Both Dr Alf and the Peterson Institute for International Economics are right about the UK facing many difficult problems irrespective of EU membership or BREXIT.
These are the size and unaffordable nature of UK public services, the costs of power, the low rate of housebuilding, the abuse of the NHS by hypochondriacs and malingerers whose activities will bankrupt it within 5 years unless something is done, inadequate defences, lack of food security, falling worker productivity and increased laziness, lack of generating capacity in the face of peak demand which is rising, the Barnett Formula, unaffordable overseas aid, falling state educational standards with school leavers and graduates largely uncompetitive with their counterparts in other countries, the obesity, dementia and diabetes crisis, overpopulation, income inequality on a grand scale, inadequate transport and road systems and bosses paying themselves too much for not exporting, not delivering improved shareholder value and not helping the country to sell and earn its way out of its current official debt mountain.
Some of these problems will not in my view be solved with a gentle laissez-faire approach and will require tough legislation to compel people to do things and stop doing things.
This is because persuasion, exhortation,”nudging” and appeals to commonsense have fallen on deaf ears and the competitive nature of the modern world will not provide the time for endless discussion, debate and dithering. Thus the NHS has to be replaced with something fit for purpose as does the structure of local government, devolved governments, the police, fire commands and the positioning of Adult Social Care. The Monarchy is too big and too expensive and sugar and salt content in food has to be reduced and the morbidly obese pressured into exercise and where necessary gastric band treatment.
Short school days, strikes in public services and long holidays have to end, language teaching has to be increased, radicalized Muslims need to be dealt with by internment and National Service needs to be reintroduced for all school leavers.
Whether we stay in the EU as Dr Alf believes we should or leaves as I think we should, these pressing problems need to be dealt with in any event and in that direction the UK should benchmark itself against efficient and well run countries like Singapore and Switzerland and learn from international best practice in a process of rolling transformation.