A faster growing UK

Our first year as an independent nation out of the single market and customs union should see us record one of our fastest ever growth rates. The Remain establishment forecasts put it as a likely 6-7% assuming a trade deal. They exaggerated the importance of the trade talks to growth but for once I agree with their ballpark estimates. No Deal would also have delivered good growth next year.

It is true a lot of the growth will come from recovery from the severe lockdowns of 2020. A far important assumption than a trade deal is that restrictions on the UK economy will be progressively relaxed as the vaccines are rolled out and as the pandemic subsides.

What we need now is strong government action using the freedoms we gain on 1 January to boost this growth rate further. The government should take VAT off a range of items often mentioned here before, once we have the freedom to do so. It should rejig the proposed agricultural subsidy polices, to give more of a boost to home produced food in substitution for the flood of imports from the continent. It should remove all tariffs from Mediterranean and tropical produce we cannot grow for ourselves, to let UK consumers buy tariff free from non EU destinations.

It should build on its current High Street plans to foster conversion of unwanted retail and office space into housing, service and leisure uses. It should put in the Freeports and Enterprise Zones more quickly than current plans. It should redouble technology education and training., It should drop IR 35 and improve the tax and regulatory package for small and start up businesses. It should use government procurement more intelligently to back UK small business where they are competitive or innovative.

On public spending they should start to rein in excessive or wasteful spending. As we get people and business back to work – the sooner the better – the large financial support schemes can be wound down. Private healthcare should be returned to the private sector. There should be a new railway timetable geared to sustainable passenger volumes post pandemic.

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222 Comments

  1. Tom
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Nothing about fish! Have you now grasped the size of Boris’ betrayal?

    • Nig l
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Once again the usual knee jerk pinheaded view against a much bigger and important picture.

      Let’s fight for our our car industry, escape from the ECJ, get a tariff free arrangement or give them all up for a few years extra transition re fish. Strewth.

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        JR, why do write out of SM and CU when you know it is not true?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I’m surprised that there were not greater concessions from the EU on fishing given how economically marginal the fishing sector is. An indication of just how keen Blowers was to get any kind of deal.

      To be clear, I think it is disgusting just how badly fishing folk have been betrayed, and I well understand how much potential for growth there was in the British fishing industry.

    • Hope
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      N.Ireland is not, NOT, our of the single market and customs union. EU inspectors on our soil checking our goods! Level playing field and non regression clauses as well. That is before the horrors of the WA and NIP. Lawyers for Britain, Martin Howe QC article 20/09/2020 might be a good start for EU sovereignty and direct effect on U.K.

      Then we have the total capitulation in territorial waters including the 12 miles around our country. Wobbly spineless Johnson, true to form, Caved in.
      ECJ applying to swathes of areas including EU immigrants having the right to ECJ redress. Name a country in the world where immigrants have the right to the law of their country of origin, minor right to catch fish in its own waters?

      Independent my arse. Shameful specious propaganda JR.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Hope, Andy, Martin and Bill have all claimed on here that even before we left the EU we had the right to return EU immigrants that were unable to support themselves until they received settled status, so does it matter that the ECJ can get involved in cases if we apply the rules that other EU countries do to stop benefits to ineligible people?

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Well as it has Starmer’s support so it going through anyway (unless vetoed by an EU member). I would prefer no deal myself.

      The more I read about the deal the more it seems to damage the UK’s ability to compete freely. A “level playing field” mean fewer jobs, less growth and a far poorer severely handicapped country.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Who cares? Watching the boats leaving West Bay harbour and returning to land their catch, it looks like a hard, unpredictable way to earn a living. I can’t believe there are loads of people desperate to invest a load of money in a boat and take on harbour fees, insurance and employees – in the hope ol landing enough fish to make it worthwhile.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      What many Leave voters foolishly fantasised was that the UK’s exit would cause the whole European project to collapse. Farage trumpeted this in its Parliament.

      It has not done that – rather, it has consolidated it.

      You need to readjust your expectations according to the reality of the UK’s huge, rich and advanced neighbour which geologically near-surrounds it.

      Your fantasy did not happen – get over it.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        Yet again you set up a false reason for leaving the EU.
        Who said they wanted the EU to collapse?

        It is a simple thing that we had a referendum and it said we wanted to leave.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Martin, here you go again showing you have no idea why leave voters voted the way they did. Farage didn’t lead the leave voters. I keep advising you that all be it a limited selection of people that I know that voted leave did so to bring back our money to spend as we choose on poor areas of our Country, on the NHS, on our priorities. I would like the government to say we no longer have to pay £x to the EU from UK VAT = £3.6bn we have allocated that to the NHS next year.
        We have saved £xbn from RoW 80% Tariff payment to the EU we are spending that on y.
        We have saved £xbn on GDP EU made up taxes to the EU from prostitution and drugs and this will be spent on z.
        We have saved £xbn from the Membership fee this will be spend paying down the COVID relief burden.

        And on in a positive manner.

    • steve
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Tom

      But fishing is in the EU published text, which I am sure our host will be reading in advance.

      It takes quite a bit of navigating to find it but from what I understand the EU has five years grace in our maritime territory, which is not acceptable in my opinion. I’d have declared WTO and given them 72 hours to get out.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Tom

      Plenty about fish if you have read the agreement, plus a promise of further tax payer investment by the Government over the coming years to help expand it further.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Its actually worst than the media reported a few days ago, absolutely nothing will change but by year five we’ll be granted 25% of our own waters, thereafter the sell-out will continue by annual negotiation

      But as Boris said we 100% control our on waters

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      We can bar all EU vessels from our waters should we do wish after 5 years. They can respond by putting tariffs on fish, which they would have been able to do under No Deal anyway. I don’t see any betrayal there – if we want we can implement the No Deal fishing regime exactly.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        They may be able to place tariffs on fish, or indeed anything, but it is EU consumers that have to pay it not you, me or anyone else in the UK. A point that people time and time again fail to see.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Dear Tom–On the contrary, Boris has produced a deal that is a wonder to behold–Common Market tariff-free access without paying the EU their ghastly and enormous stipend and without any political price or being under the European Union Court of Justice. Deemed absolutely impossible just a short while ago. It is true that re Fish it would have been better if the 5 and half years had been a bit shorter but the imperative was not to be stuck with anything in perpetuity and this has been achieved. Besides I am under the impression that our fishing industry, largely destroyed by Heath and Brussels, needs time to retrench and build new ports and boats. After 5 and a half years we will have complete control. It is true that there might be more argie bargie then especially with the French – but what is new about that? – but that is for then and we shall have had time to brace ourselves.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Can we imagine that our fishermen would ever be allowed to fish?
      No doubt SAGE would root out an unknown marine zoonosis with which to threaten and harass us.
      Thou shalt not fish!

    • Tim
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      It was a pragmatic decision. It actually assumes a 5% per annum growth in our fishing fleet. 5% growth seems good to me. Why restrict fishing and the knock on effect to UK processing & traders by cutting EU quota when we couldn’t catch the extra quotas.

  2. SM
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Re health services: the Health Minister should insist that the NHS should purchase, where possible, routine operations and procedures from private hospitals; the outcome would be speedier for the patients themselves, and would also reduce waiting lists and allow more bed space/nursing care for the treatment of complex issues.

    The NHS might even find they save some money in the long run!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      So some of us will pay for private health care and some not?

      • SM
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        You are obviously unaware, Lynn, that for some years the NHS had the ability to ‘purchase’ operations and procedures from the private sector in urgent cases where the NHS hospital did not have the capacity to deal with them. What is certainly unacceptable is those cases where, if the NHS patients themselves found themselves unable to wait any longer and ‘went private’ if they had some savings to pay for it, were then unable to get back into NHS care for any related problem in the future.

        And yes, some people pay for private health care and some don’t – would you prefer to abolish private health care? Good luck with telling that to the senior doctors who work in it!

    • steve
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      SM

      “The NHS might even find they save some money in the long run!”

      The NHS do save money – they get a 60% discount in our local supermarket, and for what?…doing a job they’re paid to do like anyone else.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 29, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        I wonder how many of those on long term sick leave on full pay still rock up for their angel discount.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry.
      The NHS is being “reset”.
      I bet that means “ privatised”.

