It's OUT! My weekly #Brexit Briefing for @FinancialTimes
-- this week: "Why striking trade deals abroad is creating headaches for Johnson at home" and is likely to continue to do so...stay with me/1…
@FinancialTimes First Oz-UK trade deal row which has been bubbling all week. UK farmers warn they'll be "thrown under the bus" by zero-tariff deal, but it looks as if @MPGeorgeEustice
has lost argument to protect farmers, per @MrHarryCole report (not denied)/2

@FinancialTimes @MPGeorgeEustice @MrHarryCole 15 years might seem a long time, and Oz exports are tiny...but what farmers fear is that UK will now have to grant same to NZ, Canada, USA, Mercosur etc etc...this WILL hit farmers as @trussliz own department modelling acknowledges here /3…
@FinancialTimes @MPGeorgeEustice @MrHarryCole @trussliz And as we reported, Oz producers are licking their lips. Now, as @_BenWright_ has pointed out, these are small volumes, but mean industry experts liek Peter Hardwick of @BMPA_INFO say you that you don't need massive import volumes to significantly disrupt the market/4
@FinancialTimes @MPGeorgeEustice @MrHarryCole @trussliz @_BenWright_ @BMPA_INFO For EG...a 20ft container load 17,000kg of balanced boneless hind and forequarter cuts might represent the meat from 60 animals. A similar container just containing striploins would have come from over 1000. And those primo cuts carry the big margin/5
@FinancialTimes @MPGeorgeEustice @MrHarryCole @trussliz @_BenWright_ @BMPA_INFO He says that few thousand tonnes of tariff-free, high quality meat is lot, which is precisely why the EU operates tight TRQs (quota limits) in this area. And the assumption is that the Aussies are not going to be sending us cheap manufacturing beef/6
I make no judgment on the rights/wrongs of this coz there aren't any -- just political choices -- but its worth observing that these FTA have minimal macro impacts (0.02pc+ GDP/15 years) but will hit some sectors hard.

Thinly spread gains, narrowly concentrated pain. /7
So while the Sun Says it's "cheaper grub for millions" and part of seizing the "golden opportunities" of #Brexit, this is really a political @DmitryOpines has observed it won't make much difference to consumers, and raises Qs for future/8
@DmitryOpines It may well be that actually much of this debate remains abstract -- deals with US, Mercosur and others probably a good ways off -- but if #Brexit has taught us anything, politics is often more propaganda than substance. And that cuts both ways./9
@DmitryOpines So while Liz and the Sun are tooting about buccaneering Britain for now, there are others, equally adept at campaigning, who can create counter-narratives, particularly if the economic climate (inflation, continued low productivity, problems with EU trade) shifts/10
@DmitryOpines Recall that @NFUtweets got more than 1m signatures for its petition on animal welfare...and as we strike these deals, expect plenty more grisly reports @peta on mulesing etc /11……
@DmitryOpines @NFUtweets @peta Then there are the constitutional impacts -- Scottish farming, per @nfus_chiefexec is more reliant on livestock...even before these deals land, we can expect SNP politicians (Ian Blackford at PMQs this week for EG) to be making most of cost of "English" #Brexit for scotland /12
@DmitryOpines @NFUtweets @peta @nfus_chiefexec And the environmental impacts -- how Ozzy sugar cane production run-off is harming the Great Barrier Reef, traducing Boris's green message....all while doing in the UK sugar beet industry etc. /13

@DmitryOpines @NFUtweets @peta @nfus_chiefexec Already this week, ten leading green groups including @GreenAllianceUK @UKSustain
@friends_earth @GreenpeaceUK
have accused @BorisJohnson of traducing his own green objectives ahead of #COP26 /14…
@DmitryOpines @NFUtweets @peta @nfus_chiefexec @GreenAllianceUK @UKSustain @friends_earth @GreenpeaceUK @BorisJohnson The point is that until now 'Global Britain', like a lot of #Brexit, has really been an abstraction but we are starting to move out of that phase...when it's no longer so obviously 'cake and eat it' politically, but more hardtack and hardchoices for cap of MV Global Britain/16
How quickly this lands, remains to be seen...the economy is awash with stimulus...savings are waiting to be spend, the superdeduction will turbocharge if inflation klaxons are only temporary, it may be Buccaneering Britain continues to ride the wave /17
Of course, all this is just politics -- in the grand scheme of things goods trades deal really aren't where the future of the UK is at -- the long term question is whether post-Brexit UK can pay its way in the world via advanced services there a vision for that? /18
We'll have to wait and see if this is a precursor to a grander bargain on agriculture & trade with the US -- though the Biden administration doesn't seem in any great hurry.

