Let’s take control of our economy

Leaving without an Agreement looks more likely given the bad response of most MPs to the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and delayed exit. So let’s make the most of the money, the freedoms and the opportunities leaving brings. More than half the voters expect things to get better when we leave, and so they can. That requires the government to cheer up and take some action.

1. Relax the current tight money policies a bit – they are slowing our economy too much
2. Set out a new budget with an additional £15bn of spending increases and tax cuts for 2019=20 at least, financed by saving the Withdrawal payments
3. Encourage import substitution with a farming policy based on more home grown food
4. Allow UK vessels to land a much larger share of our fish by taking control of our fishery in 2019
5. Encourage more fish processing industry
6. Novate all existing EU trade deals promptly
7. Intensify negotiations with the USA, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and the others who are keen to sign Free Trade Deals with us once we have the power to do so
8. Make clear there will be no new checks at our ports on imports from the EU in the short term, and any longer term extra checks will be done away from the border or with sufficient capacity at the port to avoid delays
9. Set a new tariff schedule which lowers our external tariff, removing all tariffs from imported components for manufacturers and from items here the tariff raises little net revenue

It’s high time the media allowed a proper debate on how to take advantage of the opportunities of leaving after months of just recycling false scare stories about the costs.


  1. Mrs Alison Houston
    December 4, 2018

    Yes John, it is time the media started writing encouragingly about the prospects for post Brexit Britain. But it is also time MPs started seriously questioning why there is no fourth estate in this country, no free press except alternative media,rubbished by their mainstream competitors.

    Have a look at the way the world works since the Blair era. Look at the people pulling the strings behind the scenes, you could start with the “Integrity Initiative”, we will never be a free, sovereign nation again if our press is controlled by this globalist, corpratist, cultural Marxist cabal continually stirring trouble with their octopus fingers in every area of life.

    1. Peter Wood
      December 4, 2018

      Mrs. A,
      I wholeheartedly agree! Never can there be clearer evidence of there being ‘power behind the curtain’ than we are now experiencing with the machinations currently in play from the May government. It is truly horrific that this government is putting so much effort into attempting to deny a true democratic instruction.

    2. Andy
      December 4, 2018

      ‘It is time the media started writing encouragingly about Brexit.’

      Most journalists choose to base their work on facts – not fairies.

      1. John Hatfield
        December 4, 2018

        Which facts are those, Andy?

        1. Roy Grainger
          December 4, 2018

          Andy gets his facts from Bristol Council.

      2. libertarian
        December 4, 2018


        Lol you dont read much media then.

    3. Hope
      December 4, 2018

      Remember: Corbyn could be in office for five years, May’s servitude plan is forever.

      Freedom has no economic price. What price could be estimated for those who made th ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life as a self governing independent nation? Economics is not the reason for voting to leave and take back control holding our representatives accountable.

      May has betrayed the nation and consistently lies to say otherwise. It defies all logic why she has not been ousted, along with all her cronies.

      1. Hope
        December 4, 2018

        JR, I might add, no one believed the dishonest economic analysis/figures produced this week from Hammond and Carney, not even remainers! This should demonstrate people are letting May’s fear tactics go over their heads and most think it is worth a price to get your freedom.

        May’s plan has an in built tax without representation to the EU. JRM pointed this out o the useless Barclay at select committee. All he could was stutter, claim he did not know and would write to him! Barclay came across as a complete tool rpearing the same stock phrases over and over. Bone quite rightly got frustrated with him when he repeatedly failed to answer when the policy changed from a fixed end to an extension and never ending backstop?

        Barclay must have forgotten May stated the transition, then renamed implementation was to be used to implement her trade deal. May has failed to get a trade deal and now wants the static extension to negotiate a trade deal. Then what, another period to negotiate and another period to implement! Are MPs that dull not see what she is doing!

      2. Lifelogic
        December 5, 2018

        We can still just about replace May, avoid her appalling servitude plan and still avoid Corbyn. This despite the very best efforts of May and Hammond to bury the Tories.

    4. Newmania
      December 4, 2018

      Agreed on the”integrity Initiative “. Only the other day Theresa May was seriously still pretending that Brexit bonus had been spent on the NHS . Ha ha ( and ha ha ha )
      Record levels of school funding are in fact savage cuts in education budgets by ….
      Now unlike John Redwood I am not a fan of spending money we do not have . If the country is broke , and it is, then out cloth must be cut accordingly. Much more could be done with less but I would appreciate a word or two that was not an infantile lie …just once in a while.

      1. Richard1
        December 4, 2018

        in what sense is the Country ‘broke’? The UK clearly still has access to the capital markets, the budget deficit has been brought down from > 10% of GDP where Labour left it (that’s the pro-EU Labour Party which signed the Nice Lisbon and Amsterdam treaties, argued for the ERM etc etc) to < 2%. Indeed we should cut our coat according to our cloth, but lets recognise things are much better after 8 years of Conservative led govt than it would otherwise be.

      2. libertarian
        December 4, 2018


        “I would appreciate a word or two that was not an infantile lie …just once in a while.”

        Me too, so stop posting then

      3. Narrow Shoulders
        December 4, 2018

        @new rant

        Re The savage education cuts you refer to……

        1 spend per pupil has been protected.

        2 more pupils mean less per pupil unless the total can be substantially increased. As the contribution from the increased population is non existent this is not possible.

        3 the reported decrease is a result of protecting teachers’ pensions.

        Which elements above would you like to amend?

    5. Bob
      December 4, 2018

      And why are people forced to pay for political indoctrination through the BBC Licence system?

      1. jerry
        December 4, 2018

        @Bob; There is a rumour doing the rounds that the BBC has received verbal agreement that, post Brexit, both their Charter and the TVL fee are safe until 20xx, the only condition placed upon the BBC was to agree to be (unofficially) renamed the ‘TMBC’ in the mean time!…

        I can no long defend the BBC, my only concern now is the survival of Public Service Broadcasting here in the UK, but I suspect that might be better protected via a network of true Local (community?) TV and radio stations.

        1. libertarian
          December 5, 2018


          Now you’re talking. I can only speak about radio but community radio should be the vehicle best serving the independent or public service arena. It costs between £50k and £75k to run a volunteer based community station which is vastly cheaper than the BBC equivalent. The quality and access to current affairs of a local community station is restricted , but there are reasonably affordable news channels that can also be used. Obviously most local stations are currently funded by advertising , genuine question, how would you see funding for local stations? I’ve presented a TV show on one of the experimental local TV stations but I really am not convinced that local TV works .

  2. oldtimer
    December 4, 2018

    This all makes sense. But it will require a trusted PM ready and willing to demand “Action this day” for it to happen.

    1. eeyore
      December 4, 2018

      One thing at a time. Our host has been commendably focused on Brexit. The current personnel are no longer in power, hardly even in office. After March 29 there will be time enough to change names and faces.

      With WTO looking more likely by the day, JR is right to urge more discussion of the benefits of leaving. The language of cliff edge and catastrophe has been misleading and unfortunate, but beyond language there is reality.

      I believe we British, though inveterate grumblers, are at bottom optimistic and forward-looking. When we accept where we are heading we will want to make the best of it. Anyone who offers us direction, confidence and hope will reap big political rewards.

    2. Richard
      December 4, 2018

      Sensible points from our host, all entirely under UK control.

      Add to that No deal plus. http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/11/30/mrs-may-faces-a-big-defeat/#comment-977380 As Bloomberg quote Arlene Foster: “Does anyone for a moment think that the EU states don’t desperately want a deal by March? It is wrong to assume that the U.K. has no leverage, but we have to ensure we use it.”

  3. GilesB
    December 4, 2018

    10. Establish a well-resourced Department to review all legislation and regulations of the last forty years to identify and eradicate the EU’s impact as quickly as possible
    11. Clarify and promote the UK’s culture, foreign and trade distinctiveness. Something like ‘Global Britain’.
    12. Announce March 29th as a permanent national holiday. Calling it ‘Independence Day’ might look triumphalist. ‘Sovereignty Day’ or ‘Democracy Day’ could be better. Encourage other countries to also have a national holiday to celebrate sovereignty. Or, perhaps announce that July 4th will be a recurring national holiday in the UK.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 4, 2018

      Nothing wrong with “Independence Day” that it what it is, (though should T May get her appalling deal it will look like a sick, dishonest joke) rather like Theresa May herself in fact).

      One of the longest days of the year too so perfect for a bank holiday. Why has it not been announced already? It should be the first act of May’s replacement later this month.

    2. Andy
      December 4, 2018

      If March 29th is made a holiday you might as well call it Riot Day. The majority which loathes Brexit can go around smashing things up – particularly things owned by Brexiteers.

      1. mancunius
        December 4, 2018

        Poor Andy. Rage is his only register of response.
        I’m glad he’s safely ensconced in someone else’s country. I just feel a bit sorry for them.

      2. Richard1
        December 4, 2018

        an interesting insight into the attitude of militant remain. another argument for clean brexit.

      3. Fedupsoutherner
        December 4, 2018

        Pathetic even by your standards Andy.

