A European recovery fund?

Last week at the video Council of Ministers the EU began to consider the Commission proposal for a E750 bn Recovery fund. This had developed from a joint Franco German idea. The EU would borrow money, and spend it on grants and loans, with more emphasis on the deficit countries that took the worst hit from the pandemic.

In the hands of the Commission this has become a way of borrowing at EU level against the security of the revenues in the next 7 year cycle of annual budgets. The money would start to be borrowed next year,continuing over a three year period and gradually dispensed as a kind of addition to the budget. So it will not be a fast acting recovery fund which is needed this year and the first part of next. It also implies there will need to be some disbursements to the richer states as well as the most needy. The plan was to spend two thirds of it as grants and one third as loans.

So far the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark have said No. It needs unanimity to pass. They disagree with the idea of grants and especially with the idea of pooled borrowing where they will be partly responsible for repaying these debts. So far their governments have decided to speak for the voters. According to polls there are large majorities against common borrowing in these countries.

The Council and Commission have decided to return to this in July, hoping there might then be some give in these positions . Federalists see Covid as an opportunity for a major breakthrough to a bigger budget and some transfers from rich to poor, as in a single country. The danger is if they push too far in this direction they may give more encouragement to populist forces in several countries.

It is also interesting to see at the same time member states who say they want more integration rapidly moving to more state aids and more national restrictions on commerce and movement. The single market the EU claims to love is under pressure to allow national champions, national resilience policies and more barriers at borders.

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  1. GilesB
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    You mean an EU recovery fund.

    We have not left Europe …

    As you say, not wanting to waste a crisis, the EU Commission has designed the fund as a mechanism to enable a transfer union: another step to ever closer union. A recovery fund designed to boost the economy from the Covid recession would be all grants and paid out this year.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Yes and if we’re not very careful we could very well become part of it.
      This if nothing else is a reason not to extend the transition period.
      This will never fly as unanimity will not be achieved.
      Let’s be gone fishes and all.

    • Hope
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      JR, your views on an article by Harry Western in Con Woman would be welcomed as it is linked to your blog theme.

      Is bottler Johnson about to sell out the nation to the EU, again like last year?

      • Iago
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        About as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      You failed to mention that by committing to a future disbursement and repayment plan Brussels is also binding the nation states of the EU ever closer to itself…

  2. oldtimer
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The words “thin end of the wedge” and “never let a crisis go to waste” come ro mind.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      That should ead “…to mind”.

  3. Nigl
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    There is little affinity with Overseas Aid here at the levels it is shovelled out, even more so when we are told tax is going to rise, to other countries who can afford to spend vast amounts on the military etc whilst we suffer. What are grants if not aid?

    Once again out of touch politicians, ours virtue signalling, the EUs blindly committed to a flawed project don’t care about the voter except at election time.

    • Hope
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      There is a view that overseas aid under FCO will now be a back door way to giving Eastern European countries funds in lieu of U.K. Yearly contribution! JR, any truth in the rumour?

  4. Mark B
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    So Germany and France support a financial measure that will get them, and probably others, out of the firing line of a depression. Pity they could not come up with a similar measure for Greece and all the others, forcing them to sell assets to them in a knock down fire sale.

    Oh. And as someone mentioned here, we should not use our overseas aid to subisise our competitors in the EU. We have been doing that for the last 50 years and I see no reason to continue even though the money is now administered by the very pro-EU FCO.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The EU has disaster funds, that get paid out for countries suffering floods and so on – but presumably payments to cover the CV tragedy would burst that little bank

    The empire fails miserably in trying to be everything to everyone when states have to do things for themselves, having expected the EU to manage disasters and so on – Perhaps there is a big difference between expectation of EU’s abilities and what the EU can easily do.
    With states operating for their own benefit it is less a union and more a top-heavy ineffectual would-be dictatorship.

    If EU countries want total responsibility from Brussels, then it seems like they are going to have to come to terms with giving the EU total control of everything, and we can see what a disaster that would be for so many reasons.

    The current half way house won’t work for long. The EU will demand more powers, while some states will decide that they’ve had too much. The EU doesn’t deserve to survive.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 1:40 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      there is no empire and the EU will survive.

