Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 8:13 pm

ericbee123 wrote:Still all ifs and buts.

And why wouldn't it be....after all, we're still a member of the EU at the moment and nobody has any idea what'll happen when we do finally leave or on what terms we leave on.
Until that happens, everything will continue to be 'ifs and buts', although you can bet your bottom Dollar/Euro/Pound that the majority of companies ( especially global ones ) already have contingency plans for whatever the outcome is, up to and including chinning off their UK manufacturing/financial bases and relocating elsewhere.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Tommy on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 9:32 pm

(TL;DR - ...Christ knows what I'm on about. If you will not deign to read my full post, you're probably not likely to be interested in summary, are you? :grin: )

That's another thing that Brexiters don't seem to understand (and a number of Remainers, too).

The "ifs and buts" are the fault of Brexit. You can't turn around and beat Remainers with the stick of uncertainty. This is Brexiters' lot. They have to explain it. They have to persuade us that it's a good idea, and, given that chest-beating patriotism stands up to cold reality about as well as a sodium submarine, they've got to go a bit deeper with it.

With Remain, it was simple. It was the status quo. That was the case for staying. What would have been the impact on remaining in the EU? The same as it was before the vote was declared. Yeah sure there are long-term changes. You couldn't predict what the EU is going to do in 50 years, and that's why I think there are a few compelling points from people claiming that it is likely doomed at some point ahead. That put Remain on the back foot, because whilst we already knew the good things we had if we stayed, we also knew about the bad things we have if we stayed.

Remaining, whether good or bad, was certain. We knew what we would get, because we were already getting it. In many ways, that's where Brexit was won. Remaining was tangible. It was real, it existed. And was boring. Boring and tired as hell. Stale, and grey, and uncharasmatic as cold porridge. Brexit, on the otherhand, could be anything anyone wanted (not in reality, of course, as we are finding out with increasing hysteria). It was sunny uplands, it was unicorns, it was £350 million for the NHS, it was "control" (whatever the hell that meant), it was no dirty johnny-foreigner speaking scary words you couldn't understand on a bus (if that's what you wanted), it was farmers still getting subsidies somehow, I don't know, and it's a border with Ireland made of marshmallows and kittens and gingerbread border guards who always smiled and waved at you and opened it up for anyone apart from the people I, personally, me, was told not to like by some racist gas-bag given too much television time.

Obvs. exaggerating to make the point, but the scary part is that I don't have to exaggerate that much. Alright, the immigration was a bit on it, but the marshmallow border - just you lot wait.

Brexiters wanted this. They wanted to go off on a tangent into uncharted waters. If someone wants to get a group of people to go against the status quo and do something that's never been done before, then they are the ones that have to persuade everyone else to do it. Sometimes that is easy. Sometimes it's anything but.

It doesn't work if you turn it around and say that there isn't a positive case for staying in the EU. The positive case is society, life, law, culture, everything, as we currently know it. Sure, it's got faults, but the overarching point is that Brexit had to be better than life as it is currently.

It's like you have that one mate who says "let's jump off a cliff! the water looks lovely" you say, "well... I mean we could... but what's under the water? How deep is it? You sure it's safe? What's the current like? No-one else has ever jumped from here before?" and your crazy mate says "awww pish. Look, it's blue! We used to always jump into water as kids! You've just got to believe! Why don't you stop moaning and dithering. You haven't even bothered to make a compelling case to me for staying on the path! You don't know that it's *not* dangerous, do you! Eh? Norway has jumped off cliffs before, and they're all fine! Give me some real evidence that we wont die, and then I'll believe you. Until then it's all ifs and buts!"...

Part of the first meaningful post I made in that Brexit thread on here few years ago:

... I recognise that it is always far easier to argue and pick holes, than to be open to persuasion. So, to misuse court terminology, those wishing for us to leave have brought the case, they have to demonstrate why we should. As such, I'm an open vote - can someone from the "vote leave" camp persuade me that we should leave, instead of just arguing about it?


No-one ever did. Nothing tangible, anyway. I asked numerous times. Plenty of people responded to my points in that thread, "TKK" and I used to have some delightfully boring and pointless conversations. But no-one gave me anything to say "Here. This. This is why we should leave the EU" that was tangible, and stood up to scrutiny.

I'm no EU-fan. I think it's crap. Like democracy. Also like democracy, I think it's the best crap we've got.

I would be delighted, over the moon, to be incorrect about Brexit. I would love it. But it's been years and years and years, now, and I've heard nothing positive. Not even remotely.

What have we achieved from Brexit so far that's even remotely, good? Remember the campaigns promising so much, and it's just reduced and reduced and reduced. It's gone from hyperbole about it triggering a golden age for the UK, to "look, it won't be the end of the world." quite a slide.

And where are those that screamed for it? Nigel Farage? What's he doing to help, eh? What's he doing other than gas-bagging his mouth off to a bunch of angry red-faced radio listeners. Cameron? Where's he gone? All these leading Brexiters? (Yes, Dave wasn't a Brexiter, but he did more from Brexit than any single man. If you open up a referendum, I think you need to be man enough to deal with the consequences. You can't gamble the dice, and then run away before the dealer takes all your money.)

Incidentally, this is also why I think referendums, as mechanisms, as things, are bad. The worst. Just such an awful idea. They're about as undemocratic as it is to get in the version of democracy that we use.

