Now that a Conservative government is in place for the next five years and the disastrous threat of a left-wing Labour administration has evaporated, hopefully never to surface again, we are still faced with major problems mostly of the new government’s making.
The referendum about Europe could prove the undoing of the Conservative Party and the country as a whole.
Britain may lose its AAA credit rating because of market fears over the outcome of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, a leading credit agency announced recently.
Standard and Poor’s, the only one of three major agencies still to give Britain the top rating, said the vote represented a ‘risk to growth prospects for the UK’s financial services and export sectors, as well as the wider economy’.
The agency said that it had given a ‘negative outlook’, meaning at least a one in three chance of a downgrade in the next two years.
The decision came as part of a broad and unexpectedly bleak assessment of the UK economy by S & P which suggested that the deficit reduction targets were unrealistic and the current account of deficit was an ongoing ‘vulnerability’.
It added that leaving the EU might mean that Britain could not finance its large deficit and high short-term debt, and warned that even the campaign itself would harm the UK economy.
‘In our opinion, the process of holding a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is evidence of increasing risks to the effectiveness, stability and predictability of UK policy-making. This could negatively affect sustainable public finances, balanced economic growth and the response to economic or political shocks,’ the agency said.
The Conservative Party is notorious for its division on Europe. Many of its members are still under the impression that Britain is the world power that it used to be and could go it alone without the need for EU membership.
It is a fallacy that will cost the country dear. Effectively, it is tantamount to a hara-kiri that Britain will live to regret if the wound is not fatal. Europe can survive without Britain if the chips are down. Even the USA will desert us once our influence recedes.
I hope good sense will prevail in the end. Otherwise, doom is clearly on the horizon.