The price of solidarity

For years Germany and the Netherlands have resisted any idea that the EU should borrow money together and spend it in the poorer areas of its territory. They wanted a currency union but not a benefits union, a monetary union but not a transfer union.

The dollar area or the sterling area are currency unions backed by self governing states. In each there are large transfers of money from the richer parts of the area to the poorer parts. These take the form of grants to local government from central taxation, grants to individuals through the benefits system based on need, and common taxation raising m ore from the places where incomes are higher. As a city or county that suffers relatively low incomes cannot devalue against the richer places, it needs to the grants to get its living standards closer to the national average.

Last week Germany and France came to an Agreement. They propose a Euro 500bn fund for the EU, to spend on recovery from the pandemic.  The money will be borrowed by the EU as a whole, where each state stands behind the loans in proportion to the size of tis economy.  If the EU decides to spend proportionately more in the distressed areas of its territory, then it would have some mild element of redistribution about it.

Time will tell whether this is the first step on the full road to a transfer union, or whether this is a one off gesture soon to be watered down by delays in getting the money and by an approach that all states should have prizes in the lottery draw for the funds.

I have always thought those in the EU who argue they need a transfer union to complete their monetary union are right. The problem is the true price of solidarity and more equal standards will be very high for German and Dutch taxpayers. Is this a saleable proposition to them?

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Germany and the Netherlands are simply cherry picking. They want free access to other countries in the EU’s market but, do not want to participate any further in the project. The EU is stuck. No going back, and no going forward. The idea of a unified EU State is going nowhere and we could not have chosen a better time to Leave. No more will those two countries be able to use the UK as a means to slow the project down, they are on their own. Now let us see how committed they all are to the goal and an EU State. I think we will find that they are not so keen after all 😉

    As the EU ship slowly sinks we need to get away from it as soon and as far as possible so as not to be dragged down. The UK can greatly profit from the EU’s demise and I look forward to the day we can. Perhaps we can build something better more like EFTA which we were a founding member.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Full circle.
      We go back to the Anglosphere plus willing helpers we had 75-80 years ago.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Dear Joe–Absolutely bloody 100% right–Same language, same history, same basis of laws, same culture, same religion, and with a great deal of trust still extant (at least as was till recently but could be revived). How could anybody see it different? Apart I suppose from that unpatriot Corbyn but even there Starmer has the sense to resile.

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      …….The UK can greatly profit from the EU’s demise……

      Sounds a bit vulturish.

      • DavidJ
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        No sympathy for the EU; they wanted to greatly profit from the UK’s demise. Indeed it would be great if the EU were to fall apart and shut up the Remoaners who want to take us back in.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Miami .mode.
        Who gives a toss. The EU do not have YOUR or anybody’s interests at heart, they just want power and control.
        I am looking forward to the TOTAL collapse which hopefuly is imminent.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        No more vulturish than bringing in the CFP just before we joined. Only they were ever going to benefit from that 😉

      • Al
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. Rowing away from a sinking ship is wise, but it is in bad taste to celebrate it going down.

        • UK Qanon
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I shall be celebrating with utmost joy.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink


        the UK will never benefit from the EU demise no country benefits from the demise of its nearest neighbours, history has shown this again and again. Just ask the neighbours of Argentina and now Venezuela

        • Edward2
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Well Hong Kong did well separated from it’s near neighbour China for a few decades.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      With China acting with blinding speed and effectiveness to extinguish their epidemic, and with the US nearing 100,000 deaths whilst Trump plays golf, I think that it is clear which world power is sinking, Mark B.

      That and with the corrupt – in my opinion – “in-sourcing” of airworthiness certification back to the industry, which has pretty well killed the US’s most prestige exporter – and deservedly so.

      When your flagship goes down, the fleet is sunk.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Old people and the obese seem to be affected most by the virus Marty. Which of the two countries you reference above has more of both?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

          Along with other countries, China acted swiftly and effectively to save its people’s lives.

          Others did not.

          That says more than anything else about which really cared about those lives.

          The Chinese have the greatest of respect for the elderly, quite rightly. The attitude of the neo-liberals has been shown to be exactly what it is, on the other hand.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            You should apply to be their spokesman Martin.
            You already believe everything they tell you.

            Your statement “China acted swiftly and effectively ” has to be one of the most shocking few words I’ve ever read on here.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            There are thousands of westerners in China going about their lives normally, unlike here, and you can follow them on the web.

            My daughter was one until quite recently.

            I believe some of what they say, unless there is evidence to cast doubt upon it.

            That evidence, from many reputable sources is, that for practical purposes, China has successfully suppressed its epidemic, as have plenty of other countries now.

            The fact that they all show up the uselessness and callousness of the Anglo-American socio-economic model is jolly good too.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            And it was the NHS that sent old people back into care homes not the mythical neo liberals.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            The Chinese aren’t as fat as we are Marty.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        There have been new virus outbreaks around Harbin near the Russian border and now a big one in Jilin province in the north east. They are now testing all 11 million residents of Wuhan – why, if it’s all under control ?

        That doesn’t sound like extinguishing the epidemic to me and anybody who believes everything the Chinese communists say is just gullible.

        • UK Qanon
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          Who says so? Did you hear it on the news?
          News is not just what happens, it is what a fairly small group of people (globalists) decide is news.
          Wake up.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Any reports on the findings so far on the several million tested in Wuhan? Did they find even one positive? Will they shortly tell the world ‘All clear here’ a subtle message ‘aren’t we wonderful?’
          Martin will lap it up like a fat cat finding a saucer of fresh cream.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Give it the necessary time, Fred.

            How many have been done here in the time that you expect China to do eleven million?

            Or in the US?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            Do you actually believe China has done several million tests?
            Actually I know the answer.
            The Communist Party of China have told you and that is enough for you.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        You don’t really believe the habitual lying Chinese government ,do you? 100,000 in a population of 330-odd Americans is a death rate of 0.0003 to 4 significant figures which compares favourably with all the European countries. Trump’s immediate actions were timely, but ruined by Democrats in New York and California who insisted on allowing Chinese. New Year celebrations. Hundreds of Chinese nationals flew in for the event. New York has suffered greivously as a result of the Dems determination to resist every measure that originates in the White House .

        • Christine
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          And don’t forget Cuomo signing an executive order forcing care homes to take elderly residents who were infected with the virus.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        You seem to have more trust in the Chinese communists than the people of Hong Kong who have to live under them.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          No, I don’t.

          I believe, with qualification, the accounts of the many westerners living there and of international scientists as to what they have observed.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Got any links?

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      @Mark B:
      “Perhaps we can build something better more like EFTA which we were a founding member” – a second try at a project which failed in British thinking and so they left it for the EU?
      I don’t see a “sinking EU ship”.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


        EFTA have more trade deals with other countries than the EU. So hardly a failier.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

          Mark B: Furthermore, I think that EFTA will not welcome the relative giant UK , even less so under the “Mark B” vision/conditions: “get away from the EU as soon and as far as possible”. That is totally NOT what the EFTA is about!

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        This probably because you’re blinded by the fog of EU blackout of the underlying issues without a radar to see through it.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

          @Kevin Lohse: I’ve watched th EU ship over quite a few decades, through crises and all. In spite of all the real issues that have not been resolved, the ship is not sinking.
          Sorry for you, in case that’s what you’d hoped for.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          \kevin Lohse

          there is a lot of good things coming out of the EU for the moment including a mutuality fund to support southern Europe

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            Depends if it ends up a loan or a grant.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Nor do I, Peter, although I do see others distinctly floundering.

  2. Mr Ian Kaye
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      We will soon see, won’t we?

      I think that you may well be mistaken. They only have to look over the Channel and the North Sea, to see the woeful alternatives.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      @Mr Ian Kaye:
      I actually think that it will be saleable to the Dutch taxpayers. The opinions shared in the Dutch media, by opinionmakers and from politicians are reasonably measured. And this change will be a long drawn out process.
      Beforehand positions are taken that can be bought off and that is what I expect for the Netherlands, on the way to another EU compromise. For instance, that it will gain some extra EU support for the loss of export to the UK.

  3. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Not the best of options given the disparities in EU economies.
    When East Germany merged with West, the West was forced to effectively subsidize the East – I suspect this is still going on to a large degree, and Germany has seen the problems this causes.
    The euro is never going to work well internally, until all economies are pretty well equal – and that will never happen. It was absolute political stupidity to impose one currency, and now they recognize it, but they were in a hurry so they thought they could live with a few difficulties.
    Once they go down the Transfer union way, it will be hard not to continue, and that alone will not help – It will mean Germany and Holland become a lot more equal to the poorer EU regions, which would hardly be a success

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris:
      Has London become more equal to Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff over time, in economic and financial terms? I don’t think so.

      Dutch common knowledge up to 2018 was that for every euro we contribute to the EU we earn about five of six euros. After Brexit, Corona and a larger EU contribution than our current 1% of GDP, that equation may alter, but it will not turn into a disadvantage. For argument’s sake, imagine that the 1% of GDP would become 2%, Dutch people would hardly notice the resulting tax increase.

      On the other hand we have lots to export to other EU countries so they have to be in a position to buy. Export of services will be a new diversification, now that the UK will lose some of its service exports to the EU27.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Goodness me, a real money tree. You must all be incredibly rich in the EU. Just send more money and get six times as much back. Why don’t you borrow a few hundred billion at today’s incredibly low rates and fill your boots. No-one in the Netherlands would have to work.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          @graham1946: Earning these 6 euros for every euro was a matter of hard work and very succesful exporting to the rest of the EU. No free lunches over here.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Graham 1946

          grow up

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            Why don’t you make a useful contribution or present a fact or two. All of your posts are of the’prove it’ and ‘grow up’type. Better to be thought a fool than prove it every day.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Graham 1946

          exactly because yu are not having a grown up conversation with this sort of contribution

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            As someone said, ‘irony is lost on you’. Do you think I literally meant what I said? You still don’t make any useful comments though, do you?

