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A Vision of Manufacturing in Post-Brexit Britain

by John Brian Shannon

post-Brexit British manufacturing model

McLaren celebrates their 5000th supercar on February 2, 2015. Image courtesy of compositestoday.com

Yes folks, it really does take that many people to build a McLaren supercar!

In fact, it takes many thousands of people combining forces to build any car, aircraft, or other modern and/or technologically advanced vehicle.

And the point of this blog post is to show that the UK can add one million manufacturing jobs in the automotive sector alone, just by adopting the right policies — policies that help foreign automakers become ‘part of the solution instead of part of the problem.’

So, please bear with me while I show you how the UK could emerge a winner in the post-Brexit timeframe, create millions of homegrown jobs, boost the economy like never before, and supercharge UK manufacturing exports.

If you like the sound of that, then you’re a British patriot and you want the best for your country. I salute you!

(If you’re a foreign car manufacturer, don’t panic, it’ll work out for you too in the post-Brexit era. Just keep reading ’til the end)


UK Slaps a £25,000 Tariff on any Car or Truck (New or Used) That’s Imported After Brexit

WOW! That got your attention, didn’t it?

It’s not as bad as it sounds, because every auto manufacturer would be invited to establish their headquarters for all Commonwealth of Nations countries (and this blogger suggests) that the UK government should provide brand-new, free-of-charge, turnkey factories to every auto manufacturer that wants to build cars and trucks in the UK and sell them to every Commonwealth of Nations country including the UK.

Remember, The Commonwealth comprises 53 countries with a combined population of 2.5 billion people by 2020 and a combined GDP that nearly matches the U.S.A.

The UK alone, is the 5th-largest economy in the world by GDP (6th by PPP) and India is the 6th-largest economy in the world by GDP (5th by PPP) and other countries in the Commonwealth include Canada (10th) Australia (13th) Nigeria (30th) South Africa (33rd) and Pakistan (40th) and many others whose economies are rocketing upwards in this young century.

Nigeria alone will have more citizens than the United States by 2060. Maybe sooner.

How many auto manufacturers want enhanced access to 2.5 billion consumers, most of whom live in rapidly growing economies with upward disposable income?

The Commonwealth consumers not living in those burgeoning economies live in developed nations with high per capita incomes like the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Brand-new, ‘build to suit’ factories, paid for and owned by the UK government, leased to each manufacturer for £1 per year — with the benefit of no UK or Commonwealth tariffs ever, and streamlined access to 2.5 billion Commonwealth of Nations consumers.

If you’re a global auto manufacturer, you can’t lose!


Why Would Commonwealth Nations Agree to This Plan?

The UK unemployment rate is low at present, and falling each year.

In 2019, the UK unemployment rate sits at 3.8% and you’ll remember from your economics class that 2.5% unemployment is functionally a 0% unemployment rate — as exactly that many people are in some kind of transitory employment state without being actually unemployed — such as workers who’ve quit one job and are taking 2-weeks off from any work before starting their new job, or workers who’ve retired recently and have yet to file the paperwork that indicates their new status to government statisticians.

Which means the UK is 1.3% away from zero functional unemployment even with all the Brexit uncertainty due to the overly-long negotiating period. (3.8% – 2.5% = 1.3%)

Q: In the immediate Post-Brexit era and assuming a (functional) 0% unemployment rate in the UK, who will the UK call-on to fill perhaps a million new manufacturing jobs?

A: The Commonwealth of Nations countries, that’s who.

And that’s the benefit of being a member of a large and diverse bloc such as the Commonwealth. For the UK, membership in that group means a huge pool of highly motivated workers ready to jump on a plane and begin working in the UK immediately.

For Commonwealth countries, it means hundreds of thousands of their young people will have good paying jobs waiting for them in the UK at the end of their schooling, and good kids will send some money home to Mom and Dad — who after all, probably paid for their child’s entire education and airfare to the UK.

Workers who show up on-time and do a good job will of course be invited to stay on where the manufacturing continues year ’round, or find themselves invited to return to the UK by their company at the beginning of the next production cycle.

For the UK, this plan would reduce UK unemployment to zero, then allow any additional labour to be sourced from Commonwealth of Nations countries.

For foreign auto manufacturers, this plan would provide a specially-built for them factory at a cost of £1 per year, and guarantee them no automotive tariffs in the UK and other Commonwealth of Nations countries.


