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In or out?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2901 Postby Alan H » January 8th, 2018, 12:54 am

Latest post of the previous page:

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? Brexit: Companies to be charged VAT upfront on goods from Europe in 'disastrous' blow to businesses
More than 100,000 UK companies will be forced to pay VAT upfront after Brexit, under controversial government plans being debated by Parliament this week.

Changes outlined in one of the many Brexit-related bills would force companies to pay the levy on goods at the point they enter the UK, rather than after they are sold.

Business groups said the change would create severe problems for UK companies, including cashflow issues and additional bureaucracy.

At least 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay upfront import VAT once Britain leaves the single market, under which import tariffs are not imposed on goods bought from other EU countries.

Currently, firms can register with HMRC for permission to import some goods from the EU free of VAT. They register the charge but the levy is added to the price of the product and paid by the customer.

Under the new system being planned, the Government said, “import VAT is charged on all imports from outside the UK”.

Businesses would then have to pay the tax upfront and claim it back at a later date, meaning they would be spending significant sums of money long before they recoup them in sales.

Industry groups said the change could create major problems for UK importers and retailers.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: In or out?

#2902 Postby Nick » January 8th, 2018, 2:25 am

Alan H wrote:This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? Brexit: Companies to be charged VAT upfront on goods from Europe in 'disastrous' blow to businesses
More than 100,000 UK companies will be forced to pay VAT upfront after Brexit, under controversial government plans being debated by Parliament this week.

Changes outlined in one of the many Brexit-related bills would force companies to pay the levy on goods at the point they enter the UK, rather than after they are sold.

Business groups said the change would create severe problems for UK companies, including cashflow issues and additional bureaucracy.

At least 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay upfront import VAT once Britain leaves the single market, under which import tariffs are not imposed on goods bought from other EU countries.

Currently, firms can register with HMRC for permission to import some goods from the EU free of VAT. They register the charge but the levy is added to the price of the product and paid by the customer.

Under the new system being planned, the Government said, “import VAT is charged on all imports from outside the UK”.

Businesses would then have to pay the tax upfront and claim it back at a later date, meaning they would be spending significant sums of money long before they recoup them in sales.

Industry groups said the change could create major problems for UK importers and retailers.
I'm not an expert on VAT, but to me, this looks like a complete load of tosh. Please explain the logic, Alan, as at the moment it escapes me.

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#2903 Postby animist » January 8th, 2018, 9:59 am

I thought I must be dreaming, but apparently not. This is what we desperately need, a new Brexit minister, and next appointment will be an EU Deal Minister: https://news.sky.com/story/theresa-may- ... e-11199777

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#2904 Postby animist » January 8th, 2018, 10:01 am

Nick wrote:And cast your mind back to the last time we had a lefty government, which wasn't perfectly relaxed about people becoming stinking rich, but instead wanted to make the pips squeak, and we see a net outflow of people. More were leaving than entering the UK. even though we had just had a referendum confirming our membership of the EEC.

So that's a definite no for Corbyn, then, right...?
totally irrelevant to Brexit

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#2905 Postby animist » January 8th, 2018, 10:08 am

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:
Alan H wrote:This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? [url=https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/06/brexit-will-divert-70m-from-our-cancer-drug-making-capacity-glaxosmithkline?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other]Brexit to swallow £70m meant for developing cancer drugs, says GSK[/url
appalling news - what say you, Nick? I have just posted this onto the Euro Guido forum, and look forward to the reaction, if any, there :cross:

