Friday 28 October 2016

Nissan: The Shape of Things to Come

Watching Jon Snow present the C4 news yesterday evening was a delight.  What the hell's going on here, he blustered - GDP up!  and Nissan investing!  - but, but, ... how can this be?  It's supposed to be all doom and gloom - the government is obviously cheating!!

Jon-boy, this is war.  Whatever the government did or didn't do for Nissan, there'll be many a dark deed done on the road to a successful escape from the clutches of the Commission.  It gladdens the heart to see that some proper pragmatists are settling down to their three-year-long task of doing Whatever It Takes.  Perhaps the wretched remainers in the ranks of the Civil Service are being brought to heel.  Or side-lined.  Whatever: they'll get the message if it's relentlessly reinforced at every turn.  Johnson / Davis / Fox maybe up to the task after all.

The EC will get the message, too.  You won't talk to us?  You hold out nothing better than 'Britain must be punished'?  Why then, we'll cut our deals somewhere else.

Altogether more annoying was the spectacle of Hammond studiously avoiding any sign whatsoever of pleasure at the news.  He has every right to be cautious: but his sour, pessemistic line went beyond prudent management of expectations.  Being charitable, he must have signed off on whatever 'deal' was done for Nissan, which is the main issue on the practical side. 

But rhetoric matters, too.  Churchill, who never failed to give his listeners a blunt understanding of just how tough things were going to be, also never failed to give them a vision of ultimate victory, with a credible display of his personal conviction and determination.

He wasn't much given to toleration of obstructionist attitudes, either.  Get with the programme, Hammond - this is entirely do-able.  



Anonymous said...

I read this week that Swedish exports to the UK (Sweden's third-most-important market) are down 20% since the summer.

Sweden certainly will not be arguing behind closed doors for a Punish Britain approach.

Presumably the French and Belgians are quite happy to see their exports to the UK tank, but will the Irish, Germans et al.?

I think a more likely outcome than Punish Britain will be the EU in utter chaos. Maybe with more than one other country setting the wheels in motion for a common market on an entirely new basis. EFTA2 or whatever.

CityUnslicker said...

lets not forget, the actors in the EU will change with elections next year.

As ND says it is a long game.

Hammond perhaps is playing bad cop though, for effect. This way the government looks as if there is a good level of dispute which keeps some remainiacs in hope.

Anonymous said...

I somewhat hope the government will play a little divide and conquer if the EU tries to take the punishment line.

France is very much a weak link, and by sticking WTF tariffs on French imports, whilst handing out smaller ones to other EU nations, would place pressure on the French government to behave.

Given the French predilection to riot when the toys are taken away, the sight of other EU nations exports to the UK increasing at the expense of French business (especially with wine) ought to be an object lesson to only act an arse when your feet are much further away from the fire.

It will also send a message out that whilst we're open for business, we're not going to be afraid of pressing where it hurts if you try to do the same to us.

Anonymous said...

*WTO, although WTF *is* more usually associated with the EU.

Nick Drew said...

I liked WTF !

Steven_L said...

Let's all just boycott French stuff. I've set myself a quota of one bottle of cognac and one small lump of blue cheese a year. That's it, that's all they are getting.

I had quite fancied at least a short holiday there, but that's off the cards now, Spain or Germany it is. I was seriously considering procuring a new 208 or 308 Gti until Hollande opened his gob too.

Anon. said...

I switched to Rioja and Malbec a while back. Despite the outrageous EU wine tariff, a drinkable bottle of Argie Malbec can be had for under a fiver.

Anonymous said...

Don't buy Argie Mal(vinas)bec!

Les Frogs are having elections soon, so don't tar them all with M. Hollande's stinky brush.

I see that cretin Blair is sticking his bloodstained nose in again, with a suggestion for another referendum (where have I heard that before?).

As Churchill would have put it, a firm government commitment to Brexit no matter what the EU does is our only chance of getting a decent deal from them.

If the EU (helped by their fifth columnists here) get the impression that we'll cave and come crawling back if they're nasty enough, then the UK will get the treatment that Greece got - and that Cameron got in his pre-Referendum negotiations.

They'll have no incentive to cut a deal if they think we'll blink. And what a huge fillip that would be for the stumbling EU project. Taming Greece is one thing, humbling the UK would be a historic victory that would embolden the EU integrationists no end.

dearieme said...

I suppose we (by which I mean my beloved and I) should start to boycott EU goods. We have long boycotted Irish butter (because IRA); now we have turned increasingly to non-EU wine, having recently gone largely for NZ Chardonnay and, changed days, English Pinot Blanc. We also have a taste for Safra Chenin Blanc and Ozzie Semillons. NZ Sauv Blancs too, of course.

