So, what if the UK just said no?

So, what if the UK just said no?

When the UK accepted the terms offered by the EU to move to stage two of talks, they also pretty much admitted that “no, we don’t have the stomach to attempt a hard Brexit.”

The EU expressed its collective surprise that the UK didn’t have an immediately available set of plans and proposals for both the transition period and the trade talks to follow. The likely battleground initially is likely to be Financial Services, the UK’s major export.

While Theresa May outlined her soft Brexit/remain credentials by offering an olive branch over the treatment of UK branches of EU banks, Brussels played hard ball over the financial passport – the EU legislation that allows banks with a license to operate in one-member nations to operate in them all.

The disastrous politicization of Brexit

Does anyone actually believe that life will be better for the UK either from a business or personal perspective in the ten years following Brexit? Does Britain have the resources either physical or mental to drive the country forward into a global marketplace where they start so far behind?

Politically, there is no current or up and coming man or woman (as far as I am aware) with the statesmanlike credentials to provide the guidance and leadership the country will need. There are a few, Tony Blair immediately comes to mind, that have tried, driven unfortunately by their own personal agendas.

The world is travelling at such an incredible pace now that any missed step can be disastrous, and the UK is now in danger of entering a backwater that it will be difficult to emerge from.

The jingoism of the Brexit campaign has been replaced by creeping acceptance that “we may not be wealthy, but we are free”. Which all sounds a bit “Braveheart” to me.

Despite a dictionary definition of political as “relating to the government or public affairs of a country”, the “politicizing of Brexit has been a disaster. I have long advocated an independent committee made up of committed Brexit supporters from all walks of life, given a sensible mandate to provide the Brexit that the country deserves and voted for.

In that way Parliament could have remained independent. However, every political decision needs an opposition and that is where Theresa May’s disastrous search for justification that led to the June election has proven to be the downfall of the whole process.

Could it get any worse?

One of, if not the only, reason that the economy has turned lower since the Brexit negotiation started is the uncertainty it has engendered. How can a Finance Director or CFO plan his businesses future when he has no idea what terms their sales will be conducted under?

Investment has virtually dried up and won’t return until the terms and duration of the transition period, at least, have been agreed. This may mean further capitulation form the UK Government.

ut, and it’s a big but, what if the UK simply withdrew from the negotiations? What if they simply said enough. What would be the ramifications and consequences? I can hear remainers crying NO! But what kind of Brexit is the UK heading for?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s  going to be more like EU lite with all the problems and no – or at the very best a few – of the advantages.

It is clear that the UK will not enjoy unfettered access to the single market in goods and services. Why would the EU allow that? Members would be dropping like flies. At the end of the day, what else is there? If Brussels isn’t going to trade with the UK on a mutually beneficial basis then the whole thing is a colossal waste of time.

It is hard to imagine that Tony Blair was serious when he said that the Labour Party was allowing a “right wing Tory Brexit to happen”. It reminds me more of a “New Labour middle of the road, try to please everyone and do and say anything to stay in power Brexit” to me.

Economic meltdown?

I am becoming more and more concerned by the output from what are supposed to be the impartial, well regarded newswires that I “grew-up” believing with almost blind certainty.

I just look at the analysts (not economists any more you will notice) who are quoted, and they seem to be employed by firms that use analysis as a trading incentive, rather than to provide information and opinion.

Brexit is uniformly bad for the UK economy. It is going to produce several Catch 22 situations where the Government and Bank of England are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

A classic example of this was the utterly ludicrous interest rate rise that took place in November last year -totally unwarranted, and then accompanied by a ridiculous set of excuses that did nothing for the credibility of a governor who had been handling a difficult situation with some aplomb.

If Brexit brings the exodus from the City that many of its residents fear, the blow to the Government, the Exchequer and business confidence will be almost impossible to recover from. Britain will have to re-invent itself as the basis of the country’s wealth and position built over many centuries will be decimated.