Tag Archives: Mrs May



The 730 days to Brexit countdown begins today as Article 50 is triggered in Brussels. Its perhaps worth reminding ourselves that Britain’s exit from the EU need never have happened had the former PM Cameron come back from Brussels with just one or two concessions. Plainly, he thought his communication skills could win the referendum battle for his remain side without some meaningful movement on issues from other member states. Some maintain he didn’t try hard enough. Many in the UK were particularly unhappy over the free movement of peoples across our borders. The European Court of Justice’s supremacy in this country over certain matters also created much resentment.

Undoubtedly, the UK joining up to the original European free trade area was an excellent idea. However, over the past 40 years, this community of economic cooperation slowly morphed into a federalist structure reaching into many aspects of people’s lives in all member states. Not all interference was bad, but its overarching influence was seen to be increasingly dictatorial. People in the UK became ever more resentful of the not so faceless, non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels.

Despite the unending pessimistic drivel churned out by the BBC since the referendum result became known – not for nothing is it known to many as the British Bolshevik Corporation – there is a definite mood of optimism in the country that we have the right kind of leader in Mrs May who will deliver the best for Britain in the negotiations ahead. 

These should not be seen just as tough, as all these parrot-like commentators keep telling us, but also as sensible. The contents of the PM’s letter to Donald Tusk later today will be revealing on the likely tone of these negotiations, but in a gesture of goodwill and positivity, I hope Mrs May straight away will confirm her readiness to guarantee the future rights of the 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

The EU negotiators will also need to be sensible. It is surely impossible for them to go into the talks thinking they hold a stronger hand than we do. If so, there is little doubt that they will soon feel the heavy hand of German car and French wine exporters, to name but two.

Best of British, Mrs May!




We hope!

The media and the rest of the chattering classes are all geared up for Theresa May’s big speech tomorrow in which more definitive information on the Government’s Brexit strategy is expected.

The problem of uncontrolled migration from EU countries into the UK was a key factor in the Referendum outcome last June. If the result is to be respected, it follows that the UK must leave the single market and also the customs union. The only way we could stay in both is if we were allowed full and continued access to EU markets on the same terms as we now enjoy, but without being shackled by the freedom of movement requirement, and without the imposition of tariffs. This is the position for which our negotiators should aim. Would the EU countries not benefit from a similar future reciprocal trading situation with the UK, ie an ‘open’ relationship?

Obviously, British markets will remain vital to other EU countries. We should therefore be confident in our attitude to the negotiations to access and operate within the single market, without the freedom of movement and any other conditions. If the EU proves to be obstructive or unreasonable in the negotiations, and all things considered one cannot see why they would want to be, we should waste no time in giving Brussels notice of our intention to leave the EU at a time advantageous to us. Future trade would then be conducted under WTO rules.

Following the PM’s recent comments, it appears that leaving the single market may well be the direction of travel. It would be far from the end of the world. No trade agreement exists between the UK and the USA, for example, yet they are our largest single export market. Free trade deals with other countries facilitate and help to expand existing trading bonds. These ties have been continued by successive generations of British entrepreneurs on a foundation built by their predecessors over many centuries. Our business men and women are the real deal-makers.

With goodwill on both sides, we can retain our current strong trade links with Europe. But we must also re-establish serious trading links with other non-EU countries, unhindered by unacceptable conditions imposed by Brussels. If necessary, and as a matter of priority, the Government must be prepared to introduce radical new measures to make the UK an even more attractive place to do business. Here, inter alia, I refer to significant changes to existing tax and investment rules. In other words, we would change the UK economic model to make us seriously more competitive.

I’m sure Mrs May will not disappoint! 




Contrary to the constant moaning from her critics, Mrs May is slowly lifting the lid on her Brexit thinking, obviously without too much detail. Over the past day or two, in a statement to Parliament, and before the imperious and rather grand Mr Andrew Tyrie, and his select committee, we have been allowed an insight into some of her thinking. We hope that her promised further statement to Parliament in early January will provide more substantive fodder. 

While there can be no way that Mrs May can accede to the Scottish Nationalists demands, as outlined by the Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon today, it would be quite wrong for them to be dismissed out of hand. Certainly, much of what is in Ms Sturgeon’s latest shopping list is nothing but a thinly-disguised attempt to gain further substantial devolved powers, ie  de facto Independence.

Nevertheless, the majority of Scots voting to remain in the EU at the referendum was substantial. As much as one may admire and support Mrs May, and while we may agree that the proposals put forward by the SNP are unrealistic, the UK Government must be seen by all Scots to work with the Edinburgh administration to ascertain what common purpose they may be able to unite on in the Brexit negotiations. It is therefore gratifying that the UK Government has welcomed the publication of the SNP proposals and that they will be fed into its overall thinking on the British case to be put to the EU.

Put simply, Scotland’s perceived problems as a result of the UK leaving the EU may require a series of unique solutions, not necessarily those advocated by Ms Sturgeon, and many will hope that these matters will receive a more sympathetic hearing in London than has hitherto seemed to be the case.

Furthermore, while one may not disagree with the Scottish Tory leader Ms Ruth Davidson’s remarks on Ms Sturgeon’s proposals, these should not be based on the political opinion that the SNP could not win another independence referendum. We all know that polls are fickle and can change almost overnight. Most Scots, even Unionists, are nationalists at heart and have a marked affinity with the European continent which may not be shared to the same degree  by the other countries comprising the UK. What are Ms Davidson’s solutions to protect Scottish interests?

Many of those who watched the UK Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox’s interview on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show will be left wondering whether he is in the process of changing his stand on the single market and customs union. Rightly or wrongly, this seemed to be a no contest position for Fox, but many were left with the distinct impression that he may now be wobbling. Could this be down to the realisation that certain business sectors may be greatly disadvantaged otherwise? He wasn’t giving too much away.

Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s lead, ‘Transitional’ arrangements are now being referred to by various ministers. Mrs May and her Gang of 3, Messrs Davis, Fox and Johnson, should avoid this scenario at all costs. According to those who seem to know, such a deal could cost us some 250 million pounds per week, and just as importantly, any transitional agreement could take longer to arrange than a conclusive final treaty. Other resources such as manpower, which we all know is in short supply, should be used more profitably to secure a final deal.

After all the political humbug of the past few days, it was really refreshing to see Mrs May so expertly put Mr Tyrie in his place!