      • SM
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        Really, and what evidence do you have for that in your own dystopian world?

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      I disagree, and certainly whilst private hospitals have removed treatments that were planned in for 2019 for fee paying private clients, it is not fair at all to charge people from £500 to £3000 pa and more the older you get for private insurance and then not provide the care this cover is supposed to provide.

  3. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    The deal is not Brexit and a shocking betrayal of our fishing industry.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Fake news. So you would give everything up that has been achieved plus the disruption of a No Deal, note what Macron could do to us, for a few fish.

      Thank goodness you are just at your computer rather than negotiating on our behalf.

      When respected people across the spectrum, Farage. Hannan etc plus generally the media, say it’s a good un, subjective comments based on personal ‘animus’ fall by the wayside.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Farage has no idea of what it says. He has officially said it’s a good deal and also that it’s a bad deal, so that he can claim to be right. Hannon is a journalist with a new Peerage to pay for.

        • Hope
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Lynne, nor Johnson. The alternative is he is knowingly lying to the nation.

          I am surprised JR keeps repeating claims he knows not to be true. At best specious like out of customs union and single market. Independent nation when he knows Johnson dropped IMB clauses to restrict NIP and that EU acquis applies. Gove made that clear in parliament.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Your Tory brexit happened last January.

      These are post-exit arrangements.

      They can be altered at any time by mutual agreement between the UK and the European Union.

      And they will be, but I doubt that you will like the improvements.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Fishing had to be a compromise. What’s the point of claiming fishing grounds 100% if there was no trade deal and the UK was barred from supplying to the EU? Most of what is caught goes to the EU, because the British don’t want to eat it. For myself, you can leave all the shellfish in the sea; I will confine myself to what has fins and scales.
      And again, EU fishermen legitimately bought quota the British fishermen didn’t want and it would be unfair to cut them off with no compensation.
      Let the EU proportion diminish over time and there will be no upset.

      • Otto
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        ‘Most of what is caught goes to the EU, because the British don’t want to eat it.’
        How much of that fish is fish the UK does like to eat but can’t ‘cos it takes away the amount of ‘sustainable quota’ limiting the amount that UK fisherman could catch.

        This thought is probably immaterial but just thought of proffering it.

    • Andy
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      It is Brexit. It is what you voted for. It is funny that you don’t like it. Hard luck. You left.

    • steve
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Roger

      Short but straight to the point +1

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      No it isn’t. After5 years we can if we want implement the full No Deal fishing regime. The EU would respond with penal tariffs on fish but they would have done that with No Deal anyway – what’s the difference ?

    • Leavebill
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Roger, my take on the agreement is that any deviation from their specified terms will result in tariffs. We would reply with our own tariffs. Seems like an easy route to wto. should they prove troublesome?

  4. steve
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    JR

    “It should build on its current High Street plans to foster conversion of unwanted retail and office space into housing”

    ===========

    And do we have guarantees that the developers would not be Party Donors. you know just to keep everything tickety – boo ?

    BTW, JR, don’t think that by changing the subject we’ve forgotten our betrayal with BRINO, cos we haven’t.

    Reply There will be plenty of discussion of the deal next week when we have studied it and get to talk about it in Parliament. Why would I want to ignore it? I am currently testing the government out on how much control it gets back and how it plans to use it.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      We will see in due course how thorough your testing will be. By the way, do you agree with David Davis that more time than the one day suggested should be given to examining the ‘deal’? For those that don’t know, Davis’s position is that he likely agrees with the deal in principle, but that this is not sufficient to then vote for it.

      Also, an interesting snippet from Peter Bone; “Most of us think this looks good…”. Would that be on the basis of what Blowers has said – as opposed to what’s actually in the deal? And interesting that it is ‘most’, not ‘all’. Could it be possible that some Tory MPs don’t trust Blowers??

      To be clear, there is still (almost absolutely certainly) no chance that this deal is not ratified, even if it is rushed through blind. I also think that, no matter how unhappy/disgusted/incandescent with rage some MPs are with the deal, they will remain in the Tory party in an attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Just in case anyone feared I had gone soft with the season…

    • Mark B
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      . . . how much control it gets back . . .

      Reply to reply

      And how much control did we give our former colonies, including the USA, when they became independent ? My guess is, 100%.

    • steve
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Reply to JR

      It doesn’t take genius to see how this will pan out. Johnson is playing not just us with his can kicking tricks, he’s playing you and your fellow MP’s as well.

      The man is an extremely dangerous and deceitful individual, and needs to be taken out of office -FAST !

      The ‘deal’ has to be exposed to the nation for what it is and we need to go on WTO asap.

      You can surely forgive people for anticipating parliament will fail us all.

      If we do not adopt a WTO position and remove the tyrant Johnson the repercussions will bring big trouble for this country – and it will not be nice, make no mistake.

      People cannot be dumbed down, deceived and controlled any further, we are at the limit and we’re taking no more. We will have our country, pride, freedoms and sovereignty back and we’ll not be in thrall to any other country.

      You, as in Parliament have a duty to protect us from tyranny, or we bypass the establishment and take back what was stolen from us.

      People are fast losing patience.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted January 1, 2021 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      4 hrs of ‘debate’ is not testing the government.

  5. Andy
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We left the EU almost a year ago under a deal agreed by the Brexit elite. This Brexit elite – mostly publicly school educated career politicians and City millionaires – were most recently rejected by the majority of the electorate last December. Their transition period ends on Thursday.

    Whilst many of us expected the Brexit elite to struggle many of us have been surprised at the level of their ineptitude. We expected a small hit to the economy after leaving the EU and we have, instead, seen the biggest economic collapse in 300 years. The failure of the Brexit elite to deal adequately with Covid – 70,000 dead and counting – is now likely to lead to a double dip recession and an explosion in unemployment.

    Next year’s rebound from the Tory Covid catastrophe will likely not bring us close to the level of GDP we had reached at the end of January 2020 – the UK’s peak ever wealth on our final few days as EU members. We may get back to this level at some point in 2022. Maybe.

    The Brexit elite’s EU trade deal – which lacks a democratic mandate and which will be imposed with negligible scrutiny from MPs – introduces a tsunami of pointless red tape for businesses and individuals. It is an embarrassingly poor deal – completely selling out the UK service sector, placing an internal border down the Irish Sea and failing to reclaim our waters. By every objective measure the Brexit elite’s failure is staggering. Placed up against Remain in 2016 their reality Brexit deal would have lost by a significant margin – which is why they had to peddle their undeliverable fantasy Brexit instead.

    The Brexit elite have not yet understood that they are now the status quo – and have been for four years. They are entirely to blame for the current mess they have inflicted on the country.

  6. Andy
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I have been reading up about tampons. Apparently women use an average of around 20 – 25 tampons per cycle. This means 250-300 tampons per year for an average woman.

    You can get a packet of 36 tampons for £4 – so they cost around 11p each. 300 lots of 11p is £33. So, in theory, £33 a year should be adequate to buy tampons for an average woman for a year. (There are other significant period related costs but this is specifically about tampons).

    But let’s be generous and over-estimate the cost of tampons to big up the benefit of axing VAT by round the cost up to £50 a year – approximately 450 tampons. This should cover almost everyone.

    Axing VAT on this would save a woman £10 a year. A welcome saving, of course. But I thought it would be useful to actually quantify what you all claim is a big benefit of Brexit. £10.

    How should women spend their £10 windfall?

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Andy, why the obsession with tampons?

      I think that you should be seeking help as I’m concerned for your state of mind!

      Do you dream about tampons, your every contribution mentions TAMPONS….. TAMPONS …….. we need reassurance and soon!

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      From the gutter so Trap it – Wrap it – Bin it!
      There’s something missing upstairs.
      Your not funny Andy and insult women by your pathetic nonsense!

      • Lynn
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes he does. Indecent comments should really not be allowed Sir J. Give him a warning please.

