The true cost of a Brexit victory

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Flickr/Ben Chapman

Just over a week ago Britain chose to leave the European Union and the shockwaves are still being felt. Since the vote, the (so-called) experts’ warnings of economic disaster have begun the transition from ‘project fear’, as it was so nonchalantly dismissed by the Leave campaign, to ‘project fact’. The value of the pound has fallen dramatically, billions have been wiped off the FTSE 100 and economic growth forecasts have been revised down- with some economists predicting that a recession is imminent.

The economic chaos is rivalled only by what is happening inside Westminster. The Prime Minister has resigned and has plunged the Conservative party into a power struggle worthy of Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, there is no opposition to fill the void as Labour MPs attempt a botched version of the Red Wedding in a battle for the soul of the party. All this at a time when strong leadership is vital to reassure not only the markets but the people of the country who face an uncertain future.

Amidst all of the chaos, it would be easy to forget what a significant victory this was for the Leave campaign. They defeated the combined strength of the UK’s major political parties, the Governor of the Bank of England, most economists, all of Britain’s allies… the list goes on. But at what cost have Leave secured this victory?

Immigration, Immigration, Immigration

Do not be fooled by the suggestion that the Leave campaign convinced 17 million people on the nuanced issue of sovereignty. While Leave’s slogan was ‘take back control’, it was combined with inflammatory rhetoric about immigration which meant its meaning transformed into something altogether more sinister. Immigration won the referendum for the Brexiters.

Remain simply could not stand against the fear created by the fanciful threat of millions of Turks coming to take the jobs of those who already feel left behind in a globalised world. Nor could it stand against Nigel Farage’s Nazi-esque propaganda which disingenuously used the plight of millions of refugees in order to secure just a few more votes, to inject just a bit more fear. The Leave campaign exploited their one trump card with surgical precision.

Yes, there are legitimate concerns regarding immigration, but it would be delusional to think that this campaign has helped moved that debate forward in any way. The opposite is in fact true. Brexit politicians have exploited the concerns and vulnerability felt by so many in a bid to secure victory.

I won’t bore you by telling you that the vast majority of Leave voters are decent people, that much should be obvious, but the tone of the Leave campaign has emboldened the indecent. Since the result was announced, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of racist hate crimes reported. Rhetoric does not exist in a vacuum and it does have consequences.

These consequences will be long felt as the fabrications of the Leave politicians become apparent. Even before the body of the Remain campaign was cold, Leavers began to row back on their promises as harsh economic reality permeated their bluster. Ian Duncan Smith described the claims made by the campaign as just a ‘series of possibilities’, while Tory MEP David Hannan admitted that free movement of people will not necessarily end post Brexit.

One can only imagine the furious backlash that any deal involving free movement would inspire from those who equated a vote for Brexit with a vote to end immigration. Many of these people are already angry at an establishment which they view as out of touch and this would inflame these tensions even more. Even if controls on free movement are secured, the economic consequences of such a deal will largely be felt by the very same people. Once they realise they have been sold a lie, their anger will not dissipate and it could manifest itself in the form of riots, hate crime and support for the far right.

The Leave campaign has unleashed forces beyond its control and they do not have a plan to tame them. Their campaign told the British public that they could enjoy all the benefits of the European Union without free movement if they just took a leap of faith; well now Britain is in freefall and there is no soft landing in sight. When the UK hits the bottom, it is likely that irreparable damage will have been inflicted on both its economy and society.

 

Brexit is a vote against the future generation

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Flickr /Tuncay

Today the news broke that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, and I’m not ashamed to admit that this news made upset me. Actually, I experienced a range of emotions: anger, devastation, fury, sadness, desolation. Surely it is an odd thing that this would have had such a personal impact on me? I’m not an EU immigrant and my status in this country is not immediately under threat, so why do I feel as if my world is crumbling down around me?

Let me tell you why. For me, this is personal. It is about the future of the United Kingdom, but it is also about me. One person among the multitudes. Brexit hurt me because well, my entire life has been a struggle. I have had the garden variety problems which face young adults: bullying, parental separation, mental health issues and more family problems than one person should ever have to deal with. Despite this fractured upbringing, I went to a Top Ten University (Lancaster) for my undergraduate degree and I achieved a First in History. I have now gone on to study for my Masters at the University of Durham – a decision which has been incredibly hard and, at times, not worth the money and energy I have put into it.

But what does this have to do with the European Union? They could not prevent my family issues, and they sure as hell wouldn’t be able to fix the administration at Durham, so why am I so upset?

It’s quite simple actually. The European Union offered me a future. It offered me a way out. The recent governments of this country have targeted Higher Education and turned it into a scheme to make money. If you can’t make a profit out of it, it’s not worth keeping. I truly believe, rightly or wrongly, that this idea underpins the educational reforms of the Conservative governments. They don’t care that I will never be able to pay back my student loans, and it baffles me that they think education is something which should have to be paid for. Despite what rhetoric they use, it feels as if they are attempting to price-out low income families such as mine to prevent them from gaining an education.

They didn’t. I beat the odds and I am about to gain my MA qualification, which I think most people would agree is quite an achievement. But again, what does this have to do with the EU? Well, that has to do with my career choice. I want to be a lecturer in Modern History. To do this, I need a PhD in either History or a related subject. A PhD costs money. The tuition fees vary from different institutions (roughly starting from around £4,000 per year), and those plus the cost of living would be the biggest drain on my personal finances. It is not a financially viable plan for me in my current situation.

The EU could have helped me out. They have various means of funding PhDs across the UK and the rest of Europe. I could have studied in Germany, Paris, Amsterdam or Vienna. I could have participated in funding projects and schemes that would have allowed me to gain my PhD either at home or abroad.

But, we have left the EU. That funding no longer exists. As hard as it was to start with, as in gaining a funded PhD from a reputable institution with supervisors who could help me attempt my PhD thesis, the Brexit vote has just made it so much harder for me. I am a woman from a low-income family. I already feel as though the deck is stacked against me, as I see wealthy people able to go on to MA or PhD with their parents support. And before someone points out the obvious, I do have a job; part-time to allow me to carry out the research necessary for my MA dissertation. Attempting to take on a full-time PhD and a full-time job would be both unreasonable and impossible. My choices are therefore limited.

If I face facts, leaving the EU could just be another hurdle for me to overcome. And maybe I will. But the main reason that I am so upset about leaving is because I’m tired. I’m tired of living in a country who thinks that anyone under 25 is a second class citizen.

This government has brought in discriminative legislation based on age which boils down to the fact that they think that we are worth less than those over 25. Due to the cuts to housing benefit, and the housing crisis, I have to accept the fact that I will never be able to own my own house because we will either be in a post-Brexit recession or because of cuts to Higher Education, I will never get my dream job to pay for a house.

I have always wanted to be an intellectual. I love to learn. I love progressive values, tolerance and peace. But I wake up today in a country that, I feel, has discarded those values in exchange for xenophobia, islander mentality and an inability to see the consequences of Brexit for my generation.

Recent polling suggests that around 75% of people aged 18-24 wanted to remain in the EU. The older generations didn’t listen, and now my future, our future is uncertain.

Democracy has had the last word

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Flickr/Fe Ilya

On June 24 the World was awaiting the results of the nail-biting EU Referendum Election. The previous day, 72.2% of the British public voted on whether to leave or remain in the European Union.

I watched with bated breath as David Dimbleby announced the earth shattering result, 51.9% of our nation had voted to leave the EU. Time stopped. It wasn’t soon after, that the financial markets were torpedoed by the ‘Leave’ victory, consequentially the value of the British pound plummeted, the lowest it has been since 1985.

