In the course of an increasingly farcical referendum campaign, every twitch in every economic indicator is hailed as proof positive that leaving/remaining in the EU will bring forth nothing less than the four horsemen of the apocalypse to wreak war, famine, pestilence and plague upon anyone so foolish as to vote the wrong way.
But Britain’s economic woes run much deeper according to John W. Schoen at CNBC:
“The U.K. is close to slipping into another recession… Gross domestic product advanced by just four-tenths of a percent in the first quarter of this year, down from six-tenths of a percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s the slowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Office for National Statistics.”
While Schoen acknowledges that a good deal of this may be the result of uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote, he argues that more worrying trends threaten Britain’s future:
“Regardless of which way Britons vote, the U.K. faces a tough set of economic problems — including a credit drought since the 2008 crisis, a widening trade deficit with Europe, stagnant wages and a lack of domestic demand.”
It suits David Cameron and George Osborne to blame our economic fortunes on Brexit; and not just as a scare-tactic. The truth is, like their Labour predecessors, they failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining… and even before the referendum was announced, the storm clouds were gathering.