EN|RU|UK
  14588
Related materials:

 Theresa May's policy goals do not require leaving EU, - Financial Times

That might be just the biggest irony of the newly appointed PM's program, Chris Giles of Financial Times argues.

Censor.NET informs citing his opinion article for FT.

"As Theresa May takes charge of her "Brexit means Brexit" government, her ambition is to show leadership; unify her party and the nation; and build an economy that works for everyone. These are all worthy objectives. But the incoming prime minister, as a serious politician, also knows that merely desiring good things does not make them happen.

"In her speech on Monday, Mrs May announced a list of reforms and targets. The Treasury must work to improve productivity; the aim of energy policy will be to reduce bills; better research and development policy will enable companies to make the right investment decisions while industrial strategy will have the whole economy firing. There will be more housebuilding and the Treasury guarantees for infrastructure investment; and a plan for all our dynamic cities, not just one or two. She plans to put workers on boards, to make shareholder votes on executive pay binding and defend certain UK companies against hostile acquisition.

Read more: Elizabeth II appoints Theresa May new Britain's PM

"Looking at this list, it is hard not to conclude that, when Mrs May pledged to abolish "all the political platitudes", she was sailing close to the wind. To list three: faster productivity growth is something the Treasury frequently calls for; its representatives have been touring the world offering guarantees to anybody and everybody willing to fund UK infrastructure; and it makes at least one plan a year to create a better environment for R&D.

"The greater irony in Mrs May's list is that no item requires Brexit. Leaving the EU is at most marginal to productivity, R&D, housebuilding, infrastructure, regional and energy policy, corporate governance and most takeovers. Germany has worker representatives; France can block takeovers of even the least strategic sectors, such as yoghurt.

Read more: Brexit may take up to six years, - UK's Foreign Secretary Hammond

"So Britain is none the wiser on what Brexit means. The result is damaging short-term uncertainty and longer-term threats to investment, competition and productivity. To retain her reputation as a serious politician, Mrs May needs rapidly to articulate her vision for Britain's new relationship with Europe.

"What sort of trading relationship does she want? What will she prioritise when faced with inevitable trade-offs? When will she trigger Article 50 and start the formal process of leaving the EU? Does she believe there is a benefit to the public finances or must she level with the public that they were conned into thinking Brexit would bring billions home?

"Also omitted from the speech was migration - one thing Brexit Britain can control. Clamping down will, of course, immediately throw up problems in the efforts for greater productivity and unity. Many voters in areas such as England's east coast, Cornwall, Wales and the former northern English industrial heartlands want fewer migrants. But high-productivity zones that pay the bulk of the nation's tax take - London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester and Scotland - know their success is built on free movement in Europe and skilled immigration from elsewhere. National restrictions on migration will hit output, productivity and public finances.

Read more: "EU's greatest asset is Ukraine, whose citizens are willing to die in defense of their country," - Soros

"The only way to unify the two sides is to devolve migration and residence policy to cities and regions, with tax revenues from migrants staying in local areas. This matches the right to reside with responsibilities to provide public services. If Clacton, the seaside town that elected the only UK Independence party MP, wants to become a 1950s theme park, with 1950s living standards, that should be its choice. But it cannot object to Bristol or Edinburgh taking a different approach.

"For Brexit to mean Brexit, Mrs May must swiftly produce a definition and how it will work. All the policy stuff that is already possible as an EU member can wait. What Britain needs is a definition of Brexit before we seriously regrexit," Giles concludes.



 
 
 
 up