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Everything posted by L00b

  1. Apparently a delivery note was found by investigators, for a very early shipment of vaccine from AZ's Belgian factory to NI, which (if it happened) puts AZ in breach of its contractual obligations to the EU about the initial 300m doses. That breach would then necessarily be either wilful (on gvt order or out of patriotism or ...) or accidental. The export control is designed to mitigate reoccurrence of that breach irrespectively of whether it is wilful or accidental: customs officer would just seize the shipments in Zeebrugge or wherever else they leave Belgium. But this is all still looking very confused, there is some doubt about whether the Commission actually took a/the decision under Article 16 at all, and it wasn't instead some unauthorised disclosure of preparatory materials (the Commission had been talking about Art.16 for quite a while). It's a political mess. But at least, it's not an illegal one (if the decision was actually taken), because Art.16 allows unilateral invoking without consultation in an emergency (which this would be, if the underlying facts are averred).
  2. It's not auspicious, and the way the Commission went about it makes for poor optics. Expect a corrective U-turn very soon... ...or, as the case may turn out, an explainer to justify the decision.
  3. The evidence is that they don't. Clearly, propaganda is enough to get the impoverished vote. T'was ever thus.
  4. I'm reserving final judgement on this particular issue, until the contracts have been published and facts have been delineated from allegations. We're hearing about inequitable conduct by Astra Zeneca favouring the UK in breach of their contractual obligations with the EU, here - something which I very much doubt that you are hearing over there. Now I'm saying that in passing without any partiality* here, simply to illustrate the point that there is a lot of media noise over a lot of allegations, both in the UK and outside of it, with little verified substance and an a sea of misinformation. *this is the Covid thread, and my position remains that this vaccines stuff has *sod all* to do with the UK-EU relationship, considering 'Brexit' really only started at all 29 days ago, when all these issues about PPE, vaccines funding and supply contracts, etc. were all in the works and done months and months ago in 2020, whilst the UK was to all intents and purposes still in the EU, under the WA. It's yet another issue that is turning adversarial and antagonistic between the UK and the EU27, when really there was no need whatsoever. With English politicians pouring it as kerosene on their blame-the-EU-for-everything fire, it's not going to get better anytime soon either. For shame.
  5. Recalling that healthcare generally, and pandemic management in particular, had never been competencies of the EU until last year, helps to appreciate the situation in its proper context, which is that EU member states eventually agreed to coordinate and handle procurement issues collectively through the EU institutions, which by definition takes much more organising and a longer time, whereas the UK went it alone, with the additional good fortune of having Astra Zeneca at home with its own production facility. So of course the UK was always going to be more adaptive and nimble, especially after Sunak equipped it with a newfound jungle of money trees. The NHS has made the rest of the difference -and still does- but that has certainly not been through Johnson and Hancock's leadership and managerial skills. Brexit supporters are currently making hay of that situation, in their desperate search for positives to make Brexit look worthwhile, even though any EU member state could have gone it alone and started vaccinations earlier. But in 6 months' time, once the most at-risk populations have been vaccinated and virus mortality declines dramatically (...in first world countries), no-one will remember who vaccinated most or quicker: what people will still remember then, are the number of deaths in their country and how the pandemic was handled by their government. EDIT: this EU blocking is not needed, either. There are compulsory licensing provisions in the patent legislation of every developed and semi-developed country in the world, under which a government, faced with a healthcare emergency, can force Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, etc. to grant a time-limited license (not free) to one or more national producers under the national patent for the vaccine, for boosting domestic production. Why more noise isn't made about this option, I don't know. But it's hardly secret. It's just never been used anywhere before (AFAIK). Now would very much be the time.
  6. If you want the UK to continue exporting Nissans and Minis to the Continent, better not. The motorway speed limit in many countries -and certainly the 2 largest markets, France and Germany- is 82 mph. Besides, most cars that integrate cruise control have long had a (user-selectable / -activatable) speed limiter option. Takes seconds to set on our 14 year old (low end) Mercedes. Modern cars with built-in GPS and cruise control already integrate all the technology required to implement this. My car has a GPS 'repeater' in the instrument cluster that displays the speed limit for the road I'm on and updates it in real time (by comparison with observing roadside signposts, the accuracy looks like 5-ish meters) and a "naughtymeter" that compares my current driving speed to it in realtime (5 green bars = at or under it, down to 1 red bar = multiples in excess of it). It'd be easy enough to get those electronics to 'talk' to the (similarly-electronic) throttle. The car is manufacturer-restricted to 155mph, like most other EU cars (-I believe). But that manufacturer limit is removable, likewise the power output is upgradeable, through reprogramming. Again, as with most other cars.
