Trade and tariffs

The G20 has produced no answers to the burning  question of future trade relations between the USA and China. Mr Trump tells us he had a great meeting with President Xi, and talks will resume on the outstanding issues. He has conceded that he will not press ahead with the extra tariffs he threatened, whilst China has conceded that the tariffs already imposed remain whilst new talks are underway.

The USA has raised serious strategic and security issues over technology which are not easily resolved for the sake of a trade deal. The Huawei ban clearly worries China considerably, and the USA has given a little there as well.The USA has difficulties believing new Chinese promises to respect Intellectual Property and to trade fairly. The US wants China to take her tariffs down to US levels as they are currently skewed heavily in China’s favour.

For her part China does not want to give in to what it sees as US bullying. Chinese military power and reach grows by the day, and China is extending her military authority throughout the Asian region. The US defence establishment is concerned about this, and seeks to preserve freedom of navigation in international waters.

The US President also keeps mentioning  the big imbalance of trade the USA has with Germany/EU, especially in cars. He may wish to open a new front in  his trade war over that. EU tariffs are four times the level of US tariffs on cars, which the US understandably challenges.

Most economists regard the trade war as a negative for the world economy and damaging to the US as well. Mr Trump sees extra Treasury revenues from the tariffs and expects the tariffs to lead to more domestic production and fewer imports. It seems likely that China – and Germany if the US attacks them too – have more to lose from this trade war. Their huge trade surpluses have led to this action by the USA, and the asymmetric tariffs and trade practices do need sorting out. They have many more exports at risk than the USA.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    We all know that the EU is a protectionist bloc and they have been very happy for years to have been unchallenged by the USA. It is good that Trump is taking steps to level the trade playing field, both with the EU and with China. Frightening, perhaps, looking on, but we should not doubt his negotiating skills. The end result will, I am sure, be good.

    As an aside, there is great news for all Brexiteers. Olly Robbins, our latter-day Guy Fawkes, has resigned. Hope his £20k bonus is recovered before he faces proper justice for his treachery.

    For those old enough to remember, significantly around bonfire night, the warning has been there forever. “Light the blue (and yellow-starred) touch paper and stand well clear”.

    The EU negotiators themselves ignited the fuse by their stance on the negotiation strategy. The intention was to dominate, intimidate, humiliate and eventually annihilate the UK. The approach by May and her ‘negotiating’ team, Olly Robbins included, was to make the EU’s task as unchallenging as possible. They succeeded admirably until the final hurdle when, for a multitude of different reasons, many of them, sadly, anti-democratic, the formal acceptance by Parliament of the surrender was thwarted.

    The blue touch paper is still smouldering. The fuse is a long one, but the UK must ensure it retreats to a safe distance, leaving the risk of close involvement to those Euro enthusiasts who continue to clamour for the grand display. What may start with an interesting, but apparently benign, ‘Roman Candle’ may well turn into an absolute catastrophe when the starburst falls into the firework stockpile held by the pyromaniacs of the ECB.

    Our new PM must not turn out to be a damp squib. Get us out. Get us out totally. Get us out quickly. Failure is not an option.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Agreed. We have already had one traitorous remain PM and what a disaster she has been.

      We need a patriotic PM who will implement the democratic result of the referendum. Not ‘we have to consider the 48%’! Why? They don’t consider the losing side in elections, very often will a lot less than 1,269,500 vote difference. Even one vote can swing it in the Commons.

      If the result had been the opposite way around, would they have considered the electorate who wanted to Leave? Of course they wouldn’t. They would just claim they had to uphold the democratic result of the referendum.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        There was a problem with May (and there still is until she goes) that she considered the 48% more than the 52%.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      It will be very telling when we find out what cushy number Olly Robbins takes up next…

      • David Price
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        Didn’t Verhofstadt say that Robbins asked to get him Belgian citizenship?

      • graham1946
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Financial Services – now there’s a surprise. At least it saves Boris the job of sacking him. Next is Eeyore Hammond and the entire Cabinet. Let them make trouble on the back benches if they want. A GE will see lots of them out of a job altogether.
        Word is today That Rececca Long-Bailey is going to take over from Corbyn later this year. Goodness, is that the best they have, 4 years an MP and with the Commies behind her? Brexit Party is looking better and better with a full complement of GE candidates to be announced in the next week or so, starting today with the first 150. Tories better start backing Brexit if they want to survive. Last chance is Boris, any foul up and its good night nurse.

        • mickc
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          The next Labour leader will be Tom Watson. Cooper and Starmer will have a go, but Watson will appeal more to Old Labour.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Ms Long-Bailey does not inspire any confidence what so ever, but then who in the current Labour Party does? She is however certainly better than dire misguided people like David Lammy, Keith Vaz, Hillary Benn, John Mc Donnall or Dianne Abbot I suppose. I see she read Politics and Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. I suppose that has to be a little better than Oxford PPE. I assume this is essentially just the working class version of it plus you can probably get it with a couple of Es in subjects like Gender Studies & the Identity Politics of Envy.

          • rick hamilton
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

            Let’s face it, the skills needed to get elected, which are basically a form of theatre, have nothing to do with the skills required to run a great department of state.

            The Brexit party seems to be recruiting people who have life experience appropriate to the task of government. If it were not a constitutional requirement that ministers must be MPs then we should be looking at external appointees. How could they possibly justify a Chancellor who has no financial experience whatsoever (such as PPE Osborne).

      • L Jones
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        If he’s a proponent of Project Fear, then he’ll leave the City of London far behind, as of course the UK’s going to hell in a handcart after Brexit.

