My speech during the debate on Taxation (Post-transition Period) (Ways and Means), 8 December

I came to this debate expecting to hear the Minister set out a vision of post-Brexit Britain, how the taxation system will be transformed and how VAT will be changed to encourage our businesses and give our consumers a better time. Instead, we have six resolutions that are mainly about trying to make sure that the Government can get even more VAT out of people after we have left than before. The Government could have done that at any time. Where is the vision that we will have a much better tax system after Brexit?

We are taking back control of VAT, which was almost entirely under EU control. The Government say, for example, they wish to be a green Government, but these measures will not even take VAT off a whole series of green products, which should not have VAT on them if the Government are trying to encourage people to insulate their homes, change their boiler controls or put in more fuel-efficient ways of heating their homes. The Minister has failed this very simple test.

We have six resolutions about a piece of legislation which we are not allowed to see until after the debate. It is a piece of legislation that will be very complex, because it is mainly about the techniques of raising revenue and making sure that no revenue escapes. However, the Brexit voters out there—the majority in the country—have had to vote three times now for Brexit to make it clear to the House of Commons that they want even this House of Commons to be in charge, even though there are still too many MPs on the Opposition Benches who hate the idea of this country legislating for and governing itself and think that every law that comes from Europe is wise and necessary and every law that is made here is somehow inappropriate.

We want our Ministers to say, “No, we are the people’s representatives. We had the majority in the election and we are going to transform our country’s economy, recover the economy from covid-19 and level up the country.” That requires bold and visionary leadership and it certainly requires pretty fundamental tax changes. VAT rates on some things are too high. VAT should not be imposed on some things at all.

We need to remodel that tax. We need to look again at our corporate taxes, where a series of judgments by the European Court of Justice prevented this country levying all the corporate taxes that it wished to raise.

Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) (SNP): I probably should not rise to the bait, but does the right hon. Gentleman honestly think that the way the Government are treating the House tonight is an expression of parliamentary sovereignty? Is this what he really campaigned for over all these years, so that the Government could fast-track major financial legislation, bounce it through the House of Commons, not give us the information we are looking for and not subject it to proper debate? Is that what he campaigned for all these years?

John Redwood: The answer is that I campaigned for this Parliament to take control and use it in the interests of the people, which is why I am making the speech that I am making. Why does the hon. Gentleman not listen to it instead of planning an intervention for a speech I am not making? I am urging the Government to take back control and use it in the way that the public would like to see them use it.

I must take up the point of sovereignty. My hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) is quite right to go back to that. The simple truth about Brexit is that Brexit voters knew exactly what we were voting for. We understood the slogan “Take back control”, and we think control—the right of self-government, the right to trust people in these Houses of Parliament to make decisions for us or the right to throw them out if they are useless—is fundamental to our freedoms and living in a democracy. You do not bargain those away in some kind of dispute about tariffs. You do not argue about those in the context of making compromises.

This is the fundamental truth of Brexit. Like practically every other country in the world that is not a member of the EU, we just want to be free to make those decisions and laws that we can make and have representative institutions—a great Parliament—in order to do that. We clearly need to train some of the parliamentarians in the idea that we can make better laws here than people can make for us abroad and that we can modify European laws that we currently have so that they work in our interests better.

Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) (SNP): Does making better laws not start with letting MPs see a Bill before it exists?

John Redwood: I do not disagree with the hon. Lady. I have said that I want to debate a real Bill. I am giving ideas to the Minister because I do not think what he has in mind for this Bill is going to quite suit me. I want to pep it up. I want to make it more exciting so that we can go out to the public and say, “This is the party that is going to level up. This is the party that knows how to recover an economy that has been damaged by covid”, and that requires lower taxes and different taxes and requires that we use the powers that only the House of Commons has. The House of Lords has very limited abilities to intervene, and on this occasion I am very pleased about that, because it nearly always wants to take the European answer, and the European answer is the high unemployment answer, the high taxation answer and the very complicated taxation answer.

VAT is an extremely complicated tax. We had to adopt its complications and we are now trying to add to those complications to try to avoid items slipping through. We are trying in these proposals to deal with small transactions that sometimes escape the net. They try to find ways of making online organisations, for example, responsible for levying tax between two people trading with each other.

Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (SNP): The right hon. Gentleman referred to the levelling-up agenda. On rough figures, we have had 50 years of the EU, 20 years of devolution and over 300 years of the Union. Why are devolution and the EU to blame for the requirement to level up when, quite clearly, the Union is at the heart of the problem?

John Redwood: I do not agree, and nor did Scottish voters when they were asked this question. We do have a great democratic country and I was a great enthusiast for the people of Scotland deciding whether they liked our Union or not. They said, yes, they liked our Union. Then the people of the United Kingdom were asked whether they liked the European Union and they said they did not. So I found myself in the happy position of agreeing in two big referendums with the winning side. It is such a pity that the Scottish National party lost both and has never understood the democratic principle that it then has to accept the verdict. I was on the losing side in a former referendum; like my whole party, I was against the principle of Scottish devolution, and we got that wrong. We lost that referendum and from the day after that we did not fight it, delay it or dilute it. We said, “Yes, devolution is the wish of the Scottish people.” We got on and implemented it.

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): I do not know whether my right hon. Friend can recall this, but when that Bill was introduced by the late Donald Dewar in 1997 I put forward a proposal that the devolution settlement should be decided by a referendum of the entire UK. Perhaps it is some encouragement for him to know that despite a three-line Whip half the Conservative Back Benchers went through the Lobby behind me on that question of having a referendum for the whole UK on this devolution issue, about which he is being so extremely articulate.

John Redwood: We are probably straying a little away from the resolutions before us, Madam Deputy Speaker, so I will not try your patience any more. I have made my two main points, but just to summarise: we need more vision from the Government to use our power to tax in our own way, because our current tax system is ill fitting and not yet geared to promoting that recovery we want—we need greater simplicity, lower taxes and a lower incidence of taxes to get that recovery going; and we need reassurances from the Government that sovereignty is not something one can bargain away or compromise over, but is fundamental. We either have a free trade agreement between an independent UK and the EU, which is our preferred model, or we have no deal. It is as simple as that. The choice is theirs.

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  1. SM
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Succinct and brilliant, Sir John – why the heck doesn’t the PM have the sense to give you a very senior Ministerial role at the Treasury is beyond me.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Not sure you’re right on either count… I do think Sir John is right when he says in this speech that taxation needs to be both reduced and simplified. I think he is also right to be critical of the government’s lack of ambition. But…

      At the same time, Sir John is in favour of an increase in government spending. This increase is to be funded by an increase in borrowing. This necessarily leads to inflation, and inflation is itself a tax on the people. So Sir John is in favour of dishonest, underhand taxation – even if he doesn’t realise it. It’s the support of increased government spending that is the original sin. Some like to think of this government spending as investment. This is a delusion. Government investment is invariably unwise, wasteful, and yields a negative return. It’s only effect is to enlarge the size and power of the state at the expense of the private sector – most relevantly private individuals.

