The EEC,EU and the economy

The Remain case for staying in the EU is always based on the unproven economic advantages. These are said to be important and are often argued around alleged problems which would hit us if we dared to leave. One of the ironies is those who claim to hold the highest regard for the EU usually suggest the EU will behave particularly badly if we just leave, ignoring the EU Treaties which require friendly pro trade relations with neighbours.

When we first entered the EEC the sudden shock of removing all tariff protection for our industry helped weaken key sectors badly. In the first ten years of our membership car output halved. The steel industry suffered bad declines, leading to closures of large modern plants. Textiles also suffered closures and bad job losses. There was no offsetting liberalisation of services where the UK was a strong competitor.

In the second decade of our membership the UK accepted the need to enter the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. This policy had the predictable effect of ending in a major recession for the UK, with huge losses on enforced foreign exchange trading. This accelerated damaging decline in UK industry.

In the fourth decade of our membership the UK suffered from the western banking crisis, making similar policy errors to the ECB and Fed. On the EU side of the Atlantic recovery was much slower thanks to the Maastricht debt and deficit guidelines which the UK included in policy as well as the Eurozone and to other features of shared economic and business policy. Our greater involvement with the poorly performing Eurozone also slowed our recovery.

The UK has run a large trade deficit with the EU for most of our time in it. Meanwhile we have a good surplus with the rest of the world, in spite of EU tariffs and by trading with no free trade agreements with the main countries.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Rather than continue with the reasons to leave, perhaps it would be better to figure out how to stop BJ from simply ‘tweaking the backstop’. BJ has mentioned the Backstop on a number of occasions recently as being the main problem with the May Treaty – IT IS NOT the only problem. We’re going to get the BJ Stitch-up if you and your like-minded colleagues don’t move on it.

    PS, did we just witness BJ’s ‘cunning plan’, viz irritate so many foreign leaders that they decline our continued membership — what a good plan!

    • Peter
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      If Team Boris does have a cunning plan – and it’s a big if -they are certainly not giving much away.

      A reheated WA/Surrender deal with or without a backstop is not wanted.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Country doesn’t need cunning, it needs honour and proper, deep-thinking planning, hard work and patriotic sacrifice (otherwise Brexit / Sovereignty is really a smokescreen for naked political ambition / hobby horse / pride as opposed to being something honourable, and I would even argue, sacred).

        • Ed M
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          ‘and I would even argue, sacred’ – Joan of Arc believed sovereignty was sacred! And she achieved great patriotic things for her country (partly in her life, and only a few years after her death, the enemies of France were completely kicked out of France, as Joan envisaged and planned for in her life-time).

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Stephen Barclay last week was touting the standstill transition period which could last until end of 2020 whilst we continue to be full members without representation.
      Then of course this would be extended to end of 2022 a full six and half years after the referendum result.
      Does Boris or any other serious person believe they can go into an election on this premise.
      Farage would be a clear winner and the Tories would be back to 10%.
      Boris seems intent on offering a tweaked May WA.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink


      Agree fully with your first paragraph.

    • rose
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Sir John alludes to article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty which says the EU should encourage good relations and prosperity on its borders. Unfortunately your cunning plan would not work, as the last thing they want is to let us go and prosper.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Luxembourg has insulted our Prime Minister; we should send an ultimatum for an apology and the removal of their Prime Minister. If that prompts them to veto any extension of our EU membership then so be it.

      • Garland
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        I strongly recommend you think about your future. At any time in the last, say, 200 years it would have been inconceivable that any country, let alone a tiny one, could insult the UK’s PM the way that the Luxembourger did yesterday. Yet it happened. And it happened because of Brexit. The UK is on its own. The US can handle that, China too – all other countries need regional blocs. Isolation is what the UK has chosen. And you can look forward to a lot more humiliating incidents of this type in future.

        • Richard1
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Relax the Luxembourg PM made a fool of himself. Any plonker can organise 100 or so protestors to turn out and shout down someone. That the Luxembourg govt chose to do this to the UK shows it to be unworthy of attention in future. His opinions are irrelevant anyway, it’s the Germans & to a lesser extent the French who count.

          Boris did the right thing by ignoring it and walking away. He should tell these kind of people that future meetings, if any, will be in London.

          • Peter
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


          • margaret howard
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


            “Relax the Luxembourg PM made a fool of himself. Any plonker can organise 100 or so protestors to turn out and shout down someone”

            Organise those protestors? But they were mostly British expats who booed Boris. And he turned ‘frit’ and ran away. Can you imagine any other world leader getting a similar treatment?

            Boris does because he is a figure of fun on the world stage and making us the laughing stock of the globe.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            It was a set up Margaret.

          • rose
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Margaret, an expatriate lady rang up LBC to explain she had been there and the mob was organized by a Roman Catholic priest. It consisted of Irish and British.

            The press Boris gets on the Continent is even more poisonous than the one he gets here. Ask yourself why that is, and why the compliant Mrs May didn’t get any press at all.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 20, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink


            “Can you imagine any other world leader getting a similar treatment?”

            Er yes, the very same cerebrally cjhallenged people attempted to do the same thing to the most powerful man on Earth. They will regret it

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Wrong way round – it happened not because we are leaving the EU but because we have been in the EU for over four decades, a long enough period for most of our establishment to transfer their primary allegiance to the EU.

          As Iain Duncan Smith has rather belatedly realised:

          “Remainers’ overwhelming allegiance to the EU cause has created our political crisis”

          “It has long been apparent that the EU has eaten into the very soul of the British establishment – yet only now is it becoming clear just how bad things have got.

          For more than 40 years, this one-way process has gone on relentlessly as our political elite and professional bodies succumbed to political and financial inducements from Brussels, undermining our sense of nationhood and blurring the lines of accountability and loyalty.”

          • Tad Davison
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            Not forgetting that lucrative lecture circuit they tap into at £170 grand a time in some cases. So the prospect of the accumulation of vast wealth after leaving office is a huge incentive to take a particular line.

            (Named former PM ed) seems to have done very nicely since leaving office as a failed politician with a pro-EU bias. I do have to wonder about how far a former Prime Minister’s pension will actually go.

            Poor old David Cameron however seems to have missed out, all because he had (some would say) the temerity to give the British people the right to determine their own future. He’s depending upon his new book to provide income where other avenues are more difficult given his past.

            IDS is so right. Thankfully, some of us cannot be bought and abide by the maxim, ‘What would it profit a man were he to sell his soul for the whole world?’

          • sm
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            Denis, I have known IDS since he first stood for Parliament, and can assure you that the growing power of Brussels and its political intentions were of great concern to him even then.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            “Remainers’ overwhelming allegiance to the EU cause has created our political crisis”
            Correction: The Establishment’s overwhelming allegiance to the EU cause has created our political crisis.

    • Dan
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      We will have to rely on the ERG for this.

  2. Shirley
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Everyone with reason and common sense knows that the UK does not benefit from being in the EU. Some countries do, such as those who are net recipients, and Germany which benefits greatly from a weak currency (in relation to their individual country). However, they have to sell their sovereignty and independence in order to benefit. The cost, both financial and non-financial, is too high!

    • Dan
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      The main benefits I have seen are that it is seemingly easier to trade and travel within the EU as a member. I am not at all saying that we will not be able to do as a non-member but it has helped.
      In my science and engineering field, the ease with which scientists, engineers and doctors and so on can move about and work is under question. There is a great deal of uncertainty over whether they will be able to remain and research the same areas, with the same funding as before. The EU has already cut off a great deal of this in future contracts. Many of these excellent people are sadly already leaving the UK for mainland Europe.

      • Barry
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        What’s the EU ever done for us, except make trade and travel easier, helped attract top scientists, boost our economy and international influence, etc etc ?

        • John Hatfield
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          So unsuccessful is our trading relationship with the EU that we pay a net £14bn/year to have a trade deficit of £100bn/year.

  3. Mark B
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    From our membership right up to the day before the 2016 referendum the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have had no say on their future on this issue.* We have had no say on the treaties that have given away powers to the EU, no say over the course and direction of the EU, no say on the laws emanating from the EU that affect our lives. No say and no control.

    From the day after the 2016 referendum we have witnessed over the last 3 years just about every form of political contortion to kick the can down he road and deny us that which we have expressly wished. Wished and only wished for once in over 40 years.

    All the decisions that our kind host has mentioned above have been taken by the political class and the establishment. All have, to some greater or lesser degree, have impoverished us. All we want now is an end to this.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      * The 1975 referendum does not count as we were already members.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Indeed just leave. Though we did get a say under Wilson in 1975 just after we had joined un Heath (without the people’s authority). I was too young to vote but even as a young teenager I was for leaving. This as T Benn, E Powell, B Castle, P Shaw, E Varley were far more persuasive than the remainers who in the main foolishly thought it was just free trade and a “common market”.

    • APL
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Mark B: “From our membership right up to the day before the 2016 referendum the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have had no say on their future on this issue.”

      Bearing in mind the uproar about the prorogation of Parliament for a couple of weeks ( for the first time in years ), can you imagine the mayhem if a general election was held, then we are told, ‘You won’t have another general election for 43 years’?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Absolute rubbish, Mark, the UK was one of the Big Three with enormous influence in the European Union.

