Many people are confused about the whole issue of the EU referendum. The information out there is very hard to understand. This makes it hard to draw the various strands together into a meaningful meaning, therefore stifling a reasoned conclusion whether to stay in or out. Without us accepting it, we know very little about the pros and cons of staying or leaving. Our minds are being manipulated by the political rhetoric that surrounds matters that get us going – such as immigration.
IMMIGRATION AND FREE TRADE ARE LINKED
It is in my belief, that a Brexit will not solve the UK Immigration issue, because firstly immigration is so closely tied up with the topic of trade. Upon an exit, Britain would have to negotiate a trade agreement which allows the free movement of her goods and services as in the case of Switzerland. In return, the EU would expect Britain to agree to the free movement of EU labour within the UK borders. So what Brexit is expecting, might not be the desired outcome.
“But, post Brexit, why can’t we negotiate free trade and agree stronger caps on annual immigration controls?”
Upon an exit, we could negotiate immigration, but if we also want free movement of products and services, this might not go well with the EU states. This is because, the European Economic Area, which we would be bound to, agrees to the free movement of not only goods and services, but the free movement of labour. So any net immigration benefits we would achieve would be marginal.
PRACTICAL PROBLEMS WITH POLICIES OF CONTROLLING IMMIGRATION
“Why don’t we scrap the idea of free trade and tax the EU for their imports? Then we can control immigration to our discretion. Like the Australians. This will solve the immigration issue, once and for all, won’t it?”
If we loose the benefits of free trade, then some corporate companies located in London will relocate into mainland Europe to avoid the unnecessary customs and duty taxes. It is estimated that 3.5 million of jobs are linked to the EU market. Companies look at ways to reduce taxes to make their business sheets look healthy and these companies will therefore wave the city of London -goodbye.
- LET US TRADE WITH CHINA
“Forget the EU, we can trade with the world and increase our percentage of trade with China, Indian and the Commonwealth, can’t we?”
China has been playing trade unfairly. In 2001, China was allowed to join the World Trade Organization. Since then, its trade with the EU has increased significantly under the premise of “free trade”. In practice, China has not kept its bargain of mutual free trade, even though it was required to do so. Even with the might of both the EU and the US clout, China has ignored the Wests frequent complaints about her unfair practices.
To further explain this point, selling anything to China has proven difficult for us, because of her protectionist policies. China has shrewdly and jealously guarded her “raw materials” making it entirely impossible for the EU and the US to access cheap Chinese raw materials for purchase from China, yet she continues to trade freely in the EU.
And a new trade deal might look wonderful on paper and initially in the media but with China’s record – will it in practice apply what it has signed? The false belief that, we can trade on the premise of “free trade” is untrue. To convince China to trade fairly, and not manipulate its currencies to make their goods cheaper is difficult. The mighty EU and US have failed, as two powerful economic blocs, so for Britain to think it can is making me feel, we are getting far bigger than our boots size.
- TRADE WITH INDIA
“So,forget China; what if we improved trade with India and other similar countries of the Common Wealth?”
Well, let me tell you, learning from the Chinese experience, any trade agreement with India is going to be in favour of India. And India knows it. Like China’s entry in 2001 to the world trade front, India will on paper agree to everything we put forward. She will nod her head, win entry to the UK market and exploit us. We would suddenly see see a huge surge in IT professionals coming into the UK on temporary visas and replacing British jobs. Technology is available and would develop at such a pace that almost any job will be possible from India even for small businesses. Location will not matter. Langauge is available. A huge talent pool is available in India. British business savings will matter and they will take steps to save their money.
Further, Indian manufacturing would be boosted too. India would pursue it expansionist and protectionist policies at any cost. In 10 to 15 years time,our Oxford and Cambridge Prime Ministers will reflect back, and believe me, they will feel really dumb about the whole Indian trade agreement experience on a Brexit because all the administrative jobs will be in India.
By the time our politicians wake up to the Indian strategies and complain, we will be so use to Indian outsourcing its cheap labour and cheap goods to the UK that it will become a politically a no, no for politicians to do a u-turn due to consumer inflationary fears, dependency and the politics that will surround it.
