Javid is cutting the UK’s nose off to spite our faces

Embed from Getty Images

Last week, the Chancellor Sajid Javid sat down in the Pickles sandwich bar, Westminster, for an interview with the Financial Times. You can read the interview in full here, but you may have to subscribe or join the FT’s trial membership scheme.

In it, he talked tough about the UK post-Brexit trading scenario. Hopefully, this is pre-negotiation chatter, but what he said was alarming nonetheless:

There will not be alignment, we will not be a ruletaker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union — and we will do this by the end of the year.

He said there would be no Treasury support for the big manufacturing sectors to adjust to the new trade rules. Rather peevishly he added that they had had since 2016 to prepare for the new scenario. Of course, they have not known what the Sam Hill they were needing to prepare for during those three years.

To be fair, he also said the government will pump money into skills development and infrastructure projects in the North and Midlands.

The problem with this is that it leaves exporting firms, particularly those depending on “just-in-time” supply chains, facing vast extra tarrif and non-tarrif costs, with the added possible prospect of a “no deal” crash out from the current trading rules at the end of 2020.

Javid’s comments has caused a backlash from manufacturers who have warned of price rises as a result of divergence from EU trading rules.

But my thought is: why is Javid hell-bent on such a course?

What benefits are there for the UK if we have divergence from EU rules with expensive and time-consuming customs delays, form-filling and tarrifs?

…Answers on a postcard please…

I am not aware of any tangible benefits to be gained from such a course. It seems we are cutting our nose off to spite our face.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

34 Comments

  • Nigel Hunter 20th Jan '20 - 2:21pm

    Javid was a banker in the financial services.Johnson says business can get lost. Minton (economist) talks about service industries. Is there a hint that businesses can either go to the wall or raise prices which will hit peoples pay packets. Implies that services will be encouraged,manufacturing can go to the wall and the financial circles will flourish enriching those already rich.

  • There are several possibilities but I am no expert on these matters. The EU wants us to accept all the rules in return for a trade agreement. That could prevent us from trading with other nation states. The EU does not want the UK to be a serious competitor on their doorstep so it wants us to be a rule taker under EU control. That would lead on to other principles such as trading on a level playing field which is EU speak for having the same employment laws, environmental laws and the removal of all competitive advantages. Our key competitive advantage is that we own the fishing grounds around the UK.

    I think that Javid is firing an opening shot and another tactic will be to again raise the possibility of no deal. The intention will be to get as good a deal as possible whilst standing back from again accepting all EU regulatory control and its implications.

    I think it is too early to talk about damage to JIT supply chains and the like. Both sides want obstacle free trading and that can happen if they want to make it happen. The EU will put up obstacles if we don’t accept their regulations but to borrow your post title, how much is the EU prepared to cut off its nose?

  • Perhaps this a question our brave Brexi’s and Lexi’s should answer, after all they voted for it. So step forward Peter “Sunderland” Martin, Jeff “Wrexham is safe” and Glen of the little Village et al, we are await your wisdom.

  • Peter Martin 20th Jan '20 - 4:07pm

    @ Martin

    I don’t know if it will cheer you up but I do expect times will be difficult in the next few years. It would have been difficult if we’d stayed in the EU. The problem, which our leaving the EU won’t change, is that Govts everywhere have held to the theory that the way to stimulate an economy is to lower interest rates. In other words, to overcome the slowing effect of too much private debt on the economy we encourage more borrowing and more private debt creation.

    Interest rates, both in the EU and here are now so low, and negative in some countries, that this isn’t going to work any longer.

    I know its probably a futile request, but if Lib Dems are as evidence based as you claim, try comparing what is happening in the UK with the rest of the EU. Are they doing really well? I don’t think so.

    There are lots of articles I could link you to, showing Germany teetering on the brink of recession. German car makers are laying off workers and closing down production lines. They are in big trouble. Is that due to Brexit too?

  • Jenny Barnes 20th Jan '20 - 5:20pm

    Very probably the car industry in the UK is finished over the next model cycle. Combination of new car ideas – electric and or autonomous, and the lack of JIT supply chains to and from Europe, probably lack of access to the European market as well. If you’re the board of a car manufacturere with plant in the UK, where will you build your next new model? My money would be on SE Europe (Rumania or Bulgaria) or N. African littoral – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia. The Chinese will probably sweep up the electric car market once they get going.

    This is good news – Cars are a problem. Even electric ones leave a lot of particulate pollution behind.