      4. Steve
        December 4, 2018

        “The majority which loathes Brexit”

        Whoops !

    3. Steve
      December 4, 2018


      Maybe there’s a case for retiring Guy Fawkes and replacing him with some other effigy.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 4, 2018

        Perhaps replace Guy Fawkes with a Tory team effigy of the many dire, misguided, disingenuous, incompetent allegedly ‘Conservative’ PMs over my lifetime – Heath, Major, Cameron and worst of all Appeaser May. Even Margaret Thatcher made very many silly errors abolishing many grammar schools, signing away rights to the EU, joining the ERM (under pressure from dopes like Major), not listening to the excellent advisor Alan Walters, accepting climate alarmism as real “science” rather than a new religion, appointing the foolish John Major as Chancellor, the poll tax (which was always going to be a disaster politically) …..

    4. David in Kent
      December 4, 2018

      I’ve bought some rockets which I plan to fire off the evening of 29 March in celebration of our Independence day.

      1. acorn
        December 4, 2018

        Good idea David, it will allow your neighbours to identify you as a Brexiteer; the cause of there post Brexit economic demise. Good luck surviving that at your kids’ school gate.

        1. libertarian
          December 5, 2018


          You really dont occupy the real world do you. You would be staggered by how many at the school gate actually voted Leave. They are in the majority

    5. Richard
      December 4, 2018

      Three more good points. On #10 there is the ongoing Red Tape Initiative cross-party review of quick win simplification ideas without adverse consequences: https://www.politico.eu/article/the-other-uk-brexit-department/

      When Mrs May’s Fake Brexit is derailed, hopefully Whitehall will realise that these ideas will make everyone’s life simpler & better: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/03/03/red-tape-holding-back-house-builders-restricting-hiring-apprentices/ https://twitter.com/redtapeinit?lang=en

  4. Lifelogic
    December 4, 2018

    All sensible stuff especially no. 1, plus a move to cheap on demand energy, get fracking, have a bonfire of red tape, move to easy hire and fire and generate some confidence by firing tax to death Hammond and the dire robotic, Brexitino, socialist and electoral liability May.

    Get some real competition in banks, they currently have huge margins and are being regulated to death. This that many perfectly sensible investments or developments are not being made.

    Above all make a Corbyn government very unlikely rather than working to insure one comes about as May and Hammond seem determined to bring about.

    1. Andy
      December 4, 2018

      Ah the ‘bonfire of red tape’ myth.

      It is actually something like a 5 fold increase in customs paperwork because of your Brexit.

      That’s why the government is employing more bureaucrats – at huge cost.

      They were announced in the Budget but, no doubt, you don’t believe it.

      1. Edward2
        December 4, 2018

        A five fold increase, gosh that sounds bad.
        Strange how paperwork for EU and non EU export and importing currently has hardly any difference.
        Perhaps as an expert you can explain this situation.

        1. Rob
          December 4, 2018

          Apparently 45.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot . . .

      2. libertarian
        December 4, 2018


        Ha ha ha A 5 fold increase in paperwork …..ha ha you are so funny

        Andy… I dont like that , lets make something up…. Get your bananas straight theres a good lad

    2. Steve
      December 4, 2018


      Re; Banks.

      I believe the entire system needs a revolution, mainly the abolishment of consumer credit, the abolishment of Debt Collection Agencies (the bottom feeders of society) and the criminalisation of selling or purchasing debt.

      It would help this country greatly if people were not in debt and able to support themselves. People should have their lives determined by their efforts, enterprise and opportunity.

      I’d like to see personal finance management and life skills such as self sufficiency included in the National Schools Curriculum, instead of political correctness indoctrination.

      One of the best things we can do for future generations is to make debt a thing of the past.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 4, 2018

        One of the large banks now charges about 68% on approved overdrafts (as a daily fee so the rate is not clear). This to solid clients many a far better credit risk than the bank – yet they pay only about 0.3% on deposits. So that is about a 20,000% margin. Where are the competition authorities why are they doing nothing?

        1. hefner
          December 5, 2018

          If you are with a bank with such rates, why don’t you go elsewhere?
          And could you give details on how you compute this 20,000 % margin, please.

      1. Caterpillar
        December 4, 2018

        Nice opinion piece. Exactly as many of us have been saying, but will the Govt even listen to Sir Mervyn.

      2. Richard
        December 4, 2018

        Lots there – well worth reading. On the BoE scenarios: “Two factors are responsible for the size of this effect: first, the assertion that productivity will fall because of lower trade; second, the assumption that disruption at borders — queues of lorries and interminable customs checks — will continue year after year. Neither is plausible. On this I concur with Paul Krugman…”

        And: “It simply beggars belief that a government could be hellbent on a deal that hands over £39 billion while giving the EU both the right to impose laws on the UK indefinitely and a veto on ending this state of fiefdom.” …
        “If this deal is not abandoned, I believe that the U.K. will end up abrogating it unilaterally — regardless of the grave damage that would do to Britain’s reputation and standing. Vassal states do not go gently into that good night. They rage. If this parliament bequeaths to its successors the choice between a humiliating submission and the abrogation of a binding international treaty, it will not be forgiven”

    3. Lifelogic
      December 4, 2018

      Though she did waste her hate crime officer’s time on the alleged Boris Burka/letter box hate crime.

    4. Al
      December 4, 2018

      Again, sensible ideas. As well as these, there are changes to VAT that could be made and currently cannot. I know of companies now that will only hire people for five months and three weeks, because of the red tape at six months. This doesn’t create much stability for workers or companies. Tiered benefits and less paperwork would resolve this.

      The problem is that no matter how often the benefits are raised here, the mainstream media won’t pick it up because they are pushing the narrative that No Deal is a cliff edge so hard. After all, ‘Impending Disaster’ makes a much better lead than ‘Upcoming Minor Problem’.

    5. KZB
      December 4, 2018

      I did vote Brexit but not for an extreme right wing outcome.

      Question: this “red tape”: what is it exactly, and what parts of it would go on the bonfire? When questioned about this no-one can ever say exactly which rules should go. All we get in reply is flannel, so please someone tell us exactly what they propose to get rid of ?

      1. Steve
        December 4, 2018


        “I did vote Brexit but not for an extreme right wing outcome.”

        History repeats itself, just not always in the same country.

        When there is a right wing uprising there is only one group I shall condemn;…..the miserable self serving cowards who caused it by allowing Theresa May to betray the nation.

      2. GilesB
        December 4, 2018

        You asked for an example of red tape that should go.

        There are thousands, including all of the categorisations invented to distort the market, create work for bureaucrats, remove national distinctiveness, and decrease efficiency as every small business has to wade through this treacle.

        Let’s start with jam …

        — ‘Jam’ is a mixture, brought to a suitable gelled consistency, of sugars, the pulp and/or purée of one or more kinds of fruit and water. However, citrus jam may be obtained from the whole fruit, cut into strips and/or sliced.
        The quantity of pulp and/or purée used for the manufacture of 1 000 g of finished product must not be less than:
        — 350 g — 250 g
        — 150 g — 160 g — 60 g
        as a general rule,
        for redcurrants, rowanberries, sea-buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips and quinces,
        for ginger,
        for cashew apples, for passion fruit.
        — ‘Extra jam’ is a mixture, brought to a suitable gelled consistency, of sugars, the unconcentrated pulp of one or more kinds of fruit and water. However, rosehip extra jam and seedless raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry and redcurrant extra jam may be obtained entirely or in part from unconcentrated purée of the respective fruits. Citrus extra jam may be obtained from the whole fruit, cut into strips and/or sliced.
        The following fruits may not be used mixed with others in the manu­ facture of extra jam: apples, pears, clingstone plums, melons, water-melons, grapes, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes.
        The quantity of pulp used for the manufacture of 1 000 g of finished product must not be less than:
        — 450 g — 350 g
        — 250 g — 230 g — 80 g
        as a general rule,
        for redcurrants, rowanberries, sea-buckthorns, blackcurrants, rosehips and quinces,
        for ginger,
        for cashew apples, for passion fruit.
        — ‘Jelly’ is an appropriately gelled mixture of sugars and the juice and/or aqueous extracts of one or more kinds of fruit.
        The quantity of juice and/or aqueous extracts used in the manufacture of 1 000 g of finished product must not be less than that laid down for the manufacture of jam. These quantities are calculated after deduction of the weight of water used in preparing the aqueous extracts.
        — In the case of ‘extra jelly’, however, the quantity of fruit juice and/or aqueous extracts used in the manufacture of 1 000 g of finished product must not be less than that laid down for the manufacture of extra jam. These quantities are calculated after deduction of the weight of water used in preparing the aqueous extracts. The following fruits may not be used mixed with others in the manufacture of extra jelly: apples, pears, clingstone plums, melons, water-melons, grapes, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes.
        2001L0113 — EN — 18.11.2013 — 003.001 — 7

        2001L0113 — EN — 18.11.2013 — 003.001 — 8
        — ‘Marmalade’ is a mixture, brought to a suitable gelled consistency, of water, sugars and one or more of the following products obtained from citrus fruit: pulp, purée, juice, aqueous extracts and peel.
        The quantity of citrus fruit used in the manufacture of 1 000 g of finished product must not be less than 200 g of which at least 75 g must be obtained from the endocarp.
        — The name ‘jelly marmalade’ may be used where the product contains no insoluble matter except possibly for small quantities of finely sliced peel.
        — ‘Sweetened chestnut purée’ is a mixture, brought to a suitable consistency, of water, sugar and at least 380 g of chestnut (Castanea sativa) purée for 1 000 g of finished product.
        II. Products defined in part I must have a soluble dry matter content of 60 % or more as determined by refractometer, except for those products in respect of which sugars have been wholly or partially replaced by sweeteners.
        Without prejudice to Article 5(1) of Directive 2000/13/EC, Member States may, however, in order to take account of certain particular cases, authorise the reserved names for products defined in part I which have a soluble dry matter content of less than 60 %.
        III. Where fruits are mixed together, the minimum contents laid down in part I for different kinds of fruit must be reduced in proportion to the percentages used.

