Freedom brings opportunity

The civil service seems ever keen to implement every last rule and regulation from the EU before we leave properly at the end of the year. For many years now there has been a large official legislative programme routed from Brussels by eager officials. Some of it may even have been encouraged by UK officials with doubtless some Ministerial sign off. Some officials realised a long time ago they could legislate through Brussels without any effective UK Parliamentary scrutiny, or without objections from any major political party or from most of the media. There was a conspiracy of silence about most wide ranging EU legislation, with successive oppositions unwilling to oppose it.  For officials it was a much more comfortable way of legislating. Some Ministers went along with or welcomed it. Any critical Ministers of either the process or of particular bits of legislation were usually told they had to accept as the UK was unable to stop it.

Some of the lengths they have gone to are absurd. The EU cumbersome data laws were incorporated into UK law by the general legislation continuing all such laws as good UK laws once we left. Nonetheless officials were so keen to keep exactly the same bureaucracy they got Ministers to legislate directly into UK law as well. As someone who values data privacy and sensible controls over data, it seems odd that this particular version should be so revered, with an obvious effort to try to prevent us seeking something  better .

This government was elected to get Brexit done. It was returned with a large Parliamentary majority to take back control of our laws, our borders and our money. Ministers now need to get the civil service working on how we, the UK voters and MPs, wish to use the new freedoms we will gain on 1 January 2021.We have wasted 5 years putting off enjoying the benefits thanks to undemocratic political forces.

We need to revise our tax policy to get rid of some of the VAT and other EU impositions we do not agree with. We need a new fishing policy that is kinder to both our fish and our fishermen and women. We want a new energy policy that ensures national resilience and lower prices.  We want proper control of our borders, so we decide who to welcome here, and how to keep ourselves safe. We want our own trade policy, with lower and fewer tariffs on trade with the rest of the world than the EU makes us impose. We want more local and home grown and reared food, with fewer food miles. We want to cut the huge import bill from the rest of the EU, restoring some of the market share in our own market that we lost under EU rules and tariffs.

Leaving the EU is full of opportunity. It is vital the government gives no more ground. The French and others are threatening us with tariffs and the EU Commission is telling us we will suffer if we leave without a deal. It shows how worried they are that we will do better once we have our freedom back. With the huge surplus on trade they enjoy, they would  be unwise to impose tariffs on us as it could jump start more domestic production in  the affected areas if they do. We could impose tariffs on them, and cut tariffs for the rest of the world through a series of trade deals , offering better terms to those many countries who want to improve their trade with us and who do not threaten us.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Exactly the nodding through of EU insanities by parliament has been an outrage.

    Given the economic mess created by the pandemic (and the reaction to it) we need policies to grow the economy and the tax base. Cheap on demand energy, far less government, cull HS2 and the other endless waste, lower simpler taxes and a massive bonfire of EU and home grown red tape.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      Boris has the right instinct it is time he acted on them. Say Charles Moore yesterday in the Telegraph – but does he we shall see?

      Matt Ridley today is spot on today:- “Forget the doom and gloom. The retreat of Covid-19 is a great cause for optimism”

      Indeed it is very encouraging indeed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        The leaving of the European Union brings the loss of vastly more freedom than it gains, e.g. that to drive lorries full of produce across borders unhindered, and the many personal freedoms for its erstwhile citizens.

        The article stands the facts on their heads.

        • Ed M
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Brexiters won. Let them get on with it. Instead, let’s please get on with other causes such as helping to grow the high tech industry here in the UK, greatly improving productivity, improving exports of high quality British brands, increasing number of high skilled jobs and salaries and so on making country more wealthy for everyone to benefit from in some way.

        • dixie
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Well now, there was no freedom to drive lorries laden with PPE across the French border to the UK and that while we are still in the EU. As for after, what of TIR and how do you think things will be if we reciprocate, Ireland currently depends on the UK land bridge.

          As for the rest, what personal freedoms do I lose that were of actual benefit.

          Perhaps you are thinking of the freedom to be hauled off to a foreign prison under trumped up charges and kept their even after my innocence was proven and accepted

        • Ed M
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          Also, let’s bury socialism. It simply cannot pay for the high quality life that most people want. Instead, the debate should be about capitalism, I think. What sort of capitalism do we want. For example, should our government help, in some shape or form, the high tech industry and / or help the UK car industry build the British equivalent of BMW, Volkswagen Golf, Audi etc or not. This is where we should be having debate in the country – and may (good-natured) sparks fly. We need to have more of this kind of debates as a country overall, I think. And be more united. Best.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            Yes, do you want the pragmatic, flexible Continental form of capitalism, or the puritanical Anglo-American one?

            The first seems to be far better at coping with emergencies.

            The disciples of the second seem to be more concerned with oppressing non-believers.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

            Might we be allowed to have UK version of capitalism?
            Independent and different.

          • Ed M
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink


            Our country just needs to return more to the basics:

            – Socialism doesn’t work. We can only have capitalism. Let’s debate what kind.
            – The family is a good thing. Brings personal happiness to individuals in it and stability to a nation. Let’s support it as a nation more.
            – Patriotism is a good thing. Nationalism on one hand and anarchy on other, aren’t. Let’s try and be more united as a country. Find more common ground.
            – We need to support the Arts more. Arts make a country more interesting, increases patriotism, and supports innovation in business and business in general.
            – We need to grow more trees all over England. In the countryside, in our towns and cities. Reducing pollution, making the country more attractive which is good for business, reducing stress (the green in trees causes chemical reactions in people’s brains resulting in happy chemicals).

            I don’t know. These are just some topics we need to unite more over, be less divisive about, find more common ground over, work closer together over. Best

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink


            By whom?

            By China? By the US?

            You’d better ask them nicely, hadn’t you?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            I was thinking “by you” actually Martin

        • Fred H
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          I shall miss driving lorries across borders.

        • Original Richard
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Freedom to drive lorries full of produce across borders unhindered?

          Well, membership of the EU didn’t prevent French farmers from setting fire to one truckload of live British sheep, killing 219 of them as well as poisoning, slitting throats and dousing others with insecticide.

          Personal freedoms?

          Do you mean the freedom to be conned by the massive German diesel emissions fraud without the compensation that consumers in the US received?

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, freedom to drive through Spain and France onto the Uk with shotguns and not be stopped once like we did. Marvellous – I don’t think..

      • Hope
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Last year Johnson bottled it, broke his word and caved in to EU vassalage.

        Read Tim Bradshaw’s article in Con Woman.

        EU will quite rightly think he will bottle and cave in again. As Mayhab did before him and Cameron before her. All three came back to lie to the public: Cameron claimed he reformed the EU! Mayhab told so many lies it is hard to know where to begin, perhaps the 108 times she claimed in,parliament to leave on 29/03/2019 under so many different circumstances to her own MPs!

        Johnson made clear Mayhab’s deal was dead, he broke his promise to the DUP and annexed N.Ireland, he did not tell the EU to go whistle for its £39-£100 billion ransom he pulled out the taxpayers’ cheque book and told us Brexit was done with his oven ready deal, not getting done as JR would have us believe.

        No trade deal, no ties whatsoever in EU laws, no regs, no ECHR, no military ties, no freedom of. Clement, no accepting immigrants from EU, N.Ireland remains part of U.K. Bonfire of quangos now required because they are not required to hide how EU laws and refs introduced by back door.

        • Nigl
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Agree totally. Our leaders have misled us. I always wonder what they believe in private. We must not have the ECJ etc having any influence whatsoever.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


          Do not forget, Brown, Blair, Major, and I am afraid even Margaret Thatcher in her earlier days.

          Our Prime Ministers seem to cave in to the EU once they leave our own shores, and mix with all of the other leaders.

          Not sure if they simply bottle it, are afraid/confused or simply completely overcome by the occasion, but give in they always do.
          Perhaps they are hypnotised, or get drunk on all of the bonhomie, and then lose track of reality to such an extent that they are prepared to score an own goal forgetting which end and which cause they are playing for.

        • Sharon Jagger
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          I read that Boris has agreed we must keep on with the ECHR….

          I must say I’m getting a bit nervous again.

          There’s a few things coming to light that we may be betrayed on…see my earlier post about the level playing field.

          • Hope
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            I thought Cameron was going to get rid of the man rights crap and UK to have its own? I thought Mayhab saw it as an abstacle to deport criminals?

            ECHR and HRA notmrequired in this day and age.

