Trade deals – again

Labour, Lib Dems and Greens continue with their mantra – EU trade deal good, US trade deal bad. It is so silly.

We trade successfully with the USA, China and others today without the benefit of a specific Free Trade deal. Were we to be able to negotiate a Free Trade Deal with countries like them we would be able to improve a bit on the current strong trade flows by cutting tariffs and removing some other barriers.

There would be no need to sign a deal with any third country that did damage to the UK. We trade perfectly well now, so we should only sign a deal which improved on current trading. It is absurd to say we would have to privatise the NHS to have a FTA with the USA. No UK government or Parliament would accept such a proposition, and the President of the USA has already said he understands that.

This silly attack has now transmuted into some convoluted argument about the terms for importing and exporting drugs. Again, no UK government would sign a deal which harmed our exports of drugs to the USA, or which forced up the prices of imports from the USA. An FTA is only worth doing if things are better afterwards. The idea is to bring prices down by scrapping tariffs where goods currently attract these and where the tariff can be removed with no countervailing negative.

Meanwhile they also say we could not trade successfully or even at all if we do not have a specific agreement with the EU. This is another lie, ignoring the Political declaration signed by the EU which states our future relationship will be based around a Free Trade Agreement. The EU and all its members are also members of the WTO as we are. Our trade will continue to be primarily regulated by WTO controls against trade friction under the Facilitation of Trade Agreement and the tariff agreement that is central to the WTO with its most favoured nation basis. The EU signed the Political declaration for an FTA because it wants one. It is not some gift to the UK that we have to pay more for.

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  1. Shirley
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    We know all that. The question should be: How do we stop politicians (and the MSM) from deliberately deceiving the public, which they do for the sole reason of obtaining votes for their preferred candidates?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Good Morning,
      Under no circumstances should Mr. Johnson be allowed to be interviewed by Andrew Neil; the Boris Brexit lies will be exposed and our chance to get out could be jeopardised. In addition, who wants to see BJ huffing and puffing and blustering away for 30 mins, trying to string a coherent sentence together.

      We will not get a reasonable FTA from the EU UNTIL the corporations in Europe insist on having one for their own benefit. The EU wants the UK to suffer, if we prosper then the lies of the EU bureaucracy will be clear to all.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        In reality it will make little difference whether or not we get a special trade deal with the EU. Ask Michel Barnier how much economic benefit has come from the creation of the EU Single Market and he may refer you to his own report estimating it as about 2% of GDP, on average across all the EU member states. Then ask how much the UK has gained and the answer is about half that average, so about 1% of GDP. Then ask how much the often inappropriate, because politically motivated, regulation of the EU Single Market costs and the EU itself estimates that as several times the benefit, so the net effect may well be small and negative rather than small and positive. Then ask the German Ifo institute how much the UK would lose if it left the EU without a special trade deal and simply defaulted to WTO terms of trade, and their answer would be about 2% of GDP. Then put those numbers in the context of the natural growth of the UK economy at a long term trend rate of 2.5% a year and you can see how the whole we must have a special trade deal with the EU or face catastrophe thing is total deceitful nonsense.

      • Hope
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Leaked document currently being discussed appears to have sunk your govt credibility further particularly regarding NI. Clear NI will will be in EU and technically in U.K..

        Please explain to us JR, this govt paper leaked today without waffle, spin, speciousmexcuses etc.

        Traitor Major advocating voters not to vote Tory!

        • Hope
          Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Why do former heads of civil service, cabinet secretaries always become Labour cheer leaders? Why is there still leaks happening?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        How does the European Union “want”?

        Only people can want.

        So who are they?

        The twenty-eight leaders of the democracies, who together are its supreme authority? And to whom the Commission answer, as well as to the parliament?

        Or is it all four hundred and fifty million of its people?

        Come on, who? And please provide evidence for your strange claim, that the European Union is apparently some abstract, ghostly, wilful entity.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The EU signed an FTA with Japan which will potentially destroy our motor industry
    What’s good about that.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Great for Japan. They take back (car) manufacturing to their homeland, but keep FTA to sell to EU. Whats not to like?

    • rick hamilton
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      In what way will it destroy our motor industry? Japan has had zero import duty on foreign cars for decades, whereas the EU charged 10% on Japanese imports. That will be reduced to zero over an 8 year period. A lot can change in that time, especially exchange rates which are often a bigger influence then tariffs.

  3. Mark B
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This is not a EU good, USA bad scenario, this is just anti-President Trump rhetoric. President Trump would be happy to see the UK out of the EU, therefore he is bad as those that wish to Remain, including the Conservative Party, albeit under a different banner.

    The opposition parties cannot play ball so they have chosen to play the man. They have decided that they cannot win with ever more jam for tomorrow as we simply do not believe them. So it is better to accuse them and bring them down that way. Also, as mentioned by others here, we are witnessing displacement activity. None of the opposition parties have credible plans for this country’s future, how can they all the while we are in the EU ?

    The WA does not deliver BREXIT and partitions the UK down the Irish Sea. As mentioned here – What are we transitioning too ? The PD is not legally binding and, the EU have most of what they want in the WA, so there is no incentive for them to negotiate. We have been betrayed and the Tories seek an outright large majority so as to avoid any MP’s that might wish to vote against the government.

    • Hope
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Mark, the PD is legally binding. That is a common mistake. Farage, made the point again last night to Andrew Neil. Read Martin Howe QC on that point. Therefore not to negotiateon the terms of the WA or PD in good faith is challengable and actionable by ECJ who is the arbiter.

      Vassalage Johnson and Rees- Mogg called it on numerous occasions then voted for it. Now they falsely claim it is a new deal. It is not. That is a lie. EU claims it is a clarification.

      Johnson knows it is a trap that he has not changed. A trap tomensure the UK is not more competitive than the EU and all the level playing field clauses. His only escape is not agreeing a trade deal by 1st July 2020 and leave without one.

