What opportunities and with whom?
I do think there are trade opportunities in the rest of the world however the government has been slow in facilitating this and Yes it means there will be different losers and winners. That’s what the government in the UK should have made progress in before Brexit once we knew it was coming.
The UK is still known as a centre for competence in things I’d call intellectual property - inventions, legal services, financial services, media - the worst opportunity being access to the BBC and its content not being arranged to be legally available around the world for a fee. Instead, a few million Americans, for example, regularly use VPN’s to access for free because there is certainly a demand for BBC content including the BBC’s backlist.
Though there are some experts on here that may know much more about the nitty gritty of this sort of opportunity being feasible, than me.
Have I actually seen the current UK government?
Only in my rearview mirror
But seriously, Europe has issues to face too. The UK could aim to pick itself up and if so, circumstances could change so that Europe is in the UK’s rear view mirror in some years.
I loved the UK and its culture as was (and I had a choice) …am just sad, really
It all sounds great in theory, but…
The problem is (and has been in trade negotiations so far) that prospective partners have the upper hand because they know that the UK is desperate for new deals and will therefore accept terms that favour the other party in order to get something signed.
This has happened with every deal that the government has signed since Brexit - the UK has come out either with a replica of the deal it had as an EU member, or something actually worse (e.g. the Australian deal, which very much favours Australian farmers).
In some cases the “great new deals” which the Brexiteers promised us have proven to be completely illusory - a new trade agreement with the USA being the prime example. Both Trump and Biden have said they have no interest in any new trade deal with the UK. Even if they were willing, such a deal would mean accepting imports of chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-injected beef into the UK, a price which I don’t think many British people (especially our farmers!) would find acceptable!
Our temporary trade deal with Canada expires tomorrow and the UK government has been unable to replace it - so British cheese producers will in future face a tariff of 450% - clearly untenable! EU producers meanwhile sail blithely on…
Also there are the practical difficulties if you are talking about trade in products (which these deals mostly cover). Compared to shipping goods a relatively short distance to Europe, sending stuff to the other side of the world adds significant costs which make UK products more expensive. And cultural differences often mean that the market for UK goods is much smaller in (say) Asia than in Europe, so the scope for “boosting trade” in these areas is limited.
And lastly, there is the question of service industries. All the talk about trade has been about physical goods, whereas trade in services is actually more important to the UK economy.
The loss of Freedom of Movement within Europe to UK service businesses has been absolutely devastating, yet is almost never mentioned. In my own case (I am a professional photographer) I used to be able to work freely in any EU state - I can no longer do so without a work permit, which is basically unobtainable unless I were to move my entire business to an EU country. Brexit has cost me thousands of pounds in lost business directly as a result of losing freedom of movement.
There is no way that this can be replaced by “shiny new trade deals” with other parts of the world - because a) they will not include provision of services, and b) the distances involved are prohibitive - if I was a world-famous photographer somebody might pay to fly me to Australia to shoot an advertising campaign and deal with all the paperwork, but I’m not, and they aren’t going to pay extra when a local can do the job just as well.
Two of my photographer friends upped sticks and moved to France prior to Brexit being finalised in order to retain their destination wedding photography clientele. I would probably have done the same if I didn’t have the issue of being a carer for my 98-year old mother. Another colleague (who didn’t move) lost 80% of his turnover (made up largely of destination wedding photography work) and has had to rapidly refocus his business back to the British market.
In any case, the “great opportunities” in trade around the world were available to the UK before Brexit - we didn’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater by leaving the EU in order to find them. The EU has much more negotiating clout as a bigger market than the UK alone does - it defies common sense to claim that the UK on its own can do significantly better.
Well you’re kind of saying the same as me Chris.
Yes the barriers in the case of physical goods were always clear so an early start instead of the government frittering away the 4 years before Brexit after the vote should have been made.
For intellectual products ditto but with more chance of success - for example passporting in financial and legal services was obviously needed to be sorted out but just doesn’t seem to have been made a start on.
Of course the opportunities were oversold and any service requiring physical presence of someone in Europe was going to be hard to get as reciprocal movement of people would have been demanded. And not accepting movement inwards seems to have been a key of why many votes went for Brexit… so a particularly hard issue and I’m sorry for its impact on you personally Chris.
But the UK is where it is now, and needs to identify trade and deals that can still be done. Lawyers and financial providers and creators of intellectual property don’t require to be physically present in a foreign country that may be buying their services. But it doesn’t seem.as though enough progress has been made fast enough (didn’t seem to have started early enough) by the UK to find what can still be done and arrange support.
