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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > December 2017 > Letters & opinions

Letters & opinions

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First-class foresight

Joris Luyendijk is right when he says that the Brexit vote should be “seen as the logical and overdue outcome of a set of English pathologies” (“Fantasy Island,” November). But no one should be surprised.

When I settled in the UK as an 11-year-old French and German national, I was shocked at the visceral anti-European Union language of the media and the body politic (remember Nicholas Ridley?) Successive Labour governments from 1997 to 2010 were a mere interregnum in Britain’s anti-EU stance.

When David Cameron became prime minister in 2010, and with the sight of many Eurosceptics of the early 1990s on his front bench, that interregnum was over: I immediately took British citizenship to guard against becoming the second-class citizen my fellow EU citizens have now become.

Christophe Kasolowsky, London

Luyendijk’s sour parting shot at England was reminiscent of the dinner party guest who, having sat silently all night, turns round and delivers a torrent of abuse as they sway out of the door for their taxi. We English are all, his six years living here have taught him, drunk, aggressive, and so dim that we allow ourselves to be manipulated by a handful of press oligarchs. If nothing else, his risible misjudgments enabled me to feel a sense of solidarity with the numerous peoples who have been traduced by western anthropologists over the last three centuries.

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In Prospect’s December issue: Adam Posen, Diane Coyle and Nicolas Véron examine the state of Britain’s economy with Brexit looming and suggest that with a large part of the City looking to move and with productivity remaining low the outlook is firmly negative. Posen suggests that the only thing capable of disciplining the Brexit economy is the reality that things are going to be worse. Coyle suggest that although Brexit will hamper Britain’s productivity, the problem is long-term. Véron argues that more than a tenth of the City’s business will disappear due to Brexit—a significant slice that will be difficult to cover off. Elsewhere in the issue: Steve Bloomfield uncovers what is going on at Dfid, the struggling government department that recently lost its Secretary of State. Nick Cohen looks at the rise of the Strong Man is Eastern Europe as Viktor Orbán clamps down on society and Lizzie Porter reports from Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, a region plagued by war and political instability.