Reds are only slightly trickier: Argie Malbec (or should we boycott dem bums too?), Chilean Carmanere, NZ Pinot Noir, Aussie Shiraz and Cab Sauv. Any advice on how to source non-EU Sangiovese and Tempranillo; Oz again?

Food is a bit trickier, especially cheese and processed meats. Any recommendations for British Brie, Roquefort, Gorganzola, Crucollo, etc? Or Salami, Chorizo, Iberico ham, etc, etc? A recommendation for any non-EU Riesling that's as good, and as low in alcohol, as good Moselles would also be welcome.

I think we'll continue to buy Madeira: who could possibly wish harm to the Portuguese? We are also potentially a market for Greek goodies; after the shameful treatment of the Greeks by the Boche, we really ought to help if we can. We're also looking around for an alternative to the delicious Hoegaarden.

Jan said...

"I think we'll continue to buy Madeira: who could possibly wish harm to the Portuguese?"

They also do delicious wine! Try some.

Anonymous said...

There is manoeuvre room for much mischief, if we had a bunch who were that way inclined and subtly finessed, it could work very well.

A few years ago I suggested such a thing over at Richard North's blog; to dicker very favourably with our German cousins for and lets face it, the UK is a very important market for German goods not least for their automobiles. Suffer the French not lightly, ban their goods on some pretext and ignore them for long periods all the while, their farmers fester and riot.

Only Germany, Berlin really counts in all of the EU, all the rest are hangers on.

Canada? Go the remoaniacs; "We won't get a deal and look how long it took them!" - as yet unsigned of course...............

strewth! this puny argument is not made at all.

For starters, we're going out, not coming in! This specious bollocks, that the remoaniacs put about, that by some great leap of delusion the Walloonies are going to gum up the works..for the UK! What TF? - is beyond me - what if, for example the Slovenians doesn't like it?
When we leave, in any shape or form, they, the Walloons, the Slovenians, Maltese, Cypriots and uncle Tom Cobbley can do as they effin well please - what else can they do........ send a gunboat?

Play them at their own game, sounds like a plan.

hovis said...

@dearieme: not direct replacements but a recomendation in general - try High Weald Dairy in Sussex for their range of cheeses.

dustybloke said...

I was always worried about Nissan becoming a flagship disaster for the Remainians (not to be confused with our Gypsy friends).

I should have known that May, that most conniving and cunning of Ministers, would excel at the Quiet Game despite her promotion.

Well done to her for bunging Nissan a few "favours". I look forward to the typical socialist schizoid response when these emerge into the media, as Labour tries to condemn her for protecting British jobs.

On the subject of wine, I stopped buying French when I realised (with the help of a French friend) that wine bought in France in 5 litre plastic bottles is slightly superior to the stuff you can buy here for £5-£10. You need to spend over £15 to get a decent French. To rich for my tastes, especially since the NHS diagnosed my nightly half-bottle as "harmful alcohol abuse". Presumably, stronger words would have been found for Mrs Miller (which is where the other half goes...)

dustybloke said...

Oh, and I too preferred WTF tariffs!

They don't like it up 'em...

Sebastian Weetabix said...

The trouble with WTO tariffs is you cannot have differential tariffs, they've got to be the same for everyone. Perhaps these WTF tariffs with a sliding scale from '0' (we like you) through '4' (watch it, Heinies!) up to '10' (piss off frog!) are the way ahead.

On a serious note was doing business in France this week, for the first time in a couple of years. I was quite shocked at how Paris has been transformed in such a short time. When I remarked on it my French interlocutor just said "we are finished. Thanks to feminism, leftists & demography we are now North Arabia".

Blue Eyes said...

It's funny. All the people who used to say things like "we must have an industrial policy" and "we must support manufacturing" and "we must protect jobs" are now criticising whatever assurances were given to Nissan on the grounds that they are a blank cheque for subsidies etc..

Strange world.

Sadiq Khan, whose bleating about Hard Brexit is beginning to wear, says that the deal shows that the government knows it should not quit the single market. Alternatively, it means the government is confident that the other EU countries will not be so stupid as to erect trade barriers.

It is all rather boring.

Anonymous said...

Nissan have sussed that the loss to them of the whole EU market (tiny) is a fraction of the market that opens up in England alone when there are no Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW, Skoda, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, Fiat, Seat or even Ford etc imports. (Also no Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, or Porsche, let alone the tiny producers, but we can forget them in the mass market. Jaguar will have that.)

Anonymous said...