      • Hope
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Article 184 WA.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Yet Martin Howe says, in effect, that we should suck it up.

        • Hope
          Posted December 7, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          Dennis, The change of heart came as he was selected to be a a canadadate to be a Tory MP!

      • Simeon
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        An escape he has no intention of making (though even if he did, Parliament would thwart him, not least on the basis of the Tory manifesto!).

  4. Gordon Pugh
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    What a profoundly ill-informed post. The very instant we leave the EU, we lose the benefits of all the many trade deals and associated trade facilitating deals that the EU has negotiated with the wider world over the last 40 years, as well as losing all the benefits of the EU’s single market. So you say we should only sign a deal which improved on current trading, while advocating Brexit which is a deal that damages every shred of current trading. As ever, the Brexiters have no understanding what they voted for

    Re[ply Most of the EU’s trade deals have been rolled over to the reduced EU and Uk.

    • dixie
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      So what exactly did Remainders vote for?

      And by exactly I mean what specific consequences were there if we had voted remain in terms of changes to laws, taxes, financing, regulations, defence, procurement, and all the myriad ways in which the EU and it’s creatures interfere with our affairs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The benefits of the EU Single Market, such as our massive trade deficit …

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      There is a far more important issue than trade deals at stake. That is the ability to govern ourselves as the independent sovereign nation we were before Traitor Heath signed us up to the EU.

      Trade deals come and go but the loss of our sovereignty lasts for ever unless we recover it through armed conflict.

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Gordon, As ever, Remains have no understanding of what Leaves voted for.

  5. Simeon
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    We’re already paying for a seat at the negotiating table with the EU. That, as you yourself have said, is what the WA in part is. Given that, why wouldn’t the UK government pony up more goodies to achieve what it is evidently so desperate for?

    We both know what is best for the national interest in this regard. But it is what is in the party’s interest that will be done. This is minimal disruption to the economy as is, and therefore the closest possible alignment with the EU. Of course, the quicker Brexit (BRINO/Remain) is ‘done’ the better, which is convenient, because minimal tweaks to our existing arrangements with the EU may well be possible in the brief time frame available.

  6. Garland
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    In the past several people have asked you to provide one example of a country being found to have violated the WTO’s Facilitation of Trade Agreement, and to tell us what the outcome was. You have never provided an answer. Do you have one? Unless you do, the idea that the WTO protects free trade as well as the EU is a nonsense

    Reply Any member can b ring an action against misbehaviour so a proper process follows to investigate and if necessary correct behaviour. The EU has recently been found guilty of illegal Airbus subsidies under WTO rules and the USA empowered to recoup through compensatory tariffs.

    • Len Peel
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      So you are not able to give us even one example of a violation of the Trade Facilitation agreement! (Airbus has nothing to do with it)

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Would it be good or bad news if there had been a violation?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      So the EU collectively and each of its member states individually signed up to this new WTO treaty, which only came into force in February 2017, but you think that they are so untrustworthy that they might not observe its terms in their dealings with the UK once we had left the EU. And the only way to convince you and your chum below that the EU and its member states would not breach that treaty is to cite at least one case where some country has been found to have violated the treaty, over the past two and a half years, and it was taken to task by the WTO. Is that correct?

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Garland, The EU does not “protect” free trade; that is nonsense. The EU is registered at the WTO as an RTA, and must comply with WTO rules. “Violations” of WTO rules are dealt with by consensus, negotiation and agreement. Unlike the EU which is an autocratic dirigiste rule maker enforced by a court. The FTA entered into force Feb 2017 and some countries only accepted it this year. Like other WTO rules it is primarily self policing. You’re asking a wrong question.

    • dixie
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @Garland – The EU does not protect free trade.

      The WTO is an agency for free and fair trade across the globe, the EU is a protectionist association focused on the needs of Germany and France and is opposed to such free trade.

  7. Dominic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Let’s drop the pretence please. Our relationship with the EU is still legally binding and prevents us from acting unilaterally across many public policy areas such as general levels of taxation, judicial independence and the military. To suggest otherwise is deeply disingenuous

    And a UK-EU FTA. I don’t think so. The EU’s (Germany and France) aim is simple, to bring the UK under its control at all costs by any means

    Let’s hope the socialists in the US Congress fail in their attempts to splinter US democracy by impeaching the democratically elected POTUS. If they succeed a US-UK FTA is unlikely ever to happen

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they should just call a snap presidential election instead, you know, the sort of thing that happens in strange countries without written constitutions?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        but it might bring needed change, unlike countries (like the USA) who do have long written constitution, but nothing happens due the the voting structure (seems familiar somehow) so eventually the President uses ‘presidential orders’ in order to break deadlock. Thus becoming a dicatorship briefly….can’t wait for President Corbyn’s first command?

  8. Martyn G
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    From my lay perspective, all that you say is true but why is it that you seem to be the only voice in the wilderness pointing it out to gainsay all those conflating fact with politics and fiction with the one aim of keeping us chained to the EU? Why is Boris not shouting it from the rooftops to refute the remain merchants of doom?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      He’s either not brave enough or is playing it safe at this delicate time.
      OR..we reindeer , scammed by BP and terrified of Corbyn , have been neatly corralled to the cliff edge. The price of our salvation will be a Tory vote but we will get no Brexit I bet!
      What do they say? The blonde May?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      I’d carefully analyse your perspective, Martyn, if I were you.

  9. Kenneth
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry to be off topic but the very very very last thing small businesses want are yet MORE business advisers.

    Mr Corbyn has apparently pledged to install them in post offices.

    He doesn’t have a clue.

    • Shirley
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Many ‘advisers’ like them, as they get such large amounts of money for doing very little, with no risk or responsibility whatsoever. I have personally seen the Chamber of Commerce promoting these money making schemes to advisers, which benefits small business very little, or not at all, but is a great money making scheme for the advisers.

