Good summary of the effects of “No Deal” plus other things from a publication hitherto unknown to me – “Digital Journal” – brought to the notice of Twitter by the indefatigable Carol Hedges . . .
Op-Ed: Goodbye Britain — UK to be a failed state, or non-existent?
BY PAUL WALLIS SEP 10, 2020
Berlin – You can only use the word “deranged” so many times. The UK leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc was always imbecilic. Add the bungled COVID problems. Now, the UK is happily explaining how it will break international law.
The uproar in Europe regarding the reneging on the Northern Ireland border provisions of the withdrawal agreement is a hurricane force. The EU is threatening to take direct legal action against the UK.
It goes without saying that any future negotiations with the EU are already crippled, thanks to this stunning gaffe by Johnson’s cohort of clowns. Why negotiate with anyone who’ll simply ignore the terms of any agreement when it suits them?
The Northern Ireland land border is the only land border with the EU and the UK. The UK proposes to “disapply” (it’s barely even a real word) rules on movement of goods over the border. This is the effectively creating a law that they won’t enforce rules for whatever reason.
So the vital final negotiations are effectively over, if the UK doesn’t address EU objections to this blatant breach of an existing agreement.
That means no deal with the EU.
• No deal with the EU means WTO rules. That includes tariffs customs checks, and massive delays in movement of goods between the UK and EU. It’ll cost billions.
• These checks will cost time and money, a lot of both, in fact. It’s inefficiency incarnate.
• The UK has added some interest to the movement of goods by not having any system in place to check goods, process movements, or anything else.
Even basic traffic is a problem. Huge lorry parks are being constructed in Kent to manage the streams of goods. These parks also don’t have a system for monitoring movements. A digital system is proposed, but doesn’t yet exist.
To say this situation has been mismanaged would be like saying the Pacific ocean is slightly moist. Nothing at all has been done right, on any level. In any other country, except possibly the United States, this level of total insular incompetence would be unthinkable. In the UK, it’s normal.
Add to this the insanity of actually trying to pass a law to avoid international treaty obligations, and it’s pretty much game over for Brexit as any credible process. The UK currently has no trade agreements in place anywhere in the world, and this is the message they’re sending?
…Now the bad news for the UK
Let’s start with the basics:
• The UK imports a lot of goods from the EU. The UK is effectively dependent on the EU for food, medicine, and a lot of business in the form of services. With added delays, customs, tariffs, and more, some EU trade may simply cease, both ways.
• UK farmers will no longer receive EU subsidies, so food production will be under serious financial pressure. Some producers may simply shut down.
• The medicine problem is equally bad. Goods may cost significantly more, be delayed in transit, or simply become inaccessible due to this bizarre situation.
• UK businesses have been confronted with an exploding jigsaw puzzle of future issues, and little information at all about what will actually happen, or what they’re supposed to do. Some UK companies say they’re prepared, but the vast majority don’t believe they are. The uncertainty and lack of direction is almost universal. (The lack of any form of actual leadership is roughly the same as the lack of both these essentials.)
• The COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge hole in revenue due to business shutdowns. The pandemic may still be in full force when the UK leaves the EU on 1 January 2021.
• If trade issues aren’t clarified by then, business shutdowns may increase dramatically.
• If businesses shut, revenue and employment are in serious trouble. The UK has been borrowing heavily, and a shrunken revenue base can’t manage the same levels of debt.
Scotland to leave the UK? Very likely.
The Scottish nationalists aren’t just talking about a new independence referendum. It will happen. They’re furious. The Scots don’t want to sink between the waves singing “Rule Britannia” as the Brexit disaster strikes.
The Scots also have many very serious issues including and beyond Brexit:
• Devolution of powers. The Scots say Westminster is taking their rights to govern Scotland.
• The effect of Brexit on the Scottish economy, which could be even worse than in England.
• Many longstanding disputes between Edinburgh and London over domestic rules, laws, equity in revenue, etc.
• Those in favour of an independence referendum are now in the majority. The UK could effectively cease to exist.
It’s not just a “failed” state we’re looking at here. We’re looking at a state which is effectively making it impossible for itself to exist.
Boris Johnson is unusual in British history over the last 2000 years. Very few people could become the political leader of a country and then destroy it so completely without an actual war. It takes a unique individual to achieve such a fustercluck of absolute national disasters in just a year or so and look so pleased about it.
From Empire to pitiful remnant, from the madness of World War 1 to the decade or so of rationing that followed World War 2 to mindlessly destructive Thatcherism, it’s all been downhill for Britain.
Then came Boris.
• COVID 19: The UK has the worst death rate in Europe, by far.
• Brexit: Fiction disguised as policy disguised as sovereignty disguised as patriotism disguised as finding other people to blame for the mess.
• Trade: There’s a very large hole where British trade used to be. There will be a very large hole until this mess is cleared up.
• Revenue: Massive debts piling up, revenue base collapsing. What can you spend when you don’t have money?
• Jobs: How, with an economy in multiple train wrecks at the same time?
• Dominic Cummings: Who’s Cummings to anybody, and why? What’s he doing there? Who’s running Britain, Johnson or Cummings? Nobody has ever elected Cummings to any post at all, have they? Is it “Prime Minister Cummings”, yes or no, Boris?
The UK is now at real risk of non-existence, financially, fiscally, economically, and socially. Businesses are at serious risk of being in a legal vacuum thanks to the lack of trade agreements. Even the most insular of UK businesses, like Lloyds, will be impacted by the services issues with the EU.
The pound will be hit very hard by Brexit, as will pound-based assets, simply because the economy will be in utter chaos. The FTSE could implode, if the worst case scenarios are even approximately accurate. The UK middle class could vanish like the US middle class in 2008. The “upper” class won’t do much better if at all, having much more to lose.
Yes, someone will have to come along and clean up the mess. Meanwhile, a generation or so could be quite literally left begging. More likely, mass emigration will follow. The end is in sight, and it’s uglier than anyone could possibly have imagined.
Goodbye, Britain. There’ll always be an England, a Scotland, and a Wales, but not in those tiny little minds.