      • Andy
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Indeed. What it will tell you is that he is a highly competent and highly in demand individual – who can, and will, earn significantly more outside the civil service than he does in it. It is his right to earn as much as he can to provide for his family.

        Many Tory MPs earn significant sums outside of Parliament too – many of them like Mogg – are Brexiteers who inherited much of their privilege. You do not accuse them of having a cushy number.

        Incidentally Mr Robbins memoirs will be highly damaging for many of the politicians you hold in high regard. David Davis, Dominic Raab, Suella Braverman, David Jones, comedy Steve Baker – they will not come out of it all very well.

        • mickc
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          One wonders why such hugely competent individuals joined the Civil Service in the first place. Surely they would by now have made fortunes in the private sector..

          Or possibly they aren’t quite so exceptional after all, and having gained contacts and influence whilst in public service now seek to capitalise on them…..

          Remarkably similar in outlook to the inherited wealthy.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            having gained contacts and influence whilst in public service now seek to capitalise on them…..


        • 'None of the above'.
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


          Although I am strongly in favour of leaving without a deal and highly critical of the potentially damaging ‘Draft Withdrawal Treaty’, I must agree with your comments about Mr Robbins. Criticism of Him amounts to “shooting the messenger” as he was just being a loyal Civil Servant and following orders.
          I won’t comment on your remarks about wealthy politicians because I don’t support the politics of envy. I will however comment on your rather illogical remarks about the others.
          The MPs that you name have at least stayed loyal to the Manifesto on which they were elected and I cannot foresee for the life of me why Ollie Robbins would confide in you about his memoirs.

          It is a great pity that ‘disloyalty to an election manifesto’ cannot be used as grounds for a recall petition. If it was, I wouldn’t be surprised if greater than a third of MPs would be fighting a by-election by now.

          If I were you, I would make the most of the Summer as it might just take a bit of the sting out of an uncomfortable Autumn.

          Have a nice day.

          • Andy
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            Autumn will not be uncomfortable for me. I’ve said all along I am perfectly easy with a no deal Brexit. It is the quickest way to get back into that EU, to permanently kill of the cancer of Europhobia and to ultimately get many of the MPs I dislike locked up. What’s uncomfortable about that?

          • Jagman84
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            “he was just being a loyal Civil Servant and following orders”.

            I would have thought that it depends on who’s orders he was following.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Fantastic post Pom.

    • NigelE
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      “The [EU’s] intention was to dominate, intimidate, humiliate and eventually annihilate the UK”, indeed, through control of our economy.

      There’s little new under the sun. A novel I’m reading referred to Napoleon’s “Continental System” of economic blockade in the early 19th centuary, which I’d not come across. It was an attempt to prevent the British trading with Continental Europe and the Baltic states. It failed when the Danish fleet was captured thus opening up the sea lanes. Let us hope the EU’s current attempt to stop the UK will fail when we leave on 31st October. Though I sincerely hope it will not be necessary for us to bombard Copenhagen!

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        It was Russia’s failure to observe this blockade that lead to the 1812 invasion (and possibly the Tsar’s refusal to countenance the marriage of his sister,a famed beauty,to the “Corsican upstart”who was desperate for a dynastic match to equal his ambitions).

    • M Davis
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      A great way of putting it, Pominoz!

  2. agricola
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Trump has got it about right. Allowing Huawei into the heart of G5 is undoubtedly a security risk. The implications of a Huawei presence in UK G5 is very risky for us. It risks not only us but our security partners. Another May bad judgement.

    Both China and the EU have been taking the micky on fair trade with the USA for too long. They either change their ways or retaliation is inevitable. Trump is giving them time to reconsider. All of which helps when we offer the EU an FTA after a WTO withdrawal and the stability of Art 24 of GATT. It all hangs on common sense prevailing so I am not making any firm predictions.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Look at it from China’s viewpoint. Huawei are at the forefront of technology. They sell the West lots of products – good for trade. Should the worst political situation reach likely military action they expect to be able to paralyse West’s communications.
      What’s not to like?

  3. Shirley
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness for Trump. He is showing that unfair trading tariffs do not have to be tolerated and should be renegotiated. The biggest moaners are the biggest culprits.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. Just because Obama had no qualms about not having reciprocal tariffs, to the detriment of the US, does not mean the unfairness can continue in verbatim.

      China and the EU should be satisfied with the inequitable run they have had, but accept that now ends and if they want to keep trading, a level playing field is required.

  4. Pete S
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Sir John, talking of Trade negotiations. Would not a discussion of trade negotiations and tactics be of interest. It could look at the May-Robbins play book. There the negotiating schedule is given to the opposition. At that point alone, the chances of getting a good deal have shrunk to almost zero and negotiations have just started.

    Then when the official negotiator is working on the official deal, a clandestine deal is put on the table to supplant the official one, without any explanation of where it came from. But months later, a fly on the wall documentary, shows the opposition saying; ‘we are now a colony’, ‘they have accepted all out terms and conditions’. Yes with a May-Robbins play book you could destroy any chances of success,

  5. Mark B
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    One has to question, why are tariffs being imposed ? If it to protect a cottage industry or a particular sector from unfair competition, then one can argue in favour of such sanction.

    The situation that has been mentioned between the USA and Germany over cars is quite understandable, and President Trump is right to raise this. Of course, once a tariff against one member country of the EU is made, it must be applied to all so, we here in the UK will also suffer as I am sure other sectors too. Worth thinking about that ? 😉

    The CU and the SM are simply a means of protecting the EU member countries business from competition. Such competition is usually good for the consumer as it brings choice and innovation. What will happen to the EU, and eventually to America, is that they will begin to stagnate and go into decline, economically, politically and militarily. The future is SE Asia.

