Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't Miss A New Deal for Brexit
This is Technomica Paper 15 by Stephen Bush and is tipped to be the way through the Brexit log-jam!

Negotiating with the EU after we have left

The Times correspondent Simon Nixon’s quote from an EU official that “once the UK has left, we will be able to be much more flexible” (21 February)” is surely  right. It points the way to unblocking the present impasse.

Let the EU and the UK agree to postpone the leaving settlement until after the UK has left on March 29th together with an Agreement that both sides keep the existing tariff and customs regime for say 12 months, extendable by mutual agreement if a replacement regime has not been agreed.

Under GATT article 24 this would not require extending the EU’s common external tariff to third parties, as WTO would be informed that this “Tariff Standstill Agreement” was a precursor to a long-term Trade Agreement.

This way, everything becomes possible: Parliament would get a proper, considered say over the final  agreement, the European Research Group would be able to argue for low tariffs; Britain would be free at the end of the standstill period to conclude negotiations with other countries as well as the EU; new border arrangements could be properly trialled including those at the Irish border; Mrs May would fulfil her solemn declaration to take Britain out of the European Union according to the Withdrawal Act, on March 29th. and could retire with honour if she and her colleagues wished this. There would be no need to fiddle around with contentious Article 50 extensions.

 

 

Don't Miss Clean Break - Fresh Start
Find the latest Technomica paper from Prof Bush, showing the advantages of “No Deal”.

Brexit Muddle
If anybody in the world is in doubt about the basic reason for the terrible muddle in Parliament and in the country over Brexit, consider this. On a visit to a school on January 25th, Theresa May (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was asked by a child what Brexit actually meant.  Mrs May reportedly answered: “That’s a difficult question to answer because every MP seems to have their own idea.” [more »]

Fear of Clean Break
Don’t Miss the excellent new paper by Lord Peter Lilley and Cllr Brendan Chilton “30 Truths About Leaving On WTO Terms”.

Top

Manufacturing capability for 5G in danger

Criticism of the plan to let the Chinese telecoms company Huawei provide a large part of the nation’s 5G network has largely concentrated on the security implications. These will erode with time as software protections are devised by GCHQ at Cheltenham and elsewhere in the security services.

But the loss of opportunity to create a new electronics manufacturing capability for consumer and military applications would be an even greater threat to our survival as a modern industrial power. Professor Bush’s concern over this aspect of the forthcoming 5G decisions prompted the following letter in the Daily Telegraph on 29th January.

5G networks are not just about communications. They are planned to form the basis of the so-called “internet of things” to which a vast range of consumer goods and commercial products as well as enabling military hardware will be connected.

The provider of the network will specify the way these items will be connected, which will in turn have a profound effect on their actual design. Since China is already the largest source of electrically powered consumer goods in the UK, China’s manufacturing firms will form a myriad of partnerships with Huawei to achieve a virtual monopoly of the UK and other Western electrical goods markets if allowed to.

The way for Britain to work with Huawei on 5G is through a formal joint venture with a wholly-owned British company set up for the purpose by the Government.  Huawei would provide access to their present design and manufacture technology in return for its access to the UK market. The exploitation of any technology generated by the joint venture would be shared too. A joint venture like this would protect British security from the inside, vastly enhance British industrial capability, and be a real test of Huawei’s sincerity.

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