LETTER: Pound devalued by 20 per cent

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Barry Jones’ admonishment to those who don’t accept his fallacious arguments to do their homework is rich.

In one of many of his recent letters he stated that ‘Norway and Switzerland do not contribute to the EU budget’.

Actually Switzerland funds EU enlargement programmes by US$1.42 billion and Norway contributes US$433 million annually to the EU via the European Economic Area.

Barry’s schoolboy howlers are on such an epic scale, he rarely gets more than one out of ten for his homework.

Those of us who have done our homework properly know that the UK has an industrial output per man hour 18 per cent below the average for the rest of the major G7 advanced economies and UK workers work longer hours that those in other EU countries.

The UK has a massive external debt of US$9.219 trillion and has now abandoned the aim of fiscal balance as a result of Brexit, sending us further into the red. Brexit has exposed the true state of the UK economy to the international markets, which is why the pound is falling.

During our membership of the European Union, Germany became a major exporter with a huge trade surplus and the UK became a major importer with a huge trade deficit. The German regulatory and tax structure is geared in favour of output and exports, and against consumption. It is the mirror image of Britain.

All the British political parties over the past 50 years have put short-termism above long term stability and have sold off or allowed our national capability to pass into foreign hands. It is they who are really responsible for our inherent economic weaknesses and debt, not the European Union. It is they who unpatriotically let control of our industries and services pass out of British hands and lost much of the effective economic control of the UK unlike other EU countries who manage the strategic control of their economies with a better regard to the longer term.

Where are the nationally owned UK manufacturers who mass produce, within the UK, aircraft, ships, cars, computers, mobile phones, fridges, kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, etc that will lead the future trade and exports? To expand trade requires investment and where is this coming from in a situation where Britain’s trade deficit currently stands at US$2,957 million?

The leavers like Barry Jones appear to have only the foggiest idea of Britain’s real position in the world. The fundamental issue underlying Brexit was summed up by one time US Secretary of State Dean Acheson when he said in 1962 ‘Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role. The attempt to play a separate power role — that is, a role apart from Europe, a role based on a ‘special relationship’ with the United States, a role based on being head of a ‘commonwealth’ which has no political structure, or unity, or strength — this role is about played out’. This is as true now as it was then and the Brexit camp still has to get this reality into their mindset.

Leaving Europe will not recover an independent and leading role for the UK whose fundamental economic decline started well before the First World War.

The cost of defence expenditure has risen by £700 million plus just because of the decline in the value of the pound. The Treasury are now having to guarantee farming and future science projects to the tune of £4.5 billion a year. The Brexit negotiations still have to grapple with the position that the European Union will not grant access to the single market unless the United Kingdom accepts the principle of free movement of people and a hard Brexit negotiation will further devalue the pound.

The Brexiters have simply succeeded in reducing everyone’s standard of living because imported fuel, food and goods will all rise in price because Brexit has effectively devalued the pound by 20 per cent.

David J Daniels CBE

Beech House Lane

Robertsbridge

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