Leaving with no Withdrawal Agreement will be better for the economy than signing it

I have been puzzling over why so many commentators think a so called No Deal departure would be a heavy negative for the UK economy.
There seem to be a series of specific fears that are unlikely to be realised e.g.

1 “Planes will not fly on 30 March. “

The overfly rights are under the Chicago Convention which will be unaffected by the UK ‘s departure from the EU. Landing rights are in the gift of member states and will presumably be mutually reaffirmed in time for exit. Airlines continue to sell tickets for post 29 March and do not expect to be grounded.

2. “Just in time supply items will be held up at UK ports, wrecking the factory plans.”

UK ports will be entirely under UK control. There are no plans being made that I have read about to hold goods up for longer. The addition of a customs payment to current VAT and Excise payments and currency changes can be done away from the border from existing compliance filings electronically, with or without a tweak to the computer data. Intrastat declarations are already very comprehensive and mandatory for EU trade. Products meeting specifications under contract will not need new inspection systems on 30 March.

3. “Food imports will be detained by the need for longer and more complex inspections at borders.”

Again there is no need for the UK to impose damaging delays and extra checks, and on imports it is a matter for the UK authorities. Current contracts contain inspection regimes, usually at the farm or processing plants, and product will also continue to be inspected carefully by the purchaser.

4.” Medicine imports will be delayed.”

As with food, things that have gained regulatory UK approval and are on the NHS approved list can be imported as before with similar inspection regimes and verification.

5” Calais will operate a go slow or blockade of UK exports to the continent”

The Calais port authorities have categorically denied this and say they wish to keep the business. Belgian and Dutch ports would like to take market share from Calais and see the need to offer a smooth service.

Making all these things work are in the mutual interest of the EU and the UK and are not controlled in the main by the EU authorities. There is every reason to suppose where they need agreements these can be reached, with a general wish to carry on as before.

There are then the economic arguments.

1” Imposition of customs dues will restrict and damage trade”

If nothing changes but the UK and EU impose EU level tariffs on each other then the EU will collect £5bn of extra customs, and the UK £13bn, given the large imbalance in trade in items that attract tariffs. The UK government could give the £13bn as tax cuts so people on average are not worse off from the higher prices. The high tariffs are almost entirely on food products, where the UK has a balance of trade deficit of £20bn with the rest of the EU. Imposing full EU tariffs is likely to lead to a lot of import substitution from cheaper non EU produce, and to a substantial market share gain by UK farmers. The UK gain in domestic market share should more than make up for losses of exports. There will be a crop cycle of adjustment to new demands. The UK can publish its own tariff schedule once it has left, and has the option of lowering tariffs compared to EU levels, which would mitigate the impact tariffs have on trade. It is difficult to see more than a marginal impact on the UK economy of high tariffs on food. Trade with the rest of the world which has been growing faster than EU trade for the UK would benefit from removing tariffs on products we cannot grow or produce for ourselves, removing small tariffs where the bureaucracy is not worth the trouble, and cutting very high food tariffs somewhat. The UK government has yet to publish a tariff schedule for March 30 for No Deal.

2.” There will be a confidence effect”

Presumably most businesses now understand that No Deal is an option, and see that its probability has risen as a result of the poor progress in talks so far and the EU rejection of the Chequers half in approach to the single market and customs union. There was a confidence impact on big business investment plans after the vote, but this did not prevent continued growth at a good rate for the first nine months after June 2016. Brexit voters expressed more consumer confidence after the vote. There were also some large inward investors who went ahead with big commitments, including the purchase of two £1bn plus London office blocks and major commitments to jobs and space in London by the leading US tec companies. If I am right in thinking we will avoid any big problem in the weeks after leaving, confidence should come back quite quickly to those large businesses that are preoccupied by this issue. There has not been the predicted exodus of businesses out of London despite more delay and difficulty in the negotiations than advertised.

3. “The UK authorities will raise taxes and tighten money to deal with the shock”

That would be entirely the wrong reaction and looks unlikely. On exit with no Withdrawal Agreement the UK state has £39bn more to play with over the next three years, and the balance of payments is immediately enhanced by the same amount. The Bank of England actually eased money after the vote, and could do so again were there to be any problems after exit. The Treasury has fire power to spend more and tax less were the economy to slow further.

The economy will get a bigger boost by leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement and spending the £39bn at home. Prolonging exit for 21 months or more prolongs uncertainty, commits us to large extra payments and does not even guarantee a better trade deal.

Staying in for another 21 months of protracted negotiation prolongs uncertainty and clearly will give a worse outcome than just leaving next March and spending the money saved.

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  1. Newmania
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Much of this answers a question about imports which no-one has asked and ignores vast questions entirely . If , for example you take the use of capital, as of 30.3 , security that is not regulated in the UK will not be on shore. That will make it worthless .
    In fact the FCA have vaguely said that they will unilaterally extend passporting for an unknown period provided the company is moving under UK regs and this would fit fit the Redwood narrative if you ignore the following
    1 UK Companies cannot “export” capital at all full stop.
    2 EU Companies have no idea how long they can trade on the temporary permit into the UK
    3 While this may spread the import effect out, eventually you have the same problem you started with – a closed border for money

    That is a disaster for this country and as I am the only one who comments here who either has a job or knows anything about it how about you just take my word for it …or ring the FCA , they are a bit thick but even they can read ..little words
    If you ask anyone who is involved in any of the areas Mr Redwood has claimed expertise in you will find they will laugh ..bitterly

    Reply The main scare stories have been about imports. The UK government is not planning to stop EU companies trading!

    • Richard1
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The great economist Patrick Minford has been right on all the major economic issues since he took an almost lone stand against the academic economics establishment in supporting the Thatcher Govts supply side reforms in 1981. Here he explains how it is we get such erroneous and pessimistic projections on Brexit from supposed experts and why they are wrong.

      You aren’t the only one with a job.

      We must not be enslaved by the OBR’s anti-Brexit instincts

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        Indeed and Minford is spot on again in this article. Why can the dopes in government at the treasury not see this?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink


      In an attempt to avoid the facts changes the goal posts then hysterically lists stuff that he claims expertise in and none of the rest of us know about..

      Except as usual he’s talking through his hat and doesn’t understand the subject he claims expertise in.

      • Steve
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink


        “Except as usual he’s talking through his hat”

        Are you sure it was his hat ?

    • Peter
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Sadly, David Davis is saying that some sort of a deal will get through Parliament as result of ‘fear of no deal’. He says it may fail once, but a second effort will get through.


      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


        If Chequers or Chequers minus or something similar gets through, then the Conservative Party will still be at war over the EU for decades, as we will not have left.

        May will have also lost the support of many more Leaver, and possibly some Remainer Conservative voters for the future.

        Talk about clueless.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          My thoughts exactly; how can half in and half out be considered a solution by either the UK or the EU? Simply kicking the can down the road and causing more difficulties for both. Surely we, and they, can see this.

      • Richard
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Did you read the update by DD? “For the avoidance of doubt I believe the PM will get a deal with the EU but anything based on the Chequers plan or one that keeps us in the Customs Union will not pass the Commons. Time to revert to free trade deal suggested by EU?”
        So DD is saying Chequers Will Not Pass.
        The sooner The Conservatives take friendly advice eg John Longworth: https://www.leavemeansleave.eu/media/huffpost-the-only-way-to-save-brexit-is-to-oust-theresa-may/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/21/write-letters-no-confidence-now-mps-alternative-hopeless-theresa/ , evict the duplicitous one and reinstate Canada+++ as policy the better for everyone, including the EU.

      • Peter
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


        But he has now made clear he believes any agreement based on Mrs May’s unpopular Chequers proposals will still not get past MP’s when the hold their “meaningful vote” in the Commons.


      • Timaction
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. If that is right how could anyone ever vote for that party again as 17.4 million voted to leave the EU and all its tentacles. May must go and take Hammond, Raabit etc with her!

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      It is estimated the total cost to Britain of EU membership, once the harmful impacts of its numerous policies and regulations have been taken into account, to be £118 billion a year.
      Irrespective of your personal worries, leaving the EU will be beneficial to the UK as a whole. Especially the UK taxpayer.

      • Richard
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        EFT: “EU regulation has reduced UK GDP by around 6%” [=£120Bn pa] http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/23/accepting-eu-ways-brings-down-conservative-leaders/#comment-968690

      • Andy
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        By ‘harmful regulations’ you are taking about things which protect our rights as workers and consumers. Which make our products safe and look after our environment.

        Losing them could save you money. In the same way that cutting off your head could help you lose weight.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          No Andy we mean the dozens of harmful regulations that attempt to hold back the new , innovative and creative industries, we mean the dozens of regulations that are time wasting, money wasting interference for the sake of it. We mean the regulations that they impose on everyone else but then ignore when it comes to them.

          Just so you know, most workers rights long preceded the EU . They were fought for by the Unions and the Labour party over many years.

          The EU has one of the worst records on the environment and on animal welfare including supporting the “sport” of cow stabbing

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      An example of what happens when you take rules from overseas powers onto your books. Whoever integrated these types of rules into UK law obviously thought that the UK would never be in a position to decide its own rules again. Perhaps it is that integrationist (or one could say collaborationist) process you should be questioning, not the current one?

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: So what about “They sell more to us than we them” ? The whole argument that we had a card to play was based on the premise that if they held up our exports we would do so with their imports.

      So now you’re saying we won’t be able the threaten that then.

    • Not a spiv
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I find it absolutely unbelievable the John Redwood fails to understand the meaning of No Deal. It means no trade agreements. It means WTO but only when schedules and quotas are agreed and as we have discovered, we would not get them fast tracked.

      As a member of the EU, the UK. cannot negotiate it’s own trade deals so please for the love of god tell me what trade deals we will have when we leave with no deal…the answer is none.

