366 days of gratitude

June 25, 2016

Churchill was right that democracy is far from perfect but it’s still better than the alternatives.

Whatever the impact of the UK’s referendum decision to pull out of the  EU, it was made by the people through voting not violence and I’m grateful for that.

 


Word of the day

June 25, 2016

Adulate – praise excessively or obsequiously; fawn upon, flatter or admire servilely or slavishly; show excessive admiration or devotion to.


Saturday’s smiles

June 25, 2016

A businesswoman had arranged an important formal dinner party at
her home where they were going to serve stuffed whole baked trout
as the main course.

While the guests were eating the appetiser, the cook came to the hostess and summoned her urgently to the kitchen.

She went and the cook explained that while she was serving the starter, the cat ate a big chunk of the trout.

The hostess said, “Just fill the hole with stuffing and turn the other side up, nobody will notice.”

The fish was served and when they were nearly finished eating, the
cook called the hostess to the kitchen again to tell her the cat had died.

The hostess rushed back to the dinner party and apologised, “Something
was wrong with the trout and we’re all going to have to have our stomachs pumped out at the hospital.”

When the hostess got back she asked the cook, “Where ‘s the cat?”

“Oh,” the cook replied, “He’s still by the road where the truck ran over him.”


Disunited Kingdom

June 25, 2016

The United Kingdom is a disunited kingdom.

The UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union but two of the four countries which comprise it did not.

England and Wales voted to go, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to stay.

This could prompt another move for Scottish independence and possibly a push to reunite Ireland.

The decision already has its casualties.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he’ll stand down, saying he thought the ocuntry need fresh leadership and couldn’t captain the ship to its next destination,

Reports that Morgan Stanley would move 2000 jobs to Dublin of Frankfurt were later denied but both the pound and euro fell after the referendum result was announced.

The pound dropped below the crucial $1.40 mark amid fears that the UK would vote to leave the European Union. Sterling fell as much as 10% early on Friday, and is on track for its worst one-day fall in history. After trading at $1.3262, down nearly 9%, as of 5.27am BST, the currency recovered slightly to 1.3394 as of 6.05am BST.

The euro fell the most since it was introduced in 1999 while other currencies in Europe also took a hit, Bloomberg reported. . . 

The wheels of politics and bureaucracy grind very slowly so there will be no immediate changes but Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO Sam McIvor sent an email to farmers saying:

  • The EU and UK are New Zealand’s most valuable sheepmeat markets and Brexit could have significant implications.
  • It is unclear right now exactly how this will play out as Prime Minister Cameron has not confirmed that he will act upon the results. There are three key issues we are focused on at present:
    • Ensuring that we maintain our overall quota access into the EU and UK as the UK renegotiates its access into the EU. This will take some time and we will be able to work with the NZ government and EU/UK governments to understand the process and ensure the best possible outcome for NZ sheep and beef farmers;
    • Understanding the impact of Brexit on the sheep and beef markets in the UK and EU. The EU currently takes 90 percent of the UK’s sheepmeat exports.
    • Other indirect impacts could be appreciation of the NZD against the EU and UK.

NZ quota access into the EU & UK

  • New Zealand currently has a quota of just under 228,000 tonnes of sheepmeat into the EU at zero duties. This represents over half of New Zealand’s total global sheepmeat exports. The UK currently takes half of our exports to the EU by value.
  • New Zealand also has a smaller quota of 1,300 tonnes of beef into the EU at an in-quota duty of 20%.
  • As the UK negotiates its exit from the EU over the next couple of years it will be negotiating how much of these quotas will be transferred solely to them and on what terms.
  • Under WTO rules, New Zealand’s overall levels of access to both the EU and UK will have to remain the same, but we will lose the flexibility to decide which of the two entities to send our exports to depending on demand from customers.

Potential impact on EU and UK Markets

  • There will also likely be disruption on UK and EU markets.
  • The UK exported 90 percent of its sheepmeat exports to the EU last year. It currently faces zero tariffs into the EU.
  • If it loses its preferential access into the EU then its domestic market will be oversupplied, further reducing demand for NZ product, but this could potentially improve our market into the EU. 