  • @Peter Martin. I am not sure I understand your argument.

    Trade:
    The EU facilitates trade around the globe. So, even if Germany is struggling, we still benefit from growth in non-EU economies.

    Debt:
    Germany is culturally debt averse. They rank 65th in the world for public debt (UK is 28th, USA 35th). For private debt Germany ranks 23rd, with UK at 10th and USA at 11th.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt
    https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/household_debt_gdp/

    GDP:
    Germany ranks 4th in the World for GDP, well ahead of India at number 5. The EU treated as a block is second, midway between China and the USA.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

  • Indeed Martin I suspect many of them are recolouring Atlas they have loaned from the local library. They will however be annoyed with brave Sir Peter of Sunderland who seems to have accepted that Sunderland and many other areas face difficult times; where is his commitment to unicorns, sunlit uplands trade deals with Narnia and Mordor, no true Brexi or Lexi is he. Now brave Sir Peter claims that the difficult times are not related to his fantasy Lexit, but as a famous judge of human nature once said “”Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” and to think his Brexi and Lexi pals had faith in brave Sire Peter to stride forth and slay the ogre of reality with his tin foil armour, his shield of delusion and his mighty sword of (expletive deleted by Ed team), alas it appears brave Sir Peter of Sunderland has run away ( nothing to do with Lexit of cause, just a slight groin strain and a nasty cold means he can’t attend to save Sunderalnd, bless just bless).

    Reality is hard on the Brexi’s and Lexi’s they face difficult times and can suggest no remedies only excuses and (expletive deleted by Ed team).

  • Andrew,

    Peter doesn’t have an arguement he is just try to deflect that the Lexit he dreamed of turned into a hard Brexit which will crucify the communties he claimes to care about. Now I can understand why he tries to deflect, if I’d (expletive deleted by editorial team) up things so badly I’d be deflecting like crazy too.

  • Peter Martin 20th Jan '20 - 6:04pm

    @ Andrew,

    If Germany is struggling, then the rest of the trading bloc, of which we are still a member too, are likely to be struggling even worse. It’s going to affect us even if we’re out of the EU but that is still the best option. I’m not sure if the EU wish to facilitate any trade for those they see as competitors.

    Yes, Germany is culturally debt averse. German people will often shy away even from borrowing to buy their own home. Even when the loan repayments are not much different to the rent they’ll pay anyway. This is very odd from our cultural viewpoint. Which the one main reason property is still more affordable from a UK POV. But it’s where public sector borrowing is concerned that they really ‘excel’. They have saddled the rest of the eurozone with a strict set of rules on what governments can borrow. But there are no rules at all on the extent of private borrowing. So for many years when the private sector was borrowing and spending happily the eurozone was going along gangbusters. But, after the 2008 GFC, and as soon as that stopped….

    The Germans don’t seem to understand that Govts have to be in debt for everyone else to have financial assets.

    Yes, Germany is ranked 4th in the world for GDP. It still doesn’t make it a good trading partner for the UK. Whereas we run a small surplus in our trade with the USA we only manage to sell less than half of what we buy from Germany, to Germany.

  • No alignment, and therefore there will have to be a border between N. Ireland and the republic, or in the Irish Sea. Many of us knew this from day one, but it would be nice to hear the government concede that, in all likely hood, they will avoid a hard border between north and south by throwing N. Ireland under the bus.
    All the discussion about possible economic effects is speculative. In contrast, the implications for Ireland are unavoidable if the UK government sticks to the Javid line.

  • We leave the EU in a few days and I doubt more than a few British people will have been affected either way. The main scare story that the City of London would be losing out to various European Cities just hasn’t happened. You will still have millions of remain and leave supporters, but in truth people are no longer worried. I suppose time will tell, but so far so good.

  • The Germans are having a major discussion on the advisablity of using their surplus on renewing their infrastructure ( not an option open to us we would need to use Sir Peter’s magic money tree and hope the world kept faith in the pound, rather risky).

  • @Peter Martin. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. One point of clarification: “I’m not sure if the EU wish to facilitate any trade for those they see as competitors.”. I was assuming membership of the EU or at least the customs union and single market in my original comment. Once we leave, I agree we can expect few favours from the EU. I guess the EU might assist global trade for everyone through global standards, but that is a different discussion.

  • Peter Martin 20th Jan ’20 – 6:04pm:
    They have saddled the rest of the eurozone with a strict set of rules on what governments can borrow.

