Was the EU really trying to help Mrs May with its change of view?

Yesterday’s well  briefed stories in pro EU UK papers told us the EU is willing now to admit that the Northern Ireland border issues can of course be resolved by technology and checks away from the borders. Just as the Eurosceptics have always claimed, and as the UK government argued at the beginning of the Brexit process, there is no need for new barriers at the border and long delays whilst goods are checked at a border post. In this electronic age the issues of Excise,VAT and safety of product are already sorted out by electronic manifests and checks where needed away from the border. Most does not need physical inspection, as regulated operators file the necessary information so the authorities can do what they need to do without troubling the lorry driver. The authorities only need to do a few random inspections to keep the system honest, or to inspect where there is evidence of possible fraud, as they do today whilst we are still in the EU.

There was a suggestion this was designed to help Theresa May. I did not quite understand that part of the story. Mrs May has been arguing that it is because there is a problem with the Irish  border – a problem many of us say does not in reality exist – that she needs to dream up the elaborate fix of Chequers. The imposition of the EU rule book for goods and the offer to collect EU tariffs for them was designed to remove the need for these things to  happen at the Irish border. If the EU now rightly says there is no such problem  it is difficult to see why we would need Chequers at all.

If we lift the nonsense that there is a problem with the Irish border, then a Canada plus plus trade deal is easy to do if both sides wish. The EU said they were up for a Canada style deal but wished to exclude Northern Ireland, leaving that in their customs union. That was clearly impossible for the UK. If this is no longer their  view, then why not just agree a Free Trade Deal. It is easy to do technically, unlike most FTAs, because we start from a position of having no tariffs and having common standards.

What is strange is the PM is ploughing on with her very unpopular Chequers proposals, just at the point where it seems there is no need for them for the reason originally set out. It may be she knows the stories yesterday were false of course, though they looked well briefed and went to EU friendly papers.  The alternative explanation is she wants to keep us in the common market for goods for reasons other than the Irish border. If so we need to  know why. I see no good reason to make any such proposal.

Meanwhile the IMF is back with bad forecasts for what might happen if we leave with No Deal. Once again it appears a major forecasting outfit fails to understand the positives from leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. There is that £39bn to spend, and then there is the up to £13bn of tariff revenue on EU imports into the UK that can be given back to business and consumers as tax cuts. Any discounted cashflow calculation of the money shows the UK is clearly better off without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. Why do they always leave that bit out, and go for silly models showing big falls in trade that are unlikely to happen?

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  1. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:20 am | Permalink


    Can we now please discuss some of our real challenges such as

    -Young peoples health
    -Challenges with the NHS
    -Too little investment in infrastructure
    –The state of our environment in the cities
    -the state of our educational system

    Reply. Yes. I wrote about the need for more spending yesterday!

    • Hope
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      May has changed the labels and narrative to leaving the EU:
      May has made trade the central theme to leave.
      Use Irish border for no other soluable solution.
      Chequers means remain, no deal means leave.
      May has changed the labels and exchanged them in reality it means remaining in EU for perpetuity on worse terms.
      If the UK wishes to remain ot has to be on worse terms and May’s chequers plan accepts that.
      May has failed to delive a national policy on the biggest ever turn out to leave the EU. May has betrayed the electorate and national democracy giving her the mandate to govern. She no longer has a mandate. May has lied to say it delivers on what was promised, manifesto, referendum and vote. May knows this not to be the case and continues to lie. She should resign if not be ousted.
      Hammond today, again, flouts the govt policy to scare people to remain the in the EU under Chequers remain policy proposal.
      Two years of capitulation allowed to be called compromise. Another two years being in the EU without a voice or veto to allow May to change our minds. There is no transition as the country is not changing to anything and cannot because it can only talk trade when it leaves, nor is it implementing anything. The two years is an acceptable financial and economic punishment agreed with the EU.
      We voted leave. WTO was the only offer on the table.
      Unl as WTO can be bettered by leaving in all forms then it must be that. Chequers remain proposal dos not even come close to leaving the EU.
      JR, stop using excuses or pronouns for May’s disgraceful behaviour. There is no come back for her underhand lying behaviour.

      • Fishknife
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Why did Mrs. May do the Panorama interview yesterday?
        She could have, and perhaps should have, done it two years ago.
        The smirking Robinson toed the pro EU BBC line of ignoring the evident.

        In promoting Chequers, now, un-amended by Barnier, it is patently obvious that the interview had nothing to do with Brexit.

        By Sherlock default it can only be about the Conservative Party and getting through the Conference.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Well said Hope. The Tories are on a death wish if they allow this treacherous pair to remain in office. As their own self interest and survival is usually their prime motivation for most MPs, the ‘Tories’ really have lost touch with reality inside their Westminster bubble if they think they will get re-elected for generations to come if May is allowed to deliver her disastrous Chequers proposal

        Having said that, it’s probably the only way we will get a complete clear out of all the socialist MPs currently calling themselves Conservative. Hopefully eventually we might have a Conservative party to vote for.

        • Hope
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          I suspect JR knows the ‘strange’ reason for not changing the remain Chequers proposal. Is it because it was shown and agreed with Merkel before Cabinet and parliament? Is this choreographed like Cameron’s I reformed EU lie? I will not pay the extra £1.7 billion deception and paid nearly twice the amount?

          When have any you asked May in Parliament whether it shown or agreed with Merkel before cabinet or Parliament? A journalist tried to ask Merkel, May intervened and stopped the question!

          Why did leave ministers allow themselves to be had over the Irish border at Christmas when May did one of her last minute capitulation deals? BJ wrote yesterday they were taken in by personal assurances that the Irish backstop would not be used. Who gave the personal assurances and why were they needed if never to be used? Are the leave ministers that stupid? Clearly those leave ministers in office will not get elected again as they are putting ambition and personal gain above national interest and public vote to leave the EU.

          Gove made himself look stupid saying a future PM could change the deal! Indeed, but most think to ratchet the way back into full blown EU! Also after making two treaty obligations what would the world think of the UK for reneging on two treaties! Barmier already dismissed Gove’s stupid comments. Who could deal with a country or person like that? Back stabbing Gove might need to reflect on his comments and conduct. he might think this sort of behaviour is acceptable, honourable people and countries do not. You could never do business on this premise.

          • hefner
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            Could it be that 48 Conservative MPs are required to trigger an internal Conservative election to change the PM, but 159 such votes would be required to define a final majority. The ERG is only ~80 strong.

        • Richard
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          We have been here before. In July: “Mrs May’s Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell floored Brexiteers by saying the Prime Minister is so convinced by her soft Brexit document that even if the Northern Ireland border was not an issue she would proceed and deliver it anyway.

          Mr Barwell said Mrs May did not view the Northern Irish border as a decisive factor in her negotiating with the bloc’s chief negotiator Michael Barnier”

        • Richard
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          But as May,Robbins, Barwell etc know, Chequers is not Brexit. The problem with Chequers is it effectively means not leaving the EU.

          Martin Howe QC’s legal opinion on the Chequers Fake Brexit: https://order-order.com/2018/07/07/explosive-brexiteer-legal-advice-demolishes-cabinets-plan/
          JRM: “The problem with Chequers is it means not leaving the EU” https://www.leavemeansleave.eu/media/jacob-rees-mogg-mp-problem-chequers-means-not-leaving-eu/

      • Stop the EU
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Hope “May has changed the labels and exchanged them in reality”

        In other words, Orwellian mind control tactics!!!

