Dr Alf and I disagree about membership of the EU (he prefers that we stay in the EU and export more to the rest of the world whereas I would prefer that we rejoin EFTA and reignite our Commonwealth links and former trading links with South America), but pay and jobs will be boosted by exports and a move from low paid employment into areas much further up the food chain.
This is contrary to what Andrea Leadsom, a Prime Ministerial hopeful, says in this article.
Creating new jobs will take time, increased UK worker productivity and a repositioning of resources away from foreign aid which now costs us £16 billion GBP a year.
It will require a move away from £33 billion GBP transfer payments under the Barnett Formula to unproductive and non-self funded parts of the United Kingdom like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Plus, of course, those parts of England which represent a financial drain on the productive sectors of England based on London, SE England, Cambridge and selected cities like Bath, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester. Taking real action to streamline the public sector and make it affordable whilst controlling nett immigration would free up the money needed to create the export sales force and sales that we need, retrain the workforce and retain and restructure our key industries whilst rebuilding our defences to include a powerful navy capable of defending our sea lanes and projecting power.
The skills crisis will be dealt with by robotics, automation and robot process outsourcing at the bottom end but I see no evidence of reskilling to move the UK to the top end and even if there was we are talking a 30 year period. The jobs will go to foreigners initially and then to nobody as AI takes over(consider Elon Musk’s self -driving cars).
My concern with remaining in is Turkey’s accession to the EU in 2021, the possible accession of the Ukraine shortly thereafter, and the plan to extend the EU into North Africa within selected countries.
The deal on migrants will unravel because as migrants enter Turkey they will have every incentive to turn them into Turkish citizens and then expel them after a time; you can be sure that Merkel, Cameron, and Tusk will not have made provision for this in the event that Turkey decides it is full up.
The ONS itself says that by 2025 we will have 80 million people living here and does not acknowledge the 7 million illegal immigrants already here and the 500,000 extra NI numbers being issued each year to people over and above the official numbers of new immigrants.
So within not too long, the ONS says 2046, we will have 100 million people living in the UK with the resources to support perhaps 1/3rd of that number. Their estimates about population have been proved wrong time and again, so we are going to reach 100 million people long before 2046 with no prospect because of lack of skills of us finding any country that would want those we no longer need. Given a housing shortage of 12 million and a build rate of 100,000 new houses a year, not enough construction workers, an assault on buy-to-let landlords by HMRC, insufficient mortgage finance, tighter lending criteria under the new Mortgage Market Review, plus action by the Bank of England to curb buy to let lending, a failure to allow systems building, building upwards or underground and no council house building, where are all these people going to live?
In the UK, we are not self-sufficient in food nor energy and Hinckley Point will take 15 years to build, so with these sorts of population increases and no legal way to curb the influx we risk blackouts and much higher food prices.
Assuming the UK does remain these issues have to be dealt with fast enough to cope with the inevitable rises in population.
John thank you for your posting.
Yes, we disagree on the Brexit. I favor staying in Europe and you argue in favor of an exit.
As I indicated in response to another comment from you, the BASE CASE is to stay in Europe. The INCREMENTAL CASE is the Brexit and supporters must produce the evidence to outweigh the enormous risks.
I agree with you that Andrea Leadsom is a lightweight political opportunist.
Also I do not disagree with any of your suggestions for reforming the UK economy but these apply just as much to the BASE CASE as the BREXIT (incremental case).
What Andrea Leadsom fails to mention is that with the BREXIT risk, Sterling is likely to collapse. So with Sterling heavily depreciated in theory there should be better opportunities for exporters and the UK cost base will be lower. Unfortunately, there’s is a skills crisis in the UK with the indigenous population and jobs are still likely to go to foreigners. Similarly, the UK’s exporting expertise needs a shot in the arm with either scenario.