August used to be called ‘the silly season’ in the media. It was a time when people were on holiday, Parliament was in recess, school was out and we all relaxed.
Well I find the current state of affairs extremely unrelaxing. A known liar and fantasist is now running the country with the stated intent of taking the UK out of the EU on October 31st ‘come what may’. We now are apparently on a war footing – with ourselves apparently, as I have not seen any declarations from enemy states. The new Cabinet is packed with right wing, hubristic people who appear to have no concerns about the damage they could inflict on the people of this country if they are successful in their bid for a ‘no-deal Brexit’. And all this with a majority of one seat in Parliament.
Let’s remind ourselves of the organisations who state clearly that the UK will suffer if a no-deal Brexit happens on October 31st: They include the Bank of England, the IMF and The Economist to name a few.
But they’re only experts after all. Here is the Government’s owns Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast:
• Leaving the EU without a deal will plunge the UK economy into recession
• The pound would drop in value instantly by 10%
• Unemployment would rise by more than 25%
• GDP would fall 2% by the end of 2020, similar to the recession of the early ‘90s and the equivalent of a third of what was seen in the 2008 financial crisis
• In all it would add approx. £30 billion a year to government borrowing
• It would raise the UK’s net debt by 12 % of GDP by 2024
The figures above, we are informed, are by no means ‘the worst-case scenario’.
The Bank of England’s no deal projection is even more frightening. It involves a marked fall in Sterling and suggests that the resulting recession could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis. It points to an 8% plunge in GDP following a no deal exit.
But figures are always inherently abstract, hard to grasp and easy to ignore. Has anyone seen £30 billion recently? So let’s consider some of the human costs: who fancies martial law, empty shelves in the shops, an absence of the medication on which their life depends, your aeroplane ticket being cancelled, an increase in roaming charges if you are abroad?
How does the sound of direct rule and electricity blackouts in Northern Ireland, loss of consumer rights, an increase in the cost of food and medicines grab you?
Well I for one am disgusted at this cavalier attitude. No one in this country in June 2016 voted for any of the above and the Remain Pact is gaining momentum; the Lib Dem win in Brecon shows what can be achieved if the Pact holds.
It is time to go back to the people with some hard facts and see if this is what they really want. Bring on a People’s Vote! Support the Remain Alliance!