      You seem to know about whom will have had too much and will then leave. Which countries are we talking about?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        The EU has been an empire in making, from the beginning. It’s misbegotten insistence on it’s own goals and rules and inherent socialism, the way it over-rides any hint of real democracy, as well as the secrecy and corruption of it’s institutions, demonstrate it’s main purpose; Power over everything.

        The people of Italy and France, minimum, have had enough of the EU – Their election will determine if the EU survives.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          Bryan Harris

          Elections in Italy and France will have absolutely nothing to do with the. survival of the EU.

          Maybe,later referendums might mean one might leave but elections not or most likely not at all.

          It shows a total lack of understanding of continental politics

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            It certainly does.

            Furthermore, the UK was the only member country without a proper, codified constitution.

            In all the others, membership is now part of theirs, and a simple majority referendum like ours would not in most cases satisfy their strict terms for changing those.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            Depends bill.
            If a party gets elected which is promising a referendum things may change.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            bill brown — A great blinkered EU view.
            Eurosceptic parties forming governments in Italy & France would change the EU forever

            Italy leaving the EU would be a big blow to the EU and would cause other countries to think again.
            But if you imagine that if France left everything would just go on as normal, and the EU would continue to extend it’s influence, then you are in for an upset.

            What is great though is that more people are waking up to the failings of the EU – it has become less of a dream state and ever more a nightmare.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Bryan Harris

          You are missing the point again there is not majority in France ro leaving the EU nor in Italy,so I am just asking who is blinkered, because he as a Brit does not understand continential politics

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted June 26, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

            bill brown – this argument is pointless – wait for the results of the next GE’s and see what happens

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Transfers within established unions creates resentment. Barnett is despised by many and is an unfair way of disbursing funds and causes inequalities between countries in the union.

    The EU will find the same issues if it truly wishes to move from a trade block to a political block. When the chips are down national priorities will always take precedence and that is the flaw in the concept.

    The poorer countries in the Eurozone can borrow much more cheaply on the back of their association with Germany and Holland they should make the most of that.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:02 am | Permalink

      Yes. We saw what they were like over the PPE

  7. Peter Wood
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    The political reasons are there, but the financial reasoning is stark; look at the national debt to GDP of the Eurozone nations, and see which can afford an increase. I’ll tell you, Germany is the only large EZ nation that can supply the necessary creditstanding for such borrowing.
    Will Germans agree, will their courts allow?
    You can be sure, this plan hands all the EU levers of power, if they weren’t already, to Berlin.
    The EU will have to change its name, Germania has ring to it..

  8. Andy
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I learn today that a bunch of Tory MPs are refusing to allow changes to Sunday trading laws.

    For people who claim to dislike bureaucracy and to like personal freedom it is ironic that they seem to support outdated complicated red tape which prevents me from shopping on Sundays.

    Sure, Sundays are special to some people. (To me they are only special because sport is on) – but Fridays are special to some people too. As are Saturdays to others.

    It is time to axe the pointless Sunday trading laws. Another pointless piece of Westminster red tape.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      It may have escaped your notice, Andy, but basically we are a Christian country.

  9. agricola
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The technical details of such proposals I leave to those better qualified to discuss. I would however state that a customer and neighbour of the UK is not much use to us in a bad financial state. Imbalance and financial disharmony is likely to lead to political unrest, remember Germany between WW1 and WW2. So let us encourage them to get it right, both for their people and their trading partners.

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Always held the belief that when push really comes to shove within the EU, individual Countries will vote in their own best interests first.

    We were rather always too accommodating of others, that is why the majority when given the chance, voted for us to leave.

    I will look on with interest.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Agreed. The more they move to EVER CLOSER UNION the less likely we will rejoin.

  11. Norman
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Statues trashed throughout the West, whilst a stature of Lenin is erected in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany – a city with an interesting history. Food for thought. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53123947

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      We wouldn’t mind if it were the majority who wanted this.

      A minority are being allowed to dictate politics throughout the West.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Just as ISIS smashing the ancient statues in Palmyra did not represent the Syrian peoples thoughts on their culture so the statue toppling fanatics don’t represent the culture & thoughts of the UK. Both are anti democratic demonic forces who wish to force their warped doctrines on the majority.

