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A prominent Rejoiner author has claimed the UK would experience a cultural and business “renaissance” if it became part of the EU again. The claim from Nick Tyrone, writer behind “This Week in Brexitland”, comes as support rises across Brexit Britain to try and reverse the referendum result amid a myriad of economic issues linked to the exit from the bloc.
Mr Tyrone, whose online blog highlights flaws with Brexit, tweeted: “When Britain rejoins the EU, it will spark a renaissance in this country that will be something to see. Business and culture will quickly rejuvenate, shrugging off the Covid/Brexit era completely.”
Polling shows an increasing majority of Britons want the country to rejoin the EU.
A Savanta survey for the Independent found that 65 percent of people want another vote – up from 55 percent this time last year. The survey also found 54 percent now say Brexit was the wrong decision, up from 46 percent last year, on the first anniversary of Britain’s exit.
A particular issue is that of the economy – with 56 percent now thinking leaving the EU has made the economy worse, up from 44 percent.
The same is true according to pollster John Curtice, who reports that 57 percent of people are in favour of rejoining, while just 43 percent want to stay out – while 49 percent believe Brexit weakens the economy.
According to analysis by Bloomberg Economics, Brexit is costing the UK’s economy £100bn a year. The report showed that following the split with the EU, British companies are struggling to attract investment and hire workers.
It was also estimated that the UK economy was 4 percent smaller than it might have been, had it not been for Brexit.
Economists Ana Andrade and Dan Hanson said: “Did the UK commit an act of economic self-harm when it voted to leave the EU in 2016? The evidence so far still suggests it did. The main takeaway is that the rupture from the single market may have impacted the British economy faster than we, or most other forecasters, expected.”
Meanwhile, UK’s independent Office for Budget Responsibility continues to forecast a long-run loss of productivity of 4 percent as a result of Brexit.
However, rejoining the EU and provoking the business renaissance hoped for by Mr Tyrone is no easy task, and it is not clear that Brussels would even allow it. According to analysis by the LSE, the bloc may still be interested in the UK’s membership as a large net contributor to its budget as well as a major European military power.
But the EU would likely only take the UK if it presented a clear and strong majority in favour of doing so, to show true commitment.
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The Euro is a particular sticking point, the LSE argued, saying: “If the support of UK political parties was qualified by pledges not to join the euro, that might be interpreted by the EU as an early warning sign that UK exceptionalism was still alive and kicking”.
Neither of the major political parties is floating a second EU referendum as a legitimate possibility.
Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy promised last week there would be a civilised friendship with Europe under a Labour government.
This included reconnecting “a tarnished UK” with its closest allies, “for security and prosperity”; “reducing friction” on trade; unblocking the Horizon scheme; strengthening student links and pledging a “clean power alliance”. Keir Starmer has also been clear that the party is not pushing for the UK to rejoin.
Rishi Sunak, similarly, has shown no interest in EU membership, saying recently: “We’ve made huge strides in harnessing the freedoms unlocked by Brexit to tackle generational challenges. Whether leading Europe’s fastest vaccine rollout, striking trade deals with over 70 countries or taking back control of our borders, we’ve forged a path as an independent nation with confidence.”
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