    • beresford
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      We are going to miss Andy’s daily rant about feminine hygiene products after January 1st.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      You are so obsessed with tampons and know so much about them I think you must be an Andrea and not Andy short for Andrew. Either that or you are confused about your gender.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      You can of course get far cheaper ones than 11p each but most choose to spend that or more on particular brands.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I find your obsession with tampons rather weird.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Ha ha you can’t take it can you?

      Everything you’ve been hollering about for the last 5 years has been proven wrong. There’s a comprehensive FTA with the EU which doesn’t involve payments or legal and regulatory subjugation etc. Independent trade deals are being signed left and right. There’s a liberal, humane and rational immigration policy coming in which applies to the whole world. Etc

      The markets seem to like the deal. The public by a large majority will like it too.

    • steve
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Andy

      Seriously man you got issues.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Ooooh….can you mean that VAT rates and what we apply them to are no longer decided by a career bureaucrat in Brussels….and all thanks to Brexit??
      No more taxation without representation??
      Yaaaaaaay!!
      Good news then?

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      11p each? Then I wonder why on earth this cash-strapped government saw fit to take on responsibility for buying them for schoolchildren.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      How petty. Gone off predicting the end of car making in the U.K. and financial services locating abroad now?

      You have a very sick mind, no doubt the result of Remoaneritis.

      • jon livesey
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Or the other way round.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      What about toilet paper Andy? Would you do your usual thorough investigation and advise on any imported rolls, average use, cost, possible VAT / tariff savings?

      Then there are tissues, and handkerchiefs. It would be good if you could do a similar exposé. Finally (?) how about nappies – Terry cloths and pull-ups?

    • SecretPeople
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Apparently we paid £3.14bn of VAT to the EU last year; theoretically we will get to keep that amount to spend on UK priorities, having left. However, VAT ought to have been a tax on luxury goods and I wouldn’t say sanitary goods were a luxury.

      More to the point, some parents don’t benefit from VAT-free prices on childrens’ clothes. My 12 year-old takes a small adult size and has been in adult-sized shoes for some years now. Quite apart from the clothing choice narrowing to dull grey and blue, the cost shoots up quite considerably.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s the principle Andy. Women shouldn’t have to pay VAT on what is a necessity.
      But you know this. You are just nit-picking.

      • Andy
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        I agree. VAT should not be charged on tampons. And it was an exceptionally poor EU decision that it is.

        But removing VAT on tampons is the only legitimate benefit of Brexit any of you have ever come up with.

        So I am quantifying it for you. £10 a year for less than half the population.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          Complete nonsense.
          Our host and many posters on this site have come up with many more benefits of leaving the EU than your single obsession.
          You are just trolling.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Why did you have to “read up” on tampons ? Do you not know any women ? Doubt they’d be impressed by a middle-aged member of the patriarchy mansplaining that message.

      • Al
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        +1

        As Andy keeps talking about his children, presumably there’s at least one woman somewhere in his family he could ask. As he has a daughter, it is something he should know for the future.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      You obviously are ignoring the millions of females dragged from their abject poverty in the rich UK by this simple measure. Or is that just hand-wringing, virtue signalling hypocrisy of the left?

    • Shirley M
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Not all females can use tampons, and pads are more expensive. Tampons are also generally more expensive than quoted by you, especially if you don’t have transport and have to buy from local shops instead of the big stores. You conveniently ignore the fact that aftershave is VAT free, and I personally think sanitary products are far more ‘essential’ than aftershave. Why have one VAT free, and not the other?

    • kzb
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      Tampons are 69p for 20 in Aldi. You are right the VAT saving is miniscule, more like £2 a year at these prices.

      Another issue is that we are charged what the market will stand. When VAT rates were changed in the recent past it was interesting to note how the retail price reverted to the previous price, i.e. the price before the VAT rate changed, after a few weeks.

      Anyhow, why tinker with VAT when we could replace it with a sales tax? This could have different rates depending on how necessary or luxurious an item is.

  7. Polly
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    There are lots of “Shoulds” there!

    One “Should” which is not present is an immediate U turn on “Net Zero”, “Build Back Better” and the resulting “Great Reset” which taken together are certain to deliver a massive civilizational and economic “hit”. James Delingpole just wrote a great analysis about this for Breitbart. Electric transportation also which with existing technology is unworkable should be parked at the roadside.

    Of course, the deeply misguided and impractical Mr Johnson will continue with his insane and unworkable plans which will result in sky high and crippling costs on which basis I don’t think the UK has a viable future unless there are dramatic advances in energy technology which look far from certain.

    It would be far more sensible to have the necessary advances as a certainty and let the market decide what is best, rather than the other way around which Mr Johnson desires.

    Polly

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Yes, BJ seems illogical and scatterbrained when it comes to government investments. The ONE project I thought sensible, highspeed internet for the whole country, should have been handed to the private sector.
      Mr Sunak needs to tell BJ the cupboard is bare for a few years.

      The BEST way for government to use our money is to review its cost base, reduce duplication and waste (Whitehall old boy’s club), and overhaul the tax system, to tax those transnationals making huge untaxed profit.

      Tax rises on the way methinks, and that won’t help growth.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Volvo the car manufacturer that has actually calculated the implications of forcing the conversion from ICEs to BEVs points out that it will add to CO2 emissions, not reduce them. This is not what the anti-CO2 fanatics say they want to achieve. But they have tied themselves to this particular mast regardless of the fact it is unlikely to make a row of beans difference to the climate.

    • MPC
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Yes ‘climate’ policy noticeably absent from Mr Redwood’s list of It Shoulds and which would decimate any so called Brexit dividend over time. Not sure it’s any use to call for a u turn on this though. We need a sustained campaign of persuasion based on factual knowledge somewhat like the EU referendum campaign itself , which outlives Johnson’s tenure as PM. Lets try and stay stay optimistic for the longer term

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Electric transport, for the vast majority of journeys, is perfectly workable – if we have the generating power to create the electricity and the necessary charging infrastructure. As we have neither, it is not currently workable.

    • Andy
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Alas. Sticking to climate commitments is a part of Boris great trade deal with the EU. If he breaks them the EU can impose penalties which will harm our economy.

      Perhaps, instead you could read something more credible than Brietbart and someone more credible than Delingpole?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        The UK is far more committed than most EU nations.
        The Climate Change Act is the most radical piece of legislation in Europe.
        You should be campaigning for Europe to match our lead.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        No, they couldn’t.

    • RichardP
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      +1

  8. Mark B
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Without wishing to sound harsh, this reads like a Conservative Party manifesto from the late 1980’s.

    Today we have a government that is profligate with our money and signed up to all manner of things that are not in our best interests. We have a State Sector that is consuming more and more wealth for itself and a tax burden that is only likely to grow to fund it – eg Mayor Khan’s tax increases along those which will come as a result of the government’s handling of CV19.

    We are further hampered by the ‘deal’ that the government has accepted. I refuse to believe that it negotiated it. This will lead to slower growth as we will have to pay more to the EU to fund its expansion and subsidise (oh the irony of that) those poorer new members.

    What I have witnessed over the last +25 years is, how NOT to run a country.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Good morning.

      As ever, not harsh but smooth 😉

      Thus far today, BRINO 1 – 0 BINO 🙂

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        Simeon

        It does not matter whether it is BINO or BRINO if the so called ‘deal’ does not honour the 2016 Referendum result. It is still BETRAYAL.

    • Peter
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      ‘Without wishing to sound harsh, this reads like a Conservative Party manifesto from the late 1980’s.’

      A good party politician would be expected to endorse party policies, or sometimes even grit their teeth and support elements of it they are not entirely happy with. Keeping silent on issues, or avoiding a topic is sometimes also required. Lastly, it is often necessary to bang the drum for the party, to try to influence or change the public mood.

      Currently the media are mostly full of praise for Mr. Johnson’s Brexit Deal, in stark contrast to the rest of the year where he was under constant criticism. So we are currently at a time where there is great opportunity to lift the fortunes and support for the Conservative Party.

      I agree that the economy has been destroyed with covid and reactions to it. Abandonment of the traditional motor car in around a decade will be problematic. High streets will be decimated with shopping moving online.