  12. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    According to the OECD June 2020 economic outlook, Britain will be hit as badly as Italy and France. But after Brexit there will of course be one fewer country to transfer money to. Also, it is still early days, these outlooks are very uncertain.

    In spite of headlines, the Netherlands is already moving its position. Rutte seems to attach more value to keep some rebate on the Dutch contributions and sees room for compromise come the July (in person?) summit. The step from the massive purchases of debt by the ECB to common borrowing is not so great that it couldn’t be explained to the Dutch voters before the next elections in 2021.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      A bit disingenuous, Peter. You must know that the money the UK gets from the EU is roughly half of what it pays in.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        Maybe there is a misunderstanding here: the €750bn doesn’t come out of the national contributions but is borrowed on top of it.

        The spending of the 750 is also different, mainly used for investments in economies most hit by the pandemic. As such normally net contributing countries like Germany, Italy, Austria etc. may receive some of these investments.
        Had the UK not have left, it would likely also have been on the receiving side, considering its likely economic dip due to the pandemic.

        • NickC
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          And who will pay back the magic “borrowed” money, PvL? Why none other than the usual net contributors Germany, and the UK if we were so foolish as to be conned again.

          • hefner
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            And what if the ECB itself were to start issuing 30-, 50- or even 100-year term bonds to cover the borrowing. Strictly speaking they would not be so different from long-term UK gilts or US Treasury bonds.

        • miami.mode
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Misunderstanding accepted Peter.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Peter are you suggesting that the Uk would have been a net recipient of money from the EU. ?

      Think it happened in only one year out of more than 40.
      The rest of the time we paid in more than our fair share to the majority, who took it with glee, offering little in return, not even a thank you, just held out the other hand for some more.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson: see my comment above to miami.mode

      • bill brown
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        Some factual examples would really help

        • Edward2
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Alan gave some facts in his post.
          Read it.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2


    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      PvL, After Brexit there will be twenty seven fewer countries for us to transfer our money to.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink


      We were ALWAYS a net contributor.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        @Mark B: just like the Netherlands and some other countries have always been net contributers.
        See my comment above to miami.mode

  13. MPC
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    On the 4th anniversary of the referendum result, and in keeping with your request for a single brief post from contributors, thank you again for all of your work in securing our freedom from the EU Mr Redwood.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Except it is an “EU” recovery fund rather than a “European” one.

    Just as with the UK, what they need to recover strongly is huge deregulation, far less government, far lower simpler taxes, cheap energy, currencies are the right levels to enable the countries to compete, freedom and choice for the individual and far fewer overpaid EU (and national) bureaucrats.

    I see that the absurd Swansea Lagoon project is making another appeal to Boris for funding so it can go ahead. It is even supported by Iain Duncan Smith can the man not add up. If Boris fall for this lunacy it will prove it is potty. The project is even more insane than HS2. Let the private sector fund it if they want to – they clearly sensibly do not.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      I meant – If Boris falls for this lunacy it will prove beyond doubt he has gone completely potty.

      Just over four years left to sort the economy before the next election.

  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Pooled borrowing makes sense within a currency union and is perfectly aligned with the EU goal of an ever-closer union- hard to see why countries like the Netherlands are complaining – smacks of the sort of petty nationalism they’re fond of accusing the UK of. Maybe our Dutch correspondent can comment.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:10 am | Permalink


      Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. The Germans and Dutch have been hiding behind the UK when it comes to stuff like this. No more 🙂

  16. Javelin
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I have a cat who looks through the utility room window and if it sees the dogs food it tries to enter the house one way or another to eat the dog’s food. The cat is absolutely relentless and I have to spend my time shutting doors and windows to keep the cat out. The dog gets anxious every time it sees that cat. My partner says it’s in the nature of the cat and the dog can be trained not to chase the cat. However, being anxious and trying to out wit the relentles pressure of the greedy cat became a habit which I didn’t notice.

    So I rehomed the cat and now both the dog and I are much happier and more relaxed.

  17. Tabulazero
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Happy Brexit day anniversary.

    4 years. Time flies.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      4 years. Twice the time it should have taken. And we are still paying in and subject to their laws.

