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Update: Brexit "Barometer" and News

I don't remember if I've previously shared this link; here is the Bloomberg Brexit Barometer. They are keeping track of certain data and it seems like a handy reference. The British Pound is still down, UK Housing Prices have recently taken a dive, the UK Government Bond Yield is not too bad, and the unemployment rate is dropping. (I wonder if that last one accounts for folks leaving the UK to seek work elsewhere.) FYI


You may have seen, in various posts, my opinion: "It looks like a 'hard Brexit'"; typically adding my simplified definition: "Leave first then worry about the details later". To support my hard Brexit "divination", I mentioned that I haven't seen news about negotiations.

Lo and behold, here's somewhat relevant news:


Reality Check: European Parliament's 'red lines' on Brexit
5 April 2017; From the section Europe
Copyright © 2017 BBC
Source; excerpts follow:

Quote

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution that lays out its views on the Brexit negotiations.

The parliament will have no formal role in shaping the Brexit talks. The negotiations will be led by the European Commission on behalf of the EU's remaining 27 member states. Their draft negotiating guidelines were issued last week.

But the parliament's views still matter because under the Article 50 rules it will get a vote on the final EU-UK "divorce" deal and if it does not like what has been agreed it could demand changes and delay the process.

BBC Reality Check correspondent Chris Morris teases out some of the key sentences from the resolution and explains their significance.

Article 50 may be revoked

- A revocation of notification needs to be subject to conditions set by all EU-27, so that it cannot be used as a procedural device or abused in an attempt to improve on the current terms of the United Kingdom's membership;

This is interesting. It implies that the European Parliament thinks the UK can change its mind about Article 50 (whereas the UK government has implied the opposite). The truth is that irrevocability is the subject of legal dispute and, as this is a matter of interpreting a European treaty, the ultimate arbiter would be the European Court of Justice. Either way, the parliament makes clear here that it would not allow the UK to plead for a better deal if it tried to return - even the package of measures offered to David Cameron in February 2016 (remember this?) is now null and void…

EU standards to apply to trade deal

- Stresses that any future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom is conditional on the UK's continued adherence to the standards provided by international obligations, including human rights and the Union's legislation and policies, in, among others, the field of the environment, climate change, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, fair competition, trade and social rights, especially safeguards against social dumping;

The resolution suggests that the future relationship could be built upon an agreement under which the UK would have to accept EU standards over a wide range of policy areas from climate change to tax evasion. In some areas that might be exactly what the UK government wants to do anyway, given that the UK has played a leading role in forging those policy positions in the first place. But domestic politics in the UK means any wholesale acceptance of EU policies could be a tough sell…

Read entire article


For some reason, the revocation of Article 50 part reminded me of the "nuclear option" being employed by our own Senate; when inconvenienced, just change the rules.

And the "EU standards to apply to trade deals" part is something I've mentioned before, possibly more often than the Brexit proponents. All sorts of "pros" that the proponents used to sell Brexit were not realistic, and possibly outright lies. The xenophobia element, "protecting Britain's borders", is essentially a non-starter if they want to keep trading with the EU. If there's no free passage amongst member states, then you don't meet the qualifications; therefore, no trade deal.

There is nothing in this news that persuades me to change my opinion; it's still looking like a "hard Brexit" to me.
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4 Comments On This Entry

As a Brit, and LEAVE voter, three points:

1---I reject the notion that the pros were lies/exaggerations. The LEAVE argument was very clear and consistent, in fact the 'lie' about the NHS and £350m is a prime example of REMAIN spin. LEAVE did not, as claimed, argue the £350m a week would go straight into the NHS (only a fool would argue or believe that) NOR is 350m the correct figure, its actually 462m (66m a day x 7). I would like you to give me examples of these pros if you don't mind that you claim were exaggerations or lies.