      So all this talk about goods coming in, where are they coming from?

      Trade deals take years to negotiate and we will almost certainly be the rule takers against the larger trading blocs and economies.

      So if you seriously believe that we will be better off, you are absolutely stark raving bonkers.

      Reply You dont need an FTA to import!

      • libertarian
        Posted November 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Not a Spiv

        Oh my Lord not yet another Remainer without the first clue about international trade , just what we need

        NO its DOES not mean WTO only when schedules are agreed. The EU mostly operates through the WTO and its schedules have NOT been agreed either

        You do NOT need an FTA to trade

        You certainly dont need any kind of an agreement to import

        The only bonkers ones here are the numpties that come on here wen after week spouting this drivel having never imported or exported anything in their lives

  2. Henry Spark
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    If we leave without a deal, we will be trading with the EU on the worst possible terms available to any country in the whole world. We would not have the advantages of the many free trade trade and related agreements that countries like the US, Japana, Canada, Korea and Australia have with the EU. We would be, literally, on our own. What happens at Calais is that UK exports of food will be checked, exports of live animals will be checked, exports of medicines will be checked – every single thing will be checked, because nothing gets into the EU market from outside unless it is shown to comply with EU law, excepting only where there are agreements covering the matter – which, in the no-deal situation you advocate, there would not be. Kent will be a lorry park within 24 hours. And tariffs would be payable too. And if you don’t fancy Calais, try Antwerp or Zeebrugge or Dunkirk – it will be exactly the same because they are all, like Calais, in the EU and they apply the exact same rules as Calais. We were told by John Redwood that the EU would give us a great deal because we hold all the cards. That is proven untrue. Now John Redwood claims we don’t need a deal at all. His story changes weekly. There have been many deeply irresponsible things said by Brexiters – but claiming we can safely leave without a deal to safeguard our export trade is disgraceful

    Reply Throughout the referendum campaign I said I would be happy with no deal and that was the only one we could guarantee as it did not need any goodwill from the EU. I also said it was massively in the interests of the EU to agree an FTA, but of course the present UK government has not asked for one!

  3. Dougal Hamer
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    You’re STILL banging on about tariffs? When everyone with an ounce of understanding of international trade over the last 50 years knows it is non tariff barriers that matter? Ye gods, thank the Lord you are not in a position of power in the government

    Reply I talked about non tariff barriers as well. Which ones do you think will b e imposed? Have you read the WTO rules on facilitation of trade?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      The people “banging on about tariffs” are those who have been falsely claiming that food and other prices will soar if we leave the EU without a trade deal because the UK government would be forced to impose non-existent “WTO tariffs” on imports from the EU. Did you challenge this fable last week when variants were repeated in the Guardian and then the Daily Mail?


      “No-deal Brexit could raise price of mince by 50%, meat industry says”

      “Brexit could KILL 5,600 people a year by making fruit and veg unaffordable meaning their diets are no longer healthy enough, warns Oxford University researcher”

      “In a hard Brexit scenario in which the UK has to use World Trade Organisation rules, the researchers say tariffs of between 32 and 51 per cent could have to be paid on foods like sugar and meat.”

      I don’t remember you popping up to comment on that.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Dear Dougal

      The fact that you’ve not bothered to read any of the 100s of posts on this blog is rather typical of you dense remainer types. We’ve discussed non tariff barriers extensively both those that ALREADY exist within the EU especially when trying to trade with Germany and the WTO rules on non tariff barriers .

      Thank the lord you’re a complete nobody with no understanding of international trade

    • jasg
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Like the beef ban imposed on the UK by France ? Or perhaps like the French failure to process illegal immigrants in France in preference to allowing them to smuggle themselves into Britain. Or the illegal land grab law in Valencia. Or Italian authorities refusing to process EU documents for UK citizens. Or the failure of Germany to rein in its vast trade surplus. Etc, etc. All against EU law.

      The UK is the only member that follows the EU rules to the letter and much of the time this is because other EU members’ officials are completely ignorant of EU rules anyway. I have learnt at EU borders to bring the actual EU documents in their own language to stop them just making up their own rules: After a lot of hemming and hawing the ignorati have always had to eventually back down – “as a one-time favour” – ie still not fully admitting they were wrong. In the face of such gross ignorance and/or malfeasance the idea we have frictionless trade just now is risible.

      • Andy
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        The France beef ban ended almost 20 years ago. And, as you’ll know, the UK went to the European Court to argue our case.

        Perhaps you should use a more up to date argument? Oh – wait – you don’t have one.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Andy …. here you go
          As of February 2018 Germany is now the biggest breaker of EU rules

          Numbers provided to German newspaper Handelsblatt by the country’s economics ministry show the country’s government is subject to 74 infringement proceedings by the European Commission for failing to implement EU regulations properly in German law.

          If you had ever tried doing business in Germany you would know they errect non tariff barriers totally at odds with EU law to try to restrict foreign businesses competing internally

          2014 France Breaks European Union single market Law To Block GE Bid For Alstom

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Rude and unnecessary, Dougal.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Would that he were. We have complete economic idiots in control and even worse economic idiots waiting in the wings to give us Venezuela. Just a question of degree.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      I imagine you’re thinking of rules like us having to abide by German standards for cars, vacuum cleaners etc which is fine for us exporting to Germany, but why can’t we allow ourselves to develop and make different products for the UK market when there’s a demand, and then sell these to the non EU world?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        View this through the prism of UK being the highest population country in Europe in 20 something years’ time! All the disadvantages of that and none of the advantages in setting our own rules and standards!

    • Newmania
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      We will just have third country status, nothing is imposed, all treaties simply lapse.
      It is becoming crystal clear that EU do not fear no deal disaster and as the UK does not ,and will not, back your trade war

      A Suez plus plus plus plus humiliation in addition to the long terms night mare is headed our way

      • libertarian
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 12:41 am | Permalink


        Do you have any evidence that the EU member countries do not fear a WTO deal?

      • libertarian
        Posted November 2, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink


        As you claim to be an expert in financial services and as someone who used Dimons rants about Brexit as “evidence” you might want to think about this

        JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is worried about Europe’s stability, viewing Italy’s political and financial situation as the biggest risks.

    • Richard
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Some background on the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/03/06/complex-supply-chains-and-industrial-integration/#comment-923511

      DexEU/DIT are well aware: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/386e7da4-66e3-4bd1-ade3-ce958610c414?in=15:09:38&out=15:10:45

      EU27 member states responsible for applying WTO rules facilitating trade. They have been hiring customs staff (eg Rotterdam, Antwerp); and liasing with UK eg Poland https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-press-statement-in-poland-21-december-2017
      “’We’ll deal with it.’ On Tuesday senior officials from Calais and Zeebrugge delivered a similar message to the Treasury Select Committee” https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2018/06/syed-kamall-europes-biggest-ports-are-being-refreshingly-practical-about-brexit.html#IDComment1062689607

      • Helena
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        They are hiring customs staff. Does that give you a clue that the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement does NOT do away with border checks? On the contrary – it assumes they apply. Only EU membership gets rid of border controls. Brexit is a disaster for our exporters

        • libertarian
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink


          As usual, you’re wrong

          I just imported some stuff from USA, I ordered it on Monday it was delivered on Thursday duty paid , carriage paid and without stopping or being checked at any border. Frictionless trade has been the case around the world for more than 20 years

        • Know-Dice
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          I would put that down to the intransigence of the EU coupled with the incompetence of the UK Government.

          The EU’s stated negotiation strategy is:

          “2. Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package”


          So, may be you would care to postulate as to why the “Withdrawal Agreement” negotiations have been separated from an ongoing trade arrangement with the EU?

          Certainly David Davis who was clearly just a Maybot puppet should not agreed to this and should of resigned at a much earlier stage if this was something that he didn’t agree with.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Mr Hamer – obviously a Remainer. No effort at real and measured argument, just very personal insults aimed at his host. Not acceptable.
      Pity, really. It would be interesting if we had a Remainer actually explain to us what they believe is truly good about the EU, and about the golden future that we are forfeiting by our determination to leave.
      Mr Hamer obviously isn’t going to be the one.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      JR is one of the few in the HoC that actually does know what he is talking about, if only he was in government things would be going so much better.

  4. Mick
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    There all just project fear which seems to be increasing greatly the nearer March 29th 2019 comes especially with some of your fellow colleagues and main steam media , you should ask the PM today at PMQ’s that under no condition or circumstances would she call for a second referendum/people’s vote or extend article 50,

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Mick. This is a link to sign a petition demanding no second referendum.


    • Graham Wood
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      The current petition against a second referendum is now near the critical 100,000 mark.

      • L Jones
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Well over that mark now – time to share it!

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        I have just signed. Total over 105,000 so it will be debated in parliament – usually just a committee rather than the full house. It is a great shame we have to waste so much time on things like this. It is because of Mrs May’s appeasement of Remainers.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Exactly right on all of the above.

    Yet another absurdly biased discussion on Newsnight with Osborne, Toynbe, Evan Davis another lefty loon Ash Sarker and the one sane voice Susanne Evans. Osborne was trying to rewrite history absurdly. He did however say one sensible thing:- “we will not win the next election by trying to out Corbne Corbyn”. This is clearly what May and Hammond are trying to do. It just damages the economy and jobs hugely. It they deliver their Vassal State non Brexit and continue to increase taxes, regulations, endless government waste and expensive green crap they are surely done for. Get rid of Appeaser May and the economic illiterate Hammond please before we get Corbyn.

    • rose
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, Osborne was right about that and managed to rise above the hysterical impertinence of Davies and the vitriol of La Toynbee.

