I’m sitting opposite the “Spitfire” Meeting Room in Southampton airport. The echoes of “their finest hour” are everywhere on the south coast of England, not surprisingly. Southampton, one of the main ports for British trade with Europe, voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, proving that there’s no end to the self-harm that certain parts of England will endure in the name of sovereignty.
But sovereignty is what it’s all about here. Despite the fact that most workers in the airport appear to be foreign – or maybe because of it – the mood down here in deepest Hampshire is strangely anti-foreigner.
Britain has been a land of immigrants for a long time now, not least for the six million British people who have at least one Irish grandparent. But the Irish are not foreigners here and never have been seen as such.
While there may have been casual racism against us from some quarters, there is no real sense that the Irish are regarded as foreigners by most. Different yes, but foreigners, no.
What is strange is the anti-immigrant shift in British political discourse. I’m flying to Belfast City airport in East Belfast, another constituency that voted to leave the EU. In East Belfast, the issue wasn’t foreigners – because let’s face it, there’s hardly a queue of immigrants bashing down the doors of the Lower Newtownards Road. In East Belfast, Brexit wasn’t anti-foreigner; it was anti the other lot across the Lagan.
However, both votes are linked by nationalism. In Hampshire, it is English nationalism. In East Belfast, it is British nationalism. Interestingly, English nationalism may eventually undermine British nationalism, leaving unionists high and dry. In fact, if you gave the English a say, it’s highly likely that the English would vote for the unionists and indeed the Scottish Nationalists to take a hike.
Over the course of my few days here, which involved a short speech in the non-EU Channel Islands, the sense of English nationalism has been more palpable than at any other time that I’ve spent out here in the Shires. This tone was echoed at the Tory Party conference and British business people – at least the ones I have been speaking to – do not like what they are hearing from Theresa May.
The Tories have always been the party of business. And this means open borders, free trade and of course, immigration. If the Tories veer off in a protectionist direction, who will speak for British business?
What was the Home Secretary doing speaking of ‘flushing out’ companies that employed foreigners? What about the call for the NHS to be populated by British staff? Anyone who has ever been in a British hospital knows that the entire system is held together by immigrants. What would the NHS be without Jamaican nurses, Polish porters or Indian doctors?
However, the mood has shifted profoundly. There will be a hard Brexit. From here, Britain’s economic and social policy will look and feel like the 1970s. There will be much more government spending on public services.
There will be a significant increase in state aids to bolster British industry. This is due, in part, to address the fact that although all of England voted for Brexit, the Midlands and the North’s industrial decline needs to be arrested. This means re-industrialisation with the help of subsidies.
The message the Tories want to put out is they are a “One Nation” party and they are the party of government for all England.
This means that the Tories, ever opportunistic, are going to drive home the advantage Brexit gives them, even though the party actually campaigned to Remain! This has been conveniently overlooked. The main imperative now for the Tories is to destroy the wounded Labour Party. Labour’s self-inflicted immolation under Jeremy Corbyn is a huge opportunity for the Tories and they intend to be the party of all things for everyone, everywhere in England.
This means Britain’s budget deficit will rise substantially. Interest rates will rise too, maybe not substantially, but any rise will be psychologically significant given that they have been at zero for some time. Any moves to kick out foreign workers means wages have to rise in Britain because immigrants keep wages down. The Bank of England will keep an eye on this and also it will be on alert to look tough in reaction to the criticism Theresa May doled out in Threadneedle Street’s direction in the past few days.
In short, it’s all change across the water. The Brexiters have been emboldened by the fact that in June, 71 per cent of City economists said Britain would experience a recession this year if Brexit was voted for. Brexit was voted for and what happened, the economy didn’t fall off a cliff; in fact, it expanded. The IMF now says Britain will be the fastest growing large economy in the world next year! The experts got it totally wrong.
The rapid fall in sterling has given exporters a massive shot in the arm. The fall in sterling has also led to a massive increase in mergers and investment as foreign investors pick up UK assets cheaply.
Here in Belfast you can really feel the value. Things are so much cheaper than in Dublin, it is surprising that anyone shops in the Republic anymore. I expect Christmas shopping in the North will go through the roof this year. The Irish economy has to deal with this.
The euro has always been an impossibly inconsistent currency for us. The punt was just fine, and now our euro commitment, which has been a total disaster for Ireland with a massive currency-related boom followed by a massive debt-related bust, will come under scrutiny again.