I am as ever astounded by the confidence many of you have in the UKs politicians to pull this out of the bag, or perhaps you are confused with how easy it is to be an armchair politician versus the reality of actually doing this. I'm sure most 'remoaners' actually want the same things as leave voters but they just don't have the vision of how that could be achieved or confidence in politicians to pull it off, while remoaners have a duty to seek that knowledge for themselves the leavers could show real leadership by explaining in a patient and unpatronising way why they are so certain this will work out. I suspect the lack of a convincing argument is a sign that this is based more on faith than anything else, for example:

"Johnson / Davis / Fox maybe up to the task after all."

Well shit if you aren't certain they're up to the task how can you be confident this will work out. Not to dictate how people should think but as a suggestion unless you believe this is the right thing to do and we have the best people in place to do it you could at least acknowledge that this is a good idea but we could be in a worse position if it's messed up by having sub par people at the helm.

Scrobs. said...

Absolutely Blue Eyes - spot on comment!

As for me, I won't buy anything American either if Billary gets in!

Nick Drew said...

they just don't have the vision of how that could be achieved or confidence in politicians to pull it off, while remoaners have a duty to seek that knowledge for themselves the leavers could show real leadership by explaining in a patient and unpatronising way why they are so certain this will work out ...if you aren't certain they're up to the task how can you be confident this will work out

anon, you may have dynamited the floodgates here

OK, I have likened this to war (which as a former soldier I don't do lightly, it's all too easy to reach for lazy military analogies) by which, personally, I mean (a) it should command the nation's full resources and (b) we got there because the Other Side (let's say the EC for want of a better identifcation, or the Federal Project or the Grand Acquis) crossed a line

with (b) being the case (IMHO; and it's why I cast my vote), we don't wonder, hmm, yes but maybe we can't do this; we get stuck in

and so to (a) - resources: allocate £1bn to the task, as Raedwald has suggested (London has plenty of the best legal & commercial brains); strategise seriously; fire the generals who prove useless early on, etc etc

as it happens, the Other Side is by no means invincible, and we have the signal advantage of being able to focus, where they are all over the place with elections, failing economies etc etc

[I was once solo, up against a big corp, my former employer who was minded to do me down, which looks like a big disparity in firepower. But I was on the case 24/7 with everything at stake, whereas they deployed one tenth of the time of one harrassed HR exec and one twentieth of a bored lawyer, neither of whom had much at stake at all. That evens things up nicely]

are Johnson / Davis / Fox the right team? Dunno, but so long as the duds get fired quickly and decisively, the hour bringeth forward the man / woman

Anonymous said...

Starting a war is fine if you win, if you win then it doesn't matter how petty the reason was that you started it, you won who cares, but if you loose then it doesn't matter if you kicked off for the most noble reason in the world. I suspect that most remoaners agree with the reasons for voting leave but don't have the confidence we will execute it well enough, it doesn't matter a jot how good Raedwald's plan is or yours is, if you don't have confidence that the right people are leading this or that the duds will get fired quickly you are backing a huge gamble. My issue is that there's no acknowledgement of that from the brexit side, there's a difference between being positive and backing the cause and self delusion, if we do not acknowledge the very real ways that we could stuff this up it will be luck that means we avoid them.

Still don't know how they crossed the line either.

Jim said...

@dearieme: for charcuterie try Black Mountains Smokery ( their chorizo is to die for. Its made in the UK by these guys:

Nick Drew said...

Still don't know how they crossed the line either

you've goaded me now, anon: I'm sure everyone has their own line - mine runs thus

high-level baseline:
(1) Rule of Law is the most important thing in civil life, with reasonable ways to change laws coming in second
(2) the only known ways to maintain RoL are (a) democracy (b) priesthood. Priesthood doesn't allow for reasonable changes in law. I opt for democracy (worst system except for all the others etc etc)

(3) EC is a priesthood, and a mendacious one to boot
(4) EC was on notice to change its ways, and promised to do so in the Lisbon Treaty, via 'subsidiarity'
(5) EC learned nothing, delivered nothing, carried on with the land-grabbing acquis racket/ractchet

final straw:
(6) energy policy (my special subject) was the last bastion of national control. So in 2015 the EC invented the 'Energy Union' - a Common Energy Policy to mirror the CAP etc
(7) Mr Cameron goes to Brussels and (even making allowance for his meagre negotiating skills) gets a fat Nothing

There you go

Steven_L said...

They've started trying to bugger up contract law too. Member states don't want harmonised contract law, so the EU have muscled in under the guise of consumer protection law.

