The EU still wants to keep us in the single market and customs union

Right from the start of the endless and so far fruitless negotiations between the UK and the EU there has been a fundamental divide. The UK has proposed a Free Trade Agreement between a sovereign UK and the EU, just as the EU has with countries like Canada and Japan. The UK has always been clear we wish to leave the single market and customs union, to be free to run our own international trade policy and to determine our own laws.

It is true that under Mrs May in the second phase of her government muddle was created by some in the UK negotiating team seeking to replicate many of the features of EU membership and being prepared to sacrifice sovereignty in return for this. Remain forces in the UK made regular trips to Brussels to offer their help in binding the UK back into much of the EU without formally being members, the worst possible outcome. If you have to comply with their laws you at least want some voice and vote in an effort to try to see off the worst changes they might propose.

Under Mr Johnson and Mr Frost we are assured the position has been clear. We want to be an independent country and are willing to be good friends and to offer a free trade area which would assist the EU more than the UK given the large imbalance in trade in their favour. There is no need for the UK to give them our fish, or to accept their laws, or to agree to arbitration of disputes entailing subservience to their court. Anyone of those would be a violation of the purpose and spirit of Brexit.

I did not expect to be still writing such obvious and necessary words this late in the year. I trust the government sticks to its promises. The EU has to make up its mind. If it is negotiating in good faith it will need to accept a Free Trade Agreement, not continued membership of the single market. It will have to abandon its wish to make our laws after we have left, and accept it will not arbitrate any future disputes in the ECJ.

The EU Treaty states the EU should pursue good neighbourliness and prosperity with neighbouring states, and should encourage the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade. It’s a pity they do not think this applies to their relations with an independent UK, and a pity they have torn up the clause in the Political Agreement which states the future relationship will be based on a Free Trade Agreement.

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563 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    So time for us to tear up the entire Withdrawal Agreement. Until this is done, Brexit, as we believe it should be, will not have been delivered.

    It is interesting that you say “I trust the government sticks to its promises’ which suggests that you are not totally confident that they will. Neither are most of us.

    I am certain that I will not be the only one saying that, with immediate effect, the talks should be declared over. The EU’s complete failure to even start to negotiate on a serious basis permits an absolute repudiation of the WA which can be defended in law and then NI remains fully in the UK.

    • Andy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement is a legally binding international treaty. Passed into U.K. law when Conservative MPs – and it was pretty much only Conservative MPs – voted for the withdrawal agreement act. Most of them didn’t even read it.

      Clearly your Brexit was always going to be a mess. They promised you stuff which was never deliverable. Rather than being irrationally angry at the EU perhaps you should be cross with the Leave charlatans who lied to you in 2016 – and who continue to lie to you today.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Maybe you should be cross with the EU Andy, they are limiting your access to your French home to 6 months pa while the U.K. is not limiting foreign access to their homes in the UK.
        Encouraging the EU to treat the U.K. like a child was always a mistake and will ensure a full, clean Brexit. So I’m grateful to you really.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          When the rubber dinghies are going the other way I’ll start to believe Andy that the EU is a better place.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          this has something to do with tax rules and noting else, if you wish to live in France for more than 6 months as is the case in the UK you pay tax in that country.

          So, have a look at the information, you have written once more and check it out?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Bull I’m correct, you are wrong … again.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson,

          Why, do you just write about write and wrong learn to argue your corner as You have not substantiated a reply to my link with taxes. As usual

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The WA, like any other agreement, can be abrogated – unilaterally if necessary. It is a Remain document so, given its one sided nature, it should be scrapped.

        Of course Leave is deliverable. Most of the world has delivered it. By not being so foolish as to submit to the EU in the first place. Moreover I do not know a single Leave lie, but there were lots of Remain lies – and you are still peddling them.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        If Indians & Africans can have it – Freedom & Independence – I don’t see why the British people should be denied it by some pretty corrupt panjandrums in Brussels.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Dearest Andy–One thing that might help is renaming the so-called ECJ the EU CJ because that is what it is and on any basis it has nothing to do with us. I continue a bit dim on all this and assume the EU CJ has no jurisdiction over eg the Canada FTA. We have to fight this cancer to the end (a la outrance as you semi-domiciled francophiles might say). With luck a few sensible EU members will see the idiocy on their side and will encourage a more sensible approach. Failing that then to Hell with the EU till they see sense. We should give them a fait accompli on our, repeat our, fishing rights and tell them to pick the bones out of that.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Your understanding of the implications of the WA is sound. It’s a shame the ERG didn’t share it. (Please let’s not overstate the significance of the sovereignty clause. I like Sir Bill Cash, but he was simply outmanoeuvred as a result of crediting Blowers with some honour – a very silly mistake to make.) If there was to be a proper Brexit, the WA would have benn ditched. It never was, ergo…

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        They could not ditch it – May’s Remain Parliament was the obstacle, don’t you remember?

        • Simeon
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          And Blowers won a general election, you’ll remember

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Participation in the SM and CU, or in any other European Union facility is an immense privilege.

      It is the very opposite of an imposition.

      It is the UK Tories which have repeatedly and stupidly demanded all the rights of participation without the responsibilities.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        The UK has only requested access like other nations that trade with Europe.

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

          Not true. The U.K. has requested much more than anyone else. The Johnson government has told you they have only requested access others have – but they are lying to you. It is not true.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            What is exceptional about offering a free trade deal with tariff free access to UK markets?

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Not true, The UK has “requested” much less. That’s been the problem all along. We should have demanded twice what we would settle for including ownership of VW factories and French vinyards to compensate for EU access to the UK single market.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 8, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            No, Andy, it seems the UK didn’t do what you accused ‘Daniel Hannan, now trade adviser to the Government, dismantled the BBC host’s (Maitlis) argument.

            He said: “That is emphatically not what we are doing, because after the rejection of the Salzburg terms when we were told ‘Look if you want to leave it’s got to be on the simple Canada type deals’, we only looked at extant deals that the EU has already done.

            “With South Korea, with Japan, with Canada. We did not ask for things that went beyond them, and so we’re not asking for anything unprecedented.

            “The EU isn’t claiming that we’re asking for something so unusual that it needs to have sovereignty, their argument bizarrely is that they need to have some oversight of our standards because we’re nearby.” See the Express

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Martin, which particular demands have the UK made to participate in the SM and CU that any other independent nation (not a member of the EU) don’t have available to them?

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Only EU propagandists think the EU’s SM is a “privilege” and something special. It is actually no different in principle to the single market of any other union such as the UK or the USA.

        The only people in the UK who have “stupidly demanded all the rights of participation” in the EU’s SM are Remains, of which you are one. We Leaves want to Leave it. Obviously.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Seconded. Perfect sense.

    • Peter
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      ‘It is interesting that you say “I trust the government sticks to its promises’ which suggests that you are not totally confident that they will. Neither are most of us.’

      That was the one sentence that I focused on too.

      I note the fish concessions have been announced by the EU side. Hopefully this is to allow the UK to deny them after the response from the public. However, I may just be clutching at straws.

      I don’t know what is the game plan at this stage. If it is BRINO I am not sure how they plan selling it to the U.K. public. With all the spin in the world that will be a very hard task.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        If it is BRINO I am not sure how they plan selling it to the U.K. public
        ______________________________

        I don’t think there was any intension to sell it to the public

        They only have to sell it to the HoCs MPs and they’ll be happy with any deal

        Two fingers to the public until the net general election but thats 4 years away

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      The EU’s complete failure to even start to negotiate or rather its refusal to entertain your delusion of grandeur.

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero, We don’t want “grandeur” we want independence. Five years, and you still don’t get it!

    • bill brown
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Pominoz,

      It would be nice to see, some documentation or facts on “the EU’s complete failure to start to negotiate on a serius basis”
      This contradicrts the fact that both Denmark, Belgium and France think that Barnier might be giving too much away. (le Monde Thursday)

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you could give us a list of all the compromises the EU has made since starting the trade negotiations.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          If, you have access please do share with us?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            It was your claim.

            I ask yet again.
            Give us a list of the compromises the EU has given the UK since negotiations began.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Bill, I’d like to see a list what Denmark, Belgium and France think Barnier might have given away? Was it specified in Le Monde as you know the accusations so well?

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          a-tracy

          It was not specified but as far as I know, financial services equivalence, fishery and level playing field?

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            I thought you, or was it Andy or Martin, that said financial services was going to be taken over by Frankfurt? Or Paris.

            As for level playing field there is nothing level in the EU both in % contribution terms, % contribution in tax, general taxation, Ireland gets an extra benefit, people don’t contribute the same % to NATO, vote weighting, we are told Hungary and Poland are about to be overridden and Macron seems to think he alone has an override veto if he doesn’t get his way just one Country.

        • hefner
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          Le Figaro website, 04/12/2020 20:38 French time. Access of UK waters for EU fishing boats, level playing field, and what process should exist to address potential future infractions in possible trade deal are still the main reasons for the absence of an agreement. It is also reported that the PM is to call UVdL tomorrow morning and other EU heads of state over the week-end. I guess Le Monde is reporting along similar lines.

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, French boats can certainly have access to UK waters. They just can’t steal the fish from our EEZ any more.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            hef, none of what you have listed here is a concession that the three countries might be concerned about.

            The question to BB was list the concessions.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        They refuse to discuss a FTA to which they were committed. Ergo – they have refused to negotiate.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          Can we please some proof of that statement?

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            Bill, The EU demands our fish, and adjudication in their court, and what they call “a level playing field” (by which they mean obedience to EU rules in our country). That is not a free trade agreement, it is the EU continuing to expect the UK to be an EU colony. We’ve explained this to you already.

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Bill, You’re always demanding documentation and facts from others, but you don’t cough up yourself. Why is that?

        Is Barnier offering to give away Italian vinyards to obtain the privilege of seling into the UK single market? Why not?

        • bill brown
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          NIck C

          Sounds like a very good idea

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      +1

    • mancunius
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear. The government and most of its backbenchers do not grasp the importance of cancelling the WA and NI Protocol, and the fatal consequences of not doing so.
      It will have to be done, sooner or later: if the PM is hoping the country won’t notice, he has another think coming. Stop the ridiculous pretence at negotiation, and use S. 38’s overriding superiority to boot the WA into the North Sea, now.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Dennis
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        mancunius – Didn’t I read in JR’s blog some time ago that S. 38 is not in the WA or is it not in some other ‘Treaty’ or whatever so won’t apply.

        • mancunius
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Dennis, No – Whatever you vaguely think you read in a blog, Section 38 is firmly embodied in the WA, and with the briefest online search, you can find it here in the official text of the UK Bill
          https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/1/section/38
          “Accordingly, nothing in this Act derogates from the sovereignty of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.”

          However, rather than making use of S. 38, we must derogate from the entire treaty, on the undeniable evidence that the EU has deliberately negotiated in bad faith and breached Art. 50 in several ways ever since our application to leave. This can be clearly traced back and documented withe the aid of the Treaty of Lisbon itself. When a treaty partner has faithlessly and substantially breached the treaty, as has the EU, that treaty is voided.
          This revocation of the WA – and the NI protocol which is itself clearly already in breach of S. 38 – should be the immediate business of parliament on Thursday 7th January 2021. The government can do it with a three-line bill.
          When enacted, the Repeal of the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act should concentrate parliamentarians’ minds wonderfully about the consequences of not doing the right thing.

  2. SM
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    “I trust the Government sticks to its promises”

    I’m afraid I don’t, John.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      No me.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Me neither

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Nor me!

        • TIMH
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Nor me, I’m Spartacus!

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        +1

        For me that ship has long since sailed.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Betrayal of promises would be unforgivable.

    • BJC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I think Sir John is on his own when it comes to trusting the government. Never in my wildest imagination did I think the privilege of an 80 Tory Party majority to work on our behalf would morph into a hybrid of Marxism and Green. We voted for the quiet, ambitious confidence of a sovereign nation state, not the brash, the boastful, the first, the most ambitious, the best or the winner of every endeavour, that bears no resemblance to what we were promised. Does Mr Johnson even know the details outlined in his manifesto?

      Not to worry, with Mr Johnson’s widely anticipated epic betrayal over Brexit and his Damascene conversion to the maddest and most unaffordable Green agenda on the planet, the Tories will be considered totally untrustworthy and unelectable when it counts…………at the next GE.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        +++++1

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and an imminent EU sell out it seems.

      • Barbara Bebbington
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The fundamental problem with John’s claim about Japan and Canada style deals is that there does not already exist the vast volume of trade with them that already happens between the UK and the European Union, and involving thousands of truckloads crossing borders each day, and which the UK is desperate to preserve and to maintain.

      The STARTING POSITION is utterly different.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Most of those trucks coming in to the UK are full. Most of those going the other way are empty. It’s a trade I’m content to see disrupted.

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You are indeed correct that we are far too dependent on the EU. That has to stop. We certainly didn’t vote to maintain it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      4.5 years of broken promises

    • Timaction
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I think we all expect a sell out in which case goodbye Tory’s, new conservative/reform party needed.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      It is has been blindingly obvious from 24/6/16 that the EU would muster every tactic to frustrate the vote and the Remain Establishment would be complicit. A sellout and never ending significant compliance to Brussels was and is inevitable.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      In JR’s terms, ‘I trust …’ means ‘I expect …’

  3. Radar
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Stop Boris allowing this nonsense to continue and let Lord Frost end the negotiations. Walk away now!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Precisely. The longer they go on the more likely Boris will cave.
      We need clarity and we need it now.
      If Macron bans fish, we ban French wines, he’s not the only one in the negotiations.

    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Exactly Radar!

      No more headlines and deadlines!

      I am sick and tired of Barnier’s petulant theatrics as though the UK were attempting some sort of rape of an entitled EU.

      We should not have even so much as begun these talks without taking back control and leaving first.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      +1.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        To reach 2030 climate goals half of all cars must be electric – says the government’s climate advisors.

        Well as electric cars save no CO2 anyway when you consider the car and battery manufacture and the electricity production then how do these “experts” possibly come to this conclusion? One assumes they are assuming the cars will be mainly manufactured overseas and are not counting this CO2 as not UK CO2. So jobs go abroad, no world CO2 savings and very expensive and impractical cars rammed down UK people’s throats.

        We really being ruled by absolute idiots and/or complete crooks.

        • Dennis
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t seen in JR’s blogs any mention that the US military and their industrial complex which I assume includes all their weapons manufactures has the largest Co2, plus other noxious stuff probably, production in the world.

          Do you think the US will be helpful and cut back to zero that level?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            Seems unlikely.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      If you walk away from, say, house-buying negotiations then you stick with the one that you have.

      The Tories have bulldozed ours, however.

      That is the problem.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        No you don’t you simply look elsewhere and do the deal with someone who in good faith wants to trade ( sell their house).

        • Andy
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          But you have nowhere to live in the meantime. You bulldozed your house. Enjoy your cardboard box.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            You and Martin think the UK is bulldozed.
            How ridiculous can you two get.
            Complete hyperbole.

