The Governor of the Bank is wrong on GATT and on UK money policy

I have tweeted about this today and will write a considered piece for tomorrow.

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  1. Horatio McSherry
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    “The Governor of the Bank is wrong…”

    There’s a thing.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Signor Salvini,I see,is continuing his efforts to get control of the Italian central bank,promising a total clear out of the “upper echelon”.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


        This is an illusion and not shred by the Minister of Finance either so Salvini propgada no more

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Hans, You are no position to know. And you shouldn’t be trying to interfere in another nation’s business.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      We need to start a campaign to get JR installed in number 11, we might get a bit of common sense at long last!

      (I’ve been dropping subtle hints already in various places, and I live in hope)

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink


        Hope Sir John has already made sure hat both Boris and Jeremy are reading this blog.

        I have no doubt that the Chancellor’s job will, in practice, throw up a few googlies, but it would be good to have an accomplished batsman at the crease, rather than a tiddly wink player.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          I’m right with you. A Colin Cowdrey. Someone who plays with a straight bat, who can defend against the Harold Larwoods!

  2. Caterpillar
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    GATT 24 – As you tweeted the EU has to agree.

    Sensibly EU ought to agree, but having seen Barnier’s red lines my guess (unapproved comment was that EU will not agree.

    • Bob
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      “Johnson’s people briefed me, that he simply wants one change to the WA, on the backstop, & he’ll accept it.”

      – Andrew Neil, #PoliticsLive

      • Chris
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I think that is what Johnson was hoping he could get away with, but Farage will not let him. We will have to see how those Brexiteer MPs who at the moment are ecstatic about Johnson act. Do they realise that Boris might very well betray them?

      • Gordon Gates
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        I have heard the same – and that he is confident the likes of Francois, bridgen will be too stupid to notice theyve been tricked. Mrs Mays deal is still alive!

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Worrying. Hopefully over the next month this will keep coming up and both candidates will have to state where they really are.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    He’s been wrong on most things like Osborne and Hammond but that doesn’t seem to prevent him pontificating on a regular basis.
    Why do we need a foreigner as Governor anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Over paid and his endless mistakes and his project fear has damaged confidence and cost the country billions.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Check out his record before he came here, and his employment history, it tells a lot. I’m sure we could have done better, but it seems some people have too much influence.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ian–A fortiori how come we even allow a foreigner to be Governer, never mind need, the latter being ridiculous?

    • Mark B
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink



    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg,

      We need the best qualified candidates for BoE and any other role, whether they are foreign or not

      • Steve
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink


        “We need the best qualified candidates for BoE and any other role, whether they are foreign or not”

        Oh, WE do, do WE ?

        • Antony
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

          We, the most overused pronoun by sophists

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg said: “Why do we need a foreigner as Governor anyway”. We don’t. The ever present wail from the likes of the CBI that they “can’t get the staff” is self serving bilge.

      If we cannot find suitably talented doctors, bankers, engineers, executives, etc, from a domestic population of 66m (probably 75m), where is the UK going to find the staff? From all the other 195 countries in the world? – but then they will have the same problem as us in finding suitable staff for their central bank, hospitals, etc.

      It is also the case that CEOs like Carney are vastly over paid. The evidence for that truth is the competition for such places is so fierce, there would be no difficulty finding many suitable candidates.

  4. hefner
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    We just have to wait and see who is right. I just hope that whoever is wrong will have the decency to accept it and let people know.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Hefner, Well I would not trust a Remain to tell me. Why? Because when Remain loses, all the most vociferous Remains tell us they really won since we Leaves did not know what we were voting for, and are thick racists anyway.

      • Chris
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, NickC, many Remainers apparently do not know how to lose graciously. They are apparently the product of our dumbed down education system where everyone is a winner. The Left has a lot to answer for.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      ”…. will have the decency to accept it….”
      Have you any idea how quite ludicrously ironic that sounds?

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Indeed he is wrong, and he is full of climate alarmist lunacy too. Bank regulation is hugely misdirected. One of the big five banks currently pays circa 0.1% on deposits and charges about 78% (as a daily OD “fee”) on virtually all their personal overdrafts facilities. The FCA seems to think this is fine!

    Perhaps Carney should address these appalling bank rip offs and the the lack of real competition in UK banking before he goes. To put this rip of into context put £1000 in the deposit account and then borrow it back with £1000 on an overdraft. After ten years they owe you £1010 and you owe them about £319,000! It this a sign of fair competition!

    Oxford PPE yet again.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      From Hammond’s speech last night:-

      we have fixed the public finances

      (not really you have raised taxes to the highest for 50+ years and this is totally unsustainable and is killing growth and investment – many taxes are at over 100% just grabbing people’s assets and pension pots)

      And I’ve cut taxes, with over 30 million people seeing their income tax cut this year;

      (Well yes but you have put up lots of other taxes like insurance tax by 20% or the enforced pension contributions ….. plus still ratting on the IPT threshold and a new probate tax introduced to)

      288,000 people benefitting so far from the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers;

      (Yes but many other people charged absurd stamp duty rates at up to 15% or unable to move and we have the landlord’s/tenant’s tax on profit they have not made which is totally unsustainable and killing the availability of property to rent).

      And British businesses paying the lowest corporation tax rate in the G20.
      (True but not as low as it should be or as low as in Ireland.)

      All while seeing our national debt falling sustainably for the first time in a generation…

      (This is just the usual May/Hammond lie – it is only falling as a percentage of GDP but perhaps May and Hammond are just innumerate)

      But there is a caveat: a damaging ‘No Deal’ Brexit would cause short-term disruption to our economy, soaking-up all the fiscal headroom we have built, and more…

      …and while fiscal and monetary policy interventions could help to smooth our path to a post-No Deal Brexit economy, both could only be temporary…

      …and neither could prevent the economy being permanently smaller, than if we leave with a Deal.

      So, there is a choice: either we leave with No Deal…

      …or we preserve our future fiscal space – we cannot do both.

      (This might be his opinion but as usual he is surely likely to be totally wrong. Retaining UK democracy rather then remaining in the anti-democratic, over regulated, over taxed, socialist and suffocating EU is likely to be far better after a little adjustment.)

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Public finances need to be fixed by lowering taxes, cutting the vast government waste and growing the productive sector that funds everything. Hammond has just raised taxes instead and continued all the endless waste like HS2 and all the renewable lunacies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        IHT Inheritance Tax threshold I meant.

        • acorn
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          LL, press the button and nurse will come to give you a sedative. Do you “swivels” know how much you have destroyed Redwood’s credibility in Westminster?

          • L Jones
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

            Ah! A remainer!
            Never a comment without an insult (and a Facebook insult at that – do try to be original next time). But well done anyway for staying true to type.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            Is that the best response you can make acorn?
            Typical remain fan.
            Never a comment without a personal insult.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, Could you explain – factually – why the UK being as independent of the EU as New Zealand constitutes “swiveldom”?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


        It is nice to know what the support from the general pubic to the Eu in the 27 other countries ahs gone up significantly in the past three years. And none of the right-wing parties who won some more votes in the past European elections, actually want to leave the EU, but rather reform it from within.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          And we wish you all the best of luck with your attempts to reform the EU from within., hans
          The UK tried for decades.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


            We tried for decades to reform it? We begged to join the EU after our own efforts to create trading blocs like EFTA and the commonwealth failed miserably against the astonishing success of the EU. Most of the other EFTA members deserted as well.

            What you mean is we tried to change it to our own advantage and were slapped down pretty quickly.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 24, 2019 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Pro EU fans talked of “the need to be at the heart of Europe” or that “we need to be at the top table” to gain reforms which would improve the standards of living of the millions being hit by EU austerity.
            But our opinions counted for nothing.
            The EU has a plan.
            That plan is controlled by the Commission.
            The United States of Europe.
            Reform proposed by any member nation will be squashed.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        ‘288,000 people benefitting so far from the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers’. I’d change the rules to allow that when one new owner is a first time buyer and the second already has a home they sell that the calculation allows for a ratio stamp duty free purchase on the half share of the new home if they are buying in joint names.

  6. Newmania
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    No; he is right. Both the UK and the EU would have to reach an agreement about going into a GATT ( or whatever it might be) 24 interim period . In fact they’d also need to agree on what the “plan and schedule” for the final deal would look like.
    Otherwise some rogue state could leave a trade block, ignore its rules, and force it to deal with them on the old basis by inventing some absurd Fairy Tale in the garden shed.
    Let us hope no-one has been so foolish and irresponsible as to risk all of our future`s on a complete misunderstanding of this point, no-one had a blond moment,; shall we say .
    End of

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
      • Newmania
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Yes…..and what is your point ?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink


        From your reference,

        ‘there seems to be no need to invoke the provisions relating to “interim” agreements, because existing tariffs are zero and there is no need to phase them.’

        Putting aside the requirement for EU agreement, do you know why the “seems” word was used – is the argument that no phasing required so no schedule requires accepted?

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, The UK and the EU would have to agree to simply have talks based on GATT Article 24, first. An “interim agreement” comes later in the process – it is not the starting point. A “plan and schedule” is only required if an interim agreement is made, and may be modified subsequently.

      For any trade with the EU, UK companies cannot “ignore its rules”. But the EU rules for its products and services are not the rules which construct the EU itself. No trading nation outside the EU is run by the EU, yet must comply with the EU’s “trading standards”. This is normal for all exporters.

      Let us hope no-one has been so foolish and irresponsible as to risk all of our futures on your complete misunderstanding of these points.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    of course

    but then NHS England is wrong about healthcare

    the Department of Education is clueless about teaching

    the Government Digital Service knows sweet FA about IS/IT programmes

    the Home Office is cutting the budgets of the only people doing anything at all to stem the flow of illegal immigration

    the public sector while swallowing over 50% of what we earn produces little to be proud of in return, so its about time we returned to an agenda of reducing its size and handing far more power over their day to day life to individual citizens

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Excellent. I found the Governor’s interview on Today very extraordinary. I don’t hold myself out as any expert, although I’ve read GATT 24. We really need to nail this one down. It seems to be the case, contrary to adamant Continuity Remain assertions, that EU trade deals are being notated to the UK on more or less the same terms (and of course are capable of being improved upon post-Brexit, eg by being expanded to cover services). It’s also clear that the UK will be able to join TPP, probably the v comprehensive Australia-NZ deal, and sign a USA trade deal (an idea with 63% public support in the US – so getting started on it before the US election would be a good idea).

    But there is a rearguard Remain action to deny that it will be legally possible to continue tariff free trade with the EU, even if both the EU and the UK wanted to, in the event of WTO Brexit. Of course whilst mrs May is PM there will be no govt clarification on this, so we must rely on public figures such as Sir John!

    • Richard1
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink


    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      False again.

      GATT 24 will not initially apply – as patiently explained to Brexiteers by just about everyone.

      It may apply at some stage in future when a trade agreement with the EU is close but that may take a long time. Though the more quickly you capitulate to the EU – and you will capitulate – the quicker you can have GATT.

      None of the trade deals you negotiate will be better than the ones we already have. They will all be worse or, at best, the same. Most countries are not interested in doing deals on services – if you expect these any time soon you will be disappointed.

      The tariffs you seem to want will be devastating for some industries and for many farmers – but we know from Minford that is part of your plan anyway. But the big issue remains not tariffs but regulation and rules of origin. And this is where you need to decide where you want to put your border. Down the Irish Sea or a hard border. You still need to pick.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Again what are you talking about? We will see how this plays out. I suspect what will come out is there is no legal reason why there should not be continued tariff free trade with the EU, unless of course the EU doesn’t want it. If this is the case the governor will be shown to be wrong.

        You are clearly ignorant of trade deals outside the EU. The Australia-US deal for example includes services. There is no reason why future UK deals around the world should not be extended to services, in which case they will be an improvement. Likewise any future UK-US deal is likely to do so. I am certainly not ‘wanting’ any tariffs – I don’t think anyone has advocated that, certainly not Patrick Minford.

