birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Nicola Sturgeon threatens to block Brexit.

That, like the suggestion to have another Brexit vote, would be a very bad idea. The reason's simple...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_England_riots
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
I'm old enough to remember when the UK joined the European Economic Community, it being a big deal for New Zealand then due to the UK being our biggest trading partner. We sold them lamb and apples and such and we'd get their Cortinas and Ford Prefects etc. And it was good, at least for us. (Using a relative variant of 'good' here, of course.)

I suspect few in the UK remember John Marshall, but those of my vintage in NZ do, and mainly for his regular jaunts to Europe to beg on our behalf for a special relationship with the UK, post them joining the EEC. (I'd completely forgotten he was NZ's PM for a while.) It was all a bit demeaning.

I also remember TV shows from the UK on the referendum about staying in the EEC after they'd managed to join, (it having taken them three attempts). And I remember little vitriol in those shows, but maybe I've forgotten. They definitely wanted to join though.

Anyway, as you may have heard, the UK has decided to leave the EU, (what the EEC grew into), hence the above little history lesson. From an economic point of view, leaving the EU is obviously a silly thing to do. Having easy access to a huge market right on your doorstep beats making that access difficult. And especially given the UK rejected the Euro, thus getting the benefit of a more floaty exchange rate than the countries using the Euro.

In the lead up to the vote, we heard that some in the Leave side of things thought it'd make it easier to do business with countries like Australia and NZ because: Commonwealth. And such. Umm, yes. We'll be quite happy to sell you our stuff, but I'd like to be reminded what it is the UK has to sell us.

It's sad to say, but I'm hard pressed to think of anything outside of media that has Made in Britain on it down here these days. There's the ARM processor, I guess, but 90% of the population wouldn't know they have it in their pockets. Most of our imports come from Asia, Australia, the US or (yes) the EU. As you can see here...

http://www.tourism.net.nz/images/new-zealand/about-nz/imports-2014.jpg

But I expect we probably import more from Singapore than the UK.

As to the Commonwealth, we think of ourselves as a Pacific country these days. (And Australians think of themselves as Australians.)

Anyway, that's just a heads-up for any who think you can turn the clock back. The cultural ties are still strong between the UK and NZ, and I don't mind the UK deciding to leave, being all for democracy and such. (And would applaud Texas following suit.) But now that the dog's on the bus, it'll be interesting to see if it knows what to do now.

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August 2017

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