BREXIT (and the German economy)

Image result for image of brexit meme and angela merkel

Hello and hi. Yup, yet another Brexit post by me. Woot woot. If you think that Brexit is not an important issue then…sorry (not sorry) we can’t be friends. True, it may not be your cup of tea. Also, you may think that since you don’t live in the UK or Europe that it has no impact on you whatsoever. Please tell me you don’t think that, because it is simply not true. Excuse me as I step down from Brexit soapbox long enough to write a post..so anyway, here is what you need to know about Brexit and the German economy. Ok, let’s do this…

In speaking to HuffPost UK, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (let’s call them DIHK for obvious reasons, including brevity) gave a rather stern caution, that even IF the UK strikes a moderately free trade deal with the EU, the impact of trade barriers would only be “reduced” and not completely neutralised. In other words: yellow and blue make green. I kid. It means exactly what it means.  It simply is a warning that this Brexit is not so Brexit-licious after all. The UK post-Brexit, will face uncertainty regarding trade with Germany. Yikes.

The DIHK painted a pretty pessimistic picture (oh how I love alliteration) regarding future trade with the UK. That being said, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UK was a tad more optimistic. You see, they predicted that the Italy’s exports to Britain would not be too drastically affected, post Brexit. Kind of hard to know that, but I certainly do appreciate their optimism. Yes. Yes, I do.

But it is important to remember that trade with Germany is worth BILLIONS more than that with Italy. In brief, the stark warnings from DIHK will only place undue pressure on the UK government, to secure a pretty strong Brexit deal with the EU ASAP. Yup. Good luck with that David Davies et al.

As reported in HuffPost UK, DIHK spokesperson, Thomas Renner indicated that “Brexit will damage the Germany as a whole, despite some single locations or companies who might benefit from the shifting jobs and investment from the UK or of a weaker British Pound.” Renner also added, “Even if Brexit will hit the British economy more, in the end it is a lose-lose situation” My goodness, Renner is not exactly Mr. Optimism now, is he? No. Nope. Nien. Renner also added in a negative Nancy sort of way that:

“Investment decisions will be affected too: a DIHK survey shows that 40% of German companies expect less trading with UK after Brexit and almost 10% plan relocations of investments from UK.”

Well, what can I say…the people voted to leave the EU in the Referendum. We are leaving the EU (eventually). Maybe you think it was the right decision. Maybe you don’t. But guess, what? Brexit is happening and the outlook is not looking that great. Nope. That being said…I should have said earlier that Germany is the UK’s biggest import partner-with approx. £6billion of goods coming into Britain (this number was accurate in November 2016…I do realise that we are nearly into August 2017-but the numbers are both accurate and massive in equal nature. Yes. Yes, they are. That is all.

Cheers

Happy Wednesday/Best Fake Smile

Image result for image of dr seuss Wednesday

Hello and hi. Happy Wednesday. This song is EVERYTHING. Yup. That being said, I rarely use my: best fake smile. My smile is gen-u-ine . It sure is.  Love this song and this sweet boy-man-child. Have previously written/blogged on our James Bay. Yes. yes, I have.  Hope you like the song/video as much as I do.

Cheers

 

UK, Norway & BREXIT (“Bye, Felicia”)

 

 

Hello and hi. UK, Norway & BREXIT. “Bye Felicia.” Before I commence on my usual tirade against BREXIT (sorry chaps, I am a proud REMAIN-ER-never mind I did not vote…I am not a UK citizen…but I got opinions. I sure do. You betcha.) allow me to first explain what “Bye Felicia” actually means. I mean, if you don’t know it…please know that that is perfectly OK. It is nearly impossible for you to know everything. That being said. Here goes…

“Bye, Felicia” is from the 1995 movie “Friday” written by and starring our very own Ice Cube. You have not seen it? Really? Es verdad? Kindly make some time to see this classic movie. Please and thanks. Anyway, in the movie, Felicia is an annoying, neighbour (played by actress, Angela Means) who has some drug dependency issues and almost routinely bothers brothers Craig and Smokey (played by Ice Cube and Chris Tucker) and when I say ‘bothers’-please know that she is pretty bothersome, in fact she incessantly asks Craig and Smokey for: drugs, asks to borrow their car et al.

