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My Thai Life

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Posts posted by My Thai Life

  1. 1 minute ago, bristolboy said:

    I'm not sure what being a WTO member means in this case. On the one hand, the UK is submitting a schedule for its services that duplicate the rules of the EU. But on the other hand, if another WTO member objects, then acceptance of this schedule can be put on hold. So clearly there is a difference in status between the kind of membership the UK has and the membership of other WTO members.

    Well it's good to hear your opinion. Re your last sentence, as far as I know the UK has the same membership status as other nations. The fact that the UK will be making substantial schedule changes (we assume) doesn't alter its membership status as such. The WTO is involved in all kinds of arbitration, it's a key part of its job, it's not a special treat just for the UK.

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  2. 2 minutes ago, bristolboy said:

    Also, it's important to keep in mind that WTO rules are about tariffs. It's virtually useless against other unfair trade practices. Whereasm because of the single market, unfair trade practices within the EU are virtually non-existent

    It was interesting to hear Tebee's response, despite the fact that he seems to be unaware that the UK is in the WTO.


    But I still haven't heard yours. Do you have an opinion on this topic, after all you raised it.

  3. 14 minutes ago, tebee said:

    In the intervening time we can trade on whatever tariffs we want, but equally other counties can enforce whatever tariffs they want on out exports.


    So if someone stuck a 200% tariff on say UK built cars, but not any other counties cars, we could do nothing to stop it.


    When we are a WTO  member again we could ask them to enforce the most favoured country rules again, but until then we can do nothing but retaliate. 

    So you're saying that in your opinion we'd be operating outside of any framework at all?


    By the way, I'm sure you know that the UK is a WTO member (since 1995, and GATT since 1948). Here's the UK-WTO page for interested readers.



  4. 1 hour ago, bristolboy said:

    There's also the fact that WTO rules, contrary to Brexiters expectation, don't kick in the moment the UK leaves the EU. Reentry into the WTO has to be negotiated. And other members can delay the process. I've read that it could take a couple of years. I've yet to see a Brexiter in this forum acknowledge this.

    You've raised an interesting point. 


    I'd be interested to know what terms of trade in your opinion the UK would be operating under in the event of a "no deal".

  5. On 12/15/2018 at 4:13 PM, Grouse said:

    We have all learned many things over the past couple years. Me too.

    My concern is that some of the key issues are still misunderstood, in Parliament as well as on this forum. The Irish border and free trade spring to mind, but there are many others.


    In general this forum seems to be less interested in information and discussion, and more interested in bunfighting, and so does Parliament.


    I really paid absolutely no attention to the pre referendum debate, on the internet or on tv or face-to-face. 


    But given that I started from a fairly well informed position on trade and economics, I wouldn't say that I've learnt much over the last few months in those areas, plenty of detail of course, but nothing in principal.


    But on the politics of the EU I have learnt quite a lot, and I'm more convinced than ever that the EU needs core reform.


    Given the onwards march of ever-closer union, this would seem to be a good juncture for the UK to leave, much as it pains me to say that.

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  6. 19 minutes ago, welovesundaysatspace said:

    So how do you respect the will of the people who only wish to leave with a deal, or those who only wish to leave with no deal?

    The problem is that under May's "deal" we don't actually leave, and with the backstop as it is, we may never get to leave. It's very substantially worse than the current situation. And this is why it will never get through parliament without major changes.

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  7. 10 hours ago, 7by7 said:

    Whatever you think of Blair, at least try and report what he says with a modicum of accuracy!


    All the reports I can find, say he called for a second referendum only if parliament could not agree on a way forward.

    But we know that Blair is the consummate master of spin, lies and deceit. His lies to parliament when he was in power led to more chaos, death and destruction than any other British politician in our lifetimes. And we are still reaping the whirlwind of that deceit.


    And his corruption extends beyond politics into business "Tony Blair asked government officials to keep lucrative deals a secret" https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/12/08/tony-blair-asked-government-officials-keep-lucrative-deals-secret/


    Some people may believe Blair's butter-wouldn't-melt pout, but they must have very short memories.


