21 July 2017
The UK’s post-Brexit trade hopes were boosted this week with major voices of support coming out for a UK-EU trade deal including the King of Spain, the Irish finance minister, and the Czech Republic’s European Affairs minister. Meanwhile Liam Fox looks to America for a fat trade deal as retail sales are on the up and inflation falls towards the Bank of England target rate. City confidence was on the up too according to a new survey, surging 17% on similar figures for last year.
Britain’s push for a smooth but clean break from the European Union got a boost this week as King Felipe of Spain used his trip to the UK to express his support for “a close economic relationship trying to minimise future obstacles and barriers”. It’s no surprise that the Spanish monarch was keen to see productive outcomes from Brexit talks with more than £40bn of bilateral trade being carried out between the two countries in 2015.
Given the close ties between the UK and Ireland it should then come as no surprise that the Irish feel much the same way, with their finance minister Paschal Donohoe admitting that “there is no intent whatsoever within the European Union to be engaged in a process of punishing the United Kingdom”. With constant behind doors leaks about the UK coming from Brussels we can’t be so sure, but it’s clear that the goodwill of Ireland is with us.
There’s optimism in the Czech Republic too as European Affairs minister Ales Chmelar. He hit out at Commission obsessions over “technicalities” and highlighted the UK’s ability to forge a trade relationship with the EU that is “broader and deeper” than that recently negotiated – but not yet fully implemented – with partners in Canada.
Meanwhile Trade Secretary Liam Fox looks across the Atlantic for opportunities as moves to begin hashing out a trade pact between the US and the UK kick off in Washington on Monday with Liam Fox and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer set to attend. A successful deal would highlight the massive opportunities that exist for the UK outside of the European Union, liberalising access for British produce to a market much larger than the sclerotic European Union. A US trade spokesman told Reuters that “the early discussions will focus on laying the groundwork for commercial continuity for U.S. and UK businesses as the UK leaves the EU and exploring possible ways to strengthen trade and commercial ties, consistent with the EU’s common commercial policy”. Time for the UK to go global!
Retail sales boomed in June according to new figures from the ONS, defying Remoaner talking points about a fall in consumer confidence. The 0.6% month-on-month growth smashed economists’ expectations with household goods and clothing standing as major drivers of the surge. It tops a second quarter that saw retail sales up 1.5% across three months.
Meanwhile inflation fell, depriving Remoaners of another bout of pathetic gloating. It fell to 2.6% in June, down from 2.9% in May, on the back of falls in the price of fuel. It goes to show that the new value of sterling has thus far failed to drive up inflation massively, bringing it close to the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target.
Meanwhile confidence is still high in London’s financial services sector with jobs up 17% on last year this June according to the Robert Walters City Job Index. The chief executive of the group said “it is extremely encouraging to see that the number of roles has risen following the election, as has the number of jobseeking professionals, suggesting an increase in confidence among both candidates and employers.” So much for that phantom City exodus that Remoaners have been fantasising about for months.
14 July 2017
This week the UK bolstered its post-Brexit trade position with huge overtures from the United States, Japan, and Australia as senior Cabinet figures and haulage industry players hit back at pro-EU bullies. Tourism, winemaking, and financial services also received a spate of good news with British industries continue to boom a year after our vote for national independence.
Pro-trade Brexiteers got great news this week as Donald Trump re-affirmed his commitment to doing a huge trade deal with Brexit Britain while attending his first G20 summit as leader of the free world last weekend. Mr Trump made the pledge after a conversation with Prime Minister May, and confounded anti-Brexit critics who had latched onto unsubstantiated Washington hearsay to boast that the American government was set to abandon the Special Relationship. As always, it turns out they were lying.
But the UK isn’t only set to win a huge trade deal with the largest economy on Earth. Theresa May also had major talks with the second and third largest markets in China and Japan, and a visit from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed that the Australian government is prepared to quickly agree a major trade agreement with Brexit Britain as soon as we officially leave the failing European Union. The sooner the better! He said that “Australians are fleet of foot. We don’t muck around. We’re very simple. So we will move as quickly as the UK will move.” Much better than the stubborn and unresponsive Brussels establishment who have hamstrung European trade policy for decades.
Meanwhile International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who once flirted with the idea of surrendering our post-Brexit trade policy by remaining partially within the European Customs Union, has hit back at Chancellor Philip Hammond to reassert the centrality of his department to our prosperity as an independent country. Dr Fox has insisted that a so-called “transitional” arrangement cannot be allowed to remain indefinitely, stopping the British from seizing the real opportunities of freedom from the yoke of Brussels. He insists now that three years is the absolute maximum that such an arrangement can be permitted to exit.
And British hauliers have hit back at EU bigwig Michel Barnier, vowing to prove him wrong on his trade pessimism. The Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association both spoke up the chances for frictionless trade to be achieved with the later hailing the capacity of businesses to “adapt” to changing circumstances. “The UK’s departure from the EU can be negotiated to ensure that frictionless trade can continue, provided the logistics industry is at the heart of the discussions” said FTA chief James Hookham.
