Dan Hannan is a liar

Dan Hannan Tory MEP and eurosceptic supremo is a liar. There I have said it again. Must have said it four times by now on IdentitySpace.  Please Dan: “Call a lawyer and sue me

What am I so upset about that I call him a liar?  Well this time it’s the first point in his regular Telegraph blog titled: “Nine things David Cameron could bring back from Brussels to satisfy Eurosceptics”

In it he uses clearly fiddled economic data to mislead his #brexit followers.  I refer to the following bar chart of economic data in the article mentioned:

hannan

Now anyone that has ever looked at the Wikipedia list of countries by GDP (nominal) will have spotted that whether quoting IMF, World Bank, United Nations or the CIA’s latest figures, the GDP of the EU is always about a trillion dollars higher than that of the USA. So how can in Dan Hannan’s picture the US bar chart be about double the height of that of Europe?  Well there’s a few reason’s for it, but the main reason is that Mr. Hannan is rather economical with the truth to push his political anti EU point. I call it propaganda lies.

In court in his case against @lasancmt he will say:” Look judge, the figures I used, I nicked from ‘Business for Britain’, they made the chart’s Y-axis deliberately start at 10 trillion instead of zero, to exaggerate the differences. They also use ‘Eurozone’ figures which are of course smaller than the whole of the EU we want to leave. Not every country in the EU uses the Euro, ourselves included, but the main point is that a) this is clearly only a projection so hasn’t happened so I can’t lie about it, and b) in the small print you will see I used something called GDP based on PPP, not real money”.

“Oh…”, the Judge might respond, “and what is PPP when it is not at home Mr.Hannan”?

“Oh well in simple terms for my Eurosceptic kipper friends I sometimes use PPP. Sometimes PPP GDP is also called the ‘Big Mac Index’. It’s rather handy to convince simple kippers how bad the EU is doing compared to our friends in the Commonwealth. It’s all about ‘Purchasing Power Parity’ really, see, I like to use those numbers rather than ‘real’ numbers you know your Honor, to impress my view on my readers”.

“Are Britain’s exports to these countries paid in ‘Hamburger dollars’ or real dollars Mr. Hannan?”, the Judge comes back and a bit later.. “so Mr. Hannan, you deliberately used ‘hamburger dollars’ to mislead the British public about leaving the EU?”

“Oh….Sorry your honour! I forgot to stipulate we are paid in real Dollars for our exports your Honour!” apologises Dan.

“Nuff said”, says the judge, “I read in your columns you are very fond of “Common Law” Mr. Hannan and every ‘commoner’ in this country would agree with Mr. Lasance you are willfully deceiving the public. Case Dismissed! Costs awarded to Mr Lasance”

hannan2See also

How the English-Speaking Peoples did not invent freedom by the same author

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John Redwood butt of a joke like the British Austin Allegro

Thanks to Richard’s North excellent Euroreferendum blog I was alerted to an ‘open letter‘ John Redwood wrote to his swivel eyed loony friends in #ukip to make the peace after the Tories routed them in the May 2015 UK parliamentary elections.

The most extraordinary deluded sentence in the Redwood letter is:

“A vote to leave would trigger a negotiation of a trade based relationship which the rest of the EU will of course wish to have, given how much they export to us”

In common with ‘has been’ ukip economist Ruth Lea, Redwood seems to think “They’ll trade” because Volkswagen AG, Mercedes Benz etc. must have the EU parliament in their pockets. Because our City bankers spend so much of their grotesque annual bonuses on buying German performance cars, rather than buying Range Rovers, Jaguars or Bentleys, the Porsche and Piëch families will just snap their fingers and say to Mr Juncker: “Please give the Brits a Free Trade Agreement and make it pronto!

Austin Allegro

Germans would not touch an Austin Allegro with a barge pole. Market strictly ‘cool’ Britannia, no export success!

Hang on, these German quality cars are not like the Seventies ‘ugly as sin’ butt of many jokes ‘Austin Allegro’ that nobody in the world beside the Brits would touch with a barge pole.  I would say there’s plenty of other markets for them besides Nigel Farage’s banker friends, as anyone that ever visited China will have  quickly spotted at any Beijing or Shanghai traffic light.

