How stupid are British voters?
A majority of Brits voted in favour of leaving the European Union despite being warned that it would be economically damaging. The vote was carried in large part by the segments of the population likely to suffer most in a recession.
Here is a demographic breakdown of the vote by Lord Ashcroft Polls, showing the poor favouring Leave over Remain:
The most heart-breaking example of this self-inflicted damage was Port Talbot, the town in Wales where Tata is closing a steel mill with the loss of 4,000 jobs (the heart of the town’s economy). Port Talbot was warned by Tata before the vote that the EU was crucial if Tata was to save the plant from closure. Yet 57% of Port Talbot voters went for Leave. As soon as they got that result Tata put a deal to rescue the plan on hold because, well, how the heck can you sell steel in Europe if you’re outside the EU?
Hopefully, the people of Port Talbot have saved up a lot of money to tide them through the downturn. If they have, they would be doing better than the rest of the country.
Household savings have been in decline since 2010, according to this note from Barclays:
To recap: Britain was told Brexit would be economically damaging, ignored the warning, and is now going into the recession with fewer savings than in 2010. Well done, everyone!