From March to September 2016 the team is joined by Guest Kats Emma Perot and Mike Mireles.

From April to September 2016 the team is also joined by InternKats Eleanor Wilson and Nick Smallwood.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Monday Miscellany


UPC ratification speeds up with Germany's
draft legislation
Germany heading towards UPC ratification as UK's future looks questionable:  Despite the announcement that the UK's referendum on the EU will be this June, UPC ratification is speeding up with news last week that the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) published the first draft of legislation that will get the gears in motion for ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement.  The draft legislation was accompanied by a second bill which will implement the unitary patent into German law.  As to timing, the final drafts are expected to be introduced to the German parliament before summer 2016 for debate and then a vote.  So by the summer we will know whether Germany is formally in and the UK out of the project that has taken over 40 years to get to....typical!

LCII is bringing a blockbuster seminar your way....
A patent lawyer and a competition lawyer walk into a conference....  To find out the punchline to that joke (and she is sure its side/head-splitting), the AmeriKat suggests that you attend the Liege Competition & Innovation Institute (LCII)'s conference on 29 February 2016 on 'Regulating Patent "Hold-up"'. The introduction states:
"The patent hold-up theory has nurtured many policy developments in the past ten years. On the one hand, Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) have been exploring changes to their licensing policies, in particular in relation to the commercial implications of FRAND pledges given by holder of Standard Essential Patents (“SEPs”). On the other hand, antitrust agencies and patent courts across the globe have been confronted with several waves of cases. Those proceedings have generated a thick, diverse and somewhat inconsistent body of case-law on a wide array of topics, including the availability of injunctive relief, patent valuation, portfolio licensing, practicing and non-practicing entities, etc. This conference seeks to provide a 360° state of play on patent hold-up in contemporary antitrust and patent policy."
The line up looks blockbuster with Melchior Wathelet (Advocate General, Court of Justice of the EU), Renata Hesse (Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice), Scott Kieff (Commissioner, US International Trade Commission), Gunnar Wolf (Case Handler, DG Competition, EU Commission) and Alvaro Ramos (Antitrust Legal Counsel, Qualcomm) among the speakers.  For more information click here and to register click here.

A cool $750 million will
help pay for quite a few
scholarships, the AmeriKat
suggests
$750 million for Marvell to settle Carnegie Mellon chip dispute:  Last Wednesday Marvell announced that it would pay Carnegie Mellon University $750 million to settle a 7 year old patent infringement action on two patents that related to the accuracy in which hard disk drive circuits could read data from high-speed magnetic disks (see here and here).  Carnegie alleged that at least nine Marvell circuit devices infringed the patents.  The amount represents a 50 cent/chip royalty on the basis of 556.8 million chips imported into the US.  The settlement comes after the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that Marvel should pay at least $278.4 million (a knock down of the original $1.17 billion jury award). A Kat pat to Dr.Ward for alerting the AmeriKat to this story.  For more information see these articles in Ars Technica and Reuters.

NPR brings news of the new
copyright battle - academic articles
Are academic journals too expensive?  The AmeriKat was listening to NPR on Saturday when a story on Weekend Edition came up about a new pirate website called Sci-Hub which is permitting free access to academic journals which normally require a paid subscription.  Apparently, with some university libraries scaling back on the number of academic journals they subscribe to faculty and students are sourcing articles form sites such as Russian based Sci-Hub.  Sci-Hub claim to have already made 50 million articles freely available. However, some academics feel that this is just an evolution in providing users the resources they need to conduct research (the Napster to Spotify evolution for academic publications, if you will).  To listen to the debate, click here

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is an assumption here that exiting the EU would also mean exiting the UPC agreement. Whilst there hasn't been a single piece of detailed information from the govt regarding what would take place of EU membership, there will be one or two agreements in place to allow trade to continue. Even as an 'out' voter (I'm not in the 'leave' camp), I can see that some people may consider the unitary patent as a sensible and workable option. EPC membership doesn't require EU membership, so I don't see the problem (the court system does not present problems, merely opportunities for solutions).

Anonymous said...

The problem is that UPC requires participation in the Unitary Patent, which is only open to members of the EU. It is a distinct agreement to the EPC ans linked to it but not completely. So, no, you cannot participate in the UPC if you leave the EU. This is how the agreement was written. That would bode bad for the London division as, theoretically, could be maintained, however their judges could not be UK citizens as they would not be nationals of a Member State of the EU.

Anonymous said...

The UPC agreement isn't open to states outside the European Union.

Proof of the pudding said...

Anonymous - please read Regulation 1257/2012 (particularly the definition of "Participating Member State") and the preamble to the UPC Agreement. Both clearly rule out the participation of a country that is not an EU Member State.

Whilst re-negotiation (and re-writing) of treaties such as the UPCA may be possible, extending the effect of EU legislation (such as Reg. 1257/2012) to a non-EU country would appear to be out of the question.

Glad to be out of the madhouse said...

Anonymous@12:46: "There is an assumption here that exiting the EU would also mean exiting the UPC agreement."

It isn't an assumption, the agreement says so itself:

Art. 2 UPCA:

"...(b) ‘Member State’ means a Member State of the European
Union.
(c) ‘Contracting Member State’ means a Member State party to
this Agreement."

Art. 34 UPCA:

"Decisions of the Court shall cover, in the case of a European
patent, the territory of those Contracting Member States for
which the European patent has effect."

Moreover, Art. 20 UPCA explicitely states the primacy of (European) Union law by saying that the Court "shall apply Union law in its entirety and shall respect its primacy", and the agreement does not provide for Local Divisions outside of Contracting Member States (however, one significant oddity in this respect is that, since London is cited by name in Art. 7 UPCA as the site of one of the sections of the Court of First Instance, it would stay so even if the UK left the EU...even though I don't doubt for a moment that the remaining Contracting Member States wouldn't take long to amend the Agreement to substitute London with, say, The Hague or Milan).

As for trying to find a "jumpseat" arrangement to keep the UK under the umbrella of the UPC, anyone who has followed the whole UPC saga from the beginning knows that a prior attempt to set up a European Patent Litigation Agreement extending beyond the EU foundered because of a conflict with the EU Treaties.

So, in brief: no, exiting the EU will certainly also mean exiting the UPC Agreement, and not only because the rest of the EU will certainly run out of patience with UK demands for special treatment.

Anyway, even if the UPC Agreement does not necessarily require UK ratification if the country leaves, I must say that the political turmoil that would engulf the EU in case of a Brexit would almost certainly bring the ratification process to a standstill.

Anonymous said...

Yes but the Unitary patent requires EU membership ("particpating MS") under Regulation 1257/2012. A fundamental misunderstanding is that the Unitary patent is an EPC creation. It is not. It is a Union creation via enhanced cooperation under the Union Treaties. If a MS leaves the Union, it leaves the Unitary patent. It may still be part of the EPC. But that is not and has never been a Union body.

Now the UPC is the court which will rule on the Unitary patent but also EPC patents. Unlike the Unitary patent, the UPC is governed by international law but also substantive Union law (jurisdiction, Rome 1, CJEU for preliminary references etc). Well, if the UK cannot be part of the Unitary patent once its EU membership ceases how could the UK be on the Court at all? It would have to accept the jurisdiction of the CJEU for preliminary references for starters. It would be a mess. It won't happen. It is unlikely to be given to the UK as part of post referendum negotiations as the current structure would have to be re-written in large part. Meanwhile, Spain is not in either. One senses the whole thing unravelling.

Anonymous said...

Article 20 of the UPC reads -"The Court shall apply Union law in its entirety and shall respect its primacy" . This cannot be re-written to say "save for [the judge appointed by] the UK (whose government) having exercised the sovereign right to leave the Union now desires to partcipate in the UPC but not to recognisee the primacy of Uniona law or the jurisdiction of the CJEU but to go off on a frolic of its own." You place a lot of faith in the UKIPO's negotiators to save this post referendum. Resources will be brought to bear elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

So EU regulations cannot be re-written. Another assumption. If the UK leaves the EU (I am the 'out' supporter above) there will be new agreements with the EU. Either that or we Mercedes, BMW and VW are in for a downturn, whilst Ford Nissan, et al, for example, are in for a boom. There will not, for example, be an overnight abolition of UK laws stemming from EU legislation, and even over time, many laws will be maintained.

A key area for EU-UK laws will be those required to allow free-trade to prosper and a unitary patent covering the UK may be considered of value.

I have never been under the misapprehension that the EPC was an EU affair. national patent laws are converging due to the EPC, so it is no great stretch for a unitary patent to be enforced across non-EU members. Those that say the UK must take an all-or-nothing position with the EU are the cause for our likely departure. Or rather, it would be likely if the public were educated in the role of the EU, its plans, ideology, etc. IMHO

Anonymous said...

p.s.