      • Shirley
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        ps. I should have mentioned it is government (taxpayers) money that is wasted on these schemes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Those than can do those that can’t advise!

        An excellent book is – Rip-off!: The Scandalous Inside Story of the Management Consulting Money Machine Paperback – 15 Apr 2005
        by David Craig (Author)

        Is there even any room in post offices now that most have closed down or been put in the corner of some shop or other?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      And he obviously doesn’t realise that many Post Offices have been relegated to a single counter in a corner shop. ( Thanks, I believe to slavish adherence to EU “ harmonising”).
      It’ll be a bit of a squeeze.

      • hefner
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Funny, for what I could recently see of Deutsche Post/DHL in Germany, Correos in Spain, and La Poste in France, these postal services do not appear to be relegated to single counters in corner shops, but have proper dedicated and large spaces in commercial centres or even their own buildings. So I would not claim such ‘harmonising’ being enforced.
        It has nothing to do either with privatisation as a lot of them in continental Europe have been partly or fully privatised for years.
        Instead ask the British politicians and the UK Post office top management why the postal services here have become what they presently are.

        It is so ‘easy’ to blame the big bad EUlf. It certainly encourages the lazy thinking quite prevalent in some of the contributors to this blog.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 7, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          Nevertheless if one of Corbyn’s consultants came to my local“Post Office” it would be a terrible squash.
          I know this for a fact. A while back someone was sent to “train” the postmaster in some new procedure and she more or less had to operate from the cat food stand. Most uncomfortable I should imagine!
          I think that you should read up about the EU’s part in destroying the UK’s postal service. It is most interesting.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      He does indeed not have a clue. Corbyn even said that “he could not imagine any Landlords would object to having their properties annually inspected by the government” (doubless for a fee and with the threat of up to £100,000 of fines). Sure Corbyn – are there any Landlords who would not object to this back door nationalisation?

      You would even get some tenants actually damaging properties (either to get rent back/reductions or get back at their landlords if this came about. Plus rent would have to go up to pay for it all or landlords would have to go bust or shut up shop.

      The state is grossly incompetent at nearly all that it does already – the last thing we need is even more, largely parasitic, workers employed inconveniencing and funded by the productive!

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        You can be sure that the inspections would be confined to the responsible landlords, who facilitate their work by responding with the paperwork.
        All the properties crammed with illegal immigrants would be overlooked.

      • Stred
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        They claim that a quartet of private rentals are sub standard including damp conditions. The most common problem is condensation, which is almost always caused by tenants drying clothes inside or not ventilating kitchens and bathrooms. The Shelter guidance is very good on this subject and most council officers know the reasons. However, there are many councils that have activist departments that would fine landlords when the tenant refuses to accept responsibility for the damp. I would sell up and move abroad taking what is left after CG T as my council is insane.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2019 at 3:12 am | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Our Post Offices for miles around have been closed. Queues typically build up in a single counter WH Smith. Will Corbyn announce a scheme to rent space in WH Smiths nationwide?

  10. Andy
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Parliament, of course, has no say in trade deals. The government signs what it likes and the rest of us have to lump it.

    The EU has said it wants a free trade deal. But the more ambitious the free trade deal you want, the more you are going to have to accept EU rules and standards. So if you want full free and frictionless trade – pretty much like we have now – you’ll need to basically follow EU rules on workers rights, consumer rights and the environment. The so called level playing field. This will mean effective oversight of the ECJ but without any say in the creation of the rules we have to follow. In other words you will all have spent 4 years getting us into a far worse position than we are in now.

    As for a US trade deal. I am not sure why you are all so keen on one. The EU negotiated a far more comprehensive deal with the US than anything we’ll get. This deal is called TTIP and, unlike Brexit, it is actually oven ready. Predictably, it required lower standards of food safety in Europe and put the NHS up for sale. Unlike any trade deal the UK government signs – which can just be imposed on us by Boris and co – an EU/US trade deal would need ratification by Parliament.

    In any case I don’t know why you all know care about trade. There is no trade arrange in the world that comes close to the single market and customs union in terms of depth, barriers removed and all round completeness. It is literally the brand new Rolls Royce of trade. And you will be trading it in for a second hand Austin Allegro.

    Why don’t we just look at immigration – which is the real reason that most of you voted Leave anyway. All those foreigners.

    Reply So many wrong statements e.g. Parliament does have to legislate for a Trade Treaty so a government can only sign such a treaty where it knows it has a majority to implement it. membership of the EU is far more than a trade relationship. Other countries do not pay the EU £12bn a year for the privilege of buying their exports.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      A gain of about 2% of the collective GDP of the EU member states, that is the benefit of the EU Single Market according to a report issued by Michel Barnier when he was the responsible EU Commissioner. For some reason Theresa May never thought to point this out during the negotiations with him, she never brought it to the attention of the public that even that average gross gain was marginal, let alone below average gross gain for the UK, let alone the fact that after taking into account the high costs of the Single Market the net impact on the UK economy may well be negative. Instead she allowed/encouraged the eurofanatic Philip Hammond to issue a new edition of the Project Fear pack of lies produced by the equally eurofanatic George Osborne.

    • Andy
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Other countries do not have access to the free and frictionless trade in the way we do. And, alas, as an MP you have little to no say in future trade deals. Have you wondered what will happen if you don’t like them? Remember it won’t always be Tories negotiating them. What an awful system.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        Notice any shortages of goods in the UK from all over the non EU world?
        Me neither.

    • outsider
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes Andy. It seemed to me also that the proposed EU-US TTIP would put the NHS up for sale. EU institutions such as the Commission and the ECB do not like the NHS. So logically we have six days to save the NHS by ensuring a Brexit majority at the election.
      That is another reason why an “independent” UK should not put the United States
      anywhere near the top of our priorities for trade deals. Long before President Trump, all the powerful US lobby groups had armed the US International Trade Commission with their agendas for the purposes of the EU TTIP talks. We would be starting from scratch.

