16  July 2018






school photos







           All original writing

           2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,            2018        Ian McLauchlin



This was a comment in The Guardian newspaper recently (July 2018).

It’s a long list but that only supports the argument.

1. We are < 1% of global population (less without Scotland) To put things into perspective India produces more honours graduates than we produce kids.

2. Without the economic muscle of the EU we do not have the means to get good trade agreements (Trade Agreements are staggeringly complex legal documents. Signing them is easy, getting a good one is the trick and that takes time, a team of knowledgeable and experienced negotiators and economic muscle, all which we don't have). Non EU Countries are already pointing out we will NOT get as good trade deals as we get by being in the single market.

3. By abandoning the EU in favour of the Commonwealth we are leaving a market with an average income of $36,000 per person for one with an average income of $4,500 per person (13%). Hardly a route to prosperity.

4. We are not particularly wealthy (the UK is middle ranking in Europe in terms of GDP per person - 12th, nine of North Europe's top ten poverty spots are in the UK.)

5. We have a very poor GINI index (31.6, below the EU 28 average of 31.0) meaning what wealth we do have is not equitably distributed, lowering our desirability as a potential market.

6. We have relatively low disposable income (since most of our income is disproportionally swallowed up in housing).

7. The UK national debt is currently £1.8 Trillion - and growing. Hammond has admitted Brexit will incur £122 Billion (the current annual cost of the NHS) of EXTRA borrowing. (So no extra £350 million a week for the NHS there then.) Brexit is COSTING us £440 Million a week, so there is NO Brexit dividend.

8. We have low levels of productivity (We are 30% behind Germany and our productivity is even lower than France. We are 17% lower than the G7 average and work the longest hours in Europe in order to maintain our mediocre economic ranking.)

9. We have low levels of general education (Confirmed by the OECD)

10. We have no natural resources that anybody wants (What we have is coal which we can't mine profitably. We are not even self sufficient in oil or food.)

11. We have little world class manufacturing (and what we have is mostly owned outside the UK (e.g. Airbus, JLR, Honda, Nissan, Toyota) and will in any event decamp to the EU or elsewhere.) We are 18th in the EU in terms of percentage of employees in medium/high technology manufacturing. We even have to ask the Japanese and Germans to make our trains for us and the French and Dutch to make our passports.

12. Our one major industry is perceived by the rest of the world as a den of tax dodgers, bandits, charlatans and spivs (and will in any event largely decamp to New York, Frankfurt, Paris or Dublin if we leave the EU).

13. Our management class are amateur and our Directors and managers are among the least qualified and demonstrably most incompetent in Europe.

14. The UK did hold a lead in Life Sciences, but now the EMA is moving to Amsterdam the Pharma Companies have said they will follow, thus depriving the UK of one of the few industries where it was actually world class.

15. Our one strength (such as it is) is services, unfortunately the WTO does not cover services so we will be at a severe disadvantage outside of the EU trying to negotiate trade agreements. Also negotiating trade agreements in services is very complex, which is why there are not many in force at the moment. (It is even debatable if they can even sensibly exist outside of a structure like the EU with a supra-national legal framework and freedom of movement.)

16. Our infrastructure is dismal with years of gross underinvestment with the most over crowded roads in Europe and the most expensive (and the poorest performing) rail system in Europe.

17. Our electronic communication is prehistoric with patchy and poor quality mobile phone coverage, execrable mobile data coverage and pedestrian broadband speeds (Confirmed by the National Infrastructure Commission. We are in the bottom third in Europe.)

18. We have dismal investment in R&D (1.67% of GDP as opposed 3.0% of GDP in Germany. We are even below the EU 28 average of 2%.).

19. We are poor at exporting. Germany and France export significantly more than we do to China, so being in the EU is NOT a barrier to exporting, however our own rank incompetence most certainly is.

20. Our ability in languages is beyond pathetic, an essential skill if we are to export successfully.

21. Brexit has shown us to be unreliable, untrustworthy, duplicitous, incoherent, delusional and with a complete inability to deal with reality.