BrExit – Can’t Sell to EU Lie

All over the the news is the pervasive lie that if the UK leaves the EU system it loses access to something like 500 Million folks worth of market. The clear assertion is that if the UK is “outside the EU” it can’t possibly sell products and services into the EU.

In my opinion, that is a flat out lie.

Further, there is the implicit assertion (sometimes explicit) that some magic “trade deal” needs to be instantly negotiated. IMHO, that, too, is a lie. Trade deals sometimes help trade, but a great deal of trade happens without them.

To illustrate that point, a couple of maps of OTHER EU Countries, and from where they buy things.

The source for these maps is the same is in the prior BrExit posting:

As before, this is one link, and you can ‘go there” and change the knobs as you like to get any other graph I use here.

So let’s start with Germany. THE powerhouse of the E.U. From where do they buy things? Surely it must be dominated by the U.K. and France as the other two major E.U. countries, followed by Italy and Spain? IFF it is so horridly difficult to sell into the E.U. from outside, it simply must be that large internal trade partners will dominate? No?

As before, the dark red is a lot, the lighter yellows progressively less. Why their saved images have poor legends is beyond me, but for actual dollar bands, hit the web site.

From Where does Germany Import?

From Where does Germany Import?

Oh Dear! Most comes from China… I guess being “outside the EU” is not hurting them much. Hard to see, but if you hover over it at the original site, Holland is next with $96 Billion. One presumes due to buying a lot of external goods and materials needed by Germany, but we’ll chart them next. The UK eventually shows up at $43 B, but after Switzerland $50 B and the USA $62 B.
Golly. Both not in the E.U.

It sure doesn’t look like being “inside the E.U.” is very essential for trading with it.

The Netherlands? It is interesting in that Holland looks to be importing from just about the whole world. They do seem to buy a lot from Germany, too. Perhaps cars? Or maybe things for export… At any rate:

From where does The Netherlands import?

From where does The Netherlands import?

Golly, China again. Though in fairness, it is Germany that dominates them. How about the UK? $32 Billion, tied with the USA. We don’t seem to have a problem “trading in”. Nor, given the widespread yellow on that map, does most of the world. I took a look at the Netherlands by product map and it is mostly petroleum & petroleum products, computers, phones, cars, and medicines. The UK is in a global market for Petroleum, so that isn’t going to be a BrExit issue. Phones? China I’d bet. Maybe cars and medicines from the UK? Or cars from Germany, medicines from the UK… Medicines being dominantly a proprietary business it is unlikely to take a hit from being outside the E.U. It, too, is a global market.

Maybe France?

From where does France import?

From where does France import?

Oh Dear, Germany again. It is starting to look like the E.U. is a Germany Trade Promotion Authority… Then China. The UK ships $25 Billion, well behind the USA at $40 Billion, and even Spain at $38 Billion. It sure is starting to look like Germany sells most to the EU members, but nobody else is really winning much from the deal. It also looks like China and the USA are quite happy to sell lots into the EU… from outside

You can go right on down the list of major E.U. economies and the picture is the same. Italy, Spain, even Poland. All economic satrapies of Germany. In fairness, it is the case that Portugal mostly trades with Spain and Ireland with the UK. Their prior dominant partners.

In Conclusion

My conclusion from this is pretty simple and direct. Whatever is asserted to be the benefit of being “inside the E.U.”, the major benefit accrues to Germany. All over the E.U., countries “inside” are dominated by it. Those countries outside, with desired products, have no problem “trading in”. Products from all over the world flow in to the E.U.

A second necessary consequence is simply that to the extent there is an artificial trade barrier with the E.U., the UK inside of it is blocked from the Rest Of World.

Which is bigger: the R.O.W. or Germany? Which do you think is the better trade partner? Is it better to have a negative balance of trade with Germany, as the UK does now, or a positive one with the R.O.W.?

One final note:

Hong Kong. Hong Kong became a global trade power of fierce size via the simple expedient of lowering their own tax and tariff barriers. They didn’t give a whiff what their potential trade partners did, they just provided an easy trade station. The rest was history. One of the most astounding growth and wealth creation cycles in economic history. That policy was created by a Brit. It works. To the extent the E.U. wants to pursue high taxes and high barriers to trade, it is much much better to be outside of that trap than inside. There is a long history and large body of evidence for that observation (and it is an observation, not a surmise).

So that, IMHO, is the choice facing folks in the U.K. today. Satrap to Germany, or free trader to the world. Your choice. Choose wisely.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to BrExit – Can’t Sell to EU Lie

  1. J Martin says:

    I’m voting for Brexit (to leave) for lots of reasons. Unfortunately there are a large number of don’t knows. A majority of them will likely choose the devil they know rather than be brave and vote to leave.