This whole idea that the rest of Europe is somehow at the beck and call of the mighty British pound sterling is ridiculous. Many currency traders only see one way for Stirling after a Brexit and that is the way of the Zimbabwean dollar. That is because successful trading countries in the EU like Germany and the Netherlands manage to make a profit trading with the rest of the World, not run a structural deficit for decades, while selling off the family silver to pay for their spending habits. Tory Eurosceptics call this closing down sale of Britain FDI by the way, which is short for Foreign Direct Investment.

Let’s go back to one of the core reasons why the EU Common Market was created in the first place. After WWII the United Stated of America clearly emerged as the dominant industrial power and economic world trade power house. Economists studying the success of US companies growing so quickly from mom & pop stores into multimillion dollar corporations, noted that in the USA business start-ups immediately had access to a huge single market. Having a common currency, the absence of state borders and tariffs and a common language helped them grow rapidly. Having achieved economies of scale in their domestic market, US companies then naturally became internationally competitive on price and productivity, even when faced with competition of often lower wage economies. While the language barrier will of course remain an issue in the EU, by creating a common Euro currency and a single common EU regulatory trade frame work for goods and services, the EU has copied the success factors that made the US the No. 1 global economy. The fact that English is also in the EU the most spoken ‘second’ language only adds an extra advantage to the UK’s EU membership. After a brexit, there is no way that the other 27 EU nations are going to just give the UK unfettered access to the largest and richest unified consumer market in the world ‘for free’. ‘They’ll trade alright, but any post brexit EU trade agreement will have a stiff price attached as Norway will testify.

Beside the single market, this whole side show of ever closer union people get so hot under the collar about, quite frankly is something nobody in Europe besides a few career politicians gives a damn about. In view of the low turn-out at GE2015 it seems not many in the UK do either.

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Regulation UK style

Yesterday BBC2 showed a great British movie ‘Made in Dagenham‘(2010). It reminded me one of the few areas where Britain is really world class! Exporting its culture, whether TV formats, Films, BBC News, Magazines, computer games, you name it.

What I never realised is that those 176 women, who walked out on strike for equal pay with men, actually had an impact that rose far beyond the UK. Not only did their actions lead to the UK Equal Pay Act of 1970, it seems that most of the industrial world took their clue from what these brave women achieved in Dagenham at Ford’s and soon after adopted similar legislation.

It reminded me also that it is not always the EU that comes up with this kind of worker’s protection schemes, which Eurosceptic millionaire Tory Donor JCB Chairman Lord Bamford today seems to blame solely on EU business killing ‘Red tape’.He reminded me of the short sighted US Ford executive in the film who lamented: “Pretty soon we will have to pay equal pay to women in all our factories in the US and Europe!”

What Eurosceptics don’t realise that a lot of EU initiatives like the European Court of Human Rights were designed and pushed by eminent British Europeans. Churchill to name but one.

Damned right you will be forced to give equal pay to women Mr Ford or Mr JCB and when all manufacturing companies are forced to enact such legislation we create a level playing field in Europe and together we can even make the other countries in the world follow suit, without driving any one of you businessmen into liquidation.

The whole film was a lesson in ‘stronger together’ and solidarity, something which Eurosceptics just don’t get, unless it’s about keeping the Scots in?

dagenham

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No such thing as a ‘Free’ Trade Agreement!

Not a day goes by on the twitter #brexit hashtag or some kipper moans about Iceland being able to forge a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, but not Sir the UK, because the EU won’t let Britain strike its own trade deals. FTA3 The narrative goes that while Europe is in long term decline, Britain is being denied the opportunity to strike trade deals with the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, sometimes referred to as the BRIC countries. Others moan about deserting ‘our friends in the Commonwealth’. The answer is always we must brexit and leave the EU as soon as possible, hire an army of diplomats to draft and sign lots of new bespoke FTAs and Britain’s old glory as a world trading nation will be miraculously restored. You really get the impression Kippers think a Free Trade Agreement is a bit like an OAP bus pass : Just apply for one, hop on and start riding. Very few stop to think that for a nation to trade successfully, you first need to produce quality surplus goods for export to trade with! In the heydays of the British Empire soon after the industrial revolution, Britain was indeed the world’s premier trading nation and UK fortunes were made importing raw materials needed for factories and cotton mills up and down the country, while at the same time return cargoes of precious manufactured goods and textiles were eagerly awaited in Britain’s colonies. But that was 150 years ago in Victorian times. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, China has taken over from the Black Country as the world’s premier sweat shop, complete with the accompanying air pollution of burning loads of fossil fuel to power them. China has also taken over the neo-colonial role of stripping developing nations of their natural resources while flooding the same countries with cheap manufactured goods ensuring local manufacturing won’t take off. Do Kippers really want to turn back the clock to Victorian Times? Do they think Britain can compete with BRIC countries on price? Do they think our unemployed European youth can once more be gainfully employed soldering together printed circuit boards for iPads, assembling flat screen TV’s or churning out the Chinese tools and gadgets our DIY stores are stacked with to the rafters? In another of my blog posts I have explained what kind of industry and services we in Europe can successfully produce to make our way in the world. It will be high value goods with a high ‘knowledge’ content spawned from advanced EU sponsored Research and Development projects. Think advanced pharmaceuticals, cutting edge bio-technology, satellite technology, aircraft, high performance and luxury cars, computer software including games and popular culture. These products will not fill up all the empty return containers winging their way back to China though. Our more expensive products require consumers with a high disposable income. Not the consumers typically found in BRIC or Commonwealth countries. They often can’t even afford their transport costs! I get the impression most UKIP voters are of the poorly educated Express reading types that don’t even understand basic economic principles. They think ‘trade with Europe’ means the UK buying lots of expensive German cars and the UK exporting lots of….. err…. well pound sterling to pay for it all. Ukip even has a distinguished ‘in-house’ economist egging them on to think along those lines. ruth I have debunked Ms. Lea’s dangerous delusions in another blog post and explained why in the end her kind of economics only can lead to ukip’s precious Pound Sterling devaluing to the level of the Zimbabwean Dollar. The more educated Eurosceptic will counter: “But how come Iceland can sign a Free trade agreement with China, they haven’t got much of a manufacturing industry either do they?” or “Mexico signed a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, why would the EU not sign one with us?”

First of all Mexico is not a European country and secondly the Iceland-China FTA is not all it seems to be on the surface. An article in the ‘The Economist’ explains that there are other interests at stake here than Iceland selling China some tariff free fish. Sure China struggles to feed its growing population, but it seems China is more interested in establishing some sort of naval base or bunker facility. They want a presence in a region quickly gaining in strategic importance.

“The more likely attraction for China is access to improving shipping routes through the Arctic as that region warms due to climate change. Last month, one of China’s top experts on polar policy predicted that, by 2020, as much as 15% of his country’s trade would move through the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route”

 northernsearoute In short, quoting the famous warning of the economist Milton Friedman: Just as there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’, there is no such thing as a ‘free trade agreement’. If two countries sign a trade agreement, you can bet your bottom dollar that there have to be gains for both sides, whether material or strategic. These gains can be access to raw materials to feed China’s hungry factories and workers or access to shipping lanes and bunker facilities to facilitate exports. I am sure China would sign a similar trade deal with Brunei tomorrow to settle the Spratly Islands dispute.

Difference between belonging to European Common Market and signing an FTA with EU

Let’s go back to one of the core reasons why the EU Common Market was created in the first place.  After WWII the United Stated of America clearly emerged as the dominant industrial power and economic world trade power house. Economists studying the success of US companies growing so quickly from mom & pop stores into multimillion dollar corporations, noted that in the USA business start-ups  immediately had access to a huge single market. Having a common currency, the absence of state borders and tariffs and a common language helped them grow rapidly. Having achieved economies of scale in their domestic market, US companies then naturally became internationally competitive on price and productivity, even when faced with competition of often lower wage economies. While the language barrier will of course remain an issue in the EU, by creating a common Euro currency and a single common EU regulatory trade frame work for goods and services, the EU has copied the success factors that made the US the No. 1 global economy. The fact that English is also in the EU the most spoken ‘second’ language only adds an extra advantage to the UK’s EU membership. After a brexit, there is no way that the other 27 EU nations are going to just give the UK unfettered access to the largest and richest unified consumer market in the world ‘for free’. ‘They’ll trade alright, but any post brexit EU trade agreement will have a stiff price attached as Norway will testify. Britain’s membership of the EU brings a net benefit of £3,000 a year to every UK household, employers’ organisation the CBI said in 2013. More recently in 2015, a German think tank the Bertelsmann Foundation calculated the potential cost of a brexit even higher at £3,500 per person! If you agree with me, as  explained in a previous blog, that the net cost per family of EU membership can be estimated at £330 per family, then brexit certainly makes no economic sense. I would like kippers and any other British Eurosceptic to ponder the following statements: True or false?

