EU – Article 50

Just to remind myself what this says…

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Highlights in my own words

  1. Any country may leave due to own requirements (another way to say you cannot be kicked out)
  2. If any country decides to withdraw; that country needs to tell the European Council (the timer will start then)
  3. The country leaves the EU based on an agreed date or if no date is agreed then 2 years after the timer started above
  4. The country leaving will be left out of meetings concerning the country leaving the EU
  5. The country can re-join again later based like any other non-EU country (no hard feelings!)

Original text below from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:12012M050&from=EN

Article 50

  1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
  2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
  3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
  4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Article 218(3)

Just to ensure nothing sinister is in here…

  • The Commission, or the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy where the agreement envisaged relates exclusively or principally to the common foreign and security policy, shall submit recommendations to the Council, which shall adopt a decision authorising the opening of negotiations and, depending on the subject of the agreement envisaged, nominating the Union negotiator or the head of the Union’s negotiating team.

Brexit – Remember the Results

I’m making this post as the referendum details keeps being questioned in various discussions. Also to preserve the facts in case they disappear off the BBC website.

Most of the facts are thanks to the BBC website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/eu_referendum/results

Based on that I did a few additional calculations…but all facts!

Result

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Electorate

Electorate: 46,501,241 (100%)
Turnout:  33,551,983 (72.2%)

Detailed Result

Based on Votes

Votes: 33,551,983 (100%)
Leave: 17,410,742 (51,9%)
Remain: 16,141,241 (48,1%)
Gap: 1,269,501 (3.78%)
Rejected: 26,033 (0.078%)

Based on Electorate (includes undecided)

Electorate: 46,501,241 (100%)
Leave: 17,410,742 (37.4%)
Remain: 16,141,241 (34.7%)
Gap: 1,269,501 (2.73%)
Did not vote: 12,949,258 (27.9%)
Rejected: 26,033 (0.056%)

Votes

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England

England: 28,455,402 (100%)
Leave: 15,188,406 (53.4%)
Remain: 13,266,996 (46.6%)
Gap: 1,921,410 (6.75%)

Scotland

Scotland: 2,679,513 (100%)
Leave: 1,018,322 (38.0%)
Remain: 1,661,191 (62.0%%)
Gap: –642,869 (-24.0%)

Wales

Wales: 1,626,919 (100%)
Leave: 854,572 (52.5%)
Remain: 772,347 (47.5%)
Gap: 82,225 (5.05%)

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: 790,149 (100%)
Leave: 349,442 (44.2%)
Remain: 440,707 (55.8%)
Gap: -91,265 (11.6%)

Turnout

2016: 72.2%

1975: 64.6%

Historical Election Turnouts with EU referendum turnouts:

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EU – Economy of Brexit

This is part of the EU Fact File

Verdict: NEUTRAL – YES it CAN be proved that either leaving or joining the EU does NOT impact the ECONOMY

So both Brexit remain and leave campaigns struggle to prove what would happen if we either leave or stay in the EU?

Strangely enough – nobody has thought of looking at what happens when you join the EU.

Leaving the EU would then be the reverse effect of joining!

So if a country get a huge boost by joining if would make sense a similar bust would occur when leaving.

Lets look at some of the late comers in the EU – lets pick the bigger ones of the new EU countries:

  • Poland: joined 2004 with a population of about 38 million
  • Hungary: joined 2004 with a population of about 10 million
  • Romania: joined 2007 with a population of 20 million

You can add the smaller ones yourself but they would almost be zero as it goes to show the new EU countries had a very low development level per capita compared to the old EU countries.

To see if the population got richer you need to look at GDP PER CAPITA.

GDP TOTAL or % GROWTH is not used – as these numbers does not show if people are getting richer or poorer inside the country.

A country may show an overall GDP growth – but if this is caused by immigration then this may not result in anybody getting richer (except for the immigrants whilst in the country).

What we need to understand is – if we (human beings) are better of inside or outside of the EU – hence the use of GDP PER CAPITA.

I have added a couple of non-EU countries for comparison.

Feel free to add your own but remember they have to start off with a similar population and GDP starting point so you don’t compare apples and oranges.

You can play around with the graph on the Wold Bank website by clicking on the graph below.

The interesting period is before and after 2004/2007 where the new EU countries joined the EU:

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Points to make of the above graph:

  • Poland and Hungary around year 2004 – did have growth – but not more than Romania, that had not joined yet
  • Romania around year 2007 – even after joining the trend followed other EU10 countries – no impact it seems
  • Malaysia having a population of 28 million – did similarly to the new EU countries and did better than Hungary with a similar economy
  • Switzerland and Norway did as well or better while not being in the EU even though these countries are already highly developed
  • United Kingdom and Germany did NOT do well at all – similar to other large EU countries (you can add these yourself!)

