At the outset of the 2020s, the UK economy embarks on a new decade with little momentum. Growth has stalled, not least because Brexit uncertainty and a slowdown in the global economy has served as a handbrake on business investment. Meanwhile, consumers have begun tightening their belts and the job market boom of the past decade has petered out. For at least the duration of 2020 another groundhog year awaits thanks to the ongoing Brexit saga, despite the promise Boris Johnson made before the election. But as the economist Mat Lawrence has argued, Brexit is just the firing gun on a wider decade of disruption. The prime minister will not be able to declare the job done and his mission accomplished after the UK’s formal exit later this month. Instead it will mark the first steps towards redefining the nation’s place in a rapidly-changing world. In a prescient report for the Institute for Public Policy Research three years ago, Lawrence outlined five powerful trends that will drive change in the 2020s: The aftershock of Brexit, a demographic tipping point from an ageing society, the rise of new technologies, a shifting global economic order and the existential threat of global heating…. Read full this story
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