      So politicians welcome a chance to sound upbeat.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      So long as we can cancel the thing in 4 years’ time then fine.
      That’s enough time for us to complete the trade deals, divert exports and imports and make the EU less important.
      Had this all been done in 2017 under hopeless May we would have that choice next year. Never has one person’s uselessness and lies cost the UK so much.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        +1

        Very much in line with my thinking.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      +1 but at least 65 years.

  9. Julian Flood
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    We could still seize defeat from. this opportunity if we adopt Mr Johnson’s energy policy. Yes, we need environmentally friendly energy, but it must be reliable and cheap. Extending the gas grid will enable us to get rid of oil space heating, imaginative tax reforms could convert large petrol and gas vehicles to compressed gas, both saving CO2.

    Today’s willy nilly connection of wind and solar is destabilising the Grid. To qualify for connection these schemes must guarantee supply and resilience – – for too long they have relied on fossil fuel to supply these, with STOR schemes seen as a licence to print money by energy spivs.

    Tackle the root causes of the problem. The Climate Change Committee is unfit for purpose, jumping on every Chicken Little theory. Climate models are as poor as those used by Imperial to forecast the progress of the pandemic, they are currently out by a factor of two. Rigorous research into non-CO2 warming factors should be pursued. Establish a red team blue team approach to the dubious science. Fund cloud studies.

    Cancel all new nuclear schemes, large nuclear stations are impossible to build on time or budget. Fund prototype SMRs. Bridge the gap by building quick, clean and relatively low CO2 gas generation.

    JF

    • Nig l
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Why do you guys always talk in the now rather than include potential future developments.

      The fall in the cost of wind power and other renewables has already proved the naysayers wrong and there are some incredible technologies being worked on, just Google battery development. Even now allegedly there is a graphene battery giving greater range and very quick charging.

      It’s called rowing syndrome. Going forwards, looking back.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      The Boris energy policy is insane. There is no need to save harmless (beneficial even) co2 plant food at all. Anyway wind, solar and electric cars save no significant CO2 when all is fully considered (construction, maintenance, manufacture and the spinning back up needed) anyway.

      Do the sums Boris if you are capable of it. You used to be sound on this issue.

      Also do the sums on this idiotic lock down that will kill far more people that it saves and is crippling the economy too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Wind and solar are under 1% of mankind’s total worldwide energy use anyway.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          So largely irrelevant.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      To repeat an old mantra.
      Reopen the mines!!
      Faint, swoon.
      But jobs and cheap energy.
      Why not?
      We area free nation now.😂
      Not hogtied by any number of ridiculous agreements with higher powers?
      Not half!!!

    • hefner
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Compact Molten Salt Reactors, anyone? The technology exists as does a working prototype but unfortunately is Danish.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      +++
      Excellent comments

    • Nig l
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Ps Brexit gives us a wonderful opportunity/shove to develop our manufacturing/home grown supply chains re EVs and related batteries creating/protecting thousands of jobs as the industry moves away from fossil fuel locomotion.

  10. Nig l
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    And we are reminded of Thatcher’s remarkable foresight in her Bruges speech (and Tony Benns etc views from a different political perspective) and the utter sell out by John Major at Maastricht, continued by Blair, Cameron and the final contempt for the electorate, because she went against a clear mandate, May.

    One of the side benefits of Brexit is that these smug, know better than us hoi polloi, have been well and truly put back in their boxes where I hope they stay.

    Add Soubry, Alistair Campbell etc and 2021 is already looking brighter.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      I hope you are right.
      I see there are numerous committees etc in the agreement which will probably be stuffed with arch remainiacs trying to inch us back under the Brussels yoke.
      I look forward to reading which pieces of legislation have been repealed.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        That’s what I am afraid of, any agreement is the thin end of the wedge and slowly but surely we will find ourselves bound again. With no deal the door is closed. Safer by far. Removes all hope from the Rejoiners.

        • Hope
          Posted December 29, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          +100. That is the crux of the matter. This is not a trade deal but a subservient partnership agreement- association agreement described and labelled somwe would not notice.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      You do understand that these post exit arrangement may be modified, cancelled, extended or whatever, at any time, in perpetuity, by any UK government in agreement with the European Union?

      This is the beginning, not the end, of Europe dominating UK current affairs in a way that it never did whilst the UK was a member.

      You will therefore being hearing proportionately more from informed folk such as Mr. Campbell.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The BBC is at least as guilty as May, Hillary Benn, Gauke, Osborne, Hammond ….

      Even Thatcher made huge errors in burying us further into the EU.

      The BBC’s remoaner agenda, woke lunacy and their absurd entirely one sided (and wrong) bias on climate alarmisms and the CO2 religion is a total outrage.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I don’t even count Blair in the top rank of awfulness here, because at least he was up front and believed in the EU project. It is Cameron and May who frankly lied to us blatantly about leaving under their watch and they should be made to answer for this.

    • Mick
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Also put back into a box the BBC/Sky/channel 4 then nail the lids shut and buried in a land fill site in the middle of nowhere

    • jon livesey
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Could not say it better. The ramifications of Brexit go far, far beyond trade, and as it works out there are going to be serious social changes. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Nig 1

      No doubt it will soon become painfully obvious that it would be better for the country if the hoi polloi were put back into their boxes as soon as possible.

      • Lynn
        Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        You speaking from inside the box Margaret?

      • SM
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        Of course, Margaret, you can’t have the peasantry thinking for themselves, can you?

        It appears you would like us all to go back to the days of the Louis XlV at Versailles or the Stuarts’ belief in the Divine Right of Kings.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          If only they did, instead of accepting meekly and tamely what those to whom they tug their forelocks – such as Farage and the rest of the real establishment – told them to think.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Keep insulting the intelligence of the voters Martin.
            It will keep the dreadful socialist parties out of office for decades.

  11. Tabulazero
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    If you read the EU/UK FTA you will notice that it set up dozen upon dozen of joint-committee, advisory councils and talking shop thus making sure that the EU and the UK will be in a state of permanent negotiations for the next decade.

    We all know that the EU will use those negotiations to flex its muscles.

    Is doing what you are told really what you had in mind when you envisaged the UK as an independent coastal nation?

    That’s no clean Brexit.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Also this trade and coop agreement is circa 20% trade related and 80% non-trade related

      Why are non-trade related subjects included in this FTA….but doesn’t include services ???

  12. DOM
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I am uncomfortable with Mr Redwood’s premise in his most recent articles. It is a false premise. It is the premise that the UK is now entirely free all forms of EU interference in both of our internal and external affairs. The UK is still and will be for a very long time still subject to a myriad of EU rules and EU regulations that govern all areas of life

    This deal is being presented as passport to freedom. That’s political propaganda

    The general public by and large don’t take an active interest in the machinations and minutiae of daily national and international politics so most will accept the tortuous crap pumped out by the metro-centric media. Those who do follow politics will see a very different interpretation of events.

    I know this deal is a stitch up and a scam but then this PM is a scam just like his party and the party that supports this deal. It’s a cosy confection that to a degree neutralises the Reform Party and Farage but their presence is needed more than ever as we are now subject to a Tory-Labour war of cultural reforms and attacks on personal freedoms to counteract the betrayal of the Tories embrace of all forms of year zero Marxism

    Both main parties care not for this nation or our freedoms but care only for the protection and promotion of their respective grubby party interest. And so Tory will grease up for the Marxists and Labour and Labour will back Tory in an unholy alliance to protect each other from harm. Quid pro quo between both Tory and Labour is there for all to see if you look closely enough

    It actually makes me feel nauseous to see two so called independent parties working together behind the scenes. The electorate is being constantly deceived

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Well we need to take the country out of this hugely damaging and largely pointless lockdown.
    Anyone who looks at the death figures and NHS statistic can see how blatantly we are being lied to with huge numbers of false positives, over testing, mislabelling of deaths as Covid and largely normal over all weekly death figures.