            Patel needs to cause radical reform in the Home Office. Asylum, refugees and deportations.

            Criminal justice needs radical change. Proof for murder needs to change, Sentencing for all violent offenses needs reviewing upwards. Murder to mean life in jail without release.

            Windrush needs to be resolved and used as a threat to prevent safe guarding the people of this nation. It needs to be accepted it was another Mayhab mess. Her excuse she followed Labour was pathetic. Leaders do not follow they lead!

    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      I have been asking for four years which EU red tape you are going to burn.

      Collectively you have all so far managed something about fish and VAT a tampons.

      A stunning victory over bureaucracy for mostly old men.

      Meanwhile 400m+ customs forms are needed for your Brexit – along with 55,000 pen pushers. Each of these 400m new forms will take up to 45 minutes to complete. How is that cutting red tape?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Your selective amnesia continues.
        You have had many replies giving many examples of directives, regulations, laws and red tape that could be removed.

        • Andy
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          My memory is fine. Aside from VAT on tampons none of you have been able to name any of these thousands of rules. I would have at least expected a long list by now but there is nothing. From any of you.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            You confirm my view of your amnesia.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:15 am | Permalink

            Andy, Your memory is not fine. That, or you are a different Andy who asked the same question a few months ago, and got full answers.

            But you still haven’t told us why you think the UK cannot be independent of the EU.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Seriously, why do you keep asking the same question (“which EU red tape you are going to burn”), and then claim you havn’t had a reply, when you have been repeatedly answered?

        There are thousands of EU rules. The simplistic notion that they are all vital, even to the EU, is unlikely to the point of absurdity. One example of an ignored EU rule is the requirement for EU states to adopt the Euro – Sweden for example shows no such inclination.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          If you hadread your home-work you would actually know that two nations were by treaty from adopting the EURO.
          So, please tell me whom, that is a good boy?

          • NickC
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, I can normally make a good guess at what your incoherent ramblings mean, but this time you’ve really got me.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        If we don’t trade with the little club – we won’t need forms……simple.

        • Andy
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          We will trade with the world’s biggest trade club. We will just do it on significantly worse terms.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            But we will trade with ourselves and with the rest of the world on significantly better terms. Which is more important, c87.4% UK GDP, or only 12.6% UK GDP? Even you can work that out, Andy.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          Yes, who needs £400 billion in revenues?

          • Fred H
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            There’s a whole big world out there and you can’t see further than Brussels….

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            Yet again you claim all trade between Europe and the UK will completely cease.
            Completely ridiculous.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            Martin, UK exports of goods and services to your EU empire were c£265bn (2019 Pink Book, ex Rotterdam), not £400bn.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Yes, Nick, you’ve stated that many times, as I have this:

            Then what about returns on investments, local cash flows generated by inward investments and so on?

            That figure has probably grown since Oxford Economics produced it too.

      • acorn
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        I can’t remember a particular regulation; directive or decision being quoted on this site complete with its EUR-Lex reference number; along with a reasoned case for it to be annulled.

        Having left the EU, there are an awful lot of opportunities we have just dumped that, presumably but not sure, will need replacing, to prevent the economy from collapsing. Particularly, trade deals covering some 70+ countries that we did enjoy through the negotiating power of the EU, as the worlds largest trading bloc.

        There are also some 750+ separate EU international agreements that the UK directly benefits from with 168 countries, covering recognition; equivalence of standards and rules of origin that will need replacing; presumably.

        The EU is the top trading partner for some 80 countries, four times more than the USA. If Trump wins the next USA election, he’s already stated he doesn’t like free trade agreements or the WTO, which he has currently sanctioned to a standstill.

        Remember, Trump stopped the TTIP, trade agreement between the USA and the EU. The terms the UK would have got with the USA via the TTIP would have been much better than the UK, on its own, will get with the USA. Hopefully Trump will be gone next November.

        I think JR wants the UK to become another U.S. Puerto Rico; or, another one of the U.S. (tax haven) Virgin Islands. Or even the 51st State of the USA!

        Re[ply Do stop spreading lies about my views. My views including a large number of repeals have been set out here very clearly and do not include becoming Puerto Rico or the 51st state!

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, you are so rude and manipulate everything around to your way of thinking. Not good.

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Acorn, TTIP was always going to fail. The EU is a weak, dirigiste, authoritarian empire so hasn’t a hope against the biggest most dynamic economy on Earth. Trump was just being realistic.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          You’re the expert on EU rules acorn – here is one objection from 2014 Brussels needed more cash that year to cope with overspent budgets. , the UK ended up having to pay EU tax for services and bad deeds we do not tax such as drugs and prostitution, maybe its EUR-Lex – Document 31996R2223 – who knows each document is so wordy you can probably tell me.

          EU officials calculated that sex work generated £5.3bn for the UK economy in 2013, with another £4.4bn estimated as coming from the sale of cannabis, heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines. But in short, it is one obscene tax all of us in the none users in the UK have to contribute towards to the tune of £1.7bn in 2014 alone, goodness knows what we have paid for this in the last six years.

          By 2010 the net EU contribution figure had risen to £7.4bn and an estimated £8.6bn in 2013 following a dramatic jump in gross payments from £12.6bn in 2008 to £17.2bn in 2013. So as our GDP has taken a nose dive this year I take it we will be getting an equivalent reduction?

    • DavidJ
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Common sense LL; a step too far for government except for our host and few other good and true people.

  2. Al
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I doubt you will ever find a bureaucrat willing to cut bureaucracy, as it is their version of job security. They are actively rewarded for creating more of it.

    Change must come from the politicians and, since Thatcher, there does not seem to have been the will.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      +1 but even Thatcher largely failed:- real-terms spending rose in every year of her premiership apart from two. Only in 1985-86 and 1989-90 did spending fall, by 1.1 per cent in the former and 2.3 per cent in the latter. On average, it increased by 1.1 per cent a year.

      Plus we had the destruction of many good Grammar schools, she fell for climate alarmism religion and did nothing about the dire state monopoly NHS. She even appointed a daft socialist, EUphile fool who failed his maths O level as Chancellor and allowed him to replace her, took us into the ERM and buried the Conservatives for many terms.

      She did however have many sensible policies but even she largely lost the war against the bloated, still growing, largely inept, delivering little value and largely parasitic state sector.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      We need 50,000 more civil servants to cope with the increase in bureaucracy caused by the leaving of the European Union.

      That’s as against 32,000 total, employed by the European Commission, for all aspects of their work for half a billion people.

      • matthu
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Or 1 modern computer?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          So computers are going to search lorries for stowaways and for contraband, are they?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            There are machines which X ray both suitcases and vehicles.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Rubbish on both fronts. We don’t need 50,000 more civil servants because of Brexit. And the EU Commission gets member states’ civil servants to implement most aspects of the EU Commission’s work.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Customs officers and borders staff are civil servants.

          If you want to police that border then you need a force.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            Are you saying Customs Officers have no powers?

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Martin, Who said Customs officers and borders staff aren’t civil servants? We just don’t need 50,000 more, or anything like. You’ve just made up the number to scare yourself.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Al, That is just right, and bears repeating – most bureaucrats are not willing to cut bureaucracy, as it is their version of job security.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    It has become clear, over the years since the referendum campaign started, that influential elements within the civil service were committed Remainers. Evidently they have not given up yet. Such motivation also informs and lies behind many issues that attract significant media and political campaigning. Getting Brexit Done will be a long hard struggle.

    • Peter
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The worry is that Boris is not up to the struggle.

      Now there is all this talk about October. Seems to be some slippage. I thought it was all to be decided by the end of June ?

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Peter, To be fair to Boris, the end of June deadline was about an extension. That’s been decided – no extension. The “talk about October” is about deciding which of an EU deal or a WTO deal is the more likely.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          You obviously know more about government policy than even Boris has yet to explain?

          So please share

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            Bill B, Michael Gove formally confirmed that an extension would not be requested or permitted. The EU has accepted the UK decision. It was all over the MSM on 12 June. Wake up.

        • Peter
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          I thought the plan was -talk until June and if there is no sign of agreement walk away.

          If it goes on until October they will claim there is not enough time. The EU will offer an extension again and the fear is Boris might take it. Or a bad deal will be done with fine words to accompany it and the devil will be in the detail.

          Boris could be still under par due to the virus, but the suspicion now is that he is not a leader and his judgement is poor.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Oh bloody wonderful? I don’t think. I despair.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            Peter, The end of June deadline for an extension is in the Withdrawal Agreement (Article 132).