        1. KZB
          December 5, 2018

          But I like the idea that when I buy “jam” there is “red tape” which protects my interests as a consumer !

          Otherwise it is a free-for-all which will inevitably be a race to the bottom for the supermarkets. Your “jam” will then be sugar plus colours and artificial sweeteners with no real fruit in it.

          If you want real jam you will pay a fortune to high end retailers and still have to read the ingredients label. Assuming we still have one.

          1. Edward2
            December 5, 2018

            You plainly do not understand how modern day purchasers with their instant internet ability to post their feedback drives poor quality providers out of the market.
            The race is to the top.

        2. margaret howard
          December 5, 2018

          I am grateful that they protect us from the awful ‘standards’ which prevailed before EU membership.

          One in particular were sausages. My local grocer told me they stopped butchers selling them so full of breadcrumbs that they went mouldy when past their sell by date (which didn’t exist then either. The nose test was the only one available to stop you poisoning your family) EU standards introduced meat content.

          Another one were the beaches. It stopped authorities pumping raw sewage straight into the sea.

          Are you willing to consume any old rubbish and let your children swim in filthy water?

          1. Edward2
            December 5, 2018

            Another “old age” thought from Margaret.
            We now live in an internet consumer led society where instant reviews drive a powerful review system.

            Try providing a poor service or a poor product quality and see how long your business survives.

          2. libertarian
            December 6, 2018

            margaret howard

            Please get back to us on your fondness for horse meat lasagne, salmonella chicken and chlorine washed salad courtesy of the EU.

            The first “sell by dates” were introduced in the UK by Marks And Spencer in 1950. In the UK the content of meat in sausages has been regulated since 1998 and the EU introduced legislation in 2002 However the EU regulations are of a LESSER standard than UK

            Oh and it was the UN International Maritime Agency that introduced regulations about sewage and waste disposal into the sea, not the EU. The EU just complied like everyone else

            What is wrong with you people? You can’t work out that we are quite capable of introducing standards and regulations that protect consumers without the EU

            Still at least your bananas aren’t bent

      3. libertarian
        December 4, 2018


        You might want to try reading this blog before posting, many of us have listed the EU regulations that should be binned.

        I’m not going to list them all as I can’t be bothered but here are the ones to go first

        Article 101
        Article 104
        Article 11
        Article 13
        GDPR regulation
        VAT MOSS
        (EU) 666/2013
        VAT on Sanitary products
        VAT on domestic energy
        Diabetic Motorist Directive

        Etc etc etc

        1. KZB
          December 5, 2018

          Point taken, but some of them are policies, not red tape. Removing VAT on sanitary products is not reducing red tape, if anything it is increasing it by extending the list of VAT free products.

      4. Edward2
        December 5, 2018

        Just a few to start with KZB

        1. KZB
          December 5, 2018

          Hazardous chemical labelling (REACH) is a UN driven international system. Not just EU, it applies to the whole world. There is no way the UK will turn into a rogue state on chemical labelling.
          COSHH is already watered down on the HSE site, with no provision for actually doing chemistry !

          1. Edward2
            December 5, 2018

            How wrong you are.
            It provides thousands of extra jobs for bureaucrats but fails to actually achieve anything other than an extra burden for businesses.

  5. Mark B
    December 4, 2018

    Good morning.

    All this and more should have been done long before now. The fact that this is only now being raised should be a matter of concern.

    1. Peter
      December 4, 2018

      Indeed. ‘Crashing out’ and ‘cliff edge’ are used so often and still go unchallenged. The damage is done.

    2. Adam
      December 4, 2018

      Too many activists behave as if the 2016 Referendum result has not yet reached their awareness.

    3. L Jones
      December 4, 2018

      Mark B – Perhaps that’s because Leavers didn’t really believe it would be necessary, that the Government would finally honour its mandate and its manifesto. We didn’t think we’d have to fight our own Government for our freedom and sovereignty. It’s only become very clear in the last couple of months where exactly May is leading us – into an EU trap.

      If one were a conspiracy theorist, one could say that this was the plan from the day after the referendum – THAT’s why, all along, Mrs May was playing her cards close – and we thought she was just being wily for the good of the UK! We’ve been taken for gullible and trusting fools – and I daresay we have been.

  6. Ron Olden
    December 4, 2018

    I’m not as confident as John Redwood is that leaving without an agreement is likely.

    If Parliament votes down this Deal they’ll find some way of not Leaving at all.

    As for loosening monetary policy at a time when inflation is still above target, suggesting the State spend more when State borrowing is unacceptably high for this point in the economic cycle, taxes are at near record highs, ‘encouraging’ this or that industry and ‘import substitution’, (it appears by retaining selective tariffs):-

    the advice might just as well have come out of John McDonnell’s Little Red Book.

    Don’t politicians of any political persuasion have any ideas other than spending more of our money, borrowing more in our names in in the names of the as yet unborn , printing more money, and generally ‘encouraging’ or directing us to spend our money on this and that?

    We need cuts in public spending of at least £30 Billion a year and use some of it for incentivising tax cuts.

    Given the colossal waste in public spending, most of the cuts would go unnoticed apart from by the State employees who pocket the cash.

    December 4, 2018

    John no doubt appreciates that this is a meaningless article with May as PM. I also fully understand that our host can’t say the things that need to be said.

    That May must be brought down is a given to save the UK from ignominy and shame. That defenestration is now the only solution available to the Parliamentary Tory party if it is to secure Brexit. A Europhile Tory leader could see the Tories lose the next GE while a Eurosceptic Tory leader will provide the party with an electoral target that is hugely expanded

    The battle is not about what happens after March 2019 for if May is stays this date will become meaningless. The battle for today is the battle for the soul and future of the Tory party for if May and the Europhiles prevail the Tories as we know it will simply wither and die.

    Like Labour we will be Conservative in name only. An empty shell. A vessel for nothing more than political careerists to feed at the trough

    So while I do appreciate John’s efforts in updating this blog and considering he’s a busy chap that’s a herculean task, then I would prefer articles that are more biting rather than a rehash of issues we’ve been discussing since god knows

  8. Newmania
    December 4, 2018

    What is this thing with fish? The Uk makes as much money from post production film work which is subject to country of origin rules and copyright laws that are now in a state of chaos . Why not worry about that for one second. Nah , lets go back to inventing the “ honours system” for tariff payment in your heads , more fun
    Of course one understands the symbolism of fishing . It was for this reason the ancient dangerous work of mining was saved by the Conservative administrations of the 70s and 870s even though they had to sacrifice the City to do it . Or something. Most of the fish we catch is sold in Europe …oops .
    Not sure how you are going to process fish you can`t land , Free Ports ? That what we have got now , eeerm can we all be in a free port then ?

    1. Maybot
      December 4, 2018

      You obviously don’t live in one of England’s many depressed areas.

    2. libertarian
      December 4, 2018


      What is this thing with you making up numbers and trying to pass them off as facts?

      Anyone would think you didn’t know what you are talking about

      According to BFI the post production film industry is worth £5.2 billion

      According to Seafish Org the value of seafish industry is £10 billion

      The rest of your post is mindless drivel

    3. KZB
      December 5, 2018

      Freeports were seen as the saviour of economically depressed areas in the UK at one time. Then they mysteriously disappeared with no press coverage. Why did that happen?

  9. Lifelogic
    December 4, 2018

    The BBC continues its massive anti-Brexit bias on Marr this weekend we had Michael Gove MP, Justin Welby, Barry Gardiner and Delia Smith. So one supporter of May’s fake Brexit prison and three rather remain supporters (the Labour one pretending to be all things to all people). All interviewed by a daft, lefty, BBC think, English graduate and remainer.

    They we get hysterical climate alarmism from David Atttenborough from them for good measure. Even more hysterical than the BBC’s project fear over Brexit. The real danger to the UK is tax to death Hammond, May’s dishonesty and her appalling deal and the threat of Corbyn.