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Leave is simply scrapping the Brussels tier of government. And anything the EU doesn’t want to sell us, we can get from the rest of the world, Andy.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            But I thought they had fallen off a cliff?

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            The analogy is a silly one.

            We have not bulldozed our houses.

        • Dennis
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          NickC – I hope we don’t upset the US as they can stop us getting anything from the rest of the world.

          (Just a comment on the US war option they use on many countries)

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Martin, We intend to stick with the unbulldozed house we have, thank you.

  4. Mick
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Keep us tied to the Eu by a waving of a pease of chamberlain paper or any other under the counter deal and the conservatives/labour will be toast at the next general election

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Exactly but Boris will surely cave in, if not Queen Carrie might have to order it – as she seems to have done over the absurdly damaging, pensioner freezing and job destroying ten point war on CO2 plant food and cheap reliable energy and cars.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      If we shared borders with Japan and Canada, with scores of thousands of trucks crossing those every week without any practical difficulties, then whatever deal supported that would probably be applicable to one with the European Union.

      However, they are thousands of miles away, with only a small fraction of the trade, and that carried by plane and by ship.

      There is simply no basis for a workable model there, and John knows this, I think.

      So why he continues to make these bizarre claims is a matter for him.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Most lorries carry containers just like containers that travel by ship.
        All the manifest documents and customs declarations are the same in both cases.
        The difference in volume of trade is irrelevant.
        There is a well developed port entry system for international trade.
        It works well currently for the volume of goods travelling in and out of Europe and in and out of the UK from nations all over the world.

        • JohnK
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Martin seems to think that customs officers with clipboards inspect every item of freight as it comes in. The world of IT seems to have passed him by.

          So long as the electronic manifests are in order, not one shipment in a hundred is ever physically examined. That is the reality of international trade.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            Indeed you are correct but we are arguing with two pro EU fans who have never exported nor imported as part of their jobs.
            All they know is what they read in the Guardian and Independent

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Does anyone read the Guardian and Independent other than a few at the BBC?

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Yep, ‘killing Granny’ seems not to be a problem in this instance.

  6. formula57
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government sticks to its promises.” – well if it fails to do so, it will be providing an oven-ready means of meeting its own doom.

    (I am encouraged that the people’s Blue Boris is amongst us as a reader here, for my letter to him seeking such will by now have been received. And if you will indulge me please Sir John – Hello Boris! 🙂 )

    • Simeon
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Old Blowers is a parishoner of these parts?! It’s a lovely idea, as he might have read at least some of the derogatory things I’ve written about him – all of which are fair comment I might add!

      • formula57
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        I only asked Boris to do the essential reading of the diary, not the Comments too, but I suppose if in need of distraction he may scroll through.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          The comments are hugely important. JR’s ear to the ground.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          That’s a pity…!

  7. M P B
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    The EU does not negotiate as was dramatically proven with Greece during its attempt to renegotiate its bankrupt financial position arising from the economic downturn of financial crisis. As a nation it has been asset stripped, is permanently illiquid and has lost its entrepreneurial class through “free movement” and the transfer of private funds abroad. Its banking system is also insolvent and completely dependent on the ECB, effectively meaning the EU approved Head of the Greek Central Bank runs both fiscal and monetary policy. Finally, Greek per capita GDP is now less than when they joined the EU.

    If this is how the EU treats member states be warned it will not rest until it teaches the UK a lesson over Brexit.

    No deal will prove to be the only deal acceptable to the UK as a Soverign State. We are hopefully at the end of this 4 year charade during which every month we continued, despite Brexit, to pay £billions to the EU for the privilege.

    This needs to be finished, now.

    • Andy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      You think you are at the end? Bless. This is the beginning.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes it is – – – FREEDOM.

        • Andy
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Significantly less freedom. Significantly more bureaucracy.

          • Fred H
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            is that possible?

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Significantly less authoritarian technocracy. Significantly more independence.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        You never did know which way was up did you?

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The more difficult the EU empire makes it, the less trade we’ll do with it. Your choice.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Agree

  8. Mark B
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I do not believe that the problem lays with the EU. The UK could have left after the two year period and then started FTA talks. But FTA talks were never considered and the language had to be carefully crafted. The government and the EU have never refered to these negotiations as an FTA but, as a ‘deal’. This to hide their true nature which is an Association Agreement. The problem is, the UK Government wants one more than the EU and is prepared to do anything to get one. The only problem is, how best to disguise this blatant sell out?

    The notion that the UK Government and the EU are negotiating a FTA is a lie. Plain and simple. Both the political class and the establishment have dragged their heels for 4 long years! They never wanted to Leave and want to remain in the cosy club on slightly looser terms.

    This is about politics, not trade and our lot are colluding with this nation foes. Disgraceful!

    • Simeon
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      I’ve said much the same, albeit in more detail. The EU is not the enemy, and I think it’s clear that it never was. The enemy resides much closer to home…

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        The EU is the enemy. Their local ‘representatives’ are the immediate problem.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          Semantics.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          So does taht mean taht the 27 nations that are members of teh EU are the enemy as well?

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            No, Bill, the enemy is the anti-democratic, corrupt, vindictive, belligerent, artificial, political construct known as the EU empire.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I agree with Mark, I don’t think the problem is with the EU but our previously poor negotiators, however, Mr Frost seems a bit more robust but our media especially the Express are all over the place on their reporting, how many false accounts have they provided – lots, also the Guardian only reports one view and its’ anti-uk. Boris has to keep his promises. He needs to bring all the leave team in.

    • agricola
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      While I sympathise with your cynicism, how long do you think it would be before our host and a few like minded Conservatives would realise that they had been conned. Not just them, but elements of the media, those who voted for Brexit in 2016, and the architect of our awakening to the dangers of the EU, Nigel Farage. Any slight of hand over the next few days would destroy the conservative party and trigger the largest political upheaval since the Civil War. Any government or negotiating team member that does not realise that the outcome is going to be forensically picked apart is not of this world.

      • Peter
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        That is a comforting thought. However, Boris is mostly concerned about Boris. If the ‘King of the World’ dream seems not all it is cracked up to be, he may look for a swift way out.

        Retiring in poor health is a possibility. He may have been tapped up for a hugely paid sinecure in the style of Clegg or David Miliband. That may be dependent on an outcome that suits. I note David Cameron has not been set up in such a role. I suspect that is partly due to the belief that he let the side down by losing the referendum. Of course he had not real job experience to speak of, but that would not otherwise be s hindrance.

        The threat of a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs if does not deliver Brexit is welcome, but it may not be enough.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        It will presented as. Fate a compli (sp) and rushed through parliament at break neck speed. By the time we all realise we been had it will be too late to do anything and people will quickly resign themselves to our collective fate.

  9. Tabulazero
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    But you said the UK held all the cards and that the EU would cave in if spoken to forcefully enough with a received prononciation.

    So you finally admit that you got your forecast totally wrong.

    That’s a start.

    P.S.: at the end of the day, Macron does not trust Boris Johnson. Hence the hardline stance. Can you really be surprised by this ?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      You are dead wrong about Macron not trusting Johnson. They are good friends, stemming from their shared politics. The rhetoric from Macron is for the benefit of the French. Just as the UK government has to sell the stitch up to the British, so Macron has to do the same for the French. And of course Macron’s rhetoric also serves to reassure the British that their government is fighting hard for their interests. Remainers that buy these theatrics are just as gullible as the Brexiters that believe it.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t recall Sir John ever saying anything as foolish as the UK holds all the cards. He has however been very consistent in saying we should either sign a normal FTA such as the EU has with other countries or leave on WTO terms.

      There were good arguments for leaving the EU and good arguments for remaining in it. But none at all for leaving but remaining de facto members. The electorate chose to leave. so now it’s a sensible FTA or its WTO terms.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      It seems you’re upset by English now being declared the sexiest language to listen to.
      You need to understand that we are also a sovereign nation. We’ll fish our fish, we’ll transport inert goods within the UK without being stopped to pay taxes at fake borders. EU silly ideas and judgements will be ignored. Here the people rule in the end, not Boris Johnson.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      No, Macron is playing for votes, which he badly needs.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Tab and you think Macron is completely trustworthy? The man that received millions and millions of pounds to stop the Calais camp he stopped it alright he facilitated rubber dingies for everyone there.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much for the free money a-tracy because if you think sending over Priti Patel and some cash over the Chanel every 6 months will solve illegal immigration … you are far more optimistic than I am.

        But it’s your taxpayer money that is getting wasted, not mine.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          I asked if you thought Macron was completely trustworthy? I see you chose not to answer.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            I trust him to crush the British. That I do.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            But wouldn’t he have to crush the EU democracy first to take control before he could crush the UK? Or do you think like a lot of leave people that only Macron and Merkel have any say in the EU?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            Gosh.
            You want to see the leader of a foreign nation crush the British.
            What an amazing confession.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      At the end of the day Macron is only interested in French elections. It is not the job of the UK to assist him, but to obtain best result for the UK. We don’t trust Macron, we have poured millions of pounds into French coffers on the promise of help in ending the illegal crossing of the channel. None of that has been honoured, with French navy even acting as an escort into British waters.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, But we – more correctly our Remain establishment – have thrown away all our cards. The UK should have given 12 months diplomatic notice of our leaving the EU, without invoking Art50, as I have been advising since 2013. Having then actually left in 2017, we would have been able to negotiate a Canada style RTA as sovereign equals. We certainly held all the cards needed to do that.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Nick we don’t need a a trade agreement. We were sacrificing ourselves for the Continent again!
        We don’t need cards, we just need to walk away.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      P.S.: at the end of the day, an awful lot of French people do not trust Macron. Boris Johnson would be wise to emulate that judgement. Can you really be surprised by this?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        And you ? Do you trust Boris Johnson to deliver the Brexit you allegedly voted for ?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          He will have no option. No British PM had the option as May found out. We will have our Sovereign independence whatever the cost.
          Believe it!

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, There is no “allegedly” about it. We were offered the choice of Remain or Leave only. If it is not possible to actually Leave with a trade deal (because the EU insists on trying to retain control of us), then we must Leave without a trade deal.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Nick – I know that because they had to open a second French school in Wembley because of the large number of young French escaping Macron’s France. The school is called Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill. Oh the irony !

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Tabu, we hold al the cards in that we can walk away without a deal and the EU gets what it deserves – nothing.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Then please by all means do. You’ve wasted everybody’s time for 4 years.

        Hop! Hop! Time to jump of the cliff !

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          48 years. You should not have colluded with Heath to trick us into jointing.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            How many times did De Gaule veto your entry again ?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Not enough times, but he owed us bigtime, we allowed him to March into Paris to liberate it, in fact we had done that job.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Well, we do want to Leave. Which is why we voted to Leave. It’s our Remain establishment and Remain agitators like Martin and Andy who want to remain. And the rest of the world is not in the EU but does not regard that as jumping off a cliff.

          • Andy
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            You left last January and are still moaning.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Then why are we still sending them billions in membership fees ?
            And following their rules directives regulations and laws?

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Andy, You keep saying we have left, so please explain where are the food shortages and medicine shortages you predicted? And why does the EU still control our fishing waters? Why is the EUCJ still the highest court in the UK? And why are we still in the EU’s single market? You have no answers.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I believe it’s God interceding on behalf of the British again. God knows I’m on my knees more than the police, praying for the Brexit we all voted for. It was In or Out!
      We will get it of course, it’s just a matter of the collateral damage.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        It was easier to get King John to sign the Magna Carta than this government to comply with the peoples referendum

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          No it wasn’t, they kept him prisoner in Whitehall for a long time, then they turned up with their armies, demanded he came from Windsor to the island in the Thames at Runnymede. And he dared not refuse, then he signed as required – he had no option.
          This Government need to understand it faces the Barons armies, you and me, and we are not negotiating, we have instructed them, there is no option.

  10. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I just hope another so called deadline isn’t going to be passed and these pointless negotiations don’t go on into next year. We have been patient enough now and I can only see Johnson giving way on things now. He must remember he only won seats because of his promise to LEAVE. I see he has already lost the support of many red wall seats apparently over his handling of the pandemic but I would also say over the lack of leadership and clarification for businesses on Brexit. He must get a grip and give us a new start as a free trading nation in 2021.

    • D Hynes
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      Johnson has already capitulated on the continuation of the ECHR, which violates our laws on Habeas Corpus in section 38 of Magna Carta. This permits the arrest and sustained imprisonment of British citizens by EU country authorities, without prima facie evidence. This should be splattered across the newspapers -but of course it won’t be.

  11. Everhopeful
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I do hope that your trust is not misplaced.
    Brexit was a very easy vector with which to obtain power and then install much green blobbery. Not to mention taking instructions from Chinese dominated global bodies.
    To choose a useless and underhand leader once can be regarded as a misfortune but to do it THRICE…well that smacks of total stupidity.
    But then…three times a true Remainer..on purpose?

    Regarding the police. Videos of such appalling violence against peaceful protest. Is this really what the tories want? Really??
    There are now so many things for which they will never be forgiven.

  12. Len Peel
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The Political Agreement says there should be a FTA with also rules on the level playing field. The UK accepted that. You are being economical with the actualite, Mr Redwood

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Level playing field? No, the EU wants to continue a competitive advantage by exploiting Eastern Europeans on low wages.
      Their rhetoric about a level playing field is just deceit.

      • D Hynes
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 2:16 am | Permalink

        Because the Euro is a structurally undervalued currency (specifically to Germany’s advantage), the EU has been dumping their goods onto world markets but on Britain in particular for years. Never mind Barnier’s ‘level playing field’ gibberish; Britain should impose a £65bn anti-dumping duty on the protectionist EU. That might be a start to levelling up the ‘playing field.’

    • Andy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Plus ça change.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      If there is a level playing field and the UK lowers taxes on its industry will the EU follow suit?

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Len, what are these rules on the level playing field you talk of? what page of the agreement? I assume the political agreement you are talking of is the year-long Withdrawal agreement?

      What do the EU want level exactly? Tax isn’t level, % contribution to the EU of GDP isn’t level, contribution to NATO isn’t level, the % donated to foreign aid isn’t level just to start.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Len Peel, It is not a level playing field if the referee is part of the opposition team.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t that an oxymoron Len? Agreeing to the ‘level playing field’ would mean the agreement would not be free.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Wrong.

  13. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    ‘ If it is negotiating in good faith…’ The EU’s making new demands this late in the process is clear evidence that it isn’t ‘negotiating in good faith’. The government should now terminate the talks and give business the certainty it is always asking for. We could expect Barnier to be immediately sacked and VdL hurriedly re-connecting the EU negotiating team with reality, after making them sit down and read Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty.
    And if the Navy wants to recall Sea Warrior in defence of our haddock, then they have my number. It’s not as if I’m allowed to do anything else right now, is it?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      I think that it’s more a case of “stand by to go about” than it is “stand by to repel boarders”, me ol’ heartie.

      Avast ye!

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        I think we notice the EU is damaged below the water line, and our advice is ‘man the lifeboats, abandon ship’.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Not my advice. I want them swimming – or sinking…

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The capitulation will be sold to the people in triumph

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        We’re not buying!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        No it will not!

