The EU’s problem is the same as Britain’s: austerity

The addiction to economic pain is shared by Brussels and by Tories who see in Brexit a renewed ‘Thatcher revolution’

George Soros is right: Europe faces an existential crisis, not least because of an addiction to austerity that has certainly contributed to Italy’s summer of discontent. This makes it all the more urgent that the time-and resource-consuming wastefulness of Brexit be brought to an end, and the sooner the better. There are huge problems facing Europe: in addition to the domestic damage the prospect of Brexit is causing, it constitutes a huge distraction from the reforms the EU requires.

It is no use waiting several years. The damage to our economy is manifest already, and the Treasury, Bank of England and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are not employing empty threats in concluding that things are set to go from bad to worse, as the investment so vital for productivity is postponed and the public and private sectors suffer recruitment problems.

There is a train crash coming, probably in Northern Ireland, which to my mind poses an insoluble dilemma for Theresa May

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