    Moving on to the logic of his position, it goes like this - "the government screwed up the negotiations and now we are at an impasse, so we must have a second referendum" - not very logical is it?


    Moreover, there is a clear way out of this mess which does honour the referendum result, namely to revert to the Tusk-Barnier proposal for FTA, but this would require a change of leadership.

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  8. 32 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:


    But what about the fact that if a country makes an agreement to sell into a market with over 500 million people or into a market with 65 million people. Who will likely get the better conditions? Which agreement will have higher priority?

    Sure. And I agree that in some cases sheer size is important - the whole world is seeing this play out between the US and China.


    But the EU is not a homogenous market, either for import or export, or politically.


    Your point about selling into a maket of 500 million is valid as far it goes. But the reality is that markets are highly differentiated; within that 500 million there are actually many more or less unconnected national markets.


    I would also add that the EU is a highly protectionist market, especially in food. Sure anyone can sell food to the EU if EU consumers will pay the average 20% import tariff for food - most won't!


    In the UK the post-Brexit "no deal" price of food will undoubtedly go down unless there's a complete idiot in charge - and there may well be!

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  9. The reality is that according to the UK Office of National Statistics, exports in the last year to non-EU countries were £342 billion while exports to EU countries were £274 billion.


    In the same period, the growth in exports continued to outstrip the growth in imports, almost halving the UK’s trade deficit from £23.4 billion to £15.8 billion. Most exceptionally, since the referendum, exports have increased by £111 billion to £610 billion.

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  10. 5 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

    Somehow some people in the UK think they will be able to get better deals with all the other countries compared to the deals which the EU did already.

    I don't know how they got that idea.

    It's actually very simple. The EU has 28 countries with very different economic and political profiles, and at different stages of their economic and political development. Consequently they have different economic and political agendas and goals. The "one size fits all" approach does not work very well in this situation.

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  11. 4 hours ago, tomacht8 said:

    How many times since 2 years has it been posted here that trade agreements usually take 5-7 years to complete.

    Hi Tom. I want to simplify my earlier response if you don't mind.


    The UK isn't negotiating to get into a trade agreement with the EU. It's negotiating to replace a trade agreement with the EU (a customs union) which prohibits independent trade agreements, with an FTA which allows independent trade ageements.


    This negotiation still wouldn't be instantaneous, but it should be very much faster than usual FTA negotiations because the UK/EU starting position is 100% alignment and harmonisation, as per my earlier response.


    But good speed is only achievable if the 2 parties approach the negotiation with competence and integrity, which they haven't. 


  12. 24 minutes ago, tomacht8 said:

    How many times since 2 years has it been posted here that trade agreements usually take 5-7 years to complete.

    The big difference is that the UK is already in the most advanced kind of free trade agreement (a customs union) with the EU, and all standards (aka non-tariff barriers) are aligned. The latter is what really takes the time in FTAs, and that work is already complete.


    If May had negotiated on the basis of an FTA as proposed by Barnier-Tusk, and if the EU had not thrown the backstop spanner in the works (completely unnecessary, but I won't go into the details right now as there's a separate thread for it), then we would be well on the way by now.


    Otherwise what you're saying is right.

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  13. 23 minutes ago, tebee said:

    precisely because of the fantasies propagated that this would be one of the easiest “trade deals in human history” and all would be definitively tied up legally by exit day

    Well it should be the easiest trade deal in history, because all UK/EU standards are in 100% alignment. And this aligment of standards is the thing that takes the longest time to achieve in FTAs.


    Had May followed her Lancaster House line and negotiated on this basis with Tusk and Barnier's zero tariff zero quota FTA proposal we would be in a mutually beneficial situation now.


    May's duplicity with Chequers and the EU's weaponising of the Irish border are the two principal specific reasons for the breakdown.


    By the way, see the Irish Times for the truth about the Irish border and WTO



    The most legitimate approach now would be to switch back to the FTA track via a managed transition or via WTO (aka managed no-deal).



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