  2. Ian W says:

    If you are a politician the EU is a wet dream. You can be appointed to a post and no voters can interfere with your career plans, you will get a salary that is only dwarfed by your tax free expenses. The subsequent pension is eyewateringly large such that a failed Labour politician Neil Kinnnock and his wife are now millionaires. What’s not to like?
    If you want to have an eyeopening view of what the EU is and ‘does for’ or ‘does to’ Britain then you should watch the You Tube “Brexit The Movie” an unemotional look at UK and the effect the EU has had.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Perhaps overly cautious on my part, but…. I did slam Germany. So a descliamer:

    Mum is from England. Mixed British / Viking history. Celts and Germanics.
    Dad is from Iowa. Mixed Irish and Amish. I.e. Celts and Germans ( via Switzerland from Holland… back when it was part of Germany /Holy Roman Empire).

    Basically, I’m about an even mix of Celts and Germanics via a convoluted set of paths, about 1/2 to 3/4 from the UK, though some of them oppressed by it. In short, I don’t feel the need to piss on any of my relatives. I just call B.S. when I see it…

    @Ian W:

    “Follow the money” seems to always work…

    @J Martin:

    And thus the constant lying and emotional sop arguments and “never let a disaster go to waste” that is barely a breath away from “create a disaster for effect”. ..

    I wonder why there are so many disasters in the world?…

    I’d like to ; sarc/ tag, but I can’t. ..

  4. omanuel says:

    The evils of top-down government are just starting to be grasped by the public.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    I was listening to a talking head on her investigation in Briton of “man on the street opinions” about Brexit and what she learned was. The educated opinioneers said that the British would stay. The taxi drivers said their opinion was to leave. Somehow I think that the taxi drivers have a better idea of sentiment that will drive the voting…
    There are certainly a lot of “world wise” talkers opinions that Brexit would cause great economic disruption to the British. They knew all about it as they were British living in other EU countries. Somehow I think they were talking about their own Economic Disruption if Britain is no longer subject to EU bureaucratic control…pg

  6. tom0mason says:

    With all the internationalists, and big government insiders, and international financial institutions all lined up for the UK staying in Europe, then obviously, given their complete lack of ability to either accurately forecast or have any talent a mitigating against financial or social catastrophe, the UK should leave.
    When has the IMF, Bank of England, the UK Treasury, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the London School of Economics., or Obama managed to predict with any accuracy the outcome of a major political change? IMO probably as often as the EU has managed to balance its books and pass an audit.

    Interestingly the UK-Remain campaign within Europe says “…European Council President Donald Tusk said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild that radical anti-European forces will be “drinking champagne” if Brexit passes. …Tusk said. “As a historian I fear that Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also of western political civilization in its entirety.”
    So the UK leaving would destroy “not only the EU but also of western political civilization in its entirety.”, surely this means they should leave ASAP as the rest of Europe must be a a very dangerous place populated with very unstable types likely to destroy …

  7. John Robertson says:

    Bit hard to sell “Stay” by acknowledging the Kleptocracy needs Britain enslaved.
    The EU is the best example yet of government by thieves,for the benefit of those thieves, with no voice at all for the victims.
    Parasites dream come true,taxation without representation.
    Authority without responsibility.
    No accountability process, short of armed insurrection.

    Left unchecked the French Revolts of the 1700s will look like folk festivals.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    George Soros is predicting major financial problems if they vote for Brexit. Now given his history, is he trying to prevent Brexit, or is he trying to plant a seed which will result in the panic he predicts when the vote to exit wins?

    There is something to say for the idea that if the EU is that fragile better to kick the stool out from under it now than wait another few years for more negative forces to develop.
    Lance the boil and get it over with.

    I’m sure he is properly hedged so no matter how it goes he will make a bundle.

  9. Steve C says:

    You’re quite right, the great bulk of propaganda from the Remainders is arrant nonsense, painting the UK as a poor, shrinking little violet which could never survive without the kindly EU protecting it. It is astonishing how quickly people seem to forget that only a century or so ago, we were the brutal overlords of something like a quarter of the planet. (And yes, I am uncomfortably aware of how brutal that ‘brutal’ was.)

    For me, it’s easy. Do I, an ageing Brit, want to die in Great Britain, or do I want to die in some unimportant zone of a decaying fascist political project? No contest. We vote to leave, or GB ceases to exist.

    For anyone who finds it less easy … Look at Greece. Look on the EU’s works, ye mighty, and despair.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    IMHO, Soros is “talking his own book”. Michael Spence? was on CNBC? (Or Fox Biz… I was hopping…) and said he thought there was an overstatement by Soros… IMHO, a polite way of saying “beware of snakes”… (Michael is a Nobel lauriate econ, not a talking head).

