Why I want to leave the so called single market

I accepted the verdict of UK voters as a young man in 1975 when I was on the losing side of the referendum on staying in the EEC. I decided I had to make the best of it. When I entered Parliament I  tried to limit the EEC/EU to what people voted for, a common market. My worry had always been it was a much mightier political project, but Remain always told us in the early years it was  not a currency and political union in the making. Later of course it became obvious that it was a currency union, with a political union in the offing.

So what changed my mind about the common market part of it? It was being given the role of Single Market Minister in the 1990s, when the EU wished to “complete” the single market. That turned out to be a double lie. The EU did indeed have a massive legislative programme which it called the single market programme in those days, and did more or less complete the stated programme by 1992. It then went on to invent many more legislative programmes in the name of its new creation for many years afterwards, proving the single market was in its view no where near completed in 1992 despite the claims. It was also misleading, because as I discovered it was not primarily a programme to open and liberate a wider market. It was a huge power grab. It  thrived on the doctrine of “the occupied field”, pressing EU legislation into many new areas in the name of the single  market to take powers away from national democracies and to place them in the hands of unelected Commissioners and European Court judges.

As I used to point out to the bureaucratic, legal and regulatory minds assembled, you only need one simple rule to have a common market. That rule, established in a famous  European Court case, states that if a product is of merchandisable quality and has passed the tests to be offered for sale in one part of the common market, it should also be allowed for sale anywhere else in that market. It does not mean British people have to suddenly develop a passion for German sausage or French people need to learn to love English cheese. It does mean that as Germany tells us their sausage is fine for consumption their sausage makers should be allowed to offer it to British consumers to see if they want to buy it. It means each part of a common market has to trust each other part for their standards of safety, hygiene and the rest, or allow only limited specified national overrides for public health and safety  but not much else to restrict the flow of goods.

Instead the EU embarked on a comprehensive legislative programme to superimpose EU law on top of member state law to govern everything from food standards to control of hazardous chemicals, and everything from labour rules to environmental protections, all in the name of the single market. The laws often told businesses  how they were to make or design something. It was very clearly a programme to create a supranational government. It soon replicated all the main departments of national governments, with a foreign policy, a security and defence policy, an environment , transport and employment policy and much else.

The market part of it proceeded by the Commission working with the dominant companies of the day in each sector to draw up a set of rules which would be required of everyone. These rules were welcomed by the big business that helped inform them, because they already met them. They were opposed by some big businesses which had not been so successful in lobbying and drafting. They often acted as restraints on c0mpetition and innovation, as they prescribed the way firms were allowed to make and sell things. These rules were imposed in the name of cross border trading, but were also mandatory for the much larger flows of goods and commerce within each individual member state where they were not needed to assist international trade and might override perfectly good familiar national systems. Many smaller businesses found the extra cost of EU regulation, and greater prescription, made market entry and offering competitive product more difficult.

In the first ten years of our membership of the EEC our motor car output halved, unable to face the onslaught of German and French competition without tariffs and under EEC rules. Meanwhile in the areas where we were strong in services no similar market opening occurred, leaving us a growing and large balance of payments deficit which has persisted to this day. I came to the conclusion that the single market was not designed to help the UK, and we would be better off making our own rules and running our own global trade policy.


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  1. David Price
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    We must consider that because of EU rules around Article 50 we are in limbo as we must leave after 2 years and can only rejoin under article 49.

    Remaining simply is not an option no matter how many tears and tantrums we get from its advocates. We would not be rejoining the same EU, it has already changed and the conditions of our membership would be completely different from now.

    So the remainers must also offer their plan, describe and justify the value of the EU they are demanding we join.

    • Adam
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      If Remaining is not an option, Remainers would waste their time attempting to justify the EU to us to demand we rejoin it.

      If they want to rejoin, they can seek asylum in a choice of 27 odd member countries.

      • David Price
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        There has never been a plan offered to the UK electorate as to our role, position and true benefits within the evolving EU.

        The remainers keep demanding a plan from John and the ERG but have yet to admit to anyone that “remain” is not possible and have offered no plan themselves.

        Time to start turning the tables perhaps, John has provided excellent material and the facts4eu people put together a “brexit battle pack” excellent material. Write to your recalcitrant MP, the media, whoever and start pressuring them back.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      The Remainers’ had their chance during the Referendum. But all they wanted to do was scare people into not voting Leave.

      If you want people to vote for something you have to give them a positive vision. The Remainers’ couldn’t because there is not one. Just more of the same. Hardly inspiring.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        May is pathetic!

        If she doesn’t step down in an orderly fashion, she will be removed in a disorderly fashion!


        • Tad Davison
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          (by the way, that was said to a Tory MP this morning)

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

        Leave means Leave proponents appear not to have realised that the ‘Stop the Brexit Betrayal’ campaign message could be viewed as an imperative either For or Against what they intend! Remainers might view Brexit as a betrayal from their obtuse viewpoint, thereby regarding that message as supporting their objective instead.

        Further, a tweeting commenter claimed that “Brexit mean’s Brexit” which men displayed on their shared held placard was an idiotic spelling mistake, whereas those campaigners jointly may have intended to show that they represented means Brexit possesses to achieve.

    • David Price
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just received an email from the Prime Minister pointing me to a statement on the Conservative Party website talking about how much she wants a good “deal”.

      I have replied copying the CP chairman and my MP, basically that I voted to leave the EU not rejoin it and instead should focus on a WTO baseline and “deals” with friendly countries that actually want to trade.

      I received a reply from MP within minutes – thanks John! It will be interesting to see if I get a reply from the other two … I was a bit wordy.

      Reply It seems to be popular to reply to the PM, urging her to get on with leaving and to drop Chequers.

  2. Peter
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    There was a vote to join a Common Market. Then the Common Market was gradually turned into a more intrusive, controlling political regime.

    I must say I have no time for attempts to generate false sympathy and support for the Prime Minister. Chequers is still dead in the water. It cannot be ‘polished’.

    So she got laughed at. If you cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    Do not sign a Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Peter agreed

      The Chequers plan keeps all Uk companies tied to the legislation that JR outlines in his post today.

      It appears Mrs May was informed weeks ago that Chequers would be rejected by the EU (if they are to be believed) and also by many of her own politicians, quite why she still thinks this huge complicated fudge still has some merit baffles me.
      Is she really that out of touch ?
      The answer seems to be a yes, because she and her advisors have almost Zero commercial experience.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      We joined in 1973 and the referendum in 1975 was on whether to stay in.

      • Graham Wood
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. As for another (third) referendum, as someone put it – ‘will it be the best of five’?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Well I want another election if Corbyn gets in. Will I get one?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 25, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            I am glad I have already left. I had better get my remaining UK investments out of there fairly quickly too before they get stolen off me by Corbyn.

            Labour would be even more of an economic disaster than the “tax to death” Brexit traitors & complete fools Hammond and May!

    • bigneil
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      ” the Common Market was gradually turned into a more intrusive, controlling political regime. ” A better example of “Function Creep” would be hard to find. Now it is being turned into Forced Function Gallop as the EU realise that people are seeing the ultimate aim of this project ( total control of Europe by stealth, not armed force ). Clear threats are being made against countries if they don’t do total obedience and bow and doff their caps to the self declared “important” people.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        In the UK the EU only got 30% support in the Referendum. On the Continent governments are now in coalition with the far right.

        Any club with such a low approval rating would have been wound up by now.

        One thing they can NOT say is that they have a mandate to create a superstate.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 25, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          “Any club with such a low approval rating would have been wound up by now.”

          Conservative party’s refusal to admit plunging membership numbers is embarrassing, says Grant Shapps. It seem now as low as about 70,000!

          No wonder after Major & Cameron and May’s lies and deceipt, endless tax increase and all other the daft socialism. They are only in power as they are not quite as bad as Brown or Corbyn. Get a proper Tory with some small state, real Brexit vision in charge please! Let get some real Tories to join the party too.

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Peter, the Chequers plan is definitely not “dead in the water”. Unless Theresa May is removed Chequers will form the basis of the treaties she will sign with the EU, locking us back into subjugation to the EU.

      Conservative MPs are about 2:1 Remain, the majority unable to see round their EU blinkers. And all Tories are frightened to disturb the status quo because it might let Jeremy Corbyn into power. So Mrs May is in all practical respects unassailable. That’s why we’ll get the Chequers revolving-door Remain. After a bit of theatre, of course.

      • Peter
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        We will see. Given that only number 10 favour Brexit – and even Remain dislike it – it would be an enormous coup to get such a deal through Parliament.

        I don’t know of course but I simply cannot see her pulling that off.

        • Peter
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Correction – only number 10 favour Chequers ( not Brexit).

