Interruptions to supply chains?

After years of being wrongly told UK supply chains will be disrupted when we leave the EU, today there is surprisingly little discussion of the impact of the corona virus on world output.

  The Chinese  had to extend their New Year holiday production shut downs this year. Yesterday there was some return to work, but there must still be many closed factories, and  factories with reduced workforces. Some cities  continue with restrictions on travel and activity, and some people in China are isolating themselves at home for 14 days after contact with someone who had the virus.

The South Korean car companies have announced periods of closure as they are short of Chinese components. It is highly likely other companies and countries face shortages which may entail closing their plants for a period.

Meanwhile the worries about the virus have led to a big decline in international travel, the loss of tourism business in China and other parts of Asia, some loss of luxury goods sales which accompany travel by the rich and other knock on effects from the epidemic.

The Chinese economy is the second largest in the world and was meant to grow at 6% this year, meaning it was forecast to provide the single largest boost to world growth of any economy. In the first quarter of 2020 it is very unlikely the Chinese economy will be able to achieve anything like this growth rate. The oil price is down 20% from its January peak as markets worry about lost Chinese consumption and orders.

All this implies the western economies need a bigger monetary and fiscal boost to offset these negative trends from China. It also acts as a reminder that dependence on components from far away can be an additional worry or weakness in manufacturing.


  1. Henry Jailer
    February 11, 2020

    “After years of being wrongly told UK supply chains will be disrupted when we leave the EU” …. what an extraordinary thing to write! Michael Gove ONLY YESTERDAY explained that there will be full customs checks at our borders from January 2021, totally destroying all UK supply chains. Really, are you simply not paying attention?

    Reply We have customs checks on all non EU imports today and that does not disrupt supply chains!

    1. Henry Jailer
      February 11, 2020

      What an absurd response, Mr Redwood. Are you seriously arguing that customs checks do not disrupt supply chains? Are you seriously trying to tell us that obstructing imports from the EU in the same way as we obstruct imports from the nonEU will have no effect on our trade? As other commenters have noted, you Brexiters have stopped even pretending to be rational

      Reply We import more from non EU with customs checks. Try living in the real world where we have the Facilitation of Trade WTO rules

    2. agricola
      February 11, 2020

      Reply to reply.
      There is a subtle difference between full customs checks done electronically that have no de-accelerating effect on the goods and full customs checks at the border. If the latter means opening containers then customs facilities do not exist.
      Trading under WTO rules can continue to be handled electronically and that includes customs. HJ is creating a problem that need not exist.

      1. Edward2
        February 12, 2020

        Henry reads Project Fear stories in the papers about has never actually imported nor exported goods either to andcfrom Europe or elsewhere in the world.

      2. Edward2
        February 12, 2020

        And then there is the TIR system to facilitate easy international trade.

  2. APL
    February 11, 2020

    “The oil price is down 20% from its January peak as markets worry about lost Chinese consumption and orders.”

    Then you and your ‘Blulabour’** government should be lauding the situation to the rafters. After all, it means China is at last achieving its ‘Green’ targets.

    This is what the Greens want.

    “All this implies the western economies need a bigger monetary and fiscal boost to offset these negative trends from China.”

    Same old prescription, the same as has nearly killed us.

    How about, this is an opportunity to recall manufacturing to the UK. China has shut down fifteen cities – lauded by the Totalitarian BBC and efficient, has build a massive hospital with bars on the windows all cheered on by the BBC.

    Once you get into that ‘hospital’, you don’t leave alive. That’s my bet.

    Bring the manufacturing back to the UK, and do it now. Automate our manufacturing with new up to date CAM equipment, and employ British people.

    THAT would be a stimulus worth its name.

    ** Six weeks and I think we can all stop labouring under the delusion that Boris Johnsons’ administration might be a old fashioned Tory administration.

    1. APL
      February 11, 2020

      * Six weeks and I think we can all stop labouring under the delusion that Boris Johnsons’ administration might be a old fashioned Tory administration.

      not published. Tory is as Tory does.

  3. Stephen Priest
    February 11, 2020

    This country needs a lot things.