        • Hope
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Hef, I am aware of the numbers you cite. But the public is outraged and the MPs will realise their jobs are on the line for a dead horse May, forever!

          WTO was the only trade deal on the table when 17.4 million voted to leave the EU. May has delayed as much as possible and her punishment extension designed for more.

          Merkel states the U.K. Must suffer a little bit. I think the UK public will think (so what ed)! Leave now.

        • hefner
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          … and Gremlins under the bed …

    • David Price
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      What we need is less demand on the services you list and more money to improve them.

      Leaving the EU with its bad immigration management and exhorbitant club fees will be a very good start.

      • Andy
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        It is, of course, worth putting your ‘exhorbitant club fees’ claim in a rather more truthful context.

        EU membership fees cost the average Briton just over £1 per week. Less if you are poor or low rate taxpayer.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          EU membership costs a lot more than that when all is taken into account.

        • David Price
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          UK population is around 65m, at £1 per week your arithmetic works out at an annual cost of £3.38b (65m x 52 x 1) which is nowhere near the “polished” claimed number and excludes all the little extras.

          Even against the pretend number of 9b you are still a factor of 3 out, are you really a business man? I very much doubt it if you can’t do a simple test like that.

          However, last year the Bruges group estimated the true cost at nearer to £660m per week and so closer to £10 per head. An order of magnitude more than yours and likely still not including opportunity and indirect costs.

    • Nigel Seymour
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      When we leave the EU March 2019 then this will ,without any doubt, let us address many funding issues. We have been locked into the EU for 40 years and have progressively been drawn into a political union. A majority of voters decided in June 2016 that they no longer wanted to go down this route. Some are talking of a 2nd referendum (peoples vote?) The EU were very good at forcing countries to overturn their decisions i.e. Ireland and now they have come up against THIS GREAT BRITAIN who voted in the largest democratic act in our history…

      • hefner
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Have you ever wondered whether Britain is the Great one only because Brittany is the small one, this geographically speaking?

        • libertarian
          Posted September 20, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink


          No because the Great refers to the fact that this tiny little island has had the biggest effect in all kinds of ways on world history , we are still the 5th largest economy in the world ( despite the EU) and we sit in our own right on most international bodies

          The historic reason is James 1 used the term to refer to the independent countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as one block before the act of union

          The first recorded use of the name Britain is believed to have appeared within a periplus written in about 325 BC by the Greek geographer and explorer Pytheas of Massalia

          Reply Our country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  2. Nig l
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Why don’t you ask her?

    • Timaction
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Mr Redwood is a member of the Conservative Party that has a leader called Theresa May and a bunch of remainiacs who are hell bent on betraying the referendum by any means. It’s obvious that she and her team have colluded with the EU and others European leaders and the whole Project fear part 3 people, IMF, Foreign Office, Treasury, Carney etc etc to come up with the Chequers plan. Anyone knows staying in the EU rule book for goods and agri products is remaining in the EU without a say. What other independent Country in the world would agree such an arrangement? The Tory’s must go and call an election so we can elect Brexiteer candidates and reform the Lords to clear the Westmonster swamp!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      JR’s post highlights the problem. I’m wondering why the penny hasn’t quite dropped with so many Tory MPs who still don’t know which way to jump?

      Surely they can’t be so dense that they can’t see through Theresa May and her remainer manoeuvring and plotting?

      So what other explanation could there be for their lack of understanding?

      The answer is, the party is infused with weaklings and turncoats who will bend with the prevailing wind. All the time not realising they will ultimately be judged by the electorate – just look at the rubbish the party lost in the 1997 disaster, only to bring more of them on board and miss a golden opportunity to re-align itself with expectations.

      People voted Tory for a reason, because they believed their MPs were patriotic and wanted to uphold traditional Tory values. Those who now show themselves to be more of the liberal left and would have this country governed by a foreign political entity shouldn’t feel secure – May included!


      • Hope
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Lib Dems were the only one of the three English parties to be honourable on the point to remain in the EU. They got trounced at the ballot box. Labour and Conservative party lied to get elected. Over 80% of the public voted for the two main parties who stated they would leave the EU. both parties lied to their voters. Who would be stupid enough to vote for either?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink


        Interesting so many people on your site, are responding with what appears to be a growing anger at the May proposals, and the general failure, or lack of willingness of the Government to get a Proper and clean Brexit.

        Aware you are inviting comment, but are you aware of many other MP’s getting a similar response/feeling from the public.

        Reply Yes, its common I am told. The polling on Conservative Home shows 69% of Conservative members are against Chequers after receiving the PM’s letter urging them to like it.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          Then she deserves to go…………and very, very quickly before she and her kind can do any more damage with their cowardice and deceit.

          May must be on another planet not to realise the anger and resentment towards her and all the other treacherous Heath-ites down the years. The people really will be up in arms if we don’t get some positive leadership soon.

          The way is open for someone with courage and conviction to get the UK out of the EU, not make this country a laughing stock by bowing and scraping at every turn. Never have I seen this country so badly run, and I thought I had seen some breath-taking incompetence with Labour in the mid to late 70s!

          This is serious stuff, but she seems impervious to criticism and detached from reality.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      You would just get a silly answer that did not address the issue raised in any way and make no sense. This would be robotically delivered in her “remember I am talking to very dim 5 year old’s mode”.

      Something like:- If you are asking me ………(something you are not asking her at all) then I ….make….. no…….. apology….. for……. doing……. what……… the government (totally idiotically) think……. is in the UK’s ……….interests. Because (you silly little children) …… we ……. are ……. leaving ……. the EU ……. on 29th…… of March …….. next …… year. Which is not very ……long……. away.

      Next question please.

  3. Ian wragg
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Mrs May wants to remain in the EU full stop. The EU will only agree to the Irish solution providing Chequers is watered down even further.
    The EU are desperate for the Withdrawal Agreement and to be signed tying us permanently to Brussels.
    May is a downright traitor.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      Quite right, its plain for all to see, so the question is where are the Brexiteers who will stop her?

      • Ian wragg
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        Littlejohn has it spot on in todays Mail.
        Mays Chequers Agreement leaves us so aligned with the EU that in a couple of years they can seamlessly rejoin without a referendum.
        Euro and all. No opt outs.
        That woman is despicable.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Littlejohn is indeed exactly right. The country wants out, not some absurd, vassal state fudge that is even worse than in.

          For electoral, economic and Bresit reasons and to avoid Corbyn/SNP the despicable Appeaser May & tax to death Hammond must go.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Ian Wagg,

          I am really worried about your blood pressure?

          • Ian wragg
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            My blood pressure is 120/80 And pulse rate 61
            Early poster today Hans. Then again Brussels is one hour ahead of the UK.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            I think Ian states his case well and without the anger we often see from remain supporters who post on here.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted September 19, 2018 at 1:18 am | Permalink

            hans christian ivers

            Another inane. boorish and overly-patronizing comment…why do you bother to comment at all. Your comments rarely have worthwhile substance?

        • clear
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          She’s not despicable but just a puppet.
          Not everyone is woke.
          Personal attacks, justified or not, don’t help.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Not it seems Michael Gove, who lumbered us with May (by knifing Boris) and who has been a serial offender against the Brexit cause. Also now a climate alarmist green pushing VAT on school fees too.

        Let us hope there are enough on the sensible wing to stop May and replace her with a proper pro Brexit Conservative.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        “where are the Brexiteers who will stop her?”

