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From the editor's desk > Divided Britain and the failure of policy

16 March 2017

Divided Britain and the failure of policy


Parliament has cleared the path for Britain to leave the European Union, and the opening of negotiations is imminent. With the consequential announcement of another referendum on Scottish independence, this moment may turn out to be the tipping point in the break-up not only of the European Union but of the United Kingdom. The threat to both is similar – widespread disillusionment and disappointment that institutions created for the betterment of ordinary life have failed to deliver, and are now seen more as part of the problem rather than its solution.

That suggests a fundamental failure of domestic politics, not just in Britain and Europe but in many cases elsewhere, including the United States. There is a logic to this. Globalisation of the world economy has seen manufacturing shipped out to countries where labour and raw materials are cheaper and industry more productive, but has also seen cheaper labour drawn magnetically from the poorer parts of the world to the better-off parts.


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