by John Brian Shannon | February 14, 2017
It has become fashionable in recent weeks to talk about arranging some kind of special status for the City of London so that EU citizens can easily travel to London without the need to pass through UK customs.
Which would be convenient, wouldn’t it?
No pesky border guards to answer to, no briefcases opened and searched, and no wasted time for important EU-centric bankers and their European Union customers — and that applies whether they’re travelling for family vacations, to arrange financing for an EU business, or to meet their mistress in Calais.
Soon, bankers from every country will move to the UK to have all the advantages of EU access, combined with the privileges of living in Britain: A veritable banker’s paradise where the financial industry informs the UK government exactly how things will be.
Look now, it’s happening — just that it’s happening in slow-motion and nobody is seeing it for what it really is.
The Painfully Obvious Future of a ‘Special EU Status’ London
It’s so obviously in the EU’s interest to contrive a situation whereby London residents vote in a referendum to join the European Union, even as the rest of the UK continues to leave it (effectively sectioning-off London from the rest of the UK via the London Ring Road and Gatwick Airport) at which point the rest of the United Kingdom no longer held together by the economic gravity of London would probably dis-unite.
If Britain grants London ‘Special EU Status’ eventually it will become an EU City-state, Principality or Duchy, and Britons will need a passport to visit London.
Therefore, I can see why Brussels would want to contrive a ‘Special EU Status’ (SEUS) plan for the city of London, and I’m astonished at the innocent naiveté of Britons.
Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel practically ‘mansplained’ to British Prime Minister Theresa May how “The UK will not be allowed to cherry-pick the bits of the EU it likes” — even as EU negotiators do their own cherry-picking — with London as the plumpest and richest cherry in all of Europe.
READ: EU negotiator wants ‘special’ deal over access to City post-Brexit
Allowing this plan to come to fruition will create a weaker and less-united United Kingdom and it will handover the ‘gold’ (London) to the EU. And there’s not a thing Britain can do to prevent it once the City of London is granted any kind of EU-centric special status.
Yes! It’s a wonderful plan if you’re a member-state of the European Union, a Europhile, or a London banker who wants to avoid the hassle of going through customs with the little people.
Apparently the thinking goes along these lines; The world already has a global ‘1 percent class’ who own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth and will own 80 percent of the world’s total wealth by 2035, so it’s obvious that the world should have a distinct ‘banker class’ and their friends the global elites can accomplish that via alternately bullying and schmoozing the UK government into a customs-free zone with the EU. Which seems to be working.
“Oh, and a peon holiday every Monday in London, Elizabeth. We don’t like Monday morning traffic. Cancel their other holidays to make up for it. Sniff.”
I would like to ask the UK government; Where else in the world are bankers allowed to travel without passing through customs because the bankers arranged the passing of a law that allowed them to do so? And where else in the world would a country that is leaving a Union, leave behind their own capital city with most of the country’s wealth?
The answer is; Nowhere on Earth has this happened, and for obvious reasons!
Rather than incrementally handing Britain’s most historic and important city to the European Union, it would be smarter to simply invite the EU-centric part of London’s financial sector to leave. Ah, Paris in the spring!
READ: The language of love sweet-talks the City
Losing the EU-based financial sector that operates out of London is surely preferable to losing the entire city of London to the EU — which WILL happen over time if the Special EU Status zone is approved, resulting in the consequent dissolution of the United Kingdom.
Is There a Precedent for Integration that leads to Assimilation?
All law functions on precedent and there is a rather large precedent for this in business law — the case of the United States vs. General Motors in the 1960’s. It’s a fascinating story.
In the early part of the 20th-century many manufacturers built vehicles for the American public who were decidedly pro-automobile. Ford was the first company to utilize innovative automotive production line assembly techniques and the company grew exponentially — in fact, they couldn’t keep up with the demand for their car, the Model T.
At the time, General Motors built trucks and other vehicles for the U.S. military, and heavy industry vehicles for the mining and forestry sectors and GM was heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Chevrolet simply fed off the demand that Henry Ford’s company couldn’t meet.
It was a brilliant strategy for Chevrolet. They adopted Ford’s assembly line manufacturing innovations and met most of the consumer demand that Henry couldn’t.
So successful was the Chevrolet plan, that the first car to outsell the Model T was the 1934 Chevrolet Coupe, which was Chevy’s version of the Model T which was available in every colour imaginable — unlike the Model T that was only available in black. Henry Ford painted all his cars black because that allowed the largest number of cars to be built in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost-per-unit. (No fussing with colours)
Ford grew, Chevrolet grew, and General Motors grew.
By the 1950’s, Chevrolet decided to turn the tables on its main competitor (Ford) by taking a note from Henry Ford’s playbook — outsourcing. Chevrolet lowered costs by outsourcing some manufacturing to the massive General Motors Corporation which accommodated Chevy’s request to build a few hundred thousand engines per year at a lower cost than Chevrolet could have ever imagined.
GM even asked Chevy to send over their engine specs and said they would build Chevy’s engines exactly how Chevrolet wanted. And with higher manufacturing standards.
It worked so well for Chevrolet that they later asked GM to supply transmissions, window glass, seats and door panels, and finally car bodies for Chevrolet. And General Motors happily obliged.
One sunny morning, GM began a hostile takeover of Chevrolet. Chevrolet objected and so did the U.S. government — and understandably Ford, Chrysler, Studebaker and the other automakers strenuously objected to the hostile takeover.
But during the discovery process to verify which company owned what, and which company was most responsible for Chevrolet’s massive success — even Chevrolet’s legal team couldn’t make a clear distinction. Neither could the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice investigators. Nor could the U.S. Supreme Court judges deciding the case who were left with no recourse but to allow the merger to proceed, as nobody could tell them exactly what constituted Chevrolet and what constituted General Motors!
Everyone in the industry was furious. Yet Ford, Studebaker, Chrysler, the new American Motors Company (AMC) and others couldn’t do a thing about it. And the U.S. Department of Justice wasn’t happy either.
It took approximately 25 years for GM to absorb Chevrolet, but in retrospect they could have done it in 18 years if they weren’t so busy playing it safe. (To better ensure their assimilation plan worked)
Chevrolet became a victim of its own brilliant success, while General Motors had a stellar plan all along; Integrate until nobody can tell the difference.
Assimilate London is exactly what the European Union will do with a separate-customs-arrangement-London.
It would be criminally naive to think otherwise.