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Thursday, 9 November 2017

The more shrilly the EU begs for money, the longer we should hold out

Herr Barnier has been at it again. This time his shrill demands for money are accompanied by threats to 'shake the tree' to force businesses to relocate from the UK to the EU. This, of course, is a delusion common amongst unelected bureaucrats and petty demagogues who don't understand quite how business makes decisions. It is, however, revealing of Herr Barnier's attitude - and a taste of what we can expect after Brexit.

If the EU is planning how to discriminate against firms headquartered in the UK - even those trading with the EU on WTO terms - it is pretty certain that those measures will be implemented anyway post-Brexit. They will be faced with a nation that has two key weapons in her armoury - corporate tax rates, and state aid. When no longer constrained after Brexit from using these tools, the UK can also apply reciprocal constraints against EU firms, excluding them for example from bidding for government work and so on. A mixture of economic liberalism and targeted protectionism. 

The fact is that the EU are quite desperate for British money. They will beg and whine and try all sorts of blackmail in order to force an undertaking from us. Our tactic must be quite clear; no trade deal, no money. And  if we need to write-in clauses constraining Herr Barnier's tree shaking, that's useful to know.


dustybloke said...

I believe the word Barnier is looking for is "discriminate".

We know from the likes of Blair and Mandy that this is "racist", unless done in a "positive" way.

How ironic then, that the elites who called us racist are the very ones who, by their very own definition, want us to remain in a racist organisation.

Edward Spalton said...

The U.K. has demanded to become a "Third Country" - that is, independent, outside the EU and the European Economic Area.
EU rules require that the first importer into the EU /EEA takes responsibility to the authorities for the compliance of products with EU requirements including, for instance "sanitary and phytosanitary" standards of animal and food products. The goods do not get as far as customs for tariffs to be charged until this has been done. The importer must be either an individual or company registered in the EU. The fact that the UK starts off with identical standards to those of the EU does not, of itself, guarantee the " frictionless" access which Mrs May says she wants. As was revealed by a sharp-eyed cameraman observing some official papers in Downing Street, British policy was to " have our cake and eat it" - for our products to be treated as if we still were in the EU whilst not being bound by its rules - not a very reasonable attitude. Some companies are already setting up subsidiaries or making arrangements with Customs Clearance agents in the EU in anticipation of these requirements. In her Florence speech, Mrs May did refer to a "dispute resolution procedure" i.e a body having power to police arrangements to reduce the "friction" at the border - similar in this respect to the powers presently exercised ultimately by the European Court of Justice . This is all rather late in the day. We only have until 29 March 2019.

I was on a Ministry of Agriculture committee in 1972, charged with preparing the country grain traders and feed millers for joining the EEC. We needed a year's preparation to comply with the new system and I don't think the changes can be any less complex when travelling in the opposite direction. I wrote up my experience in four short, non technical episodes under the title " The Miller's Tale" on the website .

DeeDee99 said...

They're not begging for money - they're attempting to extort it with menaces. Any pretence that these people are our friends and allies was abandoned a long time ago, now they're behaving like the Mafiosi.

We have a Budget coming up. Hammond should send a shot across their bows by reducing Corporation Tax.

Why any Brit would want to stay in this appalling organisation is beyond me.

Mr Ecks said...

Edward Spalton. You have a bureaucrats poisonous view of the world and life.

Let the EU try ALL their tricks. Our only danger is our own shite "leaders"--treasonous cultural Marxist scum that they are.

Unless all of that nonsense is swept away then there will be no worthwhile future anyway. Only free trade can ultimately prosper all of mankind.

You will say not--but the dictum of Mandy Rice-Davies applies as always.

Anonymous said...

If you look for problems you'll always find them but then life is a risk, before DDAY, back in June 1944 how the hell did, could, would, they foresee every problem? At some point you've got to say "GO!" Did we liberate Europe only for them to impose governmemt by diktat and bondsmanship wrapped in gilded chains [ the ECJ] for that is what it is the unelected their persecution, authoritarian governance only to their own ends WITH NO REDRESS.