This is equialent to 0.25% of turnover, a sum smaller than the gain GSK has probably made from the decline of sterling, so meh, not really material. Meanwhile in other news, the ability of much of Europe to fund medical research has been severely damaged by the dramatic recession caused by the operation of the Euro. What do you say, animist? Or doesn't Johnny Foreigner count...?
in the word of George Bush senior, or was it Reagan, there you go again. Look, Nick, as an economist you know that marginal costs do count. If a producer decides that marginal costs are too much then they will stop producing. So think about what you are saying and don't bring in comparisons which are extraneous. I don't think for a moment that GSK will stop making drugs because of Brexit. What this piece does suggest is that costs of so doing will increase because of Brexit, and some at least of these costs will be passed onto the NHS. That is what we were talking about, not the effects of the euro. And do please stop braying meh, it don't mean a thing and it is in fact demeaning - geddit?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2906 Postby Alan H » January 8th, 2018, 11:27 am

animist wrote:I thought I must be dreaming, but apparently not. This is what we desperately need, a new Brexit minister, and next appointment will be an EU Deal Minister: https://news.sky.com/story/theresa-may- ... e-11199777

The controversial move in the Prime Minister’s New Year reshuffle, reported in The Daily Telegraph, threatens to overshadow her bid to freshen up her Government with new talent.
New talent? Given the available pool...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
Posts: 11025
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#2907 Postby Nick » January 8th, 2018, 9:43 pm

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:And cast your mind back to the last time we had a lefty government, which wasn't perfectly relaxed about people becoming stinking rich, but instead wanted to make the pips squeak, and we see a net outflow of people. More were leaving than entering the UK. even though we had just had a referendum confirming our membership of the EEC.

So that's a definite no for Corbyn, then, right...?
totally irrelevant to Brexit
No, not at all. It's a demonstration that migration is dependent on more things than Brexit. More important things than Brexit. The poor and unemployed of Southern and Eastern Europe have not flocked to the UK because of their love of the EU. It's because the EU has crippled their homelands, creating devastating unemployment, giving them the incentive to flee.

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Nick
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Re: In or out?

#2908 Postby Nick » January 8th, 2018, 9:44 pm

Alan H wrote:
animist wrote:I thought I must be dreaming, but apparently not. This is what we desperately need, a new Brexit minister, and next appointment will be an EU Deal Minister: https://news.sky.com/story/theresa-may- ... e-11199777

The controversial move in the Prime Minister’s New Year reshuffle, reported in The Daily Telegraph, threatens to overshadow her bid to freshen up her Government with new talent.
New talent? Given the available pool...

Of course Corbyn is spoilt for choice! :laughter:

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Nick
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Re: In or out?

#2909 Postby Nick » January 8th, 2018, 10:09 pm

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:
animist wrote:appalling news - what say you, Nick? I have just posted this onto the Euro Guido forum, and look forward to the reaction, if any, there :cross:

This is equialent to 0.25% of turnover, a sum smaller than the gain GSK has probably made from the decline of sterling, so meh, not really material. Meanwhile in other news, the ability of much of Europe to fund medical research has been severely damaged by the dramatic recession caused by the operation of the Euro. What do you say, animist? Or doesn't Johnny Foreigner count...?
in the word of George Bush senior, or was it Reagan, there you go again.
It was Reagan. He also said: "The most terrifying words in the English language: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help!" :laughter:

Look, Nick, as an economist you know that marginal costs do count.
Indeed, as well as marginal revenue. And in this instance, though we have seen a relatively tiny increase in costs (because of government, btw) we have seen a decrease in marginal costs, plus an increase n marginal revenue, since the Brexit vote. But then, as a PPE graduate, you knw that, eh? :wink:

If a producer decides that marginal costs are too much then they will stop producing.
External costs are not a marginal cost, are they? They don't vary with production, do they? In this instance they are a one off. I doubt they are significant enough to stop GKN from operating in the UK, especially as other marginal costs are down, and marginal reenue up as a result of the Brexit vote. By way more than £70 million.

So think about what you are saying and don't bring in comparisons which are extraneous.
I think very carefully about what I am saying, and do not consider them to be extraneous in any way.

I don't think for a moment that GSK will stop making drugs because of Brexit.
Good.

What this piece does suggest is that costs of so doing will increase because of Brexit, and some at least of these costs will be passed onto the NHS.
But if, as we have seen, revenues from such research are higher, then there is no need to charge the NHS more, is there?

That is what we were talking about, not the effects of the euro.
But they are inextricably linked, aren't they?