Saving Money, Streamlining Production, Centralizing Administration

Let’s pretend at present that Ford Motor Company builds the F-150 pickup truck in different Commonwealth nations and earns low profit per vehicle because the sales numbers in each country don’t quite support one factory per country. And all of its vehicles are subject to a plethora of different tariffs and fees depending upon where those F-150’s are built and where Ford is shipping them. Very inefficient!

But if Ford Motor Company decides to build all of its UK and Commonwealth-destined F-150’s in the UK, it means that one humongous factory in Britain could build all of them. There are economies of scale in that approach! And to have the land and building built and paid for by the UK government guarantees the economics work for Ford.

All Ford must decide is where in the UK it wants the factory, which car lines or trucks to build in the factory, and pay an annual £1 rent payment to the UK government.

And no tariffs in any Commonwealth nation, including the UK. Ever.


But This is An Expensive Plan!

No, not really. Especially when you factor-in some of the possible alternatives.

Such as the entire auto manufacturing sector in the UK dying completely. Which is happening in slow-motion anyway. (Rolls-Royce, Bentley, JLR, Mini, Lotus, Triumph, MG, Rover cars, BSA motorcycles, etc. are almost gone, or already gone)

There go a million existing UK jobs! (For just one example of it going wrong) And there go the additional one million UK jobs I’ve proposed.

But if UK unemployment hits 0% in the UK as I expect AND if one million new auto manufacturing jobs are created via this proposal, that means (on average) each of those additional one million auto workers will pay an average £20,000. income tax annually, and thousands of pounds in other taxes on their discretionary spending because almost every time you buy something in the UK you pay some kind of tax on it. New house, new car, new baby pram, you get the idea.

What is one million times £20,000. anyway? That’s £20 billion annually in income tax revenue HM government isn’t presently earning.

It’s even better if those one million additional workers spend every pound sterling they earn on taxable items in the UK. Maybe twice as good as the calculation above shows.

Check the math: 1,000,000 x £20,000. = £20,000,000,000. annual income tax revenue alone.
Over 10-years, that equals ‭£200,000,000,000‬. in tax revenue alone.


Remember: This is Just One Example of Why Britons Shouldn’t be Shrinking Back from Brexit!

Whether we’re talking Volkswagen Golf, BMW 5 Series, Audi A8, or whatever car you want to buy in the UK — if they don’t build them in the UK after Brexit — each vehicle would be subject to a £25,000 tariff.

Because at present, those cars are built in the EU, by EU companies, by EU workers, in EU-subsidized factories — and the UK is getting no benefit whatsoever — other than UK drivers are encouraged by slick advertising to hand over their hard earned money to EU car manufacturers.

However, if they build them in the UK — a no automobile tariff regime would apply anywhere in the Commonwealth of Nations, under this proposal.

I posit that vehicles destined for the UK and Commonwealth market could and should be built in Britain, and by adopting better policies, UK manufacturing will succeed as never before!

Two Brexit Flops Cost the UK Billions & Have Put Britain Years Behind Schedule

by John Brian Shannon

Now that the UK has missed two ‘firm’ Brexit dates, the pressure’s on. And because Prime Minister Theresa May couldn’t get the job done (twice) doesn’t mean the world has stopped while Conservatives get their act together.

The world is moving-on, in case you didn’t notice the EU Parliament Election 2019 results.


How Time Flies!

One of the best things Theresa May did during her time as PM was to visit U.S. President Donald Trump early in his presidency and ask him to move Britain ‘to the front of the line’ in regards to Britain’s place in any future trade deal with the U.S.

‘Success!’

You’ll recall that U.S. President Barack Obama famously said that ‘the UK will move to the back of the line’ regarding any trade deal with America — because Obama was the consummate globalist, and the EU his partner in compelling the UK to join their globalist plot to control much of the world’s trading system. Hey, it was worth a try! I’d have said the same thing were I the U.S. president to keep the EU, my (much larger than the UK) trading partner, happy.

But, sometimes: ‘Success’ has a shelf-life

As of today, President Donald Trump has 597-days left in his first term and if you believe the opinion polls, Joe Biden (corporatist, globalist, former Vice President under Barack Obama, and the present leading contender for the top job in the U.S.A.) might win the next U.S. election and could conceivably send Britain ‘to the back of the line’ in regards to any future trade deal with that gigantic economy.

The moment where the UK could’ve gotten a great trade deal with the U.S.A. will have passed, should Trump lose the next U.S. election!