        It seems they simply don’t have the numbers to stop her. There’s probably 60 at most true Brexiteers and they need roughly triple that amount to get rid of her so she knows she’s safe for now which is why she is appearing very smug of late and sticking her two fingers up to all of us who voted Brexit. Why they allowed her to become leader in the first place is the biggest mystery.

        60 out of 650 self serving MPs willing to deliver what we voted for. Scandalous.

        • Peter
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          Despite the understandable calls for May’s defenestration on this site and elsewhere it will not happen. The numbers are there for a challenge but not to guarantee unseating her. Failure would only reinforce her position for another year.

          However, there should be the numbers to defeat the Withdrawal Agreement and Leavers should concentrate on that. What happens after can be addressed in due course.

          • hefner
            Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            JoolsB, Peter, thanks for your bit of fresh air in this ever more nauseating (and uninformed) enclosed space.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed a dishonest traitor and she has idiotic regulate and tax to death economic policies (and is a huge electoral liability too). Get rid no one is taken in by her sycophantic interview, silly shoes and desperate panto performance on Panarama.

  4. Peter
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Can we all agree that the Withdrawal Agreement must be opposed now?

    The Gove/Leadsom position that it is now a good thing and anyway we can improve things later just does not convince.

    As the BBC admitted, May is now adopting an ‘Any Deal is better than WTO’ approach.

    Yesterday was a big propaganda day. Panorama showed a very friendly Nick Robinson sharing a car with Mrs. May. Yes, he put questions to her – but her glib answers went unchallenged. All very carefully put together -soft focus with the PM in less robotic mode relaxing with her husband. Robinson letting her off the hook probably improved his chances of further interviews at the expense of Marr who seemed to have a monopoly on interviewing the PM.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Should have put Andrew Neil in to do the job – she wouldn’t have been so smug then!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        May would never dare to be interviewed by someone competent like Andrew Neil.

  5. Helena
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    It is simply false to say the EU has agreed that technology can solve the problem. It is false to say technology can solve the problem, full stop. There is not a single border anywhere in the world which is policed only by “technology” – except in the EU. Mr Redwood, your panic about how badly the UK is doing seems to be increasing!

    • Richard1
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      There are historic border posts but many countries are moving to 100% technology based border controls for customs etc. Switzerland is a close example. The whole issue is a ruse designed to prevent a sensible comprehensive FTA for the UK. What’s coming out of all this is you might or might not want political union with the EU 27 countries – many, perhaps including you, do want that – but you don’t need it for seemless free trade.

      • Andy
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Switzerland does not have frictionless borders with the EU. There are queues of lorries at the main crossings, paperwork is involved and some are checked. By border standards it is efficient but it blatantly untrue to claim it is frictionless.

        Reply Not worse than the traffic jams on many European roads which do not prevent just in time systems

        • Andy
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Ah. So you accept Switzerland has friction at its borders? Now you are correct. That friction is not necessarily very great. But the point is that currently there is no bureaucratic friction at the UK/ EU border and after Brexit there will be. Whatever solution you come up with your Brexit makes it worse. That might be a price people want to pay. But it would help if Brexiteers were honest and at least admitted that the price exists.

          Incidentally, I drive pretty extensively across Europe and – with the exception of the Périphérique – it is usually quite difficult to find a significant traffic jam. Sure, it can get a bit clogged up around the big cities, but unless you hit an accident your journey is usually pretty smooth.

          Until you get back to the UK of course. Here decades of under-investment by parties of both colours – though particularly the Tories – have left our main roads in a sorry state. Indeed, whenever I drive abroad – no matter how far I’ve been nor for how long -the worst bit of the entire journey is almost invariably the bit between Dover and Heathrow.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 20, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink


            Traffic jams are NOT an indication of a lack of working technology at border crossings. The ENTIRE reason that the EU enjoys frictionless goods transit is BECAUSE of the technology , without it then trucks would have to be stopped at every border

            You really are clueless, you have clearly never owned a business

            Oh and I’ve been stuck in traffic jams in Belgium and France many times , nowhere near borders

          • David Price
            Posted September 21, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            From Die Welt 23rd January this year …

            “German traffic jams piled on misery for drivers in 2017 ..

            German automobile club ADAC has published figures on traffic jams for 2017 showing an average of 4,000 kilometers of jams on the country’s roads every day. And the problem for drivers looks set to worsen further still.”

        • Richard1
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          I have crossed the Swiss-French border many times. There are rural crossing points with no checks at all – just a sign. The main crossing at Geneva sometimes has 5-10mins delays, no worse than a peage & the point is the commercial customs checks are all going automated. This is a non-issue.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          Never been in a queue there in perhaps 100 crossings. Always waved through, last time even without the compulsory carnet 😕 (what a good idea for UK).
          Try turning off early before Vallorbe, crossing the border in the country, and you won’t see any border posts at all.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I’m certainly in a panic about how badly your Remainer politicains are doing in negotiating any sort of deal with the EU – time to let a Leaver have a go for a change. If the EU wants to put up a hard border in Ireland let them do it.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Project Fear via Facebook again, Helena? This is about far more than trade. Perhaps you could comment on those other things instead of attempting to denigrate our host.

      Even if the UK were ”doing badly” at present (which of course it isn’t) it certainly wouldn’t be for long with several billion pounds to spend on itself and its own!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      European Parliament document –

      Smart Border 2.0
      Avoiding a hard border on the island of
      Ireland for Customs control and the free
      movement of persons


      Next objection Helena…

    • Butties
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Helena you are wrong. EU study confirmed no hard border necessary and use of technology works (way back last November see http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2017)596828) Please keep up.

  6. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    How much evidence has to be produced to prove that May is a devious trickster who has all along been bent on keeping us as closely tied the EU as possible? And yet the likes of JRM and DD say she is a great leader and they just want get to change her Brexit approach.

    If I were sold a dud car from dodgy dealer I wouldn’t say he was a good person, that it was only a problem car and keep going back.

    It’s all rather sickening and we are left feeling that no MPs have any integrity or honour. They seem happy to be played for fools and ask for more.

  7. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I actually believe that the EU is helping Mrs May (by extension the UK) to change her/its view (into a 21 month Norway-like option, to give time for arranging a Canada like FTA)
    If that wouldn’t hold the Tory party together, so be it.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      If that was the result it would be excellent both for the EU and the U.K. and we could all calm down. Unfortunately the ruse of the N Ireland border is being used to try to keep the U.K. as a quasi-economic colony. It’s not a far sighted policy by the EU even if they do ‘win’ the negotiation against the hapless Mrs May, as it’s clear such an arrangement isn’t sustainable for an independent democracy of 65m people.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: Norway option for UK only 21 months, Canada + FTA would be sustainable. Business would only have to adapt one time (after 21 months).
        If Not. Ireland not solvable, remember that the DUP only represent 28% of N. I. voters. So why not call a new general election sometime during 2021 in case there will not be a technically acceptable solution?

      • David Price
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Which is the key point. The EU gain nothing if they try to achieve an eternally punishing relationship via Mrs May as it would not stand and they will lose. The EU is asinine to even demand an unchangeable agreement.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      If we took the Norway route that would become the final destination.
      Half in half out. Not what we voted for.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        @Ian wragg: why not stipulate in the withdrawal agreement that “Norway” ends in 21months, just like art. 50 gives a hard date?

        • David Price
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Because it gives the EU 21 months of money while we have no say at all and they can delay our seeking trade agreements. There is no benefit of such an arrangement to us.