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson has set a new climate change target in a bid to reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with UK to cut CO2 emissions by 68 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990. Also to waste billions on his daft climate change plan and he confirms a diesel vehicle ban from 2030.

    Economic, scientific, transport, environmental job destroying insanity Boris.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Still no move by the “experts” at JCVI to correct the basic and serious error they have clearly made in failing to adjust ages for men and women to account for the different risks they have of dying or contracting Covid badly.

      If they cannot get even this right how can we have much confidence in them? Many lives will clearly be lost through this negligence if the vaccine is save and effective). A vaccine (if it is safe and effective) given to a man of 80 has nearly twice the effect preventing a death as one give to an 80 year old woman. So you should do men over 80 and women over say 84 (or whatever the risk profile indicated). This error is likely to kill far more than died at Grenville – due to the fire “experts” idiotically ordering them back to their flats.

      Also worrying is that no journalists or other experts seem to be even questioning this gross negligence and blatant discrimination against men. Other adjustments based on risk would also make sense.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        As a keen reader of the Torygraph, what did you make of Ridley’s column yesterday? I have a post at the end of yesterday’s diary entry in which I picked up on something particularly interesting he said.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          I usually agree with Matt Ridley on almost everything even if he is perhaps more of a biologist than a physics/engineering/maths person. He does seem to be very optimistic in the safety of the RNA vaccines. I do very much hope he is right. This as so many people will it seems to have to take it for each Covid life saved.

          It might well do more harm than good now as many areas are at or very nearly at herd immunity levels anyway now. The government are certainly not certain it is sufficiently save to use and the MHRA have not said they know or even feel sure that it is safer to use the vaccine than not to use it.

          Just that they did not cut corners and some other silly flannel about preparing and climbing mountains.

          The priority order could be much improved in very many ways. Certainly doing men at a slightly earlier age than women would save many lives. This is blindingly obvious so why are not doing it? Stupidity or PC lunacy. (Assuming it does work and is safe that is).

          • Simeon
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

            An interesting exercise is to compare yesterday’s Ridley article with one he wrote in March on a Covid vaccine. (They both contain the exact same quote from an eminent immunologist, despite the articles having very different emphases…) It’s easily googled.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        By now we should all have a risk score. GPs should have been working on this for months. We’d then just be offered the vaccine top to bottom of our risk score, with the reverse process being taken for shielding measures. So much time so little sense.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes exactly SJS.

          I think they have I know people that have been tested regularly each week and given vouchers to take the test from March. Surely they are the people being lined up for the test. They know their health condition, weight, height, bmi, bloods, sugar levels etc.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Responding the dire Ed Miliband said: “Our goal should be to go further and faster, cutting the significant majority of emissions in this decisive decade, which is the right way to lead in creating the climate jobs of the future and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.”

      Moronic and scientifically illiterate, job destroying lunacy Ed Miliband do some research mate. (PPE Oxon needless to say).

      Why the rush to impractical, very expensive and rapidly depreciating electric cars when they do not even save any significant net CO2. Not that CO2 is actually a serious issue anyway – it is greening the planet and doing more good than harm on balance. CO2 is where the oxygen we breath comes from after the plant and trees have “eaten” it.

      • Robert McDonald
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        I understand that recent research has indicated that an electric car will have to travel 50,000 miles before being genuinely carbon neutral compare to diesel and petrol, as a result of the environmental impact of collecting and transporting the rare metals needed to make batteries etc. I would not be surprised to find batteries don’t last much more than 50,000 miles, in which case they can never be carbon neutral … even in comparison. I am concerned that science in this matter is being overrun by woke dogma.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and they assume in this that the electricity needed to charge them is generated from zero carbon sources. Clearly this will not happen. Not even wind and solar are not even zero carbon. You have to build them and install and service them.

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

            And of course both Wind and Solar have to be backed up. There is no available, or available to build, back up other than CCGT (strictly GT, of course in idling).

      • ukretired123
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Ed Milliband was unable to work the fire alarm he triggered without the help of a boy when he first stayed at a house in Doncaster. How the heck can his brain work out the country’s energy strategy?

      • Man of Kent
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        ‘ …keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees ‘

        The Millibands of life and Boris and Carrie and all the other Lord Deben and Attenborough inspired anti science adherents like our future king and his son, probably have little idea of what is meant by the statement above .

        The IPCC has defined it as 1.5 deg c above pre-industrial levels .
        We have already warmed by 0.7 deg c so have only 0.8 degrees to go over the next generation or two.

        For goodness sake why are we beating ourselves up over such a tiny amount at such a huge cost ?
        Once over COVID we will be back to paying good hard cash to travel to destinations much warmer.

        Just leave well alone and let us adjust at our own pace .
        Climate emergency crisis talk is just nonsense.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      A collective insanity has griped the Government and British establishment. If they haven’t crashed the economy with Covid to their satisfaction then they intend to make sure with this green lunacy . I suppose it’s the problem of having a PM educated in classics and his fiancé in the history of art, and so susceptible to be sold a fad that is divorced from practical realities.

      Sir John do you really think this is where Tory electoral success is to be based?

      And the terrifying thought is that we are still a year out from the Glasgow Cop, how much more virtue signaling damage can Boris and Carrie inflict on the economy up to then?

  15. Henry Jobson
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Redwood.
    How many devious actions are the Brussels team going to try before they realise that we want to be free from their chains.
    I do hope that Mr Johnson is not trying once again, as other Parliament officials have, to hoodwink the British peoples.
    Better a poor free man than a rich servant.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      If, as you fear, the government is trying to hoodwink us (which is in fact the case), how devious are the EU really? Only as devious as the UK government, and certainly no more. And as, presumably, a Brit, your anger shoukd be directed at the UK government. It is they that are accountable to you, not the EU.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Agree.
        Much as I resent and fear the EU, successive UK governments have used it as a handy means of shifting blame.
        “Sorry folks, nothing we can do about it. Just following orders!”.
        I now ask myself exactly WHOSE orders the govt has been following?
        Whichever country happens to be dominant at the UN, WEF, WHO ….?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          No – it’s Germany.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        If we the people, are hoodwinked, who benefits? Could it be the only 13% of businesses who actually trade directly with the EU?

        • John Hatfield
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          The only 13% of businesses who are leaning on Boris?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          The millions of plasterers, plumbers, brickies, driveway tarmaccers and joiners generally do not, that is true.

          However, the hi tech services and manufacturing, along with food production very much do.

          There’s little equivalence between a one-man op and any of these, but you count each as “a business” for your silly numbers.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            Over 80% of UK GDP is developed inside our borders.
            You are fixated about self employed people.
            There are hundreds of thousands of successful companies in the UK who dont export to the EU and employ millions of people.

          • Sir Joe Soap
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            One becomes 2 more easily than 100000 becomes 200000. Don’t knock SMEs

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            Martin, If you want silly numbers try Andy’s 55,000 extra pen-pushers in HMRC. But if you want a sane number, the GDP we gain from selling to the EU is only just over 12%. So over 87% UK GDP derives from non-EU sources. It is simply not worth being run by a foreign power for that.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Hear hear.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      a rich servant – WHAT? you mean a member of the EU ?
      Which members are rich?

      Why should we ever be poor? That is the reason to abandon EU and seek trading with other countries. Ideally we should become much more self-reliant.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I DID expect that JR would still be writing such obvious etc words!
    Whoever it is pulling the strings has made it very clear that they have no intention of keeping promises made to the electorate.
    I believe that Boris once said that we had not been consulted on the EU since 1975 and that it was “high time” we were.
    Well we were…but our decision has not been respected nor was there ever any intention of so doing.

  17. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Actually, what I read (politico dot eu) is that the Netherlands, together with Denmark, Belgium and (of course) France, are concerned that Barnier is compromising far too much in order to get some deal.

    We don’t want the UK behaving as though it is part of our single market, while it has left. One hilarious example being that UK haulers want to be able to pick up loads in e.g. Poland and deliver them in Belgium. The single market is a set of rules with one arbiter, the EJC. Whether you’re Microsoft, Google, a Dutch or a British entrepreneur, that remains the same.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      But the continental hauliers want to take return loads from Ireland the uk etc.
      Thousands of empty EU trucks waiting at Dover for ferries as full loads take priority.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        plenty of scope for checking with a magnifying glass that forms are in order – or strangely computer/internet breaks down for hours quite often!

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg: the EU=27. A UK hauler delivering goods to the Netherlands and taking other goods directly back to the UK is a different thing. For you consolation: you won’t see Russian haulers taking stuff from Warshaw to Budapest, as they are not in the single market.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          And can you confirm we will not see EU hauliers taking goods from Ireland via the U.K. to the Continent?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and France would all benefit from a FTA even without the fish, so why would they need to insist it’s included? Without an FTA they certainly lose all access to UK fishing grounds.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        @Dave Andrews: I suspect it is about chances for unfair competition (level playing field) and a governance that allows for quick measures. There are also rules about a level playing field with Japen, Canada etc. but a large economy on our doorstep requires extra scrutiny. On top of that, thanks to world-beating unreliablity (the internal market bill) you would be hard pressed to find anybody on the continent who still trusts the UK. As Von der Leyen said this week, for the first time: “trust is good, but law is better”.
        On the whole, the Netherlands is flexible to cope with changes: Look at tradingeconomics dot com: The pandemic meant -2.5% YoY GDP for us, for the UK that figure is -9.6%. Yet is was/is the same pandemic.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          The EU defines any competition as unfair.

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          If you are actually concerned with rule infractions rather than just as a pretext then you would be better advised to scrutinise France and Germany who the EU has allowed to get away with so much so often for so long.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Of course the rules are the same in the EU for a UK as for a Dutch or US company. That is not the same as the EU’s current demand for effective political control over UK laws (and fish). The EU does not dictate US laws though EU citizens use and buy services from Google and Microsoft.

      If this is really the level of discussion it would probably be best just to go to WTO terms.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1: I suspect that “the fish” is really a red herring. I imagine a last minute EU compromise or kneefall which we’ll happily applaud as a great Johnson victory. A level playing field within our single market ( the integrity of the single market) is, as far as I can make out, a hard red line. That would be much more important to the Dutch than some free trade with the UK. Dutch trade with the rest of the EU is far more important.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The argument is nonsense. Of course there will be a level playing field and observance of EU rules within the EU. What the EU appear to be demanding however is that the U.K. will implement laws, regulations and even taxes in future as from time to time determined by the EU. Within a political union that is a reasonable demand for members. But for non-members it is clearly absurd. Even if – which I don’t expect – the U.K. govt were to capitulate to it, we’ll just have Brexit 2.0 in a few years time when it becomes clear what an absurd position this puts the U.K. in.

          Fish is indeed irrelevant economically, but not politically, especially in Scotland.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          So we all want no deal. Let’s just go for it.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

          Your tomatoes are completely tasteless and I don’t buy them anyway. I can’t think of a think I buy that originates in the Netherlands.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            @Mike Wilson: in your place I wouldn’t by “think” from the Netherlands either, but just think for myself.
            I’m sure English tomatoes will taste delicious!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Tell you what. The UK is one single market with one set of rules too. One hilarious example is Irish carriers wanting to collect goods from France and deliver them to Ireland via the UK.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Another hilarious example is UK carriers having to pay taxes on goods travelling within the UK. It won’t work and won’t happen.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: There are already several businesses offering direct transport of goods between Ireland and the continent.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          PvL, But only if the UK allows it (unless they go by ship of course).

    • Fred H
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      in other words you are in favour of a closed community. Rather do haulage more expensively than done by non-members!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Protectionism. Of course!

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        @Fred H: So, are there transport firms in say Russia, letting their trucks take goods from A to B within the UK? (With their lower labour costs they would be a strong competitor).

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Don’t know about Russian trucks by there are certainly US and EU haulage/courier companies operating in the UK.

          Given the intransigence of the EU I expect my government to insist and enforce such businesses to be UK registered and if not based here there should be significant restrictions on transfer pricing and the like by EU companies.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Please explain how this single market allows the likes of Kia cars and Chinese everything to be sold there, competitively, if it really means single. Every trade process involves complying with the rules of the nation being traded with .. whether France or Nauru. Of course business wants to do business, so if a UK haulier wants to move loads in the continent they can promote their services. The service requirer will decide who is appropriate, usually and sensibly based on price and quality.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        @Robert McDonald: Business want to do business, but won’t be allowed. Especially in services. To circumvent this, this may set up shop in the country they want to do business in.
        Selling goods remains possible, but may be due to some tariffs. Same for exporting to the UK

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          Are you happy with politians standing in the way of free trade.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2:
            Total free trade leads to a jungle economy. I’m not a libertarian.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Ah I see you’ve added the word “total”
            Where in the world does total free trade exist?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Yes the British apparently want the EU to accept that they would not have an ex-ante regulator for state aid while the EU has one, meaning that the British government could immediately poor as much state aid as it wants in its economy and the EU could only retaliate once whole sectors of its economy has been ravaged by state-subsidised British competition, leading to wholesale closures and loss of jobs.

      By the time the EU could do anything, many companies on the continent would have had time to go bust.

      Frost must really think the EU member states are stupid if he thinks this can fly.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        The EU allows that to happen with all other non EU nations.
        If China or Australia or Japan decide to give aid support to their industry there is nothing the EU can do about it.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          How far away are China, Australia or Japan from Brussels ?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            What difference does that make?
            Ships are constantly landing in Europe and UK from all over the world.
            With thousands of containers every single day.

          • NickC
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Why does that matter? Either they are competitors and traders or they’re not. And they are.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            The fact that the UK is far more integrated within the Single-Market than any of the above countries seem to have escaped you. Luckily, it did not escape the Europeans who as a result have no intention to offer a similar level of access unless the UK is prevented from gaining an unfair advantage.

            You may disagree but that is what is reported in the continental press .

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            Do they demand that power over any other nation that sells into Europe?

            Unfair advantage….EU speak for better cheaper products.that the EU wants to stop 450 million people the right to buy.

            Competition is good.

        • acorn
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Oh yes there is! And, not just via the WTO disputes procedure. You should study the Trump playbook on adhoc international trade sanctions on imports, that simply reduce the standard of living of his own citizens.

          Likewise, the muppets on this site who want to disrupt imports (Sea Warrior above) from the EU, because they have a large BoP advantage, should think about the empty supermarket shelves that will result. Not exactly a recipe for getting Boris re-elected.

          Imports are a benefit to the importing country. They are a loss to the citizens of the country that exported them. The latter take bits of paper called Pounds Sterling, in exchange for the stuff they made but will never own. Alas, they will indirectly end up owning; via their governments, owning lots Sterling assets, mostly London property.

          Post a “no-deal” Brexit; if your household is heavily dependent for its income from this Conservative Party controlled DWP and HMRC tax credits; I suggest you get a map of where your local food banks are going to be located.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Complete nonsense.
            Independent nations can and do give aid to their industries.
            There can be disputes in WTO over what is described as excessive subsidising but seed corn investments and money for R and D and other reasons are allowed.
            Trump was anti dumping.
            So am I.
            PS
            Still a believer of this one odd economist I see.