        • NickC
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          Peter, Yes, I understand. We are both predicting the future, and we will have to see who is right. Please bear in mind that the final deal(s) will not be called “Chequers”. Indeed part of the theatre will be to nominally disown Chequers, but it will still substantially be Chequers. In my opinion of course. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I am hoping for the WTO (trade) deal, and no treaties with the EU.

          • McBryde
            Posted September 25, 2018 at 1:31 am | Permalink

            In my opinion the chances of actually leaving EU are zero – unless there’s a bloody revolution.

            Behind the acting and the subtle bullying is an iron hand which will not tolerate a UK withdrawal.

            I think we are too naive and too trusting of our democratic system. The writing is on the wall. We are being set up.

            After March I predict disgruntlement.
            Heads should roll, but they won’t.
            Abroad we have a reputation of letting ourselves get kicked around.

            We have traitors leading us, and we’re too gullible to realise it.

  3. Juergen
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Your criticisms are not without foundation, but what you fail to do is offer any alternative. If we didn’t have all these common rules, but only different national rules, then British cars wouldnt meet German standards and couldnt be sold there, British food wouldnt meet French standards and couldnt be sold there and so on – just as, in fact, will happen after Brexit! Common rules are the very basis of international trade in the modern world – you want Britain to go it alone, but that wont give you free trade, it will deny you free trade

    Reply Rubbish. We will trade globally and meet customer requirements as needed

    • agricola
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      This post displays an alarming ignorance of the standards that govern the motor industry Worldwide. It is called QS9000 and comes in a number of parts. It derived from ISO 9000/1/2/3/4, and was tailored to the specific needs of the motor industry. I have been away from it all for the past twenty years but I would guess that ISO 9000 has by now percolated into just about every manufacturing industry going. It probably does not pertain in food or anything the government does, they have their own ways of screwing up.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink


        Indeed .

        I was at a meeting last week at which a “representative” of a rather well known “business Support organisation” Stood up and told a story

        He said. ” I was talking to a Swedish car maker, they are looking at pulling out of the UK because they rely on their supply chain of Just in Time delivery and there will be huge queues at Dover due to Brexit”

        I started laughing. What Swedish car maker? There aren’t any in the UK. In fact there is only one Swedish car maker left koenigsegg cars. Saab went bust, and Volvo is owned by the Chinese. There are no Swedish car makers in the UK. Next up, why would a UK based maker have a problem at Dover? The supply chain parts are coming into the country , so if there were queues it would be the other side. This is laughable propaganda and that fact that some motor executives join in with it should cause shareholders to question the wisdom of employing these people .

      • Jagman84
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        A slight correction….
        QS 9000 was introduced in 1994, by the big 3 USA manufacturers. It built on the BS 5750 standard that had evolved into ISO 9000 in 1987.
        QS 9000 ‘died’ in 2006. It was essentially replaced by ISO 9001/TS 16949 and superseded by ISO/TS 16949:2016 (in 2016).

    • Trade economist
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I am sorry sir, but you will not. Exports from the UK will not be admitted to any markets until they prove their compliance with local standards. That means checks at the borders – slow and costly and, in the case of perishable goods like food and just-in-time production chains like cars, fatal. Right now, as a member of the EU, UK exports avoid much of those problems. But Brexit will bring all those barriers to trade back, causing a massive drop in UK export trade. All because you Brexiters do not understand how modern rule-based trade works

      • libertarian
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Trade Economist

        Lol, you think we are fooled by your user name.

        Some of us here ACTUALLY export you know. We have been exporting to other markets for years. No it doesn’t mean checks at borders if you really were a Trade Economist ( you’re not its made up) you would know about TIR, CHIEF and CDS . Also you are another one with no idea what or how a Just in Time system works.

        I’m afraid you are totally ignorant of how modern export trade works. We ALREADY export far more outside the EU than in.

        You’ve just made yourself look silly , please report back to the troll farm for reprogramming

        • acorn
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Trade E. Currently UK exports go 49% to EU and 51% to non EU countries; not exactly “far more”. Our imports come 55% from the EU and 45% from non EU countries. The UK’s large goods trade deficit is a worry for a no-deal brexit.

          The UK over the last three decades, has become more and more dependent on importing its living / lifestyle standard from other, mostly EU countries, rather than generating it domestically. Being a member of the EU, has made that so, so much easier. Hence the UK has acquired a large persistent trade deficit.

          That’s OK as long as countries that sell us our lifestyle, are prepared to get paid in our Sovereign fiat currency; and, invest or just save in Pound Sterling denominated assets.

          The bottom line being, there is no point in getting a 10% IRR on a Sterling investment, if the currency is going south at 10%.

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, Your figures are incorrect for UK exports of goods and services to the EU and the RoW. The 2016 figures (2017 Pink Book) show exports to the EU to be 44.5% of total exports of goods and services, not the 49% you claim (see Table 9.1 Credits), even without Rotterdam.

            When the Rotterdam effect (4% of exports) is taken into account, our exports to the RoW amount to 59.5%, and to the EU 40.5%, of total exports of goods and services. That is, we export about 47% more to the RoW than we do to the EU. Moreover all our exports are carried out within the WTO system.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink


            as usual your post has nothing to do with the thread. Which is about complying with each markets regulatory standards.


            We export far more to outside the EU .

            We are a service economy however 48% of goods are exported to EU 52% of goods are exported to rest of world

            37% of service exports went to the EU and 63%of service exports went to the rest of the world

            The restrictive regulations and directives of the EU is what caused us to rely on imports especially of food.

            We have an entire banking and finance system for dealing with payments in different currencies

            Dont confuse the past with whats achievable in the future

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            Trade is fine, Acorn.

            Why the political domination though ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        If current UK law implementing EU Single Market laws can ensure that all goods sent to the EU comply with EU regulations then a new UK law can do the same and the EU should have the same level of trust in its efficacy. The difference being that the new UK law need only apply to those goods being exported to the EU, not to all goods in the UK, which is in fact how it should always have been.

        • acorn
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          How will the EU know that what you are exporting to the EU, is not some inferior junk UK bandits have imported to the UK, and are now sticking EU spec labels on, and passing them off as EU import quality? Are you aware of how many fake vehicle components turn up in the EU each year? BMW certainly is for one.

          I have recently been involved with a revolutionary light weight electrical product, imported through a UK sea port. It was very good at what it was meant to do (vacuum cleaner); but, was excessively noisy. It turned out it had a UK 230 Volt plug on it but the machine had 110 Volt motor.

          You can construe from the above, why the EU is very touchy about its post Brexit borders with the UK.

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, Customers will not buy products that don’t meet their standards. What a bureaucrat says in Brussels is almost irrelevant. That bureaucrat will in any case be reading off the standard from ISO, DIN, BS, ANSI, etc. It’s about willing buyers and sellers, not government bureaucracy.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


            Oh…. my…. word….

            How does the EU know that anything imported from its biggest trade partners USA and China or indeed the other 120 odd countries not in the EU complies with EU regulations? Chinese CE marks anyone.

            Heres a hint…. Businesses are held responsible for the compliance of their goods, each national government also has an agency responsible for making sure goods comply with the markets they are being exported too.

            As you’ve just highlighted criminal forgeries have always happened in the EU, whats different?

            The EU is touchy about Brexit because they are terrified that when we succeed more countries will follow us out

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            It’s OK, acorn, Michel Barnier has already insulted us by saying that we could not be trusted to collect the EU’s customs dues on its behalf, even though we’ve been doing that for forty-five years; so it will come as no surprise if next he insults us by saying that we could not be trusted to enforce a UK law prohibiting export to the EU of any goods that the EU deems to be illicit, even though we have been enforcing laws to keep such goods out of the UK and so out of the rest of the EU for the past forty-five years. To which second insult my suggested response would be “Well, that is what we are offering to do, to be helpful to you, so take it or leave it as you please”.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Trade economist?
        You plainly have never exported nor imported.
        Goods are produced to meet requirements of the markets they are being sold in.
        This happening all over the world every day.
        It is done before goods travel using electronic manifests which show the technical and quality specifications.
        There are no queues and delays at ports in Europe as goods arrive from outside the EU today.
        There are no queues nor delays when we export from the UK all over the world.

        • acorn
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          And you can’t prove any of the above in a Court of Law. You are making it up. Pure Brexiteer Bullshit.

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            Acorn, You have no understanding of trade. When I exported to the EU I paid no attention to the pronouncements of EU bureaucrats, but when my EU customers said “Jump” I replied “How high”. I made/modified my products to the specifications they demanded.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink


            Spat my tea on the keyboard

            No wonder you think South Koreans are French

            Go and Google TIR, CHIEF, CDS

            Cant prove it in a court of law…..ha ha ha ha ha ha

            Heres the EU’s own website on TIR

            TIR streamlines procedures at borders, reducing the administrative burden for customs authorities and for transport and logistics companies. It cuts border waiting times significantly, saving time and money.