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    “The civil service seems ever keen to implement every last rule and regulation from the EU before we leave properly at the end of the year.”

    Indeed but the state sector is in the business of over regulation, over taxation, licensing and inconveniencing the productive sector when and wherever they can. That is what gives them their jobs, their feeling of power and their gold plated pensions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      The fewer civil servants there are the less damage they can do.

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink


      “The civil service seems ever keen to implement every last rule and regulation from the EU before we leave properly at the end of the year.”

      Which is why most people will simply stick two fingers at any law that was EU derived.

  5. Mark B
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Some officials realised a long time ago they could legislate through Brussels without any effective UK Parliamentary scrutiny . . .

    Statutory Instruments. Bypassing parliament and the people. The other method is through regulatory bodies. And endless series of regulations designed to tie us in knots.

    Let us be clear. No man can have two masters. We are either an independent sovereign nation with a parliament elected by the people to create laws etc. Complete with a CS that works with government to form such laws and run government departments and the country for and on behalf of the electorate. For the last 50 years this has not been happening. The CS has in effect been our unelected government with the EU Commission our law makers. Policy has been driven from the EU via lobby groups and big business.

    Civil Serpents like to show who’s boss. Let us take one example, the two metre social distancing rule. Everywhere else it is one metre but, our CS had to show the world we were better and that they ran the roost, so two metres was imposed. Gold Plating they call it, and they have been doing it with reckless abandon and at great cost to us all.

    There is one great opportunity that our kind host missed in his list and that I have been banging on about for a long time. And that is the benefit free trade will bring for developing nations. Stop the handouts and start trading allowing people to get rich and not governments. This is the best way to combat poverty. The UK could lead the way and we will all be better off for it.

    • agricola
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Yes to your last para. Trade not Aid is the mantra.

    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      2m is a decision of this failed Tory Brexit pensioner government.

      It probably had something to do with unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat Dominic Cummings.

      We don’t know that of course because he doesn’t answer questions and does what he likes. When did you vote for him?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Gosh Andy, Cummings really has you rattled doesn’t he, for that reason alone he has my support, I’m neither male nor a pensioner.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Andy, It’s only in the EU that bureaucrats are not accountable to elected political masters (eg the EU Commissioners). In the UK, bureaucrats are employees who answer to the elected politicians. Cummings is therefore accountable where von der Leyen is not.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          If, Cummings was accountable he would have been fired, or do you miss the whole story.

          WAKE UP

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            Bill B, Because he kept the social distance rule where random rioters didn’t? In your dreams.

        • Andy
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Von Der Leyen can be removed from her job by the European Parliament. MPs can’t even question Cummings.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Andy, It is not the “European” parliament, it is the EU parliament. Only. It does not represent the UK, Russia, Norway and other European nations. Von der Leyen can only be removed in extremis, so is not accountable to the EU parliament in the same way Boris is accountable to the UK Parliament.

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Oh YES – Total agreement.
    What happened to Cumming’s project to reign in the civil service? Clearly overdue and now more important than ever.

    It has long been suspected that the civil service was working for the EU against our best interests – But HOW DARE THEY! — Who gave them the authority to act on their own initiative?

    Knowing how ‘establishment’ the civil service are, how can they be trusted in any way as regards briefing papers and advice to ministers… They really do need sorting out, and fast!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Well people like Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and May were all clearly supporting the civil service in working for the EU against the UK’s best interests. We still have fake “Conservative” MPs in parliament who voted for the treachery of the Benn act.

      One is even Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee – not a scientist needless to say.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I think the project has started with the removal of the PUS at the foreign office.
      There really needs to be a root and branch clearance of all departments and Quango.
      Give not one inch or there will be a leadership challenge.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Although it would be marvellous fun to see Dominic Cummings reign in the civilservice, I fear that his intention was merely to rein in the civil service.

      Less fun, but more necessary.

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “HOW DARE THEY! — Who gave them the authority to act on their own initiative?”

      Their God, Tony Blair.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris, Oh yes, the UK civil service has been working closely with “the colleagues” for over 40 years. Olly Robbins was a prime example of the rot.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Who gave them the authority to act?

      Why the Government of course, by the laws that it has proposed and succeeded in getting passed which preface that.

      The Tory Government, which has been in power for ten years, and which presently has an indefeasible majority.

      Do you think that anyone would break those laws, and that no one else would notice?

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        The EU, when it was setting itself up intended for the civil service of each of the member states to work for the EU not their independent nation.

        The intention was for all the Civil Services to be as one across the Union.

        At least, that’s what The History of the EU states.

  7. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Just enjoy your freedom and go for your dream of a mighty global great Britain. If any discrepancies between the dream and reality were to show up over the next ten years, it will always be possible to talk again.

    • Martyn G
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Peter, it is not about dreaming of a mighty global and great Britain, it is about becoming free to rule our own lives without the too often pettifogging interference of the EU mandarins (and, it seems, our own mandarins) and trade where we can to our own advantage. In short, it’s about self-government and freedom, no more, no less than that.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Martyn G

        Modest and OK reply, however we have been free to trade with everybody for the past 45 years as well with or without the EU

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Bill B, No we have not been free to trade with everybody – we must obey the EU’s CCP.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

          @bill no we were not. Trade into the EU from outside the EU is controlled by…….. the EU.

          That is what all the fuss around the Irish border is about.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Brussels troll up early today.
      How goes the €750 billion bale out fund.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg,

        It will come through and so will your silly remarks

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Bill B, And thank God we won’t have to contribute to it, because we would have to pay in twice as much as we received going by past history.

    • Andy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Thank you Peter. We trust you read UK news and opinion widely – and you realise the Brexit cultists are now in their death throes. The more their project collides with reality the angrier they get.

      The UK will one day return to decency. We will one day send a prime minister to Brussels to apologise to our European friends for the abhorrent behaviour of the Conservative Party and the Faragists.

      We know we will be welcomed back by our friends.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        It may happen, but 2 things will need to be clear. 1) Brexit hasn’t delivered it’s promises such as global free trade and 2) the eurozone has outperformed the U.K. I suspect you will be disappointed on both counts. But if you are right and the eurozone is a great success while Brexit is a failure, the U.K. will most likely in some years become a part of the federal EU and eurozone as you wish.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Andy said: “the Brexit cultists are now in their death throes”.

        You have a thing about death and Brexit, don’t you, Andy? Are you sure you’re well?

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


          Your comments are not factual and pathetic and most often wrong and factually flawed as Hefner keeps pointing out. do your homework better or keep quiet for your own self=respect

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Well, usually I’m right, Bill, but if I make a mistake I accept it, and correct it.

            Don’t you?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        The cult is simply Puritanism, which the UK Right have imported from the US.

        They insist on a puritanical implementation of capitalism, which prevents the pragmatism and flexibility in the face of emergencies which has been displayed by e.g. Germany.

        They are absolutely the same over leaving the European Union, and over the future relationship with its regulation and institutions, with similar results.

        They are, simply, fanatics.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          As brexit approaches I see you getting more extreme and hysterical in your tone Martin.
          For you to say the current UK State is in the hold of fanatics forcing puritanical capitalism upon us is frankly totally ridiculous.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            It is like yo asking questions in a debate where , the questions are totally irrelevant to the outcome of the next phase. Welcome to the party

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            Exit from the European Union has come and gone.

            Their Parliament is now blissfully free from the cynical and insulting likes of Farage, Hannan, etc.

            The UK has no further veto.

            The future is bright.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            Can you rewrite this so it makes sense bill?

        • SM
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          How do you feel about Viktor Orban, MiC?

          • bill brown
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink


            Orban is a mistake as the Eu has made clear as well

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            He finally explains why the USSR were quite firm with Hungary as a nation, perhaps?

            But what anyone in this country thinks about anything in the European Union is now of little consequence.

            The UK’s wrecking days are over.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            MiC & sidekick bb

            “The UK’s wrecking days are over”

            You make a real song and dance for two individuals (assuming you and BB are actually not the same person) that seem to agree the EU is better off without the UK!

            Your mask/s are slipping and bitterness appears to be at the very heart of your puerile sophistry!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Discrepancies between the dream and reality – sounds like the EU.
      Sure, when Holland realises it’s got a rum deal out of EU membership and want to leave (how much of the €750bn support fund is Holland being touched for?), I’m sure the UK will be only too pleased to set up a much better trade relationship.
      The British and Dutch always seem to get on well together, at least in my experience.

