Douglas Carswell

06 OCT 2016

Brexit Britain needs better yardsticks

Britain is the fastest-growing economy in the G7, says the IMF. It's great they've admitted they were wrong about post-referendum economic Armageddon. But are the G7 nations – over half of which are in the EU – really the countries we should be measuring ourselves against?

We often hear pundits use the phrase "in Europe" when comparing the UK's relative performance in some area or other. But we need to stop using Europe as the yardstick if we are to be a global success. It's how we are doing relative to the world that counts. 

By comparison to EU countries, for example, Britain – with predicted growth of 1.8% in 2016 – might be doing well.

But compare Britain to other countries with a similar population, and you get a very different picture. South Korea's economy, according to the IMF, is forecast to grow 2.7% this year. Turkey, 3.3%. Thailand, 3.2%. Tanzania, 7.2%. Myanmar (aka Burma), 8.1%.

Obviously, these countries face very different economic issues. Some are still just starting to develop. Others have only recently opened up to foreign trade and investment. None is a perfect analogue to Britain.

Here's the point, though: neither is the Eurozone! The old so-called advanced economies are collapsing under the weight of the failed single currency. We shouldn't be using them as a yardstick.

Brexit isn't just about taking back our sovereignty. It's also about changing our mindset. We need to start seeing ourselves in competition with the world's best performers.

Outside the EU, we can finally aspire to more than being the least broken member of the world's only declining trading bloc. It's time to set our sights higher.

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