  18. George Brooks.
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    This quest for very large borrowing has been coming down the track for several years and Covid-19 has driven the EU’s Council of Ministers between a rock and a hard place. Their careless and inept financial management that has prevailed for years will haunt them as the idea of closer integration slow unravels.

    Thank heaven we left the EU last January and during the next decade or so we will be able to develop separate working relationships with each of the member states to our mutual benefit and not be told one size fits all by a group of unelected individuals.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:14 am | Permalink

      We’ve not left !

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      @George Brooks:
      “able to develop separate working relationships with each of the member states”

      If you think about playing sports or cultural events, of course.

      But there are areas in which the member states will not want to develop bilateral ties, but will only do that collectively asEU, such as trade/tariffs, arrest warrents, and many others.

      There was a time that your now prime-minister thought that separate deals with Italy about prosecco were possible, so it can hardly be hold against you if you had a similar thought.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
    “‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many curious things to show when you are there.”
    “Oh no, no,” said the little fly; “to ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

    From “The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt.

  20. Javelin
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    My girlfriend manages several Toni and Guy salons. She is receiving non stop phone calls from women who want a hair appointment. My girlfriend has to tell them that head office has not received any guidance from Government. The clients are getting “really arsey” saying the newspapers headlines are all saying for weeks that hairdressers will be opened on the 4th of July.

    Can the Conservatives actually try any harder to lose the next election?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Javelin. I’ve had an appointment with my hairdresser for the 6th July for weeks now. (HURRAY)

    • Fred H
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      We know a hairdresser who started a ‘virtual diary’ commencing at Day 1 of release.
      I think there is a full 4 weeks already and growing ( as well as our hair!).

      A niece in Devon tells us of a call ‘Hello are you open for the services?’ ‘No not yet but we hope soon.’ Will you do a shampoo and styling? Yes. ‘Put me down. Will you do nails and hair on legs? Yes. Put me down. Will you do eyebrows etc? Yes. then put me down for EVERYTHING you did before. But that will take all day, madam. ‘I know!’

      We are still laughing.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        It has been noted that some prominent tories are looking very well coiffed!

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      …my wife has just cut my hair in the garden!…..does anybody know an open barber in the vicinity of Finchampstead?

  21. Dunc.
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Transfers from rich to poor, with the help of a much bigger bureaucratic body no doubt.
    Socialism next.

  22. NickC
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The so-called Recovery fund is too little to late. Worse, it is morphing into merely a method of expanding the EU’s budget, and hence the EU’s power. It seems we are getting out just in time, otherwise the UK “treasure island” would be in line for the usual giant subsidies to the EU empire.

    And actually the EU Single Market did not work during the coronavirus crisis. Export restrictions, border lockdowns, and state subsidy of big businesses all defied EU rules. No complaints about that from our resident Remain hypocrites. Only the UK should be hog tied by EU rules, apparently.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 1:37 am | Permalink


      Can we please have a definition of your empire and Remain hypocrites?

      I am not sure , who is the hypocrite here?

      • NickC
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Bill B, For the umpteenth time:

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

        Unsure who are the hypocrites, Bill? It is the Remains who have failed to complain about the export restrictions, border lockdowns, and state subsidies, all in defiance of EU rules, during the pandemic.

        Still, the EU empire was always thus: one rule for the EU and a harsher rule for the UK.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


          It does not make any difference how many times you explain it, it still does not come closer to reality except your exceptional one

      • dixie
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        @bill/hans – The Cambridge dictionary defines an Empire as “a group of countries ruled by a single person, government, or country”.

        Are you pretending that the EU is not a government?

        • bill brown
          Posted June 26, 2020 at 3:02 am | Permalink

          I am saying the EU is not a government but an interregional
          institution with some legal powers

  23. BJC
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Einstein’s wise words are very apt in describing the EU: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

    Quite rightly, European governments are questioning the efficacy of the EU political construct and trust is dissipating at an alarming rate. Which way will they jump, is the multi-billion Euro question. It’s going to be an extraordinarily brave government that puts EU ideology ahead of its electorate, so I predict a gradual “conscious uncoupling” from the EU by some key players.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink


      EU logic….