Inevitably democracy has spoken, but the question on everyone’s lips is ‘what now?’. For those 48.1% of us who voted to remain, we have a lot more to fear from the unknown. It is justifiable to say that the Referendum has marked a watershed moment in our history.

There has been a seismic shift in British politics, with the majority of London voting to remain in, compared to the rest of the country (excluding Scotland and Northern Ireland). It is with despair that I say that we are now a country with ever gaping cracks.

London is now seen with even more suspicion as it voted with a majority, for economic stability. We can no longer disengage from the fact that there is a concerning disconnect between the South, namely London and the rest of the country. There are those who criticise, that those living and working in the Capital, know nothing of the hardships of austerity, especially when compared to their working class counterparts in the North. Yet it is also true to say that London has been a City which has accepted the influx of immigrants and enjoyed all its boons.

Not soon after the results were declared Nigel Farage declared a ‘war’ on immigration, calling for June 23 to be renamed ‘Independence Day’, a victory for real and ordinary people. He said, and I quote, “today honesty, decency and belief in nation…is going to win”. So what about the other 48.1% Nigel? What about all those people who will inevitably lose their jobs because we have an economy that will undoubtedly shrink? What about the younger generation who trusted overwhelmingly that remaining was the best prospect for their future, one which now looks set to be bleak and gloomy.

Our decision to become part of the European Union was in part to heal the rifts and divisions born out of war. The EU was more than a mere organisation, more than a single market, it was symbol of peace. A symbol to show the world that we could move beyond centuries of division and work our differences out together, for the collective interest of all involved. It is sad, that instead of choosing the path of tolerance, we have now decided to turn our backs on our neighbours who once were our enemies.

Democracy may have spoken, but David Cameron still resigned. Yes, it may be three months from now, but given the current turn of events, we now have an even bigger problem on our hands. I shudder to think that we have given men like Boris Johnson a mandate to run our country. I am no lover of the Tories, but it seems like for many, a vote for ‘Leave’ was a vote against the establishment, and it has gone horribly awry.

This is not a moment to make prophecies about the future, though I have indulged myself in a few, however it is a cause for concern that as we head into the next few months and possibly years, we face an existential crisis, what is our place in society? With a nation divided down the middle, and with a likely second Scottish Referendum (possibly Northern Ireland too), on the table, we head into a dark future with disturbing possibilities.

Brexit vs Bremain has gone too far

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Flickr/Abi Begum

When did almost 53% of our society become so nauseatingly narrow minded? At what point did we start to justify prejudice, when did we start discriminating against our neighbours and friends and why has Racism become the norm? We need to ask ourselves why intolerance and deep rooted suspicion of the ‘other’ has become the cornerstone of British Politics in recent months?

Our elected representatives are fighting like feral animals, pointing fingers, crying lies upon lies and hurling insults. Is it just me, or has the entire EU Referendum debate brought to the fore what is base about our polity?

If you want know why I’m asking such a tirade of questions, look no further than Nigel Farage’s unveiling of the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign poster. When Michael Gove told Andrew Marr he ‘shuddered’ at UKIP’s Brexit propaganda, he can’t undo it now, can he? You cannot justify the blatant absence of any white faces on the borders of Europe (Slovenia, 2015).

Farage’s stance is starkly reminiscent of Nazi Propaganda branded about in the 1930’s, he is absolutely opposed to the free movement of people, and justifies his argument in the most barbaric way possible, by making a mockery of the refugee crisis.

Dividing lines

Undoubtedly since the hail of the Brexit campaigns and its counterpart ‘Bremain’, we have become ever more divided. Whichever margin of the debate you support, or even if you’re simply sitting on the fence, praying for a miracle that will guide you on June 23, our society has become deeply suspicious and paranoid.

In the face of what is set to be the most important and far-reaching decision we will make in years to come, why is the debate focusing on immigration? Why has the far-right been allowed to grasp the agenda.