          The EU will have had 2 years and squandered the first 18 months trying to screw unjustified payments from us.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 19, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            @David Price:
            “The EU will have had 2 years and squandered the first 18 months trying to screw unjustified payments from us.”

            I’m afraid your confusing UK with EU. The EU has been unified, clear and ready from the start, respecting the UK-expressed red lines. The UK has spent all this time trying to unify internally (no success as yet) and keeps trying to ignore the EU red lines (integrity of the Single Market). Since the preliminary agreement last December (including the settling of financial commitments), the UK has been mainly absent in Brussels, too busy with itself.

          • David Price
            Posted September 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            The EU squandered the first 18 months – after all they dictated the sequencing quite arbitrarily.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          That sounds too hard for Mme May to understand. She would give one of those frowns and say with a lopsided mouth it’s not what we voted for.

      • Andy
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Not what you voted for, perhaps. Plenty of Leavers did vote for Norway style deal – and why does your view count for more than theirs? It doesn’t of course, except that you shout louder and expect people to listen – where as, actually, we just ignore you.

        Reply You do not ignore me but come here every day to peddle your misleading nonsense. Please feel free to give the site a miss if you cannot ever think of anything positive or polite to say.The official Leave campaign stood for leaving the single market and customs union, and the official remain campaign said we would have to leave both is we left the EU. The Norway option entails EU type commitments we voted against.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply: Mr Redwood, this must have been quite confusing for many ordinary voters!
          Just search for “norway in leave campaign” in youtube and you’ll see some very influential brexiteers making the Norway case. People in their voting/referendum boots remember these statements, whatever the “official” line.

        • L Jones
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Andy – how on EARTH do you know that ”plenty of Leavers did vote for Norway style deal”(sic)

          I’m with Dr Redwood here – you seem to be wasting your time spouting rubbish continually. You are so typical of Remainders generally – you simply cannot comment without working in an insult or two, veiled or blatant.

        • Helen Smith
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          I most certainly DID vote to leave the SM and CU, and the CFP and CAP and the ECJ to boot.

  8. oldwulf
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is proposing to betray the 17.4m majority who voted “leave”. Why does she think she can get away with that ?

    • Chris
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      She can get away with it as Tory MPs are apparently comfortable with betraying the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU i.e. they are not prepared to remove Theresa May and install a Brexiter leader. It really is as simple as that.

    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    How long do we have to tolerate the intolerable that is May?

    I have no idea who this woman is, what she is and what she stands for.

    With May in charge the UK will not be leaving the EU. Indeed with May in charge I would argue our involvement will become greater and greater.

    We want her gone even if that means a GE

    • Timaction
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Get rid of the Tory’s and elect Brexiteers in every Constituency where a false remainiac is sitting! Soubery, Grieve ect! Then reduce and reform the Lords to represent the people NOT the elite politicos!

      • Helen Smith
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Instead May went out of her way to promote Remainers as Parliamentary candidates and point blank refused to appoint Leave supporters to the Lords to balance out the Remainers there.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Has anyone – anyone – actually read the “State of the Union” speech which M. Juncker gave to the EU Parliament?
    Has anyone – anyone – even heard of the “Advice to Stakeholders”?
    Has anyone actually opened the “EEA Agreement”?

    The Irish border question is insoluble outside the EEA. Seamless trade within Ireland, North and South, depends on power belonging to the EEA, above national governments. It depends on EEA approved inspectors authorising Approved Operators to trade within the EEA. There is no way (outside Efta) that the EEA – or the EU for that matter – can break this arrangement.

    Which is why there is going to be a Conference on the day after Brexit (30/3/19) in Romania where no doubt M. Juncker’s sciatica is going to get much worse.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      “The Irish border question is insoluble outside the EEA.”

      How long will it take for you to notice that the Irish government has rejected out of hand the idea of a “light touch” customs border like that between Sweden (in the EU and EEA) and Norway (in the EU and EFTA)?

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    John there is already a hard border between the UK and France, went through it twice in the last month.

    Passports checked and car stopped for a random search on the way out at Dover

    Passports checked twice at Calais (French Check and Uk Check) on the way back, with some vehicles in front of us also being searched.

    Do not understand why northern Ireland should be a problem its simply politics again.

    • Stred
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      There’s one between France and Italy and Spain. Long queues on the autoroute.

  12. Turboterrier.
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Good post today John.

    But what is of a bigger concern is: When are all the leavers in Westminster going to get together and write an open letter to the press, highlighting the total betrayal of its charter in providing neutral, unbiased broadcasting on political matters especially that which is being churned out 24/7 by the BBC.

    It is not politicians even the government that is controlling or leading the arguments it is the BBC. Totally unfit for purpose and well past its sell by date. When is this publicly funded fifth column going to be bought to task at worse or at best shut down?

    • Bob
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      R4 have a slot where they answer FAQs about Brexit, such as “why do we need a deal, why can’t we just leave?”. A trio of BBC’s “specialist journalists” answer the questions.

      All one sided as you would expect. “If the pound falls imported goods will be more expensive” > No mention of the corresponding boost to British exports.

      This is why I refuse to pay the BBC tax.

      • Stred
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        BBC tv had an expert on this morning answering a question on whether we would still be able to buy duty free. She said it would not be possible after leaving. In fact, at present we are not allowed to buy duty free in airports when travelling within the EU. When in Copenhagen last year, I was refused permission to buy duty free Scotch but a gentleman from somewhere East was allowed 3 bottles.

  13. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    May and the EU are working together to get their already agreed plan approved by all sides. This latest comment from them is just part of their orchestrated plan to get the deal approved. It will be presented at the last minute at the end of the year, take it or leave it, and there aren’t enough no-deal votes in parliament to stop it. As you and most of the rest of the Conservative MPs keep telling us you are perfectly happy to leave May as PM you are presumably also happy to have her work behind your backs in this way.

    Reply Your words, not mine. My views are as set out on this website.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      Actions speak louder than words Dr Redwood.
      We are being screwed over by May but no one is prepared to challenge her.

    • Chris
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: words alone will not solve the Brexit betrayal problem as you must be well aware, Mr Redwood. It does not satisfy those who are being betrayed for Brexiter MPs simply to say that Chequers is wrong, and thereby apparently absolve themselves of the responsibility for actually blocking the massive betrayal of the Brexit voters. Radical action is required, but apparently Brexiter MPs say they still support May. The fact that May and Robbins apparently worked covertly and dishonestly to produce another EU exit plan and completely humiliate the chief Brexiter MP in cabinet seems not to bother Tory MPs. They seem to think that we will forget the duplicity and utter betrayal. Voters are not stupid.

      Reply I am saying we will seek to vote down Chequers in the unlikely event that she sticks with it and the EU agrees it.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply. That will not be enough John. If there aren’t enough MP’s willing to vote this crap deal down then it is a done deal and one that none of us voted for. Other comments are right on this blog. Surely there are enough of you to see how lousy May is and what she is doing to the name of the Conservative party? Have none got any back bone? It seems the only great leader in recent times was got rid of in a flash and yet this useless PM is still here. Nothing makes any sense and the betrayal of democracy and the people of this country is second to none.

        reply How can you say Conservative Eurosceptics lack backbone given all we have had to do and say to get this far?