      …the problem with the European Nation States: they do not have enough EU ideology….so the solution, give them more EU ideology?

      …..for the EU it is simply existential!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

      No, as Einstein later accepted, it’s the definition of quantum physics.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      Well since one of its key paymasters is Leaving the cost to them has risen.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    We are not neutral in all of this. Now that we have left EU, we are not interested in European Union succeeding, not that there’s a lot we can do about it in the short term. I’m on the side of the hard currency Member States. They should be demanding from Italy a plan to reduce its State debt. Italy’s problem is that they have been fiscally lax for so long that they can only borrow short at high rates.

    The deficit Member States do have scope for behaving better. When the Greek crisis broke, many Greek civil servants were being paid pensions from age 53 and the Greek army was 400,000 strong in a nation of only 10 million people.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      @Lindsay McDougall:
      Why “not interested in European Union succeeding”.
      I still am interested in the UK succeeding. Having unsuccesful states or enities on your doorstep might not be so great for yourselves either.

      A succesful Britain next to a succesful EU might one day develop interesting cooperation to mutual benefit.

    • NickC
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Lindsay M, No we have not left the EU. We are still controlled by the EU via the WA treaty.

  25. Adam
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The EU demonstrate the folly of a person opening his bank account to share with his neighbours. Even worse, they try to be the bank manager instructing the money owner how to spend, donate and waste his own dosh.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink


      Like the UK government and the BoE

  26. nhsgp
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The idea’s like the Greek bailout.
    750 bn borrowed.
    50 bn goes to the Eurocrats for running it.
    699 bn is divided up between Germany and France
    1 bn goes on the press saying how good the scheme is for Italy, Spain etc.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Your on the ball. Quite right! Obviously not running the NHS!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:19 am | Permalink


    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink


      can we have some real factual information and not your illusions please?

  27. ukretired123
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This will be the tipping point and litmus test of Le Project!
    Damned if they do & Damned if they dont!
    Brussels cannot afford to “give”.
    Then again they are all doomed if they dont.
    The perfect storm has arrived sadly for all.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      @ukretired123: I differ with you in that I think that Brussels can afford to give, although the better word would be “invest”.
      Brussels is not alien to gifts. The so-called EU Cohesion Funds and Structural Funds are (IMHO) also disbursed as gifts, not as loans.

    Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Does this PM believe that our constitutional monarchy should be abolished? Well, last week he endorsed a US based Marxist political movement that does.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Whichever way the prevailing wind blows!
      And to Hell with the consequences.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Well Prince Harry obviously does, he endorsed BLM too, and abolishing ‘swing low’.

  29. Mark
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the eurocent is beginning to drop. Spending on projects with little prospect of return makes little sense, whoever does it. Of course, the biggest of these will be associated with the EU’s adoption of zero carbon policy, which will make the bill for the virus seem like a pfennig – no longer in circulation, but at least it had a token value.

    I noted that IFOP conducted a sondage reported at the weekend. It showed Macron and le Pen neck and neck for a presidential first round on about 28% apiece (depending on the Les Republicans candidate either had a 1% lead) , with no other candidates anywhere close to challenging. Whereas Macron won the presidency on a two thirds vote in the second round, they assess his margin substantially narrowed to 55/45 now. That’s a big swing against him.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      No, the euro is up above ninety pence again.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Macron will not be worried about those figures.

      Le Pen can carry the first round as long as she does not reach 50%.

      The anyone but Le Pen candidate will always win the second round. It is exactly the same problem that Farage has trying to get into Parliament, the anyone but Farage candidate always wins. Ed Balls had the same problem in 2017 to show that it happens to personalities not political viewpoints.

  30. William Long
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The direction of travel of the EU Commission towards fiscal union is clear, even if heavily masked in EU fudge: but what are the chances of the opposing states actually digging their heels in? Not great if the reported weakening in Germany is anything to go by.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      The Commission’s direction of travel is defined by whatever the Council of the twenty-seven leaders wants it to be within the treaties, William.

      That is the supreme power in the European Union.

      • NickC
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        True, Martin, the EU 27 are still dreaming of empire.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:29 am | Permalink


          most of them are actually not

          • NickC
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, Well, the EU certainly is.