Some conclusions to be made:

  1. The new and undeveloped EU countries would have had a similar growth outside the EU (compared to Malaysia)
  2. The old and developed EU countries would have had a better growth outside the EU (compared to Switzerland and Norway)

Questions to be asked (maybe covered in a later article):

  1. Why do the IN campaign and other organisations believe we will be economically worse off my leaving the EU mind boggling?
  2. How much could the United Kingdom have grown if been outside the EU if we had followed countries like Switzerland and Norway?
  3. Would the United Kingdom get a better or worse deal than Switzerland and Norway if the UK left EU?

Good Articles (subscripted)

  1. None

References (superscripted)

  1. World Bank open data:http://beta.data.worldbank.org/

Change log:

  1. Created 4/6-2016

EU – Banking and Currency

This is part of the EU Fact File

Verdict: OUT – Even though the UK is not in the EURO zone we are still impacted by the Banking Union – limiting what we can do with our banks and financial industry. It is proven by banking outside the EU is growing rapidly whilst both the UK and Germany seems stagnant. Outside the EU we can still help the EU if needed without being overly exposed thanks to the IMF. The involvement of the IMF in bailing out both Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland proves the inability of the ECB and EU to deal with the EURO crisis.

The UK is not in the EURO zone (blue) as per below (click to get more info 1):

However being in the EU still affects the UK:

  • Many directives impact the UK banking sector due to EU directives in spite of the UK not being in the EURO zone (2)
  • The UK is a member of the EU banking union
  • For example in 2015 we had to lower our savers deposit guarantee from £85.000 to £75.000 due to the European Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) 2
  • Since 2011 banking assets in the UK banking sector have shrunk by 12% (5% in wholesale) while growing in rival centres: by 12% in the US, 34% in Hong Kong and 24% in Singapore. Over the same period, employment in the UK banking sector has fallen by 8% (35,000) 3:
    image_thumb11
    Graph explains why banks not are contemplating going to the EU like Germany (Frankfurt is often mentioned in pro-EU arguments)

EU Banking Union

In response to the financial crisis that emerged in 2008, the European Commission pursued a number of initiatives to create a safer and sounder financial sector for the single market. These initiatives, which include stronger prudential requirements for banks, improved depositor protection and rules for managing failing banks, form a single rulebook for all financial actors in the 28 Member States of the European Union. The single rule book is the foundation on which the Banking Union sits10.

The UK is a member of the Banking Union.

European Stability Mechanism – ESM and European Financial Stability Facility – EFSF

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created as a temporary crisis resolution mechanism by the euro area Member States in June 2010. The EFSF has provided financial assistance to Ireland, Portugal and Greece. The assistance was financed by the EFSF through the issuance of bonds and other debt instruments on capital markets9.

This was replaced by the ESM in 20128.

The European Stability Mechanism is the crisis resolution mechanism for countries of the euro area. The ESM issues debt instruments in order to finance loans and other forms of financial assistance to euro area Member States.

The UK is not a member of the EFSF or ESM as it only applied to EURO countries (in blue below)8.

ESM member states.svg

World Bank

The World Bank is not involved in the EU but are often mentioned in connection with the IMF as both are UN institutions7.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were both created at an international conference convened in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States in July 1944.

The World Bank’s mandate. The World Bank promotes long-term economic development and poverty reduction by providing technical and financial support to help countries reform particular sectors or implement specific projects—such as, building schools and health centres, providing water and electricity, fighting disease, and protecting the environment

International Monetary Fund – IMF

We cannot look at the EU without also considering the role of IMF as they keep commenting on EU and UK policies.

The purpose of the IMF is7:

The IMF’s mandate: The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation and provides policy advice and technical assistance to help countries build and maintain strong economies. The IMF also makes loans and helps countries design policy programs to solve balance of payments problems when sufficient financing on affordable terms cannot be obtained to meet net international payments.

However in reality the IMF is not following it’s original purpose.

Looking at Greece has €21.2 billion in outstanding obligations to the IMF5. Additionally also Portugal and Ireland has significant debt6.

Due to the IMF lending to EU countries having the EURO and member of the IMF is not just the Eurozone countries – the IMF widens the EURO exposure beyond the Eurozone.

Essentially the UK is being dragged into the EURO via the IMF. The UK direct exposure to the Eurozone is hard to gauge however2.

Even if the UK left the EU – the UK would still be exposed to the EU however being in the EU and even worse in the EURO would increase the exposure significantly via the EFSF/ESM (see above).

European Union financial transaction tax – Tobin Tax

The European Union financial transaction tax (EU FTT) is a proposal made by the European Commission to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) within some of the member states of the European Union initially by 1 January 2014, later postponed to 1 January 2016 and then to Mid 201611.

Strangely delayed until after the UK Brexit vote.

According to early plans, the tax would impact financial transactions between financial institutions charging 0.1% against the exchange of shares and bonds and 0.01% across derivative contracts, if just one of the financial institutions resides in a member state of the EU FTT.

Hence a tax like this would impact all global transactions originating in the UK.

Currently the UK expect to have to veto this tax.

