UK politicians say “No” to youth mobility

UK politicians say “No” to youth mobility

The FT ((£ | (-)) and Steve Peers on X report late last week that the EU Commission has sent a request to the Council for a mandate to negotiate a “youth mobility” scheme to allow British and EU under 30’s to freely travel, work and study in each other’s countries.

Cynics suggest this is to hold the Union’s position together as the UK Government has already opened or attempted to open bi-lateral talks with several member states; however, the Commission’s initiative has it seems produced a negative public statement from Labour. (And later by the Government, reported here by the BBC which highlights this government’s disrespectful approach to British and European youth’s interests. )

Labour really seem to be taking a foolishly hard line; I think that agreeing this would make their plan to negotiate a new co-operation agreement easier since their goal seems to be to bargain the UK’s defence capability in exchange for opt-outs from the single market.

The FT reports that Sweden has refused because it wants to act in solidarity with all the member states and the Commission if it gets a mandate will have conditions on visa charges and the NHS surcharge; they will also not permit the UK to discriminate against any member state.

Stella Creasy of the Labour Movement for Europe, welcomes the proposal and the scheme,

Luke Cooper, a colleague on the AEIP national committee comments on X, and also places the issue in the context of Lammy’s recent article on security and defence co-operation with the EU, also reported by the FT, which also reflects on the more frigid end of the EU conversation. It would seem that Luke considers the position of the German Government to be important, as well as the “Report of the committee of Franco/German experts” on the medium term direction of the EU which perceives a multi-tiered commitment to and within the EU on which I comment on my wiki, and on my blog, in an article called, “The (EU) reform train is at the platform”. For a further analysis of this debate on that report and its Federalist alternative see my article, “EU Reform”i. Personally, I think the Franco German report has been lost in a cupboard as the sponsoring governments have new priorities,

It’s a shocking opportunity missed and while I am not surprised at the Government’s reaction; I am bitterly disappointed in Labour’s. …

We can do better than supposed sensibleness

We can do better than supposed sensibleness

Martin Wolf, the Chief economics correspondent at the FT, just before Xmas published a piece of clickbait, entitled, "Britain won’t rejoin the EU for decades — if ever", with a tag line, “The sensible approach for the UK is to seek a closer and more co-operative relationship with Brussels”. He starts with an alleged piece of mystic folklore, that one can’t cross the same river twice, which stripped of its source and supposed wisdom of its age is clearly nonsense. Of course, you can cross a river twice and anyone that commutes from Canary Wharf to Westminster does it twice a day.

This rest of this article, overleaf, article looks at what Wolf said, refutes the arguments, exposes the lack of evidence and concludes that it's a failed project and that failure and the prospect of rejoining cannot be suppressed.

Pipe dream or inevitability

Larry Elliot wrote a piece of click bait in the Guardian on why since Britain is not a basket case, it should not rejoin the EU. He also argued that the growing strongman nationalism, and racism amongst some member states is a reason for avoiding the EU.

I wrote a reply which I shortened and offered to the Guardian, and was eventually published on Another Europe’s  web site. I have also posted a copy on my Medium blog, outside the paywall.

I argued that the economy was in a poor state, certainly worse than it might have been and quoted the OBR and my “Remain” article, from this blog, posted in 2016 that the 4% growth underperformance was about where the forecasters had predicted.

I pointed out that his investment successes were selective good news, and only talk about yesterdays driving technology. He like most seem to fail to recognise that we have already missed the boat on renewable energy manufacturing.

I conclude by arguing that the UK is not inoculated from the racism inherent in authoritarian rule. It must be fought not avoided, starting by the repeal of Tories immigration laws.

I really conclude by stating that rejoining the EU is an inevitability not a pipe dream. …

Brexit/Brejoin is on #lab23 agenda

Brexit/Brejoin is on #lab23 agenda

As a member of the AEIP National Committee, I have been campaigning to reverse Brexit. The personal politics that led me to stand for their NC is based on both an abstract commitment to what the EU could be and a detailed observation of the economic and social advantages of common citizenship, together with the economic advantages to the nation of belong to the European Union. The absence of the EU’s freedom of movement to work and the common citizenship rights do not affect the rich. Overleaf, the full article looks at the arguments to rejoin the single market, and charts the last act of Lewisham Deptford CLP in sending a motion to #lab23 calling to rejoin the single market. It also documents the speech I made.

To see the full article overleaf, use the "Read More" button. ...