        • Nigel Seymour
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Our MP’s are at liberty to vote as they feel fit. Deal/No Deal. I don’t see TM departing under any circumstances prior to March 2019…

          So, My prediction is that Art50 will not come into force and simply be extended. That being the case, then this will once again give the EU the power to humiliate us and ensure we remain part of the EU political project. It will be a sad sad day come 11.00pm 29 March 2019

          • Bob
            Posted September 19, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            ” It will be a sad sad day come 11.00pm 29 March 2019″

            and the people who trusted the Tories to honour the Referendum vote will wish they had voted ukip.

        • Chris
          Posted September 19, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply: Mr Redwood, if you haven’t read them already, I suggest you read the comments to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s article in the D Tel today.

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    John, just face facts, our UK negotiation team have been useless, they started off on the wrong foot, and have played hop, skip, and jump at the request of the EU ever since.
    I simply do not see Mrs May changing now.

    Time is now moving on, so your/our options are closing in.

    The big mistake was not to have WTO terms as the backstop, and negotiate hard with that point in mind.

    What we have now is the worst of both Worlds, and May will certainly not get anything better than what she has asked for.

    Be prepared for decades of argument and conflict because of this complicated fudge.

    Reply WTO departure is what we have legislated for so far. If they want to do some kind of deal it will require new primary legislation from a Parliament that is very divided about any kind of deal, and running out of time to pass anything new before 29 March when we leave.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Reply – Reply

      If WTO is the actual legislative backstop, why are so many politicians still talking about no deal means no trade, complete chaos, cliff edges, crashing out, etc etc. with no one pointing out their errors and highlighting most countries around the World including the EU trade on such terms.

      Why if WTO is the legal backstop, why is Mrs May and all her cabinet trying to sign us up a deal which is significantly worse.
      Are they all really that dim !

      Why if WTO is the legal backstop have no proposed tariffs be published, so at least businesses know what the default position will be.

      Seems to me like most of our politicians still do not have a clue what is going on, what is being proposed, what the alternatives are, or they are simply deliberately lying.

      Its been a bloody farce so far !

      Thank you for your efforts, please keep up the pressure as it would seem letters from the public to Ministers and those in senior positions in the Conservative Party, are simply being ignored.
      Afraid yYur Party will end up paying a heavy price for such arrogance.

      Reply I have lost count of the number of times I have written spoken and said those things in media interviews.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply. Trouble is John people like yourself are never invited onto day time popular programmes that most of the country watch either by design or accident. You seem to be on the more obscure programmes that only people interested in politics (biased politics on the BBC) watch. We need more from you, Boris and others who can refute all the claims being made by remainers and the media. Even Farage doesn’t get much of a look in and yet so far he has been right on every count.

      • Stred
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        The 60 need to resign and start a Conservative for Independence party and offer support with the Ulster MPs providing we change to the package they will back. Otherwise May will fiddle Brino through with her usual dishonest tactics. The honest MPs will survive the election and a proper Conservative party will too. You have to clean out the liberal/socialist infiltrators.

        Reply We will not be doing that. That would then require a General election, which we do not need. The electorate made their views very clear on Brexit in 2017 by rejecting the Lib Dems/SNP approach and we need to get on with it.

        • Chris
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Many people and politicians are claiming that the reduced vote for the Conservatives in the last election was a verdict on May apparently planning to effect Brexit. Even although that is not true, it is believed by many.

          T May was extremely naïve to almost ignore Brexit in her campaigning and instead produce a ridiculous vote losing manifesto (apparently drafted by Timothy and Hill) which embraced more taxes and a left of centre agenda.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          But we do need another election to clear the Westmonster swamp of lying deceitful MP’s who promised Brexit and all its EU’s tentacles and then offer us Chequers vassal state proposal. The claim it delivers the referendum promise is just a blatant lie and shows the levels politicians have sunk. Remove May or call an election

        • Stred
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Why would it require an election if the new party offered to support the government like the Ulster MPs?

          Reply Whats the point of forming a new party if it goes back on the Conservative whip?

          • Stred
            Posted September 19, 2018 at 3:57 am | Permalink

            Because you ignore the whip if the policies are not agreed ie real Brexit. Then take on real Bexit candidates for the next election.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        Are they all really that dim !

        It would appear so at the present state of play

    • Peter
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      “Reply WTO departure is what we have legislated for so far. If they want to do some kind of deal it will require new primary legislation from a Parliament that is very divided about any kind of deal, and running out of time to pass anything new before 29 March when we leave.”

      I am very glad to hear that.

      With Mrs. May I always fear she will try to pull some stroke at the last minute.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to JR’s Reply,
      ‘ running out of time to pass anything new before 29 March…’ I was wondering if delaying tactics really can be the ‘best’ (least worst) strategy to get us fully out on 29 March? Do not approve any new legislation concerning Brexit until after 1st April, and then see where the cards fall. Really..?

    • Bob
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      ” it will require new primary legislation from a Parliament that is very divided about any kind of deal”

      and there lies the problem, so many of our MPs are of the bureaucratic big state Nanny knows best mindset and have no experience of the world outside of politics, and of the EU.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Re “What is strange” its not strange at all, she and her cabal are all remainers, and they are determined to deliver as close to remain as possible while being able to spin it as leave.

    Its that simple.

    May must go. I for one am tired of her lies (about immigration, police stop and search, knife crime, schools, healthcare, and yes Brexit)

    Please main parties sort out your candidate selection processes to get more real world experience and a more normal cross section of views into the candidate lists. Otherwise there is going to be growing disgust at out supposed democracy.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      May must go. I for one am tired of her lies (about immigration, police stop and search, knife crime, schools, healthcare, and yes Brexit)

      Iain the general perception would be that you are not alone on that one

  16. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious that May and co want to stay in. That was her preferred option from the very start. Why have we got a remainiac in charge?

    Well, our fears were confirmed this morning by Katya Adler talking on BBC Breakfast time. She is in Brussels and admitted openly that Barnier is speaking on behalf of all 27 nations. This is just why we want out. We do not want someone else speaking on our behalf. We want to make our own decisions and pass our own regulations and laws. We don’t need some half wit in Brussels telling us what we can and cant do and this is what has been happening for years. Farage has got it right as usual. We are not in charge of our own destiny. If I hear one more negative from the BBC about Brexit I may need a new TV. Can they not find one positive?? The brainwashing is disgusting and its about time some MP’s said openly that the BBC is not sticking to their mandate of neutral reporting.

  17. Stred
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Electronic customs is a Commission project designed to enhance security at the external border. Re. Europa

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

    John, I have been checking into this site for over a year now. I have never had a problem but this morning whether I use Google or Google Chrome I cannot get today’s post up without having to start from page 4 and move forwards. When I went to enter my post it said I wasn’t recognised and had to manually put in my email address and name. Very strange. I cannot even access it by typing in the full internet address. Has anyone else got a problem?

    • sm
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I use Google Chrome and have never had a problem. Have you cleared your Search history recently?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Sm and Cynic. Yes, I have cleared my files recently but I am still having problems getting onto the site on the home page for today. It keeps taking me back a few weeks. Never mind, will just have to hope it resolves itself.

    • Cynic
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I had the same problem, but using Yahoo solved it.

  19. Richard1
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Hammond is of the Osborne school who thinks any deal is better than no deal. If that’s the case he should resign, as the policy of the government – just – is to negotiate with the option of walking away if there isn’t a good deal.

    I think it’s likely there will be costs and disruption to leaving, especially with no deal. But the advantages are: saving £12bn pa in contributions (& not paying the £39bn of course); out of the CAP and CFP both of which are unmitigated negatives; an ability to cut tariffs and cut an independent trade policy; an ability to get out of the worst EU regs such as those suppressing shale gas fracking and GM crops. Together with a more robust free market policy in the U.K. & cuts in silly expenditure like HS2 and overseas aid we could have a real boost on offer to voters by the 22 election.

