It was a nail-biter, but just days before the UK formally severed its forty-seven-year long membership with the European Union, negotiators finally landed a trade deal that takes some of the sting out of Brexit. But critics of Prime Minister Boris Johnson say that Britain will never recover from its decision to go it alone, even with an EU trade deal to soften the impact. The loss of seamless access to the world’s single largest trading bloc is bound to lead to declining exports and foreign investment in the UK and a brain drain of human talent that will impact every aspect of British life. They argue that the isolationary Brexit mindset and uncertainty around the terms of the new relationship with the European Common Market is the opposite of what the UK and world need to tackle the challenges of the post COVID global reality. Brexit supporters are much more optimistic. They argue that regaining control of British sovereignty, including national laws and regulations, trade, and international borders, will lead to a surge in economic activity in the post Brexit era. Freed of stifling bureaucracy and the sclerotic economic realities of present day Europe, Britain can and will return to its roots of being one of the world's great trading nations.
Arguing for the motion is Patrick Minford, professor of Applied Economics at Cardiff University in Wales and chair of Economists for Free Trade. He is a former adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the author of After Brexit, What Next? Trade, Regulation and Economic Growth.
Arguing against the motion is Ian Goldin, former Vice-President of the World Bank, advisor to Nelson Mandela, and a professor at Oxford University. He is the author of many books about globalisation, most recently Terra Incognita: One hundred maps to survive the next 100 years.
Sources: ABC, France 24, BBC, Sky News, KPIX CBS, Bloomberg
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