two years after March 2019 before an election, the public will have forgotten, or Brexit will be going badly so the public will vote for people who opposed it. No. I for one will not let them forget.

    Btw, I, with others, have reactivated our 2016 campaign group, and we are busy in our region (central Scotland and rippling out) with a campaign to remind people why Brexit is good, essential and strongly beneficial.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Alison, The rot started with the EU, which is government by technocrat rather than by democracy. Our civil service has been corrupted by this EU ethos, and now doesn’t want to give up its new-found power. This is what motivates Olly Robbins. And in Mrs May he has found someone who is impressionable but desperately wants to hang on to the appearance of power. But it is very bad for the UK – the Chequers revolving-door Remain will take us 20 years to recover from.

  22. Stred
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The Irish PM will not dare to veto s trade deal as WTO would mean the tariff the UK will apply to protect its beef farming would have to apply to Irish exports to their largest market. They would be ruining their farming in order to insist on a non existent problem on the border.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I’ve already stopped buying anything Irish.

    • roger
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Australian grass fed beef is vastly superior to Irish beef and is cheaper to buy even with the tariffs it no doubt carries.
      I have changed over already and have no intention to change back whatever the outcome.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Stred, Like others I now try to avoid anything from the EU. Every time I choose British pork over German, vegetables from Britain, Senegal, Kenya, USA, etc, over EU produce, even a “British” supermarket brand Chinese made kettle over a German-owned Russell-Hobbs brand Chinese made kettle, I chalk it up as one more little victory.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        Good for you but how really sae

        • NickC
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Every little helps.

    • acorn
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      So your tariff on Irish Beef will raise prices in UK shops, it will reduce affordable supply to UK households. Who do you think the voters will blame for that, at the next General Election? The Australians and the South Americans Beef exporters, will have something to say about that as well under MFN “no worse off” rules.

      For Agri-Food products, there are not only tariff borders; but a few non-tariff borders. Such as the Veterinary Border and the MFN Non-Discrimination Border.

      The Rees-Mogg – E4FT Chequers alternate, is a joke. As Sam Lowe at Centre for European Reform says, someone should teach politicians how to apply percentages. I say it would not help. This bunch are all Austrian School (laissez faire neo-liberal); THE Conservative Party ideology.

      • Stred
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        We would buy Argentinian and Australian beef instead
        Tariffs would be the same as at present. No shortage.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        There are already tariffs in the form of applied quotas set by the EU on beef imports.
        The usual protectionist EU making consumers pay higher than needed prices and restricting their choice.

      • Alison
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Our farming has been hit hard by the EU. Let’s get our food from the UK where we can, and Brexit means we can help our farmers.
        btw there will also be more Scottish beef and lamb on the market, because the poor summer (not enough feed grown to feed all the herds) means farmers are having to take far more to the market. Btw, apart from some NFU leaders, it’s the rural areas of Scotland which are much more favourable to Brexit than the towns and cities. Support Scots farmers & fishermen ..

      • David Price
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        The UK is not discriminating against Irish produce, UK consumers are instead exercising their freedom to choose and actively discriminating in favour of non-EU produce.

        Or, are you suggesting the UK government force UK consumers to buy Irish beef?

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      I have not bought any French agricultural products since 1990 when French farmers set fire to one truckload of live British sheep, killing 219 of them as well as poisoning, slitting throats and dousing others with insecticide.

      As recently as 2015 French farmers attacked and destroyed seven British lorry loads of fish which had in fact been caught by French trawlers and landed in Scotland before being shipped to France.

      I also would not buy today a German car after themassive diesel emissions cheating fraud.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    There is talk in the RW press that the 50 imperil the Tories and risk a Corbyn government at this juncture.

    I’m afraid Mrs May is the one who’s done that. She’s untrustworthy.

    Reply The 50 at the meeting did not resolve to send letters and spent most of their time talking about Brexit, not about Mrs May.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: I may have misunderstood, but that wasn’t the impression I got from the BBC news last night.

      • Alison
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Mockbeggar – BBC ‘news’? as regards Brexit, the presentation is twisted, nuances added to every phrase, and anything that they can make sound bad, weak, damaging, they will. So the word used every other sentence re ERG not publishing plans, was ‘conceded’, ‘concede’ ..

    • Pud
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn was anti-EU until appearing to be a Remainer became a useful stick to beat the Tories with. Many of his nationalisation and state-subsidy plans would not be permitted by the EU, so it could be a case of “vote Corbyn, get Brexit”. It’s a risky strategy, given how much damage the country would suffer until he was voted out (assuming further elections would be permitted).

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      So the 50 were ignoring the elephant in the room? It’s all getting very “Death of Stalin” in the CPP while the voluntary party gets more and more angry with the refusal of its parliamentarians to honour the pledges given by Mr Cameron.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Either that or not much conversation was needed.

  24. formula57
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The government’s problem surely is that if acknowledgement is made that there is indeed an alternative to the Chequers nonsense, then it follows that so too is there an alternative to Mrs. May and her immediate gang. The sooner alternatives to both are in place, the better of course.

  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The EU construct has similarities to how C18 France was run or overrun with sinecures, internal tariffs, customs arrangements and bureaucracy. This blew up into their Revolution as the shortage and cost of bread became the benchmark for survival. In the early days Louis xv1 was still a key player provided he accepted being a constitutional monarch, similar to England, although the French were loathe to replicate too much. The cross fertilisation with the American Revolution with Lafayette, Jefferson, Franklin being prominent in both. Arguably the French were the military tipping point for its success but at a huge financial cost, which also was a component in their Revolution.

    Louis xv1 approach was yes I will stop being an absolute monarch but with so many reservations that completely annulled his pledge to pass full power to parlements of the people. Fast forward to the Commission, yes the UK is leaving, yes we want a deal, yes we want you to keep paying, yes we want you responsible to the ECJ, free movement is still an issue, yes we want you in the customs union under our control, no the internal/single market remains sacrosanct. And yes if Russia invades we expect you to do your bit again.

    All we Leavers want is to get out and have normal and friendly trading relationships. The past 2+ years proves how sucked into the EU we have become, allowed by many supine MPs and Lords over 40 years. Regrettably they are still around throwing spanners in all directions.

  26. NHSGP
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    There could be no tariffs rather than the few tariffs that remain in the Canada one.

    Why would we agree to tariffs?

    The UK and Ireland are WTO members. We are “bound” to use WTO jargon

    If you want to increase tarrifs or barriers, or even put them in place where there are none now, you need Ireland’s agreement. They need ours.

    Why would we agree?

    Just say no.

    Just say no money to the EU. They are just worried about their pensions and their failure to invest contributions.

    • Stred
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      We will need some tariffs to prevent farmers going out of business if much cheaper produce comes in from countries with low standards or cheaper land. If we set tariffs at EU rates then EU countries will be subject to the same as the ROW, unless they agree a free trade deal.

      They will be hoping for the Chequers arrangement which preservers their protected agriculture and the British high contributions to fund expansion army etc. May deserves an EU legion d’honour award.

    • Jagman84
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      You do not need a pension pot at all if you can demand unlimited sums of money from member states at the drop of a hat. Does the UK have a pension pot for our upcoming pensioners? Surely it is paid out of current taxes collected. We can take on the pensions of MEPs and UK staff of the EU upon exiting.

  27. AndyC
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Can I ask, what’s the default position re tariffs? If we leave on WTO terms with no deal, what tariff schedule would apply to, say, imports from Germany after March 2019? Would there be zero tariffs in the absence of a positive decision to apply any, or would an automatic WTO schedule kick in? Is the government planning a tariff schedule, and when might we realistically expect this to be published?

    I was talking with a colleague about this yesterday and, while we’re both supportive of brexit (my other comments to this site will bear this out!), this is the sort of information business needs to be getting from the government. At present it’s all too mysterious and time is running short. It’s hard to avoid the impression the government is actively promoting a ‘cliff edge’ when there need not be one.

    • NickC
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      AndyC, The government, particularly the civil service, have been woeful in preparing business for the possible outcomes. Any business that was so bad would rapidly cease trading. It is incompetence, nothing less.

      If we Leave as voted for, where we leave the Single Market (inc the Common Commercial Policy and the Customs Union), the UK will be entitled under WTO rules to apply its own customs duties. That is so even if we reach a normal WTO registered trade deal with the EU, provided we are not subsumed into the EU as Chequers (Robbins) does.

  28. ferdinand
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Is Mrs.May being exceedingly clever by confronting the EU with a plan they don’t wish for in order to force a Canada plus deal in the end ?

    • Billyg
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink still don’t get it..the EU side doesn’t want an agreement..they have decided that it will be better for all for the long term if UK is allowed a bit of timeout,..

    • NickC
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Ferdinand, “Clever” and “Mrs May” are terms not usually combined in one sentence.

  29. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Well excuse me while I choke with laughter over my breakfast.

    The BBC is going on about having to have 6 months on your passport to go to Europe and problems with driving licences after we leave the EU like it’s a death sentence. For goodness sake, lets’ get real. This will be similar to travel in Canada, USA etc and how do they think people from outside Europe manage with their driving licences when they visit Europe? Please, can someone get a grip? If it’s going to be difficult for us then lets make it difficult for them. There is no need for all this panic when a very easy solution can be found.

    • NickC
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherner, The BBC just wants Remain. It has given up all pretence of impartiality. I never even listen to BBC wireless now – all BBC output rots your brain.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted September 15, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        You people are obsessed with the BBC. It’s just pathetic. As Leave won the referendum without having to propose a Brexit plan or any meaningful ideas about negotiation with the EU, they are now seeing various possible Brexit outcomes under scrutiny. The Brexit leaders have no ideas beyond a Canada-style deal, which has been found to be inadequate. The BBC is doing its job of scrutiny. You people won the referendum, so you should have been ready with some answers. The fact that you don’t have any has meant that support for a second vote has risen. But that won’t happen before March 2019. We need a second vote 5-10 years after 2019, when we can see where it’s all heading.

        Reply We have offered plenty of solutions and great new policies.

  30. British Spy
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Then again I was correct the first time, an error, but you know what I meant and know what I mean, thankfully JR

  31. English Pensioner
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Mrs May said that “No deal was better than a bad deal”. Unfortunately this leaves her open to accepting a poor deal. As far as I’m concerned, anything that requires the UK to pay money to the EU is a bad deal, but obviously there are as many definitions of bas as there are MPs!

  32. BenM
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    If we think that all of this ERG group activity, Boris & Co, Vs Mrs May, ie. good cop/ bad cop is going to shake the EU side then we are sadly mistaken. Neither will threatening them with not settling the withdrawal account, the same as JR and others are advocating again this morning,. they have it all factored’s very likely we are going to leave now with no deal for a future with them- despite what IDS and Boris think we are not going to be able to bully them into giving us the deal we want, not even Canada Plus..only listen to what Junker had to say we should just get on with planning for that and forget about transition or agreement😅

  33. S Butterworth
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Very well said Mr Redwood. Your blog on our exit from the EU is very thought provoking. I agree with what you are saying about leaving with no deal and having no obligations to pay this ridiculous 39 billion. The Government has no money of its own, but invents new ways to grab ever more money……. to give away to countries like India that don’t need or even want it.

    Meanwhile they cut services, and then they wonder why they are unpopular. They treat Tommy Robinson like dirt, and yet others who do the same things and worse are allowed to go on their merry way.

    If leave is not performed from the EU, the Conservatives quite rightly will go to the political wilderness.

  34. Dennis
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Raab says with no deal the £39b will not be paid but May says a PART will not be paid!!

    What a mess – we should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

  35. Helen Taylor
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    John, A question I would like to ask is what about us being used as a land bridge between the eu and Ireland. As they are being extremely difficult with us over the border, why should we be used as a land bridge for them. As we will become a third country, surely they need to arrange for all there goods to go by sea between the two. This will lessen some of the problems that we have at the ports. How much of the traffic that goes through our ports is actually for/from Ireland. Why should our roads and air pollution be affected by lorries carrying goods between the two.

    • Billyg
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Helen Taylor..plans are already in hand to increase the shipping from Dublin and Rosslare to Antwerp and Rotterdam..they are not going to trust the French ports where delays are expected it seems and they are also afraid of congestion at Dover. It will take a little longer to get to Antwerp but JIT is not the priority.

    • Drachma
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Helen..better look to brussels to see who is being difficult..i agree about the land bridge..but then again UK trucks pass through Dublin every day..for delivery in Ireland and also passing through to NI..

      • Helen Taylor
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Hi Drachma, I was mainly talking about the lorries that are goods for/from Ireland to the EU not UK goods. I had read that they still wanted to cross through the UK rather than use the sea routes.

      • Helen Taylor
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Drachma, I was mainly talking about the lorries that are goods for/from Ireland to the eu not UK goods. I had read that they still wanted to cross through the UK rather than use the sea routes. Another concession that May is doubtless handing over I have no doubt who is being difficult. I am all for leaving and trading on WTO terms. I am quite disgusted at how much of our Sovereignty has been handed over to the eu by politicians over the years. That is why it is so difficult to disentagle, it is tantamount to treason. They have just handed power over without a war, then they have the cheek to celebrate the Magna Carta.

