Blain’s Morning Porridge Feb 21st: Nrn Irn and the EU. Time to buy the UK?
“We’re Knights of the Round Table, we dance when ere we’re able…”
This morning: Pull your buying boots on, lace them up tight and get ready to buy the UK! Even the possibility Boris and the ERG snatch defeat from the jaws of common sense won’t change the narrative: A deal with EU will happen, putting the UK back on some sort of course.
This morning’s Porridge starts as I interview a staunch Nrn Irish unionist with a steely glint in his eye:
- He bitterly complains: “it’s almost impossible to buy British Sausages in Belfast supermarkets”. It’s his proof irrefutable of the many cruel, anti-democratic, anti-unionist consequences of the botched Nrn Irn protocol/mumble-swerve component of the UK-EU Brexit agreement.
- Meanwhile, The Grocer magazine comments on how Nrn Irish shopkeepers have found locally sourced bangers taste better, sell in greater numbers, are cheaper, and the nationality of sausages isn’t a big deal to the majority of Nrn Irish consumers who don’t wear orange sashes in July.
Despite the Protocol – under which British sausages and other stuff into Nrn Irn have to be fit to sell in the EU -the Nrn Irish economy is positively booming. Long the backwater of British industry and the poorest region of the UK, now its growing fastest, attracting new jobs and well paid manufacturing jobs at an unprecedent rates… Even Harland and Wolff (builders of the Titanic – not a great recommendation one would think) are back in business building ships.
The supposed border in the Irish Sea between Blighty and Nrn Irn has not proved a trade barrier, but an accelerator. Belfast is now seen as the most sensible place for a UK HQ – with the benefits of being a win when the UK inevitably does a deal with Europe, or the epicentre of a future United Ireland’s economy.
Premier Sunak has chosen the NI protocol as his Hill on which to make his stand. He’s trying to negotiate a deal to reverse the unpleasantness and downright stupidity of hard brexiteers over the NI protocol with the EU. He is (apparently) all set to ink it. It all sounds imminently sensible. It’s a deal the majority of the UK’s parliament and Nrn Irish voters will support… when given the choice (say, at a snap election…) Yay.. common sense breaks out…
“Not if I can help it”, says Boris emerging from his political crypt. Where is a fat-boy size Wooden Stake when you need it..? Naturally, Boris, the Tory lunatic Right (the ERG) and the Unionist politicians don’t want a deal. Conflict looks inevitable.
Bring it on…. Whoever wins, eventually it will be the UK….
Much of the gory stuff in Game of Thrones was filmed in Nrn Irn… perhaps this will be moment when Boris finally gets his bloody comeuppance. (Please, please, can it involve a hungry dragon?) His removal, and therefore ability to further destabilise the UK in global markets, would be another reason to buy the UK! Imagine the post Boris sunny uplands: political responsibility, cabinet accountability, telling the truth and not being a liar.
Apologies to non-British readers of the Morning Porridge, but yet again you are probably somewhat bemused by these latest ructions over Brexit, Nrn Irn, the ghost of Boris, and even Liz Trusterf*ck intervening again. Don’t worry… It’s just the way the Tories do things. Someday it will make an excellent stage play of the Spamalot genre..
Despite all the blithe promises and high expectations, executing Brexit has proved a political clusterf*ck of monumental proportions. It therefore matters for markets. Since 2016, the year of the Brexit Vote, the UK economy has flatlined on a lack of investment, political directionless dither and, to be fair, remoaner dissent. A nation divided and all that stuff…
Sunak’s effort to solve it over the NI protocol though a joint agreement with the EU is the most positive step since the referendum. Of course, being Rishi… he is destined for failure. Either Boris is going to slay him now, or he’s going to lose the next election. Tough.
But, if a deal is signed now there is a strong likelihood the UK might just become an investible story again. Not in the same way Great Britain became the foremost global financial power over 500 years of conquest, glory, biffing the Spaniards, French, Germans et al, the financial stability of the Bank of England… but on the possibility someone is finally going to do something sensible in the ongoing tragi-comedy that Brexit has become… It’s time to admit mistakes we made, and we need a deal with Europe.
If it happens.. and a sensible good deal is signed over Nrn Irn and the doors to a wider EU solution are opened…. then there is even a chance the Tories will be merely beaten rather than annihilated at the next general election. Rishi will die a hero…
So, get ready to fill yer boots on UK Inc – no matter how bad the next few days look. The great thing is.. this prospective deal isn’t even that important.
- If Rishi Sunak goes down in a cataclysm of resignations and confidence motions – excellent, we will probably get an early election and the UK is saved from immediate financial ruin, or
- If Rishi Sunak wins (however improbable that seems) – the threat to his administration will be wiped, the ERG will properly become ancestral memory and something to scare naughty children with, although we face 2 years before the country can be reset by a new government.
Whatever happens, the UK will emerge better. The sooner it happens the quicker we can reverse the chronic disinvestment since Brexit.
For the last 13 years there has been almost no real party politics in the UK. That’s largely because the Labour party did a self-lobotomy under Jeremy Corbyn. Everything has since changed. Sir Kier Starmer (possibly the dullest, but most patient politician in the UK) knows all he has to do is let the Tories self-immolate. In the meantime, his shadow cabinet look increasingly capable.
Of course, there is still the Nrn Irn problem. Unionist politicians – guaranteed power sharing in their devolved parliament – are fuming about the Protocol because it gives European courts some power over their economy. They recently lost leadershio of the toytown Stormont Parliament to the Republicans – largely because Catholic voters have more fun and therefore more babies. The DUP responded by throwing their toys out the pram, closing the NI parliament (not that it makes a blind bit of difference to the NI economy), and are demanding Nrn Irn is now physically towed across the North Channel and physically linked to Rangers supporting parts of Glasgow.
The UK has to get real about Brexit. It’s been about the Tories fighting themselves over Brexit – which is a damn shame, as after we voted for it, we rather expected it to happen. Instead, it has become that “Hill the Tories died on.” They are history. That should not mean conservative values and right-wing views have no place in British politics – they surely should… (if only to give trendy lefties something to dance upon and whine about) but can we please have the Right-Wing message delivered by competent politicians rather than delusional, time-expired fools and clowns?
I have a little list, I have a little list… and Sue Braverman, Boris, JRM, and half-a-dozen others might just be on it… They never will be missed…
Five more important things to read this morning:
Out of time and back to the day job…
Strategist – Shard Capital