Meanwhile Euro politicians continue to insult European taxpayers by plotting a £50,000 end-of-year party with 700 bottles of wine at the expense of hard working citizens. They also plan a “House of Europe” in central Paris costing European people a whopping six million Euros a year. Thank goodness Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Eurocrats to “go whistle” if they think they can suck further money out of the UK.
Meanwhile a number of great British industries have found even more benefit from our vote to leave with the country experiencing a record tourist count in the first quarter of 2017. The figures were bolstered by a massive surge in the number of Chinese people visiting Britain, leading to 8.3m visits from global visitors in three months and a whopping £4.4bn of spending – up 15.6% on last year.
Winemaking in Britain boomed too, rising to become a £132m industry in 2016 as we voted to quit the EU. That’s up 16% on comparable figures for 2015 and points to a healthy future for the sector. Conrad Ford of Funding Options highlighted that “the English wine industry is not only gaining traction amongst domestic consumers, but is now being ranked with wines from traditional white wine-producing countries such as France and Germany.”
And a majority of firms in the financial services sector surveyed by the Remoaner CBI and PwC found rising business volume, profits, and hiring in the second quarter of 2017 – quite at odds with the continued noises we are always hearing from the referendum’s sore losers, who are praying for British jobs to be lost to foreign capitals.
7 July 2017
New reports confirm a bright future for Brexit Britain, outpacing growth compared to Eurozone competitors, while the legal sector fights back against Brexophobic pessimism; the financial sector discovers it can make huge gains through sensible post-Brexit reform as Lloyd’s defends the dominance of the UK’s insurance sector; UK agriculture saw its worldwide sales of British cheese boom following the fall of sterling; and UK tech continued to see record-breaking investment.
A major new report from Oxford Economics forecasts Britain outdoing European rivals in economic growth over the next five years despite continued attempts to talk Britain down among bitter Remainers. The figures are significantly higher than similar figures for European neighbours, with Germany predicted to grow at a mere 1.3%, with Italy and France set to grow at rates of 1.1% and 1.4% respectively.
The report predicts a growth rate of 1.8% for the UK between 2017 and 2021, with the potential for 2.7% growth if politicians manage to spark growth across the country beyond London. The head of the firm’s Global Cities Research Unit, Richard Holt, said that “Brexit means that to improve exports and manufacturing performance, the Industrial Strategy must look beyond the largest cities. Local economies covered by the County Council Network account for over half of England’s manufacturing output and almost 40 percent of exports”. Let’s get rebalancing!
Meanwhile the legal profession have hit back against bizarre claims that Brexit may dent their global dominance with Supreme Court Justice David Neuberger hailing the opportunity that independence provides to produce even more responsive courts that set the agenda. Neuberger, who sided with Gina Miller in her famous legal challenge, has nonetheless woken up to the major upsides of Brexit while stressing that the UK will stay “attuned to the demands of international business”. The claim has been backed by Justice Secretary David Lidington, who argued that Brexit would allow courts to prove that “they are the best in the world”, and by Lord Thomas, who has hit back against claims that Brexit could damage the standing of London’s arbitration centres.
PwC and financial services lobbyists TheCityUK have come out to talk up the huge potential for the City post-Brexit too. They call for a comprehensive “roadmap to change” sparked by Brexit and involving turbocharging financial centres within Britain but outside of London, along with a range of other regulatory and technological measures. Taken together, they suggest that a whopping £43bn can be added to the UK economy through sensible reform, or an extra 2% of GDP. So much for a financial services exodus to unattractive foreign capitals.
The deputy chair of Lloyd’s of London, Robert Childs, has made similar assurances about the future of the insurance industry in Britain too. Taking up his new position with the group, the former chairman of Hiscox told City A.M. that Brexit “doesn’t threaten the long term strategy of the Lloyd’s market or the London market”. In fact, Brexit could rescue British insurers from the disaster of Solvency II and other onerous European regulatory measures.
Farming has been the latest sector to enjoy huge benefits from the new competitiveness of sterling, following months of reports that manufacturing industry is booming across Britain as foreign orders continue to pile up as overseas consumers make the most of the new exchange rate. Worldwide sales of British cheese are up by an astonishing 29% in the first three months of 2017, rising to a value of £143m, with exports to Asia and Oceania growing by a massive 36%. Imagine how much better our farmers can do when they are freed from the Common Agricultural Policy as Liam Fox’s International Trade department opens up these global markets even further.
The tech sector has also found record investment in the first half of the year. £1.3bn was invested in British tech firms during the first six months of 2017, with the vast majority being piled into London. It’s an 86% increase on the same span of time in 2016, highlighting that Brexit has done little to dampen enthusiasm for Britain’s cutting edge economy.