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What results can Britons hope for during the next two-years of Brexit negotiations?
In the aftermath of the UK General Election 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May has her work cut out for her.
With the whole country and indeed the world looking on, Brexit negotiations are set to begin next week. One note that inspires some early confidence is the mild but useful cabinet shuffle announced by PM May at the weekend.
PM Theresa May must gain control of borders and the numbers of people allowed into the UK
It’s become clear over many months that immigration levels are seen by many citizens as too high and that far too much ‘catering’ to the needs of refugees and economic immigrants has been allowed to occur.
Of course it makes sense to take care of people new to the country and few would begrudge decent treatment for people looking for a better life free from persecution in the case of refugees, and in the case of economic migrants, having the ability to earn a living and have a shot at a real life.
However, when the migrants seem to be doing better than the 13 million Britons who make up the bottom economic quintile group it’s a sign that adjustments are in order.
NOTE: The UK’s bottom economic quintile group report average incomes of £6146 (original income) £13,841 (final income) and £11,883 (disposable income) — UK.gov stats
Either because of entry-level or part-time work for younger workers, or diminishing opportunities for mid-career workers, or poor opportunities for higher education during their younger years in the case of older workers — this quintile suffers from lower-income, poorer health, poorer housing, and lower life satisfaction index scores.
They also die younger, spend more time in hospitals, and as a quintile have more dealings with police and security agencies. Through no fault of their own (as offshoring of jobs isn’t their fault, nor is increased immigration where lower paying jobs are taken by cheaper labour immigrant workers) this group costs the UK economy billions of pounds sterling every year.
If there were jobs available for the people in the bottom quintile they would take them, and no longer find themselves in the bottom fifth with all the attendant costs to themselves, their families, and to UK society
But the simple fact is, in the UK there are many more people looking for work, than there are jobs available — and this is particularly true since the beginning of the influx of eastern European immigrants and refugees from other regions.
This means ‘hard’ borders with real border guards and guns. It means people must be turned away if they don’t meet all of the requirements to enter the country and it means that those non-UK-citizens presently in the country must register their status with the Home Office by January 1st of each year, with updated address, phone number, employment details, or if a student their university details, etc. and pay an annual fee of 100 pounds sterling to the Home Office.
It really isn’t much to ask when the positive is that they get to live in one of the best countries on the planet.
PM Theresa May must insure that all offshore areas presently under EU jurisdiction and formerly under the jurisdiction of Great Britain, must be returned to the UK
UK fishers, those in the undersea resource extraction field, and corporations that build wind turbine installations in the North Sea were under the nominal authority of the EU while the UK was a member of the European Union, however, now that the UK is leaving the EU, maritime borders must revert to their previous status.
Not only will jurisdiction revert to the United Kingdom, but the responsibility to patrol and protect those waterways will once again fall to the Royal Navy and the RAF.
The primary responsibility of every government on the planet is to protect its citizens, and that means spending significant time and resources to protect the land, sea, and air boundaries of the country. Real countries don’t ‘contract it out’ to other nations. If you want it done right, do it yourself.
I hope Theresa May won’t get shouted down by EU negotiators on this primary and important aspect of statehood.
Not only are the fishing zones rich, but so are the undersea resources, as are the wind resources for corporations that spend billions to build offshore wind farms.
In their entirety, UK marine zones represent almost uncountable riches, and the European Union can’t be happy about losing their claim on these abundant waters.
PM Theresa May must negotiate a reciprocal expat agreement that works for both UK and EU expats
At present, 1.3 million British citizens live in the EU, while 3.3 million EU citizens live in the United Kingdom.
But neither the European Union nor the United Kingdom has any particular obligation to host the others’ citizens after Brexit.
For example, EU citizens living in the UK have no special status and the UK isn’t obligated to allow them to continue to live or work in a post-Brexit Britain. The same is true for Britons presently living in the EU whether they are working on the continent, attending university there, or have retired in the European Union.
One would like to think a standardized agreement for reciprocal expat rights can be signed immediately between the two blocs.