      But he was stuck right in the Westminster Bubble when he said that only a tiny minority of people were interested in restoring our national independence. Lord Ashcroft’s opinion poll, taken in the immediate wake of the vote, showed it was the number one reason. Mr Osborne added further insult to our intelligence by saying the EU had taken no more of our independence than NATO!

      And yet one still felt nostalgic for the days when we had a Prime Minister who didn’t deliberately set out to betray us, and one who was Prime Ministerial too..

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I wonder why you endlessly and continuously use the phrase ‘green crap’? I remember the smog of the 1950s. Would you like us all to inhale ‘black crap’ all the time? Is burning oil a good thing in your head?

      Yes, at the moment green energy is more expensive than (some) fossil fuel based energy. SO WHAT? Instead of governments spending endless amounts of money on ‘bureaucratic crap’ – they should subsidise green energy.

      Have you ever been into a primary school in London lately? I haven’t – but I have seen this on the TV – lockers for each child to put their inhaler in. Yes, we have an epidemic of asthma in children. But I assume that is okay with you – as long as we don’t have any ‘green crap’ going on.

      I despair of people like you. Have you the brains you were born with? Surely anyone even half sane would realise that green energy is preferable to energy from burning fossil fuels. Still, one day you and your like minded generation will be gone and younger people who still have a future ahead of them can start acting rationally and get their energy from the sun, wind and tides. There is plenty of energy around – we just need to harness it and stop letting people like you – with your endless diatribes about ‘green crap’ – having any say in the matter.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Of course I am against real and dangerous pollution, but C02 is a natural, odourless, harmless gas that is also very good for plant growth, greening the planet and essential to life. A little warmer is (on balance) rather better than colder anyway.

        I am however against climate alarmism, subsidies for technologies that are not yet competitive and against the absurd anti-CO2 expensive unreliable energy religion. This is at the very least an absurd exaggeration and pure scaremongering.

        As endlessly pushed by the BBC and the state sector (as an excuse for more taxes) and more regulation for everyone.

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Hybrid cars that can travel for small distances in cities on battery only can be sensible. This to shift some of the pollution back to the power stations and away from city centres can make sense. I am against the CO2 devil gas and “pollution” religion mainly. It is nothing of the sort.

        • David Price
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

          The government gives tax credits for R&D activities to subsidise all sorts of product development already.

          How do you think we got to having nuclear power if not through vast subsidies.

          • Stred
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            The ‘investment’ in offshore wind and solar has been put onto electricty bills. Currently the windfarms are being guaranteed £140/kWh- 3 times gas. They only work for 35% of capacity and almost all the balance has to be provided by gas. Nuclear is run full belt and gas ramps up and down, uneconomically. Greencrap possibly?

          • David Price
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            You think anyone who questions the fossil fuel lobby is a greenie or “academic”? You are being as blinkered as they are.

            How much has been guaranteed to the conventional fuel/energy providers?

            No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket.

          • Stred
            Posted November 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            The figure should be £140/MWh

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted November 2, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          More UK electricity was produced by wind and solar sources last year than by nuclear power stations, for the first time according to the latest government figures.

          Renewables’ share of electricity generation shot up to 29 per cent, while nuclear sources accounted for around 21 per cent.

          The increase means low carbon energy sources – which include both renewables and nuclear – now account for over half of all electricity generated.

          So, over half our energy now from NOT burning fossil fuel. Excellent. We are well on the way.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        When the new “renewable” technology works and is cost effective then fine. In the mean time there is a role for gas, coal, nuclear and oil. Not using them is far more dangerous to like and far more expensive than using them. The biofuels agenda has push up food prices and people have starved.

      • stred
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        As the above charts show, air pollution has greatly decreased in the UK. In London there has also been a reduction in PMs over the last 10 years and NO2 levels have not increased despite the change to more diesel cars. Some Green activists have been parading children around and claiming that they are suffering from a pollution crisis, when they are breathing cleaner air than their parents and grandparents. They claim that notional deaths, produced by multiplying a small decrease in lifespan by the whole population, are actual deaths is also a lie. If some propaganda is not true, how is it to be described in polite language? Greenrubbish/

      • roger
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Total subsidies for green energies this year, amount to £256 per household assuming 26 million households in the UK.
        This is slated to rise by 50% by 2023. These figures are freely given in the budget statement small print.
        40000 poor people died last winter from hypothermia. How many more do you want to kill?
        You show your total ignorance by stating that sun wind and tides could provide our future energy, however, Australia will shortly demonstrate to the world just how wrong that can be.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:30 am | Permalink


        • David Price
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

          According to the ODI the UK government provide the same level of subsidies (approx £6b) to the fossil fuel industry.

          I think we will need a mix of energy generation and even the fossil fuel industry accepts that, Shell were playing with fuel cells in the late 1960s. long before the AGW hysteria. The issues are pollution and that easy energy is becoming harder to find and process so new approaches and processes will be needed.

          You either approach this situation as a threat or an opportunity.

          • Stred
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            They count tax relief on development of gas and oil as subsidy. Carbon fuels are taxed and the cost goed on the bill.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            The fossil fuel industries create huge revenues for governments all over the world.

            If you look at the dodgy statistics used to create your mythical subsidy figure it includes “facts” like the cost of eliminatiing any pollution and the loss of VAT not being at 20% on our energy bills and red diesel not being taxed at road fuel levels.

          • roger
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            The subsidies attributed by the ODI to fossil fuels are in fact taxes refunded at point of sale to the consumer And are in fact deliberate FAKE NEWS.
            The subsidies to renewables at £256 per household come FROM consumers and are paid to land and seabed owners, renewable energy companies and others assisting in the scam.
            Your second sentence shows that brainwashing is alive and well in the twenty first century.
            Your third endorses a confected threat and the opportunists that are pillaging poor peoples pockets on the back of the CC Act.

          • David Price
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2 – According to the OBR revenues have declined to nothing;

            “Since 2008-09 UK oil and gas revenues have fallen from £10.6 billion (0.7 per cent of GDP) to close to zero in 2016-17. The fall in receipts has been driven by falling production, much lower oil and gas prices and higher tax-deductible expenditure. ”

            from https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/tax-by-tax-spend-by-spend/oil-and-gas-revenues/

          • David Price
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


            We currently rely on hydrocarbon imports from Russia and the Middle East together with nuclear generation from France, this is not a safe strategy and you accuse me of being brainwashed because I want to see a rational strategy that limits our exposure.

            Point to some objective analysis that refutes the ODI instead of throwing insults that simply suggest you have no proof or actual argument.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

            David, you are not talking about revenues from taxes on petrol and diesel sales.
            Which are the major revenues.
            You are confused as your figures are come from oil platform North Sea revenues.

          • David Price
            Posted November 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2, that page talks about revenues including taxes, I missed off the last sentence from the paragraph I quoted which is “The rate of petroleum revenue tax and the supplementary charge have also been cut substantially.”

            This suggests that tax revenues have indeed been hit.

            What is clear is the lack of clarity around the whole issue.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Still wrong
          Revenues from fossil fuel taxes are huge.
          Out of every litre sold the uk govt takes over 70p

          You are looking at north sea oil revenues which obviously have fallen as the fields reach the end of their life and barrel prices have fallen from their peak

  6. Leominster
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    This is some kind of parody account, right? British business is starting to panic about loss of export trade and you think the issue is with imports?

    • Richard1
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Listen to the news. The scare stories allege food and medicine shortages due to unexplained coming import restrictions (or export restrictions by the EU – its never clear which). It’s obviously rubbish but it’s reasonable enough of JR to address the points.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


        We had the racehorse scare this afternoon on BBC news, apparently horses Jockeys and grooms may all be banned from moving about from Country to Country because the existing arrangements may not continue.

        After 5 mins of fear reporting, a bookmaker in response simply said, life will go on as normal he’s not worried.!

        Summed it all up in a few words.

        I wonder what next, will they try to stop wildlife overflying different Countries without passports.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          It’s clearly nonsense, but can anyone see Brussels’ current favourite member allowing that.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink


      Er you’ve not been reading your own sides pronouncements then ? JR is addressing the complete project fear cobblers that the Peoples Voting Again Until We Win group have been posting.

      Which businesses are panicking about loss of the very small amount of export trade we do with the EU?

    • rose
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      6% of British business. And then, not all of them.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        6% of businesses that by all accounts control our government, hence the government’s seemingly irrational behaviour.

    • jasg
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      UK business in 90% small business and right now our biggest problem is Phillip Hammond – by a hell of a long way! As if Brown and Osborne weren’t bad enough, Hammond redefines ‘bad’.

    • Lorna
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      60% of exports are non EU.Why should the EU not want to buy U.K. goods ?
      Why would imports not continue from EU?
      It is all a fuss about nothing
      The medicine agency has firmly stomped on rumors of shortages

      • James
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Some of the project fear stories are so absurd as to be laughable. The nonsense being spouted by a number of remainers is somewhat reminiscent of the ridiculous Y2K episode, and should simply be ignored as a storm in a teacup. We will all look back after 29 March 2019 and wonder what on earth all the fuss was about. The UK will absolutely thrive outside the EU.

        • L Jones
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          The project fear stories certainly are laughable. But (I am told!) they are rife on Facebook. And committed, hysterical, narrow-minded, unimaginative remainers simply click ”like” and truly believe they are well-informed.
          And they would much rather see the UK fail in some way than to admit they have been wrong. They are doomed to disappointment! How will they cope?

          • libertarian
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 12:49 am | Permalink

            L Jones

            You are right, a bunch of left wing remainers on a FB group I belong to were all Liking and sharing a post about incinerating rubbish to create electricity in Sweden. They were all giving it typical this country is crap Foreigners do things better etc etc until I pointed out the worlds first incinerator was built in Birmingham in 1861 and we have been producing electricity from incineration for nearly 100 years. My impression is that a large number of the luddite Remain camp are basically very ill-informed about a number of business and trade issues . Thats why they believe naively the EU bullshit about single markets and frictionless trade

    • NHSGP
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      So do you think the EU will tell EU nationals you can’t have medicines produced in the UK?

