How can a person, or a class, be free when its means of life are…
Brexit has cost the British economy £66billion in just under three years, or around £1,000 for every person in the country.
( Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, April 2019 )
The UK Government spent £25,300 of taxpayers’ money on a single Snapchat advert promoting its “Get Ready For Brexit” campaign.
The six-second ad was posted on September 9, 2019 and ran for six days, according to data released by the app’s owner, Snap Inc.
The Tory Plan For Privatising The NHS ..
Everyone suspects the Tories have a long-term plan to abolish the NHS.
A new documentary film will lay bare the plot dating back decades, and within sight of success. ‘Under The Knife’ charts the secret Conservative strategy to open up the health service to private sector companies as a prelude to total sell-off.
The devastating documentary, made by Pam Kleinot and Susan Steinberg, draws on dozens of interviews with doctors, nurses, politicians and patients to track the steps towards today’s crisis.
Under The Knife tells how the NHS was almost strangled at birth by opposition from doctors and Tories. And while it offered the best health service in the western world for 40 years, the campaign to get rid of it never ended.
Margaret Thatcher wanted to privatise, but a Cabinet riot stopped her.
So she appointed Sainsbury’s boss Roy Griffiths to “reform” the NHS.
He brought in a new managerial class dedicated to running the service like a business.
This was the first step on the road. The health service was to be a “business operation” with management, not the patient, at its heart.
Dr James Le Fanu, a doctor at Whipps Cross Hospital, says in the film that Griffiths “introduced a new class in the health service, a management class that hadn’t existed before. Doctors were stripped of power.
They were told how to run wards. It was a serious blow.
Thatcher also listened to U.S. economist Alain Enthoven, who believed the only way to meet patient demand was to bring in so-called market competition.
Tony Blair tells the film-makers: “There was no bigger challenge for the incoming Labour government of 1997 than the NHS.”
His first Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, agrees: “It was underfunded, understaffed and a lot of hospitals were very run down.”
The Tories’ return in 2010 brought hard-liner Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary.
He brought in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011, seen by many as taking the NHS on to the final stretch to privatisation. He took away the Health Secretary’s ultimate responsibility to provide a national health service for all.
“It really was the end of the national service,” says Prof Pollock.
The Tories’ coalition partner, the Lib Dems, initially opposed the bill.
“At its heart was privatisation,” Lady Shirley Williams admitted to the film-makers.
But they caved in, and the 2012 Act laid down that all NHS services should be subject to competitive tender, bringing private companies into the whole range of public healthcare. There was outcry from doctors and nurses, but behind the scenes lobbying firms working for private sector companies like Virgin and Circle had the ear of Lansley’s policy team. They kept the Tories on the privatisation track.
The next step was to transfer control of the NHS to new management.
The service was divided into smaller regional systems, under private or public control, with powers to decide what services will be available and who will provide them.
In 2017, 43% of the total value of these contracts went to the private sector.
Virgin won over a billion pounds worth of NHS business.
( Paul Routledge, 20.09.2019 )
Even a ‘relatively benign’ no-deal Brexit would push UK debt to its highest since the 1960s. Borrowing was likely to rise to £100billion and total debt would soar to 90% of national income. The government is now adrift without any effective fiscal anchor.
( The Institute for Fiscal Studies )
The UK government has spent £97million in consultancy fees alone in its preparation for Brexit, according to the National Audit Office. The money was spent on hiring external ‘experts’ because government departments lacked the necessary staff and skills.
The Impact Of The Referendum ..
The Brexit vote increased aggregate inflation by 1.7 percentage points in the year following the referendum.
There is uncertainty about the exact size of this effect, but our analysis unambiguously shows that the referendum led to a substantial rise in inflation.
The 1.7 percentage point increase in inflation implies that by June 2017, the Brexit vote was costing the average household £7.74 per week through higher prices.
That is equivalent to £404 per year.
Higher inflation has also reduced the growth of real wages.
The impact of the referendum is equivalent to a £448 cut in annual pay for the average worker. Put another way, the Brexit vote has cost the average worker almost one week’s wages due to higher prices.
( London School of Economics )
The cost of staging the EU referendum and the 2017 General Election, which can also be attributed to Brexit came to £269million. In addition, MPs who were voted out of office as a result of the election claimed £4.6million in ‘winding up’ costs.
The latest Brexit impact assessment comes after Goldman Sachs estimated that the UK has foregone £600million of economic growth each week since the referendum.
The Bank of England put the figure at £800million.
( Independent, 04.04.2019 )
UK National Debt Has Nearly Doubled ..