"Resources will be brought to bear elsewhere."

Yes, I agree, but that is not the same thing as 'just not possible old chap'

Anonymous said...

even though I don't doubt for a moment that the remaining Contracting Member States wouldn't take long to amend the Agreement to substitute London with, say, The Hague or Milan

I could well imagine that the remaining EU countries, once freed of the weight of the UK's obstructive impulses, would become slightly wiser and choose a central (i.e. single) location for the central division.

Anonymous said...

Given that the out campaign exists on the premise that decision making by the EU is against the UK's better interests and lacks democracy, it would appear unlikely that an out victory would be accompanied by a compromise re. the EU patent whereby the UK could be outside the EU but still be subject to its effect with regard to the patent. Continuation of the EPC would be the compromise and the idea that a court in Paris could be the decision maker on any issue affecting the UK would in those fevered out days be almost impossible to countenance.
And I say that as a In-ner.

Proof of the pudding said...

To the "out" supporter:

It is clear that you have made up your mind on the in / out issue and are now desperately trying to reassure yourself that - despite ample and well-reasoned evidence to the contrary - out of the EU does not mean out of the unitary patent. All that I can say is that you may fool yourself but you are not fooling anyone else.

Yes, EU regulations can effectively be re-written. However, EU legislation cannot apply (directly) outside of the EU. Think about it: the UPCA enshrines the primacy of EU law, with the decisions of the CJEU ruling supreme over all. If the UK is out of the EU (and is therefore not bound by the decisions of the CJEU), then how on earth can there be a "unitary" patent that extends to the UK? If you want to see what out of the EU looks like legally, then take a look at what happens with CJEU judgements in Switzerland and the EEA Member States - persuasive at best, but certainly not binding.

Meldrew said...

I could well imagine that the remaining EU countries, once freed of the weight of the UK's obstructive impulses, would become slightly wiser and choose a central (i.e. single) location for the central division.

Oink, flap, oink, flap, oink, flap.........

Anonymous said...

00:56 . Oh Dear. Bitter.

Glad to be out of the madhouse said...

the remaining EU countries [...] would become slightly wiser

To paraphrase HL Mencken, no one has ever lost money by underestimating the wisdom of our politicians...

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course EU regulations can be re-written. This particular one though took a political will of over 40 years even to be written and still Spain is not part of it. It hangs in there by a thread already despite the CJEU's blessing. An exiting MS will in effect tear it up not re-write it if it has to be reopened. The country that is most likley to benefit from the UK leaving the Unitary patent is ironically Germany (which supports the UK staying otherwise).This is because Germany would become the centre of patent litigation, as access to providing legal including patent services will also have to separately negotiated with the UK. On this point, please also note that the same will apply to legal and trade mark services before OHIM (only EU and now EEA under the new trades marks package) nationals can provide those.

Glad to be out of the madhouse said...

Anonymous@22:36: So EU regulations cannot be re-written.

As I explained in my previous comment, and others have also noted, the conflict isn't just with the EU regulations, but with the EU Treaties, and those are quite a lot more difficult to rewrite, not least because that would trigger ratification referenda in a number of countries, whose voters may not be inclined to vote "Yes" (or even bother to vote) just for the benefit of the recalcitrant British public.

When consulted about EPLA, the ECJ made it abundantly clear that, under the current EU Treaties, any international patent court including EU member states, regardless of whether it also included non-EU member states, would have to apply EU law, recognise its premacy and be able to refer to the ECJ for its interpretation. Hence Art. 20 UPCA.

You may wish that some mutually beneficial muddle be found to keep Britain in the UPCA even after Britain left the EU. I am quite convinced that you are underestimating the difficulty of the task by several orders of magnitude.

There seems to be a general misapprehension among some people in the "out" camp that 27 other countries will fall over themselves to let the UK cherry-pick areas of cooperation and agreements once it left. This misapprehension is rooted in obviously erroneous appraisals like the following:

Either that or we Mercedes, BMW and VW are in for a downturn, whilst Ford Nissan, et al, for example, are in for a boom.