It is far more noticeable, less than 24 hours away from the Referendum Vote that we are now living in a climate of hatred and cynicism, one that we have built! Doesn’t anyone else think that we’ve gone too far?

I apologise if I offend, but I just don’t buy the ‘English as a persecuted minority’ argument, one echoing Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood speech’. Why are Brexiteer’s trying to con us with phrases like ‘Make Britain Great Again’? I’m sorry, but I didn’t receive the memo to say that we’ve lost our greatness in the first place!

After watching a recent BBC Documentary, ‘The Immigration Question’ presented by Mishal Husain, I feel like I need to respond.

I say this with the greatest respect to Mrs Chowles who is going to have to wait 15 years for a Council house to accommodate the needs of her disabled husband, but Brexit is not a silver bullet! Clacton, despite having unemployment above the national average, has relatively little immigrant influx compared to other cities in the South of England, it actually houses few people who were born outside the United Kingdom.

Where the problems truly lie

The truth of the matter is, that core issues with the NHS, housing, unemployment, social security and education can’t and won’t disappear overnight. They will be present on June 23 when we vote, and regardless of which way we decide to vote, we will wake up to these issues once again on June 24.

Unfortunately, Mrs Chowles’ determination to vote Brexit, and others also motivated by the same concerns, will undoubtedly realise that their legitimate concerns, have never been the fault of immigrants, rather the failure of successive governments to provide sufficient funding and resources to these areas.

If the NHS is stretched, why can’t we give them more money, more Doctors and more Nurses, don’t scrap the bursaries! If we don’t have enough homes and Council houses, then why aren’t we building more? If there aren’t enough jobs, are you sure you’re looking properly?

Eastern European immigrants are being exploited by British businesses who abuse their work ethic for low pay, don’t insult immigrants for a problem that doesn’t lie with them. These issues have little to do with our membership of the EU and more to do with the fact that during the 2015 general election, the majority of us, voted in a Conservative Government to run our country.

Immigration has never been, and will never be the problem. As a second generation British national, I am greatly offended by the divisive tactics used to scaremonger our society. In the face of threats like home-grown terrorism and climate change we should not delude ourselves that standing isolated is standing strong.

Unity is the bedrock of British success and progress; standing united with Europe is the only chance we have to fight the threats we face today. We all know deep down, that Brexit flies in the face of British values, values that countless generations before us have fought tooth and nail for. Why should we dishonour them now?

Don’t be impressed by nostalgia and notions of exceptionalism, let’s show men like Farage that we don’t need to succumb to prejudice and discrimination, that we can build a better future with tolerance, respect and unity, one hopefully within the EU.

Demystifying the Brexit fear campaigns

© European Union 2013 – European Parliament – Pietro Naj-Oleari:

The campaign for ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’ has been a long drawn out process, one which has captivated the nation for all the wrong reasons. Seemingly, the new way to win a political campaign is to scare everybody with any given excuse. As a soon to be Politics graduate, I find this a sad and sorry state of affairs.

In this two part series I shall seek to demonstrate what these political campaigns have failed to do, provide fair debate and factual statements.

Admittedly, I am a supporter of the European Union and I will be voting to remain. However, I will not seek to scare you, I simply intend upon feeding you the truths that I believe to hold firm through my own research. As such, I implore you to read on, what I say next may well change your minds, for the right reasons.

In this first part I will cover three main topics, the environment, the NHS, and the economy and sovereignty.

The climate

Even if you dislike some of the EU ‘red tape’ the media perpetually talks about, it is hard to argue with arguments surrounding the environment.

Climate change and the environment more generally will without a shadow of a doubt be the challenge of our generation. It shall not be – as some might have you believe – terrorism, Corbyn becoming prime minister or about any of us finding a job.

If you decide to vote to stay in the EU even if it’s just for the one reason, I would encourage you to make it a climate reason.

The EU climate and energy package was adopted in 2009 to implement the 20-20-20 targets endorsed by EU leaders in 2007 – by 2020 there should be a 20% reduction of Green House Gas emissions compared with 1990, a 20% share of renewables in EU energy consumption, and energy improvement by 20%.

It has also implemented a single EU-wide cap on emission allowances from 2013 onwards, with a linear annual reduction until 2020 and beyond.

To deal with climate change we need transnational organisations. Climate change is not confined to borders, it is worldwide and to fight it, prevent it and save ourselves we must be part of bodies such as the European Union.

The NHS

The next topic for scrutiny is the much talked about NHS issue, perhaps the best and most incredible British institution. Much is being made about staying in the EU costing our NHS because of ‘uncontrolled immigration’ and the money spent on the EU which could be better spent ‘elsewhere’.

For starters, the money we get from being part of the EU to fund research and development is huge. Furthermore, the EU promotes joint action for cancer research and control where member states work together. There is also a large body of evidence suggesting that the NHS is also critically reliant upon the U.K. economy, which as we know would suffer no end if we ‘Brexited’.
Much of the furore surrounding the NHS regards the issue about TTIP, which many people are worried about. The NHS is currently being negotiated out of a deal for this transatlantic trade agreement and would therefore not affect the workings of the NHS.

Equally, the main advocates for leaving the EU, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage have all spoken about their desire to privatise the NHS, so when they claim they want to give it more funding or whatever else they may say, you may want to challenge that.

EU migration also makes up around 10% of NHS doctors and 4% of nurses.

The economy and sovereignty 

Both campaigns have also fed the general public questionable figures. Ipsos Mori have carried out a non biased research analysis into the EU, the following were some of the central findings.

48% of the UK’s total international investment comes from the EU and 44% of our total exports are sold to EU countries – china only accounts for 1% of investment and 5% of exports respectively.

23% of those intending to vote leave don’t think that MEP’s are elected. Much of the general public as well as the media also peddle the sovereignty argument regarding Britain not having control over its own laws and regulation.

Instead of persistently looking at the negative portrayal of the EU, why not take a positive stance and view what regulations and laws the EU has brought into place which have benefited us all; trade agreements to reduce tariffs and agree increased trade between EU countries, a cap on the amount of hours an employee can make an employer work for, price caps on mobile roaming charges, ban on tobacco advertising, a minimum of 4 weeks holiday per year and a cap on banker’s bonuses.


Ultimately, in a globalised world of interconnectedness, one which we ourselves pushed and furthered, it makes no sense whatsoever to now become isolationist. Yes, certain aspects of the EU need reform but the wider, transnational issues at hand need to be dealt with collectively. You go and look back at history and tell me how successful and peaceful the Europe and the world more widely has been a) when it has been split up into individual bodies and b) when it has been held together by multi-nation bodies. The proof is pretty clear.

Brexit: the true facts on EU immigration

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Flickr/MPD01605

In the eyes of those who wish to see Britain escape the tyranny of the EU, and its unforgivable crime of enabling international trade and diplomacy for European states, the hot topic seemingly always rides in upon a wave of xenophobia. This is fuelled largely by unfounded claims over immigration, which this article will seek to dismiss.

They’re ‘clamouring at the gates’?

According to the Get Britain Out campaign, membership of the EU opens up British borders to 450million Europeans.

This ridiculous assertion is a simple manipulation of language, designed to give the impression that the entire population of the EU are just waiting at the border to steal our jobs and reap the treasure at the end of the rainbow – our benefits system.

Current figures estimate that the population of the EU is roughly 503 million. This includes infants, the elderly, the sick, and those who actually want to remain in their home country. So claims that Britain will be overrun by 90% of the EU’s Population is both naïve and laughably arrogant. It requires us to make the assumption that the only place in Europe that Europeans want to live (or at least 90% of Europeans) is Britain.