Christ, I've got to stop doing these bloody essays. Sorry, everyone. :wall:

I'm gonna start hiding soft-core language headaches for the fellow mods to see if people are paying attention. This one is easy. 80085
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby UKTopgun on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 9:35 pm

ericbee123 wrote:Still all ifs and buts.

You don't sound quite so definite now then? By staying in the EU we would not have these ifs and buts, why take the risk? I am not suggesting that Nissan would close the factory down this year or even next, but take the long view, companies like this and in other sectors, when looking to position a manufacturing capability in years to come, are likely to choose countries where it will be easiest to operate and do business, i.e. Not here. It is not rocket science.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:31 pm

parsley wrote:
ericbee123 wrote:
UKTopgun wrote:
Did I say the people of the North East were not highly skilled car manufacturers? Please don't put words into my mouth.
They could be the most skilled in the world, if the factories are in Poland/Romania/add another country of your choice, these skills will be of little use unless they emigrate.


Still making no sense. Why would Nissan shut down a profitable plant with some of their most talented employees and move it to Poland/Romania ?


Because of the large percentage of the parts for the cars built in Sunderland which are currently imported from the EU ?


So you are saying HMG willl be forced to put an import duty on these goods ?

No they won’t. Who is going to force HMG to put an import duty on these goods ?

Ok. Let’s imagine that Honda and Nissan won’t fight toooth and nail on a deal with Japan for the import of parts for Nissan and Honda to be as favourable as now.

Let’s imagine someone has forced HMG to put import tariffs of 25% on auto parts for Nissan. HMG sets up HMG Autoparts. The part that was £1 is now £1.25. £1 for the part and 25p to HMG in import revenue. HMG autoparts sells that part to Nissan for £1 ( as now ) and pays HMG 25p import duty. HMG gets £1 for the part and pays itself 25p for the import duty. Total cost is £1 to Nissan. 0p to HMG. Want to know what is in the “secret deal” HMG did with Nissan a couple of years ago that’s too confidential to reveal on a FOi request ?
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 11:02 pm

Now the Remainers might say but the EU might sell that £1 part to the Rest Of The World for £1 but charge the UK £3 , in which case Donald Trump’s comment of “Sue the EU” makes perfect sense.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 5:49 am

Well, those last two posts gave me a good laugh to start the day.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 8:48 am

Badly made due to too many pints of 61 Deep.

But the point remains.

If we go to WTO trade and have to put those import duties on everything then:

That extra £2,500 for the BMW doesn’t go to BMW , The EU or the WTO. That extra £2,500 goes to Her Majesty’s Treasury as Import Duty.

That extra 50p per Orange doesn’t go to Spain it goes to HMT.

That is part of “the Brexit dividend”. That money stays in the U.K.

Another part of “the Brexit dividend” is that 5% of VAT is sent to the EU. That 5% will now stay in the UK and go into HMT coffers. Now they could choose to reduce VAT to minimise the extra money HMT will be making from us in import duty - or they could see how long they could get away without us realising.

That’s not taking into account the much talked about £350 Million a week we won’t need to send to the EU anymore.

HMT will be a winner or HMG might offer some of this money back in VAT reductions or even Corporation Tax cuts for manufacturers like Honda, Nissan and AIRBUS to offset all that extra money they will pay for imports that will go directly to HMT.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 9:23 am

The much-touted "£350mil/week" ha been promised to so many different areas ( NHS, continuation of subsidies to farmers, continuation of 'deprived area' grants, etc. ) that it could be 10 times the amount and still be inadequate.

Businesses, be they industry or financial institutions, couldn't care less who the VAT goes to, all they're concerned with is how much they have to pay ( and how much can they avoid paying ).....if it works out more profitable to relocate, they will, as has been the case even whilst we're in the EU.
If Nissan were to relocate to an EU country after we leave, there would be nothing to stop them offering the UK workers a chance to relocate too, which is something other companies have done in the past, assuming, of course, we've still got some sort of 'free movement of labour' agreement with the EU.

One area the 'Leave' campaigners repeatedly ignore whenever they harp on about 'hard-line' and 'no-deal' Brexit is the haulage industry.
A large number of HGV drivers aren't British, they're EU nationals. Even if those currently employed in the UK are granted an indefinite right to work - and that's not guaranteed - that may not apply to anyone wanting to come and work here after we leave. Who do we replace them with, because not many people want to do that sort of work these days & the traditional source of HGV drivers ( the Armed Forces ) can't be relied on any more.
Without sufficient drivers, companies are stuffed when it comes to ensuring timely supplies of components...and that would be compounded if we don't retain some sort of 'free movement of goods' arrangement as the time spent clearing Customs when entering the UK will vary too much.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 4:36 pm

From the WTO website.

Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft

This plurilateral agreement entered into force on 1 January 1980. There are 32 signatories: Albania; Canada; Egypt; the European Union (the following 20 EU member states are also signatories in their own right: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Denmark; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; the Netherlands; Portugal; Romania; Spain; Sweden and the United Kingdom); Georgia; Japan; Macao, China; Montenegro; Norway; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei and the United States. Most WTO agreements are multilateral since they are signed by all WTO members. The Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft is one of two plurilateral agreements (with the Agreement on Government Procurement being the second) signed by a smaller number of WTO members. It eliminates import duties on all aircraft, other than military aircraft, as well as on all other products covered by the agreement — civil aircraft engines and their parts and components, all components and sub-assemblies of civil aircraft, and flight simulators and their parts and components.