However, the long-term outlook for sterling has to be that it rebounds against the euro. So the bargains are there to be picked up now.
Ireland has to deal with Brexit. There are many opportunities for us. However, it is now becoming rapidly evident that the Brexit has changed Britain, changed it utterly.
Happy Thanksgiving to all from Salt Spring Island.
“If the Tories veer off in a protectionist direction, who will speak for British business?”
Brexit has nothing to do with protectionism. It is all to do with retaining control of ones life. Personal sovereignty, national sovereignty. Who needs to be governed by faceless bureaucrats in a foreign land.
Britain has always traded and always will.
If Canada can negotiate CEDA then Britain will cut a deal too.
Self harm? NHS would fall apart without foreigners? Typical of the mainstream media who want to see enforced diversity, and economists who think that everything must be predicated on economics. In Britain they have chosen to import doctors and nurses – 3 out of 10 doctors are foreign nationals and half of all nurses are foreign nationals. So British trained doctors and nurses have to move abroad to find work. Great plan. In Germany they have chosen to train German nationals – 95% of all doctors and nurses are German nationals, only 5% are foreign nationals. Which is the better… Read more »
Perhaps the Tories, in the future, will be able to punch back at the EU’s claim to hold the high ground by saying that “Ee in Britain have come to our senses. We now know that the rich south of England must divert some of its wealth to the North of England. Meanwhile we do not see any attempt in the EU to divert some of the wealth of its north to its poor south. Quite the opposite. So how dare the EU claim it is well and fairly governed?” Oh, I forgot, the UK never joined the Euro because… Read more »
Can we have a calculation please on when the Irish become a minority in Ireland? Given the much smaller initial population, and the dramatically higher immigration rate, coupled with emigration of Irish, it’s got to be very soon.
Can’t see it David, the terms of a ‘Hard Brexit’, meaning leaving the single market, would have to be agreed by parliament and with Big Business and the political elites firmly against it, it simply won’t fly, regardless of what the malcontents and miscreants of the racist right hope.
It will be a case of back to the drawing board.
As you were.
Ah Southampton – the answer to that famous pub quiz question about which team had 7 (former) English captains either on the field or managing it on the same night. Interestingly one of the few ‘red’ constituencies along the south coast. The connections with Belfast are many – especially through the Titanic. Some say Southampton was the most bombed city in second world war, and its supposed to have the most traffic lights of any city per capita in England. The issue with a hard brexit is that it will end up in a dissolution of the UK. I don’t… Read more »
Maybe David, that by voting for Brexit the British people have sent a clear message to the German dominated EU that Business is there to serve the people and not the other way around. To me at least this makes perfect sense in a changing World, for example, the American Economy as it is developing at the moment is over 80% service sector and rising. People are demanding services, competition is fierce, offerings improving all the time. Americans want and are so desperate to move away from a Business controlled economy as represented by the Clinton’s, Wall Street, etc. that… Read more »
[ The fall in sterling has also led to a massive increase in mergers and investment as foreign investors pick up UK assets cheaply. ] Looking at the current FTSE prices, it seems that there are few assets to pick up cheaply. And UK real estate is not cheap either. Unless, one is banking on UK£ to rebound. Which is unlikely, given that currently it is policy to keep exporting from Britain. Britain, is out playing Germany at currency based exporting competitiveness. In addition to being more competitive in terms of logistics, and labour productivity. In the early 1990s, Britain… Read more »
Ireland will operate the Brexit Border…when you read it like that….you just have to laugh but Juncker will not be LOLing in his Brussels bunker, he’ll be finalising plans to sacrifice Ireland to banjax Brexit, even if he knows it’s a kami-kaze mission. The EU is now a delusional cult and it’s heading for it’s climactic Waco moment: don’t let that the emergence of a Calais Jungle situation in Dundalk… As for Liberal Ireland’s synthetic outrage about Amber Rudd’s proposals: what planet are you all on? smfh ‘What is strange is the anti-immigrant shift in British political discourse. I’m flying… Read more »
Ref. DMW above . “The euro has always been an impossibly inconsistent currency for us. The punt was just fine. And now, our euro commitment, which has been a total disaster for Ireland with a massive currency-related boom followed by a massive debt-related bust, will come under scrutiny again.” Redacted slightly by Truthist . “impossibly inconsistent currency” ; . Surely, the alternative to Money [ Gold ( Coin or actual “Gold” Paper ; Available now ) or Silver Coin ] ONLY, AND no other medium of exchange other than Money [ i.e. G or S ( above ) ] is… Read more »
How will interest rates rise If the deficit widens especially if the UK Govt starts throwing out govt subsidies?