    Not just the eurozone; the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) applies to all EU member states including the UK…

    ‘Austerity has not been a Tory choice, but an EU one’:
    https://joelrwrites.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/austerity-has-not-been-a-tory-choice-but-an-eu-one/

    All EU member states were automatically signed up to the SGP and by extension, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The United Kingdom, despite opting out of the third stage of EMU and the Euro, was included in the scope of the Stability & Growth Pact, and subject to the same measures.
    […]

    The EU has opened Excessive Deficit Procedure measures against the UK three times (1998, 2004 – 2007, and 2008 – 2017) since the Stability & Growth Pact was signed. It was the most recent recommendations from 2008 which led to all major parties in the UK promising to reduce the deficit through austerity measures.

    That’s one set of EU regulations that can usefully go once we are genuinely out.

  • Andrew 20th Jan ’20 – 9:05pm:
    I was assuming membership of the EU or at least the customs union and single market in my original comment.

    We decided to leave both of those in a Referendum back in June 2016.

    Once we leave, I agree we can expect few favours from the EU.

    We don’t seem to have had any while we were members.

    I guess the EU might assist global trade for everyone through global standards,…

    Of the many thousands of standards embodied in the equipment (hardware and software) that you are using to read these words how many have been set by the EU?

  • Chris Cory 20th Jan ’20 – 6:45pm:
    No alignment, and therefore there will have to be a border between N. Ireland and the republic, or in the Irish Sea.

    Why? WTO rules don’t require one. The UK doesn’t need one. Both countries have stated they won’t install one. The intra-Irish border is already a tax, currency, VAT, and excise duty border. For example, heating oil is around 25% cheaper in the North and some smuggling occurs. The Irish government control that using intelligence-led spot checks. The difference in VAT rates between Denmark and Germany is 6%; they don’t have a ‘hard’ border. By contrast, the average EU tariff on manufactured goods is only 2.7%. Motor vehicle tariffs are 10% or more, but cars need to be registered before use. EU agricultural tariffs average 8.8%, but food safety standards require traceability. Product standards are enforced by Trading Standards; customs officers don’t know if a container of Chinese teddy bears actually meet EU standards or not. Private fireworks are illegal in the Republic (although you wouldn’t guess if visiting over New Year). Funnily enough, the UK’s largest firework showroom (open seven days a week to 8.00pm) is just over the border near Crossmaglen. The Garda have powers to stop and search vehicles for fireworks. There’s no demand for a ‘hard’ border to limit such illegal imports.

  • Andrew Melmoth 20th Jan '20 - 11:50pm

    Jeff
    The article you cite is an exercise in disinformation. Under the SGP the EU can recommend the UK govt reduce its deficit but by virtue of Protocol 15 to the Treaties it cannot sanction the UK for failure to do so. The EU had no more power to force an austerity policy on the UK than the IMF or any other body recommending deficit reduction in 2009/10. Austerity was a UK political choice and it is dishonest to pretend otherwise.

    “We decided to leave both of those in a Referendum back in June 2016.”

    40% of leave voters polled shortly after the referendum wanted to stay in the single market. Are you saying they were too stupid to know what they had voted for?

  • @Jeff You ask a good question “Of the many thousands of standards embodied in the equipment (hardware and software) that you are using to read these words how many have been set by the EU?”. I think we would agree that it is a small number only. The only one I know about is the enforcement of standards for interchangeable power supplies for mobile phones. Are these not mostly handled by international standards bodies (e.g. ISO)?

    However the EU has had a big effect on consumer protection and market regulation (GDPR, web browsers etc). The Register regularly has articles on EU intervention in the world of ICT. Some recent articles:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/20/eu_gdpr_fines_114m/
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/17/eu_ban_facial_recognition/
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/17/eu_goes_full_usb_c_jab_at_apple/

  • I see that the IMF two year forecast is predicting that the UK economy will accelerate this year and next, outpacing the Eurozone.

    I’m sure the people here, including frankie, will welcome that excellent news.

  • The IMF’s assessment of the UK prospects over next two year is relatively upbeat.

    It predicts that growth will “stabilise” at 1.4% in 2020 and 1% in 2021, weak by UK historical standards but growth none-the-less and stronger growth than the IMF is predicting for Germany, France and Japan.

