Category: Economic Policy

Tap Your Brexit Slippers Together Three Times and Get a Covid Test?

Covid Tests and NHS Access Say it All

Covid tests are a distilled Brexit reality. Want to get a Covid test in Croatia? €70 back in 12 Hours. Italy? €80, back in 24 hours. Florida that bastion of people dying in the street due to private healthcare? Free. Result in 12 hours. The UK, free at the point of use healthcare? £275, back in 36 hours, if you’re lucky. Want to see? have a cataract? 2-year wait on the NHS. Wink and a nod between you and your NHS doctor. Do it tomorrow in the private hospital for £3000. Can’t walk, need a new Knee? 2 years plus NHS wait. Jump the queue for £12,000 in your local NHS hospital. Free at the point of use if you have a couple of years to be invalid. Burden on the family or you enjoy pain. But remember, it’s free at the point of use. Covid tests are the petri dish of what’s to come. Overpriced, incompetent delivery and a complete lack of customer service with little choice.

What About Brexit?

Anyone remember the seventies? Supermarket shelves were almost empty? Choice? Nonexistent. If you holiday in France or Spain, you will know that quality, choice and price all trump UK food stores. Not to mention other retailers. This week the government told stores to stockpile food. We’ve got the EU right where we want them! Anyone want to guess why? What will change at the end of this month to make the situation any better? Apparently a “Canada style arrangement”. What the hell does that mean? It’s not as far fetched as the “Australian Arrangement” though. Both ignore the first rule in trade. Keep it local. Trading with Subsaharan countries or being allowed to stay 90 days in Switzerland is fluff. They’re blowing smoke. Welcome to the third world where idealistic platitudes substitute for reality.

It’s a good guess the green and pleasant land we were promised never really existed. Instead, we will be regressing towards the days when we had to beg the IMF to financially bail us out. The reason we joined the single market in the first place. If you can’t go forward, why not head to the worst situation we found ourselves in over the last 100 years. Makes sense. Might want to try cigarette burns to extremities. That will show them. The old story of I hit him in the knee with my face.

Where do we go From here?

Now that we are hell-bent on regressing back to the future. Ignoring the fact we have been a far more financially vibrant and successful country since joining the single market. Where do we go from here? Cliff, lemmings comes to mind. We’re heading towards a precipice we have no idea as to its severity. How far we fall. If we are lucky, not much. Brexiteers tell us the pain will be worth it. For how long? Don’t be so daft. Stupid question remoaner. Just jump off the cliff and shut your mouth.

Why ask a simple question like, “How will this impact my family?” Close your eyes and believe, moron………………….

Biden’s Foreign Policy Team Will Be Firmly Fixated on China – The UK Will be Lucky to Get a Mention

There are two things that give us a clear indication of a Biden Administration’s focus on both trade and substantive foreign relationships. One historical and the other is taking form as I write. Historically, the Obama/Biden government focused on China as a worthy trade partner and currently, Biden’s China centric appointments to his foreign policy and trade team. Neither should give Europe or the post-Brexit UK any comfort.

As Vice President, Biden focused on China. He made multiple trips to Beijing. He frequently referred to these during his presidential campaign as being one of his core strengths in repairing the relationship with China, trampled on by Trump with tariffs and continued rhetoric painting China as an adversary.

The new Biden team is very pro-China. It consists of several former executives from American big tech who view the EU as a declining and increasingly regulatorily hostile environment.   China is the real prize for global tech players.   Presenting itself as sensible around regulations and market constraints, and the promise of exponential growth.

There is also the disparity in population.  Europe’s 385 million, after the UK’s departure, is less than a third of China’s 1.4 billion.  Britain’s 65 million one-twentieth the size.  Faced with spending time with a declining EU and a relatively small British market, Biden will most likely choose to allocate resources where he can get the most bang for the buck.  His focus on China will also be sharpened by the hundreds of millions that flowed into his campaign from US companies stroking Chinese market growth plans.  They will be looking for a return. 

There are the stories in the 70’s during the early stages of the common market, when American negotiators would take meetings with the then 250-million-person Europeans. Promising to pick up with the UK off the back of those meetings.  They never took place.  It may well be the turn of the EU to find that the excitement of a new market with significant growth opportunities will place them firmly outside a closed door.   The UK should be wondering if we will even be in the building.

Several articles have painted the President-Elect as a pragmatist.  If correct, Air Force One will be on the ground in Beijing early January.