2--The xenophobia/racist argument is another lie, one post-vote thrown about by childish REMAIN voters who couldn't and cant handle the vote. The British people have shown time and time again that they are amongst the most tolerant and non racist people everywhere (how many times do people say the British have been TOO POLITE to immigrants and the problems some of those groups have brought?). The idea that over 17m people, of all backgrounds, voted due to xenophobia or racism is a nonsense. The UK is physically a small nation by US/Cana standards, and has finite social resources. The NHS and other British institutions, from prisons to asylum centres, are stretched. The UK is only a few years out of a bad recession. The UK is now 65m people, with huge influxes of people in the last 15-20 years, from E Europe to Somalia. The UK simply cannot take in everyone. Its NOT xenophobia to wish for a system of common sense, non racist, CONTROLLED immigration.

The UK didn't reject Europe or its cultures or its values, many of which we share. It rejected a corrupt, overblown political union. No more than that.

3--I also wish a hard Brexit. Common sense will dictate a bit of to-and-fro on some issues, but a weak Brexit is no good to the UK and NOT what we 17m+ voted for.
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scotsman, on 08 April 2017 - 09:32 AM, said:

As a Brit, and LEAVE voter, three points:

1---I reject the notion that the pros were lies/exaggerations. The LEAVE argument was very clear and consistent, in fact the 'lie' about the NHS and £350m is a prime example of REMAIN spin. LEAVE did not, as claimed, argue the £350m a week would go straight into the NHS (only a fool would argue or believe that) NOR is 350m the correct figure, its actually 462m (66m a day x 7). I would like you to give me examples of these pros if you don't mind that you claim were exaggerations or lies.

2--The xenophobia/racist argument is another lie, one post-vote thrown about by childish REMAIN voters who couldn't and cant handle the vote. The British people have shown time and time again that they are amongst the most tolerant and non racist people everywhere (how many times do people say the British have been TOO POLITE to immigrants and the problems some of those groups have brought?). The idea that over 17m people, of all backgrounds, voted due to xenophobia or racism is a nonsense. The UK is physically a small nation by US/Cana standards, and has finite social resources. The NHS and other British institutions, from prisons to asylum centres, are stretched. The UK is only a few years out of a bad recession. The UK is now 65m people, with huge influxes of people in the last 15-20 years, from E Europe to Somalia. The UK simply cannot take in everyone. Its NOT xenophobia to wish for a system of common sense, non racist, CONTROLLED immigration.

The UK didn't reject Europe or its cultures or its values, many of which we share. It rejected a corrupt, overblown political union. No more than that.

3--I also wish a hard Brexit. Common sense will dictate a bit of to-and-fro on some issues, but a weak Brexit is no good to the UK and NOT what we 17m+ voted for.

My friend, you’re there, and have more vested in the Brexit; and I appreciate your willingness to respond and present your perspective.

My memory was a bit spotty so I did a quick search on “Brexit lies” and, no surprise, there’s actually a website by that name, clearly created by those opposed. Glancing through, I recognized the names Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, and I remember those fellows being featured prominently in articles I read at the time. My exposure back then was no doubt filtered by at least 2 elements: News presented to America and news presented to the Investment industry. It’s the latter filter that most influenced my opinion (note the Bloomberg Brexit Barometer I linked above); and it’s a “conservative” perspective: “Change as little as possible, and then only when absolutely necessary”. That’s why I remain befuddled by the desire to leave what seemed to be an advantageous arrangement.

Immigration is an issue for a lot of countries; I know it was a hot topic here for years prior to the Trump campaign. He didn’t create it but he certainly leveraged it to help get elected. I remember it being mentioned in Brexit news reports (amongst other things) as an argument of the LEAVE campaign. In NO WAY does this mean that I think the British people are racist or xenophobic; I am as certain of that as one can be without having been there. For a couple of years now I’ve been working closely with Brits of various origins and ethnicities such that I barely notice. (I sometimes have trouble with accents and pronunciation of names, but that’s me.) The diverse workforce that I’ve seen doesn’t bespeak an invidious culture.

