The curious case of the car industry

Day after day I hear scare stories on the media that the UK car industry may suffer  if some undefined friction were created at our ports impeding the inflow of components after we have left the EU. I have proposed no tariffs on any parts coming in, so there would be less friction on non EU parts than today, and the government may well adopt such a proposal. They have certainly not ruled it out. No-one has yet explained why we will mess up our ports in ways which delay deliveries to car plants. Just in Time systems anyway flex according to how far the components come and the journey conditions they experience in the regular course of business.

What I do not hear is analysis and concern about the very real damage being done to our car industry whilst we remain full members of the EU. The collapse in car sales since the Spring of 2017 has nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with the high Vehicle Excise Duties, the tax and other regulatory attacks  on diesel cars, and the tough guidance to banks to cut down the car loans imposed by the UK authorities. As a result car sales have fallen by almost one quarter, and car sales by Jaguar Land Rover have been hit much harder given the high proportion of expensive cars and of diesels in their mix.

Why doesn’t the media take up these unhelpful policies, and make more of them than the silly scare stories about why might  happen if we just leave the EU?

It would also be good to have more informed comment and discussion of a real economic problem worldwide, rather than the false worries about Brexit. The rest of the world is talking about the general move to slow money and credit growth in the USA, the Eurozone and China as well as in the UK. Car sales are very dependent on  credit and get hurt early on when rates rises or when cash is restricted in banking systems. Car sales in China fell heavily last month. US car sales peaked earlier this year and are also in decline. The German car industry got hit badly this autumn. It was largely attributed to changes in EU regulations delaying certification and sales of new vehicles, but it is probably also about the turning of the credit cycle and the decline in underlying demand in the world car market.

I have often said that whilst Brexit is a very important political and democratic event for the UK, it is unlikely to have much impact on the world economy, and will have just a modest positive impact on the UK economy once we leave if the government follows sensible policies. We should try to prevent endless scare stories and the Groundhog day coverage that is the current UK media from stifling debate on the things that do have an economic impact. The media should  be expressing some alarm about what monetary tightening is now doing to the world car industry. There is no obvious inflation threat in the advanced world, and clear signs of economic slowdown.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    One also has to factor in climate alarmist legislation. Even if it is not directed at the car industry less money in people’s pockets will affect what they spend their money on. People tend to buy a new car when they feel they have both disposable cash and, when they feel economically secure. Government policy and scare stories (diesels) are most certainly not helping. Blaming BREXIT is a convenient scapegoat for poor decisions made elsewhere. What both industry and people need is clarity. Once such avenue would be to put the Withdrawal Agreement to a vote as early as possible so that we know where we all are and can start planning for such. Government delay is what is causing real harm. A PM who, in my opinion, is far too vainglorious and will not change course when all evidence points to the need to do so is a serious liability.

    Parliament cannot decide whether or not it wishes to govern this country. Neither the government or parliament knows what it wants, as witnessed by, President Junckers comments recently, and does not fully understand the issues, as witnessed by their desire for an agreement that the EU says cannot, and will not, be renegotiated. Clearly we need a General Election so that we can get the MP’s that we want to deliver on the Referendum. It is, in my opinion, the only solution.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    There are two other issues which preoccupy the industry. One is the pronounced shift in the mix of products sold away from cars and towards SUVs. That at least is a discernible trend even if one that requires significant retooling.

    The other is the regulatory driven, and so far incentivised, urge by governments to kill the internal combustion engine and promote electrification as the means of propulsion. No one really has a clue how fast and how far this revolution will go. Manufacturers are having to make fundamental redesign and engineering decisions in their products to cater for this. In doing so they do not know how long governments will offer incentives to consumers to buy electric vehicles (my guess not long) and how fast will the necessary power distribution network grow to support recharging of millions instead of thousands of vehicles.

    Then there is the issue of how future vehicle and energy tax regimes are adapted by governments to replace the £billions generated by the internal combustion engine. How quickly will they kill that goose that lays so many golden eggs.

    By contrast with these issues Brexit has immediacy but much less significance.

    • Hope
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      How about the crash out of Greece, or the youth unemployment cliff edge across several southern EU counties. How about the cliff edge in Italy right now, France civil disturbance because if EU doctrine, how about Poland being banned from voting in the EU because it wants to follow its own laws, Hungary sanctioned the same for flouting EU immigration rules. The EU dictatorship failures are there all across the EU countries including Germany. It’s population is concerned there are towns where Germans no longer live or are outnumbered by foreigners! Germans outraged by Cover up of rape cas s by foreign born citizens. Germany’s response: outlaw anyone speaking about it!

      Th UK needs a clean break from this cilemobsecne organisation who cares little for the populations of the nation states. No one allowed to see how laws are made or decided, no scrutiny either. Just dictats to be implemented.

      May wants to be tied to this under her servitude plan as did the cabinet. Do not forget it. She is a traitor.

      • Hope
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        JR, do you agree with an article in Breitbart that the govt, particularly Hammond, has been sabotaging Brexit? I cannot draw any other conclusion. Hammond has made vile comments over the last two and half years without any sanction from May yet when a leaver promoted published govt policy was rebuked by May!

        We also had the vile comments by Barwell and she made him her chief of staff!

        Is it not time to oust traitors from govt and civil service?

    • NickC
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, The government is peopled by non-technical non-scientific morons. We cannot have the same number of road vehicles powered only by mains electricity unless we roughly double the electrical energy we currently produce.

      That translates into approximately double the power stations we have now (assuming the same output mix). That is completely unlikely – we would have to build about 20 new power stations every year for the next 20 years.

      It is worse. Batteries are merely a box of (toxic) chemicals. Just as the stupid push for diesels because of a marginally lower CO2 output compared with petrol, has now been overturned by a more stupid condemnation of diesels, the political environmentalists will find that after all battery cars are not the answer.

      The CAGW scam has run its course. It is becoming increasingly obvious that with persistent low sunspot activity we are more likely to experience a little ice-age than die off due to a runaway global warming catastrophe. We’ll be burning natural carbon based fuels for a lot longer yet.

    • Richard
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      EFT economist Edgar Miller had a good article on future opportunities & countering the daft car industry scare stories:

      David Davis put it: “In the future, we are going to be a world leader in artificial intelligence, in self-driving cars, in life sciences, in genomics, we are going to be the world leaders. But the rules for our own industries are going to be made in Brussels, to our disadvantage undoubtedly. Being a rule-taker in the future will be a real handicap to our ability to compete.”

      • oldtimer
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        When David Davis resigned, post Chequers, the regulatory risk to industries and technologies of the future was an upper most consideration. That would remain even if the Irish border backstop was removed. The WA itself is fundamentally flawed.

  3. Kenneth
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The word “undefined” is key to this issue imho.

    I find most of the propaganda scare stories are told in the abstract with few details.

    The BBC and other remainers need to start pointing out how exactly their disasters will come about.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      It’s clear that a combination of

      -EU funded organs like the BBC
      -EU pensioned lifers like Mandelson, Kinnock and their friends, family and cronies
      -misguided young lefty luvvies (including some notable Tory MPs) who have never known anything but “EU directives” to help workers

      are all driving the agenda.

      Democrats need to take back control.

      • Hope
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        JR, I think most of the public have gone beyond caring for any of the scare stories and now want a clean break with no ties.

        If after we leave the EU wants to discuss trade so be it if not so be it. I do not want to be tied to anything of the vile organisation.

        It did not care about the destitution it and Germany caused in Greece, the massive youth unemployment across southern EU countries and it did not care about its mass immigration plan impact of nation states.

        Iavan Rogers wrote a condensending article yesterday appear to gloat at the poor negotiation of the UK with the EU, all with a view to remain in. He failed to say why he did not use his ever so cleve intellect to help the UK when he wa present under Cameron’s pathetic renegotiaton. He also fails to say what should be done to leave under a clean break. Rogers article came across as bitter and disloyal to his country. He should have been sacked years ago if this was his stated view. Moreover, people like him need to purged from the civil service for people who want to use their intellect for the benefit of the country not against it.

        All this rot about a second referendum. Why would anyone beleive it would be honoured! We have witnessed it will not. The remaining corrupt Westminster will still try the same old tricks. No to a second referendum hands up who beleive or trust Blaire!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        EU directive to “help“ workers invariably do the exact opposite, destroying jobs and rewarding people swing the lead at the expense of everyone else.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        The BBC loves the European Union so much but rarely he them report any news form most of the other countries.

        It might have something to do with the fact there are very few good news stories, either politically or economically, from the European Union.

        According to the World Bank, the youth unemployment rate in Itlay is 34.726% as of September 27, 2018. The youth are having their “future” stolen by Italy’s membership of the EU.

      • Richard
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        There are several good news stories on Guido’s “despite-Brexit” tag.
        FDI up, good UK GDP growth, unemployment down…

    • Richard
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Details not mentioned by the BBC:
      “The UK industry runs a £13 bn surplus with the rest of the world and a £21.8bn deficit with the rest of the EU on vehicles. It also runs a £6.2bn a year deficit on components with the rest of the EU and is in balance on parts with the rest of the world. The EU has not been a good or easy market for the UK industry.
      Since the vote Nissan has announced two new models for its Sunderland plant and Toyota has pledged a substantial additional investment at its Burnaston facility. Component manufacturers also see the opportunity for more UK sourced parts, with Gestamp announcing a new Midlands manufacturing facility.”

      And although 80% cars made in the UK are exported (mostly to RoW), it is also true that 85% of the UK car market is taken up by (mainly EU) imports. (H/T Denis)

  4. Thaurus
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Your appeal for “no deal” will never be taken seriously because you continue to fail to understand that, without a deal like Mrs May’s, once the UK is outside the EU, its export trade – in just-in-time parts and a whole lot more besides – grinds to a halt because UK goods will no longer be recognised as compliant with EU standards – for the simple reason that we are no longer in the EU.

    Reply We are under contract to supply parts they need and which meet their standards so of course they will continue to buy them. How do you think they will mount a complete economic blockade of UK exports under international law and WTO rules, and how would they sell Airbus planes with no wings?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      No wings, nor any Rolls Royce engines from Derby.

      • Steve
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Nah, the wings will be made in China, engines will be CFM Safran.