      It has the second-highest number of MEPs, just behind Germany, and the maximum twenty-nine population-weighted votes in the Council.

      Your country will shortly be pushed about wherever, at the US’s whim, where it has ZERO representation.

      But many of the figures behind the Leave campaigns appear to be globalist US supremacists, and serve those aims, regardless of the harm done to this country anyway.

      etc ed

      Reply Most of the 17.4m were no such thing!

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


        So why was UKIP/TBP winning most EU seats never a crisis ?

      • dixie
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        @MiC – you appear to confuse benefits for politicians and corporatists with the interest of the general UK citizen, The EU has kept the former fat and happy while disdaining the latter.

        We have been pushed about and plundered by the EU while having no effective representation or say. MEP votes are meaningless and MPs in Parliament are determined to demonstrate their disdain for democracy and that our votes in referendums and elections are meaningless also.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Try reading what Mark B actually wrote:

        “From our membership right up to the day before the 2016 referendum the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have had no say on their future on this issue.”

        He’s not talking about the level of power or influence within the EU that has been exercised by the POLITICIANS of the United Kingdom but by the PEOPLE of the United Kingdom.

        An example I mentioned recently: even after William Hague had got his much-vaunted “referendum lock” enacted we the people still did not have any say over Croatia joining, because he made sure that we would be allowed a referendum on any accession treaty. And what happened in the case of Croatia would have happened in the case of Turkey, and Ukraine, and any other country which our politicians fancied having in the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          … we would not be allowed a referendum …

      • libertarian
        Posted September 21, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Anyone would think that remainers talk through their backsides

        THIS WEEK

        ▪️INEOS: New factory, 500 jobs
        ▪️Fairline Yachts: 180 new jobs
        ▪️BAC: £20m export win
        ▪️QinetiQ: £67m contract,100 jobs
        ▪️Norbord: £35m investment
        ▪️Airbus: Record apprentices ( 192)
        ▪️Scottish Leather: New factory,100 jobs
        ▪️Exxon Mobil: £800m investment

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Mark B. Hear, hear.

    • Ian!
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Spot on!

      Parliament against the People from the get go

  4. whatsinaname
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The EU is first of all an economic trading bloc with European countries coming together to make collective trade policy and decisions so as to increase the wealth and the well being of its citizens- it not a government like a State government- but for good order it has plenty of Rules. We have voted that we don’t want to be part of it and that’s OK but don’t go blaming the club we were a big part of for forty years for our own failings. Don’t forget we sat at the top table making decisions for all of that time that affected our own economic well being as well and if our UK politicians weren’t up to it, and just like yesterday were not able to fight Britains corner, then it is hardly the fault of the Europeans. So just leave 31st Oct as we can plainly see Boris, a failed Foreign Secretary and now failed PM is going to do anyhow- don’t think many Europeans will be crying..

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      The EU is first of all an economic trading bloc . . .

      Sorry mate but you failed right there and then. And that is as far as I got.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 19, 2019 at 3:15 am | Permalink


      “40+ years of membership without “meaningful” tangible benefits?”

      Quite remarkable that after 3+ years of opening the EU’s political kimono (its entrails are a wonder to behold) and the shocking behaviour of the UK Parliament Remainers, with their anti-democratic shenanigans, you still fail to understand the true nature of this EU project.

      For those of us that have had deep dealings in Brussels/wider Europe and seen first hand the manner in which they operate, and indeed their obvious political intentions, I shudder to think what will happen to the UK if we remain?

      What is most distressful, is the inability for Remainers to provide palpable evidence to substantiate their argument that in some way the EU is beneficial to the UK…Remainers treat the EU in the same way many treat a Religion, using blind faith as their yardstick?

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Exactly, why on earth would the anti-democratic EU, ever more government, more red tape, more taxation, the absurd CAP, common fishing policy, more Crony capitalism, expensive energy, open door immigration without quality controls, smart meters and all the rest of the EU lunacy help the economy? By what conceivable mechanism? We need lower taxes, cheap energy, freedom and choice.

    RNLI seems to be being criticised for teaching people to swim overseas to try to reduce drowning. I am all in favour or reducing drowning wherever is can be done anywhere in the world. However I understand that statistically people who can swim are on average much more likely to drown (and not less). This for the obvious reasons they they go swimming far more, take more water related risks and do more water sports, surfing, diving, swimming, boating and jobs that need these skill.

    Well done Boris he was quite right to tell the Luxembourg PM to get lost. Let us hope the court makes the right decision today and keep out of politics. John Major to to take the stand it seems. Perhaps he will finally say sorry for his ERM fiasco and all the vast damage it predictably caused and for burying the Conservative party and giving us Blair and Brown for many terms?

    • Ed M
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink


      Yours and Andy’s comments are sometimes too black and white, and talking at instead of talking with.

      I support Sovereignty as an Honourable Goal (more honourable than being in the EU) but that must be achieved with proper planning and preparation and thinking and through honourable means (otherwise we end up with dishonour and egg-on-our-faces as we have now, and things could get even worse).

      If people are serious about the long-term success of Brexit, then have to look at having a proper strategy and tactics (this is NOT rocket science), and to win over hearts and minds, instead of flaming the fires of opposition to Sovereignty (again this is NOT rocket science).

    • David Maples
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Excellently put Lifelogic(would be nice to know your name btw 😊); absolutely agree with every word of your comment, and indeed of all your past comments. You only left one thing out…Britain is hated by the 27! There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is our predilection for the United States of America.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      They are trying to do to him what they did to his predecessor – humiliate !

      Mark my words, if and when the UK Leaves, little (people ed) like, Xavier will be groveling at the door of Number 10.

  6. Dominic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    The UK must exit the backward, illiberal EU before the next US President election. If Trump falls and a democrat is elected the UK will be almost forced by a Democrat POTUS to remain a member of or tied to the EU

    • Ed M
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


      It’s naïve to think Donald Trump wouldn’t try and screw the UK in a trade deal (including trying to prevent us from signing a trade deal with China). His loyalty is to his power base who elected him and to the American people – NOT the people of the UK.

      Again, we need a long-term proper plan, starting off with building up our economy, regardless of being in or out of the EU (or whether Trump or a democrat is in the White House), in particular, building up our high tech sector, in order to increase productivity, high quality exports, and patriotism in our economy that is badly lacking.

      • miami.mode
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        EM, would suggest you familiarise yourself with the City, as high tech companies are constantly being sold to foreign companies, often to the detriment of the employees as well as to the country in the loss of the technology, and the government is generally very comfortable with it.

        • Ed M
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink


          Not sure what your point is regarding mine!

          You are pointing to another problem in our economy of business leaders looking for a quick, short-term buck, instead of building the company up, properly. Yes, this affects the high tech industry but the solution to this is not for the government not to invest more in the high tech industry (infrastructure, skills, etc ..).

          Part of the problem is that we’re over-reliant on the culture of the City that encourages a culture of quick, short-term buck (a culture that spills over into other industries / parts of the economy). Where the culture in say Germany is more to build up the company – long-term (where there is satisfaction in building up a company properly, not just in – short-term returns).

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    More EU insanities reported today in the Mail. It is not that exciting or productive watching you electricity consumption after all.

    Britain’s £13.5bn smart meters FIASCO: Power firms’ costly digital roll-out is delayed by FOUR years as millions of devices are plagued by glitches… and guess what, YOU’RE footing the bill.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I would have hoped by now that Boris would have cancelled the whole Smart Meter farce. Cost? Enormous. Benefits? Marginal. We would have been better off building a couple of nuclear power stations.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:43 pm | Permalink


      What have smart meters go to do with the EU? They are an American invention and as far as I know have nothing to do with anybody else but our own government.

      • DaveK
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Instead of “trolling”, why not actually read the documents linked? From the Smart Grids and Meter page “The EU aims to replace at least 80% of electricity meters with smart meters by 2020”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        It is drivel by EU directives. I am not against smart meters, but not this incompetent shambles costing £ billions for no real gain.

        It is driven by the renewable nonsense as they are not on demand so they want to be able to reduce demand at will.

      • tim
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Every one- Trust ME- do not have a smart meter fitted- BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

  8. formula57
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    There is of course the Brexit case for leaving the EU firmly based on the proven economic advantages but we need a second Ludwig Erhard. With economic and business policy previously in the hands of gloom and doom quislings there was no hope: could there be now?

  9. Richard1
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    After yesterday’s absurd pantomime in Luxembourg I suggest the govt say any future ministerial meetings between now and 31 Oct regarding brexit need to be held in London. The EU is trying the same trick with Boris as they did with May – attempt to humiliate and belittle the UK PM. It should get a Trumpian response.

    etc ed

    • Richard1
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      the deletion drew attention to the separate issue of the deleted guardian article. In measured language I thought.

      Reply As it was deleted I did not wish to repeat what it said

      • Richard1
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Fair play I guess – don’t expect it from the left!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. We could put on a display of good manners – something the EU nutters struggle with. And use Chequers, to frustrate the mob.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      I agree Richard1.

