/ Home & Energy, Money

Brexit: consumer needs must be front and centre

Brexit westminster

Plans for the UK’s departure from the European Union are now underway. While the government is setting up an all-business forum to consider the needs of the economy, we’re concerned the voice of consumers isn’t being heard.

Writing in The Times today, I’ve again pressed for David Davis, as the reappointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, to consider the important role consumers should play in the Brexit negotiations.

Sir,

During the financial crisis of 2009, Which? established the Future of Banking Commission to give consumers, who had been ignored despite paying the price in bailouts and austerity measures, a voice at the heart of the debate. That Commission was chaired by David Davis MP.

Today, eight years on, Mr Davis has created a business forum designed to ensure that the Government’s negotiating position on Brexit reflects the needs of the economy. However, the voice of consumers, who not only voted for Brexit but will also pay the bills and feel the effects, is once again missing despite the fact that consumer confidence is what is keeping our economy growing.

Mr Davis now has the opportunity to remember the vision that led him to produce that important report on banking. To ensure consumer needs are front and centre in the negotiations, he should now invite consumer representatives, such as Which?, to join this critical forum.

Peter Vicary-Smith
Chief Executive
Which?

Have your say

Do you think that consumers are being appropriately represented in the Brexit negotiations? Should Which? and other consumer representatives have a role in this business forum?

Comments
Allen Williams says:
7 July 2017

It is perfectly simple. Business is pressurizing the Government over the terms of Brexit; so should consumer organizations. The view of business is rarely congruent with that of the consumer. The consumer wants quality products at low prices, whereas business wants the least disruption possible to their existing trading links, and will ignore consumer interests which lie with the expanded international free trade that should follow leaving the EU.

I agree with your analysis Allen.

The bottom line is that in a capitalist system, sorry to introduce the term, we need to have successful companies selling goods and employing workers [consumers].

Civil servants, journalists, newscasters etc produce no outputs of value but can exist because the money pump to pay for them is production and services that we can sell internally and to the world.

We have to be realistic about this simple fact – trade is what pays. Who pays calls the tune .

The role of Which? or other charities cannot be to sit at the top table and be part of the solution presented to the people [us]. What charities need to do is draw the lines in the sand when the Government tries to use the Brexit negotiations as an excuse for attacking the NHS , or worsening protective laws.

Part of the line-drawing is surely to educate the public on the potential outcomes and dangers. In this respect Which? was a total failure when TTIP was a possibility and Brussels swarmed with company lobbyists Which? said nowt.

I very much fear that getting too close to Govt. may weaken severely the ability to criticise openly when and if there are unacceptable moves that adversely affect consumers.

I cannot see why it is necessary to discriminate between charities and other organisations that represent consumer interests.Personally,I find continuing references to ‘the charity’ [i.e. Which?] distracting and confusing. I understand the implications of a charitable structure and its obligations but I don’t see that as being especially relevant in this discussion. There are various organisations with charitable, non-charitable, ethical, friendly, voluntary, not-for-profit status,and in other ways independent of government, that can contribute , and if we are not careful they will take Which?’s seat at any table.

I am also not sure of what “getting too close to Govt.” implies. This is about trying to get a place at “a business forum designed to ensure that the Government’s negotiating position on Brexit reflects the needs of the economy“. The Which? CEO says the Secretary of State “should now invite consumer representatives, such as Which?, to join this critical forum“. “Critical” in both senses of the word I hope. I don’t think this stance is evidence of any complicity with the government. Which? can take its own minutes of any meeting and challenge any spin or misrepresentation that might be put on the discussions.

JW-

Firstly . As you may know the ability for charities to be active in a “political” way has been affected by recent legislation which does make them different from the other variety of groups you describe but do not elucidate who they actually are. I am a little surprised you do not add that MP’s should also be representing consumer interests.

Secondly. “and if we are not careful they will take Which?’s seat at any table.” If you recall the Government got Which? to chair a committee on Direct Marketing which eventually produced a toothless report which seemed more to represent the views of the Direct Marketing industry rather than that of consumers .

The desire to be seen as important seems to be the main driver for this letter. Surely a rational man would see that the chances of affecting the negotiations are laughfully unlikely inside the system and Which? is better off outside being able to criticise as the leaks appear rather than stifled from commenting as an insider to the process.

