Brexit has completely failed for UK, say clear majority of Britons – poll

You must be having a laugh…
:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


It looks like our esteemed government wrote the awful Torygraph article shared earlier. That empty set of claims is matched by another empty set of Brexit claims in last week’s “report” from the business and trade secretary. Must be the same author as both are equally ridiculous and free from balanced facts.
“Among the top achievements listed were booming sales of honey to Saudi Arabia, surging pet food exports to India, a rush of UK pork, worth £18m over five years, heading into Mexico’s restaurants and homes, and UK beauty products sales leaping in China, thanks to barriers being smashed”
Quick check of these super Brexit successes reveal - no record of any honey sales to Saudi; in fact real problems importing queen bees from Europe; a loss of £850m of beauty product exports to the EU; a drop in GDP by 3% due to Brexit. No wonder another recent poll had only 13% thinking that Brexit has been a success.

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I suppose it depends what rag you read or if you voted to remain or leave the EU…
Rome wasn’t built in a day…And the damage the EU has caused over the last 60 odd years will take a long time to repair…Thank God we left when we did.


suggesting anyone will be better off in Texas is the tosh. Do they think everyone there is an oil baron?

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Well the Clampetts did alright Annie…
:moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag:

You’ve lost me OGF

Here in France, the media have been gleefully reporting on last week’s fourth anniversary of Britain leaving the EU.

The country’s second-most read daily newspaper, Le Figaro, wrote of ‘the shipwreck of Brexit’. France’s business paper, Les Echos, smugly reported a poll it had uncovered which claimed that only 22 per cent of British people now believe that leaving the EU was a good thing, with just 12 per cent thinking that Brexit had had a positive effect on the economy. ‘A majority of Britons believe that it has had a harmful effect on the economy, their standard of living or the health system’, it declared.

This spiteful schadenfreude, surely, can only be borne out of jealousy.

For much of the past week, France’s 7,000-mile motorway network has been paralysed – blockaded by farmers who have two principal beefs.

First, with Brussels and all the petty bureaucracy and huge costs emanating from its proposed Net Zero regulations. Second, they bitterly resent the fact that the EU insists on an open trading market within the bloc while the European Commission is on the brink of signing a trade deal with South American countries that would open the floodgates to even more imports at prices they fear would savagely undercut French produce.

French farmers enjoy enormous public support, but are not entirely sympathetic characters. The big cereal farmers benefit from colossal tax privileges while the European Common Agricultural Policy, long contentious but never reformable, shovels them €10 billion (£8.5 billion) a year.

Last week, French TV news bulletins were filled with pictures of despairing farmers attacking and burning trucks filled with tomatoes and wine arriving from Spain.

No wonder a beleaguered French President Emmanuel Macron is threatening to veto the South American trade deal, in what would be a humiliation for European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen, for whom the pact had represented a crowning achievement.

The fact is that the EU, France’s greatest creation, faces an existential crisis, riven by schism and corruption and now facing its most important trade deal scuppered by the French themselves.

What a delicious irony it is that this was all happening in the week that Britain marked four years after leaving the EU.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch heralded the date by saying: 'Since the referendum in 2016, the UK has grown faster than Germany, Italy, and Japan and at a similar rate to France. Our services exports are at a record-high of £472 billion and the International Monetary Fund predicts that between 2024 and 2028 the UK will see the third-fastest growth in the G7 – stronger than France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

‘The Government has cut burdensome red tape for business. We’ve built dozens of trading relationships with new friends and old allies. And we’ve taken back control of our laws, borders and tariffs.’

What a piquant irony, too, that the angry French farmers’ unlikely hero is someone in Brexit Britain. Jeremy Clarkson, whose heartfelt rage against the stupidity of regulations in the farming sector have been broadcast on the French version of Prime TV, last week sent French farmers a message of solidarity on X (formerly Twitter): ‘I’ll bet nobody’s ever said this before, but good luck from England.’

It would be an understatement to say that millions of French people are not happy.

They’re grappling with huge levels of immigration, a crumbling education system and electricity bills that have just gone up ten per cent. The outlook for the economy looks bleak for 2024, with unemployment set to rise this quarter from 7.4 per cent to 7.6 per cent.

Today, looking back, Macron’s comments last March, when he met Rishi Sunak, that both men needed to ‘fix the consequences of Brexit’, seem not only patronising but ill-informed – and a hostage to fortune, considering France’s current woes.

Across the border, the EU’s other powerhouse, Germany, is on the brink of recession as manufacturing and property crises engulf the eurozone’s biggest economy. It is also gripped with self-doubt as traditional centrist parties are muscled aside by an energised, populist Right.

