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In or out?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#3221 Post by animist » March 21st, 2018, 3:12 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:so much for lower prices as a result of Brexit - they are outweighed by the increased costs we are already paying. This is the finding of the Institute for Fiscal Studies http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2018/03 ... sts-by-1-2
Moe confusion from Ian Dunt. :headbang: His economics is all over the place. :sad2:
ISTM he was only reporting the IFS paper; anyway please elaborate

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
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Re: In or out?

#3222 Post by Alan H » March 21st, 2018, 5:49 pm

The Irish border: no technology is smart enough
The past three weeks of the Brexit cycle has once again seen Ireland at the centre of the Brexit debate following key publications and speeches from both the UK and the EU. However, as Katie Daughen (British Irish Chamber of Commerce) warns, the Irish border is such a conundrum that no technology is smart enough to solve it.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3223 Post by Nick » March 22nd, 2018, 2:26 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
animist wrote:so much for lower prices as a result of Brexit - they are outweighed by the increased costs we are already paying. This is the finding of the Institute for Fiscal Studies http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2018/03 ... sts-by-1-2
Moe confusion from Ian Dunt. :headbang: His economics is all over the place. :sad2:
ISTM he was only reporting the IFS paper; anyway please elaborate
By special request! :)
For the last few weeks, senior Brexiters have had a very specific script.
Straw man
Jacob Rees Mogg told anyone who would listen that post-Brexit tariff reduction would massively reduce the cost of "food, clothing and footwear".
I have an almost allergic reaction when anyone uses the word "massive". It's a (massive) warning that nonsense is about to be spouted. :wink:
He estimated the savings to be around 21%.
Nope. What he has said is that tariffs on those items, on imports from outside the EU are of that order. (I seem to remember him saying 20%, but ho hum...)
Former secretary of state Owen Paterson also cited the 21% estimate.
Haven't heard of this, but as he got the first point wrong, I have no confidence in the second.
"If we come out of the customs union and escape from the common external tariff, a lot of everyday products like clothing, footwear, and food will be coming down in price," he insisted.
It's not a matter of insisting anything! The use of the word "insist" is showing the blatant prejudice of the the writer. If tariffs are removed, then the price of those items will reduce by the amount of those tariffs
Leading Leave figure Liam Halligan clearly had the same briefing.
Haven't heard of him, so not exactly a mover and shaker.
He told LBC that "we never hear about the upsides of Brexit". For instance, "outside the customs union, food, clothing and footwear will be much, much cheaper, about 20% cheaper."
So? Osborne said unemployment would rise if we voted out. Just because someone has said something, it is not a proof of anything. For heavens sake! Some people think Corbyn would be a good PM!
Today, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) offered a different assessment.
... because they are addressing a different question.
Tariff reduction after Brexit would reduce prices by 1.2% at most -
Quite possibly. Given that most prices are based on domestic activity, this rather confirms the size of the tariff penalty, which could be swept away by Brexit.
a figure dwarfed by the two per cent rise in consumer prices as a result of the devaluation of sterling in the wake of the vote.
This is largely because of uncertainty, not fundamentals. Furthermore, in the light of our continuing, and rather serious balance of payments deficit, this may well be a jolly good thing! It way well boost employment, import substitution and exports.
And that is actually an extremely generous assessment. The real figure is likely to be much lower.
No, it's a pretty meaningless assessment.
So what's going on here? Why is the figure so low? Firstly, EU tariffs on the kind of goods the UK consumes are not generally very high. The average for countries the EU has no trade agreement with is just 4.6%, so there isn't much there to save. Once you include the various little bits and bobs of trade agreements the EU has, it's more like 2.8%.
OK, let's accept that for now.
Even where these tariffs can be cut down, they won't affect many goods. Of every £100 spent by UK households, just £26 is affected by tariffs on goods.
Exactly the point I made earlier, which he "insists" JRM is completely unaware of.
Taking all this into consideration, the authors conclude that even if the UK cut all tariffs to zero it would save shoppers just 1.2%.
So how much is that? £20 billion per annum, perhaps? Not exactly chicken feed.
This is very kind of them.
Oh perleeease!
The real number is likely to be much lower.
Oh? Why?
The costs of the 4.6% of tariffs which currently apply aren't all passed on to consumers, so the savings from their eradication wouldn’t all be passed on either.
This flies in the face of 200 years of economic thought. There's a Nobelprize awaiting if he can make that one stick!
And even this very minor outcome is too generous, because the UK is very unlikely to reduce all its tariffs to zero. Doing so would make plenty of domestic producers unemployed.
So if it's "plenty", this shows that the impact of tariffs is, in fact, substantial, the opposite of what you were asserting a moment ago. Secondly, it makes no allowance for their ability to afford more of our imports, which would create emplyment. Thirdly, if our producers are only sustained by tariffs, that demonstrates that they should, in fact, be doing something else anyway. Tariffs destroy jobs overall, they don't create them. We leant this when we abolished the Corn Laws.
This is why almost all countries have tariffs on at least some goods.
That's politics. Doesn't make it a good thing, does it? Rather demostrated by this article.
So in reality the UK would be more likely to reduce tariffs only on the goods it doesn't produce. Things like oranges, basically.
Only if the UK were to be as protectionist as the EU. Which is not what is being advocated, is it? Oh, and the tariff on oranges is 25%
Now we're talking about an even smaller range of products – just 22% of the value of UK imports. But there are a few items here with high tariffs which we can make cheaper, like pasta and broken rice. Broken rice is a thing I did not know existed until this report and have now Googled (no, it isn't couscous).
This is just plain ridiculous! We import huge amounts of stuff we also produce ourselves! One obvious example: cars. Drivel!
So here we have found a genuine saving.
Completely ingoring the benefits of an increase in trade!
But because we had to narrow the areas so much, it doesn't add up to much. In fact, the authors expect it to lead to an overall price reduction of just 0.4%.
Well, if you make stupid assumptions, you are going to get stupid answers. GIGO.
This is the horrible reality for the Global Britain lot. Tariffs are already quite low and anyway don’t apply much to the type of goods we consume.
Given the errors above, that's not a logical conclusion, is it?
Plus we're likely to protect our domestic producers anyway, so only some items can be slashed.
Except that the whole thrust is away from tarifs, not towards them. And you are facing in all directions at once: tariffs don't matter as they are too small to affect consumers, except that they will affect consumers dramatically and render producers unemployed, except that they won't be reduce anyway.
This is really a sad little number, but it's all they've got.
Not as sad a number as this article.
After all the other promises have been stripped away, the one remaining positive from Brexit is reduced prices from our independent trading status. And that will save shoppers about 0.4%. Stick that on the side of a bus.
If you strip away all the other benefits of Brexit, then you are ignoring all the other benefits of Brexit, aren't you? I'd like to stick Dunt on the side of a bus!