However, that is not to say that there aren’t such elements, a fraction of the electorate who can be persuaded by appeals to fearful and bigoted outlooks. It’s happened throughout history, it recently happened here, and I think it’s reasonable to accept that it’s part of what happened there. Again, I’m not saying that 17M people are racist; only that appealing to fringes is sometimes enough to tip an election. Especially if that side is better at politicking and messaging.

From my perspective, the immigration issue is salient to the Brexit vote because of TRADE. As I said above: “If there's no free passage amongst member states, then you don't meet the qualifications; therefore, no trade deal.” And the UK NEEDS to trade with the EU; I consider that inarguable. Either leave your borders open to free passage amongst member states or lose a significant portion of your trade economy. This is why I think any anti-immigration sentiment in the campaign was, at best, misguided; and, from what I know, I don’t think the LEAVE campaign was very forthcoming about this. Yes, of course the UK could have still turned away those who were security risks, agitators, criminals, terrorists, etc. You just couldn’t erect a “Trump wall” and expect no repercussions.

I agree: “Its NOT xenophobia to wish for a system of common sense, non racist, CONTROLLED immigration.” However, there are different interpretations of “controlled”; and whether the UK’s version satisfies the EU trade bloc remains to be seen. That’s part of the Brexit uncertainty that makes a lot of folks nervous.


A minor point: I’m not “wishing” for a hard Brexit, I’m just watching it play out. From a business perspective, I think the hard Brexit is less palatable due to the uncertainty. (As I mentioned in my Lloyds of London, in which I just noticed your response; I’ll respond there.)

Finally, your reference to “a corrupt, overblown political union” touches me. With today’s news of Trump’s intended reorganization of the Government, I felt a spark of hope. The huge, unwieldy, and virtually impenetrable Government bureaucracy that we Americans suffer is an egregious dishonor to our Founders’ intentions. If Trump leaves a legacy of a smaller, streamlined, and efficient Government, I swear I will leave flowers on his grave every year.

Cheers
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MADGestic, on 12 April 2017 - 08:41 PM, said:

scotsman, on 08 April 2017 - 09:32 AM, said:

As a Brit, and LEAVE voter, three points:1---I reject the notion that the pros were lies/exaggerations. The LEAVE argument was very clear and consistent, in fact the 'lie' about the NHS and £350m is a prime example of REMAIN spin. LEAVE did not, as claimed, argue the £350m a week would go straight into the NHS (only a fool would argue or believe that) NOR is 350m the correct figure, its actually 462m (66m a day x 7). I would like you to give me examples of these pros if you don't mind that you claim were exaggerations or lies. 2--The xenophobia/racist argument is another lie, one post-vote thrown about by childish REMAIN voters who couldn't and cant handle the vote. The British people have shown time and time again that they are amongst the most tolerant and non racist people everywhere (how many times do people say the British have been TOO POLITE to immigrants and the problems some of those groups have brought?). The idea that over 17m people, of all backgrounds, voted due to xenophobia or racism is a nonsense. The UK is physically a small nation by US/Cana standards, and has finite social resources. The NHS and other British institutions, from prisons to asylum centres, are stretched. The UK is only a few years out of a bad recession. The UK is now 65m people, with huge influxes of people in the last 15-20 years, from E Europe to Somalia. The UK simply cannot take in everyone. Its NOT xenophobia to wish for a system of common sense, non racist, CONTROLLED immigration. The UK didn't reject Europe or its cultures or its values, many of which we share. It rejected a corrupt, overblown political union. No more than that. 3--I also wish a hard Brexit. Common sense will dictate a bit of to-and-fro on some issues, but a weak Brexit is no good to the UK and NOT what we 17m+ voted for.



