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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Brexit will not cause UK trade 'disruption' - WTO boss

(26/10/16) The head of the World Trade Organisation has vowed to ensure Britain will not face a trade "vacuum or a disruption", however tough its exit from the European Union.Roberto Azevedo said that he did not believe the Brexit vote was "anti-trade" and dismissed fears that Britain could suffer a sudden seizure of trade during or after its negotiations with the EU. Read the article on Sky News.

REMOANER ALERT! 'Brexit is not the will of the British people – it never has been'

(24/10/16) The Rev Adrian Low analyses the post-referendum polls and demographic trends and argues that the UK electorate, as a whole, has been consistently against Brexit and the Remain majority will increase year-on-year. Oh dear! Read the post on the LSE blog.

Calm down. We don’t need a negotiating stance on Brexit

(22/10/16) It’s time for everyone to calm down. There’s a long way to go, and there can really only be one objective for Britain – securing the best possible ongoing economic and diplomatic relationship. The rest is just noise. Read the post by Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph.

UK economy expands after Brexit vote

(27/10/16) The U.K.’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5 percent in the three months following the Brexit vote. The figure came in better than expected in the first official assessment of economic growth released since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in June. Many analysts had anticipated a slide into a recession from the shock result.Read the Politico article.

Britain is the most business-friendly major economy, World Bank rules as its annual index casts fresh doubt on doom-laden Brexit warnings

(25/10/16) Britain is the most business-friendly major economy on the planet, the World Bank has said – casting fresh doubt on predictions of economic collapse after Brexit. The UK came top of the G7 group of industrialised countries in an annual index on ease of doing business, one place ahead of the US and significantly higher than any nation in the Eurozone.

In the overall league table, Britain ranked seventh. Supporters of Brexit said the study scotched claims that Britain would cease to be attractive to investors after leaving the EU. Read the Daily Mail article.

Four reasons why banks won't leave the City of London after Brexit

(25/10/16) Oliver Wyman’s report for TheCityUK on life beyond Brexit estimated that even under the hardest of departures - with no deal with the EU and the UK operating on WTO terms - some 35,000 jobs would be at risk. But such a high number is unlikely for the following four reasons. Read the Telegraph article

EU'll lose out! 'Hard' Brexit would cost other member states £8BILLION a year more than the UK

(25/10/16) A 'hard' Brexit would leave EU states facing nearly £8billion a year more in tariffs than the UK, according to a report. Firms from the bloc would add almost £13 billion a year in costs to their exports if Britain leaves the customs union without an alternative free trade deal. By contrast UK companies would be hit with a much lower £5.2 billion bill for sales to the other 27 states. Read the Daily Mail article

It's nonsense! Banks dismiss gloom-laden claim they'll quit the UK after Brexit

(24/10/16) Banks and Tory MPs last night dismissed as ‘nonsense’ dire warnings that financiers will move their business abroad due to Brexit. Anthony Browne, head of the British Bankers’ Association, sparked fury yesterday by saying smaller banks could react to the uncertainty by moving operations overseas within weeks.

He predicted that larger financial institutions would follow in the first few months of next year, saying: ‘Their hands are quivering over the relocate button.' But the gloom-laden claims were undermined by the fact that a number of High Street banks said leaving the EU would make little difference to their business. Read the
Daily Mail article

Ministers fear UK-EU trade deal could take decade as Walloons torpedo Canada agreement

(23/10/16) Ministers fear it could take a decade to secure a post-Brexit free trade deal with the European Union after a little-known region in Belgian blocked a flagship agreement with Canada. Crisis talks between EU leaders and Canada collapsed on Saturday following the decision of Wallonia, with a population of 3.5 million, to torpedo the deal.

It meant a the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] which had been signed off by all 28 EU countries has now been plunged into uncertainty. Read the full article in the Telegraph and the article from The Guardian, EU-Canada trade deal in crisis as Canadian minister walks out

The City of London should thank the voters of Wigan for Brexit

(19/10/16) Deutsche Bank’s problems are symptoms of the EU malaise caused by over-regulation and political conceit, writes Brian Monteith.

A new paper by banking expert Bob Lyddon “The Deutsche Bank liability”, published by Global Britain, explains why the storm clouds are gathering and the liabilities that the UK could face. Any rescue will be a multi billion affair, and while the UK remains tied to EU institutions like the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank, we will be liable for a hefty share of any financial lifebelt that is thrown Deutsche’s way. Read the full article on Reaction

'Mr. Market' won’t be able to stop and reverse Brexit

Could Mr. Market, and his old gang of friends, the Bond Vigilantes, be about to give the British electorate a lesson in economic realities? In the view of some of the more excitable City commentators, and indeed some of the most senior officials in Brussels, the harsh consequences of leaving the European Union are about to hit home. There is a problem, however, and it is far from minor one. It is not really true. Read Matthew Lynn on MarketWatch.com

Nick Boles MP: Why even Remain voters like me find MiliClegg's attempt to block Brexit so utterly nauseating

The purpose of the guerrilla war being waged by these Remainers is to cling on to as many of the membership arrangements as possible — in the not-so-secret hope a future government of the liberal Left will be able to take us back in. Read his article in the Daily Mail

The people spoke on Brexit - but MPs stuck their fingers in their ears and ignored them.

