Hard Brexit

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, January 18th, 2017 - 97 comments
Categories: Europe, Globalisation, im/migration, trade, uk politics - Tags: , , , ,

Theresa May has finally set out some guidelines on the shape of Brexit:

Prime minister vows to put final Brexit deal before parliament

She said her government’s 12 priorities for crunch negotiations with the EU 27 meant Britain would:
• Not be seeking membership of the single market after it leaves the EU.
• Take back control of its borders, which she said had been impossible with free movement from within Europe.
• No longer be under the jurisdiction of the European court of justice, arguing: “We will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws.”
• Not stay in the customs union in its current form, but would try to strike a separate deal that would make trading across borders as “frictionless as possible”.

Her promise of a vote for MPs and peers follows demands from Labour and the Lib Dems, as well as parliament’s committee on Brexit, but Downing street sources made clear that parliament would not be able to stop Britain leaving the EU. That suggests that failure to pass a vote will result in Britain falling back on to the higher tariffs of World Trade Organisation rules.

May also insisted that she was determined to reach an early deal on the question of the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living abroad – an issue she had raised with European leaders. “Many of them favour such an agreement – one or two others do not,” said May….

Hard Brexit it is. Further analysis from The Guardian here: Hard Brexit will hurt UK more, say EU diplomats and business leaders. Could be good news for NZ though, as a diminished England looks round for new trade.

97 comments on “Hard Brexit”

  1. Nic the NZer 1

    Given the prior record of such forecasters one may (from observation) expect their rhetoric to be 100% wrong. Maybe this will be quite good for the UK economically? Being bolted into a trading area which is recovering from a depression is probably not that good for exports for one thing.

    It is of course pertinent to point out that the EU does not support tax havens. Ahem, Luxembourg. Ahem, Ireland. Cough, Junker, Cough.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Theresa May on radio this morning trumpeting like Trump about greatness.
    Or does she see herself as Margaret Thatcher’s embodiment, and a warrior queen like Boadicea. Britain hasn’t been successful in getting everything it wants in Brexit and if they imagine they are going to steam away from Europe to which they are geographically and historically connected in so many forgotten ways, they are fooling themselves. And being USA lapdog won’t avail themselves of peace in our time.

    Does anyone remember the recording of satirical political pre-election Britain in the 1970s? One old politician was corresponding with USA officials and noted they had interesting stamps on the letters which he gave to the Russian ambassador who was a stamp collector. Said that it was all a lot of guff that he didn’t want to know about, something about washing powder called nuclear detergent.

  3. Pat 3

    about the only thing anyone can say with any confidence re Brexit and its impact on the economies of the UK, the Eurozone or indeed NZ is that it is unlikely to be positive on the whole……and the detail of any impact is a lottery.

    • Gosman 3.1

      Why won’t it be positive in your mind? I’m curious how people on the left think there will be negative economic consequences from leaving a free trade and movement area.

      • Pat 3.1.1

        well i guess there is one way you could say it will likely be positive in that it is likely to reduce growth, and reduced consumption is vital in terms of CC….however from a purely economic standpoint we will likely see a beggar thy neighbour approach and that will hit the poorest and smallest the hardest….and we are relatively poor and small.

        as far as NZ is concerned the loss of CAP payments to UK ag is going to force thousands of hectares back in to production and consequent price pressure on NZs commodities( among other things)…and the restraining influence on French ag will also be gone…..80,s style butter mountains anyone?

        Having said that it was all likely inevitable in any case, whether it was Brexit or something else

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          I’m still not quite sure I follow your logic why this will have negative economic consequences for all involved.

          Surely as a leftist you think protectionism benefits the local economy as you can protect your own businesses and workers from countries that will undercut you.

          I don’t follow your take on agriculture either. The EU is unlikely to start increasing subsidies to farmers as a result of the UK leaving as they simply don’t have enough funds and Germany isn’t willing to give more.

          • Pat 3.1.1.1.1

            Its not difficult….its not just protectionism, it is a trade war….or rather will be.

            The EU (and the UK) are going to be under huge political pressure from their domestic producers, esp in ag, to “buy local” so subsidies quotas and tariffs will be employed by all parties…..the funds won’t be the issue, the world hasn’t had the funds to allow tax haven activity and yet there they are….many within the EU, and the UK is shaking that stick already.

            As with all things, to get the best result requires balance….we are in the process of lurching from one extreme to another.

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Stiglitz also convincingly argues that the Eurozone needs several ‘trade war’ policies to work. The primary problem being Germany constantly running a trade surplus which (as much as the resulting equal and opposite trade deficits) causes key imbalances across the Eurozone. His proposals include several ‘trade war’ measures to impose restrictions on trade surpluses motivated primarily by Germany not being willing to address the imbalance of its own vollition.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Why would the UK and EU engage in a trade war after the UK leaves? What would the motivation for either side be?

              • Pat

                seriously???…..money of course. …To be continued , ptdpts.

                • Gosman

                  Money??? Why don’t other nations engage in Trade wars now then?

                  • Pat

                    your putting the cart before the horse…..money is the motivating factor in all trade…..and will remain the motivating factor in a trade war.

                    Trade wars however will however reduce the moneys available to both parties (inflationary)….one may outlast the other (deeper pockets) but really there are no winners and the risk of physical conflict is greatly increased.

                    • Gosman

                      You don’t understand the point of trade. Money just enables it to be facilitated. It is not the primary motivation behind it.

                  • Pat

                    “profit” if you prefer…as represented by money….unless of course you believe that the basis of trade is altruism.

                    • Gosman

                      No, that isn’t the point of trade at all. You can in fact trade without money and therefore profit.

                    • lprent []

                      You can in fact trade without money and therefore profit.

                      I find it weird that you think that profit is only in terms of money. Are you really that much of an economic retard?

                  • Pat

                    “can”is a wonderful word isn’t it…..people “can” be altruistic, how many are?

                    Your original question…”.Why would the UK and EU engage in a trade war after the UK leaves? What would the motivation for either side be?”

                    just to be clear, you are now asserting that international trade is motivated by what exactly?….scotch mist?

                    • Gosman

                      You stated money was the motivator behind all trade. That just shows that you don’t understand the real purpose of trade

                    • McFlock

                      see Pat, the problem is that you gave Gosman an absolute that he can parse to his rotten heart’s content, returning a syntax error on “all” as an obssessive distraction to the fact that if you’d said “vast majority” or even “almost all” you’d have him bang to rights.

                      Now he’s pretending you’re a simpleton just because some kids in the playground might swap their lunches without considering the monetary value.

                      In fact his 13:47hrs comment “No, that isn’t the point of trade at all” dares us to believe that money isn’t even the point of trade for the minions in Goldman Sachs, ffs.

                    • Pat

                      no worries McFlock, is quite amusing to watch Gosman duck weave and fall over his own feet.

                    • McFlock

                      preaching to the converted there, pat 🙂

                  • Pat

                    “You stated money was the motivator behind all trade. That just shows that you don’t understand the real purpose of trade”

                    lol…which is it Gosman…motivator or purpose? ..as a matter of interest , how is trade measured…by the number of satisfied consumers perhaps? or by time saved….care to guess?

                    • Gosman

                      Trade by it’s very nature will lead to satisfied parties on both sides.

                    • Pat

                      “Trade by it’s very nature will lead to satisfied parties on both sides.”

                      how long did you spend coming up with that irrelevant meaningless statement?

                    • Gosman

                      It is not meaningless. It encapsulates the point of trade. You have yet to explain why you think people trade beyond your inane and inaccurate ‘To make money’.

                    • Pat

                      tell you what Gosman, I’ll address your new question (the purpose of trade as opposed to the motivation of those engaged in it) about the same time you admit they are two different questions and that you have conveniently moved from one to the other…..your choice.

                    • Gosman

                      Fine I’ll acknowledge that if you can tell me why people trade with one another (other than to make money or profits, which is not the reason).

                    • Pat

                      simply to obtain wants/needs they cannot either supply themselves or supply at lesser input……a somewhat different answer to the somewhat different question “Why would the UK and EU engage in a trade war after the UK leaves? What would the motivation for either side be?” or ‘Money??? Why don’t other nations engage in Trade wars now then?”

                      Trade is governed by factors such as , scarcity, custom(regulation) time and even fashion that can and do change, factors that vary between different parties even at the same time, the goal of those engaged in trade is to maximise return (profit) and their actions will alter in relation to any change in those factors to maintain or increase that profit, even trading at a short term loss if they ultimately expect a better long term profit, if no profit then ultimately no trade (no one can run at loss endlessly)…profit is measured and represented by money so i ask you…what is the motivation in trade?

          • Tricledrown 3.1.1.1.2

            gooseman farmers have already been promised more subsidies by the Tories other wise under first past the post rural electorates have more power.
            It would damage those rural electorates permanently causing depopulation cutting the number of Tory easy win seats.
            Tories and subsidies funny that gooseman
            Same in Japan Same in the US Trump lost by 3,000,000 votes but won the rural seats by promising to can the TPpa

          • Tricledrown 3.1.1.1.3

            Germany knows the value of strategic food supply and will keep subsidizing agriculture in case of war.
            Not having your own food supply is a recipe for defeat.
            Like wise manufacturing.

        • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.2

          I recently read Stiglitz book on the Euro, where he argues that the Eurozone is engaged in a literal competitive beggar thy neighbour strategy right now. Why would the UK distancing itself politically from this cause a “a beggar thy neighbour approach”?

          • Pat 3.1.1.2.1

            the Euro is an internal beggar thy neighbour approach,mainly for the benefit of german exports….we are talking this approach being employed worldwide….and you seem to have forgotten that the UK establishment didn’t want this.

            • Pat 3.1.1.2.1.1

              and as all (as far as I know) economists have noted the beggar thy neighbour approach within the EU was unsustainable without huge transfer payments (or debt forgiveness)

              • Nic the NZer

                Unfortunately some of these economists (the ones involved is Greek bailouts) only realised this after experimenting with beggar Greece strategies on the Greek economy. With hind sight this is a mistake which they will no doubt continue to repeat for every other bailout program they are involved in. As has happened again and again and again…

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.2.1.2

              It seems plainly obvious that you have no basis what so ever for what your arguing will happen. Funny that!

              The UK establishment didn’t want this (the wanted to remain, which would have benefited them, but didn’t seem to benefit large groups of non elites) but they did put it to a referendum. While you seem wedded to the feeling that whatever UK elites wanted was positive that is just your gut opinion.