        Its good to have dissenting views on this site, although the tone of your’s are frequently unpleasant. But you really should inform yourself better before posting.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        Nothing to stop the government giving help to any UK industries who might be disadvantaged by tariffs.
        As we will be collecting billions more than we pay out post Brexit there will be plenty of available funds.
        Regulation…those of us that run businesses that export and import already meet all the many and varied requirements of every market we trade with.
        Rules of origin…again similar comment, not a problem.
        Irish border, both us and NI and the Republic of Ireland have said we don’t want a hard border so unless you or the EU are going to build a wall nothing will change.
        Other than a cross border, trusted trader scheme with computerised surveillance.
        I really wonder Andy, if you have ever run a business that sells things or buys things from countries other than the UK.

  9. Freeborn John
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why are the BBC and especially Bank of England governor out to immediately undermine the Uk negotiating position before even the EU commission? Of course GATT Article 24 only applies if the uk and EU agree they will open talks on an FTA but it is not Carney’s job to say this is somehow breaking a law of physics. If the Eu refuse they refuse and it is no deal. But let them say it.

    The EU have been giving the UK the runaround insisting the Uk makes all proposals and then dismissing them all as unicorns. But we don’t need BBC or BoE remainers employed at UK taxpayer expense to join Brussels in this runaround. This shows the danger of a new PM getting sucked into chasing will o’ the wisp deals that they EU can jerk him around on. The new PM has to put deals with the non-EU world top of mind ; find dance partners who want to dance rather than getting fixated on the stroppy Ex who will always say No. And enforce discipline on Remainer Tory MPs and officials like Carney. Brexiteers need to attack Hunt now that the EU looks likely (as per Veradkhar/Barnier meeting yesterday) to refuse any further extensions asking Hunt was his plan is now that further can-kicking has been ruled out by brussels.

  10. Dominic
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I wished I was a citizen of a sovereign, independent nation like Canada.

    I do wonder how Carney would be received if he returned to Canada and suggested that his own nation should subjugate themselves to a foreign political entity?

    Poor Carney. So clueless a puppet is he

    • Richard1
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the logic of Mr carneys utterances are that Canada should join with the USA in political union in order to make trade work

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      The SS CARNEY sails under the flags of Canada, Ireland and Britain.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


      Sovereign independent nations as they were historically does not exist anymore in an increasingly interdependent world with treaties and international agreements

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Hans, As usual you are wrong. Nations may be more interdependent than before, but they do not need to be ruled from Brussels. Most of the world isn’t. You might not have noticed that yet, so please go away and peruse a world map first. The world does not revolve around your rotten EU.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        Except hans these are freely entered into agreements which are mutually beneficial.
        The nations involved still retain their individual legal independence in all other areas.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Alternative view: the Age of Empire s is over – and it’s about time the darned EU stopped acting like one. My view is probably shared by many Swiss right now.

  11. Jack Leaver
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Just imagine that instead of project fear, which painted a picture of economic Armageddon if we simply voted for Brexit, the true details of today’s economic reality was given to the electorate before the vote. I believe that the Leave vote would have been considerably higher!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Correct. In 1972 the case for joining was based on lies, in the 1975 referendum the case for staying in was based on lies, and again in the 2016 referendum the Remain case was based on lies … it has always been lies, lies, lies, from politicians and others who want the UK to be subordinated in a pan-European federation but realise that they have no hope of getting what they want except through lies.

      • Jack Leaver
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. Lies and project fear are the standard operating procedure for EUrophiles and aren’t new as Peter Shore’s ‘Project Fear’ 1975 speech to the Oxford Union clearly demonstrates.

  12. BillM
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    It’s difficult to find something that the Governor was right about. All of his diabolical scare stories have bitten the dust yet he still persists with anti-Brexit propaganda. Surely The BoE should remain neutral when it comes to British politics? And to take sides with those that would oppose us, is just sickening. What motivates such a man in such a senior position to do this?

  13. Rick
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Now that a vacancy is happening why don’t you put your own name forward

    • BillM
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      SJ is a dedicated MP and I doubt he’d ever desert his constituents just for a Bank job. However he would do us all a great service if he went into the Treasury as Chancellor or as Minister.
      HM Treasury really needs sorting out and made to throw out that dire Computer model they keep using to provide grossly inaccurate predictions. They must also be made to think more of Britain and us Brits, who pay their salaries and OUR future, rather than their own career prospects with their fellow unelected Mandarins in Brussels.
      We need much change from our EU past to re-join the Rest of the world as a free Nation again and it needs a much tougher approach than we have witnessed from our MPs in the past.

