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In the space of an hour Toys R Us and Maplins fail. While I wouldn’t begin to blame this on Brexit it does show the underlying weakness in the UK economy, one which is largely supported by retail.

Toys R Us I don’t find surprising but while I knew Maplin’s was in trouble I didn’t realise it was so close to administration. 

The Maplin CEO is quoted saying:

“We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere.”

I’d very much agree with that and think it’s a real shame such a good and reliable retailer has gone.

The UK simply isn’t a position to further weaken itself. 

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Worried about Brexit? Remember these three key assurances from the top pro-Brexit cabinet ministers? 

Fox: Brexit is more complicated than a packet of Walkers crisps.

Davis: Brexit will not lead to a Mad Max dystopia.

Johnson: Irish border issue just like going between Islington and Camden.

No wonder the UK was incapable of drafting a withdrawal treaty and relied on the EU to do it for us.

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3 hours ago, Paul said:

In the space of an hour Toys R Us and Maplins fail. While I wouldn’t begin to blame this on Brexit it does show the underlying weakness in the UK economy, one which is largely supported by retail.

Toys R Us I don’t find surprising but while I knew Maplin’s was in trouble I didn’t realise it was so close to administration. 

The Maplin CEO is quoted saying:

“We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere.”

I’d very much agree with that and think it’s a real shame such a good and reliable retailer has gone.

The UK simply isn’t a position to further weaken itself. 

I know you say you wouldn't begin to blame Brexit, but you are in the Brexit thread.

Personally, I'm surprised either business has lasted as long as they have with people moving to online retailers for both of their core products.  The writing was certainly on the wall for Toys R Us when the US arm went into chapter 11 back in September last year.  So it was a failing business across the globe.

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@Biddy it just seemed an appropriate thread in which to post. The UK economy isn’t in a great place. My son works as the UK buyer for a major clothing brand - he says it’s very, very tough out there.

I’m sure you realise the point is about our fragile economy which is on a downward slope now and may well tank in 12-18 months.

I’m drinking coffee in my local Booths right now. The company has been struggling for a while. Today a lot of products are pulled to the front of the shelf and it’s not because they’re awaiting delivery. This is always a sign of a retailer in trouble. I’ll be very disappointed if we lose a real quality retailer in Booths but I see it as another sign of the times. They have never struggled before in the 30+ years I’ve been a customer. 

Edited by Paul

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17 hours ago, 47er said:

Because Cameron needed to promise a referendum to get his own right-wingers off his back Den as I'm sure you know!

 

Right wing Tories yes, but more important the man who has been choosing UK prime ministers for the past 45 years - a certain Keith Murdoch. The Dirty Digger hates the EU because, as he famously said, "Downing Street does what I say but Brussels doesn't listen".  A quiet word by Murdoch in Cameron's ear before the 2015 election in return for his support, and hey presto, Cameron is offering a referendum on the UK's membership. 

Murdoch, plus the billionaire owners of the Mail , Express and Telegraph have been campaigning against the EU for decades. They despise the EU because it is threatening to clamp down on  their tax-evading activities. All they needed was the lumpen masses of their side - so they sold Brexit to the gullible electorate as"immigrants are taking your jobs". They couldn't believe their luck when the vote went their way. 

The irony is Brexit, could lead to a Corbyn government. My how we would all laugh. 

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The whole BREXIT scenario is a shambles on both sides. 

I'd like to know if anyone can point out any politician(s) of any persuasion that is/are capable of dealing with what the electorate voted for in the referendum and why.

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2 hours ago, jim mk2 said:

Right wing Tories yes, but more important the man who has been choosing UK prime ministers for the past 45 years - a certain Keith Murdoch. The Dirty Digger hates the EU because, as he famously said, "Downing Street does what I say but Brussels doesn't listen".  A quiet word by Murdoch in Cameron's ear before the 2015 election in return for his support, and hey presto, Cameron is offering a referendum on the UK's membership. 

Murdoch, plus the billionaire owners of the Mail , Express and Telegraph have been campaigning against the EU for decades. They despise the EU because it is threatening to clamp down on  their tax-evading activities. All they needed was the lumpen masses of their side - so they sold Brexit to the gullible electorate as"immigrants are taking your jobs". They couldn't believe their luck when the vote went their way. 

The irony is Brexit, could lead to a Corbyn government. My how we would all laugh. 

I think you mean Rupert Murdoch Jim. Keith Murdoch was a rugby union forward if my memory serves me well. Your points are correct regarding the the " popular "press.