  36. Tabulazero
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Finally the Daily Mail brand the ERG as traitors.

    • May fan
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      An extremely interesting development! It seems the ERG are being smoked out for what they are – a disloyal rabble with no constructive ideas of their own! Real Tories should get behind our dutiful PM

  37. Dennis
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    How is it that the first poster’s time is 5.10AM but I don’t get JR’s email till around noon each day?

    Is it that he has many millions in his data base that it takes 7 hours for all the emails to be delivered? Perhaps so, I’d like to know. Please advise – thanks.

    • Dennis
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      This one of mine is posted but the two others which are still above and waiting for moderation are not – very strange.

  38. Andy
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    In the referendum literally nobody voted for a Canada style deal. How do we know this? The Canada deal did not exist at the time – it was still be negotiated and had not been ratified. You have no mandate for it.

    As for the £39bn it is the Tory Brexit bill. And don’t worry Dr Redwood you and the angry old men in the ERG will not be paying it. My children and their generarion will. It is the price tag of trying to appease unappeasable pensioners.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Ignorant person.

      “The negotiations were concluded on 1 August 2014. The trade agreement was officially presented on 25 September 2014 by Harper and Barroso during an EU – Canada Summit at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Not that I think that CETA is worth very much; I concluded last November that with the Irish acting up we should just leave on WTO terms:

        “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.”

        And I still think that now, we should not bother with anything like CETA until after we have left, because:

        “… for the UK the same kind of special trade deal with the EU might be worth 0.7% to 1.4% of UK GDP.”

        The difference is that now I also think we should give up on the idea of any withdrawal agreement within the meaning of Article 50 TEU:

        “… the EU has been messing us about, and even more so our own Prime Minister and her favourite euromaniac civil service adviser have been messing us about and can no longer be trusted an inch, and nor I am afraid can Dominic Raab or any of the other ministers who are prepared to connive with her betrayal.

        But we are now so close to the end of the two year period laid down in paragraph 3 that we might as well just wait for it to expire and perhaps use the time to try to get some practical and legal agreements outside the Article 50 framework.

        Any damage caused by a disorderly withdrawal … should be on the heads of those who have not been acting in good faith.”

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      The Canada deal is a simple example of a deal the EU has done.
      No £39 billion for Canada to pay to trade.

    • NickC
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Andy, In the referendum literally nobody voted for a Chequers revolving-door Remain. But that’s what we’ll get thanks to Remain and the 500 Remain MPs in Parliament.

      I am delighted to know that your children are liable for the £39bn, not me; and that’s because it is what you want, not me. I wouldn’t pay the £39bn. I think it is a bribe for your rotten EU, so it is right that you and yours should pay it. But personally I’d be a bit more concerned about the c£2trn debt.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Ageism again, Andy? Very unattractive. It also makes your comment valueless. (Nothing new there, then. Same old tripe.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      In the first referendum literally no-one voted for a common market involving Baltic states.

      How do we know this ?

      Because they were behind the Iron Curtain.

      Andy says people who were uneducated and voted to Remain in 1975 were worthy. Andy says people who were uneducated and voted Leave in 2016 were not worthy and should be ignored. Andy says pensioners who voted to Remain in 1975 were worthy. Andy says pensioners who voted leave in 2016 were unworthy and should be ignored.

      Andy needs a 7000 home housing estate tacked on to Beaconsfield. No say in who arrives and cuts in services at the same time.

      Then he might have some idea why Brexit happened.

      It did not come from nowhere. There were many many warnings given but they were ignored and his age group (40 – 55) did more than their bit in voting Leave.

      Stop trying to disqualify the vote by using (these means ed) Andy.

  39. margaret
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    There has been enough discussion on this. Initially there was a referendum which decided the future of the UK, then in consultation with the EU we had been advised that we should carry on trading as before in a mutually beneficial way. They have broken the tacit contract.Out now is the only way forward

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I read here:

    “Brexit: Irish condemn plans for border as ‘dreamland stuff’”

    but what is truly ‘dreamland stuff’ is the picture that the totally irresponsible and unpatriotic pro-EU Times has chosen to use to illustrate its article:

    If in reality there were to be any roadblocks and signs with stern faced uniformed customs officers holding up their hands to stop travelers then that would be for the Irish customs, not for the British customs; and it would be incomprehensible that the UK media keep using those pictures, and that the UK government never says anything about it, if it were not for the obvious fact that far from wishing to counter anti-Brexit propaganda the UK government is actively contributing to it.