But it feels like this was the week that the discussion began. ENDS

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More from @pmdfoster

18 May
🚨🚨🇬🇧🇦🇺🦘🥊🚜🐄🐑🇦🇺🇬🇧🚨🚨 Huge UK government split over Australia trade deal via @FT with ⁦@GeorgeWParker
— Tl:dr the buccaneers are battling for soul #brexit. Stay with me. It’s a multi-dimensional play. /1
@FT @GeorgeWParker As we report there is a "ferocious" fight going on in Whitehall over the terms of the Australia - UK trade deal, which is striking at the very heart of the #Brexit debate and what 'Global Britain means'...Truss+Frost v Eustice+Gove with Boris Johnson still to weigh in /2
@FT @GeorgeWParker The fight, in a nutshell is over @trussliz desire to give Australia a 'zero tariff' deal with UK -- like we have with EU -- which will be phased in over time. And she wants this ahead of G7 in June where Oz PM is being invited. That means decision time.../3
Read 15 tweets
17 May
🚨🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🎤🎸🎹🎶🥁🎸🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨🥁 As Lord Frost says #brexit trade returning to normal, music industry body ⁦@ISM_music⁩ decries first 100 days of Brexit as a “disaster”. Latest via @FT - stay with me /1
@ISM_music @FT So the topline finding by the ISM survey is that 94% of businesses surveyed said that #Brexit had had a negative or very negative impact on them. But why? Well.../2…
@ISM_music @FT It's the fours C's

- Carnets
- Cabotage
- Clearances
- Customs

which combine to make if very much harder to do business, tour etc. Much of this has been masked by #COVID19 preventing travel anyway, but not for much longer (we hope). /3
Read 10 tweets
17 May
Waiting for Lord Frost @DavidGHFrost
to appear in front of @CommonsEU with tensions running high over implementation of Northern Ireland Protocol which Frost now says needs rebooting since it isn't working as UK envisaged. BUT, to be clear.../1…
@DavidGHFrost @CommonsEU Frost in his @MailOnline
piece says didn't "anticipate" 'rest of world style checks...BUT.../2…
@DavidGHFrost @CommonsEU @MailOnline ...BUT....that is what the Cabinet Office explainer said would happen when the deal was signed in 2019. /3…
Read 4 tweets
14 May
It's out!! My latest #Brexit Briefing which looks at stormy outlook for Northern Ireland. Not at all clear either EU or UK is prepared to move on big stuff on Protocol... biz confidence is falling, politics getting more strident. Stay with me/1…
No need, probably, to rehearse the basic problem, which is that Brexit creates a trade border in the Irish Sea, that Unionists have rejected. That border gets thicker the harder the Brexit becomes over time, the more the UK diverges. The UK now wants to "sandpaper" it down /2
Again, at risk of simplifying, the UK is applying a mix of unilateral 'grace periods' on the full force of checks, and is arguing that digitisation and supply-chain tracking should enable a "pragmatic" approach that sees checks commensurate with actual risk to EU single market /3
Read 13 tweets
10 May
🚨🚨🇬🇧🇪🇺🚛🚛🚛🚛🚛🚛 🇪🇺🇬🇧🚨🚨🚨

Exodus of EU truckers leaves UK hauliers facing acute driver shortages - it’s a story of #COVID19 #Brexit and HMRC tax reforms.

So what now?? Stay with me. /1
First, the problem: this is what Alex Veitch of @LogisticsUKNews and @RHARodMcKenzie of Road Haulage Association call an "acute" shortage of HGV drivers that -- as we open up from #Covid19 -- could be come a "hurricane" of shortages. Why now? /2
@LogisticsUKNews @RHARodMcKenzie Well it's a triple whammy of factors:

1. Brexit/Covid (EU drivers which UK was reliant upon going home)

2. Covid. 28,000 HGV tests missed during lockdown

3. Brexit/Immigration: no legal route to recruit foreign HGV drivers /3
Read 20 tweets
7 May
Q: Cons say big wins coz "we're delivering on the people's priorities" -- but in truth #Covid19 has delayed most delivery, and folk get that, bar the vaccine, which was huge tick.

So Q: come 2024? Do cons need delivery? Or will culture war and a smattering of pork cut it? /1
I don't know the answer to this. Is the success of fueling "a narrative" fuelling the idea that politics is now decoupled from delivery -- i.e it's enough to talk about the "people's priorities" in a bullish way that folk identify with, because they don't actually expect much./2
Because deliver is going to be hard -- fiscal recovery from the pandemic is going to crimp spending if @RishiSunak has his way; #brexit (the big winner) is a drag on industry in Red Wall areas, the NHS has huge backlogs from Covid...i.e there are lots of challenges /3
Read 8 tweets

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