Unravelling Trade Deals
Posted on February 5, 2020
I spent several hours last night trying to work out how Boris Johnson’s mind is working with regards to future trade deals. Do you remember back in the 1990’s, when it was all the rage to look closely at a mass of colour in a Sunday magazine? As you moved the picture slowly away, you would see a lion in the jungle, the Mona Lisa, or something similar. I was useless at those things.
Understanding future trade deals is a bit like that. I look at a graph or pie chart, think I am starting to see it clearly, then a mass of contradictions comes into my head. However, with a little help from a friend (I sound like John Lennon) I kind of got to grips of why Boris Johnson is being such a prat.
What is Johnson Thinking?
I say kind of, because political and financial observers with bigger brains than I have, are split on what they think his game is. Some think that Johnson is just chest beating after getting his divorce. He is, like some people when they get divorced, in a temporary state of euphoria before reality and the cost of it all sinks in. Some observers say he will then pipe down.
However, many think Johnson is going all out batshit crazy for deregulation. If the EU don’t like it, he will just import cheap goods, slash prices and do trade deals with giants like China, India and the US, on their terms and tell us they are great deals. He will do this by lowering standards to reduce costs and nullify any tariffs imposed by a no deal scenario with the EU.
The divorce analogy is a good one. Johnson has a lot of experience of divorce and fucking people over; he has done it all his life. So, as he sees it, the EU is a former wife. She must give him everything he needs on his terms but also allow him to be free to whore himself to any other woman (the rest of the world). The caveat for the former wife (the EU) is that if she is looking good, he can screw her if he fancies it.
The EU Won’t Bow to Johnson
The problem for Johnson is that once jingoistic harping on about WWII and the good old days, fades into an economic slowdown, he has a problem. Of course, the EU does not want to lose the UK as an economic partner. However, it also knows it would be utter madness on their part to give Johnson a lump of chocolate cake and be forced to watch him eat it.
As a 27-nation bloc, the EU is a superpower and we are now a minnow. That is not unpatriotic or disrespecting the people who perished to (with massive irony) unite Europe. It is an economic fact. We chose to leave the EU. Not one EU nation asked the UK to leave; we were a powerful and respected member. We had a veto that allowed us a major say when laws and regulations were made. We now have no say whatsoever.
It may just be Johnson bluster, but if it isn’t and he chooses not to align UK standards with his nearest trading partner (the EU) this will be an ugly divorce. If that is what he is planning, there will be a race to the bottom like you have never seen before. Johnson will blame the EU for economic slowdown, harp on about Churchill, jump upon any sporting success stories and harp on about how Britain will roar like a lion again. The proles will probably fall for it, even when they need a piss but no longer own a pot.
The truth is, Britain will be roaring like a mouse. China, India and the US will dictate the trading rules and standards. Anyone who thinks that a tiny island with a shrinking economy can dictate trading terms with these superpowers, is in a state of terminal delusion. Mexico will be more important than us in 20 years time.
Whisper it quietly, but we could be the first ever nation to impose economic sanctions on itself.