  • The simple signing of a piece of paper called FTA with EU or any other country is not a guarantee for trade to simply start flowing, it’s just an expression of intention of two governments; It’s UK entrepreneurs that must make it happen!
  • The trading nations must have some relative trading advantage, e.g. an ability to produce cheaper manufactured goods of one sort or another, have access to resources or raw materials that the other nation doesn’t produce or needs lots more of;
  • The trading party must have a stable currency or enough foreign currency reserves to pay for UK exports. It must be able to afford the UK’s relatively high prices for quality.
  • If being in the Euro zone and EU regulations are such a trade killer, why does Germany export six times more to China than the UK does? And why does Britain export more to Belgium than to China?
  • Ask yourself the question: Are customers of UK goods more likely to be found in affluent and nearby mainland Europe (GDP $35 K per capita), In former Commonwealth countries (GDP $3.5 K per capita), or in far flung countries of Africa with an average GDP often less than $900 per capita? Have a look at this list on Wikipedia that illustrates nations’ relative purchasing power.
  • Don’t just look at growth percentages from currently very low base GDP countries. Remember 100% growth of nothing is still next to nothing. 0.5% growth of $17 Trillion is an awfully big number!

Thinking of the UK’s own imports and persistent trading deficit with Europe and most of the rest of the world (except with the USA for some mysterious reason)

  • How long can the UK afford to pay for its trade deficit by selling the ‘family silver’ like expensive London real-estate and manufacturing companies to our creditors?
  • Will Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the Financial Services sector continue to balance the UK’s negative goods trading books ‘ad infinitum’ or will it all end in tears?
  • Do you think that, upon a brexit, UK eBayers and other eTraders will suddenly change their terms of business from today’s unaspiring ‘deliver to UK and Ireland only’ to an optimistic outlook of  ‘Will deliver anywhere in the world’? Note that most refuse to send stuff to mainland Europe even if EU clients offer to pay for the extra freight:-(
  • In other words do you really think brexit is a safe bet to make the UK a prosperous global trading nation once again, or just a dangerous and deluded ukip pipe dream?

Please don’t get me started on twittering about ‘national sovereignty’, ‘democratic deficit’ and other ukip rubbish in reply. If that was of such  importance to the British people, why is it that  more than 15.7 m. eligible Brits didn’t even bother to turn up to vote in #GE2015? proud              

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The European Union cost your family £6,000 last year…really?

This morning I was struck by a tweet from #ukip councillor Jim Tucker (@CllrJimTucker) claiming EU membership cost each British family £6,000 a year? Really? I thought, didn’t even know your average UK family had that sort of money laying about.  But Jim came armed with a link from an organisation who’s impartiality leaves noting to the kipper imagination. Better off out’s campaign manager Rupert Matthews assures us he got to the truth:

by studying the figures and making reasonable assumptions we have arrived at an estimate of about £6,000 per family per year!”

Given that at the last ONS count there were 18.2 M. families in the UK, the cost of being in the EU Better of Out must be using must be somewhere in the region of £110 billion. Even Nigel Farage who used to say at every opportunity that the EU cost us £55 M. a day doesn’t use his discredited figure (£20 Billion a year) anymore.  Most Eurosceptics have seemed to settle on a net figure of £6 billion a year EU membership would save. This I can accept and gives a cost per family of £330 per year according to my calculator!

Oh well we’ll just have to take Rupert’s word for his £6,000 figure, as usual no hard data on offer for his calculations. It will be all those EU regulations that every kipper moans about, but none of them can actually mention by name, or maybe David Cameron’s elusive ‘powers’ he tells us he wants to ‘repatriate’ but never actually mentions in the company of other EU leaders. A bit earlier in the pamphlet there is an interview with an economist of some repute who should know better. It is of course the incorrigible Ruth Lea (@RuthLeaEcon), the former IoD spokesperson, who years ago used to turn up on virtually every TV and radio debate about the economy until she famously was ‘made redundant’. Today she is mainly paraded by Eurosceptic so called ‘think tanks’ where she is always well-equipped with factoids, like how many billions of pounds more Germany exported to the UK than the other way around. “They’ll trade” is her catch phrase on twitter, as if running a trade deficit somehow makes your supplier countries beholden to you, rather than them worrying if the next UK bill is going to be paid. The Telegraph reports this is already happening, with foreign investors loosing faith in the UK economy mentioning the deficit! ruth   But let’s analyse what she is actually saying in this pamphlet. First she quotes Jean Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, that “Europeans will represent just 7% of the world’s population”. She forgets to mention that the UK will represent just 0.9 % of the world’s population, so the emerging economies of Brazil, India and China, sometimes referred to as the BRIC countries, will take even less notice of Britain outside the EU. bridge The next statement Ruth makes is that after a #brexit “the UK’s default position would be to trade under WTO rules”. So instantly that would mean our largest market the EU levying the 11% common tariff on goods produced in the UK. That’ll go down well with Nissan in Sunderland? She argues that that hasn’t stopped China’s exports:

