Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Boris Johnson’s bluster on Brexit is about to face reality

Posted by hkarner - 5. März 2020

Date: 04‑03‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Rafael Behr

The prime minister sold the UK a dream with a casual disregard for reality. The EU trade talks will test his bombast

‘Boris Johnson likes deals for their instant retail value in domestic politics, believing that problems in the small print can be blustered away.’

Bad ideas blunt the sharpest minds, and Boris Johnson’s intellect was hardly an instrument of surgical precision before it rubbed up against a hard Brexit. The prime minister is no fool, but his talents are ill‑suited to crafting a new relationship with the EU. Johnson’s cleverness is rhetorical; his unique talent is for lifting spirits while lowering expectations. His upbeat bombast is laced with self‑deprecation conveyed in his artfully tousled appearance and the elongated ums and ahs that signal improvisation, although the lines are scripted.

The whole act is a wink inviting the audience in on a joke, the butt of which are “doomsters and gloomsters” who try to hold Johnson to his word. He persuades his fans to take their satisfaction purely from the experience of being persuaded. To be seduced by him is to forgive him in advance for underachieving. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson will find there is a price to pay for No 10’s power grab

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2020

Date: 17‑02‑2020

Source: the Observer

Previous experiments with control‑freak premierships have not turned out well

Boris Johnson has spent his career disguising cunning plans as unintended blunders and dressing up stupid errors as machiavellian strokes. So there has been much understandable confusion about whether the defenestration of Sajid Javid was by accident or by design. In the immediate aftermath of his resignation, Number 10 didn’t much object to suggestions that the prime minister engineered the chancellor’s removal by ambushing him with a demand to sack all his special advisers, a demand that the prime minister knew the other man could never accept. This version of events appalled a lot of Tory MPs and generated much finger‑pointing at Dominic Cummings, who I won’t call the prime minister’s Rasputin because he likes the label too much.

It then suited some of Mr Johnson’s friends to spin that it was not a cunning plan at all, but an innocent cockup. Not: ha, we screwed Javid. But: oops, we lost Saj. On this account, the chancellor reacted with more hostility than anticipated when, towards the end of their conversation on the morning of reshuffle day, Mr Johnson asked him to dispense with his closest aides. The prime minister, so this story goes, was genuinely surprised and sad to lose his services. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit: Britain and EU ‚will rip each other apart‘ in trade talks

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2020

Date: 17‑02‑2020

Source: The Guardian

French foreign minister says it will be hard for UK to strike deal by end of year given differences

Britain and the European Union are going to rip each other apart in talks over a future trade deal, the French foreign minister, Jean‑Yves Le Drian, has predicted, while also holding out hope that UK defence co‑operation with Europe will continue. 

Speaking at the Munich security forum, he added it would be tough for Britain to achieve its aim of a free trade deal by the end of the year given the differences between the two sides. 

Le Drian said: “I think on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each each other apart.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This revenge reshuffle has a dangerous message: absolute power resides in No 10

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2020

Date: 14‑02‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Polly Toynbee

The removal of Sajid Javid – and anyone who ever queried Boris Johnson’s progress – is a demand for craven cabinet obedience

Sajid Javid: ‚Any self‑respecting minister‘ would reject PM’s demands

No self‑respecting chancellor would accept such terms: that was Sajid Javid’s reason for resigning. So in Rishi Sunak we have an alarmingly obedient new chancellor ready to take the job on any terms. His advisers will be fused with those of No 10, his power base diminished, and his office under the control of Dominic Cummings, intimidator‑in‑chief. Sunak will struggle to shake off shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s charge that he is nothing but “a stooge”.

Demanding the heads of Javid’s advisers can have only been a deliberate provocation on Boris Johnson’s part. The prime minister has cut the Treasury down to size in a way unimaginable under any previous government. The historic tension at the top of government between prime minister and chancellor – think Blair and Brown, Thatcher and Howe or Major and Lamont – has been a necessary division of power, a creative pluralism and a democratic safeguard. It can’t be abolished as easily as Johnson may think. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Lives On

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2020

Date: 07‑02‑2020

Source: Project Syndicate by Bernard‑Henri Lévy

Bernard‑Henri Lévy is one of the founders of the “Nouveaux Philosophes” (New Philosophers) movement. His books include Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism, American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville, and most recently, The Empire and the Five Kings.

 There is no denying that the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union represents a loss for all involved, and strikes a blow against the very idea of Europe. But while Britain has left Europe, Europeans should not abandon the British legacy – particularly the deep, historical commitment to liberalism.