The process of Brexit as we understand it at present:

  • There will be no immediate change to any access conditions until the UK officially ‘exits’ the EU which will take around two years, if not longer.
  • The departing Member State must notify the European Council (the leaders of each Member State) that it has decided to leave, and after this the departing Member State and the remaining Member States must negotiate the terms of exit.
  • The terms of exit must be agreed between the departing Member State, and a qualified majority of the remaining Member States. A qualified majority means 55 percent of remaining Member States, representing 65 percent of the remaining EU population.
  • European Union membership will automatically cease two years after the departing Member State gave notice of withdrawal if no agreement is reached. However, if there is unanimous agreement from all Member States, the negotiation process can be extended.
  • Under the WTO rules, the UK and EU would be legally obliged to retain New Zealand preferential access conditions (quotas) for red meat, however how this would be achieved is a cause for concern for the sector.

Federated Farmers says New Zealand needs to milk Brexit for all it’s worth:

With Britain voting to exit the European Union today, Federated Farmers is urging diplomats and export companies to be quick off the block and first inline for meetings to push New Zealand’s agenda.

Federated Farmers President Dr William Rolleston said: “Britain leaving the EU will create a considerable degree of political and financial uncertainty but we must consider what new opportunities might be won. This could be a great opportunity to work with lamb producers in the UK to get better outcomes for both countries.

“We have a shared history with the UK and want to ensure this outcome works in both countries’ interests. We need to emphasis our common thinking and remind Britain we are an important ally.

“The key thing for farmers is assessing how this change will affect trade to Britain as well as Europe and what this means for our free trade negotiations.

“The vote suggests a significant threat against the trends of globalisation and trade liberalisation. New Zealand as a small open economy will be a loser if protectionism prevails.” Dr Rolleston said.

Currently New Zealand primary exports to Britain are at three percent and 11 percent to Europe. Farmers are in a very different position than we were when Britain entered the European Union 43 years ago; at that time 40 percent of our exports went to Britain. Before that in the 1950s over 80 percent of New Zealand exports went to Britain.

Charles Finny echoes the need to move quickly:

What has happened today is hugely significant for New Zealand.
The UK is still a major market for us the official stats of $1.651 billion is probably understated. Taking the UK numbers out of the EU total reduces our goods exports to the EU to $3.738 billion – $1 billion less than our exports to ASEAN.
Our FTA negotiation with the EU has just become hugely complicated.
And we have our quotas into the EU – hard fought for and then hard defended potentially up for re-negotiation.
I think markets are over reacting. Nothing will happen to trade flows overnight. Moreover we can do a FTA with the UK fast and help to negotiate access for the UK into Asia that will be superior to that the EU will. And I think the chances of a UK-US FTA is also higher than a TTIP being concluded.
I don’t think that the consequences for UK trade with the EU will be as negative as many have been suggesting. Even in a worst case scenario of no FTA type relationship there will be almost zero negative impact apart from in agriculture
I don’t think the negatives for NZ will be as big as some have suggested – so long as we move fast.

Dr Oliver Hartwich, writing before the result was known,  says we should keep calm and carry on:

. . .Such political uncertainties aside, there is no need to panic. Not even in case of Brexit. The slogan has to be ‘Keep calm and carry on’.

Even a Brexit vote would not mean that Britain is out of the EU straight away. It would only give the UK government the mandate to inform Brussels of their wish to withdraw. They would not have to do so immediately though. If Prime Minister Cameron had to go, he would most likely leave this task to his successor.

Negotiations would only begin once the EU is officially notified. Under Article 50 of the EU Treaty, these would take at least two years.

Over all this time, nothing would change. Britain would have access to European markets. And they could well retain it depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

So we will watch the count of the referendum with excitement. But let’s keep calm no matter what the result. There is no need to panic either way.

The referendum result will mean big changes for the UK and will almost certainly prompt change in the EU.

The UK’s entry to what was then called the European Common Market  caused a great deal of angst and difficulty for New Zealand because the UK bought so much of our produce.

Its exit shouldn’t be nearly so problematic because our trading eggs are in far more baskets.

Where there are big changes there are also opportunities.  New Zealand should make the most of them and continue to promote free trade and seek deals with individual countries and trading blocks.

 

 


Saturday soapbox

June 25, 2016

Saturday’s  soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Stay at Home Mum's photo.

Never underestimate the healing power of singing really loudly in a car by yourself. – Stay At Home Mum.


June 25 in history

June 25, 2016

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant ColonelGeorge Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architectStanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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