The BREXIT Road

Posted on May 10, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

For some people in Britain as well as parts of the European Union, the general feeling towards the EU project can be possibly be summed up, more or less as that, the EU leaders continue to remain disconnected with the reality, and  fail to grasp the reality on the ground.  Some do argue that, by coming across as being acting elitist, the policy makers are destroying competitiveness of European business.  The evidence is that, across industries, the cost of compliance for European companies has increased significantly year-on-year.  And instead of using BREXIT as an opportunity to fix a very inefficient system, the leaders keep talking in terms of rhetoric.

I firmly believe that, no one in London wants EU to fail, and it shouldn’t, because it has delivered peace across Europe. But European Union as an idea is full of flaws, and just ask those, who paid and continue to pay the human price for being a European. My own assessment is that, BREXIT isn’t good for UK or the EU, and that’s the reality, but it’s also an opportunity. European Union badly needs reform, and its not that Europeans have started falling in love with Brussels post BREXIT.

As I see it, Britain is getting out of European Union and not the continent of  Europe. So lets have that perspective. I don’t see European Union working out in its current shape, and the four principles that EU leaders keep talking about, are completely unsustainable together, because they create serious misallocation of resources. There was no socioeconomic impact assessment done on expansion of European Union, we all know what happens to a Company that goes through a expansion drive, without a well thought out strategy. So why not fix the flaws, and then sell the product wisely to the public, and let’s see if the potential customers buy into it?  No point lecturing  people, if they reject your product or fail to understand what you are selling,  and providing a good customer service is key to making a product work.

 European Union as a product will need to evolve , and it will be good for European politicians to understand that, the language of business as well as science still remains English, and that’s not going to change in the foreseeable future. Also London will continue to remain an attractive jurisdiction, and the world of finance will continue to be dominated by English. The opportunities are still out there, and I sincerely hope that, politicians across Europe including the U.K. will come together, to make good of those opportunities, and maximise it for their shareholders, in other words, the common citizens.

Also to some extent, people in Britain fail to understand that, in continental Europe, there is a genuine love affair with the idea of European Union, and that is, for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into. So yes, like any love affair, the journey will be driven by emotion. And it’s not that, the average people don’t understand that, there are serious design flaws with the idea of European Union, but when you are in love, you are in love. And, I think, Britain will do well being mindful of this fact, while negotiating its exit from the EU. Also, on the British side, there are people who are extremely attached to the idea of Great Britain and its glory. So there are emotional attachments on both sides, and yes I fully appreciate that, the will of the people has to be enforced, and it should be, or what’s the point of a democratic system. But when we are talking about a permanent change, the prudent thing to do, will be to keep the emotions aside, and have a boringly dispassionate approach towards figuring out a way forward that works for all sides. No point being nasty, in the end, we will have to learn, to live with each other. Europe needs Britain and Britain needs Europe, it’s just a fact, and we shouldn’t be confused about it.

By over playing their hands, both sides is taking the risk of doing permanent damage. Love affairs can get nasty, and quite frankly Britain’s relationship with the EU was never based on love. But British diplomats and the politicians do need to factor in the reality that, whether it’s Mr Juncker or Mr Tusk, there is a genuine love affair with the idea of European Union. And we need to learn to respect that love, instead of criticising others for being in love. What we are looking at today is, potentially a lose – lose outcome for all sides, and it’s hard to practically see otherwise. And that’s why it is important that leaders in European Union, instead of punishing Britain for not being in Love, try to understand that, sometimes relationships don’t work, and also sometimes people do patch things up.  Also, why not make some changes, to accommodate each other, after all that’s what a good relationship is all about, or am I missing something ? There is an opportunity, so why not make the most of it ?

Government officials across European Union, are all making concerted effort in figuring out, what they can do to attract businesses, to move from london. And their pitch is not bad at all, but as a business, you have to ask yourself, do you buy into a series of promise or do you wait, to see how much of what is being promised will get delivered on the ground. I am afraid, the reality is, it will be a big struggle for a single European city to replace london. Because london built itself over hundreds of years, into what it has become today, and quite frankly, it’s a daunting task for one European city to replace London entirely. So yes, bits and pieces of what london is offering can be moved to other parts of the EU, but that won’t be enough for a business really. Also a major issue is language, contrary to what politicians in the EU might say, the language of business is English, and there is no way, you can force the world to change to French now. And I am beginning to also sense that, there is a genuine fear among some bureaucrats in Brussels that, if Britain makes a success of its exit from the EU then, others will most likely follow.

So with all that, here are some ideas worth looking into, while UK is on the BREXIT Road.

  • lower the corporate tax rate to 18%
  • provide 2- years tax exemptions on profit of startups with 5 employees
  • lower the personal tax rate for people earning over £ 350,000  to 36%
  • lower the personal tax rate for people earning between £ 50,000 to £ 150,000 to 30%
  • keep the basic rate for people earning between £ 12,000 to £ 49,000 around 20%
  • people earning £ 45,000 and over will pay £ 25 flat access fee for GP and A&E visits and £ 35 access fee could be charged to non residents.
  • a stamp duty surcharge of 5.5% could be levied on non resident buyers of residential properties in the U.K. This surcharge could be used to partially pay for building more social housing.
  • working with the depart of trade & industry create a business mentorship program, where business schools from across U.K. could partner with SMEs, to provide them free of charge essential advisory support on how to grow and better manage the business. Business schools with the support of department of trade & Industry could mentor existing SMEs, and help find ways to grow sustainably.
  • set up a £ 5 billion business support fund, in partnership with private sector, to help fund start up investments requiring £ 30,000 to £ 750,000 in seed funding. The trust acting on behalf of the government could take 25 % of the exit value, in order to generate profit. This fund could be funded by a combination of surcharge of 1.5% on Tobacco and from the profit generated by exiting the investments in the startups as well as allowing councils across the UK to support and subsidise startups.
  • expand the capacity at both London GatWick and Heathrow, to ease the congestion
  • dial down on the cost of non critical regulatory compliance on businesses and the cost of compliance on businesses
  • work out a deal with the EU to access the single market by paying an annual membership fee. UK runs a trade deficit with the EU, and it is in the interest of European Union, to not lose a market that imports around £ 290 billion in good and services from the EU annually. A short term disruption will result in very sizeable job losses and also closings of businesses across the EU. Many SMEs that are reliant on selling to their customers in the U.K. will have serious losses, so it’s in the interest of EU, to work out a deal on trade.
  • reposition London as the offshore hub  for YUAN, Indian Rupees and other important emerging currencies by supporting their capital market transactions through london, a common regulatory framework could be worked out in partnership with regulators from key emerging countries, to enable companies from these key emerging markets, to access capital as well as other vital resources through London.
  • make it easier for people with high skills and high net worth to come and live in the UK
  • develop key cities across U.K. for sectors that will play a dominant role in the future, for example, make parts of U.K. the hub for AI related technological developments as well as space among others
  • pitch Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh as technology centres of the world
  • enable partnership between schools and businesses, to help with skills development
  • to help build the soft power of London, help create legislation that will enable non governmental organisations from across the world to house their outfits in london.
  • help UK based premier Universities and colleges to attract the brightest minds from across the world
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BREXIT: Life after, and Ideas worth throwing in the pot

Posted on June 27, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Greetings of the day everyone !

So based on the popular calendar that we currently use, this day is, the 27 th of June 2016. I was away last week, partially it was an intentional decision and also I had to do some running around. A lot has happened while I was away, and now we are living in and with the aftermath of the post referendum day in the UK. I went to the classroom earlier today, and my teacher said, the topic of the entire day is going to be BREXIT. I went around the classroom, to see if any of my friends have done some work, which I could use, to write up something that might please my teacher, or at least get her off my back. But to my surprise, most of friends aren’t in the mood, and after talking with some of them, I am getting a sense that, they are probably not willing to accept a BREXIT or what has transpired. I sincerely hope the teachers and the principals, have a sense of what might be coming. And, if you are wondering, why principals and not principal? Well, we go to a special school where we have a number of principals, and that’s why it’s difficult to run the school sometime. Also, most of the times, the teachers and the principles haven’t a clue of what’s happening inside the school.

Anyways, it seems to me that, while some of my friends are visibly quite confused and in shock, but others are getting quite determined to teach the teachers and the principals, a lesson, and they may be gearing up to bring down the school, not in the literal sense of the word obviously. I didn’t know what to do, so after consulting with my grandMa, I decided that the prudent thing to do, will be to take my leave, and also take my books and belongings with me, just in case. And I can’t blame my friends, because 99% of what they thought was known is, now Unknown to them.

But, I don’t want the teacher to complain to my parents, for not doing the assignment, so therefore, I called upon my Birdie friend ( the tweeting bird ), to help me out with the assignment. The translation equipment that I generally use to communicate with her, isn’t working well today, so I hope, I am doing justice to whatever she shared with me.

And here is what I believe, she wanted to share with me.

  • U.K. could replace its current arrangement with EU, with a free trade agreement. Obviously, the details will need to be worked out.
  • U.K. could also create similar free trade agreement with selective partners in Asia, Africa as well as Latin America.
  • To agree the free trade agreement with the EU and also to keep access to the single market. UK could possibly agree with the EU, to keep the status quo of all the EU citizens currently living in the UK. And also a quota based immigration with the EU could be agreed, to support its services and construction sector. Also an arrangement could be reached, where EU migrants could still enjoy quasi home status in the UK, and to remove the stress on the healthcare system, new migrants could be asked to pay a nominal consultancy fees to GP ( general doctors ), and any social benefit claims could be restricted for at least 2-3 years. So they may not immediate access to public funds. Their kids under 16 could access the healthcare system for free, but a nominal fee could be charged by the state school for education. And the same arrangements could apply for British citizens, who may want to live and work in the EU.
  • UK could possibly become an offshore hub for euro denominated trades as well as RMB and who knows going forward may be Indian Rupees, and other growing markets.
  • In a post BREXIT world, UK should be able to free up some of the cumbersome EU legislations, to make its financial system as well as the overall economy more attractive. Also any dial up on the existing efficiency level of various parts of the economy, will and should positively reflect on the investments coming into the country.
  • U.K.’s financial sector could still play a larger role in creating revenues for the country, and it can surely help China and India as well as other Emerging markets upgrade their financial infrastructure, and help them become developed markets over the years. This could be done through bilateral agreements.
  • A cheaper pound isn’t always a bad thing, it could help UK in getting some high end manufacturing back, also it may help improve the overall demand for real estate especially in London from overseas buyers. Councils could be given powers to work with overseas as well as local developers to allow them to build more housing across the country especially in high demand areas. UK companies may be able to gain market share while exporting good and services to other countries with a chapter pound. All this will help the economy.
  • And some inflation, because of cheap pound, might in fact end up becoming, a blessing in disguise. And it will put UK in a better position than EU. Also, a rate hike isn’t necessarily going to be, a net negative for the overall economy. A positive interest rate differential with continental European might in fact encourage investors to put capital in the city of London, which also give a floor to pound.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland won’t do well in the EU, for a number of obvious reason, the biggest one is, delinking themselves from the overall UK economy, can and will have a damaging impact on their respective economies, and they have much more in common with their cousins in the UK than EU. Ireland could get a special status, so the existing relationship can be preserved without the need for setting up borders.
  • UK could delink NHS from Westminster and party politics, and it could be independently managed, but continued to be funded by the treasury. Also, to keep the funding sustainable, NHS could create provisions, whereby GP access will come with a nominal consultancy fee paid directly to the GPs, with exception for children under 16 and pensioners. Foreign residents could be asked to buy into a partially subsidised healthcare insurance program enabling them to access NHS.
  • To help with the mounting retirement costs, UK government while working the private sector could encourage some of the retirees, to consider retiring in places with lower living costs. A board could be set up, to monitor and supervise the standards. And UK companies with their local partners could participate in tenders to build and develop the infrastructure and townships, with funding support from pensions schemes etc.
  • UK could dial down on some of the heavier regulations as well as the cost of doing business, to become more competitive.

I was hoping the tweeting bird will keep talking, but while we were talking, the birdie got another distress call, and left saying, we can talk about other things later, but for now, at least your teacher won’t be disappointed in you. And some of your friends, don’t seem to be in a mood to accept a BREXIT, so who knows, they may force the teachers along with the principals, to come to the negotiation table. You don’t fight nature, you work with it, or nature can destroy you.

So, there we are. I thought, I will take the liberty and share the ideas from the tweeting bird, and throw it in the pot along with others.

Good day to you all!

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