We had a watershed moment this week, when the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Tony Danker, said at the CBI conference in Birmingham: “We need more workers and higher immigration.” Was the Prime Minister who attended, actually listening? It seems not. The government is desperate for growth but without people who will generate this growth? Brexit has meant that we don’t have enough workers in this country. This is crippling our NHS, our care sector, our industry and indeed our entire economy. To coin a simple phrase ”Brexit is not working”
Where are the benefits of Brexit?
The reality is that even the former Brexit Secretary David Davies now admits there are none. So why is the Prime Minister so stubborn about this whole subject saying “I believe in Brexit”? Danker stated there are 1.2mn job vacancies. He described the UK’s labour shortages as “vast”, adding:
“It’s time to be honest – we don’t have the people we need, nor do we have the productivity.”
The effects of Brexit
The Office of Budget Responsibility has estimated that GDP is lower by 4% as a result of Brexit. What does this actually mean to the workers in this country? Many are paying higher taxes than we should be, our NHS is stretched due to a lack of workers and investment, and many local businesses that once had a flourishing trading relationship with the EU are no longer flourishing. Companies like this cheese company are having to adapt after heavy losses caused by Brexit or closing altogether like this Grimsby fishing market. There are a huge number of small and medium-sized companies that simply can no longer trade with the EU, our largest and nearest trading partner or are going bust.
Bank of England and opinion polls
When our growth is the lowest of the G20 and the governor of the Bank of England says the difference in economic performance is stark we need to pay attention. It’s become crystal clear in recent months that Brexit is damaging the UK and the population is starting to notice. Recent opinion polls show that support for the decision to leave the EU is falling rapidly. Indeed the most recent You gov poll says only 32% support the decision now.
Does anyone care?
If we are what do we do? Do we just shout from the sidelines or get involved and do something? It’s complicated. Our flawed first-past-the-post political system and often biased media make it difficult to know what to do.
Sometimes it takes just one person with a dream and passion to change things. Lorry driver, Peter Corr, from Derby organised the first National Rejoin March, showing passion, commitment and true leadership. This event was attended by 50,000 people who marched through central London.
I was privileged to be part of the team that organised this massive rally in London, and this is only the start. More events are planned all over the UK and beyond, including here in the North East in March 2023.
Our European way of life
As part of the European Union, our ties with our nearest neighbour and largest trading partner were very strong. We were all part of the same team and were stronger because of it. We could travel unfettered to any EU country at the drop of a hat and our freedoms were immense. We could work, travel, trade and love in any EU country. Brexit has caused unnecessary red tape and restrictions that have only harmed us.
Looking back at the referendum promises that were made I totally understand how people voted the way they did. It’s not the time, and nor is it right to say people were duped or made a bad or wrong decision. People voted and now it is time to reflect on these decisions as the government is clearly doing now. We desperately need growth in our economy and to restore prosperity for all. How do we achieve this?
For me there is only one way. This will take a while to achieve, and we many need to take incremental steps along the way, but we need to rejoin the EU and never be afraid or shy away from saying it.
We need the word “rejoin“ to have the same weight and significance as the word “Brexit“.