In the letters today Dr John Watt bemoans the fact that “Leaving the EU was never a simple black and white question”. Of course it wasn’t although the Ballot question itself was simple enough as we all know. But in its wisdom our government of the day issued a £9million leaflet “Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK” to every household in the UK.
So it came down to how the government would influence the result with the leaflet. It would be “An important decision for the UK”, about “A stronger economy”, about “Improving our lives”, about “What happens if we leave?”, “Controlling immigration and securing our borders”, “The benefits of EU membership”, a “A once in a generation decision”.
The Champion letter purports to represent more accurately the balance of opinion, especially “when only 37% of the electorate voted for Brexit”. We’ve been here before and explained the referendum was the highest ever vote in the UK. “Brexit options were not adequately understood”…tough, every election brings cries of the losers never being understood. The letter mentions “imagined trade benefits…” but doesn’t mention our “actual trade deficit” with the EU. A mere £70billion or so!
And the letter rambles on to a crescendo of being “…necessary to condemn the despicable and shameful Home Office treatment of so many EU nationals who have been settled for years in this country and which seems to be responsible for fostering the hostile attitudes”. And the evidence for that claim is where?
In actuality it seems that the UK is doing rather well. The UK economy has strengthened, growing by 0.5pc in the three months to November as a weaker pound helped boost manufacturing exports, data from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) suggests. This comes as official data showed exports to non-EU countries had grown. Excluding the EU, the trade deficit narrowed by nearly £3bn, as the impact of the cheaper pound made UK goods more affordable.
Figures released also revealed improved export activity in every region of the UK, according to data from HMRC, with England’s and Scotland’s exports rising by 14pc and 19.9pc respectively. Imports to the UK from the EU grew in the three months to October however, widening the trade deficit with the UK’s largest trading partner by £1.9bn, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). All, surprisingly, despite Brexit! Perhaps it really was the case that the public had had enough of “experts” telling us what a terrible fate Brexit would bring us, those experts being failed politicians and bankers, enough said!