 Trade can flourish under WTO rules. Take, for example, China. China joined the WTO in December 2001 and does not, as yet, have any special trade agreement with the EU. And yet Sino-UK trade has boomed

She forgets to mention that the UK actually exports more to Belgium than to China and that Germany, a Eurozone member, actually exports six times as much to China than the UK.

Kippers think that if we just sign a few bits of paper called a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) then trade to the rest of the world will start booming like China managed. Maybe the uncomfortable truth behind the UK’s poor manufactured goods export performance is that our economy just doesn’t produce the kind of goods at the kind of price that you can sling in a container and export just about anywhere to a ready market? Remember these same kippers will blame liblabcon for running our manufacturing industry into the ground.

So not only trade will start flowing miraculously upon signing an FTA, the factories that make the goods will rise up from the brown field sites like a phoenix? Empty return containers now miraculously will have quality UK manufactured goods in them?

Another problem is that most kipper’s are tweeting percentages they don’t understand. Percentage growth can easy be in double figures if you start from a virtually non-existing base.  And the Percentages of Global output ( %GDP) of all trading nations will always ad up to the same 100%, so like the seesaw Ruth must have played on as a child, if one continent’s GDP% goes up the others necessarily must come down. This is not something kippers should lie awake worrying over. Shush! It’s all right. The empire has gone. The EU and USA together used to represent about 50% of global GDP. Those days are over! We can still have absolute growth: 0.5% growth of a $16 trillion economy is nothing to be sneered at. They haven’t all the sudden stopped buying stuff on the continent. Do people like Ruth Lea really think that, on its own, the UK can compete with low cost economies like India and China? What in manufacturing goods like flat screen TV’s? Is she thinking Apple will build iPhone and iPad factories ‘up north’ when we leave the EU?  Is she looking forward to our kids working in sweatshop circumstances, jumping of the factory roof tops in despair, like they do in China? I happen to have studied Economics also. My vision of our economy is I think more realistic and desirable than that of Ruth.  It is no secret that our economies in the west are more and more knowledge based and services oriented. In these areas Britain actually makes serious money, not in manufacturing. In those economies our kids can find jobs more commensurate with the education we like to give them. I am not thinking of the “would you like chips with that” kind of services. I am thinking of design skills, intellectual property and culture. Here we are still leading the world!  We must invest in our kids’ future with better training, education, Research and Development.  The things we so successfully in a EU context. Think Airbus, Think European Space Agency. Think CERN. The UK must stay in the EU to complete that all important single market in ‘services’. Not go back to some ‘black country’ vision of Britain from the days of the industrial revolution.  Our kids deserve better than that! black country ukip vision of a Britain prospering as an independent trading nation trading industrial goods with China?

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The Great European Disaster Movie

Last night I ‘forced’ myself to stay up late and watch The Great European Disaster Movie

Personally I enjoyed it. One of the uncomfortable truths it brought home is it takes the perspective of a young Ukrainian lad, a war reporter from Croatia, millions escaping the ravages of war and poverty in other continents, to see and appreciate what a treasure we European natives have in our EU and how short-sighted of the Eurosceptic movement to throw that precious baby out with the filthy bath water of a financial crisis not caused by the EU, but a global crisis caused by greedy bankers.

It seems the movie was truncated quite a bit to make room for the Newsnight special post-programme discussion, heavily loaded with critics of the European Union, Mr Hitchens, former Chancellor Norman Lamont and Ukip MP Mark Reckless. The Eurosceptic but vocal minority throwing yet another hissy fit, because the BBC might seem biased pro Europe and no sir, we can’t have that can we. We must always also show the ukip lunatics point of view!

But Hitchens took the biscuit when he spouted nonsense like: “In Europe they should work on their rail links instead of a doomed Euro project: Do you know they still have to change locomotives whenever you cross one of their internal borders?”

