It’s Quite OK to Walk Away:
Dec 9, 2018Posted by on
This Sunday on Facebook: My ambivalence towards the EU remains unabated as do my feelings of the disparity held by those who would subscribe to a return of a British democracy, or those who would choose to remain in the EU (even assuming that a consensus on what either meant existed). I stand by the resolve that I hold, in that the decision to choose between two oligarchies is for voters other than myself to decide. I shall be 80 next year and will (perhaps) not live to witness the long term results of the chosen outcome.
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. (Aldous Huxley – Berkeley 1962)
It may be that en-route to becoming an octogenarian I have developed a very dystopian view of the future and no longer have faith in democracy. I am sure that Aldous Huxley was right in 1962 and that we are already ruled by oligarchs whose primary interests are their own. I do not believe that in or outside of the EU, Brexit changes anything. That any form of electorate becomes increasingly irrelevant and will continue to be so, though I doubt that people will love their servitude under whichever oligarchy they may choose.
A review of the UK’s Brexit options with the help of seven international databases
Michael Burrage, March 2017
The image of the EU’s Single Market as an economically successful project, membership of which is vital to the interests of the UK, has rested on the hopes and repeated assurances of politicians rather than any credible evidence.
No UK government has ever sought to monitor its impact until the rushed analysis, now widely held to be unreliable and untrustworthy, produced by the Treasury just before the referendum. There is, therefore, no authoritative evidence against which to assess the economic consequences of the Government’s decision to leave the Single Market and, potentially, trade with the EU under World Trade Organization rules.
In this new study, Michael Burrage uses seven international databases to assess the benefits of the Single Market for the UK, comparing its performance with that of other EU members, and with non-members who have traded with the EU. The data shows that the Single Market has not delivered the export growth it was expected to.
Michael Burrage also shows how other supposed benefits of the Single Market are largely imaginary. There is no evidence that Single Market membership has had a positive impact on UK GDP or productivity growth. The idea that the Single Market has been good for jobs is belied by the astonishing employment record of its members compared with other developed economies.
The benefits of Single Market membership have been illusory, while its costs are real, onerous, and unacceptable to a majority of the British people. Theresa May’s decision to withdraw the UK from the Single Market has been criticised by some for jeopardising the economy. But, as she and her ministers embark on negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Michael Burrage shows that it is quite OK to walk away.