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Hello Peter, welcome back, margaret h below wrote “How much has the EU spent on regional development aid in the UK since we joined 5 decades ago?” For margaret to write this it must be a sizeable amount of our money, others below suggest the U.K. governments were told by the EU how to spend it on the regions, how long was this going on and how much was the U.K. instructed to spend in the regions? Why didn’t it work as you allude to Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff have not become equal to the powerhouse of London

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          Regional policy already existed in the Treaty of Rome (1957), and evolved over time, with the help of Britain and the other member nations, devising the criteria for support. The UK will now do this nationally I assume. The criteria have its critics and the implementation a few incomprehensible examples (e.g. your Queen received regional aid for some of her owned land and Brexiteers have even better examples abroad).
          The total amount going to UK regions will have been hundreds of billions, but the UK, over 5 decades, also contributed hundreds of billions to the EU, it was a net contributor for many years. Differences in earning power will always exist. E.g. in Rotterdam much more money is earned than say in Utrecht, just like London has more earning power than Edinburgh due to its circumstances . The regional aid is meant for projects in the poorer regions. The question for the UK is, how social will be its future policies? Your PM talks about “leveling up”, which, at least as a slogan, sounds promising.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        @Peter – that’s probably because the UK was unable to funnel that much money around, given the huge amount the EU siphoned off us, and the way it worked within the EU

        Outside the EU the policy needs to be to invest rather than support poor regions..

        Actually if you look around this country more and more places are looking like slums – That’s the effect you get of equalisation, and exactly the way it would work in the EU… Socialism only brings things to the lowest common denominator – never to the highest.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          @Bryan Harris, some counter points:
          * Since when is a mere 1% a “huge amount”?
          * Regional support by the EU are often investments, nothing new.
          * Let us take some comparable countries to the UK in Northern Europe, but all with more social policies: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. All have way higher national incomes per capita, look it up yourself on the internet. The 5 poorest regions in the northern part of the EU are all in capitalist UK. Apparently it is your haves/have-nots society which leads to slums, lower scores on wellness/happiness rankings and higher scores in crime rankings (with the exception of Sweden in 2019). You can find it all on the internet. It proves the opposite of what you allege.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            P.S. Please take the trouble to find out for yourself. There are lots of country rankings on the internet.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            You make it sound like the EU is benevolent and fruitful at the same time.

            The point is not that some countries were doing better in terms of ‘national incomes per capita’ – it’s how that is used.
            You’d have expected to see the UK paying less to the EU in these circumstances, but it was arranged otherwise – The UK always paid more than it’s share and so had less to spread around.
            Because of the way our labour party excelled in both being a good European, and ruining us economically, the whole country is still depressed except where the money is.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Bryan Harris

          Considering DK, Swe and Finland have had socialist governments most of their time in the EU I will take your statements on this with a big grain of salt

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            They are not socialist.
            Just democratic mixed economies.

            Does private businesses exist…yes
            Can citizens travel abroad freely…yes
            Are citizens allowed to own freehold land…yes
            Do they stop imports coming in? no they dont.
            Does the State tell you where to live and where to work they don’t
            Enjoy your salt.
            Thank you very much

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

            But so has the UK – We are still suffering the effects of what labour did for us … and it may have escaped attention but the Tories do keep moving left.

            My observations are just that – Look and you will see – without rose coloured glasses

    • bill brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      Interesting hypothesis put forward but unfortunately you have not factually substantiated it at all

      So can we please have some more information?

      thank yu very much

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

        @Bill Brown

        It should be pretty obvious to anyone who has been watching the way the EU operates… or if that passed you by – The web is yours to discover

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink


          Yes and the web tells me differently so please susbstantiate

        • hefner
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          Bryan, that’s not a proper answer. Please give your references as the web is by construction a huge network where one can find info from ultra-right to ultra-left, plus MSM from RussiaToday or Breitbart, to the DT, DM, Sun, Guardian, the i, conservativehome, guido, and various government-related sites,,,, etc, etc, etc
          So asking what your usual references are is very reasonable, I would think.

  4. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    The Netherlands never was a frontrunner in Europe. Already before the Treaty of Rome (1957) it reluctantly joined the six founding fathers. But the Netherlands is a small country, it has proven to thrive well inside the collective of the EEC/EU. No doubt it will fall in line again after some posturing and negotiating. The Von der Leyen proposal will likely be a mix of all the recent inputs (France/Germany, European Parliament, Southern members, the “frugal four”, maybe the “Visegrad four”). I expect a bit of everything: higher member contributions, more own resources levied at EU level, some grants, some loans, and a long and slow process to reach unanimity. But, slowly slowly, the EU hybrid construction will make more internal transfers.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree. The EU is on a clear path to political and fiscal union. If that’s what EU citizens want then of course that’s fine and good luck with it. The problem in the U.K. is the pro-EU side always angrily denied this was the case, and rubbished and denigrated those like Sir John who pointed it out.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Poor Netherlands.
      It has so long lived as a bystander watching the German behemoth next door.
      It tries to stay out of the fight, stay neutral, oblige, but eventually, as you say, it falls into line.
      We really hope you know what you’re doing this time, but fear you don’t.
      Good luck with it all.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap:
        The Netherlands has always done well economically within the EU, and I expect that to continue. As an example: Quite a few service companies are now settling in and investing in the Netherlands, because we are in the single market.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Peter, would you expect any other countries to leave the EU in the next ten years?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior: No.
        Britain has always been a very special case.
        I don’t know what will happen to countreis like Hungary or Poland, but their economic and security interest to stay in the EU will prevail.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      So you expect the can to be kicked down the road as usual Peter. Very realistic of you.

      The EU way, if it is difficult fudge it.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders: In order to find a balanced compromise between 27 member nations and many other stakeholders at national and EU level, sometimes a fudge is needed. Other times it is just a straight forward compromise.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Less largesse & building of vanity projects in Brussels would help. Also the monthly travelling between Brussels & Strasbourg would show a willingness to improve the environmental impact which is significant & stands at “between 11,000 and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions” a year. That’s the equivalent of driving between 2,000 and 4,000 passenger vehicles for an entire year backwards & forwards.
      Divesting the vacant buildings in Strasbourg as part of a move would save at least €616.1 million up front and €113.8 million per year according to a 2014 audit by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Moving offices from Luxembourg City to Brussels, auditors said in 2014, could save €13.4 million per year, but it’s the travel between Strasbourg and Brussels that has garnered the most criticism for efficiency.
      And putting out a tender in 2017 for 4,000 bottles of champagne with the bill charged to the taxpayer shows their priorities in Brussels.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        @czerwonadupa: You cite some of the many examples for which the EU deserves harsh criticism. Being Dutch, I find the travelling circus between Brussels and Strasbourg absolutely ludicrous!
        No doubt France will negotiate a high price for it when in future there will be a treaty change. Why not, I sometimes wonder, move NATO from Brussels to Strasbourg?

  5. oldtimer
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    In the past Merkel has told German voters that they would not be on the hook for debts incurred elsewhere in the EU. Many no longer believe her. Hence the rise of serious opposition to her and her party in recent years. It also seems unlikely that the Netherlands will back the proposed Agreement. Like everywhere else lockdowns are compounding existing debt problems a hundred fold. Germany’s business model is under severe threat as a consequence. Failure to secure a FTA with the UK would add to it.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      This is why I said a couple of weeks back that it will end up as loans – I’d be very surprised if it was actually grants. I may be proved wrong, but if so it goes against everything Germany has stood for previously. Mrs. Merkel is a canny politician and can easily make statements of this nature and be shot down by a veto. Then she can say she tried. The EU don’t have the money so will have to borrow it.

  6. GilesB
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    West Germany know the cost they have paid to bring East Germany up to West German infrastructure since the fall of the Berlin walll.

    But that was to reunite the historical German state.

    There is not the same brotherly love for the eighteen poorest members in the EU.

    The Commission always deliberately designs the budgets so that more members are net beneficiaries than are net contributors. This gives them a majority in the Council.

    The U.K. leaving has wrecked this pork barrel. The timing is exquisite as the Commission is challenged by getting agreement to the budget for the next seven years. Losing the second largest net contributor means that a simple continuation of the current budget would see up to seven members switch from being net beneficiaries to becoming net contributors for the first time.

    • rose
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Well, some of us said at the time that Chancellor Kohl could reunite Germany or he could go for the single currency, but he shouldn’t do both.

  7. Newmania
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    In each there are large transfers of money from the richer parts of the area to the poorer parts.

    Exactly how much do your constituents over pay for the poor services they receive John ? The EU taking extraordinary measures now is unsurprising .This are this country has failed on tests PPE on the timing of lockdown and the handling of opening up. We will all watch with weary contempt to see how badly we fail in the next phase of the clown show as the EU cooperates to their mutual advantage in this desperate time .
    You are now a National joke and your silence makes you complicit in the schoolboy lies of yesterday . Hardly needs saying

    • IanT
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      As someone who actually lives (and pays Council Tax) within Sir John’s area, I can say that I’ve no complaints about the levels of service within the borough – they are very good.

      As regards Dominic Cummings – I think we’ve had far worse politicians get away with all sorts of lies, fraud and theft in the past – not to mention shear incompetence. Our so called ‘Journalists’ should be spending their time providing real insight into the problems we all face going forward – rather than witch-hunting Cummings. I gather he is deeply disliked by many – but is he any good at his job? If he is – then I’d much prefer he keeps it and help get us out of this crisis.

      Whenever the Momentum Mob get up in arms about things like this, it tends to reinforce my view that they are first class, sea-going hypocrites. And as for Peter Mandelson complaining about “Government Lies” on TV recently – well that was the best laugh I’ve had for weeks!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Well indeed.
      Leaving the EU has to be the start of the beginning in turning this place around, not an end in itself.
      Things that were left undone or half done in the 80s need revisiting. Hopefully Johnson now realises the embedded forces ranged against him.
      Just watch the media storm this weekend ranged against one front liner in this fight. Blair/Mandelson placemen every single one. All in their 50s/60s from academia, journalism, politics, NHS, unions. They have all come out of the trenches now, so we know who they are.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Why say it then? We’ve heard all this BS a million times and were not taken in.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Sir John asked you a simple question at the end of his post NM.
      Your whataboutery reply completely missed out any attempt at an answer.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        thank you vary much Constable much appreciated

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

          Still trolling then bill.

          Irony still lost on you.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Please just sort out your own delivered facts and we can have a real debate. I do not think I have to repeat your lack real facts like Singapore and SOuth Korea for example

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Some facts from you would be a start bill.
            All you give is one line of sarcasm plus a childish playground name calling.

            I’ve explained your last point twice bill
            I’m not going to do it again.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Off topic?

      Why did you not take the opportunity to defend your beloved EU @new.

    • steve
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink


      “You [JR/Cons] are now a National joke and your silence makes you complicit in the schoolboy lies of yesterday”

      John Redwood is not a liar. I don’t always agree with his views and occasionally we have the odd spat, but liar? certainly not.

      “This are this country has failed on tests PPE on the timing of lockdown and the handling of opening up”

      So you don’t think France and Germany making sure they got in first ahead of other countries with reagent supplies had anything to do with it ? You don’t think their ‘acquisition’ of PPE that was meant for other countries was a factor? You don’t think that sub standard PPE sold to us as compliant was a factor either ?

      I don’t believe you appreciate what the government has been up against, and if you think you can do a better job you’re welcome to try !

      ‘Hardly needs saying’

      Don’t say it then, it is not as though what you say has credibility, in my opinion.

  8. Kevin
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    If I may comment off-topic on a matter of importance, I believe that the arguments in defence of Mr. Cummings (regarding the reported “lockdown” controversy) may be summarised as follows:
    Whether or not Mr. Cummings broke the restrictions is a question of law, and everyone is entitled to his day in court.

    Fair enough – but why, then, if I am not mistaken, are the restrictions backed by a threat of fixed penalty notices, imposed at the discretion of the police? Why, were you to refuse the fine, and insist on your day in court, are you threatened with an “unlimited” fine, which reads as if it could leave you bankrupt? These threats remain in place, even when every “lockdown” controversy involving a high-profile individual seems to pass without the need to mount a legal defence.

    • rose
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      I note that the Forensic QC Leader of the Opposition who doesn’t want to establish the facts or hear both sides of the case, is now denouncing Mr C’s “judgement.” This is the charge weasels always make when there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        If MSM was more balanced, it would be asking why Sir Starmer sent his kids to school. They’re not both key workers.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      It’s called oppression.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      This is confused.
      The instruction was “Stay Home”.
      Home is where the heart is. It doesn’t have to be a flat in London. It doesn’t have to be one’s primary residence. So long as it is one place, it doesn’t matter whether it’s in Abergavenny or Aberdeen. It’s one place and it’s home.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Whether it is Mr Cummings or Prof Ferguson, it is clear that the lockdown has nothing to do with controlling a virus that is low risk for the majority. A decent PM would just admit the policy was unnecessary and misdirected resources, and so is immediately cancelled.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        The nasty, political comments coming from some NHS workers make it all the worse. The declared heroes turning on those who declared them such. We see the worst of UK behaviour on all ‘sides’.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      According to a leaflet I received from my town council certain measures it has taken have been taken under the authority of the Civil Contingency Act 2004. This Act gives ministers carte blanche to do whatever they deem necessary to deal with the “contingency”, including shooting “animals” among other clauses in the Act. Worth reading to get a feel for the extraordinary powers that the Act confers on ministers.

      As for the Cummings issue, this has everything to do with political points scoring. Clearly Starmer has raised Labour’s game in developing the narrative and has scored palpable hits on the Johnson government.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The majority leading the Cummings stitch up are the anti Brexit establishment. As the transition draws nearer to the end there will be continued and sustained attack on Boris and his government to try and extend indefinitely.
      Watch this space

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The whole lockdown thing has been a joke in this country. Many members of the public gave already been blatantly breaking the rules on social distancing and travel. When reported they police have done nothing. This is a daily occurance nut the press won’t be happy until they have got Cummings out. It’s more political than anything else. Quite frankly I am fed up hearing about it when it’s going on all around me.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Me too. It is clearly all political. I am delighted to to Boris retaining Cumming. The two of them recured us the the Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP Venezuela nightmare that May was driving us too. For that alone they deserve a Dukedom. He did entirely sensible things given his situation. I would probably have done exactly the same in similar circumstance.

        The comment on the civil service twitter account shows just how much state sector reform and a massive slimming down is needed. Cummings is also against HS2 like every other sensible and rational person. I suspect he is not fooled by the climate catastrophe religion either.

        The obnoxious drivel from all the lefty remainers lie Ed Davey, Starmer, the Guardian and Observer (Mail even) and (war on a blatant lie) Alistair Campbell is nausious and pathetic.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Because the entire lockdown was so that the government did not get criticised when the NHS was overwhelmed. We have had 8 weeks of little economic activity to save the government short term (NHS criticism). They figured they could deal with the economy over the long term and win an election based on their handling.

      Lockdown was a short term measure for the sainted NHS. Therefore they did not want it challenged in court.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Someone from NHS providers today telling us (on radio 4) how wonderfully well the NHS has coped.

        Well half have died without even getting to hospital (some discharded from it to infect others) and they have cancelled most normal medical activity. Plus we have deaths of circa 20% (of tested positive cases). In Germany it is about 1/5 or 4%. Plus they cannot even organise PPE.

        This is the NHS performing wonderfully well is it?

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          No the NHS hasn’t coped well at all, people had to be cooped up for nine weeks so far because we had to ‘save the NHS’ lots of people couldn’t visit dying relatives inside the NHS, although some were allowed, people I know were sent to A&E by their GP and were turned away in one case no-one was there to even triage them, they had to go to another A&E miles away sit in a near empty room 4 hours with 3 others who came in after him and they all got seen first, it seemed the booking in person made a mistake. All normal work we were told had been put on hold, people were told to avoid A&E but even then they finally realised this had gone to far and it wouldn’t look good for too many to go untreated and die at home.

          The people working on the front line in the NHS, caring for people with Covid 19 have stepped up when needed as have all the ancillary staff on these wards, all the true hero’s in this situation, but whether the ventilators the government were asked for were the solution will remain a question for later and what drugs they were allowed to use plus which treatments were actually most effective?

        • DavidJ
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Lifelogic, only a top to bottom reform will give us an NHS which is fit for purpose at an acceptable cost.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Plus every other operation and now even A and E closed in Weston super Mare. Totally useless. As Kinnock said don’t dare get sick.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            and A&E becoming deserted all over the country.
            Makes you wonder what was so pressing to require a visit before the lockdown?

            Drunks, druggies, fights, RTAs ?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:42 am | Permalink

          Lucky they were not going through a bad patch I suppose.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      I have just finished listening to the Cummings press conference. His explanation was clear and convincing to me. It is also evident that the journalists asking the questions are ignorant of the rules. I have rechecked the letter from the Prime Minister our household received together with the enclosed leaflet on the rules that were introduced. The leaflet is quite specific:
      “You should only leave the house for very limited reasons:
      …Any medical need including to donate blood, avoid risk of harm, proviide care or help a vulnerable person.
      …Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.”

  9. Javelin
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I see US corporates (eg Hertz) has gone bankrupt. The credit crisis of 2007 came about when Credit Default Swaps (CDS) using underlying mortgages started to default.

    As a consequence a lot of banks switched to only using corporate bonds as underlying assets. Central banks have used mortgage holidays to stop mortgage backed CDSs defaulting but now it looks like corporate bond backed CDSs are about to start defaulting instead.

    Note: most CDSs hold baskets of 120 corporate bonds and it requires defaulting of a few bonds to trigger a default on the CDS.

    But what is certain CDSs are basically insurance policies and there wil be some huge winners (eg pension funds) and huge losses (eg investment banks and hedge funds) once the defaults in numbers happen. Then expect there to be a credit crisis in the investment finance sector.

    If you add into this the central banks borrowing trillions of investment grade money to prop up economies around the world it’s very easy to see there will be much fewer investors and much less investment grade capital to help pull the world out of a depression.

    Governments must start an audit of corporates to discover how many jobs have been offshored and how many visas have been given to immigrants in order to prop up the economy. Millions of jobs need to created quickly and this is the only way this can be done sustainably. Working from home means corporates need not expand their offices and will keep costs down. Punitive taxes need to be placed on outsourced jobs in order for the economy to grow again. Without a massive national reinvestment programme in jobs by large corporates the economy will lie in ruins and Europe will fall into the same pattern as it did in the 1930s.

    • Javelin
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Just to add I looked after the CDS at the worlds largest international bank during the last credit crunch and that bank came out of that crisis relatively unscathed because all of its CDSs were backed by corporate bonds. I remember we had one minor US travel agent go bust over the year.

      Today the credit crisis is about to decimate corporates.

      Car rentals, car production, aviation production and airlines either defaulting or about to default. BUT, Halford’s shareprice up from 50 to 150 in 3 months – because bike sales have doubled or trebled. Both transport sector shares. It shows CDS baskets can go bankrupt. It shows it’s very difficult to pick winners.

      If I was looking after the same CDSs today I would be 10x as worried about the bank’s position as I was in 2007.

      However service level companies should be OK and service level companies need to pay back the Government for supporting the economy.

      The Government need an urgent audit of corporate outsourcing to see how many jobs can be brought back onshore.

      Offshore jobs need to pay UK income tax.