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#3224 Post by Alan H » March 22nd, 2018, 4:34 pm

Just how democratic is the EU?
The old jibe that the EU is undemocratic just doesn’t bear up to scrutiny, says MALCOLM TURNER. It is high time this myth was debunked.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3225 Post by Alan H » March 22nd, 2018, 5:42 pm

Have the Daily Mail, Express and Sun exploded yet, coffee? Blue passports and public procurement
Britain has announced that its contract to produce the new blue, post-Brexit passport is set to be awarded to Gemalto, a Franco-Dutch company. This, of course, disappointed the incumbent provider De La Rue.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3226 Post by Nick » March 22nd, 2018, 6:51 pm

Alan H wrote:Just how democratic is the EU?
The old jibe that the EU is undemocratic just doesn’t bear up to scrutiny, says MALCOLM TURNER. It is high time this myth was debunked.
Nope. It's still undemocratic.
one big advantage of the present system is that populists, isolationists, nationalists and nativists don’t get to first base
ITOH that sort of bias would hve kept Corbyn away from power permanently. :wink:

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3227 Post by Nick » March 22nd, 2018, 6:54 pm

Alan H wrote:Have the Daily Mail, Express and Sun exploded yet, coffee? Blue passports and public procurement
Britain has announced that its contract to produce the new blue, post-Brexit passport is set to be awarded to Gemalto, a Franco-Dutch company. This, of course, disappointed the incumbent provider De La Rue.
Doesn't mean it's not a good thing, does it? It's confirmation that we will be able to trade freely with the EU, isn't it?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#3228 Post by Alan H » March 22nd, 2018, 7:01 pm

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Just how democratic is the EU?
The old jibe that the EU is undemocratic just doesn’t bear up to scrutiny, says MALCOLM TURNER. It is high time this myth was debunked.
Nope. It's still undemocratic.
:laughter:
one big advantage of the present system is that populists, isolationists, nationalists and nativists don’t get to first base
ITOH that sort of bias would hve kept Corbyn away from power permanently. :wink:
:shrug:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3229 Post by Alan H » March 22nd, 2018, 7:04 pm

