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Are Brexiteers the new Bankers?

August 2, 2016 11:40 PM

At the end of last week, two leading financial forecasting organisations predicted that the UK economy is at the beginning of a turndown that looks worse than that which followed the banking crisis in 2008. This time of course, whilst there will be some effect throughout the EU and wider, the epicentre of the crisis will be the UK. In 2008 the Government was able to put in place measures to keep the UK economy competitive when compared to our main economic rivals. This time the cause of the crisis is centred in the UK suggesting this downturn will be worse and more far reaching than 2008.

No doubt we all remember that following the 2008 financial crisis, there was a huge surge of public opinion that the financial speculators, and in particular the bankers, who had led us into the mess should be punished. Sadly, no one in the UK has ever been prosecuted but at least those huge banker bonuses have been cut.

Now this time, there is no easily pilloried group that we can pick on to blame for the mess because this time the blame falls squarely on us all. Or rather, it falls upon the 52% of us who believed the mistruths and ideologically driven half-truths of the Leave campaign. So, as this crisis plays out and almost certainly deepens, at what point are we going to start blaming the Brexiteers? Will they become as reviled as the bankers did following 2008? Even eight years on there remains a huge stigma attached to bankers. It will be interesting to see in eight years from now how the population of the UK as whole views those who campaigned for Brexit and, perhaps more fundamentally, those who voted for it.

Antony Power (Antony.d.power@gmail.com)

Liberal Democrat Candidate for South Brent &Yealmpton Division, Devon County Council