For Gods sake, we need another way of thinking and they [the EU] seek desperately to trade with us, the other way around - Britain to EU not so much. Evidently, that is the key ie more jobs are dependent on British cash and markets for continental goods [watch any set of UK TV adverts] sur le continent [mainly in the Fatherland] rather than the other way around.

The French will always play silly buggers, what we need is less of the charades of brinkmanship from 'le cretin des alpes' barnier............but to advise, "do you know what we say fuck you!" to actually walk away.

Domo said...

The problem with your arguement is its based on rules that can be changed at the drop of a hat.

Rule addendum
For a period of 10 years the UK has a licence to accept goods for the EU market
See, problem solved.

The UK already does this
The EU cant possibly replace the UKs import machinery in time.
Goods from third nations that are shipped to the UK, checked, then exported across the EU will need to be diverted to an EU port, and there isnt one with capacity.

Cull The Badgers said...

No Radders - NO MONEY. We should not pay for a trade deal. NO MONEY. Do not weaken.

Anonymous said...

Edward Spalton - well said (or written). Factual comments like this however usually just attract shrieks of "TRAITOR" etc, on Radders (otherwise generally sound) blog. Keep trying though.

We voted in the referendum to leave the EU. It was our government that decided to also leave the single market - to become a "Third Country". That means that the EU, under WTO rules, can't discriminate against us: it has to treat us the same as any other Third Country.

The problem is that Third Country means that all the "frictionless" trade that we currently enjoy with the EU will suddenly stop as it hits all the non-tariff barriers that surround the single market.

Sure, long term, free trade is the way to go - it's just that we want the transition to be a managed process rather than a plane-crash type "event". Staying in the EEA single market by rejoining EFTA means that we avoid most of the problems, leave the EU and get the benefits of the original "Common Market" that we were sold back then.

I'm worried that the government, driven by the Tory "Ultras" is making such a complete mess of leaving that, when the true horror becomes apparent to the electorate, we will have to go crawling back to the EU and end up being manipulated into not leaving at all.

Have a look at for a lot of well researched info...


Anonymous said...

I worked in the civil service once and it was full of people with Edward, Gareth and Richard North's attitude - 'there must be a rule that stops us doing this'.
During that time I saw an identical process being carried out by government in the UK and contractor in the USA. The UK process required the principle actor to be someone close to retirement whose every move was directed by one man to read the book, another man to check that he had read the book and two other men to check the first two. In the US the process was carried out by two young men trained in that specific task and certified to carry it out.
We need more 'Can Do' competence and fewer 'procedures' that rubber-stamp horse meat as beef.

Edward Spalton said...

Dear Anonymous,
If you had read my account of the time, you would have seen that I was actually rather impressed in hindsight by the way the Ministry of Agriculture got the trade up to speed. The Minister's chief advisor was the late Sir Emrys Jones, a very practical man from a Welsh hill farming background, well known for his fondness of getting out of Whitehall and getting some mud on his boots. It was very efficiently handled. What we did not know until after the event was that Sir Emrys himself was deeply opposed to the Common Agricultural Policy, foreseeing the problems we later experienced. Having done the best job he could for the government and the industry, he resigned and became Principal of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. When I asked him how he liked his new job, he said " Man. If it wasn't for the bloody students and the bloody governors, the job would be bloody perfect!"

With regard to horse meat, my recollection is that producers had followed all the correct labelling procedures and that there was criminal relabelling before it ended up in the food factories where the distinctive difference in smell was not noticeable in the frozen blocks of meat which the operatives unpacked and threw into the mixers. But I have not gone back to look it up. I once came across some cases of lead poisoning from contaminated feed ingredients but again that was deliberate criminality to sell on product which was otherwise due to be destroyed. When the crime was known, the malefactors were traced and prosecuted.
Lead is not normally present in feed ingredients, so it is not usually tested for.

I have been strongly opposed to our EEC/EU membership since 1972 ( as you would know if you had read my article) and active in campaigning against it since the Eighties. So I rather resent your tone. I just don't want to see a botched Brexit causing unnecessary economic dislocation which would almost certainly give Mr Corbyn the keys to 10 Downing Street ( amongst other things)

English Pensioner said...

We have no-one capable of negotiation.
My attitude towards the EU on day one would have been "We are going to leave without any agreement and conduct business with the EU under WTO rules. If you want anything different let us know what you want and how much you are prepared to pay for it"

Anonymous said...

Mr. Spalton, I value your input even if we disagree at times your erudition and careful, thoughtful views are a joy to read and to fathom on.

Please, please do not be put off we do get a bit rough here but the conversation is always provoking, every one must be made welcome including even Tingey.

And Radders is a good man, a man who can talk and reason ,thankst o and with life experience aplenty. For heavens sake and may God not blimey, and that is something sorely lacking throughout our civil serviced and not least in Westminster, and those dickering Britain's more than solid case - with that popinjay Frog clown and his puppeteers, who ghost the moves, in Berlin.

Life experience - working outside of government, preferably running a business, a gamblers sixth sense and indefatiguability, implacability all resources sadly lacking across the broad sweep of Whitehall.

As we all know, SME's tell the tory slime to get on with Brexit and WTO rules for all, it is only the corporate blob banking and services blob and consisting of EU funded mouthpieces [IMF, World Bank, OECD et al] who whine about 'transition', the small boys say 'ASAP' as the principal UK employers and the only mechanism to 'make money' in the UK - perhaps lending a bigger ear to the SME's HMG would be far better adivised - because other than business who knows better about trade and commerce?

Budgie said...

Edward, Your claim that government papers showing the phrase: "have our cake and eat it" indicates an "unreasonable" attitude is a red-herring. It is not the government's considered view, and you know it.

Nor is it the attitude of Leaves such as myself who have always advocated giving 12 months notice and using the existing WTO deal. To gain a lot we must forgo a little. However, even our imports/exports of food to the Rest of the World (RoW) under our own rules and WTO trading show unequivocally that a) it can be done, and b) it is safe to do so. Your view is contradicted by the facts.

Moreover, there is no indication that we would be better off continuing to subjugate ourselves to the EU. Quite the reverse - otherwise you yourself would not have campaigned against the EU, and what it does to our country, for so long.

We have a chance - now - to escape from the EU. Take it. Dr North is good on details in his own subject - he knows 100x more than me about phytosanitary compliance - but he is not so good at taking steps back and seeing the big picture. He assumes the EU will act in good faith and stick to the rules. We know the EU doesn't. Follow his advice and we will appease the EU for no purpose - not because of Dr North, but because the EU is what it is.

Oldrightie said...

"The shriller", surely?

Dave_G said...


"We have no-one (without a vested interest capable of negotiation"

my addition in bold

The corruption is ripe and plain to see.

There are SOME I would trust over others - J R-M, Farage to name but two but even then I wouldn't trust that they COULD be corrupted/co-opted.

The decision to leave was made by the electorate. If need be the acceptance of the negotiated settlement should be put to a national vote too but NOT the basic premise to leave - that remains no matter what.

If control of the purse strings is placed back into the hands of the electorate (something that geezer over at EUReferendum bangs on about) then the British people can decide on whether or not the settlement is fair - not the co-opted negotiators with an eye to their own futures.

If any politician (Clegg et al) harps on about 'another vote' then AGREE - but state your position on this as above and let's see how they worm their way out of that argument.

Dave_G said...

...just to add to the above...

