After the party, the hangover

Britain was in full jolly monarchy mode over the long weekend, but as we see now on Monday, the party is over and the bill must be paid. Congratulations to Elizabeth II, who will be the world’s longest living, reigning monarch in about a week or so, second only to Louis XIV, who ascended his throne at the age of five.  

An interesting item was seen in the Times over the weekend, where Jim Armitage flagged up the issue of the pound sterling being in crisis. Rates are low, which is good for export, but any increased exports due to Brexit have not compensated for the loss of trade. Plus, there’s the issue of supply – if you’re trying to buy things from the Continent, it’s a mixed bag of how timely and cost-efficiently your ingredients/equipment can get to the UK. Not to mention the additional paperwork and headaches. 

Some people are no longer shipping to the UK, and who can blame them? There are 500 million consumers in Europe that they can ship to with less red tape instead. Politicians can yelp all they like, but the exchange rates tell the real story of what the global economy thinks of Brexit – not much. “Since Brexit, sterling has been valued at a discount to its peers because the world’s investors believe British enterprises will not be as productive as they would have been,” Armitage notes. As Warren Buffett has stated, the markets are weighing machines in the long run. British weights are coming up light on the scales.  

Some companies have done well. A lot more British cheese is consumed domestically, I suspect. However, getting the staff in is now much more of a headache, now that EU citizens are just another set of immigrants. The government’s response is to scold companies to not rely on foreign labour, as per British Secretary of Transport Grant Schapps on television just this morning. Who is going to do the work then? Is he going off to the airports to unload baggage, or to the ports to check over the dairy products that need veterinary clearance to go to the EU? Yes, I thought not.  

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