      As for his criticism of the government’s plans to retain, and even expand, the EU VAT, though welcome, he really ought to have seen this coming, given that the UK government’s intention all along has been to retain, and, inevitably, in due course, to expand EU governance. So, Sir John’s speech is missing – and perhaps deliberately avoiding – the essential issue, which is that Brexit isn’t happening (a choice made, incidentally, by the Conservative Party, aided and abetted by the establishment – politicians, the Bureaucracy, big business and the media).

      Reply Lower tax rates means more tax revenue

      • Simeon
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        As an aside, the thought occurred that a (stage-) managed No Deal might be the penultimate act to this play. This would allow the government to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of independence and sovereignty. The final act would then be to quickly conclude an FTA, forged in the crucible of UK independence, and the first installment of the Brexit dividend. Brexit having been truly delivered to the satisfaction of the most ardent Brexiteers, no one would notice that the FTA was BRINO by another name.

        Maybe this thought is just a product of my deep distrust of the government. I may be wrong, and BRINO will in fact arrive via the front door. I suppose the sentiment is vigilance always.

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

          JR, the right soundings in your speech but a bit pie in the sky without getting to,the heart of your govts failings and another huge U-turn.

          Your speech failed to unravel why your govt is not setting out a vision for a future outside the EU.
          Your speech failed to ascertain why your govt is hiding parts of the bill it wants you to vote on.
          Your speech failed to ascertain why Gove caved in to withdraw clauses to the IMB and taxation bill to EU demands that useless Eustice claimed on national TV two days ago the govt would not change and include on Monday.
          The penny seems to have dropped with Bill Cash that your govt is betraying its MPs as well as the nation on taking back control and sovereignty, again.
          Ps. Could you tell Priti Useless to stop wasting our money on the French. Boat people do not have to make a dangerous journey to this country as they are safe inFrance and could claim asylum in any one of the countries they pass through. Therefore boat people should not have any claim entertained whatsoever and deport d straight away. Johnson publicly stated he would this!
          Get out of the ECHR, stop legal aid, do not provide four star hotels. Change legislation to make it happen.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 10, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            Very well said. And no answer from Sir John

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

          EU customs officials in Northern Ireland! Explain your Govt. Cave in JR?

          Johnson told everyone no checks no border controls etc etc. allowing EU customs officials in our own country is beyond a disgrace.

          Get out.
          The bunch of you are an absolute disgrace and a waste of our taxes.

          • Old Salt
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink


        • NickC
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          Simeon said: A “No Deal might be the penultimate act to this play. This would allow the government to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of independence and sovereignty.” My Tory MP sees no principle at stake at all – judging by his responses in which he sets a trade deal above any principle of independence.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            So your MP is very much in the mainstream of Conservative Party thinking 😉

      • Simeon
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        I’m familiar with the Laffer curve, and I broadly agree with the premise. But gains here are offset by the effects of government borrowing, and government spending is still the main issue. In this context, a marginal boost to tax revenues is beside the point, because the state expands whilst private individual’s purchasing power is reduced – we are poorer, whilst the state is richer.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Indeed we see this with Covid in spades. The state sector is on full pay and full pensions. Often “working” at home too. Much of the private setor half bankrupted or on 80% pay with reduced pension pots and reduced annuity rates too. The pension lifetime limit of just over £1 might now get you a joint pension of £25K PA at 65.

          It is not even as if the government and bureaucrats are spending these vast sums sensibly or efficiently in the main. Nor delivering much of real value. Much is spent producing a negative effect much on government propaganda, the fairly dire NHS, green Co2 lunacy, enforcing daft red tape, woke lunacy and the left wing/green crap pushing & woke BBC.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 10, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink


        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          we are poorer while the state has more funds – not the same as richer @simeon, lose- lose in my book.

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

            Well yes. It was a turn of phrase. Although the states functionaries are richer!

        • Hope
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Sammi Wilson MP demonstrates how the EU still has control over the U.K. And How U.K. is subject to ECJ despite lies by Johnson and Gove to the contrary.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            I’d have a little bit more sympathy for the DUP if they hadn’t trusted the Conservatives. They really ought to have seen through Blowers’ BS. Northern Irish Unionists have been very badly let down by their representatives. So at least their united with the rest of the UK in that respect…

          • Old Salt
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


          • Old Salt
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            As one Martin Selmayr once said ‘The price the UK would have to pay would be the loss of Northern Ireland.’ So it would seem to come to pass.

            The EU wins again in further breaking up the once United Kingdom with NI now effectively annexed.

            With the effect that the SNP will say what is good for NI would be good for Scotland which would be hard to resist.

            From the BBC “From 1 January, Northern Ireland will stay in the EU single market for goods, but the rest of the UK will leave.”

            This is not Bexit.

            If Sir John will permit-

            Michel Barnier in 2016 as quoted in the French magazine Le Point.
            “I shall have succeeded in my task if the final deal is so hard on the British that they’ll end up preferring to stay.”

            Herman Van Rompuy – “The UK will re-join the EU with their backs against the wall the abyss in front of their eyes & a knife on their throat. We’re nearly there. If some time is needed after the end of March then that will not be a problem for the 27.”

          • Carson
            Posted December 10, 2020 at 4:47 am | Permalink

            Mr Wilson is 100% right. So why did John Redwood vote for this deal in the Commons? Why did his campaign literature last December in Wokingham claim Boris’ deal got Brexit done?

            Reply I voted for Clause 38 the sovereignty clause so we have an override. I Now want it used. I Set all this out at the time. If you are interested in my views try reading them instead of trying to misrepresent me.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 10, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            Reply to reply

            A captitalised ‘Now’? Inadvertently firm? At least you seem to understand that Clause 38 was only of any use if it was actually activated. But the reason it exists at all is because the ERG were afraid their own government wouldn’t preserve UK sovereignty, which rather indicates that the government wouldn’t activate Clause 38. It’s ridiculous isn’t it?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        To reply:- Less red tape, easy hire and fire, less grean crap/virtue signalling and cheap reliable energy also meants more tax revenue. They should try it. It is now the only way to go that will work.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        But Sir John, you are suggesting adding different levels of VAT which complicates the matter further. VAT, if it exists, should be zero rated (including energy) or 10% (maximum). Exempt status should disappear as this robs business of the chance to reclaim VAT on operations.

        Government departments should be able to reclaim VAT on everything, why is government taxing itself?

      • dixie
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        If only UKIP had managed to get candidates elected to parliament it would have all been perfect. But you didn’t and haven’t and you only have yourselves to blame, not the MPs who failed to turn coat nor the electorate who failed to vote for you.

        Maybe the problem is you.

        PS If all the governments of the world are aiding their commerce and industry how do you justify ours not doing it to some measure?

        • Simeon
          Posted December 10, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          I presume you mean the Brexit Party rather than UKIP. I am not Nigel Farage, so I am not actually to blame. I can understand you saying what you did to him though.