  14. acorn
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    GENEVA (Reuters) – Supporters of Brexit are “completely wrong” if they think recourse to an obscure trade rule will stop tariffs springing up overnight if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Friday.

    Some British politicians have suggested that in the event of a “no deal Brexit”, Article 24 of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade can be invoked to keep Britain and the EU trading without tariffs.

    “It is completely wrong,” Malmstrom told Reuters.

    “They will have to trade with us and other countries, until there are trade agreements – and we hope that will be a trade agreement – on the ‘most favoured nation’ basis. And that will mean new tariffs.”

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      “They will have to trade with us and other countries, until there are trade agreements – and we hope that will be a trade agreement – on the ‘most favoured nation’ basis. And that will mean new tariffs.”

      Well, you see, comments like that make one’s attitude harden to the point where one wants to say something rude. If the EU wants tariffs – let’s have them! They sell us twice as much as we sell them – who is going to gain from tariffs? Us! We will buy less goods from them. That is guaranteed. Let’s see what Cecelia Malmstrom has to say when the CEOs of Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, Skoda, Seat, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Philips, Zanussi, Bosch, Neff, AEG … grab her and tell her to get rid of the tariffs. These politicians! Completely divorced from commercial reality.

      • acorn
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        The word is Cecilia Malmström told those you list, that if they stepped out of line, she would be sniffing the exhaust pipes of their products more intensely than the last time.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I read here:

    “Mark Carney: 150,000 firms not ready for no-deal Brexit”

    Why not, when right back in late 2017 it became obvious even to a humble member of the general public like myself that saying we would leave on WTO terms was the only way to respond to the threats from the new Irish government, backed up by the EU?

    And where is the sense in this?

    “Roughly 150,000 UK businesses are not ready to keep exporting to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Mark Carney has said.

    The Bank of England governor said the companies still did not have the necessary paperwork and while many had built up contingency stocks, these would only last “weeks”.”

    So what have these EXPORTING companies been stockpiling, against what contingency, and how is that connected with a lack of paperwork?

    It makes no more sense than the idea that a diabetic UK Prime Minister would order UK customs to unnecessarily hold up imports of vital medicines from the EU, including the insulin with which she must inject herself four times a day.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      I suspect the 150,000 Carney is referring to as ‘not ready’ is a fraction of those who only trade internally anyway.

      There are actually 100,000’s more who only trade internally, but giving that figure would rather give the game away.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I think this is the reason they are stalling. Business has been dragging its heels in the hope of delaying BREXIT and MP’s have been colluding in this betrayal.

      If they are not ready after nearly 3 years they not be ready come Halloween.

    • BillM
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Mark Carney, the europhile BoE Governor says there are “roughly 150,000 who are not ready to keep exporting to the EU past no deal”? I suppose that is yet another number conjured up by his discredited Computer Model or can he actually provide a list to corroborate his figure?
      In any case, so what? If true it is clearly the fault of the company not of the Brexiteers nor of Parliament, for their slackness or complacency. Never mind “Spec Savers” they should have gone to the Scouts and learned to ‘Be Prepared’!

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      “It makes no more sense than the idea that a diabetic UK Prime Minister would order UK customs to unnecessarily hold up imports of vital medicines from the EU, including the insulin with which she must inject herself four times a day.”

      Well here’s a point (as an ardent Leaver):

      We were told that we held a good card because of the trade deficit – that we could harm their trade more than they could ours if push came to shove.

      So if we’re not going to stop their imports then we have no card ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Nobody ever said we would stop imports from the EU. It was said that if there were tariffs they would cut both ways and hurt the EU more than us.

    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      These companies – and indeed 17.4m voters – were promised Brexit would mean less red tape.

      They are right expect Brexit to mean less red tape.

      Instead exporting to the single market is now going to require significantly more Brexit bureaucracy. All sorts of paperwork – and pointless expense – they did not require before.

      Another Brexit lie. Another Brexit deception.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        It is all done by computers Andy, not paperwork.
        Thought you youngsters were all clued up on the modern ways industry works.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Andy is getting him/herself into a lather as usual. Perhaps one day the penny will drop that Brexit isn’t ALL about trade and markets and deals. He/she has really been bemused and beguiled by all this smoke and mirrors trade stuff.

