The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

Pre Brexit

It was interesting that during the negotiation between the UK and the EU over future trading after Brexit that the big stumbling block was standards. The EU wanted the UK to sign up to the same trading standards as the EU, they did not wish to have poor quality meat, Chlorine washed chicken, beef shot full of steroids ……….. to flood into the EU via the back door. Such meat was linked to cancer, was one reason, the other was a price war between high-quality meat, homegrown, and poor quality imports, a race to the bottom.

The UK said no. They were leaving the EU and wanted the right to trade in the world marketplace without restrictions, or at least that is how they were selling it here at home. A compromise was reached, any breach or EU rules and the UK would be dragged into court.

Post-Brexit

Since the UK left the EU, Scottish companies have found it difficult to import their goods into the EU, fish, for example, surprise, surprise. Making up only one per cent of the UK’s GDP, Scotland’s fishermen were always going to be sacrificed for the greater good of London.

I read the other day that the Department for International Trade was advising companies in the UK that are experiencing such difficulties to register their company in the EU. In other words a Flag of Convenience.

Flag of convenience is a business practise whereby a ship’s owner will register a merchant ship in a ship’s register of a country other than that of the ship’s owners, and the ship will fly the civil ensign of that country, (flag state).

Why would they do that? A ship registered in a forging country comes under the laws of the country of registration, so avoiding Admiralty Law and regulations that would apply in the owner’s own country, an example would be, stricter safety standards in the UK, than say Libya. The crew’s wages would be paid at the standard of the country of registration and not those negotiated by the Union in the UK, (cheap labour, a race to the bottom).

The term “flag of convenience” has been around since the 1950s and applies to a ship that does not have the nationality of residency requirement for ships registration is often described as an “Open Registry” Panama for example, giving the ship’s owner easier registration, (often online) and the ability to employ cheaper foreign labour, and the biggest bonus of all, the foreign owners pay no income taxes. Sadly, for Boris, that will only work with ships.

We now know that many of the City of London banks have opened branches in the EU, and how £6 billion worth of shares have now been transferred from the City banks to the EU, and Boris advising UK companies to do likewise to avoid any unnecessary red tape and tariffs. Is this the great Boris plan to “Make Britain Great Again”, or simply shooting yourself in the foot.

Scotland will suffer baldly from Brexit, their hard-won reputation for high-quality meat and fish will be no longer, when deals are done with America and cheep food starts to flood onto Asda shelves from Walmart (one and the same), Scottish beef, lamb and sea food will suffer no longer command top dollar in Europe and since most Scottish produce is traded through English companies, they will have to pay tariffs on goods into Europe, sales will disappear like mist from the hills, (the spin has always been that Scotland sells more into England than into the EU has been shown for what it was, more lies). The farming industries will go (lack of EU subsidies will be their demise). Fishermen will land in the EU countries (Ireland) not the UK harbours, so the loss of harbour landing duties and possessing work will follow the fishing boats to the EU harbours. Then will go the manufacturing industries, whose main market is Europe, they will not open a shop with a plaque on the door saying Reg. Co. they will simply move lock stock and barrel to the EU. Scotland will once more become a playground for rich foreign tourists, who will cart home their tartan shortbread tins and if Boris gets his way, stamped on the bottom with a Union Jack and the words “Made in the British Empire 2”. Knowing all this, why oh why are we going ‘cap in hand’ to England for permission to become an independent nation once more?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: