Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeEconomyHow is Europe dealing with inflation, vitality costs? | Opinion

How is Europe dealing with inflation, vitality costs? | Opinion

As a proud Scot who has had the privilege of serving in each the Home of Commons and the Scottish Parliament, I felt considerably obliged to answer the article written by Evan Ward titled “What the U.S. can be taught from a recession in Britain.” This text was overly adverse and doesn’t current, I consider, an correct illustration of what’s taking place in the UK. 

Like most international locations within the western world, the UK is going through a tough financial outlook. Inflation is excessive as exercise returns to the economic system after two years of COVID-19 lockdown. Vitality costs are rising as a consequence of financial sanctions in opposition to President Vladimir Putin’s regime. These difficulties, nonetheless, usually are not distinctive to the UK, and it’s disingenuous to recommend so. 

Regardless of the political turmoil we have now confronted, the U.Okay. authorities has been nimble in its response to those challenges. The U.Okay. was the primary nation on the earth, for instance, to ship defensive weapons to our associates in Ukraine, displaying that we’re prepared to make use of our Brexit freedoms to defend liberty internationally, regardless of the financial penalties. Defending freedom typically comes as an financial price. It has on this occasion. 

The Vitality Value Assure places a cap on the quantity you may be charged per unit of fuel or electrical energy, to a family common of round £2,500 a 12 months. That is saving people, households and companies round £900 a 12 months.  

The U.Okay. authorities is taking proactive motion to spice up home vitality provide, guaranteeing that our nation turns into vitality resilient and has a lot to show the world on our strategy. A brand new oil and fuel licensing spherical has been launched, which is anticipated to result in over 100 new licenses. There was an acceleration of latest sources of vitality, together with nuclear, wind and photo voltaic. The U.Okay. authorities is enterprise reforms to the construction and regulation of the U.Okay. vitality market, ensuring that this market serves the individuals’s and nation’s wants. 

Within the three months previous to August 2022, U.Okay. exports elevated by £6.8 billion. An instance of an business that’s doing effectively, regardless of the tough financial outlook, is Scotch whisky. Throughout 2021, the worth of Scotch whisky exports was up 19%. Progress was pushed in Asia Pacific and Latin America, with robust development additionally seen in India and Brazil. Regardless of Brexit, exports to the European Union grew by 8%. And utilizing our Brexit freedoms, the U.Okay. authorities efficiently negotiated the elimination of the 25% tariff on Scotch whisky within the U.S., leading to exports rising there as effectively. 

It isn’t solely commerce that reveals indicators of encouragement for the U.Okay. economic system. A report from Dealroom reveals that London has attracted £7.8 billion in fintech enterprise capital funding because the begin of 2022, edging it forward of each San Francisco and New York to turn out to be the world’s largest heart for fintech funding. The Z/Yen group’s newest inexperienced finance index, launched in October, confirmed that London is the greenest monetary heart on the earth. 

These success tales present that the U.Okay. is embracing financial innovation, understanding that it is a central ingredient to development. Liz Truss was additionally proper to emphasise the necessity for supply-side reform, and we’re seeing lots of her arguments on this subject being applied by the federal government led by Rishi Sunak. 

What has impressed me essentially the most about my nation previously six months, nonetheless, is how calm our residents have been. Having three Prime Ministers and a brand new monarch, after the longest ever reigning monarch in British historical past, may have prompted disarray. But, because the saying goes, the British saved calm and carried on. It’s who we’re and what we count on of ourselves after centuries of doing issues in our personal peculiar manner. 

With poignancy, Britain was on the world stage in September after the demise of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. On the drive from Balmoral to Edinburgh, Scotland’s pure magnificence was on show. The funeral in London and Windsor confirmed the ability of Britain’s customs and traditions. And all through all of this, the individuals of my nation had been united. 

It’s on this promotion of the frequent good that the British spirit stays excessive; that we proceed to push above our weight when issues look like tough; and it’s why we are going to take full benefit of our newfound freedoms and forge nearer ties with one among our biggest allies, america of America. 

Stephen Kerr is a member of the Scottish Parliament and a former member of the UK Parliament.

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