Barack Obama famously said “don’t do stupid stuff”. (Actually, he said something even stronger.) This is always good advice. It is particularly good advice for today’s UK. It would be wonderful if it could start doing sensible stuff. But one must keep one’s hopes in check. It should, however, surely be possible to stop doing really stupid stuff.
Brexit itself was stupid stuff. Few people with a serious knowledge of the matter doubt it. It has raised barriers against the country’s closest neighbors and most important trade partners. As the Office for Budget Responsibility noted this month, “The latest evidence suggests that Brexit has had a significant adverse impact on UK trade.” It has reduced overall trade volumes and the number of trading relationships between UK and EU firms. The OBR assumes, quite rationally, that “Brexit will result in the UK’s trade intensity being 15 per cent lower in