Thursday, July 28, 2016

Free to work and export: more reasons to leave the EU

It was right for Britain to decide to leave the EU but 48% of voters voted to remain. The Remain campaign’s half-truths and distortions convinced many.  The remain side of the debate ultimately lost the referendum because people were not convinced by their false claims. Here are couple of these half-truths summarised and refuted.

False claim 1. “We won’t be able to work in Europe any more”
It was claimed that the free movement of people would be lost and that this would mean that British people would no longer be able to work in Europe. But the free movement of labour (as opposed to the free movement of people who can settle and have rights to benefits) is unlikely to change. It will be up to our elected British government to negotiate. But even if it did you could still go and work there and also go and work in China or Australia if you got work and a visa, as you can now.  This is a total red herring.

False claim 2. “We need to be part of the EU for the sake of our exports, the EU is the largest trading bloc in the world.”

It was said to that we needed to be part of the EU’s single market because 44% of British exports were to the EU.  But 44% of exports is down from 54% 10 years ago and going down fast.  This means that looking to the future, the EU will become less and less important to our export trade.  And being a member of the EU means we cannot negotiate trade deals with the 56% of exports (i.e. most of the exports!) which are with countries outside the EU.  To remain in the EU would have continued to shrink our export market long term.

And  there is more: only 6% of companies in Britain trade with the EU but while we are in the EU 100% have to comply with EU regulations, even if these are different to the countries they actually trade with.  Leaving the EU will free our companies to trade more effectively and in many cases drastically reduced their budget for compliance.


There is still more: the EU is the only trading bloc in the world whose economy is shrinking. To put this in perspective, in 2013 the British Commonwealth's economy overtook the EU's economy. To stay trapped in the EU's customs union would have been to have our economy shrink with it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Terror, change and trust: a devotional.

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

England got knocked out of Euro 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU. We have a new Prime minister and a government cabinet. There have been acts of violent terror in the world including a massacre in Nice and violence possibly leading to war in South Sudan.

How are we to respond all this change, uncertainty and tragedy? It is with a sense of foreboding that we open the newspaper, turn on the TV or check our news feed. What shocking turn of events will greet us?  

No matter what the pollsters, pundits, and prognosticators claim, no one can accurately predict all that is going to happen in the next year, let alone the next few days or weeks. Our best forecasts are just educated guesses. How can face such an uncertain future?

Well, first we need to get our priorities right:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where you treasure is there your hear will be also. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Second, we need to trust God:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Matthew 6:34). 

Third, we need to set goals according to God’s direction--It’s foolish to make plans without first consulting God.


I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for . . . You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11,13). 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Brexit OK admits Bank of England

I think it maybe time now to revisit Brexit and talk about the effects on the economy of the decision to leave the EU.

First, the economy in general: in May  the governor of the Bank of England warned that Brexit was likely “to have a negative impact in the short term” but now Bank of England has reported that no such impact could be detected.  In particular although housing had experienced a dip it had proved more resilient that had been thought.

Second, unemployment: a total of 1.65 million people are unemployed, a fall of 54,000 over the quarter and 201,000 down compared with a year ago and an eight-year low, while the 4.9 per cent jobless rate was lower than any time since 2005.

Third, publicly trading companies: the FTSE index of the UK’s top 100 companies soared to an 11 month high this week.

There were plenty of good reasons for voting to leave the EU in the recent referendum.  But there were predictions of an economic meltdown from those campaigning to remain in the EU, including the Bank of England's governor. 

These predictions were false, wrong and misleading. Thankfully, the British public had more sense and voted for Brexit. Thank you.

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