I’m sure you’re right - that there are some possibilities - though it isn’t really obvious where the best ones are, apart from the EU.
I suspect that ever since Johnson resigned, the Tories haven’t been interested.
I’m hoping for something better from Starmer.
Not sure about that - you feel there are post-Brexit opportunities to be had, while I believe they are essentially a chimaera - they were dangled in front of the British public to try and make leaving the EU seem like a positive instead of an (entirely) negative step.
In my last post I tried to lay out the situation as I see it in unemotive language, but in reality I am boilingly angry about Brexit - I feel the UK has wilfully destroyed 45 years of economic and social progress for nothing, and no miniscule goods-only trade deals with the rest of the globe will ever make up for it.
We were told that “nothing will change” and “there are no downsides to Brexit, only upsides” by the Leave campaign, among other blatant lies. Michael Gove stated that there was no way we were going to leave the Single Market, whereas the entire thrust of the Governments withdrawal policy was aimed at the opposite - as little involvement with Europe as possible.
It’s also important to understand the real motivations for Brexit among those who were pressing for it (for example the Tory ERG and some business people such as Tim Martin of Wetherspoons and Sir James Dyson). To them, leaving the EU was necessary not to usher in some new Golden Age of global trade, but in order to dismantle a whole raft of health and safety legislation and human rights laws, so that they and their cronies could become richer. They want to turn the UK into a low-tax, low-overheads sweatshop, and have been trying to do so since 2019 - hence Rees-Mogg’s bill to repeal wholesale a vast amount of H&S legislation (including the right of women to equal pay, which was only saved from the scrapheap at the last minute when the Government realised it was a step too far!
The UK is a European nation and its natural cultural and trading links are with Europe - always has been and always will be. The “Pacific Trade Partnership” and other such meaningless nonsenses are fig-leaves to disguise the real agenda.
As for lawyers and financial services - the idea that they can continue as before doesn’t bear scrutiny either - we can’t have access to EU financial and legal markets without accepting EU regulation and oversight - hence why Barclays et al won’t give you a UK bank account if you live in France.
Note also the hypocrisy of those who have promoted Brexit - Rees-Mogg opened a branch of his financial services business in Dublin, Dyson moved his headquarters to Singapore.
As for freedom of movement - the UK has a shortage of skilled labour in many areas which is hampering productivity. In the Brexit campaign “migrants” in the sense of EU workers coming to take up jobs were conflated in the public mind with “refugees” (deliberately so by the mainstream media) and depicted as “putting a strain on public services” whereas in reality they have always contributed more than they take out from state resources.
One example: the care sector. Earlier this year I filmed an induction course for a care home company. Many of the staff giving the training were from EU nations such as Rumania, Lithuania, Poland et al, and had been here for up to 20 years> The new recruits (post-Brexit) were from Zimbabwe, Nepal, Pakistan, the Phillippines - brought over at great expense to fill the vacancies. Immigration is driven by demand in the UK labour market, not by any other factors. Reducing immigration as a goal in itself has no benefit to the economy, rather the reverse.
The idea that we needed to lose our EU freedom of movement to “curb migration” (as if that in itself was somehow beneficial) was another of the Great Brexit Lies. We were never part of Schengen.
I hope the next Government will see sense and engage in the mother of all U-turns and get us back in the EU (or at least in the Single Market as soon as possible). I still want to be able to retire in France if at all possible - I can probably just about do so as a non-EU citizen, but it would be harder…
OK enough from me, you understand my reasoning I hope!!
A fair and accurate synopsis. The “we are where we are” gang need to realise that the “where” is up shit creek without a paddle. Rejoining the single market should be the number one priority, four freedoms and all. If Starmer gets a decent majority he should just do it.
One little bit of consolation kismet…
As my dear old dad would have said “serve the bu**er right”
Oh dear, what a shame.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.
I’m sure Nanny will fix it.
Very good, but I can’t now claim not to have watched anything on GB “news”.
You’re still uninfected, you watched it on YouTube.
There is worse, I got news from Lad bible (bile) more like. Are people getting thicker or just dis interested in the actual world around them in preferring love island et al?
Interesting show about Brexit on Arte recently… even the guy from the “British Conservatives in Paris” struggled to find any positive aspects.
One of my BIL mentioned on his FB page several times this week just how many haulage firms in the UK are going bust every week, three big ones gone this week again and also there is very little work about too for hauliers. Can only be brexit related as everyone had plenty of work both UK and EU previously with newspaper claims there were not enough licenced HGV drivers to cope with the demand.
No, everything is fine (according to Wooster-Mogg) because exports (gas and whiskey) are up.