It is now clear that Brexit isn’t working. Many of the promises and fraudulent claims made by the Leave campaign have proved to be worthless.
- Exports to Europe have shrunk by £20 billion (about 11%), with farmers and fishermen facing particular hardship
- None of the promised major trade deals around the world have yet materialised
- The OECD has predicted that the UK economy will, in 2023, record the slowest growth of all the G7 nations
- Our trade deficit with the rest of the world as a percentage of GDP was bigger for the first six months of 2022 than for any comparable period since records began
- Increased bureaucracy – over 91,000 extra civil servants have been recruited since Brexit to deal with the extra paperwork
- It has led to staffing shortfalls of nurses and doctors in the NHS as many EU citizens have returned to their home countries
- New border controls have led to long delays at ports and airports
- Two thirds of British manufacturing companies say that Brexit has hampered their businesses
- Companies trading with Europe face a nightmare of form filling, red tape and surcharges. No wonder 30% of smaller firms have given up trading with Europe
- The Northern Ireland protocol is still unresolved and has led to the collapse of power sharing which threatens the peace agreement
- Justin King, former Sainsbury’s boss, has warned that the days of cheap food are now over.
As opinion polls show that a clear majority of people, 51%, now believe it was a mistake to leave the EU while 40% think it was right.
While the result of the 2016 referendum cannot be ignored, we must work closely with our friends in Europe. This should include negotiating a customs union with the world’s largest single market of 450 million consumers.
Posted by Michael Dixey
Michael has been a city councillor since 1987 and is the leader of the Lib Dem Group on the City Council. He was a major force in the campaign to stop the building of the disastrous multi-storey car park in Station Road West. He has been particularly critical of the council’s lack of financial management which has resulted in the quadrupling of the council’s borrowings to £172 million over the four years prior to the COVID-19 outbreak which will cause huge additional pressure on civic finances.
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