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Buy British is a bonkers reason for Brexit

by Hugo Dixon | 29.11.2019

The Prime Minister’s latest reason for Brexit is that it will let the government bail out bust firms and buy British products. Did he learn nothing from Margaret Thatcher?

The Tories used to think it was a bad idea to prop up ailing businesses. They used to think this amounted to pouring good money after bad. They used to think this distorts the playing field – and disadvantages new nimble firms that don’t need subsidies. And they were right.

The Tories used to think protectionism was a bad idea too. Buying British would mean taxpayers paid more for goods and services than they needed to. And they were right.

They believed these things so passionately that they wrote the EU rulebook on state aid, competition policy and public procurement. They wanted fair competition rules across the whole continent. So British firms could prosper in other countries without having to compete with foreign companies that had been propped up by state aid. So they could get access to contracts from the German, French and Italian governments on the basis of merit rather than nationality. And they were right.

Now Boris Johnson is throwing all this out of the window. For no good reason. Except perhaps to garner a few extra votes in this miserable election.

But it’s worse than that. If the Prime Minister really embarks on a new round of state aid and protectionism, he will make it even harder for the UK to trade with the rest of the world.

Why would the EU want to keep its markets open to us if we are subsidising our lame ducks? Why would it be as keen to have access to our market if we are giving our own firms a leg-up – and buying British at the expense of Swedish, Dutch and Spanish producers?

And why would the Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Australians and so forth want to do deals with us too?

Why indeed?

Edited by James Earley

Categories: Uncategorised

7 Responses to “Buy British is a bonkers reason for Brexit”

  • Although it is rather cyclic, is this not Boris’s way of being able to (temporarily) repair the damage done to British companies by Brexit? After all, it would look really bad if companies start to collapse/emigrate and the gov. just stood helplessly by. Perhaps we should point out that the need to do this would be avoided by abandoning Brexit. German industry seems to manage well without this Bandaid.
    In any case, we should not get too bothered about this..it is just another Boris promise….i.e. worthless.

  • Anyone care to remember some of the cars produced here in the sixties and seventies? And how, when Margaret Thatcher had it her way, those brands suddenly went to foreign owners and equally suddenly started to drastically improve the quality of their products?

  • What Boris Johnson is of course not talking about is that if we leave the EU there’ll not be the slightest chance of UK businesses getting a look-in when any of the EU 27 countries wish to procure goods or services.

  • So now the cowardly man-child Alexander de Pfeffel sends his father to fight his battles. ‘Don’t be so howwid to my little Alexander de Pfeffel because you’re hwurting his feelings. When he becomes Pwime Minister he’s going to be howwible to all you bullies: he’ll oust the juwisdiction of the courts; he’ll shut down C4 News, he’ll emasculate the Human Wights Act, he’ll withdwaw the UK from the ECHR, he’ll sell the NHS to that nice Mr Twump and he’ll make sure all you illetewate plebs know how to tug your forelock pwoperly!’ Seems obvious the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  • “The Prime Minister’s latest reason for Brexit is that it will let the government bail out bust firms and buy British products.”

    Remember this is the very same man, who let Thomas Cook go to the wall in 2019. From which several financial traders made £millions, having bet on it happening. And then resulted in German airlines getting £millions, to fly everyone stranded back to the UK. Those German airlines having been bailed out by the German government, when they were facing bankruptcy themselves. Yet Germany was, is and still will be, in the EU.

    So Johnson is obviously lying, again. He just cannot help himself, it seems.

    So the question should be, why is anyone in the UK still trusting him? He is lying to us all.

    He is not going to give you what you want from Brexit. He is setting you up to carry the consequences and pay the full bill for Brexit, really. To get himself and the Conservative party, off the hook Cameron landed them all on, in 2016.

    He wants your vote on 12 December 2019, so he can then do that to you, your family, your children and theirs.

    But it is your choice, whether you want to let him do that to you. You can choose who you vote for, on 12 December 2019.

    You can vote, to help stop Johnson setting us all up, by voting tactically for the candidate most likely to stop the Conservative party winning the seat, in your constituency. If you want to. You can vote for the Conservative candidate if you want to. It is your choice.

    #ge2019 #makeyourvotecounttoo

  • George, Peter and Richard have all made the points I wanted to make. I completely agree.

    (There is just one thing – whilst there is the political chaos that Blundering Boris seems to desire so greatly, where he can erode hard won liberties and values, what are the rest of us [not being multi-millionaires like the majority of those in charge of Tory party] supposed to eat in the years it will take to negotiate trade deals? And will the prices that will inevitably go up in the years of chaos that results then go down? Not likely! Prices have already gone up greatly since the idiotic misery of Brexit was announced 3 years ago and it hasn’t even happened yet!).

  • Funny, though. The UK is damaging its national income potential, which will make many necessities much more expensive than they are now, but according to this article the blond loo-brush is now advocating buy British regardless of the fact that that might be rather more expensive, never mind potentially of lower quality (see my remark about cars above) than when it had been imported. What a bright future we have!