A reader emails me about Brexit

I will not do a further indentation, this is all from the reader, an EU national working for the UK government:

“…of course I am writing to disagree with you, because for once I think I understand an issue – Brexit – better than you do.  So against your changes that have made you more pro-Brexit, below are four ways in which Brexit is still as costly. or more costly, than we may have originally thought.

  1. Politics in the UK have changed and the UK is less likely to take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit/ The fact the UK government is happy to agree to non-regression on EU labour and environmental regulations, and is most interested in policy space on subsidies and fishing is a bad sign.
  2. Brexit has made the liberal bloc in the EU less powerful and will make EU regulations worse. For example, the Copyright Directive would not have passed the Council had the UK voted against (see here). That the UK voted for it (so it’s also UK law too) tells you something about how likely the UK is to resist bad ideas on internet regulation.
  3. EU free movement is an underrated source of labour market flexibility – the complete lack of paperwork is quite attractive. Post Brexit immigration policy won’t help, particularly since with a national wage threshold, the loss of EU migrants will affect areas outside of London more: nearly half of the non-EU migrants that come for work live in London, but only a third of EU work migrants do (see here).
  4. Being outside the EU makes it more costly for the UK to disengage from China, especially if it also wants some autonomy from the US. Attitudes to both China and the US have changed a lot since Brexit, so whatever its merits the UK government will be using industrial strategy to become more independent from the China and maybe also the US.”

TC again: here is my Brexit column he was responding to.


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