Britain still top dog in Europe for financial services investment

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by kazenatsu, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Despite what anti-Brexit fanatics were trying to scare everyone about, their predictions have not come to pass.

    Britain remaining the European country most attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI), suffering the least decline in inward FDI of all European countries in 2019, and beating the rest of Europe as the most attractive destination for financial services FDI post-Covid-19 by a margin of 40 per cent to a mere 8 per cent.

    It is't hard to see why. Firstly, there's the EU's inherent ideological commitment to imposing regulatory harmonisation rather than accepting regulatory equivalence, and the fact that London is already pre-eminent in financial services, which tends to create a clustering effect. Secondly, there's the EU’s intention to introduce a disastrous pan-EU Financial Transactions Tax, already tried by Sweden but abandoned because of its innate flaws, distortions and disincentives. Why would any financial services business pick Europe over London?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

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    There are those that are concerned about the decisions regarding North/South and the Irish Sea border policies and the potential that those policies will result in renewed conflict in the North of Ireland. After the ‘95 peace agreement and the removal of the N/S customs and border checks there was a massive surge in cross border trade that benefitted nearly everyoneIf on the Island and in part because of the improvements to the N/S economy, few were interested in sustaining any support for those extremists on either side of the political divide, that while diminished in the number of ‘actives’, still continued to exist and push their respective agendas. The extremists on both sides, having a huge amount of influence and power still sat on the fringes, looking for any opportunity to reassert their political influence. If a hard border results, many businesses, farmers, etc. stand to be financially damaged, something that extremists figure will help renew rational that will work in attracting support. Many in the North, the majority of which voted against BREXIT, see it as sacrificing the interests of Northern Ireland for the interests of those supporting BREXIT. While a hard border hasn’t been implemented yet, contingency planning has been proceeding to meet the worst case possibilities. Then too, the relationship between the ROI and the Brits has become increasingly strained as well.
    Over the last few years, Sinn Féin, the Republican Party has grow in popularity to rival all other political groups in both the North and the South, including significant numbers of defections from Unionist parties in the North as Sinn Féin has begun increasing rhetoric calling for the Irish Unification vote as provisioned by ‘95 peace Agreement and at this point, it is tough and go that if such a referendum was to proceed, it might pass. That coupled with another emerging interest, calls for Northern Ireland to declare independence and form a new County is gaining some followers that feel their interests have been sacrificed.
    To a large degree, coupled with the question of what Britain will still injure in liability to the EU, Are issues that are the current barriers to the timing of BREXIT. In the meantime, the economy is on a knife edge, amid those uncertainties. Lots uncertainty, lots predictions, but the only thing certain is the unforeseen consequences will likely exceed prediction.
     
  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    It looks like that's not going to be a problem.

    Northern Ireland will remain in EU trade zone

    In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the Irish are celebrating just a little bit by this decision. Since now the North has one more thing in common with them that is different from the rest of the UK.

    That being said, it remains to be seen whether Ireland can recover from its financial technology bubble, or whether that was all really just a pipedream from the beginning. (Remember, there were hopes and promises that by being more connected to the EU it would bring prosperity to Ireland, which has long had some unemployment problems)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020 at 5:05 PM
  4. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    Britain still top dog in Europe for financial services investment

    All thanks to a link to offshore tax havens and drug money laundering.
     
  5. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

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    A decision on the status of NI has not been made beyond a hypothetical suggestion, not embraced by even the UDA in NI. Beyond the Tory’s at Westminster, indicating a willingness to discuss the option to mitigate some of the opposition to BREXIT, serious talks on this option have not proceeded toward any substantive nuts and bolts proposal.
    To get a feel for what is happening in Ireland (N and S) regarding BREXIT, news on that account is best found using Irish new sources like the Belfast Telegraph, An Phoblacht, the Irish Times, or the Irish Independent. There is even a compliment to this forum for Irish politics,
    https://politics.ie/ … I use the same member ID there.