And there’s the lollygagging of Theresa May dangling Brexit under everyone’s nose from July 16, 2016 until today (June 1, 2019) and any of those 3-years were the prime time to get Brexit done, a U.S. trade deal done, a CPTPP trade deal done, an EU trade deal done, a Commonwealth trade deal done, and an EFTA trade deal done.

Among many other important things. Too many to list here.

But no. Theresa May probably realized early-on that she wasn’t up to the task of Brexit and just decided to hang-on to power as long as possible. Very disappointing.


Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way!

The time for talking is over!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; If the ruling Conservatives don’t deliver Brexit by October 31, 2019 they’ll be unceremoniously booted from power by voters at the next General Election — and may not form a government for a full generation — or even two or three generations.

Politicians must deliver what they promise or they’ll be removed from power by the new generation of voters who want responsive and accountable politicians.

‘Talking about talking’ for months and years, is over!

In case you missed it in the last EU Parliament elections last week, voters aren’t going to tolerate mediocrity any longer. The gravy train is over, folks!

But if Conservatives get Brexit handled by November 1st (the new ‘firm’ Brexit date is October 31, 2019) I hope they’re ready for a lot more work. Because there’s a lot to do. Especially now that Brexit has been kicked down the road 3-times.

“The reward for doing good work, is the opportunity to do more.” — Dr. Jonas Salk


Going, Going, Gone!

Perhaps Conservative politicians aren’t aware of some of the items that will appear on their watch, so let’s inform them of these (already partially-missed) opportunities, and soon to be fully-missed opportunities.

“Don’t tell me what you can do, show me what you have done.” — Henry Ford

So, today is Day 1050 of Theresa May’s premiership and she has shown us, the EU, and the world, that she wasn’t the person to deliver Brexit. Standing up to EU elites for the rights of Britons just wasn’t her forte. No one can be everything, but standing up for Britons is an important job skill for a UK Prime Minister.

It’s plain to see that the governing Conservatives NEED A LEADER who can get Brexit done. So much of Britain’s future depends on getting Brexit out of the way — because, frankly, more important items than Brexit await.

And not one of them can be done until Brexit is done and dusted.


Brexit is Merely the Stepping Stone to a Better UK Future

Let’s do this exercise year by year, because in the best-case scenario each item on the following list would take the UK Parliament approximately one-year to accomplish. Which is depressing, because each of these items should take the UK Parliament 6-months at most.

If huge corporations can get big things done, if Malala can get big things done, and if little Greta Thunberg (age 16) can get big things done, then 650 UK Members of the House of Commons plus 800 Members of the House of Lords ought be able to get some big things done! (If not, let’s hire Malala and Greta to run the UK government!) You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Don’t you? (Hahaha!)

Let’s make a list (in no particular order) and let’s say that each item should take no more than one year to accomplish. And let’s also say that due to the 3-years of Brexit delays we’re already 3-years behind schedule. So, not a moment to waste!

  1. A free trade deal with America. Once Trump is gone, a U.S./UK free trade deal is gone too!
  2. A free trade deal with the CPTPP countries, the biggest trading bloc in the world once the UK leaves the EU, with member countries from three oceans.
  3. A CANZUK trade deal (Note: some CANZUK countries are also CPTPP signatories)
  4. A free trade deal with The Commonwealth of Nations (India alone, is the 5th-largest economy by PPP in the world)
  5. A free trade deal with the EU, and although the EU economy has fallen from 13% of global GDP and is expected to fall to 8% of GDP by 2025 it’s still relevant to the UK economy.
  6. A free trade deal with the EFTA countries, some of which have spoken privately about joining politically with the UK, after Brexit. (A strength-in-numbers equation)
  7. Northern Ireland belongs to the British Royal Family (Northern Ireland was purchased outright in 1800 by King George III with the King’s own money and granted to his niece) but with the best of intentions and after having spent billions (perhaps even a trillion pounds?) on it since the year 1800, it’s time to return that jurisdiction to the Republic of Ireland. There was a time for British involvement in Northern Ireland but that time is now past. However, such a transition cannot be done in the middle of a fractious Brexit situation, it must be done without undue delay following Brexit. Any UK citizens living in Northern Ireland at the time of the changeover should be compensated (and of course) given the opportunity to move house to England, Scotland or Wales.
  8. Many more countries are lining-up to join The Commonwealth and want trade deals with the UK, post-Brexit. (Think; AU nations that aren’t already Commonwealth members, some Middle East countries, some Atlantic-facing South American countries, as well as some Indian Ocean island nations that aren’t already Commonwealth members) Which should provide trade opportunities and easier access to certain tropical paradise islands for Britons.
  9. With Brexit out of the way, the UK can determine its own immigration policy and do as Canada does, which imports skilled immigrants to ‘fill holes in the system’ but only where a Canadian isn’t trained or available to do that particular job.
  10. With Brexit out of the way, the UK can re-write its agricultural and fishery regulations for the benefit of Britons — and not for the benefit of the ‘five dairy cows in France’ or the thousands of EU fishing boat owners who ply UK waters scooping up kabillions of fish every year.

