In the FT, on the Ireland issues:
Few people would deny that helping Ireland is in the national interest. After all, Britain exports more to Ireland than to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined.
That’s a stunning statistic!
Really, what does it say about the state of the UK economy? Even with the pound devalued by 25% over the last few years, exports to a minor market like Ireland still eclipses the combined exports to most of the BRICS! It doesn’t really inspire much confidence in the idea that the UK can export it’s way out of recession. Nor does it give you much hope for a future recovery as a meaningful secondary economy.
It makes me wonder what can replace all those lost manufacturing / factory jobs? The current long-term unemployed aren’t likely candidates for financial services industry (except perhaps as robo-signers?)… where are they all going to work? With the eastern europeans leaving in droves, and the weak pound forcing up the cost of food imports, perhaps it’s time to get back to fields?
What a long strange trip this industrial revolution has been…