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  1. #31
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    Originally Posted by Hubble
    But what was the choice Johnny? To become fully integrated members of the EU would have meant giving up sovereignty of our own currency - a massive issue as far as I'm concerned - and we rightly didn't do that. The fact is, as you (kind of ) say, we were never full members, because we always retained some measure of independence. How has full economic integration worked out for Greece? Or Italy, or Spain or Portugal. Not so good. The things is Britain has never been truly 'European', quite simply because of its geography. There is definitely a continental mentality that differs from the island mentality. And I think that's the great thing about this country - it's no coincidence that for centuries we've punched well above our weight internationally. The problem we have now, as I see it, is not that we are leaving the European financial basket-case and superstate, but that we have bunch of clowns in charge of the process.

    We are now in a strange kind of limbo, which suits no one in particular. We need not just strong leadership, but a clear and understandable vision of how we progress, that the majority of people can buy into. If such a plan were laid out, I believe most remainers would get on board with the process. And with the will of the people behind it, we would stand every chance of success. But currently, we have a minority government, shored up by an unholy alliance with the DUP, that is at war with itself and in disarray. This is a problem. for me the best tihng would be to reject this government and have a general election where we could vote on the best vision for this country, without the lies, disinformation and emotional blackmail that featured above anything meaningful - on both sides of the referendum campaign.

    If Corbyn declared his true colours, which I believe are to leave the European superstate project - he might lose support in some areas, but garner a whole raft more from others. He could hoover up the UKIP vote if he presented a coherent vision of a UK that was inclusive, supportive of the ordinary person, based on a solid, practical socialism that was simply about allowing the state to run basic utilities for the benefit of the people, not for the profit of a minority. You can have a socialist backbone to society and still have a capitalist economy that runs on top of it, that allows for the wealth to be far more fairly distributed. All most people want is security of tenure and employment and a sense of stability and peace. 40 years of Thatcherite, neo-liberal policies have destroyed this country, not by directly impoverishing it, but by siphoning more and more of the wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people, selling off our publicly owned utilities to foreign interests and at the same time destroying the communal fabric of Britain that was the glue that held things together. By creating a nation of individuals, competing against each other for resources, we have created a society that is anxious, aggressive and not at ease with itself. We need to take the best of socialism and combine it with the best of capitalism - which is to say we have social safety nets, affordable housing, free education at every level, good healthcare, but also fostering an environment for our amazing talent to flourish. The current system, whereby people are punished financially at every stage - saddled with debt and insecurity - does not create a good environment for creativity to flourish.

    No matter who it was, from whatever party, if they presented this kind of cohesive vision to the British public, I think they'd win, and then we could manage our secession from the EU smoothly and to the benefit of all.
    Great post and as usual find myself in full agreement with you...... the only difference being, that I have no problem with adopting the Euro as our currency.

    The countries you mention as not benefiting from full integration in the EU are not in the same boat as Great Britain.....every leave voter here keeps harping on about what a ‘leader’ the uk is and how strong we are as a business nation ..”Everything will be fine for us” etc etc....apart from a small minded reluctance to change , how could we NOT thrive as a full EU member?

    Rest of your post is absolutely bang on, and even though I am a true European, I believe in democracy and only want this departure not to be an absolute #### up....

  2. Default

    Morning all. You may recall from previous posts that I'm a forensic accountant with a particular interest in Economics and write a monthly column for Accountancy Magazine. (An avid R's fan too for my sins!) Last month's piece is quite relevant to this discussion so thought I'd share it here. Hope it's of interest:

    "Just a few pointers previously raised that bear some emphasis, even repetition:

    (1) The UK Government is writhing in the furnace of its own afflictions by persisting with the notion of “negotiations” in the Brexit context. This obsession is, of course, utterly misplaced because free trade does not require trade deals between governments, any more than trade between companies in Manchester and companies in Southampton depends on a deal between the Manchester City Council and the Southampton City Council.

    If, heaven forbid, Councillors in those cities somehow became embroiled in discussions over trading terms between those cities, any resulting terms would serve only to create barriers to trade where previously none existed. The essential mantra for government on the subject of trade is simple: “just stay out of the way!” Even where governments have been seemingly successful in facilitating bilateral free trade arrangements, as for example between the EU and South Korea, they have achieved no more than the companies directly involved would have accomplished anyway, without official ‘help’.

    (2) Superficially, it sounds crazy: eliminate all tariffs on imports regardless of any tariffs imposed by foreign governments on their imports from the UK. The principal gain for UK consumers lies in having cheap imports. Right now, the aim of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is to protect European dairy farmers from more efficient foreign competition by imposing a tariff of £1.60 on a kilo of butter imported from, say, Australia. This means that UK consumers [remember that the UK is still an EU member!] now have to pay more for butter than they otherwise would. Ergo, they have correspondingly less to spend elsewhere, including products of UK firms.

    (3) This principle is unaffected if the imports in question are subsidised by the governments of the exporting firms (as would be the case if the price of Australian butter is cheaper only because butter exports are subsidised by the Australian government). Again, UK consumers benefit when importing goods made cheaper by foreign subsidy. It’s a win-win situation because unilateral free trade has no downsides: both tariffs and subsidies harm only the citizens of the countries that impose them.