  7. UK membership was still in force last year (as extended under the WA) and yet did not prevent the UK from approving the Pfizer vaccine early nor doing independent deals, and healthcare policy was never a competency passed to the EU by member states, until Covid-fighting measures were mutualised last year. So I'm afraid that this link with Brexit exists only in your head. But whatever helps you get over your win
  8. I'm not sure Moody's are quite as comprehensively discredited as all that. The AAA-rating of junk credit up to 2008 was not exclusive to them -by far- and they continue to be paid handsomely for their credit assessments, with considerable weight still attached to them by economists and central banks. In any event, what Moody's are saying here is not new, or contrary to the general view. The decision of the UK government not to seek any accommodation on trade in services was widely commented on at the time, and since: if anyone thinks Moody's (and almost everyone else) is wrong in their assessment, then their reasons for thinking this would be welcome, which should be a bit more convincing than "Moody's did a bad thing 12 years ago". The current Brexit story about the UK government paying EU immigrants £2k to go back is interesting. The shade of brown on those spots of the leopards eating faces party is getting nastier by the week. To not great surprise, either.
  9. Leavers are free to think what they want, and to do as they please with their 80 seat majority. Meanwhile, and irrespectively, economic facts of life -and their inevitable consequences- keep it real... ...wherein, speaking of Italy, the UK is trailing it for FDI these days: I'll let those who understand the longer-term significance of FDI starvation, draw their own conclusions.
  10. any minute now any time it's happening yes really, right now and the German car manufacturers are finally coming to the rescue, too right now aaany time you'll see
  11. There really was no need for you prove my point with a quote. But thanks all the same, I guess. As for this "United States of Europe" stuff...<sigh>...again? Really? You've still not learned a thing about what the EU is and how it works? You realise that (i) it is not a federation (ii) nor any other sort of 'superstate' (iii) and it could never become one, without every single member first agreeing to it? Then what are the chances of that last one happening? Please don't quote The Express or the Telegraph to me. That very same Telegraph which was blaming Brexit on Angela Merkel last week (Brexit is someone's fault now...and actually the Germans' fault, you see), and the Express which recently spun those British cheese manufacturers setting up a distribution hub in Benelux as a "clever ploy to help British businesses avoid crippling EU red tape". It's just beyond the reach of satire at this stage.
  12. The irony of your posting this clip, when Ms Thatcher was an architect of, and instrumental in bringing about, this very "organisation which the UK left" last year, is not wasted on me, rest assured Rewrite away, peeps, if it makes you sleep better at night. Because it'll make SFA difference to the new trading normal, and all consequences thereof, intended like not.
  13. I'm old enough to remember that big red bus and what was written on it. Are nurses getting paid with some of that regained £350m sovereignty yet, or is claps-at-8 still the going rate? Now, that's rather a lot of history-rewriting some of you lads are doing these days. But don't worry, enough people have functioning memories. A big lot of Scots first among them
  14. And reciprocally EU27 customers, with British stockists. However for these EU27 customers, still without any extra paperwork (nor corresponding overheads) relative to the withdrawal period.
  15. Baseless theories, eh? Happy to oblige. I very much doubt that anyone who's spent years warning about the consequences of Brexit, here and elsewhere, wanted to see them come about. The whole point of warning against them -and of voting Remain for those who could- was precisely to avoid the ongoing bin fire, that is only just getting started now. To think how many on here wanted no deal or WTO 🙄 Johnson pushed for Canada instead. So Canada is what you have, and the new standard for freight customs clearance. Carry on winning 👍
  16. Apparently, the pardon which Trump issued to Bannon does not extend to Bannon's running that Wall-building donations fraud, about which the State court can still indict him. Delighted. 'I still won bigly, you fraud'
  17. Sunak found a jungle's worth of money trees, then? You are presuming that these claims will be honoured... ...when fishing and seafood businesses are merely the first 2 seats of the first carriage of a miles-long train nicknamed "UK plc". It's not the sort of presumption that I would feel confident enough to stake my business' continuity on. Not when there's a planeload or ten of carpetbaggers circling and waiting for the derailment, to then swoop in and pillage the wreckage for nowt; and then stash the proceeds in BVI and Jersey banks.
