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Electric Scotland News

I have been trying to find any decent articles on why Britain should stay in a Customs Union with the EU after Brexit and confess I have found nothing at all. This just makes it even stranger as to why so many seem to want this option. It seems very clear to me that we can't be in a Customs Union if we want to trade globally with the world. Given that 90% of all future trade growth is in Asia and that the EU is a declining part of world trade it makes no sense to be ruled by the EU given that we'd need to obey the EU as we would be a rule taker and not a rule maker staying in a Customs Union.

I have to admit that I am getting quite fed up trying to document this Brexit topic as we seem to be going around in circles. I mean the House of Commons voted for Brexit and that includes Labour so why are we still having this argument?

Here is the video introduction to this newsletter...

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

Britain has the chance to lead the world in AI
Will we take it?

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8 common mistakes people make when ordering whisky
And how to rectify them

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California independence bid to emulate Scottish Yes campaign
A campaign for California independence which has taken inspiration from the pro-independence movement in Scotland has been given a major boost after the state’s leading ballot official announced the proposal had passed legal muster.

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Britain looks to ancient mines for electric future
Britain is banking on a series of ancient mines on its southwestern tip to secure a slice of the global electric car revolution.

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Theresa May must welcome Donald Trump to Downing Street with open arms
The leader of our No1 ally and giant trading partner merits a bells-and-whistles visit like President Macron gave him.

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Former New Zealand High Commissioner says staying in customs union would be awful
He said the UK might as well abandon Brexit if it cannot take control on trade.

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Switzerland announces it wants a newer, bigger trade deal with the UK post-Brexit
The Swiss government's statement, which says it wants to both roll-over the existing deal and expand its relationship with the UK, was a major boost to the PM and her top trade negotiator

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The EU is at clear risk of collapse - and the ‘remainiacs’ just don’t see it
This report explains and deploys a famous general theory of the collapse of complex societies

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Record number take part in Glasgow Kiltwalk
More than 10,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow to take part in the largest-ever Kiltwalk.

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Restaurant review: The Kitchin, Leith – Sheer heaven
A VISIT to the Kitchin in Edinburgh is always a much-anticipated treat as my hubby and I have had some outstanding meals there over the years.

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Edinburgh inventor creates biodegradable water bottle
A Scottish entrepreneur has developed a new eco-friendly bottle that could help combat the growing mountain of plastic litter entering the world’s oceans.

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Lawyers for Britain
An article about the Customs Union.

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Fire festival lights up Edinburgh's skyline
The Beltane Fire Festival set the capital's skyline ablaze as hundreds of volunteers put on a spectacular display of fire play, drums and acrobatics.

Read more and see the pictures at:

The Scottish island that buried America's dead
The isle of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, is now being recognised for an almost forgotten example of huge courage and humanity.

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How Scotland may be killing us
Is the weather making us sick or even killing us?

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SMEs have felt first-hand the negative effects of the EU and its Customs Union
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of the British economy. They make up for the majority of employment within the UK business community

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Living with an owl is a hoot says keeper
A European eagle owl chick is making itself at home in the house of a keeper from a Scottish safari park.

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Consultation responses force John Swinney to plan his own route
THIS WEEK, the Scottish Government published its consultation findings into the proposed new education bill planned for later this year.

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Electric Canadian

Transactions of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers
I discovered a lot of volumes of these transaction which are very detailed and note that they are very popular downloads so assume civil engineers are enjoying the details given in these transactions.

I've added the 1936 volume and will add others each week. You can view these at

Some of the topics discussed include World's Airway System, Anthracite Screenings, Blast Furnace Process, Cabinet Minister and Engineers, Design and Economics of the Small Industrial Steam Power Plant, Highway Obsolescence, Robert Wentworth Macintyre Obituary, Newsprint at High Speeds, Obituaries, Pavement Construction Methods, Roads, Saint John Harbour, Scope of Chemical Engineering, Transformers, Vancouver's Fiftieth Birthday, Water Supply and Flood Prevention, etc.

History and Traditions of the Canadian Beaver
By Horace T. Martin (1892) (pdf).

Also took the opportunity to add a couple of wildlife videos to our Wildlife page and a specific video about the Beaver. To find these go to our Wildlife page and scroll down where you'll find the Beaver video and right above that you'll find the link to this book.


Adventures in Canada or Life in the Woods
Edited by John Geikie (1882) (pdf)

You can read this at:

History of Canadian Wealth
By Gustavus Myers (1914) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The United Empire Loyalists of Canada.
Illustrated by Memorials of the Servis Family by William Kirby (1884) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Conrad Black
Democrats in Peril

Electric Scotland

Commonwealth of Australia
Historical Records of Australia published in 1914 in 19 volumes. Intending to put up 1 volume a week until complete.

Added volume 6 August, 1806—December, 1808 to this collection at:

History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway
I have volume 1 and 2 of this set and have just discovered volume 5. I have discovered volumes 3 and 4 but they are not free.