        Perhaps he/she should do a bit of research about the EU tentacles that are alarmingly slithering around in far more places than just those of trade.

      • NickC
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Nearly 88% of UK GDP is derived either domestically or by exporting to the rest of the world. It’s that 88% which will have less EU red tape. Duh . . . . .

  16. Shirley
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Carney and Hammond appear to want to punish the UK electorate (in line with the EU agenda) for having the temerity to vote Leave. Would they prefer us to be held hostage?

    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      They are not punishing you. You voted to punish yourself. Bonkers but your call.

      Worse – you voted to punish the rest of us too.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        3 years and we have still not left the EU.

        Yes. It’s punishment – by Remainers. You can suck it up too then.

  17. Sue Doughty
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Yes, he is wrong. The no deal terms of trade were published by the UK gov in March 2019. I emailed the Today prog about it with a link to the website. He cannot not have seen it and been part of writing it!

  18. Hi Bro!
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    One and more incidents and revelations at the top of the Tory Party without any reported requests by police for anyone to be interviewed at a police station for discussions is odd given normal police procedures. It is raising highbrows among normal people who are never thought has having highbrows. They have evolved highbrows and by copycat of their betters learned how to raise them most appropriately.

    • sm
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      ‘Raising highbrows’ – would that be classical music lovers forced to sit in the gods at the Royal Opera House?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s good to see new names contributing to the debate. It’s even better when we can understand what the hell they’re talking about. I’m afraid I didn’t get the gist of this contribution at all!

  19. BR
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely. Rather like all his other predictions and ‘forward guidance’. Perhaps he should be re-named Mark Carnage.

    A simple guide was produced by Lawyers for Britain here:

    I’ve read GATT / WTO rules and Article XXIV does boil down to saying exactly this.

  20. Eh?
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Mind you, In Sheffield during WWII 18-20 year old girls in Army uniform were operating the Flak guns and when they scored a hit which was often by all accounts on a Luftwaffe bomber they would laugh jubilantly jumping up and down hysterically full of vim. May be that is something to do with it.
    Did London get bombed? Were the Flak gunners all white males?

  21. agricola
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to do with your heading or Mark Carney, but hasn’t the ejection of a protester from a dinner caused a vomitting of political correctness from all the usual suspects.

    Who can say what the intent of what this woman was. Shouting abuse, throwing a milk shake, acid from a bottle in her handbag, or was she armed with a knife or gun. At the instant of her intrusion no one knew.

    The junior minister who stopped and ejected her acted sensibly. Shut down the threat and sort out the details afterwards. There was no time for a political debate. She is indeed fortunate she did not threaten Trump whose security would have had her flat on her face if not shot. The chatteratti are far too willing to excuse this woman who should be prosecuted as were the assaults on Corbyn or Farage.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget most of today’s commentariat were brought up attending “demos” by their parents side.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink


      I have been listening to various national radio stations throughout the day, and the public are unanimously supportive of the action the minister took.

      By contrast, lefty MPs and the inappropriately named ‘liberal intelligentsia’ are in a state of shock and awe! What sheltered lives they must lead!

      Were I the Minister in question, the protestor’s ejection might well have been more forceful still. These women want to be treated equally, she would have got her wish!

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. May’s over-reaction is typical of her.

  22. Helen Smith
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Wrong on everything

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    JR, I hope your considered piece tomorrow will put the import tariffs now being charged by the EU into a proper perspective, for example as I attempted some time ago:

    “It can be very misleading to look at just the main tariffs, but it is also very difficult to work out a valid average tariff which would be more useful … ”

    Followed by references to an average rate of 1.2% from an EU source, average rates of 6.7% or 5% from two UK government sources, and a trade-weighted average of 1 – 2% from the House of Commons Library.

    Given that the goods we export to the rest of the EU represent only about 7% of our GDP, on the top estimate the EU’s Common External Tariff that would correspond to less than 1% of GDP, and it could be as low as a tenth of that.