          But let’s be clear, whatever the faults of the electorate as a whole, they can’t be blamed for failing to vote for a non-existent candidate. That is perverse. As is the suggestion that Tory MPs would be ‘turncoats’ if they believed in delivering Brexit and therefore decamped to the one party that had the intention of doing it. Technically you would be correct, but only correct in that very strictly limited sense.

          State aid does far more harm than good. It may be the lesser of two evils where national security is concerned, but otherwise should be avoided like the plague.

          • dixie
            Posted December 11, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            UKIP SOP on here has been to criticise our host of being in the wrong party/not being a proper conservative while apparently trying to convince him to “turn his coat” and join their party. You have been doing the same – if it quacks it must be UKIP.

            UKIP supporters have also been notable for blaming the electorate for continually voting for LibLabCon rather than seeing the light and voting for UKIP/TBP etc. Ring any bells?

            State aid and patronage has kept indistries and companies going in many countries against which the lack of it in UK has seen large companies die and industries disappear (eg computing and telecommunications). If the notion is that no state aid makes an industry stronger then it isn’t working.

    • BJC
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      I get the feeling Sir John is too clever for them and operates at a far more sophisticated level than they would understand! Sometimes it’s far more effective to manage a situation upwards and as a backbencher, he has the freedom to speak his mind.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 10, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        Don’t think there’s any reason to think that Sir John is managing anything…

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree SM. John has more experience and is more in touch with ordinary voters than most of the ‘boys’ in the Cabinet put together. Good speech John. What a pity you are such a rarity in your party – a real Tory who believes in low taxes. Where I do disagree is that we have the right to throw out useless politicians. Well this Government are useless and the opposition are even more so but England is stuck with either/or unless please God another party comes along we can vote for.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    An excellent speech.

    The UK currently has about the highest and most complex taxes for 50 years. Sunak’s first act pre Covid was to cut entrepreneurs CGT relief (by 90%) and he supports HS2 and the green lunacy so we can see he is no fan of growing the tax base or cutting back government waste.

    Now we have all the money he has spend (and often wasted) on Covid, HS2, the daft fake war on CO2 plant food, the damaging and pointless second lockdown and all the rest to recoup. Solid businesses have to pay back all the loans they have taken out plus many extra taxes to pay back all the CV loans that will not be repaid by others and all the other money this government has wasted or plans to waste shortly.

    This will clearly reduce the tax base, push people, jobs and investment overseas and diminish the tax base significantly. In short it will not work even if they go back to the 98% income tax rates as the clever (but potty) Dennis Healey tried (indeed especially if they do this).

    Then again people already pay taxes at over 100% of profits or income with the existing tax regime. With absurdly high stamp duty and the double taxation of landlord interest for example. The UK already has the highest property taxes in the developed world, according to the OECD. Plus we have the social housing and planning gain “taxes” on them too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Then if you have anything left after all this taxation they then steal a further 40% of it (over £325K) off you on death. Plus the new probate (fee) tax on top.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        I’m going through this at the moment. The probate fee (£215) is no great drama, and the Residence Nil Band Rate (raising the tax-free allowance to £500K) has been a real boon – but, looking forward, 40% IHT on MY estate is going to mean a six-figure tax-bill (for wealth accrued after paying my taxes) and a substantial problem for my executors. (Many face a problem of not being able to pay the tax-bill, so can’t get probate, which means they can’t get hold of the money.) Conservative governments should do away with IHT over the long-term but, before that, a process review by a Commons committee might be a good idea.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          Indeed sorry I had not noticed that they had shelved (for now?) the plan for higher probate taxes (disguised as fees) of £6,000 or so depending on the estate size.

          You can sometime use a deceased spouce allowance to0 if one exists. Can also be planned for (before death) to reduce it by buying AIM shares or trading companies, farm land and similar. More parasitic jobs for people who arrange this.

        • Hope
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink


          I think you will find the U.K. Maintaining a level playing field, i.e. Follow EU taxation, as trade talks continue throughout next year after we left. The talks will only continue if the UK obeys EU dictums.

          Labour will vote through any deal but will oppose no deal. Therefore JR and chums are out voted!

          It is reported Barnier told EU diplomats no reason why trade negotiations could not continue next year. Of course this stringing out of talks is another form of UK vassalage to keep U.K. to heel and not be more competitive than the EU.

          Amazingly the Fake Tory Govt keeps agreeing to be bullied. The govt. should have left in 2016 and worked out the details later as will be the case next year in any event. EU has successfully strung out vassalage for years and humiliated our country through Fake Tory govt.

        • miami.mode
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          The great divide – probate fee for solicitors is only £155.
          Mates rates!

        • Timaction
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. It’s being reported today that some Commission or other is recommending 1% wealth tax on all home owners in the Country as a one off to pay for covid, even if you have received no benefit from the Government. This is the worst tax, spend and waste Government ever. We need a true conservative party.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Just print it. The money already exists so no inflationary effect as long as we curtail banks’ ability to continue to print money for interest.

            Do not reclaim this money in taxes

        • Fred H
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          They could start by eliminating IHT under £2m – then consider more complex Estates for possible taxation later in the Commons.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      Plus it seems taxpayers are to pay farmers to become “curators” rather than farmers. Not many taxpayers will be left.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Lots of recent additional red tape on landlords to push rents up even further and deter landlords (to restrict supply and choice for tenants). Plus CGT at 28% on non real gains when you sell.

  3. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    My voting for Brexit was based on a government interested in making this country as attractive as possible for manufacturers and for the City and its tourism and entertainments/heritage sectors.

    One ravaged by Boris Green initiatives, the other by a virus from China and greenism too.

    I accept that things with Brexit were already going to be difficult before the arrival of CV-19 but this has become a cover-all excuse for all manner of Leftism.

    It really is as though Corbyn had won the last election. It beggars belief what Boris is getting away with.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink


    • Simeon
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      To be fair, the government you imagined wasn’t on the cards. Sometimes I wonder if deciding on Brexit wasn’t putting the cart before the horse. Even if real independence was delivered, one needs a plan of how to use it wisely. Without such a plan, independence would be mishandled, and people then might be forgiven for thinking that it was overrated.

      But as we have seen, things are even worse than not having a plan for independence. The people voted for Brexit, but there was no mechanism or vehicle in place to deliver it, because the political class had no interest in doing so. We would have been better served if a Brexit party had been in place before the referendum. The difficulty was that true believers in Brexit remained in self-imposed captivity within the Europhile Conservative Party, denying a Brexit party much-needed support, and giving people the impression that the Conservative Party was willing and able to deliver Brexit.

    • Andy
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      You voted for Brexit to make things easier for manufacturers and other businesses. So you will be delighted with the masses of pointless paperwork Brexit brings. And the lorry parks. And the visas for business travellers. And the pointless duplication of swathes of regulation – estimated by the chemical industry alone to be £1bn just for its sector.

      Erecting trade barriers is never good for business and you are erecting lots of them. But you knew what you were voting for, apparently. So that’s alright then.