Yes, technically our borders are open to every EU citizen, but leaping to the conclusion that they’re all clamouring at the gate to get to Middleton, or Rochester, or any other areas with strong anti-immigration support defies rational thought, and such claims only serve to scaremonger.

They Took Our Jobs?

In my previous post on the Brexit I mentioned UKIPs claim that over 100,000 UK born citizens lost out to jobs this decade due to an influx of 700,000 Eastern Europeans.

What I’m struggling to understand is if 700,000 came over, why is it that only 1/7 of them ‘stole’ British jobs? What were the other 600,000 doing? And considering a job is something you get given, how did they ‘steal’ anything? This is one of many instances in which figures spouted by Brexit enthusiasts simply don’t add up.

The actual figure for EU-Born Citizens in the UK labour market is approximately 1.9 million working as both employees and self-employed business owners.

Now I’m not just telling you this to prove that UKIP can’t even scaremonger properly (honestly they’re not even good at being bigots), or to point out that this is 1.9 million hard working taxpayers that contribute to the maintenance of the country, instead of just being the ‘swarms’ of benefit leeching sponges that UKIP portray them as.

No, the reason I’m telling you about this 1.9 million is to show how it is directly proportionate to the estimated total number of UK nationals living in other EU countries, which is between 1.8-2.2 million at present.

We are not being overrun. The scales are actually quite balanced, and the majority of those who have gone to live in other EU states are of young-to-mid working age (25-44), so if ‘they’ took our jobs, then we’ve taken just as many from ‘them’.

Not to mention the 30,000 that are claiming benefits from the countries they’ve now moved to. What I would like to make clear here is that if moving to another country for work is to be seen as a crime, then we’re no more innocent than anyone else.

If the argument is that we need to create more jobs, and the solution is to restrict the free movement to other EU states in which such a high number have been able to find work, then how exactly will this help anything? The more that people shout about ‘job theft’ as a key issue in the Brexit campaign the sillier they look.

But what would Norway do?

Another claim frequently cited by Brexit enthusiasts is that we should emulate the models set forth by existing non-EU states, such as Switzerland and Norway, that are able to maintain trade agreements with the EU. However, both of these states have far higher levels of EU immigration in proportion to their population than the UK, and allow free movement across their borders for EU citizens.

In fact, it is written into their trade agreements with the EU that free movement is a necessity in order to retain access to the single market; tied in with technical barriers to trade, public procurement, agriculture, transport, civil aviation, and research through the use of a ‘guillotine clause’.

In essence, all of these agreements are co-dependant and the violation of one, for example through the imposition of immigration quotas, will result in the termination of the other six.

This is the EU simply showing that they will not allow non-member states to pick and choose which benefits they have access to. And in the unlikely event that Britain was given the opportunity to enforce such restrictions upon an exit, we would still need to keep a liberal policy for labour migration in order to remain competitive outside the EU. It wouldn’t be having your cake and eating it so much as it would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Put simply, whether you like it or not immigration happens and will very probably continue to happen regardless of whether or not we remain in the EU. If it does not, then our wallets will suffer as much as those who we turn away.

The only factor that will change if we leave is that we will reduce our influence in any future matters and the rest of the world may deem us to be much more xenophobic than previously believed.

 

 

Brexit: beneficial or burdensome for the British economy?

Flickr/Giampaolo Squarcina

Amidst a world seemingly plunged into chaos, with tensions escalating daily in the Middle East, and the consequences of the global economic crash of 2008 still yet to be fully realised, one of the biggest issues within Britain remains to be whether or not EU membership is worthwhile.

The purpose of this series of posts will be to inform readers of the facts surrounding the matter, and whilst I will try to be as nonpartisan as possible, my stance on the matter will become increasingly apparent as you read along.

Breaking through the ever so subtle, propagandist, jargon littered, 10 point case set out by the Get Britain Out campaign the cracks are easily visible in their unsubstantiated arguments in favour of the exodus from the EU – or more commonly termed ‘Brexit’.