How does the above fit into Airbus”s threat to leave the U.K. , when the EU AND the U.K. as part of the EU and in its own right have already signed up to free trade in civil aircraft and parts ?

And I’ve never said Nissan can’t do what they want,just show me some proof that leaving the EU will lead to them leaving. As the above slightly debunks the Airbus “project fear” , that they will leave statement.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 4:50 pm

...just show me some proof that leaving the EU will lead to them leaving.

I refer you to previous answers.
In fact, I'll use capital letters to make it clearer.....
NOBODY KNOWS WHAT NISSAN ( OR AIRBUS, OR ANYONE ELSE ) WILL DO ONCE WE LEAVE THE EU BECAUSE NOBODY ( INCLUDING HMG ) HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT DEALS - IF ANY - WILL BE REACHED OR WHAT THOSE DEALS WILL CONTAIN.

It really is that simple.
The continued "show some proof" call is meaningless before that happens.
It's just as meaningless as demanding "show some proof that they won't leave"
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 5:32 pm

But it can be shown that fears of tariffs are not as scary as some would have you believe, as the falling pound shows that the effect on import duties on U.K. exports will pale into insignificance when compared to the U.K. putting the same tariffs on EU exported goods. The revenue will not only come into HMG , thus helping our economy ,the higher cost will effect EU exports more.

I voted Remain but have spent the last two years thinking about how we can get this to work. It seems to me that most remainers and the government and the EU have spent the last two years thinking of negative things to scare people to vote Remain in the second referendum they hope will occur soon.

Or even that Brexit will fail and the U.K. will crash and burn so they can say “told you so”.

That’s why I’m voting Leave next time as I live in an area that is 60/40 leave and I resent my family and friends being portrayed as raciscts, cretins or fools.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Fri 20 Jul 2018, 6:29 pm

Except there won't be one, because unless she's playing an absolute blinder ( unlikely given how twp most of here decisions have been ) PMTM burnt that bridge a long time ago.
The only possible referendum there could be is one some time in the future if/when we try to rejoin the EU ( or whatever may have replaced it by then )

Thinking about the negatives is a sensible policy, because how else are tey to potentially avoid any possible pitfalls...despite what the 'Leave' hard-liners would have people believe, the world outside the EU isn't populated by fluffy pink unicorns & rainbows, and every other potential trading partner really will be out to stiff us to gain as much advantage as possible.
Heck, even our supposedly wonderful Commonwealth contains many countries whose attitude towards us ranges from dislike to outright hate ( they only remain members be cause we effectively bribe them to do so with the handouts we give them ) and in a number of cases the only trade they want to do with us is for us to buy their goods and for them to buy-up our companies.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby pbeardmore on Sun 22 Jul 2018, 6:04 pm

Reality is starting to set in and, for some, an extension of Article 50 is being discussed..........

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -officials
“The best computer is a man, and it’s the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labour.”
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Tommy on Sun 22 Jul 2018, 10:02 pm

Article 50 can very well be extended. In the same paragraph (para 3 from memory) that sets out the two year time limit.

But it has to be agreed with the European Council - so the 27 other member states. Therefore, to extend the Article 50 time limit, involves going cap-in-hand to each of the other EU countries, and agreeing terms upon which the two year limit may be extended. And each and any of them can issue demands. Germany might say that they wont agree to it unless we sort out tariffs on electronics components in their favour. France might only agree to it if we agree to stop buying Australian wine instead of the more expensive French stuff. Poland may only agree to an extension if the immigration red line is removed and their workers are given the opportunity to continue to work in Britain, or at the very least they will be given citizenship protections/assurances by the state. None of that really offers us the abundance of "control" the Brexiters promised.

As above, the EU has now set the agenda on any extension. Not us. They have said that they will not agree to an extension unless there's a second referendum, or some other drastic political shift away from where we are now. In effect May, or Raab, or whomever else, is pretty powerless to rely on the period of time being more than two years. Which, as I say, is an unstoppable clock, legally speaking. You can extend it, with consent of everyone else, but you can't stop it ticking.

Yeah, sure, it's in the EU's best interests that we sort out a trade deal, too. Trade goes both ways. But it's considerably less of an issue for 27 states still working as part of a trading bloc, than us on our own.

Same principle with the WTO stuff people don't understand. We don't "fall back" on those rules. We become vulnerable. We become a very prize jewel (because, let's be honest we do a lot of things, and make a lot of stuff that a lot of people want. Let's not undersell ourselves.) that is suddenly ripe for picking.

May could've triggered Article 50 whenever she wanted. She didn't need EU consent to trigger it. So she could have done it at any time. Do you see now, why I say that she has wasted that play? It was one of the few things she had control over in Brexit negotiations, and it was wasted. She chucked it away, and bathed in the jingoism that the papers lavished upon her for two weeks. That short-sightedness is now coming home to roost, and it makes you think that some forgettable Daily Mail and Express front pages probably weren't worth it. Now reality is starting to set in. Our government has realised that there just is not enough time. This all should have been figured out *before* she triggered Article 50. A plan should have been put in place *before* it was triggered. Our own government should have worked out what it wanted from negotiations *before* it was used. It was a completely unforced error. It was folding with double-aces before we even knew what cards would be on the table from anyone else. It's an error that has the consequence of it increasingly looking like we will be the only nation to exist on this earth without a trade deal on 31st March 2019.