Hitchens obviously so dislikes the EU, that he has never taken his kids to Euro Disney Paris, or taken a Eurostar to Brussels to enjoy a Leffe or a Liege waffle with cream. As someone who regularly commutes from his home in Central France to work on a project in Maastricht, well… I almost fell off my chair in disbelief when he said that.

Hitchen is also not the only Eurosceptic to cynically lay the blame for the war initiated by the separatist movement in East Ukraine and stoked up by President Putin, on the doors of the European institutions. Like Nigel Farage, Hitchins must be another secret Putin admirer.

But those of us who watched the image of tens of thousands peaceful EU flag waving demonstrators in Kiev are not stupid. We know full well who initiated the Maidan Massacre and then conveniently used it as an excuse  and a diversion,  calling what happened on  20 February an armed coup and using it to justify the annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in in the Donbass region of Ukraine. We don’t fall for the trick of regular Russian soldiers ripping off their official army insignias and pretending to be local patriots wanting to be reunited with the Russian motherland.

You know what? All these kippers up in arms about this film shown on an obscure channel at an unchristian time, shouting the BBC is EU funded and EU biased, they  like to call them selves patriots, defending British values. I see them as the worst kind of Nationalists hankering after the next war to reassert their superiority.  Their fathers and grandfathers who gave real lives liberating Europe, would turn in their graves. So would their cherished Mr Churchill, a founding father of the EU. They would wonder how they managed to produce such stupid short sighted offspring. What went wrong with the famous British education system. Churchill would give them his famous two fingered salute, but definitely the wrong way ’round.

The great EU disaster movie

The great EU disaster movie

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#ukip’s revolving door #brexit policy, fat chance of EU falling for that one…

As not unusual the 140 characters twitter limitation prompts me to pen a more thorough response here on IdentitySpace, to some common kipper preconceptions about how post a #brexit the 27 remaining EU member states practically will come begging ‘Cap in hand’ to Downing Street to sign a Free Trade Agreement(FTA) with the newly liberated and soaring UK economy. The conversation below will be recognized by all regularly following the #brexit hashtag on twitter.

Dean4

It will not be a surprise @debatingfools did not see a response from @deanofsurrey. Kippers typically have a big problem even guessing why you ask such questions. Here is what they lack:

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, ie, the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes.

The next thing a kipper will do is mention a random selection of odd ball countries that managed to sign Free Trade Agreements with either the the EU or China and then proceed to question: “If they can sign a Free Trade Agreement, why on earth can’t we? We’re way more important!

Dean3

Maybe my answer to @deanofsurrey was a bit too cryptic:

Because Korea is on the other side of the world and not in Europe like UK?” 

OK so let me make an analogy my kipper friends. Imagine we have a small town community that desperately needs a ‘sports center’. The skint local council will not build one, so spirited community members club together. They sell shares in a ‘not for profit’ new sports company and after years of hard graft and fund raising the splendid new facility opens its doors. People who have bought shares get reduced entry fees for their family. What would these member-shareholders say to club management if they were to suggest giving non-members even cheaper access than they were promised when they invested their hard earned cash? They’d revolt, wouldn’t they? They’d insist that non-members always pay a premium, even if new members were desperately needed for balancing the club’s books. Are you with me so far kippers?

So now here is a moral and economic lesson for you my autistic eurosceptic friends: Think of the EU as the sports facility. Think of ukip as the ‘new in town’ big earning imports from London. You can throw your economic weight about all you like, but you either pay your club full dues or you do not play squash! But what about Korea and its Free trade deal with the EU you start again?

Think of North Korea as the poor exchange students from the other side of the world. They could not be expected to buy shares, but we still want to make them feel welcome so they can swim, play tennis, play squash for a ‘student rate’ because we hope they’d do the same for our kids if they were studying there.  Plus the local economy benefits from the money they bring studying here. Our university depends on their tuition fees to stay in business. There my kipper friends did that analogy help?

So coming back to the EU, Kippers and eurosceptic Tories, if you throw your dummy out of the pram and invoke article 50 in 2017, do not expect to be offered a Free Trade Agreement before two years of hard negotiations have passed. Best to expect a cold shoulder rather than a special relationship. Don’t worry about all those unsold BMWs, Audis and Porsches in dealers’ show rooms. Its the Nissans stupid!

And when it all goes pear shaped with Mr Farage @Number10gov and four years later UK applies to rejoin, fully expect to be using our EURO as your new currency.

 

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