        You’ll never get me in one though.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink


        “No wings, nor any Rolls Royce engines from Derby”


        “Brexit: Rolls-Royce moves design approval for engines from Derby to Germany amid uncertainty over EU divorce”

        Independent, 3 days ago.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink


          Next paragraph of that story

          But Rolls-Royce stressed the switch to Germany – where it already handles design approval for business jet engines – was a “precautionary and reversible technical action” and would not impact UK jobs.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink


        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard. They also said “This is a precautionary and reversible technical action which we do not anticipate will lead to the transfer of any jobs.

          “We have begun to build inventory as a contingency measure, in line with the timetable that we gave in the summer.

          I take it you read Captain Peacocks post yesterday where he highlighted our many of our industries have been relocated with EU money provided? Are you not concerned about that?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          If you bothered to read beyond the headline margaret you would read that there is no job losses as research design development and production remain in the UK
          All has happened is a small transfer of design approval admin work to Germany.
          In a press release they said it was just a temporary move
          In other news Rolls Royce announce they are a global business.

        • Steve
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Rolls-Royce moves design approval for engines from Derby to Germany amid uncertainty over EU divorce”

          Fine, if that’s true we don’t need them.

          We will not be blackmailed.

      • Richard
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        1) John Longworth on Airbus: “if we leave the customs union nothing will change as [WTO] tariffs on aeronautical products are zero.”
        2) Airbus already import aircraft parts into the EU under WTO rules from their factories in China & USA.

    • Stred
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      My little C1 Citroen is mechanically s Toyota, with a Japanese engine, brakes and electrics. I wonder how they managed to smuggle the parts in.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      So there are absolutely no cars made outside the EU being driven around?
      Wow. Where are you living?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Sark perhaps?

    • L Jones
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      ”… you fail to understand…” How patronising! You must be a remainder. No comment without insult.

      You forgot to insert the words ”crash out” and ”cliff edge”. You people fail to understand that the world doesn’t begin and end with the EU. Let’s call you ”flat-earthlings”’. As Sir Joe has asked – where are you living?

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        L Jones

        ” You people fail to understand that the world doesn’t begin and end with the EU”

        Nobody is saying that except those of you Brexiteers who constantly find it necessary to twist peoples’ words.

        We have belonged to the world’s largest wealthiest trading bloc for over 40 years and have grown successful and wealthy along with it.

        We remainers maintain that it is absolute madness to want to leave because of what appears to many of us to be misguided ill tempered nationalism.

        • M.W.Browne
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          “We have belonged to the world’s largest wealthiest trading bloc for over 40 years and have grown successful and wealthy along with it”

          How strange then, that the UK has almoxt the lowest state pensios in the EU.

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            Pensions are up to the national governments to decide – nothing to do with the EU.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard,

          The economic models are not dramatic either way, particularly when looking at the assumptions made and population changes assumed. (Technology, developing nations and Govt policy will have a much bigger effect over the duration of forecasts). Parliament agreed to a referendum and the Cameron Govt framed it as advisory, this is reasonable given the complexity of the decision and the number of different stakeholders affected in different ways. It is inevitable that the vote would be close, but the point is that the combined advice of everyone that votes is that leaving the EU was the ‘best’ option. Remainers and Leavers all contributed to this advice, it should not be seen as winners and losers, which is how many politicians behave, it should be seen as crowd sourced advice.

          The continuing efforts to thwart the advice (as those with power have co-evolved with the environment inc. EU membership) is deeply threatening to democracy. An initial economic shock (either by leaving with no deal or revoking Article 50) is of small concern to putting the final nail in UK democracy’s coffin. It is democracy with which we must now be concerned. May’s withdrawal agreement throws out democracy, a second referendum throw’s out democracy. I suggest there are only two ways to recover democracy (a) leave with no deal (this would be the most direct approach) (b) revoke Article 50 and hence stand candidates in the next European elections , ideally with a GE at the same time – this slower second option at least allows representation and maintain unilateral power to leave the EU (unlike the WA).

          Democracy is the most important thing to save at the moment (and thereafter a less South East biased UK).

        • NickC
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          L Jones said: “You people fail to understand that the world doesn’t begin and end with the EU”.

          Margaret Howard replied: “Nobody is saying that …”

          Actually Margaret, that is exactly what you say in almost every one of your posts.

          We sell about 12.45% UK GDP to the EU. That is very important, but not anywhere near as important as the other 87.55%. Lift up your eyes from EU servitude.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard

          “We have belonged to the world’s largest wealthiest trading bloc for over 40 years and have grown successful and wealthy along with it”

          BUT WE DONT and we haven’t progressed thats the problem. If you looked up and out at the rest of the world you would discover

          1)The EU is NOT the worlds largest trade area anymore

          2) Lots of places have grown more than the EU

          3) The EU is failing , Greece, Cyprus Italy and now France are all technically bust according to EU rules

          4) When WILL remainers stop making up stupid reasons why people voted leave and start to actually listen?

          We live in a digital world with technology, innovation and creativity happening on an abundant scale yet the EU is locked in a mercantile , protectionist and innovation free zone. Passing regulation after regulation in the style of King Canute to try to hold back the tide of technology .

          Even the EU’s one and only high tech success Spotify has moved its HQ to New York to escape this stupidity.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          Graphs of GDP growth show that the EU has held Britain back, Margaret.
          We would have done better if we had not joined the EEC in the first place.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      If that is the case, how does any non-EU nation ever export into the EU? Any sort of non-recognition would be out 0f pure spite. Would Airbus refuse to build planes with non-certified wings from the UK? You’ve not thought it out very well have you? That’s the problem with bare-faced lies and propaganda. You ‘useful idiots’ catch yourself out every time.

    • sm
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Based on your reasoning, Thaurus, the EU presumably then imports absolutely nothing that is manufactured, grown or reared outside its boundaries?

      • Stred
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        That’s sounds like a name thought up by the Remain campaign in their blog refutal office. No-one from the industry could make such a stupid statement.

    • Steve
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink


      You are obviously ignorant of the fact that British industry (what’s left of it) will have to change to adapt to the needs of the country and economy, rather than servicing the obscene greed of the multinationals and their sidekicks the EU law makers.

      If we have any deal with the EU, it will mean their laws acting in detriment to UK industry. You didn’t think EU regs were there to help us, did you ?

      The answer is leave with no deal, there are so many opportunities available to build this country into an economic force to be reckoned with. So many industries defunct because of corporate lobbying in Brussels and EU laws. They all need resurrecting.

      The french led EU cannot stomach the thought of a strong competitor 21 miles off their coast. Why else do you think they want to keep us in a customs union and under the ECJ ?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Thaurus – you plainly don’t understand what “just-in-time” means, I bet you hadn’t heard the phrase until six months ago. If you are importing components from China by ship and they take 6 months to arrive they can still fit into a just-in-time production schedule.

    • David in Kent
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      No wonder Nissan doesn’t like a proper Brexit. They are 43% owned by Renault which in turn is controlled by the French Government. So it is French government policy to keep us chained to the EU. What a surprise.
      BMW makes and sells cars in UK; they also like to keep us as a captive market, so of course they are against Brexit.
      That doesn’t mean to say however that these companies will not adapt quickly to the new regime, especially if it has lower taxes and more freedom to innovate.
      After a few months of ‘no deal’ Brexit they’ll come crying for the protection of an FTA.

  5. rick hamilton
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I am a lifelong enthusiast for the motor industry and its mostly splendid products sold at amazingly low cost, thanks to the huge scale. I also have high regard for those who design and build these machines which seems to me vastly more difficult and wealth creating than, say, playing with other peoples’ money on a computer screen.

    However the likes of JLR, Nissan and BMW did not vote in the referendum and their management should accept the result with good grace, whatever it may be. In reality they will adjust immediately to any new terms of trade because that’s what international business is doing all the time.

    • Andy
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      This is true. They will adjust. And they will adjust by moving production out of the UK.

      They will not do this immediately. Closing factories expensive. But as new models come on stream more of them will be made elsewhere and as workers retire and leave they will not be replaced.

      Mrs Thatcher revived then British car industry with the single market. Claiming to act in her name the multi-millionaire Brexiteers will kill it.

      • NickC
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Margaret Thatcher made it absolutely clear that her version of a single market was one of non-centralised free trade based on mutual recognition of standards. Read her Bruges speech where she was trying to be emollient. She was no fan of an EU superstate. She lost.

        As for moving factories you just show your naivety. Multinationals are ruthless: they do not stay in an EU state because of politics as you absurdly think, they stay – or move – because of money. Fiat moved Panda production from Poland to Italy and are now reversing that. It’s all about how Fiat can maximise their revenue; politics is irrelevant. Perhaps we need fewer corporates and less politics. Getting out of the EU supports that.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        It depends Andy.
        The UK when it is finally free from the uniformity of EU rules could offer better corporation taxes.
        The UK could offer grant aid and easy planning permissions.
        Perhaps the EU where it is becoming increasingly expensive to do business will attract more businesses.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Senior JLR executives (mostly German, French, Belgian, and Spanish) told their employees that not voting to remain “would have serious consequences”. If anything, this convinced even more to vote to leave! Europe is a shrinking market so the overall impact is minimal and no worse than the cyclical dips in sales. Any EU steps,to attack the UK economy, has “serious consequences” for German car sales, in their most lucrative market.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


      My JLR head engineer cousin is paid a fraction of these stock market players.

      PS. I love it when he brings prototype vehicles to my house. They are unbadged and in stealth black and there is a button on the dash to record events. It’s a real buzz to go out in one.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    More huge increases in pay level at the (already hugely overpaid) insufferably left wing, anti-real science, climate alarmist, pro remain, PC drivel, propaganda outfit the BBC I see.

    All funded by an unfair licence poll tax (shortly doubtless to be extended to 75- 120 year old’s). Where is the (fair) competition authority here? Why do only the BBC get all this tax?

    I am not convince that Jeremy Hunt is really the man for the top job, after all he did nothing to sort out the appalling unworkable funding and structure of the state virtual monopoly NHS that kills so many. He just endlessly apologised for NHS gross and endless incompetence – he was quite good at that bit.