    We didn’t need Vote Cameron Get Blair
    We didn’t need Vote May get Miliband
    We don’t need Vote Johnson get Corbyn

    We need to reduce taxation, and not spend money on buses, high speed trains and failing planes such as FlyBe

    People who Voted Conservative wanted a Conservative Government with Conservative Policies. It doesn’t matter what part of the country they came from.

  4. Peter Wood
    February 11, 2020

    Good Morning,

    Sir John, 6% growth, surely you don’t really believe Chinese ‘data’? It will be what the government says it will be.

    Lesson from China – when political objectives are given higher priority than honesty, logic and good practice, the result will be a high cost in gold and, possibly, life.

    I’m not only speaking of this virus, although you’d think by now the Chinese would have cleaned up their animal husbandry, but also our positions on our new place in the World and arrangements with other nations.

  5. The Prangwizard
    February 11, 2020

    This ought to give many here pause for thought. We have for far too long thought that it would always be possible to obtain what we wanted from ‘overseas’, as if the rest of the world existed simply to meet our needs. And far too much dependence on overseas investment; the country being ‘open for business’ which meant everything was fir sale and we would do anything and sell anything if others had the money.

    We ought to be self reliant and aim for far more self sufficiency. It is hoped this current interruption will pass without a disaster but I suspect the world will not return to business as usual. We must prepare for that and make ourselves resilient.

    It won’t be easy to replace the complacency and laziness ripe in our leaders but it will need to be done.

    And they will need to drop their current mad ideas.

    February 11, 2020

    Has Sir John Redwood morphed into John Maynard Keynes? He’ll be using bogus and preposterous terms like ‘demand management’ next, or in real world parlance, State intervention

    Politicians just can’t help themselves. Take the easy route rather the reform route. All in a day’s work for the modern politician

    Don’t take us for mugs, we can see the wider picture, the political plan. Johnson intends to drag liquidity from the future (more sovereign debt, concealed) and pump-prime for purely political ends..It’s pure pork barrel politics dressed up as ‘investment’

  7. MBJ
    February 11, 2020

    Unfortunately I had ordered a thermometer from China . The symptoms of pyrexia , shortness of breath, cough and flu like illness will have to be measured with a less reliable thermometer. Many of my patients come from different parts of the world especially in the EU and and I wonder if the virus has been undetected in these parts of the world .At present I am using simple cross infection measures such as a mask in my consulting room and wiping of surfaces with an antibacterial and hopefully antiviral solution but I feel that more attention should be paid to prevention .Deep cleaning should not only be done on the arrival of corona virus and the Public health of England should work quickly to facilitate this regularly.

  8. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2020

    Indeed. The fact that the virus seems to be so infectious with one person perhaps infecting 12 or more is very worrying indeed (and this before they have even developed the disease significantly). Further reports from China suggesting the 14 day isolation is not always sufficient and 24 days may be needed too. Let us hope that we can find some way to treat the condition that lowers the circa 1% mortality rate significantly.

    As you say western economies need a bigger monetary and fiscal boost to offset these negative trends. The last thing the UK needs is to waste billions HS2 or a bridge (proposal) to Northern Ireland, or a mansion tax, or expensive energy policies, or subsidies for green lunacies, or 40% or 78% overdraft rates, or more government, or a further attack on pensions or the self employed.

    Javid is clearly a daft tax borrow and piss down the drain socialist and should be fired. It seem Boris is also turning into a daft, green crap and grant project pushing, tax borrow and piss down the drain socialist.

    We need much smaller government, large tax cuts (from the highest tax levels for 40 years), cheap on demand energy and a bonfire or red tape. That is what works and not what seems to be the Javid/Boris socialist agenda.

  9. agricola
    February 11, 2020

    We have to learn to live with it. The alternative is an equivalent shut down in the UK and Europe. Having seen the shambles associated with a policy over energy, HS2, and the vanity bridge to Ireland, I doubt our governments ability to deal with a major escalation of coronavirus. I also anticipate this Tory’s election promises to the North of England being swept away along with the necessary infrastructure projects all over the country. Once the eighty majority engage brain before party loyalty we could see a see a short self inflicted end to the dream we voted for. Current omens are not good.

