Brexit: the costs of illusory independence

Experienced economists like William Keegan are convinced that Brexit will make ordinary British people poorer. Liberals might recognise that EU citizens may be unfairly inconvenienced by the complex process of disentanglement. Socialists may be aware of the interdependence of modern economies.

While the referendum result has put the Labour Party in an awkward position, it does seem that any stampede for Brexit may be regretted in time. Of course, the nuanced position in the manifesto was designed not to upset the electorate. And it is vital to present a united front to the public.

Nevertheless, there is the urgent question of state capacity. Contrary to the rhetoric of British patriotism, the current state seems to lack the collective authority, talent, resources and tact to make a success of Brexit. These weaknesses could be more apparent than real. Perhaps there is simply a lack of state cohesion. However, the longer the perceived incompetence continues the less viable the policy of Brexit will appear. Just because people have participated in a flawed referendum, it does not mean that they should be punished for being misled. This implies that the Labour leadership would be wise to consider adjusting its policy in the next manifesto.

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