          • dixie
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            About what I would expect from an anti-UK troll.

            Foreign interests don’t mostly own London property, they mostly buy up UK businesses and relocate the assets and cash putting our people our of work and reducing our foreign earnings. Where it is harder to relocate such as utility companies they find other ways to extract and relocate cash and IPR.

            I suspect they are now buying up property because their aren’t many large businesses left for them to buy u, thanks to finance muppets such as yourself.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2: never heard of EU measures against dumping of Chinese goods into the EU? Solar panels as a recent example.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            As I said I am anti dumping.
            And yes I’ve heard of the example you stated.

          • dixie
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Didn’t do anything about dumping of Nederlands goods into Africa though …

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

            @dixie: An African Economic Union might have done something against it.

          • dixie
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            So the EU is not against dumping … as long as they are the ones doing it.

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        The EU doesn’t have an “ex ante” regulator for state aid, it (the commission) is the regulator. Meaning, the EU could pour as much state aid as it likes into it’s union.

        Do you really not see an issue for the UK if the EU is the regulator in EU-UK trade?

        • bill brown
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          dixie

          Personal atacks are unnecessary and shold be avoided, you shold know better and argue as an inforemd democrat.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            It wasa personal attack.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            wasn’t a…..

    • villaking
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      I think this is an excellent point. Whilst I don’t dispute the mandate for leaving the SM, people need to understand fully what that means. Free trade is not having your own bespoke set of rules slanted in your favour then expecting to be allowed to play the game with others who have to abide by tougher regulations. Sir John only ever cites the free trade wording in the PD and conveniently overlooks the commitment to the level playing field

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Villaking, You need to tell that to the EU, which wants our trade, and our money, and our fish, and to control us via their court, in exchange for the UK merely having access to the EU’s SM.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      What if EU hauliers want to come from Poland to pick up a load in the UK and deliver it to Belgium?
      Would the EU want to stop that happening too?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Peter, you are not seeing the whole picture. Over here in UK, the EU is never reported except by just one woman with some superb clothes who has not got a clue what is happening. But she looks good. We just don;t know – or care – very much. Our news is all about us – our hospitals, our quarrels, our shopping. Boris has said…so it must be OK. We also want to be independent.
      In other words, the level of ignorance over here is simply unbelievable.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Stallard: there is one good thing about Boris. People tend to believe him on his enthusiastic performances. What Britain needs is believing it can make a success of this new era. Hence the early vaccination measures, hence the promises of a successful greener economy, which could indeed be profitable.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        The media never report anything about the EU because it’s all totally disastrous! So the calamity in Greece is suppressed, the war on the streets of France, supported, the destruction of Sweden, suppressed. On and on. In fact when JR writes a piece on the EU the Remainers complain like mad!
        Their only hope of ‘rejoin’ is if we don’t know what we are being asked to rejoin.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      And all those lorries from the ROI driving across the UK to deliver goods to mainland Europe, Ryan Air thinking that they will carry on flying from Stanstead and Dutch factory trawlers “hoovering” up fish in UK waters…
      Ha ha ha….

      The EU was not given a mandate from the UK people to morph from the trading block EEC (Common Market) to the political all encompassing EU. For the third time in a century Germany has taken control of Europe, this time by stealth…

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

        The British people have the European project a mandate in 1975 – and then at the 8 subsequent general elections. In all of these a majority of voters backed parties with a clear policy on Europe.

        The majority of voters have never given any form of Brexit approval at a general election. Nobody at all will have approved whatever mess Johnson comes back with.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Andy, We had a specific Leave/Remain referendum 41 years after the one you cite. We voted Leave in it. That has still not been implemented. That’s a first for a supposedly democratic country. And the fault is entirely the responsibility of Remains.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          Yet the one vote SPECIFICALLY on the EU you decide to ignore.

          Well there’s a surprise.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        The UK joined after the EEC was created and the EEC has never hidden the fact that it was more than a simple economic union

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero, At each stage of expansion of its powers the EU has denied the significance of it. And our politicians have certainly hidden it.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Therefore you would have joined the Euro back in the day and now be in favour of more Qualified Majority Voting and more states joining and the EU having its own armed force and the EU changing it’s name to the United States of Europe.
          Perhaps you might tell us.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          We joined the ‘Common Market’. Our PM explicitly denied statements that the objective was a single country.
          No British PM had lied so viciously before.

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          There was no internet in 1975. The general public was wholely dependent on what the media and government told them and they were economical with the truth, did not give the whole story of future direction and plans.

          Claiming it was all there in the small print a document few could access let alone had the time to read while the government said it was only for trade and food, there would be no loss of sovereignty or control over laws is a typical shabby, euphile trick.

          I sincerely hope the lies, abuse and misdirection of the last 40+ years come back to burn the EU extremists in the EU and the UK.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: Sorry, but after Brexit you don’t have mandates inside the EU. You’re not at the table anymore.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          PvL, If we’re not “at the table” what on earth is Barnier doing in London? And why should we obey and pay the EU any more?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: The full expression of this is: “you are either at the table or risk being on the menu” 🙂

            You won’t be paying contribution to the EU, you won’t be at the table of the EU27, etc etc.

            But you will be free and independent!!!

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Therefore the UK can do what Know Dice said, because it will be an independent nation once more.
          We can alter our permissions if the EU play us up.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          Pieter we are at the WTO table, the Security Council Table, what table are you at?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        And reduced it to rubble! Again. Tragic!

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      What is Barnier compromising on that is too much Peter? It isn’t reported in our press at all.

      Do these UK hauliers you speak of have bases in the EU? Employing drivers and registering their trucks in the EU? Do they pay local taxes? If so what is the problem? Are all the EU hauliers currently running cabotage in the UK going to have to stop too? It’s a big problem for us because their cost base is smaller. We import more so the empty re-fills take work from British Hauliers at lower rates with their full belly tanks filled with cheaper derv. from the Continent.

      Should all EU Hauliers that operate transport contracts in the UK have their contracts terminated such as K&N who operate extensively in the UK.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy: I suspect the integrity of the single market (level playing field) is a hard red line. Also a governing mechanism that allows for quick intervention must be agreed. The Dutch trade much more with the rest of the EU than with the UK, and the rules that protect that single market are important.
        Setting up a business in the EU27 after 31 December may be a bit more complicated for the UK, but a foreign business with part of it set up inside the single market will of course be treated more like any business on the continent. If you’re interested: investinholland dot com.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          Is that the EU’s “level stealing field”, PvL?

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            Sounds like it Nick.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Yet many other non EU nations sell into the EU without your level playing field requirement.

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          I have to say if I were to expand my business I doubt I would look to the Nederlands. That would be mostly down to the attitude you have displayed on this blog which you have claimed is the general view in your country.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            @dixie: is it very businesslike to base your decisions so narrowly? I doubt it.

          • dixie
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been involved in business in a numbe of countries including Germany, France and Spain. First impressions count and from your comments over the years we are clearly not welcome so why waste my time. Your more recent fishing for UK business only started appearing when it was clear we meant “leave”.

            Unless of course you do not represent the general Dutch perspective of the UK.

          • NickC
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            PvL, I found it was easier doing business in Germany than in Belgium, so, yes, attitudes do count.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The same is equally applicable in the UK. Foreign vehicles (which are more than two thirds of the vehicles operating between UK and EU) have been doing it since the inception of the single market. Are you suggesting that all foreign vehicles having delivered their loads in the UK should not be allowed to re-load? There is nothing hilarious about cabotage, it is simply making best use of assets to avoid empty running in both expense and environmental terms.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        @graham1946: the free movement of goods and people are part of the single market. This implies that this movement at the least will not be free anymore as you are leaving our single market.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          So what is the actual answer to graham’s excellent question?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          The free movement of goods obviates the need for the people to move. So proof the EC does not allow free movement of goods as our businessmen always claim, resulting in the mass migrations which are so distressing!

        • graham1946
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          Are you going to reply about EU vehicles in the UK? We have our single market too, though that is conveniently forgotten.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            @graham1946: You might put a tariff on cars imported from the EU27. I believe that the USA does so as well.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Or Irish wishing to drive through the UK, or EU vehicles driving to Ireland through our single UK!

      • Andy
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        They can pay a fat fee to do so.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        We should stop any vehicles headed for EU drop off, or collection, routed via UK. Let them use ships.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Ah, it’s the “we’ve got your kid” angle.

        Are you not aware of the new direct shipping links between Ireland and the Continent which are being set up as we speak for that very reason?

        What would you do to someone who threatened your beloved, once you had rescued them?

        Yes, think about that, eh?

        • Fred H
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          what a bizarre imagination you have.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Martin, It’s simply a belated retaliation for the constant stream of EU threats.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          It’s the 4th December 2020 and they are beginning to set up ferry routes from the South of Ireland to the Continent. On the ball or what … and you advertise that fact 😂😂

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes there are direct shipping links Martin, it could take a lot more HGV movements off UK roads that they now pass through free of charge, less trucks to worry about at Dover too.

          Play dirty though and there is a lot of damage that the people will want the government to take and they won’t be able to ignore that for long.

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          No, simply they shouldn’t get to use our resources and facilities for free anymore, just as the EU and it’s scum-provocateurs have been saying would apply to our businesses since before the referendum.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      PvL, So what? Why shouldn’t UK hauliers pick up in Poland and deliver to Belgium? That doesn’t need the EU or even a single market. It would be a simple agreement allowing both UK and EU hauliers to operate in each others jurisdictions. I presume you still want EU trucks (more probably trailers) to operate in the UK? If you don’t, I suspect that the Irish will be very upset, even if the frequent EU hauliers I see on our roads are not.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: the “free movement of goods and persons” is part of the definition of the single market.
        At the least this won’t be “free” anymore as you happlily leave the single market.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          PvL, It is still perfectly possible to have an agreement about hauliers operating in each others jurisdictions. Many countries do. That is “possible” – you don’t have to agree with it if you don’t want. But do not use it as a bludgeon to force the UK into being subservient to the EU; haulage and the single market are not an equivalence.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I hope your first para is correct and that at the first sign of Barnier talking of deal concessions, one of them steps in and vetoes it.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      PvL

      Correct. The Single Market is run by and for its members. The people of the UK do not want to be part of the Single Market but, it is our political class that do ! Hence why they are trying to renegotiate our membership – something we do not want.

      You make the rules in YOUR market and leave us to make the rules in OUR market. Just like everybody else.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: Agreed

  18. DOM
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Erratum – ‘their stance’

  19. Simeon
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that in the first paragraph you use the term ‘the UK’, not ‘the UK government’. It is the UK government that determines policy, that privilege being conferred on them by the people. You talk of a divide between the UK and the EU. This is broadly correct. But there is no such divide between the UK government and the EU. Only someone who believed certain things the UK government has said – but ignored other things that have been said, or in other words, someone with selective hearing, or someone who believed what they wanted to believe – would think the UK government wants to meaningfully separate from the EU.

    You are trying to make out that it is the EU that is working to undermine the expressed will of the UK when in truth it is the UK government. You say the EU has to make up its mind. It doesn’t, because it already has. And actually, so too has the UK government. Minds were made up long ago. All that has been happening for at least these past twelve months is that the UK government and the EU have been selling their agreement. The EU aren’t stupid and understand that the UK government must be seen to be fighting hard for independence. This is a lesson learnt from the May debacle.

    The UK government need to be able to spin the forthcoming agreement – already decided, but not yet announced – as a victory. This is the purpose this year of theatricals has served. Rhetoric has been spewed, threats have been made, deadlines have been set and passed without incident. The UK government has not only threatened to break international law but begun the process of legislating to do that, and yet the EU, whilst initially denouncing the move, has quietly continued to formalise the agreement alongside the UK’s representatives.

    I have concluded that the reason why you haven’t accepted this is becuase you are in denial. You’re not stupid, even if the company you keep argues for the opposite. And I do believe that you genuinely desire to see a proper Brexit. The other aspect of denial is hope, and it seems that you are hoping against all reason that, somehow, something will happen to prevent the formalisation of the agreement. This hope grows fainter with every passing day, as the moment of formalisation creeps ever nearer, but it still flickers. The tragedy is that, even if a black swan arrives and an inadvertent no deal comes to pass, the inevitable chaos that ensues as a result of the country being unprepared will, almost certainly, set the cause of UK independence back decades. It’s over Sir John.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      No. No. No. It’s over for the Tory Party but not for the country. No government can be bound by its predecessors.

      You really think people would stick with this lot after a fudged deal? No chance.

      You think Farage would go along sweetly with a deal which saw the 2016 vote betrayed?

      We will eventually regain our independence.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Their behaviour over the last few years has been disgusting, particularly Treason May and her pretend negotiations. I lent the Tory’s my vote last year, millions of others did the same. If betrayed, never again. The Tory’s would be toast. The MSM couldn’t provide a cover up.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Only a small proportion of the people are as puritanically obsessed as you and the other handful of slavish commenters here are.

        Most people just want a rest from the tedious news and something like normal trade and relations – as they have enjoyed for the past forty-odd years.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          no they are not! You should get out more. Much more robust on the streets than on JRs blog. But yes they thought it should have been all over in 2016.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Martin, 17.4 million people voted for Leave, whatever their motivations were. And that “Leave” was clearly explained by both campaigns to mean not being run by the EU any more.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Correct – no, a parliament – or its government – cannot be bound by its predecessors.

        So any could cancel any acknowledgement of any undertakings made by a predecessor re the referendum.

        If a majority were elected to do that, well, that’s democracy, innit?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          You really think people in Belfast are going to put up with bratwurst tops on their pizzas? Give me a break. This daft agreement will be ditched within the year by a sensible government.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          They have to rejoin Martin, and get that through Parliament. We will ensure there are precious few traitors in the U.K. Parliament. We know exactly what questions to ask before voting.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        I address your perfectly reasonable points in a reply below.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          Although that particular post is still in moderation…

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      A depressing, accurate and extremely lucid exposition of where we are.

      What does it mean for the future? Being realistic, as opposed to hyperbole about the Conservative Party being ‘finished’, I would suggest that a significant minority of people that always vote Tory will either not vote in future elections or will vote for some flavour of UKIP – if such a party is available to vote for. How many people will do this and possibly let Labour into Downing Street? I think very few. 5% of Tory voters at most. What affect will this have? Probably none. That is the calculation made by those about to do the worst possible deal, which is why they feel they can get away with putting up two fingers to the 17.4 million.

      It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that a deal has already been done to rejoin. ‘Let’s make this as big a drama as possible so you can rejoin in a couple of years without any fuss.’

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        A fair assessment. Eighteen months ago, I genuinely believed that the Tories were in the process of being usurped by the Brexit Party. Sadly, I overestimated the latter’s organisation and resolve. When Farage stepped aside for Blowers, without meaning too, he conferred his blessing. The vast majority of voters would not have picked up on the qualifications for Farage’s support.

        Sadly, nor do I think they will pick up on the betrayal of the impending deal, which will be perceived by the vast majority as a true Brexit. The only way that people might realise what has happened is if there is a real split in the Tory party, i.e. if Sir John and however many dozens of Tory MPs quit. I don’t think that will happen, though I’d love to be proved wrong.