The tax would be levied on all transactions on financial instruments between financial institutions when at least one party to the transaction is located in the EU. It would cover 85% of the transactions between financial institutions (banks, investment firms, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds and others).

House mortgages, bank loans to small and medium enterprises, contributions to insurance contracts, as well as spot currency exchange transactions and the raising of capital by enterprises or public bodies through the issuance of bonds and shares on the primary market would not be taxed, with the exception of trading bonds on secondary markets.

This would essentially be the death of London based insurance companies and international banking. For a bank like HSBC a move to Hong Kong would be a no brainer. Similar for insurance company like Lloyds that insure internationally like ships.

Questions to be asked:

  1. Why can we not have our own deposit guarantee rules – why does it need to be “harmonised” – why not just a minimum?
    Countries compete on taxes and VAT why not bank guarantees?
    Maybe deposits are larger in the UK (than for instance Romania!!!) so why not our own guarantee level?
  2. If EU is a great place for banks why do HSBC continuously consider moving to Hong Kong (and not somewhere in the EU?
  3. To compete with USA, Hong Kong and Singapore it seems like it is better to be outside the EU as both UK and Germany has been suffering within?
  4. Why does the IMF need to bailout a “strong” trade block like the EU and Eurozone as the ECB should be big enough for this purpose?

Good Articles (subscripted)

  1. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-10/john-taylor-imf-loans-greece-bailed-out-banks-and-worsened-situation
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33165580

References (superscripted)

  1. https://en.wikipedia./orgwiki/Eurozone
  2. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/pra/pages/authorisations/fscs/bankingandsavings.aspx
  3. https://www.bba.org.uk/publication/bba-reports/winning-the-global-race-2/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund
  5. https://www.imf.org/external/country/grc/greecefaq.htm
  6. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/top-10-debtor-countries-owe-86-of-total-imf-loans-115070600274_1.html
  7. http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/imfwb.htm
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Stability_Mechanism
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility
  10. http://ec.europa.eu/finance/general-policy/banking-union/index_en.htm
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_financial_transaction_tax

Change Log

  1. 15/4-2016: Page created from EU Fact File

EU – Economy

This is part of the EU Fact File

Verdict: OUT – EU growth seems to be stalling compared to the UK and other developed countries. The reason is hard to explain – but it could be due to the EURO and over-regulation? However should we in the UK wait and see why and if the EU manage to overcome this? If we left the EU we might be more likely to follow the likes of Switzerland and Australia?

Economy

Normally measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (1).

In 2015 (just got the latest figures) the UK was the worlds 5th biggest economy (all in billion USD below):

  1. United States: 17,968
  2. China: 11,385
  3. Japan: 4,116
  4. Germany: 3,371
  5. United Kingdom: 2,865
  6. France: 2,423
  7. India: 2,183
  8. Italy: 1,819
  9. Brazil: 1,800
  10. Canada: 1,573

EU and World GDP4:

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In spite of the EU enlargement the EU GDP has fallen compared to rest of the world.

Looking at GDP in PCT of the World GDP:

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UK has be relatively stable around 4-5% hence following global growth, whereas the EU total has been falling steadily since 2003 – even before the 2008 crisis – falling behind the UK.

Looking at other G10 countries:

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Even the US is doing very well even though the 2008 crisis originated here hence they need to grow more to get back to parity.

When looking at the G10 EU countries and other developed countries since year 2000:

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The UK is gaining more than the rest of top EU countries but the UK also had a larger drop since the crisis in 2006.

Australia and Canada did very well indeed as a commonwealth countries.

Switzerland did very well as a EFTA country.

Japan did terrible but have had many natural disasters the last few years.

People says if the UK was to leave EU then Scotland might leave the UK as well – so impact of this would be (2):

  • Scotland: £153 Billion which is circa $234 Billion
  • Scotland subtracted from the UK figures we get: 2,865 – 234 = 2,631
  • So the UK would still be the 5th largest world economy if Scotland left the UK and still be in the G7

Questions to be asked:

  1. What impact has the slump in oil prices on the Scottish GDP?
    Some hints in article (4) so seems Scotland is stable hence 5th place should be stable in near term.
  2. As the EU is getting weaker from a global point should we not mainly seek to trade with growing countries?
  3. If the EU actually holding us back to grow like the rest of the world?
    The G10 in EU graph looks like the EU is dragging us down…

Good Articles (subscripted)

References (superscripted)

  1. http://knoema.com/nwnfkne/world-gdp-ranking-2015-data-and-charts
  2. http://scottishgovernment.presscentre.com/News/Quarterly-National-Accounts-Scotland-2015-Q1-1bf1.aspx
  3. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/international-transactions/outward-foreign-affiliates-statistics/how-important-is-the-european-union-to-uk-trade-and-investment-/sty-eu.html
  4. http://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/index.php

Change log:

  1. 20/3/16: Created from main fact file
  2. 20/3/16: Added IMF GDP Excel graph’s