INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

In or out?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#361 Post by Alan H » August 2nd, 2016, 11:03 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Screenshot from 2016-08-02.png
Screenshot from 2016-08-02.png (403.2 KiB) Viewed 3360 times
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: In or out?

#362 Post by Gottard » August 2nd, 2016, 3:23 pm

Alan H wrote:
Gottard wrote:
May I kindly recall everyone that, generally speaking, papers need to fill their columns anyway in the Summer. Sometimes this entails longer articles packed with "imagination" about what may or may not happen. Let's wait for September (month end).
That isn't from a newspaper, of course, but the Institute for Government.
The Institute for Government is an independent charity working to increase government effectiveness.
The Institute for Government is a registered charity in England and Wales (Registered Charity No.1123926). Our funding comes from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#363 Post by animist » August 3rd, 2016, 11:06 am

https://next.ft.com/content/a37459ac-39 ... 1de6a61009

[I think you need to subscribe to the FT to read this legitimately, and so below is just part of the article!]

The Canadian diplomat Jeremy Kinsman has a scathing phrase for the predicament of the pro-Brexit UK government. The Brexiteers, the former high commissioner to the UK and ambassador to the EU, observed, “are the dog that caught the bus: they hadn’t thought what to do next”.

The UK government does not know what to do about Brexit. This is not a rhetorical exaggeration, it is a statement of fact. As the foreign affairs parliamentary select committee reported recently (paragraph 19): The previous Government’s considered view not to instruct key Departments
including the [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] to plan for the possibility that the electorate would vote to leave the EU amounted to gross negligence. It has exacerbated post-referendum uncertainty both within the UK and amongst key international partners, and made the task now facing the new Government substantially more difficult.”

The scale of the Brexit task ahead is becoming plain, even if there is still shapelessness in policy. Many would say the job is impossible, at least in the short to medium term. Take for example the need for an exit agreement with the EU. Greenland, population less than Croydon, one issue — fish, and it still took three years for it to leave what was then the EEC. There is no sensible reason to believe that the UK could extract itself from the EU (a more complex entity than the EEC) in the two years envisaged by Article 50.

This is no surprise: Article 50 was never intended to be a practical provision. It was there just for decoration. The departing member state may have the immense advantage of setting the timing of the notification; but then the see-saw reverses dramatically, giving the remaining member states a near-absolute advantage in negotiating position. Any extension of the two-year period cannot be taken for granted, and so unless an agreement can be reached in less than two years, the member state is ejected. It would be a weird and unworkable way to deal with a complex negotiation of the nature required.

This is why any Brexit may perhaps be by a new treaty rather than by the unfit-for-purpose Article 50. But this would create new problems. Most notably, it could require a fresh referendum in the UK. It would also need unanimity by the remaining member states.

Then there are the international trade agreements that the Brexiteers say the UK should enter with the rest of the world. There are many difficulties here. The UK has no trade negotiators; the rest of the world will want to see what the UK-EU arrangement is before committing to a trade deal; and Britain has a weak and needy negotiating position.

The competency of the British government to negotiate high-value complex commercial agreements on important matters at speed and under media pressure against unsentimental counter-parties can be summed up in three letters: PFI. The deals are disasters waiting to happen.

It cannot even be taken for granted that the UK will have an easy ride becoming a World Trade Organisation member in its own right. There is nothing simple about the UK gaining WTO status post-Brexit.

In the face of these stark problems, what has marked the first month since the referendum result is a certain lack of seriousness by the Brexit government. The new international trade secretary, Liam Fox, is reduced to boasting of the opening of three one-person trade kiosks in the US, while his remarks about the UK leaving a customs union had to be “clarified” by the prime minister. Neither the US nor the Canadians are in any hurry to commence negotiations before they can see what Brexit looks like. There is confusion in Whitehall about the remits of the three Brexit departments. There are desperate (and possibly unlawful) demands that trade deals be tied to overseas aid. In an important post, Charles Grant has detailed the six deals the UK government has to do. Serious issues such as the status of EU nationals in the UK and what will happen to “acquired rights” on Brexit have still not been addressed.