In case it helps appreciate the immediate threats I would suggest bouncing into a trade treaty with the US a la TTIP is perhaps the most immediate danger to the British consumer.

Thanks, Patrick.

Much of our industry has been moved to other European countries with EU money for which we should be getting compensation as part of the negotiations.

One thing the government should be doing is getting industry working in this country again and importantly, British owned. We should not be relying on trade deals to support ourselves but creating products that we and other countries want, training and jobs for the unemployed, employment in areas of high unemployment, giving people back their dignity and hope for the future.

Agree on the industry Alfa , in my view to have any chance of making this country “Great” again it isn’t running it as a service industry but as an industrialized country and, sorry I keep bringing this up, that goes entirely against the “ethics ” of the City and big banks . You will notice on this Brexit convo the number of posters who say just that. Your comment that — giving people back their Dignity and Hope for the future is a Classic and should be framed and put in the entrance to the Houses of Parliament , as MP,s who SHOULD be representing US walk in because that is at the heart and soul of every decent Briton in this country

I would love to see a return to the days when every washing machine, television, motor car, and piece of furniture, as well as all the linens, clothing and accessories for domestic life were produced here, plus all the machine tools and equipment for factories, offices and shops. Wouldn’t we all? But nobody has come up with the slightest idea of how we can achieve that .

Unfortunately, the decision to outsource so much of our consumption was taken by British traders and retailers, designers and manufacturers who saw an easy way out from difficult labour forces, outdated plant and equipment, high wages and tax obligations, and a generally inflexible industrial infrastructure.

Today the manufacturing industries we are left with, apart from a number of hi-tech concerns whose primary stock-in-trade is intellectual property rather than the hardware, are those where the goods are too heavy or bulky to economically shift half way round the world, like building materials,or, like foodstuffs, have rapid turnover and use home-grown ingredients, or like pharmaceuticals, are closely linked to the U K’s research strengths. Most of the rest of ‘heavy’ industry is fabrication and assembly using imported components.

Even entrepreneurs who have developed British products and manufactured them here have transferred production overseas [Dyson, for example].

Having said all that, there is still a surprisingly large industrial and manufacturing base in the UK but it is not concentrated in massive plants employing thousands of workers so it does not have the profile of our historical background. But that was a time when we had Commonwealth countries and colonies that would, before we joined the EU, instinctively buy British capital goods in return for our buying their wool, butter, fruit, meat, vegetables, cotton, coffee and tea.

Duncan – What on earth is wrong with service industries? We used to insure the world, and could do so again – modern communications technology would make it even easier. We can [and do] make TV programmes that are very popular around the globe. Publishing, law. media, accountancy,design, education, architecture, engineering, medial science and lots of other consultancy professions are service industries that could grow stronger and develop further internationally. Our great advantage in service industry expansion is the English language which takes us into more markets than any other, even into Russia and China. I always look on the bright side of life.

However much we might hanker for the days of when most goods were made in the UK, it is not going to happen. There are reasons why we stopped making cars, washing machines and electronic goods and they still apply. There is still a place for high quality specialist products and for consumer goods that a minority are prepared to pay for in this country and abroad. I support what John has said in his last two posts. I have no problem with skilled people working in service industries and hope that the future of the UK will involve focus on allowing our citizens to work to their potential rather than working on the assembly lines of washing machine manufacturers.

I hope that those involved in the negotiations will focus on trade opportunities that will help us realise our potential.

John, I grew up in an industrial town that probably had near 100% employment. Now, the industries have gone, that town is dead with too many people on the dole and no hope for employment unless they move. I don’t know the answer, but investment has to be made. Does the government keep paying benefits or would money be better spent getting people off benefits? Our wheelie bins are made in Germany, why can’t they be made here?

John as always you sound reasonable and that has more of an influence on me than outright opposition as its intellectually thought out. You have a point I wont deny it that successive governments have decided to “go ” for this course of action and from what I know London/The City actually control a lot of the US economy , to the anger of some US citizens who know how “things work ” but “Greatness ” is only achieved from a very strong industrial base like China/Germany and even Russia and by doing so invest in people not off-shore entities /money laundering etc . It provides jobs for the population including young people so is futuristic , it puts hard cash into people pockets so they spend more on goods so boosting the economy of the country , cuts down on welfare spending as people have employment , but as far as the government is concerned , puts power into the public’s hands — and we cant have that can we ?

