One of the few bright lights in the world economy just went out.
It took some time for the United Kingdom to get going again after the financial crisis. But through 2015, it was the only country in the Group of Seven rich industrialized nations to post economic growth in excess of 2 per cent for three years in a row. The City of London—the world’s dominant financial centre, no matter what New York might say—had just restored all the banking and insurance jobs it lost during those dark days of 2008 and 2009. Exports of goods were at record levels. Britain was getting its mojo back.
You can forget all that now. A narrow majority of British citizens voted on June 23 to leave the European Union. The decision may bring relief from the meddling of Eurocrats in distant Brussels. It may even empower Parliament to slow immigration, as advocates for leaving claimed. And there is little doubt it will cause economic damage, according to almost every serious economist who took the time to study the implications of Brexit. (And there were a lot of them.)
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