              • Pat

                you’re a strange fellow….what basis does this statement have?

                “While you seem wedded to the feeling that whatever UK elites wanted was positive that is just your gut opinion.”

                or for that matter…

                ‘It seems plainly obvious that you have no basis what so ever for what your arguing will happen. Funny that!”

                What part of tariffs, quotas and subsidy impacts do you not understand?…or do you somehow believe that productivity will not be affected by an almost complete reconfiguration of supply chains, labour pools and market access ….the short and medium term impacts will not be insignificant…unless you know of some magical way to change that all overnight (or in the 2 years or so that they have)?

                • Nic the NZer

                  Since the EU has all of tarriffs, quotas and subsidies then we are just expecting the disruption to be the issue? Or are you saying that the UK will self impose destructive trade policies on itself, without the guiding hand of political mentors in the EU?

                  If its just reconfiguration then, no I don’t expect to see a negative impact on productivity from the dissruption. Those impacted by the dissruption will be gaining skills in developing new markets. GDP is usually boosed by a dissruption (one where aggregate demand does not fall) and this will probably happen here to a small extent.

                  The reason it’s difficult to understand the basis for what your arguing is its often not stated in your comments, and many of these measures are in the EU regulations being shed.

                  • Pat

                    two inescapable reasons short/medium term aggregate demand must be negatively impacted…reduced productivity and population.
                    in excess of 90% of uk seasonal add workers are EU migrants, over 40% of full time ag workers and 38% of all food manufacturing employees are migrant…..thats just food and ag…..now you may argue that those workers can be replaced from local unemployed but that ignores the logistics of retraining, redeploying (they don’t live where the work is) duplication and the inflationary impact of those pressures….already noted previously…. you may also argue that those migrant workers haven’t disappeared and are still creating demand which is true to an extent however they are not productive in their own communities or would be there in the main already..i.e. the work is not there for them so they travel.

                    The Uk has 1.2 million citizens living and working in EU, many of who are retired, whereas the EU has 3.2million living and working in UK, over 2 million of who are working…..on top of this there is outward flows from both communities to other economies AND the flow of immigrants from outside is being curtailed.

                    we could add a third driver and that is the fact the governments of both sides are neolibs and have demonstrated no desire to use fiscal policy to support/increase aggregate demand….are they likely to start doing so ?

                    As to acting against their own interests, the EU has amply demonstrated politics trumps economics….think Greece.

      • Gristle 3.1.2

        To Gosman,

        By implication you are saying that the benefits of not being in a free trade zone exceed those of being in a free trade zone. Please advise of your position on the TPP.

        • Gosman 3.1.2.1

          No, I don’t believe that. I understand the benefits of free(er) trade. I’m trying to understand why left wingers who generally have issues with free trade think there may be downsides to the UK leaving the EU. I presume you are one who thinks free trade is good. Why do you think that?

          • Tricledrown 3.1.2.1.1

            Free Trade in Europe where every country is relatively equal is totally different to the Tipa Tppa which favoured the biggest country agenda.
            The EU subsidized poorer countries to bring them up to a similar standard phasing them out as those economies when they catch.
            Newer countries get more subsidies .
            Tppa had the threat of law suits and looking at Canada they face several hundred billion in law suit’s.
            They are uses to stifle competition by forcing company’s

  4. lprent 4

    The problem for NZ with trade agreements is that the disunity kingdom (the “United Kingdom” seems somewhat ridiculous these days) can’t really do much with trade agreements until after it leaves the EU. Their EU treaty explicitly forbids it.

    The earliest that they can start negotiating one seriously is March 2020, assuming that they exercise article 50 in March as has been protended.

    At this point we would probably be better concentrating MFAT’s scarce resources on some more worthwhile goals.

    • Gosman 4.1

      There can (and likely will be) unofficial work on trade agreements before the UK leaves the EU. It is certainly in the UK’s interest to do so and what penalties do they suffer if this happens? They are leaving the EU so they won’t be subject to any sanctions from that side for very long. Ultimately you could have a draft agreement ready to go and the official negotiations will be quite quick.

      • Johan 4.1.1

        Precisely, just like Tim Grosser and his pontification of the TPPA being of great benefit to New Zealand;-) Another dead rat to swallow for the Tories abroad and an opportunity Bill English for some glossy photo sessions abroad, a big PR effort to discover if Bill has any charisma or leadership qualities. Yeah Right!

    • Enough is Enough 4.2

      I would expect the UK to have as many Trade Deals as possible ready to go on day 1. That means negotiating them in parallel to Brexit negotiations.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Yes and the so called restriction on this will be observed in a similar manner to the law prohibiting pot.

      • DeadSmurf 4.2.2

        I’m not so sure that the UK will be able to negotiate parallel trade deals. It is a very long time since the UK have negotiated a trade deal on their own and wouldn’t the specialists would be working in Brussels for the EU?

        There would need to be a lot of capability building before the UK could negotiate Brexit as well as parallel deals.

  5. Wayne 5

    There will two parallel paths for the negotiation. First, the Brexit negotiations with the EU, second the new deals with NZ, US, Australia and Canada (and no doubt others). On the date the UK leaves, the new deal will kick in.

