Positive Brexit news
Yesterday’s Telegraph Business News had a couple of Brexit stories:
British shoppers shrug off Brexit fears: Remainians predicted a sharp drop in retail sales and confidence following a Brexit vote. But in fact like-for-like retail sales in July were 1.1% up on July 2015.
Brexit boosts tourism: Flight bookings were up 4.3% at July 21st compared to the previous year, as tourists were attracted by a lower pound. . Of course a more competitive exchange rate will benefit not only tourism, but exporters generally, and even non-exporters (through import-substitution).
And a cash bonus?
The Express carries a provocative story saying that after Brexit Britain should demand money back for its share of EU assets (starting with the Commission’s Berlaymont Building in Brussels, valued at £294 million), which we have helped finance, but will no longer use. The total value of all assets would be around £4 billion, of which Britain might demand well over 10%. . I’m not sure that such a demand is practical politics — but it should be on the table to help counter (for example) EU suggestions that the UK should take responsibility for British Eurocrat pensions.
EU lists its “red lines”
The Express reports that Brussels is collating a list of demands from other member states ahead of Brexit negotiations. These would include free movement in exchange for Single Market access — and calls from Eastern European states that we continue to fund their Brussels hand-outs. When will they get it into their heads that after Brexit, we will be an independent country like other independent countries, and that there is no more reason why Britain should support EU structural fund payments than that Chile or Korea should?
OK. We can’t retain membership of the Single Market without accepting Free Movement. But we don’t want either. Other countries have free trade agreements with the EU that say nothing about free movement. So shall we.
And the IFS throws in a spoiler
Alarming headlines. The Mirror reports that Britain could lose two years of growth if we fail to stay in the much-vaunted EU Single Market. The BBC also carries the story. This is based on a study by the highly-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies. But in this case, either they have failed to make themselves clear, or they have been mis-reported. They compared Single Market membership to trading under WTO rules — which we all know is the worst-case fall-back position. What they should compare is Single Market versus a free-trade deal (which is the most likely outcome).
Another point: I haven’t had an opportunity to study the IFS report in detail, but I bet they looked only at EU trade on either basis. Did they make estimates of the benefits from international trade on becoming an independent global trading nation, free of the EU’s protectionist External Customs Tariff, and able to make our own trade deals? I doubt it.
Guardian on immigration
The Guardian carries an extensive front-page report on conditions in Australia’s off-shore migrant holding centre in Nauru. The report is based on a trove of leaked documents, and contains very serious allegations of abuse of men, women and children. It makes depressing reading.
However it is difficult not to see the Guardian’s emphasis on the story as a deliberate if tangential attempt to discredit the Leave Campaign’s calls for “an Australian-style points-based system”. Our objective for Britain is to stop unqualified would-be immigrants from coming to the UK — not to incarcerate them. It’s fairly simple: if we make it much more difficult for would-be migrants to reach Britain (for example by turning them back in the Channel), fewer will try it.
“Another Calais in Italy”
The Telegraph reports on fears that “another Calais” has arrived in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia, just short of the French border, where the French are (reasonably, you might say) imposing tough controls on thousands of migrants who have reached Italy across the Med, but are now seeking to move north to Germany. Or Sweden. Or the UK.
Baltics block borders
In further evidence of the migrant catastrophe posing an existential threat to the EU, the Baltic states are closing their borders to migrants, despite continuing demands — pleas — from Brussels for member states to take migrant quotas.
Greece pleads for debt relief
Everyone (except the European Commission) understands that Greece is broke. It will never repay its debts, and further bail-out “loans” are effectively grants. In this context Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras is reminding Germany that its debts were cancelled after World War II, and demands that the complement now be returned for Greece. . It would be no more than a recognition of reality.
Brexit not a problem for Corbyn, but for the Europhile élite
A thoughtful opinion piece from Asa Bennett. Worth a read.
Indy on Brexit benefits
Yes — you read that right. I was astonished to find a relatively positive piece on Brexit, from Leave voter Sean O’Grady. O’Grady recognises that a lower Pound is good for the UK economy, and notes that threats of “sky-high mortgage rates after Brexit” have been shown up for the nonsense they were.
The Donald puts his foot in it — again
You have to feel sorry for Donald Trump (well you don’t have to, but maybe you will). He suggests that the US gun lobby should keep in mind the threat to gun rights from a Clinton Presidency when voting in November. This is immediately interpreted on social and main-stream media as a call to assassinate Hilary. Come on guys — give the man a break.
Personally I always rather liked the T-shirt slogan seen in the US — “The Second Amendment. America’s first Home Security Policy”.