  18. Quoted for truth. Lobster tandoori is really quite something. Enhanced tax avoidance is a feature of Brexit, not a bug. It's plebes' money that they want to keep in the UK. So expect capital controls before too long (on top of customs restrictions in destination EU countries), now that FoM of capital has been removed.
  19. People may wish to brush up on their Adam Smith. Historical evidence is that autarky doesn't work any better than state-planned economy. And geography still dictates the gravity pull in trade. The UK needs to stick with its international trade, it was doing a sterling job of it until the headbangers took charge and made it declare economic war on itself. Businesses just need to find their balls and put a Biden into no.10 Downing Street post-haste, whilst re-learning old-fashioned international trade fast, and slowly rebuilding bridges with trade partners.
  20. We seem to be at cross purposes. When I said "it's not something MPs and HMG can sort", I was referring to those red tape standards of international trade, to which UK businesses (and HMRC & HMBF &...) must (re-)adapt. MPs & HMG cannot change these. They can create more bureaucracy to help UK businesses to navigate it, sure. In that respect, their incompetence lies in not doing that early and well enough (acknowledging it back in 2016, instead of calling it 'Project Fear' and hand-waving it away, would have been a great help....but then, they may not have got the voting result that they were after in 2016, then in 2017, then in 2019). The take-away point is, no amount of shellfish trailer running (and maybe even discharging) past the window of no.10 downing street is going to achieve anything with that 'red tape' now or in the foreseeable future. Except hurrying the gvt in finding and training those 50k customs persons. That takes time, a lot of it (1 to 2 years acc.to experienced customs specialists). Blaming either red tape, or gvt incompetence, or the EU, or Remainers, or all of them together plus the neighbour's cat, doesn't begin to fix the problem, which is what is needed most urgently of all.
  21. Well, I've drawn attention to these missing 50,000 customs agents before. Time and again, and again recently. Where is HMG at with those, 2 or 3 years after it estimated that shortfall and claimed that it was recruiting and training them? The last figure I saw, late last year, was circa.1600 and the private sector was building them golden bridges right out of HMG training courses. What is HMG proposing to do about the missing vets? They can't exactly be magicked out of vet schools with weeks or months, and between Covid, Brexit and Patel's HO/hostile environment, the UK isn't exactly head-lining with headhunters atm, still less positions in the UK civil service or govt contracting providers. How is the government going to fix the ISPM15 shortage? <next huge problem that noone in the UK seems to be talking about, even though Palletways (look them up) has been signalling the issue loud and clear for months, and now just joined DHL & DB Schenker in washing its hands off UK freight for the next few weeks at least> So yes, I'm afraid, very much so. At least until HMG begins to engage in governance, instead of damage control by propaganda which, unsurprisingly, doesn't control any damage but just continues to hide it...ever less effectively. Those artics going around Downing Street today are not believing hard enough, looks like. I've kept services out of the loop deliverately, btw. The UK-EU27 agreement has no provisions for those. That's why those €6bn's worth of EU shares fled UK trading floors the moment they re-opened on 4 January. The EPP is today asking the Commission for a plan to 'repatriate' still more financial services from the City faster.
  22. Way-way-way too early, to be discussing about any "potential" to "achieve" anyway. And I don't mean that with reference to Jacob Rees-Mogg's 50 year timescale for Brexit benefits to be reached, but with reference to the just-started period of adjustment to the new international trade (import/export) 'normal' for the UK. It's only been 2 weeks or so. That 'new' red tape strangling mal-adapted fishermen, pork farmers and a raft of other agrifood producers (with the test of UK plc in tow and yet to realise) is not 'new', it is the *standard* red tape for 3rd country exporters to EU (and non-EU but still CUSM) member states. It is not something which MPs or the government can 'sort out', ever, until and unless the UK should move closer to BRINO, no matter how loud and anguished and angry the howls from fishermen, farmers, associations, federations and other lobby groups get. So, a lot of dust needs to settle first and, at the scale of the UK economy, that is going to take a long while. Quick note in passing (not @ you Bargepole23): there haven't been any 'Remainers' for nearly a year now. But there is a growing movement of 'Rejoiners'. Hopefully for you all it won't take 40-odd years to achieve.
  23. Speaking of fishes and Crown depencies...the Falklands want a word, since it found out that Johnson's deal with the EU does not extend to UK Overseas Territories: 90% of its catch goes (went) to the EU and is now tariffed between 6% and 18% (Falklands meat that also goes (went) to the EU is now tariffed at 42%), besides the import-export red tape. Hopefully they can 'do a Gibraltar' and quickly join Mercosur, with which the EU is close to signing a deal.
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