Brexit: Public spending plans may usher in crash worse than 2008 – Bill Jamieson

Brexit? You can’t look away for a minute. Such is the fast-moving hour-by-hour tumult that the week ahead looks gridlocked in deadlines, European Council summits, desperate last-minute talks in Dublin and Brussels and now a special sitting of the UK parliament on Saturday, October 19 (precedents: September 3, 1939, and then the outbreak of the Falklands War).

Its not the current Brexit gridlock that worries Bill Jamieson most (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Meanwhile, a Scottish court has deferred a decision on whether to sign a letter requesting a Brexit extension until October 21.

All manner of motions could be tabled in the Commons a week this Saturday: for no-deal, for revocation of Article 50, for a referendum, for a general election.

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This is beyond games. It is heading for utter gridlock, one in which the Government is powerless, its Queen’s Speech set for defeat, an election denied and a powerless Prime Minister trapped in office and under effective house arrest for as long as the opposition chooses.

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And all this while we move ever closer to the bursting of a financial bubble if anything greater than the 2008-09 banking crisis.

Asset prices are already inflated, but both Government and opposition plan massive spending rises.

The bigger crisis while political delay continues is that the UK’s budget deficit is set to, on Institute For Fiscal Studies’ (IFS) projections, climb to £100 billion and take the national debt to 90 per cent of GDP.

The Government, it says, “is adrift without a fiscal anchor”.

It’s not the looming deadlines next week that worry me, more the crisis that will unfold later.