Glentree Blog

A Mixed Bag For Property

This has been an interesting year for residential property. While certain value ranges have experienced reasonable activity, others have been dormant.

The reality is that Brexit has not had the cataclysmic effect on sentiments that was presumed and predicted. The main influence has been on mortgage interest rates; these have been reasonably stable to date and by the look of things, will continue in this vein. That is, of course, apart from any tweaks that Mr. Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, may be forced to impose during 2019 if inflation continues to rise. Read more

Brexit – A Machiavellian Drama

As you have probably realised by now, I am an incorrigible, unbridled and unashamed Brexiteer, who is grateful to the British populace for voting to release this great nation from the pernicious grip of these odious Eurocrats and their ridiculous Federalistic plan for Europe. However, I would like to share with you an alternative view about the recent commotion surrounding the latest Brexit deal.

At first glance, it seems that the government’s determination to drive the deal through the Commons on 11 December, is a slow-motion car crash.

Is there a Machiavellian reason underlying the chaos?

Theresa-The-Appeaser is not an idiot. She (or her collection of advisors) will have calculated that the arithmetic of the Commons is not in her favour. Meanwhile, the EU has announced – with its usual irritating hubris and arrogance – that there will be no further negotiation which, going on past form, could be just a dose of the usual empty rhetoric.

If she cannot extract any further concessions from them before the first vote, then maybe she could before a second one in the Commons, which is likely to follow hot-on-the-heels of the first one and this could all be part of her grand design.

Another mystery (in addition to how she’s lasted so long) is that there is a clandestine meeting of European ministers taking place, shortly after 11 December.  I believe that this is to consider the position post-the-vote, but perhaps it is also to consider certain concessions – should there be a second vote – such as, granting the UK unilateral rights to release the ‘Backstop’.

True to form though, the EU is keeping it all ‘segretissimo’. The benevolent opinion is that they’re withholding it from the ignorant peasantry (i.e. us) in case it undermines the result of the first vote.

It could be that Maybot is deliberately using the obduracy of the Commons to make changes to the Agreement that she failed to accomplish in the recent negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Irish Backstop question threatens to put a hard border between the UK and the DUP and for there to be regulatory and tariff imbalances between the two countries of the same Union. If this thorny issue were released, then undoubtedly there would be an avalanche of cross-party support for her deal.

Nobody wants a second vote to fail, least of all Maybot and her government. Such an outcome would surely lead to her resignation and this would be injudicious at such a critical time. Even worse, the spectacle of a full-blown bun fight amongst candidates scrabbling for the top job, is the last thing the country needs at this juncture.

If this is the case, it is a dangerous strategy, but possibly the only one that will produce some beneficial results from the EU. Subtlety, flexibility and a willingness to let other countries control their own destiny, are not qualities associated with the bureaucratic Brussels behemoth.

Should the second vote be lost, then another Referendum looms large. Not only would this undermine the first result, but if it concludes with a ‘Remain’ decision, the anger amongst the 17m Brexiteers, who will feel understandably totally disenfranchised, will be palpable and perfectly justified.

As for the BOB’s (Bored of Brexit), how on earth can you be bored with this lifetime drama unfolding in front of our very eyes, with such high stakes to play for and using live ammunition!

What irks me so, is the bellicose voices of the Raab’s, Rees-Mog’s and the Johnson’s with their simple alternative plans which do not address the problems at stake. As for the Keir Starmer’s of the world, with a Norway derivative option, this conspicuously does not deal with the freedom of movement matter, which was at the core of the Referendum Brexiteer issue.

As anyone can no doubt see, we have a posse of ‘I told you so’s’ but no one with a viable and workable alternative plan. It’s all very well letting parliament have its say, but with so many parties pursuing their own selfish interests, it’s like having ten quarrelling bus drivers, each with steering wheels, all on one bus and wanting to go in different directions at one time. Sometimes, one driver must steer their way through the many obstacles and get the passengers roughly to where they wanted to go.

It might be worth investing in popcorn shares, because politics has never been more exciting or dramatic. One thing is for sure – the current machinations will keep us on the edge of our seats for a while yet, before any meaningful decision is reached either by parliament or the Maybot.

 

 

Deal or no deal, give May a break

Let me start by saying that my dislike for the corrupt, bloated, unaccountable, feudally inefficient bureaucracy of europe is deep-seated and visceral. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with an unelected, federalist elite, a top-down revolution, if you will, that can’t even sign off its own accounts? However, what the Maybot has tortuously negotiated is probably the best that anyone will get in the circumstances, considering all the red lines that the EU and the UK need to impose on any agreement. Read more