    1. agricola
      February 11, 2020

      This is so short you must not like the content and choose to censor it by lack of moderation.

  10. Mark B
    February 11, 2020

    Good morning

    It is not just viruses that can cause all manner of problems but, mother nature herself. This can come in the form of earthquakes as we saw back in Japan in 2011. When these things happen it shows, despite boundaries, that the world is highly interconnected.

    I am unaware if there have been any detailed studies into the affects of this level of integration. But as we saw with the last outbreak of foot and mouth, an independent government that does not have to take orders from elsewhere can make both good and quick decisions. If not, it will be replaced.

  11. GilesB
    February 11, 2020

    ‘from far away’ is not of itself a significant factor. Shipments from China are no more likely to be disrupted than components from landlocked Austria.

    1. agricola
      February 11, 2020

      If China operates like Japan there will probably be 4-8 shipments on the sea in transit plus about 2 weeks spply in a UK warehouse. Thats how long distance kanban works. The crunch comes if people cannot return to work in China.

  12. Everhopeful
    February 11, 2020

    How very clever has been the insistence on centralisation and open borders!
    With little knowledge of germs etc Eyam sealed itself off from the plague and in pre war towns diphtheria cases were whisked off to the LOCAL ( no NHS) ISOLATION hospital.
    ( The smallpox has come to Buckingham but means us no harm…said Mrs Purefoy c.1750…recognising even then different strains of a disease…no panic).
    Clean water,sanitation,decent food,NO OVERCROWDING, have kept us safer from disease since the initial herding into cities by industrialists. But nothing ..not even 1914/18 tops the recent population movement and consequent rough living.
    If all this was planned as a cull…it should be remembered that post Black Death was when the (reduced) workforce first realised its power!

  13. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2020

    I have often found that politicians tend to make one of two types of statements. Either they state the bleeding obvious (so obvious it was not worth saying) or they make completely untrue statements/lies.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock says coronavirus is ‘serious and imminent threat’ to the British public and he insists that the NHS is ‘well prepared’ for coronavirus amid ‘increased likelihood’ of cases in the UK.

    The NHS is not even ‘well prepared’ for the normal demand they get every single day let alone a few thousands of coronavirus patient. It seem on GP surgery has already be closed and with two GPs infected.

    Javid talking complete and utter drivel in BBC One just now – he should go he is essentially another, tax borrow and waste socialist.

  14. Everhopeful
    February 11, 2020

    How utterly ridiculous to allow China to outstrip the US.
    How ludicrous for the UK with its industrial history to become reliant on China for cheap widgets, much haberdashery and stuff that was once English manufactured and freely available in paraffin-scented village shops.
    Madness driven by greed.

    1. dixie
      February 11, 2020

      Not just greed. Consumers and public sector buyers are as much to blame.

    2. forthurst
      February 11, 2020

      The Chinese are a nationalistic people who are not interested in achieving strength though diversity; they are a pragmatic people who see strength through competence and efficiency.

      The West is achieving strength through diversity. This does not necessarily lead to increased efficiency, especially when the most able in the USA are denied entry to tertiary education on the basis of quotas irrespective of their ability, whilst other minority groups are grotesquely overrepresented based on the same criterion. No, the Chinese look to promoting their brightest and best as their most valuable resource; they are not described as over-privileged supremacists.

  15. Bryan Harris
    February 11, 2020

    It also means that we shouldn’t rely on one source for supplies…

    A sensible production line uses components from 2 or more different suppliers, a) to avoid the problems with a single supplier being unable to deliver, b) to keep costs down – How many times does the world have to learn that lesson?

    This virus has also affected the stock exchange badly – Just when we were starting to see real recovery of stocks in the UK

  16. jerry
    February 11, 2020

    “It also acts as a reminder that dependence on components from far away can be an additional worry or weakness in manufacturing.”

    It also confirms the logic in Trumps policy of encouraging the return of such supply-chains via ‘on-shoring’, a policy the UK govt should copy, especially when looking for a way to stop the so called “Red Wall” being rebuilt.

