Brexit and Fair Trade

Like a lot of the information on still is either still under wraps or just not thought of yet, the effect of trade with the poorer nations seems to still be cloaked in secrecy.

At the moment we get fruit, coffee, chocolate and other items from these countries under a previously agreed deal with the EU. The current deal is such that small independent producers and communes don’t have to pay import tax of their products – result of which is both they profit, and we benefit due to lower costs.

Now, I’ll admit to the fact I didn’t actually vote for or against Brexit. To be honest I had no idea what Brexit meant, and that is still the case now; and I would think since there is no actual ‘deal done’ no one actually knows what Brexit means. Sure, Brexit implies that we want the ability to manage our own borders, make our own laws, and so on. But by all accounts this isn’t going to happen either straight away or actually ever happen again.

Some say, we might even be able to go back to selling produce in imperial measures again. Now, let’s face it the whole ‘metric’ thing was a completely half-hearted affair anyway – you can go to the pub and still order a pint, yet a short is no longer a 5th of a gill but that’s now metric. We drive on roads with sign posts in Miles, yet we put litres of fuel in and not gallons, put people still refer to a car’s Miles Per Gallon!

With the NHS now wanting to check the residency of patients in some hospitals we also have the issue of ‘proving’ who you are. I don’t have a new style driver’s license – my old style pink paper one is still valid, and unless I move or get points it’s valid for another 19+ years, I don’t have a valid , and the bills I do pay in the house are all on-line with no paper version.

Now the government did suggest id cards a while back, the rest of Europe have them and at the time it meant you didn’t need a passport to travel around Europe – you still don’t, once you get out the UK, but getting back into the UK might be an issue. In the UK it currently costs at least £72.50 to get an adult passport, which I now may or may not have to carry with me just in case I need to go to hospital – personally I object to the idea of having to get a passport to make an internal flight in the UK, or go to hospital – leaving the UK is one thing but if I stay in the UK, why should I now be forced to pay for a passport, yet it would seem more and more there are times now when I’m asked for one in the UK, but I digress.

Brexit seems to be happening, yet we still have no idea what that will and will not entail, or just how far reaching will this prove to be. Stick on the ‘visiting outside the UK’ theme, let’s look at the common method of flying. Now currently the three major manufacturers for commercial aircraft engines are General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Rolls-Royce (LON: RR) and Pratt & Whitney, owned by United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX). So, we could see a boom for Rolls-Royce or a dive depending on trade agreements, of shipping parts and raw materials. The knock on effect on this to airlines could be huge, then the of flying could jump sky high. The same can be said for the car industry, people’s European made cars could suddenly be very expensive to service, we could be forced to buy British – no wait there is no real English car manufacturing any more, even those that are assembled here have parts/engines etc. built elsewhere.

Costs of importing food would be effected, by increases in road haulage since parts for vans/ trucks/lorries get higher and higher, not counting fuel since we import most of this the cost of getting the fuel would go up, everything gets more expensive, and then the pound gets devalued and suddenly we’re facing hyper-inflation.

OK, this is pushing it to a worse case instance, but is it. In a Global survey of the most expensive places to live world-wide, they reported:-

Bournemouth & Dorset, UK: The area of Bournemouth & Dorset was called a “severely unaffordable” market in previous surveys, and in 2016 had a median multiple — or median house price divided by median household income — of 8.9. It even beat out the UK’s largest market, London, which also had a ‘severely unaffordable’ median multiple of 8.5 and has the world’s second worst housing bubble risk according to The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index.

Country wide the highest is reported as:-

  1. Switzerland – 126.03
  2. Norway – 118.59
  3. Venezuela – 111.01
  4. Iceland – 102.14
  5. Denmark – 100.60
  6. Australia – 99.32
  7. New Zealand – 93.71
  8. Singapore – 93.61
  9. Kuwait – 92.97
  10. United Kingdom – 92.19

So we are already number 10 on the list, please note that 3 out of the top four and Western European countries not fully inside the European Common Market!