  10. Kenneth
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    My hunch is that this initiative will be limited – and could indeed be watered down – as the richer states start to lose support from their own voters.

    The eu has a history of fudging and I doubt this will be any different.

    They are not ready – and may never be ready – to face the “make or break” point of establishing a transfer union.

  11. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Not exactly a statistical sample but the one German I know detests the idea.

  12. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “The price of everything and the value of nothing”.

    Isn’t knowing that the definition of something, John?

    I seem to have forgotten, but if you can remember, could you perhaps remind us?


  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    No chance when the benefits of the southern Mediterranean states are so generous.
    The hard working German and Dutch Dutch won’t agree to fund the mafia controlled south.
    It will be paid for by increased annual payments. See how that goes down in Ireland and France.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Sometimes it is better not to write anything when you are not sure about the facts

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Bill but I know a lot about the generous benefits schemes in some EU countries. My French work colleague regularly regails showed me his pension entitlement etc and compared it to the Spanish and Italian generous payout 0plus in many sectors retiring at 55.
        This is what the German and Dutch public are against.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Ian Wragg

          your view is far too narrow but I know you are a busy man so I willl not bore you will all teh other benefits of the Eu, By the way the French contribute as well

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            You can bore us Bill, I’m ready to listen to a fact if you know one.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            bill changed his name from hans when that became an embarrassment to him.

            It’s time bill changed to another new name.

      • hefner
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Interesting, specially considering that the legal age of retirement in Spain is 62, but full pension is only available at 65 years and 10 months. As for Italy, it is after a minimum of 38 years of contribution at the earliest and 41 years and 10 months for a full state pension.
        People can obviously ask for early retirement but in that case they have to justify it because of serious health problem or particular family conditions (dependent adult children or parent), and their pension will be reduced according to some formula taking into account their age and number of years of contribution.

        You must only know people who served in the armed forces. In both both Spain and Italy (as in the UK), the ex-military and police can retire early (from 55) but that is clearly not the whole population.

  14. Fred H
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Solidarity in the EU only exists within the country’s members sent to Brussels.
    They stick with the mantra ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.

    Unlike so many of the people subject to their wishes.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      @Fred H: That is certainly not true in the Netherlands. You can follow all the Dutch debates, the current affiars programs, the opinions of Dutch business and of Dutch trade unions, but it does require Dutch . . . as a language.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        If its anything like our National broadcaster, the Published Media and the UK ‘debating’ chamber….. it would be a total waste of my time – – even if you translated.

  15. formula57
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    “Is this a saleable proposition to them?” – no it isn’t, so like with the first €500 million, they will not be asked to consent.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      @formula57: The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy. Consent, after debate, was given in parliament.

      • formula57
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        @ Peter van LEEUWEN – highly commendable, if after the fact. Alas, the Bundestag has not even yet been asked to give its (retrospective) approval, although that is required and perhaps with a two-thirds majority (then requiring Green and FDP support). We shall see in due course whether the voters understand and support what is being done in their name.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          @formula57: If you mean the German/French proposal, the Bundestag will still have its day. After all, it will be the EC proposal that brings together all the current inputs, will be negotiated and will need to be approved with unanimity. Also in the Bundestag, the result will have to be defended and voted on.

      • steve
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


        “The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy”

        Call it what you like, your country is still told what to do by the French – led EU Commission.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          @steve: It is a bit more complicated than you suggest.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            ‘more complicated than you suggest.’
            everything from the EU always is….

          • hefner
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            No, I guess it is a bit more sophisticated than the simplistic French-led EU Commission. The ‘porte-parole’ is indeed French (Barnier), but the President is German, the exec VPs are Dutch, Danish, Latvian, the other VPs are Spanish, Slovak, Czech, Croat and Greek. The only other French is Thierry Breton, the Internal Market commissioner.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink


      Kindly inform us about this further information as you seem to be much better informed on this subject than anybody else?

  16. agricola
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I think we have all known what needed to be done in the EU to achieve a United States of Europe. However the will to achieve it does not exist within most of the national governments nor, should democracy be allowed to prevail, amongst their individual populations. Apart from anything else it makes the Euro somewhat unreal.

    I think the EU would have been wiser to forget about the ambitions of their second rate politicians and concentrate on getting the free market in goods and services working for the benefit of the people, using trade and manufacture to tackle the criminal levels of unemployment that exist in many member states. Trade is the engine of real progress in the EU, but unfortunately for most of their politicians the bodywork is the main distraction.

    • Andy
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      A United States of Europe could only be achieved with the agreement of all the EU member states. And precisely none of them want it. Now they might all want it at some point in the future – probably well after we are all gone – but they don’t want it now and won’t want it anytime soon. Which has always made the Brexiteers ‘United Europe’ claim particularly vacuous – even by Brexit standards.

      As for the free market in goods and services …. The single market and customs union combined are, by far, the most complete free market in the world. Nothing else comes close. The single market for goods is virtually complete – all those annoying standardised product rules you object to make it possible. And as you want to scrap these rules it means our trade with the EU will face more bureaucracy in future. It is harder to create a single market in services but even here the EU has made more progress than anyone else in the world. But this creates the Brexit paradox – to make even more progress you need to share even more rules. And you refuse.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        we do get that Andy. Progress by Rules, rules ever more Rules.
        But who makes them and who benefits?


      • IanT
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        I have no doubt that you actually believe this EU ‘guff’ Andy.

        It is good to stick up for ones beliefs but it will also be painful when reality finally dawns for you I suspect…

  17. BOF
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Not only a high price for German and Dutch taxpayers, but surely, another major shift in sovereignty to the EU.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      who pays the piper calls the tune…..

  18. bill brown
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    It will not only be the Dutch and the German tax payers , it will be the Austrian, Belgian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Lux tax payers as well.

    This is a move that is needed if the club is to stay together for another 70 years as it has done till now

    • graham1946
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      That’s if it happens at all. Austria, Netherlands and Denmark are already bitching that is is aFranco German idea, with no-one else consulted and it takes only one veto to scupper the whole thing. Anyway, it has not even been put to the Commission yet, Ursula Von De Leyen is due to do that on 27th so it is by no means a done deal. At least we won’t have to stump up a share, unless there has been some more behind the scenes jiggery pokery of the Mrs. May kind.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Graham 1946

        Knowing your general level of up to date factual information. I will take your contribution with a grain of salt.

        but thank you very much

        • graham1946
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          Why not provide a fact or two if you dispute what I say? All you ever do is ask people to prove things you can easily check if you were not so busy insulting people here.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Graham 1946

            I wold never try to insult you , I just try and tell you when you are factually or morally wrong from a most objective point of you see below

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Go on then, tell me where what I said is wrong. I am not a mind reader. I am willing to learn.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Bit like a Policeman then bill

      • steve
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink


        “That’s if it happens at all. Austria, Netherlands and Denmark are already bitching that is is aFranco German idea…….it has not even been put to the Commission yet”

        BUT, the Commission is and always has been French-controlled.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      @bill brown: Indeed. And staying together is much more than just trading.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        You indicate the problem, what is ‘staying together’? Is it the same for you as a Spaniard, or Greek?
        Why try to ‘be together’ when friendly trading is really what you want?

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          @Peter Wood:
          If not staying together (as EU27), how to make a fist (and a fine) against unfair practices of giant companies, how to be an sufficiently powerful player in a world of large entities (e.g. China, Russia, US), How to protect against harmful chemicals, how to organise against crime and cybercrime, etc. etc. With our newest enemy, covid-19, the EU27 realise that it badly needs a European policy to prepare for future viruses. Organising an anti-future-virus defence requires international cooperation. Being together, the EU27 can play a much better role than expecting this from the current USA.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Eight nations helping to support the other 19 is the conclusion from your post.
      Is that going to be popular with voters in those eight nations?

      As you say bill, the leaders in these countries will need to win the argument that it important to do this if the EU is to remain a union in the future.

      And will there be a warm welcome for the extra new nations the EU want to get joined up, if they also need monetary support from the eight you list?

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        You seem to have all the answers including who might want to join or not so I would not dare contradict your well informed factual contribution.

        thank you very much

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Is that meant to be reply?
          Might I suggest a little more tonic.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Why, not gin would be preferable

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Instead of your trolling I certainly agree.

  19. Nigel
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    As long as we are not dragged into it (we are still subject to their rules until the end of the year).

    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The direction of travel is set in concrete. Full fiscal and monetary union is inevitable. The question is, who shall pay for it?

    Moreover, are the remaining 25 member states prepared to see their countries dismantled in the name of absolute centralisation and domination by the Franco-German pivot?

    Reichstag politics is now in full swing. CV-19 and the economic destruction it has wrought has provided sinister politicians and lowlife bureaucrats a justification to smash freedoms, extend State control and centralise even further all in the name of ‘keeping us safe’

    Marxist Merkel won’t allow this opportunity delivered by the Chinese to slip through her fingers.

    • Andy
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      There are 27 remaining EU states. And Merkel is – shock horror – a conservative. An actual proper conservative – not like any of you off-the-scale kippers.

      • steve
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink


        “Merkel is – shock horror – a conservative.”

        Yeah, a former citizen of communist E. Germany.

        You come out with some right belters sometimes.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        She is a ‘former Communist’.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink


      thank you for a very interesting and highly uninformed contribution.

      What is your definition of a Marxist?

      • graham1946
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Bill, you’ve used that line a dozen times before. Can you find something else (preferably interesting or factual) to say? People are quite entitled to express an opinion without running it past you first.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          He likes to be the site’s Policeman.
          It keeps him happy Graham.

          • hefner
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, please go back the blog posts over a week (as long as the comments are open) and check your comments. Can’t you see a pattern emerging out of those posts of yours?
            What is it about stones and glass houses? I can’t remember …

          • bill brown
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2
            I think Hefner answered very well for me
            thank you Constable

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Oh bill you are really letting yourself down.
            Very sad.
            It isnt good to be the site troll.
            You are better than that.

            I have made a few posts recently
            As have you.
            This is a site which allows comments from range of political opinions.
            But according to you and bill yours are good and must never be challenged whereas those from a different opinion to you two are always challenged.
            I do see a trend.
            It is the usual left wingers attempt to shut down debate by heckling.
            I can assure you I will always use my freedom to say what I want to.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

          Graham 1946

          It is very difficult to say anything constructive on the back of such rubbish

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Better not to say nothing and be thought a fool than to keep typing and prove it.

        • hefner
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          G1946, why do you not ask the same of the contributors who are defining Merkel as a Marxist, former communist without, it seems, any consideration of why she had been in East Germany in the first place, of her trajectory after that. There are people on this blog who do not give a … about searching any bit of information that might go against their long-held prejudices. Fair enough, we live in a democracy, and Sir John is good enough to let (almost) any type of comments appearing on his blog, even the most ridiculous to appear day in day out.
          But to have you shouting/shutting down BB. What do you YOU bring to the table doing that? Answer on a confetto, I don’t think you could bring much more. Thanks in advance.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            But bill/hans rarely posts anything that isn’t just a one line sarcastic comment
            Usually adding a personal insult.

            I don’t agree with some of your posts Hefner
            But I admire the depth of your arguments and the time you obviously take to produce your posts.
            I read them and try to learn.
            But bill’s little posts offer nothing

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


            Is it possible to shout on a keyboard? I don’t use u/case. I’m not shutting down BB, nor could I. I just suggest that for once he could make a cogent argument and not the endless sarcasm and insults.
            I see you have the same virus now. My pieces may be right wrong or lunatic, but I try to have a little thought and don’t think they deserve insults.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


          Calling Merkel a Marxist is simply not true with her background and policies and on top of that it is simply not factually correct , so there must be limits to certain lying proclamations and I am sure even you can see that?

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            Why are you aiming that at me? And why ‘even me’ – I suppose because you think yourself superior in some way? I never said anything about it and merely suggested that he is entitled to his opinion without your sarcasm (which is a low form of wit) and grates after the hundredth time. Had you made this argument rather than that instead I would say nothing or maybe even back it if it were sensible. Try it.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

            bill who used to be hans, sees himself as the headmaster on here.
            His aim is to bully people like you, me and others to stop posting.
            It’s what the usual lefty oro EU opposition does.
            They create a mob and heckle and shout.

            It will not work, this is not Twitter.

  21. Andy
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Why would it not be saleable to them?

    The fact is that our countries and our economies are all interlinked. It is in all of our interests for everyone else to be successful too. And, incidentally, that includes Brexit Britain which no longer has a voice in the room.

    Most Europeans are pro-EU. They understand the EU is not without its flaws – but they correctly conclude that the benefits of being members outweigh the costs. Brexit has confirmed this – they now have an example which proves being out is not as good as being in.

    These are very challenging times for everyone. Competent governments have struggled. Incompetent ones – like ours – have failed. The strength of the EU is the need to compromise to move forward. Its detractors see this as a weakness. But compromise is the only way to operate in the modern world – and today the difference between successful politicians and unsuccessful ones is that the successful ones can work with others.

    • IanT
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      For a simple reason Andy. The Germans know how expensive this support will be – they remember German re-unification very well. I have a number of German friends and they are all of the same mind – helping East Germany was a national obligation (albeit an expensive one) – but they will not subsidise ‘Club Med’.

      Full stop – no Ifs or Buts – and the German political classes know this full well.

      If you believe otherwise – then you are going to be deeply disappointed.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Unification was painful for a while- then they had a much larger workforce and prospered. Merkel figured out she’d like to dress up the Syrian (et al) immigrant workforce as Humanitarian Aid..
        Pretty smart cookie.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


        German re-unification was indeed a national obligation undertaken with great success.

        But support for other countries is just as important for EU solidarity. There may be occasional complaints about costs and other countries not pulling their weight but the German public is a generous one and will want ALL members of the club achieve success and prosperity.

        Brexiteers never understood this and acted on narrow, nationalistic partisanship.

        • steve
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink


          “narrow, nationalistic partisanship.”

          Run that one past the French, who operate the EU Commission for their own ends.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink


            I am afraid your islander mentality has made you blinkered

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Its Steve
            Try and type correctly.

        • IanT
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          And at great cost Margaret – as for whether the German public will be as generous as you believe – we will see. I think we Brexiteers understand a good deal more than you give us credit for… 🙂

          • bill brown
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink


            I really hope you are right because otherwise there would not be much understanding of Europe

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Yes, the fact that this country, despite having weeks of warning, and being implored by Italy not to delay, but to act fast and forcefully against this epidemic, now has the worst death toll in Europe, has sent a clear message to the rest of the world, especially to the European Union countries, that as Claude Juncker said “there is something wrong in the UK”.

      They will all no doubt see exactly what he meant now, and understand that people’s voting Leave was just one more manifestation of that, along with their electing this government.

      This will consolidate the increase in support for the European Union among its extremely lucky people, and assist in solidarity.

      (Reach for your dictionary, Tory-Leave voters.)

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        oh of course……Solidarity like the Chinese wish for Hong Kong.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          China is not a democracy so what ahs the two things got to do with one another?

      • IanT
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Martin, oh Martin – we have left the EU and Boris has an 80 seat majority. This is not a rumour or fake news – it has really happened (past tense).

        Meanwhile – we are in the midst of a global pandemic and one day we might actually get numbers that can be really compared like for like – Apples with Apples – but not today I’m afraid.

        I don’t think many people care that much about Deal or No Deal – that is yesterdays news/problem. We have bigger things to worry about these days – like the furlough ending. This is just the lull before the storm.

        The EU will also be deeply buried in its own economic problems for some time to come – certainly well beyond this year and next.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          It was John who chose to write about it.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Most Europeans are pro-EU.

      Because being a member is beneficial to each country except the UK which is a net contributor and a net importer. All other countries are either net beneficiaries or net exporters so benefit overall.

      Change that dynamic, change the mood.

      • anon
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Lets see. The dynamic will only change once the direct & indirect transfers stop and we start trading outside the tariff wall.

      • Andy
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Being a member was beneficial to the UK today.

        As you are about to find out from the huge costs of Brexit – both financial and practical – that you will soon face.

        They neglected to tell you about these in 2016.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          beneficial today – how so?

          Last line- they – being?

  22. Javelin
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I would also like to repeat the point that all this effort is worthless if there is another virus leak next year.

    There needs to be an international regulator of viruses like there is an international regulator of nuclear material. There is currently a conflict of interest in the WHO organisation because WHO both sponsor vaccine research AND sponsor virus research.

    Gram for gram Viruses have proven vastly more dangerous than fissile nuclear material and must be regulated in the same way.

    Dom Raab is my MP and I have written to him in more detail explaining what needs to be done.

    • rose
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      What is needed is an international regulator of labs. But I can’t see it being accepted.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Ah, another arm of World Government, you mean, Javelin?

      Why the change?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I would suggest its been the lockdown which has caused more damage

      The flu like deaths in recent years have been comparible

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Written like atrue Globalist – I suppose the EU is an interim solution for you?
      The WHO has proven that your proposal cannot work.

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I really do not care anymore as we will be out of it in a few months. But if you want to be part of an all encompassing union, then all should have the same rules, benefits, taxes, pensions, and the legislation, budgets and taxation that goes with it.
    The EU went only part of the way with the Euro, but not with full integration in its truest sense, many countries still wanted some nationalism some separate identity, and that is not what you get, if want a level playing field across the board.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the French are not Major Net Contributors to the EU pro rata their alleged ‘greatness’ as an economy claimed as larger than the UK’s.
      Funny that!

      • hefner
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        According to
        the net contributors to the 2018 EU budget were in €bn:
        Germany 17.2, UK 9.8, France 7.4, Italy 6.7, Netherlands 4.8, Sweden 2.0, Austria 1.53, Denmark 1.47, Finland 0.68, Ireland 0.54. All other countries (18 out of 28) were beneficiaries.
        And in terms of nominal 2019 GDP in $tn (note the change in units and orders of magnitude):
        Germany 3.863, UK 2.743, France 2.707, Italy 1.988, Spain 1.377, Netherlands 0.902, Sweden. 0.529, Belgium 0.517, Austria 0.477, Ireland 0.385, Denmark 0.347, Finland 0.269, …
        So TS two points:
        1/ to say that France is not a major contributor to the EU budget is rather strange;
        2/ with 1€=1.09$ (as of 25/05/2020), Germany contributes about 0.5% of its GDP to the EU (17.2*1.09/3863), the UK contributed about 0.4% , France about 0.3%. (Figures are only approximate as the percentages are based on contributions, GDP and exchange rate at different dates).

        Funny that, as you say.

  24. Adam
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    People who are capable of supporting themselves are happy to enhance the lives of others by personal charitable donations to those in need. However, the notion of sharing a current bank account with every neighbour who might need to draw from it goes beyond tolerable control for anyone sensible. Citizens of individual EU nations might feel similar vulnerability about their national accounts, unless they are all good neighbours.

  25. steve
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The French have always made sure they’re in the driving seat of the EU, because to them France is more important than any other country, they see the EU as their empire. So any financial burden should rest on their shoulders, not the German and Dutch taxpayers.

  26. margaret howard
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    How much has the EU spent on regional development aid in the UK since we joined 5 decades ago?

    • Pud
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Margaret, the answer to your question is: It’s immaterial. The UK has paid far more into the EU than it has received from grants etc. When the EU do fund something in this country we are in effect just getting a tiny bit of our contributions back and, to add insult to injury, the projects are usually branded as being EU initiatives as if they were only possible due to the EU’s benevolence.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        no you are not biased and you are seeing the whole picture of the advantaes and disadvantages of membership because you know an awful lot about business. thank you for your valuable contribution

        • Edward2
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Is Pud you new target bill?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        With Tory governments they were.

