Over the past year, the term 'despite Brexit' has been used to describe (with some irony) all the good news that has been reported in the UK economy. It has been used in countless headlines, articles and op-eds by newspapers like the FT, the Guardian and the Independent to illustrate - often with high levels of shock - how well the UK economy is doing in comparison to what they expected.
Brexit at Noon: 'Despite Brexit'
Use of the term has sky-rocketed over the past few weeks and, this morning, is used in countless headlines to describe the welcome news that BMW will make the electric mini in the UK, you guessed it, despite Brexit.
What it shows though is a deep lack of confidence that these publications have about the future of the UK. Every time they use 'despite Brexit' they are reinforcing a narrative that Brexit should - and will - be bad. This is illustrated by the bureaucrats, technocrats and globalcrats that they publish articles from beside these stories of good news in order to reinforce their negative views to their dwindling readerships.
Effectively, what these newspapers are doing is continuing to peddle whatever outdated view of the UK they had in June 2016 to their audiences in July 2017. The only exception (from what I can see) is the brilliant Guido Fawkes which has taken 'despite Brexit', given the term its own hashtag and is using it to point at good news stories which many in the press wish to suppress.
With the UK going through the process of Brexit, and taking back control of many areas that will bring economic, democratic and legal benefits to the UK, there is though a growing trend of positive stories 'thanks to Brexit'. Confidence in our structures, our legal system, our human capital and our democracy will lead to ever greater successes in the future. To help this to be realised, not just in terms of economics but about us as a people, we need to continue our effort to change the narrative and put forward the positive case of what Brexit will bring.
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