    But he is, at least now, finally saying the right things.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      The position of health secretary in a Tory govt consists of managing crises as best as possible and being an emollient ambassador to the doctors’ unions. There has never been a mandate for any kind of radical reform of the NHS.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      One thing one day, another the next. This guy isn’t exactly your reliable friend in what he says and does. He even got his wife’s nationality confused from one day to the next. Was she Japanese or Chinese?

      • Adam
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        TV presents Jeremy Hunt in peculiar ways. When in the Cameron Govt, he was shown wasting time waiting at a bus stop to comply with false ‘economies’ in not using ministerial cars.

        On a more recent occasion he was described as going for a run. However the short clip of his departure juxtaposed with the short clip of his return gave the impression that he ran only half way up the street & back! As a Remainer, perhaps that is all he would do.

        Andrea Leadsom is probably better.

    • piglet
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hunt is a Remainer. I don’t trust him. May said the right things at Lancaster House, but look at her actions since then.
      The next leader must be a Brexiteer.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Dear Piglet–And not just PM but Chancellor too should be Brexiteers–Only fair after current one and two. I still have no idea how, absurdly, the present incumbents got their jobs–no-one ever says.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Worse still an Oxford PPE man (after Charterhouse) and a believer in Climate Alarmism. He also claims to me a “one nation Conservative” for which read “no nation” just undemocratic regions of the EU.

        He was at least a Tory while at university and not SDP or Libdim like so many “Tory” MPs were.

      • Peter
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        There are lots of cabinet ministers I don’t trust.

        Hunt is allegedly pushing for ‘no deal’ preparations now. Whether that is a ploy for last minute concessions from the EU or he now sees WTO as the best option I do not know.

        Others are pushing for a losers vote and some are looking for an alliance with Labour Blairite types to get some Remain friendly outcome. There is even talk of a new SDP type party on Conservative Home.

        It all needs to be watched carefully. Leave’s strongest card would be withdrawing support and forcing a General Election. That is preferable to a BRINO minus sell out or a losers vote, in my opinion.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      L/L Yes, agree. The ridiculously high road tax being enforced onto people buying diesels over a certain price is a joke. Why should I pay more than Joe Bloggs next door who is driving around in a 12 year old diesel car spewing out more emissions than my new car? If it’s a tax on carbon emissions then it should be just that. Not a tax on the price of a car. If we all went over to electric cars overnight the grid wouldn’t cope anyway so its all a load of old tosh. Money for nothing yet again and taxes that are simply stupid and an excuse to raise money to spend elsewhere.

  7. Original Richard
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The BBC always fail to mention all the occasions when motor companies have moved UK plants to other EU countries with EU loans and subsidies paid for with our budget payments to the EU.

    In one classic case even to Turkey, a non-EU country.

    And if the manufacture of some of these “JIT” components were to be made in the UK after Brexit not only would they bring further investment and employment to the UK, but – and at least this should be important to the BBC – it will mean fewer lorries crossing the channel and reduced greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transportation of all these EU made components.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard. I hope Margaret Howard is reading your post.

  8. Peter
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    It was reported that May threatened the EU with a losing domestic vote on her Withdrawal Agreement and then going to ‘No Deal’ if they did not support her.

    I don’t know if there is any truth in this, or whether she would be prepared to proceed on that basis regardless of ‘No Deal is better than a bad deal’ slogans from her early days.

    Lots going on, still difficult to assess what could happen.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I do not believe it. And even if it were true the EU will not be impressed. Anyway, the PM is more interested in what people are saying about her behind her back than what they are saying about our country to our face.

      Any chance of having my post from early this morning put up Mr. Redwood MP sir ? 😉

  9. Merlin
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The longer this goes on, the more I think all roads lead to Remain. We cannot change our geographic location any more than we can change the fact our economy relies on trade.

    To assume we can stick two fingers up at our neighbours and expect it to end well seems naïve. I seem to remember a period in the negotiations when we tried to withhold the money. The EU simply refused to talk to us and the media pressure became so intense we had to return to the table.

    I hope I’m wrong as my preferred outcome is for Brexit to work. I just can’t see it happening.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      I don’t think WE were the ones with the fingers.
      To wish to negotiate a deal is sensible, but unless both sides agree then one regretfully walks away and seeks another solution, a better one for our country. This isn’t ”sticking two fingers up”. Trade will continue.
      Don’t you think that the EU’s petulance of refusing to talk unless they had a promise of a bribe (or Danegeld, we might say) in the interests of trade was akin to ”sticking two fingers up”? And what do you do confronted with aggressive beggar? You walk away.

      • Merlin
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        I agree. I don’t think either side emerges well from this negotiation. Like a divorce, it seems to be getting quite nasty.

        I remain unconvinced we can just walk away. I think from outside it all looks very simple but the reality is complex beyond belief. I think you could put anybody as PM and you’ll ultimately end up with May’s deal.

        Trump seems a good analogy. During the election, he was waffling on about dropping NAFTA, and now seems to have ended up with pretty much the same deal by a different name.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        L Jones

        “Don’t you think that the EU’s petulance of refusing to talk unless they had a promise of a bribe (or Danegeld, we might say) in the interests of trade was akin to ”sticking two fingers up”?”

        We are the experts in paying Danegeld inour history. The latest example is the £1bn Mrs May paid the DUP for a measly 10 votes to keep herself and her party in power.

        But as history proves again, they always come back for more.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          The DUP got nothing.
          Northern Ireland as a whole got some extra government spending.
          Something you have been calling for.

    • jerry
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      @Merlin; “The longer this goes on, the more I think all roads lead to Remain.”

      Not without an explicit vote in the UK parliament to that effect, and without that the A50 (process) of the Lisbon Treaty is explicit on what happens should there be no other ratified withdrawal agreement in place at the time of leaving – the exiting member becomes a “Third Country”.

      “We cannot change our geographic location any more than we can change the fact our economy relies on trade.”

      That would be why so much of the UK’s (as is the EU’s) trade is done currently with countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand…etc, many on WTO terms.

      “To assume we can stick two fingers up at our neighbours and expect it to end well seems naïve.”

      Indeed, so why is the EU doing so?!

      “I hope I’m wrong as my preferred outcome is for Brexit to work. I just can’t see it happening.”

      Nothing in your post suggests you want Brexit at all, in any shape or form.

  10. True Blue
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Every single business executive in the car industry has criticised Brexit, and in particular a hard Brexit. The Conservative party used to be the party of business. Mrs Thatcher secured huge inward investment by creating the single market. And now extremists like you and Rees Mogg are trashing her legacy. Shame on you.

    Reply Many business leaders especially entrepreneurs agree with Brexit or say it will work. Mrs Thatcher concluded we needed to leave the EU before she died.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Stick to Conservative ideals and you are branded an extremist. You couldn’t make it up!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Business executives in the UK car industry might make better use of their time and energy working out how to sell more of their products in the UK, given that around 85% of their home market is taken up by imports:

      “The UK industry runs a £13 bn surplus with the rest of the world and a £21.8bn deficit with the rest of the EU on vehicles. It also runs a £6.2bn a year deficit on components with the rest of the EU and is in balance on parts with the rest of the world. The EU has not been a good or easy market for the UK industry.”

      “It’s easy to say … that 8 out of 10 cars made in the UK are exported … and gloss over the fact that imports of cars from the rest of the EU are much greater than our exports to them … and forget how much of our home market is taken up by imports … 1.72 million cars made in the UK in 2016 … 1.35 million exported … so wouldn’t that be about 0.4 million new cars both made and sold at home, out of a total of 2.7 million new cars sold in the UK … Meaning that 85% of the UK car market is taken up by imports”

      While I wouldn’t see tariffs as a desirable outcome it could even be that if the EU imposed 10% tariffs on our exports of cars, and we reciprocated on the much larger volumes of cars we import from them, then that would enable UK manufacturers to increase their share of the home market above that 15% or so.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        “80% of the UK’s car production is exported, of which 54% goes to EU member states. In 2017, the United Kingdom produced 1.75 million motor vehicles, exporting 800,000 of these within the European Union.

        The other way around, the EU countries represent 82% of the UK’s motor vehicle import volume, worth €38 billion. The 27 other EU member states (EU27) produced 19.69 million motor vehicles in 2017 and exported 2.3 million (11.7%) of these to the United Kingdom.”

        So that was 2.3 million imported from the rest of EU as against 0.8 million exported to the rest of the EU, a ratio of 2.9 to 1.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      True Blue

      There are 5.7 million businesses in the UK, 63% of business owners voted leave

      • acorn
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Sadly libby, only 2.5 million were VAT registered out of the 5.7 million. 3.4 million of them were sole traders. Of the 1.9 million limited companies, only half of them employed anyone.

        If you want to know why UK productivity is so poor, the above is your answer.

        • Al
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          That would in part be because of the huge damage done to the small and micro business sector by EU VAT around the time of the referendum. I wouldn’t be surprised to find many Leave voters were former business owners as a result.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          It is about wealth creation.
          Not productivity.
          A very nebulous statistic.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


          So what? SME’s have created the jobs boom, they employ most people in the private sector. SME’s employ 16.4 million people ( 60%). The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £2.0 trillion, 52% of all private sector turnover.

          Your statement makes no sense , self employed people are by definition the most productive

          The reason that productivity is so low is because we spend most of our time implementing totally daft regulations such as GDPR

          • acorn
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            Self-employed people never achieve the economies of scale.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink


            Dont be totally and utterly ridiculous.

            Most self employed people offer services based on their talents. What economies of scale can be achieved by a plumber putting a new tap washer in? Oh you mean like a certain London plumbing company that imports workers from East Europe pays them pittance then charges the customer through the nose , that kind of thing?

            Economies of scale have nothing to do with productivity

    • Richard1
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Not so. Sir James Dyson is surely about to become a major player in the car industry but supports Brexit.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        And he believes in Brexit Britain so much that he decided to open his car plant in Singapore.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          A weak riposte. Many global businesses want production in Asia for sound commercial reasons. Should we discount the views of Siemens, Nissan etc because they have production in Asia also? If Sir James believed in the Continuity Remain’s Project Fear 2.0 surely he would have sited his production in the EU?

  11. Tabulazero
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Yet pretty much all the UK’s OEM chiefs have warned about the serious disruption Brexit is likely to cause and warned about its implications for jobs and investment.