    • acorn
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Auto-related trade currently accounts for 8% of total trade in goods between the EU and US. Today, the US is the fourth biggest exporter of cars to the European Union.

      19% of the total value of US car exports heads for the EU, representing 12% of EU car imports by value. The other way around, the United States is the number one destination for EU-built cars, accounting for 29% of the total EU export value and 25% of US global car imports by value.

      In 2018, EU-owned automobile manufacturers made 3 million passenger cars in the United States, accounting for 27% of total US production. At their US plants, EU car makers provide jobs to almost 120,000 Americans across the United States, including in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. (ACEA Fact Sheet)

      The people getting hurt by Trump are American citizens. They buy imports because they want them; because American products don’t give them what they want at the right price. Imports are a socio-economic benefit to the importers; in exchange, American citizens offer the exporting countries bits of paper called US Dollars, the larger value examples cost about 10 US cents to make.

      • mickc
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Those bits of paper are what is needed to buy oil. All industrialised economies need oil, and therefore need those bits of paper.

        That is why the USA is powerful…the Petrodollar. Until that changes, the world dances to the tune of the USA. If it wishes to impose tariffs selectively, it will do so. Others will complain to the WTO…it will have no effect. The WTO cannot harm the USA, and will be ignored but more likely will change the rules to accommodate the USA.

        • NickC
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          MickC, The WTO is not an organisation like the EU. The WTO is not a global trade “government”, and does not make rules that must be obeyed on penalty of fines. The WTO is collegial. It is the EU which is dirigiste, centralised and demands obedience.

          Your statement “ The WTO cannot harm the USA, and will be ignored but more likely will change the rules to accommodate the USA” is therefore false in every particular.

          The WTO is not there to “harm” any nation. The USA will not “ignore” the WTO. And there are no WTO “rules” to change to “accommodate” the USA.

          The USA is simply negotiating with the EU because the EU’s car tariff is 4 times the level of the USA’s. If anything, the WTO has a remit to help the USA to reduce the EU’s extortionate tariff.

    • agricola
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Your para 2 would seem to assume we remain in the EU. I think not.

      Competition usually brings lower prices too. For instance the EU protect the sugar beet industfy at great cost to the consumer because they use tariffs to keep out sugar from cane. I would add that buying cane sugar is a great help to developing countries, trade being better than aid.

      You might be right about stagnation in the EU, all the signs are begining to emerge. However you over egg it when you assume with a prediction that the USA will go the same way. It is not in the DNA of americans to let it happen. I hope the countries of SE Asia emerge and grow, if only for the selfish reason that the wealthier they are the better customers they are.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        No great empire/hegemon ever thinks the sun will set on it.But it always does.

        The concept of “End of history” has been rather debunked.

  6. Noneoftheabove
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Not very much has been said publicly about future tariffs if the EU refuses to agree to FTA talks under GATT XXIV. I presume that Mr Johnson has received good advice on this matter. An assertive approach to a tariff schedule by us would help to concentrate minds in Brussells. After all, the EU Commission would not be wishing to fight battles on two fronts (UK & USA).

    • Hale Post
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      The Commission is not fighting a battle with the UK. The Uk is too weak to fight a battle. A withdrawal agreement has been concluded, the Uk can take it or leave it, but either way it will suffer – it is suffering – huge damage to its econony and its international reputation. The world is looking at the UK turning in on itself and abandoning its previously open global perpsective with contempt

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear!

        What evidence do you have of the alleged huge damage to our economy?
        If the international reputation of the UK has been damaged, it is because of the unconstitutional, undemocratic behaviour of many remain members of both Houses of Parliament.
        Please ask a trusted and knowledgable friend to educate you about Trade Tariff Wars.

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        You might wish all these things to come to pass, but they haven’t. It is people like you who love to talk this country down, and of course you were in good company with May, Hammond, Robbins etc. Any door closing is an opportunity, it does not have to be a catastrophe, it depends on the initiative, energy and imagination of those people in charge of its success. People are sick of hearing these constant attacks on this country, which is why Boris and his optimism comes at exactly the right time. If it really is so dire here, why are people risking their lives to join our ranks? According to you this scorched earth should be avoided at all costs.

    • Lucas
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      There is nobody around in the EU to have talks with, they have all gone on hols. Am sure that from 1st Nov tariffs will apply but just hope schedules will be posted before then so that we know

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        It barely makes any difference. The EU have not been interested in negotiation for three years, so that surprises no one.

  7. Mick
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    So now we need a Brexiteer in charge of negotiation and not a army of remoaners to talk to Brussels so that leaves out mark 2 May Mr Hunt, so that leaves just Mr Johnson to take charge of negotiation as well as running the country, and I think he as his team know full well that the Brexit party are knocking on the number 10 door in Downing Street as well do the Labour Party

    • MPC
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I hope your confidence in Mr Johnson is well placed. I think he should set out his stall very clearly before even talking to the EC again, and that should be that the UK wants collaborative relations going forward based on a FTA and on the other side agreements for non-WA exit already drafted. Otherwise, if the EU does in fact agree to tweaking the WA, then there will be a resumption of pressure to accept it despite its many other faults and traps. Pressure that Mr Johnson may well bow to as a slow to decide Leaver in 2016 and supporter of the WA at the 3rd vote.

      • Liam
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Presumably by collaborative relations you mean trade with them as equal partners, well that is not going to happen. Neither will there be any tweaking of the WA. The negotiating teams have disbanded now and we are into the summer season. October beckons and the new EU Commission President starts work 1st Nov- how all of this is going to play out I have no idea- except to say it won’t be anything like Boris is promising.

