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John R Hampton

Impact of Brexit On Panama

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The subject of Brexit has been posted in various places here on CL. Given that there now is potential for Brexit to affect Panama in tangible ways, we have opted to bring these various postings out of the shadows and consolidate into a single topic. This action was taken on September 3, 2019.

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Our daughter, who is also a British citizen living and working in Belgium, posted this on her Facebook page:

I believed whole heartedly in regional integration as a driver for peace. For the past decade I have worked with regional institutions across the world (ASEAN, COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS, EAC, EAEU, CARICOM) on activities to build stronger regional communities. While much of this work has focused on the economics of integration, underlying it all is peace and stability. I have had frank conversations with leaders from nations in and out of war who ask in exasperation "how can we work together, we are just too different, we don't even speak the same language!", I have proudly pointed to the successes of the EU, built from the ashes of two horrific world wars and centuries of continental conflict. In a world where knee jerk reactions prompted by invented realities, religion, and bigotry still reign free, institutional mechanisms that bring people to a table to discuss their differences and find commonalities are even more vital to our humanity. I cannot believe the people who voted to leave truly understand the impact this will have on the psychology of peace building and development around this globe of ours.

Edited by Admin_01
expanded the title for a bit more clarity

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The British citizenry's vote to leave the EU is having an impact on global financial markets which of course, affects almost all of us here in one way or another.

Global stock market indices are way down on the news, the British pound is at it's lowest point in over 30 years.

The Canadian dollar dropped a cent and a half at one one point, and is down about a penny now.

A broker reacts at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday following the Brexit vote. German stocks plunged nearly 10 per cent at the start of trade as markets went into meltdown after Britain voted to leave the European Union. ( DANIEL ROLAND/AFP-Getty Images)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/brexit-vote-business-impact-1.3650553

A broker reacts at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday following the Brexit vote. German stocks plunged nearly 10 per cent at the start of trade as markets went into meltdown after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
 

 

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Our son who lives in the U.S. (and is also a British citizen) posted this on his Facebook page:

Firstly, it was the working classes who voted for us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investments.  They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one.

Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries.  We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied.  Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. 

Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy.  When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in an HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said "the British people are sick of experts" he was right.  But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?

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John, your daughter and son appear to me to be well informed, educated, articulate, and caring people. They both write very well.

I was particularly interested in the generational voting differences that you posted. I see similar patterns occurring in the US.

To me, there is no 100% clear right or wrong decision here. It is a matter being decided on other than facts. For one thing, I no longer know whose "facts" I can trust. When I was a little kid I knew who I could trust (and that included the local cop who walked his beat in our neighborhood), but I digress here. Everyone now seems to have their own agenda, which more often than not is either hidden or at best disguised in subtle ways. The spin doctors are alive and gainfully employed!

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I think we can chalk this vote up to ISIS. Open borders and unregulated immigration from the Middle East finally put the Brits over their patience limit.

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I originally hail from NE England (County Durham).  That area was the coal mining powerhouse of the Country with plenty of good and stable jobs.  My village, along with scores of others, was completely devestated when the mines were shut down over a relatively short period of time.  Typical one employer town with residents living in company housing turned overnight into hotbeds of rebellion and despair.  I went back a few years after the shut downs and the place was quite frightening, lots of unemployed strong young men roaming the streets.  THOSE are the people, in the North East (at least) that voted to leave.  London (another World) did nothing for the Northeners and continued to grow as a financial centre, generally being spared the pains of job loss and the associated embarrasment.  A lot of people outside to very large metropolitan areas feel that they are not even seen by the London elites, except at voting time when they were expected to vote like good little sheep.  That was part of the reason for the rise of UKIP, the population feeling that politicians no longer represented them.  Personally, I think this is a terrible decision made in spite as a kick against the establishment.  But, not my dog, no longer my fight - except it's going to kick my Brit pension in the arse.

Edited by JohnF13

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2 hours ago, John R Hampton said:

 

Our son who lives in the U.S. (and is also a British citizen) posted this on his Facebook page:

Firstly, it was the working classes who voted for us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investments.  They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one.

Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries.  We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied.  Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. 

Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy.  When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in an HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said "the British people are sick of experts" he was right.  But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?

This Brexit Comment Has the World’s Attention

It was written by a man who sees the decision as 'three tragedies'

In the wake of Britain’s vote to exit the E.U., those who wished for their country to remain—a view held by 75% of voters between the ages of 18 and 24, and 56% of ages 25 to 49, according to a YouGov poll—started to speak out about what they saw as a tragedy. One brief lament, written by a commenter named Nicholas on the Financial Times’ website, seems to have captured the core of that sentiment. It is being shared thousands of times across Twitter. It reads:

"A quick note on the first three tragedies. Firstly, it was the working classes who voted us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investment. They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one. Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When [British Conservative, pro-Brexit politician] Michael Gove said ‘the British people are sick of experts’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?"

 

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44 minutes ago, JohnF13 said:

  A lot of people ...feel that they are not even seen by the London elites, except at voting time when they were expected to vote like good little sheep.  That was part of the reason for the rise of UKIP, the population feeling that politicians no longer represented them. 

It's the same way in the US...the politicians are for themselves only and don't give a flip about the people or the country except as how their decisions affect them. And of course they exempt themselves from most of what they decree for the population. I'm wondering if this decision in Europe will eventually lead to some of the wealthier (if there are any) states in the US moving to secede.

