The future of the Euro

Recently Mr Draghi, the outgoing President of the European Central Bank, gave a good lecture on the past and future of the currency he has defended and developed in recent years. He gave an honest account of the successes and failures of ECB policy and wider Euro policy by the EU since the foundation of the currency. He admitted that the EU had a bad banking crisis just like the USA and UK in 2008-9, but were slower to tackle the underlying weaknesses of their banks . He accepted that in its wish to be tough on inflation the ECB had been less helpful to output and jobs in the zone, with a measure of overdoing it. He rightly drew attention to the way unconventional measures including creating money to buy up government bonds saved the currency. He did not mention the Greek and Cypriot crises which are also an important part of the story.

The interesting thing he argued for the future was the need to create a “common fiscal stabilization instrument” as he thinks the overall fiscal stance of the Eurozone is too tight. His problem is that the countries that want fiscal expansion to boost their economies including Greece and Italy have very high levels of indebtedness which they cannot expand under EU rules. Mr Draghi recognises he cannot change these rules and maybe does not want to anyway. Meanwhile Germany with capacity to expand its spending, cut its taxes and borrow a bit more, does not want to.

It appears that Mr Draghi is proposing a bigger budget at EU level with borrowing at EU level as well. If the EU had a balance sheet that can be expanded by borrowing to offset overall fiscal tightness across the zone as a whole, that would deal with Mr Draghi’s worries about policy stance. There would, of course, be arguments about whether the zone should do any such thing, and if it did where the money should be spent and on what. A suitable scheme might for example allow the EU to borrow substantial sums for infrastructure investment, and then to orient them to the  states in a weaker financial position or with lower incomes. This would provide a new mechanism to route some of the German surplus directly into the deficit states.

This is a big question for the incoming European Parliament and Commission. How far away are we from a bigger common EU budget, and a common EU balance sheet expanded to provide more demand and activity in the zone? Isn’t it a backdoor way to a transfer union?

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139 Comments

  1. Tabulazero
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Why should the Euro or the EU be of any interest to you ?

    You are leaving comes October 31st or even sooner.

    Goodbye.

    Reply Because we are still in the EU and expected to pay for it

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Just as the UK (and any business trading around the world for that matter) should follow what is happening in the USA, China, India, emerging markets and eslewhere. It is an elementary concern.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Difficult issues these, for the likes of you aren’t they

    • Andy
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      We don’t pay for the Euro.

      And we are not liable for any bailouts.

      Next.

      • ukretired123
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Andy and Tabulazero – some free Education for you to chew over and some gratitude would not go amiss:
        Who pays for this?
        Answer : We along with other non Franco-German countries stupid enough to let them carry on regardless.
        We have been subsidising Post-WWII Europe via payments to USA Marshall Plan and even without consulting the British people Douglas Hurd quietly wrote off Germany’s war debt extensive damage estimated at £3,600 Billion today.
        Even Alistair Darling had to help bailout the failing Euro secretly when he was the UK chancellor in addition to Tony Blair’s give aways even though we were not legally obliged to.

        We do not want to be forced to bail you and Europe out ever again.
        Thank you for your valued contributions to this very expensive, very taxing and intellectually challenging difficult question.

        • Andy
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          Don’t mention the war!

          Is your name Basil and do you run a hotel in Torquay?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Originally we were told that NOBODY would be liable for any bailouts, so from that point of view it would be perfectly safe to join in.

        This is from November 2010, oh how it brings back memories …

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2010/11/24/portugal-strikes-against-the-euro/#comment-38838

        “When the Maastricht Treaty was the subject of what passes for a public debate in this country, one of the many objections raised against joining a single EU currency was that we could end up having to bail out other countries.

        Oh, no, its advocates said, that’s completely wrong and misleading, because if you look at the treaty you’ll find that there are cast-iron “no bail-out” clauses built into it specifically to prevent anything like that ever happening.

        I remember reading letters in the national press saying that, and I recall that at least one of them was from a Tory MP.

        In those pre-internet days actually looking at an EU treaty to check something was nowhere near as easy as it is now – they’re here, made available on the EU’s website at taxpayers’ expense, although few taxpayers will ever look at them:

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

        But anyway in retrospect there would have been little point in doing so, as we now see that any treaty article which may become a serious obstacle on the path to a European federation is quietly forgotten, or cancelled by stretching the meaning of some other article beyond all reason, or simply broken.

        So, here we are now, we’re not even in the eurozone and yet we’ve been drawn into bailing out other countries as part of a “Save the Euro” exercise.

        And that which was once said to be clearly forbidden under the treaties has now become the norm, and accepted as such by the pan-EU political elite.

        Ministers in our government connive in breaches of crucial articles in a solemnly concluded treaty to which this country is a party, and MPs turn a blind eye.”

        And so forth.

      • sm
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Then why did the UK lend the RoI £3.1 BILLION in 2010?

        • Steve
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          sm

          Have we got it back ? if not we should call it in.

          Let them discover that insulting England costs them £3.1 bn.

        • Andy
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          The UK leant Ireland bilaterally – and through the IMF. (The IMF is not the EU). And we did it to help prevent Ireland’s economy collapsing. They have paid most of it back already – with interest.

          If Ireland’s economy had collapsed it would have had a devastating effect on many cross border businesses. So it was in our interest to make sure it didn’t.

          We lost no money. We have been paid interest. We helped stop an economy collapsing. And that helped not only them but our own people too.