    The fact that May has gone for a hard Brexit, and that a number of her team have good relations with Trump, would indicate they see an opportunity to sell a good deal to the people of the UK. They might want to do it sooner than later, say coming into effect around Jan 1 2019, when they are both in office and get to sell the benefits.

    In fact this could be a “Five Eyes” FTA. It would not need any Investor Dispute provisions (unnecessary as all have quality common law courts), and probably could have some provision for working visas substantially better than the current.

    If this was the case it would be exceptionally good for NZ, since we get a deal we don’t have with the US, the UK and Canada.

    It would also appeal to Trump’s vanity. He is against TPP, so it seems pointless to pursue that at this stage.

    But Trump is pro Brexit. Anything that helps Brexit and the US simultaneously would be seen, to use his words, a tremendous deal.

    • Ad 5.1

      Still looking forward to that list of foreign affairs achievements since this National government has been in power Wayne.

    • Craig H 5.2

      I’d go with that – there’s a movement out there for a CANZUK FTA and free movement area, and adding the USA would be fine if they were interested.

    • Tricledrown 5.3

      Pissing into the wind is trumps idea how is a small country going to generate enough trade to make up for the loss of Europe 330 million after Brexit.
      Five eyed misdirecting Wayne.

  6. Ad 6

    For those who want to hear what one of the real leaders of the current world sound like when doing a considered long form speech, here’s Premier Xi of China, on the perils and progress of economic globalisation and China’s place within it.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/full-text-of-xi-jinping-keynote-at-the-world-economic-forum

    About a million miles away from May and Trump.

    • Anne 6.1

      Thanks Ad. Very good speech. Didn’t Trump tell us that China was the world’s biggest enemy?

      Fits in quite nicely too with my response to Wayne @ 7.

      • Observer Tokoroa 6.1.1

        I had a quick read of the * great speech * Anne. Found no mention of the fact that China has gained immensely from taking the manufacturing jobs of the global world.

        You may have noticed some disquiet about that here and there – globally.

        Not that that is the only way they undermine formerly good economies.

  7. Anne 7

    …a number of her team have good relations with Trump, would indicate they see an opportunity to sell a good deal to the people of the UK.

    …If this was the case it would be exceptionally good for NZ, since we get a deal we don’t have with the US, the UK and Canada.

    A very pragmatic approach there Wayne but do you see that as a good reason to applaud Theresa May’s negotiation tactics? I don’t think so.

    OK, it might open up a useful trade opportunity for the UK and NZ in a few years time but… remember the massive elephant in the room. A bombastic, cretinous, ignorant , narcissistic, egomaniac who has the potential to destroy this world of ours several times over. (And I’m not meaning just in terms of the nuclear button). What use would any trade negotiations be then?

    • Wayne 7.1

      Trump will probably be in power for only 4 years, but a FTA of the UK, the US, Australia, NZ and Canada would last many decades.

      Why would you not go for the opportunity if it is possible? Having Chris Liddell in the White House might just help the prospects.

      It is all too easy to focus on the defaults of Trump, but he is going to be the President in three days.

      It is probably now time to think of the opportunities he presents. The US is too big and too connected to the world for us to pretend we can simply ignore it for the next four years.

      I would have thought that such an FTA is such an opportunity. Although I guess for many Standardnistas all FTA’s are ipso facto bad.

      • Nic the NZer 7.1.1

        A trade (investor rights) agreement between a network of countries which setup a joint spy network (evading, or violating, restrictions on spying on their own citizens) in secret without democratic oversight? What could possibly be questionable about that?

        I can just see the economic projections now. 0.1% increase in GDP growth over 40 years. Hooray, stock up the Fridge Wayne lets throw a big celebration.

        • Wayne 7.1.1.1

          Nic the NZer

          Rather proving my final point about Standarnistas.

          I suppose you are also against CER since both Australia and New Zealand are both Five Eyes members.

          • Nic the NZer 7.1.1.1.1

            No, I am primarily against these agreements being negotiated in completely un-necessary secrecy. If we can *all* have a decent idea of whats in them, *before* they are signed, then they can be acceptable.

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Most international agreements are conducted in secret. Climate change negotiations do not happen openly.

              What do you see the point of trade is?

              • Nic the NZer

                Seems NZ ratified the Paris agreement in 2016. Already in December 2015 there are articles describing what is in that agreement. Seems you should retract your claim that trade agreements *must* be conducted in secrecy now. Unless you can show me the massive leak of that agreement (which we both know doesn’t exist).

              • Tricledrown

                They happen in Secret so corporate lobbyist’s aren’t exposed to democracy.

          • Tricledrown 7.1.1.1.2

            You post more than most on the standard Wayne does that make you a standardnasty.

      • Anne 7.1.2

        I guess for many Standardnistas all FTA’s are ipso facto bad.

        Actually you are wrong. Not all Standardnistas view FTA’s as ipso facto bad. Some of us (indeed it might be many of us) are well disposed towards them if they fill certain criteria and don’t affect our sovereign rights as a nation. I’m one of them.

        But there is a wider picture that also has to be taken into consideration when viewing the current international situation – trade or otherwise. And that of course is the orange neanderthal about to take office in the USA. I’m more optimistic than you. I doubt he will complete his 4 year term. He will be rolled – one way or another – well before then.

