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Resentful in Redcar: `We made the finest steel in the world - now we make lattes'  - Guardian
Like many communities in England's north-east, the people of this North Yorkshire town, which bears the scars of industrial decline, and has a youth unemployment rate more than double the national average, made their unhappiness known in June 2016. They fought back. In Redcar, there was a hefty 66% vote for Brexit, similar to that in areas further north up the coast, from Teesside to Tyneside.

"We have to get our country back to where it needs to be," says Geoff Holding, a caretaker at a government office in the town who voted Leave and whose brother lost his job at the steelworks.

He wants an end to cheap imports of foreign goods, like the Chinese steel that did for the local plant. There is a still a thriving chemicals sector in Redcar, but not enough manufacturing. "We need to bring things back in-house, get industry back on its own feet, make things ourselves."

Debate may still be raging in London about soft and hard Brexits as Remainers call for a second referendum, but in Redcar it is a done deal. Here the Leave mantra about "taking back control" is to be taken pretty much literally.

by Bernard on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 10:10:42 AM EST
When I read the "He wants an end to cheap imports of foreign goods, like the Chinese steel that did for the local plant." sentence, my first reaction was: good thing that the Brexiters don't want any free trade agreements...
by Bernard on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 02:52:46 PM EST
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They don't want free trade that cuts both ways, they want a return to empire where the benefits all flow one way...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 04:01:45 PM EST
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And the only kind of free trade deal China would ever offer is one where all the benefits flow to China.
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Feb 6th, 2018 at 01:00:25 PM EST
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I've never quite understood why Brexiteers think the UK (with zero experience and expertise) could negotiate better FTA's than the EU with a much bigger market and negotiating leverage. I've never heard them complain in specific detail about the many FTA's the EU already has negotiated or is in the process of negotiating, which together cover just about all their major trading partners.

I suppose the UK could negotiate FTA's more focused on it's own strengths in service industries, but I don't see why the EU could not do so just as well on the UK's behalf. The UK also sees potential in importing cheaper food from developing countries as it appears to have no interest in supporting its own food industry. But defaulting to WTO tariffs won't achieve that as they are highest for food products.  With the CAP moving from supporting production to supporting farm incomes directly, the EU may move slowly in that direction in any case.

I suspect the Brexiteers entertain fantasies of resuming master/servant relationships with former colonies - in which case I expect they are in for a rude shock. Ireland is showing no enthusiasm for resuming such a relationship despite being the hardest hit by Brexit.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 6th, 2018 at 01:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't think.

I suspect the Brexiteers entertain fantasies of resuming master/servant relationships with former colonies - in which case I expect they are in for a rude shock. Ireland is showing no enthusiasm for resuming such a relationship despite being the hardest hit by Brexit.

The Brexiteers think the EU and the UK are peers. They think the US and UK are peers. They are deluded.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2018 at 03:06:59 PM EST
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Oh don't worry.  The US isn't finished debasing itself by a long mark.  It will slide down to the UK yet and maybe keep on going.
by rifek on Wed Feb 7th, 2018 at 03:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Global free trade Brexiteers seem to ignore all the EU's FTAs or genuinely not know about them.

During the referendum campaign, Brexiteers made much of the fact that the EU does not have an FTA with India, even though one is under negotiation.

There were anecdotes about African diplomats meeting Brexiteers who talked about post-Brexit trade deals between the UK and their countries but had never heard of the Cotonou Agreement.

by Gag Halfrunt on Wed Feb 7th, 2018 at 03:23:23 PM EST
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As Michael Gove might say, "who needs experts" in trade negotiation anyway...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 7th, 2018 at 03:40:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Free Trade isn't about goods, cos these people all made their money is financial double dealing and tax avoidance. They don't make things, that's for lower class people in trade. they have no intrest in exports or shipping or the grubby interchange of artefacts.

They are the people who, in Alan Clark's phrase, look down on people who buy their own furniture instead of inheriting it. Who do not consider themselves rich unless they can live on the interest of the interest of their estate.

To them, Free Trade is about low regulation, about low or, preferably, no taxation. About managing other people's money and hiding their ill-gotten gains from national authorities.

It's not about how different societies exchange items for mutual benefit, it's about control and power. And money is power so they seek to control money. That is Free Trade, where they are Free and others are subject to their control.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 6th, 2018 at 03:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From an analysis by Dan Roberts in today's Guardian that I can't find on the website:
The only way to argue against such analysis [about the effects of leaving the Customs Union] is to adopt the position taken by extreme free-traders such as Jacob Rees-Mogg. In this vision, Britain not only seeks to lower the few remaining trade barriers for manufactured goods but also throw open its doors to all comers in agriculture and commodities too. Do not worry about the Chinese dumping subsidised steel or the Brazilians flooding our supermarkets with bargain-basement food, they say. The benefits of lower costs for consumers will compensate for any collapse in British farming or steel.

It would be a Brexit that would decimate the parts of Britain that voted for it, but it is the only one that makes sense for those who want to take back control.

Hard Brexit and China deal would wipe out Welsh steel industry, first minister claims | The Guardian | 02/02/2018

Carwyn Jones has warned that the Welsh steel industry would be "wiped out" if Britain left the European single market and signed a free trade agreement with China, and claimed a fresh deal with New Zealand including agriculture could badly hit its farmers.

The first minister of Wales made the comments as his government launched a trade paper claiming that hard Brexit would have a severe, negative impact on the country's economy.

The report, which is supported by an economic impact analysis from Cardiff Business School, claims that crashing out of the EU on to World Trade Organization rules would cause the Welsh economy to shrink by between 8 and 10%, equivalent to £1,500-£2,000 per person in Wales.

by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Feb 5th, 2018 at 08:15:28 PM EST
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