Tag Archives: Customs Union

Labour’s Regressive Momentum

I have this theory that collective society has a working memory of about 20 years – sometimes longer depending on the severity of what has come to pass. The rise of popular Corbynism, and the Momentum campaign movement supporting it (together with a, fringe, distinctively militant social media presence) demonstrates to me that we have forgotten why we moved away from the policies of the 60’s and 70’s and this is being presented to our young voters as something radical, progressive and new. The truth is that the manifesto that Labour published for the 2017 General Election is regressive, vastly increasing the role and power of the State, and stifling economic growth. The fact that the Institute of Fiscal Studies was unable to cost it highlights how the manifesto has been kept intentionally vague, so as not to reveal the full implications of delivering it.

Continue reading

Trouble Brewing for Guinness

The Irish border poses one of the biggest challenges for Theresa May’s government in achieving the EU exit that she has set out. Leaving the customs union – a requirement if the UK is to be free to negotiate its own trade deals – almost certainly would introduce the requirement for a customs border between the Ireland and the UK.

This poses a big problem for Northern Ireland, and for businesses in both countries that operate across the border. A well known example is the drink synonymous with Ireland, brewed at St James’ Gate in Dublin, which is driven to Belfast for canning, and then driven back to Dublin for onward distribution. A customs border, even if tariff free, would potentially add delays and certainly would add administrative costs to this constant cross border model. The brewery would presumably need to either source a different canning partner within Ireland, at a cost of jobs in Belfast, or risk losing market share as the additional overheads are priced into the drink, making it less competitive.

Continue reading

You may take our EU, but you will never take our Freedom

Of movement, that is. It is hard to describe the feeling of dejection, and the frustration with my fellow countrymen, that I felt as the results of the EU referendum became clear. The people of the UK had voted to leave the European Union. The one question going round and round in my head without respite, was “Why?”.

I appreciate that the benefits of Freedom of Movement that I have enjoyed, are certainly not typical of the average British citizen, and are certainly of the more obvious in nature. In the December of 2007, I applied for a role within the organisation that I was working, the details of which were shrouded in secrecy, and related to a project only referred to in code names. By the time I learned that I had been successful in landing the job, I was already en route to visit my parents’ house in the Charente region of France, where we would have our family get together over Christmas.

Continue reading