Three-Years of Economic Uncertainty, But Only Because the UK had an Uncertain Prime Minister!

For 3-years Theresa May argued with herself, with her Conservative party, with opposition parties, and with the EU, in an attempt to deliver a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, a Political Declaration, and a Joint Instrument (all of which weren’t on the June 23, 2016 referendum ballot) and in the end, just couldn’t get the job done.

“For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?”
 — 1 Corinthians 14:8

Not that it’s a military battle with the EU. Far from it.

But that point doesn’t make it any less an existential fight for the United Kingdom — as a foreign power (the EU) was (illegally, according to the UK’s constitutional documentation) handed some amount of UK sovereignty by British MP’s from a previous generation — and now, the EU (a foreign power and an economic competitor) continues to make the rules for the UK in many areas; Including labour law, fishery and agriculture regulations, European Court of Justice, Court of First Justice (now, General Court) and in other ways, UK sovereignty was given away for free to a foreign competitor power. Shameful.

Only in Britain could political leaders vote to give away the UK’s hard-won sovereignty, acting against the UK’s longstanding constitutional framework and pass it off to voters as ‘normal business’. It remains an unprecedented act in the history of free countries!

In countries like Canada, where the Constitution of the country was written in plain English expressly so that every citizen has the ability to easily understand it, such a thing would’ve never occurred.

Example: “The resources of Canada (underground, on the land, in the lakes, and in Canada’s territorial marine areas) are owned by the citizens of the country, and such resources are to be administered by the provinces on behalf of, and for the betterment of, the residents of each province.”

Pretty simple stuff. No loopholes there. And no citizen in Canada needs a constitutional scholar on hand to understand those simple and self-evident concepts.

But alas, there are 10 major things for UK politicians to accomplish first (post-Brexit) long before we can begin thinking about formalizing the UK’s constitutional framework and writing it out in plain English so every Briton can easily understand what belongs to the state and what belongs to individual Britons.

And based upon what we’ve seen since June 23, 2016, that’s probably a good thing.


How Many Billions of Pounds Sterling Have Been Lost in the UK Due to Economic Uncertainty Caused by the Overly-Extended Brexit Negotiating Process? (Which Ultimately Failed)

No one knows for sure, of course. And the organizations that do know aren’t going to publish those stats!

Will Philip Hammond the Remainer Exchequer admit that the overly-long Brexit negotiating process has cost the UK billions over the past 3-years? I doubt it.

How about the CBI, which receives millions in funding from the EU? I double-doubt it.

How about Remainers? Never.

So, we know there’s been a cost. Brexit could’ve been completed within a year and the uncertainty factor wouldn’t have lasted long, nor amounted to much. But those trying to quash the UK’s exit from the EU thought that if they kicked the can down the road long enough, the icky democratic referendum result would go away.

But it didn’t. In fact, voters came roaring back last week voting in the EU Parliament Election 2019 — and The Brexit Party (only weeks old!) sent 29 MEP’s to the EU Parliament — while the Conservatives lost 15-seats and are down to only 4 MEP’s. Labour retains the same number of seats (10) but with a smaller percentage of the popular vote.

Remainer politicians have cost the UK economy billions, but inexplicably, they think they’ll get re-elected at the next General Election!

IMHO, every obstructionist politician (anti-Brexit = anti-democratic) in the UK House of Commons will be tossed from power at the next General Election in no uncertain terms.

And astonishingly to some Remain MP’s — many of the people who will vote for The Brexit Party in the next General Election IMHO will be true British patriots who also happen to be Remainers — who’ve seen exactly what 3-years of uncertainty have done to the economy and that harm far and away surpasses the cost of any WTO-style Brexit!


Look What Came Across the Wires as I Finished Writing This Blog Post Today!

UK, Brexit, Opinium poll for The Observer posted in The Guardian June 1, 2019

A survey last week by Opinium suggests Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party would be only 20 seats short of a majority in a UK General Election with Conservatives reduced to only 26 seats in the House of Commons. Opinium poll for The Observer published in The Guardian June 1, 2019.

