Brexit wasn’t supposed to deliver business as usual - Yorkshire Post Letters
It was reported last week that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does not believe ‘Brexit’ to be “in peril”. What an intriguing notion.
The only thing that ‘imperils’ this misguided geopolitical choice is its own manifest failings and contradictions. After all this time, those who promoted the UK’s exit from the EU cannot point with honesty to anything positive it has generated, or anything negative that has been forestalled because of ‘Brexit’.
To be clear ‘Brexit’ was never going to mean nothing positive was ever going to happen again in the UK. This was a misrepresentation of the position of those who wished to stay within the EU.
But nor was the bar for ‘Brexit’ success supposed to be a ‘business as usual’ situation where positive things that would have happened anyway might still take place, but typically with more complexity and costs involved due to our leaving the EU.
Think of the examples of the car and other industries that have had to be enticed with tax payer subsidy – often at undisclosed levels – to remain and invest in the UK. This is a far cry from the Brexiters’ promises of a ‘turbo charged’ economy.
Even the flagship post-Brexit trade deal the ‘Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’ is now predicted to be worth even less to the UK than previously thought, with official estimates showing it could add just 0.04 per cent to GDP in the “long run” after 15 years rather than the originally expected 0.08 per cent.
In the meantime, whilst we all await such riches, the London School of Economics estimates that ‘Brexit’-induced food price inflation has cost UK households up to £6.95bn overall since December 2019.
The above points only relate to the failed economic promises of the ‘Brexiters’. The wider geopolitical issues 'Brexit' aggravates are a matter for another day.
Suffice to say that the ease with which populist political messaging and opaque political financing were able to prise a supposedly advanced democracy away from a vital alliance with like minded countries with shared strategic interests, was an encouragement to authoritarian regimes in Europe and elsewhere to continue seeking to undermine free and democratic states and societies.
Ultimately, it is not ‘Brexit’ which is ‘in peril’, but rather ‘Brexit’ which ‘imperils’ across a range of issues and agendas vital to the future and well-being of our country.