          So what’s your problem?

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            Yeah! I have a customer who hasn’t paid my last two invoices. He wants to buy more stuff from me but hasn’t got any money. Should I lend it to him so he can pay my invoices?

          • NickC
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            Andy, Shouldn’t you be asking why Eire’s economy “had collapsed”? It wasn’t anything to do with the EMU (Euro) policy of the EU now would it? Yes it was actually.

            Eire is a sub-state of the EU empire, subject to the EU’s ideology and laws (Dec 17). Just as Eire was regarded as a “tiger” economy due to EU policy (especially “EU” money, some from the UK) so too the bust was due to EU policies. So we did help bail out the EU.

            Yet our money would have been more use directly helping out “our own people” hit by the bust in Eire. And why should the UK bail out the EU, and its satrapies, at all? You think their behaviour merits it?

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Our contributions pay for all sorts of things in EU land, you cannot be certain of what you say.

      • NickC
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Andy. The UK has helped to bail out Eire, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, and Portugal – mostly that was via the IMF, but some via the EU, or unilateral. All those sub-states of the EU required outside assistance specifically because of EU and EZ policies; and what they can do to help themselves is severely restricted – by the EU. If it’s our money to prop up an EU state, we’re bailing out the EU.

        JR did not say that we pay for the Euro, that’s your strawman. He said “we are still in the EU and expected to pay for it”.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero,

      Leaving? It remains to be seen. Remain voting grandee Lord Hague pushing for Remain voting Mr Hunt; leadership loser candidate Mr Stewart bigging up mass protests, Mr Hammond putting on the constraints… That this (public) situation still exists within the Conservative party indicates how far from clear it is that the UK is leaving and when. Uncertainty is still enormous and the Conservative party has not taken the opportunity to remove it during this leadership contest.

    • ChrisS
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Of course the future of the Euro is important to us

      The very future of the Euro is at stake if they can’t or won’t sort out the systemic flaws in the Euro system.

      If they don’t, when the currency inevitably fails it will have a massive effect on the whole world economy. That’s another very important reason why post-Brexit the UK re-orientates its trading policy by increasing trade with the rest of the world so we are far less reliant on trade with Europe as a percentage of GDP.

    • GilesB
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Even after the UK leaves, it will not be in our short-term interest for the Euro to collapse.

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        GilesB

        The collapse of the euro would be an absolutely fantastic thing….all enslaved member states would have to go back to their original currencies, which leaves the racist SNP in a bad position since they don’t have a currency.

        The euro’s collapse would also mean end of game for the EU.

        Result all round.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Tabul…..
      I’m interested to watch the stupidity of trying to make a success of a common currency where strong countries ie Germany & France (would have been UK) are expected to somehow balance with basket cases ie. Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland.

      At long distance I hope to live long enough to watch the breakdown and break up of the slave countries to the control of Germany and France. It has been on life support for too long.

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        I think you will live long enough to see the collapse of the EU. It’ll go down Berlin wall style.

        The franco german walloon empire is in trouble, and it knows it.

        With a bit of luck when it’s implosion goes exponential we will hear of EU leaders being caught red handed trying to do a midnight runner with the money.

  2. Pete S
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    The Dutch PM Rutte a few days ago, said there was no need for the UK to leave as closer union was abandoned in 2012. This is a blatant lie and I am amazed, it has not been picked up on. This leads to the Euro, which is discussed in depth by Modi; in his book ‘Euro -A tragedy’ . His conclusion is the inevitable, either a method is found to turn it into a true European currency or it will die. To be a true currency means closer union one way or another. It will mean the Germans stop being subsidised by the other countries and starting to shift it’s surplus to them. The problem being the Germans want to eat their cake but at the same time keep it whole. i.e. they will not want to send money to other countries, they enjoy their very undervalued Deutchmark.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      @Pete S: From his perspective, Rutte wasn’t wrong. He advocated, with over time some success, for changes which he thought (as an Anglophile) the UK would like (mainly to do with over regulating and ever closer union). Whether that should be a reason for the UK not to leave is another matter.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        PvL, maybe you should send Mark Rutte a copy of the “Five President’s Report” published in 2015 as that seems to disagree with him?

        https://ec.europa.eu/commission/five-presidents-report_en

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          @Know-Dice: True, but this is a report, not an agreed (let alone ratified) piece of EU treaty or law. Rutte uses the arguments in the way that fits his goal (keeping the UK inside the EU) and I happen not to share that goal even though I’m not desperate for the UK to leave either.
          The current Uk doesn’t really fit in the EU. It is interesting that the (minutes ago) proposed new candidate EC president Ursula von der Leyen saw the UK much as a spanner in the EU works, so she (personally) might support Brexit as well, whatever she can say in public of she becomes the new EC president.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            Pvl, I think I agree with De Gaulle, with his –

            “England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her interactions, her markets and her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions.”

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            @Know-Dice: Thanks for the quote from The Gaule, which I hadn’t seen before.

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        PvL

        We want to leave anyway, we’re sick of all the french pomp and ungratefulness.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          @Steve: if so, why is the UK stil so dis-united?

          • Steve
            Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            PvL

            It isn’t.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Steve….how can you say that? We have enjoyed close, nay affectionate, relations with our neighbours ever since we rescued them again.

          • Steve
            Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            Fred H

            So, Fred, would you describe attacks on British fishing vessels, attacks on British pensioners and burning of British livestock at Calais to name but a few examples, as affectionate relations ?

