A Fairer Economy

“If you’re spending money abroad, the impact of devaluation will be unmissable. If you’re going on holiday to Spain this summer, everything you pay for in euros, from accommodation to ice cream, will be 17% more expensive than it was 2 years ago. If you’re going to Florida this summer, it’ll feel like a 23% hike.  When prices go up and wages do not, that can only mean one thing: millions of people are going to be poorer. Our standard of living will be lower." Nick Clegg, Former Deputy Prime Minister, May 2017

“We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly three times as much to Sweden as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets.” Theresa May April 2016

To expect that we can negotiate trade deals, without customs barriers, with the more protectionist countries, such as the USA and China, and that such deals would be better than we have now with the EU, is unrealistic.  To stay in the EU, with all its faults, is to ensure access to the biggest world market; it also affords the opportunity to fix the faults in the EU and further benefit by that fix.

Many regions have not been heard by successive governments and there is a need for a massive rebuilding programme across the country.  Poverty and deprivation are highlighted by the increasing numbers of homeless, unemployed and unemployable, and the increase in alcohol and substance abuse.  

Charities and religious organisations have been incredibly good.  The Salvation Army, the Hospice movement, the various denominations’ pastoral visiting, and small co-operatives  demonstrate how local groups can provide care if they have the will, the talent and the money to do so.  

National social services are also key but the difference between London City and one of the previous industrial towns, or rural population centres outside of the South East is stark.   

UKEUP is deeply concerned that the economy has not benefited the majority.  However leaving the EU will simply make matters worse.  We are a trading nation, and if our trade agreements with EU countries fail, we fail, the economy fails to grow, inflation is difficult to hold back and poverty increases.

Unfortunately it is those who are the least able to cope who would bear the consequences.  If the country can’t trade there will be fewer things to make and do, so jobs decrease.  If jobs decrease there is less tax revenue.  With less money the government can’t invest without borrowing, and that requires greater interest payments.  The UK economy is unlikely to become ‘junk’ but a downgrade in the quality of our economy affects the poor particularly.

That is the opposite of a fairer economy.

Pierre Kirk