    1. Richard1
      December 4, 2018

      Marr’s intro to that programme in which he highlighted favourably a ludicrous and tendentious report by some leftist employed by the UN was a disgraceful piece of pro-corbyn propaganda by the BBC.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 4, 2018


    2. percy openshaw
      December 4, 2018

      I agree in every particular. Well said.

  10. Fedupsoutherner
    December 4, 2018

    Another great post John full of enthusiasm and confidence in our great nation. Our identity is slowly being eroded aided by our inability to govern ourselves. The BBC and similar media are guilty of treason.

  11. Richard1
    December 4, 2018

    Cancel HS2 would save perhaps £100bn over its lifetime – maybe look at a faster more modern alternative between Leeds and Manchester. There are far better things to spend infrastructue money on than this obsolete vanity project. What about some free ports or enterprise zones to boost economic activity in specific areas?

    But any bold, imaginative ideas need a change of PM.

  12. Dave Andrews
    December 4, 2018

    Are you seriously suggesting we should enter into trade negotiations with the USA especially and amongst others, whilst Theresa May is PM?
    After the utter mess she has made of negotiating with the EU, she mustn’t be let anywhere near any more.
    Replacing her is now a priority; we don’t want to entertain any more punishment deals.

  13. Bob Dixon
    December 4, 2018

    I agree.How can we make it happen?
    I write to my MP Jonathan Djanogly.He will vote for The Prime Ministers deal.So far I have failed to convince him how poor the deal is.We would be better off staying in.
    What a nightmare

  14. Student
    December 4, 2018

    I think you’ve politely missed out point 0, which would need to be remove May for the rest of the ideas to be implemented.

  15. Bryan Harris
    December 4, 2018

    “It’s high time the media allowed a proper debate….” – Yes, but this assumes the media to be impartial – They are not.

    At times of high stress, where the plans against us are being challenged, we can be certain that the media will turn against decency, because that is what they are being made to do.

  16. Peter
    December 4, 2018

    “Novate all existing EU trade deals promptly”

    I wonder how many readers were aware of the meaning of the word “novate”?

  17. Alan Jutson
    December 4, 2018

    A good start by the media would be to have the TV discussion with a proper Leave Representative debating with Our Prime Minister on BBC instead of Corbyn, who’s Parties views are totally and utterly confusing to date.

    All the labour party arguments seem to stem around “we could have negotiated a better deal” for a customs union and single market, which means we would not be leaving with them either.

  18. Christine
    December 4, 2018

    Amen to all the above. But first let’s repeat the Climate Change Act. It comes at a totally unacceptable financial cost and its sole achievement is to raise energy prices, crippling industry and consumers alike. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

  19. DUNCAN
    December 4, 2018

    JR-Mogg now saying May could well win next week’s vote on the WA

    Yes, well, if that happens then this party can wave goodbye to my vote and we can we wave goodbye to Brexit

    1. Peter
      December 4, 2018

      JRM knows you cannot count on MPs to do as they promise. The vote could well be very close. Abstention may be the choice of weak individuals who want others to vote against the government.

      Other items from the Moggcast were :-

      the idea a managed WTO deal ie buy a little more time (months) to get everything in place

      The claim that WTO will go ahead if the government loses the vote ‘provided the government holds its nerve’ I think the flaw there is assuming the government has the slightest wish for WTO to go ahead. Quite the reverse.

  20. Steve
    December 4, 2018

    Mr Redwood

    I agree entirely. Though I do wonder about fishing. Do we have the fisheries protection vessels needed to keep foreign fleets out of British waters ? I suspect not, and the Navy would have to do the job.

    Additionally I feel that Scotland’s fishing grounds should be exclusively theirs, and we should also provide them with fisheries protection. I believe the Scots are owed this, considering Theresa May’s shameful behaviour.

    English waters for England, Scottish waters for Scotland. It’s the only fair way.

    1. margaret howard
      December 4, 2018


      ” Do we have the fisheries protection vessels needed to keep foreign fleets out of British waters ? ”

      I don’t know. But last time we had a dispute about our fishing waters it was against Iceland which resulted in 3 so-called “Cod wars”

      We lost all three at great cost to all people employed in the fishing industry.

    2. Chris
      December 4, 2018

      The fishing industry is up in arms with Theresa May’s deal.

  21. Newmania
    December 4, 2018

    By the way I am ” excited by the possibilities” of begging the rest of the world to let us have the same deal we have already.I am equally ” excited by the possibilities ” of having the same equivalence as Japan at some stage in the future. It is a shame that this is not equivalence in the sense of being able to use the same money across the single market lending or taking deposits .

    Never mind eh ..same word , that will do.

    1. Steve
      December 4, 2018

      You can go begging if you like, but you’ll find your country has disowned you.

    2. libertarian
      December 4, 2018


      Lets clear something up

      The other day you told us all that we are thick and know nothing about financial services, a subject on which you claimed superior knowledge by virtue of experience.

      Since then you have repeatedly proved with your posts that you are pretty ignorant about international finance and trading , you dont have the remotest grasp of basic numbers and you have never researched anything.

      So are you still claiming to be an expert in FS?

      1. Newmania
        December 5, 2018

        Never did ? I do on the other hand know what equivalence means , in this context and what it does not , unlike you.

        1. libertarian
          December 6, 2018


          I haven’t mentioned equivalence in this thread at all so just coming up with another goalpost move when you are caught with your pants down again is pretty pathetic.

  22. Alison
    December 4, 2018

    The situation for our UK fishermen is simply desperate. One of the biggest threats is in the EU’s discard ban, which comes into full effect in 2019. It’s poorly suited to the UK’s mixed-fish waters, does not effectively address the over-fishing so damaging to endangered species. The boats worst affected are the independent boats, not the big fleets. SMall-scale boats make up 80% of the UK fleet but own just 4% of the quota.
    The transition represents a massive risk to the UK’s fleet. From March 2019 the moment a boat has had to discard its full allowance for one species, it has to return to port. This will push many vessels to throw in the towel.
    People need to be more aware of the risks to our UK, home-owned boats just by staying in the EU. That includes the transition.

  23. DUNCAN
    December 4, 2018

    Just posted from Guido –

    ‘In a major victory for the continuity remain campaign, the European Court of Justice’s Advocate General Manual Campos Sánchez-Bordona has announced that the UK can unilaterally withdraw its Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty notification, although domestically this would require a Parliamentary vote and a co-operative executive. The ECJ is not bound to accept the opinion of the Advocate General, but it almost always does…

    Remoaning MPs, MSPs, and MEPs have been arguing for a unilateral mechanism to remain in the EU and it looks like the ECJ will grant them their wish. Yet another unholy alliance of domestic and foreign interests working to reverse the 2016 result…’

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 4, 2018

      He suggests that logically it would require an Act, not just a vote.

    2. Maybot
      December 4, 2018

      The failure of WA followed by People’s Vote with any choice but No Deal (which is what we actually voted for in the first place but Remain denied us it.)

      The BBC has just said “Now we know a lot more than we did in 2016… ” no we don’t.

      We won’t ever know what Leave would have been like. May (and most of the Tory party) helped sabotage it, mainly through delay tactics.

  24. Maybot
    December 4, 2018

    Since Maastricht young people cannot buy homes without help from Bank of Mum and Dad – parents who own homes, ‘wealthy parents’ according to the BBC. *guffaws*

    This is what the EU has done to our young. Why won’t anyone tell them ?

    1. Maybot
      December 4, 2018

      It has also made the parents poorer.

  25. matthu
    December 4, 2018

    How will the ERG respond to William Hague in this morning’s Telegraph?

    Parliament doesn’t want No Deal, and MPs will kill it off

    “A no-deal Brexit would entail the urgent passing of a new Immigration Act, and the Commons could refuse to let that or any other legal change essential to Brexit become law…

    “The Trade Bill has to come back to the floor of the House whatever happens, and it could be amended to state that the UK must remain permanently inside the customs union of the EU. Such an amendment would be very likely to be carried…

    “Decisive obstruction of this kind would be easiest because the opportunities to bring it about cannot be avoided…”

    I always suspected that WH would oppose the will of the people – just not so brazenly.

    1. mancunius
      December 4, 2018

      Thank God he has no political power, except to get his vapid nonsense printed by newspapers.

    2. eeyore
      December 4, 2018

      Matthu – I looked through Lord Hague’s observations, greatly fearing that such a powerful and well-informed mind would have come up with devastating obstacles to the default WTO.

      But all he tells us is that a strongly Remain Parliament will find “ways” to frustrate the popular will. Those he instances turn out to be so bizarre I began to wonder if he had been talking to Sir John Major.

      Or to King Lear: “ I will have such revenges on you both
      That all the world shall—I will do such things—
      What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
      The terrors of the earth.”

    3. Timaction
      December 4, 2018

      MP’s will kill it off……………..until the next election when they will be toast as Brexiteer candidates line up in every Constituency against them!