      • Nigl
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Go over there and play hockey. Wondrous and facilities, because the game is structured, all club no school sport, far better than all but a handful of clubs in the U.K.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I think this is right. If I was an EU-federalist I would welcome the UK’s departure as it is difficult to see how political and fiscal union could come about with such a significant member outside of the core project of the euro, and opposed by a large domestic majority to the EU federalist vision. The current Franco-German bailout proposal, for example, which is being resisted (most likely unsuccessfully) by the Netherlands and others would be much more difficult to get through with the U.K. also at the table.

      And as you say, if Brexit is not a success – meaning the promises such as global free trade don’t come about, and the eurozone clearly outperforms the U.K., then the U.K. will most likely re-apply at some point. If that happens we would have to join on a proper basis, euro and all.

    • dixie
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Always the allusion to threats and violence, you are projecting your motivations onto others.

      To achieve great things we don’t have to be “mighty”.

      PS The EU is in no way and will never be a sanctuary.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Dixie, That is very astute. It is the EU which is an empire, where the UK just wants to be an independent free nation, and not “mighty” at all.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          there is no empire not very astute

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            Empire: “a group of countries ruled by a single person, government, or country” (Cambridge Dictionary).

            I’ve explained this to you before, Bill, and whilst I recognise you have problems, you should have learnt by now.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      It is you and your friends’ dream of a might global Europe, Atlantic to the Urals, free movement for all, that was our problem. We don’t wish to recreate that here, but merely to trade globally and freely, unlike the EU which cuts itself off from others with tariffs.

      Sorry, but we’re ahead of you as a trading nation.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        Look at Sweden, Denmark , Holland and Germany once more and then tell me we are till ahead as a trading nations, did you actually look at ths statistics before you wrote your iece or a re ayou just getting too old to bother?

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Bill B, None of your list of EU sub-states can decide their own trading policies. So the UK is ahead of them as a trading nation. Wake up, or are you too old to bother?

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Apply that to the EU whose dream is just that and you had 50 years and still a nightmare for southern EU states like Greece , Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the Balkans.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:19 am | Permalink

        I think you got that wrong only one of teh countries mentioned has been a member for 50 years.
        2) What is wrong with Ireland, Slovenia and Croatia?

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          Bill B, The EU and its predecessors have been around since 1957, which is 63 years. So you are the one who has got it wrong.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      PvL, success or failure will down to us in the UK, not by hanging on to the German coat tails like the rest of the other EU countries.

      It’s an opportunity to ensure that UK Civil Servants operate in the best interests of the UK…

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Why are people trying to escape the EU to get to Britain ?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        and Africa and the Middle East – and China (but they come for a different reason altogether!

    • forthurst
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      We’ve had quite enough government by people who know best whether in Brussels or Whitehall; who even are these people? They do not so much love the EU as hate their own nationality which has never been for them more than a flag of convenience.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      No one is “dreaming of a mighty global great Britain” What they are dreaming of is regaining their freedom like the Poles did after spending 50 years under the yoke of the USSR. Solidarity lead their road to freedom & was the first domino that led to the eventual collapse of the USSR empire, after the rest of eastern Europe followed them. Brexit has led the road to freedom for the UK & hopefully show the rest of western Europe like the Poles showed eastern Europe there’s nothing to fear in freedom.
      The panjandrums in Brussels saw what happened in eastern Europe which is why they are desperately trying to entangle the UK in permanent regulation under ECJ jurisdiction to show the others under their domain not to go down the same road as the UK. Just as there are those who pine for the “good old days under Uncle Joe” so we have the remoaners bemoaning the passing of their cosy cartel.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      But Peter, with your excellent knowledge of many things British you must surely be familiar with our alternative National Anthem “Land of Hope and Glory”.

      I quote “God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet….Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set.”!

      The irony, of course, is that this is sung at the Last Night of the Proms by many people waving EU flags.

      This song will possibly be next for the chop.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Wish you well in return Peter.

      Let us hope it turns out well for both of us.

      No need for any of us to fall out, we just see the future in a different way, we should both recognise that and not try to penalise each other.

      So simple and logical really.

  8. GilesB
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    We do need significant change.

    But through lots of little Acts. A large Bill is a hostage to fortune – a coalition of disparate opponents can be mobilised against them.

    The focus for the next parliamentary session needs to be a) lots of quick wins to build momentum. For example a one line bill to remove VAT on women’s sanitary products. b). Simplification. Bills that just delete regulations rather than those that bring in something just as complicated. c). Freedom. Bills, as needed, to eradicate completely the pernicious power of the CJEU to pursue political ends through legal mechanisms

    You may also need parliamentary time to enact new trade agreements with other countries.

    Only after clearing that agenda should the Conservative Party turn its mind to major pieces of new legislation – however much they are urgently needed

  9. BeebTax
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I was completely exasperated by the UK gold plating of EU regulation in the policy areas I was involved with for many years. Totally unnecessary, and the Europeans were probably choking over their croissants in amusement at our useless politicians’ unwillingness to step in and do anything about it.

    In the end though, it was one of the factors that made the population here rebel and get us out of the EU. Our host is right, it’s high time this practice stopped, and our CS do what they are asked and no more.

  10. Adam
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    In the EU we have been as unfit as a patient who swallowed something disagreeable.
    Our operation to remove the obstruction succeeded.
    We have a few months convalescence remaining in patience.
    Soon we shall be fully free, fitter, healthier and stronger to do better.

  11. formula57
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Clearly, this Government is presented with a big opportunity to use the freedoms we will soon enjoy. Surely it will not let us down.

    You alerted us a while ago to expect more Putnams but thus far none have followed the original. I am alarmed they remain in post, (with some ed) daily working against the people.

  12. agricola
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Yes to all that , but as put it is a general wish list. The power should be the People to Parliament, Government and legislative action. The civil service are the scribes not the government, something they need to be forcibly reminded of.

    We have had sufficient political talk on borders, finance, fisheries and legislation. We have fannied about for five years of political point scoring. we now need to start exploring the reality. The starting point should be that none of the above subjects are subject to any input from the EU, end of story. So can we hear and start debating what conservative policy is, related to borders. When for instance does the highway across the Channel cease and when do we start repatriating illegals already in the UK. On fisheries, what is the scientific appraisal of existing fishing stocks. What are the minimum sizes by species. What methods of fishing are allowed. How do we intend to regulate our, and guest fishermen from the EU. What are the penalties for none compliance. Do we see VAT as the ongoing form of sales tax. Will it apply to multi nationals incorporated outside the UK. How do we level the playing field between them and the corner high street business.

    Time to put meat on the bone and ignore the political hype. UK Government can no longer operate under the cloak of obscurity offered by EU membership

  13. James Bertram
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Well said, Sir John. If only you were heading up our cabinet.
    With Bedwetter Boris in charge, I’m not expecting much in the manner of radical initiatives ( by ‘radical’, I often mean good old-fashioned common sense). So far every major decision completely wrong: dividing off NI; signing the Withdrawal Agreement; giving away £39 billion for nothing; HS2; Huawei; Lockdown, Social-Distancing, failing to protect care homes, wrecking our economy, continuing furlough, slow in re-opening business and schools – a constant stream of calamitous decisions. The Tories only remain in power because the Opposition are so bl—-y useless. What a state of affairs – hardly inspiring.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      James B, Signing the Withdrawal Agreement was, indeed, wrongly portrayed as Brexit; but it was a necessary step, given the political situation Boris inherited. All the rest of your list I agree with.

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Our adherence to EU dictat and our Civil Service’s desire to gold plate all EU rules are the main reasons why I wanted to leave the EU from 1987 onwards when I became involved in importing toys from around the world.

    All other countries bend the rules to suit themselves, we bend them to hamstring us. Even being a member of just the single market would not bring the benefits that the remain zealots claim because we would not make ourselves competitive.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Narrow Shoulders, I share your frustration with our civil service’s EU obsession.

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    We will be “free“ to continue following every edict coming from WHO, UN and other international bodies.
    We are already signed up to various pacts.
    Boris’s speeches are all according to the script.
    All this stuff about “battling“ Covid “together” ( the mantra they all use).
    A virus needs well funded, proper healthcare and separation.