    While, there has been discussion going on for nearly a year regarding the possibility of designating NI as a special trade zone there are still a lot of questions and hurdles. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/...t-gb-border-controls-warns-gove-39297881.html
    https://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/27835
    https://www.irishtimes.com/search/search-7.4195619?q=brexit
    https://www.independent.ie/search/?q=Brexit
    I have friends in both NI and the ROI that are working on the politics associated with Brexit. Aside from the potential of outright violations of the Easter Agreement, a few of the many obvious questions, among many others yet sorted are,
    What customs provisions would be set up between the islands. Who will pay to administrate a cross Island border customs?
    What would be the trade restrictions.
    What would be the travel provisions/restrictions?
    What would prevent Brit countries from making special arrangements to NI brokers to access EU markets Tarif free?
    What would it mean to interIsland employment? Or those traveling from NI to work in the EU (something done frequently by those traveling to from the EU to work on a regular basis… €39 on Ryan Air.
    Who would manage the administration of the special trade zone in NI? Westminster or Stormont? And if Stormont what latitude will be afforded by Westminster on trade zone decisions? Note, the NI ministers have not been given a part in BREXIT negotiations.
    Will NI taxpayers be on the hook for the financial commitments made by Westminster to the EU for ending their agreement?
    Will NI citizens be issued special IDs to enable free travel in the EU?
    If Westminster returns to £ currency, what will that mean to NI currency?

    These are but a few issues yet sorted. Then throw in the complications associated with COVID19, a building of support for a United Ireland referendum vote in 2021, continued uncertainty at Westminster and predicting the future becomes a complicated maze to navigate… assuming BREXIT happens… yet an If thing considering the acrimonious debate still happening in parliament and in the Brit version of our MSM.
     
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    NI would get access to the EU markets instead of the UK. Is someone making the argument that it will be more expensive to set up customs provisions between the UK and NI than it would be to set up customs provisions between the EU and NI ?

    Presumably NI would be considered a virtual part of the EU, as far as trade restrictions go, if that were to happen, unless the EU grants special concessions.

    Do you refer to EU freedom of movement of people?

    Well, that could be a very controversial point. I'm not sure if NI would accept that. (Although wasn't it basically accepting that before, before Brexit?)
    Or whether the EU might be willing to make a special concession to Ireland to opt out. That also seems very unlikely.
    I presume the UK government would enforce the laws in NI, and there would still be a hard border point between NI and the rest of the UK, so it's not like a person could just go from the EU to Ireland to NI, and then just enter the UK.

    Might be a big point of principle, but I expect the financial costs for them would be relatively trivial, as NI only consists of a tiny fraction (2.8%) of the UK's population.
    I do agree that makes things more complicated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020 at 10:35 PM
  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well, we are talking about trade zones, not necessarily monetary unions.
    The Unionists would have a fit if NI had a different currency from the UK.

    The money would really have nothing to do with a hard border. Though it might likely make it woefully inconvenient for the tiny little territory of NI to be in the same trade union while using a different currency.

    Although I suppose you could argue it might give NI two different advantages, since it would have the same currency as the UK, making trade a little more convenient, although it would have to go through international customs and be subject to trade restrictions, but NI would also be in a free trade zone with the EU, although that would necessitate a currency exchange.
    Although it's also true that neither option would really be fully convenient.

    I'm not sure the EU will be concerned about illegal migration from the UK.
    They might just make it illegal for NI citizens to enter the EU without papers, although there would be no check points.

    It might of course depend whether the UK to NI checkpoint would require passport approval for UK citizens to enter NI, something the EU might demand, and probably mainly out of spite against the UK.
    You are right, that is another potential complication, with several different options to deal with it.

    I think there certainly is a possible and pragmatic way to preserve the Easter agreement, but it's also possible all the complications may be considered too much work, too much to think about, not simple.
    Then again, Britain's bureaucracy loves complications.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020 at 10:52 PM
  8. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

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    What you may not understand is Northern Ireland is not only not an independent country, it is considered part of the UK, and more than 50% of it’s citizens are considered, and consider themselves to be Brit, thus the distinction between them (Loyalist/Unionist) and the Nationalist/Republican that consider themselves Irish.
    I have long maintained of those that call themselves Brits, that the Brits have a highly stratified class system that has been perpetuated for over a thousand years and the Brits of NI are consider at best third class citizens....but then I was considered 4th class or worse.

    So, while for decades in the last century NI was allowed to have home rule (a puppet government set up to run often referred to a Stormont, Westminster suspended it during the beginning of the Troubles) and restored it as part of the ‘95 and transfer of limited powers to Stormont in ‘98. However, Westminster has retained all powers as is related to any agreements with the EU, meaning NI has no independent authority at this point to act independently as a trade zone. Let that sink in when thinking about the issues below.