Increasingly rudderless under the ineffective and disrespected Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Germany is struggling to assimilate more than a million new immigrants and has an army that admits it would be incapable of defending itself against a rampant Russia.

In the Netherlands, there’s deep social unrest, leading to farmers and their allies to depose the EU-obsessed government. The Spanish are in perpetual political chaos. Italy cannot solve the problem of African migrants.

Sure, Britain is sometimes rickety, nobody loves the politicians and strikes have crippled the railway network. Indeed, not even the most ardent supporter of Brexit would argue that it’s all plain sailing.

But the question is: do Britons really regret no longer being part of Brussels’ sclerotic superstate and are EU countries really better off inside the union?

With France’s farmers enjoying almost unanimous support from the public – even though their lives are being disrupted by the protests – Macron seems set to concede defeat, having made it clear that he intends to give the farmers everything they want.

Contrast the problems across the Channel with the British economy, which is slowly in recovery mode.

Inflation has fallen from ten per cent a year ago to four per cent. Output from British car factories, boosted by unprecedented levels of investment, has reached its top rate since before the Covid pandemic, while commercial vehicle output is at its highest level since 2010.

As the Mail’s City Editor Alex Brummer wrote last week, contrary to many predictions both pre- and post-Brexit, the City of London is booming.

The housing market is reviving, with prices in January having climbed against all expectations and mortgage approvals at their highest level in six months. Consumer confidence is at its strongest in two years and optimism about the coming 12 months is building.

How different it is in France, where Macron is preparing to showcase his fractured nation to the world as it hosts this summer’s Olympic Games. Just two months ago, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said the city’s transport system would not be ready in time and that ‘solutions for homelessness would also be a problem’.

Sadly, too, the Paris Olympics are expected to be staged under conditions of de facto martial law, so great is the fear of terrorism and disorder.

So while the media and political class in France push ceaselessly the idea that, with Brexit, the British have committed social, economic and political suicide, many people in France’s heartlands are starting to ask whether they might be better off if they walked away from the failing Euro project.

It is an important and germane question that many in the political elite of the EU’s troubled member countries would do well to address.


Never missed an episode Annie…Brilliant!
“Hear my story bout a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer but he kept his family fed…
Then one day he was shootin’ at some food, and up from the ground came bubbling crude…
Oil that is…Texas Tea, Black Gold”…

Sorry…I digress…


The clue, as Sherlock Holmes taught us, is “the dog that didn’t bark in the night”. This week was the fourth anniversary of “getting Brexit done” when the UK finally left the EU. Yet from the Government came not a bark, scarcely a growl – except from the Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, who published an excellent 24-page summary of the fruits of Brexit. The rest of the government machine was mysteriously silent.

The consequence of that silence is that the narrative about Brexit is being written by its opponents.

Holmes deduced that the dog didn’t bark because the thief was so familiar that it failed to challenge him. Many in the Government have failed to challenge the familiar narrative that membership of the EU single market was so beneficial to our trade that its loss cannot be offset by trade elsewhere or the ability to make our own laws less burdensome.

I must plead guilty to having helped establish this myth. As trade and industry secretary responsible for implementing the single market programme in the early 1990s I made bullish speeches about how it would boost our exports.

At the same time I helped negotiate the Uruguay Round – which halved tariffs worldwide and set up the World Trade Organisation – and made slightly less bullish speeches about that.

Over the ensuing quarter of a century our goods exports to the EU stagnated – growing less than 1 per cent a year. By contrast, our goods exports to the 100 or so countries with whom we had no trade deal grew by nearly 90 per cent.

Given how little membership of the single market benefitted our exports, it should be no surprise that leaving it has not perceptibly impacted our trade. Since we left, UK goods exports to the EU have actually done slightly better than our exports to the rest of the world.

What lessons can we draw?

We should not exaggerate the importance of trade deals. What really drives trade is businesses producing goods and services others want, alongside a competitive exchange rate. Yet business lobbies agonise about customs checks adding 1 per cent to their costs but endured without a murmur an exchange rate the IMF said was 10 per cent overvalued.

The second lesson is that the most valuable trade deals for the UK are those with fast-growing markets, which reduce previously high barriers, and which cover services. So Kemi and the Prime Minister are right to hail the Pacific trade pact of which we will be the only non-Pacific member and the potential Indian trade deal. Services, which are particularly important for the UK – accounting for half the value added of our exports – rarely featured in trade deals negotiated by the EU.

So now our priority must be to upgrade our deals to incorporate more opportunities for service companies.

The third lesson is that the greatest Brexit dividend is the ability to make our own laws. We can streamline regulations to reduce compliance costs and promote competition.

