Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom??? | TigerDroppings.com

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Doc Fenton
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Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???



Some interesting news coming out of the U.K. these days...

London Telegraph (1/20/13): " Ford and BMW warn against UK exit from EU as David Cameron readies historic speech."

Bloomberg (1/21/13): " U.K. Finance Industry to Cut 43,000 Jobs, CBI Survey Says"

I say never trust the lobbying of large corporations. The UK's got bigger worries than what car manufacturers might want. It's hard to know what Cameron has to say before he actually says it, but I would imagine that he's looking to protect the long-term interests of the London financial sector in anticipation of oncoming banking harmonization regulations coming out of Brussels.

The Swiss have been having their own banking dramas going on with UBS & Credit Suisse since the onset of the global financial crisis, with UBS more or less being tagged a rogue i-bank that is closing down to focus more on wealth management. Credit Suisse is trying to weather the storm and remain a full-size investment banking operation.

I have no idea what this implies for the future regulatory environment of London, but it's interesting to see the beginning shadows of these developments nonetheless.

From Wikipedia's " European Union":

quote:

Four countries forming the EFTA (that are not EU members) have partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations: Iceland (a candidate country for EU membership), Liechtenstein and Norway, which are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, which has similar ties through bilateral treaties.[62][63] The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican include the use of the euro and other areas of cooperation.[64]


Note that the British pound sterling was pretty steady, at a worth of about 1.4 - 1.5 Euros before the financial crisis hit, before dropping to under 1.1 Euros around New Year's 2009.



Without all the bailout madness concerning Greece & Spain that occurred recently, the pound got as high as 1.28 Euros during midsummer last year, but has been dropping of late, going from about 1.23 Euros on January 7, 2013, to just below 1.19 yesterday: LINK.

Most of the ~1.5% drop in value of the pound occurred over the 2 or so days from January 16 to January 18, coinciding with the recent rumors about Cameron's upcoming speech.







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davesdawgs
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


My take: In spite of the slow economic recovery in the U.S., we are still perceived as a safer haven for investment than Europe and the rest of the world in general.





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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


Duly noted.

But do you think the London financial center would be better off with only an informal relationship to the EU, perhaps staying in the EFTA, but not being directly subjected to directives from the EU?

They already have their own currency, so why not be more independent like Norway or Switzerland? They seem to do pretty well.

It would be interesting to see what the Scottish nationalists will think about all this.






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blowmeauburn
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


Isn't he talking about a referendum in 5 years or something pretty far off?

Truth be told, I don't think the speech will move EU policy towards the way Cameron wants it and I can see the UK going its on way eventually.



This post was edited on 1/21 at 11:33 pm


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evil cockroach
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


quote:

They already have their own currency, so why not be more independent like Norway or Switzerland? They seem to do pretty well.
Nor and Swiss have trump cards...terrorist and drug money for the Swiss and a boat load of oil for Norway. I think that is why they are doing well. It's hard to screw up a country when you have those kind of revenues coming in.






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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


quote:

Isn't he talking about a referendum in 5 years or something pretty far off?


Maybe, but I haven't heard about it.

The prospective speech got postponed and is yet to occur. I'll probably post an update when it does.






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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


There's news everywhere that the postponed speech will be given on Wednesday in London, but so far nobody seems to know when or where with any more specificity than that.

Some are saying that he will attempt to renegotiate the UK's deal with the EU, which some have made fun of, but not me. As I implied with the subject title of this thread, that's exactly what Norway, Switzerland, & Iceland have done.

Even taking the other two EU countries that have their own currencies, Sweden or Denmark, and it's an open question whether or not they would be better off doing bilateral trade negotiations rather than staying within the larger EU regulatory-policy-making framework.






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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


quote:

Isn't he talking about a referendum in 5 years or something pretty far off?


Yes. This is exactly what he said. "It is time for the British people to have their say." There will be negotiations under the new conservative government (if one is elected) for a new single market relationship in 2015 under a proposed negotiation mandate, and then he promises the people a simple 'in' or 'out' referendum in 2017.

Short video clip courtesy of the London Telegraph: LINK.

Bloomberg article: " Cameron Promises Referendum by 2017 on U.K. Leaving EU."

I can't say that I've been a big fan of the U.K. or the Conservative Party, but I've got to hand it to Cameron, he's been winning my respect over the last couple of years, and he's a lot better than I thought he'd be.

I believe this is a good decision by him.



This post was edited on 1/23 at 4:36 am


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blowmeauburn
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


2 things:

1.) It's just in the British DNA to always have flexibility in its ties to Europe. From balance of power to the Euro, they always have put Europe at arms length.

2.) The fact that its the Conservatives negotiating instead of Labour is key. The Euroskeptics will force Cameron to negotiate something that doesn't conflict with point 1.

I don't see anyway they vote for closer ties or anything that will remotely impede on their sovereignty.

So basically, Cameron wants to try to remain in the EU but also please Euroskeptics.

If this was Labour negotiating the result of the UK referendum will be a resounding "out". But since its the Tories then it has a chance.



This post was edited on 1/23 at 1:48 pm


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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


To be honest, I'm a little confused about the coming negotiation mandate they are going to attempt to pass after the next parliamentary elections.

(A) Are they going to be negotiating for more flexibility within the EU system?

or...

(B) Are they going to be negotiating for an alternative system to replace the EU system?


It seems like they are trying to do (A), in which case Cameron & the Conservatives will be trying to orchestrate a "stay in" vote in the 2017 referendum.

Of course, all that is contingent upon the Conservatives winning the next parliamentary elections rather than getting thrown out on their asses by Labour, in which case Cameron might turn around and starting arguing for an "out" vote.

Whatever occurs, the next round of British elections should be interesting.






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blowmeauburn
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


Sorry, edited my post which I think clarifies what I was trying to say a little better.





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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


quote:

So basically, Cameron wants to try to remain in the EU but also please Euroskeptics.

If this was Labour negotiating the result of the UK referendum will be a resounding "out". But since its the Tories then it has a chance.


This sounds about right to me, and also indicates that he will have some serious negotiating power when he meets with EU politicians.

What might happen is that the UK negotiates so many special rules for itself (in order to protect its finance sector), that its relationship inside the EU will be roughly equivalent to Switzerland's relationship outside the EU.

It'll just be the same thing with a different name ... if Cameron is able to get the details right. It'll be one hell of a delicate 5-year balancing act to perform.






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blowmeauburn
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


quote:

It'll just be the same thing with a different name ... if Cameron is able to get the details right. It'll be one hell of a delicate 5-year balancing act to perform.


I agree, and he could come out a legend.

I really can't blame Euroskeptics for looking at the mess in Europe and the lack of leadership, and then wanting to do everything they can to buffer themselves, but it seems like they would cut off the nose to spite the face.

This thread actually got me really pumped up about watching how this all plays out. I always respected Cameron even before he became Prime Minister but I never really thought he was that politically skilled. Looks like I may be proven wrong.






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Doc Fenton
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re: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland ... the United Kingdom???


It's all going to occur in super slow motion though.

He will have over 2 years to come up for a plan for what he wants to negotiate before the next general election, which will likely be held around May 2015, or perhaps a little before.

If he wins that election, then the negotiation mandate will go into effect, and the EU politicians might try to change a few things.

And then they'll be ready for the in-or-out referendum.






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