  31. Tim the Coder
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I wonder, in which global finance center the EU will try to borrow this 750bn ?
    London is obviously out, Brexit and so on.
    Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Athens?
    Will the EU go begging to the Americans? The irony is huge.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      The ECB will print the money and lend it to the banks. The banks then lend it to the EU with their markup.
      At least I think that’s the way it works.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      probably the Russians or Chinese…

  32. rose
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    If the Wuhan virus has shown us anything it is surely that the EU cannot be run as one country.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


      You mean unlike England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales? The corona virus debacle here given the independence movement a huge boost.

      • rose
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        If you take the trouble to examine what the medical officers of the four parts of the Union are recommending, and what they politicians are saying, you will not find much material difference. They are drawing on the same pool of scientific advice. Don’t always fall for the BBC/Sky spin.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 1:34 am | Permalink


      Nobody wants one country and after the mess we made of it, we might need help next time

      • NickC
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, Well certainly the EU made a complete horlicks of it this time. But why should you expect anyone to help out the EU next time? Certainly we won’t.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink


          what are you actually talking about?

          • NickC
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, I might well ask you the same. But since you asked – the EU has made a horlicks of the pandemic; and we’re not going to help out the EU this time, or next time.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      So the European Union is poor at doing things that it was never intended by anyone to do, and that no one is trying to implement?

      Is that supposed to be a criticism?

      • NickC
        Posted June 25, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The EU didn’t even work where it was supposed to.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 26, 2020 at 2:58 am | Permalink

          we all know about MOnnet’s plan you are getting carried away n conspiracy theories again

  33. Lorna
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Are you just obsessed with the EU even though we have left it, or is this an attempt to deflect attention from how badly Brexit is going (Japan today the latest country to laugh out loud at the idea it will give the UK as good terms as it gives the EU)? Either way, your posts sound increasingly desperate

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Lorna, Who gave you the right to decide whether we can talk about the EU or not? And as Remains keep telling us, the EU is a large empire (except they don’t approve of that term, but it fits) on our doorstep. So we will continue to analyse its absurdities until it collapses.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink


        “So we will continue to analyse its absurdities until it collapses.”

        So you won’t mind if we Remainers continue to analyse the absurdities of the GB union where each member state gives almost daily briefings about the different ways they plan to tackle this crisis.

        In my dictionary the word ’empire’ is described as:

        “an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state.

        The EU has no monarch, is not run by an oligarchy and all its members are sovereign state who govern themselves but belong to the world’s most successful trading bloc.

        No bets on which is more likely to collapse in the near future.

        • NickC
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, The definitions of “empire” vary slightly, but an oligarchy is what the EU Commission is. And as far as I’m concerned you are free to “analyse” whatever you want. You see, unlike Remains, I’m not authoritarian.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink


        there will be no collapse and your empire idea is absurd, can we have some proof of your collapse theory, please?

        • NickC
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, No – because you don’t understand the difference between an opinion and a fact. And I did not say the EU will collapse – I said “until it collapses” – if it doesn’t collapse, then we will watch it forever.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 26, 2020 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        EU Covid performance

        Have you missed the fact and the research by the OECD that there was only one country in Europe who performed worse during the COVID tan Britain and that was Belgium and as the EU had nothing directly t do with the fight in each country you are talking nonsense again

  34. ChrisS
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The elephant in the room has finally outgrown the building and is likely to burst the bubble that is the Eurozone.

    There is no appetite amongst voters in the very few net contributing countries to increase the budget or collectivise debts and borrowings across the EZ. Even Merkel knows that she can only go so far because, not only voters, but the members of her own party and the Constitutional Court are very firmly against an integrated budget, and in particular, financing the poorer countries via Eurobonds. Nothing Macron can say or do will change that.

    A final argument over full fiscal integration has been brewing for more than a decade and they can only fudge the issue for so long. Unless some imaginative solution is found, either the Eurozone will split into at least three blocs or some countries will eventually leave altogether. The good news would, of course, then be that there would be more currencies and that would mean more business for the City of London.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink


      ” The good news would, of course, then be that there would be more currencies and that would mean more business for the City of London.”