      Instead you have to die for the political good of the elite in Brussels.

      • L Jones
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        ”Elite”? They’re not ”elite”!! THEY think they are, that’s all.

  7. Richard1
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    All sensible points. The advantage continuity remain have is they do not seem to come under specific pressure to say why these various threats may materialise, they just assert that they will & that’s good enough for many commentators. It is routine on the BBC and in opinion forming media such as the FT for language like crash out and cliff edge and the disaster of no deal etc to be employed, with no challenge or coherent explanation as to why. It is greatly in the interest of the EU commission to encourage this as it makes an already timid Mrs May even less likely to walk away with no deal. And as we know & as Mr Cameron demonstrated so clearly, in any negotiation if you aren’t prepared to walk away you get hosed.

  8. Duncan
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    It is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone who chooses to see that the UK will not leave the EU end-March next year. I have even take out a £100 No Leave bet with my local bookmaker

    It is my belief that the Europhile May will try and hang on until the next GE. Up against the rabble of Marxists and with the boundary commission changes in place she’ll probably win a working majority and consolidate her position as leader. Such an outcome will obliterate the influence of the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party. The road ahead is then open for May and her Europhile allies to once and for all crush the remaining hopes of those who want to see the UK take back her sovereignty and independence from the grasping clutches of the EU autocrats

    And don’t be surprised if Merkel becomes the EU’s top dog after 2020. That would really inject momentum into the destruction of national democracies in Europe and finally provide the leverage the EU needs to push ahead with their ultimate objective, the creation of a new sovereign State namely Europe

    My view is simple. If May leads the Tories into the next GE, I for one will abstain. Not only is she shamelessly mendacious but her liberal left obsessions are used as cover to crush our freedoms. We’ve seen the rise of liberal left fascism in the West and attacks on our fundamental rights as per the ECHR ruling on free speech. May is of the same persuasion.

    The Tories and their constant shifting of their position leftwards is an abuse of their core vote.

    Reply I do not accept your predictions. The UK Parliament has legislated to leave in March 2019 and there are no signs of any proposal to repeal that legislation.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – I do hope that the word ”yet” isn’t quietly to be added to that by those who would want it repealed.

      Though I believe your sincerity, Dr Redwood and I’m not quite as pessimistic as Duncan – it’s hard to stay positive some days.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Demographics come into play more by 2022. I do wonder whether the 2017 GE was a cynical ploy that went slightly wrong thanks to charisma free PM but the odds are still on a massive sell out as most of us predicted as early as 24/06/2016.

    • stred
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      The bookmakers will probably claim that May says we have left and refuse to pay out, even if we haven’t really and are tied in by signing the deal and backstop.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink


      The bet of £100 you have placed will ensure that you’ll receive a Christmas card from your bookmaker.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Well, under the legislation the Remoaner’s purpose could be served initially just by Parliament approving a regulation to postpone “exit day”:


      Then repeal of the legislation could follow later.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    According to a recent DerSpiegel article the EU Commission was the source of the scare stories about planes being grounded and the rest. Perhaps the Commission is trying to soften up the member states to accept whatever agreement is presented to them having forced concessions from the UK government on just about every issue. Project Fear is now being used both sides of the Channel to get the agreement through. All the signs are that May has capitulated on issue after issue. I expect a lousy deal for the UK and share your view that No Deal will be the better option.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Are you referring to the 8/8 or 10/9 articles? The 8/8 article explains clearly (I’ve read only the German version) why the flights could be a problem. EU airspace is not accessible for flights without EU or equivalent regulatory status. Of course the UK can allow EU certified flights on a unilateral basis, but absent a treaty, there would be problems with flights by UK-based operators without EU certification. Very simple and very simple to agree, assuming there is agreement about the terms of withdrawal.

      See This from Der Spiegel (quoting the head of IATA):

      “Wenn nicht bald etwas passiert, wird es ein Alptraum an den Flughäfen in Europa und in Großbritannien”, sagte de Juniac. Er schloss ein Szenario mit Tausenden gestrandeten Kunden direkt nach dem Ende März anstehenden Brexit nicht aus. De Juniac rief die Flugbehörden in Großbritannien und der EU auf, einen Plan zu entwickeln, wie der Flugverkehr garantiert werden könne.

      • oldtimer
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        I am referring to the 30/10 English language article “It is time to make concessions to the UK”.

    • Richard
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      A Rebuttal to “planes wont fly’: On the Montreal-based world regulatory bodies IATA & ICAO: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/02/24/restoring-our-fish-and-farms/#comment-920955

      The EU27 haven’t said they are withdrawing from the ICAO’s International Air Services Transit Agreement – signed from 1944 onwards, by 133 countries.

      And searching here I found that the UK has 303 bilateral (mostly Air Services) agreements: https://cfapp.icao.int/dagmar/main.cfm

      And evidence given 16:52 onwards that it’s in EU interests to do an Air Deal (although planes would still fly anyway). https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/558a1399-6328-4d06-b1fa-c19e50801a6c
      Lufthansa reportedly has £1bn+ of Heathrow landing slots at risk if no Air Deal.

      Ryan Air is expanding at Southend; Wizz is expanding at Luton; Easy Jet has obtained an EU operators licence.

  10. Flatwater Fran
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I would love to know why Mrs May appears so determined to follow her foolish Chequers? In the light of this article which should be published daily in every possible paper- we have nothing to fear from No Deal and so much to gain.
    Thank you John for your voice of calm reason

    • stred
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      It’s because May, Robbins and Clarke promised it to the CBI, which is dominated by foreign big business and partly financed by the EU, and also directly to foreign-owned automotive and the aviation industry. They suggested their demands and the plan to keep the UK effectively in the EU has been a kit kat job from the start. This is what Cameron meant when he was overheard telling fellow globalists that things would not be as bad as had been thought after the referendum went wrong. They think that voters are stupid for voting the wrong way and will vote Tory again, rather than for Corbyn and his unpleasant Marxist front row.

    • Gary C
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      @ Flatwater Fran

      One can only agree with you.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Calm reason doesn’t go down well with remainers. They prefer the hysteria of ‘project fear’ – it makes them feel vindicated.
      Empty vessels make the most noise, after all.

  11. Mark B
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I have been puzzling over why so many commentators think a so called No Deal departure would be a heavy negative for the UK economy.

    The reason, I argue, as to why BREXIT is not going to plan and why the so called, Withdrawal Agreement is being hyped, is because big business has taken over and turned what was a political decision by the British people into a pigs breakfast for them. And I am glad to say more and more people are coming to see it that way.

    The Withdrawal Agreement is now nothing but a trap. A trap to keep the UK as closely aligned to the EU so that a small but very powerful set of interests can be served. It is also do so that parliament can, at a much later date, either rejoin in part or whole the EU project.

    This is not over.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      I am glad to say more and more people are coming to see it that way.

      Totally correct Mark.

      People have had enough of the whole mess that has come out out the last two years.

      JFDI. The politicians should have gone with a totally committed leader and cabinet. Too many people just protecting their secret agendas and political survival strategy. The 80/20 rules apply only 20% of the elected politicians are fit for office. All parties have got to rethink their selection procedures especially regarding specialist qualifications and experience.

      Hopefully out of all this mayhem when the dust settles one of the first things to be implemented is notice of the break up of the BBC which a lot of people feel are responsible for the position we now find ourselves in regarding all the scare stories and headlines.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      This is not new either. Our Host has been fighting this battle for UK independence since the 1970s in the footsteps (but without the inflammatory rhetoric) of Mr J.E. Powell.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        As did Mr J Corbyn

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Exactly correct Mark. And senior members of the Cabinet are complicit.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    What will it take to convince the PM of the above points – Has she become deaf?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      Has she become deaf?

      It would appear deaf and dumb as well.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Sorry left out blind

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      No she was always just a totally misguided, interventionist, tax borrow and waste, green crap, socialist, appeaser, remainer. Robotic, disingenuous and an electoral liability too.

    • Alison
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris – not deaf, but ears stopped up. A month or so ago I read that Mrs May no longer reads/looks at the daily newspapers.
      I also read that she believed (and maybe still does) that 95% of the UK are in favour of Chequers.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Someone please tell the BBC that there will still be horse racing after Brexit.

    Its feature on this morning’s daily Brexit gloomcast was that workers and horses wouldn’t be able to come here.

    The Blairist Broadcasting Corporation. I am sick of it. Even Doctor Who has become a right-on lecture in political correctness. Even non political people are calling it a joke now.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Anon. Yes, I’ve noticed many programmes are left wing. Politics seem to be appearing in everything broadcast now. Casualty and Holby City going on about the NHS, and Brexit and all it’s so called pit falls coming up in nearly every comedy show and I count Dr Who in that. What an absolute load of old tosh. Just because it’s a woman everyone cheering from the rooftops. It’s worse than ever and with the political bias thrown in it’s chucking up time!

      • L Jones
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        At least some of the characters in ”The Archers” speak positively of Brexit sometimes! Amazing! How did that get by the BBC censors?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink


      The Blairist Broadcasting Corporation. I am sick of it.

      Aren’t most sensible people?

      It is well past its sell by date and needs to be demolished and a new fit for the 21st century structure to replace it. The news and current affairs programmes especially should be outwith the organisation and totally self funded.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      From what I heard on the Today programme this morning, little Ben Bradshaw thinks that the V&A will have to close and we’ll have to send all the Picasso paintings back from the Tate. In fact, the whole world will come to an end with a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

    • Colin Hart
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      And the reason the horse racing industry is worried is because they may have to start paying decent wages.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink


      ” Even Doctor Who has become a right-on lecture in political correctness.”

