Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist Kate Thick

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist Kate Thick

Article excerpt

THE effect of human activity on our climate is no longer subtle, surmised a scientist. This brought to mind Mr Trump, a man not known for subtlety, and the humiliating scramble among Britain's politicians to be the first to shake his hand.

Climate change, Trump and Brexit - three oncoming trains picking up speed.

At their annual jamboree, the elite at Davos discussed saving the world, their world that is.

Mrs May told leaders at Davos the UK will be a "world leader" on trade. Our gigantic trade deficit and a glance at a world map suggest this is a bit fanciful.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke up for global cooperation on trade, climate change and security. China is hardly subtle either in its self-interest but Xi spotted an opportunity and made friends at Davos (where they're too polite to ask him about trivia like human rights) by holding up a flag for international obligations. While Trump debunks global warming and builds fuel-guzzling vehicles nobody outside the US wants, China is investing in renewable energy and electric cars.

As Xi said, attempting to cut off the flow of capital, goods and people between economies is simply no longer possible. This flow requires rights and regulations applicable across borders, it needs equity and good management. Sovereignty is secondary. Do you think trade with China, Australia, India or the US would come without reams of demands and bureaucracy? Britons cling to the delusion, fostered by the government, that the EU needs Britain more than Britain needs the EU. The UK will eventually strike a deal of sorts with the EU and increase free trade with the rest of the world but it is going to take years, and it will be on mostly unfavourable terms.

May the gods help us if our future prosperity depends on the likes of Trump. If you think the EU constrains on our sovereignty, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Emerging nations like India insist on free movement of people as a condition to free trade in goods and services. The UK is overwhelmingly a services-based economy and India is heading that way too; a deal will require granting Indian students and workers easy passage into the UK. …

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