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Old 29th Dec 2019, 09:51
  #4162 (permalink)  
Torquetalk
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 396
Andrewn

Thanks for your considered reply recently.

I recognise the identification of [Brexit driving] issues you listed and agree broadly with them. Where I am sceptical is in the causality (opinion already given) and solution/s. Particularly with resect to future economic wellbeing of the UK, I just don't see the rationale behind the idea that you leave a huge trading block to increase trade and do so more successfully and freely. In fact, the libertarian promise promoted by the likes of JRM and his like looks like a wrecking ball for those very parts of the UK that have had a guts full .

If the argument is that Britain wants to be more protective of its identity and have more control internally, that will require a much increased element of state intervention and protectionist policies. But most economists seem to agree that protectionism leads to lower trade volumes, not only between countries, but also within the respective countries, in which case it is simply hard to see how that can lead to anything other than reduced economic volume for Britain and that in turn would leave less room to borrow and finance any desired model.

Of course the other possibility is an even more libertarian model: reducing as many barriers to trade as possible, low tax base, lowering protective controls against the more ruthless excesses of capitalism. But as the UK has already gone a long way in that direction for four decades, selling many national assets into private and often foreign hands, it is hard to see how much room for manoeuvre there is in that direction without making things even more ugly than they already are. Ugly as in poor. And poverty is a coat of many patches, covering much, but being manifest for what it is.

Contrary to popular media depiction, it appears that the most significant element of the 2016 Brexit vote were white, well-positioned voters in South England. Of course, this element of the electorate will probably fare better whatever the trends result from Brexit. But I am not concerned about them, it is the majority of other citizens and their future that troubles me. I find it very hard to imagine a believable image of a shared notion of Britishness emerging from this. Somebody's going to throw their no longer distracting toys out of the pram.
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