        But Cameron even declined £160 million of its money for flood prevention schemes because he didn’t want “others deciding on how money should be spent in the UK”.

        That went well, didn’t it?

    • MickN
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      What you mean how much of the many billions we have sent them have they let us have back but only to spend on their say so. Got a joint bank account with all of your neighbours have you Margaret?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Whatever the total that spending was entirely done with our own money.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Zero – it was all our money dressed up to look like EU money and accompanied by banners stating it was from the EU. A lie. More to the point, how much has the UK spent in the EU on roads to nowhere, new motorways and repairs we cannot have at home etc.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink


        this is wht it means being part of the club the good and the bad

        • graham1946
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          Exactly ‘part of the club’. We decided to leave because we no longer want to be a part of it.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Less than we paid in.
      Figures are available on line.
      If I presented them for you I expect you wouldn’t believe me.

      • hefner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Yes, I would believe you as I am also quite able to get the figures for contributions to the EU, GDP, GDP per capita, GDP PPP, etc … and to check whether you are giving the right numbers. And it still is a fact that the UK contributions to the EU (at most £20 bn/year) were never even close to 1% of the annual UK GDP.
        So I love all the people on this blog who are saying that the money previously sent to the EU plus possibly that of the overseas aid is going to make a difference in the Brit’s everyday life. It was already very dubious before Covid-19, it will make even less of a difference after the 2-3 month lockdown and whatever measures will be needed to put back the country on its feet.

        Except if Sir John were in the future to keep a tally of where the money saved from the EU and overseas aid is now to be invested (which would be very difficult an exercise to carry out), I am afraid the £20-35 bn will be lost in the noise of future budgets.

        But I know I am going to be corrected: nobody (or at least only a few) cares for the money, ‘it is the sovereignty, stupid’ (as almost taken from J. Carville). I am just wondering how much of that sovereignty will directly feed children on free school meals in the Wokingham area.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Hefner.
          I’m certain your pal bill brown/ hans will be pleased with your post.

          My comment was correct despite your statistical wriggling.

          I notice how you bill and Peter are getting more and more vocal as the June deadline approaches

          • bill brown
            Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:47 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            this is not just about how much is being paid in, it is also about what industry gets out of being part of a major trading block .
            There is an interesting trend here, whether we argue with statistics are arguments or short comments you always want the last word?
            Has this got something to do with the so-called June dead-line or is this the stones and the glasshouse again, Edward?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Less than the UK has paid in, except for just 1 year…


    • Pominoz
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink


      …and how much of that has come from UK taxpayers – try many 100 %

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Less than we put in. Our role was to be their ‘Treasure Island’.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Sea warrior

        Read what Hefner actually wrote and then make some realistic conclusions pleaase

        • Edward2
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Well go in bill give it to us.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Much less than we have paid to them Margaret.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      It is called Objective One Status – but is in fact UK money returned to the UK under EU directives for EU preferred schemes.
      I am amazed at my friend sin the depressed regions who are under tyhe impression it is ‘EU money’!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      The answer is nothing as it is part of our gross contribution recycled. We then have to find the other two thirds of the project cost so it is ruinously expensive and decided by Brussels.

  27. Len Peel
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The EU? We left. Didnt you know? That campaign, planned by Dominic Cummings, did you miss it?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Sir John is pointing out that it turns out he was right and you were wrong – the costs rise inexorably and the EU is on a clear path to political and fiscal union.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Our host seems keen to divert his readers’ attention away from what’s happening in Great Britain today for some reason: can’t think why……

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


        The crumbling of the edifice?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      And now they are trying to destroy him
      Hold fast Boris.

      • Oh well...
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        I’m genuinely pained to say Boris did not need help from the media to destroy himself.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        No we’ve left and thats the end of the transition period.
        Keep up Bill.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I’ve never understood, frankly, why Mr Cummings was ever in the news at all. There were many references to the gentleman in the media and I truly knew nothing at all
      about him.
      I’m still not sure why he is in the news more than 66 million others and those who are employed to do a job.
      Though I’ve never understood why Prime Ministers in general employ advisors as without bias they all seem to be very intelligent and experienced across a number of fields.
      I’m sure I wouldn’t need an advisor if I were PM. I’d simply lock you up for your own good.You would understand.If not I would fine you.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        He’s in the news because they have nothing to report and don’t want to get involved with the real news story of illegal immigrants on the beaches. They hope to dislodge him and will then work on Boris to accommodate the EU demands in the negotiation. Why did the police not act against the reporters and photographers who all broke the 2 metre rule?

    • bill brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Len Peel

      I think you got that wrong the leaving date is 31/12

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Factually incorrect as usual, Bill. We have left, but we are continuing to pay and be subject to laws etc until 31 Dec, whilst no longer a member

        • bill brown
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          you are still subject to the rules so you are a member or does your club membership work differently?

          • graham1946
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            We are not members – we just pay the fee and accept the rules for nothing as demanded by the EU and accepted.
            I for one agree that we should pay until the end of this year as we agreed the budget in 2013 and to bail out before fulfilling our commitments would be wrong. However it must not go one hour beyond the end of this year.

      • Will in Hampshire
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        No, the UK ceased to be a Member State in January this year as you well know.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Bill Brown. As you are fond of asking everyone else – ‘prove it’ and thank you for your valuable (if totally wrong) post.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Graham 1946

          Like you defending somebody calling Merkel a marxist?

    • anon
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Maybe a lawyer would say that.

      We have not truly left until we control our laws and borders without EU, ECJ control. That means also stopping direct & indirect contributions hidden in various underhand deals.

      We also need to reset the “establishment” courts , civil service , quangos, charities, back to obeying UK laws and wishes emanating from the UK parliament.

      Maybe a review of treason laws & EU contract clauses and others such like which may impose duties on those in positions of influence.

  28. Richard1
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The proposal seems to amount to an effective doubling of the EU budget, as the disbursements are planned to be c €150bn pa – with half the contributions financed by assumed share of the €500bn debt. Of course it is the sort of thing the eurozone needs to do but the amounts are not nearly large enough yet to match the sort of transfers we see in the sterling or dollar currency unions. Those advocating the U.K. rejoining the EU should note that the effective U.K. contribution would be at least double what it is now due to this proposal – assuming, as seems to be the case, that the whole EU, not just the eurozone, will be on the hook for it.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      To be clearer – has we voted to remain our contribution would now be doubling. If we rejoin we’ll have to join the euro in any event.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Rest assured that the EU does not look like it wants the UK to come back.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        No. They just want the money and will try to string out the negotiations into next year which will just result in more cost, delay and waffle if Boris is stupid enough to fall for it.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Graham 1946

          our net contributions is less than 10% of the Eu budget yo just do not get it do you ?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            But 28 members.
            You do the maths.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        but NOT in a hurry to hold a farewell party?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, although a large net contributor would always be welcome. But clearly the EU would say it’s eurozone, bailout contributions and all, and of course the UK in such circs should accept that.

      • IanT
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Excellent News! We don’t want to go back – so we are in agreement about something for a change.

  29. Tabulazero
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It is rather sad to see that you are hoping for the European Union to fail simply to vindicate your belief that the UK was right to leave it.

    I do note however that on the continent there are politicians like Chancellor Merkel or President Macron who are willing to spend hard earned political capital on getting their respective countries and Europe out of the ditch where COVID has waylayed them, rather than defending the indefensible and spending it all on saving an aid who thought that he was too smart for the rules to apply to him and showed no regards for the safety of the “small people” he and his wife encountered on their 200 miles road trip.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Inside a car is quite safe.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        200 miles with a toddler without a stop… seriously ?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

          Provable by modern sat navs and things like Google maps.

          But anyway where in the regulations does it say you cannot stop by the side of an empty road for a child to have a comfort break?


        • a-tracy
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          I think he explained this Tabulazero, and yes if it is late and the child is asleep you could do that trip without stopping. The roads are quiet most road journeys of that length are knocking 30-40 minutes off keeping within all the speed limits the majority of the journey is on 70mph roads M1/A1.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          they have been known to sleep that far!

      • graham1946
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Most Remoaners here are hoping for the UK to fail so they can be right for once.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          no we actually want the UK to succeed because we think if eh EU and the UK succeed together it will be even better for all concerned.

          So Graham wrong again

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        depends who is driving and what they might have been taking!

    • anon
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      260 miles in a car without stopping is quite feasible. You may not need to stop, it depends though on circumstance.

    • Disappointed
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      I get the impression, no more than, that trade talks with the USA are not proceeding with great success at the moment. I feel rather than know, the EU has nothing to lose by delay.
      Boris has blown it. Diminished our economy so much our bargaining position is near zero both sides of the Atlantic.
      But do continue blaming the media.Try blaming China, Russia, a dry summer, or ‘not knowing the facts.’

  30. William Long
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I have been trying to work out where this latest effort stands in relation to the recent ruling by the German court? Has Mrs Merkel just ignored it or does the fact that it is non-repayable by the recipients get round it in some way?

  31. rose
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Talking to our friends in Dusseldorf last night, they volunteered the information that they are very pleased with the ruling of their court against Mme Lagarde and co.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      If Düsseldorf and the North think that what must the Bavarians think?!

  32. ferdinand
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    This is the fallacy of economic equality. If you have equality then you supress the enterpreneurs to uplift the least by Governemnt interference. If you have inequality then those entrepreneurs at the top lift those at the bottom through freedom of action..

  33. ukretired123
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    “Le Crunch!”
    $64 Question.

  34. Caterpillar
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Aside -it is rumoured that Mr Sunak is now going to bail out companies, not withstanding the BoE’s likely continued buying of dodgy debt. The Govt needs to stop behaving as authoritarian Santa for the favoured. If companies are considered viable then the existing and new shareholders will support them, if this isn’t the case they are not viable in the economy which the Govt (not the virus) has destroyed.