        I think Farage’s moment has passed, and I think so too has the Brexit opportunity. The general public will think what we end up with is Brexit, and things will only get worse; UK politics won’t change, the globalist agenda will be advanced to the detriment of ordinary people, and the inevitable economic collapse will arrive. Brexit – and not even a proper Brexit – will be one of the things blamed, and as you suggest, rejoining the EU will be on the cards – if the EU itself manages to survive.

    • Richard
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      If Boris were to dishonour himself to such an extent, then we the people will need to obtain redress.

      What action did 28 Barons take in 2001?
      Hint: common law assent Facebook.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Simeon,

      Thank yo very well written and argued.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        I thank you for the compliment, even if we have different views on the EU. I would hope that Remainers would be as disgusted by the betrayal of Leave voters by their political representatives as I am by the betryal of their natural constituency by the Labour party. Just as you are not a ‘Leaver’, nor am I Labour or ‘left’. But the taking for granted of ordinary working people, and then the abandonment of them in favour of New Left identity politics – whilst still demanding their votes – is despicable. As if one Liberal Democrat party weren’t enough…

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Simeon, Horribly plausible. The fact that the WA has not been abrogated confirms what you say.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        We will find out soon enough the value of the sovereignty clause, but in the end, this is a political fight, not a legal one. Brexit can’t be delivered on a technicality, but only through political will, evidence of which I simply don’t see.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I disagree with many points:
      It is the U.K. Parliament that determines policy and, more importantly, law. And they are sackable by us.
      The EU is stupid – it saw the pro-EU May Government humiliated repeatedly. It learned nothing.
      You must think, as May and the EU do, that the British people are stupid. You think they can sell ‘remaining’ as ‘leave’? Try it!
      You are a lot of hot air and self-defeat. You throw in the towel as an opening move!
      It IS NOT OVER! You think we Brexiteers are deluded? No wonder there were so few of us at the start when it really was lonely. Not one newspaper supported Brexit, but we KNEW the British people did and we never conceded an inch or took one step backwards. You like Farage are belly up without a shot being fired! Pathetic.
      But when we are out, you will stampede over JR (and me) shouting that you were always a Brexiteer.
      Man up for Gods Sake! Even the German, Bull, is delighted with your womanly whining! You sound like a Frenchman! When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles scream and shout!

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        You’re right. If they were sensible they would have agreed to Canada. The bulldog is unleashed.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        They are sackable in 4 years. That’s a long time. And what is the alternative? (I presume you cannot mean Farage given your longstanding antipathy.) Unless the Tories were completely wiped out, they would be cannibalising the vote of another right-of-Labour party, and vice versa. It would be difficult to predict anything other than a Labour landslide in that context, and obviously that doesn’t help.

        I think on the contrary both the EU and UK have learned from the May debacle. The UK now has a credible seller of Brexit, a true believer, Mr Brexit (or at least the mainstream version, the poster boy). Both sides have talked tough for twelve months, and yet now, here we are, with Blowers personally intervening, no doubt to snatch a glorious victory out of the fire, demonstrating once again his great statesmanship. You and I know this is ridiculous, but the average voter isn’t interested and doesn’t care. As far as they are concerned, Boris is their champion, and what he says goes. I don’t think the British people are stupid, but I do think they are largely oblivious.

        From the point at which you say “It IS NOT OVER”, you lost me. I honestly can’t make sense of what you are saying. I know you are attacking me, but none of what you say seems to bear relevance to my position.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      All that has been happening for at least these past twelve months is that the UK government and the EU have been selling their agreement. The EU aren’t stupid and understand that the UK government must be seen to be fighting hard for independence.

      Exactly how I see it.

  20. Brian Cowling
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government sticks to its promises” you say.

    I don’t trust the government to stick to them if the promises you refer to are the ones listed on the Best for Britain website – negotiations checklist:
    https://www.bestforbritain.org/negotiationschecklist

    And why should one trust someone who has broken other promises?
    “We are going to fulfill the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts” (25 July, first speech as Prime Minister).
    “There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts” (2 September, speaking in Downing Street)
    “I am confident of getting a deal. We will leave on 31 October in all circumstances. There will be no further pointless delay.” (3 September, speech in Commons)
    “I’d rather be dead in a ditch” (5 September, asked to promise he would not request a delay to Brexit)
    “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so” (19 October, speech in Commons).

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      It’s sounds like a script from Yes Minister and hilarious except it’s no laughing matter. We are being shafted once again by dishonest politicians.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Agree

  21. Len Smith
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It is astonishing that even now you dont understand the basics. Almost half our exports go to the EU, a tiny 6% of theirs come to us. No deal, and they catch a cold, we get COVID19 ahundred times over. Do tryto understand Economics 101

    • Edward2
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Percentages are misleading.
      Look at the cash figures.
      And we end with a £90 billion a year deficit with the EU
      Yet a surplus on trade with the rest of the world.
      PS
      It isnt half our exports.
      It is about 40%, lower if you could properly calculate the Rotterdam effect.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Or you coild explain it like this –

      In 2019, UK exports to the EU were £294 billion. UK imports from the EU were £374 billion

      Just using a percentage can be misleading

    • GilesB
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      That 6% figure is a deliberately misleading fiction by the EU. It is calculated by counting as exports trade between EU Member states. Actually annual EU exports to the rest of the world are about EUR2400 by, of which exports to the U.K. are about EUR400 billion i.e. 16%, Not 6%. And of course that EUR 2400 billion will fall dramatically when the UK’s exports to the rest of the world are subtracted.

      Using the 6% would be like the U.K. counting as total exports all the trade between the four territories of the U.K.! Or indeed all the trade between Counties.

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        An interesting and useful point to highlight, thanks.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      The basics are that they sell £90 billion more to us than we to them. They need the deal more than we do. That’s why we are doing them the favour.

  22. Sharon
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “and a pity they have torn up the clause in the Political Agreement which states the future relationship will be based on a Free Trade Agreement.”

    What a damn cheek! That should have been our cue to rip up the withdrawal agreement and PD!

    The trouble is we have too many enemies within working against us. How do these people sleep at night – because when you are the enemy within, you are a traitor to your country.

    Let’s pray Boris has the courage to be strong – trouble is these traitors within – will likely destroy him!

  23. Peter Parsons
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “The UK has proposed a Free Trade Agreement between a sovereign UK and the EU, just as the EU has with countries like Canada and Japan.”

    The UK is asking for completely tariff-free, quota-free access which neither Canada nor Japan have. The UK is asking for things that neither Canada nor Japan have and you should not be misleading people otherwise.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      The UK is offering free trade in our markets to the EU member states.
      Generous offer in my opinion considering the £90 billion a year trade deficit the UK has with the EU.
      Tariffs would leave the UK with a surplus as we would collect more than we would pay out.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Are you sure the calculation is as simple as that. I am not sure the government office for Budget forecasting disagree as it says no del would cost us 2% of GDP

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          You are looking at a pessimistic prediction into the future.
          I am quoting real current figures.
          What did I say in my post that was wrong?
          Perhaps you could explain bill.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          We have already established that they are innumerate and Remain Bull. Where have you been ‘sitting’?

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson,

            Spending time reading which you obviously do not do a lot

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      How do you know what the UK is asking for Peter? Is there a list somewhere? Where is this document you speak of that you claim John is misleading people about?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      You are wrong, services for instance are not included, so it’s only where the EU has a trading advantage that we are even proposing a FTA. Where we have an advantage there is nothing.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        There are individual agreements on services between countries as well even if it is not covered by the single market

        • Edward2
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          That is what Lynn said.

  24. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    From reports in the UK press, Johnson and Frost sold out our fishing to “break the deadlock”. This capitulation to the French demand to land all of our fish has obviously emboldened the EU to make the further, unwarranted demands that you describe.

    As these negotiations go down to the wire, we should holdfast. Or we will be paying Barnier & co endless tribute forever.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      The common tactic is to feed really bad news to the press and so create a mindset that, when the so called ‘deal’ is eventually released people will see that it is not as bad and so will more readily accept it.

  25. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    WE started off so full of optimism that Boris could get us out without strings attached — That is looking less likely by the day as the talks keep getting extended.

    We hear also that some months back we agreed to stay in the EAW, (with who knows what ties to the ECHR) – a nasty feature of EU justice that we all wanted rid of — Just what else has been quietly agreed that we keep?

    Going by Boris’s actions over the last year in other areas, most of us now are expecting a Brexit fudge, with us surrendering too many things we thought finally taken back.

    It would appear that despite the rhetoric, our PM does not have the stomach for a no-deal

  26. Newmania
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Ye gods it is pitiful isn`t it . This is what you get when you let people who never have to grow up run things .
    ” Oh gosh mummy that much larger and more important organisation is treating us wuffly …boo hoo ….”
    My pet cat could see this coming and might I( remind everyone of the extent of the lies by which they sold their snake oil.
    They said ( and people believed) they would be richer . Yes by erecting trading barriers between ourselves and our major market and supplier we will get richer .
    For that to be true every single thing we know about economics and trade would have to be wrong.
    It is , as I said; pitiful.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Complete and utter tosh. If you were right, every country on the planet would be clamouring to join the EU. You may have observed they are not.

      Losing our independence, and being governed by a corrupt, hostile bunch of self-appointed foreign kommissars, is not worth the theoretical marginal increase of trade you tout. But actually whoever heard of a colony doing better?

  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The EU never takes a decision until the timeline has ended, why would this be different?

    Let the negotiators go away and then come back after Christmas when the need for a trade agreement to allow goods and services to keep moving across the channel, the North Sea and between Eire and NI.

    Up until now everything has been a pantomime so they might as well come back during panto season.

    And remember ” nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      ….but everything was agreed 2 years ago – apart from how to sell it to the media

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        +1

  28. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Well to be fair to Johnson he had to row back a long way from the dreadful situation May had put us in. Equally she was only there because of the broken promise of Cameron that we would leave the day after the referendum. No more broken promises.

    This week saw the Tory party vote en masse to risk further bankrupting the country for the sake of a disease with dubious real mortality. Economic competence 0/10. Scientific competence 0/10.

    We leave the EU properly or the Tory party leaves the political scene.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      +1

  29. George Brooks.
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    What in the hell is going on? If this had been a negotiation between two commercial giants they would have ended last January/February.

    We are heading towards an almighty ”fudge” whereby both teams are trying to save their skins for when they return to base.

    If we don’t regain our sovereignty as an independent state, totally free of EU law controlling our waters this government and all who serve within it will be finished and destined for the scrap heap.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      The UK would not be totally sovereign at all even if it were completely isolated and blockaded from the European Union as you seem to want.

      It would still be bound by treaties such as NATO – the US could still mount its raids from our soil whenever they fancied – extradition treaties, other trade agreements, WTO rules, UN membership, carbon undertakings and so on.

      It’s a very long list.

      Sovereignty is a relative, not an absolute.

      Try to grasp this – life would be so much calmer for you if you did.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        NATO is an agreement we can withdraw from any time we want.
        NATO does not make laws regulations directives or rules to be imposed on us.
        Extradition treaties can be repealed.
        WTO rules work happily for over 90% of international trade including the EU
        UN membership is voluntary we could withdraw tomorrow if we wanted to.
        Carbon dioxide reduction is an area the UK leads the world.
        The Climate Change Act is a radical attempt to reduce emissions.
        We are not bound, we are pushing other nations to follow our lead.

        Sovereignty is about the UK as an independent nation having the right to make it’s own policy decisions.
        Not having to follow what the EU wants us to do.

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Rubbish. The EU treaties give direct control over the UK to the EU as a government – the UK becomes subservient, a colony, as EU employees boasted. Whereas NATO etc treaties are between sovereign equals where both or all parties gain and lose equally by precisely the same amount.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        We have the sovereign power to leave NATO, The WTO and the UN should we choose. Sovereignty does not mean isolation. It means having the power to join or leave.

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I have no confidence at all in Johnson. What will you do when he betrays you and us over Brexit on top of the devastation he has caused to people’s lives and the economy? The man is a menace.

  31. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John, will you leave the Tory party if Boris and his government of Tories betrays your beliefs and all your campaigning and all the promises which have been made to you?

  32. agricola
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The clarity of the referendum 2016 and a return to sovereignty was clouded by May and her civil service, no doubt creating the impression within the EU that they could demand anything and get it, and they did in her WA. To the EU sovereignty is an alien concept.

    They either discover and accept it or it is WTO terms. I would give them till Wednesday to make up their minds, end of negotiation.

  33. MickN
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Had we walked away and onto WTO terms 4 years ago we would have had a good trade agreement in place now.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Correct

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      +1

  34. Nivek
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “I did not expect to be still writing such obvious and necessary words this late in the year.”

    I honestly wonder why not.

  35. Tabulazero
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Macron is working very hard to give you the no-deal Brexit you crave.

    You should show your support by replying “Vive La France!” to my message.

    I am really going to enjoy that.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s rather drôle, is that.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      you’ll wait a long time for that.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, We want a no deal Leave because the EU cannot be trusted.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      France does not exist. It’s gone. Don’t you understand that? I would like France to exist and be occupied by contented Frenchmen.

  36. P Wesson
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    It’s “a pity they (the EU) have torn up the clause in the Political Agreement which states the future relationship will be based on a Free Trade Agreement”

    Is that the same Political Agreement that contains Section 77? If so, it states in its opening sentence: “Given the Union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition, encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field”.

    Is this the same commitment that was taken out of Theresa May’s legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement and put into the non legally-binding Political Declaration by Boris Johnson ? You will no doubt recall, the one that Boris Johnson told us was Oven Ready ?

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      P Wesson, There can be no level playing field where the referee is on the same team as the opposition.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The PA was not legally binding. The operative word to look for is, agreement.

  37. MickN
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Why does a man who urinates next to a memorial get to spend time in prison but a woman who tries to burn the British flag on our most sacred war memorial walks free?
    Two tier judgements to go with the two tier policing we have now.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Because the woman probably goes to university and mummy and daddy have ‘connections’ and do not want her future ruined.

  38. Lifelogic
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The excellent Dr Claire Craig yesterday?

    Has the NHS suddenly started saving more lives than ever from heart disease, strokes, dementia, pneumonia, cancer etc? Or could it be that people did die of these things at a similar rate to normal but, perhaps, some were mislabelled as COVID?

  39. ukretired123
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Let there me know mistake. People are very angry and have been at breaking point building over decades of seeing basics such as:-
    Fish & Chips basic staple foods become a rare expensive treat – that is why is is a key point.
    Car ownership for millions become extravagant where it used to be simple.
    Beer once inexpensive become a luxury at the Pub – again becoming extinct.
    High Street experience disappearing……etc etc.
    Just a few examples why folks are very angry in the Midlands and North and around the country outside the metropolitan glass towers who are incubated from this by high salaries etc.

    What makes me amazed is that whingers like Martin (MiC) and Andy think they are angry – yet they are not aware of there are millions of folks who are many times seriously aggrieved at breaking point and just want out from the EU as it is seen as their tormentor – reinforced by 5 years of prevaricating after 50 years on the receiving end of this – unlike those enjoying EU favours.

    Believe me Boris better be aware after the promised land returning to Sovereignty :-
    1. Cameron : We will act on your decision – then jumped ship!
    2. May: No deal is better than a bad deal. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
    3. Johnson : Get Brexit Done………………………………………………………………………..?????

    If Boris thinks he can do a Ted Heath and secretly deal out the rest of the country there will be a massive reaction. People can only take so much. Don’t count on Labour saving Britain either.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Please explain how expensive fish and chips – they’re not really – are the fault of membership of the European Union? Or anything else on your list?

      We’re out now, have been for months. Do you see any improvement?

      • ukretired123
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Glad you think fish and chips are inexpensive for you but they are for poor folks and why Junk Food has overtaken this staple island fare!
        Don’t expect normal service to resume when survival is the priority now.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        NOT EXPENSIVE?
        A family of 2 + 2 children – – lets have fish+ chips. Where I live thats £5 + £2 for chips. So 2x £7 plus 2 children share fish and chips? Some will want a portion each.
        So cost is 3 x £7 = £21 or 2 x £7 – £14.
        Eating out roughly twice that plus drinks.

        An awful lot of families will not pay that – perhaps its much cheaper in Cardiff?

        • Fred H
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          and bigger children means 4 x £7 = £28.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        They stole our fish stupid Andy.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson

          Unncessary use of words. I would never writ this about you even if it might have crossed my mind as your contribution counts as well

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Martin, If we are out, where are the food shortages, medicine shortages, and miles of lorry queues? And why is the EU still stealing our fish?

      • ukretired123
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        And that’s why it is known as The Chippy!

        A bag of chips please!
        As fresh fish was rare and even cod became rarer esp smaller portions.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Fish and chippie doesn’t work. Fishy? – certainly not. So! Chippie was the easiest name.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      What makes me amazed is that whingers like Martin (MiC) and Andy think they are angry . . .

      They’re Trolls ! Just ignore them, as I do. You will feel much better and our kind host will not have to spend so much time going through posts.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        +1

  40. ukretired123
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Correction – Let there be NO mistake!

  41. Richard
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Well said Sir John, I concur with everything you say here… and most particularly I agree with:
    “There is no need for the UK to give them our fish, or to accept their laws, or to agree to arbitration of disputes entailing subservience to their court. Anyone of those would be a violation of the purpose and spirit of Brexit.”

  42. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The EU was founded on the idea that the whole thing had to be done without consulting the ordinary people, their ideas or their votes because they had already given free rein to Hitler, to Mussolini, to Franco and several other very nasty people. The EU had to be done against the will of the people, who had been thrilled when the first World War started off. Nie Wieder Krieg!

    But it had to look good. So there was a hugely democratic parliament (without power) and one of everything – a flag, a national anthem, an army, a police, a government.
    All run on the inefficient lines of the Soviet Union – but without Stalin. So it was slow, ponderous and unable to change course.

    You won’t ever change it: trade arrangements with people outside the EU take literally years to complete. There is no off the peg. And they stand to lose a lot more than we do. Finally, M. Barnier is French.

  43. Richard1
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    So there is to be a U.K.-Swiss deal to allow visa free travel for business (obviously you don’t need it for tourism). And that’s to be followed by a trade deal on services including mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Yet Switzerland is not demanding the right to set any U.K. laws, how we decide tax policy etc or how goods are moved around within the U.K.

    It is essential for Boris to stick to his guns. There’s no point to Brexit unless the U.K. regains sovereignty over those aspects of law and regulation where the EU has had control whilst we were members. Otherwise we may as well rejoin.

    The increasing success of the independent trade policy – even though we haven’t really left the EU yet – shows that you do not need political union to have broadly defined free trade.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Exactly right. If we can have free trade deals with Switzerand, Canada, and Japan, then – if the EU were reasonable – we could have a trade deal with it. But the EU is actually corrupt and vindictive, so a decent fair trade deal is not possible with the EU.

  44. Mike Durrans
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Here here! I agree with every word, we have now wasted OVER four years talking to their moronic negotiator.

    We must close the book at the end of this week and go our own ways.

  45. William Long
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I am afraid our best hope of Leaving now lies with the reported intransigence of M. Macron.

  46. turboterrier
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The first 23 replies posted today nearly all zone in on your comment about, trust and the government. Trust for a lot of people has ben dead in the water for a long time and growing on a daily basis.
    The PM and his closest advisors have not heeding the electorates warnings.Too many of these knee jerk policies spewing out of number 10 on all manner of subjects are to the majority just hot air trying to please and appease everybody

    Is it asking too much to go back to sensible government with well sourced ,costed plans with the caveat that what we say what we do and do what we say..

    Restore the trust or get out and put in people that will repair all the damage they have and are causing.

  47. bill brown
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    You are far too fast off the mark as usual when it comes to the EU.

    We do not know and neither do you if the free trade agreement has beeen torn up, but your pre-determined though not confirmed assumptions do not come as a surprise to me.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      I admire your optimism bill.
      But the negative comments from both sides in the negotiations seem to be pointing to a no deal scenario.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Erward 2

        As you said about the Supreme Cournt in the US let us wait and see.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          How does your comment on the UK and EU negotiations have any relevant link to the American election declarations?

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            I was just quoting your past writing about waiting or teh US supreme counrt before a jusdgement on the US elections

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Yes I know that bill.
            But it has no relevance nor connection to this article which is about the EU and our position in the Single Market.
            PS
            George W Bush lost every lower court ruling until he got to the Supreme Court.
            And their ruling resulted in him ending up President.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        The political editor of the Spectator, who happens to be married to the PM’s spokeswoman, wrote an article for The Times yesterday that was very optimistic that a deal will be done next week. I have seen other articles suggesting much the same.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Bull you speak for German Europe. You admitted (at last) that you are German. Stop playing Joyce of Berlin, even he could not con us.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        and it didn’t end well!

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson,

        I have told you I am Danish and British , but wold not mind a third passport if you offer.
        So just learn to read what is written and take your medicine

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          There is no Danish Passport or citizenship Bull. You belong, heart and soul to German Eu. And if NI is obviously part of Ireland, Denmark is obviously part of Germany.

    • NickC
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Too fast off the mark, Bill? After well over four years? Yoour little joke I presume.

  48. majorfrustration
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Have slightly lost the plot – if the end result is no deal does that in effect bin the WA and the £39b bung.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Well that have had tens of billions more than the £39 billion spoken of already. But no deal means no more money, no more contracting of British business.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        Have you red the statistics recently about how much British business has grown since we joined the EU? Otherwise happy to tell you .

        You write such nonsense

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          All countries have expanded trade in the last 40 years.
          Correlation not causation.

        • NickC
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Bill, Where are your facts and documentation?

          • bill brown
            Posted December 6, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            read futher down NickC

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Bull have you seen the disastrous deficits we have built up since we joined the Common Market? The last time we were in trade surplus was the year before we joined the Common Market. Today we have a big surplus with the rest of the world but a massive deficit with the rigged EU Market. Rigged against us for 48 years!

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Lynn Atkison

            talk to the UK consumer about this not just me as one consumer

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          Have you red the statistics recently about how much British business has grown since we joined the EU? Otherwise happy to tell you .

          In a recent article on here, Mr. Redwood argued the opposite with figures to prove that growth fell after we joined the EU. Hardly surprising considering how much we import from them now compared to before joining.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Mike Wilson

            All growth rates in the OECD world fell after the reconstruction during the 50s and 60s, so that argument is not very difficult but it had nothing to do with the EU, it was stuctural thorughout the OECD.
            So , no it did not ahve anything to do with the EU

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            So every negative is the fault of member nations and every positive is due to the EU.
            Yeah right.

          • dixie
            Posted December 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            @Bull – We did not join the EEC until mid 70’s so growth rates in 50’s and 60’s have no bearing whatsoever.

  49. glen cullen
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The EU and this Government aim to cut emissions by 68% by end of 2030

    Not in my name
    Not in manifesto
    Not what people voted

  50. Fred H
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    from BBC website.
    The government has cut £1bn from the rail infrastructure budget following the chancellor’s Spending Review. Rishi Sunak had previously promised record infrastructure investment as part of the government’s “levelling up” agenda.
    Until now, Network Rail’s “enhancement” budget for the five year period from 2019-24 had been set at £10.4bn. But, this week rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said that the budget would now be £9.4bn.
    That has put a question mark over some long-planned improvements to rail infrastructure.
    err….HS2 plenty of scope for cutting there.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Plan is to get rid of many lines.
      EXCEPT HS2…as decreed by whoever is Boris’ boss!

  51. Kenneth
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    What is there to negotiate?

    Making common arrangements such as flight control, student exchanges, policing etc are administrative matters that do not require negotiation.

    The eu is aware that we will be a sovereign nation and are aware of our proposed free trade arrangement with them. All they need to do is decide to take up is offer or not. No negotiation required.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Those things are only administrative matters if both sides agree that they are.

      Otherwise they are part of the mix.

      All is in the air.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Wrong.
        Independent nations decide what their rules are on their own.
        There are many different rules for visiting or living or working or residing in the many different nations around the world.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 6, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          Edward2

          The rate of growth slowed for a nations during the 70’s and 80’s just look it up

          • Edward2
            Posted December 6, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            How is that relevant?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      +1

  52. glen cullen
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The great sell out capitulation EU/UK deal today as Michel Barnier to stay in UK this weekend…..I don’t recall the people being asked if they wanted a deal

    If a deal happens over this weekend that can only mean Boris has caved

  53. glen cullen
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The EU still wants to keep us in the single market and customs union
    _______________________________________________________

    Boris – ”no problem”, would you also like more fish with that ?”

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Boris might surprise you. He is obdurate. Once he gets an idea, no agility, you can see from the handling of CV19. I think he knows he’s PM because he promised Brexit. He might deliver.

  54. ian
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    It is not the gov that runs this country it is big business with most companies boardrooms now run by the woke, that is the big mistake that people make. as for the big fuss about the vaccine in the news yesterday you have chosen by your gov to be the guinea pigs of the world for a first trial run on mass, was going to be given to NHS staff first but have changed their mind about that.

    • beresford
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Apparently the Government have announced that the rich will not have to self-isolate after entering Britain. Apparently the intelligent virus does not spread via people of high ‘net worth’. I wonder what other restrictions will only apply to the hoi polloi.

      • NickC
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Beresford, I abhor reaching for a conspiracy theory at the first opportunity yet when the government does something like absolving the rich from the normal covid rules what is an ordinary person to think?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      It’s too dangerous to vaccinate the whole NHS. They might all be off their feet.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        the more senior ones are off their head.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          😂😂

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Or flat on their backs..
        Or frankly…infertile?

  55. Ben
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Either way we are heading for the disintegration of the UK as we know it- the Scots are on the warpath and will not stop until they get independence and rejoin the EU- for a start that will remove the Great out of GB- and secondly the ULster farmers will rebel against the DUP for removing their EU market and CAP payments despite what Lord Dodds and other politicos from Co Antrim might think- game over

    It then comes down to the question of what do you think is more important- an antiquated idea of British sovereignty 1700’s 1800’s style or a modern forward looking world based on fairness and economic well being- Luddites Vs the moderates

    • beresford
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      The ‘modern forward-looking world’ we are being offered seems to bear similarities to Communist China with a small privileged elite being served by an army of worker drones who do what they are told or have their limited freedom curtailed. Not everything is good because it is new.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      You think Ulster will sacrifice 84% of trade with the U.K. for 16% of trade with the EU (the Irish Republic)? 😂😂 Scotland will give up the Barnet formula and access to the UK market and accept the Euro – because that’s what is required to join the EU.
      Well maybe they are mad enough, if so we will be well rid of them.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        we will be well rid at any level.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Ulster saved the whole U.K. those 10 critical DUP votes. They need a statue and an Ulster Day. We can never repay what we owe them. I would never surrender them to the EU or any other entity.

  56. GilesB
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The EU court of justice cannot be an arbitrator. Their mandate is to achieve ‘ever closer union’ , and that’s the basis for all of their decisions, not application of the law.

    A ‘level playing field’ is an outcome not a policy.

    Policy changes, in an attempt to realise the level playing field objective, would have to be reciprocal. If the U.K. needs to change its practices to follow every policy change by the U.K., then the EU would have to implement its practices to follow every change in U.K. policy.

    For example, if the U.K. introduced a policy that oranges had to be individually wrapped to reduce the risk of absorbing chemical pollutants during transportation (obvious nonsense deliberately), than the EU would have to do the same, otherwise the playing field wouldn’t be level.

    Or, there would be the absurdity of no changes in regulations being allowed until both parties had agreed – and we know how long that takes. We, and they, would be stuck in treacle in a fast changing world.

  57. GilesB
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    al. If the U.K. needs to change its practices to follow every policy change by the EU, then the EU would have to change its practices to follow every change in U.K. policy.

  58. ian
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Poor old England and it people, first this and first for that as ordered by companies woke boardrooms who will be receiving all your money.

  59. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    As said many many times – The EU ( Germany ) is out to destroy the UK. It wants to flood us with 3rd worlders for us to keep while they breed, rape and murder us out of existence. The ECHR will ensure that any of them, no matter how terrible their crimes here WILL get the “right” to stay here and be a danger and burden to us. We are on the “Road to Hell” with our govt not even finding the brake pedal.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Quite right if Boris does not deliver Brexit THE DEMOCRATIC WAY. But we will have Brexit one way or the other.

  60. John Downes
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government sticks to its promises.”

    How touching. Me, I see a government that has bungled everything since it took office and I have no trust left in it at all.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      exactly.

  61. Derek Henry
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The news on Friday that a no-deal Brexit looms would have once been the major news story of the year, but was instead confined to secondary headlines as the latest lockdowns were announced. ”

    Ever wondered if that’s the idea? I’m sick of hearing about lockdown when Brexit is by far more important.

    Get three barristers in a room and you’ll have ten different opinions. The simple rule of International Law is that there is no law without enforcement and the worst the EU can do is refuse to sell us their stuff.

    Which with deflation on the horizon, millions unemployed and a currency heading to the stratosphere would not be a smart move.

    Let’s just please walk away and stop being scared of our own shadow. What’s poisoned the debate for 50 years is that fools believe we have to somehow give away our sovereignty to sell stuff or even worse give away our sovereignty to import. Where did this nonsense come from In the first place.

    Trade 101 – You export to get the currency you need to buy imports .

    So Let me give you something concrete then. We can buy the unemployed at £10 per hour – permanently. Without touching taxation rates. That will automatically stabilise the economy as it stands. A one off price adjustment competition takes care of the rest true competition the likes we’ve never had for years.

    With a fully employed economy EVERYBODY will be standing in line desperate to sell us their products. Refusing to sell us stuff won’t even come into it. If the EU try to stop their exporters from selling us stuff they would have a riot in their hands the EU project would be finished.

    On top of that the exporters who can do it would even be willing to discount their own currency and sell us their goods in our own currency. We wouldn’t even need to export that much to get it. Allowing us to use our skills and real resources on more important things.

