Michael Gove is delirious. The UK is destined to leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The fishing industry has been championed as one of the jewels in the Brexit crown. A deep blue-sapphire worth a behemoth fortune. An estimated 58% of fish caught in UK waters is done so by EU vessels. The casting off of the Common Fisheries Policy means the British fishermen can enrich the UK again and trade freely on the world market. Alas, once one delves into details, it appears to be another poorly played side-of-the-bus promise
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable we have to change it every 6 months” as Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said. So it goes with the view of what Brexit will look like. Every foot deeper into the British economic grave reveals more legislative genocide. The many manifestations of Brexit spring from the ground – hard, soft, open, closed and grey. Even the comical red, white and blue. With the dissipation of Theresa Mays mandate along with the No Deal trend, soft Brexit appeared to be making a comeback. However Theresa Mays committal to the EU and to Hard Brexiteers that the UK will be closed to EU immigration is a line in the sand. Brexit means Brexit. It's going to be hard. And that line in the sand is going to be most obvious at the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Whilst historically Britain has used Ireland as a barrier to entry from its European foes, now it wishes to use Ireland as a barrier to a harsh exit from the EU. By the continuous promulgation of the dangers of a hard Brexit to Ireland, Britain plants a destabilising thought into the heart of the EU. Irelands economic woes are fresh in the memory of the European hierarchy despite another meteoric rise on the growth front and dispensation of acquired debt. In addition, they are banging the sectarian drum with echoes from the violent past ringing in EU ears. A recent study by the House of Lords further added weight to the supposed impending problems. But looking at the statistics and reality, it appears to be mainly scaremongering.
International students make up 17% of migrants coming to the UK every year. Approximately 50% of them stay in the UK to work thus affecting the precious Net migration statistic. The Conservatives want to reduce this number to swing the dismayed UKIP supporters to the Tory side. Of course the Tory government is afraid to step on university toes by limiting the number of students, which may cross the xenophobic threshold. But they can (and are) limit the number of post-study visas being granted so they can kick students out to improve their statistics. But is there actually a logical and statistical argument to doing this?
John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham recently made an appearance on BBCs Newsnight proclaiming that the USA and China already have access to the European single market. Factually this is correct. But it is also misleading. Like a barman saying “Tonight you can have all the beer you want”. He just leaves out the part you have to pay for it. China and the US do have access to the European single market but pay tariffs and have trade barriers. Futhermore he proclaimed that there is no issue leaving the EU at the drop of a hat to set up a new trade deal. What do the facts and statistics say?
The Jeremy Corbyn-ite brigade are banging their drum loudly that now is the time to nationalise the railways. The penny pinching capitalist nature of Britains Railway systems have lead to a summer of strikes and chaos – most notably Southern Rail. Such an aggravating strike has flung grumbles of nationalisation from the cold platform edge to the heart of national debate. But what do the statistics say?
How many books have been written on the importance of geography to economic growth? The habitable climate and many inlets of the Mediterranean allowed Europeans to develop powerful naval forces that allowed its nations to dominate the world. But now, geography matters less it would seem, a thought echoed by Brexiteers. America ploughs ahead without a plethora of other superpowers within an arm’s reach. China has been propelled towards the top of the rich list in this digital world. The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and can hold its own stead outside the EU, they say. But what do the statistics say?