            TIR authorised operators can move goods quickly across multiple customs territories, under customs control, using a single guarantee. Harmonised systems and data exchange tools mean that operators only need to submit their declaration data once for the entire transit movement.

            Each TIR transport from start to end of the journey is monitored on-line, so goods can be traced and secured while in transit.

            With over 50 countries ( outside the EU) using the procedure, the TIR system is the international customs transit system with the widest geographical coverage. As other customs transit procedures, the TIR procedure enables goods to move under customs control across international borders without the payment of the duties and taxes that would normally be due at importation (or exportation). A condition of the TIR procedure is that the movement of the goods must include transport by road.

            An internationally accepted customs transit document, the TIR carnet ( electronic manifest), which also provides a financial guarantee for the payment of the suspended duties and taxes. The guarantee system is managed by an international organisation, which is currently the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

            Think he can prove it and you owe him an apology

          • Edward2
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            I have never bern so insulted.
            You lefty remainers are getting very angry.
            Just calm down.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink


            I am not sure this sort of language is necessary. The fact that Libertarian becomes personal when he is upset and does not apologize either does not of course make your argument any better by insulting.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Hans for your comment.
            I like political debate but dislike bad manners and personal comments.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Take a look at the Australia-NZ deal – which works as JR suggests a trade deal should work. You do not need supranational govt to ensure free trade. You can choose to have it because you want it – but be honest about why, don’t invent fake justifications based on trade. This is what’s gone wrong in the whole EU debate in the UK the last 40 years.

      • Jagman84
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        However much you repeat such falsehoods, they will never be true. The Withdrawal Bill was worded, so as to maintain continuity of standards with the EU, the day after we leave. We will still supply to their standards, even if we diverge over time. Your problem is that you believe all of the bull trotted out by hard remainers.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      So all those products that met EU standard today, suddenly will not tomorrow?

      What about all those Chinese CE marked products that flood in to the EU and don’t meet any standards let alone EU standards?

    • libertarian
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink


      Oh dear, if you had ever traded internationally you would know that business is quite used to conforming with different standards, regulations and rules in different countries. If you knew the first thing about business you would know that there is no such thing as common global rules on standards . Try selling German cars to the USA without modifying them to suit US regulations for instance. As John rightly says the thing that made the EEC useful was purely the recognition of mutual standards amongst neighbouring countries . The UK ALREADY does MORE trade with the rest of the world than with the EU. The rest of the world doesn’t use EU regulations unless they agree on some of them.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian, What continually astounds is that Remains appear to be so truly ignorant about trade, and even about the EU. I can only suppose that the Juergens, Andys, etc, etc, are 22 year old Humanities grads, with no experience of anything practical, on zero hour trolling contracts.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink


          I think you are totally right Nick

          Andy is a little fibber to be honest. He claimed to have a business with a 7 figure PROFIT, yet he was shutting it & sacking all 30 staff because of Brexit . You couldn’t make it up……. oh he did

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink


            I agree the insult was totally unnecessary but your generalisations about all so-called Remainers. (who ever they are) does not help your argument either

    • Christine
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      So are you saying that countries outside the EU can’t trade there? Yes, they might have to meet EU standards but a common rulebook is a very different beast. Exports have to meet the standards for each country but goods are tailored depending on where they are sold. What a UK company would not want to do is be bound by EU rules and standards for goods going to the rest of the world.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      As our kind host has pointed out, if something meets the standard of the market you are selling into, then what it the problem ?

      You also make the false assumption that it is just UK good being sold into the EU market and not the other way round. This is clearly false and so your argument does not stand. Post BREXIT, EU products sold into the UK market will have to meet our standards and vice versa. And as many standards, including those on car manufacture and food, are negotiated and agreed at international level, I see not reason for obstruction as you state. What would be different is that the UK would be sitting in on these international bodies in its own right and not having to rely on the EU Commission as it, Germany, France and others do now.

    • Andy
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Twaddle. Why don’t you read the article ? John sets out the alternative “As I used to point out to the bureaucratic, legal and regulatory minds assembled, you only need one simple rule to have a common market. That rule, established in a famous European Court case, states that if a product is of merchandisable quality and has passed the tests to be offered for sale in one part of the common market, it should also be allowed for sale anywhere else in that market.” That was all that was needed.

      • Henry Spark
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        But, Andy, the idea that if it is good enough for one market in the EU, it is good enough for all is NOT the way the EU works. You have to obey common rules, where they exist.

        So what Mr Redwood is proposing is as useful as a unicorn or a fairy at the bottom of the garden. It does not exist.

        • Jagman84
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Always the insult at the end, eh? Political Tourettes?

        • Zorro
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Do we have to “obey common rules” when we export to non EU countries? No, we have to comply with their requirements and engage in trade which does not engender queues at their ports of entry or ours. The reason we are leaving is, as JR explains, because the EU went ridiculously overboard with its regulation mania.

          As he points out, merchandisable identified goods are good enough, and this is the judgement he refers to.., https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:61978CJ0120

          The Cassis de Dijon judgement


    • Helen Smith
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense, I can’t work out whether you are as ignorant as you appear or just think Leavers are too ignorant to know what you say is nonsense.

      To trade internationally your goods do indeed have to meet the set criteria of the country you wish to trade with. So our exporters to the EU will need to continue to meet with EU standards, they do that now so that shouldn’t be a problem.

      However companies that don’t export at all, or only to non EU countries can choose to meet our national standards and/or the standards of the country they export to.

      It’s all about gradual divergence where it suits and leaving the rules well alone where it doesn’t.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    “it was not primarily a programme to open and liberate a wider market. It was a huge power grab” and of course “we would be better off making our own rules and running our own global trade policy”

    Well we will be when we get a sensible PM and government with a working compass for a change. We really just need to cut taxes, cut tax complexity, cut bloated government, cut daft regulations, relax planning, cut subsidies for nonsense, cut the expensive unreliable energy agenda, have sensible quality controls on immigration ………Basically the complete opposite of the May, Hammond & Carney agenda.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The EU bureaucrat are also trying to kill tax competition within the the EU. This in itself is hugely damaging to the EU area’s ability to compete in the World. Anything that reduces taxes in the massively overtaxed UK and EU would be a huge benefit to almost everyone. Especially as each Euro or Pound paid in tax produced so little of any real value as a return. This after all the costs of collection, the market distortions, the corruption, the misdirection of government spending and general incompetence & inefficiency of government. At best 30% of value perhaps. Much government spending does positive harm. Tax £1 and spent it to give -£1 of benefit to the public or similar.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, “A government dollar is worth 50 cents”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      So it seems Labour will not support a second referendum (but on what questions?). It should make Labour even less electable all we need now is a brain transplant (implant rather) for T May or a proper conservative leader to replace her.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Sorry “now” not “not”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Giving us perhaps a choice at the next election between a (probably rigged choice) referendum or May’s totally idiotic Brexit in name only (and her big state, interventionist, government knows best, tax borrow and piss down the drain agenda & Hammond).

      What an appalling prospect.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Dan Hannan is right today as usual. Corbyn really might get to be PM. The daft socialists “Brexit in name only” May & “tax to death” Hammond will be to blame. A sensible Tory leader with a working compass would wipe the floor with the Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP challenge.


    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Anything can happen at the next election, there is massive discontent with all the parties, far more than I have ever known before. Our whole political class seems to have been deskilled with crazy selection procedures selecting from an ever narrower range of views and backgrounds. Probably lots of people will sit on their hands and refuse to vote. And yea a few years of Corbyn nonsense may be needed to kick the conservatives back into conservative policies, probably people like Jordan Peterson will set the next agenda more than any current politician. Just hope Corbyn don’t last long enough to build the gulags.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        The Tories are successful in one sphere, namely undermining national identity. When I am canvassing for support in favour of Brexit, I frequently get the (printable) response, “I’m a European” from people who no longer identify as British, never mind English. The methods the Tories use to destroy people’s identity is to import millions of unassimilable aliens, and to turn a blind eye to the associated escalation in violent crime and grooming of English children for sexual exploitation; meanwhile, the police are directed towards detecting thoughtcrime because the Tories are concerned that some of those they have invited in might read mean things about themselves when they are only, after all, following their cultural norms.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink


      May and the wets would tolerate any government here as long as we remain in the EU. The problem is these people are so naive they dont realise that the first thing a Corbyn government would do is to Leave. Why? Corbyn has been anti EU all his political life, the marxists want to renationalise rail and energy . You cannot do that under EU rules. Can you imagine the EU sitting there doing nothing while Corbyn takes the energy business from the French ?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Isn’t HS1 and 2 being built to be compatible with EU rolling stock to open up the UK train market to competition, I thought that was the point of it, so that taller rolling stock could be used and disrupt the none competition of the UK railway?