        • NickC
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Liam, I am not sure how you know what the future actions of the EU will be? You know who the next president will be? But suppose for arguments sake you are right, and the EU refuses to re-visit Theresa May’s dWA. Then the WTO deal (ie what you Remain propagandists call “no deal”) comes into effect. Since “no deal” is Boris’s back-stop, how is that not “anything like Boris is promising”?

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Boris is the best we have got. Just think, it could have been a lot worse, we could have had a couple of Remainers in contention. I sense already a change of view from the HOC, none of which would have come to pass however without The Brexit Party, which gives me confidence that Grieve’s ridiculous amendment tomorrow will not survive.

  8. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Trump is the free trade warrior. He has to threaten retaliation to get through the thick heads of the protectionist, Corporatist countries, including German Europe (surely this is the next logical name change for the EU).

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Well done Trump. When are we going to get a government which stands up for Britain.
    He is 100% correct to retaliate against unfair trading practices.

  10. Dominic
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Those with a rational mindset have a pretty good idea who the real danger is and it isn’t the big, blond fella in Washington

    Hong Kong oppression and SE Asia Chinese military expansionism is the evidence we need to reveal the true nature of the Chinese State.

    Chinese private companies are not private in the way we understand private to be. They are mere extensions of the CCP. These companies have a political agenda embedded in their DNA

    Trump’s not being tough enough

    • forthurst
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      So the Military-Industrial complex is totally detached from the US state? How will Huawei decrypt the data it exchanges? Where will it store all the data or how will it transfer it to China? Friendly advice: do not use social media or well known search engines because all your activity will be captured by “friendly” state intelligence services. Clue up: the enemy is within.

  11. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    No tariffs in the EU. Why leave it?

    • Shirley
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      No tariffs with the EU, but not ‘free trade’ either. After Brexit, we won’t be paying astronomical sums to other countries merely to be one of their best customers, nor will we have to accept their supremacy over UK law, or be forced to have open borders.

      In business, the best customer gets the best terms. If future trade isn’t fair, then we will have the option to walk away, as we should with the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        We don’t pay astronomical sums. You have just fallen for the fraudulent claims that we do.

        • NickC
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Andy, But we do pay “astronomical sums”. The cost to the UK of being in the EU is around 11.5% of UK GDP. This is amount is summed as (% of UK GDP):
          Direct fiscal cost 1.25
          Cost of regulation 6
          Resource misallocation 3.25
          Lost jobs 0.4
          Fraud and corruption 0.4
          Contingencies 0.25
          Total 11.5% UK GDP (source Tim Congdon, Gerard Batten, 2014). In fact there is no reason at all why any nation should pay for free trade. Trade can be arranged between nations on the basis of low or no tariffs and by mutual recognition of standards, without having a dirigiste institution such as the EU.

          But the main reason to leave the EU is to regain national freedom and sovereignty. Self determination is specified by the UN as a human right. The EU steals that right. Leave gives it back to us.

    • William Long
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Because, in trade terms, the EU is a declining part of a much bigger and growing world, with which we want to trade on our own terms and not those dictated to us. Surely you must be aware of that?

    • David Price
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Imagine we are not members of the EU and are offered the situation we have now – no tariffs but all laws, regulations, industrial, commercial, border, trade and financial affairs are dictated by the EU where our economy makes a net loss from the relationship and we must pay the EU to boot. Why would we ever chose to join it.

      The EU has been punishing the UK since we have been members and they could restrain our adaption and response. With us outside the EU they will have to be much more carefgul, if they wish to retain the benefits of access to our internal market and cooperation. Of course this all depends on the civil service and political establishment that appears to have done it’s best to represent our interests in the worst possible way for the last 40 years.

      • James1
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Whoever becomes the new PM ought to sack approximately every third person in the civil service, close lots of government departments, massively reduce quangos, hugely reduce overseas aid (though not emergency assistance) cancel HS2, reduce and simplify taxes, have a bonfire of nonsensical regulations, sell off the BBC and Channel 4. Just for starters, and ideally in the first week.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      No tariffs?

      Just a big £10 Billion net membership + £4 Billion CET

      And I thought bribery was illegal…

      • Lucas
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        What planet are you living on- how do you think we got the empire?

        • NickC
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Lucas, What empire? Are you talking about the EU empire?

    • agricola
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Cumbria seems to have become more isolated since I lived there, additionally you seem to have a very selective idea of tariffs associated with the EU. Yes internal tariffs do not exist within the EU. What about the protectionist external tariffs they impose on the products of developing countries and any other countries where what they produce is more competitive than the same product from EU sources. There is nothing generous about the way the EU trades.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      No tariffs in a FTA. Why not have one?

    • Pud
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Perhaps absolutely everything you buy comes from an EU country but I buy items from around the world as well. The non-EU goods are subject to tariffs imposed by the EU, usually to protect EU producers, so I am paying more for some goods than I would otherwise.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Because the UK is about much more than our economic relationship with the rest of the world.

      The UK’s issue with the EU concern’s the restoration and then the defence of our sovereignty and independence against forces (Germany and the EU) that simply refuse to accept our right to assert it

      I suspect that there are hundreds of sovereign nations around the world that would go to war to protect their independence. It seems British politicians would rather sacrifice that most sacred sovereignty for what?

      How odd to see Labour politicians campaigning for the destruction of a sovereign, independent United KIngdom and then the next week arguing for the creation of a sovereign,independent Palestinian State. You couldn’t create these hypocrites in a lab experiment even if you tried

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink


        I very much like the analogy in your last paragraph. It is rather strange, isn’t it?