Raab is doing the same. Postulating a load of puff about Britain "not paying the Brexit bill" if we don't secure a trade deal with the EU. Looks great for all the right-wingers who slather over all of that guff, but what does it look like to the rest of the world? It looks like we're petty, insecure, headline-chasers, who won't honour our agreements. How open are the arms of other nations going to be if we keep huffing and puffing about not fulfilling our obligations? If we don't secure a trade deal, that's absolutely the time that we need to look cool, measured, and an honourable party to deal with. Not to start refusing to pay our fair share.

Again, this isn't project fear. At least, not from me. I don't think that there will be a second referendum. I don't think it's achievable in the current political climate. I think that, depressingly, we are leaving the EU. Brexiters were told about this. They were questioned (though not nearly enough) on this stuff. The only answers we ever got were useless puff. We were told that Britain was tired of experts. "They need us more than we need them!", "Sunny uplands await!", "Believe in Great Britain!". And a slither-thin majority of voters swallowed it. Because simple solutions to complex problems are always an easier pill to take.

It's never been "project fear". And even if it was, it's turning into project reality.

Now watch the next twelve months as the rich Brexiters jump ship, and the slightly less rich ones blame the Remoaners for not "believing" in Brexit.

(Yeah, another thing, you guys notice how it's all "believe" nowadays? Facts aren't even important to Brexiters anymore. It's all "belief". Believe in Britain. Believe in a red white and blue Brexit. It's blind faith. Brexit is turning into religious fundamentalism. And we all know how well that works from an outsider looking in.)
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby starbuck on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 8:36 am

Tommy wrote:Article 50 can very well be extended. In the same paragraph (para 3 from memory) that sets out the two year time limit.

But it has to be agreed with the European Council - so the 27 other member states. Therefore, to extend the Article 50 time limit, involves going cap-in-hand to each of the other EU countries, and agreeing terms upon which the two year limit may be extended. And each and any of them can issue demands. Germany might say that they wont agree to it unless we sort out tariffs on electronics components in their favour. France might only agree to it if we agree to stop buying Australian wine instead of the more expensive French stuff. Poland may only agree to an extension if the immigration red line is removed and their workers are given the opportunity to continue to work in Britain, or at the very least they will be given citizenship protections/assurances by the state. None of that really offers us the abundance of "control" the Brexiters promised.


Tommy, the points you make about an extension are valid and well made but can and will be, I believe, even more pertinent when it comes to the full negotiations. Yes we have made a complete balls up of it so far to get where we are and Barnier, Tusk and the rest of them must be laughing down their sleeves at us but their work is only now just about to begin. If you recall, front and centre for them was the divorce bill, that was their priority (and to use your analogy of playing cards they folded much too easily over the total we will need to pay to leave the table). This was to ensure that the largest net contributors to the EU pot were not going to be left propping up everybody else as soon as we leave, for the smaller EU countries who take out more than they put in it was a win - win they are still going to be bank rolled for the foreseeable future. That can't last though, they are going to have to contribute more to stay in the club and for that they are going to be wanting more of a say at the AGM.

As we move into the trade negotiations they are going to see this as their opportunity to try and better themselves and push their own agendas. At the end of the day our negotiations with the EU are still going to be with a Franco/German accent just as they always have been. It will be all of the internal negotiating within the remaining EU members and their big brothers that is going to become more and more relevant. I think it will suit both parties to extend the 2 year time frame and I will be amazed if Barnier is still in post at the end of the whole thing. At the moment he looks as cool as a cucumber and we have done sod all to make him look anything else but his real work is only just about to begin and it isn't with us.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 9:56 am

That's where the EU have fallen down, primarily down to Germany - and Merkel in particular.
They fudged the criteria so that Countries which didn't meet the requirements were granted membership of the EU.
People have been saying for years that countries such as Portugal, Italy & Greece should have been kicked out rather than being given further financial bailouts which they have no intention of repaying.
The problem of the NAME economic migrants has also failed to be addressed and many feel that Germany have effectively encouraged it.
The rules were there which would have negated many of the issues those voting 'Leave' had, but neither the EU or HMG used them.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 12:40 pm

Tommy. Not being funny, can you please explain to me how world trade works then.

As I read it, we should be able to roughly use the EU trade rules as a starting point. As the U.K. was a signatory of the WTO , long before the EU, and since joining the EU has been signing WTO deals twice , once as part of the EU and secondly as the U.K. in its own right.

So are you saying we can’t do this ?

Ok. Assuming you are. We can’t then start with the worst case WTO deals and assume we have no trade deals with anyone and charge the WTO max on all our imports and the ROW has to charge WTO max on all our exports.

Can we do that ? You’ve kind of implied we can’t use the EU as a starting point and we can’t use the WTO maximums for “No Deal” deals.

So you are saying without a trade deal we can’t trade with anyone ?

We can’t use the ones we have signed up for as the U.K. ( as well as the EU ) and we can’t just fall back on WTO rules ?