      • No longer Anonymous
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Please read my words. I didn’t expect things to be made harder through green targets.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        There is no “masses of extra paperwork” if you do not export and over 80% of UK businesses do not export.
        Machines called computers do the paperwork if you do export.
        The paperwork is fundathe same whether you export to America or Europe.
        You plainly have never been involved in any business that does import or export goods.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          fundamentally….it should say

      • Northern Monkey
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        No change after leaving the EU will introduce a new burden that our exporters are not already familiar with from their more successful export efforts with the rest of the world.

      • NickC
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Brexit – when we finally get it – makes it easier to trade with the rest of the world (exports of c18% UK GDP). Also easier to trade with ourselves (c70% UK GDP). And if the EU wants to make it difficult to trade with them, as you claim, then inevitably we will buy less from the EU. Your choice.

        • Len Peel
          Posted December 10, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink

          Nick, Brexit makes it harder to trade with the rest of the world, we lose the EUs many trade deals (some rollover, most dont, none are made any better)

          • Edward2
            Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Notice and shortages of Japanese or American or Chinese goods in the UK?
            We have no formal trade deals with many nations we trade with.

            It took the EU decades to give Japan a trade deal.
            During those decades Japan flooded our markets with their goods.
            Odd how they managed to do that.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Today the great stitch up begins. EU customs personnel in Belfast, Northern Ireland cast adrift.
      Today Boris will give away our fish and agree to the rest of the EU demands.
      He will come back proclaiming a victory and will be jobless within the month.
      The tory party took us into the EU on a lie and they will prove incapable of getting us out.
      The voters won’t forget or forgive.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink


      All signs are that Boris is not about democracy, listening to his electorate or advancing the UK. His agenda to date has been destructive. Even if there was proven purpose to the Green lobby, you first have to generate the income to fund it. Doing it the Boris way is back to the ‘Stone Age’ and surrender.

      He is not a Conservative or a supporter of the ‘free market’ More isolationist, controlling, and ‘cloud cuckoo land’

    • Timaction
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      He’s making them unelectable. Who’s going to vote for their cars and gas boilers to be abolished when the science is unproven and our sacrifice means very little in the scheme of things. UK is less than 2% global emissions. About time Boris looked towards China, India and USA for the largest emitters of CO2. The other area that needs serious attention is the rain forests and their decimation across the globe. Not only do they help balance CO2 emission’s (plant food), but flora and fauna are also being destroyed with the expansion of cattle farms and farming.
      Besides if Boris was serious about CO2 why does the Conservative Party support mass immigration and the vast emissions and health and public service provision that they need! 7 million in ten years is not a good record and we are all experiencing the consequences. Lets not need to build back better on our shrinking greenbelts for the sake of a couple of points of GDP and therefore further cuts in productivity!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    An excellent video by Farage of the insanity of countless sound trees being cut down by a charity. This for growing too close to forest paths – for over the top health and safely reasons. The law should totally exempt land owners from any liability. If you do not want a branch to fall on you do not stand, walk or camp under trees when it is windy (near scaffolding too rather dangerous too in high winds).

    If you want to walk under trees take your own insurance if you feel you must. Though insurance for honest people is usually just a way to pay for fraudulent claims and insurance companies overheads and profits.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      L/L As far as I’m concerned any video by Farage is excellent as it always contains great ideas or should I say true Conservative ideas for new policies. For instance, removing all the recent restrictions on vehicles and replacing roads with cycle lanes. At least for the majority of the time Farage has some common sense.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      While on holiday by Sydney harbour I noticed a sign ‘warning sharks in harbour’

      I asked my aussie friend why there wasn’t a barrier around the wharf – he said ‘’why, after seeing the warning sign only an idiot would fall in and if we construct a barrier the idiot would climb over’’

      Simply – look out for your own safety and don’t rely upon others

      No one ever falls in

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Ah yes..but they don’t want landowners do they? ( Well only a very few).
      “Elf n Safety” is specifically designed to make that which one owns too expensive to own!
      A bit like a protection racket…actually…a great deal like one!
      All taxation is theft.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      +1. life is always a risk, we don’t need this !

  5. Yossarion
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    When you see Maude and Lydington back on TV yesterday you have to think the sell out has been done and the only future now is English independence from the Unionists, after all the last English King was on the throne in 1013. The Norman Reich is now over 1000 years.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      So right!
      I reckon that the globalist invasion is going to be exactly like the Norman one.
      Bit more techy but there will be accounting, labelling and taxation. Much taxation!
      Not one grain of wheat will escape notice!
      The greed for assets is insatiable.
      I dare say there is much asset stripping going on right now…what with all these businesses that have been brought to their knees.

  6. DOM
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    What will this speech and other speeches of this kind achieve? Nothing. Mr Redwood belongs to a political class that has embraced Socialism, social Marxism and the entire panoply of woke fascism that we now are having to endure on an almost daily basis

    There are politicians who understand and act and then there are politicians who understand but choose not to act. Farage belongs to the former, all Tory MPs belong to the latter

    You’ve become woke Mr Redwood and you appear not too have noticed. I find that unnerving

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

      It is as if they somehow expect things to go back to normal all on their own.
      They have been too unwary and too keen to abuse the right wing and appease the incredibly dangerous far, extreme left.
      And most of them just won’t listen or as you imply..believe the evidence of their own eyes.
      I suppose there is a chance that they are actually, genuinely left leaning.
      Is leftism a virus??

    • Timaction
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure that Sir John is woke but the majority of politicians, the establishment, msm and the heads of all our health, education and public services are! Can’t even watch adverts without it being rammed down our throats. As said many times before we need root and branch reform in all of the selection processes introduced under Bliar to indoctrinate them all. After 10 years the former conservative Party have had enough time but have failed to act. That says it all really in our political duopoly.

  7. Grey Friar
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    High comedy! You yesterday debated resolutions about a piece of legislation which you hadn’t even seen, and all the while Mr Gove was cutting a deal about Ireland with the EU without even bothering to inform you why he was dropping clauses you MPs had agreed to by
    a large majority. So that’s your precious Parliamentary sovereignty. Tell me, how’s that takey controly thing working for ya?

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Gove really is a goon, totally unfit for office, how do we always find “THEM”

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Grey Friar said: “how’s that takey controly thing working for ya?” Not very well. Because we haven’t taken control. Just as you Remains wanted. This betrayal is a Remain betrayal. As usual.

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Fantastic speech John. Everything we have come to expect from you. We need more MP’S in the cabinet with your vision. You are truly wasted. I rather like the idea of a national referendum to decide on Scottish independence. Many Pro independent Scots would, I am sure, love the result.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      F U S

      They will love the result until they see actually what they will be left with come the break up settlement. Hopefully the Parliament have learnt from the hard lessons of the Brexit negotiations.. Offer them nothing and give them even less.

      Scotlands future lies with those who will not sit on the wall and grizzle but will stop all this nonsense by voting out the SNP and try another way of running the country. Scotland only survives on funding and that is the primary reason they want to stay in the EU. The shock will come when they realise how much they have got to pay and how many of their free bee handouts subsidised by the rest of the UK are not affordable. Then and only then will the sticky and smelly really hit the fan. Give them Independece but nothing else. If they fail it will be up to the rest of the UK to decide whether they can rejoin us.

