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The Brexit Debate

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As a person who doesn’t like unnecessary political B…S…, I wanted to write a blog on Brexit from the perspective of a person who likes common sense and only wants the best for our country.

My first observation is that it hasn’t really gripped the nation much yet even though it could be the biggest decision we make for two generations. Every single policy and every single person will be affected so now is the time to try to form a view…

1) The Process Itself.

Forget the run up to the result of the Referendum for a moment and just consider the scenario where we now have voted to leave the EU and everyone in the EU knows that prior to us negotiating our exit.


It took Canada over 5 years to negotiate a trade deal with the EU as a non-member.


It took Cameron the best part of a year to re-negotiate our current deal whilst we are a key member of the EU. Therefore we would be set for somewhere between 1-5 years economic uncertainty even trying to negotiate an exit from a deal which we are currently fully signed up to. All of the top lawyers in the UK have differing views on the “Cost of Exit” but not one says that there isn’t one!


2) Trade


We currently have trade agreements not only with the EU but with every member state. We contribute and receive. The principles of free trade are simple. Barriers incur cost, whether they are in administration, transport, political levies, legal costs, agricultural grants, IP protection of assets. The list goes on.


As a powerful member of the EU we don’t just benefit from all of these, we actually have significant input in Brussels to determine how they are calculated in the first place and, to some degree, impact on “fair play” and the “rules of the game”. As an outsider, we have absolutely zero negotiation power or economies of scale as it would be the UK trying to negotiate with the EU which is much larger, or attempt individual trade deals with each member which under current rules would not be allowed by Brussels. And don’t forget we currently help make those rules…


3) Foreign Staffing & Skills shortages.


If you believe in fairness of opportunity, migration controlled for security only, you will already get the argument that Europe and the USA was built on building bigger and bigger alliances, growth of opportunity and allowing free travel for hard working foreigners to come and add value to our economy. At all skill levels, migration is key to sustainable growth. It fails when a country stalls or with extreme regime change such as Communism or economic isolation. So unless you are politically motivated to isolation or extremism (or your name is Donald Trump), why would you want to increase isolation of the UK, reduce migration and stunt growth, which is not a goal but is currently fairly consistent.


My personal view is this would be a backward step to Fiefdoms and parochialism.


4) Basic principles of a merger and economies of scale.


The EU staggeringly is still the largest economy, albeit China and the US are individual countries. I find it amazing that a group of small countries can still hold global influence.


Individually, however, the UK would struggle to hold sway and many believe would struggle to hold a G20 place in the long term and certainly not maintain a seat at the G7 table for very long on its own. I love history, but the reality is the Victorian Age is exactly that, history, and we need to continually forge major new alliances.


5) The Future Macro Economy.


Point 4 leads to a reality which is that China, Russia, plus the emerging economies of Brazil and India, will dominate the global economy for the next century – along with the EU, providing it still exists.


Brexit would mean the UK operating as a minnow against these giants. Our ability to trade successfully would become increasingly hard.


6) A Weakened EU?


Following on from point 5, why is nobody considering the impact of a weakened EU on the UK? If the country next to us becomes weakened it makes us more vulnerable. You only have to look at the attitudes of the US, Russia and China towards neighbours in recent years to see very recent examples of wars or invasions such as Cuba, Crimea, Ukraine, Japan, Korea and the South China Sea Islands.


You have to look back no more than 40 years to see at least 6 serious near world war conflicts to realise that weak neighbours create opportunity for political and economic weakness.


7) Political Bull….


Don’t be fooled by politicians, make your own mind up.


Boris Johnson is at times highly entertaining and can drive some of the most effective media campaigns from Boris’ Bikes to championing a charge for Mayor (or even PM?). But who is his biggest backer? Rupert Murdoch.


The Cameron/Osbourne campaign to remain is very much the establishment of the UK trying to maintain the status quo and effectively hand over the running of the country from Cameron to Osbourne. But who is their biggest backer? Well, the Establishment, but also Mr Murdoch.


The Brexit team? Well this is currently disjointed simply because there are so many who benefit by reducing the power of Europe and bringing UK politics back to Westminster. Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn plus the less likeable brigade of extremists all want to benefit personally by making the right call for their backers.


UK Unions enjoy less power when the EU legislates. Murdoch has less power in the EU than he does over the UK Establishment. The Right Wingers have no credibility in Europe even with other right wing parties.


My Conclusion

I am not a politician so I am avoiding sitting on the fence.

Personally, I will vote against Brexit. I am not sitting on the fence simply because it worries me that something we fought for (peace and closer working trade relationships within Europe) are at stake at the whim of politicians looking to benefit. Lest We Forget is something we often say on Remembrance Day, but let’s not underestimate the power the EU has to unite countries who have different cultures and languages, but by and large, get on very well in comparison to the 10 centuries leading up to 1945.

Economically I think we have it just right now. We enjoy power within the EU, the EU only costs us money that would still be siphoned through Westminster. Our currency is and should remain separate. What is different about the UK and should remain so is our power on the world banking stage and this would be a step too far that would almost certainly one day bring an economic collision with Europe, so let’s avoid that and keep the pound. Keep our sovereignty, keep our British Passports but keep being a member of the EU