      You mean where the £ will regain its position as the second most traded world currency which it has lost against the euro some time ago?

      It’s not doing very well at the moment, is it?

      • ChrisS
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Do try to keep up, Margaret.

        If the Eurozone splits into several components, they will each have their own currency. Trade will require that there will be a huge increase in currency exchanging going on between the different blocs and the place that this happens at the moment is overwhelmingly in London.

        In fact, much to the intense annoyance of Brussels, and especially Macron, London’s share of the global currency exchange market has been growing. In 2019 it was more 43% of the total !
        By contrast New York accounted for just 16% and Hong Kong 7.6%

        It has nothing to do with the pound.

        Source :

    • NickC
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      ChrisS, It is true that most voters in the few net contributing states oppose both an increase in the budget, and the collectivisation of debts across the EZ.

      So they will be hoodwinked by the EU, as is the normal EU method. The EU empire was always built on lies.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


        Which and what empire and which lies?

        • NickC
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          The EU empire, Bill, as defined, and as called by some EU politicians. The basic lie of the EU is Monnet’s plan to deceive the people of Europe by building the EU behind closed doors.

        • mancunius
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          The lies of an empire that pretends it is not even a state, while trying to exact vassal statuts from a neighbouring independent country.
          The lies of a ‘President’ who claims that ‘when it gets serious you have to lie’.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 26, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink


            interesting point of vies but not really substantiated

      • ChrisS
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        I entirely agree, NickC, but Brussels can only duck, dive and fudge for so long. Sooner or later the whole thing will unravel.

        At least we will be on the outside ready to pick up the lions share of the vastr increase in currency transactions it will cause.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 26, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Chris S

      Anything that is bad for the EU is usually bad for the City of London, so I cannot share your unsubstantiated hypothesis

  35. mancunius
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    “It also implies there will need to be some disbursements to the richer states”
    As the German media repeatedly insists, this is its very point – to prop up mercantilist sales to the other EU countries and aid German industry with ‘grants’ at the same time, avoiding the direct state aid that the EC would not be able to overlook.
    The Germans know this already, and a majority is tacitly in agreement. I doubt that any other EU country will ever dare to consult its people for its views on the matter.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 1:35 am | Permalink


      that is what you have national parliaments for

      • NickC
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Except where the national civil servants are in the pocket of the EU.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


          whom, where, why and when/

          • NickC
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Olly Robbins, Bill, remember him?

          • mancunius
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            The political and administrative cadres of Europe have a personal interest in agreeing to anything the EU asks for. Yet debt-sharing is a blatant breach of the Treaties of Maastricht and Lisbon, and according to EU law, all 27 EU countries can only formally ratify this treaty change by asking the people to approve it.

            Why are you so scared of a referendum? I think we all know the answer to that!

  36. Richard1
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It is highly significant as it is just the sort of transfer measure – although not nearly enough – which a currency union needs to sustain itself.

    2 things are notable from a UK perspective: 1) during the referendum Remain expressly denied anything like this would involve the UK, being outside the euro, whereas its clear non-euro members such as Denmark and Sweden will be on the hook, and 2) the cost of EU membership had we voted to remain would approximately have doubled.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Valid points, and noteworthy

    • bill brown
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      Please, could I see the calculation on the doubling of the bill?

      • Richard1
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


        The 7-year committed EU budget currently is c €1.1tr. Depending on how you count it seems there is at least €750bn extra (but maybe more) announced over and above the next 7-year budget, which itself has yet to be agreed. Had the U.K. remained in the EU it would have faced: 1) an increase of the total budget, 2) some yet to be determined share of the €750bn – it seems highly likely that it will be skewed to poorer eurozone states at the expense of richer states, and especially non-euro states and 3) a removal of the rebate. A prudent govt should certainly have been budgeting for the £12bn or so of net payments at least to double over the coming 7-year multi-annual settlement.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink


          Interesting guesstimate but not really linked to reality at this early statge?

  37. bill brown
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Interesting analysis and there is actually a majority in the Danish Parliament now to support the fund.
    It will come through in one form or another so I am probably less worried about that then you are, and most of the EU nations have spent much more money per capita than the UK according to the OECD), so the money needs to be allocated wisely across the board.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Is there a majority in Denmark?