In 2018 the UK Government paid £13billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was around £4billion. So the UK’s ‘net contribution’ was about £9billion.
In 2018/19, £48.7billion was spent on interest payments on the UK National Debt, which has nearly doubled since 2010 despite severe austerity policies.
Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Nomura have all already announced that they will be relocating some operations and staff from Britain to the EU because of Brexit.
( Independent, 26.12.2017 )
Many economists fear that the past nine years of austerity could have all been for nothing, as no-deal Brexit threatens to plunge the UK back deep into the red.
( Wilfred Soon )
Are The Actions Of The Prime Minister In The National Interest? ..
The troubling role of one of the few sectors in the economy which could benefit from a ‘no deal’ Brexit was exposed by a Channel 4 documentary, including an interview with Crispin Odey, a hedge fund owner who contributed more than £870,000 to pro-Leave groups in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum, as well as bankrolling the parliamentary campaign of MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and the leadership campaign of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Odey, with his partner at Odey Asset Management, made a fortune of £350 million by shorting the pound and moving 65% of his fund into gold in anticipation of the shock Brexit result three years ago.
Prior to the EU referendum, Odey had incubated Rees-Mogg’s Somerset Capital Management hedge fund as a start-up.
This summer, Odey was reported by The Times as having made an equally large bet on UK equity prices crashing – £299 million in short positions on some of Britain’s biggest firms. In June he donated to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign. That Odey had such a strong interest and apparent knowledge of the actions of the prime minister, including a desire to prorogue Parliament a month before it happened, raises a question of acute public interest.
How involved – and how influential – are the rich backers who have funded the Prime Minister so far? This highlights the potential for conflicts of interests to arise between the Prime Minister’s backers and the national interest as a ‘no deal’ Brexit looms.
While it is the role of hedge funds to reduce risk by spread betting on multiple market fluctuations, a ‘no deal’ Brexit is a one-off market-moving event ultimately in the control of politicians.
( Peter Jukes, 23.09.2019 )
Two years on from the referendum, we now know that the Brexit vote has seriously damaged the economy. We know that the government’s Brexit dividend is a myth.
The vote is costing the Treasury £440million a week, far more than the UK ever contributed to the EU budget.
( John Springford, Centre for European Reform, November 2018 )
Up to January 2019, the UK Treasury had allocated a total of £4.2billion towards government departments for Brexit preparations since 2016. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings says Brexit has cost the UK economy £66 billion in just under three years.
There’s Only One Answer ..
One of the advantages of EU membership is that we get to negotiate wider and deeper trade deals from a position of strength. If we leave, the boot will be on the other foot – and that will put Britain at a serious disadvantage.
Do businesses want the benefits and security of continued access to the Single Market, or the instability and uncertainty of a lost decade?
However you feel about Europe, whether you’re an enthusiastic federalist or an ardent advocate of leaving, that is the question you have to answer on 23 June.
And from where I’m standing, there’s only one answer – a vote to remain.
( Sajid Javid, 14.05.2016 )
Brexit is already making us all worse-off, costing jobs and damaging investment in our country – and that’s before we’ve even officially left the EU. This is not what anyone was promised during the EU referendum. No-one voted to be poorer.
( Ian Murray MP, February 2019 )
Around 6,000 civil servants, of which 4,500 were new recruits, are involved specifically in no-deal Brexit planning, and has cost UK taxpayers an estimated £1.5billion just in the past year. With a deal or no-deal, plenty of things will need to be done to prepare the UK for life outside the EU. This will include recruiting 15,000 to 20,000 extra staff across government and the civil service to deal with the challenges of Brexit.
( Independent, 08.10.2019 )
Brexit Funding ..
Before today’s announcement of an additional £2.1billion of Brexit funding, a total of £4.2billion had already been allocated by the Government to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.
Spending began in autumn 2016, a few months after the referendum, when £400million was earmarked for Brexit. This was followed in the 2017 Budget by a further £3billion to be spent during 2018/19 and 2019/20.
£250million was drawn from the UK’s reserves in 2017/18 for Brexit spending, and at the 2018 Budget another £500million was made available.
( The Canary, 01.08.2019 )
The 2016 vote meant households were £900 worse off than they would have been had the UK remained in the EU. This was already an awful lot of money for households struggling with high inflation and stagnant wage growth.
( Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, November 2018 )
In the Autumn Budget, November 2017, it saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce £25billion in extra spending to prop up the economy. Data in the Budget showed families are suffering the biggest financial squeeze since the 1950s.
I Still Believe That Britain Is Better Off In ..
Just like Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and IMF head Christine Lagarde, I still believe that Britain is better off in.
And that’s all because of the Single Market.
