Macron, our Gallic Buddy, is demanding regulatory harmonisation if the newly liberated UK economy is going to enjoy and easy trading relationship with the European Union. The reason why he’s so demanding is easy enough – he doesn’t want people to see the actual costs of that EU regulatory regime:
Emmanuel Macron has warned Boris Johnson that the UK must remain “loyal” to EU standards post-Brexit for British companies to maintain access to the European market.
In comments echoed by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French president demanded continued regulatory harmonisation as the price for protecting the flow of trade, a demand that will be a cause of concern for the Conservative government.
Macron, who noted in an aside that his country would soon be the only nuclear power in the EU, told reporters: “If Boris Johnson wants a very ambitious trade deal, there has to be very ambitious regulatory convergence”, adding in English: “Be my guest.”
“We do not want them to be an unfair competitor,” Macron said. “My message to the UK is that the more loyal we are vis-a-vis each other, the closer relationship we can have.
What he’s calling unfair competition the rest of us call being free of the monstrosities of continental regulation. The problem for those who advocate such regulation being that they can never allow the people to see what those costs are. Thus no one can be allowed to be nearby and trading without carrying those costs equally.
It’s all fine to have Singapore off 12,000 miles away but Singapore on Thames would just be too in your face for people to continue to put up with the strangulation of he economy caused by those regulations.
Which is, of curse, the argument in favour of Singapore on Thames. Not because it will do us good, although it will, but because it would be that first step in freeing Europe. Give it a decade or three of us growing at 3 and 4%, they at 1 and the gilets jaunes will demand that change to a properly liberal economy. We’d be, again, Airstrip One for classical liberalism.
As and when this happens the best bit will be how badly it pisses off continental statists like Emmanuel Macron. Which is, in itself, sufficient justification for the bonfire of the bureaucracy, isn’t it?