And do please stop braying meh, it don't mean a thing and it is in fact demeaning - geddit?
Sorry you don't like the phrase "meh", (though I never "bray"!) but it does seem to sum things up fairly succinctly: that the evidence put forward doesn't have much value. And it's not quite as insulting as "geddit?" :wink: At least you didn't say "Capiche?" :laughter:

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2910 Postby Alan H » January 9th, 2018, 4:11 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22926
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2911 Postby Alan H » January 9th, 2018, 10:27 pm

Brussels accuses David Davis of hypocrisy over EU discrimination claim
David Davis’s claim in a leaked letter to the prime minister that the EU is discriminating against the UK and damaging its economic interests by preparing for a no-deal scenario in March 2019 has been met with flat denials and accusations of hypocrisy in Brussels.

The European commission’s chief spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, expressed surprise at the Brexit secretary’s claims and insisted it was only natural for the bloc to prepare for a situation threatened repeatedly by Downing Street.

It had emerged via a letter obtained by the Financial Times that the government has taken advice on the legality of EU warnings to businesses that Britain would be treated as a “third country” after March 2019.

Davis claimed that the EU’s warnings could jeopardise existing contracts or even force British companies to move to the continent.

By treating the UK differently from other member states before it leaves the bloc, Davis suggested the EU had been acting “in a way which is frequently damaging to UK interests”.

He said he would be seeking a withdrawal of warnings to businesses that did not make it clear that there would be a transition period and that the UK was seeking a new trading relationship.

In response, however, Schinas told reporters in Brussels that they had merely been taking the prime minister’s warning that Britain was willing to walk away without a deal at face value. “Here in the European commission we are somehow surprised that the UK is surprised that we are preparing for a scenario announced by the UK government itself”, he said.

“After all, it was PM May herself who said in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017 and repeated in her Florence speech in September that, and I quote: ‘No deal is better than a bad deal for Britain. It is right that the government should prepare for every eventuality’.

“We take these words from the prime minister very seriously. It is therefore only natural that in this house we also prepare for every eventuality.”

Asked whether, the commission recognised the allegations of discrimination and would be retracting warnings to businesses, the official added: “No.”.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22926
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2912 Postby Alan H » January 10th, 2018, 10:57 am

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned European companies with links to the UK the “real transition period” has already begun.
Despite plans for a transition period of around two years after the date of Brexit in March 2019, Michel Barnier has told firms they need to be ready now for the potential outcomes of British withdrawal from the EU.

He made clear that this included financial service providers, whose UK operations he warned will no longer benefit from the passport which currently allows them to market products freely in the European single market.

Mr Barnier’s comments came in a speech to business leaders in Belgium, after Brexit Secretary David Davis raised complaints about EU planning for a “no deal” Brexit.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Brexit Secretary said he would urge the EU to drop measures and guidance that could require UK companies to relocate to Europe or risk contracts being terminated in the event of no deal.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Barnier restated the Commission’s proposal for a transition period lasting until December 31 2020.

But he added: “Having said that, the real transition period has already started. It is my responsibility to tell you the truth.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22926
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2913 Postby Alan H » January 10th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Russian bid to influence Brexit vote detailed in new US Senate report
Russia’s attempts to influence British democracy and the potential vulnerability of parts of the UK political system to anti-democratic meddling during the EU referendum have been detailed in a report prepared by the US Senate.

The report by Democrats on the Senate foreign relations committee, titled Putin’s asymmetric assault on democracy in Russia and Europe: implications for US national security, pinpoints the way in which UK campaign finance laws do not require disclosure of political donations if they are from “the beneficial owners of non-British companies that are incorporated in the EU and carry out business in the UK”.

This opacity, the report suggests, “may have enabled Russian-related money to be directed with insufficient scrutiny to various UK political actors”.

“Investigative journalists have also raised questions about the sources of sudden and possibly illicit wealth that may have been directed to support the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign.” The UK Electoral Commission has already launched an investigation into the issue.

