Live from Brexitown

Last year I moved to London for professional and family reasons. Yes, I actually immigrated to the United Kingdom after Brexit. Best timing, amirite? As much as I was excited to move to London, I was not looking forward to the inevitable consequences of the UK leaving the European Union. (Yes, inevitable. Every expert saw it coming)

Sure, London is still Singapore-on-Thames. The cost of living, the inflation, the premium you pay for the privilege, has been a reality in London well before Brexit or the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Real estate developers cannot build fast enough, wages cannot increase fast enough. Thousands of billions of Great British pounds have collected within the walls of the M25 motorway.

But after the honeymoon, you start noticing things are not exactly right, even in London. The essential infrastructure projects, like high-speed rail, are uncertain. The NHS, which has been simultaneously the pride and the butt of British people’s jokes for decades, is cracking at the seams. Poverty is hitting an all time high, and it shows.

Is it just a feeling? An impression? Turns out: not at all. The UK economy has stagnated for the last 15 years and is getting hit by a recession worse than its neighbours. Is it only because of Brexit? Probably not. Does it impede recovery? Fuck yeah. Even notorious hardcore marxist-leninists from the Financial Times agree.

Depressing reads