  10. Bob Dixon
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    The PM’s interview last night with the BBC was a major car crash for the BBC.

  11. J Bush
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    So it begs the questions why are some so determined make the UK stay in the EU?

    Well, we know the likes of the CBI, the BBC, the various pro-eu groups (including universities), the ‘charities’ and NGO lobbyists are bought……….. with the funding they receive.

    For multinationals is their lobbying for continuous bureaucratic red tape which they can afford, but the cost of it kills off their smaller entrepreneurial competition.

    For UK politicians it is power without responsibility, and some suspect large brown envelopes with the promise for a seat on the EU gravy train. With the added bonus of paying little or no tax and the ability to commit any crime and never be charged. …………….

    The EU is unaccountable and its laws created by the unelected commission to weaken and control the populaces of Europe.

    What I find interesting is that the supposedly ‘intelligent middle class’ and various other pro-eu fanatics don’t realise, it that they are merely useful idiots. If and when the EU gets full power and control, their usefulness is over and they will be treated no differently than the ‘thick people’ who didn’t know what they were voting for.

    • villaking
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      As a matter of fact, EU laws are created by the democratically elected legislature not the Commission. The Commission can propose laws but not make them. This is one of the great lies perpetuated by Leave. The Commissioners themselves are only appointed after the approval of the democratically elected European Parliament and based on the recommendations of the Council (democratically elected heads of government). With credit grudgingly given I will say that Leave has been very clever in presenting lies as fact. I suspect many of those who follow this debate really do believe that the Commission passes laws, that the ECJ adjudicates on all UK matters, that the European Court of Human Rights is an EU institution, that the Climate Change Act was imposed by the Commission and that we really will be able to spend £350 million a week extra on the NHS in 6 weeks’ time.
      Your opening question has been answered many times by Remain supporters who post on here, no need to answer it again, but I do feel the need to point out inaccuracies in the Leave narrative.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        You contradict yourself in your first two sentences villaking.
        The Commission proposes and therefore creates all new law.
        The MEP’s “make” or pass those.
        I prefer to say they rubber stamp them because there is no real debate and no refusal to vote in favour of them.
        The Commission is king.
        And unelected.

  12. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Yet on the continent, under the same EU regime, car industry has done OK with the likes of VW, Renault, Seat and Fiat to name a few. I’m inclined to believe the demise of the UK car industry is down to the ills we saw at the time it was happening – crass management and bolshie unions.

    • Ian!
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      It is called subsidies and protection.

      Steel making using coal on the continent is permitted – but not permitted by EU regulations in the UK. Many more examples of double standards

    • forthurst
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      The inability of management to manage caused the more ambitious and successful to leave; the fault was entirely with the Tory party which under Churchill, Eden, MacMillan made no attempt to bring order to the total anarchy in the engineering industry. These Tory idiots were far too busy posturing on the world stage, imagining we were still a world power whilst the industrial force behind that power was being comprehensively trashed.

      • Mark Baldwin
        Posted September 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        This isn’t true. UK industry was destroyed by the unions. Don’t forget that in the 70s an awful lot of workers still believed in socialism and unions actively wanted private industry to be nationalised. Striking over everything and sloppy work were just part of that drive. At least this is what my father told me, and he was right in the middle of it.

  13. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Article 8.2 of the Lisbon Treaty is important to this debate. But, of course, the EU will drag its heels in complying with their own law when it comes to escapees like us. We mustn’to hesitate to establish every last competitive advantage over the EU.

  14. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The EU has some very nasty questions to answer.
    1. Who is the new head of the ECB? How are they going to deal with the enormous problems of unemployment, slowing down of Germany, and the coming catastrophe of Italy?
    2. If you, like Mr Verhofstadt at the Libdem conference, see the EU as an Empire among other Empires, then surely the loss of one of your most productive provinces is a catastrophe? So how do you cope?
    3. The Foreign Minister will also be in control of the EU army. Who is the new minister? What is his record? Why does he lose his temper in an interview? How is his diplomacy in Catalonia?
    None of this gets asked. all we get is Boris’ bus and lots of shouting.

  15. Alec
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Yes a litany of damaging and costly mistakes by politicians and bureaucrats, pretty much the only thing they are any good at making. Both groups are parasitic and unproductive, something that has always reduced wealth creation and freedom.
    Not only do we need to be out of the EU but also have a far smaller bureaucracy and a hugely less intrusive and controlling political class.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Yesterday it was reported that David Cameron went begging around the EU asking for alterations on freedom of movement, “If I am going to lose this referendum it will be because of mass immigration.”

    Thus proving that the EU does control our borders.

    MiC yesterday, said that there were no positives to Brexit. What is positive about any remedial action ? The big mistake was going into the EU under false pretences. Lying to the public about its true nature was always going to cause problems later on. (I don’t actually blame the EU so much as our own political class.)

    Lots of British voters have seen the EU make themselves poorer in recent decades.

    In my own experience that manifests itself in me having to dedicate my pension lump sum and inheritance to getting my children on the housing ladder in the areas where they can use their skills and high level education.

    To me that looks like an economic cliff edge (my own parents had to do nothing for me.)

  17. sm
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Observing the hysteria in the UK from the other side of the globe as reported in the more apparently rational media and blogs such as this, it appears that ‘Remaining In The EU’ has transmuted from an economic and political objective into a religion, much as with climate change and the NHS.

    Whether Remain or Leave is preferred, it is time for those in some position of authority, eg Members of Parliament, to turn down the heat and start behaving like responsible adults, not acne-riddled teenagers desperately searching for A Cause to take their mind off poor exam results or lack of a girl/boyfriend.

    • Ian!
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      You nearly arrived at the main point. Those in control are un-accountable so have no need to listen. The EU is not a Democracy, the law makers are selected( no one really knows how) and the are not accountable to anyone – so in essence don’t care. Parliaments, the EU’s and in the EU States are unable to scrutinize, amend or repeal these laws, their sole function is to implement them – window dressing.

      In the UK its Parliament is run by what is easy to be seen as agents of the EU State, as that is the body they refer to for cooperation to cause Remain. They are not democrat’s they don’t believe in it.

      Logic is there is a shortage of responsible adults just egos that will fight the People ever which way they can to get their own and their EU bosses way.

  18. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Most of the problems for people in the UK stem from one thing, and it absolutely is not membership of the European Union.

    It is the artificially high, exorbitant property prices.

    The bubble was first started by credit deregulation under the 1980s Tory governments, to create an economy where confidence was based on easy credit, and not on job security. It is near-impossible to put that genie back in the bottle, alas.

    In turn, that means that employees, particularly the young, are servicing high rents and mortgage repayments, leaving them with little disposable income, and making taxation, local and national, to pay for decent public services a politically liability.

    Leaving the European Union will not result in independence, quite the reverse. It will make the UK a plaything of other global powers, but ones which are not in any way constrained by the exemplary ethics contained in the Lisbon Treaty.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Property prices…a quick search on a leading properties for sale website show thousands of homes currently for sale within an easy commute of Cardiff at under £150 000.

      • Peter
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


        Median income in Cardiff is about £25k, so that house price is 20 times the annual income for the area.

        For comparison, in 1980 the average house price was about 3 times the average annual income.

        • Peter
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Haha, just realised that I mucked up the maths on that last comment! Should have been 6, not 20.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            Houses are expensive I agree Peter, despite the maths.
            But usually two people combine their incomes and savings to buy a home.
            It is more difficult for the current generation, especially in world cities like London.
            In my day…..I and my partner took part time second jobs and lived carefully for two years, as well as having some help from our parents in order to eventually afford a place of our own.
            And we considered ourselves well off at that time.

        • dixie
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          My first property was a flat for £15k in Crystal Palace when my salary was 2.5k in the mid 70’s which is proportionate to what you describe for Cardiff now.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        I have no problem whatsoever, Edward.

        But from where does a young worker in the gig economy get £150,000? Or a loan for that amount?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Well you get two people, they save for a year or three until they get a deposit of 10% or 15%.
          Then they get a mortgage, curently at record low rates,
          A mortgage if £120,000 would be cheaper than renting.
          Around Cardiff there were houses for sale under £100,000.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            Give me strength.

            What responsible lender will lend to people with no reliable income?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

            Well now you have moved the argument to credit worthiness of mortgage applicants.

            There are lenders in the mortgage market that will lend to self employed people.
            They look at declared earnings over a period of a few years.
            Or even better if one is self employed and one is full time PAYE employed.
            I know because that has been my real life experience.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      So 5x Wembley Stadia of newly arrived people headed to areas of work each year has nothing to do with property increases ? Or wage stagnation ?

  19. Polly
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Coincidence alert !

    ”This policy had the predictable effect of ending in a major recession for the UK, with huge losses on enforced foreign exchange trading.”

    I wonder if there is an aspect to this which has never been examined ?

  20. acorn
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The bottom line will be, as Cinderella sang, “you won’t know what you got till it’s gone”. Alas, there’s no way the UK can continue to be a member of the EU. We have well and truly poisoned that Well.