        • red-blooded 7.1.2.1

          Fingers crossed, Anne…🤞

          And Gosman, not all on this site are fervently anti-free trade. If free trade agreements are fair and ethical, they can be beneficial. Not all agreements meet that standard, but it’s one we should always aim for and if a particular agreement falls far short then we shouldn’t be afraid to walk away.

          • Gosman 7.1.2.1.1

            Ethical I can understand but what is your definition of a ‘fair’ free trade agreement?

      • Pat 7.1.3

        “Trump will probably be in power for only 4 years, but a FTA of the UK, the US, Australia, NZ and Canada would last many decades.”

        Yep, can see those US, Canadian and UK farmers falling over themselves for a FTA….funny that they never have before….there will be no problem removing their subsidies this time round eh.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/hillary-clinton-rural-voters-trump-231266

  8. Infused 8

    It was always good for the UK. Bit of pain at first

  9. Glenn 9

    “No industry will be kicked harder by Brexit than farming. It is uniquely vulnerable for three reasons. Small changes to the amount of goods allowed to enter this country with low trade taxes (a system known as tariff rate quotas) could knock many farmers out of business. There are 86 agricultural products subject to these quotas in the EU, and the UK might have to renegotiate every one of them, in some cases with dozens of other nations. The complexity could be overwhelming.

    Without labourers from the EU, fruit and vegetable growers will not get their crops off the fields. As a result of perceived hostility and a weaker pound, migrant farm labour fell by 30% after the referendum last year. If the government ends free movement, many producers will go under.

    Most importantly, farmers here have developed a toxic dependency on European subsidies. These now provide, in aggregate, over half their income. It is hard to see how the government could keep paying them in their current form……

    …….New Zealand shows how not to do it. When subsidies were suddenly stopped there in 1984, small and medium-sized farms went under, and the government protected the remaining producers by scrapping environmental laws. It would not be surprising to see this happen here. European measures protecting the natural world, such as the habitats and birds directives, are likely to become zombie legislation in the UK after Brexit, as the institutions required to enforce them will no longer exist. ”
    http://www.monbiot.com/2017/01/11/grim-reaping/

    • Gosman 9.1

      Umm… when did NZ scrap environmental laws to help farmers?

    • Gosman 9.2

      This article shows why Monibot is a very poor journalist. He provides no evidence that the scrapping of subsidies caused NZ to ditch environmental laws or that significant small, and medium sized farms went to the wall. I believe the total numbers of farmers who failed was a few hundred out of thousands who very quickly started thriving under the new conditions.

      • Tricledrown 9.2.1

        When Nick Smith became environment minister Goose.
        When he sacked Ecan all the River’s on the Canterbury Plains are Fucked as a Direct consequence of Snake eyed Smith’s Undemocratic sabotage.
        That gave other regional councils a big scare so they followed suit.
        Dairy farming laissez faire
        Rivers now polluted everywhere.
        Nick Smith an environmental sabotaged.
        Then says it will be 75 years of keeping leechate out of rivers before they come clean.
        If I had my way I would make him drink the water from these rivers.

    • Ad 9.3

      Fonterra and Westland Milk will be rubbing their hands to get to markets stripped of those crap milk subsidies. English gentry farmers will crap their boots knowing Sainsbury’s will be ours to conquer.

  10. Peroxide Blonde 10

    England has declared Economic War on Europe.
    And it will be dirty. The EU has to get Euro trading and other financial services out of London and into Dublin/Frankfurt.
    Scotland and Ireland will be backing Europe. Northern Ireland will be a pawn the English play for leverage,
    America will have to choose sides. Trump will support the English until the Senate explains to him that 450m is bigger than 60m.

    England (inc wales, the United Kingdom is gone) is now run by a cabal that thinks it can re-create the days of Walter Raleigh, the East India Company and such likes. The English Labour Party is missing in action.

    NZ has been referenced in the past few days as an example of new Trade Opportunities. While the English consumer might benefit from lower or no tariffs on NZ meat and dairy imports it is hard to see what exports to NZ the English are not been able to achieve through EU agreements with NZ.

    While the Guardian is inhabited mainly by Remainers, The Telegraph comments expose a nasty rabid underbelly in middle England: its almost like reading Kiwiblog.

    • Wayne 10.1

      Peroxide Blonde,

      For the US FTA’s with the UK and the EU are not mutually exclusive. They will ultimately do both. It is just that the UK FTA will be way easier to do. It will also be deeper than the FTA that the US ultimately does with the EU, since it can cover work visas.

      Trump, (who will actually control the sequence through the USTR) will want to do the UK FTA first for a whole variety of reasons. Basically his general predilection in supporting Brexit, and dare I say it, the special rel;relationship.

      Because of the sequencing there is the opportunity to do a “Five Eyes” FTA.

    • Interested Observer 10.2

      “England has declared Economic War on Europe.”

      It is the UK not only England.

      England is only a part of the UK, not the whole.

      “The EU has to get Euro trading and other financial services out of London and into Dublin/Frankfurt.”

      The lead negotiator for the EU has already said that he wants a special deal over access to the city, there is not a lot of serious discussion about many of the financial services being moved from London at this stage, a few have said they might, a couple have indicated they will if they can’t get a deal. You comment here is nothing more than Remainer hyperbole, the reality will not be that bad. Unless you have evidence beyond rhetoric in the media.

