A small majority of UK voters have chosen to ‘leave’ the EU. Now we will reap the economic deluge in terms of financial market shocks, lower investment and fewer jobs. It will take a few years for the negotiations to assert some certainty back on the future path of trade and exchange. It will take longer for the negative effects on inward investment to work themselves out. The UK economy will be weaker than it otherwise would have been for up to a decade. The SW economy will be poorer as key factories and facilities across the region are sidelined or lost, many household incomes are reduced and fiscal transfer resources are diminished.
The question, then, is how we respond to and mitigate these choices and negative effects. The next Prime Minister, as well as negotiating with all our partners, has to instigate policies that will increase investment, raise productivity and drive development whilst dealing with the probable break up of the United Kingdom. Hopefully, by 2025-30, we can look back and say “well, it was a painful adjustment but we did it and now the future looks bright again for England” (alone?). Today, it’s hard to look ahead with confidence but the hard work starts now.