But it’s a situation where the benefits to politicians are relatively small, as only tiny numbers of voters are involved out of Europe’s total population of 504 million.
In the (hypothetical) worst-case scenario, three times as many EU citizens would be required to return to the EU — while only 1.3 million Britons would be required to leave the European Union following Brexit.
Wouldn’t it be great if politicians could agree on a standardized bill of rights for all European expats?
Instead of the usual tug-of-war where the only eventuality is a ‘Win-Lose’ outcome, all European leaders should broaden their worldview and seek a pan-European ‘Win-Win’ agreement that works for all expats.
Goodwill and a ‘Win-Win’ attitude will be everything in regards to successful Brexit negotiations
Without those two ingredients, leaders on both sides will buy themselves years of misery and bad polls: But by employing those ingredients in generous measure, European leaders on both sides of the Brexit negotiations will prove their world-class credentials and abilities to 7.4 billion onlookers.
At this moment in UK history, more money is needed to fund the NHS, schools, roads, railways, airports and other national infrastructure, Trident, foreign aid — and to fund 500 million sterling worth of renovations to the House of Commons.
Money is certainly the problem, as more money would solve all of those issues and many more.
Unfortunately, some governments ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ but with little change in the total amount of revenue actually collected by the government.
- In some cases, a socialist (Labour) government will raise more revenue by raising taxes. Let the wailing begin!
- In other cases, a conservative (Conservative and Unionist) government will cut expenditures via fiscal and budgetary belt-tightening. Groan!
Which is why governments everywhere are always on the hunt for more money.
But are they? Are they really on the hunt for money? Are they really trying to increase revenue? Or do they automatically hit their default mode every time a budget crisis looms?
Some observers think that governments dismiss attempts to increase revenue via increased trade with other nations too quickly and move to their particular default mode.
Where Could the UK Find 1.3 Billion Consumers Wanting to Buy British Goods?
Well, India, for one. And they’re a Commonwealth nation. Ta-Da! See? It’s sooo simple.
All the UK government must do is to reach out to India’s leaders (especially post-Brexit, but nothing stopping them from getting started now!) in the interests of ramping-up trade by at least one order of magnitude.
Why should India purchase trillions of rupees worth of goods from non-Commonwealth nations when they could purchase them from the UK?
Why does India purchase their aircraft carriers from Russia, their fighter-bombers from Russia, other significant navy ships from Russia, and billions worth of goods from China, the southeast Asian nations, and the United States?
A century ago, Great Britain’s trade relations with India were booming. Shipyards couldn’t build ships fast enough to keep up with the annual increase in trade.
Who dropped the ball?
Heads should roll for allowing that relationship to falter — a relationship of prime importance to both the UK and to India!
Never Mind Playing the ‘Blame Game’ There’s No Time!
We need to get a piece of that rapidly growing and rapidly modernizing economy, and thereby add five per cent to Britain’s annual GDP.
Yes! More money will solve all of Britain’s spending problems… but it isn’t going to fall out of the sky and land in the Treasury building by itself!
Someone! Anyone! Perhaps the Prime Minister or the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary (or both) along with the Queen should invite Prime Minister Modi of India and his high officials to London, for an unprecedented and long overdue re-look at the macro relationship between the two countries to see how increased trade could improve the economies of both nations, and how each nation can play to their own strengths and work to offset each other’s weaknesses.
Instead of UK Government Departments Fighting Each Other for Funding – Increase the Available Revenue Pool for All Departments
Companies fight over ‘market share’ because that’s what companies do. And it is often a vicious competition.
However, governments have an unparalleled advantage here because they can increase the overall size of the market — which, using this metaphor, relates to UK GDP.
By dramatically ramping-up trade with India the government could increase GDP by five per cent, easily meet the spending requirements of all departments and still have the economic clout to run balanced budgets indefinitely.
This so badly needs to be done that Brexit is a side-show by comparison, although without Brexit it would be difficult to enter into new trade arrangements with any non-EU country.
In summary, Brexit is merely the means to an end — an end with a much stronger economy for both Britain and India, and a stronger Commonwealth partnership.