    For the last four decades, due to piss poor Westminster management, the UK’s inability to produce desirable goods at competitive prices, has left UK citizens buying, imports from the EU internal market as easily as buying from the next County. Casino banking is the only thing the UK wants to be good at.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Complete twaddle acorn.
      Of course we buy from Europe like we buy from the rest of the world.
      And they buy from us.
      UK manufacturing currently employs 2.7 million people.
      Add tourism earnings, financial services and all the other service industries and we are one of the worlds biggest and richest countries.
      Stop making things up.

      • acorn
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        So how come the UK’s Share price keeps dropping? That is, why do foreigners only want to hold Sterling long enough to pay for two weeks touring the UK’s tourist attractions?

        Reply Sterling up 4 cents v dollar recently

        • Edward2
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          I dont believe you are right acorn.
          FTSE is at a high level, historically.
          Sterling is still very much a major currency with solid confidence from world markets.
          But you keep on making things up.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            First you moaned about casino banking.
            When challenged you then switched to moaning about share prices.
            Remarkably after even that failed, you switched to moaning about relative currency values.
            Make your mind up.

        • acorn
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          It is down 22 cents since the referendum.

          • Fred H
            Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            acorn…..with all the negative crap on the media daily what would you expect?

          • Mark B
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

            And we are still in the EU !

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The parable of the Scorpion and the frog

    The UK was sitting on a Lilly pad on a large pond minding it’s own business one day when the EU walked past.

    The EU said to the UK “I need to get to the other side of the pond and it will be quicker if you give me a lift.”

    The UK said to the EU “but you will sting me and kill me if i let you close”.

    The EU replied ” what benefit would there be to me in that, the other side has so much more food and opportunities, we should both go there”

    Much of the UK did not want to go to the other side but the majority of it thought it would be better so it let the EU get on it’s back.

    While the EU rode on the UK it grew and had babies, each of which took small bites out of the UK, none of which were fatal but which weakened the UK and hurt. Again much of the UK recognised this but the most influential parts of the UK claimed this was symbiosis and beneficial. In fact the bacteria from those bites were making the UK stronger.

    As the UK became ever weaker the EU stung the UK. “Why have you done that?” The UK cried. ” now we will both die”

    “I am the EU, that is what I do”

  22. George Brooks
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    ”The man in the street” in the UK views the EU very differently to their counter part on mainland Europe. We view it is a block on our progress and development throughout the world and they see it as protection against a third world war.

    Twice we have restored peace (with enormous help from America) and the threat of war in Europe has diminished. However the desire to over run this country has not diminished as clearly illustrated in the events covered in paragraphs two and three.

    Two weak PMs signed us up to two very damaging treaties in the last 30 years and Parliament now has a very clear instruction to take us out of the EU to freedom. We now have a PM with the guts to do it and it is utterly appalling what the ‘Establishment’ is trying to do.

    What is their reward for giving OUR country away and where is it coming from?

  23. David Maples
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    When it comes to the study and knowledge of Economics, most remainers are complete ignoramuses, and for those who aren’t(there must be some), the romantic dream of the EU project surely eclipses their ability to debate sound arguments, and to reason intelligently by avoiding ‘non sequiturs’.

  24. Lifelogic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    You first paragraph makes the point very well.

    The Remain case for staying in the EU is always based on the unproven economic advantages. These are said to be important and are often argued around alleged problems which would hit us if we dared to leave. One of the ironies is those who claim to hold the highest regard for the EU usually suggest the EU will behave particularly badly if we just leave, ignoring the EU Treaties which require friendly pro trade relations with neighbours.

    Indeed these unproven economic advantages are largely dis-proven they are highly unlikely especially given the dire economic performance of the EU in relative terms. More red tape, bureaucracy and taxes almost never produces economic advantages.

    The problems generated by leaving are entirely due to threats of the EU to create pointless and damaging barriers to trade that would harm them as much if not more that the UK.

    Who would want to remain in a club with members who want to damage both themselves and the yourself.

  25. agricola
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    It is the challenge of becoming self employed. You see the opportunity, you plan to take advantage of it, and then you put in every effort to make a success of it. However , something the employed do not realise when they see you succeeding is that in becoming self employed you are out there on your own, no safety net. In fact the government hanging there with it’s hand out at any sign of success.

    In effect this is what the UK is doing in leaving the EU. Assuaging what many remainers see as security for the chance of greater individual and national wealth. To those who have been there it is a no brainer. To those that have neither the talent or the guts to do it, it is seen as being cast into a sea of exploitation. Caca de Vaca, abuse those you employ and you lose them. I too hope that Boris understands the full iniquity of the WA, leaves on 31st October, offers the EU an FTA and the security on continuity under Art. 24 of GATT. Just as democracy runs in our DNA so does self employment. Even that great European unifier of French mythology, Napoleon, saw us as a nation of shopkeepers. All government has to do is create the right atmosphere for us to thrive as such yet again.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but we were ‘self employed before we joined the then EEC. In fact, we were self employed for hundreds of years and built up a nice little firm (Empire) before the politicians messed it all up.

      • agricola
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the politicians messed up the Empire. The changes had an inevitability about them. We now have from it a Commonwealth. Those who belong do so from free will. I hope that those with vision will encourage it’s evolution into the Worlds largest free trade area. Trade always being better than aid.

  26. Dominic
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Luxembourg has humiliated on the international stage the UK and its people.

    What a wonderful Brexit recruiting agent this appalling snub will have.

    We cannot accept this humiliation of our PM and our nation.

    It is time we leave the EU, de-regulated, slash our taxes and go on a full frontal free-market assault

    We can become the West’s Singapore and that will petrify Germany

    • Andy
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      No. Luxembourg has humiliated our incompetent, unelected El Presidente and his cheerleaders.

      Many of us think the Luxembourg PM was spot on.

      As for becoming ‘low regulation like Singapore’ – will you be telling UK workers. Singaporeans, for example, get less than half of our holiday entitlement. Maternity leave is a fraction of ours. And so on and so forth.

      You’re retired, right?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Come on Andy, it was a set up.
        And it backfired.

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Maybe it didn’t matter if economies suffered?
    Perhaps it was never about successful trading and prosperity but more about political integration?
    More about power and control.
    Easier to control a once-nation when it has been brought to its knees.
    ( And Westminster knew all this. Knew what membership was doing to us?).

  28. IanT
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Whilst being no great fan of Boris – I must admit to some sympathy for him at the moment (and perhaps that is the “great plan”). But it really did look like the EU were taking the mickey yesterday in Luxembourg.

    The Luxembourg PM kept saying things like “it was the UK Government who decided to leave the EU”. No the Government didn’t – We (the voters) did! And perhaps what the Facebook rabble outside the gates (mostly ex-pats organised by a Canadian apparently) should be really complaining about – is that the EU still hasn’t given them any of the assurances that have been unilaterally given to EU citizens here in UK.

    Maybe BJ should have turned bright green and done a bit of podium smashing? 🙂

  29. Brenda
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Not one single serious economist agrees with this guff. Belonging to the most advanced free trade bloc in history is a massive plus for the UK, leaving it a massive minus

    Reply The EU themselves struggled to find any boost to UK GDP from EU membership. Were they wrong as well?

    • Ian!
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      The last thing the EU is – is a Free Trading block. From the outset it was created as a protectionist block. It was about protecting itself from having to compete.

      Trade with in the EU is very expensive for those in it and even more expensive for outsiders.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      The UK should have higher ambitions than being prosperous because of being in or out of the EU (Germany does just fine exporting out of the EU).

      The real problem is the transition period of about 10+ years after exiting the EU (after 10+ years we would be fine outside the EU). With people sick of austerity, and Marxist Corbyn looming on the horizon, the country could leave the EU, and then quickly return via a second referendum. This is the great sharky waters of the transition period that people are just failing to address – both Brexiters and Remainers (with both focused on how well or badly we would fare outside the EU in general).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      For “massive” read “marginal”, and quite possibly even substitute “loss” for “plus” and “gain” for “minus”:

    • robert lewy
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The Economist is a fervent supporter of Remain.

      This week it published a survey of the Single Market which is completing damning
      as regards the benefits it has produced e.g EU manufacturers successful in their home country seek to expand their sales in Rest of World rather than with other members of the EU.

      Pity they didn’t read their own survey before adopting their total submission to Remainerism.

  30. Bob
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The govt’s emphasis seems to be on the Irish Backstop, as if that were the only impediment to signing the Merkel-May Treaty.

    What happened to “no deal” is better than a bad deal?

  31. Ian!
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It would appear it is the moral banner you use that matters. The Remaniacs shout out about ‘defending democracy’ when all the time they are defying it. These Agents of the EU fear democracy returning to the UK, the banner should be ‘Better to be Ruled’ by the unaccountable than the People having a say.

  32. Richard1
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Remarkable speech by the EU’s Mr Verholfstadt at the Libdem conference. The coming “world order” is one of “empires” he says – and Europe needs it’s own, the EU, to counter rival ’empires’ such as the US and China. This is v much at the core of EU ideology. No doubt, to be fair to Mr V, he would believe in democracy at the federal / imperial level. But isn’t it time for Continuity Remain types in the UK to level with the public and admit that this is what the EU project has (unfortunately) now become?