The upshot is, if you agree a contract in your own home (or by mail order) and the trader doesn't give you pre contract information prescribed by the EU and in the prescribed form, you can cancel the contract for up to 12 months and get a full refund regardless of how much you used the goods / how much money the trader has spent providing services.

This applies to pretty much all consumer contracts, except the kind of home improvement contracts (double glazing, conservatories, fitted kitchens etc) that are the only contracts consumers arguably need a statutory cooling off period for to protect against granny bashing salesmen.

Why is the EU removing consumer protections and creating an impossible regulatory regime for traders under the guise of protecting consumers and removing barriers to trade? Harmonisation of contract law by the back door, that's why, and it was one of the factors that made me vote to leave.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I noticed you ignored the rest of my comment which makes me think you want this more than you think we'll actually get a successful version of it, that's what worries me all those people who voted with their hearts and not their heads.

Anonymous said...

a) What's wrong with voting with your heart?

b) Many Remain voters seem to have voted with their hearts.

CityUnslicker said...

Good debate anon. The other side are plums too, Junker, Barnier, Hollande.

Maybe our generals are shit, they only need to be better than theirs.

National survival is assured byBrexit. Remain would have been the dangerous choice.

Anonymous said...

Agree remaining isn't a long term option, eventually the eu project will fail or reincarnate, but the UK will be punished for leaving too early, the ideal would have been that someone else left first to get the ball rolling and take the worst of the wrath and we followed soon after.

Our generals need a different skillset to theirs, ours need to be able to get the Germans to lean on the French and all the other people that'll dig their heals in to fall into line. If I was a German I'd see this as a huge opportunity to take our financial services industry, the poorer we are the less they'll care about selling us cars

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon - Nothing wrong with voting with your heart, only when other's vote with theirs then you must respect it when they win.

K said...

I seem to remember 10-15 years ago it was common for stolen Japanese cars to be sold in the UK and vice versa. If it's really so easy for criminals to move the cars between the UK and Japan then it must be even easier to do it legit. So even if things go to shit it's probably easier for Nissan to be in the UK than primarily right hand drive companies.

Everyone knows Richard North hates everyone, right? But has anyone else noticed his soft spot for May? Do you think he has an ear on the inside? North has the details but is terrible at the politics but if someone is listening to him things could go well.

Anonymous said...

EK that seems a typical pacifying comment that gets used alot, no ones won yet in 15-20 years one group will get to say I told you so but that Ent be because they voted correctly it will be because hopefully some savy people did a good job of executing the peoples will, to be clear that success will have nothing to do with the people that voted for it.

Most people want to be in a materially better off position which following your heart is not conducive to.

Steven_L said...

in 15-20 years one group will get to say I told you so

I doubt it. Even with the benefit of hindsight, do people agree whether Thatcherism or New Labour were a good thing?

Nick Drew said...

you ignored the rest of my comment which makes me think you want this more than you think we'll actually get a successful version of it

I hear what you are saying. Funnily enough I take an almost marxist view on this: marx said the revolution comes when the proletariat intuitively grasps that nothing could be worse than where they are at that time [obviously I paraphrase just a tad]

in much the same way, I reckon the EU is starting to spiral down a deep plughole and so no, I don't reckon we'll suffer for being first out

if you come here often you'll know I've always acknowledged this'll cost us in the short run: in hard £££, and in what I call 'stability capital'. I just reckon (a) we've enough stability capital for the task and (b) it's a price worth paying

(also (c), there are some very good + + scenarios, too)

can our politicians screw this up? definitely - I'm extremely dubious about Hinkley, for starters (often stated on this blog: though I'm getting more relaxed abt this, having heard a bit of inside chat from EDF recently). But, hey, Nissan!

If I was a German I'd see this as a huge opportunity to take our financial services industry

that's indeed what they reckon, and I am told they have concrete plans for 10,000 extra workers in Frankfurt

BUT (again, often stated here) the Germans truly do not understand how financial markets work: this runs very deep, is pretty inexplicable, but I've seen it many times

FFS, these are the people who are going to impose a transaction tax! and they think it's clever! and they think they can ban the City from clearing euro transactions (i.e. they have absolutely no idea what a derivative is)

[obviously there are some German nationals working in banking who realise this stuff is utter crap: but their politicians have their fingers firmly in their ears and other orifices, and work off some pig-ignorant basis of 'we understand this stuff, it's easy']

Blue Eyes said...

Nick, your priesthood analogy is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Priesthood. Holy Roman Empire. Pope. Belief system.
And so on.
On might view the Brexit vote as an act within a process of a new Reformation. Unusually this one comes from the popular vote as opposed to the King/governing class.