Saturday, 11 February 2017

Not looking on the bright side



That left-leaning discussion on European populism on last night's Newsnight was followed by more of the usual negative stuff about Brexit, this time trying to show up the Leave campaign's claims about German motor manufacturers.

Emily Maitlis got the ball rolling:
 "Don't worry, if Britain leaves the European Union then German car manufacturers will make Angela Merkel give us a good deal". That claim was made time and time again during last year's EU referendum. The Leave campaign was very confident that Europe's most powerful political leader would listen to her most important manufacturing sector. So are the likes of BMW and Porsche pushing the German Chancellor to cut the UK some slack? Naga Munchetty has been to Leipzig to find out. 
And guess what Naga found? 

After clips of Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and David Davis saying "The Germans wouldn't want to put up trade barriers because that would mean that German car workers would be out of a job", "Do you seriously suppose that they are going to be so insane as to allow tariffs to be imposed between Britain and Germany?" and "Germany needs us, we are their biggest market", Naga began: 
That was then. But now, here in Germany, the feeling is very different. The automotive sector is concerned about Theresa May's approach in Brexit negotiations and their financial impact.
And her report ended:
Theresa May says the UK economy is a priority. But a UK outside the EU single market and Customs Union could, it seems, face the very real prospect of moving down the pecking order when it comes to Germany's favoured trading partners. 
 Oh dear, better call the whole thing off then!

7 comments:

  1. Naga implied that Mrs May was working to an unrealistic two-year timetable. Wouldn't it be a good idea if the BBC actually found out about the EU before being cheerleaders for it?

    Lisbon Treaty, Article 50:
    "3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

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    1. Quite. There's been a lot of loose talk about trade agreements following the withdrawal, but Article 50 makes no such distinction. Munchetty swallowed the propaganda about trade deals taking an inordinate length of time. But the templates for a deal are all there: EEA, Swiss deals and CETA (with Canada). It's simply a question of choosing the parameters and then slotting in the relevant text and numbers.

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  2. #sawwhatyoudidthere with that headline and that picture.

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  3. Yes, I said on another thread that I think she's a bit thick, which perhaps didn't help her in making a case. It all sounded very confusing the way she described it. I think I could read exactly what the German auto industry guy was saying:
    "We couldn't offer the UK full single market access without them being members of the EU. That would destabilise the whole of the EU, and that definitely wouldn't be in our interests." Of course, who ever thought otherwise? But that is quite different from saying "We won't agree a deal that has no or low tarrifs on automobiles." He didn't say that.

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    1. Exactly. Project Fear continues, still trying to push for the softest of Brexits. She was sent there with that agenda.

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  4. I always thought she didn't understand the stuff she was reading out on the autocue when she used to do business reports. Apparently she studied English literature at Leeds (see Wikipedia)...but then somehow found her way into business journalism, an unusual transition I would say! Maybe she does undersand the Keynesian multiplier effect, the quantitative easing mechanism and endogenous growth theory but if so, she doesn't communicate the impression that she does.

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    1. They had a Communist music major as the economics editor of their flagship Newsnight. This isn't as much of stretch.

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