Blog: MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: From doom to boom – the proof that Brexit is boosting Britain – Daily Mail

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: From doom to boom – the proof that Brexit is boosting Britain

By Mail on Sunday Comment for the Daily Mail

Published: | Updated:

It is now almost five years since the Brexit referendum changed the country and shocked its complacent elite. It is useful to remember some of the arguments deployed by the more fervent and alarmist Remainers, to try to frighten people out of voting to recover national independence.

Let us take, for example, The Guardian newspaper, the beating heart of the hardline Remainer cause.

On June 15, 2016, it rudely dismissed Brexiteers as ‘Europhobes’, in the usual Left-wing way of assuming that anyone who disagrees with Islington liberals must have something wrong with them.

And it urged us all to vote ‘to remain in the club that represents the most advanced form of cross-border co-operation that the world has ever seen’.

It prophesied ‘the only argument about the immediate economic effects of Brexit is the depth of the hit that the economy would take’.

It warned against government by ‘ruthless plutocrats’ uninterested in higher spending on the NHS.

Well, it is very hard now for anyone to argue that the welfare of the Health Service, which memorably brought the Prime Minister through a serious bout with Covid, is not one of the main aims of Boris Johnson’s Government.

It is very hard now for anyone to argue that the welfare of the Health Service, which memorably brought the Prime Minister through a serious bout with Covid, is not one of the main aims of Boris Johnson’s Government

As for ‘the most advanced form of cross-border co-operation that the world has ever seen’, it turned out to be the ‘advanced’ EU that utterly messed up the development, purchase and distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, while an agile, independent Britain used its new freedom to show how it should be done. Brussels – far from co-operating – responded to the UK’s success and the EU’s failure with petulance and threats.

And our new national agility is not only demonstrated in our ability to conduct our own successful national projects, free from the slowdowns of EU-wide bureaucracy. We also see it in the economy, which some claimed that Brexit would instantly devastate. In fact, reports from all directions show a powerful rebound from the Covid closedown, of a sort that would surely not happen if these warnings had proved to be true. New orders are surging. A record £9.4 billion has been raised so far this year by firms on the London Stock Exchange.

The key Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the service sector is higher than at any time since 1997, retail sales are likewise on a sharp upward curve. One expert report predicts an ‘eye-popping’ rate of growth when the results are in for the second quarter of 2021.

Our new national agility is not only demonstrated in our ability to conduct our own successful national projects, free from the slowdowns of EU-wide bureaucracy. We also see it in the economy, which some claimed that Brexit would instantly devastate (file photo)

Other indicators are equally good, from booming house prices, feeding a swelling demand for bricks (always a good sign), a three-year high for the pound and rapid growth in manufacturing. The advertising market, the indispensable lubricant of business, is doing better than at any time in 45 years. The outlines of a new trading relationship with the rest of the world are already taking shape.

Our departure from the EU has not been problem-free. Nobody said it would be. But predictions of an economic Armageddon have not been borne out.

So let us not mess up all this success by over-reaction to a new set of prophets of doom, who are constantly trying to keep society and travel closed. We are all for caution, and above all for measures which will prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

But in the new conditions created by the success of the vaccine, too much caution, and an unwillingness to reopen, could all too easily do more harm than good.

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MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: From doom to boom – the proof that Brexit is boosting Britain

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