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

      Surely the English would vote for them to go? What do the Scots see in the appalling disaster that is Nicola Sturgeon and her National Socialist Party of Scotland? Boris was right devolution was a complete disaster (as it was constructed).

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink


  9. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Has adult supervision been arranged for the PM tonight? I hope so. He needs Lord Frost, armed with a tooth-pick, sat next to him.
    P.S. Nice to see Sir Bill Cash giving the government grief yesterday.

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

      Something a teeny bit more serviceable than a toothpick?🤔

    • Qubus
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Could I raise a point that is slightly off today’s topic, but has been puzzling me for some time?

      What happens if no agreement is reached with the EU and we leave without a deal, but EU members, especially the French, continue to fish in our waters?
      Will the UK be prepared to do anything about it, apart from making a lot of noise?

    • miami.mode
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Boris should be searched to ensure he doesn’t have a piece of paper to wave as he exits the aircraft when he returns.

  10. Shirley M
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I understand Boris has made another concession to allow the EU to monitor trade, and no doubt everything else that happens, in NI. What concessions have the EU made? Accepting that UK waters belong to the UK is NOT a concession but the EU won’t even accept that.

    I have put my faith in Boris to regain our sovereignty in full. I hope, for the sake of future generations, that he holds true to his promises and isn’t another Heath, Major, or May, who just cons the electorate. We need Boris to talk to the people and explain what is happening.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Dear Shirley–There was a reference on BBC Online News earlier about a “new border down the Irish Sea” which is apparently a done deal. Literally News to me and just plain unacceptable within the UK.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink


    • Grey Friar
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I am truly inspired that you have put your faith in Boris, Shirley, and that you hope that he holds true to his promises. Tell me, is there anything in his career and his life so far that gives you any clue as to whether your faith and hope is justified?

    • miami.mode
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Have just heard a former Irish PM, John Bruton, say on TV that the UK has been “allowed ” to leave the EU. Sums them up really

      • NickC
        Posted December 10, 2020 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        Miami, I have to say that we – our establishment – deserve that judgement. Any other country in the world would have walked away from the EU in disgust 3 years ago.

  11. Mark B
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We have six resolutions about a piece of legislation which we are not allowed to see until after the debate.

    So MP’s vote on things they have never seen. If so, then I have a second hand bridge I can sell them 😉

    Seriously ! Leaving the EU would have just been the start. It would, as we have seen with the CV19 drama, exposed those in public office to all manner of things allowing us to finally sort the wheat from the chaff. And there is much chaff in the Houses of Parliament.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t this a trick in the EU, MEPs voting on one thing on the order paper while actually they where voting on something else – and the commission would reverse it

    • Timaction
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      ……….there is much chaff in the Houses of Parliament………..of the 650 about 450 too many and about 800 to many in the House of Lords (farce). Regional Mayors and now City mayors, Councillor’s etc etc. We don’t want or need all these airbags. The UK suffers the most politicos in the world accept Communist China.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      The chaff is presumably the liblabcon party. At least we know what the SNP stands for even if we disapprove. However, the liblabcon stands for election on one platform and then given the chance does the opposite. Did the Tory party promise to promote the opportunities from leaving the EU and assist economically those parts that are not dependent on banksterism and its support industries in the SE; apparently, the opportunities to close down the economy by 2030 have since become more to the fore.

      The government takes advice on closing down the economy from the Climate Change Committee under an ‘independent’ chairman, John Gummer, not the flat at no 11. Consumption of ‘high carbon’ meat and dairy is to be reduced by 20% as well of course as making anything new using hydrocarbon fuels, verbotten. They’re still drivelling about carbon capture so there can’t be many scientifically literate people on this committee, just the usual collection of Arts graduates that probably never learned the basic laws of physics and chemistry when to them more important (and a lot easier) matters such as the precise wardrobe lost in the Wash had not been learned.

  12. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    There are countless taxes in the UK.

    The only one over which the European Union ever had any say was VAT.

    Exit makes little difference to the overall regime of taxation here, which has always been an almost entirely sovereign matter, like by far and away most other things.

    This is a trivial matter being aggrandised by the Leave fanatics once again.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the EU take 80% of CET, which the UK will now retain, plus any additional WTO tariffs. Sounds6 like win win to me…

      If only the Government would do something useful with it… I doubt that they will though 🙁

    • Shirley M
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Anyone can see that the EU will eventually achieve total control of taxes. It’s just a matter of time and opportunity, but it gets closer with every passing ‘crisis’ as we have seen with covid.

    • dixie
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Not true.

      The EU had a lot of say over our annual tax for membership and over tariffs on food and goods – including Japonica rice and tea which do not grow in the EU and stragely the UK is the largest importer and consumer.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Do Remain fanatics exist?

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen recent press reporting that the EU, desperate for its own resources, will again push for a financial transaction tax (FTT).
      Fanatically yours,
      Sea Warrior
      P.S. The EU set our tarrifs – another tax for your short list.

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Martin, As usual you are misinformed. The EU sets our tariff levels (a tax) as well as imposing the VAT system, and collecting the proceeds from both amounting to nearly £6bn a year. I don’t call £6bn trivial. And when we finally leave that £6bn will revert to us, which means we will be annually £12bn better off. I don’t call £12bn trivial either, even though Remain fanatics do.

  13. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    What a magnificent speech Sir John, the government needed to be held to account, it was beginning to appear as if no one was going to question the current direction of travel…..Bravo

  14. GilesB
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Bill Cash was, and is, absolutely right that severing a sovereign nation should be the decision of all of its citizens, not just those of one territory.

    Otherwise there will be breakaways all over the place from Cornwall through to Kensington & Chelsea, and even Wokingham.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      And a breakaway at my UK house too. A bit of tax competition between these new territories would be no bad thing though.

      The UK being so appallingly over taxed and with rather dire and misdirected public services too.

      For example healthcare – Covid Death in the UK per million nearly four times those of those in the Germany. CV deaths (per CV tested positive) more than double German levels too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Gove quizzed on the far superior German health service performance by Piers Morgan ITV just now. Gove muttered about population density.

        The main reasons Gove are that the pandemic planning in the UK was appalling and the state monopoly NHS is hugely inferior to their system. About 20% were even given the infection in hospital and large numbers then kicked out into nursing home. About half got no hospital care at all before dying of Covid at home or in nursing homes. I blame Jeremy Hunt/May/Cameron/Brown/Blair and NHS management …. for failing to sort out the dire state monopoly NHS and failing to engage competent pandemic planners.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      So the brexit vote was a complete travesty by that measure, involving only seventeen million out of sixty-six million, and by banning those taxpayers – “no taxation without representation” – who would be most affected from even voting at all.