In the meantime, the hurdles to Brexit are accumulating. Theresa May, the new prime minister, has spoken of there being a need for a UK-wide approach, and she now also wants to consult British dependencies. Politicians in Scotland and Northern Ireland (majorities in both of which voted to remain in the EU) are alert and agile in turning the fall-out from Brexit to their benefit. As with the (now seemingly abandoned) British Bill of Rights, the devolution settlements and the Good Friday Agreement are not mere after-thoughts for Westminster politicians, but things that shape what can and cannot be done easily by the supposedly sovereign parliament.

In its rewriting of domestic law and policy and its refiguration of foreign and trade policy, Brexit will be the single biggest exercise by any UK government in peace time — and all this on top of governing a country in a period of austerity with limited public spending and a small majority. And it is for an objective that few in Westminster and Whitehall genuinely want.

The 52 per cent vote for Leave in a non-binding referendum will increasingly seem flimsy against the sheer magnitude of the task ahead. If Leave politicians were candid and realistic about the years, sweat and tears ahead, you could believe they were up to it. But they maintain it is easy, and unless their attitude changes, it is this complacency that will defeat them. Denialism and wishful thinking are not enough.

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#364 Post by animist » August 3rd, 2016, 11:47 am

animist wrote:https://next.ft.com/content/a37459ac-39 ... 1de6a61009

[I think you need to subscribe to the FT to read this legitimately, and so below is just part of the article!]

The UK government does not know what to do about Brexit. This is not a rhetorical exaggeration, it is a statement of fact. As the foreign affairs parliamentary select committee reported recently (paragraph 19): The previous Government’s considered view not to instruct key Departments
including the [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] to plan for the possibility that the electorate would vote to leave the EU amounted to gross negligence. It has exacerbated post-referendum uncertainty both within the UK and amongst key international partners, and made the task now facing the new Government substantially more difficult.”

The scale of the Brexit task ahead is becoming plain, even if there is still shapelessness in policy. Many would say the job is impossible, at least in the short to medium term. Take for example the need for an exit agreement with the EU. Greenland, population less than Croydon, one issue — fish, and it still took three years for it to leave what was then the EEC. There is no sensible reason to believe that the UK could extract itself from the EU (a more complex entity than the EEC) in the two years envisaged by Article 50.

This is no surprise: Article 50 was never intended to be a practical provision. It was there just for decoration. The departing member state may have the immense advantage of setting the timing of the notification; but then the see-saw reverses dramatically, giving the remaining member states a near-absolute advantage in negotiating position. Any extension of the two-year period cannot be taken for granted, and so unless an agreement can be reached in less than two years, the member state is ejected. It would be a weird and unworkable way to deal with a complex negotiation of the nature required.

This is why any Brexit may perhaps be by a new treaty rather than by the unfit-for-purpose Article 50. But this would create new problems. Most notably, it could require a fresh referendum in the UK. It would also need unanimity by the remaining member states.

Then there are the international trade agreements that the Brexiteers say the UK should enter with the rest of the world. There are many difficulties here. The UK has no trade negotiators; the rest of the world will want to see what the UK-EU arrangement is before committing to a trade deal; and Britain has a weak and needy negotiating position.

The competency of the British government to negotiate high-value complex commercial agreements on important matters at speed and under media pressure against unsentimental counter-parties can be summed up in three letters: PFI. The deals are disasters waiting to happen.

It cannot even be taken for granted that the UK will have an easy ride becoming a World Trade Organisation member in its own right. There is nothing simple about the UK gaining WTO status post-Brexit.