    Inevitably situations arise when free trade, though beneficial for the whole community, highlights the need for a reallocation of productive resources within the economic framework of a free-trading nation. This arises when jobs in a particular sector are at risk from lower-priced imports. The answer is not, however, for government to allow retaliatory expediency to supervene over economic principles. Such resource reallocation is a natural, necessary result of eliminating artificial pricing policies.

    (4) It follows from the above that gains enjoyed by UK citizens, flowing from free trade policies, are independent of the EU’s (or any country’s) own trade practices. If the effect of EU trade regulations is to burden their own populations by taxing imports from Britain, we shall still be better off – provided that the UK government refrains from retaliating by similarly burdening its own citizens.

    (5) Final emphasis: unilateral free trade works. It is effective. It has been successfully applied in Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Their trade policies seek only to improve access to foreign markets for their exporters, principally in the fields of electronics, financial services and farming. But regardless of what the governments of other countries choose to enact, these free-trading nations do not impose import barriers themselves. As an aside, it is interesting that we in the UK have never had a trade agreement with our largest trading partner by far – the USA."
    Last edited by ​​Ćock-a-Hoop; 20-11-2017 at 10:11 AM.

  3. #33

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    Originally Posted by ​​Ćock-a-Hoop
    Morning all. You may recall from previous posts that I'm a forensic accountant with a particular interest in Economics and write a monthly column for Accountancy Magazine. (An avid R's fan too for my sins!) Last month's piece is quite relevant to this discussion so thought I'd share it here. Hope it's of interest:

    "Just a few pointers previously raised that bear some emphasis, even repetition:

    (1) The UK Government is writhing in the furnace of its own afflictions by persisting with the notion of “negotiations” in the Brexit context. This obsession is, of course, utterly misplaced because free trade does not require trade deals between governments, any more than trade between companies in Manchester and companies in Southampton depends on a deal between the Manchester City Council and the Southampton City Council.

    If, heaven forbid, Councillors in those cities somehow became embroiled in discussions over trading terms between those cities, any resulting terms would serve only to create barriers to trade where previously none existed. The essential mantra for government on the subject of trade is simple: “just stay out of the way!” Even where governments have been seemingly successful in facilitating bilateral free trade arrangements, as for example between the EU and South Korea, they have achieved no more than the companies directly involved would have accomplished anyway, without official ‘help’.

    (2) Superficially, it sounds crazy: eliminate all tariffs on imports regardless of any tariffs imposed by foreign governments on their imports from the UK. The principal gain for UK consumers lies in having cheap imports. Right now, the aim of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is to protect European dairy farmers from more efficient foreign competition by imposing a tariff of £1.60 on a kilo of butter imported from, say, Australia. This means that UK consumers [remember that the UK is still an EU member!] now have to pay more for butter than they otherwise would. Ergo, they have correspondingly less to spend elsewhere, including products of UK firms.

    (3) This principle is unaffected if the imports in question are subsidised by the governments of the exporting firms (as would be the case if the price of Australian butter is cheaper only because butter exports are subsidised by the Australian government). Again, UK consumers benefit when importing goods made cheaper by foreign subsidy. It’s a win-win situation because unilateral free trade has no downsides: both tariffs and subsidies harm only the citizens of the countries that impose them.

    Inevitably situations arise when free trade, though beneficial for the whole community, highlights the need for a reallocation of productive resources within the economic framework of a free-trading nation. This arises when jobs in a particular sector are at risk from lower-priced imports. The answer is not, however, for government to allow retaliatory expediency to supervene over economic principles. Such resource reallocation is a natural, necessary result of eliminating artificial pricing policies.

    (4) It follows from the above that gains enjoyed by UK citizens, flowing from free trade policies, are independent of the EU’s (or any country’s) own trade practices. If the effect of EU trade regulations is to burden their own populations by taxing imports from Britain, we shall still be better off – provided that the UK government refrains from retaliating by similarly burdening its own citizens.

    (5) Final emphasis: unilateral free trade works. It is effective. It has been successfully applied in Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Their trade policies seek only to improve access to foreign markets for their exporters, principally in the fields of electronics, financial services and farming. But regardless of what the governments of other countries choose to enact, these free-trading nations do not impose import barriers themselves. As an aside, it is interesting that we in the UK have never had a trade agreement with our largest trading partner by far – the USA."
    Well that's all very well, but it won't appease those who are desperate for our government to commit to giving as much of our money away as we possibly can.


    Never ceases to amaze me, the amount of people who appear more concerned about supporting the EU than they do their own country.

  4. #34

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    Originally Posted by brightonr
    Well that's all very well, but it won't appease those who are desperate for our government to commit to giving as much of our money away as we possibly can.


    Never ceases to amaze me, the amount of people who appear more concerned about supporting the EU than they do their own country.
    Alistair Campbell, Anne Soubry, Ben Bradshaw . . . the list goes on and on. Are they on a retainer ?
    I must away now, I can no longer tarry
    This morning's tempest I have to cross
    I must be guided without a stumble
    Into the arms I love the most

  5. #35

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    Just a thought, what is the point of going ahead with the Brexit process, my impession is that your next generetion probably might want to get back in again!!. If there still exists a EU that is.
    Last edited by Shania; 20-11-2017 at 08:51 PM.
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