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Corbyn will not be PM. And it he ever ism it will not be for long. The Blairites will depose him and install one of their own.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Just the prospect that he might is damaging enough. May and Hammond are certainly doing their best to make it more and more likely.

      • Jagman84
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        I concur entirely, sir!

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. If we don’t get the true Brexit 17.4 million people voted for, the incumbent Government will pay the price at the next election and there will be a surge in UKIP like never before. I will not fall for the threat of voting UKIP lets Labour in because the current Tory party under May are not Conservatives but interfering, high taxing, nanny state socialists through and through and have let the country, especially England, down badly.
      The two main parties have the voting system stitched up between them – socialist or Marxist – what a choice. Time to take a leap of faith and give the only true Conservative party a chance

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink


        “If we don’t get the true Brexit 17.4 million people voted for, the incumbent Government will pay the price at the next election and there will be a surge in UKIP like never before”

        If that’s what will happen, then the country deserves it.

  6. GilesB
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right.

    The sole purpose of the single market is to undermine national institutions: trade unions, professional associations, parliaments etc., and supplant them with EU wide equivalents . The EU bureaucrats claims to care about consumer protection, innovation, economies of scale etc are a complete sham. They care about one thing only: ever deeper union.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t this sound familiar? In 1914:

      ”The Mitteleuropa plan was to achieve an economic and cultural hegemony over Central Europe by the German Empire…..
      ”….was to be created by establishing a series of puppet states whose political, economic and military aspects would be under the control of the German Reich. …… Political, military and economic organization was to be based on German domination, with commercial treaties imposed on countries like Poland and Ukraine. …”
      (Wikipedia with a nod to Gary Sheffield.)

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        LJones. Yes, too familiar. Let’s not even go there.

      • Michael O'Sullivan
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        L Jones..yes we Irish know all about it..took us years to get free

        • L Jones
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Michael – and you did eventually! Thank goodness! Let’s work together, then, to be free of this new(?) threat.

        • NickC
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Then, you have merely swapped overlords. If you really speak for all Irish people (which I doubt) you too have an opportunity to Leave. If you don’t, then you will have to sleep on the bed you’ve made.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          But you didn’t mind getting a hand out from the UK when you were financially in trouble.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink


        “”The Mitteleuropa plan was to achieve an economic and cultural hegemony over Central Europe by the German Empire…..”

        A copy in fact of the British Empire?

  7. oldtimer
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    A very clear and accurate analysis of the way the EU operates. I have witnessed it myself at first hand. We need to be out of the EU.

    The problem is that May and others around her want to remain. Chequers remains her strategy to do so – that was her message to to EU post Strasbourg. In effect she said to the EU it is Chequers or no deal unless they come up with an alternative which keeps the UK bound to the EU. So long as she is permitted to remain PM by Conservative MPs, and lever the huge powers available to her, she and her associates will continue to frustrate and neuter Brexit. I trust that you and your colleagues have worked out how to do so.

    • Disenchanted Leaver
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      oldtimer, I fear your “trust” in MrRedwood and his colleagues is misplaced. I have watched as Mrs May has tried to slip the UK into remaining in the EU. I have waited for someone to intervene. But it has not happened. Mr Rees Mogg speaks very well. But words are cheap. Where is the action? Mr Redwood too, he gives a lot of very good interviews, but does nothing to change government policy. A little while ago we were promised the ERG’s alternative manifesto – it vanished, amid tales of star wars and the Falklands. I am VERY unhappy with Mrs May, but she was always a remainer – I am shocked that Conservative MPs who voted for leave are letting her get away with this

      Reply How little you understand about the battle for a good Brexit going on around you. Watch the media, Parliamentary debates and other public exchanges as we seek to persuade the government to do the right thing for the UK. The ERG has published alternative plans for all the main matters through the published work of Owen Paterson, Iain Duncan Smith, William Cash, myself and others, and is busy reminding people of this work as a Group with its recent launch of the ERG NI border solution with others to follow.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Reply -Reply

        I agree John that a huge amount has been done by committed Brexiteers behind the scenes, but it seems to be having little traction with Mrs May, or indeed others who are actually holding/influencing the levers of power.

        Aware this must be hugely frustrating for you and your colleagues, but at the moment those who have the power seem to be giving a deaf ear to anything other than Chequers, or even worse, Chequers with less, less, and less.

        Surely we cannot continue to go down the line of surrender and faux rage by the PM for much longer can we.

        Good article in the mail on Sunday written by Anne Robinson

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:
        The point your correspondent makes is genuine – it is indeed disappointing to see the party in government battling with itself just to deliver a result to the straightforward question it itself put to the electorate. The fact that some MPs in your party are basically calling their electorate stupid adds insult to the injury. The ONLY reason you’re getting away with this is that the alternatives are a Marxist and a non-entity. Major would never have got away with the May-type disaster versus John Smith/Blair had he called an election in 1993-7. Heath didn’t get away with one-tenth of this mess against Wilson.

        Thatcher would never have got into this – can you imagine her in Salzburg being confronted with the cake joke??? I seem to remember her covering a silly new BA logo on a model plane with a tissue, and I think she would probably have been ready for a cake joke when being offered it, and told them they were the ones who could keep their cake and eat it. Her team was more careful in looking after their figures!

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        We can only hope that they are biding their time DL and waiting for the right moment before taking positive action to remove this woman before she gives even further concessions on her treacherous Chequers. Maybe something will happen at their conference next week – let’s hope so.

  8. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The Single Market is still not completed, especially in services. That is one of the causes that a startup company like ‘Spotify’ migrated to the US in order to have a larger base. The EU developments often go (too?) slowly.
    And of course, the whole European Project (ECSC, EEC, EU) has always been political, be it with a large economic dimension. The Netherlands public has never been lied to in that respect. This political nature distinguishes the EU from e.g. the EFTA, co-founded by the UK in 1960.

    • David Price
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      EFTA is not what it was and not a suitable alternative to Brexit.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      PvL, your first sentence “The Single Market is still not completed” vs Dr Redwood’s “you only need one simple rule” – the point being?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        @Caterpillar: I was reacting to his complaint that the single market for services opened too few possibilities.
        His “one simple rule” maybe belongs more to a common market, different from what we have built on the continent.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          PvL, yes the building of the unnecessary but not the fair.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


            How much have you actually been involved in selling services in the EU?

    • David Price
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Apologies for the length of my reply..

      In may this year even Elna Solberg, the PM of Norway, advised the UK not to adopt the Norwegian deal.

      The EFTA is not what it was. The EEA agreement would require us to comply with EU legislation in all policy areas of the single market – the four freedoms, competion and state aid rules, comsumer protection, company law, environment, social policy and Article 6 demands that ECJ case law is also respected. In particular all ECJ rulings before 1992 apply to the EEA.

      1. We should not have to pay to trade, the EEA requires Norway to pay around £740m pa
      2. Yes – See above, Norway is required to honour the 4 freedoms as other EU policies as dictated by the EU and ECJ
      3. What does that matter if we have left the EU.
      4. Discussion is meaningless, Norway has no part in the decision and must adhere to the EU policies dictated to the EEA.
      5. The EU has stated we will not have access to Galileo. We should withdraw all funding, personnel, materials and resources immediately and focus on an alternative solution with partners we can trust. Why would we want to trust the EU with such a strategic capability anyway after witnessing their behaviour over the last couple of years.
      6. Immaterial, we should look to comply with appropriate international standards and rules and not have the EU middle-meddlers between us.
      7. Not as I understand it, they are exploiting “safeguard measures” from EEA articles 112 and 113. The EU has ruled this out for the UK despite England having become the second most dense country currently in the EU.

      • David Price
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        above should have been in reply to Mike Stallard’s 0745 post.

        • Jagman84
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for that. I was in the process of compiling a response but seeing as Mr Stallard never reads (or responds to) any replies to his posts, I decided to scrub the whole lot! He appears not to see the malevolent influence of the EU over EEA/EFTA and how it has morphed into a different creature over time.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Peter vL

      You are right there is no single market in services ( 82% of UK economy is service based) . Germany has veto consistently attempts to set up a single market in services as they operate non tariff barriers in some sectors. Now that the EU has decided to get the 27 blocked from the internet ( via article 11 and article 13 ) and that EU countries are currently blocked by more than 1,000 US news and information sites due the GDPR gibberish more and more digital businesses will move. Holland has a decent Digital economy unlike the rest of the EU, so I expect to see far more Dutch hi tech companies moving to London and USA once we’ve left.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: There has been some Dutch criticism about aspects of the copyrights law. When the regulation proves imperfect in practice, it can always be adapted again.