First time I've ever agreed with John Major today.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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6 minutes ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

I think you mean Rupert Murdoch Jim. Keith Murdoch was a rugby union forward if my memory serves me well. Your points are correct regarding the the " popular "press.

First time I've ever agreed with John Major today.

His full name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. Private Eye's Dirty Digger is better.

Agree on Major....one of the few decent Tories. He began talks with the IRA (not Corbyn shock horror) that led ultimately to the GFA but the right wing hated him  - the "bastards" who stabbed him in the back, as he said.

He also took us into the ill-conceived ERM and privatised the railways (which even Thatcher refused to do) so in the end he was as dogmatic and useless as the rest. 

Edited by jim mk2

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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:

His full name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. Private Eye's Dirty Digger is better.

Agree on Major....one of the few decent Tories. He began talks with the IRA (not Corbyn shock horror) that led ultimately to the GFA but the right wing hated him  - the "bastards" who stabbed him in the back, as he said.

He also took us into the ill-conceived ERM and privatised the railways (which even Thatcher refused to do) so in the end he was as dogmatic and useless as the rest. 

I stand corrected Jim. He's the reason I won't have SKY in the house.

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On 28/02/2018 at 19:46, jim mk2 said:

His full name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. Private Eye's Dirty Digger is better.

Agree on Major....one of the few decent Tories. He began talks with the IRA (not Corbyn shock horror) that led ultimately to the GFA but the right wing hated him  - the "bastards" who stabbed him in the back, as he said.

He also took us into the ill-conceived ERM and privatised the railways (which even Thatcher refused to do) so in the end he was as dogmatic and useless as the rest. 

 

Edited by JAL

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2 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

He's the reason I won't have SKY in the house.

Snap.  Won't buy certain papers either.  Not that it has a great deal of affect on Murdoch - it's the same principle as Venky's really.

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Brexit is increasingly dead.

Trump our new next best trade buddy has slapped a 25% trade tariff on a range of British goods. UK will be particularly hard hit because of our high value speciality steels and aluminium.

May has been caught begging him to hit China not us.

So that's our second new next best trade buddy pretty angry with Brexit Britain.

By the way, everyone was so wrapped up in how May cobbled the Three Basket peace agreement in the Tory Cabinet Civil War, nobody has spotted the real horror which is lurking...

The EU says "Yes".

Yes if the EU agrees to Ms May's proposal, then what happens?

The YES decision can only be taken at Council- ie the 27 nations collectively agreeing unanimously. THEN...

Because Britain is leaving the EU, the negotiations have to be with the EU, not individual countries (contrary to Rees Mogg, we are not a member of France or of Germany or Malta...) At which point, Barnier has no longer got a mandate and if there is to be a negotiated exit then the EU will need to add two years to the Article 50 process

BECAUSE, they will go back to the 27 states to get agreement to the negotiating stance for Three Baskets.

At which point the EU27 will say OK, Britain has asked for cherry picking, we will cherry pick.

And the British economy will get cherry picked to pieces.

What goes in what basket will be subject to negotiation as will the terms for each basket.

And negotiation is not Davis' strong suite. Thus far, he got the fig leaves and Barnier got all the figs. 

Or as the Guardian put it:

Most of us will have had the experience of living under a government pursuing a policy with which we profoundly disagreed. It might have been the privatizations of the 1980s, or the Iraq War, or the ban on hunting. It might, indeed, have been joining what became the EU and then progressively closening and deepening that membership through the signing of treaties up to and including Lisbon.

The situation with the government’s Brexit policy, though, is fundamentally different. All of the policies listed above, and all others that I can think of, were deliverable in principle and the people who championed them knew how to deliver them in practice. The profound political dislocation of Brexit is that neither of these things are true in this case. 

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Another fundamental Brexit idiocy.

Hammond pleas for services access after Brexit.

Yes makes sense- 75% of our economy and 80% of our exports.

Why can services not travel across borders? They aren't subject to tariffs. 

Because there are different rules regulations and laws- that is why. Like physical goods, non-tariff barriers are the killer to international trade.

So the answer is to have common standards regulation and law. And a single jurisdiction and then services can flow freely eg my wife and I both have British health insurance policies (both owned by non-British parent companies) issued by Maltese firms. 

But we "want red lines including no ECJ". So service contracts cannot be enforced.

Ipso facto- why the f*** is Hammond asking for services in the trade deal then?

