By Adrian Ekins-Daukes, angry ex Tory Councillor from Tunbridge Wells.
During the run-up to the referendum, the extremist group of ‘Economists for Brexit’ predicted leaving EU would create a 4% boom for the British economy. This has not materialised. But also, Brexit guru Professor Patrick Minford admitted that it would “effectively eliminate” British manufacturing industry. That prophecy is proving spot on.
Officially, manufacturing accounts for only 10% of the economy, but in fact it is much more important. It produces 45% of all UK exports and pays for 65% of private R&D. It employs the services of many other industries, from catering to software design and logistics. Manufacturing workers are well paid, with wages 15% above the national average, which is reflected in the tax take. In fact manufacturing probably accounts for 20% of the economy, and is vital to our trade balance, science base and general prosperity.
Much of our manufacturing industry is owned by foreign firms. who decided to base themselves in the UK largely because it offered access to the EU’s single market which enables products to be sold freely across the continent, . But Brexit has put an end to UK access to the single market, creating trade barriers, extra costs and delivery delays. Government figures show that red tape at the border with the EU costs £7bn per year.
As a result, many foreign firms which had established their HQs in London have moved to the continent, taking the trade, money and jobs with them. Those who remain are investing less. The level of investment by such firms used to be above the average of their UK counterparts. Now it has fallen to about half. Brexit is also proving to be a disincentive for new foreign investment. Before, the UK attracted more foreign investment than any other EU member state but now it has been overtaken by Germany and others are catching up . In particular, Germany has replaced UK as the favourite destination of Japanese firms whose investment is rising in many EU countries but falling in the UK
BREXIT KILLS OUR MOTOR INDUSTRY
The decline of our motor industry since Brexit is grim. The number of new cars made in the UK has sunk to its lowest level for 66 years, with production having fallen every year since 2016 . Our car plants are being overlooked when manufacturers consider where to build new models. Elon Musk bypassed Britain and built his Gigafactory in Berlin instead. The new electric models of Jaguar, Lotus and BMW’s mini are all going to be built abroad . Once sale of new petrol and diesel cars becomes illegal in the UK by 2030. There are fears within the industry that its decline may be terminal.
One major cause of the industry’s decline since Brexit is the decision by our Brexit negotiators to withdraw from the single market. An essential feature of vehicle manufacturing in the EU is the absence of any checks or delays at its internal frontiers, enabling vehicle components to be shipped throughout Europe without hindrance. The supply chains are now so extensive that, it is said, “it takes a continent to make a car “ But the barriers erected by our Brexit negotiators abolished seamless access for our our car manufacturers , subjecting their products to checks and delays, and hence causing them to be excluded us from the system.
BREXIT DOUBLES RED TAPE
Our negotiators have inflicted similar damage on our important chemical industry.That is because they refused to permit the industry to remain in the EU’s ‘REACH’ system, an organisation which had registered, tested, approved and regulated virtually every chemical in use, and which it had cost our industry billions to join. Instead, our Brexiteer government decided to create its own. This duplication means further huge costs for companies having to register with and access two different systems, possibly comply with two differing sets of legislation, and even perhaps repeating some tests as well, The chemical industry is a clear victim of the doubling of unnecessary red tape which Brexit causes.
Brexit is also damaging exports of many other industrial products for which CE marking is obligatory before they can be put on the EU market. These include machinery, construction materials, electric and gas appliances, cosmetics and toys, to name but a few. The CE mark is proof that a product conforms with specified EU safety, health and environmental standards. Once it has been applied, normally by the manufacturer himself (who is responsible for drawing up documents proving compliance), the product is then accepted across the EU without the need for further delays or inspections. We could have had an agreement guaranteeing equivalence between our own standards and those of the EU, thus enabling UK/EU trade to continue to flow as freely as before. Johnson actually reached an agreement with the EU to this effect in early 2019. However, following his triumph in the general election of that year, he chose to renege on it in order to appease the extremist bigots amongst his backbenchers, preferring instead to diverge from EU standards and create a UK version of the CE mark. He thus increased bureaucracy and inflicted new heavy costs on industry to no one’s advantage . Far from freeing us from EU red tape, as Brexiteers claim, they have doubled it for any company that manufactures for both the UK and EU markets.
There are other essential sectors of our economy which are being as seriously damaged by Brexit as manufacturing. Michael Gove claimed recently that “on balance, Brexit has been a significant success for the country.” This opinion might be shared by the super-rich cliques who sustain the Government and some City fat cats but opinion polls show that even 2016 Leave voters, let alone the rest of us, see it as a bare faced lie.
The Solution ? First ….
GET THE BREXITEERS OUT !