        • NickC
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          PvL, That sounds like the triumph of hope over experience. The EU’s single rules usually don’t suit all. You have a corporatist/culturalmarxist monster controlling your country. Well, good luck with that when the UK can no longer be used as the fall guy.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink


          Good luck with that. You do know MEPs voted against it in July but the commission has still passed it. I’m afraid that Dutch companies who want to continue in the digital sphere won’t hang around waiting for the EU to see sense they will leave before it hurts their businesses

          • Stred
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            The best thing about the Internet is that you can incorporate anywhere and do the work anywhere. How can the EU prevent any customer anywhere in the EU ordering and paying for services or goods dispatched in the EU? Advice would be appreciated.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink


            The EU introduced VAT Moss , which means you have to register & pay vat in the country into which you are supplying, even if you dont reach the VAT threshold in your own country . It means anyone buying or selling products without paying the tax is operating illegally and open to prosecution. Its why more than 400,000 small internet based businesses ceased selling to EU countries.

            Its the biggest pile of over regulated nonsense and typical of the EU who have no understanding of modern digital markets at all.

            Here HMRC try to explain it

            https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-vat-rules-if-you-supply-digital-services-to-private-consumers in the EU

          • Stred
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            Thanks. Fortunately, education service seems to be exempt.

          • Stred
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            This is a nightmare. If the UK could open for business somehow avoiding Moss it could attract a lot of small companies offering services and have zero fines for EU crimes.

  9. Paul
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    John, Peter Hitchens believes there is a plot to make Brexit a disaster so we beg to rejoin the EU again. Peter believes we can thrawt this plot by accepting the Norway Option. Will you please address this conspiracy theory, does it have any merit in your opinion?

    • Andy
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Rest assured, there is no plot. There doesn’t need to be one.

      The leading Brexiteers have proven themselves monumentally incompetent that they can make Brexit a disaster without any help from anyone else.

      As for rejoining – it is inevitable. Young people overwhelmingly do not want Brexit and, soon enough, they will have the numbers to undo it. Demographics suggest this will be by 2021. And, remember – the precedent you set in 2016 – means they only have to get 50% of the vote plus one to enact a hard rejoin to ensure your pensions get paid in Euros.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Now the young will get wiser through experience of life the evidence and will support Brexit and real UK democracy. The EU will get worst.

      • MickN
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        At the risk of troll feeding can I just point out that I was young back in the 70’s when the first referendum took place and voted to stay in. The fact that there was a huge majority to do so meant I was not alone. However most of us grew up to realise that we had been lied to and conned and grabbed the chance to vote leave with both hands to undo the way we had voted years earlier. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and so is experience.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 25, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink


          “However most of us grew up to realise that we had been lied to and conned”

          Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

          The aims of the Common Market are:

          Bring together the peoples of Europe

          Raise living standards and improve working conditions

          Promote growth and boost world trade

          Help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world

          Help maintain peace and freedom

          How have we been conned? I voted then and feel that is exactly what we got.

      • Stred
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Leaders of the Remain campaign, or ‘insurgents’, as described by the now unelected Sir Clegg, have been heard suggesting to the Commission during their many visits to the other side, that it would be helpful to have the worst deal possible. This is what the lead civil servant has achieved. You think (named politician ed) is unlikely to be plotting or deceiving us? May is a proven liar, having deceived the cabinet.

        Pleading ignorance as a defence may be difficult in the future.

    • Michael O'Sullivan
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Paul- there is no plot to make brexit a disaster it is happening like this all on it’s own. If there were realistic options out there for a new futuristic different trade type agreements as talked about widely and as promised it would make all the difference. However nothing we do now when we leave will ever in anyway compensate for our loss of place at the table of the biggest economic trading bloc on the planet- we are in their orbit now having broken away and will taste a different type of vassalage soon enough. We have to understand that the world is becoming a smaller place, by the day- very soon, perhaps in fifty to a hundred years time, the EU will have morphed into something else much more like a ‘union for the northern hemisphere’ which may very well include all, including North America Russia China and Japan- and where will we be then?- the way I see it

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Michael O’Sullivan: “… nothing we do now when we leave …”. Please make your mind up. Are you an Irish republican still freeing yourself from the Brits, or are you the “we” – the UK – that is leaving the EU? Unless Eire is now following our Leave and nobody knew it.

  10. Ian wragg
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Mrs May wants to sign up to keeping us with the EU rule book and agree no future government can unwind the Withdrawal Agreement .

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      And Mrs May also intends to sign us up to a comprehensive defence, security, and diplomatic treaty to go along with her “deep and special” relationship common customs area and trade treaties. As well as bribing the EU with £39bn of our money just for the fun of it.

  11. DUNCAN
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Most are cognisant of the EU’s almost avaricious expansion of its powers through Entryism and other surreptitious strategies. Its gluttony and desire for sucking the democratic life out of its member states appears almost psychotic bordering on manic.

    What is important now is that one of the UK’s main political parties is led by a Eurosceptic without which we will never have the political leverage nor energy and drive to leave the EU

    The Tories must elect a leader that is Eurosceptic and is determined to take the UK out of the EU. If this fundamental event doesn’t happen the UK will remain forever a member of the EU and the EU will, as an act of revenge, pass new laws to prevent us and other EU members from ever leaving at any point in the future

    Our leaving will be celebrated by the silent majority whose protesting voice is continually muffled by a dominant and dominating political construct wedded to the EU

    The next Tory leader cannot be meek. They must be utterly radical in all areas

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, One of the UK’s main political parties is led by a Eurosceptic – Gerard Batten.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    My last sentence should have been “I trust that you and your colleagues have worked out how to neuter May’s intent.”

    I understand it is a complicated and convoluted task. Some insight is provided by an interesting article over at Political Betting.com titled “Six impossible Things before Brexit”. I have come to the conclusion that the best outcome is your preference – exit next March. How you get there will be marked by many twists and turns.

  13. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    More information needs to come out for the general public to see what is and has happened over the years John. Many of us don’t realise the control the EU have over us. Many of us won’t like it when we are informed. I would not be surprised if half of all ministers aren’t even aware of the full implications of the single market and how we, the public have been conned and duped into where we find ourselves now. I can’t quite get my head around why anyone would want to stay in it and it is more than obvious we are being drawn into one big ‘cosy’ little club that benefits some more than others. Lets’ get out asap.

  14. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood some questions for your posters:
    1. How much does Norway pay into the Single Market?
    2. Is Norway under the judgement of the ECJ?
    3. Which trade agreement was signed by Norway in the last year with a country outside the Single Market?
    4. Are Directives discussed in the Joint Committee before becoming part of the Single market?
    5. Is Norway part of Galileo and Erasmus?
    6.Can anyone name just three international bodies from whom the EU draws its Directives (Clue, one is in Zurich and one in Rome).
    7. Has Liechtenstein got a bespoke immigration policy within the EEA?
    I bet this won’t get many answers – and Mrs May got them wrong too!

    • Edward2
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      It is doubtful if a Norway type deal would acceptable to either side, so your quiz is all a bit irrelevant.
      No ability to make our own trade deals, having to accept the four “freedoms” and paying large sums to the EU are all big stumbling blocks to your preferred option.
      All pay but no say is what critics call it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Excellent post. Peter Hitchens today too.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Reasonable questions Mike…which I can’t be bothered to answer 🙁

      I think we know that you are in favour of a Norway EEA type solution, but is that achievable?

      I far as I know Norway pays in to the EU as much as we do and has to honour freedom of movement, but pays directly to other EU countries not in to the general EU coffers…

    • libertarian
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Mike S

      When will you get it through your head that we DO NOT want to stay in the so called single market? Therefore we do NOT need a hare brained scheme to stay there !

      WTO please, now.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        You do not want a Norway option. But plenty of Leave voters are less extreme than you. Plenty want Norway. Plenty want Switzerland. Plenty want Canada. In fact the problem with Brexit is that you do not even agree with each other about what you want. It’s all, predictably, rather embarrassing for you.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          And remain are all agreed as to what they want from the EU?
          Both leave and remain agreed that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union.
          Did you not get the leaflet andy?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I bet you won’t even be around to see if there are any answers, you will have flown off to parrot your master’s message in other parts of the forest.

      • Jagman84
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Heading ‘North’, I’d expect!

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      1. Not very much despite selling more to the EU than the EU sells to it.

      2. No. But it does come under a parallel court which governs the EEA only.

      3. Do not know. But the fact that it can is a hell of a lot better than what it being offered by the PM.

      4. The EU Commission has to consult all EEA members whether or not they are in the EU on new legislation. It is at this early stage that Norway and others get to shape it. But Norway has an advantage the UK, Germany and others do not. Norway gets to sit on the very top international tables and formulate regulation BEFORE the EU gets hold of it.

