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Weekly Edition - Published  27 June 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


EU vote lands UK into possible economic & political limbo

NO matter what you voted, the fact remains that the UK voted out of the EU. 'Leave' won the referendum with 51.9% (17,410,742 votes), while Remain finished on 48.1% (16,141,241 votes). Now we have to deal with the issues at stake. This could now lead to a very dark future for the UK, even with it splitting up. On the other had, some think it will save us and make us stronger, but for now, the problem is what to do next. Britain's momentous decision to become the 1st member state to leave the 28 member European Union has plunged the bloc into uncharted waters. It has sparked widespread concern and triggered losses on global stock markets already. With pro-'Remain' figures saying they would not:- "roll over and give up," some are urging a 2nd referendum be held, after Brexit negotiations have taken place. Also the Liberal Democrats have now promised to campaign on a platform of taking the UK back into the EU at the next general election, after Britain voted to leave the political and economic union in the 23 June Referendum (2016). But how likely we would ever be let back in, but this seems very unlikely, in our life time…

It's a mixed reaction now that the true impact is slowly revealing to those who voted out. Yes, the EU has had many issues we all hated and often criticized, but now many are questioning if they had voted the correct way. According to national media and our own findings, many voters are apparently shocked following a statement made by Nigel Farage on live TV, where he told the presenters of 'Good Morning Britain' on the morning after, that it was a "mistake" for the 'Leave' campaign to have claimed there'd be £350m a week extra for the NHS after Brexit.

Another shock followed when people started to realise they could lose access to this vital medical service when in the EU. Thanks to the EU, British people have been entitled to a free European Health Insurance Card, giving us the right to access healthcare for free when visiting other European countries. Now we face the fact that we might need to take out costly private insurance in order to get care in Europe. This after Brexit campaigners said it was:- "outrageous scaremongering to claim that British holidaymakers would lose access to European healthcare." This has also added to calls from campaigners to get the EU to let us have time to do another EU referendum.

Many who voted for an exit are of the 'Baby Boom' era, leaving young people shocked and worried about their futures. "They are just thinking about themselves and not the future of the UK", many young people have said on Social media networking sites. Many expressed the deep lack of thought about the age differences:- "Older people tend not to see the world as it is today. They see the past in a very strange way and have not adapted to the world as it is now. They are out of touch with reality. This vote will punish us for generations to come. We want the UK to beg the EU to let us stay in." The split between the views of areas like ‪‎Southport‬ and ‎Liverpool‬ could not be clearer. Southport has a predominantly elderly population and the likes of Liverpool have a younger population. One young voter said:- "I'm European and the older voters have robbed the younger generation of our European future. They just thought about themselves and not the future of the nation. I'm pleased that Liverpool and parts of Manchester have said they wanted to stay in. We just hope European nations take this on-board. It is like watching a train wreck in slow motion."

On Monday, 27 June 2016, as the haze started to clear, political leaders started to fall by the wayside as resignations took place and political in-fighting started. This is not what the UK needs when we are at such a dangerous crossroads. This will require very skilful leadership and a sense of common purpose.

EEF, The Manufacturers' Organisation, has told the media that a crunch meeting between business groups and the Business Secretary, due to take place on Tuesday, 28 June 2016. In this meeting they are expected to tell the UK Government that the work to shore up confidence and secure our industrial future should be a priority. EEF will seek early assurances about the Government's commitment to securing access to the single market and protecting the UK's trading relationships. It will also call on the Government to send a clear 'business as usual' message to Europe and the rest of the world. At the same time, EEF will urge ministers to avoid allowing business and the UK to fall into limbo by getting on with important investment decisions, such as expanding the UK's airport capacity.

Terry Scuoler, the CEO of EEF, is also going to make it clear that the Government has manufacturers' backing to wait until the UK has a clear and defined negotiating position before triggering Article 50. He will also reiterate the need to ensure that the migration of workers into the UK is not impaired now or in any future negotiations.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, says:- "The UK Government has a major task ahead of it in supporting growth in the economy and managing the process of securing a new relationship with the EU. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, it must continue to tread carefully by not triggering Article 50 immediately, reassuring the markets and seeking to shore up business confidence. The next step is clearly for close engagement with business groups and other stakeholders to ensure that emerging signs of manufacturing recovery do not falter in the coming months and to deliver broad agreement on a clear vision for a new relationship between the UK and the EU. It is vital that Government takes immediate steps to keep manufacturing growth on track; I will be using this meeting to set out the sector's top priorities in forging a new relationship with partners in the European Union. The collective commitments to make the referendum work for the UK economy are an important 1st step in offering some stability for business. In mapping out what Government needs to focus on now, both in minimising the short term risk of economic downturn and setting out the UK negotiating priorities, we must bear in mind the warnings of international organisations that the UK's manufacturing sector was on the 'at risk' list in the event of Brexit."