The senators point out that Ukip and its then-leader, Nigel Farage, did not just fan anti-EU sentiment but also “criticised European sanctions on Russia, and provided flattering assessments of Russian President Putin”.

The report adds that although officially the Russian government asserted its neutrality on Brexit, its English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik covered the referendum campaign extensively and offered ‘’systematically one-sided coverage’’.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#2914 Postby animist » January 11th, 2018, 7:04 pm

Nick wrote:This is equivalent to 0.25% of turnover, a sum smaller than the gain GSK has probably made from the decline of sterling, so meh, not really material. Meanwhile in other news, the ability of much of Europe to fund medical research has been severely damaged by the dramatic recession caused by the
operation of the Euro. What do you say, animist? Or doesn't Johnny Foreigner count...?
in a sense, no, foreigners do not count over this. Your argument seems to be this. We should as country take a gigantic leap into uncertainty and against most economists' advice, because some other countries in the EU are suffering because of the euro. Sounds very strange to me, and I doubt that other Brexiters would agree with your thinking here. If countries like Greece want to the leave the eurozone or the EU itself, that is their decision.
Nick wrote:
Look, Nick, as an economist you know that marginal costs do count.
Indeed, as well as marginal revenue. And in this instance, though we have seen a relatively tiny increase in costs (because of government, btw) we have seen a decrease in marginal costs, plus an increase in marginal revenue, since the Brexit vote. But then, as a PPE graduate, you know that, eh? :wink:
not much of an economist, me, and it was long ago. Probably this is a case in point and I should not have specified marginal costs, since you are right to say (as I was aware) that production stops when marginal cost exceeds marginal revenue. But surely the effect of an exogenous cost increase via Brexit would in fact shift the supply function upwards (?) so that there would be a new demand-supply equilibrium at a lower output. And while such a general increase in costs will not put GSK (or probably any other drugs giant) out of business, it might make particular drug lines less profitable, even to the point of unprofitability. Why has the fall in sterling's value increased marginal revenue? - just asking.
Nick wrote:
If a producer decides that marginal costs are too much then they will stop producing.
External costs are not a marginal cost, are they?
They don't vary with production, do they? In this instance they are a one off. I doubt they are significant enough to stop GKN from operating in the
UK, especially as other marginal costs are down, and marginal reenue up as a result of the Brexit vote. By way more than £70 million.
I think I answered the first point above. Of course increased external costs will be part of total costs, and marginal cost/revenue thing presupposes a stable
supply curve. I am not suggesting that GKN will cease to operate, only that its output may be affected - I don't claim to know by how much. If other
marginal costs are down, this is not relevant, is it, unless this decrease is directly related to Brexit?
Nick wrote:
What this piece does suggest is that costs of so doing will increase because of Brexit, and some at least of these costs will be passed onto the
NHS.
But if, as we have seen, revenues from such research are higher, then there is no need to charge the NHS more, is there?
can you explain why the revenues are higher. It may be that drugs companies use Brexit costs as a reason to increase prices while ignoring countering effects connected with the latter - I would not know or trust them not to.
Nick wrote:
That is what we were talking about, not the effects of the euro.
But they are inextricably linked, aren't they?
no, at least only in your mind, and please see above
Nick wrote:
And do please stop braying meh, it don't mean a thing and it is in fact demeaning - geddit?
Sorry you don't like the phrase "meh", (though I never "bray"!) but it does seem to sum things up fairly succinctly: that the evidence put forward doesn't have much value. And it's not quite as insulting as "geddit?" :wink: At least you didn't say "Capiche?" :laughter:
I certainly did not mean to be insulting (meh sounds more of a bleat than a bray!), and I tend to say "geddit?" when I have tried to make a silly pun, as now. So capiche?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2915 Postby Alan H » January 11th, 2018, 7:21 pm

Time For a Re-Think?
The new year has begun with a heightened sense of the magnitude of the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the imminence of the departure date. The fuse was lit in the dying days of 2017 when Lord Andrew Adonis resigned from his position as Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission. In itself that would be unremarkable were it not for the fact that Adonis used his resignation letter to lambast the government for failing to keep the UK in the EU and instead acting complicitly in the ‘populist and nationalist spasm’ of Brexit.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: In or out?