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Have the Daily Mail, Express and Sun exploded yet, coffee? Blue passports and public procurement
Britain has announced that its contract to produce the new blue, post-Brexit passport is set to be awarded to Gemalto, a Franco-Dutch company. This, of course, disappointed the incumbent provider De La Rue.
Doesn't mean it's not a good thing, does it?
Who claimed that?
It's confirmation that we will be able to trade freely with the EU, isn't it?
LOL! And I refer you to Daniel Hannan.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3230 Post by Nick » March 22nd, 2018, 7:44 pm

Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Have the Daily Mail, Express and Sun exploded yet, coffee? Blue passports and public procurement
Doesn't mean it's not a good thing, does it?
Who claimed that?
Wrong tense. I refer you to your own post. :rolleyes:
It's confirmation that we will be able to trade freely with the EU, isn't it?
LOL! And I refer you to Daniel Hannan.[/quote] :shrug: You'll have to be more specific.

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#3231 Post by Alan H » March 22nd, 2018, 8:16 pm

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
Doesn't mean it's not a good thing, does it?
Who claimed that?
Wrong tense. I refer you to your own post. :rolleyes:
I never claimed it was either good or bad.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#3232 Post by animist » March 22nd, 2018, 8:42 pm

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Just how democratic is the EU?
The old jibe that the EU is undemocratic just doesn’t bear up to scrutiny, says MALCOLM TURNER. It is high time this myth was debunked.
Nope. It's still undemocratic.
no go, Nick. Answer the points made in the article, PURLEAS!

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3233 Post by Nick » March 23rd, 2018, 10:41 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
Nope. It's still undemocratic.
no go, Nick. Answer the points made in the article, PURLEAS!
I did, animist (,albeit briefly, as Alan is disinclined to discuss much these days). Have a look at my post, rather than Alan's cropped response.

And btw, i gave a long response on the topic of MV=PT. What did you make of that...? :)

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3234 Post by Nick » March 23rd, 2018, 10:44 am

Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Who claimed that?
Wrong tense. I refer you to your own post. :rolleyes:
I never claimed it was either good or bad.
So you still don't understand. Oh well, never mind. :yawn:

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#3235 Post by Alan H » March 23rd, 2018, 11:49 am

Friday's email from politics.co.uk:
After a while you start to tune out, just so you can preserve a few brain cells. We lost an entire day of the news agenda to a man throwing dead fish off a boat. Another day went to a decision on where passports are made, which itself followed a seemingly interminable debate about their colour.

It quite often feels like the country has entered a senile phase. There is effectively nothing going on in parliament. There is no real policy agenda in health, or education, or national security, or business, or industry, outside of Brexit, which itself is a vacuum. Instead we have these colourful bits of theatre in place of politics. It's like being fed a plate of crisps for dinner.

But even here it is worth scratching the surface of the debate, because underneath it you find a web of lies, lobbying and basic trade reality. The gears of an economy and commercial law keep on turning, even if we try to cover them up with clown masks.

The fish debacle is a case in point. Fishing for Leave is supposedly outraged that Britain has not taken back control of its fish stocks during transition and wanted to highlight this by throwing dead fish overboard. This is a reference to the waste of fish under the EU quota system.

It's true the EU used to have a problem with managing fish stocks, which led to many fishermen discarding their catches to stay on the right side of the quota. Now those rules are about to change with strict new enforcement protocols on discards. But that requires a complex surveillance system and many fishing groups are desperate to avoid it.

It's for this reason that campaigners want out before the new rules come into force. They want the ability to discard fish, not the freedom to avoid doing so.

The entire European system of fish quotas is designed to prevent overfishing. If we were to just mark out territorial waters and let each country fish as much as it likes, there would be no coordination and no sensible allocation of resources. That's why the quota system, which assesses fish stocks and then parcels them out to countries according to a pre-designed system, exists. The British may not have got a great deal on this, but to present an exit from the system as an act of rebellion against waste is deeply cynical.

There is a similar mixture of ignorance and cynicism in the passport debate. British firm De La Rue lost the contract to make post-Brexit passports, which went instead to Gemalto, a Franco-German company. The UK company's chief executive asked why "the British government thinks it's a sensible decision to… offshore the manufacture of a British icon". He has considerable cheek, given he provides services to two-thirds of the world's countries. Apparently breast-beating nationalism is not good enough for them but an absolute requirement when it comes to us.

