I read with interest Mr Stolworthy’s letter “Leave us to our decision” (see August issue) in which he mentions that his decision in 2016 was “made after a great deal of research” and that “on every measure and comparison, the UK far outstrips the EU…”
However, the relevant question was not “How is the UK doing compared to the EU?” but “How is the UK likely to fare after Brexit?”.
As none of us have the ability to forecast the future, that is a difficult question. The majority of business and financial professionals think the UK will fare less well outside the EU, so faced with what is almost certainly the most important decision for a generation, why would we suddenly decide to ignore the judgment of those whose livelihood depends on accurately forecasting the economic future? There are already indicators of the likely state of the UK economy post-Brexit so it is worth looking again at those UK performance measures that impressed Mr Stolworthy.
Data is from IMF & World Bank sources for 2018:
Unemployment is still among the lowest in the EU.
Only Denmark and Italy have GDP growth rates lower than the 1.3% of the UK, which is less than half the EU average.
In 2016, net foreign investment in the UK was 10% of GDP. In 2017, it was down to 4.6%, and in 2018 it was just 2.1% of GDP.
After years of incompetent floundering by the Cameron and May governments and the prospects of chaos with Boris or disaster with Corbyn, I find the idea of giving control back to Brussels is becoming strangely attractive.
Richard Conn, Provence
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