3 thoughts on “An optimist’s view on the eve of Brexit talks”

  1. Posted 16/06/2017 at 11:35 | Permalink

    I am naturally an optimist, but I am struggling to clearly identify an upside to the UK leaving the EU, or at least an exit that leaves us largely no worse than we would otherwise be.
    Specifically what exactly are the “once-in-a-generation opportunit[ies] to create a more flexible, open and vibrant economy”? How would this work realistically? Although I am a libertarian and firmly believe in the benefits of de-regulation, I am also a realist, and recognise that no western country is lightly regulated, so struggle to understand how the UK would be any different post Brexit, from what it is now. In addition, there are reams of stupid laws and regulations imposed locally by the UK that have nothing do to with the EU – if we can’t tackle this basic home grown problem, what hope is there for anything else? In short, is the faint glimmer of some deregulation worth greater restriction of access to a large market and the less efficient labour market that will result from reduced access to a wider pool of labour (both skilled and unskilled).
    In particular, the “control immigration at any cost” approach which appears to be where we are heading – is clearly not a recipe for a “flexible, open and vibrant economy”, as I would argue open borders (for people) are just as important as openness for anything else.

  2. Posted 19/06/2017 at 17:56 | Permalink

    Immigration is a matter of demand, not supply, otherwise the population of India would have moved to the UK in the 1960’s. The morning after the Brexit vote, Dan Hannam was saying that immigration would continue, just the sources would change.

    Deregulation could I suppose allow 14 year olds back into the job market with unregulated wages and working hours. This might subdue immigration. The level of public support for this might be surprise Guardian readers. 14 year olds themselves might be quite enthusiastic.

    A TTIP could give us Chlorine washed chicken, GMO foods, pharmaceuticals at US prices in exchange for access by what services, exactly? Especially now the US has made clear that it will put things in place with the EU first. As Australia has also done.

  3. Posted 01/08/2017 at 11:18 | Permalink

    As an Englishman having lived on the ”Continent” for many years, the prevailing opinion in the Union seems to be that they will be far better off without Britain. This does not bode well for a ”soft” Brexit, and
    I agree whereas the Union has fallen over backwards to keep the U.K. in it, there has never been any reciprocity. They only wanted Europe on their – British – terms.

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