This sentence appears to imply that Ford and Nissan, having factories in the UK, would benefit from trade barriers between the UK and the EU, whereas Mercedes, BMW and VW would be hurt. Apart from the fact that BMW actually also has a British subsidiary (Mini), this overlooks that the British factories of Ford and Nissan export a large part of their production to the Continent, that they import a large part of their supplies from the Continent as well, and that those carmakers also have factories on the Continent. Indeed, Nissan is even part-owned by the French state through the Renault-Nissan alliance. Everybody would be hurt by such trade barriers, but the UK much more than its Continental partners, which any game theorist will tell you is far from an ideal negotiating position...

A key area for EU-UK laws will be those required to allow free-trade to prosper and a unitary patent covering the UK may be considered of value.

Within the EU, it has taken 40 years to finally come to something close to a unitary patent. How long would this still take if we had to start anew, scrapping the current UPCA which cannot accommodate non-EU member states, and rewriting the EU Treaties, something against which each EU member state like, say, Spain (so accommodating in the unitary patent negotiations) would have a veto? I'm very much afraid that if the "out" vote wins in this referendum, as you want, you are in for a very, very rude awakening.

Anonymous said...

This 'out' supporter isn't fooling himself or trying to fool anyone else. I am not a big fan of the unitary patent either and the business I work for shall not be using it at all for a good few years and only then it would be in limited circumstances. When compulsory, I am sure we will use it!

If the UPC agreement falls apart due to a UK exit, that is a separate argument. There are already international agreements in place attempting to create a level playing fields to allow 'free' trade between states and they will still be required between the UK and the EU, so sorry to disappoint the EU federalists above who refuse to allow the UK to 'cherry pick'. In the event of an exit, that is exactly what is going to happen - to the mutual benefit of the UK and the EU. After all, that is how cooperation should work, but does not in the current EU, where Germany gets its way because of its little hangers-on.

It may burst a few bubbles in the world of private practice (patent firms and law firms), but industry appreciates that patent validity is usually a tenuous affair, and risking losing a company's crown jewels in a single swipe is a non-starter. Even a non-UK encompassing UPC would be treated likewise. Combine Germany with Austria, Belgium, , Luxembourg, Romania etc, then I would use it, but the big markets I will keep separate.

When I travel to Europe I see more local-produced cars and overseas-produced cars (i.e. in Germany I see many BMW, Audi and VW, but very few Fords. The increase in Ford sales in the UK would more than compensate for the losses in Germany, should the EU sulk like a spoilt little brat post a UK-exit.

There is one important reason why Germany would prefer the UK to remain in the EU, and that it because it doesn't want the extra burden of supporting all the hanger-on states (and the French farmers - mustn't upset the French farmers!).

Anonymous said...

"A key area for EU-UK laws will be those required to allow free-trade to prosper and a unitary patent covering the UK may be considered of value."

From a UK perspective, perhaps, but for the rest of Europe the UK is just a relatively small part of the market. Cutting a small part of the market off from the majority of the market is going to hurt the small part much more.

We would be negotiating from a position of relative weakness, and very unlikely to get any free-trade agreement anywhere near as good for the UK as what we currently have.

From an entirely different perspective, events unrolling in Ukraine over the past few years are an example of how a country that is not part of the EU can be left vulnerable. Having a (reasonably) united front makes us much more secure than otherwise.

Iain Duncan Smith's rhetoric about border protection is nonsense given that the UK is not part of the Schengen agreement.

We already have a good, balanced position with respect to the EU (not in the Euro-zone and not in the Schengen agreement) - leaving it completely would hurt us a lot more than it could help.

Anonymous said...

Vi ses?
Au revoir?
Goodbye?

I fear we will decide to stay because it is dark and scary outside. Better the devil you know, even if they have locked you in a basement.

Glad to be out of the madhouse said...

When I travel to Europe I see more local-produced cars and overseas-produced cars (i.e. in Germany I see many BMW, Audi and VW, but very few Fords.

Well, that would rather seem to disprove your point, considering that Ford produces cars in Germany (800,000 of them yearly, according to Ford Germany's webpage), but none in the UK.

Ford moved final assembly out of the UK (to Germany, among other places) a few years ago. Which is not to say that Ford doesn't have significant production facilities in the UK: it produces engines and transmissions for its European factories in the UK. I guess that those engine factories would indeed be in a precarious situation if even the slightest trade barrier was to be erected between the UK and the Continent. As you noted with respect to the UPC, large corporations like Ford are notoriously risk-averse. Facing the risk of such trade barriers, how do you think they'd react: by moving engine production out of the UK or car assembly back into the UK? Which one represents the highest risk?