    Nissan, Toyota, BMW, JLR, PSA… the whole lot

    Are you setting up the ground to blame anybody (the EU, the greens, HMRC..etc) but yourself when the inevitable consequences of the policy you have been advocating for your whole career become self-evident ?
    etc ed

    • libertarian
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink


      Thats strange as most of the organisations you mention have invested collectively billions of pound in UK plants, machinery and other investments since the referendum

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        For a man running multiple businesses aren’t you supposed to know that investment decisions (especially for industrial projects) are usually taken years in advance ?

        I guess you must know better than Ralf Speth.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink


          As a man who runs multiple businesses and operates as an angel investor I know that if circumstances change after I have made a decision I would NOT invest my money.

          You are seriously trying to claim that Nissan for instance made a decision 3 or 4 years ago to spend £100 million on expanding their Sunderland plant, yet due to circumstance ( Brexit) they now no longer think its viable but will spend the money anyway !!! Seriously , you are seriously putting that forward as an argument?

          ps that would be the Ralf Speth who is in charge of the strategy of making all vehicle production diesel at the point that diesel is about to be banned… Lol yeh I think I probably do know better than Her Dr

  12. Tom Weston
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Post Brexit the import tariffs on EU-manufactured cars should be used to subsidise RHD British-built cars when registered here. HMRC would still get a cut as the EU sells us many times the number of cars we sell them.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The extent to which our media is open and honest – WHICH IT ISN’T – reflects the way it has been taken over by pc dogma and socialism.

    We have to accept that there will never be meaningful debates and honesty, from the media until we correct the left wing control of it.
    Cameron failed miserably to reform the BBC when he had the chance, but unless a right of centre party takes up the challenge, we will be lumbered with a dishonest media for ever more. IMVHO this should be a priority If the BBC can be fixed then there is hope for the rest.

    • jerry
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris; The majority of the UK MSM is anything but “socialist”, and most title/channel/station owners would consider it all but slanderous should someone accuse them of being “socialist”! Most of the problems in the UK MSM (print, broadcast & now web) have been caused by deregulation, pandering to the needs of the retail economy and the requirements of their stock exchange listings.

      The BBC doesn’t need reform, it needs tight(er) regulation….but this is already way off-topic; perhaps our host might return to this subject one day?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        One definition of socialism is that it information put out is full of deceit, lies and misleading information, with a biased agenda – Certainly the BBC fits this definition, and I don’t know of any media that don’t come close to this.

        As for the BBC, it is a disgrace, and should be closed down – It serves only the purposes of it’s overpaid executives who push their own agenda on us – It is neither fair nor honest. At best it tries to be impartial but never quite achieves that even.

        • jerry
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          @Bryan Harris; The same could be said of Conservatism!

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted December 18, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            I can agree with that…. but if our exit is a clean WTO one, most of their (Tories) sins will be forgotten by some, but not forgiven by all….
            The BBC however has degenerated over the years, and we don’t have the ability to vote them out

          • jerry
            Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; “The BBC however has degenerated over the years, and we don’t have the ability to vote them out”

            As has all the MSM in the UK, hence why (but never mentioned by you and rarely by others) Ch4 News is able to be so biased towards the left, by comparison the BBC is the bastion of impartiality!

            You do know who owns the Channel Four Television Corporation (TA Channel Four, amongst other names) don’t you – yes us, the tax payer, funded in the main via the high street check-outs and on-line shopping baskets.

  14. Christine
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The Government seems to do its utmost to stifle trade. I would have changed my car but I’m so confused with where the regulations are going it’s easier to just keep the one I have. Also shopping on the high street being restricted to only a few hours on a Sunday whereas I can shop on the Internet 24/7. I think Government needs to take a step back and let business do what it does best. Busy working people need less obstacles not more.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Christine. Shopping hours on Sundays are a joke. Here in Scotland you can shop all day in Sunday but of course the SNP were allowed to vote in the commons on this issue and voted against England and longer shopping hours. Just another area where devolution doesn’t work for the whole country and where England needs its own parliament.

  15. formula57
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The Ford Motor Company is closing its plant in Bordeaux: I assume due to Brexit but I have not looked at the BBC to confirm that.

  16. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Not too worried about people buying fewer cars, frankly. If people are being sensible and keeping their cars for an extra year or two because they’re more reliable than they used to be, and more expensive, that sounds like common sense. Also common sense is to normalise interest rates slowly. Zero was never a good number there.

    Don’t conflate that with complaining about this jumping up and down about how our car industry will be wrecked by leaving the EU. It’s a completely different issue and you’re correct that it’s daft that the same people making the same parts will suddenly be put out of work because of fictitious queues and tariffs.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Psst – don’t tell anyone, but you can buy a corking car for a couple of thousand and they run and run… and if they don’t you just bin it and buy another old one.

      You’ll also be one of the most environmentally friendly drivers out there.

      • David L
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, Maybot. My “fun” car (not in daily use) has a 3.5litre engine and I have to pay £540 VED for it next month as I am a nasty, polluting driver. But I saw on the tv an item about the Virgin spacecraft and how it heralds a new age of space travel for, well, anyone with enough cash. And similar projects are being started by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. I wonder who’s atmosphere these proliferating machines will be gushing their considerable exhaust gases into. Or do they only emit O2 and water? So, let’s penalise and thus blame us ordinary folk for impending doom, but the super wealthy can ignore Sir David Attenborough et al!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Indeed good cars under £1000, in many ways fat better than a new £90k Tesla. True the fuel might cost a bit more but this is more than wiped out by the massive interest and depreciation on the new car. As you say more environmental too.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Far from preventing scare stories various parts of the UK government apparatus have been originating them and spreading them, and far from ordering action to put a stop to that the Prime Minister has been allowing and encouraging it because it suits her purpose to have the option of leaving without a special trade deal ruled out.

    Note that there has never been any effective government attempt to rebut the often silly anti-Brexit myths which have been put into circulation over past years, but Theresa May quickly had a whole website set up to push her deal:

    Including a ‘Brexit facts’ blog with rapid responses to critical media articles.

    Note too how none of those pushing for a second referendum want voters to be asked to simply say “Yes” or “No” just to her agreed deal, the most obvious and potentially the most legitimate question which could be asked of them; instead they want to change “No” to mean “No to leaving the EU on any basis”. I wonder what the Electoral Commission would have to say about a proposed referendum question couched as “Do you want to accept the withdrawal deal agreed by Theresa May or would you prefer to stay in the EU?”

    That would just be a new variant on classic EU political manipulation; I recall occasions when it was mooted that a nation which had foolishly voted the wrong way on an EU proposal should be asked again, and if they said “No” again that would mean they had voted to leave the EU altogether, and this would just be a reverse of that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      “Winning a second Brexit referendum is possible – with Europe’s help”

      “Instead of rerunning 2016 we should choose between May’s deal and staying in a reformed EU”

      After all, we can make:

      “… the hopeful assumption that no parliament would present a no-deal crash-out as if it were a viable option, since that would be criminally irresponsible … ”


      “… it will help if the ballot is seen as a move by May … leave voters are likelier to accept a plebiscite called by a Tory prime minister seeking to make Brexit happen than one effected by remainers bent on halting it … ”

      Well, I can believe she would do that, just as I can believe that she would turn to the Labour party to outvote rebel Tory MPs and get the required referendum Act through the Commons – the Lords would easily vote it through – having already turned to the Labour party to help her delay our withdrawal.

  18. Javelin
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    A quick summary of international and constitutional law

    1) A Gov can pull out of an international treaty when ever it wants. That is overriding law. It is in place to stop civil/war.

    2) Art 50 was added by the EU so that if a country was to leave (or be pushed out) it would have a couple of years to negotiate. Art50 is a politeness.

    3) The Gov could have left the EU whenever it wanted but not with 2 years polite negotiation.

    4) The EU can extend negotiation but it needs all 27 countries to agree.

    5) If the Gov pulls Art 50 it is legally back to where it started. Still in the EU. It can reissue Art 50 – unless the EU repeal it quickly.

    Now for the constitutional law bits. This is Governed by Judical Reviews. So the ERG has better be ready if they want to see the law applied.

    6) A Gov requires a General Election manifesto offering a referendum that effects soverigntity and an Act of Parliament – unless it’s a national emergency.

    7) Leaving on WTO terms is not a national emergency because we already trade with most of the world on this basis.

    8) May cannot call a GE until 2022.

    So where does that leave us.

    9) May’s current deal ties us into the customs union indefinitely which (the sharp eyed will have noticed) is against international law of political self determination. It would therefore likely fail a judical review if it was held tomorrow.

    Therefore if I was advising the ERG I would advise them to undertake a judical review of the current deal.

    10) A judical review, on the UK behalf, would also fail under EU law as the review is of international law.

    11) We would then be left with a WTO deal on the table unless the EU were to make another offer.

    The net conclusion here is that you can’t escape from international and constitutional law with wishful thinking.

  19. Newmania
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Carlos Ghosn,( chair of Nissan ) called British Manufacturing “a European investment based in the UK”. World Trade Organization rules apply 4.5% tariffs to car parts and 10% to finished .Manufacturers say they rely on, “just in time” importing / exporting of parts .They are already stockpiling warning of closures and moving licensing but these are clearly not optimal solutions.
    All have made it clear that the future is chilly . The head of Toyota Europe says that a no-deal Brexit would affect the firm’s investment decisions…
    Inertia will delay an immediate collapse but its hard to see any reason to locate European car manufacturing outside the EU.
    Why would you, you tell me ?

    Reply The WTO does not impose tariffs. We can decide to have zero tariffs

    • Richard1
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      What would the logic be for the EU to impose tariffs given they have a £100bn trade surplus with the UK?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Because the EU will not be able to discriminate in the UK’s favor unless both signs an FTA which will likely take years to negotiate.

        The EU cannot waive tariffs for the UK and not wave them for the US, China or Brazil.

        Comes March, the EU will have no choice but to apply the tariffs under WTO rules.