      The countries of the UN have agreed that all peoples have a right to self-determination, which rather qualifies that observation of Cash’s.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        You and Margaret share the same poor maths ability.
        The electorate isn’t 66 million.
        There are some simple rules for voting Martin.
        You have to be 18 or over.
        You have to be a UK citizen
        Voting is not compulsory.
        Even less people voted to remain in the EU

    • Andy
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The same Bill Cash who wants to impose the will of parts of his Little England on Scotland and Northern Ireland over Brexit?

      No offence but when are you going to stop listening to these geriatric charlatans?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 10, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Well let’s vote and see who wins.

    • John Downes
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that like saying that the Referendum we held to leave the EU should have been Europe-wide?

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 12, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        It was John “ British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens who live in the UK, along with Britons who have lived abroad for less than 15 years, were eligible to vote. ”. I don’t think the Scottish gave Scots living elsewhere for less than 15 years a vote in their referendum.

    • NickC
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Giles B, Same Referendum rules in 1975 as in 2016. And you were happy to accept the 1975 result.

  15. Andy
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    For the second night in a row Newsnight has featured a prominent Brexiteer surprised about what reality Brexit actually means. Two nights ago it was Hannan admitting he was surprised by what reality Brexit looks like. Last night is was John Caudwell. A man convinced of his own genius. Still, I suspect billionaire John will be alright.

    Talking of billionaire Brexit backing Sir Jim Radcliffe

  16. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I for one appreciate this intervention as finally being representative of what we voted for.

    As far as the rest of the House is concerned they have behaved like spoiled children who frankly need to be told that until they do as they are told (and give us back control without further ado) they shall be sent to bed without any supper.

    Four and a half years now! Incredible.

  17. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    A very good speech. I did not know that the government could ask MP’s to debate legislation that they could not read, because government had not published it.

    We are already aware that the government is attempting to roll back the public’s right to know – the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – but debating an unpublished bill seems bizarre. Even by parliamentary standards.

  18. Steve Reay
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I totally agree that we should look at the tax system, in particular vat. If low interest rates worked we wouldn’t need QE and vice versa. Increase demand and jobs by lowering vat ,particularly on British items. We can target specific industries, we might be able to increase vat on French goods just because we can. So sir John keep pushing the gov to look at taxes through a different pair of eyes instead of following the same old scripts.

  19. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    6 Tory PMs/leaders have lost their jobs because of Europe. Let’s hope this one learns from history.

  20. agricola
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I can only suggest that our government are being less than candid about future taxation plans because they do not wish to poke a stick in the EU hornets nest whilst negotiations are still under way. I would not pay too much attention to the SNP as they live in some “Braveheart” world, well detached from reality. Their fantasy is unachievable financially minus English subsidy, nor can I see the EU wishing to add Scotland to their financial woes.

  21. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Talking of tax, I see it is proposed general taxation will rise to pay for Covid. As usual the problem was partly caused by the Governments inefficiency, even now trashing hospitality for little reason and we will take all the cost.

    May’s ridiculous £39 billion for no reason, plus as usual I suspect there will an additional nasty surprise hidden in the small print, would be a good starting point for clawback.

    It’s the U.K voters money. Will it be treated as such. Ha. Of course not!

  22. BJC
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Me thinks our trust in the government has been totally misplaced. There’s little to suggest that we aren’t heading for massive sell-out, with the treatment of NI just the start of a long and painful journey as a vassal state of the EU; tanks parked on our lawns to ensure we comply. Our only salvation would be the default WTO deal. Seriously, what are our chances?

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    One of your great speeches….. Well said.

  24. William Long
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    An excellent speech and let’s hope the minister was listening. Sadly the Treasury officials ate Remainers to a man and Rishi has not been able to control them.

  25. formula57
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    How shaming to be leading a government that has lost its way and then have to read your words “Where is the vision that we will have a much better tax system after Brexit?”!

  26. ukretired123
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Marvellous speech Sir John! I bet you never would have thought years ago you would be having to teach basic common sense to such a miserable bunch of adults in the mother of all Parliament and having to spell out what folks voted for in recent referendums!
    Keep the pressure on.

  27. oldtimer
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    If this is to be the modus operandi of the Johnson government then it needs to be sacked and replaced.

  28. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Off topic, the NAO reports that the Border digital recognition system is still unfit for purpose missing large numbers of terrorists and criminals entering the country.

    Began in 2014/5 it will now not allegedly be ready until 2022 at a vast increased cost, + £167 million.

    It is stated that the Home Office seriously underestimated the challenges it posed with poor oversight.

    When will someone bloody well get fired, sort things out right first time and stop putting us in danger and wasting even more of our money.

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Oh for goodness sake!
    A sane voice in the asylum.
    A political giant surrounded by uselessness.
    Form a new party before it is too late.
    It is quite obvious which agenda the “inner circle” is following!
    They want to tax us rigid to pay for this latest madness…and to help “Level Up” ( or down as the case may be) the entire world!

  30. glen cullen
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove MP briefing outside parliament again, heck he didn’t ever warn off the treasury, he didn’t tell Tory MPs, he didn’t tell HoCs

    Both Boris & Gove by-passing and ignoring MPs and the people

  31. Longinus
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Planning to tax assets and pensions to cover costs incurred by an incompetent Government. Wish I’d voted for Corbyn now, it couldn’t have been any worse.

  32. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Thank you. Again you are demonstrating what a Parliamentary Democracy ‘should’ mean.

    The dissenters all appear to have a core of being basically about opposing everything and while promoting their own personal egos, while at the same time being reluctant to offer alternatives and recognise why their electorate put them there.

    The dissenters are not challenging, not looking to advance, not looking serve – just good ole ‘look at me’ I am speaking to the masses.

    We need a governing system that is fit for purpose, one that serves the people. A system that recognises that as elected representatives they have been lent our sovereignty for the duration.

    Your speech to the House demonstrates you and just a small handful ‘get it’

  33. Peter from Leeds
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I remember the introduction of VAT. The clue is in the name – if you add any value to anything you get a proportional tax on it. It is therefore a tax on hard work. Following on from purchase tax the shear complexity of VAT with all its bureaucracy staggered me as a youngster.

    Having worked with and for US firms it is clear that like much of the way the EU works many cannot get their heads around VAT and therefore how business and projects need to be organised.

    Perhaps we can have the long talked about tax simplification! I can hope.

  34. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Ps ps. I see we now have an EU presence in perpetuity in NI, so much for leaving, not treating NI differently etc. It was Gove of course who came out first for Mrs May spinning that it was a good deal, turned out to be what we all knew, a pack of lies and he is at again.

    You are not to be trusted.

  35. Pete
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    To be honest the thought of our MP’s being in charge of anything horrifies me. The disaster that is 2020 is proof positive that virtually every politician and bureaucrat should be in permanent lockdown whilst the productive and sane try and repair the damage they have done.

  36. villaking
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you mention parliamentary sovereignty several times in this piece, having the HoC “in charge”, parliament “taking control”, “trusting parliament” etc. and yet you were livid last year when the HoC decided it did not want your no-deal Brexit. It seems that you only believe in parliamentary sovereignty when it suits you. This is also your fifth consecutive daily blog on the EU and the end of the transition period. With an 80 seat majority the post transition relationship is entirely in your party’s hands so why fret?

