Shropshire Star comment: This crisis is political maelstrom
Over the years, Mervyn King has often been a voice of reason when it comes to issues surrounding Britain’s economy.
So when the former governor of the Bank of England attempts to make sense of the Brexit siutation we are faced with, it pays to listen.
Lord King was one of the first public figures to acknowledge that the disdain shown towards the rest of the country by the London elite was one of the main reasons for the Brexit vote.
His views on the Government’s deal that will be put before MPs next week will certainly not make for pleasant reading for Theresa May.
He clearly does not share the same doom and gloom opinion of Britain’s economy under a ‘no deal’ Brexit as current Bank governor Mark Carney, who has spent the last two years pumping out an incessant deluge of anti-Brexit propaganda.
Indeed, Lord King firmly believes that the UK could have blossomed under such a scenario – if only the Government had bothered to prepare for a Brexit based on World Trade Organisation rules in the immediate aftermath of the referendum.
As this completely reasonable avenue has never been explored, we are left with Mrs May’s deal and a country even more divided than it was two years ago. It is hardly surprising that so many people are left scratching their heads wondering what the future holds.
According to Lloyds Bank’s latest business barometer, the confidence of firms in the West Midlands rose by a quarter last month and is the highest in the country.
Meanwhile another report, this time by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, said business confidence was low.
This comes at a time when Babcock has struck a near £1 billion deal to provide services to the Australian navy, and JCB has won a £7 million contract to supply machinery to builders merchants Travis Perkins.
Trying to find the truth among the many varying opinions is no easy task, but rest assured that the crisis facing Britain is not an economic one.
It is entirely political, borne out of a divided Conservative administration, and a weak, confused Labour opposition flailing away under a conflicted leader. Lord King is right. Something has gone badly wrong.