        • NickC
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, I understand Richard1 to mean no extra or punitive tariffs on UK products. So there is no question of the EU waiving tariffs, but also no question of discriminatory tariffs or NTBs as frequently threatened by Remains.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          wrong read article 24 of the WTO treaty. there is no such obligation

    • Newmania
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      What” we” do is not the point as you very well know

      • Richard1
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        You are correct that in a WTO Brexit the EU would be entitled to impose tariffs on the UK. But how likely is this? Article 24 of the WTO treaty allows at least 10 years of continuation of zero tariffs assuming we are in principle in an FTA negotiation. Will the EU – having been attempting to take the moral high ground against Trump, and having a £100bn trade surplus with the UK – really wish to impose tariffs, and see retaliation from the UK? It seems a vanishingly unlikely prospect to me.

        • Helena
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

          Richard, if we leave in a WTO Brexit then by definition we are not in an FTA negotiation, and Art 24 does not apply

          • Edward2
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            Helena and NM
            The pound moves more in relative exchange rates against euro and dollar than the effect of a tariff.
            World commodity prices on things like oil aluminium coffee copper etc moves more in price than any tariffs.
            Tariffs are charged today by the EU yet goods arrive here from all over the world and we sell all over the world.
            Businesses factor in these price movements and deal with them.
            There can be differences in tariffs between nations by using risk assessments.

          • NickC
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Helena, It is perfectly possible to leave using the WTO structure to trade whilst simultaneously opening negotiations for trade deals with any state including the EU.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      The UK’s tax and diesel policies go virtually unmentioned by the BBC.

      Brexit is being blamed almost entirely for people who are not buying cars that have already been made. BBC/media bias is the point of today’s essay.

      Britain has lost vast swathes of industry whilst in the EU. Factories moved by manufacturers such as Gillette. Firms will do it again – regardless of whether we are in the EU or not.

      Carlos Goshn is right to point out that his factories are here because of our EU membership and we have to weigh up whether we should relinquish our political autonomy to avoid any economic hit – there is not guarantee of permanence from manufacturers, there is with loss of sovereignty.

      • Maybot
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        From Captain Peacock below:

        “The Daily Mail is censoring any comment that points how the EU is responsible f0r jobs moving from the UK with EU grants. Its clear what nonsense would be going on if they got the second referendum.
        Comments like this ..
        Cadbury moved factory to Poland 2011 with EU grant.
        Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant.
        Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company who have trashed our steel works and emptied the workers pension funds.
        Peugeot closed its Ryton plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant.”

        I’d add that Britain got nearly £2 trillion in debt whilst in the EU too.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


      For some reason JR doesn’t feel comfortable publishing my post in reply

      So I suggest you Google Carlos Ghosn and see what comes up

    • Stred
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Carlos is in Japan at the moment. They found how much he was being paid just in time.

  20. Everhopeful
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Personally put off buying another new car because of weird road fund charges.
    Why on earth have they done that? I thought the lower road fund for new car was a “ reward” for lower emissions?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful. It’s got nothing to do with emissions obviously when people driving old cars are free to spew out high levels while those of us who buy a newer model but more expensive (because we like to choose what to spend our money on) are penalised.

  21. hardlymatters
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Any day of the week We can see four or five ships swinging at anchor waiting to berth in Felixstowe and apart from the occasional bad weather interruptions everything works smoothly. But if we muliply four by ten say which is likely to be the case when the channel ports conveyor system of ro-ro and Lo-lo seize up and the inevitable change to containerisation takes hold. JIT will be a thing of the past- and how this is going to effect business and industry in the long term nobody knows. When we are trading to WTO rules we cannot seriously expect that goods will flow through Calais or other French ports at the same rate as they currently do despite what Kate Hoey said on Sophie Ridge this morning?

    • sm
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Something like 86% of global export/import transportation goes by ship (largely container vessels) now, and the fleet businesses are searching for more trade, as many ships are travelling partly empty. I think it’s time people stopped obsessing about Dover.

      • hardlymatters
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        sm- Yes, agreed, but we are not talking about global here, we are talking about coastal, neighbour to neighbour. in this we are not obsessing via dover /calais for instance, as we know it today will be not the same if we crash out- but we won’t- just only goes to show that democracy is all a cod..we are living in 1984 but we don’t know it yet- just Cameron’s slip up to contend with now/

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink


      So you have guessed it will be ten times worse, and then want an answer to your guessed problem ?

      Not really a very intelligent argument is it, how about some facts ?

      When any plan changes there is always the possibility of some disruption for a short period until the new system beds in, sensible business usually plan for such, just in case.
      Extended disruption is either total incompetence, or a deliberate action by one or more of the parties involved.

    • jerry
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      @hardlymatters; JIT is not a comment on from where components comes from but when. The same part made in Basildon, Birmingham, Motherwell or Port Talbot can arrive JIT at a factory in Coventry as those made in Stuggart, Barcelona, Milan, Tokyo or Detroit or where ever.

      No one is saying that there might not be issues post a WTO exit but then there are issues anyway, plans for ‘Operation Stack’ and poor weather on the high and low seas have been in place for years!

      If JIT breaks down post a WTO exit it will not be the fault of Brexit(eers) but those in boardrooms, just as when there are strikes at the channel ports of hurricane force storms causing delays to RotW shipping. The security of supply is a matter for directors, not politicians.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink


      44.1% of car components are sourced within the UK by UK suppliers

      JIT mostly uses container shipping

      Dover /Calais RoRo currently handles less than 6% of import/export traffic

      I do wish you people actually bothered to research things before posting

      Just In Time manufacturing was invented by the Japanese, it happens all over the world and has nothing what so ever to do with the EU or the so called EU single market

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Right. How did you end up with Dover / Calais RoRo only handling less than 6% of traffic ?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink


          Er because its the official statistic from the ONS

          Just to be clear I said D/C handles 6% ( actually 5.8%) of import/export traffic.

          Dover isn’t much of a container port ( less than 1ok per year) , Dover isn’t a tanker port and the vast majority of goods are handled by container and tanker

  22. Captain Peacock
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The Daily Mail is censoring any comment that points how the EU is responsible f0r jobs moving from the UK with EU grants. Its clear what nonsense would be going on if they got the second referendum.
    Comments like this ..
    Cadbury moved factory to Poland 2011 with EU grant.
    Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant.
    Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company who have trashed our steel works and emptied the workers pension funds.
    Peugeot closed its Ryton plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant.

    • Hope
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Stop reading it. Make it suffer. No readers no paper. It will either change editor or direction or go out of business.

      People power. Stop buying EU products buy British. Stop watching BBC.

      • jerry
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        @Hope; I detest 99% of the MSM news/periodical print titles, Ch4 news, nor I’m I at all keen on Sky News, how do you propose I “make them suffer”? All are funded fully or partially by the sale of advertising space or broadcast time-slots paid for via the checkout till or online basket, become fully self sufficient.

        The problem with the British MSM is not the lack of “market forces”, it is allowing to much “market forces”, would it not simply be better to regulate the media to be unbiased in their output, with a regulator totally independent of Govt and media industry that is not a toothless tiger? Much of the MSM is self-censoring, it’s called their editorial line, it should not be allowed.

    • Steve
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      and the idiot remoaners reckon we’ll be worse off when we leave. Makes you wonder how many of them actually work for a living.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s not an EU grant – It’s our bloody money !

  23. Edward2
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Further damage to the automotive industry is being created by major UK and European cities bringing in low emission charging zones for certain vehicles.
    The rules are still being decided and already several cities have changed their minds bringing far more vehicles into the chargeable net than their original proposals.

    I am facing a £12.50 per day tax to get to go into my nearest city by car if I were to buy the wrong vehicle.
    I and many more I speak to, are therefore putting off swopping their car until the rules are published and are firm.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink


      Yes, from reports in the media the present Mayor of London is looking to extend the emissions zone out as far as North and South Circular roads, massively increasing the area covered.

      Seems like he is also proposing more strict rules as well, meaning many cars more than just a couple of years old will pay £12.50 per day to enter, or more importantly, move around in the Zone if you are already a resident in that area.

      Is this as well as the congestion charge ?

      At £87.50 per week to drive on top of present costs it looks like many people will be forced to dump their cars full stop !

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        It’s the work of dangerous fools. The current public transport network in London could not cope if motorists ditched the car for the bus and tube network. Just remember what happens when there is industrial action on the networks. Utter gridlock.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        It is in addition to the current Congestion Charge Alan.

        Three European cities have recently gone to the ECJ and have won a ruling halving the previously agreed emission levels.

        Thus if you had recently purchased a replacement vehicle in good faith you would now find your purchase was now not exempt.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink


          Congestion and emission charges.

          Thanks, I guessed as much.

          I do not travel into London much any more, but Millions still do, and encompassing the North and South Circular roads where there are many industrial and Commercial Estates may just be the tipping point for many businesses located in or near those areas.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

            Sadly it is not just London.
            Many major cities are planning to ban or charge for vehicular entry.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, JR, if the weasel David Lidington got his way and MPs were presented with a Bill for a second EU referendum, would you insist on a turnout threshold being written into the law? Because with siren voices calling for a boycott the eurofederalists could win on a low turnout, and of course they would not be interested in complaints that we voted to leave on a 72% turnout but have now voted to reverse that on a 40% turnout.

    Reply I simply oppose the idea of a 2nd referendum

    • sm
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Denis, thank you for making this point. The referendum on creating a London Mayoralty only had a 34.1% turnout!

      I always thought it was odd that none of the Remainer geniuses in the HoC asked for a turnout threshold during the debates about the construction of the Referendum Bill.

    • Hope
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Boycott is a stupid idea. Look at police commissioners. Less than 10 percent turn out and still elect despite public saying they did not want them. The same for mayors. The Tory govt did not listen, Cameron still installed them against our wishes. This is part of the EU regionalisation agenda. Both need to be reversed.

      Liddington is worse than a weasel. That is why May put him in place. Barwell May’s chief of staff the same. He called all leavers racists.

    • acorn
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      “Double Majority Voting” Denis, like the EU uses. And the US; Switzerland; Northern Ireland etc etc.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


      The point is if the question asks “Remain or May’s deal ?” or even a three way “Leave, Remain or May’s deal ?” we will end up remaining by a cleverly engineered default.

      Anyone who participates in the rigged referendum will be endorsing it and be honour bound to uphold the result. (Note that Newmania and Andy have no honour and this is why [please don’t edit this] I hate them.)