    People are far more interesting in permanent secure jobs, not public infrastructure gimmicks offering short term jobs, which appears to be the rational behind such absurdities as HS2.

    1. DavidJ
      February 11, 2020

      Good points Jerry.

    2. Mockbeggar
      February 11, 2020

      The way HS2 is going, they’re likely to be long term jobs.

  17. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2020

    Julia Buckingham (president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Brunel University London) has an article in the Telegraph today trying to defend universities now that more than 50% of school student go on to them. Is this really the best she can come up with?

    She claims graduates earn on average about £10K PA more, but this is before taxes (probably not even right) and ignores the three years or more of lost of income and the circa £50K of debt they have build up. It also confuses cause and effect. People who go tend to be brighter on average and earn more mainly due to this (rather than the degrees they have obtained) in general.

    What is very clear indeed is that about 2/3 of the people going to university are incurring debts of circa £50K for fairly worthless degrees often in fairly worthless subject. Other tax payers are picking up the bill as most of the loans will not be fully repaid. They are being sold a pig in a poke with soft taxpayer loans in most cases.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2020

      I would have expected a Professor (Zoologist/Pharmacologist) to understand that “correlation does not imply causation” especially when the alternative explanation above is so much more likely.

  18. Martin in Cardiff
    February 11, 2020

    The UK has left the Treaties, but it has not yet left the arrangements which enormously facilitate the movement of goods and services between the the UK and its largest external market during the Transition Period.

    You know this perfectly well, John.

    It’s a pity that you continue to do all you can, apparently to sustain widespread public misconceptions about the European Union and about the process of leaving it.

    1. Edward2
      February 11, 2020

      Did you not read the actual article Martin?
      It was about China, it’s current health issues and the effect on EU and UK supply lines.
      Looks like you just jumped in with your usual, EU good, UK bad propaganda.
      Never mind.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        February 12, 2020

        No, I was replying to John’s assertion in his very first sentence.

        1. Edward2
          February 12, 2020

          Which was about China and supply lines and the virus problems.
          You replied with a post about the EU

  19. dixie
    February 11, 2020

    Disruption of parts delivery from APAC have certainly impacted a number of my projects more than usual around the spring festival. We need to have a local capability for production of key materials, components and technologies. Not least as some countries have shown a willingness to withhold supplies for economic and political purposes.

    Not to mention the threats from the EU, eg the threats reported in August 2019 that Germany’s agriculture ministry threatened to stop supplying food to Britain in the event of a no deal Brexit.

    In this context how should we view City spivs who trade away our resources, companies and capabilities? More to the point how should we view and treat politicians, civil servants and establishment figures who support them in this.

  20. Dave Andrews
    February 11, 2020

    Fiat announced they will have to close one of their European car plants because of lack of Chinese supply within the next four weeks.
    How come? We were told that being in the EU was they way to ensure JIT supply chains were guaranteed in the car manufacturing industry.

  21. oldtimer
    February 11, 2020

    You do not need a ? added to your headline. The interruptions have already occurred and will get worse. Furthermore a money boost will not and cannot compensate for an actual shortage of physical components. Output will go down or stop altogether. We see this happening now with a shortage of electric car batteries causing shutdowns or slowdowns of production by Jaguar, Mercedes and Tesla. These were not initially caused by the coronavirus outbreak but will be compounded by it as China is the primary source of lithium.

  22. a-tracy
    February 11, 2020

    The advice about this virus spread is sketchy, we see the Chinese public all with face masks, yet we are told they won’t work, our now rudely named by the newspapers ‘super spreader’ didn’t even realise he was ill when he visited people after he’d contracted the virus. The British GP when they saw him had no protection? How can GPs protect themselves – masks (my dentist wears a mask for every patient during treatment) and hand washing for every patient for the next two weeks (I thought they already did this?). Should the tube have those washy-washy stations you get on cruise ships (mind you it didn’t stop over 60 people contracting it on that Japanese cruise).

    1. Nitchel
      February 11, 2020

      You should all bear in mind there is a propaganda war going on between the West(particularly UK/USA) and China and Russia.In so far as you can you should do your own research before taking a strident position on what is going.

