Blain’s Morning Porridge – Nov 14 2018 – Peak Brexit?

Blain’s Morning Porridge  – 14th November 2018

“Fog in Channel, Continent Cut Off…”  

In the headlines this morning: []

Short comment this morning… lots going on.. And I’m thinking time to buy UK Inc!

Today might just be Peak Brexit.

While everyone else seems to think the UK is going to get “the very worst deal ever”… “the most one-sided betrayal in the whole of human history…”, I’m going to ignore the hyperbole of Rees-Mogg, the haverings of the Johnson Brothers about vassalage, or the nonsense calls for a Peoples vote (ie a vote only if you vote the way the Remainers want).

Instead, I shall take a contrarian view. The deal could be massively positive!

The deal that appears to be on the table is pretty much what was possible, and optimal. If Theresa May plays her whip right, the UK will effectively exit the political aspects of closer European unity, while remaining within the customs area by agreeing to meet European standards and rules.  That isn’t vassalage – if we want to trade with Europe, then we have to meet their trading standards laws.. just like everyone else. The agreement should clearly establish the UK won’t be on the hook for bailing out Italy or whomever if and when the Euro explodes or the EU unravels (both of which are very small but tangible risks). Nothing is ever perfect, but…

Twin goals achieved: Exit Europe politically. Open Trade with Europe.

Let’s assume the deal goes through. The UK can focus on trade and growth. No more tedious comments from industrial leaders about uncertainty delaying investment decisions. No more of my chums in finance being exiled to Europe. We can stop stock-piling Mr Kiplings’ cakes. Companies can put in place all their plans and start building that new factory. UK growth will get back on 2% plus growth.

In fact, expect a mini-boom. The market is anticipating it… that’s why its higher. Any deal is better than no-deal!

There will be a massive Christmas Goose for everyone’s table!

Unfortunately, the whole potential positive outcome could come massively unstuck. Today will all be about politics.

As we all know, politics can dictate markets. Politics is where common sense comes undone. Can Theresa muster cabinet support for the agreement? Will the Looney Right scupper her? Will the Remoaners push it to destruction? Will the DUP in Northern Ireland bring her government down? Will enough moderate common-sense Labour MPs support the agreement when parliament votes on it?

Common sense should dictate unhappy MPs acknowledge its less than perfect, but better than no deal. If they stepped back and think about, it should be a resounding yes.  But the risks are very high that won’t be how UK MP’s will see it. Why? Because they fear the electorate. Go explain it to them.

Let me apologise to the many foreign readers of the Morning Porridge that I can’t give you a simple outlook or explanation on what’s likely to happen next on Brexit. I’ve no idea how the lemmings in Westminster will jump. I can’t even clearly explain why it happened – except that many red-faced chaps from the Shires have never really been comfortable with garlic or chaps who don’t speak English telling us Brits what to do. Unfortunately, the bally Europeans got even more keen on telling us what to do, so lots of folk started to agree with these unhappy Gammons, resulting in the vote to pull up the proverbial drawbridge and cast-off Europe. Basically, the UK exited Europe not on firm economic reasons to do so, but because “Gammon” middle-aged men think they are still living in the 19th Century, while “Turnips” in the Tory shires were scared witless by racist-inspired fears… Not an ideal way for a country to make up its mind.

Yet, this morning there does not seem to be a single positive comment anywhere on the Blog-o-sphere, the media or a single happy UK lawmaker (MP). There is universal misery on the topic. (Frankly the whole country is heartily sick of the subject…) And it must be yet-another-important-day because every single UK Paper opens with a headline like “make or break for Theresa May”, or “Most difficult day of her premiership”. You wonder why she bothers. She bothers because she does, and I’m beginning to admire her for it.

(For the purposes of clarity and disclosure – I voted Brexit because I believed the best economic interests of UK would be outside the limiting politics of a European superstate. I also think we should give every European unlimited rights within the UK and vice-versa.

I suppose I could be classed as “rather than us all becoming European, would it not be better if the Europeans all became British?)

Back to the day job…

Bill Blain

0207 186 9902