    Reply Parliament and the media have been dominated by Brexit Over the last two weeks so I need to keep people up to date on that topic. My readers respond most to my analyses of the EU, then second Equal to Covid or Brexit. There is less response to the economic pieces I write.

  37. Alan Paul Joyce
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Where is the vision for a post-Brexit Britain? One might well ask. The answer, of course, is that there isn’t one.

    In reply to a previous blog of yours I wrote that ‘I look across the government front benches and sigh’. Am I being unkind when I say that Ministers and their ‘Rolls Royce’ civil servants have grown ‘fat and idle?’ Have they become so used to being ruled by Brussels that they are now incapable of independent thought let alone forming a vision for the future of an independent United Kingdom?

    My guess is that ministers long for the good old days when the UK was subservient to the EU. If something went wrong, it was always very convenient to blame the EU. They go along with Brexit only because the damned people were stupid enough to vote for it. They go along with it because it keeps them in power. Their hearts and minds are not in it.

    We will see in the next few days how independent the Prime Minister wants the UK to be. After all, wasn’t it Boris Johnson who said “over my dead body would there be a border in the Irish Sea?’ Now we learn that EU customs officials will be permanently located in Northern Ireland.

    A vision of an independent Brexit Britain? This government has bifocals on. It has neither the desire, the commitment or the ability to make a success of an independent United Kingdom.

  38. acorn
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Ask an IFA about tax wrapped Bond funds written into Trust with your executor named on the policy. An IFA may advise taking the 5% tax free drawdown annually. You should ask an IFA about a seven year IHT gift tax protection insurance policy, in case you die less than seven years after you made a gift.

    • acorn
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      That debate was a bit of a joke even by the usual standards of our Punch and Judy parliament – that costs the public purse £300,000 per sitting hour. The Redwood – Cash duo got a bit of a fish slapping from the younger lady members in this phantom tax Bill debate.

      “John Redwood
      Up to this point, Labour has always backed the EU position and not the UK position. Will the hon. Lady now use the Opposition’s voice to say that we should not give away our fish and our independent lawmaking?

      Bridget Phillipson
      That is, frankly, a ludicrous statement for the right hon. Gentleman to make.”

      If you want 100% sovereignty then become North Korea. To make agreements of any kind or size, involves sacrificing some of your sovereignty for some of another country’s sovereignty; it’s as simple as that. The more sovereignty you exchange the less likely you are to go to war. The latter is the prime directive of the EU, which the British have never understood because Britain was never occupied in WW2.

    • acorn
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      The IHT reply was for Sea Warrior, sorry, finger trouble 😉 , UK-EU number crunching is very busy at the moment.

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Well, well.
    Allergic reactions from vaccine reported by jabbed nurses!
    White Knight with steely, shining lance not all he was cracked up to be?
    Recombinant DNA, MRC-5, released just months into two years trials…
    Who’d have thunk it?
    Like kids opening their Christmas stockings at 4am.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      What happens to all those people with allergies who can’t get a vaccine if vaccine passports are required for freedom?

  40. Norman
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    It appears that, sadly, democracy is on the ropes – both here and in the USA. ‘We the people’ are being duped, and walked over. However, I am grateful for those few voices of wisdom and integrity that strive against the flow.

  41. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    100% agree with earlier comment Sir John a brilliant speech yet again.
    I hope I’m wrong but if Boris makes a hash of this we are in danger of hobbling along until the next election when Labour will sweep in and guess what the terms for re entry to the EU will be even more poisonous than those currently. I do hope I’m wrong.

  42. Tabulazero
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove’s capitulation to EU’s demands on the implementation of the withdrawal agreement are duly noted. The EU custom inspectors are looking forward to opening their office in Belfast.

  43. JohnE
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The Honda plant in Swindon is down because components are stuck in the chaos at the ports. The ships are diverting to Europe because they can’t dock in the UK.
    I fear that will be the theme of 2021.
    I know Honda are closing down in any case, but how long until the other car companies follow?

    reply The problems at our container ports are part of a global problem caused by CV 19. They are nothing to with Brexit which still hasn’t happened on trade.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Sir John, the BBC told us “but recently a surge in demand for imports and a backlog of empty shipping containers are causing bottlenecks at UK ports.”

      Your government needs to discover which ports have this problem, which ports don’t have this problem? Is the Transport Minister on top of this? Who owns the empty containers, why aren’t they picking them up? Which company is struggling with this in particular?

  44. ferdi
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I watched the debate on television and your speech, but the debate did seem completely off target. The Conservatives never seem to want to convey the fact that the party supports reducing the State and that lowering taxes is a way of achieving that whilst also stimulating business activity.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      There isn’t a shred of evidence that the Conservatives want to reduce the size of the state. They have been in government for more than a decade, and despite a decade of ‘austerity’, they have still managed to increase the size of the state! Current policy is to spend even more money, despite the worst recession in 300 years.

  45. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Ps, ps, ps. Why would the Public Accounts Committee say that first time house buyers have been strung along by deplorable opaque behaviour by the Housing Ministry in a witheringly critical report, if not true?

    As usual their spokesperson issues a self justification in denial. Who will rid us of these ‘turbulent priests’?

  46. Jamie
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Yes always the twist at the end- “the choice is theirs”- as if the 27 are somehow responsible for the fix that this country is in- let’s be honest- it is up to us if we want a deal or not- they are the 27 they are the immovable- but if we are not ready tet then maybe we can try next year again following a period of reflection- might be on the cards- and up to us according to our sovereignty and when we have full control but please don’t blame the 27

  47. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Dame Margaret Hodge says the government must ban online anonymity or make social media directors personally liable for defamatory posts, it seems she receives tens of thousands of abusive tweets a month. This with the online harm bill and largely supported by Nicky Morgan on Politics Live.

    What appalling and unworkable suggestions. I must ping of a tweet to tell them what damn fools they are.

  48. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Shame not enough Mp’s think like you John.

    Absolutely no point in being an MP and then surrendering control to another Country/group of Countries that have other interests at heart.

  49. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Grant Shapps has been urged to buy swathes of airline tickets and give them away in a “lucky draw” to boost the aviation sector. @IATA said the lottery was one of five “proven ways” air travel can be stimulated through greater state intervention

    Total insanity.

    Grant Shapps and (eat out to help out) Rishi are so daft and determined to waste other people’s money they might well even do it. Fits in well with the net zero carbon lunacy! Just as eat out to help out helped with obesity problems and the diabetes “epidemic”. Shapps even believes electric cars are zero emission so gullible is he.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


  50. BW
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    A great speech. but a little off topic. do you have a thought as to why it appears so great to the EU to have the two clauses removed from the Bill. If we get a deal, which I hope we don’t, they would never be needed. If we don’t get a deal have we not shot ourselves in the foot. Just asking.