    Boris should abandon HS2 and his mad expensive energy agenda and start firing those in the state sector who do nothing useful and do positive harm. At least 50% of them must be.
    I assume this deal will prevent much of the actions needed though.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Dan Hannah today,

    “With this deal, the culture war over Brexit can finally end
    Given the weak position that he inherited from Theresa May, Boris has pulled a blinder”

    This seems to me to be a second rate deal, surely far worse that no deal and making agreement later. Blame for this largely rests with the remoaners, the appalling BBC, Cameron, Osborne, May, Gauke, Adonis, Hammond, Benn and all the appalling Benn act traitors, the Supreme Court, the Lords and the dire make up of the left wing remainer dominated commons …… I assume these dire people are all proud of themselves!

    • Dennis Gore
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      A deal negotiated by Boris and approved at a General Election and backed by every single Tory MP. But you blame remoaners for how dreadful it is. Truly the Brexiters will never be satisfied, will never face up to the reality of what they have done to our weakened country, locked powerless into the EU orbit

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      No, blame rests 100% with those who campaigned for and voted for Leave.

      We would have all the benefits which you now complain that we lack but for them.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    DR JOHN LEE: Free us from this futile cycle of Covid contagion and control
    By DR JOHN LEE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

    Yes please and right now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      “Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public. Indeed, @MattHancock nearly said as much this week. They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes.”
      Dr John Lee @MailOnline

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Over 75s are about 𝟭𝟬% of the population yet form 𝟴𝟱% of COVID hospital admissions (just 𝟲% are under 65). 40% of over 65s already have life-limiting illnesses.

      So why is it sensible to lockdown the majority but not feasible to protect the vulnerable minority? It is so very clear now that this lockdown is dong far more harm than good and overwhelmingly so.

      NICE aims to spend less than £20,000 to £30,000 per Qaly saved. Yet Boris must be wasting at least 50 times this on trying (and largely unsuccessfully) to save Qaly years for Covid deaths. So why the difference exactly? Totally irrational.

  16. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Some good ideas – but you, Sir John, and the rest of the back-benchers need to demand strong, co-ordinated action by your ministers. I am sure that some of them, given the chance, will sit back in their chairs, put their feet up and kid themselves that the ‘deal’ with the EU is enough. It isn’t. We must now set our own course and increase revs.

  17. BJC
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I will leave the critique of Mr Johnson’s apparent sleight of hand to those cleverer than me. I can, however, see that it would be a massive betrayal if British companies didn’t reap the benefits from taxpayer-funded projects, a strategy that should provide the basis for a long-term return on investments for the Treasury. With the proposed growth in fishing, farming, etc, it will clearly be very attractive to large tax-avoiding corporates, foreign governments, EU, etc, looking to influence policy and make a fast buck at the taxpayers’ expense.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      +1

  18. ukretired123
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Glad to see SJR encouraging Britain to fire up the economic engine and see new opportunities in all directions. This will become far more important than looking in the rear mirror after leaving Brussels behind.

  19. middle ground
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Very few of these initiatives were prevented by being in the EU. Many farmers only survive through CAP payments and although it is a poor system it will take years for it to be replaced. As for tariffs on tropical produce, my Christmas dinner included food from Peru, India and South Africa and wine from New Zealand.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Tariffs do not stop the importation, just the cost of them. So, how much more did you pay for your meal if tariffs were removed ?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        . . . or less . . .

  20. majorfrustration
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The acid test will come at the next election as by that time the voters will be able to assess whether the Boris deal has produced the Brexit promised. Hopefully by then we will be able to establish whether parliament rules the country and that there is no leaking of money to the EU.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      sooner the better

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      +1

  21. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Just looking at what detail been released so far, it is clear that the deal is far more than a trade agreement.

    It delves into social issues which have nothing to do with trade — It sets up a whole series of committees and working groups to look at every aspect of the deal – now some of this may be necessary for a trade agreement between countries, but the extent of this means we will be tied heavily into the EU bureaucratic machine for ever more.

    Why do pensions and work accidents need to be covered?

    This is just the bare bones:
    https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2020/EN/COM-2020-857-F1-EN-ANNEX-1-PART-1.PDF

    This document also talks about civil forums, and appears to tie us in to the EU’s policies on CLIMATE CHANGE, sustainable energy and competition:

    “REAFFIRMING their commitment to democratic principles, to the rule of law, to human rights, to countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to the fight against climate change, which constitute essential elements of this and supplementing agreements….

    RECOGNISING the need for an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership to be underpinned by a level playing field for open and fair competition and sustainable development, through effective and robust frameworks for subsidies and competition and a commitment to uphold their respective high levels of protection in the areas of labour and social standards, environment, the fight against climate change, and taxation.

    RECOGNISING the benefits of sustainable energy, renewable energy, in particular offshore generation in the North Sea, and energy efficiency.

    DESIRING to promote the peaceful use of the waters adjacent to their coasts and the optimum and equitable utilisation of the marine living resources in those waters including the continued sustainable management of the shared stocks.”

    Brussels, 25.12.2020
    COM(2020) 857 final
    ANNEX 1
    SENSITIVE*
    ANNEX
    to the
    Recommendation for a Council Decision

  22. formula57
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    “What we need now is strong government action using the freedoms we gain…” – well yes, but will we get it?

    I do like how the people’s Blue Boris often refers now to “our European friends” because one knows it is meant ironically but do the civil service realize that? Will we not remain hampered by officials too eager to keep within the orbit of the Evil Empire? Will we have ministers able to impose a vision sufficient to set us free?

  23. Tad Stone
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Such negative comments here. We will succeed without the EU and with this agreement.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      The agreement seeks to preserve the near-half of UK external commerce which is with the European Union.

      Do you seriously claim that the UK could prosper if that were allowed to collapse?

      So any success will not be “without” that, will it?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I see you are back to your ridiculous claim that trade between Europe and the UK would collapse and stop.
        Even without any deal that wouldn’t happen.
        Project Fear lost you the referendum and yet you still try to use it.

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Is this all assuming that we are released from our houses?
    It seems that there are whispers re no freedom until Easter?
    A heroic fight will be undertaken to keep senior schools open! = they will be closed!
    Nearly half the year gone.
    Oh no…maybe this is about the financial year? Far more important than the days of our lives?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Nuremberg Code…ethical guidelines for research.

      No 6 The risks should never exceed the benefits.

  25. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you could nip round to Wokingham Borough Council’s offices and review their spending.

  26. Nivek
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    “the severe lockdowns of 2020”

    It is my understanding that the Nightingale hospital that was set up in London’s ExCel Centre either no longer exists or has been emptied of its beds and equipment (perhaps Sir Humphrey could explain the difference). How is that compatible with “severe lockdowns” and similar measures?

    This is before even broaching the subject of the legality of such measures under the Public Health (Control of Disease Act) 1984, or their compatibility with our natural rights.

  27. John Horrocks
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The fishing industry is the poor relation of this EU deal but inevitably some sectors will suffer and others benefit more. Overall there is an average benefit. Why not then introduce compensatory measures for the fishing industry during the transition such as tax reductions and investment grants?

  28. John
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Considering the absolute carnage the government has wrought ion the British economy and it’s continuing obsession with lockdowns and vaccinations merely releasing us would bring a huge improvement. Sadly even with 30% growth rate it will take years to return to where we were and that is simply never going to happen. We need more than talk from our representatives- we need action to question the narrative and halt the descent into totalitarian health tyranny. Do your job.

  29. Iain gill
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    If immigration goes up substantially, as seems the plan, then the public will be furious.

  30. James Bertram
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    ‘It is true a lot of the growth will come from recovery from the severe lockdowns of 2020. A far important assumption than a trade deal is that restrictions on the UK economy will be progressively relaxed as the vaccines are rolled out and as the pandemic subsides.’