For example, simplifying the Working Time Directive won’t bring back the 60-hour week, but it will simplify annual leave and holiday pay calculations and recordkeeping. £1 billion of administrative savings are planned across business.

In the 1980s we saw that the cumulative effect of individually modest deregulatory measures is huge – moving Britain from being the slowest-growing major economy in the EU to the fastest. At last we can apply deregulation to inherited EU law.

Although these measures cannot yet have had much impact, the UK economy has been doing better, or less badly, than its competitors, So the Brexit effect – pace the BBC – cannot be negative. The IMF even forecasts Britain will grow faster between now and 2028 than Germany, France, Italy and Japan. It’s time to bark back at those trying to steal the Brexit narrative.

Lord Lilley served as secretary of state for trade and industry


what sort of measure is that?

It means that we can do better business with the EU as an outsider, than we ever did as a member Annie…

It means nothing OGF, it’s measuring one part of our own performance against another - where is the baseline?

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Rather than dissect an article (that was immediately proved to be rubbish as the UK slipped into recession) I found a new application of Brexit. It actually does have its uses - in football. It seems the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ has been applied in this context for some time. From the Urban Dictionary:
(In football) When one goes in for a tackle deliberately to sh*t on their opponent. Typically done to take an opposing player out of the match. Done by any means, even if the player committing the brexit tackle must receive a red card.
Apparently as the player rushing in to make the vicious and likely self-harming tackle, he or she shouts “Brexit means Brexit!”. You could not make this stuff up.

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The poor, dim-witted French. They haven’t “learnt the lessons of Brexit” according to the EU’s former negotiator Michel Barnier. If, as seems likely, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party comes out the big winner in June’s European Parliament elections, French voters will have shown nothing more that they don’t understand how serious Brexit was.

Alternatively, they will have shown that they have understood it perfectly well, and that they know the European Commission’s efforts to punish Britain for leaving have failed utterly. The bloc set out to try to inflict the worst possible deal it could on Britain in effort to threaten other possible recalcitrant member states – pour encourager les autres, as Voltaire would have put it. And yet Britain has thrived, while the EU has ended up with growing levels of Euroscepticism in France, and indeed in other states.

Voters in the Netherlands have already backed Geert Wilders, who wants an in-out referendum for his country, too. The Eurosceptic AfD is winning in Germany, while Giorgia Meloni, whose Eurosceptic policies have so far stopped short of leaving the union, is already Italian Prime Minister.

Why does Barnier think he will impress his own country’s Eurosceptics by claiming that Britain has suffered more trade barriers since Brexit? Quite apart from anything else, if you are one of the French farmers who recently blocked the autoroutes complaining about being undercut by cheap imports it isn’t fewer trade barriers you want, it’s more. Among the products they set upon was wine being imported over the Pyrenees from Spain.

On the other hand, if you are one of that rarefied breed, a French free-trader, you won’t be impressed by Barnier’s comments either. He is really just confirming what we all knew already: that the EU is at its heart a protectionist organisation which wants to draw a barbed wire fence around its external borders. Why would Britain be suffering “trade problems” with the EU when it is supposed to have a free trade deal, Monsieur Barnier?

The answer is simple: the EU is a master at creating underhand non-tariff barriers designed to drive importers away by making their lives a bureaucratic nightmare. As a member of the single market you might be able to escape the bureaucracy of shlepping your products from one member state to another. But that’s it as far as relief from red tape goes.

Just look at what led to the farmers’ protests: petty rules which demand constant record-keeping of every last gramme of fertiliser applied to each field, rules demanding the precise measurements of every chicken cage. That is the sort of stuff which growing numbers of EU citizens are rebelling against. That, and the EU’s complete failure to deal with illegal migration, its flagrant corruption and its growing tendency to poke its nose into every single aspect of the governance of member states, such as trying to withhold handouts because the former Polish government wouldn’t support gay marriage or abortion on demand.

Nor is it true that the UK has suffered economically since Brexit. Actually, economic growth in Britain since Brexit has been on a par with France and has been higher than in Germany. If we had a government which was actually prepared to seize the opportunities offered by Brexit to deregulate, rather than just mirroring what the EU is doing, we would be doing a good deal better.

The French are not stupid, and nor are the Dutch, Germans, Italians or anyone else contemplating voting for a Eurosceptic party. They can see it is untrue to claim that Brexit has been a disaster, and they are contemplating how their own countries could prosper outside the EU

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Who thinks Britain is “thriving”?

Barnier is quoted as saying this :

> Having seen the Brexit implications up close, Barnier says they were “predictable”. Regulatory frictions have returned as the UK left the Single Market, border checks with the EU have slowed down imports and exports, skills shortages have increased, and growth is sluggish.