  16. JoolsB
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The UK may be leaving the EU to be free to make its own decisions but until your Government and that other anti English party Labour give England the same rights to make its own decisions as Scotland, Wales & NI, England will never be free. Whilst the devolved nations will be free to make even more of their own decisions, England will still have unelected and unaccountable MPs elected outside of England meddling and voting on matters which only affect England.

    How is it going to work when Scotland decides it’s own fishing policy whilst the UK Government still decides Englands? As always they will want to appease and pander to the devolved nations at the same time as deciding England’s fishing policy. How’s that going to work, they obviously won’t be able to please both. We’ve seen what an almighty mess asymmetrical devolution is over the corona virus. We have a Welsh Shadow Home Secretary who could become Home Secretary in 4 years time who will be responsible for deciding how many hundreds of thousands of immigrants are allowed into the UK under Labour’s inevitable open door policy which they will no doubt introduce even though 95% of immigrants settle in England. And while we’re at it John, could you please explain why SNP MPs are allowed to sit on Select Committees which are English only such as Health and Education to scrutinise and hold Ministers to account when UK MPs representing (?) English seats have no say whatsoever on Scottish health? Why are our spineless MPs with English seats raising no objections to this.

    Until UK MPs squatting in English seats grow a backbone and start demanding equality for their constituents with the rest of the UK, both constitutionally and financially, England will never be free.

    • matthu
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Is Scotland intending to throw open their fishing waters to the EU, I wonder?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Bravo Jools. Good points made but I fear no action will be taken.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      May increased Scotland’s share of the UK’s catch when she came to power to appease them. It was, as we all came to see, the start of a worrying trend.

      England is the richest nation in our union. Without us the others would be little more than Third World nations. To keep them happy and the money flowing they need to be in charge. But it is hightime that the other nations were prevented from interfering in our affairs.

  17. Andy
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    So Spain has dropped quarantine for Britons out of respect for the 400,000 Britons who have homes there.

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if over the last 4 years the Tory Brexit pensioners had shown any respect, let alone that much respect, to the Spaniards and other EU citizens who lived here?

    Instead they were treated as ‘cards’. Lives to be bargained with. Shameful even for the shameless Brexiteers.

    Still it won’t be such a problem in future as our rights to easily buy homes in Spain and move there have been stolen so only a small number will be able to do it in future – exclusively wealthy and well connected people.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      As the pandemic has shown every nation state has looked after their own first in Europe

    • Edward2
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      The UK has said Spanish citizens living in the UK can remain here.
      No such statement from your EU.
      So quite the opposite to what you say.

      • acorn
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        The EU has no competence over granting citizenship. It is solely an individual member state decision.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Yet in negotiations by the EU on behalf on member nations they have yet to confirm the rights of UK residents in member nations.

        • NickC
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Acorn, Yet on here a number of Remains have declared they want to remain EU citizens. So the EU does grant citizenship.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Actually, the Spanish government has a process in place and details of it and how to apply are on the immigration pages of the Spanish government’s website.

        Technically, you are correct that there isn’t a statement from the EU, but that is because it is down to the individual sovereign member states to implement their own processes in line with their own domestic laws and arrangements. Citizenship is a national competence.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Yes technically I am completely correct.
          The EU has not confirmed the rights of UK residents in member nations whilst the UK has.
          Andy is wrong yet again.

          • Andy
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t mention the EU. I said Spain has looked after British citizens. It has. I said the Brexiteers have failed to look after EU citizens. They have.

            It’s not down to the EU to deal with right of Britons. That’s down to the member states. But all of those Britons who live in a member state will have their rights curtailed because of you.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            You are technically correct because it is nothing to do with the EU, it is down to individual member states.

            Your comment amounts to “EU says nothing about something that is nothing to do with it”. That is not a reason to criticise.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            Look andy, the EU is taking charge of negotiations.
            Spain might make some friendly comments but power lies with the EU.
            No real vote has been passed.
            Currently UK citizens have no guarantee they have the same rights given by their own government to EU citizens

          • acorn
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

            Eddy2, I think you are going to need a shovel with a longer handle.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            No wrong again acorny.
            The negotiations are ongoing.
            The EU has yet to make a statement confirming the status of UK citizens currently living in EU member nations.
            The UK has made such statements.

          • hefner
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            Yes Edward2, you are technically correct on an irrelevant point.
            And where did you see that the EU has to confirm the rights of UK residents in EU countries.? As most topics related to residence, utilities, health, house-car-health insurance (if one has their own house or car or supplementary health insurance in a EU country) this is a matter for the country of residence not the EU. From experience that’s certainly the case in France. And as far as I know President Macron (and the French administration) are still sovereign on these matters.
            Could you reference a proper EU text showing that the EU has to give their blessing to whatever is decided by individual country regarding UK residents in the EU27?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            Nice to see you joining in hef.
            I wondered if you would.

            Could you confirm the accuracy of my claim that the EU in the last four years are yet to make a statement that UK citizens are guaranteed the same conditions that the UK Government have already given.
            Surely you must know I am correct?

          • hefner
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Absolutely not. Your claim about ‘accuracy’ is bonkers. The EU did not provide such a statement because it had never been part of their remit to do such a thing. I do not know where you got that idea that the EU would have to make such a statement. Be honest, give the references of the EU text or even a simple announcement by any of the EUParliament, EUCommission or EUCouncil saying that the EU will provide such a statement.
            This whole ‘debate’ is just the result of your febrile mind.

          • hefner
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            From ‘Majority of EU27 favour simple approach on Britons’ residency’, Guardian, Daniel Boffey, 28/05/2018
            to ‘No deal, no problem (updated): More EU countries guarantee British expats post-Brexit grace periods’, 28/02/2020
            the installation of British people in any of the EU27 countries does not appear to have created problems. And certainly not because of the need for the EU authorities to rubber-stamp the decisions of the individual countries.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      It was Brits going to Spain, Italy and France over the half term holidays that brought this virus back over here in massive numbers.

      I was hoping we’d be banned from overseas holidays until Mid-September at the earliest, some of the biggest risks of a second coming will be holiday makers returning after August, teachers too fearful to go back into classrooms to set and mark work for pupils (even without pupils in the classrooms they should be in work full time) if any of them get on a plane ✈️ the hypocrisy will be just too much to bare – especially when it’s them that bring it back to poor children starved of an education completely for nearly six months and causing a second lock down.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        A-Tracy. I’m with you all the way on your comments on flights. If children can’t go to school because of social distancing then how come they are allowed to get on a flight for 2 hours or more, enjoy a holiday where I’m sure social distancing will be forgotten and then return on another plane with the risk of infecting others when they get back? Either we are having social distancing or we are not. Can someone please make up their minds. It’s all a farce.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Utter tripe. Spain has dropped quarantine because it is desperate to get some of the 2 million British visitors to go there and spend their money to bail them out.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink


      • bill brown
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Graham 1946

        They will be bailed out anyway but you probably missed that note

        • Edward2
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Bailed out by whom?
          Currently there is no agreement.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Did I say there was already an agreement?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            You said “they will be bailed out”
            Yet there is currently no such agreement.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      What are you talking about. The clean Brexit supporters inc Boris Johnson said EU citizens should be given right to remain immediately which they all were as soon as he took over. It was the EU which has dragged its feet over reciprocating.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Reciprocation will be a matter for each member nation, not for the European Union institutions.

        So “it” has not “dragged its feet” because it has no remit in that regard.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Why should Tory Brexit pensioners show respect to the EU when it is so hostile and vindictive towards the UK? Yes, I know the EU “had” to do it to ensure it frightened their existing recalcitrant subject states into obedience, but it’s hardly a good advertisement.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        Please explain your articulation subject state into obedience?

        thank you for your time

    • hefner
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      So after four ‘interacting’ comments, Edward2 has repeatedly and thoroughly proved he is fully and completely right on something of absolutely no relevance to the topics.

      Quick, BJ, please reopen the pubs that this pub bore can get back to his normal audience.

  18. ukretired123
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Great insight and integrity to point these hidden forces working against the nation’s best interests, thanks SJR. It explains why so many throughout the UK are just baffled being on the receiving end of many strange EU “rules” by bureaucratic jobsworths. Those who challenge insanity are further insulted with “Rules is rules” you know, disbelief and flabbergasted. So after 5 decades of this lame blame rules nonsense simmering discontent finally fractured the crusty half-baked facade.

