Time to end this nonsense!
According to the Centre for European Reform – a think-tank dedicated to making the European Union work better – the UK economy is 2.5% smaller than it would have been if the UK had voted to remain in the EU.
The most recent update of the Centre’s calculation of the cost of Brexit shows that the damage is growing even though the UK has yet to leave the bloc. The knock-on effect on public finances is now £26 billion a year – or £500 million a week. A stunning indictment of the folly of Brexit: the cost is greatly in excess of the budget contributions Britain is making to the European Union.
And in 2019, extra unanticipated expenditure will make the situation far worse:
- Emergency planning costs are soaring as the government prepares for medical shortages. The UK Treasury announced a further £2bn in “Brexit preparedness” funding to cope with the impact of a no-deal exit, taking the current total to more than £4bn.
- The country’s economic growth will take a hit of nearly 10%. The UK government’s forecasts say that without a deal growth over the next 15 years will be 9.3% lower than it would otherwise have been. Government forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, so we should expect even less growth
- In particular, UK trade is going to suffer. British exports to the EU may be hit by tariffs of £6bn (roughly two-thirds of Britain’s net contributions). Imports are also likely to be affected, increasing the cost of living in the UK.
In “Twelve months of Brexit chaos and fewer than 100 days to go” (The Observer, 22 December 2018) Toby Helm writes:
“At the start of the year the idea of a second referendum was not talked about seriously by more than a few MPs, and had little support among the public at large. Today, however, amid the chaos, going back to the people to ask them what to do is seen by many more as a possible way out of the impasse, and even by some senior Conservatives as May’s best option for getting her deal through. A second vote is under active discussion inside 10 Downing Street, although this is officially denied. So, too, is the possibility of asking the EU for permission to delay Brexit until July – putting back the article 50 timetable so we can find a way out of the mess.”
Yet the best solution, staring everyone in the face, is to withdraw from Brexit, mend fences, rebuild bridges, and return to influencing and shaping the policies and practices of the European Union from the inside.
This endless Brexit tantrum has been an unmitigated disaster. Jeremiah saw it coming: “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.” It’s time to end it once and for all. And no reprieve for the Brexiteers. Ditch the lot of them and find people who have the country’s future at heart rather than their political careers.