Brexit: 3 Reasons People Are (Reluctantly) Talking About This Again

And it's not just because a recession is near.
An EU supporter holds a sign saying 'Brexit Was Never Going to Work' beneath the statue of Achilles in Hyde Park on October 22, 2022
An EU supporter holds a sign saying 'Brexit Was Never Going to Work' beneath the statue of Achilles in Hyde Park on October 22, 2022
Martin Pope via Getty Images

Six years after the UK voted to leave the EU, and two years since we officially left the trading bloc, Brexit has reared its head yet again this week.

It comes after the Bank of England’s bleak prediction about a two-year recession on Thursday and its decision to increase interest rates by the largest amount seen in 33 years.

On top of that, the cost of living crisis is still gripping the country, along with fears about how the UK is going to cope this winter with a flailing NHS and the energy crunch.

As polling guru Sir John Curtice pointed out this week, the debate about whether the UK should still be in the EU, is still not resolved.

So, here are the top three triggers which have started up Brexit conversations again.

1. Mark Carney’s warning

As the governor of the Bank of England between 2013 and 2020, Mark Carney, explained to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme why the country’s economic outlook is looking so bleak right now.

Speaking on Friday, he explained how the West as a whole was facing a period of instability.

He said: ″In the UK, and other economies, we’ve had the impact of higher energy prices, we’ve had the impact of Covid, which has changed the labour market and our capacity to grow.”

But, then he added: “In the UK, there’s the near-term impact of Brexit, which has slowed the pace at which the economy can grow.

“So the economy is operating at a level above its capacity – that’s adding to the inflationary pressures we are getting from the war in Ukraine and elsewhere – and the Bank needs to slow the economy, which is why it is raising interest rates.”

Carney also said the sterling moved against all major currencies from the point the referendum was called, and then it moved more sharply after the referendum result.

“It has not recovered – it’s fluctuated around, but it has not recovered.”

Carney noted that he previously warned the exchange rate would go down and stay down, that this would add to inflationary pressure and that the economy’s capacity would go down too, as a result of Brexit.

He concluded: “We would have a situation, which is the situation we have today, where the Bank of England has to raise interest rates despite the economy going into recession.”

2. Healthcare

Research from the Financial Times has found that the UK officially has the worst healthcare in Europe.

The article points out that the Covid pandemic has left the UK with more chronically ill people and more mental health conditions, causing labour major shortages in the NHS workforce.

The NHS also announced this week that the length of its waiting list for hospital treatments was at 5.5 million – fewer than previously estimated, but still, not ideal.

The FT also found that over the last year, one in six UK adults needed medical examination or treatment, but weren’t able to get it.

This is the highest number out of all 36 European countries, and, according to the newspaper, almost triple the EU average.

In response, many people have pointed out that one of the top promises in the campaign to leave the EU was sending extra £350 million funding, which previously went to Brussels, to the NHS each week.

Turns out, people haven’t forgotten about that vow especially after it was plastered on the side of a campaign bus.

3. Boris Johnson

An old clip of Boris Johnson (from before his time as prime minister) has resurfaced on social media.

Dated June 21, 2016 – two days before the general public hit the ballot boxes for the EU referendum – Johnson spoke to LBC and promised he would apologise if the country went into recession after Brexit.

The clip was liked more than 14,000 times.

Johnson did briefly put himself in the running to be the next Tory leader and prime minister after Liz Truss’s resignation, but he took himself out of the running because the Conservatives are “not a united party” right now.


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