The British government has after all done an impact assessment of the effects of various Brexit scenarios on the UK economy. It’s just that they don’t want anyone else to see it because there is no universe in which Brexit is a good thing. Not even that Mirror Universe in Star Trek where everyone is the evil twin of their character in this universe, which must mean that Mirror Universe Jacob Rees-Mogg has somehow crossed into our reality. Although to be fair that probably also applies to every other member of the Conservative cabinet who isn’t actually a lizard alien. Except Fluffy Mundell, who comes from a parallel universe in which everyone is a stuffed toy.
According to the study which was leaked to Buzzfeed, there is no such thing as a good Brexit. The British government is like an unfit and overweight late middle aged man with a bad back who is about to go ten rounds with the world heavy weight boxing champion and who is telling us that he’s going to get the best possible outcome. Which in this instance would be to come out of the process with two black eyes, incipient brain damage, at least one remaining tooth and a jaw that’s broken in only three places. That’s punching above your weight for you.
Back in the real world, under every scenario, under every set of circumstances, Brexit damages the British economy. The softest possible Brexit in which the UK remains a part of the EU Single Market and the Customs Union causes the least amount of harm, but it still causes harm. Under this scenario growth in the UK economy would be down by 2%. Theresa May’s favoured solution in which the UK negotiates a bespoke deal with the EU causes more harm, growth would be down by 5%. And if the UK leaves the EU with no deal at all, then growth would be down by 8%. Since UK economic growth is currently only around 0.5%, even the softest possible Brexit is still going to see the economy shrink, which means job losses, increasing poverty and deprivation, blighted lives, and destroyed opportunities. All this is before we even start to consider the political impact of Brexit, which will be measured in the destruction of the devolution settlement, the stripping away of employment and consumer rights, and isolation in a xenophobic fleg waving state that has to suck up to Donald Trump. But Jacob will still have his listed Georgian mansion and his British pride, so that makes it all OK.
The economic figures in the British government study are not dissimilar to the figures produced by the Scottish government a couple of weeks ago detailing the damage that Brexit would do to the Scottish economy. At the time, the Conservatives accused the Scottish governnment of ridiculous scaremongering, all the while knowing that their own figures were showing the exact same outcome. Someone ought to ask Ruth and Fluffy about that, only they probably won’t because the someone in this instance is a Scottish media which isn’t inclined to ask hard questions of Ruth and her pals. Ruth will reply to the question with a statement saying, “Scotland doesn’t want another divisive independence referendum,” and most of the Scottish media will nod in agreement.
Now the more swivel eyed amongst the Conservatives, which to be honest is most of them, are trying to downplay the UK government study by claiming that all government forecasts are wrong so this one doesn’t really matter. Iain Duncan Smith said, “I would observe that almost every single forecast coming from Government, and most of the international organisations, has been completely wrong. We should take this with a pinch of salt.” We will bear that in mind during the next Scottish independence referendum when Iain and his fellow Brexiteers make dire forecasts about the economic ruin that independence will bring about. That’s a quote which is going to come back to haunt them.
The SNP, Labour, the Lib Dems, and some pro-remain Conservatives have called on the British government to release the document officially. The government claims that it’s not in the national interests to do so. Apparently it damages the national interest for us to find out just how much the government is damaging the national interest. Iain Duncan Smith thinks that we should ignore the report because it was deliberately leaked as it showed that Brexit is a bad thing. We should only pay attention to reports that Iain likes, like the one that says that Brexit will deliver a Union fleg bedecked unicorn to every household in the land and the one that says that you can still have your Brexit cake after you’ve eaten it. Iain and his friends think that Britain can have fantastic economic growth and a secure and strong future by trusting in Donald Trump to give us a great deal. Iain is equally confident that you can get a PhD in social care policy by relying on a two year old with attention deficit disorder as your main source of information. A two year old goat, that is. At least that’s who seems to have written his plans to rewrite the benefits system.
But never mind. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has a solution. Gavin wants us to pull down all EU symbols immediately and fly Union flegs everywhere to restore British pride, because he’s not a nationalist at all. And it helps to get him a wee headline that distracts attention from his on-going difficulties about allegations of inappropriate behaviour with a junior female colleague which led to his resignation from his post as a manager in a fireplace manufacturer in 2004. Calling Gavin publicity hungry is a bit like describing a plague of locusts as slightly peckish.
The British government doesn’t want us to worry too much about the report that the British government is so worried about that it won’t publish it. The report doesn’t include details of the super dooper special deal that Theresa is going to negotiate on our behalf with the EU, so that’s OK then. That would be the super dooper special deal that the EU has been saying since day one of the Brexit negotiations that Britain isn’t going to get.
Brexit is fantasy politics being played out by politicians who are determined to use it to further their own ideologically driven destruction of the welfare state and public services. The Tory right don’t want Brexit challenged because they’re using it to mount a coup. Labour are trying to be all things to all people on Brexit because deep down, Jeremy Corbyn wants out of the EU in order to pursue his own fantasy politics all the while depending on the votes of people who want to remain in the EU. Morally, ethically, economically, Scotland needs to get out of this mess. Westminster has lost all touch with reality.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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