I agree, Alfa, that not enough was done to support those industrial areas that suffered mercilessly from industrial decline. The government never decided to send production elsewhere, but it had a responsibility to deal with the recovery, and it funked it. The prevailing attitude was “get on your bike”.

Not all industries are resilient and heavy manufacturing, steel-making, chemicals, shipbuilding, mining, glass-making, etc, are usually locked into their locations due to their proximity to raw materials or established infrastructure, However, other forms of employment like public services, hospitals, prisons, offices, laboratories, educational establishments, light engineering, food manufacturing, military bases, and all manner of other service industries, could have been incentivised to relocate from over-populated metropolitan areas. But apart from setting up a few enterprise zones and retail parks – and virtually useless employment projects stuffed with management consultants – the government didn’t do it; no government since the early 1970’s.

Service industries also create employment for armies of lower-skilled workers in support services, supplies, maintenance, administration, haulage, and public services. There are many examples around the country where there was a male-dominated primary industry with alongside it a textile mill, or processing plant, or consumer goods assembly line, to provide a full range of occupations for the whole family. We should have built on that tradition but didn’t.
The trouble is we have lost too much and cannot recover lost ground, so we had better make the best of where we are.

In many cases the jobs we have lost were labour-intensive, hard, dirty, hazardous, and under-rewarded, and the places that provided them were polluting, unhealthy, and damaging to our waterways and countryside. New industries and services will need a well-educated highly-skilled and adaptable workforce. That is our biggest current challenge and I am not sure we have cracked it yet.

I agree with you, Duncan, and we could have it .

China is losing its competitive edge as labour problems, remuneration issues, and western environmental obligations undermine their unique selling point – an infinite supply of undemanding workers and an irresponsible attitude to the environment.

I don’t like some of the connotations of being “Great” so for me that is not an aspiration.

European legislation has done a great deal to protect the environment in this overpopulated country and most people don’t know much about this. Others may be concerned about financial matters but clean air and water and food that is free from hazardous chemicals are more important in my book.

I do hope that we can retain existing environmental protection and improve it for the benefit of our citizens.

I used “Great ” John because several posters on this convo brought it up and many poster want the UK to be “the country it once was ” , I know what you are getting at but this country always was and always will be “nationalistic ” and much as its denied has a lot of the same tendencies as the German physic hence the unashamed comments on Germany+Germans which do have some substance as Germany has always stated -it is the biggest economy , the hardest working, the more dedicated etc and no I haven’t taken that from Mein Kampf (my struggle/war ) but from modern day German opinion . They feel they are “natural leaders ” as this country does and being honest both countries have that National Personality built in besides their normal personalities its what makes each nation individualistic , that wont change . To me it still shows through that this small island nation has so much influence in the World that even Germany didn’t want it to depart and both it and France admitted the EU would “not be the same ” without this country .You cant help being what you are its a basic personality function .

I just want us to remain a united kingdom through which we might achieve greatness if our endeavours succeed.

I cannot assess the psyche of other countries’ citizens but the beauty of having four nations within one realm is that we can play out any ‘nationalistic’ fantasies amongst ourselves without upsetting the rest of the world.

The mainland was called Great Britain for geographical reasons, not on account of global eminence. Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain which is why United Kingdom is the better name. “Great” was used by Victorian companies [such as the Great Northern Railway which wasn’t great at all] to impress people with their supposed size and power but it was usually an arrogance and I regard it as such today. The less said about European perceptions of greatness and leadership the better I think!

Some areas that suffered decline due to the demise of heavy industry re-invented themselves and moved with the times. I cite Corby as a good example.

What we have always been good at in the UK is innovation, whether in products or services. Finance, shipbuilding, hovercraft, jet engine, jet airliner, stainless steel, pharmaceuticals ……. Where we have fallen down is in properly developing those products for our own benefit, perhaps because we have given away the technology or not had the investment to properly capitalise on them, and others have taken the initiative overseas. We still innovate and need the support to develop new ideas – from the government but also from private investors. Investment involves risk – high with new innovations – but if successful can lead to very profitable enterprises for the benefit of all. Incentives for us to invest in innovation would help and incentives to manufacture in the UK.

