The Emperor of DIT Has no Clothes

Dr Liam Fox has been Minister for International Trade ever since Theresa May bought his loyalty with the job two years ago. Just this weekend, he was tweeting proudly what a good job he and his 3,000 (!) staff have done. The substance was that we have record exports on his watch. Except,  the government’s own trade statistics disagree: trade ahs been flat for two years.

Each month, Britain exports around £31bn—rather overshadowed by £42bn in imports, giving a trade imbalance of £11bn, or some 36% of exports. Together with servicing debt of over £1.5tn, (118% of government revenue) such imbalance acts as a drag on the economy and on the value of the £. This drag has been slowing the economy for some time, Yet Dr Fox keeps quiet about it. Let’s look at how the (neutral) OECD evaluates Britain’s economic performance against its peers. Britain’s per capita GDP is $43,250 per annum. Not bad, but what about others? Germany’s is $50,649; Scotland-sized Denmark‘s is $51,496; Ireland‘s is $75,827 (Tory disparaging of Ireland has been notably absent of late.) Not much for Dr Fox to crow about there.

Maybe this is a vision of the future: what about OECD projected growth rates? Britain’s is 1.3%—hmm, better than we had been doing. For comparison: Germany: 2.1%; Denmark: 1.9%; Ireland: 2.9%—all significantly better. (Even for government debt: Germany 79%, Denmark 82%; Ireland 52% vs Britain 118%))The same is true for unemployment, social disparity, in fact by any measure that you might want to evaluate success or prosperity or even happiness of European countries.

It should come as no surprise to those who have witnessed the Brexiteers behaviour over the last two years that hard, objective, statistics that might disturb the eyes-wide-shut mantra they have been peddling gets short shrift. Evidently we have things to learn fro  our neighbours. Cutting ourselves off from them makes no sense.

But that toom tabards like Liam Fox think they can blow soapy bubbles and call them statistics shows just how deep in soapy bubble their political careers are in as the whole foundation-less edifice of their “Brexit Bonus” wobbles about their ears.

About davidsberry

Local ex-councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Retired in 2017.
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