The Obvious Solution – 10 November 2022


The Brexit delusion had been exposed long before the Truss tanking and was encapsulated by the former Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney’s, comment that “in 2016 the British economy was 90% the size of Germany’s. Now it is less than 70%.” What an indictment of the folly, but what a cost we’re paying.  

There’s an obvious solution and that’s to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). That’s currently comprised of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It addresses the travails the UK’s facing without rejoining the EU which would be politically problematic for all the major British parties. Membership’s available within months, if not weeks. 

Allowing for access to the single market so desperately needed for our exporters and restoring free movement of labour, badly required in every employment sector from care and hospitality to agriculture and manufacturing. It also resolves the intractable Irish protocol with both Britain and Ireland in the same trade tent.              

It’s also the solution for Scotland. Twiddling your thumbs for 5 years pending joining the EU’s absurd. It would be preferable if England and Wales were also members but even if they still continued to prefer steady decline to a pragmatic solution, it’s necessary for Scotland. It would allow for a trade deal with the Rest of the UK but allow for access to the EU single market  

Instead, the obvious solution’s ignored and the Good Ship Brexit continues taking in water, all whilst its political leaders copy Nelson putting a telescope to their blind. We’re not heading for Singapore by the Channel but going under which is why action’s needed, and fast. 

A Trade Deal with the USA is still to materialize though when it does then kiss goodbye to the NHS and say hello to chlorinated chicken. In the interim the supposed triumphs of deals with Australia and New Zealand have stabbed farmers in the back and are a prelude for worse to come with India. The latter’s pesticides will make even chlorinated chicken seem palatable.      

But still the delusion continues with the new Sunak regime almost being outdone by Starmer in a commitment to continued folly. The Labour leader’s intransigence hit a new low with his comments on immigration and the NHS. The only qualms most have about immigration in the health service is the denuding of developing nations of their most talented people. But we need staff and at all levels and in all sectors. Scotland has a labour crisis, and employers know that, even if the Labour leader’s blinded by his political dogma.  

Of course, the argument against EFTA is that you’d still be stuck with EU rules whilst being a rule taker not maker. But rules are required and as we’re seeing the EU’s are better than what’s now having to be grasped to simply stay afloat. It also has you out of the political union that many bitterly oppose.  

Going back politically into the EU isn’t acceptable to Leavers but this would satisfy many. For Remainers like me it’s a solution and we can see where the land lies with the EU in years to come. But still there’s none to blind as will not see the obvious and pragmatic solution.