    Would need to get rid of Mrs May for all that though.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    As you say “The authorities only need to do a few random inspections to keep the system honest, or to inspect where there is evidence of possible fraud, as they do today whilst we are still in the EU.” This is how most things now work hardly rocket science.

    Exactly so why is May ploughing on with Checkers? She just must be a total idiot one assumes. This is supported by nearly every other policy she supports and her retention of Hammond. What other explanations are there?

    Policies such as the attacks on the gig economy. landlords, tenants, hard workers, people buying houses, people with saving, people who move, her silly gender pay gap drivel, her pretence over control of immigration, her bloated government knows best agenda, the huge over taxation and over complex taxation, her criminal justice agenda, her police (who have essentially given up on most real crimes), the appalling NHS which is killing thousands, the bonkers climate alarmism, HS2, Hinckley C ……

    Over HS2 it seems that over 50% of people are having properties stolen off them without even getting prompt or correct compensation. This is appalling behaviour authorised and allowed to continue under her government.

  21. Mark B
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    A very well crafted argument as to why the Irish border question is just used as an excuse for the UK Government to deliver Soft Remain.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Nail on head. Always a contrived excuse by a treacherous underhanded Prime Minister on the side of the EU and must go!

  22. Newmania
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    By the way I am yet to hear why it is that if we drop out into chaos we suddenly do not owe money we previously owed . I notice no-one in government is suggesting anything of the sort which makes me wonder if this is really a big load of lies invented by John Redwood to dupe the hard of thinking .

    • Richard1
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      It is clear the £39bn leaving bung is conditional on a withdrawal deal. Some small part of that might be legally owed even without such a deal – but that will be a matter for resolution post-Brexit.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Because the EU have told us “nothing is agreed till everything is agreed”.

      Next question ?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Clearly our economy will be worthless, so what’s the point of the EU asking for £39 billion which we won’t be able to pay?

    • L Jones
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Typical Remainder comment, Newmania. ”Work in an insult if you possibly can” sort of thing.
      Many times our host has commented on this money we do not actually owe, as have many in Government. Others have commented on the money that the EU owes the UK.
      ”Hard of hearing”, Newmania? Or is it selective deafness on your part?

      • L Jones
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        I always wanted to believe that Mrs May was playing the ‘long game’ and that she’d suddenly amaze us all by her acuity and far-sightedness. And that, of course, this long game would be to the benefit of her country.

        Unfortunately, it seems that she has been playing this game, but for the benefit of the EU, so that they can display all these ”difficulties” and shenanigans as a warning to the others that they’d better not try to escape, or they’ll suffer.

        However, so long as it results in our actually escaping next year, who cares?

      • Newmania
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        This money is due as we entered into agreements that we would pay it and we benefited form not paying for programmes we have not agreed to when we joined.
        Thats the way it works as we very well knew

        Of course it is unlikely anyone will invade but the sort of animosity that would spark does not bear thinking about and it would be 100% our fault .
        This £39 bn was not mentioned by anyone during the referendum what Redwood is doing is what useless builders do when they muck something up
        ” Make it a feature”

        reply Untrue

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          John Redwood wasn’t actually the builder contracted to do this job.

          We all know who the cowboys were though.

        • acorn
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          We do owe the money and some continental number crunchers reckon it is a lot higher than a net £39 bn.

          But; there appears to be no mechanism to extract the money from the UK, if a “no-deal” pertains. Article 50 does not contain a “send in the Bailiffs” clause or infer any sub clause or protocol that could be used.

    • John Finn
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Let’s suppose a country like say, Ireland, was leaving the EU. How much would they owe?

      The only thing John Redwood can’t be sure of is what idiotic agreement Theresa May might have signed up to in order to make progress last December. If the UK had simply made it clear that we were leaving on March 29th 2019 and that any EU payments would cease at that date that would have been the end of the matter.

    • sm
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      As always, another bucketload of smug, blinkered pomposity from Hysteria.

    • gregL
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Newmania- It’s not so much that Jr says the money will be there to spend..but where is this money now? is it actually there on standby waiting or will we have to borrow it or raise more taxes- before we can spend it? just like a broken record JR’s nonsense goes round and around

      Reply The government is in surplus on current account now, so the money will come from taxes

    • agricola
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      There are institutions within the EU, for want of a better description, to which we may owe money up to our date of departure. Call it our mess bill. We should not consider paying for anything once we have left The EU have had a good two years to adjust their spending to a level that does not include the UK. This does not include the Withdrawal Agreement sum which I see as a goodwill gesture to minimise the effect of our departure in exchange for a free trade deal on goods and services. JR has neither lied to nor duped anyone. No deal no WA money from the UK.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Do pay attention Newmania. John has repeatedly said there is no legal basis for such a payment and recently Dominic Raab also said we may have to pay a small amount but don’t legally owe £39b. Why are you so intent on paying others money we don’t actually owe? Do you want to see the UK go under? Go and live in the EU if you love it so much.

  23. agricola
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The IMF sells the story for the result they wish to achieve. My advice would be to ignore them along with the governor of the BoE, Hammond and the Treasury. Let the remainers feed on their mothers milk, there being little else for them.

    That the PM is, and has been dishonest throughout the Brexit process is beyond doubt. Either bring her to heel or vote her down when she eventually presents Chequers version “X”. Going to WTO rules and no Withdrawal Agreement is financially good for us.

    £39 Billion we need not pay for the WA.
    £7 Billion PA we gain in duty payments from the EU for as long as trade remains the same.

    The PM has constructively led us into a trap of believing that her solution is the only one. If you look at the time wasted it has been a deliberate ploy on her part for which she should be condemned.

    • NHSGP
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      How many nurses get sacked to pay the 100 bn the EU demands?

      What’s the cause? Their criminal incompetence in spending their pension contributions and not investing them.

      Given that under the EIOPA insurance rules, Junker signs off every month on his predictions in 150 years time he isn’t ignorant on insurance and pensions.

      That the EU failed to follow their own rules and spent the money should teach them a lesson.

      No bailout

      No mass sacking of Nurses to bail Eurocrats out of their incompetence.

  24. Peter
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Barnier’s latest wheeze is to lock us into a terrible deal once it is conceded.

    So Gove would be powerless to improve it at a later date.

    Vague words and delay seem to be what May hopes will get her agreement approved in parliament.

    It needs to be vigorously opposed and defeated. No withdrawal agreement. We can address other issues later.

    • MickN
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Gove only says that a future PM could change the deal. That could just as easily be to take us back in as to extricate ourselves further. For the record Mr Gove is my MP who I have voted for enthusiastically on more than one occasion. Not any more. I actually thought he was a breath of fresh air when he was education secretary but since that I have no idea what he believes any more. I do know that if he had not stabbed Boris in the back we would be leaving the dreaded EU properly instead of being sold down the river. His capitulation over Chequers is the final straw for me. There is no one that I can vote for. No-one is speaking for me. You Sir are a noticeable exception, but I will not be moving to Wokingham.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        MickN. Hurray, I am soon to leave Scotland and move to Shropshire where I can vote for Owen Paterson. Much better than the useless lot in Scotland.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Forgot to add that only if the Conservative party get rid of May and start real Brexit talks. If not then it will be UKIP

    • roger
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      In the event Gove , should he be so lucky as to be re elected, will be sitting on the opposition benches with the rump of the Conservative party for company.
      That would have the additional benefit of removing his green nonsense and in particular his obsession with all cars being electric by 2040 despite the physical barriers which science has yet to overcome.

