Listen: Headspace #16—Brexonomics
In our monthly podcast, Tom Clark and guests discuss the looming economic shock from Brexit and whether you can use culture to regenerate a city
Britain’s business leaders are increasingly jittery about a “cliff edge” Brexit. But is leaving Europe necessarily a threat for UK PLC, rather than an opportunity? Economists Adam Posen and Diane Coyle join Tom Clark and give the low-down, both on the scale of the coming shock as they see it, and the pre-existing frailty of the low-productivity British economy. Meanwhile, Andrew Dickson has taken a trip to Bilbao and asks whether culture is the key to restarting an economy.
Brexit is not going to make Britain into a wonderful capitalist exemplar, let alone a global trader, like Hong Kong was in the 1970s. Brexit is going to make today’s Britain more like Britain was in the 1970s. Ultimately, it will produce lasting economic harm to British citizens, because market economics works and global integration has benefits.
The attention of officials in Brexit Britain is focused, laser-like, on productivity. Away from the world of policy and economics, the term washes over most people as business-speak. For those responsible for policy, however, productivity is not just an important question: it is the question
Perhaps one lesson of Bilbao is that urban areas do not travel on a linear trajectory, from the wreckage of the past towards an ever-brighter future. Instead, like the humans who inhabit them, they wax and wane, falter as well as soar; sometimes surging ahead, often slipping behind. That cycle will continue for as long as there are cities and people to live in them.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org