“According to a seat predictor by the Electoral Calculus website, the result would leave Farage 20 seats short of a majority, with 306 MPs. The Conservatives would be reduced to 26 MPs, suggesting they could be the minor party in a coalition with Farage.”The Guardian

The Case for an Incremental WTO-Style Brexit

by John Brian Shannon

Some 1013-days ago the British people voted to Leave the European Union, and 990-days ago Theresa May became Prime Minister of the UK with a promise to deliver Brexit for the British people. Pretty straightforward, so far. Right?

Ahem, yes, well; “That was then, and this is now,” you say.

Almost 3-years on from the UK referendum to Leave the EU; The UK is in turmoil, another UK civil war isn’t out of the question, British MP’s couldn’t be more divided, the recent series of indicative votes in the House of Commons was interesting, informative, but ultimately inconclusive, and EU leaders are making statements like, “I didn’t know I had this much patience,” and “There is a special place in Hell for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it safely,” which is a polite way for continental European leaders to say that the UK side hasn’t got its act together.

Yet, whatever the plan is, it is inching along — about half as fast as it needs to — but at least something is happening.

And, sometimes plans evolve. Which is what I think we’re seeing.


So, let’s review what we know about Brexit as of April 2, 2019:

  1. An EU Withdrawal Agreement / Political Declaration / Joint Instrument has been approved by EU and EC Presidents (but not ratified by any EU27 Parliament) and by UK Prime Minister Theresa May (but not ratified by the UK Parliament) and it has been rejected by British MP’s three times in a row due to the 185-page Irish backstop clause. And no matter how many times Prime Minister Theresa May presents her WA/PD/JI to British MP’s it will fail. There is no chance of it ever passing as it means giving up any chance for the UK to write its own trade deals forever… or for as long as the EU remains an entity. And, yes, the people presently running the EU are very nice people. But as history teaches us, nothing lasts forever. So, who in their right mind would give up some amount of UK sovereignty (the ability to write free trade deals) to a foreign power and an economic competitor foreign power at that? SHEER LUNACY! Anyone who thinks this is a good idea is insane. Or, they hate the UK and want it to fail.
  2. Another offer on the table from the EU is either a Norway-style (EFTA) deal (but that means allowing unrestricted immigration from EU27 countries) or a Canada-style free trade deal (CETA) which is a highly regarded international trade deal between Canada and the EU27. The only problem, is that Canada loves the deal and quickly ratified it, while the EU 27 countries haven’t ratified it and are cherry picking which parts of the CETA deal they want to be bound by. Not a promising model for the UK to follow! Perhaps an EFTA deal with a no-immigration clause might work, or a CETA-style deal that both the UK and the EU27 are obligated to ratify within 90-days or automatic cancellation occurs. Either of those choices might represent an acceptable compromise. But choosing a pure EFTA deal where the UK gives up its sovereign rights to control immigration to a foreign power that is also an economic competitor, is a non-starter. SERIOUSLY! No country would consider such an agreement (prior to the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ / Syrian civil war the leaders of Norway couldn’t have foreseen millions of Middle Eastern refugees streaming into Northern Europe) but since 2010, anyone who thinks open borders is a good idea is insane. Or, they hate the UK and want it to fail.
  3. The ‘elephant in the room’ has a bad reputation, but only because of the groupthink mindset in the UK Parliament. Three years ago, one person(!) said that a WTO-style Brexit would cause irreparable harm to the economy and everyone in Europe has accepted it as unquestioned fact and have been repeating it verbatim since. Yet, all those Project Fear stories that had boffins hiding under their beds failed to materialize, and there’s every indication that the economic uncertainty provided by the past (almost) 3-years of dithering has caused far more harm to the European economy than an early WTO-style Brexit could ever have done. Really people, study this stuff! It’s important! A WTO-style Brexit, done properly, could save everyone from themselves, which is what’s needed at this time.

Everyone, on all sides, are so dug-in to their positions that the only possible way out of all this groupthink is a novel approach. And this is the approach I will discuss below.


How to Plan a Successful WTO-style Brexit

The first thing we must acknowledge is that any WTO Brexit must work for both sides; There is no point at all in the UK trying to gain the upper hand, nor is there any point in the EU trying to out-negotiate Britain in a WTO-style Brexit scenario.

a) A WTO-style Brexit must work for both sides.