According to EEF, manufacturers will need to see a re-invigorated Industrial Strategy to anchor large, mobile investors and to support investment and growth in domestic supply chains. A focus on increasing investment, innovation and productivity across the UK industrial sector must now take precedence over deficit reduction.

Policies that could support this aim include reinforcing the Tax system for capital investment and higher levels of support for research and development through Innovate UK. Decisions on major infrastructure projects should not be further delayed, with critical UK supply chains able to invest with confidence in order to deliver major transport programmes that will support productivity growth in the UK.

Government and business must also get on with the job of determining what is in the best interests of the UK in a new relationship with the EU. For manufacturers there are 3 headline priorities:-

► Maintaining tariff free access to the EU market for goods and services.

► Ensuring regulatory stability.

► Continuing to address the UK skills gap.

The UK needs a deal with the EU that takes account of the specific relationship between the EU and the UK; not a Swiss, Norwegian or even Canadian model, but a UK model. The task ahead of extricating the UK from EU regulation and legislation will be long and complex. Businesses will also require confidence that migration policies will not adversely affect their ability to invest and grow.

For EEF's full view on what manufacturers' priorities are as the UK parts ways with the EU, see here.

Already the financial standing of the UK is now in question, after being stripped of its last AAA, rating as credit agency Standard and Poor's warned of the economic, fiscal and constitutional risks the country now faces as a result of the EU referendum result. But others like TUAEU Campaign Director Enrico Tortolano said that "Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty should be invoked immediately." Something the car industry and financial markets are repeatedly saying not to do!

In a press release Enrico Tortolano said:- "The foundation of democracy is at stake. Delaying it goes against both the spirit and purpose of the referendum. It is essential therefore that not only Article 50 gets invoked immediately, but that formal negotiations begin to aid the transition period. This is the only honest reaction to the vote of the people."                              

"Shockingly, a cabal of pro-EU voices are seeking to undermine the referendum decision in utter contempt of the people who voted. This should worry everyone, whatever way they voted. A rejection of the will of the people by the unelected and unrepresentative is taking place in an orchestrated challenge to our very notion of democratic accountability. During the referendum the concerns and interests of the majority of the people was continually challenged by citing 'experts'. The fact that most of these had vested interests in the EU was conveniently ignored. Now we are faced with legions of legal and other 'experts' not just telling us how stupid we were as a people to vote the way we did, but that the issue is ever so complicated and shouldn't now be implemented. Some MPs are quite happy to be elected by an intelligent electorate, but if those who elect them then disagree with them, they are dismissed as stupid. We are witnessing a fear of the democracy of the people emerging. The majority in both Houses of Parliament who disagree with the people's verdict are organising against us and their friends in unelected positions in the banks and the media and law firms are only too pleased to assist. Their actions are profoundly worrying for the rest of us. In trade union democracy at its best you debate and decide. If the decision is reached by a 50% plus 1 majority, 100% of the members implement and support the policy. As anti democratic forces mobilise to undermine the people's referendum decision, this should be seen as a good guiding principle."

With a population over median age in the United Kingdom at 40.1 years, the UK's population ageing is seen as 1 of the greatest challenges facing the UK, in the future. With a declining birth rate of UK Nationals, according to the Office of National Statistics, the worry is that we will not have enough young people to fund pension schemes and medical care very soon, unless this is addressed. One way is to use immigration to boost up the numbers of young people. This will leave the UK Government in a very problematic situation, as we become more and more xenophobic, as shown by some of the worries that have been acted on, in the referendum. This low number of births has prompted a succession of experts to warning of a 'population crisis' looming by 2025. Being in or out of the EU will not make a huge difference directly, but indirectly, this might have a very heavy impact on our retirement. Oddly, Germany is facing a worse problem, if these statistics are to be taken as fact.

According to the British Social Attitudes, almost 50% of the population believe immigration has a negative impact on the British economy. Now sadly post - EU Referendum, the nation as been hearing growing incidents of racist abuse being reported to the UK Police, nationally; partly down to a massive increase in anti immigration rhetoric used by the 'Out' campaign. One man who was filmed by Channel 4 News, in Barnsley, admitted on camera that he voted to leave in order:- "to stop Muslims coming into the EU." He then added in the TV interview that:- "It's all about immigration. It's not about trade or Europe or anything like that, it's all about immigration. It's to stop Muslims coming into this country. Simple as that!" Part of this has been flagged up by national media as an issue that was re-enforced by Farage's "morally wrong" poster, which used:- "angry nationalism" to try to win the referendum. The poster was condemned by politicians on both sides of the referendum debate, with Vote Leave's Michael Gove even saying that:- "I shuddered" when he saw the image.

