Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Fox Is Shot

Liam Fox's funny delusions about "the Anglopshere" have been confronted with reality.

Even Canada has sent him away with a flea in his ear.

As for the United States, Donald Trump would not be doing trade agreements at all, pretty much.

While Hillary Clinton, if she were anything like her husband, would prefer Germany as an economic and as a diplomatic or military partner alike.

Fox now says that no trade deal could begin to be negotiated with anywhere else until we had left the EU, and that that will not happen before 2019 at the earliest.

Of course, before the invocation of Article 50, it cannot begin to happen at all.

But Article 50 will not be invoked until several such deals, and most especially the one with the United States, were already signed, sealed and delivered.

She is no fool, that Theresa May.

The ramifications of the referendum result will be felt for decades. But there is already something quite tragic about anyone who still talks about actually leaving the EU.

Barely a month later, and they are back to being pub bores again.

The last thing that we need, however, is a second referendum. That would deliver a Remain vote.

Thereby killing any recognition of the need to listen to the areas that voted Leave while voting Labour, Liberal Democrat or Plaid Cymru for parliamentary or municipal purposes.

As they will undoubtedly continue to do. Of course. If the issue had been a party one, then there would not have been a referendum on it.


  1. It's all very positive, actually.

    India, Australia and New Zealand and co are queuing up for trade deals with Britain, which we could have struck long ago if we weren't in a ridiculous customs union with the EU.

    Many people don't realise (though Dan Hannan often said it) that the EU required us to put heavy tariffs on our old Commonwealth trading partners' goods, and made it impossible for us to sign trade deals with any of the English-speaking emerging economies with whom we were natural trading partners.

    Such trade deals would restore our historic role as a global maritime trading nation which stayed out of the European Continent.

    It's good to see even the Financial Times welcoming the better future that awaits.

    The FT reports: India accentuates the positive on Brexit

    Indian policymakers believe New Delhi could quickly negotiate a new trade agreement with a Britain disentangled from the EU, which has failed to conclude talks on a trade deal with India.

    “The UK is going to look to build its relationships with the rest of the world, and will seek to pursue new opportunities with us,” Jayant Sinha, India’s deputy finance minister, told the Financial Times.

    1. The only one that will interest readers of tabloids such as the Daily Telegraph will be the one with America, and there is not going to be one with America.

      Fox says no deal with anywhere until we have left the EU, the exact opposite of what he said during the referendum campaign.

      Everyone else assumes no withdrawal from the EU until the trade deals, especially the out of the question one with America, were already in place.

      I'd prefer to be out of the EU. I'd vote that way again, if I had to. But when David Cameron did not invoke Article 50 on the day of the referendum result, then, with hindsight, we should all have seen that it was never going to happen.

      What matters now is keeping up the pressure from and for the Labour, Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru areas whose Leave votes swung the result. As Jeremy Corbyn said, "left behind by globalisation."

  2. America and Australia are both profoundly protectionist at heart and they both learned it against Britain. Every face on Mount Rushmore is of a President who practised anti-British protectionism. Australian ministers, no matter how Anglo and monarchist, have always been notoriously the most difficult people British ministers ever had to deal with. Australia even had anti-British tariffs before it was independent.

    1. The Commonwealth has never been a free trade area (nor was the Empire), and of course America has never been in the Commonwealth.

  3. Over before it started. They thought America loved us and they thought Australia, Canada and New Zealand had been in suspended animation waiting for us since 1973. We never did have free trade with any of them anyway. The comment above about American and Australian protectionism against British goods is especially welcome because hardly anybody seems to know it, and you are absolutely right there was never free trade throughout the British Empire, least of all with Australia. Anyway so what? No one alive can remember the British Empire, certainly not with with Australia, New Zealand or Canada in it.

  4. The first and second Prime Ministers of Australia, Sir Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin, were the leaders of the Protectionist Party, imposing tariffs on British industrial products from the very start of the Commonwealth of Australia when nobody would have suggested it was not part of the Empire. As someone said earlier all British Ministers who have ever dealt with Australian ones have found them exceptionally difficult.

  5. Britain quite often preferred products from Germany or America, which both had rigid tariff regimes, over ones from the Empire. No wonder as bits of the Empire became more and more self-governing they returned the compliment. That was all a long time before 1973.

    1. And 1973 was itself a long time ago now.

      Boris Johnson has been set up to fail, but Liam Fox's and David Davis's entire Departments have been set up to fail.

  6. It is all very funny, isn't it? The main result of the referendum has been to make a Remainer Prime Minister without a contest. The referendum result was decided by Labour voting areas and they are going to carry on voting Labour, in fact they love Jeremy Corbyn with all their hearts. Many of those areas such as in the North East have hardly any immigration so it wasn't about that. If Leadsomy, Ukippy areas alone had voted Leave, Remain would have won. Anyhow, there is absolutely no sign of Article 50, nobody seems to mind, it's just as well because Liam Fox's trade deals are nowhere to be seen, the Tory right are sulking and Ukip is in meltdown. Anybody would think the right only existed on the Internet.

    1. Wouldn't they just? It screams at itself online, but to what effect?

      It is far more irrelevant than the Labour Left, which most people wrote off years ago, but which is about to hold control of one of the two main parties very comfortably indeed, with the participation of a staggering number of people for such a contest.

      By very stark contrast indeed, the Right could not even make it onto a Leadership ballot at all in the other main party. After the referendum result. It is an Internet echo chamber. Nothing more than that.

    2. The Labour Right is the same. "It screams at itself online, but to what effect?"

  7. As far as the "Anglosphere" is concerned, Britain is a relative they thought was dead. They think Downton Abbey is a documentary. As has been said several times, Australians in particular were always fond of anti-British tariffs even inside the Empire never mind outside it like the Americans who imposed them from the very start. Both countries based their development on not having free trade with Britain, in Australia's case before even becoming politically independent from Britain. They haven't forgotten.