      For instance I saw a report from Faisal Islam on the news last night.He conflated a number of unrelated issues with the virus.He mentioned food inflation,notably pork,but that is due to the outbreak of swine fever in China last year.He also mentioned supply chain disruption and the move of ops to Vietnam which was down to the US-China trade war.

      1. a-tracy
        February 12, 2020

        Nitchel, like most people I don’t have the time to ‘do my own research’ on every issue, I have to trust the news/media/government. I said the information about it is ‘sketchy’ this to me means ‘not thorough or detailed information and seems disreputable’.

        Why shouldn’t I be ‘strident’ about GPs contracting the virus over here from a patient?
        I have two children that use the tube all the time in London why can’t I question if more could be done when people are in close proximity and holding hand rails with multiple others?

    2. Mitchel
      February 11, 2020

      Russia which has a huge border with China and where there is considerable to-ing and fro-ing has only recorded two cases of the virus so far-and,according to news this morning,both individuals are better and set to be discharged.Sort of suggests the Chinese authorities are on top of things.

      1. a-tracy
        February 12, 2020

        What has that got to do with the price of eggs Mitchel?
        I’m only interested in what the UK is recording.

    3. forthurst
      February 11, 2020

      I would have thought that whereas facemasks do not have a sufficiently fine mesh to prevent the passage of something that needs an electron microscope to view, nevertheless it should be designed to absorb droplets containing infection passing in either direction and prevent their passage into the air that is breathed. This winter I have had two colds; on both occasions the infection developed almost immediately after passing through a space into which an ill-bred individual had just sneezed, releasing a visible cloud of infection into the air. Had either sneeze contained the coronavirus, I would certainly have been infected especially as in one case it was in a narrow supermarket isle; if the individual had sneezed into a handkerchief, I submit that I would not. Rather than exhorting people to carry a handkerchief, perhaps it should be made a criminal offence to sneeze without capture with a thousand pound fine and being put under curfew by welding in their homes a la chinoise until the crisis is over.

  23. Zandonai
    February 11, 2020

    Every Redwood post is worthy of note. I do wonder how this excellent thinker can be so underused by successive Conservative leaders. But then Parliament/politics is a strange place. We are thus able to contrast the huge thinking power of Redwood, Hannan, Boris, and JRM with the inane/vacuous likes of Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Sigh.

    1. Everhopeful
      February 11, 2020

      They don’t like intelligent and talented people. Too much of a threat!
      Also clever people are often unwary and not street wise enough for mafia-style politics.
      Probably too nice as well!

    2. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2020

      Politics is indeed a strange place. The more consistently (and proven) right you are the less advancement you seem to get. What seems to be rewarded is being loyal to daft ideas like the ERM, the war on a lie, the EURO, HS2, the climate alarmist green crap and the likes. Just go along with whatever lunacy is the fashion of the moment and also always be in favour of higher taxes, more government, daft grand projects, the anti-democratic EU and ever more strangling red tape.

      MPs even voted to retain John (ERM) Major (still no apology) when he “resigned”. So foolish were the Conservative MPs at the time he predictably went down to Blair Labour 418 seats to Conservatives 165!

    3. Christine Marland
      February 11, 2020

      I so agree with this comment from Zandonai.

    4. Martin in Cardiff
      February 11, 2020

      John is good at presenting selective information in a way which supports his case, even if the complete facts taken together make it groundless, I think.

      Yes, that might be handy for a government at times, but people do get wise generally.

  24. Javelin
    February 11, 2020

    One of my jobs is to scan comments in social media for trends. I have noticed Boris is using up his good will more rapidly than any other PM in my lifetime.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2020

      Indeed, no one I know is in favour of HS2, or another raid on pensions or any other tax increases. We are taxed to death already.

    2. formula57
      February 11, 2020

      The goodwill he will vitally depend upon should there be a once in a hundred years health crisis of biblical proportions?

    3. JohnK
      February 11, 2020


      You are not wrong.

      So far, Boris has announced more green crap than every previous Prime Minister put together.