    These lockdowns are likely to continue throughout 2021 unless you get rid of Johnson and his advisers. The Great Reset is expected to take until 2025 to implement fully. Davos has already been postponed to May. Sunak has extended furlough to April. Vaccine rollout will take all of 2021 at least (Note: There are reports of Tiffany Dover, a US nurse who, on TV, took the vaccine then fainted, has now died. If true, this will put back vaccination as a solution considerably). Although clear that Lockdowns do not work, and that we have a PCR-test ‘casedemic’ and much mis-attribution of deaths to Covid, too many reputations have been invested in this abject nonsense for them to u-turn quickly or easily (so, to achieve this, they will need to be sacked). Therefore I do not expect to see any real let up from this totalitarian government and Lockdowns as a policy until they are thrown out, and replaced by a non-globalist government – by which time our country will have been ruined. This is a war on the people by their own governments and the international World Order (EU, UN, IMF, WHO etc). It will reduce all peoples to the level of serfdom. That is our future – we are seeing the end of Democracy, the end of Capitalism, and the end of Western civilisation. There will just be a New World Order of a very wealthy ruling class, of big corporations, and serfs provided for as the wealthy see fit – not unlike Maoist China, but globally.

    People and politicians everywhere need to wake up to what is going on – and sharpish.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      The attraction of the New World Order is that there will be one world government controlling everything. Thus there will be no wars between nations as there will be no nations, just provinces (revolt by the people will be brutally suppressed). There will be little need for armies or weapons of mass destruction, only brutal police forces to control the masses. Population numbers will be controlled (like China’s one child policy, but using medical interventions). There will be no capitalism i.e. no need for continuous growth and consumption. There will be no need for money speculation, or individual striving to become wealthier. An adequate standard of living will be provided for all (like Basic Income) by the one world government – thus there will be no disparity of income between someone in the West and someone in the Third World – all citizens of the world will have equal means and opportunity (i.e very limited, heavily proscribed, and no liberty, and no ability to change who governs you, no democracy and no elections, no freedom of expression, no unapproved expression, just ruled by those appointed as they deign i.e. serfdom). There will be no ownership of anything; all property, assets, and unapproved profit will be confiscated . And with controlled population, controlled economy, and controlled consumption, the impact of man on the planet, its environment, is also controlled.

      Although many of these aspirations are desirable (and particularly appeal to the mega-rich, big business, mainstream media; and the left – socialists, unions, NGO’s and public sector) I do not wish to be forced into such acceptance. Man must be free to choose his destination. And I know enough of my fellow man not to trust others to abuse power and become cruel and evil. Too, Lockdowns are a good example of centralised control of people – and I do not wish to live in a world of such centralised control.

      Currently our Government is our enemy and the greatest threat to our well-being and liberty.

  31. agricola
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I tend to ask the question, 6-7% growth from where we are now or where we were before Covid19. But having asked the question I feel positive about the future of the UK and everyone in it. Government should see itself as a facilitator not as a participant. Private enterprise is best left to get on with creating wealth, government is only there to curb the excesses. I do not worry too much about the amount that government has borrowed to cushion Covid 19 because no one is pressing for repayment, it can come from wealth creation.

    • agricola
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Can we have a precis of what has been agreed re Brexit in the vital areas of sovereignty and fishing etc, so that we can map our way through all the opinion we will no doubt be bombarded with.

  32. George Brooks.
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Watching the Queen speaking to the Nation at 3pm on Christmas day one got the distinct feeling that she had got her country back and on 1st January we will be in control of our destiny once more.

    I understand the anxiety of many of those who are under the age of 60 who have had no experience of living in a free, self governing, democratic, country. We have an enormous reservoir of talent and creative ability that will have the freedom to grow and develop and which will stand us good stead.

    Napoleon said that he always wanted ‘lucky generals’! Well, we are fortunate enough to have one in Johnson. He has the ability to recognise his opportunities and engineer his good luck and take advantage of it for the benefit of us all. He also has the ability to select people.

    Yes, he has made mistakes and yes, he will make mistakes but he is not afraid to admit them and put them right. He is not good on detail but he is very perceptive and good at mapping the way ahead. In July 2018 he recognised the path we should take and he has taken us along it successfully.

    Not a perfect agreement but a very good base from which to start our new relationship with the EU and rebuild our standing in the world.

    BTW our fishing folk have not been sacrificed as we are gaining back control of our coastal waters where to fish and during the next 5 years who will be allowed to fish. There was no way that we could have ended the lively hood of thousands of EU (mainly French) fisherman this coming Friday!

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Can we stop super trawlers in our waters?

  33. John Partington
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Time to read the fine print. The ERG are probably going to support it in spite of the fact there is no passporting for our financial services and our fishermen have been sacrificed for a cobbled together deal. The Europeans will continue as if the Common Fisheries Policy is still active and Macron will be laughing his head off. His fishermen will be proud of him.

  34. AJAX
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    What kind of sea Kingdom are we that is not master of its own seas.

  35. gyges
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The next great battle is against monopoly power … I hope you will join us in the fight John. It’s going to be very difficult, to give but one example, consider how corporate monopoly power controls the channels of communication; namely, how youtube and twitter control our freedom of speech.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

      Particularly, State monopoly 😉

  36. PeteS
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I understand that more Thatchers papers have been released after the 30 years. In it is remarked that she wanted a major reform of the ‘UNDEMOCRATIC’ commission. When did the commission get democratic, so that Major, Bliar, Brown, Cameron did not do anything about it.

  37. Stephen Reay
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Reducing VAT it definitely the way forward, the government can then target specific industries to encourage growth, demand and generate jobs. Additional tax’s will fail to achieve the former points. Sir John can you please ask Boris to increase VAT on French goods and produce by about 50%, it would be ever, ever so helpful.

  38. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    How reassuring to read this morning that, following the latest Brexit “agreement”, Johnson has claimed that the UK would not regress on workers’ rights, nor environmental standards. Apparently he has also stated “unequivocally” that children will not be sent up chimneys, nor that raw sewage will be poured over our beaches – or dumped into our rivers when it rains too much.

    Noting Johnson’s past history of repeated mendacity, we will apparently have much to look forward to on January 1st.

  39. Barbara
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    ‘A far important assumption than a trade deal is that restrictions on the UK economy will be progressively relaxed as the vaccines are rolled out and as the pandemic subsides.‘

    The pandemic subsided last April.

    What has gone up is the testing.

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to reining in waste, I’d be inclined to talk seriously to the Tax-payers Alliance. This is our chance to get our spending back!

  41. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    All good ideas. How about cancelling HS2 now the business case for it has been totally destroyed by Covid ?

    We need to push on and join the Trans Pacific trade partnership ASAP. With massive and growing populations Asia is the future, that’s who we need to trade more with, not failing old Europe.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      We are not on the Pacific.

      We are in Europe on the other side of the world.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Showing your complete lack of knowledge of modern international trade again Martin.

  42. Mike Durrans
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    With an overriding Committee and seventeen advisory committees with the ability to make changes unilaterally this is just BRINO to keep the mob quiet until it can be changed back when the population stop watching. It certainly does not get my support so I will continue to boycott EU goods and farm produce, which as I live down in Devon is proving to give better quality food from the local shops, butchers and farm yard purchases. Our butcher can tell me exactly which farm produced what meat or poultry, the eu cannot beat that! A diesel Subaru car from Japan will also last me well beyond Boris’ 2030 so I’m set up !
    It also is better ecologically eating in Season foods father than the forced watery rubbish imported from the eu.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Oh, we’ll never stop watching, believe me.

      And we’ll make sure that the good things are rebuilt.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Who is ‘we’ Martin, what is this collective group with the power to ‘make sure’ of anything?

  43. L Jones
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The trouble is, we’ve been ”post pandemic” since the summer. And much good has it done us.

  44. Christine
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    John, Please don’t allow this trade agreement to be rushed through our parliament. The EU is giving themselves until 28th February to review it. Our parliament must do the same.

    Here is the text from the document:

    The United Kingdom, as a former Member State, has extensive links with the Union in a wide range of economic and other areas. If there is no applicable framework regulating the relations between the Union and the United Kingdom after 31 December 2020, those relations will be significantly disrupted, to the detriment of individuals, businesses and other stakeholders.

    The negotiations could only be finalised at a very late stage before the expiry of the transition period. Such late timing should not jeopardise the European Parliament’s right of democratic scrutiny, in accordance with the Treaties.

    In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Commission proposes to apply the Agreement on a provisional basis, for a limited period of time until 28 February 2021.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Well said Christine.

  45. Original Richard
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    A faster growing UK?

    The Remainer establishment, which includes the BBC and the current Labour Party leadership, don’t want Brexit to be successful or seen to be successful.

