RELX (formerly Reed Elsevier) the Anglo Dutch business information corporation has decided to unify the company in a single parent based in the UK. This is the exact opposite to Unilever which went the other way, blaming Brexit. Unilever was of course one of the founders of the EU and its one time Chairman was the notorious SS Intelligence Officer Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (the German Prince zur Lippe Biesterfeld – see my book And into the Fire – fascist elements in past war Europe and the development of the European Union page 27). 99.9% of Dutch and British shareholders voted for the London move.
No wonder – for while the Eurozone has just had very weak results (Eurozone industrial production dropped in July, Italy fell by 1.3 per cent on the year and Germany was down 1.1 per cent over the month before) the UK economy has grown 0.6% in the 3 months to July – the fastest pace in a year. Earnings excluding bonuses were 2.9 percent up on the year in the three months to July versus 2.7 percent in June. Pay has not risen faster since July 2015 – as inflation stands at 2.4%.
Services which makes up 80% of the economy, grew particularly strongly, with retail sales and the construction sector performing well. The services index grew to 54.3 in August from 53.5 in July.
The State sector deficit in the year to March 2018 was lowest for 11 years and £5.8bn less than the “Office for Budget Responsibility” predicted! (like the Bank of England and the Treasury they rarely get anything right!) The State sector deficit from April to July 2018 was £12.8bn – the lowest for 16 years. In July itself the Government had a financial surplus of £2bn – the biggest for 18 years!
New figures show that Britain is the number one destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe. According to a report by IBM, Britain is the fifth most favoured place in the world for FDI. London is ranked as the number one destination in the world while Manchester/ Liverpool and Birmingham are also in the top 20.
UK Exports hit a record high in the year to June of £616bn. Exports have grown faster than imports for the 11th consecutive month. Overall goods exports rose by 13 per cent to £339billion, and services were up seven per cent to £277billion.
This success means egg all over the faces of Remainers, the Tory Establishment, the EU and Monsieur Barnier – who seems suddenly to have been ordered to be more reasonable in Brexit negotiations as EU members begin to realise the dangers of attacking a successful Britain. But it is probably too late – not least because both Barnier and Juncker have rejected even May’s disastrous Chequers deal. A poll in 44 marginal constituencies held by the Conservatives showed that 29% were less likely to vote Tory because of the Chequers proposals.
So May cannot survive with Chequers and the EU will demand more than Chequers. May, angered by her humiliation, could suddenly become a true Brexiteer, blaming Brussels! You never know!
The Remainer excuse that the Northern-Southern Irish border would make Brexit impossible has repeatedly been shown to be farcical, with even EU officials admitting that an arrangement would be made. As we have pointed out there is already a border between the two countries for tax, VAT, currency, excise and security despite there being no infrastructure at the physical border.
Most trade is done under trusted trader arrangements conducted away from the border and technology and the kind of waivers used elsewhere at EU borders for small businesses could be implemented. Even with a no deal Brexit existing trade across the border cannot be disrupted under WTO rules. As Brexit Central has pointed out the work done by Jacob Rees Mogg’s European Research Group has been endorsed by:
“two recent former Northern Ireland Secretaries, Theresa Villiers and Owen Paterson, but also the highly-respected Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister, David Trimble. Further pressure on Theresa May to take it seriously came when it received an endorsement from Nigel Dodds, the Westminster leader of the DUP, with whom the Prime Minister did of course enter into a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement in Parliament after losing her majority at last year’s general election.”
BARNIER OFFERING CANADA PLUS DEAL
In all the confusion caused by the disastrous Chequers proposals and EU obstruction it has been forgotten that even the EU negotiator Barnier is willing to conclude a better deal for the UK “than for any other country”. So the Canadian deal already concluded with the EU becomes the best option, to which enhanced UK specific agreements could be attached.
Professor Patrick Minford of Economists for Free Trade summarises such a deal:
Canada+ delivers to us substantial economic gains over the long term (15 years after Brexit): an extra 7% on GDP, the equivalent of an extra 0.5% annual average growth These gains come: 4% from achieving free trade around the world, 2% from setting our own regulations and the rest from controlling unskilled immigration and eliminating our EU budget contribution. Because the Treasury’s revenues are boosted by 10%, there are further second-round gains to be had from ending austerity and bringing in tax cuts. Finally, all households gain directly from prices falling 8%, with the poorest households gaining 15% from both falling prices and the end of mass unskilled immigration.
WITH THESE “EUROPEAN PARTNERS” WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?
Simon Boyd of REIDSTEEL, the UK international steel group (and a major supporter of Brexit) has repeatedly said how EU restrictions have curtailed his company’s trade. Now he has revealed the kind of blatant cheating by “EU partners” to frustrate our exports. He refers to France where ironically this British firm was founded in 1919 (!):
We cannot contract there because French companies only are able to buy the approved insurance. It is easier for us to export to Mongolia, as we have done, than to France and some countries in the EU.
In a Guardian report on the UK aerospace industry and Airbus (in which the UK France and Germany have stakes) one industry insider told the newspaper:
“Even before the Brexit vote there was well placed sources said there was constant lobbying from the French and Germans to prise wing manufacturing away from Britain”
DO WE NEED EU FRUITPICKERS?
The UK Government has extended the registration of EU fruit pickers who come to the UK to help in our fruit harvests after Brexit. But will we need them in the long run? There are already automated systems for picking even asparagus and now a fruit picking robot to harvest soft fruits “will be ready by Brexit”.
Not only does the robot pick it also inspects the fruit! according to experts at the University of Essex.
Just as the future lack of cheap EU labour (EU citizens working in the UK has fallen by 86,000 – the largest amount since 1997) has already led to higher UK wages in some areas so Brexit will lead to more technological innovation – and greater productivity and profitability for UK companies in the long run. Recent productivity figures show a rise of 1.5% over the year – the biggest rise since 2016.
CHANGING VIEWS OF BREXIT – BUT LEAVERS GROW
A poll for the Sun on Sunday found that 15% of Remainers changed their minds and would now vote Leave while 11% of Leavers would now vote Remain. So 2.4m Remainers shifted to Leave while only 1.9m Leavers moved to Remain. The Remainer industry is very active but I don’t think they are very confident!
[Ed: This article was first published in Freenations and we republish with kind permission by the author.]