How the ‘Brexit deniers’ are pushing the UK back into the EU
The shape of the coming economic disaster is now clear and the public have had enough.
In my column for this month’s Byline Times I write about how the ‘Brexit deniers’ are pushing the UK towards another decade of economic decline.
By refusing to even acknowledge the evidence that Brexit has made the UK poorer, the deniers are pushing us towards a truly desperate position.
As the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, told reporters this week, it is now abundantly clear that Brexit has badly hurt the UK.
“Very clearly Brexit was an economic own goal," Johnson said.
"Economically speaking [Brexit] has been very bad news indeed, and continues to be bad news."
Since the vote to leave the EU, Britain has lost investment, growth and opportunity and is now the only member of the G7 whose economy is still smaller than it was before the start of the pandemic.
This is all starting to feed through to the real economy. As this week’s Autumn Statement made clear, we are now heading for the biggest fall in living standards on record, with taxes heading to their highest level since the Second World War.
In any other circumstances, a country with such high levels of taxation and borrowing would also expect to feel the benefit in better public services.
However, the UK is instead facing the worst of all worlds, by paying almost Scandinavian levels of taxation, while failing to get the accompanying Scandinavian levels of public services.
As Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves commented this week “Never before have people paid so much in tax, and got so little in return.”
It is now overwhelmingly clear that Brexit carries much of the blame for this.
As the former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Michael Saunders told Bloomberg this week: “The UK economy as a whole has been permanently damaged by Brexit.”
“If we hadn’t had Brexit, we probably wouldn’t be talking about an austerity budget this week.”
The shape of the coming Brexit disaster is already clear. With wages falling and public services crumbling, we can now expect a protracted era of declining living standards and industrial strife.
Yet by so doggedly forcing us into this position, the Brexiteers look to be sowing the seeds of their own destruction.
Here’s why the biggest threat to the entire Brexit project will now come from the Brexiteers themselves.
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