        • M Davis
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree!

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Dominic, yes your last comparison just about says it all about Labour. The truth is, when I talk to my many Labour friends, it would seem Labour supporters think they are on the side of the angels therefore scrutiny is not required. Then when it comes to the Tory party, so evil are they that they must be fought with tooth and claw. When I mention that those divides are old fashioned now, and very dated they look at me askance.

    • Pete S
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Be in a group who would treat the UK, by gaining the upper hand and say. ‘They are now a colony’, ‘they have accepted all out terms and conditions’. Illegally promote officials like Martin Selmayr. Has more lobbiest than civil servants. Wants nations to be subsumed into a suprastate, create a currency that is greatly assisting one nation and crippling most. Why would you want to stay in it ??

    • graham1946
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      To run our own affairs, our money, borders, laws and to avoid the melt down when Italy goes bust, not have our Military run from Brussels. Good enough for starters? Why stay?

      • Andy
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        We do run our own affairs. We control our own money, borders and laws. And if there is a meltdown in Italy that is up to Italy and the Eurozone. Brussels does not and will not run our military. So all of your claims are false. What your Brexit does is diminish our country, give our people fewer opportunities and make them poorer. Why leave?

        • graham1946
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Wait and see. You said claims of an EU army were false, now look again. Your kids are going to be conscripted. Kids in France are already conscripted to a soft few weeks, but that will harden. Why wouldn’t the EU want our professional forces if they get everything else given to them by Remainers? Your assertion about our and laws money and borders is laughable – what about freedom of movement, pay money as a pre-condition of being in this rotten edifice and have to obey every dictat they push through (Over 120,000 at the last count). You think they won’t demand money from us when Italy goes pop?You crack me up with your doe eyed trust in foreign politicians.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          Put this to the people:

          “Vote for EU control of our military, EU control of our currency.” and I bet the outcome would be a lot larger than 52/48 against.

          That is what your Remain means now and it did in 2016..

          That is exactly what you voted for.

        • Nicky Roberts
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Andy you are running out of arguments, and your idea that we do run our own affairs is absurd. Read the Withdrawal Agreement in detail and you will discover exactly what the EU have in mind for the UK, all of which is based on their stitch up of us already. You seem to be blind to the EU and its edicts. You seem to be blind as to how they linked certain countries up to the euro knowing full well how it would reduce those countries to never ending penury. Take your blinkers off. Your opinion of the EU is way out of date and is misinformed.

        • NickC
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Andy, The EU’s Declaration 17 states that EU law has primacy over our law. You have been told this before. So either you are too bone idle to read it yourself. Or you are lying.

    • Christine
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Because leaving is far more than about trade. The remain side has hijacked the debate so that trade is the only topic they discuss. Democracy and freedom is worth fighting for and people in the UK need to be told what a United States of Europe really means for them. Unelected leaders imposing their policies on us where we have no say. Is this what people really want? How is this different from China or North Korea?

    • Andy
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Brexit was never about tariffs and trade. For many Brexit voters it was all about immigration.

      They just don’t like foreigners.

      As we see on here in the frequent derogatory comments about Europeans – particularly the French and Germans.

      • Dominic
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The criticism is directed at the German and French government’s though I suspect you know that anyway

        Playing the xenophobe card is part and parcel of the political armoury of the Remain strategy and is evidence of their appalling embrace of race politics to achieve a political advantage

        I see human beings. You see race.

        There are no depths to which certain Remain supporters will not descend to achieve the demonisation of those millions of faceless voters who demand the return of their sovereignty and democracy

        Brexit voters come in many shapes, sizes, colours and nationalities

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Absolute rubbish, Andy.

        The British have never been anti-immigration. Neither are we anti French, German or any other nationality. Immigrants, provided they can contribute are, and will continue to be, made most welcome. The important factor is that the British have a choice as to who may, and who may not, arrive at our shores.

      • J Bush
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Oh dear, oh dear.

        As someone who appears to need to be tied the EU apron strings, you wouldn’t understand Sovereignty and right to self determination.

        I also live in Cumbria, you don’t happen to live in the South Lakelands do you? Or perhaps you work for the RPA, as there are a few there who are blind to reality?

      • agricola
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Wrong yet again Andy. The argument has never been against Europeans or their sovereign nations. It is against the EU.

        I respect the French to be French. A friend of mine was awarded the Legion d’Honeur two years ago, mostly for dropping SOE and their equipment all over Europe from his Halifax adapted bomber. At 94 he was too old to travel to the French Embassy in Madrid from his home in Marbella. So the French being French sent a frigate from Toulon round to Malaga, the French ambassador came down from Madrid and the presentation took place on the quarter deck of the frigate. Who could not respect the French as a nation for making such a gesture. Remember how long it took our own lot to be pushed into recognising the sacrifice of Bomber Command.

        No Andy, the target for disdain or worse is solely the EU.

        • Andy
          Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          There is a story of a schoolboy watching the Allies march into Paris after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. A saw the Prussian Army with their chest pumped out with pride, bedecked with medals. Then he watched the British Army marching in their scarlet coats, and he thought they seemed a very down at heel bunch, with nay a medal in sight. And as he watch he thought of the swagger of the Prussians, but then he began to think. It occurred to him that the British troops fought for love of King & Country, for simple patriotism in contrast to the Prussians.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


            What a pretty story.

            But what did the Prussians fight for?