MPs have been forming an orderly queue to explain to the British people what they had actually voted for. They had not, they were told, voted to leave the European single market. Or end free movement.

Or anything else that could be termed ‘Hard Brexit’. Instead, they had voted for something as yet undetermined. But that didn’t matter. The politicians would do the determining for them. Except there’s a snag. The people did vote for ‘Hard Brexit’... Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday

Let Nicola Sturgeon have her referendum – and find out that a Hard Brexit is better than a Hard Independence

Sturgeon talks of avoiding Hard Brexit, but what she wishes upon Scotland is 'Hard Indy'. Her open door policies must, by definition, deliver a hard border, for remember, England is run by xenophobes. It must deliver a hard austerity, for Scotland’s public finances will become the economic equivalent of a scorched earth policy. And it will deliver a hard Scotland, which will be marked by bitterness and hatred, splitting families and communities – far more than we had a taste of in the last referendum. Read the full article in City A.M.

The falling pound is NOTHING to do with your vote for freedom - Peter Hitchens

The pound sterling would have fallen hard and fast if we had voted to stay in the EU. I am amazed it did not do so long before. More than three years ago, before the referendum was called, I advised you to keep an eye on the value of sterling as a true measure of our huge economic difficulties. Read the full article in the Daily Mail.

Brexit and the BBC's duty of impartiality - Daily Mail

The corporation has become the mouthpiece for embittered Remainers who refuse to accept the will of the people and hope to overturn the referendum result by stealth and scaremongering. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

There is no such thing as a 'soft' Brexit - by John Poynton

As a desperate rear guard action Remainiacs have come up with the idea of a 'soft' Brexit in which the UK would remain a member of the Single Market. They claim that Britain would not have trading access to the EU members' markets unless we remain a member of the Single Market (which is different and would involve accepting all its rules including uncontrolled borders), and love to say that Brexiteers have no clear picture of what Brexit would actually look like!
Read More...

Euro septic - by Professor Paul Collier CBE

Picture of front cover of The Euro book
This is a review of the damning book, The Euro by the left-wing US economist Joseph Stiglitz, by Paul Collier who is professor of economics and public policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and so carries some weight.

Collier examines the two options that Stiglitz offers the EU leadership: Plan A is to fix the euro, Plan B is to dismantle it. Both, he says, are not viable and instead he offers his own solution since his view is that 'the euro will eventually unravel in the face of social pressures, in much the same way as Schengen has unravelled: through acrimonious disorder.'

Collier admits to being a 'Remainer' but says that this is because being out of the euro and Schengen while keeping a veto was a good deal for Britain. But he questions the wisdom of the underlying political project. Read the article in the Times Literary Supplement.

Brexit and Article 50 negotiations: What it would take to strike a deal

Matthew Watson is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, and he is also a UK Economic and Social Research Council Professorial Fellow. He is one of the contributing authors to The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Seventh Edition. Here he tries to reconcile the various demands that the UK and the EU will negotiate over once Article 50 is triggered. His conclusion however is that you can't, saying that "It is therefore highly unlikely that everyone will receive the outcome that they think reflects what they voted for on 23rd June." Let's hope he's wrong... Read the article in the Oxford University Press blog.

How dare these Eurocrats call Britain racist while the Far Right's marching in their own backyard - Daniel Hannan

In France and Belgium, Jewish schools and synagogues require armed guards. Racist violence across much of Europe is now becoming almost routine. But the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance says it is alarmed at the ‘intolerant political discourse in the UK'. Here Daniel Hannan MEP responds eloquently and convincingly. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

George Osborne is humiliated again as his family wallpaper firm says it will BENEFIT from Brexit

The accounts from luxury wallpaper firm Osborne & Little says the weak pound will bring a 'material benefit' to the firm. They also say that the vote to leave the EU will have 'little impact' on the company in short term. All this delivers further embarrassment for Osborne, the architect of Project Fear. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

Britain's Departure Likely to Cost EU Billions - Der Spiegel

Brexit is going to be expensive for Europe, especially for Germany. So say the journalists at Der Spiegel in this fascinating article on current EU member thinking on Brexit. It seems that the members don't want to confront the fact that Britain is going to leave and have not yet thought about the resultant shortfall in budget - up to €10 billion it is thought.