How did countries like Croatia survive, they aren’t in the EU, weren’t signatories of the WTO, but managed to survive a split from a larger entity , carry on trading with ROW — and beat us in the World Cup Semi Final , they are doing so well !!!

I’d just like to know where I am going wrong in my assumption that we can do trade with people and set our own import duties within WTO rules at the worst case.

You can’t say “we will be flooded with cheap imports” if we adopt a zero import duty model as well as say “we can’t trade with anyone unless we have a trade agreement”.

Just confused.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 12:59 pm

You could try the WTO themselves : https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/tif_e.htm
Or for a shorter, simplified version : http://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/no-deal-the-wto-option/
Under WTO rules, each member must grant the same ‘most favoured nation’ (MFN) market access, to all other WTO members.
This means that exports to the EU would be subject to the same customs checks, tariffs and regulatory barriers that the UK and EU currently charge on trade with countries such as the US.
The UK’s exports to the EU and other WTO members would also be subject to the importing countries’ most favoured nation tariffs.

What are the potential consequences of these outcomes?

The imposition of tariffs on trade with the EU would increase costs for both UK importers (and hence consumers) and exporters.
The average EU tariff rate is low – around 1.5%. However, at a sectoral level, the impacts would be much larger: for example, for cars and car parts the tariff rate is 10%.
Since most UKbased car production is exported, and uses imported parts, the impacts would be magnified.
The impacts would also be large on agriculture, where EU tariffs and quotas remain high; this would result in significant food price inflation for British consumers.

The only exceptions to this principle are that countries can choose to enter into free trade agreements and they can give preferential market access to developing countries.
The UK could alleviate the impact on consumers by reducing or eliminating tariffs unilaterally – as long as this is done in a non-discriminatory way, this would be permitted under WTO rules.
However, this would have significant impacts on domestic producers, especially in agriculture.
In any case, increased tariff barriers would not be the most important impact.
The bulk of the cost of doing business across borders comes from non-tariff barriers such as border checks, custom controls and compliance with different product standards and regulations across countries.
These barriers cannot be removed unilaterally because they require trade partners to agree on a set of rules and regulations which they can both accept.
While the UK is in the EU, its businesses do not have to go through border checks because they already qualify as being compliant with EU rules and regulations.

Under a hard Brexit/“WTO rules” scenario, without mutual recognition agreements for product standards, it is unlikely that UK products could enter the EU without further checks at the border.
Over time, if there is divergence between UK and EU standards, UK businesses would need to produce two different product lines – one for the UK and one for the EU – which would increase costs and reduce competitiveness.

The impacts of non-tariff barriers would be larger for the service sector, which makes up 80% of the UK economy.
Access to the single EU aviation market requires headquarters and majority shareholdings to be located within the EU so that it can have regulatory oversight on safety.
UK service exporters would also suffer from the loss of ‘passporting’ rights for financial services, as well as reduced access for other service providers like legal and accountancy services.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 1:04 pm

So you mean there'd be an incentive for companies to manufacture their own goods here in the UK?
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Tommy on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 3:57 pm

ericbee123 wrote:Tommy. Not being funny, can you please explain to me how world trade works then.


No for two reasons. The first is that whatever explanation I provide, regardless that it is based in fact, seems unlikely to be good enough. I've already explained, in soul-crushing boredom, what "falling back on WTO rules" actually means. The second reason, is that just asking for an explanation of "how world trade works" is such a huge and nebulous umbrella, we would be here for days. You might as well ask the meaning of life.

But I respect your posts, and it appears to come from a place of genuinely attempting to understand, so I can do my best to re-explain the relevant bits.

ericbee123 wrote:As I read it, we should be able to roughly use the EU trade rules as a starting point. As the U.K. was a signatory of the WTO , long before the EU, and since joining the EU has been signing WTO deals twice , once as part of the EU and secondly as the U.K. in its own right.


Of the things you said there, most are wrong. There is no "roughly". We will have to use the EU tariffs exactly as they are now. To tinker with any of them without a trade deal will likely trigger a trade dispute under the WTO "most favoured nation" rule.

The UK is indeed a member of the WTO, but "long before the EU" is false. Both the UK and EU became members of WTO on the same day. The first day of its operation - 1st January 1995. So I don't know where you got the idea that we were WTO members before the EU was.

And, no, the UK has not been signing deals twice. I explained about each member of the WTO having a pair of "schedules":

No-one really knows the situation, but it's likely that Britain has a pair of schedules, as opposed to doesn't, which is good. What Britain needs to do is extract its pair of Schedules, and present them to the WTO as their own documents, rather than (as they always have been, and as they were originally drafted) under the umbrella of the EU. However, the WTO was set up in 1995. The UK's schedules were originally drafted, and have always been, inextricably linked with those of other EU member states, and the EU as an entity itself. We have to pick through these painstakingly working out what applies to us, and what applies to the EU and other EU member states. This will take years. Imagine everything we do with the EU, and everything the EU does with the rest of the world involving us. We will have to split more hairs than there are on the heads of all of the lawyers in the negotiating room. And we only have 9 months left to do it.

Furthermore, the WTO has zero rules for how a country can extract its schedules from an existing trading union. There has never been any need. No nation has been stupid enough to try it. It's uncharted water. Legally and regulatory-speaking, that means that it will take time. So much time. So much backwards and forwards-ing. This isn't a simple, streamlined process.



ericbee123 wrote:So are you saying we can’t do this ?