      • M Davis
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you are very tiresome! You know very well that the Brexit issue was and is not just about immigration. It is about regaining our sovereignty. In case you don’t understand:

        … Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies (i.e. the EU – not the French or the German people).

        I think I may be wasting my breath!

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Point of order.

        Xenophobe card being played again. Yawn.

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Another myth that you are always obsessing about. We want controlled immigration, not free immigration that has overwhelmed our public services and caused immense resentment in areas of the country that cannot cope. Free cheap labour only assists the wealthy, the capitalist class who benefit from unlimited supply. This has forced wages down. Just look beneath the surface instead of spouting these tired old chestnuts.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      your words are a bit misleading, rather than ‘in the EU’ you should have wrote ‘inside the EU’

      Why leave ? In a word sovereignty

      Also the EU like many dictatorial countries use tariffs as a political & revenue collection weapon….unlike the WTO

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      There are now barely any tariffs outside the EU either, taken overall and especially compared to earlier times, for example when we joined the EEC in 1973.

      Yes, there are still instances of high tariffs to be picked out and cited, but thanks to successive GATT rounds there are now far more low or zero tariffs.

      I thought to check the projected economic benefits of the new EU trade agreement with Mercosur, which has just been announced with great fanfare.

      But when I search for details, for example here:

      I find that essential information very difficult to pin down.

      Yes it involves a large population, and yes 91% of existing customs duties will be abolished over time, and yes it is possible to specify some classes of goods where the present tariffs are very high and they will be cut or abolished, but what does it all boil down to in terms of economic benefit to each side?

      One clue is in table at the end of that EU press release, comparing the supposed benefits to the EU of this trade deal with two other EU trade deals:

      Counterparty Tariff savings for EU companies Joint GDP

      Canada €0.6 billion €18 trillion
      Japan €1 billion €21 trillion
      Mercosur Over €4 billion €19 trillion

      Note that in all cases the tariff savings is given in billions while the joint GDP is given in trillions, or thousands of billions; even for Mercosur the duties paid by EU companies are at the level of about 0.03% of the collective GDP of the EU member states; yet it was just that kind of saving which was being presented as the potential economic benefit to the EU back in 2010:

      “European Commission proposes relaunch of trade negotiations with Mercosur countries”

      “For the EU, the economic benefit could be an increase of around €4.5 billion of exports per year.”

      I’m not saying that these EU trade deals are worthless, and of course their value may rise over time, but as far as the UK is concerned it will make only a marginal immediate difference whether or not we can roll them over.

      • NickC
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, Extremely well researched. Thank you.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    For decades allowing the outsourcing of manufacturing to China has been strategically and economically inept and dangerous by Western government. The Brexit Party’s just announced concentration on investment outside London should further worry the CP. It is impossible to see Hunt winning an election, leader of the opposition would be a success for him.

  13. Alex
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The USA as number one sanctioner and number one (by a huge margin) in military spending is not interested in freedom of navigation. It is interested in control. The US military provoke and intimdate many countries by stationing their forces close to borders or just off their coast so the build up of Chinese military power is entirely understandable as a defensive measure. Most of the problems with trade imbalance has been caused by US corporations offshoring their manufacturing not by Chinese policies. Now Washington is becoming worried by their economic decline it is attempting to keep it’s position by bully boy tactics. Washington is the problem not China.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      China’s a brutal totalitarian State. Does that mean anything to you at all? Does that not compute? Do you understand?

      Maybe not

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Take a look at the nine dash line China claims, it extends thousands of miles from its borders, so far it practically claims Philippine beaches.

      There is a lot of push back to the US military, but really war is no longer popular there either. But when France is warned in strong terms not to sail a warship through the 112 mile Taiwan straights I see a conflict with China as quite probable.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I would not get involved in any dispute regarding Taiwan and “it’s” waters because Taiwan is as much China as any other province and one day it will return to the control of the mainland.You may not like it but that is the legal basis.Taiwan was seized by Japan from China a century or so ago and it was agreed by Churchill,Stalin and Roosevelt it would be returned to China as part of the postwar settlement.

    • NickC
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Alex, If wherever you live was China, you would become spare body parts for a comment like that. Be very grateful for the USA.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Free trade is good, but it does not have to be all that damaging if you do not have it. Businesses and people can adjust and find many ways to get round these issues without it being very damaging in general.

    Boris is at least finally sounding like a real low tax, free market Conservative who will actually get us out. Let us hope he does not turn out to be another complete say one thing do the opposite, fraudster like Cameron or May. It is at least a relief to hear someone finally saying the right uplifting things. This rather than the dire robotic, dishonest, socialist dope May. The Brexit party will hopeful concentrate the minds of the lefty Conservatives.

  15. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If I were an American, I should certainly be supporting Mr Trump on this one. For too long their open handed generosity has simply been taken for granted.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Trade wars or reconciliation?
    They should make up their minds.
    Trade talk diplomacy …by far the easiest war to wage?
    A stroke of the pen changes everything.
    No boots on the ground.
    We should have “trumped” the EU!

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I am wholly in favour of using taxes to equalise costs in developing countries that ignore health and safety and environmental considerations.

    It means that we will have to either automate or pay more but how much of the tat that we purchase do we really need? If a product was more expensive we would demand quality over quantity.

    Tariffs could lead to a more simple existence

  18. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Chinese actions have not been given enough attention in the media, they are often quick bellicose even to the point of violence.

    For example the US has a formal complaint for sailing through waters China claims 1000’s of miles away from China.
    France was publicly denounced and warned never again to sail the international waters of the Taiwan straight.
    The much weaker Philippines had their boats rammed by Chinese fishing fleets that act as a militia for the state.