            Would you consider the threats made to this country especially over the last year or so as; ‘affectionate relations’ ?

          • Fred H
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            Steve…..sorry my poor sarcasm was lost on you. I’m with you all the way – and more!

      • NickC
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        PvL, Cameron did a “deal” with the EU before the Referendum. The main plank of which was to forego the “benefits” of ever closer union. Remains seem to have forgotten that’s what they were voting for.

        Anyway both Cameron and Rutte have totally failed – the EU is going full steam ahead on ever closer union, concentrating on the EU army at the moment. You are welcome to it; and thank God we’re leaving – I hope!

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: “ever closer union between the peoples of Europe”, part of the EU treaty preambles since 1957, is a vague slogan, a bit like “unity in diversity” and other creeds. For the forseeable future the EU will remain that hybrid construct with intergovernmental and supranational aspects. The intergovernmental aspect (i.e. the 28-soon 27 government leaders in the European Council) has been very much in the lead for more than a decade already, and with nationalistic populism on the rise is likely to become stronger.

          • NickC
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            PvL, “Nothing to see here, move along, please”. We’ve been had by that one before. Try another tack.

    • Pominoz
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Pete S,

      You are right – the end is nigh. Just not sure how soon ‘nigh’ is, but let the Germans and the French carry the can. It is not a UK problem as long as we get out cleanly and promptly.

      • Harka
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Bi bi pominiz..out you go..it won’t be clean but it will be prompt..guaranteed

        • Fred H
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Harka….thats such good news. I just hope your idea of prompt is quicker than mine.

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Pominoz

        Yeah, and next time around we shouldn’t get involved. Let them scrap it out between themselves.

        Particularly in the case of France – which sees it’s rescue as a national humiliation,….fine, next time ….not our problem.

        • NickC
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Steve, Exactly right. We need to copy the (first) Elizabethan’s – shrug off Europe, and look to the wider world. Whilst obviously keeping an eye out for the normal EU stab in the back, of course.

    • Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The whole EU scheme was to secure German living standards at the expense of everyone else. That is what Sir Richard Body was told (because after the war he was a very enthusiastically pro-EU) and it turned him into a Eurosceptic. ‘The points are set’ – it’s do or die for the EU. One country or fragmentation. Let’s pray for fragmentation so that our neighbours survive!

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Lynn

        Actually it was down to the the benelux mob and he of the griz nez avec le stupid hat, who came up with the concept while staying as guests in England during the war.

        NON !

        There’s gratitude for you.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Pete In other words, it’s all about Germany which is what a lot of us always thought it was. They couldn’t manage domination years ago but think this is the way now.

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Fed up with the bull

        If, this is your historical perspective, I wold recommend another reading of the history books?

        • Steve
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          HCI

          The fact that so much of other people’s money went into rebuilding Germany after the war says his perspective is entirely accurate.

          • hans chistian ivers
            Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            Steve,

            they have just been much better at it, since they finished than we have been, unfortunately, too bad about their sense of humour

          • Steve
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            HCI

            Oh indeed, they’re all liars. But the difference between a British lie and a european one is still discernible.

          • Steve
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            HCI

            The germans are recognised as lacking a sense of humour.

        • Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          It may be difficult for you to accept, Mr Ivers, but it is so. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to get on as neighbours now – but that doesn’t change history, and it isn’t a good idea to deny it.
          German history books may not give this perspective, of course.

          • hans chistian ivers
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            L Jones,

            As I am British and Danish I see both sides of the history , but tank you for sharing your perspective

          • NickC
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            Hans, You’re Danish and British?? Shouldn’t you have made up your mind by now? Ohhh . . . . . Being a Dane in Britain and selling us out to your foreign princes doesn’t make you British.

    • Andy
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      You seem to believe people are defined by the pictures on their banknotes. They’re not.

      No amount of ever closer union -monetary or otherwise – will stop the Germans from being German. It will not stop the French being French or the Italians being Italian.

      Brexiteers – who claim to be patriots – have so little faith in Britons that they think being in a friendly club of neighbours will stop us being British. I have more faith in my country than that.

      Having banknotes with the Queen’s head on them is not what being British is about. Our currency in its current decimalised carnation dates back to 1971 – making it slightly less historic than the Bee Gees.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        You do this a lot Andy.
        You start with a false claim and then build your post around it.
        Your first sentence is made up by you.
        Complete nonsense.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy, That is a strawman. Again. The (immediate) issue is not whether Germans will cease to be German, as you claim, but who controls, runs, makes policies for, and has power over, their country. Added to which neither they, nor we, can select and reject the government that has those powers. As EU politicians say – the EU is an empire. It may be more benign than the Roman Empire which it mimics, but it still requires obedience.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed and remember all the daft MPs and ex MPs who forced us into to the ERM disaster and wanted to join the EURO. They have not even said sorry yet have they!

      The Major, Clarke, Heseltine, Camreron, May, Hammond ….. types.

      The same ones who said leaving the EU (without May’s putrid hancuff deal) will be a catastrophe! Just leave the deals will follow where in the EU and UK’s mutual interests. Do or die as Boris puts it.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Andy could arrange for them to be put in jail – he seems to know about laws no-one else does.

    • acorn
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      I may have said before on this site that the EU introduced the common currency far to early; a cart before the horse job. The Euro common currency needs a common taxation system to make it work; and, not just needed by currency users to pay their taxes. It will have to mimic the US federal fiat currency system to survive. My first move would be to convert the ECB into the Euro Central Treasury; the Euro currency issuer.

      US citizens pay circa 33% of their income in taxes. 16% to the federal treasury and 17% to State and Local government treasuries. The federal treasury does the transfers from the richer states to the poorer states via Congress. The EU has no such mechanism.

      The nearest thing the EU has to a federal tax is Customs duties (ie; own resource) plus, the fees, charges, penalties etc it collects; totaling circa a quarter of its budget. That budget being circa a mere 1% of the 28 member states GNI.

      The UK is one of the outlier examples of federal state local tax system splits. Of the UK total tax take; 39.4% of GDP, the federal taxes equivalent is circa 93% against the equivalent state-local taxes of 7%. Now you know why local government doesn’t work and local democracy is a joke.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Acorn said [the EU budget is] “a mere 1% of the 28 member states GNI”. You have been told frequently that this is misleading and why. The EU makes the policies and the laws, and the sub-states dance to the EU’s tune (Dec 17 etc).

        Therefore a sub-state’s taxes are spent under EU “guidance”. And the sub-state’s civil servants are therefore (largely) working for the EU’s policies. The cost of so doing must be added to the illusory “1%” to obtain a fair figure.

    • Steve
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Pete S

      “This is a blatant lie and I am amazed…”

      Why?

      It came from a European politician, so is expected to be a lie.

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Steve,

        Dos that go for all European politicians? (Both British and Continental)?

  3. Mick
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    The future of the euro is like the future of the Eu I for one don’t give a fig if they both go down, all that would happen is the country’s in the Eu would have start using there own currency again, I see Bercow stopped grieve and his Europe loving chums from putting another spanner in the works, why as the whip not been removed from all these anti democracy muppets who are clearly against Great Britain but for there beloved Europe, I’ve said it before if they don’t want to live in a free democratic country then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Europe bye bye you’ll not be missed

    • hans chistian ivers
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      MIck,

      thank you for your very valuable contribution, I feel so enriched when as both a European and British having read your contribution

      • graham1946
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        You have the cheek to criticise Libertairian for the tone of his posts. What has this one added to the sum of our knowledge? Mick has his views and are as valid as anyone else’s. You do write some rubbish sometimes but always with a sense of superiority air.

  4. Dominic
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Why should German taxpayers finance the wasteful spending of the Italian state?

    Why should German taxpayers finance the excessive pensions of Greek OAPs?

    Each nation state should take total responsibility for their spending. They should also reform their nations to

    You make reference to more transfers. What does that achieve except lift the pressure to reform from Southern EU states. Maybe this dependency on the German taxpayer gives the Germans huge leverage over the political actions of Italy, Greece, Spain etc

    A transfer union (EU direct taxation and EU debt) would be the death knell of all EU member states as nations. It would signal the end of fiscal autonomy for EU member states

    Germany would then be able implement total control over the entire EU region

    Maybe, Germany and the EU prefer to see financial strife as it affords weaker nations no choice but to turn to Germany, affording Germany leverage akin to a loan shark threatening one of his customers

    Debt is selling your soul to the devil. The Italians chose the easy route (German debt) and forgot to build up their economy in the way the UK did. Now, the UK will be able to maintain independence
    . We don’t need German cash

    Independence is a prize worth fighting for. Dependency is slavery, just ask the Greeks

  5. agricola
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The EU need to take financial control of all national budgets. In effect turning nations into states of the EU. They would then have the same level of financial control as pertains in the USA & UK. The big question is are the member nations prepared to hand over financial control to the EU. For many different reasons I doubt it.

    Even though we are leaving it should concern us as EU financial instability is bad for trade and ultimately causes political unrest. We saw where that led last century , the very antithesis of what the EU claims to be about. Lets hope for everyones sake they get it right.

    • agricola
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      PS
      Read Bob Lydden on the subject in Brexit Central who has calculated the level of EU debt at €.1 Trillion. This is the amount the wealthy nations need to transfer to the impecunious within the EU. The implications for the UK remaining in the EU are financially horrendous. A compelling reason for completing Brexit by end October latest.

    • Lazlo
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      agricola- what trade are you referring to- there will be no WA therefore there will be no new FTA with them. Your new trading partners are most likely to be with some of the emerging nations in Africa and the Caribbean just like back in the old days. After yesterday’s disgraceful performance by your English MEP’S in the new EU parliament, I can’t see things happening differently. So only eleven more days of EU parliamentry sessions to go and you’ll all be out. Theres not a snowballs chance in hell that it can finish up any other way now.

      • agricola
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:42 am | Permalink

        Don’t put money on it. Talk to those who run the German, French, Italian ,and Spanish vehicle industries plus all the European food industry before making silly predictions.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Lazlo, Is the EU a state? If it is not, there was no “disgraceful performance by [UK] MEPs”, if the EU is a state you have proved our point.

  6. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Would a future transfer union by the backdoor be such a bad development?
    After all, in the end, future German or Dutch export successes will to some degree also depend on more wealth in other parts of the EU, both in eastern and southern parts of it. As for most developments a sufficient measure of consensus will have to emerge, it will all go rather slowly.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      PvL – Unfortunately for German (& the Netherlands) it’s more than likely going to drain wealth from both those countries i.e. a race to the bottom rather than motivate those countries that currently receive more from the EU than they pay in – 19 countries out of 28…

    • Richard1
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      It’s an excellent idea and essential if you wish to pursue currency, fiscal and political union. It also means you need to move real democratic accountability to the level of the EU. No reason not to do that so long as people want to be part of an EU political union- as for example the people of Scotland have chosen to be part of the UK political union. They have a currency union with the UK and also fiscal and political union and of course transfers.