Read this volume at:

Bathymetrical Survey of the Scottish Fresh Water Lochs
Conducted under the direction of Sir John Murray and Laurence Pullar during the years 1897 to 1909 (1910)

You can read this at:

English Australian Cookery Book
By an Australian Aristologist (1864) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Got in Section 1 of the May 2018 issue which you can read at:

Her Majesty's Mails
History of the Post Office and an Industrial Account of its Present Condition by William Lewins of the General Post Office, second edition (1865) (pdf). Added a link to this book from our Scottish Postal Reformers page.

You can read this at:

Hylton Newsletter
Got in their Spring 2018 issue which you can read at:

An Institute of the Law of Scotland in Four Books
In the Order of Sir George MacKenzie's Institutions of that Law by John Erskine of Carnock, Advocate, A new edition with additional notes by James Ivory, Advocate in two volumes (1824). Added links to these volumes at the foot of our Law page at:

Charters, Bulls and Other Documents relating to the Abbey of Inchaffray
Chiefly from the originals in the Chater Chest of the Earl of Kinnoull edited by William Alexander Lindsay, KC, Wildsor Herald, John Dowden, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Edinburgh, John Maitland Thomson, LL.D. sometime Curator of the Historical Department of H.M. General Register House with Map and Facsimiles (1908) (pdf)

This can be read at:

Early Scottish Metrical Tales
Edited with introduction by David Laing, LL.D. (1889) (pdf)

You can read this at:

James Bryce
(Viscount Bryce of Dechmont) by H. A. L. Fisher (1927) (pdf). A bio of this Ulster Scot which you can read at:

The Story

I am bringing you this article as what Britain decides will impact the world including America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth countries.

Trade, trade and more trade
By John Redwood MP

All we ever seem to talk about is trade. The Remain Lords and MPs turn every debate on Brexit into another debate on trade, so they can peddle their tired soundbites again. The clever ones spread disinformation, and the badly informed ones peddle their misunderstandings as truths.

Today the media will again declare it trade day, as we learn that the Brexit Committee will discuss yet again what will replace our Customs Union membership. Will they prefer a New Customs Partnership, known perhaps appropriately as NCP as if it were a parking lot, or will they prefer Max Fac, maximum facilitation of trade at the borders? I trust they will opt for the latter. NCP means recreating many of the limiting features of our customs union membership. They need to remember that belonging to a customs union has two big drawbacks. It means we pay more for food and other goods that have tariffs on them. It means we can’t do trade deals that help us with the rest of the world. The UK with a large service sector usually finds that is ignored by EU trade negotiators.

So what are the myths they peddle? The first is that if we leave the EU with no agreement there will be all sorts of non tariff barriers to our trade. They do not seem to have read the comprehensive and detailed Facilitation of Trade Agreement which the WTO brought into effect last March to deal with any such problem. Both the EU and the UK will be full members of the WTO after March 29 2019, and both will obey these requirements.

Some suggest that the EU would deliberately create queues at Dover for lorries bringing in much needed supplies. Let me reassure them. We will run Dover, and will have every incentive to keep the lorries flowing easily. What if they broke WTO rules and held trucks up at Calais? That would be a perverse thing to do as the majority of the trucks are carrying EU exports to our markets, so why would they want to damage them? If they tried to detain just UK lorries carrying exports to the EU they would be breaking WTO rules against unfair discrimination and in some cases disrupting the supply chains of their businesses needing UK components. Those businesses have legal rights and could take action.

There is an unwillingness to accept that in the 21st century most goods trade is conducted by large businesses acting as or through Authorized Economic Operators. These businesses file an electronic manifest containing all the details about what is on the lorry, where it travelling, what taxes and duties it needs to pay and how the load conforms with rules of origin, health and safety requirements and any other relevant legislation. Busy border posts allow most to proceed unchecked, as they know the details, levy taxes off site and trust the operator. They can of course delay or impound if they have reason to suspect non compliance or criminal activity, as they do today whilst we are still in the customs union. Anti smuggling is mainly conducted by an intelligence led approach. There are already substantial smuggling issues for our border with the EU as there are differential VAT and Excise rates. Adding customs to it does not create any difference in kind to what we are doing already. The TIR system was developed years ago to speed trucks through borders.

It is true that rules of origin do require higher UK proportions in a few cases , especially in some vehicles. This is why the UK government is working with the industry to increase the proportion of UK components in cars assembled here to meet the rules, which is a win for domestic industry.

The underlying big picture truth is free trade provides better living standards. The sooner we liberalise our trade with the rest of the world the better, as the gains could be helpful. It is unlikely the EU will want to impose tariffs on themselves, though they may threaten this if they think there is any lack of negotiating resolve in the UK.

In the latest research using economic models Professor Minford puts the discounted long term gains to the UK of leaving without a deal at 651bn, assuming we went on to a free trade approach.

See also "Staying in the EU Customs Union after exit" for a lot more information at

And that's it for this week and hope you have a great weekend.