      I fear that the best we can hope for is to leave a historical marker as regards the EU’s mandate to do what it wants to do.

      Leave was voted for with the highest turnout in history. Let Remain be voted for with the lowest. The some clever historian (probably Chinese) will know the truth some thousand years hence.

      I’m sorry to say that’s where we’re at.

      We’re about to find out what happens when ‘thick and racist’ seniors give up voting and give ‘clever and enlightened’ young people free run of the ballot box.

      Remainers will get Corbyn into government and that’s all you need to know about how clever Remain voters are.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        A referendum question has to be approved by Parliament on the advice of the Electoral Commission, and even they might have scruples about the kind of questions that are being mooted by some Remoaners.

  25. Adam
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    If we create & build cars that users demand, users around the world shall buy.
    A daft Chancellor obstructing the road to freedom at home risks being knocked out of the way.

  26. agricola
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    It is inept , open mouth before engaging brain,politicians who have caused damage to the car industry, not the thought of brexit.
    Solve this insanity by declaring that on 29th March we will revert to WTO rules and then invoke article 24 of the WTO rules wherebye trade as it is now can continue for up to 10 years while a new trade relationship is agreed.
    What could be simpler, why is it not being done, and why are you not advocating it. No cliff edge, no crashing out, no Irish border problem. Get on with it.

    • agricola
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      As Winston might have annotated my submission “Action Today”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I saw Kate Hoey mention this, a rare example of somebody citing chapter and verse rather than airily claiming that “WTO rules” would demand this or that, and even if the WTO itself has said that its rules would demand no such thing:

      And now I read that the UK government was looking at this in March 2017:

      “Britain’s Brexit Plan B – UK trade officials are exploring a 10-year interim deal to smooth the UK’s exit from the EU.”

      So what has happened to that plan? Suppressed by Theresa May, in the same way that she suppressed the solution for the Irish border problem that was being looked at in May this year?

      “Yesterday it was the EU telling Theresa May to come up with creative ideas to solve the (largely fabricated) problem of the Irish border; according to the Telegraph today she is returning the favour by making the same demand of them; both only need to look at this article in the FT on May 10th 2018 … ”

      “That was five months ago, SO WHY HAVE WE HEARD NOTHING SINCE THEN?

      And why should Theresa May now think that staying under the thumb of the EU for an extra year would give her favourite euromaniac civil servant Olly Robbins and his officials the time to find a solution when they haven’t even bothered to follow up this promising potential solution over the past five months, and instead have wasted everybody’s time on a crackpot customs scheme which they already know the EU will not accept?”

    • acorn
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      So, ten years more budget contributions? Ten years more free movement of persons? Article 24 was meant for building a Customs Union/FTA, not dismantling a Customs Union into a trade agreement.

      • agricola
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Budget contributios and free movement no because we are out on 29th March. The potential 10 years comes curtesy of art 24 of the WTO not at the behest of the EU. The EU are members of the WTO and as such presumably adhere to it’s rules. We would not be dismantling the customs union because after March end we no longer belong to it. Yes we would be negotiating a FTA or trade treaty. Art 24 says you cannot change the status quo until it is replaced with a new arrangement for trade. The only odd thing about this is that we would be changing from an FTA with unacceptable strings attached to a trade agreement without ties.

        • Helena
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          You are simply wrong here, agricola. If we leave in a WTO Brexit then by definition we are not in an FTA negotiation, and Art 24 does not apply.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            Provided the EU had the common sense to agree to start FTA negotiations before we left, or at the same time as we left, then we would be in those FTA negotiations, would we not, and so Article 24 could apply, could it not. So what you are saying in effect, Helena, is that the EU would not have enough common sense to wish to avoid disruption to trade.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Well, it’s a pity that JR has not published my comment above pointing out that the UK government was looking at this in March 2017.

  27. Andy
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The people who run the car industry fundamentally disagree with your analysis Mr Redwood.

    Which begs the question – as you are the expert and they are not – why are you not running a car company?

    Backbench MPs earn just under £80k a year. The boss of JLR takes home several million.

    Why would you carry on in your job – which has no career development opportunities – when you should be running a car company?

    Or is it just possible that, actually, they know what they are talking about and you do not?

    Reply I did run a company making pumps for engines for heavy diesels for several years so am well able to run a manufacturing concern. My aim is not to maximise my income but to represent the voters in my constituency

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Andy thinks that people who earn more money know better than people who earn less money. And that Bristol Council knows more than the Government.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Well said, Dr Redwood.
      Ah! Always good for a laugh, our Andy!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      It’s just possible he likes the idea of EU grants for moving his production around the EU, and out of the UK. Nein?

    • libertarian
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


      Do they? Not according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers

      You might want to read their website , always pays to be better informed

      Hows your lovely mum and have all your workers found jobs yet or are they out of work for Christmas ?

    • JustGetOnWithBrexit
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Boom! Nice comments Mr Redwood.

      By the way, the Petition to Leave the EU on a World Trade Exit aka No Deal has reached 142,000!

      The more that sign, the louder the message!

    • Edward2
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Actually Andy they don’t fundamentally disagree with our host.
      Many in the automotive industry have voiced their concerns about the effects of politicians waging a war on the internal combustion engine, the confusion by politicians towards diesels, the changing rules on testing for emissions, the rapid increases in taxation on company cars and vehicle excise duty, the confused roll out of low emission zones with changing rules, the changing subsidy policies on electric vehicles and the lack of investment in a proper electric charging network.
      Most comments about Brexit effects have focused on the uncertainty factor.
      Business hates uncertainty.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Edward2, Agreed, uncertainty is the biggest problem, once you know where you are going everything else is relatively easy.

        I think May’s deal is probably the worst in the uncertainty respect in that it kicks the can down the road for 2+ more years. WTO would be a big change but one that businesses can deal with IF they know asap what to prepare for…

    • Maybot
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Andy – The cars that have already been manufacture and which are not being bought. The rarely if ever mentioned – by the BBC – tax and lending policies that are putting people off buying.

      That’s what were discussing.

      Sure, manufacturers are going to make changes because of Brexit and we have decided that our sovereignty is of greater importance.

      Membership of the EU has been no guarantee that outsourcing won’t take place – please see Captain Peacock’s post above on EU funded factory moves.

      I make no apology for what I have said about you in an earlier post (hopefully unmoderated). There is an irredeemable rift in this country and I put it down to Remain refusing to accept the referendum result. Doubtless they think otherwise and that is why this country will not heal.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      The emerging car executive sir James Dyson does agree with mr redwoods analysis.

      It is correct that many executives, esp in the car industry, oppose Brexit. But since they use their positions to argue for a particular policy choice for the Country, we are entitled to ask them to justify their views. So, whilst there have been assertions about JIT supply chains etc, there have to date been no coherent explanations as to what events are likely to take place which will create a problem.

  28. Billy Elliot
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Sir, I hope everything will go as smooth as you predict.
    However we have been part of EEC/EU for 40 years so I would not be surprised that there might be twists and turns just because EU legislation is everywhere.

    No one didn’t seem to see in forehand that we would be thrown out from Galileo project. So there is a great possibility that something similar is lurking behind the corner.

    • Andy
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      We are not being thrown out of Galileo. 17,4m people voted to Leave it.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Plainly that is wrong andy.
        It was a decision made by the EU.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          No it wasn’t – it was a decision made by 17.4m brexiteers.

          Picking and choosing was not an option as was clearly expressed by the EU when they became sick and tired of our constant demand for opt outs and exemptions no doubt citing our ‘exceptionalism’.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

            The EU made a decision.
            It was their choice.

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 17, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Barnier set a trap for us when he said the UK could receive the PRS (encrypted) signal but that “UK-based firms would be excluded from building modules for the secure signal”.

      In a recent (21/09/2018) BBC R4 Hardtalk interview the CEO of the UK Space Agency, Mr. Graham Turnock, said that we “must have deep industrial participation in order to enable us to verify the security capabilities of the system”

      That is to be able to guarantee continued access to the signal or to be able to verify its authenticity.

      So if the EU continues to be intransigent on this point then we have no alternative, to guarantee our future security, but to develop our own GPS satellite system.

      For a PM to not ensure our safety and security in such a fundamental way would be a serious dereliction of duty.

      Especially when the costs – estimated to be £400m/year over 10 years (=£4bn over 10 years) – pales into insignificance compared to, say, building HS2 at a cost of (latest estimate) $50bn.

      The country voted for freedom and does not expect our defence to be weakened for political reasons by either giving away control of our military or by accepting the use of an insecure GPS system.

  29. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    There will be a temporary easing of demand for high value items whilst interest rates return to more rational levels, dictated by base rate edging above anticipated inflation. There is no hurry but it must be done. I see no reason for discriminating against car purchases in particular.

    We are getting back to the old world of purchase tax when politicians made subjective judgements about what are luxuries and what are harmful products. I suggest VAT at 10% on EVERYTHING and excise duty restricted to products that are definitely harmful. Donations to the poor could be adjusted if necessary. “Taxes should be low and everyone should pay them” (Nigel Lawson). That doesn’t just apply to income tax, CGT, stamp duty and corporation tax.

    We should be trying to reduce NOx and other harmful emissions in cities but there is no reason why modern diesel cars should be made the whipping boy. There are many other causes in London, not least buses. Let’s look at the problem in the round. Incidently, speed bumps cause increase fuel consumption.

  30. Everhopeful
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    If any MP is remotely interested or cares even..they should look at the govt. petition demanding that we leave the EU without a deal. At the moment it stands at 137,707 and that is after just a few days.
    How are they going to sneak through May’s deal or a second referendum in the face of that?
    How are they going to cope afterwards? Or is that why the UK is becoming increasingly totalitarian? In preparation as it were.
    “Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019”

  31. DUNCAN
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    A second referendum if it ever comes into being will split the Tories wide open and destroy faith in democracy forever though I suspect that’s the aim of the Europhile Theresa May

    YOU MUST DEPOSE MAY NOW, no matter what it takes

    Stop prevaricating…Brexit is facing an existential threat. British democracy is facing an existential threat. That threat IS THERESA MAY

    • jerry
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, the only way Tories can now depose Mrs May before the 12 Dec 2019 is to vote their own party out of government, meaning that (any sort of) Brexit would be in even more danger from the resultant General Election.

