The following is an excerpt of an article by Billy Thompson. This features in our fifth print issue, available now.
Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.
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Well, here we are then. The government has effectively concluded that negotiations with the EU are over and their preferred outcome is a clean break. A lot has been said already about the short term ramifications in terms of food and medicine shortages.
This is not ‘project fear’ but merely the reality when supply chains are massively disrupted if the UK suddenly leaves the customs union. How-ever, far less has been said about the future of government, economic and political policy following a no-deal Brexit.
A no-deal Brexit leaves the UK outside the customs union, which means UK businesses will be punished by the EU’s common external tariff that will drive up costs for both businesses and consumers. Businesses will not make investment decisions in a third country that has no access to the largest trading market in the world, which may end up leading to capital flight and businesses moving to other EU countries for certainty and the single market’s lack of trade barriers.
This means the UK economy will undergo a transformation in becoming an economy like that of Ireland, slashing taxes and regulations to encourage new businesses to come to the UK in order to preserve jobs.
Slashing regulations and cutting red tape opens the door to weakening workers’ rights and reducing the size of the welfare state in order to remain competitive against the EU. The result of a no-deal Brexit under a Conservative Party government may end up seeing a right-wing libertarian administration developing that has little time for providing a safety net for its citizens, as the focus shifts to competition with other nations. The referendum result has been interpreted differently by many politicians, but one thing you can’t say is that it is somehow a vote for a libertarian/classical liberal style system re-placing the current neo-liberal one.
If the upcoming autumn was to see a general election with a no-deal Brexit occurring halfway into the campaign, and a Labour government won the keys to Downing Street, then another alarming future awaits the UK.
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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.
Photo by Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 on Flickr.