Sunday, 15 January 2017

"Global Britain", what does it actually mean?

Source: BBC.

So, it's Sunday 15th January. In 2 months, article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be triggered. We're now starting to learn a little bit about the Tory plan for post Brexit Britain.

Theresa May is going to give a speech today calling for a "Global Britain", and declaring that immigration control is a red line, and if Britain doesn't get its way we are prepared to quit the single market. Conventional wisdom suggests that we won't get any concessions, but in fact a recent convo by EU leaders revealed that they also wanted a compromise to prevent massive economic damage to the whole continent, and the election of more Eurosceptic leaders in France and the Netherlands will help Theresa May.

So the negotiation option should not be ruled out. However, I now think it is more likely than not that Britain will leave the single market. What this would mean for Britain would be pretty profound. It would mean a parting of the ways with the Europeans. Britain would move much closer to America and be heavily dependant on U.S President Donald Trump for a trade deal.

Phillip Hammond, the chancellor, also hinted that Britain could "Change its economic model" to remain competitive: In effect this would mean swingeing tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that would make Ronald Reagan look moderate.

People will be afraid about such radical changes. But the Tories feel empowered to do this, partially because of Theresa May's relative popularity, partially because of the referendum, and also partially because the public might not fancy a hard Brexit, but they are more scared of the main opposition leader (Mr Corbyn) than they are of a hard Brexit. That seems to be the Tory gamble: Theresa May can do what she wants because Corbyn is hated. Strap on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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