Life

Three years after leaving the EU, the vitality is greatly damaged

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom officially announced its withdrawal from the European Union after years of political party disputes and domestic divisions. On the same day, the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated with confidence that the British economy could finally reach its full potential. However, three years later, the real situation is exactly the opposite. High inflation, economic recession, three prime ministers in three years, general strike… People seem to see pessimism and despair. Three years after leaving the EU, more than half of the British people regretted it. So what has Britain experienced in the past three years?
  Economic setback
  ”In the small town of Penrith, in the north of England, families are warming up with blankets in their unheated homes and people line up at the local food bank. A popular pub has announced it will close after 25 years in business , this is the third one recently…” This is what a British reporter in Ukraine saw after returning to his hometown. He even said: “Except for missiles, working in Ukraine in war is more important than in peace.” But the broken Penrith is easier and more comfortable.”
  As far as the current UK is concerned, it is difficult for the public to see the dividends brought by Brexit. On the contrary, the country’s economy has fallen into the worst downturn in history three years after Brexit. According to data at the end of September last year, compared with other Western developed countries that have also experienced the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the energy crisis, the UK is the only G7 developed economy whose economy has not yet recovered to the size before the epidemic at the end of 2019. In January of this year, the International Monetary Fund also predicted that due to tight tax and monetary policies and high energy prices, the British economy will not only not grow, but will shrink by 0.6% in 2023, and its performance is expected to be even worse than that of Russia. Difference. In this regard, the German media “Daily News” described the impact of the Brexit incident on the UK as “an economic disaster”.
  Disaster manifests itself in every way. Johnson, director of the UK’s top economic research institute, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, believes that one of the most direct consequences of Brexit is labor shortages. He said that industries such as catering and logistics used to be supported by immigrants from the EU, but now that visas have become cumbersome, it is no longer easy for these people to come to the UK. In addition, after Brexit, the proportion of small businesses in the UK exporting has also dropped significantly.
  A central reason that drew Britain out of the EU three years ago was the possibility, as a sovereign state, of making its own trade deals without EU oversight. However, the UK is clearly not achieving this goal today. The latest official figures show that UK exports have disappointed over the past three years. Total exports, including services, have grown less than any other G7 country since the end of 2019, and new post-Brexit trade agreements cover only 63% of foreign trade, a figure the UK had targeted three years ago 80%.
  In addition, the aftermath of Brexit has also spread to the financial sector of the United Kingdom. European major countries have moved their financial businesses from London to Europe. As a result, London’s stock market value was surpassed by Paris in November last year, and it lost its position as the number one in Europe. In this regard, the Bank of England issued a warning: It is expected that the UK will suffer the worst economic recession since 1920 in the next three years, and the unemployment rate will rise from the current 3.5% to 6.5%. The Bank of England also judged that leaving the EU would have a long-term impact on the UK’s economic competitiveness.
  The people pay the bill
  British economist Flanders expressed a very ironic phenomenon in an interview with CNN: “After Brexit, the poorest fifth of the population in the UK is now living less than most of the poorest countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Much poorer.” The post-Brexit economic downturn has also spawned more social crises, the consequences of which are ultimately paid for by the British themselves.
  In October last year, UK inflation hit 11.1%, the highest level in 41 years. To make matters worse, companies are unable to raise wages, and wages cannot keep up with inflation. According to the forecast of the UK Office for Budget Responsibility, British household income will fall by 7% this year, returning to the level of 10 years ago. Workers are expected to lose £470 a year 10 years after the UK leaves the EU.
  Falling purchasing power combined with labor shortages have sparked the UK’s biggest wave of strikes in more than a decade, while millions of people are living with a cost crisis as Britain’s National Health Service is on the brink of collapse. Although the current Prime Minister Sunak has introduced a strict strike restriction bill, it is a vicious circle that intensifies the confrontation between workers and the government. On February 1 this year, 500,000 people in the UK began to strike one after another. As of February 5, the number of strikers had exceeded 1.2 million, including teachers, civil servants, and train drivers. The strike came as cabinet ministers rejected union demands for higher public sector pay. Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must make union tycoons think twice before using strike weapons.” Sunak has been desperate to restore the government’s fiscal credibility with the market crashing, while a sharp rise in wages would widen a national deficit already overwhelmed by the coronavirus and energy crisis; Grant-Shapps, on the other hand, believes higher wages will inflation.
  Opinion polls show growing numbers of Britons regret leaving the EU. In June 2016, the British referendum decided to “Brexit”. The final vote counting results showed that 17,176,006 voters supported Brexit, accounting for 52% of the total votes, and 48% of voters wanted to stay in the EU. In the current social environment where the employment rate and unemployment rate continue to decline, according to a new survey released by the British news website “UnHerd” on January 30, among the 632 parliamentary constituencies surveyed, 629 regretted leaving the EU. 1, only 3 constituencies are still in favor of leaving the EU.
  Some British people even said directly on Twitter: “I’m embarrassed to say that I voted for Brexit, we were obviously cheated… I think we should stay, we made a big mistake.
  ”
  In fact, the economic decline is only the tip of the iceberg, and after Brexit, British politics is also in extreme instability. Since the UK decided to leave the European Union in 2016, the UK has experienced five prime ministers, and the degree of chaos is evident. Every prime minister has made promises to the British people when he was campaigning and taking office, but left a “mess” when he resigned.
  In June 2016, a few hours after the Brexit referendum results were announced, Cameron left, and Theresa May took over the mess after the referendum and carried the banner of Brexit. But Theresa May also had to announce her resignation after the House of Commons rejected her Brexit deal three times in a row. Afterwards, the “Brexitist” Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and began to lead the United Kingdom to “hard Brexit”, but the political chaos did not end. After a series of scandals triggered the resignation of ministers, Boris Johnson also took the blame and resigned . Subsequently, Truss “taken over” and announced the most radical tax cut plan since 1972, which led to the collapse of the financial market. He stepped down in embarrassment after only 45 days in office, becoming the shortest-lived prime minister in British history. Amidst the chaos, Sunak, an Indian billionaire, took over the responsibility of the prime minister. By February 2 this year, he had been in power for 100 days. On this day, the general strike in the UK was still going on vigorously.
  The “mess” does not only exist domestically. The complicated “Brexit” issue has led to cracks in the relationship between the British government and the EU. According to the German media “Daily News”, after the “Brexit” of the United Kingdom, the EU lost its second largest economy, which has an irreversible negative impact on the development of the EU itself. Although the EU has repeatedly persuaded the UK to abandon the “Brexit”, it has not prevented the UK’s “Brexit” from becoming a reality. On the one hand, the issue of Northern Ireland is a thorny legacy. Although the UK and the EU have reached a certain consensus on relevant issues and signed the “Northern Ireland Protocol”, some of the provisions have problems, and the UK and the EU have still not been able to reach an agreement on the revision of the regulations. On the other hand, the UK and the EU have only reached a “Brexit” agreement on trade, but have not established a new mature mechanism for defense and security cooperation, and related issues have not yet been resolved.
  Three years after leaving the EU, the British government has given a “bad” answer in terms of results. What should be done next? From the current point of view, the scandal-ridden Sunak government has not come up with the best solution. However, Sunak has realized that since he took over as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in October 2022, he has made many efforts to repair the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. In his view, only by properly handling the relationship with the EU can it be possible to solve the problems in the UK. In the eyes of the British people, Sunak can be said to have grasped the essence of the problem, and they expect the Indian prime minister to lead the UK out of the quagmire.

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