John says:
8 July 2017

Everybody and his dog want their “say” in Brexit. If we’re not careful we’ll end up with a dog’s breakfast that nobody wants. The negotiators have their brief, let them get on with it. We can always do the finer adjustments once we’re free of Europe’s over-weaning interference in our sovereign affairs.

David Reston says:
9 July 2017

yes. I support your motion and would urge you to redraft the letter to David Davies, M P, in more robust term.

The European Directive on Consumer Protection and the E & W Consumer Protection Act , together with the mass of CPA group litigations in, for instance, metal in metal (MoM) hip impl serve to illustrate the confusion and weaknesses that presently exist in this area of commercial / legal activity.

David Reston

The postings here so far do not appear to take in to account the extreme technicalities in negotiating us leaving the EU, the single market, the customs union and the many other treaties that are part of the “EU”.
So I am not convinced that Which? would be a meaningful contributor to the process. Most of the work will be carried out by civil servants, who are experts in their field. “Negotiations” will be carried out by politicians trying to make a name for themselves by not falling flat on their faces. The whole process will be spun with the collusion of the media that will give us the sound bites but not the whole picture just as they did before the referendum. During that time it took me many hours of study to investigate the different treaties like Maastricht treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty and the Lisbon treaty. They all need to be taken into account before we leave the EU officially at the end of March 2019. Most of the work will be legal disentanglement. The major things that need negotiation will be how we can continue to buy and sell to the 27 remaining EU members and how much we need to pay to relinquish the financial we have committed to.

Greytech how many times in political history has the civil service overruled a government ? If the civil service doesn’t do as its told by the existing government department heads are removed and a political appointee who is usually part of the government or favourable to their point of view is installed. Once installed the governments political agenda is carried out . This was blown up in the media many times in the past decades where (in the governments view) existing heads of departments pursued a more independent which usually amounted to a “left-wing agenda ” .The original idea of civil service “independence ” was therefore overruled in favour of existing government policy. Whatever way you look at this are you going to say the civil service will pursue an independent agenda that the government will accept ? They can only take care of the basics of the legal agreement in relation to laws that are not controversial to the political theme of the government who are the final arbiters in coming to an agreement as its the government that has been elected by the people and the MP,s (in government ) rule the nation by proxy of the voting public majority . The CS cant usurp the government so the blame at the end of the day cant be levied at the CS just so it gets the government “off the hook ” in a tight situation.

That’s right, Greytech, but the government and the civil servants still need to know what consumers wish them to negotiate for, and Which? is best placed to provide that input. You never get a second chance to make a first impression – trying to peck at the fruits of the negotiations won’t look good and there probably won’t be time for that anyway.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 July 2017

” but the government and the civil servants still need to know what consumers wish them to negotiate for, and Which? is best placed to provide that input.”

I was curious as to the reasons you feel this to be true. My impression is that consumers are generally badly informed on Brexit matters and particularly trade regulations. I would think both Which? and the Govt. use the same survey companies so any results are I expect are down to artful construction of the questions.

Genuinely the public appear to have only a few sacrosanct cows and the primary one of those is the NHS. Any diminishing of consumer protections and regulations I cannot see logically following on from negotiations on access and tariffs with the EU.

Where consumers may feel a pinch will be on prices – particularly food prices and though it is a consumer matter it is subordinate to the overall negotiations which are of course a political matter.

Previously JW you talked of other bodies being “at the table” and I was wondering who they were and whether they could possibly be more or less effective. However as I think that any effect would be near zero I was left wondering whether there is any point that becoming part of the process is a good thing.

Perhaps “bodies” should be looking at the foreseeable fall-out and preparing useful contingency plans, and even plans which have a current application.

The trade treaty with the US I think will be struck quickly for political expediency and will be a much greater threat to the established systems and regulations of the UK. The fear must be that it will be a form of TTIP substantially already agreeable to the big businesses that lobbied so very hard in Brussels – and of course with the certainty that WTO will be the supreme arbiter of what is and is not allowed under its terms.

On a more immediate and practical note –

It is fairly well-established that many many people live in houses that require significant energy to keep to the temperatures recommended by WHO. Against a backdrop of falling real incomes and expected energy price rises should organisations like Which? be doing practical activities to soften the blow.