    Again, NI is the UK not the EU and if agreement is negotiated for a status as a special trade zone, NI would not be a full member of the EU, having divided loyalties with the UK and the EU. For instance, the EU has been generating support to jointly fund an EU standing army (BTW the ROI is Constitutionally Neutral) so how could the NI bind the UK to be a funding partner. Well, it can’t.

    [fQUOTE]Do you refer to EU freedom of movement of people?[/QUOTE]
    Yes, if a member of the EU, you can travel member countries similar to traveling between states here. If the NI becomes a special trade zone, it would mean some UK citizens, those from NI, would have privileges not afforded by other UK citizens.

    The laws of NI are the same as those of Britain.
    The main point of controversy is the ‘Hard Border’, it is the potential match that could trigger renewed conflict.
    Those opposed to BREXIT in the north had been free to traverse between the Island and the EU not just for simple travel, but for more lucrative employment. Many were traveling to the mainland (Germany, France, etc.) For work and returning home weekends considering how inexpensive travel had become in the EU, either by flying, taking a ferry, or a few other options.
    On a side note, based on personal observation, because of the low cost of travel, many were traveling to the ROI from eastern EU countries, working to get dole status in the ROI, then doing the same back in their home country, basically ‘double dipping the dole’ as it’s called because the EU does not have access to nor ability to integrate local employment/dole records to regulate the scamming that takes place.


    There are arguments on the costs to manage a customs border, with the ROI thus far refusing to bear the brunt regardless of whether a hard border is set between the N&S or the Irish Sea; Ireland feels betrayed by the Brits and the historic bad blood feelings are being resurrected in the media and among the population of the ROI.

    Many of these issues become obviated if a reunification vote succeeds, which is why Sinn Féin members have become optimistic and may also account for Sinn Féin now achieving status as the largest political party on the island.

    Understanding Ireland has always been challenging, to in the EU and Brexit issues is not unlike multiplying chaos with chaos.
     
  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    So what? Let the ball be put in Ireland's court. It's the EU who would be the one demanding these border checks. If Ireland wants it so bad, they can leave the EU. (Of course they won't)

    It will be the EU forcing Ireland to put up the border. Not the UK or Northern Ireland putting up the border, in violation of the agreement.
    (Ireland of course will be the one most irked by the border)

    That's sort of analogous to you and me signing a contract where you promise to pay me 100 Euros, and then later I come to you and say that I have to cancel the contract, because someone else whom I am in contractual obligation to is forcing me not to accept the contract with you.
    I really don't have the right to complain too much against you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020 at 8:22 PM
  10. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the question of Brexit as it relates to Ireland is loaded with questions and hurdles yet sorted. Those issues are already creating strains between the UK and the ROI, but even beyond that are the increasing number of voices of citizens questioning the decision to join the EU that was pushed by a coalition of ROI ministers at the time who had financial interests in joining the EU, to hold a second referendum, after the first failed... something many opined was unconstitutional. The promised economic rewards never materialized and instead, prices on many common goods increased. After rhetoric of the EU considering establishing a standing army started a couple years ago, something pushed by Germany and France who both stood to profit considering their arms manufacturing industries many in Ireland have noted the Constitution prohibition of participating because of the neutrality clause. Then Irish dissatisfaction with the EU increased when the Irish leadership signed the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) agreement with the EU which many equated surrendering the ROI’s sovereignty, an unpopular move, in part resulting in the recent electoral backlash and resulting in even more of the voters to question participation in the EU.
    There are other cracks forming in the EU, with some countries complaining the EU’s economic decisions, largely controlled by Germany and France are creating a two class system that favors German and French interests, and many in the ROI are taking note. There is a huge amount of trade occurring between the ROI and the UK, and there are warnings being shared with the Irish citizens that BREXIT, depending on the yet to be solidified policies, have significant potential to have a major negative economic impact.
    As for the EU trying to force the ROI to impose a hard border or to patrol the Irish Sea, any such attempt will likely be challenged in court given the agreement with the EU has a provision that the EU will protect the interests of member Countries and is not union that forces member to surrender their state sovereignties. Attempting to do so, will not only be likely to be challenged in court, but will send a signal to those countries, already unhappy with the German and French domination of EU policies to reassess their national interests.
    So, the issue of BREXIT and the hurdle of NI, is not a simple one, it is potentially much larger than it might appear...a wrong move could be a pushing over a domino with some serious unintended consequences... one reason why the EU continues to accommodate Westminster requests for a delay in triggering the final leave date.
    Then too, if the hard core leaders in Sinn Féin get their way.... the hand of cards gets reshuffled.
     

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