As the letter writer to the Times of Ireland wrote of Brexit is:

‘the undefined negotiated by the unprepared to get the unspecific for the uninformed.’   

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A young English friend of ours has been trying to pass the exam the Australian Government set if you want to emigrate there these days. He's a self taught IT wizard but his written English isn't the greatest. To be fair, he's a bit of a computer nerd.

He's had several goes at it and failed but just recently to every bodies relief, he passed. Just before the Australian Government raised the bar because they'd had so many applications to emigrate since Brexit from Brits wanting to move down under.

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Remember when Britain had the upper hand in all Brexit negotiations?

Now the squeal is the EU are bullying us.

This Government impact assessment explains why- especially the shoot yourselves in the foot slide 24 (and Malta which is 4th worst off more than compensates by inwards investment from British business fleeing the UK):

Subscribe   Read later
DXwy95OWAAAF9kP.jpgDXwy95CWkAAOiVP.jpg
Thread: civil servants caveat the uncertainty of the research, but say it does give a “broad directional” picture on the “best available evidence”DXwzqAqW0AAGEAz.jpg
Assessment confirms that it is difficult to assess economic impacts because Government ask is “unprecedented and ambitious” so it models a range of existing EU trade arrangementsDXw0dexX4AA7e9f.jpg
Civil service seek to bookend likely outcomes in this chart... PM’s “Florence model” could lead to “high” Customs non tariff barriers AND some tariffs... only a “customs partnership” could lead to no non tariff barriersDXw1qQlX0AAxJtE.jpg
...but even a “mitigated” No Deal would lead to “high” Customs non tariff barriers, high “behind border” NTBs, and “high” tariffs with the EU says the analysisDXw2GcyWAAAdChK.jpg
The Government assesses that “Non-Tariff barriers” are the “most material factor” - ie most damaging form of reduced EU market access... but “new trade deals” and “regulatory optimisation” could mitigate thatDXw3lgUW0AAV8cP.jpg
Massive potential impact of non tariff barriers in Retail, Defence, agriculture, food and drink, motor vehicles, Chemicals, from WTO, but also in standard FTA - expressed as equivalent to tariff DXw42jGW0AE4mM5.jpg
Chart showing EU sensitivity and economic size of various sectors... no surprise why PM wants to stay fully aligned to EU institutions in pharma, Chemicals... and auto too... but interesting re FisheriesDXw5qMjWkAAc7Hh.jpg
Non tariff barriers are much more important but here’s a chart on possible changes to tariffs from “EEA-like proxy” to standard FTA, to No Deal... now yesterday EU27 suggested tariff free deal, which may suggest a better than normal deal re agriculture and food & drinkDXw7gm2X4AUM-gz.jpg
Those non-EU new trade deals... offer fractional mitigation for new frictions in EU trade... US 0.3% GDP, and ASEAN, Gulf, China India, Australia and New Zealand 0.4% in total...

also modelled the Rees Mogg “unilateral tariff liberalisation” A+ 0.2%. Vs 5-10% GDP lossDXw8iRsW0AAsBMG.jpg
Main preliminary result... the hit to the size of the economy versus a status quo of 25% increase in GDP over 15 years... in EEA (0.6-2.6), FTA (3.1-6.6) and WTO (5-10%)DXw9fqlW4AAzI6p.jpg
It’s all about non tariff barriers... and in this analysis no way that new free trade deals make up for the new frictions in trade with main EU market. Indeed it also assumes that all existing EU trade deals are rolled over...DXw-DYMX0AA7QXu.jpg
Largest effect on chemicals, food and drink, clothes, manufacturing, cars and retail...DXw-aivWsAEsp37.jpg
** Financial Services slide...
Even with an FTA “market access would be hampered almost to same extent as WTO”

“London’s Status as a financial centre could be severely eroded”DXw_XOAXUAA133O.jpg
Regional impact, as reported on Sky News last month - north East, West Midlands and Northern Ireland...DXw_rVjXkAEOe6d.jpg
Impacts on other countries partic Ireland and Cyprus, considerable, but nowhere near impact on U.K. own trade... also civil service now doing same for those countries, presumable to be used diplomaticallyDXxAFfmX0AA46Qe.jpg
Interesting..in Budget impact slide, assumes “Swiss style” payments into EU budget, even if we sign a free trade agreement...
Clearly disputes the notion of any net “Brexit dividend”, alone (in yellow) outweighed by the fiscal impact of introduction of non tariff barriers (green)DXxAu9fWsAAzjKn.jpg
Chemicals - should be titled “why we want to stay in the EUropean Chemicals Agency”...DXxBHnNXUAAV0Fw.jpg
Professsional and Business Services -550 individual restrictionsfor lawyers, accountants, auditors, advertisers, architects, consultants etc are not removed in CETA style dealDXxBnpkXkAAHbJ0.jpg

