Play catch­phrase

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

It never ceases to amaze how Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May still spouts catch­phrases. In­stead of con­cise de­tails for a fu­ture eco­nomic part­ner­ship with the EU, she re­sorts to vague im­agery. The lat­est, af­ter “strong and sta­ble lead­er­ship” then “calm lead­er­ship” and even “free and fric­tion­less trade”, prior to her meet­ing with Euro­pean busi­ness lead­ers, is a “bold and deep eco­nomic part­ner­ship”.

How­ever, Brexit has be­gun to chal­lenge John Red­wood, Tory Arch-brex­i­teer and fi­nan­cial pun­dit. In print he has been ad­vis­ing clients to in­vest abroad and away from the UK. It seems Brexit, or bad Brexit, is caus­ing anx­i­ety about the present and fu­ture state of the econ­omy.

There are fears among peo­ple like Mr Red­wood that the UK econ­omy is slid­ing while we have still got full mem­ber­ship of the EU, in con­trast to the cur­rent growth of the other 27 mem­ber states.

The fu­ture looks bleak. Es­ti­mates of UK pro­duc­tiv­ity have been down­graded and the IMF in­di­cates the UK is a “no­table ex­cep­tion” in an im­prov­ing global econ­omy. The UK will trail Greece over the next five years. Na­tional UK tax rises will be needed to fund the West­min­ster mis­man­age­ment of the in­creas­ing Na­tional Debt, cur­rently at £1.8 tril­lion or 87 per cent of GDP. In­ter­est rates are ris­ing, which will add to the bill and the still fall­ing pound.

How an ill-de­fined “bold and deep” eco­nomic part­ner­ship with the EU – which can never bet­ter full mem­ber­ship – and the, as yet non-ex­is­tent, bi­lat­eral trade deals in the Global Bri­tish nir­vana, will turn the econ­omy around in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, is be­yond the bounds of com­pre­hen­sion when a war­ring West­min­ster Cab­i­net is holed be­low the wa­ter­line and a PM spouts catch­phrases in place of sub­stan­tive pol­icy ini­tia­tives.

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