How Annoying. I mean my neighbours will routinely ask me for sugar and I normally respond with a raised eyebrow, a forced smile and through clenched lips with: ‘oh dear, is the shop closed, then?’ Some might say I am mean-but guess what…I could be a lot worse things. Truth.

Anyway-Craig and Smokey would reply to Felicia’s bothersome requests with: “Bye Felicia”-in almost a dismissive sort of way. It was their way of saying: Bye, get lost, scram, I really can’t entertain you now…I think you get the point. Please tell me you do.  Anyway, now you know what “Bye Felicia” means. You are welcome.

Allow me to get to the crux of this post. Finally-right? Anyway…

So, this Brexit thing. It has me (and hopefully you, as well) going through changes. Yes. Yes, it does. I mean, what-ever. A former Europe minister has recently indicated that a model in which the UK could remain in the single market, post-Brexit, would be “very difficult for people to accept.” According to the BBC, Caerphilly MP Wayne David said the Norway model-favoured by First Minister Carwyn Jones-would in fact, lead to a “massive loss of sovereignty.”

Yikes. Jones later added that the Labour party needed to have a debate on its Brexit position. Erm…excuse me, perhaps before the Labour party discusses that-how about discussing a leadership change? I can’t even with Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Nope. I mean…were I ever to see our Jeremy, I would be all: “cash me outside, howbowdat?” Like I said, I can’t even with Jeremy Corbyn. I am a peaceful warrior. I sure am. But I digress. Anyway, a spokesman for Mr Jones’ indicated/said single market access was key to protecting jobs. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Norway 101

Norway is NOT in the EU but it still has access to the single market. In addition, Norway has to make a financial contribution and also, must accept the majority of EU laws-but here’s the thing…Norway does not have a say on how said laws are created. Right. Ok. Glass half full? Glass half empty? I guess Norway sees it as glass half full. In fact, if any Norwegians are reading this-do weigh in. Please and thanks.

Image result for image of norway on a map of EU

First Minister Carwyn Jones had a quick, albeit, informative trip to Norway back in January. A sort of crash course-to learn about its EU links. Jones concluded, post Norway, that the Norway example clearly demonstrated that the UK did not have to give up access to the single market when it leaves the EU. Speaking on Monday, he said, “We would not control the rules but we would have full and unfettered access.”

Mr David indicated that while the first minister was correct to focus on the importance of the single market (as many Welsh jobs depend on it) the Norway model was a step too far. David added “The big problem with simply adopting the Norwegian model is that we accept the laws which are made in the European Union, which we will be outside, without having any say on those laws that affect the single market.” Yes. Preach. Right on…I think you get the point.  David also added/proposed that the UK could possibly look at how elements of the Norway Model could work in part-instead of embracing it “hook, line and sinker.” Finally, someone is speaking sense. Meanwhile our illustrious (or not) PM is on holiday. Goodness, gracious me. What on earth? Honestly. What can I say about? Erm…”Bye Felicia.” That is all.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

A ‘Special’ BREXIT Relationship (US/UK)

Image result for image of brexit meme

Hello and hi. BREXIT. I have now waxed lyrical plenty on BREXIT. So much so, that I have often considered a ‘Brexit only’ blog. Yes. Yes, I have. But-am pretty busy (aren’t we all?) so… no ‘Brexit-only’ blog. Instead, just the occasional blog post on this fascinating (or not) topic. But between you and me, Brexit is terribly complicated and fascinating in equal measure. Maybe you don’t think so…but guess what? We still cool.

                                                                                                         Image: The Independent

As reported on the BBC (sorry FOX news, I have zero time for your nonsensical ramblings. For real.) the UK will shortly hold its first talks with the United States, in an attempt to etch-a-sketch (sketch) out potential details regarding a post-Brexit trade deal. Truth. *holds breath, clasps hands in steeple-like position and breathes audibly*

Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, will spend two days in my hometown (cue Adele) with his US counterpart, Robert Lighthizer. I know very little about Robert-but know loads about our Liam. Yes. Yes, I do. Maybe later, I will write a blog post on him. Maybe. Anyway, I can tell you this..Brussels will not be too happy to know that the UK is window shopping regarding trade deals-technically the UK has not left the EU. In brief, we are still in the process of Brexit-ing. We sure are. In other words…EU rules mean that the UK cannot sign a trade deal until it has left the EU. Translation: Check it: you still in the club, mate. You can’t just up and leave. Nope.

Liam Fox, or rather Mr. Fox (who abhors foxes btw) indicated that it was entirely too early to say what would be covered in a potential deal. Too early. Oh please, Liam…I was not born yesterday. I know and you know- that the deal is already on the table. Theresa May, our PM and yours too- has told you to put a lid on it-I mean, no need to upset Brussels or even the British public-I mean, that would be bad. Very bad. In addition, various firms and trade unions have warned against the potential risks-trying to secure an agreement too quickly. In other words: slowly, slowly catchy the monkey. Which simply means: go slow, real slow. Don’t make any hasty decisions.

Image result for image of smiling monkey

In addition, the Department for International Trade indicated that said discussion were expected to focus on “providing certainty, continuity and increasing confidence for UK and US businesses as the UK leaves the EU.” In brief, that is diplomatic speak for: ‘erm…you have a crazy, potentially unhinged person in the White House- who is your current ‘leader’/President..this we know for certain. But… let us make certain that our special relationship, post-Brexit is solid and that we continue to be BFF’s’.  Seriously, that is what it means, I mean…you just got to read between the lines. Yes. Yes, you do.

In addition, Fox added, “The [UK-US trade and investment] working group is the means to ensure we get to know each other’s issues and identify areas where we can work together to strengthen trade and investment ties.”  Further, The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) director general, Adam Marshall indicated that the US’s experience at such negotiations would make it difficult for the UK to secure a good deal. Wait…what?! Oh Adam…oh  man of little faith. Come on now…give US a chance.  Marshall also added “we’re just getting back into the game of doing this sort of thing after 40 years of doing it via the EU.” Very true.  Marshall also added that it would be best to focus on improving “small practical things” such as custom procedures, rather than a comprehensive trade deal. Yup. Like I said: slowly slowly catchy the monkey.

Earlier in the month-US President Donald Trump said he expected a “powerful” trade deal with the UK to be completed “very quickly.” Ok. Cool. Great. As for me…I expect impeachment hearings to commence shortly and I imagine, that they too, will be completed/over and done with, rather quickly. I live in hope. Mic dropped.

That is all.

Cheers

 

 

 

Monday/Anything Could Happen/Ellie Goulding

Hello and hi. Happy Monday. Imagine my surprise when I awoke from my deep slumber and actually thought it was Saturday. I mean…uggh. That being said, Happy Monday, everyone. In the words of my girl, Ellie Goulding, ‘Anything Could Happen.’ Yes. Wishing you lot (lot=British slang for: you all/you guys/y’all/everyone…I think you get the point) a happy Monday.

Hope you like the song/video by our Ellie. Am not certain if I like her voice or not…but am willing to give this lovely looking, pixie-voice sounding, lass, a chance. Because that is how I roll. Yup. Hope you like it…

Cheers

 

 

Ellie Goulding/DITW

 

 

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Hello and hi. Know much about our Ellie Goulding? No? Yikes. Allow me to educate you, albeit, briefly. Yup. Ellie Goulding is an English singer/songwriter. Quite a lovely looking lass- with a weird, pixie-like, mercurial sort of demeanour and with a voice which emanates a deliberate, thoughtful, woman-girl-child searching for answers. Answers to what exactly…I am not sure. As you can probably guess…I am a fan. But, here’s the thing…sometimes her voice really bugs me. And I have no idea why. I mean…just stop your whining now, Ellie. ‘Adul-ting’ is hard. We all have to do it. Get over yourself, already. Ain’t nobody got time for your soul-filled sadness. Nope. No, no they do not. Truth. Am I being too mean? Good. I could be a lot worse things. Am I right? I think I am. Yup. That being said…

I have included: ‘Dead in the Water’ by our Ellie. It is probably the saddest song in the history of time. I mean…Jesus wept. Not sure if this is a song of sadness or of hope. For real. That being said, I urge you to listen…but if you are having a particularly bad day or feeling a bit down….please DO NOT listen to this song. For real. Seriously…no. Just, no. You will thank me later…I just know it.