    Like the lockdown, the dictatorship needs to stop immediately. I am surprised there are few, if any, MPs willing to stand against the Govt for liberty, democracy, the economy, the people. Have these MPs just mysteriously disappeared in the night?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, iPaliament has been semi-suspended with those like our kind host unable to get sufficient slots. This marks not the end of democracy, but its slow stranglation.

  35. glen cullen
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Urgent question to the health minister
    If this flu like covid-19 virus is in rapid decline why are we still in economic lockdown

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Because the media say we have to be ? Because it suits some left-wing politicians to destroy the economy ? Because it suits some public sector and middle-class private sector office-based workers just fine to sit at home on full pay ? Because not a single person involved in taking decisions on the lockdown will suffer financially either way ?

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        You’ve hit the nail on the head

      • Mark B
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        BINGO !!!!!

  36. BJC
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “If the EU decides to spend proportionately more in the distressed areas of its territory, then it would have some mild element of redistribution about it.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this exactly what they’re already doing? If the EU27 fall for this one, it will set up the direct debit for the future, without the indemnity, and I’m afraid they’ll deserve everything they get.

  37. John E
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Must be a slow news day at home I guess. Nothing needing to be said about events in the Downing Street Operation? Or has Mr. Cummings silenced you too?

    Reply I have no new information or special analysis of this issue which is being tall too extensively aired by people who do not know the facts on the general media.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      The news media don’t get to decide what’s news, although they think they do. Whether one advisor loses his job or not is literally totally irrelevant to me.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      reply to reply – I quite agree – – he will address us later. NOT guilty so far, but may well be guilty of rubbish advice, for which he ‘might’ deserve sacking. How can we tell?

      • IanT
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Well, if Cummings really helped win us Brexit and an 80 seat majority afterwards – then he’s worth keeping – I don’t need more proof than that.

        I don’t care how he dresses and I don’t care whether people like him or not. All I want to know is that he is effective in his job – because I’m very sure much of our ‘Government’ is not – so why throw away anyone who is…

        • R.T.G.
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


          During the full-throated roar of the BBC kangaroo court prosecution of DC, one of the self-appointed ‘jurors’ chosen by the BBC to speak, phoned in to complain that he and his wife caught cv but had stayed at home with their two young children because he thought that he was doing the #right thing etc etc.

          Without knowing him or DC, one can only speculate that, whereas the Prime Minister of the UK appointed DC, rightly or wrongly, because he believes him to be a valuable national asset, who had been doing his best to assist the PM with running the UK, he did not appoint said BBC chosen ‘juror’.

          Regardless of approximately equal circumstances, some people (and organisations) are more useful to the public good than others, and should not be lightly relegated by political cowardice.

          In view of their proximity, the PM and DC would very likely have become ill within days of each other, and by the nature of the disease, judgement could have been affected in both to a greater or lesser degree.

          DC used his best judgement at the time to look after his family as best he could so that he could return to work and serve the PM and by extension the country.

          Should a ‘compare and contrast with others’ exercise be undertaken, would it not illustrate the pointlessness of trying to equalise circumstances in the binary style employed and enjoyed by the media?

      • BJC
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        When there’s no other viable option at our disposal, most of us will opt to break lockdown. We’re all aware of the dangers, but will apply a huge dose of common sense to assess which course of action will offer the LEAST risk in the circumstances we’re facing, then act accordingly. Fortunately, we don’t have a bunch of hypocrites displaying their very own “2m haircuts”, snapping at our ankles and baying for blood.

  38. hefner
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    O/T and certainly more relevant than Sir John’s musings, at least to me: ‘The pandemic has exposed the failings of Britain’s centralised state’ by John Harris, 25/05/2020 07:00, Guardian website. If Britain/England wants to more successfully face a future emergency situation, it could maybe consider a few of the points raised in that article.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, anything I read in that paper annoys me.

      • hefner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        MW: It is a shame. One can sometimes learn by confronting different points of view. But apart from a few rare exceptions on this blog, confronting points of view is not the usual ‘modus vivendi’ of the average contributor.

        forthurst: so according to you the civil service is practically running a large part of the economy. Well one can wonder why so many companies (big and small(er)) these days are coming to the Government with a begging bowl. Funny but looking at the list of the recently published 100 biggest fortunes in the UK, I do not remember seeing so many top civil servants in the list.
        Then the only UK nationalised companies (that I could dig) are
        Aurigny Air Services (Channel Islands to LGW)
        Cardiff Airport
        Network Rail
        Glasgow Prestwick Airport
        London North Eastern Railway
        Ferguson Marine Engineering.
        All the rest of the UK companies seem to be in private hands. Whether they might not be helped by the present regulations is certainly a point worth discussing. But to link their past failures (before Covid-19) to the civil service without any responsibility put to chancer private owners and/or to wider market conditions is a bit (how to say it politely) analysis-light.

        As for FPTP, I agree, the Cons/Labour duopoly is unlikely to release its grip on the voting system.
        Finally just to make you jump: I don’t think that being a patriotic English(wo)man is any guarantee of success, but being competent certainly is.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      I read this article earlier to see if it had anything interesting to say: alas no. Apart from some irrelevant padding about cummings and goings, it fails to pinpoint the real problem, namely the fact that a large part of the economy is under the control of a self-perpetuating oligarchy, namely the civil service, consisting of huge hierarchies of Arts graduates ensuring that failure is inevitable, partly because of incompetence and partly because of obstructiveness. In addition we have a FPTP electoral system which by design excludes competent patriotic Englishmen from being elected to parliament and forming the government.

  39. Alison
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    There was quite a long statement from Merkel-Macron, I read the German one. To finance this, it said, inter alia, that there should be a financial transactions tax and fairer corporate taxation across the EU, with a common tax assessment base.
    Is this part of a move to sort out the corporate taxation anomalies in the EU, where a few countries such up the corporate tax generated in other countries (such as the UK in the past)?
    I wonder how the Irish government feels about all this, as a net contributor, and an EU country which benefits massively from being a ‘flag of convenience’ in the EU in terms of tax, whereby tax-generating revenues in other EU countries go to the Irish-based hq – Ireland levies a 12.5% corporate tax rate.
    Just wondering.
    Meantime, I see the CSU in Germany isn’t too happy with the Merkel-Macron plan.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      the Irish had their day after joining years ago – – not one hand in the purse, but two.
      They don’t like it when others take their turn, and don’t want more countries joining.

  40. Son of net
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    It’s a toss of the coin which is the worst, Boris von Hausarrest or Ursula von der Leyen.
    Sweden looks a better place to live for a libertarian conservative from a basic value system comfortableness and old-style Britishness.
    But the proof of the pudding. One needs to see Sweden warts an’ all. I’ll give it the once over if we are ever allowed out of the UK .This is country is now oppressive to say the least. The EU as a whole , a move there would be frying pan to fire.Mind you, many of them speak better English than the BBC. We’ll see.
    There must be somewhere on earth with more freedom than this…

  41. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the EU should have a referendum on the proposal. It would be voted down, of course. Back to ‘Revolt: Britain in the EU – in 2025’ by Vernon Coleman.

  42. Jacey
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I would be most interested to see some statistics on the growth of the E.U. economy over the last 20 years by comparison with the U.S.A. and China. This might give some indication of how successful ( or otherwise ) that the Euro has been.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Who elected him?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Well actually do something to save your life for once, and find out then.

    • hefner
      Posted May 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Jacey, the figures are available
      Real GDP growth of the USA from 1990 to 2019

      tradingeconomics. com
      China GDP annual growth rate
      EU GDP annual growth rate

  43. Richard1
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It is said that Mr Cummings’s legal, and as far as I can see entirely responsible, decision to isolate with his family in a property near to his extended family will undermine the lockdown and make the 14 day quarantine policy unworkable. If so he should not only keep his job he should be knighted forthwith.

    • David Brown
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      After the press interview I think Cummings is toast. The longer this drags on the more damage done he is now a liability.

  44. Diane
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Solidarity? The Cummings issue & the usual baying of wolves & utter over the top reaction to what appears to be a family & personal crisis involving illness, a child’s wellbeing and family bereavement, in my opinion leaves me wondering what has happened to rationality & humanity. Hateful sensationalism and trial by journalism and some of those who lead us now fracturing the solidarity needed to just get the job done and concentrate on the importance of what the country needs to get sorted out. With regard to the EU I think it was originally stated that the proposed action would likely be a one off but I think it would be very difficult to step back once that route has been taken. Whilst on the subject of Solidarity, do the EU’s proposals to have an EU Diplomatic Mission in London and a ‘mini embassy’ in Belfast have anything to do with Solidarity?

  45. APL
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hertz is an object lesson in why excess debt is bad. It might have been fine had the COVID-19 scare not destroyed their cash flow.

    But without cash flow, they can’t service their debt.

    The company reputedly has $1bn in free cash, but $24bn in debt.

    $24bn debt no cash flow – Boom!

    Looking more and more like horrendous debt deflation is here.

  46. Tony Sharp
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Not only is waht you outline not ‘a salable proposition’ to the so called ‘frugal Staes’ the proposal is as usual a brussels sleight of hand.
    What has been suggested is that the ‘releif’ comes from the general EU budget. As Italy is a Net contributor this means its contributions will increase and any net receipts will be reduced accordingly. So it is not enough at EU500Bn, it is the wrong sort of money and it won’t be available, if ever, until 2022!

    The only way a transfer can occur is for the PIGS to LeavEUro Zone (issuing their own treasury Small Denom Bills locally) and announce a haircut to the Creidtor nations. The surpluses held at the ECB can cover it – it takes courage but it can be done. Otherwise the PIGS will never recover.

  47. Old person
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    The EU still lives in the past.
    When Germany and France propose something, it is merely a formality for it to be waved though the EU parliament.