    The civil service is overdue a digital revolution as it operates as a classic closed shop workers union with multiple levels of nonsense e.g. More pen pushers in the MOD than service men and women! They have Rolls Royce remuneration, perks and pensions and are bullet-proof jobs for life rewarded for shiny pants and failures. We cannot afford this parasite entity smothering the enterprising private sector. Without directives from Brussels they are a lost cause looking to stay relevant.

    The only way to redeem themselves is …. Well it’s like asking the EU to reform itself ….
    Mission impossible. But reform is coming wether they like it or not. Adapt or die. And if they don’t the country will suffer again.

  19. Richard1
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The threats and bad temper which we have seen from M Barnier and now from elements of the French govt are an encouraging sign. Such people have been used in the past to the effect of such threats being for the BBC, the leftwing media and a blocking majority in Parliament to prevent the govt progressing negotiations on a sensible basis. But that has now changed with the great Boris majority.

    Indeed the EU-federalist dogmatists are perhaps somewhat Concerned at the implications of a prosperous and growing U.K. outside and independent of the EU.

    But spare a thought for our small minority of rabid and unreconciled continuity remainers here in the U.K., whose rage and frustration will put that of EU bureaucrats into the shade!

  20. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    We need freedom of movement alright.

    Why can’t we drop the social distancing limit to 1m as the WHO says it’s alright ?

    It would end much dithering and devastation that is happening in our service sector.

  21. Duyfken
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Am I too impatient? Perhaps our PM is waiting until the end of this month (no extension to Brexit) or until the pandemic is considered contained, but I have/had expected a big change in the political outlook following the election of a Johnson government.

    So far there is little to cheer; on the contrary there are many unsettling signs such as the continuation of HS2, the Huawei involvement, the continuing illegal immigrant influx, no improvement in flabby policing or of others ill-performing in the public sector, and a general pandering to fashionable “woke” movements.

    With such a soft centre of government and civil service, I ponder just how well, or badly, this country will perform following Brexit.

  22. glen cullen
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John makes some excellent points and suggests the desires and wishes of the voters should be honoured …..We had Teresa May with a good majority and now we have Boris Johnson with a great majority; there is absolutely no reason that the points made haven’t been achieved

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      “Sir John makes some excellent points and suggests the desires and wishes of the voters should be honoured”

      Not really.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        they SHOULD be honoured – but will they?

        Fat chance.

  23. bill brown
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Let us not start a big blame game before we know what the outcome of the negotiations are going to be and talk about freedom right left and centre most of the EU trade more with the rest of the world as well.
    I am sure there will be a del at the ed.

  24. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    How likely do you think it is that the government will use their new freedoms given that they are not prepared to use their existing freedoms ? For example the freedom to return asylum seekers to the safe country they came from (France).

    On the other hand Boris expended a huge amount of political capital keeping Cummings – maybe there is a chance that the civil service will be shaken up.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Roy, ConHome survey said that 73% didn’t want BJ to sack Cummings a further 3% went for Don’t know.

      It was a good storm whipped up whilst people ignored all of the other MPs who returned from their London bases often class as their first home to second homes (not always in the constituency they represented) just the day before when their work in London ended, one female MP admitted she was so ill the day she got home she went to bed for 7 days, did she use public transport? One of the biggest hypocrites to me was IB travelling double the distance DC did to the Isle of Skye that had an outbreak the following week, who else was on the same transport with him? Or bumped into him at the airport? Or carried his bags? We can all play silly games.

      Some of the people I know who shouted their mouths off on twitter about this the day their work ended in London just a few days before went from this hotspot of virus outbreak to their Country homes and then screamed and screamed and screamed about someone driving ‘without meeting another soul’ doing exactly what they did!

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      “maybe there is a chance that the civil service will be shaken up.”

      You’d need a purge to get the Blair worshipers out, a very big purge since most institutions are completely infected with this germ.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        If they started 10 years ago we would not be in this mess.

  25. Nivek
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    “We have wasted 5 years putting off enjoying the benefits thanks to undemocratic political forces.”

    Boris Johnson recently made the following claim:
    “We have a democracy in this country. If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election, or vote for someone who will.”

    It doesn’t seem to work for changing the political landscape.

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      “If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election, or vote for someone who will.”

      Ok Boris game on mate !

      • Fred H
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        I thought we voted for ‘ someone who will’ – – not much sign of it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Churchillian….I think not

      Churchhill understood the people, the voters and the moment, and sailed his own ship

  26. ChrisS
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    When David Cameron unexpectedly won his first general election, we all had high hopes that the way government was run would change and it would become more dynamic and agile.

    I don’t know why we were so bitterly disappointed, after all, we had all studied politics and government at the school of “Yes Prime Minister”. It soon became apparent that, true to Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn’s wonderful scripts, it was business as usual in the corridors of real power. The civil service, of course, was still in charge and as determined as ever to see no change. Even when Cameron won his second election and was able to ditch the LibDems, it still didn’t have any real effect. Ditto with the hapless Teresa May who had the impossible task of implementing Brexit against the combined forces of the Civil Service, Remainers, almost to a man (or woman ).

    It’s for this reason, it was so important that Boris won a clear majority and has insisted on retaining Dominic Cummings as his right hand man. We might not like Cummings brutal methods and scruffy appearance, but something needs to be done to shake up Whitehall and inject some energy into government.

    A wholesale clear out at the top of the civil service is going to be necessary if we are to make a success out of Brexit together with the recruiting of new people from a business background at more junior levels.

    We in turn will have to accept that under the new regime, mistakes will be made and there will have to be U turns in the same way happens in any successful company. That is not to excuse the stupidity of the UK’s tracing app debacle. Why on earth did the NHS try to reinvent that particular wheel when there was a perfectly useable off-the-shelf solution immediately available ?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear ChrisS- well put!

  27. dixie
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It would appear no action is ever taken and so these people simply keep on acting against us.

    So what options and latitude do ministers have to sanction and punish civil servants who act in the interests of foreign powers.

    • steve
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink


      “So what options and latitude do ministers have to sanction and punish civil servants who act in the interests of foreign powers.”

      None. Blair repealed the treason laws, unsurprisingly.

      Tried a previous reply offering my opinion of what kind of punishment should apply, but it seems we are not allowed to say what we think should be done to these people.

  28. steve
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink


    Another resonant topic, which we appreciate.

    You say:
    “The French and others are threatening us with tariffs and the EU Commission is telling us we will suffer if we leave without a deal.”

    While what you say is factual, the issue goes beyond tariffs . In my opinion the french psyche is instrumental to their ungrateful attitude.

    I think we’ve had enough of French threats and now is the time to tell them firmly to ‘do one, we aint interested’.

    As for the EU commission, well everyone knows it is French – led and always has been. What better example of corruption is there ?

    As a patriot I am mortified by the fact that a country we liberated from tyranny is seen to get away with making threats.

    However at least I am grateful that you acknowledge we are recipient of threats from

    I’m a firm believer in history repeating itself, and I find amusement in the fact that France will find itself alone in the room with a unified Germany. But next time around we won’t be getting involved.

    I suggest Macron be told in no uncertain terms no French fishing in UK waters, and very little, if any, trade in other sectors.

    Macron should be made to go back to the French fishermen and tell them he blew it because England didn’t take kindly to French threats.

    He should also be explaining to his people that he cannot ease immigration now that the UK is no longer being used as a dumping ground.

    Boris needs to give the EU a bloody nose, and be seen doing it.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Re the last line, certainly politically. Covid has put him on borrowed time. I see Hancock still in denial about the app trying to blame Apple. Experts explained what would happen and he ploughed on ‘wasting’ 11 million quid.

      We deserve and need better, he has to go.

      • steve
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


        “We deserve and need better, he has to go.”

        He doesn’t strike me as an outright incompetent, and to be fair he can only work with the tools he has at his disposal.

        He might also have been told by ‘experts’ that the app would work.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          ‘He might also have been told by ‘experts’ that the app would work.’

          Then sack them publicly.

  29. Nigl
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Interesting article in the Sunday Telegraph how at the first sign of a problem the EU countries hand out subsidies breaking their State Aid rules. Presumably such action should result in legal action ultimately enforced by the ECJ but won’t because it will be deemed’ Intrinsic to the importance of the Project’ especially for the main players, Germany and France.

    If you can bail out your airline for instance, how is that a level playing field?

    Such flexibility would never be offered to us. No adhering to their rules must be a Red Line.

    Another article talks about the poor quality of spending bids, lacking detail etc. This will not have been an ‘overnight’ issue and no surprise when minsters with zero commercial experience are expected to oversee massive budgets.

