Monday, October 23, 2017

Brexit of an encouraging nature

OECD says reversing Brexit would boost Britain’s economy [New European]
The international economic think tank, the OECD, warned in a report last week that a disorderly Brexit without a trade deal would trigger an adverse reaction of financial markets, driving down the pound. It warned that “business investment would seize up” and higher prices would choke off private consumption. However, the OECD analysis found that if there was a decision to halt Brexit, such as by a second referendum, the “positive impact on growth would be significant”.

The zombie ideas that hold so many Brexiteers in their grip [Financial Times]
A powerful article by Martin Wolf in the FT looks at the "zombie" ideas that have taken over the Brexiteers. One such idea is that the UK is in a stronger position than the EU, because it runs a trade deficit with it. Martin points out that, even without the UK, the EU remains the second-largest economy in the world, with an economy almost six times bigger at market prices in 2016: the UK is negotiating with an economic superpower. Another zombie idea is that those who deny the claims of the Brexiteers are “traitors” or “saboteurs” working against “the will of the people”. Martin comments that this is despotism. In a liberal democracy, we are all entitled to our opinions and to seek to overturn what we consider grossly mistaken decisions. The saboteurs are those whose zombie ideas have brought the UK to a ruinous break with its neighbours and natural partners.

Divorce with the EU isn’t inevitable [Guardian]
Some people argue that, because we have triggered Article 50, we are bound to leave the EU. However, Helen Mountfield QC, who was involved in the Gina Miller case, doesn’t agree. She believes that, if we change our mind before March 2019, we can probably stay in the EU legally, through a unilateral decision, without having to ask the European council or the commission or the EU27 for permission. All we have done by triggering Article 50 is tell the EU that we are unhappy and plan to go, but we have not reached the point of no return. Crucially, Parliament has not yet voted to leave the EU: all that the prime minister has done so far is give notice of the current government’s present intention to leave.

Source: EU Insider Briefing: 16-22 October 2017