The Sunday Times reports that Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are panicking about the £.
So they should.
Or rather, they should take the necessary action. Now. Andrew Levi sets out what they need to do to avert disaster:
✅ massive extra govt spending (otherwise business, economic and social collapse)
✅ tax back much of the extra from those most able to afford it (otherwise really-out-of-control inflation)
✅ rejoin the EU’s customs union (CU) and single market (SM)
OK, OK, read the next. You’re thinking:
🔺we can’t just rejoin CU/SM;
🔺it needs the EU to agree, and politicians in the UK to commit career suicide;
🔺the public won’t like it;
🔺anyway, it would take a long time;
🔺it wouldn’t help in any case: how could it?
Alright. To explain:
In reverse order:
🟢 Being in the CU/SM, or substantially identical arrangements, is the only measure entirely within the collective power of the UK and its European allies which can substantially increase the effective real resources of the UK economy.
“What” is this: by reversing as much as possible of the damage to trade/ production supply-chains and UK labour market caused by the Johnson-Frost-ERG Brexit you provide the UK economy with the capacity to absorb the extra £s being pumped into it, without sending inflation through the roof.
Those pumped £s are essential to avoiding catastrophe, remember.
🟢 It wouldn’t take a long time, unless those concerned wanted it to. The UK and the EU, with US mediation, need to get their act together. We all face a massive strategic crisis.
That was true before the Brexit disaster (which made it worse), and before the 24 February 2022 Russian assault on Ukraine (which made it much more obvious, even to the some of the hitherto doziest, or most cynically blind, politicians and commentators).
No space for Oxford Union BS, undergraduate geopolitical games, or other indulgences.
European solidarity and cohesion, shoulder-to-shoulder with the USA as the pre-eminent global power, is the only credible strategy.
You think Biden’s approach might be ditched by the USA?
Too right: you’d better make damned sure every possible action is taken to help avoid that disaster.
So, we have a deep crisis, and an absolute imperative: perfect conditions for things you doubt can happen, to happen – and fast.
🟢 The public? Have you seen the opinion polls recently?
People are sick of the Brexit debacle. Even many who don’t yet want to admit they were wrong.
They’d love Dan Hannan, Allister Heath, Boris Johnson and collaborators to disappear to a llama farm commune in Peru.
🟢 We’ve already dealt with the EU agreeing.
But it’s worth adding: there are streamlined ways forward, minimising the need for complex treaty amendments and the like, which make such agreement a lot easier. For example, say, keeping the Withdrawal and Trade and Cooperation Agreements in place, but amending each with a Treaty Protocol valid for an initial ten years, and no provision for exit in that time, which declares each clause of the WA/TCA to be replaced by applicable Community law for the period of validity of the Protocol.
Whatever the approach taken, anyone who has worked in or with the EU knows that, for all the genuine difficulties and potential risks, rapid action can be taken on very consequential matters… when the urgency and importance of it to the EU is accepted by the EU’s leaders.
But there was also the issue of UK politicians not wanting to commit career suicide. This is a real problem, no question.
It has been rather painful over the last years trying to get many of them to recognise that the alternative is to commit national suicide.
Are we there yet, so far as their waking up to the enormity both of the UK’s peril and their responsibility as leaders?
Will they – and therefore we – get there in time?
Well, for goodness sake: are we all just passive bystanders in the trashing of our country by the delusional, cynics and incompetents?
This is *the* job: getting us there, very fast.
🟢 Finally: about that tricky business of properly rejoining the CU/SM, or indeed fully rejoining the EU.
No one knows exactly how that will work out.
So, as described above: we (and the EU, and big Uncle Sam) buy ourselves the chance of up to ten (or eight, or even five) years breathing space within which to fix it.
None of this is rocket science.
Nor is any of it easy. It isn’t supposed to be.
But, for sure, it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to survive in the ashes of a country politically, economically and socially incinerated by idiotic ideology, incomprehensible incompetence, and – perhaps worst of all – inexcusable inaction.
Long live the King!
Long live his Kingdom – in a manner which ensures the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland live in security, with prosperity, and enjoying well-being
Our most important task is to contribute whatever each of us can to make that happen. /20. End
None of this is new. A year ago (when, also, it was far from new) I wrote the attached ⬇️
To those saying Truss won’t agree to do the right thing; nor Kwarteng; and the ERG has a hold over the Conservatives because it can overturn their majority – I say: there are 650 MPs …