    The alternative vision is a world of freely co-operating and competing nation states, with accountable and responsive democratic governments and universal free trade. I know which I’d vote for.

    • Garland
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      You don’t get a vote, mate. The EU, China, and the US are the big beasts. Join them or get eaten alive. Think the UK can do it on its own, asking for free co-operation and universal free trade? Dream on. Look what happened in Luxembourg yesterday

      • Richard1
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        And which of those empires do the following countries belong to: Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore etc? The Luxembourg charade was an attention grabbing moment by the silly PM of Luxembourg. He will have done neither his country nor the EU any favours.

      • tim
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Garland— Iceland, greenland, Australia, NZ, Canada, India, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and hundreds of other FREE countries manage quite well

      • dixie
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        The EU has not given free cooperation or free trade while we’ve been paying members, time to leave and compete against them,

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      The EU isn’t a big beast it’s a sheep stuck between two carnivores-the USA and the Russo-Chinese bloc.And it has recently come to realise this-see M Macron’s determined efforts to woo Russia,backed by subsequent supportive comments by the new EU foreign affairs person.

      I believe we are headed towards a loosely unified Eurasian supercontinent and it’s centre will be Moscow.A new Pax Mongolica.The Anglo-American deep state will naturally try everything to prevent it coming into being.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      In George Orwell’s 1984, the world is divided into three states: Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. I wonder if Mr. Verhofstadt has read his book ?

      • Harmz
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Mr Verhofstadt has only one job to do now and that is to get the rump Faragerers and Widdecombes out the door by the 31st Oct.

  33. JimS
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    It does seem that the only reason to remain in the EU is that there might be a few teething problems for a week after we leave.

    I can only conclude that there must be strong reasons to remain in the EU that the ‘remainers’ don’t want us to know, which pretty much describes our ‘journey’ to ‘ever closer union’.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      I think the ‘teething problems’ will be with us for longer than a few weeks. Mostly it has to be said, for our politicians and Civil Serpents as they re-discover why we employ them 😉

    • Harmz
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      It is not an a la carte thing, out you go 31st Oct, the rest is up to you. There is not a snowballs chance that they are going to put up with you one day more

  34. Ed M
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Sovereignty, long-term, is rightly highly desired. But getting sovereignty and being properly prepared is key to success! (You can have a good goal, but if a bad plan, then goal will fail – just look at Business Plans! Same applies to the military, big science projects like ‘moon landing’ etc ..).

    Do we have a proper plan? Do we have a strong leader to implement this plan? Plan above all is about preparing country’s economy to leave. We need to be strong. Then Brexit would be a breeze. But there are fundamental problems we face that no-one is discussing because our media reduces everything to superficial debate. Problems such as:

    1. The world now compared to 2016 is more protectionist and nationalist.
    2. EU now more competitive against UK in terms of flexible working conditions and low corporation tax
    3. UK’s productivity is low (low before Brexit, but Brexit made problem worse to a degree)
    4. Brexit has undermined business investment to a degree
    5. Inflation-adjusted wages hardly risen over the years
    6. For last 2 years, business investment in Britain behind France, Spain, Italy and Germany
    7. China and India do NOT make easy trading partners – China unfair to Western firms, India highly protectionist
    8. Trump sees trade agreements to get concessions not make them
    9. Looks like any UK trade agreement with USA would prohibit UK doing trade agreement with China
    10. The British people are fed up of austerity.

    The most important part of plan is to build-up our economy regardless of the EU – by building up our high tech sector, leading to high productivity, high quality exports, and a sense of patriotism in our economy. That we make high quality things, worth lots of money, and involving high skills, and we export them. High tech covering: Digital, Computer Servers, Satellites, and so on – but above all the Services inside the High Tech Industry. We need to invest in infrastructure and high tech skills. We need to teach our kids to code properly. We need them starting up their own businesses and seeing them mushroom. On the other end of the scale, we need to be developing the big British IBMs and Googles and Apples of the future. Instead of a brain drain to the City (important as the City is).

    We need to think like a Napoleon but with the Heart and Honour and Humility and Honesty (Work Ethic) of a Joan of Arc! Because Work Ethic always wins out in the long-run. And Honour wins over Hearts and Minds. And anyway something as Honourable as Sovereignty deserves to be planned and carried out with Honour anyway.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      There has been bickering and dishonour on both sides. But the argument isn’t how terrible Remainers are, but how to get back Sovereignty! And that requires proper planning, leadership (and patience), including winning over hearts and minds (those of Remainers)! Need to send them a positive message about why Sovereignty is such a good thing and not keep going telling them what bad people they are (that will only entice the flames of resistance towards Sovereignty).

      • Ed M
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        ‘and not keep going telling them what bad people they are’ – was thinking here really of newspapers and journalists.

  35. Ed M
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    ‘EU now more competitive against UK in terms of flexible working conditions and low corporation tax’ – more competitive than it was, I meant to say. They’ve caught up with us to a strong degree I meant to say.

    • tim
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      you have never been to France! monday “work” 9 till 12, tues to thurs 9 to 4 fri 9 to 12 sat and sun nothing. dinner 12 to 2 but nothing from 11;45 to 2:15. 3- cognaqu break. then time to stagger off. Think companies will relocate to France?

      • Ed M
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I got my information / analysis from The Wall Street Journal!

        I rely on them, to a degree, because I believe they give readers the most impartial (right-wing) analysis (compared to UK-based media) on Brexit from a financial perspective at least.

      • BritInDeutschland
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        What’s the name of this company you appear to know so well, I want to apply.
        With the French productivity higher than the UK one, maybe they do in a 38-hour week what the Brits do in a 45+week (and Lifelogic, poor soul, in 80-hour week).

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Their productivity is significantly better than the UK’s, so yes.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Also, productivity is about QUALITY of hours spent, not QUANITY (people who love their work, fly through it, those who don’t, procrastinate like mad). It’s about the efficiency of its workers based on high skills and a positive attitude to the work they’re doing in general.

  36. Diesel Driver
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Today: A terribly and fearfully un-elected minuscule number of human beings will decide on whether 66 million people in the United Kingdom will leave the EU which, was decided as is our custom and practice by majority vote.
    The real question is in the Country, will those human beings accept democracy or will they in real terms deliberately and with detailed aforethought undermine our people, our state , our United Kingdom?

    • Harmz
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      It is not your custom and practice- you never had a vote like june 2016 before because as you know they usually know best. So you put your trust in your betters and that is what you get

    • Andy
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      If you listened to the start of the case – which I suspect you didn’t- you would have heard Lady Hale explain that what you say is completely untrue. They are not deciding on Brexit.

      They are deciding on whether an unelected prime minister lied to the Queen about suspending Parliament. Think about that for a moment – and how outraged you would all be if it were a Labour PM, Jeremy Corbyn for example, being accused of the same thing.

      Lord Pannick made what I thought was a very important point. He said if an unelected PM can suspend Parliament for 5 weeks – what is to stop them from suspending it for 6 months, a year. However long.

      The real question is whether people like you will continue to impute decent honourable people doing their jobs.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        That’s wrong Andy.
        The Supreme Court is deciding whether the Government can prorouge Parliament and were the reasons given legitimate.

        The answer to your other point is that Parliament can call a vote if confidence in the Government an election takes place and we the people can give our opinion on any government that tries to suspend Parliament for excessive periods.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Your post is the best argument against Universal Suffrage that I have seen in a long, long time, DD.

  37. ukretired123
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The Brexit genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back in however fallible folks may try!
    EU Membership has been a festering sore for nearly 50 years in a similar if milder way to the Berlin Wall for non-EU trade.
    Whilst we live in the geographic area called Europe and have mutual Allies in NATO we should be free to our Self-determination as any country under the UN Charter.
    As individuals our freedom should be protected under laws going back to the Magna Carta.
    We never signed up to ever closer union.
    As Margaret Thatcher is characterised in France “I want my money back!”
    The tragedy of the Treaty of Versailles is that France and others in Brussels calling for UK punishment will only play into our Brexit favour.

  38. Original Richard
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how the EUtists can think that EU membership has been an economic benefit to the UK :

    Membership fee of £20bn/year gross, £15bn/year loss of control and £10bn/year net all of which will be rising as there are now more QMV votes for net recipients than net contributors.

    This money has been used to subsidise corporations to move factories out of the UK, even to non-EU countries, and to improve the infrastructure of our EU competitors. Also to subsidise EU farmers to produce goods which we could buy more cheaply from outside the EU.

    £100bn/YEAR trading deficit.

    Loss of our fishing grounds.

  39. Leaver
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    it’s a great point that prorogation is a political matter and the judges should keep their noses out of it.

    I agree entirely. However, I am concerned there appears to be no limit on prorogation. In other words, an autocrat could simply decide to prorogue parliament indefinitely without asking parliament’s permission.

    I think there needs to be a clear definition about what the government can and cannot do when it comes to prorogation. I hope the ruling provides this in some fashion.

  40. ian
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    No point in looking back at the pasted.

    Is there a deal to be done with the EU I think there is on farming produces, cows, sheep also wine and flowers.