My friend, you’re there, and have more vested in the Brexit; and I appreciate your willingness to respond and present your perspective. My memory was a bit spotty so I did a quick search on “Brexit lies” and, no surprise, there’s actually a website by that name, clearly created by those opposed. Glancing through, I recognized the names Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, and I remember those fellows being featured prominently in articles I read at the time. My exposure back then was no doubt filtered by at least 2 elements: News presented to America and news presented to the Investment industry. It’s the latter filter that most influenced my opinion (note the Bloomberg Brexit Barometer I linked above); and it’s a “conservative” perspective: “Change as little as possible, and then only when absolutely necessary”. That’s why I remain befuddled by the desire to leave what seemed to be an advantageous arrangement. Immigration is an issue for a lot of countries; I know it was a hot topic here for years prior to the Trump campaign. He didn’t create it but he certainly leveraged it to help get elected. I remember it being mentioned in Brexit news reports (amongst other things) as an argument of the LEAVE campaign. In NO WAY does this mean that I think the British people are racist or xenophobic; I am as certain of that as one can be without having been there. For a couple of years now I’ve been working closely with Brits of various origins and ethnicities such that I barely notice. (I sometimes have trouble with accents and pronunciation of names, but that’s me.) The diverse workforce that I’ve seen doesn’t bespeak an invidious culture.However, that is not to say that there aren’t such elements, a fraction of the electorate who can be persuaded by appeals to fearful and bigoted outlooks. It’s happened throughout history, it recently happened here, and I think it’s reasonable to accept that it’s part of what happened there. Again, I’m not saying that 17M people are racist; only that appealing to fringes is sometimes enough to tip an election. Especially if that side is better at politicking and messaging.From my perspective, the immigration issue is salient to the Brexit vote because of TRADE. As I said above: “If there's no free passage amongst member states, then you don't meet the qualifications; therefore, no trade deal.” And the UK NEEDS to trade with the EU; I consider that inarguable. Either leave your borders open to free passage amongst member states or lose a significant portion of your trade economy. This is why I think any anti-immigration sentiment in the campaign was, at best, misguided; and, from what I know, I don’t think the LEAVE campaign was very forthcoming about this. Yes, of course the UK could have still turned away those who were security risks, agitators, criminals, terrorists, etc. You just couldn’t erect a “Trump wall” and expect no repercussions.I agree: “Its NOT xenophobia to wish for a system of common sense, non racist, CONTROLLED immigration.” However, there are different interpretations of “controlled”; and whether the UK’s version satisfies the EU trade bloc remains to be seen. That’s part of the Brexit uncertainty that makes a lot of folks nervous.A minor point: I’m not “wishing” for a hard Brexit, I’m just watching it play out. From a business perspective, I think the hard Brexit is less palatable due to the uncertainty. (As I mentioned in my Lloyds of London, in which I just noticed your response; I’ll respond there.)Finally, your reference to “a corrupt, overblown political union” touches me. With today’s news of Trump’s intended reorganization of the Government, I felt a spark of hope. The huge, unwieldy, and virtually impenetrable Government bureaucracy that we Americans suffer is an egregious dishonor to our Founders’ intentions. If Trump leaves a legacy of a smaller, streamlined, and efficient Government, I swear I will leave flowers on his grave every year.Cheers



1---To whom?. Britain PAID £462 MILLION a WEEK to be part of the EU!. What advantages?. Britain not only paid billions to be part of the EU, we were hidebound to its rules, many of which were disadvantageous to the UK. And as we saw with Greece and the recent financial crises, the UK and by extension the UK taxpayer, bankrolled the propping up of several failing EU states. And all this would have been even worse if the UK hadn't chosen not to join the Euro. And the UK being part of the EU also crippled some of our major industries, fishing for example. No strange thing that 92% of UK fishermen who voted, voted LEAVE.

Trade, I hear you shout. The UK did great business with the EU prior to the vote to leave, and will continue to. The EU and UK and anyone with common sense and understanding of the EU and UK and our relationship with Europe knows this. In fact, for all the hype, the UK-EU trade will change very little imo.

REMEMBER also, that almost as many countries in Europe are NOT in the EU: 25, soon to be 26, are not. In fact, some like Norway and Switzerland are held up as examples of how European nations can remain outside the EU and thrive. Ironically (hypocritically?), the likes of the SNP and other leftist parties hail them as examples of clever, progressive states. Their absence from the EU being crucial to that success seems to be ignored, esp by the SNP, given that Norway is a nation very similar to Scotland in terms of size, population and industry (oil being one example). The SNP would without a referendum take a indy Scotland into the EU. So much for democracy....