In this first post I will begin by breaking down some of the jargon and demonstrating why our membership to the EU has numerous benefits.

Freedom to spend UK resources presently through EU membership in the UK to the advantage of our citizens. 

The resources to which this poorly written and unclear point is referring to is the £55m per day, or £20bn per year, that The Get Britain Out campaign claims that EU membership is costing British taxpayers. This figure is based on spurious assertions made by UKIP party leader and professional manweasel Nigel Farage during the LBC Leaders debate.

If you take a look at the UKIP Brexit manifesto you will see that this figure has now increased to £150bn per annum based on factors such as the gross cost of membership, the cost of market regulation, and the influx of ‘700,000 eastern europeans into Britain since 2004, taking away jobs from over 100,000 UK born people’.

Unfortunately for UKIP, their focus on inaccurate gross contributions highlights a fairly transparent flaw in their argument. They simply don’t take into account the fact that we receive almost half of this amount back in rebates under clauses such as the Common Agricultural policy. It also ignores the net figure, as it doesn’t provide the sensationalist headlines that their campaign is dependent on.

In reality Britain is in a relatively privileged position compared to other EU states, as those who joined the EU during its 2004 expansion who are not afforded such rebates.

The actual figure of gross contributions are closer to £14bn per annum, based on figures from 2013, which rebates reduced down to a net contribution of £8.6bn.

Now if you take into account that our government has just announced a budget of £742bn for the year, it becomes apparent that in context, it’s not such a big figure. Especially when you consider that it it buys us the benefits of being in a single market with substantially more buying power than we could hope to have as an isolated state.

Freedom to make stronger trade deals with other nations.

The Open Europe report establishes that the realistic economic impact of a Brexit ranges from a 0.8% permanent loss to GDP by 2030 (where the UK strikes a comprehensive trade deal with the EU but does nothing else), to a 0.6% permanent gain in GDP in 2030 – where it pursues free trade with the rest of the world and deregulation, in addition to an EU FTA.

There is a high likelihood that if Britain were to leave the EU, we would be able to establish some form of preferential trade agreement, similar to that of Norway or Switzerland. However, as neither of these models would suit the needs of Britain, the issue lies in what that agreement will entail.

Now the easy part would be establishing a trade agreement for goods such as cars, chemicals, aerospace, and machinery. In other words, products that other EU states have a surplus of, but that Britain has a deficit in.

In essence, they have the supply, and we have the demand. it’s clear to see why such an agreement would appeal to the other EU states, as it would be profitable for them, and necessary for us.

A more challenging and pressing issue for Britain, would be to establish preferential trade agreements for services, such as the 41.4% of our finance services that are exported abroad. If we are unable to reach an agreement on services we are putting nearly half of one of our most profitable sectors at risk.

The question that has to be raised is whether or not the trade deals we are able to establish post Brexit will be ‘stronger’. In order to achieve the more realistic goal of a 0.6% increase in GDP by 2030, it would be a necessity to open up trade to the rest of the world.

This would be an essential aspect of any economic growth post an EU exit,  however we would be subject to whole new levels of competition from low cost countries such as China and India.

Remaining competitive outside the EU would require the maintenance of a liberal immigration policy, which undermines the emotional motive for most Brexit enthusiasts. Additionally, any amendments to regulations that have been implemented into UK law would have to pass through parliament, and any MP’s that were against exiting the EU.

Considering how difficult the process of a Brexit would be, and the subsequent effort that would be required in order to overcome the challenges preventing and exit from being beneficial to Britain in the long term. Surely it’s more logical to accept the security of the situation that we’re currently in, and use the effort that would be required to make an exit worthwhile, to push for necessary reform within the EU – that would be beneficial to both ourselves and the rest of the EU.

This covers my review of the economic implications of the Brexit. Keep posted for my follow up on the more emotional aspects of the argument, such as the impact of our current immigration policy, and EU influence over UK law.