Brexit: 3 reasons why people are (reluctantly) talking about it again

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Six years after the UK voted to leave the EU and two years after we officially left the trading bloc, Brexit came to the fore again this week.

It comes after the Bank of England’s dire prediction of a two-year recession on Thursday and its decision to raise interest rates by the biggest amount in 33 years.

On top of that, the cost of living crisis continues to grip the country, along with fears over how the UK will cope this winter with a struggling NHS and the energy crisis.

As polling guru Sir John Curtice pointed out this week, the debate over whether the UK should still be part of the EU remains unresolved.

So here are the three main triggers that have reignited the Brexit conversations.

1. Mark Carney’s Warning

As Governor of the Bank of England between 2013 and 2020, Mark Carney, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program why the country’s economic outlook looks so bleak at the moment.

Speaking on Friday, he explained how the West as a whole was coping with a period of instability.

He said: “In the UK and other economies we’ve had the impact of rising energy prices, we’ve had the impact of Covid which has changed the labor market and our capacity for growth.”

But then he added: “In the UK there is the short-term impact of Brexit, which has slowed the rate at which the economy can grow.

“So the economy is operating at a level above its capacity – this is on top of the inflationary pressures we are having from the war in Ukraine and elsewhere – and the Bank has to slow down the economy, which is why it is raising rates of interest.”

Carney also said the pound moved against all major currencies from the time the referendum was called, then moved more sharply after the referendum result.

“It didn’t recover – it fluctuated, but it didn’t recover.”

Carney noted that he had previously warned that the exchange rate would fall and stay low, that this would add to inflationary pressure and that the economy’s capacity would also shrink as a result of Brexit.

He concluded: “We would have a situation, which is the situation we have today, where the Bank of England has to raise interest rates despite the economy going into recession.”

2. Health

Research by the Financial Times has revealed that the UK officially has the worst healthcare in Europe.

The article highlights that the Covid pandemic has left the UK with more people with chronic illnesses and more mental health issues, causing major labor shortages in the workforce NHS.

The NHS also announced this week that the length of its waiting list for hospital treatment was 5.5 million – less than expected, but still not ideal.

The FT also found that over the past year one in six UK adults needed a medical check or treatment but were unable to get it.

This is the highest number among the 36 European countries and, according to the newspaper, almost triple the EU average.

In response, many people pointed out that one of the main campaign pledges to leave the EU was to send £350million of extra funding to the NHS every week, which previously went to Brussels.

Turns out people haven’t forgotten that vow, especially after it was taped to the side of a campaign bus.

3.Boris Johnson

An old clip of Boris Johnson (from before his time as Prime Minister) has resurfaced on social media.

Dated June 21, 2016 – two days before the general public goes to the polls for the EU referendum – Johnson spoke to LBC and promised he would apologize if the country went into recession after Brexit.

The clip has been liked over 14,000 times.

Johnson briefly put himself in the running to be the next Tory leader and prime minister after Liz Truss resigned, but he pulled out of the race because the Tories are ‘not a united party’ at the moment.

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