      If on the other hand what you want is what has been voted for in the UK- friendly relations, cooperation on all sorts of areas and free trade then it’s not a good idea and will lead to discontent.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      In other words “future German or Dutch export successes will to some degree also depend on more wealth in other parts of the EU…”

      In other words a form of indirect vendor financing-you have to give them handouts or extend-and-pretend loans so that they can buy your stuff.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        do you mean like Greece getting a massive bail-out to continue buying German cars and Italian white goods?

        • Mitchel
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          In effect yes!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      So your quite happy to pay for the profligate behaviour of the Southern Europeans.
      Giving them money to buy your product s.
      The Tier2 payments to Germany will never be paid off.

    • NickC
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Voting Remain was a vote to make us all poorer in the UK. You can see that from the impoverishment of southern EU which – oddly? – you fail to admit.

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        We are the bottom of living standards in western Europe so your statement just covers us as well, so why mention it?

        • NickC
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Hasns, But not in the whole of the EU. So why do you just mention “western Europe”? And don’t forget that your claimed relative poverty for the UK happened whilst we were in the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Wow. Weird economics here. The reality is that there is no economic case for Brexit. None. Any possible flicker of economic benefit has long since gone. Every Brexit scenario leaves us poorer for the rest of your life and beyond.

        You mention Southern Europe – and it is true there are problem. Greece is still a basket case economy. Italy has debt problems. Spain has youth unemployment issues – though some of this is down to the unusual way it measures the statistics. But Greece and Spain are getting better. Yes, it is slow but then this was the worst global financial crash in 80 years.

        But beyond those three countries your criticism does not hold up. Why do you not mention all the other EU countries – many of which are doing really rather well? More to the point if the problem was entirely the EU why do the problems you complain about only affect a few countries and not all of them?

        • Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Andy – perhaps you could educate us by giving us more information. ”… many of which are doing really rather well….” – for example? And if they (comparatively) are ”doing really rather well” is it because of your EU, or in spite of it?
          That you can mention three major countries so dismissively as having problems suggests callousness. To suggest that the very real plight of the unemployed in those country is merely due to a manipulation of statistics also suggests you are very blinkered.

          But – haven’t you yet noticed? Brexit is NOT all about trade and how much poorer you might personally be? I’d rather my children were poorer and yet free (though I believe they will be richer AND free when we escape your poisonous, self-interested EU).

          • hans chistian ivers
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            we were poorer even before so more nonsense

        • Gareth Warren
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          The ECB has been going on a spending spree buying bonds and ever poorer quality assets to prop up values, while Japan is ahead at least they have a clear debtor.

          The word has already been mentioned that will replace the EU’s UK contributions, debt.

          I expect article 50 will be rewritten, so future nations will be saddled with a ever increasing debt load for whatever flim-flam the EU builds. The UK will have gotten itself a good deal by leaving early, and the Donald is unhappy with German exports.

          This reminds me of the 80’s with Japan, the US is not a fan of competition, the Germans saddled with the regulations and costs of the EU will be asked to take fairer trading terms.

          I do wonder where the Japanese and ECB money printing is going, I do expect a brief “happy time” though when they first start borrowing (which is the same as printing – expanding the money supply), after that the consequences bite.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          Not poorer Andy.
          The 15 year guess into the future by the Treasury says growth will carry on.
          So we will be better off.
          They claim the rate of growth will be marginally less.
          Mind you, a good leader backed by sensible economic decisions could lead to even better outcomes.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          Andy….’you not mention all the other EU countries – many of which are doing really rather well?’

          Take a look at the list by GDP, the majority are tiny by comparison to the largest few. Why do we need to talk about them?

  7. Shirley
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    If I understand correctly, we had a veto against bailing out EZ economies, and the EU changed the rules to overcome our veto, by replacing EZ bail outs with ‘loans’, against which we had no veto.

    These ‘loans’, are underwritten by the members of the EU, in other words we act as guarantors to the loans we are making. Novel, eh? It’s usually the borrower not the lender that produces a guarantor. In the event of default, those making the loans ‘repay’ them themselves. This is typical EU manipulation and they will make 100% certain that the UK is liable in the event of the EZ needing more money.

  8. formula57
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    “…Mr Draghi, the outgoing President…” – his departure is a major blow to the Euro and the whole Evil Empire.

    When history is written, Mr. Draghi will be seen to have done more than anyone to support the Euro and with great dexterity, not least in flexibly interpreting the mandate and powers of the ECB to overcome the maladroit actions of many member states. He will be missed.

  9. Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Dressing up centralised borrowing and redistribution as a way to help inflate indebted countries disguises the real intent here. It is so much more than that – It is in line with giving more power to Brussels, and would move the EU a big leap forward (or should that be backwards) towards the old USSR style of government.
    It would take more power away from national governments, and effectively reduce their capabilities.
    I don’t believe Draghi was being particularly innovative here with this idea – He was just doing what all EU elites try to do, and that is to move national governments out of the equation and centralise decision making

  10. David in Kent
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    While places like Greece and Italy enjoyed being able to borrow money cheaply it was unfortunate that they spent it on importing German cars rather than on infrastructure which would pay a dividend. For them now to leave the Euro would leave them with huge debts to be repaid with devalued Drachma. While the Germans have posted huge trade surpluses with undervalued currency their real gains have been political but that can only be consolidated with a transfer union. Perhaps it is understandable they resist that idea and want to continue to have their cake and eat it.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      After years of corruption and decline the Greek economy is reporting growth. Who would have thought it? Gain after pain!

      • Andy
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        When were you last in Greece ??

      • Edward2
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        So in favour of austerity Margaret?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        margaret…..well they have the sun and islands for tourism, but thats about it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Fred

          When you compare them to what they had before they are thriving. No doubt that’s why they keep voting for pro EU governments.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:05 am | Permalink

            You think high levels of unemployment and even higher levels of youth employment is OK?

    • NickC
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      David in Kent, Target2 is the proto transfer union.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Certainly yet another good reason for the UK to leave as soon as possible.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Another two big questions.
    Could a worse mess have been made of Europe?
    Could the European people have been worse treated?
    “ As flies to wanton boys etc “ except of course in our case its all about the money!

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Everhopeful

      “Could a worse mess have been made of Europe”

      Really? Could you explain to us then how, after the devastation of WW2, 28 countries have managed to turn the EU into the world’s wealthiest, largest trading bloc? And why be begged to join it 50 or so years ago after our own efforts to create trading blocs like EFTA or the commonwealth failed so miserably in comparison?

      And why countries are queuing up to join it?

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        The UK was the 3rd largest economy in the world in 1975 when we were conned into joining the, now, eu. We are now 6th … thanks eu … for nothing.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        margaret….could it be the handouts? and forced trading with EU?

      • Steve
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        MH

        “And why countries are queuing up to join it?”

        They are not. In fact more countries want to leave it.

        “And why be begged to join it…..”

        I’ve told you this before; We beg no one. You might be content with being a beggar, but that’s your problem.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

          Steve

          “I’ve told you this before; We beg no one.”

          1967: De Gaulle says ‘non’ to Britain – again

          The French President, Charles de Gaulle, has for a second time said he will veto Britain’s application to join the Common Market.

          news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/27/newsid_4187000/4187714.stm

      • Edward2
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        The war ended in 1945 Margaret..
        The EU and its 28 nations didn’t start until the 1990s

    • Andy
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Could a worse mess have been made of Europe?

      Let’s dissect your claim.

      Every EU country is, per capita, in the richest third of countries in the world. Even the poorest EU country – Bulgaria – is richer than two thirds of countries.

      The EU as a whole has an economy of comparable size to the US. Some economists say the US is slightly bigger, some say it is slightly poorer.

      Life expectancy in the EU is higher than the US – and is rising. Life expectancy in the US has fallen in recent years.

      Infant mortality is lower in the EU than in the US.

      Society in Europe is more equal than in America – workers and consumers enjoy more rights.

      And, thanks largely to the EU, western Europe has been at peace for nearly 75 years. And the peace dividend has spread democracy and prosperity.

      Of course, we can always do better but your whole premise is basically flawed.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Andy…..western Europe has been at peace for nearly 75 years.

        Perhaps Germany not invading the rest after 2 defeats has had something to do with it? No other country tried invading its neighbours.

        • formula57
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, and NATO might have helped a bit, even though it was only formed in 1949 so not available for the whole 75 year period

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          Reminds me of the famous Blackadder quote:

          ” George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think that we can be entirely absolved of blame on the imperialistic front.”

      • BillM
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Actually the EU and the USA have very similar life expectancy figures and only Belgium features in the top 5 of wealth per capita (Probably due to the fees charged to Brussels and NATO) . And on that subject we can thank the forces of NATO who were created long before the EU for “Peace in Europe” not the useless EU. What about the EU’s distinct lack of involvement in Kosovo and Bosnia? And their interference in the Ukraine that created another confrontation with Russia? And this was a good move by Brussels?

        If it is so perfect why is the European Union model not replicated across the Globe? Of course it was a while back when the USSR was still pretending to be a union too but since then – ziltch. Nobody else wants that model it is so 1950s.

      • Steve
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “And, thanks largely to the EU, western Europe has been at peace for nearly 75 years.”

        So, according to you, the Bulgarian and Greek nuclear deterrents kept the soviets at bay during the cold war, and soviet attempts to penetrate NATO airspace were thwarted by the Luxembourg airforce.

        Moreover, with Lichtenstein’s successful detonation of the hydrogen bomb, the soviets were very worried.

        You might also note – the EU did not exist 75 years ago, fool.

  13. mickc
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    There will only be “closer union” in the EU in that greater law making power will accrue to the Commission.
    Germany will never agree to any form of fiscal union or transfer mechanism.

    • NickC
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      MickC, I echo your hope. Because hope is all it is. The German people won’t be told. It will happen.

  14. Dominic
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    nm

  15. Barbara Castle
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Successive UK Parliaments have acted like the gullible fools in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. Their pride and vanity committed the UK to paying obscene amounts of money for a version of the magic clothes, i.e. an illusion which can only be seen by the “wise” people, aka the elite establisment.

    The pattern the political weavers are following is the Lisbon Treaty, and slowly, but surely the illusion of a garment is being created, however, just like the fairytale the fine clothes don’t really exist, whilst Parliament has refused to admit its stupidity.

    Finally, the UK “child” has blurted out that all is not as it seems, but the procession continues regardless.

  16. Kevin
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    This post seems to give credence to the idea that we are dependent
    on philosopher-kings who manage our economy, however imperfectly. No
    mention is made of the national character of the peoples of Europe – of their
    moral strength. Perhaps we have ridden the economic storm because, for ten
    years, the people have endured high-level policy, rather than benefited from it.

  17. ChrisS
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Having been in the financial services sector for my whole career I’ve always been fascinated by the development of the Euro. It has survived against the odds thus far but how long can it carry on ?

    When it was launched, we warned that it was fundamentally flawed, having aspirations towards being a reserve currency to rival the US dollar but without a transfer union to sustain it.

    Today the Euro is one of the four major reserve currencies ( the others being the Dollar, Yen and Pound ) however, it is way behind the dollar in importance, although ahead of the Yen and Pound.

    Without a full-blown transfer union the stresses and strains can only increase. Germany and France have set bad examples from day one, breaking the Euro rules every year, seemingly without any sanctions being imposed while other countries like Italy and Greece are pilloried for doing the same !

    To keep balances in check without a transfer union, the architects of the currency set the rules so that countries should not have a trade surplus or deficit of more than 3% of GDP.
    Twenty years on, Germany has a trade surplus almost three times that figure and exports almost twice as much to other EU countries than its nearest rival, the Netherlands.

    By contrast, France has a trade deficit of well over 3% of GDP

    These strains cannot continue indefinitely, yet Germany consistently refused to contemplate the massive fiscal transfers that are needed to make the currency sustainable.
    Put simply, German taxpayers will never agree to countless billions of their Euros going South to the Clubmed and former Eastern Bloc countries every year.

    Yet, without a fundamental rethink, the future for the single currency is gloomy, to say the least

  18. heavenSent
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Ah look! this European thing is only in its infancy, and I’m sure there’ll be many more upsets along the way-but have to say I believe it is much more than about money- more like a bunch of mostly like minded countries clubbed together for many reasons- but for good reasons- like sharing the ‘Four Freedoms’ that will allow easier movement of people and freer trade to grow. If UK doesn’t want to be part of it then that is OK too- it is not a prison- and I’m sure there will be others along the way who will like to depart, maybe Hungary or even Italy for different reasons? but there will then be those lined up who will like to join- So no need to be angry about this- just leave. And speaking for for myself I’m glad that I’m on this side of the fence and not living in your place- but anyway hope it works out- fingers crossed for 1st November

  19. agricola
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    So Jeremy Corbyn is getting upset because unidentified civil servants have been suggesting that he is physically not up to the job of PM should he find himself there.

    If proved it is yet another example of Civil Servants taking a political lead just as they have done over Brexit. Nothing new you may say.

    If you wish to seriously question the suitability of Corbyn and many of his Shadow Cabinet to take charge of the country look no further than the real elephant in the room, national defence and security. I am willing to bet that the security files on (some? ed)of these people occupy considerable shelf space. Never mind their financial proflegacy and LaLa land economics, their greatest danger is to UK security.

    • agricola
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      What is contentious about this long overdue for moderation.

  20. Norman
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I visited Communist Romania – the people were tragically enslaved to an evil ideology, and dissenters could be brutally incarcerated.
    Now, a professional I recently spoke to said half his country worked abroad, whilst many at home were very poor, especially the old. He also said the politicians were corrupt, and many now believed that, they would be better under the Communists, where they at least had a job, somewhere to live and food to eat. He would have been a toddler when the regime fell, and has no real knowledge what it was really like.
    To me, the sad thing is that the embrace of the EU does not seem to have helped the agrarian countries of S E Europe and I feel so saddened to see countless Romanians and Bulgarians humiliated to washing our cars, and nobody seems to care. This is a tragedy, and a more enlightened Europe would do something about it – one good reason to think beyond Brexit. Perhaps there are already some good initiatives going on there – I certainly hope so.

  21. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The idea of spending billions on infrastructure sounds laudable, after all if a new airport is built it must add to the GDP of the area the logic goes.

    However, in the real world two airports at least in Spain and Greece used billions of EU development money and then cost the local government more than they produced in revenue, ie a loss for many years.

    At a EU level this cargo cult approach to building prosperity sucks the economic life out of prosperous regions to artificially inflate the prosperity of poorer regions. Instead we should have a demonstrated need and at least a proportion of private money to at least tell us the market thinks the investment is a good idea. Our HS2 investment has dubious benefits for the cost, personally I could support it if it were faster like a hyperloop, but not if the entire effort takes 30 mins off journey times.

    I do wonder where the EU bond buying ends, they appear to have overtaken Japan in some respects, I keep away from both currencies for similar reasons.

  22. Kenneth
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The point at which the Eurozone becomes a transfer union, is the point of no return where it effectively becomes a country in its own right.

    Many in the richer countries (especially Germany) are watching this like a hawk and, for this reason, the stealth approach which has worked hitherto may not work here.

    No, this issue will come to a head at some point and thus I feel that a “back-door” approach will not work. The decision will need to be made in the open.

    My guess is that the question will never be asked for fear of bringing the whole house of cards crashing down. There are plenty doing well out of taxpayer money and they may wish to continue treading water as long as they can.

    • Andy
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      The EuroZone is already a ‘transfer union’ it is just most of ’em haven’t noticed. That is what Target 2 is doing.

      You have to hand it to the Continential Europeans: they certainly know how to create a mess and seem to be able to do so consistently. They are not so hot at sorting the mess out and the Euro is no different to the usual form.

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy,

        Please, explain the messy message as it makes very little sense

        thank you

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth

      “My guess is that the question will never be asked for fear of bringing the whole house of cards crashing down”

      Meanwhile we are in the danger of being reduced to a rump with both Scotland and Ireland likely to leave and join the EU as independent members making us about as important in world affairs as Liechtenstein.

      And undergoing a process where 160 000 members of the tory establishment are electing a new prime minister for us and likely lumbering us with a man like Boris, the laughing stock of the world.

      Not forgetting that the euro has replaced the £ as the world’s reserve currency after the $ while the pound is dropping like a stone.

      Happy days!

      • Edward2
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Some rump.
        England has over 85% of the population.
        Over 85% of the wealth and tax revenue.
        I note you have not mentioned Wales again.
        Or that there is no majority for independence in Scotland nor Nortgern Ireland.
        PS
        The pound isn’t dropping like a stone.

  23. ukretired123
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Tabulazero – some free Education for you to chew over and some gratitude would not go amiss:
    Who pays for this?
    Answer : We along with other non Franco-German countries stupid enough to let them carry on regardless.
    We have been subsidising Post-WWII Europe via payments to USA Marshall Plan and even without consulting the British people Douglas Hurd quietly wrote off Germany’s war debt extensive damage estimated at £3,600 Billion today.
    Even Alistair Darling had to help bailout the failing Euro secretly when he was the UK chancellor in addition to Tony Blair’s give aways.
    We do not want to be forced to bail you and Europe out ever again.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      We’ve never bailed out Europe. In fact we received nearly three times as much Marshall plan money than Germany did.

      And the Douglas Hurd story comes from the Daily Express and if you read it properly it refers to so-called war reparation claims and has nothing to do with money owed

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 2:07 am | Permalink

        Failing to mention that our aid was a loan we paid back with interest.

  24. Christine
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    EU Press Release from January 2019 – “The Commission now calls on EU Member States, the European Parliament and all stakeholders to engage constructively in a debate on QMV in EU tax policy, and to define a timely and pragmatic approach for its implementation.”

    So, countries will lose their veto on tax policy. How long before Brussels demands all tax revenue is collected and distributed by them? Once they control the money, national parliaments become redundant.

  25. David B
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    This goes straight to the heart of what the Eu (or in this case the Eurozone) is. One of the reason we in the UK dislike the Eu so much is we think of it as an economic block that has political aspirations (and interference). Many of the EU’s appointed political representatives and officials think of the EU as a fledgling country which is being achieved through economic integration.

    The Eu (through the Eurozone) has full control of monetary policy. This proposal is the start of taking full control of fiscal policy. That makes the EU a good old fashioned European Empire and all European Empires dissolve into armed conflict!

    We should all be afraid of this naked ambition because

  26. ferdinand
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Signor Dradghi must recognise that if ever there was a time for all European nation states to float their own currencies it is now. In months all the pressures would balance out. For how long can this logic be resisted ?

  27. Ian
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Someone called Hammond is all over the MSM with the headline that a clean-break Brexit will cost £90billion.

    Then it is rephrased in the main content to say ‘could’ but no mention of what could cause that to happen and over what period of time. In other words Hammond hasn’t a clue!

    In all probability, just like the Hammond guess, the UK economy will take off. Although not so much of a guess, as it was said voting leave would hurt the UK, when in reality the UK is growing faster than the EU because we voted leave

    The real damage to the UK economy is we still haven’t left and its holding things back. Get it done!

    • hans chistian ivers
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Ian,

      We do really all wish you are right but that is very doubtful looking at the economy today with no growth

      • Ian
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Hans,

        I am aligned to the Building sector usually seen as a barometer to the health of the UK economy.

        Individual well-established companies have been reporting year on year growth in excess of 20%. The overall performance index for the year to date for April (the latest figures available) show 5.4% increase for the industry as a whole.

        Investment by individual companies with a 50% split UK and Foreign this year alone has shown multimillion pounds being spent on their future in the UK.

        You may have let the Auto Industry problems blur your view, Phillip Hammond has done all he can and quiet aggressively to push the industry into recession. Please bear in mind the UK’s largest motor manufacturer in is Aston Martin, all the rest are foreign with different home market pressures and contributing to the exchequer in their home land .

        Also bear in mind the CBI is a political entity made up of foreign companies(UK companies have mostly left) most of whom are looking for a free ride (tax breaks) and are nervous in case it is suggested that they should trade on the same basis as UK companies. One mans handout is another cost, in business it is the bigger you are the more you are given by the taxpayer.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Hans, UK economy with “no growth”? As usual you are wrong. Expected growth “today” (ie forecasted for the present year 2019) is EU = 1.5% and UK = 1.8%.

  28. Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    ”If the EU had a balance sheet………..”

    Hold that thought……..

  29. BillM
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    The future of the Euro is solely in German hands. They are the ONLY Nation who can prop it up or bring it down. If Germany, with its near total reliance on Exports, fails then ALL the Euro dominoes will fall.
    Exports are falling now in Germany and with so much debt hanging around in the euro-zone the only way our is to abandon the Brussels capital ship and take to the rafts of National currencies again! Thank goodness Gordon Brown did one this right.

  30. Paul
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I tend to believe Brown realised politically there was no way he could get joining the Euro through without a massive backlash from the public so came up with an excuse not to do it rather than any great stroke of financial genius

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