      5. Don’t know but I guess they might be ?

      6. The BIS (Zurick) Bank of International Settlements. I think the one in Rome is to with plant standards, although this escapes me.

      7. Yes. Because it is a small Principality and has argued that MASS Immigration would not be beneficial. The UK can argue the same but I’d doubt it. a) Because we are a different case. b) Because we can STOP non-EU immigration but will not, and we can ask the EU Commission to STOP or limit EU immigration due to its damaging effects on society, but won’t !

      All from memory without recourse to Google etc.

      Mike, I admire you pluck 😉

  15. Adam
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Our freedom has higher values.

  16. agricola
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Yes you indicate correctly where the EU went wrong in the eyes of those of us wedded to democracy. I do not pretend our democracy is perfect, it still has a long way to go, but it is preferable to the top down dictatorship of an unelected EU.
    On the face of it Mrs May has dug her heels in and said no more of this totally unbalanced negotiation with the EU. The big question now is has she. She has sufficient form for us to question what we hear. Does she intend to resurrect Chequers or are we to get a genuine re-think. Now is the time to lay out the options which in my opinion amount to two. A free trade treaty on goods and services with no attached appendages from the EU, or a move to WTO rules as of April 2019. The Irish Border is a politicians manufactured barrier. If electronics and pre- notification are adequate now they will be whatever system you adopt. The only thing that might change is the information that it is necessary to exchange. Bare in mind, under WTO rules we benefit to the tune of around £26 Billion per annum for the first two years from the divorce and £7 Billion per annum thereafter assuming that trade stays at current levels.
    I would ask this question. Is Mrs May too much a socialist to be trusted with the economy of the UK post Brexit. For sure her chancellor is.

    • Stred
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I thought Herr Oetinger? their Budget Commissioner has said that they will be short of 13bn pa after we have departed. Did this include their lost Vat?

  17. Alison
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Very clear from our host. I was much more sceptical from the lanch of the Single Market. By that time I and many others I know were extremely worried about the EEC/EU and its ‘executive bodies’, effectively doing an invasion of the UK and elsewhere by stealth. William the Conqueror in today’s Europe. William the Conqueror who proceeded to plunder everybody who wasn’t Norman and didn’t sign up to his team.

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


      “effectively doing an invasion of the UK and elsewhere by stealth. William the Conqueror in today’s Europe. William the Conqueror who proceeded to plunder everybody who wasn’t Norman and didn’t sign up to his team.”

      Don’t forget Hitler, Napoleon et al who tried it and failed. Hitler wanted to impose single currency upon the whole of Europe, along with many parallels to what the EU does today.

      Same old, and we’ve stood up to their bullying treacherous ways before, and we need to do so again.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink


      “William the Conqueror in today’s Europe. William the Conqueror who proceeded to plunder everybody who wasn’t Norman and didn’t sign up to his team”

      A better example would be the British empire which occupied and plundered a quarter of the globe.

  18. Steve
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Spot on JR

    Also the EU is hell bent on encompassing the former Soviet territories to get it’s borders as close as possible to Russia. Why ? Is the folly influenced by the fact that both france and Germany have ‘historical scores’ to settle ?

    Makes you wonder.

    We need to get out of the EU totally, just walk away without a Withdrawal Agreement and start being British again.

    The EU knows it must knacker this country to achieve it’s aims, and it’s metamorphosis into supranational pariah is not why we and our allies liberated it.

    The time is right to get the world famous British Spirit out of the loft and show them what we can do.

    • Cynic
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      The EU is an empire, and empires always want to expand their borders.

      • Michael O'Sullivan
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Cynic–no no I cannot agree..the EU is not exactly an empire in the old sense but it is a gigantic Union in the making with a capitol ‘U’- and before long it’s going to be huge / Empire you talk about on the other hand supposes going out in the world and capturing other people and other peoples lands/ Union means coming together by voluntary means for mainly economic reasons and sometimes political military defence reasons- and I suppose NATO and the WEA will be there as well.

        • NickC
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Michael, So voluntary, in fact, that Eire had to voluntarily hold two voluntary referendums (2008 and 2009) in order to voluntarily accede to the voluntary Lisbon Treaty. How splendidly voluntary.

        • Stred
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          How splendid for those unelected world leaders running the whole bloody show. What chance would there be to change anything by voting for leaders in your area?

    • Andy
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Some of us have no trouble being both British and European.

      Ironically it is those of you who think of yourselves as patriots who, actually, reject British values the most.

      As for British spirit – Winston Churchill famously put up two fingers. As do I – to Brexit.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


        Did you not go to school?

        Every single last one of us is European .

        Europe is a continent of 54 countries. You want to be a citizen of of an EU Federal Dictatorship of 27 former independent countries, thats not the same thing

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No man can be loyal to two masters – you can be a UK patriot or an EU patriot but not both. You have told us which is your master. And you are welcome to it. Despite Theresa May’s revolving-door Remain, one day we will be free of your rotten EU. Just like most of the planet already is.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


          Please, explain that to me as it wold be helpful to understand as I am not sure even doubters in the other 27 member countries would agree with that hypothesis?

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        So if the EU landed an Army at Tilbury for whom would you fight ??
        The Blue and Gold Stars of the EU or for your Queen ?????

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    What you have omitted to mention, JR, is just how little economic benefit the UK has derived from the creation of the EU Single Market. If we had got the EU average it would have been about 2% of GDP, according to EU Commission reports including one issued by Michel Barnier in 2012, but there is good evidence that our benefit has been below that EU average at more like 1% of GDP. And that is the GROSS benefit, once the extra costs of the Single Market have been taken into account it is very likely that the NET economic effect has been negative, certainly for the UK and probably for most other member states as well. If we say that the marginal 1% of GDP gross benefit is concentrated just on the 6% of UK businesses which export 12% of UK GDP to the EU then obviously it becomes much more important for them; so if we only listen to large exporters to the EU and their advocates, including their advocates in the political parties and Parliament and the government and the civil service, then we will tend to get a very distorted view of the importance of the EU Single Market, what is marginal overall will be falsely magnified to crucial.

  20. David Murfin
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    “Single Market Minister in the 1990s,”
    Thank you for th voice of experience.

  21. Mark B
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The UK car industry had problems not relating to the EEC/EC/EU. These problems led to its downfall, notably from non-EU member, Japan.

    The making of rules and regulations, including fines on EU member countries I found plain wrong. It, as stated above, allowed greedy corporations to lobby for more complex regulations to stifle competition. It also allowed them to create policies that benefited them e.g. TEN-T Network, of which HS1 has not made any money and, HS2 is going to cost us billions and be of no use whist diverting much need resources away from small but more beneficial projects.


    • Stred
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Those lines on the map are why the civil service and the HoC never question the economic case. Note that France has not connected Perpignan to Orange, leaving Spain unconnected.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I do not agree that we should automatically accept that sausage from another country will be OK just because the government of that country says so; we should always reserve the right to say to that government that although the sausage is up to their national standards it does not meet ours, so please stop your people sending it to us.

    There has to be trust between governments, that they will not knowingly and maliciously permit their residents and companies to send unwanted goods into each others’ territories, and communication and cooperation to ensure that the goods traded will always conform to the requirements of the destination markets.

    Which ties in with my latest letter to our local paper, the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    “Dear Sir

    Prime Minister Theresa May insists that nobody has offered an alternative to her Chequers plan, and so EU negotiations are now at an impasse.

    Yet as a good constituency MP surely she will keep an eye on her local newspaper, in the Viewpoint pages of which an alternative solution has been suggested in a long succession of letters?

    Starting on February 22 with “Easy solution to EU border conundrum” – which is still available on the Advertiser website.

    Then running through successive letters to “The solution to the Irish border question” on July 5 – which was copied directly to her, and gratefully acknowledged by her assistant with an assurance that she had taken on board the thoughts it contained.

    And so on to later letters, in a seemingly interminable and increasingly repetitious sequence.

    The July 5 letter even offered a draft of a letter to be sent to the Irish Prime Minister, starting:

    “Dear Leo

    Just to confirm that we do not intend to make any changes at all at the border … “

    and offering to pass strong laws to prevent hauliers taking unwanted goods into the Republic.

    It is not too late to make use of that draft, and avert a complete collapse of withdrawal negotiations.