In the face of these stark problems, what has marked the first month since the referendum result is a certain lack of seriousness by the Brexit government. The new international trade secretary, Liam Fox, is reduced to boasting of the opening of three one-person trade kiosks in the US, while his remarks about the UK leaving a customs union had to be “clarified” by the prime minister. Neither the US nor the Canadians are in any hurry to commence negotiations before they can see what Brexit looks like. There is confusion in Whitehall about the remits of the three Brexit departments. There are desperate (and possibly unlawful) demands that trade deals be tied to overseas aid. In an important post, Charles Grant has detailed the six deals the UK government has to do. Serious issues such as the status of EU nationals in the UK and what will happen to “acquired rights” on Brexit have still not been addressed.

In the meantime, the hurdles to Brexit are accumulating. Theresa May, the new prime minister, has spoken of there being a need for a UK-wide approach, and she now also wants to consult British dependencies. Politicians in Scotland and Northern Ireland (majorities in both of which voted to remain in the EU) are alert and agile in turning the fall-out from Brexit to their benefit. As with the (now seemingly abandoned) British Bill of Rights, the devolution settlements and the Good Friday Agreement are not mere after-thoughts for Westminster politicians, but things that shape what can and cannot be done easily by the supposedly sovereign parliament.

In its rewriting of domestic law and policy and its refiguration of foreign and trade policy, Brexit will be the single biggest exercise by any UK government in peace time — and all this on top of governing a country in a period of austerity with limited public spending and a small majority. And it is for an objective that few in Westminster and Whitehall genuinely want.

The 52 per cent vote for Leave in a non-binding referendum will increasingly seem flimsy against the sheer magnitude of the task ahead. If Leave politicians were candid and realistic about the years, sweat and tears ahead, you could believe they were up to it. But they maintain it is easy, and unless their attitude changes, it is this complacency that will defeat them. Denialism and wishful thinking are not enough.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#365 Post by Alan H » August 3rd, 2016, 3:18 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#366 Post by Nick » August 3rd, 2016, 9:56 pm

animist wrote:
ugh, so we force the poor countries to subsidise our stupidity
Instead of shafting them by imposing a tariff of 22% on their exports like the EU? How is that defensible? That really is an utter disgrace. As I hope you agree.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#367 Post by Nick » August 3rd, 2016, 9:58 pm

Whereas, much of the EU have been suffering complete economic meltdown for years. How magnanimously "European" of you to want the southern Europeans to sacrifice an entire generation for the sake of a disastrous "Project".

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#368 Post by Nick » August 3rd, 2016, 10:02 pm

Gottard wrote:
May I kindly recall everyone that, generally speaking, papers need to fill their columns anyway in the Summer. Sometimes this entails longer articles packed with "imagination" about what may or may not happen. Let's wait for September (month end).
True Gottard, so true.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#369 Post by Nick » August 3rd, 2016, 10:10 pm

animist wrote:
ugh, so we force the poor countries to subsidise our stupidity
Just why does trading with an emerging nation impoverish that nation? If we buy buy a BMW, is that a subsidy from Germany to the UK? Seriously?!

Alternatively, we could be prevented from discussing any trade deal with an emerging nation, just because we are part of a first world protection racket, like, ooooh, foe example, the EU.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#370 Post by Alan H » August 4th, 2016, 12:32 am

England’s Last Gasp of Empire
LONDON — From Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II, England was an empire. No more.

Brexit has turned the twilight years of the reign of Elizabeth II into the final chapter in the history of Great Britain. What its partisans, celebrating with flag-waving in the street, tearfully called “Independence Day” will unravel the role that England has played since the 16th century as a great power, along with the City of London’s reign as a financial capital of the world.

After Elizabeth I ascended to the throne in 1558, her merchant-venturers began an imperial quest. By Elizabeth II’s birth, Britain’s empire spanned nearly a quarter of the globe.

Brexit’s fantasy of revived greatness — “taking back control” — will achieve the opposite. England’s wish to withdraw from its union with Europe appears now to have made inevitable Scotland’s eventual withdrawal from its union with England. It has also placed in doubt the status of Northern Ireland, where a majority also voted against leaving the European Union.

