JOE GILL: UK opts to be trapped in ‘Brexit is Brexit’ bubble

Imagine the UK government has made an emergency announcement, after extensive consultation with employers, employees, students, and civil servants, writes Joe Gill.

The Government has made a decision that transcends party politics and, instead, focuses on the welfare of the British people.

That welfare is being undermined by a dramatic ebbing of investment flows, and forward indicators point to a consistently underperforming economy, which will lead to a rise in unemployment and a fall in living standards.

The decision is to abandon the Brexit process, revert to existing trade arrangements, and announce a snap general election.

What do you think would happen, if such a black swan event occurred?

My guess is that sterling would go through the roof and UK stocks would rocket.

A vast range of companies and employers would rush to make announcements that they were reversing decisions to leave Britain.

Stalled investment programmes would be triggered and accompanied by a slew of jobs.

The North would have a major obstacle to its devolved government removed.

The UK consumer would quickly get its mojo back and turn around the loss of confidence that has been evident for over a year.

Of course, no-one in the political or media bubble that surrounds Westminster would attach an iota of credibility to such an event unfolding.

Instead, the stock answer about ‘Brexit being Brexit’ will be rolled out to fend off any suggestion of a radical change.

Rather than stick with factual analysis, the English chattering classes will revert to the verbal wash of barbs and insults that do nothing for the lives of people who are without power.

The former British prime minister, John Major, was brilliant on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

His palpable anger had nothing to do with his own standing or earnings.

It is 100% connected to his deep-felt belief that people of low income, the so-called working classes, are the ones that will suffer most from Brexit. His emotion was compounded by his direct involvement in the Good Friday Agreement, which took enormous investment by the UK, and delicate international co-operation, to secure peace for the first time in a generation.

Mr Major, Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown are all former recent leaders of Great Britain and all of them think Brexit is an unmitigated disaster.

Against that pantheon of political achievement have a look at the characters who are most enthused by Brexit.

Ask yourself how much of the honest, decent character of Britain they really represent.

After World War One, there was a cliche circulating about “lions being led by donkeys” to describe the slaughter of young men caused by headless political leadership.

Any study of UK history reveals the horrific decapitation of an entire generation, by a political decision taken in the halls of Westminster to join a war.

That episode is a clear example that the outcome of decisions taken by democratic institutions is not always a good thing for an individual society.

The idea that one decision cannot be changed, in the wake of facts and detached analysis, is a bogus concept, perpetrated by those who pursue a result, no matter how bad the consequences.

Brexit has become a bore fest in many minds, because it has gone on for so long.

It is easier, now, to shrug shoulders and let the process take its natural course, one that will rip the UK out of its most valuable trading bloc and create a phalanx of obstacles to free trade.

Trade unions detest Brexit. Employers are more politically nuanced, but are making decisions that remove existing and future jobs from Britain.

If those who represent people who work and people who employ are against this process, how much longer can the politicians who supposedly represent them in a democracy carry on?

- Joe Gill is director of corporate broking with Goodbody Stockbrokers. His views are personal.


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