‘Global Britain’, the Leave campaign’s promise that exiting from the EU would mean bringing the UK back to the economic and financial centerstage – underpinned by a US trade agreement that never saw the light of day – was no more than a “glorious illusion” now the title of the Frenchman’s written account of the negotiations.

Yet, fast-forward almost nine years from referendum day, and today’s EU far-right movements still want to split the bloc up, he said.

“They’ve not learnt the lessons of Brexit,” Barnier warned, pointing the finger at far-right Dutch pundit and November legislative elections winner Geert Wilders, or Giorgia Meloni’s coalition with EU-sceptic Matteo Salvini.

Days after the Brexit vote back in June 2016, Marine Le Pen – presidential candidate for what was then known as the ‘Front national’, and now President of the Rassemblement National’s parliamentary group – had celebrated the referendum outcome, and the UK’s decision to “get out of servitude”.

“She’s not reneged her views,” Barnier said – only she, alongside EU allies, is not trumpeting about them anymore.

In 2017, Le Pen had vowed to follow suit with the Brits and hold a referendum on ‘belonging to the EU’ – a take that had scared off even her core voter base, fearing economic mayhem, and was removed from the future manifesto.

Keeping quiet on wanting to leave the EU is no more than “electoral opportunism”, the former Commissioner said: “I’d recommend not trusting them when they say they no longer want to leave the EU.”

Also from the Telegraph (yesterday) :

Marine Le Pen has not learnt the “lessons” of Brexit, Michel Barnier claimed as he urged Europeans not to make the same mistakes as the British.

The former Brexit negotiator was speaking before European Parliament elections in June, which are predicted to bring record results for anti-EU parties.

Ms Le Pen’s National Rally is expected to win in Mr Barnier’s native France. Geert Wilders, who wants a “Nexit” referendum, is also expected to repeat his victory in November’s Dutch general election.

“They’ve not learnt the lessons of Brexit,” Mr Barnier said of Ms Le Pen and other eurosceptic leaders including Georgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, and her coalition partner Matteo Salvini.

Mr Barnier said Brexit had made trade with Europe, and economic growth, more difficult.

“The difficulties the UK is facing aren’t all Brexit-related, but Brexit’s made them worse,” the former French presidential candidate said.


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Well Michel Barnier would say that wouldn’t he Annie, It’s like asking Jimmy Savile if he likes kids…

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Barnier has a point but what he failed to mention is that it is the lessons from the UK Brexit referendum that have not been understood by Le Pen and her party. There are lots of lessons.
The nature of a referendum to leave. Le Pen has indicated that if she is president she will set up a similar referendum for France. For that referendum to result in a France leaving, then there is a lot she may not be able to get in place. A simple “out/stay” vote? Unlikely as many would demand that the nature of the leaving be made clear. A 50% win hurdle? That would be unlikely as for such a monumental decision there would be demands for the mandate to be higher. A binding referendum outcome? Seems very unlikely.
The nature of the debate prior to a referendum. What was evident in the UK referendum was that the leave campaign was free to make many unjustified promises. And in response the remain campaign, ignorant about what exactly the exit would look like, resorted to scare tactics about imminent doom. In a French (or any other country) referendum the debate would be very, very different. Both sides are now informed about the consequences of exiting the EU. It would turn the tables. The remain side would be able to very specific about the impact of leaving, and do so sector by sector. The leave side would be left with only vague jingoism, sovereignty ideas and anti-foreigner shouting. The leave side would not be able to justify any claims such as “sunlit uplands” and “trade opportunities elsewhere” as these would be destroyed in detail, with specific examples.
Lastly we are in a post Ukraine invasion, possibly Trump 2, era. The European defense issues are much more to the fore than in 2016. Such things were roundly poo-pooed by the leave campaign in 2016. It is now clear that these issues are very real.
Le Pen perhaps knows all this and simply wants to ride on a anti-EU sentiment that appears to be kicking about in some parts of France. She might not care about an EU referendum and only cares about getting support. However even here she misses a point - the sentiment is anti-EU policy as opposed to anti-EU. Le Pen might gain some votes but France is not about the leave the EU.

The British public was conned back in the seventies. In effect we were sold lies and incorrect advertising, if any company used the methods employed by, what has now evolved into the EU they would be banned and penalised.
People voted back in 1975 in good faith expecting to be part of a ‘Common Market’ which has since proved not to be the case. The people who voted in the referendum of 1975 were duped because the powers that be, always knew where the ‘Common Market’ was going in the future, just a massive land and wealth grab.