Brexit – a virus which attacks the ecomomy

Virulent Brexiteers

The Secretary of State for International Trade (aka  Liam Fox MP), recently called for the UK to leave the EU Customs Union for the obvious reason that the Customs Union impedes the ability of the UK to make separate trade deals with  non EU member states.

Now the very widely respected Chairman of the  Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, Bernard Jenkin MP, has written this for the Financial Times:

There is no such thing as hard or soft Brexit – Britain should look to leave the EU as swiftly and simply as possible”.

That is in sharp contrast to the position of the Chancellor which is:  “to ensure access to the single market for our financial services industry”.   But the, the Chancellor is doubtless aware of the contribution the City of London makes to UK tax revenue – see this  from the Guardian: “London pays almost a third of UK tax, report finds“.

It would be interesting to hear from Mr Jenkin how he proposes that the tax revenue from the City would be replaced and what changes to the budget he would recommend were the revenue to be lost.

The Teresa May government has, of course,  a fair number of pro-Brexit ministers, and she herself has stated that  “Brexit Means Brexit”.  There is this report in the Independent: “Theresa May has said she has an “open mind” about the impending Brexit negotiations and that Britain should not necessarily adopt a model “that is on the shelf already”.   That is a sensible approach.

But it may be a very hard goal.  See this in the Independent:  “Theresa May’s pledge to deliver Brexit is about to encounter a big hurdle – Britain had a tough time finding common ground when it intended to remain in the EU – it’s going to have an even tougher time now.

There is good reason to believe that public opinion is very divided – and moving.   This report in the Independent is about farmers having second thoughts: “Farmers who backed Brexit now regretting vote over subsidy fears  – Parliament warned dropping funding for farming will collapse the fabric of rural society”.

Likewise this Independent report might give concerns to workers in the automotive industry: “Ford to consider closing UK factories in Leave towns after Brexit – Ford makes engines at plants in Dagenham and Bridgend that are exported to the EU where the cars are assembled”.  It is not just Ford which considers Europe as a single market – so do the other participants in this sector.


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