With all the political back stabbing and self interest voting in the EU by both parties, should the EU nations see they had a role in this result as well? It's sadly not just the UK who feel divided, as the pressure grows. This could be the golden opportunity to re-build (If the EU stops the:- "Get out now" tone...) and also it could just well be in the long term, just what the doctor ordered for the UK.

If we go ahead with Article 50, it's ironic that on the Anniversary of the end of the 1st World War, in 2018, the UK could see it destroyed by itself, due to misinformation given on all sides. The mistrust and xenophobia that the UK is feeling now must be addressed by all nations. This is a wake up call to all. The political climate of old must be changed, as it is failing on a catastrophic scale. Let's hope the EU Nations see this as opportunity and help the UK and not let us fall. The UK is in its hour of need, and like any suicidal person, the nation needs support not more rhetoric, which has led us to this situation.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has called for a General Election in November to select a Government to lead Britain into a decision on its future relationship with the European Union. The leader of the Green Party, who campaigned for Britain to remain a member of the EU, is calling for a period of calm and reflection.

Bennett said:- "What we need is calm and time for reflection, not knee-jerk reactions. Despite the imperative of the ½ hour Twitter news cycle, and the pressure to take definitive steps, what we really need is time for what's happened to sink in, and then sober consideration of what comes next. It is critically important that we resist pressure to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, from European states and institutions and the financial markets. This is something we must not be bounced into. It is legally our decision, and one we can put off until the people's wishes are clearer, until we've cleaned up our democracy. Before negotiations start, we need to know what we're asking for. That has to mean a General Election; that's the only way we can reach a mandate on a way forward. We'd have a minimum period of months (the earliest practical date would be early November) to debate, discuss, inform voters, who'll then be able to weigh up the offers by various parties."

Bennett continued:- "Dissatisfaction with the status quo in this election is clearly closely related to the failures of our current electoral system, which disenfranchises the majority, who don't get the representation they want. We need an election to deliver a way forward for Britain; and a fair voting system to deliver a government that truly reflects, and delivers on, the will of the people. That's why progressives must now consider working together for our best chance of success in any coming election. Any sort of pact must be based on an agreement to implement a fairer voting system. What we need above all is for a chance for the people to decide, after a full, honest, open debate. To deliver that, we need a people's Government, not the tottering 19th Century structure we have now."

Has the result unleashed a Pandora's box of financial hardships, restricted movement and opportunities for UK citizens, bigotry and Islamophobia? Is this just a passing phase that will soon charm down? What are your views? Will we leave on good standing? Was this vote a dangerous political move or a good move? Please let us know your thoughts....

No matter who is at fault or who vote what, we need to now work together and sort this mess we, as a nation have created. Let's put the Great back in the Great Brittan and show we are not what many Europeans appear to be seeing us as. One quote from German press said we are:- "a nation of racist, self cantered, foolish morons!" after seeing some of our comments in the media following the vote.

Fact file:- United Kingdom population is equivalent to 0.88% of the total world population. The current population of the United Kingdom is 65,106,704 as of Monday, June 27, 2016, based on the latest United Nations estimates. So that means that it was around 26% of the population voted to take us out of the EU. Also interestingly just 2.27% of England is built up area. This means almost 98% of our green and pleasant land remains that way… But shockingly, more than ½ of the UK's food and feed now comes from overseas! This will means food prices will likely increase as a result.

5 very likely worse case predictions...

► Falklands and Channel Irelands will be lost, as will Gibraltar by 2025.

► By 2030 UK will be no-more, should Scotland lose out and a referendum is held on it leaving the UK.

► English will no longer be the main language of business, science or diplomacy.

► By 2035/2040, England will be forced to re-enter the EU under very strict controls, as a second class nation.

► We lose our place at the World Security Council and as a leading member of NATO.

Only time will tell how true these speculations will be. It also depends on how willing the nation is to unite and move forward.

A challenge to all 'In' and 'Out' campaigners now is to reunite.   Please will all sides help to stop the racist abuse taking place now across the UK...  No matter how you voted, this is not acceptable so 'Out' campaigners, please stress that the horrendous abuse being unleash is not what you voted for.  We understand the majority of  'Out' campaigners had non-racist intentions and legitimate issues, but sadly this must be stressed to those who do not get it!


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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