This article is not only interesting for the 'what ifs' that are considered but also for the revelations that haven't filtered through to us via the UK media. Did you know that Britain has thus far borne the greatest burden at the European Investment Bank? Our share of total capital is 16 percent, but we only benefit from 8.8 percent of the loans. No other country has a larger imbalance. If we were to withdraw our share capital in the development bank, it would result in a shortfall worth billions. The EIB would be forced to make fewer loans - loans that are vital for infrastructure projects across the Continent.

There is lots to be negotiated! Read the article.

The man who brought you Brexit

Picture of Daniel Hannan MEP
Britain’s vote to leave the EU was the grand finale of a 25-year campaign by a lonely sect of true believers. In this very long but incredibly well-researched and informative article in the Guardian, journalist Sam Knight says that Daniel Hannan MEP wrote the script.

So this article gives a profile of Hannan, essentially covering his genesis as a politician and his raison d'etre in politics. But there are many contributions from the many people that Hannan worked with over the years to stop Britain's inexorable integration into Europe. It is these views of Hannan, and the history of the evolution of the anti-EU movement within the Tory party, that makes it such a compelling article.

His undoubted intellect is praised and evident - but the article also shows that Hannan, along with his Tory colleagues, suffered a disconnect with people on the doorstep vis a vis immigration. As Nigel Farage observes of Hannan (and his fellow Tory Eurosceptics), “They seemed to approach the referendum as if it was an Oxford Union debate. I don’t think they have met any real people in their entire lives.”

Despite this, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Hannan. This article serves as a fitting tribute to his life's work. Read the article.

Without Britain in the EU, Germany will become its ATM

Liam Fox told the Spectator that Germany risks becoming the world’s biggest cash machine after Brexit because it may end up paying for a failing European Union that is in danger of imploding:

“If I were a German politician I would be worried that, without Britain, Germany has the potential to become the greatest ATM in global history.” Read the article on Euro Guido.

UK government must disclose legal arguments on article 50 procedure

The government has been forced by a senior judge to reveal secret legal arguments for refusing to let parliament decide when and how the UK should withdraw from the European Union. Read the article in the Guardian.

‘What on Earth is Boris playing at?’ Farage questions Johnson vow to help Turkey join EU

Appearing at a press conference alongside the Turkey’s EU minister Ömer Çelik, Mr Johnson vowed Britain would help the country “in any way possible” to join the EU. Commenting on Mr Johnson’s declaration of support for Turkey’s EU membership, former Ukip leader Mr Farage said: “One of the reasons UK voted to leave EU was prospect of Turkey joining." Read the article in the Daily Express.

Brexit has broken our political Ice Age. Bring on the revolution before the big freeze takes hold again

An article by Daniel Hannan MEP theorising what the Brexit trade deal will look like and how Britain will lead the world in promoting and bringing about free trade.

He says: "Doing so will do more to enrich developing states than decades of government-to-government aid; it will also help the poorest people in Britain, who spend the highest proportion of their income on food and clothes. Free trade is not just an efficient allocator of resources; it is also a poverty alleviation mechanism, a conflict resolution mechanism, a social justice mechanism."

Read the full article in the Telegraph.

Germany's banks are a timebomb. And if they crash, it'll be 2008 all over again

Excellent article by the Daily Mail’s City editor, Alex Brummer, on the problems that Deutsche bank is in and the ramifications for Chancellor Merkel if she intervenes - or doesn’t. At the end he sums it up succinctly:

‘...Germany’s banking predicament is surely proof that the one-size-fits-all Eurozone doesn’t work...the EU is facing a financial catastrophe of enormous proportions just at a time when the world is already facing huge uncertainty from the economic slowdown in China. Here, in Britain, we should surely be thankful that, after the Brexit vote, we are preparing to jump clear of the clattering train as it heads for a ravine.’ Read the article.

Britain WILL avoid recession following Brexit vote says World Trade Organisation

Britain will avoid recession following the historic decision to leave the European Union, according to the World Trade Organisation. The global watchdog, which regulates international trade, became the latest group to declare that the UK economy has shrugged off the Brexit vote. It came as a string of technology bosses lined up to say they are committed to Britain and will continue to invest in the country. Read the article in the Daily Mail.

Had Cameron not 'lied' Brexit result may have been different, says Wetherspoon's boss

If former Prime Minister David Cameron had not lied to the British public by presenting the "lousy deal" he had secured from the European Union as a good one, instead simply laid bare the uncompromising nature of Brussels and recommended staying in regardless, things could have turned out differently, according to Tim Martin, the outspoken chairman of pub and restaurant chain JD Wetherspoon. Read the article in the International Business Times.
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