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/eu-negotiator-wants-special-deal-over-access-to-city-post-brexit

      “Scotland and Ireland will be backing Europe. Northern Ireland will be a pawn the English play for leverage,”

      Ireland is a member of the EU, so of course are not happy with the UK’s decision, but Theresa May and the Irish Taoiseach have had a number of conversations around the relationship and UK leaving. Interestingly their main issue was with the border to Northern Ireland, which has been resolved in part as mentioned in May’s speech on Tuesday. Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and therefore are a part of the UK side of the negotiations, and will be considered by the UK negotiators – they will be no-one’s pawn, as shown by May already working on providing compromise on their concerns, unless you have a source or evidence to back up that comment.

      Also, note Brexit negotiations are not English negotiations, but a UK negotiations.

      Your constant referral to England in discussing the Brexit shows appalling ignorance, and lack of knowledge.

      “While the Guardian is inhabited mainly by Remainers, The Telegraph comments expose a nasty rabid underbelly in middle England: its almost like reading Kiwiblog.”

      Well that explains your appalling ignorance, the Guardian has an agenda (as does most of the media in the UK), and are doing everything they can to try and undermine a successful exit, they have shown the worst traits of the intellectual elites that backed Remain, and have written incredibly nasty columns about those who voted leave, whilst not actually making an attempt to understand why people oppose the EU. They show a nasty rabid underbelly of the liberal London elite.

  11. Armada 11

    SCOTLAND OUT
    Nicola Sturgeon: Referendum ‘all but inevitable’ to avoid Tories’ race to bottom under hard Brexit.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/15029429.Nicola_Sturgeon__Referendum____all_but_inevitable____to_avoid_Tories____race_to_bottom_under_hard_Brexit/

    • Wayne 11.1

      Amanda,

      I guess she would say that, but will she succeed? Scotland’s relationship is primarily with England, not with the EU.

      As oil runs out, EU membership may be much worse financially for Scotland than sticking with England and their continuing financial subsidies.

      • Peroxide Blonde 11.1.1

        Scotland, more often than not, has been a net contributor to the UK.

        “In the last 5 years Scotland has paid £17.067 billion to service Westminster’s debt. The UK’s failed economic model has dragged Scotland down. As a recent report by the Reid Foundation explained, political decisions have benefited London and the South East at the expense of the rest of the UK. Scotland’s accounts pay the price for this in debt interest.”
        http://www.businessforscotland.com/westminster-charges-scotland-billions-of-pounds-in-service-costs/I

        I’ll post an Financial Times article, expanding of the real numbers games between Edinburgh and London, when I get to a desk,

        • Peroxide Blonde 11.1.1.1

          https://www.ft.com/content/5b5ec2ca-8a67-11e3-ba54-00144feab7de

          Independence debate: Yes, Scotland? Even pro-unionists accept that the country has all the ingredients to be a viable nation state

          FEBRUARY 3, 2014 by: Mure Dickie and Keith Fray
          After 307 years as part of Great Britain, Scotland will soon decide whether it is time to once again go it alone. Opinion polls suggest that nationalists still fall short of the numbers needed to unpick the 1707 parliamentary union with England that lies at the heart of the UK. But nationalist and pro-union campaigners alike agree that with eight months of febrile campaigning to go, the result of September’s historic referendum is far from assured.
          So what would an independent Scotland look like? And what would be the impact on the remaining UK, or “rump UK” as some observers call it, of the departure of 8.3 per cent of its population and about 9.2 per cent of its gross domestic product?
          Among the blizzard of contention and spin that surrounds the independence debate, some points of broad consensus are clear. Nationalists argue that being part of the UK has held Scotland back, while their opponents contend that the union has been central to its economic success. But the leading players on both sides accept that Scotland has all the ingredients to be a viable nation state.
          If its geographic share of UK oil and gas output is taken into account, Scotland’s GDP per head is bigger than that of France. Even excluding the North Sea’s hydrocarbon bounty, per capita GDP is higher than that of Italy. Oil, whisky and a broad range of manufactured goods mean an independent Scotland would be one of the world’s top 35 exporters.
          An independent Scotland could also expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the UK. Although Scotland enjoys public spending well above the UK average – a source of resentment among some in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – the cost to the Treasury is more than outweighed by oil and gas revenues from Scottish waters.
          One of the favourite citations touted by the nationalist Yes Scotland campaign is a quote from a 2007 Daily Telegraph article by David Cameron, now UK prime minister, that argued there was no point in trying to keep Scotland inside the union “through fear of the economic consequences” of leaving.
          “Supporters of independence will always be able to cite examples of small, independent and thriving economies across Europe such as Finland, Switzerland and Norway,” Mr Cameron wrote. “It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful, independent country.
          ”Yet as Mr Cameron these days takes pains to point out, an acknowledgment that Scotland could succeed alone does not mean it would be better off than within the UK. Over the past year, Mr Cameron’s government has published a series of papers arguing that Scotland benefits from free access to the UK’s market of more than 60m people and from the security of being part of a large and powerful state.
          Scotland’s fiscal health will also be challenged by the relatively rapid ageing of its population and the long-term decline of oil output from depleted North Sea reserves. FT World Scotland: Deciding its destiny Play video In a research paper this week, James Knightley, senior economist at ING, said the high transition costs of separation and uncertainties over currency and the terms of EU membership meant that the material benefits of independence were “far from clear”.
          Yet Mr Knightley also noted that greater sway over its own economy could be a real advantage for Scotland. Nationalist leaders argue that local control of such “economic levers” as tax reform, immigration policy and welfare will open the way to a fairer and wealthier society. September’s referendum will hinge in large part on whether Scotland’s voters agree.