The Daily Mail berated the government in the most unhinged terms imaginable, saying ministers hated "our country, its history, culture and the people's sense of identity". Tory MP Priti Patel called it "a disgraceful decision", "perverse" and a "national humiliation".

Tim Stanley, a leader writer at the Telegraph, said correctly that the decision was taken under EU rules, incorrectly that it is an "example of why we're leaving", falsely that post-Brexit Britain "will be free to prioritise UK business", and quite madly that this constituted "the joy of Brexit".

Nearly all these commentators are wrong in nearly every way it is possible to be wrong on such a tedious issue. Firstly, it is possible to produce your own passports, as the French government does. Procurement rules do not force you to outsource things, they simply say what the rules are when you do.

Under EU procurement rules tenders should be based on price, quality and other factors. This seems a sensible basis to make decisions, rather than because a company happens to be based here. If the British firm's bid was of a higher quality and a lower price, it would have won. It was not, so it lost.

This provides a handy reminder of what happens when you allow nationalism to dominate economic debates. Firms which are guaranteed to secure contracts by virtue of their nationality rather than their service are liable to start offering a substandard product.

But even when we leave the EU, these rules will still be around. As the FT legal blogger David Allen Green pointed out, they'll almost certainly figure in the trade deal we do with the EU, alongside state aid and competition provisions, because they are seen as a core part of how the single market operates. They are also there at the WTO. And they are likely to figure in the trade deals we do with other states, like the US.

The passport issue was a jolt of rage, from Brexiters who loved the quick and compelling win of a new passport, and now had to see it made all murky and laughable by the fact they were going to be produced in France. But it also revealed something meaningful and worrying about the future.

Brexit was secured by uniting globalist free market types with nativist reactionaries. The passports issue highlights how divided they are and how impossible it is to fit the emotional needs of the latter into the political programme of the former. For the time being they remain, just about, aligned - all holding out for the same end goal. But those bonds are becoming frayed and they will inevitably end up going to war with one another sooner or later.

That is not simply because of their temperament, but because the whole political project is based on mutually incompatible demands.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#3236 Post by animist » March 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

Nick wrote:
For the last few weeks, senior Brexiters have had a very specific script.
Straw man
not a straw man because not an argument, just an introductory comment!
Nick wrote:
He estimated the savings to be around 21%.
Nope. What he has said is that tariffs on those items, on imports from outside the EU are of that order. (I seem to remember him saying 20%, but ho hum...)
and the difference is?
Nick wrote:
Today, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) offered a different assessment.
... because they are addressing a different question.
which is? Are you arguing with the IFS or with Dunt? Let us get this out of the way first, can we? Dunt may not be an economist in your eyes, but the IFS is very much a respected organisation
Nick wrote:
a figure dwarfed by the two per cent rise in consumer prices as a result of the devaluation of sterling in the wake of the vote.
This is largely because of uncertainty, not fundamentals. Furthermore, in the light of our continuing, and rather serious balance of payments deficit, this may well be a jolly good thing! It way well boost employment, import substitution and exports.
yes maybe, but that is not the issue here is it? We are talking about prices facing UK consumers, are we not? And the rest of what you say is speculation. Few people believe that Brexit will be good for the UK exchange rate, if and when it actually happens - partly because the "uncertainty" will never go away
Nick wrote:
Taking all this into consideration, the authors conclude that even if the UK cut all tariffs to zero it would save shoppers just 1.2%.
So how much is that? £20 billion per annum, perhaps? Not exactly chicken feed.
no indeed, but it may not be worth the costs to employment and so on. You constantly point out the threats which immigration pose to society despite its economic benefit, but the costs of free trade seem a lot more obvious - a very strange sort of doublethink and special pleading
Nick wrote: This flies in the face of 200 years of economic thought. There's a Nobel prize awaiting if he can make that one stick!
I really don't know whether all costs are passed on, but can you justify what you say?
Nick wrote: So if it's "plenty", this shows that the impact of tariffs is, in fact, substantial, the opposite of what you were asserting a moment ago.
surely he is talking about two different things: the impact of tariff removal on import prices, and the impact on employment
Nick wrote:Secondly, it makes no allowance for their ability to afford more of our imports, which would create employment
maybe, but how much of this dividend would come to us?
Nick wrote:Thirdly, if our producers are only sustained by tariffs, that demonstrates that they should, in fact, be doing something else anyway. Tariffs destroy jobs overall, they don't create them. We learnt this when we abolished the Corn Laws.
did we? Was there an increase in employment? Just asking - certainly the Corn Laws needed to be removed, no argument there, but that is rather a long time ago. BTW, I don't have any personal attachment to tariffs, I just doubt that Brexit is the way to remove them - and I imagine that many who voted Brexit would not be happy with your vision of Brexit. Please read the latest Brexit Blog, which discusses something I have already mentioned on TH: the strange bedfellows among the Leave votership of Little Englanders who want their jobs protected and the Hannan-type extreme globalists.

