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A "conspiracy of silence" on BREXIT?

I strongly recommend watching, and rewatching, this Financial Times video about the impact of BREXIT on the UK.

It leaves little doubt that BREXIT, as it has been implemented by the Conservative Government, has been immensely damaging to our economy and to the hopes of the young.

The video likens the impact to a “slow puncture”, with massive cumulative impact since the 2015 vote, though sometimes masked by the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. The negative outcomes include:

  • Post-Brexit devaluation failing to spur on Britain’s exports

  • Britain falling behind EU countries in terms of post-Covid trade recovery

  • Smaller companies unable to handle the extra regulations and paperwork

  • Britain losing 30% of its buyer-seller trade relationships in the EU after the “Trade and Cooperation Agreement” came into force in January 2021, according to estimates by the London School of Economics (LSE).

  • Financial, warehousing, haulage and other jobs moving to the EU

  • Business investment in the UK plateauing while that of EU partners continues growing

  • Much vaunted “deregulation” leading to duplicate regulation, with extra bureaucracy and costs

  • End of free movement leading to a recruitment crisis, a “painful period of adjustment” for some industries, and permanent obstacles for young Britons seeking employment in the EU

  • A question mark over whether the City of London is the natural place to do financial business

  • The ripping up of the Northern Ireland Protocol is blocking our access to the Horizon Research Project, worth Euros 95 billion.

  • Lower projected economic growth for 2023 than any country in the EU. However, Northern Ireland, which has unfettered access to both EU and UK markets has become an unexpected economic success story.

As for overall impact, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects the UK to be ultimately 4% worse off. "It's about £100 billion a year that the economy is not producing, £40 billion in tax revenues or so", says the FT.

People often make mistakes, but what really matters is our ability to recognize them and change direction in timely fashion. It is precisely here that we have failed. The FT highlights two causal factors:

  • Brexiteers have never made a cogent case for a “BREXIT dividend”. They have been dishonest about the trade-offs involved, and the costs – which outweigh the benefits.

  • A “political conspiracy of silence” spanning the Government, the Labour Party and the Governor of the Bank of England. It is not difficult to see why the Government and the supportive or compliant mainstream media avoid mentioning the downside, but the FT finds that the Labour Party has also acquiesced in this:

“the Labour Party doesn’t want to talk about Brexit because it reminds voters why they voted Tory - - - People don’t want to go anywhere near BREXIT, but that shields us from an honest debate which we should be having, about how we can make BREXIT function in a way that doesn’t distort the economy”.

And this brings us to CAMPAIN’s biggest bugbear, and cause for reform, Britain’s grossly biased news media:

Nigel Farage
At least he looks happy

“People who speak out against BREXIT are often decried as Re-moaners or Re-maniacs. We are all being asked to accept something which in 2015 was only the official policy of the UK Independence Party (UKIP)”.

Our democracy severely malfunctions when many of our leading figures remain silent on key issues - under the watchful eye of a mainstream media that tends to regulate the Overton Window of acceptable discourse. Fortunately the FT is seeking to expand that window on the topic of BREXIT. Let us know your comments below.


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