“What would the NHS be without Jamaican nurses, Polish porters or Indian doctors?”
There are 1.64 million brits out of work;
Surely a few of them could be retrained?
John Maynard Keynes was the Warren Buffet of his day, he was a very successful private investor. Not many people know that. What does it tell us today? It tells us that economics is not so much a profession as an investment management tool, for governments and private individuals alike. How many of today’s economic pundits make their living in the real world of the markets, as Keynes did? Not many I think. My point is that all economic punditry should be tested in the relevant stock, commodity or currency market, the only place where all the relevant factors are… Read more »
Systemic Risk ?
Ireland’s state system is NOT run efficiently.
Ireland’s banking system is a hotbed of ineptitude, incompetence and bungling.
Ireland’s transport system is a triumph of extraction over responsibility.
Ireland’s income tax policy is a victory of greed over effort.
Ireland’s welfare system is a triumph of absurdity over initiative.
Ireland’s health system is representative of the urge to fail being greater than the need to succeed.
Britain is working with the Irish government to strengthen Irish borders against refugees. They are doing this to keep the NI and Ireland border mostly open As David points out any Irish person with any sense will go shopping in NI from now on. And Irish politician knows that economic ties to the UK are essential to keep Ireland from severe economic shrinkage.
Theresa May finds a way to ensure Britain’s interests are served in respect of the Brexit. https://mishtalk.com/2016/10/09/article-50-perfectly-timed/ That is thinking strategically. Timed when the other main Mer-de are grappling with their own disgruntled electorates. Britain continues to prepare. It is the Spitfire era all over again. Ireland is not preparing for anything except nonsense. Public sector unions are playing Ogle-nomics. Meanwhile Kenny-lite and Bertie’s successor are getting ready to spin a €5 per week increase to pensioners, and gain maximum PR leverage. And Ireland runs an inefficient, sloppy, large loaded institutional state. Which continues to underperform, and suck the rest… Read more »
https://mishtalk.com/2016/10/09/article-50-perfectly-timed/ From Mish. David shoulod invite Mish to Kilkenny. [ Timing of the article 50 announcement, by March 2017, is ahead of French and German elections. Politicians will have elections, not Brexit on their minds. Many blame Theresa May because it will take time off the negotiations. Politically speaking, May knows precisely what she is doing. Those who think otherwise, need to consider how well she has rounded up support in many quarters by offering something to everyone: UK Prime Minister Attacks QE, Irresponsible Capitalism, Tax-Dodging Companies. The date was carefully timed, precisely to put pressure on Angela Merkel by… Read more »
I don’t think that it’s really nationalism in the UK, so much as it is as a sense of a kick back against Blairism and all that therein was. It was, after all, the first time in about 25 years that they had anyone other than a Blairite to vote for. That’s a whole generation – you’d have to be in your mid 40s to have been old enough to vote for anything else. Contrary to the poetic extravagances of the the UK media, the economy is in a perilous state indeed. UK exports haven’t risen since Brexit not because… Read more »
We wait and see if it is really all over. Stockman has many valid points.
Most of the people condemning Trump for talking like a ‘brute” about some of the women he meets in his business & & entertainment & political circuit are HYPOCRITES in this context ;
They say a picture tells a 1,000 words ;
LOOK AT POST “# 384” FOR PROOF OF THEIR HYPOCRISY.
These are the folks who “pretend” to be offended by Donald Trump’s language.
Haven’t read the article but just on the headline.
Of course it’s going to be a hard Brexit.
The EGOs in the EU won’t have it any other way – that’s how bullies behave.
We’re next to be bullied, our main weapon are the US multinationals.
On that basis we should not be condemning either Trump or Clinton (note my hypocrisy).
A low poll could mean a very tight vote.
Silence is Golden particularly from our politicians.
I am inclined to think that Snowden is a “Double-Agent” planted into Russia for The Dreadful Few’s proxy USA
I have same thoughts about Assange.
Anyway, here is the latest from Snowden ;
Edward Snowden: Osama Bin Laden Is “Alive And Well In The Bahamas”
By wmw_admin on October 10, 2016
On Trump v Clinton.
Clinton will win but the veil has slipped.
The American electorate might well vote republican in both houses to make sure she’s kept in check.
