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The UK Government Should Stop Doing Stupid Stuff Around Brexit

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The UK Government Should Stop Doing Stupid Stuff Around Brexit

(CTN News) – Don’t do dumb things, as Barack Obama memorably said. (In fact, he shouted something much more forceful.) This is always wise counsel. For the UK of today, that is especially sound counsel.

If it could start acting rationally, that would be amazing. But it’s important to temper your expectations. But it ought to be easy to quit doing very dumb things.

The actual Brexit was foolish. Few individuals who are knowledgeable about the subject have any doubts. It has erected obstacles for the nation’s closest neighbors and most crucial trading partners.

“The latest data shows that Brexit has had a major detrimental effect on UK trade,” the Office for Budget Responsibility said last month. Overall, trade volumes and business partnerships between UK and EU enterprises have decreased.

In a very reasonable assumption, the OBR states that “Brexit will cause the UK’s trade intensity to be 15% lower in the long term than if the UK had stayed in the EU.”

Bar chart of Growth in real GDP per head*, 2016 to 2022 (%) showing The UK has been among the growth laggards since Brexit

Meanwhile, “Global Britain” has disappeared as expectations of improved commercial ties with China and the US have failed to materialize.

While the decision to leave the EU was foolish, so too is the notion that there is an easy way to resume tighter ties with the EU.

Membership renewal is not imaginable. Not only because it would intensify the political civil war in the UK, but also, EU citizens are also too shrewd to believe that the UK will remain as passionate a member of the EU as it already is and is likely to be in the future.

From their perspective, seeing the UK struggle outside serves as a valuable lesson on the perils of leaving.

Brexit has enabled the EU to go more quickly than it would have under the constant British blockage.

The majority of partial membership possibilities, such as entering the single market, the customs union, or both, would also reignite the Brexit civil war in both main parties.

Bar chart of Investment share in GDP (%), average 2016 to 2022 showing The UK's investment share in GDP is exceptionally low

Due to the duties, they would impose and the lack of a say in the regulations, these choices are worse than membership. The UK’s actions towards the Northern Ireland protocol are further evidence that the EU has good cause to distrust it.

It serves no use to attempt to change the primary components of the existing troubled relationship.

However, that does not allow for the worsening of the situation. A key conservative tenet is, for instance, that one should only implement change if there is no good alternative.

Even change is expensive. What conceivable purpose could the “retained EU law bill,” a proposal to “review or cancel” up to 4,000 pieces of EU-derived legislation that serve as the cornerstone of much of today’s national life, possibly serve?

Simply put, this will raise uncertainties and company expenses even further.

Businesses with common sense avoid operating in a complex regulatory environment. That was the reasoning behind Margaret Thatcher’s single market initiative, which Brexiters still don’t seem to get.

This strategy must reduce the UK’s “investability” even more. The grim investment data for the UK do not support this concern.

What course of action would have been the most logical for British officials to adopt? It undoubtedly would have begun with a realistic assessment of its strengths and faults.

Consider the challenges associated with developing undeveloped land, the inability to make buildings more energy efficient, the persistence of regional inequality, the excessive centralization of government.

the historically low national savings and investment rates, the failure of pension funds to invest in the country’s productive capital, the inability to create global companies, and the persistent inability to raise skills to a sufficient level.

The EU has nothing to do with all of this. But it had been “too tough” for a long time to do anything about it all.

The Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng program, which was both poorly planned and reckless and intellectually empty, culminated in the Brexit exercise instead. That was Brexit in its most basic performance art form.

I don’t hold out much hope for this administration to do anything really good before the next general election, especially given the current energy and inflation crises.

However, it is not unreasonable to expect it to quit acting foolishly. So, until a change in regulations would be for the better, do not contemplate it. Don’t make migration control promises you can’t keep.

Avoid sticking with the food standard choice, making the Northern Ireland problem difficult to solve. However, make every effort to maintain our scientists’ capacity for close collaboration with their European counterparts.

Last but not least, please end the British bulldog’s constant barking. Big issues may be difficult to solve at this time. However, even though the government is now in a hole, it can at least stop digging any deeper.

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