      • Ad 11.1.2

        Scotland will get easily better subsidised by the EU than by the UK.

        England can suffer in their jocks, so to speak.

        • Wayne 11.1.2.1

          Ad,

          Hard to tell whether that would be the case.

          At the moment the UK is a net payer into the EU. But if only Scotland was in, then the EU would be a net payer to Scotland, so not as worthwhile for the EU. However politics may trump money. The EU might be willing to pay Scotland just to annoy England.

          Scotland would also have to take the Euro, which will put quite a few Scots off, particularly when they have to run budget surpluses. They may fear being northern Greeks.

          It is not obvious that Sturgeon would win her referendum. Many Scots might prefer the pound and easy access to England for jobs, etc. Not too many Scots speak European languages, so working in Europe will not be easy.

          If the proposed upcoming referendum fails, that’s it for a generation or two. If it succeeds, quite a few Scots will relocate to England where there will be better opportunities.

          The choices will be more difficult for the Scots in the upcoming referendum. It means choosing the Euro over the pound. It means being closer to Europe than England. These choices did not apply in the last referendum and they are more serious.

          • Nic the NZer 11.1.2.1.1

            I don’t think Scotland could just join the Eurozone directly. There are convergence criteria to be met before joining. That would probably require a Scotish pound period first.

          • Ad 11.1.2.1.2

            As Scotland have done throughout their history with a border disagreement this big, they will simply go to France and Germany to get a better suitor. The EU will simply roll out what is asked for and write the cheques.

            This will completely box England in. And good job.

            True, Sturgeon could lose.

            But this time it’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’:
            Scots will have the choice to Get Rich with Europe, or Die Tryin’ with England.

            That’s a much more attractive proposition.

            • Armada 11.1.2.1.2.1

              An aspect of the “European Project” which the English hate is an EU Army. While many see the concept as delusional, some countries want to commit to an EU Army rather than NATO. Some don’t see it as mutually exclusive.

              1. If/when the relation between England and Europe turn sour over the next few years, if/when America takes sides with England and Trump shouts at the Europeans to make a bigger financial contribution to NATO…the vision of a European Army could gain momentum.

              2. The Europeans are worried about a predatory Russia, an unreliable USA and an England with an identity crises.

              3. Scotland will kick out the Polaris Nuclear Submarines from Rosyth outside Glasgow. The SNP have that as a non negotiable when they become independent.

              4. Scotland is geographically very strategic for European defences. look at a map. Some of the European strategy leaders will want Scotland in the fold.

              5. Catalonian separation is often put forward as a reason the Spanish will object to Scotland accession into the EU. An England demoted from “UK” and isolated from friends in Europe will find it hard to hold onto Gibraltar. Spain has an interest in Scottish Independence.
              ———–
              Brexit adds many many factors into the very interesting shifts happening on Europe and the Trans-Atlantic.

              • Ad

                I’ve always viewed the EU as something you do instead of massive armed forces: form multilateral agreements and have sufficient political and bureaucratic valves and mechanisms to avoid war as a whole.

                The loss of individual sovereignty involved in merging the EU’s individual armed forces into a single united force would be stronger than the sovereignty loss from the formation of the Euro. They are never gong to repeat that calamity.

                So I think that possibility of united EU forces is exceeding remote.

                I’m very sceptical about Scotland doing another referendum. Why would Salmond propose the risk of another humiliating loss? Dumb politics.
                If I were in her office I would advise her to hold, and see how Brexit actually plays.

      • Tricledrown 11.1.3

        England with a much smaller economy
        Won’t have deep enough pockets to subsidise anything Wayne .
        Europe will punish England making it very hard to trade shutting doors to markets.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I was in the UK and France recently.

    No one I talked to was very keen on Brexit. However, an English collegue here in NZ said he was in favour of it, though he didn’t vote since he wasn’t living there, didn’t think he had the right to a say anymore.

    I also had the opportunity to understand a bit more about the European economic system while I was there. In my opinion, I think Britain is better off out of the EU in the long run.

    It seems to me that the economy in the EU is grossly inefficient and leads to a lot of waste, and as a result, a lot of unnecessary greenhouse gasses. So, it is a bad economy that also is bad for the environment.

    For example, the A380 airplane is has components built in each of the EU countries. For instance, I understand that the wings are built in Wales, and then shipped to France. I understand that special roading infrastructure had to be made in France to accomodate the transport of the wings.

    Also, apparently, farmers sell to supermarkets at below the cost of their production so that supermarkets can sell to people at prices they can afford to pay. The farmers then receive subsidies back from the government to make up for their losses. My English collegue told me that there have been situations where farmers in one country will demand subsidies for some crop or other they are producing. Then when subsidies are granted for that particular product there is a massive overproduction that leads to dumping.

    We employed a French engineer recently in our firm who had recently migrated to NZ. He said that the cost of living is higher in NZ, and he gets paid about the same that he was paid in France. But here he can save for a house, whereas in France he couldn’t. The reason he couldn’t save for a house was that he was taxed a lot more in France. So, despite the cost of living being lower, he was still worse off due to being taxed so much.

