The colour of my passport

The colour of my passport

I’m losing hope on my next passport being burgundy.

The only way the UK will rejoin the European Union he’s when it’s ready to be a good citizen.

It is clear that Labour’s leadership despite the opinion polls, have a view that better terms short of membership can be obtained. Firstly, i don’t think it’s desirable, and secondly, I’m not sure it’s available. All the intelligence suggests that the EU has no interest in replicating the Swiss arrangement and that the single market is indivisible.  

Pretending that the Tory deal has failed due to its design and that all it needs is “grown ups in the room”, a view reinforced by numerous academics attempting to prove how clever they are by designing a new relationship, Is unlikely to succeed.

At the moment EU accession requires a unanimous vote on the EU council; this would mean the UK reacquires its political rights and full access to the subsidy programmes. This is unlikely to happen while we have a big bill poster signposts that we proposed to continue to behave as we did before we left.

It looks as if the people are ready to rejoin, but without leadership and a vigorous explanation that the opt-outs have gone and we need to be good citizens within the union I think it unlikely we will persuade the EU that we are suitable candidates.

The EU would almost certainly require a referendum to show that the government mandates is supported. It’s been said many times, that the EU don’t wish to play okie cokie with us.

It is sad that the elections to the European Parliament will have damaged both programmes for reform of the European Union. The Federalist proposition will have been weakened by the losses to the Greens and ALDE (Liberals) in the EP, and the growth of the ECR, who are campaigning to return competencies to the member states, and the alternative, “Sailing the High Seas”, which I characterise as Prix Fixé as opposed to a-la-carte, will have its support weakened by the French and German results where the sponsoring Governments both lost support.

I am of the view that StHS with it flexibility would be a better target to rejoin than the current EU or the Federalist alternative but rejoining the EU is needed to fix our economy and our democracy. People’s sovereignty requires access to human rights courts, and the UK needs an internal subsidiarity agreement, which I hope implementing the Brown Commission proposals will give us although the Labour manifesto promises  the devolution without the funding and structural reform to embed such devolution. …

Brexit, armaments and defence

Brexit, armaments and defence

Reasons that Brexit was a mistake number, well I lost count but the Davis Downside Dossier has the count at 1788. The FT has run an article reporting on the EU’s rejuvenated attempts move towards a defence union. For years now it has been working on common procurement chains and now is seeking to ensure security of supply, which is primarily likely to cause substitution of US weapons with indigenous European weapons but one piece of collateral damage will be the UK’s arms industry ability to supply to EU member states.

The FT article implies that the single market will be extended to defence supply. There are two impacts on this policy. One of them being the exposure of the lack of ambition of Labours plans to ”Fix Brexit”, agriculture, science, touring artists, and a free movement of consultants & professionals won’t be enough and Labour’s plans to trade our defence capability for single market opt-outs will look much less attractive to the European Union.

The second impact will be on BAE’s share price, which has done quite well this year.

The Ukraine War has been good for some businesses.It all goes to show that there’s a need to examine how the UK and Europe defends itself, if there is a sensible role for NATO as opposed to an EU institution or competency and to question whether the global i.e. the non-exclusively European nature of the UK’s warplane procurement plans are actually as effective as we need.


Reading Labour’s tea leaves

Reading Labour’s tea leaves

I wrote about the possibility of a youth mobility proposal from the EU; I’d say it’s now dead and that may be what the Commission was trying to achieve, to stop the UK cherry picking, stop us levying the NHS fee and high [unreasonable] visa fees, although the Commission may not give up. The bad news is that it has enabled those that oppose freedom of movement to reinforce their arguments.

During the discussion I was pointed at the FT’s comments on David Lammy’s Foreign Affairs article extolling “Progressive Realism (in foreign affairs)”.  On the EU, it is my view that Labour will seek to use enhanced security co-operation to further their cakeist approach to the single market. The FT article on Lammy’s speech makes it clear that using our military budget as a negotiating tool for single marker opt-outs will not be easy and everyone in the UK is ignoring the fact  that justice co-operation requires a common basic law and that the majority of the UK’s recent case losses at the ECtHR have been on issues of justice. Lammy also repeated/published his views in a Guardian piece. Lammy in his article, and in his speech to Labour Party conference 23 has articulated the need the greater cooperation with both the European Union and its member states. He always adds the mantra of the new red lines, but he clearly sees and speaks for the need for greater cooperation over a range of issues.

I have also been pointed at Martin Kettle, in an article, “Starmer can’t dodge the Europe question for ever. In office, the economy will answer it for him”. He reckons, it’ll be Reeves who’ll break first, I don’t agree. She’s remarkably stubborn and well trained by the high priests of QMT in the Bank & Treasury. I wonder if it might be Lammy. While I gave up trying to read the tea leaves from the speeches of Labour’s front bench, Lammy’s speeches read as if he may want to do something else but adds the red lines because he has too. …

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.