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    December 4, 2018

    Most of the media, all of the main broadcasters, are anti-Brexit. There is no pretence at impartiality as legislated under the broadcasting code. Ofcom the regulator does nothing.
    It is galling, to say the least, that MPs overwhelmingly voted to hold a referendum and most have done all they can to frustrate and overturn the result because it wasn’t what they wanted helped all the way by their friiends in the media.
    Incidentally, I see no need for a TV debate between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn and have no intention of watching it if it ever comes about. Our Parliament is becoming a laughing stock and in the process undermining our democracy. Perhaps some are happy to see that conclusion as they seem to have scant regard for views other than their own.

  27. matthu
    December 4, 2018

    I would like the whole concept of free-trade zones to be debated, including how free-trade ports in the north could be used to rejuvenate the whole of the UK.

    I had imagined that the whole obstacle to these was the EU, but now I suspect that there are very big business interests in the UK who also oppose this.

  28. hefner
    December 4, 2018

    All what leavers want for Xmas is the IEA Plan A+, a trade deal with D.Trump’s USA, fewer Eastern EU people on the bus, a blue passport, and sovereignty.

    1. Steve
      December 4, 2018


      Not so.

    2. libertarian
      December 4, 2018


      All that remainers want is to be told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how long to do it, how much extra to pay to do it by a bunch of failed, political , bureaucratic, unelected septuagenarians

    3. Al
      December 4, 2018

      I’m obviously unreasonable as I’d like honesty from our PM.

      Whoever that may be.

  29. A.Sedgwick
    December 4, 2018

    Yes quite, on 3. we import so much basic stuff that is no longer manpower intensive that should be encouraged to be made in the UK.

    Now that the A.G. has confirmed there is no get out of this agreement can any MP in their right mind vote for it? There is also every chance the UK would be drawn more into the increasing French//German banking debt crisis e.g. Italy, Greece et al even if we are only remotely in the EU. It is conceivable they could hold us to ransom to get out!

  30. gyges
    December 4, 2018

    An ongoing question for you and all your commentators. What EU regulation would you change with a view to improvement?

    To kick us off … Our animal cruelty laws are such that we have ended up exporting cruelty to other (European) countries. Rather than allowing cruelty back here, I would insist on import restrictions from countries that did not have the same abattoir quality controls as we have … ie a vet in attendance at all abattoirs (they don’t have to be Spanish, though).

  31. formula57
    December 4, 2018

    You cannot be expecting us to overlook that it’s well past high time that the Government took advantage of the opportunities of leaving after months of weakness and vacillation that included failing to set-up a department to seize exiting opportunities and recently capped with Hammond’s lacklustre budget (such a disappointing contrast to the one you offered).

    We need a Brexit government to obtain what you persuasively propose now.

  32. Bram
    December 4, 2018

    Let’s look at the action words- Relax, Set, Encourage, Allow, Encourage, Novate, Intensify, Make clear, Set, and then”it’s high time” about the media- So what’s new- same old- same old. Well folks! what’s new this morning is the EU ECJ Advocate General say’s UK can revoke Article 50, lucky us, and now that we’ve had the debate- for two years- what else?

    1. mancunius
      December 4, 2018

      That is being misreported. The ECJ’s AG has simply made a ‘proposal’ – a submission – to the court.
      The ECJ know that if they accept it, Juncker will have them all guillotined.

  33. ChrisS
    December 4, 2018

    With the publication of an interim ruling by the the Advocate General of the ECJ over Article 50 this morning, the whole future of Brexit must now be in question.

    Remainers will be emboldened to push even harder for a second referendum in the knowledge that, if the opinion is confirmed, a UK government can simply withdraw Article 50 and stay in the EU on existing terms. As there is almost certainly a cross-party Commons majority to Remain, there must be a strong likelyhood that a vote will be tabled to call for a second vote.

    This interim advice to the ECJ must surely kill off any chance of an exit on WTO terms ?

    It must also make it likely that if 48 letters are delivered, Europhile Conservative MPs, who appear to be in the majority in the party, will vote for a Remainer to replace Mrs May in the hope of reversing Brexit.

    For those of us committed to Brexit, events things just seem to go from bad to worse.

  34. Maybot
    December 4, 2018


    Corbyn or no Corbyn. I cannot bring myself to vote for the above ever again.

    I have to turn the telly off when TM is on it.

    1. Timaction
      December 4, 2018

      So do I. I got to the same stage with Shameron, Brown and Blair. Shouting at the TV is as silly thing to do!

    2. Chris
      December 4, 2018

      I agree Maybot. I turn the media off when she is on. I cannot stand her duplicity.

  35. Syd
    December 4, 2018

    Please read the piece by Simon Boyd on Brexit Central.
    It is the definitive case on leaving under WTO Rules.

  36. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    December 4, 2018

    We need to Take Back Control of Brexit before anything else.

    We need a massive, united campaign, rallying around a true leader. , immediately.

    Brexit is being wrested from the hands of the 17.4 million by the day.

    The Brexit Thieves have drilled through the walls, into the ‘Vault’ and are about to ‘open the safe’…and steal Brexit forever.

  37. Martin
    December 4, 2018

    Stop squandering taxpayers’ money on purpose.

    HS2 will consume £100 Bn by the time it’s finished (if ever) and double that if additional infrastructure is ordered.

    Hinkley Point C should go and be replaced by new build gas fired powered stations. Implement shale gas development to supply them.

    Don’t pay the EU a cent and save billions. Then sue them to get back the hundreds of billions of UK contributions invested on the Continent.

    Scrap the foreign aid nonsense, the electric car stupidity, the smart meters and other boondoggles.

    Repeal the Climate Act and all the subsidies and special deals for the useless renewables that flow from it.

    Junk the gold plated state sector pensions and put the civil (self) servants on the same state pensions as the private sector.

  38. Richard1
    December 4, 2018

    Are we actually out of the CAP and CFP under Mrs May’s deal? We will still have tariffs on foods as now, for as long as the EU wants us to, we expressly agree to EU regulations (ie non-tariff barriers) on foods, again for as long as the EU chooses to tell us there isn’t a technical ‘solution’ to the contrived issue of the irish border. President Macron and others have made clear we will have to allow access to fishing waters or be held prisoner in the backstop. So unless I’m missing something it sounds like the claim we are out of the CAP and CFP, except in name, is false?

  39. Mick
    December 4, 2018

    Should the government pull the letter or go for another referendum they risk all out civil unrest similar to what France is going through so they had better carry out the 17.4 million voters wish and if that means no deal so be it

  40. ukretired123
    December 4, 2018

    “Freedom makes you stronger !”
    I am surprised this simple fact of life is ignored by confused Mrs May and the media.
    When we leave the EU our bargaining power will become exponential compared with the last 50 years and as JR point out we will have £39 Bn available of our own hard earned money.
    A double bonus plus lots of extras just for starters.

  41. ukretired123
    December 4, 2018

    The news today that UK CAN revoke Article 50 without EU permission & reverse Brexit by the EU court is a sign of EU weakness.
    The EU only want our money (sorry £Billions) and all future contributions – thank you very much – and they have at last seen the writing on the wall that we aim to actually leave – but all too late!

  42. NickW
    December 4, 2018

    One only needs to look at what is happening in France to be reminded that the EU is not a static organisation, it is going through a period of great change.

    It would be the height of folly to chain ourselves to an Institution which is changing rapidly and whose direction of change we have surrendered all influence.

    We run a real risk that we will end up chained to a totalitarian monster bent on our destruction, which would be foolhardy in the extreme.

    The reason why the agreement is the way it is, is to force us into withdrawing Article 50, which the EU is very kindly now giving us as a way out.

    It will however be our Government, not the EU which faces the rage of 17 million people who have had their Democracy stolen from them.

    It would be a powder keg under Parliament, waiting to explode.

  43. Andy
    December 4, 2018

    This disgraceful Tory Brexit government is accused of contempt of Parliament.

    Contempt is also a good word to describe the way the angry pensioners have treated millions of people.

    As a proud citizen of nowhere I can confirm that this contempt is entirely mutual.

    1. mancunius
      December 4, 2018

      A citizen of nowhere is a Nothing, Andy. Which is not much to be proud of.

    2. Edward2
      December 4, 2018

      In other news Corbyn is nearly 70 and Vince Cable is 75

    3. Jagman84
      December 4, 2018

      Tory Brexit Government? That’s your best one yet! The ‘Government’ is Remainer to the core, since all of the resignations over May’s surrender document. This alleged contempt is by people of your self-centred nature. You really should consider an anger management course.

      Ps: I do appreciate your contributions to my pension so keep up the good work, old chap! I do so need yet another European holiday. I am sure I can find somewhere that is currently not rioting over the dead hand of the EU commission.

    4. Maybot
      December 4, 2018

      All the pensioners did was vote.

      You dislike voting, Andy. Glad you’ve made that clear.

    5. Steve
      December 4, 2018

      Oh God not the angry pensioner thing again !

      I think you got beat up by a little old lady, it’s the only explanation I can think of.

    6. L Jones
      December 4, 2018

      Is that because no-one wants you, Andy?

      Don’t be too angry just because the Baby Boomer in your family won’t subsidise your lifestyle. You’ll feel better if you stand on your own feet, earn your own money for retirement, like our older people did, stop staring into the gutter, look up at the stars.