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The EU’s “free trade deal” is neither free, nor trade, nor a deal. We don’t want to swap trade for EU government any more. Nor should we continue to pay £bns of Danegeld to the EU for the “privilege” of trading with it.

      The EU states: “The TTIP negotiations were launched in 2013 and ended without conclusion at the end of 2016. A Council decision of 15 April 2019 states that the negotiating directives for the TTIP are obsolete and no longer relevant.” So not oven ready after all.

      We simply want freedom and independence. We don’t want your dirigiste, corrupt EU empire occupying our country ever again. Even you should be able to grasp that.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but the Boris Deal is not remotely good enough. If signed as currently set out it will damage the UK very considerable in its ability to compete and to negotiate.

    The main thing is we need to be competitive. Far lowers taxes, far less government, cheap reliable energy, a bonfire or red tape plus easy hire and fire. Free people to spend their own money as the choose. The Boris deal is as Farage says a damaging trap that will put us back into crisis within a few months. Once Boris has a majority it need to be amended. It was negotiated with the appalling surrender act which handicaps the government appallingly before the election,

    • Andy
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      The Boris deal is Brexit. Get used to it,

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        It is nothing like a real Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      So the, wrong on almost everything, John (ERM disaster) Major and Tony (counterproductive war on a blatant lie) Blair want people to vote Libdim or similar. So as to ensure another powerless hung parliament and yet more endless dithering, fake and gerrymandered referendums (do you want remain A or remain B and perhaps a break up of the union too.

      This should all help Boris given how much these two ex PMs are despised by nearly all sensible voters.

      What on earth made Mrs Thatcher appoint the innumerate dope John Major to become Chancellor and then let him take over and destroy the Conservatives. They have still not really recovered from the mess he left and the even bigger mess the dire May left. Let us pray that Boris can keep the mad Marxists & SNP out of power. Not that I would ever pray of course.

  12. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Our trade with the European Union is roughly equal to that with the whole rest of the world combined, including the US.

    That is why a proper arrangement to continue the first is essential. Furthermore, the European Union has a moral dimension, and it would not impose socially or in any other way damaging conditions for the people of this country, such as diminished food standards or increased health care costs.

    The US, on the other hand, is unrestrained by such considerations, and its own interests are paramount, irrespective of the consequences for the minor partner in any deal.

    Silly, such concerns are not, then.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      We have an annual £80 billion deficit in our trade with the EU.
      We have a surplus on non EU trade.

      Trade with the EU will continue after we leave.

      We already trade with America and have done so for well over a century.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Eighty billion?

        That’s half a percent of the European Union’s GDP, Edward.

        We have a healthy surplus in services, incidentally.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          False comparison.
          It has no connection to the total GDP of 28 nations.
          It costs the UK that amount of money to trade with the EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Food standards.

      The diet of the average Brit is awful. It is junk food. Obesity has never been worse…

      …whilst in the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        No, the diet of Leave voters might be.

        But they tend not to make good choices in their best interests, don’t they?

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Martin, Don’t you mean an immoral dimension? The EU is an antidemocratic, authoritarian ideology which has nearly conquered this country. It has been imposing damaging conditions on us since before we joined – stealing our fish, our money, and our democracy.

      The UK’s total exports are 30.4% of UK GDP; our exports to the EU are c12.6% UK GDP (Pink Book 2019, Rotterdam effect allowed for). So our exports to the EU are nothing like “equal” to our exports to the rest of the world. There is absolutely no sense in allowing a corrupt regime to control 8/8ths of our trade for the benefit of only 1/8th of our exports.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink


  13. JoolsB
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Labour have always used the NHS as a political weapon in every election. The left won’t let a little thing like the truth get in the way of their scaremongering and will lie to the back teeth about the NHS right up to polling day and beyond especially if they can combine it with their hatred of the USA. The irony is that most of the so called privatisation of the NHS took place on Blair’s watch but the problem is Tory MPs are rubbish at calling them out for what they are – liars. The Brexit party have no problem in using the L word yet Tory MPs do for some absurd reason. They need to join Labour at their own game and start playing dirty.

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Amazing isn’t it that we now have Boris and one or two other Conservatives saying if our trade talks with the EU fail in the next year, after we have passed the WA, we will walk away without a deal, and trade on WTO terms.

    Why on earth then are they wanting to sign up to the Purile Withdrawal Agreement first, before agreeing such a deal, because once signed up, we are surely committed to paying huge sums of money, and accepting a whole host of EU rules and regulations, and then still leaving on WTO terms.

    Why not at least link the two together “Nothing is agreed until all is agreed”

    No trade deal no WA, otherwise we may just as well walk away now.

    Am I missing something ?

    • Stred
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      All Conservative candidates have signed up to support the WA and PD and the Commission is requiring that these are signed before the talks on trade begin. This will be signed early next year. This was the mistake or deliberate capitulation agreed by May. Candidates have not, apparently, been asked to sign up to support a WTO exit and many previously voted to prevent a ‘no deal. The situation in a years time will be the same unless they agree to use our only trump hand, which the EU fears. They rely on the Remainer MPs to do their work and prevent a genuine Brexit.

      • Hope
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Alan, I think you might be. It is about votes to get in power. Playing this narrative attracts remainers and leavers as a compromise to vote for Boris. Once in office one side will be betrayed. Based on their record to date over nearly four years which one do you think it might be?

      • Simeon
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Remainer MPs led by Boris Johnson. The mainstream ‘sensible’ Remainers, recognise that Brexit ought to be either delivered in name only, thereby ‘honouring’ the referendum, or offered to the people in a second referendum, against simply remaining.