If the EU thought that it would be the British Electorate that gave the nod to the final settlement then they'd be hard pressed to continue their ridiculous demands - through weak/complicit negotiations on our side - in the face of a 'no agreement' vote result and a WTO exit scenario which we KNOW they don't want and can't cope with.

Anonymous said...

"I worked in the civil service once and it was full of people with Edward, Gareth and Richard North's attitude - 'there must be a rule that stops us doing this'."

I've never worked in government and quite like breaking rules, especially daft ones. I know North got locked up once for breaking some. Can't say about Edward...

That is not the problem - the problem is that the EU is full of such rule driven people. It is a regulatory union, that's what it does, so that is what it will do to us when Blighty becomes what the EU calls a "Third Country". If we rejoin EFTA we get to leave the EU, get the benefits of the "Common Market" and thwart the EU's ability to "punish" us.


PS: AFAIK, there is no actual sum of money yey under discussion. I think that we still have to agree the list of items that we might pay for (commitments that we made, etc.). Certainly, the original Telegraph headline number was just "making stuff up".

Edward Spalton said...

Firstly, having been actively pro independence for around 40 years, I respect everybody's strength of feeling. Secondly, I try hard to stick to facts and am grateful for corrections. Opinions drawn from them may, of course, vary. Time is running very short for businesses which have long production cycles- like agriculture which is something I deal with in this article, along with the chemicals industry. The article also includes links to two episodes of "The Miller's Tale" and one about those extraordinary people "Europhiles for a Sovereign Parliament? "



The website includes a range of opinions

Anonymous said...

Raedwald said:

'The fact is that the EU are quite desperate for British money.'

Indeed it is. The Germans alone will have to up their subs €5 billion per annum after we leave. What was it Martio Puzo said:

"Friendship and money is like oil and water."

Treat them like the slags they are and hardball them down to the line. We'll pay what's fair but not a penny more - thanks to Heath they've had four decades taking fish from our waters so they should think themselves lucky. Fucking space cadets in Brussels were never our friends anyway, unlike the actual people of Europe who in my experience tend to think more of us than our own fucking government.

Come Sunday when the bell stops chiming they'll be reminded how much we gave. Cunts.


Budgie said...

Gareth at 13:38 said: "If we rejoin EFTA we get to leave the EU, get the benefits of the Common Market ...". None of that is true.

We don't get the "benefits" of the "Common Market" (you mean the Single Market) solely by re-joining the EFTA. To do that we would have to sign up to the EU's EEA agreement, after re-joining the EFTA. If that happened (and permission is not automatic) we would again be subject to all the EU's Single Market rules and controls - specifically free movement of capital and labour.

We specifically voted against that.

Anonymous said...

@ Budgie:

The UK is already a contracting party to the EEA agreement; we would not need to sign up so no EU permission required. We would need the EFTA states to agree - we might have to say "please" ;-)

We would loose about 3/4 of the EU acquis. Most of the rest is useful stuff anyway that you need for free trade in the single market (which is basically the "Common Market" that we were originally sold. minus the EU's political "ever closer union".

Out of the EU and back in EFTA we would get back our own voice on international bodies that make the rules that the EU then implements. Norway for example has its own seat on the fishing bodies; we get to be "represented" by the EU.

Art 112/113 of the EEA provides a mechanism for restricting free movement. Lichtenstein already makes use of this for labour. Iceland restricted movement of capital during the banking crisis. Personally I'm not worried about free movement of European workers, but I know some are.

It is quite obviously untrue to say that "We specifically voted against that" (free movement of capital and labour). The question on the ballot paper was to Leave the EU or to Remain in the EU. It was silent on all other questions.

Why not hop over to, read the Flexcit plan and the monographs and get some clue?


DeeDee99 said...

@Edward Spelton

As a recently retired Civil Servant (junior management)- so with recent experience of the "can't do/won't do" attitude which permeates some sectors - I venture to suggest that the Civil Service of the 1970s was both more efficient, had more integrity and was less politicised that the post-Blair version of the 21st century.

