Labour stalwart Dame Margaret Hodge has refused to outline whether she would back Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson in December’s general election but says that she simply wants a government headed by her party to be in place.
Patrick Minford; Professor of applied economics at Cardiff University, has shared his views on the situation and Corbyn’s chances at the next general election.
Sputnik: Will Jeremy Corbyn’s status as a divisive figure even among members of his own party, hamper Labour’s chances of success in December’s general elections?
Patrick Minford: The most likely outcome at the moment is that Boris Johnson will win the election for the Conservatives, and to be honest, that’s the right outcome because it will deliver Brexit. It will also avoid the extremely crazy policies being put forward by Labour, which would really damage the economy.
Boris Johnson is right I think, promising to end austerity and to spend properly again on public services, and he’s got plenty of money to do so. Also, interest rates are so low; in fact, they are negative after inflation, that he really ought to use this available borrowing opportunity to do some infrastructure projects, and he could also cut taxes prudently.
Sputnik: What would Labour have to do to become electable once again?
Patrick Minford: They would have to jettison all this talk about nationalisation, and massive spending sprees and generally junking the proper economics of the business that we rely on to keep our business prosperous, all that has to go.
Nobody can risk turning the economy into a no-go area for investment, particularly foreign direct investment, as people will look at the UK and think that it’s a terrible place to go, and this would be very bad for the economy, no question. All those policies that basically damage the businesses of this country have got to go.
Sputnik: Is Boris Johnson’s divorce bill better than Theresa May’s?
Patrick Minford: I think it’s a good deal because it commits us to doing a free trade agreement with the EU, and it also keeps us open to doing free trade agreements with the rest of the world. Obviously, no-deal does that too, and in some ways, it’s got advantages because it comes quicker, and we can also do a deal with the EU after we’ve left, and it means that we don’t have to pay them so much money in terms of financial contributions.
There are advantages to a no-deal; but I think I’d put it this way, it’s always better to have a deal with your neighbour, than to have no deal, we want to get on well with the EU, they are our friends and our allies, so it makes sense to have a deal with them. Therefore on balance, I would say let’s go with Boris’s deal.
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