By N. Peter Kramer
‘Brussels’ politicians, eurocrats and the unconditionally pro-EU media (almost all) are telling us, time after time, how bad Brexit is for the British people. Much, much worse than for those left behind.
Statistically true. Many member states will not have a big problem. However, the situation is very different for instance for The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France and industrial sectors like the German car industry. Brexit punches will be hard. Unemployment figures of hundreds of thousands are already being mentioned. The GDP in some memberstates will be hit substantially.
To mask this effect, ‘Brussels’ talks only about the total effect on the EU. The Dutch Prime-Minister and his Belgian colleague seem not to worry about the disastrous Brexit effect for their countries, giving priority to their personal ambitions for an EU top job. The French President, very unpopular in his own country, is trying to take over Merkel’s position as the sacrosanct Leader of EU. And the mainstream media are their megaphones.
But how is Britain? Let me quote the columnist Simon Kuper of the Financial Times, an absolute quality paper but to put it mildly, not pro-Brexit. ‘There has been lots of talk lately about how unhappy the UK is. The vote for Brexit is often described as a cry of pain from suffering people’, he wrote. But he was stunned by research done by the independent Resolution Foundation think-tank. About 93 per cent of Britons now say they are ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied with their lives; a very marked upward turn since 2000.
‘Academic experts’, according to Kuper, ‘tell me they believe these findings’. He pointed to Nancy Hey, director of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing: ‘contrary to Britain’s doom-ridden national debate, for most people, things have been getting gently better’.
Why are most Britons content? The worst thing for personal life satisfaction is unemployment. Seventy-six per cent of working-age Britons are in work. The highest rate on record. 2018 brought 354.00 new jobs. Improved physical health has boosted British happiness too, wrote Kuper.
Other sources show also positive developments. The Office for National Statistics reports: there are nearly 100.00 more people from other EU countries working in the UK than last year; the buying power of working Britons increased in one year by 1,5%. The Daily Express highlighted that ‘London attracted more investment projects than Berlin and Paris’. Consultancy Deloitte discovered that, between 2015 and 2018. the UK booked more foreign investments than any other EU country.
And the amount in that period that came from foreign investors was higher than for Germany and France together. Let’s finish this summary with super-investor Warren Buffet, himself not a fan of a Brexit, who said, that ‘my appetite for investing in the UK isn’t lessened by it’.
The conclusion then might be that the UK economy is in good shape and the Brits are not unhappy. An important task for Boris Johnson (or Jeremy Hunt*) will be to maintain this and to convince those in power in ‘Brussels’ to renegotiate a deal and stop their deceptive information.
* At the time of writing the new PM of the UK is still unknown.