Everything the critics predicted seems to have taken place. Wasn’t it obvious from the beginning that abandoning a trade alliance would hurt your economy?
From the EU, the drama of the Brexit negotiations was watched with mixed feelings. Initial regret shifted to a desire to limit the damage. Some economic opportunities to fill the gaps left by the UK opened up. Brexit was clearly going to be a loss for everyone, but far greater for the UK than for any continental European economy.
The negative impact on trade, so far, is substantial for the UK. The Centre for European Reform recently estimated that there has been an 11.2% negative impact on trade as a result of Brexit. The UK share of world trade has fallen by a further 15% compared to pre-referendum projections.
Assessing the impact of Brexit on the EU presents a challenge, as macro-economic data is contaminated by the pandemic shock. However, digging into the details of trade flows, there has been a noticeable negative effect on some countries, sectors and firms. This has been especially sizeable for small producers who used to have unbounded single market access to the UK. Now, the extra paperwork puts off firms that lack the critical mass to absorb the extra fixed costs of handling non-EU trade procedures. Over time, the situation may well improve, but some companies have already given up. British consumers have paid the price, EU consumers far less.
And yet, even now, the Tories and that idiot, Boris Johnson, are in charge of the country. The rest of Europe is sitting back and watching in amazement as the Brits punch themselves in the face, over and over again. Here in America, we’re also impressed at how much self-harm is going on, but we’re less surprised since we’re experiencing our own ongoing madness.