    We should not even be countenancing putting Chinese equipment into our telecoms network, and it is past time they opened up their markets.

    Here Trump is doing a good thing with tariffs, as the level of overall tax burden has not risen they are not harmful to the economy. In some ways they do encourage local production, so is a balancing act to be made.

    I find it strange the UK government go out of their way to be friendly to China and Iran, yet openly criticise the US. But this government with its love of the EU is puzzling.

  19. Ian
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I am always amazed that equal trade from an EU perspective is that to apply a 400% uplift on US cars under the guise of protecting their ‘cottage’ industries is seen by them(the EU) as fair.

    The UK looses most in world trade by being in the EU protectionist block. The UK trade was traditionally based on looking outwards and starting out by treating the rest of the World as equals. On that basis it thrived.

    The EU is by contrast a protectionist block creating barriers with the rest of the World. It couldn’t complete equally on the World stage so it has contrived an internal captive market. If you are in the club you will buy on these terms…

    The double whammy then is those that don’t trade in the EU are picking up the costly bill with no return. Increasing costs unnecessarily to the consumer. A further consequence of this protectionism is that the UK has lost and been diminished the most in the World market Place.

  20. BR
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Yes, for all the liberal woolly left like to bash Trump, he’s the first Western leader in a long time that actually stands up to bullying and countries that simply dig in their heels and continue t do things that are good for them bad for the world, while all the while purporting to be ‘good globalists’.

    China should not have been admitted to WTO in the state they were at the time and with the currency manipulation they have deployed since they should have been kicked out.

  21. Andy
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    America is shamed by its president.

    A great country demeaned by an incompetent clown.

    I am sure we will all soon know what that is like.

    We have a Trump of our own set to be PM.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t Trump that stoked bloodshed in Syria, it was Obama and Merkel. Those Qatar-Syrian gas pipelines plans to neutralise Russian-Putin control over Germany’s gas supplies are now no more.

      1.5m civilians dead on the altar of the Obama-Merkel incompetence

      And now Merkel is on her hands and knees crawling to Putin for more gas to power the German economy. Putin’s played Merkel like a puppet. And Obama? Where’s he? He spends his time to trying to dismantle American democracy

      Obama was another Blair. Plenty of gab, and ultimately spineless

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink


        Wrong there is one responsible in Syria and it is President Assad nobody else

    • agricola
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      If President Trump is a clown, there is hope for you yet. Aspire to greatness and you have an outside chance of making it. Talk to Corbyn, he proves it is possible however irrelevant his thinking.

    • mickc
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink


      A clown who won a democratic election despite, or because, he was treated as such by those much “brighter” than he allegedly is. A clown who had sense enough not to call a section of the electorate “deplorables”. A clown who knew he would be rubbished by the MSM and therefore by-passed them using social media. A clown getting trade concessions from China.

      Between Trump and his opponents who is the real clown?

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Andy Grow up

      • NickC
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Bob Dixon, Andy claims to be a middle-aged rich businessman with a family. We hear about his two non-aging children, but not his wife. He apparently contributes more taxes than we do, without taking any benefits. Yet he has spent weeks under the care of the NHS, and went to state schools. He thinks there are 17.4m angry Tory pensioners, whom he hates with a passion. Quite how he finds the time between his business and family commitments to spend hours commenting on here is a puzzle.

        Maybe he inherited the business from Daddy, and he is just a passenger; and maybe his family hate him. So he has to find something to do, and he comes here. Or, Andy is a 23 year old graduate paid Remain troll.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      A UK Trump. If only !

  22. Ian
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The MSM is reporting today that Penny Mordaunt is suggesting that Jeremy Hunt is the best choice for PM as he has good appeal with the Socialist Left, the Greens and the Liberals.

    Am I missing something? The Left leaning side of Parliament is so out of touch with the country it is fighting against the will of the people. I would have thought that would make him exactly the problem, particularly for a Party wishing to discover what it really means to be a one nation Conservative

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Off topic, I have just dropped the following letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser, which the Prime Minister and I share as our local newspaper:

    “Last week a Commons committee took evidence about possible “alternative arrangements” to replace the “Irish backstop”, which has so far prevented MPs approving the EU withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May.

    During the session it emerged from a French witness that the European Commission has instructed all the customs authorities across the rest of the EU, including the Irish authority, not to discuss this matter with their UK counterpart.

    It is inconceivable that either of the two Prime Ministers, Theresa May and Leo Varadkar, are unaware of the EU’s obstinate refusal to engage with the UK to work out practical solutions to this (largely invented) problem of the Irish border.

    This is leading the UK inexorably towards a no-deal Brexit, which neither of them wants; so why has neither spoken out against such an obviously stupid and destructive way of proceeding on the part of the EU?

    In the case of the Irish Prime Minister it is comprehensible that he simply does not want to consider any “alternative arrangements” which would frustrate his avowed intent of keeping the UK under swathes of EU laws, rules of the EU customs union and single market, in perpetuity.

    But for our own Prime Minister it is more difficult to see why she would be willing to collude in that, unless that is one attributes a kind of mesmeric influence to Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, supported by other business lobby groups.”

  24. Billy Elliot
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    USA has 25% tariff on light trucks and pick ups. EU should challenge that. On average tariffs are pretty much egual.

  25. margaret howard
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


    “the big imbalance of trade the USA has with Germany/EU, especially in cars.”

    The reason for that is that America because if its cheap petrol, produced huge, gas guzzling cars which nobody in the rest of the world wanted or could afford.

    How odd that you, as a self professed environmentalist, should see fit to denigrate the very country that is trying to limit the world’s carbon footprint.