This misguided craving will turn Britain’s seat, created by Winston Churchill, on the United Nations Security Council into a rotten borough (as parliamentary constituencies that persisted despite low populations were known historically). The great powers will never allow this little England to exercise a veto right against their wishes.

Why did England choose this? The key is not sovereignty but a rejection of ethnic change.

“It’s not England anymore,” people told me as I traveled around the country covering the referendum. In Tonbridge and Grantham, in Romford and Witney, this is what I heard, hundreds of times: “We don’t recognize our country anymore.”

Middle England did not treat this as a referendum on European Union membership but as a plebiscite on one thing: “immigration.” For Middle Englanders, “immigrants” is also a synonym for nonwhite British. Identity, not austerity, motivated their vote to Leave.

At her coronation in 1953, Elizabeth II also became the reigning monarch of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The nonwhite population of Britain then was probably less than 20,000. Over 70 percent of British workers were manual laborers.

London was far from the cosmopolitan capital it has become. In 1931, less than 3 percent of Londoners were foreign-born; that was the historical norm for the city. For all London’s trade and commerce, historians believe it was essentially mono-ethnic as late as the 17th century.

Metropolitan elites often use the Irish and Jewish settlement in Britain from the mid-19th century to bolster a national story of Britain as an immigrant nation, but the history does not fit this narrative. We prefer to forget it, but Britain’s Irish communities suffered appalling levels of ethnic hate and communal segregation into the 1980s.

Jews were expelled from Britain in the 13th century and barred from settling here until the 17th century. The extreme hostility to Jewish immigrants saw Britain largely close its borders to them in 1905, and later refuse asylum to hundreds of thousands of European Jews fleeing Nazism. In Wales, there was even a pogrom against Jews in 1911.

Before World War II, only three waves left a demographic trace on this “island nation”: Huguenots from France and the Netherlands in the 16th century, Irish migration in the mid-19th century and Jewish immigration in the later decades. The numbers were always small. Huguenots numbered about 1 percent of London’s population; Irish migration, even at its 19th-century peak, amounted to less than 3 percent of the population of England and Wales. Fewer than 250,000 Jews migrated to Britain between 1880 and 1914.

So the most striking historical trend of Elizabeth II’s reign has been a sudden ethnic transformation of Britain. In 1931, when the queen was a child of 5, only 1.75 percent of Britain’s population was foreign-born. Her rule saw the Empire come to Britain: For the first time, the island experienced large-scale nonwhite immigration from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. By 2011, when she was 85, about 20 percent of the population of England and Wales were immigrants or the children of immigrants.

When the queen celebrated her 90th birthday this year, more than 12 percent of her subjects were nonwhite. This is the new England, but London is already another country. In 1971, 86 percent of Londoners were still white British. Forty years later, fewer than half were. Urban areas with a population less than 60 percent white British now include such major cities as Slough, Leicester, Luton and Birmingham. Ethnic change is gathering pace: By 2050, roughly 30 percent of Britons could be nonwhite.

Remain campaigners argue that it was areas with low immigration that voted most heavily for Brexit. This misses the large flow of white British families from diverse cities to such areas and misunderstands them. People were voting against their town turning into London; they were voting against becoming an immigrant nation.

In Tonbridge, I heard “Enoch was right” — a reference to Enoch Powell, the politician who scandalized party colleagues in 1968 but won broad public support for a speech that predicted racial strife resulting from mass immigration. In Grantham, Margaret Thatcher’s hometown, I was told Britain would “collapse with these millions of Turks.” In Romford, a suburb east of London, I was warned that “there’ll be a civil war between the English and the immigrants.”

Since Brexit, a wave of attacks, arson and abuse has hit Britain. Historically, ethnic change is one of the most difficult things a society can go through. But why is this anger flaring with such intensity now?

Part of the reason is that the messaging of the Leave campaign suggested that Britain was under a camouflaged German diktat. A majority of those I met thought a tide of immigration from the European Union was imminent — thanks, they believed, to impending Turkish membership. This made the Brexit referendum eerily similar in emotional content to last year’s bailout referendum in Greece, which encompassed a similar psychodrama of World War II refought.

