Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “International Trade”

On the Precipice; No one likes us, it’s OK

What will happen on Thursday 23 June 2016 – the day of the EU In/Out Referendum promised to the Euro-septics? More importantly what happens afterwards?

We are told it’s going to be OK. The remain team’s warnings are overblown and can be dismissed (“dismiss” is the Leave team’s reflex reaction to anything Remain says) and we will have freedom! (Think Braveheart – staring Nigel Farage and Buffo Johnson) Read more…

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Shrill refusal to recognise the obvious

The US and the EU are on the verge of concluding a comprehensive trade deal – TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Personally I don’t like it (I think it gives too much power to corporations and am worried about the possible impact on the NHS – despite assurances to the contrary.)

But this does not push me towards the Leave camp. Most members of the leave camp are the sort of people who would welcome the aspects of TTIP that I dislike!

It has however taken years to negotiate. So realistically what will happen if we leave the EU? Read more…

Steeling ourselves for industrial collapse

Administrators from PwC have been appointed to run some parts of the Caparo group empire. …

Steel giant Tata is expected to announce major job losses on Tuesday. Recently the UK’s second largest steelmaker, SSI, went into liquidation. …

Matt Hammond, lead administrator [of Caparo] and partner at PwC, said: “This is a significant business with a wide range of interests across steel, engineering, vehicles products and technologies. Its scale and reach into significant customers and its importance to suppliers cannot be understated. We will be rapidly assessing all options for the businesses through this week and beyond.”
BBC News website, 19 October 2015 : Caparo steel goes into partial administration

There are numerous reasons for the problems, but there seems to be only one reason for the collapse of this industry; Read more…

Gideon, I’m so proud of you

UK Chancellor George Osborne has been praised by Chinese state media for focusing on business ahead of human rights during his visit to Xinjiang.

The Global Times said he was “the first Western official in recent years who focused on business potential rather than raising a magnifying glass to the ‘human rights issue'”.

Mr Osborne has spent the past five days in China to boost trade links.

He has said he raised human rights privately during his visit.
BBC News Website 25 September 2015 : Osborne praised for ‘not stressing human rights’ in China

I mean money trumps everything, doesn’t it? Read more…

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”

Yvette Cooper has turned her fire on the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race as the party prepares to start sending out ballot papers.

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”
BBC News Website 13 August 2015 : Yvette Cooper: Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies ‘not credible’

Read more…

Oxfam’s war on tax dodgers

Instinctively you reach to support Oxfam’s proposals for a bill which:

  • Makes it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
  • Ensures UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
  • Makes the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging

They want it introduced in the first 100 days – perhaps the urgency is such that MPs should work through the summer?

It is not easy though.

What is the difference between an “unfair tax break” and a rule framed to “protect our competitiveness”? Read more…

Is the country full?

Julian Ware-Lane’s blog often has some interesting data, sometimes enlightening, other times rather meaningless. The latest thought-provoking post questions whether the country is “full up”.

On the basis of the data he presents, he says no. But the data does not address what is meant by a country being “full up” in today’s global world. Read more…

Here we go again.

Cameron tells us that the red light on the dashboard is flashing warning that we are about to go into another global recession.

writing in the [Guardian], Mr Cameron said “red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” – six years on from the crash that “brought the world to its knees”.
BBC News Website 17 November 2014 : Global economy warning lights are flashing, says PM

So who is to blame? The voters of Rochester deserve to know before Thursday. Read more…

Weather-Vain: Pots and Kettles

I wrote recently about a spat between our (UK) Prime Minister, David Cameron and European Commissioner, Laszlo Andor.

Cameron felt that Andor was going beyond his remit in suggesting that if Cameron’s “immigrant control plans”, (mainly anti-Bulgarian and anti-Romanian) took root, Britain was in danger of being seen as a “nasty” country.  Cameron said Andor was speaking beyond his remit:

Commissioner Andor shouldn’t say that, his salary is paid in part by British taxpayers, and I expect better behaviour in the future.

Now I see that the EU think that Cameron is going beyond his remit. Read more…

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