  25. Andy
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    There is, of course, a solution which involves completely seemless borders for goods – and for people on the island of Ireland. But which also has strict controls on people coming into the rest of the UK. This solution requires no Tory red tape, no new immigration lanes at airports. The M20 will not need to be turned into a lorry park. Planes and trains will still run. Business will have what they want and need and NHS patients will get their drugs, which won’t have to be stockpiled.

    This solution, which is clearly now the will of the people is called EU membership.

    Perhaps when the Tory pensioners are done with what Mr Cable calls their erotic spasm we can get our country back.

    Incidentally, I notice that Mr Jenkin knows more about running Jaguar Land Rover Jan the boss of Jaguar Land Rover. Mr Duncan Smith appears to know more about the Irish border than anyone else alive, and both Ms Dorries and Mr Bridgen know everything about everything. Why are these people not running the country?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Perhaps when the Tory pensioners are done with what Mr Cable calls their erotic spasm we can get our country back.

      The irony!

    • MPC
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      You do seem to be rather like the ‘Tory pensioners’ you so despise given the amount of time you spend on Mr Redwood’s site. Perhaps you are a secret admirer of his work despite your innate pessimism about post-Brexit Britain.

      Seriously though, stereotyping of Leavers in the way you enjoy is inaccurate and simplistic. I work, am not a Tory or a pensioner and took an active part in the referendum campaign (did you?). In the campaign I was part of a large group where in all but one of the activities (leafleting, street stalls etc) young people outnumbered older people – none of whom were pensioners. So if you think Brexit is a travesty for young people perhaps you should ask why so many chose not to vote rather than lazily label the Leave majority of all ages that did.

    • Beecee
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I am glad they do because thy knows nowt!

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      300,000 new arrivals a year is not strict control of people.

      This was no spasm. It was ten years in the making and the warnings were ignored time and again.

      Still you try to ignore them by saying “Oh just don’t take any notice of Brexit voters. They’re just silly old people.”

      I gave up every single one of my dreams to provide for my children and that included casual sex, as it happens (re ‘erotic spasms.’)

      What is it with Remainers and rudeness ? We had Soubry talking about ‘fingers up bottoms’, Cameron about ‘fruitcakes and loons’, Cable about ‘erotic spasms’ and endless examples of rudeness from you and Newmania on these pages. Much of it predates the referendum and contributed to its outcome.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Andy – you managed to get more than one insult in there! Really, you silly, shallow, self-serving, ill-informed Remainders do take the biscuit.

      Just for once try to make a comment without sneering or searching Facebook for a few nouns and adjectives you haven’t tried before. You might find you like the exercise it gives your brain.

  26. Graham Wood
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I wonder if other contributors to this blog share my contempt for the idea that the British taxpayer should be imposed on as part of our extrication from the EU?
    JR. More than once you have made the point about the anachronism of paying such a huge amount – for what?
    There is a simple answer to such an extortion racket, Just as there is collective cabinet responsibility so there is collective parliamentary responsibility.

    If our parliament at any stage sanctions the extortion of £39 Billion from the British taxpayer passed off as a EU departure bill, then in turn the electorate should immediately set in motion a move to levy a compensating financial return for the taxpayer from government in the form of an annual levy on every MP and member of the House of Lords, until the sum of £39 Billion runs its course.
    MPs vote for it then MPs should pay for it given that the electorate has not given a mandate to government to arbitrarily pay this sum, when at the same time so many needy public services are still starved of money and resources..
    Time we revived the simple principle ‘no taxation without representation’

    • Andy
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      If you voted for Brexit then you voted for the £39bn bill. Thought he, actually hat is just part of the cost – it will ultimately be much more.

      If you feel contempt towards something you voted for you should feel sympathy for those of us who not only did not vote for it, but who told you all along that it was a dumb idea. Why should we pay for your folly?

      Reply We do not owe them money after we have left and we do not have to sign a Withdrawal Agreement to leave

      • L Jones
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Andy might spend a little of his valuable time telling us what is so admirable about the EU and describing that great, golden, glorious future we’ve forfeited by voting to shake off its shackles.

        (Yes, I know I’ve asked before – but one lives in hope that he might one day talk some sense.)

  27. ian
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It is clear now that the UK will be using technology and check away from the borders on the UK side, it not so clear what the EU will be using.

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    It is increasingly down to our MPs to save our sovereignty. It is highly concerning that so many Eurosceptic labelled Cabinet Ministers are still in situ – time to walk. More Labour MPs shunned Corby in his fantasies. It is time Mrs. May was allowed to do her own shopping.

  29. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Philip Hammond has rejected leaving EU on WTO terms (what Remainers like him call ‘no deal’) therby undermining the government’s negotiating position and encouraging the EU to offer the worst possible terms. If this isn’t a sacking offence what is? Perhaps just like ignoring the solution to the problem that created the need for the ‘Chequers deal’ Mrs May is happy to say one thing and do another. She has lost all trust with her duplicity. Your upcoming party conference needs to see her gone.

  30. hefner
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    An interesting take by Robert Shrimsley in today’s FT: Are the Brexiters the biggest threat to Brexit? Worth reading, specially by the “nuff said” and similar contributors.

  31. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    “What is strange is the PM is ploughing on with her very unpopular Chequers proposals”

    What is even stranger is why she is there at all. Looking at her TV performance last night, it’s clear that, unlike her husband, she knows the difference between a dahlia and a geranium. Being able to dissect her civil servants’ proposals for us leaving the EU into the good and bad bits is, however, clearly outside her scope. She seems to revel in the power/responsibility but can’t properly exercise it by analytical thinking.

  32. NHSGP
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Offer free trade in goods services and capital.

    If the EU rejects it then its screwing Ireland, not the the UK.

  33. Oggy
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    It is now plain to see that Mrs Mays objective from the start was to deceive the electorate into thinking she would deliver a proper Brexit. Working behind the scenes to collaborate with a foreign power to hoodwink her own country is plain and simple treachery.

    The EU loving establishment dont want Brexit but neither do they want Corbyn. It’s simple really – If we don’t Get the Brexit we voted for the establishment will get Corbyn at the next GE by way of a thank you, and The Tories will be consigned to history.

  34. English Pensioner
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “Chequers proposals” makes them sound as if they were produced by a group which reached a consensus on the subject. As it seems that no-one likes them except the originator, shouldn’t they be re-named as “The May proposals”, which is what they are.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      The Merkel/May proposals. After all the traitorous May went to Germany to get them approved before they saw the light of day here.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        The Prangwizard

        You may be absolutely spot on with that one.

        Its dead in the water if that can be proved and it comes out into the public domain !

  35. ian
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    All no agreement means is that the two sides at this time cannot agree to the signing a withdrawal agreement which is the right thing to do at this time, you never second guess a withdrawal agreement between both sides of what you think might happen and might not happen because you do not really know.

    It better to leave first with a view to seeing what the problem are and then signing a withdrawal agreement if one is needed once you know what is needed, in my opinion, you cannot second think it, has to be in life play to get it right.

    The UK will be talking with the EU for years to come and the EU to the UK as two administration that looks after multiple countries under their parliaments and both allow countries to join or leave by way of referendums.

    I see no problems that cannot be solved if both sides want to be friendly and agreeable as the process unfolds in real life without an agreement.