#2916 Postby Nick » January 11th, 2018, 9:33 pm

Lol! What fuse? More a damp squib. :laughter:

Comparatively few know anything about (the unelected) Lord Adonis, fewer knew he had resigned from anything, and just about no-one has even heard of the National Infrastructure Commission.

And the referendum is just a "populist spasm", is it? :laughter: So much for democracy, then. :rolleyes:

Really, Alan, this clip is just pathetic. Truely pathetic. :sad2:

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Nick
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Re: In or out?

#2917 Postby Nick » January 11th, 2018, 10:39 pm

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:This is equivalent to 0.25% of turnover, a sum smaller than the gain GSK has probably made from the decline of sterling, so meh, not really material. Meanwhile in other news, the ability of much of Europe to fund medical research has been severely damaged by the dramatic recession caused by the
operation of the Euro. What do you say, animist? Or doesn't Johnny Foreigner count...?
in a sense, no, foreigners do not count over this.
Crikey! I didn't think you'd go for that one! So why should anyone care a stuff for anyone else? Is it really "I'm all right, Jack"? And if one thing is international, it is medical research. So the devastation of Southern Europe impacts in British resident too, doesn't it?

Your argument seems to be this. We should as country take a gigantic leap into uncertainty
There's almost as much uncertainty in remaining within the EU. And where there is more certainty, it is more certainty of movement in the wrong direction. Less democracy, and the further hobling of the open market.

and against most economists' advice,
Normative economics does not tell you what is "right". It tells you what is likely to happen in the event of various scenarios. It all depends what parameters you are setting. If one doesn't care about Johnny Foreigner, then, well, all sorts of "advice" is possible!

because some other countries in the EU are suffering because of the euro.
... but that's OK, is it? Why? The Euro represents the very essence of the grand project. It has already failed catastrophically, and no nation state shows any inclination to give up its autonomy, the only way it might possibly work: German tax-payers don't want to pay for Greek pensioners.
Sounds very strange to me, and I doubt that other Brexiters would agree with your thinking here. If countries like Greece want to the leave the eurozone or the EU itself, that is their decision.
Indeed it is. But the EU has sought to make leaving as difficult and as painful as possible. They have drawn the elastic so tight, that any break would be painful, but they insist on increasing the tension, not reducing it. Even in spite of this, the suffering populace are not going to be given the choice, because they are likely to vote "the wrong way".

Nick wrote:
Look, Nick, as an economist you know that marginal costs do count.
Indeed, as well as marginal revenue. And in this instance, though we have seen a relatively tiny increase in costs (because of government, btw) we have seen a decrease in marginal costs, plus an increase in marginal revenue, since the Brexit vote. But then, as a PPE graduate, you know that, eh? :wink:
not much of an economist, me, and it was long ago.
Ah! Explains a lot! :wink:

And, I might add, tax is also a cost which hurts companies and their ability and inclination to fund ground-breaking research. Labour is proposing pretty much 45% icrease in that cost. So how many sick people is Labour proposing to kill....? I thinkwe should be told!

Probably this is a case in point and I should not have specified marginal costs, since you are right to say (as I was aware) that production stops when marginal cost exceeds marginal revenue. But surely the effect of an exogenous cost increase via Brexit would in fact shift the supply function upwards (?) so that there would be a new demand-supply equilibrium at a lower output.
Indeed. But consider this: most of the costs arise because of the EU's proposal to erect barriers to trade post Brexit. It is not the UK which is resisting free trade, but the EU. Furthermore, there are huge costs imposed on companies which have bugger all effect, except to reduce their capacity to produce. I look forward to your bonfire of unneccessary regulation!

And while such a general increase in costs will not put GSK (or probably any other drugs giant) out of business, it might make particular drug lines less profitable, even to the point of unprofitability.
It's not a general increase in costs, though, is it? And not imposed by the UK, but by Brussels. It hits the shareholders, but not the profitability of any particular area of research, except in so far as the EU might withdraw from mutually advantageous co-operation, for political reasons.