The second important thing is to choose an early date for the WTO Brexit, as every business and citizen in Europe have had ENOUGH @#$%# UNCERTAINTY!

b) Choose a firm WTO-style Brexit date that falls before May 22, 2019 to miss the EU Parliament election cycle.

Get your Sherpas to prioritize items to be negotiated in advance. Obviously, some parts of the UK-EU relationship are more important than others. Therefore, aircraft landing rights (for example) in each other’s countries would be more urgent for their respective economies than whether foods are marked as GMO or non-GMO — and yes, that’s important too, but not as important as keeping passenger aircraft fleets flying.

c) Prioritize each Brexit item and create one ‘Opportunity’ for each so-called ‘Problem’ in the UK-EU relationship — on a 1-for-1 basis

i) On Day-1 of a WTO-style Brexit, let’s say that both sides agree to keep the existing civil aviation agreements in place for 90-days, but that any new rules would be added to the agreement and automatically kick-in on 90-days+1. Easy!

ii) If shipping (both passenger ferries and freight shipments) are the #2 priority (let’s pretend they are) then on Day-2 of the WTO-style Brexit, both sides negotiate a new agreement, but for 90-days the existing rules and regulations continue to apply. So, 92-days later the new regulations (whatever they may be) automatically apply and are thenceforth implemented by both sides. Done!

iii) Now let’s say that Chunnel rail traffic regulations need to be reapproved, or need changes to the existing ruleset. Both sides could agree to keep the existing regs for 90-days+3. So, whatever those new Chunnel rules and regulations are, 93-days from the official WTO-Brexit Day the new regulatory environment goes into full and automatic effect. Couldn’t be easier!

iv) We’re on Day-4 of the negotiations and we know that in 94-days new food production regulations will kick-in, but for the first 90-days they will remain exactly as they are now. Whatever those new regulations are, food producers will have 90-days to adapt to the new regulatory regime (ostensibly to apply to the next growing season) and those new rules will automatically apply beyond 94-days from the official WTO-Brexit Day. Farmers and Ranchers will thank you for the advance notification!

v) On Day-5 of negotiations, an Auto Pact (that’s a term used in North America, but call it whatever you want) could be arranged. And again, no changes to the existing agreements on vehicle trade between the UK and the EU for the first 90-days. But on Day-95 of the official WTO-Brexit date the new rules, regulations and standards would automatically apply and all European car manufacturers would need to comply with the new legislation. CEO’s from every manufacturer in Europe should be invited NOW to comment on what changes they’d like to see in the future trading relationship. BTW, let’s harmonize our financial incentives for new electric vehicle charging stations, for one, and harmonize our financial incentives to potential hybrid-electric vehicle purchasers, for two. Just two tiny examples of how the UK and the EU should be working together every single day of the year. So easy!

vi) Immigration is an important item (but not as important as international trade!) but by Day-6 of a WTO-style Brexit, immigration would by then rise to the top of the priority list. It’s so simple; Keep everything the same for 90-days and then on Day-96 of the WTO-Brexit the new immigration regime comes into force on both sides of the English Channel. How hard can it be? The UK wants full sovereign control over its immigration, as does the EU. And why not? That’s what real countries do. Obviously, EU people who live in the UK need a streamlined passport that they can order online in less than 5-minutes and pay a £100. fee. Likewise, UK people who live in the EU need a streamlined passport that they can order in 5-minutes and pay a €100. fee. All such expats would therefore have 90-days + 6-days to get ready and complete their 5-minute online application. Another so-called problem turned into a solution that makes politicians on both sides look brilliant! And all of it could be done on one super secure, mega-expat-website that both sides maintain. Expats on any continent never had it so good!

How different would Europe have looked to the world if this particular problem-solving / opportunity-based approach had been instituted beginning January 2017?

A full WTO-style Brexit would’ve been completed in 180-days!

How many billions of Sterling and Euros that HAVE ALREADY BEEN LOST due to the almost 3-years of economic uncertainty WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN LOST had the incremental WTO-style Brexit method been employed?

Instead of making Brexit part of the problem… UK and EU politicians should’ve been making Brexit part of the solution… towards a fairer, more secure, and more egalitarian Europe.

A Europe that respects ‘the other’ — not only in word but in deed — and gives proper place to the reasonable, legitimate, and sovereign concerns of modern-day nation states on both sides of the English Channel will enjoy ever more respect in the global family of nations.

Reach out to each other my European friends, for that ideal future is still within your grasp!