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The contradiction of the Remain business case about Brexit

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We often have the parade of those few Remain advocates  claiming to speak for big  businesses that want to stop Brexit. They frequently repeat themselves,  going  public to help the Remain cause. They argue more than  one foolish   contradiction.

The most obvious is their statement that leaving the EU without a very costly  Withdrawal Agreement is plunging off a cliff, conjuring false  images of sharp falls in output. They then follow this with their number one complaint that once out of the EU we will lose access to cheap labour from the continent which they  say is needed to deal with the increased demand and expansion of business which they will be grappling with.

If they truly believed  output will fall and stay lower as they imply, they would not bother to seek more labour. They would be planning an orderly reduction in the size of their workforce as people retired or left for other reasons. Their economic forecasts have been so bad for many years. The pro EU lobbyists  wrongly wanted the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which did lead to a sharp fall in activity and business  output and led many  businesses to sack people without warning  because they had failed to foresee the results of their ill judged  lobbying for the ERM. They  wrongly  went along with or encouraged the Euro, which did considerable damage to UK export markets on the continent after the banking crash, when that was extended and worsened in the Euro area by the Euro crisis.

Next  they wrongly forecast a fall in UK output  in the months immediately after  we voted to leave, which did not happen .  Nor is there any  no good reason to think that actually   leaving  should lead to that. Of course the UK needs to follow good positive domestic policies to thrive outside  the EU, just as we needed to do that to grow or to offset harmful EU policies when in it. If we just get on with spending domestically all the money we save on leaving, the economy will perform well.

Let me reassure them again. UK output will not be damaged by leaving. It could expand more than currently  if the government stopped its ever tightening monetary and fiscal squeeze. The correct thing to do would be to offer tax cuts and increased spending in this  autumn’s  budget, covered by ending payments to the EU.

Business needs to turn its mind to productivity, and wean itself off the ever more cheap labour model. Together we need to build a world of higher pay, high skills and more computing and machine power to help people be more productive.


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