Previously I have outlined various options to lower heating bills where guidance would be very useful. I note that the air exchange units have been a building requirement in France since 1982. You may well think that there should be some adequate research showing the efficiency or otherwise of these systems and the usefulness in a UK setting. I note UK manufacturers such as Nuaire are claiming up to 95% heat recovery and good air quality.

Making the building stock more airtight has knock-on effects on the air quality we breathe and the moisture level and moulds in houses. Given all consumers live in houses and pay to heat perhaps Which? could focus rapidly and with vigour on an area where we could all benefit before the final break.

I will add a “thumbs up ” to your post Patrick , I have commented before a few times on the TTIP situation and to me , this is one of the biggest National Calamities that could take place since the Norman Conquest and our whole National Identity and Legislation going back in history long, long before the USA was “invented ” .It is the first step in actual subversion of this countries basic laws of Freedom and Justice which the imposing country , the USA would never allow in a million years to happen in the USA . Can you imagine the Senate – what !!! let those “dastardly” Brits RUN our country what do think we fought the War of Independence for !! I know American thinking –never happen but its okay to run our country as a satrap ?? if that happens then this country is no country I will be proud of . Big Business dictating local BRITISH voted on policies ?? The Donald is said to be against globalisation , seemingly it doesn’t apply to “running ” another country through global businesses corp. USA . I dont care what apologies or excuses are forthcoming this is an “invasion ” in one sense. Why not just be honest and say-okay folks we are giving Britain to the USA because thats exactly what our Nuke sub commanders are told to do when ww3 starts in “secret ” documents.

I would trust Which? to know what consumers want and don’t want out of Brexit, Patrick, without having to go round and ask them.

I am always in favour of anything that makes space heating more efficient, economical and sustainable. All residential properties need controllable ventilation; currently a large number of them seem to have uncontrollable ventilation that is unhealthy. For a long time I have advocated treating older properties with cheap and effective insulation and draught-proofing that might not be the unaffordable best but will produce good returns. I would certainly welcome Which? giving this topic more than the usual cursory coverage; it could run for a year with each issue of the magazine tackling a different aspect over three or four pages. There would still be room for shoe polish and vinaigrette.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 July 2017

JW – Your faith is interesting. I think there are some very good people at Which? but I think that is a very big ask. I am finding currently even with Ordinary Members I get a range of opinions some of which are completely opposite on very simple matter like a twice yearly conclave of “regional represesentatives” and Council. Light year simpler than Brexit.

I support your concept totally. Whilst blaming the local energy providers is easy and emotive the world market in fuel is actual the main driver of price. Australia is just about to significantly up its prices by up to 20% for electricity and gas yet is one of the world’s largest exporter of natural gas.
choice.com.au/shopping/shopping-for-services/utilities/articles/electricity-prices-to-increase-july-220617

Que Choisir actually ran a “test” based on some firms advising on the best insulation/heat tech for four real houses around France. A genuine expert than took the advice and shredded most of it. A very big article but then big costs and important implications.

Choice in Australia have just rubbished electricity generation with battery storage suggesting waiting two/ three years for cheaper and better batteries. And of course they had to account for the vastness of Australia and differing climates.

There is a lot of mileage in these matters given most people live in houses. I suppose down in London renting is more common and these matters less important.

Yes Patrick and that is why I dont understand being criticised for commenting on the International situation on many topics when its impossible to ignore it for practical economic reasons that directly effect the Nation. Even if globalisation didn’t exist because most of our industry (whats left of it ) and utility,s are foreign owned and supplied and if you dont agree with that give me the long list of what we are totally self-sufficient in ? Certainly not food just ask the NFU or the SFU who in the Guardian front page say they stand to lose 100,s of millions of £££££ in EU subsidies just ask Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Saying to me– stick to our own country is meaningless when not even our own government does that .

Dont ever ask me to accept -onesidedness, exclusivity, one law for one person and another for somebody else ,partialism ,or the evil word from the USA which I hate -exceptionalism. . I want make it plain from now on anybody criticising me on this issue expect some pretty strong flack back !!!

Wrong positioning – reposted as a reply.

Stuart Chalmers says:
10 July 2017

Personally I think the whole Brexit thing is a massive waste of time that will result in few benefits, great cost, it will take many years to recover from it and a lot of people will suffer for it. I hope it will get ditched but in the meantime if we are forced to do it then I think we every relevant party should be represented!

The latest news Stuart is that HMG were hoping for help in getting a good deal from German manufacturers influencing the Bundestag but the comment coming out of Germany is that “hang the industrialists ” its principles that count and the other members left so they still intend to “make an example ” of the UK.

Jack Whyatt says:
10 July 2017

After reading your flyer about consumer needs ,Just like all the media and anti Tory interferers you are also on the bandwagon wanting to put your 2 pennyworth into the hat. What kind of negotiation do you think you could improve things Just shut up and let the poor woman do what she can to get us out of the mess you are all creating and show a bit of back bone instead of moaning. You were not elected and neither were were you ever asked to interfere in negotiations
Regards. an 83 year old who still has a bit of faith

Jack Whyatt.

She is not exactly “poor ” Jack but I know what you mean , she is also highly intelligent and there are certain aspects to her principles in life that I like . The problem , from my point of view , is that this is such a life changing situation for the whole of Britain , that impulses , emotions and political dogmatism should have no part in the negotiations as its going to impact for decades on the majority of the Public .It should be practical , well thought out and favourable to all the people not just the upper minority . That is what bothers a lot of people that fast unsustainable actions are taken that will cause even more of a rift in the opinion of the whole of the UK and adversely effect the actual Union of the UK and the have,s and have not,s in this Realm which will echo for decades on every aspect of life .

Easyjet has announced -Friday -14-7-2017- seeking an operators licence in Austria -AOC required in an EU country -“well advanced ” (no change in jobs ) -Austria praised the decision and Britain accepts it will have to pay to Brexit. IAG is okay (BA) as its registered in Spain but will TM impose foreign ownership restrictions on BA as its 100 % foreign owned while some say EU -follow the money as they say in the USA. Qatar owns 20.01 % -single largest shareholder- who said BA is British (really ) ? . Some big names own shares in it .

But there’s good news, too: Ryanair’s boss has suggested there’ll be no flights between the UK and the EU after Brexit by Ryanair, so not all bad, then 🙂

What?!! Not even to Dublin?

Probably by Easyjet… 🙂

Of course, via Vienna.

Of course. Make a nice stop-off for a coffee.

I am sure after hearing of the negative aspects of Brexit you would like to hear a BRITISH “organisation ” -born+bred with only one “shareholder ” although he does live in Rome . This success story isnt publicised as greatly as it should considering its profits would make some US conglomerates weep , dont look on the FTSE /NYSE etc but to that picturesque part of England – Devon . What am I taking about ??? —why the Benedictine monks of Buckfast Abbey who put the City to shame . Figures just out ( in a Scottish newspaper ) say that while this beverage has been highly popular in the poorer/tougher areas of Glasgow it has now “gone through the roof ” –sales over the UK have reached –wait for it —– £27 Million ( bar £100,000 ) . The “tonic” (hic ! ) wine is the most popular wine drunk there , but hold on (again ) its “fame” is spreading to the South of England sales have increased by £2 Million / 7.9 % over the past year . Now this must tell you something ? No comment (so far ) was obtained from religious rivals – Church of England/Church of Scotland although much condemnation has been given in the past ( jealousy –maybe ?- no maybe not ) but rumor has it they are both seeking advice from their City accountants (hic ! )

I see a famous pot rice company is having a “bit of a dig ” ,as a parting Brexit gesture perhaps ? German company Muller rice selling those minute pot rice containers that must be the biggest profit earner since “designer food ” where you look at what you get with a supplied electron microscope to make it look like you are getting a normal sized meal. Our British Olympic sprinter lines up with other countries at the start line – the off sounds and he is left too weak to move till a large German Black-Forrest bear browbeats him into eating the German rice —- and he STILL doesn’t win the race . The symbolism is overwhelming – Brexit ??? well without German “know how ” you are lost ( lose the race ) .

The Donald has announced that he wont be coming to Britain till he quote – gets a better reception -unquote — they don’t like me , meanwhile 2 Million signatures have been signed wanting him banned from coming. While visiting France he stated – via the White-House Press room – he is glad to be in France as -quote – America,s oldest- most trusted- loyal ally -unquote –“Hands across the Pond ” -is the myth at an end now ? For those that dont know France helped America achieve independence –and they haven’t forgotten it.

