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Monday, 6 June 2016

Remain - or Brexit? Industry.

In my previous post on the forthcoming referendum, I sought to deal with the economics of the situation - dealing especially with some of the claims made by those in the current Conservative government who favour the Remain camp.  These were claims made in the leaflet that the government put out - at a cost of £9 million. Of course, that was £9mill. of taxpayers' money, and it is always easy to spend other people's money!
In this post, I want to share some thoughts on the situation with regard to industry in the UK or, it might be said, the lack of it!
Since joining the then EEC in 1973, the whole of the British coal industry has gone.
Nearly all of the shipbuilding has gone.
ICI has gone, sold off to Americans (who ran it into the ground and laid off thousands)
British Steel has gone - sold off to Far Eastern companies. Again, thousands were laid off, year after year until, there wasn't the workforce to make it the continued production of steel a viable process.
All our power companies, and possibly the water companies as well, are foreign-owned - even "British" Gas!   How many knew that EDF stands for "Eléctricité de France"?
Coachworks, that built our trains in Derby and York, have had to close or lay thousands off, because our governments insisted on giving the work to foreign coach builders.  This, we were informed, was because, under EU regulations, they had to put the work out to EU tender.  Of course, other countries quietly ignored such regulations, and subsidised their own companies so that they would be sure to undercut any tender from a UK company!
I am currently visiting in N.Ireland, staying with friends in the North Antrim town of Ballymena.  I think that it is three major employers in this one town, who are closing down and making hundreds more redundant.  I confess that I am unable to confirm that this is because of EU interference - but the pattern would suggest that the EU has played at least some part in these closures.
We are now living in a country were no job is secure.  Workers rights don't exist (don't believe the government's spiel about how we are better off in the EU in order to protect our workers' rights).  If you want to claim unfair dismissal nowadays, you need to have worked for the company for two years (unless you are claiming discrimination).
There are more people working through agencies now than ever before - including the NHS! - and, whereas in the past, agency workers were on good money, they aren't anymore.  It is the agencies who make the "big bucks", and who are effectively killing the economy. For example, people are unable to get a mortgage, a bank loan, a car, or credit to buy goods, if they work through an agency.
And let's not forget "Zero hours contracts"! Where did these appear from? Where were the EU workers' rights that day ?  Why are they still being allowed to be used, and why are the government allowed to sanction people who refuse to take these jobs, by stopping their Jobseeker's Allowance?   Of course, they play right into the hands of some employers - the very ones who are in favour of the UK remaining in the EU! 
More to come. Whatever you do, please use your vote if you are eligible to have one. It is a privilege,and a responsibility that is not afforded to all!

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