  41. bigneil
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “alleged problems which would hit us if we dared to leave” – what about the problems caused by staying? The inevitable Open Borders leading to millions just walking in – and the EU telling us we HAVE to accept and provide for them? What about the inevitable rise in our daily contribution?

  42. Len Grinds
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    No Remainer has EVER suggested the EU will behave particularly badly if we just leave – the only people who have claimed this are people like you who like to wallow in victimhood. What Remainers have made clear – and what is clear to anyone who understands the rules of the WTO (which you do not) – is that if the UK just leaves, and has no deal with the EU, then the EU is legally required to treat the UK as badly as it treats every other country with which it has no deal. That is the basic WTO rule of non-discrimination, and it means Uk exports to the EU will have to pay tariffs, face safety and health checks, have all paperwork checked, goods inspected to ensure compliance with EU standards, etc. Will trade continue? yes. Will trade continue on terms much worse than we have now, damaging the UK? yes. That’s Brexit, that’s the WTO, you voted for it

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Hollande, the French President at the time of the EU referendum, said 07/10/2016 about Brexit :

      “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences,”

      • Marco
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Of course there will be a price – leave the EU and you no longer get treated as a member. Leave without a deal, and you get treated as badly as any other country without a deal, WTO requires that. That means a massive new set of obstacles to UK exports. This is what you voted for. Freedom to have less free trade

        • Fred H
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          Marco please list the ‘massive new set of obstacles to UK exports’.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Marco and Grinds

          Ignorance is bliss eh fellers

          We get MORE trade by being able to import cheaper goods and services outside the Customs Union Common Tariff barriers

          You might want to look up TARIC

          Youve clearly no idea how much we pay in tariffs for goods and food coming in from outside the EU

          You are clueless about how product standards are applied and how they are checked

          Heres a BIG clue , the importer of the goods ( the buyer) is responsible for ensuring that the goods they have purchased conform to that regions standards

          You might also want to google CE marking

          Most remainers haven’t got a clue about international trade , they THINK that the single market and customs union sounds like a great idea without understanding how it works and what it does. Its why they are so gullible and naive

    • Edward2
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Len, do you see here in the UK, any shortages of goods coming in from countries not members of the EU?

      You demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge and experience of how companies all over the world trade with each other.

    • tim
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      The British/brussels Brainwashing Corporation said, if we leave on WTO, CLIFF EDGE, SUNAMI, EARTHQUAKE, THE END OF THE WORLD, IT WIL COST ££4,500,000,000, WOW! BUT WE PAY IN £18,200,000,000 EVERY YEAR
      even a single celled creature can see £13,700,000,000 better of. PLUS no deal allows the UK government to scrap thousands of import tariffs on non-EU imports, which will reduce prices; save £39billion; to regain control of fishing and to increase the level of democracy in the country.” FREEDOM

  43. Harmon
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Watching the supreme court hearing- going out on Sky and BBC they cannot even get the paperwork in order- looks awful- could there be some mischief making at play I wonder or are we this incompetent I wonder?

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    JR, you have published many of my past comments about the marginal, and quite possibly negative, overall economic impact of EU membership for the UK, for example:

    “… with exports to the EEC/EC/EU having always made up only a small part of the UK economy – about 12% at present – it is obvious that any benefits from easier trading arrangements would be heavily diluted.

    For example, boosting the value of exports to the EU by 10% could correspond to an effect on the overall economy at about the 1% level, and in fact according to the table on the front page of this German study … just 1% of per capita GDP was indeed about the gross – not net – benefit to the UK economy from the creation of the EU Single Market.

    As for the net benefit, well, the EU itself has admitted that the costs of its Single Market are high, and maybe three times the gross benefit.”

    However even now you will not hear many Tory MPs confessing that the Single Market project supported by their heroine Margaret Thatcher was never worth much in overall economic terms, even on a gross basis, a very small mess of pottage for which she was prepared to sell our birthright, and instead we keep hearing equally false claims about the compensatory economic benefits to be obtained through new trade deals with the USA and other countries around the world outside the EU.

    I have said it before and no doubt I will have to say it again:

    “Perhaps one day the Tory party will wake up and recognise that even if free trade was a significant engine of prosperity and progress in the past we seem to have now reached a point of diminishing returns, and stop grossly overstating the importance of special trade deals to our economy – whether that be the EU Single Market arrangement or some new trade deal with the USA.”

    Reply As the UK’s Single Market Minister when it was being “completed” I have often spoken from experience on why I think it did not help our economy overall.

    • acorn
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      A 10 per cent rise in per capita prosperity (PPP not GDP) is generally considered a reasonable guess at the UK’s current cumulative benefit of EU membership. A pretty good return for a net £2.50 a week per capita membership fee.

      That does not mean that the UK is now at 110% of where it would have otherwise been (say 100%) outside the EU. It means it would have been at 90% outside the EU; EU membership having boosted it back to 100%. To the uninitiated, that will appear as if the EU has done nothing extra for the trend line of the UK economy since the seventies.

      By far the biggest gain for the UK has been the increased openness to competition in a much larger and denser EU market place, along with EU standardisation that has reduced costs EU wide. Even Patrick Minford has said that EU membership had benefited the British economy by freeing trade.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Improvements whilst we were in the EU.
        Not because we were members of the EU.
        Unless you have concrete proof if correlation.
        How did non EU world trading democratic nations do acorn?
        Oh…very well
        How did they manage to do so well without being in the EU?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        So in 40 years of expensive membership we have gained an extra 10% of GDP.
        Possibly maybe.
        Forgetting that good independent government during that time might have done better.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        “A 10 per cent rise in per capita prosperity (PPP not GDP) is generally considered a reasonable guess at the UK’s current cumulative benefit of EU membership.”

        Who by? Some of your mythical “number cruncher” friends?

        Certainly not by the EU itself, including Michel Barnier:

      • libertarian
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink


        Your figures are pure babble based on no evidence what so ever . Typical socialist .

        Just for a starter in the 40 years of membership whole new global technology industries have been founded ( none of them anything to do with the EU )

  45. Dan
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Would you be able to provide us with a report detailing the risks of staying in the EU, perhaps it should be named “Jack Hammer”? You have previously mentioned ceding control of our armed forces, control of tax and environmental policy, what else would there be?
    Perhaps a report detailing the risks of a Corbyn government named “Red Hammer”. I would also like to see a document detailing advantages of a ‘No WA’ exit. Here I would suggest “Blue Hammer” as a name.
    I realise this is a great deal of work but I think people need to know and you are in a very good position to be able to deliver these. Thank you.

  46. Andy
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    David Cameron’s remain case was all about the economy.

    But if you all took a step out of your elderly leave comfort bubbles you’d learn something surprising.

    For younger people – and by that I mean the majority of under 50s and the vast majority of under 30s – Remain is largely about identity not economics.

    Yes, it is now beyond any doubt that your Brexit will make us permanently – and pointlessly – poorer. This is a simple statement of fact. The trade barriers you are erecting guarantee it. Nobody with any credibility disagrees. But the reason we oppose your Brexit is not primarily financial. It is because it seeks to attack who were are.

    Anyone born after about 1974 has been a European citizen all of their adult life. Anyone born in the last 30 years has been an EU citizen their entire life.

    This does not matter to the balding Brexit brigade who flock to cheer Farage. They grew up on a diet of war films and Dad’s Army – are happy with their Union Jack underpants and warped visions of a glorious Britannia which never existed. Just look at this group’s outrage at people waving EU flags at the proms and the RNLI daring to save the lives of drowning foreigners.

    We are better than that.

    Theresa May derides us as the citizens of nowhere. Actually – we are global citizens – citizens of everywhere.

    We are the future. You are trying to steal our identities. And this is why you will ultimately lose.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      No you are a middle aged moaner, consumed with hatred for those you disagree with. Not an attitude likely to convince young people or anyone else.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      We are not erecting any trade barriers…complete nonsense.

      You say poorer is a statement of fact.
      No it is not, it is just a prediction made by the same pessimistic computer models used by the same people who got all the project fear 1.0 predictions wrong.

      You cant be an EU citizen because it isn’t a nation.
      It is not recognised by the UN as a nation.
      Until it declares itself a nation and renames itself (very soon)) the United States of Europe.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Andy – as usual, a deliberately offensive remark to begin your comment.
      I am sure I am not alone in declining to read the rest of your turgidly pointless maunderings.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I m beginning to wonder if you are a plant, Andy, to help put people off Remainers and to expose their “arguments” for what they are. If so, you have done rather a good job.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        A windup. Some people are just stirers and refuse to accept common sense, or even reasoned argument.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Both sides need to EMPATHISE more with each other.

      The younger generation need to empathise with older generation what life was like in the UK in the 1950’s / 1960’s. A lot wrong. But a lot right too (things we have lost – sense of family, neighbourhood, national identity. Life was less complicated in a good way. Less crime. And so on).

      But the older generation need to empathise with the younger generation more about life today. How hard it is to buy a house, no permanent work, and increase in crime and so on. And now Mums and Dads in their 20’s to 50’s are even more scared about the future for their kids.