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This one has to be the best for months. The new UK iconic, apparently, passport will be manufactured in FRANCE!!!!!! While it's not mentioned in this article the De La Rue MD has confirmed on R4 Today programme his company have lost the contract to produce UK passports. That's a great deal for the UK. Any Brexit supporters want to comment on this. The UK economy is so competitive we can't even produce our own passports.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/22/post-brexit-passports-set-to-be-made-by-franco-dutch-firm

Edited by Paul

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1 hour ago, Paul said:

This one has to be the best for months. The new UK iconic, apparently, passport will be manufactured in FRANCE!!!!!! While it's not mentioned in this article the De La Rue MD has confirmed on R4 Today programme his company have lost the contract to produce UK passports. That's a great deal for the UK. Any Brexit supporters want to comment on this. The UK economy is so competitive we can't even produce our own passports.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/22/post-brexit-passports-set-to-be-made-by-franco-dutch-firm

It's another story that shows up the ignorance on both sides. Firstly, the colour of the passport is, within the grand scheme of things, one of the more bonkers things to get worked up about.  Brexiters concerned about which country they're made in really need to get a grip of themselves - if an overseas company can produce what we need at better value, then that's good for the UK even if it's bad for an individual UK company.  But then Remainers looking to score points from it seem to have forgotten it's an outcome from still being part of the EU - prior to the referendum, this sort of situation would be put forward as a reason to leave.  I don't know how long De La Rue would be producing the passports for if there wasn't a change, but presumably if Gemalto are able to outbid them it would happen even if we were staying? So apart from providing some chucklesome irony, there's really not a lot in it.

 

 

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I've never understood why it's seen to be good for Government to outsource services offshore. Yes the headline cost is less than if a home based company wins the bid, but this doesn't include the loss of tax revenue. A private company doesn't care about this, for them the bottom line is the  bottom line but for a public department funded out of taxes, then surely the tax hit must be considered in the overall cost. So any bid by a local company should have, at least, an inbuilt 15% advantage over any foreign competitor to take into account the lost tax revenue, or the country is being sold short.

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3 hours ago, Paul said:

This one has to be the best for months. The new UK iconic, apparently, passport will be manufactured in FRANCE!!!!!! While it's not mentioned in this article the De La Rue MD has confirmed on R4 Today programme his company have lost the contract to produce UK passports. That's a great deal for the UK. Any Brexit supporters want to comment on this. The UK economy is so competitive we can't even produce our own passports.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/22/post-brexit-passports-set-to-be-made-by-franco-dutch-firm

Well this Illustrates what the Brexiteers are all about. The production of these passports went to the lowest bidder, which I hope will be the way governments proceed in the future. I guess the brexiteers against this issue are happy to pay higher prices for goods and services as long as they are produced in this country - and even if these higher prices limit the ability of these companies to export. Their point of view in this instance surely shows that they aren’t interested in globalising anything. Brexit is founded on protectionism, Xenophobia, Racism and a desire to retreat to an introverted world that can only take us backwards - a long, long way. Global trade is via the EU, not via brexit. 

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49 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

I've never understood why it's seen to be good for Government to outsource services offshore. Yes the headline cost is less than if a home based company wins the bid, but this doesn't include the loss of tax revenue. A private company doesn't care about this, for them the bottom line is the  bottom line but for a public department funded out of taxes, then surely the tax hit must be considered in the overall cost. So any bid by a local company should have, at least, an inbuilt 15% advantage over any foreign competitor to take into account the lost tax revenue, or the country is being sold short.

But that's not possible whilst we're in the EU?

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Of course it is - You don't have to take the cheapest quote when tendered - It's all about best value otherwise you'd end up with nothing but the cheapest garbage offered - The myth that the EU prevents us picking local services is exactly that, a myth.

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2 hours ago, Rover-the-Top said:

So apart from providing some chucklesome irony, there's really not a lot in it.

 

 

Yes, you’re quite right it gave me a great chuckle at breakfast. I didn’t really mean it as point scoring but love the thought of those celebrating the return of our blue passport carrying one made by a French company. 

With luck they will be stamped “Fabrique en France”

Edited by Paul

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