        The debate is no longer about whether we leave or not; we are remaining. Rather, the debate is by which ‘democratic’ means we do remain (BJ’s BRINO/Remain delivered through this GE, or Corbyn’s BRINO-Remain referendum – though a minor variation on the theme is possible if BJ leads a minority or coalition government).

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


        Just because May agreed to it personally, and it was not passed by Parliament, why will Boris have to agree to it.

        If Boris is elected we will have a NEW Government, I thought one government cannot be hamstrung by the decisions of the old one !

        Utter madness to agree to this particular WA.

        I certainly hope JR votes against it.

        • Stred
          Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          We can only hope but it’s Conservative Remain Central Office in charge with Boris on a leash and big business is the client.

      • L Jones
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        ”All Conservative candidates have signed up to support the WA and PD….”
        Apparently so. And therefore what happened to the ”pledge” of ”abandoning Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as dead.” ?(
        Or is a pledge so worthless now that these perfidious MPs who once put their name to this oath can ignore it? (I don’t include our host.)

        (I keep checking to see if the site is still there – as it is a damning indictment of MPs who so lightly break their word of honour.)

        • L Jones
          Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Today I received another flyer from my Conservative MP, who writes of ”our good new deal”.
          That we are patronised by people such as this, when they MUST surely know that WE know it’s not a ”new deal” by any stretch of the imagination, is galling beyond belief.
          (Unless, of course, they haven’t actually read it for themselves – though she says she has. In which case, she didn’t read Mrs May’s deal previously so cannot compare.)

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Alan all you are missing is one great big bloody con.

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Alan, You are perfectly right. There is no sense in the Boris WA whatsoever. It locks us back under EU control, and jeopardises the possibility of a proper free trade deal. As you say, we might as well go WTO now and save ourselves a heap of money. But you and I know the Tory party will not allow that.

  15. Fred H
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that the terms ‘car crash’ and ‘going over the cliff edge’ are not being used now. I wonder why that is? Do the interviewers and commentators realise it will not be the case, and the electorate are wising up to the nonsense? The parties also changed attack and list many give aways that they hope will buy votes. No real talk of disaster but things are so good they can do wonderful handouts!

  16. RAF
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Any deal based on the EU’s WA will cost the UK, not just money but our freedom. It’s clear from the WA/PD, whether May’s or Johnson’s version, that curtailing our freedom and controlling our future actions is the objective.
    Of course, the loss of our financial contributions is a factor to be planned for and overcome but the very real threat of the UK’s ability to act as it sees fit, free from the cloying rules of the control freaks in Brussels, is what will drive the EU to try and play every bullying trick in their play-book to stop us.
    Bearing in mind that Johnson’s WA still retains much of May’s disastrous version, just how will signing his version enable the UK to be free and in control? Of course, he could be planning to tear up the WA/PD and demand a workable FTA using the threat of leaving on WTO terms; on the other hand he could be planning to agree to a deal that will impose conditions and restraints that will damage the UK.
    If he chooses the latter path, damaging not just the UK but the Tory Party which, after May’s shenanigans, will be hard pressed to survive another blatant deceit by their leader(s). So much information is out in the public domain that attempting to spin, “A brilliant deal,” when it’s a crock, will not succeed.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Vote Remain get Hard Remain

      Vote Leave get Harder Remain (forced via a can kicking Tory MP and a Marxist takeover of Labour)

      I forecast this. When (if) Boris gets his majority and Swinson takes a dive Andy and Newmania will still come here and tell us that the country voted for Remain.

  17. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Goods are inspected at the production end – livestock especially. The inspector has to be EU approved at the moment. The goods – or livestock – are then transported in sealed transport to their destination.
    The EU works on a single market and its rules are much more exclusive than, say, they are with USA or China. Once you are outside the walls of the single market, you are a third country and the rules simply are turned off. The EU has stated this in typical detail in the Advice to Stakeholders.
    To be honest, I know nothing about China or USA trade at all and only what I have read about the EU. But is the WTO not on its last legs? I thought President Trump was withdrawing from it?

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Mike, The EU is registered at the WTO as an RTA. No, the WTO is not on its last legs. When I was involved with exports we complied with what the customer wanted. Whether the products were sold in the UK, the USA, or Germany the customer’s specifications were paramount. The state’s rules (USA, UK, EU) played only an insignificant part in the proceedings.

  18. agricola
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The trade deal with the EU is restrictive, it dictates how we trade with the rest of the World as things stand at the moment.

    A deal with the USA, China or anywhere else does not dictate our buying decisions. All such deals do is remove or reduce tariffs ,making the end product cheaper. There is no compulsion in that type of deal.

    The key to it all is a Conservative majority government on 13th January, followed by a rapid exit from the EU preferably without signing the restrictive WA2. We can then concentrate on getting theses deals done around the World while the EU decides whether it wants a free Trade Deal with us or not. We have played the EU’s game for over three years, time to be decisive. Things of mutual benefit in WA2 can be put in a treaty.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Serious question: do you honestly believe that Remainer Tories would stand for that given the manifesto they were elected on? Why do you think the vast majority of Remainer Tories have happily signed up to BJ’s deal, but couldht possibly countenance a proper Brexit?

  19. Kevin
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    “It is not some gift to the UK that we have to pay more for.”

    Is that because we are already giving them a £39 billion “leaving present” as you once termed it? Besides, the “absurd” talk about an FTA with America involving the NHS distracts from Clause 72 of the PD, which requires the UK to cooperate with the EU on the development of measures for the regulation of fisheries, “in a non-discriminatory manner”. Not only is it argued that this would effectively keep us in the CFP, but, as Nigel Farage reminded us yesterday, Art. 184 of the legally binding WA imposes an obligation on the UK (which to date has not gone “no deal”) to use “best endeavours, in good faith” to negotiate the agreements referred to in the PD.

  20. Hope
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Trade deals are not required to trade with other countries. The Tory govt have deliberately failed to champion this point to deceive steer the public it is a requirement to leave the EU. It is not.

    The Tory govt actively sabotaged the U.K. from leaving the EU. To vote for them again in the belifbit would deliver would be madness.

    Mayhab knew what she was doing by using every tactic to delay leaving the EU. She colluded and connived with the EU stopping our departure until the public gave up.

    Tusk admits today he asked Cameron to ignore the vote, effectively he hoped delay would change our minds. Mayhab went along with it and produced a servitude plan that would mean we had not actually left! Johnson and Rees-Mogg voted for it, it should not be a surprise they now claim the vassalage plan as new to deceive the public again.

    The Tory govt betrayed the largest democratic vote in history. Tory party should never get a single vote for betraying democracy.

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Hope, Sad to say, you are correct.

  21. BillM
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I still do not understand why so much emphasis is placed on our Trade with the EU. It totals less than our trade with the Rest of the World and represents only around 10% of our GDP. How even given to protectionism that is levied by the EU upon our imports from outside of Europe, we are forced to purchase items from the EU rather than the cheaper sources around the globe. So much so that we have a running trade deficit of around £80 Billions per year with them. Yet they treat us as their underlings who are expected to obey their commands and keep silent.
    Why all the fuss over EU trade when it is obviously more beneficial to the EU than to ourselves? Is it any wonder that the British public who realise this are fed up with the fiddles and fudges that are continuing thus delaying our departure from EU jurisdiction i the process?
    I hope that the Conservatives given a good majority will re-assess the May WA Mk2 to ensure we leave immediately on Jan 31st with or without a FTA at the time. No more delays no more BS. 3 and 1/2 years on and ‘Getting Brexit done’ is sounding very hollow right now.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      BillM ……I pray your last para comes true.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      The answer to your first question, which may be somewhat uncomfortable for our host, is that going right back to Macmillan those leading the Tory party have always vastly over-stated the value of our trade with the continent in order to push forward their political, or more correctly geopolitical, project. It is true that not all of them were driven by the eurofederalism to which the archtraitor Heath was committed, but even Margaret Thatcher must have believed in the project for a time. This is why you are unlikely to hear Boris Johnson or any other senior Tory telling the unvarnished truth that the economic impact of our EU membership has always been and still is only marginal, and may well be marginally negative rather than marginally positive, and why they fall into the trap of invoking the prospects of alternative special trade deals around the world, the economic impact of which would also be marginal.

      • BillM
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        I cannot see the economic benefits of becoming independent of the EU jackboots, especially in world trade, to be nothing but huge for this country and its consumers. We shall be able to buy what we want from whoever we chose without being controlled by the Brussels protectionist machinery.
        A machinery, incidentally, that is looking past its replacement date. But will the New EU Commission alter anything? Nah, no chance.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    “We would be able to improve a bit” – just “a bit” could apply to the net economic impact of new trade deals around the world, as well as the impact of the Single Market trade deal we currently have with the other EU member states.

    As I have said repeatedly it is all vastly over-blown, primarily for political or geopolitical purposes, and thanks above all to those who have led the Tory party since the war.

    I would also like to repeat my comment from yesterday:

    “Interesting snippet on page 27 of CityAM today:

    “JAPAN’s upper house ratified a trade deal with the US yesterday just nine months after negotiations began … ”

    Well, it’s only a “mini-deal”, but it’s possible that such a deal could yield a large chunk of whatever limited economic benefits might be available, compared to say continuing to trade on WTO terms, and having done that basic and easy deal speedily various other elements and refinements could be added later at a more leisurely pace.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to take as long as the EU takes with its trade deals.”

  23. Leaver
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    My fear is that the WTO looks dead as a dodo, so I’m not sure what rules we are going to trade on.

    I think we are heading into a big tradewar with China, the US and the Eurozone setting the rules. I have no idea what that means for the UK.

    • Len Peel
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It means the UK will be on the outside, weak and powerless. Brexit in a nutshell

      • Fred H
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Len – – no change there then!

      • Edward2
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Ridiculous Len.
        The UK is the world’s sixth biggest economy where millions want to come and live.
        We are one of the world’s most lucrative markets for international companies.
        We are one of the world’s top nations for service industries like finance, insurance, banking and IT.
        The opportunity to expand and grow further after we are free of the EU is enormous.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh, are all those nations going to abrogate the WTO treaties, then?

      Complete twaddle, and I see straight through your fake concern.

      • Leaver
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know what will happen regarding the W.T.O. But nothing I have read indicates it is in a healthy state.

        It’s perfectly rational to worry about the current trading climate. I don’t think it’s good for anyone. I say this as an out and out free-trader, so I think we sing from the same sheet.

        And I’m not saying I know what the answer is. And, while I am impressed by your conviction, referring to my post as ‘complete twaddle’ is not an argument.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

          Oh you are a free trader Leaver…..yeah right.
          Just like your hero Professor Minford.

          • Leaver
            Posted December 7, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

            Er … I absolutely believe in free trade. Always have done. Big fan of the wealth of nations, Schumpter’s idea of creative destruction, and Milton Friedman, et cetera. Not so much Patrick Minford.

            I think you have the wrong person.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 7, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Yet you like the EU with its protectionist regulated single market.
            It is an odd combination.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 7, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          It is a description, and an accurate description.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      it means we must become much more self-sufficient. A tad isolationist.

    • NickC
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Leaver, My fear is that the EU looks dead as a dodo, so I’m not sure what rules we are going to trade on if we remain in as you advise.

  24. Lifelogic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    You say “Labour, Lib Dems and Greens continue with their mantra – EU trade deal good, US trade deal bad. It is so silly”

    It is indeed silly, but so is almost everything else the above socialist/Maxist parties say or suggest is very silly.

    The choice is very simple indeed as it is vital to stop the appalling anti-semitic Maxists who, in congunction with SNP/Libdim and Greens would destroy the economy, gerrimander the voting system, force us to effectively remain in the EU with a bent remain or remain (but pretend to leave) referendum and to have another referendum to break up from Scotland.

    Already Corbyn is costing me (and the tax man) money I have two flat vacant which I am not prepared to relet until after I am certain Corbyn will not get into power. So I am losing about £2000 in rents and the new tenants are being inconvenienced. This must be happening all over the country. Loads of businesses also restructuring to protect their assets just in case these economic vandels and would be theives actually get into power.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I have managed to find one sensible Green Party policy – the scrapping of HS2. All the rest of their agenda is total madness, much of it totally immposible – but then greens loons seem to think the laws of physics do not apply to them!

    • Stred
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      I have a four bedroom house let to two persons because of current legislation and a three bedroom house let to one person because of the danger of a Marxist government. If this happens and a wealth tax is introduced, I will have to sell up and leave the UK, or otherwise be bankrupted.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the rules and red tape is very damaging.

  25. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Thank you for writing about trade, I want this to be talked about more because a real brexit will deliver more and improve the prosperity of the British people greatly.

    Most Britons will appreciate free trade is a friendly act between nations and will begin to insist it be done between us and Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada. This puts pressure on Boris to deliver a real brexit rather than allow the EU to dictate terms.

    Lastly, I must mention those brexit party MEPs who defected yesterday, hopefully they will be forgotten soon, the last thing we want in politics is to be lectured by people who stood on one platform yet change after an election. I don’t disagree with their message to vote tory at least in tory areas, but believe their actions are a hindrance, we don’t want any more Anne Soubrys.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      . . . brexit party MEPs who defected yesterday, hopefully they will be forgotten soon . . .

      Please remind me. What were their names ?


  26. BJC
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Politicians are very skilled at playing with words and we’re regularly subjected to clever throwaway remarks such as, “All economic forecasters show growth will be lower”. Just one small sentence, but full of duplicity.

    >Clearly, all forecasters don’t believe this statement; it’s the opinion of some.
    >Forecasters are not declaring there won’t be growth, but phrased to ensure it’s not what people hear.
    >Forecasters cannot predict what growth (if any) there would be by Remaining in the EU, yet it’s a presumption made and used as the baseline for comparison.

    In truth, the only growth predictions that count are those of an independent UK free from the EU manacles, not those imagined if we Remained.

  27. Dominic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Of course the real question is is Johnson working with the EU to stop the Brexit Party from gaining a foothold in Parliament by insulating Marxist Labour from real criticism of their associations and their support of highly dangerous groups? This may explain why your party remains curiously silent about vote rigging and ballot interference by the hard left

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Students are still getting two ballot slips. WHAT is being done about this ?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Many people are complaining here and elsewhere how soft the Tories are on Labour. Also the polls suggest the gap between the two is narrowing, making people fear that there might actually be a Labour government. In short, we the people are being manipulated.

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    JR what on earth is going on with UK banks – many effectively withdrawing overdraft facilities by having totally rip off interest rates on overdrafts:

    Reported yesterday “HSBC to increase overdraft interest rate to 40% for all customers. HSBC is to bring in a single overdraft rate of 39.9% from 2020, as much as quadrupling the rate it charges some customers.”

    0.5% or nothing if you deposit money with them but 40% (80 plus times more) if you foolishly borrow (better than Lloyds though who already charge nearly double this rate).

    Interestingly these UK banks seem to reserve this rip off treatment only for their UK custumers! Why should even very low risk customers pay such rip off rates? Why should overseas borrowers from the same banks pay so much less? What is the competition authority, BoE or bank regulators doing about the banks rip off margins and fees? It surely shows a total lack of any real compitition in UK banking, It is damaging the economy hugely. Almost as much as the threat of Corbyn/McDonnal/SNP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps this, in Lloyds case, is their pleasant way of rewarding tax payers for the government bail out. They only seem to charge these rip off rates in the UK not their overseas offices. So what is going on.

      It is very clearly anti-competitive to charge very low risk customers the same rate as high risk ones. In a competitive market this position could not pertain very long. So is the competition authority going to turn a blind eye to this outrage.

    • steve
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink


      But on the positive, if nobody had overdrafts then the banks wouldn’t be able to rip people off.

      I don’t have credit cards, or an overdraft facility. If I want something I don’t have the money for….I go without and wait, and I’m immune from bank’s usury.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 8, 2019 at 3:08 am | Permalink

        Yes but some people have sensible investments to make with the money and this investent is killed dead by rip off lending rates. Damaging the economy.

  29. bill brown
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    It all sounds so easy and frictionless when you explain it all. But the fact is that under WTO rules, there will be quotas and tariffs, which we currently do not have with the EU and unless this is specifically outlined in an FTA with the EU they will incur.

    So, there is use of distorted facts on both sides of this argument

    Reply Yes there will tariffs on some foods and cars exported to the EU as we and they impose on the rest of the world under EU rules today. At the same time we can take tariffs down as much as we like on imports.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      So which WTO rules would they be? Please cite chapter and verse.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink


        just look them up

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 7, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          In other words, you cannot say which rules would apply, if any, you just think/hope there might be such rules.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Sir JR

      I am pleased to see we agree. thank you

    • Know_Dice
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      And 100% of any tariff goes to the UK treasury rather than the 80% that currently goes to the EU for CET

  30. glen cullen
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The earliest opportunity to sign/engage in any FTA with the EU is scheduled Dec 2020 some 4yrs since the referendum when the people instructed parliament to leave the EU institutions.

    However under the WA and PD there may be restrictions on our trading conditions with the rest of the world, the level playing field, the ECJ involvement etc. The worst cast scenario is that we extend beyond Dec 2020…and we’re paying £39bn+ for the privilege

    The earliest opportunity to sign/engage in WTO/FTA with the rest of the world is the 12th of never….5yrs….10yrs+ I don’t see a plan I see dither and delay

    • steve
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Glen Cullen

      “….the ECJ involvement ”

      Which can be ignored soon as we leave.

