Opinion – Making the best of Brexit for the EU27 financial system | Bruegel – John Gelmini

Non EU

Non EU (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf is right. But May and her three stooges, Davis, Johnson and Fox had the opportunity for months to develop a nearshoring ALMO solution for financial services and investment banking, using the military fort system including Sealand which lies outside EU and British territorial waters.

The location of these systems is hardly somewhere that would make an attractive photo opportunity for Dr Alf and Mrs Oldman to visit on his travels but in the past they provided sea defence against our enemies and today with a little imagination they would have preserved “passporting rights”.

All it would have taken is a representative office in say France, a company set up in Sealand or one of the other Forts, an offshore company based somewhere else offshore with no apparent link to its UK parent.

Then there is the question of websites hosted in the EU and developed by people in the EU in the languages of the country where it was based but owned by something offshore which would be owned by something based here in London.

More sales would be generated in this way within the “Single Market” and as UK based back office jobs were automated out of existence more people could be employed in the Single Market.

The EU itself has to try and stay together which means isolating and ring fencing Greece and removing it from the Euro zone. The EU itself has to split into “Greater Germany” based on the Nordic countries, Holland and Belgium and a slower track Southern Europe centred on France. This would effectively reflect economic reality and enable the restructured EU to deal with the UK in a way which is without grandstanding and is in everybody’s interests. The £4.4 trillion GBP EU debt could be fairly apportioned and repaid at a rate suitable to each and all pretence at “ever closer union” would be consigned to history unless and until there was closer economic convergence. Part of the necessary financial reconstruction of the 27 state EU and our situation here has to be the reduction of financial irregularity and corruption to reduce the costs of delivering services,central and local Government.

That in turn means fewer civil servants, councils, legislative chambers and far fewer people in them.
The fewer officials, civil servants and local authority apparatchiks, the less corruption will ensue because by tracking their bank accounts and financial dealings in real time and without exception wrongdoers can be identified and brought to book.

We need a benchmark with which to judge the efficiency of public services and for that I would look at Norway, Switzerland and Singapore and measure against those.

Areas where the EU and ourselves fell too far behind would be independently audited by a professional firm with a different firm acting as “watchdog” to ensure no/minimal collusion with officials and civil servants.

John Gelmini

Europe cannot wait any longer: France and Germany must drive ahead | Emmanuel Macron and Sigmar Gabriel | Comment is free | The Guardian

This Guardian article by prominent French and German ministers is an important read. Check it out!

via Europe cannot wait any longer: France and Germany must drive ahead | Emmanuel Macron and Sigmar Gabriel | Comment is free | The Guardian.

When I first read the article, I thought that it was written by typical Guardian writers, strong on opinion but light on experience. Then I googled the authors and to my surprise found them to be high-profile ministers. Emmanuel Macron, is France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs. He’s a graduate of elitist, ENA and a former investment banker – he closed a big deal between Nestle & Pfizer. Meanwhile, Sigmar Gabriel is Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice President of Germany. Gabriel who comes from a relatively humble background and was originally a teacher  is also Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

Whilst I respect the passion with which the authors argue the case, I believe they are both not close enough to the political and social sharp edge in Europe. Europe is polarized towards the hard-right and the hard-left because of divisive economic policies. France urgently needs social reform and Germany needs infrastructure investment. I sense that these two politicians are not yet battle hardened political bruisers. Political leadership is about more than passion – it’s about convincing ordinary people to change their views.

I see matters very differently. Both the UK and Greece, in very different ways are quite rightly kicking the tires of the European experiment.

For me, there needs to be more strategic thinking, faster decisions and the bureaucracies must taste their own austerity medicine.