Leave aside whether it is 50% (the Rotterdam Effect etc) and ponder the way the world is changing.
The BRICs are growing mightily. 5 to 10% growth rates….and all the usual longer term forecasts assume that this convergence is going to continue for decades. The entire global economy is going to undergo quite radical changes. Certainly the weightings of which country is what percentage of the global economy is predicted to change massively.
In the medium term:
Exports will drag the UK back to sustained growth as the country “re-orientates” to markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Currently, just 5pc of UK exports go to the emerging “BRIC” nations – less than to Ireland alone. However, ITEM is forecasting annual growth in exports to the region to average 11.7pc a year until 2020. By comparison, the total value of UK goods and services exports around the world is expected to (grow, I think they mean-Tim) be 8.5pc a year for the next decade.
So, in the short term we would expect our non EU exports to be growing as there\’s not that much growth in the EU but there is elsewhere. In the medium term similarly and in the long term….why, it\’s just the same!
Think of the economic projections the IPCC reports on climate change are based upon. By 2100 we expect (as long as we don\’t screw it up) the global average income per capita to be around what the US one was back in 1990. We expect the BRICs to be (well, there\’s a question mark over Russia, to be sure) richer than we are now.
China and India both to be far larger economies than either the EU or US: Brazil alone to be 50% or so of the entire EU economy.
So that\’s where the economic growth is going to be: and clearly, given that the UK comparative advantages seem to be in certain high tech goods (jet engines, we make 1/3 of total world consumption, certain chips like ARM etc) and financial services, that\’s what we\’ll probably be exporting to those places.
Yes, exports are indeed going to work and imports going shopping. But in order to go shopping one does have to go to work.
OK, so that\’s the likely scenario for the next few decades: vastly faster growth and thus appetite for our exports outside the EU rather than in it.
So, what should our political response to the EU be then? All the opportunities are going to be outside the EU thus we should tie ourselves more strongly to the EU apron strings?
Umm, no, that doesn\’t make much sense, does it?
All the opportunities are going to be outside the EU so we should loosen the EU apron strings?
Yes, that sounds quite a lot more sensible, doesn\’t it?
And to be more specific: London is the international financial capital of the world. It\’s got one of the things we really can sell to Johnny Foreigner. So we\’d better not let the cretins fuck over one of the industries we can actually sell to those fast growing areas of the world, eh?