    I was once asked to put in a very modest bid for some HMG money. When I said I couldn’t justify the spend in terms of payback I was told just to write something, no one would read it.

    How is your fire brigade bid justification coming on, I bet still nothing!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      More victimhood whimpering yet again – what a bunch of wet lettuces Leavers appear to be.

      • steve
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


        Err, no. That’s you wimpy snowflake remainers, that is.

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Martin, So we’re supposed to stop highlighting EU corruption, lack of democracy, rule breaking, and vindictiveness, solely because you’ve got your knickers in a twist about wet lettuces? You’ll have to try harder than that.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Nick C
          lack of democracy?
          rule breaking?
          Eu corruption?
          Could we please kindly have this exceplified?

          thank you for your time

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Statutory instruments are the method. They bypass parliament. Recently a lot of sensible medical advice has shifted into law. Our gym faces thousands of pounds in fines if it opens without permission. My wife is concerned about what happens if the playground is opened wrongly and people go in.
    Parliament simply doesn’t work properly at the moment with the lockdown. It isn;t fun – or intimate. the Mediaeval and 18th century were outstanding at making a really good atmosphere. That is lost for the moment.
    We need to get parliament back in control ASAP.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      All legislatures need and use something similar. It would be silly if, say, every new medicine requiring approval needed an Act Of Parliament.

      However, the method does require vigilance, and also trust. If Parliament’s trust is abused by governments introducing “rules” which amount to whole new laws in themselves, then the system is discredited.

      Do you trust this government?

      • NickC
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        But that’s the way the EU is run, Martin, by eurocrats introducing new laws that are mostly rubber-stamped by the EU’s toy parliament.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          Toy parliament and empire all phenomenas introduced by you but never explained either?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            What does this strange set of words mean?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Well, they wouldn’t “rubber stamp” TTIP would they? The UK will have to take that and more on steroids from the US on the other hand.

          You have the epitome of a rubber stamping agency right here in the UK though, with a Tory majority of eighty consisting of tame, eager-to-please newcomers in large part.

          Oh, the irony.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            I didn’t hear you referring to the 15 years of Labour with big majorities as a rubber stamping agency.

          • NickC
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Martin, Your EU empire toy parliament had no choice in the matter: Trump stopped it.

  31. Fred H
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Cummings should be redoubling efforts to rid the Government of the 5th column Civil Servants and ill-advised Advisors!

    • Nigl
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Camilla Tominey in the DT has written two scathing articles about him. I guess she is being leaked to by people he is shaking up, of course guaranteeing she retains their loyalty, thus ensuring more titbits.

      If the pips are squeaking. Good.

  32. Caterpillar
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I agree with the general tenor of the argument but do not agree with the specific point on VAT. VAT should not be made more complex by further differentiation of levels and products. Moreover, once one group of products is treated differently, people will campaign for others. I still suggest a very large increase in VAT with collected revenue then paid back to adults equally (i.e. like a contribution to UBI) should be considered. This is essentially a progressive consumption tax, with those consuming more than average paying more tax, those consuming less than the average paying less.

  33. NickC
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    JR, I had an odd conversation with a civil servant. The topic was Boris losing to the teacher unions. I said Boris should state what was required (children back at school) loudly and clearly, even if he could not persuade the unions. The cs was of the opinion that given Boris would lose, he should keep quiet. The whole conversation seemed to encapsulate what’s wrong with the civil service – principles are not important, and capitulation is the name of the game.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Nick, I wonder what the excuse for teachers not being back in the physical classroom, they could photocopy and prepare work sheets and work books, talk to groups via zoom, Microsoft teams, phone hard to reach pupils or invite them in to the classroom at a safe distance of course, even if outside in the play area to ensure they are safe and well and provide them with a couple of books to read, ask them to write a book review pen, pencil and paper and a deadline to hand in their work by, this could then be left on a Friday over the weekend and marked the following week and handed back when they drop off the next work schedule.

      Nothing works quickly in the public sector for all the children, I’d have sorted this out during the Easter Holiday ready to restart – the teacher could bring in their own child/children into the classroom during the normal working hours as key workers children can be cared for if not in the school by themselves as many private sector working from home people have had to sort out.

  34. Eric Blair
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    This government imports terrorists at our expense then allows them to kill us in cold blood. Johnson and Patel had better up control immigration as promised as many are starting to tire of his stupid globalist policies and unnecessary crashing of the UK economy.

  35. Pominoz
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    If ever there was a Prime Ministerial proclamation – this is it.

    What a shame you are not in the right position to make it.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I find it extraordinary that I never seem to read of any civil servant being sacked for incompetence, malfeasance, corruption or misbehaviour.

    40+ years of EU influence and corruption has left us with a civil service unfit for purpose and if the government wants to get Brexit “done” and maximise on our opportunities it will need to make a start on reforming this organisation.

  37. Johnny Dubb
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Sounds very much like a real conservative manifesto Sir John, so will be ignored by Boris, Carrie and Rishi, our leadership. Out here in the real world, the civil servants would simply be replaced with “Can do”, not Won’t do” people. We’d leave the EU fully and award fishing licences to France, Spain and Holland, the most strategically placed nations for us. Pity you’re not in Cabinet.

  38. BJC
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, Mr Johnson should take a moment to reflect on the damage his apparent dithering and broken promises over Brexit are causing the government. The reality is that the EU hasn’t conceded or compromised on a single thing, yet we’re still dancing to their tune. The government unequivocally informed the EU that unless there was a possibility of a deal BY 30 June, UK resources would be shifted to prepare for WTO. With no formal talks until July his deadline for action has been missed. Having reneged on this “minor” detail, why shouldn’t the EU expect him to surrender to their remaining demands? The message it sends is that he will do anything to secure a deal……….or is this the official “best endeavours” message to satisfy legal requirements and in the background we’re well-prepared to revert to WTO, with no going back?

    On a slightly lighter note, although apologies if I’ve said it before, but I’m often reminded how similar the EU’s penchant for bravado is to the Black Knight in the Monty Python sketch! ‘Tis but a scratch………..!!!

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      There’s also speculation from an article in the FT, that James Forsyth of the Spectator wrote about that is being reported by Briefings for Britain that Boris may be considering the level playing field. The idea seems to be that if we deviate from that, then the EU will impose tariffs, but that’s all.

      James Forsyth and BforB are concerned of the likely knock on affects which is starting to look like chequers 2. They pray that David Frost will not agree to it.

      To quote from a commenter on Forsyths article, “As a sovereign country, we can leave the level playing field whenever we jolly well choose”, whilst simultaneously whispering quietly to the EU, “But don’t you worry, we shan’t be going anywhere anytime soon.””

  39. DavidJ
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    All EU law and regulation must be binned otherwise we are not truly leaving. Of course relevant product standards must be applied for exports to the EU as would be required with any other country (except perhaps presently with GB imports given the level of rubbish in the shops?).

  40. Will in Hampshire
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame that our host indulges himself today by having a go at the “civil service”. A fairer assessment would be that civil servants continue to take pride in implementing new laws and regulations diligently. You may not like their content, but that’s not the fault of the civil service implementing them. They are doing their job, no more, no less.

    That the civil service continues to implement laws and regulations in line with the European Commission’s programme should surprise no-one as it’s an integral part of the transition period defined in the Withdrawal Agreement. As everyone knows, at the end of the transition period there will no longer be a need to do this. Happily, the government will continue to enjoy the support of the civil service who will bring the same diligence to implementing whatever new laws and regulations it may choose to enact at that time.

  41. beresford
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of absurd regulations, Matt Hancock has apparently said that the Government are considering restricting pub usage to smartphone owners, and making everyone ‘register’. What is the difference between buying a pint of beer in a pub and buying a cup of coffee in Greggs? Please use your influence to curtail the authoritarian streak in some quarters of this Government.

    • Mark
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Do they want to eavesdrop on our conversations? Do they fear we might conspire?

      If that is how they think, they should fear it.

  42. James Freeman
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Whilst there is a fantastic opportunity to do things better, you need to transform the regulatory system to achieve it.

    If nothing is changed, civil servants and quangos will continue to take their queues from Brussels and international bodies, then gold plate the regulations. Ministers will be hoodwinked, statutory instruments issued and rubber stamped by Parliament. Only the largest companies will have the resources to lobby the regulations in their favour.

