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Unhappy article 50 day

By | 2017-03-28T10:11:48+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Brexit|

So today's the day when Mrs May formally announces the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. It seems the time is right then to make a few predictions about the way things will go over the next few weeks and months as the negotiations commence and unfold: Value of sterling (£) The markets and money men seem to react most when there are nasty surprises. Given that article 50 has been a long time coming, I doubt whether today will see much of a change in the value of the pound. Indeed, it may even strengthen against the Dollar and Euro as teenage hedge-fund algorithm writers are most likely focussed on the political uncertainty of the coming European elections in France, Germany and Italy. However, the outlook for both Germany and France is positive for the pro-European parties so I'd expect the Euro to strengthen in May and then again in October. It is only the Italian elections in 2018 that are likely to provide any volatility - and even then the populists are unlikely to win [...]

The UK will become a tax haven

By | 2017-01-19T10:01:49+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Brexit|

That was the threat that May gave yesterday in her speech if the UK was forced to walk away from the negotiating table at the Brexit negotiations. Previously I postulated that UK citizens living abroad and EU citizens living in the UK would be used as May's key bargaining chip and, although that may yet come to pass, it seems she has decided that the EU will be more likely to react to a tax haven being set up on the edge of Europe. However, while the right-wing press might be applauding this manoeuvre, it is an empty threat. Why? Because it's going to happen anyway. In fact it's already happening. How many headlines have their been about the sweetheart tax deals and big multinationals not paying their fair share? The legality of it is neither here nor there for the UK government - as long as the super rich remain happy (because they fund the political parties.) Le Monde once described The City of London as Europe's biggest money laundering operation. Outside of the EU's banking regulation The [...]

There is a plan

By | 2016-11-23T10:36:28+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Brexit|

Despite the accusations of having "no clear plan" for Brexit negotiations I believe there is in fact one and it's crystal clear, albeit conceived in cloud-cuckoo land. I reckon that May, Davies and Johnson will demand that the UK remain in the single market while doing away with freedom of movement. This is what they have implied time and again, and have not changed their tune despite the response from EU leaders. Presumably they are hoping that by sticking to this position throughout the 2 years of negotiations - the EU will eventually cave in and give it to them - as they have on many occasions in the past. However, I can see no reason for the EU to cave in this time. The main bargaining chip in the past has been the threat of the UK's withdrawal from the EU (for all our exceptions and opt-outs we've had as full half-hearted members of the EU club), but that threat can no longer be relied upon to get the EU's negotiators to back down - which means the [...]