Eclectic Blue

Over we go

Comments Off on Over we go 18 June 2017

Over we go

Chancellor Philip Hammond has just confirmed that as we leave the EU, we will also be leaving the single market and customs union. I thought, in hope more than expectation, that last week’s election result had put paid to a hard Brexit, but no. Ukip has been reborn and renamed the Conservative and Unionist Party. Good luck if you work for one of the high end companies near where I live, like Rolls Royce, BAe systems and Airbus, because if the government delivers on a hard Brexit you will have plenty to fear.

Good luck, in fact, if you do any kind of business with the EU, whether that is by making stuff or simply going on holiday. The reintroduction of customs controls will simply clog up huge swathes of the country with vehicles including lorries trying to export and import goods and ordinary folk simply wanting to use the Channel Tunnel or the port to port ferries. Can you imagine companies who manufacture items that have to cross the channel on numerous occasions, currently effortlessly and swiftly, will suddenly have to be subject to strict controls? What would you do if you were a company based in the UK? Wouldn’t you consider moving all your operation to Europe? Of course you would and that is exactly what is going to happen.

Leaving the single market and customs union and potentially operating under WTO rules would quickly destroy significant parts of our economy. Manufacturing is thin on the ground as it is, following the Thatcher years of destruction, and our economy remains relatively strong on the basis people keep borrowing and spending. Already borrowing levels have reached 2008 levels and we all know what happened to the world economy back then.

It goes without saying that everything will cost more. The depreciation of the pound is likely to continue as Theresa May’s desperately weak government starts to negotiate our EU exit without so much as the first idea of what they want to achieve. Already, inflation has risen to almost 3% and many people are worse off than they were a year ago. WTO terms would destroy the farming industry, changing the way our countryside looks forever and not in a good way. Everything will cost more, jobs, especially good jobs, will leave our shores and what’s worse is that this is avoidable.

Whatever deal our government comes up with – “the best possible deal” as May calls it – will not be as good as anything we have now. That is a matter of fact. Leaving the EU has consequences and none of them are good so we are dependent on unqualified politicians who are wholly unprepared for what follows. Having observed Theresa May’s implosion during the election campaign and then taking so long to cobble together a coalition deal (because that’s what it is) with the DUP does not fill me with optimism. Quite the reverse.

The spirit of Nigel Farage is still alive and kicking even though his party is all but dead. Our loss by leaving the EU is his victory and the hard Brexit he trumpets accurately reflects the policy of Theresa May.

We were sold a pack of lies in last year’s referendum and the warnings of the remoaners are all beginning to come true and don’t say you weren’t warned.

Hammond confirms May is still committed to taking us off a cliff and unless this is a negotiating ploy, Brexit is going to be the disaster many of us knew it would be.

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