    Key elements for creating better regulation should include:

    * A fair way of hearing the voices from everyone with an interest (customers and supply chain)
    * Greater input from industry bodies, less from government and quangos
    * A presumption of non prescriptive regulations based on outcomes
    * Ditching the precautionary principle

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Whenever I read anyone advocating “ditching the precautionary principle” my mind always turns to the tragedies wreaked on families in the 1960s by the use of Thalidomide to address morning sickness during pregnancy. Personally, I believe that the principle should absolutely apply to the making of laws and regulations. No doubt it’s possible to go too far in its application, but I think it would be safer for everyone if in those circumstances arguments were made for relaxation individually and specifically with reference to the particular case, rather than railing against the principle in general.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Please ditch looking before you cross the road, and be true to your beliefs then.

  43. David Brown
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    This is one topic that I totally disagree with you on. The vast majority simply voted to leave the EU to stop immigration that’s it, nothing to do with regulations etc. In fact as I recall the GOV stated there would not be any change to regulations if any thing more tighter regulations.
    It is my view the country is heading for a double melt down ie Corona Virus and Trade Tariffs with the EU. Add to this the possibility of the Democrats gaining power in the USA and as they have stated many times wanting much closer relations with the EU then Britain will be isolated and in economic melt down heading for the IMF. Fishing is primarily for Scotland and I hope the Scottish GOV does its won deal with the EU over rights. My wish is for a future GOV to reinstate all EU regulations and go into the Customs Union.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s a pity for those voters, that historically the great majority of immigration has not come from the European Union, but from the ex-British Empire.

      The UK’s leaving the Commonwealth instead might have been more effective at reducing that.

      When you say “the vast majority voted for…” you are claiming that a majority of the seventeen million, itself a minority of 26% of the UK population, did so for your supposed reason.

      That is not representative of anything meaningful even if it were true, and you offer no evidence that it is either.

  44. Iain Gill
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The problem with data laws is not so much the laws themselves as the fact is the Information Commissioners Office is so terribly badly run, biased in favour of big business, corrupt and incompetent. With repeated mass law breaking ignored if they fear the contacts the organisation has in high places. There is no “without fear or favour” in the ICO, Little competence, and little realism of some of the serious stuff going on.

    The whole ICO is regarded as a joke in the business, and organisations including public sector ones abuse that.

    We dont need new, or better or different laws, we need an ICO which is run professionally by half decent people.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Looking back on it, it was a grave mistake to agree to any transition period.

    Let me tell you about the unpleasant situation that has arisen with regard to probate on my late mother’s estate, which isn’t enormous – a house, a bank account and some shares. Being a trusting person, my mother appointed a firm of local Solicitors as her executors without forcing them to go through a competitive tendering process. They took full advantage and started their task by quoting rip off rates – £230 per hour plus charges for each letter written, each letter read, each telephone call, and percentages of the selling prices of the house and the shares.

    We had to grin and bear it. Then came a letter from the Solicitors asking for consent for additional work to carry out new anti money laundering regulations. I quickly established via the internet that these new regulations arose from the EU’s 5th money laundering Directive, to take effect on 10th January 2020, after a referendum recommending Leave and a general election endorsing “Get Brexit Done” by a landslide.

    It took me 3 letters to the Solicitors to get them to confirm the source of the additional regulations. I am still awaiting an estimate for the work to completion, the date that our parliament rubber stamped the 5th Directive (until then a Directive is not valid in UK law) and the name of the Government Department that issued the instructions.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      It is solicitors that need regulating, especially when they’re taking advantage of elderly clients or their Estate in this way (are they in England? I thought Scottish solicitors have set fees they are allowed to charge for things like this) you know a junior clerk on about £10.25 per hour is dealing with this for you not to get an immediate knowledgable reply. Thank you for the information though I will share it with friends.

  46. mancunius
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Tthe recovery of our EEZ and our complete sovereignty over it has many additional aspects for our future strategy, security, nutrition, energy and wealth-creation – e.g. seabed rare earth mining may well become simpler with advanced technology; the harvesting of seaweed will become globally more important (minerals, vitamins, more sophisticated nutritional choices); and our strong comparative maritime advantage will not be easily eroded by global warming.
    The EU is making a fuss about fishing in our waters that they never made when they had no access, i.e. before 1.1.1973 when we joined the EEC. Their anxiety is of course partly because of the way global warming (and continental over-fishing) has affected the shoals, sending them into our waters, but it is surely also born of their realization that we have a longterm potential resource whose magnitude we ourselves haven’t yet properly understood.

    • MultiID
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      the EEZ is an EEC concept started around 1973 and signed off by all members around 1977 when it came into force- so from before then we have no traditional rights out to 200 miles as it was and is now EU business.

      Before 1973 our exclusive fishing limits extended out to 12 miles only from a baseline around the coast and everything outside of that was as per traditional fishing rights by boats from various countries and it was not policed as such. The problem only came about when some of the European countries started to invest in super trawlers that sucked the living daylights out of the sea with no regard to consequences and with no regulation and then as with the Icelandic cod wars fishing was brought centre stage.

      Today UK sovereignty limits extend out to 12 miles from the coast but is different from fishing limits. What is going on at the moment between the UK and the EU is nothing to do with ‘fuss’ but an honest attempt to disentangle this awful mess.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        You have your wires badly crossed. The EEZ is a law governing independent states, not an EEC/EU construct at all.
        The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a concept adopted at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973-82), “whereby a coastal State assumes jurisdiction over the exploration and exploitation of marine resources in its adjacent section of the continental shelf, taken to be a band extending 200 miles from the shore”.

        In 1976 – when the Conference was still in progress – EEC countries preemptively declared the extension of their communal fishing area to 200 miles of its collective coasts (in 1976). Under international law, the EU – which is still not a state – has neither territorial nor CFP claims on UK national EEZ waters after 31 Dec. 2020.

        The United Kingdom has the fifth largest exclusive economic zone of 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi) square km. It includes Crown dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. It is a vastly important and underestimated resource for Great Britain’s strategic interests.

  47. Helen Smith
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    It certainly does, can’t wait to get out and plough our own furrough

  48. MikeP
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, the UK has always been a land of great opportunity and long may it remain so. The Government must seize whatever opportunities our ex-EU freedom offers.
    But at a personal level those who abuse opportunities UK provides or fail to take advantage of them have no one to blame other than themselves and/or maybe feckless parents. The apparent inability to convince Labour Councils to get their school chidren back to school isn’t going to help their chances is it? The weak policing in the face of continuing unprovoked violence on our streets, and mismanagement of our porous borders are all completely counter to the expectations of those small-c Conservatives who voted for you (like my wife and me) and the rest of the Tory MPs. Please take a stand against the Government’s ineptitude, we’ve had more than enough!

  49. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    100% correct. Wish you were PM JR.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I wish you were in a senior ministerial role too JR, Boris needs some serious gravitas with media savy ability to cut through this chuckling apologising for screw-ups, Williamson also just comes across so weak the educators appear to be just walking all over him.

      We need children back in school for at least a fortnight each even if just a couple of hours per day – we need to see if there is any spike before September or we’ll never get back (there doesn’t seem to be any spike from raves, beach parties, blm protestors shouting in each others faces and those are in what we are told are the highest risk groups.

      Parents will need to keep their children away from elderly at-risk relatives and those with pre-existing health conditions but the other children could go back and those that can’t can go in need to visit at distance at a pre-prescribed time window to pick up work to do at home with their shielding relatives.

  50. mancunius
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Everyone should google and read writer/historian Graham Stewart’s jaw-dropping online article ‘One Message’ over at The Critic Magazine. His quotations from FCO and DfID intranet messages to staff show how woke departmental chiefs are attempting to coerce their departments into accepting a culturally marxist narrative, with their contempt for what a senior DfID staff member preachily condemns as “the white status quo, the white version of history and the white glorification of history”.
    Stewart writes: ‘the Permanent Secretaries of both the Foreign Office and DfID have taken to signing off emails with – fully capitalised – “Black Lives Matter”. It would take a brave bureaucrat to disagree with that rank of consensus and as far as we’ve been able to establish, none has.’ The Deputy Director Special Projects demands that staff “Join the Race Network, and work to embed the Race Action Plan in your business areas and continue to talk about the Race”. (“the Race”? This is totalitarian language.)
    The DfID’s defiant response to Stewart’s article was : “we are committed to fighting racism.”
    Clearly, in his courteous summary Sir John has not told us the half of it.

  • 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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