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UK ‘likely’ to fall apart in next 20 years, says former Bank of England economist

23 Feb 2021 3 minute read
Andrew Sentance at Policy Exchange

The UK is “likely” to fall apart in the next 20 years, according to a former Bank of England economist.

Andrew Sentence, who is currently Senior Adviser to Cambridge Econometrics, and was an external member of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, compared the present situation in the UK to that of Ireland when it was part of the union.

He said: “The United Kingdom of GB and Ireland dates from 1801 – but 70 years later the concept was already being challenged (in Ireland), and from 1916-22 it unravelled with the independence of the majority of Ireland. Now looks likely the rest of the UK will fall apart in next 20 years.”

Andrew Sentence is not the first former external member of the central bank’s interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee to suggest that the union could break up.

Danny Blanchflower tenured professor at US Ivy League university, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, who received an MSc in economics from the University of Wales, Cardiff, thinks Brexit could cause it to unravel.

He said that “even Wales” could leave the union and that it could “separate from the little Englanders and their dreams of empire”.

‘Even Wales’ 

Blanchflower, a fierce critic of what he calls “austerity economics”, said: “I think major issue now is whether in order Scotland Northern Ireland and even Wales separate from the little Englanders and their dreams of empire.

“I suspect support in Wales will be impacted by what happens in Scotland,” he added.

On Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal with the EU, Blanchflower said: “I called it the worst peacetime agreement a country had signed in 1000 years. It is also the first free trade deal that reduces free trade.

“It will lower living standards a lot and likely break up the Union. My Scottish friends want to be in the EU.

“The only free trade deal in history that reduces the amount of free trade. It is clearly a thin deal that is bad and better than a much worse deal. It is like the guy who had to have his leg amputated and celebrates that post-op the wound is not infected.”

He also said that the thinks an independent Scotland would be welcomed back into the EU.

He said: “My assumption is Scotland would be welcomed including by countries like Spain who last time were unhappy about independence due to Catalonia but this time would support Scotland rejoining the EU club as a much put open friend who also dislikes extreme right wing Little Englanders.”

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