America will be at war in four years time because the electorate always reelect th incumbent when their nation is at war.
Eredington was one of the bastions of the Birmingham Irish, it’s amusing it’s now the epicentre of the working class jihad against Neoliberalism: ‘‘Erdington conservatism‘ (named after a working class area of Birmingham) imagines the state intervening in the economy, to defend the interests of the immobile against the mobile, for reasons that liberals will never really understand because they’ve probably never experienced hardship. Resonances with ‘Blue Labour’ and ‘Red Toryism’ have been widely noted. There is obviously no contradiction between social conservatism and economic protectionism: both are hostile to the fluidity, cosmopolitanism and perceived snobbery of liberalism. Theresa May’s… Read more »
The Budget, is framed in the context of the key issue of importance being another election within 12 months, and Mickey Martin’s vote buying machine’s ambitions to rrebuild their vote-buying appeal. Actually, the key fact of relevance is Brexit. We are facing a massive competitiveness problem. Britain is using Brexit as a means of getting it’s debt down. Increasing competitiveness, whilst decreasing debt. Whilst taking avail of chaos in the EuroZone thanks to the serial incompetence of the ECB – which gives the GBP a lot of forgiveness. So how are the politicians in Kildare Street addressing the competitiveness problem… Read more »
“Nobody does it better” are words in a James Bond theme movie.
Bond is a fictional character – Our politicians are about as believable.
Hillary Clinton gets away with wiping out 30,000 emails but the bankers are now having to cough up in the conspiracy prosecution of price fixing gold etc. ………”Large global banks targeted in a lawsuit alleging price fixing in the gold market, including Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, will have to turn over internal emails and other correspondence spanning several years as the case moves ahead, says Daniel Brockett, the New York lawyer who is spearheading the U.S. lawsuit. “They have to produce all the relevant emails and chat room instant messages, however they communicated with each other,” Brockett said in… Read more »
Free trade Canadian style.
Bombardier–to big to fail!!!!??????
Brexit requires a shift in competitiveness. Ireland’s regions are not able to compete on cost or scale with England’s regions. The current mindset of the government is to not scale back the institutional state and rectify the indirect cost problem. The local authorities must be mandated with the ability to take their cut from all activities, and also with unnecessary expenditure. Provincial Ireland is no longer competitive. The minumum wage is adrift of reality. If there is no business, thanks to the high costs of operating a NGV, the joke that is Irish Railfreight, fuel costs, then there are no… Read more »
The article in the Irish Independent is correct. Bertonomics does NOT work. It creates a party, and then a cathastrophe. It has the key personality, it has a whiskey nose, and a series of embarrassments as the long term consequence, like it’s key personality. The politicians are returning to Bertonomics. It is madness. Noonan wanted to out-Bertie Bertie once. And the people reject his approach. now, he is doing it again. The housing market in Dublin needs – more supply – more commercial activity at regional hubs to take the pressure off Dublin, and restore the regional balance – higher… Read more »
We need to get labour productivity fixed. We need to get the debts under control. And we need to concentrate state resources, on improving state sector efficiency, so that we can improve the quality of services provided, whilst reducing their cost to the rest of society.
Instead we are getting tried-&-failed Bertonomics.
Competitive squeeze up ahead.
Is ur government — L.E.J. ; The Leglislative, The Executive, & The Judiciary, & the L.E.J.’s Instrument ; The Civil SERPENTS — ur friend ? . Ref. . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Joseph_Proudhon . In The General idea of the Revolution 1851 Proudhon urged a “society without authority.” In a subchapter called “What is Government?” he wrote: . To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be… Read more »
Brexit will be hard. Brexit will now be even harder, for Ireland. Bertonomics are back on the scene. More borrowing, more largesse, more pressies for anybody whose vote is for sale. We are failing to address competitiveness. Failing to address state inefficiency. Failing to address state ineffectiveness. Failing to address the misallocation of resources. Failing to address regional retardation, which is happening. Failing to address a productivity problem. Failing to address debt problems, and Noonan wants to incentivise more debt. The problem is that there are not enough residences being built in Dublin city. Building them in Westmeath is not… Read more »
I had only brief view ;
But, it looks to be an interesting website.
I hope that it confines itself to its specific focus inherent in its name,
News about “False Flag” conspiracies ; Past, Present, & Future.
I am listening to interesting discussion here about Trump versus Hillary Clinton debate # 2 on youtube.com ;