Author: Anthony Robinson

Anthony was a sales engineer, now retired and living in North Yorkshire after a long career representing several European manufacturers in the UK. Seeing first hand how continental companies work and how they strive to become world-class businesses makes him fear for Britain's post-Brexit future. He is interested in politics, although not as an active party member, and enjoys reading, gardening and DIY.

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Operation Yellowhammer is playing out as black comedy

Anthony Robinson

Chancellor Rushi Sunak delivers his 2021 spending plan against a backdrop of unprecedented risks financial and, for some, existential. These are detailed in what looks like an updated and more apocalyptic version of Operation Yellowhammer about to become reality.

UK fishing industry rows back on Brexit

Anthony Robinson

A group of fishing industry organisations have written to DEFRA Secretary George Eustice warning that plans from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), an executive non-departmental public body responsible for our coastal waters, will threaten the viability of many businesses.

Is the nation being gaslighted by another psychopath in No 10?

Anthony Robinson

With 38 days to go before the greatest instantaneous shock to our overseas trade in history, there is apparently a total void at the highest levels of government where policy direction normally starts, while we await the mercurial mind of Johnson to be made up. Psychopaths tend to lie, be socially irresponsible, disregard or violate the rights of others, cannot distinguish between right and wrong, have difficulty showing remorse or empathy, manipulate people and have problems with the law. Does this seem familiar?

Brexit: why a deal and an extension to the transition is coming

Anthony Robinson

Why Boris Johnson’s choices are limited to securing a deal at any price and an extension to the transition period. The next few days will be crucial in setting the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU but circumstances mean the prime minister’s choices are strictly limited. A deal at any price and an extension to the transition period is the only option.

Cummings jumps ship, leaving Johnson tethered to the mast of Brexit

Anthony Robinson

News that Dominic Cummings will be leaving Downing Street before the end of the year has been followed by a typically fawning piece from James Forsyth at The Spectator, the political magazine where Cummings’s wife works as a commissioning editor. Forsyth has frequently been a mouth piece for Cummings in the past, so it was […]

Downing Street ‘nest of vipers’ reveals Johnson’s leadership crisis

Anthony Robinson

The chaotic ‘nest of vipers’ in Downing Street burst out into open warfare last night with the shock resignation of the PM’s communications chief Lee Cain and the threatened departure of senior adviser Dominic Cummings and chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost. Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent at the FT tweeted: One well-placed Whitehall official […]

Biden’s victory doesn’t help Johnson’s options on Brexit

Anthony Robinson

Joe Biden’s victory in the USA has been widely welcomed and comes at a crucial moment. It may have a significant impact on the current EU-UK trade negotiations. The president elect is no admirer of Brexit, or Boris Johnson the living embodiment of it, once describing him as a “physical and emotional clone of Trump”.   […]

Unrest in the Tory party is driving a wedge between Cummings and Johnson

Anthony Robinson

How long can the prime minister’s senior adviser cling on? There is a growing rebellion in Tory ranks against the latest lockdown measures, with leading Tories including Sir Desmond Swayne and Iain Duncan Smith in the vanguard. Even the chair and vice-chair of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady and Charles Walker, have […]

US response to Russian interference shames Britain

Anthony Robinson

The news that a cross-party group of MPs has launched a legal action against the British government’s refusal to investigate Russian interference in UK democratic processes should come as no surprise. Nor should the fact that the group includes no Tory MPs, since they and the party have benefited from an awful lot of Russian money. […]

Brexit is about to be brutally mugged by reality

Anthony Robinson

Dr Anna Jerzewska is the founder and director of Trade & Borders, a consultancy business advising on the complex issues of international trade. On Thursday she held an all-day webinar with customs authorities from Belgium, Holland, France and Ireland.   Among the issues discussed were the traffic management problems raised by Brexit and for which […]

