What's happening in Europe





An EU without Britain on the road to becoming a more socialist and protectionist without British checks and balances

There is every indication that the European Union will become more socialist, more centrally-planned, less democratic and more bureaucratic simply because Britain will not be there to block these otherwise prevailing tendencies.

Another big and more immediate question that arises in the absence of Britain in the EU is the role of the English language. It has long been an EU joke that "bad English" is the lingua franca of the EU, but no member state, except the UK has ever laid claim to it as an official language. Even Ireland, where 99.9 of its citizens use English in daily life, but they coyly say Gaelic is their official language, even though hardly anyone speaks it and its last unilingual speaker, an old woman on a remote Atlantic island, died in the 1980s.

How can the European Union cope with rising populism threatening the regulatory state?

The growth of populism in Europe is said to come from right and left, as they make common cause against an establishment they dislike for different reasons.

Rightists, mostly older male taxpayers and their wives, that is, traditional family units, seek to be left alone by the state while the bulk of leftists are single women and the young, who see the state as surrogate husbands and parents that should provide for them.

This growth in populism is likely to reshape Europe and bring about changes in the supply and demand dynamics that will have a profound impact on international trade. The bureaucratic establishments, now allied with private conglomerates, rightist populism will only bring dark days if only because bureaucrats themselves rightly predict a bleak future for themselves in a new era of de-regulation.

Questioning whether it is wise to continue to treat EU agriculture as sacrosanct and not like any other sector

Having been damaged by the Americans in the new NAFTA trade deal, the demise of Canada's highly protectionist "supply management" of its dairy and poultry sectors, then resulted in a Canadian assault on Europe's near sacred Common Agricultural Policy.

If the US showed its impatient with agriculture protectionism on Canada's part, so too did Canada fail to appreciate European Union's exceptionalism when it came to protecting its farmers from more efficient competition from Canadian producers.

Premature Brexit advice in 2018, becomes a prescient guide to UK's future as 2021 nears

Little more than two years ago, Sophie Weatherley, chief transport analyst at financial services giant KPMG, penned a detailed analys of what to expect if a no-deal Brexit came through on March 29, 2018.

Which, of course, it didn't. That's because the forces of Remain staved off the forces of Leave for a time, but that was only a delay. So today we face something like the outcome she expected back then. And the shipping world must brace for a hard-landing Brexit when Britain is free of the European Union in January 2021.


Europe Trade Specialists

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