Edited by Dottie Atwater

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Dottie, remember when Texas tried to secede? I don't recall the details, but the outcome was not successful.

The parallels between happenings in the States and Panama are sometimes scary. So what is next for our current part of the neighborhood?

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12 hours ago, Dottie Atwater said:

It's the same way in the US...the politicians are for themselves only and don't give a flip about the people or the country except as how their decisions affect them. And of course they exempt themselves from most of what they decree for the population. I'm wondering if this decision in Europe will eventually lead to some of the wealthier (if there are any) states in the US moving to secede.

I think the Civil War pretty well settled that issue.  We are unlikely to see states seceding again.

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Brexit tidal wave could reach Panama

bo-and-t.jpg

Posted 02/09/2019

What happens with the UK Brexit negotiations will have an effect not only on the British and European economies, but upon the world already reeling from the US-China trade war, and Panama reliant on the Canal operation will not be exempt.

Meanwhile, UK   MPs are gearing up what may be their final chance to block a no-deal Brexit, after  Prime Minister  Boris Johnson, who has been called Britain’s Trump announced his intention to suspend Parliament for most of September and October.

Opposition parties have collectively issued a statement accusing the prime minister of “undemocratic actions” in shutting down Parliament with, they say, “the sole aim” of excluding MPs from the Brexit endgame.

Government whip Lord Young has resigned in protest against the prorogation - due to begin between September 9 and 12 September - arguing that it risks “undermining the fundamental role of Parliament”, reports the BBC.

Ruth Fox, director of independent parliamentary research group the Hansard Society, says the suspension is “significantly longer than we would normally have” and will “potentially halve” the number of days that MPs have to scrutinize the Government’s Brexit plans.

A number of MPs are reportedly trying to buy more time by looking for ways to ensure Parliament can meet on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before Johnson’s planned suspension.

Meanwhile, staunch Brexiteer and Conservative Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg has dismissed public expressions of anger over the prorogation as “phony”.

As The New York Times notes, the PM’s almost-unprecedented use of prorogation has “galvanized his opponents into action”, possibly creating an anti-Johnson majority.

If he lost a vote of confidence, a new government would have to be formed within two weeks or a general election called.

The problem then would be “that opposition leaders cannot agree on a caretaker prime minister”, says the newspaper. “Jeremy Corbyn, the natural choice as leader of the Labour Party, is too left-wing, and as a lifelong critic of the European Union, is distrusted by determined opponents of Brexit.”

Instead, MPs could rally behind a centrist figure, but that would require Labour MPs - including the leadership - to back a Tory for PM despite having just ousted one.

Even if Johnson lost a no-confidence motion, he could refuse to resign immediately and schedule an election for after the Halloween Brexit deadline, effectively forcing a no-deal. Although this would certainly be attacked as deeply undemocratic by all but his most loyal supporters.

If Labour put forward a no-confidence motion and it failed to pass, nothing would technically change. However, that outcome would be likely to embolden Johnson in fresh efforts to push the UK to the brink of no-deal.

Despite Johnson’s planned prorogation, MPs still have time to take control of the parliamentary timetable and schedule a vote on legislation forcing the PM to request another Article 50 extension, a move that could prevent no-deal temporarily at least.

Corbyn has said that opposition MPs will start the process of attempting to pass a law blocking a no-deal Brexit when Parliament returns on Tuesday, reports The Sun.

However, even if Parliament successfully legislated against no-deal, Johnson could call an October election and frame his campaign as a People vs. Parliament stand-off.

Scotland’s top civil court is considering a legal challenge by a group of 75 MPs to the suspension of Parliament.

Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller has made a separate application to the Supreme Court seeking permission for a judicial review of the PM's decision, according to the BBC.

And former Tory leader John Major has also pledged to seek a judicial review of Johnson’s prorogation, saying he would like to join Miller’s action.

The UK could still leave the EU  with a deal, although that would require a quick breakthrough in the stalemate over the Irish backstop.

Johnson could also seek an extension from Brussels, although this would represent a potentially career-sinking U-turn on his vow to lead the UK out of the EU on 31 October come what may.

Failing all else, the default position is that the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal in two months’ time roiling the world economy.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/media-watch/brexit-tidal-wave-could-reach-panama-1

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Panama moves to shield exports against Brexit

brexit.jpg

Posted 06/11/2019

Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador are the three countries of the Central American region that have managed to shield their exports from the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The National Assembly ratified the Association Agreement (AdA) between the United Kingdom and Central America, recently signed by Panama.

The agreement will ensure that Panamanian products, , enjoy the same tariff preferences that they maintain with the European Union. if Brexit is finalized in January 2020

More than 80% of Panamanian agricultural exports go to Europe, shipments that are linked to the Central American Customs Union, a commercial block to which Panama has belongs since August 2013.

Ramón Martínez, Minister of Commerce and Industries (MICI), said that like Panama, the Andean Community countries, which have a commercial agreement with the European Union (Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador) also signed this agreement.

According to the official, apart from the operations of the Colon Free Zone, the commercial flow between Panama and the United Kingdom totaled $89 million at the end of 2018. Although the exports to the UK are modest, they are very important for the agricultural sector, Martínez said.

95% of the exports that were sent to the British country were fruits such as melon, pineapple, and banana Of these, bananas represent 69.5%, the remaining 4.1% of the Panamanian exportable offer to the United Kingdom corresponds to rum, coffee, and seafood, among others.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-moves-to-shield-exports-against-brexit

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