Brexit will mark the start of a “decade of disruption” for Britain with a slowing economy, an ageing population and volatile jobs market, a new report by a UK-based think tank warned on Thursday.
‘Future proof: Britain in the 2020s’ by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) concludes that Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) will have some “painful trade-offs” with lower growth and weaker public finances.
“Brexit is the firing gun on a decade of disruption. As the UK negotiates its new place in the world, an accelerating wave of economic, social and technological change will reshape the country, in often quite radical ways,” says the report.
It forecasts that the economic world order will become more fragile as globalisation evolves, trade patterns shift, and economic power gravitates toward Asia.
“By 2030, the effects of Brexit combined with a wave of economic, social and technological change will reshape the UK, in often quite radical ways. In the face of this, a politics of nostalgia, institutional conservatism and a rear-guard defence of the institutions of 20th century social democracy will be inadequate,” said the report’s author, Mathew Lawrence.
Other factors would also disrupt Britain’s future for years to come, including its ageing population, the report finds.
The number of people aged 65 and over is predicted to rise by a third by the end of the next decade, imposing new strains on an already cash strapped system.
The report came as Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn accused British Prime Minister Theresa May of behaving in an autocratic manner like Britain’s ?past monarchs by not allowing a Parliament vote on Brexit.
“It (a final Brexit deal) would have to come to Parliament. She cannot hide behind Henry VIII and the divine rights of the power of kings on this one,” he told the Guardian.
“The idea that on something as major as this the Prime Minister would use the royal prerogative to bypass parliament is extraordinary I don’t know where she’s coming from,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dave Penman, general secretary of the UK’s civil servants union, said the Prime Minister May’s inability to talk openly about the complexity of Brexit was putting huge strain on civil servants.
Penman, who represents 19,000 members, said: “It is pure politics that is defining the Brexit debate and forcing May to say this is not a big, difficult job, and it is all in hand. Ministers lack the political courage to admit how complex and time-consuming this will be”.
“The politics around Brexit are the biggest risk to Brexit. The Government is clearly in a situation where they are trying to deny the complexity of it,” he said.
The FDA also called for more resources to be devoted to civil services for Brexit related work.