Thursday, May 05, 2016

In or Out -Shake all about

After Obama, now a former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy (from France), re-inforces the view that it is in the overall interest of the British capitalist class to stay in the EU:
“Trade negotiations are a world of hard-bitten talks, where even close allies set aside diplomatic courtesies for national advantage. …
Brexiteers argue that EU countries will want to strike a deal because Britain has a large trade deficit with the rest of the EU. That is simply not true. The UK is more reliant on trade with the EU than vice versa.
EU leaders will fear that anti-Europe parties in their own backyard will get momentum from Brexit, so will want to drive a hard bargain to avoid contagion. In a competitive global marketplace, they will seek any advantage they can get. My own country will probably be among the hardest to negotiate with. Imagine how eager French farmers will be not to have your beef or lamb on our supermarket shelves. And no one will show any love for the City of London.
If it fails to get a deal, there is a real risk that the UK would have to fall back on WTO rules. Some in the Leave campaign have said this would not be a bad option. As the former head of the WTO, let me be dear: this would be a terrible replacement for access to the EU single market .Though tariffs have fallen, they are still high enough to hurt businesses and therefore jobs: 10 per cent for cars, 12 per cent on clothes, 70 per cent on some beef products.
Some claim the UK could strike better trade deals on its own. Let's be honest, there has not been a major WTO deal in 23 years and the most significant agreements are being negotiated between regional blocs." (Times, 3 May)

In other words, the politicians arguing to leave are talking nonsense when they claim (as in a leaflet "6 positive reasons to Vote Leave and take back control" that's been dropping through people's letter boxes):
If we Vote Leave, we can have a friendlier relationship with the EU based on trade, as well as regain our seat on global bodies like the World Trade Organisation.”

One of the British capitalist class's political representatives has taken the risk of submitting the matter for a decision by the working class, who won't necessarily follow the interest of the capitalist class.
If they don't, and vote to leave, in view of what Lamy and the others are saying, the change will not be that dramatic. The capitalist class will be able to cope. In all probability, Britain will stay a member of the Single Market but not have the same say as now in its rules and regulations, i.e be in a similar position to Norway.

The real hard bargaining would be over the free movement of labour in and out of Britain. Or maybe not. If capitalist production grows again British capitalism will need more labour and where's the obvious place for it to come from? Those who voted to leave to "keep foreigners out" (which is what would be the deciding factor in such a vote) will find themselves disappointed. Serve them right.

Adam Buick

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