Nick wrote: Only if the UK were to be as protectionist as the EU. Which is not what is being advocated, is it? Oh, and the tariff on oranges is 25%
I guess that Dunt is hovering a bit between critiquing what is a doctrinaire advocacy on its own terms and what he sees to be a likely outcome, given that politics do matter here
Nick wrote:This is just plain ridiculous! We import huge amounts of stuff we also produce ourselves! One obvious example: cars. Drivel!
well, surely this depends on what one calls a product. "Cars" is rather a large general term for items which are very much different branded products
Nick wrote:Completely ignoring the benefits of an increase in trade!
because these are unknowable
Nick wrote: Except that the whole thrust is away from tarifs, not towards them. And you are facing in all directions at once: tariffs don't matter as they are too small to affect consumers, except that they will affect consumers dramatically and render producers unemployed, except that they won't be reduced anyway.
You have got the wrong end of the stick here - Dunt has mentioned certain things as politically unlikely (ie substantial tariff reductions on goods we produce), which makes the possible savings from the remainder rather small - not hard to grasp. Obviously the savings are greater if Britain does sacrifice certain industries than if it does not. And your first sentence is questionable. So the trend is away from tariffs? What about Donald Trump and his new trade wars with the EU and China? Not a good time for Britain to be opening itself up to foreign imports without any controls, surely

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#3237 Post by Alan H » March 24th, 2018, 11:20 am

This, from NewsThump, is almost funny: Theresa May suggests some form of formal unified group of European countries to oppose Russia
Theresa May has suggested a bold new idea – that the countries of Europe form a unified group to oppose the belligerent actions of Russia.

Making the point that it was important that Europe as a whole should stand up to attacks against any one particular country, she called for unity.

“I think that if all the countries in Europe worked together as one then that combined strength could really give Mr Putin pause for thought,” said the Prime Minister and world-class innovator.

“Rather than each of us coming up with measures against them as individual countries, if we came together as one with a single coherent strategy in concord with one another, it would send a powerful message that Putin’s actions will not be tolerated.”

Mrs May went on to suggest that the group could start out as primarily a defence-based alliance, but if there were opportunities to work more closely together economically, then where would be the harm in that?

“It’s a radical idea, but I really think that I’m on to something here,” said the Prime Minister

“We could call it ‘Unified Europe’ and base it in one of the low countries.

Mrs May went on to explain how she would seek to implement her original new vision, she explained that the first priority would be a strong Brexit deal.

“Once we’ve got that sorted out, then we can move on with the creation of ‘Unified Europe’.

“I suppose the sensible thing to do first is some sort of referendum…”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3238 Post by Alan H » March 24th, 2018, 5:48 pm

May aide accused of outing former partner in Brexit row
Theresa May’s political secretary was at the centre of an extraordinary attack last night after a former partner accused him of publicly disclosing his sexuality to intimidate him.

Stephen Parkinson, who has worked alongside Mrs May in Downing Street since she became prime minister, issued a statement about Shahmir Sanni, a fellow activist with pro-Brexit campaign groups, after hearing that Mr Sanni was about to make claims about Vote Leave.

Mr Sanni is understood to be preparing to accuse Vote Leave of breaking electoral law. His lawyers said last night that Mr Parkinson’s statement to the media had disclosed their client’s sexuality and had forced Mr Sanni “to come out to his mother and family tonight, and members of his family in Pakistan are being forced to take urgent protective measures to ensure their safety”.