It is well known that the Mandarins do not want to leave the EU and there is every reason to believe that they will make the process as difficult as possible.

Bill Quango MP said...

Shame the Good Doctor is such an insufferable bureaucrat.
All that knowledge. All that detail.
Years and years of working for a way to leave the EU.

He alienates everyone, everywhere, every time.

Budgie said...

Gareth, No, we are currently in the Single Market (the EEA) by virtue of being in the EU. When we leave the EU we automatically cease to be in the EEA, that is established fact. To sign up to the stand-alone EEA agreement, we would have to re-join the EFTA first.

The EU has stated unequivocally that we must accept free movement of capital and labour if we are to get the "benefits" of single market membership. Signing back up to the EEA is their game, their rules.

The Referendum paper was silent on many things, and couldn't be otherwise to be comprehensible, but immigration was one of the three top issues on which the whole campaign was fought. The principal Leave slogan was: "Take back control".

Some years ago there was a split amongst eurosceptics. One side advocated using Art50 to escape the EU, and the other wanted to leave using establish international law to abrogate treaties. Dr North was a leader of the former, whilst I was one of the latter group.

Essentially I said (as others did too): if you think the EU will stick to the rules and be fair and reasonable, you haven't been paying attention for the last 40 years (now 45). That is now being demonstrated daily.

Moreover he insisted that converting all the EU laws which run our modern state, would be such a complicated task we would need an extended transition. That was before anyone thought of "patriating" all EU Regulations in one go. That newer idea now makes the original reason for Flexcit irrelevant.

John M said...

What I find interesting is that thier attitude is one of projecting strength, unity and confidence but thier shrill demands betray an EU which is self obsessed and almost shitting the bed because the money is about to run out.

The whole EU negotiating stance has no interest in the trade, laws and freedom to travel which would benefit the citizens of Europe and everything to go with feeding the pointless bureaucracy in Brussels. I hope the peoples of Euope will take note.

Edward Spalton said...

I think you may be right. Something else occurred about the same time in the civil service - what I might call the intrusion of " Managerialism"' the belief that "business methods" would shake up the hidebound, clueless bureaucrats.What it usually meant was that the people at the top would hire highly paid consultants to tell them what to do, according to the latest fad. If it didn't go right, they could always say " We took the very bast advice" . So nobody was ever at fault.

The first recognisable demonstration I had of this was around 1968/70. My aunt, a Deputy Matron, had taken long leave to look after her ailing mother but was keeping in touch with the hospital. I found her one day, surrounded by piles of glossy folders and fat manuals in expensive bindings, .concerning the reorganisation of hospitals. " I have read everything" she said " And can't find a mention of the patients anywhere!"

The NHS goes through such reorganisations around every five or ten years. Heaven knows how much effort this has diverted from the actual care of the sick.

My wife used to work in local government and said that every such reorganisation always involved the creation of additional,senior posts.
So, that is the genesis of your perceptive opinion. We were doing it to ourselves before theEU but the EU certainly speeded up the tendency.

Jumbo Driver said...

Gareth, from the House of Commons on 6th November by Steve Baker MP.

"It is not only the Government who have made that clear. The man who led the European Council’s legal service for 22 years, Jean-Claude Piris, wrote in an article in September that the UK

“will automatically cease to be an EEA member when leaving the EU.”

He added:

“Neither the EU, nor its current 28 member States, are members of EFTA. After Brexit, the UK, not being a member of EFTA, and not anymore an EU member, could not be an EEA member”.

The president of the EFTA court, Dr Carl Baudenbacher, who has been quoted a number of times today, has also explained that the UK will lose EEA membership automatically when we leave the EU:

“A State can only be an EEA Contracting Party either qua EU membership or qua EFTA membership.”

John O'Leary said...

Monsieur Barnier! He is a frenchman not a German/Austrian/Swiss.