    So, I think Britain is better off out of what appears to me to be a very Micky Mouse economy even though there will be problems in the short term.

    • Tricledrown 12.1

      The cost and availability of housing in France is Dearer on average than New Zealand taxese maybe higher not much except for higher incomes but health care is way better and cheaper access to education food and clothing much cheaper cars are dearer because of pollution control and safety older cars are forced of the road.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      Things you have noticed TSmithfield over there may also appear in NZ. Some things will be seasonal, overproduction for instance in a good year. And subsidy rorts are just one way for firms to gain advantage. In other countries firms will employ lobbyists to government to change laws that advantage some businesses.

      We in NZ are not worrying too much about diminishing greenhouse gases and our carbon footprint so a case of France doing something that could reduce theirs, may be balanced by something else they do.

      And perhaps that guy can save in NZ because he is one of the higher salaried ones so has struck it lucky. In Europe there are probably more in his profession competing which brings down the salary offer.

      Excessive bureaucracy is expensive but is better than lightning fast law changes that can strip away laws relating to proper care in safety matters, building, forestry, investment also gutting and boning unwary businesses, and their shareholders.

      I don’t consider that we understand the economies and social pressures on the countries in Europe compared to here, and whether Britain could have done better by the people under the EU mantle instead of imposing social welfare austerity and hands-off, laissez faire policies that are the hallmark of a venal, lazy government which concentrates on being money oriented instead of healthy enterprise oriented. They are running away from responsible government now it is getting hard, when they need to be working with the populace to fashion a viable working economy that uses people’s labour in different ways.

  13. Peroxide Blonde 13

    Scotland would also have to take the Euro, which will put quite a few Scots off.
    Source or support.

    Not too many Scots speak European languages, so working in Europe will not be easy.
    Source or support.

    If it [referendum] succeeds, quite a few Scots will relocate to England where there will be better opportunities.
    Source or support.

    • Peroxide Blonde 13.1

      The above is a response to gobsmackingly ill informed Wayne in 11.1.2.1

    • Wayne 13.2

      Obviously these were my opinions, but they are based on my general knowledge. Anyone who has been to Scotland knows that there is a lot of truth to them.
      In particular the preference for the pound over the euro.

      The next referendum will be a lot more fraught than the last. The implications of the choices are more significant. After all the main case for a second referendum is for Scotland to be in the EU but England will be out. Many tricky issues in that choice compared to the last referendum.

      If leaving the EU looks good for England it is quite likely that will influence many Scottish voters. It is not obvious that Sturgeon will win. She could easily lose. Probably too soon to tell which way it will go.

    • Interested Observer 13.3

      “Scotland would also have to take the Euro, which will put quite a few Scots off.
      Source or support.”

      All new members are required to adopt the Euro, as stated on the EU official website:

      “…all EU Member States have to join the euro area once the necessary conditions are fulfilled, except Denmark and the United Kingdom which have negotiated an ‘opt-out’ clause that allows them to remain outside the euro area.”

      http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/adoption/index_en.htm

      Alex Salmond tried to fudge at the last referendum by saying Scotland could inherit the UK’s membership, it was widely reported at the time that the EU leaders said Scotland would have to apply for membership as a new country. Nothing has changed, Nicola Sturgeon was given the same message last year when she visited the EU – despite trying to insist that they would just retain the membership they currently have. The EU stated the UK voted to leave, and so the whole of the UK leaves, and an independent Scotland would be treated as a new country.

      “Not too many Scots speak European languages, so working in Europe will not be easy.
      Source or support.”

      This is slightly harder to prove, but highly likely. The only statistics specifically for Scotland on language are the census and relate to language spoken at home (94% English) and the proportion of the population who could speak Scots or Scottish Gaelic (yes, they are two different languages).

      The Guardian did a report on European Language Day, in which statistics quoted show that 61% of Brits could not speak a second language, so it is highly likely that that statistic can be extrapolated to Scotland and show that over half the population probably could not speak another European Language, as it is most likely that those that can will be based in centres with higher European immigration.

      “If it [referendum] succeeds, quite a few Scots will relocate to England where there will be better opportunities.
      Source or support.”

      This is predominantly anecdotal from the previous referendum. In 2014 some businesses stated they will relocate to England as their biggest market is England and a hard border with Scotland will make life difficult, whether that still stands is unknown as no referendum has been announced no-one has faced the possibility of Scotland leaving the UK.

  14. Tricledrown 14

    River pollution Wayne BS in other words

  15. Interested Observer 15

    Reading this post, and many comments, I am amazed that supposedly intelligent people are so ignorant as to think England and the UK are one and the same.

    From the point of view of someone who reads this blog reasonably regularly it really diminishes the discussion if basic facts are incorrect.

    When referring to the exit from the EU it is the UK leaving – not just England, no matter how much Scotland may wish it differently.

    • Observer Tokoroa 15.1

      Hello Interested Observer

      I don’t think this part of the world has much interest in Great Britain, England or The Empire.

      Not Australia; nor Africa; or New Zealand.

      Because The English committed awful felonies against peoples in this part of the world. Crimes against humanity. They have never offered an apology. Have never given one cent of compensation.

      The problem is that like the Leopard, the English in our experience, do not change their spots.

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