On my travels, I thought often of the writer J. G. Ballard. The English are a funny old lot, he said: They “talked as if they’d won the war but acted as if they’ve lost it.”

The suburbs dream of violence, he wrote. Beneath the surface, he saw an angry, lost society in which the centuries-old pillars of Britishness — empire, church, navy, class — were crumbling. This unraveling has continued inside Britain long after it ceased to exist in the world.

And now the dreamers, unwitting, sickened with nostalgia, have torn down that last, threadbare vestige of Great Britain. This is the queen of England’s England no more.

Correction: July 13, 2016
An earlier version of this article inaccurately described an aspect of demographic change in Britain in the 19th century. At that time, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, so the influx of Irish into England was a migration, not immigration.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#371 Post by animist » August 4th, 2016, 11:35 am

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:
ugh, so we force the poor countries to subsidise our stupidity
Just why does trading with an emerging nation impoverish that nation? If we buy buy a BMW, is that a subsidy from Germany to the UK? Seriously?!

Alternatively, we could be prevented from discussing any trade deal with an emerging nation, just because we are part of a first world protection racket, like, ooooh, foe example, the EU.
if Patel is talking about trying aid to exports, this has been a controversial aspect of UK aid for a long time. No, it does not impoverish poor countries absolutely, of course not, but by limiting their choice of goods it represents a diminution in the benefit they get from aid. Your analogy is not at all appropriate

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#372 Post by animist » August 4th, 2016, 11:38 am

Nick wrote:
Whereas, much of the EU have been suffering complete economic meltdown for years. How magnanimously "European" of you to want the southern Europeans to sacrifice an entire generation for the sake of a disastrous "Project".
another of your "tu quoque" style arguments Nick! The fact, if it is so, that the EU has not been good for some countries is not a reason for the UK to harm itself and the rest of the EU by leaving it in the foolish way that it seems intent on doing

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#373 Post by animist » August 4th, 2016, 11:41 am

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:
ugh, so we force the poor countries to subsidise our stupidity
Instead of shafting them by imposing a tariff of 22% on their exports like the EU? How is that defensible? That really is an utter disgrace. As I hope you agree.
I think I did agree (on Facebook) that the EU tariff system could be better - this is a huge question about which I am not that well informed, but can you point out where you get the 22% figure? You say that Patel's ideas would be "instead of" high EU tariffs imposed on poor countries, but how do you know that the UK will not impose its own tariffs? More than likely if the Brexit idiocy runs into problems, which it will!

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#374 Post by Nick » August 6th, 2016, 9:20 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
Whereas, much of the EU have been suffering complete economic meltdown for years. How magnanimously "European" of you to want the southern Europeans to sacrifice an entire generation for the sake of a disastrous "Project".
another of your "tu quoque" style arguments Nick! The fact, if it is so, that the EU has not been good for some countries is not a reason for the UK to harm itself and the rest of the EU by leaving it in the foolish way that it seems intent on doing
Come come! If I were to advocate some "I'm-all-right-Jack" policy, then you'd be the first to criticise me! The reason for the economic down-turn is uncertainty. Besides any normal uncertainty associated with major change, there is also the uncertainty deliberately created by some of our former European "friends" to try to beggar the British economy to discourage others from following us. Furthermore, this downturn is temporary. This does not mean that the UK economy will necessary be better outside the EU, but it may be, especially if the EU tanks. If Italy fails, or France leaves, or Greece rebels, or..... Or even if it is just the gentle (or not so gentle) throttling of the EU economy. The UK has, in recent years, created more jobs than the rest of the EU put together. That can't just be because of the EU, can it, or all the other countries would have triumphed too, wouldn't they?