      Did we vote to ban normal cars by 2035? To ban gas central heating? To have Huawei provide our 5G? Do we even need 5G?

      The latest decision on the absurd white elephant that is HS2 is the last straw.

      Boris was faced with an open goal in the election. Labour picked the worst leader and worst policies in modern times. That does not give Boris carte blanche to introduce left wing green lunacy. How much more of this nonsense are we expected to tolerate?

    4. Bob
      February 11, 2020

      “Boris is using up his good will more rapidly than any other PM in my lifetime.”

      He’s got four years to do as he pleases, and then in the fifth year he’ll start telling us what we need to hear just before the next General Election. The two party illusion continues and the general public will never learn.

    5. DavidJ
      February 11, 2020

      Maybe but social media does not tell all. Many of us avoid it like the plague and spend our time in the real world.

  25. bigneil(newercomp)
    February 11, 2020

    So HS2 gets the thumbs up – just like the EU originally demanded. BJ will be given them the nod and a wink, hinting that he will be ignoring the OUT vote and carrying on with the EU’s demands for our surrender to their control.

  26. villaking
    February 11, 2020

    Sir John,
    How do you know we were “wrongly told” the EU/UK supply chains would be disrupted post-Brexit? We are still in the transition period. I’d say that’s a brave call on your part, fancy a small wager? I note your colleague Michael Gove disagrees with you.

  27. percy openshaw
    February 11, 2020

    Sir John, as you say, supply chains are not so easily broken. Promises, however, are; along with the parties which break them. Leaving the EU will need a fully united Tory party; but the Prime Minister seems to be doing all he can to split the party with his arrogant, anti-Conservative measures: HS2, Mansion taxes and letting Red China into sensitive areas of communication. He may keep MPs onside in hopes of Brexit – the old May trick – but he’s certainly alienating the vote. No more of my money will flow into Tory coffers for a long, long time; certainly not whilst this man remains leader. They talk of “hero to zero”; warn your leader that he’s now deep in negative territory with many of us, well below zero and unlikely ever to warm up.

  28. Andy
    February 11, 2020

    Yesterday Michael Gove spelled out to businesses large and small about the huge amount of extra Brexit bureaucracy they face. Forms to fill in and customs checks for all. So it turns out that all along what you called project fear was indeed fact. Brexiteers are not even pretending anymore that Brexit means almost the opposite of what they promised in 2016. They are just hoping nobody cares.

    1. Shirley
      February 11, 2020

      Extra administration is not a good enough reason to voluntarily be controlled by a foreign government. What they give, they can easily take away, as they are immune from electoral dissent.

    2. Know-Dice
      February 11, 2020

      It will not be any harder than importing/exporting to the rest of the world.

      I can place an order on a USA company goods will arrive 2 days later carriage and duty paid.

      It really is not that difficult…

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        February 12, 2020

        That is, relative to trading with the European Union, often really quite difficult.

        And we don’t generally do services with them.

        1. czerwonadupa
          February 12, 2020

          The Indians didn’t worry about not getting their cotton from Lancashire or locomotives from Derby after Indexit.

        2. Edward2
          February 13, 2020

          Again you show your lack of experience Martin.
          It is not ” really quite difficult” to send goods to USA or import goods from America in comparison to Europe.
          Both require customs forms filling out or paperwork to accompany the goods usually done electronically.
          The time taken to get to America is more than the time taken to get to Europe and transport costs are a little more but it is not ” really quite difficult” as you claim.

    3. DavidJ
      February 11, 2020

      We already manage to trade with the rest of the world and systems exist to facilitate that so why is trading wit the EU going to be such a problem? Personally I’d rather trade with the commonwealth and the US rather than those who want to impose their political rules as a condition of trade.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        February 11, 2020

        David. So would I.

    4. jerry
      February 11, 2020

      @Andy; Those importing/exporting to non EU27 countries will see zero extra paperwork,. in fact they might even see a reduction, the world is not the £EU27…

    5. Edward2
      February 11, 2020

      You have fill in forms to send goods to EU countries and non EU countries now.
      And there are customs checks now.
      Have you ever imported or exported goods in Europe or outside Europe andy?