      • Lendal Cole
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        That is superb. 100% right

      • L Jones
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        ”And now Mums and Dads in their 20’s to 50’s are even more scared about the future for their kids.”

        And so they should be if we remained in the EU. Conscription into a foreign army? High youth unemployment to match that of Spain? A huge burden of debt as part of the ‘privilege’ of being an EU member that they’d have to contribute to in their adult lifetime? Don’t those things ever enter into the consciousness of remains?

    • libertarian
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Andy, Newmania, & Margaret Howard

      You all told us that

      1) Airbus would be leaving the UK and taking their jobs with them

      2) That the car industry ( especially Nissan & BMW) would leave UK

      3) That the city of London would decamp to Frankfurt and Paris and take the jobs with them

      4) You told us there would be shortages of medicines especially diabetes drugs

      So what happened ?

      1) Airbus have just employed a further 192 apprentices in their UK plant

      2) Nissan & BMW have both opened new production lines in UK plants

      3) Job vacancies in city are UP 13% Goldman Sachs have opened their new European HQ in LONDON, Citigroup confirm that London will be their European Hub HQ & JP Morgan Chase have 156 pages of London jobs on their website . Equivalence has been temporarily agreed

      4) The CEO of Nordisk who supply 80% of UK diabetes drugs confirms there will be no shortages and they have 12 months supply already in the country

      So all three of you have been shown to be demonstrably wrong in ALL OF YOUR PREDICTIONS

      Which means when you come on here spouting your bile we just fall about laughing

      I want to hear from the 3 of you about how you got it so wrong…. I won’t hold my breath

      • libertarian
        Posted September 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


  47. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Well done Boris for not falling for the Luxembourg stage managed farce.

    Who needs enemies when you have so called EU friends like these.

    We pay into the pot, Luxembourg takes out, simples really.

    The mistake so many of our past Prime Ministers have made, is to believe the EU are our are friends, when really all they want is our money and to be our Masters.

    • steve
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


      “Well done Boris for not falling for the Luxembourg stage managed farce.”

      Luxembourg……the country which did so much and sacrificed so much to fight tyranny. Ha ha ha, LMOA, as they say.

      Where is Luxembourg anyway? I can’t see it on the map, perhaps it’s got lost down the back of the settee or something.

      “The mistake so many of our past Prime Ministers have made, is to believe the EU are our are friends”

      …..I know. the fact that they concocted May’s WA, expect us to sell NI out to the Irish, and expect us to pay them money (while actually they owe us) shows they’re not exactly what you might call friends. ‘BUBS’ as they say in the forces is more near the truth.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Mr Jutson – you’re right. Why can’t remains see that we are viewed by their EU as a convenient treasure island right on its own doorstep? Obviously, they’d rather control us than compete with us.
      Why do remains STILL believe we are wanted in this ‘organisation’ for anything but our money? The EU is not trying to force us into remaining for our own country’s good.
      Project Fear has worked wonders on gullible remainers. There are several of those commenting here, it appears. The closer we get to leaving, the more they froth and foam and abuse – quite a good barometer for judging the imminence of our escape.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Alan … GDP latest figures.

      Now how important is Luxembourg?
      UK 2,828.644 millions of US dollars.
      Lux 68.770 millions of US dollars.
      A p**s in the ocean.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        But Luxembourg has twenty-seven countries of four hundred and fifty million people and umpteen trillion GDP resolutely behind it.

        The Tory UK is viewed globally now, with contempt and mockery on the other hand.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Are they resolutely behind Luxembourg?
          I’ve only heard Macron in support.
          Reports say the EU Presidents and Commissioners were unhappy with the farce set up by their PM.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 20, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          You quote the EU people when it has always been clear that the EU views are made by a very few (like minded autocrats) in each country. Would the EU hold a Ref with a simple question – ‘Have we treated the UK withdrawal fairly? – YES or NO. And would we get to vote in it as they did in ours?

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      @Alan Jutson,

      Yes, I find it very annoying when the PM talks about our ‘friends and partners’ in the EU. It’s as if he thinks it will curry favour with our EU ‘overlords’ if we speak to them nicely. Past PM’s were no exception. All it is likely to do is make them despise us even more for the weakness and craven attitude we show in the negotiations.

  48. ian
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The chances of remainers getting an extension from the EU are not looking good.

  49. Helen Smith
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    You are wasting your time Sir John, Remainers don’t listen, we all know the truth of it but they just don’t care. They can’t win the the real argument, sovereignty, so they pretend it will be an economic disaster if we leave, in truth it would be a huge boost to our economy. That is what is so distressing. We voted to leave the EU to improve the country in every way for the next generation and our politicians simply won’t obey our clear instruction.

  50. William Long
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I find it very interesting that the Leave campaign managed to win, in the total absence of public knowledge and recognition of the facts that you have set out. If they had formed part of the Leave campaign perhaps its victory would have been greater and the REmainers would now find it much more difficult to make their case.

  51. kzb
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Interesting turn around. I’m sure back in the 70’s and 80’s, the reason our industries got decimated was the unions. That is what the Tories said then anyhow. But now we get the truth -it was joining the EEC, all along !

    • agricola
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      No it was a multitude of reasons. The car industry was beset with communist dominated unions and abysmal management. Much of our textile and heavy industry was underinvested and too dependant on labour. It was therefore cheaper to buy from low cost areas overseas. The EEC was the icing on the cake in their demise.

      • kzb
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        But JR seems to be saying it was the EEC that was the main factor! As I said, that is quite a turnaround from when he was in the Thatcher government. In those days he would indeed have said it was the “communist dominated unions and abysmal management”. But now we learn it was joining the EEC, why did he not say this at the time?

        Reply I said nothing of the sort and always argued that the ERM and the single market posed economic threats

  52. Sue Doughty
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Very interesting information, thank you.

  53. Courting Disaster
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    So, the case was put by generally the Remainer side in Court which appears to have been prorogued “for lunch” with the customary Delay by the Remainer side. Well they apologised for running out of their allotted time(!)
    A reference was made to something in the 17th Century said in law. No not about legal witch burning.

  54. Ed M
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I would put Sir John in charge of Brexit over Boris and Gove and Jacob (words deleted as false ed).

    @Sir John, with proper planning (and patience), you could make a great success of Brexit. I don’t know how things will work out with Boris. But I am certain that in the long-term, Brexit would be a great success as long as carried out with proper planning (and patience) and of course honour which I believe is missing in government at highest levels at the moment.

  55. BR
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Yes, even the economic argument is in favour of Leave.

    What a shame that none of the media outlets wants to let anyone say this in a place that most people would see it.

    And when they do, they shout down and interrupt anyone trying to make a point that they don’t want anyone to hear.

    And still, somehow, 53% of us found our way to the truth.

  56. BillM
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I will always question those who state we shall be poorer if we leave the EU especially without a deal with them. Why do they display such negativity towards British ingenuity?
    How do they think the Rest of the World manages to trade with the 27(+1) members without a mutually agreed EU trade deal?
    Why do they believe that this great Country is incapable of managing its own affairs? And why do they believe the unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners in Brussels, are superior to our own elected (and removable) Government?
    And why do they always focus on trade? Our goods exports to the EU over the past 12 months have represented just 8.5% of our total GDP. Why would they want to surrender OUR Country to an Oligarchy for such poor return?
    However, FREEDOM IS PRICELESS and that is much more important than 8.5% of GDP and rule by the EU Oligarchy.

  57. Ian
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Mark B
    Well said indeed.

    I would say that this once proud G. B

    Is now facing its most dangerous period since The Cold. War.

    Our backs are to the wall, we have been put in great danger by those we have put in power to look after our Country, and do right by our people.

    Only those that are in the Remainers camp will vote for more of the same, or certainly a bad deal, like a warm W. A. The Brexit Party is the only lifeboat, and thank God for them

    • Mark B
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Cheers mate.

      I was listening to yesterday’s NF show on LBC today. A Remainer came on the show and talked a lot of sense. He said that the debate is moving on from Leave vs Remain and on to democracy and do we really have it ? It is the latter that is changing people’s minds. People are looking on, no matter what side of the BREXIT argument they are on, in utter disgust at the antics of our MP’s. There is real anger out there and it is growing.

  58. Ed M
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Blueprint for you to be a successful PM of this country (I think).

    Focus firstly on building up the High Tech Sector in this country (which would raise productivity in this country, raise high quality exports, and raise sense of patriotism in the country’s economy, and much more).

    Achieve this, and you have Brexit solved because the real weakness in Brexit’s long-term success is to do with the underlying state of the British economy (being in or out of the EU here is largely / ultimately irrelevant) and the transition period after we leave the EU to about 10+ years later, where you would have to deal with people sick of austerity, and Marist Corbyn looming on the horizon, and where a second referendum could take us back into the EU – but not if our underlying economy was really strong).