    Switch yourself around to the point of view of a Chinese producer. Put yourself in their shoes.

    Then what happens is this.

    There is insufficient demand at home to keep your factory going. Just not enough orders coming in. So you either close or you entertain these orders from a foreign nation offering funny green bits of paper that are worthless to you.

    So you have a word with your local PBC branch and they let you know that they’ll take the funny green bits of paper and give you real money in exchange. And they can even tell you how much real money you’ll get.

    That reassures you and off you go producing safe in the knowledge that you’ll get real money for your output which you can spend in the shops in China.

    So how does the PBC do that.

    Again, put yourself in the shoes of the PBC. In the hands of a bank foreign currency is a loan asset. It’s collateral. What does a bank do with collateral? it discounts it for the local currency.

    The transactions are DR Foreign currency assets, CR local factory owner’s deposit account

    Now read that again. What has happened?

    The bank has gained ownership of a valuable foreign asset *and created local money against it*.

    This is how foreign export-led economies maintain circulation of their local money in the face of the drain to savings. They hold foreign currency assets to make the balance sheet look good. It is far, far easier politically to discount against so called ‘hard currency’ than it is against the apparently nebulous ‘taxpayers equity’ asset. Even though functionally it has precisely the same effect – injection of local money into the economy.

    Let’s take another example of Norway.

    You’re an oil producer in Norway and you earn in US dollars. But the Norwegian government taxes you heavily in Krone to avoid a ‘Dutch disease’ issue and to ‘save’ for future generations.

    So what happens?

    The government pays the tax amount, in Kroner, into the Government Pension Fund using the usual mark up routine. It charges the oil funds the tax amount (as corporate taxes and licence costs). To get the Kroner, the oil company swaps USD for Kroner – effectively with the Pension Fund. The Oil company now has the Kroner and can settle its tax bill.

    The Pension Fund now has USD which it uses to buy equities from abroad and that approach drain more USD in income (and Euros, GBP, etc). The fund puts a huge ‘hard asset’ on one side of the national balance sheet which can be discounted quietly by the Norwegian central bank to maintain the circulation of Kroner in the face of the drain to savings.

    You can do much the same with Denmark – except that the pension funds there are privatised.

    90% of parliament think we need a deal so Boris will cave. 10% of parliament including John knows what we do domestically. Domestic economic policies make it work. Cut taxes or increase spending or do both and offer everyone a job who wants one and Brexit Britain would be BOOMING!

    Finally after all these years when we are booming and there are inflationary pressures everywhere then is the right time to run a budget surplus. We take more currency out of the economy than we put in.

  62. Stephen Reay
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    It’s quite simple, if Boris sells the country out the voter will use their veto and sell him out. A deal is better for everyone, but we can’t give up any of our sovereignty .

    • James1
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Mr Johnson is playing with fire if he tries to sell a Brexit fudge. We didn’t believe Call me Dave’s “game set and match” attempt to spin the thin gruel that he was served up. Mr Johnson should remember that we didn’t vote in the referendum for a deal. We voted to leave. That we are even talking about a deal four and a half years after the referendum is to say the least somewhat surprising. And they wonder why we voted to leave.

  63. Alan Paul Joyce
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I trust that the government will NOT stick to its promises. It has form – in spades. It is more likely that it will dump a ‘one thousand page’ partnership agreement on MP’s late one evening towards the back end of December probably when MP’s are ready to go home for Christmas, ask them to read it and vote on it the very next day.

    Trust? Pah!

  64. ian
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    As for Brexit, I never voted couldn’t see the point with the big companies wanting to stay in the EU.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      You mean with Continental Companies who dominate the CBI?

  65. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The deadline of June should not have been extended, and we should have withdrawn from any talks after we set our new tariffs.

    The Eu are only in favour of so called compromise if it is others who have to do it.

    Keep it simple stupid is a term often used in business, it should have been applied at the outset

  66. Derek Henry
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    For every trade there are *two* transactions. The first is the real transaction of real goods and services and they cross borders as you would expect.

    The second is the finance transaction in the opposite direction.

    In every finance transaction that happens the buyer gets to use what they want to pay for the transaction, and the seller receives what they want to receive for the transaction. Everybody has to get what they want in finance terms *or both legs of the transaction would never have happened in the first place*.

    The job of the finance sector is to match the mismatches, allow more finance transactions to complete and scrape a bit off for enabling that process.

    So you can buy UK goods and services with anything you want – bottles of wine, even Bitcoin and your friendly neighbourhood finance sector will sort it all out so the seller at the other end gets what they want.

    So if I’m in the UK and I’m an anarchist with a deep distrust of government, I will want Bitcoins. I may even charge for my stuff in Bitcoins. Then I’d use a finance invoice processor (like coinvoice) which allows buyers to pay with whatever they fancy and I’ll get Bitcoins.

    However at some point I’m going to have to pay my tax Bill and so I’ll use another payment processor to pay my tax bill with Bitcoins.

    But none of this is magic. The finance sector is just doing the exchanges in the background. If somebody pays me with dollars and I want Bitcoins, then that gets matched with somebody paying in Bitcoins and wanting dollars. And what happens in effect is the person paying with Bitcoin pays me, and the person paying me in dollars pays those wanting dollars. It’s a simple swap transaction that redirects the currency flows back into the currency area.

    Matching those flows is what moves the currency prices relative to each other until everything matches up.

    What that tells you is that the ‘trade deficit’ is a result of transactions that have succeeded. Therefore the other side must have wanted Sterling savings of some kind or the excess transaction would never have happened in the first place.

    We have a dualist constitution

    Enforcement action cannot be taken other than through the UK courts. . EU law works on a civil code based upon proportionality. The UK law works upon precise interpretation based upon precedent.

    The Internal Market Bill is a perfectly proportionate response to the unwarranted threats from the EU.

    The UK government is answerable to our courts and our parliament alone. Nothing can force the UK to do anything other than through those mechanisms.

    UK law is sovereign in the UK and nobody else can override that other than by threatening war. Therefore the French blockading the UK isn’t going to happen – except in the mind of Europhiles who believe the EU is superior to everything.

    If the EU don’t want to sell us tomatoes we’ll just get them from somewhere else. More fool them.

    International Law is just international politics. Because there is no superior court to Parliament.

    There is no law without enforcement. How do you *actually* make something happen when the other side refuses to co-operate? The EU can’t do a thing if we just walk away. Apart from not sell us anything which would be economic suicide if your whole economic model is built upon export your way to growth.

    We don’t need a deal. They do……

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I would add what is termed international law is not created freely, in that these Laws are not created via free democracies. As such the creation, the amendment and repeal is not possible via the ballot box or representation. That would suggest some sort of world order or dictatorship is at play.

      As you say it is politics, the pandering of ego’s that have no standing or authority.

      As these trade discussions have shown it is not about trade but rule as a result I would agree The Internal Market Bill is a perfectly proportionate response to the unwarranted threats from the EU.

      • Derek Henry
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Exactly Ian.

        They should do what we told them to do when we voted out.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Yep.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Derek Henry,

      the answer is more complicated then your znswer . We all need a deal not just the Eu teh UK as well, bcause we will ocnitnue to trade what ever happens

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        We trade without trade deals Bull.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        I thought Derek’s post was excellent, lengthy and well argued.
        You wrote 8 words of cursory dismissal without any explanation.
        Very poor.
        PS
        If we both will continue to trade, as you state, then a deal isn’t required.

  67. Lifelogic
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Boris on the economy:- “An ounce of confidence is worth a ton of Richi’s money”.

    Difficult to have any confidence when you are pushing idiotic expensive energy and other green lunacy to export and kill UK jobs and freeze pensioners, locking down businesses doing more harm than good and do not even have gumption to cancel HS2 or to get the vaccine priority right. Plus it is not Richi’s money anyway.

    It is borrowed money secured on the backs of future tax payers.

  68. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    It is obvious to even the casual observer that these over blown negotiations have never been about trade, they have never been about mutual cooperation with a neighbour. The whole point has been who rules in the UK, is it our own sort of democratically elected Parliament or is it the EU Commission.

    Couple that with the desperate need of these people to ‘punish’ so as to keep everyone in check. It still gets down to the UK must become a colony of the EU. Maybe baby steps for now, ensure the UK cant do anything with out permission and then load the UK with the full overseeing control that has become the Commissions style.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Throughout these talks the nastiness and pettiness of the EU Commission has been exposed. Why would anyone want to trade with them or be under their control.

      Perspective the EU at best affects less than 8% of UK GDP, will that all disappear because of tariffs? I think not. There is more to the UK dynamism than the EU.

      Turn that around 92% of UK GDP is being held back from having to obey rule from Brussels when they done have any dealings with the EU.

      The EU is not needed at any level for the UK to be a success.

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Ian@barkham

        The world trade system shows taht most countries tarde much more with their neighbours generally than the rest of the World and as teh EU is next door we will of course continue trading with them. SO, your comments are either not well informed or rather naive

        • ian@barkham
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          The figures are those produced by the EU Commissions on trading between EU States. In their assessment only 7.9% of of UK GDP comes from trade with the EU. These facts are openly available

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          You comment is stupid in the extreme Bull, as usual. People who speak the same language and who have produce that the other does not have trade most. 34% of world trade is between the English speaking nations and is expanding. The EU has 16% world trade 🤦

          • bill brown
            Posted December 8, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            Lynn Atkisnon

            34% of world tarde is between English speaking countries. What are English speaking countries in your system. (AS the US, Australi, NZ , Canda and Uk do not consitute 34 % of world trade.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          That is a trend that is reducing as the world shrinks due to the internet and the improving ability to transport goods from one side of the world to another withinn24 hours.
          It is one reason the rules based protectionist EU has a reducing share of world trade.

  69. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If a ‘Clean Break’ is not enacted this government would have failed in its duty. There was never any reason for these talks, its all back to front.

    The Government should have honoured the referendum, left the EU and then talked about friendly relationships with the EU. These shenanigan’s just go to demonstrate how the UK’s and to that extent the Worlds Politicians have let their egos get in the way of progress. A great chunk of the so-called political class are just duplicitous backstabbing egotistical maniacs… It is not ‘their’ World or their own lives they are playing with. Their actions appear to be about their own self esteem.

    In our own HoC we probably have just 25% of the individuals that are there with a duty to serve. Unfortunately they get shouted down by the group gang mentality of those that have elevated them selves to be rulers. The HoL they don’t even represent anything but personal ego

    Is that the way to advance society?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Please define your silly vague term “clean brexit”.

      If you can’t or won’t, then don’t whinge when you don’t get it.

      Lets start with visitors’ rights. On what reciprocal terms should say, English and French people visit each other’s countries?

      How should those terms be decided without any discussions?

      Come on?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        You cannot think like someone who lives in an independent nation can you Martin.
        It is up to France to decide what UK visitor rights should be.
        It is up to the UK to decide what French visitors rights should be.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Silly man, silly comment as usual. Trade and who governs has nothing to do with individuals. There is nothing to stop an EU citizen visiting the UK now and there are no intended barriers to it in the future.

        Rights for visitors to the UK are the same as rights of the People of the UK. These laws are made, altered and repealed by the democratic process.

        As you have already noted today we are out of the EU and we still are not permitted to fish in our own waters. The EU wont permit it. So we have a shortage of our staples, so much so we are importing Cod from China.

        Your politburo chiefs that you love so much, hand down instructions , and they must be obeyed. The EU parliament can’t amend or repeal these instruction they are not permitted to. The ECJ takes its instructions from the EU Commission.

        A ‘Clean Break’ is just that we(the UK people through our democratically elected representatives) take back control of everything that happens inside UK sovereign territory.

        Everyone who visits Sir John’s blog is well aware of your desire for a totalitarian left wing state were all people are clones matching to the same beat. You need to up your breading program if you want to swamp us.

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        When I visited countries outside the EU on business and as a touriist, including Switzerland, USA, Canada, China and Japan I was required to meet their regulations and requirements which were different from the UK and each other. The same worked in reverse.

        Why should travel to and from EU be any different.

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      “its all back to front” exactly – classic Apprentice naivety as even Donald Trump (who was the USA ‘s equivalent show host) saw with May!

    • Andy
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      You left the EU last January. Almost a year on you are still moaning.

      • Thomas
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        And how long have you been moaning about the Referendum result, Andy? Oh that’s right, four and a half years and counting.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        and you are still moaning that we are moaning – get used to it.

      • ukretired123
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        Andy in his own echo chamber Chief Moaner because he lost in 2016.

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Why do you keep repeating that the UK has left when it is clear that the EU controls us as much as it ever did? We leave on 31 Dec 2020 – assuming Boris Johnson does not capitulate again, and keep us a colony of your EU empire, of course.

  70. John Partington
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    If Frost and Boris don’t walk away after the latest news on the talks they will be preparing a giant fudge. The EU have already turned down 40% of our fish. Who offered them that?
    Just finish the talks and prepare for a no deal Brexit. If the EU turn nasty, we can bakrupt their businesses overnight as a lot of them rely on London for finance.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Did the landlord at your pub used to turn “nasty”, by not agreeing to give you free beer?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        It’s we giving the EU free fish stupid! So what you should have said is ‘did you turn nasty when the landlord of your pub refused to give you free beer’? The polar opposite, boy are you confused!

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        What have we received nett for “free”, that we wanted, from the EU?

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The equivalent is a customer turning nasty when the landlord gives him free fish with his beer and chips.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      +1

  71. John Hatfield
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    How much reluctance to negotiate on the EU’s part is due to the Withdrawal Agreement, I wonder.
    The Withdrawal Agreement should be repealed in Parliament to make clear to the EU that where it does not respect the UK’s sovereignty it is not relevant.

    • Grey Friar
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement cannot be repealed in Parliament. It is a binding international Treaty which the UK freely accepted, as did the EU . It can only be repealed if BOTh sides agree

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, commenters here will struggle to grasp that UK sovereignty only extends to its own jurisdiction(s), and that this agreement – treaty – is above those.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          It isnt an international treaty the clue is in the name.
          And democratic governments can repeal such agreements.
          And the WA is not effective in the event of no deal.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            It is an interenational treaty but of course it can be repealed

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for your judgement.

        • NickC
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Martin, No Leave supporter will struggle with the concept that UK sovereignty only extends to its own jurisdiction. But you struggle with the concept that EU sovereignty only extends to its own jurisdiction.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        nothing is agreed until everything is agreed

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        The very nature of how the EU has conducted itself in these ‘trade’ negotiations has demonstrates that they have already made the WA null and void.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Ian @barkham

          Nothing is agreed till everything is agreed

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            Glad you agree bill.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Of course it can be repealed. It has been breached, no FTA talks.

  72. Bitterend
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    No not true- the EU does not want to keep us in the Single Market or Custom’s union but if we want to trade with that bloc of 27 countries obviously there has to be some ground rules and a system for adjudication in the event of disputes- that is what they are trying to work out now- and despite what IDS might think we are not Canada or Japan- some thousands of miles away- we are an Island of 60 million slap bang up against another unmovable a bloc of 500 million. We have already left the EU and if we don’t want a trade deal with them then it is up to Boris- so no point is going on whinging about the EU- our future is in our own hands

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      That’s the point -‘our future is in our own hands’ at the moment and if the EU Commission gets its way we will never be in that position. The only stumbling block to trade is that the EU wants to continue its rule of the UK.

