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By Michae Chisholm

With the consolidation of the ecu Union and the hole of the Channel Tunnel, how can Britain boost a principal position in Europe and confirm its destiny prosperity? Britain at the fringe of Europe describes Britain's post-war involvement with the continent amd assesses the country's probabilities of having fun with the advantages of the projected ecu increase. Analysing the commercial and political results of Britain's edge-location, the writer demanding situations orthodox notions of distance, rate and competitiveness and assumptions concerning the most likely local influence on Britain. At a time whilst British expectancies of Europe are a great deal within the stability, Britain at the fringe of Europe places the country's exchange place into viewpoint.

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8. Hence, of the 80 per cent of the variance in freight rates accounted for by the regression, almost three-quarters is attributable to the unit value of consignments, just under one-fifth to the stowage factor, and only 8 per cent to distance. 8). This evidence is consistent with an earlier study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (1968). The sample consisted of consignments of manufactured goods in the trade between Europe and the United States in the mid1960s.

For the EUR12 countries collectively, the share of world exports of manufactures fell by almost two percentage points in the decade from 1980 to 1990, while the share of imports rose by just over three percentage points. These adverse trends are evident for Britain and also for the other eleven countries, as also for the United States and Japan, though Japan maintains a very large surplus in its trade in manufactured goods. Thus, although the developed countries are to an increasing extent trading among themselves at the aggregate level, other countries are finding that they can out-compete them in many lines of manufactures.

Consequently, the expansion of intra-EUR12 trade is to be seen, at least in part, as a symptom of this global trend rather than as a peculiarly European phenomenon. Third, it is clear that the above two points become more relevant and significant as national economies become increasingly more open, which fact also emphasizes the key importance that, fourth, attaches to remaining competitive. None of these points directly accounts for the astonishing redirection of Britain’s trading relationships towards Europe, but they do serve to suggest that this reorientation may differ in degree rather than in kind from the experience of other developed countries; however, one must note that until about 1970 this reorientation served only to restore matters to the situation which existed at the turn of the century.

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