      Dr Who? My son used to watch that years ago. It was a childrens’ programme.

      Are you claiming the BBC is trying to influence our kiddies?

      • L Jones
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        No – it ceased to be a ”children’s programme” (note the apostrophe) years ago. Now it seems they’re trying to educate us all, and if that includes our ”kiddies” then I’m sure it suits the BBC’s agenda.

      • stred
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Yes. As are our teachers.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, you obviously don’t keep up with much. Because Dr Who is on at around 7.30 on Sunday many adults find themselves having to endure this rubbish. Back in my days it was on earlier on Saturday. Not everyone has the choice of two rooms to sit in, hence many are forced to endure such crap.

    • Bob
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Does the Remainer govt really believe that issuing a commemorative coin will fool the British people into believing that we have left the EU?

  14. Peter
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Agreed. The one thing sensible politicians must do is ensure the Withdrawal Bill gets voted down in parliament.

    • NHSGP
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s easy.

      Ask May how many nurses get sacked to pay off the EU?

  15. Original Richard
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The more the BBC and EU collaborators broadcasts how a “no deal” (WTO deal) will bring economic and social collapse to the UK the more the EU will be intransigent in the “negotiations.”

    As a result we will be left with Parliament to decide as to whether we accept a “no deal” (WTO deal) or vassalage/colony status under a Chequers+ plan, where we remain in the EU’s SM/CU/ECJ but without representation, as these will be the only options offered by the EU.

    If Parliament chooses the latter, then such a denial of democracy (and remember that in constituency terms the leave/remain result was 64/36) that this would lead to political instability in the UK and would certainly not produce a long-term stable relationship with the EU.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Original Richard

      The more the BBC and EU collaborators broadcasts how a “no deal” (WTO deal) will bring economic and social collapse to the UK the more the EU will be intransigent in the “negotiations.”

      Totally correct

    • WeToldYou_No_EU
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      “As a result we will be left with Parliament to decide as to whether we accept a “no deal” (WTO deal) or vassalage/colony status under a Chequers+ plan, where we remain in the EU’s SM/CU/ECJ but without representation, as these will be the only options offered by the EU”.


      Please read this interesting article, about Parliamentary powers…in the current snafu that May has created.
      “Parliament does not have a “legal veto” over a no-deal Brexit, House of Commons officials have said – suggesting MPs who want to stop Britain crashing out of the EU will have to find another route.

      Instead, Britain will simply crash out of the European Union in March unless an exit deal is approved or MPs find another way to force the government to act.

      In written guidance to a member of parliament, seen by The Independent, experts in the House of Commons library said parliament cannot “legally and in isolation prevent a no-deal Brexit” if it votes against Theresa May’s deal.

      The Commons chief clark, Sir David Natzler, confirmed that the vote MPs will take on what should happen in the event of no deal also “has no statutory significance”.

  16. Richard Jenkins
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    “If nothing changes but the UK and EU impose EU level tariffs on each other”. I think you mean WTO level tariffs.

    Reply No, there is no such thing as WTO level tariffs. I mean if the UK accepts EU tariff schedule as our tariff schedule when we leave the EU. We choose a schedule and file it at WTO

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. Well given the 33 months between voting to leave and leaving, a responsible government would have tariff schedules ready, and be itching to issue them, rather than relying on the current ones which leave us paying identical tariffs for third country imports and more from protected zone of the EU. Sounds like Leave means Paying rather than Leaving!

  17. formula57
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Perhaps now and in light of your persuasive words one amongst the c.4 per cent. of the population that backs the Chequers proposal will explain what tangible net benefits flow to the UK from giving away £39 billion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Is it as high as 4%? I thought is was just May and Hammond and a few other daft MPs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Circa £1500 per household for nothing of value and much that is very negative and damaging?

  18. mickc
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Yes….and excellent summary of the position.

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Do not underestimate the incompetence of the organisations which are supposed to run all of the Departments you outline John.

    The box tickers will doubtless need to be reassured that ticking the right box will require retraining, the simple questions and difficult and answers on yesterdays select committee interviews show how totally incompetent these departments are, with absolutely no clue as to what they will be expected to do in 5 months time.

    As usual what appears to be common-sense to the majority of the population seems difficult for Government management.

    The real problem however is calling a WTO deal a “No Deal”, by that very term it suggests nothing is in place to take over from the already set routines.
    Hence why so many people, some politicians included, think all trade with the EU will stop on 30th March 2019 !

  20. Adam
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Bubbles of people opposed to Brexit have been envisioning fearful ways to scare others.
    JR’s well-reasoned points act as the Ghostbuster of slimy Remainer illusions.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      But they won’t read them, Adam. They don’t fit with their idea of EUtopia. ”Well reasoned” just doesn’t cut it with those who actually WANT the UK to have difficulty.

  21. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    All well and good. But what about the Galileo project? The UK as an EU member state has so far invested over £1.2bn in Galileo, helping to build the satellites, to operate them in orbit, and to define important aspects of the system’s encryption.

    As I understand it, spitefully, the French have announced that we will not be able to continue in the project post-Brexit and the EU will deny the UK access to the signal.

    • Helena
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Amazing! The UK has decided to leave the EU and now it is being treated as if it has decided to leave the EU! Who saw that coming?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        So, on one hand the EU want us to continue paying for projects that we gain no advantage from and on the other they wish to cut us out of something that we have already invested in.

        I guess that’s pretty typical of a petty unfriendly pseudo-state…

        • Helena
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          The UK CHOSE to leave the EU! You sound like a toddler whining “it’s not fair”, take responsibility for what you voted for

      • Edward2
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        So helena you have invested much time, expertise and many tens of millions into a project which has no real connection with membership of the EU and you are now refused any involvement.
        You all OK with that?

        • margaret howard
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink


          Yes, that’s what you voted for in a so called democratic vote. When you leave something it’s final – you can’t just leave bits of it.

          As the song has it:
          “When it’s gone it’s gone”

          Is it beginning to dawn on you leavers what you have done?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 1, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            Not a real answer from you Margaret.
            The project had no real connection to the EU.
            And it was a shared funded project.
            But they will end up poorer as the UK had a lot of technical input and contributed a lot of funding.

    • hefner
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      SG, only the PRS secure service is under discussion, the rest is open to anybody. Have you not got it yet on one of your Apple Watch apps?

  22. Paul Cohen
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately JR seems surrounded by numbskulls in the House of Commons – perhaps there ought be some sort of intelligence test before being an MP (some hopes). He however continues with his valuable and convincing posts.

    For him it must be frustrating that it is so hard to get traction, but seems this year to be better in that respect – he really needs more voluble allies. It is a waste that his talent is not more widely used, some of his ideas and comments if used might be like some magic wand.

  23. Pete Else
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The difficulty and delay has been entirely the fault of May and other ministers. It should have been completely obvious that the EU would not co-operate, it never has so why would it change now? We should have said we are leaving on a set date (much sooner than 2019) and we are prepared to offer a free trade deal. If you’re interested give us a call and we’ll talk, otherwise we are quite happy to go WTO rules. That would have saved all the delay and humiliation that we have had in this farce. All the arrangements could have been made months ago and we could be out by now. We see British governments fail to put the interests of their voters first every time there is a chance. Time and again they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. What a shower.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      All part of the plan, Pete

  24. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Brilliant post again today. I await with bated breath to see what those that love to run our country down have to say today. More puerile hate I expect.

  25. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    You may not like Dr North.
    However he has devoted the best years his life to the EU challenges.
    He is the go-to man.
    He says that no deal is going to destroy our trade completely. The logistics industry, he says, is already stretched and when the EU simply cuts us off (Advice to Stakeholders), there is going to be chaos as the lorries going out to fetch JIT deliveries will be checked and rechecked all through the EU.
    It takes two to trade and if one side refuses – no trade.

    • Renton
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Richard North, who campaigned for us to leave the EU but now seems upset it’s not being done the way he wanted? I don’t think we need waste too much time on his tantrums

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


      Do you think BMW, Aldi, Lidl, and a host of other European Companies would not complain about their goods going to their shops and factories being held up by the EU on their side of the Channel.

      Fresh produce I agree if held for too long may be a problem, but how much produce is fresh, when now when more than half the so called fresh stuff you purchase is kept refrigerated for weeks on end to hold back its deterioration.

      We may have a few weeks of disruption as people get used to new systems bedding in but industry will simply allow greater transportation times to be built in as a safeguard.
      The alternative is to use other ports or means of entry.
      Where there is a will, business usually finds a way.

      • stred
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Even if French cheese turned up extra smelly or French wine not at all, who would care? Especially my continental relations, who actually like it smelly. I won’t touch it and drink Aus and Chilean wine, which I sneak into old French bottles. Then they always ask what this lovely French wine is.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      No trade!
      An EU Commission imposed blockade?
      Is this your new project fear 3.0 Mike?
      Millions of jobs in France and Germany depend on trade with the UK.

      • hefner
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        You’re funny Edward. According to various reports, both pre- (by among others, Global Concern) and post-referendum (like the Civitas Report), the EU countries most likely to be affected by Brexit are IRL, NL and B. Germany and France come much lower in the ranking. The impact on German jobs is unlikely to be small (0.75m) but the situation for whoever tries to get properly informed is somewhat different from what you are claiming (without any reference by the way).

        • Edward2
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          I find you funny Hefner falling for reports put out by EU subsidised think tanks.
          It is a wave of pro EU propaganda.

          Talk of no trade between Europe and the UK or deliberate blockades by the EU bureacrats is simply ridiculous.

  26. Tabulazero
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile… “No-deal Brexit would trigger lengthy UK recession, warns S&P.”