      You are suggesting the UK Government has to submit it and its people to EU rules on what happens inside UK territory when some 92% of UK GDP has no connection what’s so ever with the EU. On your basis we would no longer need a UK Government, the HoC, or our MP’s

      • bill brown
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Ian@barkham

        So how would you categorize the EU owned businesses in teh UK that takes their profits back to the EU countries,?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          The same as UK owned companies in the EU that take their profits back to the UK

        • ian@barkham
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          The fingers are the EU’s own in their appraisal of trade between the EU States

        • dixie
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          targets

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      WTO. That’s how it’s done.

  73. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The cost of these 6 years of talks, including Cameron, has cost us hundreds of Billions. It’s also mental cruelty. We are left standing under the gibbet with a pardon in our hands but not allowed to walk away.
    Surely to God Boris can see the writing on the wall. Salvage some dignity and make one bloody decision in your life! Walk away today!

  74. ChrisS
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    If the best deal we can expect from the EU means giving away 50% of our fish stocks to the EU and we are going to be hamstrung with restrictions on state subsidies and competition rules, we have to opt for No Deal.

    That means no £39bn and 0% share of fish in UK waters.
    How do you explain that to your fishermen, Mr Macron ?????

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      …and the highest court in the land remains the ”ECJ”

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Only in the very limited, clearly-defined areas, over which it has jurisdiction. Basically, maintaining a level playing field for trade and little more.

        You’d still have Tory employment “law”, and all the rest.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          I looked at the ECJ website Martin and you are wrong.

    • Heavensabove
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Not your fish- only your fish if you can catch the stuff

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        The fish in our waters is ours, and we can decide to catch it or not. That is our decision. That’s Sovereignty.

  75. Nigl
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that when the EU is talking about a good deal, it means one that favours them ,and in Mactons case, placates his voters.

    This must be resisted at all cost.

  76. mancunius
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    That the media plays up Macron’s bluffing threat to ‘veto’ any FTA agreed between the UK and the Commission, shows that they are still woefully ignorant of the terms of Art. 50.
    The European Council’s decision “will be concluded (Art. 50(2)) ‘by Qualified Majority”, Macron can vote against, but he cannot veto it. I doubt the majority of the 27 will join him.

    • Nigl
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I hope you are right. Despite the ‘rules’ the EU seems to get round/ignores when it suits them.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      If you want any term of Article Fifty enforcing, then you must accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ, for that is the only authority.

      Oh, my aching sides…

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Let your sides ache Martin.
        It is a majority vote EU issue.
        With QMV applying.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        You may as well add “Shut up and wear your mask, Mancunius” because we know you love rubbing our noses in things – compulsory mask wearing the ultimate.

        Your people were rubbing our noses in it long before Brexit….which is why you got Brexit. (My aching sides)

        Many a UK based criminal resorted to the EU courts to go free. Successive Home Secretaries told us their hands were tied by EU courts for morally repugnant outcomes.

        Believe me when I say it wasn’t Nigel Farage who was the recruiting sergeant for all this.

        You silly people. A bit more subtlety and understanding over a few more years and you might just have done it. But you got too excited and had to rush things, didn’t you.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          PS

          A major participant in the EU has just left and I agree, it looks like it’s going down the Swanny.

          Now.

          The EU has a black hole in its middle. It is mortally wounded. This is without mention of the loss of special forces, intelligence and 5 Eyes capabilities.

          All this could have been avoided had the nose-rubbers been a little bit more intelligent than they were.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 5, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            No longer Anonymous

            EU mortally wounded.

            If, theya re wounded we are even more

      • NickC
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Martin, I thought you told us we’d already left?

        Oh, my aching sides…

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      You are forgetting you are talking about the EU, all rules and laws are modified by the Council to suit what ever outcome they wish.

    • Heavensabove
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes but any agreed FTA has to be passed by the EU Parliament as well- real democracy in action

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        All proposals are deemed to be approved unless voted down by a majority of the Parliament, that never happens! Hell didn’t you know that? Democracy in action 😂😂😂

  77. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    From the MsM

    Micheal Gove said last week: “The EU still wants to take the lion’s share of the fish in our waters which is just not fair given we are leaving the EU.

    “The second thing is that the EU still wants us to be tied to their way of doing things.

    “The third thing is what happens if there is a dispute. – The EU is at the moment reserving the right if there is a dispute, not quite to rip everything up, but really to impose some quite penal and tough restrictions on us.

    The EU has already ripped up the WA and the UK still is expected to adhere to it – go figure

    In other words which ever way these trade talks go if at some later date the EU doesn’t like or want to permit the way the UK government acts on behalf of the UK People it will impose tough restrictions. The UK Government what ever their complexion will only be able to govern with the oversite and permission of the EU Commission

    The stumbling block is and always has been that the EU has to rule the UK. Something they do not impose on any other Nation as a condition of trade.

    Make no mistake it is not about Fish, it never was that is a ‘red herring’ (sorry about the pun), it is about who gets to Rule and Control of the UK.

  78. ChrisS
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought :

    If we are to give up 40%-50% of the fish in our territorial waters, are we free to plunder EU waters to the same extent ?

    If not, why not ?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Not interested. Go for the vineyards.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        we have better.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          You wished

          • Fred H
            Posted December 6, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            I don’t wish. I drink it. Abandoned French years ago.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 6, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Tab, the French have very big markets in the UK, we love their wine, champagne, cheeses, cars, and vans which we allowed them to sew up just to name a few.

            All this anti-British rhetoric from the French will get people’s back up. Don’t make out all of France hates us because Brits will turn, push us in a corner and we bite back.

  79. Martin Robbins
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I have never had any faith in this government to deliver anything positive except Covid-19.
    IF WE the British Public don’t constantly bother and rattle OUR MP’s then they will always sell the PUBLIC down the river.
    So its up to you too campaign and Complain to YOUR MP.

    • NickC
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      My Tory MP insists we are going to Leave, but refuses to define what Leave is. No wonder I don’t believe him.

  80. Fred H
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    from BBC website.
    as I’ve been saying…..
    Greater Manchester councils have become the latest to pause rapid testing for care home visitors over concerns they fail to detect enough infections. Data suggests the rapid kits miss about a third of the most infectious cases picked up by conventional lab tests.
    Lateral flow tests are being used in England so residents can see family indoors for the first time since March.
    The government has described rapid testing as way of reducing, rather than eliminating, risk. The rapid lateral flow tests work by taking a nose and throat swab, shaking it in fluid until any viral particles come off, and then dropping the fluid onto a plastic stick – a bit like a pregnancy test. They take about half an hour to show a result – one line on the paper strip means the test has worked and two lines means virus is present.
    Their speed, and the fact they don’t need to be taken to a lab, mean these tests – in theory – can be used to make on-the-spot decisions such as deciding if someone can go into premises like a care home or event venue.
    Abandon it…..useless – – oh and DANGEROUS.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they detect fewer infections because the “conventional” PCR test detects too many false positives. Maybe they are more, not less, accurate.

      • Stred
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        Dr Yeadon reckons that both tests give about the same proportion of false negatives. Neither can guarantee that the care worker is free of covid but the lateral flow saves days of not knowing.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        believe whatever you wish you believe. Fast accurate simpler tests is what you want to hear. Turn your back on a clearly failed system to embrace a shiny new one!

  81. Stred
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I can understand the French fishermen and the others being worried about the loss of the UK waters but can’t understand why we don’t just tell them that, providing they stick to UK conservation rules and inspection, they can apply for a licence to catch limited amountd. They can be told that throwing back fish caught beyond quota will stop and that the industrial trawlers and electrocution of fish will not be licenced. The licence will cost X euros and here is the application form. The UK fisheries will be under strength for a long time and why not let the French land fish in Folkestone and take back the species that they can flog in France caught by our boats. The Danes should also be told to stop grubbing up sand eels for animal food and the food chain restored. The small fishermen of the EU would probably be glad to have a government in charge that would keep the fish stock from the fate of the Mediterranean, where EU management is a disaster.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      That’s more or less the UK agreed position. The EU’s stance is that UK territorial waters must be controlled by the EU and only the EU and its courts can decide what and when things happen. Only the EU can award the UK fishermen with an allocation from UK coastal waters.

      It is not about the fish, never was, but who gets to be the boss of the UK. The UK people or the overlords in Brussels.

    • dixie
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I would add time limits to the licences and also look to prevent monopolies being established.

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        to add – I would also refuse licences to any of the French pirates that attacked our fishermen earlier this year, any boat, fleet or captain that breaches our territory or rules.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I have been saying much the same thing. Which is why I have come to the conclusion that this is not about trade or fishing, it is about a new Association Agreement. One one signs when one wishes to become a member of the EU.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: But why would the EU27 have a “spanner in the works”back as a member. Much better to stay apart and work on friendly neighbourship, on which a lot of work remains to be done after the EU27’s trust in the UK has sunk so low lately.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 6, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Because the EU wants control over the UK after December 31st.

  82. XY
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, voting Conservative in future depends on this for many people (perhaps 52% of 65 million).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Erm, 52% tops, of those who actually voted in the referendum.

      Which is about a quarter of 65 million.

      And most of those were reasonable, pragmatic people – not hate-filled, obsessed fanatics.

      So we’ll see, won’t we?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        You make an unrivalled ability to assess the psychology of 75% of the 65m. Write your predictions, and regularly tell government of your gift.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Which could still give a political party a majority.
        Not all 65 million are eligible to vote or bother to vote.

  83. forthurst
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Why do we need to pay alimony to the EU? Is it equitable that the EU has 100% of its fish and the demands 60% of ours? Does the EU control us or are we controlled by an internal enemy that hates the English and wants to deprive us of our liberty in perpetuity and regard the EU as a vehicle for achieving this.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      All a bit binary, that, Forthurst old chap.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        No Martin, spot on old chap!

      • dixie
        Posted December 5, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Binary? Do you mean like the EU banning UK access to UK developed IP and investment in Galileo?

  84. Anthony Cox
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    The Big Question has always been – Is Johnson really a Brexiteer or “Manchurian Candidate”? – We’ll find out the answer to that pretty soon!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Of course he’s not a Brexiteer, but he knows why he is PM.

  85. Edwardm
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Given its demands, the only deal the EU wants is a one-sided one, else no deal. It does not want a fair deal. Therefore no deal it is. Our industries will adjust their trading patterns to the most conducive markets around the world. After some short term inconvenience for us, fortress EU will lose the most, which will be a fitting price for its unconstructive attitude.
    The WA should be repudiated. If our government and MPs need help in deciding, they should hold a referendum to find if there is support for huge payments to the EU (given no prior obligation), any role for the ECJ, and for no barriers between GB and NI.
    Then act upon the result.

  86. Iain Moore
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I rather like Macron’s negotiating pitch…… ‘give me what I want of your fishing stocks or I will veto the deal and have nothing’ …..it leaves the British negotiating team with a not very difficult choice, something like ‘Bye Bye then’.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      au revoir would be wrong – we won’t be meeting again, Macron will lose the next election.

  87. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Why are we still negotiating? We were told that mid-October was the latest time that the necessary practical arrangements to implement an agreement could be put in place.

    We should have been building additional Royal Navy patrol boats to enforce our fishing rights months ago.

  88. Know-Dice
    Posted December 4, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Phew that’s good to hear.

  89. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Where’s Nigel to stir the pot when you need him?

    • graham1946
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      He’s still around on Youtube, lately shaming a council for entrapment of a publican over virus rules. He doesn’t get any airtime on MSM of course. The establishment are in for a shock when he puts up candidates next spring in the fishing ports if Boris sells them out again and the Red Wall is crumbling faster than the Norfolk coastline.

  90. Dr. Sok
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    on topic. never go with this new normal. I like how the world was. I repeat, never go with this nonsense. ,Peter Soakell, Bournemouth.
    Stick to your gun.

  91. Dr. Sok
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    As Mr. Jut commented the other day, seems like we are all getting a bit cheesed off.
    It is all a bit rushed. There is a good reason for the beauty of England. Best laid plans etc.

  92. rose
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Just to ensure there is no caving in today to Frau von der Leyen, could someone speak to the mother of Master Wilfred and ensure she understands our fishing grounds need to recover; the marine biology and ecology have been gravely harmed by the EU’s predatory ways, and it does not matter if our fleets have not yet been built up. The marine environment needs time to recover and it can only do that under our sole stewardship and care.

  93. Nicky Roberts
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, unfortunately the EU are not our friends and have, for the last four years been proving that on a daily basis. We now hear that their ridiculous demands, which they have secretly saved for the last couple of days of this wretched ‘negotiation’ have ‘shocked’ Lord Frost and his team. Well they do not shock me. This is duplicity from a malign organisation that want to turn Europe into an Empire only they control.

    The government must hold firm and finally walk away, something many of us have been advocating for a long time. Anything else is subservience.

  94. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Official figures

    UK exports to the EU were £294 billion – imports £374 billion
    China exports to the EU €395(approx £359) billion

    The EU has no say in internal Chinease affairs. China doees not have to be part of the Europeon Human Rights law
    The EU’s political court the ECJ has no say in Chinease Law. The EU Commission has no say in what happens in Chinease territorial waters. The EU has no say on Chineses subsidies to chinese interests, business or its people. The EU has no say in Chinese Employment laws.

    In a similar way the EU trades with the US at €412.5(approx £371) billion, nearly as much as China and a greater value than the UK does all without it coming under EU rule and dictates.

    All along these so-called trade talks have never been about trade or even fish but about how the EU can rule the UK, and retain it as a EU colony. That is the only agenda coming from the EU negotiators

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 5, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Ian, you have nailed the issues perfectly.

      The Brussels Mafia have never accepted that we will be a free and independent country after 31st December and from day one they have simply not been “negotiating” using any definition of the word we would recognise.

      When talks reconvene on Sunday, I would restate our red lines and re-offer a zero-tariff free trade agreement and invite them to accept it as a complete and indevisable package. That in itself is generous as it allows them to continue their £90bn trade surplus with us.

      If they won’t, everyone can be on their way home by Sunday evening.

      Any further talks would be an utter waste of time.

  95. Original Chris
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    This is utter farce if it were not so vital for the survival of our country. The responsibility lies with Tory MPs who facilitated, supported and surrendered to Cameron, then May with her “complete capitulation Dublin Agreement (the foundation for the WA and PD), and then to Johnson.

    You are responsible, Tory MPs, for the politically very dangerous situation we are in, having made us ripe for IMF intervention (through unnecessarily bankrupting our country during Covid by relying on flawed science) entailing the imposition of the globalist agenda. For those who do not realise the seriousness of what that actually means, read UN Agenda 2030, which Johnson has committed this country to. It represents “global communism” according to genuine pundits whom the MSM and many politicians ignore or deride.

  • 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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