Would it really be that bad?

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Note: I’m really sorry for not having published an article for the last month or so; as many of you know, I’ve been heavily burdened by iGCSEs and so cannot write with the same frequency as I have done in the past year. Come June 17, however, I’ll be sure to write weekly once again!

Make no mistake, we’re going to take a pummelling economically if we choose to leave the European Union. At this point, barely anyone disagrees with that. The only question is how much damage will we truly sustain if we leave the Union. In all honesty, the true answer to that is that no one really knows, but the extent of the scaremongering by the “Remain” campaign has been frankly unprecedented and illogical, with Cameron and co seeming to liken leaving the organisation to shaking hands with the devil himself. In a referendum which the Prime Minister himself has said is to influence the lives of generations to come, it’s not exactly fair for him to distort the facts and scare the public to the degree he and his team have. Given that, I thought that it was only fair to present an article with the clear, uncensored facts; facts that will make sure that the people of the United Kingdom are able to come up with their own decision, and not choose something that a politician’s picked out for them. And who knows? Maybe in the long term, Brexit won’t be as bad for our economy as the politicians want you to think.

Perhaps one of the most famous and outlandish claims made by our Prime Minister is that a vote for Britain to leave the European Union is somehow “immoral”. Economically, that case isn’t even remotely justifiable. In actuality, neither of the sides present present an immoral case, and if I had to pick, it would be the “Remain” camp that are far more morally questionable than their Eurosceptic counterparts. Take immigration, for example. If the Remain campaign win on June 23 (as they are most likely to do, in fact), Britain’s door will remain open for hundreds of thousands of migrants in a wave of uncontrolled migration. As much as I appreciate multiculturalism and ethnic diversity, when these workers are driving down wages for the native population and putting more strain on our social services than we can take, it’s not difficult to see that there’s a big problem. The Remain campaign’s undermining of the issues that everyday people face with regards to immigration certainly raises a number of moral issues, and indeed leaves one to question if they are best placed to be calling into question the Leave campaign’s morality. Maybe Mr. Cameron should have given this one a bit more of a think.

Similarly, George Osborne hasn’t been far from the controversy with regards to this whole debate. One of his boldest claims thus far has been that us leaving the EU would leave all of us “permanently poorer”. While Brexit would certainly leave us strapped for cash in the short term, the permanence of this relative poverty is the aspect of his statement that leaves a lot of room for doubt. Take Switzerland, for example. Although Swiss trade deals took many long years to form, their example should be taken as evidence to us that a Brexit would not leave us “permanently poorer”, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer brashly proclaimed. Swiss unemployment remains at 3.8%, and the country has a trade deal with one of the biggest economic superpowers in the world, China, which members of the Union cannot individually have, for now. While no one is denying that we would be at “the back of the queue” for trade deals with many countries, as Barack Obama said, make no mistake, we’re not out of the queue altogether. Is the purported loss of sovereignty and control of borders worth the temporary economic slowdown that a Brexit would cause? That’s for the voters to decide. One thing is for certain, however, which is that the economic effects of Brexit will last for a far shorter time than the Prime Minister’s right hand man claims.

It’s no secret that the City of London is the world’s financial hub. According to the Remain campaign, us leaving the EU would jeopardise our status as a financial hotspot. However, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, that’s an incredibly short-sighted statement which doesn’t take into account the economic cost of relocating for banks. Firstly, Britain’s corporation tax rates remain unusually low, which remains an incentive for banks to stay here due to increased profits. Moreover, the human and economic cost of leaving Britain is far too high for it to be even worth consideration by these financial institutions. Although many have openly come out and stated their concerns regarding a British exit from the EU, the truth is that all this simply is is political posturing, whereby these banks are trying to dramatise their indignation at the “Leave” campaign in an attempt to sway the public vote. While I remain an advocate of staying in the EU (tenuously, I might add), it is important in such a momentous decision that the public understand what they are voting for. Otherwise, we might end up in a situation like we have had with this Conservative government!

Shrey Srivastava, 15

By Shrey Srivastava

A finance and economics enthusiast, and someone who wants to share his views with the world.


  1. Good read Shrey! When you mentioned facts at the start of your article I was looking forward to seeing some numbers! Just a thought for your next article. Keep up the great work. Dylan


  2. I would like your opinion on regional unions or groups of nations joining together on how that works for human rights. See my interest comes from reading science fictions books where nations join in big conglomerates or the world has one democratic government. In some the people prosper and the world is better. In others the people suffer and lose all their rights. I know nothing about the current union you are writing about but you did mention refugees. So would staying in a union of nations help human rights, or hurt them. Also I would love to hear your opinion of a “one world united government”. Personally I have wanted the USA ( where I live ) and Canada and Mexico to join in a single union. Would solve a lot of problems I think. Thanks and hugs


  3. “Moreover, the human and economic cost of leaving Britain is far too high for it to be even worth consideration by these financial institutions.”

    So is not having full access to the EU or any of the countries it has free trade deals with. These banks are very unlikely to leave, but, it’s very likely they’ll reduce their operations in the UK massively as it would struggle to operate as the financial centre of Europe, especially, as is likely, the EU is tough in post-Brexit trade negotiations to limit the free trade of goods than Britain specialises in (like financial services) to discourage others from leaving and to boost mainland Europe’s economy and financial sector (and since the EU’s economy is about 6x larger, they have all the bargaining power).

    “One of his boldest claims thus far has been that us leaving the EU would leave all of us “permanently poorer”.”

    This is based off forecasts that show the UK GDP being about 6% smaller in 2030 than it otherwise it would be which is a very real possibility. If we get unfavourable trade terms or are even just hit quite badly in the short term, it will affect GDP for years to come.

    Leaving won’t cause World War 3, but it will be bad.


  4. Good luck, UK! But yes, people should know what they are voting for. It is every citizen’s responsibility to make sure of that, but both the Remain and Leave campaigns should make their arguments comprehensible for all- to the educated, the less-educated, to the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, etc…


  5. A week has now passed since polls closed for the referendum and so far there has been a political crisis of a scale never seen in mine or Shrey’s life. The prime minister has gone into early retirement, his heir presumptive has hastily withdrawn, and the Leader of the Opposition has lost a confidence vote with the walkout of nearly his entire shadow cabinet. The Scottish National Party has stepped up its bidding for independence (which now has a lot more of the Scottish establishment’s backing). Northern Ireland could also break out into the Troubles again and Spain wants to have co-sovereignty over Gibraltar. It is hard to escape the feeling that Britain is a poster too long Blu Tacked to the EU dry wall and now it cannot be removed without leaving some of the paper behind (Scotland, Ulster, Gibraltar) and/or tearing off huge chunks of plaster (other EU members which may potentially leave). It looks as if all the UK-destroying forces which we have tried to calm will now use this as an opportunity to erupt.

    In economic terms the short-term shock has certainly been brutal, with the pound suddenly dropping in value and several corporations freezing their investments because of the dreaded “uncertainty”. This is all a result of the referendum itself – we haven’t actually done anything yet! I agree, though, that the UK could definitely survive outside the EU. The real question is whether life would be more prosperous or less and as you say nobody at this stage can really know.


  6. Shrey, you have a wonderful blog! Keep in mind that the most important thing about a blog might be what the blogger gets out of it, rather than the readers. You have quite comprehensive ideas, and seem to be able to express them in a great manner. Whether the reader agrees or not, should be secondary.

    When I retired, four and a half years ago, my daughter and wife convinced me to start a blog. I believe that they just wanted to insure that I kept my mind active.

    Best regards, and good luck in your future endeavors, whatever they may be,


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