Will Duty Free return between UK and Europe after March 2019?Back to Forum
@fdos_uk and Mkcol74 — thank you both for the info on the Duty free situations at OSL etc. Sorry, as I live between Italy (where wine is better and cheaper) and the Gulf (where cigarettes are also cheaper), I have little use for Duty Free shops — Oh dear! have I just upset the airport managers of the world who put those damn places in my way and make sure that I have to take ‘F1 1st corner manoeuvres’ to avoid the meandering herds of roaming shoppers (no, not wildebeast), when all I need, is to get to the Biz Lounge and chill out.24 May 2018
@alainboy56. Try not to be so disingenuous.
Sadly, you keep repeating the same old Brextremist tropes in the hope that if you repeat them often enough and loud enough, people will be bludgeoned into believing/accepting them. But the entire Leave campaign was predicated upon Josef Goebbels’ maxim that if you make a lie big enough and repeat it often enough, then you can get the public to believe you. Astonishingly, even the author of this strategy, one Dominic Cummings, is now publicly stating that he expects Brex**it to be a train wreck:
Amongst the many Brextremist examples of self-delusion is your hoary old myth around the German car industry ensuring that the UK will receive everything that it wants. You might try reading this as a context for your (and Lugano Pirate’s) exercise in self-delusion:
Alternatively, let me explain some of the reality from my contacts with the UK-based auto industry over the past 18 months – following on from contacts made during my time at LBS. Were you aware that HMG has refused to have ANY dealings with BMW since the referendum because of the public stance that the company took in opposing the Leave vote? Can you imagine anything so puerile? When I visited BMW Mini Plant Oxford last September, they said that the decision to assemble the new electric Mini in Oxford was a £10M investment to set against the £1 – £1.5 BILLION investment required for a new model. BMW put it there because the Oxford line was only assembling three model variants when the line can manage five. ALL the battery and drivetrain components are imported from Germany.
They made several other points. Leaving the Customs Union poses a massive threat their Just-in-Time supply system. They recounted the story of a continental supplier whose truck had been delayed crossing the Channel (under existing the existing CU and SEM membership) and they knew that they would be late with their components. This would cause the line to halt. BMW fine at the rate of some £40,000 an hour for halting the line and they then downgrade supplier reliability ratings too. So the supplier diverted the truck to Clacketts Lane services on the M20 where it rendez-vous’d with one of Noel Edmonds’ helicopters to collect and transport sufficient parts to keep the line running. The lorry made it, in slower order, to Oxford.
Along with every other UK-based assembly operation relying upon a 60% continental-based JIT network, BMW is having to contemplate expanded stock holdings to cover Customs/UK-border delays, expanded warehousing to accommodate this additional stock-holding, additional working capital requirements to pay for this additional stock-holding and thus reduced profitability and a massive question mark over the viability of what is a relatively low margin assembly business. EXACTLY the same points have been made to me by Honda in Swindon and, I daresay, it’s repeated across much of UK manufacturing industry, over 50% of which is now foreign-owned.
BMW has costed a rock-hard train crash WTO-rules type Brex**it at something in the region of £1 Billion. The matriarch of the family was always strongly pro-British but the new generation running the business has no such perspective – which is why the company has now halted ALL further UK investment pending a resolution to the UK’s trading status. Altogether, the future of the BMW Oxford plant and the Hams Hall engine plant are now under threat. To help put this into context, BMW’s NedPlant has spare capacity and, if necessary, the company can close Oxford and move the entire production process to the Netherlands (or to China). The same points apply to PSA Peugeot-Citroen Ellesmere Port (already operating a below viability 40% of capacity) and to future Ford investments into Dagenham and Bridgend. Both PSA and Ford have been disinvesting from the UK for decades now. Fascinating isn’t how HMG and Fox refuse to reveal any details of the promises/assurances made to both Nissan and to Toyota?!
In this context, the so-called “Max Fac” option favoured by your fellow Brextremists (and the up to £20B per annum cost calculated by HMRC) is merely the icing on the cake. Or is that the coup de grace?
I could write in comparable terms about the prospects for UK Civil Aviation. The USA has already made it clear that any post-Brex**it deal will be substantially DISADVANTAGEOUS to the UK’s civil aviation industry, when compared to what it currently enjoys. And did you hear the head of the CAA state (about a month or so ago) that the CAA did not have the capacity to replace/replicate the EASA’s capabilities – so he was hoping for a deal. I think that “praying” would have been a more appropriate epithet.
But I dare say that hard facts just don’t get a look in when all you need is the blind faith and solipsism of a Jim Jones-style religious cultist and “some optimism and positivity about the sunlit uplands of Brex**tannia….” You are entirely welcome to take a jump over the cliff but you will understand my refusal to jump with you.24 May 2018
Fascinating how it is that two of BT’s leading advocates of the UK’s single greatest act of self-harm both live in Italy and are not, therefore, going to have to live with the consequences of their opinions. I have been repeatedly astonished at the number of well-heeled and convinced Brextremists who happen (coincidence?!) to have a continental “bolt-hole”. Or, as it was put to me by one such who I met over lunch “it’s always wise to have an insurance policy, just in case. You never know…”24 May 2018
@AnthonyDunn — thank you for your detailed and well researched forum entry(or maybe its common knowledge in your sector). I can offer no such detailed back up. However it does not make my view, that maybe things would be a little better outside the EU, WRONG. I respect yours and everybody’s view on this matter, as this is the way of a truly democratic country, unlike the EU which is an extremely undemocratic mix of unelected power grabbers. (BTW, I did not vote, and I never do, as IMHO, as I do not live in UK, and never will do so again, so I have no right to influence the lives of 60million Brits)
You are obviously very intelligent so I put to you a question, (whether you agree with leaving or not), that our politicians, if they grew some cojones (in Italian its coglione), could, with some raw aggression (alla Putin) or maybe some puffed out chest arrogance (alla Trump), get the very best deal for Britain. But they are weak and continue to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, which no self respecting Frenchman (e.g. M. Barnier) will ever do. I am sure in your career you have faced some hard deal negotiations, but with a clever sidestep move, or some other deft way, got the best deal for yourself, or your company. Business is like that, if a deal is worth doing, one must fight for it using all the strengths available. As I have said, all EU countries wish to do business with the 6th largest economy in the world. So, I am hoping for the typically British stoic ‘backs against the wall’ mentality to win in the last round with a quick right, left, right combination, and a powerful right upper-cut.
However, this is not the forum for further debate on this subject, so I will retire gracefully, but I would like to correct you on one thing. I was working for an Italian company in the UK as the only British engineer, and was then invited to join their operations in Italy in 1993, so your assumption that my relocation was a ‘just in case’ move, was in fact, purely a career move, and one I have never regretted. Moreover I have lived and worked in Oman, Spain, France, Seychelles and Marocco, and lived temporarily (for a few months only) in Kazakhstan and Pakistan. So I ran away from the UK more than 35 years ago, and still keep running.25 May 2018