    I would write to my MP and complain about this, except that my MP is Theresa May and she is at the heart of these attempts to dupe the British people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just lodged a complaint about this with IPSO, as follows:

      “I wish to complain about the image used by The Times to illustrate its article headlined “Brexit: Irish condemn plans for border as ‘dreamland stuff’”. The UK government has repeatedly stated that it has absolutely no intention of installing “British Customs” posts, with or without stern faced uniformed British customs officers, at the border, so why is the Times misleading its readers by depicting something which is not going to happen? Why does the editor not use a spoof image of Irish customs officers stopping traffic at the border? Because that does not fit in with his editorial bias?”

      Not that I expect it will make the slightest difference, as we see on this blog day after day Remoaners are unscrupulous and inveterate liars.

  41. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I see it is reported that the government has effectively increased the costs of UK passports as consequence of Brexit as Unexpired time on passports is no longer being credited when you renew (so you end up losing what you’ve previously paid for):

    Previously, if your passport expired in March 2019 and you renewed today, your new passport would expire in March 2029. Now the new passport will expire in September 2028, so we are all paying twice for the time between renewal and expiry and, given that many countries require a minimum of 6 months time left, including many EU countries (there’s a list in this article:, many people will now have to renew between 6 and 9 months before expiry, thus effectively increasing the real cost of having a passport by 5%-7.5%.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Peter Parsons

      Nothing to do with Brexit at all oh and by the way the link on mobile roaming is cobblers too. Some firms offered tariff free roaming way before the EU introduced it and ALL major networks have guaranteed it after we leave so I wouldn’t trust any other data in that link either

      Governments are a rip off, the more governments you have the more ripped off you are, we’ve voted to get rid of one, once thats done we should start work on getting rid of more

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian, I suggest you make an effort to read the relevant sections of the articles, in particular the parts about third country passport requirements under the Schengen Border Code. This has occurred because the UK is becoming a third country i.e. because of Brexit.

        Countries like France, Germany and Spain all have a 6 month rule for third countries (it’s listed in the second article if you make the effort to scroll down)

  42. eeyore
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Andy – I’m so grateful. Really. Do thank your children for me.

    They might look at it this way if it makes them feel better: Chequers is the price tag of trying to appease unappeasable Europeans, No Deal the price tag of appeasing easily appeasable voters, and Remaining the price tag of appeasing daddy.

  43. Steve
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


    Firstly I thank you for passing my recent posts.

    I agree with your notion that leaving without signing the draft withdrawal agreement is a good thing.

    We owe the EU nothing, as I have always said.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink


      A deal is better than no deal

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        No deal is an incorrect description. No deal means WTO.
        Works for most of world trade.

        • Where is Liam Fox?
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          No, no. Almost no trade is done under WTO rules. Free trade agreements and related cooperation agreements are the basis of global trade. The EU has lots – the UK loses all of them on Brexit, and has managed to renew precisely none of them

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

            The vast majority of world trade happens using WTO trading arrangements.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink


          Most of UK business would disagree that it works for us at this stage only, we need more

      • NickC
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Don’t be silly . . . you would never buy a house or car on that basis.

      • Steve
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink


        “A deal is better than no deal”

        Whatever gave you that crazy idea ? and for whom ?

  44. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


    Interesting perspectives and of course there are other alternatives. However the ERG with its 15 years projections and forecasts and a not very clear option for the Irish border(according to the Irish government) is as far as I am concerned just another set of unreliable forecasts and fake news, it is not a real alternative.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      You can believe either prediction Hans.
      However, the treasury has got it’s previous predictions wrong.

  45. Steve
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink


    “In the referendum literally nobody voted for a Canada style deal. How do we know this? The Canada deal did not exist at the time – it was still be negotiated and had not been ratified.”

    So it obviously existed then.

    However you are partly correct, in that during the referendum we voted to leave the EU, nothing else. We did not even vote for ‘negotiations’ (capitulations) with the EU.

    Most of us would rather just slam the door shut on the EU and have nothing further to do with it.

    • Andy
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Go for it then big guy. Do your worst.

