Monday, 25 September 2017

Freedom from the EU above all is what we voted for

At times like these I look back to Scotland's great struggle for freedom as summarised in the Declaration of Arbroath drafted by the Abbot of Arbroath, Bernard of Kilwining  on 6th April 1320 and sent to the Pope at Avignon shortly after. It was signed by 51 nobles but unlike the earlier Magna Carta, also dealt with the rights of ordinary. The Abbot wrote as most of the nobles could not write and assented by attaching their seal. The article below covers the main points. I have just noticed the last name on the list of signatories,

Thomas de Morham

Morham is a tiny hamlet with a population now of around 25, south of Haddington. My aunt ran a one teacher school there for 15 years and I spent many wet days reading the teachers diary for the 18 hundreds. Morham was also the birthplace of John Knox Scotland's great protestant religous leader

The US declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson drew heavily on the ideas of the Arbroath declaration.. Its no coincidence that John Knox Witherspoon, formerly minister of Paisley kirk and headhunted to be President of Princeton was a big influence on Jefferson and a New Jersey delegate to the Continental Congress and helped draw up an sign the US Declaration of Independence.

The part of the Declaration of Arbroath that resonates with me today is the following

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

It rightly puts freedom first above wealth or should we say the economy ,Single Market and Customs union for without freedom you are a slave, and a German slave in the case of the EU. it makes me sick to hear these political non-entities talk endlessly that we must put jobs first and stay in the single market.

No, No, No

as Mrs Thatcher once said its freedom ie freedom from the ECJ that must come first or you have nothing. The Abbot had it dead right 700 years ago. 

Ask any of these politicians to define the so called single market. I wager none can tell you. Its not actually a market at all!

Its a set of rules that tries to harmonise national trade rules at EU level. WTO rules do that only they do it for the whole world

EU single market rules benefit the Germans above all. The rules still do not cover services 30 years after the misleading term single market was coined but then what is the EU but a collection of Franco Prussian deceits.?


Niall Warry said...

What you still fail to grasp is that nobody is saying the SM is ideal in fact The Leave Alliance has always said the Efta/EEA option is the least worse option to get us through the initial divorce without two much pain.

Noboby, apart form ardent remainers, now suggests that we should not leave the political EU but as we are in the SM up to our necks, as you might say, then the statesman like thing to do is to extract ourselves from it without losing any of the existing trade which is an important slice of our total trade.

WTO is not the silver bullet you think which requires a fee to set up any deal in the first place. As I've said China's trade with thr EU is covered by 36 seperate agreements that all took time to negotiate and incurs annual costs and an adjudication process.

Flexcit as you may know realistically suggests that after a 45 year marriage with the EU it will require six stages to extract ourselves successfully.Do you really think that the CFP and CAP can be untangled in a few months or our relationship and involvment with countless join projects and processes including our tie in to the Eouopean airspace can all be resolved in a few days.

Hard or no deal Brexiteers are putting reams over logic.

Eric Edmond said...

I do not wish to be rude but if you continue with your repetitive comments I will have to start editing them out.

Niall Warry said...

OK - noted it's your blog to edit/censor as you choose.

Stephen Harness said...

Has it been established that the UK leaves the EEA on the day that it leaves the EU, therefore leaving the Single Market?

Blind stoat said...

Dr Edmond, I agree 100% with your comments about freedom. But I have to query your comment about the single market not covering services. In the case of insurance, for example, there is a series of 'directives' covering both the life and non-life sectors. There is also a further body of regulations covering reinsurance and co-insurance.

The question is not so much, 'are there rules' but rather, if UK insurers no longer had access to the single market, would it really make that much difference to them financially. As far as I'm aware most major UK insurers selling insurance in EU countries do so via local subsidiaries / offices in the individual countries - and the same holds true for EU domiciled insurers doing business in the UK. Assuming that both UK and EU insurers still retained the right of establishment - that is the right to sell insurance services via a local office, I don't see that either side would be any better or worse off.

Blind stoat said...

Ditto, as regards retail banking, I'm not sure that being in or out of the single market is likely to make much real difference to the UK banks. Santander operates in the UK but it acquired what was the Abbey National network. Presumably, even if the UK is no longer in the single market, Santander or any other foreign bank would still be able to buy a UK bank - subect to approval by the BoE and the Competition and Markets Authority (Monopolies Commission as was). Metro Bank is a US bank, which has built a network of high street branches from scratch. Presumably, Metro or any other would-be new entrant into the UK retail banking sector would still be able to set up in the UK - subject to obtaining a UK banking licence. So, again, I'm not quite sure to what extent UK retail banks would be disadvantaged if the UK were no longer part of the EU 'single market'.

Eric Edmond said...

Banking licences are not that easy to obtain. Branson pickle bought a small bank in Yeovil to obtain one for his Virgin Money operation.

There is a fit and proper test to be passed.

Blind stoat said...

Yes, agreed - which is one of the main reasons why I cannot see that the UK retail banks would be disadvantaged if the UK were no longer had direct access to the single market. As regards import / exports of 'goods' the UK runs a deficit versus the rest of the EU in aggregate and even when you break it down into constituent states, there are only 5 or 6 where the UK shows a surplus. So you might argue that we have less to lose than the rest of the 27 EU member states do. Certainly one can only assume that the German auto companies would be mightily upset if they no longer had the same ability to sell us their BMWs and Mercedes.

As regards 'services', we run a surplus versus the rest of the EU 27. But I'm not convinced that any trade deal with the rest of the EU covering 'services' (as opposed to goods) is necessarily going to be worth anything to us.

Blind stoat said...

Take the example of any of the large accountancy / consulting firms, is it really going to make that much difference to them whether the UK is in (or at least has access to) the single market or not? I'm not sure it will.

All the major firms have offices in all the major European capitals including London. Their talent is mobile. They can switch employees between locations at the drop of a hat - and of course they will still be able to do that in the future. Whatever the rules on immigration, there will still be completely free movement as regards accountants, bankers, lawyers, architects etc.

The issue for the major City firms comes down to:
a)where the most benign / helpful regulatory regime,
b)where is the best place to book profits (i.e. which location has the most benign corporate tax regime)
c) where is it easiest to reward their international 'rainmakers' - i.e. where is it easiest to pay bonuses to those staff who could just as easily be based in London or Paris or Milan?

So my question, I suppose is, would we not be better off saying 'stuff your single market - London will become the new Singapore of Europe with a (moderately) laissez-faire regulatory regime and ultra low tax rates for both corporates and high paid employees?' If we did that would Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, PWC, Linklaters et al really want to tell all their high-paid BSDs that they were being relocated to Frankfurt? I don't think so.

Eric Edmond said...

Good points Mr Stoat. When I visited Oz 5 years ago I noticed every major accountancy firm seemed to have a large tower block in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne. I did not get to Perth but I think its the same in Auckland.

I think being in the miss-named single market is vastly over-rated. John Major a real loser started it!

In short I totally agree with you.

Niall Warry said...

Reply to Mr Stoat,

Anything is possible given time, which we don't have, which makes the necessity of an interim deal essential.