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Would it really be bad for Britain to leave the Union? I would say that strongly depends on the political course pursued after the split. Clearly the Tories would do there best to ruin the country, but without the EU a substantially less neoliberal policy would also become possible.
by rz on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 04:00:35 AM EST
rz:
but without the EU a substantially less neoliberal policy would also become possible.

Because the regressive policies of the Tories have been imposed by Brussels...

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 12:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I totally agree that the Tories suck, nothing coming from Brussels is worse than the Tories.

But lets assume a Labour government would come to power and lets say they want to impose a 40% tax on capital gains. Could they enforce that? Capital can be easily transferred inside of the EU.

by rz on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 01:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But lets assume a Labour government would come to power and lets say they want to impose a 40% tax on capital gains.

And is there any reason to suppose that a Labour government might hypothetically want to do so?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 04:12:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would also doubt that being out of the EU would greatly restrict the possibility of transferring capital to avoid taxation. This is a country that directly hosts several tax havens...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 04:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to think of the level of corporate and wealth taxation as being a function of the balance of power between the state and major corporates.  The weaker the state, the lower the level of such taxation.  Only very major states have the means of really taking on the major corporates as they represent very important markets for them.  Whatever chance the US and EU have of taking them on, a much smaller state, acting in relative isolation, has very little.  That is why the smaller/poorer the state, the lower the level of large corporate taxation/regulation etc.  That is also the only way smaller states have of competing against larger states for FDI etc.

Based on the above, I would expect a go-it-alone UK to become much more neo-liberal than before - it's the only way it could compete with the EU.  My concern is that this would lead to a much strengthened ultra nationalist neo-liberal right wing in the UK.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 05:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to agree with much of your first paragraph (don't forget, though, that very small states such as Iceland and Norway do, sometimes at least, take them on on their own), but am not sure about the conclusion.

At present, you may say that the UK has the opportunity (as part of the EU), to take on big corporates.
However, for ideological reasons, it has chosen to do the opposite. Alone it may be deprived of an opportunity it doesn't want to use in any case - so would the result change so much? Sure, here and there it would find EU rules that it could repeal, but as it is, the EU is not exactly putting too many constraints on the neo-liberal agenda.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Jul 20th, 2014 at 02:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
However, for ideological reasons, it has chosen to do the opposite. Alone it may be deprived of an opportunity it doesn't want to use in any case - so would the result change so much?

I think it would - over time  Now at least there s an ideological debate and some tension over the pursuit of Tory neo-lib policies, with a good chance of a Labour victory t the next election which could be less ideologically driven.  In an isolated UK/England, neo-liberalism could become the TINA policy, with the Tories/UKIP holding centre stage, and Labour becoming a fringe opposition.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 20th, 2014 at 03:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In an isolated UK/England, neo-liberalism could become the TINA policy, with the Tories/UKIP holding centre stage

Is that so? Do you not think that after Brexit the UKIP would collapse and many working class voters, who now cast anti-EU votes would return to Labor?

I am not sufficiently familiar with British politics to make such a judgment, but it doesn't seem impossible to me.

by rz on Sun Jul 20th, 2014 at 04:41:51 AM EST
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We're all speculating here, but my guess is that Labour would be as neo-lib as the rest, with economic policy driven by the UK's much weakened standing in the world, not internal political developments (which could, yes, see UKIP collapse, if Brexit is seen to have been a failure).  National pride would prevent anyone admitting that Brexit was a colossal mistake and parties would double down on a nationalist political agenda.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 20th, 2014 at 06:36:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank is right. Labour since Blair is more of a neo-conservative party than any valid representative of the working classes.

Anyway, as I've said before, the working classes who now vote ukip abandoned Labour between 79 and 84 for Thatcher, and now abandon Cameron for Farage. They've not voted Labour in a generation.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 20th, 2014 at 07:55:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It could be transferred even more easily to the Channel Islands or the Caymans.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jul 19th, 2014 at 05:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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