    Unfortunately, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark and Austria have said no to the EU grant scheme.
    The EU27 are a long way from unity on this issue.

    I feel sorry for the German taxpayer as they have only recently dropped their east/west Germany re-unification taxes.

    • James1
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      O/t. My sisters hairdressers friend’s cousin says she saw Dominic Cummings talking to Elvis in a supermarket in Las Vegas last week. At least she thinks it was him. Evidently, it looked a bit like him.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Love it.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t feel sorry. If they had a currency that reflected their economy, no-one would be buying German products – they’d be miles too expensive.
      This feat has been achieved at the expense of the poorer countries. Funny none of the pro EU lot on here ever refer to this. And yes, PVL, this also applies to the Netherlands

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink


        If people want cheap they buy Chinese. But as the saying has it: Buy Chinese buy twice.

        Buyers who value quality and brilliant design will buy a Mercedes rather than a Reliant Robin.

        If you wanted a good suit made would you prefer one made in Hong Kong or Savile Row?

        And incidentally the same criteria applied to Germany under the D-Mark before they adopted the euro.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink


        As you have not proven any of your statements factually it is a bit difficult to take them seriously

      • Mark B
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink


      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        I largely agree with you, and that is a major argument for giving support to Southern Europe. “Solidarity” should read “well understood long-term Dutch self interest”.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        First of all this is wrong both eastern, central and norther Europe has grown and become richer in the past 10 years and eastern Europe significantly,so can you please explain in more detail your stated hypothesis

        • Edward2
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Every positive occurrence in UK and Europe in the last few decades is because of the EU
          Every negative occurrence in UK and Europe in the last few decades is the fault of the individual nations and nothing to do with the.

  48. Bob
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The BBC witch hunt against Mr Cummings seems to be on a 24/7 rolling cycle.
    They are even weaving it into interviews on non related matters with guests from the BBC favourites list (so they can be sure of the desired answers).

    The BBC’s propaganda techniques are straight out of Lenin’s playbook.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Notwithstanding that, he must be sacked. They are showing utter contempt for ‘the people’. I wouldn’t mind being held in contempt by people who are competent but by this incompetent shower!

    • steve
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


      Yes, anyone with half a brain can see this is politically motivated.

      I think it’s a bloody disgrace that at a time like this the left wing biased media resort to bear bating.

      I’d like it very much if these left wing journalists were followed everywhere they go and the minute any of them slip up they should be treated the same way.

      Judge jury and executioner all rolled into one. Bottom feeding left wing detritus is the only words I can find to describe.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      What would you have said if it were a Labour government, and this were Alistair Campbell?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        More interesting would be to hear what you would have said.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Millions of us said and thought about him at the time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      They are indeed. It is a dreadful organisation wrong on almost everything. Especially climate alarmism, economics, big government politics, insufferably PC and steeped in identity politics and the evil politics of envy.

      One news item even talks of his 400KM (why kilometres) journey to Durham. I suppose that sounds more than 260 miles.

  49. mancunius
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Today one of the most avidly read senior German journalists, Rainer Meyer, has reacted to the ‘collectivization of EU debt that Merkel’s monarchic rule will not allowed to be openly so called’ with the message that Germans should immediately sell their property and leave the country, and go and live in one of the EU countries that will benefit from the German taxpayer’s largesse. Excellent advice.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      apols for typo: ‘will not allow to be openly so called’

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I must have missed something – I thought the whole point of the EU was that rich nations (us!!!! – despite massive debts and deficit we are, apparently, rich) pay in to the pot and poor nations don’t. Some give, some receive. Surely that is the whole point of the EU?

  51. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t someone get hold of his mobile phone records – they will show where he has been.

  52. Tabulazero
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    The arrogance of Dominic Cummings during his press conference and his total inability to simply say “sorry” is breathtaking.

  53. David Brown
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    To me its very strange that Britain has left the yet you choose to still comment about the internal matters of the EU. It’s almost like saying – well we wanted to leave but I cannot stop thinking or commenting on the EU its almost an obsession.
    We are now nothing at all to do with the EU we are now totally isolated from the EU just a piece of near bankrupt land off the EU continent. Why not talk about for example the Turkish Lira or the Thailand Bhart currency? Why the obsession with the EU or do you miss it??.
    To me Britain has left the EU that is until a future Labour Gov takes us into the Customs Agreement . Until that time I don’t think the EU should be mentioned again we have become Little Britain so we are inward and isolated. That’s it really.

    Reply Why so sensitive about analysis of the EU? All the time we are locked into its rules and making contributions to its budget it is crucial to comment on it. Bring on December 31 when We can be free.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Well David, Scotland may well be bankrupt without the favourable terms it gets from the UK (England lets be honest). Perhaps you don’t want to talk about the EU since they show no interest in you joining anytime soon.

    • David Brown
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Ok Fred, At least your comment has put a smile on my face, when I write I try not to simply follow the crowd but voice my alternative view. At least I stimulate debate and am not offended when I get criticism.

    • David Brown
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I guess Im so sensitive about analysis of the EU because to me it represents all the people across the European continent when I went on holiday to various countries in the EU I still felt I was at home because of the EU flag and feeling of one nation etc. Im not and never have been interested in EU rules or the finances etc, just the people . I prayed we would have one passport.
      However in my heart I dont think my dream is lost -the future is young people and how they will shape future governments. I hope they will be radical and look more favourably at the continent of Europe and not care about the cost or WTO etc.

  54. Harpy Marx
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ll watch bojo’s Press Conference tonight. It is said it is delayed because a British citizen unelected is taking the stage befoee him. One didn’t know Boris plays second fiddle to anyone.There we are. One PM less.

  55. ChrisS
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    “Is this a saleable proposition to them?”

    In short, No!

    It’s the reason why the single currency will inevitably fail.

  56. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, this is really off topic, but in Briefings for Britain there is an article written by Lt General Jonathan Riley. In this article he highlights how within the Political Declaration our armed forces could still be signed up to current and future EU control.

    Most people think defence is not in the Political Declaration, but it is. These lines contain a proposal for the UK to remain under the EU’s defence bodies (and even to join a new one to which we did not belong as an EU member). The main problem is that these lines are rarely mentioned and few people in the UK truly understand the EU’s defence bodies.

    He says, “UK political advice on the subject is back in the wrong hands
    The fact remains that no salaried official on the Brexit side of the argument has the sole task of understanding the EU defence architecture, despite its size and political significance for the current government. Therefore, the current process in which the Government ‘considers’ attachment is back in the hands of the officials who engineered May’s intended commitment.”

    He and Veterans for Britain are very concerned that if we get a deal, this situation will pass unnoticed until too late. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but, if not, wanted to bring this to your attention.

    Reply I and others concerned about this have been assured the U.K. will only undertake joint military activities with the EU when we and they decide it is in our mutual interest.

  57. Jasper
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Well done Dominic, I said yesterday it was a reasonable decision in the circumstances you were placed and now we know more of the facts I agree with him totally, if any one says any different is not being true to themselves! Why anyone would want to be in the public eye is beyond me. One thing is for sure this furore has proved we as a country love the blame game and have no empathy.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      He doesn’t want to be in the public eye – he despises journalists and with good reason. He always sought to be in the background and just quietly do his job, but they wanted to criticise his dress and the way he gets things done just to fill empty columns in their chip paper. Is there really anything more useless than a ‘newspaper’ apart from lighting the fire?

  58. acorn
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Me; I would get rid of the Euro currency in its current form. At the very least the Eurozone should split the Euro into a Southern (Club Med) Euro, and a Northern Euro.

    Then, the EU should shut down the EU Parliament. What is the point of having an EU parliament that does not command its own sovereign currency issuing Treasury, to operate its own EU fiscal – tax and spending – policies and; run budget deficits of any size, as required, to keep its economy alive.

    The ECB is the Eurozone currency issuing Treasury, Member states’ Treasuries and their consolidated National Central Banks, have to do what the ECB tells them they can do to not step outside of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP).

    Those that understand the Target2 payment system will see Germany is stuffed full of Euro. This, a result of ECB Quantitative Easing (QE). Club Med sovereign Bonds are getting a “repo” back into the cash that bought them originally. That Club Med cash then jumps on a TGV and speeds north to get, via Target2, deposited in German; Dutch and Lux’ Central Banks.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      At the very least the Eurozone should split the Euro into a Southern (Club Med) Euro, and a Northern Euro.

      And what would the rate of exchange be?

  59. glen cullen
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    todays death 121, so why are we still in lockdown

  60. Fred H
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    having watched the scramble and pushing of journalists and cameramen to get photos of Mr Cummings – I have to ask what happened to Social Distancing outside his house?
    They ought to be easily recognised – and I feel the Police should be identifying and ‘having a few words’.
    I would also like the Editors of the printed and communications media to explain why their staff or freelance cameramen are behaving illegally. The question of requiring them to resign or be sacked arises – just like that put to Mr Johnson.

  61. Everhopeful
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Bravo Mr Cummings!
    Well played sir.

  62. Problem solved
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Boris is allowing some shops to open. Local Authority ballots boxes and The London Mayor election ballot boxes can be placed there too along with voting booths. Something needs sorting out for Boris.

  63. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    The German electorate were promised that the Euro would be a hard currency and that there wouldn’t be fiscal transfers, so naturally they resisting what Italy wants.

  64. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    EP Chairman Sassoli: ‘the frugal four countries do not realize the seriousness of the corona crisis.’ I tend to agree with him.
    Another way of reading his statement is: “please realise the pivotal moment in time this is for the EU.
    Another way of reading the frugal four is to see that “not mutualising debt” is one point in a proposal with many points. The other points provide means to buy them off in the process towards a compromise.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Gosh Peter
      That must be a sudden 30 posts today.
      Is it because the June deadline is approaching ?

      • bill brown
        Posted May 28, 2020 at 2:52 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Stones and glasshouse Constable

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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