Brexit is not like Henry VIII’s split with Europe | Letters


Sean Rickard and Clive Spragg take issue with an article by Larry Elliott. Plus letters from Christopher Hill and SP Chakravarty on post-Brexit trade deals

Larry Elliott (Boris Johnson’s split from Brussels echoes Henry VIII’s break with Rome, 18 October) seems too willing to accept that the UK’s economic performance has been constrained by EU membership and that models showing the economic cost of Brexit should be treated with scepticism because behaviour can change. Behaviour can change, but not always for the best. Rather than observing that, post-Brexit, the government can nurture industrial regeneration, it would be wise to understand why the UK has spent less on state and regional aids than comparable EU members, and why they have achieved more impressive productivity growth.

As to his outmoded view that a fall in sterling’s value will relieve some Brexit pain, all we can say for certain is that it will make the country poorer. Since the financial crash, sterling has lost some 25% of its value, yet the current account continued to decline until the Covid recession reduced import demand.

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