DaveTheTester says:
26 July 2017

I agree – good piece

Gina Romsey says:
8 August 2017

I think David Davis has enough on his plate without too many demands being made to confuse Brexit. If we do get a clean break without paying any more money to the Greedy Bureaucrats of the EU, it will benefit all consumers and taxpayers who had for forty years paid £200 billions to fund the building of EU HQs, roads, rail and all kinds of infrastructures of poorer, new member-nations to the detriment of our own NHS, Prison, Rail, Education and home-building for our own needy population.
Only 20% businesses trade with the EU but 100% of British residents had to obey the EU’s thousands of rules, laws and directives, and paid higher prices for our imports from non-EU countries. It is time for those businesses, which had benefitted from our forty years of enslavement to the EU that gave them their thriving profitability, to start paying some customs duties on their trade, to allow the rest of the UK to re-connect with the Commonwealth and trade with our loyal allies of the two World Wars.
Many countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada have already indicated their support to trade with GB, with the rest of the Commonwealth looking forward to resume their trade with us that was stopped by EU law in the last four decades. Smaller businesses and sole-traders could start up again as soon as we are free from EU’s strangling regulations. All we need is for the government to be strong enough to resist being tied up in knots by Mr. Barnier.

A. Merkel has announced a U-turn and that the Brexit ” divorce ” will cost the UK 100 Billion Euros it is being commented on that she is re-creating a “Dunkirk victory ” after watching the movie . Some commentators think its a bad move and like the original Dunkirk will only stiffen British resolve. Now where is that advert for the Home Guard ??

Kenneth Brown says:
20 September 2017

I think Brexit is turning into a trainwreck for the consumer in my opinion. I have already noticed a few products from continental Europe in our local supermarket have been discontinued. I suspect this is because the devaluation of the Pound – v- Euro means the supermarket no longer thinks the products are viable at the higher prices. This is a pity because although I recognise they may be “niche” products ( e.g. French cream, some cheeses, other items too) they are good products, luxuries some of them, that I used to treat myself to. This cuts down my choice. Prices for general produce are increasing markedly and this is very worrying for my daughters family who don’t have much disposable income. We were not sold Brexit on the basis we would all be poorer as a result.

Hi
1. Politicians lied prior during the referendum prior to joining the EU and they lied prior to the referendum to leave, SO NO CHANGE IN POLITICIANS THAT DO NOT LOOK AFTER YOUR INTEREST DESPITE YOU PAYING THEIR SALARY TO LOOK AFTER YOUR INTEREST.
2. EU was not created to be democratic – THAT DENIES YOU THE RIGHT TO SAY HOW YOU ARE GOVERNED AND HOW YOUR INTERESTS ARE LOOKED AFTER.
3. Throughout the entire history of the human race and throughout the world all dictator regimes have destroyed their citizens so that the few elite could live in splendour. DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE DESTROYED? If you do not like this statement read history, do not take my word for this.
4. EU will not modify their conditions, Cameron tried to ameliorate some terms and failed. The EU governors are bullying tyrants that answer to no one. Negotiation with them is IMPOSSIBLE. All the EU leaders want is self importance on the world stage and to drag matters out to protect their perverted interests, which are not in the interests of the rest of the EU citizens – just look at the countries within the EU that are technically bankrupt and their citizens suffering. [IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT FOR THE UK?] FOR THE RECORD, it is only a matter of time before the EU will break up as the FAILED policies of the leaders cannot succeed.

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5. I would have invoked article 50 and walked away from the EU, freezing all payments to it and not entering any negotiations. Immediately entering into talks with trade agreements with the rest of the world. Effecting most within this two year period so that business could start immediate trading with the rest of the world. This would provide certainty for business by opening global markets and the UK economy would then be on its way. The UK economy would then start to grow benefiting all citizens. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE BEST STRATEGY TO CREATE WEALTH AND GROWTH FOR THE UK PEOPLE.
6. All other strategies will have negative impact on the UK economy and your life dragging negotiations out, inflicting uncertainty on business, delaying trade deals with the global economy all these points are negative and damaging to the UK economy and this is all destructive to your standard of life. All remainers should note this. If they want to stay in a destructive Eu they should up and leave the UK now and never return and let the leavers get on with prosperity.

You’re wrong on so many points and somewhat confused, too.

We could say that about many posts, but we welcome all contributions.

Indeed we do.