    Yours etc”

    Reply I think we should only stop the
    sausage being offered if we can prove it is a threat to public health or has some other issue with national or public security. Otherwise it should be freely traded under WTO rules. If the country it comes from cheats then we can impose penal tariffs under WTO rules.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      I agree. Mutual recognition and international recognition of standards is OK so long as they are beneficial and are not created to prohibit trade and competition. Delivering to the market and the consumer choice and quality at an affordable price.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      No, I don’t particularly want horse-sausage or canine-sausage to be offered widely here, whether or not it endangers public health. Denis is correct on this one. There is a place for national cultural characteristics in what we will and won’t accept.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        And of course despite the frequent efforts to give the opposite impression the EU’s objection to US-style “chlorinated chicken” is not to do with any threat to public health – even Caroline Lucas accepts that it is perfectly safe to eat – but concerns about animal welfare. Which is fair enough in principle, if people in a country don’t want to eat this or that for whatever reasons then they should be able to impose restrictions on its importation and/or its marketing and/or its use as an ingredient in prepared foods.

  23. Andy
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I accept the verdict of the British people in the 2016 referendum and subsequent general election – which, combined, are a soft Brexit with all the pledges made by Vote Leave.

    You’ll all note that the Leave snake oil salesmen have, so far, completely failed to deliver on their promises.

    • Jagman84
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s extremely difficult for the leave camp to dictate the direction of travel, without control of the steering wheel. The PM ‘took control’ of the needless negotiations, to make sure that it stayed that way.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        So you all spent 40+ years whining about the EU and its predecessors. Then you whined about Brexit. Then you whined about Philip Hammond. And Mark Carney. And Gina Miller. And High Court judges. And the BBC. And the Civil Service. Then you whined about the EU again.

        Then you whined about Michel Barnier. And Jean Claude Juncker. And Emmanuel Macron. And Angela Merkel. And Theresa May. And then you whined about Airbus. And BMW. And Honda. And Jaguar Land Rover. And everyone who voted Remain or who has ever dared ask a question about Brexit. And then, when you’d finished whining at all of them, you whined some more because – basically – you are mostly a bunch of whiners.

        The problem with Brexit is Brexit. An incoherent policy of ignorance and untruth. When you all figure that out perhaps we can get on with fixing the country?

        • Jagman84
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          I do not whine about anything. Indeed, JLR gives me a nice pension for the effort and contributions I made to their previous success. The only whining I hear is from losers like you, who cannot accept the democratic will of the UK. I pity your kids having to live in such an atmosphere of negativity. Your way of thinking is the road to ruination.

        • Steve
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


          “The problem with Brexit is Brexit.”

          Actually the problem is minority whingers like yourself who have some lifestyle privilege at risk.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 25, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            What a load of absolute nonsense

        • libertarian
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Says Andy

          who whines about

          Brexit, his sacked staff, Tories, UKIP, Boris, Old people, young people who voted leave, not being able to travel in Europe, not being able to work in Romania, the colour of his passport, being asked for a passport because he has young children etc etc


          Despite multiple requests you’ve never once given us a unique reason to remain in the EU

          Go on son, tax your brain, see if you can come up with something

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            I get back from work and it seems that Andy has wasted his whole Sunday on this site.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink


            Andy is often off line, but why follow to the depth as you do?

  24. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Many Leave voters realised, that the once benign and attractive concept of belonging to a European trade organisation…had gradually been turned into an ‘Orwellian nightmare’, that they would no longer tolerate.

    Meanwhile, Remainers, (suffering from something akin to Stockholm Syndrome), clung to the ‘safety blanket’ they believed their EU Masters offered.

    The negotiations have shown just how ruthless, those power hungry, and unelected, EU leaders really are.

    Why would anybody want to continue to be a part of the EU, in its present form, and with its present style of leadership?
    It needs root and branch reorganisation, focusing on trade. Not more and more control and domination, by unelected, EU governors.

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    So at some stage we will be offered a second referendum by Labour, at which point the chips will be down for the Tory remainers – whether to back a second referendum as offered by Labour or continue negotiating.

    Of course May will give in to her friends and also offer a second referendum, which will let her off the hook as she will be able to use this excuse to delay Brexit with the connivance of the EU.

    The argument will then be over the questions asked, where of course May will be in a position to put the question, and any discussion over whether a second referendum should happen at all will be lost in the mist.

    Basically, she is running rings around her own party whilst cow-towing to the EU, who insult her in return. This seems to be a trend now, and the humiliation is set to continue unless she is ousted.

  26. gyges01
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Your note brought to mind Edward Luttwak’s “Coup d’etat: A Practical Handbook.”

    Throughout all of this one thinks of the relevance of the Nation State. Is it simply a mechanism of oppression and exploitation as your note and Luttwak’s book suggest; or is it still able to effect the will of its underlying nation? I suppose Brexit is one clear test.

    If Brexit fails, I suppose the next step is the secession of the nation from the Nation State. As to what this would look like … Corsica, the Southern Counties of Northern Ireland, or worse – I don’t know. Good luck in trying to avoid the latter scenario.

    • Steve
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink


      If brexit fails it will have failed because of socialist traitors and those with an interest in selling out the entire nation for their own selfish ends.

      However, enough of us will not take this lying down and there is the potential for civil unrest on a grand scale.

      The revelation of the fact that there are so many europhiles in government tells us the ‘coup’ has actually happened.

      I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes when the lid blows off.

  27. Steve
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Ian Wragg

    “Mrs May wants to sign up to keeping us with the EU rule book and agree no future government can unwind the Withdrawal Agreement .

    I have a sneaking feeling Mrs May has finally seen the light, and the EU has covertly replaced her and the remain conservatives with Labour, the new quislings of preference. That would explain why they snubbed her at Salzburg.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a certain former PM has had something to do with it. In fact I’d guarantee he’s been sneaking around Brussels sticking the knife in Brexit’s back.

    The main threat to Brexit now comes from Labour, which according to the latest news is about to accord itself new voting powers to overturn the vote and will of the electorate.

  28. DUNCAN
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The push for a second referendum is now firmly on the political agenda. Labour will debate and vote on this issue this week at their grubby gathering. I suspect Corbyn’s been on the blower to May and they have both been coercing their forces to push for such an outcome

    I do firmly believe that May, Labour and the usual pro-EU civil servants etal are all on the same page and coordinating their efforts to create an unstoppable forward direction towards a second referendum

    I also suspect this vote and the question(s) asked will be constructed that allows the pro-EU political establishment wiggle room when it comes to the interpretation of the result

    If this becomes Tory party policy then May’s government must fall

    • Andy
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I am a vehement Remainer – and I don’t want a second referendum. Yet.

      I want the hard Brexit Mr Redwood craves. I want the predictable ensuing chaos, the economic disaster, and the political confusion.

      And then when the Brexiteers have been demonstrably been proved wrong I want us to hold them to account, bring them to justice and to go back in.

      To stop cancer you need brutal treatment. And Brexit is a cancer on our country.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        calm andy calm.

  29. Nigel Seymour
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    At long last we seem to have some resistance to the constant remain propaganda in the form of LML. All made good speeches in Bolton. Hat’s off to Kate H who I agree is proving to be very brave having received plenty of hate directed at her from her own Vauxhall
    constituents…wonder who they are and where they originate from??

  30. Steve
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Three things need to happen and quickly;

    First, having seen the light Theresa May needs to stand her ground concerning her address to the nation last Friday in which she declared she would not allow the break up of the UK under any circumstances. if she does so we will support her.

    Second we need to walk away without any withdrawal agreement.

    Third, Labour’s backstabbing needs to be exposed, and that party discredited for what it has always been about – the destruction of what makes us who we are.

    I’d have this to say To Theresa May;

    ‘sometimes events have to unfold before you realise who your friends are, and your dignified composure while surrounded by uncivilised bullies at Salzburg has not gone unnoticed. There is no wrong in attempting first to make peace despite what others might say. We’re right by your side, stay with us.

  31. Nigel Seymour
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Prime Minister of Malta says EU leaders are “almost unanimous” about another referendum. https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06ln0lf

    Malta’s free market economy – the smallest economy in the euro-zone – relies heavily on trade in both goods and services, principally with Europe. Malta produces less than a quarter of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta’s economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism. Malta joined the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $19.31 billion (2017 est.)
    $18.3 billion (2016 est.)
    $16.66 billion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 151

    $12.54 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP (official exchange rate):

    • Steve
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      “Prime Minister of Malta says EU leaders are “almost unanimous” about another referendum”

      Well they would be, it’s how Europhiles operate – just hold another referendum so as to get the result they want. Democracy doesn’t come into it.

      They did exactly that to get the euro into Ireland.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      According to tradingeconomics,
      Malta’s GDP
      2008: $8.98 bn
      2009: $8.53 bn
      2017: $12.54 bn
      Almost 40% growth between 2008 and 2017, and currently a 5.9% y-o-y GDP growth!
      Almost as good as Ireland’s 9% growth.
      Help! They’re catching up with Holland! 🙂

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        You can’t say that. The Brexiteers don’t like the narrative that countries can be highly successful in the EU AND Eurozone.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          🙂 🙂 🙂
          I know . . . just couldn’t help myself. 🙂

        • Edward2
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          You two approve of Malta with its 5% tax rate for offshore companies?
          Malta growth is mainly due to it turning itself into a tax haven.
          Nothing to do with the Euro.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            I see you don’t mention our own offshore tax havens – surely we have more than anyone else on the planet.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Using percentages when the cash figure are small will often show big rises.
        It is a classic method of using statistics to give a false headline.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


          when statistics are sown and they are proven to be correct stop commenting it makes you look small and that is unnecessary

    • Christine
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the profit Malta makes from selling EU passports.