Yes. But not for why you think. We can't "roughly" use the EU trade deal tariffs as a starting point. We must use them *exactly*. That's a crucial difference.

ericbee123 wrote:We can’t then start with the worst case WTO deals and assume we have no trade deals with anyone and charge the WTO max on all our imports and the ROW has to charge WTO max on all our exports.

Can we do that ?


Yeah, we can. But, as I've said numerous times in this post, other than good will we are no more appealing than anyone else charging the WTO maximum rates. So how much trade will we really get? And a lot of countries using the WTO rules have had over 20 years to sort out deals amongst themselves. This is still an ongoing process. I'm open to persuasion, but I don't know of a country as populace as ours (or comparably so) that simply applies the WTO max-rate on everything.

But you're missing the point. The point is, as part of the EU, we paid less tariffs for certain things under the trade deals we, as part of the EU negotiated. To leave that means to suddenly hike everything up for us. And the rest of the world. There are no winners there.

But WTO maximum rates are not as big a problem for us as some remainers insist. We can use the tariff-rates we currently get as part of the EU, because we played a hand in negotiating them. But we must use them exactly as we do as part of the EU. Which makes the whole act of leaving pointless. Worse than pointless. Because, as I said, we become a slave to a trading bloc that we are no-longer a member of.

ericbee123 wrote:You’ve kind of implied we can’t use the EU as a starting point and we can’t use the WTO maximums for “No Deal” deals.


Incorrect. I've said very clearly that we have to use the EU tariff rates as an exact starting point. Here:

The only way for Britain to just survive, not even prosper, just survive, is to keep everything exactly the same as it was under the EU. Which tanks the entire point of Brexit. But even worse, it means Britain will still be a slave to a trading bloc of countries to which it no longer belongs. Once the UK starts tinkering with the EU tariffs and quotas and existing deals, it tips dominoes that start falling everywhere.


And I've said above that for a no-deal scenario, we can use the WTO maximums. Just that we wouldn't be a very appealing trading partner.

If you think I have implied anything, I haven't. Stick to what I say, not what you think a hidden meaning is.

ericbee123 wrote:So you are saying without a trade deal we can’t trade with anyone ?


No. Vastly incorrect. We can trade with whomever we like using WTO-set tariffs. It's just that we would be no more attractive than any one of the 164 other members of the WTO using their standard tariffs. Other than what we negotiated as part of the EU, we can't offer Australia a preferential trade tariff on, say, automobiles, in exchange for something preferential from Australia without a trade deal. If we lower our tariff with Australia for said automobiles, without a trade deal, we would have to lower it for everyone. And Australia, whatever they say they would lower for us in exchange for lower-tariff-automobiles, they would have to lower it for everyone else. That's what the "Most Favoured Nation" rule is.

We can trade with whomever we like on the WTO, but only on WTO standard tariffs. Which mean that there is literally zero difference between us and anyone else in the world. That seems fine, but it means that the rest of the world has to trade with us on the same rates that they would trade with a third world country.

ericbee123 wrote:We can’t use the ones we have signed up for as the U.K. ( as well as the EU ) and we can’t just fall back on WTO rules ?


The UK hasn't exclusively signed up for anything. We have always done so as part of the EU. The UK has been included by default. We need to extract our own schedules (if we have them) from the EU, pick out the bits that don't apply to us, and them present them to the WTO as their own separate entity.

Take, for instance, the government procurement agreement. An agreement that allows UK companies, as part of an EU member state, to compete for world government contracts exceeding 10 million euros. This is a huge money-maker for UK industry. The EU signed up to the agreement. The UK did nothing. It was just included by default. Will we still be a member when we leave? no-one knows. Everyone just worked on the basis that the UK was included as part of the EU sign-up. If we leave the EU, will UK companies still be able to compete for a procurement contract issued by, say, the USA? Not a clue. This is what the problem is. It's uncertainty. Businesses are starting to get nervous. On the one hand, the above niche situation could be fine. On the other, the rest of the world might seek to push out the UK companies and make the market bigger/reduce the competition so that they are more likely to be awarded the contract. What could the UK do? There's nothing expressly saying that we're a member. The sensible thing would be to apply to re-join, or apply for an agreement from everyone involved to say that the UK is still recognised as a member, apart from the EU. But how? How would that work? As said, the market is about to get smaller for everyone else, so why would they just do it from the bottom of their hearts? That's what negotiation is about.

That's just one example. There are thousands like it. That's not directly trade, but is on the back of it.

ericbee123 wrote:How did countries like Croatia survive, they aren’t in the EU, weren’t signatories of the WTO, but managed to survive a split from a larger entity , carry on trading with ROW — and beat us in the World Cup Semi Final , they are doing so well !!!

I’d just like to know where I am going wrong in my assumption that we can do trade with people and set our own import duties within WTO rules at the worst case.


Bit of classic "whataboutery" going on there. But I'll indulge. Again, as I said in my previous post (a lot of repeating myself here):

"So how did all the WTO member states manage it, then?" Good question. They sorted out their schedules a long, long, long time before joining. So that when they presented them, they knew that the schedules would be accepted, or had done as much as possible to reduce the risk of protest. And they drafted them (mostly) from scratch. As said, no-one has ever extracted schedules from a trading bloc like the EU and then re-presented them to the WTO. We don't have a clean slate.


