Opinion – Why Britain cannot afford to be conned by Cameron’s EU ‘renegotiation’ deal – Liam Fox – Telegraph

English: Liam Fox, British Conservative politi...

English: Liam Fox, British Conservative politician. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a lifelong conservative, there perhaps was a time when I respected Liam Fox but not anymore. He’s a Little Englander who wants to close the UK borders to immigration irrespective of the cost to the economy, security and wider society. The UK has survived as an international trading nation for centuries. So does Fox want to go back to Medieval England?

Source: Why Britain cannot afford to be conned by Cameron’s EU ‘renegotiation’ deal

This article highlights how the Brexit case is built on a stack of cards. It’s about immigration, immigration and more immigration. Expert evidence from the Economist has confirmed that immigration will continue irrespective of the results of the Brexit referendum. The reality is that there’s a massive skills shortfall in the UK and immigration is necessary to support maintenance of the the UK’s living standards. Do the Brexit supporters believe that the NHS could be supported without foreign doctors and nurses?

Liam Fox and the rest of those supporting the Brexit have not produced any credible evidence of the social cost of the Brexit. Perhaps, with Fox and his right-wing   chums in government, they will be able to introduce an Australian or Canadian control on immigration  but the cost in terms of jobs, defense and national security, education, welfare etc. would be enormous. I predict 1930s type Depression.

All those who favor a Brexit must be made to understand that a Brexit is about much more than immigration. If the Economist is right and immigration will stay the same irrespective of the Brexit result, then the Brexit has no major argument in its favor.

Older voters who favor the dogma of the Brexit campaign feel that they can reverse the number of immigrants in the UK, get doctors’ appointments more quickly because they won’t be competing with immigrants – also they worry about their grandchildren. The answer is to ensure that their grandchildren are ready to compete effectively in a global market place with appropriate skills, education and confidence.

The Little Englanders will not and cannot win.



Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the NYT, the British government has been criticized by many for putting commercial interests ahead of other concerns, including human rights, cybersecurity and China’s growing territorial ambitions. This is a carefully targeted article that concludes that Britain is putting commerce ahead of national security.

Source: Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Personally, I think that the NYT article has touched an important nerve. National security has been savaged under George Osborne‘s austerity regime. Also Osborne’s defacto status as Deputy Prime Minister has allowed him to subordinate foreign policy in favor of short-term interests. Cameron and Osborne have often been criticized in lacking strategic vision, other than reducing Britain’s borrowing. Now we have witnessed a significant policy shift by Osborne in favor of China.

This week there will be much focus on the benefits of a closer Britain and China. Eventually, more serious commentators will follow the NYT’s lead and explore the opportunity costs and the risks of the policy shift.

Let me ask an open question:

Given the UK’s EU referendum, should there now be greater public scrutiny of the policy shift towards China?