THE ECONOMIC BASIS FOR BREXIT: De-industrialisation rather than globalisation is the key part of the story
- 29 Mar 2017
In seeking to understand the economic basis of the Brexit vote, we should concentrate not on globalisation but on the long-term impact of de-industrialisation. That is the central message of economic historian Professor Jim Tomlinson, in analysis to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference.
The evidence is certainly strong that economic disadvantage played a significant part in the patterns of voting in the referendum (though age and educational qualifications seem to have played a large, independent role). But this disadvantage seems best linked to de-industrialisation, which has left a legacy of a much more polarised service sector labour market, with large numbers of people condemned to poorly paid and insecure jobs.