Cry Me Une Rivière, EU Commissioner Tells Brexit-breaking Brits

UK EV Industry in Trouble

Despite a sense of overwhelming fear that China will dominate the European EV market, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton insists there will be no relaxation of tariffs on EV exports between the UK and EU. “That’s a hard non” He said, with an expression suggesting the question was accompanied by some loathsome odour.

Well, well, well.

Another occasion when the UK has been hoist by its own petard. The Brexit mess is just the like the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it? And not just to the creation of more Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage memes. To any non-EU, non-UK commercial sector that can take advantage of Britain’s divorce from Europe. In this particular case, the Chinese EV industry.

Here’s the problem. Or opportunity. Lithium Hydroxide is a chemical vital to the operation of an EV battery. An EV battery amounts to almost half the cost of the car itself.  Guess who controls the flow of lithium hydroxide to the world? Got it first time – China. Now, the tariff is for vehicles that are not 45% made in either the UK or EU. But all the auto manufacturers in the UK and Europe are saying that, because of the Lithium Hydroxide situation, it’s impossible to produce a ‘45% home grown’ EV. So the tariff is akin to the industry shooting itself, umm, in the tyres.  Already, fourteen auto brands are threatening to pull their factories out of the UK.

Aren’t British Folk Meant to be Smart?

I am the least alone person in the world who thinks the average intelligence of British people is pretty damned high. How on Earth did they fall for the stupidest political move since…actually, I can’t think of anything in recent history that has backfired as much as Brexit. And will continue to do so for a generation or more to come. I know that the term ‘self-determination’ was bandied around a lot. Certainly, that ridiculous phrase ‘do you want Brussels to control your womb?’ seems to have gained traction, mostly by women whose wombs are not functioning anymore. That’s right. It was ‘the older vote’ that ultimately swung the referendum. I know that’s a simplistic way of looking at it, but for heaven’s sake, it’s not a bad metaphor for the lose-lose absurdity of Brexit.

Of course the EU are going to tell the auto makers they can’t break the rules. It gives them the opportunity to play the spurned lover.

“You ‘ave made your bed, Monsieur. Et maintenant, you must sleep een eet.”  

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