  32. Jack neill
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    We sleep walked into the WW1 along with other european great powers..the same as we are in great danger now of sleep walking into a crash out. Agreed to WTO rules. But if anyone thinks WTO rules is the answer for this’ll be like starting all over again

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      In 2017 the German government commissioned a study on the economic effects of various Brexit scenarios, which estimated inter alia that if the UK defaulted to WTO terms of trade it would only slightly erode the UK’s long term growth:

      “In the scenario where the U.K. and the EU fail to strike a trade deal and fall back on World Trade Organization rules, the study predicts the U.K. economy would lose 1.7 percent of economic output over the long-term”

      Which makes a lot more sense than the politically driven dire predictions which have been emanating from the UK government, especially the Treasury, given that the EU estimates the gross benefit of the EU Single Market to have been about 2% of the collective GDP of the member states but another German study reckoned it was only about half that average for the UK.

      I reiterate that since the immediate post-war period the trend growth rate of the UK economy has been 2.5% a year, so 1% or 1.7% or 2% all work out as less than the natural growth over one typical year.

      UK government ministers, and in particular that rat Philip Hammond, should stop spreading their hysterical lies about this.

    • Steve
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Jack Neill

      “it’ll be like starting all over again”

      Yes we know, and we’re up for the challenge. This country has a fantastic workforce, good farming land, highly skilled people, is surrounded by it’s own fishing waters.

      We have resources the envy of many other countries, especially the EU which is why they’re terrified of the UK becoming a competitor on their doorstep and will embark upon any dirty underhanded trick to stop that happening, truth be known.

      Time to recognise the french – Luxembourgish led EU has been an enemy to this country for years, and do something about it.

  33. Den
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    It seems particularly unpatriotic of the media to continually lay the blame on every hiccup that happens to this country, on our vote to leave the EU. Even though we have not left.
    Why would they prefer us to be Governed by an unelected and unaccountable foreign cabal based in a foreign country? Especially given Brussels past form in stifling contradictory debate and any adverse publicity.

    I now become very irritated when the word “Brexit” is laid on the table, in any remainer context. We did not vote for “Brexit” nor did we vote for the ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ distortions. We voted TO LEAVE THE EU – as written on the ballot paper. It was quite clear.
    And it is clear the catch phrase, “Brexit” has been hijacked by those who wish to Remain and bent in their favour.
    Mrs May’s own words “Brexit means Brexit”, mean absolutely NOTHING now because she does not want this country to Leave the jurisdiction of the EU. So our “Brexit” becomes what she says it is – her particular design. Hers not OUR’s.
    I am sure most out there who voted to Leave the EU did it for the single reason of OUR country regaining its National Sovereignty. Because only when we take back control of our laws and the law makers and our courts and our borders and our our currency and our International Trade agreements can we be truly FREE.
    We voted to leave because Leave most definitely means, “LEAVE”! If only OUR Government could/would understand what that word really means to us – the British people who were asked for their decision in the People’s vote of 2016. They got their answer but now do not want to accept it.
    And this is British democracy? It sounds more like the MO of a mini USSR.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    JR, I would like to draw fresh attention to this important comment from yesterday:

    about the minute volume of goods carried across the Irish border into the Republic, which could supposedly undermine the EU Single Market – goods corresponding to a mere 0.15% of total imports into the EU from the rest of the world.

    “The fact is simple – just how tiny is the “threat to the integrity of the Single Market” caused by the N.I. border?

    On this issue the whole Withdrawal Agreement has been predicated. It has defined things. It has been the excuse for us to lose the little sovereignty we still had and to remain in EU structures ad infinitum.”

    And also to this comment from about a year ago, one of many such:

    “Just to give some numbers, in 2016 our exports to the rest of the EU corresponded to 12.2% of our GDP – taking into account the various distortions it would have been closer to 10% – but just for the sake of making life easier for exporters to the EU every business in the UK had to conform to EU law. But out of all that, exports of goods from Northern Ireland to the Republic amounted to only 0.1% of our GDP.*

    Are we going to allow every business in the UK to remain bound by EU law because of the Irish government’s absurd, extreme and intransigent refusal to contemplate any kind of controls over imports of goods corresponding to 0.1% of the UK’s GDP? That would be literally a hundred times sillier than what we have at present.

    * On page 9 in this House of Commons Library report:

    in 2016 Northern Ireland goods exports to Ireland were worth £2.4 billion, which would correspond to 0.1% of UK GDP.”

  35. Jack neill
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    There are people living near me here in NI looking forward to a return of a hard border again because a border will bring the return of smuggling and smuggling is such fun and profitable aswell

  36. Bob
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    We were told that medical supplies would be delayed, as you say the BBC provided no explanation of who would cause the delays and why?

    – Why would the UK govt obstruct supplies to the state run NHS?

    EU pharmaceutical suppliers?
    – Why would they want ot lose their share of sales to the largest single buyer on the planet?

    The BBC don’t even apply the most basic scrutiny to project fear stories.

    Mr Trump is right about the MSM – I attended the Brexit Betrayal March last Sunday which had a turnout of well over 5,000 well behaved people, and Owen Jones and John McDonnel mobilised a violent Antifa mob of about a thousand to oppose our march.
    The news bulletins reported that the Brexit marchers were just a few hundred far right protesters but the Antifa protest numbered 15,000. Fake news.

    The police did an excellent job at preventing Antifa from disrupting our demo.

  37. Jack neill
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Latest count is that there are 391 crossings on the border

  38. Peter Martin
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    “The media should be expressing some alarm about what monetary tightening is now doing to the world car industry.”

    It’s not just the car industry. It’s everything else too. The way it goes is that Governments loosen monetary policy to stimulate the economy then, later on, start to worry about the extent of private debt. So they tighten up with higher interest rates. This produces a contraction at the same time the economy is flagging because of the general level of private debt in the economy. There is a natural tendency towards ‘debt deflation’ as first described by Fisher in the 30s.

    So we have a double whammy. The economy needs a touch on the throttle but the instead the monetary flaps go down slowing it down. It’s rather like flying a plane. The plane/economy then stalls and we have a crash!

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve signed this petition:

    “Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019”

    even though I would prefer to leave on WTO terms but with a series of agreements to tidy up the many loose ends before we go, and also I don’t believe their proposed solution for the Irish border would be any good. However those reservations are nothing compared to the utter rubbish in the government’s response.

    144,515 signatures so far, speeding upwards.

    • Adam
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for link Denis.
      Mine added reached 151,441.

    • acorn
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      ” … leave on WTO terms but with a series of agreements to tidy up the many loose ends before we go”.

      Denis, as you are this sites resident “process Geek”, I am pleased to have enlightened you on the fact that no country trades on “WTO rules” alone. Any “tidy up” bilateral agreements, will be solely at the discretion of the EU and to its advantage; most likely post Brexit Day.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        So we’ve heard before, acorn, which is why I was saying over a year ago:

        “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.”

        Of course you’re quite right that the EU could just tear up its multiple treaty obligations and refuse to make any such agreements to ensure a smooth continuation of trade, but why you or anybody else should support such a hypocritical and destructive organisation would be a mystery.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


        Its not news you know. We know that, what you remainers can’t understand , because you’re stuck in a rut is that things unfold, they change


        1) We roll over existing agreements

        2) We negotiate new trade agreements and bi laterals

        It really isn’t difficult

        If a Brexiteer had been in charge we would have spent the last two years getting FTA’s in place and ready to go in anticipation of leaving. Instead we’ve plonked about with the EU. Everyone knows the EU takes an eternity to agree anything , its why they have so few FTA’s with major players after more than 40 years

      • NickC
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Acorn said: “no country trades on “WTO rules” alone

        That was misleading the first time a Remain said it, and it’s still misleading now. The WTO worldwide treaty foundation – GATT and GATS – provides the entire legal framework necessary for international trade.

        The various RTAs and MRAs make global trade slightly simpler/cheaper between the signatories (they aren’t universal), but take place within the WTO framework, and are totally dependent on the WTO rules and are registered with the WTO. The EU’s RTAs and MRAs cover only limited areas, are only marginally desirable, and are certainly not worth giving up our independence for.

        • acorn
          Posted December 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Boy oh boy, are you going to get a surprise!

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the petition link Denis and I have signed.

      The figure was then 156,868 and I’ve never seen a number increase so quickly for any previous petition.

    • rose
      Posted December 17, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Denis. I don’t like the currency bit either but we have signed and are enjoying watching the numbers grow – even in our Red Citadel of Remainia.

      The Losers’ Vote touts originally offered us a choice between Remain and No Deal, but now they realize No Deal is the most popular (though still not the majority) choice, they are rigging it again to Remain or Mrs May’s Ransom Note. Sammy Wilson says that last would cost us £700,000 a page!

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan has worked out that ‘Norway plus’ is a legal impossibility:

    “… I refuse to call it “Norway Plus” since Norway would never accept the backstop and, in any case, the European Free Trade Association is, as the name implies, a trade association, which makes it incompatible with membership of the EU’s customs union … ”

    But without the ‘plus’ Norway is not in a customs union with the EU, and as repeatedly pointed out for over a year now the Irish government has categorically rejected even a ‘light touch’ customs border like that between Norway and Sweden.

    • jerry
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper; Who is repeating who?!…

      Peter Mandelson wrote much the same about the so called Norway + opinion last week, in reply to the speech on the floor of the HoC by Kinnock Jnr. (didn’t both once work for the EC, why do they not have to declare that, and thus their EU pension).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Repeating myself, jerry, repeating myself ad nauseam … it seems some MPs are too thick to understand it even when it is explained to them, so I suppose that’s why they want the people to solve the puzzle for them.

  41. margaret
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    It is the categorical imperative which worries me. You have been MT’s policy maker , but who will make future sensible policies. We see stupid is as stupid does . Potentially giving £39-49 billion away for nothing is stupid. Different factions then have the nerve to talk about homelessness : We wouldn’t need very much of that amount to put a roof over every single person’s head. The concern about jobs..well I don’t know, but I cannot see other countries wanting to cut their noses off to spite their faces.
    I don’t have area to be politically responsible for but no one should be out on the streets at the same time as inviting more in. It is cruel , thoughtless and ultimately inverse ethics.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    According to Sky News the DUP is holding the UK government to ransom.