As for me, I am my usual optimistic and garrulous self. Please note that I could only listen to this song once. I mean…I am in a good mood…and I want to stay that way. Thank you for understanding. Cheah! Anyway, I hope you like the song. Yes. Yes, I do.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

Blair on Brexit II

 

 

                                                                                                       Image: The Independent

Hello and hi. This morning I heard our illustrious (or not) former PM on the radio. This caused me to nearly spit out my tea. I buy expensive tea. Thankfully and luckily, I did not spit out my tea. But I nearly did. So, this happened…

Former PM Tony Blair was on the radio this morning and was giving an interview. I doubt I was the only one who was listening to his interview. Am pretty sure our current PM, the illustrious (or not) Theresa May was listening as well. And most likely, that poor woman, upon hearing the dulcet tones of Blair, was no doubt breathing rather heavily into a paper bag. I mean, I cannot be sure-but am guessing she was. Yes. Yes, I do.

In brief, Blair told the Today programme that one option for Britain included: “staying within a reformed EU.” Wait. What? Nope. “Listen to me now! Look it, look it..”

 

So, now the former PM is giving the current PM advice? Yikes? You see why our Theresa was breathing slowly into a paper bag? Please tell me you do. And another thing…how is Blair giving an interview? Shouldn’t he be in the Hague? I am asking a serious question here. But I digress. Anyway, Blair made the above statement but indicated that he would NOT disclose conversations he had had in Europe-but insisted that he was not speaking “on a whim.” So, why even comment Tony-if you are not going to reveal the nature of your source? I can’t with you, mate. Nope.

Blair also said that BREXIT will give the UK greater control of its borders. Perhaps. But guess what, Tony? You don’t get to say these things as you are no longer in politics. And besides…you ought to be in the Hague…and not giving interviews. For real.  Anyway, as you can imagine, Blair’s comments did not go down too well with shadow chancellor, John McDonnell who said that Blair “hadn’t really listened to the nature of the debate going on.” Obviously. I mean, I am not even shadow chancellor (nor will I ever be) but even I knew that. I sure did. *places hands in steeple-like position and bows head. Sighs audibly*

 

 

According to the BBC website, Blair spoke to the BBC, after he had written/argued in an article for which he had written for his own institute-that there was actually room for compromise on free movement of people. Perhaps. But…I am not in the habit of listening to war criminals. Come on, now. No. No, just no.

In addition, Blair also said that the current in situation in Europe was different when Britain voted to leave the EU, a move he described as “the most serious it’s taken since the Second World War.” Duh. Blair also added that France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron was proposing “far-reaching reforms” for the EU and later added that “Europe itself is now looking at its own reform programme…they will have an inner circle in the EU that will be part of the Eurozone and an outer circle.” Shortly after, presenter Nick Robinson asked for what evidence there was to suggest such a thing-that EU nations would actually compromise on such issues as freedom of movement-but Blair simply replied “I’m not going to disclose conversations I’ve had within Europe, but I’m not saying this literally on the basis of a whim.” Uggh. What are you saying Mr. Blair? Please advise. Blair did add, “They will make reforms that I think will make it much more comfortable for Britain to fit itself in that outer circle.” Maybe. Maybe not.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report, that post-interview, our PM, Theresa May needed to have a strong cup of tea and a lie down too. Why? Because she ‘can’t even’ with Tony Blair. Guess what Mrs. May? I can’t either. Truth.  In the words of the illustrious Beyoncé, ‘what’s worse…looking jealous or crazy?” I think in the case of Tony Blair…he looks both. Truth.

Image result for image of beyonce in hold up

Blair went on to say that most people in France, Germany and the UK actually supported changes around benefits-in regards to those who come to Europe without a job. He also said regarding this. “I’m not saying these could be negotiated…I’m simply saying if we were looking at this from the point of view of the interests of the country, one option within this negotiation would be Britain staying within a reformed European Union.”

That is all.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Play That Song/Train/My Current Jam

 

Hello and hi. My current jam is: Play That Song by Train. Yes, Train. Oh gosh-I love Train. Maybe you don’t like Train-which is perfectly fine. We still cool. I have loved Train from the very beginning. They released their 10th studio album about 7 months ago. I mean, these guys have ‘staying power’-do they not? I think they most certainly do. Yup..

I could wax plenty re Train, but I got a million things to do today- in addition, I have some outstanding BREXIT blogs to write/edit/post. Hello BREXIT Repeal Bill…nice to meet you! So… watch this space! Do it. Make sure you do. Please. I think you get the point…

Oh, I hope you like the song. It should sound familiar to you…at least I hope so. And now for the video…

 

 

And now for that familiar song…that I mentioned earlier. Please tell me you know this song or we can’t be friends. Sorry (not sorry).

 

 

Cheers

 

The BEST thing about Little Mix is…

Hello and hi. Am not sure if I am really tired today, old, cranky or had an extra dose of sarcasm in my porridge, this morning. Hmm…I suspect all of the above.

The best thing about Little Mix is: NOTHING. Actually, the best thing about this video is Stormzy. Yup. I don’t actually listen or follow Little Mix as I am not 13 years old. Truth. But they are playing it on the radio here 24/7. Gulp. I mean, maybe Little Mix is your jam-it is certainly not mine. If indeed Little Mix is your jam…sorry (not sorry) we can’t be friends. Simples.

To me, being a non 13 year old girl…Little Mix is nothing more than the Spice Girls recycled. The Spice Girls recycled… with less clothes and even more makeup slathered over their cherubic faces (think of your pores, girls!). Am I right? I think I am.

I mean, if I had a teenage daughter and she even expressed remotely that she liked Little Mix…I would bite the inside of my cheeks, swallow, make a small, albeit, determined fist , blink with deliberate slowness and say something like: “oh really, darling? You like Little Mix? How nice. Now, be a dear and go pack up your trunk for boarding school. Oh…I never mentioned that you would be commencing boarding school the MINUTE you mentioned Little Mix? Oh dear. I do apologise, love. Now…get going, mustn’t be late.”

Perhaps you are thinking I a mean person. Good. I could be a lot worse things. Yes. Yes, indeed. But…sorry am not going to let any daughter of mine dress like a two-bit, biker hooker, wearing fishnet stockings and multiple piercings with zero clothes on (you might catch cold, dear). Nope. Not gonna happen. That being said…there is a serious message in the video. These girls have the power. Apparently. I invite you to listen…just make sure you close your eyes when you do. You will thank me later. Enjoy listening…with your eyes closed. Rant officially over. That is all.

 

Cheers

When peacocks attack…(in Jersey)

Image result for image of a peacock attacking a car
                                                                                                                   Image: The Daily Mail
Hello and hi. Know much about peacocks? Don’t worry-it is impossible to know everything. I mean…come on, now…don’t be so hard on yourself.
So…this happened…
As reported in The Times, a Steve Wallace of Jersey* (not his real name-poor guy has had to go underground). Why? Allow me to both inform and brighten your day, while you howl with laughter.
A peacock (of no fixed abode) has caused thousands of pounds’ worth of damage after repeatedly and violently causing damage to Steve Wallace’s NEW Range Rover. It is believed by some (ornithologists/bird experts) that said peacock mistook its reflection in the window of said Range Rover and mistook it for a love rival-thus, prompting it to attack.
Steve Wallace, of Jersey, has indicated that he was forced to have the car re-sprayed to cover the scratches and mend the broken windows. Allegedly. (Come on Steve, I know for a fact that no windows were broken. I was not born yesterday. No. No, I was not. Stop playing. The facts please. Do try to remember that facts are crucial, here. Please and thanks).
Steve Wallace also stated that if the peacock continues to attack his Range Rover, that  he may have to shoot the peacock. Wait. What?! Steve! No…just, no. Oh dear Lakshmi, no. Steve-don’t go there. For the love of all that is good and holy…don’t shoot that love sick peacock. Please.
Like I said…when peacocks attack.
That is all.
Cheers
*Jersey for my American friends…is a Crown Dependency of the UK. Located near the coast of Normandy, France.  Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy-whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the Kings of England in the 13th century-and the ducal title surrendered to France-Jersey (and the other Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.
You are welcome, mate.
NB you can learn more about Jersey here

 

Yes..I  know this is NOT a Range Rover. Please use your imagination. Thanks.