Land of Cheaper Wine and Honey Under No Deal

The government has today confirmed that all tariffs will be scrapped on wine and honey – along with 88% of goods imported to the UK – in the event of no deal. Get ready to pop the champagne…

This tariff arrangement would last for a year while a new permanent regime is being worked out and full Free Trade Agreements around the world are struck – and cut tariffs even further than Theresa May’s government planned, ensuring preferential access to the UK market for developing countries.

The Government is pitching this new regime as “a balanced approach”, as whilst the majority of goods will see their tariffs fall to zero, some tariffs will continue, including on bioethanol, fish, some meats, ceramics, cars, and clothing. In any case, No Deal will (temporarily) lead to a land of considerably cheaper milk and honey…

Numbers of International Students Up Despite Brexit

New data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency has revealed that numbers of both EU and Non-EU students attending British universities have risen again, despite Brexit. In 2017/18, 458,490 international students a rise of 16,000 from the year before, and a rise of 20,000 from the year of the referendum. Although both EU and Non-EU numbers have grown, the biggest increase came from non-EU countries…

For the first time ever, the number of Chinese students studying in the UK has gone above 100,000, up from 95,000 last year. It’s worth remembering that even before the referendum, more non-EU students came to the UK to study than EU students, by a margin of 3:1…

UK Ranked As World’s Second Most Powerful Nation

The UK has been ranked the world’s second most powerful nation despite Brexit. The Henry Jackson Society‘s Audit of Geopolitical Capability used a model involving four attributes, 33 indicators and 1240 potential data observations and placed the UK after the US but slightly ahead of China.

The Audit’s Chief Analyst, James Rogers, said that the UK voting to leave the EU “has had no discernible impact on the UK’s fundamental ability to apply itself around the World”, but does recommend increased R&D spend and armed forces’ projection capacities to prevent the UK falling behind, particularly in light of China’s naval buildup. Politicians who like to call Britain a small island in the North Atlantic would do well to read the report in full

Passport Gates To Go Global

Today Philip Hammond announced that passport e-gates will be available to visitors from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Until now they had only been available to European countries. JACANZUKUS?

Japan Welcomes Brexit Britain’s Bid to Join Massive Global Free Trade Area

Liam Fox is in Tokyo today, visiting another wealthy island nation that does not see the need to enter into political and economic union with its authoritarian continental neighbour.

The International Trade Secretary is meeting Japanese PM Shinzō Abe, after Japan’s Trade Minister “welcomed” Britain’s bid to join the successor to the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday. The massive CPTPP Free Trade Area encompasses Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

This is the kind of Free Trade Area that the UK should be joining, unlike the EU it does not presume to legislate for its members, and nor does it prohibit members from making their own global trade deals.

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Quote of the Day

Responding to Corbyn’s statement that the US should have arrested ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, John Mann bluntly tweeted:

Baghdadi blew himself up with a suicide belt. An arrest might have been slightly difficult in these circumstances.”

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