  31. Original Richard
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Why wouldn’t the EU want to sign an FTA with us when they have a trading surplus with us of £100bn/year ?

  32. Dominic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The Electoral Commission’s connivance with Labour is a direct threat British democracy, and the integrity of both local and General elections

    When is your party going to act against this Labour organisation that is the Electoral Commission?

    You have had a decade to reform Labour’s Quango scam and you’ve sat back and done nothing

    Trade deals? Who cares about those when we have a threat to our democracy right at the heart of the British state

    • Andy
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      So you now want to take action against the Electoral Commission?

      Add it to the list of the organisations you think are trying to thwart whatever it is you think you want. Others on your list include the CBI, the BBC, Ofcom, Channel 4, high court judges, trades unions, universities (all those leftist lecturers), the Bank of England, the IFS, civil servants.

      Pretty much everyone, in fact, is clearly trying to thwart your democracy. Or, maybe, the problem is you?

      • steve
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


        “…..trying to thwart your democracy. ”

        God help the country if your interpretation of democracy ever prevails.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 6, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Andy……yes the problem is with me. And you. I do indeed think those organisations only select, recruit and promote the self-interested careerists who happily get brain washed into the ‘mould’. Why I think the problem is with you, too, is that you appear to have some level of intellect and reasoning, yet you are succumbing to the recurrent notes of brainwashing. Just like the frog getting nicely comatose in the soon to be boiling saucepan. Utopia here you come, while imagining it to be dystopia.

    • steve
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink


      Fully agree. Sod the ungrateful EU, our sovereignty is what matters.

  33. Oliver
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John – I wonder if you can explain how it is that Canada, who do 70%+ of their trade with the evil unregulated Trumpian USA are able to do a FTA with the EU under lovely Mr Trudeau, while we are apparently unable to trade with the USA any more without becoming a deregulated dystopia, requiring us to violate all the precious EU regs that make our lives so wonderful?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      It is not comprehensive like the single market is at all.

      And it took years and years to negotiate.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Whilst trade simply carried on.

  34. Mark
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You can understand their scepticism given the way in which May, Hammond and Robbins undermined our negotiations with the EU.

  35. BJC
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    On a different matter, is it not of great concern that a man who claims to be the PM-in-waiting is releasing allegedly leaked “Top Secret” information time and time again? It matters not whether it’s genuine; rather, it’s that this is what Mr Corbyn believes it to be, yet he still has a shameful willingness to divulge the details to all and sundry from a public stage. Are we seriously meant to believe that this makes him a more honourable and trustworthy candidate for PM than Mr Johnson?

  36. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    ‘Labour, Lib Dems and Greens continue with their mantra’

    In this part of the world it in not quite just that. Today another Newspaper from the ilibrals arrived suggesting the doctor is the best man for the job while inferring in part it is because he is local. I know he is not local, I also know he was kicked out of his former constituency for lying to the electorate, he daren’t stand there again or in his real home constituency. Because I know that it doesn’t mean everyone knows that. Say something long enough true or false it becomes fact.

    The ideas put forward in their political leafletting are all fantasy and they forget to say if you want a the socialist party policies they are pushing for, Annette Medhurst and Corbyn is the only choice with a remote chance of delivering them. Every single electioneering mantra promised cannot be met, they cant and wont gain any power.

    The Un-democratics are not content with just their own newspaper, they have followed it up a leaflet from their pseudo group the radical left wing ‘Advance Together’ that has a focus on demonizing anyone not voting for their main Party(Lib Dems). They have no intention of furnishing a candidate for the area I guess the don’t even know where we are.

    The point I am making is while I know the reality and the background behind these shenanigans, it is clear they are hoping they can attract the odd small percentage of voters that don’t. It is that small percentage changes fortunes in an election.

    The reason the Country is in such a Political mess is so many stood at the last election on a lie and which as soon as they were elected were reneged on. Should the electorate forget that? Should there be a Law that break an election promise (broken contract in real life) and at the very least it should be the electorate that should sanction changes by a new election

  37. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Tell bloody Boris!

  38. Steve Reay
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Surely if this government thought that WTO was better than a trade deal with the EU then we would have walked away years ago. WTO isn’t that bad once the negative impact of it is mitigated by the Government who would be able to put suitable countermeasures in place.

  39. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Why does Andrew Neil working for that ever so impartial BBC believe his is the only Lord that people should believe and bow too. That only he and his masters at the BBC can offer proper scrutiny.

    The BBC is funded what can only be seen as ‘taxpayer money’ under false pretenses that needs to be scrutinized. It is a blot on democracy.

    Why does Andrew Neil believe being interviewed by him is equal to sitting down with President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China? Andrew Neil is not David Frost!

    Any Politicians anywhere should resist all these vanity parades, don’t they realise the sole purpose of these ‘debates’ is not to debate, air views, gain insight but to stroke the ego of the Presenter

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Good news that the eurofederalist traitor John Major has stuck his oar in, at least it suggests that his kind are now fearful that they are finally losing control of the Tory party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Thank goodness at long last!

  41. Dominic
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    John Major is without question a most despicable animal. He destroyed one of the great British PM’s and now he’s up to his old tricks once more

    You Tory types are way too polite, way too convivial and way too ‘jolly hockey sticks’.

    Johnson needs to get brutal, aggressive. Stop the goon act. Stop the smiling. He needs to put his ‘game face’ on and confront the enemies of the left and the snakes within before they destroy what’s left of this once great nation

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Love the “stop the smiling” bit best.

      Where has it got you, Dom?

  42. Eh?
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn managed to criticise Trump in his very first answer with Boris
    I don’t know what he’s at. He seems programmed against America. It runs through everything he says. I wish he’d hammer his colours to the mast

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    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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