    Businesses who export to the EU will be able to sort out the problems as far as they can and let the government know what problems they are having and what they might need in a withdrawal agreement if one is needed if the gov cannot sort it out for them without agreement or help with tariffs or getting their food and goods out of the UK on time into the EU, bring food and goods into the UK should not be a problem and should be the same as now or as the gov wants them.

    Remember the UK government with MPs will making the laws and rules after March next year and will able vote though anything they want, as for the IMF I would asking for your money back from them and not send any more unfounded economically plans for the UK to follow in future.

  36. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    “Betrayal Brexit”…aka the Chequers Deal…is political suicide for the Tory Party.

    My own MP is a firm supporter of Betrayal Brexit and has lost my support.

  37. DUNCAN
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    It seems that the victors of the EU referenda are fighting a war on two fronts. A war against a German political state that is determined to keep the UK shackled and a war against a British political class determined to subjugate the very nation they are meant to serve.

    Which politician can break the grip of these two forces that appear determined to clip our economic wings?


    With the treacherous May in charge the UK will face a future of political and fiscal servitude. This person makes my flesh crawl. Her duplicity and mendacity is off the scale.

  38. ian
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t like the new immigration policy that suggests that English people are only good for low paying jobs and cannot be trained to do the top jobs in the country, the gov and companies are trying to get away again by not training English people for the best jobs in this country and earning the best money this country has to offer, It seems that only overseas people can do the top jobs which suggest the gov and MPs are saying that the English people are too thick for anything but being slaves to them and other people coming into England, anybody suggesting thing like that should not be allowed to seat in parliament, the people should throw them out of parliament for even suggesting such a thing.

  39. Mick
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    We still keep getting bombarded by the remoaners about a people’s vote, muppets it’s not going to happen we’ve had three all ready, the last vote was last year when the labour/conservatives manifestos stated the commitment to leaving and the libs got cut to the bone, and as for a extension of artificial 50 that to isn’t going to happen either because of the European elections next May 2019 when the British seats are up for begging by the rest of Europe, then there’s the tale that Mrs May use to spin that no deal is better than a bad deal , so be it let’s not have a deal we are British and I’m sure we will survive, better to be free than slaves

  40. ian
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I find that England is the only country may be in the world that thinks it people are too thick to do the top jobs and cannot be trained.

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I see someone mentioned VAT on school fees. It would be interesting to see what would happen if every parent withdrew their children from private school and enrolled them in the state system.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Ha,ha, Mike. Don’t even go there. The system would collapse overnight.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Surely it is obvious that when the final, useless, ‘do as we’re told’ deal is presented to Parliament – faced with that or ‘no deal’ enough Tory and Labour MPs are such ardent remainers that it will be voted through.

    The whole country will have been betrayed. The Leavers because we won’t really leave and things will be worse – and, likewise, the Remainers will feel it was all for nothing. Will it have any political consequences? Who knows?

    Maybe Farage will lead UKIP again and get 5 or 6 million votes in a General Election. They’ll still get barely any MPs.

    So, buckle up and accept that we are going to get the worst of all worlds. The only way I can see us avoiding this is if someone challenges May – and that is not going to happen as the Tory party is completely split on this issue.

    It’s all a mess. We need leadership. But we haven’t got any.

    Reply The system for electing a leader in the Conservative party does not allow someone to simply put up as a challenger. All the time there is an incumbent leader who wants to stay the process requires a motion of no confidence with more than half the MPs voting to demand a leadership contest before one is triggered. There is no current majority of MPs wanting a contest. There seem to be several people wanting to put up in such an event.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      The fact remains, in my estimation, enough MPs are Remainers, Tory and Labour, to vote through anything rather than no deal.

      And there is nothing the ERG group can do about that – apart from challenge May now. I thought you just needed 44 letters, or something.

      Reply No, 48 letters does not give us a leadership contest. You need 160 votes to trigger a contest

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      So we’re stuck with a rubbish conservative party then John. Just shows how useless most of the MPs are then that they cannot see what the average Joe Bloggs sees.

  43. Christine
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    We know this woman displays a serious lack of judgement. You only need to look at her last manifesto. I’m afraid she’s in the wrong party. She will bring down your party and the country if she isn’t removed along with your despicable chancellor who is destroying our car manufacturing industry.

  44. John Probert
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Good point well made
    I did not think the PM came across well on Panarama

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      John Probert. No, she is as bad at acting as she is at leading the country.

  45. Atlas
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Quote: “The alternative explanation is she wants to keep us in the common market for goods for reasons other than the Irish border. If so we need to know why.”

    Yes, I’d like to know when she has this outlook as well. Right from the start of her Premiership??

  46. Edwardm
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    As always, what you write makes sense.
    It is amazing and most frustrating that a majority of Tory MPs have no wish to be rid of the crazed person we have as PM and who cannot be trusted, its not just Brexit it is other things too (merging our defence forces with the EU, weak on immigration and all the unwanted consequences, police force reductions, focus on subjective hate “crime” and not real crimes, not preventing veterans being harassed by activist lawyers, etc etc).

  47. DUNCAN
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I cannot and will not vote Tory again until this person is removed as our leader. She is a product of the liberal left fascistic construct whose design is to subjugate and demonise anyone who refuses to adhere to the pro-EU agenda

  48. Chris
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you state that a general election is not what you need. I disagree. I think we have got to the stage that the country needs an election.

    Tory Brexiter MPs are apparently unwilling to unseat Theresa May because they fear they would lose an election to Corbyn. If you stay with May, we will still effectively be tied to and enslaved by the EU after May’s so called Brexit, and as a result your Party will most certainly lose an election.

    If you replace May and have an election with an utterly committed Brexiter MP as leader, who endorses true Conservatism and ditches the cultural Marxism of the “progressive” Cons who have taken over the Party, then you could win a landslide. Think President Trump. He has a huge following and is set to increase the Republican representation in November (do not believe what you read in the US media which seems to simply be a tool of the deep state).

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    There is one thing we could do in conjunction with a No Deal exit. If our position is going to worsen in the way forecast by the IMF, we could cancel our contributions to the IMF.

    There are an awful lot of State institutions and international bodies that are an expensive overhead. In the UK, the waste is at the top. For example, just look at the number of non-execs on the Nationwide board. In a recent annual ballot I voted to sack the lot. Fat chance. And there has been no response from Nationwide. Why ever not? And do OFGEN, OFCOM and the Race Relations board do anything useful?

  50. Original Richard
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    The EU are helping the EU supporting Mrs. May and Parliament to cook up a deal which is even worse than remaining a member of the EU, that is the Chequer’s deal where the UK becomes a vassal state accepting EU directives, rules, regulations and ECJ judgements but without any representation and totally against the EU referendum and GE results.

    These anti-democratic politicians may well push through Parliament such a deal but it will not last, even if, as reported, the EU attempt to make the deal an everlasting deal.

    Not only will 17m+ leave voters in the UK be very upset but many more will be upset by the illegal overthrow of a democratic decision plus even more as the undemocratically taken EU decisions start to bite into the UK’s prosperity and way of life, particularly if the current very high levels of immigration are not curbed.

    A repeat of the Boston tea party becomes a very likely result.

  51. John Dodds
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Can the ERG not take legal action to enforce the result of the referendum.Surely the votes of 17.4 million people cannot legally be ignored by a dishonest Prime Minister.They voted to leave the EU and were told beforehand that their vote would be honoured.

  • 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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