    So there will never be any positive reports, whilst their Brussels correspondents will tell us how wonderful life is in the EU.

    Note that Mr. Starmer has no option but to vote for the deal as he has said all along that “no deal” was absolutely the worst possible outcome – meaning that any terms demanded by the EU – including one which left the UK as a vassal state/colony of the EU (which was his goal) – was preferable to “no deal”.

    And if it really is a rotten deal for the UK then he will be more than happy to vote for it in the hope that the UK will try to re-join the EU on even worse terms than before.

  46. Newmania
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    One of the main drivers of growth will continue to be immigration. As I predicted, closing the door to German teachers and French bankers would force the government to either do without that growth ( impossible ) or suck in as many low level immigrants from India and Asia as they could . No surprise as to which way they jumped .
    The cap on foreign workers has been removed .Skill levels requirements reduced to A level, and salary to £25,600 or £20,480 under the age of 26. Advertising jobs in UK has been abandoned ,and all students get 2 years shelf stacking after they finish their studies . The scope for abuse is almost limitless and the betrayal of all those whom the ethnic mix of the country was changing too fast; complete.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      You surprise me.
      I never realised those arriving in their dinghies were French bankers and German teachers.
      Let’s help them get here.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Just to discuss the small part of immigration which is unlawful.

        The people in dinghies are only a tiny fraction of that.

        By far and away most of it is people landing normally at airports, on visas, and then simply disappearing.

        But that is dwarfed by what the government allow legally anyway.

        You voted for this government.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Red herring from you as usual.
          We are not closing the door to French bankers nor German teachers as Newmania ridiculously claimed.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      They haven’t closed the door to German teachers and French bankers. They have, however, closed them to German criminals and French criminals.

      Professionals may still come here because they are well above the pay threshold.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        No, there is now mutual derecognition of professional qualifications e.g. in law and in accountancy.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          No
          Not correct.

  47. Original Richard
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The BBC ‘s positive Europe news today is how the Irish port of Rosslare is hoping to benefit from Brexit as an increasing number of hauliers will want to use it to avoid the UK land bridge between Ireland and the EU.

    But the BBC doesn’t mention of how this will be a positive benefit also to the UK, particularly those living in Kent, as it will mean less lorries travelling on UK roads, resulting in less road damage, less congestion, less pollution and fewer lorries held up in Kent when the Channel crossing is not operating.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      I read the article and, given the BBC’s rabid green agenda, I could not understand why they were not welcoming this with open arms.

      We derive no benefit from this through trade at all. It creates far too much traffic and pollution and they don’t even buy the diesel they emit here because elsewhere the tax is all VAT which they can reclaim while in the UK it is mostly Duty which they can’t.

      I suppose, that, in theory, the drivers will now have to buy their processed meat sandwiches to eat en-route in England, but otherwise, can anyone tell me where and how we benefit ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, less commerce for an area is always a good thing eh?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        But there is no positive commerce from this traffic to the local area as both Chris and Richard explained.

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Martin, Please explain how lorries carrying goods between Ireland and the EU travelling through the UK benefit the UK, and in particular, Kent.

  48. GilesB
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Can we please get rid of GDPR? It wastes millions of hours just on clicking through acceptance of cookies. If anyone reads any of the popup windows to read the options, it must be tens of millions of wasted hours. And if there are people who read the details, it is a waste of billions of hours.

    Also have a lower VAT rate for items sold with zero packaging.

    And not destroy trees in order to have instruction manuals in multiple languages. I have just read the English section (20 pages). The other 27 languages, all 540 pages are environmental pollution. And it’s high finish paper that cane even be recycled!

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      +1

  49. Everhopeful
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    So the tories ARE following Agenda 21/30!
    Retail and offices into housing “units”.
    What happened to the regeneration of the High Street?

    • Lynn
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Destruction of the High Street means that the number of business opportunities for individuals is reduced. Dependency on a handful of companies for goods and services is as secure as dependency on the services controlled by the Unions. There are millions of empty residential properties, let’s fill them before we kibosh enterprise.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes we are at the whim of the leaders of Tesco or Sainsbury who pipe up with their personal political opinion at every opportunity.

        The supermarkets all lead together in advertisements with their new politically correct all black or ginger haired actor families.

        Putting small retail entrepreneurs out of action does seem part of a plan, the antagonism to Mike Ashley is bizarre, is it because he’s an intelligent working class Brummy? I wish he would buy my local town centre shopping centre up and regenerate it and just take it away from the local council who have done a completely dire job allowing it to be bought and sold like some cheap throwaway item and turned it into a charity arcade with half fallen down never to come back whilst they just stood on the sidelines whilst they spend our rates elsewhere on their pet projects. I would prefer 30 independent shop owners than what we have become now corporates and council have run rampant for 30 years.

  50. forthurst
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Will there be an end to silly regulations such as on the maximum power of vacuum cleaners or the maximum size of WC cisterns? Would this lead to a reduction in the size of the civil service tasked with aligning us with daft EU regulations or would that conflict with the ‘level playing field?

    The EU is a total abnegation of market principles in which demand and supply dictate the market not bureaucrats in Brussels. Copying the Bolshevik ‘experiment’ of which the perpetrators were never punished, was not a good template for civilised people of European ancestry. Let us hope our European cousins recognise the folly of their ways in due course and return to being a family of nations each with their authentic personalities. We can do best by setting them an example by prospering through our newly won freedom.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Well, since the Tory UK apparently couldn’t care less whether cladding fitted to residential buildings will result in mass fire deaths I doubt that you need worry about the enforcement of much else.

      My vacuum cleaner works very well indeed with 250W to spare to the power limit anyway.

      You can still buy more powerful ones as long as they are described as “industrial” rather than as “domestic” too.

      But it isn’t whether the rules are sensible or not which concerns you is it?

      Is it simply because they were devised in part by foreigners?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Rules in the UK should be set by our democratically elected government.

      • forthurst
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I cannot see that the Tory party is responsible for the failures of local government officers in enforcing rules or the activities of spiv outfits in using inappropriate materials with deadly consequences in order to turn an excess profit.

  51. Everhopeful
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t know why I don’t always post….
    “Your comment is awaiting moderation” and just leave it at that!
    Never mind whether it appears on the article I wrote it for.
    Ah well, nil desperandum….I know my place!

  52. Derek
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The Government should now adopt the principles of one Ludwig Erhard who turned war beaten Germany into an industrial power house as he sliced through the debilitating chains of Government control. Ditto with John Cowperthwaite in Hong Kong before the CCP began to wreck it.
    Those two examples, tried, tested and proven, must be the blueprint for a recovering Britain after 40 years of comparative stagnation and all down to centralised Government. Let businesses mind their own business and Government stand back and just light the touch paper to get this rocket on its way.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Ditto with John Cowperthwaite in Hong Kong . . .

      Derek

      That gets my vote ! He is one of my hero’s.

  53. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, we need to urgently revamp our productivity and enable the wealth creators to do their thing and lead us out of this financial mess.

    We have to encourage this government to be frugal, tomanage our money better, and to help those that will help us…..

    There are things that will get in the way of a real recovery – One is if we do not stop this green nonsense, and two is that I do not believe the lockdowns will be eased so easily and quickly.
    Mark my words, by September the ‘experts’ will be talking about the need for another lockdown.

  54. John Downes
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t there a little problem here?

    People’s businesses have been destroyed, the economy laid waste and there is absolutely no sign that those in charge have any intention of letting us get back to normal, which is a sine qua non for any economic recovery.

    Without an end to this lockdown, there is going to be no growth at all. In fact a depression is far more likely. There is no money left, not here, nor among our neighbours.

    • Lynn
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just businesses that have been destroyed but capital. Johnson, who lives hand to mouth (has never saved to provide income for when he is not working) – we know this because he says he can’t live on the PM’s wages. He does not understand capitol and therefore capitalism, and boy it shows. He must go ASAP. It’s him or us.

  55. acorn
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Brexiteers have told us “no deal was better than a bad deal”. Apparently now, according to Boris, a “bad deal is better than a no deal”; even Farage says it is acceptable. Political hypocrisy rules OK.