    America should be encouraged to join the rest of the world in its efforts to consume less rather than trying to bully other countries into buying its outdated cars and unpopular food.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      You are thirty years behind the times Margaret.
      The American car market has moved to making cars which are not huge and gas guzzling.
      Legislation was passed years ago on fuel economy and emissions and customers have been buying more efficient vehicles for years.
      Also you are wrong about America’s efforts on their carbon (dioxide) footprint having reduced their overall emissions by 40% in the last 30 years.
      Despite a rising population and improving standard of living.
      A better achievement than most developed nations.

  26. Pat
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    O/t but I note a report out recently to the effect that should Britain remain in the EU, or sign the WA, we will be liable to bail out EU banks in the event of a financial crisis.
    Something I confidently predict will happen even though the exact time is hard to foresee.
    Perhaps you could comment on this sometime?

    • graham1946
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Andy says not, so perhaps you don’t need to worry? I do, Italy will do down soon. Hopefully we will be out before then, though I expect our stupid politicians to help out anyway.

  27. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Short memories!!!
    EU offers to lift all car tariffs if US reciprocates (FT 30-8-2018)
    That would have to include products like pick-up trucks which the US protects with very high tarifs.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      But the EU continued to insist on agricultural protectionism, and of course isn’t open for free trade in services.

      • Andy
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        America isn’t open for free trade in services either. Free trade in services is almost impossible to achieve. But the EU has gone much further than anyone else.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:19 am | Permalink

          Odd that one of Lloyds of London’s best insurance customers is America.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      “EU offers to lift all car tariffs if US reciprocates” (FT 30-8-2018)

      Only because Germany had the most to gain from such an action. He who pays the piper, etc…

  28. Ian
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Well done Trump, a businessman What a breath of Fresh air, compared to all the other Presidents going back to Ronny R

    We are still waiting for our Election, hopefully before Christmas, when The Brexit
    Party will win by a landslide.

    We must trust that May and her faithful sidekick Robins, and all the other treacherous swine also get taken through the courts for sabotaging this Nation and the people in it.
    I would like to see them given very long prison sentence, oh a back dated to take in the likes of Major

    • hans chistian ivers
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink


      Sit down and relax you are getting carried away with unrealistic assumptions

      • Chris
        Posted June 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Hci, Robbins is already on his way out, resigning before he was pushed apparently.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink


      “We are still waiting for our Election, hopefully before Christmas, when The Brexit
      Party will win by a landslide.”

      They couldn’t even win in Peterborough. Says it all.

      • NickC
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, But the Brexit Party won the EU elections hands down. Says it all.

  29. mancunius
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    JR, I may have misunderstood, but I understand Robbins has ‘resigned’ from the post he was allocated to as May’s Brexit negotiator. What I find curious is that he has not resigned his civil service job or ranking, and continues to draw his salary; he has merely refused to continue to work at the task given him by the PM.
    Do civil servants now decide on a personal basis where they will and will not work, and what they will work at?

    • NickC
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Mancunius, To an extent, yes. Senior civil servants in the political wing are given (limited) choices as to where they work next, towards the end of their current posting.

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    It is perhaps a good time to review UK import tariff policy. We should raise our WTO tariffs to match the EU tariff average, then negotiate trade deals with every other nation except the EU. We should have the top ten such deals ready for implementation on 1st November, including deals with America, New Zealand and Australia. That will require Mr Fox to accelerate through several gears – I hope that he is up to it and that the new PM will replace him if he isn’t.

    We should also the WTO hard for a change in their rules. It should be legitimate to level higher tariffs on countries that (a) practice dumping or (b) run a dirty economy.

    And we don’t want a transition period, do we?

    If we do all of this, the EU might at long last wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Liam
      Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      No- we don’t want a transition period- we didn’t vote for one- did we?
      As far as I know we just voted to leave

    • NickC
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay McDougall, It is already within WTO rules to allow retaliatory tariffs on other states who practice dumping. Though the WTO will try arbitration first.

  31. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Disgraceful and wholly improper leaks from the civil service to The Times yesterday claiming Corbyn is too frail to be PM, had a mini-stroke a few weeks ago, etc. etc. I conclude the Remainers there are trying to get him replaced with a second referendum enthusiast. Someone needs to clear out the leakers and the politically-motivated elite from the civil service and remind them of their place and their role – servants.

  32. Dominic
    Posted June 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    ‘we don’t want to see conviviality’

  33. Javelin
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Good news. Not one single person in the DT, DM or DE comments believes Mr Hunt should get the job as PM. Not one.

  34. BillM
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    It’s odd that so many in the West think that Mr trump is doing the wrong thing with his equalised trade tariff requirements. What can be possibly wrong about wanting fairness? For decades, the EU and China have been getting away with it because previous Presidents have chosen to ignore the obvious and irritating problem. Now that the Americans have elected themselves a hardened businessman into the Whitehouse, the benefits are clear. The West needs more leaders like him.

  35. Simon
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    So Sir John;
    How is all your “novating” lol of all the EU trade deals going ? Canada is just the latest to refuse.

    Liam Fox has a department 4,000 strong which has achieved almost nothing in three years.

    But you told everybody all the EU trade deals could simply be “novated” and you patronised and fobbed off anyone who suggested otherwise with your usual flippant over confident dismissive answers.

    But you apparently are a Fellow of All Souls and have been CEO of a plc ? The mind boggles.

    Reply Yes, some have been novated and more will be. Counter party countries wish to be sure we are actually leaving, given the dither and delay Mrs May communicated.

  • 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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