    It’s becoming every day more like “the Right Honourable John Redwood vs. the Rest of the World”.

    I put my money on the Rest of the World. Quantity is a quality in itself.

    Reply They were wrong about their forecast recession in the winter of 2016-17 and I was right. Remain said the same thing then that I was bound to be wrong and the Establishment to be right, the same Establishment that gave us the ERM and the credit crunch.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      “Quantity is a quality in itself”-as Stalin used to say;friend of yours was he?!

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Well done. I had deliberately put the quote to see who would pick it up. You know your history. Congratulations.

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Thank you!

    • stred
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Is this the same S and P that failed to forecast the balls up, which we are still trying to pay for?

    • libertarian
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


      The “rest of the world” doesn’t have a very good track record in predicting the future . They almost always get the big decisions wrong. Most people are firmly stuck in the rut of what they know ( we even have a name for it, Luddites ) .

      The catalog of extreme predictions of catastrophe even within just the last 40 years have ALL proved to be laughably incorrect

      mass unemployment due to technology, Acid Rain, BSE, vaccinations , bird flu, Y2K , AGW and recessions various.

      All the calamities that did happen were not predicted by more than one or two people at most

  27. Tabulazero
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Perfect timing.

    S&P warned that the chance of a “no-deal” Brexit had risen in recent months to such an extent that it needed to warn international investors about the potential challenges ahead.

    The S&P report said:
    * Unemployment would rise from current all-time low of 4% to 7.4% by 2020 – a rate last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis;
    * House prices would likely fall by 10% over two years;
    * Household incomes would be £2,700 lower a year after leaving without a deal;
    inflation would rise, peaking at 4.7% in mid-2019;
    * London office prices could fall by 20% over two to three years, similar to the decline following the 2008 financial crash.

    I cannot wait for your investment advice column in the FT. Why don’t you recommend getting massively long the UK in the run up to March to put your money (and reputation) where your mouth is ?

    That would be courageous.

    Reply This global fund as last reported in the paper had a substantial investment in UK bonds and shares ( as it always has had)and nothing in the Eurozone given the problems there. This recession forecast caused by a no deal exit is groundless, and looks very like the false official forecasts for the winter of 2016-17

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    To pay anything to Leave is financial lunacy, if not blackmail.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Or bribery.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    But, JR, even an agreement confirming in effect that:

    “Existing overfly rights under the Chicago Convention shall be unaffected by the UK‘s departure from the EU”.

    would be an agreement or deal.

    So would you say that no such agreement should be made, even if that could lead to a period of uncertainty during which nobody was sure whether all parties respected the existing rights and wished to carry on without disruption?

    Surely the answer must be that even if it was not strictly necessary it would be far better to have the piece of paper saying that all the signatories agreed to that.

    But then the next question would be:

    “How much should the UK pay the EU for a piece of paper confirming that all the parties, the EU and its member states and the UK and any other countries affected, have decided to behave sensibly?”

    Apparently the government would be prepared to pay a “salty”* price for that, and for all the other pieces of paper which may be needed to reassure the world that the EU is not going to be damn silly about one of its member states making use of a withdrawal clause which the EU itself wanted inserted in its treaties.

    * http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/30/my-speech-during-the-debate-on-the-budget-29-october-2018/#comment-969938

    “It’s worth recalling the greedy attitude of Jean-Claude Juncker … the bill will be – to use a rather vulgar term – very salty.””

  30. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The EU has been in financial turmoil for years e.g. Greece, but it has been shielded by QE etc.

    The supposed fall of Merkel, doing a showbiz retirement, populist voting and the seemingly long awaited Italy financial reckoning is changing the picture.

    In short the Eurozone could be finally collapsing after many such predictions. May and Hammond should be very careful about committing the UK to any deal after 29/03/19 for this reason alone. I wondered post 2008 why we were bailing out Eurozone countries, particularly one that is being difficult in our exit for no good reason.

  31. backtothefuture
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    A little OTT tday John, I think we are near enough the edge now to wait

    If we leave without a deal, which we probably will, it will be because of the border or some other issue and not money

    as was said before by many- politics trumps economics everytime when it comes to EU business..same thing happened when we ourselves voted in the referendum, and for myriad reasons, politics trumped economics and good British common sense..a kind of madness took over, if you will, but it would not have been the first time that a whole nation became distracted and voted the wrong way.

    So very soon now we will know the outcome.. my own thinking is that none of this business has anything to do with tariffs..UK thinking is so far removed from what the EU buffs require for cohesion and confidence that we are most certainly due for a spell in the wilderness, they might call it a time for reflection.

  32. stred
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    After the budget, Sky interviewed John Longworth (I think), the ex-head of the Chamber of Commerce. He told Adam Boulton that the WTO does not set the tariffs and Boulton did not accept this and said he did not have time to argue. When a hack disputes the knowledge of a senior figure in commerce, we have to wonder at their ignorance or alternatively assume that Sky has its orders from the Remain campaign.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    “If nothing changes but the UK and EU impose EU level tariffs on each other then the EU will collect £5bn of extra customs, and the UK £13bn, given the large imbalance in trade in items that attract tariffs.”

    At present the customs duties on UK imports from outside of the EU, which the UK now collects on behalf of the EU at the EU’s rates, amount to about £3 billion:


    so I accept that when we leave the EU it could impose duties amounting to your £5 billion on our exports, but where have you got your £13 billion for UK duties?

    That seems far too high.

    • Richard
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      The Civitas report supporting £13Bn pa tariffs to HM Treasury uses 2015 data; UK trade growth since then would mean a higher amount 4.25 years later in 2019.
      But actual UK tariff rates would be voluntarily lower than the maximum allowed per our WTO tariff schedules (inherited EU rates). So who knows? The actual amount would depend on UK trade policy.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that. As we’re necessarily only looking at ballpark figures I’m not too concerned about the numbers used being a bit out of date and potentially subject to change after we have left if the pattern of trade shifts. I think the apparent discrepancy must be because the £3 billion that the UK collects on behalf of the EU takes into account the EU’s trade deals as well as probably relating more to lower tariff imports.

  34. Shieldsman
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Import of fresh produce. Much it of it is carried on road by transport contracted by the producer in the supplying Country. Supermarkets expect it to arrive with a minimum set shelf life, they will not pay for food that is going off.
    The onus is on the Continental Supplier to deliver a marketable product or lose the Contract. Can they afford to risk it?

    Just in time, the supplier contracts to deliver by the deadline and is in default if he does not. Once again haulage is the suppliers responsibility.

    Yes. Air Service Agreements are governed by ICAO (UN Organisation) under the Chicago Convention. The United Kingdom resumes responsibility as we are leaving the European Community and Common Aviation Area. Our Civil Aviation Authority is ready to take back in House full regulation of UK’s Civil Aviation (Including the EASA Tasks). The UK is talking to the Americans , but the EU Commission will not reciprocate
    IATA has commented on the Commissions failure to negotiate.
    “The EU and UK have a responsibility to millions of their citizens who depend on reliable air transportation,” states de Juniac. “The goal should be a comprehensive air services agreement that does not step backwards from the connectivity existing today.”
    “These are the most critical areas because there are no fallback agreements such as the WTO framework available in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario,” suggests de Juniac.
    Regarding the lack of clarity on the UK’s relationship with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) under any Brexit scenario, de Juniac describes as “ridiculous” the fact that formal discussions have been forbidden during negotiations. (By the Commission)
    “This is aviation safety we are talking about – the number one priority for everyone connected with air transport and the top responsibility for governments,” he states.

    Some members of Government seem to think that the implementation/transition period will cover Air Transport. But, will it? If it did it would only temporally put off the signing of new ASA’s.

    Rep[ly The necessary permissions are granted by member states, not by the EU. No EU member state has said it will ban UK planes from coming to its airports!

  35. Duncan
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    It’s all words, words and more words on a blog. Without the authority afforded to a PM the Eurosceptic position is utterly neutralised and you can express your ire until the cows come home but in the final analysis it is little more than wasted energy

  36. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You and the regulars on this forum have been over this many times. No need to repeat an argument about a hypothetical future outcome that apparently only a minority see as desirable. For those who believe that a mojority of the participants in the referendum unambiguously supported a brexit that might display several of the problems you mention (and all are possible if the separation is inimical enough, though not all likely) I would like to say, that is your opinion but there is no factual support. A small majority was in favour of the UK leaving the EU (a thought shared by several European governments now though not officially as the UK has outstayed its welcome in the club some time ago) but the alternative lacked definition, unfortunately in my opinion.

    No, I disagree with the notion that the proper monetary and fiacal response to a hostile (UK not prepared to sign a withdrawal agreement that has been negotiated in good faith and only lacks a few sub-agreements dealing with the Irish problem (a problem not created by the EU but resulting from a bilateral agreement between Ireland and the UK), that such proper policy always should be accommodative. The rating agencies use a variety of scenarios when apprasing the riskiness of fixed income securities and one of those scenarios is a recession following a hard brexit and lasting for several years. Obviuously that is not their (single) expectation, but they include economic (and subsequent policy) responses to shocks as a routine matter. Fiscal easing would be responsible if there was no capital flight or other cisrcumstances depressing the external value of GBP. Should there be severe downward pressure, the response would be to give priority to the currency, raise interest rates and adopt a very tight fiscal policy. Your prescription is only feasible in the situataion that financial markets respond benignly to a hard brexit (no sign so far that will be the case, just the opposite) and that there is a build up of slack susceptible to fiscal policy treatment.

    Reply The Agencies would be better employed considering the issues arising from the Italian budget

    • Edward2
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Lots of long words but fundamentally you want the UK to carry on paying many billions a year into your old failed politicians rest home.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        You are getting carried away with your ideological rubbish again

        • Edward2
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          Whereas you are not, of course.