Why has the fall in sterling's value increased marginal revenue? - just asking.
If drugco develops a drug in the UK, looking internationally, its costs are lower if research is conducted in the UK, and its profits on export from the UK greater.
Nick wrote:
If a producer decides that marginal costs are too much then they will stop producing.
External costs are not a marginal cost, are they?
They don't vary with production, do they? In this instance they are a one off. I doubt they are significant enough to stop GKN from operating in the UK, especially as other marginal costs are down, and marginal revenue up as a result of the Brexit vote. By way more than £70 million.
I think I answered the first point above.
Hmmm... you think...?

Of course increased external costs will be part of total costs, and marginal cost/revenue thing presupposes a stable supply curve.
I don't think you actually mean a stable supply curve; rather that investment etc will be hit by uncertainty. True. So why is the EU hell-bent on perpetuating and increasing uncertainty?

I am not suggesting that GKN will cease to operate, only that its output may be affected - I don't claim to know by how much.
We agree, but for different reasons :)

If other marginal costs are down, this is not relevant, is it,
why on earth not? Of course it is! Hence the huge improvement in manufacturing industry in the last quarter.

unless this decrease is directly related to Brexit?
It is, because of the reduction in the exchange rates.

What this piece does suggest is that costs of so doing will increase because of Brexit, and some at least of these costs will be passed onto the NHS.
...except, of course, that revenues will increase having left. So why should the NHS be charged more? (I think there are various controls on this sort of thing, though I'm not sure what..... Drug companies don't have a blank cheque, do they....?

But if, as we have seen, revenues from such research are higher, then there is no need to charge the NHS more, is there?[/quote]can you explain why the revenues are higher.[/quote]If prices are expressed in Euros, then profits, in pounds, will be higher.

It may be that drugs companies use Brexit costs as a reason to increase prices while ignoring countering effects connected with the latter - I would not know or trust them not to.
Your prejudice is showing! See above for explanation.

Nick wrote:
That is what we were talking about, not the effects of the euro.
But they are inextricably linked, aren't they?
no, at least only in your mind, and please see above
I'm losing the plot here! It seems we both need to "see above" ! :laughter:

Nick wrote:
And do please stop braying meh, it don't mean a thing and it is in fact demeaning - geddit?
Sorry you don't like the phrase "meh", (though I never "bray"!) but it does seem to sum things up fairly succinctly: that the evidence put forward doesn't have much value. And it's not quite as insulting as "geddit?" :wink: At least you didn't say "Capiche?" :laughter:
I certainly did not mean to be insulting (meh sounds more of a bleat than a bray!), and I tend to say "geddit?" when I have tried to make a silly pun, as now. So capiche?
Having met you and shared a pint or two (actually we had our own, but that's how the phase goes :D ) I know that no malice was intended. :D It's a pleasure to debate with you, animist. :D

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2918 Postby Alan H » January 13th, 2018, 11:34 am

So much good stuff in this: The week that Brexit plumbed new depths of absurdity
Any expectation that the New Year would concentrate Brexiters’ minds on the pragmatic realities of Brexit has been abundantly dashed this week, with a string of absurdities. Yet, absurdities though they be, each of them is revealing of some of the deep and recurring flaws within Brexit.

So, first, came the news that David Davis had consulted lawyers as to possible legal action against the EU for producing documents outlining the consequences of Britain becoming a third country to the EU after Brexit (see, for example, this one on the consequences for road transport). The legal advice, predictably, was that there was no basis for such an action but even to entertain the idea is extraordinary (and to which court would the case be taken? The despised ECJ presumably). For it is an ineluctable consequence of Brexit that, in March 2019, Britain will become a third country, and a real possibility – actually welcomed by some Brexiters – is that there will be no deal. It was even rumoured this week, although nothing came of it, that Britain would create a Minister charged with planning for a no deal scenario. Thus it is bizarre that Davis would think it illegitimate for the EU to plan for this. Equally bizarre was his claim that the EU was not giving sufficient credence to a transition (or, in Brexit-speak, implementation) period since – apart from the fact that this is by no means assured – the EU documents in question did, precisely, identify this as a possibility that could mitigate or defer the full consequences of being a third country.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22926
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2919 Postby Alan H » January 13th, 2018, 2:17 pm

The crumbs of hope
So what exactly does the government want? Has it actually decided or does it remain split? Will it put options to parliament or decide itself? Is it even capable of deciding itself?