  32. Chris
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I hope the Tory Brexiter MPs who venture into the country will take on board the strength and depth of feeling about the betrayal of the Leave voters by Theresa May . The LeavemeansLeave rally in Bolton, with David Davis, Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey as key speakers will have sent some messages. However, with the BBC unlikely to report the massive support for a strong Brexit message, see the D Express:
    Send REES-MOGG to Brussels! Davis given rapturous applause as he savages EU ‘BULLIES’

    “FORMER Brexit Secretary David Davis received a rapturous applause during a pro-Brexit rally on Saturday when he sent a stern warning to the European Union and warned Britain will not be “bullied” in Brexit negotiations…….
    The rallies begin in Bolton on Saturday followed by Birmingham, Torquay, Bournemouth, Gateshead and Harrogate…”

    • Lemmy
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Spot on, Mr Davis! If only David Davis had been in charge of the UK negotiating team over the last couple of years!

      • Henry Spark
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

        I agree! Boris too. If only Boris had been in the Cabinet for the last couple of years, I’m sure Brexit would be going better. That fine chap Steve Baker as well – if he had been a Minister we would have seen a very clear route map for Brexit, I’m sure

        • NickC
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Henry Spark, There was a very clear route map for Brexit (from DExEU) until Mrs May binned it in favour of Olly Robbins appeasement.

    • Chris
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Interestingly I have just picked up a videoclip on a key President Trump supporter’s website in the USA of Nigel Farage at that rally. Where is the necessary support by UK Brexiter MPs? There are some key Tory Brexiter MPs and MEPs (not Mr R) who need to get rid of their absurd bias against Farage. We should all be fighting on the same side, as Davis and Hoey are willing to demonstrate by being on a platform with Farage at Bolton.

  33. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Now this afternoon a letter from CCHQ asking us to keep cool heads. Well, they might be rattled but we’re just as we were:

    Dear Brandon

    Most of us are very clear and cool headed.
    What we want is a Canada type trade deal with the EU and a declaration that we won’t put any border infrastructure on the Irish border (which was created by Ireland gained independence from the UK, not vice-versa). The EU sign or walk away without a penny.


  34. ChrisS
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I read this morning that the principal Brexiteers in Cabinet are looking to persuade Mrs May to drop Chequers and go all out for a free trade deal with the 27 which, they say, will solve the non-problem that is the Irish Border.

    That was always my and our host’s preferred option. It was put out of bounds when Mrs May stupidly agreed to the phasing of the negotiations. It was this first catastrophic mistake that has made everything else almost impossible.

    It was obvious from the beginning that Juncker and Tusk were desperate to get their hands on our money to give them a short term fix to the shortfall in their next EU budget round. The PM should have recognised this and allowed David Davis to refuse to go along with phasing and insist that a trade deal be negotiated alongside money, citizen’s rights and the Irish border. At that time we could have sat back and waited for them to come back to the table.

    As has been pointed out numerous times here, how can the border issue be sorted until both sides know what they are talking about in terms of future trading arrangements ?

    Now that phasing has not produced an agreement and Chequers has been rejected, No Deal is a very real prospect. A change in direction is therefore necessary. To make this palatable, the Government needs to make sure that it has demonstrated to public opinion that it is the EU that is being totally unreasonable.

    If the cabinet opts to immediately offer a comprehensive free trade deal to solve the Irish border and the EU refuses to even discuss it, they will have taken the moral high ground. Many more voters are likely to agree that we have done everything possible to get an agreement.

    Of course, if Barnier is instructed to discuss a free trade deal in an effort to break the current impasse, all the better.

  35. Steve
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink


    Interesting points, however from what I am seeing in the news suggests the threat to us leaving the EU is likely to come from Labour, who evidently underestimate public anger but are lining themselves up as Tusk’s favourite quislings none the less.

    Stab us in the back if you dare, is what I say to Watson and Corbyn.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I’m no supporter of Labour but McDonnell has said today ( Monday ) that if they held a second referendum it would respect the original decision to leave and the question would be only whether to accept the deal on offer or not.

      He didn’t make it clear what would happen if the deal was voted down. Presumably, there would be a farcical “renegotiation” which would produce nothing new ( shades of Harold Wilson). I hardly think that Labour would say accept the deal or leave on WTO terms !

      If true, at least that means that all those diehard Remainers like Clegg, that Miller woman etc are not going to get an opportunity to keep us in.

  36. margaret howard
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the EU we have cleaner air, cleaner beaches, land set aside for wildlife, investment in formerly neglected regions.

    Laws that have improved the countryside and country imeasureably like the ban on stubble burning, grubbing out hedges, poisoning the land with dangerous chemicals etc

    This country that is still being run by a secretive oligarchy will renege on any of the vast improvements EU membership brought us

    Reply The UK pioneered many parts of the environmental legislation, and would have carried on raising our own environmental standards if we had been outside the EEC

    • Richard1
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Are you joking?! In the U.K., as in the EU, we have c. 50% diesel vehicles due to the push diesel got from the unholy combination of lobbying by the German car industry and the green blob. Result? 10s of thousands of premature deaths -just in the U.K. -due to toxic particles in the atmosphere.

      • Stred
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        They are not tens of thousands of premature deaths specifically caused by diesel. The shortening of life is a guesstimate, based on old US research, which is for every person living in a city area. This small period is then multiplied by the whole population, giving 9k notional deaths due to overall pollution, a small % of which is due to diesel cars. In fact particulates from diesel exhausts has reduced and Nox has stayed about the same despite the big increase in the % of diesel cars. Most particulates come from tyres and brakes for transport and industry, farming, woodburners and background. NO2 is described as a ‘mild irritant’ in the publication by Kings – Up in the Air.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 23, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      We had a clean air act in the 1960s
      Way before the EU ever existed.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        too bad we have not implemented as we should have done

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink


        “We had a clean air act in the 1960s
        Way before the EU ever existed.

        That’s because we were the only country still burning rubbish in open fireplaces. The London smog of 1952 killed thousands of people.

        These pea soupers were a regular occurrence across the whole country looked upon with horror by the rest of the developed world.

  37. John Hatfield
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff John. I presume you have explained all this to the Prime Minister?

  38. Peter D Gardner
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Were UK to join the EEA it would have to join EFTA first (Article 126 of the EEA Agreement). It cannot continue being a member of EEA after leaving the EU otherwise. The idea of trying to negotiate seamless transition while still a member of the EU is fantastical.
    Then, on joining EFTA, Article 128 of the EEA Agreement would require UK to apply to the EEA Council to become a party to the EEA Agreement.
    Decisions by the EEA Council are taken by consensus between the EU on the one hand and the three EEA EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – on the other.
    So why do those arguing for UK to join the EEA think UK is capable of managing a three way negotiating process between the EU, EFTA and UK? Has it not occurred to these bright sparks that, whereas the EU is not able to block UK’s departure from the EU, it could completely block UK joining EFTA and the EEA.
    Now, that’s what I call really good negotiating leverage.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Bang on. Since the Maastricht Treaty became law on 1st January 1993, we have had to put up with 25 years of dirigiste crap from the EC, not just relating to what is made but how it is made. And have we got a single market in services, in spite of asking for one over the same 25 year period? No, we have not, nor will we, because continental Member States are determined to favour their own domestic service providers.

    In 1995, I worked for a reputed firm of civil engineering consultants with a strong rail capability. They fancied teaming up with an Italian consultant to win work from Italian Railways. They got nowhere. Even today, you can look at advertisements for service contracts in the European Journal, and at the foot of the ad it says things like “Italian language only”.

  40. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink


    Interesting historic perspective and of interest to all of us.

    I am not sure using the car-industry where the biggest exporter and producer of cars BL, only had itself to blame for the onslaught of German, French and Japanese cars.

    I remember my parent going through several BL cars before they gave up , having them picked up for repairs all the time

    Reply UK car output was at good levels in 1972 when we joined. Ford Escorts and Cortinas, and Minis were popular cars selling well.

  41. margaret howard
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


    “In the first ten years of our membership of the EEC our motor car output halved, unable to face the onslaught of German and French competition without tariffs and under EEC rules”

    Not tariffs or rules to blame but our cars which were c*ap!

  • 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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