Post-Brexit, keep calm and carry on shopping

Both before and after the referendum result, Remainers have insisted that Britain’s economy will crumble as a result of Brexit. Yet it seems that most consumers are paying no attention to the doom and gloom. In fact, they’re spending more than expected.

But why should this come as a surprise? The people who were most afraid of Brexit weren’t ordinary people. They were CEOs, politicians and businessmen; they were the employers who urged their staff to vote Remain.

When voting in the referendum, ordinary people ignored the economic warnings of their bosses and supposed betters. They turned their attention instead to the democratic deficit in the UK. What mattered to people, then, was not the economic cost of Brexit; it was the political, democratic opportunity of Brexit. This is why so many refused to be swayed by doom-laden economic prophecies.

But now, almost two months after the Brexit vote, the establishment is still fearmongering about an economic downturn. Indeed, so desperate are analysts to see their negative forecasts come true, that they are now trying to scare people into spending less. Thankfully, the vast majority of us have responded by carrying on as normal. The pre-Brexit economic fear campaign didn’t achieve its goal of making people vote Remain, and it won’t be successful in changing consumers’ minds anytime soon.

The recent spending figures show that the British people are determined to make Brexit a success story. Ordinary people are not letting reports of Brexit-induced catastrophe scare them into adopting some sort of financial survivalist strategy. They remain unshaken, because they know that they are potentially more in control of their lives than ever before. We must continue to ignore the post-Brexit scare stories about the economy and hit the shops.

Charlie Peters is a spiked intern and a campaigner for spiked’s Invoke Article 50 Now! campaign.

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