      Then perhaps you won’t be Billy No-Mates.

  44. Martin
    December 4, 2018

    Nissan, Toyota and Honda export many cars from their UK factories to Europe. How will you compensate them for the tariffs the EU will impose? Will BMW close its state-of-the-art Mini factory at Hams Hall and move it to Bavaria? How long will it take for Airbus to move its wings factory from Broughton to France – two years? Five years?

    Reply Their UK factories are very productive and at current exchange rates very competitive. I have also proposed tariff free components after we leave from anywhere in the world.

    1. Jagman84
      December 4, 2018

      Get your facts right. The Hams Hall facility is one for engines and has plans for substantial investment. The finished vehicles are produced in Oxford. Most of the Airbus concerns are the result of being taken in by the Project Fear propaganda. If you cannot get the basics correct, why should anyone bother with the nonsense you write?

    2. libertarian
      December 4, 2018


      Oh dear , late to the game mate

      BMW, Nissan and Airbus have all made further investments in the UK since the referendum

      The car business is global, BMW’s biggest factory is in Spartanburg, South Carolina, I might be wrong but I dont think SC is a member of the EU

      1. Stred
        December 5, 2018

        The last Airbus I used had American engines. Rolls are in the EU at the moment but seemed to have lost out, despite being closer to Toulouse.

  45. BCL
    December 4, 2018

    Do other brexiteers fear that we won’t get a no deal brexit, which is now my preferred option, but a second referendum and a remain vote?

    1. eeyore
      December 4, 2018

      WTO Brexit shelters behind the triple bastions of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 and the Withdrawal Act 2018. To bypass any of them will demand a further Act of Parliament. The government has no effective majority for this.

      As things stand at present a cautious optimism is justified.

      1. BCL
        December 5, 2018

        That’s a little comforting at least. I hope you are right.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      December 4, 2018

      Bcl. Yes, I do.

    3. Al
      December 5, 2018

      Yes. I suspect that while the country voted out, certain parliamentary interests will lead to any excuse being used to avoid Leave actually meaning Leave.

      The mainstream media are not helping matters, as they are making it very hard to get the actual figures out.

  46. Martin
    December 4, 2018

    Babcock is closing the Appledore shipyard in Devon. It would have been an ideal location to build the fishery protection vessels we’ll need if we are able to have an independent fishing industry again.

  47. Peter Jeffries
    December 4, 2018

    John…absolutely spot on. I’m heartily sick of the glass half empty narrative. We can make a success of Brexit. If others can trade successfully outside the EU we can.

  48. bigneil
    December 4, 2018

    ” Britain will be paying the EU until 2064 ” from http://uk.businessinsider.com/britain-to-give-annual-money-to-the-eu-for-another-forty-six-years-2018-3 Meanwhile the Third World floods into the UK for a life on the taxpayer, while the taxpayer ALSO has to fund the EU for another 46 years. We should ALL be living nice comfortable lives, but successive govts have instead looked after themselves and their buddies, with a very clear signal to the rest.

  49. Mitchel
    December 4, 2018

    Russia’s October economic stats released last week made interesting reading : GDP +2.5%(agrifood +11%,industrial output +3.7%,consumer spending +1.9%),real wages +4.4%.

    Clearly decoupling from the west and moving it’s economic model from consumption to investment in production is working,despite wave after wave after wave of sanctions .

  50. rose
    December 4, 2018

    The really strange thing about remainiacs is that they keep giving economic and other materialistic excuses for their stance against taking back our national independence and freedom, and yet when presented with a compelling economic case for leaving, such as we have here, they won’t pay attention.

    1. Mark B
      December 5, 2018

      Peter Shore observed this back in 1975. It worked then and it will work now.

  51. Sakara Gold
    December 4, 2018

    Now that it seems a given that we will crash out of the EU without a deal in March next year, I though I would amuse everyone and open the festive season with with some of the silliest scaremongering stories that I’ve seen so far

    General Medical Council – “Pandemics of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea” “shortages of insulin and antibiotics of last resort” “mass exodus of EU doctors and specialist nurses”

    Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar – “no overflights of UK airlines”

    BoE – “30% drop in house prices and 60% fall in the value of sterling”

    Daily Mail – “food riots”

    Airbus – “we will be forced to pull out of manufacturing in the UK” – fine, Boeing will be delighted to take over the British Airbus facilities and highly skilled workforce!

    There are currently 28 states in the EU and the UK contributes more than 22 of them combined, that is a massive shortfall the EU will need to make up. Having to bicker amongst themselves to find the £39b will be a massive failure for the Gang of Four, particularly Barnier.

    We have a £80 billion a year trade deficit with the EU, they are certainly not going to want to lose access to our own single market – Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty dictates that the EU has to have special relationships with neighbouring non-EU countries, this means that they will not be able to punish us for leaving by imposing unfair trade restrictions on Britain.

    The public is getting bored with Brexit and the government is fixated on it to the exclusion of almost everything else. Does anybody else have a favourite scaremongering story? Perhaps Labrokes should open a book on which one is the silliest, to be judged by our kind host

    1. Edward2
      December 6, 2018

      Water shortages was my favourite scare story.

  52. Odetojoy
    December 4, 2018

    All pie in the sky stuff..the game is up..time for the dreamers to drift off. The demographic’s of the country has changed a lot in the last two and a half years. Approx 15 per cent of the old people who voted in june 2016 will have passed on and to replace them 15 per cent of young people will have reached voting age. Add to that all of the young people who have wakened up and the others who have changed their minds?

    Mrs May’s agreement will be defeated, then government will decide the whole thing is still so unclear A50 will be revoked to give us time and we’ll have a people’s vote.. the choice will be to remain where we are in EU or else to leave with no deal?

    1. Maybot
      December 4, 2018

      Joy, beautiful sparks of the Gods, Daughter of Elysium…

      Sing up ! Your new anthem.

    2. Mr Ecks
      December 4, 2018

      Standard remainiac lies.

    3. Al
      December 5, 2018

      **Approx 15 per cent of the old people who voted in june 2016 will have passed on and to replace them 15 per cent of young people will have reached voting age. **

      The same could be said of any referendum, so do you suggest we should re-run the Scottich referendum or the AV referendum? The same argument can be used for the 1970’s refernedum to lead lead to us joining. Younger generations had to wait decades to get a vote at all.

      And if the result was Remain, should that referendum then be re-run in two further years due to further demographic change?

    4. Mark B
      December 5, 2018

      There is no such thing as ‘remain where we are’ in the EU. The EU is for EVER CLOSER UNION and that is constant change. Change from an independent sovereign nation to a region(s) of a Supranational State.

  53. Tony Sharp
    December 4, 2018

    John, Can you clarify that under the Proposed Withdrawal ‘Agreement’, ‘associated Customs Union Arrangement’ that not only will the same Tariff as CET be applied by UK to non-EU imports but that 80% of it will still be sent to Brussels as per EU membership? Peter Lilley at a Bruges Group meeting last night was of the view it would be.
    Also can you clarify that there is no reason under Mrs May’s proposal that the EU would not actually have to provide Nil-tariff to UK exports to it?

  54. Denis Cooper
    December 4, 2018

    Off-topic, I was particularly struck by one point in yesterday’s Commons debate, and that was the thrice-repeated claim by the Attorney General that the ‘Irish backstop’ element of Theresa May’s ‘deal’ was a “calculated risk”, for example:


    “I have taken the view that compared with the other courses available to the House, this one is a reasonable, calculated risk to take.”

    Well, I wonder whether he has taken into account the absurd, extreme and intransigent attitude of the Irish government over the land border, and the low probability that this or any future Irish government would ever be prepared to relinquish what Theresa May is now proposing to concede to them as an undeserved reward for their obduracy, and the high probability that the rest of the EU would continue to stand by the Irish government against the British government in the future as it has done so far.

    Here is something that Leo Varadkar said in the Irish Parliament recently:


    “… the best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the European Union at all … An alternative solution would be for the UK to stay in the Single Market and the customs union … ”

    and of course to a large extent that alternative solution is what Theresa May is agreeing to give them, to our detriment, so why should they ever agree to some other, less favourable, alternative arrangement to keep the border open?

    Ireland would have a veto over any future treaty between the EU and the UK which might replace the ‘backstop’, just as Wallonia had a veto over the EU deal with Canada; so why should it ever willingly release the UK from the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market which work in its favour?

  55. Mark
    December 4, 2018

    The poorly argued ECJ curia opinion is no surprise. We need to ensure that no revocation of our Article 50 notice occurs before 29th March, and that Parliament doesn’t vote to require “any deal” (which would entail accepting May’s capitulation terms) before then rather than leaving calmly and negotiating afterwards.

    1. mancunius
      December 4, 2018

      Yes, I’m puzzled by this Hilary Benn proposed amendment – how would ‘refusing to leave without a deal’ it be enactable as parliamentary legislation, since it depends on the agreement of a foreign power (to extend Art. 50, to continue to negotiate- the latter having already been ruled out by them, and to insist on a customs union – which has already been voted against in the HoC several times.)
      Does Mr Benn have any grasp of parliamentary democracy, or is he just trying to abuse it? It seems to me transparently clear that he is jockeying to reverse legislation (the Withdrawal Bill) that has already been enacted. Why would the Speaker allow such a motion?