      The harder the Brexit the quicker it fails.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


      Interesting concept but as we share the same continent that is going to be very difficult?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        As usual you confuse the EU with Europe.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink


          Most of Europe except for Russia are members of the EU and therefore our most important trading partners, no there is no confusion here

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:37 am | Permalink

            You miss the point hans.
            The EU is not Europe.

      • Steve
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Hans christian ivers

        Did you not attend geography classes at school ?

        We are an island, and therefore not part of any continent.

  46. zorro
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Just saw the BBC 6’o clock news – more Project FEAR nonsense, this time on mobile phone charges. Apparently, it will be the most difficult (and expensive) thing in the world to make a mobile phone call to an EU country….

    That’s interesting – why does my mobile provider allow me to use my allowance at no extra cost (calls/texts/data) in 71 destinations…?

    John, has the EU expanded to 71 countries when we weren’t looking? Are the USA, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, Switzerland, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand in the EU? – ALL PROJECT FEAR NONSENSE


    • Billyg
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes..why do we need to travel..i have no need for passport or driving license and I get on very well..just take your hols at home

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink


      Sounds a bit like the ERG Group as well/

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      There’s no need for Project Fear. Messrs Redwood, Mogg and co. are doing the job of scaring the country off Brexit admirably.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      And despite sky and bbc fears EE have now come out with a statement saying they offered free roaming in Europe before the EU tried to claim it was their idea.
      Now Vodafone has said they will carry on doing the same whatever the brexit outcome is.
      Those two service providers count for over 80% of the uk market.
      So the rest will follow.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:01 am | Permalink


      More utter nonsense from these beleaguered Remainers…their last straws are rather puerile and miserably comical! They continue to persist, in their deluded minds, in the belief people still give a damn what they think.

    • Steve
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


      Oh you should have seen it on the BBC website, pitches like; “but you won’t need a european driving licence if there is no brexit” and; “but this (and that) could be avoided if there is no brexit”

      Honestly it read like spiel from a dodgy second hand car dealer. One of the most repugnant, cheap, and tacky items I have seen from the left propagandists.

      As if we’re going to say to ourselves; ‘ blimey, my mobile phone is more important than the nation – perhaps I’d better support remain instead’

      Suggests to me project fear must be getting desperate if that’s the best they can come up with.

  47. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    The Canada-style deal doesn’t solve the just-in-time delivery issue. And the EU won’t give us plus plus plus…because they have to protect the whole Bloc’s interests. Why wouldn’t they? All this has been found to be inadequate for the way the UK does business with the EU. Why go over it all again? And the ERG’s Irish border solution? It’s the same one you’ve been trotting out: there is no problem, so nothing to worry about! Completely hopeless, you Brexit people. All these years of telling us we must leave the EU, and you’ve no practical solutions to the difficulties created by exit. As always with you people, you don’t like scrutiny of your ideas – because you know you can’t agree on the key objectives.

    By the way, why are they called the European Research Group? If the whole idea is that we’re moving out of the EU to a new global trading future, shouldn’t they be researching options beyond the EU?

  48. Panel Head
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I missed BBC Question Time. So it was late and I merely read the names of Panel.
    I knew what each would say to all topic questions A-Z
    Also input from the audience.
    We Brexiteers could save one hour per week each for a year by getting the BBC to provide us with annual panel lists
    Over 17 million hours and more saved each week. Even worse after Brexit as there will be no Christmas break

  49. Panel Head
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Of course Amen and that should have been the end of it!

  50. Panel Head
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Farage called it, though he only instinctively knew what he was saying or maybe I underestimate him, Common-Sense

  51. Panel Head
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    “Hath word worth, seven and twenty
    come more in still nothing speaketh ” ~Shakespeare, what he would have written if clever as myself. A nonstarter 🙂

  52. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes, you’re right, there are plenty of alternatives to Chequers – just no good ones. And Chequers isn’t much good either. And all this after more than two years of political chaos. One PM has gone, another is tottering, the governing party has lost its majority, there’s so far no identifiable deal that would get through parliament….and Brexit has virtually wiped out any meaningful government programme for everything else. Brexit is synonymous with chaos and division…and it’s happening after a decade of austerity which has seen the weakest wage growth since the Napoleonic War. And this is all leading to a golden future! There’s only one sensible alternative to Chequers – and that’s to stay in the EEA at least.

  53. rose
    Posted September 15, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Chuck Chequers and Ditch the December Report. Then Leave.

  • 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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