Reader “Summers” from South Wales sent an email reply to my post Precise Way to Start Negotiations with EU Mules: Get France to Piss and Moan.
Summers has additional ideas on negotiation tactics that will hit Germany where it hurts, if necessary.
Summers writes …
Theresa May will be the PM. I do believe that she will be true to her words “Brexit means Brexit!”. I read your article “Precise Way to Start Negotiations with EU Mules: Get France to Piss and Moan” just now with great delight.
The UK is already hitting on multiple fronts. You might be interested to know that Chancellor Osborne is currently preparing the way for new international trade arrangements with the US and Asia.
Then you have Theresa May’s speech today – she is hitting on all cylinders. As we all know, the idea of unions is dead and gone – there is simply no purpose for them in the modern world. However, ensuring that employees and customers are represented on the corporate board and making shareholder votes on executive compensation binding (rather than advisory) will go a long way to making corporations much more accountable (see John Lewis – one of the consistently best performing companies in the UK – for these concepts in action). May is proposing to change investment patterns in the UK to draw money out of property and into more productive activities (this is actually easy to do as property is very much tax-advantaged in the UK). What I found most interesting however is that she does not want to focus on national financial targets (aka austerity) but instead on productivity. Pure genius if she can do it – this will certainly get focus off Wall Street (or The City) and on to Main Street.
In addition to the corporation tax issue, as you have described in the referenced article, the other place to ‘kick’ Europe is auto imports. Prime Minister (Elect) May should go to Europe proposing import quotas on European cars as a bargaining position (a cursory look around Britain reveals that only about 2 of every 10 cars here are British made – most of the others are from Europe). I am sure that Asia/US would be happy to pick up these markets, and this may be one reason Osborne is there now.
I cannot help but think that this must be Europe’s worst nightmare. Consider the average European as they watch what is happening in the UK – thinking – why can’t we do that? Imagine the pressure Merkel and Hollande will get from their auto manufacturers – during an election year!
The UK has the clear advantage in these negotiations as I have stated all along.
As prime minister, May’s first priority is to address the UK. The second thing she should do is pick up the phone and give her majesty Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande notice of who has the upper hand and why.
Threats of a nice auto import deal with the US and Japan combined with tariffs on French and German cars just might ring a bell in the dense heads in Germany and France.
Here’s my favorite quote of the campaign (before Andrea Leadsom dropped out).
“Ken Clarke says I am a bloody difficult woman. The next man to find that out will be Jean-Claude Juncker.” – Theresa May – July 2016.
Here’s some notes on Kenneth Clarke from Wikpiedia.
Kenneth Harry Clarke (born 2 July 1940), often known as Ken Clarke, is a British Conservative politician who has represented Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire as a Member of Parliament since 1970.
Clarke has been described by the press as a “Big Beast”. He served in various British Cabinets as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Education Secretary, Health Secretary and Minister without Portfolio. He has been the President of the Tory Reform Group since 1997.
Clarke contested the Conservative Party leadership three times – in 1997, 2001 and 2005 – being defeated each time. Opinion polls indicated he was more popular with the general public than with his Party, whose generally Euro-sceptic stance did not chime with his pro-European views. Notably, he is President of the Conservative Europe Group, Co-President of the pro-EU body British Influence and Vice-President of the European Movement UK.
Clarke’s time as a Cabinet Minister is the fifth-longest in the modern era, having spent over 20 years serving under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron.
Clarke’s pro-EU stance did him in each time. Rightfully so. More importantly, any threat to be difficult with Juncker is a huge feather in May’s cap.
First Step in Training a Mule
There’s an old saying: “The first step in training a mule is to hit it as hard as you can in the head with a stick.”
I don’t really advise that with mules, but it is the precise thing to do to EU nannycrats.
I am a huge free trade advocate, but others aren’t, especially the EU nannycrats.
Working out trade deals with the US and Japan, with appropriate threats on Germany and France will be a second badly needed slap in the face to the EU nannycrats who think they are in control, but aren’t.
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock