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Why mobile roaming charges are back

During the EU referendum campaign, there were some concerns that a vote to leave the EU would see the reintroduction of mobile roaming charges for UK customers who were travelling in Europe. Since 2007, EU regulations had been reducing the cost of roaming, and all roaming charges were abolished in June 2017 – but many operators had removed their charges before that point in anticipation. The worry was that, without the EU regulations compelling operators to continue with no charges, prices would rise again. Such a concern was, as ever, dismissed.

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Breaking down inflation

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just published its latest bulletin on inflation.  There are a number of different inflation measures included – RPI, CPI and CPIH – but the overall conclusion is that inflation is slowly rising after a reduction at the start of the year.  The rate remains over 2%, which means the Bank of England must continue to plan on how to set its policy to reduce the figure, but since it has been over 2% since January 2017, and the main driver is Brexit, it’s unlikely the government is going to be too strict about this.

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Tariffs, quotas, and the impossible task of disaggregation

As part of its exit from the EU, the UK is having to consider its trading relationship with not just the rest of Europe but also the rest of the world. International trade is governed by a series of rules which is set by the World Trade Organisation, an international body. These rules include provisions for transfer of currency, standards, and discrimination between countries. There are also a set of standard tariffs on goods – which vary by the type of produce. Continue reading “Tariffs, quotas, and the impossible task of disaggregation”

Implementing the wishes of the minority

Before we start, I should make it clear: I feel that Brexit is a supremely bad idea, and if I had any say at all we would not be doing it.  It will mean huge economic and political upheaval and pain in the short term, for no gain in the long term.  The referendum was won on lies, misinformation, and encouraging ignorance.

But vote out the UK did, and the question ever since has been what form the break will take.  Economists have, in the main, been hoping for a ‘soft Brexit’, where access to the Single Market would be retained and the UK would suffer less of a financial shock.  However, recent reports from the government have indicated that a ‘hard Brexit’ is more likely – leaving the Single Market with the aim of controlling immigration and regulations.

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12 million Turks are not planning on moving to the UK

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

Now that we have established that Turkey is not about to join the EU, and even with the visa-free travel scheme which might be implemented for the Schengen Area, Turkish citizens are not allowed to move to the UK, it might seem a little pointless examining the Daily Express’s claims and survey findings.  However, comparing the newspaper article to the actual survey that was commissioned is a useful exercise in showing how statistics can be misleading and how, very often, journalists don’t understand the numbers they are reporting on.

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12 million Turks are not allowed to move to the UK

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

Having established that Turkey is not going to be joining the EU any time soon, it it should be a relatively simple step to say that we are not going to see an influx of Turkish migrants on the UK’s borders.  Unfortunately, the Express and Mail have been putting out misleading stories about Turkey for months, and their reporting is designed to be vague enough that their readership sort of assumes it’s all the same story.

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Turkey isn’t going to join the EU any time soon

Part of a series looking at the spin behind a Daily Express article – see this post for details.

The Daily Express is very sure of the future.  In their masthead, they state:

MORE than 12 million Turkish citizens are planning to move to Britain when the country joins the European Union, an explosive poll for Express.co.uk has revealed.

There are many things wrong with this single sentence, and over the next few posts we’ll look at some of them in depth – the number of Turks involved, what they are planning to do, and what the survey actually shows.  However, this post concerns the single word ‘when’. Continue reading “Turkey isn’t going to join the EU any time soon”

There’s no need to be worried about a Turkish invasion

The Daily Express has published a story about how 12 million Turks will come to the UK once ‘an EU deal is signed’ – the subheading indicates that this ‘EU deal’ is about Turkey joining the EU.

As a bit of background for those currently not up to speed with UK (and European) politics, the UK will shortly hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU.  Many are concerned about a loss of sovereignty or the money that is sent to the EU; many more are concerned about immigration.  Those in favour of remaining tend to concentrate on economic benefits from membership of the single market (a free trade zone), benefits from harmonised regulation, and benefits from free movement of labour.  The arguments are too complex to cover in a short blog post. Continue reading “There’s no need to be worried about a Turkish invasion”

Is the US a secretly socialist nation?

If asked about the economic politics of the US, you’ll probably think of them as relatively conservative, right-wing, and capitalist.  You hear of the richer becoming richer, and a growing underclass of the very poor who do not have access to any sort of financial safety net.  To accompany this lack of social benefit, you hear of how wealthy, successful people are attracted to the US because of their favourable tax systems. Continue reading “Is the US a secretly socialist nation?”