    This is also why we would not gain very much by moving from WTO terms to a free trade agreement such as that between the EU and Canada:

    “A deal like CETA, with the UK playing the part of Canada, would:

    a) Do nothing to solve the fabricated problem of the Irish land border;

    b) Be only marginally better for the UK than falling back on WTO terms;

    c) Put the UK in the weak position of a supplicant during the negotiation.”

    “… the same kind of special trade deal with the EU might be worth 0.7% to 1.4% of UK GDP … It has to be borne in mind that the long term trend growth rate of the UK economy is close to 2.5% a year, so even that upper limit of a 1.4% gain from a special trade deal would be equivalent to natural growth over less than seven months.”

  24. heavenSent
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Today I read that Boris is repeating what you have been saying about GATT Article 24 that permits trade to continue unchanged between two parties if they so decide..but I read also that such an arrangement can only be applied when a trade deal was in place or about to be in place. But since following 31st Oct we will not have a deal in place with the EU Tariffs will come into play automatically because the EU will have to apply the same rules to us that they apply to everyone else- as will UK. Boris idea that we can have a no deal exit and then carry on as before is bunkum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      The EU need some sort of trade deal more than we do so a deal there will be.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Lifelogic it is just the opposite.

      • GeraintDavies
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        So true. That is why the EU has capitulated to every UK demand over the last 3 years eh? We hold all the cards eh? The German carmakers are riding to our rescue eh?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          We have had remain fans in charge of negotiations.

      • NearlyDead
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink


  25. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    After ratifying the WA, already signed by your government or changing your red lines, all such things as FTAs would indeed be possible. The message from the EU is very clear and consistent.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      The WA hasn’t already been signed by the government. You also missed out the option of the EU changing their red lines, something they do with regularity when it comes to rules on budget deficits and so on.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: in this case i’ve seen no appetite whatsoever on the EU side to change. I believe it is considered not even possible within the legal construct which the EU is. They feel that they are already bending over backwards.

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          PvL, It’s an EU negotiating ploy. The EU thinks it has the UK over a barrel. And they’re right – because our establishment let them – see the “Kit-Kat” tapes. All we have to do is say no, which Leaves would do.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger,

        Change indeed but not on this one they have been very consistent in the Council on this one

      • GeraintDavies
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes Roy. BUT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT. They dont need to, the UK is a laughing stock

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          Fine then the UK can just leave on 31st October and use WTO rules.
          No need to shout Geraint
          Most of your country voted to leave.

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Geraint Davies, Yes, BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT. IT’S BEEN DEFEATED 3 TIMES ALREADY. We don’t need the EU, the EU is a laughing stock.

    • BR
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Which is why we need to walk away.

      And it’s not signed by our government – they are not in a position to do that without ratification by Parliament.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        @BR: Semantics – the UK goverment has agreed the WA.

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Semantics – the UK government cannot agree the WA without the sanction of Parliament.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      The government hasn’t agreed to the WA. It has been rejected by Parliament 3 times and was confected by a lying PM and a treacherous civil servant.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        @Ian wragg: Government and parliament are two different entities: Government agreed the WA, parliament rejected it, so it could not be ratified.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

          The government have not agreed the WA because Parliament refused to ratify it.
          It may have negotiated it with the EU but it still is not agreed in the UK
          So it has failed.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: The UK government endorsed the WA, which states that the UK and the EU “have agreed . . . etc.”
            What is lacking is the ratification, which is an internal UK affair.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Semantics fails to alter the fact that the Withdrawal Agreement has not been approved by Parliament.
            Therefore it is a somewhat equivalent to a contract drawn up but not signed by one side.
            Otherwise why has the PM spent so long trying three times to get it ratified.
            If you are right the PM didn’t need to bother as it is already binding.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            PvL, Please peruse our constitution, especially the terms of prerogative powers. The UK government cannot agree to the dWA without sanction of Parliament. The EU’s strategy has backfired. The dWA has failed.

  26. Stephen Reay
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Mark Carney says “about 150000 companies are not ready for Brexit”. How can this be? Is it the goverments fault or pure idleness of these companies , if the latter then they have no excuse as they’ve had three years to prepare.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Another alternative is that he’s just made up that number – on past form quite possible.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      For most small companies it will make little or no difference.

