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Brexit: Davis' downsides this week

Brexit: Davis' downsides this week
Brexit: Davis' downsides this week


Brexit is barely mentioned in the 2024 election campaign, but beneath the surface it continues to shift the tectonic plates, risking a seismic shift in British politics. This exhausted the Conservative Party and broke it according to Andrew Neil, a quiet Brexiteer if ever there was one.

Brexit and general elections

The obvious beneficiaries are Reform UK Ltd and the Liberal Democrats who, for entirely opposite reasons, are attracting disillusioned voters and threatening the Conservative Party's putative role as the main opposition to the Labor Party. Those calling for more Brexit support Nigel Farage while Ed Davey pledges to seek to re-enter the single market, with a longer-term aim of re-joining the EU, which appeals to Labor and Conservative Europhiles.

With just under three weeks to go, the outcome of the 2024 elections is in no doubt. We are heading for an unprecedented Labor landslide and Keir Starmer will be Prime Minister on July 5. The only uncertainty is which of the other two parties will come far behind. It would represent a political earthquake for the LibDems to become the main opposition, but such is the contempt in which the Conservative party is held that this is now a real possibility.

Neil says Brexit has taken up all of the Tory party's bandwidth, which is clear from a timely report last week by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) on the upgrade. This reveals one of the reasons why red wall voters are abandoning the Conservative Party in droves.

In 2019, when Boris Johnson launched his leveling up agenda, the gap in living standards between London and the North East averaged 4,600 per household. NIESR report shows gap has now narrowed increase to 7,300. Living standards have fallen across the UK since 2019, but they have fallen more in poorer parts of the country than in wealthier areas. Not only has leveling up turned out to be just another empty slogan, but regional inequalities have actually worsened.

Brexit has also broken the power of the right-wing press which, despite the chaos of the last eight years, remains largely behind the failure of Brexit and a Conservative Party on the verge of annihilation. Only Rupert Murdoch and The sun appear to be considering switching their support to the Labor Party, probably in the vain hope of retaining some influence in Downing Street.

The downsides of Brexit

At the same time, we continue to see other downsides to Brexit, 10 of which we added to the docket this week.


Perhaps the biggest long-term downside of all is contained in a report from the National Center for Social Research (NatCen) which suggests disillusionment with Brexit among Brexit voters is one of the main reasons for the collapse of trust in politicians.

Sir John Curtice told the BBC: Brexit supporters, in particular, have once again become extremely skeptical of our politicians and our system of government.

NatCEn found a record number of voters saying they almost never trust governments to put country before party or politicians to tell the truth when in a difficult situation.


One of the Conservative Party's major drawbacks in this election year is that Brexit is one of the most cited reasons for declining public services and a floundering economy.

Three quarters of those questioned in an IPSOS survey believe that services have been worse since the last general election in 2019, including a third (31%) blaming Brexit as the cause more than the Covid-19 outbreak (27%) in 2020. For Labor and Liberal Democrat voters, Brexit is seen as the second cause of the decline in public services, with 48 and 44% respectively.

Support for Britain leaving the EU has fallen from 41% in 2016 to 36% in 2019 and just 24% today, according to the latest British Social Attitudes Survey. Of 5,578 adults across the country, 71% thought the UK economy was worse because of Brexit, an increase from the 51% figure observed in 2019.

Martin McTague, national president of the Federation of Small Businesses, said Brexit had had a negative impact on some small businesses when exporting to the EU. He said The Independent: What we are seeing in specific areas is a very big drop for exporters. Location is very important and many small businesses do not have the resources to expand into distant markets. Neighborhood is important. Many of them have been discouraged by the additional burden imposed by Brexit.


Reports highlighting problems in the airline industry include operational disruptions due to crew shortages that are exacerbated by post-Brexit regulatory frameworkaffecting many UK operators.

Efforts to recruit pilots and engineers to meet demand face significant hurdles due to the UK government's new immigration rules, which came into force on April 4, 2024. Increases in pay rates and thresholds As part of the changes create new barriers to sponsoring skilled workers, the most common route to permanent employment in the UK from abroad.

Two reports from last week indicate poor conditions for drivers at the Sevington border checkpoint in Ashford, Kent.

A driver for Italian transport company Marini was held there for 55 hours while his load of plants was inspected. CEO Vicenzo Marini described the incident as surreal and said new customs checks and requirements since Brexit had made sending goods to the UK difficult. much more problematic. The company, which has been transporting goods to the UK since the 1980s, was now considering abandoning its UK routes.

And a Dutch trade body representing 5,000 transport companies complained that some drivers were being held at the border post for up to 20 hours. TLN described the facilities where drivers were forced to wait as leaving much to be desired, with no place where drivers could find food or drinks and claimed that this could mean that drivers start turning down freight transportation jobs in the United Kingdom, according to The Guardian.

In one case, a TLN member said 40,000 (34,000) plant products were rejected by a UK customer due to damage incurred during loading and unloading at a border post.


A dairy farmer from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, fears farming could decline like the steel industry without more support from the next government. Phil Lawton told BBC that reduced subsidies and shrinking profits have been met with labor shortages and the pressure of climate change.

Lawton, who supported Brexit but would vote against it now, said: “We didn't realize that many farmers in the UK were prepared to vote against Brexit. dependent on EU subsidies and suddenly they disappeared. With Brexit, we are facing a massive labor shortage in the agricultural sector.

Financial services

A statement by the CEO of Octopus Energy, the UK's largest electricity supplier, that the company may not be listed in London could accelerate the city's decline. global irrelevance according to Matthew Lynn, a pro-Brexit writer at The Spectator.

Octopus could join the growing number of businesses that have chosen to leave London since Brexit. Lynn says the number of companies listed in London has fallen from 2,700 in 1996 to just 1,100 at the end of 2022, a drop of 60%.

Lynn now admits that the London Stock Exchange is in serious trouble. This is the same man who told us in August 2018 that, City's resilience after Brexit could be bad news for EU.

North Ireland

A survey by Ulster Bank shows that Northern Ireland's economic performance compares favorably to other parts of the UK, with NOTOtherwise Ireland at the top of the ranking both for production and for employment. The province continues to have access to the EU single market, reflecting an increase in trade diversion.

UB chief economist Richard Ramsey said: “The four months since the Executive returned from Northern Ireland have seen strong private sector performance, and this shows no a sign of slowdown, quite the contrary, with the pace of production, new orders and employment. accelerates in May.

This compares to the UK economy as a whole, which stagnated in April.

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Anthony is a retired sales engineer living in North Yorkshire. He has represented several European packaging machinery manufacturers in the UK. Anthony is interested in politics, although he is not an active member of any party, and enjoys reading, gardening and crafting.




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