Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Monday, August 14, 2017

6 Things We’re Likely To Lose Thanks To Brexit

Japan’s biggest bank has apparently chosen Amsterdam as the location of its EU headquarters, potentially costing hundreds of jobs in London, as the fallout from Brexit begins to swell.

Sources told the Financial Times that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group had chosen the Dutch capital to maintain its ‘passporting’ rights - the ability to sell financial products across EU borders.

The move could eventually see hundreds of the 2,100 staff that the bank employs in the City moving to the Netherlands.

Yet the bank isn’t the only one to make plans to leave. From bankers to agencies, cheap flights to scientific research, here are six things we could lose because of Brexit.

1. Seven big banks (and counting...)

Seven big banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have said they are moving at least some of their operations from London to Europe because of Brexit.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered will move staff to Frankfurt, Germany. HSBC has chosen Paris, France. Bank of America and Barclays have chosen Dublin, Ireland.

Collectively, the moves will transfer thousands of banking roles - many of them highly-paid - out of the UK.

The banks will maintain a significant presence in the EU and thus retain the right to freely trade across member states.

But the total cost to the UK in lost assets could total £1.4 trillion, according to Brussels-based research group Bruegel.

That figure would represent just 17 percent of Britain’s banking sector - and around 30,000 jobs.

2. European agencies

The European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency employ hundreds of staff, many of them British, in the capital - and also create huge demand for goods and services.

But as EU-backed institutions they will leave the UK upon Brexit.

The loss to the capital will be immediate - the agencies employ 1,000 people directly.

And the Medicines Agency alone attracts over 40,000 visitors each year to its offices - creating demand for 350 hotel rooms every night, five days a week.

3. Airbus’s new production

European aerospace company Airbus has said that the UK could lose out on deals to construct its next generation of aircraft.

The firm has confirmed current production of its A320 and A380 variations will remain in Britain, but said new models could be made elsewhere.

“For new productions it’s very easy to have a new plant somewhere in the world,” said chief operating officer Fabrice Brégier. “We would have plenty of offers to do that.”

Airbus employs 10,000 people directly at sites in Wales and England, and around 100,000 people indirectly through its supply chain.

4. Ryanair’s bases

Budget airline Ryanair has threatened to withdraw its aircraft from the UK without a guaranteed deal to continue an EU ‘open skies’ deal.

Suspending flights from airports in Britain is “a very distinct possibility”, the company’s chief financial officer, Neil Sorahan, told the Guardian.

So-called open skies agreements require compliance with oversight from the European Court of Justice, and with free movement of labour rules.

The British Government has thus far said both those conditions are ‘red lines’.

Ryanair has 40 aircraft based across the UK, with millions of Britons taking advantage of the firm’s cheap flights.
5. Huge amounts of scientific research

Scientific research in the UK could be put in jeopardy by Brexit, researchers have warned.

Projects that require collaboration could face logistical challenges in a post-EU Britain ― and crucial funding may be withdrawn.

By way of an example, Dr Louise Sime, paleoclimate modeller, British Antarctic Survey, told the New Statesman: “Drilling and measuring major Antarctic ice cores is expensive, and logistically complex.

“It benefits hugely from cross-European collaboration. The prospect of Brexit has implications for how ice core science is done in the UK. It has also created uncertainty about whether we should commit time and resources to writing new EU proposals.”

And there are fears that UK research post-Brexit could lose its impartiality if funding gaps are plugged by corporate money.

“If we lose EU funds, it will be a massive blow to science. I worry that scientific community will lose impartiality because we will be more dependent on commercial funders,” Margaret McKeen, research scientist, James Hutton Institute said.
6. Food security

Food supplies could be thrown into chaos as Brexit wreaks havoc on supplies and prices, experts have said.

“The risk is that food security in the UK will be seriously undermined [by Brexit], as supplies narrow … and prices fluctuate and/or rise,” Sussex University researcher Professor Erik Millstone said.

A third of Britain’s food comes from the EU and British agriculture is heavily reliant on EU migration.

And price fluctuations have already seen foods like confectionery shrink in size, and prices increase more generally.

Original Article
Author:  George Bowden 

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