    I’m looking at a posting on this, maybe. Pound is down against $ US already due to short positions, the trade is already on… folks will cover after the vote (“catalyst” is finished) not put on fresh shorts, so IMHO, Soros is getting sheep lined up for fleecing and talking up a supply of long sellers to cover in his short position. (He mostly shorts and talks down countries and currencies).

    @Staeve C.:

    That ‘cease to exist’ is the elephant in the room. As the Holy Roman Empire Redux proceeds, peoples and cultures will be homogenized. Local governance and traditions erased. We see that in the USA. Detroit shrinking toward ruin more abandoned than thriving. French nearly exterminated in Louisiana. (Folks forget that the main language of Louisiana and even up into Iowa was French, and that the State constitution of Ohio was written in German. Both languages and both cultures now largely homogenized away. At one point, the USA was one vote away from German as the national language, it was so widespread. One person voting the other way, and I’d be sprachen Deutsch. ..)

    No matter what language and culture becomes favored, everyone loses richness and the tapestry of culture becomes a denim bland. America championed that bland. Visit your local Mcdonalds and sample it in the big mac… I’d rather have fish & chips or bangers & mash…

  11. A C Osborn says:

    Chefio, it is just one of many outright lies, here are but a few.
    We can control Immigration from within the EU when it patently obvious nobody can

    We can “lead” the EU, when we get outvoted 27-1 on anything we find contentious

    We can reform the EU, the EU has a published Path to where it wants to go and nothing will change it.

    We have not lost any “Democracy” or Sovereignty

    Turkey will not be joining the EU anytime soon, while Camoron and his cronies secretly push for Turkey’s inclusion to the tune of £1.2Billion

    The UK will be safer in the EU, with 1 million economic Migrants (they are NOT Refugees) already crossed in to Europe and nobody knows their backgrounds at all, but most of them are young men, many of whom have thrown away their documents.

    The EU has made Europe safer, when it was NATO and the Un that did so. There have been about 60 small uprisings and wars in the European area since world war 2.

    As for the furore over Jo Cox’s death, where were the media and politicians for the 500 plus other Murder Victims every year in the UK.

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    Kind of strange that the money manipulators of the world are all singing the same song that if Brittan leavers the EU, The worlds economy will crash! Hard to believe that the EU is such an important thing and that Brittan is such an important part of it.
    Maybe they mean that THEIR world of financial manipulations will crash. The Oligarchs would have to rebuild their web of useful connections in London as well as Brussels. Two sets of of grasping politicians and bureaucrats to pay off rather then one. Somehow I think that the British would be better off without the guiding hand of unelected, unaccountable, European Technocrats. Also, nearly time for the Americans to do the same with their own bureaucratic nightmare. Across the world the drive to control everything by faceless bureaucratic dictate is strangling the economy. The well connected are still doing well but the rest of us are sliding off the cliff. The bureaucrats tell us “No! no! you can’t Do that” while it is, “How can I help you, Mr. Big”.
    WE don’t need them!…pg

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    One bit of encouragement. Yesterday on CSPAN they were covering some conference of (all? mostly?) Republican congress critters. The topic was how to cut down the maze of bureaucratic monstrosity that is the D.C. Government and how to put Congress back in to the drivers seat where the Constitution says it belongs.

    It was remarkably refreshing. A LOT of position taking on stopping agencies from making law and putting it back into the hands of Congress.

    We’ll see if this new found appreciation of their authority and responsibility is the start of something really good, or just pining for the old days when they ‘had a pair’ now long gone… and never to return.

    My hope is that it is the start of a return to Constitutional Law and Governance. My fear is that is is just a last hurrah as they realize how stupid they were (and how pissed it has made We The People) in handing carte blanche to agencies to run amok (under congressional delegations of authority!) and now they can’t ever hope to get it back since The Executive branch will just veto any legislation with a retrieval clause.

    In short: Are we Rome, and at the Republic to Empire transition point where The Senate was obviously toothless and never to recover?

    Interesting times…

  14. Adrian Camp says:

    The remainers are telling us, simultaneously, we are too small to survive on our own out in the great big world and that the economy of the entire world will be hit if we leave.

    My only fear is that when we vote out all these forces will combine to frustrate the will of people, to find ways to defer the exit and obfuscate the result. They are not just going to comply with the vote if it goes against them. In fact, they don’t have to, it is parliament which must enact the leave application.

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    That one always caught my attention. ..

    The 5th largest economy in the world, almost twice the size of Australia, 3 times the size of the very successful South Korea, too small to make it… Riiiight… /sarc;

    By that reasoning, all but 4 of the national economies of the world ought to be in utter collapse.


    On various news shows the FUD Pedalers are in full throat…

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