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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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2 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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