We can set our own import duties within WTO standards. That's fine. It's just that every single other WTO member can do the same. So, outside of trade deals, trading in a particular thing with the UK has zero benefits to, say, trading the same thing with India, or Japan, or Azerbaijan instead. That's, in part, where geography comes into play. If both India and the UK offer the same product for the same tariff as each other to, say, New Zealand, then New Zealand will trade with India, because the only defining factor is that India is geographically closer than the UK, and therefore shipment/transportation costs and time will be less. So yeah, that also advantages the UK, too. But then our closest major trading partner is the EU, which, as members, we had preferential deals with. So now we leave, we're offering the same product as we did. Just a lot more expensive.

And sure, the UK sells and makes a lot of unique and interesting things. But the UK does far more in an inter-connected way. Globalism for better or worse has meant that we do and make things in partnership with others. We didn't make the Typhoon/EF2000 on our own. We did it as part of an international consortium.

As MiG_Eater says, this could pave the way for a more UK-first policy. Force us to make more of our own stuff. Maybe. But our society isn't set up like that, and hasn't been for half a century. It'll be a lot of very painful forced-adjustment. It will also lead to a monstrous brain-drain of skilled people from all over Europe, and even if we did make our own stuff, the rest of the world isn't just going to follow suit. The Germans and French are already talking about a new FCAS, the replacement for the Typhoon. The offer is open to Britain, depending on Brexit. They're not just going to stop if we drop out. They'll just do it alone. Without UK help, they may indeed end up with an inferior product. Or they may end up with a cheaper, more streamlined one because there's one less country in the agreement to worry about. No-one knows. That's the point. Uncertainty is a killer for business.

But that raises a plethora of other problems. The EU keeps and protects, due to historical influences, a geographical indication system. Under EU rules, champagne isn't allowed to be called champagne unless it's from the Champagne region in France. Americans hate that, preferring trademarks instead, and would lobby to remove stuff like that. This affects the UK, too. Traditional produce like west country cheddar, stilton cheese, Welsh lamb, cumberland sausages, Cornish pasties... If that protection were removed, and we were looking to do a trade deal with the US, they might lobby to remove all of that and flood the market with its own pasties, and forbid anyone from calling Cornish pasties Cornish pasties. That's part of their brand. That's how British consumers would be able to identify the produce that they want. Imagine how much of a hit the makers of cumberland sausages would take if they were forced to just call them sausages, and the British public couldn't distinguish them from some cheap horrible American guff instead? Millions would have to be spent an advertising to tell the public, which don't need to be paid now.

It's a domino effect. That will, I don't know, hit British farmers, which will hit someone else and so on and so on. Trade is a delicate web of agreements, promises, and obligations. Changes are made rarely, carefully, and over a long time. And the entire trading prowess of the UK is built on that. Remove a strand just like that, and you've got no idea where or what will collapse.

True, it may indeed present opportunities, I've no doubt. But no-one can predict that. Just as it may well all be "sunny uplands", it could also be regulatory, legal, and financial chaos.

ericbee123 wrote:You can’t say “we will be flooded with cheap imports” if we adopt a zero import duty model as well as say “we can’t trade with anyone unless we have a trade agreement”.


Because I never said the latter thing, and the former thing would only happen if we reduced all of our tariff rates to zero, which would be the only other way apart from keeping the EU rates exactly as they are (which is the opposite of all the "control" we were promised) to safeguard us from trade disputes on the WTO rules.

ericbee123 wrote:Just confused.


Clearly. It's a confusing situation, no doubt. No nation has ever been stupid enough to do this before. There are a lot of uncharted waters. But properly reading my posts would at least alleviate some of your confusion and stop you from thinking that I have said things that I haven't.

You're treating global trade as black and white. It's not. It's the very opposite. Trade forms part of the million combination of things known as diplomacy. Trade intermingles with defence, which intermingles with cultural and scientific exchange, which intermingles with the very fabric of global societies. As said, if the UK is subject to a WTO trade dispute by, say, Argentina, then that's a problem we have to face. It might be that said problem is only overcome by us agreeing with Argentina some form of concession on the Falklands, or whatever. It's a hypothetical, but the point is, you don't just stop with a blank-rate tariff. Trade is simply another mechanism of discussion in a forum of society where the world's nations interact with each other. That's the entire point of why we can't just "fall back onto WTO rules" and everything is merry and dandy. If that was the case, we wouldn't need to "fall back" on them. We would already be there.
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Tommy
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby ericbee123 on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 4:11 pm

So the WTO deal that I posted about civil aircraft that states from the WTO website that the U.K. ( and loads of othe EU members) signed independently AND as part of the EU is incorrect ?


From WTO website.

