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Viewpoint
11 Sep, 2018

Viewpoint

In the UK freedom to provide services and free movement are also about social mobility 

This country’s economy will increasingly continue to become a service-based economy as scientific research, technological innovation, and the creative and art industries move by necessity to the forefront of our society and education system. The financial services sector will only be one aspect of our future economy and that is a good thing. The May government however has either failed to grasp this or willfully and negligently ignored these points and as such the Chequers Brexit declaration is wholly inadequate. 

Losing access to the Single Market will further hinder social mobility 

The consequences of such an ill conceived Brexit deal, combined with the consequences of the Tories failing for the last eight years to deal with the anti- competition issues ever plaguing our country will further hinder social mobility, the lack of which, was to many, one of the main reasons for the success of the Leave campaign. 

Scientific research, whether basic or applied along with computer technology and the creative and media sectors are or will become emerging industries in Poland, the Baltics, and Eastern Europe. These are areas where British services and individuals excel. 

Losing access to the Single Market and the accompanying freedom to provide services will put the UK at an inherent disadvantage when competing against German and French individuals or businesses in those markets. 

How, after weathering the separate influxes which arose as a result of the fall of communism and the 2008 banking crisis (both epic events in history), it now makes sense to lose the advantages of the Single Market is apparent only to the Brexit ideologues. 

Aggravating the problem for UK citizens will be the loss of the mobility right, which in 2018 is inherently linked to services especially intellectual property. The necessity for visas and/or being categorised as foreign investment when entering those markets, not only increases cost but reduces the ability to compete. 

This will hurt those university graduates who are presently starting their own businesses out of necessity because of the presence of gatekeepers in so many an industry in the UK. Post-Brexit, even foreign markets will be closed to them. There is a protectionist element in this country that violates anti-competition laws but which is ignored as exemplified by the cartel like position of the Big Four consulting firms in the UK market. The Grenfell tragedy may have been prevented if the UK internal market was not so dominated by so few. 

After closing their eyes to the private protectionist interests, which remove both competition and opportunity, this Tory generation now seeks to remove from individual citizens that which can possibly level the playing field, notably, access to foreign markets. 

Brexit and visas turn London into a modern day version of ‘On The Waterfront 

From an inward investment perspective, the idea that the benefits to the science and creative and art sectors of the mobility right can be replaced by the giving out of visas to skilled science people or creative individuals simply does not wash. The government can’t pick winners. In trying to do so it ignores the individual, which in these industries is often from where the success stems. The requirement for visas will further create gatekeepers to industries and actually reduce the creation of businesses and jobs. To a certain extent it will create a behind the scenes “On The Waterfront” situation. 

Concerns about immigration from the EU being to high can easily be alleviated by invoking emergency breaks for a limited time period under certain prescribed conditions. The majority of UK voters and citizens would readily accept this compromise. 

Furthermore, remaining in the EU would not prevent the UK from entering into the most important aspect of any future trade relationship with Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. This would be free movement as technological innovation, science, intellectual property and services are all inherently tied to people in 2018. 

Gate-keepers & corruption distort the free market, education, & social mobility 

The 2016 Brexit referendum and its negative economic consequences can become another obstacle to social mobility in this country or it can become a wake-up call. 

A government which actually places importance on social mobility would seek to reform the EU in order to protect the economic interests of this country and its citizens. The Italians, Poles, and Eastern Europeans, are seeking partners in this endeavour but Britain’s historical role of leadership has been abdicated to fear, opportunism, and a desire to remain in power. 

To not attempt do so would be as disingenuous as claiming to believe in social mobility as this Tory generation has done for the last eight years whilst doing nothing to remove the self-serving gatekeepers and corruption which so distorts the free market in this country and education and social mobility themselves thus leading inevitably to people blaming the wrong things, or individuals, as happened in 2016. 

John Nucciarone Is a Canadian and member of the New York Bar living and working in London, England. 

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