    But Peter you failed to point out the caveat

    The forecast assumes “an orderly exit from the European Union at the end of January”, which feels like a safe bet “followed by a gradual transition to a new economic relationship” which doesn’t.
    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-01-20/brexit-international-monetary-fund-forecast-imf-britain-growth/

    We shall see if Alexander and his rag tag band can orgainise an orderly exit, I have my doubts and if they don’t well the IMF expect growth to be lower. All risk is on the Brexi and Lexi side bless just bless responsiblity at last must come as a shock.

  • Barry Lofty 21st Jan '20 - 1:39pm

    I think the IMF also said any growth would be very modest, accelerate sounds a little exaggerated, but with honest Boris and his team in charge I suppose we have nothing to fear, what could possibly go wrong??

  • Peter Martin 21st Jan '20 - 5:53pm

    I see that the IMF two year forecast…..

    How is it possible to forecast two years ahead?

    It’s like trying to forecast what acceleration of a car will be two miles ahead. It all depends on whether the driver is going to put his foot on the accelerator or the brakes. Only Sajid Javid and Boris Johnson will know that.

    We can guess that they might want to be putting the brakes on when they should be stepping on the gas but we can’t know for sure.

  • Peter Martin 21st Jan '20 - 6:15pm

    @ Andrew Melmoth,

    I tend to agree with you that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition should bear most of the responsibility for the austerity policy pursued by the 2010 -15 govt but we do have to ask why on earth the EU was issuing “Excessive Deficit Procedures” against the UK? What was it to do with them? Our deficit. Our Pound. We don’t use the euro. But, what went on behind the scenes to give them some teeth? We just don’t know.

    As good a reason as any for telling them where to stick their EDPs! At least we won’t have to do that any longer.

  • My postcard…

    Brexit was always a POLITICAL project. Remain lost because they never understood that. Now Leave, having won the political argument, has equally failed to understand that there must be a viable ECONOMIC plan.

    Arguably, the root of both failures is neoliberalism. That was always a political argument built on fake economics that provided a superficially credible narrative to justify policy initiatives whose real aim (undeclared, naturally) was enriching the few at the expense of the many.

    My guess is that few powerful far-right Tory backers are upset about any rules to constrain their behaviour and, as a creature of rules, that makes the EU a bête noire. In the rest of the country, including former Labour heartlands, people are desperate for change so they went for the only theory and plan being sold – namely that their troubles were all the EU’s fault and we should get out.

    For, in its own terms, neoliberalism had worked brilliantly. Unions were reduced to a shadow of their former strength without any counterbalancing new force emerging to protect the rest of us from the depredations of financiers. Lib Dems might have stepped into the political space but didn’t because the half who ever thought about economics swallowed the fake version while the other half basically don’t do economics. So, they took refuge in identity politics thereby making themselves irrelevant.

    Propaganda backfires when its promoters start believing it themselves and that’s what slowly happened to the Tories until the more sensible ‘One Nation’ sort were squeezed out.

    So, Javid promises the POLITICAL goal of independence from any pesky rules (consistent with his libertarian beliefs), somehow forgetting that, as the saying goes, ‘the customer is always right’. Whatever Javid might think, UK firms will have to comply with its customers’ requirements and be rule takers.

    The difference will be that we will no longer have a big say in MAKING those rules as we do now.

    It will also add unknowable but probably large additional compliance costs to UK businesses with all sorts of ramifications. See for instance this:

    https://twitter.com/iamian16/status/1218824326021046272

  • Indeed Gordon and another headache for Sir Peter of Sunderland, the North East relies heavily on the chemical industry and if it walks, well it will end up much poorer, greener and older, but perhaps that is what Sir Peter always wanted.

  • malc 20th Jan ’20 – 8:04pm:
    The main scare story that the City of London would be losing out to various European Cities just hasn’t happened.

    It’s a two-way street…

    ‘London set to remain financial services capital of Europe as over 1000 EU firms plan to open UK offices’ [January 2020]:
    https://www.bovill.com/london-set-to-remain-financial-services-capital-of-europe-as-over-1000-eu-firms-plan-to-open-uk-offices/

    More than 1,400 EU-based firms have applied for permission to operate in the UK after Brexit, with over 1,000 of these planning to establish their first UK office, according to a Freedom of Information request (FOI) by financial regulatory consultancy Bovill. The FOI provides evidence that London and the UK will continue to be a leading player on the global financial stage after Brexit.
    […]

    Ed O’Bree, a partner at Bovill, concluded: “In practical terms, these figures mean that European firms will be buying office space, hiring staff and engaging legal and professional advisers in the UK. This augurs well for the UK economy, as the country will retain its reputation as a prime location for financial services in Europe.”