      • bill brown
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        Read what I wrote

    • NickC
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Bill B, If you want your money “allocated wisely”, don’t give it to the EU. And if your money has already been spent, as you claim, then it cannot be also given to the EU – even Denmark cannot have its cake and eat it. Remember – we’re not helping you out this time!

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink


        “Remember – we’re not helping you out this time!”

        Oh no, not this old chestnut again. How much longer will you Brexiteers wallow in WW2 obligations?

        What next? The wars against the Danish Vikings?

        • NickC
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, I was thinking of our annual gift of fish and c£12bn cash. Hence Germany having a proposed 42% increase.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink


        As a British and Danish citizen I can see both, but your help was never really required personally

  38. Mark
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The lastest virus map:


    Greener and greener. Now large contiguous swathes of the country with no new cases for over a week, so also large areas with no change in cases as shown in this map.


    Cases continue to decline rapidly in most areas that still have them. There are a few isolated new cases, but no major outbreaks.

  39. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    So they are deciding if flying a banner saying White Lives Matter is breaking the law. Why? Why aren’t they concentrating on finding the thugs and vandals on the BLM marches? I despair.

    • rose
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      There is greater outrage over this little aeroplane than over the atrocity in the Reading park. But notwithstanding that incomprehensible fact, the police, after extensive investigations and consultations, have decided no crime appears to have been committed. At least they haven’t said a crime might have been committed, to satisfy the PC brigade.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        No, there isn’t “greater outrage…”.

        Newspaper coverage has no necessary connection whatsoever with public sentiment.

        They are just pursuing their ends as ever.

        • NickC
          Posted June 24, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Martin, I think you have misunderstood Rose. The outrage she mentions is implicitly in the MSM. That’s the point, it’s not the public sentiment.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 24, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Then there isn’t “greater outrage”.

            There are just a load of contrived headlines by people who personally aren’t outraged.

            It’s as I said.

          • NickC
            Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            Martin, there is “greater outrage”. The outrage is just in the MSM, though. That’s the point.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Probably because they DAREN’T.
      Load of craven cowards.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink


      “White lives matter” is apparently “racist“ and offensive as is “all lives matter” it seems but “black lives matter” is a positive message against racism despite the evil Marxists behind it. Why did the police ever think it might be criminal?

      Alice in Wonderland Lunacy it seems.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Some police have an agenda, I think, to mislead the public as to what is the law.

        It worked on quite a few in this case, because some people are clearly upset by the merest possibility that this silly message could have broken a law, whether it did or not.

        Although the wording was a simple banality, its context was apparently intended to be offensive, and so it was, if for no other reason.

        However, that is not illegal, and the police would surely have known that.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      The Court decides whether things are breaking the law.

      The police make various postures for their own agenda, and take legal advice.

      It’s hard to see how an aerial statement of the most banal, tedious, truism could break any law, and the police are misrepresenting by suggesting that it could, I think.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink


      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink


  40. Original Richard
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    The EC’s overall plan will be to weaken nation states and the Covid-19 crises will be seen as an excellent opportunity.

    Just as the UK’s EU federalists/supporters are trying their best to make the Covid-19 crisis as difficult as they can for the government.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 25, 2020 at 2:27 am | Permalink

      Original Richard

      The opposition will always use an opportunity when a government makes a mess of it

  41. David Brown
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    The EU will find a way through any differences with member states its how the EU works successfully.
    I feel what is more concerning is the current state of the British economy and the possible future state of it.
    Clearly there are job losses due to Covid 19 inc losses to come in manufacturing eg cars.
    Then add the potential economic impact of a no deal Brexit, we know there would be an impact although the GOV has not shown any financial modelling of how much?.
    Free Trade agreements with a range of countries all appear on the surface to be stalling.
    Economic forecasts suggest the British GDP will drop to 12th position and this means low economy and high unemployment.
    The focus must be on economic growth and a raft of measures to achieve this. I hope very soon the GOV will give attention to this and try to mitigate the worst effects. Or face more marches and banners etc this time demanding jobs.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 24, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      I think what you really said is ‘the Germans and French will rule the day, as usual’.

  • 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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