Leaving the European Union: The Prime Minister's interminable juggling of the Brexit procedures with our own parliament and the EU representatives have become quite unbearable to observe. Many have got past the stage of caring any more as to what emerges. But this ignores the necessity of obeying the democratically chosen path and regaining our UK national sovereignty.
An acceptable deal would need to remove the Irish backtop question, something that with goodwill and the benefit of modern technology could be readily accomplished.
Despite the drip feed of gloom from the chancellor of the exchequer and some remainer MP's the facts are that the UK economy and employment levels continue to perform well and this in contrast to much of the European continent. The dire prognostications of the Bank of England governor are now being revised to perceive the many benefits of departing the EU and basing trade relationships on World Trade (WTO) terms. Thankfully Lord King, the previous Bank Governor, is more in tune with the national mood and realities and espouses the benefits of what the UK can achieve once released from the EU's clutches. Yes, many of us are europhiles who love our continent but we have no wish to be governed by unelected bureaucrats based in Brussels constantly looking to impose more and more regulation. Our own parliament may be quite useless but at least it is our own parliament and we can and shall show our displeasure at the next opportunity!
Our EU exports amount to just 11% of our GDP and fewer than one in twelve UK firms sell goods and services to the EU. If we look to trade under WTO rules we shall be able to do so with the EU nations just as the USA and China already sell many billions of pounds worth of exports to them. Indeed, most of our existing trade is outside the EU and conducted largely under WTO rules.
"No deal Brexit " .....let us hope that this might now happen very soon. With goodwill from the EU to match our own then a negotiated deal might have been possible. No Deal will, however, have immediate benefits and mean withholding the £39bn EU divorce bill and spending this at home, ceasing payments to Brussels and boosting our domestic economy.
Housing Policy and Downsizing: A main objective of government in stimulating the economy is housebuilding. In England this is now reaching more than 200,000 new homes each year. There will be a "de facto" presumption in favour of building on brownfield land in planning rules. We can hope that developers will now be able to look forward to the planning process being far less stressful and unpredictable. Certainly planning barriers must be eased and development encouraged. A stamp duty incentive to downsizing would also have the added benefit of freeing up larger homes for the following generations. Indeed punitive levels of stamp duty are gumming up the works throughout the housing market, slowing activity at a time when everyone wants to see growth.
Stamp Duty and transaction volumes: This tax imposition remains at punishing levels and deters house buying and the mobility of the population when considering relocation for work and other purposes. It is in fact a brake on economic activity. This should be a prime area for attention by the Chancellor.