This plurilateral agreement entered into force on 1 January 1980. There are 32 signatories: Albania; Canada; Egypt; the European Union (the following 20 EU member states are also signatories in their own right: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Denmark; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; the Netherlands; Portugal; Romania; Spain; Sweden and the United Kingdom);

Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby starbuck on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 5:23 pm

Tommy wrote:But that raises a plethora of other problems. The EU keeps and protects, due to historical influences, a geographical indication system. Under EU rules, champagne isn't allowed to be called champagne unless it's from the Champagne region in France. Americans hate that, preferring trademarks instead, and would lobby to remove stuff like that. This affects the UK, too. Traditional produce like west country cheddar, stilton cheese, Welsh lamb, cumberland sausages, Cornish pasties... If that protection were removed, and we were looking to do a trade deal with the US, they might lobby to remove all of that and flood the market with its own pasties, and forbid anyone from calling Cornish pasties Cornish pasties. That's part of their brand. That's how British consumers would be able to identify the produce that they want. Imagine how much of a hit the makers of cumberland sausages would take if they were forced to just call them sausages, and the British public couldn't distinguish them from some cheap horrible American guff instead? Millions would have to be spent an advertising to tell the public, which don't need to be paid now.


Isn't it the other way around? Cornish pasties can still be called Cornish Pasties it's just that some company in Hicksville Kentucky could also start branding their product as a "Jim Bobs Cornish Pastie". Yes they may flood the market but if you care enough about a pastie and where it comes from, you believe in the brand and trust it, you'll still go out and find it. And that kind of leads onto another point that is totally overlooked when it comes to trade and one we are going to have to bring front and centre in this brave new world we are about to enter. Consumer choice. It doesn't really matter what trade organisation(s) we are a part of, if we make a widget or provide a service better than anyone else people will still want to buy it.

Going back to the Typhoon replacement that Germany and France are now working on as an example. They may want the UK to be part of the group, they may not (and us being or not being in the EU is totally irrelevant by the way) but if Martin Baker happen to make the best ejection seat for their new aircraft you can bet your bottom Euro it will be a MB ejection seat that gets fitted (I know they will all probably be pilotless by then anyway, and I haven't got a clue if MB is still British but you get my point)

Import and export duties are only part of the picture, a big part certainly, and if we were a mass producing nation like the US trying to compete with likes of Asia in a race to the bottom then it would be much more significant, but we are not. We are a small specialist provider of very good products and services that people will still need to source regardless. And that is what we have to use as our strength in the global marketplace.

With our negotiations with the EU it's slightly different in that we have to use the fact that we are a nett importer with the EU, more specifically 3 or 4 countries in the EU.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby Brevet Cable on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 6:19 pm

Don't know how much coverage it's received outside of Wales, but the Royal Welsh Show started today -- despite it's name, farmers from all over the UK are there.
One of the main things being discussed there is the effect leaving the EU - and in particular, leaving without a deal being reached - will have on Welsh & British farming....and from farmers I know, they're scared.
Because of the incentives, too many of them throughout the UK switched from livestock & arable foodstuff production to producing rapeseed & other crops to be used for bio-fuel production.
The fear now is that the UK Government won't continue the incentive scheme which allows them to make a profit from this, nor will it make any grants available to allow them to switch back to foodstuff production.
That'll lead to a lot more bankruptcies than there already are.
In Wales in particular, over 90% of foodstuff produced ( meat in particular ) goes to other EU Countries. If/when tariffs are introduced, that won't happen.
At the same time, they'd find it difficult - if not impossible - to compete on price with foodstuff being imported into the UK.
There's also the 'Product of the UK' con where foodstuffs are imported from overseas and merely packaged in the UK which - under current regulations - entitled them to be labelled as soming from here....you can bet that that will change if we leave the EU without a deal.

Ironically, given that most of them appear to have voted to leave, the same could be said for the UK fishing fleet.
Many of the skippers sold their licenses to foreign companies, and even with the UK-flagged boats at the moment most of the catch is sold to other EU Countries rather than being consumed in the UK.

As for the UK manufacturing it's own goods, we're pretty much stuffed.
Most of the large manufacturing companies are foreign-owned & the remaining SMEs would find it difficult to cope, especially if HMG don't match the subsidies those companies receive from the EU.
A lot of what the UK produces isn't really produced here, it's merely assembled, in the same way that European & Asian companies have set up assembly plants in the USA to avoid tariffs..... what incentive is there for them to continue that practice if we leave the EU without a proper trade deal?
Similarly, a number of the few remaining UK steelworks don't actually smelt their own steel, they import cheap ingots from countries such as Russia.... by doing so, they can label it as being produced in the UK, thus avoiding EU tariffs & being able to charge more for it than they can if they produce it in the country the ingots came from.
( As an aside, a lot of the steel - and aluminium - works were purchased by Indian companies....many - especially the aluminium-works - were either stripped out completly then demolished, or they stripped out the majority of the smelting equipment...and what they stripped out was either shipped to India for use or was shipped to other EU countries - Italy in particular - where they also owned similar plants )
Last edited by Brevet Cable on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby keithholden on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 6:34 pm

Can I do anything about it? No. Therefore ain't bothered.
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Re: Is anybody happy with the Brexit white paper?

Postby pbeardmore on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 6:37 pm

Tommy, thanks for your efforts in explaining this stuff. It does show how detailed and in depth the topic is if you want to make a truely infromed decision.

It's exaclty these type of debates and exchanges that should have happend long before the vote (rather than bus side slogans) rather than almost 2 years after we decided to leave.

I dont think many people realise the full consequences of a no deal exit and I also think that the gov are thankful of this.
“The best computer is a man, and it’s the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labour.”
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