With the crisis, anti-Brexit sentiment is growing in the UK

After two years of omerta, Brexit is once again at the center of the British debate. Experts and the media openly criticize its negative effects on the UK economy. Public opinion is also changing: on the set of “Question Time”, the BBC’s flagship programme, or at the microphone on the very popular LBC radio, listeners are increasing their criticism of the divorce from the European Union (EU). According to a survey by the YouGov institute published on 17 November, 56% of respondents believe that the country “it was wrong to leave the EU” on 31 December 2020.

However, one pronounces “Table” (word Brexit) remains taboo among conservatives, even moderates. The leadership of the Labor party also remains in denial, while in advance criticizing the Tories promoters of a “hard” Brexit, which looks like a historic mistake, could give it points. Keir Starmer, its leader, is content to advocate a vague improvement in the terms of the post-Brexit trade deal struck in 2020 between former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU.

Rishi Sunak’s government’s presentation on 17 November of an austerity budget in an attempt to restore the country’s financial credibility (after the disastrous episode of “mini-budget” by Liz Truss) set tongues wagging. On this occasion, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated that British living standards would collapse by 7% over the next two years. This independent government body clarified that Brexit “had a significant negative impact” on UK foreign trade, with trade falling by 15% over the long term.

Huge economy

This observation had been masked by the sudden slowdown in trade due to the pandemic. The “hard” Brexit that the Conservatives chose in 2019, accompanied by an exit from the European single market, involves the emergence of customs barriers with the EU, the country’s main trading partner. Forecasts from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have also quickened awareness: by 2023 the UK economy will be the most struggling of all those in the G20 (with the exception of Russia).

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Faced with this avalanche of bad news, the leadership of the CBI, the British employers’ association, through the voice of its boss, Tony Banker, called on the political leaders “putting aside their divisions” and to ” to improve ” The Brexit deal. Mr. Banker demanded that the government facilitate controlled immigration, contrary to what Brexiteers advocate, and that he renounce “Retained EU Law Bill”, a bill that aims to remove thousands of texts inherited from European legislation from national legislation.

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