  • Andrew Melmoth 20th Jan ’20 – 11:50pm:
    The article you cite is an exercise in disinformation. Under the SGP the EU can recommend the UK govt reduce its deficit but by virtue of Protocol 15 to the Treaties it cannot sanction the UK for failure to do so.

    The article explains in detail that the UK is not subject to sanctions…

    ‘Austerity has not been a Tory choice, but an EU one’:
    https://joelrwrites.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/austerity-has-not-been-a-tory-choice-but-an-eu-one/

    These are remarkable powers for the EU to hold over its member states. The United Kingdom, as a non-Eurozone member, cannot be fined or be the subject of punitive action, as it has an exemption to Article 126. However it is obliged to comply with any recommendations issued by the EU, as a treaty obligation, and the United Kingdom is bound by Treaty Protocol No 15, which states: “the UK shall endeavour to avoid an excessive government deficit”.

    The EU has so far declined to fine any EU member state for non-compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact; so, in practice, the UK has been exempted from nothing.

    The EU had no more power to force an austerity policy on the UK than the IMF or any other body recommending deficit reduction in 2009/10.

    Advice from the IMF is just that: advice. Compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact is an EU Treaty obligation. It’s not a tenable position to be in breach of such an obligation and fail to take remedial action as directed by an EU Council Decision.

    Austerity was a UK political choice and it is dishonest to pretend otherwise.

    All three parties were obliged to make that “choice” starting with Labour…

    ‘Alistair Darling: we will cut deeper than Margaret Thatcher’ [March 2010]:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/mar/25/alistair-darling-cut-deeper-margaret-thatcher

    Alistair Darling admitted tonight that Labour’s planned cuts in public spending will be “deeper and tougher” than Margaret Thatcher’s in the 1980s, as the country’s leading experts on tax and spending warned that Britain faces “two parliaments of pain” to repair the black hole in the state’s finances.

  • Andrew Melmoth 20th Jan ’20 – 11:50pm:
    40% of leave voters polled shortly after the referendum wanted to stay in the single market.

    That sounds like one of those ‘polls’ conducted to influence opinion rather than measure it.

    What a vote to Remain meant and what a vote to Leave meant were defined by the government prior to the referendum (being the only body who would be in a position to “implement what you decide”). They made clear that a Leave vote meant leaving the EU Council, the EU Customs Union, and the ’single market’ (the EU Internal Market). They communicated this through numerous media interviews and articles, the official booklet sent to every house, and in statements and answers in parliament. The official remain campaign, Britain Stronger in Europe, concurred and the government made the claimed disadvantages of leaving the ‘single market’ the central plank of their campaign…

    ‘Brexit vote was about single market, says Cameron adviser’ [November 2016]:
    http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-vote-was-about-single-market-says-cameron-adviser/

    “Leaving the European single market was “the instruction from the referendum,” according to one of David Cameron’s closest advisers.

    Ameet Gill, who served as the former prime minister’s director of strategy until earlier this year and campaigned for a Remain vote, said the Brexiteers’ commitment to leaving the free-trade bloc was the key issue of the campaign and Downing Street spent “months trying to hang that round Leave’s neck.”

    He said it was “a bit weird” for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to now claim that Prime Minister Theresa May doesn’t have a mandate for a “hard” Brexit outside the single market.
    […]

    Gill is particularly damning about the attempt to rewrite the history of the campaign by those who, like him, supported a vote to Remain.

    Here’s David Cameron, at the despatch box on June 15th. 2016 in the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the Referendum, stating what both a Remain and a Leave vote would mean…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2170&v=9BjtP00IRPA

    His earlier answer to Ruth Smeeth, then MP for Stoke on Trent North, regarding tariffs on ceramics confirmed we would also be leaving the EU Customs Union.

  • Peter Martin 22nd Jan '20 - 11:30am

    @ frankie,

    “…..brave Sir Peter of Sunderland”

    I know you’re prone to getting some strange ideas into your head. For the record, just a couple of corrections:

    1) HM Queen Elizabeth II has, so far, not seen fit to offer me a knighthood. I’m not holding my breath in anticipation.

    2) I don’t have any connection to Sunderland. I’ve been there a couple of times to watch football matches at the old Roker Park – but that’s about it I’m afraid.