          Your views must not be challenged.
          Rather like the EU commission.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        No, I do not “want” that at all. But in the short term, a disriptive brexit will be .. disruptive. That will hurt Britons much nore than Europeans (on avaregae) and the current Treasury approach is, justifiably, one of caution. What else would you do in their place? Gamble?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          It is a silly argument to first claim it will be disruptive to then state authoritatively that it will be disruptive.
          It is a classic strawman argument.
          Basing your conclusion on a statement you initially make which is just a prediction not a fact.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted November 2, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Why not reply to this. You argue that I am basing my conclusion on a prediction, not a fact. Apart from te fact that conculsions based on plausible predictions can be very useful but obviously lack foundation in historical fact, my statement that a “disruptive” brexit (a term for a form of brexit that would not be based on continuity of negotiation) would be disruptive for the UK economy is shared by many people and institutions that have relevant expertise and is not mere wordplay. For instance, expertise acquired by studying how economies behave when subjected to large shocks (demand, supply, catastrophes, sudden changes in trade policy – British example: corn laws). I have no personal interests that I believe will be affected by any form of brexit, but if you are a UK resident and employed in a sector that will struggle under a certain type, you might as well prepare yourself for a gamble without an upside. So do not regard me as a “Remainer” . I am convinced that the UK does not belong in the EU (like our host) and have dhad that conviction since the Maastricht treaty. I also believe that a union of a subset of current EU members is very suitable for futhre integration and will continue to do so, with some hick-ups of course. All groups of prople have their silly chauvinism but history teaches us that those things are not immutable.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            You say with authority that brexit will be disruptive and then go on to make claims of disaster based on that prediction.
            Just as many did for the time immediately after the referendum date which failed to come true.
            You are entitled to your opinion as to the future for the UK after we become an independent nation once more.
            Plainly I do not agree with your vision.
            I wish no ill will to the EU.
            I hope the Euro will remain a strong currency and I hope Europe will carry on successfully without us.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink


          Luckily the world doesnt operate on the opinions of retired bureaucrats

          Disruption is the driver of entrepreneurialism, creativity and innovation, all traits now totally lacking within the Eurozone

          Of the 200 worlds top tech companies just 8 are in Europe , 4 of those 8 in the UK

          Heres what I’d do in their ( Treasury) place. Id mind my own business as government has nothing to offer wealth creation. Let the markets work and stop interfering. However there is a stupidly simple course of action. IF for some strange reason Brexit began to have a very long term negative effect on the UK economy I would slash the rate of Corporation Tax and encourage business to relocate here. Job done

  37. George Brooks
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Over the past year or so the opinion polls have shown that, despite the Remain campaign continually re-launching various versions of Project Fear, there has been little or no change to the referendum result and the vote to leave.

    This current onslaught of misleading information which is being given a lot of airtime by the BBC and other broadcasters and to which you have given a very clear explanation and rebuttal today is, I believe, the forerunner to the Remainers launching an all out attack for a second referendum. They have moved away from the broad picture of how business and trade will be, in their view, adversely effected to targeting our daily life and portraying a miserable existence.

    This is being supported by the negotiations having been grossly mis-handled by the PM and No10 and which are now in a complete mess. Furthermore the PM has reneged on most of her Lancaster House speech and I don’t think it will be long before she breaks her promise not to have a second vote.

    Therefore it is vital that the Leave campaign ups it’s game and gets a lot more visibility of the undoubted benefit of leaving with ”No Deal” next March

  38. Colin Hart
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Hammond has said if there is no deal he will have to bring in an emergency budget that will make us a low-tariff, low tax economy like Singapore. Bring it on.

  39. English Pensioner
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Do these pessimists really believe that we are so dependent on the EU that we will starve or die without them because of shortages of food or medicine? Do they really believe that the US and other countries won’t be anxious to step in and become our preferred suppliers instead of the EU? Maybe there might be a few shortages of a few items whilst new supply lines are organised and there will be complaints from the food and drink fanatics that they can’t get their favourite exotic fruit and are being forced to drink Californian wine.
    Mrs May said that no agreement was better than a bad agreement, it’s time for MPs and the public to make her stick to her words.

  40. Tabulazero
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    A no deal Brexit means that in the aftermath of the crisis, how bad things will get will not be decided in London but rather Brussels, Berlin and Paris.

    How long will the queue at Calais be ? What goods get prioritized through custom ? How thorough will the checks be ? When is visa travel re-introduced ? What shape will the custom formalities take ?

    It’s the opposite of taking back control.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Just wait and see the angry backlash from European people if a bunch of unelected EU bureaucrats try to stop their freedom to trade with whoever they want and destroy their businesses and millions of jobs.

      • Helena
        Posted November 1, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        Ah, that’s sweet! You still think the German carmakers are going to come running to the UK’s rescue!

        • Edward2
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          No quite the reverse.
          I think the workers in European industries will get very angry when their jobs are threatened because unelected bureaucrats in the EU try to stop them trading with the UK.
          Germany alone has a million jobs under threat if current attitudes of the Commission are not reversed.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


          As you are totally ignorant of the value to the German economy and jobs of the UK market we can safely ignore your patronising drivel.

          What is it with remainers that they are all patronising, rude yet completely ignorant about business, trade and export/import?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Which could almost all be summarised in just question, Tabulazero:

      “Will the EU and its continuing member states faithfully abide by their solemn obligations under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?”

      See this from last week:


      Evidently you, Tabulazero, a defender of the EU, do not yourself believe that it can be trusted to conscientiously perform that, or presumably any other, treaty – which is not exactly an encouragement for the UK to make treaties with it.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Ridding our country of the EU shackles is not all about trade, Tabulazero. Or has that passed you by? You certainly seem to have been ”spooked” by Project Fear in all its frightening incarnations.

    • BoredofProject Fear
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Good grief!

      How much more of this ridiculous Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt do we have to put up with…

      Not even inventive enough, to come back with some new, scare stories.

      Nobody is listening anymore.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


      The queue at Calais to do what exactly? The refugee queue at Calais is already quite long. Still post Brexit if you’re right it means they are all staying in France. The French will love that

      There are 27 countries in the EU yet 39 countries already enjoy Visa free travel there, why would they introduce visas for Brits?

      What customs formalities. As with any other country outside Europe that I enter they check your passport ( often electronically ) and check your bags .

      If you mean goods, they aren’t checked at borders

      You folks really are like toddlers arguing my dads bigger than your dad

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Today there is the story that the ratings agency S&P predict a recession if we leave the EU without a deal. One of the more intelligent talking heads on TV pointed out that it was not clear from the Guardian article:


    whether their “no deal” scenario meant just no special trade deal or it meant no deal on anything at all. While another TV journalist may have had a reason for implying that it meant just no special trade deal – for example, she may have checked the original S&P report, which is not freely available to the public …

    However scouting around I read here:


    “Credit analyst Paul Watters said: ‘Our base case scenario is that the UK and the EU will agree and ratify a Brexit deal, leading to a transition phase lasting through 2020, followed by a free trade agreement.”

    From which it seems that their “no deal” scenario extends beyond a failure to agree any special trade deal, what they term “a free trade agreement”, and presumes that there will be no deal on anything at all and so certainly no transitional arrangements.

    While the FT news report:


    adds this commentary:

    “Few forecasters have tried to predict the outcome of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit, although Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, also suggested a recession would be likely. The Office for Budget Responsibility said that a parallel might be found in the three-day week of the early 1970s when energy was rationed.

    Most estimates of no deal have instead focused on the long-run impact, where estimates range from a hit of roughly 2 per cent of national income to around 10 per cent. Only the pro-Brexit lobby Economists for Brexit have estimated a gain in the long run from leaving the EU without a deal.”

    Actually I’m getting tired of all the Remoaner lies and media stupidity.

    Once it had become clear that the new Irish government had decided to try to force the UK to stay under the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market, and the EU had agreed to back them up, the UK government should have immediately reacted as I proposed at the time, on November 26th 2017:


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

    That would do us some economic harm, although nowhere near as much as portrayed by the Remoaners, and it would do the other countries more economic harm, albeit it would be spread around among them, but on most projections the country which would suffer by far the greatest economic damage would in fact be Ireland.”

    And according to the German government study reported some months before:


    the economic harm we would suffer from an orderly default to WTO rules might be 1.7% of GDP over the long term, near the bottom of the range quoted by the FT today, and not the exaggerated 8% loss predicted by the UK government, near the top of that range.

  42. Billyg
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    We can have absolutely no idea about how things will be when we leave with no deal..all we can do is prepare for every eventuality..or the best way we can. Loose talk above like this from JR again today is just pure nonsense as we will see soon enough..so roll on march 2019 when we can see these pedlars of nonsense, JR, IDS, JRM, Dr Fox, DD and all other like minded deluded types, who painted pictures of lucrative trade trade with countries far away, and who set us on this road, let’s see the colour of their money, let’s see them outed and finish with this fantasy thinking once and for all..it all comes back to unintended consequences

    • libertarian
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


      You started so well , with “we have no idea what will happen” you then went into a nervous breakdown of jelly wobbling proportion about all the things that you say will happen

      By the way we are still in the EU which is why we dont have trade agreements yet . However currently 60% of our export market IS ALREADY with non EU countries.

  43. Den
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Scare mongering from the perpetual whingers is squashed right there.
    With an EU Goods trade balance of £36 Billions just in the last Quarter of 2017 (ONS) the EU members will suffer the most should tariffs be placed upon their exports to us. It amazes me that with this advantage Mrs May has not made the most of being the EU’s best customer.
    With regards to no-fly ‘warnings’ I suppose it is quite possible that the ‘gods’ of Brussels might decide to over rule the Chicago Convention and order their subjects to ban UK airlines. That certainly would produce a nightmare scenario for the whole of Europe AND the Rest of the World because of the organisation of international flight schedules. No, even those megalomaniacs in Brussels would never sanction such a diabolical action that would surely cripple the EU, would they? Just to punish us for daring to leave their cosy cabal? I cannot wait to be rid of their control freakery.