Mr Sanni and Mr Parkinson were in a relationship for 18 months until last September. Mr Sanni is believed to be preparing to suggest that Vote Leave illegally co-ordinated with BeLeave, another Brexit campaign, to evade spending caps. Vote Leave strongly denies the claim. Mr Sanni accused Mr Parkinson of trying to intimidate him so that he did not blow the whistle on Vote Leave.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3239 Post by Alan H » March 24th, 2018, 6:17 pm

Brexit campaign was ‘totally illegal’, claims whistleblower
A whistle-blower, who says he was “outed” as gay by the Prime Minister’s political secretary in a row over cheating claims in the Brexit campaign, has claimed that the EU Referendum “wasn’t legitimate”.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Shahmir Sanni, who helped run the BeLeave offshoot campaign, said that “people have been lied to,” adding: “I know… that Vote Leave cheated.”

He said: “Leaving the European Union, I agree with. But I don’t agree with losing what it means to be British in that process; losing what it means to follow the rules; losing what it means to be quite literally a functioning democracy.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#3240 Post by Nick » March 25th, 2018, 12:46 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
For the last few weeks, senior Brexiters have had a very specific script.
Straw man
not a straw man because not an argument, just an introductory comment!
He's making a specific claim, which is untrue, and then attacking it. Classic straw man tactics.
Nick wrote:
He estimated the savings to be around 21%.
Nope. What he has said is that tariffs on those items, on imports from outside the EU are of that order. (I seem to remember him saying 20%, but ho hum...)
and the difference is?
That JRM (and others) were not saying tht 21% would be saved from imports from the EU, but only from outside.

Nick wrote:
Today, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) offered a different assessment.
... because they are addressing a different question.
which is? Are you arguing with the IFS or with Dunt? Let us get this out of the way first, can we? Dunt may not be an economist in your eyes, but the IFS is very much a respected organisation
I am saying that the IFS is being misrepresented by Dunt. ISTM he doesn't see the difference.
Nick wrote:
a figure dwarfed by the two per cent rise in consumer prices as a result of the devaluation of sterling in the wake of the vote.
This is largely because of uncertainty, not fundamentals. Furthermore, in the light of our continuing, and rather serious balance of payments deficit, this may well be a jolly good thing! It way well boost employment, import substitution and exports.
yes maybe, but that is not the issue here is it? We are talking about prices facing UK consumers, are we not?
We are talking about whether it is a good or bad thing overall. If a balance of payments crisis harms Britons, then that is a lot worse than a one off fall in sterling, which may in future be reversed. Just ask the Greeks (whom you, as a good Remaner) seem determined to blot out of your memory! :wink: )
And the rest of what you say is speculation.
Well, no. It's based on what we have seen in similar circumstances, eg during the ERM debacle, and our subsequent liberation.
Few people believe that Brexit will be good for the UK exchange rate, if and when it actually happens - partly because the "uncertainty" will never go away.
So what is a "good" echange rate? There's no such thing, in and of itself. Only in terms of what benefits the UK citizens. And there is a huge difference between general everyday variations, and sudden uncertainties caused by shocks to the system, where the outcome is uncertain.
Nick wrote:
Taking all this into consideration, the authors conclude that even if the UK cut all tariffs to zero it would save shoppers just 1.2%.
So how much is that? £20 billion per annum, perhaps? Not exactly chicken feed.
no indeed, but it may not be worth the costs to employment and so on.
So why would a cut in tariffs lead to higher unemployment?
You constantly point out the threats which immigration pose to society despite its economic benefit, but the costs of free trade seem a lot more obvious - a very strange sort of doublethink and special pleading
What costs of free trade? And how is it comparable with the arbitrary change in asset prices caused by immigration which hit the poor so very very hard. Never mind a couple of percentage points, we are talking tens of percentage points!
Nick wrote: This flies in the face of 200 years of economic thought. There's a Nobel prize awaiting if he can make that one stick!
I really don't know whether all costs are passed on, but can you justify what you say?
As Alan has said so often, its not for me to justify, it's for Dunt. He doesn't. But at its simplest, if a reduction in tariffs wouldn't reduce prices by a corresponding amount, why don't the suppliers increase their prices now, since by doing so, they would increase their marginal revenue, even if sales fell by volume. It's all to do with the slope of the curves. So! Evidence please!
Nick wrote: So if it's "plenty", this shows that the impact of tariffs is, in fact, substantial, the opposite of what you were asserting a moment ago.
surely he is talking about two different things: the impact of tariff removal on import prices, and the impact on employment
...which are linked.
Nick wrote:Secondly, it makes no allowance for their ability to afford more of our imports, which would create employment
maybe, but how much of this dividend would come to us?
Certainly exports need to be wn, but a sure way of losing exports is to protect your own market, thus stifling competition and innovation, which is what tariffs do.
Nick wrote:Thirdly, if our producers are only sustained by tariffs, that demonstrates that they should, in fact, be doing something else anyway. Tariffs destroy jobs overall, they don't create them. We learnt this when we abolished the Corn Laws.
did we?
Yes, yes, yes!!!
Was there an increase in employment?
Yes and a rise in the earnings of the poor, not only from economic development, but at the expense of the landed.
Just asking - certainly the Corn Laws needed to be removed, no argument there, but that is rather a long time ago.
That's why I chose it as an example. It's an old, old lesson!
BTW, I don't have any personal attachment to tariffs, I just doubt that Brexit is the way to remove them -
How can we remove tariffs imposed by the EU without leaving? We've suffered their tariffs for decades, and haven't been able to shift them. Cameron demonstrated they remain fundamentally deaf to reform.
and I imagine that many who voted Brexit would not be happy with your vision of Brexit.
Probably very true! We live in a nation where millions watch soap operas, after all! But that's no reason for me to promote the opposite, is it?
Please read the latest Brexit Blog, which discusses something I have already mentioned on TH: the strange bedfellows among the Leave votership of Little Englanders who want their jobs protected and the Hannan-type extreme globalists.
No more than the strange bedfellows on the left. Have you taken a good look at your fellow travellers...? :wink:

Nick wrote: Only if the UK were to be as protectionist as the EU. Which is not what is being advocated, is it? Oh, and the tariff on oranges is 25%
I guess that Dunt is hovering a bit between critiquing what is a doctrinaire advocacy on its own terms and what he sees to be a likely outcome, given that politics do matter here
He holding on to nurse, for fer of something worse!
Nick wrote:This is just plain ridiculous! We import huge amounts of stuff we also produce ourselves! One obvious example: cars. Drivel!
well, surely this depends on what one calls a product. "Cars" is rather a large general term for items which are very much different branded products
Of course, but there is substitution between them, isn't there? Dunt seems to think there isn't!
Nick wrote:Completely ignoring the benefits of an increase in trade!
because these are unknowable
Imprecise, yes, and individually yes, but collectively, and pari passu, they are knowable. Just look at the growth (and recent stalling) of international trade. Practice backs up the theory.
Nick wrote: Except that the whole thrust is away from tarifs, not towards them. And you are facing in all directions at once: tariffs don't matter as they are too small to affect consumers, except that they will affect consumers dramatically and render producers unemployed, except that they won't be reduced anyway.
You have got the wrong end of the stick here - Dunt has mentioned certain things as politically unlikely (ie substantial tariff reductions on goods we produce), which makes the possible savings from the remainder rather small - not hard to grasp. Obviously the savings are greater if Britain does sacrifice certain industries than if it does not.
Dunt is saying things in order to suit his narrative, not because of evidence. The government is gung-ho for tariff reduction and trade deals with everyone. Of course, the EU seem to be threatening us, in ce we might succeed, but that's just an illustration of their nasty bullying tactics, with which I have no desire to be associated with!! Nor are we "sacrificing" industries! To believe that is to misunderstand comparative advantage and promote the ossification of the economy which has hurt French employment so hard, and put crippling barriers in the way of the developing world.
And your first sentence is questionable. So the trend is away from tariffs? What about Donald Trump and his new trade wars with the EU and China? Not a good time for Britain to be opening itself up to foreign imports without any controls, surely
I agree that Trump is a loon, but the trend is still clear; that's what all the trade rounds (Doha, etc., ) are all about. As for The Donald, a) he can't last for ever, b) the tariffs haven't been imposed yet (but are causing uncertainty, see above) and c) are (at least I hope so!!) aimed at trying to get China to play fair (which it isn't up until now). A high risk strategy, not one that I would recommend at all, but.... you never know!

BTW, thanks for taking the trouble to address the points raised! :) That way, debate is at least possible! :D

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3241 Post by Alan H » March 25th, 2018, 7:36 pm

Police must investigate claims Vote Leave 'cheated' Brexit campaign spending rules, Labour and Lib Dems say
But Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, who was a leading figure in Vote Leave, posted on social media: “Vote Leave won fair and square – and legally. We are leaving the EU in a year and going global.”
Fortunately, it's not up to Johnson to decide.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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