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“GLOBAL BRITAIN” struggles to materialise

“GLOBAL BRITAIN” struggles to materialise

The trade deals that the UK Government has so far concluded with non-EU countries, will not for many years compensate for the loss of European Markets. London believes that the principal advantage of Brexit, is that it will empower the UK to be more open to trade with the wider world.
To date the UK has signed some 22 trade agreements with 50 countries, accounting on current figures for approximately 8% of British exports. Negotiations are ongoing with a further 16 countries including Mexico, Turkey and Canada, which probably accounts for a further 7% of British exports.

Last year the EU was Britain’s largest trading partner by far, representing 43% of exports and 52% of imports of the UK as a whole. Moreover, unlike other main economic sectors, the financial services of the City of London have been excluded from the main UK-EU trade negotiations. The EU rejected UK’s proposals to include a detailed financial services chapter in any final trade deal.

That exclusion of financial services from current negotiations has left many banks and other firms to make their own plans. Many think “something will come along at the last minute”. But that ‘last minute’ is fast approaching.

Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that it would set up a ‘hub’ in Paris to ensure it could continue to trade European equities, if there is no deal. In the event of no last-minute deal, the UK economy will struggle in 2021 to compensate for the loss of access to the EU market.

21 Nov 2020

HUNGARY AND POLAND VETO EU’S BUDGET AND COVID RECOVERY

HUNGARY AND POLAND VETO EU’S BUDGET AND COVID RECOVERY

The move by Budapest and Warsaw was hardly surprising. The two governments have been fighting a long and protracted battle with Brussels against the EU’s Rule of Law mechanism.

In April 2019 the EU Commission in Brussels in response to a wide-ranging debate amongst member states and especially following determined pressure from the EU Parliament, initiated action to strengthen the Rule of Law to uphold the fundamental rights and values of the EU. Something which the current governments in Budapest and Warsaw have been chipping away for several years much to the dismay of the majority of EU Member States.

Brussels is no stranger to serious disagreement between members whether it is about money or the fair distribution of refugees. In the end member states find a compromise.

This time it is clear there is little if any sympathy for Victor Orban the Hungarian right-wing populist prime minister, or the Polish string puller Jaroslav Kacryiski. The other 25 members are in no mood to compromise.

The mood of the EU Parliament is “that we owe it to the opposition and civil society in Hungary and Poland to insist that both countries adhere to the principles of the Rule of Law and the fundamental values of the EU”.

20 Nov 2020

NEW VIRUS IN BOLIVIA

NEW VIRUS IN BOLIVIA

COVID is NOT alone.

Researchers for the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found another virus spreading among humans – reports the Guardian of London.
They report the human to human transmission of a rare virus in Bolivia, which is believed to be carried once again by rats. It belongs to a family of viruses that can cause haemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola.

It is a reminder that Covid is not unique nor a one off.

Even while the world still battles the current pandemic, scientists around the world have repeatedly warned that our modern largely urban and inter connected world is wide open to another. We know only too well that rats have throughout history been the source of numerous plagues.
We know history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

20 Nov 2020