Britain could have regulated the City and attracted green investment from inside the EU
Giving up membership of the EU is changing the UK economy. But not in the way the headlines suggest. Last week there was much crowing that Brexit Britain had secured a £1bn electric vehicle hub in Sunderland, where Nissan will produce a new all-electric car model and its partner Envision will build a huge battery factory. This was good news. But there was less focus on the fact that the units built will be tailored to rules set by Brussels.
Ministers are coy about what was paid to keep the Japanese car giant here. States often dangle economic carrots to attract investment. The UK would have done so had we stayed in the EU. Instead, with Britain outside the bloc, Nissan had the upper hand in negotiations. If the plant had gone somewhere else, it would have been a clear signal that Britain was a less attractive destination outside the EU than it was within. Without the investment, ministers could have credibly been accused of betraying “red wall” voters.