Now they understand! French economist admits Brexit 'not catastrophe as predicted'

Countless warnings of economic and relational ruin were issued from politicians, commentators and business figures – both at home and abroad – ahead of the 2016 Brexit vote. Britons decided their future would be brighter outside the EU, regardless of these claims. Now, François Lenglet, journalist and economist at RTE, has claimed those who voted ‘Leave’ have been vindicated.

Mr Lenglet insisted Britain has a “relatively prosperous future” ahead of itself outside the EU.

The European Commission admitted last year that Britain’s Covid recovery would be faster than its own, with Mr Lenglet noting that the country is still “growing”.

He told RTE: “[The UK’s situation is currently] not better, it’s not worse.

“But we can still think that with a government that is determined in the long term and has a real economic strategy, there is a relatively prosperous future for the UK outside Europe.

“It’s not a country that will disappear at all.”

In some regards, Mr Lenglet suggested Brexit might even have been good for the EU.

He said: “The stimulus package we had last summer to fight the pandemic would never have been possible with the British because they would have been opposed to it, the idea of mutualising a debt, they are absolutely against it.”

The economist stressed that one potential downside was European defence – though even this was tagged as an EU problem, not a British problem, with the latter maintaining a “solid defence”.

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“That is politically, technically and legally not impossible.”

While not impossible, Mr Lenglet suggested that such a split would be “a disaster for the UK”.

He warned: “It would be the break-up of a whole of several hundred years” – far, far longer than the amount of time spent with the UK as a member of the EU.

On the question of Britain asking to be readmitted into the EU, Labour Sir Keir Starmer – once a firm advocate of a second referendum – said in a recent interview there is now “no case for rejoining”.

He insisted his party’s position has changed, with the focus now settling on “making Brexit work”.

Some commentators have, however, suggested the new stance is perhaps too vague.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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