THE BLOG

Do We Trust Johnson And Gove's Optimistic Waffle?

03/03/2017 11:54
Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

We are all now Brexiteers since the referendum vote last year - but democracy didn't stop on the 23rd June 2016 just because those in favour of the hardest form of Brexit wish it was so.

Scrutiny and debate - in parliament, in the media, and even in the House of Lords - is as important as ever since we face so many uncertainties in the years ahead.

Most of the uncertainties are around how we will prosper economically - and this will surely have serious implications for many people in this country if we don't prosper in trade with other countries.

If the economy shrinks because we do not have favourable trading terms with other countries then the Government will have less money coming in and there will be less money to pay for all the things we expect our taxes to pay for - for benefits payments for the most vulnerable; for the NHS; for the armed forces and all the other services we rely on.

The Brexit leaders want the UK to not only leave the EU but also the single market and the customs union. This would remove all the trading advantages we currently enjoy with the EU - the advantages which surely helped become the 5th largest economy in the world.

Of course everything may turn out well - other countries outside of the EU might be very keen to make advantages trade deals with us - ones that help us prosper. But surely no one actually knows that will happen because until we leave the EU and know how that will look we can't even start negotiating trade deals with other countries.

It looks like we will be very keen to make a trade deal with Donald Trump's administration - the one that is going to put 'America First'. Judging by Theresa May's visit to Turkey we will also have to rely on some benevolence from Turkey's President Erdogan - this the man busily closing down free speech in his own country. Again none of this means that things will work out badly for us post Brexit - but it surely means there will be a great deal of uncertainty and no one really knows what will happen.

So, instead of any certainty, what we are left with is waffle and hopeful statements from people like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove about our economic future. In reply to warnings about the Government's Brexit strategy by former Prime Minister Sir John Major Johnson said "I think it's very important that as we set out in this journey we are positive about the outcome for the the very good reason the outcome will be fantastic for this country" Michael Gove has made similarly optimistic comments. In April last year Gove said "Those of us who want to leave believe that Britain's best days lie ahead, that our country has tremendous untapped potential which independence would unleash."

So according to people like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - there is no uncertainty - there is no doubt - our future is going to be 'fantastic'.

Are their words of optimism so reassuring that we should just let them get on with the hardest of Brexits - without challenge or debate?

Obviously the answer is no. Given the track record of these two we should be very slow to bet our economic future on their blind optimism - especially given their lack of success in becoming the leader of their own Party and how they cocked that up.

These two - and the other Brexiteers - seem to have little to offer accept waffle and wishful thinking and if we sit back and say nothing and don't challenge what they say then we deserve all we get.

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