The last question is far from rhetorical. The ultra Brexiters don’t actually want a deal. They think any deal will entail acceptance of European standards on consumer protection, workplace rights, environmental standards and fair competition – the very things the neoliberal right hate about the rules for the European market and why they wanted to leave the EU in the first place. No matter that a no-deal Brexit would leave a legal limbo for everything from airplane landing rights to citizens’ rights, and mean a sudden-death end to participation in EU agencies and programmes. No matter that it would mean immediate WTO tariffs on trade with Europe and dropping out of trade agreements with countries across the world that we currently have via the EU. They don’t care. For them, it’s a price worth paying to secure their ideological dream of a deregulated, low tax, low public service corporate free-for-all.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22926
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2920 Postby Alan H » January 14th, 2018, 12:03 pm

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has told hardline Brexiteers “you’ve had your chance and failed”.
Scottish Government analysis, to be published this week, will set out the impact on Scotland’s future economic growth of three options for the future UK relationship with Europe – if the country cannot remain members of the EU.

he said: “More than 18 months on from the Brexit vote, it beggars belief that the UK Government is not only still unable to say what kind of relationship it wants with the EU, but has also failed to produce any meaningful economic assessment of the different possibilities.

“Bluntly, the hard Brexiteers have had their chance and failed.”

She added: “They have completely failed to explain how their approach could even remotely come close to replacing the enormous lost trade and investment of leaving the single market.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6348
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2921 Postby animist » January 14th, 2018, 12:06 pm

Alan - I don't know whether you have posted this already. The "Ukraine option" (DCFTA) seems almost too favourable to Britain to be acceptable to the EU. For one thing, Ukraine is presumably a net exporter of labour, so one can see why the its deal with the EU would not require free movement of labour. But Britain is a net importer of labour, quite a different situation. Also no budget payments to the EU too good to be true?


The Brexit Blog




Britain would do better to look to Ukraine than the Pacific

Posted: 05 Jan 2018 05:36 AM PST

The need for realism about Brexit, suggested in my previous post, is underscored by the report this week that Liam Fox and the Department for International Trade are developing plans to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This – like joining NAFTA or creating hypothetical Commonwealth or CANZUK free trade areas – is the kind of idea that surfaces from time to time amongst Brexiters on social media, but so far as I know this is the first indication that it is being seriously considered.

The deficiencies of this idea should be obvious – there is a very big clue in the name. Regional trade agreements make sense for countries in a particular region, but not for countries on the other side of the world. Which is also why the TPP countries account for a very small percentage of UK trade currently and any further expansion by joining TPP would be trivial compared with the volume of UK-EU trade. In any case, the EU already has actual or in progress trade agreements with seven of the eleven TPP countries, including Japan, the biggest. Moreover, as Samuel Lowe argues in an article in Prospect, the TPP negotiations are already fraught and there is absolutely no reason to think that the countries involved have any interest in adding Britain to them, and certainly not whilst the terms of the UK-EU relationship are unknown.

In short, the whole idea is a non-starter and its meaning, if it has any meaning, seems only to be to avoid the reality – also mentioned in my previous post – that Liam Fox’s role is an empty one, at least until Britain is no longer bound by the EU Common Commercial Policy which is, at the least, several years off. But even if TPP were a viable option for the UK, it would only serve as a reminder of the limitations of the Brexit argument for ‘sovereignty’. All trade deals to some extent, and regional partnerships to a much larger extent, entail some loss of sovereignty. The ECJ is anathema to Brexiters, but TPP (like NAFTA and many other trade agreements) will make use of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) systems which effectively by-pass national courts and are beyond public scrutiny or accountability.

