Media Engagement in Manipulation, Not Information
By now, it is evidently clear that the European Union has little desire to report on the developments in the United Kingdom since the nation formally exited the transition period out of the bloc at the end of 2020. It is highly likely that the reason behind the EU’s lack of media coverage on the UK’s post-Brexit situation is due to the bloc not wishing to stoke already-increasing Euroscepticism across Europe. The EU’s lack of media coverage is also a sign that the bloc appears to be only interested in covering current affairs in Europe if the respective scenario fits into its own narrative, i.e. portraying itself in a positive light and its opponents in a negative one.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delivered not only Brexit, but also a post-Brexit agreement with the EU. Notwithstanding that many Brexiteers would have preferred a No Deal scenario under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules (indeed, the Trade & Co-Operation Agreement (TCA) has its own weaknesses, from the British point of view), nevertheless, it is more Brexit than Brino (Brexit in Name Only). At the very least, it represents a viable starting point for future sovereign development. Since Brussels‘ establishment has not been able to get out of its own crisis mode for more than a decade – and due to a lack of ideas, its concepts are limited to mere extensions of previously ineffective measures – the European Commission helplessly takes refuge in the poor argument that is an alleged lack of alternatives. Therefore it is all the more painful for the EU when a previously heavyweight member state presents such a viable alternative, and, moreover, achieves results, which is the exact opposite of what the EU has been attempting to stress in the context of a permanent scaremongering campaign.
The EU Narrative Proves to be a Lie
Without any doubt there are always going to be specific difficulties when adjusting to a new political status and situation, but this should hardly come as a surprise given the nature of deep integration within the EU – which is characteristic of Brussels' policy of heteronomy – over a long period of time. However, these difficulties are likely to be just temporary phenomena, surely manageable when routine sets in. Much more important are hard economic facts, which further proves the usual EU narrative to be a lie. As it was the case back when the UK refused to join the Eurozone, since 2016, London´s predicted demise as a financial centre has once again been conjured up. Then as now, this was clearly more about manipulating opinion than providing reliable information, and what did not occur then does not hold true now. For example, in 2019, the UK’s financial technology sector attracted more capital than the next ten European countries combined. With this in mind, it is not without reason that Facebook, Apple and Google have set up large offices in London, and Netflix has also announced plans to triple its office capacity in the UK. Moreover, the UK has managed to attract more capital inflow regarding the financial technology sector than, for example, Germany and France combined. Manchester is the largest high-tech metropolis in Europe. Applications for the "Tech Nation Visa" to work in the UK's digital technology sector are at their highest level since 2014.
Billions Invested in the UK
Notwithstanding its previous hints to potentially reconsider its business location in the UK, Goldman Sachs has, quite pragmatically, built a new headquarters in London, and rated the UK as a "strong-buy" for the medium and long-term. A similar situation has occured with Siemens, who have now decided to invest £310 million in wind turbine blade plants in Hull and Goole, creating 1,700 jobs. Nor is it a sign of exuberant concern for the future that the UK's largest microchip manufacturer, Newport Wafer Fab in Wales, is doubling its output with a £50 million investment in response to rising demand for semiconductors. The prophecised ruin of the food sector has also been proven to be false. For example, Aldi – which is partially withdrawing from European producers – is investing £3.5 billion in more than 1,000 British local food and drink companies. Nissan, which is – contrary to all of its previous prophecies of economic doom – is not only staying at its Sunderland site, but is also expanding its operations. Battery production is to be relocated to an island close to the UK site. The health sector was no less hastily prophecised to be a Brexit victim. On the contrary, the number of doctors practising in the UK – which has been in decline since 2010, long before the Brexit referendum – began to rise again the past 13 months.
The Best Universities
All in all, it should not be ignored that despite the lockdown-induced recession, the British labour market has so far weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than the EU. While the unemployment rate in the EU, on average, is at 8.4%, the UK has a much lower unemployment rate of 4.8%. A look at Britain's future in terms of education should also give cause for optimism, despite Brussels lamenting Britain's withdrawal from the Erasmus programme – which just 0.4% of British students took part in in 2018. In terms of student exchanges, the UK – with its seven of Europe's Top Ten-listed universities – is far less reliant on the EU than is the case vice versa. Moreover, the UK has already set up its own well-funded programme. Last, but certainley not least, since the 1st January, there now exists a points-based immigration system in place in the UK, which rests on professional qualifications and personal skills, whereas EU member states are threatened by the burdens of Brussels‘ New Pact on Migration & Asylum.
Sascha A. Roßmüller
Sovereignty is a Strength – Join Europa Terra Nostra to Restore National Self Determination for all European Nations