PARIS – Brexit is a disaster for the United Kingdom. Given the risk that it will now lose Scotland and Northern Ireland to secession, the country seems to have accepted the idea of Great Britain turning back into “Little England.” Britain is that rare lion that chooses to become as small as a mouse.

 To be sure, saving the English realm is all the Brexiteers ever cared about. But what sort of realm has a prime minister who lies to its queen, as Boris Johnson did when he suspended Parliament last year? Through it all, the Brexiteers have exalted the British Empire and Winston Churchill. Yet they have forgotten Karl Marx, an earlier wanderer of the London streets who warned that history eventually repeats itself as farce. With Johnson in power, the UK is governed by a pantomime Churchill. Rather than an exponent of courage, it has the Prince of Cynicism – a scruffy knock‑off who adapts his opinions to whatever is politically expedient. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cummings v the blob

Posted by hkarner - 8. Februar 2020

Date: 06‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The prime minister’s special adviser faces a tough adversary

For a man widely regarded as a cross between Machiavelli and Rasputin, Dominic Cummings has lost a lot of battles lately. The prime minister’s special adviser opposed both Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5g networks and the hs2 rail network (which he labelled “a disaster zone”). Boris Johnson has given the green light to the first and is shortly expected to approve the second. Mr Cummings’s plan to cut the size of the cabinet and create a super‑department of business has been ditched. So have his schemes to turn Downing Street into a nasa‑style mission‑control centre and to ship Conservative Party headquarters to the north of the country.

He suffered yet another embarrassment this week when he tried to challenge the prerogatives of the lobby—the collection of political journalists who get special briefings from “Westminster sources”. Mr Cummings has been waging war on the media for some time, for instance by banning ministers from appearing on programmes that he regards as hostile, and he kicked the conflict up a notch on February 3rd, allowing only selected members of the lobby to attend a briefing. The rejects included a disproportionate number of journalists from left‑wing publications. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Real Brexit Negotiations Start Now

Posted by hkarner - 3. Februar 2020

Willem H. Buiter

Willem H. Buiter, a former chief economist at Citigroup, is a visiting professor at Columbia University.

It is not an exaggeration to argue that the real negotiations about the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union are starting only now. The UK can now look forward to painful grind of negotiations and policy implementation, probably lasting many years.

NEW YORK – With the United Kingdom set to withdraw from the European Union at 23:00 GMT on January 31, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will finally achieve the Brexit he has championed for the last four years. But, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. 

Four issues were part of the divorce agreement that Johnson concluded with the EU and Parliament approved this month: future contributions to the EU budget, the treatment of legacy citizens (both EU citizens in the UK and British citizens living in the EU), Northern Ireland’s place in the EU customs union and single market, and the continuing jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.But even at this late hour, there is still pervasive uncertainty about the nature of the trade regime, the wider economic relationship, and the political relationship between the UK and the EU that will prevail after the transition period ends.

Comparable uncertainty surrounds the nature of the trade regimes and wider economic arrangements the UK will enter into with non-EU states. And, despite Johnson’s emphatic assertions that there will be no extension of the transition period, his failure to deliver Brexit on October 31 last year, as promised, suggests that we should never say never.It is not an exaggeration to argue that the real negotiations about the future relationship between the UK and the EU are starting only now (actually, on March 1). The political declaration concerning the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU that accompanied the Withdrawal Bill is not legally binding; it represents aspirations and good intentions, but nothing more.The duration of almost all trade negotiations is measured in years, not months. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, signed on October 30, 2016, took more than a decade to conclude, if we date the start of the process to the March 2004 accord on a framework for a new Canada-EU Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement. And seven years were required after the launch of formal talks in May 2009. In fact, CETA is still not in force, although substantial parts of it are being provisionally applied pending approval by all signatories.It is important to remember that tariffs and quotas are only the tip of the iceberg in trade negotiations. There are many visible and invisible barriers to trade. Other legal, regulatory, administrative, bureaucratic, and political obstacles; subsidies and taxes; anti-dumping legislation; restrictions on foreign direct investment; and exchange-rate manipulation can result in zero trade, despite the complete absence of tariffs and quotas.

Protectionism can masquerade as environmental, labor, food, or phytosanitary standards; local content requirements; defense of infant industries; intellectual property rights; climate change interventions; and more. In October 1982, the French government ingeniously required that all Japanese VCR imports enter the country via Poitiers, a small town hundreds of miles from the nearest significant shipping port. This non-tariff trade barrier remained in place until April 1983.