The reality is that you can have trade agreements, or you can have complete sovereignty: you can’t have both. Indeed, a strong argument for the EU single market is that it embeds regional trade within a set of publicly accountable political institutions, including democratic institutions. Britain within the EU has far more control of its own affairs than will the ‘Global Britain’ envisaged by the Liam Fox and Boris Johnson version of Brexit. For that matter, the typical requirement of modern trade deals to liberalise immigration policy bodes ill for those who voted for Brexit in the belief that it would limit immigration.

By contrast with the nonsense about TPP, Andrew Duff has written an extremely interesting and incisive analysis of the Brexit situation on Policy Network. It is well worth reading in its entirety, but the particular aspect that caught my attention was the idea that the UK could seek to create a form of association agreement with the EU modelled to some degree on the Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

This, in brief, would entail free movement of capital, goods, some services on a sectoral basis potentially including financial services, but not free movement of people; a customs agreement (including rules of origin) outside of the customs union and the common commercial policy, as well as co-operation on security and defence. There is no contribution to the EU budget, although contributions are made to specific agencies and programmes such as Erasmus (something the UK have already indicated a desire to do). I am not entirely clear what the precise implications of a DCFTA would be for the Irish border, but my assumption is that free movement of goods would help to resolve one of the key aspects of this issue and that, in general terms, the closer the partnership the softer any border would need to be. (For more detail on what the Ukraine DCFTA involves see, apart from Duff’s excellent article, the European Parliament’s briefing on the economic impact of Brexit, especially p. 24).

Taken together, this would seem to be something that could be called the ‘deep and special partnership’ that Theresa May has repeatedly spoken of but without giving concrete detail. It goes well beyond the Canada CETA both as regards trade and non-trade issues and is more promising than CETA for resolving the Irish border issue. The fly in the ointment for Brexiters, of course, is that the DCFTA model gives an ultimate, albeit arm’s length, role of arbitration to the ECJ, and a high degree of compliance with the EU acquis (and the more services sectors that get included, the higher the degree of compliance). Clearly the Brexit Ultras will immediately reject this model, therefore. But it is at least possible the UK government will be more pragmatic. Such a DCFTA would give many Brexiters a lot of what they want – including an end to free movement of people, an end to EU budget payments, and freedom to pursue an independent trade policy – whilst being far less economically damaging than CETA (let along no deal/WTO). In terms of ‘control’ and sovereignty, it is already clear from the phase 1 agreement on citizens’ rights that the ECJ red line will be crossed, and most likely it will also be for participation in the various agencies. In any case, as noted above, all international trade agreements entail compromises of sovereignty.

The reality is that if Britain is going to salvage anything from Brexit then the corner that May’s red lines have painted us into will have to be substantially breached. I speculated in my previous post that they seemed to have been drawn up entirely by Theresa May and her (pre-election) inner circle of advisers. Since then, I have been reading Tim Shipman’s fascinating book Fall Out(London: William Collins, 2017). In it he confirms this speculation, writing “it is extraordinary that these, the foundational decisions of Britain’s withdrawal strategy … were taken, in essence, by two people [May and Nick Timothy]. The cabinet certainly had no chance to debate them” (p.12). Extraordinary, indeed – and it would seem absurd, given all that has happened, since that they should be treated as sacrosanct, whatever the political difficulties of modifying or abandoning some of them. There are, after all, political difficulties in all scenarios.

Of course this is not just about Britain. As Duff explains, a DCFTA would also require some degree of compromise on the EU side and would not automatically be available to the UK. Still, he regards it as worth exploring as “the least bad choice”. If by that he means, as compared with, in order, EU membership and EFTA membership then I think I agree. At the very least it is a model which deserves to be more widely discussed and considered than it has been; doing so will certainly be more worthwhile than wasting time with fantasies such as TPP.


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