EU Flags Commission by Sebastien Bertrand (CC-BY-2.0)

By Sebastien Bertrand (CC-BY-2.0)


This latest revelation shows just how little clout we really had as a fully paid up, fully compliant and net contributor member of the European Union!

Well, I say revelation, but it's more like a flash of the obvious.

In an article for the Guardian, Larry Elliott says that the single market is of benefit to manufacturers and not service providers and then asks 'guess which Britain excels in'.

He then takes a look back in time to when Harold Wilson blamed the defeat of his government to Ted Heath, on a huge trade deficit of just £31 million, about 0.2% of GDP.

Fast forward to today he says and we are running an annual deficit of £135 billion of which £95 billion of that is in goods.

On top of that the UK has run a continuous trade deficit with the European Union since 1999, a deficit which doubled from £41 billion to £82 billion between 2012 and 2016.

Whereas our performance with the rest of the world has been moving steadily up to a £39 billion surplus.

So, we run a huge deficit with a club that is meant to be a friendly little market place, but run a surplus with the fiercely competitive rest of the world? Funny situation to be in.

The economist Christopher Smallwood has been looking into this, says the author, and he says that our 'deficit with Germany has increased by 5% a year, with France by 7% a year and with the rest of the EU by 11% a year.'

And Smallwood says that he is not surprised at this because the single market and customs union are really only a free trade area in goods, not services.

We have entered into a lop-sided arrangement under which all impediments to trade have been removed from areas where our trading partners are strong but not from areas where we are strong. So obviously our overall trade deficit with them has gone on rising, and will continue to do so.” Said Smallwood.

So the UK has had to bow to single market rules on goods, but we have won nothing on services?

And this comes back to the crux of the matter. All that Remainer talk about you have to reform the EU from the inside, we have to be in it to change it, that we only have power on the inside etc etc etc – well if a massive and growing trade deficit with that club is all we've got to show after showering it with all that money and all that supposed four decades plus of inside influence, then I say we're better off out!

Moving on, Despite Remainer predictions of doom and gloom, a huge majority of global financial services bosses think that London will still be at the top of the European industry after Brexit.

Jasper Jolly writing in CityAM said:

"Some 88 per cent of the more than 100 senior leaders surveyed by Lloyds Bank in data published today said that they believe the UK will remain the most prominent hub for financial services even after the UK leaves the EU."

Those asked did say that Brexit was their single biggest risk at present and that the UK economy will struggle compared to the other G7 nations. But they still expect revenues to rise and for the amount of Brexit led job moves to be limited.

Robina Barker Bennett, head of financial institutions at Lloyds, said:

Despite the worries about growth prospects; the lack of clarity about the final deal; and the speculation about the future of the financial services industry, the sector is upbeat about its growth prospects and long-term future.

And the optimism is not just returning within the City. Reuters reports that, according to a DeLoitte survey, the transition deal hammered out last month has given a boost to the optimism of the UK's top companies.

Deloitte surveyed 106 chief financial officers from top companies. Some responded prior to the deal being reached, some after. 80% or so responded before the deal was struck with 18 percent of those saying they were optimistic and 20% responded after the deal was struck and 27 percent of those said they were optimistic.

Still some way to go, but as the Remainer pessimism keeps receding as we go forward I would expect this business confidence to keep on growing.

And the Work and Pensions secretary, Esther McVey, says that the UK is the envy of Europe because of our high employment rate.

So, after being told that the UK would lose hundreds of thousands of jobs within two years of a vote to Leave the EU in the Referendum, we continue to see record employment highs and unemployment lows.

Esther McVey told the Daily Mail:

"There has been much debate surrounding Brexit but the reality is the fundamentals of our economy are strong and with record employment levels, which are the envy of many of our European neighbours."

A far cry from a certain George Osborne declaring just before the referendum that:

"A vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000."

Oh, and regarding Tony Blair begging for Merkel's help to stop Brexit as I discussed in yesterday's video, Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail asks:

"Has Tony Blair lost his marbles? That can be the only explanation for his delusional (and treacherous) plea to Germany to stop Brexit."

Well, that would go a long way towards explaining it! Don't you think?

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