  27. Canister Jon
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    The Governor was 100% correct on GATT. Art 24 GATT allows unchanged free trade between the EU and the UK after Brexit if talks about the future are underway. If the UK has left with no deal, and refused to sign the Withdrawal Agreement, then obviously talks are NOT underway – in fact, the talks ended some months ago, and the EU has disbanded its negotiating team. Anyone who tries to link Art 24 to a no deal Brexit does not have the first idea what they are talking about, as the Governor (politely) pointed out.

  28. Stephen Reay
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Mark Carney is correct if there is no Brexit deal no GATT 24 . This can only happen if both EU and UK agree to GATT 24 or if a trade deal is very near completion. If we leave without a deal why would the EU agree to a GATT24? Mark Carney may have been wrong on other occasions but not this time.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Whatever the cost, nothing is more precious than our freedom.

      • Gordon Gates
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Freedom from trade deals, freedom from the multilateral network of deals on which the world spins. Great! Back to the stone age. Well done brexiters

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Gordon Gates, No, the WTO trade deal is fine.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Reay,

      Well written argument, thank you

      • NickC
        Posted June 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Clearly a very poor argument, with no facts other than the necessity of the EU being willing to agree to talks. Of course if you know that the EU will never engage in talks about an RTA, perhaps you would cite your source within the EU for that claim?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Why would the EU agree ? Errr …. because they have a massive trade surplus with us and wouldn’t want us to put tariffs on their exports to us ? I mean we could – we’d make a lot of money doing that.

  29. BR
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The other thing nobody is talking about is what happens AFTER we leave.

    Even if we leave on WTO terms, possibly not the best of friends with the EU, that doesn’t mean that we stay there forever.

    We would of course be talking to them about the arrangements and the heat of Brexit would be gone and fading into increasingly distant memory – then common sense and pragmatism would take over and we would all make sensible arrangements (quietly, preferably, so that the media glare doesn’t encourage politicians to take silly political stances from which they find it difficult to withdraw while the public are looking – as we are seeing now).

  30. BillM
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    What is wrong with the Remainers constant moaning, is their dedicated belief that this Country is so helpless on its own it would be put down by leaving with no Trade Deal with the EU.
    They refuse to acknowledge that we voted to Leave the EU, primarily, in order to take back the full control of our own Country. Trade deals, et al were secondary to that outcome. Freedom is priceless.
    Now, Exports to the EU represent just around 12% of our GDP so why are the Remainers so worried about our leaving? Most of our exports, in fact, go to the Rest of the World which we can still achieve despite the protectionist domineering EU jurisdiction that badly affects all members. Why can the Remainers not see that we can do much better when WE are in charge of OUR own trade?
    Do they really think that Britain is so useless that we need a cabal of unelected foreigners to run our country for us? Especially when the rest of the World has deliberately avoided the EU model. It’s out of date. It is more old USSR than new 21st Century thinking.These europhiles are so sad – UNLESS they have vested interests, of course. Then they are just plain wicked.

  31. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Quoting Barnier when he visited Ireland in April:
    “If . . . the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, let me be very, very clear. We would not discuss anything with the UK until there is an agreement for Ireland, for Northern Ireland as well as for citizens’ rights and the financial settlement.” (Source FT)

    • Steve
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink


      That’s just Barnier thinking he can to threaten us via his little friend Varadkar.

      Unfortunately for him he doesn’t understand we don’t take kindly to threats.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      Citizens rights…the UK has said repeatedly that it will respect the rights of EU citizens working in the UK
      So far the EU has refused to talk about the subject.
      Financial settlement,…the UK has suggested a sum but little has been heard from the EU in response, no itemised bill has been seen.
      Ireland…recently the EU has suggested an electronic trusted trader scheme could work.
      Plainly no one is going to build a hard border.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 22, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      ‘So, if you silly people in the UK continue to defy us and refuse to agree to our completely unreasonable demands, we shall take this gun and shoot off our right foot. And if you refuse still to capitulate after that, we will blow off our left foot. And if you are then silly enough to continue to refuse our ridiculous demands, we will carry on blowing off parts of our anatomy until you see sense”
      Are you seriously suggesting, Peter van L, that you believe this total nonsense from Barnier?

  32. Steve
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, meant to say; ‘foolish gentleman’

  • 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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