According to the Daily Telegraph, Michael Gove has said that Britain risks becoming an outdated "VHS economy" if it accepts calls by big business for the UK to be closely aligned with the EU after Brexit. He's right. The CBI is about as corporatist as it gets. Those big businesses who run the CBI love all the rules and regulations cascading from Brussels. It prevents many rivals from entering the marketplace. The CBI wants barriers to free trade. The CBI is a 1980s car phone in a smartphone age.
The CBI, of course, does have its supporters in Government. Philip Hammond being its main cheerleader. Here's a section from today's Telegraph:
A Cabinet minister told The Daily Telegraph: "Hammond with the back-up of other Remain ministers was making the case for 'high-alignment' on the basis that big business was lobbying for this, and that was what they need.
"Michael made the point that if we did that in 2000 we would have built our economy on the basis of what IBM wants. Since then Facebook, Google and other tech giants have emerged as the biggest companies in the World.
"When the Tories came into power in 2010 some of these companies like Uber didn't even exist. What does that mean for our economy in five to 10 years time? He said that we're developing a VHS economy. We need flexibility with the ability to diverge. We need a low-level of alignment."
The challenge facing Brexiteers is still immense. Remainer Peers are going to try and water down Brexit line by line when the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill has its second reading in the House of Lords next week. Remain voices inside the cabinet, led by Hammond, are going to attempt to force their will, taking advantage of a weak Prime Minister. All the vested interests that gave us Project Fear ahead of the 2016 referendum, will once again be out in force.
When Remainers like to call Brexiteers 'little Englanders', they need reminding that it is not us who are attempting to block change and progress. It is them. People like Hammond are so cautious by nature, that, in times past, they would never have attempted the reforms Margaret Thatcher pushed through that revolutionised our economy. They would have preferred the post-war consensus. It gave more power to people like them.
Back to Michael Gove's quote. We don't want to be a VHS video recorder in an Internet streaming world. The way to avoid that and make Brexit a success is to fully free ourselves from the shackles of the EU. Nothing less will do.
Photo Credit: Sébastien Bertrand commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_Commission_flags...