Brexit: to boldly go where no VAT inspector has gone before

Anthony Robinson

The Times had an article about VAT last Thursday involving the actor William Shatner, otherwise known as Captain James T Kirk from the original Star Trek series. He was complaining that his company would have to stop selling Star Trek memorabilia into the UK because HMRC are insisting overseas sellers must register for VAT after […]

Select committee slams government Brexit border preparedness

Anthony Robinson

The Tory dominated treasury select committee has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “raise a series of concerns” about government preparations for Brexit, “as a matter of urgency”. The seven page letter dated 22 October, from committee chair Mel Stride, is laced with thinly disguised criticisms about IT systems, infrastructure and basic guidance for British […]

Think no-deal is bad? A deal will not be much better

Anthony Robinson

Businesses in the UK are being urged to prepare for Brexit, but the misinformation peddled by the leave campaign in 2016 and since, is making the government’s task that much harder. Soothing words from the prime minister claiming we will “prosper mightily” after a no-deal Brexit, have led many to think that trading on World […]

Brexit fear, apprehension and stupidity at the Daily Mail

Anthony Robinson

City editor Alex Brummer awarded the first Yorkshire Bylines ‘Turner’ prize Of all the newspapers in Britain, the Daily Mail, under brooding editor Paul Dacre, was front and centre of Brexit. Over the years it pumped a lot of malicious anti-EU invective into the debate, stirring up totally irrational myths about Britain somehow being subjugated […]

“Intensive” trade talks back on but EU red lines remain

Anthony Robinson

Johnson’s deadlines come and go like ships that pass in the night. There have been so many that the rules of supply and demand have reduced them to the political equivalent of junk bonds – worthless. The passing of the latest one last week was another sure sign that Johnson is not willing for the […]

Johnson’s f*** business policy is rolled out

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister and Michael Gove gave a briefing yesterday afternoon to 250 leaders of business groups, which attendees variously described as “terrible”, “disappointing” and “more of a lecture” according to the BBC. The prime minister appeared to be rolling out the four-letter word business policy first developed when he was foreign secretary in 2018. […]

Britain “never asked for” a Canada-style free trade agreement

Anthony Robinson

From Boris Johnson’s statement on Friday we can see the developing narrative that the government intends to adopt in the coming days, as Brexit reaches its unhappy denouement. The prime minister said that from the outset we wanted “nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship” – shorthand for CETA, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement signed […]

Boris Johnson’s next job could be in can-kicking

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister’s latest deadline came and went yesterday with no free trade agreement in sight and the resolution agreed by the European Council not only ignored it completely but called on the UK to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”. Last night his spokesperson at No 10 said Mr Johnson, “noted […]

Brexit planning gets bogged down in Kent

Anthony Robinson

Yesterday, the Transport Select Committee took evidence from the leaders of various port and freight transport associations, and later from Rachel Maclean, under secretary of state at the Department for Transport. It was not an encouraging meeting. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), believes that delays in Dover in January are […]

Food standards: Yorkshire MPs’ vote makes you sick

Anthony Robinson
white and orange chicken in cage

Following a demonstration by farmers yesterday outside parliament and the Channel 4 Dispatches programme last night about US food and farming products, MPs had the opportunity to vote to adopt an amendment to the agriculture bill to prevent sub-standard food reaching our shores. Lords amendment 16 would have required agricultural and food imports to meet […]

UK fishing: out of the frying pan into the fire

Anthony Robinson

Somebody once said, when Britain left the EU we didn’t fall into a void but into something far worse. This was in respect of aviation and the thicket of international agreements which preceded the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), but it applies equally to fishing and the common fisheries policy. Leaving the common fisheries policy, […]

EU “to call Johnson’s bluff”

Anthony Robinson

It is being reported that the EU is getting ready to call Johnson’s bluff. Bloomberg say the EU has no plans to offer any concessions to the UK ahead of next week’s 15 October deadline set by the prime minister. This follows Barnier’s visit to Berlin yesterday where he met with Angela Merkel and German […]

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