I see the Independent has reported a UCL study suggesting that 18 to 29-year-olds are more stressed about Brexit than Covid-19.
I’m not at all surprised. Brexit has deprived them of their European citizenship, Erasmus and being a proper part of Europe – as well as their future job prospects.
If they are say, aged 26 they will have experienced: (1) The trebling of tuition fees (2) The scrapping of maintenance grants (3) The global financial crash (4) Then austerity (5) Then Brexit, all the while (6) with the biggest wage stagnation in decades and (7) be living through a mismanaged global pandemic. That’s quite a list of government achievements.
Meanwhile stories of UK firms, in whole or in part, moving to the EU are getting more numerous – the trouble is all of their staff have lost their freedom to go with them.
This loss reduces UK economic activity, of course, though government has previously argued that they are ‘expanding the customs sector’, which may lead to the gaiety of nations but is productively, completely and utterly pointless.
With so many things required in British society at the moment I’m sure that we could all do without spending half a day filling in customs forms.
As shipments to Northern Ireland have proved, mixed loads are going to be very expensive indeed because every commodity needs a different form. Thus costs and prices will increase – indeed customs may well have killed these sorts of ‘groupage’ loads as being just too costly and inconvenient. That means small companies are likely to find things even more difficult and if Covid-19 doesn’t finish them off I think that Brexit probably will. And Small and Medium Enterprises provide the majority of UK employment.
I have to agree with the Observer’s Nick Cohen – government seems to think that noone will notice.
Actually, Brexit is simply a massive own goal – where the government have deluded themselves that they are on the winning side.