  • Peter (comment 20th @ 2:26pm) – You raise important issues. Some observations.

    “EU wants us to accept all the rules in return for a trade agreement.”

    There will be a trade agreement, the question is what sort. The EU would naturally prefer us to stay closely aligned but it’s NOT their choice to make. As the leaving party we must decide what we want: walk away entirely or stay closely aligned or anything in between.

    The government’s dilemma – and one they don’t seem to have got to grips with – is that for a close deal we will have to stay closely aligned; if we go for no alignment then the trading relationship will be correspondingly distant. If the former, then why bother with Brexit in the first place; if the latter, then big chunks of our economy are at risk.

    That’s not because of the EU being awkward or anything; it’s a perfectly reasonable position for it to take and exactly what I would do in their shoes.

    “it wants us to be a rule taker under EU control”

    I take it no-one wants to die in a ditch for product specification and safety rules. In any case, these are globalising fast as countries voluntarily opt to harmonise their standards to promote trade. The EU has a good and transparent approach, so it’s become a ‘standards superpower’ as other countries choose to adopt its standards. So, IN or OUT, if we want to export to third party countries we will mostly have to adopt EU standards.

    The UK has, while its been in the EU, been an insider and a big hitter in setting product standards so we currently have global reach and that gives us a competitive advantage. We will lose that.

    So, as you say, we are talking about the ‘level playing field’ issues of employment, environment etc.

    The only argument for NOT being aligned on these I can see is that it would leave us free to be more competitive by trashing the environment and making employment for the 99% less secure, less well paid etc. If anyone knows how this is supposed to develop or improve the economy (as opposed to the wealth of the 1%) please let me know. The ‘us’ that are freed in this scheme doesn’t mean the average voter for sure.

  • “Our key competitive advantage is that we own the fishing grounds around the UK.”

    Fishing is certainly an emotive issue (including for me and I’ve no fishing connections whatsoever!). I suspect the referendum might have gone the other way had it not been a running sore.

    But I don’t think it’s a ‘key competitive advantage’. For one thing it’s equally emotive and politically important on the other side of the channel; Barnier has been told in no uncertain terms by Macron and the PMs/Presidents of other EU fishing states that one of his top negotiating priorities is to preserve their existing rights.

    (An aside: note what’s going on here; it’s not some centralised and Stalinist EU bossing everyone about but European leaders working through its bureaucracy and rulebook to coordinate their actions for better leverage. The Tories have never understood this.)

    Fishing is a smallish industry. I heard 0.13% of GDP quoted the other day (NB I didn’t check – anyone?) so is Johnson going to die in a ditch for it or trade it for some larger industry? Or will he crash out thereby walking away from around half our export markets? What sort of political backlash would he then face (from let-down Leavers and told-you-so Remainers alike)?

    Problems in the fishing industry are primarily with the small (<10 meter) inshore boats which account for 77% of the UK fleet and comparable employment but get less than 2% of an allowable catch quota that is set by the UK, NOT by the EU. In contrast, HMG allows just three large firms control over 50% of the quota for England.

    This came about because UK quotas are based on a reference period of 1994-96, a time when small boats weren’t required to report their landings. Now I don’t know, but the choice of that particular timeframe sounds to me like a classic stich up between government insiders and the big fishing firms. I wonder what promises were made of future non-executive directorships or similar?

    EU fisheries policy is far from perfect but isn’t mainly to blame; fault lies primarily with the monopolistic crony-inclined tendencies of Westminster.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/here-s-why-not-everyone-in-fishing-is-excited-about-brexit/

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 28th Feb - 12:03pm
    Fair comment Tom - and true to experience. Sorry about the predictive being over-helpful with your name. As you will have gathered I found the...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 28th Feb - 11:49am
    Sally Burnell, I am disappointed that Willam Wallace's paper was not widely circulated and discussed; likewise Tony Greave's. On the latter, what do you mean...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 28th Feb - 11:47am
    Climate change is not the only challenge we face. There is increasing concern about our pollution of the land, the sea and the air. We...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 28th Feb - 11:45am
    @ Peter, ".....but the sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide is very controversial" But is it really? The exact sensitivity of yourself to infection...
  • User AvatarGlenn 28th Feb - 11:43am
    What I find annoying is seeing trees cut down and land destroyed for new housing, with the environmental requirement being met by some solar panels...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 28th Feb - 11:32am
    I do not think that most people analyse their language in this way. They express a feeling that they are not being dealt with in...