Furthermore, the EU and, in consequence, Brexit are political decisions too. So, on the basis that the EU has failed in major ways, is incapable of reform without drastic action (Cameron failed to achieve any meaningful reform), Brexit is the best option, even if it will be a bumpy ride.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#375 Post by Nick » August 6th, 2016, 9:29 am

animist wrote:if Patel is talking about trying aid to exports, this has been a controversial aspect of UK aid for a long time. No, it does not impoverish poor countries absolutely, of course not, but by limiting their choice of goods it represents a diminution in the benefit they get from aid. Your analogy is not at all appropriate
Overseas aid is, and always has been, tied in with foreign policy. It is also tied in to boosting British trade. And there can be bad outcomes to this on occasion. And sometimes things go wrong. Not least because foreign governments aren't always particularly stable or free from corruption.

Whilst bearing that in mind, I suggest to you that it is the boost to trade which engenders some of the aid in the first place. Without it, aid would be lower.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#376 Post by Nick » August 6th, 2016, 9:43 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
animist wrote:ugh, so we force the poor countries to subsidise our stupidity
Instead of shafting them by imposing a tariff of 22% on their exports like the EU? How is that defensible? That really is an utter disgrace. As I hope you agree.
I think I did agree (on Facebook) that the EU tariff system could be better - this is a huge question about which I am not that well informed, but can you point out where you get the 22% figure?
Can't remember precisely, but don't want to dodge the question, so here is some raw data.
You say that Patel's ideas would be "instead of" high EU tariffs imposed on poor countries, but how do you know that the UK will not impose its own tariffs? More than likely if the Brexit idiocy runs into problems, which it will!
The future, whether in or out of the EU is always uncertain, but the UK has a better trading record that Europe. Consider for a moment, that the French desire to leave the EU is not based on bashing restrictive regulations from Brussels, but because the EU is too "neo-liberal"!

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#377 Post by animist » August 6th, 2016, 12:26 pm

Nick wrote:If I were to advocate some "I'm-all-right-Jack" policy, then you'd be the first to criticise me!
not so, unless the policy seriously damaged other countries, since any government is elected primarily to look after its electors' interests
Nick wrote:The reason for the economic down-turn is uncertainty. Besides any normal uncertainty associated with major change, there is also the uncertainty deliberately created by some of our former European "friends" to try to beggar the British economy to discourage others from following us. Furthermore, this downturn is temporary.
I am not going to get into the "blame EU" thing again, but this is crazy talk given that it is barely six weeks since the vote, and nothing else has yet happened over Brexit (I admit that it does seem an eternity, however!). There is no way that you or anyone can know whether the downturn is "temporary", whatever that means; there are many types of uncertainty, and the current uncertainty over what the UK is going to do may turn out to be less harmful than later uncertainty over its economic prospects once it is detached from the EU
Nick wrote:This does not mean that the UK economy will necessary be better outside the EU, but it may be, especially if the EU tanks.
like a lot of Brexiters, you seem very happy trust that something will turn up. Oh, the EU may collapse; oh, we can go it alone and make all these instant deals with other countries. Get real and remember the political failures of recent years in and outside Britain, like the so-called liberation of Iraq (and yes FTM, ERM and the eurozone's problems)
Nick wrote:The UK has, in recent years, created more jobs than the rest of the EU put together.
that is not actually true, and is a typically misleading claim; see this: https://fullfact.org/europe/has-uk-crea ... -combined/
Nick wrote:That can't just be because of the EU, can it, or all the other countries would have triumphed too, wouldn't they?
Apart from the fact that the claim is not true, I could turn your argument on its head. If Britain is doing better than the rest of the EU while remaining in it, is it really sensible to gamble that we could do even better outside it?

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#378 Post by animist » August 6th, 2016, 12:33 pm

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:if Patel is talking about trying aid to exports, this has been a controversial aspect of UK aid for a long time. No, it does not impoverish poor countries absolutely, of course not, but by limiting their choice of goods it represents a diminution in the benefit they get from aid. Your analogy is not at all appropriate
Overseas aid is, and always has been, tied in with foreign policy. It is also tied in to boosting British trade. And there can be bad outcomes to this on occasion. And sometimes things go wrong. Not least because foreign governments aren't always particularly stable or free from corruption.