Brexit & modern supply side economics

Brexit & modern supply side economics

I have just read Jonathn Portes’ review of Peter Foster’s book “What Went Wrong With Brexit?”. Portes looks at the economic damage, the under investment in human capital and the continued timidity of our politicians. In this review, I [hope I] add to the debate by looking at long term goals and short term modern supply side programmes, most importantly in my mind, rejoining Horizon Europe.

There's a couple of things in the article which interest me. Portes in the subtitle ensures that we understand the damage that Cameron and Osborne 's austerity has done to the UK economy. A critical conclusion from this article is that the problems in the British economy are endemic, predate the Brexit vote but are made worse by the increased bureaucracy in conducting foreign trade, and the miserly modern supply side policies of this Tory government. Portes suggests that the realistic choice, because of our political leader’s timidity is between minimal change to the future trade and cooperation agreement or rejoining the single market. Portes suggests that the minimal change suggestions i.e. fixing Brexit will not be as easy to achieve as its proponents hope.

I finish my review by looking at the contradictions in Sunak's policy by continuing to exclude the UK from Horizon Europe. It is curious that Sunak permits this policy to stand, given that he is a fan of Paul Romer's work on investment & innovation. Romer argues that growth is driven by investment in Human Capital. re-joining Horizon Europe, would be a simple remediation of a number of barriers to growth.

For the full review, press the "Read More" button.

Science & Brexit

Science & Brexit

I wrote something more on immigration and Horizon, based on the report that the UK has had three applications for its super highly skilled visa scheme. I argue that the focus on prize winners is foolish, we need the next generation of prize winners, and that being out of Horizon Europe makes UK based innovators less attractive collaborators. I make a cheap crack about how this shows the emptiness of Sunak’s ambition to be a science super power. The article is on Linkedin and Medium, entitled, “Science, the UK and Horizon Europe, again”. It was followed up in the Independent.  …

Tony Blair on today’s politics

Tony Blair on today’s politics

Tony Blair hosted an interview at a “Tony Blair institute” event with Keir Starmer. Some have announced this as his anointment of Sir Keir. Of much interest, has been the companion interview, published (£)  in the New Statesman, in which Tony Blair talks of the UK rejoining EU. The Independent reflect on this article and are joined by several youtubers, and John Crace, again in the Guardian.

In the New Statesman article, which is signed by Andrew Marr, it says, ‘Does he see any realistic prospect of going back into the EU, or even the customs union or single market? “Well, I believe at some point a future generation will take Britain back into Europe, and, you know, you just have to look at what’s happened.”’

To me, a future generation is 20 years away, optimistically, from 2016, and I wonder if the UK’s democracy and economy can wait that long. The conference and interview coincided with the first time polls report that a majority of the UK want to rejoin the EU and not just its single market. This point is made in the Independent article. The reason is two fold, some communities that believed the lies of the Leave campaigns, such as fishing and farming, have now experienced the impact of those lies in less jobs and higher prices and weaker export markets. The second reason is that as young people grow older and get the vote and older mainly leave voters die, again the majority opinion changes.

Of course, the usual Brexit cheerleaders interpret Blair’s comments as in contradiction to Starmer’s but the clue is in the phrase, a future generation.  

Labour’s leadership claim that it’s settled, I say, it’s not. Starmer’s terms for “Fixing Brexit” are a variation of cakeism, he only proposes what he thinks benefits the UK: student exchange, creative workers tours and professional services.  To them it remains solely about money, a continuation of our reputation as a nation of shop keepers.  It’s not good enough!

In later articles, Blair suggests that the UK can trade non-competent issue co-operation for part membership of the single market. I doubt this will fly, no co-operation on the criminal justice system without the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Court. …

On rejoining Horizon Europe

On rejoining Horizon Europe

tI wrote an article posted on my linkedin blog, on Horizon Europe and the will they/won’ they attitude of the Tory Government. This refers to Another Europe’s Brexit Spotlight article which covers the issues including the fact that the scheme ‘s rules state that an associate member may not be net beneficiaries, and showing that the UK government is seeking to ensure that it is.

This is wrong in so many ways, but critically, the problem is that it would seem the British Government, seem to think they are ‘buying’ the grant, they are not, they would be buying the research output. The research output will be significantly larger than any individual stake and or any member states’ stake.

The final mistake they make, is that access to funding makes British universities and companies more attractive partners to other European companies and research institutes and thus underwrites the attractiveness of the universities to European teachers and students, and funds jobs for British based researchers. …