• Development Intelligence

The positive lessons of Brexit

No, no, please stifle your laughter. It seems to the DI team that there are in fact two glaringly obvious positives that people have not really noticed during the Brexit process. Issues that in summer 2016 we would not have dreamed would still be possible.

1. The UK economy is much more robust than we ever would have dared believe. Despite the political chaos. Despite a Government in meltdown. Despite Russian chemical attacks. Despite Marxists knocking on Government’s door. Despite economic meltdown predictions by the IMF, OECD, World Bank, HM Treasury, OBR, Bank of England (we could go on…). Despite, despite, despite. The UK economy keeps growing. Sure its growth has slowed from where it was in 2014, 2015 etc. But it continues to grow. Employment up. Unemployment down. Growth continues. Who would have guessed that in 2016 or 2017? The national economy has effectively delinked itself from national politics. And this month’s Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee predictions? Growth revised up, unemployment revised down.

2. UK democracy is in good health. No really. Imagine where France would be after nearly three years of political chaos. French farmers would have been blocking motorways. French fishermen would have been blockading ports. Imagine Greece? Plastic bullets would have been bouncing across Syntagma Square in Athens on a nightly basis. Or Italy? Or many other EU nations for thsat matter. What have the Brits done? Had a good moan at the watercooler before going back to their desk. A comparatively small number have joined the odd march, sort of Waitrose decamping to Parliament Square for the afternoon, then back home on the 1852 train having had a ‘jolly nice day out’. A long queue of reasonably polite politicians having a gentle argument on Newsnight each evening. No violence. No pillaging. No riots. UK democracy is working, however imperfectly.