2--Fringe racist groups in the UK like the BNP are so unpopular now that they don't even keep their deposits. And they at best a few years ago had a few local councillors and a few national votes. The BNP has always been a very small fringe party. The BNP has a tiny fraction of the vote, in any election, local or national. So, no, you are wrong if you think race tipped the margin here. Racist groups who have parties like the BNP, as I said, cannot keep their £500 deposits in local elections, let alone be any sort of force in a referendum where around 30 million people voted. The likes of the BNP thankfully are essentially dead.

And those 17m who voted to Leave came from many backgrounds, in fact the (pardon the ironic phrase) white elephant in the vote is the amount of immigrant/immigrant-descended votes for LEAVE. More ethnic British voters of black and Asian backgrounds voted LEAVE than people think or in the left's case, wish to believe. Which shatters the idea post-Brexit that the 17m were all white British and Irish.


3--Again, no argument re trade. IMO the UK and EU will come to a sensible agreement re rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa, as well as the issue of access. And also agree that the UK and EU need to trade with each other, as we discussed above. The UK is leaving a political union, not cutting itself of from Europe!. It will no more NOT trade with the EU anymore than a independent Scotland or Wales or NI would stop trading with whats left of the UK. We are simply leaving a political union in Europe after 43+ years, nothing more. Much, as we will see, will not change.

4--Sorry, but you are wrong about LEAVE and immigration. In fact immigration, a controlled immigration, was at the very heart of the LEAVE argument. In fact, critics said and continue to say that WAS the only issue they had. There was no 'anti-immigrant' sentiment and argument, what LEAVE argued was for the issue to be brought out and discussed as an important issue. In proper, grown-up terms with no ugly racism and no kneejerk anti-racist nonsense.

With all respect, this is one part of the issue, where it IS to your disadvantage not to have been in the UK in 2016 and after. Or before for that matter. You are getting your ideas second hand. And as a result, you are getting a weak and wrong idea of the referendum and how it was argued, debated and how Britain 2016 as a nation and people dealt with it, argued it, how the media covered it etc. I don't wish to be as a crass as saying 'you weren't here!'. But in essence, you weren't. And can only gleam what you can from the media, as opposed to having been on the ground. And that's fine, but it also means you don't get the full picture.

And it is important. We are a physically medium sized nation of 65m. With finite resources. With a large (mainly white btw) influx of immigrants in the last 20-25 yrs, from E Europe to Somalia. Many of our core national systems, like the NHS or prisons are at breaking point or in danger of it. We have severe issues with radicalism, and the failed policy of multiculturalism and how it has now created cultural ghettos in some UK cities, where radicalism and even FGM have been allowed to breed. Where this has not been checked for fear of 'racism' and 'islamophobia'. So we are a country with issues of politics, economics, social policy and crime, all of which can in some way be traced to the issue of immigration and migration in and out of the UK. (for all that, lets not forget that the UK is still an incredibly tolerant (too polite?) and open country and will continue to be, and our problems aren't too bad and are solvable)

4--Nobody is suggesting a trump wall. Or a ban. What the UK wants and needs is simply a sensible system of controlled immigration, where qualifications, intent and willingness to become part of the UK are paramount, without issue of race and religion.

5-- I want a hard Brexit. Not a soft one, where it would mean leaving was almost not worth it. BUT it is fallacious to believe hard Brexit means anything other than a Brexit that is strong and to our advantage. That's what it should and will mean.

A hard Brexit will not be a mindless, myopic Brexit where Britain will behave like a bull in a china shop and somehow ruin its social, political and financial dealings with the EU and Europe. And leave us isolated.
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Thank you for your heartfelt and thought-provoking response(s); I’m learning more from you than from reading news articles.
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