Thursday, 19 January 2017

North Atlantic tiger

Theresa May has learnt by talking to EU governments that their biggest fear is that the UK becomes 'Singapore-West', a low tax, free trade economy. So she and Boris are threatening them with this if they don't cooperate over trade.

My question is: why doesn't Great Britain copy Singapore? It would mean freedom, prosperity and, incidentally, only a limited number of rich immigrants.

We could be the North Atlantic tiger. 


  1. Why not? Singapore is a city state with barely a quarter the population of London that cares nothing for it's hinterland and relies aon a strictly managed social hierachy for it's sucess...oh I see why it would appeal. The Uk carries far too much dead weight to economically perform in the same way rellying solely on that model far better would be for The City to seceed from the Union and remain an EU principality. If you want to see why the Offshore modle simply won't work look to Jersey and what that mono industry approach has done in two generations . It's simply brinksmanship sitting watching May in the hall this morning it was simply embarrassing people around were actually giggleing at her naive approach. " oh hello RDS I'd like to cancel my service but still receive it, or I'm going to open a VHS video shop next to your offices..err hello Hello?" The heads of three major investment banks left as I did actively guffawing. Everyone knows she is the Empress with no clothes being forced along the gangplank at the points of Eurosceptic bayonets because she doesnt have the nerve to face them as John did.

  2. A North Atlantic Singapore. Poppycock. I am getting increasingly frustrated with the likes of you, and Mrs May saying the UK be a "world leader" in free trade with no basis in new global reality. When? On day zero of Brexit The United Kingdom, or perhaps simply england, will go from single market access plus over fifty free trade deals via the EU down to ...none. WTO terms or worse. It has neither the expertise nor attractive advantages to catch up with where it already was. As the clock ticks forward, the EU will keep ratifying more trade deals, leveraging on its size and well-developed expertise. The UK will have given up membership of the world's largest market, on it's doorstep, and
    'May' have, in a tiff, walked away from a balanced trade deal with it too.

    Please don't give me that historically Global Britain rubbish... when the professed aim is to cut immigration to tens of thousands and deprive UK citizens of free movement rights on their own continent , why not just revise free movement terms? That has been a possibility since 2004 and has been enacted by virtually all other EU members. If the UK can't implement and share rules with it's near neighbours, how are they going to suck up over 50 sets of new rules hammered out with distant partners? For example the US that drools to break into and privatise healthcare, on their terms, or India, which will make a deal conditional upon taking many more Indian immigrants, as they have both already made clear?

    Which brings me back to your point on Singapore. It's economy relies very heavily on cheap immigrant labour, over 50%. If the source for a similar miracle in the UK will not be the Continent then it must surely be the Commonwealth.For that read Africa , Indian subcontinent and China. Relatively wealthy Australians and Canadians will not queue to enter a startup economy, if anything the exodus will be in their direction. How is that going to fare with the racial identity and harmony in that green and peaceful land you love so well to leave?

  3. How about becoming pre-1914 Britain, without the Empire - the most global, freest-trading nation the world has seen, with a tremendous technological economy and low taxes?
    Peter Risdon

  4. Because

    One the Yankees and Dutch were better traders at that point
    Two without the gunboat diplomacy of Empire see point one
    Three the technology relied on cheap materials from empire and low wages for a subservient population good luck today on either of those points
    As for low taxation, only for the rich already and the low wages precluded high domestic revenues but post enclosure new rents and general excise were burdensome anyway which is why that be so many smuggler tales ahaha

    So you propose a return to hat doffing Hardy's Wessex do you with Satanic mills and a moribund aristocracy and landowner class each trying to bankrupt the other? Did you escape the technology explosion of the 20/21 century unscathed? The new economic realities of the fourth revolution are only just beginning to bite this is less like the 17th AD than the 7th BC

  5. Does your proposal come with Singapore's censorship laws?

  6. I agree with your premise - but Singapore (or the Persian Gulf states) can afford to do this sort of thing because these countries are a lot less democratic. A stable dictatorship (or quasi-dictatorship) can guarantee an impartial overseer of a free market a lot better than a free-for-all democracy, where so many factions are fighting like hyenas over the common pot.

  7. Free trade works a lot better in conjunction with the free movement of those doing the trading (see the EU - it's not like the French have been invaded by Germans, or the Germans by the French, or Romanians by Bulgarians or vice-versa - despite the large amounts of trade and tourism across borders). It's as if there are lower incentives to emigrate if one's economic prospects are better (due to trade). Also, I am not sure if you are aware that Singapore is a multi-ethnic society.

  8. I perhaps should write another post about this 'Singapore option'. I wrote this little post very quickly and it misses the obvious point. There's no reason why Great Britain should not have very low taxes and stay in EU.

    In fact the whole thing makes no sense. What would make sense is if the fear in Europe is that we will have a low regulation economy. This I should certainly welcome as a lover of freedom.

  9. I usually agree with Brendan O' Neill though he's a left-winger and I agree with this. "The best thing about Brexit is not that we're leaving the EU, although that is wonderful. It's that the decades-long pretence of the liberal establishment and leftish parties to care what ordinary people think, to empathise with the bloke in the street, to see plebs as actual humans with ideas worth listening to rather than as drains on resources or pains in the political neck, has been utterly, fantastically shattered. Now we know what a myth it was, what an act, and that in truth the chattering class is horrified to the point of being made "physically sick" (Gina Miller's words) by the sight of an uneducated person with a strong, principled opinion. There's no going back to the EU, that's right. But even more excitingly there's no going back to that wooden performance of liberal concern and empathy for the public. That's over. No one's falling for that again. Thank you Brexit!"