    6. Andy
      February 11, 2020

      I am not sure why you are all getting angry at me. I told you from day 1 that Brexit would add bureaucracy to trade, cause friction at the border and make everyone poorer. You’re the ones who have spent three years moaning at me and telling me that I’m wrong,

      And now Michael Gove has admitted what I have told you all along is in fact true and you seem to think it’s my fault! Blame him.

      To be clear: I don’t think Brexit will stop trade with the EU. I simply think – correctly as it turns out – that it will make trade harder (because it will) and making trade harder makes it more expensive and that will make you and your children poorer.

      The economic argument for Brexit collapsed more than three years ago. You have all been proven repeatedly wrong. By continuing to claim there are economic upsides you just all sound deluded.

      I suspect there are some good arguments in favour of your failed project. Perhaps you can let us know when you find them?

      1. Edward2
        February 12, 2020

        No he hasn’t said that.
        He just said there might be customs checks on goods travelling into the UK from the EU and vice versa, assuming no deal before the end of the transition period.
        Those of who actually have imported and exported know there is little extra work in sending goods to an from non EU nations compared with European nations.
        Filling a form or two isn’t going to stop companies who will do this as a routine computerised action costing a few pence.
        The benefits if Brexit will be seen in the years ahead.
        So far all your Project Fear predictions of planes not flying and millions out of work and many more have not come true.

  29. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2020

    The corona virus is surely an excellent reason & excuse to cancel the absurd COP26 been feast in Glasgow. Save all those air miles and all that ill informed hot air and the pathetic virtue signalling and alarmist lies.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2020


    2. jerry
      February 11, 2020

      @LL; Suggest that again in Sept/Oct time, especially if the Summer Olympics were to be cancelled due to the coronavirus…

      Mr Life, you constantly bang on about listening to real scientists, real doctors, but here you are yourself extolling the quacks knee-jerk solution!

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        February 11, 2020

        No vaccine due for 18 months. A lot can happen in that time.

    3. Bob
      February 11, 2020

      Presumably they’ll have climate science experts like Greta Thunberg to appraise them of the latest situation regarding life on Earth, currently due for extinction in 2032, just in time the UK’s ban on the sale of internal combustion engines.

      1. jerry
        February 12, 2020

        @Bob; If St. Greta starts walking today she might just arrive in Glasgow in time for COP26…

        Has anyone yet informed her of all the CO2 that was emitted in the construction of the Yacht(s) she travelled on to attend the last COP meeting, hypocrisy, she should have been asked to address that conference via a internet video link from her own country – as should all ‘delegates’!

  30. glen cullen
    February 11, 2020

    Sir john please inform the PM he no longer has my support for being contemptuous

    HS2 – wasting tax payers money
    Brexit – ignoring the peoples democracy
    Fishing – destroying a whole industry
    Climate – appeasing the green lobby
    The Lords – appointing remain peerage
    Immigration – numbers aren’t decreasing

    1. Ian Wragg
      February 11, 2020

      That includes me as well.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        February 11, 2020

        And me. And many of my friends.

    2. percy openshaw
      February 11, 2020

      Well said, Mr Cullen. The Conservative party in Cameron offered us the right wing of the Liberal party; in May it offered us the right wing of the Labour party and in Boris it is giving us the Labour party tout court, at least in its pre-Corbyn mode. If we had wanted such policies we had the option of supporting those parties which openly proposed them. Johnson’s appalling and obnoxious flightiness in ditching honesty, principle and old allies show – once and for all – that his many enemies and critics were right all along. If the multiple betrayals this many is planning to impose on us go through then the party will be finished. How many times can it spurn its own support and expect them to go on voting for it? Any number of times, snigger the adolescent prigs at Central Office. Well, they’ve got another think coming.

    3. Fred H
      February 12, 2020

      It seems like Boris is killing the Conservative party. Sir John prepare your retirement. That is unless you persuade other like minded souls to approach a rebirth of the Brexit party renamed!

