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Brexit Watch - News and Views

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.

The Treasury now admits that Brexit vote 'will not dent economy this year' as UK growth forecasts back to pre-referendum levels

The UK's decision to leave the EU will not dent growth at all this year, according to economic forecasts compiled by the Treasury, in a complete reversal of the gloomy short term forecasts made after the EU referendum.

Panic has faded rapidly among the dozens of independent economists consulted by the Treasury as strong data in the three months since the vote reassured the analysts that any shock from the vote was far less severe than first feared. Read more about the Treasury eating humble pie in the Telegraph.

A day to stand back from the fray, and marvel at the stupendous fact of Brexit

Graphic of EU flag but with Union Jack exit door
Paul Goodman, ex-MP and now the executive editor of the influential website ConservativeHome, reflects on what we achieved on 23rd June and what the state of all the main parties is 3 months on. Read the article

Brexit warning: US bank bosses from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock threaten Theresa May with relocation

The bosses of several of America’s biggest banks and corporations have warned Theresa May they will pre-emptively shift operations into Europe unless she can provide early clarity on the future shape of EU-UK relations, The Telegraph has learned.

According to an account of the meeting, Mrs May declined to provide information about how the British government would approach the Brexit negotiations, other than pursuing a deal that was “in the national interest”. Read the article

Don’t pine for Europe: Britain’s traditional trees will be boosted by Brexit, says Kew's top expert

The fashion for importing old trees for 'instant gardens' from the Continent makes it easier for plant-eating pests to get into the UK. This Kew Gardens expert claims tighter bio-security laws could be enforced in a Brexit deal. Another reason why Brexit is good! Read the article in the Daily Mail

EU appointment of Mr Verhofstadt - the 'high priest' for Brexit negotiations - is 'a declaration of war'

Three minute speech by Nigel Farage in the European Parliament on 14th September upon the appointment of Guy Verhofstadt as the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit.



EU referendum: The result in maps and charts

How Britain voted in the EU Referendum via maps and charts as reported online by the BBC. Read the article

'Disgraceful' Bank of England chief Mark Carney must quit for fuelling Brexit fears, claims ex-Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson

Lord Lawson has called on Mark Carney to stand down as Governor of the Bank of England last night after his ‘disgraceful’ conduct over Brexit. The Conservative peer and former chancellor accused the Canadian of joining ‘the chorus of scaremongering’ during the EU referendum campaign. Read the article in the Daily Mail

Wall Street banks want Theresa May to delay Brexit for as long as possible

Wall Street chiefs and US business leaders are reportedly asking Britain's prime minister Theresa May for a "long runway" to prepare for Brexit. The Financial Times reports that at a meeting in New York earlier this week banks asked for a "long lead time" of up to two years to prepare for Brexit and a period of transition for them to adjust to the new world. Read the article on Business Insider

May limbers up for a hard Brexit (Financial Times)

This article by Martin Wolf, Chief Economics commentator at the Financial Times, bemoans the vote for Brexit. Whilst the thinks that Britain will be 'meaner and poorer', he also argues that there is no halfway house between EU membership and a 'hard' exit. Read the full article

British banks WILL be able to cope with Brexit despite bankers losing EU passports says credit agency Moody's

Banks will not really suffer if a Brexit deal ends freedom of movement across the EU, an influential credit rating agency has said. Experts from Moody's have said the impact on the City of London of the loss of 'passporting rights' is likely to be 'modest'. Its report contrasts with doom-laden predictions from Remainers who predicted the banking sector would be devastated by Brexit. Read the full article

Royal Yacht Britannia to rule the waves after Brexit

The Royal Yacht Britannia should be recommissioned and used to secure trade deals after the Brexit vote, dozens of MPs, former ministers and a senior former aide to the Queen say. Read the article

EU shrinks in importance to UK exporters as rest of world buys in

Trade with the EU is already shrinking rapidly as a share of Britain’s global commerce and could fall to below one-third of the UK’s overseas market in the coming decades, according to an economic analysis. Read the article

Why London will be an economic powerhouse after Brexit

London has retained its crown as the leading global city of opportunity and will remain a top destination for years to come despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to PwC. This article in The Telegraph also includes a short video showing 5 possible alternative models to EU membership. Read the article

What Brexit will mean for UK financial services

An excellent article by the Centre for Policy Studies which suggests that the impact of Brexit 'will mean that London continues to be Europe’s leading financial services centre.' It goes on to say that 'London is ranked the most competitive in the world for financial services, while closest EU rivals rank at 15th and 19th'.

The article also covers the sensitive issue of passporting, suggests that Brexit will offer the UK new opportunities for UK financial firms, and will enable them to avoid punitive EU regulation. Read the article

Brexit gives us a chance to finish the Thatcher revolution

This is an excellent article in the Financial Times by Lord Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher. In it he argues that the focus on negotiating a trade deal with the EU that gives us free access to the single market is wrong and will not be successful.

Instead he argues that the 'government needs to focus on how we propose to conduct ourselves as a self-governing nation outside the bloc.' It is the benefit of 'intelligent deregulation' that 'offers the prospect of the greatest economic gain'.
Read the article (note that you may require a login or complete a short survey to read it)

BREXIT Article 50 and the 17th March 2017 'deadline'

A contribution by Stuart Agnew MEP who states that this is a regular question to head office:

Question:
Is it true we have to trigger Article 50 by 17 March 2017 because after that EU law changes so that a specified percentage of member countries have to agree to a member country's application to leave?

Answer:
In short the answer is "no, it is not true", it is a common misconception and misreading of Article 50. Once notice is given under Article 50 the UK will leave the EU two years later with, OR WITHOUT, an agreement with the remaining Member States. Nigel is on record as pointing out that the absence of a deal would be better than the deal we have at the moment because our annual contributions to the EU budget are larger than any tariffs the EU could put on our goods under WTO rules.
Where Article 50 refers to Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) it is in respect of the possible agreement on the framework for future trade and detailed mutually agreed provisions on how the exit is to work in practice, if there is no agreement the UK leaves after the two year period anyway (unless everyone including the UK agrees to extend the period of negotiations).

Why 'Brexit lite' is a terrible idea which will shackle us to a ticking time bomb

Compelling article in the Daily Telegraph by Martin Brolin, the author of A State of Independence: Why the EU is the Problem not the Solution. Read the article

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