Britain's Decline

The New York Times has published a searing piece by Peter Goodman outlining the case for Britain's increasing irrelevance and economic decline post-Brexit vote.  Quoting Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff that we are experiencing possibly the best moment for the global economy since the 1950s, Goodman then goes on to outline the economic outlook for Britain:

Britain stands out as one of the weaker performers. Its economy probably expanded by just 1.7 percent last year and is expected to grow by only 1.5 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
By contrast, the I.M.F. estimates that the United States economy will grow by 2.7 percent this year, and the 19 nations that share the euro currency will collectively expand by 2.2 percent.
Britain’s weak performance is due in large part to market sentiments about Brexit. The vote sent the British pound plunging against both the dollar and the euro. Although the pound has recovered much ground since then, Britain has been choking on the effects of the shift: A net importer of goods, Britain is paying higher prices for products it brings in from Europe, China and elsewhere, contributing to inflation that is running at a 3 percent annual pace.

Goodman further suggests that Britain is also experiencing a serious decline in influence.  He compares the "rock-star" welcome given to President Macron to the distinctly low-key reception of Theresa May's speech.  Mind you, his comment that people were leaving her speech early was probably unconnected with the state of British influence, and more closely linked to the tedium of listening to the British Prime Minister speak. Happily for the Special Relationship, Donald Trump appears to have found a way round that.  He apparently doesn't let May speak for more than ten seconds in their phone calls. 


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