David Garcia on Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:16:02 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Quiet Hegemon

The Brussels - The Quiet Hegemon

A review in yesterday’s (28th of Jan) FT of The Brussels effect: How the `european Rules the World Anu Bradford’s. The "Brussels Effect" explains how after the UK leaves the EU this week we will soon discover that we have not left at all. As almost every global company complies with EU standards or is shut out of a gigantic market of well off consumers. Whatever Johnson claims the UK will also comply because our companies will. 

"what if decisions that drove globalisation were not made in televised meetings between world leaders at Davos, but quietly by technical compliance officers in anonymous corporate office buildings ? What if American protectionist bluster and China’s steely nationalist defiance were largely a side show?  In sector after sector it has set the rules for the world economy.. “the Brussels effect”already powerful in industries like chemicals and cars.[…] Often spreads through market forces..
as companies adopt rules as the price of participating in the huge EU market. Then impose these rules accross their global business to minimise the cost of running separate compliance regimes.” (Alan Beatie FT Jan 287th P20)

A technologically complex world is governed by trade and regulation and Brexiters' idea of sovereignty is sooo 19th century but without the leverage of empire. The EU is a quietly spoken economic super power shaping the world economy through its regulatory regimes. The only difference for UK is that we will no longer be helping to shape those rules. Which is a pity as the EU is by no means benign. Welcome to the world of sovereign impotence.

David Garcia

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