  51. Barbara
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Very good speech. Thank you.

  52. John Hatfield
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    “You do not bargain those away in some kind of dispute about tariffs. You do not argue about those in the context of making compromises.”
    Brilliant John. Like the rest of your speech.

  53. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    From the BBC :-
    Angela Merkel has said a Brexit deal was still possible but insisted that the integrity of the EU single market must be respected.

    UK territorial waters, UK law, UK Sovereignty and so on has nothing to do with the EU, the EU has no respect for any of that.

    Michael Gove has already gone to far in splitting up the UK with the NI arrangement. The EU now effectively runs NI.

    It still comes down on who gets to run/govern the UK.

    For the UK to prosper it must untie its apron stings from the EU.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Rule by the EU as they are seeking is not in any way shape or form a ‘political compromise’. Its not a halfway house either we elect our representatives to govern or we submit to foreign uncompromising rule.

      We are we even talking about that?

  54. Nigl
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    So you are giving the EU the power of veto on our soil to be referred to a joint committee.
    Hardly leaving and totally contradictory to what you have said to date.

    Looks like a sell out to me?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      You’re finally catching on. Congrats!

  55. rose
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    How did we even get into the submissive position of talking with the EU about what we are allowed to do with our fishing grounds, what we are allowed to do in Northern Ireland? Gove was not much better this morning than Mrs May when she boasted of procuring for us the right to trade with ourselves.

    • Damien
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Because Fishing grounds have a tradional aspect as well and account for only 0.1% of GDP then secondly because Joe Biden is elected in the US and so we cannot do what we want in NI anymore. Lastly If this thing works out as I think it will with no deal then for sure Scotland will declare Independence for itself at an early stage- the whole thing is looking very uncertain

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Barack Obama was in power when people voted to leave, back of the queue, so what about Biden the man can’t even play with a dog without breaking his bones.

  56. Fred H
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    After reading the first dozen or so of the contributions – some later ones are just too tiresome and repetitive, I found the Diary was open to all which I had begun to doubt. I was starting to think we were all barred but Simeon, LL and Andy.

    Sir John, I notice during your very targeted speech that 3 members of SNP requested you to give way, and to your credit you did! Sadly they added nothing to the points made in your speech. Now if you were rallying opinion on reducing the Barnett formula propping up the Scottish additional funding I’d have understood.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      not oven ready for including, then?

  57. Newmania
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    To spend money on lower taxes you have to have the money to spend .
    Thanks to you there is less money to spend
    If you wish to assist prosperity you would shift taxes away from work and success and towards consumption not visa versa
    The only possible reason for a theatrical bung via VAT would be to create some cheap cheers around the time of Brexit ….

    ……oh I see

  58. Mark
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    With so much going on over the last throes of Brexit and the new vaccine and other virus developments, I see the Climate Change Committee has decided that it would be a good day to bury bad news. Indeed, bury it they have, in 38 separate downloads not including the yet to be released actual “data” workbook. I have yet to successfully download the main report which is reputedly almost 1,000 pages long, which keeps failing with a corrupted file report.

    News outlets simply report the press release, with no proper analysis of the content. I suspect most MPs will do likewise. There are some extremely unpalatable plans here, and serious question about whether they are even feasible – let alone their true cost, and economic and social consequences. This is not how democratic government should function. Before we commit to a future of government control, petrol coupons and meat coupons, remotely controlled thermostats that turn your heating off because you can’t afford it, we should have a proper examination of this folly. I have no confidence that Parliament will manage it.

  59. glen cullen
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The way Boris and Gove talked today in the HoCs and the questions put to them I can only conclude that they have the full support and respect of 99% of Tory backbenches

    Leavers are doomed

    • NickC
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed. It seems that a lot of Tory MPs are incapable of understanding the principle that any nation which gives away sovereignty for mere trade will lose both. Which has been amply demonstrated over the last 48 years.

  60. Heavensabove
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    If it’s about sovereignty then we are at the wrong forum we should be putting our case at the UN- surely

  61. James1
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    A good speech Sir J. Well done. It’s difficult to know whether any of the admirable sentiments will be listened to by Mr Johnson. I hope they are, and that he will do something about it.

  62. Blazes
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Boris in the House today he sounds like he still wants his cake and to eat it with jam on top. There is no way the EU is going to enter an agreement with anyone anyone where there is danger that the interests of the EU long term Single Market is going to be endangered. The EU knows full well that brexit itself was a move on behalf of some ERG types to undermine the very EU itself.. they the EU politicos have long memories and it doesn’t matter what Boris tries now it’s not going to work. They say better to resume talks in 2021 or 2022

  63. glen cullen
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I see that we’ve sold NI down the river to the EU

    • Charl
      Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      It was going to happen anyway- demographics

    • Carson
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 4:53 am | Permalink

      Glen, that happened last year. That was Boris’ deal. If you voted Conservative in the election, YOU sold NI down the river. As an Ulsterman I am shocked how little you English care for our precious Union. Ulster has always stood with England in her time of need, but it seems you dont care

  64. NickC
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Good for you, JR, well said. The government – and Remains – should pay a bit more attention to the 1689 Bill of Rights.

  65. David H
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Stop drinking in the mornings please you are embarrassing yourself and our country

    • NickC
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      And you call that a Remain argument? Figures.

  66. glen cullen
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    No 10’s reporting that a ‘no-deal’ outcome would be a nightmare scenario

    But only yesterday Boris said that an Australian style deal would be okay

    More smoke & mirrors

  67. kzb
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    The MPs and other persons in the government machine, are still overwhelmingly Remain. They do not wish to see any of the Brexit upsides such as VAT reforms, because they want to shout “told you so” at every opportunity.

  68. Fred H
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Brits could turn back to cheddar if the price of French cheese shoots up after a no-deal Brexit. Tesco’s chair John Allan told the BBC that import taxes could push up the price of brie by as much as 40%. He said it might “change the mix of what people eat”, leading to people buying more British cheddar. He added food bills could climb by 5% on average in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with some products increasing even more.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 10, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t just have to be just cheddar Fred, there are so many British cheeses now just look at the British Cheese Awards if you want some inspiration or google.

  69. John G
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s a great shame Sir John, that you are not in the cabinet and in a real position of influence. Sadly I fear your inspiring vision for this Country’s way forward falls on death ears. Even do please keep doing what you do as it’s vital to keep the vision that many of us would like to see, alive and perhaps become reality after all. The Country needs a major lift and the opportunities are surely there if we can break away from the shackles that seem to remain with the EU and it’s supporters.

  70. DavidJ
    Posted December 9, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Excellent Sir John; stick it up ’em! They have been asking for it for too long.

  71. Ian
    Posted December 10, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Picture this, we are as you know, we will not get the sovereignty we voted for.
    Boris is only May in trousers.
    It is very unlikely that we will get to vote the Establishment out, much as we we wish we could.
    At best we are looking at a mirror image of the E U
    That way we do not vote for our MP any more, there is no need you see , he is already there.
    Sorry guys , we are to be slaves, in a Global World of slaves

  • 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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