Brexit is making everyone poorer – except the rich

Author
Published date
09 Dec 2018
While Tory Brexiteers scramble to protect their millions before the UK leaves the EU, workers are already counting the cost from years of economic uncertainty
Worried worker on the left, Rees Mogg on the right
Despite what Tory Brexiteers may think, Brexit has hit workers' pockets already

After more than two years of chaotic negotiations, we’re just days away from the parliamentary vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for working people as they wait to find out what Brexit will mean for them.

We’ve already been clear that this is a bad deal for jobs and rights. That’s why trade unions can’t support it – and why we’re calling for MPs not to either.

But whatever happens next week, we already know that the uncertainty over Brexit has hit working people where it hurts most – in their pockets.

Economic pain

Workers are suffering from the longest wage squeeze in 200 years, with real wages now £18 a week less than they were in 2008.

8.2 million working adults are living in poverty, with 1.3 million foodbank packages issued last year alone.

And since 2016, the UK has plummeted down the global growth league. It now sits 39th out of 45 in the OECD list.

But instead of doing something about this, the Prime Minister has been wasting time trying to convince her own MPs to back her dodgy deal.

Alright for some

Despite the economic turbulence unleashed by Brexit, this year’s wage figures show earnings for the richest are on the up.

The UK also suffers from huge regional wealth inequality, with average household income in London much higher than in Brexit supporting regions like the north east.

When Theresa May took office, she promised to stand up for those who were just about managing to make ends meet.

But instead of tackling inequality, this year’s Budget delivered another tax cut for the highest earners.

A Tory Brexit will magnify these differences, hitting regions that voted Leave the hardest.

And some of biggest Brexit supporters openly admit that sacrificing UK manufacturing is a price worth paying for Brexit.

Heading for the hills

Meanwhile, some of Brexit’s biggest champions are now trying to protect their financial interests from the deal they want to force on the rest of us.

Last year, a Tory MP who earns £180,000 a year as chief global strategist for an investment management firm advised UK investors to ‘look further afield’ because of Brexit-related uncertainty.

This advice was echoed by a prominent Tory donor, who singled out Malta as a place where UK companies could maintain a ‘presence in the European Union’ after Brexit.

During the summer, Brexiteer-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm launched a new fund based in Ireland.

One rule for them

It’s clear that the millionaires on the Tory benches aren’t the ones who’ll pay the price if we get Brexit wrong.

It’s working families’ futures that are at stake – and the government is failing them.

That’s why we oppose this dreadful deal and the blindfold Brexit that it guarantees.

We need a deal that protects jobs and rights. And one way or another, the people must have the final say.