    2. Mark
      December 4, 2018

      Both these dangers have been multiplied by the passing of the Grieve amendment.

    December 4, 2018

    Leaving without an Agreement looks more likely given the bad response of most MPs to the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and delayed exit

    Unfortunately, I think remaining in the EU is even more likely. Let’s be honest there is no way that parliament will allow us to leave without a deal. John Redwood would know better than me but I doubt any more than 20% of MPs would back leaving on WTO terms.

    It might be worth giving the WA a closer look. Henry Newman ( a leaver – Open Europe) is suggesting there are some ‘good’ bits in it. There are certainly good reasons why the EU would not want an indefinite backstop The AG recognises there is risk but, on balance, thinks it’s worth backing. Even Olly Robbins and Stephen Barclay came across pretty well in a Brexit Select Committee meeting yesterday.

    I could be wrong but I fear the alternative is No Brexit.

    1. Stred
      December 6, 2018

      When questioned by JRM, it was apparent that Barclay had not even read or understood the document.

  57. Fed up
    December 4, 2018

    There is a short, but excellent article in today’s Telegraph by Suella Braverman, MP for Fareham, who is in favour of a WTO exit.

    At the same time there is a big article by Lord Haig attacking the idea of “no deal” and pessimistically unimaginative and uninformed.

    A positive and informed article by our host would make an impact. Please !

    Reply I placed an article in the Express today. The Telegraph have an article of mine which they are welcome to publish

  58. agricola
    December 4, 2018

    The problem is that the majority of MPs are terrified of no deal and reversion to WTO rules. This is because they thrive only in what they see as the cosy comfort of a protectionist EU. They are committee animals totally incapable of selling oranges from a stall on a wet Saturday afternoon. Real entrepreneurs thrive in such conditions. Remember 60% of our trade is conducted under WTO rules and it is in profit. EU trade is in deficit.

    1. Mark B
      December 5, 2018


  59. Nigel Seymour
    December 4, 2018

    There are many that I speak with who are happy to discuss Brexit, either generally or in a more detailed manner. I recently discussed the payment of £39bn with a good lady that favoured remain while fully accepting the ref result. She commented on the ‘divorce bill’ and expressed that, in the big scheme of things, leavers were under a misapprehension on the actual amount involved. She stated that a billion was only 10 millions. I gently explained that a billion was in fact 1000 million’s. A period of thought followed and we then agreed to differ…

  60. am
    December 4, 2018

    Do you really believe Grieve et al are going to allow no deal to go through.

    1. am
      December 4, 2018

      so grieve amendment passed. Assuming may’s deal is defeated then any further motion will exclude no deal.


      1. Chris
        December 4, 2018

        ….and the Brexiter MPs outmanoeuvred yet again. In the most ridiculous contortions of arguments, Rees Mogg actually supported May. Sorry, Brexiters, you will have to do far better than that.

    December 4, 2018

    .Contempt of Parliament Motion
    MPs are humouring one another. A cliché not worn out….they are hair splitters extraordinaire yet seriously speaking.
    “Where should we go from here?” said one MP rather than asked.
    “Why to jail!” unquestionably, is the only answer.

  62. The PrangWizard
    December 4, 2018

    Item 3, the import substitution desire would be more convincing and carry more weight if government policy of encouraging foreign investment, supported by our host, was scaled back considerably. Unrestricted Open for Business means we prostitute ourselves – ‘everything is for sale’.

    How, for example, does a home owned furniture maker benefit when a foreign one is encouraged to open here. It can easily rent a shed somewhere and bring over its foreign made furniture and sell it? It will do so to the detriment of our manufacturing and worse still its government may well be helping it along in attempting to put our manufacturers out of business. It is naïve, and worse, to believe and promote the idea that everyone benefits from such an open doors policy.

    And just look at the number of our former companies and brands even strategic industries that have been sold to foreign ownership in the past with little or no benefit to ourselves, other than in the short term and to a few money dealers in the City. Both examples mean a drain on our wealth. We should be defending and building our businesses, not sacrificing them on such an altar.

  63. mickc
    December 4, 2018

    But Tory MPs will support May’s deal…they don’t have the integrity to oppose it…or her!

  64. Anthony
    December 4, 2018

    I’m writing in advance of events…but if the current grieve amendment gets through the commons, a softer brexit is very much a probability, if we got brexit at all.

    I’m all too aware of the shortcomings of the proposed government deal. But, for GB, it delivers most of Brexit. Yes the ECJ has control for a time limited period on some things. The only area where it has significant control in, potentially the long term, is the customs union. I’m loathe to leave NI behind but in the face of the risks to brexit posed by the grieve amendment, I’m very much in the sauve qui peut camp.

    Leaving NI behind presents opportunities to extract the whole of the UK at a later date. The VCLT allows treaties to be disapplied if there has been a fundamental change in circumstances. If the EU played silly buggers on the customs union, then the UK could engineer a situation where the EU put up trade barriers with GB.NI could hold a referendum on whether this arrangement was successful. If the accepted it, the problem ends. If they reject the barriers, this would surely constitute a change in circumstances.

    The UK could disapply the customs union part of the treaty while continuing to enforce the NI customs border without infrastructure, showing that the EU had not been negotiating in good faith. Post facto, any court case under international law would look on the action favourably.

    Meanwhile, let’s get this thing over the line. Otherwise, how will brexit he saved from the Commons?

  65. Christine
    December 4, 2018

    Typo alert! I meant ‘repeal’ not ‘repeat’. Doh!

  66. Nicholas Murphy
    December 4, 2018

    Item 0: a mew Chancellor. I don’t much care who he or she is, just that he/she doesn’t want to keep the UK trapped in a corner of the EU’s making

  67. James Snell
    December 4, 2018

    You’ve got to admire the French, when something is wrong that affects them or their families, they know how to let the government know. Viva

  68. David
    December 4, 2018

    Can the nature of FCO 32/1048 be said to be a clear method to subvert democratic process? Thus the resulting entry of Britain into the EEC was invalid, the 1972 Act meaningless, therefore Britain can make a clean break from the EU whenever it so chooses?

  69. Inconvenient WE
    December 4, 2018

    One MP suggests in the Contempt Chat, for that is now what it has become, that “People outside Parliament may have a different idea of what “contempt” means.
    His angle is that The Attorney should not be singled out and there may be merit in passing the whole lump of mess to some Committee of The House to avail themselves of National Security concerns. Oh dear! He himself is Contempt as people outside The House hear it.
    The End is getting the hell out of the EU.Not supercilious backchat from persons who hold there self-exhalted paid job in contempt of our X. We can erase his X simply by not writing X at all against his belov-ed name. We won’t kick the can down the road for we will not be playing out in the street on Election Day. MPs, JR excluded, do put their tongues in it. Yeuk!!!

  70. Sir Joe Soap
    December 4, 2018

    Unfortunately the betrayal began on 24th June 2016 with Cameron scuttling off and not invoking a50 as promised. It continues to this day and will continue.

    The first high water mark was midnight June 23 2016 and the second one was earlier this week. Now they know a50 can be revoked, it will be.

    We need a Paris moment here to get this resolved…

    1. Iain Gill
      December 5, 2018

      it happened in previous parliaments with refusal to implement policies to deliver on the manifesto promises on immigration

  71. Steve
    December 4, 2018

    Yes as could have been safely predicted, they didn’t even have the moral courage or balls to do May for contempt. Instead watered the whole thing down and shoved it to a lesser committee.

    I now think they will indeed pass the withdrawal agreement.

    Fine, if that’s the way they want it we’ll just vote for corbyn and then they won’t have that particular stick to frighten us with. We’d get 5 years max with Corbyn as opposed to indefinite with the EU. It’s a no brainer under the circumstances.

    After that there will be a nationalist government, and all those ranging from self serving criminals to spineless cowards in the conservative party will give us much satisfaction when they desperately try to get out of the country.

    None of the shysters have any right to complain about the rise of nationalism…..THEY CAUSED IT !

    I’m looking forward to seeing the look on their faces at the next election, when it dawns on them that as a political party they’ve ceased to exist.

  72. margaret howard
    December 4, 2018

    “7. Intensify negotiations with the USA, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and the others who are keen to sign Free Trade Deals with us once we have the power to do so”

    Are you sure? After we were admitted to the EU we ditched trading agreements for Australian lamb and New Zealand dairy products because we could see a better deal ahead. And of course we were proved right.

    Both regarded it as a great betrayal and many businesses were lost. New markets were eventually found in the East.

    I doubt they would cancel those to return to us.

  73. mancunius
    December 4, 2018

    There are eleven (in figures, 11) advocates-general. And calling it ‘non-binding’ – as the BBC has been hourly repeating – is a little misleading, as it is not a judgment, but in ECJ terms, a ‘proposal’ i.e. a submission.