So, the dominant characteristic of the UK’s future trade arrangements and wider economic and political relationship with the EU is pervasive uncertainty. Its trade and wider economic relationships with non-EU member states will be negotiated from a position of weakness relative to that of the European Union, when it negotiates as a single bloc on behalf of its member states.Some Brexiteers may think they can pull it off, but Johnson’s promise to turn the UK into an across-the-board deregulatory, low-tax haven is not credible. Johnson’s Toryism – a big-government, dirigiste, one-nation formula with populist overtones – rules out “Singapore-on-Thames.” At most, such an approach might be attempted for the financial sector.Regulatory arbitrage could certainly produce substantial changes in the rules of the game for the investing industries (MiFID II) and the insurance industry (Solvency II). While the City of London will undoubtedly lose business to its EU27 competitors, it could be legislated and deregulated into a position enabling it to attract new business from the EU as well as from the wider global economy. I doubt whether Sunderland and the rest of the UK car industry will be able to transform their tax and regulatory regimes and the industrial culture in which they are embedded in such a way as to make them viable competitors after 2020.Of the EU’s four freedoms, the end of free movement for EU citizens will likely cause the most severe and lasting damage to the supply side of the UK economy. Again, it is in principle possible to mitigate most or even all these costs by an enlightened globally oriented immigration policy, along the lines of the Australian or Canadian models. But the post-Brexit political equilibrium in the UK is unlikely to generate an efficient, points-based immigration regime, or one that attracts talented foreign students.The UK avoided one disaster when voters rejected the hard-left Jeremy Corbyn in December. But it is not out of the woods. It can now look forward to the painful grind of negotiations and policy implementation, probably lasting many years, to make the best of a bad Brexit.

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The British government wants to reshape immigration after Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 3. Februar 2020

Date: 30‑01‑2020

Source: The Economist

But the new system will probably look quite like the old one

One phrase has cropped up again and again in Britain’s migration debate since 2005. That was the year Tony Blair, running for his third term as prime minister, promised an Australian‑style points‑based immigration system. As down under, marks could be awarded for, say, qualifications, linguistic ability or relative youthfulness. The idea is popular on the right, too: Nigel Farage, one of the architects of Brexit, often talks about it.

Britain’s membership of the European Union meant such a scheme could never be applied to all arrivals. Its rules allowed any citizen of another member state to move to Britain, regardless of their characteristics. In some years, the bloc supplied most of Britain’s newcomers. But Brexit changes the calculus. Boris Johnson, the prime minister, has promised to end freedom of movement and reshape immigration. His home secretary, Priti Patel, tasked the Migration Advisory Committee, an official panel of wonks, to look to Australia. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The United Kingdom’s Paradise Lost

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2020

Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is a co-author of the new book The Euro and The Battle of Ideas, and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union.

In imagining a post-Brexit future, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is acting as if it is entering a world of new, attractive alternatives from which to choose. But today’s Conservatives seem to have forgotten what their forebear, Margaret Thatcher, always understood: there will be tradeoffs.

PRINCETON – Goodbye, Britain. Brexit is done. It’s over. Some Britons are waving Union Jacks, and public buildings are illuminated in red, white, and blue. Having dramatically opened up a new space for political maneuver, the country is now celebrating its achievement.

This uplifting mood comes as a surprise. Following the June 2016 referendum, which “Leave” won by a relatively narrow margin (52% to 48%, with a 72% turnout), Brexit became a deeply polarizing issue. The bid to leave the European Union faced many legal challenges, and left Parliament bitterly divided and incapable of approving an exit deal. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain Enters the Unknown

Posted by hkarner - 1. Februar 2020

Chris Patten

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Compared to the threats posed by climate change and China’s hostility to liberal democracy, the consequences of Brexit may seem far less significant. But the United Kingdom has chosen an odd and dangerous time to decide to go it alone.

LONDON – A history teacher at my school believed that every great event in the past should be approached on the basis of a tripartite analysis of its causes, pretexts, and results. He would list these in columns on the blackboard, and we would then have to learn them by heart: the causes of the eighteenth-century War of the Spanish Succession, the pretexts for the French Revolution, the results of the American War of Independence, and so on. 

Of course, life and further study teach us that things are not that simple. Causes can be a combination of accident, ambition, and coincidence, together with more profound economic, social, and technological changes. Results can be equally difficult to gauge neatly. After all, history rarely brings closure, and it is hard to know when the effects of a great event begin and end.In that regard, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union at 23:00 GMT on January 31 is probably the most important national political event in my lifetime. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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