Further, every party knows the power of the people. Their vote matters. Indian politicians know it too well too, and will do anything to persue a protectionist policy in its domestic market to protect its business community and keep voters happy. Take for example, supermarkets such as Tesco and Walmart. They have been unsuccessful in building supermarkets in India due to Indian protectionist legislations, as it deeply threatens the livelihoods of many street spice traders in the Indian bazaars. So once again we are stumped on the issue of expanding our horizons beyond the EU because countries outside the EU will persue protectionist policies. Taking the step ourselves and making deals with our old friends, the Common Wealth countries will lead to the same post 2001 World Trade Organization experience with China.
LANGUAGE: IS EUROPE GIVING BRITS “TRUE” MOBILITY?
“So if this is the case, lets stay in Europe, because Europe allows mobility within its borders for us Brits. We Brits can be entrepreneurial and the sky is the limit. Europe will be our oyster, won’t it?”
Ask yourself, what is the foundation of a successful marriage? Any marriage requires sound communication. A continued marriage to Europe would require the adoption of a “Common Language” not only in the European chambers but across the 28 EU states.
In any discussion have you heard, yet one politician, one businessman, talk about the importance of language a “European Common Language” a phrase I am introducing this debate and a very strong point I believe in. In India, the common language is Hindi and this binds the people, their culture and in the the USA, it is English. And remember, America is made up of European immigrants who adopted English as their common language some hundreds of years ago.
Furthermore, the fact that mainland Europeans speak English is actually their “competitive advantage” and not ours. This allows these EU communities to seek opportunities in the UK easier than us. Language enables them to confidently live, work and trade in the UK and consequently compete for our jobs and trade. On the otherhand, our stiff nose and our unwillingness to learn other European languages is keeping us locked up in this “green damp Ireland” of ours and not expanding our horizons beyond our British borders.
I feel more home to the Americans’, Canadians’, Australians’ and New Zealanders’ than to my immediate mainland neighbours. This is because they speak English and that has given me clues to their culture.
So other than language, what other point attracts people to the UK rather than Spain or Italy? Certainly, the strength of our economy and currency. It is so much stronger than some EU states. Mobility to Italy and Spain is less likely as today these economies are having their problems. It is not worthwhile for an Eastern European to live, earn abd support their families in both these countries as those economies are dry in wealth.
HIGHER WAGES ATTRACTS HIGHER MOBILITY
So mobility of labour from other states is dependent on the wages offered in it and Britain proves to be the most attractive country for less developed nations in the bloc as it stands as a stronger economy where English is spoken. These mobile labourers see potential to earn in the UK.
Eastern European immigration offers the benefit of cheaper plumbing and construction services to the UK, similar to the cheap Chinese goods experiences. Whereas some Europeans may earn £50 in a month, here, in Britain, they can deliver a plumbing service at half the price of a British tradesman, yet earn four fold more that what their state offers back home. Consequently this is putting the longstanding qualified Brit tradesman out of business and making him unemployed.
But the consumer is winning. If you were hesitating to build that extension, our Eastern European friends are often building for at less than half the price, and at equal quality. This is giving some life to the construction industry, and ordinary people who were unable to afford the building of an extension are now able to buy services of a European at fantastically low prices.
Overtime, Britain will see money going out of her country to the benefit of the Eastern blocs. This now feels like the Chinese world trade deals in 2001 and the aftermath. Our politicians seem to be making some deals without understanding the implications. In 15 years time, it will make our politicians look so stupid, it will be unbelievable.
CONCLUSION: LEAVE OR REMAIN?
My vote, would ideally be to “leave”. But in a Brexit, because immigration is unlikely to change the immigration argument becomes flawless. And then, unless, both the EU and US pulls its socks up and roles it leaves high, and tells China to play it fairly, or face the economic consequences. Consumers may have to accept some inflation if the EU was to fight China back. And if the EU and the US have been unable to repremand China, then, what puch will Britain have alone?
Therefore, in my view we have nothing to benefit from a Brexit and Brexit is clearly stumped on the Referendum vote even if they win so I so reluctantly will #votestay.
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