Trade is not a zero-sum game. The modern economy has increasingly complex logistic chains. Corporations will avoid anything that may disrupt those logistic chains. Faced with a choice between a middle-sized market, like the UK, and a large one, like the EU, where do you think that they'll concentrate their logistics?

Thought at 20.09 said...

RE: would become slightly wiser and choose a central (i.e. single) location for the central division.

It reminded me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRBAPiJuUg

Anonymous said...

These days some big car names own lots of others. Before saying Ford do not 'assemble' in the UK should conduct some more investigations. They also do lots of manufacturing of 'bits' - important bits. Aside from the MINI (sorry, can't use a font big enough to resemble the ridiculous size of the MINI, where doe BMW conduct its manufacturing? Audi? VW?

It is a nonsense to call the UK a 'small part of the market' as if it is insignificant.

I agree that the IDS scare-mongering is nonsense. Schengen has proven to be problematic in a way clearly not envisaged, but the need to control borders should never have been underestimated. The Euro was always going to be a disaster and has proven to be so.

The EU is controlled by Mrs Merkel and that is not a good balance.

Meldrew said...

Come on, let's leave, a small country for narrow minds is a great ambition.

Anonymous said...

Meldrew, feel free to go live on an island on your own. Criticism of the UK for not wanting to be a 'small island' in a franco/GERMAN superstate is by definition small-minded.

MaxDrei said...

My English newspaper just reported to me the results of its "Quality of Life" Survey of the Leading Cities of the World. I see that 4 out of the Top 7 are German-speaking with Munich at No 4 in the world. London is down in the low 30's somewhere (along with Paris).

That fits with my perception, here in Munich. Everything is so much more prosperous here, so much less negative.

What is so depressing, for a Brit on the Continent, is to see how energetically England now squanders all its "Soft Power". Germany wants England as its ally in Brussels, against the power of the French. France wants England as its ally in Brussels, against the power of the Germans. Faced with this opportunity to manipulate everything in Europe to its advantage, what does England do? Suffers a failure of nerve and walks off the Playing Field, saying "It's all too complicated for me. Leave me alone, I want to be by myself." No spine, no bottle, no nerve, no social skills, no good at penalties. All very inexplicable. All very sad. All very damaging for the future prosperity of the people on the Island.

Meldrew said...

Anonymous 8:36

Those whose vision of the future is to hanker after the past are free to vote for that: just don't expect the rest of us to be enthusiastic.

Those who peddle franco/german xenophobic myths: just don't expect the rest of us to swallow them.

Anonymous said...

Meldrew, read Maxdrei's post which confirms the power games in Brussels. The France-Germany link has always been the stronger. Germany would clearly prefer the UK to stay, but must realize it has shot itself in the foot over many years. They have done so, not just to the detriment of the UK, but also to other countries. Germany has to take precedent over the likes of Greece, as a very good example.

It is not xenophobic to be aware of the facts.

To MAxD: It is not a case of walking off the playing field, but is truly a case of realising the visions of others (federalism, single currency, EU-defence force) is not something many of us aspire too. Even when the UK votes to stay in the UK it will be because of a lack of clear explanation as to the pros/cons and an understanding of life outside the EU (this is true fear - No spine, no bottle, no nerve, no social skills, no good at penalties). Similar to the Scotland vote recently.

There are many many benefits to the EU, but the power needs of individuals is taking it to a disastrous place. Cooperation outside of the EU regime would work much better. The EPC works very well. The EU SPC regulation is a disaster.

MaxDrei said...

Not sure that pushing for a de-coupling from Europe is compatible with any notions of a "Northern Powerhouse". But it might be compatible with a vision of England as a Casino and Tax Haven that is bigger, less heavily regulated and better (location, location, location) than rivals such as Singapore.

Which vision is the more pragmatic though? Aren't both of them doomed, in the long term?

Which vision is better for the UK's 70 million inhabitants? Shall London make enough jubbly to compensate for the remainder of the country sliding into ever-greater poverty? Will the task of Great Britain outside the Home Counties come down to rendering services to the mighty finance industry in London? Is that how BoJo sees the future? Is that how the pols have seen it ever since Margaret Thatcher's time?

When we last voted on Union with Europe, we still had a significantly British-owned manufacturing industry. Perhaps that was important, for those who, back then, voted for Union.

Anonymous said...

