388.3 Benefits of Brexit | Scoins.net | DJS

388.3 Benefits of Brexit


Britain may well be accused of being stuck staring at its past. It is past time to move on. In exactly the same way, we were stupid to leave the EU but, having done so, we have to make the best we can of that stupidity.

I'm afraid I foresee a long period of declining economy and the opposite of levelling-up. We do not have the funds to do the long, long list of things we really must. Changing the party in power will not cure anything and all we will achieve is a negative (not the Tories), much as the Leave campaign achieved a neagtive. Or for that matter, the extended Tory leader selection process that also seems to be based mostly on not <insert name here>. A poll this week ([81], may be a false statement) declared that very few can point to any gains from Brexit. The poll at [82], which asks engineering businesses about any benefits, gets a bit closer to supporting that opinion.

There are opportunities [83] resulting from Brexit. If we accept that the decision is irreversible within any current lifetime then our only sensible action is to embrace that future and, quite simply, get on with it. Some of those necessary decisions are going to be very uncomfortable and we may yet lose Northern Ireland and Scotland from the Union. The cost of avoiding this may mean accepting a load of ECJ decisions (but I think we could duck that with a series of contractual agreements with Europe). The slowing down of the economy (little or no growth) means less money is in circulation; in turn this means (I think) a lot of public borrowing. We have dramatic need to spend huge sums on capital improvements (infrastructure, hospitals, schools) where we have for decades yet again ducked out of this and called it austerity. We have to come to terms with what we mean by migration and what we deem acceptable migration – a simple test would be that the nation benefits from adding this person (and family)—and to cease referring to asylum seekers as illegal immigrants (can they be both?) ¹ 

The national split on Europe Rejoin / Stay Out continues, it would appear to be 51:49, as swing of just 2% from the 2016 vote. [85, but the swing is nearer 4% since the 2016 vote was 51.9% leave to 48.1% remain], but all those who said 'don't know' would still have a vote if we had a referendum and it remains true that a referendum is not binding on Parliament. And in my opinion that is not a large enough majority to cause (or have caused) both joining or exiting. I have stated several times that the refendum back in 1975  expressed significant support for EC membership, with 67% in favour on a national turnout of 64%. [86] I continue to hold a memory that we'd been told that 75% was needed but I cannot substantiate this via Google. But this referendum occurred after much of the joining work had been done, so it represents the perceived unrest at making such change (and maybe we should point at the same section of the Conservatives then as now for those rejecting any such proposal). The porportional vote of Yes vs No was 2:1 which was intepreted as decisive and why we confirmed joining the EU. The margin for leaving was very small, was not counted the same way and was treated as being just as definite. In my head, this is the point at which parliament failed its public.

Source [83] works through a list of points claimed by the two 2016 campaigns but fails, I think, to achieve more than that; the topics are raised but I found very little in the way of conclusion or even described action. Indeed, on the basis of this article, we have achieved very little. Here's the concluding paragraphs: The underlying aim of the 2020 Withdrawal Agreement was to regain scope for the UK to make our own rules, even at the cost of reducing trade with the EU. In principle, this can indeed offer benefits to set against the financial cost and loss of trade. It should be possible for a smaller country such as the UK to make rules that are more adapted to our specific strengths and weaknesses than the ‘giants’ of the US or the EU are able to – or to pick and choose where we align with the major players. But this is not easy. In fields like data, going our own way might benefit some, but it will make it harder for us to forge close research relationships with our nearest neighbours. In medicines and devices, aligning with the major players has only limited benefits, but a new UK system needs to trade off the interests of different sectors, and even of safety and innovation. Not everyone can be a winner. For the real "benefits of Brexit" to be realised, a much more honest analysis and debate is required, one that recognises costs and realities rather than just hopes and goals.

