Do we have much to trade? Letters.
THERE is so much spouted in your correspondence columns about Brexit and trade, I think that sometimes a cool overview is missing.
In blunt terms, the proportion of GDP provided by manufacturing in the UK has reduced from 25% when Margaret Thatcher took office, to 10% (2016 figures). Therefore, not being a clairvoyant, I have no idea how trading relationships pre or post Brexit can fundamentally change our prospects one way or another. We don't have much to trade. I have always been agnostic about Europe, believing our problems to be systemic rather than affected by our relationship with the EU. When correspondents go on about us being the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, do they understand that that is based solely on our willingness of our government and ourselves to dive deeply into interminable debt? The Conservative coalitions of the last seven years have doubled the national debt, something they are reluctant to take full credit for, and, despite being avidly pro capitalism, have not managed to make capitalism work to the advantage of any but a powerful few.
Sadly, I think most zealots who write about our future glory or demise post Brexit in these columns, have very little grasp of the underlying reality, KENNETH HUGHES, Tynemouth