    With respect, Ed

  59. Law Watch
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Watching TV with sometimes odd breaks in sound when a Judge asked a question and when the Defence and Prosecutor so to speak, answered accompanied by a voice-over by journalist, was the order of the day.
    Later you could hear the question and answer. Startling! The Judges had obviously not read all the accompanying documents at all.
    They were merely responding to the points and emphases raised by the Defence and Persecutors in person. These two then replied by drawing the Judges’ attention to for example document X1234, paragraph M6782, subsection P5678 relating to document Y paragraph etc etc. Then the Judges needed to look those items up and asked a further question as they did not appear to understand the implications of what they all meant in combination.
    It was very obvious this Court has been rushed to the point of irresponsibility and legal unworthiness. Yes or No their decision should not be counted upon as a reflection of anything at all except the poor state of our Court System and just how much moaning Remainers are able to take advantage of its poverty to waste the time and money of our country and establish a full blown undemocratic state.
    I am full of Ego in that I understood their every word on all sides, I thought they were learn-ed (?) and hope that misfortune never leads me to be wrongly accused of anything if this is the best we’ve got. God help us all!

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    You accurately chronicle the past but the future is much more important. It is a myth that Brexit will have long term economic disadvantages. Assuming that WTO tariffs kick in on 1st November (there is likely to be a delay while systems are put in place), sterling will take the strain. Indeed, the rates of $1.20 and E1.10 to the pound – the current rates when No Deal is assumed – are probably already low enough. We must retain as much of our export markets in the EU until we have invested in import substitution and seeking new export markets.

    Gradually, our economy will adapt. Immigration control will lead to less reliance on cheap alien labour and multi-culturalism that doesn’t work. Within two years, the development of new overseas markets and import substitution will tap into the higher GDP growth outside the EU, no doubt helped by the abolition of much of the EC’s overregulation of the Single Market.

    The only caveat I have is that the private sector must have as much access to capital as possible in order to rationalise and innovate. Current Conservative policy is to increase public expenditure and borrowing. That’s not wise.

    We must be free or die who speak the tongue that Shakespeare wrote.

  61. Edwardm
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Good pertinent points.
    Plus the EU has used our contributions to subsidise other countries to take some of our vehicle manufacturing plants (Ford vans to Turkey and Land Rover to Slovakia).
    One presumes Remoaners (who proclaim leavers are of low intelligence, so doubtless think themselves clever) know all about this, and so I conclude that in trying to make us stay in the EU or tied to it, they are knowingly and deliberately acting against the best interests of the UK and its citizens.

  62. steve
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    As for the courts, well for starters I don’t see why this is the business of any court, be it English or Scottish.

    I sense a great whiff of hypocrisy where the Supreme court is concerned. That court was created by Blair the hater of all things English, for the purpose of undermining the rightful Lords, as they were before he filled the house with his cronies.

    So there we have it….the supreme court was itself created for political ends.

    Scottish courts ?…..well they have no jurisdiction over English matters, so I don’t see what it’s got to do with them either. Hell will freeze over before we get told what to do by any scottish court.

  63. Bloke
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    A Sky News clip of an interview with Boris was presented by the Remainer side in the ongoing Court case showing Boris had “motivation” for allegedly misinforming HM The Queen.
    Boris merely stated the time-honoured mantra of the Brexiteers that the EU will not negotiate properly if they think Remainers in our Parliament will back the EU.
    Of course it was not evidence of “motivation” as first one must establish an evil act was done at all by Boris. Second if it is proven that Boris did something wrong the clip is meaningless as evidence of motivation as the times of prorogation could not stop Remainers.
    Sky News did not mention in its clip of HM Government’s side when it was stated in Court as one might say as a ‘by the way’ that it was debatable whether the Supreme Court had legitimate business in this particular aspect of prorogation that, it was previously explained in great detail to the Court the timetable for Party Conferences including that of the SNP and the dates of meetings with the EU and also that only seven days of Remainers in Parliament would be lost yet the days left were more than enough to do what they wished to do and they had previously voted through a No Deal ban.
    The Remainer case so far is that they “believe” Boris acted illegally and they “believe” he wished to prorogue Parliament to stop Remainers having their way in Parliament. The calendar dates do not confirm Remainers beliefs , that they did not have time nor will not have time despite the seven days to do as they wish.
    A Judge asked the Remainer Counsel which particular bills did Remainers plan to push forward in these seven days. He replied “I don’t know”
    This phrase “I don’t know” rings a bell, and it tells.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Some believe Boris is the DEVIL incarnate and will not change their view. They seem to think the Supreme Court can rule on it!

  64. Yorkie
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    The Remainer case in part in Court is that an extra seven days off work, would disallow them in scrutinising the Government about Brexit. The only scrutinising they could do would be if Government was obliged or compelled to give as Mrs May put it ” a running commentary on negotiations”. The Government is not obliged nor compelled to give commentary in these last days before 31st October 2019 when we leave the EU.
    In any case Remainers and the EU through their spokespeople have repeatedly said Boris and his team have not put anything to be considered on the EU table.
    So what scrutiny have Remainers have in their alleged minds? Whether the EU has a nice table cloth, clean mineral water glasses, standard of waiter or waitress service?
    Oh, important, why are people of all political hues allowed right outside the Supreme Court harassing those who enter? It cannot be to influence decisions. That would be unlawful.

  65. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Is the argument seriously being made that there are no benefits to being in the Single Market and a Customs Union? When leavers make this argument they make themselves look both daft and somewhat fanatical. Argue against the loss of sovereignty and the loss of democracy in a political union. But to argue against a Common Market is counter productive.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      It is a lop sided benefit Mike.
      We pay £15 billion a year to the EU and get a £100 billion a year deficit on trade with the EU.

    • Pud
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Is the argument seriously being made that there are no disadvantages to being in the Single Market and a Customs Union? When remainers make this argument they make themselves look both daft and somewhat fanatical.

    • Dan
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      No one is suggesting that there are not benefits to being in the SM and CU, however, what people are saying is that there are downsides. The argument about the EU is not mainly about trade, as you have said, it is about sovereignty, about who governs us. We can remove our government if we do not like what they are doing. We cannot remove the EU’s multitude of presidents or their council.
      We can still trade with the SM and within the CU when we have left the EU and the Common Market does not really exist anymore as it was originally formed. We can thrive outside of the EU, to suggest otherwise is nonsense.

  66. Michael Barton
    Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    How much of the UK Export Economy Will Be Hit by High Tariffs under WTO with the EU?
    • The UK’s economy is valued at around £2.2 trillion (GDP)
    • Of this around £550 billion is through trade with the EU (25% of UK GDP)
    • Of this trade with the EU, around £250 billion is exports (around 11% of UK GDP)
    • Of this, around 40% is services with 0% tariff under WTO (£100 billion)
    • This leaves around £150 billion of exports which will be subject to tariffs (around 7% of UK GDP)
    • Of these, according to The International Trade Centre’s Trade Map and the UK Government’s No Deal Tariffs analysis, 49% of our trade in goods with the EU would remain tariff free (around 3.5% of UK GDP)
    • 45% (£68 billion) would be subject to tariffs of less than 10% (around 3.25% of UK GDP)
    • 6% of UK exports to the EU would suffer with tariffs of higher than 10%. This is around £9 billion of the UK’s total exports to the EU. Put another way, around 0.4% of UK GDP.

    Do you believe that exporters cannot mitigate for 10% tariffs, when the fall of sterling has made UK exports to the EU 30% more competitive? Are we really dithering over 0.4% of the UK economy? This is the message that the electorate really need to hear.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post Michael.
      Many thanks.

    • villaking
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that a Leaver would ask if we are “really dithering over 0.4% of the UK economy” with that being roughly the same amount as our net contribution to the EU budget that Leave keeps banging on about.
      Sterling’s depreciation against the Euro since the referendum (which by the way is about half the level you state) does nothing to assist exporters when on November 1st they suddenly become much less competitive compared to their EU based competitors because of new tariffs. The exporters affected tend to be manufacturing businesses and employ a good many people. Very often their raw materials are sourced overseas in the EU or Far East and sterling’s weakness hurts them badly for this reason. Trust me, I manage a manufacturing business of 120 people that is presently dealing with these challenges.
      Not quite as simple as you think in the real world. But that is very typical of Leave supporters.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Sterling’s depreciation will improve UK exporter’s prospects because it makes their products relatively cheaper in overseas markets.
        Tariffs are low on average and are a small percentage of final selling prices.
        Raw materials are usually priced in dollars and are controlled by world markets prices.
        You realised all thatI guess.

  67. Elise
    Posted September 18, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Areas where we may have a problem when we leave. Taken from Jack Mac comment (18 Sept 4.06 pm) in DT Alison Pearson article of 17 Sep.
    1. We shall be excluded from EU space program. Some may have military potential.
    2.We lose right to be part of design and manufacture of EU satellites (military risk potential)
    3 We shall be ousted from input into committees dealing with Eurocode systems. Important for engineering, civil engineering and geotechnical works. Eurocode becoming world standard and so be at a disadvantage for lucrative contracts.
    4. Loss of our ‘early member’ benefits of EU.

    Any views on this please?

    Reply The UK has set out an ambitious new UK space programme, including new space ports in Scotland and Cornwall, and planned launches of smaller satellites with commercial participation.

  68. Dom
    Posted September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink


  • 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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