Cloud cuckoo land

Leave friends I have are always pointing to independent countries that are doing well despite not belonging to a big trading block, South Korea, Norway and Switzerland for example. But when I started looking into it I found that all of them are special cases for reasons that do not apply to the UK. South Korea is rich because it has a huge market on its doorstep. China has become prosperous through manufacturing everyday goods very cheaply through a relatively unskilled workforce. So South Korea sells it goods it does not want to make itself, electronics and ships produced by a skilled and highly educated work force. To survive outside an economic bloc you need to be close to a bloc and sell it something it wants. Norway has a small population and sells oil to the EU. Switzerland rejected EU membership in a referendum only by a margin of 0.06% and is to all intents and purposes a member of the EU. Could it be it just doesn’t want an outside authority able to supervise its secretive banking system, which suits the EU also? But the UK enjoys none of these advantages. We’re proposing to cut ourselves adrift from a huge market on our doorstep. We have few natural resources. We’ve pretty much drilled out our oil. We have a relatively poorly educated workforce that demands high wages. We have to import at what will be inflated prices all the raw materials we need for our manufactures if the pound remains weak as it is likely to do for a long time. No wonder virtually every economic authority in the world thinks leaving the EU will be an economic disaster. The highly emotional and intellectually restricted “I want my country back” won’t survive the hard economics of international trade. How can we stop this mad rush of Gadarene swine?


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