  31. Ian Wragg
    February 11, 2020

    Stop muddying the waters John. The Corona virus is solely down to us leaving the EU.
    Any shortage of components from China will be hailed by the BBC as a knock on effect of leaving the EU.
    Andy will rush to tell us how we are depriving his children the right to work and travel in Aisia.
    Meanwhile in St. Greta of Thunberg land the virus will be because of CO2.

  32. formula57
    February 11, 2020

    There has been extensive discussion on Twitter ( including under #globalsupplychain ).

    I query whether China will provide much boost to the world economy throughout 2020. We are going to need a great deal more than ” a bigger monetary and fiscal boost” to get by.

  33. JohnK
    February 11, 2020

    I predict that Chinese GDP will grow by 6% this year. Chinese GDP always grows by 6%. It does whatever the Communist Party says it should.

    We are not dealing with a normal country in China, and it is madness to pretend that we are. President Trump sees through them, they are not our friends and they never will be. Boris invites them in to build our 5G infrastructure. Who’s the idiot?

  34. agricola
    February 11, 2020

    So now HS2 is go and we are going to have a minister with direct responsibility for it. Is there anyone in the HoC who has any experience of running a large civil engineering project such as HS2. Do we have any qualified civil engineers who have successfully run a big civil engineering project. If not I suggest that whoever gets this hospital pass quickly finds one from the private sector, someone who can separate the bullshit from the reality. Without such professional aid the minister will get screwed by the contractor and the treasury.

    1. glen cullen
      February 11, 2020

      I want to know the percentage of actual UK people who will be directly or indirectly building the track, infrastructure and trains….currently only one of the five bidders for the trains have a manufacturing base in UK

      I was involved in the BBC media city construction as a sub sub sub contractor, and I can tell you that it was less than 25 percent

  35. DavidJ
    February 11, 2020

    “dependence on components from far away” Perhaps some thought about that from the users of such components might prompt them to resurrect our own suppliers which they destroyed.

  36. Lester Beedell
    February 11, 2020

    I fear that I must have touched a nerve yesterday, all the data is there to see on Tony Heller is the host
    I have asked 6 Tory voting friends how they view Johnson’s performance out of 10 thus far, 5 rated him zero and the sixth gave a negative score
    We’re unable to control a global virus but pay more tax and we’ll control the climate!

    The latest wheeze is to build a bridge across the Irish Sea, most of my contacts would much prefer to have the appalling potholes filled in

    No one could have been a more enthusiastic supporter of Boris Johnson than I, I cannot express just how disappointed I am

    The comments about Attenborough are in the public domain and the producer of the Netflix programme has admitted it so I’m not speaking out of turn when I commented on Johnson sharing a platform with him

    Someone else commented on the fruitless nature of this diary and I bet this doesn’t get past the moderating stage!

  37. glen cullen
    February 11, 2020

    During the past 15 years I’ve worked with a lot of manufacturing companies that have out sourced their supply to china only to regret it later. Due mainly to quality cost and delivery issues. They try to re-establish their old UK supply to realise that they’ve gone bust due to lack of business and are forced to gain supply from EU

    They and we did it to ourselves

  38. Garland
    February 11, 2020

    Starting Jan 2021 we’ll have much more customs checks paper filling- we’ll have to “make do and mend” according to Ms de Jong and this will go on for at least four years before we have the ‘smart border’ according to Ml Gove- now if you believe all of that? Gove goes on to say the delay in introducing the smart border will hurt hauliers and so that’s what we’re talking about here a breakdown of JIT same as interruptions to supply chains- but none of us were told nothing about this when we voted in 2016

    1. dixie
      February 12, 2020

      Why would anyone who isn’t trading with the EU have much more customs checks and form filling for non-EU trade because we have left the EU?

    2. Edward2
      February 12, 2020

      A few forms filled out by computers isn’t going to bother the companies I know who trade worldwide and have done for decades.
      You really are clutching at straws Garland.
      And you don’t understand how JIT works either.
      Schedules just get adjusted to enable the goods to still arrive on time.

  39. Lester Beedell
    February 11, 2020

    It looks as if I’ve won my bet!
    Bye bye!

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