    Farage’s stunt of throwing dead fish into the Thames, gave the EU a perfect opportunity to anchor down, in the minds of the unsophisticated UK proletariat, that the whole Brexit saga was solely based on fishing quotas. Alas the fishing deal means the UK moves up to catching 60+% in UK waters rather than the current 50%, alas, using foreign chartered mega trawlers.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Who said a bad deal is better than no deal?
      You put it into quotation marks.
      So who was it.

      • acorn
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Kevin Maguire: Boris Johnson finally decided bad deal was better than no-deal Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          So a remain supporter and left leaning journalist made up a statement and you say “Brexiteers have told us….” and then “according to Boris…”
          Both are false claims and simply fake news from you acorn.

  56. jon livesey
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    There is a big issue here that most people commenting don’t seem to acknowledge. A 52/48 vote in a referendum gets you a win, but it does not get you 100% of the spoils. 60/40 would, but 52/48, no chance.

    What that means is that, although the 52% win, the final settlement, which is where we are now, had to contain reassurance for the 48%. That is really what all that nonsense about second referendums was trying to say, that 52% gets you a win, but not such a big win that you can ignore the losers.

    So the answer to anyone who still insists of a total, hard, no-deal Brexit is simple. If you wanted a total break with the EU, you should have won by more than 52/48, and now it’s too late to change that. And it is certainly too late to talk “as if” the win was greater than 52/48, because it just wasn’t.

    And that is what Boris’ deal is. It’s a 52/48 deal, not a 60/40 deal. It’s a deal which does not tear down the pillars of the Temple, but which leaves plenty of safety measure in place in the form of free trade and remaining connections.

    I don’t like the deal totally. I think that the EU will be too much of a presence in British life even after January 1st, but I also recognize that too many honest people are still not happy with Brexit, and a lot of those people have something to lose if things go wrong, so this is a deal I am willing to live with.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed, and almost all the huffing and puffing has been about the extent to which the opposition should not only be ignored but oppressed to the maximum possible.

      Since most of the country’s talent – and its active workforce – is in that group that was never going to fly.

      The reassurances have to be not just for the 48% of the actual vote who voted Remain, but for the 74% of the population as a whole who did NOT vote Leave too.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Rubbish statistics again from you Martin.
        Counting in your ludicrous 74% under 18 year olds, non UK citizens and those who didn’t bother to vote.
        You lost the referendum.
        An 80 seat majority for the party that promised to get Brexit done.
        The remain parties all had a dreadful election.

    • Leavebill
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Jon, you are completely wrong. I can guarantee that a 52/48 result in your favour would have seen us 100% still in the EU. We would than also be hurtling towards the €, European army and god knows what else those madmen in Germany had in mind for us.
      Can I also ask which narrow general election result had the winners asking the losers which 48% if their policies they would like enacting?

  57. GeorgeP
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    ” It should remove all tariffs from Mediterranean and tropical produce we cannot grow for ourselves, to let UK consumers buy tariff free from non EU destinations. ”

    I noted the other day that a 12% tariff will be charged on oranges under the new UK Global Tariff scheme. Why on earth didn’t they apply a zero rate to oranges and other produce we cannot grow here?

    The only reason I can think of is a cosy arrangement with the EU or they were frightened of upsetting the EU during the negotiations.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Or they just need the money ?

      😉

  58. David Webb
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, I don’t know if you have commented on the “enforcement” mechanism in the trade deal. My assumption is that it is unusable and that the EU has lost. If Britain alters its regulations, and they claim it affects their exports, they can take it to a committee and ultimately apply tariffs – but only in the sector affected. And applying tariffs in a sector where the EU has a surplus is a direct route to loss of their export markets. Am I right on this? They claim their car exports are affected. They apply tariffs, and we respond with higher tariffs also. They lose their car export market to US and Japanese competitors. At least this is the way it could work. I don’t want to hear UK ministers forever claiming they can’t do things for fear of tariffs – we are not in the EU – and I do think the EU won’t be able to do much with the enforcement mechanism. What is your view?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Tariffs only affect the consumer. So if the EU wishes to tax their people more, then so be it. There are other people and other markets we can sell to.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      You have stood the tariff position and its results on their heads.

      Tariffs on UK exports would seriously worsen the balance of payments problem that it has.

      You also appear to confuse “sector” – very broad – with “product” – very narrow.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        But there would be tariffs on imports which balance out the problem you claim might happen.

        We will collect more tariffs than we pay out.

  59. Freeborn John
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Having read the U.K./EU I have serious doubts; the “rebalancing mechanism” is clearly designed to be used and used to force the U.K. to adapt its law every time the EU changes it law. The probability has to be that Labour administrations will change U.K. law to bring it into line with EU law at which point the non-regression clauses would prevent any future conservative government diverging. So there is in effect a ratchet clause to keep us tied to Brussels law. Also the fisheries clauses mean that the U.K. cannot get more than 25% of its fish back as the EU can suspend trade, aviation and transport if we ever do. Boris should have realised this deal is worse than no deal.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find that any retaliatory tariffs have to be proportionate to the losses and are limited to the same area of goods as the problem items AND the action can only be imposed if the independent arbitration panel agrees.

      As the IAP will consist of three members from each side and an independent chairman whose appointment has to be supported by both sides, it should be truly independent.

      Quite a hurdle to climb over in order to apply any kind of retaliation.

    • Dennis Gore
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      You have a deal which ties you to the EU with no say. Worse than being an EU member. You were warned. What you called Project Fear was in truth Project Reality

  60. rose
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the very high standards of our farming and animal welfare must be preserved and raised where necessary by giving effective support. Free Ports and enterprise zones must not wait. HMG should take a hard, unemotional look at what Trump and his economic adviser achieved with low taxation, opportunity zones, self sufficiency in energy, and economic nationalism.

    • Otto
      Posted December 27, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      rose – how do we have high animal welfare when we export live animals? There are demands that this export be banned but surely it is not illegal not to export live animals, is it?

      • rose
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        The EU has prevented us thus far from banning the export of live animals. It mostly goes on over the border and through Southern Ireland, the English ferries not being keen on the cruelty, so it will be interesting to see how the new EU/Sinn Fein border performs in that respect when we do ban it.

        • Otto
          Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          As the farmers can export non live animals but don’t always do so it shows they don’t much care about exporting live ones.

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      After we ban the export of live animals into Europe, it will be interesting to see what happens when we then demand that EU animal husbandry standards do not fall behind ours.

      • ChrisS
        Posted December 28, 2020 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        OK, we know the situation on quotas, but sovereignty should also mean that we should be able decide how people fish in our waters.
        We need to ban the Dutch from Pulse fishing and hoovering up the stunned fish with massive factory trawlers in UK waters.

        Can we ??

  61. glen cullen
    Posted December 27, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    About 20% of UK VAT receipts go to the EU

    Is this government on the 31st Dec going to reduce our VAT by 20% ???

    Or pocket the extra and hope the people don’t realise (like fisheries)

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 28, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know that glen is this on top of the membership fee £16.4 billion in 2020? Or in that figure?

      If the UK now makes 4% more what is this money going to be ring-fenced to achieve John. This is extra tax that your government didn’t have before and I want to see it spent in an obvious and gainful way to the public.

  62. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    So what will 2021 growth be relative to 2019? Ideally, something like 4%.

  63. DavidinDorset
    Posted December 28, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    See comment from Martin in Cardiff. If 74 % didn’t vote to leave on the 48/52% split, then 76% didn’t vote to remain ! It’s called a referendum majority and don’t see the point as every election since the war can have the same (il) logic applied. There seems to be much comment in the absence of full understanding of the detail. Much comment seems to be based on the old remain/ leave dogma rather than moving on, as many remainders have managed. Move on. Either way we have a future. Leaving is done. Negative country bashing doesn’t help. Many interesting points, but for eg. we are back up to 6th in GDP, ahead of France, with even the historic remainers economic forecasters suggesting a positive 40% gap GDP gap between France in 7th and UK remaining in 6th place by 2035.

  • 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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