It’s a great invention, one that even Lady Thatcher campaigned enthusiastically to create. The world’s largest economic bloc, it gives every business in Britain access to 500 million customers with no barriers, no tariffs and no local legislation to worry about. It’s no surprise that nearly half of our exports go to other EU nations, exports that are linked to three million jobs here in the UK.
And as an EU member we also have preferential access to more than 50 other international markets from Mexico to Montenegro, helping us to export £50 billion of goods and services to them every year. Even companies that are neither exporters nor part of the export supply chain, your local corner shop, for example, benefit from the economic growth that kind of access brings.
( Sajid Javid, 14.05.2016 )
In November 2017, professional services firm EY said that the UK is expected to have lost 10,500 finance jobs by day one of Brexit. It said that almost a third of City firms had already confirmed moves to the continent.
We’ve already witnessed an increase in the number of EU construction workers leaving the UK for jobs on the continent, according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering. Findings by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in a report published in March showed that almost 200,000 construction jobs could be slashed if Britain loses access to the European single market, jeopardising billions of pounds worth of infrastructure projects.
( Independent, 26.12.2017 )
Two Prized Regulatory Bodies Lost Because Of Brexit ..
The European Medicines Agency moved from London to Amsterdam, and the European Banking Authority, also based in London, moved to Paris in one of the first concrete signs of Brexit as the UK prepared to leave the EU.
The medicines agency employs 900 people and the banking authority employs 150.
The UK government was powerless to stop the relocation of these two prized regulatory bodies, secured by previous Conservative prime ministers.
Seen as one of the EU’s most important agencies, the medicines agency carries out assessments and issues approvals for medicines across the union. The agency is also a boon for hotels, as 36,000 scientists and regulators visit each year.
While the economy out-performed expectations in the aftermath of the referendum, since then, the UK has dropped below Italy to become the slowest growing economy in the G7.
( John Springford, 23.06.2018 )
A range of estimates calculated by the Financial Times suggests that the value of Britain’s output is now around 0.9% lower than was possible if the country had voted to stay in the EU. That equates to almost exactly £350million a week lost to the British economy — an irony that will not be lost on those who may have backed Leave because of the claim made on the side of the bus.
The NHS Will Be Getting No Extra Money ..
It was on the side of a bus, it was on the lips of Brexiteer politicians – £350million a week would go to the NHS if we voted to leave the European Union.
Except, as soon as we did vote to leave, politicians back-tracked and Nigel Farage denied ever making the promise.
The Leave campaign quickly erased the promise from its website.
In her Brexit speech in January 2017, Theresa May failed to mention the NHS at all.
In fact, in October 2016, Theresa May said the NHS will be getting no extra money.
This is despite 40% of hospitals issuing an alert within the first week of 2017, and by the second week, 20 hospitals had declared the highest level of alert, which usually means they have no beds free and patients arriving at A&E will need to go to another hospital.
( Independent, 08.02.2017 )
The £39billion ‘divorce bill’ agreed with the EU, with payments to Brussels in pensions liabilities are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
( Independent, 08.10.2019 )
The UK economy is already around £60billion smaller than it would have been without a vote to leave the European Union, with the UK missing out on a bout of global growth. Business investment is up to 20% lower than it would otherwise have been, hurting productivity and wage growth.
A no-deal Brexit – even with a substantial stimulus – could mean no growth at all for the next two years. Remaining in the EU would be the best scenario for economic growth in the next few years.
( Dr Christian Schulz, Director and Chief UK Economist, Citigroup Global Markets, October 2019 )
The Brexit Referendum Was Won By Lying To The Public ..
Buried in a 19,800 word Spectator essay written by former online editor and Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings is an admission:
The Brexit referendum was won by lying to the public.
At the heart of the vote to leave the European Union is an entanglement of lies and propagandist sensationalism that even the most brave souls wouldn’t dare admit to. There is the admission that the NHS wouldn’t really take back our £350million EU fee, and that immigration wouldn’t really be capped, and that standards of living wouldn’t really change if we left the EU.
All of which are matters that the general public voted on, and all are incorrect.
And so to the damning paragraph that outs the Leave Campaign for what it was:
“Pundits and MPs kept saying ‘why isn’t Leave arguing about the economy and living standards’. They did not realise that for millions of people, £350m/NHS was about the economy and living standards – that’s why it was so effective. It was clearly the most effective argument not only with the crucial swing fifth but with almost every demographic. Even with UKIP voters it was level-pegging with immigration. Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without £350m/NHS?
All our research and the close result strongly suggests No.
Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the Single Market?
( The London Economic, 08.01.2019 )