    Strange, because I think it is more like the Irish government holding the UK government to ransom, and the UK government having succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome:

    “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.”

    Which it seems may have happened to Theresa May, given what she said in her Mansion House speech when she gratuitously assumed the responsibility for preventing the Irish government fortifying its side of the border.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I’m getting very worried Denis.
      We have a Prime Minister who tells bare faced lies to the electorate.
      She brandishes a document which she knows full well will give 27 EU countries control of Britain indefinitely.
      In front of the whole world she prostrates herself to the EU begging for some crumbs and still there are 200 idiots who follow her and support her in the conservative party.
      It must be now for the Monarch to stand up for Britain and refuse to ratify such a document.

      • jerry
        Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg; No it is not for “the Monarch to stand up for Britain and refuse to ratify such a document”, if she did, that would be a full on constitutional crisis which would likely be the end the Monarchy.

        There is no majority for the WA in parliament, do keep up.

  43. NickW
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    There is a “Leave without a Deal” petition on the Government web site.

    Please sign.

  44. John S
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to do with the car industry but I heard on the radio today (BBC of course) that sheep farmers are worried about WTO tariffs on exports to the EU. I suppose that Danish farmers and Dutch market gardeners would be equally worried. I would be interested on your views on this, maybe in another article.

  45. DUNCAN
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink




    • Steve
      Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


      Agree with your first line, but I’m thinking the issue with Theresa May is simply she’s out of her depth.

      In my opinion Mrs May would like to see the EU showing some gratitude, and playing fair. Well, it ain’t gonna happen. The EU doesn’t do those things. What they WILL do is suddenly speak our language when they’re told how it’s going to work or else.

      That kind of objective is not in Mrs May’s nature, she is not streetwise when it comes to the ungrateful EU, as Margaret Thatcher was.

      Dealing with today’s EU requires a heavyweight. You can’t blame Theresa May for everything, after all it can’t be an easy job being pulled between the corrupt CBI – EU alliance on one hand, and the conscience of sticking by her promises she made to us.

      I think the only way out is by no deal brexit, but we shall have to wait and see if Parliament has the balls or tries to rig the choices on a second referendum. Personally I’d suspect the latter, in which case they can expect us to take to the streets.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 17, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink


      “PM must be deposed”

      They tried that last week but 200 Conservative MP’s did not have the backbone to do it.

      Only chance now is either a resignation, or if Labour come up with a no confidence vote, but if they win May is still leader into the next election, something she promised would not happen.
      The conservative politicians can now only blame themselves if an election is called and they lose, as they surely will with May in charge.

  46. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    For all those who are agitating for a second referendum – in the hope that the vote will go against the first of course – I was talking to two people today who said they had voted ‘remain’.

    They said that were there to be another one they would vote ‘out’ as they are offended by the behaviour tactics and attitude of the EU towards us and our country, and had understood matters which they had paid little attention to in the past.

  47. James o'Malley
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Never mind the car industry john, it won’t be there when you’re finished

    As an Irishman believe it or not am sorry to see you in this predicament
    I worked for fifty years on and off with some great English f4iends but could see this coming down the tracks. Decades ago..with.the bad press..the out of sorts bad thinking about the european peoples as if they were responsible for uk peoples unhappiness. Saying that i read that Uk state pension is one the lowest level for countries from the developed economies..a question for ploiticians..anyway hope it works out. James galway

  48. Chris S
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Jaguar is a car manufacturer close to my heart. I’ve had at least one of their cars for more than 35 years. One is led to believe that they are having a hard time : only today I read in a Guardian headline that Jaguar is embarking on a “Turnaround Plan” and will cut 5,000 jobs “as part of a drive to combat Brexit and falling sales” .

    What the article does not say is that the company is effectively transferring jobs abroad, just like Ford did with the production of Transits for the whole of Europe from Southampton. Those jobs didn’t even move to the EU – they went to Turkey. So much for the need to stay in the single market !

    Jaguar/Landrover is to directly employ 2,800 people in its newly-built plant in Slovakia plus a rumoured 22,000 more people indirectly in its supply chain. A large dollop of EU cash – €125m – was provided to effectively export these jobs from Solihull as it is production of the Discovery model that is being transferred there.

    The Commission states that “Our investigation confirmed that Slovakia’s €125 million public support to Jaguar Land Rover for its project to build a new car plant in the region of Nitra is in line with our State aid rules. Our investigation revealed that the aid was necessary for Jaguar Land Rover to invest in Europe”. “Without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market”.

    Even worse, production of Jaguar’s fantastic new full electric SUV, the iPace, is not taking place in Britain at all, that new model is being made in a plant owned by Magna Steyr AG & Co KG in Graz in Austria.

    Another case of Fake News about Brexit. There would be no need for job cuts in the Midlands if jobs were not being transferred abroad.

  49. Chris S
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    PS : I believe that Slovakia received net contributions from the EU budget of over €1bn between 2007 and 2013. They can therefore easily afford to give JLR €125m !

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by “the UK car industry”. Traditionally one would discern three industries dealing with the manufacture, distibution and servicing of cars.

    Manufacturing cars in the UK is a virtually completely foreign controlled business, like in many countries where cars are made. The only countries with a locally controlled motor industry are China, France, germany. Italy, Japan and the US. Large car manufacturing countries like the UK, Slovakia or Thailand build cars designed elsewhere (the UK does design work, in contrast to , say Thailand, but the final decisions are made elsewhere.

    Car distribution tends to be a locally controlled business although car brands have a lot of influence and control.

    The third component of the industry is supplies. The majority of parts used in UK car manufacturing come from abroad and if locally made, usually from foriegn controlled makers.

    Finally, the majority of UK-made cars are exported and a majority of that to the UK and associated countries. Only a minority of cars sold in the UK are UK made.

    So I wonder how domestic fiscal and monetary policy impact car industry activity, except in the distibution sector.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 17, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Because they impact and therefore affect consumer demand and all the sectors you list are linked.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink


        Of course they influence consumer demand but my point is that the UK car manufacturing industry and much more so the car parts industry are relatively insulated from UK consumer demand because UK consumers buy only a minority of UK produced cars and UK car manufacturing depends mainly on EU demand, investment decisions taken abroad abd supplies mainly from overseas. It is not like the UK building industry or retail. As someone who lives on the continent and drives a UK made car (a very nice and well-made one I must admit) I do not feel UK fiscal/monetary policy has anything to do with my choice. A UK driver of a Mere or BMW will feel the full effect of those policies and if that manufacturer did not spread output over some 180 national markets, it would take that policy into account throughs the value chain. As it happens, those car makers lewve it to their distribution network to absorb the shock.

        Incidentally, all over Europe car makers are coping with the impopularity of Diesel (justified or not) and rebalancing production capacity. As a result, production is down as are of course, sales. That is a transitionary effect. Experience teaches that car demand always recovers from those shocks.

        I am sure that the next UK government will claim credit for good policies once car demand (driven by the replacement cycle) picks up again.

  51. Ecologist too
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I hoard books

  52. rose
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Platinum-plated EU Pensioner Patten thinks Hammond’s word “extremists” is an understatement to describe us – all 17.4 million of us who are wanting the government to adhere to its own undertaking over the Referendum and its own manifesto in the last election. Patten thinks we are Maoists! Oh, and vermin for good measure.

    Didn’t Mrs T say that if they resort to abuse they have lost the argument?

    I have just watched the video of the Leave Means Leave rally in London as an antidote. Mr R was mentioned in Kate Hoey’s splendid speech.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      You must be reading one of those fake news sites or the Express..What is wrong in calling someone with a position far removed from the mainstream “extremist”? Unfortunately, apparently many Conservative Part members (repeat members) do not have the same preferences as many Tory voters (repeat voters) and it is voters, not members that determine the electoral prospects of a party, despite the fact that they determine the career prospects of politicians. If the Conservative Party had a membership profile more like that of Continental conservatives (say for instance the Dutch, German or Austrian Christian Democrats) it would be easier to govern.

      • rose
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Easier to govern the party or the country?

        By members, do you mean of the party or of Parliament?

        How can 17.4 million voters and the MPs who still represent them be described as anything other than mainstream?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        To call 17.4 million people who decided to vote for one of two options in a secret ballot in a democratic election as extremists is a perverse reaction.
        You cannot call all these citizens ” far removed from the mainstream” when they are avmajority.
        Quite ridiculous.
        You new elite need to learn a bit of humility and respect

  53. Ron Olden
    Posted December 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    ‘Deal or No Deal’ why would the UK wish to tax imported essential car components?

    Having a successful car industry, enjoying unrestricted access to the cheapest inputs, generates FAR more revenue in the taxes which the industry’s investors and its’ employees pay at various stages of their operations, than could possibly be raised by tariffs.

    The so called ‘collapse’ in Car Sales which John Redwood keeps bemoaning and trying to explain, was never anything to do with either Brexit or Monetary Policy. It was all to do with impending model changes and environmental requirements.

    People and fleet operators avoid buying new cars when they know the model is about to be discontinued and replaced with something which is more compliant with the latest environmental standards.

    This easing back of sky high demand for new cars has now run its’ course. November sales were only 3% down on November 2017.

    The year on year comparisons will shortly start showing rises again, perhaps as early as January.

    Demand for Petrol and ‘Alternative Fuel’ cars is already rising. (by 3.5% and 24.6% respectively in November) and new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations rocketed by almost 10% in November.

    Total car sales in 2018 will be barely down on 2017, and will be higher than in all but one of the five years 2008-2012 and barely down on 2013.

    In any case there’s no point in people replacing their cars for the sake of it. An economy founded on endlessly buying things, and then disposing of them unnecessarily to buy another one, is bad for the environment and is an economy not worth having.

    John Redwood complains that the media hasn’t been reporting this non story. But in fact it has. Which is how I know the numbers.

    Mr Redwood can’t expect the media to waste its’ time giving prominence to these obscure and unremarkable statistics when, whether you’re for or against it, Brexit is such a massive story, and when day on day our MPs are creating so much political news.

  • 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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