MD, It is scaremongering to share such negativity. The way to persuade people that EU membership is the right choice is to promote the positives. It is yet a further nonsense to suggest things will be so black should the UK leave. Those positives need to be pretty convincing. The benefits of free movement of people, for example, should be obvious, but what people see is mass migration of low-skilled labour without any 'EU' investment in infrastructure and services (housing, schools, health services). It could work and should work, but those in power have made no attempt to make it work. And why not? Because the middle classes haven't been impacted. They have done well out of cheap-service workers in shops, restaurants, etc, and they are not impacted by the housing problems etc.

MaxDrei said...

Interesting comment from that Anonymous, that (in England, I suppose) "what people see" is no investment in infrastructure and services (housing, schools, health services). Good advice though, to "promote the positives"

From where I sit in Munich, I am surrounded by infrastructure in which there has been heavy and continuous investment (by the locals) since the end of the war. One has to ask why there is no such evidence in England. Where has all the London-made money gone? The Caymans?

I do see one area where investment in Germany has been low, these past 50 years, namely the area of security, police, armed forces, information-gathering. There hasn't been the need, until just recently. There is now though! But one would think that the UK would be more prudent than to suppose that the English Channel is sufficient, as the first, last and only line of defence against the pressure of countless thousands of desperate people streaming out of North Africa and the Middle East. One would think that UK self-interest lies in a team effort with the countries of the European Union, which share a common interest somehow to manage the flow, would make more sense and bring more long term security, peace and prosperity.

A propos teamwork though, there was an interview recently, on German TV News. The newsreader noted England's search for "A Deal" and observed that it was very clear what England wanted from the Mainland, in order to strike a Deal. But what, she naively and childishly asked, was England going to put on the table, as its part of "The Deal"? The politician blinked, took a step back, and thought for a long time. It was as if nobody before had ever asked him that question. Transparently, he was nonplussed and had no idea how to answer it.

I'll leave you to guess how the Pol eventually replied?

Kant said...

The IP world has been strangely silent with regard to the situation regarding the head of WIPO in contrast to the comments and posts relating to the EPO. I would suggest that readers should take time to have a look at these three submissions to the US committee investigating the accountability of WIPO:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20160224/104528/HHRG-114-FA16-Wstate-PooleyJ-20160224.pdf
http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20160224/104528/HHRG-114-FA16-Wstate-ParishM-20160224.pdf
http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20160224/104528/HHRG-114-FA16-Wstate-BrownM-20160224.pdf

These are to be found on the sub-committee web site:
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/joint-subcommittee-hearing-establishing-accountability-world-intellectual-property

Anonymous said...

On the table, the UK puts in more cash than it takes out. Only a few states do so. What, for example, did Romania put on the table when it asked to join the EU.

The 'deal' on what the UK required was never defined. I have no idea what it was we were asking for. All I know is that it had to be something to enable Tory MPs to support and 'in' vote in the referendum. Quite clearly that never happened. Cameron said he'd saved Sterling, but I didn't realise it could be taken from us.

Germany never had to make the investment in national security, because that was the responsibility of the Allies (so-called victors) after the last war (one of those things that Germany keeps saying that the EU has prevented them from staring another one of). Rather than creating a German-controlled Federal Europe, I don't understand why they couldn't have just promised to stop invading its neighbours. But I'm no politician.

The lack of supporting infrastructure in the UK for migrants is due to a lack of political will and availability of funds - hardly helped by nearly 10 years of recession. 'EU' funds (i.e. national taxpayer funds sent to the EU) should have been used to support services for which migration develops a great need. Head-in-the-sand attitudes from politicians is a recipe for disaster.

A lot of the money generated in London passes untouched through to the tax authorities of Ireland and the Netherlands. e.g. Google. The EU are only interested in starting a tax clampdown because everyone is planning to play the low-corporate-tax game.

Dicke Brocken said...

What, for example, did Romania put on the table when it asked to join the EU.

A "market" of some 20 millions for EU big business (including the financiers of the City of London)?

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Lidl is German, so to avoid accusations of xenophobia, the opportunity also applies to Poundland. Although, there may be some branding problems preventing global expansion.

Anonymous said...

Mu mouse, keyboard, monitor, laptop (different brands), iPhone and company telephone all say "Made in China". I assume other items on my desk were also made in China. If membership of the EU is essential for business to trade, how did all this stuff get into the country?

Meldrew said...

<a href="https://giant.gfycat.com/SilkyBoringHorsechestnutleafminer.gif>So what did the EU ever do for us?</a>

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':