  74. mancunius
    December 4, 2018

    Re the opinion of one of the Advocates-General submitted to the ECJ today – I read his actual proposal, and it contained a couple of interesting viewpoints.
    1. ” the Advocate General proposes that the Court of Justice should, in its future judgment, declare that Article 50 TEU allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded.
    A curious and perverse interpretation of Art. 50, to say the least.
    2. “the conclusion of an agreement is not a prerequisite for the withdrawal to be completed.”
    (So it follows that we need have no agreement in order to leave – though I doubt the A-G would want to have given that impression 🙂

  75. Fedupsoutherner
    December 4, 2018

    With the supreme court ruling I can see another referendum looming with no option to leave without a deal. No brexit on the cards at all.

  76. Roy Grainger
    December 4, 2018

    Ah. I see Grieve has ensured that a WTO Brexit is effectively impossible. I wonder if even you will retain your seat at the next election John ?

  77. DUNCAN
    December 4, 2018

    Bye, bye British democracy. Sacrificed on the altar of Tory Eurosceptic spinelessness

  78. Lindsay McDougall
    December 4, 2018

    You can hardly call base rate of 0.75% ‘tight money’. It’s all the other restrictions on hire purchase, buy-to-rent etc that have to go.

    The Government is already going to spend all of the Brexit dividend and more on the NHS. And you want to spend another £15 billion! I think we need to look at introducing charges to the NHS to bring about a modicum of demand management and raise some revenue. Let’s say £20 per GP visit, £30 per non-emergency visit to A&E, £150 per annum for any use of the hospital system, and a daily charge for bed blockers (set at a level higher than the cost of one day’s care at home). If we don’t introduce modest charges, demand will increase to meet the supply available and the queues and crises will persist.

    I agree with most of your other agenda. We need to decide what % of our food consumption must be home grown, then import the rest from the cheapest safe sources of supply. EU farmers must expect to lose much of their UK market.

    We had better get Belfast to build more ships to enforce our new fisheries policy. We can make a limited concession to EU fishermen but they will need to apply for permits on an individual boat basis.

  79. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    December 4, 2018

    Looks like Grieve just took control of Brexit.

    Appreciate your comments Mr Redwood.

  80. LenD
    December 4, 2018

    Just listening to Boris digging a hole for himself..now changing his tune slightly on leaving, the nuance, sad really. Still thinks he has a chance at the top job

  81. Mr Ecks
    December 4, 2018

    Mr Redwood–It is correct I believe that Grieve’s much-vaunted January Vote CANNOT prevent a WTO Rules Brexit as it cannot amend Primary Legislation. Just as next weeks vote is only about May’s deal. It cannot stop us leaving the EU. Altho’ it can in practice make it a vile sham via terms/conditions.

    As a Parliamentarian can you give your opinion about this?

  82. agricola
    December 4, 2018

    I would like to talk around point 4. On present day fish eating habits in the UK we are not going to eat much more, however much more we catch. So we have a growing potential to export it. We already export most of our shellfish to the EU.
    Some remainers have said that if EU boats have a reduced access to UK waters they will refuse to buy UK caught fish and shellfish. Knowing the EUs love affair with fish and shellfish I strongly doubt it.
    If remainers gloom and doom came to pass what a new export opportunity. Japan has the same love for fish and shellfish as th EU. They also pay much more fore it. So fill a refridgerated Boeing 747 and fly
    it daily to Tokyo. In 15 hours it would be in their fish market. How the enterprisingy can turn a negative into a positive.

  83. Mike of Wokingham
    December 4, 2018

    No deal means no Brexit. MPs who vote down the PM’s deal will not be in a position to complain if we subsequently remain in the EU.

    1. Mark B
      December 5, 2018

      We are leaving unless those same MP’s who were elected to Leave the EU decide to revoke it. I do not fancy their electoral chances if they do.

  84. PaulDirac
    December 4, 2018

    The dice are in the air now, my guess is that the MP’s will gravitate towards a “Safe” option such as Norway, or a second referendum (what questions will the think are meaningful).
    The EU will not give way on the backstop because this was their main aim.

    I’m preparing my Yellow Jacket.

  85. Ian Pennell
    December 4, 2018

    Dear Mr Redwood

    The on-going shambles with regard to Brexit – which may well end up “Remain”- must grieve millions of voters who were assured that their majority vote to leave the European Union would be respected, it must be a source of significant torment to Brexit- leaning MPs (including your good self) who thought that Brexit, in more than just name, would actually happen. Brexit supporters are right to be alarmed that Dominic Grieve and his motion that MP’s have influence on the course of Brexit if Theresa May’s “Deal” is rejected and nothing has been agreed in three weeks- has now passed the House of Commons: The upshot of this is that “Leave with No Deal” is no longer a realistic possibility.

    If you cannot leave the EU without a deal (because the majority of MPs wont let you), you cannot just stop giving money to the European Union and spend the money as we might want to in Britain. We cannot do all sorts of things (like cut VAT) if we are tied up with the EU’s rules and regulations, with no way of leaving them.

    What is needed is a strong electorally- appealing platform that would also boost the flagging British Economy. A Conservative Manifesto offering Income Tax and VAT cuts, with big spending increases could be implemented if Britain left the European Union without a Deal. It could be funded from the “£39 billion EU Divorce Payment”, current net EU contributions and the over-sized Foreign Aid Budget. In addition shifting the tax- burden away from Income to high-value land (a land-value tax) would boost the economy overall- and it would also be popular.

    What needs to happen now is to get a General Election engineered so that the Conservatives can run on such a very populist platform and regain the Brexit-supporting Majority that Theresa May lost- so that Brexit is done properly and the economy stimulated. Time to get those letters in to Sir Graham Brady quickly, get rid of Theresa May and table a vote for a new General Election with the support of Labour and the SNP (you need two- thirds of MPs for this to pass).

    The alternative is to hang onto Theresa May and for the Conservatives to try and muddle through- the result will be a 1997-style defeat by 2022 at the latest. Now is the time to act!

  86. Mike wilson
    December 4, 2018

    Eh voila! There it is! Suddenly, abracadabra, we have the AMENDMENT! The amendment that allows MPs to cancel Brexit. Whoever would have thought it!

  87. margaret howard
    December 5, 2018


    7. Intensify negotiations with the USA, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and the others who are keen to sign Free Trade Deals with us once we have the power to do so

    My original reply got lost again. I basically explained that we ruthlessly ditched both Australia and New Zealand in our rush to join the EU causing great hardship to their meat and dairy industry.

    They had to look east for new markets and will not be too eager to cut and run again.

    1. Edward2
      December 5, 2018

      That is not what they are currently saying.

    2. Mark B
      December 5, 2018

      Extra demand for their product will help raise prices. Competition here will help lower them. Why do you think the Irish and other EU countries are so keen to keep our captive market ? Self interest at OUR EXPENSE !!

    3. libertarian
      December 5, 2018

      margaret howard

      The EEC forced us to stop buying cheap food from Australia and NZ in order to protect the CAP. Thats what a protectionist customs union does .

      Luckily you as always are wrong

      Australian trade chief Steven Ciobo met with his UK counterpart Liam Fox this morning, where talks began on a free trade deal between the two countries after Brexit.

      Speaking to Bloomberg News after the meeting, Mr Ciobo said that the meeting was “very good” and claimed a trade deal would come into force the day after the Brexit transition ends.

      Britain is the third largest investor in New Zealand after the United States and Australia, so the relationship is still very significant. What we have now is an opportunity to bring it up to date and place it more in the 21st Century.” Stephen Jacobi, executive director of the New Zealand International Business Forum.

      Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today he would be prepared to extend the terms of Singapore’s recently agreed trade with the European Union to the UK. “We hope we will be able to continue arrangements with Britain outside the EU… And then we have time to work some better long-term arrangements over time,

      1. margaret howard
        December 7, 2018

        Is that the best you can do?

  88. Iain Gill
    December 5, 2018

    A few things become clear.

    The Conservatives will not win the next election unless Boris is PM. No way, no chance…

    The political candidate selection process really needs to improve in all the main parties, as the generality of people they are selecting and presenting to the people on voting slips are all too narrow in background, world view, and far too removed from the voters. Hence a parliament now which is completely and utterly out of tune with the British people on Brexit, and a political class which routinely promises one thing and does another.

    The Civil Service like all the public sector industries needs a fire up its bum, and some harsh lessons in democracy and efficiency.

    Nigel Farage, Dom Cummings, Arron Banks and others are going to morph into a massive political force if the will of the people is ignored by this parliament. Would be good to turn that into something broadly positive in other ways, perhaps join forces with Conservatives to keep Stalinist Corbyn out.

    Paris rioters shouting “We want Trump” is interesting, and not something our politico/journo classes want us to hear, so has hardly been reported. I can see lots of people in England will be thinking the same.

    BBC is now a national laughing stock, completely biased in many ways, and needs selling off and splitting up. No need for it to be in the public sector.

  89. Andrew GUNNING
    December 5, 2018

    Just watched your speech in the Commons. Crikey! You played a blinder!

    Thank you and well done.

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