Whilst bearing that in mind, I suggest to you that it is the boost to trade which engenders some of the aid in the first place. Without it, aid would be lower.
your last comment - yes I agree of course. And yes, aid does tend to be linked with self-interest (that's an example I suppose of a phrase I used a few weeks ago, enlightened self-interest). But this does not mean that poor countries would not be better off if the aid really were purely philanthropic, does it? I suppose that Patel's ideas are distasteful because they give the impression of diminishing the real value of aid in order to buttress what might be a shaky UK economy after Brexit

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#379 Post by Nick » August 7th, 2016, 8:29 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:If I were to advocate some "I'm-all-right-Jack" policy, then you'd be the first to criticise me!
not so, unless the policy seriously damaged other countries, since any government is elected primarily to look after its electors' interests
So, as the EU has seriously damaged most of Southern Europe, that means you should be against it!
Nick wrote:The reason for the economic down-turn is uncertainty. Besides any normal uncertainty associated with major change, there is also the uncertainty deliberately created by some of our former European "friends" to try to beggar the British economy to discourage others from following us. Furthermore, this downturn is temporary.
I am not going to get into the "blame EU" thing again, but this is crazy talk given that it is barely six weeks since the vote, and nothing else has yet happened over Brexit (I admit that it does seem an eternity, however!). [/quote]Huh? So why is that not uncertainty? :shrug:
There is no way that you or anyone can know whether the downturn is "temporary", whatever that means;
Are you seriously claiming that the UK is about to enter a never-ending recession....?
there are many types of uncertainty, and the current uncertainty over what the UK is going to do may turn out to be less harmful than later uncertainty over its economic prospects once it is detached from the EU
That goes against all the evidence we generally see. When something happens to create uncertainty, many things stop until there is greater clarity. But once there is greater clarity, activities (maybe different ones) resume.
Nick wrote:This does not mean that the UK economy will necessary be better outside the EU, but it may be, especially if the EU tanks.
like a lot of Brexiters, you seem very happy trust that something will turn up.
What makes you think that the human spirit has been extinguished by not being part of the EU? Do you think, for example, that the whole of India should have clung to the British Empire, just because the future was uncertain for them?
Oh, the EU may collapse; oh, we can go it alone and make all these instant deals with other countries.
No-one is claiming it will be instant, but what we do see is deliberate obstruction by the EU to the formation of any new deals, even with the EU. It is quite deliberately and blatantly being used to try to punish the UK and put fear into others.
Get real and remember the political failures of recent years in and outside Britain, like the so-called liberation of Iraq (and yes FTM, ERM and the eurozone's problems)
Policy is always a judgement call, whichever way you go. I don't want to discuss Iraq, (and I am definitely not trying to justify anything connected to our policy on Iraq) but maybe things would have been worse if we had done nothing. How can we ever know?
Nick wrote:The UK has, in recent years, created more jobs than the rest of the EU put together.
that is not actually true, and is a typically misleading claim; see this: https://fullfact.org/europe/has-uk-crea ... -combined/
I'm quite happy to agree that things are geneally a bit more complicated that one-line statements (38 Degrees, take note!), and yes, the shorthand used needs greater clarity, but if an economically united EU is being advocated then it does seem appropriate to unite the job-losses of the "Club Med" countries with the job totals in Germany. Besides which, I am using the statement to explain that the whole question of economic policy is much more complicated that just being in or out of the EU. You have just enhanced my point, haven't you?
Nick wrote:That can't just be because of the EU, can it, or all the other countries would have triumphed too, wouldn't they?
Apart from the fact that the claim is not true, I could turn your argument on its head. If Britain is doing better than the rest of the EU while remaining in it, is it really sensible to gamble that we could do even better outside it?
Huh? I am claiming that the differing experience with employment amongst EU countries shows that EU membership is not the determining factor. If you turn it on its head, then you are claiming it is! That is bonkers!

