Brexit will hurt many sectors

Thursday 24th May 2018 1:00 pm
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The heading to Ian Phillips’s letter about Brexit in your May 11 issue is ‘Brexit will give us more money’.

If that’s what he thinks, I’d suggest that he gets out of Harbertonford more often, because, in the real world, even the fisherman and farmers who voted Leave with enthusiasm, are beginning to realise that, economically, they are in for a hard time.

Mr Phillips is clearly no economist if he imagines that our recovery from the banking crisis 10 years ago was quick.

It was both slow and weak and, compounded by the disastrous economic policy initiated by Messrs Cameron and Osborne and continued by the current minority Tory Government, it is one of the reasons we are crawling today while the rest of the world is galloping.

Another reason is the brake that the uncertainty caused by our chaotic Brexit negotiations has put on business investment.

It is true that the UK is a net donor to the EU budget, but, if I were, for example, a farmer in receipt of EU funding, I’d be less than confident that the British Government would replace the EU money post-Brexit.

The Treasury is going to be strapped for cash for years to come and, anyway, historically, the EU has been a much more enthusiastic supporter of agriculture, and, indeed, business generally, than British Governments have been.

I don’t know how many international businesses will relocate to the EU, but every one that does will cost jobs, and the Japanese ambassador to this county has said that he expects virtually all Japanese companies with UK operations will leave eventually.

On employment, Mr Phillips is trying to have it both ways. He trumpets that we are close to full employment, but, at the same time, claims that there are lots of people waiting to do the jobs that will be vacated by the Poles and Lithuanian, when we send them home.

The plain truth is that lots of those positions will go unfilled and sectors such as agriculture, catering, construction and, most tragically, the NHS will suffer badly.

Tim Hailstone

Venn Lane, Stoke Fleming

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