I wonder if the inability to be clear what should be a federal issue or a state one (as we see in the US and in Europe) also applies within a nation such as ours, such as what is an issue for parliament or your local council. It seems to me that devolution has cleared up a little of this but that increasingly Parliament is befuddled because it is simultaneously trying to be the English and the UK parliament. The devolved nations manage this and they are, it seems, pretty clear what their remit is. While I am certain that we need devolution for England, I have also been of the opinion that, necessarily, the unit size should be roughly the same size as Scotland, the largest of the three devolved nations. But maybe the way forward is to first separate what is English from what is British.

Benefits of Brexit? None yet discovered.



DJS 20220701

The devolved nations don't all have exactly the same rights and obligations. See [88-90]


1.  Only for as long as it takes them to report to the authorities and claim asylum.  Although it’s certainly true that crossing the Channel without authorisation isn’t a legal way to enter the UK, Article 31 of the UN Refugee Convention states that refugees cannot be penalised for entering the country illegally to claim asylum if they are “coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened” provided they “present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence”.  You could argue that boat people were not fleeing France. The required action is that any illegal entrant who is seeking asylum must report itself to the authorities more or less immediately on arrival and claim asylum. See [84]. Once they claim asylum, the method of entry becomes irrelevant. This continues to leave open what we should do with asylum claimants, how long any such process takes and what we do with those whose claim cannot be supported. What we need, it would seem, is some sort of screening process. We tried this in Syria (Cameron as PM) and it proved quite successful. Perhaps we ought to extend this now that we can point to costs incurred by beginning the process only on arrival on our shores.


[81]  https://www.statista.com/statistics/987347/brexit-opinion-poll/  As of May 2022, 49 percent of people in Great Britain thought that it was wrong to leave the European Union, compared with 37 percent who thought it was the right decision. During this time period, the share of people who regret Brexit has been slightly higher than those who support it, except for some polls in Spring 2021, which showed higher levels of support for Brexit. The share of people who don’t know whether Brexit was the right or wrong decision has generally been consistent and usually ranged between 11 and 13 percent. 

[82]  https://www.theengineer.co.uk/content/news/poll-results-have-you-seen-any-brexit-benefits   

[83]  https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/boosterism-blinds-us-to-the-possible-benefits-of-brexit?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtvqVBhCVARIsAFUxcRvjAOuQBOxgBLbbmOduYtZoXSmqJTtm2HQY-y4QeYMIAafX20kCEqUaAkywEALw_wcB  March 2022. I think there are no conclusions.

[84]  https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/law/blog/the-myth-of-the-illegal-asylum-seeker

[85]  https://whatukthinks.org/eu/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtvqVBhCVARIsAFUxcRtiMRi6wf_cqHlMa6xVoRp9McSZtr4zCUYqzjb_l0MeUkxeZWY1W1kaAgz2EALw_wcB

[86]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum

1.  Although it’s certainly true that crossing the Channel without authorisation isn’t a legal way to enter the UK, Article 31 of the UN Refugee Convention states that refugees cannot be penalised for entering the country illegally to claim asylum if they are “coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened” provided they “present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence”.  You could argue that boat people were not fleeing France. The required action is that any illegal entrant who is seeking asylum must report itself to the authorities more or less immediately on arrival and claim asylum. See [84]. 

[87] https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/benefits-brexit  

At best this points to a load of regulatory changes. I found nothing at all that has generated any benefit. I found only negatives, mostly additional paperwork disincentives to do business across the Channel. I found nothing at all where what Britain has decided to do is in any sense 'better' than what our large neighbour has chosen to do. The only possible exceptions lie in fields where a small country can act more quickly than a large federation. Meanwhile, I observe that Europe is morphing, now that the Brits are not the grit in the mechanism, towards that 'ever closer union' that was so much of the Leave campaign's we-don't-want-that. With which I actually agreed; one can have too much of a good thing. Quite where the line should be drawn between state and federal levels of decision (law, regulation, political decisions of many types) has never been clear to me. I am very clear that we should try to keep the justice system out of politics; the only issue is whether politicians are acting within their legal limts on action and policy should not be a matter for the courts unless it conflicts with previous decisions already law – but then the politicians are the body that can repeal their own previous laws, so that sort of checking should lie within the political system.

[88] https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/our-work/devolution/devolution-uk-nations

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