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#380 Post by animist » August 8th, 2016, 10:30 am

Nick wrote:
There is no way that you or anyone can know whether the downturn is "temporary", whatever that means;
Are you seriously claiming that the UK is about to enter a never-ending recession....?
no - whyever do you conclude that I meant that?
Nick wrote:
like a lot of Brexiters, you seem very happy trust that something will turn up.
What makes you think that the human spirit has been extinguished by not being part of the EU? Do you think, for example, that the whole of India should have clung to the British Empire, just because the future was uncertain for them?
Nick, as with many of your replies here, I cannot really respond because you have totally misinterpreted what I said and asked meaningless questions as a result
Nick wrote:Policy is always a judgement call, whichever way you go. I don't want to discuss Iraq, (and I am definitely not trying to justify anything connected to our policy on Iraq) but maybe things would have been worse if we had done nothing. How can we ever know?
omigod, yes, any policy is fraught with some uncertainty, but some policies are more dangerous than others. Brexit is more dangerous than Bremain simply because it gambles with present prosperity for the sake of a hoped-for greater prosperity
Nick wrote:I'm quite happy to agree that things are geneally a bit more complicated that one-line statements (38 Degrees, take note!), and yes, the shorthand used needs greater clarity, but if an economically united EU is being advocated then it does seem appropriate to unite the job-losses of the "Club Med" countries with the job totals in Germany.
this won't do at all, Nick. The two claims - that Britain has had somewhat higher employment levels than the rest of the EU, and that we have created more jobs in this period than the whole of the EU put together - are radically different. The first is true, the second is false - it would indeed be remarkable if it were true, given that the UK is just one of 28 countries! Since Spain and Italy suffered high unemployment levels earlier in the period and then recovered, those countries MUST have created many new jobs.
Nick wrote:Huh? I am claiming that the differing experience with employment amongst EU countries shows that EU membership is not the determining factor. If you turn it on its head, then you are claiming it is! That is bonkers!
I am not claiming that EU membership is the determining factor in Britain's prosperity, and I doubt whether you or anyone else knows what the determining factor is. I imagine that, as with most such questions, there is not simply a unique "determining" factor but many factors in particular cases of economic performance, some of them pulling against others. All I suggested is basically: if it ain't broke, don't fix it

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#381 Post by animist » August 8th, 2016, 12:56 pm

Nick at least seems to have trouble about me using words like "uncertain" or "temporary". So I will try to spell out how I see the two types of uncertainty which I mentioned in connexion with Brexit and its repercussions. Ninny, look away if you don't like long unpoetic posts :smile:

UNCERTAINTY 1. The referendum outcome has had some negative repercussions on the UK economy and cultural links with other countries, but so far these are minor and may settle down. We are currently in a situation resembling the "Phoney War" which characterised the start of World War 2, since all that's happened is a referendum plus a new government (this analogy with WW2 was made by the Chatham House lecturer, and I strongly advise everyone to watch this lecture, posted by Gottard the other week). The rest of the world is uncertain about Brexit in a rather nebulous way, since it does not know what Britain will do and when. The Article 50 invocation has not happened, and TMQ (The May Queen) has said it will not happen till 2017, which is some way off; so we may for the rest of 2016 almost feel that things are getting back to normal. If TMQ delays further into next year (eg because of complications with Parliament) then people may start to hope that Article 50 may never actually be activated and normalcy will grow.

UNCERTAINTY 2. But let's assume that TMQ does invoke Article 50 in 2017 and that this act appears irreversible, so that we will be out of the EU by 2019. Let's also assume that she indicates that she wants a pretty clean break with the EU which means leaving the SIngle Market. Uncertainty 1 will now have ended, but IMO it will be replaced by a much more serious and focused uncertainty about Britain's future capacity to trade with the world. Again, please everyone, Nick especially, do watch the Chatham House lecture, which discusses with great clarity the complications of the Brexit process and the problems involved in reconstructing our trading relations with the EU and with the rest of the world. You should be scared, I am!

Post Reply