    • stred
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      A look at the air traffic over UK airspace should convince the Remainer woe sayers that that EU needs to be reasonable. Try it at 6 am. It looks like a swarm coming over.


  44. MPC
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Re puzzlement over the negative reactions to No Deal my conclusion is that so called Continuity Remainers, including those who comment on this site, are inherently negative and pessimistic. It’s incredible to think how many of them have no belief that our country, one of the largest world economies, cannot thrive outside the EU

    Personally I am now meeting more and more people who voted Remain and who now say they’d vote Leave in view of the EU’s approach. I suspect they’re also tired of the continuation of Project Fear including S&P’s latest ‘forecast’ which seems to lack any rigour or balance.

  45. Edwardm
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    As JR, above, and others have repeatedly explained, trading with the EU on WTO terms is perfectly workable, as we currently do with most of the world.
    Under WTO we will be in control of our own affairs, with no modern-day danegeld to pay.

    In contrast Mrs May has embarked on a policy of subjugation and ruination, giving the EU control and leverage over our own affairs and the right to extract customs dues.
    I conclude Mrs May is in the wrong job.

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    If I were John Redwood. I wouldn’t waste my time addressing all these scare stories. It just gives them currency.

    Nearly all of these alleged ‘risks’ are within the UK own jurisdiction to prevent, simply by not doing anything. And most if the ones that aren’t, have been denied by people like the Calais Port Authorities etc.

    A characteristic of nearly all these scares , is and assumption that the UK is going to behave like a self destructive lunatic after we leave and that the EU itself is going to place vindictiveness above making money out of trade.

    It’s all part of the (so called) ‘liberal’/ socialist mindset, which sees trade as means of economic warfare rather than for making money.

    I’ve heard Nick Clegg saying that we will have to impose on this or that tariff on things. He then goes on to quote the WTO Maximums allowed

    We are NOT obliged to impose tariffs or import checks on ANYTHING. These tariffs are the WTO Maximums. Not compulsory.

    And we don’t have to impose ‘checks’ or on anything unless we choose to.

    It’s the same with the Northern Ireland Border.

    All this is an EU problem, not a UK one.

  47. bigneil
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Totally off topic.

    I have just seen that the Metropolitan Police are looking at selling a ” range of merchandise” to improve their income, as it has to save £325m before April 2021. Is this what the UK has come to??? Just as a comparison can you please tell us how much will be given away in Foreign Aid till that same point – – and also how many million will be handed over to the never ending flood of new, non-English speaking, non-contributing, NHS using, arrivals?

    What a disgusting mess our govt is DELIBERATELY making of this country.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


      Have to agree, this government in particular seems rather worse than most for competency.

      Afraid it starts and finishes at the top.

      Very similar to Schools and business, a good head usually runs a successful School or business, a poor head usually runs a failing School or business.

      Sad fact not enough Conservative Mp’s recognise this yet, so Government failure on so many tasks will continue.

  48. ian
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Two observation, 160 million to fight right-wing people in this country after Brexit going to the secret service MI5, i think that will include people on this blog and any right-wing parties like UKIP.
    1000 top business people from CBI and stock quoted companies in the UK to become ambassadors in overseas countries on the backs of taxpayers and the poor, to include their housing, parties, pay, and all other expenses should come to quite a few billion for them with no tax to pay, a nice payoff for their opposition to Brexit.

  49. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


    Thank you for an interesting summary.

    How do ew know all this before we know what a potential deal with the EU might look like?

  50. Fairweather
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Dear John
    Have you sent this to Mrs May
    She doesn’t read the papers and probably won’t read your post so can you explain all this to her?

  51. NHSGP
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    ” Imposition of customs dues will restrict and damage trade”

    When will you get it John.

    The EU countries who are members of the WTO cannot impose barriers or tariffs


    See Tariff binding.

    One result of the Uruguay Round was countries’ commitments to cut tariffs and to “bind” their customs duty rates to levels which are difficult to raise.


    How can the EU [or the UK for that matter], put in new tariffs, new barriers and meet their treaty obligations? They can’t.

    The EU is stitched up like a kipper.

    May is just stupid. Just say no, Point out what WTO membership means and why the EU’s proposals are illegal under the WTO.

    Treaty obligations after all matter to the EU. Or perhaps not.

    Reply We need a new schedule on leaving, because we have to impose the same tariffs on the EU as the rest of the world out of the FTA. A WTO member can always cut tariffs!

    Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    PS and, pc speak is a wealth destroyer too. I see Mr Hammond is giving local newspapers a philip. Well well. No-one buys them , at least less and less year by year. They type to no-one. Give them money. Their journalists need to eat. Crumbs. I dislike people with a down on writers.

  53. Chris
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you do not seem to have support or leadership from David Davis, IF the following report in the Mail is true:

    MPs WILL approve May’s Brexit deal because they are ‘terrified’ of crashing out of the EU, David Davis admits
    • Theresa May has been struggling to thrash out a Brexit agreement with the EU
    • Any settlement reached with Brussels will need to be signed off by Commons
    • David Davis says he expects MPs to agree despite backlash over

    How pathetic of MPs. The dead hand of the EU and the strangling bureaucracy over the years seem to have emasculated our politicians. They don’t seem to have the will to live. Vassal state status is apparently preferable to them than freedom. Dangerous times for democracy, or what is left of it.

    Reply I disagree with DD on this point

    • Richard
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      DD:”For the avoidance of doubt I believe the PM will get a deal with the EU but anything based on the Chequers plan or one that keeps us in the Customs Union will not pass the Commons. Time to revert to free trade deal suggested by EU?”
      Ultimately Canada+++ FTA is the only game in town; meanwhile everyone suffers.

  54. Dennis
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I wish Rees-Mogg would say at PMQs that he congratulates the PM on her intelligent mastery of her Brexit negotiations the proposals which are so silly, damaging, unworkable and rejected by all that the only way acceptable is the the No Deal/WTO deal which must surely follow and is indeed the patriotic PM’s desire all along.

  55. Gobshitery
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Let’s try to answer some of the points made here

    1/ the key word here is “presumably”

    2/ it’s not UK ports that we are concerned with

    3/ nobody knows..not even government agencies, how things will be at the borders

    4/ you don’t know, the pharmaceutical companies don’t even know if there will be delays..that is why they are stockpiling in some areas.

    5/ nothing to do with the Calais port authorities and everything to do with the pissed off french customs and other i spection agencies

    Then the economic arguments

    1/ we havn’t a clue yet about how all of this thing about tariffs will work out

    2/ even if we get a deal there will be a considerable blow to our confidence and standing at all levels..we will not be regarded in the same light again when all of this is finished

    3/ the government does not have 39 billion more to spend..this is just not true..what are we going to d..borrow 39Billion in order to give it away to ourselves..absolute nonsense

  56. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Anybody here feel that Dominic Raab can be trusted?


    “Simon Coveney holds secret talks with UK Brexit Secretary amid speculation deal is near”

  57. Simon
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Giving blanket assurances about the future which are not in fact based on accurate information is as good as lying. The Transport Sec himself now admits there may be an impact on aviation. And the EU Notifications are very clear. There is no such thing as presumably in the event of a no deal.

  58. Shieldsman
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, like so many MP’s you are just too busy to read the facts on Air Service Agreements. The Commission, under the ECCA negotiates ASA’s on behalf of all the 31 Community members of the EEA. The UK as a Community member gave up its rights in 2005.
    Declaration by the Government of the United Kingdom in respect of its signature lodged with the depositary on 11 March 2005: “The United Kingdom, member of the European Community, declares that, in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Community has competence with respect to certain matters governed by the Protocol. Signature of the Protocol on behalf of the Community will be decided by the
    competent Community institution in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty”.
    Our leaving the EEA means the Commission on behalf of the Community no longer has this competence. The current ASA’s are no longer valid, why else would IATA be so concerned? The United States realises that the ‘Open Skies’ agreement signed by the Commission on behalf of the UK has to be renegotiated.
    The individual member States have NO negotiating rights, they also signed the protocol.

  59. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, has it yet occurred to anyone in Parliament yet that the Irish Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar, as a member of the European Council, will be in supreme government over UK from 29 March 2019 and that Parliament will be powerless to do anything about it?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      He’s already been allowed to take charge.


      “JR, given that our Prime Minister Theresa May has been allowing another Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar of the Irish Republic, to largely control the course of our withdrawal from the EU … Because it is now nearly a year since I first pointed out that the new Irish government had adopted an absurd extreme and intransigent position over the land border to try to force the UK to stay under the rules of both the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market, and suggested the correct UK government response … ”

      But the correct UK government response was not the one which would satisfy the 6% of UK businesses who export 12% of UK GDP to the EU, the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU being treated as an inconvenient irrelevance.

  60. Papaver rhoeas
    Posted November 1, 2018 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    It was super-duper to see so many poppies in the House of partly Commons at PM Question Time.
    Especially the white touches to brooch-like poppies from the miniscule Corbyn lapel press-stud to one SNPer’s variegated white on red petalled posy, then to Mrs May’s cocktail party double-cream edged bepetalled brosche. Expensive. Yet worth it. Saves. Saves remembering having to buy a poppy each Remembrance Day, for our dead. Yah.

    Reply I suspect other MPs like me buy wreaths each year to lay at local war memorials and give donations at the same time. These are not something we put on expenses! Your jibe is therefore unfair

  • 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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